Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Platypus, Tree of Gratitude, Presence

November 30th, 2011

The Thanksgiving Feast has passed as have numerous days of negating my obligation to this journal . . but I assure you, it has been for a very, very good cause.

Where does one start with giving thanks? I have so much to be thankful for and while I've always made a practice of saying thanks, good job, way to go!!! It seems that there are always those that you can never do enough for. Worse yet, there are some individuals who go through live expecting that which they believed to be owed to them. Silly it seems to be - it's quite clear when someone is doing there best and that alone should be enough. Reminds me of a favorite quote by James Thoreau

"I do not call one greater or one smaller, that which fills it's period and place is equal to any"

In retrospect, I have been immensely blessed with so many beautiful people in my life & if I was to include them here that list would undoubtably extend the length's of 3 Douglas Fir's. The trials and tribulations "growing pains" of my whimsical life simply would not have been manageable without the many branches of friends & forever stablizing roots of family foundation to uphold me these many years. As of recent, I have seemed to eclipse yet another major arcana card game and perhaps leaped some bounds beyond the fictional white picket fence in finally embracing (with thanks & appreciation) the benefit of all these often torturous storms. That revelation being . . . my outer bark has thickened to weather any circumstance, by trunk has grown sturdier, my leaves ever brighter and branches more resilient with each season passing.

I am the tree of my own life and amidst a forest I stand solitary confident yet comforted by my Earthly sisters and brothers a foot and above. I fear none as those that have tried to fervently take saw & axe to my base have all but failed . . . cut me down & I'll my soulful roots will simplly shoot anew. I am the tree of my own life and for that . . I am grateful to myself, that's right me, Scotty, Chef whatever you want to know me as:)

Hold on tight, as I try and pull these thoughts together . . the platypus was my favorite animal in the world since the playful age of 7 years old. I guess as a somewhat oddity myself, I've always related to this estranged marsupial native to to Eastern Australian streams and waterways . This nocturnal, egg-laying, duck-billed, beaver-tailed, otter-footed mammal is my "totem" in the spirit of Native beliefs and appropriately in a time where I have had the priviledge of nuturing my body, mind and soul (do to my excommunication from my San Diego businessess) . . it has reimmerged, bringing forth an uncennsored emotion that has all but eluded me for well over a decade . . .

On Thanksgiving Day, preparing two separate meals and having man-handled more dead turkeys than I care to remember (not to mention the some dozens of little rugruts running around on their little "fruit pie high") . . I accompanied my wonderful server (the glamorus Ms. Whitney) to a local establishment to partake in some much needed Vodka. Our expectations were set at bar exhausation and as the olive surfaced a little too quick to reveal an empty martini glass - we sort of stumbled upon an outdoor table that was mostly vacant (ie: no people just a few half cosnumed libations & a full pack of Marlbrough lights). Engrossed in our conversation of cranberry merlot memories, Whitney & I held our post in claiming this table until at last - the inhabitants returned to stake proprietorship of the table.

The gents were cordial and with Whitney's polished Mariah Carey diva demeanor we quickly settled into conversation . . or at least she did - I was enamored with the Aussie name Laurence and couldn't quite foam up any vocabulary. You can probalby deduce from here: I've spent the last five days with this Melbourne native sharing a constant state of unlimited affection, easy conversation typical only to the best of friends and a 7 day speed tour of Southern California . . yes that's right, he will be departing, leaving, going away . . in 7 days and my outlook is never been fuller!

In some feabile manner, I'll try to pull all of my scrambled 4 shot expresso thoughts together here . . . life whether one is aware of the "why's, how's, when's & where's" is really about enjoying the present as the action. Taking full awareness of the immediate surroundings (the sounds, smells, touches & tastes) and the spontanaity as one unwrap's each gift of the present with eager appreciation and gratitude - regardless of what is finally revealed within.

Life is also remembering those gifts of the past (did you really expect that to find a diamond ring in that big ass box? . . but, think about how much love & comfort that stuffed animal provided you through your childhood years). Treasured memories in full color, laughter shared & tears spilled . . . the things that stay with you forever as a watermark shadows the image of first sight or a footstep marks the path behind a journey of softened waves nipping at ones heals.

Finally, life is very much the unknowing pleasures that come from admiring the shiny wrapping & ribbon bow mindfully holding the unseen. The future always an outcome of our karmic actions and an expression that really is nothing more than the "cause & effect" of the thse truths held dear to our hearts. Admire those gifts not for what you expect to discover within but for their actual "presence" as opposed to "presents"

I am grateful for my seven days - it's seven more than I would have had should I have not acted on the moment. The storms have yielded a heart of gratitude that fears no loss, cherishes each challenge and fully embraces those days of glorious sunshine . . and for that, I am so very, very thankful. Thank you Laurence for showering me with a seven day stretch of enlightened love.

With Christmas approaching and countless Americans draggin dusty cardboard boxes chalk full of holiday decor out of their garages . . remember, what the gift really is . . remember what the thanks is all about. No recipe today or this week - the food isn't important - it's the moments & memories that are shaping before your very eyes . . so keep them open!

with Culinary Blessings,

Chef Scotty

Monday, November 7, 2011

Awakening the Kundalini via Kelp Noodles

Barn Owls, "Cosmic Alarm Clock" Venus, Taurus, Water Dragon, Soulivinlove . . . I do believe that the journey in rediscovering "the aloof childhood me" and melding it with the "experiences of an audacious adult character" are quite underway. Can anybody really ever claim to fully comprehend without having undergone circumstance and at what capacity has "one" self-attained this paradox of enlightment. (excluding all esoteric monks, golden retrievers & those Mr. Rogers)

Kundalini is described as a sleeping, dormant potential force in the human organism.[6] It is one of the components of an esoteric description of man's 'subtle body', which consists of nadis (energy channels), chakras (psychic centres), prana (subtle energy), and bindu (drops of essence).

November 6th & 7th, 2011

Slitter, splot, splat, dot . . it's raining it's not pouring & this old man crawled is arse out of bed . . well, somebody else's bed to be exact! Rising to the occasion, I rolled on some deodorant and confronted the brisk jet stream in pursuit of Melrose's Sunday morning Farmers Market. The burden of attending only hampered by my neglect of caffeine and the minimalistic two 1/2 hours of sleep, I scored 1 case of bosc pear, a case of organic cherry tomato, 20lbs of sunchoke, lemongrass & 6 loaves of baguette at unimaginable prices. I was so entranced in conversation with the soaking wet vendors that I completely lost track of time: 9:33am!!! Shit - I pawed at my I-phone in fervent intent to call Bishop and ensured him I would be ready for pick-up at 9:40. As a child is to raw cookie dough, I couldn't miss our monthly SGI kosen-rufu Sunday service!

The pleasantry of arriving late granted us the esteemed privilege of sitting in a separate room upstairs (kind of like watching the Superbowl in the parking lot). Now, I am fairly recent to the practice of Nichiren Buddhism . . and I am definitely old enough to know that I shouldn't be laughing during service, let alone cracking jokes . . but humor has it's merits:) SPACE in TIME/EVAPORATED VORTEX . . .

It's been a while since I've posted so - I'm gonna just forfeit this saved blog & start anew:)

hugs, apologies - new entry in the works/back to balance

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Vegan Farts are Mean!!! Raw Religion vs. Bacon

Sister Mary Cleo's antique, nor longer quite noir 1997 pathfinder is both my temporary means of transportation and as of today, a very efficient gas chamber. Mean farts referring to my afternoon consumption of Agape conceived raw/vegan desserts resulting in the proficient amount of flatulence generated in my lower abdomen. Painfully aromatic ... Can these windows go any lower?

November 5th, 2011

Veganism: is the practice of eliminating the use of animal products. Ethical vegans reject the commodity status of animals and the use of animal products for any purpose, while dietary vegans or strict vegetarians eliminate them from their diet only.

It's raining & I'm galloping onward in my self-discovery & planning of "Sunday Funday" activities. Yesterday marked the "kick-off" of Agape''s 25 year anniversary celebrations (see: ) and I participated as a "celebrity chef" judge sharing the table with an eclectic cast of Hollywood characters including:
-Vanessa Williams: actress with amazing hair!(no not the glorified & de-crowned Ms. America),
-Deborah M. Pratt: Magnum PI actress, illuminated aura, "Quantam Leap" persona
-Chef BeLive: rockstar Raphael of raw/vegan creations, granola a la sophisticato

Dr. Lana Bettencourt, was the common denominator amongst our little tribe. I had hired this Nubian reiki master to work on my energy a few weeks past and it was at that time she requested my participation in judging a "healthy dessert" competition. Now, most of us would agree that the words "healthy" & "dessert" are two very distant relatives . . kind of like Ernie & Bert. The contest included four dishes: some vegan sweet potato hash of thing (I think "Sweet Thang" would be an appropriate title), raw chocolate avocado mousse, "snarfberry" granola bars & our crowned winner of . . . hmmm, a "dulce de raw" composition neither perfect nor entirely flawed. Searching for some moral reprieve, I desperately sought after Chef BeLive's confirmation that indeed; "These desserts were comparable to 4 year old's audition as a mezzo-soprano Opera singer" Regardless, the clock now read 3:15pm and I was famished beyond the state an Aboriginal prefect!

Surrounded by angelic beings hocking everything from enlightened eco-friendly products & holistic services, both Chef Be'Live & I traversed into culinary affiliated conversation Harmonious entropy would properly describe the next ten minutes. Having made each others acquaintance, it was clear that our paths would carve future footsteps within the forest floor . . the exact implications yet to manifest.

Tender exhaustion settling into my quivering hamstrings, I bounced out of there like a wombat in heat. The radio partially blasting to the tunes of Maroon 5, I was suddenly jolted upward by a reversible geiser of gas ...moments later, the smell would consume my olfactories with a feverish disdain. Then . . Bam!!! Another roaring pearl of potency . . Good god!!! Flailing for the window controls I nearly swerved off Stocker Street and into one of those antiquated oil wells. The unrelenting farts would continue to tear away at my pair of True Religion jeans for more than 8-miles. You're asking yourself, "What in Allah's creation could cause such a inhumane chemical reaction?" Vegan-Raw desserts is the only explanation.

After managing to shimmy, slide & dodge traffic in an frantic effort to reach home; (where a large assortment of over-the-counter pharmaceuticals promised some possibility of temporary relief) i guzzled pints of club soda & determined that my body yearned for protein. Silverlake's Thai mecca restaurant, Rambutan proved to have cordial service and authentic dishes at a modest price. The fact that only one other table, shared our cosy little abode reflects that indeed, our capricious economy stills impacts even the most basic of necessities - eating (out).

Done for the day, I suited up into those perfectly worn, non-society approved yet ever so damn comfortable bedtime clothes . . . that's when the phone rang. Captain Nemo was back from his South American trip & was feeling frisky for Ketel One Vodka, swarms of barflies and . . shit - shit - shit!!! So, off to the Abbey () we went in gregarious fashion and no, Scotty didn't drink but he did dance, maybe fondle a go-go dancer and quite possibly . . not return to his own bed that night? Tack on an extra hour of sleepy time for day light savings & stay tuned for Sunday's wrap-up.

with Culinary Blessings,


Raw/Vegan Chocolate Blowballs

1.5 cups shredded coconut
3/4 c maple syrup (or agave to be technically raw)
3/4 c cocoa powder
Dash Vanilla Extract
Optional: 1/4 c coconut oil (I used it and encourage it!)
Optional: 1/4 c chia seeds, candied or raw ginger and/or chopped, raw almonds

Mix all the ingredients together by hand, roll into balls & toss into the freezer ... you're done. :)

NOTE: All characters names have been altered to protect their privacy

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pumpkin Quartet, The Secret & Unrealistic Simplicity

Our weekly Thursday dinner party (yet to earn it's proprietary name) is now going on it's fifth evolution and appropriately our first course featured a very commercialized squash: A roasted pumpkin soup recipe with four variegated condiments from that same pumpkin, intended to compliment, intrigue & twinkle your toes & twist ones tongue:)

Simplicity: which means to be simple, usually relates to the burden which a thing puts on someone trying to explain or understand it. Something which is easy to understand or explain is simple, in contrast to something complicated. Alternatively, as Herbert Simon suggested, something is simple or complex depending on the way we choose to describe it.

November 3rd, 2011

I know, I know . . you're recalling that this dinner voyage was originally chartered to the Sun of Tuscany (ie: Italian). "Epicurean simplicity" being the spinal cord of my most recent blogs & each vertebrae representing the supportive behaviors, techniques, thoughts, imagination & passion necessary to keep a balanced, upward and onward perspective. Abstaining from any superfluous cooking, I am quite proud of the following menu:

1st Course - Pumpkin of 5-Elements
Roasted Pumpkin Soup with four condiments: Thai Pickled Pumpkin Julienne, Basil-Pumpkin Salsina, Curried Pumpkin Chutney & Ancho Chile Candied Pumpkin Seeds

2nd Course - Crescione de Mare
Warm Watercress Ensalata with Garlic Confit Risotto Cake, Green Lip Mussels, Clams, Heirloom Tomato, Organic Asparagus Tips & Basil Beurre Blanc

3rd Course - Fennel Cracked Pig
Fennel-Black Pepper encrusted Pork Tenderloin with Tamarind-Cider Demi, Lemon Thyme-Brie Mashers, Wilted Dino Kale a la Vino Rouge

4th Course - To Die and Gone to Heaven dessert sampler
Poached Pear-Frangipane Strudel Tower with Spiced Caramel,
Toasted Pecan-Peach Bread Pudding Wedge with Balsamic Reduction,
House Churned Buttermilk Ice Cream, and
Gingerized Chocolate Tartlette with Alaea Sea Salt

Whatever obtuse thought is going through your head - let it evaporate with my assurance that this phonetically descriptive menu did in fact uphold some semblance of minimalism. The flavors melded together . . neither too much of this, nor too little of that - welcome to the wonderful world of "Borderline"

Enough with the vittles on to our beautiful contestants . . . Jennifer (Princess Charming, Personal Duchess to a certain celebrity, Flexibly Vegan), Jim (Real Estate Entrepreneur, Fellow Buddhist, Phoenix in the Rising), Randy & Steve (Married with Two Pug'able Children, Yin & Yang, On the Run yet Content by Couch) & Stan (A Shipley Sort of Chap, Pillar of Stability, Landlord, Profession put to the Point) . . . COME ON DOWN! (as Rod Roddy would say). With the seven Ikea stylized seats occupied we can finally uncork our guests offerings, both content & libations:

-2010 Rombauer Vineyards, Chardonnay: Gold medallion for this varietal/butter baster
-2008 Blackstone, Merlot: dependable as a Volkswagon Jetta/soothing to the palette
-2009 Hearst Ranch Winery, "Babicora" Malbec: enchantingly deep tannins/berry blaster
-2007 Swanson, Merlot: unopened/enchanting me with envious premonitions

In true "Social" spirit, our guests (estranged to each other) engaged in colloquial conversation with a tendency towards philosophy & sociology. Naturally, there was great interest in navigating Jennifer to disclose some sort of personal introspection of her boss. Our interrogation failed to progress as Jennifer meticulously thwarted our questions and navigated the attention in the direction of Jim. From Jim it went to Buddhism & from there it Leap frogg'd over to "The Secret" before cascading into the merits of ones monetary worth (ie: lawyers vs. architects vs. caterers) . . . no tears were shed, laughter dominated persuassion & blissful belly's forfeited the evening at 11:13pm in dire need to lay horizontal.

By coincidence with this evenings references to "the Secret", I am attending Agape International Spiritual Center's 25 year anniversary event (think Rev. Beckworth & Dr. Lana Bettencourt) on Saturday, November 5th and will be the celebrity judge for their dessert contest. Can you hear Simba now .. The Circle of Life!

with Culinary Blessings,

Chef Scotty


Original Recipe Yield 7 - 10 servings


7 cups veggie stock (ie: boil water + onion & vegetative fridge leftovers & sachet)
1 sachet (2 bay leaf, 8 peppercorns, bundle of thyme, 1 allspice berry)
1 tablespoon kosher salt/adjust as needed
4 cups roasted squash flesh (be it pumpkin, butternut, acorn ...etc.)
1 teaspoon chopped ginger
1 cup chopped onion
1 dash of cayenne
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream or coconut milk
1 tablespoon spice mix (ie: garam masala, curry powder)


Make stock with mirepoix/veggies, salt & sachet then strain and add pumpkin, onion, ginger, garlic, and cayenne. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes uncovered.
Puree the soup in small batches (1 cup at a time) using a food processor or use hand-held blender.
Return to pan, and bring to a boil again. Add vinegar. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for another 30 minutes, uncovered. Option to stir in heavy cream/half-n-half, Almond or Coconut Milk. Option to add spice blends of: Chinese 5-spice, Garam Masala or Curry

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Emerald City, Green Lantern & Feijoa's

What do all of these have in common? . . .

The word "green" is closely related to the Old English verb growan, "to grow". Several colloquialisms relate to this word as well: money, someone who is inexperienced, sustainable practices & products and the environmental movement.

November 2nd, 2011

It's 8:57pm and I've finally settled in to scribble down my illustrious thoughts of the day. I must confide ... I am earnestly enjoying my new founded interest in politics via the liberally oriented "The Ed Show" featured on MS NBC at 8pm weekly (Rachel Maddow follows & is quite lovely as well). In confessing a pinch of ignorance, I truly have not actively participated in our local, state or national politics since the days of puberty, garnering a drivers licenses or midnight cow-tipping. I think it a bit of an oddity that it took a cataclysmic whirlwind of occupational corruption to evoke such attention but no matter ... I'm more informed as a participating citizen, responsibly forking at his slice liberty pie.

Folding another "emerald" nugget on to my personal improvement plate ... I've taken up reading of the enjoyable, fantasy, step outside of reality & don't look back till your eyes are drooping & your mouth is drooling. Spying master Stan's vast array of books resembling only the likes of Alexandria, I finally stumbled upon something not of architectural or historian content! Son of a Witch, by Gregory Maguire (also the author of Wicked and better known to most as the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical)shall mark my endeavor to read something for pure pleasure (lord knows I have a bounty of Buddhist books to get through ... but at least, I'm attempting to fit into the phrase "baby steps")

Reciting more memories of enjoyment, I watched "The Green Lantern" last night! Eagerly anticipating this movie since it's debut some 7 months ago, I nestled into the ugliest couch in the world (someday I'll post a photo but for now let's just name this sofa atrocity, Melba Moo) with some less than hygienic meal of Dominoes Pizza & sparkling Sprite.

The movie was about as enthralling as most comic book adventure films go - I shant share any of the storyline details accept that I was mildly disappointed to discover that Ryan Reynolds merely snapped his fingers to change outfits and had no need to strip off his everyday wear before dressing in his elm leaf green super suit (i.e.: some skin would've been nice). The Green Lantern has always been my favorite superhero character since the appearance of my first tooth (alright, Flash is hella cool too!). Harnessing the power of will to do good in the Universe? Could have been the first imprint of moral fiber indoctrinated into my little peanut of a brain!

Ironically, I had in my possession a 4-inch Green Lantern figurine that I "planted" in the open dirt of Eden's patio (my San Diego restaurant/nightclub/bistro that I built from dream up) The last "Social" (google "the Social/Chef Scotty") & first Eden dinner was held that magical night of possibilities and I thought it appropriate that all participants write out their dreams and place them amidst the freshly churned soil at 1220 University Avenue to be sealed in faith & secrecy. I felt no need to write my wishes on a form of papyrus as my dream had come true! Instead, I selected my little iconic green man as a symbol of what I had accomplished and my solitary promise to assist others in achieving their dreams through the realization of my own. Sealed beneath a cast of concrete & mortar, The Green Lantern still shines bright with possibilities even though that dream has drifted far from its origination. Some persons find integrity as an obstacle rather than a pendulum of magnificent proportion.

Speaking of proportion, the Feijoa is not exactly Gilligan's ideal of a substantial, tropical delight but it is exceptionally full of unique flavor. ^pause^ *chomp* +lick+ :smell: ummm, otherwise known as the Pineapple-Guava, this green, egg-sized, ellipsoid-shaped fruit has a mildly sweet, aromatic flavor. The flesh is juicy and politely reminds one of a mild dewy morning, ripe with lilac and sweet peas. Indebted to give you a recipe, I simply must insist upon an evening of contemplation ... this little guy has potent possibilities but it calls for a refined approach & Morimoto technique. It's season is just wrapping up here in California - so make certain to hit up your nearest farmers market and invite the Feijoa into your very own pleasure pantry.

with culinary blessings,
chef Scotty

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A masked man & broken pumpkin promises?

Mask as a Adjective has these synonyms:
disguise, guise, camouflage, show, semblance, pretence, cover, cover-up, false colours, false flag, concealment, cloak, facade, veil

November 1st, 2011

Recent events in my life have manifested an overwhelming need of self preservation. A calling if you will . . for unlimited transformation instigated by a series of harsh circumstances. One often finds such potential for growth from the coming of obstacles, difficulties & unforeseen challenges . . . it's realizing it in the moment that evades many of us.

Stepping out of character was all to welcoming last night - Halloween seems to breath such lust for lost inhibitions. Adorning some Diesel leather pants, a black crocodile skin belt, a rather tight Tee, samurai sword and Venetian midnight mask (intending a sort of a shadow/sexy theme); I set out upon West Hollywood's parade of omnivores - a true collage of participants. You know our society is making leaps of liberty when you see a 93 year old grandma shoving a stroller with a grin of fascination amidst an audience of fairytale meets soft porn. Hanzel & Gretel-like children meandering the forest of flesh, hawkers, stalkers, glitter & ostrich feather, cartoon characters & blood suckers, scarlet stilettos, robotic stilts . . really boring, amazing, unthinkable, unforgivable costumes including every shade of chartreuse imaginable.

Love this childhood memory lane holiday - for once it gives everyone a chance to truly TAKE OFF THEIR MASK and wear their true colors!

Not much to report on broken pumpkin promises (ie: no culinary trivia or recipe today). I'd like to claim some better reason . . . but after having passed my "Buddhist Exam" I naturally felt inclined to celebrate//thus bringing a screeching halt to two full weeks of alcohol free living!!! A notoriously horrific blend of Irish Whiskey & $22 tall Margaritas & late nite hotdog consumption has me feeling slightly immersed in shall we say . . a pool of bio-plasmic nausea. Ironically, I did drag my crying remains of a body to the gym for a 9:30 heart attack spin session with Guy ... excreting ounces of "Rita O'Brien" sweat. Needless to say, I am selfishly craving a bounty of electrolytes, quality sleep & conscious awakening to a fresh day full of love, financial abundance and candy corn!

Till manana - Chef Scotty signing or shall I say sighing out!!!