I’ve been trying to have a better attitude about LA Roadrunners marathon training. It’s tough but I do love running and the exhausted feeling the night after a long run.

Saturday was incredible. It was really cold, 37 degrees cold. But it was clear and beautiful. We ran from Venice Beach through Santa Monica and up San Vicente Blvd., which I love because there’s a view of Santa Monica Canyon and a line of beautiful old houses. It’s also nice because the way back is downhill and then it’s flat.

We did almost 14 miles, the last mile of which was a little tough, but it always is. Afterward, my friend and I stopped for coffee and then headed home.

My sister and niece were visiting so we went back to the beach that afternoon. Somehow I had missed the part of the plan where we talked about riding bikes from Santa Monica to Malibu. I was already hobbling from the long run so I said, no thanks, and parked myself on a bench and read Ruth Reichl while my sister, niece, husband, and 2 kids rode all the way to Back on the Beach.

I drove to meet them at Back on the Beach and we had a fabulous lunch. It was our first time back since they had remodeled and the food was very good, and much improved from before.

It was so wonderful to sit in the warm sun and just enjoy our family. I think I might try having a positive attitude from now on. We’ll see how long that lasts.

Market Meetup at Michael's Restaurant in Santa Monica

I’ve been to the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers’ Market, but I had never really experienced it before last week. I was a guest of the second Michael’s Market Meet-Ups where the theme of the day was parsnips.
The legendary Michael McCarty, chef and owner of Michael’s Restaurant in Santa Monica, took a group of about 16 people on a tour of the market. It was a gorgeous, clear day as we walked with Michael and watched him pick out parsnips, crab apples, and Bloomsdale spinach. He told us which vendor sold the best pears for Tart Tartin in the Fall (Briar Patch), who had the best berries (Pudwill Berry Farms), and who to buy melons from in the summer (Rocky Canyon). We ran into Mark Peel from Campanile as he bought mushrooms and listened as Michael chatted up other local chefs making the rounds for fruits and vegetables.
We had started the morning with fresh baked cinnamon rolls and cappuccino at Michael’s and ended up back there after the whirlwind market tour. The group of us sat out on the patio and listened to fascinating stories about the early years of one of California’s most well known and ground-breaking restaurants.
The theme for November’s Market Meetup was parsnips so Michael’s Executive Chef Mikey Stern made a delightful parsnip puree. It was served with seared Nantucket Bay Scallops, Bloomsdale Spinach, and the best part of the dish in my opinion, Mangalitsa Pork Belly Lardons. Oh, my. It was fantastic.
And so was the wine. We were served 3 different tastings, but my favorite was the Pinot Noir (center) from McCarty’s own “The Malibu Vineyard.” It was light and smooth and quite delightful.
Next, we had perfectly cooked Braised Short Ribs with a tasty Parsnip and Fuji Apple Mash. It was a delicious end to a fantastic morning.
The Market Meetups are $60 and include a light breakfast, tour, tasting, and a signed copy of McCarty’s book “Welcome to Michael’s: Great Food, Great People, Great Party!” Visit Michael’s Restaurant blog in the next few weeks to find out what the theme is for next month’s Meetup.

Disclosure: I was not paid for this post, however, I was a guest of Michael’s Restaurants on the tour and tasting and I did receive a cookbook.

Michael's Meetup

I love to eat good meals, cook from interesting recipes and learn about food. Next week, I’m thrilled to say, I’ll be able to do at least 2 of those things. If all the stars align (no sick kids) I’m going to Michael’s Meetup at Michael’s Restaurant in Santa Monica.

Owner and chef Michael McCarty and Executive Chef Mikey Stern will take a group to the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market on Third Street Promenade to talk to farmers and find ingredients to make a meal. This is the second month of the meetup and the chosen theme is parsnips. The chefs will show the group how to pick the best parsnips and then walk back to the Michael’s restaurant to try seared Nantucket Bay Scallops with Parsnip Puree, Bloomsdale Spinach, Mangalitsa Pork Belly Lardons, and Chives, and Braised Short Ribs with Parsnip-Fuji Apple Mash and Glazed Baby Carots.

This is fantastic because I’ve never cooked with parsnips and wouldn’t know what to do with them. This is the second month of the meetup and last month’s ingredient was Kabocha Squash.

Here’s more information about the Meetup. Hope to see you there.

Michael’s Market Meet-Ups are a monthly event featuring a seasonal ingredient of the month. Each month, attendees will meet Executive Chef Mikey Stern and Chef-Owner Michael McCarty at Michael’s Restaurant just off Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade. After cappuccinos and house-made cinnamon buns at 8:30 a.m., attendees will join Chefs Michael and Mikey in a tour of the market. They will meet the farmers, discuss other uses for the month’s ingredient, and learn how to pick out the best of that season’s bounty. After the market tour, the group will walk back to Michael’s and sit down for a tasting of the featured ingredient as well as sips of wine from Michael’s list.

The light breakfast, tasting and Farmer’s Market Tour is $60 per person and includes a personalized, signed copy of Chef Michael McCarty’s latest book, Welcome to Michael’s: Great Food, Great People, Great Party!

Wednesday, November 10th,and monthly, TBD, 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

RSVP to Michael’s Restaurant (310) 451-0843