Monday, August 29, 2011

Hollywood Bowl Celeb Chef Picnic

This past weekend was another crazy one, especially on Saturday.  It felt like Saturday was 3 separate days.  We started off early in the morning with an 8 mile run that took us from our apartment down to right near where I work and then back home.  Here's the route:

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We started a little after 7am and it was already approaching 80 degrees out so it was a warm run.  After we got back and had some time to rest, I started preparing our picnic feast for our trip to the Hollywood Bowl later that night.

Our meal was comprised of 3 recipes from 3 amazing chef's and it made for a fantastic meal. The main course was was Ina Garten's Caesar Club Sandwich. Brothers-in-law/talented chefs Eric & Ryan introduced us to this sandwich a few years ago when we were in town for a visit.  Ever since we've made it for all of our trips to the Hollywood Bowl.

Ina Garten's Caesar Club Sandwich
The only change we made to the recipe was swapping out "real mayo" for fat-free mayo. I know Ina wouldn't approve but I'm not too concerned about her opinion.  The sandwich is still amazing! The next dish came from our favorite celeb chef, Gordon Ramsay.  We made his Potato Salad and it turned out great (in my opinion).  Again, the only thing we changed was swapping real mayo for fat-free mayo.

Gordon Ramsay's Potato Salad
I really liked this version of potato salad because it's not too creamy and you can really tast the potatoes.  Also, the chopped up egg is a nice touch.  And what would a visit to the Hollywood Bowl be without some fresh baked cookies.  This time we turned to the one and only Martha Stewart and made her Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. The only change we made here was we included some butterscotch chips along with our chocolate chips.

Martha Stewart's Soft & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Of course we had a little dough left at the end so I made one huge cookie (see above picture).  Also, with this recipe I usually only bake them for about 8 minutes instead of the recommended 10-12.  It keeps them extra soft and gooey while not burning the bottoms of the cookies.  Once all the cooking/baking was done, we grabbed a bottle of wine from the rack (a Primitvo from Bray Vineyards) and we were on our way to the Hollywood Bowl.

The concert we saw was John Williams: Maestro of the Movies. In case you haven't seen a movie in the past 50 years, John Williams has composed some of the best movie scores of all time including Star Wars, Superman, Indiana Jones, Jaws, Jurassic Park, Catch Me If You Can and many, many others. This is the 3rd time we've seen him at the Hollywood Bowl and while this wasn't the best we've seen, he's still amazing.  He opened the show with a medley of songs from his catalogue and other songs that inspired him.  Then he started a tribute to Westerns which wasn't the best part of the show.  However, James Taylor did make a surprise appearance to read a story that accompanied one of the pieces Williams played.  James Taylor also played one of his songs (Sweet Baby James) to the delight of Carly who loves James Taylor.

Snakes. Why'd it have to be snakes?!
After the intermission, Williams returned to the stage with another medley that included my favorite song, the main theme from Superman: The Movie. He finished the show with light saber waving rendition of the Star Wars main title music and the main themes from E.T. and Indiana Jones.

But I was going into Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!
Another crazy weekend for us.  Next weekend will be crazier however since the day of the Disneyland Half Marathon is finally upon us!  On Sunday morning at 6am we will be setting out for a 13.1 mile journey and hopefully beating our personal best time.  Stay thirsty my friends.

- Clayton

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