Sep 2021

Agnes – Pasadena

Agnes - Pasadena

Some of the most creative cooking in Pasadena is happening at Agnes, which opened earlier this summer on tree-lined Green Street. Grab a table in the main dining room with views of the wood-burning hearth or in the idyllic patio out back (or even in one of the cozy nooks in the cheesery) to get a taste of Thomas Tilaka Kalb’s very good food and the team’s unbeatable Midwestern-inspired hospitality.

Agnes - Pasadena

A feast last Saturday night started with an Old Fashioned ($15) and included an array of dishes that captured the best of the season. The cooking also reflected Chef and his wife Vanessa’s personal and professional journeys that wind through Iowa and California but feels at home in Pasadena.

Agnes - Pasadena

On deck this evening was chicken liver mousse fancily piped atop a cornbread eclair ($6.99)…

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Aug 2021

California Dreaming: Road Tripping Through the Central Coast

Swinging Bridge - Arroyo Grande

During the early months of the pandemic, I scrolled enviously through Instagram as the folks I followed took advantage of remote work by traipsing around California. I was too swamped with my day job and overseeing online learning (and plain chicken shit, to be honest) to plan an excursion before getting vaccinated, so I settled for living vicariously through others for the time being.

Ragged Point Cliffside Trail

It wasn’t until earlier this month that The Astronomer, June, and I were finally able to get away for a weeklong road trip through California’s Central Coast. Our itinerary took us to the wooded forests of Santa Barbara, along the rocky coast of Big Sur, among the picturesque inlets of Monterey, and more. It’d been over a year since we’d vacationed and it was as magnificent as we’d hoped.

For those itching to hit the road and to explore the Golden State too, here’s a glimpse at our itinerary.

California Dreaming: Road Tripping Through the Central Coast

The first stop on our road trip was at Cold Spring Tavern. Located in a picturesque setting, the former stagecoach stop from 1886 promised a really good tri-tip sandwich with a side of history. Make sure to check out the Road Gang House located behind the tavern. It was built in 1868 and occupied by Chinese laborers who paved the toll road through the San Marcos Pass.

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Apr 2021

Butter-Toasted Steel-Cut Oats with Dried Peaches

11th Anniversary - Steel-cut oats

The Astronomer and I celebrated our eleventh wedding anniversary this weekend. In line with tradition, I prepared something delicious inspired by antiquated anniversary gifts. Thus far in our marriage, The Astronomer has been gifted edible interpretations of PaperCottonLeatherFruitWoodSugar, WoolBronze, and Tin.

Since it is customary to bestow steel upon one’s beloved in recognition of the eleventh anniversary, I made butter-toasted steel-cut oats with dried peaches from Christopher Kimball’s “Fast and Slow” cookbook. To further elaborate on the theme, I prepared the recipe in an InstantPot made of steel while wearing a sweater that I stole from The Astronomer’s closet. The latter was June’s idea.

Every bowl of peachy oats was topped with a generous glug of maple syrup and a drizzle of almond milk, making for a rich and hearty late Saturday morning breakfast.

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