Blog Categories


Remembering My Sister

My sister, Liz, passed away unexpectedly yesterday. We were just two years apart and she was living a full and happy life, still in the town where we both grew up, London, Ontario. She had two daughters, who both lived close by and she shared her home with her dog, Zoey. Two grandchildren were also a part of her life, Taelor, who also lived in London and Bradon in Alberta. Liz and I shared a love of cooking and often exchanged recipe notes over the phone.

She came to visit often with her daughters and she loved going to the Grove. I will think of her every time I go there, especially to the candy store where she could always find her favorite Necco Wafers. Her last visit to L.A. was last October, when she and the girls went to experience the Universal Citywalk Halloween Horror Nights. They said it was the best time they ever had. A few months before that I saw her in London at the opening of the new playground I donated to Springbank Park in London. It was the same place where she and I used to play as children. I’m so glad she got to share that experience with me. Here she was at Springbank Park last June. I wish I could see her again. She left so quickly and sooner than any of us imagined.

Rest In Peace, my beloved sister.


Happy Mother’s Day

00390028My mother’s  name was Sophie. She was a pretty woman who liked music, played the guitar, and had a big collection of albums. Her favorite singer was Jerry Vale.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms.

Me: Rattlesnakes… Her: Robins

I am reposting these photos from my sister in Canada that I started back in April because she just sent some new amazing pictures. I just found my second baby rattlesnake in the backyard and she has a family of robins in her kitchen window! If this is a bit of sibling rivalry… she wins. 🙂

(april 11th) Something really amazing happened at my sister Liz’s house in Canada. They had very cold weather this spring and I got this email from her on April 10th: The robins have been back for quite a while, but frost doesnt do anything for worms. But the birds are persistent. I was on the phone when I noticed a head bobbing on my kitchen window ledge. I always open my window in the spring and summer, even fall. But this year…not yet. Well, robins have started building a nest right where I open the window. Not over to the side, but right at the bottom right corner, over my sink where I am every day. When I start opening the window screen, I will be watching the blue eggs and then little chicks. If they dont move on, Ill take pics while the whole process is taking place. Like you did with the hummingbirds.” The next day, she sent me her first picture…

April 11th

April 16th

“She’s baaack! She was gone for days. I thought she flew the coop. She’s skittish…”

April 17th

“Oowee mama! Now we’re talkin’ Not a lot of time between launch and landing, so far. I always thought it took longer to lay an egg.”

Needless to day, I’ll be sharing whatever photos she send me here. What a show we’re going to have! Thanks, Liz, for sharing!

May 1st “So teeny.”

May 5th “A little hungry.”

May 8th

“How did this happen??? There are FOUR, as of a minute ago. Where has it been hiding? Check out my next photo.”

May 8th

May 9th

“What a difference a day makes, only 4 little birdies. (Guess that tune.) I’m afraid they are gonna fall out.”

May 12th

“It is SO cold and there’s no room at the inn!  When they hear me coming, they all crouch down, so you should see them when they’re all trying out their wings. There are faces and eyes and definitely a pecking order!”

May 13th

“That big one on the right is one of the babies! I think it’s leaving.”

May 15th

“I need a shrink!! What do I do now? One by one they flew the coop, big and strong and healthy. I wish I could have put tags on them because I’ll always be wondering……are you one of Harriet’s kids?”

So far… 785 tomatoes!

My sister was here for the weekend and we had fun, fun, fun. We hung out, shopped, watched the hummingbirds, did jigsaw puzzles, went to my favorite restaurants (mostly small family places), and picked tomatoes. We had to… my plant is out of control! Three weeks ago it was 14 feet long. Now it’s over 25 feet and taller than I am! And I didn’t even plant it. It just showed up. It’s so heavy it just lays on top of itself and I prop it up with fencing and tie it up where I can without breaking it. It’s like a mass of giant spaghetti. So far, we’ve picked 785 tomatoes and it’s not even making a dent. That’s 40 to 50 huge cherry tomatoes a day!!  It will easily produce 2,000 tomatoes or more. Sis says I should inform the horticultural society about this freakish plant.

We pick every other day, wash & drain them and so far, I’ve given tomatoes to our housekeeper, our assistant, the gardener, the pool guy, the critter guy, Denis’s niece & nephew, two friends, we keep a bowl for snacking all day long and I’ve made two pots of awesome tomato sauce, not to mention salads. These tomatoes are super sweet but the best part is… the mangy, rat-faced, no-good, low-life, beady-eyed, scum-sucking, tomato-eating squirrel is gone. Gee, I hope he didn’t choke on one of my peaches… because I’m only trained in CPR (Catapulting Pesky Rodents).

Happy Father’s Day

Here’s a picture of my dad who inspired me with his great cooking. He was definitely the number one cook in the family. In this photo, I had just surprised him with his own personalized apron and he loved it! He died at 73 and never got to see me make it in television or as a cookbook author. I know he would have been proud of me.

A date for Roula

One of my favorite shows of all time was back in 1994 when I set my stepmom, Roula, up on a date. She was married to my father and after he passed away, I convinced her to appear on the show so I could set her up on a date.

I just came across a copy of the show and put an edited version here on the website. It was so much fun!

Roula has since married her second husband, Victor, who unfortunately passed away in 2010.

She is still just as vibrant and beautiful today as she was then.

Click here for the video.

Happy Easter

One of my favorite Polish traditions is the decorating of beautiful Easter eggs (pisanki). Some are real eggs and some, like this photo, are made of wood. I remember coloring eggs when I was a kid but they never looked like this. We just boiled eggs with onion skins and they turned red. I think we were poor and I didn’t know it.

I want to hide some eggs again this year but Denis won’t look for them. Maybe if I hide one under the remote control…

So who knows me best? I guess it’s Larry.

1) All of the jobs are right

2) Cooking for sure

3) Denis and I are together 27 years

4) I drive a 2003 Lexus LS430 (with very low mileage)

5) Opposum was right. But Larry, how did you know about the Dodge Dakota?

A military wedding

This is a picture of my parents at their military wedding in 1942. They both served in the Polish army during World War Two. I would like  to acknowledge all veterans on this day and to say thank you for your service.

I wasn’t in Mexico

Look what I saw at Venice Beach yesterday! A car from Juarez, Mexico! I have never seen any Mexican license plate in all my years in California but this one is from Juarez. Isn’t that the most dangerous city in the hemisphere? The murder capital of the world? That’s where all the drug dealers are. But what would this vehicle be doing at Venice Beach? All I saw there were street performers, sunglass kiosks, T-shirt shops, and bunch of medical marijuana shops. Hmmm, it’s a conundrum.

My sister came to town for the weekend with her two daughters and one granddaughter for some fun. We went to Venice Beach, Santa Monica, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and shopped and ate ourselves into a near coma: a monster buffet, gourmet burgers, Benihana, Cheesecake Factory, Chicken Pot Pie at the Daily Grill, Pinkberry for dessert. Well… you can imagine. I was one slice of cheesecake away from needing my stretch pants! 🙂

Happy Birthday, MPLPF

It’s Denis’s birthday today!

Happy Birthday, MPLPF.

He’s just as cute today as in this photo so my pet name for him is  “My Precious Little Puppy Fluff.”

We’re going out to dinner tonight and then coming home for birthday cake. I made a two-layer strawberry cake from scratch and it’s chilling in the fridge.

He’s been my partner and best friend for over 25 years.

I love you, Mr. Fluff.