Sweet and Savvy

Apart from my (thus far) pathetic job search, I’ve been trying to study for the LSAT [shudder].  Thanks to my brother-in-law, I’ve got some disturbingly thick books to help me.  Despite my best efforts, I get distracted far too easily…this is often the result of my insatiable lust for snacks.

Combining snacks and study the other day in Santa Monica, I found myself in what might become a new favorite coffee place: La Monarca.  It’s a Mexican bakery cafe, that serves some amazing, freshly baked pan dulces and pastries.

La Monarca

La Monarca has a sort of European feel, as most of its baked goods are located in big cases (you can see that in the pic above), and you’re invited to grab a tray and tongs and load up.  The staff was friendly, and eager to give me  recommendations, so I sat down with a delicious cafe Oaxaca, and a guava and cream cheese filled pastry.

espresso + mexican chocoalte +milk
oh so delicious

When I take breaks from slogging through my LSAT book, I am lovin’ on my Kindle (must thank Jaimie-Rose and Jess for making me get one).

Currently, I am working through a book that is blowing my mind.  Admittedly, I’m only 25% of the way through, but I’m giving it a premature recommendation anyway.  It focuses on the realities of American power in a globalized world, and how the US has contracted out many of its domestic and foreign policy activities to private enterprises all around the world.  Ok, I know it sounds super dry, and some of the language is a bit academic, but seriously the number of highlights I’ve made in the book already is slightly excessive.

I’ll give you one fact to whet your appetite:  the Pentagon itself has acknowledged that $8.2 billion of taxpayer money flowed through contracts into Iraq, some in stacks or pallets of cash.  However, there was no record-keeping or oversight, so they have NO IDEA where all of that money went.  So yeah, lots of shocking facts, but it’s not written with any partisan agenda.  As I type, I’m dying to go read it.

Okay, now you are bored so here’s some more food stuff.

I would not say I’m a proficient baker.  Additionally, I’m not much of a cookie fan.  I mean I love dessert, but I gravitate more to the frozen treat, cheesecake, pastry side of life.  Nevertheless, I was tasked with bringing dessert for an outing to the Hollywood Bowl.  Cookies are a portable, easy choice so I attempted a recipe that caught my eye a couple months back:  salted chocolate chip.

Salted desserts are pretty trendy right now, so I figured I’d give it a whirl.  Amazingly I managed to produce a pretty tasty cookie, most likely due to my using a David Lebovitz recipe.  The salt balances and enhances the sweet, while the texture has just enough crunch and chew.  On a related note, I got to use Jessica’s kitchenaid mixer to do this, and holy god after mixing everything by hand the last year, it was a friggin dream.

Obviously not my photo, but mine looked similar 🙂

Unfortunately, my camera has perished, which seriously cramps my style.  Otherwise, I’d be able to share more of my super exciting new “three’s company” experiences in Camarillo.  Alright…while it may not be the most exciting place in the world, I’m so thankful for my incredible roommates Matt and Jess, and I got love for the Cam town.


3 thoughts on “Sweet and Savvy

  1. come and knock on our door…. we’ve been waiting for you…

    ohhh yes, gotta love the kitchenaid AND the kindle! two of my favorite items. and i told you that you could use my camera for documentation!

  2. Cookies were the hit and deliciousness ensued at the Bowl! Props to you for making a fresh batch of homemade instead of simply hitting up the local bakery dept. at Ralphs. Got to feel great when a book you invest in pays off so early and often and you can drop a recommendation on it that early – happy reading (and studying – blech 😦

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