The Big Chill…

Winter in Santa Monica, California
Winter in Santa Monica, California

Back in Los Angeles and for southern California, it is a bit chilly.

The temperature is in the 40’s and 50’s and people are freaking out. To a menopausal woman, the cool air is brilliant. It seems like fall, but walking the doggies I am overwhelmed by the locals reaction to the weather.


I had to do a reality check and make sure I did not land in Telluride, Colorado. Folks are in thermals, down jackets, gloves, scarves, wool caps, ear muffs and of course, Uggs.

They clop around Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods and if you connect with someone, they tell you how darn cold they are…they don’t know from cold in Los Angeles.

Went down to the beach yesterday and it is such a dichotomy to see surfers with their wet suits unzipped and heading for the Pacific Ocean and joggers and walkers on the bike path wrapped up against the impending freeze…oh gosh, will the evening dip down into the 40’s and we will all freeze to death?!

Tis the season for cool temps and holiday cheer, except the Christmas decorations in Los Angeles are just about non-existent. I was shocked at the lack of pizzazz on Rodeo Drive…really thought the city of Beverly Hills would make the streets look over the top. Here is a visual of Santa Monica seasonal spirit.

Santa Monica Christmas Decorations

Santa Monica Christmas Decorations

Pardon my stream of consciousness , but it is 2am and I am writing this blog now because I am so jet lagged. I am concerned that I will be up when Santa arrives this year since I have been waking in the middle of the night.

I made the executive decision to get up and  be productive. I jumped out of bed and hit the kitchen to stave off the cold, my inherited ailment from husband and daughter, mixed in with an excessive amount of flying and too much wine and foie gras.

I tip toe into the kitchen and start a food fight with the dogs. They win and I feed them hours before their scheduled breakfast time. I start chopping and whip up a cauldron of authentic vegetable soup to take the chill off.

Try it, maybe not with your morning coffee, but at lunchtime….rest assured that you will love it (rest…sounds unique and strangely inviting!)

Homemade Vegetable Soup
Homemade Vegetable Soup



  • 1 tablespoon EVOO (add more as needed as you saute)
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 5 carrots, sliced
  • 2 cups mixed chopped vegetables (cauliflower, zucchini, green beans)
  •  kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups water and 1 box (32 oz) of vegetable broth
  •  1 large can peeled Italian tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • Parmesan cheese


Heat oil in a large pot. Saute onion, salt, pepper in the EVOO until golden brown. Toss in carrots and celery.  Saute for 5 minutes. Mix in the rest of the vegetables and saute for another 5 minutes. Add thyme, stirring continuously to coat the vegetables well. Add bay leaf, water and vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Add 1/4 cup white wine. Grate Parmesan cheese into the mixture. Add cut up peeled tomatoes, stir, and allow soup to simmer until all the vegetables are cooked.
I simmer the crap out of the soup. The longer it simmers the richer the flavor…we are talking 45 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste. Remove the bay leaf and serve your homemade vegetable soup with a topping of grated Parmesan cheese and some crusty bread.
Makes at least 8 servings and holds up well in the refrigerator.Who needs a down jacket or a muffler when you have veggie soup from scratch.


  1. Soup looks awesome

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