It all started with an email from my friend Susan Michals,  ” I know you’re a dog person but do you want to come to the Cat Art show?” Cat’s I thought? My curiosity was piqued,  and I like to support my friends, so I RSVP’ed yes. Frankly, I didn’t know what to expect…

Cat Art Show LA

Cat Art Show LA

WOW! Cat Art Show LA, “the largest multi-artist exhibition of cat inspired artwork for sale ever exhibited,” is absolutely brilliant! We’re talking art with heart and humor, boasting an impressive array of artists from Tracy Emin to Shepard Fairy. There were so many pieces I wanted to purchase – especially fellow writer/blogger/artist Lisa Borgnes‘s Broke Ass Baby Daddy. Indeed, the art was selling like hotcakes.

People dressed for the occasion & stood in a line that went way around the block

People dressed for the occasion & stood in a line that went way around the block

Traffic on Grammy weekend is appalling, so we arrived fashionably late only to find people enthusiastically dressed for the occasion in a line that spanned all the way round the corner and  down the block.

It's still a dog's life

It’s still a dog’s life

In fact, the eclectic yet uber cool crowd made for the most interesting people watching I’ve seen in LA in a long time. Much more Soho than Hollywood. I also found it rather amusing there were no actual felines in attendance , but there were several, rather nervous looking dogs there.

Marc Gomes and Julie Anne Rhodes at Cat Art Show LA

Of course Marc Gomes, my gallant foodie friend treating me to dinner at Osteria La Buca afterwards helped make it the perfect Saturday night out. The exhibit is only up until February 2nd, so get your tails over to 6205 Santa Monica Blvd. fast, if you’re in Los Angeles!

Friends with history

As it turns out, Sunday would belong to old friends. It started with bumping into Christina Estrada, one of my favorite fellow models from back in the day, orchestrated by mutual friends Austen Palmer and birthday boy Andrew Bentley. Our gracious hosts always throw the most fun parties with a divine mix of warmth, humor, style, and sinfully delicious food .

The birthday boy, the magician, the husband, and the little skeptic

The birthday boy, the magician, the husband, and the little skeptic

Andy and Austen are also masters of throwing an interesting mix of people together. Apart from avidly catching up with Christina, I had a fascinating and somewhat terrifying conversation with a filmmaker working on a documentary that delves deeply into the damage we’ve done to our planet, another discussion about spirituality  with a psychic witch, followed by being utterly gobsmacked by the card tricks their magician friend preformed – Austen swears all the cards were facing him, and the card he’d picked was not in the deck, but then a photo of his card mysteriously showed up on my cell phone camera?!

Le Freak'n Great Chicken Soup

It was a fabulous weekend thanks to my many talented friends. Watching old pal Nile Rodgers (along with Pharrell Williams and Daft Punk) win three Grammy’s was the icing on the cake! A huge congratulations shout out to the man who would literally touch the stars if he stood on all of the Grammy winning records he has written and produced over the years. This is my adaptation of a soup Nile made for me  a few years ago to make you feel as warm, cozy, and as happy as I was this weekend.

Servings: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

Le Freak-N-Great Chicken Soup

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 pound whole chicken cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 ribs celery chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 red bell peppers cored, seeded, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2/3 pound egg noodles (you can substitute 12336 ouncesg of corn if you prefer)
  • sour cream optional

Directions

Le Freak-N-Great Chicken Soup

  1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  2. Season chicken with salt, pepper, and a pinch of the paprika mixture. Brown chicken, in batches, on all sides, transfer to a plate and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.
  3. Melt remaining tablespoon of butter, add onions, celery, red peppers, garlic, paprika, and cayenne. Cook until softened and onions are translucent; about 7-8 minutes.
  4. Add chicken broth, stir well, scraping up all the gooey bits off the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add chicken back to the pot, bring to boil, cover and simmer 25-30 minutes. Remove chicken pieces, allow to cool slightly (enough to handle), then remove skin and bones, and cut into chunks, to add back into soup.
  6. Add tomato paste, caraway seeds, noodles or corn, and cook for an additional 5-8 minutes.

Serving Suggestions

Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream if desired.

Heat To Eat

Heat on the stovetop in a saucepan until simmering. Alternatively, you can place soup in a microwave-safe bowl covered in plastic wrap (vented) and heat in one minute intervals, stirring in between until hot.

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