Happy Friday everyone! Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, I am writing this from about 30,000 feet up in the air, heading west. I'm not going to lie: I am pretty pumped to be heading out of cold, slushy NYC and over to sunny Los Angeles. It's my third time out here, but the first one where I'll actually be driving (Lord help me!), so I'm hoping to do a little more exploring.

I've got a few exciting cookbook-related meetings (stay tuned!) and - in a last-minute turn of events - I'm throwing a fun garden-to-table dinner party Saturday night with my brother. He runs an organic garden in LA, and asked if I'd want to prepare a meal and teach a cooking class using the produce he's harvesting. (Um, yes!!) I can't wait to see all of the beautiful veggies he's growing, and to be a part of this cool harvest dinner. Apparently I'm cooking for 25 people...shopping and prep will begin basically as soon as I get off the plane.

On Sunday, I'm having dinner with a photographer friend of mine at Lucques, Suzanne Goin's lovely farmers' market-inspired restaurant. I've been dreaming of eating a "Sunday Supper" at Luques since I bought Suzanne's cookbook Sunday Suppers at Lucques back in 2006. I've cooked practically the entire book (it's my favorite!), so it will be fun to try her food in person. Otherwise, I'm hoping to catch up with a few good friends, go on a long jog (haven't done that in months!), and make it to the beach at least once. After the intense grind of photo-shoots and cooking the past few weeks, it'll be nice to get out of town for a few days.

Here's some inspirational reading to kick off your weekend...

-What would it be like to have 500 people eat around your table in the course of a year? My friend Sarah did exactly that, and shares here story in this podcast.

-In France, many of the restaurants aren't making food from scratch anymore...quelle horreur! The New York Times reports.

-My friend Megan Gilger of The Fresh Exchange shares some amazing tips to stay healthy while working hard (I needed to read this!!).

-Jenn Elliott Blake, my talented stylist friend, recently paired up with Aran of Canelle & Vanille (another of my favorite blogs) to style a wintry dinner & cooking class in Seattle. More photos to come soon, but in the meantime here's a delicious bitter greens, lentil, beets, & prosciutto salad from the party.

-I really want to make Sara's White Bean & Roasted Fennel Dip. Yum!!

What do you all have going on this weekend? Any fun dinner parties planned?

xo, Anna