Archive | October, 2011

great expectations

28 Oct

This is a BIG weekend for me. My most favorite of the whole year in fact. It has been Birthday Week ALL week, and now, today, marks the beginning of Birthday Weekend.

Filled with pumpkin patches, decorating, witch hats, candy and spooky champagne beverages, I’ve got it jammed packed with Birthday and Halloween festivities.


To help make your weekend just a bit more festivus, try this fantastic champagne cocktail:

Vampire Kiss 


Pomegranate Juice

Bloody rim (corn syrup and red food coloring)

Mix light corn syrup and red food coloring with a tooth pick until it is completely deep red. Pour into a shallow dish. Dip the rim of the glass in lightly. Let it drip down the sides. If you prefer, drizzle with a spoon on the inside of the glass to avoid a sticky outer rim. Pour a bit of pomegranate juice into the bottom of the glass. Top with chilled champagne.

Serve and enjoy!

for more fun...try a Pina Goulada



i’m so excited…

26 Oct

……for my Holiday Entertaining cheese class tonight!!!!

review to come

semi homemade: heirloom tomato and mozzarella pizza

25 Oct

Sometimes all you need in a little solo pizza to get you through the week. Last week was one of those weeks.

Getting over a cold and feeling the need to cozy up,  I dashed to Whole Foods after work and couldn’t believe my luck when I found a chilled cornmeal crust in the gourmet section and beautiful fresh tomatoes in the produce aisle.

Cornmeal crust will always remind me of a little pizza restaurant in the Marina in San Francisco called Olive’s (does anyone know if it’s still there?!). They had the most delicious cornmeal crust that made any pizza seem decadent and special.

So armed with my own par-baked crust, I hurried home and started on my own little project.

In the mix (makes 2 pizzas):

1 package of par-baked cornmeal pizza crusts (2 per package)

1 ball of soft mozzarella

4 medium tomatoes

4 tbls low sodium tomato sauce or mariana sauce

basil leaves

salt and peppah

Spread 2 tbls of tomato sauce onto each crust and season lightly with salt and pepper. Top with sliced onions and bake in hot oven for about 10 minutes to allow onions to soften a bit. Remove from oven and top with  slices of tomato and mozz each as well as a few slices of fresh basil. return to oven and bake for another 5-8 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before slicing. Garnish with a bit of fresh cracked pepper, serve with white wine and enjoy!

In all, this took less than 30 minutes to make and was a FANTASTICALLY gourmet meal. What is more Europa than that?

these words: make it

19 Oct

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

an evening rainbow out of my office building window


diy: weekend popcorn!

17 Oct

ohh what a lovely, relaxing weekend!

Although I am still a bit sick, I did get an opportunity to do some great popcorn tasting and making this weekend! The inspiration came from BLT Steak at Sunset Plaza. After refilling our little bowl three or four times, the ridiculously cute bartender Andrew shared the secret of the delicious bar popcorn with me and now I will share with you….


In the mix:

1.5 tbls Johnny’s seasoning salt (they used Cajun seasoning but we didn’t have…)

1 tbls cayenne pepper

2 tbls melted butter

1/2 popcorn kernels

2ish tbls oil (olive oil works well too!)

In a large saucepan or special popcorn pan/thingy (like I have-see above…) pour in oil and add popcorn, turn on to med/high heat and shickty-shake (or turn handle) until all kernels are popped. THIS HAPPENS QUICKLY, so be careful not to burn it. Remove from heat immediately. Pour half into a large bowl and top with half of the melted butter and seasoning mixture. Mix until popcorn is coated. Pour the rest into the bowl and repeat. Serve and enjoy with a good movie!

(….may I suggest The First Wives Club?)


13 Oct

I have been thinking a lot about style lately. What is mine currently? What do I want it to develop into? Are the 5 inch heels too much for daily wear? (no.)

I love this video and the interpretation of style over the years. Plus, who doesn’t like to boogie down.


morning musings: warm bed

11 Oct

This morning I woke up not feeling too well and in need of some extra shut-eye and a day on the couch with The Food Network.

Alas- that was not a possibility, but curling up in my warm covers for a few more minutes of precious sleep was. There is something about those last few moments of sleep before full waking that are truly beautiful and precious. I’ll take as much as I can get.

these words:

10 Oct

“Today is a most unusual day, because we have never lived it before; we will never live it again; it is the only day we have.”

– W.A. Ward

Sometimes it is good to keep things in perspective. Let’s make today the best we can because after all, it is completely and utterly unique within all of its imperfections.

great expectations: brunchity brunch

7 Oct

This weekend I’ll be brunching it up like the true brunch-professional I am. Where will you brunch?


The Portofino Hotel & Yacht Club

currently thinking Traditional Benedict with spinach instead of ham…


Larchmont Bungalow

although they are known for their Red and Blue Velvet Pancakes, I LOVE the homemade granola with yogurt and berries after a morning of yoga…

hollywood: katsuya

6 Oct


There are some places in LA that are just, so…LA.

Katsuya is one of them. Dripping with tourists and a few industry people or music moguls, you definitely get a slice of LA life and culture when visiting the Hollywood Blvd haunt. The sake and sushi are delicious and feature such Katsuya favorites as the famed Baked Crab Roll and Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna as well as a few other semi-inventive dishes.





The sbe group is known for the beautiful and luxe interiors of their restaurants and hotels and Katsuya is no exception. Although it can get pricey, in general, it’s a good place to start off a late evening out in Hollywood. Domo arigato.