Stay tuned, there are still more adventures from Vietnam to come!
Stay tuned, there are still more adventures from Vietnam to come!
My favorite holiday, Valentine’s Day, is just a week away and I couldn’t be more excited! I love all of the pink and red heart stuff out in all of the stores, like these fun glasses. They totally remind me of Alison of The Alison Show! When I was a little girl, my mom and I made a big, gingerbread style “Valentine house” that I took to pre-school and all the kids deposited their Valentine’s into it. Then, at the end of the day, I got to play “mailman” and deliver all the Valentine’s to my classmates. It was a super fun and special tradition that my mom created with me. My husband and I have our own special Valentine’s Day tradition of making homemade pasta together and sharing a bottle of champagne. Do you remember last years VDay “booty” post? I got comments on that all year!
This year we decided to change things up and make heart shaped pizzas. We kept it simple with ready made pizza dough, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil and one special ingredient. For the sauce, we used a jar of tomatoes that my friend Amy canned with her bare hands! It doesn’t get better then that!
To turn Amy’s tomatoes into a thick and robust pizza sauce we turned to the master of pizza in LA, Nancy Silverton!
Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat until the oil is almost smoking and slides easily in the pan, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato purée slowly as it will splatter when it hits the oil. Stir in 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 scant tablespoon of kosher salt, 1 heaping teaspoon of ground , black pepper, reduce to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens, about 30 minutes. Not putting herbs in the sauce allows you to really taste the flavors of the herbs you top the pizza with!
Making the pizzas together was quick, fun, and delicious! What are some of your Valentine’s Day memories and traditions?
On day 2, I spent most of the morning sitting in on a round table discussion involving a new project hosting web videos! I made a submission video yesterday and am keeping my fingers crossed! I will keep you posted! In the afternoon, The Land of Nod took over one of the lounges and threw a tea party with a swan theme. How fun is this photo op?
These black swan floral arrangements rocked my world, and the black and white napkins…just stop it! Too cute!
At Alt., it is all about the business cards. The card wall is filling up! There were 650 attendees this year.
OK, Fridays lunch and keynote speaker Stephan Sagmeister blew me away. You can imagine the rooms surprise when his naked photo appeared on the large screens next to him a few minutes into his talk. He is a world-famous graphic designer, has given TED talks and wrote a film called…The Happy Film. He was hilarious, captivating and super inspiring!
How adorable is this candy table by Kara? Just incase you needed an afternoon pick me up! The style and attention to detail at Alt. is spot on. It’s like a fantasy land.
This was a giant cork board map of the US and everyone tacked their cards to the area they were from! Look, there I am!
Ahh…the beautiful Grand America Hotel at night, and no, that deer family isn’t real!
Myself and the lovely Tamera Beardsley at the Friday night mini suite parties. The entire 3rd floor of the hotel gets taken over by sponsors who create themed mini parties in the suites. It is so much fun! This year Better Homes & Garden hosted the Color Pop Dessert Bash, Blurb hosted a Reunion Class of 2013 party, Flipboard’s theme was Rolling Out the Red Carpet, Go Mighty + Red Envelope had a Crush on You Party, Hayneedle hosted a Great Gatsby Lawn Party, Method + The Girls with Glasses hosted an It’s a Mod Mod World dance party, Vecco + Brita Olsen had a Tinsel & Timber party and Weathermob had a Weather With Style party. It was an amazing evening of food, fun and lots of giveaways!
So, who wants to come with me to Alt. 2014??!
I just spent time in Salt Lake City, Utah at the Alt. Design Conference, which is a magical couple of days full of bloggers, networking, classes, parties, dinners and a lot of business cards, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. Heck, even if I didn’t have a blog I would want to be there! It all started last Wednesday night with a kick off dinner. There were several restaurants around town hosting small groups of bloggers. This year I chose a cozy little old school spot, Lamb’s Grill. They are known for their rice pudding (which I loved) and a friend commented that her grandparents had dinner there on their wedding night, too cute. The evening was sponsored by Blurb, an awesome company that prints books, magazines, ebooks and much, much more. They gave me the opportunity to create a book from my blog (above) and it was incredible to see my photos come to life in print. I was so impressed with the quality compared to other photo books I have made. I can’t wait to get creative and maybe make a cookbook or Lipstick & Leopard Print the magazine? The possibilities are endless!
Every year Alt. SLC is held at The beautiful Grand America Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City. I was thrilled to be able to stay there this year. The rooms were gorgeous and this was our view! Wade makes this a ski vacation during the day and then comes out to party with me at night. It’s perfect!
Alt. began on Thursday morning and I just couldn’t help myself…first stop, the HP booth. You know how I love a silly photo op!
For my first class of the day, I chose The Reality of an Everyday Video Series with Sarah Carey from Martha Stewert. I thought this would be interesting because I have a lot of recipes on my blog but have never thought about doing a cooking video…until now. Sarah Carey was hilarious and I left the class feeling totally inspired. Later in the day, I was approached by a woman who was interested in having me host a web show. Crazy! More to come on that soon!
On Thursday and Friday, Alt. hosts a formal lunch in the Grand Ballroom and the food is delicious considering they are feeding 650 people at the same time. The keynote speaker on Thursday was best-selling author Chris Anderson, who spoke about the power of invention. I really enjoyed his presentation, especially when he showed us what a 3-D printer can do! You can make just about anything with one of those. Now I want one!
Thursday evening was the Clue themed party complete with taxidermy animals as you entered the event. I searched high and low for the right outfit and ended up as Professor Plum and felt fabulous! Wade looked pretty darn handsome in his suit and Professor Plum tie too!
Wow! Look at those teeth!
I found another Professor Plum with the same fluffy jacket!!! The lovely Lia Griffith of ellinée. It was fantastic and everyone at the party thought we had planned it!
These ladies looked perfectly themed together. I especially loved Miss Scarlett and her matching hair! We have Lindsey of lindsey bee as Colonel Mustard, Patti of Patti Murphy Designs as Miss Peacock, Allessia of Little Lessy as Professor Plum and Laura of the lbeau room as Miss Scarlett.
Look! It’s me and with one of my favorite LA food bloggers Kristin of The Cuisinerd.
I just loved meeting Amber of damask love, she was so adorable and full of energy. I was also thrilled to see Rachel from Handmade Charlotte again. We met last year at Alt. Summit 2012 and she was one of my faves!
Meet Tamera Beardsley. We bumped into each other on the elevator the first night and it was a girl crush at first sight! I am a sucker for bold jewelry and tulle and she had it all. We couldn’t get enough of each other and had Wade take our pic almost immediately! Wait until you see us the next night!
More of Alt. Summit to come this week…stay tuned!
One of my favorite things to eat when it’s cold outside is homemade chicken soup! It’s definitely more labor intensive to make from scratch but it’s well worth it for the robust flavor and the fact that you can eat it all week. I enjoy eating it with a fresh, buttered baguette…heaven! I’m especially fond of this recipe because of the addition of the pearled barley. I love the texture with the tenderness of the chicken. Enjoy!
- Chicken Carcass
- 3 large carrots cut into 1 inch pieces
- 3 large celery stalks cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 large onion cut into 1 inch pieces
- 3 cloves of garlic smashed
- 5 sprigs of thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 whole all spice
- tablespoon of pepper corns
- tablespoon of salt
- tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup un-oaked white wine
In an extra large stockpot, sauté garlic, onion, carrot, thyme and celery for 6-8 minutes. Deglaze pan with white wine and add the rest of the ingredients ending with the chicken carcass. Cover chicken carcass with 4 inches of water. Bring to a boil and simmer lightly for 3-4 hours or until stock has reduced enough to produce a rich concentrated flavor. Pour broth through a fine mesh strainer to remove all large particles. Cool in fridge and skim fat.
Chicken Soup With Pearled Barley
- Chicken meat chopped into bite sized pieces from whole roasted chicken.(skin removed)
- 3 carrots sliced into 1/8 inch discs
- 3 celery stalks cut into 1/8 inch slices
- 1 large spanish onion cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 2 cups of grape or other small tomatoes halved
- 3/4 cup of pearled barley
In a large stock pot bring homemade stock to a boil then reduce to a simmer.
Simmer pearled barley, tomato and onion for 25 minutes with stock in large stock pot. Add carrots and celery and continue simmering for 20 minutes. Add chicken and simmer for 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, serve, and enjoy all week long!