cooking

Friday Faves

Friday-Faves
Happy Weekend! Friday is here and I have cleared my calendar to spend the day celebrating (one of my besties) Keri’s 40th birthday! She has a lot to celebrate and is one of the strongest women I know. She is currently battling her 3rd round with cancer and is determined to kick its ass. You can see her story here. Happy Birthday Keri! I love you! What is everyone else up to? I’m sure I will tune into the Super Bowl at some point on Sunday. I always look forward to betting, sipping Champagne, hot dogs, the halftime show, and the commercials. This year I’m bummed that Katy Perry is the performer. She bores me. Who knows though, maybe this will be her day? I will keep an open mind. Whatever you do be grateful, be inspired and feel the love! Here are some of my favorite things this week…

* My new favorite hand cream is from The Soap & Paper Factory. It smells like Jasmine and is in the prettiest little tube that looks great on my nightstand. I love to use it on my hands at night before bed!

* I just got this book How to Travel the World on $50 a Day and it has totally inspired me! Matt Kepnes has some fantastic tips for traveling cheaper, smarter and longer!

* I love a good exfoliator and now I am hooked on the Peter Lamas Exfoliating Pumpkin Facial Scrub. It smells good enough to eat and is safe for use on all skin types. Although the granules may seem large they are smooth, natural and work very gently to polish away dead skin cells. I have even used it on my body! At night I like to follow it up with the Peter Lamas Nourishing Buriti Oil Moisturizer for amazingly soft, hydrated skin in the morning. These products are made with high quality ingredients and won’t break the bank!

* Here are 15 seniors with outrageous style that you should be following on Instagram right now!

* Eat, drink and be merry while supporting Planned Parenthood LA at Food Fare 2015! From its prestigious beginnings as a cooking demonstration with Julia Child in 1979, Food Fare has become one of the oldest and most recognized food events in Los Angeles. Food Fare will celebrate its 36th anniversary on Thursday, March 5, 2015 at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica and will once again feature well over 100 of LA’s best restaurants, caterers, wineries, breweries, libations and vendors!

*Yes, I admit I am a bit of a product junkie but this Basil Lemon Body Butter from Korres rocks my world. The scent is so light and fresh that you can still use a fragrance over it and it is super smoothing and hydrating. The perfect winter pick me up. Treat yo self!

* I have always wanted to see The Northern Lights and this tour in March looks amazing!

* I am a sucker for a silly play on words and thats why I love these rock themed desserts from Monterey Meringues. With names like Oreo Speedwagon, Miley Citrus, Nuts N Roses, ZZ Toppers and many more. They are as wild looking as their names! You’ve gotta see them!

* This new website BeautyTV has so many great tips and video tutorials all in one place! They have a lot of great tutorials for nails. I recently found KBShimmer polish. It is another high quality brand that won’t break the bank and they have a ton of fun colors, glitters and shimmers!

* I just tried Blue Apron for the first time and LOVE it! You get all the ingredients to make 3 meals for 2 people for just $60 delivered to your door. The recipes are really good, things I would never think of making, and delicious. And, there is no waste. They give you the exact amount of everything you need and all of their packaging is recyclable. I also love free cooking apps like Make A Meal that let you type in what you have in your kitchen and then it gives you recipes based on what you already have. It would be perfect if you are snowed in but still have internet!

* Get a free card from Watertree Health to help cover the cost of prescription meds and help the Make-A-Wish foundation.

 

Del Real Foods Fight for Flavor

On November 2nd Wade and I celebrated Dia de los Muertos with Del Real Foods  at their Fight for Flavor event and watched 5 local chefs battle it out for the title of LA’s Favorite Chef! It was such a festive night of food, face painting and fun!

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We got our faces painted by the talented makeup artist Tanya of Party Face Magic!

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The 5 chefs and host News Anchor José A. Ronstadt.

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My favorite and the WINNER by Chef Esdras Ochoa of Mexicali Taco & Co. Fettuccine A La Mexicana with Del Real Carnitas. Delicious and so unique! I had never had anything like it.

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Chef Aaron J. Perez of Vaka Burgers came in a close 2nd for me with his Del Real Carnitas Banh Mi. I love how he mixed cultures.

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Chef Natalie Curie of El Coraloense won me over for 3rd place with her Creamed Del Real Shredded Chicken Sope with Chipotlé Consommé. I am a sucker for pickled onions so that did it for me right there.

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Chef Gina Galvan of Chomp Chomp Nation did an Asian Pork Tostada with Del Real Carnitas. Unfortunately the chip had gone a bit stale but the overall flavor was good. 4th place for me.

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Chef David Moreno of Komodo Food did a Rope Vieja with Del Real Shredded Beef. This dish took 5th place for me because it lacked flavor and presentation. I much prefer my husbands Mexican Lasagna!

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The AMAZING DESSERT TABLE! Anything you could possibly imagine was there for the taking!

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The winner…Chef Esdras Ochoa! “What a humbling and amazing experience to be on deck with such talented chefs from the L.A scene,” said Chef Ochoa. “Every single one of them was a winner from the start. This win goes out to the amazing people of the crowd that were present and to my family & friends. Thank you, Del Real Foods, for one heck of a ride!”

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Me and Lucho! I think he had a sweet spot for me…

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The Del Real Foods Fight for Flavor was held at SmogShoppe, a special events venue on La Cienega Blvd. I love how the whole building is covered in succulents. I have driven my dozens of times and never knew what it was!

 

Friday Faves

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Happy Friday! It’s still convertible and flip flop weather here in Southern California and this pic makes me happy. It feels fun, calm, free and PINK…which brings me to my hair. I dyed it pink again and I have realized that I feel my best, most confident self with this hair. I think I’ll keep it for awhile. This week has been super busy and I can’t wait to unwind this weekend and get organized for the holidays. We are spending Thanksgiving with my in-laws and some of our favorite foodie friends. What are you up to and how are you spending the holiday? Here are some of my favorite things this week…

* I’m not usually the type to get excited over slippers but these Geluxury Slippers are awesome! Not only do they have a cushy, squishy SmartGel insole but they are infused with 7 botanical oils to rejuvenate your feet while you wear them AND they come in leopard print.  Brilliant! Perfect for the holidays!

* Stuffing is my favorite part of Thanksgiving and the idea of a “stuffing muffin” sounds delicious! Crusty on top and moist on the bottom…yes please! I have to try that this year!

* The Artisanal LA Holiday City Mart will be in Old Pasadena on Saturday Dec. 6th from 11am-10pm! The perfect place to start your holiday shopping!

* Luxury brand Burberry is now open on Rodeo Dr. and looks gorgeous! I love visiting high end stores for inspiration!

* Surface Curls Smoothing Cream is a fantastic new product that allows you to quickly blow out curls into a sleek, smooth style without needing a flat iron. It is vegan, sulfate & paraben free with ingredients that actually nourish the hair. I even put a little bit in my hair and let it air dry and it enhanced my natural curl and kept the frizz under control. And it smells good too!

* I am on week 3 of the latest 21 day meditation from Oprah and Deepak and it is the perfect way to start the day. It is life changing and I don’t want it to end!

* I have always been interested in herbal medicine and healthy living and recently got a copy of Ayurvedic Herbs. It’s like the bible of natural healing. 476 pages of enlightening information on the practical use of Ayurvedic Herbal Medicine. I can’t wait to dive in!

Cheers to a magical weekend!

 

Friday Faves

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Hello Friday! I can’t believe it’s already November. Time to start thinking about Thanksgiving, holiday parties and hostess gifts again! It really feels more like August to me especially since we are still having a heat wave in LA. Well, before all the craziness begins we are heading out to the desert this weekend to celebrate my mother-in-laws birthday. It’s going to be 90 degrees out there so time to bust out the bathing suit and caftan one last time! Here are a few of my favorite things this from this week. Enjoy and have a magical weekend!

*I love these delicious smelling bath products from the “chic hippies” at Proper making “products for fancy people who care”. Click here to try it for free!

* Scanning through “dream jobs” and getting inspired with this website!

* I love this how-to cut butternut squash video for the domestically impaired like myself.

* Glamsquad is the Uber of hair and makeup. They can be to your location within 90 min. for a hair style and makeup application to get you party ready!

* These Riders by Lee Heavenly Touch jeans are so comfy you can do yoga in them…and I did! They are also super cute and only $20!

* This adorable little phrasebook will have you eating and speaking French in no time!

* I love the feel of this masque! It tightens and tingles so you know its working and it left my face soft and clear!

* Who doesn’t love chicken? This awesome cookbook is not only cute but gives a zillion new things to do with an old staple.

* If you are in the LA area Saturday night don’t miss the 13th Annual Tree Lighting at The Citadel Outlets from 5-7pm. At 115 ft. tall, this tree is the largest live cut tree in the world!

* I was blown away by these 20 epic GoPro videos!

 

Norwegian Seafood with Chef Greg Hozinsky at The Strand House

Last week, upon my return from Hawaii, Wade and I attended an amazing 6 course tasting dinner of Norwegian Seafood at the beautiful Strand House in Manhattan Beach. This gorgeous restaurant has one full wall of windows that looks right out to the Pacific Ocean. It was my first time in the space since it has changed ownership and gotten a makeover. From Beaches, a place that my cousin Bonnie spent her weekend nights slinging drinks for many years to now and WOW what a difference! The Strand House is elegant and upscale but with that laid back California beach vibe. Chef Greg Hozinsky recently spent a week in Norway studying the Nordic seafood scene and we were lucky enough to get to taste what he brought back. His unique combination of flavors and intricate presentations of the dishes were superb. I will be dreaming about this meal for a long time and can’t wait to go back!

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Chef Greg prepping for the night

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The Amuse-Bouche started things off on a high note with Cod in a Celery and White Truffle Sauce with a Poached Egg

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The first course was a Smoked Norwegian Salmon ‘Pastrami’ Brioche, Pickled Beets, Horseradish Snow and Mustard Greens

Fotor01012153933 The second course was Pan Roasted Fresh Norwegian King Crab in a Brown Butter Broth, Sudachi and Corn Pudding

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The third course was Norwegian Halibut with Smoked Sunchoke Puree, Matsutaki Mushroom, Cauliflower, Yuzu Kosho and Hijiki

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The fourth course was Venison Strip Loin with Huckleberries, Root Vegetable Mille-Fueille and Grilled Chicories

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The fifth course was a Fried Brioche with Lingonberry Whiskey Sabayon and Pistachios by Pastry Chef Stephaine Franz

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The sixth course was a Warm Almond Apple Cake with Geitost, Brown Buttered Apples, and Cardamom Ice Cream also by Pastry Chef Stephanie Franz

As a lifelong seafood lover I absolutely loved everything! To quote our new friends from LA Foodie the Amuse-Bouche was “the best fish stick you have ever had”. The horseradish snow on the First Course was unique and amazing. The king crab in the Second Course rocked my world and I was surprised to have liked the Fourth Course venison as much as I did as I am usually not a fan. So, basically, Chef Greg can do no wrong. The desserts were of course as delicious as they looked! I highly recommend a night out at The Strand House sometime soon!

Thank you to The Strand House, Chef Greg Hozinsky and The Norwegian Seafood Council for having us!

Photos by Wade Hammond

 

 

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