Monday, January 24, 2011
Don't you love a statement necklace? They're the best with a simple dress, but the ones I love usually cost over $100. When I spied this one, I saw the olive stones, the lucite and the crystals hanging like a little chandelier. I snatched it up and marched to the counter, not even checking the price, just knowing I needed to own it.
Can you believe this stunner was...
Run, don't walk to Banana Republic.
P.S. I don't know the name, the tag wasn't even on it.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Friday, January 21, 2011
Earlier this week, I visited a tiny market on Indiana Avenue right off the 101 freeway that not only had the heartiest meaty tamales, they sold huge bags 2lb bags of fresh cactus for $1.50. I've never cooked with cactus (aka nopales) before, I put the call out and you answered! I whipped up a little omelet with grilled onion and yellow bell peppers topped with lots of tapatio. The only thing missing? Thin slices of jalapeno or serrano chiles to complement the tart, almost pickled flavor of the cactus.
A shoutout on the homepage of CBS! I die for the title.
By the way, I had so much leftover pork, I made some yummy open faced pork sandwiches on toasted buns with grilled red onions and the charred pineapple. They were so good I ate two.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Inspired by a recipe by Rick Bayless for pork tacos (get it here!) I created a meal of pork chops with grilled red onion and pineapple and a side of my grandma's rice.
The marinade is full of chipotle, paprika, and lots of other flavorful ingredients. I bought pork chops and grilled them, but pork loin would be scrumptious too. The recipe calls for achiote paste. I only had seeds, so I made it myself. It wore me out. Get the paste if you can. I'm still scouring supermercados for it.
I marinated the pork chops in the fridge for an hour, but you can marinate overnight for a cured flavor.
I spread out the chops, thick slices of red onion and pineapple on the grill. They cooked for a few minutes on each side and they were done. Easy. I chopped the onion and pineapple on the cutting board before serving, placing the pineapple right on top of the pork
Here is Grandma Ethel's recipe for rice. My little 4'11" grandma grew up in Guaymas Mexico, but we've always called it Spanish rice. Go figure.
2 tbs vegetable oil
2 cups rice
4 cups water
1 tbs caldo de pollo
1 tbs salsa
Heat a pot with two tbs of vegetable oil. Add the rice. Stir until toasted. The rice will starts to turn opaque and a little light brown on the edges. Add 4 cups water with the the caldo de pollo. Stir. Add the salsa. Cook the water down until the water nearly meets the rice. Stirring occasionally so the rice doesn't stick.
Cover, turn down the heat to low and let cook for 20 minutes. After 20 min, take a wooden spoon and turn the rice. If it's not fluffy, recover with the lid and cook for a few more minutes.
Let me show you why you need Caldo de Pollo and why regular chicken bouillon doesn't give you the same result. (Because I ran out of it and was forced to use bouillon and it just wasn't the same!)
Check out the rich, reddish brown color to your left. The flavors are that much richer too. The yellow bouillon to the right just doesn't cut it.
But I'm never one to turn down a home cooked meal! A handful of cilantro made up for my sins. Enjoy!
Thursday, January 13, 2011
This is the perfect recipe for spring! The original recipe calls for fava beans, but they're only in season late spring and summer. I bought dried and they weren't nearly as good as fresh soybeans.
Pasta Primavera with Soybeans and Mint
Recipe for two
- Ingredients -
1/2 lb fettucine
1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
16 asparagus spears, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup fresh soybeans . fava beans, shelled
1 cup fresh or frozen peas thawed
1 cup red onion, julienned
3 tbs butter
1/4 cup of white wine
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbs fresh chopped mint
3/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
- Process -
Boil a large pot of salted water. Cook pasta for approximately 8 minutes, or until al dente. Reserve 2 cups of cooking liquid before draining water. After draining, keep pasta warm in pot, toss with 1 tbs of olive oil so pasta doesn't stick.
While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a sauté pan. When hot, add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add asparagus, soybeans, peas, and onion, and cook for one minute. Add butter and wine, 1 tsp each of salt and pepper. When you add the two cups cooking liquid from pasta, reduce by ½ to thicken sauce. When sauce is desired consistency, add pasta to sauce and toss with 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese. Taste for seasoning, add salt or pepper if needed and transfer pasta to warmed plates. Sprinkle fresh mint and remaining cheese over each plate of pasta.
Click here for the original recipe from Ava Restaurant in Philadelphia. After making Chef Michael Campagna's original several times I made a handful of changes, but this is his recipe :)
I've adored him for years, but just about died when his paintings were brought to life in Katy Perry's California Gurls video. He's also very hands on. He makes all of the delicious fashions for his models, including the candy crown and foil cupcake wrapper dress you see on Katy.
Michael Kohn Gallery
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
I love a stripe. I wore one sweater to bits a couple of years ago and I still miss it. The cotton long-sleeved tee was from the Gap, had light grey and white stripes and was the softest sweater I ever owned. I lived in that shirt, so it practically became a member of the family. Naturally, it acquired a nickname. Stripey was my go-to shirt when I wanted to get cozy. An unoriginal name and a bit on the crazy side, but hey, I get attached to things. Robert still gives me a look when I'm checking out something with stripes.
Stripes are big right now and without anchors and rope they are classic and chic. My inspiration is the outfit at top left. Black tights and boots are kind of my staple. I love the big loose shirt tucked into jean shorts.
Check out the Sonia Rykel dress at top right. It's chic and comfy, but costs $425. Move to the dress in the middle of page. It has a similar square neckline, but only costs $20 at Forever 21.
Click here for info on the rest!
Monday, January 10, 2011
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a bowl until combined. Stir together buttermilk and vanilla in a small bowl.
Beat together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes in a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a handheld, then add egg, beating until combined well. Reduce speed to low and alternately mix in flour mixture and buttermilk in batches, beginning and ending with flour, scraping down side of bowl occasionally, and mixing until smooth.
Friday, January 07, 2011
Here's a glance at my whoopie pies straight from the oven. They are delicious, but I don't think it's worth it to buy heart-shaped molds. This batter has a mind of its own. You're fine using a baking sheet.
Here's the recipe at Epicurious!
Here's the recipe at Epicurious!
These Manolos aren't cheap ($1K!) so in my dreams, I imagine wearing them with a chic little LBD or glamming them up with a silver or cream shift.
It's hard to match the original, but Martinez Valero makes the prettiest pair for about a tenth of the price ($130). For a tenth of that price, you can buy this sweet little ink drawing for $12!
I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there's a pair of us — don't tell!
They'd banish us, you know.
How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!
Thursday, January 06, 2011
One of my favorite photographers has a glamorous new ad campaign. Alex Prager grew up in LA and was raised by her grandmother in a Los Feliz apartment.
For Bottega Veneta, Karolina Kurkova channels Tippi Hedren in a $7,000 dress with those fantastic shoulders. A little bit of a nightmare and a lot of dream.
I love making bruschetta when I know I'll be cooking for a few hours. If I cook while hungry, I grow impatient for the recipe to be finished. This appetizer is fun, quick to make and will tide you over until the main course.
- Ingredients -
for 2-4 people (double it for a party)
- 3 tomatoes
- 1/2 fresh baguette
- 1tbs olive oil
- 2tbs balsamic vinegar
- fresh basil - I forgot mine, but had dried. Fresh is much better!
- salt and pepper to taste
- Process -
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Parboil your tomatoes to loosen the skins. Boil the tomatoes for one minute, then put in an ice bath for another minute. Make small slice in the skin and they peel off easily in water.
- Cube the tomatoes and place in a mixing bowl.
- Combine with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and chopped basil. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Slice bread at an angle, about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Brush each piece on one side with olive oil. Place bread on baking sheet with olive oil side down.
- Bake for 4-5 minutes, Edges should be light brown.
- When the bread is toasted, flip over your pieces, spoon on dollop of your tomatoes. Finish with fresh Parmesan on top. Enjoy!
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
I love going for lunch. The patio is like a (very glamorous) neighbor's outdoor room, with massive rugs laid out in a serene, bohemian garden. It's also some of the best people-watching in LA and the food never disappoints. I've had the Cucumber and Avocado with Basil sandwich a half-dozen times over the past few months. With more than a dozen layers of goodies to bite into, the textures are incredible.
I guess we're both creatures of habit. Robert usually gets the chicken breast and avocado sandwich. (Don't you love a pounded chicken breast?) I stole too many of his fries. They're just how I like them. Goldilocks here doesn't like her fries too skinny or too fat. Just crispy and light as air. Maybe you've heard of the Chateau's burger? It's one of the best in LA. I prefer sharing one with a friend after a rowdy Hollywood night, tucked into a couch in the main living room.
8221 Sunset Boulevard
Hollywood, CA 90046
One can't leave the hotel without a sighting! Richard Lewis was having lunch solo, listening to his ipod and writing with four bottles of diet coke in front of him.