Thursday, October 28, 2010

worm fifty worm

This blog post is inspired by a friend of mine, Ben, who likes to get a little naughty on Halloween... as he puts it "I just want people to party!"

Halloween isn't just for kids anymore; after you are done passing candy out to trick-or-treaters, enjoy a treat yourself... Alcoholic Gummy Candy! This can be a great alternative to those of you who like jello shots!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

spiced apple cider

Spiced Cider Recipe

My mom always made amazing homemade Spiced Cider every winter. The best part about making homemade apple cider is the smell it leaves in your kitchen. Have a few friends over, make a pot of cider, and watch a Holiday movie.

1 gallon apple cider (if you can't find cider, apple juice will do but just cut down on the added brown sugar)
10 whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
1 tbs lemon juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
pinch of salt

*Bring the cider to boil in a pot. Add the sugar and completely dissolve. Bring the cider down to a simmer and add the rest of the ingredients. Cover the pot and simmer for at least 30 minutes. Simmer longer for more intense flavor.

In case you can't make it...
Trader Joe's has one of the best pre-made spiced apple ciders, and its only a little over 100 calories for an 8 oz glass! Try it during the holidays instead of coffee in the morning for some natural inspiration...
Photo Credit: Trader Joes List

Monday, October 18, 2010

garlic pumpkin seed instructions

I made the garlic seeds the other night and brought them to work. They were a big hit... so in case you need some brownie points with the boss, I suggest livening up the office with some homemade fall treats!

Here is my step by step process...

 design your pumpkin and cut out the top of pumpkin
(my boyfriend got feline inspiration...)

collect all guts and seeds in a bowl

one pumpkin's trash is another woman's treasure

Growing up, my favorite part about carving pumpkins was what my mother would do with the seeds. If your like me, you may not carve the prettiest pumpkin, but you do get a few delicious seed snacks out of the gourd. So instead of throwing our the innards, collect them, take any pumpkin pieces and stringy pumpkin bits off of the seeds, and dry them on some paper towels.

Oh, and get creative :)

Salt and Pepper Pumpkin Seeds
2 cups pumpkin seeds (make sure they are totally dried)
2-3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil (enough to just coat all the seeds)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
*Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 
*Spread the seeds onto a baking sheet. Coat the seeds in olive oil.
* Sprinkle the salt and pepper onto the seeds. Move the seeds around with a spatula to ensure that all the seeds have an equal coating of seasoning
*Bake in the over for about 12-15 minutes. Once they start getting golden brown, the seeds are done.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

all the right ingredients: just add LA

DineLA week is the best week(s) of the year. It is the food LOVERS week. You can dine at some of the best eateries in Los Angeles for a set price, tasting foods you would normally skip over, and appreciating some risky new foods chefs prepare. DineLA is a chance to "eat" Los Angeles in a creative, affordable way.

However, I have found that going for the ordinary is usually the most disappointing. The two times I ate at "common" restaurants, the excitement I had was crushed by the lack of love in the food I was served. My advice to the LA diner... go for something you normally wouldn't. Try Moroccan food, or something Pan Asian. Yes, everyone love's a French bistro; but when you have the opportunity to go out and dine like a King for cheaper than usual, opting for the half roast chicken with potatoes is simply playing it safe. These DineLA weeks are a festival of food for a reason. Indulge yourself.

Out of the places I have dined (about 10), these have been my favorite: 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

things that make me happy...

a friend's retriever with a toy

iced coffee in the afternoon

my stretching kitten

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