Friday, September 30, 2011

Restaurant Review: Henry's Hat

Henry's Hat is one of the most amazing places in LA, bar none. I have been there many a time, and just always had the best experience on a food and fun level. The actual location  is in Studio City right across from Universal Studios on Cuhenga. You can find it here. This sport is perfect for those that live in the valley, because its not far. Its also great for those in West Hollywood or Hollywood, because with the 101 being right there, its... not far. In fact, I would travel a LONG time to eat here.

Let me explain.

This place has amazing food. This place has amazing cocktails. This place has amazing specials. And this place has board games. Yes, board games.

While you eat dinner, come for brunch, get a drink after work, you are able to play any of these games at the table: Chess, Checkers, Scrabble, Yahtzee, Twister, Boggle, Dominos, Jenga, Connect 4, Rummikub, Taboo, Risk, Battle Ship, Backgammon, Balderdash, Cards, Scattegories, Clue, Battle of the Sexes, Candyland, Uno, and Wii. Yes... any of those games. My personal favorite is to play Jenga. Its so suspenseful, especially with the loud CRASH when the blocks fall.

Nicole posing with the blocks
Jenga teetering on its last leg!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Drunken Gummy Worms: Martini Idea

BREAKING NEWS! This lovely lady I work with got inspired by my gummy worms and just told me about this awesome party idea. I wish I could take all the credit, but I can't! If you want to have a low key Halloween or fall themed party, try this. Gina is a genius!
From her email:

The gummy idea might make it as my martini choice when I have my Martini Party.   My idea for a holiday get together!   Everyone makes up a martini of their choice… bring enough for 5 martinis (share) …. We sample it all.. then we grade it.  Everyone puts in $10.  Winner take all the money!

GRADING SHEET (each one is worth 10 points)
Ease of Ingredients – Easy! – vodka, gummy worms, ice 
Ease of Preparation – Easy since you can pre-prep everything!
Demonstration – I will be awesome since I’m a born orator
Garnish – easy and awesome
Overall Taste – hopefully good
Overall appearance – bright, inviting, and has the feel of the holidays!

Unexpect factor- mine would be that the gummy worms are alcoholic! And the vodka used to soak is usable. AND I am going to rim it with sour sugar! Nice contrast to the sweetness of the martini. 

Isn't Gina a genius? I am not a good mixologist so I am going to have to think of something equally as delicious to compete with her.... any suggestions?!

Drunken Gummy Worms

If you are like me... holidays get you excited because you get to eat lost of delicious food. They are a total excuse to over indulge! With October 2 days away, I have had Halloween on the brain. Last year, I went to Las Vegas and it just was not what I expected. This year, I think I am going to throw a party again... with delicious food and drinks.

Riding the escalator walkway in the MGM

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I Wish I Came Up With it First

Ive been feeling shitty for 10 days. And I am at work. But instead of focusing I am dreaming of food. What's new?

And then I came across this link on my friend's facebook page.
And now I am REALLY not concentrating.

This recipe comes from The Noble Pig. Anything with Bacon is something I want to eat.

I am drooling... Drooling! I have to eat one of these sometime soon.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Newest Fashion Obsession: Ponchos and Sweaters

Ponchos kind of resound... old? Pocahontas?? 
Just nothing that I would like. 
And then I found this...
while returning a T Shirt that didn't fit my boyfriend...
at Forever 21...

Now, it looks cute on the model, but honestly, whatever else she is wearing does not do it justice. This poncho is adorable. So adorable, I planned my weekend outfits around it. PLUS, it kind of kills 2 birds with one stone doesn't it? The poncho takes the old "Ugly Christmas Sweater" print and really modernizes it. I love it! Although I am not the biggest fan of Forever 21, their ponchos are kind of catching my eye. This post is dedicated to my sweater/ poncho/ outerwear wish list. Feel free to buy me anything on here, or something like it :)

My Famous Macaroni and Cheese

I pride myself in a few particular recipes and this is one of them. I would like to think I also have a steady fan base for this, as I have friends request me to make it all the time. In fact, during college we would have nights we dubbed "Macaroni and Cheese Nights" where I would make the mac, and our friend Trisha would bring the BBQ ribs. One of my best friends, Katie, whom I have mentioned, came to my house with Trisha for one of these nights where we meet for the first time.

Katie's first time having my Mac and Cheese
She told me later on that Trisha had asked her "Hey my friend is having a macaroni and cheese party at her house. Do you want to come?" and right then and there, when she said "YES I want to come" she knew we would be lifelong friends. And we will be.
Trisha, the Mac, and the Ribs
The Macaroni and Cheese crew!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Jam of the Day

Its friday.... Its that time again. Time for the song that is playing on repeat in my brain!

Don't you just wish you came up with those lyrics on your own? Romantic!

Have a magical, delicious, fantastic weekend!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Life and the Weeknight Dinner

Hello everyone. I am double posting in one day again, yes I know. I just have so much to share with you! Like this--> I will be taking the GRE again in November. (!!!!) This time, I am more relaxed and giving myself more time for this test. My application for school is due December 1st and one in Fenruary... wish me luck!

I wanted to talk about something super serious... not eating well. And I am not talking about eating healthy, eating vegan, etc the lectures fit people in life give us. I am talking about eating well. And this includes cooking for yourself and those you love more often then you do. You see, I cook. All the time. In fact I cook most anything I eat. Sometimes, I don't even cook that much, I just prepare. The food you eat should always be creative, whether its the what you make, how you do it, how you prepare it, how easy it is, etc. I never want you to come home and go "I have nothing to eat" when you have a pantry and refrigerator full of possibilities. Just don't do that.

This was my dinner on Tuesday night:

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

There is a blogger/ baker of mine I can't get enough of, Joy the Baker. Everything I have made from her blog has been delicious. I am talking about not one thing didn't taste good.

Sidenote: Let me talk about the one time I made her Double Chocolate Indoor Smores. Let me repeat... her DOUBLE CHOCOLATE INDOOR SMORES! They took patience, but were one of the best things I have ever eaten. Just take a look!

I like my marshmallows burnt
The recipe for tonight's dinner party with my friends came from an inspiration I always have from bananas: I don't like them. In fact, I buy bananas, collect bananas, etc all things bananas and they always wind up doing one thing in my apartment. Rot. So I make banana bread.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I am a mean, mean mommy...

My week last week was a bit of a disaster. When I went on vacation, my boyfriend decided he was going to as well. We usually leave our pup with his father at his house in Simi Valley. I am saying usually now, because of what happened this time. On Wednesday, 2 days after picking him up, I noticed something on him... a GIANT TICK! I don't mind bugs, but I do mine bugs that can kill you. After removing it and finding 1 other, I took him to the vet. Long story short, I spent 2 days disinfecting my whole house. I am talking 20 dollars worth of laundry to wash EVERYTHING. Countless sweeping, swiffer pads, clorox wipes, and puppy baths. My cat, thank god, keeps herself freakishly clean. And since she also doesn't play with the dog, was unharmed. My home is safe now, but unfortunately Brody lost all his blankies, toys, beds, towels, etc. Everything he snuggles with and has loved since we got him. He was particularly upset about his raccoon toy. Poor little guy.

There is a point to this story...

Lots of discount stores are just that... discount. Discount not only in price, but quality. However, I love Ross Dress for Less. Not so much for the clothes, although... they have an amazing coat section. But for everything else. Scrapbooking. Frames. Decorations. And pet supplies. Brody now has 2 new fluffy beds and a bunch of toys.... lucky devil....

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Monkey Bread Made Even Monkier

Saturday's game is early. 12:30pm to be exact. And well, I love early games because breakfast tailgating is my absolute favorite!!! Breakfast = #1 meal of the day.

For this weekend, I am making 3 dishes. My spicy breakfast casserole, my breakfast punch, and my monkey bread. You can get all these recipes here.

Since its my first home game I am attending, and probably the hardest home game of the year, I am going to spice up my monkey bread by adding bruleed bananas.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Favorite Blogs: Wine Blog

I grew up drinking wine with my family, and a bottle is still at every dinner table. I am a mutt, but in essence my family comes from a European background. I actually had my first glass at 5; it was tiny and watered down.But as a tradition, every year I got older, I got a little more wine and less water.

I wouldn't call myself a wine expert, but I definitely know a thing or two. A lot of wines that I like happen to be over my price range to enjoy them all the time. Trader Joes has a great wine selection, a lot of which are around 5.99 a bottle. I make it a mission of mine to try something new everytime I am there.

Weekend Wrap Up

This past weekend was in Vegas and a blast. We didn't do too much eating, however. One night we went to Il Fornaio for dinner, and it was only oh k. I have had better meals there. But as always, the Minestrone soup is the best I have ever had. Kudos to them for making me like something that doesn't contain dairy (joke you guys... I love veggies).

Salmon with Pesto, vegetables, and roasted potatoes.
Stracciatella Gelato (soooooo delicious)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Jam of the Day

Having a long work day? Play this at work... it will remind you that the weekend is only 1.5 days away!

As for me.... I am off to Las Vegas in 4 hours.... aye aye!!! :)

Have a good weekend everyone!!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Obsession: Sunglasses

I love a great pair of sunglasses. I never wear too much makeup, so glasses are great for days when you just don't want to put on makeup, but still look fabulous. Forever 21 bugs me for a lot of reasons, BUT they have an awesome sunglass section and each pair are 5.80. I mean, you can't beat that. And if you lose or break the glasses, you don't feel so bad.

I bought 3 pairs of sunglasses last night and love everyone of them. Check them out!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Fig Bread Pudding with Balsamic Drizzle

A few weeks ago I posted about my goodies from the Club Culinaire event. I have been dying to try the balsamic and the sugar I got more than anything in that bag. Almost every Sunday night I spend the evening with one of the best families I have ever had the blessing to meet, the Stumpfs. Sundays are always a culinary adventure before we sit down to watch True Blood.

Dinner time
The remains of dinner

The Perfect Waffle

Add some blueberries for a delicious morning eat
I love a good waffle, and there are some great box mixes, like Bisquick. But making a waffle from scratch is really easy. If you bake, at all, you have waffle ingredients. So next time you are at the store, don't waste money on the mix. Just use what you have in your cupboard. (PS... I got a new rotating waffle iron and I couldn't wait to use it!)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Working with Fennel

Fennel is one of those tricky roots that people have a hard time cooking with. Most people, like myself, do not like the taste of black licorice, which is the taste you get from eating fennel. However, I like a challenge, and 2 huge fennel roots were only 2 dollars at Trader Joes. So I bought them, much to the surprise on my boyfriend's face. To be accommodating in this new adventurous dinner task I had given myself, I decided to incorporate the root into one of his favorite foods. The Pizza!

To begin, you always need a good dough. I have to admit, I am not the best at making a pizza dough, especially since I do not have a stand mixer (one day!). BUT, Trader Joes has an amazing pizza dough, which comes in plain white, wheat, and herb. I opted for the whole wheat dough, as I thought the fennel would go well with something more earthy.

1/2 a red onion
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 fennel root
1 standard sized pizza dough
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
1 tablespoon minced garlic
8 slices mozzarella cheese (if using shredded, 8 ounces)
grated parmesean
3 eggs (optional)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Quick Tailgating Tip: Pancake Bacon

Running late to your favorite tailgate and don't know what to bring? This recipe takes 3 ingredients, and 15 minutes. Time to go to town!

Pancake mix is versatile. And I am sure you all have a box of mix in your cabinet. I am guilty of always have Bisquick on hand. This recipe is simple, involves bacon, and your drunk friends will love you for it.

1 pack bacon
boxed pancake mix
bottle of syrup

Melt butter in a pan and keep on low heat. You can also use cooking spray if you like. Make a pack of Bacon. And make it crispy... no one likes floppy bacon. Make a batch of pancake batter per instructions on your mix box. If it is too watery, add some more dry mix. This needs to be a little on the thick side. Dip bacon in pancake batter. Place in pan with hot butter. Cook like a normal pancake. Drizzle with syrup. Eat...and eat.... and enjoy!

Check out this link for some amazing looking casserole ideas: 34 Casseroles

I'm a sucker....

......for this adorable UCLA dog jersey!

Doesn't he look handsome?? Oh k Oh k... dressing your job is a little ridiculous. But both Brody and I are siked the first UCLA football game of the season! I am assigned to making waffles for the game, and have a recipe for delicious light waffles which I will be posting later next week. Until then...

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