Sunday, March 25, 2012

Jam of the Day

You know those days when your Pandora radio is just playing EVERYTHING you want to hear...
Ya... its happening this morning as I clean my house after the rain thwarted by hiking plans. There are a few stations I turn to when I want to ensure a good dance session around my living room. Sister Nancy. Britney Spears. Gypsy Kings. Nsync (don't knock it till you try it)... and my favorite right now.... Destiny's Child.

Its a good day to be a girl. I love this video too. Reminds me of nights with wine and The Sweetest Thing in college with my roommates.

Destiny's Child "Girl"

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Foundry on Melrose

There are a few places in LA that hold me back from trying something new, simply because I know I will always get a fabulous meal. The Foundry, by Eric Greenspan, is one of those places. 

Last night, I got some fabulous news. I began an internship with a few weeks ago doing editorial pieces for their blog. I was told yesterday that I got bumped up, and am now a news aggregator, who will write news stories for the blog EVERY DAY. Talk about intense pressure... oh ya... and I start Thursday. GAH! The point is, I deserved to go out to a fabulous dinner, and after looking for a few new places to try, Cellar 55 being booked (I haven't been, and have wanted to for a long time), I went back to one of my first loves, The Foundry. 

I know what you are thinking; why eat the same food again? Ah ha!! Well let me tell you why last night was as exciting as my first night to eat at this wonderful place. The Foundry completely redid their menu. The only thing that remains is the Classics, most of which I have had, which leaves me to a whole 4/5 of a menu not tried. Mmmmm.... Another thing, the Foundry, even in the way it used to be, always changes it up. There are times you go, and they just start passing out samples of things they are testing in the kitchen. The "bread" you get at your table is always something new. Mini biscuits with honey butter. Puffed dough something or other. Last night, it was this delicious salted poppyseed thing that was a mix between a roll and a biscuit served simply with butter. It was divine.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Guinness Beer Bread with Scallion Cream Cheese

One of my favorite St. Patty's Day treats is the Guinness Chocolate Cake I make. A number of people in my office this year gave up sweets for Lent, so I had to come up with something else to treat them. Back in college, my old roommate showed me how to make beer bread for the first time and it was this crusty, hoppy delicious bread. How perfect! To keep up with the Irish theme, I opted to use Guinness for my beer and include some Cheddar. The one thing that was missing was the green... Ah ha! A spread.... I am thinking....Cream Cheese with scallions! Overall, a perfect breakfast treat for my office, and a perfect treat for your St. Patty's Day celebrations!

This bread is so simple. Essentially, you have 3 steps. Dry ingredients. Add Guinness. Add cheese. That's it. Well, and baking it... but I guess that is a given.

*Guinness can be an intense beer, so I looked up a recipe to make sure I was not over doing the flavor. The first time I made beer bread, it was with a Bud Light. My recipe is an adaptation of The Kitchn's Cheddar and Chive Guinness Bread.*

4 1/8 cups flour
6 tbs granulated sugar
1 1/2 tbs baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
18 ounces Guinness
1 cup grated Irish Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup melted butter

2, 8oz packages cream cheese
5-7 stalks green onion

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Green Spinach Smoothie

Yes... I am pureeing vegetables. And drinking them. And I LOVE IT!

I have to admit, I am stealing this recipe from my dad. He started a whole bunch of smoothies and other health conscious items for the yoga-pant-wearing-but-I-never-work out- moms in Los Angeles for his cafe. I've mentioned it before, but I am going to hawk it again. Its called Cafe Midi and its so good. The green smoothie he makes though, is phenominal. I make it and drink it at least 2 times a week. And when you aren't feeling quiet yourself, this is what you need to drink.

1 cup ice
1 banana
1 1/2 cups spinach (baby spinach works best)
1 cup lemonade (not from concentrate)

This recipe is simple... throw it all in the blender. Well sort of. Place a whole banana into the bottom of your blender.

Monday, March 12, 2012

I Will Never Eat at Panda Express Again

Oh how I wish this photo said UCLA
After countless times just dealing with the TERRIBLE establishment that is Panda Express at UCLA, I have had enough. I wrote a lovely Yelp review, and wrote to the general manager. But I don't honestly think she will respond. The thing is, I know I am not the only person who can't stand the way these employees treat their customers. So Dear Ms. Royo... here is my "love letter" to you.

"That is the last time I get food at Panda. And I am going to recommend everyone in my office not to go either. After the countless times I have seen your employees not know how to do their job properly, today just took the cake.

There are 6 people in line... 6. And on days when the line reaches past 30, maybe I am more understandable. I stood there watching the woman behind the counter, not doing the rice and chow-mein, but scooping your food, be completely rude to everyone she interacted with. For one, this girl asked for a taste of something while she was waiting to get a bowl. I watched your employee give it to her, then neglect her as the girl stood there while she served 3 people. And when the girl finally spoke up, the server snapped "what?"... like her customer was inconveniencing her. This is the same lady that on a number of times has given me the wrong items. And every time she has gotten mad at me when I have told her about her mistake. The thing is, I get the EXACT SAME THING every single time, 2-3 times a week, so I know I am not the one being confusing.

The lady scooping rice today looked new. I asked her to try the Kobari Beef. Well, she pretty much man handled my sample, which already made me not want to eat it, and so poorly applied to the toothpick it instantly fell on me and the counter. She saw this happen, didn't care, and kept asking people what they wanted. I stood there, like she may say something. Maybe apologize and give me another sample. Nope. Honestly she could give a shit.

Leftover Reinvention: Roasted Vegetable and Chicken Pasta Bake

Its that time again. Where I show you what delicious things you can make from stuff laying around in your pantry. Honestly, this is my favorite thing to do. I love puzzles... in fact... I played chess extensively growing up. Google me; you will find my Chess Federation records. That is right; number one nerd.

"Pantry Shopping" as I like to call it is taking things you have laying around, and getting inventive. For me, when I shop, I buy certain staples that I like to eat a lot. I imagine that you do much of the same. But, sometimes I see something funky, something I haven't tried before, and I buy it. Eventually, I use it and most of the time its when I am Pantry Shopping. This post is a also leftover reinvention because I had chicken breast and roasted vegetables from my dad's cafe leftover. 

2 cooked chicken breasts (mine were grilled)
3 cups roasted vegetables
500 g dry pasta
1 carton/ can condensed cream of mushroom soup
12 ounces goat cheese
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

The first thing to a pasta bake is to get the pasta going. You want to cook it to almost done. This is because you are baking it in a sauce in the oven, which will further cook the pasta. The last thing you want is mushy grains. Yuck.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Spicy Black Bean Tex Mex Pizza

Summer is coming, meaning more sun, beach, and barbeques. In anticipation of the bright weather we are about to have, I bring you my vegetarian Tex Mex pizza.

1 pizza crust
1 can black beans (I like to get a can of cuban style black beans)
2 tbs BBQ sauce
1 tbs minced garlic
1/4 cup corn kernels
1/4 a red onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, sliced into strips
1 jalapeno
12 ounces Mexican Cheese blend

To start, its important to let your pizza crust sit in the counter and rise. Once it has had time to rise a bit, place cornmeal on your pizza stone and work your crust into a circular shape. Place the crust on the stone, ready to add the toppings. Our base for this pizza is the black bean mixture. First, pour the beans out of the can into a bowl and crush them.

Next, add the BBQ sauce and the minced garlic.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pac-12 Tourney Update

UCLA defeated USC yesterday, continuing us on into the Pac-12 Tournament.

We play Arizona today at 2:30pm. Luckily, one of their starters is suspended, Josiah Turner. All in all, it is going to be a tough matchup. If you want to watch it on TV, the tournament is being hosted by Fox Sports Network.

Its a good day to be a BRUIN!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Jam of the Day

A few months ago a friend of mine convinced me to get a Livingsocial deal with her to an introductory Burlesque dance workshop. I was, a bit nervous, but thought it could be great fun to try something new. And low and behold, it was amazing. Plus it was a great workout. Standing on my toes and doing isometrics really made my booty and legs hurt the next day.

My instructor Natasha was wonderful. I was super nervous going into the class, but by the end of it she had made us all feel really great about our dancing ability and our femininity. The last segment of dance we did was to this insane remix of "Whatever Lola Wants". It has been playing nonstop in my head for the past 2 days. Determined, I searched online until I found the song...

Here is "Whatever Lola Wants" Remix. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

For more information on Hells Belles Burlesque, click HERE.

Pac-12 Tournament 2012

It has begun... The month of MADNESS! This is my favorite time of the year, but also my busiest. Sorry about the post lag. I do have 2 recipes done and ready to post.... I just keep forgetting my darn camera cord to upload photos. I promise, end of this week. Promise Promise.

But back to March Madness. College Basketball, to me, had a hedge over the NBA. For one, the students, cheerleaders, and band add a dimension to college basketball you can't get in the NBA. Its the excitement of seeing a whole school all in their colors rallying behind a team. And trust me, these games would not be the same without the fans and students that come to support. Its the UCLA Den (student section) with their unique cheers, the Yell Crew holding up signs to get the crowd going, and the band playing traditional songs everyone can sing and dance to. Second, the players tend to play more with their hearts, as they don't have millions of dollars in the bank to fall back on. This adds to the elation of winning and the utter heart break of losing. Because you see, one loss in your division tournament means you are out. There are no 7 game play offs... you have ONLY. ONE. SHOT.

 The Pac-12 Tournament starts tomorrow with UCLA seeded #5 and playing USC. And man, what a way to start off our tournament than playing out rivals. This should definitely pump us up for the rest of the week and hopefully propel us to an awesome victory. This season stats against USC: Game #1, UCLA defeats USC 66 to 47. Game #2, UCLA defeats USC 64 to 54. The Bruins are without a doubt favored to win this game, but USC really has nothing to lose. And playing against a team like that, with the right motivation, can sometimes knock out top contenders. All in all though, I have faith in my Bruins. Lazeric Jones and David Wear received All Pac-12 honors this past week, and Lazeric was also named the Pac-12's Player of the Week last week. The Bruins have a lot to be proud about.

If you want to catch the Bruins on TV, all games will be broadcast on FSN.

Let's Go Bruins!!!

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