On Sunday I did nearly no work, I put on a mask, which smelled sort of disgusting by the way, binge-watched Empire (just a lil’ obsessed!)…and then I ate nachos all by myself. It most likely was a sad sight but believe me when I say it was puuuuuure bliss.
This rhubarb egg white fizz fit into the equation later on, when it was nighttime and candles were lit. I had some almost-on-the-way out rhubarb in the fridge and I wanted to make myself a cocktail that was sort of girly and tasted delicious. Dis was it.
I’m gonna be honest with you and let you in on a lil’ secret: I’m not a margarita girl.
I hardly ever crave MARGS and I actually hate the way that word sounds. Maybe it’s because my grandmother’s name is Margarita and when you say it in Spanish it’s actually really pleasant-sounding—it means daisy! But the word “Margs” sounds like something a drunk girl on spring break would yell out and it’s just disgusting to me. I’m sorry if I’m being a negative right now! Sometimes I just don’t wake up all positive and on brand. Sowie.
I made these beergaritas, which also has a questionable name, and realized very quickly that their name is totally excusable and that I actually just dislike tequila. And mescal. And cristal. I’m so much fun right now! I like beer more. This is a combo of fresh lime juice, simple syrup and crisp, fresh beer. OMG so good. And that salted rim around the glass is soooo good with it too. Salty, sweet and sour for the absolute win.
It’s my favorite time of year! WOOHOO! Fall has finally decided to arrive in full force in Los Angeles. There will be a Christmas tree in my near future. And this week I’m going to try my hardest to send out my holiday cards. I’m also knee-deep into planning holiday gifts. I decided to conquer one of the most important ones first: this coffee tray.
This year work has been busy, busy. And behind the scenes with this lil’ blog there are projects and collaborations, which in many cases means there are contracts that I usually don’t understand. This stuff is not fun, but luckily I have my boyfriend’s dad, Michael, help me.
He reads contracts over, explains the details to me in an English I can understand, is so ridiculously patient when I ask the same question a million times, and he makes sure I’m not signing Amelia away in the process. (I’m not that stressed about it, I guarantee they’d return her after a few weeks!)
He just opened his new law office in downtown LA and I wanted to get him something really nice for it. Like every person who has to focus for long periods of time, he loves coffee, especially espresso.
This coffee tray is streamlined and simple, he can move it around his office if he likes, while still giving him exactly what he needs to make delicious espresso or coffee any time of the day.
The tray I picked up at Target (it’s actually from Oh Joy’s line). Oh and there are a few good-quality napkins in case he spills stuff. The colors are sort of holiday-esque but at the same time it won’t look THAT much like Christmas in June.
I also included a set of capsules from Nespresso. Maybe Amelia got a hold of one and chewed it a lil’ bit. Whoops!
I hope he likes this coffee tray (I think he will).
The big T-Day is next Thursday and if you’re the organized cute person I know you are, you’re probably in big time planning mode. This week is Thanksgiving week on this lil’ blog. There will be sides. There will be a big bird. And of course, PIE will make an appearance!
To kick things off, we’re starting with the most important cooking aide: wine. Cooking is so much better, albeit a little more dangerous, when there’s a glass of wine in everyone’s hands. Wine has the ability to iron out all of the inevitable Thanksgiving woes like fun family tension, messing up the pie crust and maybe making the bird a bit too toasty.
I know most of you aren’t in Los Angeles, so I’m approaching this a few different ways. Two of these wines are available via Domaine LA and they can be shipped to you. If you’re in LA, you can obviously just stop in and pick them up.
We’re also providing tasting notes for each of these wines. The idea behind this is that you can go into your local wine shop and request a wine that tastes similarly.
So, for instance, with the wine just below, you can drop into a wine shop and say you’re looking for an orange wine that’s bright, a little chewy, and under $20-$25. And lastly, if the wine shop doesn’t have an orange wine, there are other alternatives listed that might be a good replacement.
2013 Folk Machine Jeanne d’Arc – (Chenin Blanc from California) Skin contact white wine, or “orange” wine, is so versatile with food because of its savory edge. A little chewy, golden and delicious.
Alternatives: Sherry, Chardonnay or Savagnin from the Jura, Bottle fermented beers, Cider.
NV Provenza Spumante Rosato ‘Turbian’ – (Gropello and Marzemino blend from Lombardy, Italy) Fruity but bone dry, refreshing and gulp-able. And a perfect example of why you shouldn’t buy wine based on how the bottle looks : \
Alternatives: Lambrusco, dry Italian or French rosé, Txakolina, Pink Petillant Naturel
This drink is dedicated to all the peeps out there who wish they were on a beach in their bathing suit, sipping on a drink with an umbrella in it.
Doesn’t it seem like everyone and their mom is on vacation right now? I’m definitely not on vacation but that’s ok because I’m already planning next summer’s vacay. I found this little teeny apartment on the Amalfi coast where I plan on living out my obsession with The Talented Mr. Ripley. I plan on wearing little white sneakers with my bathing suits and drinking nothing but rose and eating grilled branzini all day–it’s going to be magical.
I’m still recovering from one of the worst weeks ever (last week). I took the weekend to recover and spent it by drinking copious amounts of sparkling rose, having Chinese food with friends, getting my hair blow dried, watching The World Cup and seeing Boyhood (a must-see!). I feel a million times better. Alcohol and good food has a way to ease my pains.
I’m back in the kitchen this week to share some new stuff and even hopefully finally prepare for Ice Cream Week (ahh!). I’m starting with this recipe I made for PBS Food, Grilled Pineapple Margaritas. I’m not sure if there’s anything better than the flavor combination of smokey and sweet—it’s all up in this drink! Someone suggested that this could be made with rum instead of tequila and I say go for it. I have terrible/fun college memories with tequila so I’m not married to the idea of it being made with juuust this spirit. I say go rum!
Coincidentally I have another pineapple recipe that I’m making today and it involves the entire pineapple. The whole dang thing and I’m super excited.
The name of this cocktail is just an indicator that there are times in the kitchen when I don’t know what I exactly want and am usually like, why can’t I add mint to this. I’d only make sense! This is a hodgepodge of two kinds of cocktails: a mojito and a caipirinha. So…that makes it a caipirijito. If I’ve confused you, please ignore me and make this cocktail with rum and you can call it a rhubarb mojito.
Sometimes I overly complicate things and annoy myself.
What is the difference between cachaca and rum anyway? There is a difference, even though it might not seem that way at first glance.
Rum is made using processed cane; hence the reason why rum usually has notes of molasses.
Cacacha is much cleaner in flavor because it’s made with unprocessed cane juice. So, I think when you’re pairing it with something like, say, rhubarb, the cleaner flavor is the way to go.
There are a ton of cacachas out there you can use; I picked a super standard one called Pitu. It’s great for mixing cocktails a.k.a. caipirhinias. Is it fancy? No, it won’t impress anyone and it’s definitely not made to sip, but it’ll do the trick when making mixed drinks. And it’s not expensive at all.
Phew. This week handed it to me. Between fighting a case of strep throat to a week of a hundred degree weather to dealing with lots of family issues, this week has been on the rougher side of rough. Let’s just say it was pumice-like. Rouuuugh. The other night as I was wallowing in my misery, being the Negative Nancy I’m usually not, I decided to stop it already. I made the decision to be happy. It’s a hard thing to do when so many of the big things are wrong, off, out of place, but I needed to just enjoy the next hour of my life. I know that sounds silly but I did. So, I made myself a delightful Grapefruit Shandy…mostly out of necessity.
I first had a shandy when I had just moved to LA and went to the opening night of this beer bar called El Prado. They were serving shandies and I had, like, five. Definitely too many, but I absolutely looooved them. Flash to years later, I went to my favorite beer store and found this Stiegel Grapefruit Shandy (they did all the work for you!) and thought it was the most delicious thing in the entire world.
Anyway, the other night when I was super bummed out I went to the beer store to buy a bottle for myself and they were all sold out. Womp, womp. It had never dawned on me to just make one. So here you go! The short story of a grapefruit shandy.
It’s the simplest most delicious thing ever. They’re kinda similar to the dude-ly mimosas I like to make: beer and orange juice vs. champagne. Champagne has always been a bit too girly for me. It all tastes the same and it tends to make my nose itch.
A Los Angeles dream is sitting on a curb, eating three tacos on a paper plate with a big styrofoam cup full of sweet horchata. If you move here, it’s something you have to do. Call it an initiation or whatever. I drank horchata for a few years before I even thought to make it myself. I don’t make it often but when I do, it’s worth the wait. For the full recipe and more photos, hope on over to PBS Food.