Friday, December 17, 2010

Weekend Docket: 12/17/10

Aside from voting Lauren “Babe-raham Lincoln” Kenney for president of the Hollywood ASSt List, this will be a weekend of drinking, drinking, oh right, and more drinking.  As all pre-holiday weekends should be.

Tonight, after hitting up the Creative Screenwriting's KING'S SPEECH screening Q&A, I'll be reuniting with my little Berlin Group for some reminiscing on what is still probably one of the craziest and most random weekends of my life.

And then tomorrow.  First.  There is the Santa Monica Pub Crawl, which if you'd like to join us, we'll be TEAM SHENANIGANS on the Pier Route.  That starts at 5PM.  We will also be pub crawl hopping, between the "Santa" Monica one and the 3rd Street Magazine Holiday Pub Crawl, because really, one pub crawl just isn't enough.  And the "Santa" girls left out Copa d'Oro which is a MUST when on the Promenade.

Assuming we make it out alive, from there we're going to "city crawl" across town to a series of holiday house parties... I really need more hours in the day.

Sunday is a day of rest.  And baking up all my holiday treats I've failed to make during my way too packed week. YUM.  So where will YOU be spending your 3rd to last weekend of 2010?

Friday, 12/17
Eagle Rock Brewery’s Ugly Sweater Party
4pm - 10pm
Just didn't have the heart to take it to goodwill or sell it at the last garage sale? After all, you know that Grandma spent all afternoon searching for just the right present to give you. What else were you planning on doing with those nasty-looking things that have been stashed in your closet for the past several years... Come and show off all the ugliest sweaters you can find!  Oh yes it's competitive... Get judged at 8:30p. Ugliest sweater gets a free ERB T-shirt and pint glass. Winner has to be present to win... duh. Eagle Rock Brewery, 3056 Roswell Street, Los Angeles

4th Street’s Annual Holiday “Mad Men” Style Open House
6pm - 9pm
4th Street is getting into the holiday spirit this year “Mad Men” style! The 36+ shops along 4th Street (from Junipero to Cherry) will be open late offering swingin’ specials, stiff cocktails (and mocktails) and finger-snappin’ tunes for your browsing and buying pleasure! You’ll find new and vintage clothing, furniture and accessories as well as offerings in art. 4th Street (from Junipero to Cherry), Long Beach

Saturday, 12/18
7pm - 10pm
This year’s annual deep fat fried holiday party will feature fast-fried foods, flash-frozen ice cream, and hopefully some fresh-fizzed homemade soda.  Once again, Fry-B-Q is MEMBERS ONLY this year! Become a Machine Project Member and start planning your fry menu today. You can also renew your membership or become a new member at the event, but you MUST be a member to attend. Membership starts at just $32/year.  In years past we’ve fried everything from marshmallows (fail), to bacon-wrapped peanut butter and banana sandwiches (win), to rabbit (hm). This year, we’re adding liquid nitrogen and carbonation to the party. We’ll have a blender and various fruity ingredients we’ll be attempting to flash-freeze into something chilly and delicious, but this may or may not actually work and could possibly result in disaster. There will be rum though, which you can add to freshly-made ginger ale and root beer concocted by our Ginger Ale and Root Beer Class, if you dare. Machine Project, 1200 D N. Alvarado St., Echo Park

2nd Annual Santa Monica Pub Crawl
5pm start time
SANTA Monica Pub Crawl 2010 will take place on Saturday, December 18, 2010 at 5PM in Santa Monica, CA at the city's best bars and restaurants to help raise money and food for those in need for the holidays, through a partnership with  the Westside Food Bank. The 1st SANTA Pub Crawl had over 2,000  participants and raised 4,000 pounds of food for charity. Participating  locations will offer drink and food specials as part of the SANTA Monica Pub Crawl festivities.  Various Bars throughout Santa Monica

3rd Street Magazine Holiday Pub Crawl
5pm start time (AS WELL)
In conjunction with the SANTA Monica Pub Crawl, there is another crawl going on at the same time IN THE SAME LOCATION, but with slightly classier bars!  This one has a door charge, but includes a bevy of drink tickets as well... 3 drinks for $16, pretty hard to beat.  And it tours through The Yard, Copa D'Oro (one of my favorites) and Chloe.  Santa Monica Promenade

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My first attempt at making "Poor Man's Beer Braised Pork Belly."

After tasting what was perhaps one of the most incredible pieces of pork belly from Chef Allen Buhay at the Test Kitchen, I knew it was finally time to delve into the fatty underbelly of delicious foods.  Realize that it takes years of experience & know how to master the technique of turning a chunk of fat into a mouthwatering, heavenly melt in your mouth piece of joy... so don't chastise me for my first attempt.  Suggestions & comments however are always welcome!! 

Plus.  I was working under very non-idyllic situations.  i.e. my boyfriend's understocked and poorly ventilated kitchen.

However, I do think I did decently well, and it has definitely inspired me to continue to work this fatty idea!  Plus, the ingredients are super cheap, so that's a total added bonus.

2 lbs of pork belly - $4.50
2 cans of Tecate - $4
Salt, Pepper, Jerk Seasoning & Garlic

 I started with my nice piece of pork belly.  
Scored both the top & bottom & then coated with salt, pepper & jerk seasoning.

 I then seared the top & bottom in my oh too small pot.

 Once it was nice & brown & the apartment started to fill with smoke, I took it off the burners & added in my beer... just enough to almost cover the top. 

 I then covered the pot & threw it in the oven at 350 degrees for an hour to soften up the fat. 

 Almost done, but my boyfriend's belly was grumbling, so I finished it back on the burner.

 I threw some garlic into the pan and cooked the tops & bottoms until they were nice and crispy!  I also succeeded in smoking up his ENTIRE apartment in the process... so now everything smells like pork belly.

  It turned out decently well.  I loved the flavor, you could totally taste the Tecate & jerk seasoning, but I do wish I'd let it cook in the oven for longer... the fat was tender, but could have been much much better.

Monday, December 13, 2010

My Pummelvision

1. I realize I have way too many pictures.  Period
2. This makes me a little motion sick after watching for longer than 30 seconds.
3. I'm undecided as to how long I'm going to leave this online.

But highly entertaining none the less.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Weekend Docket: 12/10/10

It's beginning to look a lot like holiday shopping festivities and cookie madness!  Super excited for this weekend, hopefully filled with frivolous foodie fun.  Tonight I'm breaking out the baking for a little cookie exchange... still haven't decided on what I'm going to whip up apres work.

Tomorrow, the foodie in me, paired with the nerd in my boyfriend, are finally falling into harmonious sync with the Capcom vs Marvel Food Fight!  Here's to hoping we'll actually make it in, but if all else fails, at least we'll be downtown and can swing by the Holiday Pop-Up's to get our shopping madness on.

I'm still trying to convince my girls to hit up the Snowball with me, but if not, it is the season of holiday parties and my dance card is pretty packed.

And then on Sunday || 1 year anniversary!! || not of the blog, but of the boyfriend ;-). Doing a little shopping, a little drinking and a little noming, probably followed by an evening of snuggling because we're that gross cutesy couple that make other people gag. Go ahead Lolly.  Gag away.

All Weekend
Unique LA's 3rd Annual Holiday Show & Artisanal LA Holiday Pop-Up Sale
11am - 6pm || Saturday & Sunday
I know where I'm going to get my holiday shopping done this weekend.  There are two fantastic events which feature over 300 local artisans & culinary masterminds.  Unique LA is essentially like shopping Etsy IRL.  It's a great chance to find extremely unique gifts for your closest friends (and maybe pick up a few for yourself.)  Artisanal LA on the other hand is like gourmet food paradise.  They won't be featuring any Lord of the Flies moments like last time, this event is strictly a pop-up. Plus you can use admission to one event as a discount for the other, and admission is good for both days!! 

Unique LA || $10, or 2-1 with Artisinal Wristband || California Market Center Penthouse, 110 East 9th Street, Los Angeles

Artisanal LA || $6, or $1 off with Unique LA Wristband || Cooper Design Space, 860 South Los Angeles Street, Los Angeles

Friday, 12/10
Holiday Mingling Soiree at Spanish Kitchen
7pm - 9pm
Join us for a unique evening, indulge in gourmet food influenced by the southern
regions of Mexico as diverse as Chiapas, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Puebla, Yucatan, Campeche and Quintana Roo.. some recipes dating back hundreds of years.. Discover wines from Spain, Argentina and Chile.. Mingle in a relaxed social setting.. Come by yourself or with friends and meet other angelenos during a fun and entertaining night! $15 pre-sale. $20 at the door. Price includes welcome glass of wine, as well as complimentary gourmet appetizers catered by the Spanish Kitchen. Regular drink and food menu will also be available. Spanish Kitchen, 826 North La Cienega Boulevard, West Hollywood Holiday Mingling Soiree @ Spanish Kitchen.

Endless Chocolate Nights at Oliverio
7:30pm - 11pm
Fridays and Saturdays from now on, if you drop by the pool at Oliverio at the Avalon, you’ll find a truly giant spread of chocolate. As much as you can eat. Think chocolate pastries... and boozy chocolate ice cream shots... and chocolate pizza... and mini chocolate pancakes. No word on white-chocolate french toast. (UD) $28/person, $17 w/dinner. Oliverio, 9400 West Olympic Boulevard, Beverly Hills

LA Malaysia Kitchen Night Market
5:30pm - 8:30pm
The Malaysia Kitchen Night Market will offer an array of traditional Malaysian street grub. From chicken satay with spicy peanut sauce to beef rendang (a sumptuously spiced dry beef curry) and nasi lemak (a tasty coconut rice dish served with spicy curry chicken or beef rendang), offerings draw upon Malaysian cuisine's Malay, Chinese and Indian influences. Besides delicious street food, the event will feature unique cultural performances that will add to the exciting marketplace environment. All food will be sampled free of charge. 3rd St. Promenade, Santa Monica

Saturday, 12/11
Marvel vs Capcom 3 Food Fight
11am - 3pm
Nerds meet the foodies.  This is the ultimate battle between Chef Eric Greenspan of the Foundry on Melrose vs the always gorgeous Chef Ludo Lefebvre.  They will compete with dishes inspired by Marvel vs Capcom 3, and while they're getting their cheffage on, the rest of the crowd will be battling to their hearts delight at this pre-VGA party.  They're also hosting a VGA viewing party at the same location starting at 4pm.  Expect lots of crowds!  They're only letting in about the first 200 people who arrive. Kim Sing Theatre, 722 N. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles Follow on Twitter.

BOND APPÉTIT: James Bond, Foodie
10:30 a.m.
James Bond is best remembered as a drinker, but food historian Linda Civitello has researched period cookbooks, Ian Fleming's novels and other sources to develop a set of dishes Bond might have enjoyed after his famous cocktail. Hear Civitello talk about Bond's dining during a free lecture (call 323-663-5407 to reserve a spot) presented by the Culinary Historians of Southern California. Mark Taper Auditorium, Downtown Central Library, 630 W. 5th St., Downtown
Two Point Oh! First Annual Snowball
Join us as Two Point Oh! LA and friends gather in the stunning Pacific Electric Lofts, Penthouse Ballroom, to eat, drink and be merry as well as raise money for the Downtown Women's Center of Los Angeles.  Ticket prices include an Open Bar, goodie bag worth over $300, photobooth, food & desserts from My Delight Cupcakery, Access to the Be VainGlorious or DIY Trying Lounge (make your own accessories!) Access to the So Much Pretty Beauty Lounge (hair & make-up touch-ups + giveaways!) And to make you feel a little better about the indulging... your donation to the Downtown Women's Center.  $30. Penthouse ballroom, 610 S. Main Street, Los Angeles

Hermosa Beach Snow Fest
3pm - 8pm
Hermosa Beach will be turned into a snowboarding park this weekend! 30 tons of snow will be dumped on the slope of Pier Avenue and will be transformed into a legitimate ski run. Get a seat out on one of the patios and take in some riding followed by some holiday spirit with the Christmas Tree lighting. This awesome South Bay Event is sponsored by Mammoth Mountain, HB Chamber of Commerce, Rockstar and many others. From 6:30-8 pm, there will be PUBLIC sledding! Don't miss this one...  Hermosa Beach Pier Plaza Snow Fest

Inspiration lies somewhere between the need to explore and the want to entertain...

"The inspiration lies somewhere between the need to explore and wanting to entertain," explains Stuart Howe, the head brewer at Sharp's Brewery, who is creating 52 unique small batch beers this year and chronicling them on his blog. "The most important part of tasting is the undertaken by your brain. Unusual ingredients ensure that the brain is excited, which means it's more receptive to what's going on in your olfactory equipment."

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Test Kitchen: 12/08/10 25 Below

As my fond farewell to what was one of the most stunningly creative culinary experiments in Los Angeles, I went to the Test Kitchen one last time before their doors close for good.  Last night, they created a celebration of some of LA's future celebrity chefs: those who have attained Sous Chef or higher before the age of 25.  Way to make me feel even older.  Each chef started with an amuse bouche to showcase their flavors, followed by another 5 courses. And at $50, certainly a steal!

But let's start first with the cocktails.  Because really, what's a meal without some delicious booze? In order from left to right...

SMOKE & MIRRORS - islay scotch, fresh lime juice, mint leaves, absinthe.  A fairly stiff drink with a subdued finish, this certainly worked as a nice starter to the evening.

SITE HOUND - gin, fresh lemon & grapefruit juice, scarlet glow syrup, aperol. My favorite of the night, but I did have to google a little scarlet glow to figure out it's a simple syrup made with the addition of a hibiscus & elderflower tea which gives it a nice brilliant red hue and a tasty flavor. 

LA VELENCIA - chamomile infused rye, manzanilla sherry, fresh lemon juice, yellow chart. I failed in my google quest to figure out what yellow chart is, so if anyone could fill me in, that'd be great.  Very tasty, the chamomile rye added a nice touch.

BOUKMAN DAIQUIRI - rum, cognac, fresh lime, cinnamon bark syrup. strong & a memorable way to end my drinking journey!

The meal started off with an array of 5 Amuse - 1 from each Chef. Starting in the upper left corner & working clockwise...

MOHITO LOLIPOP (Troy Sazzmann) - I started with this, figuring it was the one unlike the others.  A good kick in the mouth awakening with a flash frozen burst of flavor.  Nice, but certainly hard to describe.

GREEN MUSSEL "MARGARITA" SHOT (Phillip Lee) - My absolute favorite of the Amuses.  This went down easy, and finished with a delicious avocado mousse.

KUMAMOTO OYSTER, SEA URCHIN, CAULIFLOWER, WHEY (Jon Butler) - Very ocean-y, it totally evoked the flavor of the sea & complimented the oyster perfectly.

TUNA TARTAR, TAPIOCA, BONITO (Allen Buhay) - Crunchy, salty sweet perfection.  It's hard to not love something covered in tuna tartar.

PINEAPPLE, GINGER, BASIL, RUM, GARNISHED WITH PROSCIUTTO (Kristyn Brewer) - A slight miss for me, the name was very obvious, and the pineapple, ginger combo really hit hard and in not the best way.  Plus with the salty prosciutto it created much more of a pucker than a pleasure.

And on to the main courses!  The majesty of this meal came in the fact that even though it was the inner workings of 5 different chefs, the courses all worked in harmony & totally built on each other.  It was like the perfect "get hyped mix CD" all UP.

ATLANTIC DIVER SCALLOP (Jon Butler) - The scallops, or as I like to refer to them, fluffy pillows from heaven created a very nice transition between the appetizers and the mains.  Complimented with a Singapore curry & asian pear, this was a delicate savory & sweet dish that was light enough to devour in it's entirety. 

WARM HAMACHI (Phillip) - Going from the glazed and seared to the warm and comforting, the warm hamachi over a bed of sweetbreads and grapefruit still managed to maintain a little of it's sashimi like quality while steaming up the taste palate.  Of all the chef's combos, Phillip knocked it out of the park!

SPICY CHICKEN WING (Kristyn) - After warm, we went to spiiiicy with Kristyn's chicken wings, cooked in coconut, red chili & lime with a delicious dose of basil cream to cool off the palate.  Our waiter thought this dish was the best thing ever served in the test kitchen, and I'm hard pressed to not concur!  My mom wants to stalk Kristyn down at her post at Westside Tavern to convince her to make it a permanent addition to their menu.

PORK BELLY (Allen) - And finally the creme de la creme of savory products.  No contemporary menu is complete without a hearty serving of pork belly, and Allen's delivered!  Crispy and sweet on the outside, melt in your mouth texture on the inside.  The belly swam in a pool of blended rice, fairly reminiscent of congee, and was paired perfectly with a dose of pickled papaya. 

And really... what's a dinner without a dessert?  Since I know my readers, this is the picture you're looking forward to the most, so I left it large for your salivating pleasure.

SCHWARZWALDER KIRSCHORTEN MOUSSE (Troy) - with baumkuchen and schatten morrelen.  Yes.  The only thing I understood in that description was the word mousse.  And I'd even just gotten back from Berlin, so you'd think I'd have picked up a word or two...  but I just went with it & enjoyed.

Dear Test Kitchen,


And I can't wait for your TV show ;-)

Much love,

Test Kitchen LA
9575 West Pico Boulevard
Los Angeles 90035
(310) 277-0133

Monday, December 6, 2010

David Kwong - Word Nerd

Perfect example confirming the fact that indeed, all my friends are Superheroes.

Today's TimesCast video on the NY Times website promos Mr. Kwong's incredible magic trick which involves both crosswords and a little bit o spectacular!  Will post the full video & story tomorrow when it's published, but if you'd like to whet your appetite with a little bit of "oh my fucking god, when does this man ever sleep, and why am I so behind in life?!" then check out the promo!

The TimesCast page is here; from there, you can select the December 6 video. Or you can visit the NYT’s home page and click on the video at the top.

The crossword segment begins just past the halfway mark.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Somebody just got a new Camera

and i love it already.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Weekend Docket: 12/03/10

While I'll be spa-ing in Palm Springs all weekend with my girly girls, there are some incredible events going on in the city that I'm sad I'll be missing.  Bacon & Wine, Blogger Bake Sale & the Christmas Keggar are all certainly ones to add to your "to do" list.

All Weekend
Bacon & Wine Tasting @ Vintage Enoteca
8pm to close
Um.  What?  Best wine tasting menu ever created? Perhaps... Vintage Enoteca is jumping on the bacon band-wagon & hosting a special dinner menu ($30 per person) this weekend.  Bacon Deviled Eggs paired with Prosecco, Sweet & Spicy Bacon Candy with a Chenin Blanc, Bacon Mac N Cheese with a Zinfandel and Chocolate Bacon with a Cabernet Sauvignon to finish it off.  So sad I'm missing this, but I'm determined to convince them to make this a permanent tasting menu.  Vintage Enoteca, 7554 W. Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood.

The Final Days of the Test Kitchen
Ends Dec 13th
It's the end of an Era!  Or certainly the end of a great culinary experiment.  The Test Kitchen, home to a rotating cast of exceptional chefs, is finally closing it's doors on December 13th.  So if you want to be able to tell your grand kids one day "I ate there" you better make your reservations now!  There are some great chefs still in the holding pen... so check it out!  I certainly have my reservations for 25 under on Wednesday Dec 8th!  Test Kitchen LA 9575 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA

Saturday, 12/4
Eat My Blog Bake Sale
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Mark your calendars for the 3rd annual Eat My Blog bakesale. Tender Greens in West Hollywood will host the event. The LA food bloggers raised over $8,000 between the first and second bake sales and hope to do even better for their third event. The tables will be stacked with over 2,000 baked goods from 50+ expert bakers. This year’s array will include donations from local businesses big & small (Isabella's Cookies, Sprinkles, Starry Kitchen, The Daily Dose, The Manila Machine, Bakelab). All items are priced between $1 - $4 and 100% of proceeds will be donated to the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank. Tender Greens, 8759 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood

FYF’s LA Scavenger Hunt
2pm - 8pm
The L.A. Scavenger Hunt will be taking place on December 4th, 2010 in order to help gather material goods for downtown LA's Union Rescue Mission and the LA Food Bank. Teams of 2-5 people are tasked with finding 100 items around the city.  About 40 of them will go towards the Rescue Mission & Food Bank, while the other 60 are purely for the memories.  The Grand Prize: $2,500 flight credit to Barcelona plus 3 nights hotel and 4 passes to attend one of the best music festivals in the world, Primavera Sound, which takes place May 26th - 28th 2011. $10. Signup. Dodger Stadium, 1000 Elysian Park Ave, Los Angeles

Derby Dolls LA: Championships
Doors open @ 6pm
The LA Derby Dolls will finish their 2010 season with a brutal rematch between 2009 champions the Tough Cookies and 2009 runners-up the Swarm at the Doll Factory.  The Swarm beat the Cookies by just one point (135-134) when the teams faced off in October. While the Cookies, who won Champs in both 2008 and 2009, are eager for a three-peat, the Swarm wants nothing more than to knock them out of the winner's circle. 1910 W. Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA

200 Years of Mexico's Cuisine || Taste of Mexico
6 to 10 p.m.
In Mexico, the cooking varies greatly between, say, Puebla and Mexico City, making it difficult to eat traditional dishes from multiple regions in one meal. Taste of Mexico ($75 for presale tickets) will give you just that chance, with specialties prepared by Frida's, La Casita Mexicana, La Monarca Bakery and Guelaguetza. St. Vibiana's Cathedral, 214 S. Main St., Downtown

Bollywood Dance Night with Yogen Bhagat
7:30 - 11pm
Take a lesson then dance the night away... Bollywood Dance night is sponsored by the Los Angeles Art of Living Center and open to the public.  Tickets include a one hour group dance lesson (8 to 9 pm) with renowned Bollywood Choreographer Yogen Bhagat, followed by 2 hours of dance music from DJ Amit Kotecha of 3D Sounds.  Complimentary Reed's Ginger Brew for all. Snacks are available for puchase in the lobby. $15 general || $10 student Art of Living Center - 948 West Adams Blvd - Los Angeles, CA Bollywood Dance Night

Christmas Keggar presented by FinerThingsLA
9:30pm - 1:00am
One of my new favorite blogs, FinerThingsLA, is hosing a Christmas Keggar this Saturday at the Parlor.  The cool one on Melrose, not the douchy one in Hollywood.  Your $10 entry fee includes two kegger beers + happy hour specials form 10pm to Midnight. Papas Tapas Truck will also be outside serving drunk munchies.  And something called Games2ULA (which sounds like a nerd boy's heaven) will also be outside with all sorts of video gaming niceties.  All proceeds benefit Food on Foot $10 at the door.  The Parlor Hollywood (7250 Melrose Ave, at Alta Vista)

Sunday, 12/5
Malibu Food & Wine Festival
Noon to 5 p.m.
Join us on December 5th, as more than 2,000 food and wine enthusiasts gather at the Malibu Bluffs to sample Unlimited Tastings of fine wine and delectable cuisine from local chefs and restaurants. We most cordially invite you to be part of this memorable afternoon, as you enjoy the sounds of live Cuban jazz, dazzling ocean views and holiday cheer, and all for one General Admission price! ($75 per person, $135 for couples). Malibu Bluffs Park, 24250 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu

Repeal Day Celebrations
There are just too many to list, but google will certainly let you know which bars are having Prohibition celebrations all over town!  I know the 213 bar guys are certainly getting in on it with 75cent Dewar's cocktails...  Happy drinking!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Girl's Weekend is finally here!

Girl's Weekend - The Menu
Here's a little sneak peek at the food you'll be seeing photos of next week.

Starters / Drinking Snacks
Hawaiian Guacamole (w/ Pineapple & Pomegranate)
Ahi Tuna Poke
Garlic Edamame

Portuguese Sausage w/ Egg & Rice
Fresh Fruit Platter (of the tropical variety)
Hawaiian French Toast (soaked in pineapple & fried in bacon drippings)

Huli-Huli Chicken
Spam Musubi
Tofu Salad w/ Salmon (this has cucumber in it, but we'll make a special one w/o for Jane)
Fried Rice
Macaroni Salad

Hangover leftovers + Mimosa's

To Drink!
Champagne & Lilikoi Cocktails

Spicy Pumpkin Pasta w/ Pancetta & Parmesan

My boyfriend absolutely loves everything Pumpkin flavored, so I figured I'd treat him to a little quick & easy dinner...

Plus it gave me the chance to test out Trader Joe's Lemon Pepper Pappardelle Pasta, which always looks super delicious every time I pass it.

I even finished it off with my Arugula salad & balsamic honey mustard vinaigrette which I totally ODed on in college after eating it for about a month straight.  I'm just starting to get back into that dressing, which is totally inspiring me to try out a few other dressing recipes I've been sitting on for a while. 

Spicy Pumpkin Pasta
  • 1 package Lemon Pepper Pappardelle Pasta (or anything you'd like to substitute)
  • 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 4 oz diced Pancetta
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water until al-dente.  Adding a little bit of lemon juice to your boiling water will help it from clumping.  Drain pasta, drizzle with a little bit of olive oil to prevent sticking & set aside.
2. In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Add diced onion, pancetta & garlic.  Cook until Pancetta is browned & slightly crispy.
3. Slowly add in the Pumpkin Puree, Parmesan & red-pepper flakes.  Salt & Pepper to taste.
4. Finally add in the whole milk to give the sauce a slightly creamy touch.  If it's too thick add a little water.
5. Pour the sauce over the pasta & toss.  Garnish with leftover Parmesan & enjoy!
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