Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How To: Bacon Jam (courtesy of loveonthego)

Dearest readers ~

Happy Holidays!  My friend LoveOnTheGo has been working on her shooting & editing skills and likes using me as her guinea pig (mostly because afternoons cooking at my house involve lots of booze & food).  Here's to hoping she makes more of these awesome little videos, but here's her debut on my Bacon Jam!!  Enjoy!

Cake & Heels

*The recipe is slowly evolving, but I now have a secret spice mixture I've concocted to get the right amount of heat & spice & everything nice :).  If you ask really sweetly I might share it with you!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Weekend Docket: 12/9/11

I'm sure everyone's schedules are chock full of Holiday Parties and whatnot, but in case you find yourself with a little free time, there are some great events going on this weekend (albeit the really cool ones are in Pasadena, what gives?!) you should check out.  As for me, it's back to the Trapeze for a little Living Social Life, Christmas Tree shopping & a tasting at the new and fully stocked bar at Spitz Little Tokyo!  Yes you can expect a full report next week... their cocktail list looks delish!

Also if you want to connect, you can always follow me on twitter @nicolemiizuka or find me on Facebook!

Friday, 12/9
Vintage Denim Party @ Fred Segal
6:30pm - 8:30pm
Shopping, shopping and more shopping... it's that time of the year where every store outfits their sales with gratis booze to get your fashion styling & your credit cards loose. I wouldn't normally mention an event like this, but they're also advertising gratis Umami & PBR along with their stellar line of denim, and it's hard to pass up an offering of delicious happy burger. So if you're in the mood for a little retail therapy check it out. Levi’s XX Shop at Fred Segal, 500 Broadway, Santa Monica

Saturday, 12/10
Eat My Blog: Charity Bake Sale
10 a.m to 4 p.m.
Who doesn't love a good calorie fest? This time they're headed to Old Town Pasadena for the fourth Eat My Blog bake sale which features a ton of sweets and treats from local restaurants and all your favorite food bloggers. Plus it's for charity! There's normally a whole smattering of bacon inspired confections, as well as hot coffee on hand to wash it down. All the proceeds benefit the L.A. Regional Food Bank in case you needed justification to eat your heart out. Pita Jungle, 43 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

FinerThingsLA Christmas Kegger 2011
9:00pm - 1:00am
The drunk+fat girls of Finer Things LA are throwing their 2nd Annual holiday bash with free beer, tons of booze, food, raffles & fun. Plus, they're all about helping charity & all the proceeds will go to Food on Foot ( Some of the cool raffle prices include Blow Outs @ The Dry Bar, Morrocan Wines by Exotic Imports, Bites Bakery, TooFaced MakeUp and Night Tap. Entry costs $10 and includes your first two beers + $3 shots all night. The Fat Dog - Hollywood, 801 N. Fairfax Ave.

Hyundai Re:Mix Lab L.A. w/Jason Bentley featuring director Jason Reitman and turntablist Cut Chemist
7:00 PM
Join KCRW for a very special, intimate evening with KCRW Music Director, Jason Bentley as he interviews director Jason Reitman and DJ/producer Cut Chemist. As fellow creative innovators and close friends, director Jason Reitman and turntablist Cut Chemist use music as a connecting point in their personal discussions. For the first time, they will be bringing that conversation - and their deep music collections - to a live audience for a free, one-of-a-kind event. With two turntables and a microphone (ok...two microphones) Reitman, the filmmaker behind the acclaimed movies Up in the Air and Juno and renowned DJ/producer Cut Chemist (aka Lucas MacFadden) will explore the songs that have inspired them and their creative process in a loose "conversation through music." Both artists have new projects in the works and will give us hints about what's ahead. Free w/ RSVP Farmers & Merchants Bank - 401 S. Main Street

Sunday, 12/11
Artisanal L.A.
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Probably one of the best events for locavore foodies, Artisanal L.A. is back with more than 50 vendors for its second annual Holiday Pop-Up Shop. This unique shopping experience will feature some of the finest in local edibles, including Plush Puffs Gourmet Marshmallows. In addition to tasting and shopping, there will be workshops from the Institute of Domestic Technology. Admission is $5. The first 500 attendees get a special gift bag. Armory Center for the Arts, 145 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena

The Minty: Fried Chicken Crawl
3pm - 6pm
The lovely Minty who's forever putting together amazing food & pub crawls has combined forces with Hungry Hungry Hanh and they're doing what sounds like a golden fried delicious crawl this Sunday in & around LA / Culver City. Fried Chicken!! They're starting with Roscoe's, then heading to Golden Bird, Honey's Kettle Fried Chicken, and finally ending at A-Frame for some Roy Choi beer can chicken, and of course dangerously good cocktails. Don't forget to RSVP! As usual, we pay our own way and you're welcome to come to all stops or just one or two. Please bring cash as it's handier. Start @ Roscoe's House of Chicken & Waffles 5006 W Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90019

Friday, December 2, 2011

Weekend Docket: 12/2/11

It's beginning to look a lot like... a spectacular weekend for drinking! Where will you find me? Perhaps at Jaragua tonight, visiting old friends. Tomorrow, I'll be on the hunt for boozy clues in Hermosa. Sunday? Well people, it's Repeal Day! And the secret Bartender's Ball... Want to know more?  Follow me on twitter: @nicolemiizuka

All Weekend
Unique LA
Sat & Sun 11am-6pm
This Holiday Season Buy Local! UNIQUE LA is an exciting two-day shopping event that showcases fresh, hand-selected design talent. With no ‘middle man’ you’ll shop directly from the designers themselves, which means prices will be less then retail. Shop from over 325 designers & artists, support the local economy, join in community and have a blast! Only 1000 pre-sale tickets are available. General Admission gets you your very own collectible tote bag, exclusive-to-the-show and #5 in our series, free drinks (IZZE, Honest Tea, beer, wine and more!), unlimited re-entry for both days and access to giveaways all weekend long, and free workshops with crafty handmade activities and free gift-wrapping. From 11am – 6pm on both days. The cost is $10. The California Market Center 110 East Ninth Street, LA, CA 90079

Wolf in Sheep's Clothing Opens in Venice
Open tuesday - sunday
In lieu of Cloak & Dinner concocting a winter wonderland (we're too busy doing things like Pub Crawl Scavenger Hunts) I wanted to offer you an alternative for all your underground dining needs. Chefs Brian Dunsmoor (formerly of Axe) & Kris Tominaga (formerly of Joe's) have created a very unique 'pop-up' dining experience within the confines of Capri Restaurant on Abbot Kinney in Venice, Ca. Their mantra is to pursue gimmick free food that real people want to eat. Offering communal rustic country fare, the two young chefs focus on offering unpretentious food inspired by locally sourced ingredients. Plus, they have baked oysters with bacon and shrimp. Can't go wrong there! So if you're looking for somewhere fun to eat, check out Wolf in Sheep's Clothing at Capri, 1616 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice.

Friday, 12/2
"Uncork a Wish" Wine Tasting and Auction
This magical red carpet holiday extravaganza, a major fundraising event for the local Make-A-Wish chapter, is designed to raise critical funds to grant over 400 wishes this year for courageous children, ages 2.5 to 18 years old, who are fighting life-threatening medical conditions. Proceeds from this spectacular event will support heartfelt wishes which fall into one of four categories: I Wish To Go…I Wish To Meet…I Wish To Have…or I Wish To Be. It’s going to be an event unlike any other! Make-A-Wish volunteers, donors, along with other Los Angeles business and philanthropic leaders are coming out in support of our wish children. Everyone will be treated to a unique whimsical journey of gastronomic delights and wine tastings, wish-making fun, unique live and silent auctions, along with some very special surprises. Come meet Mario Lopez and help us raise dollars to grant more and more wishes! Tickets $200 Beverly Hilton, 9876 Wilshire Blvd Beverly Hills, CA

LudoBites Truck: Foie Gras Friday
6pm - 9pm
The sexy and lickable Chef Ludo Lefebvre is back with even more foie gras, and this time he's mobile. Heard he's serving up a foie gras & corn soup, foie gras beignets and a foie gras terrine sandwich with celery root remoulade, apples, curry, diced fruit and crispy chicken skin. Wonder if he's also bringing back the foie ravioli from his now infamous foie gras pop-up at Animal? Domaine LA 6801 Melrose Ave [EaterWire]

Saturday, 12/3
ColLAboration Craft Beer Garden: Winter Wonderland
this event has sadly fallen prey to the winds & has been cancelled.
It's back!!! L.A.’s small-but-mighty craft beer scene is coming to a head. Some of the biggest names in L.A.’s acclaimed craft beer industry (Tony’s Darts Away, Verdugo Bar, 38 Degrees, Surly Goat, Blue Palms, and Mohawk Bend) are joining forces to bring you: COLLABORATION, a series of pop-up mobile craft beer gardens where true beer enthusiasts can gather and enjoy the best in brews under the warm California sun. And it's now time for a little Winter Wonderland themed. Golden Road Brewing 5410 N. San Fernando Rd West, Los Angeles, CA 90039

Drink & Hunt: Show Me the Snow Hunt
2pm Start Time
Drink & Hunt combines the thrill of a live scavenger hunt and the fun of a pub crawl rolled together into our very own web-enhanced game accessed via your Internet enabled phone (iPhone, Android, Blackberry). Drink & Hunt provides an exciting social atmosphere that you can enjoy with your friends, family or co-workers. With 6 bars & an after party with prizes, this is sure to be an awesome time. Team Cloak & Dinner is hunting this time around, so we'll be sure to report back. If you want to join, entry is $30 and our team is McNuggetini (thanks A&G) Hennessey's, 8 Pier Avenue, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

6th Annual Los Feliz Village Holiday Festival
Los Feliz Village's Eclectic Annual Holiday Festival Features lots of incredible Gifts, Cheer and Goodwill. Complimentary Trolley and Open Air Bus transport revelers around the Village's main streets of Hillhurst and Vermont Avenues and Hollywood Boulevard. Carolers, puppeteers and Santa himself create mirth and an unforgettable holiday experience. Admission is free to public. 1874 Hillhurst Avenue, Los Angeles, CA

Irregular Wine Tasting
Get thee to the Echoplex, aka the Julius Shulman Memorial Hall, this night for the forty-third edition of Irregular Wine Tasting, an adult-beverage haiku about which Lt. Cheryl MacWillie of the Los Angeles County coroner’s office never said: “I’ve got nothing against her personally, but Flo, the fictional cashier in the regressive insurance TV commercials, was an a–hole as far as the A-bomb was concerned.” This evening we pair five wines from Planet Vagina with four suicides from Suicide Club, then segue seamlessly into SuicideGirls presents Summer Suicide, featuring “beautiful naked punk rock, goth & emo girls with tattoos & piercings.” $20/person The Echoplex 1154 Glendale Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90026

Sunday, 12/4
Pig & Pints
1pm to 4pm
Who said nothing eventful happens between Thanksgiving and Christmas? On December 4 from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m., Food GPS presents a lazy Sunday at Biergarten that combines three of my favorite things: pork, craft beer and ice cream. The casual event features a whole Filipino-style roast pig from Neri’s Curbside Cravings, seasonal sides from Biergarten executive chef Eddie Hah. Attendees will also receive two pints of California craft beer – Ballast Point Sculpin IPA and The Lost Abbey Red Barn – plus a special flavor of Scoops ice cream involving a certain Belgian beer, crafted by ice cream wizard Tai Kim. $30/person Biergarten 206 N. Western Avenue

Cole’s Red Car Bar 103rd birthday
All Night
Remember when alcohol was illegal and you had to distill your own White Dog to catch a cool buzz? Of course you don’t! It’s been quite a long time since Prohibition was repealed, but to celebrate the anniversary of this glorious day we are throwing a bash that may go down in history. Starting at 9pm, Cole’s, in conjunction with its 103rd birthday, will be kicking off the evening with a Repeal Day for the masses. Not only will there be a life size ice bathtub filled with Gin, but a live 3 piece jazz band, cocktail competition and last but not least, free French Dip sandwiches for the first 200 guests. Get in here and have a toast to, well… being able to toast with alcohol. Cole's Downtown 118 East 6th Street
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Monday, 12/5
"Sip, Smoke, & Savor" Paul Marie et Fils Dinner Event
8pm - 10pm
Join us in celebration of life's finest pleasures at Hollywood's most enthralling and exclusive venue, La Descarga. We'll be joined by the incredible Nicolas Palazzi, Cognac's new golden boy. Mr. Palazzi is known for bucking the trend and beguiling his competitors. He has breathed new life into France's most prestigious and circumspect AOC. Nicolas is one of the only importers and bottlers of Cognac that is committed to selling brandies unadulterated by additives and produced by true artisan masters of the craft. Palazzi will lead a tasting of his finest imports including a Paul Beau VSOP Cocktail, the Paul Beau Hors d'Age ($130), Guillon Painturaud Hors d'Age ($300), Paul Marie "Faultline" K&L Exclusive ($129.99) Paul Marie "Devant La Porte" ($600, 98 points Robert Parker), and super rare vintage bottling yet to be announced, think pre-1930s and totally priceless. You're ticket will get you unlimited tacos and quesadilla from one of SoCal's best Taqueria. Finally, you'll be treated to two of La Descarga's finest custom hand rolled cigars, to be enjoyed with your cognac at their beautiful outdoor cigar bar. This will be a once in a lifetime oppurtunity to taste some of the world's finest brandies and celebrate life with great food and unique cigars. Space is incredibly limited. Tickets are $70 La Descarga 1159 North Western Avenue Los Angeles

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thanksgiving Stuffed Croissant!

Thanksgiving... that delicious time of the year when all of the classics make their appearance in abundant quantities only to sooth hungry eaters into a tryptophan induced slumber, before they wake up to a household filled with leftovers and only so many trips down Thanksgiving lane before they're sick of the turkey, stuffing, yam and cranberry combo.

Determined to not fall prey to the usual pitfall of reheating the same meal over & over, only to eventually throw out plates of week old turkey, I wanted to figure out a new way to snack on delicious Thanksgiving leftovers without feeling like I was stuck in a rut.  Then Momofuku walked in and saved the day.  Serious Eats posted a video of their November only Milk Bar Thanksgiving Croissant. Stuffing flavored croissant, minced turkey, gravy & mashed potatoes, sold.  The idea was great, but not going to lie, the execution looked a little, well, muddy.  I'm sure they taste fantastic, but visually they were pretty unappealing. I was missing the bright colors I normally associate with Thanksgiving, the deep red cranberry sauce, the bright green beans, the sweet orange yams etc.  So I decided to try it out for myself, but with a few of my own tweaks! 

Step 1: Portion out your leftovers into little stacks about the size of an iPhone, layering mashed potatoes, with stuffing, turkey, green beans and finally topping with a dollop of mushed yams.  Also add a few scoops of cranberry jam to the plate & freeze overnight. 

Step 2: Being lazy I started with store bought puff pastry, but this did inspire me to want to try and make my own croissants from scratch one day.  Let it come to room temperature & set aside.  Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Step 3: Cut your pastry in half on the bias to make two large triangles.  You might have to stretch them out a little to get them into an isosceles shape.  At the flat end, load up your frozen ingredients.  Then start rolling neatly, making sure to seal in the gaps. 

Step 4: Lay your Croissant on a greased cookie sheet.  Brush with an egg wash & then bake for about 15 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.

Step 5: Let them cook on a wire rack & then serve while warm.

Step 6: Enjoy!!!

p.s. these also travel really well, keep refrigerated after they've cooled and then re-heat in a hot oven (or toaster oven) for 2-3 minutes.
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