Thursday, May 26, 2011

a cupcake haiku

just so heavenly
i salivate when i see
one of your cupcakes

~ Allison Friedman ~

hehe, an adorable haiku from our rockstar intern :-)  
thanks allison!!


Monday, May 23, 2011

Cupcake of the Week: SPAMcakes || Week 19

Now I  know many of you are going to read this & be like "oh NO she didn't!" But really... you know me.  This cupcake should come as no surprise.

Spam is to Hawaiians what Bacon is to the rest of America... that slightly taboo, insanely bad for you, yet insanely delicious meat item which make sudden appearances in truly baffling foods.  Wandering around Hawaiian food stands one can find Spam in everything from hamburgers to grilled cheese to sushi to salads to brown sugared desserts, so why not in cupcakes?

Now before you go and get your panties in a bunch, no I didn't slide to the sweet side of the scale.  Instead I re-purposed Spam into my cupcake-fied version of a loco-moco.  Plus I've been toying with the idea of using a Yaki Onigiri as the base of a cupcake for quite a while.  There's a "Japanese Eggs Benedict" recipe that's been brewing in the back of my mind.

So without further ado, let me introduce to you... the SPAMcake.

SPAMcake
prep 20 mins || cook 25 mins || yield 6 servings
  • 1 tin of SPAM
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 small clove of garlic finely minced
  • Furikake or sesame seeds for garnish
First, cook your rice.  Set aside & let cool.  In a frying pan, lightly cook your slices of spam, so the outside is slightly charred but the inside is still pink. Place in a food processor (or use a bowl + immersion blender) and pulse until smooth.  Add in the whipping cream & continue to mix until it's developed a creamy & spreadable consistency.  Set aside.

In a metal cupcake tin, use a little bit of the sesame oil to grease the sides and then spoon about half a cup of rice into each tin, being sure to press the rice down firmly.  Once you've made your "cupcake" bases, in a frying pan pour about a teaspoon of sesame oil into the pan on med-low heat and cook your yaki onigiri, carefully flipping them with a spatula, until the outsides are nicely browned & crisp.  Set on a paper towel to drain.

While you're frying your rice balls, turn your oven on to broil.  Crack an egg into each of your (still oiled, but add more if necessary) cupcake tin.  Bake your eggs for 5-7 minutes or until the whites have cooked through and the yolk is a little runny. 

In a microwave safe bowl, heat your sugar, soy sauce & garlic in 15 second intervals, stirring at each junction, until the sugar has completely melted & is starting to reduce.  This is how you make teriyaki sauce!  You want your sauce to be thick enough to drizzle, but not too reduced or it will turn to candy. 

Assemble your SPAMcakes, first the Yaki Onigiri "cupcake" base, followed by a cooked egg & topped with your spam mixture (you can use a frosting piping bag for a pretty design).  Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top and finish the dish with a drizzle of Teriyaki sauce.  Enjoy!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Weekend Docket: 5/20/11

Phew, there are lot of fun events going on this weekend!  I'm going to try and cram as many as possible into what feels like an already bloated weekend.  Tonight, checking out Stella Rossa Pizza Bar and M Street Kitchen with LoveOnTheGo and then heading to Rosewood Tavern with IsaacZucca and SeanBrogan. Tomorrow, heading to DTLA for some RedBull Boxcar Derby... grabbing dinner with the fam & then checking out Kate Sullivan's sold-out production of RENT!  As for Sunday, I do have to catch up on my reading at some point... right?

All Weekend
Character Project Short Film Series
Fri-Sun 10am-10pm
USA Network is bringing a unique fusion of indie film & contemporary art to Los Angeles with an exhibition of eight short films, celebrating the characters – from all walks of life – who make this country unique. You can view the Character Project Short Film Series all weekend long at The Brig in Venice. Plus, the digitally-skilled can win pretty cool prizes (like an Apple TV or a Canon EOS 7D Camera) by posting their Foursquare check-in to Twitter. The Brig: 1515 Abbot Kinney Blvd http://characterproject.usanetwork.com/


The Everything to do with Sex Show
May 20th - 22nd
The Everything to do with Sex Show is coming to Los Angeles on May 20th to 22nd, 2011. Look forward to new and exciting stage and fashion shows, as well as our highly informative educational seminars presented by industry professionals. Experience the Dungeon and learn more about the local fetish community. Our vendors are excited to offer the newest and greatest products, from the hottest toys to teeth whitening and everything in between. The Show promises to be a blast for everyone aged 21-91! Los Angeles Convention Center Downtown http://la.everythingtodowithsex.com/

Silver Lake Jubilee
Sat 10am-11pm, Sun 10am-9pm
Silver Lake Jubilee is LAAAA’s largest fundraiser showcasing the unique artistic character and culture of the Silver Lake community and surrounding neighborhoods. The event offers the best of local and regional music, and an interactive and educational experience to attendees of all ages. This year’s programming features 50+ bands, comedy and theatrical performances, literary readings and book signings, Eco and Children’s Villages, film screenings, gourmet food trucks, beer gardens, street art, and a variety of craft vendors. Music production by SLJ 2011-Music Advisory Committee, Origami Vinyl and Spaceland Productions.  Silverlake www.silverlakejubilee.com

Friday, 5/20
Beer Belly Opening in K-Town
5pm - close
In case you're looking for a new joint to wash down the after-taste of Live Seafood, you should check out Beer Belly, a craft beer bar that's opening today in K-town. From what I hear it's a nice space with a parking (yay) and lots of local brews from Eagle Rock Brewery & The Bruery downtown.  Their kitchen will also have a selection of small menu bites, I'm thinking of the cooked variety.  Can't you tell I'm a little traumatized by my last experience in K-Town? Beer Belly - 532 S. Western Ave., L.A., CA http://www.beerbellyla.com/

The Market in Santa Monica Place Opening
all day
From EaterLA: Et voila, the grand reveal of The Market which opened this morning at 10AM on the third level Dining Deck of Santa Monica Place! Foodies, westside residents, and curious consumers alike packed the breezy, open market for tastes from Rockewagner Bakery, N'Ice Cream, Groundwork Coffee, Beachy Cream, The Curious Palate, The Cookie Guru, Primi Al Mercato, Norcino Salumeria Cheese Bar, L'Artisan du Chocolate, Venokado, and The Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories (which is actually offering a Daily Candy deal today for 53% off baking classes). Non-edible retailers include Magical Blooms, a flower shop, and Benedetta Fresh Aromatherapeutics, an organic skincare company. It's crazy, there's been buzz on this opening since back in December of 2009 when word officially broke, now here we are a year and a half later and The Market is finally up and running. There's also an Artisinal LA pop-up taking over this weekend. Santa Monica Place, Level 3, 395 Santa Monica Place http://www.santamonicaplace.com/

Rosewood Tavern Opening
5pm - 2am
In the continuation of place I'm excited to see open... From EaterLA: And here now, the full reveal inside Rosewood Tavern, George Abou-Daoud's neighborhood steakhouse set with exposed brick, painted brick, a long communal dining table, two and four-tops -- all of which lend a sort of gastropub-y feel. The design here doesn't stray too far from many of Abou-Daoud's Hollywood haunts like The Bowery and District, both of which bear that similar hip neighborhood pub feel. Do we perceive a hint of NYC in there? Anyway, the beer list is posted on that chalkboard above the brown banquette, there's some local pulls from Eagle Rock, Craftsman, and Stone, in addition to a range of Scotch and Irish whiskey (plus a full bar, fyi). In addition to New York Strip, Filet, Herb Marinated Skirt Steak, Pork Chops, Rack of Lamb, look for Green Lip Steamed Mussels with Lemongrass and Ginger, and Buratta with Heirloom Tomatoes, Arugula & Sunflower Seeds. Rosewood Tavern: 448 North Fairfax Avenue http://rosewoodtavern.com/

Saturday, 5/21
The Pirate Festival
1pm - 5pm
From Caroline on Crack: A celebration of Rum, Beer, Vodka, Tequila, Pirates and wenches with the best entertainment in Los Angeles. Taking place at the Olympic Collection in West LA with entrainment by the real pirates of the Caribbean Pirates for Hire and the #1 Band in southern California Adam’s Attic. The event benefits the Children’s Tumor Foundation. Tickets are $30 pre-sale $50 at the door. The Olympic Collection 11301 Olympic Blvd.  http://piratefestival.net/

The Shining at Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Gates 7:30pm, Movie 8:30pm
The Hollywood Forever Cemetery screenings are back!  And what a perfect way to greet the Rapture than with a screening of the always terrifying THE SHINING whilst surrounded by some ghostly friends?  Pretty much everyone knows about the cemetery screenings so I'm not going to drone on and on about them, and really, if you have no idea what I'm talking about... ask your friend.  $10 tickets online or at door. Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles http://www.cinespia.org/calendar/

The Minty's hosting a Banh Mi Crawl
Starting at 11am
The Minty, one of my favorite LA Bloggers hosts these amazing crawls... (they started with hot bartenders & have now worked their way to delicious food) and she's doing her next installment, a Banh Mi crawl around Chinatown! There's a bunch of hot spots on the list, including Jonathan Gold's favorite Buu Dien and ending with cocktails at the Spice Table.  Be sure to RSVP and let her know you're coming.  Start Location: 642 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012 http://theminty.com/2011/05/05/may-minty-crawl-banh-mi-baby/

Red Bull Soapbox Race
Pits open at 11AM, first race at 1PM
Not to be confused with the youth soapbox derby, Red Bull Soapbox Race is a national race for amateur drivers, which is fueled by creativity and competitive fun - not to mention the need for speed. This unique non-motorized racing event challenges both experienced racers and amateurs alike to design and build outrageous, human-powered soapbox dream machines and compete against the clock in a downhill race. Red Bull Soapbox Race Los Angeles will race down S Grand Avenue and W 5th Street in Downtown Los Angeles (right near Pershing Square Park) http://www.redbullsoapboxusa.com/


DANCESPACE
Starting at 6:30pm
On May 21st, join us at Level 3 in Hollywood for "a night of creation for a cause we believe in". The twelfth production of DANCESCAPE will feature dancers of all ages - from youngins to professional and renowned artists - engaging in contemporary, hip-hop, belly dance, jazz, burlesque, acrobatic, and many more performance styles. All proceeds are used to promote and maintain much needed arts programs in our public schools. Support your fellow dancers in generating change, keeping the arts alive, and simply enjoying an evening of talent, possibility and transformation! More information and discounted pre-sale tickets are available at www.DancescapeLA.com. Even if you are not able to attend, by purchasing a ticket, you are supporting the cause: 100% of DANCESCAPE proceeds are donated to local classrooms and organizations.

Sunday, 5/22
2011 Margerum/ In N Out Tasting Event
1pm to 4pm
Wine pairings with an In N Out double double?  What craziness is this?  The brainchild of the famed Wally's Wines on Westwood of course.  Wally’s is again throwing an afternoon summer kickoff party pairing the classic Double Double with a selection of wines from Central Coast superstar winemaker Doug Margerum. Join winemaker Doug Margerum as he pours his selection of twenty eleven wines including M5, Rose, Pinot Gris Klickitat, Sauvignon Blanc Sybarite, Syrah UBER, Happy Canyon Chukker and more. $29 Wally's Wine - 2107 Westwood Blvd - Los Angeles, CA www.wallywine.com

Flavors of Los Angeles
Starting at 5pm
The fifth annual Flavors of Los Angeles event spotlights premier chefs and restaurants to raise funds for the American Liver Foundation. Flavors guests will experience a five course culinary extravaganza prepared tableside with wine pairings prepared by the top ten restaurants and chefs in Los Angeles, including: Host Chef and Executive Chef, Shigefumi Tachibe, Chaya Downtown; Chef Chef John Sedlar, Rivera and Playa; Executive Chef Kevin Meehan, Café Pinot; Executive Chef Jean Froncois Meiteigner, La Cachette Bistro; Executive Chef Mirko Paderno, Oliverio at the Avalon. A limited number of individual seats ($275) are available. City National Bank Plaza - Downtown Los Angeles 555 South Flower Street Flavors of Los Angeles.

The 31st Annual Picnic Des Chefs
11:30am-4:30pm
The 31st Annual Picnic Des Chefs is a wonderful day for the whole family under the trees surrounded by mountains and nature. LA’s top chefs will treat you to a culinary discovery tour without leaving the city. The party will start at 11:30 am with apéritifs and lunch followed by a raffle at 3:30 PM. Heated pool with giant water slide, drawing contest, games, volley ball, soccer, petanque competition, dress-up photo ops by Star Photo Party and a moon bounce land. French DJ and Live Music. Bring sunscreen, hats, beach chairs, picnic blankets. Plenty of free parking. Adults are $50, kids 10-21 are $25, and kids 3-10 are $10. Vasa Park in Agoura Hills http://www.clubculinaire.us/

Monday, 5/23
Outdoor Screening of Back to the Future + Cocktails
Starting at 8pm
From Caroline on Crack: Watching the Oscars on the outdoor patio of Big Bar was fun, can’t wait to check out one of my favorite ’80s movies here. Enjoy Back to the Future on a 12-foot-high screen along with Zaya Rum and Fernet cocktails. Those who go so far as to show up dressing up like Marty or Doc have a chance of winning a prize!  Big Bar, 1927 Hillhurst Avenue, Los Angeles http://www.alcovecafe.com/bigbar/

Welcome to the Pheast || 5.13.11

A week ago I attended my first underground dining experience.  I'll admit I was a little late on the jump with the whole "underground" scene, having heard tales of the starry kitchen's humble beginnings and only catching on to the wolvesden dinners once they'd reached the mainstream, but when I saw that two of my favorite food bloggers, kevinEats and Epicuryan had reviewed a new club I knew that this was bound to be the next big thing.  And so I emailed.  And tweeted.  And lo & behold while rocking out at the KT Tunstall concert I got my invite!

A 10 seat, 10 course meal, cooked entirely by the talented and self-taught *gasp* Isaiah.  
I’m a hillbilly from Tennessee, taught myself to cook using food stamps and poverty as lever and impetus to find myself and my voice through cooking...

I have mucho friends across the world so I’m thinking let’s drop the egos, chefs! Come together with our stars and design this thing. The time is ripe for all manner of punk cuisine and dining experiences. When you come to one of my dinners, you’re coming to a concert. And if I’m collaborating with another chef, you’re watching a duo. This is a night to remember. You meet random, cool people.. you might even meet YOUR next collaborator… ;D
The dinner was absolutely fantastic (granted I'm not the most harsh of critics, I pretty much love everything that's tasty... maybe with the exception of live octopus) and there's a full recap of the dinner after the break! (CLICK ON THE READ MORE!!)

** If you'd like to attend... email Isaiah at thepheast@gmail.com to get on the list.**
** You can also follow his exploits by following The Pheast on Facebook **

Cupcake of the Week: The Monte Cristo Cupcake || Week 18

This time I went outside of the box... way outside of the box.

I mean, really.  This sandwich was just asking to be made into a cupcake... turkey & cheese wrapped in a blanket of french toast and dusted with powdered sugar and jam?  Sweet, savory & insane.  All qualifications of things I love to toy with.  And the best part?  I think with a little tweaking this could be Grilled Cheese Invitational worthy for our honey pot entry in 2012.

And so.  Here it is.  The Monte Cristo Cupcake.

Monte Cristo Cupcake
yield 1 dozen mini cupcakes || 20 minutes prep; 15 minutes cook
  • 6 slices of bread
  • 6 slices of turkey (or ham)
  • 1 wedge of gouda (sliced into 6 even slices)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbsp whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • toothpicks
  • shot glass
  • deep fryer (or tiny pot filled with vegetable oil)
Assembling the Sandwiches

using your shot glass as a cookie cutter, cut 4 rounds out of each slice of bread, 4 rounds out of each slice of turkey and 2 rounds out of each slice of gouda.  stack your mini sandwiches, slice of bread, slice of turkey, slice of cheese, slice of turkey, slice of bread.  insert a toothpick in the center to hold it all together when you fry it.  

Deep Frying the Suckers

either bring your deep fryer up to 350degrees or heat up your olive oil to 350.  (if you don't have a thermometer, test your oil heat by dropping in a tiny spoonful of the egg wash.  it should brown fairly quickly, but not burn)  in a bowl, whisk together your eggs, milk & vanilla extract. carefully dip each sandwich in the egg wash, coating entirely, and then drop it in the fryer until it's nice & browned on all sides.  lay the cooked sandwich on a plate with paper towels to soak up any extra oil.

Lingonberry (or any other jam you like) Frosting
  • 1 box of powdered sugar
  • 1 stick of softened butter
  • 2 tbsp of milk
  • 1/4 cup lingonberry jam 
in a bowl whip your butter until it's nice and fluffy.  slowly add in the powdered sugar & milk until you've formed a nice & stiff frosting.  then mix in the jam until you have a spreadable consistency.  top your cupcakes with a dollop of frosting and enjoy both hot or cold (it works either way!!!)

And now for another installment of FOODIES || Adventures with Live Seafood!

If you didn't think penis shaped pigs tails could be topped... well then you were wrong. The next challenge for Michael Levinson & Gloria Fan's FOODIES group was a trip to K-Town for a little sushi, Oldboy style.

Rolling up to the restaurant Chung Hae Jin in a strip mall right next to our beloved Boiling Crab, it's hard place to find as the only indication that you're in the right spot is a sign proclaiming "Live Seafood."  We'd been sent the menu ahead of time...

Mixed Sashimi
Sea Squirt (a foodies favorite)
Top Shell (Sea Snails)
Abalone
Halibut Sashimi
Roll + Sushi
Lobster Sashimi
Live Octopus 
Spicy Fish Stew
Grilled Mackerel

So of course I went to the google to get a glimpse into the meal ahead.  Live Octopus, or Sannakji is a fairly popular raw dish in Korean cuisine.  It consists of live nakji (small octopus) who's tentacles have been cut into small pieces and served immediately, usually lightly seasoned with sesame and sesame oil. The nakji pieces are usually still squirming on the plate. Sometimes it can also be served whole. Thank god that's not how we were eating it.

Because the suction cups on the arm pieces are still active when the dish is served, special care should be taken when eating sannakji. The active suction cups can cause swallowed pieces of arm to stick to the mouth or throat. This can also present a choking hazard for some people, particularly if they are intoxicated. One must thoroughly chew so that no piece is big enough to stick to one's throat. Some people like the feel of the pieces wriggling as swallowed, and so will not completely chew up the particles. Those who are new to eating sannakji should completely chew it up into tiny particles before swallowing. - Wikipedia
But let's back up a little bit.  I knew that the sannakji would be the highlight of the meal, but there were so many other crazy & strange delicacies that need to be discussed.  We started with a tasty bite of sashimi salad, a warm clam & ennoki soup and a bunch of soju & sparkling rice wine to get us nice and relaxed before the battle ahead. 

Then to whet our raw taste-buds they served up some fairly traditional oysters spiked with a dot of hot sauce. Next came a huge plate piled with extremely fresh & flavorful sashimi, and a tray of this oishii flat fish whose name I didn't quite catch because I was too busy looking at the Sea Cucumbers.  (update, per my google searching... I think it was Halibut sashimi)

Once our bellies were nice and coated with a sampling of the ordinary, out came the parade of the extraordinary.  First, there was the plate of Sea Squirt & Top Shell Sea Snails... "described by journalist Nick Tosches as 'something that could exist only in a purely hallucinatory eco-system' and their peculiar taste, described as 'something like iodine' and 'rubber dipped in ammonia.' However, aficionados claim that the taste is well suited to serving with sake."  Ahh now it all makes sense.  To me it tasted more like a rubbery oyster, maybe they washed it slightly?  The sea snails were a little chewy but not unpleasant.  I think the gross thing was digging them out of the shell with a toothpick.

Then, out came the Lobster Sashimi.  Let me explain how this is prepared... they take a whole, live lobster, chop off his head & his claws, throw them on a bed of ice, and then while the tail is still moving, they scoop out the flesh, slice it into thin strips and then serve it back in the same shell.  It's a little (read a LOT) unnerving to eat the sashimi with mr. lobster's guilty eyes starring right at you.

But that was nothing compared to the octopus that literally FOUGHT its way down your throat.  The suction cups were still going strong as the plate of wiggling tentacles made its way to the table, and you could feel them grasping to the last strings of life as you chewed them up whole.  It's truly a ridiculous feeling, putting something still moving in your mouth.  Glad I can say I've done it & survived.  Not sure that eating Sannakji again is going to make an appearance in my food rotation anytime soon. 

We ended with some tempura, grilled mackerel and a spicy soup made from the remnants of the zombie lobster to finish the meal.  All in all, if you're looking for an adventure, this is the place to go!

Chung Hae Jin
3470 W 6th St
Los Angeles, CA
(213) 384-5825

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

BBQ Oysters from Little Dom's @ Taste of the Eastside

Yesterday, one of my favorite parks in Los Angeles played host to a slew of "eastside" restros showcasing tasty bites & colorful cocktails.  Taste of the Eastside in it's 3rd iteration was held at the gorgeous Barnsdall Art Park (home to Frank Llyod Wright's Hollyhock House) on Sunday May 15th...

On a whim, Loveonthego & I decided to check it out, so we headed over to the eastside, dropped the $25 entrance fee for a handful of tasting tickets & nommed away.  There were certainly some tasty treats & fanciful bites scattered amongst the booths with Malo & Pharmacie whipping up gorgeous cocktails out on the lawn.  However there was ONE thing that stood out from the crowd...

Little Dom's, kid brother to Dominick's on Beverly (one of my absolute favorites) taught me a little sumthang-sumthang about food that day.  And really, it seems so simple, yet so heartwarmingly delicious.  BBQed Oysters!

Yes, you heard me right.

Now when I walked by their booth & saw that on the chalkboard, I figured they'd whipped up a little BBQ flavored Mignonette which sounded interesting... so I dropped my tickets on the table and slurped up a mouthful.  What I was treated to was a warm, smoky, buttery and ocean-y bite of heaven.  But Warm Oysters?  I didn't see any heating apparatus in the back of the tent, so praying that I hadn't just guzzled one that was sitting in the sun for too long, we followed the ribbons of smoke floating through the air back to a *gasp* charcoal grill flaming the delicate shells.

Topped with a dollop of spiced butter, each oyster was dropped on the grill for a few minutes, just enough to melt the butter, smoke up the oyster and achieve the perfect balance of savory & happy.  One thing we noticed however was that a few oysters decided that it was just too hot to handle, jumping out of their shells before they finished cooking!  What a sad sad way to fail.  If the floor wasn't covered in dirt, I certainly would have scooped them up to give them the love they deserved.

So... Little Dom's if this is how you're playing it, it might be high time for a trek out to the dreaded Eastside for another plateful of these suckers.

Little Dom's
2128 Hillhurst Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027-2012
(323) 661-0055
www.littledoms.com

Monday, May 16, 2011

Cupcake of the Week: Coffee & Cinnamon Cupcake || Week 17

I realize these are a little "boring" considering my normal wheel-house of creations, but these are a favorite of my boyfriends, so I whipped up a little batch for his/my old boss' birthday!  They're pretty easy and SUPER tasty, a surefire favorite in my sea of strange.

Coffee & Cinnamon Cupcake
yield 1 dozen cupcakes || 20 minutes prep; 25 minutes cook
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup espresso (or dark dark coffee)
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. in a bowl mix together all of the ingredients except the cinnamon and brown sugar.  in a separate tiny bowl, mix the cinnamon & brown sugar to make a nice crumble. line your cupcake tray and fill each cupcake 1/3 of the way full.  then spoon on a sprinkle of your cinnamon mixture.  fill your cupcake tin to 2/3 of the way full so there's a ribbon of cinnamon sugar in the middle of your cupcake. bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. this recipe will yield 1 dozen cupcakes.

cinnamon frosting
  • 1/2 cup (one stick) of butter
  • 1 box of powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2-3 tbsp whole milk
in a bowl whip the softened butter until it's nice and smooth. slowly incorporate the powdered sugar, cinnamon & milk, alternating until you've reached your desired consistency. pipe on little flowers of frosting for a pretty finish.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Weekend Docket: 5/13/11

Beautiful Photography from Epicuryan who attended the first Pheast.
THERE IS ONLY ONE THING YOU SHOULD BE DOING THIS WEEKEND, and that is going to the Hollywood Beer Pong Tournament Tomorrow. For those of you who haven't been paying attention to my mass email spamming, the tournament is full. But you can still come & cheer on your favorite teams and compete in the Costume Contest for baskets o booze & free dinner @ Delphine's in Hollywood!

As for me... I'm part-taking in what sounds like a deliciously bad idea the night before Beer Pong, but I can't turn down an invitation to the Pheast, the newest underground supper club to hit the streets. Will post a full review next week!

All Weekend
25th Annual Bug Fair
Saturday & Sunday
In celebration of all things winged and creepy-crawly, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) will host its 25th annual Bug Fair. The biggest bug festival in North America, this insect extravaganza gives visitors hundreds of things to see and do — including live animal presentations, workshops, crafts, bug chef demonstrations, and back by popular demand, cockroach races. Nearly 70 exhibitors fill the Museum’s halls to display and sell thousands of items including live and preserved insect specimens. From books to supplies to insect-related products and art, if it bugs you, it’s here. Natural History Museum | Exposition Park http://www.nhm.org/site/activities-programs/bug-fair

Saturday, 5/14


Saturday, May 14th, 2011
5PM ~ 2AM
Capitol City – Hollywood
1615 North Cahuenga Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90028-6201
(323) 465-1750
  • Maximum 6 teams per company (it's ok to have less)
  • Each TEAM is allowed 1 Alternate (for Game Day)
  • $40 Per Team covers all table beer as long as you're playing.
  • There are a limited number of spots (128 teams), once we reach capacity, that’s it!
  • Costumes/Uniforms are STRONGLY encouraged
HOW THE TOURNAMENT WORKS

This year we are upping the ante... 128 teams competing for Hollywood Beer Pong glory.  There will be 8 brackets, each consisting of 16 teams.  Aside from no two teams from the same company competing in the same bracket, all times / positions will be allocated randomly.  The winning team from each of the 8 brackets will then move onto the finals.

REGISTRATION: The tournament is FULL!

RULES: Please read our new and improved rules for the 7th Annual Hollywood Beer Pong Tournament at our website http://www.hollywoodbeerpong.com/p/hollywood-beer-pong-rules.html.  We have changed a few things this year, including information about DQs and Wait-Lists.  

GAME DAY: As we get closer to the tournament, each registered team will receive detailed instructions with regards to the schedule for Game Day, including the brackets which will also be posted to the website.

PRIZES: We are still working out the details on the prize packages.  For up to the minute information you can follow us on Twitter @hollywoodbpong

Sunday, 5/15
Taste of the Eastside at Barnsdall Art Park 1pm to 5pm
Join us in the beautiful Barnsdall hilltop garden for an afternoon filled with amazing food, wine, beer and music. This event will showcase the best of independent restaurants primarily from the neighborhoods of Silver Lake, Echo Park, Atwater, Eagle Rock, Los Feliz, Downtown, and Highland Park. Our taste-size portions let you sample many different restaurants and find new venues for eating out, while each participating restaurant will have the opportunity to provide samples of their signature dishes and discover new customers.
Barnsdall Art Park, 4800 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz; tasteoftheeastside.com


Looking Forward
On May 21st, join us at Level 3 in Hollywood for "a night of creation for a cause we believe in". The twelfth production of DANCESCAPE will feature  dancers of all ages - from youngins to professional and renowned artists - engaging in contemporary, hip-hop, belly dance, jazz, burlesque, acrobatic, and many more performance styles. All proceeds are used to promote and maintain much needed arts programs in our public schools.  Support your fellow dancers in generating change,  keeping the arts alive, and simply enjoying an evening of talent,  possibility and transformation!  More information and discounted pre-sale tickets are available at www.DancescapeLA.comEven if you are not able to attend, by purchasing a ticket, you are supporting the cause:  100% of DANCESCAPE proceeds are donated to local classrooms and organizations.  

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Cupcake of the Week: BubbleTea CupCakes || Week 16

** That's annoying... Blogger, thanks for deleting my post! **

After stumbling across a bag of rainbow tapioca pearls, I wanted to pay homage to one of my favorite drinks, the infamous bubble-tea or Boba.  Generally consisting of a nice creamy milk tea paired with a delicate & chewy collection of tapioca balls, this drink brings back many memories of sneaking off-campus in high school, and holding all out boba wars in the student union apres school.  (hint, a sticky bubble tea ball makes a nice alternative to a spit-ball)

BubbleTea CupCakes
yield 2 dozen mini cupcakes || 20 minutes prep; 25 minutes cook
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk-tea
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 bag of black tea leaves

pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. in a bowl mix together all of the ingredients, except the black tea leaves.  to make the milk-tea, combine equal parts whole milk with strongly brewed black tea. line your mini cupcake tray and fill each cupcake 2/3 of the way full.  sprinkle a pinch of black tea leaves on top of each cupcake. bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. this recipe will yield 2 dozen minis.

Milky Frosting + Boba Garnish
  • 1/2 cup (one stick) of butter
  • 1 box of powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp whole milk
  • 1/2 cup tapioca pearls
in a bowl whip the softened butter until it's nice and smooth. slowly incorporate the powdered sugar & milk, alternating until you've reached your desired consistency. set aside &

first off there are two options for buying tapioca pearls, the first are the traditional brown ones that you find in most bubbletea drinks.  those involve carefully heating to a certain temperature, and delicately monitoring the bubbles to ensure that they reach the desired texture & consistency in what sounds like a lot of work.  the other option are the rainbow pearls, which take all of 5 minutes to prepare.  boil water. dump a handful into the boiling water.  they're done when they've floated to the top!  voila!  plus they look a lot prettier on top of the cupcakes!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Weekend Docket: 5/6/11

It's my boyfriend's birthday!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the wonderful Zucca that completes my Iizuka :-).  [insert lolly o'fallon gag face here].  If you're in the area please join us at Harvard & Stone tonight for some cocktails and fun!

Other than that, there's a ton of Mother's Day plans... brunch, dinner, ANOTHER brunch... no I don't have that many mother's, but I do have that many grandmothers to celebrate.  Afterward, I do hope that I'll make it out to a Derby party Saturday night  & perhaps a quick trip to Unique LA for some fun new finds on Sunday. 

All Weekend
Unique LA (as reviewed on Blogging.LA)
May 7th & 8th (11am – 6pm)
Fretting over finding that last minute, yet oh so perfect gift for your mother? Or perhaps you’re tired of going to the standard Mom-osa filled brunch & want to try something new… Well you’re in luck, this weekend the wonderful Sonja Rasula is putting in another installment of the coolest independent design & shopping show in the country, Unique LA. With over 300 designers & artists showcasing their wares over the course of two-days of fun filled shopping this is truly an event not to be missed. I know I always come home with armfuls of amazing finds, from jewelry, to purses, to ironic t-shirts for my boyfriend & one-of-a-kind “omg where did you FIND that” outfits for me. It’s also a great way to meet a ton of local designers, many of whom are right here in Los Angeles! Plus there are a ton of workshops & food vendors peddling all sorts of yummy treats camped out at the event. California Market Center’s Penthouse 110 E 9th St # A727 http://uniquela.com/

Friday, 5/6
First Fridays @ Abbot Kinney
6pm - 10pm
First Friday continues this wave of festivity! The fpocus for this month is at the south end of Abbot Kinney, just west of Venice Blvd.  Zingara and Robin's Sculpture Garden are 2 spots where locals go to for thisf ree monthly event. Robin's really is a wonderful garden featuring the sculptures of local artist, Robin Murez, while Zingara has women's and kids clothing, jewelry and accessories.  Check out the back patio for some 'mores and good company; it's a family friendly place. Secret- sale on Saturday! Stop to eat healthy and delicious food at Lemonade, at the corner of Venice. The seared ahi is amazing; you can order that with one of their many fresh salads and of course, a lemonade. They even have a watermelon lemonade. yummy and reasonably priced! Abbot Kinney, Venice http://www.abbotkinney1stfridays.com/

Saturday, 5/7
Kentucky Derby Viewing Party at the Los Angeles Athletic Club
1pm - 4pm
‘Hold Your Horses’ will feature large screen live feed of the 137th Kentucky Derby races, live Blue Grass & Gypsy Jazz music by Icy Hot Club, Kentucky-inspired specialty cocktails And Food, Whisky Tastings, Designer Hats, Equine Games, Prizes and More… Admission: $25/person (includes entry, complimentary Mint Julip, buffet, games and live entertainment) Call for Reservations: (213) 630-5200 Los Angeles Athletic Club, 431 W. 7th Street, Downtown Find out more details here.

Venice Garden & Home Tour
10am - 5pm
This annual self-guided walking tour will feature 30 gardens and homes in the charming, secluded Walk Streets neighborhood and streets south of Venice Boulevard. The tour is a showcase of how architects, landscape designers, and homeowners have crafted gardens and homes to make lovely living oases. These private spaces, sequestered behind carved wooden doors, contemporary metal gates and imaginative fences, are open to the public this one day of every year when tour-goers can walk the streets, meet and enjoy the community, and be inspired by the inventive design, surprising spirit and whimsy that is uniquely Venice. $60 in advance / $70 at the door. Las Doradas Children's Center 804 Broadway, Venice, CA 90291 http://www.venicegardentour.org/

Nom Nom Truck!!
Chocolate and Wine Tasting at Compartes
7pm - 9:30pm
Compartes is hosting a Chocolate & Wine Tasting for Mother's Day! Featuring hand-selected pairings of 4 wines & 4 specially made chocolates, join them for a night to remember at their chocolate factory! For Reservations: Email info [at] compartes.com or via phone at 310.826.3380. Treat Mom to an incredible evening filled with chocolate & wine! Moe's Fine Wines in Brentwood will be on hand to discuss the pairings and pour 4 incredible delicious wines for the event! $18 advance, $20 door. Compartes Chocolatier, 912 S. Barrington Avenue, Brentwood http://www.compartes.com/

The Santa Monica Festival
11am - 6pm
Commemorating its twentieth year, the Santa Monica Festival has evolved into a celebration of the unique intersection of art and the environment. Festival-goers can celebrate Mother Earth and all moms this Mother’s Day weekend with an eclectic mix of live music and dance, DIY art workshops utilizing recycled and repurposed materials, guilt-free shopping from vendors featuring earth-friendly artistic wares and local resources offered by a variety of City and local non-profit organizations. Clover Park, 2600 Ocean Park Blvd. http://arts.smgov.net/festival/SMF2011/index.htm

Free Comic Book Day
all day long!
The day that excites all comic book geeks... it's finally here.  Free Comic Book Day is a single day - the first Saturday in May each year - when participating comic book shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely FREE* to anyone who comes into their stores.  It's apparently grown by leaps and bounds and is bigger this year than any previous!  Check with your local shop for their participation and rules. Find a store near you participating here. http://www.freecomicbookday.com/

Tributefest
11am - 10pm
Indio has Coachella. Chicago has Lollapalooza. Now Santa Clarita will have Tributefest. The innaugural event will bring together 8 tribute bands covering some of the all time best bands, including the Beatles, U2, Journey, Dave Matthews Band, Tom Petty, The Police, Johnny Cash, and Elton John.  Each band will perform an hour set, covering top hits from each legendary band. With LA among the only cities in the world with a collection of top tributebands, the event will be a rare opportunity to see the closest performances to the real thing. In addition to the music, Tributefest will include 30 craft beers on tap and dozens of the increasingly popular food trucks as well as award-winning bbq. Santa Clarita Central Park 27150 Bouquet Canyon Rd. Santa Clarita, CA 91350 http://www.drinkeatplay.com/tributefest/

Dominick’s Crawfish Boil
12pm - 4pm
Back by popular demand, Chef Brandon Boudet is drawing on his New Orleans heritage to once again open the patio at Dominick’s for Dominick's Annual Crawfish Boil. Every Saturday in May, Chef Boudet will boil 300 lbs. of Louisiana crawfish in a large pot with seasonings such as salt, garlic, and cayenne pepper. Diners can also enjoy a selection of Boudet's New Orleans specialties such as Po’ Boys, Crawfish Boiled Artichokes with Remoulade and Dominick’s Dago Red and White Wines by the bottle, as well as the regular brunch menu. Dominicks Restaurant 8715 Beverly Boulevard http://www.dominicksrestaurant.com/

Sunday, 5/8
It's Mother's Day!
I hope you guys haven't waited this long to make your Mother's Day plans... but in case you're slacking, here are some awesome round-ups from EaterLA and FinerThingsLA my two go-tos for great deals!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cupcake of the Week: Royal as Fuck Cupcakes || Week 15

my friend steph/elise modeling the cupcakes
When some of my friends announced they were throwing a Fancy Dress party fit for Royalty the evening after the big nuptials, I knew I wanted to bring along something equally as decadent as my tiara I'd dug up from my high school prom.  So after a quick visit to Surfas & a purchase of Champagne flavored extract I was ready to bake up some cupcakes that were Royal as Fuck.

** in case you were wondering, the boyfriend used that term when wondering what kind of hat i'd found for him to wear... "it better be royal as fuck!" I found it to be extremely appropriate given the context of the party. **

Royal as Fuck Cupcakes || a.k.a. Chocolate Dipped Strawberries & Champagne
yield 2 dozen mini cupcakes || 20 minutes prep; 25 minutes cook
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons champagne extract
  • 8-10 small strawberries diced
pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. in a bowl mix together all of the ingredients. line your mini cupcake tray and fill each cupcake 2/3 of the way full. bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. this recipe will yield 2 dozen minis.

champagne frosting
  • 1/2 cup (one stick) of butter
  • 1 box of powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp champagne
in a bowl whip the softened butter until it's nice and smooth.  slowly incorporate the powdered sugar & champagne, alternating until you've reached your desired consistency. set aside & finish the garnish.

chocolate covered strawberries
  • box of mini strawberries, cleaned & dried
  • 1 lbs of chocolate
  • gold sprinkles
in a bowl over a double boiler (or in a microwave if you don't have a boiler) melt your chocolate.  dip each strawberry into the chocolate & then set onto a plate covered in wax paper.  toss on a pinch of gold sprinkles for an added kick of decadence and then place your plate into the refrigerator so the chocolate can harden.

assembly
spread frosting over each mini strawberry cupcake & then top with a chocolate covered strawberry.  serve with a flute of ice cold champagne. 
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