Happy Fall Friday!

It's hard to believe that this is the last weekend in September, mainly because it still feels like early August over here. I can't believe it's supposed to be in the high 90's next week...in OCTOBER! Meanwhile for those of you in cooler climates, enjoy the chill. Cuddle up in a sweater, have a hot cup of cider or coffee, and enjoy the changing leaves.

Or make a pumpkin spice latte at home, recipe here
Have a great weekend everyone!


JR's Barbeque

Living in Los Angeles certainly has it's ups and downs. Downs are mostly traffic and expensive rents, but one of the big pros is the variety of restaurants and the really great quality of food we get. I wouldn't say LA is really a BBQ town, but I also wouldn't say that it isn't. Us Angelenos definitely love BBQ, but we aren't a city that is oozing with great BBQ spots. Note to future restauranteurs- consider going into BBQ, there's clearly a shortage. We have been driving by the hole in the wall that is JR's Barbeque for quite some time and finally went for it. I usually only post about my most favorite dining experiences, and in an effort to always be honest with you, I'll just  lay it out there the way things are. I wouldn't say this was mind blowing, but it was good and satisfied the craving. I went for a pulled pork sandwich (of course) and it wasn't really hitting the flavors I was hoping for. This was saucy (and who doesn't like saucy?), but it was lacking the vinegar kick I really look for in my BBQ sauces. I'll be the first to say I haven't dug into every BBQ stand in LA, but I would enjoy that experience! Most of the BBQ I've enjoyed comes from the best places- backyard grills and it started with my dad's BBQ when I was young, which still is up there on my list. I'll also throw Baby Blues BBQ in on my list of favorite BBQ spots, especially for it's pulled pork. The food is always fresh and flavorful and I love their XXX BBQ sauce! Back to JR's- the atmosphere is quaint and well, straight forward. The food hits the spot, but I don't know how soon I'll be back. The service however is very friendly.

If you have a favorite BBQ spot nearby, I think you know I want to go. So don't be greedy and keep your secrets to yourself- spill it!

corn muffin

pulled pork sandwich and beans
Brisket with coleslaw and potato salad


Now tell us, where do you go for BBQ?


It's Fall, Y'all

What says Fall in Los Angeles more than 100 degree weather, the Emmys, and the impending scare of Carmeggedon 2? Yup, Chicken Stew. I made some on Sunday and I am here to tell you how it went.

I'm not much of a cook like Desiree. I have a few staples that I make and am amazing at. These include, but are not limited to, kugel, matzo ball soup, beer stew and....that's about it. What I have learned about my cooking skills, as any faux chef should, is that you must go with your strengths and build upon them. My strength is that if I can make it in one pot, then I'm good to go. This usually limits my makings to soups and stews, but I don't hear anyone complaining about that. And any time I can use my Le Creuset Dutch Oven, I'm all over it.

As anyone living in Los Angeles knows, it's been hotter than a mother up in this joint for about a month. I tried my best to lure the Fall Gods to come by purchasing new sweaters from the Gap (still hanging in closet), getting a dark nail color (that has chipped off) and putting on my Fall duvet cover. Did you hear that Fall Gods? I put my Fall duvet cover on!!!! Obviously they didn't hear me because our "cooling trend" still leaves us in the 80 degrees zone. Throw me a bone, Fall Gods!

The calendar says it's Fall, so I'm going to make it Fall! Luckily, I have perfect way to do so by setting the thermostat to 63 degrees, putting on my favorite "I could never leave the house in these, but they're so freakin' comfy" sweats and letting no natural light into my room. Voila! Fall has arrived.

The stew was DELICIOUS! I don't like straying too much from the path on a recipes first attempt, so I didn't add anything except garlic and I chopped my own onion instead of using frozen pearl onions. That was all the straying I could handle. When I make this again, because I will be making this again and again and again, I will add a serious amount of veggies that I find proper (peas!). The possibilities are endless. The recipe thinks that only carrots and celery are necessary, but that's crazy talk. Fact: No one likes cooked celery. The flavor it adds to everything is amazing and that's where it should end. I cut the celery amount in half needless to say. Yeah, I went there Chef Eric Ripert. No one likes braised celery!

Also, this recipe calls for whole breasts. Next time I will cut the chicken up into bites, but will have to adjust my cooking time. That will be interesting because I have no concept as to how to do that.

As suggested, I served this dish with some noodles, but think it would be even better with mashed potatoes. And don't be deceived, while this looks and tastes like a chicken pot pie, it's not as caloric as you would think. I broke out a nifty recipe calorie calculator thingy and for a very large serving of this delicious treat (recipe serves 4), it's only 550 calories! For a stew! Crazy.

I would also like to add that whenever I say I made something with rosemary and lemon I feel fancy. Try using it in a sentence:

Friend: What did you do on Sunday?
Me: Oh, I had my car washed, turned the thermostat to 63, shut out all natural light out of my life, put on my comfy sweats and made Chicken Stew with Lemon and Rosemary.
Friend: Lemon AND Rosemary? You're one fancy betch.

Yes, I am.

Recipe: Chicken Stew with Lemon and Rosemary on the Food Network


Living in Leather

Leather is definitely one of the big fall trends and it's not limited to shoes and jackets. Leather is taking over skirts, dresses, pants, and tops. It's currently about 90 degrees outside so the idea of wearing leather sounds atrocious, but soon it will be cooling down (one can hope!) and leather may be a chic staple to add to my wardrobe for the cooler months.



Thursdays Jam Day

The other day a friend needed some cheering up and a few things are guaranteed pick me ups for me, so I thought I'd try to help up. My top pick me ups usually involve- a sweet treat, a shopping trip, 90's music, and some kind of pampering treatment, tv time, and time with people who make me laugh. Well, I didn't have access to all of the above, but I can certainly help by sending her some music on Spotify. I stuck to the 90s because that gets me dancing (at my desk, in my chair) and it's just pure fun- this is the music that takes me back to the days of Dawson's Creek and tea parties with my BFF in high school! I thought I'd share the playlist with those of you who have Spotify as well and if you're already in a good mood I hope this will keep it going all day long and if you need some cheering- listen to this and then buy yourself something from Sephora (like this, this, or this) or some shoes(like these, these, or these)!

You can check out the 90stastic playlist I made for your listening pleasure right here!I know my musical taste from the 90s ranges from a little En Vogue, to No Doubt, to Stone Temple Pilots- and everything in between. Don't forget to let us know what you think of our 90s favorites. What are some of your favorite 90s songs?


Lately Loving: More on nails..

I distinctly remember writing a post about my fear of embracing any wacky nail art many months ago and go figure, I couldn't stay away for too long. I'm still shying away from adorning my nails with cartoon characters or rhinestones, but a statement nail- that I am finally on board with. While getting ready for a wedding over the weekend I decided it was time to take the plunge into the foray of statement nails. I was doing an all black and gold ensemble. Black dress, black back with gold logo, and then dripped in gold everywhere else I could- starting with my nails. I did Essie's new Good as Gold (from their new mirrored polish line) and then painted my ring finger with a Butter gold glitter- and go figure- I love it!

all that glitters is gold
For me to feel comfortable I needed something subtle, so I kept the statement nail the same color and just topped it with a glittery gold creating a "classy" (??) statement nail effect. This was my attempt to get my feet wet, maybe in the future I will be ms. statement nail- and going with a full separate color on this nail...or maybe not. Only time will tell!

What do you think about this?? Dying to hear!

{shop the look}


Apple Tarte Tatin

When you're Jewish, few things are more important at a gathering than good shoes and food. Because I love to bake and others have come to hope I come with a dessert in hand, I knew I needed to pull off something special for a Rosh Hashanah dinner over the weekend. As apples are traditional for this time of year, I remembered that I've been wanting to make an apple tarte tatin for some time and this seemed like the perfect occasion. So apple tarte tatin it was and I have to say, it was delicious! You can find the recipe for this tasty confection here.

Start with about 7 peeled apples, quartered.

Melting butter
Sugar whisked in with butter
Nicely arranged apples caramelized in your butter and sugar mixture
Topped and baked with puff pastry


Next time I make this I want to get a deeper caramelization on my apples to get a little more texture, but I'm really happy with my first endeavor in tarte tatin-ing.


Today I Was A Jealous Bitter Betty

Dear Ice Cube,

I have been meaning to write you for some time now, about 19 years to be exact. It was about that time when I first heard of your ‘good day’. I must admit, you had more than just a good day, it sounded pretty awesome, and I have been jealous ever since.

I've never been a morning person, so waking up and automatically thanking God seems pretty positive and I am going to have to remind myself to do this every once in a while. Maybe it would set my day off in a better direction rather than the usual scowl at Matt Lauer. Don’t even get me started about this Savannah Guthrie girl. Whoever thought putting her on the air was a good idea needs a serious career change. Maybe it’s because I enjoyed Ann Curry? Anne really earned her place and worked her way up and I have mad respect for that. Then it was just taken away from her. Typical.

Also, your mom cooked you breakfast, so hog or no hog, that’s pretty marvelous. I don’t remember the last time my mother cooked me breakfast. Come to think of it, I don’t think it ever happened. And, if it did, it was definitely not cooked. Pouring milk over cereal is not cooking. If it were, I could say I cooked dinner every night. I don’t. Glad you didn’t fill up too much. I know they say you’re supposed to eat like a king at breakfast, a prince at lunch and a pauper at dinner, but if I ate too much in the morning I would feel lethargic and sick all day long. I guess you feel the same way.
The ass of my car doesn’t drop, nor does it have a drop top, but that’s probably for the better because I don’t even use my moon roof. Or is a sun roof? What’s the difference? I also love air conditioning too much to give it up and it’s just a waste on a convertible I would imagine. Even with no smog, I’m still not putting that top down. But, I’m still jealous you have the option.

Kim booty called you? She can do it all night?  I can’t even get this Jdate dude to text me on the reg. Screw you, braggart.

I can assure you Mr. Cube that if I ran an intersection, the police would be all up in my business. And you didn’t get busted for the illegal gambling at Short Dog’s house. Once in Vegas when I was 20 the security at the Rio Hotel (Where every room is a suite!) made me stand five feet away from my mother like a child because I was underage. I had three months until I turned twenty-one and I know he was just doing his job, but come on. I tried playing craps once and actually tried to shake em up, shake em up, shake em up, shake em so much that when I finally threw them they hit the other side and then flipped off the table. Needless to say I got some dirty looks from some dirty men who were probably depending on me to get a hard eight so they could get comped at buffet. Again, I’m sure this hasn’t happened to you. No dirty looks for Ice Cube. Pound sign jealous.

So, wait a minute, you picked up a girl you’ve been trying to F since the “twelve” grade. Did you make it to the twelfth grade? Ha. I kid. I know you studied architectural drafting or something in college. But seriously, what happened to Kim? You have two girls now? Did I mention I’m still waiting for Mr. Jdate to confirm plans? I hope he doesn’t wake me up at one in the morning so you can go to Fat Burger. Speaking of Fat Burger, I went there at two in the morning once in homage to you. My friend Taymar and I got two cups of chili, drove to this kid’s house who we went to high school with and dumped the chili on his car for no reason whatsoever. Six years later he died. I still feel horrible to this day. So, now I’m jealous that you don’t feel bad about his death and since you didn’t even have to use your AK, you basically got through the day guilt free. Jelly to the max.

All in all Ice, I know I shouldn’t waste my time with irrational jealousy. I’m happy for you, I really am. I’m sure you deserve to have a good day. I’m sure I’ll have one soon enough. Maybe I’ll get a facial or something on Rosh Hashanah…start the New Year off right. Now who’s jealous of who? Whom? Whatever.

Stop the shit. What the fuck am I thinking about.    


Pie in the Sky

This year marks the 4th Annual KCRW Good Food Pie Contest and it was our first year attending. I've toyed with the idea of entering the contest for a few years after taking a pie class from Good Food's own Evan Kleiman a few years ago, but have yet to muster the courage. You don't need to enter a pie in the contest to attend and why pass up a perfectly good afternoon of sampling pies for free? Guests are given tickets to sample 3 pies, a plate, and a fork, and really that's all you need. I tried a dulce de leche pie, peanut butter banana cream pie, and a prosciutto pie, and the hubs tried lamb and plum pie, peach pie, and a blueberry pie. Happy mouths!
pie line ups 

dulce de leche apple pie

who says LA isn't a pie town?

sporting our aprons and ready for pie!

blurry remnants of a peach pie
prosciutto pie
hand pies
lamb and plum pie: strange combo, but completely delicious!

cuban pie
beautiful lattice work on this apple pie
You can read about the winners here.


Mercato di Vetro

Holy mother of all that is good and right with food! I think I've stumbled into a delicious kind of heaven and I don't want to leave. Mercato di Vetro might be hip and trendy which sometimes makes me weary of the quality of food, but this is a serious exception. The cocktails were great and clearly I'm a fan of the food! The ambiance is nice- hip, but comfortable. Definitely the kind of place I would happily spend an evening on a weekly basis. My only regret is that I didn't come with 6 people so we could have tried more dishes. I have a feeling that this will be a repeat occurrence and I look forward to the feats that lie ahead. I can't choose a highlight here, sorry. Everything we tried was delicious and I'd gladly order every item again!

Blood orange martini and Uva Bella

Asparagus crostini with truffle, brown butter, ricotto, guanciale
Kale crostini with pine nuts and currants

Artichokes- sadly this is dimly like and pictures don't do
flavor justice, but these were awesome
Burrata with roasted grapes
Blackberry and bacon pizza may sound like an unlikely pair,
but this comes together in a perfect blend of sweet and savory.
Arancini stuffed with pistachio, peas and fontina
A messy look at the interior of an arancini

Basil lemoncello
Truffle salt margarita
Did someone say fresh doughnut holes?
Seriously..my stomach is growling. I need to go now because I can't handle it!


Black is Back

Black- it's the most classic, slimming, and always chic color to wear. Going black on black will never be out of style. After swathing myself in bright colors since spring, this timeless combo is really calling to me. I will always love a pop of color, but sometimes all a girl wants is to be head to toe dressed in black. Try not to go all out funeral with this look and remember accessories are your friend.


Are you ready to shed some color and slip into the ease of all black?

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