Food Fare 2015

 

IMG_1023Last night we went out to support Planned Parenthood at the 36th Annual Food Fare, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica. We started the night out at the VIP reception where we were served a variety of hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and wines. Our favorite was the Strawberry Mango Mojito by Infuse Vodka.

IMG_1005After the reception, we entered the Barker Hangar. Inside were over a hundred booths set up by some of LA’s top restaurants and bars. We started at one end and made our way through the entire hangar, taking a bite of literally everything in sight. There was almost every cuisine imaginable from Japanese to Italian, American, Mexican and the list goes on.

IMG_1018

Everything was so delicious that it was hard to choose favorites. However, if we had to pick; we loved the lobster sliders from Blue Plate, the ancini from Pizza Antica, the Strawberry Refresher from Ventura Spirits (the only domestic vodka distilled from strawberries – AMAZING) and the gelato from Pazzo Gelato. We also finally got the chance to try a Pink’s Hot Dog…and now we understand why the line is always a mile long down La Brea.

IMG_1022Overall the event was a huge success, raising tons of money and awareness for Planned Parenthood and making our stomachs happy. This was also the perfect way to spend my birthday, because who doesn’t love endless supplies of food and alcohol.

 

Plated Review

FullSizeRenderA new years resolution for myself this year was to learn to cook. I’m not the best when it comes to cooking, but I’m pretty good at following a recipe. Plated makes cooking easy. It’s is a delivery service that provides fresh ingredients to your door, proportioned out to make an easy and delicious meal. After finding a coupon code online, I decided to give Plated a try. I was able to pick 3 dishes, with 2 servings per dish for $24. The meals I decided to try out were Chicken with Miso Soba, Beef and Butternut Squash Tagine, and Szechuan Pork with Green Beans and Rice.

IMG_0363

The Chicken with Miso Soba was definitely my favorite dish out of the three. I never realized how easy it was to make soba noodles, definitely something I will be making more of in the future. The only thing I would have changed about this recipe was the amount of ginger that it used. I like ginger but it was a little overpowering at times. However, this dish was very fresh and light, but also very filling.

IMG_0385

Tagine. When I first heard the title of this dish Beef and Butternut Squash Tagine, I thought…’What the heck is tagine????’ Apparently it’s a stew with spiced meat and vegetables. I’m a huge proponent of butternut squash, so I was immediately intrigued. Making this dish was great because my apartment filled up with this gorgeous aroma of exotic spices. The potatoes and butternut squash took a little longer to fully cook than the recipe said, so just keep your eye on it. The beef was also slightly tough. If I was to remake this dish, I might try a different type of beef,  a ground beef could even be good. Overall, I enjoyed this dish and it’s definitely simple enough to make again.

FullSizeRender (1)The last meal I made was the Szechuan Pork with Green Beans and Rice. This was by far the easiest to make. I really enjoyed this dish because of the simplicity of the ingredients. It’s something that can easily be recreated, and still managed to taste good. This was especially good with extra Sriracha!

Overall, I really enjoyed Plated. The meals were fairly easy to create for someone who isn’t a pro at cooking. Everything tasted great, and it was a good way to try out recipes that I normally never would have thought to make on my own. I also was surprised that although it says there are only two servings per recipe, I was able to portion it out to about 3 different meals (perfect for leftover lunch!). Pricing-wise, each dish comes out to $12, however you need to order two plates per meal so it comes out to being $24 per recipe. I don’t think I would continue to have a monthly subscription with Plated, just because if I’m going to spend $24 on one meal, I might as well go out to eat. However, I do think that this would be fun to try every once in a while to get used to cooking new recipes.

If you want more information on Plated, or want a discount on your first try check out this referral link https://www.plated.com/invites/942de4.

blogsig2-01

 

Apple-Gruyere Crostini

Baguette_0376

As you may have noticed from recent posts, we have been trying desperately to get into the fall spirit, amidst the 80 degree weather and palm trees (cue the violins). I thought, what could possibly be more fall-like than apple-picking right?! Wrong. After scouring the internet for the best orchards in the area (there are none), I hopped in the car for an hour-long road trip into the middle of the desert to what is apparently the “apple-country” of Southern California. As usual, I decided it would be a genius idea to bring my poor dog (and poor boyfriend) along on my great adventure and subject them to the million degree temperatures and my constant, overly-excited declaration of how much fun we were (I was) having. In the end, it was all worth it, and we ended up with more apples than we knew what to do with. In an effort to not let them go to waste, Esther and I whipped up these apple-Gruyere crostinis as a make-shift lunch before a matinee showing of Gone Girl. They were so quick and easy to make, and made for a perfect snack!

Apple-Gruyere Crostini

1/2 baguette, sliced into 1-inch slices

1 apple, peeled and thinly sliced

Gruyere cheese, thinly sliced

Honey

Crushed red pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place baguette slices on a baking sheet, add a few drops of honey to each, and top with apple slices, cheese, and sprinkle with crushed red pepper. Bake for 5-7 minutes, or until bread is slightly golden. Remove from oven and enjoy!

Baguette_0362 1

Baguette_0371 1

 

blogsig2-01

 

Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese

cream cheese
Although we’re already at the end of October, it hasn’t quite started to feel like fall in Southern California yet. With temperatures still in the 80s, what better way to get in the fall mood than with pumpkin-flavored everything! We picked up a dozen bagels from Panera and decided to whip up some pumpkin cream cheese to go with. We followed Better Home and Gardens recipe and were pleasantly surprised at how well it turned out! We strayed from the recipe a bit, using a little less pumpkin pie spice as to not completely over-power the cream cheese flavor, and since we didn’t have an electric mixer, we just threw all of the ingredients into the blender, and it worked like a charm!

PumpCC

PumpCC3

 

blogsig2-01