Posted by on Mar 15, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

It has come once again like clockwork, that time of year in which I post less and less frequently.  Then I wake up one day and feel the need to say good bye until June.  So — Have a splendid spring/beginning of summer and I’ll catch you all again in July!



Read More

LA This Weekend, Jan 24: Oysters, Cocktails & Culture

Posted by on Jan 24, 2013 in Blog, Travel | 0 comments

Looking for something to do in LA this weekend! Check out LA This Weekend, Jan 24 and see which local event fits into your weekend plans.

DineLA Restaurant Week

A 12-day dining event showcasing Los Angeles as a premier dining destination, highlighting the diversity of culinary experiences LA has to offer.  Locals and visitors have the opportunity to enjoy a selection of specially priced prix fixe lunch and dinner menus from some of LA’s best restaurants.

COST: $25 – $45;   WHEN: January 21 – February 1;  WEBSITE:  Click Here. 

 Downtown Long Beach Cheese Week

Over a dozen restaurants in downtown Long Beach will pay homage to fromage as they get creative with special menus and pairings for Cheese week.  From flaming cheese, to wine and cheese pairings, to beer cheese soup and munch more.  It will be served hot, cold, crumbled, melted, spread, and sprinkled.

WHEN: January 21 – January 27;  WHERE:  Downtown Long Beach;  WEBSITE:  Click Here.

Museums Free for All

In an effort to present the arts and culture to the diverse communities of Southern California, the Museum Marketing Roundtable announces the ‘Museums Free-For-All’.  The museums presenting art, cultural heritage, natural history, and science — will open their doors and invite visitors free of charge.  Some participating Museums:  The Getty Center, LACMA, Museum of Tolerance, Santa Monica Museum of Art.

COST: FREE;   WHEN: January 26 – January 27;  WEBSITE:  Click Here.

BAR 1200 Cocktail // Lab

Matthew Salinas, having worked at the famed restaurant P.J. Clarke’s and other New York hot spots provides an interactive mixology hang out.  During your instruction Matt will host a little lesson on the history of the “Booze du jour”, some popular drinks prepared with said alcohol and then take you through the art of mixing the best drink.

COST: $45;   WHEN: Every first and third Thursday of the month;  WHERE:  Sunset Marquis, West Hollywood;  DETAILS:  Classes are limited to 6 people and reservations are required.  WEBSITE:  Click Here.

Oyster Night at Wine Expo

Master Ecailler Christophe Happillon will be at Wine Expo in Santa Monica offering the freshest and tastiest oysters the west coast has to offer, enjoyed with your choice of wine, bubbly or beer.  A special selection of mineral and citrus packed wines and beers chosen to match the oysters will be available.

WHEN: Friday, January 25 6:30pm – 10:00pm;  WHERE:  Wine Expo, Santa Monica;  WEBSITE:  Click Here.


Eagle Rock Brewery Turns 3

Verdugo Bar will host this award-winning breweries 3rd birthday party with over 20 of their beers on tap, including one of the very first tastes of their 3rd anniversary beer, and American strong ale with rye called Three.  For fifteen bucks you are grant admission, two drinks and a commemorative glass.  For eats, Mandoline Grill will be outside serving up their delicious banh mi.

COST: $15;   WHEN: Saturday, January 26;   WHERE:  Verdugo Bar;  TIME:  12:00 pm – 4:00 pm;   DETAILS:  Price includes admission, two drinks and a commemorative glass.  WEBSITE:  Click Here.


Read More

Carnitas Tacos, Hard Shell Style

Posted by on Jan 23, 2013 in Blog, Eats | 0 comments

I love and live with a man from San Diego, which equates to eating Mexican food more than the average American.  Mexican cuisine is extremely diverse when it comes to its food carriers — you’ve got tacos, burritos, enchiladas, empanadas, flautas, taquitos, tostadas, chimichangas, tortas or tamales.  It’s the filler ingredients and  the flavors that don’t differ tremendously, but the options in carriers that diversifies the cuisine.   So when we run across a 14 pound cut of pork shoulder for $24 dollars, which will feed our hungry bellies and small wallets for days, with endless meal options — we jump on it.

8 hours of slow cooking and the flavors wavering through the apartment and we are left with a tender, juicy, piece of meat that is falling apart at first touch.  Our Mexican filler for endless creations is complete.  Hard-shell tacos was creation number 3 (I think), but the decadence, deliciousness and don’t forget the satisfaction of a meal well planned is something not easily forgotten.


  • 7 pound cut of pork shoulder or butt
  • 1 tbsp of paprika
  • 1 tbsp of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp of coarse salt
  • t tbsp of oregano
  • 1 tsp of pepper
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 yellow onions, chopped
  • 4 oranges, juiced

Heat the oven to 275 F.  Score the meat on all sides in a criss-cross fashion.  Mix all spices and garlic in a bowl.  Rub the meat with the spice mixture, making sure to cover the entire cut of meat.  Place meat in a dutch oven or an oven safe pot (at least 5 qt).  Sear the meat until browned on all sides, about 2 minutes on each side.  Once the meat is browned add orange juice and onions and place in the oven.  Cook for 8 – 10 hours.  Once the meat is cooked, remove from the pot and shred with a fork.  Serve in/on tacos, burritos, enchiladas, empanadas, flautas, taquitos, tostadas, chimichangas, tortas or tamales.

Hard Shell Tacos

  • 3-4 inch corn tortillas
  • carnitas (see recipe above)
  • 1/4 c of vegetable oil

Pour oil into a small fry pan and begin to heat on medium-high.  While the oil is heating setup your corn tortillas.  Spoon a generous heap of carnitas into the center of the tacos, in a line that runs from one side to the other. Once you are finished preparing the tacos for frying, test to see if your oil is ready, simply wet your hands a flick a drop of water into the pan.  If it bubbles or makes popping sounds it is ready to fry.

Take one taco and fold with a pair of tongs.  Hold the taco bottom side down in the oil using your tongs for support, let fry for about 20 seconds.  Once the bottom is fried turn the taco on its side and let sit in the oil until hardened, about 30 seconds, then flip to the other side and repeat.  Remove the taco from oil and place on a taco rack or paper towel to drain the access oil.  Finish with dressing & the toppings of your choice.

Spicy Yogurt Dressing

  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 4 tbsp of greek yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper

Whisk all ingredients together until smooth.

Taco Toppings

  • red onion, sliced thin
  • jalapenos, sliced thin
  • cilantro, stems removed
  • green cabbage, cut into thin strips
  • cheddar cheese, grated
  • hot sauce
  • spicy yogurt dressing*

Building It Your Way

When a recipe adheres to a build-your-own philosophy, everyone has a preference.  You can argue for days on which way is the best way, but in the end the choice is all yours.  For me, the first step is a given, I open the hard shell and pile on the cheese as soon as it comes out of the fry pan.  I like my cheese melted.  I let it sit for 30 seconds to a minute before I pile on any other ingredients as I want them crisp and not soggy. Next comes the green cabbage, topped with the yogurt dressing.  Finished off with some red onion, jalapeno and finally some cilantro and a dab of hot sauce.  Then it’s time to chow down.


What’s your favorite Carnitas recipe?

Read More

Pasta with Brussel Sprouts & Bacon

Posted by on Dec 14, 2012 in Blog, Eats | 0 comments

Don’t scrunch your nose!  I know the title bares the unthinkable — brussel sprouts.  But have you ever tried brussel sprouts that have NOT needed to be defrosted or boiled?  The common dislike for this vegetable is turning around, I am stumbling across recipes left and right in which brussels are either the star or the compliment.  Roasted brussel sprouts, brussel sprouts salad, grilled brussel sprouts and now sprouts with pasta.  Seriously just try them.

If your a carbonara fan then this simple and delicious dish will feed your fix (minus the eggs)!



  • 6 ounces bacon (about 7 slices), cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 large shallots, cut into thin rounds
  • 1 1/4 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed sliced into 1/8-inch slices
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken stock
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh sage leaves, about 20 leaves


Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon, cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Add enough oil to bacon fat in to total about 2 tablespoons. Add garlic, shallots, and sprouts; cook, until pale golden. Add stock; season with salt and pepper. Cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed and sprouts are tender, 10 to 12 minutes.



Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil; add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta. Cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid; return pasta to pot.


Stir in sprouts mixture, reserved 1/2 cup cooking liquid, and cheese. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil; add sage and bacon. Toss until combined. Serve with more cheese.



Will you try brussel sprouts this holiday season?



Read More

LA This Weekend: Ice Festival, Pub Crawls & Christmas Spirit

Posted by on Dec 13, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Looking for something to do in LA this weekend! Check out these local events that all have a hint of Christmas spirit but are sure to get you out and about.


4th Annual SANTA Monica Pub Crawl, It’s almost that time of year again—when the frost is on the vine, the stockings are hung by the chimney with care and the silver bells are ringing.  Ok, who are we fooling?  There is no frost in LA, we all live in apartments and our smartphone ringtones are the only things ringing, BUT each December we DO have the absolute-best-time-you-­can-have-on-concrete-­under-palm-trees… The 2012 SANTA Monica Pub Crawl is set for Saturday, December 15th!  Last year, over 5,000 people crawled your hearts out to 25 bars, raising over $17,000 dollars for the Westside Food Bank!

COST: $10; WHEN: Saturday, December 15th; TIME: 5:00 pm; DETAILS: Dress in your Santa best.




5th Annual Pasadena Drunken Santa Pub Crawl, Come One, Come All… to the Pasadena Drunken Santa Pub Crawl!  Don’t be fooled by the imitators, this is the original Pasadena Drunken Santa Pub Crawl. It’s our 5th anniversary and this event promises to be bigger and more festive than ever! So, don your gay apparel and join in the merry-making.

COST: ???; WHERE: Starts at Lucky Baldwin’s WHEN: Saturday, December 15th; TIME: 7:30 pm; DETAILS: Dress in your Santa best.



Chill at the Queen Mary, The Ice Kingdom is the showcase of the event — a tent in the dome covering about 13,000 square feet of walkthrough ice carving. Sculptures range in size from 8 feet to 24 feet tall. The entire exhibit is made up of about 4,500 blocks of ice, weighing 2 million pounds. The tent has to be kept at 9 degrees, so each visitor will be given a special parka to walk around the tent in.  Beyond the Ice Kingdom, has a 6,500-square-foot outdoor ice skating rink. There is also a 100-foot-long elevated slide for tubing.

COST: $14.95 – $19.95; WHEN: November 17th – January 6th; TIME: 10:00am – 10:00 pm on weekends.




Aero Theatre Showing of ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’, Jack Skellington scares up Montana Ave tonight as we present the Tim Burton modern holiday classic THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS in 3-D!

COST: $9.00 – $11.00; WHEN: Saturday, December 15th; TIME: 7:30 pm




Cupcake Decorating Workshop at Georgetown Cupcake, Frost, decorate, and gift-wrap your own Christmas or Hanukkah dozen to take home during this cupcake decorating workshop at newly opened Georgetown Cupcake. Festive flavors include Gingerbread, White Chocolate Peppermint, Chocolate Peppermint, Butterscotch Pudding, Christmas Caramel, Holiday Lava Fudge, English Christmas Cake, Rudolph Red Velvet, and many more. Enjoy mini cupcakes and hot holiday beverages while you work.

COST: $9.00 – $11.00; WHERE: 143 South Robertson Boulevard, L.A WHEN: December 15th & 16th; TIME: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm




Double Feature: How the Grinch Stole Christmas | Home Alone, Dress up in your favorite ugly holiday sweater and hit Grand Park downtown for a double holiday movie feature. Festivities kick off with face painting and food trucks, give aways and prizes. Animated feature How the Grinch Stole Christmas begins at 5:15, followed by the ugly sweater contest at 6 p.m. and Home Alone at 6:15. 4-8 p.m.

COST: FREE; WHERE: Grand Park, Downtown LA WHEN: Saturday,December 15th; TIME: 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm



Read More

8 Christmas Printables To Brighten Up Your Gifts & Home

Posted by on Dec 12, 2012 in Blog, Lifestyle | 0 comments

Amazing!  I swear it was just yesterday that you had to go out and spend $4 on a single Christmas card or $7 on gift wrap.  Now a split second google search for “printables” with a  ”+ christmas” gives me an option that costs little to nothing and is way more fun!  Check out 8 of my favorites that I stumbled upon.  Now go dress up your Christmas gifts and decor with these brilliant downloads and show your love to the designers/bloggers providing them.

Eat Drink Chic, Holiday Treat Bag

A Pair of Pears, Hot Chocolate Party Invite

Great Oak Circle, Brown Paper Bag Printable

Little Paper Dog, Vintage Ornament Gift Tags

Design Dazzle, Christmas Printable

Paper Crave, Christmas Gift Tags

My Sister’s Suitcase, Snowflake Mantle Printable

Have you found some great Christmas printables this season? Share the love.


Read More

Tomato Soup + Grilled Cheese

Posted by on Dec 10, 2012 in Blog, Eats | 0 comments

Chris and I were out in our rock playground today — climbing rock faces and enjoying the “brisque” winter air of Malibu Creek State Park in December.  As our aching limbs began to grow weary and the sun started to set, my food brain went down the path of grilled cheese and tomato soup?

I personally have never been a die-hard tomato soup fan.  In my opinion it is one of those things that you either are or you aren’t.  I appreciate it, don’t get me wrong, however if it pops up on a menu I seldom/probably never order it.  My younger sister, on the other hand, does the exact opposite.  If tomato soups on the menu, it’s a mind made-up decision, no additional thought necessary.  My point being that when I decided to make tomato soup tonight it was extremely out of the norm, but it just felt right.  And of course — impossible to eat without a traditional grilled cheese.

Grilled cheese in recent years has been transformed, but tonight I went old-school, back to sitting at the kitchen counter with my father, begging my mom to add one more pickle slice.  Yup!  You heard me!  I grew up eating my grilled cheese with a dill pickle slice in-between plain old kraft cheese and bread.  It’s delicious, I swear!  Don’t judge until you’ve tried it.

All in all tonight my food brain led me to comfort and comfortable we were enjoying our Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese (with pickles)!

Tomato Soup Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
  • Two 28 ounce cans diced tomatoes (San Marzano are the best)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons basil, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper

Grilled Cheese Ingredients

  • bread of your choice (I had a left over baguette)
  • sharp white cheddar cheese
  • dill pickles


In a medium saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the chopped onion and garlic, cook over moderately high heat for 1 and 1/2 minutes or until onions are translucent.

Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, tomato paste and sugar and bring to a boil. Cover partially and cook the soup over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.

Use a handheld food processor to puree the tomato mixture until smooth and even, add the heavy cream and cook until the soup is just heated through.  At this time begin the grilled cheese by slicing the cheddar into 1/8 inch-thick slices,  enough to cover the bread’s surface.  Top with dill pickle slices and place in a panini press, George Forman, or in a fry pan with another fry pan to press flat.  Heat until cheese is melted and bread is toasted.

Season the soup with salt and white pepper and swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with basil leaves.


What’s your favorite way to eat or prepare Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese?

Read More

Sets of Interrelated Photos that Tell a Story

Posted by on Dec 9, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

The photo assignment:  three (3) sets of four (4) images in which all of the images tell a story.

Girls will be girls no matter their age, location or nationality.  They will gossip, tell secrets, laugh out loud and take in their surroundings.  Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy.

The mind gets a great idea, the body executes, pushes the limits of gravity and eventually comes crashing down.  Will Rogers State Beach, Santa Monica, Ca.

The stages of acro-yoga.  The trust of your partner, steady movement, the strength of the body, and the peace of completion.  Santa Monica, Ca.


A Personal Relationship with Photography

Photograph:  an image created by light falling on a light-sensitive surface.

Photograph: (personal definition) The capture of a single moment in time that provokes emotion.

This affinity I have for photography stems from two passions, travel and food.  These two loves are what provokes my camera shutter and what encourages my endless effort to master the art.  The focus created through my lens simply entices my want to travel further and devour more.

To share those feelings through photographs is what I dream to do.  To create a profession that encompasses all three is a goal that I have long yearned for.  With my work through Matador U I hope to become one step closer to the perfect dream.


Read More

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: