Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I Like You

I'm listening to the audio version of the hospitality book by Amy Sedaris. I love it. When Broek first got the book I looked at the cover and just thought she was a nut.
Her book is full of helpful tips like
* Adult Proof Your House Assume guests will snoop. Plan ahead and fill your medicine cabinet with marbles.
*Create a party log with guestlist, menu, snapshots, recipes, hits & misses.
Online you can find some of the recipes . . .

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


I collect cookbooks and always love recommendations. Here's an article from Gourmet magazine with some of their favorites . . . http://www.epicurious.com/gourmet/features/cookbook_classics

I just got a Spanish cookbook called 1080 Recipes and I am looking forward to trying some of the recipes out. I'm hoping it's comparable to The Silver Spoon.

Top Mexican Restaurants

Gourmet magazine lists top Latino restaurants in Los Angeles

Sherry Virbila
See the story "His City of Angels" in our September 2007 issue.

Chichen Itza
At Chichen Itza, a new Mexican restaurant near the downtown area, the emphasis is on flavors from the Yucatan. Chef/owner Gilberto Cetina loves to use tropical flourishes in dishes like cochinita pibil (marinated pork roasted in a banana leaf) and yellow chiles stuffed with fresh tuna.2501 W. 6th Street, Los Angeles; 213-380-0051

This modest Oaxacan café serves a killer breakfast, complete with pan de yema (egg bread), big cups of milky coffee and great huevos rancheros. Try the green mole soup flavored with pork bones, epazote, and cilantro, or the intricate mole negro de Oaxaca with chicken. Though there are several Guelaguetzas around town, this is the original, and the best.11127 Palms Boulevard, Palms; 310-837-1153

La Serenata di Garibaldi
Chef/owner Jose Rodriguez is known for his subtle sauces. At lunch, tables are filled with lawyers and politicos reveling in camerones (shrimp) in cilantro sauce, rock shrimp gorditas, and chicken flautas napped with velvety guacamole.1841 E. 1st Street, Los Angeles; 323-265-2887

Ciudad celebrates the cuisines of the great Latin cities, from Havana and Buenos Aires to Lisbon and Barcelona. The menu is a terrific compendium of little dishes—rabbit and ham croquettes, Peruvian ceviche, carnitas tacos—as well as a variety of platos principales. The bar also has a dazzling selection of margaritas, mojitos, sherries, and rums.445 S. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles; 213-486-5171


I've only been to one. I'm hoping to try Ciudad as well.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Dessert Party

My roommate, Elise, is known for her dessert parties and this will likely be our last dessert party before she gets married. We had cheesecake, a berry trifle, chocolate cake, apple crisp, chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin cookies, and brownies. Below are some of the recipes from the night.

Apple Pie Ice Cream Drink
Simmer for 20 min
1 quart apple cider
2 dashes nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick
2 T. brown sugar

Put in a cup well hot with 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream. (3 gallon served 50 people)

Peach And Raspberry Crisp

4 to 5 pounds apples
Zest of 1 orange
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 ½ cups plus 2 to 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
½ pound cold unsalted butter, diced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the inside of a 10 x 15 x 2 1/2 –inch oval baking dish.

Immerse the apples in boiling water for 30 seconds, then place them in cold water. Peel the apples and slice them into thick wedges and place them into a large bowl. Add the orange zest, ¼ cup granulated sugar, ½ cup brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons of flour. Toss well. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes. If there is a lot of liquid, add 1 more tablespoon of flour. Pour the apples into the baking dish and gently smooth the top.

Combine 1 ½ cups flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, ½ cup brown sugar, salt, oatmeal, and the cold, diced butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the butter is pea-sized and the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle evenly on top of the apples. Bake for 1 hour, until the top is browned and crisp and the juices are bubbly. Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator and reheat in a 350-degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until warm.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Blow up a large balloon and tie if off. Make a paste of 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup water and dip strips of newspaper into the paste. Skim off excess with fingers and drape strips over balloon, repeating until entire balloon is covered, except for a small square section. Allow to dry. When dry, pop balloon, cut open a small hole, and fill ball with candy. Decorate with strips of crepe paper, wrapping around and gluing.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Wedding Reception

Here are some pics from a wedding reception I recently went to. I should have some more pictures soon. The Mathis family has such great style. I loved the bright colors.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I got to go the Emmy Governor’s Ball and it was an exciting party. I’ve never been to a party of this magnitude, there were 2,800 guests. It was at the Shrine dining hall with an art deco theme. The flowers were all white, with calla lilies, orchids, and white roses. Tony Bennett performed on the stage in the center of the room.

Menu was done by Patina
The first course is a tower of mango and Dungeness crab with tomato, cucumber and avocado served in a sweet ginger-soy reduction. The entrée is filet mignon and red wine-braised shortrib with potatoes fondant and asparagus. And, for dessert, Splichal is serving milk chocolate mousse with Champagne Gelé, berries in Dove dark chocolate cups and cherry vanilla cake.

Of course, the celebrity sightings were exciting as well. I was thrilled to see the cast of the Office. We also saw the cast of Heroes, 30 Rock, Ugly Betty, as well as Tom Selleck, Rick Fox, Jeremy Piven, Sally Field, Rebecca Romjin, and so on. No one made my heart flutter like the cast of the Office. It was nice to see them all hanging out together and we were lucky enough to get some pictures with Stanley and Phylis. Unfortunately our dove chocolate party favors were stolen from under our chair. Any ideas on who the culprit was?


Friday, August 17, 2007

Hors' douerves

My mom makes these stuffed mushrooms that I love. I remember getting my wisdom teeth out and my mom made these for Bunko night. I was so desperate for them and I was not allowed to eat solid foods. It's pretty much been a permanent craving ever since.

Stuffed Mushrooms

2 slices of bread crumbled
1/4 c. chopped parsley
Garlic salt to taste
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
mushrooms stems - chop in 1/3 or them

Mix everything above in a blender and put inside 30-40 medium mushrooms.

1/4 c. of oil
1/4 c. sweet vermouth

Dribble above ingredients over top.

Cook at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Secret Language of Flowers

I'm going to go the Los Angeles Flower mart tomorrow morning and I found this fun web page on their site:

Who knew the "Spider flower" means . . . elope with me? I'm looking forward to the market. Hopefully I can take some pictures.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Wonka Party

I started investigating some ideas for a Chocolate Factory online. I found all sorts of information.


Candy lights, candy cane fabric, chocolate soaps and lotions in bathroom, bubble machine for "Fizzy Lifting Room," giant candy made of Styrofoam balls, discs and cellophane, candy in Wonka top hat, lollipops hanging from ribbon, lick able wallpaper (melt jolly ranchers on contact paper or paper with fruit design and candy dots), red carpet, balloons with candy in them, "contract" to sign at entrance, wreath of candy, chocolate bowls (melt chocolate into foil cupcake holder), chocolate milk, glue life savers together for garland, candy house from a refrigerator box, golden eggs, make candy from poster board and construction paper (glitter glue for sugar look), friends dressed as oompa loompas, red plastic wind spinners (that looked like the candy twists in the movie), chocolate river from pudding on plastic wrap (I'm not sure how I feel about that), dangle gum drops from fishing line, large lollipops stuck in a pot with foam and colored paper shred to cover foam, glue real gumballs all over a branch and stick it in a very brightly colored pot with Easter grass.


Chocolate fondue. "Violet" cake of girl blown up like a balloon. Chocolate room cake with gummy bears, candy rocks, lollipops, chocolate pudding for river. Mini oompa loompa food.


Golden ticket with chocolate bar.


Wonka soundtrack, candy songs.


Most of the games I found were for kids, but I found a couple I would enjoy.
LIFESAVER RELAY - The two teams had to race each other by passing a lifesaver from one player to the next but they could only use the crazy straws that were in their mouths.
CHOCOLATE RIVER DRINK RELAY - Two teams had to get down on their bellies with their crazy straws. Each team was given a bowl of chocolate milk with a plastic boat floating in it. Everybody had to drink from the bowl at the same time. The first team to sink their boat was the winner.
CHOCOLATE KISSES - Placed several unwrapped Hershey's Kisses on a plate, topped it with tons of Cool-Whip, sprinkles and a cherry. Each person had to find and eat their kisses without using their hands.

If/when I throw this party I would have the decorations try to recreate the chocolate room as much as possible and put a bubble machine in the bathroom . I would make as much chocolate desserts as possible and do chocolate fondue. I think the like able wallpaper would be fun as well. I would definitely have a couple friends in costume. Well, I better start saving for my purchase of massive amounts of chocolate.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Black and White Ball

I recently learned Truman Capote's infamous Black and White Ball at the Plaza Hotel was based off the Ascot scene from My Fair Lady. I like the idea of entertaining with a theme based off something that inspires you whether it be a film, painting, song, etc. I would love to throw a party based off the Chocolate Room in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. This scene and movie provided endless hours of amusement for my sisters and me growing up. Or who wouldn't be thrilled to attend a James Bond party?
Link to Katherine Graham, the guest of honor, describing the party . . .

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


I recently decided to start a blog on all things related to parties . . . because a blog about me would just be too dull. I'm hoping to share recipes, theme party ideas, invitation options, etc. I'm open to party ideas or suggestions.

For our All Red Valentine's Day party I made red velvet cupcakes. Cupcakes have always been one of my favorite desserts and are, as of late, all the rage in Los Angeles. It was my first time making red velvet cupcakes so I researched a bunch of recipes. I ended up using Emeril's Red Velvet cake recipe and Paula Deen's cream cheese frosting recipe. I did not use the recommended 2 ounces of red food coloring, which would be 8 small containers. I used around 3 containers and the cake tunred out red, but not as deep as other red velvet cakes. I was pleased with how they turned out.



For the cake:

2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour

2 teaspoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

2 large eggs

1 cup buttermilk

2 ounces red food coloring

1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease and flour 2 (9-inch) cake pans. In a medium bowl or on a piece of waxed paper, sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk. Beat in food coloring and vinegar, then add vanilla. Spread the batter evenly in the pans.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Turn out onto a rack to cool.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 pound cream cheese, softened

2 sticks butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

For the Cream Cheese Frosting: In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.

I have included a picture from the party that happened to be a "panty raid"/gift exchange with girlfriends to celebrate Valentine's.