All Things Foodie

Pecan Bars

I love all the recipes that I can make during the fall. Pecan bars are one of my favorites that my grandma made.

The recipe is easy to execute and the results are amazing. You will need a 9 x 13 pan, an electric hand mixer, and the following ingredients.

Crust:

In a large bowl, stir together 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt. Cut in 1 cup of cold butter until mixure resembles coarse crumbs or the butter is smaller than the size of a pea. Press evenly into lightly greased pan. Bake at 350 degrees fro 20 minutes.

While the crust is baking, make the filling.

Filling:

In a large bowl, mix 4 eggs, 1 1/2 cup light white corn syrup, 1 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup light brown sugar, 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1 1/2 tsp vanilla, 2 1/2 cups chopped pecans. Pour mixture over crust and bake for 25 minutes and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Cut and enjoy!

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All Things Foodie

Mastro’s Butter Cake

Many of my friends have raved about the butter cake at Mastro’s. I have been to the restaurant many times for dinner but have been so full I have never ordered dessert. This visit to Mastro’s was specifically to try this sweet treat.

I was excited when the server brought the larger than expected individual butter cake to our table. It was a perfect golden brown color topped with a generous portion of vanilla bean ice cream, drizzled with strawberry sauce, fresh strawberries and orange segments arranged on the plate, and a heaping portion of whipped cream on the side. I made sure to get a little bit of everything in my first bite and it was spectacular. The cake was warm and crisp on the top, but soft underneath and melted so wonderfully in my mouth. The combination of all the flavors was so decadent and well paired. The butter flavor really developed after that first bite and got even better with every bite after. As hard as we tried, we could not finish the cake as it was very rich. I would recommend this dessert for sure and endorse it as worth the calories.  I suggest having a lighter dinner before the cake and add a glass of prosecco to end the evening.

I went to the Beverly Hills location which is located at 246 N Canon Drive. I was seated in The Penthouse which was super fun with a DJ spinning tunes and high energy.

Visit http://www.mastrosrestaurants.com for a restaurant located near you.

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Fashion

The Best Steamer

The key to keeping your clothes wrinkle free is the ESTEAM hand held steamer by Jiffy. Stepping out in wrinkled clothes can ruin your look and no one has time to bust out the ironing board anymore. Keep it simple by using this amazing steamer.

I own the pink version of this steamer and have had it for over 5 years without any problems. It is super simple to use. You just fill it up with water, plug it in and wait 15 seconds for it to heat up. The steady stream of steam the machine produces will release the wrinkles in your clothes in a matter of seconds. I hang my item on a hanger and just give it a once over with the steamer, let it cool, and toss it on.

I first was introduced to this steamer on set by a fashion stylist and she told me this was the best tool for traveling and on set because it is so small and portable. I immediately ordered one and haven’t looked back. This steamer is such a time saver.

The ESTEAM retails for $75 on http://www.amazon.com but you can often find them for less on the site. Please also check out the company’s website for more information at http://www.jiffysteamer.com

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Beauty

Angel Wash and Rinse

There are several different shampoos I use for different reasons. I reach for one over another depending on how my hair is feeling. If my hair is dry, frizzy, lacks volume, is oily, or I (gasp) have a touch of a dry scalp, I use products to fit those needs.

I recently have been reaching for my Kevin Murphy Angel Wash and Angel Rinse more often than not. The formulation is made for fine hair that has been colored or is damaged. I get balayage color so I gave this shampoo and conditioner a try. First, the smell is amazing. It is a light, sweet, fresh scent that wafts through the hair ever so slightly. That will surely start your day off on a happy note. The containers are easy to use and look cute in the shower and the lid is located on the bottom side of the bottles and is easy to flip open and closed. As you dry your hair you will notice that your hair feels weightless, which is great for fine hair since you never want to weigh it down.

The solutions are paraben and sulfate free, contain milk proteins, protect against free radicals and inhibits UVA oxidation. These products are sure to keep your color safe from fading and help you achieve that lovely hair you see in commercials. You know the kind that bounces and glistens. My fine hair sure has more bounce after using this combination.

Visit http://www.kevinmurphy.com.au for more product information.

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All Things Foodie

Chai Tea Latte

I love a good chai tea latte. I know it sounds crazy, but my favorite one is served at Panera Bread. It is the Iced Chai Tea Latte. Now that it is fall, I crave this drink more than ever.

It is a creamy blend of two percent milk and chai tea concentrate. The flavor is so spot on and perfect for my tastebuds, that years ago I had to get one daily. The fact that there is no brewing involved and that they just pour the ingredients together is so simple, but results in the most delicious drink.

I found out that they use the Republic of Tea Chai Tea Concentrate to make this concoction. The ingredients include, water, brewed black tea, evaporated cane juice, wildflower honey, vanilla, cinnamon, black pepper, ginger, clove and cardamom. All you need to do to make this blissful beverage is combine one ounce of concentrate to seven ounces of milk or milk alternative. You can serve it hot or cold, but I prefer it iced. The flavors blend so wonderfully together to remind me of the holidays and a lovely fall day.

The shelf life of the concentrate is one year unopened and ninety days after opening in the refrigerator. A sixty-four ounce jug of the concentrate can be purchased online at http://www.republicoftea.com for $46.

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Beauty

Delectable Delight

I have been using the best smelling and ultra moisturizing lotion lately. The skin quenching formula smells like the most delicious cake. Be Delectable by Cake Beauty is the brand and you must get your hands on a tube.

The triple moisture formulation includes coconut oil, shea butter, and aloe vera to hydrate, smooth and nourish your skin. The lotion leaves your skin feeling velvety soft and smelling divine. It absorbs quickly and the scent lingers on ever so softly, not overwhelming like some can be. There are several different scents which include vanilla and creme, strawberry and creme, coconut and creme, and lemon and creme. These body lotions are so decadent and make wonderful gifts. Be sure to check out the other products in their line as well.

The lotions retail for $14 per tube and can be purchased at

http://www.be-delectable.com or at Kohls http://www.kohls.com

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All Things Foodie

Lady M

I was super skeptical about the cakes at Lady M. They only offer a few varieties of cakes and coffee, yet there is always a crazy long line that wraps around the block. Several people I know have raved about it, but being a baker, I was not sold.

The premise of the bakery is Japanese French fusion and the result is light, delightfully not overly sweet cakes. Their signature Mille Crepes feature twenty paper thin crepes layered with the lightest pastry cream with the top of the cake bruleed. You will feel like you are biting into a creamy cloud. I also tried their Gateau Fromage, which is this lovely light cheesecake with a shortbread crust. The shortbread crust is such a nice, buttery change to the graham cracker crust we are all used to.

I walked in with total disbelief that waiting in the long line for these cakes would be worth it, but after the first bite, I was completely sold and have since been back. That is two visits in one week and braving that line, but I would absolutely do it again. The bakery is worth the hype and the sweet treats are different than any other desserts for sale in Los Angeles. I like that they are not super sweet because it offers that perfect little bite of sweetness that I crave after a meal. I do not feel overly full after having this post dinner.

Lady M is a must try, and even though the selection may look underwhelming, trust me and take a slice. You will experience bliss in a bite.

The boutique in LA is located at 8718 W 3rd St right by Robertson Blvd. 424-279-9495

Visit their website for full information http://www.ladym.com

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All Things Foodie

Koffi

I just got back from visiting my friend Randi in Palm Springs. It was such a relaxing, nice, much needed catch up session in the desert. The vibe in Palm Springs is so laid back and the weather has started to cool down, so it was lovely.

Randi introduced me to the Non Fat Sugar Free Vanilla Latte at Koffi. It was simply divine and such a great way to start the morning. Koffi is a locally owned coffee house in Palm Springs. They roast their own coffee beans and have cute cafes in town. Koffi roasts their coffee in small batches to ensure maximum freshness using infared technology. The pastries are baked fresh daily and they even offer gluten free and sugar free varieties.

Koffi offers many different coffee drinks to kick start your morning or pick up your afternoon. They even have a Malted Mocha Frozen blended drink that I will be trying next time. Whether you choose a hot or cold caffeinated beverage, you are sure to be pleased.

Check out their website for locations and more information  www.kofficoffee.com

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All Things Foodie

The Hollywood Farmer’s Market

A great farmer’s market is a must find here in Los Angeles. The Hollywood Farmer’s Market on Sundays is the best one in my opinion. My friend Randi and I used to frequent it every weekend, but our visits have become a little less frequent. I was missing my jaunts there, so I promptly packed my reusable bags and a stocked my wallet with cash and drove over to Hollywood to purchase whatever my little heart desired.

Upon entry of the market, there are tents that line every piece of asphalt filled to the brim with fruits, vegetables, flowers, and other delectable delights. The bright colors of all the food items is like a wonderful rainbow of healthy and non-healthy eats. The sugar on the crust of pies glistens in the sunlight and the pie maker entices you to try samples of all the flavors of such as strawberry rhubarb and cinnamon apple. Every booth has a different sample to try. It is in your best interest to show up hungry because these venders are sure to feed you until you couldn’t possible eat another bite.

My favorite vendors are the orchid guy, who sells the most beautiful orchid plants in white, purple, and yellow shades for a mere $8-10 a stem. These are perfect for a birthday present or for that Sunday supper you are attending later in the evening. The greek guy will give you delicious samples of cheeses, spreads, and the best yogurt you will ever have. The white pumpkin yogurt is the best flavor and is so rich and creamy it is just as enjoyable as ice cream. You can actually also purchase his yogurt at Erewhon and Bristol Farms under the name Aris. The vegan Korean food stand has the best seaweed salad and the tempeh is to die for. The thai food stand has the best little coconut cakes and sticky rice with banana, but get to this stand early because they sell out! I sadly missed the window this time. The fig goat cheese by Leilo and Son’s will change your cheese and cracker game for life. It is creamy and the fig hits you with the perfect amount of sweetness. Make sure to stop by the Bolani stand, which is this special low carb flat bread filled with spinach and topped with a yogurt spread and jalapeno jelly. They have other variations, but this is my favorite combination. The freshly squeezed orange juice lady is a must visit and please sample all the fruit vendors. You will never have better tasting fruit and they are always happy to help you select the ones that are best for eating right away and a few to eat later in the week.

Celeb sightings are normal here and fun for when your out of town guests come to visit. This farmer’s market is quite vast and has everything you could possibly want. Ready made food is also offered for those of you who are not interested in toting your loot home, but rather just enjoying it there. Make sure you bring cash, as most vendors are cash only.

The Hollywood Farmer’s Market is located at Ivar Avenue and Selma Ave between Sunset Blvd and Hollywood Blvd, near Vine St. The market is open from 8am-1pm and is open almost every Sunday.

http://www.hollywoodfarmersmarket.net

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All Things Foodie

Gusto

Gusto is a hidden gem in the neighborhood for amazingly satisfying Italian food. The restaurant is quaint, with an inviting wood door and the name of the restaurant etched on the window in gold.

The concept from Chef Vic Casanova is free-range italian. The dishes are inspired by the best ingredients of the moment and translate exquisitely on each plate. A glass of prosecco is the perfect start to the meal, accompanied by a slice of bread topped with a garlic laced butter spread. Make sure to save a bit of the bread to dip in the bold sauce from the meatballs. The meatballs are fork tender, delicious, and are served on top of a bit of burratta cheese splashed with olive oil. I had the asparagus which was grilled and topped with a sunny side egg that when broken oozed just the right amount of richness over the crisp vegetable. It was light and right. The bucatini carbonara is the chef’s signature dish, so I had to try it. The homemade noodles paired with the creamy egg yolk and salty, crisp bites of the pancetta were complete perfection. It is the kind of dish that makes your taste buds do a happy dance in your mouth and your voice let out a small “mmmm” sound as your enjoy it.

The flavors soothe your soul and the place is so inviting that it will for sure be a neighborhood staple. The eatery seats up to 38 people in the dining room and they do take reservations.

Gusto is located at 8432 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048 323-782-1778

The hours are Sunday-Thursday 6pm-10pm and Friday and Saturday 6pm-11pm. Visit the website below for more information.

http://www.gusto-la.com

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