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Brunch with a view at Back Bay Bistro

Posted by on Mar 30, 2018 in Dining | 0 comments

We dined as a guest of the venue I’m not one to indulge in buffets very often, mostly because I don’t have that large of an appetite. But, I was recently invited to a brunch buffet at Back Bay Bistro in Newport Beach. And, since my last outing there about a year earlier for a small event had been a thoroughly enjoyable one, I gladly accepted and brought along my friend, Kathy. Kathy, it should be noted, is a fantastic candy and dessert maker. More about that later. If you’re not familiar with Back Bay Bistro, it’s understandable as it’s tucked away on Back Bay Drive, just off of Jamboree next to Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort. You’d never even know a restaurant was hidden there… a restaurant with a relaxing marina view and a wide-open, light-filled interior perfect for...

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Celebrating Spring at Farmhouse Restaurant

Posted by on Jun 21, 2017 in Dining, Uncategorized | 0 comments

We dined as a guest of the venue I don’t know about you, but for me the luxury of living in an area with weather that permits year round outdoor dining is one of my favorite things about living in Orange County. And judging by the wait time to get a seat at the relatively new, Farmhouse at Roger’s Garden, I am not alone in this sentiment. Since its opening last year, I’ve had an increasingly difficult time getting in to this, one of my favorite new spots. With lines for bar seating and long lead times for reservations, I consider it a real treat when I do get to dine here. So, when invited to a preview of Chef Rich Mead’s new Spring Menu, there was no way I was not going. There’s a reason for this. Farmhouse,...

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The Boss Baby: Something for Everyone

Posted by on Mar 31, 2017 in Film | 0 comments

Earlier this month, my sister, Shan and I, along with a group of L.A. mom’s, dad’s and kids, attended a screening of DreamWorks’ “The Boss Baby”, an adorable, touching, and hilarious animated movie adapted from Marla Frazee’s acclaimed children’s book of the same name. The screening was followed by a Q & A with Lisa Kudrow, Director Tom McGrath, and Producer Ramsey Ann Naito, moderated by Denise Albert and Melissa Gerstein, AKA TheMOMS. I am a long time fan of the smart, funny, beautiful Lisa Kudrow, so I was psyched to hear a little about what went on behind the scenes. And as a bonus, we got a snapshot into Kudrow’s mind. For a quick peek, take a look at this video where she answers rapid-fire questions from The MOMS in 60 seconds. So what about the movie? Well,...

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Chocolate Passion Fruit Tart Recipe

Posted by on May 5, 2016 in Recipes | 0 comments

What to do when you are invited to a dinner party with foodie friends and you’re charged with making dessert? Especially when you spend far more time contemplating the savory side of a menu than the sweet side. This was my challenge one recent Friday evening. And I wanted to bring my A game. While it seems almost everyone loves chocolate for dessert, I lean towards something with fruit. And this got me thinking about a memorable sweet treat I had tried recently… a passion fruit filled chocolate. The tropical tang of the passion fruit is so unique and one of my all time favorites. Combine it with dark chocolate and it’s a match made in heaven. After a little thought, I decided to make a Chocolate Passion Fruit Tart. And while it’s been several years since I’ve made...

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A “Sneak Beak” at The Angry Birds Movie

Posted by on Mar 9, 2016 in Entertainment, Film | 0 comments

We attended as a guest of Sony What happens when you sit comedians Jason Sudeikis (“We’re the Millers”, “Horrible Bosses”), Josh Gad (“Frozen”, “The Book of Mormon”), Danny McBride (“Despicable Me”, “Tropic Thunder”) and Bill Hader (“Saturday Night Live”, “Inside Out”) down together for a sneak peek screening of their “The Angry Birds Movie” and a Q & A led by Producer, John Cohen (“Despicable Me”)? A lot of laughs that’s what. And presumably with the comedic chops of the cast, Directors Fergal Reilly “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs”) and Clay Katis (“Frozen” animator) and writer, Jon Vitti (“The Simpsons”, “King of the Hill”) there will also be plenty of laughs in the movie as well set to open in May. With over 3 billion downloads, it’s safe to say most anyone with a cell phone has at...

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Cooking with Fig & Olive: The Cuisine of the French Riviera

Posted by on Feb 24, 2016 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

Well, it’s the New Year. The holidays are behind us and if my Facebook news feed is any indication, I’m not the only one looking to get serious about eating right after a month long blow out. Okay, it might have been two months. The timing could not have been better to receive a copy of Fig & Olive, The Cuisine of the French Riviera. This bi-coastal restaurant shares many of the recipes that have made it a popular dining destination. The recipes feature fresh, colorful ingredients with flavorful olive oils used in place of butter and cream. After flipping through and considering recipes to try out for dinner such as Whole Branzino stuffed with lemon, rosemary, thyme and garlic; Côte de Boeuf With Olive Oil Bérnaise; and Seared Orange Scallops with carrot purée, I came upon Francine’s Chicken....

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Newport Beach Restaurant Week

Posted by on Jan 18, 2016 in Dining, Events | 0 comments

Explore the Newport Beach Culinary Scene During Dine NB Restaurant Week If you’re anything like me, you have a list of restaurants you keep meaning to try, but just haven’t quite gotten around to. The good news? Newport Beach Restaurant Week gives you not just an excuse, but an excellent incentive by way of some great deals on prix fixe lunch and dinner menus to hit a few of the places that are on your list. Celebrating its 10th year, Newport Beach Restaurant Week is the longest running Restaurant Week event in Orange County. For two full weeks you are invited to enjoy great deals while sampling the menus of some of the areas most popular restaurants. The event begins Monday, January 18th and runs through Sunday, January 31st with lunches range from $10 to $25 and dinners ranging...

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Lightening It Up With White Bean Salad

Posted by on Nov 25, 2015 in Recipes | 0 comments

With the holidays almost here overindulging is a certainty for me. Creamy buttery mashed potatoes with Madeira gravy, Italian sausage dressing, turkey skin… my favorite part of the bird, and that’s really just a glimpse of the gluttony I fall prey to. After a couple of days of this sin, I need a break. Something lighter and healthier starts to sound really appealing. Something like White Bean Salad. High in protein and low in fat, white beans are the perfect size, shape and texture to mix with vegetables and greens to create a delicious and satisfying meal or side dish. The bean salad keeps well and can be eaten cold or warm temperature, and best of all it’s easy and you can add pretty much any raw vegetables that appeal to you. I like to start with cooked and...

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Chicken Tortilla-less Soup Recipe

Posted by on Sep 18, 2015 in Recipes | 0 comments

I’m calling this recipe my Tortilla-less Soup. I forgot the tortillas and honestly, this healthy soup doesn’t need them. Boasting tons of flavor from fresh vegetables, cumin, and roasting juices, it’s a light soup that’s easy to make and easy on the figure. Here are a few tips for making the soup: Cook the chicken breasts in advance until just done and then shred in long strips with the grain. To prevent chicken from becoming overcooked do not add into the soup until near the end, giving it just enough time to warm up. As the cooked chicken breasts rests, they will form juices. Be sure to add these juices to the soup. It’s a real flavor boost! For a textural difference, I like to julienne the vegetables rather than dice them. There is something so satisfying about getting...

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Quick and Easy Moroccan Spiced Wings

Posted by on Sep 10, 2015 in Recipes | 0 comments

Wings and football just go together. Here’s a quick and simple recipe for Moroccan Spiced Wings perfect for game day. These crowd pleasers require four ingredients, a grill, and minimal prep. While pretty much any rub you like will work, one of my recent discoveries that I absolutely love is the Moroccan Spice Rub from Spice Merchants in Laguna Beach. This blend of garlic, onion, chilies, sea salt, bay leaf, and spices such as cumin, clove, turmeric, coriander, cinnamon, and ginger is perfect for grilled wings and a departure from the usual. They’re addicting. A few tips: If party wings aren’t available at your grocer, simply buy whole wings, remove the tips, which can be frozen and reserved for stock, and cut the wings at the joint. Dry wings before seasoning with kosher salt. Allow to sit for a...

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Smoky Corn and Shrimp Chowder

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 in Recipes | 0 comments

Soup… I love soup. Even in the summer. While usually I’ll go for the chilled soups when it’s hot out, say an Andalusian gazpacho or a chilled summer squash yogurt dill soup, when the weather cools down a bit, like it did this past Sunday, chowders start to sound good to me. And what could make a better summer chowder than a corn and shrimp chowder? Usually when I see chowders they have potatoes in them, but corn is already carb heavy so I figured I’d ditch the potatoes and come up with a way of making it creamy, but still chunky without them. I prefer my chowders a little more on the brothy side anyway. So with that I came up with my own version. This one has bacon, and smoked paprika giving it a smoky flavor and...

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A Sneak Peek Into This Year’s Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival

Posted by on Aug 25, 2015 in Dining, Events, Featured | 0 comments

We attended the preview as a guest of the NBWFF What could be better than spending a warm summer evening over looking the harbor on the gorgeous back patio of a home in Corona Del Mar? How about adding small bites of amazing dishes prepared by some of the area’s most esteemed chefs along with refreshing cocktails and a selection of sensational wines. Such was the scene at The Preview for The Second Annual Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival where we were treated to the creations of more than a dozen local chefs who will be dazzling guests at the upcoming Wine and Food Festival scheduled for October 3rd and 4th. This highly anticipated event will feature 30 different local chefs… 15 each day so that both Saturday and Sunday are a unique experience for guests. In addition to delicious...

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Dining In the Vineyards at Welk Resorts and Spa in San Diego

Posted by on Jul 7, 2015 in Dining, Featured, San Diego, Travel | 0 comments

We attended as a guest of the resort Before there was Donny and Marie, even before there was Sonny and Cher… there was Lawrence Welk. the legendary host of his own self named variety show, which launched in 1951 and aired for three decades. While best known as an entertainer and big band he also became the owner of what is now Welk Resorts and Spa in the early 80’s. Recently, we were invited to dine “under the stars” in the Lawrence Welk Vineyard in Escondido at the Welk Resorts and Spa and celebrate Welk’s new craft beer and wines produced in collaboration with partners Iron Fist Brewing Co. and Belle Marie Winery. A stay at one of the resort’s villas following the tasting was included in the invitation, thankfully! Join us on a photo tour of his resort...

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Bringing Art to Life: Festival of Arts & Pageant of the Masters

Posted by on Jun 24, 2015 in Events, Featured | 0 comments

We attended a media preview For 82 years, Laguna Beach’s The Festival of the Arts has played host to the world famous Pageant of the Masters, delighting audiences with awe inspiring realistic recreations of both classical and contemporary art works casting real people within each living picture. Set to a score performed live by The Pageant’s own orchestra, with each picture narrated outdoors in the Irvine Bowl set amidst the trees, The Pageant is one of Orange County’s most anticipated events by both attendees and the hundreds of volunteers that create the magic each night during the summer. This summer’s theme, The Pursuit of Happiness will bring an international feel with art works from American artists as well as other countries and cultures. Says Pageant Director Diane Challis Davy, “The desire for happiness, is integral to being human. Today...

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Soul Satisfying Spaghetti Carbonara With Brussels Sprout Leaves

Posted by on Jun 14, 2015 in Recipes | 0 comments

On a cool evening earlier this week, I was craving a comforting but easy dinner. I already had Brussels sprouts on my brain and was thinking about how good they’d be if I separated them into leaves and sautéed them with bacon and tossed them with a few toasted bread crumbs. Not exactly a meal, but fortunately I also had some Parmesan and eggs in the refrigerator and spaghetti in the pantry and realized I had the makings of Spaghetti Carbonara. A perfect place for my Brussels sprouts leaves I thought. While Spaghetti Carbonara is very simple dish, its success is all about timing because the pasta needs to be hot when the eggs are added so they cook. To accomplish this I like to get the pasta water boiling and then reduce the heat until I’m ready to...

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The Ultimate Ranch Experience At Holman Ranch

Posted by on Jun 8, 2015 in Carmel, Travel | 0 comments

We stayed as a guest of Holman Ranch Carmel is a favorite destination for wine lovers and nature lovers alike. With coastal area, a charming European style village full of restaurants, shops and galleries, vineyards set in the rustic valley, and Pacific Coast Highway beckoning it’s the perfect getaway weekend or vacation for couples or with a friend. Recently, my sister and I took a three-day trip up the coast spending our first afternoon and evening at Holman Ranch. After a leisurely drive up from Orange County, we checked in to our room, one of 10 on the ranch, caught up on a couple of emails and freshened up a bit. The rooms are bunkhouses that have been converted to ranch themed rooms in a beautiful rustic setting amidst dirt roads and trees. A very nice and peaceful getaway...

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The Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten Comes to Segerstrom

Posted by on May 7, 2015 in Entertainment, Theatre | 0 comments

In a sea of Food Network’s celebrity chefs, The Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten is a standout. Why do I adore her so? Is it because she turned her passion for entertaining into a career and successful business? Is it because she makes cooking delicious meals look so effortless? Is it that that you don’t have to be a trained chef or even that experienced of a cook to make her recipes work? Is it her simple yet elegant style? Is it that watching her show is a calming escape into a perfect world of lunch in the garden with friends and romantic date nights with her husband, Jeffrey? Yes. It’s all of these! Speaking of escaping, now I can escape into The Contessa’s world at The Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa where she will appear in...

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Richard Blais Adds Sizzle To Baker Ranch Unveiling

Posted by on Feb 27, 2015 in Events, Giveaways, Recipes | 3 comments

We attended as a guest of the venue Saturday Baker Ranch, Lake Forest’s resort style master-planned community went all out with a Grand Unveiling event featuring appetizers by Suzanne’s Catering, smoothies, tours of model homes by Toll Brothers and Shea Homes, plans for the community’s Promenade Park, live music, massages by Spa Gregorie, synchronized swimming demos, and my personal favorite part of the day, a cooking demo with Top Chef Winner and 2014 James Beard Award nominee, Richard Blais. Blais packed the beautifully equipped party room of Baker Ranch’s luxurious Grove Clubhouse charming his audience with humor and stories, providing tips on upping your cooking game should “Tony Bourdain show up” for dinner, all while walking us through how to make his gluten free pasta dish, Buckwheat Spaccatelli with Broccoli Pesto. This pesto was made with finely chopped broccoli...

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes With A Twist

Posted by on Feb 21, 2015 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

  Without a doubt one of my top two favorite things in the world to do is spend an evening with family or friends or both cooking a wonderful meal. Two weeks ago my niece, Madi was on Christmas break from her first semester in college and I was beyond honored that she wanted to spend her very last evening home cooking a dinner with her mom and me. So what was Madi’s last dinner request? Chimichurri steak over arugula with roasted sweet potatoes. My sister Shan and I got to work on the chimichurri while Madi replicated her good friend Bryce’s sweet potato recipe. I have to admit I had my own idea of what I wanted my roasted sweet potatoes to taste like going in. Thyme, olive oil, salt… roasted. But Madi was raving about Bryce’s version...

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Disney’s Inspiring Film McFarland, USA Opens

Posted by on Feb 20, 2015 in Disney, Entertainment, Film | 0 comments

We attended the screening as a guest of Disney For so many of us living in affluent Orange County, life is pretty comfortable. We have it really good. We have nice homes, drive nice cars, wear nice clothes, and there’s no shortage of food on our tables. And most of us probably give very little thought to how that food gets there. Based on a true story, Disney’s inspiring film McFarland, USA takes us into a world few of us have much exposure to or spend much time pondering… the world of the Latino picker. A world as foreign to us as to Coach Jim White who lands in the rundown small farming town of McFarland in California’s Central Valley with his family in tow after an unfortunate outburst of anger ends his job as a football coach in...

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McFarland, USA Much More Than a Sports Movie

Posted by on Feb 18, 2015 in Disney, Entertainment, Featured, Film, Theme Parks | 0 comments

We attended the interview as a guest of Disney By now you have more than likely seen trailers for the Disney film McFarland, USA opening in theaters this Friday. And you might think it is just another sports movie. A film about a down and out coach who moves his family across the country to a small farming town in California and who despite major obstacles somehow manages to build from scratch a high school cross country running team who become State Champions. And on the surface yes, it is about that. But more than that it’s a movie based on a true story about a town, its people, and a culture many of us, particularly in Orange County, have  little experience with or exposure to. McFarland, USA shares a world that on the surface may appear bleak, but...

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Sweet and Savory Chocolate Balsamic Strawberry Crostini Recipe

Posted by on Feb 10, 2015 in Featured, Recipes, Valentine's Day | 0 comments

Making a romantic dinner for your honey this Valentine’s Day? Maybe like me you have a Valentine’s Day themed party and are looking for a festive dish that captures the holiday. These easy to make Chocolate Balsamic Strawberry Crostini are a perfect blend of sweet and savory, creamy and crunchy. Crispy baguette toasts are topped with a creamy mascarpone mixture and topped with a heart shaped strawberry that’s been resting in a luxurious bath of chocolate balsamic vinegar. Turbinado sugar lends a satisfying crunch and sweetness with roasted pistachios countering with a bit of salt. The basil adds a perfectly paired herbal note for the strawberries. Appetizer or dessert? You decide! Chocolate Balsamic Strawberry Crostini [amd-zlrecipe-recipe:45] Dana Wilde grew up playing “sous chef” for her father as he churned out one amazing meal after the next for family and...

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Spicing Up Super Bowl Sunday With Tandoori Cauliflower

Posted by on Jan 30, 2015 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

Super Bowl Sunday is just around the corner. Maybe you’re hosting a party or maybe you’re going to one… and maybe you’re looking for a unique appetizer that is on the healthier but still oh so flavorful side to balance out all of those delicious but sinful wings, nachos, and creamy artichoke party foods that are sure to tempt you. This easy Tandoori Cauliflower recipe compliments of Seven Happy Seeds’ owner Sujata is perfectly paired with Naan and a Cucumber Raita to cool down the heat of the Tandoori spice for an appetizer sure to please no matter whose team is winning. [amd-zlrecipe-recipe:42] If you would like to purchase please email the owner of Seven Happy Seeds, Sujata Chiplunkar, [email protected] Dana Wilde grew up playing “sous chef” for her father as he churned out one amazing meal after the...

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Irvine Marriott Offers a CANVAS To Create Your Own Space

Posted by on Jan 19, 2015 in Dining, Events, Featured | 0 comments

Do you lay awake at night dreaming of owning your own restaurant? Do you have a unique food or drink idea that you would love to bring to life if only you had the resources? Are you filled with entrepreneurial spirit and passion? If finding the right space or a lack of resources have been a barrier to you fulfilling your entrepreneurial dreams, The Marriott in Irvine may just offer the opportunity of a lifetime with their new CANVAS food and drink concept lab. This week Irvine Marriott’s Director of Food & Beverage Anthony Hartwell and General Manager Scott McCoy welcomed us to learn about their new initiative and tour their cozy 500 square foot space, which opens out to a redesigned lounge and outdoor patio area. The alcove which has traditionally been designated a private party dining room...

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Quick and Easy Spinach and Cheese Ravioli

Posted by on Jan 13, 2015 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

Sample received Normally I’m not one to use pre-made or packaged foods, however every so often having emergency go to food that’s fast and easy is a life saver. Recently I received several internationally inspired pastas by Monterey Gourmet Foods to try and so I put them in my freezer knowing I’d find the perfect opportunity to give them a try. Sure enough I found myself in a situation where I needed to make dinner, had very little in the refrigerator and didn’t have time to run to the store. Monterey Gourmet Foods to the rescue! With three options to choose from – Spinach & Cheese Ravioli, Five Cheese Ravioli, and Potato & Cheese Pierogi – I did a quick inventory of ingredients I had on hand that I could use to toss with my dish. I had a...

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Cauliflower and Celery Root Soup

Posted by on Jan 10, 2015 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

Cauliflower seems to be the new “it” food. It’s popping up on more menus and in more incredible looking recipes than ever. It’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and detox properties are believed to help prevent cancer as well as cardiovascular disease. This mildly earthy vegetable can stand on it’s own cooked simply, added for texture to dishes, or enhanced with delicious sauces. Roast it and it takes on a beautiful nutty flavor. Steamed and then mashed and you get a great low carb substitute for mashed potatoes. Not to be outdone, celery root (celeriac) has health benefits similar to those of cauliflower and offers a decidedly more pronounced but incredible flavor to dishes if you’re a celery lover like me. Add to that when added to soups and puréed you get an unbelievable creamy texture without actually having to use cream....

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Tony Award-Winning Kinky Boots Opens at Segerstrom

Posted by on Dec 31, 2014 in Entertainment, Featured, Theatre | 0 comments

“Kinky Boots”… the name alone made me want to see this show. Add Tony Award-winning music and lyrics by the colorful and lovable 80’s icon Cyndi Lauper and when I scored an invite to last night’s opening at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, I was all in. I even wore boots. Produced by Daryl Roth and Hal Luftig with the musical book written by Harvey Fierstein this winner of six Tony Awards including Best Musical follows the unlikely friendship of Charlie, a straitlaced shoe factory owner whose inherited business is spiraling downward after the death of his father and Lola, a cross dressing entertainer who helps Charlie breath new life into his floundering factory with her eye for fabulous shoes and her generous soul, or should I say sole, that wins over even the toughest of the factory workers,...

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Quattro Caffe Sponsors Wrap-Off With Nine OC Non-Profits

Posted by on Dec 24, 2014 in Christmas, Holiday | 0 comments

Though I’m not quite sure how this happened, yours truly was invited to serve as a guest judge for a Holiday Wrap-Off this week. I’ve never been asked to judge anything. I am no expert on gift wrapping other than the fact that my mom thinks I’m good at it but then again she thinks I’m good at almost everything. I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was that OC non-profits would be “duking it out” with a mere 15 minutes to showcase their worthwhile causes in themed displays. The wrap-off was hosted by Chef/Restrauter Antonio Cagnolo at his popular Quattro Caffe in South Coast Plaza. The prize? A very generous $2500 catering package by the chef/owner himself. Think about the possibilities of converting this win into some fairly significant funds at an auction or fundraising...

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Brie and Caramelized Onion Triangles Recipe

Posted by on Dec 19, 2014 in Christmas, Family, Recipes | 0 comments

With the holidays upon us, there’s no shortage of celebrating and party invites! Sometimes those invites include a request to bring a dish or appetizer. Hmmmm… what to make? These crispy Brie and Caramelized Onion Triangles with Cranberry Drizzle are festive, fun little bites wrapped in flakey, buttery phyllo dough that are always a hit! And the best part is they can be pre-made and frozen until you are ready to bake them. Make a big batch and store them in your freezer in Ziploc bags to have at the ready for the parties you’re invited to! When you’re ready to bake, no thawing is necessary. Take them from your freezer directly to the oven. The Cranberry Drizzle can be frozen as well and re-heated on the stove. Ingredients: 1 pound phyllo dough, thawed as directed on package 2 –...

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Three Easy Ideas for Your Christmas Cheese Board

Posted by on Dec 18, 2014 in Christmas, Featured, Holiday, Recipes | 0 comments

What party is complete without a cheese board? Here are three ideas to add a touch of Christmas to yours this year! Include a Pink Peppercorn and Rosemary Goat Cheese Log! To prepare, chill your goat cheese, stem and chop enough rosemary to coat your goat cheese log, lay out in the length of the goat cheese log and roll so the cheese is coated. And then do the same with pink peppercorns. You will have to lightly press some of the peppercorns into the log. Garnish with a sprig or two of fresh rosemary, drizzle with high quality olive oil. Make your favorite paté recipe. I am fond of Emiril’s chicken liver paté recipe. Since paté is often served with cornichon and Dijon, I like to slice the cornichon into thin slices and use them to form Christmas tree...

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Tips for Hanging Christmas Wreaths without Holes

Posted by on Dec 13, 2014 in Christmas, Family, Holiday | 0 comments

Christmas wreaths on the front door are a beautiful way to spruce up your front walkway for the holidays. Nail holes pounded into your front door, or worse unsightly bulky plastic wreath hangers not so much. Here’s a quick and easy solution to that problem! You’ll need two wreaths – one for the inside of your front door and one for the outside of your front door and a long piece of wide, sturdy but flexible ribbon. Measure the ribbon so that when draped over the top of your front door it hits the top of where you would want your wreaths to hang from on each side of the door. Add on a little extra for each side. Cut the ribbon and then find a good place to secure the ribbon by tying it to the top of...

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Healthy & Delicious: Roasted Shrimp Kale Salad with Pesto

Posted by on Dec 6, 2014 in Family, Recipes | 2 comments

My brother-in-law, John has a mantra, “I’m starting fresh on Monday.” This is usually recited during a weekend of over-indulgence such as this past week! Coming up with ideas for starting fresh isn’t always easy when you’re cooking for a meat lover, but recently I had my sister, Shan and John over for dinner and served a salad I had come up with when I was on a health kick myself. The verdict? They both loved it. The salad starts with a bed of kale with toasted almonds, golden raisins and Parmesan cheese tossed in roasted garlic dressing with lemony breadcrumbs. This is topped with an assortment of colorful ribboned vegetables that have marinated in a light vinaigrette and then roasted shrimp with kale pesto. The layers of textures and flavors make this a satisfying and delicious dinner, without...

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Holiday Gift Guide: Beauty Lovers

Posted by on Nov 30, 2014 in Christmas, Holiday, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Samples received affiliate links provided Have a beauty lover in your life? Treat yourself or someone special in your life with one of these top products for beauty lovers this holiday season. Arbonne Intelligence Genius Kristy Von Walburg [email protected] Outsmart your skin with the Arbonne Intelligence Genius gift set. The gift set comes with 60 nightly resurfacing pads and resurfacing solution. Say “good-bye” to dry, dull skin and “hello” to bright beautiful skin that will glisten this holiday season. Local Orange County mom, Kristy Von Walburg, can help to customize a perfect Arbonne holiday gift. NYR Organic Tammi Ameli [email protected] What could be more perfect than a gift basket filled with NYR Organic’s eco-friendly products? This award winning line is easy on the environment and contains no harmful ingredients. And with a full line of products for hair, skin,...

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Holiday Gift Guide: Top 10 Gifts for Kids

Posted by on Nov 28, 2014 in Christmas, Holiday | 0 comments

Samples received/products sponsored & affiliate links provided Surprise your kids this holiday season with one of the hottest toys of the holiday season. From a wireless speaker for your teen to the magical Amazing Zhus there is something for every kid on our top 10 gifts for kids. The Amazing Zhus Your kids will be transformed into a magical magician on Christmas morning after opening The Amazing Zhus disappearing box. will provide your kids with endless hours of fun and is expected to be the #1 toy of the holiday season. A-maze your kids with this fun holiday toy this year. The Amazing Zhus can be found at Walmart. VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Ultimate Amazement Park Playset Learning is fun this holiday with the vtech Go! Go! Smart Wheels playset. While playing, children will learn through pretend play,...

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Holiday Gift Guide: For the Foodie

Posted by on Nov 28, 2014 in Christmas, Holiday | 0 comments

Samples received for some of the products listed Have a food lover to buy for this holiday season? Don’t know what to get them? From teas to treats we have the best gifts to give the foodie in your life this holiday. Dana’s Bakery Macarons Give the gift of a delicious macaron this holiday season from Dana’s Bakery. Have these delicious treats shipped directly to the home of the one you love this holiday season. Shipping is available nationwide. B. toffee Made right here in Orange County by a local mom is one of the best toffee’s around. B. toffee is a perfect gift to give under the tree this year and special holiday packaging is available. Purchase online or at Provisions Market in Orange. Pricing starts at $19.99. Kitchen Curry Master The aspiring chef in your life will...

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Holiday Gift Guide: The Best of Books

Posted by on Nov 28, 2014 in Christmas, Holiday | 0 comments

Samples received, affiliate links used Giving your friends, family and loved ones the gift of reading is one of the best holiday presents. We have complied a list of the best books to give this holiday season. Roaming Reindeer Kit Every child has their “naughty” days and their “nice” days. This darling story with two accompanying plush reindeer helps encourage the “nice” behavior and reinforces teamwork. A book to engage the entire family. Maurice’s Valises Maurice the mouse travels the world learning valuable lessons about telling the truth, compassion, friendship, kindness and other moral lessons from many different cultures. Along the way he collects momentos in his valise he shares as he tells stories your children can learn from. Beautifully illustrated and interactive. Disney Frozen Hairstyles: Inspired By Anna and Elsa The perfect gift for your Frozen princesses.  Recreate hairstyles...

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Tony Award Winning Pippin Revival Comes to Segerstrom

Posted by on Nov 18, 2014 in Featured, Theatre | 0 comments

We attended as a guest of the Segerstrom Growing up in the 70’s in Chicago one of the things I always looked forward to was when my mom, dad, sister and I would get dressed up and drive into the city to see the latest Broadway Musical that was playing. One musical I was disappointed I never did get to see live however was Pippin. So needless to say, I was excited to finally have the opportunity to see the 2013 Tony Award Winning production of “Pippin” last week at The Segerstrom Center for the Arts. “Pippin” tells the story of a young prince, Pippin (Kyle Dean Massey) seeking to find fulfillment and his purpose in life. In his quest, The Leader (Sasha Allen), who is really a ringmaster of sorts and her circus troupe lure him down an...

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Roasted Pear in Dark Chocolate Balsamic with Burrata Recipe

Posted by on Nov 18, 2014 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

About a year ago I discovered Dark Chocolate Balsamic. I’m not really a huge chocolate lover, but it is so incredibly delicious it’s downright drinkable. Since this discovery, I’ve come up with all sorts of fun ways to incorporate it into dishes and now that it’s Fall I started thinking about how good it would be with roasted pears. Dark chocolate and pears. They were made for each other. I also think rosemary is wonderful with roasted pears so I decided that would be part of my dish. But what else? When I was young my mom used to make this pear salad. I’m pretty sure it came from the back of the Del Monte Pear Halves can. Here’s what she did. Half a canned pear, a scoop of Best mayo, and grated cheddar cheese…quick and easy and so...

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The Theory of Everything Premiere in L.A.

Posted by on Nov 7, 2014 in Entertainment, Featured, Film, Home | 0 comments

We attended as a guest of the film I was raised in a home filled with books. My mom was a reader and was interested in a wide variety of topics. Through my high school, college and later years she became especially interested in science, religion, spirituality… and books on these began filling her shelves. I vividly remember visiting my parents one weekend and seeing the newly released “A Brief History of Time”, by Stephen Hawking on her table. Hawking’s picture was on the cover in a motorized wheelchair and on the back of the book were reviews which lauded his ability to think deeply on and shape the discussion of theoretical physics despite his crippling disease. This book moved him from an esteemed physicist known in the academic world to a famous best selling author. While it took...

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She Said… She Said on Big Hero 6

Posted by on Nov 7, 2014 in Disney, Entertainment, Featured, Film, Home, Uncategorized | 0 comments

We attended the screening as a guest of Disney By now you’ve probably heard that Disney Animation has brought Marvel’s “Big Hero 6” to the big screen and it’s opening today! Shelby and I both attended screenings separately and we thought it would be fun to compare notes on the movie via a “she said, she said” and share our thoughts on the film. While the movie is loosely based off the comic book series and its characters and while the powers each hero employs are inspired by the Marvel characters, Disney’s Big Hero 6 create their own super-tech powers using their brains and skill sets. It’s a movie that encourages and embraces using intelligence, a great message for kids. The story takes place in San Fransokyo, a hybrid city created by the Disney team, which combines the geography...

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Bringing Marvel’s “Big Hero 6” to the Big Screen

Posted by on Nov 5, 2014 in Disney, Entertainment, Featured, Film | 0 comments

We attended the interview as a guest of Disney For comic book fans, Disney’s choice to bring the story of a cast of not well known Marvel characters from “Big Hero 6” to the screen my not have been at all obvious. We were able to sit with the Directors, Producer and several cast members to find out how a seemingly obscure bunch of comic book characters has been brought to life in a big way. We learned for Disney Writer/Director Don Hall, who had been searching the Marvel vault for movie ideas, this particular comic book featuring a team of Japanese superheroes struck a chord he liked. “I was interested in the tone of it, you know. It was sort of light-hearted and fun and the characters are very appealing. The whole thing was this sort of a...

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Smoked Pumpkin Soup Recipe

Posted by on Oct 30, 2014 in Family, Halloween, Recipes | 0 comments

Nothing says Halloween like the sight of orange pumpkins displayed on porches and the smell of smoke in crisp cool fall air. Ahhh…. Halloween I love you! You kick off The Holiday Season… you make me nostalgic. And though, I may not decorate my house for you, I will go all out and cook for you! You call for a comforting, luxurious, velvety warm soup and one of my favorites is butternut squash soup. So in honor of you this year, I decided to start there and add a twist or two. I busted out my handy stovetop smoker and set about cutting up a small sugar pumpkin as the star ingredient in my special Halloween soup… just for you. …Just for you, and as it happens for my friend’s birthday bash this month. It turned out to be...

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Our Verdict on “The Judge”

Posted by on Oct 17, 2014 in Entertainment, Film | 0 comments

We attended a screening as a guest of the studio As adults, most of us accept that it’s likely in our lifetime, our parents are going to leave us. Still, getting that phone call especially when it’s unexpected, is shocking and can leave you numb with grief. For many of us, that call means we must put our normal lives on hold, hop on a plane, and return home. “The Judge” begins with high powered, Chicago Defense Attorney, Hank Palmer, played by Robert Downey Jr. receiving just this phone call in the midst of a trial in which he is defending his clearly guilty client. You realize two minutes in that Hank never loses a case. He is the best money can buy and he leaves no stone unturned to reach a verdict in favor of his client. His...

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Wild Mushroom Linguine Recipe

Posted by on Oct 14, 2014 in Recipes | 0 comments

One of my mom’s favorite foods in the world is mushrooms. If there’s a dish on a menu with mushrooms, she is almost certain to order it. So the other night when I was trying to come up with something to make for dinner for her, I was thinking about Fall dishes and this is was what I came up with. This is a rustic pasta with bright acidic notes from lemon zest and juice. Cutting each different mushroom type a little differently gives this dish interesting texture. One of the things that makes this so delicious is the vegetable stock the mushroom pan is deglazed with. It’s made with shitake mushroom stems and has earthy, woodsy notes from the liquid reserved from soaking dried oyster mushrooms used in the sauce. I’ve swapped out the nutty, salty parmesan cheese...

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Date Night: Rosemary Lamb Chops with Mascarpone Stuffed Zucchini Planks & Couscous

Posted by on Sep 22, 2014 in Recipes | 0 comments

Lamb is one of those meats people love or hate. I am on the love side! Lamb chops are one of my favorites because they make for an elegant, incredibly flavorful dinner and grilling them takes only a matter of minutes. There are so many delicious ways to prepare them, but here’s a quick and easy recipe that has always been a hit with my family and friends. While admittedly the chops are quite expensive, lamb ribs are a much more budget friendly and equally tasty alternative. The chops just score a few extra points for wow factor! Add a couple of quick sides and you have a date night dinner that looks like you slaved away when you only spent about 30 minutes preparing it. Grilled Rosemary and Garlic Lamb Chops This is such a forgiving recipe. When...

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Creating a Light Summer Small Plates Dinner On the Fly

Posted by on Sep 12, 2014 in Recipes | 0 comments

Sometimes the best dinners happen on the fly. After an exhausting day of cleaning out closets and a storage unit preparing for a combined garage sale, my sister Shan and I were almost catatonic sitting in her car trying to decide on something easy we could make for dinner at my place. I did have prosciutto and burrata on hand which I had bought the previous day to make burrata, prosciutto, and sautéed peach crostini simply because it sounded so good at the time. This became the basis for our dinner. Shan was in the mood for spinach so we decided on salad to go with the crostini and I wanted golden raisins if we were having spinach salad. With that we decided we had enough of a plan to hit the grocery store and 20 minutes later we...

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Preview of the First Annual Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival

Posted by on Aug 23, 2014 in Dining, Events | 0 comments

We attended as a guest of the NB Food & Wine Festival Newport Beach and its surrounding area is home to some of the country’s hottest chefs. To name just a few: Chef Imran Ali Tamarind of London. Shirley Chung, who made it to the final three on Top Chef and will be opening Twenty Eight.   Chef, Ashley Santo Domingo Top Chef contestant and Executive Chef of 24 Carrots Catering. Last week we pretty much thought we had died and gone to heaven when we had the great fortune of receiving an invitation to attend the preview for the upcoming First Annual Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival. Master Chef Rick Bayless from Chicago will kick-off the event at his restaurant The Red O in Fashion Island on Friday, September 19th with two full days to follow of...

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A Taste of Spain… Andalusian Gazpacho

Posted by on Aug 22, 2014 in Family, Featured, Recipes | 0 comments

Maybe I shouldn’t post two soup recipes in a row, but I just can’t help myself… I love soup! Last week I shared a Chilled Summer Squash Yogurt Dill Soup recipe and this week I’m chillin’ again, this time with Andalusian Gazpacho. Living in New York City in the early 90’s, one of my favorite summer lunches… as in I had it several times a week…was Gazpacho. How could you not love a tomato-based soup with chunky pieces of cucumber and pepper? It was so refreshing and cool and at the height of summer helped conquer the heat of the city. It wasn’t until I visited Spain with my friend and roommate Katie that I first tried Andalusian Gazpacho. It was a completely different Gazpacho than what I had ever had before and I fell in love with it....

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Costa Mesa Restaurant Week Sneak Peek … Where Will You Be Dining This Week?

Posted by on Aug 15, 2014 in Dining, Events, Featured | 0 comments

We attended as a guest of Costa Mesa Restaurant Week  It’s official, Costa Mesa’s Restaurant Week starts today with over 50 restaurants offering special discounts now through August 22! Last night we attended the Kick-Off Party hosted at SOCO Collection with delicious bites of food and refreshing cocktails, wine, and beverages provided by 24 Carrots Catering and many of the restaurants at SOCO and The OC Mix. This center has become one of my favorite dining destinations and when you see some of the incredible “tastes” that were served last night, it’s easy to see why! From The Mixing Glass two creative, refreshing cocktails, Pretty in Plum with 209 Gin, Flavor King Plum Shrub, lime, tarragon, Bergamot Bitters & Elixir de Borticua with Don Q Rum, Green Chartreuse, lime, pineapple syrup, and pineapple mint. Wine tasting with The Neptune...

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Beat the Heat with Chilled Summer Squash Yogurt Dill Soup Recipe

Posted by on Aug 15, 2014 in Featured, Recipes | 0 comments

One of my favorite things in the world for lunch or dinner is soup. Even in the heat of the summer there are plenty of chilled soups you can enjoy to cool you down. Here’s a creamy, delicious one I make every summer. Though this one has a creamy feel, it gets its luxurious texture from Greek yogurt! Yields approximately 10 cups Ingredients: 7 or so (just over 3 pounds) Summer Squash (Zucchini and or Yellow Squash) 1 Sweet Onion sliced into half moons (Yellow Onion is fine) 2 Garlic Cloves sliced 6 Cups (enough to cover the squash) Chicken or Vegetable Stock (homemade or use store bought as a time saver) 1 TBSP Fresh Dill stemmed and chopped 14 oz. (2 7 oz. containers) Plain Greek Yogurt (non-fat is fine) Approximately 2 TBSP Olive Oil or Grape Seed...

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Feasting on The Hundred-Foot Journey

Posted by on Aug 8, 2014 in Entertainment, Film | 0 comments

We attended a screening as a guest of Disney As a person who has a passion for cooking, I always look forward to a movie with a plot centered around food and cooking. Some of my favorites include “Chocolat”, “Like Water for Chocolate”, Babette’s Feast”, “Eat Drink Man Woman”, “Tortilla Soup” and “Chef”. So I jumped at the chance to attend a pre-screening of “The Hundred-Foot Journey”. “The Hundred-Foot Journey” Produced by Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, and Juliet Blake is Directed by Lasse Halström and stars Dame Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal, and Charlotte Le Bon. It tells the story of Hassan Kadam, a young prodigy chef who inherits his passion for cooking from his mother. Following a political uprising, The Kadam’s find themselves fleeing their home in Mumbai for Europe and ultimately land in a quaint village...

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Interview with the cast on the making of ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’

Posted by on Aug 7, 2014 in Disney, Entertainment, Film | 0 comments

We attended the interview as a guest of Disney If you consider yourself a “foodie” who is prone to fantasizing about living in a quaint French village, do yourself a favor and mark this date on your calendar… Friday, August 8th. This is the day that The Hundred-Foot Journey will open in theaters and it will take you on a stunning journey feeding your heart, mind, eyes, and soul. The movie Produced by Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, and Juliet Blake and Directed by Lasse Hallström tells the story of an Indian family who following a tragic event flee their home in Mumbai and after wondering for some time begin to set down roots in a town in the South of France where they land by happenstance and open a restaurant. Their Indian restaurant, Maison Mumbai is directly across from...

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Bringing Richard Morais’ Novel The Hundred-Foot Journey to Life

Posted by on Aug 6, 2014 in Disney, Entertainment, Featured, Film | 0 comments

We attended the interview as a guest of Disney A hundred-foot journey begins that moment when you bravely drop what is familiar and cross over into a new realm that is far out of your comfort zone. It is a profound journey, however small in physical distance, that materially changes the course of your life for the better. ~ Richard C Morais These words could easily describe Juliet Blake’s journey that began six years ago when she read, Richard Morais’ novel, “The Hundred-Foot Journey” for the first time. At the time Blake was an executive with National Geographic Channel and though she has produced hundreds of episodes for TV and won awards as a Producer, this was her first film endeavor. We spoke with Juliet Blake and Director Lasse Hallström about how they brought this novel to life and...

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Tandoori Chicken Wings Recipe

Posted by on Aug 1, 2014 in Entertainment, Family, Film, Recipes | 0 comments

Inspired by the gorgeous dishes in The Hundred-Foot Journey, I decided to make Tandoori Chicken Wings using a recipe card provided by the “The Hundred-Foot Journey” I was given during a recent interview with the cast. It was wonderful! Here’s the recipe brought to you by The Hundred-Foot Journey: Ingredients: 3/4 Tbsp sweet paprika 1 Tbsp garam masala (I made my own, but you may also buy a blend in the spice section) 1 Tbsp ground cumin 1 Tbsp coriander Salt and pepper to taste 1/2 tsp ground turmeric 1 cup chopped cilantro 1 Tbsp finely grated ginger 5 cloves of minced garlic 1/4 cup fat~free greek yogurt 1/2 cup canola oil 1 minced shallot 3 Tbsp white vinegar 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice 4 lbs chicken drumsticks Method: 1. Preheat. oven to 450° F. Set racks on each...

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Celebrate Date Night Tonight in L.A. with OC Band Verdell

Posted by on Jun 20, 2014 in Entertainment, Events, Music | 0 comments

It’s Friday! Time to cut loose! How about a fun evening out on the town in L.A.? If you’re a lover of live music, especially music reminiscent of the 80’s, make it date night or grab some friends and head on up to The Mint this evening in L.A. for a great time with Orange County band, Verdell. This up and coming band’s single Out of Your Mind  has been featured on Laguna’s KX93.5 FM and for the past 3 weeks running has been voted #1 on Tazy Phyllipz’s Ska Parade  and makes the rounds in venues such as The Coach House, The Constellation Room, The Roxy, The Troubadour, The House of Blues L.A. and Anaheim, The Key Club, and The Whisky a Go-Go. The Mint is an intimate venue with a retro-vibe and has hosted greats such as...

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KSBR Birthday Bash: A Perfect Trio of Jazz, Great Food & Live Art

Posted by on Jun 8, 2014 in Entertainment, Events, Music | 0 comments

We attended as a guest of KSBR Three of my favorite things in the world are jazz, great food and art. Last Sunday was filled with all three so it was pretty much the perfect day at KSBR’s 25th Annual Birthday Bash Jazz Festival & Taste of the Bash. The bash kicked off in the afternoon with some wonderful tastes from more than 20 local restaurants, breweries, and wineries. There was something for everyone and too much to taste for any one person, but I managed to sample my fair share including:      Ceviche on cucumber coins… perfect on a hot day and refreshing strawberry mint “bruschetta”, both from Bella Collina Towne and Gold Cub in San Clemente. A healthy and delicious chopped salad with organic baby greens, with pine nuts, dried cranberries, gorgonzola, golden beets, red onion, and...

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The Hollywood Bowl Kicks Off its 2014 Summer Season

Posted by on May 23, 2014 in Dining, Entertainment, Events, Family, Featured, Music | 0 comments

We attended as a guest of the Hollywood Bowl   Few experiences can compare to attending a concert at The Hollywood Bowl. Even fewer can compare to actually standing on the stage and seeing the theater from the perspective of its performers… the very stage where the LA Philharmonic performs each season. Where The Beatles, Pavarotti, Yo-Yo Ma, and so many other of the world’s most talented musicians have performed.    Nestled amongst the trees in the hills of Hollywood, this outdoor theater, is one of my favorite venues, so I was thrilled to be able to attend the launch of its 2014 Summer Season last Tuesday evening with my sister, Shan… on the stage!   The stage was stunning and provided the perfect surroundings for arts patrons and media to gather as LA Philharmonic’s CEO, Deborah Borda and...

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Katie Chin Makes Everyday Thai Cooking Quick and Easy

Posted by on May 15, 2014 in Dining, Family, Health, Recipes | 0 comments

  Chef Katie Chin with host, Inspire Artistic Mind’s founder Bobby Navarro. I’m a huge fan of Thai food, but honestly as much as I love to eat it, I have only attempted to make it once…over 20 years ago. I was living on Cape Cod at the time and got it in my head that I was going to master two of my favorite dishes at the time, Thom Yum Gung and Pad Thai. I bought a Thai cookbook and started going through the list of ingredients I would need and realized that the Kaffir lime leaf, lemon grass, galangal, preserved tamarind, brine cured radishes, and dried shrimp my recipes called for were definitely not stocked at my local grocer. Because I was travelling weekly to NYC at the time, I made a quick stop to Chinatown, list in...

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Chef… a Feast for the Eyes

Posted by on May 8, 2014 in Film | 0 comments

If like me, cooking is your passion, you are in for a treat with the soon to be released movie, Chef, written and directed by Jon Favreau. Last week, my sister, Shan and I attended an advance screening which thankfully started outside of the screening room at The Stouffer’s Mac ‘N’ Cheese Food Truck, where we sampled a variety of mac ‘n cheeses prepared by Chef Luciene Vendome. I say “thankfully”, because going to this movie hungry is a big mistake… you will not make it through it as Chef Carl Casper, played by Favreau, serves up one mouthwatering dish after the next. It’s a feast for the eyes and you can almost taste everything through the screen. Favreau is completely convincing in his role as a chef and looks to be a natural. A little digging and I...

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Freshology: Putting the Magic into Healthy Meals and Delivering Them Right to Your Door Daily

Posted by on May 7, 2014 in Dining, Family, Health | 0 comments

Let’s face it, most of us don’t have the time to invest in preparing three healthy meals a day, so we often wind up taking short cuts when it comes to getting meals onthe table that may not always be the healthiest or figure friendly. Even if you love to cook, like I do, the process of deciding what to make, grocery shopping, and then preparing a meal can feel daunting, when you have a million other things to get done. If like many busy people, you’d love the ability to enjoy well-prepared, healthy meals each day, without having to invest a lot of time and thought into their preparation, Freshology may offer you a solution with their meal service that delivers freshly prepared, healthy meals right to your doorstep. While food can be shipped twice per week anywhere...

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A Sweet! Partnership with The Wyland Foundation Spreads Conservation Education in Los Angeles

Posted by on Apr 25, 2014 in Education, Events, Family, Giving Back, Parenting | 0 comments

If you’re a frequenter of Laguna Beach, you are more than likely very familiar with the artist, Wyland. His large murals depicting whales and other marine life are prominent. With galleries in Southern California, Hawaii, Florida, Nevada, as well as Northern California, and murals across the country and internationally, Wyland is a world renowned environmental artist and conservationist. Through the work of his organization, The Wyland Foundation, he has made it his mission to educate the public, particularly parents and their children, on the importance of protecting the health of our world’s oceans and waterways. Now his message and his art have a new home for the first time in Los Angeles, through a partnership forged between The Wyland Foundation and Sweet!, a massive 28,000 square foot candy “emporium” located at Hollywood and Highland. This first of its kind,...

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Unveiling the Newest Spring Lash Trends at The Lash Spot Spa

Posted by on Apr 23, 2014 in Beauty, Events | 1 comment

When it comes to make-up I prefer a more natural look…on myself at least. Mascara, bronzer and lipstick for a pop of color, and maybe a little earth-toned eye shadow and I’m out the door. When I’m going all out, I’ll add some eyeliner, fill in my eyebrows a bit, even out my skin with some loose mineral powder, and add some extra mascara. Even with a minimalist approach however, I do have to spend some time on my eyelashes. One thing I’ve frequently thought is how nice it would be to just jump up, throw my hair up, slap on some lipstick and go. Unfortunately, my lashes are short and fine, and they don’t have much curl to them, so my eyes look terrible with no mascara. Even more unfortunate is how often I think I can sneak...

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Afforable Self Indulgence at Kalologie 360 Spa in Ladera Ranch

Posted by on Apr 22, 2014 in Beauty | 0 comments

Without getting too specific about my age, let’s just say the last couple of years have not been easy on my skin. So, I was excited to have the opportunity to learn about some of the products and services offered at Kalologie 360 Spa during their grand opening ceremony in Ladera Ranch this past week. While I invest pretty significantly in high quality skin care products, the one area I’ve really cheated myself on has been spa services. Well, after my trip to Kalologie, where I experienced several mini sessions demonstrating their products and services first hand, that is about to change. This location, the first in Orange County, offers an affordable membership that will allow you to take advantage of spa services such as customized massages, customized facials, facial peels, body and facial waxing treatments, and micro resurfacing,...

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Brightening Up The Kitchen with Fresh Fruit Vinegar Mangé Le Gastronome

Posted by on Mar 26, 2014 in Recipes | 0 comments

If, like me, you’re a lover of cooking with different types of vinegar, this should be right up your alley! I’d have a hard time counting all of the bottles of vinegar on my counter and in my pantry, which include champagne vinegar, rice vinegar, sherry vinegar, cider vinegar, white vinegar, red and white wine vinegar, aged balsamic vinegar, as well as a number of flavored balsamic vinegar. I use them all and I have to control myself when I see a new one that sounds interesting because I am running out of space! So I was happy to have the opportunity to review a line of Fresh Fruit vinegar by Mangé Le Gastronome. When my package from Mangé arrived, the first thing that stood out was that their Fresh Fruit vinegar look different from anything I had on...

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Peter and the Starcatcher Now Playing at the Ahmanson Theater

Posted by on Dec 10, 2013 in Featured, Theatre | 0 comments

“All children, except one, grow up.” ~ opening to Peter Pan Peter and the Starcatcher, a play by Rick Elice, based on the children’s book of a similar name by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, is an imaginative and humorous telling of the story of the Boy who wouldn’t grow up and his friendship with Molly, The Starcatcher. The play’s creative use of sparse props and enchanting stage sets invite you to use your imagination as you are taken on a journey in this prequel of how the Boy became Peter Pan. Picture a simple rope turning into a room and then waves. Picture actors becoming doors on the ship, The Neverland, and plants in a jungle. This cast of 12 actors, plays dozens of characters and objects. You may be reminded of your own imaginary, magical world when...

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