The 4th Annual SANTA Monica Pub Crawl will take place on Saturday, December 15, 2012, at 5PM in Santa Monica, CA. The city’s best bars and restaurants will come together to help raise money for those in need during the holidays through a partnership with the Westside Food Bank. This event is going to be super fun and a great way to get friends together for the holidays!
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Hostess Handbook Newsletter
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The holidays are here and gift getting can get pretty stressful and expensive! Soo I put together some of my favorite items that are ohh soo cute and ohh soo on your budget! Enjoy our gift guide under 25 dollars!
Target Animal Print Flats
Your mama always said to eat your peas and carrots right? Well, maybe that was a 50′s thing! Anywho, I love green peas and wanted to whip up something different with them for the holidays! What about a YUMmazing pea soup with white truffle oil? Ummmmm Yes, please! And this soup displayed on a red plate can be a very festive dish! This recipe is super easy and inexpensive to make for your holiday parties. My favorite ingredients are lemon and manchego cheese! Yup, the lemon gives this soup a nice zing with the rich and bold flavor of the truffle oil! The manchego is subtle but adds a nice undertone! Your guests will be wowed at this unique twist on the petit green pea!
2 Bags frozen petit green peas
1 Large shallot, finely diced (3 Tablespoons)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Table spoon white truffle oil
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1 Cup chicken stock
2 Tablespoons, finely grated, manchego cheese
1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
1/2 cup lemon juice
Salt and Pepper to taste
Boil the green peas until very soft. Transfer them to a blender with some chicken stock and blend till liquified. Sauté the shallots in the butter and olive oil in a pan. Then take the green pea puree and sautéed shallots with butter and olive oil and add them together in a pot. Add the rest of the chicken stock if you did not use all of it to blend the peas. Bring everything to a boil and then add the white truffle oil, lemon, heavy cream, manchego cheese and salt and pepper! Garnish with lemon slices!
Nestled in the magnificent setting of Westwood, W Los Angeles – Westwood will transform its world-renowned WET pool deck into a stunning winter escape complete with a 1,600 square feet hybrid ice skating rink and a rink-side lounge decorated as a modern holiday oasis. . This annual event has proved so popular that for the fourth year in a row, The W Westwood will become a wonderfully festive scene to celebrate the holidays, perfect for corporate parties, family gatherings and friendly outings. Outdoor ice skating is a cherished and ideal winter activity, for couples and friends alike. At the W Westwood, guests can glide across the rink while taking in the tingle of California’s crisp winter air as they spin and slide on the coolest rink around.
This year, CHILL will be styled by veteran LA-based event design and production company, Chad Hudson Events. The new design evokes a classic approach to winter whimsy, inspired by the clean and sophisticated look guests experience when entering a W Hotel. Chad Hudson and team will focus on playful, holiday inspired vignettes in each rink-side cabana beginning with a palette of white, black, gold and silver. Z Gallerie’s elegant and dramatic lighting fixtures and holiday accessories will provide the area with a feeling of hip winter nostalgia and holiday sparkle. Hints of neon will add surprise and delight to the holiday festivities.
More exciting new surprises this season include private skate lessons with top-level coaches and professional performers on select dates and special performances by StudioSK8® on Saturday evenings at 8PM,. As a charitable tie-in for the season of giving, the W Westwood is partnering with Z Gallerie, to help raise awareness and funds for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network with a special fragrance candle. Additional features include snowfall every hour, skate-up E-WOW cabana, featured bar serving winter cocktails such as Spin, Spin Sugar and the CHILL Pick Me Up, and a Kids Corner on weekends for holiday gingerbread cookie decorating and more. Cold spectators and skaters can enjoy delectable comfort foods in a rink-side cabana and warm up with specialty cocktails from The Backyard’s “Ice Bar”, managed by Choice Hospitality Group. The Ice Bar menu will offer winter bites from Executive Chef Dakota Weiss, such as Cherry Stone Clams baked with Chorizo and Mezcal Butter; Char Grilled Hobbs Bacon with Apple and Habenero Chimichurri; Sherry Braised Dates with Pancetta, Manchego and grilled bread; and Warm Apple Tart with “Moonshine” Hard Sauce and Clove Crumble. For some extra family fun, the hotel will also be offering a “12-Days-of-Christmas” gift giveaway, with hidden QR codes at CHILL which guests can scan-to-enter for daily prizes leading up to Christmas.
If these are not the most amazing party shoes, I don’t know what is! They are also super festive for the holiday season! Give me bows and glitter and I am in heaven! However, these are definitely a splurge worthy item and I’m saying roll out the big bucks. If it makes you feel any better they were originally $450 and now down to $315! My advice? Keep an eye on these bad boys and grab them when they go on sale even more! Uhhhhh great find! You can buy these Red Valentino glitter pumps at SAKS...of course!
There seems to be a book for everything these days. And yes I sound like a grandma! When did greasy food and water not become the go to hangover cure? Well, apparently there are a lot of other ways to cure that headache and feeling of death after a fun Saturday night! This book is super cute and so great as a hostess, birthday or holiday gift for the right person. I personally would love this for my coffee table! What are your Hangover Cures?
The Hostess Handbook is always up for some DIY projects and the holiday season is the perfect time to let your inner DIY Diva out! Everyone is looking for unique ornaments and these are just the ticket! This project is also a great activity for holiday parties. Clear ornaments are super easy to find and cheaptastic! All these items can be found at the dollar store for the diva on a budget!
To make these unique ornaments, simply get the clear variety and fill them with your favorite candy. I love the way Tic Tacs and sprinkles look! They are also cheap fillers!
This winter, make a big bow hit with this H and M burgundy dress! I love this look because it can be worn to the office and to a party! No need to run home to change and make yourself crazy. Wear this all day and night no problem! I also just loves bows so when I saw this bow dress I swooned! It also comes in black but I am really partial to the burgundy because the bow stands out more! This bow dress is super cute and so on your budget at under $20!
Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman-Author of The Desk and The Stove
Beet & Goat Cheese Tartlets with Rosemary and Caramelized Shallot
I love being an ex-pat. The opportunity for kvetching is endless – both about my own country and my adopted one. Yet, I will remain resolutely patriotic when it comes to one vital ingredient: our food sense. Sure, we may have invented McDonalds, but, really, it is just a part of our continued legacy – transforming something from the old world into a tastier and more commercially viable product (hint, a dash of sarcasm).
That being said, my tasty beet and goat cheese tart is my response to the British affinity for pies. I think you will agree; this goat cheese and beet version is a bit more sophisticated than the quintessential steak and kidney (although, I have to say I am a HUGE fan of steak and ale pie for a proper Sunday lunch). Despite its rather dainty appearance, it is still quite hearty and packs a punch with flavor. The goat cheese melts into the filling and the truffle oil perfectly pairs with the earthiness of the beets. You can use ready-made pastry dough if you’re in a hurry, but the recipe given really complements the filling – and it can be used for a variety of other ones as well!
With the self-contained pastry case keeping the tarts a fun-size, I think it’s the prefect party canapé for an winter soiree. Just rock one of Jess’s amazing party frocks and you are set to go!!!!
125 g all purpose flour
75 g butter, room temperature and cut into smallish lumps, plus a bit extra for greasing
40 g parmesan, finely grated
1 large egg, beaten
3 large shallots, chopped into thin slices (julienne)
2 beets, cooked and diced
2 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
110 g goat cheese
25 g butter
120 ml light cream
¼ tsp mustard powder (or ½ tsp mustard)
Salt and pepper
For the pastry dough:
1) Sift the flour into a large bowl, then, using a knife, cut the butter into the flour until it is evenly distributed.
2) Add the grated Parmesan, a pinch of cayenne pepper and about 1½ tablespoons of cold water. Mix thoroughly using your fingertips until you have a smooth dough.
3) Wrap the dough with saran wrap and rest in the fridge for at least 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
4) Once the dough has rested, roll it out as thin as possible and use a cutter to cut 12 rounds. Grease the tin trays (or cupcake holders!) with a bit of butter and line them with the dough, allowing it to stand a bit above the rims to allow for shrinkage.
5) Prick the bases with a fork and brush a bit of beaten egg all over. Cook for about 10 minutes (or until just cooked), rotating half way through. Set aside for later use.
For the filling:
1) Sauté the shallots in a bit of butter on low heat for approx. 30 minutes. They should caramelize on their own, but add a bit of natural cane sugar to help the process along.
2) In a separate pan, sauté the already cooked beets in the truffle oil, season with salt and pepper and add a bit of the chopped rosemary.
3) Whisk the egg with the cream and mustard into a jug and season with salt, pepper and a bit of cayenne pepper.
4) Mix together the shallots with the beets and rosemary in a separate bowl. Spoon a bit of the mixture into each pastry case, spreading it out evenly. Pour the egg mixture over it.
5) Cut the cheese into thin slices, making a round with your fingers as the cheese will be soft. Put a slice on top of each tartlet and garnish with a bit more of the beet and rosemary and a dash of cayenne pepper.
6) Bake for 20 minutes or puffy and golden, rotating the pan half way through.
7) Let cool for about 5 minutes, then remove from tins/ cupcake holders but remember to serve them warm!!! Yummm.
I am loving these monogrammed coasters from C Wonder as hostess and holiday gifts the season! They are super cute and oh so on your budget at $10! These bad boys are a perfect gift for a close friend and an acquaintance. The Hostess Handbook would love to get a set of these!
The Holidays are finally here! I know, I know we were just celebrating Thanksgiving and now onto the next thing! However, the holiday season is such a great time of year to put your DIY Diva selves to work! This DIY puzzle piece snow flake is a great project to do with friends as an activity at a holiday party! Activities are always a must when putting on a good party! Its so unique and guests can take it home and use it on their tree or for decor! Everyone loves taking home a little something! This project is also super easy and cheaptastic! I just love how all the different shapes of the puzzle pieces make one of a kind snow flakes, just like the real thing!
Here is what Ya do!
Get a puzzle of your liking and make sure it will have uniform colors. Mismatched colored puzzle pieces can look messy when making your snowflake. This puzzle had a lot of blue pieces and was thus a good choice for making a clean looking snow flake! Light blue is also a great color to use in general for a winter snow flake look!
Then, glue the puzzle pieces together by overlapping the ends. Take each point of the snow flake and connect them in the center. Vary the lengths of the points to give the snow flake some depth!
Finally, take a whole puncher and make a circular hole at the top of one of the puzzle pieces. Thread a sting through the hole in order to hang the ornament! Wahoo! A puzzle piece snow flake made in no time!
Happy Turkey day everyone! This is one of my favorite holidays. Why you might ask? Because it is centered around eating and drinking! What could be better? Learn how to cook turkey with wine for a Jolly good time today!
How to Cook Turkey with Wine
Step 1: Buy a turkey
Step 2: Have a glass of wine
Step 3: Stuff turkey
Step 4: Have a glass of wine
Step 5: Put turkey in the oven
Step 6: Relax, and have another few glasses of wine
Step 7: Turk the bastey
Step 8: Wine of glass another get
Step 9: Ponder the meat thermometer
Step 10: Glass yourself another pour of wine
Step 11: Bake the wine for 4 hours
Step 12: Take the oven out of the turkey
Step 13: Floor the turkey up of the pick
Step 14: Turk the carvey
Step 15: Get yourself another wottle of bine
Step 16: Tet the sable, pour yourself another glass of turkey
Step 17: Say grace, throw-up, and pass out.
A great sparkling wine makes any event more lively and special. Serve a glass or two as a starter as guests are arriving — or at the table; they’re wonderful companions for food.
Flor NV Prosecco Rosé, $22
B) White: Sauvignon Blanc
Light and crisp, with grassy or herbaceous flavors. Higher acidity.
Daulny 2011 Sancerre, Loire Valley, $23
C) Red: Pinot Noir
Younger wines are fruity with essence of plums and strawberries. Older wines take on an earthy edge.
La Crotta 2011 Pinot Nero, Valle d’Aosta, $20
Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman-Author of The Desk and The Stove
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup plus 3 tbl buttermilk
1 stick plus 2 tbl butter, melted
All I’m gonna say is Turduckenage! Turkey, duck, chicken and sausage all in one! It really is one of the most unique turkey recipes out there! I was at a friends Thanksgiving on Sunday and the master chef out of the group, Bill Bridges, made a Turduckenage for the event! Everyone was amazed at the presentation and even more impressed by the taste. If you want to do something special and unique this year with your turkey this is it! The layers of varying meat give everyone what they could possible want and make it fun for people to explore and decide which layer was their favorite or which combo they liked best! I suggest you keep it pretty simple and season the meats lightly as there will be a lot of flavor with all the different meats. Now, you make this with BONE-OUT layers of the meat. So bone-out Turkey, chicken and duck. You can ask for this at your super market! Then you lay the different meats out on a table and layer them one on top of the other. So you would put the bone-out turkey on a table and season it with salt, pepper and paprika and then put a layer of duck on top of that and so on. At the end you roll the meat up and keep the whole thing together with string. There are so many unique turkey recipes for thanksgiving but this one really takes the cake and it is actually pretty easy! The process will seem much easier when you watch the video below! Just add sausage to what you see! You can also roll everything up and keep it intact with tight string instead of sewing!