Friday, June 18, 2010

Frosting Win!

There's always an excuse to make cupcakes! For the final Lakers/Celtics basketball game I baked themed cupcakes. Vanilla cupcakes with a small chocolate chip cookie and vanilla frosting. I used a boxed cake mix, BUT always make homemade icing! Using homemade frosting definitely adds an extra special touch (canned grocery store frosting is never good)!



Easy-Peasy Vanilla Frosting

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
6 to 8 cups confectioners sugar
½ cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Ta Da!

For Christmas my Mom gave me a sewing calendar. I haven't made any of the patterns yet...bad I know...since it's almost July! So I decided I needed to catch up and busy my hands! The first project I took on was the "Tea Towel Apron."

The directions seemed pretty simple for my first project. All I needed was a tea towel and some ribbon. I bought this tea towel at the Dollar Store - I thought it held a lot of potential with the upcoming 4th of July Holiday coming up!

Ta da! The finished product! Not too shabby! I feel like it looks like a square...maybe it needs more embellishment....more pizazz...more glitter! Not too bad for my first sewing calendar project...

On a side note, I started volunteering today at the Santa Monica Historical Society Museum. To break up the monotony of my job searching days, I decided to give up some of my time to non-profit organizations. The Santa Monica Historical Society is preparing to move from their current location, a quaint bungalow on Euclid Street, to the modern Santa Monica Library at 6th Street and Santa Monica. It's such an exciting move for the Historical Society, since they will have new updated exhibits, more space, an environmentally sound environment, and a greater public presence. What did I do my first day? I helped catalogue their collection and saw some amazing pieces of Santa Monica history. I can't wait to go back again!
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Friday, June 11, 2010

Feels like Summer!

Finally it feels like summer! And what better way to celebrate summer than go to the Hollywood Bowl. It's seriously my favorite place in L.A. My three friends and I went to the 32nd Annual Playboy Jazz Festival on Saturday afternoon and night. I bought us discount tickets at Goldstar - a website dedicated to discount event tickets. I've purchased a lot of tickets to different events - plays, sporting events, movies, concerts - and am always happy with the seats and performances!

We had a glorious potluck picnic inside the Bowl including an assortment of veggies and chips with dip, seasoned pepitas, sandwiches with grilled veggies and turkey, and oatmeal date nut cookies. Oh, and of course I forgot the wine and specialty cocktail! ;o)

Oatmeal Date Nut Cookies


1/2 pound (2 sticks) margarine or butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
3 cups old fashioned oats uncooked
1-1/2 cup chopped dates (the more dates the merrier!)
1 cup chopped walnuts


Heat oven to 350°F.

In large bowl, beat together margarine and sugars with electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add to margarine mixture; mix well. Stir in oats, dates, and walnuts; mix well.

Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely.

These Oatmeal Date Nut Cookies are my favorite and always a crowd pleaser!

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Where were you in '62?

Wednesday night I saw American Graffiti (1973) at the Orpheum Theater in Downtown Los Angeles as part of the Los Angeles Conservancy's Last Remaining Seats film series held in historic theaters! The movie and the venue was amazing! I wish I lived during the 60s - love the music and the clothes! And what made it more amazing was the venue - the Orpheum Theater (826 S. Broadway) - the French themed theater opened in 1926 and was designed by G. Albert Lansburgh. Fortunately the theater underwent a rehabilitation in 2001 - thank you to the owner Steve Needleman for saving this theater!

Circa 1926, Courtesy of LAPL

Current, Courtesy of

First, we kicked off the night with Happy Hour at Yxta, a hidden downtown gem. The margaritas and the tacos de pollo got a huge thumbs up! The margaritas were very fresh and not too sweet. The tacos de pollo had a yummy chicken filling nicely marinated with onions and homemade corn tortillas. I would definitely go back again!

The sponsor of the night Hugh Hefner who was even in the audience with his entourage! Providing additional entertainment. Before the movie started two of the main actresses from the film, Cindy Williams (aka Laverne) and Candy Clark, introduced the film.

There are still tickets available for the two last movies: Wild Flower and Peter Pan. AND if you're already not a member of the Los Angeles Conservancy yet than join here!

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ridiculously Delicious Rhubarb Blueberry Crisp

I recently became obsessed with rhubarb! I just love the way the word sounds - rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb. Never in my thirty years have I ever tried this odd fruit, so I became obsessed finding where to buy it and finding the perfect recipe. I had no idea what to expect! So, I bought some rhubarb at my local farmer's market and adapted a recipe I found on

How to choose rhubarb: Look for brightly hued (reddish) stalks that are firm and crisp. Often rhubarb is sold with its leaves, but only the stalks are edible. Just think about it like choosing some good fresh celery, except it's red.

Rhubarb Blueberry Crisp Recipe


Crumb Mixture
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 cups sliced rhubarb
  • 1 small container blueberries
  • 1/2 lemon

Sugar Mixture

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
In mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, oats, butter and cinnamon. Mix together until crumbly. Press half of the crumb mixture into a buttered 9-inch baking dish. Top with sliced rhubarb and blueberries; squeeze lemon over fresh fruit.

In a saucepan combine 3/4 cup sugar, cornstarch, water and vanilla. Cook together until clear, then pour over rhubarb and blueberries. Top with the remaining crumb mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes.

Serve warm over vanilla ice cream and get ready to enjoy a ridiculously delicious crisp! Bon Appetit!

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