Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Everyone looked so great!!
And, next season, there will be four trainers- they're gearing us up for Jillian's departure! Tear.
I caught wind of a spin class Bob teaches in the LA area, and I'll most definitely be writing about it in the new year!
Monday, December 13, 2010
It's really a good idea for anyone- you can freshen up and feel great for any unexpected event.
Friday, November 26, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Their burgers are bomb, with a little pineapple jalapeño kick. A minor problem with our order, and they made it up with a couple of cupcakes... and couldn’t have been nicer about it! Shop around for beer, wine, and other goodies while you wait, and you won’t be disappointed.
1915 N Bronson Ave, Right near UCB Theater
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Enter Jaason Simmons. Very quickly, he rinsed, cut, and styled my limp lackluster locks into thick bouncy (younger!) perfection. One of my fellow actors was having her hair dyed at the same time, and he took her from drab to sex goddess in under an hour.
Like most girls, I love a nice cocktail. When a friend described Thirsty Crow’s drinks as “old timey,” I was sold. It’s in a kind of sketchy hood, and a little hard to find, but just look for the huge gorilla mural down the block. It’s a great spot to kick back with a group of friends (and people watch, when we were there, a couple was having a passionate argument, him calling her his muse while refusing to accept that she just broke it off.) Okay, back to the bar!
They specialize in Whiskey drinks, but have other options for those that just can’t go there. Shockingly, the drinks were delish and not too strong (which is good for a lightweight like me!) I can’t wait to try the Mint Julep on my next visit!
The Thirsty Crow, 2939 W Sunset Blvd, LA, CA
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Without my favorite kickboxing and bodyscuplt plus abs classes, I've felt totally lethargic, but honestly, I'm too tired to make it through day to day activities! And the reason I love these classes is the sweat through your clothes, endorphins flying high, don't-eat-before-or-you-might-barf activity. Honestly, you're so in the moment just trying to make it through that you can't think of anything else and can escape reality for 45 minutes. Maybe this is why I'm not a yoga girl. Really- I once said to a group of people, "I know it's really un-cool, but I feel like each yoga class is slow torture and I loathe yoga." Cue odd stares.
I've been trying to take little walks and make time for naps (because there's no way I can ever get a full 8 hours at once!) but I'm wondering if there's anything I should be doing pre-and post-op to help with healing and energy. Any ideas?
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Sea Harbour Seafood, 3939 Rosemead Blvd
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Is one of my favorite lunch/ brunch spots. They also have great pastry and coffee (and pies, etc.) you can pick up to go. I was lucky enough to live a few blocks away at one point in time, and would frequently walk down to indulge and people watch. Last week, I had an appointment in the area, and stopped in for a long lunch.
Anytime you catch yourself thinking, “It feels wrong to be this excited and pleased with food,” you know it’s a spot to frequent. I had a perfect latte and quiche made with tomatoes, basil, and cheese. Delish. The assorted mini-pastry and muffins they bring out before your food are delightful. Try the pancakes, but don’t skip the coffee!
La Conversation, 638 N Doheny, LA, 90069
I can't get enough... it's just so inspiring.
Did you see Rick's transformation this week? Love him, and was so sad he was voted out!
I love that the show really highlights the fact that you can get healthy (lose weight or adopt a better lifestyle) at home. I know it's turned into a huge brand, but you just have to love the positive message.
Maybe the Biggest Loser marathon I've been having all day has me pumped up on endorphins! :-)
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
I recently discovered Extra's Dessert Delights gum.
They have several flavors, but the only one available at my local store was the "Strawberry Shortcake." In the parking lot, I was digging through my bag and ripping open the package like, well, a kid in a candy store. I felt like Violet Beauregard from "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." You know, the one who chewed the tomato soup- roast beef- pie gum and turned into a blueberry? My pack was a little stale at first chew (maybe with all the flavor? or maybe it was just this pack?) but the flavor was awesome- like strawberries and cream. Yum! I can't wait to try Mint Chocolate Chip and Key Lime Pie!
|(Photo from Extra's Facebook.)|
You do have to wait a couple of minutes to press it down, so you don’t get that instant gratification sip the second it’s handed to you… but totally worth it. I like it because you can get a stronger cup, and it’s a great way to try all of the pricey blends that line the walls (for the price of a regular cup).
Sunday, October 10, 2010
I loved this Korean food. The tamales are also exceptional. Now, there are two stands, so go to the one down by the farmer’s market restaurant. Across from that stand is Zack at Carmela Ice Cream- go there! The mint chocolate with real mint, the strawberry buttermilk, and lavender honey are personal favorites. On the way out, pick up a bouquet of fresh flowers, a bushel of oysters from Carlsbad Aquafarm for dinner, and you’re set for a perfect evening.
Ivar and Selma Ave, 8am-1pm Sunday
Thursday, October 7, 2010
I wanted to make Michael Chiarello's Caprese Tart, but didn’t have all of the ingredients or tart pans. So, I improvised and made a Caprese Galette (which is a fancy name for what Southerners might call a tomato pie).
First, I preheated the oven to 400. Then, I rolled out a store bought pie crust (yes, I did go there) and shaved parmigiano reggiano onto the crust. Next, I layered (farmer’s market fresh) tomatoes and mozzarella, and topped it all with basil, salt, pepper, and evoo…
Crimped the edges of the crust…
Brushed the crust with olive oil, and baked for 35 minutes. Here’s what came out…
I didn’t measure the amounts, so next time, I’d probably use less mozzarella and more tomatoes so it’s less gooey. It was a big hit (lasting mere minutes). It’s so simple, so delicious, and tastes like it took hours to make- definitely a great addition to your recipe collection!
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
He made the most delicious food- everything was impeccable. These roasted almonds were to die for- smoky, a bit spicy, and hard to quit eating. He roasted the corn for the calabacitas tacos, and the rajas were equally impressive (but I’m a wimp and apparently can’t do spicy!) My favorite, though, was his homemade guacamole, topped with crab meat and cheese- talk about decadent. Top it off with a couple of pitchers of sangria, and we had a blast!
I made Mexican brownies with chipotle and cinnamon, and like a bad blogger, didn’t take any pics. They were popular, though, so be on the lookout for a recipe!
Thursday, September 30, 2010
My favorite coffee haunt is Peet's (c'mon, have to represent the Berkeley roots!), so I may be partial to their version of the PSL. The other day, though, I was at a grocery store right next to Starbucks and wanted to actually give them a chance. Their PSL seemed to be all sugar, no coffee, and that's not my style. Looks like I'll be sticking to Peet's!
Anyone have suggestions for another place with good seasonal drinks?
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Tomorrow is the Abbot Kinney Festival. There will be bands playing, all kinds of art to buy, and all kinds of food and drink (tons of food trucks are confirmed- yes!). The festival is designed to raise funds and re-invest in the community. I've been a couple of times, and it's always super fun. If you're around Venice tomorrow, it's definitely worth checking out.
For more info, click here.
Friday, September 24, 2010
|Blissing Out on Banana Pudding|
Baby Blues BBQ, 7953 Santa Monica Blvd, LA
If you read my blog regularly, you know I love The Biggest Loser. Imagine my delight when I saw this PSA for the 26th Annual Aids Walk LA by Mr. Bob Harper himself.
Please donate to a worthy cause or sign up to walk yourself! (See previous post on AIDS Walk for where to donate.)
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
If you said yes to these questions, read on and thank me later. Candela Taco Bar on La Brea looks random on the outside, but the interior is decorated with dark woods and beautiful carved furniture, and once you taste the food, you may not ever want to leave.
I only tried the Lengua tacos because the idea of eating cow tongue grossed me out, but they are outta control delicious- tender, moist, savory, everything a taco should be.The Rajas y Queso (chile and cheese) were my personal favorite... strips of roasted chile with cheese combine to form pure heaven in your mouth. The others in our party sampled the pork with pineapple, fried fish, and spicy shrimp... each taco was as good as the last.
2 for 1 fish tacos on Monday, $1 taco Wednesday, and Salsa dancing on Thursday- it's cheaper than eating at home and so easy to become a regular here!
And it's open til midnight!
Candela Taco Bar, 831 S. La Brea Ave, LA
(Photo provided by Candela Web Site)
Thursday, September 16, 2010
I honestly can’t stop thinking a lot about my recent trip to SC. While I relished the all of the fried goodies, a stop into Magnolia’s for refined Low country cuisine was definitely in order. Yes, Magnolia’s was on Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”- and for good reason. While the pimento cheese was awesome, the blue crab bisque was simply out of this world, and I had a salad with cherries, bitter chocolate, and goat cheese that was from an entirely different universe (and I wanna go!). And you can’t go wrong with pecan pie!
Magnolia’s 185 East Bay Street, Charleston, SC
Monday, September 13, 2010
For the second part of our evening, we headed East to (what we deemed) Little Cuba. To be honest, I selfishly thought about not blogging this spot because it’s that cool.
La Descarga is easily my favorite spot in LA. It’s a speak-easy with a cigar bar, an amazing house band, super hot burlesque shows, and strong yet delicious drinks. Even if you can’t dance Salsa, you’ll be motivated by the couples spinning and stepping around the dance floor.
Get there a little early and head to the Cafe Con Leche food truck that parks down the street for delicious fare and sweet, hot Cuban coffee. If you go later, expect a delicious pastry to be available, but risk missing the popular items like the El Manolo (steak sandwich) or Arroz Con Leche.
Drinking a “dark and stormy” at La Descarga, 1159 N. Western Avenue, LA
The other day, a friend and I headed down to Little Ethiopia for a new experience. It was already starting to get kind of late, so we chose the place with a sign in the front that said there was a “super secret comedy show” going on inside.
As soon as we walked in, the “comedians” started talking to us through the bar, and proceeded to heckle us with inappropriate obscenities throughout our meal (I mean, we were bright red, and I’m not easily offended). My friend ordered a glass of wine, which took about 15 minutes to come out (in a soaking wet glass), and we saw the waitress pour the end of one bottle in and open another to fill it all the way.
Neither of us had ever tried Ethiopian food, so we asked the waitress what was good. We ended up with this combo plate of chicken, lamb, and beef- she threw in some lentils to sample, too. The meat was pretty good- especially the chicken, but we both liked the lentils best. There are no utensils, so you eat with Injera and the sour flavor combined with the fluffy-ness kind of freaked us both out.
All in all, it was a new experience- I’d try it again to sample the vegetarian dishes, but don’t think I’d ever have a craving for it. Everyone working there was very nice and helpful…just be sure to stay away on comedy night.
Rosalind’s Ethiopian, Fairfax Ave
Friday, September 10, 2010
After a grueling yoga class, a friend came over to enjoy an amazing lunch of brie, crackers, grapes, and prosciutto. A friend did point out that melon would have been ideal, but you've gotta work with the ingredients on hand!
Yes, this is why we work out.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
West of the Mississippi, it's another story... don't even think about Carolina Mustard Sauce. After searching around LA, I fell in love with "The Pig" and their supply of Ne-hi, only to find them closed a few months later. And so the search began once again. My ex-roomie is from Oklahoma and took me to Baby Blues in Venice, which is pretty amazing for LA (and their banana pudding is out of this world!)
While I still love Baby Blues, the search is on once again for the best BBQ in LA. I know there are some new places, and I'm willing to travel out of the city for the good stuff. Anyone have suggestions?
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
|Sushi by the pool at Tao Beach|
|Many plates, just one course at Tao|
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
More info is available here.
Sometimes, all we need is a little push to change our perspective.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
In it, Renn tells her story and campaigns for acceptance of all sizes. She recognizes that she's lucky to be the "chosen one" to blaze a path for plus girls in high fashion, and you can't help but like her, with her humor and honesty and the semi-academic citations that are sprinkled throughout the book. As she chronicles the development of her eating disorder and subsequent "turning point" and success, it's astonishing how clearly she can identify particular events as triggering her behavior. The tales of the model apartments are interesting (and pretty accurate) and add a little levity to serious subject matter. Once she reaches the point of her career as a "plus girl," she wanders off on tangents about the most random things, but all in all, it feels like you're reading a girl's letter to a friend, and that's not such a bad thing.
There are a ton of pictures in the middle of the book, and I liked that her bibliography provides interested parties with further reading material. While some of the descriptions of clothes get a little intense and some of the relationship stuff is kind of winded, it's an informative, funny, and heartfelt read. Definitely worth it!
One of my favorite spots to stop in high school, New Moon has delicious coffees, baked goods, soups, and sandwiches. This visit proved to be just as good, if not better, as my memories.
The collection of art and bumper stickers on the wall, pastry cases filled with goodies, hip employees, and coffee shop next door where they do some of the roasting reminded me of Berkeley. The friendliness of the employees and the other customers gave it a distinctly southern twist.
Bring your dog and sit outside to eat, drink, and watch people walk around downtown.
116 Laurens Street NW, Aiken, SC
While visiting Charleston, we headed down to Folly Beach and stopped in at the Crab Shack for lunch. I know, this is totally unhealthy, but it’s so rich, you can split it and still not finish your portion.
Basically, this is an english muffin (which I just skipped) topped with a cornmeal crusted fried green tomato, a crab cake, pimento cheese, and bacon.
They have healthier fare, like steamed oysters, crab legs, and clams, or more traditional nosh like shrimp and grits, crab dip, shrimp Creole, and fried seafood.
Boiled peanuts- salty, mushy goodness that you can get at some restaurants, but mainly at roadside stands, especially in the Lowcountry. I could eat these every day!
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
I got off to a bad start- as I was sampling a flavor, some girl cut in front of me in line with her party of four, and the kid working there quickly hopped over to them. So I left and went to the fab card shop next door.
When I came back in, I sampled the rosemary olive oil flavor... it was delicious. Honestly, the essence of this flavor is pure Bay Area, and took me back to my time in Berkeley.
The kid working behind the counter wasn't entirely nice, and a bit pompous when I asked any questions (like, what is the difference between the two chocolate flavors in the case), but the product is quality. Finally, I settled on a double scoop with the raspberry with chocolate chunks and the dark chocolate. It was huge- great to split, I couldn't even come close to finishing it.
It felt a bit odd to be ordering in English, and I was disappointed that they didn't have fragola or pistacchio, but it's definitely worth a try.
|Enormous Serving of Chocolate and Raspberry|
Sunday, August 1, 2010
The mushroom stew only tastes totally sinful, with a rich miso base and piece of fry bread on top. Delicious, good for your body, and good for the environment. What more can you ask for?
Vinaigrette, 709 Don Cubero Alley, Santa Fe, 87505
Friday, July 30, 2010
All it takes for a delicious smoothie is a little imagination. This one is filled with vitamins and packs a punch, thanks to the spicy kick from fresh ginger.
I just throw about 2 cups of spinach, the juice of half a lime, chunks of the other half of the lime, about a 1/2 inch chunk of ginger, a bit of honey, 1/4 cup aloe vera juice, and some ice into a blender, and voila, a giant smoothie to share!
Friday, July 23, 2010
What’s a girl to do with left over crab legs? Boil up some whole wheat pasta, add some peas, a little evoo, cracked black pepper and some truffle salt, of course! Simple, healthy, delicious, and ready in under 15 minutes! Add a nice glass of wine, and you’ll be sure to impress!
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Last week, I headed over to Santa Fe’s Capitol Grill for some drinks and a salad. Usually, I really enjoy the cocktails and a roasted chicken salad, but I have to say that they’ve lost a loyal customer for good. The trio of margaritas at the beginning of the meal were a success- some sweeter, and some more salty. But when I ordered the “B Salad” (beet salad) with grilled salmon, no butter, the waitress thought I said extra butter. Now, this normally wouldn’t be a problem- I just asked for some salmon without butter and the runner was on his way to fix it (yes, I loathe sending back food, but, come on!) I just went on my merry way sipping margaritas, and heard the chef say (yeah, we were sitting right by the kitchen) “Oh, yeah, I did put extra butter on it- there will be a new one in a minute.” Then, the manager comes to the table, greasy, glistening fish in hand and says, “I asked the chef, and he said he didn’t put any extra butter on this fish, it was the runner’s mistake. Here’s your salad."
Um, Hello? I guess this mental giant didn’t realize we could hear the conversations in the kitchen. Yes, I insisted on new salmon, but the experience was so ruined that I couldn’t eat the two measly strips that came in the end.
So, if you don’t mind being lied to by the management, go to Capitol Grill. But, if you want to go to a place that operates with integrity- I suggest totally avoiding the joint.