Visiting Your Local Museums | Out and About

Los Angeles has plenty to offer on a rainy day, and what better way is there than to fill it with culture at one of the many museums in town? From LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) to MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art), the city’s vast selection of famed art can be experienced without leaving your doorstep. Check out our list for more information about current exhibitions and museum details so you have no excuse not to indulge yourself in some dazzling artwork!

LACMA | Los Angeles County Museum of Art

LACMA’s collections are impressive and provide visitors the chance to explore works from across centuries, regions, and cultures. Discover stunning masterpieces of modernism, large-scale contemporary pieces, and traditional Japanese screens at one of the top local museums. At LACMA, you’ll find some of Los Angeles’s most superb special exhibitions.

Current Exhibits: Another World: The Transcendental Painting Group, 1938–1945 [December 18, 2022 – June 19, 2023]; The Five Directions: Lacquer Through East Asia [December 18, 2022 – April 16, 2023]; Afro-Atlantic Histories [December 11, 2022 – September 10, 2023]; Marley Freeman, ones former other one, 2021, New Abstracts: Recent Acquisitions [November 12, 2022 – May 29, 2023], 1947 Pressing Politics: Revolutionary Graphics from Mexico and Germany [October 29, 2022 – July 22, 2023]; Scandinavian Design and the United States, 1890–1980 [October 9, 2022 – February 5, 2023]; Robert Budzinski’s Faces of Humanity, Reexamining the Grotesque: Selections from the Robert Gore Rifkind Collection [September 24, 2022 – March 5, 2023]

Hours:

Monday 11 am–6 pm
Tuesday 11 am–6 pm
Wednesday Closed
Thursday 11 am–6 pm
Friday 11 am–8 pm
Saturday 10 am–7 pm
Sunday 10 am–7 pm

Closed on Wednesdays, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day

More info.

Getty Center

When it comes to local museums, The Getty is a must. Perched atop its hillside residence, the J. Paul Getty Trust boasts an impressive collection of art and artifacts in both its original Villa home as well as newer center pavilions – all open to explore with free admission. Offering a unique perspective on L.A.’s landscape from Downtown vistas to Westward views of hillsides and oceans, visitors have the opportunity to experience Impressionist pieces, ornate French furniture displays, and rotating exhibitions over this remarkable site.

Current Exhibits: Uta Barth: Peripheral Vision [November 15, 2022–February 19, 2023], In Dialogue [October 25, 2022–March 5, 2023], Códice Maya de México [October 18, 2022–January 15, 2023], Dutch Drawings from a Collector’s Cabinet [October 11, 2022–January 15, 2023], Eighteenth-Century Pastels [August 30, 2022–February 26, 2023], J. Paul Getty Life and Legacy
[May 25, 2021–Ongoing]

Hours: Open 10 am–5:30 pm | Saturday 10 am–9 pm

Closed Mondays
Holiday closures: Thanksgiving Day, December 25, and January 1

More info.

Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

With the bequest of entrepreneur Henry E. Huntington, Los Angeles is home to one of the most enjoyable attractions in the region today. Offering a unique blend of art, library holdings, and vast outdoor spaces worthy of exploration for an entire day – from Gutenberg Bible to stunningly landscaped Japanese gardens, every corner exudes essentiality! Delightful leisure awaits visitors aiming for full appreciation rather than making it a mad rush experience.

Current Exhibits: Method and Material: Tempera Painting in Focus
[Feb. 26–March 13, 2023], Gee’s Bend: Shared Legacy [Sept. 17, 2022–Sept. 4, 2023], Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts [Dec. 10, 2022–March 27, 2023], Crafting a Garden: Inside the Creation of Liu Fang Yuan [Oct. 22, 2022–May 29, 2023]

Hours:

Monday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Tuesday Closed
Wednesday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Thursday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Friday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

 

The last ticketed entry time is 4 p.m.

The Huntington is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Independence Day.

More info.

The Broad

As far as modern art museums go, The Broad stands out both inside and out. At this downtown museum, you’ll find a contemporary art experience like no other. Admirers of Yayoi Kusama, Andy Warhol, and more can explore two Infinity Mirror Rooms as well as an extensive collection featuring 2,000 post-war pieces from some of our favorite artists. Venture out into the plaza for tranquility among olive trees before grabbing a scrumptious bite at Otium restaurant with its French Laundry influence from Timothy Hollingsworth himself!

Current Exhibits:  William Kentridge: In Praise of Shadows [Nov 12 – Apr 09, 2023]

Coming Soon:  Keith Haring: Art is for Everybody [May 27 – Oct 08, 2023]

Hours:

Monday Closed
Tuesday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Wednesday  11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Thursday 11 a.m.–8 p.m.
Friday 11 a.m.–8 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m.–8 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

Closed: Mondays, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

The standby line closes 60-90 minutes before the museum closes and may close earlier on busy days.

More info.

 

The Perfect Solvang Staycation | Out & About

You won’t need your passport for a staycation in Solvang. “A little slice of Denmark in Southern California,” the city of Solvang, certainly makes for the perfect local getaway. Located in the Santa Ynez Valley, this historic Danish town is ideally situated in Santa Barbara Wine Country. Depending on where you are driving in from and, of course, LA traffic, you’ll be whisked away by the charm of this city within a 1 ½ to 2-hour drive. So what exactly do you do once you arrive? We’re sharing a few of our favorite ways to stay, eat and play in California’s favorite (and only) Danish village.

Stay Awhile
Hotel Ynez

If you would like to add a bit of the french countryside to your danish excursion, Hotel Ynez serves as an excellent choice. Located on two private acres, Hotel Ynez is the perfect escape from the urban hustle and bustle/ The property features lush gardens, bonfire pits, a pool, and an inviting outdoor pavilion where you can take in a night under the stars. 

Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort

Located on a 10,000-acre private ranch, the Alisal is ideal for those seeking a dose of western culture. Considered a world-class resort, the hotel is considered one of California’s premier guest ranches. During your stay, you can enjoy horseback riding, (2) 18-hole golf courses, tennis, or even fly fishing. 

Wine Valley Inn & Cottages

Located in the quiet downtown neighborhood, Wine Valley Inn & Cottages offers the quintessential ambiance of Solvang. With 56 spacious guestrooms, 6 charming individual cottages surrounding a private garden, and one grand suite, you have a range of options to enjoy your stay. The inn is also within walking distance of wine-tasting rooms and a short drive to Santa Ynez Valley’s best wineries. 

The Landsby

If you prefer accommodations with a modern touch, The Landsby is ideal. This beautiful boutique hotel offers contemporary designs with the ambiance of Scandinavian aesthetics. Moreover, their remodeled guest rooms are bright and open, with comfortable hand-crafted furnishings and breathtaking artwork commissioned by regional artists.

Dine and Sip
Olsen’s Bakery

As one of the two significant bakeries in Solvang, you’ll enjoy delicious kringles, cakes, cookies, and bread at Olsen’s. The bakery has been turning out delicious treats since 1970. Just make sure you arrive early if you want to grab a pastry for breakfast. As one of the town’s main attractions, they are known for having lines that stretch around the corner.

Mortensen’s Bakery

One look at the website for Mortensen’s will have you making a drive to Solvang just for their Bear Claws. The other beloved bakery in town (there are over five authentic bakeries), Mortensen’s, is another must. In short, you can’t go wrong with choices like their Pistachio Square or Danish Butter Cookie. 

Mad & Vin

If you are staying at The Landsby, you won’t have to go far for Danish dining. Mad & Vin is the hotel’s charming, elegant wood-clad food and wine bar serving a seasonal menu of wine-country-inspired farm-to-table fare prepared with regional ingredients.

First & Oak

First & Oak is located inside the charming Mirabelle Inn. They offer a selection of small plates emphasizing flavor and finesse. You are encouraged to create your own tasting menu for a unique dining experience.

Stroll and Play
Shopping

Treat yourself and browse through 150 boutique shops for unique treasures.

Wine Sampling

Enjoy the region’s best and sample wine & beer at 20 downtown tasting rooms offering the products of over 125 area vineyards.

Discover Danish & American Culture

Take in the culture of this quaint Danish town. Explore any of the following local museums: Elverhoj Museum of History & Art, The Wildling Museum of Art & Nature, Hans Christian Andersen, Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum, Old Mission Santa Inés, plus Amber Museum & Hall of the Danes.

Home Tips: 10 Spooky Décor Ideas

Your front door is brimming with Halloween décor potential – all you need is a little imagination. Decorating your door requires a bit of creativity, especially if you’re hoping to forge a festive but sophisticated entry display. Here are ten somewhat spooky Halloween front door décor ideas that don’t sacrifice an inch of style.

1. Knock Knock

For a stylish, but a slightly spooky way to greet guests this season? This aged iron owl door knocker will be a real hoot with trick-or-treaters on October 31.

2. Spooky Greeters

A little lighting goes a long way when it comes to decorating your door to Halloween. This bat-clad light-up wreath is composed of rattan branches and features glowing LED lights for added eeriness.

3. Welcome to the Bat Cave

Out your current doormat for a festive style to welcome visitors on Halloween. This spiderweb-inspired half-round mat is mad of black coconut husk bristles so it’s every bit as durable as it is creepy.

4. Bat Attack

For a foolproof way to bring an unexpectedly spooky element to your front door this Halloween? These easy-to-use vinyl bats cling to the glass of windows and mirrors and don’t leave any residue behind.

5. Beetlejuice Inspired Banner

Your Halloween door décor to make a statement? This sleek-but-spooky banner will do the talking for you on your front door this season.

6. Pretty Pumpkins

Said Halloween décor can’t be chic has never seen these hand-punched ceramic pumpkins. Place a couple of these terra-cotta candleholders on your front porch to create a warm, ambient glow on All Hallows Eve.

7. Enter at Your Own Risk

Underestimate the impact of a creepy front door wreath on Halloween. This eye-catching metal wreath is decorated with dozens of individually crafted and welded black bats – with red eyes to boot.

8. Halloween Charm

For a wreath that captures the playfulness of Halloween? This nostalgic wreath made of natural air-dried maple leaves comes clad in vintage-inspired ghosts, candy corn and jack-o-lantern ornaments for added charms.

9. Go with the Classic

You can always count on pumpkin-shaped planters to make a festive statement at your front door on Halloween. These faux pumpkin planters are composed of weatherproof plastic so they’ll look great on your porch all season long.

10. The Witch is in the Details

Spooky scary goblins, spiders and bats aren’t your thing, keep your décor classy with a fun little message for visitors.

Weekend Events: October 11-13

The air is getting chilly, well…for Los Angeles, which means it is nearly sweater weather! Grab a hot pumpkin spice latte,  put on your favorite fall sweater and get ready for a fun filled weekend! We have a list of both indoor and outdoor events, festive and non festive. Scroll down and check out our favorite event picks to help you unwind after a long work week. Enjoy!

Friday October 11th, 2019

Pie Night at 189 by Dominique Ansel

Location: 189 by Dominique Ansel, Fairfax District

Time: 5:30pm-7:00pm or 7:30-9:00pm

The world famous all you can eat pie night is back! With the leaves rupturing into ruby reds and bright orange, Halloween decorations going up, and shorter days. What better time of year to ring in pie season than the crisp autumn days of October? Every ticket includes unlimited slices of 10 different pies, including sweet and savory options from Ansel his 189 by Dominique Ansel team and few other lauded chefs (Wolfgang Puck and BBQ champ Aaron Franklin). Did we mention that there will be ice cream?

“The Allure of Matter: Material Art from China”

Location: LACMA, Miracle Mile

 Time: 10am-7pm

Wu Hang, exhibition organizer from the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum has categorized the creators at the center of “The Allure of Matter”. The 21 featured artists all employ unconventional materials to create their works. For example, Zhang Huan used temple incense ash to form a landscape of field workers or Wang Jin’s imperial robes made from PVC. Unwind after a long week at work with some artistic inspiration from the far east!

Cinema Phantasmagoria

Location: Million Dollar Theater

 Time: Depends on show, see website

What screams Halloween more than Hocus Pocus, Halloween, or Beetlejuice? We’ve got just the right place for you to catching screenings of all your favorite Halloween flicks! Head over to Million Dollar Theater to unwind with one of your favorites. Guests are welcome to bring food from the neighboring Grand Central Market into the theater, and can embark on a backstage ghost tour. There is an early and late screening each evening, what’s more? Your single ticket gets you into both of them!

 

Saturday October 12th, 2019

Halloween Horror Nights

Location: Universal Studios

Time: 6:30pm-2:00am

In the mood to get spooked? Enter a world more terrifying than you can imagine at Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights, now with more mazes than ever. You can run but there’s no hiding from the screams of five new scare zones, each with spine tingling hair raising monsters and unimaginable horrors. Finish off the evening with watching out of this world moves from the Jabbawockeez.

Los Angeles Haunted Hayride

Location: Griffith Park OLD ZOO

Time: 7:00pm

Your pre-Halloween scare awaits! The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride presents: midnight falls, an eerie and mysterious village set in 1985 where time is at a halt and its always Halloween!  Newly reimagined attractions include Trick or Treat haunted maze, Roadkill Ranch open air maze and Midnight Falls town square!

 

All star comedy night @ The laugh factory 

Location: Laugh Factory

Time: 9:30pm-10:45pm

Got a favorite comedian from Hulu, HBO, Netflix or TV shows and films? Well grab a friend and go see all your favorites at Laugh Factory this Saturday night. Be sure to put your name on the guest list as it closes 15 minutes prior to show time! Saturday Nights line up features  Jay Davis, Dom Irrera, Dean Delray, Orny Adams, Gina Yashere.

Sunday October 13th, 2019

Maple BlocktoberFest 

Location: Maple Block Meat Co. Culver City

Time: 12pm-4pm

Enjoy an all you can eat BBQ, Biergarten featuring four craft breweries (Boulevard Brewing, Ommegang, Boomtown Brewery, and Shiner Beer) pumpkin decorating, music, cornhole, games, a raffle a bounce house for the kids; the ticket includes all of the above including unlimited craft beer tastings from all four breweries (selection of 14-16 beers).

Farmers Market Bakery Pop-Up

Location: Beverly Hills Farmers Market

Time: 10am-2pm

Cater to your sweet tooth after that brunch date. Come and taste some of the best French Pastries in LA! Anyone who RSVP gets a dollar off on anything they purchase from the vendors. Macarons, Eclairs, Opera Cakes, Mille-Feuille just to name a few! They’ve got all your favorite mouth watering pastries!

Sisters in Law at The Wallis 

Location: The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Time: 2:30pm & 7:30pm

This new production, based on Linda Hirshman’s New York Times bestseller, celebrates the friendship – and conflict — between two modern-day legends who became the United States Supreme Court’s first female justices. Sisters in law transcends party, religion, and culture with a tale of Democrat Ginsburg and Republican O’Connor, two polar opposites, as they grapple with matters of the law and personal belief.

Perfect Recipes for Fall

Halloween is right around the corner and we’ve got the perfect recipes for your holiday get together! Whether you are having a gathering for the kiddos, friends over for some cocktails, or a more formal three-course meal. With these mouthwatering recipes your guests will leave with a full belly and a smile on their face! We put together a list of appetizers, entrees, drinks, and desserts! Pick and choose or mix and match for a Halloween feast!

Appetizers:

7-Layer Spider Web Dip:

Start your Halloween fiesta with a flavorful chip dip. Perfect for everyone, including the kids! The black olives and sour cream give it that spooky Halloween look.

 Ingredients:
  • 1 can (15 ounces) refried beans
  • A single packet of taco seasoning mix
  • 1 cup mild or medium chunky salsa (make sure it’s not watery)
  • 3-4 green onions, diced
  • 1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar or colby jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup sour cream, separated
  • 1/2 can drained olives, separated
  • 1 cup prepared guacamole
  • Tortilla Chips
  • 1 (10-12 inch) round plate, pie tin, or tart dish 
Instructions:  
  • 1 cup mild or medium chunky salsa (make sure it’s not watery)
  • A single packet of taco seasoning mix
  • 1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar or Colby jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 can (15 ounces) refried beans
  • 3-4 green onions, diced
  • 1/2 can drained olives, separated
  • 1 cup prepared guacamole
  • Tortilla Chips
  • 1 cup sour cream, separated
  • A (10-12 inch) round plate, pie tin, or tart dish

 

 

Charcuterie Board:

Give your guests plenty of options to snack on while dinner is finishing up with a charcuterie board. Make it a colorful autumn mix with cheddar cheese, black grapes, red pepperoni slices, green celery, red meat slices, and a little pumpkin to give it that Halloween pop.

 Ingredients 
  • 8 oz Italian dry salami sliced
  • 4 oz uncured Salame di Parma
  • 6 oz smoked prosciutto
  • 4 oz sliced prosciutto
  • 8 oz Apricot Cherry Cranberry Goat’s Milk Cheese
  • 4 oz pepper jack cheese sliced
  • 8 oz traditional French Brie
  • 11 oz fig butter
  • 8 oz 1000 day hard gouda cheese
  • 5 oz sweet and spicy pecans
  • 4 oz pumpkin spice pumpkin seeds
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 Granny Smith apples sliced
  • 2 Honey Crisp apples sliced
  • 1 bunch Concord grapes
  • 1 bunch Champagne grapes
  • 6 fresh figs sliced in half
  • 10 oz Stone Ground Wheat Crackers
  • 2 11 oz French baguettes sliced
  • 11 oz naturally flavored candy corn
  • fresh lemon juice as needed
Instructions:

 Assemble on a 20 inch round platter.

If assembling ahead of time, brush apples lightly with lemon juice to avoid browning.

Pumpkin Soup:

The perfect way to warm up on a chilly autumn night is with of course, soup! Soups are the perfect appetizer, they are light and fill your tummy up just enough to save your big appetite for the main dish.

Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 leeks
  • 3 large Garlic cloves
  • 2 medium bell peppers
  • 2 1/4 lb. pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh majoram
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 c. frozen corn
  • 6 c. vegetable broth 
Instructions:

Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leeks and cook until very soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Stir in green peppers, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until peppers soften, about 8 more minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until pumpkin is tender, about 30 minutes.

Main Course:

Cider Scalloped Potatoes with Smoked Gouda:

Potatoes are the perfect comfort food. Take one scoop and place it on your plate, take a bite and enjoy the crispy outside and moist inside of the potato, the apple cider adds just the right amount of kick!

Ingredients:
  • 2 tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 c. apple cider
  • 1/2 c. chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 c. shredded smoked Gouda cheese
  • 1/2 c. shredded Jarlsberg cheese
  • 2 lb. Yukon Gold or Yellow Finn potatoes
Instructions:  

Adjust an oven rack to the center position and heat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly butter a 10- by 2-inch round baking dish or a 8- by 12-inch rectangular baking pan; set aside.

Place flour in a medium-heavy saucepan; gradually add milk, whisking until smooth. Whisk in cider, chicken broth, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat, whisking constantly. Cook for 1 minute more and remove saucepan from heat; set aside.

In a small bowl, combine Gouda and Jarlsberg cheeses. Arrange half of the sliced potatoes, slightly overlapping, in prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the cheese mixture. Arrange remaining potatoes on top. Pour cider mixture over potatoes.

Bake 25 minutes. Remove baking dish from oven. Using a metal spatula, press down on potatoes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese mixture; return to oven. Bake until potatoes are fork-tender and the top is crusted and lightly browned — about 20 minutes more. Let stand 20 minutes before serving.

 

 

Pumpkin Baked Ziti With Sausage:

Ziti noodles, and baked? Sounds like a mouth watering combination. What’s more, sautéed in garlic, bay leaf, safe leaves, nutmeg, pumpkin puree, and red pepper flakes. Hungry yet? This rich medley of flavors is pretty amazing! Add sausage or go vegetarian!

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound ziti or rigatoni noodles, cooked to al dente
  • 1 pound sage sausage (can substitute for sweet Italian)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 sage leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (like chardonnay)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350

Brown the sausage in a skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium high heat until the fat is rendered and the sausage is no longer pink. Transfer to a bowl and reserve.

In the same skillet, add the onion, garlic, and bay leaf. Cook until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the sage leaves, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt / pepper to taste. Cook one more minute.

Add the wine and cook until reduced by half. The heat should remain to medium high. Add the stock and stir in the pumpkin puree. Mix until everything is incorporated. The pumpkin will thicken the sauce.

Stir in the sausage and transfer to a large bowl with the pasta. Mix until combined.

Transfer back to your cast iron skillet (or a baking dish) and top with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 25-35 minutes until bubbly.

Garnish with sage and parsley. Fried sage is good too! Enjoy this with a nice glass of white wine, preferably the one you used earlier

 

 Tex-Mex Lasagna:

 This tasty entrée is a great follow up meal to the chip dip appetizer; following the same flow of flavors, this lasagna will send your tastebuds on a savory ride!

 Ingredients:
  •  1 pound of lean ground beef/chicken/vegetarian meat
  • A 1 cup of frozen diced onion red and green bell pepper, and celery
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt-free chipotle seasoning blend 1 (24-oz.) jar mild salsa
  • 1 (15-oz.) can dark red kidney beans, drained 1 (10-oz.) can enchilada sauce
  • 4 cups (16 oz.) shredded Mexican four-cheese blend Toppings: sour cream, chopped tomatoes
  • 1 (10-oz.) package frozen whole kernel corn, thawed 16 (6-inch) fajita-size corn tortillas
Instructions:

Cook first 5 ingredients in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 10 to 12 minutes or until vegetables are tender and beef crumbles and is no longer pink.

Stir in salsa and next 3 ingredients. Cook 5 to 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Layer 1 cup beef mixture, 2 tortillas (overlapping edges), and 1/2 cup cheese in a lightly greased 7- x 5- x 1 1/2-inch baking dish. Repeat layers once. Repeat procedure with 3 additional 7- x 5- x 1 1/2-inch baking dishes. Cover dishes with nonstick aluminum foil.

Bake, covered, at 350° for 30 minutes; uncover and bake 5 more minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve with desired toppings.

Note: To use a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish, prepare recipe through Step Omit 4 corn tortillas. Layer one-third beef mixture, 6 tortillas (overlapping edges), and 2 cups cheese. Repeat layers with one-third beef mixture, remaining 6 tortillas, remaining beef mixture, and ending with remaining 2 cups cheese. Bake, covered, at 350° for 40 minutes; uncover and bake 10 more minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

 

Drinks:

Blood Orange Blackberry Rum Punch:

This delicious treat can serve as a dessert, with a tangy kick to finish off your meal if you don’t have much of a sweet tooth. The ruby red blood orange juice, and blackberries give it that dark spooky Halloween feel.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup chilled blood orange juice
  • 4 (12 ounce) chilled natural blackberry sodas
  • 1 cup rum
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • 1 blood orange thinly sliced
  • pansies to garnish (optional)
Instructions:

In a large pitcher filled with ice combine all of the ingredients. Stir gently to combine.

Add several blackberries and an orange slice to each glass and pour the punch into the glasses. Garnish with a pans if desired and serve immediately.

 

Spiced Warm Cider

What better way to ring in the holidays than with some warm cider on a cold evening? Garnish your drinks with an apple slice and a cinnamon stick.

 Ingredients:
  • 64 oz. apple cider
  • 6 chai tea bags
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • 1/4 c. lemon juice
  • Apple sticks, for serving
  • Cinnamon sticks for serving
Instructions:

Combine apple cider, chai tea bags, cinnamon sticks, and vanilla bean in slow cooker. Cook on low 3 to 4 hours. Discard tea bags; stir in lemon juice. Serve warm with apple slices and cinnamon stick.

Good and Evil Potion

 If you’re in the mood for something cold, go with the good and evil potion. This cocktail is just as pretty as it is delicious!

Ingredients:
  • 1 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. ApplePucker
  • 1 oz. Midori
  • 1 oz. triple sec
  • 1 handful ice
  • pineapple juice
  • Sierra Mist
  • lemon slice, for garnish
Instructions:

Combine vodka, ApplePucker, Midori, and Triple Sec in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake.

Pour the mixture into a cocktail glass, then top with pineapple juice and Sierra Mist. Garnish with a slice of lemon (optional).

Dessert:

Strawberry Ghosts:

Our most adorable treat on the list are these strawberry ghosts! This treat is as easy to bake as it is to eat! The kiddos will definitely have fun with these precious little treats!

Ingredients:
  • 2 c. strawberries
  • 1 1/2 c. white chocolate, melted
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1/4 c. mini chocolate chips
  • 1 c. chocolate chips, melted
Instructions:

Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine melted white chocolate and coconut oil and stir until combined. Dip strawberries into white chocolate and place two mini chocolate chips on the top half of the strawberries for eyes. Place strawberries on prepared baking sheet and place in the refrigerator to harden, about 10 minutes.

Place melted chocolate chips in a ziploc bag and pipe mouths on the strawberries.

Let cool again in the refrigerator, 5 minutes. Serve.

Pumpkin Spice Cake:

 Nothing screams Halloween more than pumpkin spice, and in a cake?  Yes you read that correctly, a pumpkin spice cake! Alas, your wildest dreams have come to life!

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin NOT pumpkin pie filling
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 and 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp real maple syrup

Frosting:

  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp real maple syrup
Instructions:

Prep: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13 or 10 x 15 pan with parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray.

Make the cake: In a large mixing bowl, mix eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin with electric mixer until just combined. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Add dry mixture to the wet ingredients in 2 additions, mixing well after each. Add the TBSP of maple syrup and mix.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. (It may have some moist crumbs on it – but shouldn’t have wet batter). Let the cake cool completely before frosting.

Make the frosting: While the cake bakes, make the frosting. Soften cream cheese and butter together in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. (See note if browning the butter). Cream well with mixer. Add vanilla, powdered sugar, and maple syrup and mix until combined.

Serve + Store: Frost the cake when cool. Use the back of a dinner spoon to make swirls in the frosting, if desired. Store leftovers, covered tightly, in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Make ahead tips: The cake can be made a day in advance. Bake as directed, and let it cool completely. Cover well with plastic wrap/foil and leave at room temp. Frosting can be made a day ahead too – cover well and store in the fridge. Let frosting sit out for 10 minutes before frosting so it’s pliable. If the top of the cake tears a little when you try frosting it, cover it and chill in fridge for 15 minutes.

Spider Pumpkin Cake:

This delicious dessert could very well serve as your center piece as it could a delicious finish to your meal.

Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. good-quality cocoa
  • 2 tbsp. good-quality cocoa
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. fresh-grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 c. buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 c. pumpkin purée
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • stick unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 c. dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • Orange Cream-Cheese Frosting
Instructions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter three 8-inch cake pans and fit each bottom with an 8-inch circle of parchment paper. Lightly butter the parchment paper. Set aside.

Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl and set aside. Combine the buttermilk, pumpkin, and vanilla in a medium bowl and set aside. Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl, with an electric mixer set on medium speed, until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, until the mixture is smooth and light. Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, blending well after each addition.

Divide the batter among the pans and bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean — about 35 minutes. Cool the cakes in the pan for 20 minutes. Remove cakes and cool. (For cupcakes: Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Place cupcake liners in standard cupcake tins and fill each with 1/4 cup of batter. Bake for 22 minutes.)

Trim each of the layers. Place one layer on a cake plate and top with one third of the frosting. Repeat with the second and third layers. (To ensure that the cake layers do not shift, cut three skewers to 1/4 inch shorter than the full height of the cake and insert them before icing the top layer.) Refrigerate until ready to serve.

                 

Home Tips: Best Painted Pumpkin Ideas

Designing pumpkins is one of the many ways to decorate for this Halloween season. What should your pumpkin decorating kit contain? You’ll want to have a set of assorted craft paints, adhesive tape, gliding liquid, decoupage medium, glitter, foam figures and other miscellaneous materials that can be used to accent your pumpkin. What’s left is your imaginative ingenuity.

  1. Stained Glass Window Pumpkin

It’s a jewel-toned, geometric masterpiece inspired by stained glass windows! To paint this pumpkin, use stenciling tape to cover an all-over overlapping pattern on its rounded surface. Paint inside each taped area with in contrasting colors, being careful not to cross over the lines. Let your paint dry, then slowly peel back the tape to reveal the fun pattern and orange lines underneath.

  1. Chalk-Painted Pumpkins

The chalk paint trend is ever strong, having inspired us to create a set of these elegant floral pumpkins. We love the combination of a matte chalk finish and these large stencil designs! Thy match any fall décor perfectly.

  1. Glittered Pumpkins

There’s no denying it – everything is better with glitter. Both pumpkins are coated in a fine sprinkling of shimmer – gold and copper, respectively – and one is polka-dotted while the other is crafted with the visual effect of dripping in luxury.

  1. Falling Leaves Pumpkin

Autumn-inspired silhouettes add simple charm. To paint this pumpkin, adhere the leaf stencil to the pumpkin and pounce the inside of the stencil with white craft paint. Slowly, peel off the stencil and re-adhere it to a new spot on the pumpkin. Repeat this method until the pumpkin’s entire rounded surface is covered in leaves.

  1. Chalkboard Menu Pumpkin

If you’re a hostess, you’re bound to throw at least one dinner party sometime this season. As for your décor? Turn your plain pumpkin into a chalkboard menu for the guests. Because a coat of chalkboard paint turns it into a writing surface, the sign can be written on, wiped clean and written on again to cover every event from Halloween trick-or-treating to your Thanksgiving feast.

  1. Typography Pumpkin

We love the art of typography, and what better words to use than the wonderful, spooky phrases of Halloween? This pumpkin is dark and spooky – just how we like out Halloween celebrations.

  1. Abstract Expressionist Art Pumpkins

Abstract Expressionist artists – Pollock, Rothko and Franz Kline – all use sophisticated designs. Similarly, the trio of pumpkins pictured here are inspired by some of the greatest artists of our time.

  1. Glamorous Spider Pumpkin

The glamorous pumpkin dons a blinged-out spider that’s too chic to be scary. To paint this pumpkin, coat the entire surface in a high-gloss black. Let dry, and then map out a spiderweb using adhesive gems. As the finishing touch, a faux spider can be painted, glittered and given a pair of stick-on gem eyes.

  1. Skeleton Pumpkin

A skeleton with a devilish grin like this is just the thing your front porch needs this Halloween. Kids will love to help come up with their own spooky, silly, up-to-no good expressions.

  1. Cheshire Cat from “Alice in Wonderland” Pumpkin

Oh, that grin. It’s unmistakably the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. This modified take on a classic children’s book character is painted on a pumpkin freehand style and the result is just purr-fect.

Content Sourced from: Martha Stewart Living

LA’s Best Comedy Clubs

April is National Humor Month, but here in LA we can have a good laugh all year round. With famed comedy clubs like The Laugh Factory or the Comedy Store, there is no shortage of humor. So have a laugh today or any day of the week with our round-up below of LA’s best Comedy Clubs!

The Comedy Store

Location: 8433 W. Sunset Blvd., W. Hollywood, CA, USA

The Store was started by comedian Sammy Shore and his wife Mitzi, parents of Pauly Shore. At the original location on the Sunset Strip, the Belly and Main rooms feature lesser-known talents, while the Original Room hosts frequent visits from nationally recognized comedians. Many famous faces have graced the stage at The Store – Dave Chappelle, Chelsea Peretti, Gallagher, Judy Tenuta, Andrew Dice Clay, Leslie Jones, Andy Kaufman, and Chris Rock, just to name a few. As if your night couldn’t get any happier, they even offer discounted parking, which is virtually unheard of on the Strip.

Click here for more information.

The Groundlings

Location: 7307 Melrose Ave., Fairfax, CA, USA 

The Groundlings is an improv school and theater that boasts a trove of famous alums like Melissa McCarthy, Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, John Goodman, and Jim Rash – the list goes on. They offer totally improvised shows as well as sketches that have been practiced and perfected. Audience participation is integral to improv, so get ready to interact! But if that’s not your thing, hit up a Sunday show, where you simply kick back, relax, and laugh your face off.

Click here for more information.

 

The Hollywood Improv

Location:  8162 Melrose Ave., Beverly Grove, CA, USA 

One of the many great things about The Improv is that big names drop in all the time. Any night of the week, patrons are pretty much guaranteed a stellar line up, with the possibility of someone like Louis C. K. or Dana Carvey stopping by for a set. Check it out during the week, and make sure to show up early to hang out by the bar for Happy Hour. Nothing is better than half-priced drinks and a night of laughs.

Click here for more information.

The Laugh Factory

Location: 8001 W. Sunset Blvd., W. Hollywood, CA, USA

Los Angeles comedy and The Laugh Factory are synonymous with each other. An appearance by a vet comedian can be guaranteed on the bill almost any night of the week. Rest assured, the rotation of regular local comedians is sure to leave you breathless in your seats. Speaking of seats, they’re all pretty close to the stage, making it easy for comics to include the audience in their acts.

Click here for more information.

The Second City Hollywood

Location: 6560 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA, USA 

Alan Alda, Dan Aykroyd, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey and Keegan-Michael Key have all graced the stage at the Second City Hollywood, the L.A. spin-off of the original Chicago comedy team. Known best for their classes, SC Hollywood also offers structured and improv comedy shows. What makes them unique is their focus on creating a theater experience, whether it be improv, sketch, or even musicals.

Click here for more information.

The Upright Citizens Brigade-Hollywood

Location: 5919 Franklin Ave., Hollywood, CA, USA

UCB holds up as one of the best places to see improv and sketch in Los Angeles. Like many other clubs on this list, this place has spawned talents that have gone on to join shows like SNLThe Daily Show, and Parks & Rec. UCB puts no limit on who can enjoy a show there as all ages are welcome. Every member of the family can enjoy a show for less than $10 per person.

Click here for more information.

LA Eats of the Week: Game Day Bites

While you can always opt for a “Dodger Dog” at the stadium, sometimes game day has you craving a bit more. No fear, your local expert is here! We’ve rounded up the top rated foodie spots near Dodger Stadium so you won’t have to! Don’t waste time searching for where to grab a bite. Use our guide to sort through the food clutter so you can cheer on our team to World Series victory (or like as close as we can get).

Chinatown

Chimney Coffee House

Location: 1100 N. Main St., Los Angeles

Fuel up before the game at Amnaj Bholsangngam’s speciality coffeehouse. Enjoy breakfast combos like their Chimney Pancake Breakfast and Waffle Platter. The Belgian waffles are served alongside sage-black truffle pork sausage, herb roasted breakfast potatoes and a bacon-wrapped egg. Can it be game day all the time?

Burgerlords

Location: 943 N. Broadway, Los Angeles

A game day meal isn’t complete without something from the grill. Brothers Fred and Max Guerrero are serving up burgers steeped in tradition. Their father founded The Oinkster so naturally the siblings have found success with their grab and go window–Burgerlords. Bite into their double cheeseburger featuring thin, griddled patties crafted from chuck, brisket, and short rib. All orders come with a melted American cheese blanket, lettuce, tomato, onion, and thousand island dressing on a sponge bun.

Howlin’ Rays

Location: 727 N. Broadway #128

Howlin’ Rays started as a food truck run under the craftsmanship of chef Johnny Zone and his wife Amanda Chapman. The pair studied hot chicken straight from the source–Nashville–and it shows. Enjoy their speciality fried chicken alongside a buttered bun and cabbage slaw, pickles and spicy “comeback sauce”. If you’re catching a weekend game go for the chicken and waffles topped with Bulleitt bourbon syrup. Need we say more?

Echo Park

Ostrich Farm

Location: 1525 W. Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles

Ostrich Farm dishes out as your gourmet option for an early dinner or weekend brunch before the game. The menu frequently changes but features starters like salt cod croquettes or chicken liver mousse. Afterwards you can move onto entrees like the wild mushroom risotto and grilled Pacific salmon. If you arrive on the earlier side of the day your brunch options range between smashed egg with feta or smoked salmon tartine.

Brite Spot

Location: 1918 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles

Brite Spot has been an Echo Park favorite since 1949 with a makeover courtesy of former owner Dana Hollister in 2013. Now under new ownership, Brite Spot features new dishes sure to add some shine to your day. Menu options include the Fried Green Tomato Benedict and the Southern Decadence (buttermilk biscuit, fried chicken, bacon cheddar, pork sausage gravy, sunny side up egg and home fries).

Guisados

Location: 1261 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles

The renowned eatery is known for their homestyle braises served on handmade corn tortillas made to order from fresh ground masa. The menu includes steak picado, mole poblano, tinga de pollo and chorizo to name a few. If you can’t decide on which to try, their sampler plate features six mini-tacos you can mix and match.

Silver Lake

Alimento

Location: 1710 Silver Lake Blvd., Los Angeles

Inspired by Italy’s regional traditions, Alimento breaks the mold of not strictly adhering to them. Chef-owner Zach Pollack’s menu consist of small plates, pastas and large platters for sharing. For an Italian take on the Dodger Dog is their “Pig in a Blanket” made with mortadella, spelt pastry , brovada and stracchino.

Night + Market Song

Location: 3322 West Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles

A major hit in West Hollywood, the Silver Lake edition of Night + Market also delivers. Chef Yenbamroong’s adventurous northern Thai street food is served sharing style alongside sticky or coconut rice. Dine on gaeng khua pak boong (southern style coconut curry) or khao soi neua-mae sai (curried noodles with braised hanger steak).

MH ZH

Location: 3536 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles

A newer entry in L.A.’s thriving Middle Eastern culinary scene is Mh Zh (pronounced mah zay). The reasonably priced menu offers hot and cold options that showcase uniquely plated vegetable-driven choices. Enjoy dishes like the branzino alongside potato with charred lemon and greens in tarragon butter. For a dish on the cooler side Bub & Grandma’s Bread with herb techina pairs perfectly to their grilled beet and hazelnuts.

LA Eats: March Madness Sports Bars Edition

March is many things. Spring…Leprechauns…and for sports fans March Madness. With the highlight of College Basketball Season kicking off and our brackets breaking down potential winners one question remains. Where does one watch the big game? Read below for LA’s best sports bars to cheer on your team because this round-up is a guaranteed 3-pointer!

Clearman’s Galley

Location: San Gabriel, CA

San Gabriel bar and restaurant Clearman’s Galley is not only offering tons of TVs for catching all the March Madness action, they’re also doing a bracket that customers themselves can enter, with the winner earning a $200 gift certificate to the restaurant.

Rocco’s Tavern

Location: Pasadena, CA

With locations from Westwood to Pasadena, Rocco’s Tavern is obviously doing something right. The Green Street location in Pasadena is small but mighty, and for March Madness is doing limited happy hour deals starting at 9 a.m. Thursday for the early games.

Mr. Furley’s Bar

Location: Glendale, CA

Inexpensive cocktails, comfort food, and lots of TVs make Mr. Furley’s a natural place to catch all the college basketball action in Glendale.

Barney’s Beanery Burbank

Location: Burbank, CA

Barney’s Beanery is a staple mini-chain across Southern California. The places are always bustling with sports fans and casual drinkers just in for a nightcap, and the hearty familiar fare keeps everyone happy.

Common Space Brewery and Tasting Room

Location: Hawthorne, CA

Common Space is one of the more talked-about breweries in Southern California right now. The casual Hawthorne warehouse space is kitted out with lounge seating, communal tables, and a few well-placed TVs for catching the action. Everyone loves the beer too, of course.

The Fields LA

Location: Los Angeles, CA

There may be no better place to catch the NCAA tournament action than at the Fields, attached to LAFC’s Banc of California Stadium just southeast of Downtown. With multiple vendors to choose from, loads of TVs, and the upstairs Free Play restaurant from Tim Hollingsworth, this place has it all.

Hi Tops

Location: West Hollywood, CA

San Francisco export Hi Tops is now in West Hollywood, turning on the TVs for big night games and offering a variety of cocktails and beers in addition to some pretty awesome nachos.

Bludso’s Bar & Que

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Bludso’s is a must for any sports fans. The casual spot for brisket, sausage links, and drinks is wall-to-wall with televisions, and it’s not uncommon to find fans of different teams crowded together around the same tables, yelling at the action on the screens.

Busby’s West

Location: Santa Monica, CA

Busby’s is synonymous with Westside sports watching. The anchor bar has for many years seen fans come to cheer on their squad, especially during the busy March Madness tournament.

Beer Belly Long Beach

Location: Long Beach

Long Beach has really embraced the second location of Beer Belly. The popular comfort food and craft beer corner spot isn’t as rowdy as some other local hangs for watching the games, but the menu and design still make this place a must for locals looking to watch some college basketball.

 

Courtesy of: Eater LA

Fun things to do in LA this March

There’s more to this month then March Madness. With so many fun activities in LA we thought you might need more then the weekend round-up. Read below for a collection of events happening throughout  the month and discover your inner Angeleno!

The Other Art Fair is Coming to Downtown L.A. (March 28-31)

The Other Art Fair Los Angeles returns to Magic Box at The Reef. The Fair takes place March 28-31 for the 3rd edition of its independent artist showcase. See a curated selection of over 140 independent artists and check out thousands of pieces for every budget in one space.  -> More information

The Torrance Cherry Blossom Cultural Festival (March 31)

The Torrance Cherry Blossom Cultural Festival comes to Columbia Park on March 31 for a unique blend of cultural performances with a fun variety of crafts by local artisans, centered around the blooming cherry blossom. -> More information

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes Celebrates César Chávez Day (March 31)

This free celebration features a guest speaker from the Cesar Chavez Foundation, Xipe Totec Aztec dancers, live music by Lorenzo and the Carnales, plus art, garden, and culinary workshops -> More information

Courtesy of: WeLikeLA