Weekend Events: November 15 – November 17

From tubing on snow in Elysian Park to Ice Skating in Perishing Square to a Wine Walk in Burbank, we have got you covered as far as cold-weather welcoming events go in the city! Take a peek at these events, grab a friend, get outside, and celebrate the coming holiday season!

Friday November 15th, 2019
Snow Day LA Tubing in Los Angeles

 Snow in L.A.? Yes, thanks to Snow Day L.A., a tubing park located in Elysian Park. The wintry pop-up packs acres of festive features, with synthetic snow and snow tubing, and trees decorated with icicles, snowcaps and lights. Just remember: This is still Los Angeles, so expect something that sort of resembles a snowy winter and not quite a full-blown Alpine experience. (Sourced from Timeout.com, Photograph Courtesy: Snow Day LA)

Time: 6PM – 10PM

Location: Elysian Park, 835 Academy Road, Los Angeles, CA

Tickets: HERE

29 Rooms – Expand Your Reality Tour

The Expand Your Reality Tour is the latest 29Rooms experience from Refinery29 – a space where you’re encouraged to step into the art, wear the art, touch the art, and connect with others (and yourself) in the process. Created in collaboration with innovative talent, visionary artists, and your favorite brands, 29Rooms pairs the joy and play of exploration with the pulse of current events and culture.

Time: 1030AM, 130PM, 530PM, 830PM

Location: 4315 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90004

Tickets: HERE

2019 Bai Holiday Ice Rink in Perishing Square

The Bai Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square offers the quintessential winter activity in the heart of beautiful downtown Los Angeles. Surrounded by art, lively activity, and the impressive city skyline, our outdoor ice rink lets you enjoy entertainment and ice skating under the sun and stars.

Time: 1130AM to 930PM

Location: Perishing Square – 532 S Olive Street

Tickets: HERE

Saturday November 16th 2019
Burbank Winter Wine Walk

The Social Event Of The Year is coming back to Downtown Burbank. At 4pm The Wine Walk will get started! You MUST be 21+ to join the wine walk. Your ticket will get you samples from Wineries and Breweries in your favorite Downtown businesses. Each guest will receive a tasting cup and a map of the participating tasting sites in Downtown Burbank. Each tasting site will have a designated area set up for Wine Walk guests to sample the amazing wines or beers! Wine tasting will end at 7:00 pm. As you stroll through Downtown, you will be surrounded by a winter holiday ambiance of live entertainment, beautiful holiday lighting and snowfall from 6:45 pm-8 pm at the Main Stage!

Time: 4PM – 7PM

Location: Downtown Burbank (check-in address given when purchasing ticket)

Tickets: HERE

Explore the Culinary Jewels of Downtown Los Angeles on a Walking Tour

Savor the sights, sounds and flavors of Los Angeles on this fun food tour. Your knowledgeable tour guide will lead you on a leisurely three-hour walking adventure through this extraordinary downtown area, sharing stories of the city’s early settlers, Hollywood’s heyday, architectural background and the transformation of L.A.’s culture and food scene. Along the way you’ll get to enjoy tastes from unique eateries, including the best bakeries, authentic ethnic restaurants and renowned establishments currently creating a buzz in the foodie universe — six stops in all. By the end of the tour, you’ll be able to impress your friends with your vast knowledge of the city and its hidden culinary gems.

Time: 11AM

Location: Sidewalk Food Tours of Los Angeles – 5454 South Olive Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Tickets: HERE

Los Angeles Opera – The Magic Flute Opening Night

One of Mozart’s most enchanting operas, this supernatural tale, accompanied by his fine score has enjoyed much success since its premiere in Vienna in 1791. A popular draw since the 2013/14 season, this production, directed by Barrie Kosky in collaboration with British theatre company ‘1927’, is back for 2019 to inspire and delight audiences of all ages with its heady mix of hand-drawn animation and live performance. Get tickets now to immerse yourself in the art that is the opera.

Time: 730PM

Location: Dorothy Chandler Pavilion – 135 N Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012 

Tickets: HERE

Sunday November 17th, 2019
Water Lantern Festival

Los Angeles Water Lantern Festival is coming up on November 17, 2019! Voted #1 Best Cultural Festival by USA TODAY! Water Lantern Festival is a floating lantern event that is all about connections. Magical nights in cities across the U.S. include food, games, activities, vendors, music and the beauty of thousands of lanterns adorned with letters of love, hope and dreams reflected upon the water. As the sun begins to set on the evening sky, Water Lantern Festival begins to shine with the launch of the lanterns onto the water as we Light The Water together. Watch your unique lantern drift out into the water as it joins other lanterns carrying hope, love, happiness, healing, peace, and connection. It’s a night that you’ll never forget. Tickets are selling fast.

Time: 4PM – 9PM

Location: Whittier Narrows – 750 S Santa Anita Ave, South El Monte, CA 91733

Tickets: HERE

Autumn Festival

Delve into the arts, cuisines, cultures, and marine environments of Asia during the Aquarium of the Pacific’s eighteenth annual Autumn Festival. Autumn Festival highlights the traditions and cultures of Japan, China, Korea, and the Philippines through a weekend of learning opportunities and family entertainment celebrating the rich diversity of Asian and Asian-American cultures.

Time: 9AM – 5PM

Location: Aquarium of The Pacific – 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802

Tickets: HERE

“ASSSSCAT” Comedy Improv Performance

Every Saturday and Sunday, the UCB franchise’s longest-running, most beloved showcase “ASSSCAT” starts when a base cast of the theater’s current top-brass—including founding UCB members Matt Walsh, Matt Besser and Ian Roberts—takes the stage. Then they introduce the surprise celebrity alumnae and friends who will be joining them (think Horatio Sanz, Ben Schwartz, Adam Pally). And finally, another special guest takes the stage, a non-improviser (think Flea, Cat Power, Rebel Wilson, Lena Dunham) who opens the show with a personal story, that’s deftly mined for laughs by the players. But you have to go to find out who’s there—that’s part of the fun. Looking for a cheap night out? Sunday shows are free, but seating is first-come, first-served, so be sure to arrive early. (Sourced from Timeout.com, Photograph Courtesy UCB)

Time: 7:00PM

Location: UCB Theater Sunset – 5419 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles 90027

Tickets: FREE! First come first served.

 

Home Tips: 14 Fall Harvest Decorating Ideas for Your Home

When summer fades, many of us are ready to welcome the fall season. Pumpkins, gourds and other decorative squashed are in abundance this time of year! Why not use them as inspiration for your fall harvest decorating project? Browse our best fall harvest decorating ideas over the years – they’re made to last from the first changing of leaves through the Thanksgiving feast.

  1. Wheat Wreath with Wooden Beads

A wreath is a lovely way to welcome guests into your home. This wild wonder owes its elegant good looks to the natural materials that embellish its standard straw base. We added wheat stalks laced with wooden beads and sculptural bleached seedpods.

 

  1. Corn Husk Garlands

At the front door, visitors to your home will marvel at this outdoor display. Decorative Indian corn is a farm-stand staple at this time of year and can be used in all manner of home décor projects: dye them, bath style, in a rainbow of dye colors or braid the husks to create a seasonal garland that drapes around your doorway.

  1. Pear “Welcome” Display

Once inside, guests will be greeted with a friendly, fragrant greeting using the season’s abundant Forelles and Anjous pears. Simply arrange seven pears on a mantel. Then, with a fine-tipped washable marker, write letters on the front of each pear. Press whole cloves into the flesh along the lines and the sweet aroma will be as welcoming as the message itself.

  1. Lamp Chimney and Candle Centerpiece

Many people say grace at dinner, but you’ll feel thankful well before if you prep the table with this easy yet eye-catching centerpiece. Incorporate the lamp chimneys at varying heights for a high-low look and better ease for guests to converse across the table.

 

  1. Wheat Centerpiece

Summer flowers may have wilted with the changing of seasons, but wheat stalks – with their delicate, golden form – are long lasting. Arrange an armful of tall stalks into a vase, cropping the ends and fluffing the tops, and display your glorious autumnal bouquet.

  1. Squash-and-Pumpkin Flower Arrangements

Squashes and pumpkins come in all shapes and sizes, and when paired with seasonal blooms, they add character to your table. Combine a large greenish Hubbard squash paired with bittersweet branches and a white “Baby Boo” pumpkin with bright orange mums for a unique floral display.

  1. Turnip Votives

In a season of abundance, make full use of those richly colored vegetables that flourish in the transition from autumn into winter. Amid a set of gray-washed baskets on the table, turnips – in varying sizes – can be scooped out to hold votive candles that provide a soft glow.

 

  1. Cabbage Bowls and Cups

Bring in new colors and textures to the dinner table with heads of cabbage. Hollow out whole cabbages with a paring knife and spoon and use them to hold appetizer dips. Then, wrap the remaining leaves around glasses to hold crudités, cheeses, and breadsticks.

 

  1. Sprout Napkin Ties

Small Brussels sprouts and sage leave combine to make a charming addition to each guest’s place setting. For each napkin tie, sandwich one end of a ribbon between a sprout and a pair of sage leaves. Use a sequin pin to secure, pinning through the leaves first, then the ribbon, then into the sprout. Repeat on the opposite end of the ribbon, and tie it around a napkin in a loose knot. The sage leaves aren’t just a pretty addition – they’re fragrant, too.

 

 

  1. Hanging Basket of Fall Flowers

Assorted pinecones, pods, acorns and other natural decorations all make for a wilt-proof wall hanging. Treat them with a few coats of golden yellow paint, then hot-glue them to dried twigs gathered from the yard.

 

  1. Glittered Corn Centerpiece

A few organic elements, touched with a bit of gilding, evoke fall’s abundance. For an eye-catching centerpiece, turn a glass compote into a horn of plenty with glittering Indian corn and squash.

 

  1. Tabletop Baskets

Baskets are good for more than bearing fruit! Make use of them on the dinner table as centerpieces, salt and pepper cellars, or and added touch to your guest’s place settings. For each place card, cinch a napkin with a waxed cord and tie the ends around the basket’s handle.

  1. Bar Cart

Pumpkins, gourds and another harvest bounty need not be limited to the front porch or dinner table either – try interspersing them throughout your home, as shown on this rolling bar cart. It doubles as both a way to greet your guests with cocktails and a decorative statement.

 

  1. Cornucopia

For the piece de resistance of your fall harvest décor, why not consider the universal symbol of bounty? The cornucopia, that is. This raffia cornucopia lined with a bed of dried wheat stalks holds an abundance of golden squashes, apples, and pears. This is a natural Thanksgiving decoration that radiates good fortune!

 

 

Top 12 Halloween Desserts

Halloween is the beginning of the sweet holiday season. Whether you’re having a formal dinner party or a casual get together for this spooky October night, our list of top 12 Halloween desserts has something for everyone!

 

  1. Marshmallow Ghost Brownies

Kids will love piping the friendly marshmallow ghosts on top of these brownies! These adorable brownies will make for a delicious addition to the Halloween dessert table! Get the recipe here

 

2. Spooky Forest Pudding Cups

Chocolate trees and candy pumpkins add Halloween vibes to pudding cups. Get the recipe here

3. Cookie Skulls and Pumpkin Sugar Skulls

Don’t be intimidated by the intricate designs on these cookies—the recipe tells you simple ways to channel your inner artist.  Get the recipe here

 

4. Candy-Covered Apples

Create a bewitching version of this beloved candy-coated treat by dipping small Red Delicious apples in a bright red syrup flavored with red cinnamon candies. Get the recipe here

 

5. Boo-scotti

Get some help from your kids when party prep mode is in full swing to make these boo-tifully decorated recipes. Get the recipe here

6. Frankenshake and Bride of Frankenshake

His and hers Halloween shakes (one mint, one vanilla) are made in a single batch, then dressed up for the holiday in this ultimate trick-or-treat. Get the recipe here

 

7. Spooky Peanut Butter Spider Cookies

These spider cookies are entertaining for the little ones and adults to make together! From pushing chocolate candies into warm cookies to drawing spider legs with chocolate and making silly eyes! There is plenty of fun for everyone! Get the recipe here

8. Candy Corn Pops

You either love or hate candy corn. For those of us who love candy corn, try these adorable candy corn pops.  Get the recipe here

9. Spider Bites

Three ingredients are all you need to make Sandra’s easy spider bites. The chocolate-covered pretzels are just creepy enough for young kids to enjoy. Get the recipe here

10. Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin anything is a must during Halloween season. Sometimes it’s the simple desserts that are the most impressive. The flavor of these cupcakes and their minimal pumpkin décor say everything that needs to be said! Get the recipe here

11. Squirm Jello Shots

This adults-only dessert will make everyone feel like a kid again. Vodka-spiked Jell-O is filled with gummy worms, then chilled until set into one squirmy, squiggly treat! Get the recipe here

12. Spiderweb Cake

Who would think that cake and spiders could be this stylish? It’s as tasty as it is pretty with its dark-cocoa batter and orange-flavored buttercream. Get the recipe here

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.

                 

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.

Tips for Creating a Household Budget

  • MAKE GOALS

Goals can be as short-term as buying a new pair of shoes next week, or as long-term as going on vacation next spring. Regardless of what your goals may be, the only way to achieve them is to start planning them out now.

  • INVOLVE YOUR ENTIRE HOUSEHOLD

If it’s just you, great. But if you have a spouse and/or child, create a budget together, and explain to everyone that they may be asked to make sacrifices. When you plan together, you succeed together.

  • BUDGET IN FUN

A budget that leaves no money for an occasional dinner out or for a family outing at an amusement park is designed to fail. Your budget should help you, not put you in a bind. When you decide on a budget that works for you and your family, you’ll be able to enjoy the simple things like a trip to the movies, or more lavish like a trip to Paris.

  • MAKE THE EFFORT TO SAVE

Most people look at saving as putting away money for a rainy day. But a better way to look at it is putting away money for a nice vacation or something on your wish list.  Start with the spare change you have after a cash purchase or connect with a financial advisor that can help you start putting away towards your monetary goals.

  • TAKE INVENTORY

If you don’t know where your money goes, how do you expect to manage it? Keep track of your savings. Make sure you know where your money is being invested whether it’s your savings account, 401k, or IRA.

  • DISTINGUISH BETWEEN WANTS AND NEEDS

Buy what you need first. The wants belong in the “what’s left over” category. If you can’t decide what a Want versus a Need is, the best way to look at it is what would improve your life long term, not temporarily. Consider the differences between needing a new computer or wanting a designer accessory.

  • EXPECT CHANGES

Look down the road and get into the habit of thinking ahead. Life happens, especially as a homeowner. That’s why you should always plan for life changes, big or small.

  • FIND A SYSTEM THAT WORKS FOR YOU

It could be the envelope system, a bank or a credit union. If it works for you, use it. With today’s technology you can save seamlessly from the palm of your hands.

Regardless of how you save or for what reason, it is important to make efforts towards the future now, no matter how close or far down the road. Save towards fixing up your kitchen. Save towards a family vacation. Or save for the simple things like a fun night out. Build the perfect budget for your household today!

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