Out and About: Brentwood Edition

Those most familiar with LA will know that there are few areas as affluent as Brentwood with it’s quaint shops and lush greenery, it’s no wonder it ranks as one of L.A.’s most idyllic neighborhoods. Amongst the perfectly tailored lawns and architectural masterpieces is a day full of art, culture, sites, and bites.

Take some time to step outside your neck of the woods…

In the morning hours…

Mornings are best spent starting off with a perfect caffe au lait, in Brentwood there is no shortage of options. Stop by Caffe Luxxe and get your morning pick-me up within the historic Brentwood Country Mart.

Caffe Luxxe

The eatery picks and roasts their own coffee giving new meaning to hand-crafted. Select from freshly baked delights courtesy of Red Rooster Bakery and be on your way.

After your AM charge, explore some of Brentwood’s architectural masterpieces for a light dose of dream home FOMO.

For afternoon reprieve…

George Sturges House

Between the Hunt, Sturges, and Nesbitt house, you’ll have quite the day exploring these post-war artfully designed properties.  A Paul R. Williams design, the Hunt Residence was built in 1921 with elements of the Regency Revival style. The George Sturges house, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built in 1939 features Wrights Usonian style.

The Getty Center

After geeking out on home design of the retro times, venture off to see a different style of art at the Getty Center. A wonder on the scale of both culture, art, and design, the 24-acre Richard Meier designed campus boasts panoramic city views and renowned collections. Once you reach your afternoon craving stop point then have a seat in their lush garden for a midday picnic. The Getty Center boast exceptional dining options and a plethora of seating choices.

Farmshop

If one prefers to head back into town for their afternoon meal, the Farmshop is the perfect destination. Founded by Chef Jeff Cerciello, the eatery is a staple of the Brentwood Country Mart. With imaginative recipes and locally sourced ingredients, its the best afternoon pick me-up.

Your evening adventure…

Skirball Cultural Center

Once, day turns to night, a show at the Skirball Cultural Center is almost a given. Just north of the Getty, the center explores heritage, culture and ideals through permanent collections, rotating exhibits, film screenings and live performances.

Tavern

Finally, we recommend for your evening conclusion to dine as locals do, at Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne’s acclaimed Tavern. The destination restaurant features a tastefully prepared seasonal menu with a who’s who of patrons.

Home Tips: 10 Home Décor Crafts to Turn Your Home Into an Autumnal Oasis

Transforming your home into an autumnal oasis could be as simple as focusing on the small accents you’re bringing into each room of your home. When it comes to the changing of seasons, there is nothing more exciting than when summer fades into fall. The leaves are changing, the weather is cooling down, and your coffee order changes from iced to hot. Fall is a time to put your beach towels back in storage, and get back into regular routines. Thus, making it the ideal opportunity to return to your crafting room with these 10 Fall DIY crafts in mind.

1. Fabric Pumpkins

Fabric pumpkins are a fresh way to display seasonal gourds. You can pair sewn faux pumpkins among real ones (some of which you can spray or sponge paint) during this fall season. Imagine — spare branches, scattered leaves, and these pumpkins displayed in your home. Autumnal oasis dreams.

Home Décor Craft: Sew linen, silk, and velvet into adorable faux pumpkins that can be displayed and reused every year.

2. Wheat Cluster

For an easy, lightweight decoration that still evokes the glorious fall harvest, try these dried wheat bundles.

Home Décor Craft: Begin by bundling together three to ten stalks of wheat. Then, wrap the stalks of wheat together in twine. Leave about three feet of twine hanging off the bunch in a tail. Next, cut the stalks to approximately three-inches in length. Repeat for as many bundles as desired. Then, push the separate tails on the twines through a chosen bead, loop all at the end, and tie it into a knot. Hang it upside down on your front door as a creative way to say hello to the fall season!

3. Rustic Woven Lanterns

Thinking of dressing your dinner table with fresh center pieces this holiday season? Look no further with this eco-friendly and chic way to upgrade your dinner table.

Home Décor Craft: Upcycle old mesh placemats by cutting & rolling them into tubes and stitching them along the seams. Place cylinder shaped votives around candles. Wax, soy, or electric candles – your guests won’t be able to spy the difference! Candlelight will gracefully flicker through the loose weave of the hurricane lanterns as you entertain over dinner.

4. Soft Seats

With this DIY craft, dinner isn’t going to be the only warm thing at your table. With these simple slipcovers, you can instantly reinvent dining chairs at your formal dining table over the holidays.

Home Décor Craft: To start, simply drape a finished sheepskin over the back of the chair before securing it with Ultrasuede-tape or cord. Extra fall points for choosing a contrasting cord color. Next, finish securing them to the chair by threading the tie through the sheepskin on each side with a tapestry needle (that will help you create a cuff over the chair’s top). Knot the ends and let them hang loose. Voila!

5. Gingham Knit Blanket

Believe it or not, you don’t need to be an expert knitter to tackle this DIY project; you can make this cozy throw blanket with quick-to-knit strips.

Home Décor Craft: Gather scarves in the colors you want, and sew them together. That’s it! Below, scarves of alternating stripes are sewn together to create a unique gingham pattern.

6. Harvest Branches

We love how easy these fleeced branches are to put together. Specifically how they have the power to add a touch of warm color to any setting you place them in.

Home Décor Craft: Simply pull a bit of fleece roving off a ball, and then press the end of the fiber against the branch. Start wrapping tightly, gently pulling the fleece apart (without tearing it) as you go. Wrap the branches until the piece of fleece runs out. Add more fleece as needed to cover the branch. When adding, wrap over the last inch of wrapped fleece with e.

The friction of your fingers on the fibers and the natural oils form your skin help the fleece stay on the branch and adhere to itself.

7. Pumpkin Spice Scented Candles

If you’re among the camp that counts down the days until you can sip a classic pumpkin spice latte once again, these homemade candles are for you. Poured into orange-tinted mason jars, they throw off an especially autumnal glow in any area you might have in mind.

Home Décor Craft: Hot glue candle wick to bottom of festive colored jar. Bring water to a boil in a pot (filled half way). Reduce to a simmer. Place a different jar with broken up candle wax inside into the pot of simmering water. Water should be about 1/2 way up the side of the jar. When the wax becomes liquid add a heaping tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice. Mix. Carefully pour the liquid wax into the festive colored jar. If the candle wick starts to tilt, secure the wick between two sticks or pencils. Set aside to cool overnight. Trim the wick. Light it up!

8. Nut Wreath

Celebrate fall’s abundance of almonds, hazelnuts, pecans and walnuts with this festive decoration. Use any hard-shelled nuts, including acorns you gather from your own backyard.

Home Décor Craft: Gather all your nuts, small and large. Begin hot gluing the large ones together to form the shape of your wreath. Add in the small nuts as you go to fill in the spaces. Let cool, and hang on door. Ta da!

9. Embroidered Throw Pillows

Upgrade a pair of store-bought wide-weave cushions by tricking them out with bright neutral yarns sewn directly into the weave.

Home Décor Craft: Grab some of your favorite colored yarn and sew in fun patterns and fringe with a tapestry needle. That’s it. Truly. 

10. Block-Printed Linens

Block-printed linens are costly to buy, but surprisingly simple to make. With some textile paint, muslin fabric, and woodblock stamps, you can create linens that are exclusive and unique.

Home Décor Craft: Begin by layering a paper towel on top of a foam sheet; lay pre-washed muslin fabric on top, and smooth out any wrinkles. Then, pour your choice of textile paint on a plate. Next, dab a sponge in the paint and smooth it evenly onto a wooden printing block with a unique pattern. Stamp it on the muslin fabric. Let dry. Pictured are indigo shades, but you can substitue for any color of your choosing.

12 Halloween Costume Ideas for the Whole Family

When trying to come up with ideas for a group Halloween costume, it is best to start with a theme! Costumes that have things in common can also work well together. The good thing is that they can be modified to fit your family size. You can easily and quickly put together a family costume with these ideas.

 

Sloth and Tree Costumes

There’s no trick-or-treater too small for Halloween. The trick to this duo? We used a baby wrap carrier to disguise a smiling little one as a sloth slinging from a tree branch. To create this costume, print the template onto 8 ½ by 11 inch paper and cut out. Use the template to cut out felt shapes, then glues the pieces together and pin them to baby’s wrap and hat. Mom can wear brown and tuck leaves in her hair.

Bluebird and Birdwatcher Costumes

As an avid birdwatcher, your little bird is never far from sight with a pair of binoculars. Other than the hat and a canteen (available at camping-suppl stores), this costume can be assembled entirely from clothes from your closet. Choose an outfit that consists of neutral, outdoorsy pieces, such as the safari-style jacket and brown pants shown, and don’t forget a pair of sensible shoes. For the bluebird costume, use our pattern and basic sewing supplies to create a pair of detachable wings.

Under-the-Sea Costumes

For a family of little ones, the ocean still holds a depth of mystery and awe. Designate one of your kids as the Mermaid, encouraging her to make her own whimsical accessories like a seashell crown and a tail of satin, tulle and metallic trim. Meanwhile, the rest of the kids can dress up as their favorite undersea creatures: a goldfish, a snappy Lobster, an eight-legged Octopus or a Jellyfish. You can even join in the fun as a scuba diver or an ever-watchful lifeguard at the shore.

Three Musketeers Costume

All for fun, fun for all! A night of trick-or-treating awaits the dashing Three Musketeers. If you’re a family of three- or have three little ones – then why not embody the legendary literary trio? Give everyone a pullover vest, a collared cape, and a Fleur-de-lis insignia – and the evening will be full of swashbuckling adventure and candy treasures.

Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf Costumes

Embrace the charm of classic storybook characters with these easy-to-make costumes for Mom and Dad or son and daughter. For her, a gown and namesake hood are cut and sewn from a length of crimson jersey and tied with a wide ribbon at the waist. For him, the dapper wolf wears a suit with a red cravat, and his fur is styled from two shaggy wigs. (To make the wolf head, cut 2 large triangular sections – as ears – from one wig and hot-glue them in place to the second wig.) Faux fangs are the only sign of his true nature.

Storm Chaser and Tornado Costumes

As siblings, they can have an admittedly stormy relationship at times, but they complement each other well as a storm chaser and tornado. A younger sister can be a great storm chaser with some hair gel and a flipped umbrella. All you need is a tornado and that’s easy enough to create with a tomato cage and tulle.

Lion and Gladiator Costumes

They tussle in roughhouse play as it is, so why not personify their sibling rivalry? Dress one as the stalwart gladiator and the other as a courageous lion. Construct the gladiator’s costume using hardware store supplies: museum board, a window shade, and prong fasteners. Similarly, the lion’s costume is a clever assembly of fringe garlands and a hoodie. For both, there are no sewing skills required.

 

Napoleon and Josephine Costumes

For a sibling costume that is simple, as the French say, “incroyable”, pair brother and sister together as Napoleon and Josephine. He may not have learned his French history yet, but a boy would love dressing up in Napoleon’s regalia nevertheless. And, similarly, a girl will love dressing up in Josephine’s glamorous Empire-style gown with period jewelry and a fancy updo.

 

Lamb and Chicken Costumes

This funny farm duo – a chicken and a lamb – pair up together in the cutest costume idea for siblings, cousins or even best friends. Both costumes use wearable patterns in simple soft materials to ensure that the kids feel comfortable for a night of trick-or-treating. A parent can keep a close watch over the flock as they make their rounds through the neighborhood as Old MacDonald.

Tulip and Rose Flower Costumes

A blooming crepe-paper tulip cap and rosebud headband – each in pastel hues turn a mother-daughter dup into a sprightly pair.

Superhero Costumes

Every kid is a superhero and parents can join in as well. Start with t-shirts and leggings as the base for the costume. Then add headbands and belts and other accessories to make your own unique superhero.

Out and About: Trick or Treating in LA

Trick or treating can be tricky, especially in a massive metropolitan area like our very own Los Angeles. We’ve handpicked the best neighborhoods to get your favorite treats! Gather your little goblins and ghouls, witches and princesses, Batman and Wonder Woman and get ready for buckets of delicious chocolate, candy and sweets!

1. Walden Drive, Beverly Hills

Walden Drive in Beverly Hills is the best spot for family-friendly trick or treating! The owner of the famous storybook “Witch House,” Michael Libow continues a decade-long tradition by handing out 5,000 custom-labeled chocolate bars.

2. Carroll Avenue and Douglas Street, Angelino Heights

Known as the Haunted District, Angelino Heights is the perfect setting for a spooky Halloween night. The street is lined with antique craftsman bungalows and Victorian mansions making it a great destination for families to go door to door to fill their buckets with candy!

3. Brentwood Glen

The Westside of Brentwood Glen, the walkable neighborhood is a slice of Americana. Residents are generous with their candy and their Halloween spirit, making it the ideal spot for little trick-or-treaters who are new to the tradition. Beware the spookily decorated homes and glowing carved pumpkins!

4. Grand Hope Park at the Fashion Institute of Design Merchandise, Downtown

Downtown is not the easiest place to go trick or treating, but the local community knows how to throw a great event! The Annual Halloween Party at Grand Hope Park is a fun-filled evening for the whole family! Bounce houses, caramel apples, “trick-or-treat-doors” and lots of candy! The event will be held October 31st, from 5 pm to 8 pm and tickets cost $8 in advance, $10 day of.

5. Dell and Venice Boulevard, Venice Beach

The canal neighborhood of Venice Beach goes all- in every Halloween. Take your little zombies and witches and walk around the bridges, soak in the spooky decorations and twinkly lights!

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’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.

Weekend Events: March 29-31

With all of the hustle and bustle in Los Angeles, narrowing down your weekend activities can be more of a jam than traffic on the 405. Thats why at Rodeo Realty, we sort through the event clutter to provide you the top choices. So add some spring to your step as you dive into LA’s best weekend events happening this Friday, March 29 through Sunday, March 31st!

Discover your inner Angeleno

Friday, March 29

LA Dodgers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks(Friday Night Fireworks)

Location: Dodger Stadium

The Dodger’s new season officially kicked off this week and with that a line-up of home run game-day events. Enjoy a Fireworks spectacular as you cheer on the Dodgers to victory this Friday. Read through our Out & About: Dodgers Game Day Guide for how to spend your day at the old ball game!

Click here for more info.

Maren Morris- GIRL The World Tour

Location: The Wiltern

Watch country music’s newest star Maren Morris take the stage at The Wiltern this weekend only. After rounding out a worldwide tour as Taylor Swifts special guest, Morris leads her first solo World Tour. Cassadee Pope is also in the lineup as Morris’s special guest.

Click here for more info.

7th annual Latin Food Fest

Location: LA State Historic Park

The 7th Annual Latin Food Fest returns to LA Historic State Park to celebrate hispanic culinary excellence. Don’t miss Fridays kick-off party “Chefs Night out” where you’ll enjoy cocktails, music, a silent auction and raffle to attend Saturdays “Gran Tasting”.

Click here for more information.

Saturday, March 30

Grease: 50’s Prom presented by Street Food Cinema

Location: Million Dollar Theatre

Grease is the word this Saturday at the Million Dollar Theatre. Hand Jive your way downtown for a 50’s Prom themed screening of the Hollywood classic with special guest and Pink Lady Jamie Donnelly in attendance. The event will feature food from the Grand Central Market, speciality cocktails, prom photo booth, DJ and more!

Click here for more info.

Native American Festival

Location: Shoreline Village

Native American Festival comes to Long Beach this Saturday for it is annual family friendly celebration. The festival will include live performances, dream catcher making for kids, artist exhibits and other activities. The event is free and open to the public.

Click here for more information.

Half The Story: Self Portrait Workshop

Location: LAMAG, Los Angeles

“A picture is only ever half the story”. Join LAMAG, David Alekhuogie and Mariah Garnett as they create a mixed media self-portrait of your personality, talents and experience. The programming supports the solo exhibitions of both artists focusing on the various perceptions of the self through photography.

Click here for more info. 

Sunday, March 31st

Cherry Blossom Cultural Festival

Location: Columbia Park, Torrance

Spring bloom is everywhere-meaning it’s cherry blossom season! The Torrance Cherry Blossom Cultural Festival takes place this Sunday. Don’t miss an array of crafts and fun centered around the blooming cherry blossom. The event will also feature delicious cuisine, performances and activities like origami making.

Click here for more info.

Pasadena Festival of Tea

Location: Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden

It’s Festival season! No not the palm springs party kind, we’re talking about the cultural line up closer to home. Pasadena Festival of Tea returns for their third annual celebration of tea and garden lovers alike. Local vendors will be serving up tastings alongside tea ceremony demonstrations, artists exhibits and a tea marketplace of course.

Click here for more info.

8th Annual European Car Show

Location: Petersen Automotive Museum

The 8th Annual European Car Show drives into the Petersen Automotive Museum this Sunday. Presented by California Car Cover, dub-nation Events and HRE Wheels is an amazing lineup of cars, raffle prizes and more. The show is open to all European automobiles new and old.

Click here for more info.