Monday, October 31, 2011

Bask One Year Anniversary Party

Dropped by the one year anniversary party for Bask Magazine for a quick bit. Located at a lovely Crystal Cove estate, it was a great night celebrating a new Orange County magazine.   

They had a couple things I've never seen before.  The entertainment was a troop of sexily clad burlesque marchers (hmmm...), but my favorite thing was the fresh cotton candy made for you as you waited to get your car from the valet.  Guess I know where Knolton got his love of cotton candy from!

Sexy Marchers???


More yum...cotton candy!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

An Evening at Saks with Yigal Azrouel

I was invited to a cocktail reception for a showing of Yigal Azrouel's Spring 2012 collection for his signature line and its younger sister line, Cut25.

Maxmara blouse and slacks, Vintage 1920's crepe coat, Henri Bendel earrings, vintage necklaces
 Hostess, Analisa Albert in Yigal Azrouel

Maxmara blouse & slacks, Hermes cuff, Cartier watch, vintage necklaces

 Trying on this scrumptious Yigal Azrouel fur vest. Mix of three different types of fur. Absolutely amazing! It's shorter in the back, which makes it unexpectedly sassy.

Adding finishing touches

 In love with both the white midlength dress and the long sweeping red dress.  The simple cuts and clever draping of this season are just my cup of tea.  I'll be wearing this lovely red frock for lounging about the house.  Tra la la!

With the charming designer, Yigal Azrouel

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Farmer Was His Name-O!

One the only ways the hubby will get me to wake up early on a Saturday will be the Irvine Farmers Market across the street from UCI in Irvine.  It's grown quite a bit since I first started shopping there as a Anteater many many (no more many's!) years ago.  They still have one of the biggest selections of produce and booths around.  On a Saturday like today, the hubby will pick out crisp green tomatoes for canning, the boy will grab a baguette to munch on, while I head first for the roast corn.  If you have to get up early on a Saturday, this is a great place to hang out.  It's only open til 1pm, so hurry up!

Amazing Heirloom tomatoes!


Irvine Farmer's Market
Campus Dr and Bridge Rd
Irvine, CA 92612

"A" Great Time

I've been here in Orange County a while.  Probably a lot longer than I'd care to admit, but you can still catch me telling people I'm from LA.  I love the cool hipster vibe that LA girls seem to quietly permeate, that whispers, "Yeah, I know you're looking at me.  And ya know what?  It cuz there's something worth looking at here."  

But these OC girls have something special and unique to this area.   When they were singing about "California Girls", they must have had the OC in mind.  People are just generally happier here.  It could be the sun, the sand, the laid-back attitude, the proximity to  Whatever it is, you can't help but wave to your neighbors, smile a bit bigger at passing strangers, or get into a discussion with the table next to you about the bottle of wine you're drinking (we seriously have a couple who've become great friends with us that way!). 

A Restaurant in Newport Beach has that cool LA meets OC meets the Rat Pack era thing that gives me a bit of everything I need.  Yes, it's been in that darn Housewives of OC show, but don't hold that against them.   Red leather booths make you feel like you're hanging with Sinatra or Davis.  The bar becomes a focal point in the evenings, with the help of a great Happy Hour created by manager Tony Motakef.  Any day has a different special, whether it's $5 martinis, 1/2 price bottles of wine, or half off the bar menu.  It may be half off prices, but it's 100% FUN!

Sexy, hip bar

 Rueben sandwich - so yum!

Homemade fries

Secret back room for private parties

Private room with flat screen tv and Ketel One bar
A Restaurant
3334 West Coast Hwy
Newport Beach, CA 92663

(949) 650-6505

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Lighten Up, Stinky!

Ralph Lauren Love, Flora by Gucci, Hermes Eau de Pamplemousse Rose, Jo Malone Orange Blossom, Jo Malone Nectarine Blossom & Honey, Liaisons Dangereuses by Kilian
 I'm a huge fan of perfume.  Big.  Huge.  Major.  I know a lot of people say they don't like perfume because it's not their natural scent yada yada yada...  Well, as one who's not the biggest proponent of everyone smelling like their natural BO, I love wearing something new every day, to match my mood or my outfit.  Clothes, shoes, purses, we wear for ourselves (and to be honest, for other women).  But scent, we wear that for our men.

This warm Fall has thrown me for a loop in more ways than my outfits.  Who wants a heavy, musky scent that makes them smell like their Great Aunt Petunia in this heat??  I'm leaning towards lightly floral, citrusy perfumes at the moment.  Grapefruit, orange blossom, nectarine...  Almost sounds like a great cocktail, doesn't it?

Current fav: Jo Malone Orange Blossom Cologne & Body Creme

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fall for Stew

Can someone please let Mother Nature know that it's Fall here in Orange County?  She's obviously confused, as I should be in chunky, cozy knits, leather boots, and scrumptious scarves, drinking $39 Starbucks must-be-made-of-gold-lattes (seriously! Wassup with your pricing, Starbucks??!!!) shopping for may-jah coats in preparation for winter.  Instead we've got an Indian Summer here, wearing spaghetti strap tops, silk shorts, and very little else.  This heat wave makes it too hot to even accessorize properly. (gasp! The horror!) 

One of my other favorite things for Fall has always been my hubby's Beef Stew.  It's a hearty, but not too heavy, easy dish, that gets me excited for the upcoming Winter. The flavorful steak, with the tangy tomatoes and crunchy vegetables, makes for a great family meal.  Serve it with hot, crusty bread, and even Mother Nature will be begging for a bite!

Beef Stew

3/4 cup Celery, chopped
1 small Yellow Onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup Carrot, cut into 1/2" pieces
2 New York Steaks (3/4lbs each)
  *Can use lesser cut like Chuck Roast
1 can Stewed Tomatoes (like S& W)
1 1/2 - 2 cups Chicken Stock
3 tablespoon Tomato Paste
All Purpose Flour
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Old Bay Seasoning
Granulated Garlic
Salt & Pepper

It all begins with the mirepoix.  Hubby says it's the "Holy Trinity" of any soup, sauce, or stew.  Put your onions, celery, and carrots in a pan and saute it with butter and extra virgin olive oil until everything becomes translucent, but not too soft.  Add Old Bay, granulated garlic, salt, and pepper to taste. 
Take your steak and slice it into 1 inch strips, leaving the fat.  Hubby says it's important for the flavor.  Lightly dust it with all purpose flour and salt & pepper.  Saute in a skillet until it's a light golden brown.  Turn off the fire and add 1/2 cup of chicken stock to deglaze the pan.
Add the can of stewed tomatoes and tomato paste to your mirepoix, followed by the rest of your chicken stock (1 - 1/2 cups).  Stir, then add the steak.  Cover and put on low heat for 15 minutes.  Add your favorite vegetables (green beans, turnips, potatoes, peas, etc.) to the top, but don't stir!  You want it to lightly steam.  Cook for another 15 minutes.  Pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy a bowl of Fall's stew.

Juicy bite!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Birthday love

Just found these pictures on my camera from when my son and I celebrated our birthdays together for dinner at Bazaar in the SLS Hotel a couple of weeks ago.  (Yes, we only have one day between our birthdays. Long story about a twenty-something hour labor on my for everyone, right???).  I've always loved the whimsical creations of Jose Andres, and was super excited to have my hubby and Knolton (my twenty-something hour long birthday present) try his cuisine.  It's molecular gastronomy that actually tastes good, instead of like most places where it's all about the show.

Helmut Lang dress, Henri Bendel earrings and necklace, Hermes cuff
 Slight disclaimer here, Knolton is not a normal eater.  This is a kid that in Paris bistros will order two dozen escargots and the veal tongue and cheek.  He eats sushi like nobody's business, and I'm not talking about California Rolls. He's always been a dream to travel with, and can easily navigate most restaurants in the world.  (Okay, proud mama part is coming to an end... lol).

The kid and I ordered everything, with the hubby muttering something about how we were going to have stomach aches and need pepto with all the food we were consuming.  Canned sea urchin, Jamón Ibérico Fermin, Green asparagus tempura, Wild mushroom rice, Seared scallops, Croquetas de pollo, Sautéed shrimp, American caviar cone, Boneless chicken wings, Jicama wraps, Tortilla de patatas “new way”, Not your everyday Caprésé, Japanese taco (grilled eel), Smoked yellowtail and crispy rice, Dashi linguini, Olives two ways, Philly cheesesteak, and Foie gras mini-burgers.  What a smorgasborg of interesting tastes and textures, right?  Want to know what my sophisticated eater's favorite thing was?  The cotton candy foie gras.  He ordered SIX of them!  There goes my theory about worldly palates, blah blah blah... Guess a kid is still a kid.

cotton candy foie gras

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pizzeria Mozza bound

Decided to hit Pizzeria Mozza with some girlfriends today.  Being OC, everyone pounces on the New Uber Trendy It restaurant, and getting reservations is just slightly easier than achieving world peace while winning the Miss USA pageant at the same time.  Mission Accomplished, and one noon reservation later (after a series of calls and outright whining), I got dressed for a fun afternoon with the girls.
Sonia Rykiel dress, Christian Louboutin espadrilles, Hermes purse, Hermes scarf,
Kenneth Jay Lane earrings, Vintage 1920's Tiffany Men's watch, Vintage necklaces.

Time to get going to lunch...
Somewhere in a kitchen far far away, Mario Batali is chuckling his heart out.  As I walk up to the restaurant just shy of noon, I see a line of people twenty-five deep, all eagerly staring at the door. You can see them willing the minutes to pass quickly to twelve, the door to open and greet them with the scents of a wood burning pizza oven.  Trying to get forward to my waiting friends is a risky endeavor; no cuts allowed.  

As we get seated, I order a glass of prosecco and we start ordering like nobody's business.  We start with Arancine rice balls, Meatballs al forno, Nancy's chopped salad, Crispy goat cheese with lentils, Fried squash blossoms with ricotta, and Bone Marrow.  Everything was just okay, with the few exceptions being the goat cheese with savoury lentils (yum yum yum), and the bone marrow, served with toast, salt and pickled veg's.  Delicious, but soooo rich; you can only eat a few bites before giving in to the healthier options.  After-lunch angioplasty, anyone? 

Now's the time for the main attraction: Pizza!  Time to earn your money, Mr. Batali.  We start with the Coach farm goat cheese, leek, scallion, garlic, and bacon pizza.  Lightly aromatic and delicately flavored, Beatrice was a fan.  Now, I'm not a subtle kind of girl.  It's tasty, but I wanted something that was worth my standing in line like a tween hoping for a glance of the Bieber.  Lovely, but a bit ho hum...
Coach farm goat cheese, leek, scallion, garlic, and bacon pizza
Trying to go for something more exciting, we order the Squash blossom, tomato, and burrata pizza.  So pretty!  Crust had a lightly crisp, yet chewy texture.  The burrata melted into the squash blossoms, creating great complete bursts of flavor to that bite, but leaving other bites with no cheese and no squash blossom.  Again didn't quite wow any of us.
Squash blossom, tomato, and burrata pizza
Finally hit the pizza nirvana with the Finnochiona, tomato, mozzarella, and chile pizza.  It was like a grown up Pepperoni pizza!  The hot, crispy sliced finnochiona, with the slighty spicy peppers made my mouth do the happy dance.  Jen and I loved this pizza so much that we forgot to take a picture!  Now this is what the wait was all about.
Cathie ordered the Margherita pizza to go and we all took a quick peek before she bundled it up to go.  Do you think it tastes as good as it looks?
Margherita pizza
All in all, it was a good day!  Got to dress up, see friends, eat yummy food...  And the best part??  Hubby picking up our boy from school so I could slowly savor every bite!

Pizzeria Mozza
800 W Coast Hwy
Newport Beach, CA 92663
(949) 945-1126

Seaside Baby Shower

I've always wanted to throw a posh party in the lawn, and when our longtime friend became pregnant, my sister, Stefani, and I decided that this was our opportunity.  Long and dramatic, it was the perfect size for the backyard.

Little details make the table... The Beta fish (later renamed Gilligan) kept us all entertained between games.

Custom made flip flop party favors for the gal with the 6" heels (yes, most of the time that's me!).

Helmut Lang dress, Burberry wedge espadrilles
The two hostesses, Stefani and I. 

I'm such a fan of the dessert bar right now.  Most of the cakes were from different bakeries, but the caramel apples, chocolate covered strawberries, and chocolate lollipops were homemade the night before!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Welcome, m'loves.

Welcome to my mad mad world, m'loves.  I'm an LA girl who came to Orange County for school, and never left back to my beloved city.  The OC has now gotten a piece of this jaded girl's heart, while my husband and son have the rest.  Thanks for joining me on my adventures, as I juggle the "oh so glamorous life" as a mom to the cutest kid in the world, wife of the most romantic man alive, and various hijinks along the way.  Come along; you might have a chuckle or two...