Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Let Me Cater To You: A Pom WONDERFUL Affair!

On Thursday I catered an event for Pom Wonderful at Roll International Corporation. I wanted to infuse Pom Wonderful into my dishes. I'm not one to back away from a challenge I decided to put it in EVERYTHING! SO fun!

The theme of the party was 1920's Speakeasy, luckily I got to keep with my Black, Red & White catering theme & I found great decorations & favors in those colors. Here's what I came up with:

Two night's before the event I decided to try Alton Brown's Pomegranate Molasses recipe. I made two batches. One was a molasses & the other I didn't reduce as much so it would be more of a syrup.
We had some lamb chops & neck in the freezer so I wanted to test it out. I made some kale & herbed pommes frites, blanched & double cooked... sweet cheezus was that AMAZING!
We couldn't stop munching on these. I used a Mediterranean blend & some herbes de Provence for this.

Ingredients for the pork & pom empanadas. Instead of using water or stock to cook the ground pork, I used pomegranate juice & in lieu of raisins I used this really cool Pom & Cranberry blend from Trader Joe's. It has currants & cherries & just so much numminess!
Had some Pom vinegar on hand & used it for the lamb lollipops
Soba Noodles with Pom & Peanut sauce

Pear & Walnut salad with bleu cheese & Pomegranate Vinaigrette in a crispy baked wonton cup

Grilled Lamb Lollipops marinated in Pom Molasses & Pom Seeds

Seared Ahi Tuna with Wasabi Caviar on a Cucumber with Pom Syrup
Pom BBQ Chicken Wings

Pomtini with Ginger & Vanilla Simple Syrup
Pom Hummus
Mini Beef Wellies. I used Pama Pomegranate Liqueur for the duxelles.

The Mimster
Our take on Peking duck.. Pom-king Duck on steamed Asian Buns
Pom-Rose Sangria
Pomegranate Cupcakes

EVERYONE had a blast, one of the party goers had more fun in the kitchen with my staff putting all the fun stuff together than having to shmooze with her colleagues.

I was in charge of the music too & had a great mix of classic 20's legends such as Cab Calloway, Bessie Smith, Louie Armstrong, King Oliver, Bix Biederbecke, Red Onion Jazz Band Annette Hanshaw, Billie Holiday & of course there was The Charleston... this party was swing-ING!

I can't get over how much fun I have doing these parties. It was an extremely stressful 48 hours everything that could go wrong DID... I don't want to think about the money lost in broken plates & glassware but when it was time for the show... boy did we put on a helluva show. I am SO proud of everyone on my team, proud of this event & can't WAIT to do more

Monday, September 28, 2009

Brain Food/Ab Work: Truly Outrageous

Man... I MISS this show, so glad this was on when I was growing up. This had a HUGE influence on me... Girls ROCK!!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sound BITES: A View From the Top by guest contributer Perri Kraus

Here's a wonderful contribution, a sound bite if you will, from one of my FAVORITE writer's Perri Kraus aka "Cupcake". She'll'' cruise by ever so often to contribute a "bite". I am HONORED to have this be her very first contribution to Single Serving Blogs, I look forward to more of her literary delicacies & I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

A day never used to pass when I wasn’t upside down, sideways, hanging by the seat of my panties, lying on my back, up, down, front split vertical, center split sideways, arched back, bent in half, 360 spinning, and ladies and gentlemen, it was all in 6 inch heels.

Then I hurt myself, and I had to stop pole dancing (you all have dirty minds! What did you think I was talking about?)

I’ve missed being a part of that community so much, that when my favorite Mistress of Meals, Miss Manouschka, gave me the go ahead to contribute to her superb blog, Single Serving, I knew what I had to write about.

When I came to BeSpun I was exercising myself of my most recent relationship. I was in deep, and then he dropped me, so I was going to make every pore cry, until he was gone, and I would never have to think about him again. When I heard about pole dancing classes, I couldn’t resist the poetic justice of getting over this man, and simultaneously learning to attract more. The owner, a 26 year old, out going, big sister type, was more than happy to share her moves and her confidence, and to impart crucial lessons like how to shoot Jack and stay upright in your heels, and why vegetables play a crucial part in this process. (Shout out to balanced meals Noush.)

It didn’t take me long to start coming every day. At first it was simply to distract myself from a broken heart, but it became a challenge. I wanted to master the better, bigger, harder moves. I wanted to make them look effortless. I wanted to put my own style into moving in and out of them. It became my form of expression, that release of frustration that comes from crying or punching a wall, but it was beautiful.

I started teaching about nine months into my own training. I’ve seen girls come to class for any number of reasons, but they all stay for the challenge. This shared challenge has created the most dedicated, badass community I have ever had the pleasure of being a part of. How is this relevant to Single Serving you wonder? Well this is how I met the Sorceress of Sweets, the Virgil of Vegetables: my Manouschka. She came to class with an indomitable attitude, and a smile and a laugh for everyone! She brings the beautiful out of the ordinary. She is the shining paradigm of a pole-dancing student.

So ladies and gentlemen, next time you bend over backwards, somersault, cartwheel, or walk with extra swagger, enjoy it, because you can do it. Don’t sweat the whys or the hows? Love challenges because they let you live more intensely right now.

Friday, September 25, 2009

STOKED: Single Serving Blogs gets it's very FIRST exclusive! Aish & the Hubs are on Oprah!!!

YAY!!!! My girl Aishwarya & her hubby are going to be on Oprah on Monday & I get to be one of the first to announce it & show this exclusive pic from The Oprah Winfrey Show... YAY sooo STOKED for her!

Tune in to "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on Monday, September 28, 2009, as Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai sit with Oprah for their first interview together. They will be part of an episode featuring some of the most famous people in the world. (Check local U.S. television listings for airtimes.)


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Brain Food/Ab Work: Single Babies

Why do I LOVE these "Single Ladies" youtube renditions?!?!? This one you will NOT watch just once I promise! I'm super excited for the Pom Wonderful event I am catering tonight & all the cool things I'm doing with Pom Wonderful & pomegranate seeds full report to come soon. Please enjoy this smile til then

Food Fight: Tomayto/Tomahto

It makes me sad how people choose to let out their aggression. Yes fight for what you care the most about, but not at the expense of another or letting your frustration get the best of you & losing sight of the bigger picture. I firmly believe everything happens for a reason & when we learn from our lessons, bigger more substantial opportunities arise & new bonds are formed with people you otherwise would have not had the chance previously to meet.

I recently wrote an entry to update my friends, family & the few I don't know, but I hold dear, that indulge me by cruising on by this blog on the blessings I have just received because I had not told anyone yet & I was really proud about what I wrote & what I had experienced, I still am.

I'm not one to believe that all press is good press but in the past 24 hours this blog has had a massive wave in new readers. I wish the intentions were all positive but unfortunately for the time being I have had to disable the ability to leave comments because some "anonymous" people have felt compelled to unleash their discourse here. I hope this passes soon & my comment box will no longer be held hostage & maybe even a healthy discussion on the matter may arise.

Food is what brings us together NOT tear us apart & Mr DeLaCruz who so graciously chose to contact me personally by email waving that virtual righteous finger... I am sorry but I have to disagree with you on your statement. We are NOT only "judged by the company we keep" but we are judged by our character, the willingness to understand one another, the ability to overcome adversity & our propensity to love. I hope everyone's anger... by now, days later has lost it's grip on them & thank you for choosing to have an open dialogue with me, I have learned a lot from this, I mean that with all sincerity.

Damn Mercury in retrograde.... HA! Peace & hair grease peeps ♥

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Brain Food/Ab Work: I'm a Fool to Want You

I have wanted to get married at Union Station ever since I went there by chance with a former lover to pick up some friend's visiting from Australia 9 years ago. Something so romantic & sexy about train stations & trains. The chugging of the train is reminiscent of the beating heart & when it releases steam & the whistle blows it's like the sound you make inside when you meet someone that can potentially change your life. The architecture is stun-NING from the ceilings, moldings, archways, paneled walls to the marble floor, God IS really in the details.

They really don't make places like that anymore but what makes me love Union Station the most is sometimes I like to go there by myself & sit & watch people waiting in anticipation to greet loved ones they've greatly missed pacing back & forth & when that person coming from the gate is no longer a silhouette but that loved one who is just as relieved to be back in their arms, I choke up.

Or watching strangers say goodbye to the loved ones they will try to desperately find the courage to go through that period of time without. It's one of the few times I sit back without judgment or opinions & have complete optimism of how much we all need one another & the importance of having that one extremely special person to share your life with & share theirs. When I do meet him I can't imagine a greater place in the world for us to exchange our vows.

With that being said I didn't watch the Emmy's because I was shooting G.A.R. but someone posted this on their blog & I ♥ ♥ LOVE it!!!! Every single second of this is perfection & so many elements that I just ADORE! Not only is it directed by the director & starring the star of one of my favorite movies of all time Amelie, it's an ad for Chanel & I LOVE Chanel perfume*swoon* (Allure is my signature scent).

It takes place on a train & in a train station somewhere in PARIS, with a supermodel looking hot leading Man to fawn over, the clever way of symbolizing potential lovers as two trains passing in the night ON a train but no let's top ALL of that by brilliantly adding the element of the incomparable Miss Billie Holiday singing her haunting "I'm a Fool to Want You" from her album Lady in Satin playing in the background... I swear if they threw a Red Velvet Cupcake in there with a decadent slice of Pork Belly, a glass of Malbec & a pair of Louboutins I would've PASSED out because too many of my favorite things in 2 minutes is just TOO MUCH!

Well I've rambled enough. Here's to someday my train coming in & yours also...

OH & check out this new pic my Lovebug Shannon made for me for my birthday... couldn't you just DIE?!?!? Cupcakes & pink & heels & animated OH MY!

Monday, September 21, 2009

STOKED: Believe it or not I'm walking on air!

It's been SO long since I've blogged I don't even know if I remember how to do it anymore. There's so much I need to catch up on & so much I am still processing. My life has changed massively in the past couple of weeks & yesterday may have been one of the best days EVER!

While I was in Atlanta I got a call from ICM to audition for a show called "Search For the Greatest American Recipe" I swear I've had at least 10 people email, call & text me about submitting myself as a contestant for the show, so when ICM called I almost fell out. The Producers wanted me to come in thee NEXT day, I wasn't getting back to LA til 8 days later I asked if they could see me then. They weren't sure so I chalked it up as a no biggie, it wasn't meant to be. What's meant for me is coming.

I enjoyed hanging with my Mother & my family, she threw me a birthday party, my first with her in almost 20 years... damn I LOATHE I'm at the age when I can say "20 years ago..." anywho... my Mother is SUPER low key & jolly. She's been through A LOT in her life. I don't really go to her for advice when I have problems because she's not really the type to give sage advice anymore, going deep isn't really her steed & I respect that, she's just cruising for the rest of her life. She has worked too damn hard & deserves the break & I have INCREDIBLE friends for that.

She told me "you are leaving your Jesus Year, 33 is the hardest year of your life & you have survived & overcome SO much! You made it past these difficult times & didn't let that year break you. I promise your life is now for the better. I am so proud of you"... OK seriously I don't think I've cried SO much or could EVER cry so much in my entire life, not even after a "Color Purple", "Sophie's Choice", "Imitation of Life", "Terms of Endearment" back to back marathon. I knew right then & there what my mother said would now be my new truth.

I came back to LA on the 7th, my birthday was on the 9th (09/09/09) & my roomie & his new wifey took me & my brand new Lobou's I bought for my brother's wedding to Gordon Ramsay at The London for dinner & I got to have everything my little heart wanted on the menu & didn't have to decide *swoooooooooooooon*.

Christian Louboutin Carnival

The HAPPY couple on their BIG day Chips & dip
Lobster Risotto
Kumamoto Oysters that MELT in your mouth, Hamachi with Yuzu, ginger & Caviar & Prawn with watermelon & cardamom sauce

kumamoto oysters... PERFECTION

Wagyu Beef Cheek
Pork Belly with crispy Pig's Head (FAVORITE dish of the night!!! )

HAPPY birthday to me

I didn't think my life could get any better. I woke up the next morning on the 10th freshly minted as outta my crazy ass "Jesus Year" then within minutes of my new year my favorite cupcake EDB wanted to stop by & drop off my birthday present a MASSIVE Hello Kitty goodie bag loaded with Hello Kitty stuff & THIS...

I mean SERIOUSLY?!?!?! 2 of my FAVORITE things into 1... INGENIOUS! If this isn't a sign I don't know what is?

I rip open the package set it up in my kitchen & just stare at it for the longest realizing I CAN do this... I SWEAR within minutes after I realize this I receive a call from ICM "are you free on the 20th?" I answer yes & they're like GOOD you're working as a Recipe Expert Judge on Lifetime's "Greatest American Recipe" hosted by Chef Tyler Florence.....

GET THE HE-YELL OUTTA HERE!!!!! Shut up?!?!? As if it wasn't cool enough ICM got me a job or my Mom's advice came true or I get to work with people from Lifetime or that I am being deemed as a "recipe expert" yes ALL of that IS spectacular but the ULTIMATE.... COOLEST stand out moment was getting to work with & meet Tyler Florence!!!! He is part of my Trinity: Gordon Ramsay, Anthony Bourdain & Ty-LER friggin' Florence!!!! I still can't stop getting all teary eyed when I think of it. Ok damn... ICM hooking me up is the Ultimate too, but bear with me on this one, there's something Mystic & life affirming at hand for me here.

I've worked with, met & even dated heaps of "famous people" OK I've only dated a couple not heaps... settle down Beavis, but this was different, this was life affirming. I'm only a year & a half into pursuing my culinary TV dreams. I've been writing & acting in LA for almost 12 years & this is my second pilot in 10 YEARS!!! "Tyler's Ultimate" is one of the shows that changed my life & it's not just because he's this great Chef, hell I can't taste his food well... unless I make it myself to the T of his recipe but how he lives his life to the ULTIMATE!

No fear, no doubts, no apprehension... FULL of passion & a joie de vivre in EVERYTHING he does. From the way he cooks, to his love of food, his passion for his wife, the adoration of his kids (have you seen the video he posted on Facebook taking a bath with his baby?!?!? To die FOR!) his impeccable taste in music, the sheer coolness of his Mill Valley store, his respect for his parents... the Man is seriously one of the most inspiring people EVER! He ultimately lives thee BEST life that he created & is lov-ING every moment of it, it's so empowering & he's so proud of his life & he's open to share his favorite moments online & on TV making you feel like you too can have the life you always dreamed of & even better!

Over 2,000 people showed up... it was mind blowing! All with a recipe, a personal story & the dream that their recipe would be named thee "Greatest American Recipe". I am a Cook so judging fellow cooks that want the opportunity to showcase their dish on TV so they can change their life is VERY much a sentiment I understand. I didn't want to be too tough on them like on Chopped or Top Chef, those people are professionals & attended some of the best schools in the world & or apprenticed under the greatest Chefs to hone their craft. Critiques from their peers is part of their process to become better Culinary Artists.

SO many contestants were SO nervous, some even impossible to hear I just wanted to set them at ease to tell their stories & share their recipes. I tried to make them laugh & convey to them that I wanted the best for them I'm not just "judging" them & I wanted them to understand that I was grateful that the recipes they share with the dearest people in their lives they are willing to share with all of America.

I mean they showed up with pics of their families or their entire family & are risking putting their family's biggest recipe secrets without the guarantee of winning or even getting picked. Some even found ways to modify a great grandmother's recipe so it wouldn't get lost forever because so many people in the family had severe food allergies & couldn't enjoy it... couldn't you die? I met a handsome devil yesterday who did just that so his great grandmother's recipe could live on in his family so many, many more generations can enjoy it, how freaking considerate & damn sexy is that? I could just kiss him... I SWEAR!

The hardest part for me judging was when the littlest ones didn't make it to the next level but man I can't tell you how refreshing it was to see SO many kids put down the controllers & their Nintendo DS & instead are so passionate about expressing themselves & creating fantastic dishes in the kitchen. The future for foodies like us is safe in the hands of these tater tots.

Well here's hoping the show gets picked up, I mean how could it not? It's like American Idol for cooks & I hope that I can continue to be a part of it. If not, the experience will last me a lifetime (no pun intended) & I know I am on the right path in getting closer & closer to ALL of my dreams coming true. I learned so much yesterday & feel blessed beyond my wildest dreams. Thanks for indulging me. Goodnight