Posts Tagged ‘holiday’

All-dessert Thanksgiving with Salt and Straw ice cream

Salt & Straw ice cream

Salt & Straw ice cream

If you’re looking to spice up your holiday meal this Thanksgiving, consider this: an entire meal in five pints of ice cream. And not just any ice cream — handmade, small-batch Salt and Straw ice cream direct from Portland, Oregon.

So what’s so special about Salt and Straw? Cousins Kim and Tyler Malek use only all-natural dairy; local, sustainable and organic ingredients; as well as imported flavors from small, handpicked farms and producers. The ice cream is made with 17 percent butterfat, little air and low sweetness. And then there are the unique flavors: Honey Balsamic Strawberry with Cracked Pepper, Coffee and Bourbon, and Pear with Blue Cheese, among others.

Which brings us back to the Thanksgiving flavors. The Maleks recently visited the only place outside Oregon that serves their ice cream — Joan’s on Third in Los Angeles, which carries the five-pack and serves Salt and Straw by the scoop (we Angelenos are super lucky) – to share these unique holiday flavors with us.

Herewith, Salt and Straw’s Thanksgiving dinner:

Sweet Potato and Candied Pecans: pureed sweet potatoes in the ice cream, with marshmallow fluff and roasted pecans. I much prefer this to the real thing.

Sweet Potato and Candied Pecans

Sweet Potato and Candied Pecans

Apple Cranberry Stuffing: celery-sweetened ice cream with cranberries, apples and a white bread pudding flavored with a variety of spices. Really interesting — and delicious — given the celery ice cream. I also like chewing on the bits of bread.

Apple Cranberry Stuffing

Apple Cranberry Stuffing

Salted Caramel Thanksgiving Turkey: Salted caramel ice cream with turkey skin brittle. Really, really interesting. It’s reminiscent of candied bacon ice creams, but it takes like turkey. Definitely tastes like turkey.

Salted Caramel Thanksgiving Turkey

Salted Caramel Thanksgiving Turkey

Mincemeat Pie: holiday spiced ice cream with dried figs, cherries, currants and apples steeped in brandy and fresh citrus. Apparently mincemeat pies don’t actually contain meat (at least, not anymore). This ice cream is super spiced, with lots of cinnamon, clove and all kinds of good holiday flavors.

Mincemeat Pie

Mincemeat Pie

Pumpkin Custard and Spiced Chèvre: pumpkin custard piped into a spiced goat cheese ice cream. This was my favorite, hands-down. I love pumpkin-flavored treats and look forward to pumpkin pie every Thanksgiving. I thought Trader Joe’s made the best pumpkin ice cream I’ve ever tasted. There’s no comparison next to Salt and Straw’s.

Pumpkin Custard & Spiced Chevre

Pumpkin Custard and Spiced Chevre

All five flavors, and you have to buy them as a package, are available while supplies last at Joan’s on Third for $65. While you’re there, pick up some of Joan’s tasty housemade potato chips.

Note: This tasting was hosted.

Further reading:

Turkey Ice Cream? Thanksgiving Flavors from Portland’s Salt and Straw, Now at Joan’s on Third by Gourmet Pigs

23

11 2013

Last-minute holiday shopping guide for LA foodies

Valerie Confections SUPER CHOC-O-FOOD

Valerie Confections SUPER CHOC-O-FOOD

Still scrambling for holiday gifts? If you’re shopping for people who like food, or should like good food, then look no further than these L.A. options:

Valerie Confections: While Valerie Gordon is know for her toffees and cute-as-a-button petit fours, an interesting gift would be the SUPER CHOCO-O-FOOD, a huge block of milk chocolate with a hint of caramel loaded with dried pears, apricots, golden raisins, macadamia nuts, cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds and peanuts. The packaging comes from Commune Design, and each color (pink, violet, aqua) corresponds to part of a triptych image found under the label. Valerie now also has teas blended by the American Tea Room just for the shop, including the Black & Blue, which was inspired by her Black & Blue jam and contains black tea from Nilgiri, blackberries, black currants, blueberries and blackberry leaves.

Kiss My Bundt Baking Academy: Chef Chrysta Wilson of Kiss My Bundt, formerly on West Third Street, is now teaching baking classes at Surfas in Culver City. The first class will be on January 15 and will focus on baking with winter citrus. And if you purchase a spot in this class before December 24, you’ll get 20 percent off. If you’ve ever had Wilson’s bundt cakes, you know they’re a treat.

Monsieur Marcel at the Original Farmers Market at Third and Fairfax: This gourmet foods store has all kinds of delicious treats, including European chocolates, fancy vinegars and oils, flavored salts, cheeses, wine and all kinds of fun stuff. This place will have lots of variety, so you’re sure to find something for the gourmand on your lift.

20

12 2011

Be Christmas-y: Visit the gingerbread house at Fairmont San Francisco

Gingerbread house at Fairmont San Francisco

Gingerbread house at Fairmont San Francisco

Looking for some holiday cheer? The historic Fairmont San Francisco hotel once again has its larger-than-life gingerbread house on display in its lobby. If you’re in SF sometime before Jan. 1, then this is a must-see. Just try not to eat the house, mmmkay?

13

12 2011

Cooking, schmooking: eat out this Thanksgiving

Foie Gras Creme Brulee at Sage Restaurant

Foie Gras Creme Brulee at Sage Restaurant

If the idea of cooking a huge meal this Thanksgiving freaks you out, then go out to eat! Here are some local (and not-so-local) options:

Akasha: For $65.00 per person ($35.00 for children 12 and under), this Culver City farm-fresh and vegan-friendly eatery offers a bevy of choices, including a roasted cauliflower bisque with white truffle sea salt, a fuyu persimmon (my favorite!) and pomegranate salad, crab-stuffed Idaho trout, peppercorn and hemp crusted tofu, and turkey with all the fixings, of course. You’ll also have your choice of sides, including orange candied yams, brussels sprouts, green bean casserole, creamed spinach, cheddar-gruyere macaroni and cheese, and stone ground cornbread and turkey andouille sausage stuffing. Oh, and there’s a pie buffet for dessert featuring organic and vegan pumpkin pie, maple pecan and chocolate pie, coconut custard pie, peanut butter pie, pumpkin cheesecake with whiskey caramel, and much, much more.

Saint Amour: This new Culver City favorite is offering Maine lobster and roasted chestnut bisque, an autumn harvest salad, Mary’s Organic Farm turkey with traditional garnishes, and a variety of desserts for $65.00 per person ($30 for kids under 12). You can substitute an entrée from the restaurant’s regular menu, too, including mushroom pot pie, New York steak or loup de mer.

CAFE del REY: This Marina del Rey restaurant is offering a three-course, prix-fixe holiday menu for $55 per person with a cauliflower and apple soup, housemade veal and pork sausage, free-range turkey breast with duck sausage stuffing, Maine scallops, a vegetarian beet risotto, and a sweet potato cheesecake. Kids get their own menu at $18 with a a choice of roasted turkey with mashed potatoes and green beans, cheese pizza, or penne pasta with marinara sauce, as well as a mini chocolate cream pie paired with hot chocolate.

Sage: Going to Vegas? Then you’ll want to spend Thanksgiving at this ultra-satisfying restaurant at the Aria Hotel (my full review to come soon). For $83 per person, Sage’s prix fixe menu features your choice of a roasted pumpkin soup, pear and brussels sprout salad, or the unique and decadent foie gras crème brulée to start; mains of roasted organic turkey, day boat scallops or braised veal cheeks (all with seasonal side dishes); and for dessert a pumpkin mascarpone tart or a bourbon caramel bar.

22

11 2011

‘Tis the season: Christmas dinner roundup

Georgio's Cucina. From Gilt City.

Georgio’s Cucina: From New York chef Gary Robins and Chris Heyman, restaurateur behind Table 8 and 8 oz. Burger Bar, comes a Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner at this new Studio City restaurant. The 7-course prix fixe ($65 per person, with a $45 wine pairing supplement; $15 children’s menu also available) will feature oysters on the half shell with prosecco gelée and black caviar, giant shrimp, big eye tuna, clams with pancetta, lobster risotto, roasted branzino and a selection of desserts.

Eva Restaurant: For a family-style dinner, hit up Eva’s prix fixe ($39 per person) on Christmas Eve to enjoy a prime rib roast, roasted organic chicken, creamed spinach, butterscotch pudding and more. Given the high quality of the food here, this meal looks like one of the best deals out there!

Gladstones Malibu: Looking for somewhere to nosh during the day? This SBE takeover is offering a Christmas Eve Dungeness crab feast ($70 per person; $30 for children 12 and younger) from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. You’ll also get Caesar salad, boiled new potatoes, steamed corn, asparagus and eggnog golden raisin brioche bread pudding. There’s fun for the whole family, too — new hopscotch courses and a sandbox, as well as a coloring contest for a chance to win special holiday treats.

Whist at Viceroy Hotel: Can’t decide which day to eat out? No worries because Whist is offering its Christmas menu ($75 per person) on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. You’ll start out with a smoked sturgeon salad with the option to add on foie gras torchon or raw oysters, and for the main course, choose two whole roasted meats, including a pork rack, organic turkey, prime rib and wild European turbot. There will be all kinds of sides, too, including black truffle, chestnut and pancetta risotto, and ricotta and spinach lasagna, in addition to a variety of desserts — even roasted chestnuts in a brown paper bag to go.

Oliverio at Avalon Hotel: Chef Mirko Paderno (a bit of a character, if you’ve ever met him) will be serving up some of his family’s Italian traditions on Christmas Day this year ($48 per person). These include marinated salmon in pink peppercorns with a citrus salad, a cauliflower soufflé topped with parmesan sauce, tonnarelli pasta made with crabmeat broth, and veal cheese and truffle fondue ravioli. Choose from either the roasted Mediterranean sea bass (AKA branzino) with cabbage and porcini mushrooms or the baked chicken served with artichoke and potato. Enjoy a cranberry parfait drizzled with dark chocolate sauce for dessert.

21

12 2010

Personal picks: holiday party dresses for less than $200

It’s every girl’s (and some boys’) dilemma: finding the perfect party dress for all those holiday parties that crop up every December. But you’re also on a budget — what to do? Hopefully I can help. Here are some of my favorites, from the ultra cheap chic to the less-cheap-but-won’t-necessarily-break-the-bank chic.

Fun, flirty party dresses: This H&M dress ($19.95) with a vintage-vibe print is super cute and super affordable. Looking for a little more sparkle? Try this Forever 21 black sequin dress ($24.80).

H&M

Forever 21

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16

12 2010