Wednesday, June 30, 2010

HomeGoods is Coming to El Segundo

I'm really excited and I think some of you will be too,  HomeGoods is coming to Plaza El Segundo! According to the Daily Breeze, their Grand Opening will be in late August and the store will have approximately 22,000 square feet of selling space. Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

the mommy's new glasses...

So it's finally happened, I need glasses! The years of working in front of a computer have finally caught up with me. A few months ago I started to notice I was squinting when working on the computer and getting headaches, so I made an appointment with my optometrist and sure enough I needed "computer" glasses. I spend about 6 hours a day on the computer at work and another hour or so at home blogging, so I took his advice and finally got a pair. Well, here I am blogging and wearing my glasses at home for the very first time and I must admit they're really helping and it doesn't hurt that they're super cute and covered by my insurance too!
  Marlie
 Coach Glasses

Monday, June 28, 2010

JD masters the straw...

After weeks of trying to get JD to drink from a straw, it took one trip to Chili's and a hand full of pickles to get him to master drinking out of one.

JD loves pickles...
but I think they make him thirsty!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cutest little coffee maker...

I started my new job a few weeks ago and I'm really enjoying it, but with all my new responsibilities I've noticed I'm drinking a lot more coffee than usual to get me through the day. Last week I decided it was time to get myself a small coffee maker for my office, which not only saves me time (stopping to buy coffee), but also saves a few bucks a day! I purchased this really cute Mr. Coffee, coffee maker at Best Buy and it has become my new best friend. It's compact and functional and has a lot of great features for a really great price.

$24.99
Best Buy
  • 4-cup capacity
  • Programmable clock - Delay Brew allows programming up to 24 hours in advance
  • Automatic shut-off
  • Dual water windows for accurate filling
  • Cord storage keeps excess cable hidden
  • Stain-resistant warming plate
  • Dishwasher-safe glass carafe
  • On/Off indicator light

Saturday, June 26, 2010

L.A. Food Trucks: Cupcakes a GoGo

If you live in Southern California, you probably already know that there's a food truck for almost every type of cuisine you can imagine and even some you can't! Upon exiting the Mayan Thursday night after hooting and hollering for our favorite Luchadores at Lucha VaVoom, we were greeted by LA's cutest cupcake truck, Cupcakes a GoGo. This truck is absolutely charming, their packaging is really top notch and best of all their cupcakes are “delicious”, we tried their red velvet cupcake with yummy cream cheese frosting and the only regret I have, is that I only bought one. Like most L.A. food trucks, you can follow Cupcakes a GoGo on twitter @cupcakesagogola to find their current location and you might even see us there!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Catch My Party!

About a week ago I received an email from Jillian Tohber Leslie, CEO of Catch My Party, a really amazing site that offers a place to display your most incredible party photos, party moments and party memories. Jillian came across JD’s 1st Birthday Carnival Party, loved it and asked if I would like to join her site and post JD’s party, I of course said “yes” and today JD’s party was featured in the party of the day roll. I was really impressed with Catch My Party; it’s unlike any other party featuring site I’ve seen. Catch My Party, is basically a social network/scrapbook for your parties; you start an account, post your party, customize your page and you can even receive comments from other members! If you love party planning, need ideas, or just want to display your parties, this is definitely the website for you. Thank you for the feature Catch My Party!

Catch My Party

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Choripan

Now that we have Chimichurri, I bet you’re asking what I make to go along with it; I have the answer you’ve been waiting for, “Choripan” of course! Choripan is usually served as an appetizer during the preparation of an asado (BBQ) and is also a very common street food in Argentina, chori is short for chorizo (sausage) and pan is bread. Chimi and Choripan is the perfect Argentinian food pairing, especially while watching a soccer game. Here’s how you make Choripan and if you live in the South Bay you can get all your ingredients at El Gaucho Meat Market in Redondo Beach, or you can actually order a Choripan with Chimi from them, ready to eat!


What you'll need:
  • Argentinian chorizo or Italian sausage
  • French rolls
  • Chimichurri Sauce
Preparation:
Poke holes in the chorizo and place on on a pre-heated grill. Grill for 8 to 10 minutes per side.

Slice the French roll on one side to open up. Place on the grill to toast.

Once the chorizos are done slice each one down the middle (butterfly) and place the chorizo inside of the toasted roll. Spoon the chimichurri over the chorizo.

*You can also pan fry the chorizo and toast your bread in the oven if you do not want to grill.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Chimichurri

Well as many of you soccer fans know by now, Argentina will be playing against Mexico this Sunday and although I'm not a soccer fan myself, the hubby is using this game as an excuse to have me make some traditional Argentinian foods;  so, I thought I'd share some of the recipes every true Argentinian should know how to make (even a half Argentinian like me)! My dad taught me how to make "Chimi" over 20 years ago and it's actually one of my favorite dipping sauces, if you love garlic as much as I do, you will love this recipe too.

Chimichurri

You can mince the ingredients by hand but I suggest using a food processor, this sauce can be served with everything from empanadas to grilled steak.
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 2 clove garlic (I use 3 cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon basil, thyme and oregano combined
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and let set for at least 2 hours before serving.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Devil's Night Drive-In

My hubby always seems to find some really interesting places to go on date night! On our latest date the hubby packed a picnic, a blanket and some pillows and took me to L.A. to the Devil's Night Drive-In to watch the Labyrinth, one of my favorite movies. This drive-in is located in downtown Los Angeles and is on the second story of a parking lot; it may not sound like much but believe me once your there you will understand the attraction, it's an amazing experience. We really had a great night, met lots of interesting people, had some delicious cheeseburgers (grilled on the back of a pickup truck), and we cuddled in the back of hubby's truck, just like a couple of lovestruck teenagers!







Monday, June 21, 2010

Goodwill Find: HERMES-PARIS Tote

On my way to pick up JD from my parents house on Wednesdays I typically stop at my favorite Goodwill and last Wednesday was no exception. I made my usually rounds and made my last stop at the purse and bags section (I always leave it for last because it’s my favorite section). I found a few really cute purses, but a small tote caught my attention, it was the perfect lunch bag; as I began to inspect it I was a little shocked, the tag on the tote read HERMES-PARIS! Well, I bought the tote for $4.99 and took it home and began to wonder if it could possibly be authentic. I began researching online and found that this tote is a Discontinued Hermes Fourre-Tout tote and if authentic can run anywhere from $300-$700 and if it’s a replica it can run about $200, can you believe that! The hubby has already suggested I sell it immediately, but I’m still doing research and still think it would make a cute lunch bag if it’s not authentic, well a cute $200 (Hermes replica) lunch bag! So, don’t forget to stop at your local Goodwill, you may be shocked at what you find too!




Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

Anyone can be a father,
but it takes someone 
special to be a 
DADDY!

Abu & JD

 Abu, JD & Mommy

 Open this one Abu!

 Nino Al & JD
sharing Nino's Birthday/Father's Day Cake

 I share with you Nino!

  JD helping Grandpa Garcia
unwrap his gift

Daddy, JD & Grandpa

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Guinness Stew


One of my favorite Dutch oven recipes is Guinness Stew, I love beef stews and adding Guinness really adds a flavor that no other ingredient can duplicate. I've made this stew a few times now and recently made it for our True Blood party and everyone loved it, so I thought I'd share this delicious recipe.

Beef & Guinness Stew
Ingredients:
  • 2 lb lean stewing beef 
  • 3 tablespoons oil 
  • 2 tablespoons flour 
  • salt and freshly ground pepper and a pinch of cayenne 
  • 2 large onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 small can fire roasted green chilies
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree, dissolved in 4 tablespoons water 
  • 1 1/2 cups Guinness
  • 1 cup carrots, cut into chunks 
  • 1 cup potatoes, cut into chunks 
  • sprig of thyme
Directions:

Trim the meat of any fat or gristle, cut into cubes of 2 inches (5cm) and toss them in a bowl with 1 tablespoon oil. Season the flour with salt, freshly ground pepper and a pinch or two of cayenne. Toss the meat in the mixture. Heat the remaining oil in a Dutch oven over a med/high heat. Brown the meat on all sides. Add the onions, green chilies, crushed garlic and tomato puree to the pot, cover and cook gently for about 5 minutes. Add the Guinness and bring to a boil. Add the carrots, potatoes and the thyme. Stir, taste, and add a little more salt if necessary. Cover with the lid and simmer very gently until the meat is tender - 2 to 3 hours. Taste and correct the seasoning. You can serve it just like that or you can place stew in a greased casserole dish and add a flaky biscuit topping like I did.

 
 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mommy's little helper...

JD is now 13 months old and he thinks he's a big boy; he loves to imitate everything he sees and I have to say, sometimes it works in our favor. Here is JD being mommy's little helper around the house, dusting and helping me unpack the groceries, isn't he adorable!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Thank You Design Dazzle

During my lunch today I logged on to my blog and was pleasantly surprised to see I had a lot of comments to moderate! Well, if I would have taken the time to check my emails this morning (which I didn’t because I was running late) I would have read the wonderful email from Toni at Design Dazzle letting me know that JD's 1st Birthday Carnival Party was featured on her blog. I have to admit this really made my day, I cant thank her enough for the wonderful feature on her fabulous blog and for all the wonderful people that I’m meeting because of it.  DesignDazzle.com is an amazing decorating resource and the Design Dazzle blog brings attention to fabulous room designs, decor, kids parties, baby showers, DIY projects and creativity for babies, kids and teens. Thank you for the feature Design Dazzle!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

True Blood Party

Sunday was the premiere of True Blood Season 3! In honor of our favorite series the Garcia Foodies and I decided to get into the spirit of True Blood and make our decor and menu a truly bloody experience.


 Bloody Vanilla Meringues

Love at first bite cupcakes...

Raspberry Fangbanger
(Tru Blood, Vodka & Chambord)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Daring Cooks' Challenge June 2010: Pâté & Homemade Bread

Our hostesses this month, Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz, and Valerie of a The Chocolate Bunny, chose delicious pâté with freshly baked bread as their June Daring Cook’s challenge! They’ve provided us with 4 different pâté recipes to choose from and are allowing us to go wild with our homemade bread choice.

When I read that our challenge this month was pâté and homemade bread I have to admit I was a little scared; I'm not fond of liver (which pate is usually made of) or strangely textured foods and other than brownies and cookies I'm a terrible baker! But I promised myself that I would try new things in the kitchen and that is the reason I joined The Daring Kitchen. So, I went ahead and took the challenge with a few additions and modification of my own (which I'm hoping is okay) and was actually impressed at how much I enjoyed the pâté and bread and even more impressed that my guest enjoyed it too!

I made a spicy shrimp pâté, which I refrigerated instead of baking and severed on Belgian endive and homemade No Knead Artisan Bread.

Spicy Shrimp Pâté
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 pound cooked peeled shrimp 
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 2 teaspoons dry vermouth or chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red  pepper flakes
  • 2 large heads Belgian endive
  • 1 small can of tiny shrimp (optional topping)
  • 1 sprig of thyme for garnish
Preparation:

Combine cooked shrimp, butter, vermouth, lemon juice, mustard, salt, mace, red pepper, black pepper, chili oil and red pepper flakes in blender or food processor. Process until smooth. Gently form mixture into a plastic wrap coated mold of your choice. (If mixture is too soft to handle refrigerate 1 hour.) Cover and refrigerate 3 to 5 hours. Separate endive into individual leaves. Place pâté on serving plate; serve with endive leaves or bread.
Yield: Makes 12 (2-tablespoon) servings








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