Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Party Treats to Drink and Eat

I love Halloween. Dressing up and pretending you are someone else is just so fun!

I used to work for an ad agency in Dallas where everyone dressed up at work on Halloween and we all went to a pizza place called Campisi's Egyptian Pizza on Mockingbird Lane for lunch. It was a big deal to dress up and then all drive to this crazy pizza place (that was rumored to have Mafia ties.) I don't think it really did. It was in Dallas after all. However, I just learned from checking their website, that Jack Ruby, who killed Lee Harvey Oswald, dined there on the eve of the Kennedy assassination. interesting....

Anyhow, one year (1995 I think) I dressed up like Dracula. I was really proud of my cape and outfit - but everyone thought I was Eddy Munster. NO! Oh well. I guess I did kind of look like little Eddy - but he didn't have a cape! See?

The funniest costume that year was worn by our copywriter, Eric. He dressed up like ME! He wore a pink suit, pantyhose, heels, a wig and a big band-aid on his forehead. (I had recently had a mole removed from the middle of my forehead and had to wear a band-aid for a few days.) IT WAS FRICKIN' HILARIOUS. I almost died laughing. People were worried I would be mad. NO WAY. It was awesome! I wish I could find a picture to show you. Just imagine a horrible suit from the 80's with huge shoulder pads, gross pantyhose, big Texas hair......too funny.

Elli and I recently found this old picture from about 1993 I think. Don and I went to Santa Barbara to visit my sister and her then boyfriend (now husband) Mike. We didn't have costumes. So we made up our faces and went to State Street to hit some bars and scare people. It was a blast.

Don, me, Kathy and Mike - woaaaahhhhh!

I don't have any halloween costume ideas for ya'. But I did find some yummy treats on some websites that I thought I would pass along. So here you go.

Check out all these cute ideas for your Halloween party!

First, Cocktails!  Click here to learn how to make cool drinks like these on the FOOD2 website.

Now some treats for the kids!!!

Where the Wild Things Are cake from Coco Cake Cupcakes bakery in Vancouver.

Scary little strawberry ghosts from TheKitchn.

How about some home-made candy corn?

Elli is going to be dressing up as a Pink Lady (like in the movie Grease.) She looks so cute in her costume. I can't wait to take pictures.

Have a fun Halloween!  Don't forget your new trick-or treat chant.

T - R - I - C - K - O - Rrrrrrrrrrrr,  T - R - E - A - T  (clap!)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Aquaovo Water Filtration Container. Gorgeous.

Check out this gorgeous water filtration container!! It's made by a brother and sister team in Quebec by a company called Aquaovo.

I wonder if they got the idea from water balloon fights with each other. They kind of resemble water balloons don't you think?

I spotted Aquaovo on TheKitchn blog the other day and just had to share it with everyone.  It says it holds 11 liters total and takes 20-30 minutes to filter the water. (The top tank holds 4 liters.) It requires a cartridge to filter the water which will last for 2,000 liters or approximately four months.

Nothing against my Brita water filter. But these are just gorgeous. It's like having a work of art and water dispenser all-in-one. Love it.

Here's a list of stores where you can buy it in the US. Click here. They're not cheap. They run about $700. But it's art and function all in one. I think it's an excellent investment.

And I wasn't paid to say so.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Heath Ceramics

I picked up a few plates at Heath Ceramics to use as props for food photos. At least that's what I plan on telling Don anyway.

I just love their plates. I would love to have a set, but they're kind of expensive and we don't really need any plates. But I'm getting bored shooting pictures on the same plates. So, uh oh. I now have some new plates in different shapes and colors. (big smile) I can't wait to cook something so I can use them!! The ladies that checked me out  looked at my random assortment of square plates and said "Oh, what I nice gift for someone!" I laughed. They're a present for me!  Yeah!

If you're not familiar with Heath Ceramics you should check them out. They have great pottery, dinnerware and tile for kitchens, fireplaces, anywhere I guess.

They are based right here in Sausalito, CA.

They're not fancy. They are very simple in design.  But something about the shapes, colors and the fact that they are hand-made right here makes them incredibly beautiful to me. And now that I have a few pieces I must have more. Bowls. I need bowls.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

BevMo! Mega-Tasting Event benefiting the Boys & Girls Club

The BevMo! Mega-Tasting event on Saturday was a hit! YEAH!

I cannot tell you how hard our little committee worked to make this thing happen. We had people from all over the world pouring wine and spirits. Fabulous food. We raised money for local firefighters and the local Boys and Girls Club of the South Bay .

I have to tell you, the group of volunteers from the Boys and Girls Club were awesome. They are so enthusiastic and organized. We could not have done this without them.

And then there's the catering and event company we hired. WOW! Nathaniel and his crew from Contemporary Catering were amazing. Everything was set up just as we wanted, the food was great, the staff was terrific and their event management skills were perfect.

It was fun having some of my favorite California winemakers there.  Rob Jensen, from Testerossa Winery, Mary Ann and Michael Pozzan, from Michael Pozzan Winery, Caroline Wente, from Wente Vineyards, Robert Smerling from Renwood, and Roger Asleson, from Opus One!!!

I met entrepreneur James Miller who developed Big Daddy's Bloody Mary Mix. I have to say it was fantastic - super spicy. And you can only get it at BevMo! This is a definite must-have for Thanksgiving morning.

Terry, from Torani Syrups, made us italian sodas with Perrier and a splash of Raspberry and Vanilla syrup which makes a fantastic Italian soda. I have officially been converted.

Here are a few pics from our spectacular day.

The center aisle with a huge display of french wine.

Wilfred Wong and Robert Smirling
Roger Asleson from Opus One

I don't have his name, but I just love his smile!

Three-O Mini Cooper

Jim Beam and The Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund

James from Big Daddy's Bloody Mary Mix

Chocolate Frosted Brownies
Tuna Bites
Mac-n-Cheese Bites
The Remy Martin Booth was very popular!
Happy Customers!

The crowd!

Kristin, Rocio, Wilfred, Me and Sandra
It's over! Here we are at the airport bar in LAX. These margaritas tasted reaaaaallllly good.

Monday, October 26, 2009

3 days in La La Land

Last weekend I was in La La Land (Los Angeles) for a huge event for BevMo! We were opening their 100th store in Torrance. And I can say "we" because I was on the grand opening committee that met every other week for months, preparing for this opening.

We had a VIP party Thursday night to thank all the vendors and executives for helping BevMo! get to 100 stores. Here I am with Rocio and Amy (holding champagne) at an "after party" in the hotel. We made a pretty good dent in the big, honkin' bottle of champagne. Needless to say,  I felt like DEATH on Friday. Not good. But I marched on. With a really big headache.

On Friday we opened the store. And stuffed 2,000 goody bags for the Saturday event. It took 6 hours to stuff the bags. AAAAHHH!

Finally on Saturday we had our Mega-Tasting event with over 100 winemakers, spirits, beer and food vendors. It was a huge undertaking. And I am happy to report it was hugely successful. We think we had about 1,500 people attend. I'll tell you more about it tomorrow.

Back to Friday night, a large group of about 40 people, were guests of Mozy, the owner of Exclusive Imports, for dinner at a Persian restaurant in Beverly Hills called Shah Abbas. The group in attendance were prestigious French winemakers that speak French, some of Mozy's colleagues, and a lot of BevMo! buyers, employees and my friend Wilfred. So as impressive as the French were, about all I could do was smile cuz I don't speak French and they don't really speak English.

Needless to say, the dinner was interesting. They served appetizers outside on a nice patio and did a blind tasting of white wine. Unfortunately I was still "under the weather/hungover" so I didn't drink any. We then moved inside where they continued the blind tasting with red wines and they served dinner - which oddly enough was the same chicken and beef that they were serving as appetizers. That was a first for me. I will say, the meat was very tender and delicious. But don't you think that's odd? They did the big reveal of the wines we tasted and they were some really expensive wines.

 You have to check out the list.

These are the most expensive wines I have ever tasted and probably will ever taste again. They are not really my style of wine. But wow. Thousand dollar bottles of wine.

This restaurant was big on entertainment. There was Tatiana from Russia. She sang a few songs accompanied by a recorded music track with sound effects and back-up singers.

Then came the dancing. The DJ gave a big introduction that we would be entertained by world-class dancers in two sets. Wow. This sounded exciting. Then one girl came out. That's it. She danced once dance. Stepped aside grabbed a different prop and danced again. She did this 5 times with different props. Then she left. huh?

Then the young girls came out.  The older Frenchmen really liked these three. One was a brunette. But they had their eyes on the blonds. It was very funny. And very weird. There was a strange vibe. I was sitting next to two young Frenchmen, they were a little embarrassed. Giles Laurencin, from Chateau Meuliere was sitting to my right. He was very friendly and did speak some English. He told me his wife just had a baby boy four days before. WHAT? Why are you here? That's crazy.

So, that's my first two days in LA. I'll tell you about the tasting event tomorrow.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fabulous Steak Salad

So, for those of you that don't get to see me everyday. You don't know that I've gained a few pounds since I started writing this blog. Five to be exact. Ick. Plus the whole "Foodie/Fatty" comment from her classmates parent was enough to get me motivated to change my chomping ways.

I used to get up early in the morning to exercise. I still get up early, except I check to make sure I don't have major typo's in my blog, or I write. It's so nice and quiet in the morning. Just me, my coffee, the computer and the dogs whining to go out.

So I'm going to have to stop the early morning writing. I must start exercising again. And eating better. We've been eating like big, fat, kings for six months.

It all starts tonight. Sort of. Baby steps. Baby steps.

I decided we should have a fabulous salad for dinner. So here's what we had. Everything was great until I added steak to the salad. Oops. And blue cheese bread. Double oops.

Mulkey Steak Salad

  • Spring Mix and Romaine
  • Roasted baby carrots
  • Walnuts
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Marinated Artichoke Hearts
  • Thinly sliced green onion
  • Thinly sliced filet mignon (big smile here), grilled to a niece medium rare
  • Roasted Herb Garlic Vinaigrette (leftover from the Bobby Flay potato salad recipe)
  • Blue cheese garlic bread (bigger smile) made with Tandoori Nan bread
Ok. So not exactly low fat or healthy anymore. But holy cow was it delicious.

I have a favorite blue cheese at Safeway. It's called Point Reyes Blue cheese. You can find it in their gourmet cheese area. It's local to Marin County, CA - and so delicious. If you're going to use blue cheese make sure it's good blue cheese not that hard stuff in the container. The Point Reyes cheese is creamy and delicious. I can spread it on the bread. (It has the consistency of cream cheese.)

We gobbled it all up. Not a drop left in the big salad bowl.

So there's always tomorrow. sigh..... I just love food. And wine.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Spring Hill Farm and Pumpkin Patch

We had a super fun day at the Spring Hill Cheese Farm and Pumpkin Patch last Saturday. I highly recommend going if you live in Marin. They have thousands of pumpkins, farm animals, other fresh squash, cheese for sale, and, you can dig up your own potatoes. Fun!

Here are a bunch of pictures from our fun day.

First, the animals!

Cute little piggies digging holes.

On to the vegetables....pumpkins and squash everywhere!
Then we hit the pumpkin patch.

Holy cow. Where to start?

We love the long, crooked stem on this pumpkin!

Off to dig up some potoatoes. See the people in the field? That's where we're going.

So, we didn't get around to carving the pumpkin. I did make a totally yummy pot of Baked Potato Cheese Soup. More on that later. And I'm sure we'll carve the pumpkin this weekend.

Later alligators! Have a good one.