Sunday, October 31, 2010

Darkness falls across the land, the midnight hour is close at hand

Halloween is over...and I'm exhausted. Granted, I had a full weekend, but maybe I'm just....old. Yikes. Walking around in the dark at night is not for me.

My kids were dressed as the Fetts - Boba Fett and Jango Fett to be exact. It was a Fett family reunion up in here. No one knew who Jango was of course, but EVERYONE knew Boba. The kids got mad compliments on the inflatable jet packs - a good investment if you ask me. It really makes your kid-Boba Fetts stand out from allll the other Fetts.

When we left the house I told the kids, "Your goal is to get Momma some Twix." Sadly, they got ONE. One Twix, are you freakin' kidding me? Looks like Target's 50% off sale is where I'm headed tomorrow. The Baby did get one well remembered treat:

A toothbrush. Yep. Complete with the dentist's contact info. Nice one, dude.

We only walked three blocks, but it was a PACKED three blocks and I came back to O.G.'s house and found this:
a plate of fried chicken and an icebox cold root beer. Happy Halloween to me.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

It's the freakin' weekend, baby I'm about to have me some fun

This Sunday I will be at the Long Beach Comic Con!

I'll be working the table with the Comic Bug guys and have my 'Superheroes and Sweets' prints on hand, as well as a lot of new stationery items...!

I'm also very pleased to be a part of the new Unique L.A. + Apartment 3 shop at H.D. Buttercup in Culver City!

H.D. Buttercup is in the historic Helms Bakery and if you've never been there you have to see it to believe it. Aisles of the most amazing home furnishings you've ever seen. Stop by and check out the shop - filled with the items from the coolest designers in L.A.!

And if you get a chance this Saturday head up to the G-dizzy, that's Glendale - and stop by the Local Collection for their live painting event! Refreshments and prizes, how could you pass it up?

Aside from that, you can catch me on the street Trick or Treating. Save the peanut butter cups for me...thanks.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Open the door, get on the floor, everybody walk the dinosaur

Every year the Natural History Museum hosts 'The Haunted Museum'. The event is free to higher level members of the museum, luckily my Uncle is -and so we got a reservation!

It's pretty cool, not only do you get after hours access to the museum but they also give you a box lunch and you can eat under the dim light of dinosaur bones...


...so beautiful.


Each wing of the museum featured caves (the theme this year) along with crafts and shows, along with being able to walk the regular museum exhibits.

One of the features of the museum is their shows featuring life size 'puppets.' If the word puppets makes you think of a hand up a sock, think again. These are large, moving, incredibly life like creatures that interact with the crowd. Both adults and kids get a kick out of it and luckily they had a show featuring a Sabertooth Cat at the Haunted event.

The Natural History musuem is just one of the amazing kid-friendly museums in Los Angeles and it was a real privledge to be able to go to this once a year event!

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Stick 'em up

I love holiday desserts, so when I stopped by Disneyland for a few hours the other day I was thrilled to see some very cool Halloween treats:

The whole park was decked out - it was so festive I immediately went home and was inspired to start playing around with ideas for Halloween treats. Nothing over the top. Just something small and tasty. Small being the key word here...

I took some insanely tiny lady apples that I bought on a recent trip to the Original Farmer's Market on Fairfax, and dipped them into a nice silky ganache. That wasn't enough - I felt the need to put them on a stick because why the heck wouldn't you?

This was just the tip of the iceberg. I sketched up a lot more Halloween treat ideas to make this week. Bring on the sugar!

Tiny Chocolate Ganache Apples on a Stick recipe, here.

Friday, October 22, 2010

I wish I was a little bit taller, I wish I was a baller

I bought this pen. I love it too much. I can't...stop.



Also I made brownie cupcakes with a peanut butter cup baked right in. They're as good as you'd imagine.

Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Cupcakes recipe, here
.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Flava in ya ear

I love Italian delis, I like to stroll the aisles and come up with all kinds of new pasta recipes. I go to just about every Italian deli in town, but recently I happened upon Deluca's at the Americana in Glendale. It's small but packed with amazing foods.

They have a nice selection of hot food, sauces bubbling on the stove, perfect for a nice afternoon lunch. In the cases there is an array of cheeses, meats and salads. They also have a tiny but good selection of dried pastas.

While I was there I picked up a cold orechiette salad from the deli case. The first time I had orechiette was years ago when I was living in Italy, way back then, shaped pastas weren't as popular as they are now. Orechiette (aka small ears) are little disks perfect for grabbing the right amount of sauce.

I immediately bought a bag and was inspired to make dinner. Warm, lemon-y pasta with bacon and mushrooms. THAT'S amore.

Lemon-y Orechiette with Bacon and Mushrooms recipe, here.


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Monday, October 18, 2010

All your suits are custom made in London, but I've got something that you'll really like

Halloween is in full effect around here. Costumes, festivals, treats - it's everywhere.

The Baby's homework was to decorate a mini pumpkin. He kept putting it off until the day before, when I gave him an ultimatum. Do. Your. Homework. This ain't calculus, just decorate a pumpkin, sheesh! I don't like to help the kids with art projects because I'd rather they use their own imagination and develop their own artistic sense.

I went to wash the dishes and when I came back the Baby had decorated his pumpkin like this:

Ok, so it wasn't really decorating, more like he made a Boba Fett 'costume' for the pumpkin out of paper. Not a bad idea - much easier to just slip on a outfit!

For more Halloween ideas and themed food, go here.

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Those other brothers can't deny

The Food Librarian is family to me. I know I can always count on her and she can count on me no matter what. But there are two things we will never agree on. Football and cake.

The former, let's just say I bleed Cardinal and Gold and she...does not. But that's nothing compared to the cake debate. She hates frosting. So much so, that when I bake her cupcakes I give them to her UNFROSTED. For shame! I don't need piles of it, but a nice 1/3 ratio of frosting to cake would be nice to me. At all times. I. need. frosting.

So she is in the middle of her 30 bundt cakes in 30 days and while I don't make them often, I felt inspired, mostly by idea of yummy pumpkin cake.

I came up with a recipe for a pumpkin sour cream bundt and then I SLAUGHTERED it. I sliced the bundt in half, and lathered it with the most delicious, not overly sweet maple whipped cream.

Bundt perfection. I also designed some new bundt related cards. I guess I was really bundt inspired, but this is where it ends. I'll leave the rest to the Bundt Queen and call it a day.

Pumpkin Sour Cream Bundt Cake with Maple Whipped Cream recipe, here.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

She blinded me with science

click to biggie size
I took O.G. to the eye doctor - she insisted that she could see fine and wanted to go to lunch. 'I DON'T NEED HELP,' she said. Ok, fine.

Watching her pour tea on the table was the damn funniest thing. She'd probably hit me for laughing if only she could see. Too bad.


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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Royal T

Royal T has always been one of my favorite places. I love their ever changing art exhibitions, the food at the Cafe, and of course - the shopping. Just check out the Baby imitating the Nara exhibit. Such a pop cultural savant. I went to the Hello Kitty 35th anniversary party there, the Hello Kitty tea and the Alice in Wonderland tea! I. Love. Tea.


Currently they are having an exhibit dedicated to Andy Warhol called the Warholian. The exhibit is wonderfully curated, there's a full Warhol inspired menu in the kitchen as well as desserts - of course! But there is also a lot of fun stuff like...


a mini personal disco booth! The Kid and I got inside, picked some music (via iPod, of course) and danced and danced.
I love going there for brunch - the food is great, but it's the tea I'm after. The iced Royal T milk tea is amazing. Whether it's 50 degrees out or 80 degrees - this thing hits the spot. I could drink it all day everyday.
And I'm very excited because now the gift shop at Royal T stocks justJENN designs! Personally, I think it's a match made in kawaii heaven. Big bowl of Bacon buttons, anyone?

I'm a big fan of this gallery space. They have the most amazing shows and I have I told you I love the tea? Yes, I love the tea. And I can't wait because next up is an Emily the Strange themed tea, whee! Can't wait!

Royal T Cafe
8910 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232-2326
(310) 559-6300

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Major domo

For some reason this was the weekend that just wouldn't quit. I was so busy I didn't know where to turn.

I went to the L.A. Opera's presentation of Il Postino, which was AMAZING. It was so lovely and really well done. There will be outdoor screenings of it downtown and in Costa Mesa too - so go see it for free!

Then I went to a 1st birthday party where there were over 250 people invited. Good lord! It was a Chinese Red Egg & Ginger party. If you've never been to one of these things then let it be know that it is a TEN COURSE MEAL. They do it up big time! I'm telling you by the fourth dish I was about to raise the white flag, but I powered through.

Finally, because of all of these goings on I had to miss the Not at NYCC get together. But that didn't mean I didn't want to show them some love, so I sent some cupcakes their way. I wanted them to be nerdy enough, but I didn't have the time to do superhero ones or Star Wars, at least to my satisfaction. So I went with another icon...


DOMO cupcakes! I made them out of cookies so it was very easy, and very quick.

Now that the crazy weekend is over I'm ready to start...zzz...

DOMO cookie cupcakes how to, here.

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Easy like Sunday morning

The WEBstaurantStore, the leading restaurant equipment supplier on the web is helping me give away a $100 giftcard over at the recipes site. YOU COULD WIN IT.

This Sunday morning the Kid is putting together a complicated LEGO Harry Potter version of Hagrid's hut and I'm madly trying to ebay everything in the house. Ah, the simple life. It's like we're Amish.

UPDATE: The house is done and it's adorable!

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Thursday, October 07, 2010

Sitting here on top of the hill, I’ve got everything I ever need from this world

Sunset Junction is the intersection of Santa Monica and Sunset Blvd. There are lots of cool stores and restaurants there, and it's where I usually go for coffee at Intelligentsia.

Directly across the street is Forage - I've heard so much about it and never had a chance to go. Luckily I was going to meet Scootabaker for lunch and Forage was the choice! Perfect!

The original concept was that you could bring in your own fruits and veggies and they would cook them up for you. That was shot down by the health dept., but they quickly reworked the concept and got back on track making fresh, healthy, amazing food. Everything looks so delicious, it's hard to decide what to order.

Down the way is Secret Headquarters. I go to comic shops all over the city, so the fact that this one is right in the heart of delicious food is a major, major plus. It has a nice small boutique vibe and look how nicely organized this place is...

...and you know I love organization.

Next door is a brick walkway leading down to a little bungalow. It's pretty non-descript until you see the 'Spice Prices' sign on the wall.



Venture down the alley and it opens up to a lovely fountain courtyard and a bungalow lined with jars and jars of spices. This is the Spice Station. There are over 200 spices here! My mind races with ideas of new recipes that I can make with all of them.

I mean how can you pass up 'WHO DAT SALT?!' I am drawn to salts and sugars - I like to use them to top various baked goods to give them a little something extra.


This time around they were out of Strawberry sugar, so I settled on some Blueberry sugar...my mind quickly filled with visions of blueberry crumbles, muffins...mmm.

I shopped, ate, caught up with a friend and went home with an AMAZING cupcake. No pictures of that. It was eaten too quickly...

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