Pizzana? More like Pizza?Nah!

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This chocolate cake was truly a masterpiece.

I walked into Pizzana with cheerful anticipation. Italian is my favorite faire, and for some reason instinctually I was feeling that this meal was going to be amazing. The restaurant itself was small and narrow and unassuming. Upon entering I was slapped in the ears with the din of loud music bouncing off concrete floors mixed with the buzzing roar of patrons, but later as I walked back to my seat the area became acoustically kind, and I could once again hear myself think.

The hostess was kind and accommodating despite my being almost an hour early. Luckily there was room at the Chef’s bar with a full view of the kitchen which appeared clean, organized, and minimal. At first I was mortified because it seemed the pizza peel was directly on the floor! After careful scrutinization I discovered that it was not, thank goodness! I decided to do the bathroom check prior to ordering (in attempt to view the kitchen from a different angle and confirm the pizza peel wasn’t on the floor). The multi-gendered bathrooms were fairly clean, though every spec of dirt and splash of water was visible on the dark tiled floors. The bus station was in a strange spot, nestled in the corner en route to the rest room.

Once back at my seat I watched the pizzaiolos in the kitchen with some uncertainty. The oven itself was impressive with its grand stature and Star Wars looking facet, but every pizza leaving its threshold appeared burnt!

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The oven reminded me of a dark side R2D2 for some reason. Why wasn’t there an evil nemesis to R2D2? Was there and I am forgetting it??

The menu, which acted as a placemat, was small but ample and the price per plate was easy to swallow (horrible pun intended). The wine list prices were ridiculously high, however, with 3 oz of wine costing $12-$20, exponentially more than the entire bottle’s market price. I understand the concept of mark-up and making a profit, but the drink prices vs amount served seemed inappropriate and almost insulting. There is a certain clientele here, however, that would likely not bat an eye at the high cost of a cocktail.

My waiter, Matt, was attractive, welcoming, timely and knowledgeable. The water and wine were delivered within the 3 minute rule, and the utensils were immediately available and clean. Matt did deliver the salad before the antipasti, which, unfortunately, was an unfavorable choice. In his defense it was probably a kitchen decision, not his. I had decided to try the chopped salad because its a classic that can easily act as a hypothetical benchmark. The  pepperoni and sausage in the salad were reminiscent of divine European meats that are incomparably better than the American made counterparts  (with some exceptions from the smaller local butchers). I did miss the turkey that is found in some Italian chops, but the Clarion Chile vinaigrette more than made up for it, with its zesty delicious kick. Overall the salad was well balanced but I did feel the individual pieces of meat could have been chopped a bit more slender.

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Overall the chopped salad was really yummy.

As aforementioned, the antipasti was served next. I was steered towards the Carciofi Arrostiti because of my love for artichoke hearts. When the plate was delivered the hearts were unrecognizable. Instead it appeared I was staring at a plate full of hay. Perhaps this dish, with its light lemon spritz, would have been tasty if served prior to the spicy chop but after the spice I am afraid it tasted exactly as it looked- like hay. It was dry and flavorless. I tried adding more lemon and salt. It didn’t help. This dish, sadly, was an epic fail. I did find a few full sized artichoke hearts at the bottom that were not terrible, in comparison, to the hay stack above.

Moving on, the wine was fantastic. As per suggestion, I decided to pair my food with the 2015 Quercia Al Pggio Chianti and once again the Sangiovese did not disappoint. It didn’t save the hay stack, but it was a beautifully aromatic wine with a flavorful palette and warming tannins that spread across the palette nicely.

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Is this not a spitting image of a haystack?!

For the pizza, once again, I chose the pepperoni. Not to be boring, because they did offer some gourmet pizzas that seemed very promising and interesting, but I wanted something simple for comparison purposes. To add a little variety, though, I had them add the cremini mushrooms as per the menu’s recommendation. The pizza was ok. It wasn’t awful. It was better than the pizza we used to get at work that we donned “prison pizza”.  I feel like the pizza could have been good. I wanted it to be good. Sadly, it just wasn’t good. I silently shook my head as the pizza came towards me because, as expected, the outside was burnt. The pie was extremely thin which is normally great, except here the middle was raw and when I lifted a slice, it went limp like a 60 year old man without viagra. My erstwhile concern was confirmed, every pizza being served was burnt.

The woman to my left had suggested I try the chocolate cake for dessert. I wasn’t hungry anymore but I tasted one bite (it was decent) and took home the left over cake along with left over pizza. The next morning the cold breakfast pizza was flavorful and had a better texture than the night prior when it was hot and limp. The charred crust, however, was still inedible and tasted exactly how one would imagine burnt soggy wood. The chocolate cake was FANTASTIC the next day. Light, moist, and decadently chocolate.  I think I will rename this restaurant PizzaNO PastryYA.

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This looks amazing, but unfortunately the burnt crust really destroyed the flavor.

Overall the staff was friendly and accommodating, the other patrons were typical for the area, the space itself was clean (though not acoustically the best for good conversation). Regarding the food, though the meats were truly fantastic, one can find much better pizza at another restaurant not too far away, a delicious pizza that can easily be paired with a less expensive BOTTLE of chianti from anywhere. C-

 

xoxo

QJ

QJ

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Cevichería

LAC

 

As I lock my car after parking on a quiet street near  Cevichería,  I am a bit worried I wouldn’t have any tires when I return. Oddly, I don’t feel too nervous walking the block to the restaurant because somehow the neighborhood feels snug and somewhat safeguarded. As I turn the corner onto Pico Boulevard, the  Cevicheria is revealed, sitting quietly with all of its bright blue splendor, in its place behind the sidewalk. It’s an unassuming ostensible hole in the wall. There is a small silver lawn table with two matching chairs out front,  and a tiny 7 table restaurant inside. Its impression is that of a movie set; a restaurant facade in an impoverished area, perhaps where two antagonists will meet to discuss love, life, and friendships. This appearance is extremely deceptive, except for the friendship part because the inside does house friends yet unknown. The staff and clientele are familiar and convivial as if I’ve been visiting here for years. I receive a menu and water immediately. Owner and Chef, Carolina Orellana is welcoming, accepting, and all around lovely, not to mention an AMAZING culinary artist. She is excited to give recommendations and impressively as excited to TAKE recommendations. A sign that Cevicheria’s menu will never be stale or stagnant.

In the Tostadas De Ceviche department I order the Pescado but am served the Camrón. This is an obvious error but somehow, in this laid back environment, feels acceptable. The mix up is actually a blessing in disguise. The dish comprised of perfectly small bits of shrimp, moistened with citrus and chiles, sits beautifully atop a crispy tortilla with an avocado topper. With a squeeze of extra lime, the Camarones dish tastes bright and fresh and is unexpectedly filling!

 

sC

The Mejillones, muscles in garlic butter sauce, are outstandingly decadent. Unlike other restaurants, each muscle is sweet, well cleaned (no sand, thank you!) and has the perfect texture blend of chewy and silky. A party in the mouth for any garlic lover.

 

Mussels

My favorite dish on the menu is one that Carolina recommends as a Guatemalan favorite, called Aguachiles. This dish of raw shrimp marinated in a light green sauce of line, cilantro, jalepeño and onion is out of this world. OMG That sauce! Its fresh and crisp with that perfect amount of citrus zing. Its dreamy, and if it were up to me I would use it on practically every dish I make! In fact, once the large chalice of Camarón Ceviche lands on the table,  we pour the remaining green sauce over the camerones to see how the flavor changes. The results: in the immortal words of Emeril Legasse, “BAM!” The other flavors become so alive and active, each bite is just WOW. The camarones ceviche also remained delicious over the next three days (I took home left overs, with the green sauce mixed in).

shrimp

Having gotten to know Carolina a little, I am not surprised that the kitchen appeared clean and well-organized. The service was great, despite any mishaps. The waitress offered to correct the error immediately, but I was excited and happy to go with the flow and taste whatever came to the table. Thats the thing about Cevichería, visiting there was like taking a little break from the pressures of mundanity and reminding me to just go with the flow and see what the universe brings; and at this place, most likely everything it brings will be delicious. I highly recommend taking what will feel like a little trip to another world and visiting Cevicherįa. You will not be disappointed. And I hear the Blood Clams are amazing, so I guess I’ll be going back!

On a side note, my tires were fully in tact when I returned to my car.

A+

 

 

Serious Summer Fun

 

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Just a quick blog RE post… my fellow blogger, Monica, had the brilliant idea of posting a list of places to order cocktails out of a golden pineapple! Check it out here: Gisele Chic.

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I’m obsessed. Nothing says classy sassy summer fun like a gilded pineapple filled to the brim with proverbial ambrosia! There are, according to Monica’s list,  five places in Los Angeles that partake in this ingenuous idea. I plan on visiting each and every one of them this summer, and will blog about it (including what to wear while embibing, of course). Peruse the rest of her blog as well. She’s a genius!

Tootles for now!

xoxo

QJ

QJ

The key to procrastination.

This season of Regular Show is down to the last six episodes and I currently have been procrastinating my episode builds via an obsessive amount of on-line shopping. And by “shopping”, I mean “cart filling but not purchasing.” My fashion fairy godmother (and educator), Danielle, has been MIA due to a her “pregnancy brain” leaving me to my own devices. Or shall I say “vices”? I’m actually proud and a bit impressed with my will power. Despite filling to the brim numerous on-line carts, I have not subjugated my wallet to a bunch of (probably) stupid, albeit designer, clothing purchases. Who knows the underlining cause of my distraction, but luckily Danielle has been responding to my various texts containing pictures of clothing she “does not love”. I have been true to my New Years resolution regarding toning down the major fashion purchases, and learning to use what I already have. 🙂 I admit, though, it has NOT been easy.

The following are some things I’ve had a particularly difficult time walking away from:GucciJKT

  1. The Gucci silk bomber varsity jacket. I am seriously obsessed and can’t let it go. OMG why do I love this so much? Is it that it reminds me of The Pink Ladies in Grease 2, and the “bad-assedness” of Michelle’s Pfieffer’s character? grease-2-pink-ladies-JacketOr is it a nostalgic pull from a time I wish I could have visited for a time-travel vacation, the 1950’s, when high school boys would drape their “girl” in a warm and loving varsity bomber? VarsityBomberJacketMy obsession with finding an affordable alternative to this 3500$ jacket lead me to a close second. I’m on the fence about it, but I feel like its cute?

    Maje_SilkBomber
    I feel like this is a close second to the Gucci dream jacket and comes in at a MUCH lower cost of 350$. It also comes in the vibrant green as well. This Maje version is currently sold out but hopefully more are coming soon!
  2. Sexy layered mini skirts. This has been the biggest distraction. I’ve been preoccupied with finding the perfect girly summery skirt that I can dress down for work but “sex up” for date night. Honestly I have found nothing and when I asked Danielle she sent me a long sleeved drop waisted mini dress. Cute, but not at all what I was looking for. I especially want to pair said skirt with my buff colored Stewart Weitzman Highlanders.
    SW_OverTheKnee_BuffBoots
    Why is it so hard to find a summery skirt to wear with these? I’ve found no reference photos on Pinterest either. They are mostly paired with jeans. Also, am I crazy thinking I can wear these in the summer? I mean it gets chilly here at night…..

    Here are some ideas I have had, but in the end were either too expensive or, if affordable, looked cheaply made and like nothing special. This hunt may warrant a visit to Elise Walker during her summer sale.

    Forever21skirt
    I thought this white skirt from Forever 21 was feminine and pretty for the boots. Danielle said “no.”
    pinkSkirt
    This pink layered skirt and top seemed nice at first but then as I looked at it more, the love faded….

    IsabelMarant
    I love this skirt top combo. The feminine silhouette with the layered skirt is perfectly juxtaposed with the geometric design. This unique outfit is exactly what I’m looking for and I’m willing to bet would look amazing with over the knee boots. Except the price point at over 1k/piece is a bit beyond my reach.
  3. The Morkie. Ok, I know you don’t just buy a dog online and call it a day. Contrary to some opinions, they are not accessories. However, with my babies living all the way down south with no prospect of returning home, I just keep begging MSM for a tiny little love baby. MorkiePuppy
    I mean at under 20lbs it seems any apartment would take one of these stupidly cute fur babies. Alas, I know he’s right in saying “no” (for now). Despite them not being at home, I still care for my four leggers with monthly visits and bill paying. I need to wait until the time is right. Meanwhile, I can still look right? morkiebannerI mean look at that face! Heart melting isn’t it? His name will either be R2, Navin, Henry, or Cruton.

If ya’ll have any ideas for skirts that would look feminine and pretty with my over the knee boots, please paste a link in the comments below.  With the holiday weekend rapidly approaching, maybe something extra special will be on sale!!

Have a fantastic Memorial Day Weekend!

xoxo

QJ

QJ

 

 

FYC: For Your Consideration.

JaneTheVirginScript

Its that time of the year again- the time when boxes upon boxes of DVD’s show up at my edit bay door. Sent from a plethora of networks, these DVDs contain TV show episodes and movies that need Emmy nominations from Academy members. I always wonder if most members watch through everything?! I try and watch the ones in the categories for which I’ll vote. It would take a year to get through all the DVDs….maybe more! I don’t necessarily look forward to all the boxes, but I DO look forward to being part of such an exhilarating time in the television season.

I’m so delighted to have launched this pre-Emmy’s season with a bang. Last night I attended my first For Your Consideration (FYC) Academy event at El Portal theater in North Hollywood, exploring one of my favorite shows; Jane The Virgin. (I even blogged about this show here ).

Marqee
This photo includes elegant Ana Dela Cruz. While in line, I enjoyed our conversation. Ana is an actress on many shows and commercials, often playing the roll of the doctor- as she did in the second season of Jane The Virgin. Here’s to many more rolls for the lovely Ana!

All Academy members are invited to FYC events. Its another opportunity for networks to explain why they feel their show(s) deserve an Emmy nomination. Usually these events start with either a screening of an important episode, or a sizzle reel displaying samples of exemplary work. The screeners are followed by a panel consisting of actors, writers, producers, sometimes editors- moderated by a guest. The moderators ask the creatives/producers questions regarding the creation of the show, the working environment, personal revelations….the list goes on. At the end, questions are opened to the audience (academy members). The panel is followed by a cocktail and appetizer reception where the members and show runners/creatives/producers can mingle. I believe that some members try and attend all of the FYC events during the pre-Emmy season. I tend to only visit the ones covering shows I adore, or shows MSM likes (if I’m allowed to bring a guest).

Jane The Virgin Table Read Season 2 Ep 1
It was unique for the producers of Jane The Virgin to kick off their event with a table read rather than a screener.

I was beyond excited when I received my FYC invite to Jane. The crew handled their event a little differently. Rather than a screener, the members all received a script from the show and we watched a table read of Season 2 Ep 1. I was SO relieved that’s as far as they went into season 2 because I only watch shows on Netflix, so I’m  a season behind. This way there were no spoilers!

After the table read they had their regular panel, moderated by surprise guest Mario Lopez! Yay! A Saved By The Bell throwback! I’ll take it!

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This is as close as I was able to get to “Raphael”, Justin Baldoni and “Petra”, Yael Grobglass. Both seemed really down to earth- just like the others. This is the type of crew I always hope to be working with, and am lucky that right now I am. Little side note- I have always loved the name Yael.

I was impressed with how well the crew got a long and how modest they all were. I can definitely relate to the wonderful and refreshing joy it is to be with a kind and talented crew that is grateful and excited to be part of the team of that particular project. I had fun meeting some of the actors. I wish I could have met them all, but I had to pick my top few because they were getting bombarded and I knew there wasn’t enough time to talk with everyone. I loved meeting Jamie Camil (Rogelio). During the panel presentation I noticed that this man is smart, sassy, and down right hilarious. I also think his acting on the show is superb.  While waiting in line I also met a few actors that played reoccurring incidental parts. All very lovely people.

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Gina was literally swarmed. I just can’t get over how crazy things got after the panel. We all work in the industry so I was wondering why this particular event was full of people wanting AUTOGRAPHS. I mean yes, the crew is stellar and they all seem so humble and appreciative. I was excited to meet them as well. But acting like a bunch of star struck teenagers?! I was embarrassed for half the people that were there. Then I remembered… why worry about the things you can’t control? I just stayed true to myself and let the others deal with the craziness :). Gina seemed like a doll and took the time to speak with everyone that wanted to talk with her. She was eloquent and classy and seems to be a fabulous roll model for today’s young women. I have to say I felt the same about Andrea Novado, who plays Jane’s Mother, Xiomara. Both impressive.
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Team Michael? The lighting in this place was terrible for photos but I had to post this one.  It was cool meeting the happy-go-lucky and easy to talk to Brett Dier. Brett is a little more laid back and humorous than his character Michael (though I adore Michael as well). We talked briefly about ComicCon, but then I had to move on. Not kidding about the actors being swarmed after the panel!
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So sue me, I’m Team Rogelio all the way! Jamie Camil was amazing. Funny, smart, talented- the whole package. I adore this selfie we took. It completely captures the essence that is Jamie. My favorite thing that he said? That he can’t stand those people that act like they are “the last coca-cola bottle in the dessert.” I concur.  Well said Mr. Camil!

I had to prioritize, so I missed out on meeting “Raphael”, “Petra” and others. I was very exctied to meet head writer and producer Jennie Urnan. I had learned, while waiting in line for the event, that Ms. Urnan has been a writer on pretty much every show I enjoy (Ugly Betty and Gossip Girl, to name a few). I wanted to let her know that I would be excited to cut a show she wrote. I realize writers probably have no say in the hiring of post production editors, but her writing is so smart and funny and so many of her shows, mostly dramadies,  have covered subject matter that I dream of cutting.  I have learned over the years that the things we do that we feel passionately about 9 times out of ten end up fairly amazing. And the process of creation is even that much more fun. So universe…..I hope one day I can cut a show on CW that Jennie is writing.

Next I met Ivonne Coll. Honestly, she’s the initial reason I gave Jane The Virgin a shot. Ms. Coll also plays the Grandmother in Switched At Birth (I just adore this show. It gets my vote for Drama every year). I was curious to see what other show she picked to collaborate.

 

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Ms. Ivonne Coll is a remarkable actress with so much range. I just adore what she puts in to her characters. She mentioned that when she has a spanish part in an american show, she writes her intensions in english. This was interesting to me because maybe it helps non spanish speakers to understand what she’s saying via her mannerisms…..

I do believe Jane The Virgin should get an Emmy nomination, at least definitely for the writing. The show is smart, funny, and a fresh creative twist on dramedy. If you haven’t checked it out yet, definitely do!

WHAT THE HECK TO WEAR TO A FYC EVENT:

I was freaking out a little about this one because I knew these events tend to be fairly casual (unless its for Mad Men) but I still wanted to appear chic and successful. Here’s my Danielle approved selection:

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Jacket: Alice and Olivia Sweater: T by Alexander Wang   Jeans: Current Elliott Shoes: Valentino Necklace: Chanel
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I hardly ever have an opportunity to wear this statement piece. I think I need to casually throw it in to more outfits……

I feel like I don’t look so great in all the photos, but the lighting in there…..lets just blame that! What a great night. I’m curious to see if Jane gets a nomination and if so, who will the show be up against? There are a lot of good ones out there. There are also a lot of HORRIBLE ones. We shall see…..

xoxo

QJ

QJ

Beyond the “Chipper Chicken”.

BeachyKitchen
What’s not to love about this amazing kitchen? I adore the soft grey-blues and the nautical vibe. If I had this kitchen, I’d bake and cook up a storm. 

I am so blessed to be living with such an amazing Chef. I’m sitting here right now, at my desk, eating the chicken that MSM whipped up last night for my lunches this week. Leave it to him to discover a new way to flavor this overly used protein choice in a new and fantastic way. This time he concocted his own variation of honey-mustard and garlic. I do think there is something to say about adding love or passion into a meal. It does alter the flavor, I’m sure of it. What was that movie where the girl was crying into her pie dough, and when she shared the pie with the townspeople they all started to cry as well? I’m telling you- there’s truth to that.

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I think the key to cooking with mustard is using the stone ground variety. 

With spring in full bloom and swim suit season around the corner, I am sure we are all more carefully selecting what we put into our bodies. Cheating a little less with Donut Frenemy and focusing more on a solid relationship with delicious fruits and vegetables. Its funny to me how when I eat “clean” foods (unprocessed), I feel so much more energized, healthy, and dare I say youthful?

Father of the Bride
Sometimes its scary (or expensive) to think outside the box. Alternatively, life’s is not fully lived without a little adventure, am I right?

MSM has a bunch of friends that are Chefs (hence his amazing ability to cook- he’s learned from the best- and I’m not exaggerating) so I decided to ask his close friend, Chef Danny G, for a list of lean protein options OTHER than that damn white meat I’m sure we’re all sick of! Here’s his response:

Lean proteins are everywhere. You just need to be open to trying them, educating yourself on how to prepare them, and experiment. The most obvious lean protein is chicken breast and rightfully so. Unfortunately, it can be boring regardless of how you prepare it. However, don’t give up on chicken breast, its a good source of protein and it is cheap.

Now, lets explore the other options that I look to cook and share with my family.

FISH:
Cannelloni filled with Salmon- an Italian specialty.
Um, yum! Cannelloni filled with Salmon- an Italian specialty. Definitely need to try this one! Get recipe here.
To continue with animal protein, lets explore the fish and shellfish family. We eat fish about 3-4 days a week at our house. Here are common fishes that you will find either at Whole Foods or a high quality seafood vendor
  • Halibut, look for Alaskan Halibut. Its a bit pricey ($16-20 per pound) but well worth it. It takes well to any marinade, but be careful to not overcook it. It will dry it out and not be good. Always look for a thick piece 1-3″ piece. I prefer to pan sear the fish for about 2-3 minutes and finish in a hot oven for about 6-8 minutes. Serve it with some roasted vegetables and a salsa verde
  • California White Sea Bass, this a great fish, thick, hearty and a bit cheaper ($12-14per#) than halibut. The skin on this fish can get crispy if you sear it hot and finish in a hot oven. Again, look for thick pieces and request the fish monger to remove any bones, if they don’t, don’t worry you can cook it with and remove after. They are big.
  • MahiMahi, about the same price as sea bass. Great for fish tacos!!! Grill them with a cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno marinade and grill on a very hot and oiled grill.
  • Local Albacore Tuna, this a great local tuna. Caught from San Diego all the way upto SF. About $14-18 per #. Square off the loin of tuna with no skin, add a spice mixture and sear it on a hot oiled pan on all sides. set aside and chill off and slice and serve on a salad or with soba noodles
  • Some other fish options: Haddock, Cod, Flounder, Shrimp, Scallops, Lobster and catfish. Keep in mind though that most shellfish is high in cholesterol

OTHER POULTRY AND PORK:

PorkTenderloin
I had no idea pork was a lean meat. Personally its a bit difficult for me to eat pork (and steak) because I just think pigs (and cows) are so cute! But its good to know its an available option.
  • Lean Turkey Breast, is another option. Very cheap, can find frozen $4-5per#. make kabobs, tacos, grilled or even make a soup with it.
  • Pork Tenderloin, very lean and flavorful. Roast it in the oven with carrots and potatoes and fresh herbs, olive oil and garlic

VEGETARIAN OPTIONS:

Lentils
I am actually somewhat obsessed with lentils. They are so delicious and packed with both protein and fiber. Honestly, they are the real deal here. Such a great superfood in my opinion. They are incredibly challenging to cook, but I’d like to try again with this recipe from Kalyn’s Kitchen : Indian Spiced Lentils
  • Tofu, firm or silken. Takes well with any marinade (sesame oil, minced garlic, mirin and soy) and grill the tofu on a hot grill. serve with vegetables and rice or noodles. you can also make a miso soup with the silken tofu
  • Egg whites are great as well. It takes a bit more creativity but it will work once in a while.

Also don’t forget about legumes, lentils, greek yogurt, soybeans, and cottage cheese

While Chef Danny was explaining all that, I took a minute to look up the movie to which I was referring above. Its called Simply Irresistible, staring Sara Michelle Gellar. I remember it now- totally cheesy. But a fun watch!
Thanks so much, Chef, for your awesome ideas!!
If any of you have some healthy but delicious recipes to share, please send links in the comments below. I’d especially love some ideas for protein packed snacks!
xoxo
QJ

QJ

Stranger Things Have Happened.

CoverShot_calvinHarris
Calvin Harris orchestrates the room. 

Well, I can’t believe it but I actually managed to pull it off. I stayed up for 24 hours. Not only did I plow through it, I genuinely enjoyed myself. I’ve heard that Vegas hotels pump oxygen into the air, which I am sure aided me in my all night excursion. Too bad most of the positive benefits of all that extra O2 is negated by the amount of cigarette smoke swirling in the atmosphere! I always view Vegas as a great check back to whats really going on in the rest of our country, since LA seems to be a microcosm of attractive actors and rich people who pay a lot of money to look 20 years younger. There are “normal people” here as well- obviously- like me and my friends. But the ratio weighs heavier on the handsome folk.  Alternatively, Vegas attracts many different types. Albeit some are gorgeous, but the ratio seems more of an actual representation of the “real world”, and I am just amazed at how many people smoke! Ew. Just gross.

Last weekend we were in Vegas to join 17 of MSM’s closest friends in celebration of Darren’s birthday (Darren as in Ugly Sweater Party. See Ugly Sweater Party ).

Night 1 

was a Nobu catered feast, followed by dancing like rockstars into the vampire hours at the Omnia nightclub in Ceasar’s Palace. Sadly, no sighting of Stefan, Damon, or Edward. But there WAS sighting of Calvin Harris. Right in front of us, in fact, because we were honored with VIP “seating” in the DJ section! Not gonna lie, the view from the top was amazing.

CalvinHarris.jpg
MSM and I agree that Calvin looks like he could be Ryan Gossling’s brother. Lucky Taylor Swift. Hopefully she doesn’t mess this one up.

Omnia was nothing short of spectacular. Inside feels like The Fifth Element meets Cirq Du Soliel – except the patrons are actually in it rather than viewing it. Theater of the round is the theme, with the DJ smack in the middle. Gymnasts hang from ropes and dancers stand on columns, inspiring moves for the crowd. Multiple levels and areas allow for plenty of patrons to enjoy themselves. Despite ample space, the place gets PACKED. I didn’t even dare leaving our coveted booth to go to the restroom. The DJ area was comfortable with plenty of space to dance :). If you’ve saved up enough for a bottle service area- I would highly recommend it. The drinks were delicious and they kept them coming- with plenty of water to restore and hydrate. Some shots of the inside:

Omnia_Cover

Night 2

was more mellow. Pool and Pizza in Darren’s suite followed by some table play in the casinos. I had never been to a penthouse suite in Vegas before and this did look just like in the movies! Yep, the pool table was in the room and the view was divine from every window. It was FREEZING last weekend, and raining- both rare for the area, which is why we all decided to stay in. After dinner we went down to the MGM casino to play some craps. I made it through one round of the Wheel of Fortune slot machine and was ready for bed by midnight. I guess one night of Vampire is all I can handle. So far….Once bitten I am sure it will get easier ;).

InaJillShenanigans
Goofing around with birthday photo props. 

What the heck to wear in Vegas in April:

Airplane-wear

Okay boys and girls. Enough with the sweat pants and velour jogging suits. We are not 70 years old and Juicy Couture is out of business. I’m not saying we need to dress up like in Pan-Am (the show), but I want to 86 the sweats. Unless they are tailored somehow. On the opposite end, WHY do some women insist on wearing high heels to the airport?! Honey’s, your feet SWELL on planes. Don’t do anymore damage than you need to. Designer sneakers are in now. Take advantage. Also they are easy to slip off and on before and after the security check. AND they are easier to run in – in case you have a connecting flight you have to catch 30 seconds after your delayed premier flight lands. Just saying.

airportAttire
Jacket: Maje Hoodie: American Apparel T (not seen): J Crew Vintage V Jeans: J brand Sneakers: Adidas (so comfy!) Bag: Chanel Luggage: Rimowa (love! its the best. A bit pricey but well worth it)

Vegas Night Club

So even if the dress code says “business casual”, in Vegas that is a lie. Cocktail attire. And nothing fit-n-flair unless it has some “vegas umph” to it- meaning sex appeal. Cut outs, spaghetti straps…something. We saw this girl in a gorgeous fit in flair dress with a scoop collar and short sleeves. The top was sequined and the bottom was white and flirty. Very pretty! But more appropriate for her nephew’s bar-mitzvah than a club in Vegas. I have noticed that we can get away with things in Vegas that would feel inappropriate anywhere else (other than the Playboy Mansion, may it RIP). If you wear something that is considered sexy in LA, in Vegas you will feel over dressed. And by over-dressed, I mean too much coverage.

jillPOol2

back
Jacket: Maje  Dress: Michelle Mason  Bag: YSL  Shoes: Stewart Weitzman 

 

Casual Night in Vegas/Freemont Street ware

We had planned to go to Freemont Street, the “original” strip. I was super excited because I have never been there. Unfortunately it was just too damn cold! But this is what I had planned to wear, and as far as I know- is totally appropriate.

CasualPool
I had so much fun loosing at pool. haha. Top: Chaser (old)  Leather Pants: Rag and Bone  Shoes: Prada
PradaPumps
Peek-a-boo.

A beauty product addendum

Partying like a rock star takes tolls, one of them being huge under eye baggage. I discovered (in a gift with purchase of all places!) the most AH-MAZING dark circle concealer! Maestro Eraser by Armani. I used #5, which at first I assumed would be too dark but it wasn’t. Its magic ya’ll. Magic! See for yourself.

before
Before: Yikes! I was tired. I mean granted we pulled an all night-er and this IS at midnight. But still….exuding exhaustion.
After
After: Image not retouched. Armani’s Maestro concealer is so amazing. It’s the exact right color to take away dark circles and has light reflective qualities that basically erase wrinkles (from a certain distance. I mean obviously in an extreme close up, those little buggers are still there). Makeup artist hint: I also dabbed a little over the outside of and between my brows. 

 

Lesson Learned:

Party on dudes! Sometimes staying young means fake it til you make it. I was nervous about pulling an energetic all night-er, but prepped my mind to just go with the flow and not only did I have a blast, I realized A. I’m not as old as I thought I was. Age really is mind over matter.  B. Its healthy to let loose every so often- no matter what age.  C. That armani concealer!!

PS Its taken me all week to recuperate. But I’m not saying I wouldn’t do it again ;).

xoxo

QJ

QJ