A passion for food + fashion

Archive for May, 2010|Monthly archive page

I ♥ L.A.

In Drink, Food, Media, On Location: Out and About in L.A. on May 31, 2010 at 3:42 pm

Cinespia is just one of the many reasons to love LA. My friend Lizzie snapped this pic the other night at an outdoor screening of North by Northwest at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Is there a better location to watch Hitchcock? Look at the moon. It was incredible to watch it rising from behind the screen as Eva and Cary lit up the night. I can’t remember a more perfect start to summer. We arrived with our friends Katie and Matt A., Lizzie and Matt M. a couple hours before the movie started to picnic while listening to the DJ. Matt poured these all too drinkable whiskey sours. This recipe (from the Barefoot Contessa) will undoubtedly be in heavy rotation all summer:

We made it through two 40-ounce Thermos Stainless King Beverage Bottles, which got me thinking that’s a hell of a lot of lemons and limes that Lizzie had to hand-squeeze. Thanks, Lizzie! Katie made two awesome salads—lentil and feta, and panzanella (Italian bread salad) with grilled vegetables. We brought orzo with artichokes and prosciutto and Bourbon Molasses Chicken Drumsticks, whisked off the grill moments before we jumped in a cab to meet the gang and still piping hot when we tucked into our loot:

Check out these LED flickering tea lights. Even the hipsters next to us couldn’t get enough of these bad boys:

But the pièce de résistance had to be Lizzie’s Chocolate Oatmeal Carmelitas, a recipe first served to Lady Bird Johnson. Each bite is loaded with chocolate chips, pecans, rolled oats and dulce de leche. Talk about a Hollywood ending…

Bourbon-Molasses Chicken Drumsticks

In Food on May 30, 2010 at 6:18 pm

Check back tomorrow for pics from last night’s adventures in Cinespia. Really and truly one of the most fun—and delicious—evenings in memory. In the meantime, here’s a taste of the main event: grilled Bourbon-Molasses Chicken Drumsticks from the July 2004 issue of Bon Appétit, the first issue in which my name appears on the masthead coincidentally. The chicken’s raison d’être was to complement the superb whiskey sours our friends Lizzie and Matt made for our picnic last night, and its bourbon-based marinade was a grand slam. In fact, these drumsticks were so damn good that we are repeating again tonight!

Mr. Foodinista simmered the glaze earlier in the day:

Here are the drumsticks on the grill—they go for about 25 minutes before you brush with glaze:

And the finished product. Bon Appétit!


In Baby Love, Design on May 29, 2010 at 11:20 am

It’s been a busy, busy week with a three-day weekend arriving just in time. To see what we’ve been up to and for the latest pictures on the home office, head on over to Herman Miller’s LIFEWORK blog for a look at the garage doors and the beautiful azores-colored paint—the color of sea off the Portuguese coast, the Schoolhouse electric cage lights (above, and more on those later), and the bookcases (here and here). Hope your weekend is off to a gorgeous start! It’s sunny here, and Tiny G and I are heading out to blow some bubbles. But first we need to put on his shoes

Memorial Day Weekend

In Drink, Film, Food, Media on May 26, 2010 at 11:47 am

I’m tempted to start packing my LL Bean monogrammed Boat and Tote RIGHT NOW for this coming Saturday night’s adventure. My friends Lizzie, Katie and I (and respective gentlemen) are heading to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery for a screening of Hitchcock’s North by Northwest. Lizzie has a great post over at DESIGNwatcher.com about what she’s packing for our picnic. In addition to Lizzie’s thermos of whiskey sours, Katie is bringing rosé, and we’re all cooking up a storm. Mr. Foodinista will be grilling Bourbon-Molasses Chicken Drumsticks (perfect companion to the whiskey sours) and I’ll be making The Foodinista’s Orzo Salad with artichokes and prosciutto. Here’s a shot of the salad from last summer:

It’s like it was MADE to go with rosé. Katie is bringing a lentil salad with herbs and feta, as well as some grilled veggies. And Lizzie is threatening to make some super delicious caramel oat bars for desert. Now, what to wear. I mean beyond the requisite pearls in a nod to the ever spectacular Eva Marie Saint…


In Design on May 25, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Now that the paint has dried on our gorgeous red lacquer bookcase, I’ve been unpacking box after box of books, magazines, more books, more magazines. Firmly rooted in the Type A camp, I wanted to streamline all my back issues of Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Saveur, Los Angeles Times Magazine and various other pubs containing clips from yesteryears. I found these untreated wood magazine files at Ikea:

You can stain or oil the magazine files. I’m leaving them untreated. But speaking of color, I also unpacked three of my favorite nail varnishes, which used to live on my desk at Bon Appétit, in case of emergency: Chanel Ruby Slipper, Laura Mercier Caviar Dreams, OPI My Private Jet. Also from my former office, a Friedlander poster from the 2005 exhibit at MoMA, which was AMAZING. Beside it sit 10 individual French press coffee makers, just in case 9 of you would like to come over for brunch…I’m ready.

Today I’m alphabetizing books (uh huh). I can’t wait to press this little guy into action, a ceramic frog bookend from Alpha on Melrose:

Tomorrow, my desk arrives!

Brick Work

In Food, Recipes on May 24, 2010 at 2:07 pm

All day long my husband and I were fantasizing about this dish, a riff on a Mario Batali recipe from Italian Grill. And oh my god, was it worth the wait. We got squid and olive tapenade at the Larchmont Farmer’s Market first thing yesterday morning. Then, about midday I zested a lemon from our tree. If I had to, if I had to, pick a favorite fruit—aesthetically speaking, it would be the lemon.

While Mr. Foodinista cut up the calamari, I mixed together olive oil, lemon zest and juice, garlic, mint, red pepper flakes and black pepper. We tossed the calamari in the mixture and let it marinate in the fridge.

The recipe follows, but a word first about the grilling method. The calamari is cooked on a piastra—which is Italian for cooking on a flat griddle over an open flame. We used our trusty Lodge Pro Cast Iron Griddle. To achieve a flavorful char, Mr Foodinista wrapped a couple bricks in tin foil (two layers). Oh, and he heated the HELL out of the grill, leaving the griddle and foil-wrapped bricks in there to heat up at a temp somewhere close to 500 degrees.

Somehow I didn’t take a picture of the chickpea salad prior to mixing it with the grilled calamari. Maybe because I was too busy EATING the chickepas. Holy scheisse—mix up the chickpea salad alone and have at it. With a spoon.

I’ve made a few very minor tweaks on this recipe because my experience w/ this cookbook has largely been: great idea, but did someone actually test the recipe as written? Batali’s flavor combinations are inspired – but having tried at least a dozen recipes, there’s either too much liquid or not enough protein, and the cooking times are almost always off. Here’s what worked for us:

Marinated Calamari with Chickpeas and Olive Pesto

Adapted from Italian Grill, by Mario Batali

Note: The original recipe calls for orange segments (from three oranges) to be tossed with final salad. There is more than enough happening with all the citrus in the marinade, so unless you are freaked out about scurvy, I’d skip it. I don’t include below (and nor does the photo in the cookbook).

Serves 4-6


3 lbs cleaned calamari (tubes and tentacles)

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

2 tablespoons hot red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper


Two 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

4 scallions, thinly sliced

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1/4 cup mustard seeds

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Olive Pesto

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Grated zest and juice of 1 orange

1/2 cup black olive paste or tapenade

3 red jalapeños, deveined, seeded and finely chopped

12 fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

CUT THE CALAMARI BODIES into rings. Combine olive oil, lemon zest and juice, garlic, mint, red pepper flakes and black pepper in a large bowl. Toss in calamari and stir well to coat. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until ready to use.

Put chickpeas in a medium bowl, and add oil, vinegar, scallions, garlic and mustard seeds and stir to mix well. Salt and pepper to taste.

FOR THE OLIVE PESTO, combine oil, orange zest and juice, olive tapenade, jalapeños, and basil in a small bowl, mixing well. Set aside.

Preheat a gas grill for high heat. Place a piastra—or griddle—on grill to preheat. Wrap two clean bricks in two layers each of heavy-duty foil and set it on top of piastra to heat for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour calamari into a colander and drain for 10 minutes.

Using oven mitts, remove bricks from piastra. Put a couple handful of calamari pieces on the piastra, place bricks on top of them, and cook for 2 minutes (any longer will turn them rubbery). Lift off bricks and, using spatula, carefully transfer calamari to a clean bowl. Repeat with remaining calamari in batches.

Pour olive pesto over calamari and stir well. Put chickpeas in a shallow serving bowl and top with calamari. Sprinkle with fresh mint and serve.

Ol’ Blue Eyes

In Fashion on May 23, 2010 at 11:59 am

Hey, LA, where’s the sun? You see, my fabby friend Anne just gave me these chic navy blue Roger Vivier sunglasses with signature buckle and I want to wear them!!!

Virtuous Quinoa

In Food, On Location: Out and About in L.A. on May 22, 2010 at 9:15 am

Following a very naughty girls lunch yesterday with Anne and Booth at Bouchon in Beverly Hills—that started with Krug and ended with crème caramel and all manner of butter-drenched goodness in between—I’m mending my ways with a pious lunch today. At the beginning of each week I make a big bowl of red quinoa to keep in the fridge so that I can scoop out half a cup for lunch and add whatever leftovers are in the fridge. Quinoa is one of those super foods—a complete protein, so it’s almost like having a big red, juicy steak but without the fat or guilt. For this version, I chopped up pea tendrils, green onions, a leftover grilled chicken breast, sprinkled some crumbled feta and tossed with half a cup of quinoa and a tablespoon of Bragg’s Ginger Sesame Salad Dressing (recommended by nutritionist Ashley Koff).

It’s a virtuous lunch, which leaves room in life and your waistline for Vouvray-drenched moments like these:

Thank you, Anne, for sharing these photos and being so fabulous that they sent out FOUR desserts. We love you!

Prince Charles Chair

In Design on May 20, 2010 at 4:07 pm

About a year ago, Modernica announced a 20th anniversary special edition “Prince Charles Chair” (as in Charles Eames) to much ire in the design community. I mean you should have seen the vitriol splashed about! What’s the fuss about? Los Angeles artist Peter Shire blended the classic molded Case Study fiberglass shell with traditional Queen Anne legs in walnut. Sacrebleu! I think it’s gorgeous, and I just ordered one in oatmeal fiberglass for a guest chair in the new office. It will be the perfect bridge between an antique Bokhara rug I heisted from my parents and my reissued mid-century George Nelson Swag Leg Table in walnut veneer, which arrives on Monday. Unfortunately the oatmeal-colored shells for all Modernica’s Case Study chairs are back-ordered, so my new piece of blasphemy should arrive in early July.

Friends and Pho

In Food, Media, On Location: Out and About in L.A. on May 19, 2010 at 6:55 pm

Is there any better way to spend a lunch hour than slurping pho with a favorite friend? Today, my friend Lizzie (author of awesome new blog, Tomboy Style) and I hit Pho Cafe on Sunset for some steaming bowls of Vietnames pho—beef soup with rice noodles, basil, lime, bean sprouts and peppers. I like to get the #13 with free-range chicken instead of beef, and a side of Silver Lake hipsters in requisite knit caps on a sunny LA day:

Pho Cafe also serves a mean iced coffee with condensed milk.

Perfect fare for discussing our home office routines, namely what Lizzie listens to while she works. For the inside scoop, head on over to Herman Miller’s LIFEWORK blog, which today features Lizzie’s home office and play list. Rock out.

Photo by Lizzie Garrett Mettler