A passion for food + fashion

Archive for August, 2013|Monthly archive page

Super Sonic Birthday

In Baby Love, Drink, Food, On Location: Out and About in L.A. on August 16, 2013 at 6:03 pm

sonic birthday

Last month George (my baby!) turned five. I quickly found myself in a little over my head when he requested a Sonic the Hedgehog birthday party, and there were no easy cheats available for purchase because at this writing Sonic has not yet hit critical mass. I’m learning that five seems to be the age when kids gravitate toward single-sex parties, and since all of his girl pals from school were at a girls-only party, we decided to keep it boys and their siblings from his class, which I have to be honest, seemed a little daunting especially with water balloons involved (more on that later), but turned out to be a super sonic good time.

Sonic birthday cake

Okay, the cake was nuts. Can you believe this multi-tiered, fondant, piped-icing, chocolate insanity that my sister, Claire, produced? From scratch! She made the race track out of fondant, as well as the “golden rings,” which she then dusted with edible gold glitter. (Sonic and Tails action figures via Amazon.com.)

sonic cake topper

The day before, I ran by Blick Art on Beverly to grab a giant piece of cardboard and some tempera paints to make a five-foot-tall Dr. Eggman (old-school Sonic villain circa 1990) target for water balloons. Turns out water balloons are a HUGE hit with everyone except for the unsuspecting spouse who has to fill them up.

Dr EggmanThere was Sonic face-painting by the one and only Zayda, and a Sonic piñata from the outstanding Tony of Out Of This World Piñata on Etsy. (He was also responsible for last year’s Spiderman piñata.)

sonic piñata I also found on Etsy these adorable hedgehog party favors (filled with a single serving of hot cocoa), which I put in muslin treat bags along with Sonic tattoos, and little Sega-style race cars.

sonic gift bagsSince Sonic’s favorite food is a chili dog—and I wasn’t overly excited about the prospect of chili, water balloons and five-year-old boys—we played it safe with no-mess hot dogs, Sonic golden rings (organic onion ring chips), and hedgehog fruit salad served in a carved watermelon impaled with blueberries on toothpicks for eyes and nose.

hedgehog fruit salad

sonic golden ringsAnd just because they are the birthday boy’s favorite, there was mac n’ cheese and chocolate milk. Etsy was also the source for these mini plastic milk bottles, which I wrapped with rafia and then tied with butcher’s twine. They are reusable so I’m looking forward to serving blackberry margaritas in them at our next grown-up barbecue.

mac cheese

chocolate milk

Thanks to James Rosales and Char Langos for photos!

Pluot, Prosciutto and Arugula Salad

In Food, Recipes on August 6, 2013 at 11:20 pm

plum prosciutto salad


My friend Mia can always be counted upon to bring the most inspired dish to dinner and to have discovered the most awesome vintage lighting fixtures at last week’s flea market. And so it’s no accident that her food is every bit as inspired as her design aesthetic. This gorgeous salad is classic Mia. Use a handful of your favorite peppery and bitter greens, like arugula and radicchio, and slice up some stone fruit and prosciutto and toss with honey vinaigrette. The sweetness of the fruit and honey temper the bitter and spice of the lettuces, and prosciutto adds a richness that ties it all together.

Pluot, Prosciutto and Arugula Salad with Honey Vinaigrette

Serves 4

4 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons honey

1/4 cup olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

4 small stone fruit, such as pluots, plums or nectarines, pitted and thinly sliced

8 cups mixed greens such as arugula, dandelion greens, radicchio

4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped

In a small bowl, whisk together first five ingredients. In a salad bowl, combine fruit, lettuces, prosciutto. Toss with dressing and serve.