Month: December 2015

Texas Caviar ~ A New Year’s Appetizer

Growing up in Texas, holidays are a time for gathering and feasting on Tex-Mex flavors. In the South, there’s a tradition to eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. This Southern side dish is usually cooked with collard greens and ham. The peas symbolize prosperity, since they grow fatter when cooked. The greens symbolize money for the year ahead. Aside from adding that smokey flavor, the pork represents beneficial forward motion, since pigs forage by rooting forward. Texas Caviar is our no-nonsense version of black-eyed pea good luck to ring in the New Year. Combined with fresh lime, pico de gallo & guacamole, this dip is a winner at any party! Texas Caviar 6 medium Roma tomatoes 2 cans of black-eyed peas 1 small red onion or ½ a large red onion 1 jalapeno ¼ cup minced cilantro 3 small avocados or 2 large avocados 4 limes salt to taste Any variety of tomato is delicious to use in this recipe, but Roma tomatoes are very easy to de-seed and the flesh is less watery than other varieties. Slice the tomatoes …

New Year’s Eve ~ 2015

What are you doing New Year’s Eve? If you’re like most Angelenos, you’re probably still trying to figure out a decent answer to that question. Every year, your friends promise they’ll be better at making plans in advance and then somehow you find yourselves scrambling to drum up some fun as the days barrel down to T-minus-0. Lucky for you, we’re here to take the pressure off. Obviously, there’s always your buddy’s house party. We don’t need to fill you in on that one. But we CAN let you in on some of the celebrations that are sure to please while also drawing the kind of crowd you’d actually want to ring in a New Year with. Here are our Sirens & Scoundrels top picks for New Year’s Eve bashes worth your while… KCRW is throwing their annual 1920’s-themed Prohibition party at Downtown’s gorgeous Union Station. Guests dress up in their Gatsby finest for a night of dancing to DJs and live jazz while enjoying oysters and an open bar. With trains taking off in the …

Gluten-Free Apple Crumble (with Vegan option)

If you want to be the guaranteed hit of your next winter gathering, look no further than this Apple Crumble recipe. I’ve been perfecting this recipe for some time now and it never fails to be the sure-fire crowd (and stomach) pleaser at any party. I offer it to you here so that you can spread this edible joy in a baking dish to the ones you love and feel that immense satisfaction as they come back for seconds and thirds, scraping the dish clean. Even though I eat flour, I adapted this into a gluten-free recipe for my many GF friends and to be honest, I prefer it this way now. Even when I don’t have gluten-free guests, I opt to make the GF topping because it’s lighter and melts away in your mouth perfectly. A simple switch of vegan sticks in place of butter can turn it into an instant and unexpected vegan dessert. It’s rare to find a dessert that has that same deeply soul-satisfying taste once it gets translated to gluten-free and vegan, but this …

Holiday Gathering ~ Gingerbread House Party

Every November as Thanksgiving approaches, the emails and texts start rolling in, all asking the same question—“When is Gingerbread this year?!” A tradition a couple decades in the making, this kiddo-like party has become THE hot Holiday ticket for all of my grown-up friends, who clear their calendars each year to make sure they can be in attendance. What could possibly be so amazing about sticking a candy house together with some edible goop, you ask? EVERYTHING. My mom started this tradition with my older brother and I when we were just kids growing up here in LA. Of course, at eight years old being given permission to make a house made entirely out of candy and then EAT IT is the most amazing thing that could ever happen. Especially for kids raised on tofu dogs and no-sugar cereal. As teenagers, the Huntington Gingerbread House Making Party really just became an excuse to mix our friend groups of guys and girls. Space was limited around the table and my girlfriends clamored for a chance to sit …

The Broad ~ Downtown LA

If you’ve been wondering about those mysterious photos of your friends seemingly floating amongst infinite cosmic light that have been popping up all over your feeds this fall, it’s time to trot yourself down to The Broad (like “road” with a “b”) museum and experience it for yourself. The newest arrival on the contemporary art scene, The Broad is already a hot-ticket destination for the city’s trendsetters, who flock through the doors each day to take in the likes of Warhol, Basquiat, Lichtenstein and Koons, amongst a plethora of modern art heavy hitters. Built from scratch to host the 2000-piece art collection of Eli and Edythe Broad, the museum opened in September 2015 and has become an architectural destination in and of itself. Located adjacent to the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown LA, the Diller Scofidio + Renfro designed museum boasts a huge looming perforated metallic “honeycomb” exterior that adds even more wow factor to your walk down Grand Avenue—the two enormous landmarks at once opposing and complimentary. The interior is everything a modern …

Crash Mixed Potatoes

Holiday Season is in full swing! Time for marathon feasting and gathering! This rustic potato recipe is my brother-in-law’s favorite holiday side-dish–both creamy and crispy in one delicious bite. Though these crash potatoes are sure to be a crowd pleaser all year round. They’re perfect for a fun brunch gathering, a hearty meat and potatoes night, or a lighter soup and salad luncheon. This recipe is like that favorite pair of jeans that you wear over and over again and accessorize as you please…it’s all about your preferences and your choice of potatoes. Serves 4   Ingredients 1 bag/a dozen mixed potatoes 1/4 cup olive oil 3 cloves of garlic 2 stems of rosemary salt & pepper to taste I love that the winter harvest brings us a variety of colorful vegetables in season.  In this version of crash potatoes, I use a variety of gold, purple, red and sweet potatoes. As you choose your potatoes, make sure they are similar in size; small enough (lemon size), but not too small (fingerling potatoes size). If …

Winter Picnic ~ Malibu Wines

When the leaves turn colors and start falling from the trees and that winter chill finally hits the air after those hot October nights, there’s nothing better than layering up in your wooly finest and heading out for a winter picnic with friends. Our favorite spot to gather for some lazy mid-winter’s revelry is Malibu Wines. A local vineyard tucked away in the Malibu Mountains just off of Kanan, Malibu Wines offers a sprawling picnic area complete with farm tables, chairs and flaming heat lamps to cuddle up and get cozy around. Lay out a sumptuous spread, sample some house wines, take in the live music and soak in the glorious afternoon. Order a couple bottles of wine for your table or try individual “flights” from the wine tasting bar. You can pick the flight of your choice and sample wines at your own pace throughout the day. Outside alcohol is understandably not allowed in, but you are welcome to bring any non-alcoholic beverages with you. We highly recommend bringing plenty of water to make …