The Professor’s Party (Or Albus and I Threw a Halloween Party)

Professor Albus Dumbledore and I threw a Halloween party yesterday.

He even had a friend of his own in attendance.

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Miss Olive Piggie made an appearance.

She stayed in her costume a lot longer than Albus, however.

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This photo was taken about 15 seconds later.

There were many failed attempts to put the costume back on him. We even tried bribery with beef sticks to get him to hold still, but it was all in vain.

He just didn’t want to be a shark.

Despite my failure to dress my dog in a festive ensemble, everything else went well. It was lovely to catch up with human friends I haven’t seen in ages, and the treats were a success.

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The persimmon and mozzarella apps were devoured.

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And so was the pumpkin shaped bleu cheese ball.

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I do have a bit of skull carrot cake left.

So I’m pawning it off on neighbors.

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We even had evil wine.

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And mini pumpkins in the hallway.

I may keep this situation up through November if the pumpkins last. It has a nice non-creepy fall feel to it.

If they wither and die soon, it will give me the perfect excuse to set up for Christmas early, though….

Party Prep (Or Creepy Halloween Finds)

My Halloween Party is only a few days away, and I’m in full prep mode.

I’m painting pumpkins.

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They obviously aren’t done. #duh

While I’m waiting for the first coat of paint to dry, I’m skewering the gummies I bought on my shopping excursion today.

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It’s actually harder than it looks.

The brains and fingers are kind of fragile, so it takes patience.

In other party prep news, Albus tried on his new costume today.

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He wasn’t impressed.

Apparently, he doesn’t understand how cool we’ll look when I put on a speedo and cover myself in fake blood.

I found SO many other festive party goodies today that I needed to celebrate my success with a frozen beer slushy at Katsuya.

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You haven’t lived until you’ve had one.

I’d show you my other finds, but I have to save some surprises for the party.

I’m off to write my feature now.

It’s time.

 

 

 

Weekend Round Up (Or Kygo and Persimmons, Oh My!)

It’s technically the weekend even though I’ve worked every day. Don’t worry: I have still managed to squeeze in some fun, though.

Friday I saw Kygo with Lola at the Hollywood Bowl.

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It was beyond.

Seal came on stage for a cover of Sexual Healing.

And there were fireworks.

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Tons of fireworks.

Saturday was all about sushi and football.

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As every Saturday should be.

And today I went to the Mar Vista Farmers Market in search of persimmons for a Halloween Party appetizer.

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My search ended in victory.

It’s persimmon season in LA, and I couldn’t be happier. I plan to slice these beauties and serve them with basil, mozzarella, and a balsamic reduction. It’s like Caprese but better because persimmons > tomatoes.

The Mar Vista Farmers market is near a Mexican grocery store that sells my favorite salsa verde in LA, so I try to make it a two for one when I head over there.

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Plus they have goblins. 

And free dog sitting.

I’ve never tried bringing my dog, though. I’m pretty sure Albus would figure out how to break out of the enclosure and head straight for the wild seafood.

Or the goblins.

He’s a magical dog.

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With big magical paws.

Okay, I’m off to watch the Packers before I head to work, but before I go I’ll leave you with a Kygo track because I’m generous like that.

It’s a remix of The Weekend’s Often, and I love it.

I Miss College (Or I Sound Like an @$$#%!* Post)

If I’m being honest with myself, I’ll admit that adulthood has been a colossal letdown. No part of my adult life has lived up to the promise/greatness of college.

Sure, it’s nice to have your company pay for your sushi and your room at the Four Seasons, but I miss the days when my only responsibilities involved learning new things and, on occasion, laundry.

If I’m being really honest I rarely did laundry back then….

I usually brought it home to my parents who missed me so much they took care of it without question — even when I was in grad school.

I realize it’s ridiculous I flew 3,000 miles across the country with a suitcase full of dirty clothes, but my parents needed to feel needed. (Or something.)

I had a chef and a cleaning lady in college (thank you Pi Beta Phi), and now I handle most of that business for myself.

It’s a bummer.

Well, actually, I love cooking so I don’t mind THAT part, but the cleaning could definitely disappear and I wouldn’t be devastated.

I DO miss the not learning part of college, though, desperately.

Living in LA, I fear my brain is atrophying at an alarming rate.

I try to read books and listen to NPR regularly, but even that isn’t as awesome as staying up until 3 am writing a paper on postmodernism because I need intellectual masturbation like my dog needs chicken.

Even though I’ve become proficient at laundry, I still miss the safe womb of college. I miss looking at a catalogue of courses filled with possibilities. I miss cramming for finals, and I miss 4 am dill pickle deliveries.

Somewhere in this sad lament I should probably give you a recipe or tell you about the amazing DIY Halloween decorations I found on Pinterest, but I’m not sure I can. The best I can do is show you this…

it’s a picture of my dog.

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He is the only thing that makes adulthood acceptable. 

The truth is: I could have had a dog in college, though, so that brings me right back to… missing college.

 

 

Coyotes and Sausage Cream Sauce (Or A Gluten Free Fall Recipe)

It was finally cool enough to take the Bubba hiking today. It felt great to get back out on our old trail and sit on our rock to be contemplative for a few seconds.

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Okay, I was contemplative. Albus was looking for coyotes.

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He wants to play with them.

I’ve tried to explain that they’re not dogs, but he doesn’t speak English except for the word, “chicken.” (This is why he is not allowed off-leash.)

ANYWAY, because it almost felt like fall today, I made a spicy Italian sausage tomato sauce with cream.

I try not to consume gluten (exceptions include: cookie dough and sausage pizza from Mozza), so I served it on roasted spaghetti squash instead of pasta.

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Ugly but delicious.

I added a little vodka to the sauce because renters left some in my freezer and because vodka cream sauces are from God.

If you want to make it, here’s the recipe.

Spicy Sausage in Vodka Cream Sauce

2 T Olive oil
1 lb Spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
1 Medium onion, chopped
3 Garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp Red pepper flakes
28 oz Can of plum tomatoes in juice
1/4 C Vodka
1/2 C Whipping cream
Salt to taste

1 Spaghetti squash
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 375. Slice the squash into quarters. Remove the seeds. Drizzle with olive oil. Place on baking sheet and roast until tender and the insides can be removed easily with a fork.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a medium pot. Add sausage and cook until brown. Add onions and cook until translucent.

Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and vodka. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add whipping cream and salt to taste.

Serve over spaghetti squash.

Garnish with shaved parmesan if desired.

Brussels Sprouts with Maple Syrup (Or Recipe #472 for Brussels Sprouts)

I have a confession: I’m obsessed with Brussels sprouts.

I also love broccoli and cauliflower, which probably makes me certifiable, but I don’t care. Since I eat them on the reg, I’m always looking for new ways to spruce them up.

Pizzeria Mozza used to have a killer Brussels sprouts pizza with bacon, but they took it off the menu. (Mario Batali and Nancy Silverton did NOT consult with me first. It was criminal.)

At least they still have the Pizza Bianca with sage and truffle cheese or I’d have to find another delivery service that charges me $35 for four slices of pizza.

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I’d probably pay $50 for the sausage and sage, but don’t tell Mario.

I digress….

Back to Brussels sprouts. Some of the variations I’ve whipped up include: bacon, onions, and truffle salt. (NOT together.)

Recently I tried maple syrup, and I’m pleased to report it was delicious. I think I may experiment with pecans and maple syrup for Thanksgiving.

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Simple, delicious, and not too sweet. 

If you want to give it a shot, here’s the recipe.

Another confession? I left out the herbs because I didn’t have any on hand, but I bet it would be awesome if you added them.

And my final confession? I love a Bieber song.

Sure, it is a collaboration with DJ Snake, but it’s still the Bieb… and I LOOOOOVE it.

Here it is.

 

 

 

 

Strawberry Balsamic Buffalo Mozzarella Salad (Or Easy Sunday Lunch)

It’s 98 in LA today.

98 on October 9, people.

You could basically do Bikram on my sidewalk if you were so inclined. It’s too hot to run, too hot to cook, and almost too hot to be alive.

I came home from church absolutely ravenous this afternoon. Since starving myself is rarely never an option, and neither is turning on the stove today, I decided to create a salad for lunch.

I had strawberries, arugula, balsamic reduction, and buffalo mozzarella lying around, so I threw it all together with a little olive oil and Maldon sea salt.

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Buffalo mozzarella makes everything better.

I’m not even kidding. I would probably eat a cardboard box if it had a ball of buffalo mozzarella on top.

If you want to make the salad yourself (and I think you should), the “recipe” is below.

I’m going to turn up my AC and yell at the LA Rams on TV now.

XOXO

Strawberry Arugula Salad with Buffalo Mozzarella

1 C Arugula
5 Strawberries, sliced
1 Buffalo mozzarella cheese ball
1 tsp Balsamic reduction*
2 tsp Olive oil
Pinch of Maldon Sea Salt

Place the strawberries and the mozzarella on a bed of arugula. Drizzle with balsamic reduction and olive oil. Sprinkle sea salt to taste.