Food Buzz


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Homemade Goodies for the holidays!

Today was a great day to bake... It's been raining for a few days, it's cold and wet out and what's better than a house that smells like cinnamon and chocolate!

I am cooking for a great event that I am doing with a few other small business owners...  It's a Holiday boutique in Woodland Hills and we will have Stacie Bass embellished Havaianas, Couture Keys, Designer wrap bracelets by Pat Jennings, gourmet nibbles courtesy of moi, Eyelash Extensions by Deb and "Cash for Gold."  If you bring your old (even damaged) gold, you will have money to spend on all the great stuff we will have for sale and GREAT prices!!   Pick up some last minute Christmas gifts or something nice for yourself - you deserve it!

I am making some savory vegetarian and vegan bites for people to sample (mushroom and artichoke crostinis and avocado and olive vegan quesadillas) as well as some delicious baked goods for sale (cranberry white chocolate biscotti, vegan chocolate mini cupcakes and home made chunky granola).  If you are in the area you should come down!  You can find out more by going to and click on my "events" tab.

I must share this granola recipe from Bon Appetit because it's easy and delicious with Greek yogurt, almond milk or even over ice cream!

Chunky Date, Coconut, and Almond Granola

Yield: Makes about 6 cups

2 cups old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup whole almonds, halved
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/3 cup (packed) brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup (packed) pitted dates, each cut crosswise into thirds

Preheat oven to 300°F. Mix first 7 ingredients in large bowl. Melt butter with honey in heavy small saucepan over low heat. Pour over granola mixture and toss well. Spread out mixture on baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add dates; mix to separate any clumps. Continue to bake until granola is golden brown, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes longer. Cool. Do ahead Can be made 2 weeks ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

biscotti and cupcakes
Hope to see you tomorrow!

Chow for Now.  :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holiday parties and brand new website!!

Wow - I've been gone for 2 1/2 weeks.... Guess I've been busy!To start, class is over... had an A going into the final so I feel pretty good about that. While I was finishing up school I was busy! I have been working on my website along with creative website and branding geniuses, Jennifer Zappia and Margaret Mak. The combination of their professional and creative expertise and my food photos and descriptions will hopefully get people's mouths watering! Check my site out for yourself! Http:// If you or someone you know is in the LA area or vacationing in Big Bear for a weekend, contact me and I'd be thrilled to cook for you!In addition to personal chefing I am also helping to cook for small parties. My chef partner in crime, Mandy, helped me with my first party last Saturday... it went really well and client and guests seemed to really enjoy the food! It was an hors d'oeuvre and wine/holiday themed martini party and the house was really beautiful. I started everyone off with a beautiful cheese and charcuterie platter:
My hors d'oeuvre menu included:
Carrot and coriander soup shots
Blue cheese and walnut stuffed dates
Tuna tartare on wonton crisps
Tomato, mozzarella and pesto on garlic toasts
Lamb meatballs with a mint yogurt sauce
Carrot soup shots
Tomato, mozzarella and pesto with balsamic reduction on garlic toasts
Desserts included:
Coconut laddus
Green tea Christmas tree cookies
Unfortunately, I didn't get pictures of everything due to the chaos of setting up, but it was a beautiful display of food.  In fact we made more food than necessary so my client got to keep some leftovers.  I have to say - this experience introduced me to a bunch of new (to me) grocery stores including 99 Ranch and Super King which carry Asian and "International/Middle Eastern" foods, respectively.  It was truly eye opening...and I look forward to shopping at both markets again under less pressure. :)
Mandy was a huge help and kept me focused when I was feeling "all over the place"... it's so lovely to find a partner to work with who you can read your mind and really get things done!  Thanks again, Chef Mandy!
I am so looking forward to more parties and meeting with future clients to get my business rolling.
A gift certificate to Chow for Now makes a great gift for new parents or a friend that might be working too hard and eating poorly as a result.  It's also a romantic gesture for a loved one - perhaps a special occasion dinner for two?  I am also making my way up to Big Bear pretty regularly - would be happy to help make your vacation even better by providing a picnic basket of goodies, dinner for two or six!
Looking forward to talking with more of you!