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Holidays

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Chocolate

5 Fancy Alternatives To Waxy, Bad Easter Chocolate

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Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 11:41 AM
Compartes Edible Gourmet Easter Basket, oval - COMPARTES.COM
  • compartes.com
  • Compartes Edible Gourmet Easter Basket, oval
Even as a child, I knew Easter chocolate sucked. Those foil-wrapped eggs and bunnies were so pretty and compelling, peeking out from their hiding places or on the end of the bed in an Easter basket, but once unwrapped the chocolate was strange, waxy, tasteless. There's not much sadder in the world than crappy chocolate.

These days, Easter chocolate is exponentially better, or at least it has the potential to be. Lindt Easter chocolate has become ubiquitous in supermarkets, and even the regular foil-wrapped eggs don't seem to be as bad as they once were. But still, many of us would rather have one gorgeous piece of chocolate than a whole big basket of the lesser stuff. Thankfully, there is plenty of high end Easter chocolate around to save you from the doldrums of the barely passable eggs and Peeps and bunnies out there. Here are five great alternatives to supermarket chocolate for your Easter needs. 

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Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday, March 14, 2014

Holidays

10 St. Patrick's Day Parties in L.A.

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Fri, Mar 14, 2014 at 2:36 PM
Corned beef and cabbage - JEFF KUBINA/FLICKR

Who exactly was this Patrick guy? Why the 17th? Where is the "corn" in corned beef? Whether or not you can answer these questions, March 17th is a day where binge drinking on a weekday, consuming unnatural amounts of green food dye, and eating copious amounts of corned beef is perfectly acceptable, and even encouraged. Read below for 10 St. Patrick's Day parties in L.A. 

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Holidays

See's Irish Potatoes for St. Patrick's Day - Really?

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Tue, Mar 11, 2014 at 7:00 AM
St. Patrick's Day Potato - SEE'S
  • See's
  • St. Patrick's Day Potato
All is not rainbows and unicorns in Candyland. Some things that seem sweet on the outside actually have an insidiously bitter filling.

To wit: For a limited time, See's Candies is offering St. Patrick's Day Potatoes: "Our famous See's Divinity filling is hand-shaped and enrobed in creamy milk chocolate ... then rolled in a special blend of cinnamon and cocoa powder, and completed with pine nut 'eyes.'" Six individually boxed potatoes nestled in emerald-green paper sell for $22.50.

"Top o' the morning to you!" See's mailing blares, which also promises "chocolate leprechauns and treasure coins."

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014

Holidays

The Valentine's Day Flowchart: Where to Go, If You Must Go Out

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Fri, Feb 14, 2014 at 8:31 AM
El Pique - ANNE FISHBEIN
  • Anne Fishbein
  • El Pique
Valentine's Day is like a lot of food holidays: Whether it is relevant to you really depends on whether you believe in the thing that's being celebrated. And thus if you (or your partner) believe in Valentine's Day, no doubt you already have something sweet and romantic and lovely planned - a nice, low-key dinner at home, maybe, far removed from the holiday traffic. If, on the other hand, you have yet to plan anything and are bound to the theatrics of today for one reason or another and so absolutely must go out, this flowchart might help. 

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Holidays

5 Valentine's Day Gifts for Hard-to-Buy-For Foodies

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Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 10:22 AM
Valentine's Day goodies at Little Flower Candy Co. - S. BONAR
  • S. Bonar
  • Valentine's Day goodies at Little Flower Candy Co.
You'd think buying Valentine's gifts for your special foodie friend would be easy - but not so fast! Were you thinking a nice box of chocolate truffles? Yawn. A bottle of Champagne? Snore. But, it's really fancy Champagne! Filing nails. Oh, how about a gourmet picnic? I'm sorry, I forgot I have to flat-iron my hair tonight, it takes several hours.

If you're going to impress your foodie friend with a little Valentine's Day token, you've got to get creative. And no, we don't mean bacon roses, either.

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Friday, February 7, 2014

Friday, February 7, 2014

Baking

A Recipe for Valentine's Pie From Valerie Gordon's Sweet

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Fri, Feb 7, 2014 at 1:58 PM
Valentine's pie - PHOTOGRAPH BY PEDEN + MUNK; ARTISAN BOOKS
  • Photograph by Peden + Munk; Artisan Books
  • Valentine's pie
As you know, next Friday is Valentine's Day. You may celebrate this holiday or you may not, but either way it's a good day for pie. It's a good day particularly for pastry chef Valerie Gordon's Valentine's Pie, a stunningly pretty creation that manages to be both pâtisserie elegant and reassuringly homey at the same time.

If you only know Gordon from repeated trips to her Valerie Confections (three shops now in L.A.), and are thus somehow unaware that she recently published her first cookbook, Sweet, maybe you might give a copy to your beloved along with this pie.

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Holidays

3 Insanely Over-the-Top Valentine's Day Food and Drink Experiences

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Thu, Feb 6, 2014 at 9:16 AM
Lobster salad at CAST - THE VICEROY
  • The Viceroy
  • Lobster salad at CAST
Valentine's Day approacheth, and despite its falsely soothing imagery of baby-faced cherubs and sweet posies, it is in reality a Day of Judgment that strikes terror into any reasonable man. Now, a gentleman could always give his lady love such tokens as a framed baby picture, chocolate-covered [insert trendy fruit here], a hand-written haiku, a cronut tied with a bow, a Venn diagram drawn in crayon of your cute compatibilities or a personalized pink cocktail served in a Mason jar with one floating red rose petal (snore). And while she doubtless would find any such humble gestures slightly endearing, she would almost certainly enjoy one of the following experiences more. 

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Holidays

24 L.A. Restaurants for Valentine's Day

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Tue, Jan 28, 2014 at 7:00 AM
Green gage plum dessert at Red Medicine - ANNE FISHBEIN
  • Anne Fishbein
  • Green gage plum dessert at Red Medicine
It's February, folks, and you know what that means: Valentine's Day, a day dedicated to rom-coms, fuzzy feelings and commercialized tokens of affection. Whether you're looking to celebrate with your sweetheart or surrounded yourself with other singles, L.A.'s food scene is ramping up their romance factor for a night of sweet dinner deals. They say money can't buy love - but a thoughtful reservation for two won't hurt.

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Buddha's Hand Citron - DIEP TRAN
  • Diep Tran
  • Buddha's Hand Citron
Tết marks the beginning of the new year in the lunar calendar and its attendant rituals read like a list poem. A spray of peach blossoms for the returning spring; a platter of satsumas to invite wealth; a garland of firecrackers to chase out misfortune. To insure that your own year is a good one, look no further than the Hollywood farmers market, which abounds with metonyms and metaphors for courting the triplets felicity, prosperity and fortuity.

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Friday, January 3, 2014

Rosca de Reyes at La Monarca Bakery - GUZZLEANDNOSH
  • GuzzleandNosh
  • Rosca de Reyes at La Monarca Bakery

The holiday season doesn't end with the ringing of a new year for those celebrating El Día De Los Reyes Magos (Three Kings Day), also known as the Feast of the Epiphany, on Monday, Jan. 6. It will be the 12th day of Christmas, marking the arrival of the three Magi and in the Latino Christian community, this will call for rosca de reyes, or King's Ring.

It's a sweet breadlike cake, shaped into an oval ring and dotted with multi-colored candied fruit and, sometimes, trinkets. A figurine of baby Jesus is typically baked inside the ring and, depending on the culture, whoever finds it will either have to throw a party with tamales and atole or gets to be king or queen of the feast.

At some bakeries, this seasonal pastry is best ordered in advance to guarantee that you'll have one in time for the holiday. Check out the following three bakeries, with locations from Santa Monica to Downey, for a king's ring of your own.

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