Love and Whiskey | Irvine, California

October 31, 2013

Love and Whiskey /
Love and Whiskey /
Love and Whiskey /
just discovered this new gem in irvine – love and whiskey. a great boutique in tucked away in park place. yes you heard me a cute boutique in irvine! they carry an assortment of women's and men's clothing – a mix of local and domestically produced and even cause-driven brands like 31 bits and krochet kids. one of my favorite things they carry is tanner good – the most incredibly crafted leather goods. i had the pleasure of chatting with owners sarah and mike on my recent visit. such a pleasure visiting their shop!

Love and Whiskey /
Love and Whiskey /
tell us a little bit about love vs whiskey and how it began, what were you doing before you opened your own retail space?
sarah - before opening our own retail space, i worked 19 years in retail management for companies like nike women, d & g, bally, st. john and tse cashmere. love & whiskey began when we were asked to expand our first location deer lovely/whiskey tango 1977 into a 2nd location. we believe in evolving as a company, so we didn’t want to do the exact same thing as our first retail space. we wanted it to be refined. we combined the names of our original stores into love & whiskey and began curating our favorite brands... some old and some new.

what can people find at love vs whiskey, what makes you different than other retailers?
a unique selection of nicely curated items from a variety brands and local artists that changes and is updated frequently. people can also find whiskey tastings at our store every third thursday of the month. guests can pop in, enjoy a whiskey cocktail, and shop!

Love and Whiskey /
whats the most important thing you’ve learned since opening your business?
that i am a really good buyer and to be confident when i feel strongly about new styles or when i want to take a risk.

what has been your favorite moment so far?
our favorite moments are when clients comment that there is finally a “cool” shop in irvine. irvine is known for everything looking boring and the same. we set out to be different so it is nice to be noticed for that exact thing.

Love and Whiskey /
Love and Whiskey /
Love and Whiskey /
Love and Whiskey /

three other local favorite shops?
analog at the oc mix at soco in costa mesa
tankfarm in seal beach, ca.
laguna supply co. in laguna beach, ca

2967-A Michelson Dr
Irvine, CA 92612


Lan's Macarons

October 29, 2013

i've never attempted to make macarons and honestly they tend to be a little bit of a hit or miss for me. they are so pretty and colorful but 8 out of 10 times i'm never that excited about them. i've had macarons in paris at laduree and my favorite ones to get in the states is at chantal guillon in sf.

Lan's Macarons /
Lan's Macarons /
my friend lan and i have known each other for over 10 years, we went to high school together... like 15 years ago! eek! after high school she went to on be a nurse and then quickly realized it wasn't the path for her. two years ago lan set out to follow her dreams with her fiance, jack at culinary institute of america. together they are a dynamic duo with jack's culinary degree and her pastry/baking degree they are planning on opening their shop in atlanta in 2014. i am super excited for both of them, their passion for cooking and eating is unwavering, wish they were closer so we could share our culinary adventures together.

Lan's Macarons /
Lan's Macarons /

since i don't know much about macarons, lan told me what i should be looking for "a macaron should have a slight crunch on the outside and inside should be chewy. look for a sheen on the shell, the texture and surface should be smooth".

Lan's Macarons /
Lan's Macarons /

LAN'S MACARONS print this recipe!
275g almond flour
250g powdered sugar
210g egg whites
210g granulated sugar
a few drops red or maroon food coloring gel

388g Butter
259g Sugar
129g Egg white
1. sift the powdered sugar and almond flour.
2. whip the egg whites with the granulated sugar to hard peak. Add the food coloring.
3. fold the almond flour into the whites in four addition.
4. fold the mixture until it's shiny and lava like.
5. pipe, banged the tray until the peak settled.
6. let it dry at room temp until you can lightly touch it. bake at 300F convection oven for 15 minutes

1. pour sugar in a pot and add enough water until it's wet sand like
brush down the sides of the pot with water
2. pour egg whites in the mixer and whip until slightly foamy. Leave it on the second to lowest setting to continue whipping
3. once the sugar gets to 237f turn off the heat (carryover cooking will bring it to 240). while the mixer is on high pour the sugar down the side of the bowl and whip until it gets to room temp
4. add the room temp butter in small portion. switch to paddle attachment. continue until the buttercream is a nice white color.

lan likes to flavor her buttercream with caramel, chocolate, strawberry purée etc!


Superba Snack Bar's Cocoa Pasta w/ Butternut Squash, Kale and Ricotta [Part 02]

October 23, 2013

Making Cocoa Pasta /
who would have know that cocoa pasta would be so delicious? when adrianna was telling me about it, i wasn't sure what to expect. cocoa actually added this beautiful richness to the pasta that was unexpected. it isn't by any means a sweet pasta – the butternut squash is actually the sweeter enhancement rather than the cocoa pasta. on your next visit to la be sure to stop by superba or if your adventurous in the kitchen continue reading to make it at home!

Making Cocoa Pasta /
Making Cocoa Pasta /
Making Cocoa Pasta /

Making Cocoa Pasta /
Making Cocoa Pasta /
Cocoa Pasta w/ Butternut Squash /
Cocoa Pasta w/ Butternut Squash /


cocoa pasta:
1/2 cup cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
3 1/2 cup caputo 00 flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
6 large eggs
1/4 cup water (this measurement may vary)

butternut squash sauce:
quick pickled chiles:
2 fresno chile or California green chile, thinly sliced
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons white granulated sugar
1 garlic clove

1 (2 pound) butternut squash, halved and seeds scooped and discarded
Olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 1/2 garlic clove)
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4-6 kale leaves, stems removed
1/2 cup fresh ricotta, divided
black pepper
2 tablespoons pumpkin oil, divided

cocoa pasta:
1. in a large bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, caputo flour and salt. using your hands, make a well in the center of the flour. crack each of the eggs into the center of the well. mix the entire mixture together until the dough forms. if it’s dry, you may need to add a bit of flour. this will depend on the humidity that day. i added about 1/4 cup of water.
2. flour the counter, liberally. dump out the dough and knead the dough until smooth, about 10 minutes. wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest on the counter for 30 minutes or transfer it to the fridge to rest overnight. *if you do let it rest overnight, be sure to remove it from the fridge 2 hours before rolling it out; if you don’t, you’re gonna be in for a workout - read: super cold dough = hard to roll.
3. flour your rolling pin and lightly flour your counter. cut the dough into thirds and roll out one of the thirds until it’s about 1/4-inch-thick. set your pasta maker to “2”. pass the pasta through the maker. after each pass, set the maker up by one…”3”, “4”, “5” and then stop at “6”. cut the pasta sheet into 1-inch strips for pappardelle. repeat the process with the remaining dough.
1. place the sliced chiles in a mason jar or small bowl. in a small saucepan, add the water, red wine vinegar, sugar and garlic clove. heat over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the liquid reaches a light boil. pour the hot vinegar mixture over the sliced chile, allow them to cool to room temperature. so here’s the deal: if you have time, allow the chiles to pickle overnight. this is ideal. but if you don’t, start this step first so the chiles have the longest time possible to pickle before you serve the dish.
2. preheat the oven to 400 degrees f. rub the butternut squash with a teaspoon or two of olive oil and place the squash halves flesh-side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. transfer to the oven to roast for 20-30 minutes, until the squash is tender when poked with the tines of a fork.
3. scoop out the butternut squash flesh and transfer to a blender or food processor. add the minced garlic, pour in the heavy cream and melted butter. blend until very smooth, about a minute. add a few pinches of salt to taste and then set aside.
4. to a large pan, add two tablespoons of butter. cook until the foam and bubbles subside and the butter turns brown in color and smells wonderful and nutty, about 2-3 minutes. add the kale leaves and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. pour in the butternut squash puree and heat until very warm.
5. meanwhile, bring a liberally-salted pot of water to a boil. cook the pasta for about 30 seconds to a minute, until al dente. transfer the pasta to the skillet with the butternut squash sauce, along with a few chiles; toss the pasta until completely coated. divide between plates. top with a dollop of ricotta, a sprinkling of black pepper and a drizzle of pumpkin oil. serve immediately.


Superba Snack Bar | Los Angeles [Part 01]

October 21, 2013

this week adrianna and i are taking you inside the kitchen of superba snack bar. located in venice – superba looks like a corrugated box cut in half but in a really cool way. they have house made pastas, small plates and an awesome fried chicken at dinner. i wouldn't say its quite italian but definitely inspired by. we got together with chef jason neroni to watch him make his magical cocoa pappardelle pasta. stay tuned for a recipe you can test out yourself at home! you can check out more pictures on a cozy kitchen!

Superba | Los Angeles /
Superba | Los Angeles /

Superba | Los Angeles /
Superba | Los Angeles /

Superba | Los Angeles /
Superba | Los Angeles /


Upper Metal Class

October 17, 2013

Upper Metal Class / photo by Jennifer Chong
today i going inside the studio of upper metal class! i first learned about upper metal class when i was browsing the brika site. i am completely in love with all of t's creations, they are simple yet so uniquely designed. i love the triangle necklace and sunset earrings among many other items in her collection. i was so excited when jen and kena of brika helped connect us together. i got a chance to spend some time with t hearing about her creative journey and watching her make an exclusive item for brika. keep reading below to see and hear more.

Upper Metal Class / photo by Jennifer Chong
Upper Metal Class / photo by Jennifer Chong
Upper Metal Class / photo by Jennifer Chong

tell us a little bit about upper metal class, and what you were doing before you got started.
before upper metal class i worked in the clothing and footwear industry for a good amount of years till eventually the high stress and intense pressure got to me. i ended up taking time away from it all to re-evaluate my priorities in my life and while i was trying to figure that all out i took on various jobs from working in a department store selling high end handbags, to assisting wardrobe stylists on feature films to working in an office that produces commercials. i was in a hard search for what that special thing was that i was most passionate about and it wasn’t till i stopped looking is when my hobby of making jewelry turned into something much more then what i had ever imagined it to be. it’s just something that i fell madly in love with to the point where i am excited about everyday of my life.

Upper Metal Class / photo by Jennifer Chong
Upper Metal Class / photo by Jennifer Chong

Carrot Fries w/ Chipotle Mayo

October 15, 2013

carrot fries /
sweet potato fries are my jam! but i've been eating them a lot lately and wanted to change it up. so here is my take on the carrot fries, it's obviously not quite the same but pretty tasty!

CARROT FRIES print this recipe!
2lbs of carrots
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon of cumin
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
2 chipotle chilies
1 teaspoon of chipotle seasoning
1. preheat the oven to 400 degreesº. peel carrots and cut into 1/4 inch strips and place in a bowl.
2. add the olive oil and seasonings to the bowl of carrots and toss until all the carrots are coated.
3. spread carrots over a baking sheet on a thin layer and bake for 20 mins.
4. while carrots are baking – make the chipotle mayo i followed this mayo recipe and blended together 2 chipotle chilies and 1 teaspoon of chipotle seasoning.
5. once carrots are tender and slightly brown remove from oven and serve!


Argentina or Brazil?

October 10, 2013

i've got travel at the top of my mind right now, planning a trip for my 30 this year. trying to decide if my sister and i can tackle both argentina and brazil or if we should stick to one. right now we are leaning towards argentina - starting in buenos aires and making our way to visit this beauty the iguazu falls that lies on the border. have you been to either place? any recommendations? if you only had time for one country where would you go?


Epic Bars

October 09, 2013

i love the epic bar. what is the epic bar? it is a paleo, gluten-free and all grass-fed protein bar that has impeccable branding. seriously when was the last time you saw a protein bar and thought damn that is some good looking packaging? so what is one to expect from a cliff bar looking pretty packaged protein bar? amazingness! it was sort of like beef jerky in a bar form but not as chewy to eat. they currently carry three flavors; bison with bacon cranberry, beef with habanero and cherry and turkey with almond and cranberry. i love the bar for so many reasons besides the beautiful branding and tasty flavors, epic bars uses high quality meats and use ingredients i know and can read. on the weekends i spend a good amount on the beach playing volleyball and always looking for something to help me refuel, sometimes i turn to lara bars but epic bars really help fuel my body longer allowing me to play longer which is exactly what i am looking for.

i highly suggest these bars for athletes, if you follow paleo or if you just appreciate a bar made from well sourced ingredients. you can buy them online or check locations near you. let me know what you guys think!


Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Capers

October 08, 2013

did you grow up eating brussel sprouts? did you hate them? maybe because i grew up in an asian household we never had to eat brussel sprouts my dad always tried to make us eat biter melon, which i absolutely hated. so i can imagine it was a similar feeling towards brussel sprouts for other kids growing up. i can't recall the first time i had brussel sprouts but i've always loved them and simmzy's in long beach serves up on of my favorite roasted brussel sprouts ever. it's roasted crispy brussel sprouts topped with a lemony sauce – it's simply divine. i've tried countless times to recreate it at home although i don't think it's exactly the same i think it's a pretty darn close home version. let me know what you think!

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Capers /
Roasted Brussel Sprouts  with Capers /
1lb of brussel sprouts
olive oil
4 tablespoons of butter
4 cloves of garlic minced
1 oz anchovies minced
3 tablespoons of capers
2 lemons
salt and pepper to taste
1. preheat the oven to 400º. rinse and cut brussel sprouts and toss in a large bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper. roast sprouts for 30 minutes.
2. while sprouts are roasting melt butter in a small sauce pan, add in garlic, anchovies and let them soften. add juice of lemon and capers.
3. once the brussel sprouts are done in the oven, caramelized and a bit crispy remove and transfer to serving dish, then add sauce. toss and enjoy!


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