November 5, 2012 |
The Obamapalooza concert tour hit the Ohio college town (and capital) of Columbus on Monday afternoon with rapper Jay-Z politicizing his lyrics before making a pitch for a big turnout at the polls. Jay-Z modified one of his most popular lyrics, “I got 99 problems but a bitch ain't one,” transforming it into “I got 99 problems but Mitt ain't one.” As he talked, the rapper discovered that he was preaching to the choir - a show of hands revealed that most of the audience had already voted.
October 28, 2012 |
This week's Culinary SOS request comes from Lynda Jenner in Pasadena: "Euro Pane on Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena has the most delicious spiced pear cake. It is moist and truly delicious with a hint of ginger. I would love to re-create it at home. Could you get the recipe for me?" Owner Sumi Chang was happy to share her recipe for this wonderfully fragrant, moist and delicious cake, writing that "it is a very humble-looking cake, but the taste is incredible. Originally, someone gave me this recipe as an apple cake recipe, and I baked a lot of apple cake using it. Once, however, I was out of apples, so I used Anjou pears instead.
October 13, 2012 |
Fall is upon us, so brewers are making pumpkin ales. Boston Beer Co. has been offering one for a long time, Samuel Adams Harvest Ale, which is notable for using English hops and both caramel and smoked malts in the mash. And pumpkin, of course. Harvest Ale throws 17 pounds of pumpkin into each barrel. This year the brewery is trying out a version that punches up the pumpkin. Fat Jack uses 28 pounds per barrel (the pumpkin contributing a little sugar as well as its flavor). Batch No. 1 pours dark red amber, almost mahogany color, with a high yellowish tan head.
October 13, 2012 |
I promise you this isn't a story about dog treats. If you've been dining out at some of L.A.'s hippest chef-driven restaurants lately, you might have noticed a recurring ingredient on the menu. Pig ears. You heard me, pig ears. Recently, at the L.A. Times Taste event, I decided to serve a pig ear terrine dish from my restaurant Lukshon. Cold, thinly sliced pig ears marinated in black vinegar, Sichuan spices and white sesame oil with thin slices of pickled carrots and scallions.
October 8, 2012 |
When you want to add a little extra depth to a recipe, consider toasting the nuts or spices before adding them to a dish. Toasting helps to release the flavor and oils in the spices and nuts, lending depth and wonderfully rich flavor to a dish. Toast whole spices on the stove top using a heavy-bottomed saute pan over moderate heat. Toast the spices, stirring them or shaking the pan frequently, so they toast evenly. Watch the pan closely, so the spices don't burn. A few minutes is all it should take to bring out the flavors; you'll know they're ready when you can smell them.
September 24, 2012 |
Nothing can kill a good recipe faster than a lack of spice. Even kitchen staples such as dried herbs and spices have an expiration date and can lose their potency over time. Properly stored, spices can last a year or two at most, with whole spices generally lasting longer than ground. Store your spices in a cool, dry place, away from moisture and keep them tightly sealed. Whenever I open a new spice jar, I date the back so I can keep tabs on how long it's been open. Once a year, I'll rummage through the collection and check on them.
August 13, 2012 |
The Spice Girls did indeed reunite to perform in the Olympics closing ceremonies on Sunday. They looked much more sophisticated than they did in the 1990s. Gone, for instance, were Emma "Baby" Bunton's pigtails. Victoria "Posh" Beckham wore a short-in-front black dress, Gerri "Ginger" Halliwell a red dress with Union Jack detailing, Melanie "Sporty" Chisholm a white pants outfit and Melanie "Scary" Brown a bedazzled catsuit. [Styleite] Stars from the worlds of sports, film and television flocked to Culver City Studios on Sunday for the annual “My Brother Charlie” Family Fun Festival fundraiser for the HollyRod Foundation.
August 12, 2012 |
In the run-up to the London Olympics' closing ceremonies, rumors have swirled that the Spice Girls, Britain's quintessential girls pop group, will reunite for a special performance. If they do - and promoters have been cagey about it, with no firm confirmations or denials as of press time - it may seem hard to believe that 18 years have passed since they came on the scene and, with anthems such as "Wannabe," went on to become the No. 1 selling girl group in music history. But one thing is certain: though their "brand" was strong, Sporty, Scary, Baby, Ginger and Posh have all moved gracefully through time, modernizing and updating their looks instead of making the all too common mistake of sticking with a tried and true style.
August 12, 2012 |
As a great, global ritual in which the nations of the world beat their swords into javelins and pole-vault poles, sublimating national rivalries, religious differences and warlike spirits into friendly athletic competition, the Olympic Games demand to end not with a whimper but a bang. It is not enough to leave a note asking the last one out of the stadium to please turn off the flame. Titled "A Symphony of British Music," Sunday night's closing ceremony-cum-dance-party was a color-coordinated parade of illustrated pop songs, some that will have been less than familiar to foreign listeners, some worldwide hits, but most of them so deeply ingrained into the modern British consciousness as to be extricable only by surgery.
August 12, 2012 |
A musical mishmash of eras and styles closed the London Olympics in a long and raucous fashion on Sunday night to complete what its director called the "after-party" of this 17-day global event. There were the familiar music icons, including the Pet Shop Boys, the reunited-for-a-night Spice Girls, Annie Lennox, Ray Davies, Fatboy Slim and singer George Michael, who was making his first live appearance since recovering from pneumonia last year. The Who closed the show with a four-song set that concluded with "My Generation.