'Tis the Season & Link Love 12.23.16
I have been singing (well, calling it "singing" may be cause a for debate!) Christmas music at the top of my lungs since the day after Thanksgiving but things have been moving so fast it hasn’t quite felt like the holidays yet. I have been lucky enough to do quite a bit of traveling in the past few months and this week. I was just home in New Jersey to celebrate the holidays with my family and now I am back in California for a few days. Then, after Christmas, I am off to China to spend time in Shanghai and ring in the New Year in Hong Kong! I have been so excited about the possibility of experiencing Chinese street food and dim sum, I’ve been dreaming of it for months in preparation.
Here’s a little update about some things that I’ve been reading, watching and places I have been eating recently. Feel free to take as much or as little of my advice as you like.
- What I’m reading:
- Dark Matter by Blake Crouch – A book from one of my favorite genres: psychological thrillers. The main character in this novel has a great life but due to unexpected life events didn’t end up succeeding as much as he could have in his career as a scientist. One night he is kidnapped and wakes up in a world where he is successful in his career but everything else in his life is different. He has to figure out which was the dream and which was real life. Worth a read, especially if you find yourself spending quality time in airports this holiday season. If anyone has other book recommendations please comment below, as I have some long flights coming up!
- For more book recommendations check out NPR’s “Guide to 2016’s Best Reads".
- What I’m watching:
- Westworld – Wow I am a bit late to the game on this one but HBO does it again! Westworld is incredibly well done all around, as in"Game of Thrones" good, and now that the season is over I have been binge-watching it like crazy. If you didn’t already watch it when it was actually airing and you like sci-fi then watch it immediately.
- Jackie – It may only be the movie trailer but I can’t stop watching it. Jackie Kennedy is an icon to me and I love that they cast Natalie Portman in the starring role. I hope the movie lives up to my expectations.
- Where I’m eating:
- I had the opportunity to stop by Estrella on Sunset last week for holiday cocktails and snacks from their “afternoon delights” menu which included cauliflower hummus, an addicting garlicky dip, short rib mac and cheese (that one speaks for itself) and crispy tempura honey glazed chicken wings. Estrella even has their own theater where they show movies on Sundays. After our bar bites we watched the infamous Holiday Armadillo episode of Friends (which will always be one of my favorite shows).
- I have been a long time admirer of the Mr. Holmes Bakehouse branding and I finally got to stop by their new LA location and try some of their pastries. While they change their lineup frequently, the peppermint cruffin (every bit as flakey and crisp as a croissant and made in a muffin tin) and the strawberry jalapeño bearclaw were among my favorites.
- While the Eggslut location downtown is always worth the wait, I don’t make it over to the Eastside of Los Angeles that often. Luckily they just opened a new Venice location and after going the other day I know it’s going to be my go-to breakfast spot. My favorite is the “Fairfax” breakfast sandwich: soft scrambled eggs with chives, cheddar cheese and sriracha mayo on a warm brioche bun. You can even add avocado and bacon, additions that I obviously opted for.
- It's hard to find a good bagel in LA, luckily I found Yeastie Boys. It's not just the name that makes them great. They're serving bagels and smear out of a truck that I happened to find at Alfred Coffee in Brentwood. You have probably heard of the coffee shop from all the "but first, coffee" gear.
- Link Love
- This Week on Cooking with Cocktail Rings:
- This Frozen Hot Chocolate is synonymous with NYC's Serendipity 3.
- It's not Christmas for me without this Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb recipe.
- Nothing is better than waking up to the smell of Dad's Breakfast Potatoes cooking downstairs.
- Check out these Balsamic Sriracha Roasted Brussels Sprouts.
- Read all about our third and holiday themed Create Dinner installment here.
Dixie, Remi & Fenway in NJ.