Cooking Class at Fig & Olive

IMG_3286Last week I had the chance to take a cooking class at Fig & Olive, one of my favorite restaurants here in LA. They’re known for amazing dishes inspired by coastal Spain, France and Italy (where all the best food comes from, in my opinion), a fantastic wine selection, and a plethora of delicious olive oils which they pour for you to taste with freshly baked bread before your meal. I’m really into olive oil, so to me this is amazing and a major draw. You can actually buy their olive oil in store, which is neat and would make a really great gift.

At the cooking class we had Chef Pascal Lorange show us a few of their delicious fall menu items, my favorite of which was the Pumpkin Sage Ravioli, above. I loved it because the ravioli wasn’t stuffed with pumpkin as you’d expect, but rather with a slightly spicy (he uses harrisa in it which is my new favorite condiment) chicken, ricotta and shallot mixture. The ravioli was tossed in pumpkin oil before being plated on a pumpkin purée, and topped with fried sage, pumpkin seeds, and micro greens. It was incredibly delicious, and would be the perfect thing to make for guests that you really want to impress. It’s comprised of quite a few steps and ingredients, but I swear to you the results are so worth it. God I’m hungry now….

Click here for the recipe!

Dressing Up With Lulu’s

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“Dressing up” in LA is a funny thing; a lot of the city is super casual, and for the most part you can really get away with wearing jeans just about anywhere you go. I’ve fully embraced this and love to find ways to dress up my denim; jeans (usually a pair of my beloved Frame’s) and a silky top are my standby, and I change up the look with accessories and outerwear. My current favorite is this blue coat from Lulu’s. I love the color and that it makes my outfit instantly look complete. Plus, it’s exciting to get to wear a coat now that the heat wave has finally subsided! It’s the little things…

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Lulu’s jacket (c/o) / Frame Denim jeans / Christian Louboutin heels / Equipment top

the perfect camel coat

ea1631cc93c70dcec9d84de205f38eb7 731719e7715df7f2469be88657001627 f4c347fdac587a92b3c5a08b9e0203fc e42fbd8ea1b77c8d46c3d6fd590d616a F131847703846615_1 How-To-Wear-a-Camel-Coat-16 kate_moss_camel_coat_sunglasse Camel_coat_crush_style_outfit8I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect camel coat for ages. It’s surprisingly difficult to find! They are often too bulky, too long, too short or just, well, too ugly. I’m looking for one that is soft and well made, tailored, and not too thick but still offering some warmth. Is that too much to ask? Shouldn’t the shops be stuffed to the gills with this classic? Maybe it’s that I’m too picky and have an image of one in my head that just doesn’t exist, although there are a few that definitely come close.

The closest thing I could find to what I was looking for was this absolutely gorgeous version. Unfortunately, it’s by Gucci and is nearly $3,000 and thus never going to happen for me. (I always wonder, even if I had that kind of money to spend on clothing, would I really buy things that were that expensive? I guess a coat sort of makes sense considering how often you wear it, but still.). I then came across this similar version from Asos for a much more palatable $450; it’s the perfect length, and has cool zipped detailing up the arms to give it a bit of personality. I also quite like this peacoat (also from Asos), although it’s in a darker shade than the perfect coat in my head.

It just dawned on me this second that my aunt actually gave me a vintage camel hair coat that is currently hanging in my closet. How did I forget about that? It’s absolutely gorgeous, but the only problem is that it’s a tiny bit big. I’m going to take it to the tailor and see what he can do. I’m so glad I wrote this post – I guess I didn’t have to look too far after all. Thanks auntie!

If you don’t happen to have a perfect coat already in your house and are on the lookout for one, here are a few of my favorites:

 

TRAVEL TUESDAY: MANDARIN ORIENTAL BARCELONA

125351I want to go to Barcelona. Or I guess I should say I want to go back to Barcelona; I spent a few weeks there while I was in university and am dying to visit again. I loved it when I was 19, but I have a feeling I will appreciate it a lot more nearly a decade later. Wow, typing that just made me feel so old.

While I was there I checked out the architecture, visited the Picasso museum and Sagrada Familia, and did my fair share of exploring and eating (I fell hard for authentic, delicious, garlicky gazpacho) but I don’t know if I really soaked in everything that the city had to offer. Something that I did definitely take advantage of was the locals’ love of very, very late nights which resulted in lazy mornings spent “having a siesta” or relaxing at the beach rather than enjoying the city. I remember some of the clubs didn’t even open until 2 or 3 in the morning. Crazy, right? Come to think of it I was really just immersing myself fully into the culture ;)

Justin and I are going to France in March, and I’ve been trying to figure out a way to do a little detour to Spain. It’ll be a quick trip, but hopefully enough time to check out some Gaudí, eat a whole bunch of gazpacho and paella, and have at least one fun night out. If (when!) we do go, I’d love to stay at the gorgeous Mandarin Oriental Hotel which would be a major upgrade from the dorms I stayed in while I was studying there, but I guess I could get over it.

Have you visited Barcelona? I’d love to hear your tips!

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Gray Malin’s Dream Series

makeawishGray Malin, the photographer behind these gorgeous aerial beach photographs that you’ve probably seen on design blogs and instagram, has released a new series of images titled Dream. The series feature brightly colored sheep roaming about a field in rural Australia which creates an ethereal and, well, dreamy, visual. For those of you wondering, they dyed the sheep with a 100% non-toxic, vegetable based dye that washes off with water and was applied in the same way that lice treatment is applied to sheep. They also worked with third generation farmers and the process was watched over by vets…in other words, the sheep were totally safe during the process. I do wonder what they thought when they could see each other though – I just googled ‘can sheep see in color’ and it turns out they can, though not as well as humans. Must have been very strange for them!

There’s something I just absolutely love about these pictures. Wouldn’t they be so cute ina nursery or a child’s bedroom? I’m sort of tempted to buy one for that reason even though we won’t be having kids for a few years…is that totally weird? Yes, right? Oh well, because I have another reason for really wanting to buy one; a portion of proceeds from sales of the Dream Series will be donated to the Make a Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to very sick children. I love when people come up with innovative, creative ways to give back. With something like this, I think that it goes beyond just the fact that not only do you receive something tangible while helping out others; you are reminded about the charity or organization whenever you use or see the product. I know that I think of all of the people that have been helped out whenever I see a pair of TOMS, and now whenever I see these images (or the one that I’m planning to buy) I’ll be reminded of the children that are able to wish for (and likely experience) their wildest dream, and also to dream big myself. Sounds like a win-win situation to me.

Now let’s look at some more cute sheep:

Standing-Out-from-the-Crowd In-the-FieldIn-the-Field-II BLUE-SHEEP dream1 makeawish3

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