Part Three: Art & Cheese

Hi boys and girls,
Yes, I'm back again. I can't really believe it myself...but the Great Grilled Cheese Adventure of 2010 must be documented!! Last night we took advantage of one of the awesome events happening in our neighborhood, the Miracle Mile Art Walk, to see some art, drink some free wine (the event was co-sponsored by Bear Flag Wine, and their red mix was really nice!), and (most importantly) try the Grilled Cheese Truck!

The truck's posted hours were 6-10, but when we arrived at around 6:10, there was no one else in line, and no one in the truck bothered to greet us.
So we waited. At 6:15, one of the guys in the truck suddenly hung up the "Closed" sign on the window-it said they would 'reopen' at 6:30.
We wandered into the gallery right behind us to peruse the art and drink free wine....and came out to find a crowd at the truck.
Never again will I have the first spot in a food truck line, I just know it. I blew my chance.

The practice of most (new LA) food trucks is to have their locations listed on their Twitter feed, but not so the Grille Cheese Truck. If you check their Twitter, it sends you right to their website.
Check it out! It'll make you want grilled cheese real bad.

The MELTy Menu

Who would have thought a logo with grilled cheese on it could be badass?

Old-school, space age packaging-it's not an oxymoron, you're looking at it.

We went across the street to Hancock Park to enjoy our sandwiches. As you can see, I was too excited with anticipation to be bothered by the air scented by the large Tar Pit to my right.

I went for the Harvest Melt on 6-grain Bread, described on their menu as 'Roasted Butternut Squash, Gruyere, Agave Syrup, Fresh Thyme & Balsamic Reduction.' Knowing that, I'm sure you'd be as crazy as I was to dig in.

Mr. D (who deserves a ton of credit-I can't believe he has been so down for all this G.C. madness!) opted for the Cheesy Mac Melt on French Bread. That's right...it consisted of Mac and Cheese and Sharp Cheddar.

Happiness is a Warm Grilled Mac and Cheese Sandwich.

Our melts on their own were damn delicious, but they had a bunch of special dips that we could choose from. I got the Roasted Garlic Aioli, which was DELICIOUS on both of our sandwiches. Highly recommended.

Definitely our best grilled cheese adventure to date. Me=pleased and full.


LA Folks: were you aware that there is a piece of the Berlin Wall sitting on Wilshire Blvd? Yep. Right across from LACMA. It kind of gives me chills whenever I walk by it. I'm glad we had the camera so I could take a few pics.

More Wall. Not quite as exciting as the front, but just as significant.

Bookends of the Cold War. Forget Sinatra-check out those baby blues!

From the historic...to the ridiculous. This is the art that lost our #1 place in line...the gallery was filled with it. We had to take one picture to commemorate the experience.

...and from the ridiculous to the hilarious. This is from a series of pieces called "Sassquatch." No, that is not a typo. As in Sassy Bigfoot. Please note the pink leopard bikini. And the booties. I need this in my life, on my wall. That's all I'm saying.

That's all for this edition of, "Holy Crap, Emily is Suddenly a Blogging Maniac!" Hope you're enjoying it as much as I am. Have a great weekend!! More grilled cheese adventures to come, including the Grilled Cheese Invitational next Saturday!



Saturday Breakfast Love

Happy Weekend, dearies!!

I know I'm a lucky lady to have David as my future husband. He does little things all the time that remind me of this. Like this morning...I woke up to the delicious scent of pancakes. This was my breakfast, care of Mr. Goodberg:Have you ever had an Aebelskiver? D has been kind of obsessed with them since pancake puff pans became a part of the public consciousness a few years ago, and our lovely trip to Solvang last year solidified it. I bought him his own Aebelskiver pan and a little Danish cookbook featuring lots of A-skiv recipes. This morning he made me Aebelskivers with Cardamom (one of my all-time favorite spices). I drizzled them with just a little agave nectar for sweetness.

Saturday Breakfast Love, indeed.

Until next time...


Grilled Cheese Month, part deux...

Hi again! So, I realized that LA Weekly actually had not one, but TWO posts about grilled cheese month-one with their 'top ten' and the other with a listing of five great places for grilled cheese. There were a few repeats on the short list, but one stood out as somewhere I had never been. Upon reading about their BRIE GRILLED SANDWICH, I decided a little excursion to Il Tramezzino in Beverly Hills would be a fun way to spend tonight!

Krysta, along with my ever-patient honey, tagged along for this one. I knew the general area we were going to, of course-Canon Drive in BH has a whole mess of restaurants. I figured we might be in for a bit of a wait, since the restaurant didn't offer reservations.

When we got there, I realized how silly I was to have thought that for a second. Il Tramezzino is one of the most casual, low-key places I've seen in these parts, and our fellow diners consisted of one table of four presumably high-school aged kids. Whatever, we were there for the cheese, not the ambiance.

Here's how the restaurant describes my sandwich:
Brie Cheese sun dried tomato,grilled eggplant and basil garlic sauce

Um, yes please. Let's eat!

Looks like a panini, huh? Yeah, it basically was, with a whole bunch of brie...
but a whole bunch of other stuff too.
Yummy? Yes. Messy? Indubitably. Grilled cheese? Erm..questionable.

The brie and eggplant were basically equally proportional in both amount and texture. The only textural variance was from the very crunchy toasted bread.

Of course I still ate it! Warm, melty brie cheese with veggies and a creamy pesto is something no one should ever pass up. Trust me on this. It may not have been the grilled cheese of my dreams, but it was still a damn good sandwich.

That's all for now! Sick of me yet? Just wait...I have some more entries up my sleeve.



Happy Grilled Cheese Month!

What? You didn't know it was National Grilled Cheese Month? You didn't count down the days until April 1st with some serious lactaidelicious anticipation?

OK, me either. I don't know what I would do without LA Weekly and their in-the-knowness. I found out about this amazingness a few days late, but I am determined to hit at least five of their top ten in LA by month's end. Thank God for my YogaWorks membership (which I actually use! Grilled Cheese Month isn't the only miraculous thing at work here, people).

So. I convinced the fiance to do at least part of this adventure with me. (Oh, yes, I'm engaged. My small-but-mighty following already knew that, but for those whose minds were just blown, you can read all about it here.) We decided to have a Sunday night out with dinner and a movie. I chose BreadBar as our first stop-really, how could you go wrong with grilled cheese from a place that specializes in bread? Exactly...you really can't.

We went to the Century City location, which was significantly more crowded than the 3rd Street location that we went to one Saturday night. Of course, then the whole place was empty, so I suppose anything would be an improvement. I ignored the rest of the menu, only searching for the grilled cheese.

Here's the description for the sandwich:

grilled cheese, mozza, cheddar, onion confit, salad

Simple but lovely. And it was.

The cheddar gave a pleasant bite to the taste, while the milder mozza(rella) allowed for the necessary S-T-R-E-T-C-H of the cheese. The onion was caramelized and its sweetness perfectly complemented the savoriness of the cheeses.

The salad that accompanied my sandwich had no dressing. Mixed greens really NEED dressing, in my opinion...but it's not why I was there, so I let it slide. I opted for a combo plate of just half a sandwich along with a cup of the soup of the day, black bean. The soup was pretty smooth but flavorful-it wasn't tomato, but still a nice partner to my 'wich.

My platter

The cheese oozing out...it can't wait for me to eat it!

Note the S-T-R-E-T-C-H of the cheese...

To cap off our lovely date night, what else could we see but Date Night? Pretty funny, actually. I didn't have high hopes for it, but if you like Fey and Carrell, it's a fun time.

Well, loves, that's all for now. I plan to document the rest of my grilled cheese adventures this week, so stay tuned (but as you should know by now, do not hold your breath)...




Mel's Bridal Shower!

I hosted my second bridal shower on Sunday, for my dear, dear friend Melanie. She's joining the ranks of the officially taken on 8/23, and apparently thought I was up to the challenge of impressing the various women in her life with my hostessing skills. I'm not sure who she thinks she's been hanging out with all these years...but I did my bestest (with much help from my bestest lady, Krysta and the amazingly patient Mr. David) and I think we actually pulled it off!

Lovely flowers from the Flower Mart, arranged by Krysta

A bit of the spread: hummus with whole grain pita bread; heart-shaped lemon sandwich cookies; heart shaped chocolate cups (I loved Surfas so very much this weekend) filled with caramel mousse; one of the TWO vanilla and strawberry marshmallow trees, with caramel and fudge dipping sauces (I cheated and bought them at Whole Foods. I was in crisis, people.)

Cheddar and Parmesan Cheese Crisps, though they really ended up being more like Cheese Chews; Turkey, for those protein crazies out there

White bean and Shiitake Mushroom crostinis. I didn't cut the bread thinly enough. Again, crisis. It was 2:50 and guests were due to arrive at 3. A Note: the Shiitake Ragout makes pretty much nothing. It's delicious but best served at a small dinner party unless you want to buy about 10 pounds of mushrooms...

The Perfect Chocolate Cake. In theory, anyway. I'm so thankful this isn't a detailed shot. This cake gave me more of a headache than anything else I made all weekend. I broke two of the first layers I made clear in half and had to start over. Then the frosting was a failure, but I'd run out of butter and couldn't start over. Disaster. However, Melanie made a point of leaving me a message just yesterday telling me that they were just talking about how delicious it was, so I guess it worked out. Again, I need to work on aesthetics big time. Maybe my baby sister will give me some lessons. Thank God for those flowers...

A closer look at one of the Marshmallows Trees! I have to admit that the idea was not mine--the brilliant Sherry Yard mentions it in her fabulous cookbook, and I pilfered it. It took a lot more doing than I expected, in terms of gathering the supplies. D found the branches online after searching for some time...the vases and stones are from Michael's, as was the foam in which the branches were 'planted.' Next time there will be more rocks, but otherwise I was really pleased with them.

Favors from Paulette's-Madagascar Vanilla and Violet Cassis flavored macarons
(delicious AND their wedding colors-kismet!)

The blushing bride-to-be flanked by friends


Dinner with BHPCers

There was a time not too long ago when I would look forward to going to church every Sunday. If you know me even a little, that may come as an overwhelming shock. I can't even believe I am typing it.

Thing is, at my church gig (yes, I get paid to go to church. Get over it.) at Beverly Hills Presbyterian Church, there came a time when there were a whole bunch of fabulous, fun, like-minded young folks that enjoyed hanging out together and generally just made the experiencing of hearing about Jesus that much more enjoyable.

As it goes far too often, life went on. Organist Steven and Lovely Lawyer Elizabeth got hitched. Curly Haired Composer Coreen moved to Miami and fell in love (and then moved back). Spectacular Mezzo Nichol made plans to move to San Diego and got preggers. And so it was that Tenor Marc and I were left, bored to tears and frustrated with Sundays once again.

Anyhoo...sorry for the awful lot of intro! I decided I missed all those wonderful friends and that I wanted to have one big dinner while we all still lived in relatively close proximity. So, we settled on a date and I got to work on a menu. I stuck to some old standards--tabouli, spanakopita, hummus, grilled chicken and tilapia--but I was inspired to try something new for dessert. Fruit-based seemed the way to go along with this lighter fare. 'Tis the season for strawberries, and I came across the perfect recipe in the Boston Globe. I had never made an upside down cake, but I discovered it really was a piece of cake! It didn't look as perfect as their version, but honestly, I'm still working on my aesthetics in cooking. Isn't it enough that it tastes good?

The recipe recommends serving the cake with whipped cream (and ok, so I did), but I wanted to do something more. I recalled a fabulous ice cream I had a long time ago by Dr. Bob and strove to find something similar online. The Sour Cream Brown Sugar Ice Cream recipe I found on DesertCandy's blog was seriously the easiest ice cream recipe I have ever made (no custard step!) and the perfect tart complement to the sweet, sweet strawberry cake.

It was a fabulous night with some of my favorite people, and I have to say a very successful culinary night for me! I feel so lucky that I have so many wonderful and appreciative people with whom I can share my cooking. It just means I'll keep doing it!



Candy Break!

Here's to you, Hershey's, for creating the perfect candy bar. No, no, not the Peanut Butter Cup. Not Reeses Pieces, either. No, in my estimation, when they created the Take Five candy bar, they got it very, very right.
How best to capture the equally sweet and salty perfection of this spectacular candy in an Emily original concoction? I'm thinking cookies, or bars. Or cake balls?