The Official Left Coast Contessa “To Dine” List

  1. M Café
  2. Bouchon
  3. The Counter
  4. Rustic Canyon
  5. Ketchup
  6. Jar
  7. Fig
  8. A.O.C
  9. Gratitude Café
  10. Scoops Westside
  11. Mendocino Farms
  12. Wally’s Cheese Box
  13. Tar Pit
  14. Katsuya
  15. Lemonade
  16. The Bazaar
  17. Locques
  18. BLD
  19. Tart
  20. Animal
  21. Street

Because sometimes this girl needs to take a break from a draining day to daydream about tasty food…

What restaurants did I miss? What should I add to the list? I am always open to suggestions!

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Fitting Room Observations

I still have more Spring Break updating to do. LCCMom left on Saturday and I’ve been working away ever since. I also ran 7.5 miles (fueling with 8 days of cup cake eating is a poor choice, FYI –> felt like I was going to puke the entire time) and went to a FANTASTIC yoga class Sunday night. I love yoga so much right now! My arms were dying today and it felt great.

The rest of this post is about body image and weight loss. If you might find this triggering, I suggest  you stop reading.

Over spring break I spent copious amounts of hours in various fitting rooms. I’ve said that I am going to stop posting about weight loss, but I feel like there might be value in posting what happens after weight loss. I am very happy with my body right now. I feel physically very strong and generally well fueled. Plus I still eat cup cakes. I’m still in the mode of replacing my wardrobe (from a size 8/10 to a size 4).

With that being said, here are some fitting room observations from last week:

  • Just because I’ve lost weight, that doesn’t mean every style will flatter me. For example, I loved a flowy dress in the Calypso store. Unstructured dresses have never been “my style” but the subtly emerging California hippie girl in me has always wanted them to be. New flash: they still aren’t my style. Also, just because you’ve lost weight doesn’t mean everything will fit you. In my head I always thought someone that was a 4 would look good in everything. This is so not true at all, I can promise. Belted waists for life for this girl.
  • If you didn’t like a body part before weight loss, you aren’t necessarily going to like it any more after weight loss. Getting smaller won’t change your mental perception. You have to love yourself to love your body. Its all about internal attitude change. I had to remind myself more than once that an item not fitting my hips wasn’t a problem with ME, it was a problem with THE CLOTHING.
  • Just because you’ve lost weight, that doesn’t mean your body proportions will change. My hips are ALWAYS going to be x amount wider than my waist. I might be rocking a size 4 jean, but I still wear curvy cut. My hips don’t lie. And it’s all good because women are supposed to be hippy. It’s how we’re made.
  • Jeans that fit are the greatest thing ever. Instant self esteem boost. Also, Gap jeans have gotten much better in the past few years. I was very happily surprised. While I love me some J Crew I may just have become a Gap convert.
  • Getting a good bra fitting was the best idea ever! I haven’t had a proper fitting since I was in high school. I went to Victoria’s Secret and they measured me to be a D. If  you’ve ever met me or seen a picture of me you know that this is highly comical. I had a vague idea of where I was but I was shocked at my size (32C in strapless? You could have knocked me over with a feather) and how much better I felt about myself once I was in the proper size. Seriously, Oprah didn’t lie, every women in America needs a GOOD bra fitting.
  • I still haven’t bought a new Bikini. It needs to happen but I think I am going to raid the J Crew swim section. I was reminded while trying on an unsupported string top that string tops aren’t a viable option for me (or a comfortable one!)

I had several new acquisitions over the week which will be presented here on the blog including a bridesmaids dress! Stay tuned!

Spring Break: Part 3, an introduction to food trucks

On Tuesday of Spring break my mother and I decided to go to a weekly food truck gathering on Main Street in Santa Monica. Did you know that every Tuesday night 8 or so trucks gather at the California History Museum? I didn’t either until LCCMom spied the sign advertising the event. It’s an amazing set up and there will FOR SURE be a blogger meet up or friend meet up of some kind there in the future. The trucks come, and then after you get your food, you are allowed to sit on the patio of The Victorian next door and enjoy happy hour wine! Or you can bring a blanket and hang out on the grass. I absolutely intend to take FULL advantage this summer!

Some of the usual suspects were there…

 

And a new one to try…

We started with a few dishes from trucks I know are good. This was LCCMom’s first time eating off of a food truck so I eased her in with dishes I knew would be great!

Thai Chicken from Clean Street Food. I knew that Clean Street would be a good first food truck dish. The food is good and healthy. I’ve had this before and like everything from Clean Street, it was flavorful and fantastic.

Potato spiral from, where else, the kabob truck. When we saw this spiral cut potato deep fried on a stick our eyes lit up immediately. We had to have it. It was salty and like a big french fry potato stick.

We also had a Frankie from India Jones, which I didn’t manage to take a picture of. Whoops. Bad blogger. Look at this picture from several months ago. It was just as good as I remembered.

We also got an “Irish car bomb cupcake” from the Clean Street food truck. They work with a cupcake business in LA that caters.

Again, we know that I know my way around an Irish Car Bomb. This was good. I couldn’t really taste all of the alcohols distinctly, but it was tasty and I had no problem finishing it. We also enjoyed a nice glass of Malbec each…. because we are wine twins.

LCCMom and I decided that we still wanted something more. And then this glorious thing happened…

LOBSTA TRUCK!!


I got a lobster roll, with butter and if I have to explain why I ordered with butter and not mayo then we can’t be friends anymore. Just kidding. Not really. The lobster came on a fantastic New England style roll which was buttered and toasted.

It was like the Vineyard. I was transported back to summer afternoons walking the streets of Edgartown, browsing for books, eating Scoops ginger ice cream and the smell of sea air.

And then it got even better.

I grew up eating Cape Cod chips and of course I had them when I lived in Boston. For some reason they are no where to be found in Los Angeles. I have missed them so! They are small and crunchy and salty and the flavored ones are fantastic. I may or may not have snacked liberally on the cheddar ones while studying for the LSAT in 2008.

I was too full to get a bag after the food truck bonanza. But then…

I plan to hoard them and eat them slowly. I asked the Lobsta Truck staff and they said that no where in LA sells them except for them. Clearly I need to stalk the truck so I can get more.

Overall, I definitely want to check out this food truck gathering again! I think it would be a great way to wind down mid week and LCCMom loved her first food truck encounter. I am so glad we happened into this great mid week activity!

Spring Break: Part 2, Tavern: Part 2

Yes, you read that correctly, Tavern Part 2! While LCC Mom and I were indulging in Tavern Part 1 (err I mean Spring break part 1) we realized that Tavern runs a wine and meal pairing event on the first and third Monday of every month. Lucky for us yesterday was the third Monday and they had two seats left.

For new readers: Tavern is a restaurant in Brentwood. My friend Jill spotted Alice Water’s eating there last summer and the rest is history. I went there for my birthday, and am fully obsessed with their salted caramel macaroons. If I could ONLY eat Tavern, I would.

Twice a month the wine club takes over the Larder (where the salted caramel macaroons live). There is a general theme for the night, and last night the theme was Italian wines from the la spinetta vineyard. There were four wines and each wine had a pairing, which was developed by the Tavern chefs to compliment the flavors in the wine. I loved all the wine and the pairings were phenomenal. I had a few old favorites (I see you prosciutto) and new cheese I’ve never tried before, like challerhocker.

The wines were marked with these stamps. I love the style! The tasting was also hosted by Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne (the co owners) which is pretty damn cool if you ask me. They gave a little speech about each wine and the food that they paired it with.

First up, 2009 la spinetta, vermentino

This was the only white of the night. Even though I tend to be more of a red lover I liked this wine. The wine was light and crisp with notes of grapefruit rind, stone fruits and ripe pears. This would be a great wine to sip outside on a warm summer night.

This wine was paired with grilled asparagus with prosciutto and whole grain crème fraiche mustard…

Holy amazing! We got a little tutorial in prosciutto last night. Did you know that this prosciutto was aged for 16 months? It was crazy delicious. The crème fraiche mustard was fantastic and we know how much I love asparagus. Lucky for me, it’s coming into season! I love my seasonal FM eats!

The second wine was 2007 casanova della spinetta, “il nero” sangiovese

This wine is full bodied with a core of plump red fruit, flowers, tobacco, and sweet herbs. Overall, I really liked this red, but it wasn’t my favorite red.

The wine was paired with challerhocker with baguette and walnuts.

Challerhocker is a Swiss cheese that I hadn’t even heard of before last night. Challerhocker means, literally, to sit in the cellar. The cheese is earthy. What goes better with wine than cheese? The walnuts were an interesting contrast with the wine. Delicious!

The third wine was 2007 la spinetta, langhe nebbiolo

 

This wine was one of my favorites of the night. It was medium bodied with a rose and anise scent and flavors of cherry, orange peel, and subtle green herbs. The wine was paired with an Italian cheese, tallegio fonduta, with grilled bread and arugula salad with apple. The cheese was super melty, like a fondue. The bread was perfectly grilled (did I sense butter?) is there anything in life better than melted cheese on arugula and apples paired with wine? I don’t think so.

The final wine was a 2007 la spinetta, barbera d’asti

This wine has a little bit more acidity and was compared to a pinot noir. Clearly, I was a fan of this wine. This barbera is medium bodied and has rich fruit tones. It was paired with my favorite dish of the night.

Behold: baked torchio with beef ragu and parmesan. This should be on the menu at Tavern. I literally wanted to lick the dish. It was the perfect balance of baked pasta, a delicious sauce, high quality beef and the perfect amount of parmesan. Such a perfect way to end a delicious evening at Tavern!

Overall, I would totally recommend the Tavern Wine and Cheese club. The total cost for the night is only $29, which in my opinion is totally affordable and worth it for what you get. The wine pours were very generous and the mini dishes pretty much evened out to a whole meal. LCCMom enjoyed herself too. I will be going back and if you want to join my tasting table you are more than welcome!

Have you ever been in a wine club? I haven’t been, but I think it would be a fun activity. Maybe I should form one 🙂

Spring Break, part 1

It’s confession time: I don’t think I’ve been this burned out ever. Ok, not ever but the past few weeks have been rough. Normally, in law school, your grade is determined by a single final exam. Thus, all the stress comes along in November/December or April/May. This is the most mid semester stress I’ve had in years. Spring break couldn’t come soon enough.

LCCMom decided to come out for my spring break this year. LCCMom and I have been spring breaking together since I was in utero. For years we went to Marco Island, Florida. Last year we went to Palm Springs. This year we’re just staying in LA for what will basically amount to a week of shopping, snacking, and making pit stops at Starbucks.

Some highlights so far…

Dinner at Pecorino. We ate there last time she visited and it was just as good as before.

fave bean salad

Pappardelle with beans and peas

We also hit up the Brentwood Country Mart for brunch at Farmshop. If you haven’t been its a MUST do. I didn’t blog it, but the meal was fantastic!

Because it’s been cold…

non fat latte from Caffe Luxxe

Today was the LA Marathon and it was a rainy, cold downpour. We posted up in Starbucks and watched the elites run by.

Lead wheelchair racer!

Watching this made me so insanely excited for Chicago.

We watched the rest from Tavern. Duh.

Chopped chicken, bacon, romaine, apple and point reyes blue salad

Buckle up for dessert…

Sticky. Bun. Bread. Pudding.

Good lord this was tasty. One of my favorite Tavern desserts ever. There will be more Tavern to come later in the trip…

And because it continues to be cold and rainy…

another non fat latte

The rain was so miserable LCCMom and I parted ways after lunch (I have a 30 page paper due the Tuesday after Spring Break) but not before buying ourselves some dinner for later from New York Bagel.

 

your monthly dose of NY Bagel wisdom…

I was very productive and celebrated with…

 

Chicken and Matzo Ball Soup

And a little at home yoga flow & headstand. I really wanted to run but its a monsoon outside. Better luck tomorrow?

Finally, this week is all about shopping. LCCMom and I hit up the consignment stores and I got a fantastic belted David Meister dress!

Yay for new professional wear that fits!

More exciting eats and activities ahead in the next week.

What are your ideal vacation activities? Nothing in more calming to me than shopping and eating.

Ain’t no party like a pizza party

I am officially on spring break kids! LCCMom arrived in town on Friday and we have been living it up at Tavern ever since. On Saturday I brought her to a wild, wild spring break party at Kaitlin’s house.

What? Your idea of a hot spring break party doesn’t involve Rebecca Black with Harry Potter on in the background? Whatever. I’m pretty sure LCCMom thinks we’re all insane. It’s fine. After last night “Friday” is totally the new “Club Can’t Handle Me”.

Back to the main point: Kaitlin graciously hosted a bunch of bloggers friends at her apartment for a pizza making party last night. In attendance was Amanda & Andy, Kelly, Melissa, and myself. Baby Brick Beauty was woefully missed and we left her a drunken sweet voice mail. For the pizza party Kaitlin provided the basics (dough, sauce and cheese) and the attendees brought appetizers, toppings and dessert.

LCCMom and I were all over the appetizer situation. “It’s gonna be a situation” when we’re in charge of appetizers!

We brought a baguette, olive spread, and a white bean eggplant spread…

and while we were buying the spreads we tried a cheese sample (a soft Gorgonzola) and clearly we had to buy that too. I told you… it’s going to be a situation.

We ended up with some great topping options for the pizzas. In total we made 6 mini pizzas which we split.

Vegan pizza with butternut squash, onion, artichoke hearts, and arugula flowers and cheese pizza with a herb crust (!). Obviously, I ate the cheese.

Mediterranean pizza with artichoke hearts and black olives.

1/2 vegan, butternut squash, onion and broccoli pizza.

Broccoli, olive, and onion pizza.

And finally,

Pesto and garlic gold! This was probably my favorite pizza of the night!

In addition to the pizza, there was salad.

Simple, but delicious.

Melissa provided the dessert and it was amazing!

I forget what kind of cookies these were but they were soft and fantastic! Check Melissa’s blog, I’m sure she’ll have more deets about them. She also made a chocolate chip and peanut butter coffee cake. This was my and LCCMom’s favorite dessert.

Yum!

We mostly drank wine, chatted and did blogger things. Like take pictures of bloggers taking pictures of bloggers setting up lighting.

What can I say? It’s what we do.

Overall, it was another great night with my friends! LCCMom had a great time and enjoyed getting to meet the LA blogger community. She also provided motherly guidance… she may or may not have cleaned out Kaitlin’s toaster at one point. Stay tuned… more spring break related posts upcoming!

Geisha House

Monday night Kelly and I decided to beat the week before spring break blues with a trip to Geisha House in Hollywood. We’ve both wanted to go for a while and their entrees are 1/2 price on Mondays! You might remember Geisha House as a bit of a celeb hot spot in like 2008. As an avid reader of US Weekly for most of my life, I can’t say I wasn’t a little curious.

The location is in Hollywood and the exterior is very LA with street art on the side of the building. We had a short wait at the bar for a table. The bar itself was pretty cool.

The bar was tall and, again, very LA. There were also plenty of loungey type places to sit while you wait. Luckily, probably because it was Monday night, we didn’t have to wait long before we were seated. The dining room was smaller than I expected but it was two stories!

Kelly and I decided immediately that the last week before spring break demanded cocktails. I ordered a Geisha’s Kiss which had sake, champagne and lychee fruit.

Tasty! I love me some sake.

Kelly and I consulted with other people and our waiter before ordering entrees. We split everything and all the entrees were half off. We went a little bit wild.

Our first dish was by far my favorite.

Two words: Lobster. Tempera. Do I even need to describe this?  Generous serving of crispy lobster. Is that good? My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

We also ordered beef robata yaki.

It came with three sauces: chili, teriyaki, and curry-ish sauce. The meat was a very nice filet (!) with asparagus and a teriyaki glaze on the meat. The meat was tender and delicious.

Then we turned our attention to the rolls. We all know that I am a sushi fiend so I was excited about this part of the meal.

Confession: I started eating before I had a chance to take a picture. Also, it was blurry. Regardless, this is the Sunset Roll which had crispy shrimp, spicy crab & tuna, cucumber, topped with torched lobster, avocado, and diced red onion. This was my favorite of the two rolls that we ordered. It was good however, it wasn’t Akira level.

Finally, we ordered the Red Samurai Roll which had spicy tuna & cucumber topped with avocado, tuna, grape tomatoes, serrano peppers, & vinaigrette.

Much more photogenic! This roll was also pretty tasty. Kelly liked the Sunset roll better but this one was also tasty. I liked the tomato and the pepper, it made it a little bit different.

Overall, we really liked Geisha House. I probably wouldn’t go on full price days though. I liked the sushi but full price each roll is almost $20. They were good but I’m not sure they were that good. The one thing I will say is that the bathroom was totally sketch. It was downstairs and kind of barren. Who checks bathrooms to see how nice they are? This girl. I would definitely recommend it on a Monday night or for the bar, because the specialty cocktails were pretty good.

In other news: After tomorrow my stress level will be somewhat reduced. Thank. God. After tomorrow I will be on spring break (during which I will be writing a paper). My non academic to do list has been over flowing this week. Luckily I ran into my hair stylist in Coffee Bean Monday am and he immediately offered to fit me in an hour later. You don’t need to know what my hair looked like before. Suffice to say, it wasn’t pretty. But less than an hour later, it was pretty again!

Hopefully the next time you see me I’ll be on break!

Old Favorites: Baked Tostadas

Last weekend I was cleaning my kitchen in anticipation of my Mom’s arrival in LA next Friday. Don’t think too hard about the fact that it’s going to take a week for me to clean my apartment. In the process of cleaning I stumbled upon a massive pile of old recipes. Some of the recipes were sent to me by my Mom almost two years ago and I haven’t made them since the summer of 2009 when I was living in Boston. For some reason after my LA move they just disappeared into the abyss of recipes in my kitchen. One in particular caught my eye because I have a ton of left over tortillas.

I made baked tostadas literally three times a week in the summer of 2009. When I found the recipe I knew I had to have it. There were four suggestions as to toppings for the tostadas but I decided to do my own thang. I made this on Saturday after my 8 miler. Here are the troops:

  • Roasted Garlic Hummus
  • Sea Salt
  • Ground pepper
  • EVO
  • Pine nuts
  • Whole wheat tortilla (10 inch)
  • Sundried tomato in olive oil <—- from the Fresh and Easy swag bag!

I spread hummus on the tortilla and then topped with sundried tomatoes, pine nuts, salt and pepper.

Then I drizzled EVO over the tortilla and baked at 400 degrees for 10 mins. In a matter of mins I had a crispy tostada!

I was worried that after my 8 mile run this wouldn’t be filling or help me recover but I was happily surprised! This tostada was very filling (the hummus? I think so!) I loved how crispy it was and I love love love sundried tomatoes. I was so happy when I saw them in the swag bag because, even thought I love them, I rarely actually buy them.

I would love to try the gouda and roasted red pepper variation that Everyday Food suggests. Literally, this takes about 15 min total to make and I think it’s ideal because it’s a “kitchen sink” kind of meal. By “kitchen sink” I mean that you could probably throw anything on a tortilla and have a fantastic tostada.

Phew, it has been a busy week. I have a lot of deadlines coming up in the next three weeks. I’ve become accustom to just having one thing due at the end of the semester and so having things due mid semester is a weird adjustment for this law student. My spring break starts on Friday and my Mom is coming into town. We’re just going to hanging out in LA and I’ll be relaxing writing a paper and preparing for finals.

What is your ideal spring break activity? Mine is definitely NOT paper writing but we should be able to do plenty of shopping and eating… both ideal activities for me J

Lady Face with Bloggers

What an awesome blogger filled weekend it has been! Not only did I get to attend an awesome party with Amanda, Andy and Kaitlin, but I also got to chill with new and old blog friends on Friday night. Amanda and Andy organized an awesome meet up at Lady Face in Agoara Hills. This is in Amanda and Andy’s hood. They come into LA all the time, so it was nice to get out of the city and see where they like to chill. Their venue choice did not disappoint.

Lady Face is an Alehouse and Brasserie. I am not a huge beer person, although I do like a beer from time to time. Amanda, Andy, and Becki are major beer experts. Maybe their ways will rub off on me? We all know that I was excited about the “Brasserie” portion of the title. Hello, cheese.

It was fun hanging out with some old blogger friends like Amanda, Andy, Kaitlin and Monica. I also got to meet some new blogger friends like Becki, Kelly, Danielle, and Jessie.We got a nice large table on the outdoor patio. It was a clear night and the patio had heat lamps. It was a good thing we were outside. We all know how out of hand bloggers can get. This night was no different 😉

I decided to start the night with a Blonde. I tried a sample of a hoppey barley brew. I thought I would love hops (hoppey sounds like happy… clearly I am the logic master) but I think hops are going to take some getting used to. I was safe and stuck with the Blonde.

It was tasty, not too heavy and pretty refreshing. This is an easy amateur to go. I have to say that I did have some beer envy when I saw Amanda’s choice.

While I am not a huge fan of dark beers, this one had coffee on top!

I perused the menu with Amanda and we decided the best thing (read: cheesiest thing) to do would be to split three small plates. Amanda had a lactose intolerance scare last week and we decided to celebrate her NOT being lactose intolerant by eating a ton of cheese. It took approximately no convincing to get me on board.

We had…

 

Brie and Jam Tarts

Jam and Brie is always good. We ignored the salad on the side, obviously.

Mac and Cheese

There were salt and vinegar chips on top. Holy moly was it good! I know the idea of crushed chips sounds weird, but believe me when I saw it was amazing. My favorite thing I ate all night.

 

Pop Overs with Gruyere

Soft and fluffy, it was very tasty!

I was pretty full from all the cheese and my liver was recovering from Thursday so I stuck to one beer. After the cheese was consumed the bloggers hung out, chatted blogs, hung out with our waiter who looked like Mr. Channing Tatum, and engaged in all out silliness.

Kaitlin being awesome, Andy being serious.

At a certain point there were tiger poses, yoga poses and the married girls whose husband were present  flirting with the waiter. All and all it was a typical blogger night out. You should check out Amanda’s post. Her pics are pretty killer.

Group shot! Special thanks to Jessie for the picture!

Overall, I had a fantastic time eating cheese, drinking beer and hanging out with bloggers! Hopefully there are more good times with bloggers to come in the future.

Are you a beer person? If so, what is your favorite type? I’m pretty ignorant when it comes to beer, but I want to learn!

Fresh and Easy Cocktail Party

When Kaitlin first mentioned the Fresh and Easy cocktail party to me last week I had other plans and couldn’t make it. But, my plans ended up getting pushed and I was able to attend as Kaitlin’s +1!

Hot Date!

The event was held at an event space in Culver City called Smog Shoppe. Smog Shoppe is an event space that, unlike the name would suggest, is super green. The space was outside but covered and very LA. Apparently it’s a hot wedding spot! Here is an idea of what the space looked like:

The event was hosted by Fresh and Easy to promote a new line of California wine’s that they are rolling out. I’ve been to Fresh and Easy several times and love how affordable it is. The event also featured food from Fresh and Easy and we participated into a wine tasting for four of the new wines. All the ingredients for a great event! Another great ingredient? Amanda and Andy!

Why do I have no pictures of Amanda and Andy together?

Even though I was late to the event (blame it on the LA traffic) I didn’t miss too much. Kaitlin and I were able to hit the bar for our first glass before the tasting got underway.

I tried a glass of “I heart CA” because, as we all know, I heart CA!

I forget what kind of wine this was… but I can tell you I liked it 😉

Shortly after getting our wine they began the presentation. The resident wine expert at Fresh and Easy, Richard, filled us in on the creation of the wines.

Please note Amanda and I taking creeper pictures of each other.

And then the tasting began! We tried 4 wines: Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet.

First up: Open Field Pinot Gris

I liked the Pinot Gris. I don’t normally order white wine, but the pinot gris was my favorite of the white wines.

Wine 2: Cloud Valley Chardonnay

Confession: no picture of the glass, but I do have a picture of me drinking it! Another confession? Chardonnay has never been my fav but clearly that didn’t stop me from enjoying it.

At this point I realize that I had been drinking on a post 4 mile run empty stomach (bad girl) and I made a bee line for the cheese and meat spread. I immediately isolated the location of the prosciutto and filled up my napkins.

Third wine: Open Field Pinot Noir

This was hands down my favorite and the favorite of the group.

Pinot Noir is my favorite type of wine. This one was jam-ey and delicious. As Kaitlin pointed out, it would pair well with breakfast and peanut butter! Not that I would ever have wine with breakfast….

Fourth and Final: Barrel Ranch Cabernet

The cab was pretty tasty too. What can I say? I’m a red wine kind of girl!

We also got to play a fun game where we guessed the prices of the wines.

There was a lot of debate at our table when it came to our guesses. Andy and Kaitlin we’re all about the cents. These kinds of event always bring out my competitive nature. Lucky for all of us, we guessed the correct price of the Cab down to the penny! What did we win?

Winning! Wine! Duh.

After the tasting portion of the night was over they brought on the food. Thank goodness! I needed some substance in my stomach.

 

Pear and Brie Crostini with Balsamic reduction

We all know how I feel about brie.

We didn’t actually get any beef, but Chef Cindy (above) made it up to us by bringing over a plate of cookies later!

Shrimp Ceviche

So tasty! Not to mention that it had giant chunks of avocado!

 

Goat cheese and artichoke tartlets

Goat cheese ravioli

At some point, in the middle of all the food eating, Amanda, Andy, Kaitlin and I decided we needed more Pinot Noir. Kaitlin went for more and came back with an entire bottle!

And this is when the party really got started…

Typical blogger shenanigans ensued including tweeting

Please note that I’m in Kaitlin’s auto correct. That is a sign of true friendship.

We also got nutty with pictures.

I swear, I am NOT the Lindsay Lohan of the blog world.

Taking silly photos of cat portraits in the bathroom?

Check! BTW- Don’t you think Iz needs a portrait like this? Totes.

While the blogger silliness was going down there was also a giveaway. Kaitlin almost won. Almost.

 

sad faces

But Amanda actually did win! She got a bottle of wine AND a gift card. All told, the boos left with 5 bottles of booze.

And we finished eating dessert. Chef Cindy hooked us up with cookies!

and chocolate cupcakes! I only had one bite because it was my third cake of the day (we have support equal marriage cake at school and I had a cake pop earlier in the day).

It was very, very chocolatey!

After dessert the party wound down. The swag bags were handed out as we left, and I must say, amazing swag bag! There was another bottle of wine, coffee, power bars, candy, chocolate, EVO, crackers and a bottle opener! Overall, this was probably one of my favorite events I’ve been to. The people at Fresh and Easy know how to keep bloggers happy (simple formula: alcohol + cheese + dessert + swag bag = blogger happiness).

Big thanks to Fresh and Easy and RL Public Relations (Allison is with us, above) for throwing an amazing event!

What is your favorite type of wine? As discussed, I am a Pinot Noir girl but I am also partial to Malbec.