Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Nana's Warm Bread Pudding with Whisky Caramel & Cream

My Nana belonged to a different generation, a generation of women who worked hard in and out of the kitchen, cooked without recipes and created masterpieces out of the simplest ingredients. This recipe was inspired by her....Thank You Nana!

Mini Warm Bread Puddings with Whisky Caramel Sauce & Cream

5            eggs
1-1/4c   granulated sugar
1tbs       vanilla extract
1tsp       ground nutmeg
1tsp       ground cinnamon
4tbs       butter, melted
1            pinch of salt
1c          half & half
1/2c      chopped pecans
5c         stale french or white bread, with crust cut into cubes
1c         whiskey caramel sauce*
Whipped Cream or Butter Pecan Ice Cream

*Make it easy on yourself, buy the prepared Caramel Sauce: Add 2 tbs of butter & 3 tbs whisky
to saucepan, cook off the alcohol, add about 8oz of caramel sauce and heat just until warm.

Using an electric mixer or whisk, beat eggs until frothy, 3 minutes with an electric mixer, about 6 minutes by hand. Add remaining ingredients except bread and beat until thoroughly mixed. Place bread cubes in large mixing bowl and pour egg mixture over them. Toss bread to coat with egg mixture and allow to sit at room temperature about 30 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed. Butter your ovenproof mini mason jars or mini baking dishes fill with bread mixture and place in a shallow ovenproof baking pan. Place on oven shelf and add warm water to the bottom of pan, about 1/2-1 cup of water. Cover with buttered foil and bake in    preheated 300 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and raise oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake an additional 20-30 minutes until pudding is well browned on top and has puffed up. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature! with Whisky caramel sauce and the cream of your choice serves 8-12.

photo by justin smith

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Latest Buzz On Getting Through The Daily Grind

Here at CME, we absolutely LOVE our coffee.  With events flooding in for the coming months, we are gearing up to keep a steady supply of coffee on hand and our caffeine buzz at a constant high until the New Year.  I love discovering new coffee shops around Los Angeles, so here are a few of my favorites for some unique cups of Joe!

Balconi Coffee Company’s Almond Essence Latte
This little hole in the wall on Olympic and Sawtelle is very easily missed.  So much so, that I drove by it every day on my way to work, for months, without even knowing it was there.  This shop turns coffee into an art and specializes in Siphon Pour Over coffee.  Unlike the many large-scale cafes with 5 baristas behind the counter, Balconi has a much more personal feel.  They even let you smell your coffee after they grind the beans, so you get the whole experience even before your coffee is brewed.  When I heard about the Almond Essence Latte at Balconi, I knew this place had already won me over. It takes the subtlest hint of marzipan and combines it with the perfect blend of espresso and is always topped with a beautiful design.  This is not your typical LA coffee bar filled with individual people on laptops, working away.  Since there isn’t Wi-Fi, this unique shop lends itself more to long conversations with friends and the casual reading of books, which is such a nice step away from the busyness of LA life.

I always look forward to the beautiful latte designs.

(Photo courtesy of ReviewForJoomla)

Dogtown Coffee’s Salted Caramel Iced Latte
I don’t know quite how they do it, but this delicious beverage combines the perfect amount of sweet caramel flavor, coffee goodness, and a unique salty foam (yes, trust me, it is amazing).  The shop itself is very casual and has a unique surf and skate culture that can be seen in the colorful murals on the walls.  Within walking distance to the sand, on Main Street in Santa Monica, this is the perfect drink to sip while taking a stroll along the boardwalk.

(Photo compliments of Eater)

Urth Caffe’s Spanish Latte
At first, I was not impressed with the overly crowded feel of Urth Caffe.  I cringed at the thought of standing in a long line just to order my coffee, however all of these feelings went away when I experienced the Spanish Latte.  This sweet and creamy Barcelona inspired drink is served hot, cold, or blended so it is perfect for whatever mood you may be in. You even get a choice of Bold or Light espresso…but of course the answer for me is ALWAYS Bold!  Other great options include the Green Tea Espresso Latte, the Italian Cappuccino, and even fresh squeezed juices. The best part about Urth is that no matter where in LA you may be, with locations on Melrose, Beverly Drive, Main Street, or Hewitt Street Downtown, your coffee fix is always nearby.

 Pure happiness in a cup!

Starbucks Iced Coffee with Caramel and Cream
We all know that sometimes Starbucks is the most convenient coffee shop no matter what city you may be in.  Cory Martin has somehow managed to get our whole team hooked on his favorite drink, which is so simple, but always seems to hit the spot.  The next time you are at Starbucks, order an Iced Coffee with 2 pumps of Caramel Flavor and Cream.  It is the perfect on the go drink because you don’t have to add any of the fixings, not to mention it is less than $3.

Enjoy and I hope these little tips keep your coffee buzz going through the coming months!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Top 5 Drinks for Keeping Cool When Summer Refuses to End

If you're like me and have been eagerly anticipating this Summer's equinox in hopes of a quick transition to Fall only to be let down by the ever-increasing Summer heat, you might treasure these tipples as much as I do.  My Top 5 Drinks for keeping cool when Summer refuses to end:

Champagne Sangria 
(Photo courtesy The Bubbly Girl)

One of my all-time favorites!  Probably because I LOVE the smell of mint.

  • 1 bottle chilled sparkling wine or champagne.  I prefer Torrontes Dolce 1591 from Argentina
  • 1 orange thinly sliced (seeds removed)
  • 2 tangerines thinly sliced (seeds removed)
  • Mint Simple Syrup (recipe as follows)
  • 1 lemon thinly sliced (seeds removed)
  • 1 lime thinly sliced (seeds removed)
  • 1/2 cup sliced strawberries or raspberries
  • crushed ice
  • 5 fresh mint sprigs
In a large pitcher, muddle together the orange, tangerines, Mint Simple Syrup, lemon, lime and strawberries/raspberries.  Mix in entire bottle of sparkling wine/champagne.  Serve with crushed ice and garnish with sprigs of fresh mint.  

Mint Simple Syrup

I wish this was a scratch n' sniff

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves (I usually do a bit more than this)
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water and mint over medium heat.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and stir to make sure all the sugar has dissolved.  Remove the pan from heat and allow syrup to cool for 20 minutes.  Strain before using.

Lavender Infused Lemonade
(Photo courtesy Elizabeth W.)

We had the pleasure of showcasing this amazing concoction in this past week's event with O'Gara Coach Company for the unveiling of Rolls Royce's new Phantom II.  Guests were absolutely delighted to enjoy this refreshment while taking in the tranquility of an English Garden setting.

  • 3 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lemonade
  • 1 oz. Lavender Infused Simple Syrup (Found at Surfas)
  • Drop of Lavender Extract (Found at Sur la Table)
  • Splash of S.PELLEGRINO
  • Sprig of Fresh Lavender
In rocks glass, mix lemonade, lavender simple syrup, and lavender extract.  Top with splash of Pellegrino and garnish with a sprig of Fresh Lavender.

Cucumber Viper
(Photo courtesy Gabbi Patrick)

This drink reminds me of growing up and eating just about every type of fruit with chili, lime, and salt.  The Latin side of me LOVES the spiciness so you can alter it to your liking.

  • 5 slices Fresh Cucumber, 1/4 inch thick (1 is for garnish)
  • 2 wedges of lime
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 4 drops Tabasco
  • 1 1/2 oz. Tequila Blanco (I prefer Avion)
  • 1/4 oz. Cointreau
  • 1/4 oz. Agave Nectar
  • Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
  • Cayenne Pepper and Salt Mixture for rim
In a rocks glass, muddle together the cucumber, lime, and lime juice. Add the Tabasco, tequila, Cointreau, agave nectar and small pinch of cayenne pepper.  Shake all ingredients together.  Pour in a glass with the Cayenne Pepper and Salt Mixture rim.  Garnish with a slice of cucumber.

Blueberry Lavender Mojito
(courtesy of Drink Eat Travel)

  • 8-10 mint leaves
  • 1 1/2 parts BACARDI® Superior Rum
  • 1 oz. Lavender Syrup (You can find it at Surfas)
  • 1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 10-12 blueberries
  • Pinch of Ground Cardamom
In a tall glass, muddle the mint leaves, lavender syrup, lime juice, blueberries, pinch of ground cardamom and rum.  Be careful not to over muddle, it should be just enough to combine all the flavors.  Fill glass with crushed ice and top with Pellegrino and stir.  Garnish with a sprig of mint and 3 whole blueberries.

Champagne Au Pear
(Photo courtesy Belathee Photography)

Create your own faux fall with this Autumn fruit cocktail - because the laggard leaves aren't changing color fast enough!

  • 1 oz. Leblon Cachaca 
  • 1/2 oz. Canned Pear Juice
  • 1/2 oz. St. Gerrmain
  • Squeeze of Lemon
  • Champagne or Sparkling Wine (I prefer Torrontes Dolce 1591)
  • Slice of Fresh Pear
Combine Cachaca, St. Germain, pear juice and squeeze of lemon in a champagne flute.  Top with Champagne or Sparkling Wine.  Garnish with a slice of fresh pear.

Cheers to cooler temperatures!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Cinco de Mayo was a busy day for us at Cory Martin Events! Another one was this 3 in 1 private party for one of our lovely clients.  All photos are courtesy of the lovely Ari at Custom | Made Productions. wWith special lighting through out the front, back, and interior of the home along with themed decor through out, and of course, a special tequila tasting room with designated ceviches made for an epic celebration. Guests noshed on everything from a delicious assortment of mini tacos, albacore ceviche, Mexican pizza, Mexican spiced shrimp stuffed with Oaxaca cheese, and delicious treats for dessert.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

David Yurman recently moved down the block on Rodeo Drive, and Cory Martin Events had the pleasure of producing the grand opening of it. Guests nibbled on kobe beef sliders, parmesan lemon artichoke pita chips, peppered filet with horseradish cream on garlic crostinis, truffle grilled cheese with portobello mushrooms, tuna tartar, assorted macaroons, & organic chocolate truffles.

The press wall wrapped around the entire corner at the location, with such an ordeal, the entire block of Rodeo Drive was shut down guarded by lovely Policemen for the private shopping event followed by the invite only party. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

We just recently did a luncheon for JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) in Newport Beach sponsored by beauty brand, Jo Malone. To start, guests were served local heirloom tomato gazpacho with basil pesto infused oil, followed by the main course, seared ahi tuna, organic greens, Belgium endive, avocado, quail eggs, con fit fingerling potatoes, fresh herbs, olive tapenade, evoo and lemon. And last, a delicious mix of desserts, assorted mini cupcakes & macaroon tiers and assorted cheeses.

Friday, May 4, 2012

BBQ Pulled Pork Tacos

On my last blog I wrote I'd share a recipe for pulled pork burritos, but in honor of Cinco de Mayo, here's a great recipe for my pulled pork tacos. You know, I recently read Jack in the Box sold over 300 million tacos last year! 300 million!  As memory serves me Jack in the Box tacos were terrible. They were something my friends ate after the bars closed because 1) there was nothing else to eat, and 2) If you got sick you didn't waste much money, but with 300 million sold I thought I'd give them another try. I got it home and pulled it out of its greasy brown bag and this is what I found; a shell that tasted like a hybrid of cardboard, corn and plastic, with some kind of partially meat-like substance smeared inside. It looked like the shell had been clamped shut and deep-fried until vulcanized, then pried open with a tire iron and a half slice of synthetic cheese and lettuce forced inside. 300 million, Really?!!  

Now I'll admit my tacos aren't the healthiest, but they're filled with slow smoked pulled pork and fresh vegetables. Not an entree you'll want to add to your weekly menu, but tis the season as they say. Everyone loves tacos and who doesn't love barbeque? When you combine the sweet smokey pork with the crisp corn tortillas topped off with savory Queso Cojita, in my opinion you can't go wrong. They're homey and rustic and full of flavor, the way my Dad made for me when I was a little girl.

Serves 8 (2 tacos per person)
16 whole Corn Tortillas
1 lb cooked, smoked pulled pork
1/2 cup grated Monterey jack cheese
Canola oil
Hot Sauce (Chulula Or Other Brand)
2 cups thinly sliced iceberg lettuce
Pico de Gallo
Wedges of Lime
Queso Cojita, crumbled

To fry the tacos, heat an inch or so of canola oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Place pork and jack cheese in the middle of a tortilla, then fold tortilla in half. Hold the two sides together with a pair of metal tongs, then carefully lay the taco on its side in the oil. Use the tongs to hold the top down for a few seconds until it stays put. Turn tacos after 30 to 45 seconds, or until slightly golden brown (not too brown.) , drain on paper towels.

I like to serve these with freshly made pico de gallo, shredded iceberg lettuce, queso cojita,and finished with a squeeze of fresh lime

Pico de Gallo
5 roma tomatoes, diced
1/2  yellow onion
1  fresh jalapeno, diced (seeds and all)
4 ea scallions, diced
Juice of 2 limes
Juice of 1 Lemon
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Place all of the ingredients in a bowl mix together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
(you could also add diced mango or pineapple for a different take on the pico de gallo)
This recipe yields about 2 cups