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Stories

My Oscar Night

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by Fredrica Duke

84th_oscars_awards.jpgOscar night approaches and something is missing. My kids. The nest is empty, and 364 days a year I’m fine with that. But not on Oscar night. Let me tell you why. Growing up, kids are like natural hostages. Until they get their driver’s license, they’re pretty much always there. And the night of the Academy Awards was no different. On that night in March (now February) my children, the two cats and I would gather in front of our living room or sometimes bedroom TV and take it all in. This was before we all had wide screens that now make the event seem like a private Oscar party. It was just a modest little TV. We’d sit in rapt attention and watch what to me was the most exciting part. Everyone’s magical entrance. The Red Carpet.

hilaryswankredcarpet.jpgAs each stunning actress made her way through the gauntlet of tedious interviews, I would ooh and aah at how beautiful she was. That’s when my kids would turn to me, me sitting there in my dirty sweats, my unkempt hair tied above in a twisted knot, no makeup, and assure me that I was even prettier!!! I’m not kidding. No matter who the actress was or how young and beautiful, my kids would yell, in unison, that I was MUCH prettier. “You’re MUCH prettier than her, mom!!” Don’t get me wrong, I know they were humoring me, I’m not delusional, but I bought it. And, I looked forward to it every year.

I grew up in Beverly Hills, but on the wrong side of the tracks, south of Wilshire. It wasn’t where the stars lived, even though our house was located only a half mile from the Hilton, the current site of the Oscar Nominees Luncheon and the Governor’s Ball. My father was a B-movie producer, but most people might grade his movies with a D. He was a joyful, glass-completely-full kind of guy, who was thankful for everyday of his life on this planet.

Southern Fried Shape Up

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by Julia Fowler

The "Southern Fried Shape Up" has arrived just in time for you to look good this holiday season!

 

The Dixie Download Episode 2

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by Julia Fowler

We think this new episode by Julia Fowler is hilarious!! 
Make yourself a plate of James Moore’s amazing biscuits and gravy and pull up a chair...

 

My Favorite Things This Week

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by Amy Ephron

amy ephron colorlaughingglassIt’s almost summer – in L.A. it feels like summer already. We were sent a sample of a new drink from Laughing Glass Cocktails. Okay, we like the name, too.

It’s an artisan tequila. No, it’s an artisan margarita. In a bottle, pre-mixed (but it doesn’t feel mixed at all, it’s so light and delicious....) and all natural. The name alone was perfect. Just pour it over ice in a wine glass and if you want to be fancy add a slice of lime. But for a summer barbecue, (or a guacamole starter) and a light incredible drink under the stars, we recommend it highly! And, for a party, it’s so simple, three bottles and no muss and fuss, and slightly lighter (thank goodness) on the alcohol content than if you’d mixed it at home. Some of us have a no alcohol before six rule around here, but you don’t, I bet it would be delicious with huevos rancheros, too!

balsamicBalsamic Vinegar. Yes, it’s a standard. It’s the norm. Can I have the salad with balsamic on the side. The price of balsamic varies like wine, but a few years ago we discovered a moderately priced balsamic (also artisanal, also limited edition, also limited distribution like the Laughing Glass above) called Leonardo & Roberto’s. It’s quite simply incredible!! I’m addicted.

Only available, as near as I can tell online or at some of John Edwards select Farmers’ Markets. Less is more. The taste is fuller, the amount of dressing you need is less as well as the amount of balsamic you need in the dressing is less. If I could, I’d send everyone I know a bottle instantly. We like the traditional but also, available in other flavors....!

The Dixie Download Episode 1

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by Julia Fowler

We think this video by Julia Fowler is hilarious!! 
Make yourself a plate of James Moore’s amazing biscuits and gravy and pull up a chair...

 

Restaurant News

Urban Family Public House
Washington
by Kathleen Alluise

urbanhouseAbout a week or so ago, the husband, pup, and I went to Seattle to see my family and spend some time in the (rare) Seattle sunshine. We went to the Ballard Farmer's Market, a plethora of fresh...

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Philippe - The Original
Los Angeles
by Bruce Cormicle

philippe1.jpgDouble-dipped Justice at Philippe's

If you are a criminal defense attorney as I am defending cases in downtown Los Angeles, you will eventually find your way to the tangled skein of ceiling fans,...

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Brasserie Lipp
Paris
by Brenda Athanus

ImageBrasserie Lipp is a magical place to me that has maintained its integrity for well over 131 years. Not much has changed with the decor, food or with the waitstaff since I was a small child. There...

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Charlie's, Malibu
Los Angeles
by Jo Stougaard

charlies2.jpgI’m always dragging my friend Laur with me to try out new restaurants. From casual gastropubs up the street like Laurel Tavern, to “modern (molecular) cooking” at The Bazaar across town. She’s...

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