Archive for September, 2011

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

A couple of times this week I made this fabulous cauliflower pizza crust.  What is so great about this vegetable pizza is that it’s a gluten free pizza crust and it can also easily be made as a delicious vegan pizza recipe.

I first heard of cauliflower pizza crust last week while at a class learning how to make regular pizza crust. I had my doubts but after making it and there not being a crumb left I knew this was a winner, and so easy to make!

Ingredients for this gluten free pizza crust:

About 1/2 lb of cauliflower

1 egg – to make it a vegan pizza recipe use 1/4 cup egg substitute

1 teaspoon of oregano

1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese or mozzarella cheese (For the vegans, I used Daiya cheddar cheese in my crust and then the mozzarella cheese for the topping.)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cook the cauliflower until firm but not too soft. Let cool and then either grate it, blend it or place the cauliflower in a Cuisinart to finely chop it (also known as cauliflower rice).  Should come out to 1 cup of cauliflower rice.

Place cauliflower rice in a bowl and mix it with the egg or egg substitute, oregano and 1 cup of cheese or cheese substitute.  Note, I also chopped up some fresh spinach into the mixture to get a little extra vegetables!  Mix ingredients well and then spoon it onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

You want to pat down the mixture on the baking sheet so that it is about the same depth of a regular pizza crust and form your cauliflower pizza crust dough into a round pie shape.

Bake your gluten free pizza crust in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes.  You want the top of the crust brown with the sides crispy. Start watching the crust after about 15 minutes to be sure it gets brown and crunchy without burning.

Let the crust cool and then remove the parchment paper by sliding the cauliflower pizza crust onto the cookie sheet. Note, if the middle of the crust is a bit soft, you will need to use a large spatula to help transfer the crust off of the parchment paper.

To finish your pizza, add your favorite pizza sauce and toppings.  (I used fresh chopped mushrooms, spinach and Daiya cheese to make this a vegan pizza recipe.)

Place the pizza back in the oven until cheese is melted and bubbling. Take out, plate and serve.

What I loved about this gluten free pizza crust is that it’s light and healthy plus you are getting your vegetables!

Until next time, remember the Budget Bash mantra:  make it simple, stylish, fun and economical for all!

Pics of Wedding Cakes from a Los Angeles Wedding Coordintor

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

In my previous article I provided some wedding cake ideas and tips.  Here are more pics of wedding cakes. Being a Los Angeles wedding coordinator enables me to work with some of the most talented cake designers in the city.

The above two cakes came from Fantasy Frostings.  Notice the flower pics of wedding cakes above.  Fantasy Frostings does intricate and detailed work and they make delicious cakes.  As a Los Angeles wedding coordinator, I depend upon my vendors to not only show up on time but to insure that the details of their work exceed my brides’ expectations.

The pics of wedding cakes below illustrate wedding cake ideas whereby the brides wanted to compliment their wedding decor colors.

Wedding cake ideas for the groom?  Check out this groom’s cake for a music lawyer who loves Wendy’s!

Looking for a Los Angeles wedding coordinator? Click here or give us a ring for a free consultation.  Are you a do-it-yourself bride? Then click here for your copy of Budget Bash.

Until next time, remember the Budget Bash mantra: make it simple, stylish, fun and economical for all!

Wedding Cake Ideas for Selecting a Wedding Cake in Los Angeles

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

Nothing is more fun when planning your wedding then the cake tasting. Here are some wedding cake ideas and tips when looking for a wedding cake in Los Angeles.

First thing I always tell my clients when discussing wedding cake ideas is to consider what they like in terms of flavors as well as design.  It’s so easy to look at wedding cake designs on the net via the various wedding blogs and websites.  Plus, you can always pick up a wedding magazine or tune into the various entertainment channels to see the latest celebrity wedding to be inspired.

When considering wedding cake designs think about the shape you would like, round, square, triangular, oval, the list goes on.  Or, you can always do a combo of shapes and sizes.  Do you want the cake to lie flat on the table or on a cake stand? (Most party rental stores carry cake stands or you can rent a cake stand from the bakery you purchase the cake from.)

Other wedding cake ideas to consider when selecting your cake is the color.  Do you want it to compliment your wedding decor or be something whimsical and act as an accent and contrast with the decor.  A couple of my brides had plain white cakes and then used the same types of flowers from their centerpieces to decorate their cakes.

Icing is another variable to consider for your wedding cake designs. Buttercream, cream cheese or fondant? Fondant is great because of the various shapes and intricate designs the baker can do with it.  A cream cheese frosting will work best for an indoor versus an outdoor wedding since it has a tendency to melt.  As long as it isn’t too hot and the cake is shaded from the sun, buttercream icing will work fine outdoors.

When looking for a wedding cake in Los Angeles, you have the cream of the crop bakers to consider.  Thanks to Kim Kardashian, Hansen’s Cakes is back on the map. I have used them previously and their cakes are delicious.  Other celebrity cake bakers are Fantasy Frostings (they did my wedding cake and I think they are the best!) and Cake Divas.

And for the groom who loves cake? How about a groom’s cake. Many brides like to honor their grooms with a specialty cake that makes a statement about the man they are marrying.  A wedding cake in Los Angeles that not only honors LA but also the groom is this LA Lakers groom’s cake.

Finally, when considering how many guests your cake should feed, in addition to your guest count keep in mind the following tips:

The number of food courses that will bee served at your event.  Sometimes with a multi-course meal, most people don’t have room for dessert or just want a bite of cake.

Is a dessert course already being served with the multi-course meal?

Finally, make sure to reserve your cake or at least get your name on the baker’s calendar well in advance of your wedding date to insure you have your first choice.

If you would like a free wedding consultation then click here.  Are you a DIY bride? Then click here for my wedding planning book that provides tips and secrets to planning a special event.

I hope some of these wedding cake ideas and tips will help you in your cake selection process.  If you happen to need a wedding cake in Los Angeles, or any city for that matter, keep in mind that you most likely will need a lead time of at least three months if not more.  Finally, don’t be afraid to be creative with your wedding cake designs.  The sky’s the limit when it comes to your day!

Until next time, remember the Budget Bash mantra: make it simple, stylish, fun and economical for all!

Good Restaurants in San Francisco and Carmel Ca Restaurants

Friday, September 9th, 2011

Over the Labor Day holiday we ventured up to San Francisco and Carmel, CA for some R&R.  Here are a couple of good restaurants in San Francisco as well as a couple of Carmel Ca restaurants that we ate at and would recommend.

One of the good restaurants in San Francisco we ate at was Green’s located in the marina district.  Green’s is a vegetarian restaurant but for those carnivores don’t worry, there is plenty to choose from and you won’t miss the meat! Plus, the restaurant offers a great waterfront view.

We ate delicious fresh spring rolls and grilled Blossom Bluff peaches for our appetizer.  For our main course, we had a delicious Mission fig, caramelized onion and goat cheese pizza. Our dessert was a vegan berry fruit tart with almond sorbet.

We ate dinner at a downtown restaurant in San Francisco called Prospect which I would list as another one of the good restaurants in San Francisco. I started out with the Mission fig salad and then for dinner, ordered the Dayboat scallops.  Victor ate the Petaluma organic chicken.  Our friends we were with also enjoyed the ribeye steak and the duck.  For dessert, we ordered the Mississippi mud cake.  Not a morsel was left!

On Sunday, we headed down the coast to Carmel and checked out some of the Carmel Ca restaurants.  For lunch, we ate at Dametra Cafe which not only served delicious food but also had live entertainment. We started out with the baba ganoug and then I ate the steamed mussels and clams, and Victor enjoyed their delicious moussaka.

Dinner that evening was at Pacific’s Edge which offered dramatic views of the California coast.  Again, I couldn’t resist ordering the fig salad (after all they are in season) and went light on dinner with the tuna tartare.  Victor ordered a delicious steak.  Dessert was this incredible peanut butter and chocolate pastry with caramel.

The following day we ate at our hotel.  The food where we stayed at was quite delicious.  California Market offered beautiful views with their al fresco dining, a plus for Carmel Ca restaurants.

Other cute Carmel Ca restaurants is the Tuck Box.  They are only opened for breakfast and lunch and have been on the map in Carmel for over 60 years.

Of course what would be dining along the California coast without delicious wines.  One in particular I remember is the Dashe Zinfandel which we ordered at Prospect.  Since there were 6 of us, we ended up ordering 3 bottles, don’t know how we drank it all!

Of course, when we weren’t eating we were sleeping.  A perfect holiday weekend getaway.  Until next time, remember the Budget Bash mantra: make it simple, stylish, fun and economical for all!

Outdoor Entertaining and Outdoor Party Ideas

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

With the summer almost a wrap with the this Labor Day holiday weekend, I thought I would share with you some outdoor party ideas you can do at home.  What is great about Los Angeles event planning is that we have summer-like weather most of the year making the outdoor entertaining season last a bit longer than other parts of the country.

First, some tips when considering outdoor entertaining, especially when hosting a party at home.

  • Look for any type of tripping hazard or potential ankle-turning backyard issue that needs fixing. Also, for events on your lawn, it is best to stop watering a few days in advance to create a hardened service.
  • If you plan on having a number of people over and it’s an evening affair, make sure that during the party, turn off as much of the house power as possible to avoid a power outage.

Here are a few outdoor party ideas you can easily do to make your party stand out and not break the bank:

  • Instead of round tables, seat your guests at either one long table or square tables. This idea will create better conversation pockets and give your party a different look.
  • Arrange your guest seating ahead of time and mix it up a bit. If it is an outgoing group, break up the couples and make sure to seat people next to one another who have something in common.  Place a conversation starter sentence on the back of their place card and tell everyone to use it to learn more about the person sitting next to them. Who knows, new friendships might blossom with your outdoor entertaining seating arrangement.
  • Use low centerpieces with different shaped containers. Square, round, triangle shaped or maybe a small flower piece in front of everyone’s seat.
  • Make lighting easy and your guests look great by placing candles all over, on the tables, in lanterns around the pool (if you have one) or hanging from trees.  Also, you can now purchase those great LED votive candles that look real and you don’t have to worry about wind or a potential fire hazard as we do with outdoor Los Angeles event planning.
  • If you have a pool, then use it as part of your decor by either floating a flower arrangement in it (be sure to use fishing line to tie it off at two ends to keep it centered) or shining a gobo light with something written like Happy Birthday.

For more budget friendly outdoor party ideas click here. To find out how we can help you with your Los Angeles event planning ideas, click here for a free consultation.  Enjoy the last days of summer with your outdoor entertaining and until next time, remember the Budget Bash mantra: make it simple, stylish, fun and economical for all!