Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wino Wednesday

So I'm a slacker...what can I say.  I've tasted lots of wines lately and have a wonderful array of Wino Wednesday's to share.  This particular wine was from, you guessed it, Trader Joes.  I heard about this wine through a co-worker, who tasted it and said it was a nice Spanish Wine.  When she went back to TJ's and bought another $3.99 bottle, the guy at the register asked her how she know about this wine.  She said she tried it and liked it.  Apparently this is one of those underground goodies and it's a pretty good wine being sold and TJ's for next to nothing. 

Panilonco "Chief of Lions"
D O Colchagua Valley, Chille
2010 Reserve
Tasting Notes:  Blackberries and smokey oak
Color:  Deep purple, like a combination of crush blackberries and blueberries.
What I ate with this:  Cheese, bread first time.  Second time Spaghetti with homemade meatballs, salad and garlic bread.  Was perfect combination.

For $3.99 this is a steal and was noted on an underground wine newsletter.  Go now, while it lasts.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Peanut Butter Bars

So this last week was a whirlwind.  Book swap party, 30th wedding anniversary party and children books party for a baby to come.   Pheww.  For the book swap party, which was given by "My Life At Playtime," I volunteered to make a dessert.  While surfing Pinterest I found a gorgeous peanut butter bar and I was determined to make it for this party.  For the recipe go hereOnly comment on the recipe is that I would put the pan in the refrigerator right after you put the second layer of peanut butter on.  It needs to harden a bit before you smear the last layer of chocolate.  

Since this was a book swapping party I took one of my old college books that I wouldn't will on anyone, Plato's Last Days of Socrates.  I cut up strips, wrapped them around the cold bars and tied them with twine.  This made up for the fact that cutting these bars was a hot mess.  These are decadent, very rich, I saw people cutting them in half, but well they came back for the other half too.

As for the books I chose, well I only wanted one and I took three, sorry SB, I couldn't help myself.  I chose The Help, The Hunger, and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.  That last one has my name written all over it.  I'll tell you how I feel about them once I get them read.  I have SOoooo many books right now.  

One last thing, I have to say I'm liking my iPhone photos better than my expensive camera, go figure.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Gjelina Take Away (GTA)

I haven't been addicted to a new place like this in forever....maybe ever.
It's a local place in Venice called Gjelina Take Away otherwise known as GTA.

It's an offshoot of Gjelina, which is right next door.  Gjelina is the brain child of Travis Lett, to read more about him go here: LA Times article.  Gjelina has gotten very popular, lots of press, Bon Appetit recently wrote it up too.  On any given day, and night, there are a dozen people standing outside waiting up to an hour to get a table, inside or outside, patio is very nice, they do have communal tables as well.  Once you get a seat you'll be super happy, great waiters, helpful staff all around, well except the hostesses.  No fun having the hostess job and let's just say they aren't the friendliest gals.

But skip all that, go to GTA, right next door, 
it opens up at 7am and this past weekend I went back three times.  

 Seriously I'm working my way through the menu, even making SB sample a few vittles.

So far my favorite has been the jamon on toast, aka ham on toast.  They smear a bit of tomato on the toast and delicately lay a few nice layers of the best jamon on a crunchy piece of bread.  Today I ate two of them in between sampling the mixed berry turnover.

Also delish is the salmon on crunchy toast with capers, peppers and a nice hard-boiled egg on top.  Over the weekend we tried the egg breakfast sandwich,  this was good, with Gruyere, bacon, kale, and tomatoes, very messy, the kale was nutritious but hard to bite in and the whole leaf came out at once, but worth a try.

The biscuits and jam make my friend C think of her grandmother's biscuit.  Their smeared with butter and strawberry jam.  No latte's here, but you can get a Cordona or Cortona, what is it with L.A. and our coffee names.  It's basically a very small cup of double espresso with a bit of milk.  I personally LOVE it, strong and just the right amount of cream.  C thinks it needs more milk, so it's really your preference.

Next up, an evening trying out the pizza's.  I love the ones next door and they have a wood-burning oven here too.  A co-worker was a bit disappointed by the pizza's initially as they were undercooked in the middle, but that was a few weeks into their opening, so hopefully they've figured this out.

Drop by and hang out with all the hipster parents and their pets for a quick, Italian style breakfast.  Makes me think of running into a cafe in the other Venice, Italy that is, to get a cappuccino in the early morning.

Gjelina Take Away (GTA)
1429 Abbot Kinney
Venice Beach, CA 90291


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