There’s nothing quite like an afternoon spent outdoors, tailgating with friends before a big event, on a crisp, fall day. Today we’re showing you how to plus up your tailgate, while still keeping some of the old school traditions alive. It’s surprising how easy it can be to elevate your tailgate with just a couple of upgrades that will certainly make your space stand out and be the place that everyone wants to be. So go ahead — find that perfect parking spot, fire up the grill and crack open a cold one– tailgating season is here.
I don’t think tacos on your Thanksgiving menu is going to be a hard sell, but let me make a case for these sweet potato tacos anyway. These are very loosely based on my favorite taco truck in LA, Guerilla Tacos. If you’re a taco lover living in LA, you’ve probably had them. I say “loosely based” because I’ve really taken some liberties with the recipe, but the same great flavors are there. The base of these tacos are roasted sweet potatoes and leeks cooked soft in lots of butter. The almond-chile salsa is probably my favorite here– warning it is spicy so use sparingly! It’s all topped with sour quick-pickled onions and tangy creamy French feta. Before you serve these, be sure to toast any store-bought corn tortillas. I simply toast them directly over a stove flame for a minute or so on each side until they’re soft pliable and just ever so slightly charred. I’m telling you these will be a hit at your Thanksgiving table!
Fiona is dressing up as a ladybug for Halloween this year, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. Audrey made the costume from scratch, which is awesome, but part of me wishes she was a bit more ghoulish. Why not a zombie ladybug?! Eh, I guess she is only two . . . there’s time. Speaking of ghoulish, I thought it would be fun to unleash one of the skeletons from the closet and put him to work (his name is Fred – don’t ask). Fred’s bartending skills were rather raw, his technique a bit rigid, and conversation painfully hollow, but in the end he executed the cocktail to perfection. This modern classic is a Phil Ward original (Death & Co, Mayahuel), an agave lover’s ode to the Old Fashioned, and one of the cocktails that helped put mezcal back on the map.
Everyone knows that the best part about trick-or-treating on Halloween is coming home to pick the best assortment of treats from your plastic pumpkin. And if your parents were like mine, you were also only allowed to keep a small, yet reasonable, amount of candy from your hard earned loot. Clearly, Halloween candy is meant to be taken seriously, which is why I’m always thinking of fun and unique ways to make the holiday extra special for kids – and adults. This year, I’m super excited to be giving out these spooky paper maché eyeball boxes, filled with an assortment of my all time favorite candy HI-CHEW! I only wish I could see the kids’ reactions as they open their boxes to reveal a handful of the fruitiest and chewiest candy, in some of my most preferred flavors like mango, strawberry and melon. #Winning.
Every year, I have high hopes for Halloween. I have lots of home decor and costume plans that I plan in my head well in advance. And every year, I realize it is the week of Halloween and I am without a costume or costume. I’m sure this year will be no different, but this year I finally executed on something that I’ve had in my head for a long time. Pumpkin beignets!! At first I tried a pumpkin filling– not so good, trust me. But a pastry cream spiced with pumpkin spice? Oh my, so perfect. These are best enjoyed fresh out of the fryer and quickly pipped with the pastry cream. The pastry cream can be made the night before and refrigerated so that the filling is ready as soon as your beignets are fried. Of course, obscene amounts of powdered sugar dumped over these beignets is required or they’re not beignets!
After spending a glorious afternoon at Leo’s Oyster Bar, along with HP, our newly adapted skills were put to the test in preparation of our very first raw seafood party. You might as well call us professional shuckers now. Honestly, it went swimmingly! We had so much prepping and enjoying the feast, we are already planning our next seafood bash. In the kitchen, we turned to our trusty HP Spectre to reference all of the important notes we took and to replay the oyster shucking tutorial we captured just a couple of weeks ago. With all the raw oysters we had on hand and our ever so lightweight HP Spectre by our side, we were inspired to take it a step further by experimenting with various toppings. Ideas were spewing out like rapid fire and tasting notes were being typed into the laptop, to ensure that we can share the adrenaline doused process with you.
As this amazing raw seafood experience comes to close, we just want to thank HP for allowing it to happen and for challenging our creative process. Our shared passion for design and function really pushed us to look outside of the box and ultimately, inspired us to explore unchartered waters in order to create something exquisite and delectable. The Spectre was essentially our sous chef during the party preparation process. It’s fast processor speed allowed us to toggle from web, email and video, with just a click and a swipe, just so we can fact check online and cross check notes. With raw seafood, you have to especially careful! The Spectre will certainly continue to come along with us for the culinary ride, in the kitchen and at the table. I’m excited to have the HP Spectre with me for all my future adventures.