Restaurant Review: California Donuts

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Restaurant Name: California Donuts
Location: 3540 W 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90020
Halfsies Rating: ★★★★☆
Halfsies Bank: $$
Genre: Dessert
Great for: Donuts

I’ve had my eye on California Donuts for the longest time! I’m downtown LA all the time but just never made it out becuase I was too busy/healthy/tired. But this weekend, it happened. Boy oh boy have I never felt less guilty about eating 4 donuts. Like seriously, I was so happy. MAPLE BACON donuts? Check. THIN MINT girl scout cookie donuts? Check. CINNAMON TOAST CRUNCH, FROOT LOOP, REESE’S PIECES, SNICKERS, COCONUT… (must I go on?)… check, check, CHECKKK!

Yep, you can’t choose just one. You’ll eat 4. SO AMAZING AND WORTH IT!!

My favorite was the bacon and the reese’s pieces, but every flavor was divine.

Visit the website here.

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Chobani Grammy Guacamole

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There’s nothing I love more than an afternoon of oogling beautiful women in superb fashions! HELLO awards season! Of course, I love to indulge in my usual favorites (chips and guac, refreshing beer, hiii!). Here’s a healthy, fruity twist on my fave guacamole! And if you’re trying to stay healthier — yes, those tiny, beautiful women can have an inspiring influence — use thinly cut carrots or cucumbers instead of chips!

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The key ingredient here is (SHHH!) Chobani yogurt. Check it out here, or our fave peach flavor here! That’s right, we even went extra bold and used a peach Chobani, just to give our guac a little extra somptin somptin!

Here’s what you’ll need: 

♥ 1 cup peach Chobani yogurt
♥ 2 avocados
♥ 1/2 tomato
♥ 1-2 stalks celery
♥ sharp cheddar
♥ feta cheese

Finely chop the cheese, tomatoes, and celery. Combine in a bowl with avocado and Chobani yogurt. Mix well, using a fork to work the mixture in with the avocado. We add cayenne pepper and salt for extra flavor!

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Valentine’s Dessert

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This is seriously the most simple sweet treat! It’s perfect for Valentine’s Day because A. festive colors duh! and B. you get to look all fancy/sophisticated for a fraction of the price and effort. Now we’re talking! I honestly think Valentine’s day is silly and overrated (nobody wants to wait in those nasty lines for a rezzie at a crowded restaurant!). Soooo in my book, it’s all about pampering my friends/loved ones and baking delicious treats and writing goofy, meaningful cards to show everyone how much I love them. I know, I know, sorry. Really it’s about the sweetheart candies and Dora Explorer cardboard cutout cards that you buy last minute at Ralphs! SO FUN!!

But seriously, make these. They’re yummy and really pretty and the strawberries (and dark chocolate?) are good for you!

What you need:

♥ Marshmallows (pink and white for festive effect)
♥ Chocolate (dark is best, but get crazy and go for a white drizzle, add chopped almonds, etc!)
♥ Strawberries
♥ Toothpicks (or skewers if you want to make dessert kabobs!)

Roll the tip of a mallow into your yummy melted chocolate, take a taste test, and repeat. Kidding-not-kidding about the taste test part. I like to only dip the mallows because they’re amazingly easier to coat in chocolate than strawberries, but if you’re a profesh, go ahead and get a little fancy!  Then, skewer your kiddies together on a toothpick and lay cute-ly on a serving dish!

Voila!

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Best Ever: Skinny Blueberry Cocktail

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You know that I’m all about the healthy eats, but can’ t give up the yummy drinks. My new solution to this conundrum is to use soda water as my mixer in all my cocktails, and then to add some sweetness with healthy fruity garnishes (or ginger!!). This post focuses on my latest fave, which is oh-so-simple, just the way I like it!

♥ 1 shot vodka
♥ 1 cup soda water
♥ handful of blueberries, muddled & mixed
♥ 1 splash triple sec

*In case you’re wondering, I prefer my blueberries whole so that I can suck ’em up and enjoy them as little treats in between sips! Depending on personal preference, you can muddle to expose more flavor in your drink! Random finding: orange slices are the perfecccct little treat to pair with this drink because they’re just so sweet and tasty! (AYSO memories, anyone?). This might have something to do with the sweet citrusy element of triple-sec, which adds a certain richness to the drink and helps make it feel like you’re not just guzzling watered down vodka.

Of course, you can totally alter this recipe as desired. I’ve done this combo with strawberries, raspberries, even APPLE SLICES. Go crazy! Share your results below!

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^ Everything tastes better with super cute straws ^

Bullet Proof Coffee

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Breakfast is the most important meal of the day…

As much as I buy that statement, ain’t nobody got time for that!! I usually hit the gym in the morning, which means I either turn to an $8 Equinox smoothie (so bad for the bank when that becomes a daily habit), OR I make bullet proof coffee when I get to work.

That’s right. It’s bullet proof because it’s badass and keeps you SO FULL for SO LONG that it’s kind of amazing. Plus, it’s CHEAP & HEALTHY. I know, you love me.

Literally, all you do is brew yourself a cup of joe, then add in a spoon of virgin organic coconut oil & 1-2 scoops protein powder (stick with vanilla or chocolate). This makes your coffee super thick and creamy and delicious! The oil and protein powder are great for you, perfect for post workout (or for just getting you the hell out of bed), and will keep you full til lunch time!

Try it! I promise you’ll fall in love ♥

Restaurant Review: Mattei’s Tavern

matteis-tavern-4Restaurant Name: Mattei’s Tavern
Location: 2350 Railway Avenue, Los Olivos, CA 93441
Halfsies Rating: ★★★★★
Halfsies Bank: $$
Genre: American
Great for: Brunch / Your wedding / Living here forever

This place is a little magical getaway in the middle of Los Olivos. It’s perfect for brunch because outdoor seating is plentiful. There’s a huge grassy outside area with bocce ball, live music, and lots of space for dancing and frolicking in the sunshine! Plus, the food is amaaaaazing. So is the coffee. Do you really need anything more?? #heaven

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Brunch was followed by a fun little photo shoot around the grounds! We were all soooo over caffeinated after 4 cups of coffee each… the stuff was just so damn good and they kept refilling our mugs!!

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How fun is this little chalk board cabana?? It’s literally a cabana on the grounds and the walls are all chalk… pretty sure it’s there for little kids to doodle on while their parents brunch. We’re kids. That’s why we love it.

Drooling yet?? Visit the website here 

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&& “WRITE DRUNK, EDIT SOBER.” Words of wisdom, blogger friends. Never let that wine leave your hand. JK! But only kinda…

Guilt Free Berry Cobbler

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It’s winter, and when it’s cold out I crave desserts. Have you seen the New Girl episode where Nick’s girlfriend/sleep over buddy “…just isn’t a dessert person” and Jess freaks out? Because seriously!? Who is not a dessert person?? You can lie to yourself all you want, but I’m pretty sure if you don’t like dessert you don’t have a soul.

Anyways, I’m all about this guilt free, healthy version of a traditional cobbler. It’s jam packed with berries and antioxidants (among other things…) so at least you don’t have to feel terrible about it. And, I promise you’ll still fit into your skinny jeans tomorrow.

Here’s what you’ll need:
♥ 2 cups mixed berries
♥ 1 apple, chopped
♥ 3 tablespoons lemon juice
♥ 1.5 tablespoon stevia
♥ I cup oats
♥ 1/2 cup coconut oil
♥ 2 tablespoons honey
♥ 1/4 cup butter

The how to:
♥ Combine berries, apple, lemon juice, and stevia in a bowl. Mix well until all ingredients are combined. Place mixture into 8×10 inch glass baking dish.
♥ Using the same bowl from your fruit mixture, cream together coconut oil and melted butter. (By using same bowl, you’ll get the super cute pink effect!)
♥ Mix honey and oats. Add to coconut/butter mixture, mixing slowly to achieve a crumbly consistency.
♥ Cover the fruit medley with your crumble!
♥ Place in oven on middle rack and bake at 375° for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

 

Enjoy! xx

NYE Drink Idea: Molecular Mojitos

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Hosting NYE and looking for the perfect cocktail to serve?? Molecular mojito balls just might be my favorite new drink idea!!

Molecule-R is this awesome company that creates crazy cocktail kits combining elements of mixology with being a kickass scientist! CLICK HERE to get your starter kit! You’ll get everything you need to make a series of unbelievable drinks in no time! From fuzz to fizz to suspensions, Molecule-R walks you through all of it! If you’re trying to get even fancier, you can get the Evolution Kit HERE!

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In case you’re not all about buying these fancy schmansy kits (we feel ya), but still wanna be a badass NYE host, you can  follow our step-by-step guide below to recreate our magical mojito balls!

〉〉Step 1: Combine 1/4 tsp calcium lactate (you can get some on amazon) with 1 tsp sugar, 5-6 mint leaves, and 3 lime wedges. Muddle in a highball glass, add in 1 oz white rum & 2oz club soda, and filter with a sieve. Place the filtered liquid in a glass and prepare your pipettes!

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〉〉Step 2: Rip up a few mint leaves and place in an ice cube mold. Use your pipettes to add your liquid mixture from above to fill each ice cube mold. Place in the freezer until completely hard (about 20 minutes).

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〉〉Step 3: While you wait for your cubes to freeze, create your sodium alginate bath! Dissolve 2 grams sodium alginate (you can find anything on amazon!) in 2 cups of water. Make sure the sodium alginate completely dissolves… we used a hand blender because the stuff can be so tricky!! You’ll also want to set aside a separate bath of pure water.

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〉〉Step 4: Remove frozen cubes from the freezer and drop into the sodium alginate bath. Let them float around for about 3 minutes, stirring verrrrry gently and making sure that they don’t get stuck to each other! You’ll see them start to gelatinize into little balls (so fun!!!). One by one, spoon your balls from the alginate bath to the water bath.

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〉〉Step 5: Remove the mojito balls from the water bath and place on spoons to serve!

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〉〉Step 6: ENJOY! That’s right, eat ’em up and experience a mojito ball that explodes in your mouth. Such a cool phenomenon, these little guys are definitely worth playing scientist for an afternoon! Plus, your friends will think you’re a scientific genius!

Have a wonderful & safe New Year’s friends!! We hope these little drink balls add a pop of magic to your night! ♥

Restaurant Review: Church & State

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Restaurant Name: Church + State 
Location: 1850 Industrial St, Los Angeles, CA 90021
Halfsies Rating: ★★★★★
Halfsies Bank: $$$$
Genre: French Great for: Date night

This place is fantastic for a glass of wine and some appetizers. If you’re going all-out, its great for full on dinner as well, but trust me when I say you won’t be able to move after a full meal at Church + State. 

The ambience is simply magical: with rustic wood, artsy lights, and a flare of French decor, the dimly lit restaurant is small and cozy enough to have you feeling that you jetted off to Europe, just for dinner. On spring and summer nights (or heck, pretty much any night in LA), long tables are set in the outside area to allow for dining under the stars.

I advise getting here early if you don’t have a reservation, because if you show up past seven you’ll be standing in the doorway, tortured by the delicious aromas that won’t be yours until you’ve long been salivating.

Another plus of getting here early: the chef loves passing out goat-cheese puff pastry, and boy am I a sucker for anything bread and cheese. Follow that with the standard bread board (served warm with a butter so thick and creamy that even French natives won’t be unphased), and you’ll be full before you’ve even put in your order.

For the cultured wino – this is your place. I’m a happy camper on any night that = a glass of pino noir (there are so many good ones to choose from) and an order of escargot. Don’t make the mistake of thinking appetizers are meant to be just that – apps can go a long way and completely fill you up! 

My go-to items: Escargots de Bourgogne en Croûte (or breaded escargot for you non-francophiles), Os à Moelle (roasted bone marrow), and one of their many “tarts” which are basically fancy french pizzas. 

For the less adventurous, not to worry: there are plenty of more mainstream options, like mac&cheese, french onion soup, salads, and various chicken, salmon, and duck entrees. 

Near the up and coming arts district of DTLA, when you’re done with your meal you can stroll the surroundings of the restaurant and stop in one or more local bars/boutiques! Date night at it’s finest. 

OR, just stay at the bar (below). It’s.so.freaking.cute!!!! ♥

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Healthy App Idea: Baked Apples

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Happy Thanksgiving lovelies!! I hope you all had a day filled with family, friends, and feasting. Thanksgiving has always been my fave holiday because it makes me feel warm & blessed, and I love nothing more than being surrounded by all of my favorite people. I’m so thankful for this beautiful world and my humble life full of happy little moments.❤️

That aside, let’s take a moment to cherish our healthy bodies. This app is AMAZING and super healthy and requires only two ingredients. I make these all year long, but they’re perfect for the holidays!

Here’s how:

♥Grab as many apples as you’re hungry for.
♥Slice the apples into super thin slices (the thinner, the crispier).
♥Place apple slices on a baking sheet and sprinkle with cinnamon.
♥Put in the oven on 350° or until golden brown and crispy!
♥ENJOY

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Got your own healthy app ideas? Share in the comments below or tag us on instagram @halfsiesblog for a chance to have your recipe featured on the blog!