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Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Summer and travel definitely go hand in hand. Who wouldn’t want to be sitting on a white sand beach sipping a tropical cocktail right about now? But let’s face it, life gets in the way sometimes and we can’t always have our picture perfect summer vacation.

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Even if the next few months aren’t lined up with exotic getaways and weekend excursions, there’s no reason why you can’t set out for an amazing experience right in your own backyard. I’ve lived in Los Angeles most of my adult life and still find myself discovering new places, hidden gems and must try restaurants that I had no idea existed.

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Recently, I’ve been inspired to celebrate the joys of being a tourist in my own town. Living in Southern California, we’re blessed to have miles and miles of beaches for sunbathing, biking on the boardwalk, playing volleyball with friends, and of course, the Pacific Ocean for a refreshing swim!

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I took a walk down to the Redondo Beach Riviera for sunset over the weekend and realized how picturesque the South Bay truly is. Gaze to the right and see the famous King Harbor Marina. To the left, the rolling hills of Palos Verdes, a view that one could easily mistake for the French Riviera. Strolling along the sandy beach brought me back to summers on the Mayan Riviera in the Yucatan Peninsula. When I closed my eyes, I was instantly transported.               

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The next afternoon, I found myself at the Riviera Village Famer’s Market. Mingling with local artisans and purveyors of unique fruits and vegetables gave me a new appreciation for So Cal.

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Chioggia beets, kumquats, rum cake, soy candles and organic coffee were just a few of the goodies I picked up along the way.

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After picking up flowers and some fresh mint, it was time for a cocktail. And what better locale to enjoy a drink than a rooftop with an ocean view?

KaraBirkenstock_HerringboneColdShoulderDress (1)I can’t wait to venture out for more exploring this summer and beyond! There’s still so much to see, learn and taste in Los Angeles. Luckily, with the sand in my toes and the salty breeze in my hair, the world is my oyster. Hmm, oysters….where should I go to try the best mollusks? Let me know in the comments!

*Thank you LONG TALL SALLY for providing the stylish inspiration for Summer in the City!*

Featured LTS Looks: Brights Print Strapless Midi Dress $95, Etched Herringbone Cold Shoulder Dress $109

Photographer: Rick Alderman

“Hello Summer” graphic created by Winkimages – Freepik.com

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Foodie Gift Guide 2014

Gifts for the ultimate food lover – from the novice cook to the master chef, these culinary inspired items are fit for every kitchen.

Sriracha2Go

Food lovers can’t live without their Sriracha and now they’ll never have to! Just fill up the 1.25 ounce pocket size Sriracha bottle with the spicy condiment and have it handy whenever the need arises. Sriracha obsessed foodies can clip it to their key chains, throw it in a purse or slide it into their pocket, so they’re never without this go with everything, must have chili sauce.

sriracha2go $7

Sriracha2Go, $7

Moscow Mule Mug

Moscow Mules are on the cocktail menus of every hip establishment, recognizable by the ultra-shiny copper mug that it’s served in. Foodies know that those cups are a hot commodity, so they’ll be thrilled to add an authentic mug to their home bar collection. This mug features a brilliant copper-plated finish over a stainless steel base and holds 20 ounces of vodka and ginger beer. Pour, sip and enjoy.

BBB_Moscow Mule Mug $14.99

Bed Bath & Beyond, $14.99

Briefcase Cheese Grater

There is nothing more frustrating than grating a brick of cheese and losing half of it on the counter or floor. Well chefs, it’s time to show your cheese who’s boss! This handy, briefcase style tool has stainless steel graters on both sides, a non-slip grip and holds up to three cups of cheese (or veggies if you prefer) in one contained place with no mess. Problem solved.

(2) High Fashion Home_Briefcase Box Grater $15

High Fashion Home, $15

Foodie Dice

Chefs love to mix it up in the kitchen with new and inventive recipes. Foodie Dice challenges seasoned chefs and newbies alike to an at home version of “Knife Fight” with over 186,000 possible combinations. Laser engraved on wood, nine dice offer protein options, cooking methods, grain selections, seasonal veggies, herb choices, and bonus ingredients. Simply roll and accept your challenge.

Uncommon Goods_Foodie Dice $24

Uncommon Goods, $24

Pizza Stone

Neapolitan style pizza restaurants are all the rage, with wood-fired ovens creating delightful, charred, well balanced pies that leave diners craving more. Foodies will love creating the same mouthwatering recipes at home with the Emile Henry Pizza Stone. The 14.5 inch glazed pizza stone can be used in ovens or on grills and heats up to scorching hot temperatures in just 15 minutes. Just add the pizza dough, toppings and a bottle of Chianti for the perfect evening!

emile-henry-red-pizza-stone-12-inch-15 $55

Emile Henry, $50

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I’m so happy to announce that Style Bites, the TV series I wrote, directed, produced and hosted, is airing daily on The Lifestyle Network! Check it out at 6am/12pm/6pm/12am PST on DirectTV, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. Full episodes are also available on YouTube.

I was blessed with the opportunity to create my own show back in January and it’s been a whirlwind ever since! I haven’t had a chance to recap my wonderful experience as it’s been an extremely busy few months! So, I’d like to share a bit about my adventure with you now…

Style Bites is based on this blog, Your Gal Kara: Your Glam, Affordable and Luxurious Resource.

Watch Highlights from Season 1 of Style Bites here!

As you all know, I am a true fashionista! I love fashion magazines, watching (and walking in) runway shows and learning about new designers and collections. And like a true style savvy gal, I love a fashionable deal! After all, I’ve been working in the fashion industry since I was a teen; from modeling, styling and producing shows to creating PR campaigns for new and renowned brands, I’ve done it all!

Some of you may not know that I come from a family of restaurateurs. The Thai women in my family have been in the restaurant business since I can remember, and food has always been at the center of my life. I love to cook and experiment with new spices and recipes. And my biggest love in life is to travel and explore world cuisines! 

It seemed like a natural fit for me to create a show that combines my two loves, fashion and food! Style Bites grants exclusive access to the latest restaurants and hotspots, offers tips on how to achieve the latest trends and reveals coveted secrets from fashion and beauty insiders. "Style Bites is the ultimate bible on chic living," said Olivia de Jesus, Managing Director for ABS-CBN International North America.

Style Bites

Glam Guide breaks down the hottest fashion trends from the runway to the red carpet. Learn practical tips and discover affordable finds to help you live with flair. Featured guests include Halston Heritage, Liza Stewart Showroom, L.K. Bennett, IFBB Pro Gigi Amurao, Aerithe and Linea Pelle.

Designer Dish grants exclusive access to the industry’s top designers, exclusive events, fashion previews, and beauty hotspots. Indulge with an in-depth look at today’s most coveted style influencers. Featured guests include celebrity brow expert Kelley Baker, Traffic Women at the Beverly Center, butterflyzebra, Lou Razon, Calleen Cordero and Sew Down.

Style Bites also gives audiences a Taste of the Town, a premier table at must-try restaurants that guarantees to satisfy cravings for unique food finds and mind-blowing cuisine. Featured restaurants include supperclub LA, Crème Caramel LA, Crustacean Beverly Hills, White Rabbit Truck, Paiche and Cornell Winery.

And if just a taste is not enough, learn to Cook Like A Chef. Walk into the kitchens of renowned chefs and tastemakers as they share their most celebrated recipes that you can make at home. Featured chefs include Coreen Peralta of Tia Conchita Brands, Frankie Garcia of Local 1205, Nick Nishi of Hamakaze Sushi & Izakaya, Marius Blin of Esterel, Penpim Jittorn of Thailand Plaza and Carolos Tamazos and Lisa Crossman of Waterloo & City.

Check back here for behind the scenes photos from Style Bites season one, as well as full length videos of all 24 segments. I’d love to hear from you to see what you think of the show, so feel free to leave your comments below. And if you have a favorite designer, fashion tip or restaurant that you think I should feature in a future episode, let me know too!

Thanks to everyone for your love and support! xo

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Style Bites Magazine

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Holiday Gift Guide 2013: Best Gifts for Foodies

Gifts for the ultimate food lover — from the novice cook to the master chef — these culinary inspired items are fit for every kitchen.

Oulesa olive oil

Made from the rare Palomar olive from the Catalonia region of Spain, Oulesa is quickly becoming the most sought after olive oil among foodies. This aromatic oil is deep green, with a sweet yet light flavor amid tones of artichoke, grass and fruit. With a distinct aroma and bountiful flavor, Oulesa is best used for dipping, brushed atop a fresh baguette or drizzled over your favorite soups, salads and specialty dishes. Imported exclusively by Tia Conchita Brands in the U.S., you’re guaranteed a unique and exceptional gift as only 5000 bottles are made every year.

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Oulesa Olive Oil, $32 , available at TiaConchitaBrands.com

For more Foodie gifts, click here.

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GAL Travel – St. Kitts & Nevis (Leeward Islands, Caribbean)

St. Kitts & Nevis are a set of tropical island gems in the West Indies.  Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea are the two sister islands, rich with history, culture, and lush vegetation.  Locals, known as Kittitians, are warm, gracious, and welcoming.  The beauty of the island and serene environment is intoxicating, and after a few days, you’ll be limin’ (Kittitian for “relaxing”) like a local!  The delectable West Indian cuisine and native seafood are a food lover’s dream, while the sugar cane rum cocktails pack a powerful punch!  If you want to discover a unique tropical oasis, St. Kitts & Nevis is a must visit vacation destination! Read More…

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GAL Travel – Santa Ynez Valley Wine Country (CA)

Located in the heart of Santa Barbara’s world renowned vineyards is the Santa Ynez Valley Wine Country. Just 125 miles from Los Angeles, Santa Ynez features breathtaking views, intimate wineries, and charming inns, the perfect destination for wine lovers and foodies alike. In 2004, Santa Ynez Wine Country gained celebrity status when it was featured in the hit film, Sideways. Whether you’re a movie buff, a wine connoisseur, or simply looking to experience a beautiful part of Southern California, Santa Ynez is a must see! For a Glam, Affordable, and Luxurious take on the Santa Ynez Wine Country, here are my GAL Travel recommendations for your next trip!

Gainey Sunstone Winery

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