Have you heard about the the Stir It 28 event making its way across the country? Or perhapps seen the #stirit28 hashtag on Twitter?

Well I’m delighted to be a part of this nationwide effort to raise money for Haiti Relief. This special event will take place in four major cities: Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta and New York.

If you haven’t purchased your ticket yet, no worries you still have time!

You can purchase your ticket at http://flanboyanteats.com or http://cococooks.blogspot.com. Click the link that says “Purchase Tickets For STIR IT 28 Culinary Event-Feb. 21st”. Be sure to indicate you are buying a ticket for the LOS ANGELES event. Email chrystal@duodishes.com once you have purchased, and you will receive the address.

Los Angeles Stir It 28 Soirée Details

Free valet offered by Logistic Parking (http://www.logisticparking.com) for the first 50 cars, so arrive early!

Los Angeles: Sippity Sup’s house in the Hollywood Hills Contact GREG for the address. 4-7 pm. $30 in advance; $35 at the door
*Complimentary Valet will be available for first 50 attendees!

For more information, please review the official press release here. Or, look up the Twitter hashtag #stirit28 !

If you are still undecided whether you should attend or not. Perhaps the following will help:

We have an amazing line-up of bloggers, caterers and home cooks who will prepare an extensive list of appetizers and desserts.

Gisele Perez of Small Pleasures Catering was recently listed in KTLA’s Top 5 Best Caterers of 2009. She will create an interactive bruschetta bar with various spreads and toppings such as herbed goat cheese and caramelized onions and figs. She will also have a dessert bar featuring six different sweets, including white chocolate lemon curd swirl cheesecake and profiteroles with chocolate fondue.

Barrie Lynn Krich, The Cheese Impresario, will have a cheese table set up where you can ask her questions about cheese pairings while you grab bites from her artisanal cheese plates.

The long list of bloggers who have offered to create special hors d’oeuvres and desserts include:

Chrystal & Amir Duo Dishes
Austin, Austio’s Catering
Michael, Southbay Foodies
Diana, Diana Takes a Bite
Cathy, Gastronomy Blog
Andrea, L.A. Easy Meals
Esi, Dishing Up Delights
Greg, Sippity Sup
Patti, Worth the Whisk
Erika, In Erika’s Kitchen
Cynthia, Furey and the Feast
Krissy & Daniel, The Food Addicts
Jennifer, Domestic Divas
Nastassia, Let Me Eat Cake
Nancy Goodman, Food Art LA
Anisha, Food Is My Nish
H.C., L.A. and O.C. Foodventures
Mary, The Food Librarian
Craig, Hipcooks
Jenn, Bread + Butter
and of course yours truly Daydreamer Desserts.

Not only will you have to opportunity to sample some great dishes prepared by the above mentioned food bloggers. Grey Goose and LA brand attaché Christophe Namer have partnered with Natalie Bovis-Nelsen of The Liquid Muse to create signature vodka cocktails, including “Hearts for Haiti” Grey Goose L’orange, homemade syrup made with Martini & Rossi Vermouth, fresh grapefruit juice and Martini & Rossi prosecco. Natalie will also present specialty sangrias featuring Sutter Home and Fre Alcohol-Removed wine, in addition to her Sparkling Pomegranate Snowflake from Preggatinis ™: Mixology for the Mom-To-Be.

Several fun raffle items are available to win with the purchase of a $1 raffle ticket at the door.

The offerings include The Liquid Muse’s Preggatinis gift basket (featuring the book, two signature cocktail glasses and a shaker and muddler in a reusable white wicker basket), an iHerb.com gift pack, cookbooks from Abel & Cole and Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, and a gift certificate to OpenSky.

So, purchase your ticket(s) today at Flanboyant Eats or Coco Cooks! Click the Stir It 28 logo image that says “Purchase Tickets For STIR IT 28 Culinary Event-Feb. 21st”.

If you would like to attend Stir It 28 in one of the other three cities here are the locations that will be hosting this event:

Atlanta: Space Atlanta – Eat Drink Enjoy
1310 White Street, Atlanta, GA 30310. 4-7 pm. DJ Rev Lee spins music and special surprise guest appearance by local performer that will electrify you! Complimentary wine by Montaluce Winery. Cash bar. $30 in advance; $40 at the door.

Chicago: Three Peas Art Lounge
75 E. 16th Street (Between Michigan and Wabash)
Chicago, IL 60616. 4-7 pm. $30 in advance; $35 at the door.
*cash bar & delicious cupcakes for sale

New York: NYU Department of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health
35 W. 4th Street, 10th floor, NY, NY, 10012. 4-7 pm
Advanced ticket sales only: $20 for students and $30 for adults/faculty & staff.
Students must pay via the PayPal General Online Donation button on Flanboyant Eats and Coco Cooks and indicate “NYU student ticket” in notes. Must show student ID at the door.
*Street parking and parking garages within walking distance

Be sure to indicate the specific city you are buying a ticket for in the seller’s notes, and you’ll be all set.

Help me spread the word, and see you Sunday!

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Today I am going to share a story with you.

This story is about an amazing couple Drew and Mikalle, and their beautiful baby boy Holden Milo, who you see in Mikalle’s arms.

Drew and Mikalle were made for one another, not only do they share many great qualities, they also share the same love and passion for the outdoors and adventure. Mikalle is a triathlete, she has over 20 marathons under her belt can you believe that? And Drew as you can see from the picture above loves to surf, he has practically traveled all over the world in search of the perfect barrel, and I’m not talking wine here.

Drew and I work together, and can I tell you… he’s one of the nicest guys in the office, always has a smile on his face and although I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Mikalle yet, I can easily guess she is as kind, generous and genuine as Drew.

Drew grew up here in Southern California but attended the University of Oregon (Go Ducks!) and Mikalle grew up in Longview, WA. They met here in So. Cal and got married August 12, 2006. In April 23, 2009 little baby Holden Milo was born and at the very tender age of only 8 months he passed away 12/31/2009.

Drew and Mikalle have setup a website to honor and remember baby Holden, as well as “Holden’s Fund” which will help raise funds for very worthy organizations that help families and children in need of medical care. To learn more about Holden’s Story or to donate please visit his website.

Celebrating Baby Holden Milo Weddle’s Life

These Pacific Northwest inspired cupcakes are dedicated to the memory of baby Holden…

Pear Hazelnut Cupcakes
adapted from Oregon Grower’s & Shippers

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter- room temperature
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 homemade pear hazelnut preserves (or Oregon Growers & Shippers Pear Hazelnut Fruit Spread)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.

In a small mixing bowl sift flour, and salt. Set aside.

In a stand up mixer with a paddle attachment, cream room temperature butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.

Add one egg at time, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl with a rubber spatula after adding both.

Add vanilla and the Pear Hazelnut Fruit Spread. Mix well.

Add half of the milk, and then alternate with the flour mixture. Repeat with the remaining milk, finishing with the flour. *Just blend until everything is incorporated, be careful not to over mix or your cupcake batter.

Divide batter evenly, filling each liner about 2/3 full.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in through the center of your cupcake until it comes out clean.

Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the muffin tin, then remove and cool on wire rack.

Hazelnut Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8 oz package of cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 stick of unsalted butter
1/4 cup ground hazelnuts
3 cups of powdered sugar – sifted
2 teaspoons frangelico liqueur

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix cream cheese and butter until smooth and incorporated.

Add Frangelico and slowly add the powdered sugar until well blended.

Homemade Pear & Hazelnut Preserves

2 ripe pears pealed and cored
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon zest
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 pod cardamom freshly ground
1/3 cup finely ground toasted hazelnuts

Add all ingredients to a medium heavy pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Reduce heat, and cook for 40-45 minutes, until thick and syrupy. Allow preserves to cool run through the food processor a few seconds

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