Enjoying Indian Cuisine in your home

Sometimes I crave good Indian cuisine, and with restaurants temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, I discovered Deep Indian Kitchen meals are available in the frozen section at Whole Foods, Ralph’s, Vons and Albertsons.

Using family recipes, Deepak “Deep” Amin, President and CEO of Deep Foods Inc., started in his family home perfecting each dish. Today, he has nearly 4,800 employees making flavorful Indian cuisine to enjoy in the comfort of your own home.

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The name “Deep” in India means ‘lamp” and “enlightenment”. The Deep Indian Kitchen team enlightens their dishes by grinding their own spices and simmering their vegetables in batches of creamy sauces.

For the Northern India favorite – Chicken Tikka Masala, they marinate and roast the chicken before cutting it into smaller pieces and mixing it into a velvety tomato, ginger, ghee, turmeric, cumin and onion sauce. It’s a complete meal with cumin basmati rice included in the package.

The front of each box lists a spice level ranging from mild to medium, protein grams, and no artificial ingredient.

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The Southern India Chicken Curry offers a kick of spice from green chilies and sweetness from coconut milk that gives the sauce a pleasing flavor.

I really liked the zesty spinach Paneer is made from scratch by finely chopping fresh spinach and cooking it with ginger, garlic, and spices. Savory pieces of paneer cheese and turmeric rice enhance this dish.

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They hand stretch the dough for their garlic naan before baking it in their clay ovens. It’s seasoned with garlic and coriander. All I had to do was preheat my oven to 400 degrees and bake for two minutes.

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Deep Indian Kitchen helps children in rural India with access to education by giving to the Deepkiran (Ray of Light) Foundation with every purchase of their food. So far they have helped 22,000 children in 119 villages.

To order Deep Indian Kitchen to be delivered to your door, click here.

Las Vegas reopens four MGM Hotels

Travelers will be able to walk into four MGM properties along The Sunset Strip on June 4, 2020. The Bellagio Resort, New-York, New-York, MGM Resort and The Signature are ready to welcome travelers with their new Seven-Point Safety Plan in place. The new MGM Resorts Mobile App makes checking in and entering your room easy. It’s a more convenient, contactless way to check-in, confirm arrival time, and provide payment before stepping in the lobby. For M life Rewards members, a couple of taps is all it takes and you’re in.

Valet parking is not available right now, so each property is offering free self parking. When entering a property, guests are strongly encouraged to wear masks in public areas. Hotel lobbies are being retrofitted to allow for spacious queuing and physical barriers are in place to protect interactions with lobby staff.

Those visiting the Bellagio Resort are encouraged to wear a face covering while viewing the new garden showpiece inside Bellagio Resort’s iconic Conservatory. A team of creative green thumbs put the finishing touches on a new Japanese Spring Garden titled “Japan Journey: Magic of Kansai.” Employees are required to wear an approved mask and gloves while working at all properties.

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According to a MGM spokesperson, extensive employee protocols are put in place including screening questions, employee temperature checks and training programs on health and safety protocols. Medical and security personnel on staff will be able to assist should a guest develop symptoms while staying at one of the MGM resorts.

A 6-foot physical distancing policies will be implemented throughout the resorts with floor guides to assist and remind guests. Certain areas will have plexiglass barriers, face shields and clear signage to remind guests and staff.

Expect new dining experiences with virtual queuing, new table layouts designed for physical distancing, digital menu options and tableside Tap and Go payment at Petrossian Bar and fine-dining restaurants The Mayfair Supper Club, Lago and award-winning, four-star celebrity chef and restaurateur Jean-Georges Vongerichten Prime and Lago.

Outside the iconic fountains will once again come to life with music with a water and light show throughout the day.

The resort’s lush pool area will be open with a selection of semi-private cabanas available, and the nearby salon and fitness center will be available by appointment.

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MGM Resorts International reopens the MGM Grand Las Vegas and The Signature in Las Vegas after the MGM Resorts team worked with medical experts to develop a safety plan to ensure a multi-layered health and safety protocol.

Guests will find easy access to custom-built handwashing stations and hand sanitizer throughout the properties. High-touch surfaces and common areas will be cleaned with  products that meet EPA guidelines.

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The new MGM Resorts Mobile App offers browsing and booking a table at a selected number of bars and lounges, casual and fine-dining venues including Top Chef personality and James Beard Award-winning chef Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak and Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill.

Outside, a select number of cabanas will be available alongside a portion of the resort’s pool oasis. The salon and fitness center will be open to hotel guests by reservation, and a variety of amenities will open at both The Signature at MGM Grand.

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At New York-New York is reopening a variety of bars and dining venues including Tom’s Urban. New York-New York guests can ride the thrill-seeking Big Apple Roller Coaster and play in the Big Apple Arcade. Hershey’s Chocolate World will reopen for sweet souvenirs to enjoy and bring home.

Just in time for summer warmth, the pool will open with a selection of cabanas available. The property’s fitness center will be available to hotel guests, and many of the venues at the adjacent Park are slated to open soon.

MGM has compiled its own internal team and processes to respond if a guest or employee tests positive for COVID-19. If a guest tests positive after visiting one of the MGM properties, they are instructed to email (covid19@mgmresorts.com). The positive test result will be reported to the local health department to assist with contact tracing to help support the health department investigators.

For a full list of offerings, and to make reservations, please visit mgmresorts.com.

This review is featured in JustLuxe and Luxe Beat Magazine. 

The Pendry West Hollywood Welcomes Wolfgang Puck

Recently I was invited to a Zoom informational meeting with a panel involved in the new Pendry West Hollywood and Pendry Residences West Hollywood by Montage Hotel & Resorts. Everyone was giddy about the collaboration with Chef Wolfgang Puck returning to the Sunset Strip.

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Wolfgang Puck first starting cooking in Los Angeles in 1975 as a chef of Ma Maison in West Hollywood. His big personality and innovative culinary flair attracted the rich and famous eager to enjoy his elegant fusion of French and California fare. With award winning reviews and a steady following, Wolfgang branched out to create his first flagship restaurant, Spago, in West Hollywood. Spago means “spaghetti” in Neapolitan slang.

Opening in 1982, the restaurant perched on a hill next to Tower Records with the Sunset Strip below, became an instant culinary phenomenon. He hired a team of talented chefs that later went on to open their own successful restaurants throughout Los Angeles.

Puck pioneered “California Cuisine,” and became famous for its haute designer pizzas topped with smoked salmon and caviar, and pasta dishes. Known as the pizzeria to the stars, super agent “Swifty” Lazar held his annual post-Oscar party at Spago, and just about every movie star hoped to secure an invitation.

Spago attracted some of the most talented, ambitious cooks, who later moved on to launch their own successful restaurants. Nancy Silverton and her husband at the time Mark Peel, opened Campanile in 1989, and later La Brea Bakery. Executive chef Govind Armstrong began working at Spago in his teens. Susan Feniger of Border Grill restaurants worked with Puck, as did Chef Neal Fraser before opening BLD and Redbird. Before Providence and Connie & Ted’s, James Beard Award winning chef Michael Cimarusti was the chef de cuisine at the original Spago.

With Puck’s success he opened Granita in Malibu or Chinois in Santa Monica. This accomplished chef earned the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Chef of the Year, in 1991, and the James Beard Foundation Award for Restaurant of the Year in 1994, but won Outstanding Chef of the Year again, in 1998. Wolfgang Puck is the only chef to have won the Outstanding Chef of the Year Award multiple times.

After 15 successful years in West Hollywood, Puck moved Spago to the more toney Canon Drive in Beverly Hills. “WeHo is different now than when I had a restaurant on the Sunset Strip,” said Puck. “It was funky and known for its wild nightlife and rock music in various clubs. I used to go to The Whiskey, and once I saw Chuck Berry,” said Puck.

Photo courtesy of Pendry Hotels

 

Located on the former House of Blues corner, is a new way of luxury living, The walkable neighborhood of Sunset and Fountain is becoming the hub to live, work and play. It’s the right property for the right time to meet the moment.

Wolfgang Puck will bring a variety of premier dining concepts to Pendry West Hollywood. ‘Now Sunset Blvd., is being revitalized. It’s amazing. The Pendry West Hollywood will be the center of the Sunset Strip,’ said Puck. ‘I like it so much, that I have moved my office here.’

Diners can expect to enjoy Puck’s Michelin-starred, seasonal cuisine, highlighting local ingredients and organic options, along with carefully crafted wine and cocktail lists developed by Puck’s acclaimed beverage team.

“I may create a new fine dining restaurant concept for a new generation of foodies,” said Puck. Plans are to create a casual indoor breakfast, lunch, and dinner concept with an outdoor patio, and a sophisticated rooftop restaurant offering stunning views of Los Angeles.

The restaurants might even have some Spago inspired dishes that fans of the original restaurant enjoyed. “Downstairs is a music room. Musicians like home cooked meals, so I’ll be making fried chicken and comfort dishes,” said Puck.

“It’s an honor to team up with a world-renowned chef and one of Los Angeles’ culinary icons to bring our food and beverage concepts at Pendry West Hollywood to life,” said Michael Fuerstman, co-founder and creative director of Pendry Hotels. “Wolfgang has played a singular role in shaping the City’s culinary identity, and we are excited to collaborate with an LA legend to continue to push the food scene to even greater heights.”

Photo courtesy of Pendry Hotels

 

Pendry West Hollywood is a $500 million dollar project that has taken 15 years in the making featuring 149 luxury guestrooms in an urban oasis and 40 luxury residences with a piazza separating the vibrancy of the hotel with the privacy of residential living.

Besides Wolfgang Puck culinary and beverage venues, guests and residence owners will have exclusive access to hotel amenities, including a rooftop pool and bar, multi-purpose live music and entertainment venue, a screening room, bowling alley, Spa Pendry and state-of-the-art fitness center, and a curated art collection.

Martin Brudnizki, founder of Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, vision for the new Pendry West Hollywood is the glamour of the 1930s and 1950s with a contemporary twist. “Sunset is a stretched out Time Square,” said Brudnizki on Zoom. ‘Im creating an inviting public village, that is exclusively perched up above the Sunset Strip with steps cascading down the hill.’

Every resident will have a terrace, some are bigger than others bringing nature and sunshine, a relaxed lifestyle, and uber glamour that inspires a zest for life. The residences start at $3 million for an almost 3,000 square foot private unit.

New to the Pendry Hotel since the coronavirus pandemic, is One Medical, a telecom Medical App, offering check-in with a live doctor 24/7 for associates.

Another Pendry West Hollywood article is also featured in JustLuxe -.

Pendry Natirar second home opportunity

One of America’s great country estates, turned into a modern-day manor offers 68 elegantly appointed guest rooms and suites within a private gated enclave. Recently Pendry Hotels, a luxury hospitality brand from Montage International, announced the next phase of development for Pendry Residences Natirar. Located less than a one hour drive from New York City, in historic Somerset County, NJ, the Pendry Natirar offers sustainable living, wellness and a connection to nature.

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Site work for a collection of private, whole-ownership Estate and Farm Villa Residences is set to open in 2021. The entry, roads and initial residence constructions should reach completion by the end of this year.

Sitting on 90 bucolic acres of rolling hills, manicured verdant lawns and ancient woodlands, Pendry Residences Natirar promotes offers a private Agrihood experience on its 12-acre farm. The new Farm Villas will have a backyard connection to this area for owners to enjoy daily walks and harvests of fresh herbs, eggs and produce that can be delivered to their doorstep daily.

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The luxury 24 whole ownership Estate and Farm Villas start at $2 million. Farm Villas offer fully-furnished, two bedrooms with 2,400 square feet and private access to the Natirar Farm.

The semi-custom built Estate Villas range in footage from 3,600 to 4,000 square feet and offer expansive views and personalize selection options. These start at $2.5 million.

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Pendry Residences Natirar owners will also have preferred access to the hotel’s array of amenities, programming, and services including Ninety Acres – a culinary farm-to-table restaurant, and cooking school. There is also a full-service Spa Pendry experience; fitness center, swimming pool and tennis courts.

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“Pendry Residences Natirar will be the ideal retreat for those looking for a turn-key second home outside of the city—all with personalized service, design and all the custom attributes that appeal to individual families,” says Tina Necrason, executive vice president, residential, Montage International.

In addition, residents enjoy effortless living with a dedicated staff, personalized concierge services, pre-arrival provisioning and property management.

For more information about Pendry Residences Natirar, please visit http://www.pendryresidencesnatirar.com/.  Read more in my JustLuxe article published on May 26, 2020

Baked by Nature heartfelt story

Baked by Nature is a new healthy Oat Bite snack company by entrepreneur Kara Freedman. According to her Baked by Nature site, she was inspired by her grandfather Walter Freedman, to create her wholesome, natural and filling baked goods company.

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Walter fled to America after he survived the Holocaust. He was drafted by the US Army to fight in WWII and received a Purple Heart. With an emphasis on wellness, Walter lived a long and happy life, passing away in 2019 at the age of 99 years old. As an entrepreneur himself, he inspired his granddaughter Kara to start Baked by Nature, creating natures’ most delicious ingredients, while never compromising wellness.

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Seeking healthy comfort food while isolated and staying safer at home, I discovered Baked by Nature and had three different bags of flavored oat bites delivered to my home.

The Chocolate Chip Oat Bites are made with no added sugar or artificial sweeteners and are dairy free. Besides using gluten-free oats, cinnamon and almond flour, these bite size delights are sweetened with chopped organic dates and vegan dark chocolate chips. They offer 3g of protein, 19.4g of carbs, and 5.6g of fat.

The Coconut Honey Oat Bites are covered in unsweetened coconut flakes, honey, gluten-free oats, almond flour, cinnamon, almond and organic dates. They were satisfying too, however I really liked the more intense flavoring in each Hazelnut Coffee Oat Bite.  Made with gluten-free oats, almond flour and organic dates, each bite is rolled in fresh chopped hazelnuts and topped with an organic Stone Street Peruvian coffee bean.

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Thanks to Baked by Nature customers generous support, Kara was able to donate 1000 of her delicious oat bites to healthcare workers at NYU Langone and White Plains Hospitals. Each bag of wellness featured a handwritten message of gratitude and appreciation.

I’m sure her generosity is making grandpa Walter very proud of his granddaughter. If you would like to continue supporting Baked by Nature efforts and sponsor further donations, please purchase the discounted Healthcare Hero Oat Bites here. Kara and her team will be making monthly drop-offs to area medical centers moving forward.

 

Hermosa Beach House is now re-opened

After carefully following local and state official guidelines, the Beach House Hotel Hermosa Beach is reopening on Friday, May 15 at 3pm. Services will not be exactly the same as guest of the Hermosa Beach hotel remember in the past, but the staff is doing everything possible to make guests feel welcome, safe and relaxed at the beach.

Safety and cleanliness is their top priority. In response to changing times with Coronavirus (CRVID-19), they have developed comprehensive cleaning and physical distancing protocols, as well as revised service offerings.

I talked to Marje Bennett, General Manager of the Beach House Hotel to see how the opening weekend went for the hotel and guests. “We had 25 (guests) the first night and second night 50.  We have restriction on when we clean rooms after guests leave and (are) working to get that changed by new protocols on when we can go into the (guest) room.”

Here are some of their new current details:

CLEANLINESS AND SOCIAL DISTANCING

Staff members have received new training and education for new cleaning processes throughout the property. They have more frequent and intensive cleaning for all surfaces in the hotel in all public areas, as well as all guest rooms.

All occupied guest rooms will only be serviced after each guest has checked out. The Front Desk will assist guest requests for additional towels, bathroom amenities and all other items.

Beach House Front Desk has implemented a stringent, streamlined check-in and check-out process which will maintain social distancing and limited contact.

Per Government health recommendations, the hotel requests that hotel guests utilize face coverings for the safety of others when in elevators, the lobby and other public areas. Contact the Front Desk for questions or if you are in need of resources.

The staff will be checked daily for their health and wellness, before serving guests.

Beach House guests are asked to maintain proper social distancing while on property for the safety of all guests.

Should you experience any flu-like symptoms during or within 14 days before or after your stay, please inform management to ensure the health and safety of all guests and staff.

Beach House is closely monitoring the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization’s statements regarding the novel COVID-19, and are following their guidelines and orders from our local state and county health departments.

FOOD AND BEVERAGE SERVICES

The Daily Continental Breakfast will be served each morning and guests can either sit separately outdoors on the Strand Patio with proper social distancing protocols implemented, or take a breakfast tray back to their room and balcony.

Not all area restaurants may be open, however many in Hermosa Beach do offer take-out and delivery services. The Front Desk can help you with any needs.

Each room offers complimentary coffee, tea and two bottles of water.

ADDITIONAL SERVICES

Due to current conditions, some of our traditional services including Spa Services and the Fitness Room will not be available. At this time, there is no valet parking. Self-parking is available in the garage at $24 overnight. The staff will assist with luggage in the parking garage if requested.

Any guest room deliveries will be directed to the Front Desk for coordination with pick-up or delivery.

Beach House Hotel at Hermosa Beach hopes guests will find, being by the beach a wonderful respite for those who have been isolated in their homes. For reservations, go to https://www.beach-house.com/hermosa-beach.

This review was featured in JustLuxe on May 21, 2020.

Justin Bieber helps launch Liquid I.V.’s “Yummy” flavor

When Liquid I.V. approached me to try some samples of their newest hydration and electrolyte drink mix, I agreed. Then when I learned that Justin Beiber and his wife Hailey are investors in the El Segundo based wellness company, I was curious as to why they joined the LIV Group team.

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I learned Scooter Braun and CEO Brandin Cohen, approached Bieber and his team in 2019. The Bieber’s liked how Liquid I.V., fuels and hydrates athletes, travelers and wellness seekers. The product also gives back to people in need of water around the world. Together they thought his mega-hit new song “Yummy” would be a good match with their new refreshing flavor Guava Hibiscus flavor.

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They worked on product packaging to create excitement with a splash of light pink and melting darker pink bubble gum font lettering.

When it arrived on my door it provided a sense of cheerful fun, especially during the isolation of staying #saferathome for months due to the coronavirus.

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Inside were 16 hydration sticks (Retail for $24.47 or $1.52 a stick) to create a fruity cellular transport beverage that delivers hydration rapidly into the bloodstream. Each packet hydrates 2-3 times faster than water alone.

They also included a logo face mask, stickers and acrylic tumbler with a straw.

 

 

2020 MOMS Celebrates Women

During the month of May, Connected Apparel is celebrating 2020 Moms for their strength, creativity and resilience as they raise their children through the COVID-19 crisis.

Not only are moms teaching, working, creating fun games and exercises, baking bread, doing laundry and cooking before bedtime. The Los Angeles based family apparel company, owned by Jay Balaban and his daughter Leanna, partnered with The Blue Dot Project in working to combat maternal mental health issues. Their new campaign before and after Mother’s Day is Mom 2020.

According to The Blue Dot Project website, maternal mental health disorders, such as postpartum depression are the #1 complication of childbirth.

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The organization is focused on teenage girls, women and the family:

  • Combating stigma and shame
  • Issuing policy and systems change nationwide
  • Providing training and tools for moms
  • Pursuing advocacy opportunities
  • Making recommendations to hospitals, insurers and providers.

This silent maternal mental health crisis impacted up to 20% of expecting and new moms before COVID-19. What do you think the percentage is now? Mother’s Day isn’t just one day, it’s every during the month of May.

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Purchase one of their affordable vibrant silhouette dresses or a versatile and classic jumpsuit (all priced under $95) and 10% of every Connected Apparel purchase will be donated to 2020 Mom. Sizes range from Regular size 6-16, Petite size 4P-14P, and Plus size 14W-24W. They run true to size and are consistent across all garments.

Every purchase arrives in tissue paper and a handwritten personal note to make women feel extra special.

 

Quality

Each piece is impeccably constructed from easy-care, beautiful fabrics that glide over the body.

Fit

The designs flatter and fit all body shapes and sizes so women feel confident and empowered.

Delivery Right to your door. They offer fast and easy shipping and returns. You’ll receive your order within 2-7 business days, depending on processing and shipping methods chosen at checkout. And if you’re not happy, they gladly accept returns within 14 days.

If you want to help further, you can make a donation directly to 2020 Mom by adding a $1, $3 or $5 donation at checkout. Every dollar counts. By making your purchase and additional donation, you are helping 2020 Moms across the country.

 

Imperfect Foods delivered to your door

I’ve been avoiding going to the grocery store since the COVID-19 outbreak. It’s stressful and there is always someone who isn’t wearing a mask or gets too close for my comfort.

My daughter suggested we order from Imperfect Foods to be delivered to our door. It’s an innovative company based in San Francisco that works with local farmers, grocery stores and suppliers. She likes the concept so much that she even applied for a job to work with them.

As an Environmental Science major, she knows a lot about food waste. Grocery stores display only the most attractive and unblemished produce. This means “ugly” scarred fruits and vegetables, are thrown away.Screen Shot 2020-05-20 at 2.29.50 PM

Here’s what I also learned from Imperfect Foods:

  • Food is the single largest component of U.S. municipal landfills
  • 80% of consumers throw away good food due to mislabeled best by dates
  • Growing food that goes to waste used 20% of our fresh water

When dried mangos are considered too dark from sun exposure, it can’t be sold in stores, IMG_7815because it isn’t “pretty.” Some farmers sell it at a loss as fruit paste to smoothie manufactures, however Imperfect Foods buys it at a fair price and packages it as a delicious and healthy snack.

Remember reading about how the bountiful oversupply of potatoes piled up due to the coronavirus standstill. Hard-working farmers and producers with perfectly good potatoes, suddenly has no future.

Imperfect Foods motto is “If food can be saved we’ll save it.” They pledge to only provide products that are good value, high quality, and sustainably sourced. They saved 116 million pounds of Imperfect food and offered 345,000 reduced cost boxes delivered to low income families. Their grocery delivery company focuses on eliminating food waste and IMG_7814building a better food system for everyone.

If the food you receive is slightly imperfect, it still is delicious and nutritious. Just cut away a blemish and enjoy! They provide affordable pantry items, quality dairy, and meat to customers’ door for up to 30% less than the grocery store.

When you sign up, you’ll select certified organic produce or a regular box full of conventional produce.

Each week, your order of delicious, and sometimes “ugly” produce arrives. Based on your need, you can customize your order each week by shopping through their online shelves to keep, add, or remove items from your virtual grocery trip.

On the pink box it states “Whoever said that one person couldn’t make a difference in the fight against food waste obviously never met you.”Screen Shot 2020-05-20 at 8.12.37 AM Go online and select if you choose organic or conventional produce and then add grocery items you want delivered on a weekly basis.

An array of items, depending on the season includes:  Apples, Artichokes, Avocados, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cilantro, Cucumbers, Dried fruit, Garlic, Grapes, Kale, Lettuce, Nectarines, Onions, Potatoes, Squash, Swiss Tomatoes, Zucchini. Coffee, Almonds, Bread, Coffee, Eggs*, Milk* and Non Milk.

Since coronavirus, their grocery ordering demand has skyrocketed, so they temporarily Screen Shot 2020-05-20 at 8.14.30 AMmay put new signups on a waiting list. New customers can join on a first-come, first-serve basis by zip code.  We were on a waiting list for one week, before receiving an email that our order was ready to deliver. It arrived at the perfect time and saved me a trip to the store. When it arrived I was surprised how the celery was very crisp, the Romain lettuce was small with a few “ugly’ leaves, yet crisp and fresh, and of the 9 apples I ordered, only one was bumpy. Will I continue ordering? YOU BET!

Imperfect Foods is packed with care and delivered straight to your doorstep. Currently, there is no evidence of foodborne transmission of COVID-19, and the CDC and our Supply team see no relevant risk or concern associated with food delivery. Within our warehouses, the Imperfect Foods Safety team has placed extra emphasis on our already stringent processes.

Every employee handling products and boxes wears protective gloves, and all employees are trained on proper handwashing, safe food handling, and effective preventive action.

Screen Shot 2020-05-20 at 8.15.11 AMDue to COVID-19,  the delivery drivers will not ring your doorbell or knock on your door when they drop off your box. As an extra precaution, you will receive a text when your order has arrived.

Food accessibility matters to us now more than ever before. Anyone who qualifies for SNAP/Food Stamps can take part in this program. Click here. 

Imperfect Foods donates fresh produce and grocery essentials to nonprofit partners, where possible. Please join us in giving back and nourishing our neighbors and communities in this time of need. For every donation to Feeding America using this link, Imperfect Foods will match it up to $25,000.

Highkey Snacks delivered to your door

Today’s #SaferAtHome lifestyle has families snacking throughout the day. When Highkey sent me their mini-cookie bundle, my teenage daughter was so excited to do a taste test with me. Here is what we discovered:

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The bundle came in a a white box with robin egg blue lettering. Inside was one bag of Chocolate Chip mini cookies, Snickerdoodle and Brownie Bites.

We first opened the gluten free Chocolate Chip cookies:

Flavor: Not like a gooey Tollhouse Chocolate Chip cookie. Has a hint of coconut flavor. Since it is sugar-free, the Highkey bakers use a proprietary blend that includes Monk Fruit extract to naturally sweeten their snacks. Monk Fruit extract is a plant-based sweetener that is nearly 200 times sweeter than sugar. It grows natively in China and Thailand and is believed to have been used Traditional Chinese Medicine for hundreds of years. The beauty of Monk Fruit is that it has zero calories and zero grams of sugar so it won’t spike your blood sugar levels. 

Ingredients: Almond flour, egg, milk, coconut oil and chocolate chips.

Nutritional value: 4g of protein, 2g dietary fiber, 14 g fat. Since fiber and certain sugar alcohols, like Erythritol, are not digestible by the body, they are subtracted from the total carb count. The Chocolate Chip Mini Cookies have 11 grams of total carbs. However, when you subtract 2g of dietary fiber and 7g of sugar alcohol, you get 2g of net carbs per serving.

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The Brownie Bites pack a punch of chocolate flavor. It’s made with almond flour, an ideal alternative for a gluten-free lifestyle. It’s high in protein, manganese, vitamin E, and monounsaturated fats. It’s also low carb and contains fiber.

Texture: Dry and crunchy. Good to dip in Oat milk or eat alone.

Ingredients: Almond flour, egg, milk, coconut oil and chocolate chips

Nutritional value: 2g net carbs, 12g fat, 3g fiber and 5g protein. Another sweeter used in Highkey cookies is Erythritol. It’s a sugar alcohol that is naturally found in fruit and some fermented foods like pears, soy sauce and corn. Erythritol has a low glycemic index that shouldn’t spike your blood sugar.

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The Snickerdoodle bag offered cookies with a zing of cinnamon.

Texture: Dry and crunchy

Ingredients: Almond flour, eggs, coconut oil and a sweeter blend made with Stevia, a plant-based sweetener extracted from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant in South America. Stevia is 200-400 times sweeter than sugar and has zero calories and zero grams of sugar so it won’t spike your blood sugar levels.

Nutritional value: 4g protein, 2g fiber, 14g  and 150 calories per serving

Highkey just released a nutritional protein cereal with 0 Net Carbs – 90 Calories – 10g protein per serving.

They also make:

  • Low Carb Keto Chocolate Chip Muffin & Cupcake Mix
  • Low Carb Keto Double Chocolate Chip Muffin & Cupcake Mix
  • High Protein hot and cold cereal
  • Strawberry Keto friendly pancake and waffle mix

Go online Highkey. Shipping is free for orders $50+.

 

Going Meatless during Covid-19 Pandemic

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, nearly 30% of people in the U.S. were changing their diets to mostly vegetarian and vegan plant forward meals. Now after news reports about meatpacking plants in the United States becoming hotspots for coronavirus infections, with nearly 5,000 packing plant workers in 19 state fallen ill, and 20 have died as of May 1, 2020, more Americans are seeking plant forward alternatives to swap out beef, pork and chicken.

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Meatless Farm makes a variety of pea protein items offering a good source of protein and fiber, that look just like meat, with a lot less saturated fat.  They take care of your breakfast, lunch and dinner needs.

For breakfast their Meat Free Sausage Patties and Sausages are 100% vegan and gluten-free. There are 4 sausage patties and 12 sausage links in each container. Just heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a non-stick pan on a medium heat. Add your sausages and cook for approximately 5 minutes turning occasionally until nicely browned. Nutritionally they offer: 17g of protein per serving, 3g of fiber are Non-GMO, and Kosher certified.

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The Meat Free Ground is made with pea protein too. It can be used to make Swedish or Italian meatballs, Mexican tacos, and add into your family favorite recipes, such as chili, spaghetti, and lasagna.

It’s easy to make, just remove from the package, heat a non-stick pan on medium-high heat, add some oil, gently flake the ground into the pan and don’t touch for one minute. Continue cooking for 7-9 minutes stirring often. Meat Free Ground nutritionally offers per one cup serving: High in protein with 21g and 5g of fiber, gluten-free, vegan friendly, non-GMO and kosher certified.

⁣Order online by Sunday and you will receive your MeatLess Farm products on IMG_7610Wednesday. While online, check out their recipes. The Meatless Meatballs Rice’Bowl recipe includes making meatless meatballs that pack a punch, in a bowl of miso with crunchy veggies, and rice.

Another creative recipe is the Meatless Queso Sausage Breakfast Sliders using Meatless Sausage Patties.

Meatless Farm offers plant forward products offering fewer calories and less fat, weigh less, and may help lower your risk of heart disease. Meatless Farm products are also available from Whole Foods Market.

Special Delivery Mother’s Day Meals

IMG_7354Breakfast in Bed – The philanthropic brand The Little Market, started by Hannah Svarkla and Lauren Conrad, is offering a new baked goods delivery service in Los Angeles through their partnership with Homeboy Bakery, a social enterprise within Homeboy Industries. Through this collaboration, they are delivering freshly baked challah bread, cookies, muffins, brownies, croissants and cinnamon rolls. Deliveries within Los Angeles County are made every Friday; orders must be placed by Wednesday. These delicious treats are available to order for Mother’s Day and come in a special reusable tote bag at thelittlemarket.co

San Fernando Valley Pick-up – The Garland Mother’s Day without a fabulous brunch. Enjoy brunch for four, which includes peach and fried burrata salad, blue lump crab quiche, fried Mary’s farm chicken thighs, buttermilk cheese biscuits, potato salad, grilled asparagus with bearnaise sauce, and banana bread. Along with a bottle of Mumm Brut Prestige and The Front Yard’s signature mimosa mix. Orders must be placed by. Friday, May 8 at 8:30 p.m. and pick-up will be scheduled Sunday between 11 am and 3:30 pm. Call 818-255-7285 to order (pick-up only). 4222 Vineland Ave.IMG_7552

Lucques is back for curbside pick-up – Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne have been working hard with the Independent Restaurant Coalition and developing a new aspect of Lucques Catering to offer pick-up and delivery. Now Lucques is offering a three-course supper series for $49 per person. The menus change weekly. They also offer six burgers kit to grill-at-home. Each kit includes brioche buns, the fixings and condiments for $60. Their new brunch box serves four to six people for $75. It includes a dozen eggs, strawberry scones, ciabatta, avocados, smoked bacon, smoked salmon, tomatoes, capers and cream cheese and little gem lettuce with vinaigrette. For Mother’s Day, order a lobster chopped salad with bacon, avocado, cherry tomatoes and Maine lobster that serves four people. Larder Baking Company offers breads and chocolate chip cookies. Go online to order sparkling, white, rosé and red wines by the bottle or in box sets. Bar man Christiaan Röllich offers two of his ready-mixed batched cocktails to-go in 12-ounce bottles for two to three servings for $20. Curbside pick-up is at the Larder Maple Drive from Thursday through Sunday from 4-7 p.m. Delivery is also available within a five-mile radius for $15. Order at exploretock.com/lucquescatering. 345 N. Maple Drive, (310)248-3779.

Treat Mom to Pasta Sisters DIY pasta kits – The family-owned Italian restaurant and fresh pasta shop has just launched a market section with delivery through ChowNow and Postmates. Highlights include a seafood spaghetti special made with shrimp and clams in a lightly spicy shrimp bisque sauce. Be sure to include cookies, condiments, super sweet tomatoes, and a fine selection of truffle products. Call for curbside pickup. 3343 W Pico Blvd., (323)870-5271 and the Torrance location.

Mother’s Day Bundle from Maggiano’s Little Italy – Bring over to mom an Italian lunch and dinner on Mother’s Day, available for carryout. The bundle includes mini meatballs in Marinara sauce, Caesar salad, Fettucine Alfredo, Mom’s lasagna with Marinara sauce, chicken piccata, garlic broccoli, ciabatta rolls and a Mother’s Day dessert sampler with mini Gigi’s butter cakes, mini cheesecakes, chocolate Zuccoto bites, fresh strawberries, strawberry sauce and fresh whipped cream. This special dinner feeds up to six people and is $95. Reserve this cold-prepped Mother’s Day Bundle online at for pick up on May 8-9 https://orders.maggianos.com 189 The Grove Drive, (323)965-9661.

279C054F-385F-44B7-88EA-BA20EBEB2F77Treat Mom to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream delivered – Sit out on your patio, veranda, or porch to enjoy Jeni’s Splendid new Terrace Brunch flavors. Scoop caramel pecan sticky bun rich coconut ice cream; frose’ sorbet offering frozen rosé sangria with strawberry and watermelon flavors; creamy lemon and blueberry parfait made with fresh blueberry jam in cultured buttermilk; raspberry rose jelly donut flakes in a vanilla custard; and Savannah buttermint in mint ice cream with white chocolate flecks. Go online and put in your zip code. Select order next to your preferred shop. Choose your favorite pints, merchandise or beverages. Click on pickup, and proceed to checkout. Enter payment information and push submit order. Jeni’s staff will gather your order and prepare it to be collected at the front of their store or delivered by one of the following delivery apps: Jeni’s.com/localdelivery, Postmates, Caviar, UberEats and Doordash. Deliveries are 2 to 10 p.m. 1954 Hillhurst Ave., (323)928-2668 and 123 N. Larchmont Blvd., (323)745-0407.

Jean-Georges Beverly Hills Mother’s Day to-go meals – Two Mother’s Day decadent brunch packages are being planned, prepared and ready for pick up before Mother’s Day. The “Pamper and Brunch” package includes JG’s famous pancakes with the recipe and all the ingredients for a celebratory brunch for four people. This  includes bacon, syrup, pastries, coffee, champagne, fresh squeezed orange juice, red roses, and a variety of La Prairie skin care products to gift to your mom. The “Pamper and Brunch” package is $475 plus tax. The second Mother’s Day meal is “Take and Make Brunch” includes all of the above without La Prairie beauty items for $350 plus tax. Orders can be placed now until 2 p.m., on May 7. Orders will be available for pick-up at the entrance of the hotel on May 8 and May 9 between the hours of 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. 9850 Wilshire Blvd., (310)860-6717. 

IMG_7555Tavern re-opens – Suzanne Goin is offering Mother’s Day Special for pickup or delivery. Add bottles of wine, curated boxes of wine and ready made special cocktails. Brunch to go is $39 per person. 8700 W. 3rd St. Order on Tock.

Angelini Restaurant Mother’s Day weekend menu call in or email chef Gino Angelini to order a $49 Mother’s Day brunch or dinner for this Saturday and Sunday. The brunch special includes Italian bread pudding, smoked salmon toast, zucchini frittata, tomato bruschetta, Tagilolini al Limone, Italian pastry box and freshly squeeze orange juice for $49 per person with a two-person minimum. For dinner enjoy grilled garlic bread, classic Caesar salad, ahi tuna tartar crostini, meatballs and a choice of five entrees for $69 per person with a two person minimum. Wine and MOM-osa kits start at $24. Pre-order now by calling or email info@angeliniosteria.com. Open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. 7313-7321 Beverly Blvd., (323)297-0700 ext. 1. 

Jar’s Mother’s Day menu on May 10 beginning at 1 p.m., Jar is offering a special Mother’s Day meal with curbside pick up and delivery. Menu items include sautéed soft shell crab, cedar smoked salmon, Jar crab cakes, fried chicken, char siu baby back pork ribs, and a Jar chopped. You can also take away Brut Rosé Champagne when you call in your pre-order. Call 24 hours in advance for delivery. 8225 Beverly Blvd., (323)655-6566. 

Salt & Straw reopens before Mother’s Day. Local delivery and contactless pick-up is available at many of the Salt & Straw scoop shops from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Waffle cones are also available to enjoy with pint orders. Pint packs can be ordered as a gift around the country by clicking on https://saltandstraw.com. Scoop shops open for pickup include 240 N. Larchmont Blvd., (323)466-0485, and 8949 Santa Monica Blvd., (424)288-4818.

Sightglass Provisions now open – Sightglass roasters and restaurant reopened as Sightglass Provisions, offering the highest quality seasonal produce sourced directly from local farms. Order brined chicken, house smoked salmon, Roman-style pizza and specialty kits. They also offer roasted garlic hummus, meatballs in red sauce, soup stock, pantry essentials, housemade sourdough bread, bagels, buns, cinnamon rolls, cookies, take-and-bake buttermilk biscuits, dairy products, wine, beer, and freshly roasted coffee. Pre-orders placed Tuesday through Saturday from 2 to 10 p.m., via https://www.exploretock.com/sightglasscoffeeroasters. Customers can order provisions for contactless pick-up or local delivery within a 2.5 mile radius with a $50 minimum + $3 delivery fee. 7051 Willoughby Ave. (323)763-8588.

Petty Cash reopens and the team is recharged and preparing taco kits, cauliflower nachos and margaritas to go. Their build-your-own taco kits are $21 per person and includes a choice beef brisket, Jidori chicken, salmon creek pork, or grilled portobello mushroom and sweet potato filling. Also included are organic corn tortillas, poblano rice, pinquinto beans or vegetarian black beans, salsa verde and salsa roja, chopped onions, cilantro and crispy tortilla chips. All orders must be placed in advance on Tock https://www.exploretock.com/pettycashtaqueria. The hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 4 to 9 p.m. 7360 Beverly Blvd., (323)933-5300.

IMG_7141Bobo’s Mother’s Day Gift Box – Treat your mom to a breakfast in bed that’s baked with love. The color box delivered to her door includes a breakfast selection of Bobo’s organic whole grain lemon poppyseed, coconut, original and chocolate chip oat bars. Also included are apple pie and peanut butter chocolate chip bites, and a strawberry toaster pastry. As a special gift Bobo’s is including a Bobo’s coffee mug, Alpine Start coffee, Stash organic tea, and a magnet for a love note to mom to be placed on the refrigerator. Get 20% off this box when you put BOBOSMOM at checkout. Order online at https://eatbobos.com.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit Mother’s Day special and social media giveaway in honor of Mother’s Day is from May 1 through May 31. Guests are invited to post the best advice their mother ever gave them on their social media for a chance to win free barbecue for the year. Use the hashtag #motherlyadvice and tag Dickey’s. Dickey’s is also offering its classic family pack to make it easier than ever for moms to enjoy their favorite barbecue. The family pack is available for delivery and takeout for $34.99. Each pack feeds up to four people and includes one pound of pulled pork, one pound of beef brisket, choice of barbecue sauce, baked beans, coleslaw, potato salad and six rolls. Go to https://www.dickeys.com/locations/California for the locations in California.

Boxwood cooking for moms for an elevated Mother’s Day celebration, the culinary team at Boxwood is preparing baked Maine lobster Newburg, coq au vin, and a roasted Prime Chateaubriand with a selection of starters, vegetable sides and choice of dessert for two people at $85. Take-home a $25 “build-your-own-beverage” option of strawberry mimosas with fresh-pressed strawberry juice and Bloody Marys with smoked bacon. Orders can be placed by emailing boxwoodhost@thelondonweho.com to be picked up on Sunday, May 10 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Call before you arrive to pick up in the valet area. 1020 N. San Vicente Blvd., (310)358-7780.

Yogurtland surprise for mom and the family with cups of Yogurtland for pickup or delivery. The frozen yogurt delivery is available on Doordash, Grubhub, Postmates, Ubereats applications. Flavors include cookies and cream, strawberry and cheesecake. Order mom’s favorite topping too. 1607 Wlishire Blvd., (213)568-3055; 3183 Wilshire Blvd., (213)736-1815; 5541 W. Sunset Blvd., (323)461-0091; and 310 S. La Brea Ave., (323)936-5428.

Milk Bar’s Strawberry Shortcake Cake offers layers of vanilla cake with lightly sweet crème fraiche frosting, creamy-crunchy milk crumbs and a punch of strawberry jam. The Milk Bar’s cake truffles are made with strawberry-studded vanilla cake, soaked in strawberry milk and rolled in strawberry shortcake crumbs. Available via Postmates and Caviar. Go online to https://milkbarstore.com. 7150 Melrose Ave., (347)577-9504.

IMG_5378Chado Tea Room gifts for mom include Chado ‘DIY Afternoon Tea To-Go’ featuring your choice of a delicate tea sandwiches, freshly baked scones, cookies or macarons and a box of chocolates for $75. Splurge and order the Grand Chocolate Celebration for two $175. This package includes all of the above, plus a Bone China teapot with two tea cups and saucers. A metal tea rack is included for future use. Pick up from Chado’s Pasadena and Torrance tea rooms on Saturday, May 9 through Sunday, May 10 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. Preorder now for pick-up. For those also looking for the perfect gift for the perfect mom, their teas are available to https://www.chadotea.com. You can place an order on the site through the catering tab, or place an order on Uber Eats and Postmates.  79 N. Raymond, (626)431-2832 and 1303 El Prado Ave., (424)757-5222.

Forma Restaurant & Cheese Bar offers mom a DIY cheese board with fine cheeses, apricots, and walnuts from Forma Restaurant & Cheese Bar. A daily selection of unique cheese for takeout and delivery come with jam, honey, dry fruit, and bread. Call for curbside pickup or look for Forma on Postmates, Grubhub and DoorDash for delivery. 1610 Montana Ave., (424)231-2868.

image001 2Smooth QUI Tequila for Mother’s Day – The crown jewel of QUI Rare extra añejo tequila, has been carefully matured for 12 years in hand-selected barrels. QUI Rare delivers beautiful aromas of wood, tobacco, caramel, and vanilla. Each sip offers a full and rich bouquet of sweet oak, toasted almond, and a hint of maple, with a long, buttery finish. The golden honey hue is also perfectly complemented by a glass decanter decorated with precious gold accents for a truly elegant gift. For every purchase, the owners will donate $50 to the National Restaurant Association Restaurant Employee Relief Fund. The 750ml bottle can be delivered in a beautiful box when ordered online at https://www.quitequila.com/.

Vinovore Mother’s Day wine gift boxes that include a bottle of Nuvole Sul Poggio Gavi, a bell mountain mini gem soap, a Mother’s Day card, and a choice of deck of playing cards or bath salt packet for only $35. Custom boxes and variations are also available. Another gift for your mom is the “Wolfpack” wine club, where once a month, a box of hand selected 2 to 4 packs of wine can be picked up or delivered to her door. Use the code STOCKUP for 10% off orders of 6 bottles at checkout. Customers can order wine for free pickup of local and nationally delivery at https://vino-vore.com. 616 N. Hoover, (323)522-6713.

IMG_6643Mr. Holmes Bakehouse baking gifts Founder Aaron Caddel created a Mr. Holmes Bakehouse bread starter kit soon after the stay-at-home mandate. Now he is offering a selection of cookie, scone, cake, and pasta with garlic focaccia kits for $25 each. They are available for local pick up and national shipping when purchased at https://www.mrholmesbakehouse.com/delivery. 111 S. Ave 59, Highland Park  (323)739-0473.

Connie and Ted’s reopens with award-winning Chef Michael Cimarusti presenting a new take-out menu inspired by the classic clam shacks, oyster bars, and fish houses along New England and the Western Coast. Menu items include Jo’s Wicked Good Chowda’ bowl, lobster rolls, a Hook burger and whoopie pies. Orders are available for pick up on Tuesday through Saturday when ordered online at Tock https://www.exploretock.com/connieandteds. 8171 Santa Monica Blvd., (323)848-2722.

IMG_6914Tou Ta Lou revive to wellness byAvery Arden Brands in Los Angeles has made an all-natural wellness hangover preventative formulated with DHM, kudzu root, red sage, goji berry, and Solomon’s Seal. All the ingredients combined with innovative herbal remedies help heal you from within after drinking wine, beer and spirits. Buy a six bottle pack on the brand’s website or on Amazon. They ship locally and nationally, making it an easy gift for mom or yourself directly to your doorstep. Go to https://toutalou.com.