meet bentley (our new furkid) !

We’ve added a new member to the Jou family! It’s been my lifelong dream to have a dog and Wayne helped me make it happen. We adopted a 3 year-old cocker spaniel + poodle mix from the wonderful organization, Wags and Walks. He’s been a wonderful furball of joy! We named him Bentley (the street name of our old apartment). Doesn’t he remind you of the dragon from the Neverending Story dragon, Falkor?

He’s so sweet, gentle, loving, well-trained and adorable! He loves people, walks well on leash, the occasional fetch, belly rubs and (dog) socially awkward. He tends to go nuts when he sees other dogs. He shows intense playful interest by wagging his tail and gets down close to the floor, but as the dog approaches he panics by lunging with the occasional growl. (We think he was bullied or attacked by other dogs in the past). We plan to take him to training school so we can learn from each other and he can get to know dogs of all sizes. Let me know if you have any good articles to read or recommended trainers/training schools.

We’ve only had him for a few weeks and look forward to seeing his personality grow as he gets used to us and his new home!

Bentley_2 Bentley

{ friday favorites } Deadmau5, Renegade Craft Fair LA, L’Oreal Colour Riche

{ beats } He’s widely known as wearing a giant mouse head during live sets or the recognizable mickey+smiley face hybrid logo, Deadmau5, is one of EDM’s biggest DJs. He recently released his new album { while(1<2) } and I’m loving the track “Pets”. It’s the perfect summer-night-drive-with-your-windows down tune. It’s been a on-repeat fave. Lucky for us it’s KCRW’s Today Top Tune–meaning it’s a free download! (If you reach this post after 7/25, just message me with your email and I’ll send you the song)

deadmau5{ eclectic event } The Renegade Craft Fair Los Angeles (July 26+27) is this weekend in downtown LA’s Grand Park (200 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA) and I’m beyond excited. This is the place to find unique gifts, handmade items, and meet talented artists. I love supporting independent crafters and shopping for one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces, art prints, leather goods, rustic home decor pieces and much more. I’m looking forward to restock on some funky jewelry and art prints for my home.

Renagade Craft Fair{ beauty } Glamour Magazine recently sent me three L’Oreal Colour Riche Extraordinary Lip Colors to try and it’s been my favorite lip product this season! This revolutionary product has a doe foot applicator providing intense color of a lipstick, smooths on like a lip balm and provides a sheen of a lip gloss. My favorite color to use is Coral Encore. It instantly brightens my face and provides a pop of coral color during the summer. I’ll do a full review of the three colors in another post.

L'Oreal Colour Riche

 

{ recipe } Zucchini Bread

zucchini bread recipe via it's jou life http://wp.me/p3cljj-cx

zucchini bread recipe via it's jou life http://wp.me/p3cljj-cx

loaded with zucchini, pistachios, dates

zucchini bread recipe via it's jou life http://wp.me/p3cljj-cxThis zucchini bread was first inspired by a memorable breakfast muffin I tried at True Food Kitchen. I took some of those favorite ingredients (pistachios + dates) and incorporated it into this basic zucchini recipe found on AllRecipes.com. The * means I’ve altered the recipe. The original recipe called for 2 1/4 cups of sugar. I felt it was overly sweet since I added dates. That is why I cut down the recipe to 1/4 cup of sugar. In the summer time we incorporate our home grown zucchini into this bread and it makes such a difference.

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Cook Time: 1 Hour

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cups white sugar*

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups grated zucchini

1 cup chopped pistachios*

1 cup chopped pitted dates*

Directions:

1.            Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

2.            Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.

3.            Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini, pistachios and dates until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.

4.            Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

Note: After two days, make sure you refrigerate  the bread. The natural sugars in the dates may get gooey. Don’t worry, it’s safe to eat.

{ jou eats } the honor bar

The Honor Bar review via it's jou life blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-c8The Honor Bar review via it's jou life blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-c8The Honor Bar review via it's jou life blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-c8

Three dishes that will win you over: Ding’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich, Honor Burger, side of Hand-Cut French Fries.

The Honor Bar is the epitome of upscale casual dining. The environment is warm & inviting, drinks are old-fashioned & classy, service is sweet & friendly and the food is delicious & ohhhh-so-comforting. The menu is a modern take on classic American cuisine.

Their Hand-Cut French Fries ($3) are a must order. Some have a control item that is ordered to compare businesses. Mine is fries for classic American restaurants and this is a winner. Delivered fresh, warm and crispy, these hand-cut Kennebec potatoes are beautifully wrapped in paper and served with ketchup and aioli. Once you start, you can’t stop. Keep these to yourself or be generous and share with others. Heck, just order two for the table.

I’m always torn between ordering the Ding’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich ($12) and the Honor Burger ($12). It’s one of those things when you think you know which one you want, but you quickly change it to the other once it’s your turn to order. I, on the other hand quickly draft a pro & con list of each (in my head) and decide. Solution: come with a good friend, order both and SHARE. The chicken sandwich is truly a crispy chicken sandwich fully decked with premium ingredients–sliced tomato, swiss cheese and dressed kale. It’s certainly a beauty. The Honor Burger is equally delicious and packed thick–ground chuck, cheddar & tomato, topped with coleslaw. I had to unhinge my jaw to eat this tall guy. Always satisfied.

The Honor Bar is a top choice for a catch-up with old friends, a casual (but certainly to impress) date or grabbing drinks with coworkers. However, it’s not for large groups or birthday parties. There’s just no room for that. No reservations. No dessert menu. Come early and leave happy.

The Honor Bar // 122 S Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90212 // (310) 550-0292

{ recipe } zucchini, bacon, and goat cheese quiche

With summer here, our garden is flourishing with seasonal fruits and vegetables. We have a fridge drawer full of zucchini and cucumbers and an abundance of various tomato varieties. So this past weekend the Jou Test Kitchen opened up again and sampled various recipes to incorporate our organic produce. We brought our dishes (Zucchini, Bacon and Goat Cheese Quiche; Taiwanese Sesame Cucumbers; Heirloom and Burrata Salad; Heirloom Tomatoes on Grilled Rustic Bread) to a friend’s place for dinner.

We followed an Epicurious quiche recipe and loved it so much, we made another one the following day.

zucchini, bacon, cheese quiche recipe via it's jou life blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-c1zucchini, bacon, cheese quiche recipe via it's jou life blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-c1

Photos, L-R: Romulo Yanes via epicurious.com, Jennifer’s iPhone

Zucchini, Bacon and Goat Cheese Quiche

Yield: Makes 6 to 8 main-course servings

Active Time: 20 min

Total Time: 50 min (not including cooling)

Ingredients

1 (9-inch) refrigerated pie dough round (from a 15-oz package)

1/4 lb sliced bacon, coarsely chopped

2 medium zucchini (3/4 lb total), halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup heavy cream

3/4 cup whole milk

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

3 large eggs

2 oz Gruyère, coarsely grated (1 cup) – We used goat cheese instead

Special equipment: a 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie plate

Preparation

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F.

Fit pie dough into pie plate and lightly prick all over. Bake according to package instructions, then transfer crust in pie plate to a rack.

Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

While crust bakes, cook bacon in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until just crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel-lined plate, reserving fat in skillet.

Add zucchini and 1/4 teaspoon salt to fat in skillet and sauté over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until zucchini is tender and starting to brown, about 5 minutes, then transfer with slotted spoon to a plate.

Heat cream, milk, pepper, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a 1- to 2-quart saucepan until mixture reaches a bare simmer, then remove from heat.

Whisk together eggs in a large heatproof bowl, then gradually whisk in hot cream mixture until combined. Stir in bacon, zucchini, and cheese and pour into piecrust. Bake until filling is just set, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer quiche in pan to rack to cool slightly, about 20 minutes.

Epicurious.com © Condé Nast Digital, Inc. All rights reserved.

{ diy } succulent wedding centerpiece

DIY succulent centerpiece via it's jou life blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-bHWhat do you get when you mix an urban gardener with an DIY-enthusiast? DIY succulent terrarium centerpieces! We spent an hour of our Sunday to create a few of these lovely centerpieces for our upcoming wedding. We’re still having our florist make some floral centerpieces, but felt creating these additional DIY centerpieces is a beautiful way to add a personal touch and share our love for succulents with our guests. (It’s also friendly to our wedding budget!) I’ve learned floral centerpieces can cost from $75-$200. Materials to create these DIY succulent centerpieces cost about $15-$20 each.

A succulent terrarium isn’t only for weddings, it can also add the finishing touch to a coffee table, low-maintenance greenery to a desk or even a unique housewarming gift!

The Usual Suspects:
– Glass container with wide opening
– Succulents, assorted
– Cactus & Succulent soil mix
– Horticultural charcoal (optional)
– Decorative pebbles or river rocks
– A spoon, or little shovel

1. Place a 1-inch layer of pebbles/river rocks on the bottom of container; this provides drainage so the plants won’t rot in standing water. We used a mixture of large-size and small-size river rocks. We bought our glass containers from Michael’s craft store and succulents from our local garden nursery.

2. (Optional) Add a 1/2-inch of horticultural charcoal. The charcoal will help keep the terrarium smelling fresh. Smooth out this layer too. We read it helps to rinse the charcoal before to prevent a layer of black dust from collecting on the inside of the vase.

3. Place a layer of cactus mix soil, a fast-draining soil that retains little moisture. Use your little shovel or hand to level the cactus mix soil in your glass container.

4. Remove plants from pots. If you have multiple succulents in one pot, gently break them apart and use them separately. Scoop a little hole in the soil and place roots in soil. Gently add more soil around the edges of the container and around the base of the plants and pat around the roots. Sometimes the lanky, tall succulents have a difficult time standing up and tend to topple over. Pack more soil around them and strategically place some large-size river rocks around the base to create some stability. We used around 3-5 succulents per centerpiece.

5. Finish the look by adding more river rocks on the top layer. Done!

DIY succulent centerpiece via it's jou life blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-bHDIY succulent centerpiece via it's jou life blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-bHDIY succulent centerpiece via it's jou life blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-bH

DIY succulent centerpiece via it's jou life blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-bHDIY succulent centerpiece via it's jou life blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-bH

DIY succulent centerpiece via it's jou life blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-bHDIY succulent centerpiece via it's jou life blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-bHDIY succulent centerpiece via it's jou life blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-bH

DIY succulent centerpiece via it's jou life blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-bH

Care Tips:
1. Give the terrarium direct sunlight every day for at least five or six hours.
2. Water the terrarium every two weeks. Water lightly–don’t over water.
3. The water should lightly drain to the bottom. After watering, there should not be more than an inch of water visible in the gravel at the bottom.
4. Use your finger to touch the soil and check if it’s dry before watering.

We still have to make more and look forward to shopping for more succulent varieties at our local nurseries!