photography by Ted Dayton

Plan a Girls-only Night of Decadence
Just because you might be partnerless (temporary or otherwise) this Valentine's Day does not mean that you should skip out on the holiday festivities. Instead, join with other similarly-stationed gal pals and enjoy the best of what Valentine's Day has to offer: chocolate, gifts and love.
Count Down to 2009 with the Kids: Make it a Family Affair
As 2009 stands in waiting for its debut, it leaves us living tyrannically at the mercy of time as we look toward welcoming a New Year, and settling celebratory plans for a memorable New Year's Eve. An evening that typically demands considerable glitz and glamour, there is something refreshing about tossing extravagance aside and staying home in your pj's while hosting a kid-friendly evening and listening to Dick Clark commemorate the significant moments of the transient year.
The economy might be bad, but these dishes are still RICH. Comfort yourself with grown up grilled cheese or chops and buy yourself a temporary reprieve.

This is supposed to be the HAPPIEST TIME OF THE YEAR. But if you aren't yet feeling oh so festive, perhaps you should try to change your mental state via a swift kick to the salivary glands. They can then tell their neighbors, your "smile" muscles, to get with the picture.
Show your GRATITUDE for the year's blessings by relaxing expectations and having a little fun. This year, anything goes.
Six different reasons to RAISE YOUR GLASS and toast the fermented grape.
The traditional backyard barbecue is sooo June. This month, say goodbye to summer with a neighborhood/church/friend/co-worker-wide chili cookoff.
Celebrate your favorite grad by hosting a relaxed backyard party in their honor.

The Menu
• Iced Mango Green Tea
• Seven-layer Asian Dip with Orange Zest Chicken
• "Bombay" Roll Ups
• Edible Wonton Spoons with Crab Rangoon
• Spicy Thai Chicken Skewers
• Mandarin Cupcakes
Menu courtesy of An Affaire Extraordinaire Catering 254-7684.
"Food, Glorious Food." That's the theme of this year's Taste of the Town.
It's about time we found something to rave about. Gasp - $4 gas has the economy falling like a souffle at the bowling alley and the Dodgers are on pace to be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs by August. No wonder fleeing to the haven of comfort food makes sense.
The Menu
• Prickly Pear and Pomegranate Margarita
• Tequila Lime Shrimp and Avocado Salad with Crunchy Iceberg, Butter Lettuce and a Basil and Cilantro Vinaigrette
• Crab Enchiladas Suiza accompanied by Chipotle Pinto Beans and Arracherra Flank Steak
• Cinnamon Churros Hand Dipped in Dark Chocolate
Summer is about EXTREMES. Take your taste buds on an intense tour of the town. Your destinations await!

The savory Coriander Crusted Filet topped with a mushroom demi-glace is perfectly complemented by roasted veggies. Have a spectacular dinner overlooking the Robinson Ranch Golf Course. The Sycamore Bar & Grill provides a romantic setting to end the evening or an escape from the daily grind.
Who said March Madness had to be about basketball? Spring's nearly here, and if these fresh options are any indication, it'll be a season of good eating, no crazy foam fingers required.

Your favorite salad is now wrapped up! The King Caesar Wrap is made with premium chicken breast strips, romaine lettuce, diced tomatoes, parmesan cheese and caesar dressing tucked inside a zesty garlic herb tortilla. Tropical Smoothie Cafe is located at 28255 Newhall Ranch Road in the L.A. Fitness Shopping Plaza in Valencia; 661-702-1038
It's the busiest time of year! Treat yourself to a delectable meal out or make your life so much easier by selecting a restaurant to cater your next event or holiday party. This month's selections will make you an SCV-foodie expert; dine on!
No need to island hop or jet set to enjoy this Palatable Passport! Santa Clarita boasts its very own fare of delectable and authentic cuisine that makes the travel from Castaic to Canyon Country seem like a jaunt around the globe. This is not a spectator sport, so grab your passport and hit the streets, as SCV's sizzling dishes transport you to places far, far away.
What could be more fun than gathering friends and family together to enjoy a warm summer evening? Whether your shin-dig is a casual get-together or a more formal event (summer's the perfect time for outdoor bridal showers, birthday parties and more), these tips from local pros will help you make your party one to remember.
Looking for a unique family vacation or the perfect corporate retreat? Whodunit Productions, a Santa Clarita-based company, offers unique and innovative excursions where you will find yourself amidst a high seas adventure like no other.
Landmark. Cultural crossroads. Living history. Those concepts all apply to Downtown L.A.'s Philippe the Original, home of the French dip sandwich. But they eluded me on my first visit.
Dear Gifted Gourmands,
It's cold outside, but that doesn't mean that cranberries are the only fruit I can serve this season, does it? Do not let the winter month of December keep you from using fruits on your holiday menu. Roast or grill those beautiful figs, pineapples and apples. Don't be afraid of the persimmon, either!
Dear Catering Mavens,
With the heat of summer, it seems that we're sipping on margaritas at every festivity. While we love the frosty beverage, we want to do something different for our next shindig. Do you have a suggestion for a different hot-weather libation?
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