Put on that ugly sweater and RUN!

Hi everyone,

Do you have that ugly sweater stuck in the closet? Do you like running and having a great time? Check out this weekend’s Ugly Sweater 5K. It’s on December 21st at 11:00am and only $50. After burning all those calories, you can chill out with some hot chocolate or some Sam Adam’s Boston or Winter Lager, or Angry Orchard Hard Cider. Check out the website Ugly Sweater Run


Baking up a storm!

Hi everyone,

I don’t know if you can tell but we’re baking up a storm here at Homestay in LA. Here is our recipe for Jan hagel cookies: 

1 Cup (or 2 sticks) butter

1 Cup sugar 

1 Egg, divided 

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 Cups sifted flour

1 Tablespoon water

1/2 Cup chopped walnuts

1) Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl using a hand mixer , cream together the butter and sugar. Beat the egg yolk until incorporated. Beat in the cinnamon, then slowly beat in the flour until incorporated. 

2) Spread the dough evenly over the bottom of a lightly greased jelly roll pan. 

3) In a small bowl, beat the egg white with the water until frothy. Brush the egg white mixture over the dough, then sprinkle over the chopped walnuts.

4) Bake until puffed and lightly golden, about 20 to 25 minutes. The cookies will settle and deflate after baking. 

5) Cut the cookies while warm into bars. 


Holiday fun: Basic Spritz Cookies

Hi all, 

Here is some more holiday fun with cookies. Check out the recipe below from the Super Shooter booklet:

1/2 Cup butter or margarine

1/4 Cup vegetable shortening 

3/4 Cup granulated sugar

1 Large egg

2 Teaspoons vanilla

2 Cups all-purpose flour

1/4 Teaspoon baking powder

1/4 Teaspoon salt

1) Place butter and shortening in a large mixing bowl. Cream together on medium high speed. 

2) Add sugar gradually. Beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. 

3) Add egg and vanilla; mix well using medium speed. 

4) Combine flour, baking powder and salt in separate bowl. Add to butter/sugar mixture in three (3) additions; mixing well after each addition. Dough will be stuff. 

5) Assemble and fill Super Shooter. Plus with dough; use desired disc. 

6) Press cookies on ungreased, uncoated baking sheet.

7) Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until lightly brown around the edges. 

Yield: 6-7 dozen cookies






Gluhwein: Spice up your holiday with mulled wine

Hi all,

For those of you who don’t know, Homestay in LA is as international as it’s students. U is Swiss and we wanted to make one of her holiday favorites, gluhwein. I decided to take the recipe from Dreaming of Winter (taken from the original article below):

To 4 litres of red wine you need:

  • Caster sugar (amount proportional to quality of red wine, the worse the wine the more sugar you need, add it to taste, but start with about 2 cups)
  • 6 – 8 Cinnamon sticks
  • Whole cloves
  • 2 Orange
  • Whole allspice
  • 2 cups of orange juice
  • If you wish to get your friends and yourself tipsy even more quickly, or just to add a little extra kick, add brandy, sweet sherry or port to the mix. (optional but rather tasty)


  1. Pour the red wine into a large pot and put it on the stove on a very low heat – you must not let the wine boil or the world could end… and that is not something you want to risk…
  2. I tend to cut the oranges into slices and then put about 4 cloves into each slice, then put them in with the wine.
  3. Break the cinnamon sticks in half or thirds and put them in with the wine as well as 10 of the whole all spice.
  4. Add in the sherry or port as well as 2 cups of orange juice.
  5. Add in 2 cups of sugar and stir.
  6. Stir on and off for about 30 mins to give the spices time to infuse with the wine and for the magic to occur, then taste it, and add more sugar as needed (possible up to 4 or 5 cups more in the wine is really bad).
  7. Let it cook/infuse/whatever for about 30 mins more (again, not letting it boil).
  8. Drink and be happy 🙂

Ps…adding sherry is a great option.

IMG_2436 IMG_2435

Holidays at the Getty

Hi everyone,

We hope you had a great weekend! We wanted to suggest another event in LA. Through January 4th, the Getty is decorated in Holiday cheer and open late on Saturdays. They have complimentary apple cider while you walk through exhibitions. Also, check out the restaurant serving holiday favorites. Check it out: Getty Holiday


Chai Gingerbread Cookies

Hi everyone,

As we get closer to the holiday, we thought it would be appropriate to post a holiday recipe. Today is a recipe from Family Circle Magazine. Check it out:

Chai Gingerbread

makes 36 cookies

refrigerate for 2 hours, 15 minutes

bake at 350 F for 14 minutes

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp ginger

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cardamon

1/2 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp finely ground black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup ( 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 Egg

1/2 cup molasses

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cardamon, cloves, pepper and salt.  In a separate bowl, beat butter and brown sugar 2 minutes, until fluffy.  Beat in egg and molasses until just combined.  divide dough in half and shape into disks, wrap tightly in plastic.  Refrigerate 2 hours.

Heat oven to 350 F.  Remove one dough disk from refrigerator.  Generously flour work surface.  Roll our dough to 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut into gingerbread men and women with 3-inch cookie cutters.  Place on baking sheets 2 inches apart.  Use pastry brush to remove flour from cookies, if desired.  Refrigerate 15 minutes.  Repeat with second dough disk.

Bake at 350 F in batches until golden brown, about 14 minutes.  Cool on wire racks, then decorate, if desired.