Thursday, July 30, 2015

Hotel Haas

by Allyson Haas
Wedding at Parker Palm Springs
The first trip the Haasbund and I ever took together was a weekend jaunt to the Parker in Palm Springs. Gravel pathways, waiters delivering room service on bicycles, dogs walking around with pink bandanas - it was my idea of getaway perfection.  Throw in tennis courts, an insane Yacht Club of a spa, not one but two pools, a life-sized chess board, and an outside bar dedicated to my all time favorite beverage: lemonade; needless to say I was instantly smitten (with the hotel and the man, obviously). But alas, with room rates way above my pay grade, I knew there was no way I could treat the Haasbund to something so decadent in return. (I meant reciprocate financially, you sex-starved animals; get your mind out of the gutter).

As a token of my appreciation, the Hotel Haas was established. I stocked up on supplies to keep us home for the weekend and little luxuries to make us feel like we escaped: slippers taken from a previous night’s stay at a hotel, little shampoo and conditioner bottles in the shower, a fully stocked mini bar for our “suite.” I went so far as to print a menu so he could choose what he wanted for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And while not at all on par with the level of amazing that is the Parker, the Hotel Haas has a charm all its own, so much so that the moniker stuck. Any time a friend from out of town passes through, or a family member comes to visit, they get five star quality service; complete with a mint on the pillow. A good girlfriend of mine enjoyed her stay here so much that she gifted me with a Hotel Haas logo stamp as a token of appreciation. It has come in quite handy, especially for dinner parties.

DIY Menu cards

I put my fancy logo stamp to good use a few weeks ago, when we hosted a work dinner for the Haasband's Business Partner and a colleague. I really wanted to roll out the red carpet for these gents, so first I cleaned the house and did my best to hide the evidence that we have a child who likes to express his artistic side by drawing on the walls and/or the furniture. After I worked my magic with non-toxic cleaning products and a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, I got down to the business of executing a fantastic dinner party.  Once I decided what to serve, I typed up a menu and printed it at home on some of the extra cardstock I keep on hand. In just 15 minutes, and with minimal effort and expense, I had individual menus ready to be tucked into the napkins to serve as the evening’s place cards.

It was Pinterest-worthy, if I do say so myself.

flipbooks for kids
The dinner was a big hit thanks in no small part to the Haasbund’s Business Partner, who had the forethought to bring gifts for our son that were so engaging that C actually sat still while we enjoyed dinner. C was so enthralled by these photo flip books of Safari and Ocean Animals that he entertained himself (and the company) by proudly yelling out and spelling the names of the animals he knew. I'm adding these books to my go-to gift log, because they are so cool I can't imagine anyone would even think about re-gifting. 

I sent everyone home with a piece of Olive Oil cake wrapped up for The Morning After, because while there might not have been a whole lot of action happening at the Hotel Haas that night (the Haasband and I collapsed from exhaustion at the late hour of 9:30PM), I always have high hopes for my guests. 

Olive Oil cake
(recipe adapted from Food52)

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup organic raw cane sugar
¾ cup Coconut sugar
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp fleur de sel
1 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 ¼ cup whole (or raw) milk
3 large eggs
1 ½ TBSP grated orange zest
½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
Confectioner’s sugar (for decoration)

Heat the oven to 350. 

Spray a 9 inch pan with coconut oil spray (or butter). 

In one bowl, whisk the dry ingredients. In another bowl, whisk the wet ingredients. 

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and whisk just until combined. 

Pour batter into cake pan and bake until top is golden (about an hour). 

Transfer to cooling rack and let cool completely. Before serving, slice and dust with a respectable amount of confectioner’s sugar.  

Assuming you don't eat the entire thing in one sitting while binge watching True Detective, save a little bit of the cake for breakfast - it's delicious spread with fresh raspberry jam.  

I don't currently have any plans to list the Hotel Haas on Air BNB.  Primarily because our "guest quarters" are currently housing a small, yet very demanding human, but also because our bathrooms, while fully functional, are, in LA parlance "in need of a little work". 

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