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Beets and Cheese Wordless Post

6 Dec

A Lesson on Pastrami

29 Nov

This is what it looks like

and this is how you eat it.

Thanks, Canter’s!

Last of the summer salad: corn, zucchini and orzo

15 Oct

Here in SoCal I was SURE summer was over when I had to get out the blankets and sweaters. We had a solid week of cool temps and it was amazing. It felt like LA was having a real fall. Everyone was talking about pumpkins and nutmeg and butternut squash and this time I could join in on the conversation because it wasn’t so hot that I could actually turn on the oven. My favorite time of year was finally here! …and then it got to record highs last week. 99 in downtown LA. 103 in the valley. Summer just took a short vacation, it’s not gone. So to try to stay in the summer mode here’s a salad made with summer goodness–sweet corn, zucchini, basil. All the good fresh stuff we are still enjoying. Even though I’d be happy roasting root vegetables and making squash soups this salad reminds me why summer is so great too. Everything is so fresh and delicious! Raw vegetables! No cooking! Why was I complaining again?

I’m living in a single household for most of the week while my other half is in Detroit working with Divas. No, literally. You know those snickers commercials with Aretha being a huge diva in the back of a car? He’ll basically be dealing with that. I wish him luck. In the mean time I’ve got to remember how to make meals for just one person. This salad was not a good example of that since I made about 12 cups worth. I’m trying to give it to my neighbor as I type. Yes, I’m that person. “I have extra lemons–TAKE THEM!” or “I made this cake–EAT IT ALL”. But I don’t hear many of you putting up a fuss. Well, those of you that are further than LA County. Sucks to be you. πŸ™‚

Here’s the recipe. Enjoy it while you can. I hear fall is somewhere out there!

Flatbread Pesto Pizza

28 Sep

I wanted this to be “wordless” and just let you enjoy the photos but I had to ask if you’ve seen the Trader Joe’s Spicy Spinach Pizza’s? They’re really just little flat breads with spinach cooked into them and about 6 inches in diameter. They’re kept in the refrigerated section with the salads and humus? Does this ring a bell? I hadn’t seen them before so I grabbed them because we’re always looking for something new to eat. TJ’s can get a little boring if you shop there all the time like we do. It just so easy to fall back on to known favorites. Or just buy baby carrots and humus. Don’t judge me. Anyway, I made this pizza a few times this week and it’s a great lunch. Even Andrew liked this meatless dish. Although he did say “it would be better with prosciutto” but who didn’t see that coming? And with the temps being as high as 107 it’s the prefect size for the toaster oven. Gotta love it!

Football = Sunday Chili

25 Sep

Is there anything that screams FOOTBALL more than chili? Not in my brain. In this house football is king. Every Sunday is dedicated to watching every. single. game. Have you heard of the NFL Sunday ticket? If you havent and you have a significant other that loves football, don’t look it up. You can watch all the games at any time. It’s basically a football fest. So what do I do on Sundays? Get out of the house or use it to cook and bake and share it on here. Don’t tell anyone I’m saying this but it usually works out pretty well. I can’t believe I just said that…

We’re still die-hard Colts fans, no matter how good (or bad) our team is doing. So even though we’re 0-2, GO COLTS.

Happy footballing!

Football Sunday Recipe

Ingredients

2 teaspoons oil
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb lean ground beef
3/4 lb beef sirloin, cubed
1 (14 1/2 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 can dark beer
1 cup strong coffee
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
1 can beef broth
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons chili sauce
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon salt
4 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans
4 chili peppers, chopped

Directions

Heat oil.
Cook onions, garlic and meat until brown.
Add tomatoes, beer, coffee, tomato paste and beef broth.
Add spices Stir in 2 cans of kidney beans and peppers.
Reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
Add 2 remaining cans of kidney beans and simmer for another 30 minutes.

Beach, Carrot Cake and Coffee

24 Sep

Ahh, Saturdays! Mine has consisted of taking the Porsche through the canyons, sitting on the beach eating baguettes with cheese and meat served with fresh strawberries, clapping for kids learning how to surf, driving back through the canyon roads, making coffee, eating carrot cake, taking a ride on the bike path. My life? It’s rough. Especially on Saturdays.

Malibu Beach was foggy but we still had a great beach morning. No wind, no crazy beach people and lots of cute kids learning how to surf. That’s the kind of beach I like.

Here’s the slice I was originally trying to photograph, only Andrew was trying to eat it at the same time…

So he stole it from me and left me with no cake and no coffee. Despicable! πŸ™‚
Have a great Saturday!

Black Tea and Pumpkin Pinwheels

20 Sep

I’m so ready for Fall. I’m surrounded by all things fall but am still unable to turn on my oven because it still gets above 90 during the day…

Burbank Farmer’s Market

17 Sep

Happy Weekend! It’s a little sunny, a cool 65 degrees and farmer’s market day. Who doesn’t love Saturdays?! I tried a new market today in Burbank. We usually go to the Studio City market that is great–we love it–but it’s only on Sundays and now that Football is in season it interferes with our Sunday market adventures. I would usually start this off with complaining about how I can’t go to my usual market, how Andrew is working today and how I woke up and it was overall a crummy day. But I sucked it up and looked up Saturday markets and found one just 3 miles away. Almost as close as our usual one! And while yes, the three people I know in LA are all out-of-town or working, I went to the market anyway because I knew I would be glad later in the week to have AMAZING yellow peaches and beautiful heirloom tomatoes. Who cares if it’s just me, sometimes me time is needed anyway. Plus, the sun came out right as I was walking to the market so it felt like a sign. A sign from the food gods.I have evil plans for these tomatoes but in reality I’ll probably just end up slicing them, chopping up that basil its nestled on and drizzle some olive oil on it. Expect to see that on here later this week. Its boring but oh so delicious. Below you’ll find some of the largest, juiciest yellow peaches you’ve ever seen. They really are the best peaches I’ve had and I can’t wait to have them with some homemade granola, yogurt and a huge cup of coffee. Coffee and peaches and blueberries is one of my favorite combinations. Ugh, I need to find some blueberries to make my trifecta complete.But really, the whole reason for this post is to feature this next part. It’s cinnamon walnut bread with pear walnut goat cheese and raw honey drizzled on top. I sprinkled a few walnuts on top too to make it pretty but it would have been just as good without them. This, my friends, was the best after farmer’s market snack ever. The Soledad Goat Cheese stand is my favorite (next to the humus men, which you’ll see later this week). I was craving the lavender honey goat cheese they have but he only had two today and sold out before I got there. I was CRUSHED. So I got the pear walnut and, while it’s no lavender honey, it gave my taste buds the orgasm it was wanting. You can’t really go wrong with any of the ingredients but put them together and BAM (Emeril Style) you’re wondering how you ever went without. It’s a good thing Andrew isn’t home today–I don’t have a good history of sharing this goat cheese and if he’s going to be working late maybe I’ll just have it for dinner too. And later I’ll tell him all about how delicious it was and he’ll have missed out. It’s not very nice but I got his favorite humus and chips so with my faulty reasoning it works. Right??

 

Yeah, I took a few bites and then kept taking photos. I mean, it looked so good I couldn’t wait. If you ever want to come visit me I’ll make you some, too πŸ™‚ Have a GREAT weekend!

Delicious Wonders of the Crockpot

14 Sep

Ready to have your game-day world rocked?

Get ready to thank me. Or thank me for thanking the most awesome person who shared this recipe (You can find her and her adorable family here. I’m lucky enough to be called Aunt May πŸ™‚ ). This was the easiest weekday lunch ever. It was also the most “middle america” recipe I’ve done in a long time. I’m allowed to say that since I am the epitome of a Middle American. You can take the girl out but you can’t take it out of the girl, right? And since my love for the Midwest runs deep so does my love for the simplicity of this recipe. And the ingredients, because you have to have some sort of midwest connection to love these ingredients, but we’ll get to that. Let get to the photos of this amazing lunch.

So you take that, which started as 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts and toss them into the crock with a WHOLE BOTTLE of Franks Buffalo Sauce and half a packet of that powdered ranch stuff. Then, depending on if you want to eat it sooner or later, set the crock pot on low (for later) or high (for sooner) and walk away. Now we stepped it up from the recipe and chopped up some celery and got bleu cheese crumbles to add in. We strategically mixed them in at the end, outside of the mixture. It was more of a ‘add thin layer of chicken, sprinkle celery and cheese, add layer of chicken, sprinkle’ type of deal. Let me tell you, the celery is key. It’s like a plate of wings on a sandwich. ON A SANDWICH. Clearly this recipe has been life changing.

But seriously, doesn’t that look life changing. And it would be perfect for football games. Add in some Trader Joe’s Mac and Cheese bites and football just got a lot better. The one thing I like about football season this year (since Peyton Manning is out for whoknowswhen) is that it’s a day of fatness and an excuse to eat all of those things…at the same time! Expect to see the word “diet” on here 16 weeks from now πŸ™‚ For those of you that didn’t read through my blabbermouthing, here’s the recipe:

Buffalo Chicken-ness

  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 bottle Franks Buffalo Sauce
  • 1/2 packet Hidden Valley Ranch Mix
  • Bleu Cheese Crumbles
  • 3 stalks Celery, chopped

Put chicken, half packet of ranch and buffalo sauce in crock pot. Turn to low to eat in 6 hours. Turn to high to eat in 3 hours. When time is up, remove chicken, shred, place back in crock pot and let sit for 1 hour. Mix in bleu cheese crumbles, place on hoagie roll, and top with celery and more cheese.

California Figs and Getting Your Groove Back

12 Sep

Monday’s can be rough, can’t they? Have you ever had a “case of the Mondays”? Do you have that every Monday? Believe me, Mondays can be rough for all of us but when you’ve got fresh figs, raw honey, almonds and yogurt to wake up to, you think to yourself, “It could be worse.” This Monday is special for me because I’m back to taking photos and blogging about them. I have Pinnies and Poppy Seeds to thank for that. While yes, I have been extremely busy with a new job, it doesn’t mean I can’t make time for things that really matter to me. Sometimes its hard to realize you’ve been neglecting something that keeps you going because you get so busy with what you think is important. Not that I haven’t been doing important things, like making a living(!), but after a very sweet and heartfelt comment I realized this is what I’ve been missing. I haven’t taken photos or written about food for months now. And while yes, my new job is filled with taking photos and writing (how lucky am I?!) it’s not the same as food. Food makes everything better! This isn’t to say I haven’t been eating because I have. In fact, I’ve been eating plenty of beautiful, delicious food stuffs that should have been on here. I just didn’t have the urge to take photos. Are you thinking that’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve heard? I know, me too.

But enough of lamenting on being gone. I’m back and ready to rumble! Today’s special is an easy but tasty breakfast treat that, thanks to living in California, I get to enjoy quite often. Fresh figs, raw honey, yogurt, and almonds. It’s the most decadent, simple breakfast I’ve ever had. And I love it. It makes Mondays taste like Fridays and gives you a jump-start to the day that even coffee can’t compete with. Seriously! Move to CA and you’ll see what I mean! I actually woke up wanting to do a tribute to Jen at Pinnies and Poppy Seeds with a simple walnut shortbread recipe but then I remembered that our oven is covered in garlic. Are you wondering why our oven is now a garlic machine? Well, because last night as I was baking some homemade garlic bread to go with our pasta, I reached in with tongs to pull it out and guess who’s slippery fingers dropped the bread, face down, right in the oven. Not just on the rack but on the door which allowed the bread to slide down to the bottom of the oven, coating the entire bottom in a rich buttery garlic sauce.Β  DEVASTATION. But even worse that, I forgot about it this morning at 6am and turned on the oven, ready to start baking and the garlic monster that is our oven awoke. Not wanting garlic infused walnut shortbread I quickly abandoned ship. Yeah, that’s the kind of person I am.

So, long story short, expect to see a lot more food and a lot less complaining about how I have no time and abandon my dreams without a second glance. Here’s to pushing through the rough and tumble times and making it through with a delicious Monday breakfast.

Breakfast Figs

  • Figs
  • Honey
  • Yogurt
  • Almonds

Rinse and dry figs. Cut figs in half and place in bowl. Cover with yogurt, 2 tablespoons honey and a handful of almonds. Enjoy!