Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cook: BBQ chicken pizza

My latest food obsession has been homemade pizza (except the dough part :) The Fig Gorgonzola Proscuitto and Arugula Pizza  (pictured below and recipe here) is one of our favorites, but every time I make pizza, I like to try a new combination.
This time, I decided to give BBQ chicken at try. I searched online for some recipes, but in the end, I made up one myself. :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Must Eat Phoenix: Postino Wine Cafe

This morning, we met up with our friends Galaxie and Brandon for brunch at Postino Wine Cafe . We took advantage of their $5 wines before 5pm deal, and enjoyed a bellini with our brunch. 
Postino is famous for its bruschettas which come in an array of tantalizing combinations. With each order, you get to pick 4 toppings - I chose (pictured below from left to right):  1) Burrata, Bacon, Arugula and Tomatoes; 2)  Prosciutto with Figs and Mascarpone; 3) Warm Artichoke spread; 4) White Bean with Chopped Tomato. 
 J and Brandon got the Farm Scramble which was a hearty serving of Roasted Yukon Gold potatoes scrambled with fresh eggs, herbs, onions, gruyere and white cheddar served with mixed greens and a tomato salad. 

Must Eat Phoenix: Los Reyes de la Torta

I came to Phoenix for a few days for a conference. My brother picked me up from the airport and told me he had discovered a place for dinner that he was sure I would love.  He was right.  Tortas are mexican sandwiches and these were the best sandwiches I've ever had! They were bursting with flavor, meats with avocado, tomatoes, cheese. E had the Torta Milanesa (below) and I had the new chicken Torta (above). 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Must Eat: Grom - Malibu, CA

I'm in Phoenix and according to my phone's weather app, it is 107f right now. I could go for some ice-cream or gelato! Speaking of gelato, my favorite NYC spot just opened in Malibu! After hiking in the Santa monuca mountains a few weeks ago, J and I stopped at GROM at the Malibu country mart for a treat. it was better than I imagined... Luxurious rich creamy perfection in sophisticated flavors. Mmmmmm... So good. I love sweet rose creamery for good old fashioned rich ice cream (also available in exotic flavors), but GROM is the place to go in LA for gelato! (warning - it is kind if expensive - around $5 for a small but I think it's worth it!)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Must Eat: Amelia's Espresso and Panini Bar, Santa Monica

One of my favorite part of the weekend is brunch. We often cook brunch ourselves, but every now and then we like the treat of going to a nice little cafe and trying something new.  We've heard a lot of wonderful things about Amelia's on Main Street in Santa Monica (4.5 stars with 157 reviews on yelp) and decided to give it a try.

Amelia's is a lovely neighborhood mom and pop cafe/sandwich shop. We ordered the breakfast sandwich (pictured above) and the frittata special.  Everything was very gourmet, fresh, hearty and delicious. We left full and happy. 
 Important note: They serve coffee, panini and soup throughout the day until they close at 4pm, but if you want to get your hands on a breakfast panini - you need to get there by 11am :)
Amelia's Espresso and Panini Cafe
2645 Main St
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Tues-Sat 6:30a - 4p
Sun 11a-4p

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cook: Jamie Oliver's The Easiest, Sexiest Salad in the World

Jamie was right. This salad is pretty darn sexy. It is an amazing combination of flavors that just melts in your mouth and makes you happy. It also happens to be a very photogenic salad as well. It's fig season in Southern California and we're taking full advantage of it! If you can, I'd strongly encourage you to try out this recipe.  Serves 4

Criss-cross the figs, but not quite to the botton. 1 fig per person is always a good start, but if they are ripe treat yourself and your loved ones to a larger portion, let's say 3 or 4 figs per person.  Place the figs in a dish, and then weave some pieces of Proscuitto around each fig, throw in some torn buffalo mozzarella, and rip some basil into the mix. Finish off by drizzling everything with honey/lemon dressing (6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon good honey, sea salt and freshly ground pepper). Bon appetit!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Bake: Mam Papaul's Red Velvet Cake

Those who know me, know that my favorite cake is Red Velvet. I love it so much, that for several years I was on a quest to find the very best one. I think I found it in Truckee, CA at the Old Coffee Shop in town.  Anyhow, we're lucky here in LA - there are many options for good red velvet including Sprinkles and SusieCakes. But there is a certain joy to baking at cake at home, and a few months ago, I had some success with this recipe from scratch

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cook: Pasta with Heirloom Tomatoes and Herbed Ricotta

"This is a great pasta for a hot summer day. The heat of the steaming spaghetti is tempered by tossing it with a tomato salad. It chills just enough to keep the sweat off your brow." 
- Johanne Killeen and George Germon, from their cookbook On Top of Spaghetti

The past two days have been scorching in LA. I wanted to make something out of the ingredients I already had on hand - ricotta, heirloom tomatoes, shallots, pasta, and basil from our new basil plant. After reading the description of this pasta recipe in my cookbook from the chefs of Al Forno (my favorite restaurant in Providence, RI ), it was decided. J and I would eat this for dinner, along with a side of jalapeno pork sausage which I had picked up from Whole Foods a couple days ago. It was just as Johanne and George promised, refreshing and comforting - a perfect summer pasta dish. As an added bonus, this recipe is quick and easy to make.