Reverse Engineering The Perfect Roasted Tomato Salsa

Papalote Roasted Tomato Salsa Recipe | aidamollenkamp.com | #pairswellwithfood

We did it — we cracked the code. True it was years ago but I still do a little victory dance everytime I think about it. Back when I moved to San Francisco and in the very first days of my life as a recipe tester, my then-boss was obsessed with figuring out how to make the Roasted Tomato Salsa from his favorite taqueria, Papalote.

We bought batch after batch after batch and, through trying to replicate it, I learned the ins and outs of timing, weighing, and all the other nitpicky stuff that makes up test kitchen life. It took countless batches, taste tests, and lots of chip dipping, but we cracked the code on a homemade version of our favorite Roasted Tomato Salsa.


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Marinated Zucchini Chicken Salad with Marcona Almonds

Marinated Zucchini Chicken Salad Recipe | aidamollenkmp.com

Can we talk about these so-called dog days? Does anyone know when they’re supposed to start? Or end? I always had August pegged as the dog days month — but, let’s be real, that’s solely based on the fact that Dog Day Afternoon takes place in August.

What I do know is that the dog days are here in Hollywood and have arrived with a vengeance. And that means we’re starting in on that time when two summertime truths emerge: a) it’s too hot to really cook and b) you somehow find yourself with have a bushel of zucchini to get through. Since I liken myself a problem solver, I thought I’d kill two culinary birds with one stone with this Marinated Zucchini Chicken Salad.

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Huli Huli Chicken Skewers

Huli Huli Chicken Skewers Recipe | aidamollenkamp.com | #pairswellwithfood

Dating a Hawaiian means you bring the islands home sometimes, no matter how far from the islands home actually lies. In the name of combating homesick-ness, one might, say, turn a corner of the house into a Hawaiian enclave (Chris is from Hawaii Kai so our tropical patio scape has been nicknamed WehoKai because, well, you know, we live in WeHo).

It means that tailgates aren’t complete with boiled peanuts, that the go-to party appetizer is ahi poke, and that comfort food consists is defined as rice with shoyu chicken. And it means that, after six years together, you might come up with your own cravings like say how I drool at the thought of the huli huli chicken from Ray’s Kiawe Broiled Chicken.


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Steak Salad with Tomato-Sherry Vinaigrette

Steak Salad with Tomato Sherry Vinaigrette Recipe | aidamollenkamp.com | #pairswellwithfood

It’s a summer of salads around here – Instagram will tell you that most of the time we keep our salads healthy, but, let’s be clear, that doesn’t mean every salad is 100% so. Sometimes we need the steak and potatoes version of a salad, which, well is when I do exactly that and make a salad of steak and potatoes like this Steak Salad with Tomato-Sherry Vinaigrette.
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Mixtape: July 4th Playlist

July 4th Music Playlist | aidamollenkamp.com | #pairswellwithfood

I’ll forever pledge allegiance to the red, white, and blue but that doesn’t mean that I want to host a sing-along to “God Bless America” today.

So, this holiday weekend, I’ve come up with my own style of july 4th playlist. They’re the 13 songs that I want to listen today — not because their patriotic or anything else special. They’re just the sort of easy-going, upbeat songs I could listen to all day, whether it’s spent at the beach,  a block party, or a traditional picnic and fireworks show. You know the drill – click through to play them right  here or join in the fun and follow along on Spotify along with all our other mixtapes.
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Our Five Favorite Pins of the Week // Your Perfect Fourth of July

Favorite Pins - Fourth of July - USA Sparklers // aidamollenkamp.com #pairswellwith food

Do you feel as if the air is a little more electric lately? It might have something to do with the upcoming holiday, the most American of all days, the Fourth of July!

Now, normally in this column we share pins that inspire us, but this week we want to inspire you: we have in mind the ultimate July 4th celebration, and in preparation, we’ve put together a short list of must-haves that will take your party high and above the rest. Have a look and get the details below:
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Last Fridays: Peel and Eat Salt and Pepper Shrimp

Peel and Eat Salt and Pepper Shrimp| aidamollenkamp.com | #pairswellwithfood

Dear Aida:

Summer is officially here! I don’t know about you, but long, hot days make me crave fresh seafood classics like salt and pepper shrimp. I wish we could meet up at a beachside town to drink delicious cocktails and lazily nosh on seaside treats. Unfortunately, summer is my busy season, so leisurely afternoons are not in the cards.


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Last Fridays: Hibiscus Berry Aperol Moscow Mule

Hibiscus Berry Aperol Moscow Mule Cocktail | aidamollenkamp.com | #pairswellwithfood

Dear Lillian:

I recently realized that summer just might be my favorite season for cocktails. Maybe it’s all the days in the sun, that it’s wedding season, or that there’s always something to toast with this month’s World Cup, but I’ve been mixing drinks up a lot lately.

I know you’re crazy busy this time of year  – what with all the food that needs styling for the upcoming holiday season — but I’ve got a ton of tasty tonics next time we see each other. My latest creation is this Hibiscus Berry Aperol Moscow Mule, inspired by this Hibiscus Rum Buck from my friends over at Honestly Yum!
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Wild On World Cup: Mint Coconut Batida Cocktail

Coconut Mint Batida Cocktail Recipe | aidamollenkamp.com | #pairswellwithfood

Remember that time (two seconds ago) when I talked up how awesome Caipirinhas are? Are you now cursing me for having talked you into buying a whole bottle of cachaça with no way to use beyond those Sparkling Raspberry Caipirinhas? That kinda sucked of me, didn’t it? So that we’re square, I’ve mixed up another cachaça drink in the form of this Mint Coconut Batida Cocktail.


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