My mother loves Peeps. And cheap white cake. And candy corn. Which is totally ironic because she was a dental hygienist and rarely had sugar in the house when we were growing up (that we knew of).
Her sweet tooth goes into overdrive during the Easter season when she can be found diving into her stash of Chocolate-Peanut Butter eggs with abandon. But those over-the-counter eggs are loaded with all sorts of subpar ingredients never mind the fact that they could just be so much better with a few tweaks. So, this year I made her homemade chocolate eggs.
Continue Reading: The Dental Hygienist And Her Sugar Stash →
For this month’s Make Your Own project, the topic is kumquats. Make the most of the all too short kumquat season by candying them with this uber simple recipe.
Continue Reading: Make Your Own: Candied Kumquats →
One of my all-time favorite comfort foods is this sweet potato gnocchi with balsamic-sage brown butter sauce.
Continue Reading: Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Balsamic-Sage Brown Butter →
This is one of my favorite easy, make-ahead party snacks. For this brined walnut recipe, the nut sit in a sweet-salty brine overnight before getting slow-roasted so every bit is infused with flavor.
Continue Reading: Orange, Bay, and Spice-Brined Walnut Recipe →
I need a “pause” button for life. Last week, in 48 hours time, I flew from Los Angeles to New York to Los Angeles and finally to Hawaii, where I arrived beyond jet lagged. You’re probably thinking, “Hawaii, huh? Quit your complaining!” But, the reality is that I have a few more weeks of work ahead of me before I can really take a break. In the five days since I arrived on island, I’ve spent every waking moment indoors going line-by-line through the galley version of my cookbook. It’s an exhausting but necessary process that will bring the book one step closer to completion.
Needless to say, I’ve been in need of brain-food to keep me uber-focused and that where this recipe fits in. I wanted a roasted almond snack that’s a bit more exciting than almonds straight from the bag but quick enough to fit in my schedule. The result are these super low-fuss, but flavor-packed roasted nuts. They’d probably work fabulously as part of cocktail party or as a holiday gift, but, I won’t be thinking about those things for at least another 5 days. And, at the pace I’m going, that might as well be light-years away.
Continue Reading: Sweet-Spicy Harissa Roasted Almonds →
This past Sunday I checked out the Patchwork Indie Art & Craft Festival, put together by my friend, Delilah, and her niece, Nicole. Though they’ve held the event for five years, yesterday marked the first time it took place in the Los Angles area — at Helms Bakery in Culver City, to be precise. Helms is a shopping district that’s worth a visit in its own right as it’s packed with good food and gorgeous design places like Let’s Be Frank, Lukshon, and Room & Board, but yesterday it was even more worth the trip since they were hosting over 100 local vendors for the day.
Continue Reading: Local Adventure: Patchwork Festival →
If you caught yesterday’s TasteMakers interview with Delilah Snell, then you’re likely as convinced of her awesomeness as I am. She’s a rare breed as she’s one of a handful of Master Food Preservers in the nation and spreads the good word about preserving via her numerous endeavors from her store and blog to her line of preserves. Needless to say, when we met, it was quite clear Delilah and I were equally food obsessed and we have quickly become friends.
A few weeks ago I attended one of her pickling classes, which was a whirlwind of a day in which we made everything from kimchi and sauerkraut to preserved limes and spicy green beans. Of them all, this recipe for Mexican-style pickled carrots was a crowd favorite so Delilah is sharing the recipe here.
Continue Reading: Hot Mexican Pickles →
If only it were possible to bottle summer and store it away. Then, on a whim, you could open it to let sunshine, frozen desserts, and grill smells brighten even the rainiest of days.
When I was a kid, I almost had it figured out. I’d be at my grandmother Noni’s house in late summer — where time was kept in matches of badminton and meals defined by how many grilled scalloped potatoes you ate and I’d run about with a net and jar bottling fireflies. To me, fireflies were the epitome of summer because they’d dance about in the dark and make the room so bright that I could read Nancy Drew by their light. The next day we’d let them go and I’d inevitably be saddened because I’d remember that both the fireflies and summer were fleeting.
Now that I’m older, I take a different approach. Each season, I round up the season’s produce, get crafty in the kitchen, and lock in the flavor at its prime. Over the years I’ve pickled, preserved, candied, and canned all in the name of sealing the season tight in a jar. But this year, I took a different approach and started distilling those sunshine-filled flavors into shrubs.
Continue Reading: Summer, From Concentrate →
I really wanted to be Shirley Temple when I was younger. Maybe because we both had ringlets or because my mother strapped me into taps shoes the minute I could walk, but I always felt we were kindred spirits. My sisters and I would put on shows for our parents and their guests during dinner parties and I was the go-to girl for the Shirley Temple roles. Not that I ever objected. I would channel my best Shirley smile, don my sequined dance skirt, and eagerly attempt my best rendition of On The Good Ship Lollipop. Seeing as I was a fan of all things ST, I was naturally obsessed with her namesake drink and would ask for it every chance I got — with extra cherries, thank you very much.
Continue Reading: The Shirley Temple Sundae →
Every few feet or so I catch a whiff — it’s a campfire-esque smokiness that lingers about my head like the cloud of dirt surrounding Charlie Brown’s friend, Pig-Pen. Though I’ve washed my hair multiple times, it persists, but I guess that’s the price I pay for baking at a wood-burning pizza oven for hours on end. I spent the weekend teaching hands-on bread classes — on breadsticks and pretzels to be precise — at Eat Real Los Angeles and I logged in my fair share of oven hours.
Continue Reading: Trial By Fire: Pizza-Oven Breadsticks →