Friday, December 30, 2011

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

The best way to use day old French baguette.
Cube it and toss it in the mixture. 
Fall may be over, but until the supermarkets stop selling yams and pumpkins, I plan to continue taking advantage of my favorite seasonal flavors. I love the classic flavor of bread pudding, so I decided to add a little kick to it by infusing pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg flavors for a festive feel. I omitted raisins and didn't make the accompanying caramel sauce because the sweetness level was perfect as is. I'll probably be stocking up on pumpkin puree to recreate this recipe again before next fall. 

Next time, I'll try pairing the warm pudding
with some vanilla ice cream.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Mother Dough

I'm always on the hunt for new and delicious pizzerias, so after reading this article, I had to check out Mother Dough. Let me tell you. This is probably the best neapolitan pizza I've ever had, and it's all because of the dough. The mother dough, that is. 

burratta salad. perfectly seasoned arugula with seasonal heirloom tomatoes. 

Apparently, the secret to pizza perfection is to incorporate day-old dough into fresh dough and top with only the freshest and finest ingredients. The mother dough married with fresh Italian buffalo burrata shipped straight from the motherland is a recipe for success. Literally. The secret is clearly working because these pizzas are irresistibly delicious and surprisingly lighter than your average grease-fest(no paper napkin dabbing required at Mother Dough).

The minimalist space is simple and industrial-esque and if you grab a good table, you can watch the pizza master make the pies right under your nose. For people like me who can never decide what to order, the menu is conveniently short, making the perpetual problem of "what should I order?" much easier. But these you must try - the Burrata salad and the Margherita pizza. If you're ruthless like me, go with a few (non-dieting) friends and order the entire menu.

margherita and zucchini pies. 
arugula and prosciutto pie.
Mother Dough
4648 Hollywood Blvd.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Little Next Door

I've yet to explore France, but something tells me Little Next Door perfectly embodies casual Parisian dining. The waiters speak French, the menu consists of staple French dishes (Croque Monsieur, Beef Bourguginon, Escargot), the outside patio magically transports you to a European bistro, and they have macarons, macarons and more macarons. For all you diehard foodies in need of Julia Child-approved French fare (you know who you are), you're better off trying the neighboring Little Door or, better yet, Comme Ça. But in the mean time, Little Next Door is on my current list of cute weekend brunching spots. Did I mention they have macarons?

the way to my heart.

fig, brie, arugula pressed sandwich. light, sweet & savory. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

My Life These Days

It looks like this. Finals are around the corner so this means I have to surrender to school and temporarily give up on all the fun things in life. Depressing, I know. But I'll be back in no time. :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Puppy Chow Treats

chocolate chips, nutella, and
peanut butter = the trifecta of decadence

shake, shake, shake!

Don't let the name of this tasty treat deceive you! Puppy chow is a mixture of chocolate and peanut butter drenched pieces of Chex cereal, coated with powdered sugar. If that doesn't make your mouth water, then I don't know what will. It's a crowd pleaser, simple to make, and sure to satisfy the sweetest of sweet tooths...or teeth. I usually make puppy chow with semi-sweet chocolate chips, but I decided to mix things up and also use Nutella...because let's face it - Nutella makes everything taste better. Check out the super easy recipe hereFor my version: substitute the 2 cups of milk chocolate for 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate and 1 cup Nutella; milk chocolate chips with Nutella will result in an overly sweet mix.

nom, nom, nom. i dare you to try eating only one. 

Happy Halloween!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Delish Deluca

the almond macaron (far left) is a must. espresso was very pungent, but perfect for true coffee fanatics (like myself). 

soft, hard, mild, sharp, spreadable, bitter. you name it. they have cheese (though limited to a small open fridge).

I try to avoid the Americana. I prefer to dine out and shop in peace without weaving through crowds and elbowing people out of my way. Though the Americana is the antithesis of a peaceful experience, today was an exception. My sister's office is centrally located across from the Americana, so we took an afternoon stroll to Deluca's, one of our usual lunch spots. We noshed on a sandwich and soup duo and it was anything but boring. The tomato soup was perfectly mild and I was pleasantly surprised to find red cabbage instead of generic lettuce accompanying the usual veggies in my chicken panino.
soup du jour: tomato

chicken panino with avocado, tomato and red cabbage

Monday, October 17, 2011

Din Din A-Go-Go: Lake Street Creamery

If you like food trucks and live anywhere near Los Feliz, start clearing out your Monday night dinner plans. Located on an empty church lot, Din Din A-Go-Go is a food truck mecca that attracts zealous food truck followers every Monday night for some good grub. Check out the weekly truck schedule here and be sure to save room for dessert at Lake Street Creamery.

The 411: Din Din A-Go-Go, Mondays, 5:30-9pm, 2060 Vermont Ave. (see link above for additional locations) 

no boring flavors (or descriptions) here. the special of the day was the "don draper" - bourbon, smoke, and caramel concoction.

the california zephyr. lemon and mint infused vanilla bean ice cream served in a waffle bowl that actually holds up. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

At the moment...craving

the european melt: halva and nutella spread on toasted sweet bread. topped with sliced bananas, vanilla bean ice cream and macerated strawberries. from Recess Eatery.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pumpkin Muffins

homemade pumpkin spice mix - cinnamon,
fresh ground nutmeg.

Nothing says autumn like pumpkin flavored muffins, lattes, and pies. As always, I kicked off the start of my favorite season by celebrating Starbucks' yearly revival of pumpkin spice lattes. To continue the celebration, I made these pumpkin (chocolate chip) muffins which pack some major spicy warmth and make your kitchen smell like fall on steroids. I gave these muffins an extra little oomph by making my own custom pumpkin spice mix: 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon + 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg = spice perfection. Next up on my list - pumpkin pie and pumpkin carving. 

divide batter evenly. sprinkle tops with
cinnamon sugar.(i added some chocolate chips to
a few of the muffins for a surprise).

warm out of the oven.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Back to Square One

soup du jour: english sweet pea soup. 

Square One is one of my favorite brunch spots for lazy Sundays. It's a cozy little restaurant that makes great use of a small indoor space - egg cartons line the ceiling, a long strip of chalkboard details the daily specials (which varies based on farmer's market selections), and a big communal table (always decorated with fresh flowers) sits smack dab in the middle of the room. The location is unsuspecting since it's a drive from its fellow hipster hangouts in Los Feliz, but this place is always packed. This is usually our pre-library weekend spot, but the torrential weather today put us in the mood for some warm comfort food. 

delicious pressed ham sandwich with honey mustard, aioli, and gruyere cheese. roasted, caramelized potatoes. 
the high quality deluxe version of an IHOP breakfast: super thick slabs of bacon with the usual suspects (sausage, eggs, toast, potatoes).

4854 Fountain Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90029

Thursday, September 29, 2011

An A for A-Frame

furikake kettle corn. buttered blazin' j's hawaiian style. tastes like clam chowder flavored popcorn and should come with warning label that says "highly addictive."
It's kind of unfortunate that I live so far from the Westside. Santa Monica and Culver City are home to so many great restaurants that are visibly lacking in my part of town. Though I've practically tried every restaurant in neighboring Los Feliz and often find myself in the heart of Silverlake, I still have a lot of exploring to do on the Westside. And that's exactly what I did last week at A-Frame. Brought to you by the owner of delicious Chego, A-Frame is housed in a cozy tiny space in the shape of, what else, an A. A-Frame serves up some novel American-Asian fusion dishes, and on a Saturday night, this place is perfectly dim, noisy, and crowded. But it's likely you'll be sharing your table with another party, so get ready to make some new friends while you grub. 

the grandaddy of all root beers.

baby back ribs. possibly THE best ribs i've EVER had.

double cheeseburger. tomato confit, pickled red onions, butter lettuce, hot sauce sharp cheddar, and sesame mayo on a buttered brioche bun.

12565 W. Washington Blvd. 
Culver City, CA 90066

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Indulge LA

This weekend, my boyfriend surprised me and took me to Indulge LA, a heaven-on-earth chocolate and pastry show that features the top chocolatiers and pastry chefs in the world. Vendors ranged from Cupcake Wars gal Annette Starbuck to world renowned Parisian pastry chefs whose names are too difficult for me to pronounce. We spent an hour or so sampling everything from macarons to imported chocolates and even caught a first-hand glimpse of a candy-making demonstration. Our sugar highs eventually crashed, but sampling sugary treats for hours was, without a doubt, a perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon. 

japanese lemon macarons with chili flakes. unlike anything i've tasted.

spicy chili chocolate from ecuador.

handmade brittle. the pistachio mole was out of this world (and spicy).

cupcake wars table.

nothing bundt cakes. the fluffiest, lightest, and most moist red velvet i've had in a while. lemon and chocolate cakes in the back.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lobsta Truck

When I was a child, my favorite restaurant was The Red Lobster. Their cheesy biscuits, popcorn shrimp, and fresh lobster was my idea of a perfect meal. Although my taste buds have developed since my baby days, I'm proud to admit that I still love The Red Lobster. When I heard the Lobsta Truck was close to school today, my boyfriend and I went on a lobster binge (naturally) and tried out their famous Maine rolls. Served with a creamy and rich mayo sauce or simply butta (cue Paula Deen impression), the Lobsta rolls are surprisingly light and satisfying. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Seafood Shackin'

 Located on the PCH and only a few steps from the sand (and Cher's estate), Malibu Seafood Shack is home to some of the best fried seafood I've ever had. It's frills-free fresh fish. The servings are generous and the dishes are simple, most served with a side of tartar sauce. My favorites were the deep-fried shrimp and the bread bowl clam chowder, which didn't contain a single grain of sand. As far as ambiance goes, nothing about this place is fancy. It's a quintessential beachy hut where you're bound to bump into local surfers and LA folk looking to get their grub on.

clam chowder in bread bowl, seafood platter.


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