Thursday, March 29, 2012

Best Late Night Snack

These white chocolate chip Nutella cookies are so addictive! Their consistency is pretty...interesting. They're super duper flat, but surprisingly chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside. It's mind-boggling, really. But they're perfect with a cold glass of milk, and aren't overwhelmingly chocolatey. Experiment with the basic cookie dough by throwing in some walnuts or chocolate chips.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring Is Here

 I kicked off the beginning of spring by whipping up a batch of lemon bars - the quintessential spring snack. I used this perfectly simple recipe and ended up with light and refreshing lemon squares. Just like spring! And for an added kick, pop the squares in the fridge for a few hours to chill. It makes a world of a difference. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Bootleg

I spent my Friday night among bona fide hipsters at a Memoryhouse concert at the Bootleg Theater. Memoryhouse's set was quite...memorable. But it was the venue that struck a chord with me. From the outside, Bootleg is an unsuspecting concrete building in severe need of an extreme makeover. But indoors, the dim ambiance, along with the funky ceiling art, string christmas lights, and concert posters makes you want to grab a beer and escape from the mainstream that exists outside the venue's walls. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mmm Mmm Mmm at Cha Cha Cha

I'm obsessed with these rustic secret-garden-esque
 entrance doors. 

I surprisingly haven't come across many Caribbean restaurants in the diverse cuisine hub that is LA. So I was thrilled to try Cha Cha Cha during a work lunch a few months ago. That fateful day, I tasted the perfectly prepared pollo mole, which confirmed that I needed to take my gourmand/gastronome boyfriend there. The food at Cha Cha Cha is the kind of good that induces silence at the table, so as not to miss a chance to relish and savor a single bite. The sangria was sweet and dangerously easy to drink. But most of all, our eyes were glued to the hodgepodge decor. Trinkets, religious paintings, prints, and original murals adorn the walls in no apparent order or fashion. But it works, nonetheless. The comforting food and authentic ambiance of Cha Cha Cha will warm the soul. 

no chance for boredom in the festive and brightly decorated dining room. waiting for the food to arrive has never been so entertaining.

Pollo Mole - boneless chicken drenched in cocoa-infused mole sauce, beans and rice spiced to perfection, fried plantains

Gambas Negras - jumbo shrimp sautéed with black pepper sauce, served with the same sides as the Pollo Mole. 

the interior of the fancy entrance doors

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sunday Supper

I wasn't very pleased about losing an hour to daylight savings this weekend. But my sister hosted a delicious family dinner party that quickly lifted my mood. I'll let the pictures do the talking.

Homemade custard fruit tarts. Made by Mom with love.  

Assorted cheese plate. 

I'll never understand why they have a bad reputation: Oven-baked brussel sprouts lightly seasoned with garlic and olive oil. Courtesy of my gourmand sister. These also taste great flash-fried in a deep fryer. 

One of my favorite salads: To create dressing, whisk olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, anchovy paste, grated parmesan, salt and pepper. Toss arugula, thinly sliced fennel and shaved parmesan with dressing. Top with shaved parmesan. 

There's always room for dessert: homemade cappuccino and Mom's fruit tart. Birdpick lychee tea steeps in the back. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

"What Do You Mean You Don't Eat No Meat?"

Most of my friends are well aware of my tendency to incessantly quote lines from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." You have a bug bite? Spray some windex on it. Give me any word, and I'll tell you the root word is Greek. You're not hungry? I'll make you something to eat. So when I saw the poster below at Papa Cristos, I felt right at home. Papa Cristos is a Greek market/restaurant bursting with an incredible assortment of baklava, deli cuts, hot plates, and imported jarred foods from the motherland. We paid homage to the movie by feasting on lamb souvlaki and gyros, saganaki, and spanakopita. They were all delicious, but the tzatziki was exceptionally garlic-y and pita-chip worthy.

Left: The lamb souvlaki and kebab with greek salad and potatoes
Right: The salty saganaki was perfect with the fresh veggies while
 the spanakopita was perfectly seasoned.

Looking forward to trying the spanakopita pizza next time.

The ambiance transports you to Greece - blue and white tablecloths, walls plastered with practically every Greek poster known to mankind, while Zorba music blares in the background. Some may think it's borderline obnoxious, but I love it.  

Post-dinner language lesson.
Who needs Rosetta Stone? 

And I leave you with the inspiration for this blog post title - one of the most memorable scenes from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding."

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I ♥ DTLA: Olvera Street

The original city of Los Angeles at dusk on a warm March day.

I finally visited Olvera Street for the first time this past weekend. I'm a born and raised Angeleno, so some might consider it a travesty that it took me almost 24 years to trek just 6 miles from home to visit the original Los Angeles. A travesty indeed...but only because I didn't realize I was missing out on the epic delicious-ness of Mr. Churro's cream-filled churros. I could go on and on about these churros (and the bombastic and very famous taquitos from Cielito Lindo which preceded our churro experience). Never in my life have I tasted such a perfect churro - piping hot, perfectly crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, dredged in the perfectly proportioned mixture of cinnamon and sugar, and oozing with a rich and thick custard cream. 

the ultimate street food dinner
Left: famous taquitos drenched in avocado sauce -- the signature dish of Cielito Lindo, located at the street-side edge of Olvera Street. Their horchata was also delicious and surprisingly light.
Right: self-explanatory

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Raspberry Yogurt Cake

I've totally jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon. I'm obsessed. But unfortunately, my habit of spending hours on the highly addictive website is not good for my law school health. But such is life. All you Pinterest addicts probably noticed a mouth-watering image of a strawberry-yogurt cake that almost looked too delicious to eat. I was feeling inspired, so I found this amazing raspberry-yogurt cake and gave it a go. With atypical ingredients like plain yogurt and orange juice, this recipe resulted in an absolutely moist yet light cake perfect for a summer day. Just make sure to half the recipe (unless you're feeding an army). 

The base is a moist and light batter perfect for mixing in other fruits, nuts, or even chocolate chips.

must. resist. eating raw batter.
p.s. I didn't have any almond extract on hand, so feel free to use vanilla instead.

Before folding in the raspberries, make sure to coat them in flour.
This will help prevent them from getting smashed while folding. 

So maybe coating the raspberries wasn't very helpful.
Don't worry about presentation. The streaks of smashed raspberries make the cake pretty.

I promise it tastes 100x better than it looks.

Time to eat!


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