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Monthly Archives: June 2010

I know I’m more than a few days late on this but last week I got to celebrate the Lakers win over the best ahi tuna burger we’ve ever made.

On a side note, I’ve started another blog as an ode to the island life that I yearn for (someday it will happen, I keep telling myself.) I’m also throwing in other random things on there, too, if anyone wants to check it out: Dreaming of Islands

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Remember that roasted pepper aioli I made over the weekend for the crab cakes? I used it again in my shrimp tacos, amazing

La Tortilla Factory white corn tortillas (the BEST!)

Shrimp seasoned with salt and pepper, then sauteed for about four minutes a side

Grated cheddar cheese

Shredded lettuce

ROASTED PEPPER AIOLI SAUCE DRIZZLED ON TOP

Saturday. I had spent the whole day running errands from the time I woke up til the time I started prepping dinner: selling clothes at a thrift store, getting a pedicure, buying groceries, cleaning the house (that alone took a few hours), walking the dogs, going to the bank, driving back and forth on the freeway, sheesh! The list goes on and on. Yet despite all the crazed running around I was determined to make a lil something fancy shmancy for dinner. Ah ha…crab cakes! I also whipped up a hella delicious roasted pepper aioli which can be used on just about anything from sandwiches to tacos (versatile sauces are the best!) Chris had come home from golfing all day and after mopping up his entire plate, he announced that it was “one of the best dinners” he’s ever had. Bon appetit!

roasted pepper aioli

roasted pepper aioli

roasted pepper aioli

Roasted Pepper Aioli (makes about 1 cup)

  • 2 large roasted bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 2 tablespoon nonfat FAGE yogurt
  • 2 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper to taste

*Puree the peppers, dill, parsley and capers in a food processor so that it’s all mixed yet a little pulpy (not too watery)

*Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the nonfat yogurt, mayo, salt and pepper. Stir to combine evenly.

*Let it chill in the fridge and bring to room temp when you’re about to serve

Crab Cakes (serves two as a main – you get three each)

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8oz fresh crab meat (claw, because it’s cheaper at Whole Foods)
  • 3/4 cup of breadcrumbs
  • panko for dredging
  • canola oil for frying

*Beat eggs and add the parsley, mustard, worcestershire, mayo, lemon juice, chili powder, dill, salt and pepper and mix well to combine

*Gently fold in the crab meat and bread crumbs until combined

*Divide it into six portions using an ice cream scoop and flatten into thick patties

*Lightly coat each side with the panko

*Chill it in fridge for at least 30 minutes

*Heat skillet over medium high heat with the canola oil

*Fry on both sides at about 4 minutes per side, then pat the grease off on a paper towel

I’d like to introduce you to fellow blogger and buddy, Jess, who has a blog called LuaLosangeles and comes up with these brilliant, mouth-watering recipes. What I love about LuaLosangeles is that it perfectly mixes great fashion and hearty food. Even though Jess lives in Los Angeles (home to the super diet and workout buffs) and works in fashion, you won’t find her preaching rabbit food recipes like plain chicken on lettuce with no dressing (yuck!). She’s all about satisfying bites from beer battered fish tacos to macadamia nut pancakes because, in her words, “good food never goes out of style.” Bring it on!

1. Hi Jessica! Thanks so much for doing this. Where are you from and where did you grow up? I grew up in a small town in Knoxville, Tennessee . My mother married an Italian from Brooklyn, NY and it was in there in my hometown where they opened an Italian restaurant called Savelli’s, which is where my love of food was cultivated.

2. When did you start getting into cooking at home? Have you always been into food since you were little? Well, considering I grew up in the family restaurant business I was always around food and cooking. I have spent 90% of my life in kitchens. I hated coming home to cook after being surrounded by food and it wasn’t until I moved to Los Angeles that I really started to get busy in the kitchen myself. I always had my mother around cooking these incredible meals and I would never dare compete with her. It wasn’t until I moved out on my own and began buying the proper utensils and really perusing the local farmer’s market that I really began to become passionate.

3. I’m planning a romantic dinner with my boyfriend…what should I make? This is a good one. The first meal I made for a first date with my boyfriend was blackened salmon with a blue cheese white wine cream sauce, with asparagus and white truffle garlic mashed potatoes. Needless to say, we have been together ever since. There was something so rich and decadent about these flavors , almost romantic if you will. And yet, very easy. I don’t think most boyfriends would enjoy fussy food.

4. How do you spend your weekends and your downtime? I’m pretty much at the beach, in Santa Barbara or trekking up to Solvang for some wine tasting most weekends . I am such an explorer and I have to be constantly exploring new haunts. I’m a big fan of flea markets, too.

5. You have so many great recipes and I love the fact that you’re not afraid of posting some really amazing, decadent, yummy food. What’s your inspiration behind the recipes? I like to eat what tastes good. Oh and I am quite the short order cook. I tend to make what I want, when I want.  I have a huge sweet tooth and I think this definitely reflects in my blog. Don’t get me wrong, I still eat healthily. I love fresh carrot, ginger and apple juice and I plan on only juicing for at least a week in the very near future. Should make for a challenging and interesting week on my blog.  The juicing keeps me in line. And I love all fish, fresh fruit and veggies, too.

6. Speaking of yummy decadent food, how do you eat all that stuff and stay skinny? Do you workout or follow any kind of diet regimen? I try and hike several times a week to clear my head. Oh and the juicing definitely helps. But I am a firm believer in everything in moderation. One slice of pizza, one cookie, etc. Small portions. I believe that indulging every once is healthy.  Ands lots and lots of water!

7. Who are some of your favorite designers? My favorite designers are always the ones you’ve never heard of. I love vintage pieces that you’d never see on anyone else and good quality basics like James Perse. Trends come and go and at the end of every season it’s a shame to look at your closet like a giant heap of cash you blew through. There is a designer from New Zealand, Ruby, that I am loving at the moment. But, yes, it looks vintage. Oh and Miu Miu and Alexander Wang has been staples in my wardrobe.

8. Describe your fashion style and a typical daily uniform. I tend to wear what I like. If it looks good, I’ll buy it. I tend to swing more towards a bohemian, seventies, part gypsy look. But sometimes I love the whole parisian nautical chic. Or a 50’s housewife look. See, I just like it all!! No, it really just depends on my mood. I embrace it all. That’s what fashion is all about. Not conforming to one particular look.

As for my daily uniform, I’d say my JBrand doll jeans or ripped cutoffs , one of my father’s shirts that he wore when he was my age, and my Marni wooden platforms. Oh and lots of bracelets, lol. Yes, I love bell bottomed jeans and I feel they are so refreshing to see instead of the typical skinny jeans that you see everywhere. As for my father’s shirt, it’s this beautiful faded blue , truly vintage and the softest shirt ever. It’s nice and soft and drapes perfectly over my body. The shoes are amazing and I tend to wear them with everything. I get a whole 5 1/2 inches from them ! Now, on a weekend night, maybe a Balenciaga dress, my Herve Leger black tank dress or vintage tops with black skinny jeans. Oh, and I have an amazing shoe collection!

9. What would be your ultimate dream job? Owning a quaint , established restaurant in a beautiful locale, surrounded by friends and family with overflowing good wine:)

These muffins were crazy easy to make, but came out more savory than sweet. They tasted very much like Thanksgiving biscuits! So to sweeten them up, I drizzled a little bit of condensed milk over it and ate it with a spoon…delish! The recipe makes 6 mini muffins. Use silicon muffin cups – those are the best.

4 oz. Philly cream cheese – softened
1/8 cup soft butter
1/2 egg, beaten
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1.5 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Beat cream cheese and butter together; add egg and milk and mix well. Mixture does not have to be smooth. Add the vanilla extract and beat some more.

Combine the dry ingredients and fold in just until moistened.

Fill muffin tins about 3/4 full, then bake for 20 minutes in a preheated 400 degree oven.

Portobello mushroom burger inspired by LuaLosangeles.com. I took one portobello mushroom cap and rubbed it generously with olive oil, chopped garlic, celtic sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, stuck it in a 375 degree oven and let it roast for 10 minutes. While it was roasting, I made a burger “spread” with 1/2 cup mayo, 1/8 cup cream cheese, chili powder, minced garlic and mixed it all together. Then, I toasted a yummy “everything” burger bun from Bristol Farms. I only toasted one half of a normal bun…I kinda like my burgers open faced.

When the mushroom is done cooking and the bun is all toasty and ready, spread the sauce on the bun, then layer the mushroom and some sliced tomato and guacamole on top. The perfect dinner to a great Lakers vs. Celtics game tonight 🙂

Mmmm…what’s a good way to use leftover bell peppers from a giant bag you got at Costco? Stuffed peppers, of course! I sauteed garlic, olive oil and red onion until it became translucent.  Then, I added cooked basmati rice (about 1 cup), and crumbled leftover salmon (you can use whatever meat you want at this point), then added some chopped sundried tomato, 2 oz of smoked mozzarella cheese, cracked black pepper, and a tiny dab of butter. In the meantime, I baked four bell peppers for 30 minutes in a 400 degree oven until the edges became a little brown in a tinfoil packet. Once softened, I put my rice and salmon mixture into the bell peppers (which, by the way, should have the tops cut off and the insides cleaned out) and topped it with some grated pecorino. Bake for ten minutes in the oven – ta da!