Archive for the 'Food' Category


November 18, 2010


What says ‘fall’ better than risotto? Oh yea, butternut squash risotto. Mmmm.


Veggies galore

November 8, 2010

On Saturday, we had a late, huge lunch courtesy of a friend’s daughter’s dol. The rest of the day was spent running around town and taking care of errands. When dinner time rolled around, I was not feeling so great, and wanted something somewhat healthy to offset the Chinese feast we’d had earlier. I remembered Hana’s post about broccoli soup, and thought it sounded like the perfect light, yet comforting meal — and it was, served with some toasted bread, and a dollop of sour cream.

Initially, James was not so thrilled when I told him what I’d be making — and it showed. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so unenthused upon hearing what was for dinner. He was so relieved when he sat down to eat and it wasn’t the bland mush he’d been imagining. He is now a believer in the almighty broccoli soup!


Sunday, I got the chance to make these tomato and goat cheese tarts that I’ve had bookmarked for the longest time. They seemed like the perfect accompaniment to go with the leftover soup. What’s not to like: puff pastry, caramelized onions, goat cheese, tomato, parmesan, basil…oh yea, did I mention puff pastry? Seriously — all good things!

For a while, I’ve been considering trying to prepare a vegetarian meal at least once a week (à la Meatless Monday). With food like this, maybe we won’t miss meat as much as I thought we would!




Last night’s dinner: Penne with Sausage

September 10, 2010


When I was doing my meal plan at the beginning of the week, I asked James what he wanted to eat, and he asked for this pasta again. I had actually planned to make it Wednesday night, and have the leftovers for dinner on Thursday. BUT!! Early Wednesday evening, right in the middle of my Fantasy Football (why do I always want to write Final Fantasy instead?) draft, I heard a loud explosion outside, and all of a sudden – a deafening silence. All of our power went out, and first things first, I had to call my brother and beg him to log onto the draft and act as my proxy. Actually, my team is probably ten times better than it would have been otherwise.

As 7pm and impending darkness crept up, James and I quickly realized that we have no flashlights or candles in the house (!!!), but remembered we did buy an LED lantern for a camping trip. Of course, we had to dig through our entire storage closet to actually find it, but it was a relief that we wouldn’t have to rely on our rapidly dying cell phones for light all night long!

Thankfully, power was restored at some point in the wee hours, and I woke up on Thursday to blinking clocks and random lights on all over the house. I hemmed and hawed all day over whether the sausage in the fridge would still be ok, but decided it just wasn’t worth the risk and ended up making a trip to the grocery store to pick up some more. On the bright side, I bought everything we’ll need to get us through Tuesday…and then we’re off to Baltimore on Wednesday!

Labor Day

September 6, 2010




I love the pumpkin-colored mums I picked up at the farmers’ market on Saturday – I am ready for fall! I also bought a 3 lb. bag of white nectarines that were so sweet, but really ripe and needed to be used ASAP. I woke up early today (I’m happy to work the holidays as long as I can do it from home) and had the brilliant idea of making some crumb bars. I could have done a better job combining the butter with the flour mixture so that the top would be more crumbly and less powdery, but my arm was getting tired, and they still ended up tasting great, especially with my morning coffee! Really not looking forward to going back to the grind tomorrow, after what has essentially been a 4.5-day weekend.

Cafe Scent

August 28, 2010

A couple months ago, James’s cousin took us to Cafe Scent in Ktown for dessert. This place also doubles as a flower shop, much like the now-closed Flora Kitchen at Rita Flora, which I have fond memories of because once upon a time, many moons ago, James took me there for brunch and I thought it was such a neat concept.

I really loved these hanging lights.






Check out the “honey toast,” which is the reason why his cousin brought us here – it means business! Hollowed out loaf of bread with honey, vanilla ice cream, kiwi, strawberries, pineapple, and whipped cream stuffed inside! Insanely decadent, and best shared among a few fellow sweet-toothed friends.

Cafe Scent
3680 Wilshire Blvd. Suite P03
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 383-9440

Umami Santa Monica

August 27, 2010

It’s no secret that James and I are big burger fans, so of course we are no strangers to Umami. Previously, we’d only been to the original La Brea location, and since our last visit, three more popped up all across LA. We were feeling adventurous (actually, we wanted some beers to go with our burgers, and La Brea does not serve any alcohol), so we decided to check out the Santa Monica outpost, which is actually attached to Fred Segal. Santa Monica and Fred Segal? I immediately had visions of crowds, long waits, and awful parking, but shockingly, we encountered none of those things.

James browsing the menu

Sweet potato fries

Cheesy tots

Manly Burger: beer-cheddar cheese, smoked salt onion strings, bacon lardons

Truffle Burger: Italian truffle cheese, truffle glaze

The fries were sprinkled with brown sugar, which made them a little too sweet in my opinion – I prefer my sweet potato fries saltier, like at Father’s Office. I was especially excited to try the tater tots (another item that was not offered at La Brea when we went, not sure if that’s changed since), and was not disappointed – crispy on the outside, and cheesy once you take a bite! The burgers were both good, but the Manly burger was a little too salty, even for bacon cheeseburger lovers like ourselves. The Truffle burger was the winner of the night: so small and deceptively simple, but absolutely packed with that fabulous flavor that only truffles can impart!

Umami Santa Monica
500 Broadway
Santa Monica, CA 90401-2406
(310) 451-1300

Last night’s dinner: Chicken with Mustard Mascarpone Marsala Sauce

August 26, 2010

From last Wednesday…


Giada’s chicken with mustard mascarpone marsala sauce made its way back into my radar again because Hana emailed me recently to say that she had tried a dish that she just knew would be right up my alley. She obviously knows me so well – it was actually already one of my favorite recipes! After I read her email, I instantly started craving that delicious combination of mustard, mascarpone, and marsala (seriously – perfection!) and couldn’t wait to whip this up again. Believe me when I say I could have easily licked the plate clean!

Last night’s dinner: smoked salmon pasta

August 25, 2010


James’s parents recently came back from a trip to Alaska with lots of salmon (smoked and fresh) in tow. I used some of the former to make this easy smoked salmon pasta. It turned out great, although I was expecting the sauce to be a bit thicker. I may add a little more cream next time, or maybe some cream cheese!


August 24, 2010

Saturday, we headed down to Venice to have brunch at a restaurant I’ve been wanting to try. We thought we were being smart by going late in the afternoon to miss the rush of the brunch crowd, but we underestimated the popularity of this particular place; they said they couldn’t seat us for at least an hour! We decided to walk around the block, and came across the Kogi truck at one of its usual spots, outside of The Brig. Believe it or not, we had never tried any of the food trucks before, so we decided to skip the nice brunch and try the infamous Korean-Mexican fusion treats that inspired an entire mobile food movement.

The infamous Kogi truck

Kogi dog ($5)

Kogi dog cross section

Kogi sliders ($5)

Spicy pork & short rib tacos ($2/each)

Spicy pork taco cross section

Final thoughts? It was good – our favorites of the bunch were the sliders. Was it as amazing as all of the hype would lead you to believe? Not really. Honestly, once you have the flavors for the kalbi and dwejikalbi down, you’re more than halfway there, which means that I think most Korean people (or even anyone with access to a Korean market) could make these at home pretty easily without the frustration of waiting in line or of having the truck run out of something you wanted to order – I’m looking at you, kimchi quesadilla!

We caught the tail end of their service because they had to go to a private catering event. They announced every few minutes that they would not be able to get to everyone, but would do their best. As they started to close up shop, we saw an unhappy girl march up to the window and throw a small fit about how she follows them ALL OVER and never manages to get any food – she even stomped away! I also overheard a latecomer offer to buy a couple’s food (they declined because they said it was their first time). Now, I really don’t think it’s worth all that, but I can definitely see it being a very welcome post-drinking snack to stumble on outside of a bar. Just as long as there’s no long line, of course!

Kogi BBQ

Last night’s dinner: oyakodon

August 20, 2010

From Tuesday…


My first taste of this dish was during college, when I was visiting a Japanese friend’s home. His mom cooked us a wonderful lunch, and introduced me to the comforting goodness that is oyakodon. Since then, I’ve had it many times, and only recently realized how easy it would be to prepare at home. The only thing that I had to go a little out of my way to pick up was Hon Dashi (soup stock).

This is the second time I’ve made it in the past couple weeks, which should say something about how simple and delicious it is! I didn’t have any spring onions in the fridge, which I would’ve loved to throw in the mix, so I used some shredded nori for garnish this time around instead.