Tag: food

inspired by | thanksgiving {LA}

planning last minute details for your thanksgiving feast, tablescape, floral arrangements?  me too.  taking inspiration from these fabulous photos! happy {last minute} planning!!!







in the kitchen | thanksgiving {LA}

{caramelized corn + mint} is always a must on my thanksgiving menu; everyone needs at least one super simple go-to recipe for the holidays. 5 ingredients + 1 pan, and voila you have a delicious side dish.  don’t underestimate this recipe, i know it looks too simple to be worthy of your thanksgiving feast. it is sweet, buttery goodness with a surprising pop from the fresh mint.  i will make one disclaimer, however. this week i added green peas to the mix, and it was still quite tasty. so, you will see both corn and peas in my photos.  but i think this recipe is best left simple and minimal . . . omit the peas and let the corn be the star!

{click on recipe card and print for your own collection}
{all images are personal photographs, if used please link back to our site} 

in the kitchen | thanksgiving {LA}

{thanksgiving} is by far my favorite holiday.  i love spending time with dear friends & family and eating all of the delicious food that seems to come around only once a year.  i also get absolutely giddy about the planning and preparing of thanksgiving dinner.  for the past three years we have hosted dinner at our home, and we’ll be welcoming friends again this year.  so, when the calendar rolled around to november 1st, i could not contain my excitement . . . i pulled out the old recipe books, sifted through all of my favorites, and started planning our feast.  needless to say, i ended up with a rather long list of delectable dishes and could not bear to give up a single one.  such a dilemma, right? not to worry.  i am cooking a few of the recipes in the weeks before thanksgiving, and that way we get to sample all of our faves! check back every week in november for new holiday recipes.

starting with a major crowd pleaser, squash au gratin.  it’s simple, delicious, and with the gruyère cheese and panko topping even kids will love this one.  it’s a perfect accompaniment when you need to add some vegetables to your thanksgiving menu!!!

{all images are personal photographs, if used please link back to our site}
{click on recipe card and print for your own collection}

in the kitchen {LA}

one of the major perks to living in a beautiful place like pasadena, is that we have visitors popping in and out year round.  i absolutely love having company, and for the last three weeks we have had one house guest after another. everyday has been filled to the brim with hikes, sight-seeing tours all over so cal, visits to vineyards, wine tastings, and of course LOTS of eating.  before we could finish lunch we were already planning our decadent dinner. believe me, i am not complaining. over the course of three weeks i have dined at all of my favorite restaurants, and have even found a few new places to cherish. but now that the company has departed; my body and my stomach are ready for a little cleansing. to recharge, i always make a huge pot of kale and veggie soup. by no means is this a true cleanse or a diet. it is simply fresh, full of vegetables, very low in sodium and without preservatives.  we have been eating this healthful soup all week for lunch and dinner. and with all of this cool, foggy weather it is really hitting the spot!

{click on recipe card and print for your own collection}
{all images are personal photographs, if used please link back to our site}

little tokyo {AL in LA}

yesterday, my mom & i decided to take the metro down to {little tokyo} to enjoy some authentic japanese cuisine & shop around. we had such a wonderful afternoon walking adrift and taking in the beautiful culture. the streets were lined with various noodle bars and sushi restaurants filling the sidewalks with wonderful aromas as we passed. we had lunch on the patio of the joy mart restaurant and enjoyed an array of delicious dishes including salads, sushi, & spicy salmon. i was delighted to see the decorative papers that garnished the streets from lanterns, & wish trees, to bamboo arrangements draped with colorful ornamentation. having tons of fun here in {LA} and so happy i got to see this section of town!

{a little noodle bar in the heart of the district}
{a wish tree. the wish for monkey butlers was my favorite : }

{our delicious lunch from the joy mart restaurant}
{fancy bamboo dangling over a storefront}
{all images are personal photographs, if used please link back to our site}

happy friday {AL & LA}

{photography by karen mordechai}

i plan to INDULGE in a little chocolate this weekend & found this simple recipe that looks amazing via {sunday suppers}. hoping it will cure the lingering sweet tooth i’ve had lately. wishing everyone a wonderful weekend! erin, have a great time back home in south carolina, can’t wait to see you soon dear friend. xo, {c}

bittersweet chocolate & orange pot de creme with almond cream

  • 1/2 c milk
  • 2 eggs
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 cups of bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 tbl of grand marnier
  • zest of 1 orange

bring the milk to a simmer in a sauce pan. put eggs, salt, chocolate, grand marnier, and orange zest in a blender. pulse until combined on medium speed, slowly add in the hot milk and blend for 1 minute. pour into individual ramekins and chill for at least an hour. serve with almond cream.

almond cream

  • 1/2 c whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp of almond extract
  • 2 tbl sugar

veggie dinner {LA}

veggie dinner is a frequent occurrence in our household, at least 3-4 times a week. and thanks to the folks over at {smitten kitchen} i discovered this little fritter recipe which we have been eating all week. toss-up a quick salad for the perfect accompaniment when you want something fresh and light. on the menu: zucchini fritters and little gem salad with meyer lemon vinaigrette. {i will share the salad recipe next week}!!!

{images above are personal photographs – if used please link back to our site}

zucchini fritters {adapted from smitten kitchen}

  • 1 lb (approx 2 medium) zucchini
  • 3 scallions, sliced thin
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (i added this for a little kick)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup oat bran
  • 4 tbsp olive oil (give or take)

1 Preheat oven to 300.  Clean zucchini and trim ends.  Using the large holes of a box grater, shred zucchini.  Try to remove the excess moisture from the zucchini by either squeezing the liquid out in whatever method you like.  I simply used paper towels and then set in strainer for 10 minutes.

2 Whisk egg in a large bowl. Add zucchini, flour, oat bran, scallions, garlic, salt & pepper.  Mix well.

3 Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  (this required 2 batches for me, as I only cooked 5 at a time). Using your hands and a spoon, make little balls of the mixture and carefully drop into hot skillet.   Flatten slightly.  Cook, turning once, until browned, 4-6 minutes on each side.  Transfer to a baking dish.  Repeat with second batch.

4 Place baking dish with fritters in the oven and bake for about 5 minutes.  You can always exclude this step, but I like mine extra crispy!

Serve immediately. I topped ours with a little greek yogurt mixed with lemon, garlic and pepper. Delish.

sweet summer tea {LA}

{sweet summer tea}  there is nothing i love more during these sweltering summer days than a nice tall glass of refreshing iced tea.  lately i have been experimenting by adding all sorts of tasty herbs and fruits to my tea … muddled cherries, fresh peaches, almond extract, lavender, basil, oranges.  and while all of these concoctions have been uniquely delicious, nothing can beat the southern style sweet tea i grew up drinking.

sweet summer tea {southern style}:

  • 1 quart of water
  • 3 or 4 tea bags {i use black tea}
  • 1  large lemon
  • 1 small bunch of fresh mint
  • 2-4 tbsp of agave {or honey}
  • ice cubes
  • vodka/rum {optional for adult cocktail}

brew tea bags in boiling water, letting it steep for 20 minutes. pour brewed tea into a pretty pitcher. add agave {or honey} and juice of 1/2 lemon, stir to mix. swirl in mint sprigs, leaving mint in the pitcher. add ice cubes until pitcher is full, refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. serve over ice with lemon slice.  {for cocktail, add 1.5 oz of your favorite vodka or light rum to the iced tea. mix well and top with fresh lemon slice}. enjoy!

{all images are personal photos, if used please link back to our site}

bulgarini {LA}

{bulgarini} is my latest summer obsession.  a traditional gelataria which has recently been featured in the pasadena star news, LA weekly, and even the NY times. and can i just say this stuff is nothing short of AMAZING!!!

i read a little blurb on bulgarini in our local paper a few weeks ago, and after a sweltering sunday afternoon playing tennis with my man {r}, we decided to give it a try.  we drove just north to altadena in search of what has been called “the best gelato” by los angeles magazine.  remembering only the cross streets we circled and looped and looked for the mysterious bulgarini.  and just as we were about to give up… i spotted an old sign standing above what looked to be an empty parking lot in front of a run-down strip mall.  we drove through the parking lot slowly and caught a glimpse of the store front tucked into a very out-dated courtyard to the side of the nearly vacant strip mall.  my excitement and anticipation grew; if there is one thing i a swear by, it is the fact that the best tasting food is often found in small “hole in the wall” spots tucked away in a corner off the beaten path.

ok. THE GELATO. every flavor looked delicious, decadent, and unbelievably creamy making my decision nearly impossible. we ended up getting 2 small cups with 2 flavors in each. we tried the yellow peach, goat’s milk with chocolate nibs, almond and chocolate orange.  each one was spectacular in its own way. but as a girl who loves dark chocolate, the chocolate orange was so sinfully supberb, that i seriously considered going back for more. the yellow peach was perfectly fruity and tangy for a hot summer day and {r} loved the goat’s milk.  we will be returning to bulgarini every weekend this summer until we have sampled them all. cantaloupe & pistachio are on the top of my list for our next visit!!!

{flavors L to R: almond, chocolate orange, yellow peach, goats milk with choco nibs}

peaches & green {AL}

i love salads, especially salads with lots of goodies. during this hot summer weather my cravings for a cool, crisp mix are a bit more frequent, so over the weekend i went to the market to get some sunshine & gather the goods. what did i spy? peach! peaches are in season and everywhere. i got a basket from chilton county, the peach capital of AL.  they were deliciously sweet and a perfect accessory for salad.

peaches & green

  • 6 cups of chopped green leaf lettuce
  • 4 peaches (diced in small cubes)
  • 4 oz of goat cheese (crumbled)
  • 1/4 cup walnuts (toasted)
  • 1 garlic clove (minced)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 lemon
  • salt
  • pepper
toss walnuts in minced garlic, 3 tsp olive oil, a pinch of salt & pepper & bake on 350 for 5-8 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes.  once cool, toss walnuts, remaining olive oil, vinegar, 1/2 tsp of lemon juice, and another (more generous) pinch of salt & pepper with chopped lettuce.  top with diced peaches & crumbled goat cheese. makes about 4 servings. {pairs well with grilled whitefish}
 {all images are personal photos, if used please link back to our site}