Saturday, June 5, 2010

Spicy Tomato Soup

After a few rainy days in Los Angeles it is impossible not to feel that need to make a big fire and curl up with some delicious soup. I was bored with the usual rainy day treat of chicken noodle, so instead I reached for tomato. I had some delicious looking tomatoes that I used to make an upbeat tomato soup. I began with olive oil, garlic, and red chili pepper flakes in a pot. I then added the delectable tomatoes with all of its juices. I simply put in some salt to taste, basil, and a little water to guarantee that the dish would come out as a soup rather than a sauce. It was delicious. With the sweetness from the basil and the tomatoes, the underlying garlic and then the heat kicks in right in the end from the chili flakes. This soup truly brightened up my rainy day.

Here's the recipe...

2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
4 cups diced ripe tomatoes
1 cup basil, torn
1/2 cup water
salt to taste

1. In a medium sized pot heat the oil then add the garlic and chili flakes and cook until the garlic is golden.
2. Add in the tomatoes (it might splatter so stand back), stir and cook for about 2 minutes.
3. Add in the water, salt, and basil and stir until incorporated.
4. Simmer for fifteen minutes under medium high heat or until all the ingredients have heated through and are melded together. Enjoy!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Sunday Brunch

I always enjoy brunch and lunch get togethers. There is the excitement of the preparing and getting together with friends, that dinner parties include, but with brunch and lunch, after the get together most of the day still awaits you. It enables you to meet your friends in an informal environment while enjoying lighter, more vibrant food than a traditional dinner party.

After a fun, long night with my friends, we felt the need for some serious midmorning food. So with the appeal of brunch calling at me, I offered to cook. I had some deliciously sweet oranges from the Farmer's Market, so I knew that orange juice was a necessity. I normally do not add ice to fresh squeezed orange juice, but I thought that these oranges were so sweet that some ice was necessary to water it down.

I had also made a wonderful frittata and baked french toast that I had made for mother's day the year before. They were both delicious. I opted out of the dill in the frittata and used slightly less blueberries than recommended for the french toast. I am not very found of dill as an herb so I didn't use it and instead added 3 extra tablespoons of scallions I found the blueberries in the french toast slightly problematic because it caused the dish to be a little watered down. So i would recommend only using half a cup of berries and making sure to use fresh berries. I think that this dish would also work with any other kind of berry that you found appealing. The frittata is an Ina Garten recipe and the french toast is a recipe from Giada De Laurentiis.

Here's the recipe for the frittata...

1 medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
12 extra-large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 pound smoked salmon, chopped
3 scallions, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (I did not use dill, so I added extra scallions)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Saute the onions and butter together in a oven-proof pan for about five minutes (until the onions are translucent).
3. In a bowl beat the eggs then add in the cream, goat cheese, salmon, scallions, dill, salt, and pepper.
4. Pour the egg mixture over the onions and put the pan in the oven for 50 minutes.
5. When the frittata is finished it should puff up and when you insert a knife it should come out clean. Enjoy!

Here's the recipe for the baked french toast...

Butter, for greasing
6 eggs
3 cups whole milk
3/4 cup maple syrup, plus extra for serving
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, plus 1 tablespoon
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 lemon, zested
3 (1-inch thick) slices (8 ounces) day-old challah or sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups (12 ounces) fresh or frozen, thawed, and drained blueberries (I suggest using 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9 by 13 inch pan.
2. In a large bowl beat the eggs until they are frothy.
3. Add the milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt, and lemon zest to the eggs.
4. Add the bread cubes to the mixture and make sure that each cube is coated.
5. Stir in the blueberries and then pour the mixture into the prepared dish.
6. In a small bowl mix together the rest of the cinnamon and sugar and evenly sprinkle it over the egg mixture.
7. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the top is golden and the filling is set.
8. Spoon out servings and drizzle them with maple syrup. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Gourmet Weeknight Meal

6:00 Wednesday, I was once again searching through my refrigerator looking for the ingredients to create a quick and simple dinner for my mom and I. I found some frozen ahi tuna, frozen peas, and some delicious brown rice spaghetti. I got an idea, pea pasta with grilled ahi tuna. I got to work and it came out magnificently.

Here's the recipe...

2 ahi tuna steaks (fresh or frozen)
1 lemon for juicing
1 bag brown rice spaghetti
1 bag frozen peas
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
2 sprigs rosemary
1 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese
salt and pepper to taste

1. Begin by heating up a stove top grill and defrosting the tuna steaks if frozen and boil salted water.
2. Salt and pepper both sides of the tuna steaks and squeeze on lemon juice evenly.
3. Brush the grill with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and let it get hot.
4. Cook the tuna steaks on the grill for 5 minutes on each side until almost cooked through.
5. While that cooks put the spaghetti into the boiling water.
6. Get a pan and heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil then add in the garlic and let it cook very lightly.
7. Put the peas and rosemary in the olive oil and garlic and stir every few minutes until the peas are no longer frozen.
8. Take the spaghetti out of the water and stir into the pea mixture with the parmigiano-reggiano until everything is evenly distributed.
9. Slice the ahi tuna, put the spaghetti into bowls and top with sliced ahi tuna. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bake Sale

Last weekend I got my friends together and we had a garage/bake sale to raise money for the devastation in Haiti. When I first heard about the tragedy, I knew i had to do something. But on a teenage budget with twenty dollars to my name, I as an individual was unable to donate. So I thought that the best thing I could do would to make a fundraiser. I set up my garage and my friends and I went through our closets to find the fashions that we could part with. We sold tons of clothes and also sold bake goods. I knew that I had to make something classic that customers would love and were not intimidated to try. So I decided on red velvet cupcakes and the most chocolatey brownies ever created.

For the red velvet cupcakes I indulged in Paula Dean's traditional southern recipe. They turned out delicious!

Here's the recipe...

Ingredients Red Velvet Cupcake:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk (I make my own buttermilk by taking 1 cup milk and adding 1 tablespoon lemon juice)
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons red food coloring (I used 1 1/2 tablespoons and it was PLENTY)
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 (12 cup) muffin tins with cupcake papers
2. In a medium bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder together.
3. In a large bowl beat the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla together.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix it until both mixtures become one.
5. Divide the batter among the cupcake tins so that each tin is 3/4 full
6. Bake for 20-22 minutes
7. Cool completely and then frost with Cream Cheese Frosting. Enjoy!

Ingredients for Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 pound cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners sugar

1. Beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth.
2. Add the sugar at a low speed and beat until it is incorporated.
3. Increase the speed to high so that the mixture becomes light and fluffy.
4. Ice the cupcakes (makes a lot of icying, so you will have extra)

I also felt obligated to make Ina Garten's delicious "Outrageous Brownies," and they were just that, outrageous! For the recipe I omitted the nuts and put in extra chocolate chips.

Here's the recipe...

1 pound unsalted butter
1 pound plus 16 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
6 large eggs
3 tablespoons instant coffee granules
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour (i used whole wheat)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter and flour a baking sheet
2. Melt the butter, 1 pound chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate in a double boiler, and allow mixture to cool.
3. In a large bowl stir the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla, and sugar together.
4. Stir in the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.
5. In a medium bowl mix 1 cup flour, the baking powder, and salt together.
6. Add dry ingredients to chocolate mixture.
7. Toss the remaining chocolate chips in 1/4 cup flour and add to the chocolate mixture.
8. Pour into baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes.
9. Let cool and Enjoy!

After the bake sale my friends and I were exhausted and starving. So I made my favorite dish right now, I call it burrata pizza, it's ridiculously delicious. All the ingredients are super simple but the flavor of each element of the dish jump out at you. I really can't explain how good it is, you must try it.

Here's the recipe...

1 ball whole wheat pizza dough*
3 tablespoons whole wheat flours (for rolling out pizza dough)
20 cherry tomatoes halved
6 large basil leaves julienned
2 balls burrata (a type of mozzarella cheese)
2 cloves minced garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt to taste
* Pizza dough can be purchased at most grocery stores, but if it is not available at your grocery store, as a local pizzeria for some of their dough. The dough doesn't have to be whole wheat, personally i just think it has more flavor.

1. Preheat over to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Flour a flat surface with the flour and begin to roll out dough. Make the dough as thin as possible without making holes.
3. Once the dough is rolled out, brush the dough with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
4. Cook the dough in the oven for 15 minutes or until crispy.
5. While the crust is still hot, tear the burrata on top of it and then scatter the garlic, basil, and tomato over the crust.
6. Sprinkle the pizza with remaining olive oil and salt to taste. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Welcome to my first blog. I have an obsessive attraction to all things delicious, and always test myself with the absence of recipes to create a delectable meal. Sometimes it turns out as amazing as I had planned, and sometimes it's a different story. But on those special days when they do turn out delicious I aspire to share those recipes with people who will enjoy them as much as my friends and family have. So i want to share those experimental recipes (that work) with you! I go on adventures all over Los Angeles to learn about the food culture throughout the community that I call home. I have created this blog to share those food adventures I embark on. I will retreat here from the craziness of Los Angeles and High School to discover the secrets to delectable experiences in the city.