Archive | February, 2012

A Recipe for More Than Just Taco Tuesday

28 Feb

A great taco, and not just for Tuesdays.

Here in Southern California, Mexican food is everywhere, and frankly, we love it. There are a few transplants from the east coast who do not like cilantro (or coriander, for my UK readers), which in my book is sacrilege. My favorite cuisines are the ones that use cilantro, like Thai, Vietnamese, Indian and Mexican.And we must love alliteration with our Mexican food, as Taco Tuesday is a weekly fixture, certainly in the Orange County culinary sphere. Like we need an excuse to eat tacos—I mean, c’mon. I’ve featured about three taco recipes in this blog already!

Well, get ready for another one. Continue reading

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23 Feb

I had to reblog this post from Sweat Like Mambo. She found this crazy awesome hostess gift that I can’t wait to give! Any friends or family reading this blog: Warning. You might receive this one day…

sweatlikemambo

These are awesome! I saw this in Sunset Magazine, and I think they are the most perfect gift to give (or get)! For $14.95, you can get what’s shown above: 8 garden “truffles”, two each of Basil, Parsley, Chives and Thyme. (Or you can select a different set with different herbs…this one is the “Italian Herb” selection.) And it comes in a cute little truffles box complete with a list of which truffles are which. I especially love how it says, “This candy is for planting – not for eating!!”… very cool idea.

Get it here at the Moulton site.

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Pasadena, Parrots and Halibut at Home

22 Feb

This past Saturday, my friend Heather, her two cherubs and I jumped into her car for a trip up to Pasadena and the Norton-Simon museum. I had not been there since I was about her oldest’s age, about 9, and have wanted to return ever since.

Pasadena is certainly not just up the road from South Orange County, but it didn’t take us too long to get there, and with only one “Are we there yet?” from the back seat. Pretty nice going, if you ask me. I left them at the entrance waiting to be collected for the craft event and swung into the main gallery. I asked one of the staff if it was true—could I really take photos? He said yes, but no flash ever. That I could handle. Continue reading

Once-a-Year Treat: Multi-Grain Blueberry Pancakes

19 Feb

It’s a little painful to type today. My new juicer and I got into a small altercation yesterday morning. There was a beet and a piece of apple jammed in it, and although I had turned the machine off, I didn’t wait for it to completely stop before—you know what I’m going to say here, don’t you—I stuck my hand in.

Yes, dear reader, the juicer won. Luckily I didn’t stick my hand in too far, so the situation didn’t turn into a scene from one of those Hostel films (I’m only assuming, I’d never watch one of those films. Okay, maybe if you paid me a million dollars. Maybe.). But one of my fingers got slightly mangled, and I now have a healthy respect for the juicer. It does, indeed, have the upper hand. Well, only when it’s plugged into the wall, and I have control over that. (Cue evil laugh.)

But the wound is not the reason I decided to treat The Husband and I to blueberry pancakes this morning. It’s all Food & Wine magazine‘s fault—this month’s cover has a stack of pancakes smack on the front, dripping with berries and syrup. It’s had me craving pancakes all week. And, I felt since we had eaten raw food all week and I ran five miles this morning, we deserved it. Continue reading

Red Velvets for Valentine’s Day

14 Feb

A delectable Valentine dessert.

I have to admit, I’m not entirely sure why people go gaga over red velvet cake or cupcakes. I’m not saying they’re not nice, I just don’t think they are that spectacular. People have asked me what “flavor” red velvets are—and that’s just impossible to describe. I do keep making them because choosy red-velvet eaters choose mine. I’ve heard the following compliments:

“Better than Sprinkles‘ red velvets!” (Take THAT, Candace Nelson!)

“As good as my Southern grandmother’s red velvets!” (I’ll take that compliment all day long, thankyouverymuch.) Continue reading

The Week of Eating Rabbit Food

12 Feb

Raw food. You know you want it.

I’m not expecting many people, if any, to make the recipe on this post, but it was one of the best things I made on my own during my raw-food diet last week. It was hard—well, it was and it wasn’t—but I needed to lose a few pounds that the Tiny Kitchen had helped put on. I’d done the one-week cleanse program from 118° (thanks to Groupon and the encouragement of my personal trainer), a raw-food restaurant up in Costa Mesa, and it seemed to work. So, during my month-long cleanse I thought I should try it again.

The Husband encouraged me to buy the recipe book (can’t quite call it a cookbook) from the owner/chef of 118°, mainly because he has such unwavering faith in my ability to make anything in a kitchen. I think he also just thought it was a bunch of chopping vegetables, and forgot about the bread-style items that the restaurant provided, made from sprouted grains and using a dehydrator. Continue reading

Adult Cupcakes with Stout and Chocolate

5 Feb

Sometimes, they're just too pretty to eat. That's a lie. No they're not. It just screams "Eat me!"

This one’s for my boys—Colin, Duncan and Alasdair—who came out to visit me just over a year ago while on a trip around California. Col and Dunk are two of my favorite people in the world, and Alasdair is right up there too. We got to know each other during my time in London; Colin and I would go to movies and dinner together while Dunk was off shooting another Channel 4 television programme. Yes, I spelled that the English way, thank you very much. Those are times I still cherish! When Dunc was in town we’d have dinner at each other’s houses or attend fabulous parties hosted by our various fabulous London friends, of whom I miss very much. Sigh…

I got to see Alasdair infrequently when he was in town from Switzerland, where he moved to be part of the World Health Organization. I think. All I know is that he is a doctor in great demand in places where AIDS is an epidemic. And on top of that he’s super fun.

Of course I had to invite them over for dinner, and because I’d been bragging so much about cupcakes, I made some for them. Cupcakes, until very recently, were not a popular treat over in the U.K. They are mainly an American thing, and when they do make them over there, they are small ones, mainly for children’s parties and they call them “fairy cakes“.

I like to call these “adult” or even “manly” cupcakes, because although they are small cakes with frosting on top, they have a flavor profile that caters to a more sophisticated palate. And The Husband says that the frosting tastes as good as his Nana used to make, and that’s good enough for me. Continue reading