Friday, February 26, 2010

Simple Suppers: Fish And Smoked Oyster Chowder

Divas, here's a simple recipe for a healthy chowder.  I've tossed out the cream and milk, replacing it with a lovely tomato-based broth, and instead of using bacon to add smokiness, I used smoked oysters.  The result is a dish packed with healthy seafood, vegetables and huge flavor!  This cooks up fast, is hearty enough for a meal and chocked full of big flavors!

Fish And Smoked Oyster Chowder
Serves 4-6 people
Cooking time 30 minutes

1/2 pound cod or tilapia fillets, cut into chunks
1 3 oz. can smoked oysters
4 cups vegetable stock
2 cups filtered water
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 onion, peeled and chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
4 medium red potatoes, cut into chunks
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
salt and pepper

In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and celery and saute until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and chili flakes and saute for another minute.

Add the stock, water, tomatoes, potatoes and bay leaf and bring to a simmer.  Cover and cook for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

Next, add the fish, oysters and parsley and simmer for another 5 minutes, or until the fish flakes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Enjoy!

Source for Ingredients
tilapia fillets, smoked oysters, organic celery, organic onions, chili flakes and organic red potatoes from Trader Joe's

organic vegetable stock, bay leaf and organic olive oil from Whole Foods

organic parsley and organic garlic from Hollywood Farmers Market

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Stir It 28's LA Fundraiser Really Stirred It Up For Haiti!

Domestic Divas "White Trash" Bacon & Egg Salad Sandwiches

What could be better than a house full of foodies cooking up appetizers, baking desserts and mixing cocktails?

Not much, unless it was all being done in the name of charity!

Well, that's exactly what went down on Sunday when Stir It 28 launched the LA portion of their fundraisers for Haiti (other events also took place simultaneously in Chicago, New York and Atlanta).  Greg from Sippity Sup generously opened his house and his impressive kitchen to us crazy foodies, including bloggers, chefs and caterers, and we whipped up an amazing array of appetizers and desserts.  There was everything from my "White Trash" Bacon & Egg Salad Sandwiches, to Prosciutto-Wrapped Dates, to Bacon-Wrapped Scallops, to my famous Bacon Brownies With Bourbon Caramel Sauce (I'm sensing a general pig theme here!), and yes, some non-pig options, too.

Oh, and I haven't even gotten to the cocktails yet!  Grey Goose generously donated a bar with specialty drinks, including the dashing Hearts For Haiti, which featured a candy apple red lollipop.  Also, Natalie from The Liquid Muse was there in style with a bar mixing up signature cocktails and non-alcoholic options, too.  Other liquor donors included Sutter Home's wines.  It was a veritable food and drink bonanza!  

What else?  There was even a raffle featuring amazing gifts and gift bags for the guests as they left.  Chrystal from The Duo Dishes thought of everything and then some, and did an amazing job hosting this fundraiser!  Domestic Divas is honored to have been a participant by donating bacon-laced food, working the reception desk and handing out gift bags.  But you know what they always say, you think you're helping others, but you end up getting helped yourself.  This certainly proved to be the case on Sunday.  I met so many passionate, generous and kind people (who knew they existed in LA?), had a general blast and more than one Grey Goose cocktail (they were so delectable!).

The evening was a complete success!  I can't wait to hear how much money we raised for Haiti.  But in the meantime, donations are still being collected until the end of the month (hence the "28" in Stir It 28).  To see how you can help, check out the Facebook page by clicking here!

And here's a photo gallery:


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Flicks & Food With The Domestic Diva: THE BLIND SIDE Slow-Cooked BBQ Chicken Sandwich

Divas, my weekly "Flicks & Food" column is now up on GeekWeek featuring THE BLIND SIDE Slow-Cooked BBQ Chicken Sandwich.  That's right - I'm taking on Sandra Bullock and her box office behemoth and blogging a great BBQ Chicken Sandwich inspired by the film's Memphis locale.  So check it out!

Click here for the direct link to my column published by GeekWeek!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Meatless Monday: Roasted Cauliflower With Dried Cranberries

Before I dive into this week's Meatless Monday recipe, let me first just share that yesterday's Stir It 28 Fundraiser for Haiti (Los Angeles) was a smashing success!  My "White Trash" Bacon & Egg Salad Sandwiches went over like gangbusters (the recipe is forthcoming this week) as did my Bacon Brownies With Bourbon Caramel Sauce (a recipe which I originally created for Eat My Blog).  Everyone made so much fabulous food and so many fabulous drinks that the event with positively overflowing with fabulousness!

Thanks to Chrystal from Duo Dishes for organizing the event and to Greg fro Sippity Sup for letting us use his house and sully his unbelievable kitchen!  Fundraisers were held simultaneously in several other cities, too, and donations are being collected for the rest of the month, so it's not too late to help out!  Click here to check out the Facebook page for more info!

Now onto this week's Meatless Monday recipe: Roasted Cauliflower With Dried Cranberries!  This is another great vegetable recipe that I created for my book club this month.  One of my favorite vendors at the Hollywood Farmers Market had the most stunning, oversized heads of organic cauliflower.  I simply couldn't resist them.  I prepared the cauliflower by roasting it in the oven.  I love combining savory with sweet, which I did by tossing the cauliflower with dried cranberries.  They also provide a nice tartness to the dish.

This is a great side dish to accompany almost any main course - it's beautiful to behold with the dark red cranberries contrasting with the white cauliflower - and it tastes scrumptious, too!  My book club was happy - and you will be, too!

Roasted Cauliflower With Dried Cranberries
Serves 4 people
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes

1 head organic cauliflower, cut into big pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup dried cranberries (sweetened)
1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons parmesan reggiano, grated
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Place the cauliflower in a roasting pan and toss with the olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roasted for 15-20 minutes, or until tender and slightly caramelized (parts of the cauliflower will be browned).  Remove from the oven.

Toss the cauliflower with the cranberries, parmesan and parsley.  Adjust seasoning (salt and pepper) if needed.  Enjoy!

Source For Ingredients
organic cauliflower and organic Italian parsley from Hollywood Farmers Market

organic dried cranberries and parmsan reggiano from Whole Foods

Dried Cranberry on FoodistaDried Cranberry

Music On Tap

Spoon - Transference
On their new studio album, Spoon, indie rock veterans from Austin, Texas, really deliver the goods!  This album hearkens back to their early work.  I've been listening to it on heavy rotation for the last two weeks!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Domestic Diva's Column Published In The Hawaii Women's Journal!

Divas, as I've mentioned previously, I'm now writing a regular food column for the Hawaii Women's Journal!  Well, I'm thrilled to announce that the inaugural issue has just hit the newsstands!  The entire issue is available to read online for free and has tons of great articles, columns and essays.  So check out The Domestic Diva's column entitled "The Road to Heaven Is Paved With... Miso!" (for the first edition, I tackle local delicacy "butterfish" or as it's better known on the mainland, "black cod").  The column is even featured on the front cover!

And a big thanks to Jennifer Hee (the editor) for all her hard work and to Ryan Matsumoto for the beautiful portraiture of the sexy piece of black cod! 

Oh, and if you're lucky enough to actually reside in Hawaii, the launch party is coming up next week (details are on the website!).  Sigh... wish I could go!

Click here to view the Hawaii Women's Journal!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

An Event Fit For Wonderland: The Bazaar's High Tea!

Cucumber Bites & Beet-Goat Cheese Macaroons

It's good to take a trip down the proverbial rabbit hole every now and again, and I'm sure Jose Andres would agree with me given the very Wonderland-like vibe of his Los Angeles eatery, The Bazaar.  I've written up the main restaurant on a few occasions (click here and here and here for those posts), and I love their tasting menu in particular, but I'd never ventured to their "high tea" until I went with a group of girls from my book club (yes, Oprah would approve!).

The restaurant serves high tea from 3PM - 5PM on Saturday and Sunday in the patisserie, a lovely area stuffed full of sweet goodies that I'm sure even Willy Wonka would find irresistible. The cost for the tea is $25, and that includes a pot of "specialty" tea or coffee and all the coursed out goodies.

New Eat My Blog Website! Also, Tix Still Available For Stir It 28!

Hey Divas, check out the great Eat My Blog charity bake sale website!  It's up and running with pictures, publicity and recipes for the goodies we baked (yum!).  Also, we have another event coming up later this year, so stay tuned.  Thanks to Cathy from Gastronomy as always!

Click here for the direct link to Eat My Blog's website!

Also, tickets are still available for advance sale for the Stir It 28 Fundraiser for Haiti taking place THIS SUNDAY!  It's going to be a blast with great food and drinks, so please check it out.  Here's my Double Bacon menu:

Appetizer:  "White Trash" Mini Bacon & Egg Salad Sandwiches 
Dessert:  Bacon Brownies With Bourbon Caramel Sauce

Sound awesome?  Then buy a ticket an check it out!  Here are the details:

Stir It 28 Fundraiser for Haiti
Sunday, February 21st
From 4PM to 7PM
Private LA Residence
6602 Cahuenga Terrace, Los Angeles, CA, 90068
Complimentary Valet parking to 1st 50 guests. $30 in advance; $35 at the door.

Just click here to purchase tickets! 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

New "Flicks & Food" Column - VALENTINE'S DAY Triple Ginger Cookies!

Divas, check out my new "Flicks & Food" column up on GeekWeek!  This week, I tackle the movie, VALENTINE'S DAY, and write up a great cookie recipe, too.

Click here for the direct link!

My "Double Bacon" Menu For Stir It 28's Fundraiser for Haiti!

Divas, I've finalized my menu for Stir It 28's Fundraiser to Haiti, taking place this Sunday afternoon.  We've each been asked to create both an appetizer and a dessert.  So drum roll please!  I'm going with a double bacon theme for my menu.  That's right, all the pork belly you can take and then some!

The Domestic Diva's Stir It 28 "Double Bacon" Menu:
Appetizer:  "White Trash" Mini Bacon & Egg Salad Sandwiches 
Dessert:  Bacon Brownies With Bourbon Caramel Sauce

As always, while the food may sound white trash, I'll be preparing it using fabulous ingredients like organic eggs, Niman Ranch bacon and reserve bourbon.  So if you want a chance to try this fabulous edibles and many more being donated by bloggers and caterers alike, tickets are still available!  Just click here to purchase them!  Or show up and buy them at the door.  Here's the event info:

Stir It 28 Fundraiser for Haiti
Sunday, February 21st
From 4PM to 7PM
Private LA Residence
6602 Cahuenga Terrace, Los Angeles, CA, 90068
Complimentary Valet parking to 1st 50 guests. $30 in advance; $35 at the door

Monday, February 15, 2010

Meatless Monday: Vegan Chili!

Happy Meatless Monday!

As Kuzak well knows, chili is a staple in my meatless playbook.  Not only is it healthy - low in fat, high in fiber, chocked with veggies - but it also provides protein, an important component when foregoing meat.  I almost always serve my chili over brown rice, because when rice and beans are paired together, they provide all of the essential amino acids. 

To make my chili vegan, I simply use veggie broth when cooking it and serve it sans cheese.  But don't get depressed and start mourning the queso just yet.  Instead, I garnish this chili with chopped green onion, fresh avocado from the farmers market and cilantro.  It's so fabulous, I promise you'll forget cheese exists.  Well, maybe I shouldn't go that far, but it's damned tasty.

I make this dish at least once a month, so I thought I'd share it in the hopes that you can start making it, too!  So here it goes!

Vegan Chili
Serves 6 people
Cooking time: 40 minutes

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 14 ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 14 ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 14 ounce can chopped tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cups vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons chili power
1 teaspoon pimenton (smoked paprika)
salt and pepper

1 avocado, pitted and sliced
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
1/4 cilantro, chopped
2 cups brown rice, cooked

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium high heat.  Add the onion and saute until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute for another minute.  Then, add the bell pepper and saute until softened, about another 5 minutes.

Next, add the chili powder and pimenton (smoked paprika), stirring it into the mixture, and cook for another minute.

Add the tomatoes, stock, beans, bay leaf and bring the chili to a simmer.  Cover partially and simmer over medium-low heat for about 40 minutes, or until the chili has reduced slightly and begun to thicken.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, place some brown rice in the bottom of a bowl and top with a generous helping of chili. Garnish with the sliced avocado, cilantro and green onion.  Enjoy!

Source For Ingredients
organic fire roasted tomatoes (Muir Glen), organic pinto beans, organic kidney beans, organic vegetable stock, pimenton, chili powder, organic olive oil from Whole Foods

organic garlic, organic bell pepper, organic onion, organic green onion (Sage Mountain Farm), avocado and organic cilantro from Hollywood Farmers Market

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Blog Away Hunger Donates Over 1500 Meals To Haiti!

Divas, I have exciting news!

As you may recall, I participated in Blog Away Hunger's drive to raise money to buy food for Haiti, a country that was devastated by a recent earthquake.  I donated all of my January ad revenue and cash from my own pocket to the cause.  Thank you to everyone who clicked away on my blog in support of this effort.

Well, some preliminary results are in, and so far over 1500 meals have been donated to Haiti through the World Food Program!  Wow, that's powerful.  The drive is continuing with more bloggers signing up to donate their February revenue.  So check out Blog Away Hunger's website to see where you should be clicking.  Click here for a list of everyone who has donated so far!

Also, later this month, I'll be volunteering and cooking for Stir It 28's Los Angeles Fundraiser for Haiti taking place on Feb. 21st from 4PM - 7PM!  If you missed your chance to try my Bacon Brownies with Bourbon Caramel Sauce at Eat My Blog, this may be your shot.  Tickets are already on sale, so please support this great cause and chow down on some great food, too!  Here are the details:

Stir It 28 Fundraiser for Haiti
Sunday, February 21st
From 4PM to 7PM
Private LA Residence
6602 Cahuenga Terrace, Los Angeles, CA, 90068
Complimentary Valet parking to 1st 50 guests. $30 in advance; $35 at the door

Click here to buy tickets!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Simple Suppers: Slow-Cooker Organic Chicken With Fingerling Potatoes

If you ask me, one of the best meals on the planet Earth is Roast Chicken.

My mom, The Original Diva, makes a killer roast chicken (click here for her recipe), which I grew up eating and loving.  In fact, Julia Child says that roast chicken is the test of a great chef, and in France it seems they take their chicken seriously.  Very seriously.  Perfectly roasting a chicken is equal parts skill and art involving much babysitting of the bird, and while the results can be spectacular, sometimes there just isn't time for crying out loud!! I mean, we're busy divas! 

But that doesn't mean you should sacrifice your health or give up on having a home-cooked meal just because you don't have hours to slave away in the kitchen.  That's why I started my Simple Suppers series in the first place - to bring you delicious, healthy meals that can be prepared quickly.

So here's a low maintenance way to make a whole chicken!  Did you know you can just throw it in your slow-cooker (crock pot) with fabulous results?  You can prep it in the morning and return home from work to find a home-cooked meal waiting for you.  The chicken will be moist, falling off the bones, and if you add little fingerling potatoes to the slow-cooker, you'll almost have a complete meal.  Just don't forget a salad or veggie!

With chicken (as with all meat), I strongly recommend buying organic for a slew of health, environmental and moral reasons.  Yes, it's a little pricier, but a great chicken can go a long way.  Not only will one chicken give you at least two meals, but you can save the carcass to make scrumptious, nutrient dense stock.  My shortcut is to make the stock in my slow-cooker, too!  It'll freeze for up to six months and is great for making risottos and soups (click here for my slow-cooker chicken stock recipe).  I procure my organic chickens from Healthy Family Farms, CSA, a local family farming operation that's certified organic and feeds all its livestock on pasture (meaning the meat is chocked full of omega-3's).

So the next time you're short on time, give this recipe a shot!  It's got all the home-cooking qualities without having to stay home to cook it.

Slow-Cooker Organic Chicken With Fingerling Potatoes
Serves 4 people
Cooking time: 6 hours

1 medium organic chicken
1 onion, chopped
2 cups fingerling potatoes, halved
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
1 cup organic chicken broth
1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, chopped
salt and pepper

To prep the chicken, remove any innards. Rinse the chicken inside and outside and pat dry. Sprinkle the cavity with salt and pepper. Then, sprinkle the outside with the paprika, salt and pepper. To truss the chicken, tuck the wings underneath the bird and tie the legs together with a bit of kitchen twine.

Note: if you've never made a whole chicken and need further instruction, there are tons of how to videos on YouTube.

Place the onions and broth in the bottom of the slow-cooker. Add the thyme. Lay the chicken in the slow-cooker on top of the onions and thyme with the breast side facing up (like in the picture).  Scatter the potatoes around the chicken. Cook the chicken in the slow-cooker on high for about 6 hours, or until the meat if tender and falling off the bones. 

To serve, remove the chicken from the slow-cooker and place on a platter for carving. Spoon out the potatoes, toss with parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. If you wish, make a quick gravy, strain the cooking liquid from the slow-cooker. Reduce in half on the stove top. Add half a cup of white wine and reduce in half again. Season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Source For Ingredients
organic chicken (Healthy Family Farms, CSA), fingerling potatoes, organic onion, organic thyme, organic parsley from Hollywood Farmers Market

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New "Flicks And Food" Column On GeekWeek - JULIE & JULIA Moules Marinieres With Pommes Frites!

This is a Divas News Alert! 

My new column is up on GeekWeek!  This time around, I tackled the food movie behemoth JULIE & JULIA and wrote up one of my favorite French inspired recipes for Moules Marinieres (mussels) With Pommes Frites (fries).  So check it out!  I promise it'll have your mouth watering in now time!

Click here for the direct link to my column!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Meatless Monday: Superfood Muffins!

Oh, Divas, I have such a lovely treat in store for you today!

For Meatless Monday, I'm sharing the recipe for my famous Superfood Muffins.  These puppies are made with Graham Flour, a flour invented by a Reverend Graham (go figure!) as a healthy alternative to white flour.  It combines the bran, germ and endosperm of wheat.  It's often used in graham crackers and pie crust (and oh yeah, my muffins, too).  If you can't find Graham Flour, whole wheat flour may be substituted.

In addition to being made from Graham Flour, these muffins are loaded up with a combination of walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, dried cherries, dried blueberries and currants, a virtual treasure trove of superfoods (hence the name).  These muffins contain protein, fiber and Omega-3's.  Thus, they're a fabulous, filling way to start your morning, or half a muffin makes a great midday snack, too.  You can make a whole batch on Sunday and eat them throughout the week.

Superfood Muffins
Serves 5 people (makes about 8-10 small muffins)
Cooking time: 20 minutes

2 cups Graham Flour (may substitute whole wheat flour)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons rice milk or almond milk
1 organic egg
1/4 cup canola oil or olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup dried cherries, dried blueberries and currants (in equal parts)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, chopped almonds and pumpkin seeds (in equal parts)
2 tablespoons flax seeds

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt). In a separate bowl, beat the egg.  Then, add the other wet ingredients (vanilla, rice or almond milk and oil) and whisk together.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry, stirring to combine, but be careful not to over beat the mixture.

Stir in the dried fruit (cherries, blueberries, currants) and the nuts and seeds (walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds and flax seeds).  

Oil a muffin tin and then spoon the mixture into it, filling the holes to the top. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown. Enjoy!

Source for Ingredients
Graham Flour (Bob's Red Mill), organic almond milk, dried cherries, dried blueberries, currants, pumpkin seeds, organic flax seeds, organic olive oil, organic vanilla, organic cinnamon from Whole Foods

organic eggs (Healthy Family Farms), organic walnuts, organic almonds from Hollywood Farmers Market

Dried Blueberries on FoodistaDried Blueberries

Friday, February 5, 2010

Super Eats To Put In Your Super Bowl! Spicy Pork Chili, BBQ Chicken Sandwiches And More!


In this crazy land of ours, this Sunday is practically a national holiday.  You know what I'm talking about!  Big men tackling each other over inflated pig skin plus commercials galore equals the Super Bowl!

Do you sense the faux-ness of my enthusiasm?  

But given Kuzak's affinity for all things sports related, I know what will be on the television in my house.  So what will I be doing?  Hiding away in the kitchen, pretending to pay attention to the game, but really cooking up a storm.  In the spirit of this grand day, I thought I'd point out a few healthy recipes from my archives that would be perfect for the big day!

Also, please check out Piccante Dolce's great post with her Super Bowl recipes suggestions.  Some of these look delicious!

Domestic Diva's Famous Hummus
Pasta Salad With Tuna, Peas And Tarragon

UNFORGIVEN Spicy Pork Chili (published by GeekWeek)
White Bean And Turkey Chili
Slow-Cooked Two Bean Chili (vegetarian option)

Slow-Cooked BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
Grilled Cheese With Roasted Pepper "Confit" (vegetarian option)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Stir It 28 - A Food Blogger Benefit for Haiti Taking Place In Three Cities on Februrary 21st!

We're still in the planning stages, but I wanted to let the cat out of the bag so you can mark your calendars for this event!

On Sunday, February 21st, Stir It 28 will host fundraisers for Haiti that will be held on the same day in several different cities (right now Los Angeles, Atlanta and Chicago), featuring food and drinks donated by chefs, restaurants, home cooks and food bloggers.  The fabulous Chrystal of Duo Dishes  is organizing the Los Angeles portion of the fundraiser where I'll be donating my services (menu to be announced!).  So this would be a great night to support a good cause and chow down on my sure to be delicious grub at the same time. 

If you can't make the event, as the moniker suggests, there are plenty of other ways to give all 28 days of February than just this fundraiser (just click here).

Here are the event details as they stand:
Each one of us will be hosting a food fundraising event on Sunday, February 21st in our respective cities–Los Angeles, Atlanta and Chicago. We’re asking chefs, restaurants, home cooks and food bloggers to participate by donating 2-3 dishes that will feed 15-20 people each. The events will be open to the public with advanced tickets or limited ticket sales at the door. You can tell your friends and colleagues to purchase tickets from Bren or Courtney’s blogs. Click the image that says “Purchase Tickets For STIR IT 28 Culinary Event-Feb. 21st”. Be sure to indicate the city’s event that you plan to attend. Of course, if you are part of the volunteer team (that includes making food or working the event), you will not have to purchase a ticket. We’re still formulating our respective evening’s details, but here’s what we have so far:

Where: SPACE Atlanta: 1310 White St., Atlanta, GA 30310 (historic West End)
When: 4-7 PM
*DJ Rev Lee will make you shake your rump to each food station! Special surprise live performance by popular Atlanta-based artist!
*Complimentary wine courtesy of Montaluce Winery!
*Cash bar
$30 in advance
$40 at the door

Where: Three Peas Art Lounge, 75 E. 16th Street (Between Michigan and Wabash), Chicago, IL 60616
When: 3-6 pm
$30 in advance
$35 at the door
*Cash bar and delicious house cupcakes for sale

Los Angeles
Where: Private Residence, 6602 Cahuenga Terrace, Los Angeles, CA, 90068
When: 4-7 pm
$30 in advance
$35 at the door
*Complimentary Valet will be available for first 50 attendees!

Washington, DC
* Details TBD. If you are in DC, and are interested, please email with the subject: STIR IT DC
Click here to view more details about Stir It 28 on Duo Dishes' great blog!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Quinoa With Ginger, Cherries And Pine Nuts

Alright, Divas, pop quiz!

Do you know what "quinoa" is (don't cheat by clicking the link)?  

And how many of you eat it on a regular basis? 

If you answered yes and yes, then skip to the recipe!

For all you quinoa virgins, would you like to know why quinoa is the whole grain that I believe most people should be eating but aren't?  I mean, we all know that loading up our diets with whole grains has a plethora of health benefits.  They reduce the risk of heart disease by decreasing cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and blood coagulation, reduce the risk of many types of cancer, help regulate blood glucose levels and help maintain healthy weight.

But you're probably wondering what makes little ole quinoa so special?

Quinoa is an ancient whole grain, often referred to as "the gold of the Incas."  It's high in protein - and not only that - but it's a complete protein, meaning it includes all nine essential amino acids.  If you're vegetarian or vegan, this is a must have staple in your diet.  It's health benefits go on and on, but it has high levels of magnesium, considered essential to cardiovascular health, fiber, vitamins and antioxidants (for more info click here).

And the best part?  It cooks up in 15 minutes flat.

Oh, and it tastes yummy! 

I'm not going to write a quinoa thesis here (though I could!), but I am going to urge you to eat more of this stuff.  It's a regular staple in my household - I simply adore it.  I concocted this recipe as a side dish to go with Whole Roast Duckling (thank you Julia Child), hence the ginger and cherry flavors which pair amazing with duck.  However, it was so delicious, it could easily be a stand alone meatless dish, too.  So load up your cupboard with some quinoa and get to cooking! 

Quinoa With Ginger, Cherries and Pine Nuts
Serves 4 people
Cooking time:  20 minutes

1 cup quinoa
2 cups filtered water
1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 tablespoon olive oil or walnut oil
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/4 pine nuts, toasted
1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, chopped
salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add the shallot and ginger and saute for about 4-5 minutes, or until softened.  Add the quinoa and stir into the oil, cooking for one more minute.  Then add the water and bring to a boil.  Cover and cook for 15 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed.

Let sit for 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork.  Stir in the cherries and pine nuts.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Top with parsley.  Enjoy!

Source For Ingredients
organic quinoa, dried cherries and pine nuts from Whole Foods

organic shallots, ginger, organic parsley, walnut oil from Hollywood Farmers Market

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

New Column On GeekWeek! DANCES WITH WOLVES Bison Ragu With Pappardelle!

Divas, check out my new "Flicks And Food" column on GeekWeek for DANCES WITH WOLVES Bison Ragu With Pappardelle!

Not only is it a super cute column, but it's also a fabulous, healthy recipe.  So check it out while the checking is good!

Here's the direct link!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Meatless Monday: Slow-Cooker Cauliflower And Potatoes With Indian Spices (Aloo Gobi)

Here we go for Meatless Monday!

Not only am I always looking for fast, healthy meals, but I'm also a fiend for Indian food.  I simply can't get enough of the tumeric, cumin, corriander, ginger and garlic.  Oh, the flavor!  It's like a party on my tongue.  And oh, the health benefits!  I could write a thesis on just about every one of these glorious spices.  Ginger is great for digestion, reduces inflammation, may help lower cholesterol and even fight cancer.  Tumeric is considered to be a powerful anti-inflammatory that may protect against arthritis, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer's disease.  So put that in your pipe and smoke it!  Err... I mean, eat it!

This recipe is my take on Aloo Gobi, a traditional dish made with cauliflower, potatoes and Indian spices. I also added green peas to the mix. To make this a complete meal, I tossed in garbanzo beans (high in protein) and served the whole kit and caboodle over a long grain brown rice (whole grains people!).

Oh yeah, and this dish is a snap to make!  Just throw all the ingredients into your slow-cooker (click here to view) and let it go.  That's it.  No cooking actually involved - just chopping.  How's that for a fool proof meal?

As I settled into my first bite, I was in heaven - Indian food heaven!  Now this is my idea of comfort food.  Forget the burgers and pizza and fries, this was warm and soothing, flavorful and filling, so good in fact, that I was scraping my bowl and quickly downing seconds.  I even caught Kuzak, a self-proclaimed dissenter when it comes to all things Indian food, sneaking into the kitchen for more!  This recipe is so tasty - and so easy - I promise, you'll want seconds, too.

Slow-Cooker Cauliflower and Potatoes with Indian Spices (Aloo Gobi)
Serves 6-8 people
Cooking time: 4-6 hours in a slow-cooker

1 head of cauliflower, chopped
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups potatoes, chopped
1 14 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
salt and pepper

2 cups long grain brown rice, cooked
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

Place all of the ingredients except the salt, pepper and rice into the slower cooker.  Stir to combine.  Cook on high for 4-6 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours, or until the vegetables are tender.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To plate, scoop some brown rice in the bottom of a bowl or plate.  Top with a generous portion of the Aloo Gobi.  Sprinkle with the cilantro.  Enjoy!

Source for Ingredients
organic cauliflower, organic purple potatoes, ginger and organic onion from The Hollywood Farmers Market

organic elephant garlic, organic canned garbanzo beans, curry powder, tomato paste, organic vegetable broth and organic long grain brown rice from Whole Foods

Music on Tap

Muse - The Resistance

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