Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day! Check Out My Guest Blog On Worth The Whisk!

Happy Memorial Day to my lovely divas!  I'll be back next week with a brand new Meatless Monday column.  In the meantime, check out my guest blog for Worth The Whisk with my recipe for "White Trash" Bacon & Egg Salad Sandwiches!  They're made with wonderful ingredients like Niman Ranch thick cut bacon, organic eggs and fresh dill.  Must be tasted to be believed! 

Click here to read my guest column!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Succotash With Baby Squash, Fava Beans, Sweet Corn & Pancetta

While I'm off in NYC, downing delicious culinary delights, I thought I'd leave you with this lovely spring succotash recipe.  Every time I type the word succotash, all that goes through my head is Sylvester the Cat's catchphrase, "Sufferin' Succotash!" For this sufferin' succotash, I cook up some pancetta lardons, and then saute an array of farmers market vegetable confections in their fat.  This succotash is great as a stand alone lunch, side dish to a wonderful dinner, or served under grilled fish or slices of pork tenderloin (which is how I served it the other night).

Succotash With Baby Squash, Fava Beans, Sweet Corn And Pancetta
Serves 4-6 people
Cooking time: 30 minutes

1/4 cup pancetta, chopped into lardons
1/2 cup red onion, peeled and chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 cup corn kernels (about 2 cobs of corn, kernels removed)
2 cup baby squash, thinly quartered
1/4 cup fava beans, blanched and peeled
pinch of pimenton (smoked parprika)
salt & pepper to taste

Saute the pancetta over medium high heat until starting to brown.  Add the red onion and jalapeno, and saute until tender.  Then, add the corn and the squash, cooking until tender.  Finally, stir in the fava beans, pimenton and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Enjoy!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Don't Forget About The Eat My Blog Charity Bake Sale On Saturday June 9th!

Taking place Saturday, June 19th. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Tender Greens in West Hollywood (8759 Santa Monica Boulevard!  I'll be donating a batch of my signature Bacon Brownies With Bourbon Caramel Sauce.  Here's an excerpt from the press release:
LOS ANGELES (May 20, 2010) Angelenos with a penchant for gourmet sweets and savories are invited to attend the second annual Eat My Blog bake sale on Saturday, June 19th. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tender Greens in West Hollywood (8759 Santa Monica Boulevard) will host this event on their outdoor patio where Eat My Blog will feature over 2,000 baked goods from 70+ bakers, including carrot cake cookie sandwiches, bacon chocolate chip cookies, homemade salted caramels, and strawberry balsamic cake. All items will be priced between $1 to $4. 

All proceeds from this tasty event will be donated to the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank to help raise a greater awareness for those looking to give back to the Los Angeles community.

The Eat My Blog tables will also be lined with special donations from local chefs and restaurants including chef and KCRW Good Food host Evan Kleiman, Chicks with Knives, Debbie Lee, Drago Centro, Starry Kitchen, Bakelab, Cube, Fraiche, Choppe Choppe, Hollywood Corner, Valerie Confections, Plaisir, Scoops Ice Cream, and Tender Greens. 

In addition, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf will be featuring a selection of hot beverages to help wash down all of those scrumptious sweet treats!
“We are excited to partner with the Foodbank again, especially after visiting the facility this winter to see how the money we raised would be used,” said Cathy Danh, author of Gastronomy and founder of Eat My Blog. “It was an eye-opening experience for all of us on the planning committee, and we left that day eager to make an even greater impact this time around.” 

“After raising $3,000 last December, we are thrilled to be hosting another bake sale benefiting such an important cause,” said Diana Hossfeld, author of Diana Takes a Bite and a member of the Eat My Blog organizing committee. “Treats that sold out within the first hour last time around, including bacon brownies and chocolate whoopie pies, will be making a second appearance. There will also be plenty of intriguing debuts including Momofuku’s Crack Pie from the Los Angeles Times’ Daily Dish and Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes with Bacon Cream Cheese Frosting from Pat Sapperstein of Eating LA.”
Click here to visit the official Eat My Blog website and view a list of all participating bloggers!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Meatless Monday: Fresh Strawberries With Ginger-Honey Greek Yogurt

Divas, big news!  I just booked a trip to NYC this weekend.  That's right, Big Apple, here I come!  I'm meeting up with my parents, The Original Diva and The Wine Lover, as well as my San Francisco host, The Godfather.  We have plans to see plays, tool around the city... and eat, of course!   Momofuku is on my mind... So stay tuned to read all about my trip.

In the meantime, here's another great Meatless Monday dish for Fresh Strawberries With Ginger-Honey Greek Yogurt!  I whipped it up for dessert to cap off a lovely lunch gathering, but it would be great for breakfast, too.  I don't have to tell what what a healthy option this is--fresh strawberries, loaded with nutrients and antioxidants, paired with rich (but fat-free) Greek Yogurt, flavored with raw honey and powdered ginger.  Yogurt is considered one of the world's healthiest foods, loaded with protein and good bacteria.  And if you want to get extra fancy, throw chopped walnuts onto the yogurt.  Oh, yum!

Fresh Strawberries With Ginger-Honey Greek Yogurt
Serves 4 people
Prep time: 5 minutes

2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
1 cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons raw honey 
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of salt
sprig of mint, for garnishing

In a mixing bowl, combine the yogurt with the honey, ground ginger and a pinch of salt.  Stir until smooth.  Taste and add more honey if needed. 

To serve, place the strawberries in a bowl.  Then, spoon the yogurt into a bowl and drizzle with a little honey.  Garnish with the mint.  Eat the strawberries by dipping fondue style into the yogurt.  Enjoy!

Source For Ingredients
organic strawberries from Hollywood Farmers Market

organic Greek yogurt from Trader Joe's

organic raw honey and organic ground ginger from Whole Foods

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Flicks & Food Column With Brand New Recipe! DATE NIGHT Red Wine Risotto With Radicchio, Rosemary & Bacon!

Divas, check out my brand new Flicks & Food column on GeekWeek

This week, I write about the Tina Fey and Steve Carell movie, "Date Night," and feature a new recipe inspired by the movie for Red Wine Risotto With Radicchio, Rosemary And Bacon. It's the perfect recipe for a date night at home!

Click here to read my new column!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Meatless Monday: Southwestern Quinoa And Black Bean Salad

Oh, Divas, what a lovely weekend!

Kuzak's parents were in town, which meant lots of dining, and incidentally, a lot of horticulture. I'm happy to report that I'm now the proud owner of an herb garden, out on my deck.  I just hope it doesn't perish (I do not have a green thumb, not even a slightly brown one).  For foodie activities, we had a fabulous meal at Lucques (one of my favorite LA restaurants), an authentic taco lunch at Pinches Tacos (I eat here at least once a week), a trip to the Hollywood Farmers Market (my fridge if full of everything from fava beans to baby squash), but we saved the best for last.

It all began on Sunday morning with a close encounter of the Mario Batali kind.  That's right, my dear readers, when we pulled up to the hotel to pick up Kuzak's parents, the unmistakable Mario was waiting right in front.  There was no doubt--ginger hair, ponytail, shorts, orange crocks.  You'd have to blind to miss him.  Yes, I said hello to him like an over-enthused groupie (I had met him once before) and told him that as fate would have it, we were dining at his restaurant, Osteria Mozza, that very night.  Yes, I shook his hand (soft as butter).  And yes, I thoroughly embarrassed myself, but I don't care.  I'm in love with his food, and there's no reason to be embarrassed about that.

Dinner at Mozza was, in a word, spectacular, but isn't it always?

The fresh burrata and mozzarella, the pastas (I could write an entire essay on the bolognese alone) and the entrees, fatty, tender veal breast, duck al mattone (cooked under a brick, served on a cutting board with lemon meyer jam) the hailbut with green peppercorns (the secret is veal stock in the sauce, as my waiter whispered in my ear), the desserts with gelato, gelato and more gelato.  This was my second meal there in under a week, and I know I'll be back soon.

Alright, onto Meatless Monday, which Mario Batali has adopted into all 14 of his restaurants (nice segue, huh?).  I made this little gem of a salad last week for lunch.  It combines the high-protein whole grain, quinoa, with black beans, also a good protein source.  I also added chopped bell pepper, purple onion, cilantro, lemon juice, olive oil and cumin to it, and served it cold.  I loved this Southwestern inspired salad so much, I might make it again this week!

Southwestern Quinoa And Black Bean Salad
Serves 4-6 people
Prep time:  10 minutes

2 cups quinoa, cooked
1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Mix the quinoa, black beans, peppers, onion, cilantro and cumin together.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive and lemon juice.  Then, pour the lemon-olive oil mixture over the quinoa mixture.

Toss well and then season to taste with salt and pepper.  Enjoy!

Source For Ingredients
organic quinoa, organic red bell peppers, organic cilantro from Trader Joe's

organic red onion and organic lemons from Studio City Farmers Market

organic cumin from Whole Foods

Friday, May 14, 2010

Roasted Zucchini With Mint

Ah, Friday, happy Friday!

Today, I have Kuzak's parents visiting for the weekend, and we have some great meals ahead of us.  I love having excuses to dine out!  It begins tonight at Pace, that little gem of a restaurant in Laurel Canyon, only five minutes from my abode. It specializes in local, organic fare with an Italian bent (their homemade pizzas and pastas are delectable).  The atmosphere is cozy, and it's the perfect date spot.

And for the rest of the weekend?  Maybe Lucques tomorrow night, maybe something else (we'll see how we're feeling).  And Sunday is reserved for Osteria Mozza (I just had a fabulous meal there on Monday night and can't wait to return--with a menu that size and that spectacular, it doesn't get old).

So stay tuned to hear about these meals, and in the meantime, here's another great vegetable recipes (I've been trying to bring you my best ones).  It's for Roasted Zucchini With Mint, a classic flavor pairing.  According to The World's Healthiest Foods, it's "an excellent source of manganese and vitamin C and a very good source of magnesium, vitamin A (notably through its concentration of carotenoids, including beta-carotene), fiber, potassium, folate, copper, riboflavin, and phosphorus."  While not as potent as garlic or onion, squash like Zucchini have also been shown to have anti-cancer properties. 

Roasting it brings out zucchini's sweet flavor, and the mint adds a lovely aromatic accent that blends perfectly, elevating the dish!

Roasted Zucchini With Mint
Serves 4 people
Cooking time:  10 minutes active; 25 minutes roasting

6 medium zucchini, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place the squash in a roasting pan and toss with the olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Roast for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until tender.  Remove from oven.

Spoon the squash into a serving bowl.  Top with the fresh mint.  Enjoy!

Source For Ingredients
organic zucchini and organic mint from Hollywood Farmers Market

Monday, May 10, 2010

Meatless Monday: Fresh Rosemary And Olive Oil Cake

Happy Meatless Monday!

Now, I'm not typically a big dessert person.  But the other day, I had some gorgeous fresh organic rosemary lurking in my fridge, and it happens to be strawberry season here in California.  So I decided to make a Fresh Rosemary And Olive Oil Cake, which I'd had in restaurants and loved, but never attempted at home. 

As desserts go, this one is on the healthier side, combining fresh rosemary (contains potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds) and olive oil (healthy fats that help lower cholesterol).  I also used some whole grain flour to add fiber. Finally, I served it with a little whipped cream and fresh strawberries, and boy was it delicious!  Fresh and light, the perfect spring or summer dessert.

Fresh Rosemary And Olive Oil Cake (adapted from "The Babbo Cookbook")

Serves 8-10 people
Prep time: 15 minutes; Bake time: 50 minutes

4 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
3/4 cup whole grain flour
3/4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

for garnishing
fresh whipped cream
2 cups fresh strawberries, halved

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Spray a 10-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, use the whip attachment to beat the eggs for 30 seconds.  Add the sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is very foamy and pale in color.  With the mixer running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil.  Using a spatula, gently fold the rosemary into the batter.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture.  Pour the patter into the prepared pan. 

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through for even color.  The cake is done when it is golden brown, springs back when touched, and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.  Allow the cake to cool briefly in the pan, then tip out onto a cake rack to continue cooling.

To serve, place a slice on a place.  Top with a little whipped cream and a generous portion of strawberries.  Enjoy!

Source For Ingredients
organic eggs, organic rosemary, organic strawberries and Mission olive oil from Hollywood Farmers Market

organic whole grain spelt flour, organic all-purpose flour, baking powder and Kosher salt from Whole Foods

organic sugar and organic heavy cream from Trader Joe's

Friday, May 7, 2010

Simple Suppers: Salmon Salad Sandwiches With Microgreens

You're probably thinking, "Diva, what do you mean Simple Suppers?  Aren't sandwiches for lunch?"

While it's true that we normally associate sandwiches with lunch,  they make a great healthy, quick dinner, too.  I love serving little open-faced sandwiches with soup (click here for soup recipe ideas).  It's one of my favorite things to make for a simple supper.

Today, I'm writing up the recipe for one of the staples in my household - salmon salad!  Now, most people are familiar with tuna fish salad, which I also love, but tuna fish, even canned tuna fish, can be high in mercury.  So it's best not to eat it more than once a month.  Instead, I stock my pantry with canned wild Alaskan salmon (you'll find it in the grocery store right next to the tuna fish).  Not only does it have all of the wonderful health benefits of fresh wild salmon (healthy fats, omega-3's), but it costs a fraction of the price.  And it tastes amazing!

I make these superbly healthy open-faced sandwiches with Ezekial bread, a sprouted grain, flourless bread that's high in protein and nutrients, and top them with organic mircrogreens, but arugula would be great, too.  So these are a complete meal, hitting protein, vegetables and whole grains, kind of like one stop shopping.  And for an extra twist?  Toss some dried cranberries into the salmon salad - it's delicious!

Salmon Salad Sandwiches
Serves 4 people
Prep time: 10 minutes

1 can wild Alaskan salmon, drained
1 tablespoon mayonaise
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
1 shallot, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 tablespoons bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon capers
1 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper

for sandwiches
4 pieces of Ezekial bread or other whole grain bread, toasted
2 cups microgreens or arugula

In a mixing bowl, add the salmon, breaking it up with a fork.  Then add the remaining ingredients and mix together.  Taste and adjust seasoning if needed (salt, pepper, lemon juice).

To make the sandwiches, scoop a big portion of salmon salad onto a piece of bread.  Top with the greens.  Add a little sea salt, fresh pepper and a drizzle of olive oil on top of the sandwiches if desired.  Enjoy!

Source For Ingredients
wild Alaskan salmon, whole grain mustard, Ezekial bread, organic mayonnaise, organic microgreens from Trader Joe's

organic celery, organic bell pepper, organic shallot, organic lemons and organic dill from Hollywood Farmers Market

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Catch Me Live on GeekWeek's Channel Today At 4PM PST For Summer Movie Roundup!

Hey Divas, tune into GeekWeek's Channel on Justin.TV at 4PM PST to catch the Summer Movie RoundUp!

I know, it's not strictly food related, however don't all Divas love a great summer flick?  I've been asked to be one of the panelists (for those of you who don't know, my background is working as a development executive and movie producer).  We'll be talking about all the hot summer movies and offering insider information, too.

So tune in!

Click here for GeekWeek's Channel!
Summer Movie Roundup
May 5, 2010 (today!) at 4PM PST

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mario Batali Adopts Meatless Monday In All His Restaurants! Plus, The Winner Of The Domestic Divas Avocado Giveaway!

I have breaking foodie news!

Mario Batali has decided to adopt Meatless Monday, not just for himself, but in all 14 of his restaurants across the country!  And this is coming from the guanciale king himself.  As most of you know, I'm a huge supporter of Meatless Monday, posting weekly recipes on my blog in support of their effort.  I also happen to love Batali (I've been working my way through the Babbo cookbook this year, and just made a reservation at his restaurant, Osteria Mozza yesterday). 

From the article on HuffPost:

"The fact is, most people in the U.S. eat way more meat than is good for them or the planet," maintains Batali. "Asking everyone to go vegetarian or vegan isn't a realistic or attainable goal. But we can focus on a more plant-based diet, and support the farmers who raise their animals humanely and sustainably. That's why I'm such a big believer in the Meatless Monday movement."

Click here to read the rest of this great article!

And here's even more exciting Tuesday news!  I just pulled the winner of the Domestic Divas Avocado Giveaway, and it's ARIANA!  Big congrats and thanks to everyone who participated.  I loved all the ideas for recipes, and maybe I'll have to try some soon.  After all, my fridge is loaded with avocados right now.  I'll be getting those wonderful prizes to Ariana this week.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Special Edition Meatless Monday: Pomegranate Guacamole For Cinco De Mayo, Plus Cooking Video!

In honor of Cinco De Mayo coming up this week, here's my and Allison from A For Aubergine's award-winning Pomegranate Guacamole recipe!

We came in second place in a contest judged by "Top Chef Masters" star Susan Feniger, a very close second place I might add (check out this super cute photo of us receiving our pepper mill awards from the chefs)!

Combining pomegranates with guacamole may sound strange, but the sweet, tart fruit goes amazing with the soft, fatty, rich avocados.  We also added, cumin, for smoky flavor, jalapenos for heat and basil for aromatic flavor.  Not only is this simple to make, but it would be a great addition to any party!  Plus, both pomegranates and avocados have great healthy benefits, like healthy fats and antioxidants.  And kids will love the flavor.

And don't forget to enter the Domestic Divas Avocado Giveaway (click here)!  The contest closes tomorrow morning!

Finally, as a special bonus, here's a live streaming video of Allison and I making our Pomegranate Guacamole:

Watch live video from geekweek on

Pomegranate Guacamole a/k/a Antioxi-Guac
Serves 4 people
Cooking time: 10 minutes

2 avocados, seeded and peeled
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons jalapenos, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons spring onions, chopped
juice of one lime
salt and pepper

Add the avocados to a bowl and gently mash with a fork, leaving chunky.  Then, add the remaining ingredients and mix together.  Finish by seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve with corn chips.  Enjoy!

Source For Ingredients
organic Hass avocados, organic spring onions and fresh basil from the Hollywood Farmers Market

pomegranate seeds, limes and jalapenos from Fresh & Easy

organic yellow corn chips from Trader Joe's

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Hawaii Women's Journal Issue 2 Hits Newsstands! Check Out My Cover Story Interview With Charlyne Yi & My New Food Column!

Divas, big news!  The second installment of the "Hawaii Women's Journal" has just hit newsstands, featuring my cover story interview with Charlyne Yi, the actress and comedian!  I had such a fabulous time talking with her, and I think you'll enjoy reading about our conversation.  Also, in the new issue, check out my column, "For The Love Of Pork."  This time around, I take on pork chops and serve up a great story and recipe.  Both turned out great, so check them out!


And if you like what you read, help spread the word!