Monday, November 29, 2010

Meatless Monday: Xmas In Your Mouth Vegan Gingersnaps from Chef Jenn of Kale's Deli

Kale's Deli's Xmas In Your Mouth Vegan Gingersnaps
On my recent trip to Honolulu, I had the privilege of hanging out in the kitchen for an afternoon at Kale's Deli, a deli situated in the back of a natural foods store that makes kick-ass food and baked goods from scratch. Most of their offerings are vegan and/or vegetarian, but that doesn't mean they don't rock out on flavor. Their menu boasts breakfast offerings, delicious smoothies, lunch items like salads, wraps, and entrees, and an array of freshly baked desserts.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving from Domestic Divas!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my Divas!

We've been on quite a culinary adventure this year together, full of divalicious meals, recipes, wine, and so much more. In the spirit of giving thanks, I want to thank all of my readers for following my blog, bravely attempting my recipes, and sending me their love. After all, Food is Love!

The Domestic Diva

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Special Holiday Treat: Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pancakes Recipe from Chef Jodi of The Griddle Cafe!

The Griddle Cafe's Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pancakes
This holiday season, what could be better than pancakes topped with fresh whipped cream, pumpkin pie filling, and powdered sugar?

Three giant pancakes!

That's what you'll get if you visit The Griddle Cafe, a fantastic breakfast joint on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, that regularly sports a line stretching out the door for weekend brunch. They're famous for their giant pancakes that come in a flavors like "Banana Nana," brown-sugar baked bananas baked inside buttermilk pancakes, and "Scotch on the Rocks," pancakes filled with coconut, pecan, oats, and butterscotch chips, topped with whipped cream and powdered sugar.

But the real treat this holiday season are their "Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pancakes." As an extra bonus treat, Chef Jodi has been kind enough to share her famous recipe with us. Not only is this a delicious recipe, but it can be healthy, too. Pumpkin is loaded with vitamins and fiber. Also, try using a whole grain pancake mix instead of refined grains for an extra health boost.

The Griddle Cafe
7916 West Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90046-3304
(323) 874-0377 

The Griddle Cafe's Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pancakes 
makes about 20 pancakes
2 cups of your favorite dry pancake mix
3 tablespoons dark-brown sugar

2 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice

1 1/2 cups milk

1 cup canned pure pumpkin puree (for an easier option ~ use 1 cup of Libby Pumpkin Pie filling, which is already seasoned.  Omit the pumpkin pie spice and vanilla if choosing this option)

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for the griddle.

In a large bowl, combine the pancake mix, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. In another large bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, vanilla extract, and oil. Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or large frying pan on medium high. Pour the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Cook the pancakes until bubbles form in the batter and the edges begin to brown. Then flip them and cook until the other sides are lightly browned.

Top with store bought or homemade whipped cream and powdered sugar...ENJOY

Domestic Divas Featured By The Fave Diets Blog!

Acorn Squash and Hazelnut Soup
Divas, check out the Fave Diets Blog. Domestic Divas was featured under this month's Healthy Bite for a holiday favorite recipe. I  chose my Acorn Squash and Hazelnut Soup, a rich, vegan blend of roasted squash and nuts. It's a super yummy, holiday treat that you won't want to miss!

Also, visit the Huffington Post to read about the "Meatless Monday Thanksgiving Project -- 12 All Star Recipes." They've compiled twelve meatless Thanksgiving recipes from major chefs, including Mario Batali. Also, scroll through the comments section for tons of readers' meatless recipe ideas, too.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Truckin' Through the Holidays Charity Food Festival

Komodo Food Truck
On Thursday night, I attended the Truckin' Through the Holidays charity food festival to benefit the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank (one of my favorite charities). The event took place at Jaxon, a loft-like home furnishing store in Culver City. Not only was the parking lot packed with food trucks, but the interior of the store boasted an array of local, specialty food vendors handing out free samples of their wares and an open bar stocked with delicious Hungarian wines.

Essential Chocolate Desserts
Of everything I sampled at the booths, my favorites included the super fudgey brownies from Essential Chocolate Desserts, the fabulous vegan organic dark chocolate truffles from Nicobella (these would make great holiday gifts), and the  lattes from Matcha Source, made with fresh Japanese matcha and almond milk. Another great sponsor was The Haute Lunch Bag, a social network for women to explore their city, share reviews, and find exclusive lunch specials. What a great idea! Both the website and apps will be launching soon.

Matcha Source
After indulging in sweets and tea, we ventured to the open bar. I was excited to find that it was stocked with Hungarian wines, which are usually delicious, but rarely imported to the U.S. Of the wines we tasted, my favorite was the Tisza River Riesling (2007), a dry take on the varietal that was light and flavorful. I also enjoyed the Cabernet Sauvignon (2003), which was bold and full-bodied with a little age under its belt. Both were lovely and gone quickly.

Komodo's Meatballs with Romesco Sauce
After quenching our thirst, it was time for some food truck action. We chose the Komodo food truck, specializing in street food with a gourmet twist. We ordered several of the tacos, including the Blazin' Shrimp which were definitely blazing hot, the Meatballs with Romesco Sauce, a super porky confection topped with a red bell pepper sauce, and the Garlic Fries, served with homemade garlic oil and parmesan cheese. It was the perfect way to cap a perfect evening, all in the name of charity.

Photo Gallery:

Tisza River's Wine Bar
Essential Chocolate Desserts
Sleepers Magic Gourmet Spice Company
Nicobella's Vegan Organic Dark Chocolate Truffles
Matcha Source's Matcha Latte with Almond Milk
Komodo's Food Truck

Monday, November 22, 2010

Meatless Monday Special Edition: Meatless Holiday Favorites!

Meatless Holiday Favorites
Happy Thanksgiving from Domestic Divas!

In honor of the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday, I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite meatless holiday recipes. Many of these recipes showcase the season's best offerings, including winter squash, winter greens, and root vegetables, while others are festive takes on whole grains like wild rice and quinoa.

I'll be making a few of these recipes this T-Day, and can't wait to share the food love with all of my friends and family.

Meatless Holiday Favorites:

Baby Beets with Balsamic Vinegar, Garlic, and Thyme

Bruleed Delicata Squash
Roasted Baby Carrots

Roasted Broccoli with Garlic and Parmesan

Roasted Cauliflower with Dried Cranberries

Bruleed Delicata Squash with Pepitos and Goat Cheese

Kale with Currants and Pine Nuts 

Spiced Okra

Spiced Quinoa with Cherries and Pine Nuts

Raisin Walnut Spiced Rice 

Spiced Okra
Slow-Cooked White Beans with Herbs and Garlic

Potato & Vegetable Tartin

Lemon-Saffron Potatoes

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Zingerman's Bacon of the Month Club: Broadbent's Dry-Cured Hickory Smoked Bacon (Bacon #2)

Broadbent's Dry-Cured Kentucky Hickory Smoked Bacon
What's better on a Saturday morning than freshly cooked bacon?

Not much!

This week, I received an early holiday gift -- the delivery of my second bacon installment from Zingerman's. I received their Bacon of the Month Club as a fabulous wedding gift, and boy does this one keep on giving.

This month I received Broadbent's Dry-Cured Kentucky Hickory Smoked Bacon. Broadbent's is a small family run operation based in Kentucky. Their bacon recipe dates back to 1909, if you can believe it! Here's how they make their bacon in owner Ronny Drennan's own words (as told to Zingerman's):
"We hand rub each belly with salt, sugar and a bit of nitrate. Then we stack 'em on the shelves about 7 or 8 slabs high. We leave 'em for one week, then we wash all the salt off and hang 'em up on the bacon hooks. Then we let 'em sit overnight and a day to set. Then we smoke 'em for 3 or 4 days."
This bacon is dry cured, and not for the weak of heart. If it were a wine, it would be a big, aged Bordeaux, pungent and funky, bursting with flavor. If it were cheese, it would be Hook's 10 year aged cheddar. You get the point. We're talking some major bacon flavor here. Apparently, it's great in stews and places where you need big flavor, but for my first taste, I decided to go straight up so that I could taste the flavors without any dilution.

I set my oven to 450 degrees and baked slices of the bacon for about 10 minutes (I prefer oven cooking for perfect, super crispy bacon). Then, I served the bacon for breakfast with scrambled eggs with spinach and my vegan Apple-Walnut Corn Muffins. Wow, was this bacony bacon! Kuzak and I both loved the bold flavors, rich and chewy, deep and powerful. I can't wait to try cooking with it, maybe in a braised white bean stew? Hmm... that sounds promising! Stay tuned...

Read about the first installment of Zingerman's Bacon of the Month Club here!

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Check out my new column in the Hawaii Women's Journal Issue #4!

It's the moment you've all been waiting for -- the Hawaii Women's Journal Issue #4 is live! Inside, you'll find my new column and recipe.

This time, I take on holiday soup recipes in my column, "Holiday Drama Soup," and share my recipe for "Curried Acorn Squash Soup with Coconut Milk and Ginger-Braised Leeks." Not only is the recipe vegan and healthy, but it tastes fabulous! Also, check out my great pictures. This looks like a great issue. I can't want to devour the magazine from start to finish.

Click here for the Hawaii Women's Journal Issue #4!

Charity Food Truck Event Tonight in Los Angeles!

Guess where I'll be tonight?

At "Truckin' Through the Holidays" charity food festival!

This promises to be a great event. Admission is free, and it's for a great cause. All donations and canned goods collected will go to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. So if you're free tonight, or just looking for a fun place to nosh, come on by.

Thursday November 18th, 7pm - 9pm

Jaxon Home at the Helms Bakery building
8884 Venice Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034

More Info:
Trucking Through The Holidays" Charity Food Truck Festival - A charitable evening, benefiting the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank, filled with great food, free libations, music, and good times! Thousands of Angeleno’s will be invited to attend this event. To participate, food trucks will be making donations to the foodbank to help nourish those in need throughout the holiday season. Attendees can hop from one food truck to another, as well as enjoy offerings from local restaurants and vendors situated inside Jaxon Home’s spacious showroom. An open bar will serve up libations from various alcohol vendors, including RND Vodka. The event is open to the public and free to attend. However, canned foods or monetary donations are welcome and greatly appreciated.

International Holiday Cookie Recipe Exchange

Guess who's participating in the International Holiday Cookie Recipe Exchange next month? That's right, Domestic Divas!

Melissa from My McDonald Meal will be making my Triple Ginger Cookies (they're spicy and sweet at the same time!), and I'll be making Marianne from French Fries to Flax Seed's Coconut Mango Lime Biscotti.

I'll confess that I'm more of a savory chef than a pastry chef (few dessert recipes grace this blog). In fact, baking can make me shudder like a leaf. It's the precision and alchemy of it all. That and knowing that I can't fix it if something goes awry.

And it can always go awry.

So this will be a challenge for me. I've never made biscotti, and just reading the recipe sent my heart racing. Shape into logs, bake, slice, bake, flip, bake again, glaze, drizzle. However, I just spent a day at Kale's Natural Foods Store with my vegan baker BFF (more on that culinary adventure next week) where I gave up my glazing virginity and glazed a ginger cookie for the very first time.

So for better or worse, I'll be making biscotti and blogging about it. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Fave Bites: Peace Cafe in Honolulu, HI

Peace Cafe's Heart & Seoul
I'm back on the mainland and excited to share my Fave Bites from Honolulu. First up, is Peace Cafe, a restaurant specializing in vegan home cooking.

Vegan food is made without the use of any animal products (this includes eggs and dairy). Because I cook without dairy, a lot of my own recipes are actually vegan. It's an exceptionally clean and healthy way to eat, provided you ensure that you're getting enough protein (whole grains, tofu, nuts, beans), calcium, and B vitamins in your diet. And contrary to popular belief, animal-less food can taste great.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My First Music Video! Check Out "Don't Fall" with Charlyne Yi!

I'm on a plane headed back to the mainland, but here's a little Tuesday fun. Check out the song and music video I made with Charlyne Yi (comedian/musician), Jen Hee (editor of the Hawaii Women's Journal), and Shannon (Girl Fest volunteer).

The Diva

Monday, November 15, 2010

Meatless Monday: Broccoli Soup with Parmesan Crostini

Organic Broccoli Soup with Parmesan Crostini 

Aloha divas!

It's my last day in Hawaii (sob), but Girl Fest was amazing. I made so many new friends, spent time with old friends, tasted tons of great food (lots of posts coming), wrote a song and made a music video, hiked to a waterfall, listened to tons of poetry... oh the memories! I can't wait for next year!

In the meantime, it's Monday, and we all know what that means -- Meatless Monday! This time, I'm bringing you the recipe for my Organic Broccoli Soup with Parmesan Crostini. It's one of my favorite soups to whip up on a cold winter day. Simple, super healthy, and hearty enough for a meal.

Give it a try, and remember, one day a week, cut out meat!

Also, check out this great New York Times article filled with vegetarian holiday recipes. I plan to try making a few of these myself.

Organic Broccoli Soup with Parmesan Crostini
Serves 4-6 people
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Print Recipe

2 heads of organic broccoli, roughly chopped
1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
pinch of chili flakes
4 cups low sodium vegetable stock
1 medium Russet potato, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

4 slices crusty bread
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove (for rubbing on the bread)
parmesan reggiano (for shaving on top)

Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until beginning to soften (about 5-7 minutes). Add the garlic and chili flakes and saute for one more minute. Add the stock, potato, and broccoli. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until all the vegetables are cooked through (about 20 minutes).

Transfer the soup into a blender in batches and puree until smooth. If needed, more stock may be added to achieve desired consistency. Return to the pot and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, to make the crostini, toast the bread. Then, rub it with olive oil and the garlic cloves.

To plate, ladle the soup into bowls. Top each bowl with a crostini. Shave parmesan reggiano on top. Garnish with a little fresh cracked pepper. Enjoy!

Source for Ingredients
organic broccoli, organic onion, organic Russet potatoes, whole grain sourdough bread, and organic garlic from the Hollywood Farmers Market

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cornmeal Pancakes with Raspberries

Cornmeal Pancakes with Raspberries
For most of the country, the winter months are upon you (I promise not to rub it in that I'm in Hawaii right now). So I thought I'd share a hearty, healthy recipe for breakfast -- Cornmeal Pancakes with Raspberries

I make them with a combination of whole grain flours -- half cornmeal and half whole grain spelt flour. They're packed with nutrients and fiber. While they're cooking, I add fresh raspberries, but frozen would work, too. These pancakes are technically vegan, but they taste amazing. Don't believe me, give them a shot!

Cornmeal Pancakes with Raspberries
Serves 2 people (makes about 5-6 medium-sized pancakes) 
Cooking time: 20 minutes 
Print Recipe

1 cup almond milk or rice milk

2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (I used spelt flour)
1/2 teaspoon sodium-free baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries


In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond or rice milk, the maple syrup, and the apple cider vinegar and whisk together.  Set it aside.

In another bowl, combine the cornmeal, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix together.  Then, add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir together until there are no lumps.  Be careful not to over beat!

Heat a frying pan or griddle to medium to medium-high heat.  Coat the cooking surface with vegetable oil or spray (I prefer grapeseed oil).  Pour a scoop of the mixture in the center onto the hot surface. Place raspberries on the pancake, gently pressing them into the batter. 

Cook until small bubbles appear in the top surface.  Using a spatula, flip the pancake and cook for another minute.  Remove to a plate.  Repeat until all the batter is used.  

Serve along with good maple syrup.  Enjoy!

Source for Ingredients 
organic cornmeal, organic spelt flour, organic raspberries, baking powder, baking soda, and Kosher salt from Whole Foods

organic apple cider vinegar and organic maple syrup from Trader Joe's

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Announcing the Eat My Blog Charity Bake Sale -- December 4th!

Divas, get ready to eat in the name of charity -- announcing the Eat My Blog charity bake sale, taking place on December 4th from 10am to 4pm at Tender Greens in West Hollywood. I'll again be making my signature Bacon Brownies with Bourbon Caramel Sauce. Be there or be square!!

Oneida's Stainless Steel Mulitcooker, Girl Fest Hawaii, Azure Restaurant, and More!

Oneida's Stainless Steel Multicooker
Aloha Divas from Honolulu, where I'm eating and blogging in residence for the week!

I'm in town for Girl Fest, a conference dedicated to preventing violence against women and girls through education and art. I was invited to attend by the publisher of the the Hawaii Women's Journal (I write their food column). The events kicked off yesterday, with a fun opening night featuring spoken word poetry and music.

Special guests include actress and comedian Charlyne Yi (click here to check out the cover story interview that I did with her earlier this year), actress and poet Amber Tamblyn, and award-winning poet Mindy Nettifee. I can't wait for all the great events!

Also, on the menu this trip, I'm sneaking in a visit to Azure Restaurant on Friday night that specializes in local seafood. According to their website, every day begins at 5:30am with the ringing of a brass bell that signifies the opening of the Honolulu fish auction. I'm super excited to taste Chef de Cuisine Jon Matsubara's wares, and promise to photograph and blog about it.

Finally, I wanted to write about a gift I received in the mail earlier this month -- Oneida's Stainless Steel Multicooker (8 quart). In full disclosure, the pot was a gift from Oneida, but I'd already been searching for a new multicooker. I love these pots for everything from making stocks, to cooking pasta, to steaming vegetables. Did you know that steaming is one of the gentlest and easiest ways to prepare vegetables? It also retains the nutrients and vitamins that are vital to health. Give it a shot with your favorite veggies. Steam them until tender, then drizzle them with extra virgin olive oil, and top with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.

Yum! Now I'm hungry...

A lot is happening in the universe of divas, so stay tuned...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Happy Birthday to the Adorable Monster!

Doggie Cake from Three Dog Bakery
On Sunday, the Adorable Monster turned two years old! Can you believe it? Time flies.

To celebrate, we had a joint birthday party with his best friend, Rocky, who has the same birthday (he turned one). Of course, no birthday party is complete without a cake, so we got them a peanut butter flavored cake from Three Dog Bakery, an all natural doggie bakery in Studio City. The cake was a big hit, with frosting flying everywhere, and the dogs had a blast.

Happy Birthday to my furry monster friends!

Check out the cute pictures:

"Do I look stupid in this hat?"

"I'm going to lick the bejesus out of that cake!"

"Don't tell me you're gonna make me wear this stupid hat..."

"Oh man, I hope nobody posts this picture on Facebook..."

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Meatless Monday Features DD's Recipe for Navy Bean Bruschetta!

Navy Bean Bruschetta
This Monday, click on over to Meatless Monday for great recipe ideas!

This week, they're featuring my recipe for Navy Bean Bruschetta (my picture is also on the main homepage). It's a delicious, protein packed dish great for an appetizer, snack, or lunch. Click on the link to check it out:

Click here to view the recipe for Navy Bean Bruschetta.

And remember, one day a week, cut out meat!

The Domestic Diva

Friday, November 5, 2010

Zingerman's Bacon of the Month Club: Nueske's Applewood Smoked Bacon! Plus Recipe for Sauteed Shrimp with Bacon Succotash!

Sauteed Shrimp with Bacon Succotash
Great food can enter our lives in many different ways.

Kuzak and I were recently graced with what might be the best wedding gift ever -- Zingerman's Bacon of the Month Club (thank you Gruhl family). Even Bobby Flay is quoted calling this is a "fantastic gift!"

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Zingerman's, a humble deli in Ann Arbor, Michigan, I consider them to be the epitome of great food. Their standards of excellence apply to everything they do, and that includes their bacon club.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Coming Soon -- The Hawaii Women's Journal Issue #4, Featuring My New Column!

Divas, the new issue of The Hawaii Women's Journal is coming soon! Check out the awesome cover. My new Domestic Diva column features my recipe for Curried Acorn Squash Soup with Ginger Braised Leeks. It's perfect for the holidays -- you won't want to miss it...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Eat My Blog's Website Features DD's Bacon Brownies!

Bacon Brownies with Bourbon Caramel Sauce
Divas, check out this great teaser for the upcoming Eat My Blog charity bake sale, featuring my Bacon Brownies with Bourbon Caramel Sauce. The next bake sale is coming up on December 4th, so mark your calendars...

Click here to read their article and view pictures!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Meatless Monday: Navy Bean Bruschetta

Time for Meatless Monday!

Today, I'm bringing you a healthy take on bruschetta that combines white beans, cherry tomatoes, and fresh spinach, all served atop a crusty slice of grilled bread rubbed with garlic and olive oil. For this recipe, I used Navy Beans from Eden Organics (they're can liners are BPA-free), a small, pea-sized white bean with a smooth and creamy texture. Like all beans, they're loaded with nutrients, protein, and fiber.

This recipe makes a snazzy appetizer or satisfying lunch (I've been eating this for lunch for weeks). Also, the recipe for the navy bean topping can be served sans bread as a side dish to any meal (it's great, healthier alternative to potato salad with BBQ). So dig right in...

Navy Bean Bruschetta
Serves 6 people
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Print Recipe 

1 can Eden Organics navy beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup baby spinach
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 shallot, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine or champagne vinegar
salt and pepper

6 slices crusty whole wheat bread
extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
parmesan reggiano, to shave on top

To make the bruschetta topping, toss the ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, heat a cast iron skillet or saute pan over medium heat. Rub the bread with olive oil and the garlic cloves. Grill both sides of the bread.

To plate, place the slices of bread on a platter. Spoon a generous portion of the topping onto the bread. Garnish with fresh cracked pepper and shaved parmesan reggiano. Enjoy!

Source for Ingredients
Eden Organics navy beans, organic thyme, organic shallots, parmesan reggiano, and champagne vinegar from Whole Foods

organic cherry tomatoes, organic spinach, organic garlic, and garlic bread (The Bread Man) from Hollywood Farmers Market