Monday, January 31, 2011

Meatless Monday: Butter Lettuce Salad with Feta and Pomegranates

Butter Lettuce Salad with Feta and Pomegranates
One of the things I love about salads is that they have a thousand different iterations, each one just as fabulous as the last one. This jives with my focus on seasonal eating. Winter salads can rival summer salads.

This salad makes use of the beautiful pomegranates, which are in season right now. This ancient fruit, famous for mentions in Homeric Hymns and The Book of Exodus, typically grows in the Northern Hemisphere between September and February. Even better, pomegranates are chocked full of vitamins (especially C & B), fiber, and antioxidants. Oh, and they taste fabulous, too.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Willy Wonka of Breakfast: Q&A with Jodi, Chef and Founder of The Griddle Cafe

Jodi, Chef and Founder of The Griddle Cafe
Jodi Hortze, isn't just a self-trained chef and the founder of The Griddle Cafe -- she's the Willy Wonka of breakfast.

Her eatery cooks up her imaginative recipes like Baked Potato Omelette, Scotch on the Rocks Pancakes, and her signature dish, Red Velvet Pancakes, for which she just launched a make-at-home mix (available online and at Kitson boutiques).

Monday, January 24, 2011

Meatless Monday: Kale & Navy Bean Pasta with Smoked Paprika

Kale & Navy Bean Pasta with Smoked Paprika
On the cheerful note that Sodexo, the giant food service provider, had adopted Meatless Monday (click here for article), here's my weekly Meatless Monday recipe for Kale & Navy Bean Pasta with Smoked Paprika.

For this healthy dish, I used fresh organic kale from my farmer's market -- not only is it a budget friendly veggie, but it's also pretty much one of the healthiest things on the Planet Earth. Canned navy beans from Eden Organics provide great fiber, protein, and nutrients. I love Eden Organics because their can liners are BPA free!

Giant Food Service Provider Sodexo Adopts Meatless Monday!

Big meatless news this Monday!

Sodexo, a food service provider that serves more than ten million customers daily in corporations, health care, long-term care, retirement, schools, higher education, government, and remote sites, has officially unveiled plans to offer a Meatless Monday option in all its dining halls.

Friday, January 21, 2011

My Fave Bites: Starry Kitchen - Where Rice Balls Rival Meatballs

Japanese Meatball Curry Banh Mi Sandwich
Starry Kitchen, the downtown LA brainchild of husband and wife team Nguyen and Thi Tran, didn't take the ordinary path to becoming a restaurant. It began as an underground eatery run out of their apartment in North Hollywood, proving once and for all that good things can indeed come from the Valley. Uh, like, whatever!

I first heard about their down-low shop through The A-Girl, my frequent dining companion and a friend of the couple. She raved about their food. At the end of their underground run, Nguyen and his "Kitchen Ninja" spouse were serving 50 to 60 people a night before the health inspectors shut them down (ah, government regulations). You can read all about it in this great LA Weekly article.

But don't fear--this story has a happy ending.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Domestic Divas Giveaway: $50 Gift Card to Pei Wei Asian Diner!

As a thank you to my loyal readers, I'm sponsoring a giveaway for a $50 Gift Card to Pei Wei Asian Diner! It's good at any of their establishments nationwide (click here to view all locations).

To enter the contest, send an email to with "Domestic Divas Giveaway" in the subject line and tell me your favorite Asian dish. I'll randomly draw the winner's name out of a hat. The contest closes one week from today on Wednesday January 26th, 2011! Once I've selected the winner, I'll contact them via email and mail them the gift card.

Good luck Divas!

Mix Up Your Pancakes with Whole Grains!

Cornmeal Pancakes with Raspberries
Divas, I stumbled across this great Mark Bittman (a/k/a The Minimalist) article in the New York Times this morning: "For Whole-Grain Pancakes, Try a Little Tenderness."

The two of us share the same sentiment about pancakes. Bittman quips, "FAR be it from me to attack an icon (and anyway, I’ve eaten my share), but the common pancake is little more than a vehicle for maple syrup. Without that and careful browning in butter, it’s a total bore." I couldn't have said it any better than that (and I feel the same way about boxed spaghetti, too).

Monday, January 17, 2011

Meatless Monday: Miso Vegetable Soup

Miso Vegetable Soup
Nothing says comfort like a warm bowl of soup.

Recently, I've become addicted to making Miso Vegetable Soup, concocted from a hearty combination of vegetables, beans, potatoes, and gently whisked miso paste. For my miso, I use a Eden Organic's Hacho Miso, a darker, richer paste made from organic soybeans, water, sea salt, organic roasted barley, and koji aged up to three years in the traditional manner.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Behind the Curtain at The Bazaar by Jose Andres: Exclusive Q&A with Executive Chef Jorge Chicas

Jose's Combination
The Bazaar by Jose Andres, located in the upscale SLS Hotel, is a sprawling maze of bars, restaurants, a patisserie, their private tasting room Saam, and even a museum of oddities. They also happen to serve some of the best -- and most inventive -- food in Los Angeles. Eater LA recently named The Bazaar by Jose Andres as one of the top restaurants in Los Angeles.

Last week, I had the opportunity to dine at Saam, the private tasting room at The Bazaar, where I noshed on over twenty courses paired with wines, dessert wines, and even sake. The food far surpassed my already lofty expectations, and now ranks as one of the best meals of my life (up there with Alinea, among other restaurants).

Monday, January 10, 2011

Meatless Monday: Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Chili with Sweet Potatoes

Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Chili with Sweet Potatoes
Happy Meatless Monday!

I have a lot of great things in store for you in the upcoming weeks, including a Q&A with Chef Jorge Chicas, the executive chef of The Bazaar by Jose Andres (featuring a behind the scenes look at their kitchen), a Q&A with Chef Jodi of The Griddle Cafe, and an article on Pinot Days, the upcoming wine tasting event. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, here's another great meatless recipe for Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Chili with Sweet Potatoes. I stumbled across this recipe in the January 2011 issue of Real Simple magazine. As you may know, I'm a sucker for all things slow-cooked. I love putting food into my slow-cooker in the morning, and like magic, having a fully prepared meal waiting for me in the evening.

Domestic Divas Honey Cornbread

Domestic Divas Honey Cornbread
Prep time: 10 minutes; Baking time: 25 minutes
Serves 6-8 people
Print Recipe

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup whole wheat flour (I use spelt flour)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon raw honey
1 egg
1 cup milk or unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup butter, melted

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Eater LA Reveals the 38 Essential Los Angeles Restaurants!

Eater LA, the experts on all things foodie related, has released their picks for The 38 Essential Los Angeles Restaurants.

This list boasts many of my favorite spots, including The Bazaar by Jose Andres, where I'll be feasting tonight at their Saam tasting room with The A-Girl, Sushi Nozawa, home of the Sushi Nazi, Animal, Matsuhisa, and many more.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Pinot Days Have Come To Los Angeles: Great Wine Tasting Event!

Pinot Days have come to Los Angeles again! And Domestic Divas has your exclusive code for a 10% discount on tickets!

Pinot Days Southern California will return to Barker Hangar for its second year on January 15, and will feature serious wines and serious fun. Over 90 wineries will pour more than 300 wines and the winemakers will share their stories. Click here for a full list of exhibitors, which include two of my all time favorite wineries: Windy Oaks and Tantara!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Prosciutto Hash with Baby Broccoli and Farm Fresh Egg

Prosciutto Hash with Baby Broccoli and Farm Fresh Egg
As we enter a new year and swear out our resolutions, some of which we'll keep, others that will fall by the wayside, I'm reminded that it's the little things that make life worth living. We all have our lists of what they are. Waking up to the wagging of the Adorable Monster's tail, a hummingbird flitting up to the window while I blog, a hot bath, NPR and a glass of wine while I cook, and of course, breakfast.

If you're not enjoying breakfast, then you're missing out on one of the greatest pleasures in life. Most chefs that I know, my Top Chef Brother included, relish making breakfast. The tastes of it -- from sweet to savory, often including bacon, butter, and egg yolk, the three best tasting things in the world -- are legendary. Yet it rarely gets the culinary treatment that it deserves.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Meatless Monday: Panko-Crusted Squash Blossoms with Feta and Pine Nuts

Panko-Crusted Squash Blossoms with Feta and Pine Nuts
Everything tastes better when it's panko-crusted, don't you think?

Panko are Japanese style breadcrumbs that have a crisper, airier texture than most Western style breadcrumbs. I prefer them to traditional breadcrumbs and always keep my cupboard stocked with a bag. While they used to be available only at specialty Asian grocers, they're become more widely accessible over the last few years. Even Trader Joe's sells them now.