Friday, April 29, 2011

Off to Camp Blogaway!

Gone Camping...

I'm off to Camp Blogaway, the original bootcamp for food and recipe bloggers this morning with Jen from Piccante Dolce! It's sold out for the third year in a row and promises to be a fun filled weekend up in the California mountains. Big thanks to Saag's Specialty Meats & Gourmet Sausages for sponsoring me to attend.

Stay tuned for pictures and a report on the weekend...

And don't forget to enter the Mary's Gone Crackers giveaway to win their full line of healthy, gluten-free crackers, cookies, and snacks!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Special Beer Pairing: Thai-Style Steamed Mussels with Coconut Milk & Basil

Thai-Style Steamed Mussels
When first approached, I jumped at the chance to create a beer pairing recipe for the New Belgium Brewing Company, makers of the popular Fat Tire beer.

I absolutely love pairing wine with food, so why not extend my skills and work with beer? My first stop was Whole Foods, where I picked up a case of Trippel Belgium Style Ale, New Belgium's boldest and strongest beer with the longest fermentation (and highest alcohol at around 8%). The beer opens with a blast of hops that smoothly gives way to complex character, finishing with a spicy punch of coriander. This was a big beer with a big personality, and not for the weak of heart. While the obvious choice would have been to go for meat, either braising or roasting it, I wanted to do something a little bit different.

Inspired by the spicy character and coriander flavors, I immediately thought of curry (coriander is one of the major components in a lot of curry), and this led me down the road to Thailand. With such a bold beer, I figured that it would hold up well to the strong flavors and spiciness of Thai aromatics. And instead of meat, I decided that I would steam mussels in the beer itself, finishing them with coconut milk and julienned basil.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

(Giveaway Closed) Domestic Divas Giveaway: Win Mary's Gone Crackers Full Line of Gluten-Free Products!

See all those beautiful boxes pictured above of Mary's Gone Crackers famous gluten-free crackers? You can win them in this exclusive giveaway.

And see all of the cookies pictured below? You can win them, too.

And see all of "Sticks & Twigs" snacks? You can win them, too. All of them.

When I first cut back on eating gluten, I searched long and hard for a great cracker that would make up for all the crackers I was giving up. The first time I tasted a box of Mary's Gone Crackers, I fell in love at first bite.

How could a cracker made from a terribly healthy-sounding combination of organic ingredients like brown rice, quinoa, flax seed, and sesame seeds taste this great?

Simply put, Mary is a cracker-making goddess, and a blessing to the gluten-free world. Check out my exclusive Q&A with her below.

Mary's Gone Crackers will gift one lucky Domestic Divas reader with one of each of their products, including their famous crackers. Here's what you'll get:
  • Crackers in every flavor ("Original," "Caraway," "Black Pepper," "Herb," and "Onion")
  • Sticks & Twigs in every flavor ("Sea Salt," "Chipotle Tomato," and "Curry")
  • Cookies in every flavor ("Chocolate Chip," "Ginger Snap," "'N' Oatmeal Raisin," and "Double Chocolate Chip")
Here's what you have to do to enter:
  • Leave a SEPARATE comment on this post per entry
  • Tell me your favorite cracker topping, spread and/or dip
  • Make sure I have a way to contact you if you are the winner by either 1) following me on Twitter @domdivas; 2) joining my mailing list here; or 3) sending your contact info to domesticdivasblog [at] gmail [dot] com
  • You can enter as many times as you want. More entries = more chances to win!
  • The winner's name will be chosen in a random drawing
  • Mary's Gone Crackers will ship this giveaway within the USA
  • This giveaway will close on Friday May 6th at noon PST
  • The sooner you start entering, the sooner you can start snacking!

Domestic Divas Exclusive Q&A with Mary's Gone Crackers Founder Mary Waldner

Mary Waldner, Founder of Mary's Gone Crackers
I'm indebted to Mary Waldner for bringing caraway back to me.

When I first discovered that I have a gluten intolerance several years ago, one of the hardest foods for me to give up was rye bread. I loved the flavor of caraway, and missed it like an amputated limb. And then I discovered Mary's Gone Crackers, which came in "Caraway" flavor. They quickly became my favorite crackers, and I've never looked back. I met up with them at the Natural Products Expo West and confessed my fandom of their crackers.

In this exclusive Q&A, Mary Waldner, the founder of Mary's Gone Crackers, talks to Domestic Divas about how she came up with her famous cracker recipe, what it's like to live with Celiac disease, and what her favorite flavor is.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Meatless Monday: Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Chili with Roasted Corn

Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Chili with Roasted Corn
If you follow my blog, then you know that I love my slow-cooker.

It's any domestic divas best friend for life. It's inexpensive to buy (many costing only around $30) and simple to use. Just toss a bunch of ingredients in there in the morning, and by dinner time you have a fabulous dinner waiting for you. Who can argue with that?

In fact, when my cupboard is running low, and I need to throw a yummy and healthy dinner together, vegetarian chili is one of my staple recipes. Most of the ingredients for this chili are found in my (1) cupboard (canned beans, broth, canned tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, cocoa powder, cinnamon); (2) pantry (onions, garlic); or (3) freezer (roasted corn). However, from the flavor this recipe packs, you'd never know that it was a last minute throw together dish.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

New Restaurant Opening: Rolling Stone Restaurant & Lounge Rocks

The brand new Rolling Stone Restaurant & Lounge opens at the end of the week in the Hollywood & Highland complex in Los Angeles. The restaurant serves up serves up a tasty mix of American cuisine, cocktails and rock 'n' roll.

Read all about it in my article on Hollywood Patch

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Celebrate Earth Day with Picnic for the Planet

Summer Potato Salad
Earth Day is just around the corner on Friday April 22nd.

There are many ways to celebrate like placing a recycling bin in your kitchen or going Meatless Monday (check out my article on Patch), or sign up for Picnic for the Planet sponsored by The Nature Conservancy. In celebration of Earth Day, people all over the world will be stepping outside and eating lunch in their favorite outdoor spot.

Looking for a local picnic meetup? Trying logging onto The Nature Conservancy's meetup page and join a local picnic happening near you, or start your own.

Sole Meuniere with Wilted Spinach

Sole Meuniere with Wilted Spinach
Looking for a fabulous dish that cooks up quickly in one pan?

Then check out my recipe for Sole Meuniere with Wilted Spinach published this week in my "Farm to the Table" column in West Hollywood Patch.

Click here to view the recipe

Monday, April 18, 2011

Meatless Monday: Avocado & Radish Salad

Avocado & Radish Salad
Made fresh ingredients from the farmers market, this is my favorite salad to make. It combines creamy avocados with crispy radishes. The key ingredient is a generous portion of fresh lemon juice to finish the salad off. Enjoy!

Avocado & Radish Salad
Serves 2 people
Prep time: 5 minutes
vegan; gluten-free
Print Recipe

  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pit removed, and sliced
  • 1 cup radishes, trimmed and sliced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. Layer the avocados and radishes in a bowl.  
  2. Drizzle each bowl with half of the lemon juice and half of the olive oil. 
  3. Season with salt and pepper. 
Source for Ingredients
  • avocados, radishes, and lemons from West Hollywood Farmers Market 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Braised White Bean & Andouille Sausage Cassoulet

Braised White Bean & Andouille Sausage Cassoulet
Braised White Bean & Andouille Sausage Cassoulet is hands down one of my favorite recipes to cook in the whole wide world.

For this riff on the classic French dish cassoulet, I slowly braise white beans with spicy andouille sausage in the oven for 2 to 3 hours, finishing it off with a topping of breadcrumbs. I used Saag's Ragin' Cajun Sausage from their Naturals line, which are wonderfully spicy and flavorful. For you non-red meat eaters out there, the sausages are made from smoked chicken and turkey. They worked perfectly.

This dish is the ultimate comfort food--rich and meaty. I also love serving it family style for a dinner party, placing the braising dish right in the middle of the table and letting my guests go at it. I promise there will very little left. While the cooking time is on the longer side (2-3 hours), the "active" part is relatively short.

Serve with Butter Lettuce Salad with Feta & Pomegranates and crusty French bread for scooping up cassoulet

Monday, April 11, 2011

Special Passover Meatless Monday: Coconut Macaroons with Winter Strawberries

Coconut Macaroons with Winter Strawberries
In honor of the forthcoming Passover holiday, check out my new "Farm to the Table" recipe on WeHo Patch for Coconut Macaroons with Winter Strawberries.

If there's such a thing as a healthy dessert, then this is it! These delicate, tasty treats are free of flour/gluten and refined sugar (they're sweetened with maple syrup or agave nectar). Although coconut has gotten a bad rap in the past due to it's high saturated fat content, the kind of fat in coconut is not typically stored in the body. In addition, coconut is high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

I paired these lovely little cookies with the sweet, vibrant winter strawberries that popping up are all over my local farmers market, but any fresh fruit works, too.

Here's the direct link to my recipe for Coconut Macaroons with Winter Strawberries

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Family Portrait: The Diva and The Adorable Monster

Photo by Jay Brody
A little bit of Saturday fun for you -- here's a great portrait of me and my baby, The Adorable Monster, taken by Jay Brody, my brother-in-law.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon & Parmesan

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon & Parmesan
I just can't get enough of the gorgeous spring asparagus that's in season right now at my farmers market! It's thick, sweet, and juicy.

Here's my favorite way to cook it up. First, I roast it in the oven, which really brings out the sweet flavor. I serve the asparagus with with a light shaving of parmesan reggiano and slices of lemon. It's simple, elegant, and delicious. A great starting appetizer or side dish to any meal. Enjoy!

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon & Parmesan
serves 4 people
cooking time: about 20 minutes
vegetarian, gluten-free
Print Recipe

  • 2 bunches of asparagus, tips snapped off
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • parmesan reggiano for grating
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. 
  2. Place the asparagus in a roasting pan and top with the olive oil. 
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
  4. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the asparagus is lightly caramelized and tender, but not overcooked.
  5. Remove from the oven and arrange the asparagus on a serving platter. 
  6. Grate some parmesan reggiano on top and garnish with the lemon wedges.
Source for Ingredients
  • asparagus and lemons from the West Hollywood Farmers Market 
  • parmesan reggiano from Trader Joe's

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Celebrate Denny's Baconalia with Bacon Brownies with Bourbon Caramel Sauce

Bacon Brownies with Bourbon Caramel Sauce
There are few things I love more than bacon (just check out my posts about Zingerman's Bacon of the Month Club).

So when I heard that Denny's recently launched Baconalia, their menu honoring all things bacon, I jumped at the chance to share my favorite bacon recipe. While I love using bacon in a variety of ways -- from throwing it into breakfast scrambles, to cooking it with corn and lima beans in a succotash, to sous vide cooking pork tenderloin in bacon fat -- my favorite is recipe is a dessert.

I love combining bacon, chocolate, and caramel (Denny's has a new Bacon Maple Sundae, so they're on the same wavelength).

Monday, April 4, 2011

Meatless Monday: Baby Beet Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Baby Beet Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
For this special edition of Meatless Monday, click on over to West Hollywood Patch to view my recipe for Baby Beet Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette.

This lovely salad combined roasted baby beets with a Greek-style goat's milk feta cheese, organic mixed baby greens, and sunflower seeds. The whole salad is topped with a light citrus vinaigrette. It's a healthy, delicious recipe that's perfect for lunch or a starting appetizer for a dinner party.

Going forward, I'll be writing a regular column called "Farm to the Table" for Patch featuring weekly recipes based on my finds at the West Hollywood Farmers Market. So stay tuned -- I have some great stuff planned!

Here's my recipe for Baby Beet Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette