Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year 2013!

Happy New Year!

My resolution this year is to continue on this culinary journey that I started several years ago. I want to cook and share healthy fabulous food. What more can I ask for?

To ring in the new year, I'm having friends over for dinner and preparing a yummy meal of Curried Butternut Squash Soup garnished with crab and cilantro, Chili Rubbed Pork Tenderloin (sous vide) over stone ground grits, and roasted baby broccoli. My hubby is going to open up his wine cellar (Quilceda Creek, Saxum, and more!). Recipes and pictures are sure to follow.

Wishing you a wonderful and delicious 2013! Cheers!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sweet Potato Turkey Chili

Happy Holidays Divas!

Can you believe the holidays are just around the corner?

I can't.

This year simply flew by. I've been deeply bogged down, finishing my new book so I can move it to the next stage and share it with my agent. That task accomplished, now my sites are trained on the domestic front and all that has been neglected. My massive laundry pile being culprit number one. And all the other million things that have to be accomplished before we fly out on Saturday. We'll be spending a week up in the Blue Ridge Mountains with my family. Can't wait!

But in the meantime, here's one of my favorite winter recipes for Sweet Potato Turkey Chili.  I made this for a dinner party the day after Thanksgiving in Des Moines, and it was a big hit. This recipe uses lean ground turkey, but if you have leftover turkey from a holiday meal, you can add it at the end of cooking instead of browning at the beginning. It's full of spices and great winter flavors. It's also super healthy—packed with protein and nutrients. Garnish the chili however you'd like (a list of options is below).

Have a great (and most importantly delicious) holiday—and as you're preparing meals, don't forget to check out my recipe archive. There are a ton of great recipe ideas perfect for this holiday season.

Just click here to browse the DOMESTIC DIVAS RECIPE ARCHIVE

Sweet Potato Turkey Chili

Serves 4-6 people
Cooking time: about 40 minutes
Dairy-free; gluten-free


1 pound lean ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed
1 15-ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed
3 cups chicken stock
1 medium sweet potato (about 8 ounces), peeled and cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces

for garnishing (optional):
cilantro, sliced scallions, sliced radishes, brown rice or quinoa, tortilla chips


1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium high heat. Add the turkey and saute, until cooked through (about five minutes). Add the onion and bell pepper and saute until softened and translucent, about 5 more minutes.

2. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, cocoa powder, and cinnamon. Stir into mixture and cook for another minute, until the spices become fragrant. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, stock, beans, and sweet potatoes and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat for about 30 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes have softened.

4. Uncover and cook over medium heat for about ten more minutes to thicken the chili if desired. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.

5. To serve, ladle a generous helping of chili into a bowl. Garnish as desired (see above for garnish ideas—I love serving chili with brown rice, quinoa, or cornbread).  Enjoy!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Cherry Almond Roasted Cauliflower

Rainy Los Angeles endures...

...but I kind of enjoy it. This is our version of winter, I suppose, and I shouldn't complain. Only the Adorable Monster's fluff does not do so well in the rain. No dog park runs for him lately. He's currently snoozing on the sofa, the first of many naps he'll take today.

My day consists of revising. I'm hard at work wrapping up my new novel for my agent. Doing my final polish pass. I'd love to finish it before the holiday, so I'm hunkered down working a ton.

But I am still cooking—a girl has to eat, right?

Here's a delicious recipe for cauliflower, quietly one of the most versatile vegetables. In this case, I roast it in the oven, then toss it with curry powder, lemon juice, dried cherries, and slivered almonds. The resulting dish is spicy, a little sour, sweet, rich, and crunchy—all at the same time.

How can you say no to that?

While it works great as a side dish, it's substantial enough to be stand alone too.

Cherry Almond Roasted Cauliflower

Serves about two people
Cooking time: about 30 minutes
Vegan; gluten-free


1 head of cauliflower, cut into smaller florets
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons curry powder
juice of one lemon
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup roasted slivered almonds
chopped cilantro for garnishing (optional)
salt and freshly ground pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. Toss the cauliflower with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, until tender and slightly browned.

3. Remove from the the oven and toss right away with the curry powder and lemon juice. Check seasoning for salt and pepper, adding more if needed. To serve, toss the cauliflower with the almonds and cherries and garnish with the cilantro. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Product Review: BlueStar Cookware & Ranges

For the serious home chef, there's nothing more important than a high quality set of cookware.

That's why when BlueStar offered to send me an 8 piece cookware set, I jumped at the chance. BlueStar makes handcrafted, restaurant-quality ranges and cookware for the home chef. Their cookware features a thin layer of aluminum wrapped in two layers of profession grade stainless steel—this means that it conducts heat quickly and disperses it evenly.

Both are essential for cooking.

Over the last week, I took the cookware out for a spin—and it more than delivers. Handmade in Pennsylvania, the cookware looks great. It also heated quickly and evenly, the two most important factors in my opinion. I made everything from a tofu and vegetable stir fry, to a rice pilaf with golden raisins and slivered almonds, to my egg and greens scrambles in the morning.

What's more, it can go in the oven and tolerate temperatures up to 500 degrees (another huge plus in my opinion, as I often like to go from the stovetop to the oven with my dishes).

I'm excited to have these pans as a new addition to my kitchen. I'm sure you will see them in my photographs going forward.

In addition to their cookware, BlueStar is known for their professional quality ranges for the residential market. I haven't had a chance to try them out myself, but here's a video of NYC Chef Marcus Samuelsson cooking with one. They come in a gorgeous variety of colors, and I will definitely investigate them when I finally get to design my own kitchen. One Day. Sigh. I can always dream, can't I?

Here's a little bit more about their ranges:
For the best range available, chefs and home cooks alike turn to BlueStar. Our restaurant-quality stoves are designed to perform at standards chefs expect and are also tailored perfectly to you. By combining our open burner system with our signature "blue star" patterned flame, our 22,000 BTU burners create an intense heat - perfect for rapid boil, high heat sear or the perfect saute. You'll also have access to a nearly infinite amount of configuration options and 190 standard color options so you can show off your personal style in a handcrafted range that will set your kitchen apart.
For more information, here are some links:

BlueStar Best Range Top

BlueStar Best Stove Top

BlueStar Best Stove

Disclaimer: While I did not receive compensation for this review, the company did send me free products to sample. However, the opinions expressed herein are my own. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Cranberry Apple Crisp

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is almost here?

I'm in Des Moines to celebrate this glorious holiday. The weather is actually beautiful and not too cold. Looking forward to a week filled with family—and what else?—food!

As my holiday gift to you, here's one of my favorite recipes for Cranberry Apple Crisp. I love this recipe. It's lovely with the rubicund cranberries studding the dish. It's also delicious. The perfect addition to any holiday meal. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Cranberry Apple Crisp

Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
Serves 10 people
Baking time: about one hour
Vegetarian (and easy to veganize)


4 to 5 pounds apples (about 10 to 12 apples), peeled, cored, and sliced
zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 cups plus 2 to 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
1/2 pound cold unsalted butter, diced


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Butter the inside of a 10 x 15 x 2 1/2 inch baking dish.

3. In a large bowl, combine the sliced apples, the cranberries, the lemon zest, the lemon juice, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and about 2 tablespoons flour. Toss well. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes. If there is a lot of liquid, add 1 more tablespoon of flour. Pour the apple cranberry mixture into the baking dish and gently smooth the top.

4. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, salt, oatmeal, and the cold, diced butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the butter is pea sized and the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle evenly on top of the apples and cranberries.

5. Bake for 1 hour, until the top is browned and crisp and the juices are bubbly. Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator and reheat in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until warm.

Monday, November 12, 2012

My Chickpea Quinoa Burgers Featured by Meatless Monday

Divas, I have exciting news!

My recipe for Chickpea Quinoa Burgers is being featured by Meatless Monday this week (and my photograph graces their homepage). I also received great news that Meatless Monday is including it in a Meatless Burger e-cookbook that they're putting out. I will share more information on soon.

This is a great veggie burger recipe—free of soy and animal products. Also, it's super delicious. I make them all the time. The ingredients include great fall flavors like yams and pumpkin seeds. I first developed my own recipe recipe when I couldn't find a commercially produced veggie burger that I liked.  I love these burgers both with and without buns. They're great leftover too.

So enjoy—and remember one day a week cut out meat.

Here's the link to my recipe on Meatless Monday

Monday, November 5, 2012

Slow-Cooker Curried Chicken & Cauliflower

Happy Monday & Happy November!

This is a big week with so much in flux. The East Coast still grappling with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. A huge election tomorrow. The holiday season approaching.

When the weather turns colder and everything gets hectic (though it seems to be ninety degrees in LA), I turn to my slow-cooker to provide healthy, homemade comfort food. I love throwing my ingredients in there first thing in the morning and smelling them cooking all day long. I also love feeling like somebody else cooked me dinner, even though I did the work.

This is an easy, healthy slow-cooker dish I threw together last week. The main ingredients are chicken thighs and cauliflower, but I also threw in curry spices, green peas, and red bell pepper. I served the dish over brown rice for a warm, tender meal.

Slow-Cooker Curried Chicken & Cauliflower

Serves 6-8 people
Prep time: 20 minutes; Cooking time: 4-6 hours on high (6-8 hours on low)
Dairy-free; gluten-free


1 pound organic chicken thighs
1 head of cauliflower, chopped
1 cup frozen peas
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons curry powder (any curry blend will work)
salt and freshly ground pepper
chopped cilantro for garnishing (optional)
brown rice for serving (optional)


1. Whisk the tomato paste and curry powder into the chicken broth. Place all of the ingredients into the slow-cooker, stirring to combine.

2. Cook for 4-6 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low, until the chicken is cooked through and very tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. To serve, ladle the Chicken & Cauliflower Curried Stew over brown rice and garnish with a little chopped cilantro. Enjoy!

Monday, October 22, 2012

My Chopped Chef Salad

Fall has finally arrived in Los Angeles... and I sure hope it sticks around!

This month should also be officially renamed "Rocktober." It feels like every major artist and band has been playing the southland this month. In the last two weeks alone I've seen—Florence + The Machine (amazing!), David Byrne & St. Vincent (also amazing), Neil Young and Crazy Horse (words cannot describe the amazingness), a tiny private Deadmau5 show (set to air on KCRW in November), and Peaches (love her). And I only had to pay for tickets to two of them!

I love music and find it great inspiration for cooking and writing. I almost always have it on when I'm making a meal, or sitting at my computer (I'm listening to Yeasayer right now). Today's recipe is one of my favorite dishes to throw together for a healthy, protein-packed lunch.

It's my take on a Chef Salad. I like my salads chopped—more yumminess in every bite. This salad combines high protein ingredients, such as salami, turkey, feta cheese, and quinoa. And lots of great vegetables, like cherry tomatoes, red bell pepper, and arugula. The secret ingredients? Fresh chopped dill and hearts of palm (though artichoke hearts would be great, too). As a note, I love using leftover quinoa (or other grains) by throwing them into salads the next day.

As for dressing, I love Annie's Naturals Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette, but any sort of vinaigrette would taste great. You can also just whip up your own dressing (this is my fast lunch recipe, so occasionally shortcuts can really make a difference).

Chopped Chef Salad

Serves 2 people
Prep time: less than 10 minutes


1/2 cup sliced deli turkey, chopped
1/4 cup salami, chopped
1/2 cup quinoa, cooked
1/4 cup feta, crumbled
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup hearts of palm, chopped
vinaigrette of your choosing (such as Annie's Natural Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette)


1. Place ingredients in a salad bowl and add the vinaigrette. Toss the salad well.

2. To serve, distribute the salad evenly between two bowls. Garnish with a little fresh chopped dill and freshly ground pepper, if desired. Enjoy!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Bourbon Caramel Brownies

Happy Columbus Day!

I'm deep into the revise on my new book, so it's not a holiday for me. But I'm hitting up a Florence + The Machine show at the Hollywood Bowl tonight. She's amazing—very excited!

The weather has also finally cooled off, making me believe that it really is fall.

For this holiday, I was thinking... chocolate... caramel... dessert...

I love these brownies and baked them recently for the Cookies for Cody charity bake sale. I just realized that I never actually shared the recipe, so what better day than today?

P.S. Check out my new feature article "The Career Path Less Traveled" for WHOLE LIFE TIMES! It also happens to the their food issue—you can download a free copy!

Bourbon Caramel Brownies

Makes 9 brownies
Baking time: about 25 minutes


2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1/2 lb bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

bourbon caramel sauce
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup heavy cream


1. To make the bourbon caramel sauce, cook the sugar over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes or until golden brown and caremalized. Add the bourbon and stir to combine. Then, add the butter and cream and stir to combine. Cook for another 10 minutes, or until the sauce comes together.

2. To make the bacon brownies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

3. Whisk together the eggs, vanilla and sugar until smooth. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring to combine. Add it to the eggs/vanilla/sugar mixture and stir to combine. Then, sift together the flour and cocoa powder, and fold into the wet mixture. 

4. Spread the batter into a parchment-lined 8 inch square pan. Drizzle the caramel sauce over the top (note you may not use all of the caramel). Bake for 20-25 minutes.

5. Let cool in the pan. Cut into 2 inch squares (should yield 9 brownies).

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sous Vide Beef Tenderloin with Mediterranean-Style Cous Cous

Aloha, Divas!

I'm back from a family trip to Kauai—what a stunning island! One of the most spectacular places that I've ever visited. Prehistoric almost.

But I am happy to be back in (smoggy/hot) LA. Now if only it would cool off. It's the end of September right? October is just around the corner? Why is it 90 freaking degrees?!

Lately, I fantasize about two things. Air conditioning and winter.

But hopefully today will be slightly cooler.

If you read my blog, then you know how much I love my Sous Vide Supreme. I can cook perfectly cooked, lusciously tender meat every time. It's also a great way not to use my oven (which heats up my whole house). This time, I did natural beef tenderloin, which is fabulous sous vide.

I simply salt and peppered it, cooked it for two hours (vacuum sealed), and then seared it. I served it over a Mediterranean-style whole wheat cous cous studded with chickpeas, grape tomatoes, red onion, parsley, cumin, and lemon. The resulting dish was clean, light, and of course...


Sous Vide Beef Tenderloin with Mediterranean-Style Cous Cous

Serves 2 people
Cooking time: 2 1/2 (including sous vide time)


2 fillets beef tenderloin (about 4-5 ounces each)
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
salt and freshly ground pepper

Mediterranean-Style Cous Cous
1 cup whole wheat cous cous, cooked per package instructions
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 medium red onion or 1 shallot, peeled and chopped
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 14 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper


1. Preheat the Sous Vide Supreme to 130 degrees for medium rare.

2. Season the steaks on both sides with salt and freshly ground pepper. Vacuum seal each steak into its own bag. Place them in the Sous Vide Supreme so that they aren't touching. Cover and allow to cook for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Once the steaks have finished cooking, remove them from the Sous Vide Supreme and cut them out of their bags. Quickly sear the steaks for a minute or so on each side in the grapeseed oil, until nicely browned. Allow to rest before slicing.

3. Meanwhile, to make the cous cous, combine the cooked cous cous, tomatoes, chickpeas, parsley, lemon juice, and olive oil. Toss well to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. To serve, spoon the cous cous on a plate or in a wide-bottomed bowl. Top with the slices of beef tenderloin. Garnish with lemon slices or fresh chopped parsley. Enjoy!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Late Harvest Raw Corn Salad

It's been a whirlwind of family and travel!

First up was Portland with my husband and his family. I LOVED this city—more restaurants and food trucks than I could count. I feel like I barely scratched the eating surface Favorites included OxWoodsman Tavern, and Salt and Straw for homemade ice cream in unusual flavors.

I can't wait to return for a more extended trip.

My parents just arrived in LA yesterday for a few days, before we all jet off to Hawaii. We'll be visiting the beautiful island of Kauai for the first time. We've rented condos, so we'll be cooking in residence as I like to call it. My chef brother is also flying out from SF.

Should be some yummy food coming out of our kitchen!

I will report back.

In the meantime, here's a great recipe for Late Harvest Raw Corn Salad. It's simple and clean, really showcasing corn in its purest form. I paired it with red bell pepper and arugula, with a touch of lemon juice and cilantro. This makes for a great side dish (I served it with BBQ chicken).

Late Harvest Raw Corn Salad

Serves 4 people
Prep time: less than 10 minutes
Vegan; gluten-free


2 ears of corn, kernels removed
1 red bell pepper, seeds removed and chopped
2 cups baby arugula
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
2 tablespoons good extra virgin olive oil
pinch of cumin
salt and freshly ground pepper


1. Place the corn, pepper, arugula, and cilantro in a bowl. Add the pinch of cumin, lemon juice (more may be added to taste), and olive oil. Toss well to combine.
2. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Celebrate Labor Day with Jalapeño Cheddar Grassfed Burgers!

Can you believe it's almost September?

I'm headed up to Portland, Oregon to spend the long weekend with my husband's family. Fortunately for me, Portland is a foodie and wine mecca. So I'll be chowing down and sipping lots of pinot. My very brave friend volunteered to doggie sit the Adorable Monster in LA. I'm sure they'll have a blast together—I just hope he doesn't terrorize her too much!

Before I head for the Pacific Northwest, I wanted to leave you with one of my favorite grilling recipes. These scrumptious burgers are made with tender grassfed beef, which is mixed with spices, like paprika and cumin, and fresh herbs, like parsley and dill.

I finish them with thick slices of jalapeño cheddar cheese for a nice tangy kick. Then I top the burgers with wild arugula and heirloom tomato slices (super in season right now). Finish them with your favorite burger fixings. I'm sure you'll want more than one!

Serve these burgers with Snap Pea & Bell Pepper Salad and/or Summer Potato Salad

Jalapeño Cheddar Grassfed Burgers

Serves 4 people
Cooking time: about 25 minutes


    1 pound grassfed ground beef
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
    1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
    1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (parsley, dill, cilantro)
    1 egg
    2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    salt and freshly ground pepper
    4 slices of jalapeño cheddar
    1 cup wild arugula
    4 slices heirloom tomatoes
    4 whole wheat buns, toasted


    1. Preheat cast iron skillet or outdoor grill to medium high heat. 

    2. In a mixing bowl, combine the beef, egg, spices, herbs, and breadcrumbs. Add a generous pinch of salt and some pepper. Mix well. Shape the mixture into 4 patties, depending on desired size. Brush with the olive oil. 

    Either cook stovetop in a cast iron griddle or on the grill, flipping once, until cooked to desired doneness. Once the burgers have almost finished cooking, top with the cheese and allow it to melt. Note: you may place the cast iron pan under the broiler to fully melt the cheese if needed.

    5. To serve, place each patty on a toasted bun. Top each with a tomato slice and some arugula. Garnish with ketchup, mustard, or any other burger fixings as desired. Enjoy!

    Monday, August 20, 2012

    Seared Ahi Tuna Nicoise Salad

    Still hot, hot, HOT in Los Angeles!

    So is there anything better than a composed salad? Especially when said salad contains delicious bits like seared Ahi tuna, spindly green beans, briny capers, olive oil cured olives, creamy eggs, and poached red potatoes. Welcome to the Nicoise Salad, one of my favorite dishes in the world.

    For the dressing, I whip up a mustardy-lemony dressing. I thinly slice red onions and pickle them slightly in the dressing, which I heap generously onto the salad.

    Now I'm hungry—I may be making this for dinner again!

    Seared Ahi Tuna Nicoise Salad

    Serves 4 people
    Cooking time: about 20 minutes
    Gluten-free; dairy-free


    4 cups organic mixed greens
    1 pound Ahi tuna
    2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
    1/4 cup black olives cured in olive oil
    10 small red potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes, halved or quartered and boiled until tender
    4 eggs, boiled until cooked to desired wellness, peeled, and quartered
    2 cups haricot vert (green beans), blanched
    salt and freshly ground pepper

    juice of 2 lemons
    1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (or more if desired)
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1 teaspoon fresh thyme
    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
    2 tablespoons capers
    salt and freshly ground pepper


    1. To make the dressing, whisk the lemon juice, garlic, capers, and mustard together in a bowl. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Fold in the thyme and red onion. Set aside, allowing the red onion to pickle slightly.

    2. Meanwhile, season the tuna on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat the grapeseed oil over medium high heat. Quickly sear the tuna, turning once. Cook to desired wellness (I prefer to leave my rare in the middle). Set aside to rest for a few minutes, before slicing.

    3. Make the composed salad by placing the mixed greens in the bottom of four large bowls, dividing it evenly. Repeat the process with the haricot vert (green beans), potatoes, olives, eggs, and sliced tuna. Finish by spooning the dressing generously over the top. Enjoy!

    Monday, August 13, 2012

    Vegetarian Puttanesca Sauce

    Happy (Hot) Monday!

    I've just been huddled up in the rooms of my house that have A/C with the Adorable Monster, trying to stay cool. I'm hoping it will cool down a bit this week. I want to thank everybody who entered the Chef LaLa Homemade Giveaway! I drew the winner randomly this morning and have emailed him/her. You guys had so many great marinade and grilling ideas.

    Today, I'm sharing a fun pantry recipe. As in you can make it from ingredients that should be in your pantry at all times. I love Puttanesca Sauce—salty with olives and capers—hearty—spicy— delicious.

    This is a vegetarian version (sans anchovies), but feel free to add them if you so desire. I serve it with a whole wheat pasta, but any sort of whole grain version will work. Also, just leave off the cheese to make it vegan.

    Vegetarian Puttanesca Sauce

    Serves 4-6 people
    Cooking time: about 30 minutes
    Vegan; Gluten-free


    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
    1 carrot, peeled and grated
    4 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped
    1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 
    20 oil-cured black olives, cracked away from pit and coarsely chopped
    3 tablespoons capers
    1/2 cup dry white wine
    1 32-ounce can whole tomatoes, roughly pureed
    salt and freshly ground pepper
    1/4 cup (a couple of handfuls) flat leaf parsley or basil, chopped
    Grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Romano, for serving (optional)


    1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot and saute for a few minutes, until beginning to soften (about 4-5 minutes). Add the garlic and red pepper and cook for another minute or two. Add the white wine and simmer, until reduced in half.

    2. Add the olives, capers, and tomatoes. Bring sauce to a bubble, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about twenty minutes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pasta.

    3. To serve, toss the sauce with cooked pasta. Top with chopped parsley and parmesan, if desired. Enjoy!

    Monday, August 6, 2012

    Chef LaLa Homemade Giveaway: Mexican Gourmet Marinades, $25 Visa Gift Card, and More!

    My birthday was on Friday, and I shouldn't be the only one receiving gifts. So this week I have a fabulous giveaway sponsored by Chef LaLA Homemade that one lucky reader can win.

    As always, I only feature products that are in line with my values as a cook and blogger. I love Chef LaLa Homemade's all natural, easy-to-use sauces and marinades. These sauces and marinades were crated by cookbook author and certified nutritionist, Chef LaLa, who has been at the forefront of the healthy revolution of Latin home cooking, the recipes are influenced by authentic Mexican culinary traditions yet packaged for simple, modern day convenience.

    They come in flavors like Orange Chipotle (amazing with chicken wings), Tequila Lime Cilantro (great for chicken and seafood), Carne Asada, and Fajitas Marinade. They're the perfect way to bring a little Latin spice into your kitchen or onto your grill during these late summer months.

    You’ll find Chef LaLa Homemade’s line of gourmet Latin specialty foods at select stores and through online retailers like or You can also follow Chef LaLa on Twitter (@cheflala) or check her out on FaceBook (

    UPDATE: This contest is now closed. Winner to be drawn on Monday!

    The package is a $75 value and includes:
    • Four Chef LaLa Homemade marinades 
    • A tortilla basket
    • An issue of Diabetic Living Magazine (includes a cover story on Chef LaLa, her family and several recipes)
    • Sauce Pan and Basting Brush Set 
    • $25 Visa gift card

    Here's how you enter:
    • Leave a SEPARATE comment on this post per entry
    • Tell me your favorite grilling recipe and/or marinade
    • 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
    • The PR company for Chef LaLa Homemade will ship this giveaway within the USA
    • This giveaway will close on Friday August 10th at noon PST
    • The sooner you start entering, the sooner you can start grilling!

    Good luck and Happy Summer!

    Monday, July 30, 2012

    Cookies for Cody Charity Bake Sale: Bourbon-Caramel Brownies

    I'm not sharing a recipe today.

    But you can eat the Bourbon-Caramel Brownies pictured above.

    That's right. I'm baking them for one lucky winner as part of the Cookies for Cody online charity bake sale. It's a cancer fundraising to benefit the nephew of my blogger friend Stephanie from The Recipe Renovator. Here's a little more on Cody from Stephanie:
    Our nephew Cody is 4. He has been fighting neuroblastoma. You can help his family by bidding on three dozen baked goods and over 50 signed cookbooks in our auction, which starts today. Or you can donate here at to the family directly at any time. [Please add "Cookies for Cody" and your message to the family when donating, so we can track our total donations.]
    Cody has been fighting neuroblastoma, a rare childhood cancer since last July. Now that his cancer has returned, aggressively, there are no more treatment options. Our family truly appreciates your love, prayers and support. The family has incurred approximately $15,000 in medical expenses to date.
    All you have to do to win my brownies is click on the link below and leave a bid in the comments.

    Click here to bid on Bourbon-Caramel Brownies

    We've already raised $5,000 thanks to everybody's support. Let's see if we can raise even more!

    UPDATE: Cody passed away yesterday, on the final day of the sale. Thanks again for everybody's support. My thoughts and prayers are with the family. The auction is now closed.

    Monday, July 23, 2012

    Grilled Zucchini with Basil-Walnut Pesto

    Thanks to everybody for making last week's Meatless Monday Twitter Party rock!

    So summer continues unabated. We've had a heat wave recently in Los Angeles. And that means one thing: I've been firing up my grill. A lot.

    But this is great for you!

    It means lots of fabulous summer grilling recipes.

    Zucchini is one of my favorite things to throw on the grill, especially super-sized late summer squash. This zucchini came from my friend Jeff's garden. They were huge—two different heirloom variaties—and so fresh and sweet and tender when grilled. I finished them with a little bit of homemade Basil-Walnut Pesto and some Parmigiano Reggiano. 

    The result was so fabulous that I can't wait to make it again. This dish works as a side dish to a meal, but it's filling enough and tasty enough to be a main course too.

    Grilled Zucchini with Basil-Walnut Pesto

    Serves 4 people if main course; about 6 people if side dish
    Vegetarian (but easy to veganize); gluten-free
    Cooking time: about twenty minutes


    2 pounds zucchini, sliced lengthwise
    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    salt and freshly ground pepper
    parmigiano reggiano for garnishing

    for basil-walnut pesto:
    1/4 cup raw walnuts
    1 cup packed basil leaves, rinsed and dried
    1/4 cup good extra virgin olive oil
    1 large garlic clove, peeled
    squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
    salt and freshly ground pepper


    1. Preheat the grill.

    2. Meanwhile, make the Basil-Walnut Pesto. Place the walnuts in a mini food processor (or you can make a larger batch in a bigger one). Process until finely chopped. Add the basil and garlic, and pulse until incorporated and no big pieces of garlic remain. Add the lemon juice and pulse again to incorporate. Lastly, with the lid off and the motor running, slowly add the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.

    3. Toss the zucchini with the olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Quickly grill over medium heat for a two to three minutes on each side, until tender. Larger slices may take longer.

    4. Place the zucchini on a serving platter. Check seasoning for salt and pepper and adjust if needed. Spoon pesto over the zucchini and top with grated parmigiano. Enjoy!

    Monday, July 16, 2012

    Special Edition Meatless Monday: The Great Potato Round-Up

    Spicy Paprika Lemon Potatoes

    It's finally arrived.

    Tonight I'm hosting a potato-themed Twitter Party for Meatless Monday from 9pm-10pm EST. Please join us—we'll be using the snazzy hashtag #potatoesonmonday and giving away lots of great prize packs (yes, you read that right—not prizes, but prize packs). 

    I'm co-hosting with Stephanie from The Recipe Renovator. To join the chat, I recommend going to TweetChat ( and following the clear instructions on their homepage. You will log in using your Twitter account and feed in the hashtag (#potatoesonmonday). It will then automatically appear at the end of all of your posts so that we can see them. 

    We'll be asking all sorts of fun questions about favorite food memories, giving out recipes and cooking tips, and much more. And of course, you could even win something...

    You can follow us on Twitter: @DomDivas @reciperenovator @MeatlessMonday @KlondikePotato.

    Baby Potato & Zucchini Casserole

    To get your mouth watering and the inspiration flowing, here are some of our favorite meatless potato recipes from Domestic Divas, The Recipe Renovator, and Klondike

    The Great Potato Round-Up

    Baby Potato Zucchini Casserole (Domestic Divas)

    Beet-Potato-Carrot Salad (The Recipe Renovator)

    Creamy Grilled Potato Salad (Klondike)

    Fingerling Potatoes with Pesto Dipping Sauce (The Recipe Renovator)

    German Potato Salad with Vegan Bacon (The Recipe Renovator)

    Potato and Asparagus Salad (Klondike)

    Potato Enchiladas (Klondike & featured by Meatless Monday)

    Spicy Mustard Potato Salad (Domestic Divas)

    Spicy Paprika Lemon Potatoes (Domestic Divas)

    Required Disclosure: I'm receiving a very modest sum of money to host the Twitter Party, but I only accept compensation from causes in which I truly believe. Looking forward to tonight's party!

    Wednesday, July 11, 2012

    Special Event: Meatless Monday Twitter Party

    The banner above says it all, but please join us for a Meatless Monday Twitter Party on Monday 7/16 from 9-10pm EST in honor of going meatless on Mondays and potatoes. 

    I'm hosting the virtual party along with the fabulous Stephanie of The Recipe Renovator (check out her blog—the recipe up right now looks irresistible). We'll be chatting about recipes, giving tips on going meatless, and much more.

    This is a great cause—to raise awareness of the benefits of incorporating meatless meals every week. So post to Facebook, email around, tweet, and help us get the word out!

    Also as an extra incentive, we'll be giving away several gift packages throughout the party to lucky participants. They will include:

    • Potato Grill Rack
    • Potato Peeler
    • Potato Ricer
    • Green Giant Hat
    • Klondike Brands T-Shirt
    • Green Giant Pens
    • Klondike Cookbook
    • Annabelle Doll
    • Luggage Tags
    • Potato Scrubbing Gloves
    • Key Chains

    Looking forward to a fabulous virtual party!

    Monday, July 9, 2012

    Grilled Baby Bok Choy

    It's Monday, and I'm up bright and early to blog.

    Many exciting developments are coming soon, including a Twitter Party that I'm hosting for Meatless Monday (details to follow) and an article that I'm writing for Whole Life Times, inspired by my blog post: My Glamorous Hollywood Career... And Why I Gave It Up.

    Today I wanted a share a simple, delicious, healthy summer recipe for Grilled Baby Bok Choy

    This is one of my favorite vegetables in the world. Bok Choy—also known as white cabbage or Chinese cabbage—comes from the same family as broccoli and brussels sprouts, and has many of the same health benefits

    For this recipe, I simply halve the bok choy (if the bok choy is bigger, you can quarter them), brush them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. 

    Then I lightly grill them on each side. If you're grilling, this is a great easy vegetable to throw on. It can also be made indoors (as I did last night in my Le Crueset grill pans).

    Grilled Baby Bok Choy

    Serves 4 people
    Cooking time: less than 10 minutes
    Vegan; gluten-free


    about 12 heads of baby bok choy
    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    salt and freshly ground pepper


    1. Heat grill or grill pan.

    2. Halve the baby bok choy (or quarter if they are on the larger side). Brush them with the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.

    3. Quickly grill the bok choy over medium to low heat for about two to three minutes (depending o size) on each side. Enjoy!

    Monday, July 2, 2012

    Lexington Social House: Jazz Night & Jidori Fried Chicken

    Lexington Social House Cocktail Flight

    Music and food are two of my favorite things in the world.

    Seldom do I cook without putting a CD on the stereo (yes, we're dinosaurs that way) or flipping on the radio (more dinosaur stuff). It just doesn't feel right without it. So when I was invited to
    Lexington Social House for a blogger dinner to celebrate Jazz Night with Jeff Goldblum and his Mildred Snitzer Orchestra, I jumped at the chance.

    I'd seen Jeff Goldblum perform before at
    Largo, a music and comedy club that I regularly hit up. So I knew that this wasn't a novelty act—he's really talented.

    But first came dinner. We sat on the
    gorgeous patio on a gorgeous evening (the weather in LA has been fantastic lately). We began the evening with a candy-colored cocktail flight, served in adorable miniature glasses. They were all delicious in their own special ways.

    Summer Fling Cocktail

    My favorites included the "Sweet Lips," a refreshing blend of elderberry, watermelon, lemon juice, and sparkling wine. It tasted like spring. Another standout was the "Summer Fling." This cocktail is made from Jim beam Bourbon, Dewars scotch, apricot syrup, and fresh thyme. I loved the aroma of thyme that drifted out of the smokey drink as I sipped it.

    Steak Tartare

    And then the food came out in three courses, served family style. The appetizers included a Little Gem Lettuce Salad with grapes, toasted hazelnuts, and smoked blue cheese. We also feasted on pickled vegetables and enjoyed a whimsical take on Steak Tartare, complete with drive-thru French fries and 
    encapsulated root beer spheres. 

    Steak Tartare French Fries

    However, my favorite appetizer was the Jidori Chicken Liver Toast.

    Jidori Chicken Liver Toast

    It was smooth and creamy and savory, and came with a lovely salad of picked shallots, radish, and parsley. I love herb salads.

    Pickled Shallot & Parsley Salad

    Main courses ranged from the lighter Florida White Shrimp with Risotto—to the heavier Braised Boneless Beef Short Ribs. This came with farro, one of my favorite grains. But this restaurant is known for one entree—Jidori Fried Chicken—and it's easy to see why. The fried chicken was served Southern Style with bacon braised greens, sweet potatoes, and corn bread. 

    Jidori Fried Chicken with Bacon Braised Greens

    Do I need to say anything more? 

    Oh yes, dessert! Chocolate Bread Pudding (yum) and their famous Monkey Bread (yummier). The latter tasted like a take on a sweet bun, and is a signature dessert.

    As if our feast wasn't enough, around nine o'clock Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra began to play the first of their two sets. No surprises here—they were fantastic. The room was packed with eager jazz patrons, and Goldblum even dispensed a multitude of hugs (he's definitely a hugger) and took photos with adoring fans during the set break.

    Their residency continues every Wednesday night (first set 9-10pm, second set 10:30-midnight) at the Lexington Social House. Reservations are suggested.