Thursday, December 19, 2013

Cinnamon Roll Cake

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The holidays inspire me to become a bit more festive in the kitchen and the result can be something along these lines: comfort food with a Cinn-ful twist. As I talked with a friend in preparation for a coming dinner party, this Cinnamon Roll Cake recipe began writing itself. It was rich, but not gratuitously sweet. It was filling and as comforting as I could hope. Its greatest triumph, however, was its artfully designed aesthetic: a giant, homemade, 9" cinnamon roll! Eyes widened and tongues dampened as several of my dinner guests urged the cake to be sliced prior to the assortment of savory treats. Even after holding off for several hours whilst eating, eating, and more eating, no one could resist a bite from this captivating Cinna-beauty. Enjoy!!
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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Crepes, Easy-to-Make

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I've watched chefs making savory or sweet variations over the years, but my observation is the reach of my knowledge. After applying a bit of logic with what I've seen, I made a batch of these Easy-to-Make Crepes. The first one tasted as I imagined and how I remembered. Success!! I stuffed one with chicken and kale that I sautéed, spiced, and combined with a touch of ricotta. I made another brimming with sweetened sliced apples softened in butter, sugar, and cinnamon. An impressive treat for those who love to eat, without a complicated set of steps to do it well. Enjoy!!
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Thursday, December 05, 2013

Bacon + Onion Dip

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Don't panic. Dinner parties are everywhere during this time of year. When it's time to have yours, think about keeping the early guests happy by whipping up an easy Bacon + Onion Dip. The flavorful dip combines crunch with a little bite and a little sweet, all for the eager taste buds. As an added bonus: the colors are quite right for the season and the garnish acts as a teaser for what's in store!
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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Pumpkin Crumb Cake

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Almost the big day and still no idea what to make? Be swayed by a slice of Pumpkin Crumb Cake, a dessert just as perfectly paired with warm cider, coffee, or cocoa. This year, I combined my love of crumble topping and my craving for pumpkin bread to make a fall treat I could not help but eat. The simple recipe had guests sighing in delight as their tongues ventured across its tantalizing textures, from the satisfying crunchy edge to its fluffy and moist center. More was wanted and had by all, becoming a new favorite for the fall festivities. Enjoy!!
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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Spiced Pumpkin Cookies

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I made four dozen Spiced Pumpkin Cookies, and in just three days these cookies were no more! So how did the recipe come about? Exploring the season by pumpkin-inspired egg nog, doughnuts, and brownies, I decided to also wander into my (now) local cookie bakery for even more inspiration. Several pumpkin cookies sat freshly cooling, which was a fair incentive to give them a go. Curious, I wandered into two more bakeries, seeking their pumpkin treats. In comparing each, I decided that I wanted to make a cookie that was spicy and pumpkin-y, but still offering my preferred bite: a crunchy edge with a soft middle. The resulting cookie creation was, as my friend said, "what I imagine Fall to taste like." I couldn't agree more! Enjoy!!
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Thursday, November 07, 2013

Holiday Egg Nog, Low Carb

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Ever find yourself standing in front of a dairy case, pulling out a carton of egg nog, wondering how you got there? After all, you just came to the store to get some produce! With the holiday music playing gently above, pumpkins on stands throughout the store, and the bakery laden with breads and gourds everywhere...your subconscious may have reminded you to this little fact: egg nog is in stock!! However, just slide over to the milk and cream, grab some pumpkin puree, and stock up on the seasonally appropriate aromatic spices. Why? Well, you can make a low carb Classic Egg Nog or Pumpkin Egg Nog that can make this festive time a little less guilty!
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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pumpkin Doughnuts

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Impress your friends this fall with a batch of freshly made Pumpkin Doughnuts! Staying true to the seasonal theme, I wanted to make another pumpkin 'something.' After a couple hours experimenting in my kitchen, it looked like I opened my own small doughnut shop! To the unsuspecting eye, these little treats would seem like nothing more than a homemade doughnut. However, one bite may just change your mind with the little 'something' extra. For eye-appealing and mouth-enticing variety, coat the doughnuts with Chocolate, Cinnamon-Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Traditional Glaze, Sprinkles...well you get the idea! Enjoy!!

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Thursday, October 03, 2013

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Brownies

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Pumpkin Brownies. No, I mean: Pumpkin Brownies!! When I told a few friends I was trying my hand at combining chocolate and pumpkin this way I was met with a surprising "What?!" What is rarely surprising is me talking about food, let alone a baked dessert; what seemed to be surprising (this time) was me wanting to use pumpkin when making it. Who says pumpkin is only acceptable in bread, cheesecake, or pie? Yeah, I got nothing. Supported by my fervent pumpkin flavor-seekers I baked these Pumpkin Brownies, or a "Wow. I can actually taste the pumpkin!" dessert bar. Enjoy!!
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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sweet Potato Chicken Curry

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Ah, curry, an aromatic and artfully layered combination of herbs, spice, and in this case: meat. Influenced by the considerable amount of seasonal eating, I decided to make a curry with the naturally sweetened tone of a sweet potato. My experience is limited, so I opted to both broaden and color the existing earthy notes with turmeric, spice it up with chili and cumin, and lightly graze the sharpness of the remaining spices with ginger. The curry, cooking at a low heat, developed over the remaining hour into an earthy seasonal blend. This Sweet Potato Chicken Curry was a hearty version of the more customary curry and enjoyed with just as much enthusiasm.
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Thursday, September 05, 2013

Banana Loaf, Honey-Butter Glazed

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The season of seasonal food and comfort creations is on its way, and to me it almost always involves a freshly-baked sweet loaf. Though I didn't intend on making these particular mini-loaves, they became tasty little concoctions that I need not spoil myself with on a daily basis (despite wanting to)! For a day or two, next to my rather large cup of coffee, I will enjoy the sweet subtleties of a Honey-Butter Glazed Banana Loaf. I think the season is off to a good start!
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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Powdered Banana Donuts

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Sometimes, when I play around in the kitchen, recipes just take on a life of their own. I started with some mashed bananas and attempted to make funnel cake in the spirit of festival food. That didn't work. I moved on to pancakes, but realized I had no syrup nor any fruit to make fresh jam. Hmm. Out of the corner of my eye I saw my deep fryer sitting by its lonesome and with some adjustments, Powdered Banana Donuts were on their way!!  Small-in-size and bouncy to the touch, these donuts were a quickly consumed treat.
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Thursday, August 01, 2013

Chocolate Cake with Ganache

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I've been talking about making a chocolate cake for a while now, though remained unsure on how to go about it. I could look up a recipe online, but what's the fun in that? I've used baking chocolate, chocolate chips, and cocoa powder in past recipes, so I applied a few modifications here and there for this creation. The resulting Chocolate Cake with Ganache was a light, bouncy, yet rich double-layer cake that was claimed quickly by my chocolate-loving friends. The whipped cream sandwiched between, also used as the crumb coat, helped, though there was surely enough Ganache to go around (if a chocolate-only cake was my goal).
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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Milk Jar Cookies

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Los Angeles, CA. Cookies are in the air, seemingly everywhere. Reach up, above your head, you may just take hold of a cookie concoction your taste buds will thank you for. I came across Milk Jar Cookies on a casual stroll along mid-Wilshire Boulevard. I saw a little chalkboard sign when I peered ahead (to be sure I wasn't about to walk into a pedestrian as my eyes focused closely on the little blue dot navigating me to my next errand). Lemon Blueberry as a cookie? This sounds a bit unique. Dare I go in? Well, I'm not one who usually turns down dessert!
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Thursday, July 04, 2013

Fred 62

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Los Feliz, CA. I was hankering for some protein - something smoky, tender, juicy, and glazed - and lucky me, I was at a catered barbecue with exactly that and then some. I said my hellos after arriving at the venue, while eyeing the serving platters of delicious American classics. I just asked "Where is all of this from?" when out popped the Chef, proudly stating "Fred 62, an American restaurant over in Los Feliz." I wandered down the menu, politely escorted by the Chef, noting the highlights and favorites. "Try the brisket" he suggested. Surely, I will, and likely the rest of the menu.
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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Cookie Casa Bakery

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Los Angeles, CA. I've heard of Cookie Casa before, but why? Cookie Casa may have snuck its way into your hands too in the last few years, but not by way of a typical store pick-up. This bake-to-order bakery only recently extended its doors into a modest storefront, welcoming patrons of cookies and sweet treats alike. Good thing too, because when I want a cookie, I want a cookie in that moment. A big thanks to the friend who convinced me to give the storefront a go: cookies are now a near-weekly staple!
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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Nick's Coffee Shop & Deli

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Los Angeles, CA. Wandering around your neighborhood you begin to learn about your neighbors, get to know those playful puppies and the ones to avoid, or which houses love to barbecue and which just love their take-out. It's something that naturally becomes a part of the rhythm of the community. Nick's Coffee Shop and Deli isn't a trendy, fancy breakfast and brunch spot looking to wow you with culinary ingenuity. No, no, it's not like that. It's community, and should you become a regular, you're practically a part of Nick's family.
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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Buttered Rum Banana Bread

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"Use these, I think they're going to spoil." I was handed a batch of bananas: really, really ripe bananas. Was it given to me as incentive to make a dessert? Or was it for a daily protein shake? Let's go with the former, it's a bit more fun. Banana bread is easy to make, and despite not craving it too frequently, it's usually eaten with almost no second-thought. When I was handed the bananas I was also staring at a bottle of rum sitting in the cupboard, thinking about rum cake. Taking the thought a bit further, I varied things up to make this Buttered Rum Banana Bread. With the freshly baked bread soaking up the sweetened buttered rum, what wasn't to love?
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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Southland Whiskey Kitchen

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Portland, OR. Serving up "savory home cookin' and brown liquor libations" says Southland's website, and oh how true does this ring. Among many food-centered strengths, the city of Portland has a happy hour culture that should be the envy of larger metros. However, it isn't the drinking that becomes the focus, but the heavily discounted high-quality food. What does this mean to its happy hour patrons? It allows a sampling of a larger cross-section of a menu of farm-to-table, even within the gluttonous comfort that is Southland Whiskey Kitchen.
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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Salt & Straw Ice Cream

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Portland, OR. As we wandered from the doors of the bed and breakfast, bellies stuffed, and bodies relaxed, we split off and made our way back into Portland proper for a frozen treat. "Salt and Straw!" a friend exclaimed, "we HAVE to go. SO good. SO GOOD!" We found a parking spot, checked in on the wedding cake (yup, we still had some left), and entered into an atmosphere of ice cream artisans and a menu of highly-specialized frozen flavors. Salt and Straw, the little ice cream shop nestled among eateries, hair salons, and boutiques, makes the concept of farm-fresh and local, sustainable, and organic something to boast about.
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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Wine Country Farm Bed & Breakfast

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Dayton, OR. What better way to wake up than by the crisp cool air, entering through your balcony overlooking a landscape of luscious green vineyards? What better way to retire than by the darkening evening sky, wine glass in hand, warming up to your loved one by the fire? Whatever the fantasy or reality may be, it seemed like the newly married couple I came to visit had romance in mind when we all stayed in the well-groomed Wine Country Farm Bed and Breakfast.
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Thursday, June 06, 2013

Low Bar Lounge

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Vancouver, WA. I reached for my weekend bag from overhead and made my way to the fresh Portland air. It felt good to finally be back in the pacific northwest! Picked up and customarily greeted by my friend's family, we drove some distance toward downtown Vancouver, WA. The conversation of dining came up and all turned me, "So, you like food, where should we go here?" Realizing that all of us were visitors of the city, and after a little preliminary research, I identified three choices in walking proximity to the central downtown area. We approached Low Bar Lounge first, and with everyone's approval sat down at a high top table in uniform decision.
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Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Postcard from Oklahoma City

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Oklahoma City, OK. Land-locked Oklahoma isn't usually a vacation destination. But with a kind-hearted, friendly vibe... a reliance on farm-to-table by necessity and history (lots of ranchland 'round here!)... and a capital city with just the right amount of hipster grit and old-school charm... should you find yourself in Oklahoma City, you'll be pleasantly surprised. There's a touristy zone (known as the Bricktown) with the usual steakhouses, large-plate Italian and chain restaurants, but avoid it. Go where the locals go: there's inventive food, reasonable prices, and a smile with every plate. Here are some of the best.
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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, Gluten-Free

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I love a good challenge in the kitchen, especially when it crosses over into the realm of unfamiliarity or physical health. Keeping this in mind, I decided to make a batch of Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies seeking out only gluten-free ingredients. When I couldn't find almond flour, I made my own. And yes, I checked and cross-checked labels, ingredient lists, and warnings, all to ensure that the final product was both tasty and edible to those with gluten allergies. After some tinkering, the resulting cookie reminded me of a chocolate chip cookie from a local cafe I enjoy - cookie success!
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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Mama D's Italian Kitchen

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Newport Beach, CA. A friend and I came across a locally celebrated restaurant serving up everyday Italian, or rather, every day (I wish I ate) Italian cuisine.  Mama D's Italian Kitchen, in Newport Beach and Manhattan Beach, offers up some kitchen favorites with the friendliest of friendly servers. True to their claim, a heartfelt reception and a basket of freshly baked bread greet their guests whilst waiting for a table. As the kitchen opens its doors, a line begins to form, and soon enough you're befriending the nearby sitting parties sharing in your mutual goal: Italian feasting.
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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Spicy Garlic Hummus

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"I feel like having a dip...but not sure what, maybe hummus?" I said on the phone, weighing my options. I continued my thought and the response was "I can grab some before I head over, does that work?" No, no it does not, especially since hummus is so easy to make. "No, don't worry about it, I'll make some." With that, I ended the call, pulled out the ingredients, and set to work. Ever wonder why this dish is such an entertaining standard? No? Neither have I, though I have seen the packaged Spicy Garlic Hummus often and my mind wonders why not just take the few minutes to make it fresh, and make it better!
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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Nonna's Empanadas

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Los Angeles, CA. If you're looking for handheld pockets of flavor, an afternoon venture across the world, or a simple stop, share, and sample, Nonna's Empanadas may offer up some satisfaction. The Argentinian eatery, located just off the 3rd Street Shopping District, opens up one family's kitchen and experience of food to its patrons. Try not to get overwhelmed by the available choices but be sure to give them a look: each waiting empanada is branded by its filling, golden to the eye, and seemingly limitless. Make the choice. Pick-up the order. Take a seat and let the tasting begin!

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Deviled Eggs, Made Simple

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Remember the tangy flavor of a Deviled Egg, sitting on a serving platter at a barbecue? Remember trying to figure out who made them? Remember thinking 'wow, that either seems too hard or too easy'? Well, whatever the memory is, hopefully the ease of these Deviled Eggs make it worth a revisit. Deviled eggs are as simple as you want them to be, and to be honest, I have never put too much time into making them. I prefer mine creamy with a subtle tang AND a spicy kick. Sure, I could get more impressive by crisping bacon with a maple brown sugar and topping each egg with a nice little square, but a little paprika (classic to most barbecues I've attended) keeps with the simple theme and drives up the nostalgic ring. Enjoy!!
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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Cheech's Pizza

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Los Feliz, CA. I left the neighboring Cafe Los Feliz stuffed. In fact, I specifically went to indulge in a Breakfast Croissant after a solid Sunday hike. Yet in simply passing by Cheech's Pizza, my friend and I stopped and stared like hungry puppies at the pizza in the window. A personal pizza, fully-loaded, was just served to a gentleman whose glasses fogged over from its steam. The toppings were heartily embedded even as he lifted the first slice. With no words we agreed that we had to check it out, even if it meant sharing one.
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Thursday, May 09, 2013

Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus

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When a friend asks "what should I bring" - if it's easy enough, just buying the ingredients can make for a great social experience. A while ago a friend brought over Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus which became a hit for my dinner party guests. On another occasion I bought some low sodium bacon and created the essence of the same plate. As before, everyone loved it. Bacon-wrapped Asparagus can be a quickly made and quickly eaten appetizer that seems consistently favored to that otherwise lonely asparagus spear. Pair the two side-by-side, and you can see why: I'm already splurging with this mound of food, and this is both a veggie and a protein, so what's the harm? Whatever the choice justifying words are, invite a friend over, make a batch, test it out, and enjoy!!
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Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Ta-eem Grill

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Los Angeles, CA. I was sitting across the street at Neveux Artisan Creamery when a couple of friends walked over with two stuffed pitas. When I say stuffed, I mean they were brimming with flavor and ingredients to the extent where people stopped to ask what they were so they could order the same. They had walked over from Ta-eem Grill, an energetically run Mediterranean shop across the street that is apparently known along the Melrose shopping district. (Referenced by the number of "Oh I love that place" by friends who have seen me going).
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Thursday, May 02, 2013

The Koffee Klatch

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Laguna Beach, CA. It was a bright sun shiny day when a friend pulled off in a tight-fitting alley and walked me down a path of circular tables and oversized patio couches. I wanted a cup of coffee, and having just been at the beach, he thought of The Koffee Klach, a nearby coffee house. Narrow seating led up to the counter and more over-sized couches lined the front window. A small display case housed a few slices of sweet confections and a cashier stood manning the espresso machine. He turned with an awkward smile, "What can I get you guys?"
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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Feel Better with Pink Pepper

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Hollywood, CA. There was a day when I had a horrid cold. A cold that no matzo ball soup would cure, but then a friend said "You have to try this soup at Pink Pepper, it clears up anything." I thought back to my college days, and remembered that I had the inclination for a full bowl of egg drop soup when I was feeling the start of a cold. Maybe there was some merit to this? Maybe it was just in my head too, but hey, it didn't hurt to try!
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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

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"What is this?" I asked, staring at my plate, "I ordered a chicken enchilada, but this...doesn't look right." I took my fork and moved it around, realizing that it appeared remarkably similar to something I used to eat at home, but something was off: corn tortillas were used instead of flour; a red sauce was used instead of white; the filling comprised of a red-toned pulled chicken and melted cheese instead of the anticipated peppers, onions, and cilantro. Ha, oh yes, I was a child exposed to only one version of a dish that actually takes a number of forms across Latin American cultures. The Chicken Enchilada Casserole written about here is something I have had on many occasions. It was the perfect family dinner dish with an invitation to friends and extensions of the family to partake. Naturally, preparing it for a family-style potluck at my place fit perfectly into what I know and love. Enjoy!!
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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Rance's Chicago Pizza

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Costa Mesa, CA. Staring at the computer screen, readying to place an order for pizza delivery, I thought: wait...I wonder if there's a place that does deep dish?! I ran a couple of online searches and found two or three, but one offered delivery and was a mere two to three miles away. Naturally this left me to think that I'd possibly be eating sooner, but after browsing the menu, noting the 45 minute wait time, I decided to get off that oh-so-uncomfortable desk chair and take a drive to Rance's Chicago Pizza myself.
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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Linn's of Cambria

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Cambria, CA. For a weekend escape, a friend and I retreated to a small coastal town in the central California coast known as Cambria. Presenting as a quaint and mellow community with friendly folks accommodating and receptive to its newcomers, the beach-side town was a necessary change of pace. In our Main Street explorations, we wandered by galleries, coffee shops, bakeries, wine tasting spaces, and more, but the curious red building advertising pastry and pie, caught my fancy. Yes, I speak of Linn's, the local family franchise feeding the bellies of those interested in indulgence.
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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Blondies: Chocolate Chip Swirl

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There's nothing quite like the smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, unless maybe you consider these Blondies with a Chocolate Chip Swirl. A mystery of youth, mirroring a brownie of a lighter hue and absent the chocolate notes we have grown so accustomed. These were made and served adjacent to many desserts on my table growing up but were often the first to disappear! This version of the dessert returns some of that chocolate, appealing to both cookie and blondie lovers alike, while still making a house just a little bit homier. Enjoy!
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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Tanner's Coffee Co.

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Playa Del Rey, CA. When you find yourself thinking of a peaceful escape from the hustle of the city, where does your mind take you? The Caribbean? Central coast California? What about...Playa Del Rey, a small coastal community with a humble center, recreational parks, and a beach for fun, relaxation, or an afternoon stroll. Before all of that though, park up the hill, venture down to Culver Boulevard, and grab a cup of coffee, water, or perhaps a pastry from Tanner's Coffee Co.
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Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Le Petit Jardin Bistro

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Would you like some flowers? No? Maybe some food? With a brunch and lunch menu that covers the basics, Le Petit Jardin Bistro, strays every so slightly from eatery expectations, being a flower shop and all. Service is sweet, but the pace is slow, and no, flowers aren't blooming as you wait. Sometimes food takes time, and here, more emphasis is placed on developing the product than alleviating the impatience hunger brings. There is ample seating inside and out, though for the garden tea party aesthetic, outside seating is preferred. Sure, surprise a date with a floral arrangement courtesy of their alternate business, but in my case, the Croque Madame makes for a more satisfying reason to visit.
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Thursday, April 04, 2013

Carrot Cake

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After middle school one day, I sat in our family room eating a snack while fixated on the television. A Carrot Cake was to be made and I had never seen the process. Sure, I've eaten veggie sweet breads and savory pies, but carrots? I've had it before too, but making it was a different story. For the 10-minute segment I saw carrots being peeled and folded into a batter, frosting being made and set aside and a finished cake "magically" being pulled out from beneath the studio kitchen's faux kitchen counter. I needed to make this, I thought. Years later, Carrot Cake has become a fond memory of youth and after a recent visit to Tartine, another sweet treat I wanted to share!

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Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Tacolicious

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San Francisco, CA. I was skeptical. The bright dining room was packed with hip urbanites swilling Sunday Funday margaritas, a sunny oasis brimming with positive energy and the aroma of grilled meat. The clever logo, a simple semi-circle evoking a taco shell, was...fun? And the name, oh the name! Tacolicious. Insert arched eyebrow here. This certainly wasn't your neighborhood taqueria, or your favorite street taco cart; it couldn't possibly be any good.
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Thursday, March 28, 2013

#FoodTour: San Francisco, CA - II

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San Francisco, CA. Another bright and sunny day, another day to feast our eyes on some tasty San Francisco eats on this #FoodTour II. Round one took us through some of the local favorites and this new day quickly followed suit. Unsure of how exactly the day would turn out, we played it by ear and went where our tastes took us. What does that mean? Well, let's just say it adds to the choices from #FoodTour: San Francisco I in quite the complimentary way!

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tartine Bakery

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San Francisco, CA. Walking around the city, stumbling upon new neighborhoods and trusting in a guide that has made SF his home for nearly 20 years, initiated #FoodTour: San Francisco I. Tartine Bakery, noted for its sandwiches, pastries, and daily baked breads, was added to the list with no question. Acknowledged by friends, locals, and foodies as the PLACE to go, we did.
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Thursday, March 21, 2013

We Like Ike's

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San Francisco, CA. When I used to think of sandwiches, I thought of childhood. Bagged lunches containing Hawaiian sweet rolls stuffed with egg salad; briny tuna sandwiches made years before I even knew albacore existed; crispy spam and egg with mayo on soft white my mom would make if we asked nicely. These were the sandwiches I knew, and one of the first things I ever cooked for myself was an artery-clogging monstrosity containing two eggs, two slices of pan-fried spam, and two frozen hashbrown patties, set between two slices of wheat bread. Ike's Place in San Francisco–an unassuming hole-in-the-wall that is actually part of a much-loved NorCal chain preparing to open their first SoCal outpost–transported me back to a time when a sandwich held limitless possibilities, before carbs were vilified.
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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

#FoodTour: San Francisco, CA - I

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San Francisco, CA. Though I've been wanting to go for quite some time to this highly acclaimed 'food city,' timing just never allowed for the excursion. Exploring a community through food is how I travel and lucky for me, the years have identified a number of local eateries to try. On this spontaneous visit to San Francisco, CA, I applied my method: food, food, and more food. Of course, my only hope was that my friends would share in the interest and help make this #FoodTour a memorable one. Either I have great friends, hungry friends, or both, because that's exactly what we did!
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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Philz Coffee

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San Francisco, CA. A late night, and reasonably last-minute roadtrip, landed a friend of mine and I in San Francisco, CA. The next morning we made a list of priorities, and before dining in one or two restaurants, we agreed on coffee. At Philz Coffee, we quickly acquainted ourselves with a unique blend of flavor, a smiling and helpful staff of baristas, and embraced our individually crafted coffee. The menu of choice blends seemed intimidating at first, but the baristas guided us on our journey to the perfect cup.

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tinga

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Los Angeles, CA. Though bars, gastropubs, and otherwise American eateries serve up this Latin-American dish, when do we reach a point where someone truly does it best? Or rather, is it even possible to mess up? Blue cheese crumbles slowly melting over blue corn chips, nacho rounds smothered in melted cheddar, a stack of freshly fried sprinkled with jack cheese, guacamole, olives, and ground beef...endless possibilities of savory sights that I've seen across my restaurant journeys.  Simple in its making and readily shared, its role has become clear, and I'm not mad at it. Serving up  several boastful renditions is Tinga, not a bar, but a mid-city Mexican eatery.
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Thursday, March 07, 2013

Candied Walnuts

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Is it snack time yet? I rarely have food in my cupboards purposed for grazing. I'm not a grazer; when I eat it's generally more than a handful. When the mood strikes, however, I'll throw together an Unda-Snack if I'm being healthy or I'll make something that is the complete opposite. These Candied Walnuts skew toward the complete opposite and like most snack foods, are difficult to resist when sitting innocently on a table. Snack foods aren't always meant to be 'healthy,' are they? Mix this versatile snack into a salad, sprinkle over ice cream, or just grab a handful and eat up!
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Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Monte Alban Restaurant

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Los Angeles, CA. For months a friend teased me with images of this gigantic Burrito a la Oaxaquena. Once with a picture at Monte Alban Restaurant but many times as a sauce laden "To Go" order. Proudly serving authentic Oaxacan cuisine, this restaurant introduces dishes with traditionally known foods like chorizo and chicharron, while integrating less commonly known names like the opuntia cactus, molcajete salsa, and their famed mole negro. So why go here for just a burrito? Though the restaurant has a number of dishes I'd try, I was already hungering for only one in particular.
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Thursday, February 28, 2013

It All Falls Apart: Pot Roast

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When I was a starving college student, subsisting on Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Jamba Juice, and tears, I lived for the Sunday nights I could drive 30 minutes from school to get my Auntie Vee's cooking. Sunday nights at her house meant free laundry, the "Amazing Race", and hearty dinners that felt like home.  My favorite was her pot roast, a meltingly tender hunk of beef braised in Lipton's Onion Soup mix with carrots and potatoes, and served over a pile of white rice doused in gravy and unconditional love. It was her Pot Roast I learned to make for my friends one Sunday night, kicking off a decade of cooking that continues to this day.
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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Shamshiri Grill

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Westwood, CA. "Is it nearby?" I turned to my friend, glancing at my watch, anxiously wondering if we actually had enough time. The plan was to meet for a bite then grab a few snacks for the road - donuts were on my mind and I knew just where I could get some. Unfortunately, traffic didn't permit the indulgence, taking nearly two hours to travel across a 5-mile distance. "Yes, yes, it's right up here." We entered into this eatery off Westwood Boulevard that I've never seen before, nor would I have noticed it in passing. My friend and his unique palate brought us to Shamshiri Grill, a local Middle Eastern restaurant. 
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Editor's Pics! with Andrew Y.


Hungry? Well you're in the right place! Be it a coffee shop, metro, or simply warming your seat at work, satisfy your love of food with Andrew's photo-heavy, recipe creation & restaurant recommendation site, eatTALK: food for blog, for lovers of all things food! Still hungry? Join him @eatTALK on Instagram in his #eattalk pictorial path to tasty and in addition to his written posts on eatTALK.net! Read Articles by Andrew...

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Welcome to eatTALK.net, Andrew's recipe and restaurant recommendation site for lovers of all things food! Know of a pop-up restaurant? An up-and-coming eatery? A culinary innovation or kitchen craving? E-mail your recommendations, questions, or comments and it just may be featured on the site!

Take a look around and begin satisfying your appetite, cravings, and food interests as you read about a few of my kitchen creations and recipe inspirations or great new, old, and simply favorite eats across the nation!

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About eatTALK


eatTALK.net introduces you to visually interesting, flavor-enticing & aroma-seducing 'food for blog' at eateries across the country! From formal dining to food stands, a spectrum of eats will be covered in this growing list of restaurants and kitchen-inspired recipes! Whether you want to check out the most popularly read items, find a restaurant by cuisine or locale, or search the food archives, our website has it for you!

Stay tuned to "Order Up" for what's coming soon in food, recipes & events and "Now Serving" for what's already been eaten!

eatTALK Archive

Andrew Y., eatTALK's Creator


Created by Andrew Y., eatTALK.net was the food-centered, fast-fix to a number of questions about his culinary adventures. Showcasing a smorgasbord of kitchen endeavors, delectable dines, and mouth-watering food photography, Andrew surely challenges the notion that 'food is JUST food.' Join him and his guests on eatTALK.net in a written and pictorial path to tasty!

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