Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Feel Better with Pink Pepper


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!
Thursday, April 25, 2013

Chicken Enchilada Casserole


"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!!
Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Rance's Chicago Pizza

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.
Thursday, April 18, 2013

Linn's of Cambria


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.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Blondies: Chocolate Chip Swirl

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!
Thursday, April 11, 2013

Tanner's Coffee Co.

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.
Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Le Petit Jardin Bistro


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.
Thursday, April 04, 2013

Carrot Cake

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!

Tuesday, April 02, 2013


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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