I’m a big salad person and the nicoise salad is one of my favorites. It has green beans, potatoes, tomatoes, eggs and tuna. This time, instead of just making a salad, I made some open-face sandwiches using classic nicoise salad ingredients. The potato and tuna salad has tons of fresh herbs and the crunchy green beans and radishes give the salad lots of great texture. Of course, this wouldn’t be a proper nicoise without the egg– cooked so it’s thick and runny in the middle. This is quite possibly the perfect lunch.
There’s no pretty way to say this . . . Grizzly got skunked. That’s right, late one night just before bed (of course), Grizzly stumbled upon a skunk out back behind the garage. He barked and went after it, only to bolt the other way in surprise after a hefty spray. Little known fact: skunks only have enough of their special scent for five or six different sprays. Hopefully that means this little guy or gal doesn’t come around my yard for a while. Anyway, while Audrey waited out back with Grizzly, I rushed off to the grocery store to grab the necessary washing supplies. Did I mention it was midnight? In contrary to popular opinion, bathing in tomato juice doesn’t help remove the skunk odor from the dog. Rather, a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap does a remarkably good job. Speaking of tomato-less, check out this green bloody mary!! Instead of going the tomato route, I went with tomatillos + some other green goodies for this outlandish brunch concoction. The result is a bright, vegetal, peppery blend that just begs for a little vodka. And of course, don’t forget the garnishes! I admit I went a little over-the-top, siding for a couple crispy carnitas tacos, elote, grilled shrimp, avocado, and even chicharrones. That skunk smell must have gotten to my head!
I finally got my act together this week and went for a run. That’s right, this little warm spell we’re having on the West Coast pushed me to go outside and get some exercise! Generally all my exercise comes in the form of either running, hiking, or dog walking. All of which become a lot more burdensome in the cold weather. I know, those of you knee-deep in snow right now are shaking your heads in disdain. The truth is, that despite the exercise I’ve been pretty rough on my body lately: pound after pound of coffee; batch after batch of sweets. Not to mention, I think I’m still full from the holidays. So when I heard about the new Naked Cold Pressed Juices, I was beyond excited. Indeed, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.
I’m addicted to green juice, so either the Bright Greens or the Hearty Greens have been making daily appearances at my house. I love cold-pressed juices because they showcase the fresh, vibrant flavors of the raw ingredients. Case in point the Lively Carrot (carrot, apple, lemon, cucumber, orange, vanilla, and turmeric) and the Bold Beet (beet, carrot, cucumber, apple, lemon, orange, and ginger). However, I have to admit that the juice I’ve been sipping on most this week is the Cool Pineapple. A refreshing blend of pineapple, cucumber, filtered water, and lemon – the perfect drink for kicking back in the California sun after a nice long run. You can find Naked Cold Pressed Juices in select West Coast stores near you and coming soon nationwide. To learn more visit: NakedJuice.com
There was something about living in New York City that made it effortless to spontaneously frequent the theater for a weekend matinee or a late midweek showing. Since I moved back to California a few years ago, going to the movies has been a treat few and far between. Life is also a bit more occupied these days. But that doesn’t mean I don’t eagerly anticipate award season year after year. The holidays is when I start catching up on all the buzz worthy films, binging from the comfort of my own couch or if I’m lucky, watching on the big screen – babysitter permitting. After all, I need to take part in the debate on whether or not Leo will finally take home the golden statue! When the Oscars roll around, I’m ready to roll out the red carpet for my movie loving friends by creating an easy to assemble spread of buttered popcorn, classic movie theater candy, champagne and a crowd pleasing charcuterie platter filled with a wide selection of cured meats, artisan crackers, nuts and dried fruit, black cherry jam, and of course, Boursin® Garlic & Fine Herbs cheese. How’s that for Best Spread?
I’m not sure why banana bread is one of those recipes that I always think of as ordinary and unforgettable. Perhaps because it’s a simple recipe to make and hard to screw up? It’s one of those things that my mom, who is not a baker, will ask me how to make once every two or three years when she’s feeling adventurous in the kitchen. But, every time I have a good slice of banana bread I remember how much I really love it. It’s insanely moist, has a natural sweet banana flavor and that dense and thick pound-cake like crust around the edge that I can’t resist. Why aren’t I making banana bread more often?! Well, when I saw this banana tahini bread recipe on Bon Appetite from the New York coffee shop and luncheonette, El Rey, I knew I had to give this twist on banana bread a try. Instead of using tahini, which is white sesame seed paste, I decided to use black sesame paste, a flavor that I am totally and completely obsessed with (I’m talking to you, black sesame ice cream). Black sesame paste is not widely available, but it is very easy to make a paste out of black sesame seeds, which are available at any Japanese or Asian market. It is hard to describe the flavor of black sesame paste but it reminds me of a more fragrant and roasted peanut butter– a perfect combination with banana. If you haven’t had banana bread in a long time and are generally indifferent about it, give this recipe a try. You are going to love it!
I love a good breakfast burrito, but I’m all about the breakfast taco! I don’t know when I started substituting bread with tortillas for breakfast, but the combo works so well. Today, I’m sharing two different breakfast taco combos: a scrambled egg, chorizo taco topped with roasted tomatillo salsa and queso fresco and a steak and eggs taco topped with a cilantro chimichurri and quick pickled red onions. These are a couple of my favorite combinations but you could go any direction you’d like with your breakfast taco. The only thing I insist on is toasting your tortillas over a flame before serving the tacos (a must if you are using store bought tortillas!).