Archive for It’s Delish!
Back in Feb. my boyfriend and I took a trip to South Lake Tahoe, CA for a relaxing weekend away. My BF hit the slopes while I found the spa and a a few wineries. While doing a tasting a the Picchetti Winery Tasting Room, I fell in love with their dessert Port Wine. The fantastic gentleman behind the counter doing the pouring described how his wife adds the port wine to brownies to make a fab. dessert— OMG she is a genius!
So here’s the scoop, take your fav. brownie recipe (or box brownie) and substitute in the port wine for whatever liquid is required the recipe- bake as directed and you’re done! The flavor definitely changes to a more sophisticated, rich chocolate. Its such a simple, and great way to change up a typical dessert to something a bit more exciting. Give them a try! Let me know how you like them!
Out of no where, my good friend, fellow Bostonian and fabulous chef Minnie invited me to join her for an impromptu evening of grass fed beef last Thursday night. She explained it to me as “a bunch of chefs cooking up grass fed beef.” My guess was that there would be lots of great food there, and I LOVE a good piece of meat, so I had no hesitation in agreeing to go!
The event was a casual, yet informative and delicious dinner hosted by Kevin Coleman, a rep for Estancia Beef. Basically, Coleman invited a bunch of local chef’s to his gorgeous home to test out and cook up some super fab. cuts of grass fed beef.
I felt a little out of place initially, as I am not exactly a professional chef, but with Kevin’s gracious hospitality and all the chef’s being super friendly, I was quickly put at ease. Minnie invited me to help prep her dish (lemon grass ginger beef served over a cold noodle salad- AMAZING!) and that at least made me feel useful! After preping, I took the opportunity to pick Kevin’s brain about what made grass fed beef so special. Here’s are few fun facts…
Fact: GFB is overall healthier than the meat found at your local grocery store: its full of omega 3 fatty acids (similarly to Salmon), has half the fat and cholesterol of corn-fed beef, no added hormones and is super high in vitamins A and E.
So, pretty much, this is the end all be all of red meat. Awesome. The food prepared was freaking amazing- it began with Steak Tartar, Sirloin Crostinis, Mushroom and Gouda Stuffed Burgers, Minnie’s Amazing Lemongrass Beef Salad, Curried Beef, a Seared Fillet and sides of creamy risotto and crispy onion loaf.
My taste buds were uber happy! All the food was fantastic and I could totally taste the difference in quality in the meat. The meat was soo tender and flavor far more robust. Something that I have personally been focusing on lately in the kitchen has been the quality of the foods and ingredients I purchase to cook or bake with. And, GFB definitely fits into this category of far better quality.
I was fortunate enough to go home with a couple pieces of meat to try to cook up on my own and made my own version of Minnie’s dish with a slab of Flank Steak. It cooked up super fast (3 minutes east side under the broiler) to a perfect medium rare. And it was Scrumptious!
Definitely keep your eye out for GFB on the menu’s of your fav. restaurants. Its popping up everywhere here in LA. My favorite take out spot Bloom has a fantastic GFB Burger. And, I’ve heard fab things about the burgers at Father’s Office in Culver City.
I took tons of photos that night of all the deliciously beautiful food and decided I had to post all of them! so keep scrolling to check them out! and my apologies if it caused your mouth to water!
Happy Scrolling, and Happy Baking!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I know, it’s a little late, but better late than never! I am really excited to share my Christmas Day meal with you. Usually my boyfriend and I make the big trip across the country back to Boston to spend the holidays with our family. This year we decided to stay here in LA and I was super pumped to make my first big Christmas dinner. Even though it was just Matt and I, I made a 6 pound Prime Rib Roast, with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Garlic Sauteed Asparagus. Dessert was one of Matt’s traditions, A Classic Apple Pie. But before I dive into the roast, check out my tree! It was perfect— short, fat and plump! And sparkled with White, Gold and Silver Ornaments!
Onto the roast. I did my research prior to making my decision on how to make a roast. There are so many different ways to cook and prep them. Slow roast on low heat, cook it fast on high heat, or even cook them in a clay pot in your oven (yes, my sister tried this method!) I found this recipe here by Ida (Barefoot Contessa) that got rave reviews on FoodNetwork.com. Since this was my first, I stuck to the recipe instead of making any significant alteration. This was a high heat- fast cookin’ recipe, so before I did anything, I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed my oven to make sure I would not get any smoke or fire from the 500 degree oven. Scrubbing your oven is a must prior to cooking anything at such a high heat!
So I rub her (the roast of course!) down well with lots of salt, pepper and fresh crushed garlic, put her in a glass pan and into the oven she goes. The first 30 minutes or so was no issue. She was cooking up well and I had no smoke… awesome! Then a little bit of smoke billowed from the oven… no need to worry, I must have just missed a spot… okay time to turn the oven down… fab.. smoke stopped… and she looks beautiful! Fab! 45 minutes later I up the heat again to 450… and oh god… the smoke… it wouldn’t stop! I had 2 fans going, had to temporarily take out my smoke detectors, open all the windows in our little LA apt and smoke was just seeping out of every crevice of the oven possible… there I as panicking that I was about to set my kitchen on fire and I just couldn’t figure out what had happened or where all this smoke was coming from!
After a frantic 30 minutes, the roasts internal temp finally hit 145 degree and she could come out a rest. That’s when I found the smoke culprit… my glass roasting pan had cracked through the center and all the wonderfully tasty drippings were slowing flowing there way to bottom of my newly cleaned oven. Bummer! Luckily I did not burn down my kitchen and was able to save what was left of the drippings in the pan for a delicious gravy! And, I learned a valuable lesson— never use a glass roasting pan with an oven heated to 500 degrees!
Despite a smoky mis-hap, the roast was D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!!!! (Had a bit of a smokey flavor too!) The whole meal was fab! I was super full after one serving— but my BF went back for seconds and thirds (and going back for more is always a good thing!) My first Christmas Dinner= A tasty success!
Dessert, as I mentioned above, was a traditional apple pie. Believe it or not, I am not a huge pie fan. I like it from time to time, but I’ll take a layer cake over a pie any day. My BF, on the other hand is the complete opposite of me. He could eat pie for every meal and not even give a cake a second glance. For him its not a Christmas without a pie- so I stuck to apple. (I have to say his mom make a kick-ass apple pie, so I have some kind of idea why he likes it so much!) I have to admit I cheated a little bit too… usually I would have made my dough for the crust from scratch, but as I was more concerned with the success of my prime rib, I bought the Pillsbury Ready Made Pie Dough. I prepped the pie earlier in the day, that way when we were ready for dessert, I could pop it in and we could have warm pie fresh from the oven—mmmm— that’s the kinds of pie I like! I made it a bit festive too by using Christmas Tree Cookie Cutter on top for ventilation, instead of just scoring with a knife. I love adding those little touches to make food a bit more exciting!
Anyway… we ate pie (which was gone in under a 24 hours!), drank Hot Totties and fell asleep by 7:30 on the couch watching a Christmas Story… It was a perfect LA Christmas!
Hope all your holidays were wonderful and bright!