Isabel’s Pretty in Pink Hummus With Roasted Beets

Beets are the root vegetable that are truly amazing to me. The colors are amazing and they are so versatile! Pickled, as a salad with goat cheese, roasted on their own… I just love them.
This roasted beet hummus takes hummus to a new level of awesome. The subtle beet flavor makes regular hummus not so regular and just look at that color! I also roast the garlic. This gives garlic flavor without having the harshness of raw garlic. Beet hummus is great on toast, as a dip with pea snacks or pretzels, on salad…really you could eat it with a spoon. After the roasting, it takes no time to whip up in your food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, get one. It’ll change your foodie life.
Ingredients
1 medium beet
4 large cloves of garlic
1 can chickpeas (drained)
1 1/2 lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
2 TBSP tahini
Optionals
Sea salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Garlic powder to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste
Olive oil
Directions
Preheat oven to 400F.
Toss beets in a little olive oil and season with a pinch of sea salt.
Roast beets and garlic (leave skin on garlic) for about 15 minutes or until beets are soft.
Add roasted beets and garlic (skin removed) to food processor with chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, spices and a few drizzles of olive oil.
As the processor works it’s mixing magic add more olive oil until it forms into the consistency you like.
Taste and add more seasoning as needed. That’s it! Enjoy!
Tip- To make smoother hummus put chickpeas in a medium bowl and fill up to where chickpeas are covered with about an inch of water. With fingers, mix around/roll and squeeze gently to remove skins from the chickpeas. Don’t squeeze hard enough to break the chickpeas, but just enough where the skin will slide off. You’ll quickly get the hang of it once you do a few. I get really OCD with this but don’t worry about getting every single one off! Voila! Smooth hummus!
For more healthy recipes visit my site or follow @izzycooksinsta!

Guelaguetza Hosts Chef Rodolfo Castellanos and Chef Diego Hernandez for an LA Times Food Bowl Pop-Up

The LA Times Food Bowl in Los Angeles teamed up with Guelaguetza, a longtime running  Oaxacan restaurant, to host a pop-up dinner led by Chef Rodolfo Castellanos (of Origen) and Chef Diego Hernandez (of Verlaine). This was a one-night residency for the LA Times Food Bowl that hosted over 30 guests.

Guelaguetza, a James Beard Award winner, also famously praised by Jonathan Gold, promoted this event heavily and many of the guests were their regulars, who were excited to be introduced to Chef Rodolfo, known as one of the leaders of contemporary Oaxacan cuisine. Chef Diego of Corazón de Tierra, one of the 2016 Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants, recently opened Verlaine in West Hollywood.

Continue reading “Guelaguetza Hosts Chef Rodolfo Castellanos and Chef Diego Hernandez for an LA Times Food Bowl Pop-Up”

A Very Bazaar Evening, Indeed: Julianne Explores The Bazaar by José Andrés

The not-so-mellow month of May is going strong for LA Times Food Bowl in Los Angeles. Patrons of this month long festival are indulging in all things food and beverage, including various markets, tastings, workshops and even documentary screenings, that are taking place in multiple locations all over LA and surrounding areas.

I checked out one of the finer, more avant-garde events, the A Very Bazaar Evening, hosted by The Bazaar by José Andrés, at SLS Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Beverly Hills. Friend to Girls on Food Meagan and I explored this spot together, which is famous for modern tapas.

Culinary Director José Andrés is a Michelin-Starred and James-Beard Award winning chef, often credited with bringing the small plates (tapas) and trend to the US. If for some reason you’re unfamiliar with him, please do yourself a favor just watch videos of him on Youtube.

Head Bartender Billy Yoder

This intimate event was set in their tapas bar, Rojo at The Bazaar and featured many different tasting stations. In addition to modern takes on classic tapas and wine, many stations explored creations through avant-garde techniques, which Chef José Andrés is famous. This event was a feast for the eyes as well as the tastebuds.

“At Bazaar by José Andrés, we want you to see the process”, Head Bartender Billy Yoder told me, as he infused smoke into his A Fire in Jerez cocktail. This cocktail with Whistle Pig Rye, San Emilio Sherry, lemon, rosemary, applewood smoke is right up my alley since I love smokier cocktails.

Continue reading “A Very Bazaar Evening, Indeed: Julianne Explores The Bazaar by José Andrés”

Join Us at Taste of Tribeca This Weekend!

This Saturday, May 20th, the 23rd annual Taste of Tribeca will take over the streets of downtown Manhattan for one of my favorite food fests of the year! The annual gastro get-together benefits local public schools by bringing together the area’s top chefs for a day of pure indulgence and stuffing your face. I mean what’s better than food, fun and philanthropy?

This year, I’m super excited to chow down until I fall down. With bites from places like Bouley Restaurant, Bubby’s Tribeca, Duane Park and Tribeca Grill, no wonder this is a fave among the NYC foodie masses.
Chef Scott Burnett of Tribeca Grill – Image Courtesy of Taste of Tribeca
Tribeca Grill Dining Room Credit: Evan Sung

And I even got an extra special advanced treat this year – I got to sit down with one of this event’s favorite culinary masters, Chef Scott Burnett of Tribeca Grill, for a “taste” of what to expect.

Tribeca Grill is considered one of the golden restaurants and has been participating with Taste of Tribeca every year since the fundraiser started 23 years ago (in 1994).

Why did you decide to participate in Taste of Tribeca?

Tribeca Grill opened in 1990, 27 years ago, and  is one of the restaurants that helped establish the Tribeca neighborhood. The Grill has participated in Taste of Tribeca from the very beginning, to support the local schools, and to help foster a sense of community.

What is your favorite thing to eat that isn’t on of your creations?

I have a diverse palate and like to eat many different things. A simple roast chicken at home always satisfies.

If you could go anywhere in the world for a culinary experience, what would it be and why?

I’m intrigued by the idea of going to Morocco and North Africa. I love the spices and herbs that are part of the cooking there. 

What inspired you to become a chef?

I grew up in a restaurant family, and started working at many different tasks at a young age. I enjoy cooking in a business that extends hospitality, so it’s a very natural and satisfying career for me.   

What’s your favorite item?

We’ve just started offering Fried Calamari coated with Masa, that’s gluten-free. It’s a very tasty dish. 

Besides your items, are there any special foods that you’re excited for at Taste of Tribeca?

I know that our sister restaurants Bâtard and Nobu Downtown are going to have great choices, and I’m looking forward to meeting our neighbors and fellow chefs. I know that there is going to be a lot of creativity on the plate!

Join me in sampling the best dishes in town to support the arts and enrichment programs at local schools! Tickets are $45 and on sale now at www.tasteoftribeca.com.

Each tasting ticket includes six food tastes from any of the participating restaurants, a beverage and two pours of beer or cider. Tickets will also be available full price on the event day ($55).

 

Samurai Sushi: Nashville’s Favorite Sushi Spot

My favorite restaurants always end up being unassuming spots that almost make you wonder if it’s safe to be walking through the door. I love getting dressed up for a fancy meal, but most of the time, I long for one of my little hole in the wall spots that are so good I can’t help going back over and over.

Enter Samurai Sushi. This tiny little restaurant nestled across from Exit Inn on Elliston happens to be where I had my first date with my now husband and remains one of our favorite places to eat!

Samurai Sushi
2209 Elliston Place, Nashville, TN 37203
http://www.samurainashville.com/

Samurai has been serving Nashville for over ten years and is consistently voted the best or one of the best, sushi restaurants in Nashville for many years. They have all your normal sushi rolls but owner and head sushi chef Yun Ho Choo has created a variety of specialty rolls that you won’t find anywhere else.

The building is small, and Nashville locals know it’s the place to get good sushi. If you go during regular dinner time, especially on the weekends, be sure to give yourself plenty of time because there will be a line out of the door. If you don’t have the time, you can call ahead to order takeout and eat sushi in your PJs, which is always a good idea.

Continue reading “Samurai Sushi: Nashville’s Favorite Sushi Spot”

Brittaney’s Thai Pomelo Shrimp Salad

Summer is right around the corner in Seattle. At least…we hope! The weather hasn’t been so cooperative in the last year. While May IS bringing you flowers and plenty rainbows, I am bringing you a recipe! This is my recipe for Thai Pomelo Shrimp Salad. I even made a Youtube video for it, which actually has the most views on my channel (woohoo)! Watch below:

This recipe is super simple and FILLED with bold flavors.

Ingredients:

1 Pomelo or ruby red grapefruit
½ lb of cooked shrimp
Handful of crushed peanuts
Handful of fried red onion
2 garlic cloves
2 thai chili peppers
2-3 teaspoons fish sauce
2-3 teaspoons palm sugar
Lime juice
½ cucumber cut in halves
bundle of cilantro – chopped
*Mortar and pestle to blend together some of the ingredients

Directions:

1. Cut open your pomelo and take out the meat of the fruit and place in bowl, you want bite size chunks.

2. In your mortar and pestle, add your garlic, peppers and pound them until broken down, then add your palm sugar, and a squeeze of lime.

3. Add your cucumber and add fish sauce then mix all together

4. Add pomelo and shrimp together and add the ingredients from the mortar and pestle to mix all together.

5. Add your cilantro, crushed peanuts and fried red onion, salt and pepper and then stir together!

Enjoy! If you haven’t checked out my personal food blog, please visit www.plentyofpineapples.com!

San Diego Reader’s Tacotopia 2017

There are very few things in this world that I love more than tacos, to be quite honest, tacos were over half the reason I even moved down to San Diego. That being said, I was probably way too excited to go back to Tacotopia, at Golden Hill Park, this year to help cast my vote for the Most Innovative and Best Traditional Tacos in San Diego. My friend Courtney and I spent our Saturday in Golden Hill Park eating our way through over 50 of San Diego’s best tacos!

It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it!

 

This event put on by the San Diego Reader is always extremely well-executed with various beverage companies sampling products, tons of prizes and giveaways, live music, and this time- margaritas!

Continue reading “San Diego Reader’s Tacotopia 2017”

Pacific Dining Car: LA’s Only 24/7 Fine-Dining Restaurant Since 1921 Offers New Specials

Since 1921, Pacific Dining Car, Los Angeles’ only 24-hour fine dining establishment (7 days a week) has been serving their loyal customers the best in steakhouse cuisine. Now on their fourth generation of family-ownership, and spearheaded by Chef Mark Kalenderian, PDC is breathing some new life into their menu, while maintaining all the favorites.

Pacific Dining Car
1310 W. 6th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90017
http://pacificdiningcar.com
* Santa Monica location: 2700 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403

You may remember seeing PCD in many films and TV shows. Most notably, the 2001film Training Day. Denzel Washington’s character, Alonzo, tells Ethan Hawke’s Jake “Get yourself a Baseball Steak.”

Yes, cinephiles, the Baseball Steak is currently on the menu, you can dine like Denzel.

The second I stepped into this spacious, wood-paneled dining car, I felt like I had stepped into the pages of a vintage Los Angeles-based pulp novel. The lighting is dim, the seating is plush and the décor is old school- my kind of place.

The Astor Room
Main Lobster Tail with a side of Creamed Spinach

There are 6 different rooms at PDC to dine in, I was arranged to taste their new specials in the Astor Room. I was immediately struck by the elegance of this room; everything from the velvet chairs, white linens, fine china and Wallace silverware. I felt a little guilty for not rocking one of my Unique Vintage dresses to dine but the maitre d’ didn’t flinch at my appearance.

Although this is a fine-dining, the dress code is flexible. All walks of life are welcome to dine at PDC- you could be Joe Schmoe and you’ll receive the same high-class treatment as Johnny Depp.

Continue reading “Pacific Dining Car: LA’s Only 24/7 Fine-Dining Restaurant Since 1921 Offers New Specials”

Butcher a Pig, Without Squealing Like One: LA Food Bowl’s Pork 101 Workshop Hosted by Electric City Butcher in Santa Ana, CA

The LA Food Bowl, a premiere month long food festival, presented by the Los Angeles Times, is in full swing in Los Angeles. All things pertaining to food and beverage, including various markets, tastings, workshops and even documentary screenings, are taking place in multiple locations all over LA and surrounding areas.

In addition to celebrating the best the Los Angeles food scene has to offer, LA Food Bowl is making a point to promote awareness on food waste and hunger.

I know everyone is gushing over the Night Market, but I don’t like outdoor events with a ton of people waiting in line for small bites (sorry guys!) I’d rather take a workshop and learn new skills.

When I heard Electric City Butcher, a butcher shop in Santa Ana’s 4th Street Market, owned by Michael Puglisi, Richard Lu, Steve Sabicer and Shelia Anderzunas, would be hosting their signature Pork 101 workshop for Food Bowl attendees, I jumped at the chance to take it. I had never stepped past the deli counter at my local butcher, so it was an opportunity to learn more about what goes into my meats.

Electric City Butcher
Located in the 4th Street Market – Alta Baja
201 E4th Street, Santa Ana, CA 92701
http://electriccitybutcher.com/

*This workshop can also be taken at Electric City Butcher outside of  LA Food Bowl.

Continue reading “Butcher a Pig, Without Squealing Like One: LA Food Bowl’s Pork 101 Workshop Hosted by Electric City Butcher in Santa Ana, CA”

LASA Takes Over Unit 120 in Chinatown, Los Angeles, CA

When it comes to the LA food scene, pop-ups are how many of the most innovative chefs have brought their unique cuisine to the public. Many of the most successful new restaurants can trace their origins to this style of experimental restaurant development.

LASA is the most recent Los Angeles pop-up success story.

LASA
727 Broadway Ave. Unit 120, Los Angeles, CA 90012
www.lasa-la.com

Continue reading “LASA Takes Over Unit 120 in Chinatown, Los Angeles, CA”

Bowing Down To Baobab in Little Tokyo Galleria, DTLA

Little Tokyo is LA’s cultural center for their Japanese-American population. Being only five blocks (long blocks to be fair) it manages to pack in many merchants. The Little Tokyo Galleria is a stand alone of its neighborhood. This three story building is beloved among LA-locals with it’s famous Little Tokyo Marketplace, many department stores, and restaurants. According to Urbanize LA, expansion on the Little Tokyo will continue upwards, if you will, with a series of high-rise buildings. I can’t speak for the other businesses of the Little Tokyo Marketplace; I know owner Chef Eric Baker, of the self-proclaimed “gourmet fast-food” pan-Asian stand BaoBab, is excited about this development.

Eric told me “I think the new development is great. It’s going to bring a more diverse group of people to our small shop and hopefully help us grow. As far as the decision to come to little Tokyo it was mainly the location. We took the challenge to open up an entirely new concept in the area.”

BaoBab
333 S. Alameda St. #100 E, Los Angeles, CA 90013
https://www.facebook.com/BAOandBAB/

Continue reading “Bowing Down To Baobab in Little Tokyo Galleria, DTLA”

Summer Recreates Chris Pratt’s Cucumber Egg Rolls #WHATSMYSNACK

I’m just a girl who loves food, making food and getting inspired by food I see on social media—especially when the food is being eaten by my favorite hero, the adorkably charming Chris Pratt. He has been posting his snacks on Instagram in a funny, tortured cause he has to get in shape kind of way, which I of course couldn’t help but watch. If you guys are not familiar with his little #WHATSMYSNACK videos then you need to go watch them like now. I’ll wait.

Now that you are all caught up with what I am talking about, the snacks he is posting actually look pretty tasty. I was drawn to the cucumber egg roll. Now I have no real idea what is in his but I figured I could recreate a version and make my own #WHATSMYSNACK.

Without further ado… Here is my Chris Pratt-inspired cucumber egg roll snack.

Continue reading “Summer Recreates Chris Pratt’s Cucumber Egg Rolls #WHATSMYSNACK”