Girls on Food

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Made With Love: City Kitchen Comes to Sacramento

City Kitchen Sacramento
citykitchensacramento@gmail.com
http://www.facebook.com/CityKitchenSacramento
IG: @citykitchensacramento

When Rebecca Lujan Loveless was just a young girl, her father used to let her stir the pot of chili simmering on the stove. Little did he know he’d spark a passion for food that would become her bread and butter!

As the owner of City Kitchen Sacramento, which launched last week, Rebecca translates that love of food into delicious, healthy meals for her community. City Kitchen emphasizes tasty food that is good for you and uses locally sourced, organic products whenever possible. Rebecca visits the farms from which she buys her chickens, cows, and pigs, so she knows firsthand they are treated humanely – it doesn’t get much more farm to fork than that! She first started City Kitchen in Orlando, FL, where she had already built a following for her delicious eats. After moving to Sac, Rebecca has been working on building her business back up from scratch. Based on the meals we tried last week, I have no doubt in my mind she’ll be successful!

During City Kitchen’s launch week, we were lucky enough to try each of their four meals. Overall, they were delicious! Hot meals showed up on our doorstep between 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM and the variety was incredible.

The first night was a roasted lemon chicken breast, with Hasselback fingerling potatoes and a grilled peach and heirloom tomato salad. My boyfriend, who typically wouldn’t go for a salad, let alone one with fruit, devoured it! Huge win for City Kitchen – they got him to eat his veggies.

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Next up – Taco Tuesday! One of the best nights of the week, we had house-made crispy taco shells filled with ground beef and potatoes, along with chili-lime corn on the cob. This meal was my favorite of all the meals we tried. Between the perfectly cooked corn, the burst of lime, and the salsa verde that topped the tacos, it was sublime.

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Wednesday brought BBQ pulled chicken sandwiches with pickled veggie slaw and sweet potato tots. A lighter take on a traditional pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw, this one hit the spot – but the star of the night were the tots, which were delicious dipped in City Kitchen’s garlic-chive aioli!

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The last night was City Kitchen’s take on a Korean rice bowl, and it did not disappoint. The perfect 6-minute egg created a luscious sauce for all of the rice and veggies, and the beef was addictively crispy.

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The portion sizes were perfect – we were left satisfied each night but didn’t have to worry about leftovers. Most importantly, you can feel the love put into each meal from City Kitchen. What I loved most of all, however, was supporting a local business owned and operated by a woman. As a Hispanic woman, Rebecca is passionate about positively impacting her community through its economy. For her, it’s not just a business, but a way to connect with those around her and build relationships that will make Sacramento a better place for all of us to live.

About the Bloggers

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Alabama Girls

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AMANDA 
Mobile, AL

Hi! I’m Amanda, and I write about my adventures with food and cocktails at Lemon Baby. I’ve lived in the Northeast (Brooklyn and metropolitan Boston), the Northwest (Libby, Montana) and the South (Charlottesville, Tallahassee and currently Mobile, Alabama). If you love talking about food and how it could be responsible for a revolution in health, you should consider starting a food business.
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California Girls

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Sundance, WY —> Sierra Vista, AZ —> Los Angeles, CA

I’m originally from Northeastern Wyoming. When I was 9 my family moved to Southern Arizona.
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Julieta

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Los Angeles, CA

Dine, eat, cook, drink and eat some more! I’m originally from Mexico City and as love would have it, I met a gringo and moved to Los Angeles in 2005.
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[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ fixed=”” animation=”” full_height=”” enable_parallax=”” parallax_speed=”0.5″][vc_column_text]CHRISTINA
San Francisco, CA—>Los Angeles, CA

Growing up Italian I am predisposed to enjoy good food and wine. In fact, I would probably be excommunicated from the family if I stopped eating any major food group (or just mercilessly ridiculed).
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misssemisweet[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ fixed=”” animation=”” full_height=”” enable_parallax=”” parallax_speed=”0.5″][vc_column_text]MISS SEMI SWEET
Pleasanton, CA

There are two things I have loved my entire life: Food & Media. My earliest memories of enjoying both, would be sitting in my grandfathers lap watching some sort of cooking channel and discussing how we would change the recipe or when we were going to make it.
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MEAGAN McCALL 
Los Angeles —> San Luis Obispo —> San Francisco —> Los Angeles 

I unknowingly discovered my love for food in 2nd grade when I decided to take over the lunch-making responsibilities for the household, ensuring the crust was always cut off my peanut butter sandwiches. From there, my love of food guided me to restaurant marketing and culinary consulting, and now I’m living the dream as an Account Manager for Thrillist! 

A coffee connoisseur who usually orders red wine, oysters, sashimi, lamb, barbecue ribs, pasta, and/or anything with goat cheese, I’ll never turn down a Moscow Mule in a copper mug. My favorite blogging topics include third wave coffee, tastings, and foodie events, especially when there’s natural lighting for my DSLR!  

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meandpudding

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ fixed=”” animation=”” full_height=”” enable_parallax=”” parallax_speed=”0.5″][vc_column_text]SUMMER
Los Angeles, CA —> Chicago, IL —> Sacramento, CA

I am an actress, writer, comedian (I use that term very loosely) who is used to spending my nights after a show at the local pub or dive bar. My love for anything nacho and pizza related was apparent to everyone, including my waistline
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Alex

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Orange County —> LA—> San Diego

Most everyone is convinced that I only moved to San Diego for the mexican food, and I can’t say they’re wrong. There is nothing I love more than chips, guacamole and a margarita on Taco Tuesday.
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Tania[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ fixed=”” animation=”” full_height=”” enable_parallax=”” parallax_speed=”0.5″][vc_column_text]TANIA
Pasadena, CA

Many people were picky eaters as kids – but not me! Thanks to a mom who cooked excellent Mexican food on a daily basis, combined with a childhood spent moving to a new place every couple years, I gobbled up everything from British treacle pudding with custard, to Colorado green chili and ostrich burgers, to Midwestern kringles and pannekoeken.
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LEENA NGUYEN
West Coast – East Coast
Sacramento – Los Angeles – OC – New York – Florida

Hello food lovers! My name is Leena and I am a big time foodie! My life is a constant battle between my love for food and not wanting to get fat! So i work out so that I can eat more. Haha.
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[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_id=”” column_padding=”” full_width_row=”” vertical_center=”” enable_parallax=”” parallax_speed=”0.5″ bg_video_src_mp4=”” bg_video_src_ogv=”” bg_video_src_webm=”” bg_video_overlay_color=”” mouse_scroll=””][vc_column width=”1/4″ fixed=”” animation=”” full_height=”” enable_parallax=”” parallax_speed=”0.5″][vc_column_text]Cheers![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ fixed=”” animation=”” full_height=”” enable_parallax=”” parallax_speed=”0.5″][vc_column_text]ELIZABETH NORDENHOLT
Dallas, TX —> Oklahoma City, OK —-> Los Angeles, CA

In 2012 I moved to LA with no job and no plan other than that I wanted to work in the entertainment industry. So naturally, the first thing I did was get a job at a liquor store.
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Iman

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Bay Area, CA

I’m Bay Area born and bred, and hella proud of it. I grew up in the middle of the Bay Area near the Peninsula, spent the first half of my college years in the South Bay, and the latter in the East Bay.
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[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]CARLA 
Los Angeles, CA —> Orange County, CA
My government name is Carla, but in many circles I’m known as Carby due to my love of carbs. I’ve come to realize in my 29 years of life that foods are not a contest as to what is better but rather a journey.
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Los Angeles, CA

I was born in the Philippines and came to live in Los Angeles with my family when I was 3 years old. I grew up mostly eating Filipino Food, Asian Cuisines, and some American comfort foods.
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REBECCA
Maui, HI —> Sacramento, CA

I was born and raised on the beautiful island of Maui, Hawai’i. The culinary roots of Hawai’i are influenced by the ancient recipes of Japan, China, Philippines, Korea, Portugal and of course the Pacific Islands.
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SaraM

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Arlington, VA —> Quetzaltenango, Guatemala —> Washington, DC —> Los Angeles, CA

Hailing from the great state of Virginia, I have an affinity for fresh apples and anything covered in butter or cheese. My family and I are from Guatemala and I had the pleasure of living there for a few years.
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NYC —> LA

I’ve been called a farmer’s market groupie by many of my friends because I am obsessed with the farmer’s markets in LA and the connection it gives me every week to my local community. Cooking with fresh colorful and beautiful food makes my heart sing and I’m still always amazed at how much flavor you can get from the simplest of foods.
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[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ fixed=”” animation=”” full_height=”” enable_parallax=”” parallax_speed=”0.5″][vc_column_text]VICTORIA
Sacramento, CA

I was born in San Luis Obispo, but I definitely call Sacramento home. I grew up since 6th grade on 20 acres with horses.
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[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]DANIELLE
Walnut Creek, CA

My name is Danielle and eating food is my hobby! I grew up eating mostly Cuban food and Asian food. I love to cook Cuban food as well as Asian dishes. I love to try new foods from all over the world, and I letting everyone know about my adventures in brunching. Cheers!

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libby

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]LIBBY REGO
Los Angeles, CA

Even as a child, I was a foodie – unless it’s normal for an 8 year old to order filet mignon and lobster tail.  I try to balance spending all my money on dining out versus buying stuff at the grocery store to make something yummy at home.
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Florida Girls

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Monique

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Fort Lauderdale, FL

Meat and potatoes is the traditional midwestern cuisine, but I’m not a typical midwestern kind of girl. I’m from Ohio originally but my father’s Army travels have taken me everywhere from Savannah, GA to Wiesbaden, Germany.
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Illinois Girls

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_separator][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]HILARY PRIMACK
Chicago ? Delaware ? Los Angeles ? Chicago

Hilary fully embraced her deep love for food after studying abroad in Vietnam and Laos, where she started to appreciate the differences of cuisines from around the world, and all of the history and background that went into each dish.

Starting in 2012, she made a pact with herself to try anything at least once, no matter how outlandish the cuisine. Being from Chicago, it’s only logical that she’s crazy about having beers and ciders with a slice of pizza.

While pizza forever owns the number one spot in her heart, Hilary’s other favorite dishes are crab cake sandwiches from Maryland, sushi from Sugarfish, ice cream sandwiches from Diddy Riese, and East Coast bagels (fair warning, she’s a bit of a bagel snob).  She loves trying new recipes influenced by meals she’s had at her favorite restaurants; most recently, she worked diligently to perfectly master the famous Eggslut egg sandwich. Her inspiration comes from hidden foodie gems and new restaurants she’s tried locally and while traveling.

Hilary is known amongst her friends as an adventurous soul, and she would especially never pass up the opportunity to try new coffee shops! Watch as she eats her way across all 50 states and shares experiences on her blog, The Cross Country Millennial. If she’s not eating, working, or traveling, then she can be found exercising. Happy eating![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_separator][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]

Mexico Girls

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Mexico City, Mexico

I grew up in Mexico City and was born into a huge foodie family who introduced me to gourmet food as a toddler. By the time I was seven my favorite dish was duck confit with blackberry sauce!
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Minnesota Girls

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christina w[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ fixed=”” animation=”” full_height=”” enable_parallax=”” parallax_speed=”0.5″][vc_column_text]CHRISTINA W.
Minneapolis, MN

I grew up moving around the world for my father’s job; which fueled my love of food and new food experiences. Put something new in front of me and I cannot wait to dig in.
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Nevada Girls

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San Francisco, CA —> Chicago, IL —> Reno, NV

My passion for good eats and restaurants started when I was 5 years old. Yes, you read that correctly, 5.
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ranae[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ fixed=”” animation=”” full_height=”” enable_parallax=”” parallax_speed=”0.5″][vc_column_text]RANAE 
Pittsburgh, PA —> Las Vegas, NV

I started cooking and baking at 4 years old, when I smashed an egg on the floor, while my mom and grandmother were making a cake, and gleefully declared I was helping. I spent the first 3 decades of my life in the sleepy mountains of West Virginia, before heading west to the desert, and the neon lights of Las Vegas.
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New Jersey Girls

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FB 2 FB 1[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ fixed=”” animation=”” full_height=”” enable_parallax=”” parallax_speed=”0.5″][vc_column_text]FATBOI TENDENCIES
Jess lives in East Brunswick, NJ
Christie lives in Glen Rock, NJ

Jess and Christie, from central and northern New Jersey respectively, met and became friends as college freshman at the University of Scranton in 2010. Through the years they have shared their enthusiasm for food, drink, and humor, and on March 11th 2016, @FatboiTendencies was born.
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New York Girls

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Megan Hershey

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New York City, NY

Born in Virginia and raised on the mean streets of Garden City, Long Island, I’ve learned to appreciate any type of cuisine from a late night burrito and tatcho’s to a tasting menu and wine pairing.
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Nikki[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]NIKKI
New York, New York
Some call me “The Cuban Carrie (Bradshaw)” because yes, I love love, fashion and hilarious conversations with my best girlfriends, but more than all that, New York City (and all it’s yumminess), have my heart forever.
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Samantha

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Brooklyn, NY 

Food is my life; cooking it, eating it, talking about, and sharing my experiences with it. I’ve been a foodie my entire life, and doing it professionally for the last twelve years.
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Miami, FL —> New York, New York
A born and raised Miami girl, I’ve dreamt of living in New York City! Ever since the first day I breathed the energy-driven city’s air- many, many years ago, I knew I was destined to live in the Big Apple.
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Sacramento, CA —> New York, NY

A born and bred California girl, I have been working as a bartender for the last ten years. I moved to NYC in 2012 to grow as a hospitality professional. I’ve been fortunate to work and train with some of the best and most talented mixologists, bartenders and chefs.

Now I run a bar program at a Michelin-starred fine dining restaurant here in NYC, where I get to create cocktails with only the best and freshest local ingredients, and using the best spirits from all over the planet. When I’m not working, I’m looking for the next best place to eat, shopping for unique and vintage bar tools, or drinking a nice glass of champagne.

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[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]ALLISON
Delray Beach, Florida —> Rochester, NY
I may be married to my high school sweetheart, but food was my first real love. I was the kid who came to the birthday party for the pizza, not the roller skating (never the roller skating).
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New York, NY

Hey fellow food enthusiasts! I’m Perry, a native New Yorker and still residing in this incredible city where I love to eat out.
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North Carolina Girls

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Katie

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]KATIE 
Raleigh, NC

I am a New England girl who has bounced between Connecticut and North Carolina her whole life! Raised by busy parents and with 3 siblings, we often ate very simple meals together, and would come together on Sundays after church for a big meal.
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Ontario Girls

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Toronto, ON, Canada

Maple syrup…I put that sauce on everything. Just kidding, almost everything. As a small town Canadian girl living just outside of Toronto, I had the pleasure of eating good country meals and city fine dining all of my life.
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Oregon Girls

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Sacramento, CA —> Los Angeles, CA —> Eugene, OR

Whenever asked “What one item would you want with you when trapped on a deserted island?” my answer is always “a wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano”. That’s how much I love cheese.
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Tennessee Girls

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Courtney[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ fixed=”” animation=”” full_height=”” enable_parallax=”” parallax_speed=”0.5″][vc_column_text]CATHERINE COURTNEY
Nashville, TN

Nashville is not limited to honky tonks, hipsters and hot chicken. My name is Catherine Courtney and I am Nashville native here to highlight the culinary delights that my hometown has to offer.
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Nashville, TN

Originally, I’m from a little Kentucky town about two hours away, so Nashville was always the “big city” to go to for nights on the town and special occasions. I moved here a little over five years ago, and, let me tell ya’ll, Nashville is exploding with growth.
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Texas Girls

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[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ fixed=”” animation=”” full_height=”” enable_parallax=”” parallax_speed=”0.5″][vc_column_text]JILLIAN
Austin, TX

I’m a born and bred Texas girl who has resided in the most un-Texas cities, Dallas and now Austin. And also very un-Texas of me, I decided to go vegan in my early 20’s.
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[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]GINGER 
Dallas, TX

My name is Ginger. My mom always says that I eat a lot (every 3 hours) and she’s right, as mothers always are. I’ve grown up with many nicknames (Ginger Bread, Ginger Snaps) but thankfully my close friends and family call me GG!
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Washington Girls

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Nin[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ fixed=”” animation=”” full_height=”” enable_parallax=”” parallax_speed=”0.5″][vc_column_text]NIN
Seattle, WA

My story with food has been complex and varied. I grew up in a mix raced household, with a mom who mastered every type of cuisine that she learned how to cook.
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Seattle, WA

As a Seattle girl with an adventurous palate and a big Italian family who taught me the way around a kitchen, I am passionate about good food and bringing people together around the table. I love hosting girls’ nights and dinner parties, French bakeries, Julia Child, running, yoga, travel, and my two and four-legged family.
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[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_id=”” column_padding=”” full_width_row=”” vertical_center=”” enable_parallax=”” parallax_speed=”0.5″ bg_video_src_mp4=”” bg_video_src_ogv=”” bg_video_src_webm=”” bg_video_overlay_color=”” mouse_scroll=””][vc_column width=”1/4″ fixed=”” animation=”” full_height=”” enable_parallax=”” parallax_speed=”0.5″][vc_column_text]brittaney-picture-at-seattle-fish-guys[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ fixed=”” animation=”” full_height=”” enable_parallax=”” parallax_speed=”0.5″][vc_column_text]BRITTANEY
Seattle, WA
Loving all things food, especially pineapple. I’m the creator of the food blog plentyofpineapples.com. I come from a diverse background of being Thai, Peruvian and Spanish so I love making meals that introduce people to cuisines and flavors they haven’t tried before.
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Washington D.C. Girls

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Jiselle[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ fixed=”” animation=”” full_height=”” enable_parallax=”” parallax_speed=”0.5″][vc_column_text]JISELLE
New York, New York —> Washington D.C.

Growing up, food was the staple for every major event, and my family made it a point to introduce me to many different cuisines. They might also be to blame for my slight obsession with cocktails and small plates.
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Read about more of our Girls…

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GOF Dish and Discuss: The Best Foods You’re Not Eating

Some foods just don’t get the love that they deserve. For some reason, they’re not “hot” at the moment but they’re so good, why would anyone not show them off? We decided to spotlight some of our favorite ethnic food restaurants. We’d love to see these small spots make Instagram posts more often!

Elizabeth – Middle Eastern Food
Hyatt’s Kitchen
11009 Burbank Blvd Suite 117, Hollywood, CA 91601
med
I have been eating Middle Eastern food for most of my life, even though I am pretty much 100% German. My mom lived in Turkey with her first husband and my dad worked in
Saudi Arabia for about a year when I was young, so both my parents have a really healthy appreciation for the cuisine. I remember my dad packing us all up and taking us out for Middle Eastern food as soon as he was back stateside from his work overseas. It became such a staple in our household that I now make Middle Eastern food for Easter every year, which we’ve affectionately dubbed “What Would Jesus Eat?”
Many Middle Eastern restaurants are actually Mediterranean/Arabian hybrids in terms of food, which means there will probably be some familiar dishes and some not-so-familiar dishes! Things like pita bread, hummus, falafel, and tabouli are common in most places (and let’s be real, they’re all delicious). Lamb is a common meat choice, though beef and chicken are pretty typical. Meat is typically served as shawarma (roasted on a spit), kofta kebab (ground meat mixed with spices and then grilled on a skewer) or kibbeh (minced meat in a doughy dumpling). Vegetables like eggplant, okra, and onions are very common with dishes and most grains are either rice or cracked bulgur wheat.Mediteranean
Middle Eastern food also features my absolute favorite kind of rice – saffron rice. I normally don’t care for white rice, but something about basmati rice cooked with little bit of clarified butter (called samna) and the much sought after saffron is just the best side dish to layer some lamb shawarma over.
If you have yet to try Middle Eastern food, I’m going to suggest you jump on Yelp and find somewhere near you to check out- you will be glad you did!

Stephanie – Russian Food
Firebird Russian Restaurant
4715 Manzanita Ave, Carmichael, CA 95608
Firebird Russian
Instinctively, when I hear the word “Russian” I think of SATC and Carrie’s last love before marrying Big! Overly girlie of me, but that is the extent of my Russian knowledge. Well that, and they made/created my favorite libation, Vodka. My ignorance was bliss, until I ate at Firebird Russian! Completely out of my Midtown Sacramento comfort zone, I found myself in the suburb-ish city of Carmichael, squished in between some other non-descript businesses was our lovely little haven of Russian and Ukrainian food. I ordered the Chicken Kiev breaded breast of chicken stuffed with tarragon and parsley butter. I went with Rice and Vegetables side (insert Asian joke). My Kiev was a perfect looking breaded specimen. When I made the first cut juices oozed out onto the plate. It was the perfect blend of breading, moist chicken, tarragon, and melted cheese in the middle (a surprise for sure). The rice was a great compliment to the chicken. There were some veggies and a pretty carrot carved flower that adorned my plate too.

Reno Tastebuds – Ethiopian Food
Zagol’s Ethiopian Restaurant 
855 E 4th St, Reno, NV 89512
Sälam! After giving much thought about what food I believed to be underrated in our country, I decided to take a closer look at the Ethiopian culture.  What does the food consist of? Is it vegetarian? Spicy? My inquiring mind and hungry tummy got the best of me, and before I knew it, I was sitting in Zagol’s Ethiopian Restaurant in downtown Reno.
Ethiopian restaurants are filled with soul and history. The restaurants proudly feature ancient art and jewelry crafted by their ancestors.
EthiopianAll Ethiopian food is served with injera, a traditional Ethiopian flatbread made with teff flour, which is also gluten free. The Doro Wat was a chicken leg simmered in a spicy hot chili pepper sauce with robust spices. It is also served with a hard boiled egg. The Gorad Gorad are cubes of beef lightly sautéed in purified herbal butter and sprinkled with chili pepper. The injera bread is meant to be pulled apart and that is what you use to pick up your food with. The bread is spongy, but acts as a utensil. Don’t use your hands! They will stain orange! I looked like an Oompa Loompa when I was done with stain across my mouth, cheeks and fingers. I guess it’s a great faux tan?
The dish was a beautifully made and served by people who were proud of their culture. I was honored to be educated by these kind folks and would recommend everyone to explore the adventurous world of robust Ethiopian cuisine.

Julianne – Filipino Food
LA Rose Cafe
4749 Fountain Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029
Although I appear to be every “basic white bitch”, I am actually 1/4 Filipino. I’ve always been bummed out to not see delicious Filipino cuisine grace my Instagram and Twitter feeds. My Grandma used to have amazing potlucks in the summer packed with adobo, lumpia and halo halo. I took a stop into one of my favorite Filipino spots, LA Rose Cafe, this week and relived the flavors of my childhood.
LA Rose Cafe has been serving patrons since 1982. The interior has maintained that old school feel of restaurants that opened at that time. The service is so friendly here, you feel like the servers may be cousins of yours (Filipino joke).LA Rose

I got the Beef Mechado, beef simmered in a tomato, garlic and peppercorn sauce, which came with rice and veggies. The beef was stewed to perfection and it had the perfect fat to meat ratio. There was also plenty of peppery sauce to mix in my rice.

 

LA ROSE 2As much as I love my halo halo, I couldn’t resist trying a slice of their Ube Cake. Ube is a purple yam that Filipino cuisine has popularized. Why do Filipinos love it so much? Well, I don’t know. But they add it to EVERYTHING. And it tastes good, so why question it?

 

 

Iman– Afgan Food
De Afghanan

37395 Fremont Blvd, Fremont, CA 94536
If you haven’t had Afghan food, then you need to get in a car, plain, train, or Uber, because the Bay is where it’s at. We have the biggest Afghan population in the country, that the block where these restaurants and markets are clustered at is known as “Little Kabul”. You may have read or seen it in Khaled Hosseini’s novel turned film, The Kite Runner.
My favorite Afghan restaurant is De Afghanan, which originally started out as this tiny little shop next to a now defunct movie theater. I’ve personally enjoyed their food for at least ten years. It started out with basically two tables that were set up with what looked like basically someone’s mom churning out hot, round kababs, fluffy, buttery white rice, and a spicy chickpea-potato salad. It has now expanded to a bigger restaurant next door. Now you can actually sit down with family and friends to take in the murals of Afghanistan and cultural décor. But most importantly, it still tastes like someone’s mom is cooking these amazing kababs. De Afrgan

The things to get if you ever roll through Fremont: First and foremost, the Chapli Kabab. Rather than your typical round kababs that are cooked on skewers, these patty-like kababs are fried in a pan. When served, the beef is crispy and packed with spices when you first bite into it, but they’re not actually spicy, unlike their Indian and Pakistani cousins. Pair it with the white rice and cucumber yogurt, and it’s a trifecta of deliciousness.

De Afrgan 2The perfect appetizer or side dish or next day breakfast meal, is Bolani. It’s a thin flat bread like lavash, only it’s stuffed with potatoes, leeks, and some spices. If you order it to go, it comes in a pizza box, because that’s how much Bolani you get. And you’ll be ecstatic about it. Waking up the next day and eating it with plain Persian or Greek yogurt is the greatest thing in life.

 

 

 

De AfganAnd last, but definitely not least, is Aush soup. I crave this when it’s chilly (which happens often in the Bay Area) or rainy (which doesn’t happen so often anymore) or when I’m sick. It’s the heartiest noodle soup. Ever. It has thick noodles in chicken broth with ground beef, lentils, spices, and yogurt, all topped with mint. Yes, you read right – yogurt. It adds a new layer of creaminess and tang you didn’t even realize you craved until you first taste it.

Sunday Girl: La Petite Creperie (CLOSED) and Mar Vista Farmer’s Market

What’s up Foodies?

The transition from Seattle to LA was a tough one on me and I wasn’t able to get out and enjoy tasty morsels as much as I wanted to. Now that I’m a bit more settled (I’ve got a great day-job and a gym to burn those problematic calories) I can venture out and have some new experiences.
I’m sure some of the readers will disagree with me, but I feel like LA is a bit of an over-rated city when it comes to food. First off, LA is so huge and the traffic gets so crazy, it’s tough to venture out far. I currently live in Venice and the thought of driving to Silverlake to try some of it’s top places seems dreadful. Although I love living on the Westside, it’s easy to get bored with the food here. Santa Monica is too touristy, Venice’s Abbot Kinney is out of my price range (there are some good reasonably priced eats on Main Street which I’ll write about soon) and although I adore cocktails from the Ritz-Carlton in Marina Del Rey, most restaurants have been nothing to write about.
Mar Vista is a small residential and commercial neighborhood West of Venice. It reminds of Downtown Roseville, which is where I grew up, outside of Sacramento. There are cute shops, cafes and restaurants within walking distance of each other on Venice Blvd. Mar Vista seems to have a family/community type feel to it after researching it online. I found a cute Creperie there and I’m becoming a bit of a regular there now. What girl isn’t a sucker for a Provencal-style cafe with a hint of shabby-chic whimsy to it?
La Petite Crêperie (UPDATED 6/10/15 – CLOSED, RIP)
3809 Grand View Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90066

Poulet à La Crème

I was in the mood for a savory crepe and the Poulet à La Crème was just what I needed. This is a different presentation than what I was expecting (ingredients folded into crepe) and I didn’t know it was going to be a Wheat Crepe mix used. Luckily, looks are deceiving because this was just as good as eating a stuffed crepe and the wheat adds a grainy texture that I now prefer over the standard crepe mix. The Crème Fraîche sauce is very rich and seemed to have a great white wine taste to it. The Chicken is also perfectly cooked and soaks up the Crème Fraîche sauce. There’s also enough sauce to mix into the mixed green salad it comes with.
A la Banane
The second time I went it I asked the server what the most popular item outside of crepes was and he recommended the A la Banane; which is French Toast smothered in a Brown Sugar and dark Rum sauce, topped with Bananas, Hazelnuts and imported Marscarpone cheese. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but how could I resist this? It’s like a breakfast version of Banana’s Foster. This was very delicious but I think it covered a year worth of sweets for me. Their menu is online and I’m looking forward to trying the Pommes and the Saumon Fumé.
 Blue Flowers – From Mar Vista Farmer’s Market
Mar Vista Farmer’s Market 
Sundays, 9 AM – 2 PM

Grand View Ave and Venice Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006

One thing I really miss about Sacramento and Seattle are their great Farmer’s Markets. It’s a Sunday morning tradition for me; eat a good meal, get fresh local produce and if I have a few extra bucks, some pretty flowers. It’s also fun to build bonds with the vendors so they hook you up with the best items. In LA, most people flock to the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market on Wednesday mornings. I find it incredibly over-whelming. There are way too many people and vendors crammed together- I get claustrophobic! I also heard a story about a person driving through the market and injuring people. I know it’s an irrational fear, but…
I recently discovered the Mar Vista Farmer’s Market (http://www.marvistafarmersmarket.org/) and it has become my Sunday morning ritual. The Farmers are very friendly and they offer plenty of samples. In addition to farmers, there are plenty of activities to keep kids busy and cute kitchen accessories, there are also a lot of food vendors with plenty of hot goodies you can munch on while shopping. A few of my favorite things are below.
Ring Baked Tofu Donuts
I’m going bonkers trying to find any contact info for this business! Such a shame because the Red Velvet was so delicious. Ever since I started working behind the camera donuts have been my enemy. They’re usually greasy and gross. These baked Tofu Donuts where light, lightly sweet and don’t weigh you down after consumption. If anyone out there has contact info for this business let me know. I want to try the Green Tea donut.
Dairy Goddess Farmstead Cheese
I tried them all and not only are all of them fantastic spreads THEY’RE ALL UNDER 30 CALORIES PER SERVING!!!!!!!
I never thought I’d see the day I’d post low-calorie food but I guess there’s a first time for everything. The kind gentleman working the stand started me on the Naked spread, so I could taste the base, a savory Fromage Blanc. Then he had me try all of them. I walked with the “The Valley”, which is a spread with Peaches, Almonds and sweetened with Honey. This is a great addition to Non-Fat Greek Yogurt and to dip your Strawberries in. I also walked with the “Ol West” spread with bits of real bacon and ranch flavoring. I have used this spread to dip Bellpeppers in but it’s also perfect (and guilt-free) on-top of a baked potato.
MASA – Artisan Gourmet Tamales
I picked up a bag of MASA’s Goat Cheese Corn and Jalapeno Tamales but was a little concerned they’d dry out when I tried to heat them up. What I did was put the tamales (keep corn wrapper on) on a plate and put about 2 tablespoons of water on the plate. Also, lightly dampen a paper towel and wrap it around the plate. This way it steams in the microwave and keeps all the flavors succulent inside. The Goat Cheese was a bit of a risk since I am so used to a traditional Mole or Verde mixture inside. These were great tamales though and can’t wait to pick up the Spicy Chickpeas and Guatemalan Rice Tamales next trip.