Girls on Food

Breakfast

Everything’s Peachy with Dawn

peach, mozzarella, basil, summer saladPeach season is in full swing. I prefer to wait until freestone peaches are available before I shop. I do not have the time OR the patience for the cling style. Too much waste. I always buy a half bushel. I freeze 2/3 of the bushel. I peel and slice the peaches then lay them on a cookie sheet and freeze them. After the individual slices are frozen, I transfer them to a freezer bag. I can then grab what I need! Here are just a few of my favorite peach recipes. Enjoy!

Peachy Caprese Salad
Servings: 1

Ingredients:
1 peach, peeled and cut into dice-sized pieces
1-2 ounces fresh mozzarella
2-3 fresh basil leaves, torn
Balsamic glaze, drizzle

Gently toss the peaches, mozzarella, and basil. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and enjoy.
Options:
Add some vine ripe tomatoes.
Replace basil leaves with mint.

green tea, peach, smoothie, healthy, summerPeachy Green Tea Smoothie
Servings: 1

Ingredients:
1 cup brewed and chilled green tea
1 peach, peeled and sliced
1/2 banana, frozen
1 tsp. agave nectar

Place all ingredients in a blender and blender until smooth.
Options:
Replace 1/2 cup green tea with 1/2 cup greek yogurt.
Add one scoop of vanilla protein powder.
Add one tsp of ground flax seed.

peach, almond, crisp

Smitten Kitchen’s Almond-Crisped Peaches
Serves: 8

Ingredients:
4 ripe peaches
1/3 cup almond flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp. cold unsalted butter cubed
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut peaches in half and discard the pit. Put peaches, cut side up, in a low-sided baking dish. Stir together almond flour, sugar, and cinnamon until combined. Add butter and combine with other ingredients with a fork or in a food processor. Spoon the mixture into the center of each peach and press flat. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the tops are crisped and fork tender.

I eat these babies for breakfast with an egg and a slice of toasted raisin bread or for dinner next to a yummy pork chop.
peach, almond, cinnamon

peach chutney, summer recipe

The Porch Restaurant’s Peach Chutney
from Southern Living Off the Beaten Path Second Helpings
Servings: 2 cups

Ingredients:
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1 tbsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. ground pepper
1 tsp. ground red pepper
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
3 cups peeled and diced fresh peaches

Saute onion, bell pepper and garlic in the oil over medium heat until onion is translucent. Add brown sugar, black pepper and ground red pepper. Continue to cook for another 8 to 10 minutes until it begins to thicken. Add vinegar and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and fold in peaches. Process half of the mixture with an immersion blender. Stir the pureed mixture into the remaining peach mixture. Put in another bowl and chill for at least 2 hours.

The Porch serves this with fresh burrata and garlic toast. This chutney is good on everything! I have even put it on ice cream.

Jillian’s Gluten Free Banana Chia Pancakes

gluten free banana chia pancakes

I always thought pancakes were these elusive, complicated and hard to make breakfast foods and that’s why everyone always used Bisquick ?

It wasn’t until last year that I realized they are really simple to make in a healthy and entirely vegan/gluten free/delicious manner. I pretty much stick with the same recipe I use when making muffins because it works (and I’m lazy).

These Gluten Free Banana Chia Pancakes have 9 ingredients and in 4 easy steps you can have filling, moist pancakes topped with all the fresh fruit, nuts, coconut flakes, goji berries, maple syrup and chocolate chips you want. Plus, I have a trick for making one batch of pancakes at the beginning of the week that will last you several mornings because my laziness has made me resourceful ?

vegan pancakes

Here are the DRY ingredients you will need:

  • 2 cups brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • pinch of salt

Stir all dry ingredients together in a large bowl and get out any clumps.

Here are the WET ingredients you will need:

  • 2 tbsp vegan butter, melted
  • 2 sliced bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups soy milk (or any non-dairy milk)

Optional: semisweet chocolate chips or any other add-ins.

In a separate smaller bowl, use a fork to mash up the bananas. Add in the butter, vanilla extract, and soy milk. Mix thoroughly.

Add your wet mixture to the dry and combine everything together, stirring until you have a smooth batter. Add chocolate chips or any other desired add-ins at this point.

Heat a little coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Pour batter into whatever sizes or shapes you want and cook until golden brown on both sides.

Top with coconut flakes, fresh fruit, nuts, goji berries, maple syrup, vegan butter or ALL OF THE ABOVE.

banana chia pancakes

BONUS! What’s my super awesome trick for extending the life of pancakes? Usually, I will cut this recipe in half when I make it in the morning. I use up maybe a third of the batter making a couple of smaller pancakes. I put the remaining batter in an airtight container and the next morning I add a little water to the mixture because it thickens in the fridge. Then I make a couple more pancakes, put the rest of the batter in the fridge and repeat the process. The batter will last me 4-5 days until I’ve my fill of pancakes ?

Pancakes 4 lyfe.

Jillian ?

Celebrate Bastille Day at La Madeleine Country French Cafe!

Happy Bastille Day!

What better way to honor this French national holiday, which celebrates the unity of the French people after the storming of the Bastille, then enjoying its rich culture and culinary delicacies!

If you are looking for a place to indulge in French-inspired cuisine or want to feel whisked away to the French countryside today, then La Madeleine Country French Cafe should be on the top of your list.

La Madeleine Country French Cafe

Various Locations
http://www.lamadeleine.com


To celebrate Bastille Day, La Madeleine will be offering a free mini Liberté Tart all day today.

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The Liberté Tart has fresh blueberries, raspberries, and whipped cream, to represent the blue, red and white of the French flag. There is no purchase necessary, just simply request your free tart and enjoy!

However, while you’re there, you shouldn’t just stop at dessert. La Madeleine also offers breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, as well as wine, which is important because French food should always be accompanied with wine, in my humble opinion.

When I visited La Madeleines location in Alexandria, VA, not only was I able to grab my free Liberté tart (they also offered this promo on the 4th of July) but I was also able to try their new French Tartine Trio sandwiches, and of course topped my meal off with a glass of Rosé. I couldn’t pass up on Rosé!

The French Tartine Trio sandwiches are three open-faced sandwiches. One had chicken & goat cheese; another had Roasted Vegetable and the third ham & swiss. They were each baked on herb ciabatta bread and paired with a Cranberry Pecan Salad. Each sandwich was better than the last and perfectly flavored. I remember being slightly bummed when I finished because there was no more left. That could be the fatty in me, but I’m almost positive it was mostly because the dish was excellent!

My husband had the Chicken Friand,  a puff pastry with balsamic chicken and mushroom filling topped with wild mushroom sauce, which was to…die…for. Of course, I couldn’t snap a picture because he eats so fast, but I was able to try it, and it did not disappoint. The pastry melted in your mouth, and the flavors of the balsamic chicken and mushroom sauce combined were out of this world!

The delicious French inspired dishes coupled with the casual countryside decor makes La Madeleine an excellent choice to celebrate today’s holiday.

So, make sure while you’re out celebrating Bastille Day today, that you stop by one of La Madeleines locations for your free Liberté tart and a sure to be filling, relaxing, magnifique breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Brunch at Spear Steak & Seafood House in DTLA

My favorite meal of the day is breakfast, but I never have time to eat a proper breakfast during the week because I’m too busy. I always look forward to the weekend when I can indulge in a savory or perhaps a sweet breakfast. So when I found out that Girls on Food got invited to the preview the new brunch menu at Spear Steak & Seafood House, I got pretty excited.

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Spear Steak & Seafood House
800 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90017
http://www.spearrestaurant.com

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Spear Steak & Seafood House is located in the heart of the Financial District in downtown Los Angeles. The restaurant has high ceilings, and the décor is modern and stylish with a beautiful open kitchen. The outdoor patio has a very inviting and relaxed vibe. It feels like a lounge ideal to hang out and catch up with your friends.

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Spear Steak & Seafood House is now offering a super delicious brunch. The portions are generous, so it is perfect to order a couple of dishes and share a meal family style with your friends. They also have bottomless mimosas at a very reasonable price, and they keep their promise I was never able to see the bottom of my glass.

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For our brunch my friend and I decided to share the Ricotta Blueberry Pancakes and as you can image they were so good. You could taste the Ricotta and blueberries, and best of all the pancakes had a perfect consistency. They came with Berkshire maple syrup and a fruit salad.

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We also had the Crab Benedict. This was not your average Benedict, it came with poached eggs, a lovely hollandaise sauce and jumbo crab cakes. The crab cakes which are made with real fresh crab meat were perfection. The Benedicts came with a side of roasted fingerling potatoes.

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I enjoyed the brunch at Spear Steak & Seafood House, and I would gladly come back for brunch or dinner to continue exploring the menu. The servers were super friendly as well and next time I come back, I will sit on the patio to enjoy the DTLA view.

Julianne’s Top 5 Honolulu, Hawaii Favorites

Aloha, foodies!

I just got back from my trip to Honolulu, Hawaii and I think it’s safe to say… I need to go on a juice cleanse. The food was so delicious; I couldn’t help but savor every moment! Below are my top 5 favorite foods from my trip:

Honorable Mentions:

Germaine’s Luau
Reservation required: http://germainesluau.com

IMG_8492I think everyone should attend one luau in their lifetime. Since this was my 12-year-old niece Sydney’s first trip to the island, we felt we had to take her to one. Germaine’s Luau honors Hawaiian traditions very well.

Cons: It’s packed with tourists, and you sit at communal tables (which means forced conversations with strangers).  It requires a rush hour bus ride where your participation is encouraged by the escort (again, forced conversations with strangers) and I can’t say the food was up to par with restaurants featured below.

They also insist you try poi. I’d never decline the chance to try traditional island eats, out of respect… but yikes. I can’t even. Poi is basically a goopy gravy made from the stem of a taro plant. It’s cold and weird and even when you mix it with other foods, it’s just one big NOPE. The most bizarre thing is that I’ve had taro several times in desserts, so how can something so right as a dessert, taste so wrong as poi?

Pros: The live show entertainment was awesome! It’s hula dancing, and they bring out fire dancers! Sydney even went up on stage to dance with them! There’s beautiful live music, the host of the show is great and our escort, Georgie, was very entertaining on the ride over. She made getting through rush hour traffic much more pleasant.

The Kalua pork was cooked in the traditional imu, which an underground style oven. There is something very special about seeing the roasted pig raised from underground. Traditional Kalua pork is not sold commercially in any other state except Hawaii, so I made sure to savor every bite of it.

M. Matsumoto Shave Ice
66-087 Kamehameha Hwy #605, Haleiwa, HI 96712
http://matsumotoshaveice.com

I’ve had a lot of bad shave ice in my life. They were just too syrupy, too sweet, too messy, it was never really my thing. I’ll be honest with you foodies; I didn’t even want to order anything when we got here.

IMG_8493Holy cow, I would’ve missed out on the best shave ice ever. I’m convinced it’s the best shave ice ever because I’ve never seen it prepared this way (note: I’m from California and part Filipino. Sorry, no one around me ever got this right).

I got the lychee flavor with a coconut cream. Mind blowing. The lychee flavor tasted refreshing and not artificial (although it may be). The syrup pour size was the right amount and didn’t overkill those last ice bites. But the coconut cream added a milky richness to it that I haven’t experienced with shave ice.

 

To view a video of shave ice in the making, click here.

5.) Island Vintage Coffee
2301 Kalakaua Avenue #C215 Honolulu, HI 96815
https://islandvintagecoffee.com/

IMG_7651Despite having such a lackluster experience with the taro based terror, poi, earlier, I heard rave reviews about the Island Taro coffee-free blended drink. Now, I’m a black coffee kind of gal. I’m not really one for sweets (I especially hate Starbucks Frappuccinos) so I wasn’t sure I’d be into it.

I was so wrong. I’m convinced this drink is made from the Hawaiian gods and delivered to us by hula dancing angels. It tastes like exactly like cake batter. Like an addictive cake batter that you can just drink down. I didn’t feel dehydrated or gross after it either. It’s just absolute heaven in a cup. It’s a must-try, and they have multiple locations, see website.

4.) Sweet E’s Cafe
1006 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

When I think of Hawaiian food, for some reason I recollect Adam Sandler trying to woo Drew Barrymore in 50 First Dates. Remembering this scene made me crave pancakes, French Toast, and SPAM. Sweet E’s was recommended to me by a few locals, and when I saw owner Ethel Mathews graced the cover of Hawaii Business Magazine, I knew I had to drop in for a bite. I’m all about supporting #girlpower.

sweet eThat bite ended up with me ordering a full meal and a pancake on the side. And was a lovely overestimation of hunger it was! My mom and Sydney and I just ended up chowing down on each other’s plates, cause everything was so good!

I feel like this image reeks “This is why you’re fat”, but here’s what we had starting from the bottom left:

Blueberries and cream cheese French toast, side of Canadian bacon, side of banana pancake, Portuguese sausage, Everyday Breakfast with Kalua Pork and Kalua Pork Benedict.

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The Kalua Pork Benedict was my favorite item. The eggs were poached to a runny perfection, and the hollandaise sauce had the right amount of lemony tang to pair with the shredded pork. The blueberries and cream cheese French toast was also creamy, dreamy and sweet.

You can view video food porn of this dish by clicking here.

3.) Koko Head Cafe
1145 C 12th Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816
http://kokoheadcafe.com

IMG_8491This island style brunch spot is another recommendation from to me by friends. And it just so happens to be another female-ran business, the owner is TV personality and Chef Lee Anne Wong.

Warning: The cocktail I got was a special, so it may or may not be available. Sorry readers, I hate doing that, but I cannot turn down a Coconut Margarita. I’m a big fan of Pina Coladas (and getting caught in the rain), so if I see coconut as the main ingredient in a cocktail, I’m all over it. I especially loved the toasted coconut rim.

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Oh boy. Cornflake French Toast. Topped with bacon and a Frosted Flakes gelato. I had to. It just sounded so ridiculous, and it was ridiculously delicious. The Cornflakes on the outside of the French Toast as crispy and buttery. And the bacon adds a savory bite to it. I think it should be mandatory to have gelato melting on top of all French Toasts from now on. This has risen the bar for French Toast so high; I don’t know if I can go back to anything else now.

You can see video food porn of Koko Head Cafe by clicking here.

2.) The Pig and The Lady
83 N King St, Honolulu, HI 96815
http://thepigandthelady.com

When you’re in Honolulu, you have to walk down Chinatown; the stretch features many restaurants, galleries, and shops.

Golden PigThe Pig and the Lady is owned by Honolulu-born chef Andrew Le, a James Beard Foundation Rising of the Year Semifinalist. His influence for The Pig and the Lady comes from his mother’s Vietnamese heritage. And, fun fact, she is the Lady reference in the title. I’m a big fan of Vietnamese food, so I was very excited for this lunch.

But first, drinks! I ordered the Golden Pig, herbs, lemon and sparkling rosé. I’m a sucker for anything with rosé so, of course, this was my choice, and it doesn’t disappoint.

Pate

We started with the Vietnamese pate chaud, a flaky, croissant-like puff pastry stuffed with savory pate. This French-Vietnamese treat is a perfect start to the meal.

pho french dip

My entree choice was the Pho French Dip, beef brisket roasted for 12 hours, glazed with P&L BBQ sauce, Thai basil chimichurri, charred bean sprouts, and onions and a load of cilantro. Every item in this sandwich contributes its unique flavor, and it’s not overwhelming in any way. The flavors play together beautifully. The pho broth on the side is meaty with a light essence of herb. This is one of those dishes I’ll never forget!

Click here to see more food from The Pig and the Lady here.

1.) Mahina & Sun’s
412 Lewer’s St, Honolulu, HI 96815
http://surfjack.com

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Mahina & Sun’s, well-known Honolulu local Ed Kenney’s fourth restaurant, is fresh to the Honolulu scene. It’s located in the recently opened Surfjack Hotel, which is close to Waikiki Beach.

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Mr. Pink

Surfjack Hotel has this kitch, vintage-inspired feel to it and I will for sure be booking a room there on my next trip. I feel in love with the pool that reads “wish you were here” on the flooring. That cute, mid-century-hip look extends into the restaurant as well.

Everything was phenomenal. That starts with my first cocktail, the Mr. Pink. Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin, Lillet, Yellow Chartreuse, Dry Curacao, lemon, egg white and rose flower water. It’s tart but has a mellow creaminess to it from the egg whites foam. I could sip on this and sit by the pool all day long.

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Shinsato pork pate

The first snack was a Shinsato pork pate, which was whipped to perfection. The dip-ready sides were pickled veggies, buttered and toasted sweet bread and a (so delish) mango mostarda, which is like candied fruit with a mustard syrup. Mostarda may sound a little odd to some of our foodie readers, but you have to try it. I just wish the portion was a little bigger.

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I’m known for getting pizza in whatever part of the world I’m in. I’d order pizza in Pakistan if I ever went. So although Hawaii isn’t quite known for perfecting pizza, we ordered a great one here. The Naked Pig Pizza is a thin crust pizza topped with Naked Cow cheese (fun fact: the only dairy farm in O’ahu),  bacon and maui onion. This results in a light but lovely pizza. We also tried the Sweet Land Farm chèvre beignets, which have a borderline doughy hush puppy consistency to them, so don’t expect a light NOLA style beignet.

M&S4My favorite dish was the Grilled He’e (aka octopus) & watercress salad, with ricotta, potato, green olive, and dill. The flavors together work perfectly, and it’s also a beautiful dish to gaze upon.

The dessert menu looked amazing, but I ended the dinner with The Lavender Rub, a cocktail with Tullamore Dew, Amaro Montenegro, Lustau East India Sherry, Femet and lavender bitters. There’s no better way to end the night than with a strong, floral cocktail- and this hit the spot!

I loved the use of local ingredients and unexpected flavors. I know it’s new to the Waikiki scene, but I highly recommend trying Mahina & Sun’s out!

You can watch a little video on dinner at Mahina & Sun’s here.

Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to Girls on Food on Youtube: http://youtube.com/c/girlsonfoodnet

Christina and Julianne’s Brunch at Cuvee in Beverly Hills

Christina and I had a beautiful brunch at Cuvee in Beverly Hills, and I wanted to share that experience with you! If this place looks familiar, it may be because it has been featured on Dancing with the Stars, Keeping Up With the Kardashians and The Hills.

Cuvee
145 S. Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90048
http://mycuvee.com

 

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CuveeBrunch (22 of 27)One thing I really appreciate about Cuvee is that right when you walk in, not only are you greeted by a lovely hostess, but there is a decent selection of retail bottles of rosé wine to take home! They also had my personal favorite rosé, Whispering Angel, which I made sure to purchase a bottle of before leaving.

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The inside has an adorable shabby chic vibe, but it was such a beautiful day, we decided to sit on the patio.

CuveeBrunch (23 of 27)They also have a full deli counter with goodies to take home as well.

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In classic “ladies who brunch” style, we started with a round of mimosas.

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We decided to split the Breakfast Chicken Tamale. Which came with two ample sized chicken tamales and two sunny side up eggs, the Ancho sauce was perfect because it had a light kick that didn’t overwhelm the dish. And of course, I love adding an extra egg yolk to make it even more decadent, so the eggs were a great pairing for me.

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Then we decided to split something sweeter. The Blueberry and Lemon Curd French Toast is considered one of the favorites here and I can taste why! It’s buttery, tart and sweet. So amazing. And the crispiness from the fried edges with the sweetness makes it even more tantalizing. So good.

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In addition to these items they have a full menu featuring more traditional Brunch item but these are our top choices. This is a perfect place for a #sundayfunday Girl’s Brunch! Can’t wait to come back!

Cuvée Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Santa Monica’s New Classic: Ingo’s Tasty Diner

ingos signPhotos from Ingo’s Tasty Diner have been popping up on our Instagram feed a lot lately. And I’ve been salivating over their posts. I have always been a fan of traditional American comfort food so to see their menu items and how they incorporate ingredients fresh from the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market, I knew I had to make a stop in there, so I popped in for their weekend brunch.

Ingo’s Tasty Diner
1213 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403
http://ingostastydiner.com

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Fun fact, this is Historical Landmark for Santa Monica, dating back to 1946

While the name Ingo’s Tasty Diner may have you thinking of a “greasy spoon”, that is so not what you’re walking into. The interior has that American diner feel, but with a modern somewhat minimalist touch. It’s kitsch but not in a cheesy way, in the way that makes me look up and think “I’d love those lights in my house.” It’s a similar feel to their sister restaurant The Misfit in Santa Monica. They’re perfectly neighbored to longtime Santa Monica favorite Vienna Pastry, which has been in business since 1957.

 

Top 3 Reasons To Adore Ingo’s Tasty Diner 

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One Night in Babylon

1.) The first thing you have to know about Ingo’s is that they have a happy hour every day until 7 PM. This happy hour knocks the price on their signature cocktails down to only $6. That’s BONKERS! In the best possible way.

2.) The second factoid is that while you’re dining if you post an image of one of their cocktails on Instagram (with tag and check-in) they will bring you another cocktail on the house. I put that to the test, and it worked! So this was the boozy brunch for me! I recommend showing the server proof of the post on your IG.

3.) And for a limited time, if you tell your server you heard about Ingo’s from Girls on Food, they will bring you a complimentary Grilled Cheese Sandwich of the day (with the purchase of a meal)! So you better be sure to note that Girls on Food sent you, or you’re going to miss out!
(Offer expires 6/10/16) 

ingo grilled cheese

Foodies, their Grilled Cheese sando is off the hook! The one I had (rotates different toppings daily) was with rustic seeded sourdough bread. It had gooey, melted Wisconsin cheddar cheese and housemade strawberry preserves in the middle. Like most Americans, a grilled cheese just really reminds of my childhood, and I feel like when I take that bite, I’m a kid again! But the ingredients are elevated, so I’m like a more sophisticated version of childhood me.

ingos bobbyThe first cocktail I ordered was the Bobby Love: St. George green chile vodka, green juice, and lime. Since all the items are farm to fork, the green juice was made to order, so be prepared to wait a moment longer for this one. It’s one of the freshest cocktails I’ve ever had and that slight kick from the chile solidifies the awesomeness of this drink. Cheers!

Since I was juicing with my cocktail, I decided to have a healthy start and the Caramelized Grapefruit just spoke to me. My mom used to bake a grapefruit half in the toaster oven when I was a kid but (not offense mom) this is such an improved version. At Ingo’s, the sugar on the grapefruit is torched to that famous creme brûlée stiffness and adds a sweet smokiness to it.

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My second cocktail was the One Night in Babylon: Ophir gin, cucumber, and Za’Atar. This was another light refreshing cocktail, but I wasn’t expecting the tang that the Za’Atar (a Middle Eastern herb) garnish provides.

The Crispy Chicken and Crepes on the menu caught my eye right away. I’ve noticed LA spots are stepping up their “Chicken and (insert carb here)” game, so I obviously had to give this one a whirl, and I’m blown away with this dish.

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As opposed to other LA “Chicken and (insert carb here)” dishes, this one doesn’t aim to be savory. It’s a sweeter dish; it’s topped with fresh fruit and honey. But the thin crepes are pretty genius because they don’t leave you with an awful overstuffed feeling in your gut. The portion size is perfect and kudos to them for really trying something different. The fried chicken breast is crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside. This dish is a must-try!

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ingos shak 2I also ordered the Shakshuka, another item I’m starting to see on many LA menus. For those not familiar with Shakshuka, it’s a Middle Eastern dip dish. It is served in a hot cast iron skillet, a tomato based sauce and is baked with eggs; you consume by dipping toast and scooping out the gravy and toppings. At Ingo’s, the Shakshuka is topped with lebni (kefir cheese) and their housemade merguez (lamb sausage). It’s a savory dish; the tomatoes are plump, and the lamb is mild.

 

And because it was a true #SundayFunday, we had to get dessert. My boyfriend’s all-time favorite dessert is the Banana Cream Pie at The Apple Pan, so when he heard they have one here too, we had to try and compare.

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Conclusion? They’re different but equally great. I prefer Ingo’s banana cream pie because I prefer a graham cracker crust over a traditional pie crust. The chocolate shavings were also a bonus for me.

There you have it. I think this is the one restaurant that hits that “comfort food” sensory in me and each item takes me back to my roots in a lovely way. With its old school vibe, farm to table freshness, American diner-inspired dishes and a happy hour till 7 pm daily; Ingo’s will be a fun one to watch gain a cult following in LA.

To see a video of my brunch experience at Ingo’s Tasty Diner, go here and SUBSCRIBE!

Ingo's Tasty Diner Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Plant Based Desserts in Orlando: Valhalla Bakery at Market on South

Valhalla Bakery at Market on South
2603 E South St, Orlando, FL 32803
http://www.marketonsouth.com/

Market on South is an indoor, vegan farmer’s market in the outskirts of downtown Orlando. The facility itself is impressive, with locally made sauces, decorative items and soaps for sale. Out front is an urban farm and covered tables to enjoy your food.

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Chocolate and Rosewater Ganache cake

I had a slice of the most beautiful Chocolate and Rosewater Ganache cake. It was garnished with dried rose petals and metallic sprinkles. The ganache was rich and the rosewater gave the cake a refreshing taste.

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Pistachio and Rosewater donut

The stars of Valhalla Bakery are the homemade donuts at the shop. A specific amount of assorted flavors are made every morning, and the limited quantity makes them a hot commodity. Flavors range from traditional sprinkled donuts to pistachio and rosewater combinations.

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We left with Raspberry Sprinkle, Salted Caramel Pretzel, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Thin Mint donuts. Each one was better than the next! I’m a sucker for the salty/sweet combo, so the Salted Caramel Pretzel was my favorite. They were perfect for sharing because they were best eaten with a fork and knife.

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Be sure to buy one of the pressed juices to wash down your pastry or to save for later. The market opens at 9 am, but arrive before 11 am to snag a donut!
Market On South Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Make Out in Culver City: Our Favorite Plant-Based Cafe

To the surprise of some of you I truly and madly love vegetables. It almost feels funny to say it out loud; I know you guys don’t picture me as the kind of girl that eats her greens but because my favorite plant-based restaurant is celebrating their first year I wanted to share with all of you this little piece of healthy heaven.

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Make Out Culver City
9426 West Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232
http://www.makeouteveryday.com

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Make Out is located in a 1920s building in the heart of Culver City. The place is modern chic and what I like the most is that it has a very inviting café vibe. It has an array of big tables and -be warned- once you hit the couch you will not want to leave. The menu is full of healthy nutritious food mostly vegan and raw, and you will be able to enjoy juices, smoothies and/or a full meal. The beauty of it is that it doesn’t matter what you eat either way you will be doing your body a favor.

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To start my meal, I ordered the Kombucha. It was fizzy, refreshing and came in a bunch of flavors I had pineapple. And the special of the day: the Nachos Fiesta. The Nachos were made with blue corn tortillas, vegan cheese and pico de gallo. I think that they should add the Nachos permanently on the menu because they were so tasty.

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After that, I wanted to try some of the soups. And because I’m a good Mexican, the first soup I tried was the bean soup. Let me tell you it was so comforting; there is nothing like having freshly made bean soup when it’s cold in LA. Then I had the Squash soup. It had crunchy pepitas on top, and it was so incredibly creamy that it is hard to believe that it was dairy-free.

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From the small plates section on the menu, I decided to have the Spicy Carrot Roll made with nori better known as seaweed, jalapeño “cream cheese”, cucumber and avocado. What an inspiring take on sushi! It was soft on the outside and crunchy on the inside. The plate was not only beautiful, but the roll tasted splendid.

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I proceeded to try the flatbreads. I went with the Pizza flatbread that has Sundried Marinara, Pistachio Pesto, and Macadamia Ricotta. I’m telling you that Ricotta tasted like the real deal!! Followed by the Fennel flatbread. This one has baba ganoush, mint, lemon, and capers. Both of the flatbreads were delicious, but I was particularly taken with the Fennel flatbread. I I have never had a flatbread like that, it was good simple ingredients in a very innovative way.

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To end my meal I wanted to try the Kelp bowls. So what is this Kelp thing? It is a kind of brown seaweed that is super high in nutrients. Best of all it is fat-free and gluten-free. Kelp is typically referred as noodles although they don’t taste or feel like pasta. I love them, so I tried the Almond Kelp bowl that comes with kelp noodles, carrot, lime, ginger and spicy Almond. As soon as I tasted it, the first thought that crossed my mind was Pad Thai. It tasted like the healthy version of that. Then I had the Pepper Kelp Bowl. It has black pepper, olive crumb, and snap peas. I had not had this one before, and it was delicious. It tasted like the best Alfredo pasta (minus all the fat and carbs) that you’ve ever had; it was creamy, complex and so savory. I was so impressed with this bowl.

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I was super lucky because I got to try the new desserts that are coming soon to the menu thank you Make Out. First, I had the Raw Cheesecake Fudge. This little beauty is dipped in raw cacao. And it tastes just like it sounds: amazing. And then I had the Coconut Chocolate Hazelnut Mouse. Creamy, chocolaty, nutty…it was gorgeous. I can only describe it by how I felt and I was invaded by deep sadness when I had the last scoop. I just didn’t want it to end.

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As you can see, I completely pigged out at Make Out. To be honest, there is not a thing on the menu that isn’t exciting. The food is healthy, flavorful and very creative. Best of all you are doing something good for your body every time you eat like this. I am so happy that Make Out is celebrating its anniversary I wish them many successful and healthy years!

Brunch at The Briarpatch Restaurant in Winter Park, FL

The Briarpatch Restaurant
252 Park Avenue N., Winter Park, FL 32789
http://www.thebriarpatchrestaurant.com/

IMG_5384The Briarpatch is synonymous with the word “brunch” in Winter Park. It is a staple on Park Avenue and offers contemporary comfort food in a charming, southern setting. The outside seating is relaxed and under a covered patio. Inside, however, is exciting and bustling, with separate dining and bakery areas.

I met my grandmother last weekend to have brunch at our favorite Sunday spot. Even on the weekdays, it is best to have a reservation at The Briarpatch, or you may find yourself window shopping on Park Avenue while you wait for a table.

 

 

IMG_5390After a long week of junk food in the library, I decided to order something off the Heart Healthy menu. While ignoring the giant cakes and ice cream on display was hard, my Egg White, Tomato, and Basil Omelet was delicious and filling. The fresh tomatoes and basil were sautéed perfectly so that they were both juicy and crunchy. Melted Parmigiano Reggiano cheese made me forget how healthy the meal was.

 

IMG_5391The Briarpatch is known for their fresh, fluffy pancakes. Rich flavor combinations and homemade whipped cream topping set these pancakes apart from any other. My grandmother ordered her usual, Raspberry Lemon Cream pancakes, topped with fresh raspberries and whipped cream. They were thick, moist, and the lemon cream added a deliciously tart kick.

 

The Briarpatch is consistent and comfortable. There are plenty of tourists, but it’s also the preferred brunch spot of Rollins Students and Winter Park locals alike. I suggest going home with a slice of the rich and creamy peanut butter pie or the towering red velvet cake. You will not be disappointed!
Briarpatch Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

How To Poach An Egg Without Crying Or Calling Your Mother

Nobody panic.

You’ve seen them glistening atop avocado toast or completing a particularly sexy egg and bacon sandwich. You’ve ooh’d and ahh’d over their perfectly runny yolks enhanced by Instagram filters and ideal lighting, and read dozens of articles on how to properly cook them. But the fact remains: poaching an egg is an intimidating task, even for the most savvy of home cooks. Just the name – ‘poached’ egg – conjures up images of Ina Garten, bathed in a holy white light, coaxing idyllic farm-fresh eggs into a gently swirling pot while Vivaldi plays soothingly in the background. It brings to mind Julia and Jacques laughing conspiratorially over succulent salmon and pears poached in red wine, delighted to hold the secret to one of the more impressive culinary tricks. Who am I, you ask yourself, a mere mortal, to attempt that level of egg greatness? Never fear: even the most timid of cooks can poach an egg without dissolving into tears or existential crises.
Poaching an egg is a deceptively easy skill masquerading as a difficult test of cooking prowess. By following these simple steps, you will soon be able to poach an egg without the slightest pang of anxiety.

Step 1 – Admit Your Fear
Eggs, like wolves and babies, can smell fear. The first step to successfully poaching an egg is to take a deep breath and accept your trepidation. Though harrowing visions of broken yolks and waterlogged scrambled eggs haunt you, you must set aside your fears and set your sights on victory. You can and will overcome your egg-related terror, so dig deep and uncover your culinary confidence.

Step 2 – Ready the Troops
In order to poach an egg, you will need a functional stove and the following:

• A wide pot that you would trust with your life, filled with 3 to 4 inches of water.
• One or more eggs, depending on your needs and level of confidence.
• 1 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar.
• A bowl or measuring cup.
• A slotted spoon.
And, finally:
• The courage of a thousand men.

Once you’ve gathered the aforementioned supplies, you may move on to the next step.

Step 3 – Prep
Set your pot, filled with 3 to 4 inches of water, over medium high heat. You are waiting to see small bubbles that indicate simmering. Under no circumstances should the water be brought to a boil! You may salt the water if you like, but it isn’t necessary.
While your water is coming to a gentle simmer, crack an egg into your bowl or measuring cup. There’s no need to season it at this point – that comes later.
When you see tiny bubbles rising in your pot of water, i.e. a light simmer, it’s go time. Proceed – with caution! – to the next step.

Step 4 – Splish Splash, An Egg in a Bath
Take one tablespoon of white distilled vinegar and add it to the pot of simmering water. This step is crucial, as the acid from the vinegar aids in coagulation, and holds the egg together in a perfectly plump, poached package.
Once the vinegar is added, take your bowl or measuring cup with the egg and get it as near to the water as you can without submerging it or scalding your hand. Slowly and carefully slide the egg into the water. Don’t dump it carelessly, take your time and insure that it has a gentle descent into its bath.
As soon as the egg is in the water, you must spring into action! Take your slotted spoon and, without actually touching the egg, gently stir around the inside edge of the pot until a whirlpool is created. This action is vital because it wraps the white of the egg around itself, guaranteeing a picture-perfect parcel of egg and making sure that it does not stick to the bottom of the pot.
Once the whirlpool is achieved and you can see that the yolk is ensconced by the white, move on to the most difficult step:

Step 5 – Wait
That’s right, wait. Don’t bother that egg for a whole 2 minutes. Don’t poke it, prod it, stir around it, lift it – don’t even look at it, if you can help it. It’s in there doing its little poached egg thing, and it needs privacy. Art takes time!
The only thing you are allowed to do before moving onto the next step is make sure the water doesn’t come to a boil.
Then, when two minutes have come and gone, move on.

Step 6 – Retrieval
Take your slotted spoon and carefully lift the egg from the water. The consistency should be bouncy and taut, with a delicate, oozing yolk. But before we get to any oozing at all, you need to set the egg down on a paper towel for drainage and season to your liking with salt and pepper.

Step 7 – Savory, Sensational Victory
Congratulations: you’ve poached your first egg! You’ve entered the hallowed halls of poaching perfection, and to the victor go the savory spoils. Go ahead and build a breathtaking eggs Benedict or add a glistening jewel of white and yolk to a bowl of hearty polenta. Bathe in the glory that is simple, easy egg cookery: you’ve earned it.

poached eggs

Bonnie’s Bread and Cheese Omelette Casserole

BREAD & CHEESE OMELETTE CASSEROLE
BREAD & CHEESE OMELETTE CASSEROLE

One of the problems, when you’re hosting a holiday dinner, is the holiday breakfast and holiday lunch. Isn’t it enough you have to plan and prepare the dinner PLUS clean the house AND set the table?  And, if it’s Christmas, there are presents to open! Who has time to cook extra meals???

Fear not, I have the perfect solution:  BREAD & CHEESE OMELETTE CASSEROLE!

You put it together the day before, then just pop it in the oven in the morning and let it bake for an hour. While it cooks, you can open presents or tackle any of the hundred tasks that need to be done before company arrives.

NOTE:  I use this casserole as an opportunity to finish up odd bits of leftover cheeses. (I hate waste!)

BREAD & CHEESE OMELETTE CASSEROLE

  • 3 cups French bread pieces (about 1″ squares)
  • 12 oz cheese, shredded (your choice – mix it up, if you like)
  • 8 eggs
  • 1½ cups + 2 T milk (I use nonfat)
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 tsp dried mustard
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 cup scallions, sliced thinly

Butter a 9½” x 13″ casserole dish. Evenly sprinkle on bread followed by cheese.OMELETTE CASS PREP1

In a bowl, put the dried mustard, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Pour in a little of the milk and blend, smashing out any lumps. Add the eggs and beat well with an egg beater or whisk. Add the remaining milk and the scallions. Beat well.

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Pour over bread and cheese. Cover with foil and refrigerate.

OMELETTE CASS PREP2

If possible, remove from fridge about half an hour before cooking. Bake covered at 325º Fahrenheit for 1 hour. Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes. Let rest at least 15 minutes to allow it to firm up.

BREAD & CHEESE OMELETTE CASSEROLE
BREAD & CHEESE OMELETTE CASSEROLE