Girls on Food

Goodies

#SummerWithWolfgang: Wolfgang Puck Catering’s Summer BBQ in DTLA

I am so fortunate to have been on the guest list for Wolfgang Puck Catering’s Summer BBQ. The rooftop party was held at L.A. Live in Downtown LA, which is such a beautiful venue. It’s elegant and has a picturesque skyline view. This view reminds me of how much I love the grit and the glam of DTLA. The guests were friendly and fun. I didn’t even get side eye for making the waiters let me take so many pictures of the treats they were supposed to be serving. The catering food and service was on par with what you’d expect from the name Wolfgang Puck.

I’m going to take you all on a journey of the event through pictures. Enjoy!
You have to enter L.A. Live through the Grammy Museum. I’m a Swiftie, so I geeked out pretty hard at this.
Loved my swine t-shirt made on-site by Hit + Run. Cute and Cozy.
Loved the ice bucket style sodas. There Mexican Cokes and handcrafted sodas. The Cherry Peach soda was the biggest hit.
This is the Garden Collins cocktail that was being served. Very light and refreshing.
There were plenty of carnivorous options. Yes, that’s Beer Can Chicken.
The Chefs were hard at work grilling for us.

 

The day may have started out overcast but it brightened up in time for the event.
Chicharrones with a blue cheese dressing, celery and drizzled with buffalo sauce.
Strawberry Bruschetta: Crostini topped with strawberries, slivered almonds and a little spinach. Perfect for a hot Summer day.
Duck Rillettes wrapped with Watermelon Radish.
One of my all-time favorites salads, grilled Caeser salad. Grilling the romaine brings a smokiness out of the lettuce. It’s a must try.
This is the most adorable Crudités set up I’ve ever seen. The Crudités are kept crisp by filling the pot with ice, and stuffing them in, as if you were gardening. The bucket of ranch is so cute too.
Traditional Caprese with a twist: The Heirloom tomatoes were paired with peach to add a touch of sweetness.
This event had fun games, including corn holing. I can’t type that with a straight face…
I decided to take a surf and turf approach. Top left: Pork topped with a chimichurri sauce. Top right: Lobster with corn puree. Bottom: Candied Bacon. All of these were awesome and the candied bacon really got my respect by not being too sticky. 

 

Onto the dessert portion: Flambé banana on top of Nutella pudding.
So tiny, yet so powerful: This was a red velvet wrap. The wrap was the cake and the filling was the cream cheese frosting. It’s like a mini-magical crepe.
It got a little chilly so I ended my food binge with a cappuccino from Long Shot Coffee.
I had to leave before sundown. A view of the Hotel Figeroa. And Arnold.
Thanks for looking! Make sure you follow us on Instagram @girlsonfoodblog to see our other food pics.

Get Your Pretzels In A Twist…Not Your Knickers!

 

See those luscious pretzels I’m holding? I MADE THEM! That’s right. And you can, too.
I’m all about cooking from scratch – and I don’t mean heating up a jar of Ragu and boiling some packaged pasta. I mean purchasing the ingredients and creating your own, healthy food. Even homemade desserts are better for you than store bought.
Plus, you save money! I’m all about that, too.
Don’t get nervous when you see “yeast” in the ingredients list. Piece of cake! The only thing is you have to allow for rising time. That makes it look like a lot of work, but it’s not. The dough is rising all by itself – while you put your feet up and read a good book (or, do housework – your choice).
SOFT PRETZELS – makes 12
  • 1 cup water
  • 2¼ tsp dry active yeast (or 1 packet)
  • about 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 T butter, soft
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch
Heat the water to 100º-104º Fahrenheit. Stir in yeast and let proof for 5 minutes.
Put 2 cups of the flour, the butter, salt, and sugar into the work bowl of your food processor.
When yeast is proofed, turn on machine and slowly add the water through the pour spout. Keep adding flour a few tablespoons at a time until the dough forms a ball. I use nearly all of the 3 cups of flour. If you don’t own a food processor, you’ll have to do this step by hand, kneading about 10 minutes.
Empty dough onto a floured board. Pick up from the bottom and fold in on itself, so the floured side surrounds the ball. Plop into an oiled bowl, then flip the ball and plop back upside down – now the ball is oiled on both sides. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for 1 hour.
Punch down risen dough and place it on a floured board. Cut into 12 equal pieces. Roll and stretch each piece to a length of 18″ or more. Dough is very elastic, so I’ve found it best to stretch each piece about 12″, then start again and stretch to 15″ or so, and finally do a final round to get each piece to 18″. As each piece reaches its final length, form it into pretzel shape (See photo below).
pret shape
Cover with towel and let rise 30 minutes.
In a large NON-ALUMINUM skillet, bring the baking soda and 10 cups of water to a full boil. If you don’t own a large skillet, use a smaller one and cut back on the water and baking soda.
Prepare wash by mixing cornstarch with 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Stir constantly while bringing to boil. Remove from heat.
 
Preheat oven to 450º Fahrenheit.
Carefully drop as many pretzels in boiling water as will fit. Boil 1 minute, flipping after 30 seconds. Remove to well oiled cookie sheet.
When they’re all boiled, brush on cornstarch wash. Sprinkle with coarse pretzel or sea salt.
Bake at 450º Fahrenheit for 12 minutes. They’ll brown much earlier than the 12 minutes, but don’t remove from oven – they’re still not done. Transfer to wire rack.
Eat immediately for optimum taste. FYI – these pretzels are only 60 calories each! So live a little – have 2….homemade pretzels are cheap!!!Check out my blog:  VegCookingForCarnivoresBlog.com

Foodie Shares: Your Answer to a Rainy Day

It’s raining in Los Angeles. It’s BEEN raining for two days straight. I know we’re in a drought. I know this is a good thing… but I’m out of groceries and I don’t want to go outside. What’s a Girl on Food to do?

Try the new app Foodie Shares! This app that brings fresh homecookin’ to your front door.

Here’s how the Foodie Shares app works:

Make sure you have the correct address listed for delivery.

Scroll through dishes.

FS

What I love about Foodie Shares is that the Chefs are rated by past customers.  I found 5 star Chef DelishBento in my area who was available to cook her signature dish and have it delivered to me.

You can pick up the food if you want and there’s no additional charge. But if you’re lazy like me and want delivered there is a small delivery charge.

Enter the PROMOCODE: girlsonfood to get 50% off you first order 

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The food is delivered in a colorful and reusable bag along with proper utensils.

Foodie Shares

Pictured: Taiwanese Chicken Cutlet Bento by DelishBento

I ordered the Taiwanese Chicken Cutlet Bento. I was amazed at how crispy the chicken stayed through the delivery process. The spices that DelishBento used were so good. The shoyu egg was a pleasant surprise and the pickled veggies were great too.  Dee-lish.

For now, Foodie Shares is only available on the Westside in LA, but that could change soon.

Girls on Food Chicken Adobo Tacos

Last weekend I had a Filipino potluck for the Mayweather/Paquiao fight. I was a little nervous about this theme, since I usually cook classic American dishes. I just wanted to make food as good as my Lola made when I was a kid. Dishes served included pork lumpia, ube rolls, lechon kawali (fried pork belly), turon and pancit. I also made Shoyu eggs as a topping for the pancit but had so many leftover I decided to make that an appetizer (recipe coming soon). The biggest hit was the Chicken Adobo Tacos. They came out perfectly moist, tangy and with a spicy kick that wasn’t overwhelming. I’m considering this to be my signature dish from now on but you guys can try it at home too.

Girls on Food Chicken Adobo Tacos
Serves approx. 12- 15

Ingredients:

2  chicken legs (with bone)
4 chicken thighs (with bone)
4 chicken breasts (I used skinless/boneless but you can use with skin and bone)
3 tbsp. coconut oil
1 large white onion
1 whole garlic bulb
2 medium red bell peppers
1/2 cup of water
1 1/2 cup of Marca Pina soy sauce
1 1/2 cup Tropics Spiced vinegar (strained)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 6 oz. can of tomato paste
6 – 8 bay leaves

4.5 inch corn tortillas

Topping options: 

Cojita cheese
Chopped onion
Chopped tomato
Cilantro
Black olives
Lettuce
Sliced Avocado
Sliced lime

Preparation:

The best way to cook this is with a 6 qt. Crock-Pot. Start by slicing white onions, bell peppers and mincing the garlic. Brown them with the chicken in a large stovetop pan with the coconut oil. After they are brown, place all items in the Crock-Pot. There will be a lot of flavor left on the pan, so add  1/2 cup of water to it and let it boil to create a bouillon broth. Add broth to Crock-Pot, then add soy sauce, vinegars, tomato paste and bay leaves. Let that cook for 3 hours.

After that cooks, remove the chicken and veggies from the pot with a slotted spoon. Place them in a large bowl. I shredded the chicken piece by piece with tongs into a glass baking pan.

Note: Remove bay leaves before shredding.

Make sure bones and knee joint is disposed. I like to leave the cooked skin in there for flavor. Then take out the veggies (dispose of the bay leaves) and add those to the shredded chicken mix. There is a lot of leftover juice in the Crock-Pot, so add it to taste.

Some guests didn’t need their corn tortillas heated, but it’s good to have a pan on the stove ready to go if they want it. Let the guests top their tacos and enjoy! I know it’s tough to find but if you really want to impress your guests, find bottled San Miguel beer.

Gottcha Cover-ed: Cliff’s Edge in Silver Lake

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted here and… I’m sorry. Life gets in the way and I’m finally allowing myself to get back into full blown foodie mode.

I wanted to tell you all about this great event I went to that continues tomorrow, Sunday, 4/26/15, 11 AM – 3 PM. It’s through an iPhone app called Cover, which you can download in the app store.

At this event, if you download and pay for your bill with Cover, you get free Bottomless Mimosas, with a purchase of an entree (promocode is bestbrunchever). You can read more about Cover here: http://paywithcover.com. I’m really pumped on this app because they have events with great deals. It’s kind of like Pay Pal but for food and with cool promos.

I love that after you’re set up, you can just leave. There’s no waiting around for the bill, no worrying about splitting equally and no fumbling for cash. Great, cause I was in a rush to see a friend’s at UCB and I made it just in time.

 

Cliff’s Edge 

My girlfriend Jacqueline and I went this morning. We were so impressed with the food and atmosphere. We sat on the patio and the outdoor dining has a chic, somewhat safari feel that we loved. The interior dining has a camper/lodge feel to it, but in a hip way. After we checked into Cover, we were promptly served mimosas and they kept coming without us having to ask.

 

We started off with the Buttermilk Biscuits. Perfect for two to spilt. Loved the flakiness to it. The butter was also perfectly sweetened.
My entree was the Pork Belly Hash. The pork belly was simmered in a mildly spicy broth with brussel sprouts and potatoes. It was topped with feta cheese and a fried egg, garnished with cilantro and dill. Perfectly portioned and the fresh herbs are chunky enough to add unexpected pop of flavor. Plenty of broth to dip left over biscuit into, which I savored.
Jacqueline ordered the Smoked Salmon dish. You can’t tell from the picture, but it came with a potato pancake. It was wrapped in there. This was a unique dish, it was almost like a Lox Benedict.
Cliff’s Edge is a great location for those seeking more than a typical Silver Lake greasy spoon for Brunch. I look forward to trying them for Dinner as well. Just remember to come in tomorrow for Bottomless Mimosa Brunch via Cover, 4/26/15. 11 AM – 3 PM.

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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.

Drinking My Way Through Portland…

I finally made it to Portland! Once my bucket list for this culinary mecca became too ridiculous to ignore I called my sister and the next thing I know we’re sipping champagne waiting for our flight. Armed with an extensive list of places to enjoy thirty exquisite meals should we please on our three-day jaunt, we were prepared to eat well. (And, we did.) It was the cocktails that took us by surprise.
Of course they were great, but it was the sheer abundance that blew us away. There is a vegan, gluten-free bakery with a cocktail menu. Let that sink in for a second because it took us a beat to fully grasp it when we wandered in… A VEGAN, GLUTEN-FREE BAKERY WITH A BAR. Half the restaurants in Sacramento are only licensed for beer and wine! Impressive Portland.Below is a collection of my favorite sips in a city I can’t wait to taste again… 

The Last Word
Aviation Gin, Maraschino Liqueur, Yellow Chartreuse, Lime Juice
@ Brasserie Montmartre
This is a prohibition-era cocktail, usually made with green chartreuse, and it’s fantastic. It’s not for everyone though. (My sister hated it.) If you’re not a gin fan, this is not the drink that will win you over. It is herbaceous. And strong. But still a little sweet and very interesting. Bronx Cocktail, you’ve now been demoted to number two on my list.
New Horizons
Bulleit, Canton Ginger, Cucumber, Fresh Citrus,  Ginger
@ Departure
In general, I’m not big on bourbon. I tend to like it better in dessert than a glass but cucumber and ginger can be pretty convincing. This one is incredibly refreshing and the best part: it’s served on a rooftop patio with an incredible view of the city, alongside killer happy hour bites.
Bottle Rocket
Gin, Lime, Apricot Liqueur, Soda, Lime Peel
@ Clyde Common
Attention fellow Gin & Tonic fans: Immediately stock your home bar with apricot liqueur and make the switch. That is all.
Bitter Spring
Aperol, Lillet, Grapefruit, Celery Bitters, Sparkling Wine, Orange Twist
@ Olympic Provisions
If you love mimosas, stay away from this. It will ruin them for you. Aperol, Lillet, Grapefruit Juice? Yes. Celery Bitters?? YES!
I can’t move on without mentioning two things: 1) Brunch here was simple and legendary. I had the sudden urge to move here with every bite. 2) The other drink in the picture is a tequila cocktail, that my sister ordered for breakfast. I was proud.
Tom Kat Sour
Hayman’s Old Tom Gin, Aperol, KASK Ginger Syrup, Lemon, Mint
@ KASK
This is a terrible photo but I had to include it in the list because it was taken at the best bar in Portland! Granted, I’ve only tried three days worth of bars there but I’m near positive this would be confirmed by locals.
Water Lily 
Aviation Gin, Cointreau, Rothman and Winter Creme de Violette, Lemon Juice
@ Petunia’s Pies & Pastries
And now we’ve arrived at the infamous vegan, gluten-free establishment with a full line of dessert cocktails… This one is definitely dessert, very sweet. Normally this wouldn’t be my cup of tea but just look how cute it is! The bakery is adorable too, don’t let the vegan part deter you.
Passionfruit Berliner Weisse in Coconut Water Sorbet
a ribbon of marmalade made from passionfruit and
Breakside Brewery’s “Passionfruit Berliner Weisse,” in a coconut water sorbet

@ Salt & Straw
Since this blog is technically about food I feel the need to include at least one thing you can nosh on. Of course, in true Portland style even the ice cream celebrates the hard stuff…
This was one of SIX beer-infused flavors! We stood in a line that ran down the block, sweating, doubting it would be as good as everyone says but, like you may have guessed, we were wrong. And in case you’re thinking I got lucky with the one flavor I ordered, I should admit that I sampled eight others in line. (Don’t judge.) They were all amazing and obviously this place knows how to churn out a profit by the look of the lines but the most impressive thing to me was to see a love for beer so strong on both sides of the counter that over a third of the menu was dedicated to it. You’ve got your priorities in line Portland. I like your style.

Homemade Cheese Class: Latin Cheeses

So I’ve decided to become a cheesemaker. I got the idea wandering about a cheese shop in LA and when I found classes in San Francisco taught by someone known as “The Milk Maid,” that sealed the deal. My new hobby was born.
To prepare for my first class I decided to dedicate the entire day to cheese. This wasn’t hard to do as the classes are held at the Ferry Building, which is like a mecca for the creamy delicacy. My first stop was Hog Island Oyster Co. where for the first time I managed to resist their amazing Kumamotos for a shot at their ultra rich grilled cheese…
Mezzo Secco, cave-aged Gruyere and Fromage Blanc
w/house made pickled vegetables
This is a serious sandwich. It’s not all doctored up with clever fillings, just fabulous bread stuffed with a perfect combination of sinfully delicious cheeses. The pickled vegetables are a brilliant side too (and my next hobby – stay tuned!).
Cheese Left to Right: Capriago (Sebastopol, CA),
Herbiette Tomme de Bordeaux (France), Pleasant Ridge Extra Aged Reserve (Wisconsin),
California Crottin (Redwood Hill Farms)
That’s right, I kept going. I followed a meal of bread and cheese with a snack of, well, bread and cheese. I did swap the Cava for Pinot Noir though. And it was after a couple hours of shopping, maybe one. My favorite was the Capriago, an Asiago-style cheese made from goat’s milk.
After a long afternoon enjoying all the Ferry Building has to offer, it was time for class. Just outside the doors a table of illustrations and smiling faces led me to the CUESA Dacor Outdoor Teaching Kitchen, where Urban Kitchen SF holds the events. Here’s a peek at my first adventure with queso…
Meet Louella Hill, the Milk Maid. She’s my cheese hero.
In her hands, fresh Queso Blanco. They were slicing and frying this upon arrival!
Fried Cheese: the perfect way to start, well, anything.
Reacting to perfectly set milk.
My fellow classmates cutting the curds.
Heating and stirring the curds. This takes 20 minutes so while switching off
stirring duty we enjoyed a taco intermission…
Freshly grilled tortillas from Mijita (in the Ferry Building) topped with avocado,
cilantro, lime and Queso Fresco.
Draining the whey. (Save it! There are several uses for whey,
Louella made ricotta with it after class.)
Salting the curds.
After squeezing and working the curds thoroughly, packing the fresh cheese.
At the end you can add flavors, this batch has dried peppers.
Take Home Kit: Lipase, CaCl, Rennet

This week I’ll begin my Queso Fresco/Blanco experiments. I’m feeling pretty confident but this may be because Louella is a fantastic teacher and made it look very easy. These are good starter cheeses though, and I’m determined. Once I get the hang of it I’ll post my favorite recipes. Wish me luck!

Friendly Friday: Briana Rawleigh’s Cheesy Mushroom Pull Apart Bread

What’s up Foodies,
We love it when readers submit recipes for the site whether it’s from our Facebook page (http://facebook.com/girlsonfood) or our Twitter (http://twitter.com/girlsonfoodblog). Today’s comes from Briana Rawleigh who resides in Sacramento, CA.

I wanted to post this one because it’s Friday, and Fridays should be all about fun finger foods you can share with your friends and co-workers. Also, any recipe with lots of butter and mushrooms deserves a serious shout-out. Enjoy!

 

CHEESY MUSHROOM PULL APART BREAD – you’ll need:
*For the mushrooms:
12 oz sliced mushrooms or 1 8oz can of mushrooms
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp thyme
Drain water from the mushroom can, take a towel to dry them, put mushrooms in a bowl and set aside. Heat a medium skillet on medium. Add the butter. Once the butter is melted, add the mushrooms. Cook 4-5 minutes until they start to sweat. Add the thyme and continue to cook another 2-3 minutes.Set mushrooms aside and allow to cool.

*For the bread:
1 unsliced “loaf” or “round” sourdough bread
12 ounces Provolone or Mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup finely diced green onion
1-2 Tbsp of “crushed” or “minced” garlic (depending on your tolerance)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the bread lengthwise and widthwise without cutting through the bottom crust. This can be a little tricky going the second way but the bread is very forgiving. Place loaf on a foil-lined baking sheet.Insert cheese slices between cuts. Pour the mushrooms between the cuts and use your fingers to push the mushrooms down into the loaf. Combine butter and onion and drizzle over bread. Wrap in foil; place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Unwrap the bread and bake another 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

California Love: Wurstkuche

Los Angeles is a city crammed with junk food options- and they are all trying to one up each other with something crazy. I just relocated form Seattle to Venice and apologize for not keeping up with the GOF bloggin’ as of the past couple of weeks, but I am back with a foodie vengeance.
Wurstkuche Venice
625 Lincoln Blvd
Venice, CA 90291
http://www.wurstkuche.com
My thighs are not going to like that I live walking distance to this place. The draft beer, Koestrizter Schwarzbeir, was the perfect blend of malty and sweet and it’s only 6 dollars. Wurstkuche is known for incorporating exotic meats in their sausages, such as Rattlesnake and Rabbit, Crocodile and Pork, and Buffalo with Beef and Pork. I was feeling a little less adventurous but I decided to go with a Greek vibe. I got the Lamb with Mediterranean Spices (which was super flavorful) topped with Sweet and Spicy Peppers. I also had a side of Tzatziki to add on top, which took me back to Athens. The fries are thick cut (that’s a “small” order in the picture, FYI) they were steaming hot and I dipped them in their Blue Cheese, Walnut and Bacon dip. Everything I ate was amazing. I know there’s another location in downtown LA, but I prefer Venice’s quieter vibe.
Also, an hour after I ate here, a car crashed into the building! Close call, am I right? Since the incident they added an awesomely ironic sign out front:

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Meatless Monday: The Best of the Ballard Farmer’s Markets

WARNING: This market is not meatless. There are meat, seafood and poultry stands, but I am choosing to showcase the fun items the vegetarian/vegans and meat lovers can enjoy.
You all know I’m a sucker for a free sample and there’s stinginess or shortage of them here. All the vendors want you try their products and are all very knowledgable on them.
Ballard Farmer’s Market 
Sundays 10 AM – 3 PM
Street Parking (get there early or take a bus, it’s brutal!)
5300 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
I already miss you Seattle. I miss the drizzle, I miss the overcast skies but most of all I miss your Winter produce. The Winter veggies are the best in Seattle (broccoli, kale, spinach, lettuce, squash) and it’s so sad when February kills it. So of course when I decided to showcase all the vegetables, they had died down quite a bit. This market has so many other vegetarian/vegan friendly eats though.
Soda Jerk
I was a fanatic of Dry’s Lavender soda for while, but now that I’ve had Soda Jerk, I’m converted. Soda Jerk’s Lemon Lavender soda has a much better flavor than Dry’s. It’s has the perfect amount of sweet and sour from the lemon and the lavender isn’t overwhelming or medicinal. The Elderflower is almost like a soda version of St. Germain and the Apple Ginger was also fantastic.
They have soda dispenser’s at their stand and you can also purchase a growler of them. The gentleman running the stand told me they mix up their flavors (they’re seasonal flavors), so if you go there it may be different. The sodas are also all natural, organic and local ingredients. Soda Jerk is a must try and will added to our “Best of” list (nudge nudge Tiffany). I am sad I can’t pick up a bottle at Whole Foods now that I’m in Venice. Woe is the life of a Soda Jerk lover.
Firefly Kimchi by Firefly Kitchens
Kimchi is a Korean style fermented cabbage that is often used as a topping and sometimes cooked in with food. I love to add it on hot dogs and spread it on crackers the most. Firefly Kitchen is a Seattle based fermented jarred foods business. Unlike a lot of pickled and persevered products you see in the stores, Firefly uses natural fermenting, which is better for you since it preserves natural enzymes and good-for-you bacteria. Natural fermenting doesn’t cook the food either so if you’re on a raw food diet you can use this as a topping.  Firefly Kimchi is considered Firefly Kitchen’s “go to” topping, it’s the perfect blend of spicy, garlicy and the cabbage holds it’s uncooked texture very well.
Jonboy Caramels
Jonboy Caramels make a great gift with their unique flavor pairings and party-ready packaging. The Fluer de Sel is an ultimate mash-up of sweet, buttery and salty flavors. My favorite Jonboy Caramel is the Absinthe with Black Salt. Not only do they use the local Pacifique Absinthe from Woodenville, WA, but also has a fennel and anise flavor to it. Jonboy is like a more sophisticated version of those wrapper caramels I got at the Sweet Factory in the mall growing up.
West Seattle Farmer’s Market Love: If you’re at the West Seattle Farmer’s Market during the Winter, you must try the Kale varieties at Five Acre Farms. Their Kale grows a lot bigger and with fuller leaves than the ones you find in the supermarket. Their Broccoli stems are so large and tasty you can snack on them raw or dip them in hummus. Their website is here (http://www.facebook.com/fiveacrefarm) and until next Winter she is just selling her organic Chicken Eggs, but email her for market scheduling.
I leave you with pretty Tulips…

RECIPE: Texas-Style Kolaches

As promised…

I found a recipe that almost matches up to the delicious
kolaches I enjoyed nearly every day I spent in Austin. The dough didn’t turn out as soft
and delicious as I remember but this very well could have been my fault. I’m
more of a cake/cookie/brownie/tart baker than a dough girl. I leave most of that to my bread maker. Still, I count this as a success because they did turn
out very tasty!
Homemade Kolaches:
Ham w/Jarlsberg, Sausage w/Jalapenos & Cheddar
Texas-Style Savory Kolaches 
Recipe (Adapted) from Confections of a Foodie Bride

Ingredients 

(Yields 12-15)
for the dough:
1 package (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
1/4 cup water, warmed to 110-115F
1 cup milk, warmed to 110-115F
4 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled to warm
2 large eggs
5/8 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
4 1/4 cups flour
 
The best part about these is the filling and the options are endless! I went with two favorites from Austin: ham w/jarlsberg, sausage w/jalapenos and cheese.
Preparation
1. Pour warm water and yeast into bowl of an electric mixer. Let proof 5 minutes until foamy.
2. With mixer on low add milk, melted butter, eggs, sugar and salt until combined.
3. Add flour, half at a time, mixing until just combined.
4. Cover with plastic wrap and leave out at room temperature until dough has doubled, 1-2 hours.
5. Punch the dough down, cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or longer.
6. Divide dough into 12-15 balls, setting on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and leave out at room temperature for 15 minutes.
7. Flatten each ball, adding filling to the top then fold the dough around the filling. Set back on the parchment seam-side down. Cover, then preheat the oven to 375.
8. Bake 25-30 minutes at 375, until browned. (My two batches were ready between 15 and 20 minutes. This is likely because I stuffed them very full, so much so that the cheese oozed out of a few. Keep an eye on them from the 15 minute mark on.) 
9. Enjoy!