Ghost Guacamole Amuse Bouche

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James stumbled upon this delicious and spicy treat just this evening. I highly suggest for your next summer party!

  • Adobo Steak (carne asada will work perfectly too)- grilled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Ghost Pepper Guacamole (guacamole made with ample ghost chili powder & lime juice)
  • Shredded 4 Cheese Mexican Blend
  • Sea Salt

Arrange artfully and enjoy!

Make Ghost Pepper Guacamole

  • 2 large avocados chopped
  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  • bunch of cilantro chopped
  • bunch of green onions chopped
  • 3 limes juiced
  • ghost chili powder (as much as you can take!
  • sea salt to taste

Blend in food processor for a smooth dip or chop for a chunky dip.

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17th Century Pumpkin Pie with Walnut & Date Crust

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All at once ancient, gourmet, and fabulously delicious. Wonderfully nutritious, it can even be made sugar free. This pie is so good, that the above photo is all that’s left after I came to my senses to blog it!

I designed this pie from a 17th century pumpkin pie recipe (thanks to Inn at the Crossroads; added traditional pumpkin pie spices with a roasted ginger twist I learned from a banana nut squash, pear and ginger soup recipe; and poured it into a stunningly delicious, no-bake walnut and date apple pie crust from The World’s Healthiest Foods.

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Home-made Mayonnaise

Le Chef!

Le Chef enjoying a delicious french kalamata olive loaf – a wonderful treat in itself and fantastic with the mayo!

An eleven year old girl in France taught me how to make delicious Mayo in 5 minutes. I’ll never buy it from the store again, and why should I? It’s so easy that an eleven-year-old can make it! Great for salad dressings, on sandwiches and alone on fresh-baked French Olive Loaf.

Ingredients

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard (Mustard! you say? So did I, until I learned it’s an important part of the chemical reaction that’s about to happen, and don’t worry, everything will end up the creamy white color we’re used to).
  • 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup Sunflower oil
  • Optional: Add a tiny powder of wasabi or some ketchup
  • Optional: 2 pinches sugar (totally optional, if you like your mayo sweet)
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon of salt (totally optional, if you like your mayo salty)

How to make it Continue reading

Soup de Jour: Roasted squash, pear and ginger

Roasted butternut squash, pears and ginger simmering in their own broth.

In honor of the First Day of Fall – well, the first day that actually feels like Fall in southern california, I’m making delicious butternut squash soup. It’s so good, I had to fight myself from finishing the roasted ingredients before I finished making the soup!
Added benefit: your home smells so wonderfully autumnal from the roasting ingredients.

Roasted squash, pear, and ginger soup

Made from just five ingredients, this soup can be prepared with virtually any winter squash and pear variety. Continue reading

Gooseberry Fool

Fresh green gooseberries in the wild

I just cooked up and savored my first ever gooseberry fool.

I noticed gooseberries at the market and, curiosity winning, bought them without thought of what to do with them. Silly me, I thought I could pop those tiny green globes like a blueberry… puckering up, I realized my error.
I found the recipe for gooseberry fool easily, out of the supremely limited recipe options for gooseberries. I don’t usually make desserts, but the name had the ring of a time far gone, and the ingredients were supremely indulgent.
Basically cream and home simmered jam, it’s absolutely divine! Continue reading

2 Bean Mediterranean Salad

Orange Russian heirloom tomato

Orange Russian heirloom tomato – straight from the Imperial Russian Gardens to my backyard

I whipped this up in the kitchen last night with my delicious orange russian heirloom tomatoes! It was so good, that I didn’t have the presence of mind to take a photo of it, but I did stop to write it down as I was nibbling on the last of the olives.

This salad has a wonderful lemony taste and a great salty finish from the feta cheese and Greek olives. Eat it right away or leave in the refrigerator overnight. Filling, healthy and vegetarian.

Makes 3-4 servings. Per serving: Cal 167, Fat 4g, Dietary fiber 14g; Total Cal 573, Fat 13.5g, Dietary fiber 46g; Olive oil is not calculated, but adds 30 cal and 3g fat per serving. All ingredient amounts are approximate.

Approximate time to prepare: 15 minutes

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Summer Flower Soup Inspired from a trip to the Farmer’s Market

lovely fresh farmers market ingredients to summer flower soup

Made Fresh with the Flowering Veggies and tasty Herbs I picked up at the Silver Lake Farmers Market Valentine’s Day Weekend.

Why I love it:

It’s made with flowers! It’s healthy! It’s Organic Farm Fresh! It’s Super Delish!

The lemon gives it the same zesty flavor as water cress soup with sour cream. Quadruple yum!

It’s a low-calorie, nutrition-packed, delicious soup.

Summer Flower Soup Recipe

  • 2 TBSP canola oil
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped (more can be substituted for white onion)
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped ginger
  • Fist full of flowering Choy Sum (baby Bok Choy), chopped
  • Fist full of flowering Chinese Broccoli, chopped
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes for interest
  • 6 cups of filtered water
  • Generous shakings of TJs 21 seasoning salute (or just a few pinches of your favorite dried herbs)
  • Generous crankings of the mutli-colored pepper corn mill
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • Fresh oregano sprig
  • 1 Fresh squeezed lemon from Mom’s garden and throw in a little of the rind.

Sauté white & green onions in oil in a stock pot for a few minutes (sautéing them in vegetable broth is ok too)
Add in ginger and veggies, then the filtered water
Add seasonings and squeeze lemon in last along with the rind
Bring to a light boil
Reduce heat to a simmer for ½ hour.

Enjoy!

Gorgeous Weekend continues to Valetine’s Day

Unconventional to the end we spend most of V day with Matt. Walked all around the Franklin Community and Los Feliz, had a romantic anti-valentines lunch, bought a dress, read a book, had lots of tasty food!
Oh yes and how could I forget the Scientology protest across the street from Birds – Guy Fawkes masks, Xenu squid outfit and some woman screaming “They’re wearing those F$¥£ing masks again!”. Much to my dismay I couldn’t get a clear pic of him. Imagine Pirates of the Caribbean Davy Jones Squid Mask, and a sort of Papal Garment made up of sheets of Dianetics books. Priceless!

Anti-Valentine’s day brunch at Birds, complete with hanging ex-lover effigy, poison arrow cocktails and sinful chocolate fudgey cake.

My favorite boutique store $20 rack called Native next door furnished me with a darling shear navy dress, then on to sipping Bourgeois Pig iced tea and enjoying the protest at the celebrity center.

We catch up with Matt for the second leg off our Valentine’s Day and take a walk past the Max Senet studios near our home.

I read Yoshitaka Amano’s Mateki: The Magic Flute at Skylight Books, much to the ire of the clerk. I was so absorbed and it was so beautiful I hadn’t noticed his glaring.

Unexpected 3 Day Weekend Begins Now!

Alligator Brat– – spicy, fat-free, and more delicious than any other I’ve tasted!

Louisiana Marinated, from Brats Brothers Gourmet Sausage & Grill on Ventura Blvd in Sherman Oaks

Salon appointment with a FREE cut!

Cabernet sipped from a Styrofoam cup at Dej.

Hawaiian Primo Lager poured from a glowing mini-keg at Good (the First Time) with James and Ben

I over heard Dej’s owner and his client discussing the salons lack of a website. The client wanted to create one for him and the owner said he was looking to have it up in about 2 months (which I thought was a ridiculously long time to wait for a website, but what evs).

Most interesting to me was the level of comfort the client had soliciting the owner. The owner eventually declined and the client had to sit there getting his hair done for another ½ hour. Oh the humiliation of rejection! But this guy didn’t seem to care at all. Men have an enormous amount of confidence and ego that I wish to emulate.

They are busy talking people into why they’re so great, while I spend the same energy talking myself out of why I’m not great enough.

Perhaps these are Rules #1 & #2 for the page Rules of Business: Life Lessons I Sometimes Forget to

Follow.#1 Do not fear rejection.

#2 Self-empowerment.

If a prospective client does not want to do business, it’s up to me to convince them why they want to do business. If a client doesn’t like what I create, it’s up to me to show them why they like it.

And if I can’t convince them on either point, it’s their loss, and it’s ok.

I should just get out on a limb, practice makes perfect and I’m sure after a few tumbles I can figure how to turn rejection into success.

My thoughts on how men are such natural salesmen:

Men spend most of their developmental years being rejected by women (or building confidence wooing them left and right), so their egos can either snap back quickly from rejection and failure since they’re used to it, or their egos are so huge that nothing is going to burst that bubble. Women on the other hand only experience rejection by not being perfect enough and view success as perfection and there is room for nothing else. Or perhaps that’s my hang up.

Regardless, time to get to it! I’ve got a business to run! Start that page Eakins.

Pumpkin Ride, Valentine’s Day and LACMA are in the plans.

Beautiful Rainy Wednesday, Cozy & Warm at Home

Umbrella blowing about so fiercely that I may as well have been towing a parachute. Rain driving in sideways, as I rush back from Intelligentsia. Here are a few images I shot there.

Seated at Intelligentsia coffee shop, panoramic view of the Cheese Shop, Cafe Stella, my favorite French restaurant, and a boutique flower shop

Sparrows come up for a nibble before I even have a chance to touch my croissant! As Mary from "The Secret Garden" would say, "Cheeky little beggar!"

Intelligentsia Perfect Latte and Croissant

Curling into Jane Eyre

The perfect home moment: book, tea, kitty, clean bureau and six feet under marathon on tv