Sunday, February 24, 2013
Oscar season is upon us. We have received all of the screeners in the mail, and have our personal favorites. It is a fun time of year, when you can cuddle up with your loved one and watch a good movie. This year to celebrate the Oscars we are going over to our very good friends’ Jackson and Yasmine to eat some wonderful food, drink some dranks, and watch some glorious fashion and award giving. Mikey and I were thinking what do we enjoy the most with movie watching, and we thought pizza! So we have made you a really simply pizza crostini, or a pizzette you could say. Though the first thing to our mind isn’t stuffed mushrooms, to Hell with that, it should be! So we have also made a fabulous tarragon goat cheesed stuffed mushrooms.
Predict those awards, critique the fashion, and stuff your face with pizza on the couch!! Not to mention the wonderful blood orange champagne cocktail.
*Chiffonade= cutting herbs or greens in to long thin strips by either layering or rolling up the greens.
Ingredients: serves 12-15
½ cup tomato puree
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 pinch garlic salt
2 balls buffalo mozzarella
5 basil leaves
15 cremini mushrooms
¼ cup goat cheese
2 sprigs tarragon
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Blood Orange Mimosa:
Maybe you should make this cocktail while you prepare the food, because it is very refreshing and a simple twist on a mimosa. Simply squeeze the juice of a blood orange into a glass and top off with champagne, and then garnish with a blood orange slice. So sleek!
The first thing you should do is prep all of your ingredients and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the baguette on a diagonal slice so the bread is about a ¼” thick, set aside. Next slice all the mozzarella about the same thickness, set aside. Next roll up your basil leaves tightly, and using a sharp knife chiffonade all the basil, set aside.
To make the sauce simply mix the past, puree, and garlic salt together.
Now we assemble the pizzettes. Cover the bread in the tomato sauce, then lay down some mozzarella, and top it off with basil. Lay the pizzettes out on a baking sheet leaving room for the mushrooms.
In order to make the mushrooms, pull the stems out, and if need be use a paring knife to cut the rest of the stem out. Put the mushrooms in a bowl, and coat them with the olive oil. Chop up the tarragon and in a separate small bowl mix together the tarragon and goat cheese. Fill the mushrooms with the cheese mix until overflowing a bit. Place on the baking sheet.
Put the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, pull out and remove the pizzettes, and then put the baking sheet back in the oven and bake for another 5 minutes.
Now enjoy your delicious Oscar food! Hurray!
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Who cares if Valentine’s day was a week ago! Love is always around you! So surprise someone you love with this gorgeous risotto. It is not only tasty but it is also a very sexy dish. Michael made this for me a few months ago, and we added the touch of the beet hearts. You will be sure to love this parmesan and beet risotto.
Ingredients: serves 6-8
2 cups Arborio rice
3 cups vegetable stock
3 cups water
¼ cup parmesan reggiano
2 medium beets
1 Tablespoon olive oil
To start preheat the oven to 450 degrees, and coat you beets in olive oil. Create a pouch out of tinfoil and place your beets in it, and stick in oven for 50 minutes to an hour. Your beets will be done once you can easily pierce them with a fork. Take the beets out, let them cool, and peel the outer rough skin off with your fingers under running water. Slice the beets into ¼” slices. Take about ½ of one beet and dice, set aside. Take the rest of the slices, and cut heart shapes out and set aside to lay on top of risotto.
Grate parmesan and set aside.
In a medium sized pot heat the Tablespoon of oil on medium high heat, add the Arborio rice, and stir, cooking for about 7 minutes. This allows the rice to soak up some of the olive oil flavor, and will allow the rice to cook a little faster. Add all the stock and 2 cups water and cover the pot until the liquid starts boiling. Once it reaches a boil, leave on medium high heat and start stirring frequently until the rice absorbs the liquid. Once it is absorbed, add the remainder of the water in quarter cups allowing the rice to absorb the liquid and repeat. Do this until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked.
**If you need to you can add more liquid. You will know the risotto is done when the rice has a slight al dente feel to it, but is really creamy. It is a frequent mistake to either not cook it enough so it is hard, or overcook and it is mushy.**
Next add the parmesan and diced beets and stir until the cheese has melted and the pink of the beets has colored all of the risotto.
To serve, place a heaping spoonful of risotto onto a plate and lay two hearts over each other! Tada! Now that is true love!!
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Happy Valentine’s Day!! We hope that you enjoy it, and spend it with the people, places, and animals, whatever you love! We are grateful for our parents, our siblings, our friends, neighbors, and our puppies and pet fish! Show the people you love a little appreciation today and whip up a batch of these delicious lemon shortbread cookies. They are so easy to make, and you can make them special by painting your loved ones name on the cookie. We decided to paint initials in a calligraphy style that keeps the look elegant and beautiful as a gift in itself.
* To write the initials you will need a tiny paint brush.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Ingredients: Makes about a dozen
1 cup butter, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup lemon juice
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 teaspoons milk
¼ teaspoon almond extract
Yellow food coloring
Blue food coloring
To start preheat your oven to 325 degrees, and let your butter sit out to soften. Cream butter and sugar together until completely combined. Add lemon zest and lemon juice, and mix. Now add flour a little at a time. The dough will seem really dry, but you will dump it out on to a flat surface and knead together by hand, it will meld together really nicely. Dust a rolling pin with flour and roll the dough out to be about a ¼” thick. Using a heart shaped cookie cutter, cut out cookies, lay on a dusted baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown on the edges.
Once baked, pull out and let cool. While cooling, mix together all of the ingredients for the icing, except the blue food coloring. Color with the yellow food coloring until you reach the desired color. Once cookies are cooled, using a small spatula, cover the cookie in the icing. If you want to make the icing dry faster, you can add a teaspoon of cream of tartar into the mix. Let the icing dry completely before you paint names on.
Once the icing dries, place a drop of two of blue food coloring into a small bowl and a drop of water. Using your very small paint brush, dip into the mix and paint the initials of the one you love.
Now eat your cookies or give them out to the one you love!
Sunday, February 10, 2013
Mardi Gras is the last day of rich eating, the day before Ash Wednesday when lent begins. Literally translated Mardi Gras means Fat Tuesday. This is the last day in which people celebrate and eat all of the rich things that they love, before repenting their sins and fasting for religious obligations. This has become a great time of religious celebrations throughout the world. Families join together, eat great food, drink great beverages, and in many cases attend grand festivals. Living in Venice I feel that every day is a Mardi Gras festival; the amount of colorful people that live in the area, all the fur covered bikes, random beads, and all around kookooness that occurs. This is one of the many reasons that we love living here.
When we think of Mardi Gras, Mikey and I think of New Orleans and all of the great Southern food that there is. We think delicious flavors, a little spice, some gooiness, and maybe something a little fried. To mix all this goodness together we created a jalapeno cheddar corn bread fritters! Not to mention the traditional southern drink of Sazerac to accompany it! Nothing says Mardi Gras like a fritter with some booze!
*We used an ice cream scooper to make perfect dollops of fritter.
* The best way to tell if oil is ready to fry things in is to put a little water on your fingers and flick it in the oil, (from far away as to not burn yourself), and if it sizzles you are ready.
Fritters: makes about a dozen
1 ½ cups plus 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups cornmeal
2 teaspoons sugar
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk
Sazerac: makes 1 drink
3 oz rye whiskey
¾ oz simple syrup
Splash of peychaud bitters
½ a tangerine
Make this lovely cocktail by measuring out your whiskey, add your simple syrup and stir it in. Splash it off with the bitters, and take half of a tangerine and squeeze it in to add a new tangy twist to this classic. To make a lemon twist, using a peeler, peel a 3 inch long strip of rind, take a knife to cut as a straight line, and twist around your finger to curl it.
For the fritters start by shredding one cup of cheddar cheese, and seeding and dicing one jalapeno. In a large and deep sauce pan heat the 1 ½ cups oil on a medium high heat.
In a medium size bowl mix all the dry ingredients together. In a small bowl whisk the egg and 2 Tablespoons of oil together. Pour in to the dry ingredients, followed by the milk, mix until most clumps are gone. Mix in the jalapeno and cheddar cheese.
Take whatever you are using to scoop your mix out, and dollop about 2 Tablespoons out into the hot oil. Fit as many as you can in the oil at once. Take a large plate and lay paper towels out so that as you are making your fritters you can place on towel to soak as much extra oil out as possible.
Cook on one side until golden brown, then flip, until golden brown all over. Lay on paper towel, wait to cool, and serve with the delectable cocktail you created! Now go collect as many beads as you can! Hoorah!
Friday, February 8, 2013
Today was a weird weather day in Los Angeles, it is actually pretty cold! This morning we had hail, the last time I remember that happening I was 6 years old, I was living in Pacific Palisades, and my dogs refused to go outside. Right after the downpour of the year I would say, the sun came out and reminded us that seasons don’t quite exist here, only to confuse me when I go outside to still smell rain and not be able to feel my ears and nose because I wasn’t prepared for cold weather. I will stop complaining right now, because this weather is a walk in the park compared to the crazy storm Nemo that is raging through the Northern East Coast.
So whether you are faring through cold weather in Los Angeles, or shoveling through snow on the East Coast this rainy day chili will warm your cold little souls out there! We created a superb slow cooker beef and chorizo chili, with some extra goodies; a little cinnamon sweetness, a little chipotle kick, and a nice crunch of corn. Enjoy!
*Whenever we use tomato sauce, chopped tomatoes, peeled tomatoes etc…We only use the brand Pomi. It comes in a paper container, and is delicious. Tomatoes should never come out of a can; they retain a metal flavor which takes a long time to cook out!
* Keep garlic salt, oregano, and garlic salt on hand, because depending on how long you want to cook your chili you may want to add more of these three ingredients to achieve your perfect flavor.
Ingredients: serves 10 cook time 3-4 hours
2.5 lbs ground beef
2 lbs chorizo
1 yellow onion
½ small can of chipotle peppers
2 cups fresh or frozen corn
4 oz tomato paste
12 oz Pomi chopped tomato
1 large can kidney beans
1 large can pinto beans
1 large can white or cannellini beans
¼ cup chopped fresh oregano
½ teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoon cumin
1 Tablespoon garlic salt
2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon paprika
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Grated cheddar cheese
To make your life easier measure out all of your spices ahead of time, take oregano off the stems and chop, dice the onion, and slice up your chipotle peppers.
In a large sauté pan heat your olive oil and then sweat your onions until they start to soften. Next add the ground beef, and the chorizo (remove casings), and break up using a wooden spoon. While the meat starts to sear add your oregano, onion powder, black pepper, paprika, salt, and cumin, by sprinkling it all over the meat. We do this because we want the meat to cook and absorb the entire flavor. When you feel that your meat has seared all the way, add the chopped chipotle with half of the sauce it sits in and the tomato paste, and stir.
Transfer the meat mix into a slow cooker (if you don’t have one use a crock pot). Add your beans, the Pomi, garlic salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg into the mix. Cook on low with the timer set at 3-4 hours, whatever your timeline is. Towards the end, you can even have it at warm until it is ready to eat.
30 minutes before you decide to serve the chili add the corn, this way it will retain a wonderful crunch. Once you are done serve with a dollop of sour cream and cheddar cheese! Boom! That is tasty!!!
Friday, February 1, 2013
Most all of our friends live on one block in Venice right off the beach, so whenever there is a festive gathering, it tends to always happen on this street as a block party. So for this Super Bowl we are going to the annual block party. There will be a ton of grilling, friends, dogs running around, beers, chili, and our friend Brandon and Marie’s beautiful baby boy Josiah. What Mikey and I are bringing to the party involve our fabulous selves, some bomb cheese dip, and some mind blowing chili!
So here is the recipe for this preposterously dangerous cheese dip, it is simple, packs a punch, and will have your inner bacon lover squealing (no pun intended)!
*Serve with some crispy chips, or on nachos, whatever you want!
Ingredients: serves 4-8 depending on cheese dip addiction
4 slices smoked bacon
1 cup whole milk
1 cup shredded jack cheese
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1 small tomato
Start by seeding and dicing your jalapeno as small as you can, and seeding and dicing the tomato at a normal size.
In a medium sized sauce pan cook the four slices of bacon until crisp. Once done, remove from pan, and drain about half of the bacon fat out. In the same pan with remaining bacon fat bring milk to a simmer, whisking to incorporate the bacon flavor in the milk.
While that comes to a simmer chop up the bacon into little bits. Once milk is brought to a simmer, dump all of the cheese into it, constantly whisking while the cheese melts. Once the cheese melts whisk in bacon bits and jalapeno. Whisk for another minute.
Now pour the cheese dip into a serving bowl and garnish with diced tomato and a few diced pieces of jalapeno, and get ready to dip in! Enjoy that cheesy goodness!