Sunday, March 31, 2013

Meyer Lemon Cake with Coconut Frosting!

Happy Easter everyone!!! While Mikey was cooking brunch at the Sunny Spot, I spent the day baking! I will shortly be dyeing some late night eggs with my mother, and forcing my father to watch the millionth episode of Doctor Who. Easter is a moveable feast, not falling on a linked date on the calendar. Easter is the celebration of Christ resurrecting from death. It is at the end of lent, and falls after Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion of Christ.

This Holy Day is remembered and celebrated through classic traditions through families sharing meals and attending church service, and through non-religious traditions such as fabulous mimosas, Easter baskets full of candy, we dye Easter eggs, eat peeps, and take kids to look at the Easter bunny.

I have always felt that Easter is the true beginning of Spring and I wanted to build a cake that captured the essence of spring, something light, fun, pretty, and not to mention delicious! Two flavors I love and feel that represent the Spring, and would be wonderful together, are Meyer lemon and coconut. This is why I have created a Meyer lemon layer cake iced with coconut frosting and coconut flakes.

*If you want your baking to be super duper accurate use a scale which you can set to zero to measure out equal parts for baking.


1 14 oz can unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup unsalted butter
2 ½ cups powdered sugar

16 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans
2 1/2 cups cake flour, plus more for pans, sifted
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
4 eggs
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 lemon’s zest


Star by preheating the oven to 350°. Butter and flour two 9″ cake pans, and set aside, leaving the 1 cup of butter out to soften. Get one small, medium, and large bow and put to the side.

In a medium bowl sift together your flour, baking powder, and salt, then set aside.

In a small bowl whisk together milk and vanilla in a bowl, set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar, and zest on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. On low speed, alternately add dry ingredients in 3 batches and wet ingredients in 2 batches. Increase speed to high and beat until batter is smooth, about 5 seconds.

Using your scale, pour out the batter so that it is equally divided between prepared pans, and smooth top with a rubber spatula, then drop pans lightly on a counter to get rid of any large air bubbles.

Place in oven on the same rack next to each other for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Let cakes cool for 20 minutes in pans, invert onto wire racks, and let cool.

While your cakes are cooling, you are going to prepare your reduced coconut milk. It is very simple, basically you are going to take a deep sauce pan and pour out your coconut milk, and heat on a medium high heat. The milk will come to a boil, and you will need to stir it while it reduces to a desired thickness, about 25 minutes. Pour out into a bowl, and chill.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth. Add sugar, once cooled down add a 1/3 of a cup of reduced coconut milk, and blend together a delicious frosting has been created.

Now start to prepare the cakes by cutting the rounded top of the cake off and discard. Next, using a ruler, mark halfway up the cake and using a serrated knife cut through to create two layers. To create the cake put one layer of cake down, then spread frosting, top with coconut flakes, then add next cake layer and continue. Frost all the surrounding parts of the cake and cover in coconut frosting.

To add the finishing touch, top the cake with either a peep or like we used a few malt balls that look like Easter eggs. Enjoy! Happy Easter!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Passover Brisket Matzo!


Happy Passover! I hope that everyone is enjoying it, loving their family, and eating wonderful food! Passover originated by celebrating the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt of 3,300 years ago, and their birth as a nation under Moses; this is a holiday steeped in beautiful tradition. A huge symbol of Passover is the use of Matzo, or unleavened bread. This is so because it was said in Exodus that the Jews left Egypt in such haste, that their bread had no time to rise, thus flat unleavened bread is a reminder of this. It is also used as a reminder of what it was to be poor, and to act with humility. This is a great lesson that people of all religions should remember, to live with humility and love in our hearts.
For this dish, we are using two things that are timeless classics at any kosher family meal table, Matzo….and Brisket! Yay!! For this recipe feel free to use whatever leftovers you have or want to use or you can follow ours.

*Allow 5 hours
*You will need to use a dutch oven, or an oven safe pan that is deep set.

Ingredients: serves 8
4 sheets of matzo
1 jar roasted red pepper
Horseradish sauce
Fresh oregano
5 cloves garlic
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 first cut of beef brisket (3 1/2 to 4 pounds)
2 Meyer lemons
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

First things first, you cannot make this dish without the brisket. So start by preheating the oven to 325 degrees. Mince your garlic, and then mash into a paste by adding a pinch of coarse salt, and using the side of a knife smooshing it down over and over until it turns into a paste. Next season both sides of the brisket, rubbing salt and pepper into it, along with a quarter of the garlic paste for each side. Lastly zest and juice your two lemons.

Place your dutch oven on top the stove, add your oil, and heat on a medium high heat. Once heated, place the brisket in and brown one side (about 7 min), then flip to brown the other. Pour the lemon juice on top, and then add water (about 4 cups), until the brisket is half way submerged. Bring to a boil.

Once boiling, place lid on top, and place in oven. Braise for 1hour and 15 minutes. Flip over, smother with the rest of garlic paste, cover again, and braise 1 hour more, or until brisket separates easily with a fork. Remove lid, add lemon zest to liquid, and braise 10 minutes longer.

Once done, remove from liquid and pull apart or slice in to pieces you would like to serve on the matzo, and then place back in to liquid so that it can stay as moist as possible.

Slice the red pepper into small slivers.

To assemble break the matzo into small square pieces, layer with brisket, then slivers of red pepper, then top with a dollop of horseradish sauce, and a tiny leaf of oregano.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Welcome Spring!

Spring is starting tomorrow and we are very excited. Though it is really foggy by the beach in Los Angeles, I can see all the flowers and trees starting to bud, and it is so beautiful. We are so very proud Michael has started a new job cooking at the restaurant A-Frame in Culver City, under the chef Roy Choi. The food is modern picnic, there is all you can eat fried chicken, a ton of things are pickled, and we are so very excited! This spring is a great time of change, Michael and I are back to being fitness nuts again, partly so we can eat all our delicious food, jobs are changing, we have been cleaning things out, painting, planting, all the good stuff!!

With our personal changes we are also going to change up some of the food we make for spring. It is very important to look good in your speedos and thong bikinis…so our menu is going to be a bit lighter. The food will have a softer touch, a leaner feel, even our wonderful cakes will feel light on its toes!!! So you have plenty to look forward to and these are some of the colors that you can expect in your food.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day: Corn Beef Hash and Chocolate Covered Marzipan!!


St. Patrick’s Day is not just a day for people to behave like they are in college all over again, drink Irish car bombs (though delish), and to wear green and find a pot of gold. It is full of beautiful tradition and history….now go have an Irish car bomb!!!

St. Patrick’s Day celebrates Ireland’s patron saint, and is technically a Christian feast day. Originally the color of St. Patrick was blue, but over the years, the color has changed with the use of wearing green ribbons and the shamrock. The shamrock, with its three leaves, was used to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish. So to all you pagans out there, here is some knowledge and some delicious food.

This post is broken in to two parts, first our wonderful corn beef hash which is a traditional Irish pub dish, and second some chocolate covered marzipan delightful enough to catch a leprechaun!

Go ahead and enjoy!

*You will not need salt, because the corn beef is already pretty salty.

Corn Beef Hash:
Ingredients: serves 4

2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 medium Yukon Gold Potatoes
2 medium russet potatoes
12 oz corn beef
1 yellow onion
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoon prepared horseradish
½ teaspoon ground pepper
¼ cup heavy cream
4 eggs

Chocolate covered marzipan:
*You can make your own marzipan, but to keep it simple, we are using already made, and we will save that recipe for another time.

1 tube marzipan
4 oz white chocolate
Green food coloring
3 tablespoons green rock candy

Start by boiling your potatoes and by making your mise en place. Dice the onion small and cube the beef small in about ½” pieces. Boil the potatoes until they are just about fully cooked. Once ready, take them out and cube them as well.

In a large non-stick pan heat the oil, add the potatoes and cook about 10-12 minutes, until golden, constantly stirring. Add onions and cook until completely softened. Add the Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, then stir. Next add the heavy cream and stir until fully mixed, then add the beef and cook about 10 minutes until meat is cooked through and tender.

Remove pan from heat to stop cooking  so you can make the poached eggs. Fill a sauce pan with about 2 inches of water, and heat until it simmers. To place the eggs in, crack and egg into a bowl, and then plop in, one at a time about 3 inches apart in clockwise order so you know to remove them in that order as well. Once all eggs are in, remove from heat and cover, and cook for 5 minutes, NO LIFTING THE COVER!

While the eggs cook, plate the corn beef hash, and on the 5 minute mark remove the eggs in order, and place on top of hash! Voila!! Eat it!

The dessert is so simple. Make whatever shape you want with the marzipan, we made balls and 4 leaf clovers! Next heat the chocolate in a double boiler constantly stirring. Once melted you can either dip the chocolate in, or roll it in, whatever you so please. Lay on a wax covered baking sheet to cool, and sprinkle with rock candy. Cool, and eat!
This will certainly be a St. Patrick’s Day you will never forget!!!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Strawberry Thin Mint Milkshake

Mikey and I were talking about how we haven’t really seen and Girl Scout’s in our neighborhood recently, and then bam….they snuck up on us! Or should I say that I saw a Girl Scout walking through the farmer’s market and essentially ran after her and instantly bought three boxes of thin mints! Love it!

My mom taught me that thin mints are best when they are frozen, so instead of just throwing all the boxes in the freezer, we only threw two in and used the remaining box for this week’s food post. Enjoy our strawberry thin min milkshake inspired by thin mints, and be sure to support the Girl Scouts of America and go buy some delicious boxes of whatever you favorite cookies may be! This is an American tradition that we need to keep going, one cookie at a time!

*If you find the chance, you should absolutely go pick up some old fashion ice cream float glasses!

Ingredients: makes 2

1 quart strawberry ice cream
1 quart mint chocolate chip ice cream
6 thin mints
1 ½ cups half and half
½ cup whip
1 Tablespoon powdered sugar

This is the simplest recipe I think we have on Food Nasty. All you need to do is blend together all the ice cream and the half and half. Next you need to make the whip cream by whipping together the heavy cream and powdered sugar for about 2 minutes until it gets stiff. Don’t over whip. Now for the best part….crumble up the cookies and sprinkle on top. Yay a milkshake inspired by the wonderful Girl Scout cookies we all love!