Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fall 2013

It is the first day of fall yet again and in Los Angeles I wish I could say it was a bit cooler, but it is not! I wish I could say that I was going to bake a million baked goods again, and that everything would be glutinous, but we are going to take it a bit lighter this fall. Don't worry there will still be delicious baked goods, and hearty stews, some Halloween stuff, and a macabre Food Nasty dinner party for my birthday.

Stay tuned!!


Francesca and Michael

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Pizza Potsticker Afterschool Snack!

It is the last day of summer and school is in full swing. Michael is working his butt off as the sous at A-frame, I am teaching little kids how to sew and draw things wile applying to graduate school to earn my MFA. With so much going on and a lot to accomplish, we thought we would make a nice easy afterschool snack. Also, who doesn’t love a fancy hot pocket!!?

We constructed some pepperoni pizza pot-stickers with a side of some sweet strawberry almond butter morsels. I promise you will enjoy this whether you are a 31 year old chef, or a 5 year old kid!

* When making all of this, it is mostly by eye, it doesn’t have to be an exact measurement.

Ingredients: makes 6 of both

Gyoza wrappers
2 balls buffalo mozzarella
5 Tablespoons pepperoni
1 Tablespoon olive oil

Strawberry Almond Morsel: makes 6
1 piece whole wheat toast
3 Tablespoon almond butter
3 Strawberries

Dipping Sauce:
1 beefsteak tomato
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Start by setting up a tiny bowl with water to use to seal up the pot-stickers, and by dicing and mixing up all your dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

Dice up the mozzarella and the pepperoni. Put a pile of mozzarella and pepperoni in the middle of your gyoza wrappers. Put a pile a bit larger than a quarter in the center. Using your finger, wet half of the edge of the wrapper.

To assemble pick up the wrapper and fold in half, pressing the edges together. Once you press together fold the edges to create a fan like fold this is not only pretty, but helps seal the goods in!

Next lightly toast your piece of bread and cut into 6 pieces. Cut your strawberries in half. Then spread each little piece with almond butter and top with a strawberry half. Set aside.

To cook the pot-stickers, heat your oil on medium high heat. Once the oil is hot place all the pot-stickers sitting up right and cook for two minutes until the bottom gets brown and crisp. Lower the heat to medium, and turn the pot-stickers to one side and cook for about 30 seconds to crisp up one side, then flip to the other side for an extra 30 seconds.

Serve pizza pot-stickers immediately with dipping sauce, and your sweet morsels on the side!!!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Mother's Asian-ish Meatloaf

The summer is disappearing, the fog is rolling in more steadily by the beach, the nights are getting cold, and school is back in session.  This is a good time for some simple recipes that warm your bones, and are easy to pop in the oven after a long day of work or school.

We have taken a classic mom dish of meatloaf and added a bit of a fun twist on it. Instead of the good ol’ ketchup and brown sugar, we have added an Asian twist by using Hoisin instead, and by adding Panko. We also added a delicious crunch by using unsalted pistachios.

So make this meatloaf, enjoy, and curl up on the couch!

*Don’t over mix ingredients, this will cause the meatloaf to be a bit drier than you would like!

Ingredients: serves 4 Make in a 9”x5”x5” loaf tray

1 lb. ground beef
½ lb. ground turkey
½ yellow onion
3 cloves garlic
2 green onions
½ cup pistachios
¼ cup Hoisin
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 Tbsp. Dijon
4 splashes Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl place all your beef, turkey, Dijon, Worcestershire Sauce, salt and pepper together. Using a grater, grate the three garlic cloves and half an onion into this mix. Using your hands mix together all these ingredients until they are just mixed.

Chop the pistachios (they don’t have to be even sizes) and dump into the mix, along with panko, and all but about 2 tablespoons of the Hoisin. Mix until just combined.

To make removing the meatloaf easier you can line the tray with tinfoil so that the foil sticks out. Fill the tray with the meat mix and form a slightly rounded top.

Bake for 45 minutes.

Spread remainder of Hoisin on the top of loaf, and bring temperature to 380 degrees and bake another 15 minutes. All ovens are different so using a meat thermometer you want the loaf to be at 160 degrees inside.

Remove from oven, let cool. Slice the stems of your green onion on a bias, and sprinkle over the meatloaf.

Serve and enjoy!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Spicy Sweet Infused Vodka Cocktail with a Chili Salt Rim!

Happy Labor Day!

August was an extremely busy month, there were bachelor parties, bachelorette parties, bridal showers, and yesterday a wedding! Two of our closest friends Dan Perozzi and Danté Cox married yesterday in a beautiful ceremony in Malibu among close friends. Everyone chipped in to make this a gorgeous wedding; our contribution was to make jams as wedding party favors!

To relax after a jam packed month of stuff, and to celebrate Labor Day and embrace the dwindling last days of summer; we have for you a tasty jalapeño, red bell pepper, and strawberry cocktail with a chili salt rim. It is perfect to wake up your pallet and bring a bit of the heat which we all love about summer.  

This recipe is basically an infused vodka recipe, which we then used to make a cocktail!


Infused vodka:
1 liter vodka
1 large red bell pepper
1 medium jalapeño
2 cups strawberries

1 lime
2 oz. vodka
2 oz. sparkling water
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. chili powder


Allow at least 2 days to infuse the vodka, the longer you infuse the more depth of flavor you will achieve.
In a container pour our vodka, diced bell pepper, diced strawberry, and diced and de-seeded jalapeño. (Save the vodka bottle to later put infused vodka back in).

Keep the mix in a cool dark place, and stir at least three times a day.

Once you feel that you have adequately infused your vodka, take all the fruit and vegetables out, and pour back into the vodka bottle and re-label!

Assembling the cocktail is the easy part. On a plate mix salt and cayenne, and using back of spoon crush up some of the salt into finer pieces. Cut lime into quarters, and taking one quarter rim the glass. Next rim the glass with salt cayenne mix.

If you have a martini shaker use it, if not I am sure you can find a way to mix the drink together! Mix
2 oz of your vodka with 2 oz fizzy water, and pour into cocktail glass, squeeze a lime quarter in, and bam….drink it!

Have a blast! Drink safely!