Posts Tagged ‘L.A.’

From Dish Jodi:

It’s been hot here in LA. And though I love our hilltop house and big patio — a place to dip my feet regularly would sure be nice. It’s been a little bit of “Operation Find A Pool” and last weekend was no exception. Here’s a little technique I figured out.

1) Find a friend (or friend of a friend) with a pool.
2) Using sneaky undercover tactics, figure out that this person happens to love anything made with chocolate and coconut.
3) Make cookies (see below).
4) Send friend pictures of cookies, asking for a trade.
5) Realize friend is weak to idea of chocolate and coconut cookies and take advantage.
6) Dangle feet, float and splash away in friend’s pool while friend is distracted by cookies.


1 cup butter, room temp
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp coarse salt
2 cups white-chocolate chips or chunks
1 3/4 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 3/4 cups coarsely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Cream butter and sugars in an electric mixer. Mix in vanilla and then eggs, one at a time.

Meanwhile, sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt into another bowl. Mix slowly into butter mixture until combined. Fold in chocolate, coconut and walnuts until evenly distributed.

Put big scoops of dough on baking sheets leaving a couple inches between. Smush them down a little to shape. Bake 10-12 minutes or until set.

Let cook on the sheets for a couple of minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

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From Dish Jodi:

Are you guys sick of seeing the top of my clothes dryer in all my Saucy pics? I am. Are you tired of pitying me and my 22 inch stove top and oven? I know I am tired of not being able to have more than two things bubbling on the stove at once, or an oven that JUST FITS a half sheet pan. It’s the end of an era. We’re moving this weekend.

The next time you see me, I will have a new kitchen – brand new – even all the appliances. Well actually, you will probably see me mid-reno – just using the bathroom sink and the grill outside – but THEN I will have a brand new kitchen!

But this week it’s all about packing our house, supervising the workers putting in new lights, floor, paint and getting the RENTAL UNIT ready to go. Yes, we are crazy and bought a duplex. We’ll live in the back and rent out the three bedroom front unit to help cover our mortgage. (I am starting to document this adventure here: http://soweboughtaduplex.blogspot.com/. ¬†EEPS!

My amazing parents came this week to help us out and it’s been wonderful to have them finishing tasks, being around for deliveries and helping us pack. Last night, my mom and I did a big Fridge Clean Out Dinner – We made a mushroom, onion and broccoli fritatta, Neal made a crisp arugula salad and we decided to use up as much of the random crap in our cupboards for dessert. This turned into a quick bread packed with yummy things that may not have had a home in our new place. This was the combo we used – you can put in any stuff you want – chocolate chips? craisins? Other nuts? Use the dry ingredients, eggs and bananas as your base.

We also found a 4-year-old can of Four Loko we bought to try and have been too scared. It’s probably a collectors item. It’s from before they deemed the mix of caffeeine, alcohol, energy drink and what must be liquid plumber illegal. Why not throw that in too?


2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Three old bananas that have been in your freezer for months
2 eggs
4 T butter, melted
One can of contraband Four Loko
One bloop of almond oil because it was in your cupboard and why not
1/2 C of chopped pecans so you can wash that cute glass jar and pack it
1/2 C of toasted coconut from Oliver’s 2nd Birthday Dinosaur cake you made last September
1 C of chopped strawberries that are almost bad after you bought 2 pounds of them on sale this weekend

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan. Take a swig of Four Loko. Combine all the dry ingredients in a big bowl. Mash up the banana in a smaller bowl and mix with eggs, butter and oil. Combine wet and dry and mix until just combined.

Rinse that effort down with a big drink of Four Loko. The fold in the nuts, coconut and berries until evenly distributed.

Put in loaf pan and bake for an hour while you pack 10 boxes or until a toothpick poked in the middle comes out dry or your can of Four Loko is more than halfway gone.

Let cool for 15 minutes or so, then turn out and let cool the rest of the way. Keep snagging slices between trips lugging boxes out to the garage. Probably don’t sleep well because you are so hopped up on Four Loko.

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From Dish Jodi:

It’s that time of year in California when citrus is going overboard. There are more types of oranges at the markets than different vegetables themselves. In an impulsive moment, I bought 8 pounds of grapefruit…it was so cheap! I couldn’t say no! Now I have to figure out how to use them all. Replaced lemon juice and zest with grapefruit in basic lemon bars for a big hit this weekend. TONS of citrus salads – grapefruit chunks over arugula with a little almond oil — yum. And these simple sugar cookies.

For Cookies:

2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp finely grated grapefruit zest
2 Tbsp fresh grapefruit juice
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 C granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla

For Glaze:

1/3 C Grapefruit Juice
3 C powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and zest. Meanwhile, in a mixer, beat butter and sugar til light and fluffy. add egg, 2 T juice, and vanilla and beat until combined, then add flour mixture and combine until everything is moist. Drop heaping teaspoons on cookie sheets and bake until edges are toasty about 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Once cookies are cool, whisk together powdered sugar and remaining juice until smooth. Dip cookies in glaze and let dry, or spoon or drizzle glaze over them.

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From Dish Jodi:

Full disclosure, this month’s recipe was inspired by Bon Appetit’s story on Osteria Mozza’s Nancy Silverton. Singing Mozza’s praises is nothing new – it’s truly delicious, and the site of some of the most memorable meals of my life. There was a birthday, an anniversary, and a celebratory dinner where a friend and I shared 4 different pastas. Also – LA folks – they have an amazing deal where, at the bar, Sunday-Thursday, you can get a mozzerella app, a pasta, a dessert and a glass of house wine for around 40 bucks. Damn.

They make a dish there that I fantasize about: Burracotta, Grilled Radicchio, Honeycomb, and Candied Walnuts on grilled bread. Sweet, bitter, creamy. Damn again. With a fridge full of dairy products that needed using, I decided to make my own version, with the stuff I had on hand…and to experiment a bit with the homemade “Ricotta” cheese from Bon Appetit this month.

For the cheese:
4 C whole milk
1 C heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp lemon juice

For the crostini:
Sliced Italian bread
a couple medium of endives
candied walnuts

Bring the cheese ingredients just to a boil in a medium saucepan, then remove from heat. While it sits for 15 minutes or so, it will start to curdle. If you don’t think it’s curdling enough, gently stir in a bit more lemon juice. After it has sat, use a slotted spoon to place curds in cheese cloth over a strainer and drain the curds for an hour or so. You should have a curdled, creamy, salty cheese – very spreadable.

Grill the bread and endives lightly.

Slice endive and divide pieces among toasts. Slather with the cheese, sprinkle chopped walnuts and drizzle them with honey.

(The endive is a little light in flavor for this, radicchio would be better, but no one was complaining here – it’s the combo of bitter and creamy that works.)

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From Dish Jodi:

The husband was out of town this weekend, so I hosted a handful of ladies at our house. I’m a dinner party addict and have gotten the routine pretty well down. Don’t make anything that needs active attention as guests arrive, clean up the cooking and prep dishes and start the night with as spotless kitchen as possible (because it will be filled with dirty dishes and wine-glasses in a few hours), put away leftovers, but tackle the real cleaning the next morning, while hungover.

Further taking advantage of my day alone, I tried out new LA butcher shop Lindy & Grundy and though I’d called the day before to reserve my leg of lamb, they’d been so busy they hadn’t had time to prep it for me. Owners/butchers/bad-ass chicks Amelia and Erika were so attentive, they said they’d butcher it for me right then and there…so out of the walk-in came a whole lamb, and one of their apprentices hacked it up special for me, even cutting it exactly to the size that would fit in my pot. What a great way to kick off a meal.

I served the lamb with a spread of dips, grape leaves, olives and other middle-eastern inspired fare. I kept the flavors in the lamb within the same theme, but you can use rosemary, thyme, etc…any profile you want.

This dish will totally impress your friends, but is so easy – it’s the perfect dinner party trick.

1 5 or 6 lb leg of lamb (you will probably have to have the shank cut depending on the size of your pot.
Olive Oil
1 bottle of dry white wine
1 head of garlic
4 or 5 sprigs of thyme
4 or 5 sprigs of oregano
a dozen or so cardamom pods
1 T cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Heat oil in a large dutch oven. Smear leg of lamb with olive oil and salt and pepper all over generously.

Sear the entire leg on all sides until brown and crispy. Remove to plate.

Pour entire bottle of wine into pot and scrape up all the yummy brown bits. Break up the head of garlic and put it and the rest of the ingredients into wine.

Bring to simmer then put lamb back in, cover and put in oven for FOUR HOURS, basting occasionally.

When your guests arrive, remove lamb to platter and pull apart with spoon and fork to serve in melty piles. If you’re feeling industrious, you can strain the cooking liquid and reduce it into a sauce, but I’d rather chat with friends and eat appetizers.
Note – also makes good leftovers…

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From Dish Jodi:

We never really get FALL Fall here in LA – it’s currently alternating between 90 degrees and a brisk 67. We DO however, get the most amazing range of veggies at our disposal…and this year, my new obsession is Kale. It feels like an infusion of vitamins…and is so suited for those big one pot meals that are so cozy this time of year. This has become a go-to for my household…and can be spiced and accessorized in a lot of different ways.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic roughly minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp of cumin
2 bunches kale
2 cups of chicken stock
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 can diced tomatoes with juice (Or a couple regular tomatoes chopped)
1 can cannellini beans
2 spicy sausages (your choice)



In a heavy stock pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil and add the onions til they begin to sweat.

Add the garlic, pepper and cumin and cook a few minutes til fragrant. Meanwhile, roughly chop the kale, removing the hard spines from the leaves.

Toss in the Kale and stir to start wilting the leaves. After wilting, add the stock, tomatoes and wine, stir and bring to a simmer. Cover and let cook for about 20 minutes or until kale is tender, stirring occasionally.

Toss in the beans, stir and let cook for another 10 minutes or so. (Other good stuff – Chickpeas? Cubed up firm tofu? all added at the same time as the beans! leave out the cumin and toss in a some chopped fresh basil at the last minute?)

Preheat a grill pan or saute pan and lightly oil. Grill up your sausages until cooked til your liking. I like to crisp the outsides up a bit to give a little texture contrast with the kale.

Spoon the kale stew into a low bowl and slice the sausages on top. Serve with some crusty bread and enjoy!

(ED. note: Dish Jodi forgot to include a photo this round, so let’s enjoy this lovely one of her having cocktails al fresco, while we East Coast girls turn the heat up in our apartments!)

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From Dish Jodi:

Usually, fall in LA is just like summer everywhere else. 80 degrees, sunny, with a cool breeze. Seasons don’t really count here.

But my household was in full on fall mode today…Football on the TV all day for the hubby. The sound of cheering and play by play filling the air while a cool breeze passed through. A day of accomplishments and nesting for me. Stocking up at the farmers market. Planted my newly expanded backyard garden with lettuces, kale, spinach and radishes. Made curtains for the dining room (OK, hemmed Ikea curtains for the dining room). And finally, cooked a meal made from the fruits of my gardening and shopping labors. Hubby helped a little…at commercials, and half times.

This meal was as satisfying as the day was. Cooking a simple chicken is a KEY part of a kitchen repertoire and this is about as foolproof as can be. Crispy skin, moist flesh and tons of flavor.


3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 Tbsp butter
2 skin-on, bone-in Chicken Breasts
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 clove minced garlic

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix Rosemary and garlic with one tablespoon olive oil and make a paste.

Generously salt and pepper both sides of chicken breast and then smear paste on chicken. Let sit at room temp for 5-10 minutes.

In a large pan, heat remaining oil and butter. When pan is very hot, put chicken, skin side down into pan. Don’t move for at least 5 minutes or until skin is brown and crispy.

Flip and give the other side a good 5 minutes as well.

Transfer chicken to a pan and roast in oven for another 10 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked to your liking.

We served with some roasted asparagus and some amazing farmers’ market sweet corn, sauteed with red onions, butter and a pinch of pretty much every fresh herb in my backyard. It was insane. And an amazing end to the first official weekend of fall.

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