I heart Trader Joes ..

I'm having a cute halloween cocktail hour this weekend so I stopped by my fave TJ's to stock up on some Prosecco, my fave festive beverage. As I was stocking up my cart I noticed a sign that said "$3.99 sweet! Tastes like soda!" (The handwritten notes that the crew members write singlehandedly are my decision makers) I figured, eh its 4 bucks. Let's try it.

Got home, chilled it, popped it open champagne style and took a sip. For some reason I was thinking omg this might be gross. But it really wasn't!! Its kinda on the sweet side (I'm telling you, those trader joes signs are spot on!) but I think its perfect for a weeknight drink. Which is precisely what I'm doing at the moment. Try to find this the next time you're shopping at trader joes!



Daddy's Soy Sauce Chicken Wings

Yup its for breakfast. One of my favorite chinese food dishes ever, I need to figure this recipe out STAT!


Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

My Bestie, Margarita, made sweet potato fries the other day and i've been salivating for them. I saw this recipe from this months Food Network Magazine and revamped it a little bit.

2 pounds Sweet Potatoes, sliced into wedges
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons each of brown sugar and kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Toss all ingredients in a large bowl
Bake at 425 for 35 minutes or until crispy (they don't get super crispy like fried so don't get your hopes up, still yum though!)
Sprinkle with Lawry's Seasoned Salt.


<3 dland .. even if its just dtown disney

Good Night Disneyland, Trick or Treating was fun
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More to come ...


Why am I craving soup?

So I was at the store grabbin stuff to make chicken enchiladas tonight and totally stopped at the soup section? Mm vegetable soup. Even though its 90 degrees out I wanted my soup. I'm sad I didn't have any frozen peas :( jason got me into putting extra stuff in the soup to get it extra chunky. The Campbells Veg soup is the best but it needs more salt. I gourmet-ed up a little by adding Maldon Sea Salt (given to me by jason's aunt. Thanks Dorcas!) And some fresh ground pepper. Perfect!


New cooking buys!

J and I headed to Irvine Spectrum today to do a lil shopping and escape the LA heat. I love! They have the best mix of high and low stores including my favorites: Urban Outfitters, Sur la Table and Barnes and Noble. I always find the cutest little housewares at UO. When I saw this little ice cream kitchen timer I had to have it! ($12). Also copped the Trader Joes Cookbook. I've been debating whether to get the original one or the companion for awhile now but after looking through the recipes I liked the companion ($13.95) recipes a lot better and I love that its small and I can just have it in the car and bust it out during TJ runs. Don't want to look like too much of a nerd wandering the aisles with a huge cookbook!

Last but not least! I got the Kuhn Rikon cookie and cake decorating set. I'm trying to not get into pastry bags to decorate becuase its so much of a hassle. I've seen some pros use squeeze bottles and at $24 I think this set is a valid investment! At least I won't have to buy all those bags. We'll see how it works out :)

on the go blogging!

One of my faaaave things here @CPK: Herb Onion Focaccia. Its like bruscetta without the crunchyness.

Wait! Is this true?? Could I blog from my phone? Let's see if this works ;)
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Hells Kitchen

I am SO addicted to this show. Mostly because i've grown up in a restaurant kitchen, my dad is the chef and he most certainly can have the temper of the great Gordon Ramsey. I have never seen the previous seasons, but i totally got HOOKED this season. Im always curious how dinner service only restaurants work and this show provided a bunch of insight. Honestly, i think i learned alot just by watching this show because it really deals with what kind of food you put out and if it passes the Ramsey test. Pretty much like, it looks good enough to me but is it good enough for him? and i cannot imagine any contestant leaving the show without thinking about Gordon Ramsey when they put food out. Well, maybe except Joseph. (Need a reminder? "I'm nobody's bitch!!" what a nutjob ...). Anyways. i totally relate to the show and i think it made me understand my father a lot more. Don't get me wrong, he is a complete softie but when he is in his element, in the zone, there is no room for error which is valuable asset in our business because at the end of the day it is about the food, not feelings.

From the get go i could have guessed that the finalists would have been Ariel and Kevin because they were the strongest from the beginning. Dave came in from left field for me because he broke his wrist and to me it was damn near impossible to cook in a high intensity kitchen for 8 hours a day. But, he prevailed and won the whole thing. It was really impressive! given the fact he has had a cast on for the last 10 episodes! crazy. i doubt i'll ever go to the Araxi, but it would be nice to see how Dave does in the real world. In the meantime, i will have to check out Gordon Ramsey at the London in LA. Can't wait :)



It was my dear cousins birthday last night and she opted to do a small dinner of the 4 of us and we met at a new hip, hot, YUM restaurant named ANIMAL. You know, the name is funny but it really ties into their menu. i can honestly say that its one of the few restaurants i know that integrated their name into the food they serve. They pretty much use all parts of an animal, like pig ears, chicken livers and pig tail. It may be unusual, but it really is the combination of the flavors on the dish that really hit the mark. So between to four of us, i think we ordered a good amount of food and we were literally rolling out the front door after the dessert, Bacon Chocolate Crunch Bar (yep, BACON CHOCOLATE. more on that later ... )

For Appetizers we ordered :

Pig Ear, Chili, Lime & Fried Egg ($10)

i really enjoyed this dish! the combo of spicy and sour added to the crunch of the pig ear. i was a liiiitle grossed out about eating pig ear cause thats a dog treat that we give the dog, but it tastes really good!

Poutine, Ox Tail Gravy, Cheddar ($15)

Oooh, Poutine. i don't even know what a poutine is but every poutine i have from here on out will have to live up to the goodness of THIS poutine. Like my cuz says "its like high end chilli cheese fries". Oh man, the tenderness of the ox tail the flavor of the gravy, melted cheese on top of FRIES? forget about it, best thing on earth. MUST get.

Melted Petit Basque, Chorizo, Grilled Bread ($11)

This was yummers as well. Lots and lots of oozing cheese with chorizo sliced thinly like salami and with that homemade thick rustic bread catching all of the fat you cant go wrong. Perfect size for 4 people.

Pork Belly, Kimchi, Peanuts, Chili Soy, Scallion ($12)

FAT at its FINEST. a big slab of pork belly conveniently cut into 4 pieces with a slaw of kimchi and peanuts on top. When you bite into you feel the fat ooze out of the meat and run down your throat, but somehow you're not scared. you're not scared that your pants quite possibly wont fit the next day. you're not scared that your heart might all of a sudden clog up. you're not even scared that the fat has left a film of "natural chapstick" on your lips ( as jason says). because it is WORTH IT.


Balsamic Pork Ribs, Succotash, Herb Butter ($37)

First of all, forgive me for my horrible photo of the ribs. i really didnt do it justice, but if you had two boys hovering over your shoulder with knives and forks, you'd snap fast and not ask to retake also. Second of all, there really was no point for knives and forks because once you get ahold of the bone, the meat falls right off. Seriously, it was perfectly cooked. and the balsamic glaze gave it some unexpected sweetness. I also didnt get a picture of the Succotash cause apparently the boys said "we dont eat green things". Ah, boys.

Foie Gras Loco Moco, Quail Egg, Spam, Hamburger ($35)

Isn't the little quail egg cute? i dont know how they do it here, but the eggs are cooked so nicely. no brown edges or anything. anyways, this was an interesting dish. you can totally taste the foie gras, which is a good thing ( i think. ive never had it before so it was interesting) but it really is all the flavors together that makes this dish. We cut it up into quarters and each took a bite and it was a one bite wonder. delish. and i swear those little red dots are sriracha hot sauce, but i dont think anyone believed me ...

And the Grand Finale, Dessert:

Bacon Chocolate Crunch Bar, S&P Anglaise ($7)

The first time i heard of this dish was on the Food Network Show "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" and the whole show was about bacon. So Duff declared that this was his fave bacon dish. When i saw it i was like, thats so freakin weird. why would you eat bacon with chocolate? I would never eat bacon with chocolate! So when i saw it on the menu, i was like wait, was this the place on the show?! omg, im totally going to try it. I'm SO glad i did. i think i was probably one of the best desserts i've ever had. Mostly because i usually don't order things that i can make myself. and im so over chocolate molten cake ... ANYWAYS, bacon and chocolate. what a wonderful surprise. crunchy bacon bits on top of a rich chocolate bar with a drizzle S&P anglaise, which my clever cousin decoded as Salt&Pepper anglaise. it was really really good.


So after all those dishes, i really recommend this place. i feel like my culinary tastebuds have been heightened and you really do feel like your are dining on a dish that could easily win Top Chef. The restaurant is small and open for dinner only, so make your reservations early!


435 N. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

(323) 782-9225

Open Seven Days A Week

Sunday - Thursday


Friday - Saturday


* PS, they use organic/local ingredients and their menu changes seasonally.
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