Almond Pulp Hummus and Crackers

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About a month ago, Hailey and I were invited to a virtual potluck by the lovely ladies of  The Pig & Quill and So…Let’s Hang Out. One thing that I love about food blogging–besides the food of course–is the foodie community that comes along with it. Since our blog’s inception approximately six months ago, the men and women of the food interweb have “virtually” embraced us with open arms, encouraging words and hours of recipe inspirations. So, of course we were excited to take part in the #soletspigout potluck … and, who doesn’t love a good ole’ fashioned potluck anyways?

Last weekend, I made my own almond milk. I grew up on homemade soymilk and thought, what the heck, I bet almond milk is not that hard to make either. It turns out I actually like the homemade milk better; it’s so much creamier and much better for the green smoothies I’ve been having for breakfast.

But, what to do with the leftovers? Though my mind tends to lean towards the sweet end of the spectrum, I wanted to try for something other than a baked good for once. Thus, I present Almond Pulp Hummus served with Rosemary-Raisin Almond Crackers.

Cheers!

P.S. Remember to check out the #SoLetsPigOut Potluck for some summertime menu inspiration and to check out the awesome giveaways!

Day 1: $225 Potluck Set from Mighty Nest
Day 2: Two (2) $50 Mini Shopping Sprees from iHerb.com
Day 3: Olive Oil Gift Set featuring Award-Winning Olive Oils from California Olive Ranch
Day 4: Sambazon Prize Pack (Smoothie Packs, Wooden Bowl, Recipe Book) AND California Almonds Gift Tote (Snack Almonds, Baking Almonds, Almond Flour + More!)

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Almond Pulp Hummus (lightly adapted from My New Roots)

1 ¼ Cups of Dehydrated Almond Pulp (the nut meal leftover after making almond milk)*

1-2 Medium Garlic Cloves

4 Tbsp. of Lemon Juice

6-8 Tbsp. of Water

4 Tbsp. of Organic Tahini

1 Tsp. of Ground Cumin

¼ Tsp. of Cayenne Pepper

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Directions:

In a high-powered blender, mince garlic cloves. Add the lemon juice, tahini, cumin, cayenne pepper and 2 tablespoons of water. Blend until creamy. Add the dehydrated almond pulp a few tablespoons at a time until everything is fully blended. Add the salt and pepper and the rest of the water one tablespoon at a time until the correct hummus consistency is reached.

*Note: I used dehydrated almond pulp because 1) there’s no way I can consume 7 cups of wet pulp before it would spoil, and 2) I want to use the pulp as a flour substitute for future recipes. You can easily dehydrate your almond pulp by spreading the wet pulp on a baking sheet and cooking it on your oven’s lowest temperature setting (mine goes down to 170 degrees) for 3+ hours. Store in an airtight container until you use it.

**Secondary Note: If you prefer making hummus with wet pulp, adjust how much water you add to the recipe. I’ve found that 2-3 tablespoons should suffice.

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Rosemary-Raisin Almond Crackers (baking instructions from Against All Grain)

1 Cup of Dehydrated Almond Pulp

2 ½ Tbsp. of Olive Oil

6-8 Tbsp. of Water

2 ½ Tbsp of Raisins

2 Tbsp of Dry Rosemary

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Blend all the dry ingredients together in a high-powered blender. Add one tablespoon at a time of the olive oil and water until fully mixed. The nut dough should be slightly damp to touch. If not, you may need to add more moisture to the dough.

Form the dough into a ball and in between to pieces of parchment, roll the dough till about 1/8th of an inch thick. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the crackers.* Transfer the parchment onto a baking sheet and cook for about 15 minutes or until the edges of the cracker dough start to brown. Remove from the oven, separate the crackers at the perforated lines, lower the oven’s temperature to 250 degrees and bake for another 5-10 minutes.

*Note: The cracker dough is pretty brittle at this stage, so cut with care.

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A Taste Of LA: Chinois on Main

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Seared Tuna

 As Hailey mentioned on Tuesday, we are currently in the midst of one of the most magical times of the year: DineLA! I get as excited for this two-week span of restaurant deals as a kid on Christmas morning. I love everything about it: the anticipation that builds as the restaurant menus are announced, the pre-fixed menus showcasing the best the particular restaurant has to offer and most importantly, the time spent communing and eating with friends. Usually, we try one–max two– restaurants each restaurant week. This year though, with Hailey leaving :(, we splurged and went all out. Needless to say, I can feel my wallet getting thinner as my waistline gets bigger. ;)

Last Friday, the girls and I made our way to Chinois on Main. A Wolfgang Puck restaurant, Chinois boasts of the perfect fusion of Chinese and French cuisine. After reading the reviews (because not only do I like to write about food, I obviously like to read about it too) and hearing Hailey speak about the exceptional service (last time she went, the Puck himself showed up and shook the hand of every restaurant patron) and amazing dishes, I was super pumped to sample the pre-fix menu.

My fellow food readers, sadly Chinois did not live up to my lofty expectations. While the ambience was quaint, the food was delicious and the portion sizes were beyond generous, the service was sub-par at best. Though the host sat us promptly at our table, the service seemed rushed. Once the waiter realized we were ordering from the DineLA menu, I feel like he filed us in the back of his mind, haphazardly taking our order, forgetting to offer us a drink menu let alone water and ignoring the needs of our table until we specifically requested something.

Hailey chalks the poor service up to the busy nature of Restaurant Week. I chalk it up to the fact that we ordered from the Restaurant Week menu. Despite the service or lack thereof aside, the food was divine.  I could definitely overlook a stressed waiter for another helping of creme brûlée.

Cheers!

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Crab Louie (left), Raspberry-infused Cocktail (forward right) and Watermelon-infused Cocktail (back right)

Chinois on Main

2709 Main Street Santa Monica, CA 90405

What to Order:

Drinks: the Provincial Lemonade Cocktail or the Watermelon-infused Cocktail (Again, the drink service was nothing exceptional. The bartender made Hailey’s drink–the Raspberry-infused Cocktail–too strong. We are pretty sure he forgot to add the simple syrup, which probably attests to the rushed atmosphere in the restaurant).

Appetizers: Crab Louie or the Chinois Chicken Salad

Main: Seared Tuna or the Grilled Black Angus Flat Iron Steak

Desserts: Trio of Creme Brûlée with Caramel, Chocolate and Almond or the Warm Chocolate Fondant Cake

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Grilled Black Angus Flat Iron Steak

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Trio of Creme Brûlée: Caramel (left), Chocolate (middle) and Almond (right)

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Warm Chocolate Fondant Cake

A Taste Of LA: The Bazaar by José Andrés

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So it’s one of our favorite times of year here at A La Main….Dine LA! Dine LA happens twice a year and is the equivalent of Restaurant Week in NYC. It’s where all the participating top restaurants offer 3 course menus and slash their prices. Pure perfection. It’s a great time to try the restaurants you’ve been dying to try but just haven’t found the opportunity to splurge. The timing worked out great for me as I am in the process of saying goodbye to all of my dear friends here in LA (more to come on that later). It’s been a week of dinner upon dinner, and although I feel a little gross after all this eating, it’s been really nice spending time with different friends and making sure I get my LA bucket list covered before I make the cross-country move!

Now here is my only warning about Dine LA…it’s very much hit or miss. I’ve had incredible experiences in the past, and some not-so-great ones. In my opinion restaurants should absolutely keep the quality of food and service the same during Dine LA to give customers a taste of what they can do and lure people back for more. Unfortunately this is not always the case. Some restaurants will offer lower quality menu items on their Dine LA prix-fixes, making you never want to come back (ahem Blue Plate Taco…). However, at the Bazaar this was not the case. I’ve eaten at the Bazaar several times before, and it’s one of my favorite restaurants in LA. I can say whole-heartedly that the Bazaar was up to the usual standard during our visit. In fact, the Dine LA menu options were all tapas offered on the regular menu, and the quantity was huge, especially for the price. It was $45 per person, where each person could order 4 tapas to share and a dessert. Delicious, as always, with impeccable service.

What I like about the Bazaar is the molecular gastronomical approach. Almost every dish is something what would be nearly impossible to make at home, so it’s well-worth the splurge. I love how creative the dishes are, and the new twist they put on traditional Spanish tapas. It’s also great going with several people because everything is small and shareable, so it’s a great way to try a variety of different things. The decor is also crazy with odd shaped chairs, crazy monkey portraits…it’s almost like a circus. If you live in LA or are ever visiting, this spot is certainly a MUST.

Bazaar Chicken

Seared Mary’s Farm Chicken

The Bazaar by José Andrés

The SLS Hotel, 465 La Cienega Blvd Beverly Hills, CA 90048

What to Order:

Drink: Passion Fruit Martini, Magic Mojito, Dirty Martini

Tapas: Philly Cheesesteak, Croquetas de Pollo, Wild Mushroom Rice, Sautéed Shrimp, Not Your Everyday Caprese, Ottoman Carrot Fritters

Dessert: Pane con Chocolate (*I’ve only had dessert during Dine LA, so I can’t attest to other desserts on the menu)

Bazaar drinks

Passion Fruit Martini (left) and Dirty Martini (right)

The passion fruit martini is unbelievable. Your sip begins with the frothy top and finishes with the sweet and tangy passion fruit flavor that is out of this world. Also not pictured is the Magic Mojito, in which they literally pour the liquid over a heap of cotton candy that melts immediately into the drink. The drinks are expensive, but SO worth it because they are such a fun experience.

Bazaar Croquetas

Croquetas de Pollo

Bazaar Cheesesteak

“Philly” and “Hilly” Cheesesteak

This is probably my favorite menu item. With a Dad from Philly, I’m quite familiar with the authentic South Philly cheesesteak. But man, these will blow the real deal out of the water. You bite into the air-filled bread and aged white cheddar explodes into your mouth. The thinly sliced waygu beef on top really finishes off the experience. Unbelievable. The “Hilly” cheesesteak on the right has mushrooms as well inside, instead of beef. Think of it as the vegetarian version.

Bazaar Shrimp

Sautéed Shrimp

Bazaar Risotto

Wild Mushroom Rice

Bazaar Beef and Dessert

Braised Beef Cheeks and Pane Con Chocolate

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Desserts at the bakery

Pork Chops in a Spicy-Cherry Glaze

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A few of my biggest cooking fears include serving a “fresh-off-the-cow” steak, raw chicken or an undercooked burger.

I’m obviously no meat cook.  My average weekday meal consists of an assortment of seasonal fruits and veggies, a variety of cheeses (thanks to Trader Joe’s) and eggs served in any form. On the weekends, my meals are usually determined by what I’m making for the blog the upcoming week and what restaurant my friends want to try next. So in prep for this recipe, I had to to my fair share of actual research on the web. No calling my brother Michael for his advice on this one.

But, what better way to overcome these fears by facing them head-on … then write about my cooking blunders for the whole internet world to read?

The cherry glaze was the easy part. I pitted my cherries using the paperclip method (a pretty simple, yet incredibly messy process… I imagine if I was watching Dexter rather than the World Cup finals, my cherry-stained hands would have made for quite the sight).

I had plans to cook the pork chops on our new charcoal grill, but was recently informed that charcoal grills are not allowed in Los Angeles apartments because, I’m assuming, air pollution and fire risk. Ever the improviser, I decided to quickly sear the pork chops on the stove then transfer them to the oven to finish cooking. Though I still ended up with an apartment full of smoke (guess baking didn’t do anything to prevent the air pollution. Oops!), the pork chops baked perfectly and were a hit. I completed the dish with herbed corn.

Cheers!

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Spicy-Cherry Glaze

1-2 Jalapenos, depending on how spicy you like the glaze

1 Cup of Cherries

1 of Water

½ Cup of Sugar

3 Tbsp. of White Wine Vinegar

½ Cup of Water, on reserve

Directions:

Rinse and thoroughly pat dry jalapenos and cherries. Pit cherries and add them to a medium-sized saucepan.* Dice the jalapenos and add them to the cherry pot. Add 1 cup of water, the sugar and white wine vinegar to the saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Once the mixture starts to bubble, lower the heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture starts to thicken. Allow mixture to cook for approximately 40-50 minutes then remove from heat. If the mixture should start to look like jelly or candied cherries, add the ½ cup of water to bring it back to a glaze consistency.

*Note: After removing the stem, I scored the top of the cherry and used the paperclip method to remove the pit. Though a messy process, I found that scoring the cherry made it easier to remove the pit.

Pork Chops (cooking tips from the kitchn)

2 Medium Pork Chops

3 Cups of Cold Water

3 Tbsp. of Salt

2 Cloves of Garlic, minced

1 Tbsp of Dried Rosemary or Other Herbs , optional

Directions:

To create the brine, boil half of the water, salt, garlic and herbs until the salt dissolved completely. Remove from heat and pour into a deep dish (at least 4 inches). Add the rest of the cold water to bring the liquid back down to room temperature.* Submerge pork chops in brine for at least 30 minutes. This prevent meat from drying out while cooking.

After 30 or more minutes, remove the pork chops from the brine. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and place a large pan on high on the stove. Make sure that the pan is extremely hot and lightly greased before searing one side of the pork chops for 3 minutes. When it comes time to flip the meat, flip the chops onto a greased pan. Drizzle the spicy-cherry glaze over the meat, and place in the oven to cook for 6-10 minutes or until the inside of the chops reaches at least 140 degrees. Remove from the oven and serve.

Makes two servings.

*Note: It’s important to make sure that your brine is at room temperature before you add the pork chops. Otherwise you may prematurely cook your meat.

Herbed Corn

2 Ears of Corn

Fresh Herbs (I used Rosemary, Thyme and Oregano)

Butter

Directions:

Thoroughly clean, rinse and dry corn. Using foil, wrap corn with butter and fresh herbs. Cook on a baking sheet at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Carefully unwrap and serve.

Makes two servings.

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Mediterranean Orzo Salad

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This past weekend was my friend Ana’s birthday. Cathy and I actually made her this beautiful vanilla cake with mascarpone buttercream icing and strawberries….but unfortunately we ran into a few disasters in the process and ended up not having enough time to take pictures. Guess we’ll have to make it again! What I did have time to take pictures of was the Mediterranean Orzo Salad I brought. This salad is my go-to potluck dish because 1) it’s a crowd pleaser 2) it’s super easy to make and 3) I love Mediterranean flavors.

Most people would make such a dish with feta, however despite loving all cheeses, feta certainly isn’t my favorite. I decided goat cheese is Mediterranean enough, and it really turned out well. Kalamata olives and goat cheese both have very strong flavors, but are well-complimented by the more subtle basil leaves and sundried tomatoes for a perfect flavor blast in every bite. It was definitely a hit at the party- so much so that those who had a few beverages were digging in with spoons by the end of the day. It was the perfect side dish for a perfect Los Angeles day at the pool. I heart summertime.

Bon Appetit!

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Mediterranean Orzo Salad

1 Package Orzo Pasta (16 oz)

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Jar of Kalamata Olives (10 oz)

1 Package Sun Dried Tomatoes (3 oz)

1/2 Red Onion

15 Large Basil Leaves

1 Package Crumbled Goat Cheese (3.5 Oz)

Directions:

Chop the ingredients: Dry the kalamata olives with a paper towel and cut them in half. Chop red onion into small pieces. Rinse and chop basil leaves. Set all of these aside.

Cook the orzo pasta according to the directions on the packaging. As soon as the orzo is done, drain and mix in the olive oil to prevent orzo from sticking. Let cool until room temperature. Mix in olives, sun dried tomatoes, red onion, basil, and goat cheese. Serve chilled.

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Spicy Peach Salsa

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On Tuesday, Marta and I decided to try our hand at barbecuing, and once again it turned out to be quite the story. If you remember, the last time I tried to barbecue, I ended up with soot all over my arms and a mild case of smoke inhalation. So after much debating, we decided to give our charcoal grill another try… this time with lighter fluid. (We chose an odorless lighter fluid with less preservatives in efforts to be as natural as possible. One day we will succeed at lighting the coals without fluid, but alas, we are no grilling masters … yet).

We followed the instruction on the lighter fluid to the letter, yet the coals refused to light. So again, I checked in with my brother for grilling tips. Excerpts of our phone and text conversation went something like the following:

Me: “The coals refuse to catch on fire. We used lighter fuel and everything.”

Michael: “Did you put the lid on the grill? You shouldn’t do that since it can choke the fire.”

Me: “Oh….”

and later over text when I sent him a picture of our grill:

Michael: “You have too few coals … You have barely enough to even cover the bottom with a single layer of charcoal. That means the fire will not be hot enough and probably burn out too quickly.”

Me: “Oh, so add more then?”

So while obviously you can tell I’m no grilling expert, we managed to get quite a nice burn going… and it only took us a little over an hour!

That night, we feasted on wonderful homemade burgers (Marta’s special recipe) topped spicy peach salsa. I love this salsa because it combines the best of what’s in season into the perfect, fresh summer salsa. Marta and I ended up eating most of the salsa with chips while we waited for our grill to light, but it pairs perfectly with a juicy burger and IPA.

Cheers!

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Spicy Peach Salsa

2 Yellow Peaches

1 Jalapeño

2 Medium Limes

2 Mint Sprigs

Directions:

Finely dice peaches, jalapeño and mint. Squeeze limes* into the peaches and mix.

*Note: Roll the limes against a hard surface before squeezing to help release the juices.

Happy Fiesta Friday everyone! :)

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Cauliflower “Mac” and Cheese

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Mac and Cheese is definitely one of my childhood favorites. This rendition is a healthier adult-friendly version, made with cauliflower instead of macaroni. (Note that it’s still not 100% healthy since it’s super cheesy!). It was so good that I don’t see any reason going back to regular mac and cheese when you get get some vegetable nutrients into this meal instead of gluentous, starchy carbohydrates. Because cauliflower is so light compared with pasta, you get all the cheesy goodness of mac and cheese but don’t feel as heavy afterwards; win-win situation in my book. Cauliflower is also in season right now, and I can’t wait to try this recipe with one of the bright purple cauliflowers I have been seeing at the farmes market lately…although the colors might look a little strange together.

Bon Appétit!

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Cauliflower “Mac” and Cheese

1 Head of Cauliflower, rinsed and cut into florets

2 Tbsp Butter

3 Tbsp All-purpose Flour

2 Cups Non-fat Milk

2 Cups Cheddar Cheese, Grated

2 Eggs Yolks

1 Cups Fresh Breadcrumbs (try these Homemade Croutons crushed!)

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 Deg F. Bring a large pot of water to boil, add salt. Boil cauliflower florets for 5-7 minutes, or until slightly tender. Drain the cauliflower, but keep 3/4 Cup of the boiled water and set aside.

Melt the butter in the same pot, and whisk in flour until smoothly combined, about one minute. Add milk and reserved cooking liquid, and continue to stir until the mixture thickens, around 7-10 minutes. Remove the mixture from heat and stir in cheese and egg yolks, until fully combined. Fold in cauliflower florets.

Transfer mixture to an oven-safe dish, spreading the cauliflower mixture evenly in the dish. Sprinkles bread crumbs on the top of the mixture. Bake for around 30 minutes, or until golden brown on the top.

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Fourth of July Picnic Menu

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Happy 4th of July blogging friends! Today, Hailey and I plan on fighting the traffic to the beach for an early potluck picnic with a few of our closest friends, before we make our way to a downtown rooftop party to watch fireworks. Doesn’t that sound like the perfect way to spend a Friday?

In honor of America’s independence, the girls of A La Main have shared a few of our summertime favorites. I hope you enjoy this meal as much as we did.

Cheers!

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Strawberry-Arugula Salad

This salad has become a favorite of mine. I was first introduced to a something similar a few months ago at a work lunch meeting, and boy, I was hooked. I could NOT wait to go home and recreate the flavors.

I think what I love most about this salad is how well all the tastes flow with each other. The sweetness of the strawberries nicely contrast the slight tartness of the balsamic glaze, and the creamy honey goat cheese helps temper the peppery bitterness of the arugula. It’s easy to see why it’s become my main go-to workplace lunch and one of my summertime faves.

Hailey and I decided to pack these salads in mason jars for ease of transport for our beach picnic. Don’t they just look gorgeous!

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Strawberry-Arugula Salad (inspired by Martha Stewart)

12 Oz of Arugula

1 Cup of Strawberries

½ Block of Honey Goat Cheese (from Trader Joe’s)

Dash of Salt & Pepper

Balsamic Glaze (from Trader Joe’s)

4 Large Mason Jars

Directions:

Rinse and thoroughly dry arugula. Divide into four and place even amounts into each mason jars. Rinse, dry and slice strawberries. Add strawberries, honey goat cheese, and salt and pepper to the arugula. When it comes time to serve salad, drizzle balsamic glaze on the salad, close the jar lid and shake to fully toss the salad.

Makes 4 servings.

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Beer-Marinated Chicken

Marta and I have been toying with the idea of buying a grill for a while now. For the last few months, my mind was filled with romantic visions of all of the burgers, kabobs and grilled corn we would eat. One little problem: I’ve never grilled anything by myself before. So when we decided to order a little tabletop charcoal grill (our balcony is on the smaller side), I did my fair share of “research.” And by research, I mean I checked in with my brother–a self-proclaimed grilling master. Michael can talk for hours on the best way to stack coals, form a burger patty, the optimal fat-to-meat ratio for grilling and how to light coals without using the chemical-filled lighter fluid.

So when it came down to lighting our grill, I thought I was set. We opted to go the sans-lighter fluid route because: 1) it’s more natural and, 2) who wants to taste lighter fluid when they bite down into a nice, juicy chicken leg?

If only I gained grilling skills by association… I failed miserably at lighting the coals! After several lame attempts, smoke inhalation and arms covered with coal soot, I decided to do what I do best: improvise. One day I’ll learn to use the grill, but today, I present baked beer-marinated chicken.

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Beer-Marinated Chicken (lightly inspired by Picture the Recipe)

6 Organic Chicken Legs

1 Bottle of Beer (I used Lagunitas Day Time Ale)

1/4 of a Red Onion, minced

1/4 of a Yellow Onion, minced

1 Lime

2 Cloves of Garlic, minced

Handful of Fresh Parsley

1/2 Tbsp Red Pepper Flakes

Dash of Salt and Pepper

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix together both onions, the juice from one lime, garlic, parsley, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. Stir around 1 cup of your beer into the bowl.* Rinse and pat dry the chicken legs and add them to the marinade. Let the chicken legs refrigerate in the marinate for at least one hour, occasionally checking on them to re-douse the legs with the beer marinade.

*Note: If you want to taste test your marinade, this is your last shot. Do not try the marinade after you add the raw chicken, or else risk salmonella poisoning.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

After you marinate the chicken, oil a large baking sheet and place chicken legs on the sheet. Place sheet on the top rack in the oven and allow to bake for ~30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked but still pink inside. Remove the chicken from the oven, pour the remaining beer over the chicken, put the oven on the broil setting at 400 degrees and place the chicken back in the oven for 10-15 minutes to brown. Watch your chicken as to not over burn it.

Serves 4-6.

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Peach Collins

For the last installment of our picnic trilogy: peach collins.

I really wanted to make something that would take advantage of all the great stone fruits we’ve had this season…and what better way than a peach collins? As I was researching how to make the drink, I came to realize that this is not an authentic peach collins.  Traditionally, collins are: 1) made with gin (I made mine with vodka), 2) freshened with lemon juice (I had limes on hand) and 3) served in a collins glass (I only have stemless wine glasses).

Regardless of its official moniker, the not-really-a-peach-collins is a hit in my book!

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Peach Collins (adapted from DIY-Cocktails)

3 Ounces of Vodka

2 Ounce of Peach Simple Syrup*

1 Ounce of Lime Juice

Sparkling Mineral Water

1/2 a Yellow Peach, sliced

2 Sprigs of Mint Leaves, rinsed

Directions:

Place peach slices and mint leaves in two glasses and muddle slightly. Add vodka, peach simple syrup and lime juice, and stir. Add in sparkling water (approximately 4 ounces per glass). Serve over ice or chilled.

*Note: You can make your own peach simple syrup by boiling 1 cup of drinking water with 1 cup of sugar and one sliced and pitted peach. Let mixture simmer for ~10 minutes before you strain the peach preserves from the liquid. (The peach leftovers go great with non-fat greek yogurt!)

Serves 2.

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Red White and Blue Pancakes

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Happy almost Fourth of July everyone! Want the perfect patriotic breakfast without artificial red, white and blue coloring? Well these healthy, colorful and all-natural pancakes will hit the spot.

I feel like this summer I keep repeating myself in terms of my cooking and eating habits. You’ve probably heard me say how obsessed I am with fresh summer fruit about 10 times already in this blog, and how I pretty much spend every Sunday morning at the farmer’s market. Well….I guess I will continue with my un-original streak!

The other thing I seem to be obsessed with is an oat and greek yogurt combination in my baking. I try not to eat a lot of grains and gluten typically, but replacing some of the flour with rolled oats and adding yogurt makes me feel a little better. Also, baking with greek yogurt (as you saw with my recent raspberry muffin post and now with these pancakes) gives baked goods a really light and fluffy texture.  These pancakes are BOMB and use whole wheat flour and very little sugar, so you don’t feel guilty afterwords. Top with some pure Grade B Maple Syrup for perfection.

Bon Appetit!

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Red White and Blue Pancakes (Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction)

3/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour

3/4 Cup Rolled Oats

1/4 Tsp Salt

1 Tsp Cinnamon

2 Tsp Baking Powder

1 Egg

1 Cup Non-fat Milk or Almond Milk

2 Tbsp Sugar

1/4 Cup Non-fat Greek Yogurt

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

1 Banana, sliced

1/2 Cup Blueberries

1/2 Cup Raspberries

Directions:

Combine flour, oats, salt, cinnamon and baking powder in a large bowl. In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together egg, milk and sugar until combined. Whisk in yogurt until smooth, and add vanilla extract.

Make a hole in the dry ingredients bowl, and slowly pour the wet ingredients into the hole. Stir gently until just combined.

Place a skillet on medium heat and use a tiny bit of butter or canola oil to grease the pan. Pour about 1/4 Cup of batter into the center of the pan, and add bananas, raspberries and blueberries into a pattern of choice in the pancake. Once holes start to show through the batter, flip the pancake and cook the other side until golden brown.

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A Taste of Minneapolis: Red Cow

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Barcelona Burger (Manchego, Proscuitto, Pepper and Smoked Aioli)

It was recently my brother’s graduation from Carleton College, so the whole fam headed to Minnesota for the festivities. It was pretty unappealing weather as it basically thunder stormed all weekend (something I’m not used to here in sunny Los Angeles), but we were able to catch one perfect afternoon eating lunch on an outdoor patio. The restaurant of choice: Red Cow. Red Cow is a gourmet burger joint, with award-winning concoctions. I will warn you, however, that while delicious, this place is heart attack heaven. Everything we ordered was very greasy, but I think it was worth it for one meal.

The thing I loved most were the original burger combinations and the homemade sauces. We ordered an appetizer of Wisconsin Cheese Curds, my sister’s favorite (she’s a Badger so she was happy to be in the Midwest for the weekend), and it came with a homemade triple berry ketchup. It was a very unique flavor, but extremely delicious. The smoked pepper aioli that comes with the sweet potato fries is equally amazing.  The turkey burger that my sister ordered was also right up my alley; it had chunks of fresh avocado pounded into the burger itself. This place is perfect for a warm summer Minneapolis day on the patio.

Red Cow

3624 West 50th St. Minneapolis, MN 55410

What to Order:

To Share: Wisconsin Cheese Curds, Ahi Crisps

Burgers: Barcelona, Royale, Manhattan, Turkey

Fries: Truffle Parmesan and Sweet Potato (One order of fries comes with every burger)

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Triple Berry Ketchup

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Wisconsin Cheese Curds

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Ahi Crisps

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Turkey Burger with Swiss

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Manhattan Burger (Bacon Confit, Gruyere, Arugula, Dried Cherry Wine Reduction, Pretzel Bun)