Lemon Chia Seed Muffins

Breakfast | April 29, 2014 | By

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I have Spain on the brain so please excuse the brevity of this post.

The other day, Marta walked into our apartment with a huge bag of chia seeds and a request from her mom to make something with them. At first I thought I would experiment with a chia pudding, but was quickly reminded that the last time I tried to do that, I failed miserably. A few days later, I randomly stumbled across this recipe while perusing Pinterest. (It’s a guilty pleasure of mine to create boards of food I’d love to eat, places I only wish I could visit, clothes I can’t afford and apartments decorations that I’m not crafty enough to recreate).

I love this recipe for a few reasons. 1) I got to use the most beautiful Meyer lemons. 2) It reminds me of one of my faves: lemon poppy seed muffins. 3) It’s incredibly simple to make. 4) It was my first time venturing into the world of gluten-free.

This recipe calls for coconut flour, giving it the slightest hint of coconut to balance out the tart of the Meyer lemons and the sweetness of the honey. I hope you like this recipe as much as we do!

Cheers!

*This recipe is Marta-approved.

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Meyer Lemon Chia Seed Muffins (slightly adapted from SlimPalate)

1/2 Cup of Coconut Flour

2 Tbsp of Chia Seeds

1/4 Tsp of Baking Soda

Zest from 3 Small Meyer Lemons

1 Pinch of Salt

2 Tbsp of Lemon Juice

1 Tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar

1/3 Cup of Organic Honey

4 Organic Eggs

1/4 Cup of Melted Coconut Oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, chia seeds, baking soda, lemon zest and salt until thoroughly mixed. Set aside. In a clean bowl, whisk together wet ingredients until eggs are completely beaten. Add wet ingredients to the dry mixture and beat until there are no clumps. Using an ice cream scoop, fill each muffin liner 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool and enjoy!

Serves 10-12.

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Shin Sen Gumi Ramen

A Taste Of | April 24, 2014 | By

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Hakata Ramen

Cathy and I were having a lazy day last Monday after a rough previous weekend. We both forewent our usual workouts, and decided to grab dinner after work. We were craving Churros Calientes, but alas, Churros is closed on Mondays :(. Cathy suggested we get ramen instead. West LA has a lot of good ramen places, especially around the Sawtelle area. This place is a little hidden and away from the typical ramen locations on Sawtelle Blvd., but it has an interesting concept and was quite delicious.

What makes this ramen place a little different is The Counter Burger-style ordering. On a piece of paper, you choose your ramen and all of your toppings, creating your own unique combination. I personally love picking and choosing different toppings, as opposed to pre-set combinations where you have to ask for substitutions. This place also has toppings you wouldn’t typically find at a ramen house, like bacon for instance, making it a new favorite spot.

Bon Appetit!

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Cheese Egg Rolls

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Shin Sen Gumi

1601 Sawtelle Blvd. #101 Los Angeles, CA 90025

What to Order:

Appetizer: Cheese Egg Rolls

Main: Make your own Hakata ramen! Our favorite toppings are: fried onions, poached egg, bean sprouts, dried seaweed and bacon

Tips: The half size is MORE than enough, however if you are so inclined, order the regular size, and you can add more noodles to take home for another meal for $0.95!

Strawberry-Balsamic Ice Cream With Mascarpone Whipped Cream

Desserts | April 22, 2014 | By

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Prepare to have your dessert mind blown. Fresh strawberry-balsamic ice cream topped with a mascarpone whip … made without an ice cream maker.

A couple weeks ago, Hailey made an amazing dessert grilled cheese stuffed with a strawberry-balsamic reduction that I fell in love with at first bite. As we were taste testing the reduction and setting up for our “cheesy” photoshoot, I kept thinking, “this would taste amazing on homemade ice cream!” The main problem … we don’t own a functioning ice cream maker. Luckily I found this recipe on Kevin & Amanda’s blog that makes the most basic ice cream with two simple ingredients: heavy cream and sweetened condensed milk. Though my first attempt didn’t turn out as creamy as a store-bought version might (I got too excited and added the hot strawberry reduction to the heavy whipped cream causing it to melt slightly), it was still a hit.

*This recipe has been thoroughly taste tested and Marta-approved.

Cheers!

strawberryicecream5Strawberry-Balsamic Ice Cream (inspired by Kevin & Amanda)

One Carton of Strawberries, washed and sliced

2 Tbsp of Pure Vanilla Extract

2 Tbsp of Balsamic Vinegar

2 Tbsp of Sugar

16 Oz of Heavy Cream

14 Oz of Sweetened Condensed Milk

Directions:

In a saucepan, combine strawberries, vanilla, balsamic vinegar and sugar. Mix over medium heat until sauce comes together and begins to thicken. (This should take about 8-10 minutes). Remove the reduction from heat and cool completely.* Meanwhile, beat the heavy cream in a stand mixer until the cream reaches a stiff peak consistency. Set aside. Stir the sweetened condensed milk into the cooled strawberry reduction until completely mixed. Gently fold in the whipped cream, transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for six or more hours.

*Tip: It’s important that you allow the reduction to cool completely. Otherwise, the heat will melt the whipped consistency of the heavy cream.

Mascarpone Whipped Cream

6 Oz of Heavy Cream

6 Oz of Mascarpone Cheese

2 Tbsp of Sugar

Directions:

In a stand mixer, beat heavy cream until it reaches the soft peak stage. Add mascarpone and sugar and beat until fully combined. Top ice cream and serve.

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A Taste of LA: Nobu Malibu

A Taste Of | April 18, 2014 | By

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The first time I ate at Nobu Malibu was on a family vacation to LA when I was about 14 years old. It was at the old location, in the Cross Creek Shopping Center, a very unassuming, almost shabby looking locale from the outside. But man, I fell in love. The food is, and always has been, impeccable, and even after now living in LA for 6 years, Nobu Malibu remains my favorite LA restaurant.

Now, you may be thinking wow, out of all the unique eateries in LA you would choose Nobu, a restaurant you can find in many other cities throughout the world such as NYC, Tokyo, London and Las Vegas? Well, I am here to argue that Nobu Malibu is quite distinct, and well-worth the trip even if you are visiting from another city that touts a Nobu. Not only are there dishes that are specialties for just Malibu, but the new location, as of a few years ago, is absolutely unbeatable. Nobu moved across the street to one of the finest prime pieces of coastal land in Malibu, and you eat right above the waves. I will also argue that it is by far the best people watching (and celebrity siting) in LA…it is quite an over-the-top Hollywood scene, but it’s fun to watch.

I most recently took my brother here when he was visiting from Minneapolis, as a late birthday present. He’s a big eater like me, and he was in heaven (actually, giddy with joy is a more appropraite term, I take it the Midwest doesn’t have great Asian food). I learned something very interesting on this visit. While I tried to explain a dish to the waiter that I had had 2 weeks before with my parents but didn’t see on the menu, the waiter explained that every dish that has ever been a special is still available, off-menu! This was a total game-changer to learn that nearly half of Nobu’s food is not on the menu…the only caviat is now you have to remember what you order!

Nobu Tuna

Tuna on Crispy Rice

Nobu Malibu

22706 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265

What to Order:

Drink: Lychee and Elderflower Martini, Champagne 95, Peruvian Caipirnha

Main: Tuna on Crispy Rice (not on menu), Tiradito, Mini Tacos (Malibu Special, I like the Ribeye), Rock Shrimp, and Softshell Crab Roll

Dessert: Chocolate Harumaki and Bento Box Warm Chocolate Souffle Cake

Tips: Reservations are needed, unless you go to sit at the bar, where you can still order food (although there might be an hour wait at times). If you can’t get a reservation, go on the waitlist. They call you 24 hours before your desired time, but will not leave a message so keep your phone on! I have had very good luck with the waitlist.

Nobu Tiradito

Tiradito (left) and Ribeye Mini Tacos (right)

California Rolls, Softshell Crab Rolls, and Spicy Tuna Rolls

California Rolls, Softshell Crab Rolls, and Spicy Tuna Rolls

Nobu Rock Shrimp

Rock Shrimp (left) and Chocolate Harumaki (Spring Rollss) & Chocolate Soufflé (Right)

Nobu View

Honey Ham And Kale Salad

Sides & Starters | April 17, 2014 | By

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This recipe came together completely by accident one night while on “Mission: Eat Out of the Freezer.” Since moving in with Marta, I’ve been trying to get rid of, or at the very least, decrease the amount of food I store in my pantry and freezer. I still make my weekly trips for fresh fruits and vegetables, but hey, at least my pile of canned goods and organic noodles is dwindling.

About a week ago, I opened the freezer wondering what I could eat for dinner when I spotted a chunk of frozen ham my mom “forced” upon me a few months back. My mom recently confessed that she still thinks I’m a starving college student, which is probably the main reason whenever I leave her house, I leave with BAGS of pre-made meals and groceries. No complaints here!

Following my ham find, my thought process went something like this:

Ham! I wonder how long I’ve had this? Is it still good? Does it pass the sniff test? Hmm, still smells good. But, does cured, cooked then frozen things really ever go bad? What the heck am I going to do with such a large chunk? Maybe Marta* will eat some…

This warmed salad has quickly made it’s way to my favorites list and it’s so simple to make. Here’s to hoping there’s some leftover Easter ham on Sunday!

Cheers!

*This recipe is Marta-approved.

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Honey Ham and Kale Salad

Ham, about a fist-sized piece, diced

3 Tbsp. Organic Honey

1 Cup Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes, rinsed and sliced in half

6 Oz Organic Kale, rinsed

Directions:

Lightly oil and heat a pan on high heat. Lower heat to medium and add ham and honey, tossing lightly until honey begins to liquefy. Meanwhile, chop kale into one inch strips. Add cherry tomatoes and kale to the pan. Continue tossing until the kale turns a bright green and is fully mixed in the honey and ham mixture. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Serves 2.

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