Home   Ι   Contact

24, 24, 24: Farmers’ Market Iron Chef: Battle in the Kitchen

Sun Sep 21 2008

FM Montage

Farmers’ Market Iron Chef: Battle in the Kitchen

With just 20 minutes remaining in Battle Apple I knew I was toast. I hadn’t made my apple vinaigrette, the batter for my apple fritters or heated my fry oil. Across fthe kitchen island stood my fellow food blogger and Foodbuzz Iron Chef challenger, Foodwoolf’s Brooke Burton, looking as relaxed as if she’d just come back from a beach vacation. And worst of all? The sweet-tangy smell of apples, caramelized sugar and cinnamon was making me hungry.

The competition seemed simple. Choose an ingredient at the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market to plan a 3-course meal around. Each blogger-chef would have two hours to prepare their food, which would be judged on taste, plating and originality by a panel of food savvy professionals. But less than 24 hours before we were to take up our knives, we suddenly found ourselves without a battlefield, for the second time.

Continue reading

Categories:
Del.icio.us Digg Google Bookmarks Technorati StumbleUpon

Going Camping: Granola Bars!

Fri Sep 12 2008

Granola Bars

Homemade Granola Bars!

Work. It doesn’t go away. If you’re planning a vacation, you have to do more of it, in a shorter period of time, so that you don’t miss any deadlines when you’re gone. When you get back, you have to catch up on all the work you missed while you were away, quickly negating the relaxing vacation you worked so hard for.

Problem is, we’re a culture that puts way more value on hard work than we do on play. We talk about how many jobs we have or how busy we are with work like it’s a badge of honor, like our exhaustion is something to be proud of. We look at people who live to play with disdain, but their easy smiles tell a different story. I’ve lived among them. I’ve been one, albeit a bad one (I always worked at least two jobs), living in Tahoe for years. And I’ve got to tell you there’s a lot of work that goes into a playful life, it’s just tempered with more rewards, more balance.

Continue reading

Categories:
Del.icio.us Digg Google Bookmarks Technorati StumbleUpon

Sweet Corn Ice Cream

Thu Sep 4 2008

Sweet Corn Ice Cream

Sweet Corn Ice Cream

I am corn. At least according to Michael Pollen’s Omnivore’s Dilemma, I am. And so are you. This makes the end of summer and early fall bittersweet. Everywhere you look at the Hollywood Farmers’ Market these days, weathered men are deftly hacking away at corn stalks with machetes, peeling back golden silks to reveal long checkerboard ears of bicolor, snowy white and flaxen-hued yellow corn, and stacking them into slightly ironic food pyramids made entirely of corn. Sure, this sweet corn is different than the industrial stuff that feeds our livestock or gets processed into high fructose corn syrup, cornstarch and Fritos. But if I already am corn, do I really need to eat more?

Continue reading

Categories:
Del.icio.us Digg Google Bookmarks Technorati StumbleUpon

The Food-Blogger’s Rebuttal

Wed Aug 27 2008

Blogger Bash

Pairing tropical fruit, wine and cheese

A lot of chefs hate food bloggers. They lambaste us for being amateurish, opinionated or worse, ignorant. I’ve read a lot of food blogs while working my own and many are all of those things, home cooks whose apron strings have become unhinged, angry diners with a forum to rant. But others are inspired and informed, thoughtful and even well researched. The best blogs I’ve found are written by passionate people, who come at life with a fork, a knife and an insatiable appetite for transforming new experiences into stories.

Continue reading

Categories:
Del.icio.us Digg Google Bookmarks Technorati StumbleUpon

White Grapefruit & Epazote Sorbet

Thu Aug 21 2008

Sorbet

White Grapefruit & Epazote Sorbet

Last month, while I was researching a story on the Best Ice Cream in Los Angeles for Serious Eats I had the pleasure of hanging out at Tara Kolla’s Silver Lake Farms for the afternoon. It was there, with the bees buzzing around four different varieties of mint and picture-perfect roses that I first tried epazote, plucked fresh from a tall mint-like plant. I rolled the spiky green leaves between my fingers to extract some of the Mexican herb’s perfume, which was quite pungent, almost petrol-like, and spicy. I took a bite and was intrigued by its zesty, fennel and coriander-like flavor. I couldn’t get it out of my head. All I kept thinking was, this would be good with citrus.
Continue reading

Categories:
Del.icio.us Digg Google Bookmarks Technorati StumbleUpon

Alice’s Restaurant

Thu Aug 14 2008

Cannelloni

Homemade Cannelloni

Last Sunday my dear friend Brooke and I sat on the curb underneath an old avocado tree a few blocks from the Hollywood Farmers’ Market and flipped through the Chez Panisse Café cookbook before heading into the dizzying array of farm fresh fruits and vegetables. It seemed apropos, really, looking at recipes from Alice Waters, the woman who inspired a generation to get back to cooking in season, who praised farmers’ efforts by putting their names on her menus more than 30 years ago.
Continue reading

Categories:
Del.icio.us Digg Google Bookmarks Technorati StumbleUpon

Heirloom Tomato Tart

Thu Aug 7 2008

Heirloom Tomato Tart

Heirloom Tomato Tart

Tomato season has officially begun and I’m a woman obsessed. All of the delicious, funky-looking heirloom varieties scattered across the tables at the Hollywood Farmers’ Market last Sunday tempted me like Tribbles. They were so fresh. They smelled so good intoxicating. And then I tried one, the juice dripping from my chin and between my fingers. Before I knew it, my bag was overflowing with Cherokee Purples, Golden Jubilees, Brandywines, Marvel Stripes and Black Crimsons from Tutii Frutti Farms, all bumping up against each other in the hot August sun.
Continue reading

Categories:
Del.icio.us Digg Google Bookmarks Technorati StumbleUpon

Good Wine in Box?

Thu Jul 31 2008

Among my friends I’m considered a wine snob. But honest, I’m not! No, I don’t like Two Buck Chuck. But I don’t think wine needs to be expensive to be good, or that has to be red to be good. I don’t even think it has to come in a bottle to be good. Yes, I’m talking about box wine.

The bag-in-a-box concept is brilliant, portable and keeps your wine fresh much longer than in bottle. The problem with much of it has been the wine itself, but fortunately winemakers are embracing the box and filling it up with some delicious, characterful wine. At K&L, where I work as a writer and editor, we are importing three-liter boxes of Blason Pinot Grigio from Italy (it’s currently bobbing around the Atlantic somewhere), but already have three-liter boxes of the quintessential summer wine, the 2007 “Le Petite Frog” Picpoul de Pinet Hughes Bealieu ($29.99) in stock. That’s $30 for the equivalent of four bottles of wine and it will last up to six weeks in your fridge.

Picpoul, which means “lip-stinger,” is a high-acid white grape grown also called Folle Blanche; it’s a primary component in Cognac and Armagnac and is also a common grape in France’s Loire Valley. This Picpoul comes from Southern France’s Coteaux de Languedoc, where it manages to maintain its vibrant acidity despite the region’s blistering heat. Juicy peach and apricot aromas and flavors, stony minerality, tarragon notes and low levels of alcohol make it an ideal match for almost anything on your summer table. I’ve paired it with barbecued chicken, caprese salads, rosemary shrimp and grilled peaches all to great success.

Perfect for camping, picnicking, backyard pool parties, beach excursions and, frankly, any other excuse you can come up with to crack open a box of fresh, fun, delicious wine.  You have to try this Picpoul, it’ll convert the snob in you, too.

Categories:
Del.icio.us Digg Google Bookmarks Technorati StumbleUpon

Cucumber Sorbet

Mon Jul 21 2008

Cucumber Sorbet

Homemade Cucumber Sorbet

I invented the root beer float when I was five or six years old. I was at a birthday party at the Ground Round, staring into my glass of soda, contemplating how to make my plain vanilla ice cream taste better. And then it dawned on me. And I dumped the ice cream in the cup, watched the fizz build and then started to suck down the creamy soda through my straw. My friends watched on in awe. Continue reading

Categories:
Del.icio.us Digg Google Bookmarks Technorati StumbleUpon

Grandma’s Baking, Rugelach

Tue Jul 15 2008

Rugelach

Making Rugelach

Growing up, my mother’s version of junk food was, well, limited. Unlike my friends, we didn’t have a pantry full of Kool-Aid and Marshmallow Fluff. Popsicles were made in Tupperware using real juice and the ice cream was Breyers (read: no preservatives). Fortunately, at least once a year, sometimes twice, my grandmother would bake rugelach. Even after my grandparents moved to Florida, the rugelach would come, packed into shoeboxes between layers of foil and wax paper. Even after my family moved from New York to Southern California, and after I left for college and subsequently moved a dozen or so times, I eagerly checked the mail around my birthday for the box of rugelach. When my grandparents would come out west to visit, my grandma would pack a second suitcase, filled with rugelach and mandel brot, and occasionally (and disastrously) my grandpa would sneak in some golf balls.

Continue reading

Categories:
Del.icio.us Digg Google Bookmarks Technorati StumbleUpon

About Leah

Categories

Archives

  • 101 Cookbooks
  • Bitten
  • Bubbe Maisse (aka Deborah Stoll)
  • Cook & Eat
  • Delicious Days
  • Epicurious
  • Food Network
  • Food Porn Daily
  • Foodwoolf
  • FP Daily
  • Grub Street
  • Mario Batali
  • Matt Bites
  • Mooncici Design
  • Orangette
  • Pinch My Salt
  • Serious Eats
  • Slow Food
  • Swirling Notions
  • The Grinder
  • The Pour
  • Vinography
  • White on Rice Couple
  • Wrightfood




  • Entries (RSS)
    Comments (RSS).

    powered by WordPress




    Currently Loving

  • Bookmarks

    • a platter of figs
    • Michael Franti & Spearhead