All posts filed under: Meals

Vegan Chocolate and Granola Pancakes

I may have mentioned, I have a very rambunctious toddler.  I wish I could bottle his energy.  Every morning he wakes up and is ready for the day.  I mean, READY!  He is ready to run!  He is ready to play!  He is ready to EAT! Seriously, my toddler can eat in the morning.  It’s his largest meal of the day.  I usually start with a cereal bar for him.  Then I go into fruit – usually a banana or an apple.  Then we have breakfast as a family. I like to make something protein based for breakfast, but recently, my boy has learned how to request food.  There is nothing he loves more than pancakes.  He can eat his weight in them! One morning he requested pancakes, and I had nothing in the house.  So, I went to my pantry and started to get creative.  From that, I created this recipe, which has become a family favorite.  I tweak it from time to time, sometimes omitting the cocoa and granola to make simple pancakes.  …

Dinner Parties with Mom

My mother always liked a good party, and she was especially fond of the ones she threw herself.  When I was 15, she decided to have a series of dinner parties.  The menu was always the same; the friends rotated.  Needless to say, after a few of these, we got really good at sharing the kitchen.  It felt like a dance, as we weaved around each other to work in tandem to create a delicious meal. Now, my mother always proclaimed she didn’t have a sweet tooth, however she did have one weakness:  chocolate!  For those dinners, we turned to The Los Angeles Times California Cookbook and created the Four-Minute Brownie Pie.  It was an ooey-gooey brownie in a pie shape that we served, fresh out of the oven, with ice cream and hot fudge.  Calling it decadent was an understatement, and that was exactly the tone she wanted for the evening. The meal started with an appetizer of her signature crab dip.  Our guests would gab while munching on the luscious starter and drink …

Cooking with Mom

This week marks the 5-year anniversary of my mother’s passing.  It seems only fitting I should feature some of her favorite recipes and food she made when I was growing up. Some things were simple – very simple.  She was a working mom, after all.  She briefly experimented with some recipes a few celebrities gave her while she was writing her luxury real estate column for the Los Angeles Times, “Hot Property.”  However, she was known by all of her friends as the woman who once made gazpacho with an entire bulb of garlic instead of the one clove the recipe required. My mother was an intelligent, wise, talented woman, but a chef she was not.  Regardless, I have many fond memories of her food because we sat down as a family every night for a hot, balanced meal.  So, enjoy!

The Food of My (Husband’s) People – Part Dos: Black Beans

I’ll admit it, I never really “got” black beans.  I remember when they started regularly appearing on menus.  They were the envogue new healthy alternative protein.  I would hear people order black beans like they were something special.  Sure, I liked them, but I just didn’t understand what was so exciting about them. Enter my husband… I mentioned the time we went to the Cuban restaurant, Versailles in Part I.  He talked about the black beans that night.  I ate them.  I enjoyed them.  However, I still didn’t really understand just how delightful they could be. It wasn’t until my husband took me one Christmas to meet his family.  We arrived on Noche Buena, and the festivities were in full swing.  A family friend, Miguel had prepared the beans.  He took me under his wing and told me all about his grandmother’s recipe and the memories that came with the food. We talked and talked, and then I tasted.  These were different.  They were creamy and flavorful.  Just the aroma from them was intoxicating.  I …

The Food of My (Husband’s) People: Lechon Asado

Part I – Lechon Asado On our third date, my husband promised to introduce me to “the food of his people.”  He took me to Versailles, a Cuban restaurant I had been to many times before, but he didn’t know that.  When we got there, he ordered croquettes and started to explain some items on the menu to me.  I thought I knew Cuban food, but this was a whole new way of seeing, understanding, and ultimately tasting it. Lechon asado, a roasted pork marinated with tangy bitter orange and garlic, has been my long-time “go to” for Cuban food, but I started really exploring other things that night.  I began to understand the intricacies and art of Cuban black beans along with the satisfaction of a good cordadito (espresso shot cut with a splash of milk) after a meal. A few months later, he took me to Miami, where he really immersed me in some Cuban culture.  We drank cortadidos and ate a pastel every afternoon.  I somehow kept up with the rapid Cuban …

A Bowl of Nostalgia

I’ve been feeling nostalgic lately. Maybe it’s because I’m finally writing consistently and honoring my mother’s legacy.  Or maybe it’s that the fifth anniversary of her passing is coming up.  Needless to say, she’s been on my mind. When I was a child, I always asked my mom for Top Ramen for breakfast on cold days I’m not sure why I loved it so much.  Maybe it was the warm and comforting feeling it gave me.  As an adult, I still love the warmth and comfort.  Now I doctor it up with sesame and chili oil, a flavored egg, some crispy shallots, green onions, and a bit of sauteed pork or chicken.  But there is still nothing like the Top Ramen my mother made on those cold days.