Kale Salad

Kale Salad

I simply can’t stop making this kale salad after getting my hands on Gjelina Restaurant’s recipe. Gjelina in Venice is an absolute favorite spot of mine. With it’s highly seasonal menu, farm to table credo, and effortless delivery of meals, it is certainly among the finest in dining that LA has to offer.  At a fraction of the cost, this fresh and highly nutritious salad is a quick and easy dinner party favorite! This dish is devoured right before my eyes each time I prepare it for a group of friends! I pick up my kale for this recipe from the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market or Whole Foods. Curly kale is fairly easy to find but I prefer the fresh, crisp quality of the variety from the farmer’s market. Fennel is one of those unusual vegetables that I needed to Google the first time I stumbled upon it in a recipe. The white bulb is the edible portion of the plant. Don’t be put off by the anise (black licorice) smell- this crisp veggie  makes for a refreshing and crunchy addition to the kale salad! I’ve had a number of friends tell me that they have attempted this recipe with varied success. So here’s my big reveal behind the secret to my prep – I massage the kale with olive oil. That’s right, a rubdown is what transforms this green from being tough and bitter to slightly sweet and flavorful. Prep Time: 20 minutes Serves: 3-4 Ingredients 1 Bunch of Kale, stems removed and discarded, leaves finely sliced 1 Bulb of Fennel, finely sliced 1 Cup of Ricotta Salada, crumbled 5...
Avocado Toast

Avocado Toast

This is yet another one of my favorite, quick and simple recipes adopted from Gjelina’s takeaway spot in Venice. A quality loaf of bread, along with just the right balance of lemon juice and sea salt to create the perfect kick, is what really takes this recipe to the next level.     I picked up this gorgeous loaf of freshly baked, sourdough bread at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market.     Thinly-sliced radish atop the toast is not only great for presentation but also adds a bit of crunch to this tasty appetizer.     Resist the urge to mash the avocado too finely- we don’t want to prepare guac! Big, uneven hunks of avocado are great for flavor and varied consistency. Sea salt is ideal for this recipe, as the rough texture contrasts nicely with the creamy avocado, while bringing out the lemon bite.     Keep the radish slices thin and leave the parsley roughly chopped.   Prep Time: 20 minutes Serves: 4-6 Ingredients 1/2 Loaf of Bread, sliced into 1/2 inch slices 2 Avocados 1 Lemon, juiced 1/4 Cup Fresh Italian Parsley, roughly chopped 4 Radishes, thinly sliced and halved Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste 1 Tbsp Olive Oil Splash of White Balsamic Vinegar Preparation Toast the slices of bread in the oven at 375F until golden brown. Cut thick slices of the avocado in a mixing bowl. Top with lemon juice, olive oil, and vinegar. Using a big spoon or butter knife, roughly chop the avocado. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Garnish with the fresh, chopped parley and radish, then...
New Music Monday: January 2014 Playlist

New Music Monday: January 2014 Playlist

Each month I  compile a series of tracks on Spotify to build out a playlist for my new music discoveries. This month turned into quite the eclectic playlist, with artists ranging from Chance the Rapper to Toro Y Moi. The most notable track to drop this month was certainly Sam Smith’s, “Money On My Mind.” His full album, In The Lonely Hour is slated for release on May 26th.   1) Can You Do This- Aloe Blacc 2) The Man- Aloe Blacc 3) Journal of Ardency- Class Actress 4) Life Round Here- James Blake, Chance the Rapper 5) Family- Chance the Rapper 6) How Do I Know- Here We Go Magic 7) Campo- Toro Y Moi 8) Happy- Pharrell Williams 9) California (Cast Iron Soul)- Jamestown Revival 10) Red Eyes- The War On Drugs 11) XO– Beyoncé 12) Uncertainty- Jagwar Ma 13) Stand Still (feat. Micky Green)- Flight Facilities 14) Shakedown Street- Boombox 15) Crime- Mayer Hawthorne, Kendrick Lamar 16) Money On My Mind- Sam Smith 17) Love Is To Die- Warpaint   Follow me on...
The Perfect Breakfast Sandwich

The Perfect Breakfast Sandwich

Finding the perfect breakfast sandwich has been a long-time quest of mine. I have spent many a weekend morning hunting down the best of what Venice and Santa Monica have to offer. And believe me, the list is quite plentiful. Some of the best around town include the breakfast sandwiches at GTA, Zinque, and Brick + Mortar. In the new year I have switched gears entirely by taking this experiment to my kitchen. The results are as follows: Fresh ingredients are absolutely key to building the perfect sandwich. I stocked up on fresh tomatoes, avocado, and a pumpkin-seed loaf of bread from the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market, while picking up a wedge of smoked gouda from Bay Cities Italian Deli. I have yet to find a quality breakfast sandwich without a strip or two of perfectly cooked bacon.     Prep Time: 15 mins Ingredients 1 large, brown egg 2 slices of toast (pumpkin seed loaf used above) 2 slices, fresh tomato 1/2 avocado, sliced 1 slice, applewood-smoked bacon 3 thin slices, smoked gouda cheese Preparation Toast the slices of bread in a toaster-oven until lightly browned. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Crack the egg into the skillet, seasoning with sea salt and black pepper. Place the fried egg on the slice of toast. Top with the tomato slices, cooked bacon, gouda cheese, and avocado. Optional: Garnish with fresh basil Serve with your favorite hot...