Classic Caesar Salad with Sourdough Croutons

Classic Caesar Salad with Sourdough Croutons

Homemade croutons are the easiest way to elevate a simple recipe to the next level. Compared to the hard, dry texture of store bought croutons, they are full of flavor with a wonderful soft, slightly crunchy texture. Whole Foods sells a killer sourdough boule that is absolutely perfect for homemade croutons!     The other key component of a great classic Caesar salad is the dressing. To save some prep time, the dressing can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. You really can’t afford to skip the raw egg yolk or anchovies. The egg yolk is essential for the creamy richness of the dressing, while the anchovies provide a salty, umami kick.     Prep Time: 30 mins Serves: 4 Ingredients: 2 romaine hearts 1 small sourdough boule 4 anchovy fillets 1 clove garlic, minced 1 large egg yolk 2 tbsp, fresh lemon juice 1/2 tsp, Dijon mustard 1/3 cup, olive oil Parmesan cheese Sea salt and black pepper to taste Preparation: To prepare the dressing, chop and combine the anchovy fillets and garlic clove. Mash into a paste and transfer to a medium bowl. Whisk in the egg yolk, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice. Gradually pour in olive oil and add 2 tablespoons of finely grated Parmesan cheese. Season with sea salt and black pepper and continue to whisk dressing until fully combined, thick, and glossy. Preheat the oven to 375°. Tear the sourdough boule into small bite-size pieces. Toss well with olive oil and bake for 10-15 minutes or until bread is golden-brown. Finally, tear romaine lettuce into 1-2 inch pieces and place into a large serving...
Superfood Snack: Honey, Banana & Almond Butter Toast

Superfood Snack: Honey, Banana & Almond Butter Toast

In honor of National Toast Day this is a super simple, delicious breakfast or post-workout snack. Packing a serious nutritional punch, almond butter is high in protein and healthy fat, while bananas are a great high-glycemic carbohydrate source, perfect for quick energy replenishment. Key to keeping this snack healthy are quality ingredients- namely whole-grain bread. I prefer to pick up my bread at the local Santa Monica Farmer’s Market to ensure a fresh, unprocessed loaf, loaded with 100% whole grains!     Prep Time: 5 minutes Ingredients: 1 slice, whole-grain bread 2 tbsp, almond butter 1/2 banana, sliced 1 tsp, honey Preparation: Toast bread then spread almond butter evenly over the slice. Top with sliced bananas and drizzle with...
Blistered Shishito Peppers with Sriracha Aioli

Blistered Shishito Peppers with Sriracha Aioli

This is one of those recipes that was a result of inspiration from a dozen different places! Disappointed that my food blogging had taken a back seat to the craziness of everyday life, I was looking for the perfect recipe and aesthetic to get me excited about the process again. That inspiration managed to come in the form of a beautiful gift from Japan- a porcelain bowl, ornately adorned with delicate flowers.     In allowing the aesthetic to guide the recipe, I decided on a typical Japanese mainstay- shishito peppers. These mild, green peppers are often served as a simple appetizer or as tempura and have crowded their way onto the menus of local, trendy restaurants. Best of all, these slender, slighty sweet peppers are incredibly simple to prepare and maintain a fresh and delicious crunch after preparation!     This will certainly not be the last time I make this confession, but I LOVE condiments! If they are artisanal and homemade, all the better. Shishito peppers are truly delicious enough to hold their own with just a sprinkle of sea salt and olive oil, but the creamy garlic aioli with an added spicy kick of Sriracha takes these tasty little peppers to a whole new level! This particular recipe is incredibly easy to throw together, involving four basic ingredients that are likely already in your kitchen- mayonnaise, fresh garlic, sea salt, and Sriracha.     My Sriracha aioli revelation came in the form of late-night eats at a wedding I recently attended. While the aioli was served with crisp, thin-cut fries at the event, I much prefer...
Greek Yogurt Granola Bowl with Fresh Berries

Greek Yogurt Granola Bowl with Fresh Berries

This recipe came out of a necessity to recreate. I found myself splurging on the seven dollar granola bowl at Gjelina Takeaway far too often. The sheer simplicity of ingredients, highlighted by their quality is what makes the food at Gjelina spectacular. The fruit is fresh from a local farmer’s market, the honey is of a raw and pure form, and their granola is full of texture and variety.   The recipe for this granolia bowl is incredibly simple but mandates a trip to the farmer’s market for the absolute tastiest berries. Quality granola, honey, and coconut flakes can easily be found at Whole Foods. The choice of fresh berries is a complete variable but I personally love the combination of fresh sliced strawberries, with juicy, in-season blackberries!   The best part of this recipe is that there is a ton of room for improvisation. You can top with chopped walnuts, sprinkle with chia seeds, or even drizzle on flax seed oil for an omega-3 boost and additional protein and fiber.   Prep Time: 5 minutes Ingredients: 1 cup, low-fat plain Greek yogurt 1/3 cup, granola 1 tablespoon, honey 1/4 cup, sliced strawberries 1/4 cup, blackberries 1/4 cup, coconut flakes Preparation Top Greek yogurt with granola. Add fresh berries and drizzle with honey. Top with coconut...
Pineapple Jalapeño Infused Tequila

Pineapple Jalapeño Infused Tequila

Infusing alcohol is one of the easiest ways to serve up a killer cocktail! After constantly ordering the Spicy Margarita at Brick + Mortar in Santa Monica, I decided it was time to get to work creating my own. Vodka is one of the most common spirits to infuse since it’s relatively flavorless, but light spirits like silver tequila work just as well. Pick bold flavors when coming up with your infusion of choice! Pineapple and jalepeño are the perfect complement to a smoky tequila. The spiciness of the jalepeño cuts through the alcohol while the pineapple adds a natural sweetness. The best part of the infusion process is that the alcohol is basically cocktail-ready! Freshly squeezed limes, a splash of pineapple juice, and a bit of triple sec are combined with the infused tequila in a cocktail shaker. No muddling necessary! Prep Time: 45 mins  – 3/4 days for infusion Ingredients: Infused Tequila Serves: 750 ml 750 ml bottle of blanco (silver) tequila 1 small pineapple, sliced 3 jalepeños, sliced and seeded Pineapple-Jalepeño Tequila Cocktail Serves: 1 1 1/2 ounces pineapple-jalepeño infused tequila 1 ounce pineapple juice 1/2 ounce triple sec 1 lime, fresh squeezed juice 2 cubes, ice Lime wedge and sea salt to garnish Preparation:  Place the sliced pineapple and jalepeños in a large, quart-sized jar. Pour in the bottle of tequila, mix the contents, then seal the jar. Refrigerate for 2 or 3 days depending on your desired level of spiciness. After 2-3 days, remove the jalepeños from the jar, leaving in the pineapple for another day or two. After the additional day or two, remove the pineapple...
Mixed Greens with Pear, Goat Cheese, and Candied Walnuts

Mixed Greens with Pear, Goat Cheese, and Candied Walnuts

I had an intense craving for a salad with fresh fruit and candied walnuts when I threw together this recipe. With the Bosc pear currently in season, its crisp, woodsy flavor is the perfect contrast among the tangy goat cheese mingled with the sweet walnuts. This recipe is so simple to throw together yet has all the trappings of a gourmet salad! In selecting just the right pear for this recipe, it’s really a matter of personal choice. I went for a firm, slightly less ripe one in order to add a crunchy texture to my salad. Interestingly, Bosc pears do not change color as they ripen. You simply need to feel it out for your desired level of crunchiness! With so many delicious tastes and textures coming together in one bowl, I wanted to ensure that none of the flavor was masked with a heavy dressing or a show stealing balsamic vinegar. I opted for my go-to Red Wine Vinaigrette recipe, comprised of five simple ingredients- lemon juice, red wine vinegar, honey, garlic, and olive oil. Prep Time: 20 mins Serves: 4-6 Ingredients: 3/4 lb, mixed greens 2 Bosc pears, sliced 4 ounces, goat cheese, crumbled 1/2 cup, candied walnuts 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced Red Wine Vinaigrette 1/4 cup, red wine vinegar 2 tablespoons, fresh lemon juice 1/2 cup, olive oil 1 clove, garlic, minced Sea salt and pepper to taste Preparation: In a large mixing bowl, combine the mixed greens, goat cheese, sliced red onions, pears and candied walnuts. To prepare the vinaigrette, mince one clove of garlic and combine with the red wine vinegar, olive oil, and...