Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I've been meaning to make a pumpkin-inspired dessert, but haven't gotten around to it yet. I blame midterms! Hopefully I'll have time later this week to carve pumpkins and bake something pumpkin-y. In the meantime, in the spirit of procrastination from studying, here are some pictures from my day trip to Santa Barbara last week. I drove up to attend a UCSB psychology grad school informational meeting, and then had lunch at Freebird's (mmm) with my cousin, a freshman there.

These pictures are from the beach near UCSB and a pumpkin patch in Ventura.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Weekend Apple Pancake

Here are some pictures from the Brentwood Farmers Market this morning, as well as the recipe for a delicious weekend breakfast I made when I came home. It was the coolest, freshest morning that LA has seen in months... a beautiful morning to walk around outside with a hot cup of tea. I love farmers markets so much, but I think I'm about 15 years younger than the typical Sunday morning farmers market enthusiast. Oh well!

From TheKitchn.com

This recipe, along with most others involving baked apples, does best with a tart, crisp variety. If you use softer or sweeter apples, toss the slices with some lemon juice before putting them in the pan to bring up the acidity and balance out the sweetness. Note: this dish is less like a pancake and more like a custard.

Serves 3-4.


2 large or 3 medium apples, preferably Granny Smith
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon, fresh ground if possible
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
5 eggs
1 cup milk
3/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Heat the oven to 400F. Peel and slice the apples; you should have about 3 cups. Mix the fresh cinnamon, ginger and sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

In the oven, or over a burner, melt the butter in an 8x8" pan or a deep cast iron skillet, tilting to coat the bottom and sides with melted butter. Add the brown sugar to the butter in the bottom of pan. Spread the apples on top of the sugar and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the apples. Put the pan back in the oven to start the apples cooking.

Beat the eggs until foamy with a whisk or eggbeater. Fold in the flour, salt, and sugar gradually while mixing. Add milk and vanilla and beat just until smooth. Let rest for a couple minutes.

Take the pan out of the oven and pour the batter over the apples. Sprinkle more cinnamon or cinnamon sugar on top if desired. Bake for about 20 more minutes or until center is set and sides are lightly browned. If the top browns before the center sets, tent with foil for the duration of the baking. The pancake will puff up dramatically but fall after you take it out of the oven.

Serve with powdered sugar or more cinnamon sugar.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tri-Tip Sandwich with Feta

The tri-tip in this sandwich was dinner from the previous night. I made it for lunch at work (at preschool!) and enjoyed every bite! A great way to use any type of meat leftover from the night before.

Makes one sandwich.


1 Panni roll or other roll of choice
A few thick slices cooked tri-tip (we bought ours pre-seasoned from Costco)
Feta cheese
Roasted red pepper hummus
Mixed baby greens

Cut roll in half lengthwise; toast. Spread hummus on both sides of roll. Layer meat and greens; sprinkle on feta cheese generously. Close sandwich and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Portabella Caprese Sandwich

My sister Emily and I made this sandwich based on one of our favorites from Damon & Pythias, a great restaurant in Westwood with "Food For The Gods." Very yummy for lunch or dinner - we'll never have spend $10 on this sandwich at Damon again!

Makes one sandwich.


1 portabella mushroom, cut into 1 1/2 inch thick slices
1 tomato, sliced
Fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
Balsamic vinaigrette
Fresh basil
Mixed baby greens
Foccacia bread or other roll of choice

Grill portabella mushroom (we used our George Foreman grill). Toast foccacia bread in toaster oven, or grill until lightly toasted. Sprinkle balsamic vinaigrette onto both sides of bread. Layer mushroom, tomato, mozzarella, a few leaves basil, and greens onto bread. Enjoy!

Chicken Enchiladas

I made these tonight for dinner for my roommates and I. They turned out great! I made some revisions from the original; changes are included in the recipe listed below.

Adapted from Bon Appetit, October 1994


1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
12 6-inch flour tortillas

1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil

3 10-ounce cans purchased enchilada sauce
3 cups (about) shredded cooked chicken
1 1/2 cups packed grated Monterey Jack cheese (about 6 ounces)
1 1/2 cups packed grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 6 ounces)

Sour cream

Heat 1/3 cup vegetable oil in heavy small skillet over medium-high heat. Using tongs, add 1 tortilla and cook until softened, turning once, about 15 seconds for each side. Transfer tortilla to paper towels and drain well. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in heavy large skillet. Add onion, pepper, oregano and basil and sauté until onion and pepper are tender, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Lightly oil 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Spoon 1/2 cup enchilada sauce into dish. Place scant 1/4 cup chicken in center of 1 tortilla. Sprinkle with 1 generous tablespoon onion mixture. Set aside 1/2 cup cheese for topping. Spoon 2 generous tablespoons cheese atop chicken. Roll up tortilla and place seam side down in prepared dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas, chicken, onion mixture and cheese. Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas. Sprinkle with reserved 1/2 cup cheese. Cover with foil. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake enchiladas, covered, until sauce bubbles and cheese melts, about 35 minutes. Serve hot with sour cream.

Note: one reviewer on Epicurious recommended Emeril's Enchilada Sauce. I think I'll try it next time as a better alternative to the canned sauce.


3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup chili powder (or a little less)
2 cups chicken stock
10 ounces tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a medium saucepan heat oil, add flour, smoothing and stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook for 1 minute. Add chili powder and cook for 30 seconds. Add stock, tomato paste, oregano, and cumin. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. The sauce will thicken and smooth out.