Saturday, May 22, 2010


So you're all big fans of the Kogi truck, right??!! You love wonderful korean bbq tacos with scrumptious short ribs too!! It's so sought after that lines for the truck, from standing in line to receiving your food, can be as long as 45 min! They're so popular that they have 4 trucks that travel all over So Cal. Well if you love the korean street flavor as much as I do then you're gonna be in heaven when you visit Kogi creater, chef Roy Choi's restaurant that I can only describe as incredibly delicious asian soul food! The menu is witty and salavating. Just check out some of the items: Sour Cream Hen House- grilled, w/fried egg, Chinese broccoli, sour cream sambal, Thai basil, sesame, red jalapeƱo (omg, does that just blow your mind, or what!?) I don't care what people think, a fried egg ontop of anything makes it awesome!!, or the Ooey Gooey Fries fries- sour cream sambal, melting montery and jack cheese, cotija, chillies, Thai basil ( I went back after this posting and ordered the ooey gooey fries...and....its!! me!)

So anyways, if you live in Culver City area near Overland Ave you must stop by. Here's what we ordered...

One Chubby Pork Belly kochujang-lacquered, w/fried egg, pickled watermelon radishes, water spinach, cilantro, cotija, peanuts
Its a rice bowl with a spicy kick! The pork belly is crunchy and has loads of flavor! Delish!

Tiny’s Prime Rib Rice Plate chili-rubbed, w/fried egg, water spinach, creamed horseradish, roasted garlic serrano paste, shallots
The prime rib was sooo tender, one of the best thin prime rib pieces I've ever had! And surprisingly the horseradish didn't ruin the flavor for me. My husband loves horseradish (and anything spicy for that matter) and to me its always too overpowering but Chego's version is do-able for me.
A great, CHEAP and quick meal! So much flavor and innovation for one meal! Please..go. You won't regret it!!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Carrot Cake Cookies.... by Bon Appetit may 2010

So I wanted a change of pace from my usual cupcake dessert so I found this carrot cake cookie recipe. I'm a big fan of carrot cake and the cream cheese icing. It's the best of cake/cookie hybrid! The recipe was fairly easy if you dont mind making baked goods from scratch. Don't worry, its not that bad and the outcome is worth the effort!!! You can find the entire recipe on bon appetit's website in the May 2010 issue.

Here are some of the pictures I took.....

Dim Sum.... by Hipcooks

If you're looking for one of those cool Los Angeles activities to partake in- I happily suggest joining a Hipcooks class. Hipcooks is a fun, innovative and hands-on cooking class for the beginner cook, entertainer and international food lover. Cuisines from all over the globe are specialty of the charming chefs at Hipcooks. Not only are the recipes creative and fun to make, but also EASY!! Myself and a dear friend enrolled in the "Dim Sum...and then some" class which offered this wonderful meal:

Steamed shrimp wontons
Chicken cabbage dumplings
Scallion pancakes with shitake mushrooms
Chinese style green beans
Seared sesame beef in rice paper
Lotus flower Pork Puff Pastry
Seared scallop lo mein
Sweet wontons with orange, dates and walnuts

All the recipes were delicious!! I'll mention a few favorites.

Steamed Shrimp Wontons with Red Chili and Scallions

Trust me....this was actually very easy to do. Once you gather your ingredients you let your food processor do all the work!..then, steam! Even wrapping the stuffing in the dumpling skin was simple. Once you get the fanning technique down, your dumplings look cool and taste great! Next time I think I'll try pork.

Scallion Pancakes Stuffed with Shitake Mushrooms

This was my best plating picture-so I had to post it. I really enjoyed the flavor of the pancake, however the sole shitake filling was a little too chewy for my liking. I would add a meat and something crunchy like water chestnuts or shredded carrots. But the pancake was a hoot to make!

Sweet wontons with orange, dates and walnuts

I liked these so much that I made some that night!! The dates really make this dessert outstanding! Its like a sweet paste. And filling the wonton skins was easy as well. The wontons skins are easy to handle and frying was a cinch. I have many ideas of what else to stuff in these wontons, such as peanut butter and chocolate! yum!

Hipcooks is such an awesome place to learn new and fun ways to entertain! I will definitely sign up for another class! Warning: Classes are very popular and fill up months in advance, so sign up early!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Los Angeles Cupcake Challenge Feb 2010

A sample of some of the many cupcakes that we were allowed to take home!!!

The third annual Los Angeles Cupcake Challenge was finally at my fingertips this past weekend! I was in heaven!! It was even more glorious than last years! So many wonderful and inventive flavors and too many close votes for me. But first....the RESULTS!! ( I got them from my fav cupcake blog...(

Best Traditional:

1st Big Man Bakes-Red Velvet
2nd Blue Cupcake-Sweet and Salty Vanilla
3rd Southern Girl Desserts-Red Velvet

Big Man Bakes' Red Velvet and Carrot cake ...yum!

Best Original:

1st My Delight Cupcaker-Breakfast Cake
2nd Jus Minis-Caramel Banana
3rd Two Parts Sugar-Chocolate Covered Strawberry

Best Overall:

1st Jus Minis-Caramel Banana
2nd My Delight Cupcaker-Breakfast Cake
3rd Two Parts Sugar- Chocolate Covered Strawberry


Best Traditional:
Big Man Cakes-Red Velvet

Best Original:
My Delight Cupcaker-Amaretto Sour

Best Overall:
My Delight Cupcaker-Breakfast Cupcake

The Breakfast Cupcake...I have to recreate soon!! (if you love pancakes and bacon, you'll be hooked!)

Definitely the event of the year!!!! And I can proudly announce that I took my left overs and ate some the next day. There are never enough! (some people can't handle the truth!) I had such a great time and I was really impressed with this years decorations and unique flavors. Although not all of the flavors were hits. There were plenty of vanilla and red velvet to go around but I was disappointed in the lack of coconut.

I look forward to visiting the winning cupcakeries and my favs of the competition! I had so much fun!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Food Network Magazine's Almond Joy Cupcakes

I am a fanatic about coconut! I love shredded coconut, coconut milk, coconut scones, coconut ice cream and pina coladas! Making this cupcake creation inspired by the candy bar, Almond Joy was so much fun and so true to its originality. The coconut flavor is so yummy!

Cook time is 20 min.
Yields 24

For the Cupcakes:
2 large eggs plus 4 egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup cream of coconut
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups cake flour, sifted
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature

For the Topping
2 cups whole milk
1 14-ounce package shredded coconut
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

For the Glaze and Garnish:
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
48 roasted almonds, for garnish

Make the cupcakes: Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners. Whisk the whole eggs and egg whites in a large bowl. Whisk in the cream of coconut and the coconut and vanilla extracts until smooth.
Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Beat in the butter, one piece at a time, with a mixer on low speed until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 3 to 4 minutes. Add half of the egg mixture, increase the speed to medium-high and beat until fluffy, about 1 minute. Beat in the remaining egg mixture until combined, scraping down the bowl as needed.
Divide the batter among the prepared cups, filling each about halfway. Bake until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Let cool in the pans 10 minutes; transfer to racks to cool completely.
Make the topping: Combine the milk, coconut, confectioners' sugar, vanilla and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook until the milk is absorbed and the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Cool completely.
Make the glaze: Put the chocolate, corn syrup, butter and 3 tablespoons hot water in a microwave-safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap and microwave on 50 percent power until the chocolate melts, about 2 minutes. Whisk to combine. Keep warm.
Top each cupcake with a heaping tablespoonful of the coconut mixture, pressing gently until compact. Spoon 1 teaspoon glaze on top and garnish with 2 almonds. Refrigerate until the glaze sets, about 20 minutes.

Candy Bar- San Francisco, CA

If you're a dessert lover like me and you also enjoy a bit (or alot) of wine and alcohol... this is the place for you! This is all you need to know:the Candy Bar; part art, wine and DESSERT!!

OK, so I will go into details! What a cool place to come hangout and enjoy each others company. The Candy Bar is set in a cute lounge area with couches and a bar. One of the most unique things about this place is that they have board and card games for you to play with! What a great idea! This reminds me of a similar place in Flagstaff, AZ called the Wine Loft. (I couldn't find the web address so heres some reviews on yelp ) The Wine Loft has an HUGE collection of wine and beer while also sporting the board games. Trivial Pursuit has never been so much fun when you're feeling silly.

Anyways, we didn't have time for any games at the Candy Bar but we did eat our share of desserts.

Banana Bread Pudding- toasted almonds, Bailey's Creme Anglaise, vanilla ice cream

Chocolate Mousse- Mango Sauce, Oh Henry! malt ice cream

Butterscotch Chocolate Brownie- candied walnuts, thyme ice cream

My favorites were the chocolate mousse and the butterscotch brownies! The chocolate mousse with the mango sauce was so delectable but the butterscotch brownie with the thyme ice was phenomenal!! Ok, so thyme ice cream may sound weird to you but trust me, it was so refreshing! With the sweetness of the brownie, the thyme ice was a welcomed subtle hint of spice!

Definitely check this place out for your next dessert/game hangout! I love SF!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Heaven's Dog -San Francisco, CA

We made reservations at Heaven's Dog, a Vietnamese inspired menu always featuring organic meats and greens. I knew this was a good place because I heard it's a favorite with the locals (aka. my cuz Sunny!) They also have a complex cocktail menu plus a "freedom from choice" selection which you could choose a favorite alcohol with or without citrus and the bartender would create your very own drink. How cool!

Some of the favorites of the night seemed to be ..anything with pork belly, fish claypot with haddock, eggplant, honshimejis, thai chili and crispy half duck (cured in fragrant spices). We ended up ordering spicy niman lamb skewers, cumin, chili, sweet pickles. The tenderness and flavor of the lamb was excellent and I loved the pickles.

For entrees:
Chicken curry claypot, carrot, potato, coconut milk. This was very good as well. I'm a bit particular about my curry flavors but this was definitely a great flavor.

Heritage berkshire pork chop, lemongrass, pickled chanterelle. Sooooo yummy! The pork had just enough fat and crispy ends and the chanterelles were a great combo.

Kung pao tofu, fresh bamboo, toasted cashew

Having been to Heaven's Dog I now must explore the fusion vietnamese food in Los Angeles. This was a great experience and introducing me to Vietnamese food, other than pho. Like most awesome restaurants in San Francisco, the prices can run high, especially with alcohol, but it makes a perfect place for a special night with friends!