You may have seen our first post announcing participation in Alexia Foods’ Tastemaker Program. Now that we’ve made our way to November, the time has come to share a few of the recipes we’ve made and fun discoveries we’ve stumbled across in the last couple of months. Today marks the first recipe, and next week, we’ll have the perfect dish for the upcoming holiday. Plus, there will be products to give away and a behind-the-scenes look at at one part of Alexia Foods that has most likely been off limits to many. We have the scoop, and we’ll share it! Until then, we’re talking about French fries. If you are tired of dipping your tubers into ketchup, here is a new way to enjoy fries.
For one of our last get togethers with friends, Amir made chai tea pots de crème. The little guys did not set completely, so they were more like very thick cups of cream. Delicious of course, but not quite as silky and luscious as the perfect pot de crème. We decided not to share the recipe as it needed to be tweaked. Fast forward through the last couple of months, and we have both had our share of custard desserts. From flan to crème brûlée, we have personal favorites. Mine reside on the side of the line with a higher ratio of cream to milk and more yolks than necessary. It was back to the drawing board then to create a pot de crème that would make the list.
It seems as though everyone is looking for small ways to make every day recipes just a bit healthier. We also make the same attempts when we can. Hodgson Mill offered to send us samples of their whole wheat flour, along with yeast and cornmeal, in order to make a pizza. We have yet to make an all whole wheat flour pizza, and this seemed like a perfect time to give it a try. It is still pretty warm here in L.A., so turning up the oven to fire off a pizza felt like a scary task. That’s why this pizza was baked early in the day an served for lunch. It does feature bacon and a little bit of egg, so it almost felt like breakfast. Sometimes you have to tell yourself these things until you believe it.
You’ve probably already thought to yourself just how quickly January and February flew by, and here we are right at the top of March. The strange part is that winter feels like it happened years ago. Actually, it’s almost like winter never came due to the warm sunny days and infrequent chilly nights that have graced us for the last few weeks. We already have summer happenings on the brain. There will be weddings, vacations, visitors and the event that has become one of our traditions–the seafood boil. A summer-appropriate salad should be on deck for such an event, so last year we had a very popular shrimp salad that was gobbled up in minutes. After playing around with a bag of Alexia Foods frozen potatoes, we may have a potato salad that could very well have a place on the table.
It has been a dulce de leche kind of year. We’re only one month into 2012, but there have been more dulce de leche recipes around these here parts than may be necessary. You saw the first appearance with the January Ethnic Exploration that featured alfajores. When you have a couple of cups of dulce de leche in your fridge, you have to use them up. Brownies came to mind almost immediately. They would be a perfect sweet for a friend’s movie night, and dulce de leche is the perfect partner with rich, fudgey chocolate. How does Starbucks fit in? It’s in the mix of course. Literally.
The connection may not be clear right away, but it is there. Yes, baking with olive oil and one of Kwanzaa’s seven principles are in line. It has to do with making steady steps of purpose that make changes in our lives and the lives of those in our larger communities. We are all so very connected by food, so of course, it makes sense that we use our talents and abilities in that sector of our lives to benefit ourselves and those we love. Today, this means swapping out butter with olive oil in a cookie recipe. On a larger scale, it is about the significant health benefits of small changes we make with our favorite and usually traditional foods. If you have yet to hear about Kwanzaa Culinarians, we invite you to take a look at the month long educational, informational and food-filled celebration organized by several bloggers, writers, chefs and business owners in the food industry. On the site, you will find the recipe for the Olive Oil, Almond and Lemon Cookies above, which feature California Olive Ranch‘s Limited Reserve olive oil. You will also find out more about this month’s Kwanzaa project.
In just a few hours, we’ll be flying high on a quickie flight from SoCal to NorCal. For the third year in a row, we find ourselves at the Foodbuzz Blogger Festival in San Francisco. It kicks off with the usual Welcome Reception that, this year, will be combined with a blogger awards ceremony and dinner. We’ve always enjoyed the Welcome Reception’s previous set-up of kiosks and tables from all-you-can-sample food and beverage vendors, so the dinner and ceremony combination will be an interesting change. We’ll poke around the Taste Pavilion on Saturday afternoon and pick up more eats and sips, then finish off the affair with Sunday’s farewell brunch. It’s always a fun weekend, and we’ve been lucky to meet great people each time. This year, one of the big sponsors of the event is Alexia Foods, and they want you to be as involved in the Foodbuzz weekend as we are, even if you won’t be there. Keep reading to find out how.
L.A. folks! Look at the mercury creeping up in your thermometers. Your air conditioning is probably blasting, and perhaps you even ate some ice cream today. Well, let’s throw your entire life out of wack and talk about soup. It’s the fall, and no matter how much you are fighting it, October is here. It’s funny how sometimes this blog is full of inconsistencies, such as blueberries in autumn and soup on Indian summer days that peak at 90 degrees. No matter, here’s a tale about soup–a tale that involves Bertolli and beets. You are no doubt wondering how those two are connected. Let’s try to connect the dots. Grab a spoon, and come along for the ride.
It is October, and we have the audacity to post an ice cream recipe. A blueberry ice cream recipe, no less! What can we say? It was a busy, busy summer of fun activities and food, and a couple of things fell by the wayside. Posting this recipe for you was one of those things. Good reason would tell us that fresh blueberries are nowhere to be found right now, so why would we tell you to make this? Well, the main reason is because frozen blueberries will do this time. It’s the cheater’s way of getting around nature’s produce schedule. If you live here in Los Angeles, you know that the days are still sunny and somewhat warm, so spooning up a cold treat is not out of the question. If you are somewhere on the East coast, you may be cursing us, pining for the days of June and July that have come and gone. You know that ice cream will make you feel better, right? For that reason alone, you’ll find yourself eating blueberry ice cream well into December.
At this point every month, we’re scrambling through our own mental map of the world trying to pinpoint our next place of interest. It was Chrystal’s turn this time to pick the culinary destination. Just when we settled on a cooking trip to the Middle East, Goya Foods contacted us about their 75th anniversary celebration. We figured it would be the perfect opportunity to take a detour to Latin America this time around, so we embarked on a trip to the one and only Guatemala.