for December, 2010
I’ve been aiming to go to Hugo’s Restaurant for awhile now. You see, my husband recently had to go gluten-free, and restaurant menus have been tough for him to navigate. We heard that Hugo’s offers a lot of GF options, so, of course, a Sunday drive to Studio City was in order.
And then we got on the 5 freeway—the rain was torrential, visibility was nil and our Southern California hearts just weren’t in it. Urgings of “let’s just go to Atwater” began to gnaw at us as we neared the Glendale Blvd. exit. Suddenly, with one quick jerk of the steering wheel, we were Atwater bound.
For most of my life, I didn’t care one way or another about cranberry sauce. I always took the traditional holiday side dish for granted, appreciating little more than the color it added to the plate. Then everything changed.
One bite of my mother-in-law Harriet’s rendition, and I was instantly transformed into someone who craves cranberry sauce. Delivering a swift kick of tartness, her cranberry-orange relish also has a warmth about it, thanks to the addition of orange peel, cinnamon and nutmeg. It doesn’t skimp on the sugar—one cup of orange juice and two cups of sugar are in the mix—but it’s not too sweet. And all the orange adds enough bitterness to balance things out. It’s actually very refined and pretty “gourmet”.
Harriet adapted this recipe from a newspaper article years and years ago. It’s very easy to follow, but looks pretty impressive when all is boiled and chilled. If you make it for a holiday party or Christmas dinner, you’ll inspire lots of compliments and probably even some cranberry sauce converts.
Check out the easy recipe after the jump.
My father despises birria de chivo (roasted goat meat). He won’t even consider taking a bite. “It’s too gamey,” he says with a look of disgust any time he’s confronted with the offending meat. He can’t tolerate the texture or the taste.
He always made it sound so god awful that I didn’t try it for years and years and years. When I finally did, I was surprised at how much I actually liked it. Turns out, gamey meat is my thing, and when you add a tortilla, sparks fly. I do understand the aversion, though. No matter how goat is prepared, it can be a tough-to-acquire taste and as harsh as liver to some people. However, it should be noted that my dad enjoys liver.
With a tall glass of milk no less.
All I used to know about kimchi was that it was delicious and ridiculously addictive, as most pickled dishes tend to be. That was until Cham Bistro, the contemporary Korean restaurant in Pasadena, stepped in and showed me the way. Now, I know how to make kimchi and kimchi soup! I’ve come a long way.
It all started when I was invited to a how-to-make-kimchi workshop hosted by Cham Bistro. Along with a slew of other bloggers, I got step-by-step demonstration on how to make the fermented cabbage dish. I witnessed it all: the chopping, the salting, the soaking, the draining, the marinating, the folding and….
…the waiting. We had to wait a whole month to dig into the jars of kimchi that we were given at the end of the lesson. Though trying, the downtime gave me a weeks to make plans for my stash. I considered kimchi pancakes and soup, both of which were suggested with by an enthusiastic B-Side. In the end, the cold weather helped me make up my mind.
If there’s one thing to be proud of as an Angeleno, it’s our burger heritage. Let the New Yorkers and Chicagoans ridicule our pizza. We can take it because neither can touch the prevalence of good burgers in LA. Not even close. You can get a fine burger fix in almost any pocket of our fair city. Heck, maybe the whole county—even Norwalk, the none-too-culinary suburb where I grew up, has at least three decent charbroil places that I can think of.
We’re blessed with burgers.
Whoopie pies from G-ma’s Bakery
I was lucky enough to be a part of the 3rd Eat My Blog Charity Bake Sale this past weekend. It’s a great event that raises money for the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, and I had a fun time baking and volunteering for it.
I was pretty amazed at the tons of inventive and irresistible treats that fellow food bloggers and local businesses donated for the cause–to the tune of $3,700 raised. I bought a bunch of stuff, including bacon caramel popcorn with cashews from Chow Balla, holiday bark from Pardon my Crumbs, and vanilla marshmallows from Dishing up Delights. I shared them with my family at the UCLA/USC game that night, and they were pretty stoked.
Kudos to the Eat My Blog committee (Cathy Chaplin of Gastronomy Blog, Amy Luu from the Roaming Belly, Laurie Hartzell from G-Ma’s Bakery, and Diana Hossfeld of Diana Takes a Bite) for pulling off such a awesome event.
Here are some yummy sights from the bake sale. Just click on any photo you want to expand:
You can read a big roundup on Gastronomy Blog.
Things to Do This Weekend in LA: Pie & Beer, Eat My Blog Bake Sale, Holiday Cocktails and More IdeasDec 03 2010
My Candy Cane Cream Faux-reos for the Eat My Blog Charity Bake Sale this weekend.
There’s lots of stuff to do this weekend around LA—a few things on the Eastside and a few that require driving:
Maybe after, you can walk over to Xoia for some Bunrria, a new dish they’re debuting this weekend. Chunks of beef are marinated birria style and served in a rich beef broth with Bun noodles. You can garnish with onions, cilantro and salsa. They’ll even add a tortilla if you’re so inclined.
Downtown LA: Taste of Mexico is hosting a celebration of 200 Years of Mexico’s Cuisine at the Cathedral of Saint Vibiana on Saturday from 5-10pm. They’ll be food from the likes of Guelaguetza, tequila, mariachis and Oaxacan dance performance. Tickets are $100 at the door or $75 presale.
Hollywood: LA Street Food is teaming up with MAMA to host Less Mall More Melrose. Food trucks like Lobsta Truck and Me So Hungry will feed you while you shop for deals on Melrose, between Fairfax and La Brea.
West Hollywood: LA food bloggers and restaurants will be selling their baked goods in front of Tender Greens on Saturday from 10am-4pm. Menu includes: eggnog muffins, candy cane mashmallows, whoopie pies, bacon brownies and tons more. Plus, there’ll be dog treats! Proceeds go to Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.
Have a great weekend, and eat good stuff!
Once Autumn hits, I begin to crave Ann Arbor, Michigan. My mind automatically drifts to its quiet, tree-lined streets, brick facades and wide-open spaces. I even start to yearn for the feel of its cold, sharp winds on my Los Angeles-bred skin.
My husband Josh grew up in the über-liberal college town (often referred to as the Berkeley of the Midwest), so I’ve spent almost of decade of Thanksgivings—and a few days most summers—there. I’ve been at least a dozen times, which is why I was pretty shocked when I learned about Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger on the Ann Arbor edition of Man vs. Food.
Of all places.
“Over 2,147,483,648 burger combinations? What! Why have you never taken me there?!” I gasped, turning to Josh with what most certainly was a fevered look of betrayal.
He’d been good enough to introduce me to Zingerman’s, the deli to end all delis; perfect falafel at Jerusalem Garden; and late nights at the townie/political radical hangout that is the Fleetwood Diner. But Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burgers? Never! Instead I have to find out about it on a food show…like some common tourist.
He just laughed and promised to oblige me this Thanksgiving.