for February, 2012
I have to admit, I’m a big fan of the everything-old-is-new-again food trends. You know what I mean—like when restaurants start offering cookies and milk for dessert or their own version of Ho-Hos. It’s silly, but whatever, I’m not immune to the charms of such things.
Now I’m lobbying for another classic to have its day: I’m thinking it’s pudding’s time to shine. Specifically, tapioca pudding, so I offer a new take on the cafeteria favorite: coconut tapioca pudding. I say this knowing full well that there are a lot of detractors to tapioca. I get it. Those little beads can be a freaky, but I think the spark that coconut milk adds might help stem your fears.
I was really surprised at how easy tapioca pudding is to make from scratch, and how creamy, luscious and pretty the results were.
Here’s how I did it:
(See ingredients list at the bottom of this post.)
Step 1: Boil 3 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Once things get rolling, add tapioca beads and reduce to a simmer. Constant stirring is a must because the tapioca tends to stick to the bottom of the pan. Just keep things moving for about 10 minutes.
If you live in the Northeast corner of Los Angeles (and you’re like me), you’ve probably been jonesing for some serious ice cream. It seems to be one of the glaring omissions in the area—if you live in or around Highland Park, and you’re in need of a scoop, you’re pretty much stuck at Rite Aid.
Not that I have anything against Thrifty Ice Cream. I grew up on Chocolate Malted Crunch, and I still crave it now and again, but a drugstore is not an ice cream parlor. For that experience, I usually trek out to Alhambra for a Fosselman’s fix because nothing really fills that niche around here.
Or so I thought…and then I found Oasis Ice Cream.
My friend Anh turned me on to this cool global art project by the Art House Co-op, an independent Brooklyn-based company that organizes global collaborative art projects.
The Concept: The Meal gives you and your food a chance to be featured in a real-life art exhibit. All you have to do is take a photo of yourself eating at 12pm EST on February 24—that’s next Friday. Then, you send in your photo, which will be featured online and in their storefront project space.
The Point: To “inspire a feeling of community across geographic and cultural boundaries.” Just think, you’ll be breaking bread with thousand of people all over the world.
The Rules: If you want to participate, you have to sign up by February 22 and make sure your photo submission is postmarked by March 24.
Me make pretzels? What were the chances? Pretty slim, actually, but ever since I got my new stand mixer, I’ve been pretty adventurous. I mean, this recipe even required yeast! Usually, that would be a deal breaker for me, but I took a chance.
And it was a rousing success.
I found the reasonably easy recipe on a great cooking blog called Two Peas & Their Pod and followed it to a tee. The result was a whole lot of gorgeous little golden brown pretzel bites. They were quite the hit, and I’ll definitely be making them again.
Here’s what you need:
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 package active dry yeast
3 oz. unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
3 quarts water
3/4 cup baking soda
1 whole egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
Here’s how you do it:
Put water, butter, sugar and yeast in the bowl of your mixer. Use the hook attachment to blend it. Let it stand for 5 minutes.
I’ve never had a bad—or even just okay—meal at La Casita Mexicana. The small South LA restaurant, clad in vibrant colors, giant paper mâché produce and an Our Lady of Guadalupe painting, has become a legend in the 14 years it’s been around and for good reason.
Created by Jaime Martin del Campo and Ramiro Arvizu, La Casita is different by design. The goal of the two mustachioed chefs, who both hail from Jalisco, Mexico, is to challenge the Angelino perception of Mexican food by moving far beyond the standard combination plate.
The result is a large menu of imaginative dishes that draw from their “ancestral food heritage” and the recipes of their grandmothers. Regulars gush over their moles, chiles en nogada (a cream and pomegranate topped poblano pepper stuffed with spiced meat, nuts and fruits), and rather lovely seafood dishes. Not to mention their lemonade chia seeds—a must!
Devotees also go on and on about La Casita’s chilaquiles, and I felt so left out because I’d never tried them…until a recent sunday.
Now that I’ve had them, they’ve stamped my mind, much like those mole chilaquiles I had a few months back at CaCao in Eagle Rock. La Casita’s version come in few different variations: red, green, mole poblano, red or green pepian style (made with pumpkin seed, peanuts and chiles), and chipotle.
A long, long time ago, I posted about these cheese-filled poppers. I thought I’d unearth the recipe again since that big football game is happening this weekend, and everyone’s looking for ideas. I’ll be making pretzels with cheese dip, myself, and I look forward to the gorge-fest element of the day.
And here are some other recipes you might enjoy:
First off, nobody is saying this is a healthy cookie. It’s neither low-fat nor low-calorie nor low-sugar. None of that is the point.
“What is the point?,” you ask. Well, part of it is that there’s some actual nutrition involved, and even more crucial is that these guys are delicious. They’re crisp, grainy in a good way, and a little salty with an appeal similar to that of McVities Digestives.
Perfect for the texture obsessed.
Being a big fan of whole grains, I’m always scouting for promising whole wheat cookie recipe, but almost all of them take a half-and-half approach—equal parts white and whole wheat flour—which seems gutless to me. I mean if you’re going to do it, then just do it. And that’s what this recipe does.
No pussyfootin’ around with the complex carbs here. I’m talking 100% whole wheat flour, baby.