spinach artichoke grilled cheese sandwichHappy National Sandwich Day.

Here’s a Spinach and Artichoke Grilled Cheese Sandwich. The sandwich is so awesomely delicious with marinated artichoke hearts, garlic sautéed baby spinach, and two kinds of cheese. But hey, if you make a version by spreading some actual spinach and artichoke dip between two slices of bread and grilling it in gobs of melted butter, that’d pretty awesomely delicious, too.  spinach artichoke grilled cheese sandwich

spinach artichoke grilled cheese sandwichspinach artichoke grilled cheese sandwich

Spinach and Artichoke Grilled Cheese

Pro tip: always use shredded cheese rather than slices of cheese for grilled cheese sandwiches. The shreds fell off the sides of the bread, giving the sandwich the same effect as the actual dip when broiled in a small crock or mini cast iron skillet – crispy, crunchy, toasted cheese bits attached to the bread.
makes 1 sandwich


1 tablespoon softened butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 slices whole grain and seed bread
2 tablespoons garlic aioli or mayonnaise or softened cream cheese or all of it
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or jack)
2 handfuls spinach sautéed in about 1 teaspoon butter with half clove finely minced garlic
chopped marinated artichokes
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste


Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a frying pan over medium low heat. Slather one side of each of the slices of bread with garlic aioli/mayonnaise or cream cheese, or both.

Place the slices of bread in the heated pan, aioli side up, then pile half of shredded cheese on one slice and half of shredded cheese on the other slices. Cook the bread until golden brown and the cheese is melted.

Remove the grilled bread from the pan. Place sautéed spinach on melted cheese on one slice of bread. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Arrange marinated artichokes on top, then season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Close/cover the sandwich with the other slice of grilled bread.

Kimchi Deviled Eggs with Bacon and ScallionsHappy National Deviled Egg Day!

Kimchi Deviled Eggs {recipe}

makes 12 kimchi deviled eggs


6 large eggs
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
¼ cup cabbage kimchi
2 slices bacon, cut into ¾-inch wide pieces
optional garnish: sliced scallions, toasted sesame seeds, fine julienned toasted nori, furikake


Hard boil eggs, cool, peel, and slice lengthwise into halves. Scoop out yolks into a bowl. Place egg white halves on serving plate.

While eggs are cooking, drain kimchi and save the “juice” in a separate bowl. Very finely chop kimchi.

Using a fork, mash cooked egg yolks with mayonnaise; the mixture might seem a little dry which is okay. Add chopped kimchi and stir well. Add a little bit of the kimchi “juice” at a time until the yolk mixture is a creamy consistency. If the mixture still appears dry, add a little more mayonnaise.

Spoon about a tablespoon of the kimchi egg yolk mixture into each egg white half. Garnish each deviled egg with a piece of crispy fried bacon and optional garnishes. I like sliced scallions.


  • I hard boil eggs by lowering eggs into boiling water with a ladle, bringing the water back up to boil, then lowering heat to a gentle boil and cooking for whatever time. For deviled eggs, I cook the second time for 10 minutes.
  • Mayonnaise: Japanese Kewpie mayo seems like it would be the right “Asian match” choice here, but it has MSG! If that’s okay for you, Kewpie is available on amazon.com, My current favorite mayonnaise is actually homemade aioli, but that seems a little douchefoodie for deviled eggs, so I like Sir Kensington’s Classic Mayo
  • Kimchi: current favorite brand, Ocinet Kimchi {오씨네김치, pronounced “oh-she-nay”), at either H-Mart or Hannam Chain Korean grocery stores
  • All other produce from local Los Angeles farmers’ markets or organic at Whole Foods Market

Different Variations on Kimchi Deviled Eggs

~ Momofuku For Two mixes bacon and scallions into the yolks for Kimchi Deviled Eggs
~ EatingWell is similar as Momofuku, but lightens the load and uses Greek Yogurt instead of mayonnaise
~ TheKitchn makes classic deviled eggs, adds a dollop of gohchujang (Korean Spicy red pepper sauce) to the yolks, then adds kimchi as a garnish
~ I Will Not Eat Oysters mixes gohchujang and miso paste into the yolks, then garnishes with chopped kimchi
~ Spoon Fork Bacon miniaturizes kimchi deviled eggs by using tiny quail eggs

If you’re not into kimchi 1) why are we even friends? and 2) you can still celebrate National Deviled Egg Day with one of these cool deviled egg variations by Kenji Lopez at SeriousEats.com

Pomegranate Salsa for National Pomegranate Month
It’s November.


Yes, but we’ll get to that problem later. For now, let’s talk turkey.

Rather, let’s not talk turkey, and talk about every food holiday this month other than Thanksgiving, of which there are lots, of which almost all are pretty damned exciting, not the least of which are National Deviled Eggs Day on November 2 (tomorrow), National Doughnut Day on November 5 (Thursday), National Nachos Day on November 6 (Friday), and National Pomegranate Month for the entire duration.

November is also National Vegan Month, but that’s a paradoxical issue that I don’t care to address at this time.

{ celebrate more foods every day of November…}

pomegranate salsa


Smashed Avocado Toast with Pomegranate Salsa, Lemon Zest, and Flaky Sea Salt:
pomegranate salsa and lemon zest on avocado toast
Avocado, Grapefruit and Greens Salad with Pomegranate Salsa, on the menu at Lucques:
Avocado grapefruit salad with pomegranate salsa
Butternut Squash Shakshuka with Feta, Pomegranate Salsa, and Grilled Toast for Dipping, recipe for Shakshuka coming soon:
pomegranate salsa for butternut squash shakshuka with french feta

Black Cod with Persimmon, Fennel, Radish, and Pomegranate Salsa {at Lucques, via LA Times}:

  • Persimmon, Prosciutto, Burrata, and Arugula Salad with Pomegranate Salsa, recipe coming soon!
  • Roasted Kabocha Squash, Dandelion Greens, Feta, and Pomegranate Salsa, at Lucques
  • serve, like tart cranberry sauce, alongside turkey at Thanksgiving!!!

Pomegranate Salsa {recipe}

adapted from Sunday Suppers at Lucques, original recipe ingredients and amounts, when different from mine, in parentheses


2 tablespoons finely diced shallots (Lucques: 3 tablespoons)
2 teaspoons lemon juice (Lucques: 1 teaspoon)
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil (Lucques: ¼ cup)
1 cup pomegranate seeds (Lucques: ½ cup)
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley (1 tablespoon, sliced)
additional salt to taste (Lucques: additional salt and pepper to taste)


Combine shallots with lemon juice and salt in bowl. Let sit about 10 minutes. Whisk in pomegranate molasses and olive oil. Stir in pomegranate seeds and chopped parsley. Season with additional salt to taste.

Can be stored in a glass container with air-tight lid for about three days.


  • You can substitute red onions for shallots: soak chopped red onions in ice cold water for about 15 minutes then drain, before continuing with recipe of combining with lemon juice and salt
  • Pomegranate molasses is a dark, sweet, thick syrup made from pomegranate juice that can be found bottled at Middle Eastern markets. This is the one I have in my refrigerator door: Cortas Pomegranate Molasses
  • I made my own pomegranate molasses, too! {homemade pomegranate molasses recipe here}
  • You can substitute maple syrup or any sweetener, really, in the same amount for the pomegranate molasses
  • A large, heavy pomegranate rendered a little more than a cup of seeds
  • All other produce from local Los Angeles farmers’ markets or organic at Whole Foods Market

Shake Ramen Food Truck, Los Angeles
Ate Friday lunch from a food truck, the first time I’ve eaten from a food truck in a very long time, and now that I think about it, the first time I’ve eaten from a food truck maybe ever. Even when the Kogi Truck hit the streets as one of the very first gourmet food trucks way back when, I tried the tacos when they were being served in a bar, i.e. sitting at a table in a dining room.

Ramen isn’t the first food that comes to mind when I think of food trucks. Long unwieldy noodles, broth that can splash and spill, and having to use chopsticks just wouldn’t be easy standing on a sidewalk, or even sitting down on the edge of a curb. Shake Ramen gets around all these things by serving broth-less but flavorful ramen out of over-sized plastic boba cups. The ingredients are sealed inside the cups so that you can shake the ramen noodles, sauce, and additional ingredients together before peeling back the top and eating.

If you have a vague memory of McDonald’s McSalad Shakers, it’s basically the same thing.

Shake Ramen comes in either small or large size, with shio (salt), shoyu (soy sauce), or miso flavors, varying levels of both garlic and heat, and the usual topping suspects: ground beef, pork belly, fried tofu, boiled egg, and vegetables including corn. I liked mine: shio + extra garlic + extra spicy + double tofu + cabbage + green onions.

Shake Ramen
small: $5.95, large $7.75
recent review on Eater LA {Aug 2015}

sparkling sangria with melon, poolside
Though Champagne is the first wine that comes to my mind when someone says “sparkling,” true Champagne is probably a little “strong” for sangria, never mind that it’s normally too expensive at $50+ to dump into a pitcher with a bunch of other liquor, juice, fruit, and maybe even ice. Save Champagne for a glass by itself, and make sangria with an affordable Cava from Spain or Prosecco from Italy.

Don’t mistake “affordable” with “cheap,” though. Cheap wine and bottomshelf liquor are probably why you have somewhat hazy and altogether horrible memories of sangria from your 20s. Or 30s. Or last week or whatever. Stick with decent alcohol, and stay away from too much sugar in the form of soda, juice, or you know, just sugar, too.

For the ginger flavor, I LOVE Fever Tree ginger BEER (not alcoholic), but any brand of strong-ish ginger beer will work. If you can’t find ginger beer, or find the ginger taste too strong or spicy, use ginger ale.

Sparkling Melon Sangria {recipe}


1 750 mL sparkling wine like Cava or Prosecco
1 cup vodka
1 12-ounce bottle of Fever Tree ginger beer
1 to 1½ cups each of cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon balls
to serve: ice, fresh mint leaves, lime wheels, colorful straws


Pour the sparkling wine, vodka, ginger beer, and melon balls into a large glass pitcher. The glass pitcher is solely for aesthetics — you can see the bright, colorful melon. Cover the pitcher tightly, and refrigerate — overnight is best but even just a few hours in the refrigerator is better than nothing.

Right before serving the sangria, add ice, fresh mint leaves, and lime wheels to the pitcher.

This sangria does not keep, not because it won’t taste good the next few days, but you will probably drink half of it by yourself before you even serve it, and then what.

cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon prep

sparkling sangria with melon

sparkling melon sangria with cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon
{“White Sangria” is Number 67 on my List of Things to Do This Summer}

white strawberries, Santa Monica Farmers Market
Still pale as F at the end of summer. What happened to beach boat pool tennis and golf at the club every day?

Three more weeks to get it all done.