La Brea Bakery Cafe Grilled Cheese Thursday NightsLa Brea Bakery + Café is typically open every day during what you’d call “café hours,” early morning for coffee, bread, and pastries, until about mid-afternoon. During the month of April, which is National Grilled Cheese Month (it’s a thing), the La Brea Bakery Café extends its hours on Thursday nights only to host Grilled Cheese Night.

Grilled Cheese Night is an in-house “pop up” of sorts, serving grilled cheese sandwiches and suggested beer and wine pairings.

A friend and I went a couple of weeks ago. We thought we over-ordered with a Classic Grilled Cheese, a Mushroom Grilled Cheese, tomato soup, AND French fries.

We ate (almost) everything.

La Bakery Café
468 S. La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036 {map}
for information reservations: (323) 939-6813
www.labreabakerycafe.com

la brea bakery grilled cheese night

la brea bakery grilled cheese night

bourbon maple glazed easter ham plate

Bourbon Maple-Glazed Ham {recipe}

makes 1 ham, about 8-10 servings

Ingredients

for Ham:
1 8-10 pound bone-in ham
Bourbon Maple Glaze (see just below)

for Bourbon Maple Glaze:
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup Bourbon
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
juice from half a lemon, approximately 2-4 tablespoons
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Directions

Start Roasting Ham:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Trim outer layer of fat on ham down to about ¼-inch thick. Using a sharp paring knife, make shallow criss-cross cuts across the surface of the ham creating a “diamond” pattern.

Place the ham in a roasting pan with sides high enough to catch juices and drippings. Cover with foil and place in oven. Roast for about 1½ to 2 hours before adding glaze. The ham will roast in total for about 2 to 2½ hours, or until the internal temperature of the ham is 140°F.

While Ham is Roasting, Make Bourbon Maple Glaze:

Whisk all of the ingredients for the Bourbon Maple Glaze in a bowl until the brown sugar is mostly dissolved (it may not dissolve all the way).

Complete Roasting the Ham:

Remove ham from oven, remove foil and save it, and brush the ham with all but about 2 tablespoons of the glaze. If you do not have a brush (I don’t), use a spoon and carefully drizzle the glaze and spread over the ham.

Continue roasting, uncovered, for another 30 minutes to an hour, or until the internal temperature of the ham is 140°F. If the glaze on the ham starts to turn too dark, cover with foil.

Remove ham from oven and let rest uncovered about 15 minutes.

RESOURCES and NOTES

bourbon maple glazed easter ham dinner table

bourbon-maple-glaze-ingredients

kale pesto on vegan bagel sandwich
If 2015 was the year of Never Ending Avocado Toasts in your instagram feed, then 2016 will be the Year of Cross-cut Overstuffed Bagel Sandwiches, no longer relegated to just breakfast with salmon lox and cream cheese or bacon, egg, and melted cheddar.
kale pesto on vegan bagel sandwich

Green Goddess Bagel Sandwich {recipe}

makes 1 bagel sandwich

I feel as weird and awkward as you do about “recipes” for sandwiches, which require a recipe as much as a bowl of cereal requires a recipe. But whatever, we’re all just trying to make a dollar here, aren’t we?

Ingredients

whole grain bagel, sliced and lightly toasted
almond milk cream cheese
kale pesto
sliced avocado
sliced cucumber
sliced tomato (green if you’re as OCD as I am about keeping a Green Goddess bagel green)
lettuce
sprouts
pickled red onions

Directions

Generously spread each side of bagel with almond milk cream cheese. Spread a thin layer of Kale Pesto (or other strong, green herb pesto) on the cream cheese on each bagel half.

On one half, layer slices avocado, sliced cucumber, sliced tomato, lettuce, sprouts, and pickled red onions. Top with other bagel half.

Cut sandwich in half. Stack halves and take 423 photos before you finally choose one for instagram, which ends up being the first photo you took anyway. Hate life. Post to instagram. Forget to eat your sandwich.

RESOURCES

  • I have no loyalty to any bagel brand, but I always like something that is whole-grain with lots of seeds and seems otherwise “healthy,” even though it’s a bagel
  • almond milk cream cheese: vegan and gluten-free by Kite Hill, which is available at Whole Foods Market
  • kale pesto recipe here
  • pickled red onions recipe coming soon
  • sprouts: I used radish sprouts which I found in a plastic clamshell at Whole Foods Market
  • any and all produce, organic, from local farmers’ markets or Whole Foods Market

kale pesto on zucchini noodle pasta
I keep some version of kale/parsley pesto in my refrigerator at all times. It is one of my personal “mother sauces.”

(Other sauces from another mother: anchovy or fish sauce vinaigrette, ginger scallion, gohchujang hot sauce, miso-tahini)

Sometimes my kale pesto has almonds or pistachios or walnuts. Sometimes it has Parmesan cheese. Sometimes I get crazy and add anchovies or capers. Most times, it’s just strong and straight up kale, parsley, garlic, and olive oil.
kale pesto on zucchini noodle pasta

This pesto is great for: mixingintobrownricebowlsandwichaiolipastaflatbreadpizzasaucedressingstirintosoupdip.

So basically, everything.

kale pesto on zucchini noodle pasta

It is an easy way to get a quick hit of kale and parsley, both of which are just “good for you” and for your skin, along with that raw garlic and olive oil.

kale pesto - jars

Kale Pesto {recipe}

makes about 1 cup of pesto

Ingredients

1 bunch of kale, leaves only
handful of Italian flat-leaf parsley, leaves and tender stems only
1 clove garlic
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
optional: juice from half a lemon, finely grated lemon zest

Directions

Smash garlic clove and remove green stem inside. Chop in food processor until roughly chopped, stopping food processor to scrape garlic bits off sides and back down into food processor bowl.

Tear kale leaves and parsley into small pieces and add to food processor a handful at a time until all the leaves have been added and are roughly chopped.

With the food processor running, drizzle olive oil until the pesto is the consistency you want. I like my pesto on the thicker side, spreadable as opposed to pourable. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and a few hard turns on a black pepper mill to start, adjusting to your taste.

Add lemon juice and finely grated lemon zest if you like that flavor. I usually leave it out when I make the entire batch and store as is, then add lemon juice and/or zest if it’s appropriate at the time I am eating.

Pesto keeps for about five days in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

RESOURCES

  • use any kind of kale for this pesto, but I like green curly kale as opposed to the very dark green, long skinny lacinato/Tuscan/dinosaur kale because the curly kale make the pesto a brighter green
  • any and all produce, organic, from local farmers’ markets or Whole Foods Market
  • olive oil: organic, extra-virgin olive oil, whatever is on sale at the grocery store, currently Whole Foods Market in-house brand
  • salt: Kosher salt

Kate Somerville Skincare-daily facial cleanser, exfolikate, DermalQuench LiquidLift, toner, dilo facial oil, daily deflector SPF

The past few months, I’ve been collaborating on instagram with Kate Somerville Skincare. I am providing nutrition advice and recipes essentially how to achieve beauty by treating the inside, and the clinic-level skincare brand has been showing me the importance of a consistent effective skincare regimen, facials, and laser/light therapies to achieve beauty by treating the outside.

Kate Somerville Skincare recently gave me a full skincare regimen to giveaway (lineup pictured above), and I want to share some quick notes on the products that are included, and personal reviews of anything I’ve tried for more than a month.

{left to right}

Kate Somerville Gentle Daily Wash — This is a gel-based non-foaming cleanser, specifically formulated for sensitive skin, though any skin type can use it. I have not tried this cleanser because 1) even though I know that the ingredients that create the sudsing effect in foaming cleansers are too harsh for my skin, and I can even feel the tightness when I use them, I am addicted to that feeling, and 2) I am currently following the Korean 2-step oil/foam cleansing regimen and I love it (see previous about foaming cleansers).

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate, Intensive Exfoliating Treatment — This dual-action exfoliator has tiny beads that physically “scrub” the skin and plant extracts that enzymatically “peel” the skin. I know that exfoliation should be a gentle process, but I love the physical scrub feeling of this, and while some of the ingredients seem a little too “intense” for my skin, e.g. cinnamon, the product is part of my regimen, about one to two times a week at night-time when I follow with soothing and moisturizing treatments.

Kate Somerville DermalQuench LiquidLift — This is a post-cleanse treatment that isn’t quite a serum, and definitely not any kind of moisturizer or cream. The product is an airy, cool foam that you spray directly onto your forehead and cheeks, then gently rub (I pat) into your skin. It is currently part of my twice-daily regimen, right after toner and essence.

Kate Somerville KateCeuticals Replenishing Toner — This is a toner formulated specifically to moisturize with hyaluronic acid, peptides, and soy lipids. I have not used this toner, as I am currently in the middle of trying a Korean brand.

Kate Somerville Dilo Oil — Dilo is macadamia, and the oil is the primary ingredient in this all-natural dry facial oil that hydrates, firms, evens skin tone, and reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles. I use Dilo Oil twice a day and love both how it makes my skin look and how it smells like coconut.

Kate Somerville SPF20 Anti-Aging Daily Deflector Moisturizer — This is a lightweight lotion-like moisturizer with a broad-spectrum SPF that you use in the morning as the finishing step to seal all the moisture and products in before makeup (if you wear it). The moisturizer has anti-aging ingredients that help tighten the skin while, obviously, preventing sun damage. I haven’t tried this particular moisturizer with sun protection, but have tried Kate Somerville’s pure sunscreen, the Waterlight Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen. It’s a great sunscreen, but I very rarely use a product that is only a sunscreen. I use a BB cream with SPF.

Stay tuned for a full post on my current skincare regimen with details on all of the products I use, daily, nightly, and weekly, as well as some of the facial and laser treatments I’ve been trying.

 

crispy braised chicken thighs with beans and greens
You can make this dish either starting with dried beans and slow cooking them first in the pot then adding the browned chicken after to finish cooking, or with canned/cooked beans that you add to the end of braising the chicken. Most (week)nights, the canned bean version cooks MUCH faster, but when you have the time and, obviously, the foresight to plan to soak beans the night before, etc, the dried bean version FEELS much better. Once you’ve done both, you’ll understand the difference.
crispy braised chicken thighs with beans and greens

Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs with Cannellini Beans and Greens {recipe}

makes 8 thighs or about 4 main dish servings

Ingredients

8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
salt and pepper
grapeseed or other neutral-flavor high-heat oil for cooking
1 medium onion, sliced length-wise
4-5 cloves garlic
couple sprigs each of fresh parsley and thyme
¼ cup light, dry white wine
1-2 quarts rich chicken stock (you may not use it all)
4-5 cups roughly chopped or torn leaves only of greens like kale, mustard greens, Swiss chard, I used golden beet greens
1 pound dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight with a few tablespoons salt, or 4 cans cannellini beans

optional: olive oil, fresh lemon juice, chopped fresh parsley leaves

Directions

Heat about 2 tablespoons cooking oil in Dutch oven or pan with sides at least 4-inches high over medium-high heat.

Thoroughly dry chicken thighs and salt and pepper both sides, generously on the skin-side. Place chicken thighs in pot with skin side down. It will sizzle a lot, don’t worry do not touch the chicken thighs once they are in the pot. Brown the skin-side until dark golden, about 8-10 minutes. If the pot starts to smoke or smells like the chicken is burning, turn the heat down a little.

(Every recipe I’ve ever read for crispy chicken thighs instructs you to brown the skin side for a mere 3 to 4 minutes which must be some sort of CYA insurance for burning the chicken since you can always cook something a little more later, but you can’t undo anything that’s overcooked, let alone burnt. Be brave. Embrace the dark brown. Eight minutes.)

Flip chicken thighs over and brown the “underside” for about 5 minutes. Transfer browned chicken to a plate.

Turn stove’s heat down to medium and add onions to pot. Cook until translucent, then add garlic and herbs. Stir and cook until onions and garlic are lightly browned. Add  a splash (about 2 tablespoons) of white wine to the pot and scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of pot (the wine will help loosen the bits).

If You Are Using Canned Beans:

Return the browned chicken thighs to the pot, nestling them down between the cooked onions, skin-side up. Add enough chicken stock to cover the onions and garlic and about ¾ up the sides of the chicken thighs, leaving the chicken skin out of the stock. Turn up the heat, bring to a boil, then turn down heat and simmer the chicken for 25 minutes.

Drain the canned beans and give them a rinse. Pour the canned beans into the pot around the chicken thighs. You may need to gently wiggle the thighs up and out of the beans and braising liquid to make sure the skin doesn’t get submerged. Add more stock if necessary. Simmer beans and chicken together for 10 minutes, stir in the greens, and simmer for additional 10 minutes until greens are tender.

If You Are Using Dried Beans:

Add dried beans to the onions and garlic in the pot. Add enough chicken stock to cover the beans by about 2 inches. Turn up heat, bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer the beans for 45 minutes.

Place the browned chicken thighs, skin-side up, into the beans, nestling them into the beans slightly so that the skins are still showing. Cook at a simmer, uncovered, for another 35 minutes, until beans are tender, adding more stock to the pot if the beans start to get too dry. Taste the beans and season with additional salt (and/or pepper) to taste. Carefully stir greens into the beans around the chicken and simmer for additional 10 minutes until greens are tender.

To Serve Chicken Thighs with Beans and Greens:

Serve beans and greens in shallow bowls with chicken thighs on top. Add a drizzle of olive oil (for the omega-3 balance!), squeeze of fresh lemon juice and chopped fresh parsley.

crispy braised chicken thighs with beans and greens

RESOURCES

  • chicken: from Puritan Poultry/Marconda’s in the Original Farmers’ Market at 3rd/Fairfax, LA
  • I use grapeseed oil for this dish, but any neutral cooking oil with a high smoke point (coconut, avocado) is great
  • chicken stock is homemade, but any organic, low-sodium store-bought is ok, too
  • canned beans: anything organic, and you can use white kidney or Great Northern beans, too
  • dried beans: Rancho Gordo, duh
  • any and all produce, organic, from local farmers’ markets or Whole Foods Market

MORE BRAISED CHICKEN RECIPES

  • Coq au Vin, French Country-style Red-Wine Braised Chicken {recipe}
  • Chicken Cacciatore, Italian Hunter’s Chicken Stew with Tomato and Peppers {recipe}
  • Dak Jjim, Korean Soy Braised Chicken and Vegetables {recipe}

beta-carotene-juice-flat-thedeliciouslife-700

pre.p.s. I am giving away a fancy little juicer, the Hurom Slow Juicer this week to celebrate TheDeliciousLife’s and TasteSpotting’s birthdays Go take a peek at the giveaway post and leave a comment to enter! And thank you so much for reading and following along all these 11 years!

I don’t generally drink orange juice unless it’s in a mimosa, in which case I generally request it with “hold the orange juice.”

But when it comes time “to juice,” the January verb, I still don’t drink straight up orange juice, but I do use very-in-season citrus and other vegetables to sneak huge, healing doses of fresh turmeric into my system. Turmeric is one of what I call the “Super Spices,” which include cinnamon, cloves, and ginger (basically, pumpkin spice latte). The active compound in turmeric, curcumin, is what gives turmeric its yellow orange color and is what gives the spice such potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Some people drink pure fresh turmeric shots, saying it has an “earthy” flavor, but you know what else has an earthy flavor? The earth, which is made of dirt, and turmeric tastes like straight dirty dirt to me and I can’t stand it by itself. So, I have to bury turmeric’s flavor deep inside citrus juice or carrot juice or both. Or curry.

(Ginger, on the other hand, has an intense heat, but tastes “sweet” to me.)

Recipe for my favorite “orange” juice with turmeric, below, followed by an easy visual if you’re punching out a quick juice for one.
tangerine juice and carrot clementine turmeric juice

tangerines in bowl

fresh turmeric

Ultimate Anti-Inflammatory Carrot Tangerine Turmeric Juice

makes about 16 ounces of juice

Ingredients

4-6 large carrots, scrubbed (no need to peel)
2 whole peeled tangerines
2-inch piece of fresh turmeric
optional: 1-inch piece of french ginger, whole peeled lemon, spear of fresh pineapple

Directions

Wash everything and make sure they’re all dry. It’s great if the fruit and vegetables come straight out of the fridge so the juice is cold.

Send everything through the juicer one by one. I have no idea if this is important to the mechanics of the juicer, but I start with the “softest” vegetables like tangerines (and lemons) first, and end with the turmeric.

Stick your juice in the freezer for 10 minutes to chill it down before drinking it.

carrot tangerine turmeric anti-inflammatory juice

carrot tangerine turmeric anti-inflammatory juice