Tomato, Sausage and Spinach Risotto

Tomato, Sausage and Spinach Risotto

I love the Smitten Kitchen.  It was the first food blog I ever read consistently.   At first I just loved looking at the beautiful photos but then I decided to start tackling some of Deb’s recipes.  My two favorites so far are her chocolate chip sour cream coffee cake and her tomato and sausage risotto.  Funny that they are probably the two best things that have ever come out of my kitchen. I’ll get into the coffee cake another day (trust me, you’ll want to try that one), but here is how I spent my Labor Day making a heavenly risotto.

This was the first risotto recipe I ever tried and I’m not sure if another one will top it. If you have suggestions, please, do tell. Although it requires some patience, it’s surprisingly easy and yields 4 gigantic servings.

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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Last weekend I went to Bed Bath & Beyond to grab a new trash can. We’ve been graced with the presence of fruit flies in our kitchen so I decided it was time to shell out for one of those fancy, simplehuman trash cans. Now, I couldn’t go to BB&B without taking a quick look through the store. I’m the girl who can spend more time aimlessly wandering the BB&B aisles than the racks at Bloomingdales. I managed to keep my additional purchases down to two things: a colorful new set of measuring cups/spoons and a cookie scoop. Boy was I missing out by not owning a cookie scoop! To be honest I had never made a batch of chocolate chip cookies on my own until this year. I can’t believe how much easier the process is with this magical tool.

We had a very lazy Sunday today. My plan was to bake banana bread, but that went out the window when aforementioned fruit flies attacked my primary ingredients. I spotted my cookie scoop and decided I’d try out the recipe on the bag of Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour. These weren’t the best cookies of all time, but they were still yummy and pretty simple.

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Joan’s on Third

I’ve been to Joan’s on Third a handful of times. Everybody raves about it but I never seem to love what I order. Today that changed. This Brussel Sprout Salad with Dates, Manchego and Toasted Almonds was insanely good. Check plus!

Joan’s on Third
8350 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, California 90048

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Ramen Heaven

This is the Classic style ramen at Chabuya.  Are you drooling yet?  Housemade pork broth served with pork chashu, green onions, fried shallots, and seasoned beans sprouts.  I added mushrooms and wakame seaweed.  SO GOOD and under 10 bucks!

Chabuya Tokyo Noodle Bar
2002 Sawtelle Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90025

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Garlic, Mushroom and Tomato Whole Wheat Pizza

Garlic, Mushroom and Tomato Whole Wheat Pizza

Have you ever wanted to make pizza at home but you weren’t sure how to start? Here’s a little inspiration to get you started! This recipe is extremely easy and you can customize the ingredients to incorporate your favorite pizza-toppings. Fresh & Easy market sells a great pre-made whole wheat dough that we always use. I think Trader Joe’s sells it too. It’s also makes for a great next-day lunch if you can stop yourself from eating the whole thing.

This recipe doesn’t include any measurements because you can really just use everything to taste.

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Carnival’s Warm Chocolate Melting Cake

Carnival’s Warm Chocolate Melting Cake

The fastest way to gain 5 pounds is to go on a cruise. That is what I learned when Matt and I set sail on the Carnival Paradise this summer. All you can eat food, 24 hours a day, plus dessert with every meal. The culinary highlight of the trip was no doubt the Warm Chocolate Melting Cake. I still dream about this dessert with its warm and gooey chocolate center. I actually had it 3 out of 4 nights. I strongly regret the one night I tried to be “good” and ordered the healthy dessert option on the menu because it was disgusting and I missed the soufflé.

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Faux Fudge Sundae

If you still crave something sweet after dinner like I do almost every single night, here’s a quick and healthy twist on vanilla ice cream with chocolate fudge that I can’t get enough of…

Combine a few scoops of Dreyer’s Slow Churned Rich & Creamy Ice Cream (it’s no sugar added!) with a Sugar Free Dark Chocolate Jello Pudding. The pudding transforms into an amazing fudge-like texture when mixed with the ice cream.

Top with some Penzeys Cinnamon. Delicious!

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(Eating) Adventures In Idyllwild

(Eating) Adventures In Idyllwild

For my birthday, Matt and I drove up to a bed & breakfast called the Strawberry Creek Inn. We grabbed a Bloomspot.com deal for our getaway which took us to Idyllwild, CA – a mile high mountain town located near the city of Hemet.  Fun fact: it’s also the home town of American Idol contestant Casey Abrams.

Upon arrival to the Inn we were greeted with the loud clucking of hens and little did we know that these gals would be providing tomorrow’s breakfast! I couldn’t help but snap a photo of this amazing egg dish that was served the next morning. The top was just a little bit crispy and each bite had the perfect amount of cheese and basil. If you’re looking to get out of LA to relax for the weekend, or even one night, I highly suggest taking the two hour trip out to Idyllwild for the Strawberry Creek Inn.

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Dinner In A Photo

Cajun salmon, wild rice and arugula salad.

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Easy Weeknight Fiesta Bowl

Easy Weeknight Fiesta Bowl

Whenever we make a stir fry at home, we wonder why the tofu is mushy (and not crispy) like it is at a restaurant.  Then, one day while browsing my Google Reader I came across a broiled tofu bowl on Sassy Radish.  This was in the pre-Instapaper days, so it remained bookmarked for a few months.  A few weeks ago, I found another broiled tofu recipe on Peas and Thank You and decided it was time to give it a try…and my life changed. OK, that’s dramatic, but it was a mini-revelation. It seems so obvious now. I broil fish pretty much every week, so how did I not think of this before? Ever since trying this new method, I’ve made a few tofu-bowl variations that are extremely easy to throw together after work. This version is Matt’s favorite and it’s quickly becoming mine too. I present…the easy weeknight fiesta bowl.

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