Recipe Challenge

Aileen learns to make a new recipe every week. Most recipes are ones she’s been meaning to make for years, but never got around to. Join in by making the one Aileen makes, or dig in to your own personal catalog of aspirational recipes.

Uncle Joe's Donuts

Uncle Joe’s Donuts

Okay, in my defense I would like to say that I remade the Mediterranean salad for a luncheon I went to on Tuesday. So I did cook this week. Just not something new. But, Felicia and I went to Golden Deli (the one in Temple City) and a trip to that delicious place (we didn’t take picture of our food because we ate it too fast) is never complete without a trip to Uncle Joe’s for a donut. Or two. Or twelve.

Uncle Joe’s is in a strip mall across the street from the wonderful San Gabriel Nursery. So, my favorite outing is Golden Deli for food, San Gabriel Nursery for plants then Uncle Joe’s for donuts. And lotto tickets, they have a lot of those. They also make breakfast sandwiches that I bet are delicious.

Anyway, if you are ever anywhere near San Gabriel and want a fun day out I humbly suggest the above sequence.

You’re welcome.

Tomato Bruschetta

Tomato Bruschetta

Bruschetta is bread rubbed with garlic and oil and then grilled. It doesn’t have to have chopped tomatoes on it. I did not know that. The version I made of Contessa Garten’s Tomato Crostini with Whipped Feta is a little altered. I made a plainer tomato bruschetta. I completely forgot to buy the cheese which didn’t matter since I don’t own a food processor so I wasn’t going to be able to whip it up anyway. And I refuse to put cheese in my blender. Read more

Guac with peppers

Monique’s Voice: Raw Vegan Lifestyle

Different people choose to live different lifestyles and one of the ways they express it is through their food choices. I’m pretty sure many of you are familiar with the vegan lifestyle which means to abstain from eating any animal protein or animal by-products, like dairy, butter, and eggs, but a lifestyle referred to as “raw vegan” isn’t as popular. Raw vegans believe that cooking food can destroy its micronutrients and that the cooking process exposes foods to harmful chemicals – which resonated with me. When I began my journey as a raw vegan earlier this year, I really had no idea where to start. This lifestyle means eating uncooked and unprocessed foods – so pasta, rice, bread are all out (noooooooo). So I needed resources and recipe ideas, but I didn’t want to overwhelm myself. I chose to listen to Fully Raw Kristina – I absolutely love her energy and she makes everything look and sound incredible. And Yuri Elkaim – although he’s not 100% raw, I love his realistic down-to-earth approach on intermittent fasting, and he has some pretty bomb recipes too. Through this journey, I’ve really discovered that this is a great way to enjoy what you eat in its most natural form while maximizing its health benefits. Read more

Julia's Queen of Sheba cake recipe

Julia’s Queen of Sheba Cake

Julia’s Queen of Sheba cake is delicious. Let me see if I can find a free clip of Julia making this cake. It’s delightful. She has a tray she puts all the ingredients on so she won’t forget any of them and then almost forgets one. I love her. Here is Julia making her Queen of Sheba. Julia says this is the best chocolate cake you’ve ever put in your mouth. No disrespect intended but Contessa Garten’s chocolate cake I made awhile ago is better. That thing is dangerous. Read more

summer rose sangria

Summer Rose Sangria

Okay, full disclosure. Any sangria I drink at home comes in a bottle that I dump in a pitcher, then chop up some plums and throw them in with a bunch of ice and call it good. If the wine is suuuuuper cheap, I add 7up. This Summer Rose Sangria from Contessa Garten is only as good as the wine you make it with.

This time I bought better than my average wine and it was delicious. There is a lot of fruit, that made it fresh and bright. I found these things that are a cross between a plum and a cherry and I bought them to go in the sangria. I ate them all the day before I made the sangria so there were no plums in mine. Older son and his friends did not notice. They drank most of the sangria and said it was delicious. These are young people just starting out after college so they are broke and I gave them free booze. It could have tasted like paint thinner and they would have loved it. I drank some and it was indeed very good. Read more

two red drinks

Flock and Fowl

Another restaurant review instead of a recipe completed? Yes. Luckily, no other failure has been quite this delicious. This week we are in Las Vegas for a conference and rather than make two recipes and bank one for the week I wouldn’t be home I just ate delicious chicken someone else made.

How to talk about Flock and Fowl without gushing or crying? I love fried chicken. It was my mother’s speciality. Most restaurant fried chicken is greasy and the meat is dry. Not so at Flock and Fowl. They make chicken wings that will make you want to lay down and scream. Then there is slaw and potato salad and cucumber salad and a rum punch you can buy an entire PUNCHBOWL of. Everything is fresh and delicious and Felicia is looking to see if we have enough time and money to go there again for dinner tonight. It isn’t expensive but 50 bucks for two (with booze) is still a lot for a blog that makes no money. So wish us luck and if you are ever in Las Vegas, give this place a try.

Whiskey Sours Recipe Challenge

Whiskey Sours

I am beginning to hate the recipe challenge. Even the booze ones are a lot of work. What am I making this week? Whiskey Sours. Okay, let me get in the kitchen and juice a bunch of lemons and I’ll get back to you.

Ready to go? Nope. I need to make simple syrup. Hang on, let me go do that. I’ve never made simple syrup before. What do I store it in? I found a nearly empty wine bottle, drank the wine, rinsed it out then put the syrup in it. Let’s put these things together. Read more

Contessa Gartens lemon chicken with satay dip

Grilled Lemon Chicken Skewers with Satay Dip

This week is Contessa Garten’s Grilled lemon chicken skewers with satay dip. I don’t own a bbq so I couldn’t grill the chicken for this recipe. I have a Cuisinart indoor grill thing that I used instead and it worked great. And I didn’t have to work with open flames so that was good. It’s summer and sweltering so I don’t understand why people want to go outside and stand over smoking hot coals to cook food. That seems something to do in Spring and Fall when it is cooler and the bbq could warm you up.

But whatever. Cooking is a mystery. Read more

spaghetti sauce recipe challenge

Spaghetti Sauce

I have no picture of the completed dish because I made it then Six and I ate it then we went swimming in my cousin’s pool. I totally didn’t realize I didn’t take a picture of it until a few minutes ago. But it’s useful to know that you only need the small amount of ingredients shown to make this sauce.

Aside from the chocolate cake, this is the only recipe Six ate. He was deeply suspicious of it, but he did eat it. I think he knew I was suffering from how hot it has been (it was 112 degrees yesterday) and took pity on me. He really liked it! Read more

Chocolate Cake with Mocha Frosting Recipe Challenge

Chocolate Cake with Mocha Frosting

This week I made Contessa Garten’s Chocolate Cake with Mocha Frosting. This cake is too delicious. I am warning you, do not make it. You will eat as much of it as you can so that other people cannot have any. It will become your precious. You have been warned. I am going back to the kitchen to shovel more cake in my face. I wish I was kidding. Read more