highlights of the life of a foodie and inquisitive mind.

Month: October, 2013

bread and some pesto tomato grilled cheese

pesto grilled cheese | via Grow Curious

I picked up this loaf at Trader Joes on a Saturday morning because I was in a carb mood. I opened the noisy artisan sourdough bag and out came this baby, isn’t it beautiful? So, I cut it up and made a grilled cheese. We were celebrating a friend’s birthday that night, and we needed some sustenance.

pesto grilled cheese | via Grow Curious

pesto grilled cheese | via Grow Curious

Pesto, smoked mozzarella and tomato grilled cheese sandwich – a simple Italian twist on a classic. Next time, I’m making the bread and pesto from scratch and using heirloom tomatoes instead. Stay tuned!

RECIPE

Yields one sandwich

2 slices of sourdough bread

4 slices of smoked mozzarella

1 1/2 T of fresh pesto

1/4 sliced tomato

Small amount of butter or olive oil to grill bread.

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pumpkin scones

The scone is one of my favorite baked goods. They are so versatile – they can be savory or subtly sweet, eaten day or night and they are always perfectly paired with a cup of coffee or tea.

Differing from the biscuit, which is normally made with animal fat or vegetable shortening, the scone relies on a relatively small amount of cold butter. The cold butter is the essence of the scone providing a better rise and structure while preserving  the best butter flavor.

Blueberry scones have always been my preference, but in honor of fall’s star ingredient, I opted for the pumpkin variation with a little glaze.


Pumpkin Scones | via Grow Curious

Pumpkin Scones | via Grow Curious

Pumpkin Scones | via Grow Curious

RECIPE

Yields 16 round scones

2 cups of flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 T baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

note: As a great alternative, Trader Joes sells a Pumpkin Pie spice that includes a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and lemon if you don’t have the ones listed above. 

6 T cold butter

1/2 cup of canned pumpkin

3 T half & half

1 large egg

Glaze

1 cup + 1 T powdered sugar

2 T milk (I used almond milk)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and spices in a large bowl. Fork the cold butter into the dry ingredients until large chunks are no longer visible.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, half & half and egg.

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry being mindful not to over mix the dough. Once mixed together, roll the dough in a rectangle shape about an inch thick to cut the scones. You can cut them in whatever shape you like – raw with your hands, with a cookie cutter or in triangles. Be careful not to handle the dough too much with your hands to prevent the butter from melting.

Bake until the edges are golden brown – about 8 minutes depending on the heat of your oven. Do not over bake, even just one minute extra can dry them out. As soon as they are finished, immediately transfer them to a cooling rack and glaze once they are nearly cooled.

baked yam with barbeque pancetta kale salad

Fall is in full force and today was the first day I had to wear a jacket. As it is now officially sweater weather, the crisp air leaves me wanting to cuddle up with comfort food and some throwback Gossip Girl on Netflix. However, life continues to be packed with many different activities, especially speeding up preparing for the holidays that are nearly upon us. Is it seriously already the middle of October?

In any case, I was in need of a quick healthy solution for a fall comfort food today between my commitments. A baked yam with pancetta, kale, sage and orange bell pepper tossed in warm barbeque sauce, red pepper flakes and cracked pepper was the answer.

fall food | via grow curious

fall food | via grow curious

fall food | via grow curious

It was a delicious blend of sweet and smokey with the barbeque sauce, a little kick from the red crushed peppers along with a little crunch from the fresh bell peppers all melded together with the buttery pancetta and earthy sage.

RECIPE:

Yields 1 Serving

1 yam

1/2 cup of kale (chopped)

1/4 cup of black beans

1/4 cup of pancetta

2 sage leaves

1/4 orange bell pepper

1 tsp crushed red pepper

1 T of barbeque sauce

cracked pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and bake yam for about 25-35 minutes depending on the heat of your oven. Chop the kale, sage, bell peppers and toss with the red peppers and barbeque sauce. Sauté the black beans and pancetta together so the beans absorb the minimal amount of grease from the pancetta for full flavor. Once the yam is out of the oven, slice it down the middle first adding the pancetta/bean mix then top with the kale salad.

Enjoy!

a getty sunday

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I love to travel and explore. Much of my time I spend romancing about trips I have tentatively planned – what I’ll see, eat and who I’ll meet. Wrapped up in my mind’s vacations, at times I have to stop and remind myself that I am living in one of the world’s most interesting places. So, while I await my next big travel, I have committed to thoroughly exploring the City of Angels. Since moving to LA approximately one year ago, give or take a week, I have compiled a bucket list of all the things I want to see in LA. Stay tuned for the list – I’ve checked off a few, which I’ll recount in another post. On Sunday, I conquered one of the big ones and most overdue, The Getty Center.

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I’ve heard countless amazing things about The Getty, especially from all my passionate architecture friends, but this is a place you make your own. It was designed with the quiet calm of the inner soul in mind. It’s indoor and outdoor spaces invite an abundance of natural light and cool breeze to join with whatever your current disposition, bringing a sense of peace.

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The weather was perfectly hot and clear on Sunday providing an expansive view of LA. Zach could stand here for hours scanning the cityscape.

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This place is so impressive and the design so intentional, it’s perfect. Definitely a go-to date spot for any of you looking in LA.

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Getty Sunday | via Grow Curious

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