highlights of the life of a foodie and inquisitive mind.

Category: Uncategorized

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.

Advertisements

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

IMG_3655

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.

IMG_5611_2

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.

IMG_5650

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

IMG_5631

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.

IMG_3649

IMG_5649

Getty Sunday | via Grow Curious

IMG_3665

IMG_5623

IMG_5620

IMG_5681

take it slowly

With all the violent news in the world as of late, you wonder what is causing people to turn to violence? In my opinion, it’s the breakdown of family and interpersonal connection. We are so wrapped up in the individual realities we create for ourselves with this high-speed rat race that we do not take the time to slow down, experience life’s beauty and truly connect with other human beings.

As I was finishing Tim Ferriss’s The Four Hour Work Week a few months ago, the following poem in the last chapter struck a chord with me. It was one of those “get the chills” moments that prompted me to reflect on my own life and the ways I can slow down, etting the beauty of life and authentic human connection dictate the quality of my everyday.

I encourage you to slow down, take a moment and read this poem, letting its word’s resonate with your own life.

 

Slow Dance, by David L. Weatherford

Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round,
or listened to rain slapping the ground?

Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight,
or gazed at the sun fading into the night?

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.

Do you run through each day on the fly,
when you ask “How are you?”, do you hear the reply?

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed,
with the next hundred chores running through your head?

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.

Ever told your child, we’ll do it tomorrow,
and in your haste, not see his sorrow?

Ever lost touch, let a friendship die,
’cause you never had time to call and say hi?

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere,
you miss half the fun of getting there.

When you worry and hurry through your day,
it’s like an unopened gift thrown away.

Life isn’t a race, so take it slower,
hear the music before your song is over.

independence cupcakes

Do you ever get in a random mood to bake when you have 49857345 other things to do instead? Considering this is a holiday week, my to-do list in exceptionally full, but all I wanted to do last night while watching The Bachelorette, was try my hand at some red velvet cupcakes.

I’ve heard a lot of great things about Tori Spelling’s website and found a (what turned out to be) delicious red velvet cupcake recipe. I’ve never made cupcakes from scratch and was surprised to see that the recipe called for white vinegar. I learned that white vinegar mixed with baking soda folded into the batter, lightens the cake making it more fluffy.

Verdict: melt in your mouth good. Try it! Recipe below:

INGREDIENTS FOR CUPCAKES:

  • ½ cup of butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ½ tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 ounces red food coloring
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 ounces water
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

INGREDIENTS FOR CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:

  • 1 8 oz. package cream cheese
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

MAKE CUPCAKES:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease cupcake pan or line with paper liners
  3. Cream softened butter & sugar together until fluffy
  4. Add eggs and blend well
  5. In a separate bowl, combine cocoa & food coloring & stir
  6. Sift flour and salt together into mixture
  7. Add vanilla, buttermilk, and water to mixture
  8. In another bowl combine vinegar and baking soda. Then fold into cupcake mixture.
  9. Pour or spoon mixture into cupcake cups
  10. Bake 15 to 20 mins or until a wood toothpick inserted into the middle of the cupcake comes out clean
  11. Let cool for about 10 mins. Then put on rack or plate and let finish cooling.

MAKE FROSTING

  1. Blend together softened cream cheese and softened butter
  2. Add powdered sugar and vanilla extract
  3. Blend until smooth
  4. Frost cupcakes and enjoy!

#socialmediadaysd

I was so excited to be a part of Mashable’s Social Media Day SD. This year, along with multiple other cities across the US, the City of San Diego officially declared June 30th Social Media  Day. SM Day was started by Mashable in 2010 to celebrate the global digital revolution we are currently experiencing.

The event was a great success with the representation of tons of vendors and social media gurus.   The energy level was fantastic as everyone was tweeting, posting and instagramming up a storm.

I went with my friend’s Matt and Alex who were there to promote Mr. Turk, Trina Turk’s men’s line. Check out their fabulous jackets; they were a big hit at the event.

We had some fun in the photobooth:

Then we headed to the after party at Altitude Sky Lounge at the downtown Marriott. I always love this view of Petco Park and the Bay at night:

The rest of the weekend was great, and while I was rooting for Italia to take the Euro championship, I’m still happy for Spain. They kill it every time they are on that field.

I’m heading to LA this weekend to pick up my dearest friend, Zach and heading to Cambria after for one of my best friend’s wedding. I’m looking forward to a getaway. Stay tuned for a post on our adventure (this kid and I always manage to conjure up some sort of shenanigans).