August 30, 2011
I have been wanting to go to the John Williams concert at the Hollywood Bowl ever since I moved to LA, and last week I finally had the chance to go. My friends and I decided to get together before the concert and eat, so I decided to make a seven layer salad. This is my mom’s recipe, but I made certain modifications to accommodate the ingredients I had. The food turned out great, and combined with magical music made for a spectacular evening.
Start off with a bunch of lettuce, washed and cut up into bite sized pieces. I like to use romaine, but I’m sure other kinds would work as well.
My mom usually uses celery in her salad, but I used cucumber instead. I sliced them very thinly and spread them on top of the lettuce to create the second layer.
Next, add some frozen peas on top of the cucumber. Spread mayonnaise on top of the peas until it creates another layer. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and garlic powder on top of the mayonnaise – this is what makes the dressing. Then, I added a layer of thinly diced red onion (my mom usually doesn’t add this. She will use water chestnuts instead, of the texture). Take a boiled egg, peel and dice into small pieces. Then sprinkle on top of the onion.
I took a red tomato, cut it into wedges and arranged them on top.
Allow the salad to set in the fridge for 2-4 hours – the longer you wait, the more the flavor will sink through to all the layers (I know, I think I had more than 7 layers but I was vamping a bit). You’ll want to cover the salad with saran wrap to keep the moisture in.
August 26, 2011
I have been exercising a lot lately, so much so that some of my friends have called me a fanatic. But I always make sure to reward myself by eating whatever I want afterwards! Such was the case a few days ago, when my friend and I woke up early to run stairs in Santa Monica. We decided to go out to breakfast afterwards, at Swingers diner.*
This place has a ton of character. Can you tell?
The early bird special is 2 eggs, french toast, sausage or bacon for $4.50! What?!
I decided to make this hearty but simple recipe* of a Country Fresh Omelet because, quite frankly, it looked yummy. Classic ingredients with a twist.
You begin with cooking some bacon – I doubled the recipe. So instead of using 3 slices of bacon, I cut up 6 slices of bacon, and threw them into a pan to cook.
While the bacon is cooking, cut up some potatoes. I used baby gold potatoes. Once the bacon is cooked, remove with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with a paper towel (to soak up the excess oil). Place the potatoes in the pan and add salt and pepper. Cook for around 8-10 minutes until cooked through.
Meanwhile, beat 10 eggs and add 6 tablespoons of milk (remember, I’m doubling the recipe!). Add salt and pepper.
Pour half the egg batter into one round pan, the other half into another. Sprinkle potatoes, bacon, and chopped onion on top (the recipe calls for Chives, but I like green onions better).
Bake in the oven at 400 degrees until the eggs are set.
*I love the baby gold potatoes. They are so easy to use and they are delicious. My favorite way to use them is here.*
* I decided to use green onions instead of chives because I find that I can incorporate green onions into other recipes a little more easily than chives. I always end up with a ton of chives that I don’t use. Also, I actually prefer the taste of green onions to chives.
*The recipe called for placing the omelet pan into the oven. Since I didn’t know if my pan was oven proof (and didn’t want to risk it), I simply used alternative pans after I had cooked the individual components. This meant that the omelets took a little longer to cook. To see if the eggs were cooked, I simply inserted a knife (much like when baking a cake). When the knife came out clean, I knew it was done.
I decided to cook breakfast for some of my girlfriends, and I wanted to make sure our breakfast was decadent, leisurely, and most of all, delicious. I found a recipe for a Shaved Melon Salad with Mint Sugar from my Giada de Laurentis recipe book. The colors appealed to me, and I believe that adding mint to anything can only be a good thing. This recipe was very simple, and added a fresh element to our breakfast.
You start off with honeydew and cantaloupe. The recipe also calls for watermelon – I opted to use strawberries instead.
The recipe called for shaving the melon – and stated that this works best with melon that has been chilled and slightly under ripe. Since my melons were neither under ripe nor chilled, I decided to simply cube my melons. You can also use a melon baller, much like I used here.* I cubed the honey dew as well as cut up the strawberries.
Once you have cut up all of your fruit, in a separate bowl mix 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of chopped fresh mint leaves. Pour over the fruit and then mix well.
Delicious, and deceptively simple.
August 24, 2011
I’ll be shooting a Disney commercial today! Very excited and can’t wait!
Sometimes you have weeks where you are so busy with acting stuff, you don’t have a lot of time for cooking. This week was one of them! Its only Wednesday and I’m tired, but feeling very blessed. Because of my hectic schedule, I have found little time for cooking. I have, however, been eating a ton of fruits and veggies and wanted to do a quick post about an amazing smoothie combo I found.
I used dragon fruit, golden kiwi, strawberries, coconut juice, 1 banana, Asian pear, and sweet plums. I didn’t have to add any sugar or anything – the fruit made it sweet enough!
This combo was amazing!
August 18, 2011
This Edamame Succotash* was a really easy recipe that was delicious and really healthy. I actually made a modification to the recipe – I left out the bacon. It still tasted really good, and healthy!
You’re going to finely dice 1/2 cup of red onion, dice 1/4 cup of a red bell pepper, and mince 1 tsp of garlic.
You’ll also need some frozen edamame (thawed) and some corn…
In a skillet, heat up some sesame oil and saute the onions and garlic until soft. If you are skipping the bacon like I did, add the edamame, red bell pepper, and corn. Add some salt and white pepper.
And that’s it!
I have been trying to keep myself on the straight and narrow in terms of exercising and eating right, but it can be a challenge. In order to keep things interesting, I try new fruits just as I try new workouts. I was intrigued by Dragon fruit after I read an article in Martha’s Stewart’s Whole Living magazine which described it as a “superfruit.” Apparently Dragon fruit is an excellent source of Vitamin C, is full of fiber, and is lower in sugar than other fruits. I also picked up some golden kiwi and Asian pear. Now that is what I call a summer treat.
The rind of the dragon fruit, although beautiful, is inedible. All you have to do is slice it in half and scoop out the flesh. For the Asian pear and kiwi, I simply peeled them with a fruit peeler and then sliced them into bite sized pieces.
August 15, 2011
This isn’t a recipe but I had to share. My coworker very generously gave me some of her home grown vegetables. They tasted delicious and fresh, and best of all I’m going to be eating the zucchini for a week, lol.
Those little yellow tomatoes are sooo good! I was eating them like grapes!
Just to get an idea of how big this zucchini really is!!!!
You can bet I’ll be making a bunch of these*
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August 9, 2011
This orzo salad* is great for a hurried week day night. The ingredients are simple, but the taste packs a powerful punch. I like orzo and cous cous because you can basically add anything to them, and they will taste great!
Take a can of garbanzo beans. Drain and rinse them. Wash some cherry tomatoes, half them. Cut up 3/4 cup of an onion, some basil and mint leaves.
Make a red wine vinaigrette using olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Blend.
Place tomatoes, garbanzo beans, onions, chopped basil and mint leaves, and vinaigrette in bowl until coated thoroughly.