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so as most of you know, i'm a HUGE foodie. food is my middle name. actually elizabeth is my middle name, and thank goodness because having a first name like fanny was already enough of a way to get my ass kicked in elementary school. when a plate of food is slid under my nose, it is entirely normal for me to pull out a camera (or camera phone if you will) and snap a picture. now, i'm not the only person in my life who does this. half of the picture messages exchanged between my best friend and i are of our dinners, and a good percentage of the pictures taken on our family vacations are of roast chickens, risotto, and crabcakes. we're the kind of family who talks about dinner while we're having lunch. to put it simply, food is a big part of my life and i wouldn't have it any other way.
as all of you know, california is the most health conscious state in the country. this means that every restaurant/cafe/deli/diner you walk into has about a thousand unbelievable choices--many of which are organic--with local ingredients, and topped with avocado and sprouts. basically, my dream come true. so, while the 90210 section of my blog is based around all of my new life experiences in this crazy town, THIS portion of the blog is dedicated entirely to my love of food. whether i found it in a gourmet restaurant, a trashy strip mall, a cart on the side of the road, or created it in my own kitchen--THIS, is what i like to call...

*click on the restaurant names to see their websites*


leave a comment if you want any of these recipes!

fat tire chili with herb roasted garlic bread.

chicken with oregano, preserved lemons, and olives (based on my dad's original recipe. check out the foodie part of his blog here!)

banana raisin oatmeal yogurt muffins topped with brown sugar and agave.
(this is before they journeyed into the oven)

and when they came out...
breakfast that day deserved a photo shoot.

chicken marsala with thyme, cremini, and oyster mushrooms.
roasted garlic green beans with red pepper flakes and lemon zest.
recipe here!

angel hair with chicken, basil, and homemade vodka sauce. arugula salad with radishes, honeycrisp apples, avocado, blackberries, and goat cheese.
homemade vodka sauce: marinara sauce, a touch of milk (or half & half or sour cream), parmesan cheese, vodka, and basil. 
seriously...that's it!
*foodie note: use a really good quality marinara for this one. homemade is best.*

roasted chicken and four cheese quesadilla with caramelized red onions, mushrooms, charred yellow pepper, and homemade pico de gallo and tzatziki sauce.
recipe for this here!

dad's cranberry sauce.
fresh cranberries, a whole orange (rind and all), water, sugar, vanilla.
and i added a touch of cinnamon just for fun.


my first attempt at baked eggs!
buttered ramekin layered with caramelized onions, shitake mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, two cracked eggs, red pepper flakes, herbs, parmesan, and muenster cheese.
baked at 375 for 10-15 minutes.


homemade jam.
what to do when you realize your jelly is seven months past the expiration date:
raspberries, orange juice, truvia (or sugar), a splash of vanilla extract--boiled together and then simmered until thick.


fettuccine with julienned zucchini, crimini mushrooms, spinach, goat cheese, and a white wine lemon cream sauce.


chicken picatta with oyster mushrooms, capers, and lemon zest over garlic spinach and a creamy parsnip puree.

creamy parsnip puree: boiled parsnips, chicken broth, milk, salt, pepper, butter, and dried thyme pureed until smooth.

spinach sauteed with butter, garlic, and smoky hawaiian sea salt.

pan seared chicken with capers, oyster mushrooms, parsley, lemon zest, white wine, and fresh basil.

you know it's good when others are interested...


a foodie friend of mine recently learned that i had never had real korean bbq before. we immediately dropped everything and headed straight for gyu-kaku in beverly hills. 
don't ask me how to pronounce that...
because it was happy hour and most of the menu was half off, we decided to try a variety of things.
first was the...well, cold and delicious pitcher of sapporo draft beer.
SECOND, was the hawaiian ahi poke (rare sushi grade ahi tuna in a sweet ponzu sauce with crunchy scallions and sesame seeds) and fried calamari that came with a spicy aioli.

i'm not a big rice fan by any means. i don't mind it--but my first choice will always be noodles. the fact that this rice dish was probably my favorite part of the meal speaks very highly of it.
this is the sukiyaki bibimbap (i swear i didn't make that up). this dish was beef, onions, sukiyaki sauce, green onions and rice. 
the waitress told us that the longer we leave the rice in the steaming bowl, the crunchier it will be. this tasted like the most delicious version of fried rice i had ever had--and the crispy parts at the very bottom were like little treasures.
we ate the entire bowl.

we also got various cuts of beef, pork, and chicken which we got to cook ourselves! 

as for yummy homemade meals...
i tried out a new kind of fish last week! instead of selecting the normal tilapia piece i normally would at whole foods, i asked the man for some new suggestions. he told me that dover sole was a good, mild white fish with a buttery flavor. it was so delicate it didn't even need the panko breadcrumbs i tossed it in.
the best part of the meal was the leek compote i made on top.
yes, i said leek compote:

sautee leeks in butter and olive oil
sprinkle with salt and pepper
simmer in white wine
toss in a tiny scoop of light veggie cream cheese (or goat cheese)
cook on low heat until the texture is soft and creamy 

as a kid, my favorite food was bologna.
no really, i'm serious.
second to my beloved bologna was salami--which meant that salami and eggs was a pretty traditional breakfast for my seven year old self.

a very important lesson i learned this week:
kid breakfast: salami and american cheese 
grown up breakfast: salami and havarti cheese with basil

cloudy with a chance of...

although meatballs are not really my forte, they're forte.

i was invited to a potluck dinner this weekend and decided to embark on a journey to make a giada de laurentiis recipe that i had stumbeld recently stumbled upon. it was for smoked mozzella stuffed meatballs--but of course i added a few of my own twists here and there.
i also used the recipe for her homemade marinara sauce (with a few changes of my own added to it.)

step one was roasting some yellow peppers, tomatoes, and garlic.

then i moved onto the marinara sauce by sauteeing onions, garlic, carrots, celery, and salt and pepper in olive oil.

after the crushed tomatoes were added and simmering--
in went the basil!

at 9 PM it occurred to me that i still hadn't eaten dinner. i found some frozen porcini mushroom raviolis in my freezer and decided to test out my marinara.
needless to say...
i was quite proud of myself.

next came the meatballs!
the mixture contained ground pork, ground beef, basil, parmesean cheese, tomato paste, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. i rolled them and then stuffed a cube of smoked gouda in the middle. that was my own twist...mostly because i couldn't find smoked mozzarella at ralph's.

the recipe called for the meatballs to be deep fried in oil before being put into the oven, but i decided to just brown them in the pan and then stick them in the oven to finish.

i sprinkled them with a little more parm right before they went into the oven.
they were such a big hit at the potluck--that from the time they were set onto the table (32 meatballs to be exact dad) to ten minutes later when i called my best friend to give her the results...
there were FOUR left!
the homemade marinara sauce was just as big of a hit as the meatballs. 
i can't tell you how often i watch a food network challenge show and hear a judge complain that the food is too bland or has no seasoning. i may not be a meatball expert, but i know this:
salt and pepper are tools for bringing out the flavor of whatever you're cooking. don't overuse them--but don't be afraid to season your food.

other yummy dishes at the potluck...

a cheese plate with roasted garlic baguette slices on the side.

cupcake stuffed strawberries--cake in the middle and surrounded by white chocolate and sprinkles.

mint chocolate chip cookies, some decadent brownies, and my personal favorite that never made it into a picture: butterscotch banana cupcakes.

spicy stuffed peppers.

one of the hosts (a culinary school student, personal chef, and writer of a very creative foodie blog called ginger in the kitchen) made the hit of the night.
sharp cheddar grilled cheese sandwiches with truffle oil and roasted tomato and garlic bisque shooters.

now THAT is a grilled cheese and tomato soup.

and THIS...
was my fourth plate of food.
stuffed meatball, crunchy mac and cheese made with cheddar, havarti, and fontina, and smoked chicken.
i love dinner parties.


on my way to the cat shelter volunteer orientation last sunday, i decided i would leave a little extra early to pick up something for breakfast. while i had planned on swinging by a place called sam's bagels that i had done a little research on, i hit some unexpected traffic and ended up turning around. although my GPS was telling me differently, i convinced myself that i would find something fantastic along the way. about five minutes from the shelter, a cafe caught my eye and i immediately pulled over to the first open meter i saw. not only did this place have an amazing breakfast menu--they had a huge selection of wraps, sandwiches, and coffees that i knew i would have to come back for. i was still craving a bagel and i decided that even though smoked salmon is something i pretty much only have in new jersey--i couldn't pass it up here. i got the toasted everything bagel with cream cheese, lox (thinly sliced smoked salmon), tomatoes, red onions, and capers. although i'm not a fan of regular salmon, i grew up eating lox with my family and if you get it at the right place on the right bagel, it can be pretty amazing.

this, my friends, was the right place.
also known as mornings nights in silverlake--which is a very hip area, FAR too cool for me--but i'll be back for the sandwiches.
i'm not sure if the bagels were homemade or bought from a local bakery, but the everything bagel was covered in toppings--one of which was sunflower seeds, which was a lovely surprise. i've never had this sandwich with capers before, but they were the perfect salty addition to the fresh tomatoes.

later that day i ventured over to the grove to do a little shopping. within the grove, there's a whole farmer's market area with open air shops and tons of little restaurants. there's a popular mexican restaurant in hollywood called loteria grill (check out the pictures on their menu if you have time), and they have a mini outdoor version at the grove. every time i come to this area to do shopping, i walk around and look at all the amazing food--but i'm usually not hungry. seeing as it had been hours since my bagel, i decided i would treat myself to a little snack at loteria.

don't worry, between the occasional out-of-the-house treats i buy myself, i still leave some time for good old fashioned home cooking. at least once every few weeks, i'll buy a piece of tilapia from whole foods. because it's such a mild fish, it's fun to dress it up a little. last week, i dressed my tilapia up with a white wine lemon cream sauce. 
keep in mind that although i'm a fat kid at heart--who enjoys dominating bags of cheetos and dipping my french fries in mayo--there's a part of me that loves to be very health conscious. this means that when i'm at home cooking for myself, a "cream" sauce just means that it's creamy--not that it was made with heavy cream. i always try and find ways to cut calories and fat, without taking out any of the flavor.

the fish was just patted dry with a paper towel, and then tossed in a mixture of panko bread crumbs that i had seasoned with salt, pepper, and paprika. i cooked it in a very shallow mixture of butter and oil until it was golden brown on both sides and tender (but not bouncy) to the touch. the addition of the panko gave it a crunch without adding too many additional calories.

the white wine cream sauce was pretty simple:
i sauteed shallots and garlic in olive oil and butter, added white wine that i let cook down for a few minutes, and then mixed in lemon, a little bit of goat cheese, and a small scoop of light garden veggie cream cheese. i finished it with chives, basil, and fresh chopped tomatoes.

i had some leftover garlic hashbrowns from the other morning so i decided that they would be the perfect sidekick for my light fish. however, when i sat down and looked at my plate--i couldn't help but hear my mom's voice saying, "where's the green?! there's no green!"

so i immediately got up and quickly sauteed some spinach.
you're welcome mom.

after a long and tiring work week, i decided that i would save my weekend outings for saturday and make friday a fanny and olive night. i took a little help from gelson's and picked up a piece of roasted chicken breast and some grilled veggies. i sauteed those things with some chopped tomatoes, cholula hot sauce, lime juice, salt, pepper, and a fajita seasoning that i got from the farmer's market.

some havarti and american cheese later...
i decided that i couldn't have a homemade mexican dinner without some special side dishes--so i made some homemade pico de gallo and guacamole. it's so easy to whip both of those up in under ten minutes, and making it yourself is SO much more satisfying than buying it at the store. 

the pico de gallo was a combination of fresh chopped roma tomatoes, diced red onions, lime juice, salt, pepper, hot sauce, and more of the fajita seasoning. i didn't have any cilantro and couldn't stand that there was no green, so i added a pinch of fresh basil for some color and brightness. the fajita seasoning is basically a mixture of cayenne, chili powder, salt, pepper, sugar, and a few other things. if you're ever making homemade pico at home and wondering what spice to throw in there--go with the chili powder. the combination of that with the tomatoes, onions, and lime juice is what gives it the signature "pico" kick that you're used to.


my cooking was on such a roll that i decided to continue it for my saturday morning breakfast. i fell in love with a new blog the other day called simply breakfast. the blog is exactly that; various beautiful shots of breakfast. although i wouldn't mind seeing a few more descriptions or recipes on that website, it inspired me to make a simple, yet elegant, breakfast this morning. i went with two sunny side down eggs topped with sauteed leeks and fresh basil. 

i love leeks.
i would wear them as earrings if people wouldn't judge me.
every time i use them i realize that i don't use them as often as i'd like. did that make sense? 
they've got such a mild onion flavor without being as assertive as onions or shallots. i think they're fantastic.
i'm surprised i didn't name olive "shallot". 
great, i think she just got a middle game.

no breakfast is complete without a little fruit on the side. i sliced fresh strawberries and topped them with toasted coconut vanilla yogurt (made by dannon light & fit) and some peanut butter and honey granola. i've only seen this brand of granola sold at gelson's--but i'm sure it's available in other places. it's called erin baker's homestyle granola and it comes in a few different varieties. 

it's probably the best pre-packaged granola i've ever tasted. i don't know erin baker personally, but she clearly had me in mind when she came up with peanut butter and honey granola.


i love to make a little gourmet style breakfast at home...

but with so many delicious brunch spots in los angeles, it's hard to not go out for the occasional morning meal.
example #1:

red velvet waffle with cream cheese icing.

blueberry waffle with lemon curd.

don't worry, i didn't eat two waffles AND an entree...
i split two waffles with some friends and then ordered an entree. don't be frightened by the pesto scramble.'s just green eggs and ham!

i've been looking forward to hitting grub as soon as i saw that it was voted best brunch and lunch by citysearch last year. i also heard that they had something called "crack bacon" i was clearly intrigued.

i got the mushroom and feta omelet that came with fruit, hashbrowns, wheat toast, and of course...crack bacon (which was sticky and sweet with maple syrup and sprinkled with fennel seeds). 

and incase you're wondering...
yes, it was pretty much crack.

knowing that i'm semi-obsessed--okay, completely obsessed--with food network, a friend took me to susan feniger's restaurant street in west hollywood. the entire meal was amazing, but the highlight was the chef's signature dish: kaya toast--described on the menu as "toasted bread spread thick with coconut jam; served with a soft fried egg drizzled in dark soy and white pepper."

i'm glad i didn't actually read the description before biting into this amazing creation because i liked having no idea what to expect. the fun part was breaking the egg yolk and mixing it with the bitter brown sauce to make a creamy sauce. once i drenched the end of my toast with that mixture and popped it in my mouth, i realized that it was--without a doubt--the most complex and interesting bite of food i had ever had. the toast, which you think will be a savory grilled cheese, is actually sweet and nutty--and when you mix it with the salty, creamy sauce--it's the most intense combination of flavors (in one single bite) and unlike anything you've ever tasted.

the kaya toast was the highlight of the night, but the sashimi tasted like straight up i thought it deserved a picture.

sadly, prizzi's piazza--a cute little italian restaurant just walking distance from my apartment in franklin village--has closed after twenty years. luckily i got to go once with my friends before they shut down and experience their amazing garlic parmesan breadsticks, RIDICULOUS homemade ranch, and deep dish pizza.

RIP prizzi's.

i discovered native foods cafe on a random sunday afternoon when i accidentally ended up in brentwood. once i saw the words "lavender lemonade" on their menu, i knew it was meant to be. the salad was also incredible. how could it not be? look at the picture.

ensalada azteca salad:
fresh avocado, cucumber and jicama salsa atop quinoa, romaine and chef tanya’s award winning mango lime vinaigrette. topped with currants, toasted pumpkin seeds and cilantro.

don't worry, i'm still doing plenty of cooking at home!
 it all began last night when i was craving something to dip in ketchup...
actually, here's how it really began: i posted pictures of my first experience at pink's hot dogs, my dad saw them and was tempted into making homemade french fries, and then i saw his picture of the homemade french fries, and was tempted into making my own homemade french fries.
so...i guess we owe all our thanks to pink's.

for this meal, i made a spicy italian turkey sausage with white wine (props go to sara for telling me to buy cupcake's sauvingnon blanc) and thyme stewed caramelized onions, roasted charred sweet peppers, and of course...
homemade fries.
which i made by tossing in vegetable oil, panko bread crumbs, a tiny dollop of light mayo, salt, pepper, garlic and herb seasoning, hot sauce, paprika, and a TEENY pinch of cinnamon. i roasted them at 375, tossed them with chives and more salt when they came out, and they turned out perfect.

thank you pink's.


pan seared tilapia with white wine dijon cream sauce and roasted vegetables.

the vegetables (roasted carrots, parsnips, garlic, and meyer lemons) came from the kitchen of whole foods, so i can't take credit for those. as for the tilapia, that was entirely from scratch. i decided that since the fish and the sauce would be creamy and soft--i needed a crunchy element for some texture. i thinly sliced little rings of shallot, dusted them with flour, and flash fried them in some oil. not only did my apartment smell like homemade onion rings (HOW AWESOME?!) but they added a really nice crunch to the dish.

creamy lemon fettucine with roasted garlic, shitakes, and shrimp.

i know it must seem like i eat a lot of semi-heavy dishes because you keep hearing me say "creamy." to me, creamy simply means adding a small scoop of light garden veggie cream cheese to a sauce or adding a little skim milk. there are plenty of ways to give things a richer, more velvety flavor without adding tons of calories. the sauce for this pasta was a little butter, olive oil, white wine, lemon juice, lemon zest, goat cheese, light garden veggie cream cheese and some reserved starchy pasta water. i also oven roasted shrimp, garlic cloves, shitake mushrooms, and tomatoes to toss in with the pasta and sauce. it was without a doubt, one of my favorite pasta dishes i've ever made. 


ricky's fish tacos.

when i first moved to los angeles, a friend of mine from back home who has now lived out here for years made me a list of restaurants. this three page guide is more like a foodie cheat sheet--with some of the best eats in the city. she also happens to work in the culinary world, so her food opinion is one i take very seriously. in the mexican cuisine category of my list (yes, she separated it into categories for me) there was a place she had listed as "best fish tacos in los angeles." if there's one thing i've learned about tacos since i've been out here, it's that california doesn't play around when it comes to mexican food. there are hundreds, possibly even thousands of mexican restaurants scattered throughout the state that all strive to be the most "authentic" of the bunch. if this sounds familiar, you might be remembering a post i wrote a few months back complaning that i couldn't find cheese dip (also known as queso dip) anywhere in los angeles.
although this is an item that you will find on the menu at any las margaritas, el rodeo, or casa villa on the east coast, california's mexican fare is a little more traditional. i may be used to the americanized "southwest style" of mexican food (moe's, chipolte, baja fresh...), but i was looking forward to trying the "best fish tacos in los angeles", and saving them for a special treat. after being inspired by a slow down blog that my best friend wrote reminding us to take life one day at a time and appreciate the little things around us--i sat up from the couch and realized that today was my day.

and oh what a day it was.

as you saw from the above picture, ricky's fish tacos is nothing more than a little stand on the side of the road. if you didn't know what you were looking for, you'd drive by this white tent surrounded by a few picnic tables. the funny thing is--i KNEW what i was looking for, and i still drove back and forth by it for twenty minutes.
but it was absolutely worth the wait.
for five dollars, i received two fish tacos (which were hand dipped and fried right in front of me), wrapped in a warm flour tortilla, and topped with shredded cabbage, a light crema, and homemade pico de gallo. i chose the green tomatillo salsa for one taco, and the hot sauce for the other.

from a visual standpoint, these tacos are obviously something out of the ordinary. as for the flavor and quality, i couldn't have asked for anything better. although the fish was fried, it was very lightly breaded and somehow managed to still have a light, airy texture. the homemade sweet and spicy sauces were a perfect contrast to the crunchy cabbage. i still can't believe i got food this outstanding for five dollars. 

prior to my slightly holistic taco experience, i looked up ricky's on yelp. i was amazed at how high the ratings were for what appeared to be a stand on the side of the road. the great thing about a website like yelp is that the reviewers--who are average people like you and me--like to be as critical as possible. this means that no one is going to rate a mediocre meal with more stars than it deserves. the typical amount of stars a good quality restaurant will receive is around 3-4. not only did ricky's have a high amount of reviewers (180 yelpers) but he is also the proud holder of a 4.5 star rating.

and now i know why.


the salad chronicles:
my mom is always telling me that i need to eat more greens. it's not that my parents ever had the "eat all your brussel sprouts or you'll go to bed with no television!" rule. it wasn't like that at all. i mean, i'm not even the one who is still afraid of peas (coughDADcough). but we are a family that tends to make a gigantic side of salad with every dinner. living by myself for the first time, i've noticed that although i'll spend plenty of time cooking a meal for myself, i don't exactly balance out my dinners. at home, if we're having something a little more carb-heavy like pasta or pizza, there's always a big bowl of greens to go along with it. although the salad is normally meant to be a side dish, my mom's plate ratio is generally 80-20 with salad being the larger portion.
sometimes when she brings her plate into the living room, i can't even see her brown rice spaghetti buried under all of that arugula and avocados.
the point of this story is that since i've lived in california, i've somehow accidentally managed to almost entirely cut salads out of my diet. don't get me wrong, i'll grab one occasionally from trader joes for lunch, but very rarely do i actually enjoy a big salad as a homecooked, dinner-time meal. maybe it's the fact that i don't keep enough salad ingredients around. maybe i'm too tired to throw one together after spending too much time on my pasta dish. maybe salad doesn't really seem right as a side dish to ramen.
but all i know is that recently i've made a change for the better and brought salads back into my life. i've started keeping mixed greens, avocados, nuts, caramelized red onions, dates, goat cheese, pink lady apples, and easy vinaigrette ingredients on hand.
so mom, i know you're proud...and these pictures are for you:

i even had brussel sprouts alongside of my chicken picatta last week!

sorry the picture is a little sloppy...
sometimes even i forget to take pictures of my food begore digging into it.


after a VERY early, VERY intense workout this morning, i decided i deserved a special frittata.
i call't-feel-my-ass-frittata:
honey ham, leeks, mushrooms, arugula, muenster cheese, parsley, and basil.

for those of you who are unfamiliar with frittatas, they're somewhat similar to a quiche. you start it like an omelet and cook the bottom of the eggs. after the bottom is set, you throw your toppings on, toss the whole skillet into the oven and set it to "broil". this will heat up all of your cheeses and yummy toppings and cook the top of the egg. you've seen the finished product, but this is what you want the bottom to look like.
nice and golden brown:

for dinner...
i decided to mix it up a little bit and cook with some shrimp tonight. i found them already peeled and deveined at gelson's--and since the portion was just for me--a handful only ran me three dollars! i marinated the shrimp in lemon juice, a splash of orange juice and cholula hot sauce, shallots, garlic, parsley, basil, salt, pepper, and lemon zest. i wanted to make sure that my pasta had lots to it so i stuffed it with vegetables--leeks, mushrooms, yellow bell peppers, and sundried tomatoes. once the angel hair was cooked, i tossed the shrimp and veggies with the tomato sauce, added a scoop of light veggie cream cheese to give it a little oomph, and topped it with goat cheese, more fresh parsley and basil, and lemon zest.
and was off.


delivery night!
beef pad see ew and veggie spring rolls from
red corner asia in hollywood.


mixed greens salad with caramelized red onions, avocado, pink lady apples, toasted pecans, rosemary roasted chicken, goat cheese, and sweet dried mejool dates with a homemade basil balsamic vinaigrette.

i used some of the salad leftovers for a tasty grilled sandwich: rosemary roasted chicken, caramelized red onions, oven roast balsamic tomatoes, fresh basil, light veggie cream cheese, and muenster on cracked wheat sourdough.

pan seared lemon herb tilapia with shallots and white wine, roasted carrots and onions, and mashed fingerling potatoes with roasted garlic and goat cheese.
clearly someone thought my dish needed olives..

essential stirfry ingredients: sugar snap peas, mushrooms, broccoli, onions, carrots, ginger, garlic, pineapple, sweet and spicy marinade, remote control.
the tiny little chopped up green things on the corner of the cutting board are thai chilies. the stirfry was delicious, but i couldn't feel my tongue about four bites in.

another stirfry essential: having a thai food expert on the phone. i think you all know who this is..

nothing better than some spicy food and an ice cold beer.
side note: i did not participate in the stealing of this stella artois bar glass. i was just present and then happened to receive it later on in the night.

the toasted chopped pecans on top may have been my favorite part.

frittata day!
goat cheese, roasted yellow peppers, caramelized sweet onions, and smoked mozzarella.


since i was going all out for the frittata, i decided to glitz up my fruit salad as well!
strawberries, bananas, kiwi, and clementines tossed with orange-mango juice and a splash of vanilla.

quesadilla night!
lemon herb roasted chicken, roasted yellow peppers, caramelized red onions, basil, smoked mozzarella, and muenster on a whole wheat tortilla.

i got a little help from whole foods for the condiments..

i didn't make the things in the following two pictures, but they were too awesome not to have on here.
caramel apples from a candy shop in the farmer's market at 3rd and fairfax.

"banana-nana panckes" from the griddle cafe. yes, i added chocolate chips. yes, they were four times the size of my head. and yes, these were well worth the hour long wait.


apple smoked chicken sausage and vegetable lasagna-a-la-fanny!
eggplant and zucchini roasted with olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary, and thyme.

tomatoes roasted with olive oil, balsamic, salt, pepper, thyme, and whole garlic cloves.

preparation for the chicken sausage:
shallots, butter, salt, pepper.

red wine.

flavor town.

preparation of the tomato sauce:
the oven roasted tomatoes and garlic get crushed and go into the red wine/shallot pan after the chicken sausages are done and taken out.

a small scoop of garden vegetable cream cheese gets stirred in to make things a little creamy.

everything is layered: zucchini, eggplant, roasted tomato sauce, chicken sausage, smoked mozzerella, and goat cheese.

into the oven it goes.
good luck!

yes please.

moules frites--mussels with white wine, leeks, garlic, butter thyme and fries with fresh parsley, chopped garlic, and sea salt.
the fries were so good that the mussels hardly made it into the picture.

salad bar at mrs. winston's green grocery in santa monica.
greek salad with feta, tomatoes, cucumbers, croutons, and cranberries with green goddess tahini dressing. spicy asian noodles and greek pasta salad.
it was a clusterf**k, but it was delicious.

shintaro sushi in hollywood.
spicy lobster roll--asparagus, lobster salad, avocado, spicy mayo.

sprinkles cupcakes in beverly hills.
this one was in honor of the best friend :) good cupcakes, but i prefer hers.

cinnamon sugar cupcake.

mendocino farms in downtown los angeles.
buffalo chicken wrap--roasted chicken in a spicy buffalo sauce, point reyes blue cheese cabbage slaw, tomato, farm fried onions, on a grilled tortilla wrap. 

brunch at BLD in west hollywood (holy yum).
mexican scramble--manchego cheese, piquillo peppers, chorizo with crispy fingerling potatoes and a homemade english muffin.

 pizzeria mozza in west hollywood (double holy yum).
baby gem lettuces with red onions, dates, and blue cheese dressing.

homemade fennel sausage pizza with cream sauce, red onions, and green onions.

my dessert: key lime torte with shortbread crust, marscapone, blueberries soaked in simple syrup, and candied lime zest.

dad's dessert: the gelato trifecta (pistachio, espresso, banana).


new years eve tasting menu at bastide in west hollywood

course one:
pretty girl holding champagne.

ACTUAL course one:
scallop: cauliflower ice cream/sliced almonds/micro parsley/peacock raisins port wine reduction/french radish.

course two:
garlic soup: pommes maxine/lobster/lobster glace agar cube/salsify sliced button mushrooms/diakon sprouts.

course three:
white truffle risotto: risotto rice/white wine/olive oil/white truffle.

course four:
turbot on the bone: brown butter sauce/black misson fig/leek and mushroom ragout/celery root puree/sancho peppers.

course five:
tenderloin: grapefruit polenta/comte buerre rouge/baby broccolini.

course six:
epoisse ice cream/compari orange gelee/honeycomb/cold wine froth/brioche crumb.

course seven (MY FAV):
ricotta beignets: chocolate ganache/strawberry sauce/cinnamon ice cream.


waffles, lattes, and sweet grilled cheese.
syrup in downtown los angeles

hazelnut latte sweetened with nutella?
yes please.

clearly this place is known for their waffles, so even though i was going nuts over the sweet grilled cheeses, i had to try one.
enter banana chocolate chip waffle.

my friend got the pear, gruyere, and turkey grilled cheese with powdered sugar and walnuts on cinnamon raisin toast.

and i went for the apple, cheddar, and bacon grilled cheese with powdered sugar and walnuts on cinnamon raisin toast.

the fruit on the side made me feel better about eating a grilled cheese and a waffle for breakfast.


the quest for the perfect sandwich:
bergamot cafe in santa monica

behold...the roast beef and avocado on sourdough with lettuce, tomato, and creamy spicy aoili.

i read that the greek salad was awesome here and if you me, i never pass up greek food. the salad had chopped romaine, tomatoes, feta, red onions, black olives, cucumbers, and a lemon vinaigrette.
let's just say it lived up to its reputation.

the fresh mint lemonade (also a big seller here).

when someone tells you they have homemade coleslaw....
ALWAYS give in to temptation.


yes. it's true.
i lost my pinkberry virginity.

normally i'm the type of eater that likes to try all kinds of different things. so when the lady asked if i'd like to sample some of the frozen yogurt flavors, you can believe i had the excitment of a four year old with a new bag of glitter.

however, one sample and i was hooked. not only was it odd for me that i only tried one flavor, but i went with their ORIGINAL flavor! we're talking more basic than vanilla. it's literally just called "sweet and tangy". it was tart and delicious and almost tasted like lemon without the citrus flavor.
but just because i picked a plain yogurt doesn't mean i didn't get a little crazy with the toppings.

on this side we have graham crackers and honey roasted sunflower seeds.

and back here, oreos and pumpkin spice granola.

i got my pinkberry to go from the 3rd street promenade in santa monica, and it made the rush hour traffic on the way home almost bearable. which is not easy to do.
although i'm a die-hard yogurtland fan--and they clearly win the battle because the entire store is do-it-yourself and they have twice the choices of yogurt and toppings--pinkberry was insanely good and i will definitely be going back.


i am VERY excited to share these delicious pictures with you from last night's dinner at pace in laurel canyon. the atmosphere of the restaurant was fantastic. it was a nice place, but was in NO way pretentious or stuffy. the restaurant is located off of a windy road and you almost feel like you're in a tiny mountain town. instead of having traditional booths, pace has long comfy row seats with pillows. if you know me, you know that i tend to take off my shoes and sit indian style when i eat (probably a strange habit i developed as a kid), so i was a big fan of the cushioned seats. the thing i loved most about this restaurant was that even with the hip decor and the lively adult atmosphere--not a screaming kid in sight--there were crayons on every table. as i scrunched my feet under my butt and yanked a baby blue crayon out of the cup, i couldn't believe the waitress didn't card me for the glass of pinot noir.

the salads were excellent, but my friend and i were both so hungry that it wasn't until halfway through them that we realized i had already begun to slack on the picture-taking.

for me: the insalate cesare (caesar salad..DUH!). hearts of romaine and belgian endive with pace's famous caesar dressing.

for my friend: the crab salad with avocado, toasted pine nuts, frisee, and a citrus soy vinaigrette. (again, these were much prettier before we tore into them)

i was leaning towards the linguine with clams, but it seemed wrong to pass up homemade sausage. so, i went with the rigatoni alla salsicce e pepperoni rostato. homemade sausage and roasted peppers in vodka tomato cream sauce.

my friend went with the pizza! which most likely would have been my choice, had i not eaten a slice of the pizza three times the size of my head for lunch that day. hercules' pie. pepperoni, soppressata, sausage, tomato sauce, and fresh mozzarella.

one of my favorite parts of the meal: when i realized that the restaurant's water glasses were identical to the ones in my parents kitchen :)

while we were waiting for our entrees and dunking crispy pieces of homemade bread into a creamy tomato dipping sauce, the waitress came by to chat about dessert. normally you don't talk about dessert until the end of the meal, but she told us that they had a warm chocolate lava cake that takes thirty minutes to prepare and that if we wanted it, we should place the order now. of course i asked about the other dessert options--i like to cover all of my bases--but it was clear that there was only one real choice. and this chocolate cake, took the cake!


and then fanny said, LET THERE BE OMELETS!

since most saturday mornings i'm waking up at 6:45 AM for work (ew) and rushing over to west hollywood, i like to take my sunday mornings very slowly. to me, that means homemade brunch.

let's begin.

eggs are eggs. so if you're planning on making an omelet, the filler is really your star. today i decided to go with mushrooms, shallots, and smoked gouda. although cremini mushrooms are baby portobellas so they already have a meaty, rich flavor, i wanted to turn up their volume a little bit. though tossing them around with some shallots and a little olive oil and butter is a perfectly acceptable start...

but the way to REALLY bring out some intense flavor is by adding a few more ingredients. you could use chicken stock, beef stock, vegetable stock...but i'm all out of stock so i chose a splash of red wine. it may sound a little strange to have drunken mushrooms in an omelet, BUT it's literally just a drop to add some depth to a simple ingredient like mushrooms. you cook out the tiny bit of red wine and are just left with a rich oaky taste. red wine and thyme are bff's so that was the last step before the mushrooms were done.

while i'm cooking, i like to have everything organized.
hence...the coffee station.

the omelet station.

the muffin station.
(good luck in there!)

i'm still working on my omelet flip, so i put it together a little different than the average chef.

a few fanned out strawberrys never hurts.
same rule applies to fresh basil on top.

the full spread.
yes, i like to treat myself from time to time.


hi, i'm fanny. and i love condiments.

chicken shawarma pita with hummus and feta from muma on melrose in west hollywood. the whole reason i wanted to test out this place (and drove around for twenty minutes looking for parking) was not just because of the food, but the condiment bar! i love every kind of condiment. i love things i can put on my food, i love things i can dip my food in, and i love things i can put in tiny little cups. this place had an endless salad bar full of sauces, salads, veggies, and much more. from left to right in the picture (pickled cucumbers, greek potato salad, cucumber dill sauce, tahini dressing, red hot sauce).


the whisper cafe at the grove in west hollywood.

caesar salad

flatbread with caramelized onions, butternut squash, and arugula

grilled chicken sandwich with fontina, roasted red and yellow peppers, arugula, olive tapenade, pesto, and chipolte mayo


brunch anyone?
first, we start with a potato.

after the potatoes have been cut, boiled until fork-tender, and drained, they're ready for the pan along with chopped garlic and fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, and oregano--normally i would only buy one herb at a time but if you find a poultry mix it comes with a variety)

everything goes in the pot along with the star of the show--caramelized red onions! these are just thinly sliced red onions sauteed low and slow in butter, olive oil, and a pinch of sugar.

don't forget the hot sauce, sea salt, pepper, and parmesean cheese. i also added a few shakes of a roasted garlic and herb dried seasoning blend for extra flavor.

into the tin foil house they go and then off to the toaster oven to keep warm. the temperature should be low, around 250 degrees, so they don't overcook. also, keeping them enclosed in the tin foil helps steam them and infuse the potatoes with even more of that garlic herb flavor.

the eggs are sunny side down with sea salt, black pepper, and parmesean and the diced roma tomatoes added a nice cool crunch to go along with the spicy potatoes. you can do the eggs any style you like and of course leave off the tomatoes if you're not a fan--this was just brunch a la fanny! the hashbrows were really the guest star on the plate.

can't forget the beauty shot:

holy quesadillas
i'm a big fan of mexican takeout, but sometimes you just need to bring the fiesta into your own kitchen. and when you're doing mexican at home, sometimes it's nice to have a little help from the store.

muenster, jack, cheddar...oh my!

i think that if you're not up for grilling your own chicken, buying a rotissere chicken is the way to go; however, tonight i used some leftover garlic, butter, herb roast chicken that my mom got from a restaurant the other night and it was AWESOME. to make this chicken a little more mexican, i sauteed it with tomatoes, red onions, and of course...plenty of hot sauce.

not to toot my own horn, but
look how beautifully golden brown it is! as long as you don't have the heat up too high and you have just enough oil in the pan, you can get this same crispy exterior.

mexico. on a plate. in hollywood.
that's que pasa.


all from blue jam cafe:

their iced chai is INSANE

homemade vegan split pea soup with herb croutons

sonoma salad: organic mixed greens, candied walnuts, sliced granny smith apples and seedless grapes with gorgonzola cheese and balsamic vinaigrette topped with curry chicken salad (the one pictured below is the same thing, but with grilled chicken on top instead)


comfort stuffed raviolis. fanny-style

after spending nearly an hour trying to find a parking spot, when i finally walked into my kitchen at 8 PM i decided i wanted to make a quick dinner. i wanted it quick because i was hungry, but i also wanted it to be completely satisfying and delicious. i turned to my new raviolis i had just brought back from the store.

while the raviolis boiled away, i knew i needed to come up with a quick creative sauce to drench them in. these thoughts immediately popped into my head: lemon. butter. garlic. white wine. tomatoes. my first step was to sautee some garlic in butter and olive oil.

next i diced up some farmer's market tomatoes and threw them in the pan with some lemon juice, lemon zest, and a few pieces of the lemon rind (you can eat it if you cook it down enough)

you can only imagine what my kitchen was smelling like at this point. next, i used an ingredient that is a favorite of my dad's: WINE. my good friend rachael ray once told me "don't cook with wine that you wouldn't drink." so, i cooked with my $4 pinot grigio from trader joes. and then i drank some.

as fantastic as this sauce was already turning out to be, i decided i needed to jazz it up one more step. i stirred in a spoonful of onion and chive cream cheese to make the sauce just a bit creamy.

when the raviolis finished cooking, i tossed them in the sauce and did a few neat flips of the pan (i kind of wish somebody walking by outside had accidentally seen me do it, but that's beside the point)

prepare yourself...

some fresh parsley, basil, and a few grilled shrimp would have REALLY put this meal over the top. but come on, i'm on a budget here. a little parmesean and pepper on the top and my meal was complete! next time you want a simple but ridiculously delicious dinner, try this one. trust me. and don't forget the wine.


homestyle burger and fries night

i'm calling this a "homestyle" burger and fries because, well, i made it at home! and everything was made from scratch or "homemade". the first step was to slice the potatoes (i went with yukon golds) and toss them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a roasted garlic herb dry seasoning i bought at the grocery store. these baked at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. you'll know these are done when they are light brown and you can easily slide a knife in and out.

next was the sweet balsamic caramelized red onions for the burger. it sounds fancy, but they're really simple. you slice the onions thin and slow cook them in a pan with a little butter and olive oil. the secret is cooking them low and slow.

once they get nice and light brown, you add a splash of balsamic vinegar and a pinch of sugar (depending on how many onions you're using).

the end result! please, hold all drooling until the end of the show.

bring it on burger king.


i've been trying to eat in as much as possible, and a meal that takes place every day on my comfy couch in hollywood is breakfast. i usually have some combination of the following things: eggs, cheese, ham, herbs, english muffins, toast, fruit, coffee, tea, orange juice, granola, yogurt, cereal. obviously i don't eat all of these things at once, but this breakfast just happened to be very pretty so i thought i'd share it with you.

this was a meal i had at home, hence the blanket, but not exactly a "homemade meal". on the left is a goat cheese pizza from trader joes and the other dish is a greek salad from gelson's. and once again: beer + pizza = duh.

this meal was slightly more homemade than the last, but i had a lot of help from whole foods. i bought their garlic pepper roast chicken, grilled veggies, and tortillas (and borrowed some pico de gallo--which i mixed with an avocado and hot sauce to make some quick guacamole, shredded lettuce, and cheddar cheese from the salad bar). welcome to semi-homemade meals with fanny slater. and no, my table-scape does not match my shoes.

a friend of mine that i hadn't seen in close to ten years wanted to take me out for some thai food and we went to one of her favorites in thai town. little did i know that jitladala was featured on one of my favorite food network shows: the best thing i ever ate. i opted for the tradional pad thai--my favorite--but as you can see from the book (menu) pictured above, sara and i will be going here when she comes to visit to sample all kinds of spicy things from this great place.

if i've learned anything from sara, it's that the best thing about pad pad thai leftovers..


day 1. continental breakfast at the hilton garden inn. normally a continental breakfast isn't much to blog about, but this was something special. the chef behind the counter was preparing "made-to-order farm fresh eggs" any way you like and i got mine scrambled with cheese and a side of bacon. now i'm not saying this was a 5 star breakfast, i mean, i cut and toasted the english muffin and put the sandwich together myself; but these eggs were so fluffy and so fresh, there may as well have been chickens running around the lobby.

roasted vegetable panini (roasted eggplant, zucchini, roasted red peppers, red onion, goat cheese, tahini *lemony paste made from sesame seeds* on ciabatta) from the dialog cafe in west hollywood. now, i'm a big fan of any place that serves baked cheddar and sour cream ruffles, but i'm an even BIGGER fan of a place that has "grilled nutella croissant with sliced bananas" on their breakfast menu. definitely will come back in the AM for that.

now i know this looks a little odd, but this was definitely an innovative dish for a sushi restaurant where the waiters break out in full on hip hop dancing to "jump on it" and perform a ten minute long romantic tragedy entitled "sumo love story." this was a piece of the rising sun roll (crispy fried rice, topped with avocado, spicy tuna, avocado, and jalapeno) from tokyo delves in north hollywood. live in the LA area and never heard of this place? trust me. just don't bring your kids.

the menu alone at fred 62 in los feliz is enough to blow your mind. page after page of choices. there's nothing that the chefs in this kitchen don't make. i decided to go with the cali california omelet (chicken sausage, avocado, grilled red onions, goat cheese and sundried tomatoes) and i am SO glad i did. the chicken sausage was probably the best i've ever had. if you're thinking about flipping through their menu online, clear your schedule and prepare a snack ahead of time. otherwise you'll end up hungry and empty handed. and if you're thinking to yourself "gee fanny, that omelet looks great but it's not like i actually got to enjoy seeing all the great components," no worries. i like to think ahead.

  sorry...i'm kind of messy.

when a friend told me and my sister to check out the village idiot, a smile immediately landed on my face. the village idiots are an improv troupe in raleigh who are very close to my heart. i knew the fact that those three words had followed me all the way to california meant that we were in store for something special.

seeing as it was only 5 PM and we weren't starving, my sister sarah and i decided to split a few things. first was the mezze plate shown above (grilled flatbread, spiced hummus, smoked eggplant, toasted pinenuts, and cilantro). SO yummy and flatbread tasted so homemade. we also split the butter lettuce salad (maytag blue cheese, pink lady apples, candied walnuts, and champagne vinaigrette) but somehow we dug into that before i remembered to snap a picture. but it was nonetheless, ridiculously delicious.

when we first sat down at the village idiot, the ambience of the place reminded me of a little more upscale, more california-esque version of one of my favorite downtown raleigh spots: raleigh times. the first thing that caught my eye about this place was the giant chalkboard they had covering the wall with the entire menu and wine list written on it. it was a great way to continue browsing the menu after we had ordered, instead of asking to keep it on the table. before we even ordered our waters, i looked up at the chalkboard and read "house made donuts with strawberry rhubarb jam". the only reason these weren't eaten up fast enough to get their picture taken was because they still had steam coming off of them. and i have a tendency to burn the roof of my mouth. two words: holy. crap. they should rename this place "the village get your ass in here and try our donuts....idiot."

even though this was a meal sarah and i enjoyed in our hotel room as well as in our pajamas, hence the remote control, it was a great meal regardless. at the end of a long tiring day, you just need some comfort food. and by comfort food, i mean a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich and a chili dog with relish, onions, mustard, and tomato from what appears to be a broken down train car. and by that, i mean carneys. if you love chili dogs, this is your heaven.