Archive for the ‘FOOD’ Category



roasted cauliflower salad | designlovefest

i buy at least one cauliflower a week from the grocery store or farmers market. i always have lofty plans of attempting to make the fried cauliflower from the Jerusalem cookbook but i end up taking the easy way out and roasting it in a cast iron pan because it’s so delicious and easy. i think the secret to a good roasted cauliflower is to keep cooking it and when you think it’s done cook it some more. i wash mine, slice it and place it in a pan with some olive oil and garlic salt and pepper. i generally roast it for about 45 minutes – an hour (or more if needed!) at 425. taking it out and stirring it just a couple of times during the cook time. i also like it with a little hot chili oil and red pepper flakes on top for some spice.

roasted cauliflower salad | designlovefest

we decided to make roasted cauliflower salad today and i’m really happy with how it turned out. the sweetness of the maple bacon and the freshness of the mint were a killer combo. give it a try or make your own version and tell us how it goes! – joanie

roasted cauliflower salad | designlovefest
roasted cauliflower salad | designlovefest
roasted cauliflower salad | designlovefest
roasted cauliflower salad | designlovefest

roasted cauliflower salad
serves: 4

• 1 head cauliflower
• 4 strips of bacon
• 1 small shallot, minced
• 1/2 cup currants
• 1/4 cup fresh chopped mint
• pesto – either store bought or make your own by putting 2 cups fresh packed basil, 1/2 cup walnuts, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1-2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, and juice of one lemon in the blender or food processor and blend until smooth. add more olive oil if it’s too thick.

roasted cauliflower salad | designlovefest
roasted cauliflower salad | designlovefest

• preheat oven to 425. next cut your cauliflower into pieces, put in roasting pan and top with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. mix together and put in oven, should take about 45 minutes to cook. 5 minutes before it’s done roasting, take it out and add the currants, mix and return to the oven to finish.

• while the cauliflower is in there you can add the bacon to start cooking in the oven on another rack, place foil on the pan, place bacon on top and cook for about 10-15 minutes or until crispy. you can also cook on the stove top. remove and break into pieces, set aside.

• while everything is cooking chop the mint and shallots.

• to assemble add everything in a bowl, top with the pesto and fresh black pepper and serve warm!

roasted cauliflower salad | designlovefest
roasted cauliflower salad | designlovefest

images by: ivan solis
styling by: joanie cusack + ivan solis



cookbook club | designlovefest

last month we had our second cookbook club meet up and this time the book we selected was Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and let me tell ya it was a hit! (you can read about our cookbook club here and what we made last month) every dish we made this time was so good, full of flavor, fresh and interesting. i really love his book and the intro is especially beautiful on his appreciation and understanding for Jerusalem and the rich history it carries for many people of different religions and backgrounds. victoria actually selected the book but it was pretty perfect timing as i had just returned from israel two days before and was able to pick up some spices for my dish during my time there. (ps, i am still putting together my israel travel post for you guys!)

cookbook club | designlovefest
cookbook club | designlovefest

here are the dishes we made/tried: 

victoria made the braised chicken and it was unbelievably good. she said it was time intensive but the chicken was fall of the bone tender and so flavorful. it called for chicken thighs and to be marinated over night and cooked with whole lemons. it was a real win! we gave her the grand prize.

elizabeth made the cauliflower with hazelnuts. it was the perfect weekday side dish for dinner. and she said it was very easy.

turkey meatballs – i (joanie) was really impressed with the ease of this dish. i love how many fresh herbs it used and also the grated zucchini added a ton of moisture and upped the veggie count! i ended up having to add bread crumbs because i didn’t let the moisture out of the zucchini well enough. really what i should have done and would do in the future is grate it, put it in a colander, sprinkle with salt, let sit for 15 minutes and then push the extra juice out of it. it’s amazing how much liquid they hold! the sauce that this recipe calls for is amazing and really makes the whole dish. i feel like this one is really family friendly. – joanie

bri – i made the squash with pine nuts, tzakiki, and za’atar. hardest part was cutting the squash (but i’m weak). the rest was a breeze. it gives more specific instructions on roasting (skin side down etc) but i just threw them in a cast iron pan and gave it a stir once or twice and it came out great. will definitely make that again!

cookbook club | designlovefest

jesse is hosting the next one on monday and the book is It’s All Good by Gwyneth Paltrow. if you’ve made something you loved from her book let me know!

cookbook club | designlovefest



greek bowls | designlovefest

ivan has a very specific memory of going to the mall with his family growing up and eating greek bowls in the food court. it’s a memory he loves and an experience that introduced him to greek food, something he still loves today. he really wanted to re-create it for the blog and i’m so glad we did. i love that we used chicken thighs instead of breasts as the meat turned out really moist. the bowl is packed with veggies and really full of flavor, it’s a real crowd pleaser! enjoy! – joanie

greek bowls | designlovefest

greek bowls
serves 4

chicken thighs:
• 6 chicken thighs (boneless, skinless)
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 teaspoon paprika
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 3 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 lemon

greek salad:
• 4 persian cucumbers
• quarter red onion
• 1 cup cherry tomatoes
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 tablespoon
• 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano

for the bowls:
• 2 cups Jasmine rice
• 6 oz feta
• fresh parsley for garnish
•shredded romaine lettuce
• olives
• tzatziki

greek bowls | designlovefest

• in a medium bowl mix together the olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, rice vinegar, dried oregano, and salt. add the chicken to the marinade and let sit for at least 30 minutes in the fridge. in a frying pan cook the chicken thighs on low to medium for about 6 minutes on each side; until chicken is no longer pink inside and has a nice browned outside. remove from heat, squeeze the lemon on top. cover with foil and set aside. chop before serving!

• cook the 1 cup of rice according to the packaging directions.

• to make the greek salad, chop the cucumbers, red onion, cherry tomatoes. mix well with the olive oil, red wine vinegar and dried oregano. add salt and pepper to taste.

greek bowls | designlovefest
greek bowls | designlovefest
greek bowls | designlovefest
greek bowls | designlovefest

to assemble bowls add the rice, chicken and greek salad, garnish with shredded romaine lettuce, olives, tzatziki, feta cheese and parsley.

greek bowls | designlovefest
greek bowls | designlovefest
greek bowls | designlovefest

photos by: ivan solis
styling by: ivan solis and joanie cusack



ginger soy salmon | designlovefest

and we’re back with another salmon dish! we prepared this one with white rice because as much as i like brown rice (and its health benefits) white rice is just where it’s at sometimes. i love how the sauce soaks into the rice leaving it full of flavor. in an effort to cut down on prep time, we did not marinate the salmon, we simply prepared the sauce and drizzled it over the fish after cooking and before serving. that worked really well as the sauce didn’t have time to cook off with the heat. my favorite way to prepare the fish is to brush with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and than prepare a cast iron pan with avocado oil. get the pan really hot over a medium/high flame and than put the fish on. 3-4 minute per side. remove and cover for a few minutes before serving! – joanie

ginger soy salmon | designlovefest

ginger soy salmon
serves: 2 
what you’ll need:
• 2 salmon fillets, 4-6 ounces each
• 2 teaspoons ginger paste
• 2 tablespoons soy sauce
• 2 teaspoons sesame oil
• basil or other fresh herbs like thyme or mint as garnish
• 1 cup uncooked white rice
• 1 bunch of broccolini
• 1 teaspoon white rice vinegar
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1 tablespoon brown sugar

ginger soy salmon | designlovefest

• cook your white rice according to the package’s direction. set aside. in a large pan (preferably cast iron) heat 2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil on medium/high heat. once hot, place the salmon fillets on the skillet and cook on each side for about 3 minutes. set salmon aside.

• wash and dry the broccolini and sauté in the same pan you cooked the salmon in while it is still hot.

ginger soy salmon | designlovefest

• for the ginger soy glaze mix together the ginger paste, soy sauce, sesame oil, white rice vinegar, and brown sugar in a mixing bowl. in a small sauce pan bring the ingredients to a simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes or until it has begin to thicken.

• to assemble have a bed of white rice and place the salmon and broccolini on top. drizzle with the ginger soy glaze and garish with fresh sprigs of basil or other fresh herbs.

ginger soy salmon | designlovefest
ginger soy salmon | designlovefest

it’s that easy! serve and enjoy.

images by: ivan solis



flatbreads | designlovefest

i’m sure you probably get sick of us saying,” this is so easy!” about every recipe but our focus is to create simple and delicious meals that you can easily re-create at home and this is one of them! we used flatbread as the base of our pizza which you can find at any store and assembled them with a variety of toppings and cooked them for just 10 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and golden. you can have fun playing with the toppings, i made a sweet corn and tomato version of this last night and it was excellent. – joanie

flatbreads | designlovefest
flatbreads | designlovefest
flatbreads | designlovefest
flatbreads | designlovefest

what you’ll need:
• 1 package of flatbreads
• 3 cups basil
• 1 tablespoon pinenuts
• 1/2 lemon squeezed
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 tablespoon shredded parmesan cheese
• 8 oz Italian seasoned ground pork
• 2 red skinned potatoes cooked and sliced
• dry oregano for garnish
• 8 oz mozzarella cheese slices
• salt to taste

flatbreads | designlovefest
flatbreads | designlovefest

set oven to 400 degrees. cook the ground seasoned pork on medium heat, around 5 minutes or until browned and no longer pink. set aside.

to make the pesto, in a food processor add the basil, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and basil. pulse on low until well blended. while blending slowly add the olive oil. salt to taste

flatbreads | designlovefest
flatbreads | designlovefest

set all the ingredients by the flatbreads to assemble. lightly brush each flatbread with olive oil, add slices of mozzarella, a few dollops of pesto, slices of red skinned potatoes, seasoned ground pork. bake for 8-10 minutes. for a crispy flatbread set the oven to broil checking every 30 seconds until the toppings are golden brown. remove from oven.

garnish flatbread pizzas with dried oregano, shredded parmesan cheese, fresh basil leaves and pesto.

flatbreads | designlovefest

photos by: ivan solis
styling by: joanie cusack and ivan solis 

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