Archive for the ‘FOOD’ Category



cafecito de cuba | designlovefest

i am constantly updating my dream list of destinations i’d love to travel to. so as soon as it was announced that airlines would be able to fly passengers from the US to Cuba i knew i had to get there. i’ve had several friends visit and their photos of the beautiful colors, architecture and people have me itching to get down there.

cafecito de cuba | designlovefest
cafecito de cuba | designlovefest
cafecito de cuba | designlovefest
cafecito de cuba | designlovefest

Nespresso announced that they would be bringing Cuban coffee to the United States for the first time in over 50 years (exciting!) and asked me and my team if we’d like to try it. we of course jumped at the opportunity to experience a small taste of Cuba through their coffee. in Cuba, coffee is both social and a big part of local hospitality, guests are often welcomed into people’s homes with a cup of coffee. from what we learned, it’s less about the drink and more about the opportunity to take a break from your day and gather with your neighbors for a chat and bit of espresso.

so in keeping with that line of thought, i hosted a small afternoon coffee break on my back patio complete with heart shaped donuts (which is a cute take on the classic donut hole, and ended up tasting very similar to beignets) and enjoyed an hour of non-work related hang time.

cafecito de cuba | designlovefest
cafecito de cuba | designlovefest
cafecito de cuba | designlovefest

the coffee was smooth and strong, great with the addition of a sugar cube or served black next to the sweetness of the donut (recipe below if you want to make them!). we also served the donuts with two different dipping sauces that were super easy to pull together and rounded out the afternoon coffee hour. the donuts are small enough to not put you in a sugar coma but still make you feel like you’re having a little indulgence half way through the day. and, nothing pairs better with coffee then a little sugar.

cafecito de cuba | designlovefest
cafecito de cuba | designlovefest

the thing with these donuts is that once the dough has risen they are super quick to fry and then dust with sugar. so, if you wanted to make the dough beforehand you could fry them up right before serving as they are best served hot!

what you’ll need:
• 3 cups all purpose white flour + more for dusting
• 1/2 cup powdered sugar
• 3 teaspoons active dried yeast
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup of lukewarm milk
• 6 tablespoons melted butter
• 3 egg yolks
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 2 teaspoons cinnamon

• follow directions on the yeast packet and then in a large bowl mix the flour, powdered sugar, cinnamon, yeast mixture, and salt until well combined. set aside.

• in another bowl combine the milk, melted butter, egg yolks, and vanilla extract. combine both the wet and dry ingredients in the large bowl. mix until just combined, do not over mix. on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough until smooth. place in a bowl and set aside covered for about an hour and a half. or until it has doubled in size.

• roll out the risen dough and use heart shaped cookie cutters (or any shape!). fill a cast iron pan with about two inches of oil on medium heat. fry the heart shaped cutouts for about 40 seconds on each side or until golden brown. place the fried donuts onto paper towels and gently pat. cover with powdered sugar while they are still warm so that the sugar sticks well.

cafecito de cuba | designlovefest
cafecito de cuba | designlovefest

what you’ll need for the dipping sauces:
• 8 ounces heavy whipping cream
• 2 tablespoon lemon curd
• 1 cup hulled strawberries

• place the heavy whipping cream in a bowl and beat cream until medium peaks form. divide the cream into two dipping bowls. mix in the 2 tablespoons of lemon curd into one of the bowls. in a blender, place the strawberries and about 1/4 cup of water and blend until smooth. mix in the strawberry puree in the remaining dipping bowl and combine.

cafecito de cuba | designlovefest

images by: ivan solis

(this post is made in partnership with Nespresso, a coffee that we drink in our office!)



loaded oven fries | designlovefest

i love french fries. i  eat them often and am picky when it comes to the quality: crispy but not crunchy, not too thin or thick, and always served with something to dip them in. i never make them at home because i don’t like the way oven fries turn out, they are often soggy and not cooked properly through the center. but, i’m here to give you two life changing oven fry techniques – 1. cut them and then soak them in water for at least an hour. then rinse and let them dry completely. 2. don’t over oil them before baking. the extra oil keeps them from crisping up. do those two things and you’ll have perfect fries (but still not as good as mcdonalds fries)- joanie

loaded oven fries | designlovefest
loaded oven fries | designlovefest

what you’ll need:
• 4 large russet potatoes
• 1 bunch fresh parsley
• few springs of oregano
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 tablespoon garlic powder
• 1 tablespoon onion powder
• 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
• 3 garlic cloves minced
• 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
• 2 limes sliced into wedges

loaded oven fries | designlovefest

• preheat oven to 350. wash and thinly slice 4 large russet potatoes. In a large bowl, mix the potatoes with olive oil (add more oil as needed), garlic powder, onion powder, dried parsley flakes and minced garlic. we recommend not adding salt to the seasoning as the parmesan and spicy garlic drizzle will have plenty.

loaded oven fries | designlovefest
loaded oven fries | designlovefest

• place parchment paper over a baking sheet and lay the seasoned fries in a single layer (do not overlap). bake for 35 -40 minutes or until golden brown.

loaded oven fries | designlovefest
loaded oven fries | designlovefest
loaded oven fries | designlovefest

spicy garlic drizzle:
1/2 cup vegan mayo ( greek yogurt works great too!)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 teaspoon onion powder
• 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes 
1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
• half a lime squeezed
• salt and pepper to taste

loaded oven fries | designlovefest
loaded oven fries | designlovefest
loaded oven fries | designlovefest

• for the spicy garlic drizzle, in a medium bowl, mix the vegan mayo, garlic powder, onion powder, dried parsley flakes, Sriracha sauce, half a lime squeezed and salt and pepper to taste. put into a squeeze bottle and set aside in the fridge until ready to use.

loaded oven fries | designlovefest

• place fries on a serving platter and garnish with chopped parsley, shredded parmesan cheese and a drizzle of the spicy garlic drizzle. we served ours with lime wedges. enjoy!

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





as an adult i get invited to a lot of parties and events that ask for you to bring something to pass, or pot luck style meals. i’m often the one bringing items from the whole foods prepared bar due to lack of time but i’m here today to show you an easy dessert hack. king arthur flour recently came out with a line of packaged mixes called essential goodness that offers the convenience of a boxed mix but without any artificial colors, hydrogenated oils, preservatives and as a bonus – they are non-GMO (which is verrry hard to find with packaged food!). -joanie


we tested out the vanilla bean cheesecake bars which were delicious and served them with fresh berries, mint and a drizzle of white chocolate to make them worthy of your next dinner party.

what you’ll need:
• 1 box essential goodness vanilla bean cheesecake
• 4 tablespoons butter
• 8 ounces cream cheese
• 1 bag white chocolate chips
• fresh mint
• 2 cups strawberries and 1 cup raspberries

to assemble:
• follow the direction on the box to make the bars and put them in the refrigerator for at least three hours.


• next, thinly slice 1 cup of your strawberries and arrange on top of your bars into desired pattern.


• chop remaining strawberries and raspberries and place in a bowl (this is optional but we used it as a garnish once the bars were cut).  


• to melt the chocolate either use a double boiler or pour a small amount of water in the bottom of a sauce pan on medium heat and put a smaller glass bowl on top with the chocolate in it. add the white chocolate chips and stir constantly until melted. spoon into a quart size zip-lock bag. cut one corner of the bag off and drizzle across your bars.


ta-da! looks beautiful and couldn’t be easier!

p.s. all the mixes are under $5 and you can purchase them in-stores or online, here!


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

(this post was created in partnership with king arthur flour a company we support). 



pork rice bowls |designlovefest

there is a restaurant by my house called pine&crane and they serve a really simple minced pork bowl that is full of flavor and the perfect simple dinner. i knew i wanted to re-create it for you all with a few additional items and it turned out perfectly. the tang of lime juice with the saltiness of the meat and the crunch of the cabbage is spot on. and who doesn’t love a runny egg?! enjoy! – joanie 

pork rice bowls |designlovefest
pork rice bowls |designlovefest

makes 4 servings 

what you’ll need:
• 1 pound ground pork
• 1 shallot
• 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
• 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon fish sauce
• 4 eggs hardboiled to your liking
• green onions diced
• 2 limes
• pickled purple cabbage
• 1 english cucumber
• 4 baby bok choy
• 3/4 cup canned coconut milk
• 2 cups white rice
• 2 cups vegetable stock
• olive oil
• 2 cups roasted cashews

pork rice bowls |designlovefest
pork rice bowls |designlovefest

in a medium pot heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium to low heat. thinly chop 1 shallot and cook until lightly browned. stirring constantly as to not burn. add 2 cups white rice with 3/4 cup canned coconut milk, 2 cups vegetable stock, and one cup water. salt and pepper to taste and cover and allow to cook for about 25 minutes on low heat or until rice is tender and fluffy.

pork rice bowls |designlovefest
pork rice bowls |designlovefest
pork rice bowls |designlovefest

in a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. Add the ground pork and begin to break it apart so that it cook evenly and the pink begins to brown. add the rice vinegar, low sodium soy sauce, and fish sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to low and let the pork cook in its own juices for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. you may also cook for longer periods of time if you like the pork to be crispier.

pork rice bowls |designlovefest
pork rice bowls |designlovefest

in a separate pot, quickly blanch the baby bok choy in boiling water.

dice a few sprigs of green onions and quarter the limes into wedges. thinly slice the english cucumber.

to assemble scoop a layer of rice in the bottom of your bowl, then add the ground pork. serve with the baby bok choy, pickled purple cabbage, roasted cashews, sliced cucumbers, and green onions. top with the hardboiled eggs and serve with a lime wedge.

pork rice bowls |designlovefest

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

more food posts HERE!



ceviche | designlovefest

we’re constantly working on creating food and recipes for you that are equally beautiful and practical. it’s really important to me that we bring you recipes that will actual work when you test them and that won’t let you down in how they taste because that’s what really matters. we also really focus on meals and foods that are approachable for an everyday cook and that don’t require a lot of time or bizarre ingredients. it isn’t always easy to find that combo but it’s always the goal! this ceviche recipe is just that, beautiful, practical, approachable and delicious! obviously, the fresh fish aspect of it is the most important. the citrus actually cooks the fish when you add it so you don’t need to worry about bacteria but you do need to worry about freshness. you don’t want even the remote taste of fishiness or it will ruin it. we recommend telling the person at your market what you’re using the fish for and what came in most recently. and the homemade chip aspect, don’t even get me started, i never want to buy corn chips again! – joanie

ceviche | designlovefest

makes 4 servings

what you’ll need:
• half a pound of white fish (we used tilapia, wild caught is preferable)
• 2 lemons squeezed
• 1 bunch cilantro chopped
• 1 large grapefruit peeled and hulled
• 1 jalapeño
• 2 persian cucumbers chopped
• quarter red onion diced
• 1-2 avocados diced
• 6-8 tortillas
• 1 tablespoon paprika
• sea salt
• grapeseed oil

ceviche | designlovefest

ceviche: chop the tilapia into small cubes and mix with two squeezed lemons in a ceramic bowl or glass bowl. Add salt to taste. Mix in the cilantro, grapefruit, Persian cucumbers, red onion, avocados and jalapeño. We de-stemmed our jalapeño and left a few seeds to add a little kick to our ceviche. Set aside in the refrigerator and let it sit in its juices for at least an hour ( this process will cook the fish from the salt and acidity in the lemons).

ceviche | designlovefest
ceviche | designlovefest

paprika chips: put 6-8 tortillas in a stack and cut into quarters. On a cast iron skillet heat 4 tablespoons of grapeseed oil on medium to high heat. Reduce heat if oil begins to smoke. Fry the tortilla quarters for about a minute on each side or until crispy and golden brown. Set aside on paper towels and gently tap any excess oil. Repeat the process until all chips have been fried.

Using a pestle and mortar grind the paprika and sea salt into a fine powder. Garnish the chips with the paprika salt.

ceviche | designlovefest
ceviche | designlovefest
ceviche | designlovefest
ceviche | designlovefest

Serve with your favorite hot sauce and enjoy!



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