Archive for the ‘FOOD’ Category

03.28.17

TRADER JOE’S PICKS 2

trader joe's favorites | desisgnlovefest

a couple of years ago we created this post of all of our favorite items to pick up at Trader Joe’s. we had a great time putting it together but one of the best outcomes of that post were the amazing comments left by people sharing what they buy and the recipes they make with their favorite tj’s items. the comments are gold, seriously, check them out. since trade joe’s adds new items to their store monthly we thought it was time for an update to that post. below are more of our favorites plus two easy side dishes that we love to make. please comment with anything we missed or ideas/recipes you’ve been loving to make. we’re always looking for new items to try and your comments are the best way to find those items!

the items above are our favorite baking and condiment items: organic tahini for homemade hummus, the most addicting garlic spread that i put on everything, nutritional yeast for making cashew cheese and sprinkling on popcorn, their cake mix is great and my friend makes it with adding orange zest to punch up the flavor, you’d never know it was store bought when you taste it, blanched almond flour for almond cookies and gluten free baking, the grass fed buffalo milk butter is a stand out to me. i’m a big believer in butter and this one is made with wholesome ingredients. their garlic salt grinder with a mixture of four seasonings for adding flavor to any dish. the mixed nut butter is something i had been wanting to find for a long time after having it in an acai bowl, individual coconut oil packets are great if you’re into oil pulling like i am. ghee for its many benefits  and also the avocado oil for it’s lower price tag and high smoke point.

trader joe's favorites | desisgnlovefest

sweet potato fries with garlic deep
serves 4
• 2 organic sweet potatoes
• 3 tablespoons avocado oil
• garlic salt grinder
• garlic spread

trader joe's favorites | desisgnlovefest

– preheat your oven to 400 degrees. thinly slice the sweet potatoes, soak them in water for a few minutes, rinse until the water runs clear. dry them completely. put them in a bowl with the avocado oil. i like to use the tj’s garlic salt grinder because it has sea salt, roasted garlic, onion and parsley all in one. grind generously over fries, toss to coat and then lay in a single layer on a baking sheet. bake for about 7-10 minutes on each side. serve with garlic spread!

trader joe's favorites | desisgnlovefest

simple bruschetta crostini
• 1 organic baguette
• 1 jar tomato bruschetta (in the canned aisle)
• whole milk mozzarella cheese

• pre-heat broiler. thinly slice desired amount of baguette. lay in a single layer on baking sheet. spoon bruschetta spread onto each. cover with a thin piece of mozzarella cheese. broil until golden and bubbly 2-4 minutes.

trader joe's favorites | desisgnlovefest

and you cannot forget the snacks! their red pepper dip is a great additional to any cheese, meat and bread appetizer set up, whole milk plain yogurt with cream top – i think i jumped up and down when i first found this, inner peas – if you don’t know about this addicting snack, now you know, bruschetta spread as mentioned above, sliced brioche for french toast or just a decadent peanut butter and jelly. this bread is normally hard to track down and it comes pre-sliced, win win! ancient grain granola to pair with that yogurt – it’s packed with goodness like buckwheat groats, chia seeds and red quinoa, pb&j chocolate bar – the perfect little indulgence, their hawaiian style chips are the best, bbq is my favorite, super seed mix if you’re like me and don’t want to keep all sorts of random packs of seeds and grains in your pantry for your smoothies, tabbouli – love this with everything, especially brown rice and a runny egg, shishito peppers – pan fry with a little oil until they are blistered, yum!

03.27.17

NEW KITCHEN TOOLS

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as you know, joanie and ivan are the good chefs around these parts, but watching them cook all the time and now having a boyfriend who’s a great cook…i’ve been inspired! slowly but surely i’ve been practicing more lately and finding a lot of joy in it. i think i always felt intimidated in the kitchen. my parents rarely cooked and so i didn’t really grow up learning recipes or hanging out in the kitchen too often. lately i’ve been making a recipe and then cooking it a few more times until i think it’s perfect. this has helped my confidence in the kitchen!

over the past year i’ve been acquiring more kitchen tools to make my kitchen feel complete. some are splurges but i use them quite often. i used to have a bunch of cheap tools from ikea or from college and never wanted to cook because i hated the way those looked or functioned (i know, i’m a bit crazy like that) once i upgraded some of my items i found myself inspired and excited to be in the kitchen. what can i say, i’m a visual person.

here’s my current kitchen list!

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03.21.17

FARRO SALAD

farro salad | designlovefest

farro is a grain that i often overlook. i’ll make brown rice or quinoa but never farro. i attended a baby shower last weekend with a great farro salad and it made me want to make one for all us. my aunt has been raving about the vinaigrette from Nobu (recipe here) which gave it an asian kick but it would also be good with a drizzle of quality olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. we also used pearl mozzarella instead of the more traditional feta that you often see in these types of salads and i much preferred the mozzarella for its milder taste, it didn’t over power the other flavors. also, as a side note – i just read an article about why homemade salads aren’t as good as restaurant salads and they said it’s important to salt your greens. seems obvious but something i often overlook. what are you making these days? i’m always looking for new ideas. especially quick, easy dinners that include some type of vegetable because i’m terrible at eating them! – joanie

farro salad | designlovefest
farro salad | designlovefest

what you’ll need
serves 5
• 2 cups uncooked farro
• 1 cucumber
• 1 lemon
• 1 pint cherry tomatoes
• arugula
• red onion
• fresh herbs of your choosing – parsley, mint, cilantro (whatever you have on hand!)
• peral mozzarella

farro salad | designlovefest
farro salad | designlovefest
farro salad | designlovefest

• start by cooking your farro as it will take about 30 minutes or so. then chop all of your veggies, this salad is super adaptable so you can easily edit with what you have on hand. mix up the dressing (recipe here!). put a large spoonful of farro in a bowl, top as desired with chopped vegetables and cheese, drizzle with dressing and serve!

farro salad | designlovefest

styling by: joanie cusack and ivan solis
photos by: ivan solis
see more recipes here

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03.16.17

QUINOA CRUSTED CHICKEN SALAD

quinoa crusted chicken | designlovefest

we just returned from a few days in austin where we indulged in so much good food. we were on a mission to try as many restaurants as possible in our short time there so we really had to pace ourselves. it was well worth it! now i’m back home and ready to get in the grove of cooking for myself instead of eating out. ivan has been wanting to make quinoa crusted chicken for awhile now and we decided to give it a go. i’m always a little cautious of recipes that require frying but this was simple and hard to mess up. you could season the chicken a number of ways and i also think it would work with zucchini to make it vegetarian. the salad can be a combination of anything you have on hand and want to throw together to make a “house salad” of sorts. and the dressing is from Ivan’s mom, it’s the right kick of lemon without being overpowering. you could also skip the salad and just make straight up chicken tenders, always a good option! – joanie

quinoa crusted chicken | designlovefest

quinoa crusted chicken tenders:
• 3-4 thinly sliced chicken breasts
• 2 cups quinoa flakes (found in health food stores)
• 1 cup flour (seasoned with a bit of salt, pepper, oregano, smoked paprika or Italian seasoning)
• salt and pepper
• 2 eggs whisked

quinoa crusted chicken | designlovefest
quinoa crusted chicken | designlovefest

house salad:
• 3 romaine hearts
•  1 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes halved 
• 1 medium cucumber diced
• 1 cup shaved parmesan
• 1 12oz jar of artichoke hearts (jarred not canned!)

dressing: 
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 1 lemon juiced
• 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (more to taste)
• 1 teaspoon mustard
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano

quinoa crusted chicken | designlovefest

• I like to buy chicken breasts that are already thinly sliced, it cuts down on cooking time and cooks more evenly. you could always pound the chicken breast too to make it thinner. cut the chicken breasts into long strips. season with salt and pepper. whip two eggs in a small bowl and set aside. coat the chicken in the flour, continue to dip each one in the egg and then coat with the quinoa flakes. quinoa flakes are steam rolled, so cooking them ahead of time is not necessary. if you can’t find them in store you can buy them here on amazon.

quinoa crusted chicken | designlovefest
quinoa crusted chicken | designlovefest
quinoa crusted chicken | designlovefest

• in a medium frying pan, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. cook the chicken for about 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. set aside on paper towels to absorb excess oil.

quinoa crusted chicken | designlovefest

• to make the salad, chop the romaine hearts and add the cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, artichoke hearts, and parmesan cheese. for the dressing, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, rice vinegar, mustard, salt and dried oregano in a small bowl and whisk together. drizzle over the salad and toss! top with the chicken and enjoy!

quinoa crusted chicken | designlovefest

styling by: joanie cusack and ivan solis
photos by: ivan solis
see more recipes here

 

03.06.17

CHURROS WITH CHOCOLATE SAUCE

churros with chocolate sauce | designlovefest
churros with chocolate sauce | designlovefest

this is my family’s go-to chocolate sauce recipe and i haven’t found anything that beats it. the source is the original Joy of Cooking but it is not included in their current version of the cookbook. we typically serve it over ice cream or dip graham crackers into it but today we decided to pair it with churros. something ivan and i have been wanting to make for awhile. the chocolate sauce is insanely easy to put together and can be made right before serving. it has this great granulated texture and it’s not too sweet which is key. it keeps well in the refrigerator and can be re-heated as needed. i hope you make it and love it as much as we do. if you’re short on time and hosting a party i’d say skip the churros, buy some ice cream at the store and just make the chocolate sauce. also, we show chocolate chips in the picture but that’s because it’s all we had on hand. buy bars of unsweetened chocolate – joanie

churros with chocolate sauce | designlovefest
churros with chocolate sauce | designlovefest

churros (adapted from allrecipes.com
makes 16 mini sized churros 
• 2 cups water
• 2 cups all purpose flour
• 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 3 tablespoons sugar
• 4 tablespoons coconut oil
• 3 1/2 tablespoons white sugar (plus more for coating)
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon salt
• canola oil

hot chocolate sauce:
12 servings 
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 4 oz good quality unsweetened chocolate (bars or squares not chocolate chips even though that’s what we show)
• 1 cup half and half
• 3 tablespoons butter
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

churros with chocolate sauce | designlovefest
churros with chocolate sauce | designlovefest

to make the chocolate sauce: mix all of the ingredients except for the vanilla in a sauce pan and heat. stir until dissolved and it comes to a boil. boil without stirring for 7 minutes. remove from heat and add vanilla.

to make the churros: in a medium pot, heat 2 cup of water on medium heat. mix in the sugar, coconut oil, vanilla extract, salt ad bring to a boil. remove from heat and add in the 2 cups of flour. stir all the ingredients using a rubber spatula until mixture forms into a ball. in a cast iron skillet heat canola oil to 375 degrees F. its a good idea to fill up the cast iron skillet about 1-2 inches of oil so that the churros will cook more evenly.

churros with chocolate sauce | designlovefest
churros with chocolate sauce | designlovefest

• fill a piping bag with a medium star tip on the end. once the oil is hot squeeze out long strips and cut with scissors to the desired length. fry until golden brown on all sides, about 1 minute (if the oil is too hot they will brown quickly and not cook on the inside). once cooked, remove churros onto paper towels to soak excess oil and to cool a bit. in a small bowl mix 1/2 cup white sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. roll churros in the sugar and coat evenly. serve with the hot chocolate sauce.

churros with chocolate sauce | designlovefest

styling by: joanie cusack and ivan solis
photos by: ivan solis
see more recipes here

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