Archive for the ‘FOOD’ Category



spring rolls | designlovefest

i love spring rolls and almost always order them as a starter if it’s an option on the menu. there are of course many traditional ways to make them and they’ve always seemed a bit intimidating to me. mastering the rice paper, the wrapping, the right ratio, etc. we decided to make our own version and make them hearty enough to serve for dinner. i know i always say this but they really couldn’t be easier. don’t let the wrapping keep you from making these, they’re simple and taste good with a variety of ingredients and dipping sauces. give it a go and let us know how you like it! – joanie

spring rolls | designlovefest
spring rolls | designlovefest

what you’ll need:
serves 4-5
• 2 strips flank steak
• 1 package rice paper
• 1 package glass noodles
• 1 bunch of radishes thinly sliced
• 1 medium avocado sliced
• 1 bunch of mint
• 1 bunch of basil
• Persian cucumbers thinly sliced
• peanut dipping sauce
• 3 tablespoons soy sauce
• 3 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
• 2 tablespoons oil
for serving: use any dipping sauces you desire or can find at your local grocery store! 
• peanut dipping sauce
• limes for garnish

spring rolls | designlovefest

• in a bowl, marinate the flank steak with the Sriracha, soy sauce and oil for about 2 hours (you can cut down on this time if needed). once marinated cook in a pan on medium heat. cooking on each side for about 2- 3 minutes or until browned. cover with foil, let sit for about 10 minutes and cut into thin strips and set aside.

• in a sauce pan bring water to a boil and cook the glass noodles for 5-6 minutes. drain and rinse with cold water.

spring rolls | designlovefest
spring rolls | designlovefest
spring rolls | designlovefest

• on a dry clean surface lay out your ingredients to assemble your spring rolls. the sliced avocado, glass noodles, basil, mint, cucumbers, radishes. have a large bowl of warm water for the rice paper. submerge the rice paper until it has softened, about 30 – 90 seconds. remove from the water and lay on the dry surface. layer with the ingredients in the middle and fold over each side longways first and then the ends. cut the rolls in half and dip with your favorite peanut sauce. we also served ours with a sweet habanero sauce as an option.

spring rolls | designlovefest

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



frozen margaritas | designlovefest

we make a lot of margaritas at home but they’re always on the rocks, never frozen. i love the idea of making a big batch of frozen margaritas for a party and handing them out to your guests on a hot summer day. we created a base that’s delicious on it’s own but can also be adapted with the addition of fruit (we used watermelon, frozen mango and pineapple). the classic version is a great stand alone and if you don’t mind it being tart you can leave out the simple syrup for less sugar. the fruit flavored ones are definitely party worthy and require minimal effort if you’d like to give them a try! you can keep the garnishes simple, a salted rim, sliced limes and fruit or add a couple of edible flowers like we did. from a hosting perspective, i also appreciate that you can make an entire blender full and use it to serve five people instead of having to shake up individual ones on the rocks! and, Cinco De Mayo is next friday if you’re looking for an excuse to whip these up! – joanie

frozen margaritas | designlovefest

frozen margaritas
serves 5 (or 2, we don’t judge)
• 3/4 cup silver tequila
• 1/4 cup cointreau
• 1/4 cup simple syrup (leave this out if you want the limited sugar version)
• 2/3 cup fresh lime juice ( juice of 5-6 limes)
• 5- 7 cups ice

to make the fruit flavored options select one of the follow to add to the above:
• 2 cups frozen pineapple
• 2 cups frozen watermelon
• 2 cups frozen mango
if you’re adding the fruit you’re going to want to add a 1/4 cup more of tequila.

frozen margaritas | designlovefest
frozen margaritas | designlovefest

• pour everything into your blender. start with only 5 cups of ice and add more as needed, we wanted ours to be thick, where you could eat it with a spoon so we added all 7 cups. blend on high, if the blender gets stuck wait a few minutes until some of the ice melts and blend again. we made the classic version first and used it as a base for adding other frozen fruit.

frozen margaritas | designlovefest
frozen margaritas | designlovefest

we all agreed that pineapple was our favorite! also, as a note – the watermelon needs to be really ripe in order for the flavor to hold up against all of the ice.

frozen margaritas | designlovefest
frozen margaritas | designlovefest

you could also add a couple of slices of jalapeño if you’re looking to make it spicy!

frozen margaritas | designlovefest
frozen margaritas | designlovefest

let us know if you make them! we love to hear your feedback! Xx

frozen margaritas | designlovefest
frozen margaritas | designlovefest

photos by: Ivan Solis



spring pasta | designlovefest

few foods are as versatile and easy as pasta. when my college boyfriend said he was making me dinner it was most likely pasta with sauce from a jar which i was more than happy to partake in. although i don’t eat as much pasta as i did back in the day there is still a time and a place for it. i love this recipe because it’s really fast, you make the sauce from scratch and you could use a variety of veggies. we did peas, shallots and mint but you could easily swap in zucchini, asparagus, cauliflower, yellow squash, etc. spring is such an exciting time because the produce options are endless. the sauce for this was a simple combination of cream, parmesan cheese and eggs. three things that most people will have on hand and so easy that you have no excuse to use sauce from a jar. it also requires a very generous squeeze of lemon, don’t skimp on that part. you could even add a bit of lemon zest after plating if you’re feeling fancy – joanie

spring pasta | designlovefest
spring pasta | designlovefest
spring pasta | designlovefest
spring pasta | designlovefest

what you’ll need:
• 1 package fettuccine (ours was 8 servings) 
• 3 egg yolks
• 2 cups sugar snap peas (some shelled, some whole).
• 1 lemon
• 1/2 shallot thinly sliced
• 6oz (about 3/4 cup) heavy whipping cream
• 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
• 1 package burrata
• 1- 2 teaspoons salt
• 2 small handfuls of mint diced

spring pasta | designlovefest

• cook the noodles as directed on the box. drain the pasta but reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

• to make the sauce whisk the egg yolks, heavy whipping cream, 1 teaspoon salt and parmesan until well mixed. pour the sauce over the pasta stirring until well combined, add the 1/2 cup of pasta water and squeeze juice of half a lemon on top. taste, add more salt if needed and set aside.

• in a separate pan, heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. lightly fry the thinly sliced shallots, 1-2 minutes or until translucent and starting to turn brown. add the sugar snap peas, cook an additional 2-3 minutes, add salt and set aside.

spring pasta | designlovefest
spring pasta | designlovefest
spring pasta | designlovefest

• to assemble, twirl a few nests of fettuccine on a plate. top with the peas with the shallots, a small scoop of burrata, garnish with parmesan, mint and a squeeze of lemon. enjoy!

spring pasta | designlovefest

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



chicken curry | designlovefest

i was so happy to read all of the feedback you left on the last post. it really is so helpful and i love hearing how the recipes are being perceived by you as it can be hard to tell from our one sided perspective. it’s also really nice to hear that you’ve made something and loved it. that’s the ultimate compliment. so keep the feedback/questions/concerns coming, we’re listening! i love curry, i generally make it using the bottled sauce from Trader Joe’s but Ivan promised that this version was almost as easy and he was right.  it’s also nice to be able to adjust the seasonings to your desired spicy level and ultimately you end up saving money buying the spices and using canned coconut milk. he made the sauce in a blender and then let it gently simmer over the veggies and chicken. it was delicious and not too mango-y for those who don’t like it sweet. the steps are simple – cook the rice, boil the potatoes, brown the chicken + veggies, blend the sauce + combined everything together! – joanie 

chicken curry | designlovefest
chicken curry | designlovefest

chicken curry
recipe adapted from carlsbad cravings
what you’ll need:
• 1 cup frozen mango cubed
• 1 cup salsa verde (from the jar)
• 1 teaspoon paprika
• 1 teaspoon chili powder
• 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
• 1 teaspoon curry powder (Trader Joe’s)
• 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
• 1 can full fat coconut milk

everything else: 
• 2-3 chicken breasts thinly sliced
• 3 red skinned potatoes cubed
•  1 cup basmati rice
• olive oil
• 3 bell peppers thinly sliced (red and yellow)
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 2 limes (garnish)
• cilantro (garnish)

chicken curry | designlovefest

how to make: 
• in a small sauce pan heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium heat. lightly toast basmati rice about 1-2 minutes. cover with 2 cups water and bring to a simmer. cook for 15 minutes or until water has dissolved and rice is cooked and fluffy. set aside

• in another sauce pan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil and add the red skinned potatoes. cook for 10-15 until potatoes are tender. drain and set aside.

• in a large pan heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. cook the chicken and the bell peppers for about 4 minutes on each side. turn heat on low.

chicken curry | designlovefest
chicken curry | designlovefest

• to make the curry, combine the mango, salsa verde, paprika, chili powder, cayenne, curry powder, coconut sugar and coconut milk and salt in a blender. blend until smooth. pour the curry over the chicken and peppers. mix in the potatoes and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes.

serve with basmati rice, limes and garnish with cilantro. we also served ours with naan (trader joe’s has a great one!).

chicken curry | designlovefest
chicken curry | designlovefest

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




bri here! i’ve been cooking a lot more recently and i keep finding myself driving to work or laying in my bed thinking up new ideas for recipes. i can tell i’ve officially becoming interested in it! i really enjoy the time i have with my boyfriend in the morning before he goes to work and i always like to make breakfast for us to have together, even if it’s quick. i’ve been perfecting my 10 minute breakfast tacos and they’re finally ready to share with you guys. easy and delicious! for this recipe we added ivan’s salsa verde to them and it was a great flavor addition! let’s make em… xx -bri


makes 5-6 tacos 

breakfast tacos:
• 6 eggs
• quarter red onion diced
• 1 large handful of cilantro chopped
• 3 green onions chopped
• 1 to 2 medium avocados
• cotija cheese
• 2-3 limes
• 6 corn tortillas


to make the tacos, first scramble 6 eggs and cook to your liking. assemble by adding a few spoonfuls of scrambled eggs onto each heated tortillas. garnish with red onion, green onion, avocado, cotija cheese, lime juice, cilantro and the creamy salsa verde.


creamy salsa verde:
• 1 jalapeno
• 1/2 avocado
• 2 dollops of sour cream
• 1/2 yellow onion
• 5-6 tomatillos
• 3-4 teaspoons salt
• 1 small lime juiced


to make the creamy salsa verde, remove husk from tomatillos and wash thoroughly. cut into halves and place on a heated cast iron skillet on medium heat. peel and halve a yellow onion and also place on the cast iron. roast for about 5-10 minutes, turning over the ingredients occasionally. place the tomatillos and onion in a blender and add half an avocado, sour cream, 1 jalapeño (remove seeds according to how spicy you like it to be) salt and 1 small lime juiced. blend until smooth. Keep the creamy salsa verde in the fridge to cool until ready to serve. the salsa keeps well in the fridge for a week and can be used to top meats and veggies for other meals throughout the week!


aaaand if you are free on time and want the extra luxury of having freshly made tortillas (which taste amazing!), here is the recipe that we used from our steak taco post.

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

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