Sawtelle Kitchen Restaurant, West Los Angeles

Monday, January 31, 2011

Sawtelle Kitchen, Los Angeles, CA
 Sawtelle Kitchen, West Los Angeles

Recently, my pal JustJenn and I went to the Sawtelle area of West Los Angeles. This area is the “Westside” Little Tokyo. Japanese store: check. Curry place: check. Sushi places: check. Place to buy Hello Kitty: check. Bakeries: check. Yummy Japanese and Asian fusion places to eat: check. Actually, the only thing they are missing is a mochi place. Hum…that’s an idea.

JustJenn and I had lunch at Sawtelle Kitchen. I last came here years and years ago…so it was great to come back. The food is still very good!

They have some lunch specials and while we pretty much wanted to order the whole menu, we picked the following:
Sawtelle Kitchen, Los Angeles, CA
The lunch special starts with a big bowl of miso soup. Jenn, being a bad Asian, didn't have any. She doesn't eat sashimi or kaki either. What am I going to do with her?! :)

Sawtelle Kitchen, Los Angeles, CA
Boneless half chicken, grilled with citrus-soy sauce ($8.95 lunch special with miso soup, salad and white or brown rice). I can drink the citrus-soy sauce. Just pound the stuff. It made the rice so tasty when some of the sauce ran under the rice. Yum!

Sawtelle Kitchen, Los Angeles, CA
Fried chicken wings, dipped in light teriyaki sauce ($7.95 lunch special with miso soup, salad and white or brown rice). I took a couple of these and they were crunchy and yummy. 

Sawtelle Kitchen, Los Angeles, CA
Potato Salad ($2.95 side dish)

Sawtelle Kitchen, Los Angeles, CA
After, you can only imagine what happened. Hello, two food bloggers and bakers together? We headed over to our second bakery of the day: Beard Papa and the strangely named Mousse Fantasy shop. See Jenn’s post about all the deliciousness.

2024 Sawtelle Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 473-2222
Open for lunch and dinner, Monday-Saturday
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Temescal Farmers Market - Oakland, CA

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Temescal Collage 3
My friend Pam and I went to the Temescal Farmers Market on my recent trip up to Northern California. It was a lovely day and we wanted to pick up some fruits and veggies...and, of course, some baked goods!

Look how pretty the leaves are in Berkeley! And check out our breakfast (part I). I think that was a cranberry nut epi loaf and a pumpkin chocolate muffin. After finishing that and sampling a bunch of fruit, we split a butter, lemon and powdered sugar freshly made crepe. Yum.

Temescal Collage 2
Such pretty colors! Oh, I love farmers any city! During our master's program at UCLA, Pam and I would always go to the Hollywood Farmer's Market and get pupusas, Korean pancakes, Thai sticky rice, and kettle corn.

Temescal Farmers Collage 1
I love the watermelon radish! I haven't tasted one yet, but they are so pretty! I convinced Pam to pick up some kale for kale chips and she made them the next day! :)

If you find yourself in Northern California, be sure to stop in...

Sunday, Year- Round, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Oakland, California
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Lemon Ginger Scones - Flour Bakery Cookbook

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lemon Ginger Scones - Flour Bakery Cookbook
Lemon Ginger Scones

My friend Mary of Popsicles and Sandy Feet in really cold and snowy Connecticut is forming a support group. Those who can't stop baking from Joanne Chang's new book, Flour. The book was sold out for some time on Amazon (it's back in stock now), but I found a copy last night at my local bookstore. Whoo hoo!

Lemon Ginger Scones - Flour Bakery Cookbook
I immediately went home, threw on some PJs and curled up with this bestseller. It's really pretty and practically every page is tagged! I love that every recipe has scale measurements too! :)

This morning I made the Lemon Ginger Scones. The recipe makes 10 scones but I scooped them out with a small ice cream scoop and got 23 small scones.

While warm, a lovely lemon glaze is poured on top. I used my dad's Meyer lemons. Yum!

Lemon Ginger Scones - Flour Bakery Cookbook
Be sure to put this book on your wish list! I can't wait to make some more items...and meet up with Mary in our little support group! :)

Lemon Ginger Scones - Flour Bakery Cookbook
Flour : spectacular recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe by Joanne Chang (page 46): Available on Amazon, your local bookstore, or in your library

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Toby! Toby! Toby! 15 months and adorable

Monday, January 24, 2011

Toby 15 months Jan 2011 collage 2
How cute is Toby?! He's 15 months old now (wow!) and is a walking, pointing, grabbing, eating, smiling machine in Berkeley!

Toby - 15 months
I brought plastic food! Dude, I'm the food librarian and Toby isn't ready for an easy bake oven, so I went with this food. I held up that miniature cake mix box and said, "Now Toby, you don't need cake mixes. Your Auntie Mary will show you how to make cakes. And take you to Disneyland."

Toby 15 Months Jan2011 Collage 1
Thanks for a great visit to the Bay Area Pam and Toby! Can't wait to come again!
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Chocolate Chip Cream Scones

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cream Scones
Chocolate Chip Cream Scones

Carb needed.
Butter needed.
Chocolate needed.


Chocolate Chip Cream Scones Collage
Scones are the best because you can make it all in one bowl, be half asleep listening to NPR Morning Edition or watching the morning news, pop them into the oven, and take a shower. When I headed out the door to work, I threw them into a cardboard bakery box and walked out the door with some lovely scones (my baking instructor drilled into me not to put hot items into any plastic container...they need to breathe in a cardboard container!)
Chocolate Chip Cream Scones
Adapted from: Cream Scones from the Art and Soul of Baking (page 152). This is a very good book - buy it on Amazon or find it in your library.

2 cups (10 oz) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (1 3/4 oz) granulated sugar
2 1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 stick butter (4 oz) (cold, cut into pieces)
1 cup (8 oz) heavy whipping cream (cold)
1/2 - 3/4 c miniature chocolate chips (depending on preference)

1 egg, lightly beaten
2 T sanding sugar or granulated sugar

1. Preheat over to 425 degrees
2. Mix together dry ingredients.
3. Using a pastry cutter, two knives or your fingers (I use my fingers), cut in the butter. (The book uses a food processor, but I like to make scones by hand...less to clean up!)
4. Add whipping cream and chocolate chips. Blend together quickly (I use my hands and/or a spatula). Do not overmix.
5. Shape into a round or square.
6. Brush with egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar.
7. Cut into shapes. Place on parchment or Silpat covered baking sheet.
8. Bake for 14-16 minutes until golden brown and delicious. I cut my smaller and got 16 scones.
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Shen Hua Chinese Restaurant, Berkeley, CA

Friday, January 21, 2011

Shen Hua Chinese Restaurant, Berkeley, CA
Shen Hua Restaurant, Berkeley, California

Continuing my trip to Northern California... Pam, her son Toby and I went to Shen Hua Chinese restaurant in Berkeley. It has 3 stars in Yelp (the reviews vary) but one "plus" for us: It's Loud and Distracting. Perfect for 15 month old Toby! :)

Here are the item we ate... (Remember, I'm not a restaurant critic or anything...I'm pretty much just documenting my food so I can relive my trip! Ha ha. Just kidding...sorta!)

Shen Hua Chinese Restaurant, Berkeley, CA
Chien Pi Chicken $12
Chicken with sun dried orange peels, roasted red peppers and spicy garlic sauce.
The chicken was tender and this dish was perfect over a dish of rice.

Shen Hua Chinese Restaurant, Berkeley, CA
Garlic Buo Tsai Noodles $9
House made spinach noodles with garlic, onions and mushrooms
Pam gets these noodles to go all the time...but they are so much better in the restaurant because they were super hot and freshly boiled. Toby ate them up too! 

Shen Hua Chinese Restaurant, Berkeley, CA
Chicken Siu Mai $7
With toddler Legos on the table! :)

Shen Hua
2914 College Avenue (Elmwood area)
(between Ashby Ave & Russell St)
Berkeley, CA 94705
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Orange Tea Cake

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Orange Tea Cake
Orange Tea Cake

I drink tea by the gallon. And sometimes, you just need a bit of sweetness to accompany your tea. This is that cake.

Now that it is citrus season, bring out the oranges and make this light, not-too-sweet tea cake.

Orange Tea Cake
Beat together some butter, sugar, hella orange zest and create a lovely cake. I was thinking of glazing it, but went with the powdered sugar topping. That is perfect. You can dress it up with some orange segments too.

Orange Tea Cake
The recipe says it serves 8. What?! How big are those pieces? I cut mine into 16 pieces.

Orange Tea Cake

Adapted from: Orange Cake from Epicurious
Gourmet, January 2004

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons (equals 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon) finely grated fresh orange zest
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup fresh orange juice (I needed two medium oranges to get enough zest and juice for this recipe)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Powdered sugar for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Prep an 8-inch square baking pan (I line mine with parchment and spray with Pam with flour).
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Set aside.
4. Rub the zest with the granulated sugar until damp. This will make the sugar very fragrant.
5. Cream the butter and sugar (with zest) with a paddle attachment until creamy (2 minutes).
6. Add eggs one at a time.
7. Add sour cream and orange juice to blend together.
8. Add flour mixture until just incorporated. Don't overmix.
9. Spread into pan and bake until toothpick comes out clean...about 30-40 minutes.
10. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto cooling rack.
11. When completely cooled, dust with powdered sugar.
12. Pour yourself and your friend a cup of tea or coffee, and enjoy!
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Saturn Cafe, Berkeley, CA

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Saturn Cafe, Berkeley CA
I spent the Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend in the Bay Area (Northern California). In other words, it was all about friends and foods! A couple of my friends are vegan and vegetarian so we went to Saturn Cafe for brunch. It was my first time at this George Jetson retro-looking vegetarian cafe. The main restaurant is in Santa Cruz and they opened this Berkeley location in 2010. It is located across to Gather where I went last year.

Saturn Cafe, Berkeley, CA
Sweet Potato Fries with wasabi dip $6.95
These were great! Seriously, you can fry a shoe and I would eat it with wasabi dip.

Saturn Cafe, Berkeley, CA
Heavenly Benedict $7.95
2 poached organic eggs on an English muffin with sliced tomatoes and avocado drizzled with hollandaise sauce and served with home fries (description from menu)

Saturn Cafe, Berkeley, CA
Vegan burger with vegan cheese $9.50

Saturn Cafe, Berkeley, CA
Vegan Pozole (Soup and Salad $8.95). Pozole is usually made with pork and hominy, but this was a vegan variety. The soup was pretty good...but where was the cabbage garnish? All the pozoles I've had came with a plate of cabbage and radishes (like getting bean sprouts and herbs with pho). I mean, cabbage is vegan. Was it cooked into the soup? I don't remember...but I wish they had it on the side so you could add your own and have it crisp. I got 5 extra lime pieces to add more flavor too.

Saturn Cafe
(The original is in Santa Cruz, CA)
2175 Allston Way
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 845-8505
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Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins - Tuesdays with Dorie

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins - Tuesdays with Dorie
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

For this week's Tuesdays with Dorie selection, Betsy of A Cup of Sweetness chose Lemon Poppyseed Muffins on page 10 of Dorie's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins - Tuesdays with Dorie
I blogged about these in 2008 (seems like yesterday) and loved them. I also made them with the jam filling. I've brought them to morning meetings in the past few years, and it was nice to make them again. Starting your day with some lemon zest is always a winner.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins - Tuesdays with Dorie
Cute cupcake stand from artist, Whitney Smith of Oakland, CA

Check out the other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers and see their creations!

Betsy of A Cup of Sweetness blog,
or, Dorie's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours (page 10)
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Fundraising for Noah's Wish in the LA Marathon 5K

Friday, January 14, 2011

Cidney the Dog on New Year's Eve
We're running and raising funds for Noah's Wish!

I'm running in the LA Marathon's 5K! The 5K (3.1 miles), not to be confused with the Marathon! :)

The 5K will take place on Saturday, March 19, 2011 at Dodger Stadium. The 26 mile LA Marathon is the next day, Sunday, March 20 all throughout Los Angeles! I'll be rooting for my friend Dave (remember the Davey Pop from last year?!) and the rest of the Noah's Wish team.

Noah's Wish is a unique animal welfare organization dedicated exclusively to rescuing and sheltering animals in disasters, throughout the United States and Canada.

I've been training for my second 5K with my cousin's doggie, Cidney. She's always up for a run around the neighborhood, and helps keep me motivated. If the "big one" hits us in Los Angeles (as it eventually will), I hope Noah's Wish will be able to help our animal friends like Cidney. Noah's Wish also educates and prepares individuals, communities and organizations in mitigating the impact of disasters on animals. Do you have pet food in your earthquake kit?

I'm raising funds for this great organization. I would appreciate your support - any amount will help me towards my goal! Click on the Food Librarian's Fundraising Page!

Thanks you so much,
Mary the Food Librarian and Cidney the Dog
Our Fundraising Page for Noah's Wish

Cidney with her Clifford Toy 
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Earl Grey Milk Tea Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting

Earl Grey Milk Tea Cupcakes
Earl Grey Milk Tea Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting

I went over to JustJenn's house for New Year's Oshogatsu yumminess...along with tons of traditional Japanese foods she created Royal T Milk Tea Cupcakes. They were delicious and I couldn't wait to try them myself!

Milk used in the cupcake is heated and the tea steeps in the milk. The frosting is so light and delicious. An easy combo of mascarpone cream, sugar and whipped is just so good!

Earl Grey Milk Tea Cupcakes
Remember my 40th Birthday? I went to Bouchon's pop up bakery in Beverly Hills with justJenn and stopped by Crate & Barrel. I gifted myself this new cake stand...and had them gift wrap it!! I brought it home and put it aside...then came Christmas and mochi making and I forgot about it. Imagine my delight when I opened this Perfect Gift this year! :)

Earl Grey Milk Tea Cupcakes
This absolutely cute and beautiful cupcake stand is handcrafted by Oakland, CA-based ceramic artist Whitney Smith. Thank you so much my dear friend Sumi for this delightful birthday gift!

Earl Grey Milk Tea Cupcakes
These are just lovely cupcakes! Be sure to give them a try.

JustJenn's Milk Tea Cupcakes (I used 4 bags of Trader Joe's Earl Grey tea instead) (I got 22 cupcakes and they baked for 23 minutes. Jenn and I have very different ovens :)
Just Jenn's Mascarpone Frosting (This frosting is my favorite!!)
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Salsa Lizano from Costa Rica

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lizano Salsa from Costa Rica
Salsa Lizano

I was recently gifted a bottle of Lizano Salsa from Costa Rica from an actual Costa Rican. Holy smokes. Have you tried this stuff? It is fantastic!! Where have you been all my life?

I've decided it is Condiment Time on the blog. No, not a crazy month-long condiment commitment (who would do anything for a whole month?! ;), but just a few of my favorite condiments. You might want to try some...and you will probably realize I try to cover up my basic cooking with lots of condiments.

We'll start with my new favorite, Salsa Lizano!

A Costa Rican staple, Salsa Lizano is made with Water, Sugar, Salt, Vegetables, (Onions, Carrots, Cauliflower, Cucumbers), Spices, Acetic Acid, Pepper, Starch, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Tumeric
You can pour it over, well, practically anything. Eggs, meats, rice and is tasty stuff. It is not spicy (perfect for my weak Japanese tastebuds), salty and a little sweet.

Lizano Salsa from Costa Rica
Note to Andy (the actual Costa Rican) and Jessica:
Thanks for getting me hooked on this condiment from the Gods. I'm hooked. And when you go to Costa Rica this month, take my empty suitcase and fill it up with bottles of Salsa Lizano please. ;)

You can find it on Amazon or you might be able to find it at a Latino market...If you are in Los Angeles and know who has it, please let me know! (in case my friends don't carry back enough bottles from their upcoming trip! :)
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Nutella-Filled Madeleines - Tuesdays with Dorie

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Chocolate Madeleines - Tuesdays with Dorie
Chocolate Nutella-Filled Madeleines

For this week's Tuesdays with Dorie selection, Margo of Effort to Deliciousness chose Chocolate Fluff-Filled Madeleine on page 170 and 171 of Dorie's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours.

I'm not a big fan of marshmallow fluff so I opted to fill these madeleines with Nutella. Who doesn't love Nutella? Unfortunately, I didn't do a good job of filling co-workers only got a little, itty bitty Nutella.

Chocolate Madeleines - Tuesdays with Dorie
I always forget on these Madeleine need to chill the dough! This one needs a minimum 3 hour chill. Madeleines are so easy to make (as long as you plan), but I forget about them. I need to include them in my rotation of "morning meeting" sweets along with my usual muffins, coffee cakes and (of course) Bundt cakes.

Unfortunately, I had flat madeleines. I'm always looking for a Kim Kardashian/J. Lo lovely lady bump on my madeleines, but almost always fall short. Maybe next time...

Check out the other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers and see their creations! There are lots of interpretations.

Margo of Effort to Deliciousness blog,
or page 170 and 171 of Dorie's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours

P.S. I love that it is 1-11-11 today. I'm a nerd. 
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Farmer's Market Day

Monday, January 10, 2011

Farmers Market Haul - Los Angeles - Jan 2011

There are several phrases that make me say "What?!" 

They include:
  • No dessert, thank you.
  • I don't vote.
  • Vegan Soul Food (Comedian Hari Kondabolu explains it best)
  • I don't watch TV.
  • My farmer's market closed for the season.
I saw the last phrase on Twitter and thought, "WHAT?" You don't have a year-round Farmer's Market?! What?! How do you live?!

Oh, I'm so spoiled. I live in Los Angeles and they is a certified farmer's market every day someplace in the County. Just check out this list. And since California is a bounty of lovely agriculture, we have a variety of fruits, vegetables, and nuts. 

Ah, the Golden state. You crazy with a huge deficit, lotsa potholes, unattainable housing prices and earthquakes, but you have farmer's markets all over. All. Year. Long. Love to you, California.

My new year's resolution involves cooking more things that don't come out of a box or package so I picked up a few items. Usually, I pack my car full of fruit (um, and kettle corn), but this time I bought more veggies. I also posted a list of the veggies I have in the refrig to remind me to eat them all - I'll let you know how that works. I gave some to my folks exchange for their Meyer Lemons. :)

(Special note to my friend on the East Coast, R and her family: See what you are missing?! Pack up the car and move back! I'll meet you at the farmer's market).

Some photos from this weekend's Farmer's Market stroll...
Farmers Market Los Angeles Jan 2010 Collage
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Paris Mushroom Soup - French Fridays with Dorie

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Paris Mushroom Soup - French Fridays with Dorie
Paris Mushroom Soup

This week's recipe selection for French Fridays with Dorie is Paris Mushroom Soup. Doesn't that just sound 100 times better than Plain Mushroom Soup or Las Vegas Mushroom Soup?! We are cooking and baking our way through Dorie Greenspan's new book: Around my French Table

Paris Mushroom Soup Collage
Unlike baking, you can really change things up in cooking. I like that. Perhaps I should try this cooking thing a bit more. :)

I used olive oil instead of butter, shallots instead of onion, skipped the garlic (because I forgot), passed on the wine and parsley. I also completely missed the salad portion because I didn't have the herbs. But if I make it again, I will definitely get all the herbs. Or maybe grow a herb garden. Yeah, right. After a quick whiz in the food processor, I placed a little dollop of sour cream top.

Check out what other French Fridays with Dorie members made here! Yes, this is called French Fridays and I'm posting on Saturday. But at least I got one in!

Paris Mushroom Soup - French Fridays with Dorie
Please note: French Fridays with Dorie will not be posting recipes. Please support the awesome Dorie Greenspan and purchase the book:
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Blog Makeover!


Thanks Ana Degenaar of Live and Enliven for my blog makeover! When I saw Damaris of Kitchen Corner's blog makeover, I knew who I wanted to hire.

Ana's work is done, but I still have to fill in the recipe index and a few more things. I hope to tackle them while watching episodes of The Closer, Glee, and Law and Order: UK (have you seen L&O: UK? It's awesome!)

Ana was great to work patient, responsive and understanding! Ana works in Blogger format - check out her portfolio. FYI: I purchased the Blog Makeover Two.

I hope you like the new logo, colors, and layout!! Thanks again Ana for a great job and a wonderful interaction. - mary the food librarian
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