Saturday, April 02, 2011

Black Cat Bakery

Can't say I was ever a big fan of Mani's, although I was rather surprised that they had closed. Black Cat suddenly sprung up in its place, I read the reviews on Yelp and decided it was a must-try. After my usual Saturday morning cardio kickboxing class (also a must try at LA Fitness @ 9:45 on Wilshire), it was time to make my way over for the Black Cat! From the moment I walked in, I knew (or at least hoped) that I'd love it. The staff is friendly, the decor is warm, and the pastries look like those stop-you-in-your-tracks-and-break-you-down type. I ended up ordering their Bi Bim Bap farro dish and one bite in, I'm already fantasizing of my next visit. Definitely not your traditional Korean dish, but the combination of the vegetables (mushrooms, swiss chard, tomatoes and asparagus) with fresh burrata, a sunny side up egg and farro is brilliant. The one downside? They're only open from 8-4 daily.

519 S Fairfax
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Black and Blue Pie

I've been feeling uninspired and a 'lil blue lately, probably because I haven't had much "me" time. But this morning I woke up to the sound of light rain, a bit hopeful for what's to come. Not that there are any grand plans, or an event taking place; just a quiet moment before the cup 'o joe. Today was the day I'd get back in touch with myself and concentrate on what I think I've lost over the past year or so. That passion and zest I used to hold closer to my heart, so what a better way than to bake my way through this transition? So, off I went to my weekly trip to Trader Joe's, not sure of what I'd be making but I did have a craving for pie. Thought the blackberries and blueberries were quite fitting for curing the blues. I took my time with this pie, an all day event. I started with the crust, after a wonderful soak in the hot tub with the rain coming down. Inspired. My cat, Kisa, loves to sit on a mini ladder in the kitchen watching the action.Not having found the perfect crust recipe yet, I tried a new one that used apple cider vinegar. In the past my crusts were good, but never that flakey perfection I've been trying to crack. So I took my time with it, used the food processor but only pulsed it about 10 times, and kneaded the rest by hand.Next I made a batch of freshly whipped cream. In my opinion, this beats the heaviness you get with ice cream and I like being able to control the sweetness. I tend to not likes things too sweet and usually lessen the amount of sugar significantly. My favorite ingredient to add to cream? Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste, that I got a Surfas or you can also buy it online at Amazon. There's nothing like those delicious specs of vanilla to make your Sunday a little better. The pie was compiled, put into the oven and just like life, it came out a bit messy. To be honest, more like pie soup. Crust was amazing, buttery and flakey. However the berries took a beating, maybe they just represent what I've gone through in the past year or so. But I suppose life is never just based on aesthetics, it's what's on the inside that counts. And let me tell you, this pie was delicious.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Culver City Farmer's Market

Although I've perused the Culver City Farmer's Market in the past, it was always quick trips; not really being able to take in the sights (funky people), sounds (homeless musicians) or taste (too many to list). Today was the first day it really felt like summer and it was the perfect day to explore the market. To be honest, I was really craving Carmela's Ice Cream but they were no where to be found! If you are ever lucky enough to run into them, there are two flavors you should try - cucumber (it may not sound appealing but it was clean, fresh and sweet) and the salted caramel. Oh my! Anyway, the produce today looked and smelled as if we hit that first perfect day of summer so I ended up buying a few heirloom tomatoes, white peaches, strawberries and even a mango-flavored nectarine (still a mystery). And tonight I came home and made myself a really simple Insalata Caprese. Although I almost ate the tomato alone. It was hands down, the best and sweetest tomato I've ever had.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

June Anti-Gloom

June has felt like fall this year...a bit cold and overcast, but I have to say I kind of like it probably because I don't feel ready for summer yet. This morning was perfect. Clean, crisp sheets to lounge around in with a cool morning breeze sweeping through the room; the kind of morning that you don't ever want to leave. After a warm cup of coffee, I looked in the fridge and realized I had a bunch of blueberries and raspberries feeling neglected wondering if they would ever have any use in this life. So I decided to whip up a batch of muffins. It was a new recipe that I hadn't tried yet, simple and to the point. No fussy ingredients that I needed to leave my house for (i.e. buttermilk or sour cream) which was key on a morning like today. The result? Buttery, moist on the inside and slightly crisp on top. Quite a delightful Sunday morning start.

What?! It's been a year?

Time flies when you're counting sheep. Yes, it's been over a year since the last post and my excuse? Primarily a wedding. Last November, Monte and Marlene tied the knot in Hawaii and although the planning is over it was nice to kick it into cruise control for a bit, to just relax and soak in the normalcy of life. No details to worry about, colors to pick or family drama. Also took a trip to Italy (post to come soon). But I'm back, this year is about now and I'm looking forward to it (even if I am starting in June).

Thursday, June 05, 2008

For Goodness Cake!

Happenstance. Thanks to Miki, Daryl and I got a catering gig through one of her co-workers who also happens to be an event planner. The event was for a girl's 13th birthday party, with a budget hefty enough to challenge a small wedding. The theme was New York (my favorite city!) and we were tasked to bake mini cheesecakes, raspberry tarts and mini black & white cookies for 50 guests. We tried to keep everything classic New York but it was a bit challenging since we enjoy experimenting with our own unique twists. Our specific direction for the cheesecakes were to make them appear that they were baked individually. Puzzling. There was no way we had enough of a budget to purchase 50 mini-springform pans. Instead we baked two ginormous (biggest we've seen) cheesecakes and used a cake cutter to create the minis. The raspberry tarts were probably my favorite, we did a pistachio crust with a light (think fluffy) creme fraiche filling - we didn't want them too heavy because of the cheesecakes. Finally after 2.5 days of baking, decorating and washing dishes we happily boxed the goods and off they went! Sigh. It was nice living out my dream for week.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Milk Money

Daryl and I are both enjoying an unexpected "vacation" so we decided to pretend like we were Whitney and LC from "The Hills." Go ahead, laugh all you want. In true Hills fashion, we headed to Milk on Beverly to spend the Milk Money Daryl received on his recent birthday. With so many sweets to choose from, we had a difficult decision on how to quench our (ahem) vacation woes. We ended up getting gelato sandwiched between french macaroon cookies and a blueberry danish. This was no ordinary danish, it had a cake-like consistency on the inside similar to a blueberry muffin and surrounded by a perfectly crisp pastry crust. I guess not so Hills like after all...wouldn't they just get a salad?

7290 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Monday, October 29, 2007

Finally, I wasn't left behind!

Yes, she finally remembered to take me to New York City; her favorite city in the world. We took an exhausting red eye and sat in front of an obnoxious woman who claimed she had "bad knees" therefore needed to stretch (kick) me every 10 minutes of the 5 hour flight. Not only did she make the flight physically uncomfortable but she also had two (yes that's 2) cats with her. To make matters worse, she strikes up an extremely loud conversation with her aisle-mates; a photographer and a model-Page Six columnist-Puma fashion designer (yeah, no joke). Their loud conversation then turned into a ridiculous photo session (with the model and two cats of course!); it was flashing, directing madness! Now, that's a red eye.