Tuesday, March 26, 2013

MORE RECIPE LOVIN' - Blackberry Fennel "Goat Cheese" Pizza + Some Booze

I know I just did a recipe post, but shmeh. Since when can you ever have too many recipes?! I ask you.

Last month, movie stars primped and groomed, waxed and exfoliated, donned their most lavish duds and were promptly shuttled over to Dolby Theatre in preparation of the most anticipated event of the year in Hollywood: the Oscars.  Meanwhile, the rest of civilization threw on their Sunday's finest (read: comfiest sweatpants), grabbed some tasty morsels, and curled up to watch the ceremony. I still say that we, the people, got the better end of that deal.

Alright, so I did (somewhat begrudgingly) manage to transcend the ratty lounge wear, throw on some suitable street attire and get my booty to a friend's viewing party; believe-you-me, that took some serious doing on the part of my will power. There was food awaiting me at said shindig, so I was up to the task.  Here's the lowdown on what I made for zee soiree:

(P.S. I borrowed Cara's awesome recipe from her blog forkandbeans.com. She gets fancier than I did; check it out!)

1/2 cup raw cashews (soak for a few hours)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup water
1 tb coconut oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
pinch of salt


  • Use a couple of small ramekins and be sure to line them with plastic wrap
  • Blend all of the ingredients in a blender at high speed until the mixture is smooth
  • Pour into ramekins and cover over with plastic wrap
  • Let it set and refrigerate overnight


egg-free cornmeal pizza crust (I got mine at Whole Foods)
1 1/2 cups blackberries
1 small bulb fennel thinly sliced (I used a mandolin slicer)
1/2 goat “cheese” (recipe above),
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
a few sprigs fresh thyme
salt and pepper


  • I bought a frozen vegan, gluten-free cornmeal crust from Whole Foods. If you're feeling ambitious and want to create the crust from scratch, power to you :)
  • If you take the lazy way out as I did, remove crust from plastic wrap and let it thaw
  • Pre-heat the over to 500 degrees
  • Drizzle some olive oil over the crust and spread the goat cheese on top of that
  • Sprinkle blackberries, fennel, crushed hazelnuts and sprigs of thyme on top of the cheese
  • Back for 10-12 minutes
  • The crust should be cooked through to the center and browned on the edges
  • Remove pizza from the oven and let it cool
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • And, huzzah! There you have it

Mmmmhmmm. Slice me off a piece of that. And what's an evening of pizza without a little libation? 


2-3 cups tangerine juice
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup Champagne (or your sparkling wine of choice)
WARNING: don't forget to set aside plenty of Champagne for the actual cocktail!

  • Heat 1/2 cup of the tangerine juice and Champagne in a sauce pan on low heat
  • Once warm, add the sugar and stir until it has dissolved completely
  • Remove from the stove top and set the saucepan aside
  • Once it's cooled, pour into a bowl and put it in the fridge to chill for the better part of an hour
  • Once the mixture has been properly chilled, you have two options: you can be a fancy pants and put it in an ice cream machine OR you can do as my cheap ass did:

    • Put the mixture in the freezer once it's cool
    • At 45 minute intervals, remove the bowl from the fridge and, equipped with a sturdy spoon, scrape the ice chunks from the edge of the bowl and mix them into the rest of the sorbet
    • Doing so will cause the mixture to get thicker with each interval
    • Once the concoction is uniformly thick throughout, you've done the impossible: you've made sorbet without no stinking machines. BAM
  • Now that the sorbet is done, it's time to blame it on the alcohol. Bust out your fanciest Champagne flutes or wine glasses, scoop out whatever amount of sorbet your heart desires into the glass. Pour the wine over that deliciousness and voilà!  

And, with that, I conclude this hunger-inducing tale. It's been a slice.

xx Happy munchin' (and drankin')

Monday, March 11, 2013


A few months ago, my wonderful, mind-numbingly talented friend Morgan Karr hosted a live, interactive performance of a few select tracks off his (then upcoming) EP.  He crooned and serenaded his digital audience from the intimate setting of his bedroom. And, being the giving, supportive friend that I am (Ahem. Morgan, take note.), I came over in the wee hours of that Sunday morn and showed my undying love by whipping up a batch up vegan, gluten-free banana blueberry pancakes.

This past week marked the official release of his stellar EP, "yellow skies." In honor of this momentous musical event (and his BIRTHDAY - give it up!!), I thought I'd share a reinterpretation of the pancakes from that morning:


-Ingredients - 

1 1/3 cups quinoa flour
1/4 cup maple syrup 
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 green apple, thinly sliced
1/3 cup walnuts
1 1/4 cup almond milk
1 tbsp ground flax mixed with 3 tbsp water (equivalent of 1 egg)
olive oil to grease pan


Apple Walnut Topping

1. Grease bottom of a skillet with olive oil and turn on oven to medium heat.
2. Slice apple thinly. Once the skillet is hot, throw in the apple and walnuts. 
3. Once the apples start to soften, turn down the heat and toss in the nutmeg and cinnamon (warning: your kitchen will start to smell REALLY good).
4. You still want the apples to have a bit of bite to them, so only keep them over the flame for a moment longer.
5. Take the apples off the stove and put them aside.


1. Mix the rest of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
2. In a separate
bowl, briskly stir together the wet ingredients.
3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined.

4. Prepare a pan on medium high heat with a small amount of olive oil. 

5. Pour about 3-4 tbsp of the batter onto the pan per pancake. 

6. Once bubbles start to form at the top of the pancake, and the edges start to crisp, flip the pancake.

7. Allow the pancake to cook for a few more minutes.

8. Carry on with this process till all of the batter is gone.

9. Arrange the apples on a sky-high stack of pancakes and sprinkle the walnuts on top.
10. Drizzle with maple syrup, Earth Balance, or your topping of choice and EAT EAT EAT :)

Sidebar: Morgan's music is heart-stoppingly, knees-buckingly AWESOME. Do yourselves a favor and check it out :) You can rock out to his tunes while munching on some delicious pancakes! Sounds like a winning morning to this girl.

Here's the rock star in action, singing his beautiful heart out as always:

xx Hugs + pancakes

P.S. As an added vegan bonus, Morgan sported some stunning, hand-stitched vegan shoes from Krže Studio to go along with his dapper duds at his EP release show. Peep these beauties:

Monday, March 4, 2013

CHILDREN OF THE RAWVOLUTION - Matthew Kenney's Restaurant M.A.K.E.

For the last few years, a clan of highly innovative chefs have been reinventing the vegan culinary wheel with a vengeance, churning out daring flavors and boldly imaginative presentations of what used to be seen as a bland and limited spectrum of food options. More recently, that gastronomic venture has gallivanted into the realm of the raw.

Chef Matthew Kenney (see: two-time James Beard Award nominee) is on my shortlist of the most influential and inventive pioneers of the raw movement.  At his restaurant M.A.K.E. Chef Kenney has masterfully architected a triple-threat of a menu: vegan, health-conscious and raw. Oh, and lest I fail to mention his food is also a visual carnival and explosively delicious. In short, the man is a raw vegan foodie GOLDEN GOD. Enough of my gushing; let's get to the food porn, shall we?

Kimchi Dumplings
Black Pepper Kelp Noodles
Market Tomato Lasagna
Wild Mushroom Tacos

Melon Sorbet with Passion Fruit (sans the honey)

And a highly pixelated pic of the gang, for your viewing pleasure:

There you have it, kids. The proof is in the pics; the food at M.A.K.E. is stellar - scrumptious, gorgeous and, dare I say it, GOOD for you. Damn. The chefs approach each plate like a blank canvas, filling them with a sophisticated balance of vivacious colors and dynamic arrangements. The flavors match the vibrancy of the plating; each bite is both aggressive and delicate. The only caveat is that a few of their items (namely the seductive desserts) contain honey. Honey-averse vegans be wary. Other than that, the fare is impeccably seasonal, local and utterly vegan.

The setting, though in the food court of a (granted, rather swanky) mall, manages to exude an elegance and sensuality. It also offers versatility;  diners are given the options of a communal omakase-style bar, the spacious dining room, or the full service outdoor patio.

Bear in mind, dinner won't break the bank, but is not the cheapest evening out. Oh so worth it, though. Reserve this one for a special evening - it definitely has a wow factor.

xx Love all your faces