Bring Your Best Bowl

January 13, 2016

This post is in partnership with The Quaker Oats Company.
Oatmeal with Poached Kumquats /
Happy New Year! It's so hard to believe a full year has gone by and the holiday season is now behind us. I'm sad the holiday break is over but I'm ready to tackle 2016!

If you know me well, you know I have a particular breakfast regimen – two eggs and turkey sausage every day. I never bore of it, but Y is always down for a little more variety. When Quaker asked me to bring my best bowl of oatmeal – I decided it was a perfect opportunity to change up my breakfast game so I stepped up to the challenge. With citrus season in full swing I decided to top my bowl of oatmeal with some poached kumquats, whipped coconut cream, almonds and shredded coconut. I love the flavor combination of everything together, and the toasted almonds and coconut make for the perfect crunch in every bite. Y's also loving the addition of oatmeal to the breakfast rotation.

Oatmeal with Poached Kumquats /
Oatmeal with Poached Kumquats /

2 serving Quaker Old Fashioned Oats
1/2 cup Coconut Cream
1/4 cup Kumquats, Sliced
1/2 cup Water
1/4 cup Sugar
Agave/Honey as desired
Toasted Almonds and Coconut as desired
1. Add honey to coconut cream to taste then whip until stiff. Set aside.
2. Bring water and sugar to a boil and pour over kumquats (see note below). Allow kumquats to cool, then strain and refrigerate until ready.
3. Add toppings to your bowl of oatmeal as desired!

A few tips as you make your bowl –
• Instead of boiling the kumquats with the boiling water, pour the boiling water over the kumquats. This way the kumquats don't get too mushy.
• If you want your kumquats sweeter, you can add more sugar to the boiling water.
• If you're running short on time in the morning, you can prep the coconut cream and kumquats the night before and keep them in the fridge.

What are your favorite ways to enjoy a bowl of Oatmeal? Quaker is on the hunt for America’s next great oatmeal flavor. You're invited to #BringYourBestBowl and enter your oatmeal combination for the chance to win $250,000, and have your submission brought to life as Quaker’s newest oatmeal flavor! Check out the for more details on the contest. Ends 3/12/16.

Oatmeal with Poached Kumquats /


Candied Citrus Peels

December 22, 2014

Candied Citrus Peels /
Aren't these candied citrus peels pretty? They are also easy to make! I was fighting a cold a few weeks ago so made some juice at home with oranges, lemon and grapefruit I figured I could put those peels to good use and made some of candied gifts. I actually made these twice the first time I used coconut sugar instead of cane sugar which I don't recommend. Since the coconut sugar is a brown tone they end up discoloring the peels more than I imagined. Anyhow onto the fun stuff! Similar to the Coconut Almond Granola I packed these into small jars (here are some similar ones) wrapped it with some bakers twine, and topped it off with a custom label. Download and print the label at home for your gifts!

Candied Citrus Peels /
Candied Citrus Peels /

Candied Citrus Peels /
Candied Citrus Peels /

CANDIED CITRUS PEELS print this recipe!
1 Grapefruit, peels only
2 Lemons, peels only
4 Orange, peels only
3 cups of cane sugar
1/2 cup of dark chocolate
1. Cut the peels into 1/4 strips. In a large saucepan place all the peels and cover with water. Bring water to a boil, then drain and repeat two more times.
2. In the saucepan add 2 cups of sugar, 2 cups of water and peels to a boil until sugar has dissolved. Then turn heat down and simmer for 40 mins stirring occasionally.
3. Remove peels and allow peels to dry for 8 hours then toss in remaining sugar. If desired melt chocolate to dip and allow chocolate to harden before storing.

Candied Citrus Peels /
Candied Citrus Peels /

I preferred my peels dipped in chocolate over the sugar but try both and see what you like! Don't forget I've included the labels for you to print at home below.
Candied Citrus Peels /


Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuts

December 17, 2014

Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuts /
These nuts are so addicting I had to make a second batch since I ate most of the first ones! This is a great simple snack anyone will enjoy. You can use any type of nuts you have or buy an assortment from the store in bulk. I packed these up in these coffee bags and used mini clothes pins with tied ribbon to hang the label. For these label I just printed them on card stock and trimmed them down. Download the tag here.

Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuts /
Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuts /

SWEET AND SPICY MIXED NUTS print this recipe!
5 cups of assorted raw nuts (Cashews, Almonds, Brazilian, Macadamia)
2 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon rosemary, finely chopped
1 teaspoon cayenne or chili powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cumin
3 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 375º. In a large bowl, toss assorted nuts with olive oil and spread them out evenly onto a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
2. In a small saucepan melt butter and combine rosemary, cayenne, cinnamon, cumin and brown sugar until dissolved and combined.
3. Add mixture to warm assorted nuts and toss until well combined. Then add salt. Allow nuts to cool and enjoy or store in air tight container.
Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuts /
Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuts /
Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuts /


Coconut Almond Granola

December 15, 2014

Coconut Almond Granola /
What are your favorite holiday memories? This is one of the first years that I will be in California for Christmas. It's my typical tradition to pack my bags and jet off somewhere but this year plans turned out a little differently and I am staying put. While I love traveling it will be a nice change of pace to be home, though I might sneak away on a short road trip somewhere. This coconut almond granola could be a great gift for the person on the go for the holidays. It's easy to make which will make you second guess buying granola from now on! I sweetened mine with honey instead of sugar and I like the subtle sweetness it brings out. I used wreck jars to place my granola in, wrapped it with bakers twine and topped it with a custom label. Download the label here!

Coconut Almond Granola /
Coconut Almond Granola /
Coconut Almond Granola /

COCONUT ALMOND GRANOLA print this recipe! | recipe adapted from cooking classy
3 cups of rolled oats (don't use quick oats)
1 cup shredded coconuts
1 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1. Preheat oven to 275º. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl mix together oats, coconuts, almonds. In a separate bowl combine honey, coconut oil, almond and vanilla extract and heat until everything is melted and well combined. Mix both wet and dry ingredients together tossing until everything is coated.
2. Spread mixture onto baking sheet in a thin layer and bake for 40-50 mins or until golden brown. Allow granola to cool and store in an airtight container.

Coconut Almond Granola /


Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

December 11, 2014

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies /
I can't believe it's already almost middle of December. Something about living in Los Angeles and 70º weather makes me feel otherwise, but I'm am prepping myself up for my sisters visit and celebrating the remainder of the year. Looking forward to the next few weeks here and a little decompressing. In the holiday spirit I've been making lots of edible gifts to giveaway. Today I'm sharing some peanut butter oatmeal cookies - these are gluten free too! I added chocolates and raisins but you could use nuts or whatever you like. I packed these up in a cute jar, sandwiched each cookie between some dotted waxed paper, and finished it off with some pretty gold ribbon.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies /
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies /
1/4 cup butter
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup coconut sugar (you can use cane or brown)
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup raisins
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup peanut butter
1. Preheat the oven to 350º. In a large bowl, combine sugar and butter and bear until creamy. Add eggs, vanilla, and baking soda and mix well. Add peanut butter and mix. Stir in oats, chocolate chips and raisins.
2. Place a teaspoon of dough on a lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies /


Slow Cooker Pork Ramen

December 03, 2014

Slow Cooker Pork Ramen /
When people ask me what is my favorite things to eat, the answer is easy - anything Asian with soup, "Soupy Asian things" as I like to refer. I could have Asian soup anytime of the year but there is definitely no better time than now to have some. It's been a wet few days here in So-Cal and ramen is the perfect answer in this weather. I typically always stray away from making anything Asian at home. I think I need to be sitting by the pot all day watching the broth stew or that the list of ingredients are so long it makes my head spin. This slow cooker recipe isn't too bad for at home ramen. It's not perfect, I think there are some other things I could add to it next time to make it hit the spot but it's definitely a good start. I actually thought the 'left' over ramen broth was better a day later. Give this a go and let me know what you think!

SLOW COOKER PORK RAMEN print this recipe! | adapted from Williams Sonoma
2 lb boneless pork shoulder, cut into 3 equal pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 leek, white and green parts, halved lengthwise and coarsely chopped
1⁄4 lb cremini mushrooms, brushed clean and coarsely chopped
Low-sodium soy sauce for seasoning
Sesame oil for seasoning
Chili oil for seasoning
1 1⁄2 lb fresh ramen noodles
Kosher salt
8 large eggs (optional)
About 4 green onions, white and pale green parts, finely chopped
1. Heat a skillet to medium high heat, add olive oil and begin to brown the pieces of pork working in batches. Let sear for 3-4 minutes then flip to the other side. Once complete transfer to the side.
2. Remove two tablespoons of the fat from the skillet and add yellow onion and sear, without stirring, until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and 1 cup of the broth, stirring and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom, then let simmer for 1 minute.
3. Transfer all items above into a slow cooker and add leeks and mushrooms. Add in the remaining chicken broth, cover and cook for 8 hours on low setting.
4. When the broth is almost complete begin to cook your soft boil egg - Boil eggs for 5-6 minutes the immediately move to ice bath.
5. Remove the pork from the slow cooker and use a fork to break the pork into bit size pieces. Strain the broth with a fine mesh strainer.
6. Return the pork and broth into slow cooker and add soy sauce, sesame oil and chili oil to taste. Set on low for 30 mins.
7. Meanwhile cook the noodles according to package.
8. To assemble, divide noodles into bowls, ladle in broth and top with green onion and soft boiled egg halves.

Commissary | Los Angeles

November 26, 2014

Commissary /
Commissary is one of LA's newest hot spots. It's housed in a green house on the roof top of the Line Hotel. They focus on fruits and vegetables but they also have meats as well! Their menu is all in pictures – which could be either fun for some who love a little mystery or not so fun for others. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by menu's – there is either way to many options or so many descriptions that everything sounds good. For the Commissary I like the surprise of it all. We picked items based on how we were feeling – lots of vegetables please! We ordered the corn, roasted carrots, deviled eggs and a few other things. Everything was quite tasty. The roasted carrots were among my favorite. I've got to take a stab at making these at home. Below you'll find a recipe for some roasted carrots to try at home!

Commissary /
Commissary /

Commissary /
Commissary /

ROASTED CARROTS WITH PESTO recipe from gaia health blog
Colorful Organic Carrots, washed with some of the stems remaining
Pink Himalayan Salt
Coarse Ground Organic Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Bunch Basil
3 Garlic Cloves
Handful of raw pine nuts
2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3/4 cup Parmesan

1. Drizzle carrots with olive oil and sprinkle with Himalayan Salt. Place carrots in the oven and bake for 15 minutes at 375°.
2. Remove from oven and turn carrots a bit then place in the oven on broil for 5 minutes.
3. Chop basil, garlic, pine nuts together finely then combine parmesan and lastly olive oil. Drizzle over roasted carrots.

The Line Hotel
3515 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Koreatown, Wilshire Center
Phone number (213) 368-3030


Parmesan Thyme Potato Stacks

November 18, 2014

Parmesan Thyme Potato Stacks /
10 days away from Thanksgiving! This year will one of be one of the first times in a while that I'll be in California for Thanksgiving (and maybe even Christmas). I'm typically traveling somewhere. I'm excited and looking forward to spending thanksgiving at home this year. I think these parmesan thyme potato stacks are the bomb! They are flaky and crispy and just plain perfect. Not only do they taste delicious they look awesome too. They are easy to make and definitely a welcoming edition to a Thanksgiving dinner table.

Parmesan Thyme Potato Stacks /
Parmesan Thyme Potato Stacks /
Parmesan Thyme Potato Stacks /
PARMESAN THYME POTATO STACKS print this recipe! | recipe adapted from what's gaby cooking
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
2 teaspoons thyme leaves, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon thyme leaves for garnish
Flaky salt and freshly cracked black pepper
8-10 Yukon Gold or German Butterball potatoes, sliced thin (about 1/16 inch thick)
1. Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Melt butter then toss potato slides to evenly coat. Add parmesan, chopped thyme, kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, toss to coat well.
3. Layer the potato slices into stacks on baking sheet. Bake until the edges and tops are golden brown and the centers are tender, 45 to 55 minutes.
4. Let potato stacks rest for 5 mins then remove and sprinkle additional thyme, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and serve.


Persimmon Bruschetta

November 11, 2014

Persimmon Bruschetta / See and Savour
I'm heading home this weekend to celebrate one of my very best friends wedding. I'm excited to be going home but it's certainly going to be a chilly weekend! Looking forward to eating at all my favorite Atlanta spots and even playing tourist in my own city while I show Y around. Make sure to check my instagram for some snapshots from the weekend.

Anyhow, I've still got lots of persimmons at the house from our fruit picking adventure so I decided to make some persimmon bruschetta. These are tasty and would be delicious as an appetizer or hors d'oeuvres at dinner. Have you started your Thanksgiving dinner list?!

PERSIMMON BRUSCHETTA print this recipe! | recipe adapted from food52
4 Fuyu persimmons, peeled and cut into thin slices
1/2 cup fresh tangy goat cheese (at room temperature)
1/2 cup fresh ricotta
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup toasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
8 slices crusty bread
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
coarse ground black pepper
sea salt
1. Brush bread with olive oil on both sides. Sprinkle with salt & pepper, and toast until crisp and lightly browned.
2. Mix together ricotta, goat cheese, and mint.
3. Dollop cheese mixture on warm toasts. Lay 3-4 slices of persimmon on each toast, and sprinkle with coarse pepper and sea salt flakes.
4. Drizzle with warm honey and sprinkle with toasted pistachios.


Salted {3 Month Trial} – Herb Cocktail Meatballs with Honey Mustard Sauce

November 06, 2014

I'm not sure how many of you caught my guest post over on Vanessa's blog Noirve a couple weeks ago but if you did get a chance to read it you'll know that before I was a photographer and designer my dream was to become a pastry chef. I wanted to decorate cakes all day even attended a culinary program in pursuit of that journey. I learned that the program I wanted to take required me to take learn the other essentials in cooking - like butchering meat (which at the time I wasn't interested in.) The truth is I enjoy cooking but love to eat more – and I think I am a better eater than cook! :)

Anyhow enter in Salted a new chef-driven education company that just launched online – a new type of cooking school. They've worked with over 50 celebrity chefs including some chefs that you might recognize from the blog world like the ladies of Spoon Fork Bacon and Gaby of What's Gaby Cooking. I've always found it mesmerizing to watch chefs in their element and what better way to learn how to cook than in the comfort of your own home with chef's you love.

Check out the video below to get a glimpse of what they are doing. You can browse some of Salted courses for free or sign up for 100% access to all of the exclusive courses and video tutorials in their library, in addition to other benefits. Or hey that favorite foodie friend of yours would probably love this for the holidays!

For a limited time Salted is offering THREE MONTHS FREE with the code salted3 – check out today to start your trial!

Whole grain mustard (1/4 cup)
Mayonnaise (1/8 cup)
Honey (1 tablespoon)
White wine vinegar (1 teaspoon)
Cayenne pepper or hot sauce (to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste

Ground beef (1 pound)
Oat flour (1/3 cup)
Egg (1)
Fresh thyme, chopped (1 tablespoon)
Fresh dill, chopped (1 tablespoon)
Fresh oregano, chopped (1 tablespoon)
Ground mustard (1 teaspoon)
Ground ginger (1 teaspoon)
Olive oIl (3 tablespoons)
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Prepare the dipping sauce by adding the mustard, mayonnaise, honey, white wine vinegar, and cayenne pepper or hot sauce to a small bowl. Whisk together, season with salt and pepper to taste, and set aside.
2. To make the meatball mixture, place the ground beef into a large mixing bowl. Add in the oat flour, egg, thyme, dill, oregano, mustard, and ginger. Season with salt and pepper. With a clean hand, gently mix the ingredients together. Do not overhandle the meat or it will become tough.
3. To form the meatballs, take about one tablespoon of meat mixture and roll it into a smooth, round ball. Set aside and repeat with the remainder of the mixture.
4. Add 1-2 tablespoons of oil to coat the bottom of a large skillet or frying pan; heat on medium high. Once the pan is hot, add 5-7 meatballs depending on the size of the cooking surface. Do not overcrowd the pan.
5. After 3-4 minutes, turn the meatballs. they should have a brown sear on the first side. Keep turning the meatballs after 3-4 minutes until all the sides have a golden brown crust.
6. Once the meatballs are cooked on each side, place them onto a prep plate to rest and release any juices. transfer them to a presentation plate and serve with toothpicks and a side of the honey mustard dipping sauce.


S'mores Rice Krispie Treats

November 04, 2014

There was actually no firewood allowed where we were camping in Big Sur so I came home with a lot of s'more making materials! So I decided to make some S'mores Rice Krispie Treats – omg yum. I remember attempting to make rice krispie treats as a kid. I melted the marshmallows in a pan but forgot the butter which made for a a huge mess – I also happened to use a nonstick pan to melt the marshmallows so everything was stuck and burnt onto the pan. I think that was the last time I tried to make them on my own. I'm older and wiser now – these were easy to make! I actually made this twice since I've been back the recipe I'm sharing is the doubled version because I liked how it made thicker squares. If you don't want to make that much you can cup the recipe in half for 1 inch thick squares.

S'MORES RICE KRISPIE TREATS print this recipe!
1 stick of unsalted butter
24 jumbo marshmallows
2 tsp vanilla extract
6 cups Rice Krispies
6 graham crackers, crumbled
1 1/2 cup mini marshmallows
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
1. Oil a 9x9 pan and set aside. In a large bowl combine, rice krispies and graham crackers. Keep mini marshmallows and chocolate chips nearby.
2. Melt butter over medium heat, once butter has melted add vanilla extract and turn heat to low. Add jumbo marshmallows – continuously stir the marshmallows until mixture is smooth.
3. Mix the melted marshmallows together with the rice krispies and graham crackers – then add addition marshmallows and chocolate chips (I add this a little after so it isn't so hot and some pieces melt but not all).
4. Mix well and then transfer mix into 9x9 greased pan. Oil your hands and lightly press the mixture into pan. Allow treats to set for 20 mins, remove and cut into 16 pieces.


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