Friday, August 17, 2012

Party Pants

Maybe, it's the age thing (I just turned 28 *yikes*)? Maybe, the need for comfort during these hot months? Choosing comfort over cool, lately, I've just been a "no frills" kind-of-gal. Whatever reason(s) behind the logic that gravitates my eyes to a colorful, patterned, loose, or tapered pair of lightweight pants, I'm liking.

(crop top: asos, trousers: haus131, heels: zara)

(print trousers: haus131, shoes: zara, blouse: h&m)

(trousers: see above, belt: f21, bag: nine west, shoes: bcbg, tank: target)

(see post below)

Twist of Mint & Vintage Dots

"Ya look like a lost grandma", said the seester. Thank you, thank you very much. Don't mind if I do, actually.

(gifted vintage polka dot pants, haus131 chiffon blouse, f21 hat, zara bag + heels)

Who doesn't love fresh eats? Just the thought & sight in front of one's eyes is literally an eye-opener.  Every week I make it a priority to peruse one of the three farmer's market locations throughout the city. In my case particularly, it's more of an educational field trip incorporated with the best of  local offerings.
Opting for the Uptown location, I forewarned the little sis in tow to bring her appetite. As we set out to stock up on produce & such, the kettle corn man + infamous solar powered empanada producing machine are serving up grub.
 Can't say the same for all, but, the sight anyone/anything pumping out quality food to the masses are such rockstars in my eyes.
Frozen watermelon treats, picking fresh herbs, homemade jams + sauces , quality time with the sis w/in the same parking lot vicinity= success. All this and it's only Tuesday?!

[Click link above for times + locations w/ the happenings] 

empanada intifada

'nuff said

made in the shade..that's just how we roll down here.

poblano pepper mac 'n cheese + chimichurri + beana vista empanadas. *noms

what green okras & big creole tomatoes you have?!?

and a bead dog.
the end.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Je Ne Sais Quoi

Cold soba (buckwheat) noodle salad w/ soy-chili dressing + mango, cucumber kimchi slaw + firecracker shrimp + charred scallions, & fried quail eggs.

Rice Krispy Treat (Thai coconut sticky sweet rice topped with a spiced jackfuit compote, vanilla foam & drizzle of coconut rum creme anglaise)

These long, sweltering summer days have me spent. Lots of long work days + sleepless nights w/ a very miniscule amount of fun in the sun. So, to keep my body fueled & height on my twinkle toes, often do I challenge my palate, as this vessel yearns for only the freshest fare with that certain je ne sais quoi.

Oh no you don’t! We’re not talking raw veggies here nor seasonless standard fare, my dear. That “je ne sais quoi” I speak of often comes in stacks of various textures + layers of flavors masked by modification & elevation. Sometimes in French…sometimes in Italian…many of times in Asian. All nonetheless, deliciousness with an end result= happiness. ‘Tis the main objective, no?

On that note, tonight we do Asian! A little dash of Thai, pinch of Korean, heaping scoop of Japanese-influenced goodness with 100% soul.

Simple with subtle hints of complexity. You are what you crave.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Eatventful Weekend

It's quite evident that all I know & love is anything + everything related to food. And why not? Food is our common ground, a universal experience. There probably are not enough words in our vocabulary for me to formulate into a series of sentences to even begin to reiterate my passion of fulfilling my epicurean fantasies.

Lady, oh lady, if I had a silver dollar for every, "What do you like to eat?" , "Where do you like to eat?", "Where'd you get that?", I'd have a nice little chunk of change (or, most likely, in my case, find the closest eatery and have a grub fest. Don't judge me.) My reply: I like simple food made well w/ subtle hints of complexity. You can just imagine the bewildered, puzzling expressions.
Any and all free time I utilize chasing the thrill of where I'd like my next meal to be from as if it were my Last Supper. Oh, I know. I like living on the edge. May it be a food truck...a new eatery..standard fare.. but, on this edition of weekend pimpin' consisted of: two pop-up restaurants & one of my current guilty pleasures.

Get your napkins ready as I get my Bourdain on.

Arnold Palmer sippin' & late-afternoon brunchin' from Baton Rouge's best burger + housemade links meals on wheels, Curbside Truck popping up on the backstreets of NOLA.Going with the obvious choice, behold, the Naq Attaque (gruyere / swiss / pancetta / caramelized sweet red onions in a thyme infused beef broth) paired in a combo with parm, truffle frites, of course. I sure did order dos!

Off to Saturday evening adventures en route to Root for apéritifs and light bites.

(dress: asos, statement bauble: Fifteen22 Boutique , handmade clutch: Rachel Elizabeth Style)

(Amuse bouche compliments of the chef: grilled peaches & blueberries w/ pickled sweet pepper gelee)

Ménage à Foie
(Foie gras prepared three ways: dippin' dots w/ pineapples w/ chilled coconut, lychee compote/ cotton candy w/ foie center dusted w/ watermelon Pop-Rocks + seared w/ rye bread bacon. Dies.)

Feed your soul.

Sundays are made for the lazy pants & fam bam style meals. 
In addition to the  ongoing pattern  of speakeasy-esque eateries, a late afternoon walk through the streets of the Bywater/ Marigny 'hood when finally sashaying through the aromatic doors of much buzzed about Filipino pop up, Milkfish.
The fragrant trails of garlic & savory perfume down the block encaptures your sense of smell will hold you hostage. Ahhh! The sights & tastes close to my Filipino roots.
Nostalgia in one one sitting.

Milkfish takes place every Sunday at Marie's on  the corner of Burgundy & St. Roch.

(much-coveted maxi skirt: Fifteen22Boutique, crop top: XXI, random clutch for $25!)

Holy housemade longanisa sliders!
 (by Chef Adolfo Garcia)

Sig sig

Though, Milkfish's menu covers the standard Filipino fare inluding lumpia, spam fried rice, halo-halo, and kare-kare (all exceptional, mind you). These sliders and spicy,citrus-packed stew are beyond stellar!
Masarap! Thanks Chef Christina & crew for an out-of-this-world service!

From the the cobblestones of downtown...the uprising walks of new life in the Bywater/Marigny 'hood...all the way down to the bayou as I hail my canoe, I bid you adieu. Ya know how we do!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Cake Stacker: Gorgonzola Cheese Pancakes w/ Blueberry Compote and Candied Walnuts

Samantha: So, how were they? Carrie: The pancakes? Delicious, exactly what I wanted. I couldn't get enough. Samantha: No, I was referring to the moves. Carrie: Delicious, exactly what I wanted. I couldn't get enough.”  - Sex and the City

Rarely do I ever get a chance to really just lay about and enjoy reruns of my all time faves series these days.
 And no, I don't ever tired of watching nor contain myself  from chucklingat all the humorous debacle this fashionable bunch seem to encounter. Parallel universe? Perhaps? I'm sure of it. But, on a lazy Sunday like today, as the heavy showers keep pouring; coincidentally an episode about expectaions and pancakes play across my television screen, it hit me. I. WANT. BRUNCH.

Scrounging through my fridge, I manage to conceptualize a savory stack that will surely fulfill (oh, heck yeah, mine was) those cravings utilizing some seasonal ingredients. Pancakes included.

Prep time: 15 mins, Cook time: 30 mins.
Recipe yields 2 servings of triple stacks

  • 1 cup pancake mix (Bisquick should be fine)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg   
  • 1/4 creamy gorgonazola at room temperature (any type of soft cheese should work, mascarpone or goat cheese would be great options, also)                                                                                                                       
Blueberry Compote:
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries (frozen is fine, fresh preffered)
  • 2 tbs. of water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice                                                                                                                    
Candied Walnuts:
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/4 brown sugar
  • 1/4 honey   
  • 1 tsp. butter                                                                                                                                 

1. Preheat two small sauce pans on stovetop on low heat. Place berries w/ ingredients to make compote. Mix walnuts, butter and sugar w/ honey in other.

2. Carefully monitor the berries until it gets to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 10 mintues. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

3. All the while, melt butter in other pan and add walnuts. Slowly combine brown sugar. Continously stir mixture carefully until sugar has melted and evenly distributed. Proceed with pouring honey on walnuts while simultaneously mixing. Pour on baking pan covered with an aluminum foil sheet to cool.

4. Incorporate pancake mix into a large mixing bowl with milk and egg. Blend until lump-free.

5. Fold creamy gorgonzola into batter until well blended.

6. On your heated, nonstick flat griddle or skillet, slowly pour batter into 6 inch diameter circles.

7. When batter starts bubbling on outside, 'tis time to flip. Should be a good 2 mins on each side.

8. Assemble pancakes into stacks, pour cooled compote mixture on top along with crumbled candied walnuts, and BOOM.

Pile on several strips of crisp pancetta for a twofer meal. The textures and contrast of the flavors are outta this world!

Pow! Pow! You have officially been dubbed, "Cake Stacker".
Be proud.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Beating the Meatless Mundane: Spinach, Feta, & Mushroom Pockets

Whewww! Mardi Gras '12, another down for the books. You were so good!
Now, 'tis time to repent and make the ultimate sacrifice(s). Yes, folks, it's Lenten Season. And we all know what that means. In addition to giving up something we truly enjoy, us, Catholic folks, also know Fridays are filled with meatless meals & seafood-everything as our protein substitutes.

But, who wants to eat the same fried + high in fat seafood I'm pretty sure every restaurant in the city has wafted through their open doors?? Not I.
Remember? It's time to repent & start trying to get back on track as we've all managed to fall of the wagon resolutions, already.

Below I've managed to put together a healthy alternative that takes less than 45 mins to prep & cook.
Simple. Guiltless. Protein-packed. Low in fat.


      Prep time: 10 mins, Cook time: 30 mins.
      Recipe yields 12-16 servings
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 8 oz. baby bella or button mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup any type of feta cheese
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 shallot bulb
  • 1 brown egg white
  • 8 oz. pkg of thawed phyllo dough
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • dash of black pepper (salt optional. feta cheese is already sodium-packed component 
  • 4 tbsp of olive oil (2 tbsp for sauteing fresh ingrediwnts, 2 tbsp set to reserve to coat phyllo) 
  • Wash & prep all veggies. Mince garlic. Finely chop the shallots. Slice mushroom caps horizontally.

**Helpful Hint: Never submerge mushrooms under water when cleaning. They are porous veggies and can soak up the water like sponges. No bueno. If you don't have a veggie scrubber, prior to trimming stems dampen a paper towel and wipe off excess brine & dirt.

  • Heat skillet or frying pan with olive oil until hot. Add garlic & sweat shallots until translucent. Continue to add mushrooms and saute all three ingredients for 2 mins. Then, add spinach until wilted and turns dark green in color.
  • Also, preheat oven to  375 degrees F & prepare nonstick baking pan
  • Add red pepper flakes and black pepper to season. Remove from pan & pour contents into a mixing bowl.

  • Let contents cool after adding in the feta.
  • Roll out phyllo dough in increments of 3 layer sheets.
  •  Grab a pizza cutter and cut the triangular sheets into three square columns.
  • Spoon in a teaspoon full of filling. Brush the outer corners with the white egg wash.
  • Proceed to fold. Seal.Repeat. Coat exterior of phyllo triangles with olive oil.
  • Pop in oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool before transporting to serving dish or plate.

Presto! No time & filling can be made ahead of time. Just make sure it's cooled to room temperature before popping into the fridge.
These also make for great, inexpensive party fare.  Feel free to add crawfish tails or shrimp for seafood lovers. Sweet red bell peppers also make for a Meditteranean kick.
Now that's a hot pocket!

Bon appetit!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Curbside Cravings: Street Fare Derby

This way..that way..

Favorite shade of Fall: mustard (I purposely wore the loose chiffon garment for the obvious reasons)

(dress + belt + feather necklace: F21, cross-body bag: boutique, cat-eye sunnies: vintage, thread bracelets: Costa Rica street market, Express)

A self- proclaimed reveler in the local food scene, the anticipation for an event such as this literally had my tummy doing cartwheels. Back flips if that counts.

Finally! Other people get it. We all know New Orleans is most definitely on the forefront in the culinary world, but needless to say, trends do take awhile to catch on down here. The waves of curiosity & attempts to launch a successful yet legal mobile food service in the Big Easy has been quite a challenge. ***Trust me I know first hand,as I diligently prepare my proposals + business plan to soon get mine up and operating.

In an effort to raise awareness, advocacy along with exploration to present to the locals; event creator hit it right on the money as they formed a partnership with Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots to bring foodies and nay-sayers alike to enjoy what we love to do. Behold, the Street Fare Derby. A little slice of food truck + pop up restaurant heaven all within the same vicinity.
As I park to the first available spot, containing my excitement was too much of a task at hand. Then, walking through the seemingly endless gates to get to the track is another untold story. Strolling out beneath the crisp white tents there they were; all aligned in some sort of maze-like formation. In synchronization as the chrome headlights greet you, the air reeked with sin. Truffle oil, garlic, parmesan and unnamed decadence. Holy moly! I had my expectations but this was beyond mind boggling. "Where do I get in line and what should I eat first?" were the only tunes playing in my head.

There were the favored usual special events' participants and expected menu with their awaiting lines of customers to coordinate. The front runners evidently made for serpent like winding formations amidst the sea of people.  Averaging a 10 minute wait to receive your food was acceptable. Hoping to try some form of nostalgia and being made aware they were "restocking" or "sold out for the day" at 2 o'clock in the afternoon was such bittersweet feeling.

--All in all, the day was a success for the vendors and patrons.
--The fare options/ variety were great.
--Event needs a larger location to accommodate the masses.

From my palate, I share with you in what I hope would be a movement towards street fare into a legal affair. Follow me as I trek my way through the masses to fulfill my curbside cravings. What were yours?

Kermit Ruffins on brass and doing his thing

Garlic, sage & manchego w/ roasted red pepper ketchup and portable spiked adult-size juice pouches

 Look out for the Fry Bar's fancy, custom cart on the streets of NOLA

In awe of his conductor-esue ensemble

"Most Adorable Food Truck Award" goes to: Meltdown & Peace, Love + Sno-balls

Little fluffs of vegetarian goodness in the making.

He said he's glad to support my research. I told him I'll pay in food. Good deal.

                "Back in 5" is sure to be a good sign for business; my fulfillment for their frozen treats, not so much.

Busted Betty! Never knew roasted corn tasted so delicious when paired with the perfect condiments.

Sauced out.