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LIFESTYLE

LIFESTYLE

Lemon Cake

February 6, 2016

It’s Meyer Lemon season here in Southern California! The bright yellow citrus fruit has endless uses from baking, juicing, and preserving to sweet and savory recipes. Lemons add acid – which can heighten other flavors – and a bright, tangy flavor to foods. Lemons are also full of vitamin C, folate, fiber, and potassium. I used some lemons I picked up at the farmers market to make Ina Garten’s lemon cake that was so scrumptious, Merry Berry would have been impressed. This is probably one of the best cakes I’ve ever made and I urge you to try it with fresh, local lemons.

LIFESTYLE

Brightening Serums

February 1, 2016

Although I am a firm believer that eating a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water creates the best natural looking skin, I also know that adding a brightening serum to your beauty routine will bring your face to a whole new level. I have always had insecurities about the texture and blotchiness of my skin until I added an organic day and night serum to help balance it out. I highly recommend any of these natural serums because they are skin feeding and rich in vitamins A, C and E:

  1. Marie Veronique: Serum De Jour
  2. Odacité: CaR | Vital Glow
  3. Aesop: Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Serum
  4. Antonia Burrell: Radiant Light Facial Serum
  5. One Love Organics: Vitamin C Brightening Facial Serum
  6. REN Clean Skincare: Radiance Perfection Serum
LIFESTYLE

Homemade Pasta

January 5, 2016

I was gifted a pasta maker over the holidays and it has quickly become my favorite kitchen gadget! Ever since watching Master of None, I have been dreaming of packing up and heading to an Italian pasta school, but in reality this is as close as I’m going to get. Homemade pasta isn’t as intimidating as you may think with only 3 ingredients and 1 hour of labor and love.

Fresh Homemade Pasta

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 extra-large eggs
  • dash of olive oil

Mound the flour in the center of a large table. Make a well in the middle of the flour, add the eggs and oil. Using a fork, beat together the eggs and begin to incorporate the flour starting with the inner rim of the well. As you incorporate the eggs, keep pushing the flour up to retain the well shape

Once the dough has come together, knead for 6 minutes until dough is elastic. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll out in your desired shape and boil in salt water for 5 minutes or until al dente.

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LIFESTYLE

Granny’s Anise Cookies

January 1, 2016

My granny was the absolute best cook, and probably the most influential baker in my life. She would always have some kind of cake, cookies, or savory scones coming out of the oven everytime I visited, even if it was an unexpected drop-in. Her house smelled of delicious spices and flavors and I looked forward to Sunday dinners and holidays so I could taste all the joy she put into the kitchen. She made everything from scratch using ingredients from her garden, including many German and Polish recipes that had been in our family for generations. These anise cookies have been made in my family for 4 generations and I must say that they are a family favorite and the taste will always remind me of her.

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LIFESTYLE

The Felstein’s Brisket

December 26, 2015

Brisket is the Holy Grail of Jewish food. The slowly-cooked meat is tender and moist with caramelized edges that pairs perfectly with mashed potatoes or literally straight out of the pan. I had never experienced that many layers of flavor in a brisket until my friend’s mom prepared it for a dinner party a few years back and it was the centerpiece of the table.

But, according to Gil Marks’ Encyclopedia of Jewish Food, the dish began as poverty cuisine. “The often-impoverished Jews of eastern Europe could rarely afford to ‘live high on the cow’ — to buy the more tender cuts from the rib and chuck. [So] they learned how to make do with the cheaper, less desirable parts,” he writes.

Over time as families continued to cook them for the holiday tables, brisket was made into a rich traditional staple. Oh, and Kosher too!

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LIFESTYLE

Feta makes it Betta

December 20, 2015

Feta cheese is the heart and soul of Greek any cuisine. It is minimally processed and a great source of protein for vegetarians. Not to mention, it adds a very unique, creamy flavor that also satisfies salt cravings. Today, I played around with two recipes using one block of goat’s feta that I sought out at Silverlake Farmer’s Market from Aris Natural Foods. If you are visiting a Los Angeles area farmers market, make sure to visit Ari’s stand because they make the best Greek cheeses and yogurts!

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LIFESTYLE

Hanukah

December 16, 2015

Well, I’m a sucker for any holiday that I get to eat delicious foods, and this year’s Hanukah was a complete success in the kitchen (minus the challah not rising to it’s full potential). This year, I made latkes, mom’s kugel, challah, and rugelach. In my humble opinion, latkes truly rate as one of Hanukah’s miracles.

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LIFESTYLE

Shareen Vintage

November 19, 2015

Shareen Vintage is one of my absolute favorite vintage clothing stores in Los Angeles. It is located in a huge nondescript warehouse close to Chinatown with racks on racks on racks of incredible clothing, including mint condition and designer dresses from the 1950’s, 1960’s & 1970’s. If you are like me and live for vintage dresses, or are looking for a themed party dress – this is the place to shop! It has a “no boys allowed” policy which it is an ideal place to spend an afternoon playing dress-up with your girlfriends, but be prepared because there aren’t any actual changing rooms. Shareen Mitchell also has a line of bridal gowns, evening, and ready-to-wear pieces. On my most recent visit, I picked up the most beautiful, one-of-a kind magenta ball gowns that I can’t wait to wear to a holiday party this year.

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LIFESTYLE

Brunch Quiche

November 17, 2015

Last weekend, I went on a weekend getaway in Carmel Valley for my friend’s 30th birthday. We stayed at the cutest cabin with about a dozen guests. I was in charge of breakfast on Saturday and knew I wanted to make a few quiches, but I also didn’t want to spend all morning in the kitchen preparing them for everyone so I prepped the fillings in advance and brought them with me to bake that day of. I highly recommend this route so you can sleep in and enjoy a few mimosas with a quick assembly and bake time! Here are my two favorite quiche recipes to make:

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LIFESTYLE

Pumpkin Pie

November 6, 2015

Making a pumpkin pie from scratch may seem overwhelming, but it is pretty simple and the results and satisfaction are definitely worth it. This recipe is easy and uses fresh ingredients you can pick-up at the farmers market so you won’t be eating anything from a can. Also, I don’t use a lot of sugar like most other recipes, so it is a bit more on the savory side allowing the flavor of the pumpkin really infuse with the spices. Happy baking!

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