Today, I took myself on an end of the year date in Ojai, California. Ojai is nestled in a valley at the foot of the Topatopa mountains, some 80 miles north of Los Angeles. It’s unofficial motto, “There’s nothing to do in Ojai, and not enough time to do it,” perfectly sums up the distinctly laid-back vibe, eclectic boutiques, charming wine bars, and farm-to-table restaurants. It really does have such a relaxed, natural vibe that makes you feel like you’re much farther from LA than you really are.
Angelino Heights is a small quarter within the Echo Park district of Los Angeles, California. It is most notable for its Victorian era residences. It is also the second oldest district in Los Angeles. I happen to live right down the street from the famous Carroll Avenue, and it is such a treat to stroll down this quiet neighborhood and look at the detailed homes. Some of the houses are in beautiful shape others need a million dollar renovation. It reminds me of a lovely neighborhood I used to live in Ohio: The Old West End. Push the walk further about 15 min and check out the Echo Park Lake down the hill or grab some of the best tacos at Guisados.
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!
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!
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.