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Vegan California Roll

What a beautiful morning in Laurel Canyon. After a week of rain, we are back to clear skies, powder puff clouds, and the gentle breeze of canyon living. Our yard is absolutely singing with gratitude from the 7-day drench of moisture. Here are some snaps taken this morning.   Welcome to the jungle Blooming Bouganvilla The jasmine is jumping   Dappled sunlight Laurel Canyon glow After Hot Cross buns and orange marmalade and a few too many chocolate Easter eggs last week, I thought it would be nice to lighten up with some sushi. Vegan California Roll  is my favorite lunch of choice because it’s a cinch to make it leaves you  feeling light and breezy. The only preparation that the recipe requires is to cook a cup or two of short grain brown rice, and slice up a few vegetables. Add some pickled ginger and wasabi, and you’re ready to roll. Vegan California Roll 2 cups cooked short grain brown rice 2 carrots, cut into long matchsticks 1 medium size cucumber sliced into long strips 1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and sliced 5 sheets roasted nori seaweed pinch of sea salt 2 tablespoon of organic sugar 2 tablespoon brown rice [...]

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Hot Cross Buns

Truth be told, I’m not much of a knead/rise, knead/rise kind of gal, but I this week I had an attack of  ”it’s springtime, and I must have hot cross buns!” With no English Bakeries, Sainsbury’s or Waitrose (my favorite grocery stores in England) in my neck of the woods, I woke up early, baking them for Easter Sunday to have after our egg hunt with the neighbors in the canyon. Today’s recipe is a traditional, English-style hot cross bun recipe, using organic ingredients. I was chuffed beyond belief with my homemade hot cross buns. Oh, the divine straight-outta-the oven fluffy goodness, and the wonky imperfection of each bun made-me-feel-like-a-na-tur-ral-wo-man! It’s amazing how baking can make you feel so goooood. Following the sweet waft from the kitchen, my son came in, grabbed a warm hot cross bun, took a bite, and said “oh Mommy, you are so beeauutiifuul, and such a good cook.” That’s enough to keep me baking for a whole month straight. Hot Cross Buns 4 cups full fat milk 3 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter 4 cups unbleached bread flour 1 tsp fine sea salt 2/3 cup caster sugar 1 tbsp vegetable oil 1 sachet fast-action yeast 1 egg, beaten 2/3 [...]

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Butternut Squash, Kale, and Sunchoke Salad

After 7 months of living in a construction site, I’ve been unpacking storage boxes this week, rediscovering my treasured thrift shop finds: vintage crochet ponchos, fringed jackets, concho belts, crayon color typewriters, 1970′s punk magazines, 1930′s poetry books, 70′s flare jeans, 1960′s hats with peacock feathers, and more. It’s my birthday folks! I am feeling so full of inspiration, and I can’t wait to share everything with you in the coming months. My Sears typewriter. I can’t promise that I’m going to type every week (apple mac, hello), but once in a while, I’m going to pull my out my baby and give her a whirl because heck, she’s so dang cute. Strangely, I have color coordinated my day. Check out my afternoon snack (I’m sure Elle Decor will be ringing me any second). Snack attack Scrumptious either hot or cold, this salad has a tasty combination of sweet and salty that keeps you coming back for more. Butternut Squash, Kale, and Sunchoke Salad 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed half a bun of kale, washed and chopped 8 sunchokes, peeled and cubed half an onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1/2 a teaspoon each of ground chili, coriander, [...]

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Minestrone Soup

There’s nothing like a rainy day to inspire you to make a pot of delicious soup! As the rain pitter pattered throughout the day, nourishing the the lush hills of Laurel Canyon, Jake and I hunkered down, breaking out art pads, colored pencils, water colors, paint brushes, board games, and Match Box toys (Jake’s favorite: an orange and white ’57 Chevy). Later in the afternoon, we made this wonderful soup together. I chopped the veggies and Jake added them to the pot, using all the strength a 4 year-old can muster to stir the soup, marveling at the honeyed aroma in kitchen, and taking pride in his culinary creation with Mommy. Going to Farmer’s Market, picking out organic vegetables, and playing around with ingredients in the kitchen are cherished moments for the both of us. What I love about Minestrone soup is that it’s so rich, filling, and flavorful that meat eaters are never disappointed, and it’s a boon for kids that get finicky about eating veggies. The combination of pasta and creamy parmesan helps the wee ones forget about carrots, celery, and zucchini lurking in the soup (dicing vegetables so that they melt into the soup works a treat). Add a side salad, sliced crusty ciabatta, and you’re good to [...]

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Gluten Free Rice Crispy Treats

Who could turn down Kellogs Rice Crispy Treats back in the day? Who can turn them down now? I remember when I would stand over the stove, melting unsalted butter and vacuum-packed marshmallows, then pour the warm, melting mass of yummyness into a bowl of crispies, stirring, grabbing a spoonful, stirring, erm, grabbing some more…well, you get the picture. By the end of my teens, I was a bit of a rice crispy treat myself. I pretty much “Snap, Crackle, Popped” myself out of a whole lot of dates. Saying that, I saved myself years of dating headaches living here in L.A. Ask any single woman in this town, and she will attest to the drought of good men (high five). Before my blog tilts to an episode of Sex in the City, I will move on to dessert. Not that dessert, the rice crispy treats….. Thankfully, we’re living in a health conscious era where we can rock the flavor and texture of rice crispy treats with, hello, whole grains! Who would have thought that you could match the cheeky, chunky, crunch with no guilt? My son Jake went nuts for them today, so we’ll make them with his class [...]

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