All Things Foodie

Avocado Toast

Avocado toast has been popping up at every restaurant around town. It is so vibrant in color, fresh and filling. I decided to test out a recipe and found it to be absolutely delicious and a snap to make. Please try the recipe below and let me know how you put your spin on it.

I heated up my panini press, but you could just use a toaster. I pressed one slice of seven grain bread in my panini press to get those great grill marks on the bread and a lovely crunch. I sliced one ripe avocado and placed that in a small bowl. I squeezed half a lime’s juice over the avocado, added two dashes of black pepper, one dash of sea salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of garlic paste. I mashed all the ingredients together with a fork and spread it over the toast. I cut the topped toast on a diagonal for a prettier presentation and took a bite. The crisp, crunch of the toast paired with the soft, fresh avocado mixture was very satisfying. It is a healthy bite that can be served for breakfast, lunch, snack, or cut smaller for an appetizer. You can add a fried egg, prosciutto, or tomatoes on top for even more flavor. The possibilities are endless and are sure to please all.

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All Things Foodie

Coconut Milk Worth Talking About

I am always in search of non-dairy milk options and am so often disappointed. Whole Foods had a lot of sample stations yesterday during the lunch hour and anyone that knows me knows I love samples, so I couldn’t resist trying everything.

I saw the set up of three different varieties of coconut milk by Pacific. I tried all three with low hopes and was pleasantly surprised with the blend that was sweetened with coconut water. To be honest, the other two tasted exactly how I thought they would taste, good but plain. The subtle, fresh sweetness of coconut water was the perfect amount of sweet without altering the flavor of coconut and also providing great hydration and a rich texture to the milk. I actually enjoyed a glass of this milk this morning by itself because it was so satisfying. I will definitely be using this milk in smoothies and as a creamer in coffee and tea. The added benefits of this coconut milk are that it is Carrageenan, dairy, soy, and gluten free! It also is a natural source of medium chain fatty acids, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and is a mere 60 calories per serving. I have finally found a coconut milk luscious enough to share with you. I would love to hear how you are all loving it, so please try it and report back.

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All Things Foodie

Breyers Gelato Indulgences

I am an avid ice cream lover and am always on the hunt for great store bought varieties. Most of them are just ok, but never as good or smooth as ice cream from an ice cream shoppe.

I recently tried Breyers new Gelato Indugences and was pleasantly surprised. I tried the Chocolate Caramel and the Raspberry Cheesecake flavors. They both were outstanding and so incredibly creamy and smooth. The Chocolate Caramel flavor is a rich chocolate with large, soft ribbons of decadent caramel. The Raspberry Cheesecake flavor is a cheesecake flavored base with thick swirls of raspberry flavored topping and a graham crust crumble on top! I am very happy with this new grocery store find and can see this as a weekly favorite for my girls nights and date nights. It is so good, I just may treat myself to a bite or two every night.

I found Breyers Gelato at Target for $5.99, but I am sure they have it at many stores.

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All Things Foodie

Homemade Almond Milk

Ok so I decided to finally make my own almond milk and see what all the hype was about. I envisioned it tasting so creamy and amazing just like the one at Pressed Juicery. My high expectations may have been my problem.

I bought raw almonds, measured out one cup and soaked them in plenty of water for 6-8 hours. I even went through the tedious task on removing the skins off the plumped up nuts because I read somewhere that the skin causes wrinkles! Gasp! I then tossed the peeled, soaked nuts into a Ninja blender and added three cups of water and blended away. The liquid turned into a creamy white color and I poured it through a fine mesh sieve. Ok, so maybe I need to invest in a nut bag because the milk did get pretty smooth but not smooth enough. There were still bits of pulp in the milk. I did save the pulp to possibly use in a cookie recipe, waffles, granola, or whatever else I can think of.

I added a bit of vanilla and a sprinkle of sea salt to the milk and whisked until blended. I took the first sip and was very underwhelmed. It tasted exactly like the almond milk I buy at the store and was more expensive to make and time consuming. I know some recipes call for dates to be blended into the milk as well, so maybe that makes it more creamy. Don’t get me wrong, the milk is good and I love that I made it and that it is so pure in form. I just wanted it to blow my mind with how incredibly creamy it was due to all the articles I have read by people exclaiming how much better homemade almond milk is versus store bought in regard to thickness and taste. I am determined to crack the code and get the almond milk I desire. I am going to invest in a nut bag and add some dates and report back.

For now, blend at your risk or stick to the convenient store bought variety.

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Fashion

A Triangl Treat

My friend Angelia came to visit me in LA over the 4th of July. We spent lots of time in the lovely Los Angeles sunshine and in our swimsuits. She had the cutest suit on by the Australian brand, Triangl.

Their suits are made of neoprene, which is what wet suits are made of. It is a thick, water friendly material. The swimwear comes in bright, poppy colors and fun color block designs. The bottoms are low cut and stay put. The plus side of the thicker material is a fuller coverage and non-see thru assurance. I love the color combinations offered and that you can order different sizes for the tops and bottoms. I wear a size 25/26 jean and wear a size small. I was such a fan of Angelia’s suit that I purchased one of my own, with her permission of course. The style of bikini I bought was the Bambi and in the Sugar Plum color. I am such a fan of this line, I want to buy many more and it is very affordable at $79-$89 per set. The Bambi is $79. They ship straight from Australia and I got it in the mail within a few days!

Visit http://www.international.triangl.com to purchase yours!

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All Things Foodie

Kaya Toast

One of my favorite places to dine with my friend Randi was Susan Feniger’s restaurant, Street, here in LA. Our favorite dish was the Kaya Toast. It was to this day, one of the best things I have ever eaten.

The Kaya Toast is like a grilled cheese but instead of cheese in between the bread, it is coconut jam and butter. She toasts two pieces of white bread together to keep the middle of the bread u toasted and soft and the outside crisp. Then the chef spreads the coconut jam on both soft sides of the pieces of bread and slices cold butter and lays that on top of the coconut jam on one side of the bread. The then put the slices of bread together and forms and sandwhich and sets that aside. An eggs is softly boiled and is laid on a plate and drizzled with dark Korean soy sauce and sprinkled with white pepper. The sandwhich is sliced into quarters and placed on the plate next to the egg. To enjoy this dish, you take the squares of the filled bread and dip them into the runny egg yolk, soy sauce mixtures and take a delicious bite. It seems simple and a little weird, but I swear it is one of the most tasty and amazing flavor combinations I have ever encountered.

To my sadness, Street has closed but the recipe for Kaya Toast lives on! See below for how to recreate this delectable delight at home.

Coconut Jam:

1 cup coconut milk, 1 cup sugar, 8 pandan leaves tied in a knot, 1/8 tsp kosher salt, 3 eggs, 3 egg yolks

In a small sauce pan, mix together the coconut milk and 1/2 cup sugar. Stir in the pandan leaves and salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Keep the leaves submerged in the milk to soften. When the milk has come to a boil, remove from heat and let mixture steep for 10 minutes. Remove leaves from milk and squeeze any liquid from the leaves into pan. Throw away the leaves.

In a medium stainless steel bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks and remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Whisk in the coconut mixture to form a custard. Place the bowl over a simmering pot of water and gently cook the mixture while constantly stirring for 15-20 minutes with a rubber spatula. The final texture should be a thick custard texture. Immediately remove from heat and transfer to a medium bowl set over a bowl of ice water and stir until the mixture cools. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Makes about 2 cups and will keep for one week in the refrigerator.

Take two pieces of toasted white bread and lay them out, soft side up. Spread two tablespoons of coconut jam on both untoasted sides of bread. Use a stick of cold salted butter to cut slices from and lay them over one side of the jam topped toast. Put the two slices of bread together to form a sandwhich and slice into quarters. Soft boil and egg for approximately 6 mins and keep the yolk soft. Lay that on a plate and top with dark Korean soy sauce and a dash of white pepper. The Kaya Toast is ready to be devoured.

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Fashion

Fabulous Faux Leather Handbag

Living in LA, vegan and faux leather options are all the rage. I have never found a handbag I have liked that wasn’t real leather. The reason is the faux options tend to look cheap and do not wear well, with the styles sometimes being dated and more trendy than classic. Well, listen up all you hippie dippy, kind hearted souls….there is a fabulous array of handbags that won’t break the bank and will keep your conscience clean.

I have fallen head over heels for the Large Structured Handbag from the Daily Look. This bag resembles the Celine bag that everyone owns, but is only a fraction of the price and is a fashionable non-leather option for those who simply will not wear leather. I still love the Celine bags out there and of course, would love to own one, but this is a wonderful way to get the look without wearing leather and compromising on durability, feel, and style.

I purchased the beauty in black and love the versatility of it. You can add the long strap to wear it on your shoulder and also expand the sides to accommodate an iPad or some magazines and snacks for the plane. I was so pleasantly surprised when I received this handbag in the mail and took it for a spin around my neighborhood. I already have received so many compliments and cant wait to take it out more.

You can buy this bag at http://www.dailylook.com for $74.99 in black, navy, or raspberry.

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All Things Foodie

Get Your Fixx

I recently went to Scottsdale, Arizona to visit some dear friends of mine. As I was in AJ’s specialty store picking up some flowers for a friend that has been ill, they were sampling Fixx Chocolate Bars. I admit, I was skeptical and just thought, okay, I will have a little bite of sugar while they wrap my flowers.

I was so very pleasantly surprised when I tossed the first bite of the Chelle’s bar in my mouth. It is a handmade chocolate bar that is comprised of creamy cashew nougat, caramel, and roasted cashews. Um….move over Snicker’s bar… Sheriff Chelle is in town. This dream of a chocolate bar was so beautifully presented in two smaller bars in a white box. They are fancy little chocolate bars that are full of the most expertly mixed flavors and textures that delight the tiny little taste buds and make your eyes light up with joy. The Fixx bars are the best chocolate bars I have tasted in a long time. And anyone that knows me, knows that I will never pick chocolate as my favored treat, but in this case, I have been won over and in fact, I now crave it. I will start lobbying to all the local markets to start stocking my new favorite candy bar so I can get my weekly Fixx. Yes, fellow skinny girl Angelenos, I will openly admit that I am going to eat sweets every week!

If you are lucky enough to live in Scottsdale, venture out to AJ’s and grab as many bars as you can because when I went back for more, they were sold out! Make sure you are going straight home though, because although the pretty box it comes in will protect it from getting crushed, that Arizona heat is sure to melt it in mere seconds. I mean I almost melted in that heat too!

You can also order Fixx Chocolate bars on their website at http://www.fixxchocolates.com

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Fashion

Rene Caovilla

I have become a full on stalker of Rene Caovilla shoes. I was at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills the other day and I was consumed by the most beautiful shoes.

You all know how much I love anything that sparkles, so naturally these shoes are for me.

I am attending a dear friend’s wedding at the end of June and am deciding between a glitzy dress with plain shoes or a classic dress with stunning shoes. These gorgeous black satin shoes that are fully encrusted with the most sparkly stones have made it to the top of my wish list. The only problem is they are $1695! Thus, why I have become their stalker. The minute these beauties go on sale, they will be on my feet and I will never take them off. A Cinderella moment of sorts, but no prince or step sisters.

I have noticed many brands doing embellished shoes, but Rene Caovilla exudes elegance. Some of the other brands, though still pricey, radiate more of a bedazzled at home with a glue gun look. While I do appreciate a good craft project, I will leave it up to the pros when it comes for fancy footwear.

These shoes should be the standout part of the outfit and not compete with any other accessory. Keep the dress simple and you will for sure be on the best dressed list.

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Beauty

Dreamcatchers Do Come True

I have a little FOMO over not joining my friends in Palm Springs this weekend, but mostly because I missed the best bohemian fashion show around, also known as Coachella.

To satiate my bohemian cravings, I searched the web and found the most beautiful dreamcatchers. These wonderfully handcrafted works of art are made by Electric Love NYC by Hitomi Matarese and Charlie Walker. They feature natural, hand painted feathers, strips of leather, and stones attached to gorgeous wood. The colors range from all white to pops of neon and flecks of gold. The website is full of so many inspirational pieces. I could, and did, peruse the different offerings all night. They also make chandeliers and chimes among other things.

Visit http://www.electriclovenyc.com to make all your dreamcatcher daydreams come true!

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