Rainbow Fruit Purees

San Diego LGBT Pride is this weekend, and I’m celebrating with a kaleidoscope of organic fruit purees.  Each puree destined for a glass of champs of course ;)

Rainbow Fruit Making your own fruit purees at home is an easy task.  Simply blend ripe, organic fruit with sugar and citrus juice, strain, and serve!  That’s it.  For reals.  Sugar and citrus (lemon, lime or orange) help to amp up the flavors of any fresh fruit.  Once you’ve mastered one puree, try making a vibrant rainbow of purees with strawberries, papaya, mango, honeydew, watermelon, blueberries and blackberries.  All the organic produce featured in this article was purchased at the new Jimbo’s… Naturally! at Westfield Horton Plaza.  They have a seriously gorgeous selection of fresh herbs and fruit.

You can serve this edible spectrum with champagne, sparkling wine, Prosecco or sparkling water.  Place a few tablespoons of puree at the bottom of a glass, then top of with bubbly.  A perfect addition to any Pride Weekend brunch table!  Continue reading for the recipes.

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Blueberry Ice Cream with Oat Crumble Topping

Aside from flavor, my favorite part of this dessert is it’s color.  Will you just look at that:

Blueberry Ice Cream with Oat Crumble Topping Blueberry Ice Cream with Oat Crumble Topping is summer in dessert-form.  It’s like that piping-hot, all-American blueberry crumble, but… cold.  This recipe starts with a base of simmered fresh blueberries flavored with lemon juice and sugar.  The cooking process draws out some of the moisture while concentrating the blueberry flavor.  After a quick strain, the resulting liquid, stained a deep shade of blue-purple, captures the pure essence of blueberry.  This flavor bomb is mixed into a French custard base (see gif below), then churned into a cold, creamy confection.  A final sprinkling of crunchy oat crumbles provides a satisfying contrast in both flavor and texture.

I’m not going to lie, I love making ice cream (and sorbet) at home.  It’s one of my favorite things to do during the summer months.  Here are some of my past favorites:

What about you?  Do you love to make ice cream at home?  If so, please share some of your favorite creations below in the comments!  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Grilled Kale Caesar with Torn Croutons

Several months ago, I had a grilled kale salad at a special event, and I’ve been dying to recreate it ever since.

Grilled-Kale-Caesar-(smaller) Organic lacinato kale, also known as dinosaur or black kale, is the star ingredient of this healthy, summer salad.  When cooked over hot coals, this leafy superfood transforms into something truly delicious.  Crispy edges provide savory notes of smoke and char while the inner portion of the kale leaf stays tender and chewy.  These grilled greens are tossed in a creamy Caesar dressing spiked with lemon, garlic and Parmesan cheese.  Torn croutons add pops of satisfying crunch.  This salad is a delicious mix of flavors and textures.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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The Summer 2014 Backyard BBQ Guide

Summer officially starts this Saturday (June 21), and that means it’s time to host a backyard BBQ.

Jorge's Bacon Cheeseburger Hosting an outdoor event for friends and family may seem like a daunting task, but I assure you that there’s no need to worry.  I’ve got you covered.  This Summer 2014 Backyard BBQ Guide will provide you with all the recipes and techniques needed to throw a fabulous al fresco fête, including drinks, appetizers, sides, mains and desserts.  Without further hesitation, let’s get this party started.

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Strawberry Buttermilk Doughnuts

Strawberries + Doughnuts.  Two loves of mine combined.

Strawberry Buttermilk Doughnuts This recipe for Strawberry Buttermilk Doughnuts is a variation on my simple Sparkling Lemon Doughnuts.  Sweet-tart strawberries are blitzed into a chunky puree, then split between the doughnut batter and the glaze.  The batter is also flavored with lemon, vanilla and buttermilk, three flavors that work perfectly with strawberry.  Each doughnut is finished with a thin glaze made with buttermilk, confectioners’ sugar and strawberry.  Fruit-flecked and gleaming, my Strawberry Buttermilk Doughnuts are a perfect dessert for your next summer soiree.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Raspberry Apricot Jam

Raspberry Apricot Jam Several weeks ago, I found myself with an abundance of both raspberries and apricots.  Worried that the fruit would spoil before I had a chance to eat it all, I decided to make this Raspberry Apricot Jam.  Using my recipe for Apricot Elderflower Jam as a template, I simmered fresh raspberries and apricots in a bath of dry, aromatic white wine.  Sugar was added, then the entire mixture was cooked until thick and … jammy.  Final additions of lemon juice and St. Germain were added to balance sweetness, and add depth of flavor.

Let me just say that this jam ROCKS.  I just love it when all of the flavors snap into balance, causing what I like to call a “Wow” moment.  If you’ve never made jam at home, I’d highly recommend it.  The process is fairly simple, and the finished product is incredibly gratifying.  I like to save a jar of jam for myself, then give the rest away as gifts!  Your friends and family will seriously love you.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Cardamom Breakfast Cereal with Fresh Raspberries

If you follow me on Instagram, this may look familiar.

Cardamom Breakfast Cereal

When I’m not eating chia pudding, this Cardamon Breakfast Cereal with Fresh Raspberries is my go-to for early morning eats.  Old-fashioned oats are mixed with freshly ground cardamom, sliced almonds, dried currants, and flaked coconut, then splashed with sweetened almond milk.  After a 5 minute hydrate, the cereal is finished with gloriously red raspberries.  If you are a fan of cardamom, each bite of this healthy breakfast cereal is pure heaven.  Raspberries and cardamom are a perfect match.

Aside from the flavor, three things I love about this cereal are its convenience, versatility, and cost.  I like to make a batch of homemade cereal on Sunday, so I can easily enjoy for breakfast throughout the week.  Also, most of the elements of this cereal can be switched out.  Don’t like almonds?  Add pecans.  Can’t find currants at your grocery store?  Try raisins.  Raspberries not in season?  Go for apples.  You could even sub in cinnamon for the cardamom.  Flavor combinations are endless!  Finally, this recipe is cheap.  Cereal in grocery stores is obscenely expensive.  There’s no need for that.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Tomato and Horseradish Cocktail Sauce

We’re in the middle of a heatwave here in San Diego, and all I want to do right now is sit by a pool (or at the beach or in a backyard) with an ice cold michelada, and a plate of shrimp cocktail within arm’s reach.

Cocktail Sauce With Shrimp
Preferably this plate of shrimp cocktail, featuring my Tomato and Horseradish Cocktail Sauce.  Made with charred tomatoes, freshly grated horseradish root, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, hot sauce and honey, this homemade condiment is fresh, bright, and has an incredibly light mouthfeel.  The flavors are similar to a classic cocktail sauce, but with the volume turned way up.  What I love the most about this sauce is that it allows the flavor of the shrimp to come through, giving the crustaceans a chance to be more than just a sauce delivery system.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Jorge’s Bacon Cheeseburgers

Ok so I have a fun little treat for you all today.

Jorge's Bacon Cheeseburger If you weren’t already aware, my sweet, adorable boyfriend is Jorge.  One might think that because I am a food blogger, I do all the cooking in the relationship; however, that is not the case here.  Jorge loves to cook as well, and today, I’m sharing one of his best recipes for Bacon Cheeseburgers.

His burgers start with a mix of freshly ground beef chuck, short rib and bacon.  Sharp cheddar cheese is then worked directly into the burger blend, allowing the cheesy tang to permeate the burger.  These handcrafted patties are then thrown on a hot charcoal grill where they get wonderfully charred.  As the burgers cook, the bits of cheese throughout get all melty and gooey.  Stacked between a toasted brioche bun, this bacon cheeseburger is finished with our favorite toppings: butter lettuce, heirloom tomato, red onion, pickles, mayo, mustard and ketchup.  Let.  me.  tell.  you.  This burger is ridiculously delicious.  Each bite is incredibly juicy with big, bold flavors that can easily stand up to all of the toppings.  This is your burger for summer 2014.  Continue reading for the recipe plus some comments from Jorge!

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Carne Asada

April is one of my favorite months in San Diego.

Carne Asada Tacos

Often characterized by its warm to hot days, and crisp, vibrant sunsets, April in SD is just beautiful.  It’s like a taste of summer months in advance.  I take every opportunity I can get to engage in backyard grilling, drink cocktails as the sun dips into the Pacific, and escape to the beaches on Coronado for an afternoon getaway.

Recently, I’ve been obsessed with making my own Carne Asada.  Spanish for “grilled meat,” Carne Asada is a traditional Mexican dish, and recipes can vary greatly from region to region.  After asking several of my Mexican friends and co-workers how their families prepare Carne Asada, I came up with my own method, using different parts from each family recipe.  Thin steaks are marinated in a flavorful bath of garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, spices, citrus, vinegar, olive oil and Mexican beer for 4 to 8 hours.  The marinated beef is then thrown onto a searing hot grill, and cooked until tender and smoky.  The finished meat is incredibly flavorful with a bold citrus punch.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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