LA is the land of a million cute places to eat. Whether you’re looking to do breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, coffee or any meal in between, you’re probably no more than a mile from an amazing coffee shop or restaurant. I have a few places I keep on rotation both for me, but also spots I like to take the kids. If I had to choose, these are probably my top five.
Those who know we well know I LOVE salad like a crazy person. It’s true. So naturally I have at least 3 salad dressing recipes that will have you eating so much lettuce you’ll make Peter Rabbit jealous. Just saying.
Also, if you’re looking for a salad dressing to dress up broccoli or broccolini for your kids or hubby, try these first. My kids love the balsamic dressing. It stays a week in the jar but we usually use a full recipe so I always make it fresh.
Without further adieu, here’s my top 3 on major rotation, and yes my kids are FANS!
Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe can be doubled)
Mince 2 cloves of garlic and add the following ingredients in a small jar with lid:
1/3 cup canola oil
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 t. sugar
1/2 t. salt
Shake vigorously and serve. Store in fridge up to a week.
Oriental Dressing ( from my Mother-in-Law)
4 T sugar
1 t salt
2 t. soy sauce
1/2 cup oil – I use grapeseed
6 T white vinegar
Combine in a lidded jar and shake well.
Lemon Dijon – sounds funky but so fresh and yummy!
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard.
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic.
3 tablespoons champagne vinegar.
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
1/2 cup good olive oil.
I also like this simple version: Lemon Dijon
fresh squeezed lemon // dijon // grapeseed oil // salt
There you have it, you can bookmark this post and share with your friends. Hope you enjoy, Let me know your favorite dressing in the comments!
Since cookies have fueled progress, innovation, and overall societal happiness since the early 1900’s, it only seems apt that today’s Foodie Friday is about this ubiquitous dessert. And since cookies should be enjoyed by one and all, I’m including a GF option. You’re welcome.
Balsamic Vinegrette, Oriental Dressing, and Mustard Vinegrette are some of my favorites to bring for summer picnics and lunch on the patio. My favorite type of lettuce is butter lettuce and I depending on what I have in the fridge, I usually add avocado, salted sunflower seeds, and black olives. What are your favorite salads? Scroll down for all my recipes!
1 t minced garlic
3 T sugar or 1 T agave
3 T balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil or grapeseed oil
1 t salt
Instructions: mix, shake and chill before use.
4 T sugar
1 t. salt
2 t. soy sauce
1/2 cup vegetable oil
6 T white vinegar
Combine in a lidded jar, and shake well.
Mustard Vinagrette from Bobby Flay
Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1 teaspoon clover honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil or canola oil
whisk and enjoy!
We met up with our friends for a fun Cinco de Mayo party, think lots of Fanta, fresh guac, Corona and freshly squeezed lime. Did I mention fresh guac? We had pollo asado and carne asada, salsa, and were too full of fresh guacamole to entertain the thought of having dessert. I included the guacamole recipe below. All in all, it was a beautiful warm night of our littles serenading us on the mini guitars, piled high tacos, sugar highs, and sugar lows. Ultimately, we were so excited to have found a community of friends that makes California feel like we never left home.
2 Avocados mashed
Squeeze a whole lemon
Salt to taste
What are you up to this weekend? We’re packing up the car and heading to our friends Cinco de Mayo party. I see a sun packed day of guac and Corona. Can’t wait. Meanwhile, I’m sharing a couple places we love going to in LA:
Ostrich farm – homemade cinnamon rolls, chic salads, avocado toast, kid friendly, small but chic space. Don’t forget to go early on the weekend.
1525 Sunset Blvd, LA
Scoops – we get requests from the kids to go here weekly as well as their birthdays – at $2.50 a kids scoop, its a hidden LA gem. Not hidden for long.
5105 York Blvd, LA
Paradise Bowls – So yummy we got the smoothies and yummy pitaya bowls. Don’t be surprised if there’s a wait.
919 Manhattan Ave, Manhatten Beach
One of the fun things about moving from LA from Chicago is everything is new and we are always discovering something new here in LA! We like to support small businesses, so it was fun to stumble upon some unique cafés that make LA so unique. Just don’t forget to bring your laptop, a magazine and order a double espresso. A good café is worth savoring.
Here are my top 4:
1. Mr Holmes Bakehouse 111 S Ave 59, Los Angeles, CA 90042
2. Café Birdie 5631 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90042
3. Civil Coffee 5629 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90042
4. Kitchen Mouse 5904 N Figueroa, LA
not a café but fun to browse: Sunbeam Vintage located at 106 S Avenue 58, Los Angeles, CA 90042
Photo’s taken on location at Civil Coffee, by Tasha
If you’re curious what all the hype is over Acai Bowls, why not try one at home? It’s my favorite on-the-go snack or breakfast and guess what – my kids love it! Once you find a combo you love (mine is goji and bee pollen), its sure to be a favorite. Don’t forget, goji berries have been known to boost the immune system, so no guilt here. Let me know what your favorite combination is.
My Favorite Acai Bowl
2 cups frozen Strawberries
2 frozen Bananas
1 cup Almond Milk
2 T seed butter or Almond butter
1/2-1 T agave
Dried Goji Berries
Chia Seeds (optional)
Add all ingredients but the toppings into a blender. Go for a frozen yogurt consistency – add more almond milk if necessary. After its blended, drizzle agave and toppings, if using. Enjoy!
The MOST requested topic has been DIET. While, I’m no expert, or dietician, Here’s what on my plate on an average day. I try and limit sugar and bread in my diet, although I believe in cheat days! Here’s a normal day minus birthday parties and taco Tuesday! Also, some key athletic apparel can not only motivate you to work out, but up your casual game. I show some of my favorites below. Don’t forget, a trench, a camel coat, and fun sneakers finish the look. So, without further adieu, here’s my everyday diet:
B : Pumpkin seed granola and almond milk (I buy the variety that is less than 7 grams of sugar) almond milk latte and a green smoothie consisting of kale, sometimes beet, frozen banana, frozen pineapple, coconut water, and chia seeds) * This combo changes daily to keep it interesting
L : Big kale salad, a couple cups of kale, sliced turkey, black olives, feta cheese, and homemade dressing:
1/3 cup grapeseed oil, 3T balsamic vinegar, 3 T sugar, 1 t salt, 1 t crushed garlic,
D : Chicken and Rice – We have a family joke about how often we eat this combo, but you cannot deny how versatile and healthy it is. My kids are always asking, are we having chicken and rice again? I have a million varieties including a soup version. So good!
Snacks: Raw almonds (good protein and packed with wrinkle fighting vitamin E), avocados (antioxidents and tons of good fat), oranges or grapefruit (a great snack to boost vitamin C, and builds collagen, hello younger skin!)
+Keep drinking lots of water, green and dandelion tea in between meals will give you energy.
I also refer to this topic in a later post HERE on the blog.
Comment with any additional questions, comments and your favorite smoothie recipe! Here’s to a healthy 2017!
Free of Tyranny, and Dairy
Mason jars are fantastic – they make adorable glassware, vases, and storage containers. And this Fourth of July, they are the perfect vessel for a red white and blue treat. There are a lot of versions of these layered fruit parfaits but most include dairy, which excludes my lactose intolerant kiddo, and cake or pudding which tend to have a lot of artificial ingredients. So I’m creating my own parfait without dairy, artificial ingredients or even gluten. This really is the land of the free.
Independence Day Jar Parfait
This one is particularly fun as a build-your-own dessert once all the pieces are prepped. And any leftover coconut cream can double as a fruit dip!
What You’ll Need
6 8oz Mason Jars
1 14oz Can Extra Thick Coconut Cream (chilled)
1-2 Teaspoons Vanilla
1 Tablespoon Agave Nectar or Honey
1lb Strawberries, sliced
2 pints Blueberries
1 cup pomegranate seeds
12 Fat Free Vanilla Meringue Cookies
How You’ll Do It
1 – The coconut cream layer can be a little tricky on a hot day. It can easily melt and lose its texture. I recommend keeping the can in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. First, you’ll need to drain any water left in the can so you’re only dealing with the thick cream. Then whip it in a steel bowl using an electric mixer so it’s nice and fluffy. Add the agave nectar and vanilla to taste and mix until it’s incorporated and totally spoon-licking delicious. Now pop that bowl back in the fridge to keep it cool.
2 – Place the meringue cookies in a large zip lock back and smash them up with a meat pounder or the bottom of a heavy spoon handle until it’s crumbly, but not powdered. This is a great way to let off any steam or holiday prep stress. You can also snack on a few cookies as you go – I know I did.
3 – Get Layering. If you’re doing a make-your-own-dessert station, place each ingredient in it’s own bowl with a serving spoon. I like to start with a spoonful of coconut cream on the bottom, then alternate layers of strawberries, blueberries, pomegranate and meringue crumbles and top it all off with some more coconut cream. The only rule is to always separate the cream and the meringue crumbles by fruit – otherwise that meringue can get a little soggy.