Monday, July 31, 2017

LA Farmers Markets feat. Peaches x3

As I have already expressed my love for peaches, I will now officially declare my love for farmers markets. This is no newfound passion, but relocating has made me appreciate learning about local seasonal produce. Moving to LA, one of the first things I did was try to find the nearest one to me. I've visited quite a few in central LA at this point, however I haven't decided on my favorite yet. What I can tell you is my favorite is having peaches for sale. Nothing compares to the peaches in the south, but farmers market peaches are just always the best. I'll be listing all the markets I've been to then 3 peach recipes to try after the jump: peaches & greens grilled cheese, peach topped acai bowl, and toasted coconut peach granola. 

Echo Park - great Friday late afternoon vibes with a lovely live band. Lots of food trucks and street food, wish I didn't eat in the neighborhood right before coming through. Very impressed with the vegetable farmers and the variety of free samples. 

Hollywood - this is the largest farmers market I've ever been to. I must've spent 30 minutes simply walking around to check out all that there is to offer. Too crowded, had to pay for parking, definitely not my favorite. 

Larchmont Village - quite crowded with families, but there's free public parking! 

Los Feliz - this is the opposite of Hollywood. I love the small town vibe. Great restaurants, boutiques in the area, too. Definitely recommend checking this one out for all the staples if you don't want to spend too much time shopping. 

Silverlake - nice variety of vendors,, convenient but bustling location. Not a bad way to start a Saturday. 

Peaches & greens grilled cheese
2 slices bread of choice (sourdough or rye are my favorites)
2 oz soft / semi soft cheese (I prefer anything spreadable but also a little stinky - I always go by my nose) 
1/2 peace, thinly sliced
1/2 cup arugula 
1/2 tbsp olive oil

1. Place olive oil on skillet and heat on medium
2. Spread cheese on bread and place in skillet open faced
3. Once cheese begins to melt, press down on sandwich with a spatula and allow to melt together and toast until both sides golden brown 

Peach topped acai bowl (for 2)
8 oz frozen acai 
1/2 cup frozen berries
2 Yakult 
1 tbsp chia seeds 
1 peach, sliced
1/4 cup fresh berries 
1/4 cup coconut flakes (optional: toast for 5 minutes at 350F) 

1. Blend together acai, frozen berries, Yakult and chia seeds
2. Pour into small bowls and top with peaches, fresh berries, and coconut flakes 

Toasted coconut peach granola
2 cups steel cut oats 
1 cup nuts (I prefer walnuts or pecans)
1 tbsp honey 
4 slices dried peach, diced 
1/3 cup coconut flakes

1. Preheat oven 325F.
2. Mix together oats, nuts, and honey on a baking sheet 
3. Bake for 25 minutes, mixing once every 7-10 minutes
4. Mix in coconut flakes and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until golden brown, mixing every 5 minutes
5. Remove from oven and fold in diced dried peaches 
6. Serve on top of yogurt or as muesli

And of course when I can, I get the kitties a treat of quail eggs!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

California dining along the Pacific Coast Highway at Malibu

When people visit me in LA, I like to bring them out for a day in Malibu. The scenic ocean drive along the Pacific Coast with some old school LA hiphop blasting on the radio melts away traffic and parking woes. Pulling into a public parking between a pair of Bentley's - classic convertible vs. SUV is almost humbling. But actually, I really just came here for the hike.

Malibu Farms is my favorite pre / post hike stop along Highway 1. It's also the perfect place to bring visitors to show off the sunny beach and Californian food. Think: kale, juices, avocado, grass fed, vegetarian friendly, organic, local. Not gonna like, I've been here three times already. Using fresh ingredients really does make such a difference. The crab cake bites were grossly overpriced for the three bites they offer, but at least it was 99% crab and absolutely delectable. I enjoyed the breaded mustard chicken sandwich (I'm a sucker for sandwiches, especially anything that resembles a fried chicken sandwich) and there was a hefty chunk of salmon on the kale salad. Love the assortment of fruit smoothies and vegetable juice assortments; must needed to keep hydrated. And though cauliflower pizza will never really be a thing, it was delicious (probably because of the melted cheese) nonetheless.

Another great place to stop along the Pacific Coast Highway is Malibu Seafood. They have the most amazing thick cut fried cod sticks that are making my mouth water as I type this up. Though most people go for the fried fish, they also have an actual seafood market. The line was so crazy long last time, I unfortunately didn't get to pick up some salmon tartar to go. Definitely will next time.

Nobu: I brought my mom after my first day at work. They fit us in at 3pm on a Monday. We were seated outside on the couches, overlooking the ocean. What a laid back lunch scene! We also got the perfect view of all the ladies dressed in way too tight dresses and way too high heels for a Monday afternoon. We started with the roasted shoshito peppers, my favorite and always a gamble for mild vs. burning spiciness. Other highlights included the lemon meyer albacore with truffle oil, crispy shallots and the classic spicy tuna on crispy rice. I also had king crab tempura for the first time in my life - worth it. I definitely appreciated the bold flavor combinations and modern California approach to Japanese cuisine. Everything here is so Entourage, like most bougie things I do in LA.

Malibu Farm Pier Cafe
23000 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, CA

Malibu Seafood Fresh Fish Market & Patio Cafe
25653 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, CA

22706 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, CA