lately i’ve been… (november 2014)

Lately I' ve Been |

celebrating Richie’s birthday at Commissary. Roy Choi has a way with vegetables (sort of the theme of Commissary) and sauces. Each dish came out with an incredibly complex – and insane – sauce. And Richie had a gin & beet juice drink.

finally getting a cast-iron pan. Now we have an insanely heavy pan that needs to be constantly moved from the stove-top to the counter, back to the oven…oy.

 Lately I 've Been |

I already mentioned the Hello Kitty Con Party, but this picture was too funny not to share.

obsessing over squash in general.

Lately I' ve Been |

having my parents in town! It was a quick weekend, but it was so nice to see them. I <3 them!

still reading Steve Jobs * (it’s taking me a while) and The Thank You Economy*. I loved Gary Vaynerchuk’s Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World * and while The Thank You Economy isn’t as focused on social media, it’s full of great ways to humanize brands.

 Lately I 've Been |

having dinner at the Church Key, a modern american dim sum restaurant. Imagine a restaurant with an extremely enticing menu, and THEN a dim sum cart visits the table frequently to tempt you with little bites …

watching (and loving) all of the fall shows. We are 65 at heart and like CSI, NCIS, etc. What are you watching?

Lately I' ve Been |

visiting Stir Market, a “modern California take on the classic European food hall experience” … so essentially they have a small menu/deli selections, coffee bar and high-quality food and wine to purchase. I was in heaven.

getting ready to move this weekend. Our Repax boxes (Reusable, Green Moving Crates) were delivered last night and now we need to fill them before Saturday!

*affiliate links

What have YOU been up to lately? 

california-inspired thanksgiving menu

I wasn’t going to post today, because…well, my anticipated squash with curried butter recipe was NOT good.

It needs some major work before it’s ready to share (if it’s ever ready) so instead, I thought you might enjoy some Thanksgiving chat with this California-inspired Thanksgiving Menu. (You know there’s a kale salad!)

What’s on your Thanksgiving menu this year?


recommended reading

 Recommended Reading |

Happy Sunday! How is your weekend? It’s been pretty quiet over here and all about the big move next weekend. Yesterday we trekked it out to Ikea to scope out some furniture and storage options – we’ll probably be back there next week. And today, we’re getting rid of stuff in preparation for our move! (Fingers crossed this is actually happening.)

recommended reading:

Why These Kids Love Kale. I actually heard this story on my way home from work, and had a huge grin on my face the entire time. I’d recommend listening, instead of reading because kids talking about kale… The salad recipe is actually one of my favorite ways to eat lacinato kale, try it out!

Minimalist Baker is a blog that might just turn me into a vegan. Ok, not really, but every recipe they share has me drooling. Peanut Butter Flaxseed Pancakes will be happening ASAP.

And because it’s pretty much impossible to NOT mention Thanksgiving this time of year:

How to Make Thanksgiving Better, According to a Bunch of 8-Year-Olds is hilarious. I’ll share one:

Who does the cooking when you host Thanksgiving at your house?
My dad. He’s the cook, because my mom—I don’t know how to put this—my mom loves to email. She eats, she sleeps, she emails, she takes care of me, she plays with me, she breathes, and she works.

Food & Wine does appetizers right. Thanksgiving Hors d’Oeuvres are classics with a twist. (And my favorite part of the big meal!)

A Few Food Bloggers Share Their Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes (Naturally Ella, Not Without Salt, The Faux Martha and more) and they cover all of the bases: breakfast while peeling potatoes and frantically cleaning; brussels sprouts salad and wine.


easy strawberry tart

 Easy Strawberry Tart |

I made you dessert!

It’s a rare occurrence.

I eat dessert, but never make it.

 Easy Strawberry Tart |

Lately, I’ve been eating a LOT of desserts. When I was in New York, I had an amazing dinner at momofuku noodle bar: brisket bun (my favorite of the night!), kimchee salad, rice cakes and of course, a bowl of ‘momofuku ramen’ (pork belly, pork shoulder and poached egg). I was too full for dessert, but there was no WAY I was leaving without taking home some famous milk bar goodies so I brought back ‘the ritz’ cookies and a box of pretzel cake truffles. Uhhh, ridiculous doesn’t even begin to describe them.

I’m a little tempted to get the cookbook, but when I cook at home, I like need things to be simple. Their recipes aren’t.

This dessert IS simple. It doesn’t require a ton of ingredients, and it doesn’t even require pulling out the mixer! (Unless you are an over-achiever and you make your own puff pastry.)

 Easy Strawberry Tart |

I’m partnering with Central West Produce to work on some recipes and when I was sent some beautiful strawberries, they were just begging to be made into a dessert. When I have perfectly ripe, perfectly delicious produce, I like to let it shine in recipes.

In this easy strawberry tart, puff pastry is baked, topped with a sweet cream cheese spread and finished off with fresh berries. It’s crunchy, creamy, sweet and fresh!

Each of the components come together really quickly and that’s precisely why ‘easy’ is in the title.

 Easy Strawberry Tart |

But delicious also deserves a spot in the title (ultimately, it didn’t get it). Pick up this dessert with your hands and crunch through each delicious layer.

Easy Strawberry Tart
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8 servings
  • 8 oz puff pastry (one sheet)
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2-4 Tbsp milk or half & half
  • 16 oz fresh strawberries
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut puff pastry into 8 pieces and place on a parchment-lined pan.
  3. Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden brown.
  4. Meanwhile, mix together cream cheese, vanilla and honey until smooth.
  5. Add milk or half & half to thin out cream cheese mixture.
  6. Slice strawberries.
  7. Layer cream cheese and strawberries over puff pastry pieces.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 308 Fat: 22 grams Carbohydrates: 22 grams Sugar: 7 grams Fiber: 2 grams Protein: 5 grams

This post is sponsored by Central West Produce. Opinions are my own.