Author Archives: Anne

Red Velvet Cake with Fresh Berries

This one is a classic, folks.  I’ve been making this particular red velvet cake for years, although it’d been awhile so I whipped one up this weekend. As I was mixing it together I remembered how easy it is to make, and as the scent of cocoa wafted through the air while it was baking I kicked myself for not making it more often, especially NOW when there is an array of gorgeous berries at the markets.  Continue reading

Yujean Kang’s, Old Town Pasadena

Old Town Pasadena. I can’t even remember how old I was when I first walked down Colorado Blvd, but Pasadena (Old Town, in particular) is probably where my social life began. I guess it’s an odd thought to think of the start of your social life, but to me it is marked by the first circle of friends or flurry of nighttime activity after you’ve moved out of mom and dad’s house and are a bonafide, independent adult. Continue reading

Quick Bites: Potato Pizza, Stuffed Sweet Peppers, Spinach With Garlic

Happy Tuesday everyone (wait, are Tuesdays happy?  I guess it doesn’t have the same ring as “TGIF!”)! I have quite a bit to do today but I wanted to post a quick update on a meal I whipped up for my family last week.  Not unusually, I found myself inspired once again by the bounty at the Farmer’s Market (this time in Santa Monica) so I let the beautiful produce be the star of the show.

There have been some incredible baby fingerling potatoes at the markets lately, and they come in a variety of pretty colors.  I picked up some pink ones but you can’t really see the colors in these photos, unfortunately.  I bet some of you are thinking, “potato pizza??” but let me assure you that the creaminess of these fingerlings go so well with a crispy, whole-wheat crust, and all it needs is a smear of herbed cream cheese and a grating of sharp parmesan to bring it all together.  A drizzle of homemade pesto and some fresh rosemary never hurt anything either:). It’s a carb-lovers dream come true, I tell ya!

Bloomsdale spinach sauteed with garlic and olive oil:

Beautiful sweet mini-peppers stuffed with jalapeno/cilantro chicken sausage and roasted- such a simple dish but SO good!

What’s been your favorite Farmer’s Market purchase this season?

Inside Savor Los Angeles

As a food blogger, I get invited to try restaurants or attend food events once in awhile.  Sometimes I’ll go and many times I won’t, depending on whether I’m interested in it or not.  Pretty simple.  Anytime I am comped a meal or an event ticket, I’ll always say so on this blog- I feel it’s appropriate, and I also want to mention that I won’t ever lie about an experience anywhere- free or not.  After all, food is the reason I do this- GOOD FOOD- and as someone who has a deep respect for and love of the stuff I can’t very well be swayed into saying something over a few saved dollars.  It just ain’t right! Continue reading

Food Event: Savor Los Angeles

I savor this great city quite often, but it’s nice when someone puts together an event where you can sample a lot of Los Angeles’ culinary offerings in one location!  If you’re looking for some good food paired with good libations, check out Savor Los Angeles tomorrow night (Thursday, 6/2) from 7:00-10:00pm at Siren Studios.  They plan to showcase “Food BFFs” or “Best Friend Foods” – foods that go together like peanut butter and chocolate, grilled cheese and tomato soup or milk and ramen.  HA- got you on that last one, didn’t I?  Hey, when I was a kid I used to love to eat a bowl of ramen and drink a cold glass of milk.  And look at me now- I’m a food blogger.  So now you know how I honed this palate to perfection (yes yes, insert snorting laughter here!).

Getting back to the event- you’ll get a chance to try bites from the likes of Reservoir, Mas Malo, Starry Kitchen (who are so famous for their crispy tofu balls that I almost just typed “Starry Balls” as the restaurant name!), Cast Iron Gourmet (who makes this highly dangerous stuff called “Couch Mix”- don’t say I didn’t warn you) and more while washing it all down with eco-friendly cocktails and craft beers.  It’s a pretty great way to spend a Thursday night!

Hope to see you there.

Catering: Staff Lunch, Sargent House

When I relaunched this blog a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I’ve started catering. I love cooking more than almost anything else and my friends have been telling me for quite some time to just get out there and do it, so I had to listen.
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Recipe: Baked Tofu Egg Rolls

Did you know it’s currently National Vegetarian Week? If ya didn’t, now ya do, so go out there and eat a carrot or ten!

I do love myself a beautiful piece of rare meat now and again, but I find that I cook vegetarian more often than not even though I’m not consciously planning it. I guess it may have to do with the fact that I don’t really know what I’ll be cooking on any given week and therefore rarely buy meat or fish on my weekend shopping trips and prefer to buy it the day of when I figure out what’s for dinner. Add that to the fact that I’m usually running behind, and it leads to me making our meals out of whatever we have on hand, which is always vegetables and some sort of protein that keeps well for longer periods than fresh meat, like tofu, cheese or beans. Continue reading

Recipe: Spring Vegetable Frittata

I hate to start off a Sunday afternoon post with a rant, but I just have to get it out. I’m done paying money for bad meals and mediocre food. Just done. It seems I’ve had some bad luck especially when it comes to breakfast or brunch outings (there have been a few dinners as well, darn it!), and I guess it’s partially my fault for trying to tweak a scramble so it’s made with egg whites or to ask for “easy cheese.” Maybe I should just order an omelet the way it is without adjustments. But even as I type that sentence, I’m not totally convinced that trying to eat relatively healthily at a restaurant is reason enough for a bad plate of food. What restaurant these days doesn’t offer a “substitute egg whites” option anyway? They all do, right? Grrrrr….. Continue reading

Quick Bites: Fiore Market Cafe- South Pasadena

While driving around during one gorgeous Southern California morning, J and I passed by the old Bistro K space attached to the Fremont Centre Theatre in South Pasadena and saw that “Fiore Market Cafe” had taken its place.  Having spent many evenings savoring the creative and mouthwatering dishes of Chef Laurent Quenioux back in the Bistro K days (Chef is now cooking at Vertical Wine Bistro) we just had to stop in and investigate.  I’m glad we did.

I love a chalkboard menu

The tiny corner space is now laid out like a deli/cafe, featuring prepared salads (Spicy Udon Noodles, Fennel Slaw and Curried Cauliflower were a few of the items available today), and menu of made-to-order sandwiches and fresh salads and an array of gorgeous baked goods piled high on different cake platters.  The lemon bars, red velvet cupcakes and large, flat chocolate chip cookies looked especially good.

Coconut, lavender and red velvet cupcakes

Seating is right outside the market in a lusciously landscaped patio, decorated with clay pots of the fresh herbs used in many of the dishes.  The romantic, spring-like feel of both the inside and outdoor spaces hasn’t changed since it was Bistro K and was one of the reasons why we always went back.  The rustic, European-country style is so utterly charming and makes the patio a perfect place to enjoy lunch al fresco.

Mulberry scones

Unfortunately we’d just eaten so we didn’t have the appetite to try any of their savory dishes, but we couldn’t resist buying a beautiful oatmeal cookie from the case.  It was slightly crisp around the edges and chewy in the middle and tasted of fresh butter, brown sugar and oats.  Wow.  I guess I’ll have to add that cookie to the list of things I’ll be craving again soon.

I’m excited to go back and have a proper lunch at Fiore but will have a hard time choosing between the Short Rib Sandwich on Homemade Bread, the Tempeh Bacon, Avocado and Lettuce Sandwich and the Roast Chicken and Maple Glazed Bacon Salad with Blue Cheese, Egg and Dill-Peppercorn Dressing.  Hungry yet? They also sell salami, jams and other gourmet goodies in the market.

In addition to the Tempeh Bacon sandwich (made with Vegenaise) the cafe also offers Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes and a Lavash Wrap made with Soyrizo so carnivores and vegans can live happily ever after….or at least, eat happily together!

Fiore Market Cafe
1000 Freemont Ave.
South Pasadena, CA 91030
(626) 441-2280
Hours: Mon-Thu 11:00am-6:00pm, Fri-Sat 11:00am-7:00pm Sun: CLOSED

Healthier, 134-Calorie Cheesecake

Ed note: Hey, welcome to the new, improved, Doppler 12,000 version of Tuna Toast! It’s nice to finally be here, and I’m so glad you’ve joined me. Read more about this blog and other new, exciting (well, to me!) happenings by clicking on the “About Me,” “Catering/Baking” or other tabs.

I know what you’re thinking.  How can healthy cheesecake be any good?  After all, the best thing about a cheesecake is how dense, rich and utterly sinful it tastes. Which is exactly why I tried to create a slightly lighter version- so I could experience the goodness that is cheesecake much more often.  And guess what?  It worked!

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