Category: stuff my face

from greenhouse to table

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This Sunday I was finally able to check something off of my lengthy (and getting lengthier by the days…) “To Do” List by dining at the new garden rooftop restaurant Commissary from chef Roy Choi. Roy is quickly becoming one of my favorite chefs due to his rather inventive and fun dining experiences. I was first hooked when I ate at Pot, a Korean hot pot spot turned on its heels and his original restaurant on the ground floor of the hotel. I met up with my best friend David at the Line Hotel in K-Town and we had a chic yet simple lunch inspired by fresh ingredients and surrounded by “oh so adorable” decor in this Instagram ready greenhouse.
Really. I dare you not to take an Instagram while you’re here.

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The menu is fun and quirky. Roy clearly states that he wants the experience to almost be like a “Choose Your Own Adventure,” by randomly picking singular ingredients that will act as the star of the dish, without knowing what the chef will actually create with them. David and I are really bad with options, but after a quick chat with our waitress who literally (and impressively!) knew every single description of every ingredient, we got a little cheat sheet explanation and ended up choosing Deviled Eggs, Asparagus, and The Burger and Fries. All were amazing. Next time I want to try RadishScallops, and Corn (which apparently is the bestseller). I have to say surprisingly, that the deviled eggs were an absolute standout. They were phenomenal.
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deviled eggs

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 The asparagus was perfectly cooked and drizzled with a tangy kale dressing and fresh parmesan cheese. Deliciouso!! The burger was Kobe beef with arugula and jam spread. Enough said.
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The dessert we chose was the Stone Fruit choice. It was unlike anything I’ve ever tasted and we were both left wanting more. I couldn’t stop discussing and nerdily analyzing what the heck was in that magical bowl of goodness besides the obvious stardust, glitter and LIFE! The shaved ice hidden at the bottom is the ultimate surprise that brings the flavors of the roasted peaches, ice cream and toasted almonds all together.
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Don’t forget to visit the Cafe downstairs for a slice of Hello Kitty cake or another one of their yummy pastries and a coffee to sip on while you sit in one of their funky cubicle like seating areas downstairs. So fun! There was tons of people on their laptops working or just hanging out with friends. All in all, I will definitely be going back to Commissary soon for another fun filled day.  Thank you Roy Choi for another one of a kind dining experience. You are nothing but a culinary visionary in my eyes!
Commissary @ The Line Hotel
3515 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90010
xx,ally
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RECIPE: “LAZY GIRL” TOMATO BASIL PASTA

 

my pastaglamour shot with pasta

Hey summer kids. This is part of a new series of posts that I’ve titled “LAZY GIRL RECIPES” after my passion of NOT cooking. I am a lazy chef. When I think of going to the store, gathering all the ingredients (spending half my life savings on organic), hauling them out of the car, washing them, prepping, peeling, chopping, processing, heating, baking, searing, cooling (the food and MYSELF it’s so DARN HOT I’M SWEATING), plating (how the hell do you make food look photoshoot ready?), and serving it is enough to scare me out of cooking for anyone EVER. And on top of that, I then have to eat it in the company of friends and look semi cute? Too. Much.
So, I’ve put together some fun ideas if you’re like me and just want simple, creative meals that aren’t totally lackluster. This one was adapted from a Food Network recipe that I tweaked to make easier. I can’t tell you how incredibly proud I was of myself for making my own tomato sauce from scratch! This is unheard of for me.
It’s all about pushing boundaries people! Cooking isn’t in my wheelhouse of special skills, but this year it’s all about challenging myself, so here we go.
Bon appetit!
xx, ally
basil picking

Fresh basil is one of my favorite things in the world.

In the grocery basket:
2 lbs of fresh tomatoes (I used a mixture of larger vine and cherry)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion finely chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
Pinch of chili flakes
1/2 box of angel hair pasta
1/4 cup chopped basil + a few whole sprigs for garnish

fun ingredients

OKAY. I’M GOING TO MAKE THIS SUPER EASY FOR YOU.
PREPPIN’ THE TOMS:

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1. Get two large pots.
1st pot: bring water to a boil.
2nd pot: fill with water and ice to create an “icebath”
Sounds weird, just do it.
2. Cut a small “x” on the bottom of each tomato. Tedious, but do it.
3. The dreaded ICEBATH!
This was the step that freaked me out. It sounds harder and way more extensive than it really is. Trust me, so easy…and actually sort of fun. I felt like I was giving little babies baths!
In batches, place the tomatoes in the boiling water (blanching them) for about 30 seconds-1 min, or until you see the skins are peeling off.
Remove and quick like fire, plunge them into the ice bath! Repeat until all the tomatoes are done. You’re basically trying to get them soft so the skins are easily removable.

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chopped tomatoes4. Peel the tomatoes and cut them in half horizontally (not from the stem down, cut into the middle and across). Squeeze out the seeds. Dig in there kids and get them all!!
5. Now that they are peeled and seeded, you can chop them up and set them aside for now.
Insider secret: If you are REALLY LAZY, you can skip all this and just use canned tomatoes. But honestly, it tastes 10,000 times better when you make it fresh.

 

MAKIN’ THE SAUCE

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6. Bring a saute pan to medium heat. Add olive oil.
7. Once hot and sizzly, add your onions and garlic (the sweetest combination known to mankind) and saute for roughly 2 minutes.
8. Add thyme and chili flakes. Wait until garlic starts to get all golden browny.
9. Now, little chefs add your tomatoes and sugar. Stir. Lower the temp and cook for 15 minutes, or until the sauce is pretty dry.

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ZEE PASTA!

10. Boil your pasta in salted water! I’m pretty stoked about how my pasta came out. I just followed the darn directions on the box and cooked my angel hair for 4 minutes on the dot and they came out perfectly al dente. Experiment with yours as each brand is probably different. I taste tested a noodle virtually every 30 seconds like a crazy person to make sure they were perfect. Hah!

PLATING

Put it all together. This is where your creativity comes in. Pick a pretty pasta bowl. Garnish with your basil and maybe even some grated parmesan! Invite friends or skeptics who didn’t think you would ever make your own pasta sauce from scratch and make them eat your concoction…..and then rub it into their faces.

basil tomato pasta

YOU DID IT! NOW ENJOY. I TOLD YOU. EASY.
Love you guys. Comment below with any ideas for other yummy summer foods or recipes. What do you like to cook?

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My New Favorite Summer Drink

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♥ ♥ ♥

Hi my healthy little summer lovelies!!!

Found my new summer drink…..and it’s both non-alcoholic (shockingly) and way too healthy (annoyingly). And before you ask, no one paid me to say this. I just really liked this drink. May I introduce the: Health-Ade Kombucha

…..in BEET flavor.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. I ain’t drinking no beets, bitch!! But seriously if you are a fan of kombucha drinks, you will love this drink! And if you’ve never tried one and are being stubborn little Sally’s then suck it up and try it. This is a great one for first timers. The beet flavor is ever so slight giving the juice an overall sweet flavor, with a hint of earthiness. And the sparkling water makes it nice and bubbly. I swear it tastes like a healthy soda.

All the ingredients are organic, raw, natural, vegan, gluten-free & kosher (okay, we get it this product is basically saving lives, jeeesh!) and the produce used is all from local farmers. To top it off, the packaging is so freaking adorable! The glass bottles are actually UV-protective and made from amber, giving it that pretty color. I’m saving mine to use as a water bottle!

Trust me,  I wouldn’t stray you guys wrong.

xx, ally
kombucha

Other flavors include:


 Pink Lady Apple, Plum, Cayenne Cleanse, The Original, Ginger Lemon, and Carrot.

Has anyone else tried these? Let me know!

LOVE YOU!
ally maki