All posts tagged: Food

California’s French Riviera ~ Sausalito & Marin, CA

One of the greatest joys of living in California is that you can hop in your car at a moment’s notice and create the instant epic road trip of your dreams. Snow, surf, forest, mountains, desert—whatever your heart desires, it’s right here for the taking. And if you’re like us and dream of wearing stripes while sipping rosé by the waterfront in Nice, then it’s time to head up to Northern California for a taste of the French Riviera in our own backyard! We feel the call of Northern California quite often. Big fans of a road trip, we answer that call by piling our gang into our (eco-friendly) cars and making the drive up the coast. It’s the perfect time to get in some 80’s-power-ballad sing-alongs, have some deep and meaningfuls, explore sleepy unknown towns and their many dried fruit & nut options, and of course—catch up on Serial and backlogged This American Life episodes. On our last trip up, even though we were seeing Hall & Oates play The Greek in Berkeley, we …

Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai

In 2011, I traveled to Thailand and my true love affair with Thai cuisine began. The explosion of flavors was unlike any Thai food I had experienced in the States. I couldn’t leave “The Land of Smiles” without uncovering the mysteries of those beautiful bright flavors–which prompted a bike ride to a little farm in the northern countryside to take a cooking class from a Thai chef. My friend Kristen & I experienced cooking Thai cuisine for the first time with local ingredients. Thai food is so satisfying because it awakens a symphony of flavor. Spicy, salty, sour and sweet, Thai cooks are masters of balancing the palate. No other dish showcases that magic like Pad Thai. Flash forward to 2016 and that adventure still finds its way into my kitchen. As a home cook and happa, I like to experiment with Asian cuisine but with a California twist. This is not surprising since I grew up with a Korean mother who would sneak rice and kimchi onto our dinner table to accompany any international cuisine from Italian pasta to Czech goulash. This Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai became an …

Flourless Chocolate Lava Cake (Gluten Free)

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and I am being inspired by those romantic French.  My most memorable food memory is of this euphoric Poached Pear with Chocolate Sauce dessert that I devoured in Antibes, France that literally changed my life.  There’s something about chocolate that is so decadent and no one does it better than the French. From Chocolate Soufflés to Molten Lava Cakes, French cuisine & pastry is synonymous with romantic desserts that will ignite your desire.  Being gluten-free, I have always wanted to experiment with creating a dessert that has the creaminess of a Chocolate Lava Cake but without the use of flour. Thus the Flourless Chocolate Lava Cake was born. We at Sirens and Scoundrels are always initiating fun gathering ideas and food shares. What could be more fun while celebrating this Month of LOVE than gathering your loved ones or Valentine’s date & having a decadent Chocolate Party? It’s a taste experience that will have your loved ones over the moon. Because you’ll be baking individual Chocolate Lava Cakes, you and your guests have the freedom to flavor …

Spaghetti Squash “Pasta” (vegan & gluten free)

I like to celebrate February as the Month of Love: love for a partner, love for your family & friends, and most importantly, love for yourself. So for each week in February, I am going to share one of my recipes featuring a culture that shares my food philosophy: FOOD IS LOVE. Sharing Italian food is synonymous with romance–there’s something about Italian that makes you feel decadent and cared for. One delicious bite can make you feel like you’ve received a warm, passionate hug. Being present together over a shared meal “made with love” is what I want to entice you to do this month. My spaghetti squash “pasta” will impress anyone lucky enough to be your heart’s desire. This Italian feast-in-a-pot is the perfect centerpiece for your next gathering, be it a romantic date with a bottle of wine or a celebration with friends. Not only is it gluten-free and vegan, but it’s simple to make and extremely satisfying. Spaghetti Squash gets its name from its noodle-like texture when cooked. It is the perfect hearty base for a …

Vegan Comfort Food ~ Lentil & Sweet Potato Salad

So, this dish is pretty legendary amongst our friends. It seems inconspicuous enough at first glance—lentils in a bowl. Big whoop. Until you bite into it. Then universally everyone asks, “Wait, WHAT’S IN THIS?!” Quickly followed by, “Can you give me the recipe?” after going back for thirds. This is quite possibly one of the simplest meals you will ever make, but it is just undeniably delicious. It’s healthy vegan comfort food that settles deep down into your bones and feels like a big warm food hug. The secret is the richness of the roasted sweet potatoes combined with the unexpected creamy tanginess of the lentils cooked in olive oil and apple cider vinegar. I know people who have literally lived off this dish after being introduced to it. And it’s so easy ANYONE can make it. You ready? Here goes… Serves 6 INGREDIENTS~ 2-3 medium-large sweet potatoes 3 cups soaked or pre-cooked lentils (I use 1 bag of Trader Joes pre-cooked lentils) 1 bag of arugula (optional) olive oil unfiltered apple cider vinegar everyday …

Chicken Vegetable Soup

Flu season is upon us and nothing “cures what ails ya” like homemade chicken soup.  Recent scientific studies show that chicken soup really does have more medicinal value than a lot of over-the-counter medicines that just mask symptoms versus aiding your body in healing.  In my recipe, every single ingredient is medicine–each delivering anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, immune-boosting magic. Coming from a Tex-Mex and Korean food background and now being a gluten-free Cali-girl home cook, my version of chicken soup includes all the standard components of this traditional wonder broth…with some delicious twists. I’m revealing all my secrets here to keep you in the best health for 2016 and beyond. All of our sirens & scoundrels need to be in premium health for this year’s coming adventures, so we’ll get past this flu season together!  First, let’s talk about the magic of all of these luscious ingredients: –Coconut oil is extremely anti-viral. –Garlic is also anti-viral, detoxes your body from heavy metals, aids in heart & bone health, is rich in manganese, vitamin B6 and that powerful vitamin C. –Ginger …

Cabin Feasting

With winter finally hitting Los Angeles, it’s time to plan your next cabin excursion with friends. We’re so lucky that in California we have a million options for local getaways where the cabin game runs strong. So if you’ve got a cool case of Cabin Fever coming on (and really, who doesn’t?), then go check out Idyllwild, Big Bear, Lake Arrowhead, Yosemite, Mammoth, the Sequoias…or all of the above! This week, we shared our recent New Year’s adventure to idyllic Idyllwild with you. One of our favorite parts was getting to stay at a beautiful snowy treehouse cabin in the woods with friends. The great thing about being tucked away in a secluded cabin somewhere for a few days is that you get full permission to rest, relax and rejuvenate. Sacred time to just unplug, hunker down and, of course…chow down. And that’s really our favorite part. Grab your gang, have everyone bring some groceries to cook up their favorite mountain meal and enjoy a weekend of culinary adventuring. On our Idyllwild trip, we hit …

Detox Salad

After the Holidays (a.k.a. the universal feasting marathon), January is usually a time to reboot. What better way to start your year off than with clean eating and lots of organic fruits and vegetables? The “juicing” craze is alive and well in Los Angeles and many of our favorite juice shops are promoting a New Year’s Juice Fast/Detox to help you kick-start your resolutions. More than just a diet fad, juicing is a quick and delicious way to get those healthy vitamins delivered right where you need them. Inspired by detox juices but wanting a little more “bite”, I created a detox salad that has all the delicious sweet and savory flavors of an apple & beet juice, but with all the fiber and crunch of actually eating food…so you leave fully satisfied. When my body is screaming for a cold-pressed juice, my favorite flavors are both sweet and savory. I’ve integrated my favorite delicious immune- boosting ingredients into this salad: Apples are anti-inflammatory, high in fiber, filled with anti-oxidants and full of C & B vitamins. …

Texas Caviar ~ A New Year’s Appetizer

Growing up in Texas, holidays are a time for gathering and feasting on Tex-Mex flavors. In the South, there’s a tradition to eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. This Southern side dish is usually cooked with collard greens and ham. The peas symbolize prosperity, since they grow fatter when cooked. The greens symbolize money for the year ahead. Aside from adding that smokey flavor, the pork represents beneficial forward motion, since pigs forage by rooting forward. Texas Caviar is our no-nonsense version of black-eyed pea good luck to ring in the New Year. Combined with fresh lime, pico de gallo & guacamole, this dip is a winner at any party! Texas Caviar 6 medium Roma tomatoes 2 cans of black-eyed peas 1 small red onion or ½ a large red onion 1 jalapeno ¼ cup minced cilantro 3 small avocados or 2 large avocados 4 limes salt to taste Any variety of tomato is delicious to use in this recipe, but Roma tomatoes are very easy to de-seed and the flesh is less watery than other varieties. Slice the tomatoes …

Crash Mixed Potatoes

Holiday Season is in full swing! Time for marathon feasting and gathering! This rustic potato recipe is my brother-in-law’s favorite holiday side-dish–both creamy and crispy in one delicious bite. Though these crash potatoes are sure to be a crowd pleaser all year round. They’re perfect for a fun brunch gathering, a hearty meat and potatoes night, or a lighter soup and salad luncheon. This recipe is like that favorite pair of jeans that you wear over and over again and accessorize as you please…it’s all about your preferences and your choice of potatoes. Serves 4   Ingredients 1 bag/a dozen mixed potatoes 1/4 cup olive oil 3 cloves of garlic 2 stems of rosemary salt & pepper to taste I love that the winter harvest brings us a variety of colorful vegetables in season.  In this version of crash potatoes, I use a variety of gold, purple, red and sweet potatoes. As you choose your potatoes, make sure they are similar in size; small enough (lemon size), but not too small (fingerling potatoes size). If …

Winter Picnic ~ Malibu Wines

When the leaves turn colors and start falling from the trees and that winter chill finally hits the air after those hot October nights, there’s nothing better than layering up in your wooly finest and heading out for a winter picnic with friends. Our favorite spot to gather for some lazy mid-winter’s revelry is Malibu Wines. A local vineyard tucked away in the Malibu Mountains just off of Kanan, Malibu Wines offers a sprawling picnic area complete with farm tables, chairs and flaming heat lamps to cuddle up and get cozy around. Lay out a sumptuous spread, sample some house wines, take in the live music and soak in the glorious afternoon. Order a couple bottles of wine for your table or try individual “flights” from the wine tasting bar. You can pick the flight of your choice and sample wines at your own pace throughout the day. Outside alcohol is understandably not allowed in, but you are welcome to bring any non-alcoholic beverages with you. We highly recommend bringing plenty of water to make …

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Pizza, pizza, pizza! We at Sirens & Scoundrels are always ones to initiate a gathering and a “Build Your Own Pizza Party” is an instant crowd pleaser. It’s a fun way to feast while accommodating any dietary restrictions. With all the different crust and cheese alternatives available now and an assortment of toppings, everyone can have it their own way! I have been experimenting with Cauliflower Pizza Crust because it’s a wonderful gluten-free alternative. The first time I tried to make this vegetable-based crust, I learned a lot.  I found that the drier my ingredients, the crisper the crust.  All of it was delicious, especially the crisp edges, but the center of the pizza had more of a polenta consistency than a crust. We ended up eating the pizza with a fork, which goes against that satiating feeling of picking up a slice with your hands and devouring it. As your resident foodie, I went back to the drawing board. I’m a fan of New York-style thin crust, so here’ s a few tips: TIP 1: The smaller you make your crust, the …

Cauliflower Crust Egg-in-a-Hole

This year, I’ve had an ongoing weekly Sirens & Scoundrels cook date with fellow Siren, Pippa. Every week, we come together and experiment with rogue ideas in the kitchen. Some were failures, some were delicious triumphs. When I went gluten-free 5 years ago due to an allergy, pizza was the only thing I felt deprived of, since it was my favorite go-to meal. So I thought it was time I started experimenting with some crust alternatives. I’ve always been curious about cauliflower crust. Here’s the thing: because cauliflower is a vegetable, it sweats liquid when cooked down, which makes it difficult to get a really crisp crust. I theorized that if you make the crust into smaller, more personal sizes, then the middle of the “dough” will be as crisp as the edges. This led me to an enticing vision of combining my two favorite things: Pizza & Brunch.  Thus, the idea for the Cauliflower Crust Egg-in-a-Hole was born! Makes 4 Crust Ingredients 2 cups packed riced cauliflower  (Follow the instructions for Ricing Cauliflower: Here) 1 egg ½ cup grated parmesan ½ cup grated low-moisture mozzarella Preheat oven …

Apple Picking Season ~ Oak Glen, CA

Every Fall I go apple picking. And each time I come back with my bags of apples and Mile-High Apple Pie in tow, everyone asks, “WAIT!—You can go apple picking in LA?” YES. Yes you can. Meet Oak Glen, CA. Nestled up in the mountains about an hour & a half east of Los Angeles, the folks in Oak Glen have been growing apples since 1867. If you imagine Autumn-in-Vermont Pioneer Village meets 1950’s Frozen-in-Time Americana, you’ve got Oak Glen. It’s a magic combo that makes you feel like you’ve just stepped inside a Charles Wysocki puzzle. Located a mile up the mountain, this 5-mile loop of sweet old-fashioned apple orchards actually experiences all four seasons beyond just “warm and warmer”. Official apple picking season runs September to November, when the trees explode with ripe juicy apples of every flavor and the surrounding landscape bursts into an impressive show of bright yellows, reds and oranges. The best time for apple picking is the start of the season. But if you wait until later, there is …

Apple Bake

Returning from our recent day-trip to Oak Glen’s apple orchards with massive bags of farm-fresh apple bounty in hand, our Sirens were inspired to turn our treasures into tasty treats. We invited the ladies over for a leisurely afternoon of apple baking, followed by a roundtable tasting with our Sirens and Scoundrels. There were some soul-stirring gems, as well as some disasters. (TIP: Guava and apples don’t mix.) We’re sharing the best of the bake-off with you here. Try our recipes out yourself at your next Autumn-into-Winter dinner party. Happy baking!           CLICK LINKS BELOW FOR APPLE BAKING RECIPES~ Apple Castles Gluten-Free Apple Crumble (with Vegan option) Vegan Sugarless Apple Oat Cookies >>For your baking pleasure, enjoy these Farm Fresh Folk tunes!<< Be sure to subscribe to Sirens & Scoundrels for more awesome recipes & adventures delivered straight to you! Enter your email address on our home page & hit “SUBSCRIBE”!  Follow us on Instagram: @sirensandscoundrels Words by Christina Huntington // Photography by Sarah Prikryl © 2015 Sirens and Scoundrels

Apple Castles

Serves 4 Ingredients   4 apples 1 lemon 2 tsp cinnamon pinch of nutmeg pinch of ground ginger 2 Tbsp coconut oil 2 Tbsp brown sugar 1/2 cup pecans Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheet. Set aside. With a melon baller or pairing knife, cut out apple core leaving the apple intact. With a pairing knife or peeler, peel a long strip of apple skin from the very top of the apple and the very bottom, leaving the skin on in the middle. With a mandolin or knife, slice the apple into rings 1/8 inch thick. Squeeze lemon juice onto apple rings. Mix cinnamon, nutmeg and ground ginger together. Rub/lightly dust tops and bottoms of the apple rings. Stack the rings back into the apple shape on the cookie sheet. With the apple peel from the top and bottom, curl the skin, inside out, around your finger to create a rosette. Place the rosette in the apple stack hole on the top. Drizzle a little bit of coconut oil on each castle. Bake in the oven …

Ricing Cauliflower

  Being allergic to gluten, I plan to experiment with gluten-free recipes for our Sirens & Scoundrels. Riced cauliflower is a great alternative to flour for pizza crusts and a healthy alternative to traditional starches like rice or potatoes. I don’t own a microwave. I choose to cook “old school”. So here’s some tips I’ve learned along the way for ricing cauliflower. Dice the cauliflower tops off the head. You will be using the tops only, not the stalks. In a food processor, puree the cauliflower heads. Pour a small amount of water in the bottom of a pot, just enough to not touch the bottom of the colander that you will place inside. Bring to a boil, then add the pureed cauliflower into the colander in the pot. Cover and cook 5 minutes and remove from steam and heat. Let the cauliflower drain and cool to room temperature. Place 2 Tbsp of cooled cauliflower onto a cheese cloth (I used a linen napkin) to ring out any excess moisture. Quick Tips: Let the cauliflower cool to room temp so as …