Monthly Archives: January 2013

{love+cupcakes} Blog

Here in LA, summer just doesn’t seem to want to leave. 100+ degree weather has been the norm for the past few months. And as anxious as I am to start enjoying sweater weather, I’m grateful for the abundance of peaches, plums and pluots still hanging on for dear life. We still have a whole refrigerator drawer filled with a delicious mix of stone fruit, but this will most likely be my last peachy recipe of the year.  Fortunately, this recipe is flexible – swap out the peaches for apples, pears or even quinces this fall.  Happy weekend all! xoxo!

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{love+cupcakes} Blog




Sometimes I wake up and all I want to do is be in the kitchen. Like all day. Making anything and everything. Last Sunday was one of those days. I opened the fridge, the cupboards, the drawers, and assessed my options. We had all of the makings for one of my all time favorites. Quiche. There are so many variations of quiche that I love, but this one right here is my favorite favorite. Substituting non-fat milk for heavy cream and egg whites for whole eggs keeps this spinach quiche light and airy, while the aged cheese and buttery whole wheat crust give it a deliciously rich flavor. It’s an excellent way to get all of the savory richness of a standard quiche with less of the guilt. Serve it alongside a small salad and Bellini, and you’ve got yourself a tasty brunch! Enjoy!

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Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This recipe is adapted from Lidia’s version here. I don’t hold with all that blended tomatoes in a sauce nonsense, but this is a really good quick mid-week meal. Any apples will work including sweet and I used fuji apples. The wheat pasta goes very well and makes the dish a little heartier, but normal noodles can be used.

Spaghetti with Apple Sauce

  • 1/2 cup celery minced
  • 1/2 cup onion minced
  • 2 apples peeled, cored and shredded
  • 4 leaves basil cut into ribbons
  • 2 28-ounce cans tomatoes crushed by hand very well
  • 1 cup grated Romano
  • Salt/pepper
  • 1 lb whole wheat spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp butter

In a large saute pan melt butter over medium heat and saute onion until it is dark golden brown. Add celery and cook until softened. Add tomatoes and basil and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add apples and cook until sauce thickens…

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Portobello,Broccoli and Red-Pepper Melts.

This recipe reminds me to my summers in Italy , the good and healthy food. The divine combination of flavours and the perfection of textures make this plate more than exquisite.

“The broiler works double time for these knife-and-fork sandwiches, caramelizing the veggies, then melting the Gouda”


1 small head broccoli, cut into small florets (stalk discarded)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 portobello mushrooms (stems removed), sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 red bell peppers (ribs and seeds removed), sliced 1/2 inch thick
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1 small garlic clove, crushed through a press
4 thick slices country bread
4 ounces Gouda cheese, thinly sliced

Heat broiler, with rack set 4 inches from heat. On a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, toss broccoli with oil; season with salt and pepper. Broil, tossing once or twice, until broccoli begins to char, 4 to 6 minutes.

Add mushrooms and bell peppers to sheet; season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Broil, tossing once or twice, until vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes more; set aside.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine mayonnaise and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Place bread on a work surface. Dividing evenly, spread with mayonnaise mixture, and top with vegetables, then cheese. Place on baking sheet, and broil until cheese is melted and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

Cooking Whims


This past Sunday, I was delighted to join the Boston Brunchers in dining at Back Deck in Downtown Crossing. I was thrilled to win a seat at the brunch, because a.) brunch is the best meal of the day and b.) this is always a fabulous group of people to go out and enjoy a meal with — I always have a great time and love seeing new and old faces in the group!

Back Deck is located in the heart of Downtown Crossing — just steps away from the Boston Common. My first reaction when I stepped in was, “Oh! I love the decor.” The restaurant, though does not have outdoor seating, gives you the feeling like you’re dining outside with split-level seating and tables designed to look like picnic tables. It also has what I would describe as a rustic, but fresh feeling — everything is so clean…

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Katie at the Kitchen Door

Pomegranate and Pear Salad {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

Alright, guys – one more salad recipe, then I’ll post the week two menu and groceries tomorrow, and then I’ll shut up about cleansing for a good long while. In fact, I have two decidedly non-cleanse-friendly recipes coming up in the next week – think comforting Italian, then think Valentine’s Day planning. I’m excited already. Not that I’m going to give up all my cleanse habits – on the contrary, I plan to continue eating a lot of salads and veggie-based dishes for at least the near future. It’s just that I’m sneaking some indulgences back in there too.

But first thing’s first – salad. This salad is from the November issue of Food and Wine, and was actually developed by chef/blogger/recent-cookbook-author Aida Mollenkamp (check out her new book, Keys to the Kitchen, if you haven’t already). It’s very simple and refreshing and sweet, with juicy pomegranate seeds…

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Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

Chicken has to be one of the most versatile meats for stuffing. This idea came about as a way to use up the last of the dried plums leftover from this holiday treat. The spice mixture really complements the flavors of the filling and the dish is fairly low fat.

Some people may know dried plums by another moniker and possible dietary use but I enjoy them much like someone else would enjoy raisins. Plumper, juicer tastier raisins.

Stuffed Chicken with Toasted Pecans and Dried Plums

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 10-12 dried plums diced fine
  • 1/4 toasted pecans diced fine
  • 4 oz feta crumbled
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp mace
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt/pepper
  • olive oil

De-bone chicken breasts and remove tenders for another meal. Butterfly breasts and pound out to 1/4″ thickness. Mix plums, pecans and feta together in a bowl. Add more cheese to taste…

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My Fancy Pantry

Giveaway is now over!  Sadly, I didn’t get a response from Emily R. before the Jan. 2 deadline, so I have to pick a new winner.  Emily, if you read this…send me a message!  I can’t send you the sausages, but I’d love to send you a little something else! 

New winner:  Congratulations to commenter #3 (picked via, tcarolinep!!!  I’ll be sending you an email! 

It’s no secret that my family loves cinnamon rolls.  Especially my Grandmother’s homemade cinnamon rolls.  Oh man!  They’re soft and doughy, sweet–but not too sweet–they’re everything you could ever want in a cinnamon roll…and more!

Because I work on Christmas this year, I won’t have time to go to Grandma’s and have a taste of her fluffy cinnamon rolls, nor will I have time to whip up a pan of my own.  Instead, I plan on making Piyush a quick and easy recipe…

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hungry sofia

I’ve gotten into the terrible habit of buying and not using pizza dough.  Every time, I tell myself it’ll be different but end up tossing away a once perfectly good round of dough a few weeks later.  Instead of making my own, I head over to South Brooklyn Pizza where they know more about what you want than you do, Grimaldi’s when family is in town and there’s time for the line, Layla Jones for a fast slice, or Sam’s Restaurant for the mildly terrifying son of Sam jokes the waiter drops with your pizza.  With so many great options just a few minutes in any direction, the fun of spinning and topping my own gets left for another day.  The pizza stone that lives in my oven is looking angrier and spottier than usual.

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hungry sofia

There are so many stories around the mojito but the one I hope is true is that its name comes from the African word for “mojo” or casting spells. This makes perfect sense because, as a friend pointed out, mojitos make everyone happy. Assuming all other conditions are equal and in moderation, a strong mixed drink can make someone pensive or low key, exhilerated or stupefied, wild or reckless, but a mojito – happy. It’s even hard to think of a mojito without smiling, it’s a charming little cocktail.

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