Steamed and Seared Cabbage

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This week I’m taking you over to my friend and fellow blogger Elaine’s site to widen your horizons with vegetables via her “Pimp your Veg” series.  I’m employing a method that imparts a lot of great texture and flavor to the humbles and sometimes blandest veg, the cabbage.

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Pimped Veg on Toast with Egg

I’m bringing this dish, by way of Elaine, to Fiesta Friday #101 along with generous thanks to this week’s hosts Jhuls@thenotsocreativecook and my fellow meat and basset hound lover Mr. Fitz@cookingwithmrfitz 

Let’s all say a very hearty thank you and congratulations to Angie@thenovicegardener for creating this wonderful community.  May the next 100 be as awesome and delicious as the first 100 parties.  Happy New Year y’all!

Heirloom Cottage Cheese Pie

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“This is the worst pie I’ve ever tasted.”  -my Dad.

How’s that for an enticement?  Do keep in mind that my Dad said this after eating a bite of my mother’s pumpkin pie which is always sublime, and keep in mind that my Dad is a little bit set in his ways.  I’m thinking if he sees a white pie, he’s thinking cheesecake, and that’s not what he got here.

My husband, however, ate his whole piece and proclaimed it delicious.  He is the best Santa’s elf ever!  Always such a good sport, will try any crazy thing I cook up.

This pie is an heirloom Pennsylvania Dutch recipe, with German, Quaker and Mennonite roots.  It is a very simple recipe and, I think, makes for a very delicious pie.  It sort of reminds me of a ricotta cheesecake but with more texture and without the graham crust.  You have to be prepared to taste a little bit of savory/sour, along with the sweet, and I think it’s best eaten on its own and not after a bite of pumpkin pie.

I made this pie for Christmas Eve dinner, and also to bring to Fiesta Friday #100.  Stay tuned because I’ll be bringing more!  Happy Anniversary to everybody who’s been a part of Fiesta Friday and as always I send my gratitude and thanks to Angie for making this all possible.

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Pie Filling: Adapted from Shockingly Delicious

  • 1.5 cartons cottage cheese (1 16-ounce regular size carton and half of another 16 oz carton)
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • ¾-1 cup sugar
  • 2 well beaten eggs
  • Grated rind and juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Unbaked pie crust (see recipe below)
  • pinch nutmeg, either freshly grated or prepared ground

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Lodge Bread Co.

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#”Live Free and Bake.” – Lodge Bread Co.

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I was going to title this post “Toast in Los Angeles” but for journalistic integrity I had to change it to because the only place (besides home) I’ve actually been having toast in Los Angeles is the wonderful new Lodge Bread Co. Read More

Donuts in Los Angeles

Blue Star Donuts, Venice, CA

If you were wondering what I have been doing the past few months, the title of this post covers a lot of ground towards the answer.  In addition to visiting a slew of mostly newly-opened, but also older, donut shops in Los Angeles, I’ve also moved jobs twice which has compromised my commitment to blogging.

Donuts have a special place in my heart, even though I am not a true sweet tooth, but more of a savory tooth.  When I was a child, on Saturdays my mom used to drive a mile or so down Montana Avenue in Santa Monica to Carl’s Bakery, a small bakery that carried very basic donuts.  My donut of choice was the glazed twist.  Occasionally I would get a chocolate glazed, raised donut instead.  We were not cake donut eaters, we stuck with the yeasted, raised donuts.  So donuts signaled a departure from the normal daily breakfast which usually, at our house, involved either pancakes, french toast, waffles, date bread, biscuits, sometimes some bacon, and occasionally cold cereal with milk.  Fruit may have been offered, but I don’t remember much beyond orange juice.  Clearly, not bad, but still donuts were better!

As I got older I developed a fondness for Trader Joe’s bran muffins and into my later teens I was drinking smoothies and shakes for breakfast, with some fruit.  I spent one summer trying very hard to slim down before college by drinking Herbalife shakes (my mom tried them too) until my father, after watching a late night exposé on the company that revealed in his opinion some nefarious practices and possibly quackery, purged our cupboards of all the shakes and supplements and that was the end of that adventure.  But back to donuts.

These days our donut tradition is on Christmas Day.  Nearly everything is closed, but Stan’s Donuts in Westwood, CA, home to the UCLA campus, is not.  And so we go.  Some years my beautiful (and  . . . vegan!) neice Katy is in town and she accompanies us.  Stan has been making donuts for forever, and he’s 86 and still shows up to work every day.  What’s neat about Stan’s is he’s named various donuts after local icons, for example, the late Huell Howser donut is a VERY thickly peanut butter stuffed chocolate bar and the Bruin is glazed cake donut covered in blue and yellow sprinkles.

First let’s take a look at Stan’s and some other classic, iconic Los Angeles donut shops and their creations:

The Famous and Original Maple Bacon Donut

The Famous and Original Maple Bacon Donut from Nickel Diner

Ube Bacon Donut

Ube Bacon Donut from the apparent home of the original “Cronut,” DK’s Donuts in Santa Monica

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A Few Selections from Stan’s in Westwood

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Katie at Stan’s

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Mike at Stan’s

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The “Bruin,” Stan’s

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Buttermilk Bar at Primo’s Donuts in West Los Angeles

Now on to some newer donut emporiums:

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Maple Bacon Donut from Sidecar Donuts in Santa Monica

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Sugar Raised Donut and Crumb Cake Donut from Cofax

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Honey Sea Salt, my favorite, from Cofax

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Coconut Horchata, Lemon Pistachio, Chocolate Cake and I can’t remember what the bottom left is, Cofax

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Hibiscus Cake, Cofax

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See what I did to my pants? Smart!

The best new donut shop in LA in my opinion is Blue Star Donuts.  They use brioche dough and fry in rice bran oil.  Yum.

Orange Olive Oil Donut, Blue Star Donuts

Orange Olive Oil Donut, Blue Star Donuts

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Lineup at Blue Star Donuts in Venice, CA

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Dark Double Chocolate Crunch Creme Filled Donut from Blue Star Donuts

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Closer

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The Duke of Donuts and his Diplomat

We met the “Duke of Donuts” on opening day at Sidecar Donuts in Santa Monica.  He explained that his mission in life is to eat and report on donuts.  I said, “what about biscuits,” and he said, ” . . . eh, peasant food.”

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Country Ham and Egg Donut from Sidecar Donuts

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Buche de Noel Donut with Callebaut Chocolate Glaze, Pistachio and Meringue Button

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Malasada with Huapia Creme from Sidecar Donuts

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Seasonal Gingerbread Cake Donut from Sidecar Donuts

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Cinnamon Crumbcaker, Sidecar Donuts

I’d love to hear from you and your donut opinions.  Are you a cake donut gal?  Raised?  Apple fritter?  What are some of your favorite donut shops where you live?  Have you ever made donuts at home?  Any tips or cautions?

Have a very happy holiday season, y’all!!

Selma’s “Extraordinary Roasted Chicken, Chickpeas and Potatoes”

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Selma won Food52’s Contest for “Your Best One Pot Meal” back in January 2014 for this chicken dish, which I’ve had tagged to cook up for nearly a year. Read More