Category Archives: Dining Out

Trip to Italy – A Photo Essay

Happy Hump Day, everyone! Today, I don’t have a recipe for you, but instead, a ton of photos from my trip to Italy earlier this month. Actually, I say “ton” but this is a very small percentage of the photos I took. To give you a brief overview, my family and I first stayed in Rome for 4 days and enjoyed taking some tours, then headed out to the Italian countryside for a week in Preggio, Perugia and a few other cities within driving distance.

It was actually in Preggio and Assisi that I suffered from a serious panic attack due to freelance work emails and being overwhelmed with how much work needed to be done once I returned home. Talk about infringing on a great vacation. Now that I’m back home it’s gotten better but anxiety is now something that I struggle with more seriously. If there was one thing this trip taught me, it’s to not stretch yourself too thin because it will catch up with you in a huge way.

On a lighter note, I really loved Rome and walking around the city amongst buildings that held so much history. Overall it was a tremendous experience.

The Forum

Our amazing tour guide Antony

The House of Vestal Virgins

The Colosseum

The first of many fancy churches

Rome, Italy

Here is what I would show servers and chefs when I went out to eat with my family (yes, I know vegana is the feminine version, google translate didn’t know that I was female! ;) ). It was SUPER helpful!

Il Margutta Ristorarte – a vegetarian restaurant with many delicious vegan options; not to mention, walking distance from my hotel!

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Filed under Dining Out, Personal

Lemon Raspberry Pizookie

Another year, another Coachella in the books! Although, I am a little sad that I’ll be missing out on Stagecoach, as it’s the most fun and easiest (work-wise) of the festivals. I’m really glad to be home, but it is short-lived, as I’m leaving tomorrow for a wedding in Miami! I’ve never been to Florida before so I’m a little excited; plus, I get to hang out with some awesome people and celebrate love!

I must mention that I put together some fantastic recipes for you guys before I left for Indio, but I didn’t end up having any spare time (seriously, none) to post them, so I’m finally getting around to it! But, before we get to the pizookie, I wanted to share some photos from my 3 weeks in the desert. :)

Back of the Merch Tent

Vegan Eats at Coachella

Queens of the Stone Age

Disclosure feat. Sam Smith

La Quinta

Grilled Veggies over Quinoa with Cajun Tahini Sauce

The Last Indio Sunset

It was an interesting time to say the least. Dust storms, tackling a thief (that was weird!), dealing with many set-backs, spending time with some great friends and of course, karaoke! I’ve missed my kitchen, bed, shower, dogs and family/friends, maybe the blogging bit, too. ;)

Without further ado, I bring you a Spring-inspired, Lemon Raspberry Pizookie! I took a shortcut and topped it with an Almond-based Vanilla Ice Cream, but you can definitely make your own. As much as I love the traditional chocolate chip pizookies, this version is insanely good, and not TOO sweet. I can’t wait to try out some different variations of this in the future.

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Filed under Dining Out, Personal, Sweet Recipes

An Ode to Summer Comfort Food

Today, I have something a little different to share with you. No, not a delectable recipe, but something just as drool-worthy. I was fortunate enough to be invited to a special Pop-up dinner this past weekend, hosted by Lane Gold, author of Vegan Junk Food. Thankfully, I stayed off of Instagram long enough to be surprised by the food that was served to us; otherwise, I would have seen all of the spoilers that Lane was posting!

I brought the always fun Eva, of Dirty Rotten Vegan, as my date; plus, I knew a few other of the dinner-goers, such as Brian Patton and his wife, Jennifer Chen, and Laura Hooper Beck. As a whole we enjoyed meaningful talks, lots of cheers-ing and even more laughs; more importantly, the food was amazing.

Lane’s mission with this pop-up, this first one being named “An Ode to Summer Comfort Food”, is to hold intimate vegan meals throughout the LA area. Now, the series is named the Vegan Dining Club, or #vegandiningclub on any and all social media. She has shared with us that the next installment will be brunch-based (!!!) and at a cool venue in Echo Park (if I’m remembering that correctly). I can’t wait to go to the next one!

This dinner was held in a very eclectic building, functioning as a community art gallery when not being used to serve food. It’s a small building with spray paint all over it, a kitchen as one half of it, the dining room/gallery as the other half. The location was pretty random, but I absolutely loved it.

I’m glad that I brought my “nice” camera out to shoot some photos, although the lighting was a tad unforgiving, which my excuse for not having the best pictures. ;) Without getting too wordy about the food, I’ll briefly describe the dishes. Just know that all of it was tremendous and you could tell that there was a lot of love and effort put in to each dish.

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Filed under Dining Out, Reviews

Fruity Roasted Fennel Salad

After a fun-filled weekend, I’m back. Yes, it may be Monday, but I have a recipe that is über colorful and really, just makes me smile when I look at it. Before I get to that, let me tell you about some of the new and cool things that I experienced the past couple of days. Warning: this post has lots o’ drool-worthy pictures, so get a napkin ready. ;)

DTLA // Mohawk Bend

Friday was awesome because the weather was beautiful and I finally got to get lunch with Lindsay of Happy Herbivore. It was great chatting about her Light & Fit book coming out later this year (which as some of you know, I took food photos for) and us working together on her next book. We ate at Mohawk Bend, where I had the Hearts of Palm Sliders and we shared the vegan S’mores dessert, yum!

My Tote!

There was crafting to be done, on Saturday! I was invited by the radical Joni, to attend Crafty Commune at her sister’s new boutique in Long Beach. What was awesome about this event is that Kristen (the owner of Fox & Moon Clothing) provided handmade totes and things to decorate them with, afterward she put them in her shop to sell and when they do 100% of the proceeds are going to a local charity.

Chef Dave // Coffee // Maddy Mac // Molly describing the Gelato

After that, I made a mad dash for West LA to have an extremely tasty dinner and dessert with my friend Kedar. We met up at the new Maddy’s on Pico, with a fully vegan menu from Chef Dave Anderson (of Madeleine Bistro). I got to meet him and Molly, who were both extremely nice and helpful, plus enjoy the Big Maddy Mac (a fancier, vegan Big Mac) and a sampler plate of ALL OF THE GELATO FLAVORS. That’s 11 flavors of vegan gelato, people. They haven’t had their grand opening yet, but I seriously recommend heading over there.

Of course, Sunday was Father’s day which started off with a Bloody Mary for my dad. I told you it was a tradition! We spent the day outside, doing random yard work, cooking, but mostly relaxing. I checked up on my super-late-in-the-season seedlings, and so far I have some corn stalks, some watermelon seedlings, dill, plus some others that I’m hoping will sprout soon. :)

Now, it’s Monday, and there is work to be done! So, I have for you an easy and refreshing recipe that is great for a weeknight dinner, or even a lunch prepared the night before. This salad has fresh fruits, balsamic roasted fennel, peppery arugula and a strawberry citrus vinaigrette. Tantalizing, no?

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Filed under Dining Out, Gardening, Healthy Recipes, Savory Recipes, Sweet Recipes