Archive for the ‘FOOD’ Category

10.30.17

HOLIDAY TASTING PARTY!

holiday tasting party | designlovefest
holiday tasting party | designlovefest

hard to believe that the holidays are right around the corner! i can already feel the anticipation starting to build. one of the biggest (and best!) elements of the holiday season is the food and drinks that go with all of the parties with family and friends. there is always a plethora of functions to attend and justin and i also want to do our own hosting at our house. (the company behind my amazing refrigerator i got earlier this year) asked if we’d want to host a holiday tasting party where we could invite friends to try out festive food and drinks in preparation for the season. the idea was that we’d share appetizers and drinks that people could taste and get inspired by for their own holiday cooking.

holiday tasting party | designlovefest
holiday tasting party | designlovefest
holiday tasting party | designlovefest
holiday tasting party | designlovefest

CLICK THROUGH TO SEE THE FULL PARTY!…

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10.25.17

SAVE THE FOOD!

image via

i try hard to not let any food that i purchase go to waste in my refrigerator by going bad/expiring. it always feels insanely wasteful to me to throw out perfectly good food that just got forgotten for a bit too long. obviously, it happens and there are moments when you leave town unexpectedly or you literally just don’t look far enough in to see that bunch of kale in the back. it’s kind of a fun challenge/game to come up with great meals that use up items that are on the brink of going bad. here are few of my go-to recipes that are very forgiving and are perfect for using up forgotten fridge items.  for myself, what i mostly find that i’m scrambling to use up is produce, cheeses, dairy and sometimes meats like bacon, chicken, etc so most of these recipes include those items, heavy on the produce! -joanie

save the food | designlovefest

#1. trader joe’s frozen organic pizza crust – we keep a package of these in our freezer at all times. because what’s more delicious and easy to prepare than a pizza! i make the whole thing in my cast iron, i start by preheating it to 425 with the cast iron in the oven. set the pizza crust out while the oven preheats. then pull out the cast iron, put the dough directly in the oiled pan and top. i generally don’t have tomato sauce on hand so i use olive oil as my base. for the cheese, you can mix anything you have. i’ve used everything under the sun. if it’s a soft cheese, like fresh mozzarella or goat cheese i put it on top of all of the toppings. i literally pull out all of my produce that’s about to go bad and go to town. zucchini, tomatoes, fresh herbs, roasted veggies like sweet potatoes and cauliflower, caramelize some onions, chop up some garlic, top with bacon/chicken/steak, etc. the options are endless!

image via

#2. frittata – another favorite and something that keeps well is a frittata. again, i use my cast iron and start by sautéing my vegetables. any veggies that i have laying around! i first put in the things that take longest, mushrooms, onions, sweet potatoes, etc. and salt and pepper them (if i have bacon, i’ll cook up a few strips of that and than drain out half the oil and sauté the veggies in the bacon grease, it’s so good!) and then add softer items like tomatoes and greens towards the end as they require very little time to cook.whisk together 10 eggs with a splash of milk and a big pinch of salt and pour over the cooked veggies, top with shredded cheese and put in the oven to cook for 15-ish minutes. the center should feel hard to the touch and bounce back slightly when you push on it.

image via

#3. roasted veggie bowls – it’s as simple as it sounds. i use brown rice as the base and roast up veggies like sweet potato, onion, carrot, mushrooms, cauliflower with avocado oil, pink salt and garlic. 425 degrees until some of the veggies look charred, about 30 minutes. top with hummus, pesto, garlic spread or tahini and a squeeze of lime. this is a very easy and satisfying dinner! you can also top with an egg if you’re looking for more protein.

#4 fruit – for fruit that is going bad i either make a bread/muffin or wash and freeze for smoothies. for spinach or fresh greens, i will sometimes make a veggie egg dish by steaming the greens and topping them with a fried egg and hot sauce. greens steam down into a really small amount and can easily be snuck into a meal.

save the food | designlovefest

#5 meatballs –  if i have any ground meat around that’s going bad, lamb, beef, chicken or turkey,  i make meatballs! i mix it all in one bowl, start by adding the meat, then an egg, 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs, some shredded zucchini if you have on hand, salt, pepper, two chopped cloves of garlic, any fresh herbs you have around or dried work great too (thyme, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, cumin, etc are all great), some shredded parmesan cheese (if you have it!) and 1/4 cup minced white onion. you can either fry on the stove top or bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

now it’s your turn! what’s your go-to meal when you’re trying to save food from being thrown out?

10.17.17

SMALL SPACE LIVING

small space living | designlovefest

my husband and i live in an apartment that is approximately 750 square feet so it’s very important that we make use of every inch of space. our kitchen in particular is really small and i love to cook and bake so we have to be strategic in the layout. when we moved in, we installed open shelving which was crucial since we have almost no storage. we use the shelves both aesthetically and functionally (they require frequent dusting, but in my opinion, they are worth it!)

small space living | designlovefest
small space living | designlovefest
small space living | designlovefest

asked us if we wanted to try out their new smaller,  and we were game! i use my frequently so i keep it out and the new design is much narrower which is awesome if you have limited space, like us. even though we have a small space, we really like to host people. one of the easiest things to make if you’re hosting is to create something simple that you can set out in dishes and let people assemble however they’d like. it allows people to create it the way they like and also doesn’t involve too much time spent assembling and plating everything. for brunch, egg sandwiches do the trick. you can also set out your Nespresso with a variety of capsules and the and people can make the drink of their choice, an espresso shot, americano, latte, etc. the pods come in all sorts of strengths and flavors so it’s fun to experiment.

small space living | designlovefest
small space living | designlovefest
small space living | designlovefest
small space living | designlovefest
small space living | designlovefest

for the egg sandwiches, i prefer fried eggs but you could also make a big batch of scrambled eggs. we made veggie sandwiches today but you could add bacon, ham, or sausage as well which would be great. the addition of basil and mozzarella on these is really good, don’t skip that part!

small space living | designlovefest
small space living | designlovefest

egg sandwiches
what you’ll need:

• eggs, either fried or scrambled
• cheese – mozzarella or any other variety
• spicy mayo – mayo Sriracha
• spinach
• sliced tomato
• basil
• avocado
• micro greens or pea sprouts
• salt + pepper

small space living | designlovefest
small space living | designlovefest
small space living | designlovefest
small space living | designlovefest
small space living | designlovefest

• cook your eggs as desired, once they are cooked leave the pan on and add your spinach while it’s still hot, drop a bit of water (a tablespoon or two) into the hot pan so that it creates steam. mix the spinach around and let it wilt, remove from the heat and set aside. i like to prepare my greens this way because it doesn’t require any oil, dirty another pan or require that you take out your steaming basic.

small space living | designlovefest

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10.09.17

ROASTED CAULIFLOWER SALAD

roasted cauliflower salad | designlovefest

i buy at least one cauliflower a week from the grocery store or farmers market. i always have lofty plans of attempting to make the fried cauliflower from the Jerusalem cookbook but i end up taking the easy way out and roasting it in a cast iron pan because it’s so delicious and easy. i think the secret to a good roasted cauliflower is to keep cooking it and when you think it’s done cook it some more. i wash mine, slice it and place it in a pan with some olive oil and garlic salt and pepper. i generally roast it for about 45 minutes – an hour (or more if needed!) at 425. taking it out and stirring it just a couple of times during the cook time. i also like it with a little hot chili oil and red pepper flakes on top for some spice.

roasted cauliflower salad | designlovefest

we decided to make roasted cauliflower salad today and i’m really happy with how it turned out. the sweetness of the maple bacon and the freshness of the mint were a killer combo. give it a try or make your own version and tell us how it goes! – joanie

roasted cauliflower salad | designlovefest
roasted cauliflower salad | designlovefest
roasted cauliflower salad | designlovefest
roasted cauliflower salad | designlovefest

roasted cauliflower salad
serves: 4

• 1 head cauliflower
• 4 strips of bacon
• 1 small shallot, minced
• 1/2 cup currants
• 1/4 cup fresh chopped mint
• pesto – either store bought or make your own by putting 2 cups fresh packed basil, 1/2 cup walnuts, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1-2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, and juice of one lemon in the blender or food processor and blend until smooth. add more olive oil if it’s too thick.

roasted cauliflower salad | designlovefest
roasted cauliflower salad | designlovefest

• preheat oven to 425. next cut your cauliflower into pieces, put in roasting pan and top with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. mix together and put in oven, should take about 45 minutes to cook. 5 minutes before it’s done roasting, take it out and add the currants, mix and return to the oven to finish.

• while the cauliflower is in there you can add the bacon to start cooking in the oven on another rack, place foil on the pan, place bacon on top and cook for about 10-15 minutes or until crispy. you can also cook on the stove top. remove and break into pieces, set aside.

• while everything is cooking chop the mint and shallots.

• to assemble add everything in a bowl, top with the pesto and fresh black pepper and serve warm!

roasted cauliflower salad | designlovefest
roasted cauliflower salad | designlovefest

images by:
styling by: joanie cusack + ivan solis

09.29.17

COOKBOOK CLUB PT 2

cookbook club | designlovefest

last month we had our second cookbook club meet up and this time the book we selected was and let me tell ya it was a hit! (you can read about our cookbook club here and what we made last month) every dish we made this time was so good, full of flavor, fresh and interesting. i really love his book and the intro is especially beautiful on his appreciation and understanding for Jerusalem and the rich history it carries for many people of different religions and backgrounds. victoria actually selected the book but it was pretty perfect timing as i had just returned from israel two days before and was able to pick up some spices for my dish during my time there. (ps, i am still putting together my israel travel post for you guys!)

cookbook club | designlovefest
cookbook club | designlovefest

here are the dishes we made/tried: 

victoria made the braised chicken and it was unbelievably good. she said it was time intensive but the chicken was fall of the bone tender and so flavorful. it called for chicken thighs and to be marinated over night and cooked with whole lemons. it was a real win! we gave her the grand prize.

elizabeth made the cauliflower with hazelnuts. it was the perfect weekday side dish for dinner. and she said it was very easy.

turkey meatballs – i (joanie) was really impressed with the ease of this dish. i love how many fresh herbs it used and also the grated zucchini added a ton of moisture and upped the veggie count! i ended up having to add bread crumbs because i didn’t let the moisture out of the zucchini well enough. really what i should have done and would do in the future is grate it, put it in a colander, sprinkle with salt, let sit for 15 minutes and then push the extra juice out of it. it’s amazing how much liquid they hold! the sauce that this recipe calls for is amazing and really makes the whole dish. i feel like this one is really family friendly. – joanie

bri – i made the squash with pine nuts, tzakiki, and za’atar. hardest part was cutting the squash (but i’m weak). the rest was a breeze. it gives more specific instructions on roasting (skin side down etc) but i just threw them in a cast iron pan and gave it a stir once or twice and it came out great. will definitely make that again!

cookbook club | designlovefest

jesse is hosting the next one on monday and the book is . if you’ve made something you loved from her book let me know!

cookbook club | designlovefest

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