Archive for the ‘FOOD’ Category



weekend cooking | designlovefest

whatcha cooking this weekend? i’ve been on a deep dive into the which is one of my absolute favorite LA restaurants. their thai food is out of this world and their cookbook is excellent. so much information for people like me who have never really cooked thai food, where to start, what to buy, the coooking methods, etc. i bought the and i 100% recommend it. the thing about thai food is that once you have the ingredients it’s very inexpensive to make and can feed a lot of people.  i’m having fun playing around with the flavors and i’ll definitely be making a curry this weekend. if you’re looking for weekend inspo here are a few favorites from our archives! and if you make one of our recipes we love feedback, so let us know how it turned out! – joanie

(pictured above are meatballs with cauliflower mash, meatballs are super versatile and can be could be served with greens or polenta or noodles or in a soup!)

weekend cooking | designlovefest

and another meatball! this one lamb and served on pita with cucumber and red onion for a little crunch! we buy these flatbreads at the grocery store and they are great toasted in a hot pan for a minute or so.

weekend cooking | designlovefest

these loaded oven fries and indulgent and the perfect thing to serve at home for a saturday afternoon happy hour!

weekend cooking | designlovefest

how about a tomato and mozzarella tart!? store bought dough and almost any topping will do!

weekend cooking | designlovefest

and last but certainly not least, enchiladas! a personal fave, comforting and delicious!

happy weekend everyone!



family recipes | designlovefest

hey everyone, this is !  i’ve been contributing to the food column with bri and joanie for about four years now! these last few weeks i’ve been working on a passion project of mine that i want to share with you. it revolves around my mom’s recipes.  i came to the realization that if i didn’t sit down and learn to cook them, no one would be able to make all my childhood favorite recipes in the future and food is such an important part of keeping your family heritage alive. both of my parents were born and raised in mexico (my mom is from jalisco and my dad is from michoacan) and the majority of the food we ate growing up was Mexican food, it’s what i most identify with home and the food i make when i want comfort and familiarity. i realized there are so many techniques and traditions wrapped up in my Mom’s cooking and that’s something i want to be able to learn and pass down to my family. for this first post, i made my mom’s rice, carne asada, guacamole and chimichurri (traditionally argentinian). traditionally this was a meal we had on special occasions but it can definitely be made any time of year. my mom’s chimichurri is my favorite, it’s full of fresh herbs and citrus and it’s so good on meat. let me know if you enjoy seeing these recipes! i’d love to keep on posting as i continue to create a cookbook that honors my mom and all the amazing food she’s made for me and my family.

family recipes | designlovefest

this rice dish recipe is not your average side dish. this packs so much more flavor then what you get at a restaurant.

makes 4 servings

spanish rice:
• 1 cup of long grain rice (rinsed and dried)
• 2 ripe roma tomatoes diced
• 1 quarter yellow onion diced
• 1 8oz can tomato sauce
• salt and pepper
• 1/3 cup canola oil
• 1 bunch cilantro 

heat the canola oil in a pan on medium heat. add the long grain rice and toss until they are becoming slightly toasted. add the onion and tomatoes and sauté until onions begin to become translucent; constantly stirring as to not let the rice burn. add the 8oz can of tomato sauce and two cups of water to the pan and top with a bunch of rinsed cilantro. salt and pepper to taste. i usually do two healthy pinches of salt and adjust as the rice continues to cook. keep on medium heat until liquid is evaporated, you can also  add more water in case the rice needs more cooking time.

family recipes | designlovefest

this is hands down this is the best guacamole recipe you will ever have. i highly recommend making this for the big game in a couple weeks. the trick to this recipe is not only the perfect balance of heat, salt, fat and acid; but its also the texture. some guacamoles have the consistency of baby food but as you’ll see this is how you’ll make the perfect guacamole.

makes 5-6 servings

• 4 avocados
• 2-3 roma tomatoes diced
• 1 jalapeño diced
• 1/2 onion diced
• 2-3 lemons juiced
• 1 small bunch cilantro chopped
• salt and pepper to taste

slice the avocados into halves and remove the pits. carefully using the knife make criss-cross cuts into the avocado to resemble cubes. scoop out with a spoon and place into a large bowl. add the remainder of the ingredients and toss with a fork. as you are mixing mash some of the avocados while leaving others intact, this will ensure you have the perfect texture and integration of flavors. salt and pepper to taste.

family recipes | designlovefest

carne asadas can be perfect for large gatherings or just a weeknight dinner. here’s a simple recipe we’ve been doing for many years that incorporates chimichurri and using grilled Mexican green onions. serve with rice, guacamole and warmed tortillas.

makes 4-5 servings 

carne asada:
• 2 pounds flank steak
• salt and pepper
• 2 small bunches Mexican green onions
• corn or flour tortillas

• 2 bunches of parsley stems removed
• 1 small bunch cilantro stems removed
• 4 large garlic cloves
• 1-2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
• 1 lemon juiced
• 1/2 teaspoon red chili flaked
• 1 teaspoon salt and pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
• olive oil

family recipes | designlovefest

to make the chimichurri, add all the ingredients minus the olive oil into a food processor (if you do not have one you can finely chop all the ingredients). slowly pour in olive oil and pulse every other second. you’ll want the chimichurri to be swimming in a little bit of olive oil.

generously salt and pepper each side of the flank steaks. if using an indoor grill slightly oil the grill on medium to high heat and add the steaks, cook on each side for 5 minutes if you like yours medium rare. add 2 more minutes to your time if you like well done. once cooked remove from the grill and have them rest on a cutting board for at least 10 minutes before cutting into them. in the same pan grill the green onions until tender. a trick for more flavorful tortillas is to heat them up in the same grill as they will absorb some of the grease which will add more flavor.

photography and food styling by



winter soups | designlovefest

we are starting to wind down here around studio DLF and it feels so good! we really pushed ourselves these past few months and we’re excited to kick back and enjoy a holiday break. bri reminded me yesterday about this soup (pictured above) and now i want to make it immediately. it’s so decadent and delicious! we have so many amazing soup recipes on the blog that are perfect to make this time of year. we’ve been learning a lot about soups in cooking school (we made clam chowder on monday!) and they’re such a fun and flexible thing to make. they feed lots of people and you can adapt based on what you have on hand! here are a few of our favorites!

winter soups | designlovefest

delicious tortilla soup! i’ve made this a couple of different ways and it’s really easy. add some spice or smoked paprika to the base of even some cream will make it a bit richer.

winter soups | designlovefest

baked potato soup! we snuck some broccoli into this one to make it a bit healthy and you can top it so many ways. really delicious and hearty!

winter soups | designlovefest

white bean and kale soup! one of my husband’s favorite soups! the addition of lemon really takes this soup up a level.

winter soups | designlovefest



olive oil cake | designlovefest

we recently wrote about our olive oil trip to northern california which was filled with delicious food. one of the things we ate the first night there was an olive oil cake. it had such a nice subtle flavor with fleck of lemon and a moist crumbly texture and bri and i both looked at each other and said, “let’s make this when we get home!” when we had it they served it with whipped cream on top, we tried it with a lemon frosting which was delicious but dare i say a little too sweet? the frosting makes it great to use as a birthday cake or for a celebration because you can decorated and it looks fancier. but alone, the cake is great and the recipe has a sugared crust and it pairs perfect with tea or coffee. if you consider yourself general to not be a sweets person (like bri) then this is the cake for you, it’s not overpowering and won’t leave you with the sick sugary feeling. – joanie p.s. sweater is and i loveeee it. true to size and the color is a dream! 

olive oil cake | designlovefest

we used an olive oil from california olive ranch’s new . it was the one which was delicious and the perfect one to use for the cake. i highly recommend using a great olive oil for this as it’s a main component of the cake and you even drizzle some on top after it bakes which means the flavor really counts.

what you’ll need:

• 1 1/4 cup 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil + more for the pan
• 1 cup 2 tablespoons sugar, more for dusting
• 2 cups cake flour (important! this really matters, don’t use all purpose, we tried it and it didn’t work)
• 1/3 cup almond flour
• 2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier (or another liqueur like sweet vermouth)
• 1 tablespoon lemon zest
• 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 3 large eggs

* you need a spring form pan for the recipe

olive oil cake | designlovefest

– preheat oven to 400 degrees. drizzle olive oil on the bottom and sides of the pan, use fingers to coat. cut a piece of parchment paper to line the bottom and then put more oil on top of the paper. sprinkle sugar to cover the bottom of the pan.
– whisk cake flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl to combine and eliminate any lumps.

olive oil cake | designlovefest

– in a separate small bowl stir together the Grand Marnier, vanilla and lemon juice.

– (make sure you’re using a clean and dry bowl for this part!) using a stand or hand mixer beat eggs, lemon zest and 1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar on high until the mixture is light, thick and pale in color and comes of the beaters in a slow dissolving ribbon. the recipe says this will take 3-5 minutes, it took us closer to 7 minutes. while it’s still on high start adding the 1 1/4 cup oil slowly, we did this in a very slow drizzle, it took about 4 minutes to add all the oil. beat until it’s incorporated and mixture is even thicker.

olive oil cake | designlovefest
olive oil cake | designlovefest

– next take the flour mixture and the Grand Marnier mixture and add it to the egg mixture on a low speed. the flour will be added in 3 parts and the grand marnier in 2, start and end with the flour. fold batter to make sure it’s all incorporated but don’t over mix!

– pour into prepared pan, sprinkle with sugar and place in oven. immediately lower the temp from 400 to 350. cook for 35-45 minutes.

-once cooked cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then poke holes all over the cake and drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil on top and sprinkle with sugar. remove the pan and let cool completely on the rack.

olive oil cake | designlovefest
olive oil cake | designlovefest
olive oil cake | designlovefest

this is we used, it’s delicious but not a necessary step.

olive oil cake | designlovefest
olive oil cake | designlovefest
olive oil cake | designlovefest

enjoy! and the flavor gets even better the next day…

olive oil cake | designlovefest
olive oil cake | designlovefest

photos by



cooking school | designlovefest

as you may have noticed from my stories, ! it’s hard to believe i went from someone who barely knew how to cook beyond beans, rice and eggs to now making something most nights of the week, hosts and cooks thanksgiving dinner and loves doing it! here’s a peek into the class, and i have to admit it did feel like i was on the show Chopped for the first few weeks haha.

cooking school | designlovefest

about 6 months ago i had the strong desire to take my skills to the next level and started investigating what it would look like to attend some type of culinary program. i wanted something that wasn’t too intense and would allow me to still work as normal but that wasn’t just recreational and had some intensity to it. for me, it’s important for there to be a note of seriousness to the classes i’m taking because if i’m going to commit the time, i want it to be worth it. and that’s when i landed on the . they offer all types of classes, from certificate programs to one time classes for date nights but what caught my eye was their , it’s designed for people like me who have foundational knowledge cooking but want to build my skills with hands on guided lessons. and they provide everything, the uniform (yes, we wear chef coats and hats!) and all the tools and food we need each week. it makes it really simple for me to commit when all i have to do is show up.

cooking school | designlovefest
cooking school | designlovefest
cooking school | designlovefest

joanie and i were both so nervous to start, like first day of school nervous. it felt a little scary but also nice to be pushing myself outside my comfort zone. it’s odd to think that we go from being kids and always learning and being in classes and programs and we sort of loss that adaptability as adults. continuing education is something i’m really starting to see the value in.

cooking school | designlovefest
cooking school | designlovefest
cooking school | designlovefest

we’re currently in our 8th week of classes and it’s been such a blast. sometimes it can be a little overwhelming, but in a good way. i can feel myself growing. our schedule the past couple of months has been nuts and coming to this class weekly is a great way to unwind and really put my focus on something specific for 4 hours. our teacher is really sweet and passionate about the history of everything so i really feel like we’re learning not only skills but facts about dishes and locations. we can make up class on saturday if we have to miss monday and it’s actually kinda cool to get different teacher’s perspectives.

the whole series is working towards giving you the skills to be able to recreate dishes on your own and not necessarily needing a recipe. building CONFIDENCE! each week has a theme, say it’s eggs and we’ll have a lecture talking about eggs, different ways to prepare them, serve them, use them, etc. and then the chef will demonstrate a recipe and then we’re off to try it on our own. the hands on part is super important because that’s how it really sticks in my brain. in a class like eggs we’re covering a lot of ground, so we learned about roux and made egg and cheese soufflé with it and then turned the roux into béchamel by adding milk and made mac + cheese and we also made french omelettes and eggs benedict with hollandaise sauce from scratch (talk about an arm workout!). it ends up being a really full four hours with a lot of information and learning. but it’s also really fun.

cooking school | designlovefest

i thought it would be fun to show you a little bit of what we have learned (and we have more recipes to show you down the line too! we made a green curry that was SO good) i’ve been working on perfecting my french omelette ever since we properly learned in class. i have a feeling it’s one of those things you work on for quite some time until it becomes natural, but it’s so worth it! the result is delicate and amazing and makes you feel PRO. and as we have learned in class, there is always going to be many ways to do anything with cooking, everyone does things a little differently. and that’s the beauty of cooking, find what works for you, experiment, and have fun!

cooking school | designlovefest

a few tips we’ve learned on the french omelette:

• add a little salt to the eggs to get the white and yellow to combine easier, whisk until you see no streaks

• the main tip is to cook your eggs on VERY LOW HEAT. i’ve been making my soft scrambles this way for a while now and they are so perfect, i will never go back to cooking eggs on higher heat. you don’t want to put color/burn your eggs. to keep them fluffy and light you need to cook them low and slow and constantly move them around if you are making it scrambled. it takes a few extra minutes, but again, worth it.

• using clarified butter is recommended so it won’t burn. clarifying butter just means you cook and remove the milk solids which is the part that will burn.  i still use regular butter at home but it’s a good tip.

• you can use a fine mesh  to strain the egg which removes the albumen (that’s the white stringy part that doesn’t mix in well with the eggs). this is an optional step but it only takes a second and ensures you’ll have a smooth color and texture.

• definitely use a non-stick pan for eggs.

• remember that your eggs will continue to cook after you take them off the heat so remove them a few seconds before you think they are ready and plate them right away!

if you’re into eggs, this . everyone has their own tricks!

cooking school | designlovefest

• heat up the butter and once it’s totally melted and you see small bubbles you add the eggs to the pan and turn the heat all the way down.

• you can use a rubber whisk or a fork if you are careful. i just use the fork on the top and whisk the eggs around to keep them really fluffy and cooking evenly when i pour them in the pan. just don’t touch the fork to the nonstick pan, you don’t want to scratch it at all because the teflon is bad for you!

• i use a rubber spatula to make sure to keep the eggs from getting too cooked on the edges, so continue to lift up the sides. you don’t want it to get too thin and cook faster on the outside.

• remember this is a practice in PATIENCE, which i know i need more of in my life!

cooking school | designlovefest

• now! we tried two different techniques. one is to turn the heat all the way off and keep the pan on the burner and put a plate (or i think a skillet is easier to handle) on top so that the eggs steam for a few minutes and don’t cook too much on the bottom. this way works well but takes a little more attention to it. or you can put your oven on low and as soon as you start to see the sides of the eggs cooking a little bit (maybe 2 mins) you can pop the pan in the oven at 275 degrees for 4 minutes or until the egg is cooked but not overcooked!

(i know this all sounds a little confusing, but you have to try it one morning, it’s fun to master!)

• folding it might be the hardest part and i am still working on it myself! usually i fold over one side to the middle line. then i slide the egg onto the plate from the opposite side and let the omelette fold over onto itself, making a perfect tri-fold. practice makes perfect.

cooking school | designlovefest

• brush with butter to give it that pretty shine on the plate.

• garnish with chives or parsley or both and some flaky salt!

• serve with crème fraîche (YUM!!)

the texture is so perfect and light it tastes almost like there is cheese inside. no more brown, textured, dry omelettes! and the effort is only an extra couple of minutes.

cooking school | designlovefest

hope you try it at home!

we take class at the pasadena location but they also have a school in culver city as well. we’re doing the 20 week pro-cooking series but they also have it for baking too which i’m sure is equally as amazing. (i find myself not as drawn to baking, but maybe someday) let me know if you have any questions! xx bri

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