Monday, December 28, 2009

Best of EKmW 2009!

As 2009 comes to an end, I want to wish everyone a very Happy New Year and share with you some of my favorite posts, recipes and reviews of 2009 here on Epicuriosity Killed my Waistline.

So without further Ado... the top 10 picks of '09!

10. Heart Salad

I loved the heart salad I made for Valentine's Day because it was just so cute, creative and delicious. Plus it gave me a new found appreciation for beets, which aren't as bad as I originally had thought, plus it's just such a great addition to any meal for a loved one, be it Valentine's Day, or an anniversary.

9. Chicken Shwarma

This recipe might have gotten the most play in '09 by my family. In fact my mom loves it so much she bookmarked it on her browser. It was such a staple for me in the summer for BBQ's, Tailgates, and an easy delicious sandwich as leftovers later in the week. Such a flavorful way to prepare chicken, you'd doubt it was so good for you!

8. Bossa Nova

Even though I didn't discover Bossa Nova in 2009, this restaurant was such a classic staple in my "LA dining out" repertoire. Everything here is so tasty and healthy, I think I recommended this place to almost everyone I talked to in LA this year. A must try!

7. Six Feet Under

One of my favorite places in Atlanta, and one of my favorite blog posts of the year. The trip was just such a foodie journey, and I'm glad SFU made the cut. Plus I finally got the nerve to step out of my comfort zone and try the alligator!

6. Rush Street

One of the best new restaurants I tried in 2009!! Rush Street is such a great place to go for food, drinks and atmosphere! I love their fresh menu, friendly staff, and great deals!

5. Johnnie's Pastrami

My favorite LA institution. The Best Pastrami on the West Coast!

4. Red Velvet Cupcakes

Since this blog post, these lovely delicious gently chocolate cupcakes have come to mean so much more to me and my family. They are now Audrey's favorite flavor of cake, and made a wonderful appearance at her 4th birthday party. This recipe is probably the best Red Velvet Cake out there that I've found, and trust me, I've looked.

3. Father's Office

The long lines and strict "No Substitution" warnings kept me away for so long, and now I wonder why I ever let that stop me. The best burger of 2009, HANDS DOWN!

2. Absinthe

Technically this restaurant was visited in 2008, days before New Years, but I've been back since and will never stop raving about it. The best and most creative cocktails I've ever had in my life!!

and the number one pick for 2009....

1. French Macarons

My creative brainchild project of 2009, the French Macaron. Not only did I do it all from scratch, but I pretty much perfected the art of meringue making these bad boys. My all time favorite project on EKmW. Hardwork never tasted so sweet.

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Saturday, December 26, 2009


Here are some pictures of Cupcakes I've made, decorated and served in 2009!

Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Butter Cream frosting and fondant flowers.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and fondant Lego pieces.

Elmo and Cookie Monster "Fixed Up" Red Velvet Cupcakes with
"Fixed Up" Cream Cheese Frosting and fondant embellishment.

Gingerbread teacakes with cinnamon frosting, decorated by Audrey

"Fixed Up" Pilsbury Funfetti Cupcakes and frosting, decorated by Audrey

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Turkey Posole!

Being from San Diego, Charlie and I eat A LOT of Mexican Food. At least once a week in fact! And seeing as we have a lot of Mexican relatives we cook a lot of Mexican food as well.

This recipe is a great one for the winter. The hot soup helps keep you warm and it's a great excuse to use up all that left over Turkey from Thanksgiving!

You will need:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 fresh poblano chile peppers, seeded and finely chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon oregano
4-5 chopped fresh thyme leaves
Coarse salt and pepper
1 cup beer (Pacifico works)
16 tomatillos, peeled and coarsely chopped or coarsely processed in food processor
1 (15-ounce) can hominy (BIG Mexican corn)
1 quart chicken stock
1 1/2 to 2 pounds light and dark cooked turkey meat, chopped*
1 lime, juiced

For Garnish (optional):
White Onion, finely chopped
Cilantro, chopped
Avocado, sliced
Limes, sliced
Hot Pepper
Tortilla strips & chips

Heat a medium soup pot over medium high heat. Add vegetable oil, onions, garlic, peppers, cumin, oregano, thyme, and salt and pepper, to taste. Cook 5 minutes to sweat onions then add beer and cook 1 minute. Stir in tomatillos and cook 5 minute more then stir in the hominy, stock, lime, and the turkey. Stir in water if more liquid is needed to just cover everything in the pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, and cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about an hour to blend flavors.

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hash House A-Go-Go

If you ever find yourself in San Diego, jonsing for some amazing breakfast (or even lunch) , look no further than Hash House A-Go-Go on 5th Ave in Hillcrest, famous for huge portions and ridiculously long lines that go surprisingly fast.

Now I've been to HH a few times, and I have NEVER EVER been disappointed, not once. Not only is the food amazing, the portions HUGE, and the plating beautiful, it's a great place to take someone who's never been, just to see the look on their faces when their food comes. Honestly people, it never gets old.

Now just a heads up, the pictures below are from a few different trips over to HH, were not REALLY that big of pigs, I swear.

Charlie and I stopped in for lunch once (they serve breakfast all day), I was craving their French Toast, and I sadly found out that the French Toast is pretty much the only breakfast item they DON'T serve all day.

He wanted lunch I wanted breakfast, neither of us were hungry enough for our own plate, so we opted for the Sage Fried Chicken and Bacon Waffles, which was just recently featured on Man Vs. Food on the Travel Channel.

The plate comes PILED with bacon waffles, and TWO huge chicken breasts, pan fried golden brown, topped with fried leeks, drizzled with a maple reduction and stabbed through the center with a heftily aromatic spring of fresh rosemary. Yes, that's ONE serving. Thankfully for those of you who want this, and don't live near a HH, Food Network tackled this recipe, and I'm sharing it with you.

Another breakfast favorite of mine are their Farm Benedicts. HH's benedicts are unlike ANYTHING you've ever seen, tried or made at home. Seriously, it's pretty epic. Below is the Sage Fried Chicken Benedict.

It's served on a bed of mashed potatoes, a huge housemade biscuit, and topped heavily with scrambled eggs, fried chicken, bacon (which I got on the side) fresh spinach, ripe tomatoes and griddled mozzarella cheese then topped with chipotle cream sauce.

On our last trip, Charlie and I met Adam for breakfast since he was in town the evening before, and HH was my first choice when he asked where we should go for breakfast.

Adam opted for an Indiana Favorite, Andy's Sage Fried Chicken w/ maple reduction, 2 eggs, bacon mashed potatoes & biscuit.

I finally got my French Toast. It comes dipped in Banana Cinnamon Cream, grilled until golden brown and then topped with a griddled banana, sliced lengthwise, toasted pecans, powdered sugar and maple syrup. TO. DIE. FOR.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"Fixed Up" Cupcakes!

Sometimes I don't have time to be Super Girl and make cupcakes from scratch, and let's face it, not much can beat a perfect boxed cake mix. It comes out perfect every time! So something I like to do, to fix it up and make it slightly more homemade, is just replacing a few ingredients for a better taste.

To turn a basic box of cake mix into "Fixed Up!" cake, simply follow the directions on the back, omitting the water for milk, or buttermilk. If you don't have buttermilk, or can't find it, you can add 2 tsp of lemon juice to regular milk and let it sour for an hour. Using 4 eggs instead of the number recommended and fresh vanilla extract are other homemade substitutions.

For Red Velvet, simply use a box of White Cake Mix, omitting buttermilk for water, the same amount of oil, 4 egg whites, 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 tsp vanilla extract, red food coloring until bright, and 1tbsp baking soda mixed with 1 tbsp white vinegar in a separate bowl, (it will foam) and then add to the cake mix. Bake as directed.

I love to use the canned frosting and tend to stock up when they go on sale at the store. Aren't 10 for $10 deals great?! I usually tend to tint my frosting and add at least 1/2 cup of powdered sugar to the frosting to thicken it. If I plan on using the frosting in a piping bag I use an additional 1/2 cup before I pipe it onto cupcakes. It helps the frosting keep it shape and makes the tub go a bit further. For chocolate frosting, mix equal parts powdered sugar and cocoa powder.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pumpkin Seeds

So you're planning on carving a pumpkin for Halloween. May I recommend Zombie Pumpkins as an awesome site for templates?

So after you pick your pumpkin, and your design... It's time to start carving.

This is Audrey, she's my awesome little pal, and we do lots of fun stuff together. Today we're going to carve some pumpkins and toast the seeds! YUM!

When you clean out your pumpkin, make sure you keep a colander near by to collect all the gooey pumpkin seeds.

Preheat your oven to 350* Make sure you rinse the seeds twice, to get all the pulp off of them. Then mix in a bowl...

melted butter, margarine or oil
spices to taste ( I like to use seasoning salt)
pumpkin seeds

(You could also go the sweet route and use cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and sugar. The pumpkin seed world is your oyster!)

Toss to coat and spread out evenly on a baking sheet.

Bake 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until golden brown.


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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Burger Bar Las Vegas

So much stuff has been happening lately that I've hardly found the time to blog. Lots of changes in the personal life of me.

This past weekend I went to Las Vegas for a wedding with Charlie to see our friends Christina and Eric bite the dust tie the knot at the LOVELY Mandalay Bay Casino. Food is always a huge part of our outings, which is probably why we mesh so well together, and Vegas was no exception. After a weekend of hoity-toity food and drink, we were happy to find this little gem.

Burger Bar, is the brainchild of Uber Chef Hubert Keller. Burgers are our life.

Burger Bar is set up like a super fancy Burger Subway where you start with the bun and pick everything you want to build the most epic burger of all time.

I opted for the Black Angus Burger, with caramelized onions, peppered bacon, whole grain mustard and peppered jack cheese with buttermilk zucchini fries as my side.

Charlie opted for a plain burger, well done, with cheddar and peppercorn sauce on the side and fat fries.

Don't bother the man with petty pictures when he's eating.

The cool thing about Burger Bar is they have loads of awesome toppings, some basic and some very gourmet. In fact they have a $60 kobe burger on their menu that is topped with shaved black truffles and sauteed foie gras, which if you're into that is awesome, but I'm more of a extra pickles kind of girl.

Charlie snapped a few pictures as I attempted to fit the burger in my mouth. This one is my favorite.

Burger Bar has an awesome Sweet Burger Menu filled with amazingly delicious looking treats, which we didn't order, and also some Beer Floats which I was tempted to order, but we had to be hitting the road.

Cooked perfectly pink and juicy.

All in all it was a great experience that we both loved and still talk about to this day. The only downside is you're going to have to be ok with spending at least $20 for a burger and side, but I think it was more than worth it.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mediterraneo in Alpine

Just recently, I was privileged to get to go to Mediterraneo in Alpine for dinner and drinks. I had never been, but I had heard it was delicious and raved about so I was ready.

We started off with some drinks. I got one of the special martinis of the week, and Charlie got a Cranberry Grey Goose.

We started off with some Bruchetta, with toasted crustinis and shaved Parmesan cheese.

I ordered their Free Range Chicken, which was amazing and came topped on a bed of mashed potatoes with Chinese long beans with a wine reduction. Did you expect any less?

Charlie got this delicious pasta with chicken and cream sauce that was pretty much to die for.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

German Pancakes!

So this past weekend I had a craving for pancakes. It didn't really matter what kind of pancakes, but I knew I needed some. After much hemming and hawing, I convinced Gary to make the trek up to Kearney Mesa so we could go to the Original Pancake House. (It's a chain, so look it up please!)
After scoping out the menu, we ordered what he affectionately called "The World War II Special"; German Pancakes and Potato Latkes, with a side of Green Tea for the Japanese influence.

We both agreed that the only thing that would have made it better would be to violently tear apart some French Toast and make it submit under the pancake. Taking it a bit too far eh?

I had never had a German Pancake, I had only seen it ordered here, and over my salivation had vowed to order it one day. It's basically a HUGE oven baked crepe that you eat with copious amounts of butter, powdered sugar and lemon.

Add ImageThe best thing about German Pancakes, is that almost, if not all of the ingredients required for it, are already in your kitchen! I had yet another craving, so I scoured the internet for a recipe, and now I bring it to you.
If you wanna get all fancy and make the latkes too, there is a great and hilarious YouTube show called "Feed Me Bubbe" and they do it step by step. You can find the video here.

German Pancakes, adapted via. Living in the Kitchen with Puppies


3 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp Vanilla extract
2 Tbs butter

In a big skillet on the stove, heat the butter until melted and hot.
In a blender (or something similar) blend the remaining ingredients, pour into hot butter and throw into a 450* oven for 15 minutes.

Turn the heat down to 350* and cook for 10 more.
When it's done it should be all puffy and fluffy like above. Make sure you use oven safe pans, and a heavy duty oven mitt when taking it out of the oven. This seems like a no-brainer, but I assure you, it's FREAKING HOT.

Carefully transfer to a plate and fix it up. You can really put anything you want on it, syrup, jam, jelly, but I like to garnish with butter, powdered sugar, and fresh squeezed lemon.

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