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LA Food Bloggers Bake Sale!

Saturday was the Share Our Strength LA Food Bloggers Bake Sale!

It was such a fun event! This was my first time participating. I was thrilled to be there and meet some of the faces behind the blogs I love! Together we raised over $700 for a very worthy cause!
Here are just a few of the delicious goodies that were available…
Burgers and Fries

For my part, I made P.B.K. Brownies…

You can follow this link PBK BROWNIES to get the recipe!

I also made Lemon & Rosemary Tea Cookies and Honey Crisp Cookies!

I will be posting the recipes for the cookies this week, so stay tuned!

Besides raising money for a great cause, my favorite part of the day was meeting the people behind some of the blogs I follow! It was fun to hear people introduce themselves and then hear “OH my gosh, I LOVE your blog!” Too cute!!

Many thanks to the people who put this event together and the wonderful bloggers who participated! I’m looking forward to doing it again next year!

Main Dish Monday! Guest Post from Kitchen Tested!

Main Dish Monday – Guest Post from Kitchen Tested
Mock Crab Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers

I’m really excited to share this recipe with all of you on My Imperfect Kitchen. I am a huge fan of Sara and her blog and I love to read about all of her “imperfect” kitchen adventures. And now I want to welcome all of you to my own imperfect kitchen. For all who don’t know me, my name is Melinda and my blog, Kitchen Tested, is all about adventurous and unique cooking.

I love to try new recipes and when I say I’ll try anything, I really mean it. Okay, so maybe I won’t eat olives and capers, but every girl has her limits, right?!?

So when I was deciding what dish to share with all of you for “Main Dish Monday,” I was torn between an old family favorite or a new recipe that I hope will one day become an old family favorite. Obviously, I went with the second option and put together something new and extremely delicious! Who would I be if I chose the ordinary option?!?

So here it is: Mock-Crab Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers. Just a quick note that I chose mock-crab because I am an Orthodox Jew and eat strictly kosher food, so no real crab (or any shellfish) for me. But hey, if you can eat crab, go with the real thing!

Mock-Crab Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers

10 jalapenos
1 tsp canola oil
¼ lb. mock-crab meat
3 Tbsp cream cheese, room temperature
1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 ½ Tbsp + ¾ cup dried bread crumbs
2 tsp fresh lime juice
4 eggs, divided
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp salt
½ cup all-purpose flour

Heat the oven to broil, toss jalapenos with canola oil and arrange on a foil-line baking sheet. Broil for 10-12 minutes, turning the jalapenos several times until blackened.
Take out the peppers and lower the oven to 350 degrees F. Transfer the jalapenos to a paper bag and let steam for 10 minutes. Wearing gloves, peel the skin off of the jalapenos and set back on the baking sheet.

Cut a slit down the length of each pepper and scoop out all of the seeds with a small spoon or your hands (if you are wearing gloves). If you want your poppers hotter, leave some of the seeds in. That’s where all of the heat lies.
In a bowl, mix together the crab, cream cheese, cilantro, parsley, 1 ½ cups bread crumbs, lime juice and 1 egg yolk. Carefully stuff each jalapeno with the cream cheese mixture, being sure not to rip the peppers open. Lightly squeeze the peppers to make sure they stay together and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, get your bowls ready for dipping the jalapenos. In one bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Place flour in a second bowl. In a third bowl, stir together 1 egg yolk and 2 whites. Set up the bowls alongside the jalapenos and working with one pepper at a time, dredge in the flour, dip in the eggs then roll in bread crumbs and place back on the baking sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes and that’s it!

Who needs to fry the jalapenos when you can bake them and still get the crunchy exterior and delicious creamy interior?!?

I think I have a new family favorite here! So glad I took a chance and tried something a little different. The jalapeno still has a bit of spice without burning your mouth and the light cream cheese is enhanced by the texture of the mock-crab. Absolutely delicious!

Thanks Melinda! If you like this post, please check out her blog at: “Kitchen Tested

Main Dish Monday! Guest Post from A Slice of Nutrition!

Please welcome Avital Greenbaum from “A Slice of Nutrition.” She’s sharing her “One Pot” Chicken, Zucchini and Quinoa dinner! Just reading through this makes me hungry! Thank you Avital for sharing!

Chicken, Zucchini, and Quinoa “One Pot” Meal

I love spending time with my family and what better way to do it than over dinner. Family dinner is a priority of mine. My daughter eats dinner before my husband gets home from work so I sit with her and usually eat a snack while she eats. My husband and I dine later, once she’s asleep. Excess dishes are the bane of my existence so I’m a big fan of one pot meals. Less dishes = a happy Avital.

This dish combines a lean protein with a hearty vegetable and a protein-rich grain alternative. Quinoa is technically a seed and actually related to spinach and Swiss chard! It is a complete protein meaning it includes all the essential amino acids our bodies need to function. 1 cup provides 222 calories, 8 g of protein, and 5 g of fiber. It is low in fat but very high in carbs. I recommend practicing portion control for quinoa as it is quite caloric.

1 large zucchini (green or yellow), sliced
1 c quinoa, soaked and rinsed
2 c low sodium broth (vegetable or chicken)
4 chicken thighs or breasts (bone-in)
Spices (suggestions: garlic powder, pepper, paprika)

Preheat oven to 375 F.
Grease square casserole dish (or rectangle for double the recipe).
Line bottom of pan with zucchini.
Distribute quinoa over zucchini.
Pour broth over quinoa and zucchini.
Place chicken on top of ingredients
Sprinkle spices on top of chicken
Bake for 1 hour
Chicken should get crispy and the liquid should be absorbed by the quinoa. Enjoy for a wholesome filling meal. Best part- only 1 dish to wash (besides your plates)!

Avital Greenbaum is a Registered Dietitian with a BS in Nutritional Science.

She has worked in hospitals, day health centers, and home care where she provided nutritional counseling to a broad range of patients.  She started her nutrition blog, A Slice of Nutrition because she loves educating the public on how to make healthy eating a part of their lives.  Spending time with her husband and daughter always comes first but blogging is most definitely next in line. Stay healthy!

Follow That Chef – Paul Osher

Meet Chef Paul Osher! Chef Paul is the Chef/Owner of Bean and Thyme. He makes fabulous food on Saturdays at the Farmers Market!

Following him around this week was a lot of fun! He has a great sense of humor and (as always) we learned a lot from him. On his demo menu was Chorizo over Sopes, topped with a fried egg and a side of pickled asparagus!

This is the Chorizo with the egg. It looks good, doesn’t it? 🙂

First, we learned to make chorizo! My husband was so excited when I told him we learned how to do this. We can’t wait to try it ourselves. Chef Paul is a very good teacher, so hopefully I’ll remember everything he did. He showed us how to cut a pork shoulder into small pieces, utilizing every last bit of the meat and fat to make the best chorizo possible.

Once it was cut, it had to be chilled. Cold meat goes through the grinder better. Chef Paul had a great trick! He used dry ice to make sure everything was solid in a short amount of time.

You wouldn’t do this at home, but it works for a quick demo!

Next Chef Paul made the spice mix! This handsome young man is Malcolm. Remember his face, he will be a great chef someday. 🙂

Malcolm served as Sous Chef for Paul and did a great job!
First they prepping the chile peppers to go into the blender (you could use your food processor at home.)

Some participants helped chop chiles while Chef Paul started his pickled asparagus and told us stories about making hot dogs! He was so funny! I want to try the pickled asparagus at home too! He made it all seem so easy!

When the meat was nearly frozen, it was time to put it through the grinder! Chef Paul’s tip? Make sure everything, including the grinder parts are very cold!!

Everyone helps in this demo!

After the meat was ground, Chef Paul added chiles and spices to the chorizo.

Chef Paul browned the chorizo while Malcolm warmed the Sopes! Yep, that’s my reflection in the oven behind them. My amateur photography skills are showing! Hahaha!

Next Chef Paul showed us the green chicken eggs he’d gotten from a farmer earlier at the Market! Hard to see the green tint in this picture, but they were beautiful!

Chef Paul lightly sautéed some greens before he fried the eggs.

The kitchen smelled so good! Between the chorizo, fresh veggies and warm Sopes, we were all ready to eat!

Chef Paul began the eggs and Malcolm started plating!

Gorgeous, right? The spicy chorizo, warm fresh egg, sautéed greens and the rich, toasty flavor of the sopes came together in a perfect bite!

After our wonderful breakfast, Malcolm was kind enough to share some brownies he’d made himself earlier in the day.

Our morning was fantastic! I’m very excited to try Chorizo and maybe even Italian Sausage at home. The pickled asparagus too! It sounds weird, but it was delicious! Our thanks to Chef Paul for his time and thanks to The Gourmandise School for hosting another great event!

Follow That Chef – Annie Miller

This week, we met Chef Annie Miller of the Los Angeles restaurant “Clementine.” We got to follow her around the Santa Monica Farmers Market and meet more great vendors and farmers! Plus, we got to see fantastic, fresh, local produce. It doesn’t get better!

Chef Miller is hosting “Cheesemagedon” this month at her restaurant! I’m a sucker for grilled cheese and Chef Miller does NOT disappoint!
If you love grilled cheese and live in the area, you have to check out her menu!

We arrived back at The Gourmandise School to find bread and cheese waiting! Our own Cheesemagedon was about to begin!

See, I am not the only one who takes pictures during the demo portion of our day! 🙂 Hahaha!

Chef Miller showed us many ways to make a grilled cheese sandwich. She had different breads, different ideas for fillings, different spreads and most important, different cheeses!

Everyone helped assemble parts of our side salad, and the fixings for the inside of our sandwiches! This is Joe and Marie! More on them later… 🙂

Chef Miller talked about different fillings we could use – mushrooms, spinach, asparagus, green onions and more!

After that, it was assembly time! We each got to make a grilled cheese sandwich filled with any thing we wanted! There were a lot of us and a lot of sandwiches. Chef Miller was so sweet and patient with all of us, answering questions as she grilled! Here’s how it looked!

Don’t forget we had salad too! Roasted beets, spinach, avocado, oranges and a light dressing! So delicious!

What’s better than one grilled cheese sandwich? FOUR grilled cheese sandwiches to share with your foodie friends! My FFF Marie and our co-worker Joe (whom we dragged along with us – Ok, Ok, we made him drive!) each made a sandwich with different fillings and then cut them up so we could each have a bite.

A close up of cheesy goodness…

Again, I have to thank The Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories for putting this series together! We have such a wonderful time getting to know these Chef’s, getting to know the other foodies who show up every time like we do! Getting to know the farmers and supporting local growers, plus the added benefit of hanging out at the beach all day… and who can resist that? 🙂

Looking forward to next time, so we can learn more from the next Chef!!

L.A. Food Blogger Bake Sale!

Food Blogger Bake Sale

I’m so excited to be part of this amazing event! Share Our Strength and the No Kid Hungry Campaign are partnering with over 35 LA Food Bloggers for a bake sale next Saturday, April 28th!

Join me as we fight to end childhood hunger by 2015!

As a food blogger, we deal with food all the time. We’re forever on quests for new recipes and menus. We’re blessed to wonder if we’ve taken the perfect photograph of our food, snapped in the most mouth-watering position possible, so our readers will want to make it themselves. We do this daily, but imagine families whose biggest daily challenge is to find food in the first place. Imagine parents who wonder how they will feed their children. Imagine the hungry children who could reach their greatest potential in school and in life, if they were able to have just a portion of those dishes we dismiss as not photo or blog-worthy on a regular basis. Humbling, isn’t it? That’s why I want to help. That’s why I’ve signed the petition to be part of the change. That’s why I’m baking and hoping you will help too!

If you don’t live in Los Angeles (or you do, but can’t make it to the bake sale next weekend) please consider donating to Share Our Strength. Together, we can make a difference. Together, we can end childhood hunger in this country. Don’t you think our children are worth it?

Want more info about the Bake Sale? Click on the picture above! I hope to see you there!

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