- December 6, 2016 -


Happy December loves! It’s about time to start thinking about holiday gifting. I’ve curated a list of gifts for your favorite foodies! Everything on my gift guide is under $30, the holidays should be about thoughtfulness, not going broke. Creating a beautiful ambiance in your kitchen starts with scent. I am so in love with the clean herbaceous Silverlake scent of this hand poured soy candle from Flores Lane. The hints of bergamot, mandarin, and jasmine delightfully fill the room for hours. A wonderfully inexpensive gift or stocking stuffer is this delicious French truffle salt. Truffle is such a luxurious flavor, pairing perfectly with any foodie’s holiday menu. I love a good holiday set, this flavored oil set from La Tourangelle is so versatile and packed with flavor. Last but not least my favorite item on the list is Everything I Want to Eat, the Squirl cookbook by Jessica Koslow. This cookbook captures the beauty of this Eastside gem, each photo is quirky perfection. I’m so happy to have the secret recipes to Squirl’s famous sorrel pesto, I know your foodie loves will too. I hope my guide makes your holiday shopping a little easier this year. Look below to find the links to all of the gift guide items, happy shopping.

1) Flores Lane Candle: Flores Lane Silverlake candle
2) French Truffle Salt: Pebeyre – Summer Truffle Salt from France 1.76oz
3) La Tourangelle oil trio:La Tourangelle oil trio set
4) Sqirl Cookbook: Everything I Want to Eat: Sqirl and the New California Cooking


- November 21, 2016 -

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! I know it’s only thanksgiving week, but once the red and green decorations explode into stores I start premeditating Christmas. Christmas is my all time favorite holiday and it’s all about the holiday flavors. One of my holiday traditions is to drink warm cozy cups of tea, I choose my flavors to represent the season. Over the Christmas holiday I always buy candy cane tea. Ever since I was a little kid I’ve loved buying Celestial Seasonings tea, I feel a special connection to the brand because my name is printed in the box;) This season I’ve upped the ante and created a holiday recipe infused with my beloved Candy Cane Lane tea. This Candy Cane Cacao Bar recipe is vegan, refined sugar free, nutrient dense, and will satisfy your holiday sweet tooth. These bars will keep in the fridge for about a week and make for a delightful breakfast snack. Have a truly wonderful holiday, share this recipe with the people you love.

Candy Cane Cacao Bars

Ingredients
Pecan crust:
1/2 cup dark rye flour
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons cacao powder
1 cup raw pecans
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 dates, pitted
2 teaspoons coconut oil

Candy cane cream:
1/2 cup coconut oil
5 bags of celestial seasonings candy cane lane tea
1 cup cashews, soaked overnight, drained
1 tablespoon coconut cream
1 teaspoon liquid stevia

Chocolate peppermint cream:
1 cup cashews, soaked overnight, drained
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut cream
1/2 cup cacao powder
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 peppermint candies, crushed

Recipe
(Crust layer)
1) Add flour, cacao powder, pecans, and salt to a food processor and blend until well combined
2) slowly add in dates and coconut oil until well combined
3) pat food processor contents into a small wax paper lined baking dish until you have an even layer, set aside
(Candy cane cream layer)
4) melt coconut oil in a small pot on low heat, add tea bags to melted oil, steep for 1 hour on low
5) strain tea infused oil into a medium sized bowl (I used a nut milk bag to strain)
6) add tea infused oil, cashews, coconut cream, and stevia to a food processor and pulse until smooth
7) spread contents of food processor evenly over crust layer, put into the freezer for 15 minutes
(Chocolate peppermint cream layer)
8) add cashews, coconut oil, coconut cream, cacao powder, maple syrup, and salt to a food processor and pulse until smooth
9) remove baking pan from freezer, layer chocolate peppermint cream layer on top of candy cane creme layer
10) sprinkle crushed peppermints evenly over chocolate peppermint cream layer, freeze for 30 minutes
11) cut bars to desired size and serve
Truly enjoy



- November 19, 2016 -

Highland park is now teeming with amazing places to get a bite. Before you try any of these new gems, get your health concious butts’ to Amara Kitchen. Amara Kitchen is just plain magic. The menu at Amara so similarly matches my food philosophy and flavor preferences, I almost couldn’t believe my eyes. Amara Kitchen is committed to sourcing the highest quality local and organic ingredients for every single dish on the menu. This magical food fairyland is as adorable as it is delicious. The two owners and staff were so welcoming, I felt like I was eating in a good friends kitchen. The decor of Amara Kitchen is whimsical without being overly fussy. Their floral rope wall paper and large marble surfaces are an instagrammers dream. My first taste of Amara was their inventive crio bru, a roasted cacao bean take on coffee. The crio bru was so delicious, I’ve literally been craving it every single day since my visit earlier this week. After my palate was activated by the crio bru I was served a menagerie of delightful baked goods. Paleo pancakes, avocado toast, a yogurt parfait, the Amara breakfast plate, and a kale salad all made their way to my table. Thankfully I had two hungry friends along to mindfully indulge in all of the delacies with me. Every single item we tried was a standout. The food we enjoyed was thoughtfully made from scratch, down to the bread for the avocado toast. I can’t even pick a favorite dish, I’m tempted to go back right now and order everything we didn’t try. Amara Kitchen is truly wonderful, I will be back, this time I’m taking a crio bru to go.

Xoxo,
Celeste


- November 14, 2016 -


Sometimes I need to clear my mind and transport myself to a tranqil location to escape the LA rat race. The Fairmont hotel in Santa Monica is the epitome of tranquility, a stone’s throw from the Pacific Ocean. Luxury hotels make me happy, lounging in multimillion dollar properties also make me hungry, thank goodness for in house dining. I visited FIG, the hotel restaurant inside the Fairmont to quench my thirst, and fill my bougious belly. FIG’s chef Yousef Ghalaini focuses on local California produce prepared simply. The wood roasted broccoli with Calabrian chilies is the perfect example of how simplicitc preparations can be amazingly delicious. I paired my plant forward dishes with the most beautiful crisp Sancerre. The refreshing wine and delicious food made for one fantastic afternoon at FIG. I ended my meal with the black bear cocktail, because when you feel like you’re on vacation, you’re allowed to finish lunch with a cocktail;)


- November 1, 2016 -

November is a cozy month, one that’s meant for warm comfort food to be enjoyed with loved ones. Since it’s the first day of November I wanted to share a hearty fall recipe filled with some of my favorite ingredients. Squash epitomizes fall cooking, sweet and savory preparations are both a part of my daily life in November. Today I’m making delicata tacos with almond crema with the addition of some zesty pomegranate seeds and crunchy Harvest Snaps Black Bean Crisps. I love the unexpected crunch and subtle spice offered up by the Habanero Black Bean flavor of Harvest Snaps. The squash base of this lively taco will satisfy your winter hunger and fill you with warmth. I can’t wait for you to try this recipe and share it with your loved ones.

Delicata tacos

Ingredients
1 cup balanced almonds, skin removed
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 cup almond milk
1/ teaspoon salt
1 delicata squash, halved, de seeded, sliced
4 tortillas
1 cup dandelion greens, chopped
1 golden beet, halved, sliced thin
1/3 of a package of Harvest Snaps Black Bean Habanero flavor
1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds

Recipe
Cover almonds with water and set aside for at least one hour
Preheat oven to 425
Arrange squash on a lined cookie sheet, spray squash with olive oil spray
Cook squash at 425 for 18 minutes, flip, cook for an additional 5 minutes
Remove squash from oven, set aside
While squash is cooking toast tortillas on an open gas flame, plate tortillas
Assemble dandelion greens, golden beets, delicata squash, black bean crisps, and pomegranate seeds on top of tortillas
Add drained almonds, hot sauce, almond milk, and salt to a food processor, blend until smooth
Top tacos with almond crema
Truly enjoy


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