Charming Brunch

We didn’t go to the French countryside, but enjoyed a taste of French Country decor & cuisine all the same…I recently took my mother to brunch at the adorable Stella Mare’s restaurant in Santa Barbara, California. The house was originally build in 1872 and moved to its current site on the edge of the Santa Barbara Bird Refuge in 1962.

Stella Mare’s Victorian house is a designated historic landmark.

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Asian Pizzette


Congratulations, you’re one step closer to becoming the next Food Blog Star!
Your entry has advanced to the next round of Project Food Blog 2010.
Your next challenge? “Recipe Remix.”


Challenge Prompt: One recipe, 72 variations! We’re challenging each of you to put your own spin on the same recipe. How you do it is up to you. Will you try out some molecular gastronomy techniques? Share a super-secret trick? Or re-envision the dish from a different perspective? You’ll be asked to put your own spin on Pizza. For the purpose of this contest and challenge, we are defining pizza as having a solid base, a sauce and at least one topping. Get super creative or just share your secrets for the very best results. (from foodbuzz here)

Thank you to the folks at foodbuzz for hosting such a unique and well-executed competition. It has been a blast! The serendipity of participating in this contest has been the introduction to so many creative bloggers! To my readers, thank you for your warm comments and enthusiasm, as well as taking the time  to vote and support Taste With The Eyes. Voting for this round is now open through Thursday, October 21. Please come to the Pizza Party, and vote for your favorites!

Finally, another note of thanks to my dear friend Gina and and my favorite local restaurant, Gina Lee’s Bistro in Redondo Beach, for the inspiration to remake their terrific dish, Chicken Katsu with Soba Noodles, into a pizzette! I have been meaning to share my noodle cakes made with udon noodles and chow mein noodles – usually topping them with sautéed mushrooms or spinach. The buckwheat soba noodle cake makes an earthy base for the juicy chicken katsu cutlet, and the flavors from three vibrant sauces and colorful slaw work very well together in this Asian Pizzette. I think Gina would approve.


buckwheat soba noodle cake
macadamia nut chicken katsu, yuzu tahini sauce, sweet ginger soy
tri-color slaw, rice wine chile syrup, daikon sprouts

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Apricot Wonton Ravioli, Chile Crème Anglaise

Fried Wonton Packages filled with Dried Apricot, Apricot Preserves, Mascarpone
Chile Crème Anglaise, Pinenuts, Mint

Project Food Blog

Challenge #3: Luxury Dinner Party

Challenge Prompt: Celebrate! You’ve made it this far, and the next challenge is to hold a party for your friends and family. Whether you’re an experienced host or an entertaining newbie, get creative and host a luxurious dinner party where your guests will discover new tastes and exotic flavors.

We served Apricot Wonton Ravioli, Chile Creme Anglaise at our Luxury Dinner Party – Modern Southwest. I hope you have a chance to stop by and enjoy the party! Votes may be cast now through Oct. 7th. If you are a fan of Luxury Dinner Party – Modern Southwest, please vote here! Muchas Gracias!

Apricot Wonton Ravioli

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Ladrillo de Brisket, Modern Southwest Style

Ladrillo de Brisket, Modern Southwest Style
Rioja Chipolte Agave Black Bean Sauce

Smoked Wagyu Brisket @ Laurelhurst

Kirk ordered the 12 Hour-Smoked Wagyu Brisket/Ozark BBQ Sauce pictured right there behind the Grilled Romaine with Romesco at Laurelhurst Market, the exciting new steakhouse inspired brasserie in Portland, Oregon. I have been making brisket for years, but it never occurred to me to cut in any other way than against the grain, into long slices. Here at Laurelhurst was the inspiration for future brisket presentations – serve the brisket as a brick, leave the slicing and shredding to the diner!

Duck “Enfrijolada” with Poached Organic Egg @ Rivera

Another inspiration came from Chef John Sedlar’s Rivera Restaurant in downtown LA. We had a most delightful experience there a couple weeks ago. Our server mentioned that the duck sauce ingredients included chiles, piloncillo (Mexican brown sugar), black beans, and Spanish red wine reduction…it had just a hint of sweetness and a hint of smoky spiciness – a combination of flavors that was bound to be perfect with brisket at our upcoming Modern Southwest dinner party.

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