Strawberry Margarita Cake

An extremely moist cake reminiscent of a Strawberry Margarita complete with fresh squeezed lime juice, Tequila and Cointreau. The Retro Lemon Jello Cake has another incarnation! This is the perfect recipe for those who were not born with the baking gene (yours truly). And even if you are an accomplished baker, you just might appreciate a fun and easy Bundt cake recipe once in a while, no?

The original recipe and a step by step for Lemon Jello Cake and Mojito Cake can be found here. Follow the Mojito Cake recipe, just substitute strawberry flavored Jello, and for the glaze:
  • 2 c. Powdered Sugar
  • 1 T. Tequila
  • 2 T. Cointreau (orange flavored liqueur)
  • 1/2 c. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
It’s also fun to be creative with the garnish. Some ideas include: Lime wheels or wedges or zest, powdered sugar, and mint. You can also serve the cake with fresh strawberries or a drizzle of strawberry coulis, or strawberry ice cream or whipped cream. I would love to hear your ideas.

Yellow Eye Heirloom Beans

Yellow Eye Beans With Garlicky Salsa Verde
Cotija Cheese

In a pot, these Rancho Gordo Heirloom Beans were covered with about 2 inches of water and soaked for 4 hours, a bay leaf was added, brought to a boil, then simmered for around 2 hours until the dense and creamy beans were tender. Salt to taste.

To a good amount of olive oil add chopped garlic. Heat until the garlic is fragrant but not browned, add salsa verde (hot or mild depending on your taste). Then add the cooked Yellow Eye Heirloom Beans and heat through. This recipe of beans with olive oil, garlic and salsa verde was inspired by Nancy Silverton in her cookbook, A Twist of the Wrist. Served here with an extra dollop of salsa verde and grated cotija atop the beans. Cotija cheese is a hard cow’s milk cheese named after the town of Cotija, Mexico where it originated. This cheese is delicious grated over warm beans.
I am sending this side dish of Yellow Eye Beans with Garlicky Salsa Verde over to my blogger friend Simona of Briciole, as she is hosting Susan The Well-Seasoned Cook’s, Legume Love Affair Event for November. Are you a bean aficionado? Make sure to check out Legume Love!

On my drive home from work yesterday, I just had to stop and take some photos as the sun was setting. Most of the smoke and ash from the fires has blown away. On Saturday, there was a fire right here on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Thankfully this one was extinguished quickly with no major damage.

My heart goes out to all Southern Californians who lost their homes in the recent wildfires.

Sándwich Cubano

The Cuban Sandwich:
A common lunch for Cuban cigar and sugar mill factory workers for over a century. Popular with Cuban immigrants in Miami and Tampa, Florida. Now this sandwich is the favorite of locals and tourists alike.
The Ingredients:
Ham, Roast Pork, Swiss Cheese, and Pickle
The Spread:
Purists say yellow mustard only. Others like mayonnaise.
I made a mustard mayo blend with chopped pickled jalapeño peppers.
Spread each side of the bread with the mustard jalapeño mayonnaise.
Layer with ham and roast pork.

Slice the big pickle lengthwise. Add pickle and Swiss cheese to the sandwich.

Butter the outside of the bread then grill the sandwich on a traditional plancha, or use a panini maker. This is my new toy “The Griddler.”  I promised my brother that I would have a panini maker in time for Leftover Day, so now, on the day after Thanksgiving, we can grill up some awesome turkey sandwiches. But I’m thinking when he sees this blog post, he is going to want a Cubano too.

A tender bread with a nice crust, a piquant spread, lots of thin-sliced deli ham, melting Swiss, zesty pickle, and juicy roast pork. A sandwich masterpiece! ¿Qué piensa usted?

Organic, Vegan, Raw

To celebrate my dear friend Gina’s birthday, we do lunch, and she suggested a restaurant called LEAF. Organic, vegan, raw food. Grains, seeds, and nuts are soaked and sprouted. The food is not heated to above 110 degrees F. I love my dear friend, and happy to go anywhere she likes, but I must admit I was a bit skeptical about this choice.

Cracklin’ Corn Chips with Hummus

Flying Falafel Salad: Sprouted chickpea falafel croquettes with creamy tahini sauce, mixed greens, marinated onions, tomatoes and sprouts.

This food is very colorful and photogenic…

Veggie Sunburger Wrap: Veggie seed croquettes topped with sweet tangy tomato sauce, mixed greens and sprouts rolled up in a collard green with house dressing.

We were pleasantly surprised, the food was tasty and interesting. I was especially intrigued with the marinated onions. Chef Patrick shared that the thinly sliced onions are left to marinate in a raw organic unpasteurized soy sauce, then are served atop the salad. I will be stealing this technique for some future salads, thanks Patrick.

Here in Southern California, my roses are still blooming. I brought along this bouquet for my long-time friend. The arrangement is a mix of Tahitian Sunset Rose (far left), Secret Rose (light pink middle) Tournament of Roses (front pink), Julia Child Rose (far right). Happy Birthday, My Friend! Glad to explore Organic, Vegan, Raw with you anytime…