Monday, December 5, 2011

Angel City Eats. AT LONG LAST the show is opening!

 Gallery KM is pleased to present Angel City Eats, a multi-media installation created as a collaboration between father and daughter Jackson and Sienna De Govia.  The exhibition explores two of Los Angeles's most notorious obsessions—celebrity and food—and does so through dueling yet complimentary visions of Los Angeles as it has been represented in the popular lexicon: that of the 1950's television show Dragnet , and that of contemporary Kardashian-dominated Reality TV.   The exhibition features larger-than-life painted characters on cutout wood flats by Jackson, and Baroque-styled food sculptures by Sienna made from materials including glass, clay, metal, fabric, edible candy and cake.  The sculptures and character paintings are combined to create tableaux that viewers are invited to move through and around as they navigate the exhibition space, as well as large wall-mounted pieces, including overlapping headshot portraits by Jackson and a rotating mechanical sculpture of diminutive kicking boots by Sienna. The gallery will hold a reception for the artists on December 10th, from 5-8pm, during which guests will be encouraged to consume several edible sculptures.

In Angel City Eats, two artists who have spent their careers constructing fantasies for public consumption utilize the tools of their trade to deconstruct and re-examine those fantasies.  Jackson De Govia, production designer for iconic films such as Die Hard and The 40 Year Old Virgin, and Sienna De Govia, food stylist for print and television including reality shows like Grill It with Bobby Flay, take their personal perceptions and observations of our culture of consumption and turn them back on us, inviting us into a participatory experience of the City of Angels in two of its most memorable moments of simulation.

The exhibition space is divided into two rooms, each of which will be devoted to one of the two time periods.  The main room of the gallery will be dominated by figure groups representing the caffeinated and nicotined 1950’s Los Angeles of Dragnet’s Joe Friday, and the smaller gallery room will be transformed into Kim Kardashian’s 21st century super-celebrity society.  In the Dragnet room, we stand next to Joe Friday and his partner Ben Alexander in front of a locker overflowing with cascading fabric doughnuts, while in the room next door Kim Kardashian’s entourage, here called the Celebritards, sport Byzantine halos of candy delicacies and worship the glorified Kim—bursting naked from a crumpled wedding dress.

The sensory experience of Angel City Eats is purposefully overwhelming and hyper-saturated, meant to evoke an emotional response.  Jackson’s prettily constructed figures instill a reaction in the viewer similar to that of a theme park—fantasy at its populace-numbing and entertaining best—and when combined with the ornate detail and candied excess of Sienna’s food sculptures, the effect is disorienting and revealingly saccharine.  By inviting us into these scenes of crime, punishment and excess, the De Govia's remind us both of the consistency of our desire for dramatic simulation, and our complicity in the fantasies we consume.

Jackson De Govia is an Emmy award winning production designer, with over four decades of experience in film, television, and theater.  Sienna De Govia received a BFA in sculpture from the California College of Arts in Oakland in 1999, and works as a food stylist for print, television and film.  This is their first professional artistic collaboration.
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Violence and Horsey Sauce

The talented Alex Blagg makes me want to get all crazy with a bag of fries.  I don't really need any extra encouragement in the drama and fast food departments but I'll take it any way I can get it.
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Friday, October 14, 2011

Coffee, Milk and Cigs

Apparently in the 50's that's all you needed to survive.  Maybe the occasional donut.  Be careful though. According to Joe Friday those sweet little morsels of fried dough were siren hussies with a little too much jelly in their roll.  Indulge one too many times and you were headed for the gutter.  
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Thursday, September 29, 2011

End of Summer Peach and Cardamom Pie

Stunning Cardamom Peach Pie shot by the talented Crystal Cartier.  For this bad boy I used a simple pastry crust and farmer's market peaches.  So easy and so freaking good.  Add whatever other stone fruit looks good, go crazy.  If the fruit is in season, you can't go wrong with this little baddy.

End of Summer Peach and Cardamom Pie

Simple Pastry Dough (I like this recipe)
1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup sugar plus a little extra for the crust
2 teaspoons cardamom
1 tablespoon butter
1 egg lightly beaten
5-8 ripe peaches, cut into 1 inch thick slices

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.  Combine sugar and vanilla bean in food processor and process until finely ground and incorporated.  Add cardamom and pulse to combine.  In a large bowl toss peach slices with sugar mixture.  Roll out pastry dough to a 12 inch round and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.  Place peaches in center of pastry round.  Fold up the edges of the pastry to contain the juices of the peaches.  Brush crust with egg and sprinkle with extra sugar. Dot exposed peaches with butter.  Bake 40 minutes or until dough is nicely browned and crisp.  Unbelievable served warm with vanilla ice cream.  

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Head in an Art Hole

So I've been off the grid for a loooong time.  Here's the deal:  I'm working on a big gallery installation with my Dad (which is awesome on many levels) that opens in December at Gallery KM in Santa Monica.  Because I still have to pay my rent and buy food to eat, my time has been split pretty evenly between working on killer food styling gigs and hunching over my living room table with this ultra nerdy magnifying head lamp on painting teeny tiny sculptures of food.  Husband, cats and blog all terribly neglected due to the demands of the muse.  I can't help it if my muse calls for chili dogs on the heads of pins and streaming Grey's Anatomy marathons.  She wants what she wants.  This is her by the way:

I know!  It's really weird that Madonna the kitchen goat is the all powerful force behind my art making mania, but you love who you love.  At any rate, I figured the least I could do is start sharing some of the results of all this hunkering down:

 Celibritard Halo 1

Trust me folks, these will make a lot more sense in the context of the installation, so clear your schedule December 10th for the opening.  In the mean time amuse yourselves trying to find your favorite itty bitty junk food item and pondering whether or not Derek will EVER be able to forgive Meredith for compromising the results of the Alzheimer's trial and make a go of starting a family with the African baby they kinda adopted.  
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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Escher in Cupcakes

My young friend Dutch Clark created this portrait of m.c. escher in cupcakes

a massive undertaking, and a good likeness. 
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Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Female Form Continues to Inspire

The Hohle Fels Venus is about 35,000 years old proving that a good looking pair of gams and a nice set of knockers has been inspiring human kind to pay homage to the fairer sex for a great long while.  

In one of our many forays into the intersection of art and food photography Renee and I created this fried chicken in repose.  She's a little sassier than the Hohle Fels gal but the idea is the same.  Two hot babes, working it.
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Monday, May 16, 2011

coconut dream cake

photo by renee anjanette and styling by me ages ago

It's the simple things in life.  Be honest, wouldn't you like to curl up and take a nap with this guy.  Just me?  Okay well, wake me in an hour.

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

It's enough to drive you crazy.

photography by Renee Anjanette hostess snowball styling by moi

Too much of a good thing can be bad for you.  Too much of a highly processed, fluorescent pink, pseudo baked good can push you right over the deep end.   
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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Chocolate Love

as seen on Gawker

I'm all for all-consuming love, so I can't really get too creeped out by  kooky ol' Karl Lagerfeld's decision to have his muse replicated in chocolate.  I do take offense at that ugly pillow though.  
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Friday, April 1, 2011

The Cheater's Guide to the Perfect Slice

Of cheesecake that is...

photo by Renee Anjanette

When I first started food styling I sweated over every slice of cake.  It sounds simple, right?  What's the big deal?   Just bake a cake, frost it, cut out a slice and slap it on a plate.   Not so fast, my little chickadees.  There are a million things that can go wrong with that slice.  Your cut might be far from perpendicular, your layers might smash together and ooze filling everywhere, the interior of your cake might be riddled with air bubbles.  These things sound like small problems, but they can turn into fatal flaws under the unforgiving eye of the camera.   If you think regular cake slices are, ahem, a piece of cake, then try wrapping your brain around a crack-prone, wobbly soft cheesecake.  Here are a few tips on styling the perfect slice of cheesecake:

1.  Always wrap the bottom of the spring form in a layer of foil that hangs over the outer ring.   Wrap the excess foil up and around the outer ring.  This layer of foil allows you to easily remove your finished cheesecake from the bottom of the pan once it's baked.  

2.  Add one or two packets of dissolved gelatin to your cheesecake filling before you bake it.  Make sure the gelatin is fully dissolved and mix it thoroughly into the liquid filling.  

3.  Wrap the entire exterior of the spring form in 3 or four layers of foil.  This is to prevent water from seeping in while baking (you'll see what I mean in step four).  

4.  If you don't want your cheesecake to crack, set the spring form in a deep-ish baking tray on the lowest rack of the oven.  Immediately fill the tray with boiling hot water.  Bake for the amount of time specified in the recipe.  

5.  Allow the cheesecake to cool slowly (you may have to leave it in the oven with the door closed for an hour or more).  Once it has come to room temp, you're going to want to chill it in the fridge for a few hours before you attempt a slice.  Sometimes I rush this step by popping it in the freezer, but a cheese cake is something you definitely want to make on your prep day!!  

6.  It is helpful to find the center of your cake and compose your slice with bamboo skewers before you make the actual cut.  Heat up your knife blade in a glass of hot water and slice firmly and confidently   Always clean your blade before attempting the second cut.  You may have to cut out excessive amounts of cake on either side of your hero slice in order to remove it from the round undamaged.  

Happy Styling!

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pretty Winter Cookies

photo generously provided by Charles Schiller

My favorite thing to style is the mighty baked good.  The aesthetics of baked goods speak to me in a nostalgic way that no other food can touch.  Probably has something to do with the fact that I am a hard core sugar addict and would main line apple pie if I could figure out how to get it in the damn needle.  For these polar cut out cookies I used extremely pale blue, green, purple and pink royal icing with sanding sugar over the piped lines to add to the icy mood.  This type of pristine sugar cookie takes hours and hours to make perfectly and is one of the great lies of food styling.  I don't know many home cooks who have the time, patience or determination to attempt such detailed edibles only to watch them get snarfed down in five seconds flat.  But they are fun to make if you have 12 hours to kill and are able to slip into a piping bag zen trance.  Very relaxing.
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Friday, March 18, 2011

Sweet Hot Nuts

No not THAT kind.  You guys are gross!  Dirty filthy minds, all of you!

This kind:

mmmmmmmmmm. Here's the recipe, but be careful there's about a bazillion calories in every bite.

Sweet Hot Nuts

4-5 cups mixed raw nuts
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon  paprika
1/2 teaspoon  sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all ingredients except nuts in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Allow mixture to come to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Remove mixture from heat and combine with nuts in a medium mixing bowl.  Toss to coat and spread evenly on a baking pan coated in nonstick cooking spray or parchment paper.  Bake for 25 minutes, tossing occasionally, or until syrup is thickened.  Let cool and ENJOY!

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Debbie Lee conquers the mighty SQUID!

One of the best things about living in Los Angeles is the incredible smoosh of just about every culture on earth, side by side, right here in my home town.  That means I can start my day eating jalebi in Artesia, make a quick stop in Glendale for a kabob and end up in Koreatown up to my eyelids in SQUID.  wait...squid?  Yes squid.   Last week I had the honor of working with the hilarious and oh-so-talented Debbie Lee

What an education!!!!  On my prep day Debbie sent me to the fab Koreatown Galleria where I got a crash course in all food-stuff Korean.  The spice aisle alone blew my mind, and then I got to the fish section.  Wooooo Hooooooooooo!  I am not particularly squeamish (let's put it this way; if the toilet ever overflows in our house I am the one who cleans it up while my hubby cowers in the corner, whimpering) and I am by no means a vegetarian, but I do feel a pang of what.....guilt?  Disgust?  Let's just call it "discomfort" at the prospect of cutting off an animal's head and ripping it's guts out with my bare hands.  In the fish section of the Koreantown Galleria there are MANY opportunities to get in touch with your hunter/gatherer roots.  It is WHOLE food in the strongest sense of the word.  Imagine my hesitation when instructed to purchase six whole squid to "clean, and cut into rings and tentacles." 

Luckily, on the shoot day, Debbie was on hand to instruct me in the finer points of squid butchery.  It seems it helps not to name the little darlings, it makes it easier when it's time to separate Sir Squidlington the Third's head from his wee body.  

Tentacles are off!!  All the parts neatly trimmed and ready for the frying pan.

Sir Squidlington the Third is really a thing of beauty, especially in his final incarnation:

Debbie Lee's Spicy Stir-fried Squid

Sorry folks you'll have to wait for the book to come out for this recipe.  Might I just add that working with Debbie Lee was a tasty food fantasy.  Every dish yummier than the last.  I'm going to have to become an Ahn-Joo food truck stalker! 

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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Dolley Madison Saves President Washington!

photo generously provided by Charles Schiller

Ok so this charming fella I work with recently told me the story of his unusual childhood birthday cake requests and it goes something like this:  At around age 8 Richard's birthday was fast approaching.  His mom ( a very devoted and loving mother by all general standards) asked her young son what he would like for his birthday cake.  Being of a particularly patriotic nature, Richard requested Washington's Cherry Tree rendered in cake form, and could they please have miniature hatchets to eat it with at the party.  Not wanting to disappoint, his mother did her very best to create the cherry tree and the party went off without a hitch.  A year rolls by and it's time again for Richard's birthday party.  Again his mom asks what he would like for his cake.  Again Richard reaches into his store of presidential folklore for inspiration and declares that he would like "Abe Lincoln's Log Cabin surrounded by a Field of Golden Wheat."  Some how his mom is able to summon all of her latent creativity to the fore and pulls off a passable log cabin cake perched atop an icing field of wheat.  The next year when asked for his cake choice Richard declared grandly:
"I want Dolley Madison Fleeing the Burning White House with the Portrait of Washington Under Her Arm!"  Needless to say Richard's mom refused point blank and young Richard got a plain spice cake that year.  When I heard the story I just HAD to attempt a version of the insane edible object.  On a recent two week shoot I put this baby together on the sly and was able to surprise grown up Richard with his Dolley Madison Cake at long last.
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Monday, February 21, 2011

Death by Wedding Cake

photography by Renee Anjanette Kalmar food styling by yours truly

  I find the aesthetic of the baked good utterly irresistible.  Wedding cakes in particular are fantastical beautiful creatures that call to me with their siren song.  But the moment I succumb and take that first bite I am screwed.  The cake drags me down into the depths of indulgence and I feel sick.  
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Monday, February 14, 2011

Cauliflower Brain Bake

photo by Renee Anjanette Kalmar

My sister and I used to call cauliflower Brain Plant and fancied ourselves zombies when forced to eat it.    Turns out this veg doesn't reanimate dead human flesh on it's own, but it CAN make a nifty model of a brain as detailed here.  These days I generally just grill it up and eat it, no persuasion required.

When I found these orange beauties at the farmer's market, I couldn't resist.  I roasted them up with some stuff we had lying around the studio.  Simple and delicious.

Simple Roasted Cauliflower

1 pound cauliflower
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons cumin seed
1 cup raw cashews, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
Sea salt to taste

Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Mix first five ingredients in a medium bowl and toss to combine.  Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.  Add cranberries and roast for an additional 8-10 minutes.  
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Friday, February 4, 2011


It is clear that when I am tired or stressed I rely entirely too much on sugar to make it through.  Yesterday I worked on a super top secret party book at a fab house in the valley.  The hours were long and I'm not sure if it was the mad roller coaster ride of sugar highs and lows or the charming nature of the fairy tale house in general, but as the shoot ground on I became more and more attached to this little fella;  The household KITCHEN GOAT!!!!!    She's actually not a fella but a girl-goat, and I can't tell you her name because I think that would break the confidentiality agreement I signed.  I'll call her Madonna, since it's always been a secret dream of mine to hang out all day in a cozy kitchen just cooking and shooting the shit with Madonna.  And something about her powerful, confident presence in such a toned and compact body really said MADONNA to me, ya know?  I first noticed her while unloading groceries.  I had my back to the door and I heard a loud rustling sound behind me.  I turned around to see  Madonna chewing on the handle of a grocery bag.
"Oh hello there little lady, what's your name?"
"Maa-aaa-aaa-aaa-dooonn-aaa-aaa-aaaa" she bleated with quiet dignity.
"Very pleased to meet you, I'm Sienna.  I'll be doing the food styling for the shoot and this is Rebecca, she'll be helping me out."  I said, gesturing to my assistant for the day the uber-talented Rebecca Farr.
"Got any greeee-eee-eee-eeen bee-eee-eee-aaaa-aaa-aaa-aaaans?"  she asked.
"Not on hand, sorry.  Maybe later you can help us out with some carrot tops.  We're also making sliders and mini pot pies, but I don't think you'll like those." I said.
"I'll give 'em a trrr-rr-rr-yy-yyy-yyy-!  I'm not a picky eee-eee-eeaa-ter."  She bleated enthusiastically.

The day went on like that in chatty camaraderie.  Just me and Rebecca and Madonna cooking and shooting the shit, like I'd always imagined!  Eventually the conversation turned from food to other more general topics.  Our favorite shampoos and the latest happenings on Glee.  We all thought Gwyneth did a great job with that Cee-Lo song, though Madonna was a teensy bit critical of her dancing chops.  By the end of the long day we were all fast friends.  I'm hoping she'll stop by from time to time.  It was so nice to work with such a convivial instant composter.
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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tentacles make a lovely cuff, don't you think?

photo by Renee Anjanette Kalmar

I love commercial food styling.  But when I'm strolling through the aisles at the different markets around town my artist brain turns on and I start seeing food in a different light.  The "wow that would make a great accessory if only it wouldn't rot and attract flies"  sort of light.  The talented Renee is my partner in crime.  Together we have collaborated on a series of "food as accessory" images.  Here's a peek at one of the slimier ones.  The model, my friend Emily (owner of an amazing popsicle company, by the way) felt conflicted about wearing this bit of sushi around her wrist.   The week we shot, a two-spotted octopus at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium managed to flood the entire building by pulling out a water recycling tube in it's tank.  Emily felt that an animal with such an inquisitive nature should not end up around her wrist.  She's probably right, but it looked so pretty in the sushi pack next to the wasabi and ginger.  A jewel toned sucker cuff.  Fancy!

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Radical Radicchio

photo by Renee Anjanette Kalmar

Ok. this stuff really blew me away when I stumbled across it at the Farmer's Market last week.  I am more accustomed to the wilty round balls of radicchio that are usually hanging around in dejected looking clumps of 3 or 4 at the grocery store.  They resemble teenagers hanging out in a 7-11 parking lot, all sullen and bitter.  These varieties were so incredibly beautiful I couldn't resist them.  Renee and I scooped them up, took them back to the studio and shot them right away.  Then I developed this little recipe for lunch time.
photo by Renee Anjanette Kalmar

Radicchio can be slightly tough and bitter raw.  I slice it pretty thin and wilted it with olive oil to cut the bitterness and help with the texture.  The result was awesome!

Radicchio Tangerine Salad

2-3 heads of Radicchio, sliced thin
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 ounces sheep's milk gouda, shaved
4 tangerines, supremed

Juice of two tangerines
1tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
pinch sea salt
pinch fresh ground pepper


For Dressing:

Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl until thoroughly incorporated

For Salad:

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet of medium high heat.  Add radicchio and toss constantly with tongs for about a minute or until slightly wilted.  Remove raddiccio from heat and toss in a large bowl with remaining ingredients and dressing.  

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Monday, January 31, 2011

Three square meals to erase the evil snacks

photo by Eric Tucker

When I was a kid I would frequently perform food experiments on myself.  For example, I didn't understand why you couldn't eat the WHOLE box of cookies.  Why not eat them all?  The sixteenth one tastes just as good as the first one.  Why all these silly limitations and discussions about moderation?  If we're going to tackle this box of cookies, we're going to do it RIGHT!  No quitters here, no sir.  So one night, I woke up in a silent sleeping house and I snuck down to the kitchen to get to the bottom of this ridiculous rule cookie rule.  About half way through a box of Chips Ahoy the answer became (barfily) clear to me.  Too much junk food will make you sick.  Later on I developed a spicy chili antidote to the sugar blues.  I found that eating a protein packed bowl of savory chili alleviated the soupy angry discontent of a sugar saturated stomach.  These days I try to avoid the total abandon to sugar gluttony that brings on the barfy feeling in the first place, but Ethan's nostalgic junk food buffet got the best of me.  So here are three square meals of solid protein to set me right!  We shot this ages ago.  Eric has a great sense of the absurd.  He comes up with bizarre concepts that I have to bring into fruition with my food styling wiles.  It's always a blast to work on his projects.  
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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Nostalgia in Junk Food

I guess I've finally reached that age where it's appropriate for my friends to throw parties featuring our own childhood as the ironic theme.  Fine by me, as long as I get to snarf the forbidden fruits of the 80's.  I'm talking about anything in a Hostess wrapper.  My mom is a second generation Italian (read: excellent cook) and first generation hippie.  The only fruit roll ups in our house were those hard core brown leather-like deals from the health food store.  A Tiger Milk bar was a big treat and sugar cereals were NOT ALLOWED.  So whenever I'm faced with a buffet table strewn with nerds, gummy worms, hostess cupcakes and cheese n cracker snak paks my heart skips a beat.  

Luckily my friend Ethan is the king of theme parities, and this year his birthday party had an indoor recess theme.  Last night we grownups got to re-live the glory (or in my case, shame and humiliation) of the foursquare courts and double dutch ropes.   At least there was the soothing balm of cupcake filling to calm any court induced BUUUUUUUURRRRNNNNSSS.  In YOUR FACE!  Let me tell you, 30-somethings get ugly on the foursquare court.
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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fancy jujube Financier

photo by Renee Anjanette Kalmar

Again, I found these in the market in November but have been otherwise engaged so they are only showing up in these pages now.  However, I did just see them again in Wednesday's market so I guess they are still in season somewhere in this insanely fertile state of ours.  Seriously, California is almost season-less naturally.  Add some plastic sheeting and a grow lamp and you've got heirloom lettuces in January.  But I digress. I stumbled upon a little cake called the Financier at this delish little French joint in Hollywood called The Mercantile.  I grew up in Hollywood and I remember a time when there was nary a wine bar to be found in the whole of the region.  Just transvestite ladies of the night and used needles as far as the eye could see.  Those days are over.  Now you can have a new and amazing culinary experience on every corner of Hollywood Blvd. without bumping some working girl off her favorite pitch point.   I decided to take a crack at a jujube version of the financier myself and this was the result:

photo by Renee Anjanette Kalmar

The Jujube Financier

12 tablespoons unsalted butter (one and a half sticks)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups dry toasted almonds
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 pound jujubes, pits removed, sliced into eights
4 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Butter six 4-inch mini cake pans or one 9-inch cake pan.  In a small sauce pan, melt butter.  Stir in vanilla, sugar and jujubes.  Cook over medium heat until fruit has softened and sugar is dissolved, about 8 minutes.  In a food processor combine almonds and flour.  Pulse until almonds are coarsely ground.  In a large bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.  Fold almond mixture and butter mixture into egg whites (they will deflate a bit.)  Pour batter into pans and bake for 20 minutes or until pick comes out clean.  Serve with whipped cream.
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Friday, January 28, 2011

Death by Dough

photography by Renee Anjanette Kalmar
Ever feel this way when rolling out pizza dough?  I do.
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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Persimmon Perfection

photo by Renee Anjanette Kalmar

So I'm a little behind on my farmer's market project, these bad boys were supposed to be on deck in November.  I've never known quite what to do with these beauties, but that is the whole point of my farmer's market project.  My days of fruit intimidation are OVER.  No fruit will ever look down it's nose at me again!  I figure I did enough cowering in high school.  It's not very attractive for a grown woman to allow herself to be pushed around by a plant ovary.  And that's what fruit is after all.  The lovely girl parts pictured above are Hachiya persimmons which have a very bitter taste if they are not eaten ripe.  Below is a recipe using Fuyu persimmons which can be eaten crisp, like an apple.

photo by Renee Anjanette Kalmar

Persimmon Appetizers

3 Fuyu persimmons, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds
6 ounces blue cheese
12 slices bacon, baked or pan fried until very crisp
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons lemon juice

Whisk honey and lemon juice together until well combined.  Stack the cheese and bacon on top of the persimmon slices and drizzle with honey lemon mixture.  mmmmmm.  again with the bacon!!  It's such a cheap trick, but the pig is so TASTY! 

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

To carb or not to carb...

photo by eric tucker
I say carb.  Carb all the way.
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Death by Pie

photography by Renee Anjanette Kalmar

Renee and I asked ourselves what it would be like to die at the hands of the very thing you love the most?  In my case, I'm sure there would be a lot of yelling and screaming, all passionate and italian, maybe some one would cry out tearfully "you are killing me!  Do you understand that?! KILLING me!  Every time I see you with him/her I DIE inside!!!!"  and then pie (for that is what I love the very most, above all others) would come hurling at me, an end to heartache it's only goal.  It would be a crime of passion.  
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Monday, January 24, 2011

Meet the Meat.....ship that is.

photo by Teri Lyn Fisher
I think this speaks for itself, but I will add, I stopped eating bacon for three whole days after I made this.
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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Why am I fat in Texas?

Because the food there is so damn TASTY, that's why.  I'm a California girl through  and through.  Born and raised under the uber-body-conscious glow of Hollywood street lamps, I can tell you exactly how many calories there are in a tall skinny vanilla latte and how many extra minutes it'll take you on the treadmill to negate the skinny jean ruining effects of said latte once it passes your lips.

Lucky for me I married a Texan and we get to visit the big BBQ state from time to time.  Out here all bets are off.  It's hard to count carbs when most of the meat you're eating has been marinating in Dr. Pepper for six hours.

I would very much like to share with you a culinary experience that rocked my world over the new year's weekend:

Jimmy Quigly's Texas Pepper Poppers

To me the jalapeno popper was always synonymous with greasy fried batter balls and heart burn.  These little beauties are something else entirely.  Each jalapeno is stuffed with savory cream cheese, wrapped in BACON (yes bacon, the gateway meat) and slowly grilled over medium coals for about an hour.  The bacon slowly crisps and caramelizes while the peppers soften.  The result is an appetizer of such unspeakable yumminess D (my Texan hubby) and I  actually fought over the last one.

Skinny jeans be damned!  I'm going Texas style when it comes to poppers from now on!!

Jimmy Quigly's Texas Pepper Poppers

10 Jalapenos, halved and seeded (wear gloves unless you want to experience fiery eye ball trauma, or worse yet fiery pee-pee trauma for the guys)
8 oz cream cheese, softened
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 of a small white onion, minced
salt and pepper to taste
10 slices bacon


Combine cream cheese, garlic, onion and salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Stuff each pepper half with 2 tablespoons of cream cheese mixture.  Wrap each pepper in bacon and secure with toothpicks.  Grill over medium heat for about an hour or as long as it takes you to drink two beers.  The bacon should be crispy and the peppers soft.  Let cool slightly before scarfing down.

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