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ready for a dinner party!

One of my favorite things to do is host dinner parties + gatherings. Of course you need to have delicious food but presentation + decor is also important. I have been searching for various items to fulfill my vision for the perfect table setting. Thanks to these adorable napkins from Nell and Mary, I think my goal has been achieved. I like to keep things minimal, you don’t want your table to look so crowded, and something as small as napkins can make a difference. So now that my table is set, let’s get the party started! 🙂

go here: Ostrich Farm

I love meeting up friends for brunch on the weekend. It is one of my favorite things to do. I also love exploring and checking out new places so what’s better than brunch at a new place? 🙂 There are so many hidden gems in Echo Park and Ostrich Farm is one of them. The decor is modern and simple. We sat at a booth and I felt like I could’ve stayed there all day. The food was hearty and homey. I enjoyed everything and could’ve eaten more. I can’t wait to go back for dinner and try more delicious dishes! pictured: poached eggs with chickpeas, feta, spicy tomato sauce // lentil bowl with roasted vegetables, chiles, sunny side eggs & tomatillo salsa // mashed avocado, lemon & chili flakes on toast

linguine with clams

I used to not like clams, only in clam chowder. Yeah weird, makes no sense. But now, I like ordering pasta with clams and decided to try making it at home. I was inspired by the below recipe but did a few things differently. First of all, make sure you clean the clams thoroughly.. you don’t want dirty shells in your pasta! Instead of thinly sliced garlic, I minced garlic and I didn’t use tomatoes. I wanted to make it simple and just used garlic, red pepper flakes, wine, and parsley. I added a squeeze of lemon juice for a fresh taste. I was pretty impressed for my first time cooking with clams. Maybe I should make clam chowder next! 🙂 Recipe for linguine with clams courtesy of: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Linguine-with-Clams-em-Linguine-con-le-Vongole-em-350683 Ingredients: 3 tablespoons kosher or coarse sea salt 1 pound linguine 12 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 1 pound New Zealand cockles or 24 Manila or littleneck clams, scrubbed 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1 cup dry white wine …

toast with apples, almond butter, honey & thyme

I saw a picture of this toast on Tasty Yummies Instagram and had to make it immediately. It just looked so lovely and yummy. It takes a few minutes to make.. just toast bread and spread a layer of tahini on each slice (I used almond butter instead). Then top with apple slices and drizzle with honey and fresh thyme leaves. It’s a perfect breakfast or even an appetizer. It’s got the best of both worlds- a bit of sweet & savory in one bite. Recipe for apple, tahini toast with honey & thyme courtesy of: http://tasty-yummies.com/2014/09/22/apple-tahini-toast-with-honey-and-thyme/ Ingredients: 4 slices of your favorite bread 1 apple, cored and thinly sliced, I prefer Honeycrisp Apples 2 tablespoons organic tahini, your favorite brand or made yourself 2 tablespoons local raw honey a few sprigs of fresh thyme sea salt, optional Directions: Toast your bread accordingly. Spread a layer of tahini on each slice of toast. Top with apple slices and a drizzle of honey, top with some fresh thyme and a little sprinkle of sea salt, if …

spicy cold noodles with kimchi

On a hot summer day, it’s nice to have a bowl of cold noodles to cool you down. This dish is easy to whip up if you’re in the mood for something simple and spicy. You can add as much hot red pepper paste as you want depending on how spicy you want it and you can garnish with whatever you have. I did a simple garnish of perilla leaves on top but you can also add cucumbers, radishes & a hard boiled egg. Recipe for Spicy Cold Noodles with Kimchi courtesy of: http://www.koreanbapsang.com/2011/07/kimchi-bibim-guksu-spicy-cold-noodles.html#.U2fz3lVdWJk Ingredients: 8 – 10 ounces somyeon (somen) noodles 1 cup thinly sliced kimchi (fully fermented) 1/4 cup juice from kimchi (use a little more soy sauce and vinegar if unavailable) 1 tablespoon Korean red chili pepper paste, gochujang (adjust to taste) 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 tablespoon corn syrup (use honey or more sugar if unavailable) 1 tablespoon sugar 2 tablespoons rice or apple vinegar 1 tablespoon sesame oil 1 tablespoon sesame seeds Optional garnish: 4 perilla leaves, kkaennip, thinly sliced …

easy to make blueberry crumble

I love being inspired by other foodies. I get so amazed by some people’s photos. My mouth waters after seeing certain pictures because they just look that good. I saw a beautiful photo from @meatballssmama recently where she made a blueberry crisp. Just look at it and start drooling. It looks amazing! http://instagram.com/p/qe-HmZh9mO/?modal=true Ever since I saw it, I have been wanting to make/eat it and when I have a craving, I won’t stop until I have it. So I finally got to make it and I found a really simple recipe with ingredients I already had at home. The blueberries get really juicy and sweet and it balances out with the crumble on top. It’s best to serve hot and a scoop of vanilla ice cream wouldn’t hurt. Thanks to @meatballssmama for the inspiration! Recipe for blueberry crumble courtesy of: http://leitesculinaria.com/81109/recipes-blueberry-crumble.html INGREDIENTS For the blueberry filling 12 ounces (about 1 pint) fresh blueberries 1/2 cup granulated sugar 2 tablespoons flour 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice, depending on how tart the blueberries 1/4 teaspoon …

4 different ways to cook tilapia

I had four pieces of tilapia in the fridge so I decided to cook them four different ways to see which would be the best.   I mean, why eat all four pieces the same way when you can mix it up right? 🙂 Here are the different ways I cooked the fish with a quick recap: 1. Panko crusted tilapia: breaded with flour, egg, panko & fried in a pan. Soft, flaky fish with a nice crisp. * check out this recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/panko-tilapia-317044 2. Parmesan crusted tilapia: breaded with parmesan cheese, paprika, parsley & baked in the oven. Simple, cheesy & flavorful. * recipe from: http://www.rachaelraymag.com/recipes/rachael-ray-magazine-recipe-search/five-ingredient-recipes/parmesan-crusted-tilapia 3. Pan seared tilapia with capers: breaded with flour, pan seared with butter, wine, lemon, capers & parsley. Love the lemony, tangy sauce. * check out my own recipe: https://delishthoughts.com/2013/05/27/pan-seared-tilapia-with-a-lemon-caper-sauce/ * similar recipe but with garlic & shallots : http://www.simplyscratch.com/2013/08/pan-seared-tilapia-with-lemon-and-caper-sauce.html 4. Baked tilapia with garlic butter: garlic, butter & lemon sauce poured over fish & baked in the oven. Soft, buttery fish. * recipe from: http://southernfood.about.com/od/tilapiarecipes/r/bl40121z.htm My favorite was …

chicken schnitzel

If you like breaded chicken, then try making chicken schnitzel. What is a schnitzel? According to Wikipedia, a schnitzel is a boneless meat, thinned with a meat tenderizer, coated with flour, beaten eggs and bread crumbs, and then fried. A popular food in many countries, it is made from veal, chicken, beef, turkey, or pork. It’s like making chicken parmesan but there is a bit of Dijon mustard in the schnitzel. I also like that it is a simple dish, without any sauce & cheese. The chicken has a nice crisp on the outside and is juicy on the inside. Garnish with parsley and sprinkle lemon juice on top… simple but flavorful. You can serve with a simple salad or veggies if desired. I just ate the chicken alone and was completely satisfied. 🙂 Recipe for Chicken Schnitzel courtesy of: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/chicken-schnitzel Ingredients: 4 4-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/8-inch thickness Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 cup all-purpose flour (for dredging) 2 large eggs 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 2 cups (or …

my favorite Korean soup: kimchi stew

Kimchi jji gae aka kimchi stew is one of my favorite Korean soups/dishes.. I eat it at restaurants, order it to-go, ask my mom to make it when I go home.. Whenever I’m home, I usually have more than two bowls because Mom’s cooking is always the best. Sadly, sometimes I have to settle with my own version. It’s easy to make though and you can add more ingredients to your liking; ie: more garlic or hot red pepper paste if you like spiciness. One ingredient I recently tried adding was sugar. I was making kimchi stew and my friend Sam said to add sugar. At first, I was like eh??? But I decided to listen to him since he cooks well and it was a nice touch. You don’t have to follow the exact measurements below because honestly, I didn’t measure anything myself- I just threw however much I wanted into the pot and you can always add more of something after you taste. You can also add different meats like pork belly or …