Granola in da house! @ Blu Jam Cafe

This morning I found myself sitting at Blu Jam Cafe on Melrose alone, and in actuality was looking forward and was a little bit too excited about having breakfast out by myself. It is one of those situations that rarely happen and so absolutely love the solitude of it when it does occur, alone time... at breakfast... *sigh.

And on my list of agendas, to have a really great bowl of granola- this has been my craving for the past week and I had yet to fulfill it, so this morning was the day it was going to happen! I hadn't had granola at Blu Jam Cafe before but I have seen it ordered a couple of times by strangers sitting at the next table- it looked... alluring, whole-hardy, satisfying, interesting... and delicious- which actually is saying a lot especially since... when have you ever had granola that was delicious?

I ate the whole thing!

The House Made Vegan Organic Granola consisted of a large bowl of oven baked oats, steel cut oats, bran oats, shaved coconut, shaved almonds, raisins, dried cranberries, flax seeds and maple syrup to sweeten it all up (but it wasn't overly sweet mind you... it was perfectly sweet). Having the choice of milk, soy milk, almond milk or vanilla yogurt I decided upon almond milk which came on the side. The granola was absolutely beautiful, the waiter (who was equally beautifully) set the large bowl of granola down before me and I can feel my eyes continuously widen until I felt like my eyeballs were going to pop out of my head, the little white strips of shaved coconut, ruby reds of the dried cranberries and deep purples of the raisins speckled the golden brown oats. The freshness of the milk with the variety of flavors that were perfectly matched for each other resulted in a hardy and delicious granola breakfast that was not too sweet nor too bland with the perfect crunch. Delicious!

Blu Jam Cafe
7371 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 951.9191

Flemish-inspired kitchen

Photo by Architectural Digest

An image of a Flemish-inspired kitchen! This is definitely bordering on the extravagant for me but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate the beauty of it. I especially like the checkered countertop and of course, the stove.

Vegan Spelt Bread by Rudi's Organic Bakery

A bread that is soy free, dairy free, organic! Vegan! and Non-GMO! - the first thing that comes to mind are loafs of really dense, dry, bland bread, but even so I'm always up for trying something new- one of my more amiable qualities of life. It just so happens that with this first pregnancy (I am now 6 months into it) I have been eating quite a bit of bread, so much so that my doctor has asked me to forego wheat bread and white bread for better bread such as whole grains, Wasa crackers or even spelt (which is said to be better for digestion). So I came home from Wholefoods one day with a loaf of Spelt bread by Rudi's Organic Bakery (this is the brand). I can't say that the bread itself looked all that appetizing although just by handling the bag I was able to feel that the bread was soft oppose to completely dense like other healthy breads I've picked up in the past (which by the way had turned me off to healthy bread choices).

I put a couple of slices into the toaster oven. Slightly toasted I spread organic vegan butter and took a bite. Boy was I surprised by the moist and deliciousness of the vegan spelt bread! It isn't only absolutely great for a healthy bread choice but also absolutely great amongst all other breads I've had before. The first bag was shared amongst a few guests that I had over for the weekend, they all loved it. Many described the chewy moist texture of the inside and the crunchy toasted outside as perfect, I have to agree with this. Needless to say, after only 3 days I'm going back to Wholefoods for another bag.

Cooking At Home: Sauteed Garlic Thyme Chicken Liver

My first experience with liver was when I was about 7 years old and my Mom thought it would be good for my health to eat raw liver, she fed me raw liver doused in sesame oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. The good girl that I was I ate the damn thing and even told her it was delicious, of course it was absolutely horrible. I'm not a picky eater by any means and can eat most things... except liver. This is not to say that I haven't tried a bite of cooked liver which I seem to always decide yet again and again that I do not like. Husband Borscht on the other hand loves chicken liver and if it's on the menu he's more than willing to try it, forever chasing his grandmother's sauteed chicken liver Husband Borscht is quite by accident and unbeknown to even him, on the hunt.

Standing in the meat department of Whole Foods I eye the gross looking chicken liver behind the glass. It would be nice if I could make chicken liver for Husband Borscht at home, I think he would like that very much indeed, and so I buy a pound of chicken liver.

I read through seven different chicken liver recipes and even open up all the cookbooks on my shelf for chicken liver recipes. I've never made chicken liver before and the only thing I know about it is that it cooks rather fast. I find not one recipe that I like, that sounds delicious... But I have gathered the general knowledge of how sauteed chicken livers go, and it goes something like this, butter or olive oil, onions, sometimes balsamic vinegar, sometimes red wine, chopped parsley is in most chicken liver recipes I've read thus far... hmmmmm. I'm beginning to understand how to cook chicken liver. Chicken liver cooks rather fast so browning the onions happens first, sometimes the recipe asks you to add the chicken liver later on and cook the liver with the onions, other times it says to remove the onions and to cook the chicken liver separately, hmmm - slowly I'm getting it.

So here goes! I rinse and pat dry the chicken liver and decide to saute the onions first with a pat of butter until their nicely browned. I opt to remove the onions from the pan and set aside while I saute the chicken liver in a pat of butter on the same pan, in all it takes about 5-6 minutes to cook the livers through so that they are slightly pink on the inside but well done on the outside, in the last couple minutes I throw in minced garlic, salt, pepper, fresh thyme and the sauteed onions- I give all of this a good toss up in the pan, add another pat of butter for a nice glisten and more moisture... and I'm done.
I taste... and.... I actually think I like this chicken liver! The garlic, sauteed onions and thyme are all wonderful flavors, most importantly, flavors that I enjoy. The usual strong iron-like taste of the liver is well-masked although not completely by the wonderful flavors. Unfortunately however, Husband Borscht was less than pleased with my endeavor to try and cook chicken liver, he was looking forward to his grandmother's chicken liver and this just didn't cut it, I ate most of it that night and really did think it was quite delicious.

If you're interested in trying this Sauteed Garlic Thyme Chicken Liver recipe here it is, I hope you enjoy it!

INGREDIENTS (for 3-4 persons):
1 lb. of chicken liver, rinsed, pat-dried and cut into bite size pieces
3 pats of butter
2-3 cloves of minced garlic
1 small-medium red onion or sweet yellow onion, in medium length slices
2 tablespoons of fresh thyme, leaves picked
salt & pepper to taste

1. Preheat a heavy bottomed skillet. On med-low heat melt 1 pat of butter, when the butter is completely melted add your onions and slowly saute the onions until they are browned to your liking. I like my onions sauteed until they are practically caramelized.

2. Remove the onions from the pan. Turn up the heat to med-high and melt 1 pat of butter in the same pan, when the butter is completely melted add your chicken liver. Make sure that you're chicken liver is not crowded and is lying in a single layer, sprinkle with salt and pepper and allow the chicken liver to cook for 5-6 minutes (this will result in a slightly pink middle), toss around with a wooden spoon occasionally so that all sides of the chicken liver brown and cook.

3. When you have 2 minutes remaining add your minced garlic, thyme leaves and your sauteed onions back into the pan. Give all the ingredients a good mix. Turn off the heat and add your last pat of butter, give it all a good toss (the last pat of butter will give a nice glisten and moisturizing coat to your chicken liver).


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...