Tag Archives: highlights


beet parfait

parfait-in-front-of-lanternsIn French, the word “parfait” means perfect, and in both my adult life and childhood memories the name for this dish doesn’t seem too far off.



Today was Mother’s Day in America, and it’s been a few years since I haven’t been able to celebrate that with my mother on this earth.  Each year gets easier, but of course, of course, the nostalgia slips in whether or not I want it to.  I didn’t even think I’d do a Mother’s Day post today, until my memories took me back to grocery shopping with my mom.

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quinoa ‘n cheese

I have really good news: I’m leaving for 2 weeks to Tokyo in a few days for a very very late honeymoon.  Years later, guess we’re both super procrastinators, match made in heaven.

So is this.  (Like that segueway?  Yeah you do.)  Quinoa and a creamy béchamel sauce — aka macaroni and cheese without the macaroni — is one of my go-to dishes when I want to make something that’s delicious, lighter than its traditional version, and kinda-surprising but not scary.  I mean, what’s not to love: it’s cheese sauce with quinoa.  Twice cooked.  That’s… that’s just nice.


quinoa-n-cheese-inside-platedThe nutmeg in this really makes the dish to me: it adds a super comfort food sweetness that is hard to replace with other spices.  Of course real cheese does taste more “accurate” (and for those who love cheese, you get me when I say “better”) but it’s actually really good with a vegan cheese substitute if that’s your style, because the quinoa itself is already so moist this dish is naturally just gooey.  And crispy on top.  Oh my I just got hungry again. Read more


teff snickerdoodle cookies (vegan & GF)

close-up-baked-snickedoodlesI’m having a hard time typing right now because every time I touch the keys that means I have to take my fingers off of these cookies I just made and oh. my. they’re so good.

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amara kitchen highland park

my favorite places to eat and drink GF in Highland Park

el huarache azteca foodLos Angeles is not a normal “city”.  The very concept of the origin of city was a metropolis, a city center, an existence more vertical and centralized than horizontal.  Of course, with population growth and this phenomenon called gentrification all cities are getting a bit more wide than tall and lanky, but this is nothing new for LA.  It was started this way.

sunset magazine vintage1960sLA was actually more of a marketing ploy than anything in its birth.  It’s actually a desert.  Life shouldn’t really exist here in the mass that it does.  Publications like Sunset Magazine boasted the promise of settling new land, having space to let your “id” run wild, having a place to plant your orange trees in your own backyard and roads to drive your own car in.  In fact, Los Angeles was one of the first towns to have public transportation, but since it developed right at the invention of the automobile, and of course trends are trends, they immediately converted these trolley lines into highways.  Thanks guys.  Thanks.  I love driving in 5 p.m. traffic.

trolley los angeles 1902Basically, Los Angeles was founded upon people’s quests to be more private, to have their suburban life in a metropolis.  To film movies at all times of the year, to profit from agriculture that would be constantly nourished by the sun (and artificial abundance of water), and to spread wide in house-lined neighborhoods.  This sprawl is not surprising.  It is curated and still felt today.  For a city, it can be really distant.  It can be isolating, unless you know where to look.  Which is why I chose today to write about my new neighborhood, one that I love, and one that I didn’t even know existed until leaving Paris earlier this year. Read more


green (spinach) birthday cake

It’s March!!  Which means that (a) we all get to pinch each other if we’re not wearing green on the 17th and (b) it’s my birthday on the 12th.  I love this month, because it also indicates that the cold will depart soon.  Happiness.

In honor of the two primary reasons I love March I have concoted a green cake that is dairy and gluten-free, with paleo and diabetic-safe options (coconut flour and xylitol).

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