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McCormick American Homemade: Meatloaf {Sponsored Post}

Copy of SavourFareAmericanHomemade2

I live 2 minutes away from where I grew up.  This was a combination of happy chance and deliberate decision making – we knew we wanted the kind of beauty and community my hometown provided, and when we decided to buy a house, the first one we looked at happened to be here, in this neighborhood, 2 minutes away from my childhood home.    What that means is that to some extent, my children are living my childhood – playing in the same park, reading in the same library, walking the same streets.

My childhood comes back the most vividly for, me, however, when I’m in the kitchen, with my daughter (who is truly my mini-me), making dinner from my mother’s recipes.   Cooking together is a thread that  links the generations of my family.  One of our family’s favorites is meatloaf – the recipe is forgiving enough for little hands to help, and we can work together – chopping, mixing, shaping.  I let her choose the McCormick spices we add (within reason), and she has pride of ownership when the meal comes out of the oven, “Daddy, I MADE UP this recipe.”  The meatloaf becomes hers, as it has been mine, and my mother’s before me. When we gather outside to eat (because we are Californians, and we eat outside three quarters of the year), I hope that my children feel the strong sense of home that I felt, that brought me back here, to my home town, to my neighborhood, and to the family table. That is American Homemade to us.

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Miso Pork Tenderloin with Apple Ginger Relish

Pork Tenderloin with Apple Ginger Relish

The holidays are over and we can all breathe a sigh of relief. I love the lights and the cookies and the carols and the cocktails and the feasting as much as (or more than) anyone else, but I admit to welcoming the calm space of January, when a little austerity doesn’t go amiss. In the new year, we are all looking for food that’s a little lighter and fresher.

Lighter and fresher doesn’t have to be less flavorful, however. In the last year I’ve made a dedicated effort to cook more with fruits and vegetables, and I’ve been thrilled with the flavor and variety they’ve brought to my diet. That’s why I’m pleased to be partnering with Opal Apples and Kitchen Play to bring you this fresh and flavorful recipe for the New Year.

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Fruttare Fruit Bars: the Bright Side of Summer {Sponsored}

Fruttare bars

  Continue reading Fruttare Fruit Bars: the Bright Side of Summer {Sponsored}

Mama Needs Some Mommy Juice {Sponsored}


Mommyjuice Wine

I think we’ve already established two important facts about me – 1) I like to drink wine and 2) I am not a snob about wine. When I was offered the chance to review MommyJuice wines – a new range of California wines, I was intrigued. The post is sponsored, but the opinions, photos, words, yada yada — that’s all me, baby. Oh, and please drink responsibly. And you probably shouldn’t read this if you’re under 21.
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My Dream Kitchen with Electrolux {Sponsored Post}



Tung Oil Stained Kitchen Table

When we moved into our current house, it had a very nice kitchen. Quartz countertops, cherry wood cabinets, matching blinds, built-in banquette, built in desk. It works perfectly well, but it’s not exactly my style.  It’s not in the budget right now, but a kitchen redesign is one of my top “wish-list” items for our house (I just wish I could get the husband on board.  The kitchen is really my domain, of course).   Daydreaming is one of my favorite ways to pass the time, so when Electrolux and the Clever Girls Collective asked me to write a sponsored post about my dream kitchen, I jumped at the chance.
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Picadillo Tacos with California Ripe Olives #kitchenplay

Picadillo tacos with California Olives

People usually associate Southern California with fields and fields of orange groves, but the area where I live was once covered with hundreds of olive trees! I have a remnant of this in my backyard, where a huge, beautiful olive tree provides shade. While many California olives go into olive oil, California is also the birthplace of those ripe, mild black olives we all know and love. I have many fond memories of olives gracing our family events, whether it’s a layer in the classic seven layer dip on the Fourth of July or a feature of the Thanksgiving relish tray (My grandmother used to entertain me by popping the black olives on her fingers. Haven’t we all done that?) When California Olives and Kitchen Play asked me to develop a recipe for National Taco Day, I welcomed the opportunity.

California Olives
Continue reading Picadillo Tacos with California Ripe Olives #kitchenplay

Dinner with Friends and Serve by American Express {Sponsored Post}

This post is sponsored by Serve from American Express. Sign up for Serve and receive $10 credit towards your first use. Comment below within the next 7 days for your chance to win an extra $100 credit to your account!

When I first moved to L.A. 6 years ago, I left my group of girlfriends behind in New York. I needed some friends, stat, so I joined a book club. Six years later, these ladies have become my group. We’ve seen each other through weddings, divorces, childbirth, house fires. We meet every six weeks or so at each other’s houses, to eat snacks, drink wine, and even, occasionally, discuss a book. The size of our groups waxes and wanes — people leave the area, or get busy. People have other commitments, or go on vacation. But once a year we splurge and hit the town — no reading obligations, no hosting obligations. Just our sparkly shoes and the company of good friends at a great holiday dinner. That meeting is always the best attended of the year. These women have become such an important part of my life, I wanted to give you glimpse.

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Pomegranate Glazed Ham and Giveaway {Sponsored Post}

Pomegranate Glazed Ham

The holidays are so much more than a single day. They’re an excuse for gatherings of friends and family, shared stories, and shared meals. A cook during the holidays is always looking for recipes to feed a crowd — for dinners, buffets, lunches, brunches, cocktail parties. Turkey is an obvious choice, roast beef a luxe one, but another great (and economical) dish that will feed a crowd with a lot of payoff for a little effort is a baked ham.

Farmer John is a name practically synonymous with hams, but what I didn’t know is that they are based right here in Los Angeles, and have been for 80 years. I love supporting local businesses and industry — one of the things I love about living in Los Angeles is how economically diverse the region is. Furthermore, Farmer John really emphasizes their local ties and origins. When they approached me to develop a recipe using Farmer John ham and local ingredients, I was happy to work with them.

Continue reading Pomegranate Glazed Ham and Giveaway {Sponsored Post}

Apple Cider Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with Apple Slaw

BBQ Chicken Apple Sandwiches

Does anything say “fall” more than apples? One of my favorite rituals when I lived in New England and New York was to hit the apple orchards every September, picking my own apples, sampling different varieties (my favorite was the New York empire apple) and filling my sacks (always multiple sacks) with dozens of sweet, juicy, crunchy apples. The aroma would fill my dorm room or apartment, and I would be supplied with snacks for weeks to come. Sometimes I would turn the apples into an apple cake, or applesauce, or baked apples, but mostly the apples were the perfect snack: sweet and crunchy and portable.
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Eggs for Breakfast: Eggs Toscana and a Giveaway!

Eggs Toscana

I was raised as a breakfast eater. Every morning before school when I was a kid, I ate breakfast – occasionally cereal with milk, often toast with cheese or peanut butter to add protein. But on important mornings, when I had a biology test, a school play performance, or the SAT’s, my mom made eggs. Scrambled, fried, in omelets, hard boiled. Eggs were my breakfast of champions.

That’s why when Kitchen Play and the American Egg Board asked me to participate in their SideCar event about eggs for breakfast, I jumped at the chance. The American Egg Board is also sponsoring a great contest for those of my readers who write their own food blogs – scroll to the end of the post for details. I’m writing this post and creating this recipe as part of a partnership between Kitchen Play and The American Egg Board. They have compensated me for my time and cooking expenses but my opinions and tastes are my own. I only like to write about products I wholeheartedly endorse, but eggs and I go way back. I always keep a carton of eggs in the fridge, knowing that I can whip them into a quick meal or snack at any time of day, but eggs have a special place for breakfast.
Continue reading Eggs for Breakfast: Eggs Toscana and a Giveaway!