Al’s Pancake World Vegetable Fried Rice

One thing about us is we love TV shows. I mean, we went to film school so while others watch shows and movies passively we LOVE to watch and analyze and see things that other viewers might miss. And of of our favorite shows is Gilmore Girls, a few months ago we actually were lucky enough to test a recipe from the Unofficial Gilmore Girls Cookbook. We made Mock Turtle Soup  and really enjoyed all the Gilmore Girls inspired recipes.

As we continued re-watching the series in preparation for the Revival that premiered in November, we thought about all the different restaurants that were available in Stars Hollow and which ones we wanted to eat at and the consensus was Al’s Pancake World. Where no pancakes are ever served, just delicious foreign eats from around the world. And when we saw one of the teaser pictures that the Gilmore Girls Instagram account posted, we knew we needed to make our own version of Fried Rice

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We love signs and if this picture wasn’t a sign to make fried rice, I don’t know what is. What’s great about this recipe is that we think just about anyone could make it. Even the Lorelai’s and Rory’s of the world who fear the kitchen and all it’s tools, this recipe is pretty easy and almost impossible to mess up.

While we made our own rice for the recipe you can totally use left over white rice that you get from Chinese restaurants that you usually have no idea what to do with days later. You can also utilize whatever frozen vegetables or left over meat you have in the fridge (beef, pork, chicken…yum).

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Forgive us, we just watched Mulan over the weekend and can’t stop singing all the songs.

Anyway, this recipe is super easy and we think that even Lorelai Gilmore could make it with ease. And while ours is called vegetable fried rice, you can add just about any kind of meat you want. Or leave it as is. We think that Al from Al’s Pancake World would definitely approve.

Click below for the recipe!

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Holy Guacamole!

In preparation of the Fall heatwave in Los Angeles, we thought guacamole would be the perfect recipe to post today! Not only do we LOVE our avocados in this house/city/state, but we also didn’t want to make something that involved heat since it’s currently 97°F outside. The only heat we want is from the cayenne and chipotle peppers!

Holy Gu

Holy Gu

Holy Guacamole! 

Ingredients

  • 4 Large Has Avocados (Reserve one pit)
  • 1 Jalapeño (Deseed and diced)
  • 1/2 White Onion (Finely diced)
  • 2 Roma Tomatos (Deseeded and diced)
  • 1 Large Clove Garlic (Diced)
  • Garlic Salt
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Chipotle Pepper
  • Green Onions (Chopped)

Step 1: 

In a large a bowl, using an electric mixer, blend the avocados until no longer large and chunky.

Step 2: 

Next, add the diced jalapeños, onion, tomatoes, and garlic and stir to combine.

Step 3: 

Add your garlic salt, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne and chipotle and mix well. Adjust seasonings to your liking.

Step 4:

To serve, place your reserved avocado pit in a bowl and cover with the guacamole. Sprinkle with chopped green onions and serve.

The pit will help the guacamole from oxidizing, but if you really want to prevent oxidation, sprinkle your guacamole with either fresh lemon or lime juice.

Holy Gu

Cherry Chipotle Baked Beans

Cherry Chipotle Baked Beans

Today’s recipe was inspired by one of our favorite Food Network Chefs, Damaris Phillips. She made these amazing looking baked beans with a strawberry bbq sauce and it looked simple how could we not make our version? We thought making beans would take hours! And we’re sure there are recipes we will try where it will take hours, but this recipe is so simple, everyone can make it!

This past weekend we’ve been hosting our good friends Pegi and Beetle for a pork fest! Almost everything we’ve made has had pork or bacon in the dishes. We actually made these cherry chipotle baked beans but instead of brisket, we used bacon. Which, totally works, if you don’t have brisket! This recipe is perfect for using left over brisket!

Cherry Chipotle Baked Beans

Cherry Chipotle Baked Beans

Ingredients

  • 1 Red Pepper (Diced)
  • 1 Medium Onion (Diced)
  • 2-15oz Cans Pinto Beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 to 1.5 Cups Cherry Chipotle BBQ Sauce
  • 1 to 2 Cups Brisket (Roughly Chopped)*
  • Splash of water

*Brisket is optional.

Step 1:

In a dutch oven, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the red pepper and onion and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.

Step 2: 

Next, add your your beans and stir.

Cherry Chipotle Baked Beans

Step 3: 

Add the BBQ sauce and brisket and mix well. Lower the heat and cover and cook for 25 to 35 minutes. Stirring occasionally. If needed, add a splash of water to make them extra saucy. Serve and enjoy!

Cherry Chipotle Baked Beans

Delicatessen Style Potato Salad

First off, we looked up potato salad to find a few historical tid-bits, but the first observation was that some people refer to potato salad as tater salad. That makes us think of a giant bowl of tater-tots tossed in some ketchup dressing (new idea? maybe not haha). Not necessarily a bad thing, just never heard of that way.

Anyways, potato salad has several ways to prepare it, from hot to cold, mayo to vinegar dressing. The cold potato salad that most of us know came from the British, while the warm vinaigrette Potato salad comes from France. And one of our favorites, the German preparation, hot vinegar with bacon dressing.

There are so many variations we might have to try each kind, but first here’s our New York aka Deli style potato salad inspired by Nate ‘N Al of Beverly Hills Deli. (if you ever have a chance go to Nate ‘n Al’s for breakfast or lunch, the corned beef is the best in the West)

Delicatessen Style Potato Salad

Delicatessen Style Potato Salad 

Ingredients

  • 7 to 8 Large Yukon Potatoes
  • 1 Red Pepper (Finely Diced)
  • 2 Celery Stalks (Finely Diced)
  • 2 Green Onions (Diced)
  • 1/4 Cup Sweet Relish
  • 1 Cup Mayonaise
  • 1/4 to 1/2 Cup Yellow Mustard
  • 2 Teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
  • Kosher Salt

Step 1: 

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the yukon potatoes whole until fork tender, but not falling apart. Drain the potatoes and set aside to cool.

Step 2: 

While the potatoes are cooling, mix together in a small bowl, mustard, mayonnaise, relish and cayenne pepper. Mix well and set aside.

Step 3: 

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them into medium sized chunks and put into a large bowl.

Step 4: 

Mix in the diced red peppers, celery, and green onions. Next add about 1/2 the mayonnaise mixture and stir until combined. If needed, add more dressing and season with a little kosher salt if needed. Put the salad in the fridge and let the flavors meld for at least 30 minutes.

Delicatessen Style Potato Salad

Easy Homemade Biscuits

Homemade Biscuits

We have a confession to make. We don’t often eat fast food (anymore), but when we get a craving for quick and easy food we always want fried chicken and biscuits from Popeyes. But with most things, we figured if we like it so much, we could find a recipe and make it ourselves.

So we did just that, and after a day of searching and looking through recipes, this is what we came up with. They didn’t rise as much as we would have liked so we added some additional proofing time (letting it get puffy), but they taste just like the biscuits from Popeyes, and honestly, much better.

Ingredients

  • 4 Cups Bisquick Mix
  • 3/4 Cup 7-Up (not diet)
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • 4 Tablespoons of Salted Butter (melted)

Step 1: 

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Step 2: 

In a medium bowl, using a wooden spoon, mix together, bisquick, 7Up, and sour cream in a bowl. Mix until everything is combined and starts to form a dough. Form into a ball, let it proof for 20-30 minutes.

Step 3: 

Transfer the dough ball to a floured surface, and gently roll the dough out.

Step 4: 

Brush the bottom of a baking stone or baking sheet with melted butter, place the biscuits on the stone or sheet. Brush the tops with the melted butter and put in the oven and bake for 11 minutes.

Step 5: 

When the timer goes off, brush the biscuits with remain butter and cook for another two minutes. Remove from oven, cool and enjoy!

Homemade Biscuits

Perfect Rice (Every Single Time!)

We feel one of the most difficult dishes to make correctly is rice. Unless you have a rice cooker, cooking rice on the stove can be an incredibly difficult task.

One night, we were watching Alton Brown’s Good Eats and we saw this method of cooking rice that we had to share. It’s so simple and makes perfect rice. Every. Single. Time.

Now, you can use water but let us tell you, chicken broth adds waaaaaaay more flavor. But using chicken broth adds salt, so unless you’re using a low sodium broth, be cautious when adding salt.

Perfect Rice

Perfect Rice (Every Time) 

Ingredients 

  • 1 Cup Jasmine Rice
  • 2 Cup Chicken Broth (Or Water)
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Step 1: 

In a small sauce pan, bring your water or broth to a boil. Just before it starts to boil, start step two!

Step 2: 

In another sauce pan, heat your olive oil and then saute your rice for about a minute.

Step 3: 

Right before you put the boiling water/broth combo into the rice, we always season the rice with a little extra salt (kosher, season salt, garlic salt, or truffle sauce*). Add the boiling water and raise the heat so that everything boils together for a few seconds.

Lower the heat, cover and cook for 13 to 17 minutes.

*Not that this needs to be said, but maybe it does, you don’t need all those salts, just pick one!

Perfect Rice

Pickled Red Onions

So apparently anything can be a pickle if it’s soaked in a vinegar solution. Just thought we’d share our grand observation for this lovely Thursday morning.

Today’s recipe is dedicated to our wonderful friend Julie, who also runs a blog/website called The Fashion Law. It’s really a wonderful site, run by an even more wonderful person.

We met Julie and her mom and sister (Sue and Megan) on our tour of Italy last year. After being paired together for a Pizza making night, we realized we should have been hanging out together from the start.

A couple of weeks ago, we asked Julie if there was anything she wanted us to make and she asked for pickled red onions, so here it is, delicious red pickled onions. Pickling is really easy, like we said at the beginning of the post, you can pickle just about anything if you put it in a vinegar solution.

You don’t have to pickle red onions, you can choose any onion you like, but here we really like red onions because of the beautiful color that results. They have a nice bite to them and a wonderful natural sweetness to them.

Pickled Red Onions

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper.
  • 1 large red onion

Step 1:

In a medium pan, put apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, sugar, honey, salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Heat until the sugar dissolves, remember DON’T breathe in the vinegar steam, it’s horrible. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.

Step 2:

Take the vinegar mixture off the stove to cool. While that’s cooling, cut the onion into thin slices, or if you’re experienced use a mandolin, no not the tiny guitar-like thing.

Step 3:

Stuff the sliced onions into a mason jar.  Once the vinegar mixture has come to room temperature, pour it into the jar with the onions. Close it up and shake. Let it refrigerate for 24 hours before consuming.

If you pour the vinegar mixture on the onions when they’re still hot, they will lose  that wonderful red color they have!

Enjoy on sandwiches, burgers, salad, or by themselves.

Pickled Red Onions