Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Chips

This is a super quick and easy post for a super quick and easy snack.

I like to use ingredients that I need to get rid of. I had some extra tortillas, so I made these delicious cinnamon sugar tortilla chips.

They’re so easy – just tear up a tortilla into chip sized pieces, lightly coat them in melted butter and top with cinnamon and sugar! Pop in the oven at 350 degrees for 7-8 minutes and enjoy!

UMAMIcatessen

The other night, my roommate and I both wanted to eat something MESSED UP. Meaning, something so good and so tasty no matter how many calories were involved. We also weren’t going to regret it. So we went to UMAMIcatessen just a few minutes away in downtown LA. The restaurant is a bit pricy, but the flavors are so bold and unique that it’s worth every penny.

This place is amazing. Both of us ordered the Manly Burger – medium rare beef, bacon, beer cheddar cheese and onion strings. The light fluffy buns taste likeĀ  sweet like Hawaiian rolls.

The Tres Leches Donut is a MUST. It’s a good size for two people to split. Moist and just sweet enough, this is possibly the best dessert I’ve ever had. ever.

I’m looking forward to another trip here to try more burgers and donut flavors!

UMAMIcatessen on Urbanspoon

The Paleo Diet + Homemade (Healthy-ish) Onion Ring Recipe

I hate diets. They just don’t work. However, my roommate introduced me to the Paleo Diet, which I have been following 80 percent of the time for the past three weeks. I have seen a noticeable difference in the way I look and feel.

I’m no expert on this diet – but to sum it up, it’s about eating all the things humans ate when we were hunter-gatherers. This means no noodles, bread, crackers, etc. Dairy products are also discouraged in favor of alternatives such as coconut milk and almond milk. It involves a lifestyle change, but after a while, you will stop craving the foods you used to want.

My kitchen passion is baking. You can imagine my utter horror when I found out I was going to be cutting back (or finding alternatives to) butter, flour and sugar. But honestly, it’s so easy! You just have to adjust to the flavor change – things will taste more grainy and subtly sweet. After a while, you get used to it and the flavors come out even more. I use almond meal and ground flaxseed instead of flour and honey and almond butter instead of sugar and butter.

I don’t hesitate to indulge every once in a while. I went to an actors showcase today and of course there was a dessert table – so I had a brownie, no big deal! It’s just about avoiding over-indulgence.

If you’re interested in what paleo dishes taste like, try this quick paleo onion ring recipe:

1. Heat coconut oil in a pan.

2. Cut an onion and separate the rings.

3. Gather two bowls. In one bowl, crack an egg and beat it. In the other bowl, pour almond meal. (I recommend the almond meal from Trader Joe’s)

4. Dip a ring in the egg, covering it on all sides.

5. Dip the ring in the almond meal, covering it on all sides.

6. Place the onion in the pan, flipping over occasionally until golden brown. Repeat.

Le Pain Quotidien

Le pain has an ambiance that will make you feel as if you’re on vacation. Every location is charming with wood tables and a sandy, countryside feel. The tartines (open faced sandwiches) are light and delicous, but Le pain really is the master of dessert.

The raspberry tart is visually stunning and just sweet enough. The crust is moist, not crumbly, and the creamy center is light and sweet. Paired with the tangy raspberries, this dessert is their best.

If you’re looking for excellent apple pie, skip The Pie Hole and go to Le pain. The dessert is moist and wet as all apple pies should be! Also, don’t forget to order a pot of coffee… not only is is just right, but the cups are adorable!

Le Pain Quotidien on Urbanspoon

The Pie Hole (Downtown LA)

After you’ve had dinner at LA’s favorite sausage place Wustkuche, you should head across the street to The Pie Hole.

A friend and I ordered the double crust apple pie and the mexican chocolate pie. Now, I will admit, I think the apple pie I make is better, but The Pie Hole certainly is good competition. The pie is a little bit dry, but still tastes pretty good.

The mexican chocolate pie has a brownie consistency and is very rich and delicious. I recommend splitting this pie because the taste is quite overwhelming for one person – it’s a lot of chocolate!

The Pie Hole on Urbanspoon

Bacaro LA

This hidden gem in the not so glamorous University Park neighborhood is a hotspot for USC students and young people of the city. The atmosphere is intimate – with low lighting and small tables – but can get loud during happy hour. Empty wine bottles adorn the ceiling and a chalkboard wall stands near the bar.

Bacaro is a great place to go with friends. The plates are small, so order a bunch of them and split. Every dish is good, so you’ll want a taste of everything. If you’re looking to eat early, check out their happy hour from 5-7. All entrees are $5 + $5 sangria (which is the best in town).

Start off with some bruschette – they have four different kinds and ALL are delicious. The tomato and basil is pictured below.

Bacaro has a wonderful lamb stuffed eggplant dish. It’s so full of flavor it’s crazy. Served in a lemon-garlic sauce and a lemon chip on the side, you’ll be making inappropriate noises while you eat this.

Finish your meal with the Nutella Panino – nutella and strawberries between two peices of sweet bread.. amazing.

And if you’re feeling silly, draw your name on the Bacaro Wall of Fame.

Bacaro L.A. on Urbanspoon