Friday, February 8, 2013

A Perfect Healthy Lunch

I have always been a pretty healthy eater who strives for balance. If you work out on a regular basis and eat healthy over all then you don't have to give up the occasional pasta or the glass of wine! While trying to loose these last ten pounds of baby weight I had to start being a little more strict with my diet so I found a recipe for a lentil salad which I changed up quite a bit and not only is it healthy, its delicious.

1 cup lentilles du Puy* (French green lentils) or brown lentils
3 tablespoons champagne vinegar  
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup quinoa
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup good extra virgin olive oil 
2 large garlic clove, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
2 cups vine-ripened cherry tomatoes, halved

In a small saucepan simmer lentils in water to cover by 2 inches until tender but not falling apart, 15 to 20 minutes, and drain well. Transfer hot lentils to a bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Cool lentils completely, stirring occasionally.
Make quinoa (follow directions on your package)
In a small bowl whisk together garlic paste, remaining 2 tlb champagne tablespoons vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir lentils and quinoa into dressing. Chill salad, covered, at least 2 hours then stir in mint and tomatoes.

* you can also add poached salmon 


Jamielyn xoxo

Friday, January 27, 2012

Perfect for brunch or lunch.....

I am 7 months pregnant with our second daughter and getting very excited to meet her. Olivia is now 21 months old and talking up a storm she is also has the best appetite and loves pretty mush everything I make for her. I love that she likes all kinds of vegetables and cheeses. She also really loves sushi just like her parents, as many of you know Nick and I met in a sushi restaurant and it is our favorite food. (thats what makes pregnancy hard for me is the fact that I can't eat raw fish)

I recently got some new kitchen knives and I am pretty much obsessed with them so if any of you are in the market for new cutlery I highly recommend Shun Santoku Knives

and Shun Classic Hollow-Ground Chefs Knives also at Williams Sonoma.

With being this pregnant I have not had quite as much energy to cook so thank god for Joans on Third as they have so many wonderful things that I can pick up for dinner.

Today after a great prenatal yoga class I was craving one of my favorite sandwiches so I thought I would share the recipe with all of you!!!

Roasted Pepper and Goat Cheese Sandwich (Serves 4 - 6)
Copyright 2006, Barefoot Contessa at Home, All Rights Reserved

Roasted Pepper and Goat Cheese SandwichPhoto: Quentin Bacon

4 large red or yellow bell peppers, preferably Holland
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons drained capers

For assembling:
1 large ciabatta bread, halved horizontally
1 (11-ounce) garlic-and-herb Montrachet or plain goat cheese, at room temperature
8 to 10 large basil leaves
3 thin slices red onion
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

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Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Place the whole peppers on a sheet pan and place in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the skins are completely wrinkled and the peppers are charred, turning them twice during roasting. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately cover it tightly with aluminum foil. Set aside for 30 minutes, or until the peppers are cool enough to handle.

Meanwhile, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.

Remove the stem from each pepper and cut them in quarters. Remove the peels and seeds and place the peppers in a bowl along with any juices that have collected. Discard the stems, peels, and seeds. Pour the oil and vinegar mixture over the peppers. Stir in the capers. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend.

To assemble the sandwiches, spread the bottom half of the loaf with the goat cheese. Add a layer of peppers and then a layer of basil leaves. Separate the onions into rings and spread out on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with the top half of the ciabatta and cut into individual servings.


Jamielyn xoxo

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Nonna Elvira's Lasagna Verde from Angelini Osteria

I am now 20 weeks pregnant and finally feeling good. My appetite is back and I am constantly craving Italian food. Thank goodness for yoga or I would be putting on some serious pounds.

My favorite Italian restaurant is Madeo which I have mentioned before, I always order the same things, raw baby artichoke salad, the sea bass, spinach ravioli and the chocolate tart. Another restaurant I love which is in walking distance to my house is Angelini Osteria. Many would argue that this is better then Madeo but I would disagree, although it is delicious. One of the things they are famous for is their Lasagna Verde, I have heard about this from many people and Giada showcased it on "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" but for some reason I had never ordered it. A few months ago I went to The Taste of Los Angeles and Angelini Osteria there was serving this so I decided to try it and wow did I become hooked. It is indescribable, needless to say this is now what I order.

My friend Anne just had a new baby so I decided to make one for her family and one for mine. I have to say it came out pretty amazing and Olivia loved it!!!

Nonna Elvira's Lasagna Verde with Beef and Veal Ragu -



* 1/2 c. (1 stick) butter
* 2 carrots peeled, finely chopped
* 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
* 1 onion, finely chopped
* 1/2 pound lean ground beef
* 1/2 pound lean ground veal
* 1/2 pound chicken livers, finely chopped
* 2 cups water
* 1/4 c. tomato paste
* 1 cup dry red wine


* 5 T. butter
* 5 T. all purpose flour
* 2 1/2 c. whole milk
* 1 3/4 inch diameter black truffle, finely chopped (about 4 tsp. optional)


* 1 pound lasagna noodles, preferably spinach
* 1 1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
* 3 T. butter, melted
* olive oil for frying
* 2 c. baby spinach leaves


For Ragu: Melt butter in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add carrots celery, and onion. Cook until soft, stirring often about 8 minutes. Add beef, veal and chicken livers. Cook until meats are cooked through, stirring often and breaking up lumps with back of spoon, about 5 minutes. Whisk 2 cups water and tomato paste in small bowl. Add to meat mixture. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes. Add wine. Bring to boil then reduce heat to medium. simmer until almost all liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made ahead. Chill uncovered until cool, then cover and keep refrigerated.)

For Bechamel: Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Gradually whisk in milk, then truffle (if using); whisk until thickened, about 5 minutes. (Can be made one day ahead. Chill uncovered until cool, then cover and keep refrigerated.)

For Lasagna: Preheat oven to 400. Cook lasagna noodles in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain; rinse under cold running water. Pat noodles dry. Butter bottom and sides of 15×10x2 glass baking dish. cover bottom of dish with noodles. Spread 1/2 cup of bechamel over noodles. Spread one cup ragu over bechamel. Sprinkle with 1/4 c. Parmesan. Repeat 3 more times noodles, bechamel, ragu and cheese. Top with layer of noodles, spread remaining bechamel over, and sprinkle with 1/4 c. cheese. Drizzle with melted butter. Can be made 8 hours ahead. Keep refrigerated.

Bake lasagna until bubbling at edges and golden, about 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Meanwhile, pour enough olive oil into heavy large saucepan to reach depth of 2 inches. Heat oil to 375. Working in small batches, place spinach leaves in hot oil (will splatter). Fry spinach leaves 20 seconds. Using slotted spoon transfer fried spinach to paper towels. Garnish lasagna with fried spinach.
Instead of truffles I used truffle oil (make sure you get a high quality oil which will be expensive but a little goes a long way) I like Terrabianco Tarufo which I usually get at but they currently don't have any.
I got the ground beef and ground veal from Huntington Meats at the Farmers Market in Los Angeles (this is where I get all of my meat)
I got the chicken livers from Puritan Poultry at the Farmers Market in Los Angeles
bon app├ętit
Jamielyn xoxo

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dinner with the neighbors....

I hope everyone is enjoying Spring! I am loving every minute of it. My tomatoes are growing rapidly and I just subscribed to a CSA with Silverlake Farms. I signed up for a ten week program which gives me a variety of fruits and vegetables from local farms. Yesterday's pick up included the following:

yukon gold potatoes
blood oranges
purple carrots
goat cheese

I could not be happier, for info go to they also have a really great blog you can follow with terrific recipes!!!

We live in a great residential neighborhood off of Melrose and some friends of ours just bought a house up the street so we had them and the couple across the street over for dinner last week. I often entertain and always like to make new things so I decided on Duck Ragu from Gwyneth Paltrow's new book "My Father's Daughter" this is the first thing I have made from this book and it was delicious, the dinner party was a huge success......

Duck Ragu

Serves: 4–6

  • 1 organic large duck, washed and dried
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 slices duck bacon, finely diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 medium stalks celery, finely diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 5-inch sprigs fresh rosemary, stems discarded and leaves finely minced
  • 3 14-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes with their juice
  • 1 cup Italian red wine
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 pound pappardelle (fresh or dried)
  • Gremolata Bread Crumbs or freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Trim off excess skin from the opening to the duck’s cavity and back end. Rub the entire duck with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper, inside and out. Roast it for a total of 2 hours, flipping it from its back to its breast (and vice versa) every 1/2 hour. Let it cool in the pan until you can handle it. Drain off the fat and either discard or reserve it for another use, such as roasting potatoes. While the duck is roasting, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the duck bacon. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until starting to crisp. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and rosemary. Turn the heat down to low and cook, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes, or until softened. Add the tomatoes and their juice and put 1/2 cup water into one can, swish it around to get all the tomato stuck to the sides, pour into the next can, and repeat again with the third. Add the tomato water to the Dutch oven along with the wine, a good grind of pepper, and a healthy pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down very low and let simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

After the duck has cooled down a bit, remove and discard the skin and bones and shred the meat. Fold the duck meat into the ragu along with the tomato paste and cook on very low heat, uncovered, for at least 1 hour (and up to 4), adding splashes of water if necessary to keep it from drying out (continue to season with salt and pepper as you splash).

To serve, cook the pasta, divide it among bowls, and spoon a generous amount of duck ragu over the pasta. Top with the Gremolata Bread Crumbs or Parmesan.

Active preparation time: 50 minutes
Total preparation time: 4–5 hours

Gremolata Bread Crumbs

Yield: 1 cup

  • 2/3 cup fresh bread crumbs, toasted and coarsely ground
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Small pinch of coarse salt

Toss everything together.

Total preparation time: less than 5 minutes

recipe from Gwyneth Paltow's blog

Enjoy xoxo


Thursday, February 10, 2011

How to buy and store fish..........

I try to take a trip downtown to the fish markets at least once a month. If you haven't been I would highly recommend it. Not only do you get the freshest fish available but you also cut out the middle man which is a tremendous savings to you.

I would suggest going to:

La Fish Company
420 Stanford Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Hours Mon-Fri from 6:00 am - 11:00 am & 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Sat from 6:00 am - 10:00 pm

Key to buying fish

  • it should never smell like fish it should smell of clean water
  • look for bright, clear eyes (when the fish is whole)
  • fish should be shiny, metallic and clean
  • fish should be resilient so when you press it with your finger the print should disappear
  • if there is liquid on the fish it should be clear not milky
A friend of mine just asked me the best way to freeze shrimp so here a few important things to know. I just bought a 4 lb box of jumbo black tiger shrimp and here is what I did.
  • remove shells, tails and devein
  • rinse in cold water and dry
  • divide shrimp into portions sizes you expect to use them in (I bought 100 shrimp and divided it into five portions)
  • fill a large ziplock freezer bag 1/3 full with cold water add shrimp to the bag carefully remove as much air a possible
  • essentially you are freezing shrimp into smalls blocks of ice
One of the biggest mistakes people make is to buy shrimp from the grocery store and then throw it directly into the freezer....this is why it may smell fishy when defrosted.

When you take the trip downtown also stop at the flower mart and then have some dim sum in china town!!!


Jamielyn xoxo

Monday, December 20, 2010

Homemade Holidays!!!

This past year has just flown by. Our daughter Olivia is now eight months old and quite the little mover. She is such a happy baby who is always smiling and laughing.

I have been cooking up a storm as this is my favorite time of year to do so. The other day I made a rosemary chicken lasagna with homemade ricotta and I could not believe how easy it was. I got the recipe from Gwyneth Paltrow's blog GOOP if you don't already subscribe to it I would highly recommend it.

I have also been making lots of homemade candy. One of my friends was asking me about it and when I told her how simple it was she didn't believe me so I thought I must share with all of you.

Candy is a perfect thing to give for holiday gifts and to have around the house durning the holiday season.

Happy Holidays!!!

Jamielyn xoxo

Homemade Ricotta by Barefoot Contessa

Serves: Makes about 2 cups ingredients

4 cups whole milk

2 cups heavy cream

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons good white wine vinegar


Set a large sieve over a deep bowl. Dampen 2 layers of cheesecloth with water and line the sieve with the cheesecloth.

Pour the milk and stream into a stainless steel or enameled pot such as Le Creuset. Stir in the salt. Bring to a full boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and stir in the vinegar. Allow the mixture to stand for 1 minute until it curdles. It will separate into thick parts (the curds) and milky parts (the whey).

Pour the mixture into a cheesecloth-lined sieve and allow it to drain into the bowl at room temperature for 20 to 25 minutes, occasionally discarding the liquid that collects in the bowl. The longer you let the mixture drain, the thicker the ricotta. (I tend to like mine on the thicker side but some prefer it moister.) Transfer the ricotta to a bowl, discarding the cheesecloth and any remaining whey. Use immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The ricotta will keep refrigerated for 4 to 5 days.

Chocolate fleur de sel toffee by Jamielyn

1- stick of butter

1- cup of sugar

12- oz of good quality chocolate, I use Valrhona or Callebaut (chips or chopped)

Sea Salt (I use fleur de sel wich is a french sea salt) optional

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Heat butter and sugar in a medium sauce pan over medium heat (stir often) until it tuns a medium amber color. Once done pour onto cookie sheet and tip pan so it spreads about a 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle with chocolate and spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Top with sea salt (you can top with any nuts, dried fruit or candy)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Ladies, Lemons & Lunch....

Springtime is here which makes me very happy!!! We are expecting the arrival of our daughter Olivia any day now. The official due date is April 7th so it's really any day. I am feeling great, just anxious and excited.

I have been very busy trying to get as many things done as I possibly can, things I might not have time for when the baby comes such as planting my garden. I went to this great tomato sale in the valley called Tomato Mania. They had hundred's of different types of heirloom tomato seedlings.

It takes place in different locations every weekend you can go to their website and see where they will be this weekend & join the mailing list so you can be ready for next year. (this is the first year I found out about it)

Recently I had lunch with some of my oldest girlfriends & their kids. We all met back in 2000 when we were waitress's at Sushi on Sunset and have been close ever since. We usually get together for lunch or dinner about every two months. We had a pot luck lunch at my house which was so delicious. Erica made a wonderful vegetable & goat cheese Israeli couscous salad, Pretti brought some hummus & eggplant dip, Zarah made a fabulous vegetable quiche & chocolate cake & Leslie brought a variety of my absolute favorite pizza from Gjelina on Abbot Kinney in Venice. If you haven't been you must go...

I made the following: Chinese Chicken Salad, Mint Lemonade & Meyer Lemon Bars

Mint Lemonade -

2 cups of sugar
6 cups of water
1 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup of freshly squeezed meyer lemon juice
1/3 cup of mint leaves and more for garnish

To make simple syrup bring two cups of water & two cups of sugar to a boil stir until the sugar dissolves. Reduce heat and stir in mint leaves. Simmer for a few minutes to infuse the mint. Let cool and strain out the pieces of mint. Pour lemon juice and meyer lemon juice into a pitcher add cold water and simple syrup. Stir all together and refrigerate.

* Meyer lemons are a little sweeter then regular lemons but if you prefer then you can use 2 cups of regular lemon juice

* I tend to like things a little less sweet so I often use less simple syrup, you can always add it to taste.

One of my favorite things to eat is Chinese Chicken Salad. I probably eat one at least three days a week for lunch. My favorite is from Joans on Third!!! I also like Chin Chin's or I make one at home. The best thing about this is you can really put in as little or as much of whatever you like.

Chinese Chicken Salad -

1/2 pound of chicken breast (boneless & skinless)
one head of lettuce, napa cabbage or cabbage
peanuts or slivered almonds
wonton skins

I boil the chicken until cooked thru then let it cool and shred it. I like to use cabbage or napa cabbage but lettuce works just as well. I wash and chop it very fine. I like to shred the carrots and then roughly chop them. I cut wonton skins into strips and cook them in a shallow pan of hot oil (vegetable is better for frying but I use olive oil) do not over crowd the pan and cook until golden and crispy on both sides. Toast the almonds or peanuts in the oven or in a skillet over medium heat (don't take your eyes of them) slice scallions and toss with dressing of choice.

I have a couple different options for dressing -

I usually make all of my own dressings but if you live in Los Angeles, just go to Joan's on Third and buy it there. Sure you can recreate it yourself but they do such a good job I just buy it. (make sure you pick up some peanut butter cupcakes they are the best)

or I like Bobby Flay's Red Chile Peanut Dressing

Meyer Lemon Bars

for the crust:
1/2 lb unsalted butter room temperature (I like Plugra which is European butter)
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups of flour
1/8 teaspoon of kosher salt

for the filling:
6 extra large eggs at room temperature
3 cups of sugar
2 tlb of lemon zest
1/2 cup of freshly squeezed meyer lemon juice
1/2 cup of freshly squeezed regular lemon juice
1 cup of flour
powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350
Cream the butter and sugar in an electric mixer with paddle attachment. Mix flour and salt together and add to butter just until combined. Dump the dough onto a well floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough into a 9x13x2 glass baking dish. Press up the sides about 1/2 inch. Chill for about 1/2 hour. Bake crust for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned. Let cool.

Whisk together eggs, lemon juice, sugar, lemon zest & flour. Pour on top of crust and bake for 30-35 minutes until set. Let cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

* baking is much more simple then people think. I think the most important thing is the ingredients you use.

* always check to make sure you flour is fresh as it does expire

* try a get your lemons from a neighbor or friends tree or the farmers market (you can always grow your own)


Jamielyn xoxo