Broccoli and Avocado Baby Food

broccoli-and-avocado-baby-food-1My daughter started eating baby food at 5 months. I like to make it at home because I know she is getting healthy and fresh food. Don’t get me wrong, I will buy baby food pouches for when I don’t have time to make her food or when we’re on the go, but if you have 30 mins you can make healthy baby food for the next several days or make more and freeze it to last longer.

Here’s a simple broccoli and avocado recipe I used a few weeks into starting solids. Her first food was avocado so I knew she would like this version.

broccoli-and-avocado-baby-food-1-2Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 5-7 mins

1 half avocado
1/4 head of broccoli, stalks separated
pinch of salt

Bring water and salt to boil in a small saucepan. Boil broccoli until fork tender, about 5-7 mins. In a food processor, puree avocado and cooked broccoli. Add the boiled water a little bit at a time until ingredients come together in a smooth puree. 

broccoli-and-avocado-baby-food-2Adding the cooking liquid incorporates some of the vitamins and minerals that has seeped out of the vegetables during the boiling process back into the food. You can also use breastmilk or formula as the liquid to add even more vitamins into baby’s food, but the cooking liquid is fine as she still gets most of her nutrients through her milk when she feeds. Introducing solids is just that, an introduction to get used to all the different flavors and to practice using her tongue to move food to the back of her throat.

So far, Drew loves avocado, apples, broccoli, mango, and hates carrots. LOL, much like her dad.

What was your child’s first solid and how did they like it?


Herb Roasted Veggies

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and every year I make the feast, but this year I have a newborn and a toddler; getting busier every year with a growing family. So every year I try to think of ways to deliver the feast without all the work, like the year I made a Thanksgiving meal in 1 hour.
Herb roasted veggies is one of my quick side dishes, getting it done in 20 minutes or less. This time I used brussel sprouts and baby carrots both bagged and prewashed from the grocer. I pretty much buy most of my veggies bagged and prewashed. It makes all the difference in the world to a new mom. Ain’t nobody got time to wash and chop veggies!


Herb Roasted Carrots and Brussel Sprouts
Serves: 3-4
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 15 mins

1 bag prewashed brussel sprouts
1/2 small bag baby carrots
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp dried herbs 
2 Tbs olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 F
Cut sprouts in half or in quarters for larger sprouts. 
Toss everything in a roasting pan ensuring all the veggies get good coverage of seasonings and oil. 
Roast in oven at 425 F for 15 minutes and flip veggies halfway through to cook evenly.










That’s it! It’s really just 5 mins of work while the oven does the rest so you can work on the other sides while this is going.

Try usung different veggies if you like, just make sure they are all somewhat the same size so they all cook evenly. Some other good veggies to use or to add on are broccoli, cauliflower, thinly cut squash, bell peppers, and smaller cubes of potato so they all cook in just 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Night Market

This weekend is the 626 Night Market. Similar to the night markets in Asia with dozens of food vendors, this is the largest one in the U.S.! I’ve been going for the past few years because I’m originally from the 626 (the area code of the San Gabriel Valley) and have always found the best Asian mom and pop eateries at the Night Market. This year the 626 Night Market team opened their doors for the first time to Downtown LA and Orange County. Here’s my recap of the DTLA Night Market from a couple weeks ago.

mango macaron ice cream sandwich
chicken and lamb skewers
Thai iced tea with a cream popsicle
dragon whiskers, a Chinese dessert
grilled pork belly
melt-in-your-mouth pork ribs
Hope to see you at one of this summer’s Night Market! Oh, and word to the wise, beware of the stinky tofu stench, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the festivities =D
Santa Anita Park
285 W Huntington Dr.
Arcadia, CA 91107
July 18 & 19
Aug 15 & 16
Sep 12 & 13
4pm – 1am

Coconut Coladas

Happy Summer! (insert emoticon of sun) I’ve been going kinda emoticon crazy on Instagram lately. I’m so excited for these warm nights, eating dinner outside, drinking cocktails with friends, and sharing some of my favorite summer recipes.
My friends at Veev sent me a bottle of their new Vita Frute cocktail to try out. This coconut colada flavor is made with coconut water and pineapple juice already mixed in with their Veev Acai spirit, and it’s under 125 calories per serving. Basically you can just add ice and enjoy! But you must know me by now. I like to “shake things up,” so I made a couple summer cocktails to pair with their coconut colada.
I love pina coladas so when I got this bottle I immediately started thinking of relaxing on the beach and cocktails that I would like to enjoy while on vacation. I created a Lime & Kiwi cocktail and a Lava Flow (which is pina colada with strawberry sauce). I also tried to keep the calories low by using real fruits and a coconut milk beverage instead of coconut cream which is typically used in pina coladas.  You can find the coconut milk beverage next to the soy milk and almond milk in your grocery store.
Lime & Kiwi Coconut Colada
4 oz Veev Coconut Colada
1 kiwi, scooped 
juice of 1 lime
3 Tbs simple syrup 
Blend the lime juice, kiwi fruit and simple syrup in a blender. Pour into a glass filled with ice. Top off with Veev Coconut Colada and stir.
Strawberry & Coconut Colada (or Lava Flow Colada)
4 oz Veev Coconut Colada
4 oz coconut milk beverage
strawberries with tops removed
3 Tbs simple syrup
Blend the strawberries with 4 oz of coconut milk beverage and simple syrup. Pour into a glass filled with ice. Top off with Veev Coconut Colada and stir.
Simple Syrup
4 Tbs white sugar
4 Tbs hot water
Dissolve the sugar in the hot water. There is a little extra so you can add more syrup to your drinks to taste.
How are you spending your summer? This was not a paid sponsorship so you can trust that all these ideas are my own =) Show me your coconut colada creations by tagging #crazy4coconutcolada

LA Guide: Doughnuts

Today is National Doughnut Day! So I’ve rounded my go-tos for some of my favorite doughnut spots in LA. I’m a classic, chocolate doughnut lover but I really love any kind of fried dough (I mean, who doesn’t?) Where are you going to celebrate National Doughnut Day?

1. Olympic Doughnuts #14 // A classic donut shop that is open 24 hrs. They’re doughnuts are fresh and satisfy your sweet tooth without being overly sweet.
2337 E 4th St Los Angeles, CA 90033 (323) 263-2365


2. Frances Bakery & Coffee // I wouldn’t really consider this a donut shop but I can’t help but love their specialty, the Frances Donut. Tip: ask if they have the strawberry flavor. They slice it in half and fill it with fresh strawberries. Yum!
404 E 2nd St Los Angeles, CA 90012 (213) 680-4899

3. Umami Arts District // Guess what? Umami has doughnut ice cream sandwiches! This one was an apple fritter with vanilla bean ice cream, but they also have a bacon doughnut with maple ice cream. NOM!
738 E 3rd St Lo Angeles, CA 90013 (323) 263-8626

4. Donut Snob // Gourmet doughnuts made with the finest ingredients like Madagascar Bourbon vanilla and chocolate ganache made from Belgian chocolate. Seriously amazing creations like the “Campfire” pictured above, think, the best s’more you’ve ever had.
Deliveries only. Los Angeles, CA (213) 373-4898

5. DK’s Donuts and Bakery // If  you are looking for variety, this is the place to go. They’ve got raised donuts, baked donuts, bear claws, O-nuts, filled donuts, you name it!
614 Santa Monica Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90404 (310) 829-2512

6. Cafe Dulce // They’ve got some unique flavors. I specifically like their spirulina churro which is not a churro like you would think, it’s round, fluffy, chewy and covered in sugar. But spirulina is a seaweed that’s a superfood so it’s healthy, right?
134 Japanese Village Plaza Los Angeles, CA (213) 346-9910

Honorable Mentions:
Donut Friend // Custom made-to-order donuts with lots of vegan options. Just tell them what you want in and on top of your doughnut and your wish is their command!
517 York Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90065 (213) 955-6191

The Donut Man // I would drive out of the way just to get a strawberry stuffed doughnut when they are in season.
915 E Route 66 Glendora, CA 91740 (626) 335-9111

Building the Perfect Slider

I’d like to show you how to build the perfect slider (or burger) that highlights all the great ingredients within this amazing sandwich.
Too many times I get the patty on top of the vegetables or the condiments in the middle of the ingredients that it just becomes a sloppy mess halfway through the burger.
Allow me to share with you my OCD-ness into how to build a perfect slider. With summer BBQs fast approaching, you too can share your knowledge at the grill into how to stack your ingredients and why you shouldn’t put the mayo on top of the patty.
I like to add veggies into the ground meat of my burger patties: carrots, celery, and onions. They add more flavor as well as keep the patty moist while cooking. I toss the veggies into the food processor and chop them well. Then mix in the ground meat. Add an egg to keep your ground meat held together while it cooks. Season with salt and pepper. I always taste test my patties before I cook them by just making a small meatball and cooking that first. Tasting it and then adjusting my seasoning accordingly.
The Art of the Stack:
The patty should be at the bottom as it is the heaviest ingredient. You want your burger bottom heavy. The ketchup at the base sticks the patty to the bottom bun as well as seasons your burger. If you like melted cheese on your patty, that can also act like a glue to hold your veggies still.
The next ingredient to go directly on top of the hot patty is your tomato. This is heavier than the onions (remember, think bottom heavy). Onions should go on top of the tomato. Note, that if you decide to go with grilled onions, then that should be directly on top of your hot patty as it also is hot.
Think of your lettuce and mayo as the most temperamental ingredients. If you place the lettuce (or in this case I used spinach) directly on top of the burger they wilt. Same with the mayo as it doesn’t do well in warm temperatures. The onions and tomato make a good barrier against the heat of the patty. Finally, the mayo holds your lettuce leaves in place.

Margarita Bar

Cinco de Mayo is a big holiday in Los Angeles with the large Mexican population. I love celebrating it. Who wouldn’t love to drink margaritas, eat $1 tacos and sing along to this playlist in mumbled (or drunken) Spanish? My dentist office even called me yesterday to invite me to their Cinco de Mayo celebration complete with a taco man serving tacos before having your teeth cleaned.
My friend Luci from Luci’s Morsels came over and we created a DIY margarita bar for your Cinco de Mayo celebration. Simply place fun ingredients out and let your guests create their margarita to their likeness. Here are some of the ingredients we used.
Some other fun ingredients you could use for mix-ins are watermelon chunks, sliced jalapeño, mango chunks, mandarin segments, or basil. The possibilities are endless! We chose to do a lime-chili salt to add an extra kick to every sip.
photos by Luci of Lucis Morsels
The margarita mix I used is how my favorite margarita bar makes them; just limes, agave sweetener and your favorite tequila. Create the margarita mix beforehand and have your guests add their desired ingredients to a cocktail shaker, muddle together then pour into a salt-rimmed margarita glass. Luci decided to create a strawberry, blackberry and cucumber margarita, and I made a pineapple and mint margarita.
Bring out the chips and guacamole and you can all it a party! Feliz Cinco de Mayo!
Margarita mix:
(makes 1 liter)
1 cup tequila (I used my husband’s favorite, Tequila Corralejo)
1/4 cup lime juice
1 cup water
1/4 cup agave sweetener (more or less to taste)
Chili salt: 
1 part chili seasoning like Tajin
1 part kosher salt
frozen or canned pineapple chunks
lime wedges
tamarind (scraped out of the pod)
anything else you like 🙂
Step 1: Rim your glass with a lime wedge then salt. You can do this for your guests beforehand if you prefer.
Step 2: Have your guests place their mix-ins into a cocktail shaker with ice, muddle with a muddler or the end of a wooden spoon.
Step 3: Add margarita mix then shake. Pour into your glass and enjoy!