Republic of Pie North Hollywood,CA

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North Hollywood is an up-and-coming area with a little strip of Lankershim Blvd. adding its artsy vibe to an otherwise forgettable area. I work with Lankershim Elementary School teaching preschool yoga, so every now and then, I like to look for new places for coffee or lunch. One afternoon, after Brandon and I walked around the Studio City farmers’ market, we decided that after all that walking we would head over to Summer Canteen for a late lunch. Since Summer Canteen is located in the same area of North Hollywood that Republic of Pie is, we headed over there to pick up some pie. My sister has been wanting a good slice of pie for a while now, so I decided to pick a couple of pieces up and check the place out.

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Republic of Pie is a lovely little cafe that’s both quaint and stylish. The décor is antique and precious with a stage for coffee house open mic night and couches for comfortable hanging out sessions with friends or your newest novel. The pastry cases offer a variety of styles of savory and sweet pies as well as other delicious baked goods like homemade oreos, lemon bars, vegan energy bars and much more. We looked over the pies and decided on blackberry peach pie and banana cream. I also took a lemon bar to go as well. The pies came out perfectly packed and expertly sliced.



Along with your pie, they have a full line of espresso drinks and teas for your enjoyment. Both pies were delicious. The blackberry was extremely fresh and the pie crust was perfectly golden and crisp. The banana cream was layered with cream, banana pudding and a layer of sweet brown sugar crumble; it was very rich and decadent. The lemon bar was good. But for my taste, I enjoy them to be a bit more tart than sweet. Overall, the whole place was cute and welcoming and the pie was fantastic. You can take a look at the bakers in the baking room making all the delicious goodies by hand.



Mother’s Day 2013

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58533_508187062549974_173216920_nI’m so grateful to take time out to acknowledge some really amazing women in my life. Mother’s day is always a special occasion, especially now that my sister is a mother too. I was lucky enough to help make Mother’s Day cards for all of Maleeya’s grandmas (Grandma, Granny, Bachan and Bubbe). They all received homemade cards, with probably more glue on them than stickers, but for a 2 year-old, they were pretty awesome. It’s so much fun to do little crafts like these for a special treat on Mother’s Day— we made a very special one for her mommy as well.

Mother’s Day wouldn’t be complete without a special Mother’s Day dinner. I taught yoga in the afternoon and then, even though it was over 100 degrees out here in southern California, we had a delicious Mother’s Day surf and turf bbq. My dad brought over some delicious seafood that I simply barbequed over a charcoal grill. We all had more food than would fit on our plates and a simple strawberry banana pie for dessert. I’m so grateful for all the strong, wonderful, sweet and loving women in my life who have shown how to love unconditionally. I hope all you mothers out there had a beautiful time celebrating with the people you love.



Grilled Lobster Tails

Pan-Seared Scallops


Barbequed Shrimp


Sake and Soy Sauce Grilled Chicken with Garlic and Green Onion


Baked Potatoes with Sour Cream, Butter and Green Onions

Pan-Roasted Green Beans with Button Mushrooms, Onions and Garlic


Green Onion, Broccoli, Cabbage and Carrot Coleslaw with Raisins and Red Wine Vinaigrette


Cucumber, Mozzarella, Cherry Tomatoes and Blue Cheese Salad


Grilled White Corn


Mozzarella Garlic Bread


Strawberry Banana Cream Pie




Happy Birthday Andy!

I’ve been cooking non-stop for the last couple of weeks. Not that I mind at all, it’s really second nature to me and I’m very fortunate to have lots of family and friends to be cooking for during the holidays. It’s probably one of my favorite gifts to give. The day after Christmas is Brandon’s stepdad’s birthday and we planned to have a big feast to celebrate his 50th birthday with family and friends. So after the great Christmas feasts that we had with my family, we were lucky enough to enjoy making dinner for Brandon’s mom and stepdad and some of their friends. The menu featured some of the food that I made for Christmas, including pozole and using some leftover meat that I had made for the tamales transformed into taquitos and flautas with some creamy salsa verde, spicy salsa roja with yogurt, and guacamole for appetizers. Having two chefs in the family is a pretty big advantage. I think both our families are grateful for that!



Happy Birthday Andy!


Cheese Board with Fig Butter and Crostini
Chipotle BBQ Shrimp with Honey Chipotle Aioli
Beef and Cheese Taquitos and Flautas with Creamy Salsa Verde, Spicy Salsa Roja with Yogurt and Guacamole






Antipasto Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Roasted Red Beet Salad with Feta Cheese, Mixed greens and Shallot Red Wine Vinaigrette




Herb Roasted Spicy Dijon and Horseradish Roasted Prime Rib
Roasted Carrots, Peas and Brussels Sprouts
Twice Roasted Potatoes with Sour Cream and Green Onions




Chocolate, Vanilla Wafers and Banana Cream Pie




My favorite day in Seattle

I’d have to say the best day I had in Seattle was the last full day I was there. An honest save the best for last type feeling occurred to me and I was able to get in an amazing amount of fun. My morning started off with breakfast at Toulouse Petit  this lovely eatery is located in Queen Anne, its décor is chic and welcoming. The food is fantastic and southern inspired, I love breakfast when I’m in the mood for it and here I was very happy with the outcome of my meal. I ordered Fried Oyster and Bacon Eggs Benedict. The absolute luxury of this dish was something to recoil at because it was such an early hour but seeing this item on the menu was too tempting to pass up the offer. I had chosen correctly and was happily on my way through three quarters of the platter before second guessing its lavish appeal on my taste buds. The influence of the south was present on my plate, thick cut crispy bacon, perfectly fried corn meal battered oysters flowing with runny egg yolk and Creole hollandaise sauce over a lightly toasted muffin take the cup on one of the best breakfast plates I’ve had in a very long time. Breakfast Happy Hour is an affordable and awesome way to start the day.

After breakfast I took the bus down to the city and took a stroll over to the market and looked into some shops. Later on I made my way back to my hotel and decided to stop at the Experience Music Project I absolutely loved this place, it’s a combination of music and science fiction. They have amazing exhibits on Nirvana, so many guitars, Jimi Hendrix, and also they had a really amazing exhibit on Avatar which is one of my favorite movies. I could have spent an eternity in there looking at all the music pieces and reading about guitars as well as playing in the sound labs. It was really one of my favorite museums I’ve been to.

After that I met up with a new friend I made at Ashley and Bryan’s wedding Lia. We had drinks and happy hour at Toulouse Petit because she said it was one of the best happy hours in town which I’d have to say was correct. We had a plethora of different dishes ranging from amazing mouth watering modern southern flavor to the classic down home fried bar grub. We chatted and made it through the menu, I love meeting new people who love food.

Fried Okra with Remoulade

Wild Mushroom and garlic bruschetta with arugula

Ahi Tuna Tartar with Quail egg and horseradish cream

Golden Beet Salad with haricot vert, blue cheese, kalamata olives, citrus vinaigrette and candied walnuts

Katie Mae pearl vodka, st germain, grapefruit juice, prosecco

After some awesome conversation and lots of good eats, Lia offered to take me the other side of Lake Union to Gas Works Park which had an amazing view of Seattle from across the lake. Before getting to the park we stopped at an awesome Pie Shop in Fremont called Pie. They specialize in all things pie, sweet and savory. I ordered a Raspberry Peach Pie and Lia got Banana Cream we sat in the sunshine and ate pie by the lake, which was delicious light flaky and wonderful. It was such a beautiful afternoon. After that Lia let me off at my hotel. I hope one day we’ll see each other again soon.

After I got situated I decided to take a walk on the waterfront and watch the sun set over the sound. I walked by the water front and along Olympic Sculpture Park.  I sat alongside the sculptures and watched the sun fade into the distance, taking note of the beautiful Washington sunset. Something I knew I wouldn’t see again for at least a little while.

I finished walking by the countless bustling shops and eateries got money for the bus in the morning and turned in looking into the cloud ridden skies at the space needle for the last night.