Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lemon tart pie

Summer is all about refreshing baked goods, I believe. Lemon-y things are no exception. For a dinner party last week, I decided to re-appropriate a lemon bar recipe and turn it into a pie. Main reason being I don't have a deep enough baking pan but really, it's easy to gobble up a dessert when it's in slice form!
Adapted from Hostess with the Mostess.
What you need...
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 6 ounces (12 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces


  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • About 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar to powder on top.
What you need to do...
to make the crust:
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
2. Combine the flour and confectioners’ sugar in a bowl until mixed well.
3. Add the butter and continue to mix. I mixed it by hand so that it would be an even, buttery, dough...sort of like what a butter cookie looks like pre-shaped/baked.
4. Gently press the mixture evenly onto the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan (or in my case, a 9" cake pan). Bake until golden brown, 25 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
5. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.
to make the filling:
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and granulated sugar until smooth.
2. Stir in the lemon juice and then add the flour.
3. After checking your crust is at room temperature, pour the filling on top of the crust. Bake until the lemon filling is set, about 50 minutes.
4. Let cool to room temperature. Afterward, you can either put in the refrigerator for 1 hour or keep at room temperature for 3 hours before cutting. Dust the top with confectionery sugar.

Just powdered the pie. About ready to be served!

And voila! A slice of pie!
I would recommend you make the crust just a TEENSY bit thinner than I have in this photo, though.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Susina Bakery and Cafe [[Los Angeles]]

After our big dinner at Fish Grill, we decided to have dessert to punish our stomachs even more. Susina is a little quaint cafe, brimming with lots of different cakes and pastry items (oh, and policemen for some reason). Dim lighting, French 1920s music, and brick walls...this is my sort of place.

The banana cream pie we ordered (seriously, the four of us could barely finish it!) was light, fluffy, and not too sweet. Lots of sliced bananas (apparently they use two bananas in one little pie!) to make it taste super fresh. However, the crust was crazy tough to break. I think I almost had an aneurysm trying to puncture it with my fork!

Is this photo awkward enough for you?
Susina Bakery and Cafe
7122 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 934-7900

Friday, June 11, 2010

Fish Grill [[Los Angeles]]

Fish Grill is a kosher restaurant specializing in grilled fish dishes. I recently went with Anam, Cecily, and Micah (who actually adheres to a kosher diet) to hang out and not have to worry about Micah not being able to eat anything (there was a pretty disastrous encounter at a recent cafe). Cecily was the lone wolf, ordering the grilled cod. Anam, Micah, and I ordered the fish taco dish, which is served with two large tacos (either grilled or deep fried, or one of each), a side of coleslaw or salad, and another side of baked potato, french fries, or rice.

What I liked about this super casual dining place (you order in the front and pick it up when it's ready) is that they give you A LOT of food for a good price. Our plates were brimming with fries and salad and other stuff for only $9.

The fried fish taco was pretty tasty, although I would have wanted a little more lime or cilantro taste. Although Micah's grilled fish taco looked great, mine was a little too burnt and so I barely touched it. Good thing I ate the fried fish one first because I was already stuffed! The fries were really crunchy, almost reminiscent of the In-n-Out fries in terms of freshness.

Food coma!

Fish Grill (one of four locations)
9618 W Pico Blvd # 508
Los Angeles, CA 90035
(310) 860-1182

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Crème de la Crêpe [[Hermosa Beach]]

I've been coming to this French restaurant for a few years, but always just to have a dessert crêpe and hang out at the beach. However, after a failed attempt at trying something super healthy (the vegan/raw cafe we went into was way too hippy dippy for us!), we decided to actually have dinner at Crème.

Anam ordered the vegetable pasta, which was ratatouille mixed with seasoned flat pasta. A little cheese on the side, as well. I don't think it is too difficult to mess up a simple pasta, and Anam had no complaints.

I ordered the beef bourguignon, which was served with a side of pasta and ratatouille. The pasta wasn't seasoned with anything but a smidge of butter, but adding a little of the wine stew from the beef made it better. The beef left something to be desired though; I wish it was more tender. I also don't think the beef absorbed enough of the red wine broth, which is to say that the broth was excellent. More broth taste, please!

The crêpe, of course, was excellent. I've always just had it with various fruits and Nutella because I have a serious love affair with the chocolate-hazelnut spread. However, we decided to order something different this time. Served with vanilla ice cream and homemade whipped cream on the side, the crêpe had sliced strawberries and honey. The honey was light and complemented the tart/sweetness of the strawberries.

Next time I have a hankering for actual food though, I'll forgo the dishes that are time-intensive to cook and go for something easy, like a quiche or a savory crêpe.

And of course, a picture of me with food because this is what this blog is all about.

Crème de la Crêpe
Three locations:
424 Pier Avenue, Hermosa Beach - (310) 937-2822
1708 South Catalina Avenue, Redondo Beach - (310) 540-8811
6000 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City -(310) 398-8811

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Café Bizou [Pasadena]

Although I was only a quick hop away from Andi, I didn't want to bother/lure her away from premium grad school studying. Thankfully, I had a few hungry friends who wanted to take advantage of Pasadena Restaurant Week with me. We decided to go to Café Bizou, which has been around for awhile and probably written about a hundred times. But since we can rarely afford luxuries, let alone an ~expensive~ meal, on our pithy budgets, $25 for a 3-course meal was right up our alley.

First up, two types of bread. A nutty raisin bread which was not great, and a sort-of sourdough bread, which was bland. I suppose this is fine since it made it harder for me to be full before our meal.

We all got the lobster bisque to start. It was creamy and not too heavy. However, the lobster bits were really tiny--at least in my portion. Of course, I shouldn't compare it to the best lobster bisque I had ever had over at Craftsteak...but still. Couldn't you have spared a lobster bit bigger than half an inch in diameter?

For the main course, my friend Jessica and I ordered the same thing, steak au poivre, cooked medium rare as it should. The slices were thin enough and cooked just right, but I felt it was over-peppered towards the end. Perhaps I'm not used to this much pepper. It was served with a creamy brandy sauce, which tasted great with the mashed potatoes which were also creamy and fluffy. Usually I eat the veggies given, especially since these ones were dark and obvs good for you. But uh, who decided to cook spinach with NOTHING but pepper? Bland...and peppery. Broccoli was bland as well, but I suppose a dip in the brandy cream sauce would have done the trick.

Queenie ordered the lobster tagallini pasta. I don't think I've ever had black pasta before, so I decided to try one noodle. It does have it's own taste, although subtle. Interesting, and I can imagine, would pair well with the lobster vodka sauce.

Alicyn ordered the Alaskan halibut, served with mashed potatoes and a trio of veggies (carrots, snow peas, and green beans). Alicyn said that the green beans tasted the best. As for the tomato garlic sauce, it was light enough that the halibut really could stand on its own.

My favorite part of any meal: dessert! Everyone but me (because I'm a rebel) ordered the flourless chocolate cake. Alicyn, lover of all chocolate, really liked it and said that it melted in her mouth. I tried it, and I could tell it was flourless, but still tasty. Not my favorite though. The homemade whipped cream was great.

And my dessert, homemade tiramisu. The first bites were very rum-heavy, in a good way. After the initial bites, the rum gave way to the light flavors of coffee, chocolate, and mascarpone cheese. Really airy, and tasted great with the vanilla and raspberry sauces. Probably my favorite part of the meal.

Café Bizou
91 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, CA 91103
(626) 792-9923 |