Last month a little packet of delicate Japanese Brown Beech Button Mushrooms came in my CSA box. Fortunately there was a recipe for a flatbread using the little rascals. I modified it slightly into a pizza using what I had on hand. This was a total success! Even G ate the mushrooms (unknowingly)!
Of course you can make this with any kind of mushrooms you have on hand! Just wipe any dirt off and slice first depending on their size.
All you need:
1 tsp olive oil
2 c Japanese Brown Beech Button Mushrooms
1/2 small onion, chopped finely
pizza dough (I used Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat)
2-4 TBSP pesto sauce (also used TJ’s here)
1/2 c shredded mozzarella cheese
OPTIONAL: 3-4 fresh basil leaves
1. Preheat oven to 450.
2. Cut mushrooms off base. These mushrooms are so tiny they don’t need to be chopped. Mine were clean w/out dirt on them so I just cut the base off so that they were all separate & free individuals!
3. Heat olive oil in a skillet at medium. When oil is hot, add onions & mushrooms. Stir frequently cooking until onions are slightly soft, for about 2-3 minutes.
4. If you’re using a pizza stone, prepare as you normally would for a pizza. I used a cookie sheet. Brush with olive oil and then sprinkle corn meal on top of the oil.
That prevents the pizza dough from sticking plus it gives a nice texture to the bottom of your crust.
5. Place rolled or stretched dough onto cookie sheet (or pizza stone).
6. Spread a few spoonfuls of pesto (either homemade or pre-made) over the top of your dough, leaving 1/2″ at the edge.
7. Add mozzarella cheese, then the mushroom/onion mixture following by a sprinkling of grated parmesan (to your taste!)
Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until cheese is melted & golden. Sprinkle fresh torn basil on top!
This time, before I start squeezing & freezing I remembered a simple carrot salad I’d just read about in La Tartine Gourmande. I noticed the book at the library and quickly photocopied a few recipes from it.
Try this!!! I mean it.
All you need:
The amounts in this recipe serve about 4 people. I would definitely double it next time but I was hand grating…
4 large carrots, peeled
1 TBSP flat leaf parsley, chopped (I used Italian parsley as that’s all I had)
2 TBSP chives, chopped
sea salt & pepper
1/4 c fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
6 TBSP olive oil
Grate the carrots and place in large bowl. In a separate smaller bowl, combine the vinaigrette ingredients in the order listed, whisk together and pour over the carrots. Combine well with spoon. Cover & refrigerate. Dress with the fresh herbs just before serving.
Maddie ate 3 bowls in rapid succession and then asked if she could take some to school the next day. There were no leftovers.
A few months ago a friend of mine suggested my kids & I join her one Friday morning at Malibu Country Mart. If I’d been drinking coffee it would’ve come out of my nose I laffed so hard. Not only do I hate driving & try to do as much as possible without getting into my car but I also don’t own any Lululemon yoga wear. I totally blew that off thinking, “Malibu? That’s like me going to the Valley!”
Anyway, a few weeks ago I found myself driving G’s truck to Malibu Feed Bin for some haystacks. We were having a little barnyard animal themed joint birthday party for the girls and I thought they would make up for what we lack in patio furniture, plus they’re cute!
This place is easy to find – right on the side of the PCH. I pulled in ready to get in & out in no time but it’s way too much fun so we ended up looking around! Inside (I couldn’t take pix as I was trying to keep Bea from gettingherfingersbittenoffbyaratbreakingglassesswipingdogtoysandpocketingtinyplasticfarmanimals.), they have cages of bunnies, rats, chinchillas, hamsters & I *think* a cockatiel? WOW! The girls were fascinated!
After admiring the caged animals we paid for our hay. Incidentally, I keep calling it “hay” but it was actually “straw” – a distinction that matters to people who allergic to one but not both of those! We got 4 strawstacks for $10 each. They are about 3′x1.5′ and about 1′ high if my memory serves me. Anyway, it was lots of fun for the kids to see the animals – then I drove around back to pick up the stacks.
After that I decided to finally check out Malibu Country Mart and let the girls burn off some steam. I didn’t know exactly WHERE the park was so I just found the shadiest parking spot I could and decided to explore. Next time I’ll explore with a stroller instead of a sweaty kid who gets out of a Teva sandal quicker than I can say “heat rash.”
When you drive in off of the PCH, park in a lot on the NORTH side. That’s where the playground/main food area is.
It’s basically a playground surrounded by shops (expensive shops) & restaurants. Lucky for us there are a couple of casual places to eat. And a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.
There are some cheaper counter service places too. And plenty of tables under umbrellas.
After eating, we headed to the playground.
It was HOT.
My only complaint: I only found 1 single bathroom. THere was a line for it, of course. There probably is a bigger bathroom somewhere but I didn’t have time to research that! I don’t believe there was a changing table in there either (not the end of the world if your child can stand on her/his own but if you have a newborn it might be challenging.)
After eating, we went to the baby swings since they were in the much-coveted shade.
The fancy people were eating behind the swings.
Sometimes when we’re out we’re having such a nice time that I keep on STAYING out past that sweet spot. Past the time of goodness. This was one of those times. M lost her s— on the swing & tried to kick me.
**UPDATE: Native Foods no longer has this happy hour! Very sad as we looked forward to it every Friday. Maybe it will come back periodically?**
Last night I took the girls to Happy Hour at Native Foods. It opened about a month ago on Ocean Park Boulevard between 29th & 30th. We used to go to the one in Culver City once in a while. Like twice a year. Since it opened here a month ago, G’s been once and I’ve already been twice (two Fridays in a row!)
This time I took the kids solo. We parked our massive stroller outside, walked in & ordered at the counter. All the starters & sides are 50% off during Happy Hour. We ordered accordingly:
Saigon Roll. A really tasty wholesome wrap accompanied by a spicy/sweet dip. YUM! I love these.
Bowl of Black Bean Soup. I could take or leave the soup. I make a fair amount of soup myself in the wintertime and found this one to be just so-so. It had some croutons in there that immediately turned to mush. Plus, the flavor was very one-dimensional. Can you tell I’ve just watched “Around the World in 80 Plates?”
Seasoned fries. (I recommend the sweet potato fries but my kids don’t like them. Bea liked the seasoned fries.)
Sweet Potato Fries (Photo taken last visit…)
Native Chicken Wings with Ranch. (I got these instead of the kids’ chicken nuggets b/c I knew my kids wouldn’t eat the rice and they didn’t need the lemonade.)*
Mini Greens Salad. This is an excellent, pretty little salad that is piled precariously high in an adorable little bowl. I dumped mine out on the large plate so I could toss it in the dressing better. This is no lame-o salad you typically get for $5.00. (Keep in mind – you get it for $2.50 during Happy Hour!)
I also got a glass of chardonnay for 50% off. Nice!
NOTE: I do NOT recommend the kids’ Macaroni & Cheese. It’s in a milky/watery sauce. Last time I was there, neither of my kids liked it and they were really hungry.
I took the pix LAST Friday when we went with our friend Elsie. Last night I was the only ahem…adult there and I had NO free hands to take pix!
My bill came out to $16 and change. Of course I had to leave a big tip for the greasy booth we left behind but still a great deal! We were all stuffed full of mostly healthy fare (‘cept for the fries) + a nice glass of wine. Not bad.
- Although there is patio seating, wine & beer are currently only allowed inside.
- Be sure to get a Native Foods frequent diner card. I have been twice and already got a free non alc drink.
Btw: G is a meat-a-tarian and he likes it!
2901 Ocean Park Blvd.
Park behind (off of 29th Street), at a meter on Ocean Park OR take the #8 Blue bus which goes from Westwood to Main Street (and not sure where it goes from there). I highly recommend the bus so you can have a couple of glasses of wine!
50% off all appetizers, beer & wine.
Let me know how you like it!
*Incidentally – they also have Native Foods in Boulder and at several locations in Chicago! Check their site for more.
Add any toppings you like. I tried some with meat substitute but nobody liked it so I stopped. I also put shredded cheese on half of them since M hates melted cheese.
Yesterday I made them with 1 sliced jalapeño (jarred) on each of mine. I then sprinkled taco sauce on top of that. Yes, that thick nasty taco sauce you get at Ralph’s. I don’t care!! I love it!! Spicy ketchup!!
Bake for 5-7 minutes. Won tons should be getting browned at the edges. Once you figure out how your oven works (I use the toaster oven to avoid heating up the house in the summer!) you can decide how many minutes.
There is always that tenuous moment when you present new food to the kids. It definitely helps if they haven’t snacked since lunchtime though.
She LOVED them!
Bea didn’t like them until I broke hers up. I don’t think she has enough back teeth to really chew them. Now she loves them! (Bea not pictured.)
M thinks she has long black hair when she wears this hat.