Locally Grown: Santa Monica Farmers Market

Oh, the joys of buying local – not only do you support the community around you, but you are able to gain knowledge on where your fruits and vegetables are coming from and have a better insight on what you are consuming.  We recently headed to our local Farmer’s Market in Santa Monica and the beauty and abundance of fresh produce abounded.  We even received tips on how to enjoy the foods we purchased in recipes the growers actually used themselves (more to come on Guava Pie ala the Key Lime variety).  Find out where your local Farmer’s Market is and indulge in the information you can learn about the food you take home! Here are some of our favorite items from our trip…

Thanks to Garcia Organic Farms and Jamie Farms!

(The Best) Apple Crumb Pie (Ever)

As we digress from our Thanksgiving’s Day and emerge from our turkey stuffing comas, there are very few things that sound appetizing the next day. Yes, we can slather mayo on toast and make ridiculous sandwiches filled with cranberry sauce and other leftover options.  But what about that apple pie you made tucked deeply in the fridge?  When does that EVER sound bad?  You didn’t make Apple Pie, you say?  Well you are just in luck!  Here is the best Apple Crumb Pie recipe (not an exaggeration) that graced our tables this year thanks to Ms. Martha Stewart.  Enjoy and make sure to save some for leftovers! You will be craving it!

The process went a little like this…

Recipe below… 


1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1 stick plus 3 tablespoon cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces
1/4-1/3 cup ice water

1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces
1 cup walnuts coarsely chopped

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
16 ounces sour cream
2 eggs at room temperature lightly beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
6 golden delicious or granny smith apples peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/4 inch wedges (We prefer granny smith)

1. Pie Dough: combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor, and pulse to blend. Add butter until pea sized clumps form. with machine running, add water slowly as mixture just starts to come together. Shape the dough into a disc . wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes.
2. Roll out the dough into a 15 inch round on a floured surface. Fit the dough into a 10 inch pie plate. trim the edges as desired. Refrigerate until firm, about one hour.
3. Crumb Topping:whisk together sugars, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Add butter and combine with your hands or pastry cutter. Add walnuts and press filling into large clumps with your hands; refrigerate until ready to use.
4. Preheat oven to 450
5. Filling: Whisk together sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in sour cream, eggs, and vanilla until thourally combined. Add apples tossing to coat. Place apple mixture in crust.
6. Place an empty rimmed baking sheet under the pie plate to catch any overflow of the pie. Bake pie for 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to 350 and bake unto the apples turn golden brown, the juice is bubbling, and the crust is golden brown, about 45 minutes.
7. Remove topping from refrigerator and crumble over the hot filling. Bake until topping id browned and set, apples are tender, and bottom crust is thoroughly baked, about 50 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack, about 3 to 4 hours.


Seasonal in the City with Pumpkin

Seasonal for November in the following States: OR, NV, AZ, NM, OK, LA, MS, IA, IL, AL, PA, MD

 After October comes and goes, what to do with all the pumpkins left over from Halloween? Or maybe the month has passed and you miss those great orange globes. Whatever the reason, we love a good gourd and think you should too!! Here is a wonderful way to get the pumpkin out of your pantry and onto your palette’s preferred list.

Spiced Pumpkin Bread 

The Process…

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Serves 6


3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 Tbs ground cinnamon

1 Tbs ground nutmeg

2 1/2 cups sugar

4 large eggs

1 cup canola oil

one 15 ounce can pumpkin puree or fresh pumpkin puree

1/2 cup water

1 tsp pure vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and lightly flour two 9 by 5 by 3 inch loaf pans.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl and set aside.

Whisk together the sugar, eggs, oil in a separate bowl until well blended. Stir in the pumpkin, water, and vanilla and mix well.

Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and stir just until all the ingredients are moist and blended. Do not over mix.

Pour the batter into the pans and bake until cooked through.

Let cool and enjoy!

No-Fuss Homemade Chicken Soup

Nothing brings more comfort than the aroma of a well-made chicken soup. And with the winter weather tumbling into cities, now is the perfect time to break out the stockpot, throw in your favorite vegetable varietals and sit back, cozy up with some tea and a blanket, and relax knowing you can step away from this easy meal because it is doing all the work.  And with this next recipe, you will see that it really is that simple.

This soup is a great remedy for anything that ails you…a common cold, stress, or trying to loose a couple of pounds. I make this soup in the beginning of every week .  It is something my husband and I like to always have in the fridge ready to heat up.  You never know what your week will bring, but you can always rely on this to make you feel better. – Amy

And the recipe goes like this…


Serves 8


2 Chicken Breasts with bone and skin
2 large Carrots peeled and chopped
2 Celery Stalks chopped
one handful of Spinach Leaves
one handful of chopped fresh Parsley
one medium sized Leek chopped
one medium-large Daikon peeled and chopped
Put all ingredients in a large pot. Season with salt and pepper to your liking. FIll the pot with water so that everything is covered.
Bring to a boil and then simmer for 2 hours.
When chicken is cooked, remove from the pot and cut into bite size pieces and place back into the soup.

Seasonal in the City with Brussels Sprouts

Seasonal in November for the following States: CA, OK, IA, TN & PA

 Not only is this one of our favorite Seasonal vegetables, but it is one that is often overlooked because of its bad rap. It took much convincing to even introduce this as a salad to my husband, but after shaving the little green gems, adding  plenty of  pecorino and pine nuts, he fell in love with the sprouts as much as I had. – Jenet 

Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad

The Process…

The recipe….


Serves 4-5


15 Brussels Sprouts

2 Lemons

2 Tbs Olive Oil

Shaved Pecorino Romano, to taste

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

Pine Nuts, optional



Take washed Brussels Sprouts and remove stem.

Using a hand slicer, shave each sprout  into thin ribbons.  If able to do carefully, a knife can be used to cut sprouts thinly into shavings. Toss in bowl with lemon juice, oil, adding salt and pepper to taste. Throw in pecorino on top of salad or mix in.

If preferred, pine nuts can be added.

OXO Handheld Flat Slicer, available at Williams-Sonoma


Meal in a Mason Jar: Chili with Cornbread

Who doesn’t love fall weather? The leaves change, the air goes cool, and most importantly, it is the time of year that signals a plethora of reasons for family to get together.  Thus the need for even more inventive recipes to entertain and nourish your burgeoning broad! Take a cue from us, this warm, rich and tantalizing meal is easy to make, fabulous on your taste buds and even served spritely in a jar; neatly compact for a dynamic take on a family favorite. Leftovers welcome.

My sister passed this down to me one Christmas holiday. She is an amazing cook and always likes trying new things. This is the first time I had seen anything like this. My friends ask me to make it all the time now.  Luckily enough, it is super simple to prepare, and once done, they think I have spent hours grueling in the kitchen! – Amy

A look into the process… 

Leftovers? Another idea to snack on… 

Ready to make it yourself? Here’s how…


Serves 8



Ground Turkey or Beef

1 Green Pepper

1 Red Pepper

1 Yellow Pepper

½ Sweet Onion

One can Black Beans

One can Kidney Beans

One can White Beans

One can Corn

One can Diced Tomatoes

1 Tbs Olive Oil



1 Tbs Chili Powder (add more for extra spice)

2 tsp Cumin

1 tsp Garlic Powder

1 tsp Onion

1 tsp Paprika

1 tsp Salt

Pepper to taste



Sour Cream

Bacon pieces

Chives or green onion




Use from any box of cornmeal



Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or large deep sauce pan. Brown meat with 1/2 an onion diced. When the meat starts to brown, add peppers. Cook for about 5 min until the onions and peppers are soft.

Add Chili mix, one can diced tomatoes, and some water (fill the empty can a quarter of the way full with water). Bring to a boil.

Lower the heat and add remaining ingredients. Simmer for 10-15 min.



Place jars in a Pyrex dish filled half way with water.

Fill the jars half way with chilli and 1/3 cup cornbread.

Bake at 350 until cornbread is golden brown and cooked through.

Add toppings such as chives, sour cream, bacon or any other fabulous topping that you prefer.

Mason Jars, available at Amazon.com

Festively Fall Caramel Apples


What is better than the combination of feeling the crisp Fall air and hearing the crunch of a bright green apple covered in rich decadent caramel? To be honest, if it is us taking the bite, not much! That is why we bring you these delicious delights created in festive Fall form with creative candied outsides.  So go ahead, construct your own and help your family get into the autumnal spirit!












Now you try! Here’s the recipe… 


Serves 6



6 Wooden Sticks

6 Granny Smith Apples, stems removed

1 cup Heavy Cream

1 cup Granulated Sugar

1/4 cup Dark Corn Syrup

2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter




Crushed Oreos

Plain M&Ms

Shaved Almonds

Crushed Peanuts

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups crumbled



Insert sticks into tops of apples. Wrap twine around stick.  Prepare an ice-water bath. Set aside.

Bring cream, sugar, corn syrup, and butter to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Clip a candy thermometer to pan, and continue to cook until mixture reaches 245 degrees, 10 to 12 minutes.

Place pan in ice-water bath to stop the cooking. Dip bottom of each apple in caramel. Using a spoon, coat apple halfway to three-quarters of the way up sides. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and decorate with toppings.

Refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes (or overnight). Enjoy.

Tip: Make sure if you are using crumbled candy that it has been chilled in the freezer. It will make the candy easier to crumble and break into pieces.