On Tuesday, we excitedly ventured across the country to spend a week in sunny California. We had a very long and exhausting day of travel, which included a super fun 3 hour lay over in Cincinnati, Ohio. We managed to have a clean paleo lunch in the airport (and piss off our server, “Grizz” – not kidding about that name), and then proceeded to spend the remaining 2.5 hours creating a short video of outtakes from our book promo video shoot. Honestly, we have no idea how we managed to pull it together for that video. Everything besides the few clips in the promo video were absolute crap! At least we can put that crap to good use, and embarrass ourselves to the entire paleo community.
We arrived in Los Angeles absolutely starving since we ate lunch at 1 pm EST, and by the time we got to LA it was 8:30 pm EST. Thankfully, we were welcomed into town by an absolutely amazing home cooked dinner (check out our facebook fan page for pics!) We spent our first two nights in LA with my grandfathers good friend, Stacie. She lives in an absolutely amazing home in the Hollywood Hills. This place is like a villa in Tuscany, tucked away in the hillside just off of the sunset strip. Stacie is an amazing cook, and sommelier. She has taken a few cooking classes in Italy, and is quite the foodie. This is clearly evidenced by her collection of hundreds of cookbooks. Seriously, her home is better stocked than most bookstores.) She prepared an amazing roasted chicken, roasted asparagus, and a gorgeous salad of lettuce, tomato, and avocado. We managed to stay awake through the whole dinner, and had a wonderful time chatting with my grandfather and Stacie.
Stacie made sure to direct us to all the right foodie spots for our first day of adventures in La La Land. Our first stop yesterday morning was to my grandfathers office to say hello. He was heading out of town, and we unfortunately did not get to see much of him, but it was nice to stop in to see him between patients. After that we headed to 3rd Street Promenade to explore the Santa Monica Farmers Market. This was by far the most amazing farmers market we have EVER been to. Blocks and blocks of fresh produce, grass fed locally raised meats, pasture eggs, and even raw dairy! Unfortunately we didn’t make it in time to snag some bacon (One of these days I will get my hands on some delicious local bacon. I don’t know where, but I will do it!) We left the farmers market with two bags full of produce, as well as a Brazilian Tiger Fig tree. The gorgeous fig tree is a thank you gift for Stacie, for being so wonderful and generous with us. She already has mission figs, grapes, lemons, and kumquats growing outside her home, and we knew she would die over these unique figs.
After a quick trip back to the house to eat an epic lunch, we were off again to explore more of the town we hope to call home someday soon. Our next stop was The Grove. Stacie told us we had to check out the giant Farmers Market right by The Grove, and we were also hoping to stop into O&Co; to check out the olive oils, as well as get our hands on some truffle salt. Unfortunately O&Co; was no longer there, but there was another amazing gourmet market called Marcels. As soon as we walked into Marcels we spotted all these gourmet dark chocolate bars (I recognized them from the Cooking Channel show Foodography; from their episode on chocolate – Bill). Boy were they hard to walk away from, well until we saw that they were $10 for 1 bar! Bill had his eye on one that was topped with coffee beans, but we were good and walked away from the chocolate. We then went directly to the aromatic salts, and immediately found truffle salt, success!! There were so many amazing salts, we had a hard time deciding what we wanted, but we decided on just the truffle salt. We also were able to taste White Truffle Butter at this market, but being that we have to fly back to Pittsburgh on tuesday, we turned it down. If any of you can get your hands on some, we highly recommend it. It truly is an amazing gourmet butter!
Before we left The Grove, we stopped by the poultry section of the giant farmers market, and grabbed a pack of quail eggs. We have been wanting to try quail eggs for a while now, and when we spotted them at this market, we were beaming with excitement over them. We also grabbed a tasty looking bottle of organic hot sauce from a store of only hot sauce, but that will be for another day. With truffle salt and quail eggs in hand, we were off to cook up a very unique dinner.
The dinner we had was a mix of new flavors from the unique finds today on our adventures in Los Angeles farmers markets. We steamed baby purple artichokes, and then sauteed them in Kerrygold butter and minced garlic, and we thinly sliced heirloom tomatoes and topped them with fried quail eggs seasoned with truffle salt. This was a light dinner, but amazingly delicious. All the new flavors were wonderful. We are so grateful that we were able to experience these unique items today. This dinner was the perfect ending to a wonderful day.
- 1 dozen baby purple artichokes
- 1 heirloom tomato, sliced
- 6 quail eggs
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon unsalted Kerrygold butter
- Pinch of truffle salt
- Place a steamer basket in a heavy sauce pan, and fill the bottom with water.
- Rinse artichokes under cool water, and remove tough outer leaves.
- Carefully trim the stems of the artichokes, being sure not to remove too much of the heart, and slice artichokes in half.
- Steam artichokes for 2-4 minutes, and set aside.
- Heat 2 tsp butter in a nonstick frying pan on medium heat.
- Add garlic to the pan, and saute to infuse the butter with the garlic.
- Place steamed artichokes into the pan, and saute until browned slightly.
- Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of butter into a non stick frying pan on medium heat.
- Crack quail eggs into pan, turn heat down to low heat, sprinkle with truffle salt, and allow to cook for about 5 minutes.
- Plate artichokes and tomato, and top tomato with fried quail eggs.
We are already enjoying every bit of this trip! Tomorrow we are off to Santa Monica to stay in a little condo we rented, which is not too far from the Promenade. We will have Cave Girl Eats staying with us for the couple days she is here for the Ancestral Health Symposium, which will be a super fun time all in itself! Not only that, but there is a big group of Paleo foodies going to dinner at JAR on Friday night after day 1 of the symposium. This who’s who of the cave chow community includes:
- Nom Nom Paleo and Fitbomb
- Liz Wolfe from Cave Girl Eats
- Diane from Balanced Bites
- Patty and Ron from Chowstalker, Dessertstalker, and Following My Nose
- Melissa Joulwan from The Clothes Make the Girl
- Caitlin Weeks from Grass Fed Girl
- Julie and Charles Mayfield from Paleo Comfort Foods
If we left anyone out, we apologize! The dinner list has kept growing, and we had some trouble keeping up!
We cannot tell you how excited we are to be chowing down at JAR with this incredible group of people. If I tried to convey our excitement, my head might implode. It is going to be a night to remember! We’re doing our best to document our entire trip (meals, places, friends) – so if you’d like to feel like you’re there with us, look in on our facebook and twitter pages from time to time! On twitter, the hashtag for the symposium is #AHS11 for all you tweeters out there.
Oh, and one last thing which we found out during the late-night writing of this post. Our book is now available for presale on amazon!
Okay, thats enough from us for now. We need to get some sleep so that tomorrow can be as awesome as today was.
As always, enjoy!
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