Monday, September 28, 2015

Celebrating Oktoberfest Miele Style, Pretzels Made of Lye, & ES' Favorite Appliance

Last week Edible Skinny was lucky enough to attend German themed cocktail party hosted by the Deutsland based luxury appliance company, Miele.  The posh event held at their Experience Center featured a modern and upscale twist on traditional German fare and drinks just in time for Oktoberfest!   

Amuse bouches included German pretzels, which should not be confused with American style pretzels because our European counterpart requires that said pretzels be dipped in lye.  Yes, lye as in the highly corrosive and somewhat dangerous ingredient found in drain openers and soap (see crazy ass moment from the movie Fight Club). 

These pretzels take dedication!  Chef Natasha noted that she had dress Walt White style with rubber gloves and fumigation masks during the cooking process.  Once dipped in ingredients requiring Meth cooking uniforms, said pretzels were then finished in a Miele convection oven for that perfect brown sheen and chewy doughy inside.  We have to admit that dangerous ingredients and high performance German cookware makes for some Fan-Tas-Tic pretzels especially when accompanied with Camembert cheese sauce!!!).  Other fun German offerings included spring pea spaetzle (for the vegetarian) and braised pig knuckles over sauerkraut (not for the vegetarian).  While we noshed on the carbohydrate heavy food offerings, Kelly and I were able to learn more about this high-end appliance company that strives to marry the world of form and function. 

Founded in Germany in 1899 with a single promise of Immer Besser, a phrase meaning Forever Better, Miele has dynamically grown to become the world’s largest family-owned and operated appliance company with more than 16,600 employees, 12 production facilities, and presence in nearly 100 countries.  Miele’s range of exceptional consumer appliances includes: vacuum cleaners; laundry systems; rotary irons; dishwashers; ranges; built-in convection, speed, steam and combi-steam ovens; cooktops; ventilation hoods; refrigeration; wine storage and espresso/coffee systems.  After taking an appliance tour (yes, we took an appliance tour and learned quite a lot as it was lead by the lovely Miele territory manager Lecia Schlesinger) we decided our absolute favorite appliance was the Miele steam oven (and yes we totally had a debate over our favorite appilance). 
Both a steam cooker and traditional convection oven this appliance announces health has arrived!  Steam cooking is a very European concept and after watching a demonstration of the potential both Kelly and I were ready to jump on H20 cooking bandwagon.  With fast and even distribution, Miele’s steam oven can accommodate simultaneous cooking on three levels without flavor transfer.  Plus because the oven is steam based it guarantees easy peasy cleaning!  Prost to that! 

So here’s to life being delicious, all your pretzels being lye based, and cooking with steam! 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

P.o.p. Candy's Rum y Vanilla

Edible Skinny was at the Mar Vista Farmers Market last weekend and ran into everyone’s favorite all natural toffee maven: Rachel Flores of p.o.p. candy. 

ES has been in LOVE with p.o.p. candy since we met this all natural corn syrup free toffee made from scratch in small batches a few years ago!

While at the farmers market Rachel let us sample some of p.o.p candy’s newest flavor: Rum y Vanilla; and all I can say is Delicioso!
This recently created flavor, by an accident by the way, is now one of p.o.p. candy’s most popular flavors.  Made with Mexican vanilla, cashew and pecans, natural rum extract, it’s finished off with Maldon sea salt for absolute candy perfection.  

And if alcohol laced sweets isn’t in your bag of tricks, we will always recommend p.o.p. candy’s farmers market rosemary toffee.   This savory sweet flavor is a kapow of fresh herbs and buttery sweet goodness.  

Here’s to life being delicious and to the best sweetness happening by accident! ;-) 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Lion's Mane's Mushrooms with Kane Family Farms!

Edible Skinny has been taking photos of their mushrooms for months but on Sunday at the Mar Vista Farmers Market we were lucky enough to meet Mister Cliff Kane of Kane’s Family Farms and were promptly introduced to the world of Lion’s Manes Mushrooms!

The Lion’s Mane Mushroom has been used for many years in Chinese medicine.  In addition to helping the immune system, a trait found in many types of medicinal mushrooms, Lion's Mane is special in that it has nerve regenerative and cognitive enhancing properties.  There are multiple pill versions of this tasty fungi due to it being known to help increase brain function and alleviate depression.

Because of its non-standard looking spinal shape the Lion’s Mane Mushroom is also known as by the monikers of Bearded Tooth, Sheep's Head, Bear's Head, Yamabushitake (in Japan) and Pom Pom (my favorite!).  The official Latin name for Lion's Mane is Hericium Erinaceus aka Hedgehog.

As a gourmet mushroom, the Lion's Mane has a taste and texture similar to tender lobster or shrimp.  It’s best sautéed (it’s bitter when raw) with some olive oil till tender and then it’s fantastic!

Cliff will have this mushroom regularly at Kane Family Farm’s rotation of farmers markets along with a few more exciting mushroom varieties coming up!  And in January they will be premiering a new crop of avocadoes with varietals including Hass, Bacon, and Fuerte (my absolute favorite)!

You can find Kane's Family Farm at Echo Park on Fridays, Silver Lake on Saturdays, and Mar Vista, Atwater Village, and Beverly Hills on Sundays.

Here’s to life being delicious and hedgehog shaped mushrooms making our days brighter! ;-)

Monday, September 21, 2015

Indian Tacos: the Perfect Post Burning Man Carbohydrate Binge

A few weeks ago Edible Skinny was covered in Playa dust leaving the infamous and fabulous Burning Man (see our article on our camp’s meal program with Bhavani Jaroff of iEat Green) when we got to experience the classic post Burner meal of Indian Tacos.  

Indian Tacos are pretty much like regular tacos but made with Indian Fry Bread in place of the tortilla.   Fry Bread, aka Navajo Fry Bread, was invented in the 1860s when the Navajo Tribe were relocated by the U.S. Government (not our finest hour in history…).   Rations during this diaspora were limited to lard, powdered milk, and wheat flour, resulting in Fry Bread. 

Over a century and a half later this dish is now beloved by Americans in the West.  It can be served sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, drizzled with honey, or topped with taco ingredients including meat, beans, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickled jalapenos, and sour cream.    

The latter being immensely popular at state fairs, powwows, and on the hour and half trek back from civilization from Black Rock City (it’s also the official bread of South Dakota as of 2005!).

Although their origin has a checkered past, Indian Tacos are definitely a taste to be experienced if canvasing the Southwest!  It’s a messy dish to be eaten with a fork and knife (these are in no way your Baja tacos) but it’s worth the work.    The grease truck taste is a perfection of doughiness for anyone looking for the perfect carbohydrate binge.  

Here’s to life being delicious and celebrating our edible evolution.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Beer, Bratwurst & Piece of Mind with the 2nd Annual Vegan Oktoberfest

A fine beer may be judged with only one sip, but it’s better to be thoroughly sure.”
-Czech proverb

Beer and Bratwurst served with a side order of piece of mind.  Prost to that!

Coming back for a second year, Vegan Oktoberfest is a traditional Oktoberfest celebration featuring great vegan Bavarian food, live Oompah and dance music, and refreshing and delicious beer!  Held October 3rd and 4th at LA Center Studios, the event will feature over 30 food vendors, 50 different beers, and Full Size steins.  So there's no reason to wait to grab your tixs; especially because they won't be sold at the door!

Talk about a selection of suds to Prost to!  The Vegan Oktoberfest’s choices include Edible Skinny favorites Angel City Brewery and Lagunitas Brewing Company, along with other hoppy brands such as Ritual Brewing Co., Bison Organic Beer, Coronado Brewing Company, Drakes Brewing Company, Knee Deep Brewing Co., SolarC Beer Co., Einstök Brewery, Ace premium Ciders, Eel River Brewing Company, Modern Times Beer, Venice Duck Brewery, The Dudes’ Brewing Company, Bootlegger’s Brewery, Bell’s, Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Craft Beer Kings, Bravery Brewing, and Reverand Nat’s Hard Cider.

Looking to eat all things Oktoberfest with a clean conscious?  This is LA.... ;-) The Vegan Oktoberfest offers over 30 food vendors that are both delicious and kind to our furry friends.  The spectacularly amazing Sage Organic Vegan Bistro and Kind Kreme will be featuring German style soft pretzels, their famous cauliflower hot wings, and delicious vegan ice cream!  If you haven’t experienced any of these fantastic dishes this is your opportunity to have your mind blown!!!   

Other yummy vendors include The Green Truck, Dogtown Dogs, Southern Fried Vegan, Urban Pie, Shugah Mama, and Califia Farms! 

Vegan Oktoberfest is produced by Red Pill Productions LLC, a company founded by Los Angeles animal rights attorneys David Edward Burke and Jill Ryther.  Vegan Oktoberfest will also benefit a good cause, with a portion of the proceeds going to Expand Animal Rights Now, an organization dedicated to using the legal system to help animals.

VIP Admission ($55) allows for five hours of drinking, from 12:00pm to 5:00pm, and includes complimentary 14oz stein and unlimited beer (unlimited sample pours and 3 full 14oz pours)!  General Admission ($45) allows for four hours of drinking from 1:00pm to 5:00pm along with the aforementioned complimentary 14oz stein and unlimited beer (unlimited sample pours and 3 full 14oz pours)!  Tickets are available at:

Here’s to life being delicious, celebrating furry friends, and Prost-ing on!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Rancho Gordo's Heirloom Bean Revolution

Edible Skinny was in San Francisco last week and while there we checked out the foodie haven the Ferry Building Marketplace!

One of the stands that struck our eye was Rancho Gordo’s Heirloom Beans out of Napa, California.   Focusing on “New World Specialty Food” the brand also sells exotic dried chiles, prepared hominy/pozole, extra fancy California wild rice, and new world grains such as quinoa and amaranth.  

Rancho Gordo began as a search for a decent American grown tomato, which lead to growing beans, which lead to growing one heirloom bean (Rio Zape, similar to the pinto bean, founder Steve Sando noted how the heirloom varietal had “hints of chocolate and coffee mixed with an earthy texture that made his head spin") which lead to warehouses full of heirloom beans such as Eye of the Goat, Scarlet Runner Beans, and Mayocoba Beans.

A press darling, Rancho Gordo’s beans been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Chow, Sunset, Bon Appetit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Country Home, San Francisco Chronicle, and Chile Pepper.

Heirloom Beans tend to have a lower yield and can be much more difficult to grow but the pay off is in the unique flavors and textures that you don't find with bland commodity beans.  But the result is worth the fuss, for IRL Rancho Gordo’s fans flock to its Ferry Building location!   

The stand even has a tub of “touching beans” coaxing you (“you know you want to!”) to thrust your hands into a half of foot’s depth of heirloom beans and run the rainbow of magic through your fingers!

So here’s to life being delicious and your new world’s always being special!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Edible Skinny Does Burning Man

It took a few days to decompress but Edible Skinny is about ready to reflect on our foodie experience at Burning Man!!!

Burning Man is an experiment into the world of creation.  One of its taglines is: Life is Short.  Make Something Amazing.  (Then Burn It)!
I was lucky enough to be a part of the Infinite Community Camp, which was a camp to support the Los Angeles artist, Matt Elson, and his Midway project art installation, the Infinity Boxes.  And it was a totally magical experience!

Our 40-person camp was feed twice a day by the amazing Bhavani Jaroff who is the owner of the New York based iEat Green.  A vivacious bohemian Bhavani is a Natural Foods Chef, Educator, Radio Host, and Food Activist.  She has over thirty years experience cooking healthy, fresh, organic food for audiences small (her cooking school Cooking from the Heart) and large (the Waldorf School in New York)

Her company, iEat Green, motivates individuals to work together to create lifestyles that support the wellness of one’s body, mind, spirit, community and planet (very Burner like).  Her mindset is that in raising the awareness of the inter-connectedness of the foods we eat and their impact on our families, our communities, our economy and our planet, iEat Green is fostering a greener way of life.

A lofty goal with tasty results!  Some of the scrumptious meals served on the Playa included Mixed Vegetable Coconut Curry and Mattir Paneer served with Saffron Rice and Naan, Challah French Toast served with Maple Syrup, Chia Pudding, and Linguine Puttanesca served with Sautéed Broccoli Raab and Garlic Bread.   All created while dealing with wind, dust, and sand storms during one of the harshest weather’s in the history of Burning Man.

As Bhavani stated in her iEat blog: “Imagine trying to cook in a tent, that is not only covered in dust, but has dust and sand blowing in it as you cook! It was so comical, that all I could do was laugh and keep from peeing in my pants, while thinking about what the health department would say if they could only see me now! Thankfully, the wind wasn’t always blowing, so we had some calm moments in there too.”

She continued with to note how iEat’s philosophies trickled into our Infinite Camp:
“I planned a breakfast and dinner for 8 days, and as in my usual tradition, I prepared enough to share with our neighbors and friends. Everyone pitched in, both in the prepping and in the cleaning, so I never felt burdened with the responsibility. It just became another platform to get to know everyone, and to dance our way through the kitchen.”
Life is Short.  Make Something Amazing.  (Then Eat It)

Here’s to life being delicious and there always being enough food to share with neighbors and friends (even with the Playa dust)! ;-)

Friday, September 11, 2015

Mushroom Dreams: Far West Fungi Photography!

Edible Skinny was in San Francisco last week and while there we checked out the foodie haven the Ferry Building Marketplace!  While there we encountered the a mushroom lovers dream with Far West Fungi!   Here's some pictures from my encounter!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

California Beer Festival: The State's Finest Brews Pour in San Dimas This Weekend

By Kelly Grace Thomas

On the first (unofficial) weekend of fall, what is better than enjoying a full-flavored craft beer with those you love? Enjoying 85! Or at least not having to choose just one:)  This weekend, beer lovers can taste bold IPAs, subtle Saisons and many more of the finest brews the Golden State has to offer at the California Beer Festival. Held lakeside at the beautiful Frank G. Bonelli Park in San Dimas on September 12-13, the two-day, multi-themed festival has a little something for everyone.

While providing a safe and fun atmosphere, the California Beer Festival aims toward the education and appreciation of various craft and microbrews. As California’s largest traveling beer event, Saturday’s “Craft Beer Heaven” offers 85 ice-cold craft beers and ciders from local and state-wide breweries such as: Alosta Brewing Co., Angel City Brewery, Fireman’s Brew, Elysian Brewing, Karl Strauss, Wicks Brewing, Ballast Point, Lagunitas and many more. Besides its offering of outstanding pours, Saturday will also feature live performances from popular local bands, games such as bikini bocce ball and delicious food options such as garlic fries, sliders and tacos. All individuals must be 21 years of age or older with a valid ID to enter the California Beer Festival on Saturday. Tickets include either VIP or general admission and come with a souvenir tasting cup.
Sunday aims for more family-focused fun at the California Beer Festival. Appropriately named “Hamburgers and Hops” Sunday is a picnic style day for all ages to enjoy. At this outdoor event, attendees are invited to pull up blankets, umbrellas and chairs as they enjoy juicy hamburgers and top tapping performances from a dynamic musical lineup including Foreverland, a nationally renowned 14-piece Michael Jackson tribute band. Sunday families can either purchase general admission tickets or receive a souvenir cup for up to four craft beer samplings. Food and additional beer will be available for purchase.

So whether you want sunshine and a few sips, or a passport tour of California’s finest, the California Beer Festival offers the perfect opportunity to pamper the palette and and soak in the outdoors. Edible Skinny will be there, making life more delicious. Will you?

Purchase tickets at

Friday, September 4, 2015

Cozy Charm with Santa Barbara's Good Cup

Edible Skinny was in Santa Barbara a few week’s ago for Pin-Ups on Tour Operation Santa Barbara show at the Santa Barbara Veterans Building to benefit the award winning non-profit Pin-Ups for Vets!

While there we were able to check out the local SB coffee joint Good Cup!  This coffee shop has a laid-back atmosphere full of cozy charm!  

Along with the standard coffee (Caribbean Coffee Company beans) and pastries (D'Angelo's and Debbie's Delights) they also do summertime delicious gelato!  Which is perfect compliment to their outdoor State Street patio that opens up for al fresco dining on warmer days!

Coffee choices include the ever popular Honey Latte, Iced Coconut Latte, and an Iced Honey Americano!

The only thing to note is if there’s more than two of you make sure to sip your Joe indoors.  Good Cup doesn’t carry cardboard trays to shelter multiple coffee cups down the block!

Here’s to life being delicious and coffee with cozy charm!