Dana Slatkin

Vegan Almond Milk Flan

Almond Milk Flan

Slightly adapted from Chef Lee Gross, M Café My first attempt at flan was an epic fail. It was a few weeks ago, when I was testing the recipe for my Macro Mexican class. Instead of a delicate, silky custard bathed in caramel, mine turned out way too sweet and strangely lumpy. I was pretty sure I never wanted to make flan again. But the recipe came by way of one of my favorite vegan chefs, Lee Gross of M Café (and Gwyneth Paltrow) fame. Plus, Passover and Easter were fast approaching, and I wanted my students to have an elegant dessert for the holidays. I had to persevere. The day before the class, I whipped up a giant batch of flan for my thirty students. That night, I peeked on one of the custards to make sure it was suitable for … [Read more...]

Ten Farmgirl Finds for Spring

Spring Bounty

If you’re noticing sunnier days, cheerful daffodils and tulips, and copious displays of ramps and asparagus, it’s spring all right. Pull out your salad recipes, your tee shirts, and your shades. It’s time to get fresh. On a sunny spring day, I love to grab my reusable bags and head to my neighborhood farmers market (if yours is not open yet, hit the produce aisle at your supermarket). The array of fresh vegetables and fruits always inspires me both in and outside the kitchen. On my menus, soups and stews make way for salads and easy pastas. I trade dark colors for pastels and ditch heavy makeup. There’s nothing like the promise of sunshine to put some spring in your step and in your kitchen! Here are a few of my favorite spring … [Read more...]

Artichoke Quinoa Risotto

Photo credit: Pat Illing

The other night I had the pleasure of experiencing Maude Restaurant, Curtis Stone’s sophisticated newcomer on South Beverly Drive. Tiny, lovingly decorated and filled with nostalgia (the name comes from Chef Stone’s Australian grannie), Maude is the freshest thing to happen to the Westside dining scene in years. Hidden behind a quirky storefront next to a city parking structure, Stone’s dream project features a nine-course tasting menu centered around a different ingredient each month. The star of our meal? California’s own leading lady, the artichoke. Our dinner was a parade of spring’s finest, flawlessly prepared by Stone’s dedicated crew. Each course was presented by proud servers in leisurely succession on dainty vintage … [Read more...]

Salad of Frisée, Green Beans and Lentils with
Bistro Vinaigrette

Frisee Green Bean Salad

I’m pretty sure there’s not even a drop of Irish blood in me. You probably won’t see me chugging a Guinness or dancing a jig on St. Paddy’s Day. But this week, as signs of spring pop up everywhere, I’ll be celebrating. Recently, a friend lost her life to lung disease. She chose to say goodbye just as spring is arriving, bringing with it new life, hope, positivity. I know my friend, having suffered over many years, wanted to make sure her family and friends would enjoy some good meals and get on with their business. Her timing was perfect. The lettuces in my garden just started poking out of the ground. Verdant, tender asparagus is everywhere. At farmers markets around town, stands are spilling over with all shades of fresh. This … [Read more...]

Spring Cooking Contest

Farmgirl garden

With the promise of warmer weather and fresh possibilities in the kitchen, spring is a perfect time for a little cooking competition! Soon, you’ll find greens galore and fresh herbs abundant. How do you plan to seize spring? To enter the contest, send in your favorite recipe featuring ingredients of the season – from asparagus to arugula, beets to bok choy, rutabagas to rhubarb and scallions to sunchokes! Tell us about you (where you’re from, whom you cook for, and what inspires your cooking) and your recipe in the form below. You have until April 30th and can enter as many times as you wish. All recipes will be acknowledged and tested. The top two winning recipes will be announced on May 1st and may be published here! The … [Read more...]

Vegan Cauliflower Velouté á la Farmgirl

vegan cauloflower soup

A few months ago, my oldest son got his driver’s license. It was a milestone to ponder as we stood in line together at the DMV. While he texted triumphant selfies to all his friends, I ran through a slideshow of dreads in my mind: son attempts parallel parking á la Fred Flinstone…son gets lost on his way to school…son drag races down Sunset Blvd. The moment reminded me of my own mother’s reaction when I left home to work as an apprentice in France. I was heading halfway across the world, the lone girl cooking in a hot kitchen full of arrogant males, with no knowledge of French and no idea what lay ahead. Though my mother might have been terrified for me, she sent me off with a strong, confident hug. “Remember,” she said. “Just … [Read more...]

There’s Lots More Cooking Ahead in the Farmgirl Kitchen!

mother's day table setting

Easy Macro Mexican with M Café’s Chef Lee Gross SOLD OUT Thursday, April 10 10 am -12 noon Menu: Edamame Guacamole with Home-Baked Tortilla Chips Baja Chopped Salad with Chipotle Ranch Dressing Farmgirl All-Purpose Mexican Spice Mix Chile-dusted Salmon Tacos and Lentil Tacos with Pineapple Salsa Almond Milk Flan with Homemade Almond Milk $135 per guest 2-hour class includes recipes, lunch, and a donation to a local charity. If you would like to join the waitlist, contact me here Mamma Mia! A Light and Easy Mother’s Day Brunch with Michele Gan of Serves You Right Catering SOLD OUT Thursday, May 8, 2014 10am – 12 noon Veteran caterer Michele Gan has created gorgeous, memorable events for rock stars, presidents, … [Read more...]

Happy Birthday, Farmgirl!

pasta pomodoro

When I started this blog five years ago, it seems like an auspicious idea. My cookbook was coming out in a couple months, and my editor at Clarkson Potter suggested getting the word out by sharing a few of the recipes. I had no clue what a URL was. I’d never even had my own domain. But I liked the idea of having one. So I started with what I knew. I cooked and I wrote. I blogged about everything from last night’s dinner to the latest family drama. It wasn’t easy to come up with new and exciting recipes each week. And sometimes my hectic, juggling-act life just didn’t seem inspiring enough to write about. But I learned to embrace my new realm…despite its weekly demands and frustrations. My cooking and writing both seemed … [Read more...]