Irish Potato and Leek Soup

Monday, October 30, 2017
Autumn in Los Angeles is a weird thing.  While it remains warm until well into November (sometimes longer), the light gets a little more golden and there is a hint of a cool breeze.  We live right at the base of Runyon Canyon, so we get a bit of an outdoorsy experience, but it's still very much Los Angeles and very much a city.

I long to live in the woods and to grow my own food out of the ground, and this time of year always reminds me of that.  Every October, it seems I want to let my hair grow wild and live off the land. I return to my witchy ways and want to be more in touch with nature.

The closest I can get to a true Autumn experience, is the food.  One dish that is sure to stir your October heart is this Irish Potato Leek soup.  Leeks are my new favorite thing and I could eat potatoes everyday (but don't, because you can actually get potato drunk and it's awful).  This soup is incredibly easy and contains few ingredients and no meat substitutes, which is something that I'm trying more and more to abide by.  I'm going to start using local and in season produce more, and live that simple life.

So put on some fuzzy socks, curl up on the couch, and slurp down a bowl of this soup that will transport you to a chilly seaside Irish town.

5 potatoes
3 medium carrots
3 leeks
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons vegan butter
2 tablespoons vegan sour cream
Enough vegetable stock to cover vegetables

Heat butter in a large saucepan.  Add in vegetables and saute until they begin to become tender (the potatoes will still be crisp).  Add salt and pepper before pouring in enough vegetable stock to cover the vegetables and bring to a boil.  Let simmer while covered while checking periodically that the vegetables are softening while adding salt and pepper throughout to taste.  Once potatoes are full cooked, mash while still cooking with a potato masher.  I like my soup to be lumpy and have a lot of texture, but typically this soup is added to a blender and pureed.  I just mash the potatoes until the soup gets a little creamy, and then add in the sour cream.  Let simmer a few minutes longer, and ladel into soup bowls, or serve from the pot directly.

Feel free to send me your autumn favorites, or let me know what you'd like to see.


The Grady Twins Sliders, Flooded with REDRUM Marinated Mushrooms and Cheddar, with Wendy Torrance's Easy "Canned" Fruit Cocktail

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Well folks, Halloween is mere days away and I'm slacking. I'm sorry. I toyed with the idea of having a party, but I'm always terrified that no one will show up (Martha Plimpton in 200 Cigarettes style).  But not having solid plans for the most Instagrammed holiday shouldn't put a damper on things!

I've decided to use some of my favorite horror films as inspiration for a whole bloody mess of plant based meals.  Just because there's no real blood in anything, doesn't mean we can't still have a little fun.  This dish is inspired by Stanly Kubrick's "The Shining."  This is absolutely one of my favorite films PERIOD and my fav Kubrick for sure.  I once scared the bajeezers out of my sister (who is terrified of this movie to this day) by hiding in her closet as a kid and saying "redrum!" when she came out of the show. Best was my mom's idea.

This is the first time I've tried stuffing the Beyond Meat patties, and I have to say it was a success.  I used Follow Your Heart American Cheese Slices, which melted really well and are now my favorite cheese substitute.

4 beyond meat patties
8 oz. crimini mushrooms, chopped
1 cup merlot
4 tsp Worcestershire sauce (vegan)
Olive oil
2 slices Follow Your Heart American Cheese Slices
Salt and pepper to taste
Your choice hamburger buns
Your choice toppings- I used Heinz pickle chips and mustard, in keeping with the theme of the movie (you'll notice Heinz bulk jars in the Kitchen at the Overlook).

I served it with fruit cocktail, as there's a scene in the movie where Wendy is opening a massive can of fruit cocktail and I love that shit as a kid.  But honestly, if you can't make fruit cocktail I just can't help you. One thing I can tell you is, that I make fruit cocktail by mixing fruit with sugar and refrigerating it overnight so it get syrupy, but not excessively like canned fruit.  I also served that with rice whip and it was amazing.


Thaw your beyond patties completely, because you'll need to work with them.  While they're thawing,  heat up some olive oil in a pan and add in your mushrooms with some salt and pepper. Saute until tender, and then pour in your Merlot. Simmer uncovered until the mushrooms are sufficiently soaked with the Merlot flavor. Remove from heat and let cool.

Cut each beyond burger in half  and for each half into a smaller patty.  Fill the center with a spoonful of mushrooms and break up pieces of the Follow Your Heart slices (half a slice per burger) and also put those inside. Rub the outside of the "meat" with Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper (make sure to get both sides).   You can cook these in an oiled pan, a girl, or I used a stove top griddle.

Cook until browned and firm and top with your favorite burger toppings.

Happy Halloween everyone, be safe and eat well.