Tag Archives: weather

Happy Labor Day! Summer Recipe Recap


It’s been the hottest weekend of the year in L.A., and although Labor Day traditionally marks the “end” of summer, it still feels like it’s in full swing here.

It’s been a busy summer, and this poor blog has been sadly neglected. Even though I haven’t managed to post along the way, we’ve made some delicious summer meals and I have to share a few pictures/links:

Grilled Bacon Salad with Arugula and Balsamic, courtesy of Smitten Kitchen:


Vietnamese Summer Rolls:


Beef Lettuce Wraps, courtesy of The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook:


Biscuits and Gravy (not exactly summery but we used chicken sausage to lighten it up):


An Argentine-inspired parrillada, with grilled chicken, sausage, vegetables, and chimichurri:


Here’s to a memorable summer and an even more delightful fall!



Vietnamese-Style Chicken Vermicelli


Paco and I love Vietnamese food, but we had taken a little break from fish sauce since our rather epic trip to Vietnam.

As the heat wave continued yesterday, a cool bowl of vermicelli sounded like the perfect meal.  Other than boiling the noodles, it does not require using the stove or oven if you grill the chicken outside.  If you don’t have a grill, cut the chicken into smaller strips so that they cook more quickly, minimizing the time the stove has to be turned on.

Vietnamese-Style Chicken Vermicelli
(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, where it was adapted from David Tanis via The New York Times)
Serves 4

For the chicken:
2 chicken breasts (skinless, boneless)
1 T sesame oil
2 T soy sauce

For the sauce:
4 T brown sugar
1/2 c warm water
4 T fish sauce
8 T lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 – 1/2 serrano chili (I used a whole one and it was very spicy)

For the noodle bowls:
1 lb. of dried rice noodles
1 English cucumber, cut into matchsticks
2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
4 scallions, thinly sliced
mint leaves
cilantro leaves

To make the chicken:
Marinate the chicken breasts in sesame oil and soy sauce for 15-30 minutes. Heat the grill or a grill pan to medium high, then grill on each side for about 8 minutes, or until cooked through. Cool, then slice into bite-sized pieces.

To make the sauce:
Dissolve the brown sugar in warm water, then stir in other ingredients.

To make the noodle bowls:
Prepare the noodles according to package directions, then rinse under cool water. Assemble the bowls with some vegetables on the bottom, followed by noodles, chicken, then herbs. Serve with fish sauce on the side. (And garlic chili sauce, if you didn’t put way too much chili into the fish sauce, the way I did.) Toss everything together with fish sauce and enjoy!

Grilled Chicken with Caprese Topping


We have been having a bit of a heat wave in L.A., so I have been avoiding turning on the stove or oven. This caprese chicken from Baked Bree is the perfect light summer meal.

Grilled Chicken with Caprese Topping
Adapted from Baked Bree

2 chicken breasts, cut into halves or thirds if they are large
grill seasoning
1 c cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 c fresh mozzarella, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 c red onion, finely chopped
10 leaves basil, chopped
balsamic vinegar
olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper

To make the salad, put the tomatoes, mozzarella, and red onion in a medium-sized bowl. Season with salt and pepper, then drizzle with vinegar and oil to taste. Add the basil and toss. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Season the chicken on both sides with grill seasoning. Grill on medium-high heat until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve the chicken with the caprese salad on top.