Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Latest Videos « CBS Los Angeles

Latest Videos « CBS Los Angeles

Reporter, Evelyn Taft came to COOK LA before the holidays to make a "Guilt free" Chocolate truffles to take to friends and family over the holidays. These little treasures are a great treat as well as a healthy dessert option for those checking calories and counting our intake of sweets. This recipe uses Organic Agave Nectar from C&H Sugar, dates, walnuts, raw cocoa powder and a few other ingredients to make them tasty. Check out the recipe online or "like" our facebook page and see the recipe under "NOTES".
Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Perfect Parties are planned!

Perfect Parties are always planned.

You're throwing a party — you've picked the date, the time and the place. That's the easy part. Now come the tough questions: what to serve, how much to buy and how to make your guests feel comfortable.
Step 1: Select a theme
The easiest way to throw a party is to pick a theme and thread it through the entire event — invitations, food, drinks, decorations. Take inspiration from the holidays (for Christmas, throw a Feast of the Seven Fishes party), from your travels (recreate that Greek vacation), even from pop culture (retro Mad Men party, anyone?).Help your guests by wording your invite clearly. Serving just nibbles? Promise "light hors d'oeuvres." Including a roast? That's a "buffet dinner" or "cocktails and supper." And when it's a full-blown meal, you're throwing a dinner party!
Step 2: Decide on the menu
If you're serving passed hors d'oeuvres, figure three kinds (two of each per guest) for a two-hour party. Add a buffet with crudités (3/4 cup per person) and dip or salsa, at least three different types of cheese (three pounds per 20 people), crackers and fresh or dried fruit. Make it more substantial with a roast beef or ham for carving, four or five ounces per person — and consider reducing the hors d'oeuvres to one of each per guest.
Step 3: Set up the bar
It's always wise to buy more than you think you'll need — you'll use it eventually, and often you can return unopened bottles. Guidelines for a two-hour party:
  • Wine
    Buy one bottle per two people, a mix of red and white. For a festive touch, add an inexpensive sparkling wine like Spanish Cava.
  • Beer
    One case per 20 guests — increase if you know your crowd likes beer.
  • Spirits
    One liter of vodka, plus one liter of any other liquor per 20 people. Or offer just one memorable cocktail and pre-make pitchers. It's easier and much more fun. For winter, Nilsson suggests a Broken Leg: warm apple cider spiked with Captain Morgan spiced rum, a cinnamon stick and a splash of applejack or Calvados.
  • Mixers
    Three bottles for each liter of alcohol — club soda, tonic water and cranberry juice are classics.
  • Garnishes
    Four lemons and limes (pre-cut one of each into slices, and another into wedges), plus olives.
  • Soft drinks
    Offer cola, diet cola and ginger ale.
  • Ice
    You'll need at least one pound per person. 
Step 4: Gather your equipment
Pick up serving pieces at thrift shops or look throughout your home for items that can be repurposed: Thoroughly clean galvanized-tin garden trays, mirrors, baskets, bamboo steamers or even spare ceramic tiles, then line with parchment, napkins or food-safe foliage. Keep food hot in chafing dishes (you'll find disposable aluminum ones at party supply stores), slow cookers or warming trays — or hide a heating pad, set to low, beneath the tablecloth; place ceramic or metal trays on top. Refrigerate cold food until just before serving, then nestle platters on a bed of ice.

For dining, I recommend using the real thing, not plastic. It's both more elegant and more environmentally friendly. Buy stacks of dishes, cutlery and glasses at estate sales or thrift shops; they'll be inexpensive, you'll use them again and again, and a mix of patterns can be fun. Assume two glasses per person — the simplest is a combination of wine and highball glasses — and at least one plate per guest. If you're tight on space (or dread the post-party cleanup), buy disposables made of biodegradable or recycled materials. And don't forget the napkins! 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Phyllo Onion Rolls recipe

Happy Holidays and Happy Cooking from COOK LA!

Phyllo Onion Rolls This appetizer recipe also freeze beautifully before baking. Just bake them, while they are still frozen, for about another 10 minutes until golden brown.

  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups grated Gruyere or Provolone cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 18 (9" x 14") sheets frozen filo dough, thawed
  • More melted butter


In medium bowl, mix cream cheese and Gruyere. Set aside.
In heavy skillet, sauté onions in 1/4 cup butter until very soft and beginning to brown, 10-15 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook another 1 minute. Cool 20 minutes. Mix together onion mixture and cheese mixture and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Place one sheet filo dough on work surface. Brush with melted butter. Lay another sheet on top, brush with butter, and put one more sheet on top.
Take the onion mixture, divide it into six parts, and form a roll about 1 inch in diameter down one long edge of the stacked filo. Roll up carefully and place on cookie sheet. Brush thoroughly with more butter. Repeat with remaining filo and filling, making six rolls total. I place three rolls on each cookie sheet. Cover well with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F and remove the rolls from the refrigerator. Bake for 10-17 minutes or until rolls begin to brown and cheese filling melts. Let stand 5 minutes, then, using a very sharp knife, cut rolls into 1" pieces. Let cool for 5-10 minutes, then serve. Serves 8-10 - or 4-6, at my parties!
You can also freeze these rolls. Wrap well in freezer wrap, label, and freeze up to 3 months. To bake frozen rolls, place rolls on cookie sheets and bake at 375 degrees F for 15-23 minutes or until the rolls are beginning to brown and crisp and cheese melts. Proceed as directed above.