Avocado Toast-8

Today, I have a recipe for you for my series Breakfast in Bed for the Joie de Vivre Hotels.  I am always making avocado toast, and thought this was the perfect pair for a most perfect hotel, the Hotel Vitale in San Francisco. This hotel is right on the water on the Embarcadero, and is a great place to act as home-base for your travels in SF.

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In the heart of San Francisco, within walking distance to the Ferry Building (with an amazing farmers market several days a week) or a quick cab to Fisherman’s Wharf, this modern hotel has everything you need to feel luxurious and equally at home. With so much to do nearby, I figured a breakfast that’s quick, hearty, but also light was the way to go. Plus, I wanted to create a truly Californian breakfast, inspired by the produce of the state and of course, the sourdough bread from San Francisco that’s unparalleled – there’s just nothing like a fresh loaf of sourdough from the city.

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This avocado toast brings in what I found locally, but feel free to play with your toppings – that’s what summer produce is all about! Find some great tomatoes? Pile ‘em on. Those radishes looking particularly good? Those work too. Mix and match because the more flavor, the better – just don’t forget a hearty layer of avocado first, with enough salt and pepper to spice it up! I choose a mix of goat cheese, fresh tomatoes, radishes, micro greens, and sweet peppers. For the full recipe, head over to the Joie de Vivre blog, here!


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Lemonade and Iced Tea | Garlic, My Soul

Is it hot where you are? Here in LA, the heat has been creeping above 100 for several days, and then yesterday the heat wave broke (haha, and was 95 instead of 108.) It’s always a challenge to get enough water around these parts, especially when there’s cold beer in the fridge and sugary teas calling my name – or better yet, a really cold juice! Which is great and all, but I was in need of something I could sip without feeling too guilty to help me drink more!

Lemonade and Iced Tea | Garlic, My Soul Lemonade and Iced Tea | Garlic, My Soul

Enter this Mint Lemonade, paired with some Mango Black Iced Tea, with of course some mixing for good measure. Because who doesn’t like an Arnold Palmer? Plus, going halfsies means you can have more glasses of each…right?! Isn’t that how it works? I’d like to think so.

I am a huge iced tea person, and could drink unsweetened iced tea at every meal. So I was happy to find the Mango Tea at Trader Joe’s – a little flavor without adding any sugar – bless! To make iced tea, you just brew as usual then ice, so no recipe needed for that folks – the hardest part is the wait.

Because the tree in my backyard has been overgrown with lemons, I had to make lemonade. I added mint because there’s just something so summery about mint, but you can use basil, or rosemary, or thyme, or really any herb you want to add a little something to your lemonade.

Keep a pitcher of each of these in your fridge all summer, and I promise you that your friends that come over will be happy that you’ve got something besides water. I promise it’ll make dinner time a little more fun, and it’ll make getting all the liquid you should all day easy peasy. Plus, what’s better to sip on when eating a cheese plate and reading Outlander (have you guys read it? I’m really into it.) Recipe below! Tell me what you guys are drinking to keep yourself cool this summer!

Type: Sipping Slowly
Author: Jennie
Difficulty: Easy

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bunch mint, leaves torn
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • water

Directions

  1. Make simple syrup: mix water and sugar together in a sauce pan over medium heat, until sugar dissolves.

  2. Add mint leaves, and turn off heat. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, then remove mint leaves, and allow to cool.

  3. Meanwhile, juice lemons - it depends on how many lemons you have to get to 1 cup...mine only took like 3. I got big lemons, y'all.

  4. Once your simple syrup is cool, fill a pitcher with us, then simple syrup, lemon juice, and then water to taste.

  5. Serve cold over ice, or mix half and half with iced tea!

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Shrimp Tacos with Roasted Corn-13

I love tacos. As someone who now lives in LA, all I ever want to east is tacos. When I’m truly hangry, I crave tacos. After a long hike? Tacos. Too hot to eat? Tacos. I love tacos of all kinds, but my favorite has to be really good shrimp tacos.

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These are a great dinner to make quickly if it’s 100 degrees (like it is here) and you don’t want to turn the oven on. I definitely have not wanted to turn the oven on all week – there is an excessive heat warning here, for god’s sake! I’m lucky to even be cooking in the first place, I say, and this is something that doesn’t require making my kitchen into a hell hole first.

You can make these shrimp on kebabs on the grill, even. I love piling on the veggies and the cabbage and salsa and serving nice and hot. The lime, sumac, and veggies all pair really nicely. You can also serve this over salad with chips. Dealer’s choice.

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I made these with roasted corn, pepper, and onions, and it was the perfect crunchy to savory dish. You could use pico de gallo, too, or arugula, or any myriad of veggies for this easy dinner dish!

Type: Lunch, Main Course, Quick Meals
Author: Jennie
Difficulty: Intermediate

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 24 shrimp
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sumac
  • olive oil
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup roasted veggies
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • s/p

Directions

  1. Start by making your roasted veggies. I recommend using my recipe for peppers, onions, and roasted corn.

  2. Cook your shrimp in a cast iron with a little olive oil, your cumin and sumac. Cook until the shrimp are translucent.

  3. Warm up your tortillas.

  4. Assemble tacos: I prefer about four shrimp per taco. Serve shrimp with veggies, cabbage, and plenty of salsa, salt and pepper to taste, and a lime wedge.

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Shrimp Tacos with Roasted Corn-1

So, now that I gave you something with chopped onion, I wanted to give you one of my favorite kitchen hacks. I am pretty sure that my friend Kelly taught me this first and it blew my mind. I still chop EVERY onion this way, and I have never cried again as a result. Even with red onions. It is magical, and I think you need it in your life.

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OK, so here we go. 1) Obviously peel your onion until it’s shiny-looking. Cut it in half but LEAVE THE ROOT INTACT. This is a crucial step, folks. See above.

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OK, so 2) you’re going to make cuts in your onion TOWARDS the root vertically, continuing to leave the root intact. As you can see above, I got like 6-7 slices in – do what you can. The first couple of times, you might only get 3-4; remember your fingers are more valuable than the onion, so be careful.

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Next up, 3) chop 2-3 (MAYBE 4 if you get lucky) TOWARDS the root horizontally, as you see above. This is the most dangerous probably – use a SHARP knife, and make sure to put your hand on TOP of the onion. Go slow. Take your time. You got this, and this will still be so much faster than any other way to chop an onion.

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4) Your last step is simply to chop the onion, starting at the outside and working toward the root, as you would normally chop. Since you’ve already made two other cuts, as you chop you’re really just completing the dice!

That’s it. It takes like two minutes (with some practice) and there is less chopping which means less onion in the air, which means less crying! Now, go forth and use your onion chopping knowledge to make the roasted corn, onion, and peppers from yesterday, or some pico de gallo.


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Shrimp Tacos with Roasted Corn-14

During the summer, so many veggies are in season and I want to eat it all. I also don’t really want to cook, because it’s so hot and I’ve got better things to do (like sit in the backyard drinking lemonade and reading a book, am I right?)

This recipe is born from wanting to put all the veggies on everything. It’s easy and it goes on everything, so start adding it to everything you make. It’s also three vegetables and that’s it, so it’s hard to even call it a recipe, but the recipe’s below anyways. You can put these on top of pretty much any dinner and it’ll instantly level it up. You can cook this but I like leaving the onion and pepper raw.

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Put this on your Steak Fajitas.

Or your Fish Tacos.

Or on your Taco Salad. You get the idea. And, if you’re still having trouble, I’ll have some Shrimp Tacos later this week for you to try these on that are the perfect pairing.

Play with this one, folks – use a jalapeno instead of a bell pepper; add cilantro, if you want. You could even just make pico de gallo and add roasted corn. Or add salsa to this and serve it as a dip. So versatile! So colorful! All the veggies. The perfect start to a summer party….now where are those chips?

Type: Grill, On The Side
Author: Jennie
Oven Temperature: 450°
Difficulty: Easy

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 ear of corn
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 lime
  • pinch cayenne
  • s/p

Directions

  1. Turn your oven to 450. Lightly oil your ear of corn, then stick in the oven wrapped in tinfoil for 20-25 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, dice your onion and bell pepper.

  3. Juice your lime.

  4. When the corn is done, carefully chop it off the cob. Then, mix lime juice, corn, pepper, and onion in a bowl. Salt and pepper and pinch with cayenne. Serve as a side, on tacos, roast meats, etc.

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