Monday, September 15, 2008

Homemade pickles

Pickles are easy to make. At least, they were once my girlfriend had taught me. You just need some sort of vinegary solution and some cucumbers. For added flavor, slice a few onions and throw them in too.

Cucumbers, sliced
Onion slices
Apple Cider Vinegar (although, I didn't have any and used 90% rice vinegar and 10% balsamic)
Water (equal parts to vinegar)
Salt and Pepper

Put them all in a tupperware or a bowl with a seal, and throw in the fridge overnight. The serve as a side to anything from burgers to brauts.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Guester Blog: Yo Soy!, Rosalind's a review

Here is a post from Liz, the author over at Yo Soy! the vegan blog of choice for Los Angeles. Well, at least the east side. She helped ring in The Food Monster's birthday.

When we asked The Food Monster what he wanted to do to celebrate his 24th year on the planet, he said all he wanted was to find an All-You-Can-Eat mecca. We all did a bit of research but didn't find anything that looked too appetizing (to my disbelief, I couldn't even find a decent looking all you can eat Indian buffet!!! Anyone know of a good one in town?! Preferably on the east side?). Further brainstorming brought us to the idea of Ethiopian Food. What better place to try Ethiopian for the first time than in Little Ethiopia?! With a little more research, we decided to make a rez for ten at Rosalind's.

Not all of the minions in our party were new to Ethiopian cuisine, but we still couldn't really figure out how the hell to order in a way that would satisfy everyone at the table. We ended up just having the waitress bring us three big sampler platters. While we waited, we ordered a couple bottles of vino, including a traditional Ethiopian honey wine which was crazy tasting. It was as if someone had emptied the entire contents of a plastic honey bear into the bottle and mixed in three or four drops of white wine. T'was definitely too sweet for me, but everyone else seemed to really enjoy it. As the food arrived, the vegetarians positioned themselves far from the carnivorous Food Monster and got to work chowing down on the veggie platter.

Ah but first there were the yam balls. This little app was basic but good enough--just balls of yam, lightly fried. Nothing to write home, or even blog, about. So on to the main digs...The platters each had a big huge crepe with dollops of various mushes which one eats with the bread that is provided. That's right baby--no utensils in Ethiopia--you have to tear off chunks of the bread, called enjera, to use as a scooper. Basically, this is a dieter's worst nightmare as it means you have to have a big load of white carbs every time you take a bite of anything. How do those Ethiopians stay so svelte?! The enjera is spongy and sour and has a texture that is strikingly similar to neoprene. So much so, that by the end of the meal we were saying "Hey Food Monster, quit hogging the wet suit!"

The dishes that came on the veggie sampler were collard greens, lentils in red pepper sauce, split peas with onions, steamed carrots, and a sort of pickled slaw. Basically everything tasted good but it was all just different variations on a mush theme. By the end of the meal I felt like I had eaten about twelve times as much bread as anything else. The more experienced Ethiopian diner's among us seemed to conclude that this wasn't the best example of the cuisine, but I think Ethiopian food may just not be for me. It's just a blander version of Indian. At the end of the day, there wasn't really enough substance to satiate all the people we had--just a whoooole lotta bread. Good thing The Food Monster had planned for our next stop on the b-day tour to be at Mashti Malone's!

Guest Blogger: John David, Sweet Frite!

A photo essay of Sweet Fr îtes Part 2 can be seen here.

Sweet Fr î tes!

So now that everyone’s closeted away all their white and come to terms with the dwindling days of summer, I thought I’d finally write my guest blog post on our labor day cookout…now only ten days too late J

The Labor Day weekend up at our little hill-top hideaway was eventful. On Sunday, the whole gang participated in an annual Echo Park Scavenger Hunt—legs were shaven, tattoos were inked, and certain teammates wound up making out in a dumpster. L.A. fun at its finest.

Needless to say, we were all a tad tuckered come Monday. And so the idea of a cookout met only half-hearted enthusiasm and ill-attempts at actually putting together an official mayview barbeque. But of course, the evening rolled around, the food monster and his goons got hungry, and we decided to throw together a late-night, labor day cookout.

One trip to Von’s and one disgruntled phone call to the Von’s manager later—don’t ever solicit a food monster on an empty stomach—and we were back in the compound kitchen, cooking up a spread of Labor Day deliciousness. Uncle Cray made his carnivorous burger bliss; the food monster stirred up some sweet sangria, per my request J; and I tried my hand at hamburger sans viande…a.k.a homemade veggie burgers.

But my pride and joy was beside the soy on my plate: the homemade side sweet potato fries. And so I’ll keep my first guest blog post short and sweet. I know you’re all on the edge of your seats, mouths-watering and patience-waning. Without further ado, the recipe for the perfect post scavenger-hunt, oh golly I have to go to work tomorrow with no eyebrows, late-night, bittersweet, labor day’s almost over and we’re not gonna get another long weekend ‘till thanksgiving, Sweet Fr î tes Sweet Potato Fries:


· 4 or 5 Large Sweet Potatoes

· Olive Oil

· Honey

· Cinnamon

· Sea Salt


· Slice the Sweet Potatoes into hefty slices, based on the particular size fry you fancy.

· Scatter the slices across a greased baking sheet.

· Generously shower the wedges in olive oil.

· Bake at around 375-400 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

· 5-10 minutes before removing from the oven, swizzle honey over your wedges and powder them with cinnamon and sea salt.

· Remove, let cool, and enjoy.


I spoke in an earlier post of Sangria. John David requested that I bring the concoction to our Labor Day Cookout. Which incidentally was basically another family dinner. Here is what I threw together. 1 Bottle of Charles Shaw Chardonnay
1 Glass of Angel's Juice White Wine (Leftovers)
Orange Rind
Orange Chunks
Mango Chunks
Frozen Strawberries
Orange Juice from Concentrate
Lemon Rind
Lemon Juice
Agave Nectar
Sparkling Water
After mixing all of the ingredients, I put it in the fridge to chill and for about 30 minutes, then served with the fruits of Uncle Cray's Hamburger Bliss.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


The best thing about going to a MLB game is definitely the food. Now while I haven't been since I was around 14, I can always pretend, in doing so, Stadium style brautwurst is what I bring you today. I like to simmer mine in beer, saurkraut and onions. To start things off I sliced a whole white onion and added 2 TBS of minced garlic. Then I sauteed the mixture and split it up into a baby pot for the vegan brautwurst (you can find them in Von's), and real brauts. I had two different kinds of Brauts, stadium-style, which I assume means untouched and normal, and then brauts with pieces of cheddar inside, so when they are fully heated up, you have gooey melted cheese flavoring it from the inside.

I used a cheap beer in Foster's, which isn't actually anywhere close to Australian for beer, and an Oatmeal Stockyard which was in my fridge and Joe hadn't consumed yet. I added the beer and saurkraut and simmered the brauts for about 20 minutes,then I removed the brauts with tongues and put them in a pan on high heat to sear in the goodness and brown the outside.Seared Vegan Brauts

Then I drained most of the beer out of the saurkraut and onion mixture, and returned the brauts to keep warm until they were served. Vegan Brauts, returned to saurkraut

I love them with mustard, mayo, ketchup, and some cheese sprinkled on top. Here, one is shown with mustard, cheese, and homemade pickeld cucumbers and onions. Which my girlfriend taught me how to make and I will share in a future post.
Get out there and pretend you are at a game, and enjoy!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Guest Blog: Housemate Joe: The Oinkster, a review

As featured on

My house mate Joe decided to try his hand at food blogging. For awhile, everyone around him had one, and he had considered starting an anti-food blog, the problem was he likes to eat everyday. Anyhow, here is his review of the Eagle Rock restaurant, The Oinkster.

Hello internet –

If you didn’t already know, it was the Food Monsters’ birthday on Sunday, and after spending the previous evening in a monster-mandated cyclone of Ethiopian food, Persian ice cream, and long-winded, occasionally disturbing party games, the monster and I gathered ourselves together on his birthday afternoon and embarked on a late day lunch quest.

I had heard stories of a hamburger renaissance in Eagle Rock and thought Sunday would be just the time to see what all the nonsense was really all about. A message board on recommended The Oinkster, a “slow fast food” restaurant on Colorado Blvd. and, with the help of the monster’s trusty GPS device and my hastily scrawled directions, we took off in search of a delicious burger.

[Photo Courtesy of Flickr]

However, once there, we decided to blow off our original hamburger idea and try some of the other, more interesting items on the menu. First, we got the Oinkster pastrami sandwich,

which came topped with Gruyere cheese, caramelized onions and red cabbage slaw. While it was a little pricey for your typical fast food meal ($8.99 for the sandwich, $11.99 if you want the combo meal), the meat was so perfectly tender and flavorful that the sandwich would not have been out of place if served at a much “fancier-style” restaurant. You know, the kind where men have to wear tuxedos, women have to wear ball gowns, and all of the waiters have chandeliers instead of hands. Everybody knows those kinds of restaurants, right? Anyway, moving on…

Next, we got the pulled pork sandwich ($6.99), which the menu described as being “brined with soy and honey then slowly roasted and smoked” and topped with red cabbage slaw, caramelized onions and Carolina BBQ sauce. It was exceptionally tasty with the pork itself being very high quality and well prepared. The monster pointed out that he didn’t think it measured up very well to authentic Eastern North Carolina-style BBQ. I told him to shut up and we proceeded to slap fight in the restaurant for the next forty-five minutes. It was really embarrassing. Anyway, in the end, I think we both agreed it was still a good choice considering how rare good, carefully made BBQ is to find in Los Angeles. [The Food Monster: I meant, in a comparison with Eastern NC BBQ it would be considered terrible. If you put it up against a normal sandwich, exceptional]

Both sandwiches came with a side of Belgian fries, which were fresh, crispy, and -- if the Food Monster is to be believed -- authentically Belgian. Oinkster also apparently makes all of their own sauces, including a couple different variations of ketchup and mustard, which were good for dipping the fries. [From top to bottom: A combination of honey mustard and The Oinkster mustard, BBQ Sauce, The Oinkster Ketchup]

The menu also lists a garlic aioli sauce and a lime mayonnaise but we didn’t get a chance to try either of those. [The Food Monster: Having the lime Mayonnaise would have helped the Belgian fries in there authenticity, still, they tasted like how I remember them.]

The “slow fast food” slogan made me think that we could be waiting a while for our meal, but it arrived about only 5 or 10 minutes after we ordered, though I’m sure the wait time can be longer if the place is crowded. Also, I wish we could’ve tried the angus beef burger (which is seems to be a signature item), or the Oinksterade (their combination of lemonade and orange juice), or any of the several beers they had on tap (including one of my favorites, Arrogant Bastard), but I needed to keep the F.M. out of a food coma so that he could drive us back home.

Overall -- and I don’t know if this counts as official “Food Monster” opinion -- I thought it was a great meal and definitely worth the trek over to Eagle Rock if you’re in the mood for a good sandwich. Consider The Oinkster Food Monster roommate approved! [The Food Monster: As well as TFM approved!]

The Oinkster

2005 Colorado Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90041

I hope you enjoyed Housemate Joe's approach to food blogging. I did, almost as much as the meal itself. I would like to try one of their Milkshakes next time, but the Ice Cream maker I got for my birthday, from Housemate Joe, Von Scrumptious and her little brother, should keep me at home for awhile.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Mushroom Basil Goat Cheese Pizza

Mushroom Basil Goat Cheese Pizza

We got the hankering for some pizza one night. I will tell this story through pictures, the final products being from two different nights. The Pizza sauce made two pizzas, we used 2 crusts. . Ingredients came from Trader Joe's.

Mushrooms, cleaned, sliced, sauteed with minced Garlic
Basil, cleaned, ripped
TJ's Whole Wheat Crust, rolled out according to directions
TJ's pizza sauce Mushrooms and Garlic
Herb Crusted Goat Cheese from TJ's
Shredded Whole Milk Mozzarella

1/4 of the pizza was made without the cheeses for the Vegan that ate with us.

For an a little something extra,
rub a drizzle of Olive Oil into the crust, then a few drops of Honey, and a sprinkle of Cinnamon, which gives a slight sweetness to the crust and balances out any savory pizza.


- The Food Monster

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Base White Sauce Recipe

Here is a great white sauce base recipe, that will have you eating more pasta. Just add creativity.

1 part Butter
1 cup Milk (may need more)
1 cup Flour

Start by getting your ingredients ready, then start cooking your pasta according to its directions.
Then with equal parts, I used 4 TBS of each, add the butter to a non-stick pan until it is just melted. Add your flour until it is well coated.
Then slowly pour in your milk while stirring, once you add the milk, you want to keep stirring throughout the rest of the process. Your mixture should look like this.
If it is too thick, add some more milk and keep stirring, I used up 2 cups total. The goal is to have it simmer with bubbles popping for 1 minute, then once it gets to the consistency you like you can remove it from heat and serve. To spruce things up a bit, I sauteed up some Broccoli and Peas in a pan and added them to the pasta dish. I used enough water to cover the bottom of the pan, so the broccoli could absorb some of it. To finish off the meal, I plated it and put some Quatrro Formaggio cheese on top and some chopped tomatoes. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Town and Country - a Review

Town and Country was a recent place we stopped to get some brunch. Located in the Silver Lake area of Sunset, it has a nice feel to it, with outdoor seating and a deli case featuring lots of goodies.

The other good thing about this place was the awesome blackberry jam/preserves/compote/concotion.
Unfortunately, that's where the good parts ended. It wasn't a hectic morning, half of the tables were empty and we were lucky enough to get two waiters. They were both unattentative at best and we couldn't figure out which one was the real waiter. It took a long time to get an extra set of silverware, I had to get up to get some salt from a table across the room that nobody was using and to top it off, they could only accept two forms of payment. Either Cash and one card, or two cards and no cash, but definitely not 5 cards.

Listen, we are trying to pay you money, if you do not have the means to accept it, i.e. no credit card machine then that's one thing, call yourselves cash only, but if you are half empty and can't take the money that I want to give you, then don't charge for the meal.

I skipped one part, the food, it was pretty good, despite it being overpriced, and outrageously priced for add-ons.
The tiny fruit salad cup that comes with the pancakesdoesn't even come with it unless you ask for it. I understand you are trying to save money and all, but at least accompany the pancakes with it, as somebody else at the table will probably eat the poorly assembled blend of melons. While I am at it, making the $5-6 pancakes cost an extra $3-4 for an egg and some bacon on the side is a bit much don't you think?

The other people at my table got some sort of breakfast burrito which wasn't bad, and what appears to be eggs and avocado.
I can't exactly pinpoint what it was, but there were a lot of things off about this place, and you should never leave with several bad tastes in your mouth. I rate this place slightly above average for the food, poor for service, below average for value and the experience. If you have the guts to venture in here, let me know how it goes, otherwise save yourself the trouble and money and walk down the street in either direction and find something better.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Guest Blog: Uncle Cray, Hamburger Bliss

Today's Guest Blog was written by my housemate Craig, who decided to go by the pseudonym Uncle Cray in his Hamburger recipe post entitled "Hamburger Bliss". Without further introduction, here is Uncle Cray's Hamburger Bliss.

Uncle Cray here, writing my first ever blog of any kind. I've got a quick recipe for some hamburgers that are so good you'll spit on a vegan passing by in the street for missing out on this true Hamburger bliss. Anyway, here goes...
Start with whatever amount of hamburger meat [ground] you want. Add enough Worchestershire sauce to soak the meat. Well saturated is the goal, not dripping wet with the stuff, the meat should smell like the sauce or the flavor won't survive the grilling, and you DON'T want that.

Next add about a spoonful or two of minced garlic or garlic powder and/or Mrs. Dash will do the trick.
Next chop up half of an onion (or more depending on your taste), doesn't matter if it's red, yellow or white, although I prefer red. Add this to the meat and hand mix, making sure the garlic, onions, and any other mixins that you desire are evenly distributed throughout the meat.

Finally, add in three or four shakes of pepper to complete the concoction, hand mix thoroughly again.
Now that the meat is mixed you're ready to grill. Make sure the grill isn't on too high or you'll end up with hockey puck burgers. I'm sure you aren't down for eating hockey pucks unless you hail from Canada or Detroit like Yo Soy!
Make sure also that you don't squish the patties down on the grill or you're just gonna squeeze out all that delicious Worchestershire sauce flavor, and possibly scorch the meat too when the sauce causes huge flames to rise and burn your burgers...this ain't Burger King people, no flame broilin' necessary, only krunkliciousness. So, for lazy folk here's the simple recipe laid out in short bus form for all to enjoy.

Hamburger meat: evenly mix in minced garlic and/or garlic powder, worchestershire sauce, pepper, chopped onion....then grill to perfection and enjoy. The amounts of each ingredient aren't scientific, it's purely a personal choice, just make sure to account that a bit extra is perfect as some of the flavor cooks out on the grill, although I've found a George Forman grill is a bit better about keeping the flavah.
Anyway, there you have it, Uncle Cray's Hamburger Bliss, coming in via The Food Monster, this is Uncle Cray saying "food is good eatin', Family Guy is bad writing". Mwaaa Haahaa!

There you have it, a simple hamburger recipe that roused the crowd here last night at our labor day Barbeque. You can look forward to recipes for Sangria and Sweet Potato Fries (pictured above).

Monday, September 1, 2008

Broccoli, Pea, Tomato Omelet with Avocado and Rye Bagel

I made pasta with white sauce, and threw in some broccoli and peas. I over estimated the amount of veggies to use, and ended up with a large container of leftovers, which fueled my broccoli and pea omelet craze.I cut up some tomatoes, threw in a small handful of broccoli and peas, 2 eggs, splash of milk, salt, pepper, quattro formaggio cheese, and a tsp of Garlic. In a bowl I whisked with a fork until well blended.

My pan was at medium heat and in went the omelet mixture:
After one flip and a little bit longer to cook, The omelet came out of the pan. While it was cooking I had prepped a rye bagel, with melted butter and seedless boysenberry jam, and a ripe avocado.
But really, you can have any bagel, with any condiment, a side of your choice, and any combination of omelet ingredients and you would end up with a healthy great tasting breakfast.

LinkWithin Related Stories Widget for Blogs