Tag Archives: interview

On The Front Porch Interview

WhitneyBond.com Blogoversary Photo Shoot

{Photo by Stacy Keck Photo}

As I prepare for the official WhitneyBond.com Rebranding Party tomorrow night, I felt like this was the perfect time to get to know a little more about me!

I recently became part of the Porch.com blogger program and they were nice enough to include me in their “On The Front Porch” blogger interview series!

Read the full post here!

Introducing Erin, Coordinator of Leopard Mayhem

Erin4

Hey Little Leopard Book lovers. Erin here, the new intern around the Little Leopard Book offices. All summer long I’ll be coming at you with the latest health tips, recipe tricks, and all of the fun posts that I can think of! For my first post, we thought it was only fitting to introduce a little bit about myself. After all, I have a feeling we’re going to become very good friends. I grew up in Northern California in the East Bay town of San Ramon.

While I loved growing up in “the bay”, college seemed like the perfect opportunity to try out life in the most perfect city on Earth… you guessed it, San Diego! I just finished my 4th year at San Diego State University where I was a member of the Epsilon Sigma Chapter of Delta Gamma Fraternity. While a DG I held the positions of both social chair and president. I graduated from SDSU with a Bachelor’s degree in political science. While I loved my political science degree, I recently realized I wasn’t the perfect fit for a career in law or politics. That’s when I decided to switch it up! I will be attending the University of Southern California this fall to pursue my M.A. in journalism. For now I am spending the summer in San Diego and having as much fun as I can learning and playing at Little Leopard Book! I am so excited to get to know all of you following LLB and hope you enjoy reading my posts as much as I enjoy writing them.

Erin5

Why I love Little Leopard Book:

Little Leopard Book truly is optional eating. Whether you’re a full time vegetarian, a lover of buffalo sauce, or conducting a trial run of the paleo diet, there is something for you. There are an extensive variety of recipes that are both easy and fun to make!

What is my favorite type of food?

My boyfriend jokes that my favorite food is avocado mainly because I put it on absolutely everything! While he may be right, I would say my favorite type of food is Italian. One day I hope to travel through Italy, or rather eat my way from city to city. They know what they are doing! I can’t wait to try the LLB Italian Crab Cakes!

crab cakes, italian style crab cakes, easy crab cakes, simple crab cake recipe

 What do I like to do during my free time?

When I’m not coordinating mayhem at LLB, I love to spend time with my family and friends. I like anything that involves being outdoors. I’ll try anything once, I love seeking out new experiences, and meeting new people. You can find me browsing farmers markets, shopping in Pacific Beach (and spending way too much), or running along Mission Bay. I also love finding cool new restaurants and trying all types of craft beer. San Diego is one of the top beer cities in the world, have to take advantage of it right?

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 What is my favorite LLB recipe?

As you have probably noticed, here at LLB we have a slight buffalo sauce obsession, including myself. The buffalo sauce recipes are definitely my favorite and I am making it my mission to try all of them, starting with the Buffalo Chicken Burger.

 Buffalo Chicken Burger Recipe

What is my favorite dish to make?

I don’t necessarily have a favorite dish I like to make, but I do have a favorite cooking holiday. My first attempt at cooking was three years ago when I decided I no longer wanted the family plethora of casseroles at Thanksgiving. I took on the holiday (besides pulling, who knows what, out of the uncooked turkey) by myself and decided to begin my own search for recipes. From that point forward, Thanksgiving in my household has been known as my thing. It is what first inspired me to try cooking and every year I continue the search for new flavors and healthy alternatives to traditional Thanksgiving eats.  I can’t wait to try Little Leopard Book’s Cranberry Glazed Turkey Breast this year!

Cranberry Glazed Turkey, Turkey Breast, Cranberry Glaze, Thanksgiving Turkey, Christmas Turkey, Cranberry Turkey Breast Recipe

Feel free to tweet me with any of your other questions @ErinAshMacLeod!  Looking forward to hanging with you all this summer!

Chef Inspired Dish: Bailiwick, Grilled Oysters

Grilled Oysters with Jalapeño Thyme Sake Reduction

After reviewing the delicious Brunch at Bailiwick, I knew I had to return for my next “Chef Inspired Dish” segment with Chef Konstantin Plavnik!

Instead of brunch, we decided to re-create their most popular happy hour and dinner menu item, the Grilled Oysters with Thyme, Sake, Jalapeño Brown Butter.  Check it out!

Ingredients for Grilled Oysters

Ingredients

  • 6 large oysters
  • 2 tbsp sake
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1/2 jalapeño (de-seeded & minced)
  • 4 slivers manchego cheese

Begin by shucking the oysters.

Next, add the sake to a small skillet over medium heat, cook until the sake begins to bubble then remove from the heat.

In a separate pan, add the butter and melt, next add the thyme and jalapeños. Brown the butter for 2 minutes. Bring the sake back up to a boil, then add the butter.

Jalapeño Sake Thyme Sauce

Next place the oysters on a grill over high heat. Spoon the sauce over the oysters,  cover and cook for 10-12 minutes.

Flame Grilled Oysters

Don’t worry if they catch a little flame, that’s supposed to happen 🙂

Add the cheese on top of the oysters, cover and grill for an additional minute, then remove from the grill and serve.

Grilled Oysters

Grilled Oysters with Jalapeño Butter

For my first Grilled Oyster experience, this one was epic!

Grilled Oysters with Sake Jalapeño Reduction

Thank you to Chef Konstantin Plavnik, Ali Grant of Be Social Public Relations and everyone at Bailiwick! Also a special thanks to the amazing videography work of Eric Lingle at Web Video Solutions.

To enjoy these delicious Grilled Oysters prepared by Chef Konstantin, visit Bailiwick at 756 5th Avenue San Diego, CA 92101.

Chef Inspired Dish, Quality Social: Vegetarian Barley Stuffed Squash

risotto style barley, mushroom barley, stuffed squash, barley squash, vegetable stuffed squash, winter vegetables, vegetarian dish, recipes, food

Before the New Year I had the pleasure of meeting, interviewing and cooking with Chef Dustin Beckner of Quality Social, Downtown San Diego.

I had the idea to incorporate “Chef Inspired Dishes” into Little Leopard Book a few months before and after working with Quality Social on several Boys & Girls Club Events, like the Scavenger Hunt this summer, I was able to set up an interview with their extremely talented chef.

Unfortunately trying to be the cameraman, host and interviewer proved to be a difficult feat, so please excuse any awkwardness in the video!  (And don’t worry, I’ve partnered with a video producer for my next segment 😉 )

I’ve broken the two dishes down into two different posts, so here is the first “Chef Inspired Dish” recipe for Vegetarian Barley Stuffed Squash, also check out the Roasted Chicken recipe here!

Here’s a shot of the ingredients at Quality Social and my ingredients at home.  I was able to pick up a couple of ingredients from Suzie’s Farm at the Little Italy Mercato this weekend, which Chef Dustin mentions in the video is where they get a lot of their produce!

risotto style barley, mushroom barley, stuffed squash, barley squash, vegetable stuffed squash, winter vegetables, vegetarian dish, recipes, food

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 3 tsp Basil Oil (divided)
  • 1/2 cup crimini mushrooms (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup carrots (sliced)
  • 1/2 cup pearl onions
  • 1 cup brussels sprouts (steamed)
  • 1/2 cup broccolini
  • 1/4 cup spinach

Begin by slicing the squash in half, removing the seeds and placing cut side up on a baking sheet.

risotto style barley, mushroom barley, stuffed squash, barley squash, vegetable stuffed squash, winter vegetables, vegetarian dish, recipes, food

Next, place into a 350° oven for 25 minutes.

If you have trouble cutting the squash in half via either strength of arm or power of knife (I think my problem was a little bit of both 😉 )  then place the whole squash in the oven for 10 minutes, remove, slice in half, then place back in the oven for an additional 15 minutes.

While the squash is cooking, begin preparing the barley, risotto style.

Start by adding 1 tsp of basil oil to a skillet over medium heat, next add the chopped mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes.  While the mushrooms are cooking, heat the vegetable stock to a boil in another pot.

Next, add the barley to the pan and begin ladling the stock 1/2 cup at a time into the mushrooms and barley until the liquid is absorbed (just like risotto!)

risotto style barley, mushroom barley, stuffed squash, barley squash, vegetable stuffed squash, winter vegetables, vegetarian dish, recipes, food

Continue ladling the stock into the barley until they are soft to taste, about 15 minutes.

risotto style barley, mushroom barley, stuffed squash, barley squash, vegetable stuffed squash, winter vegetables, vegetarian dish, recipes, food

While preparing the barley, put your multi-tasking pants on and prepare the vegetables.

Add 1 tsp of basil oil to a skillet over medium heat, then add the brussels sprouts, carrots and pearl onions. Sauté for 5 minutes, then add the broccolini and 1/4 cup of water to lightly steam the vegetables. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the spinach and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.

risotto style barley, mushroom barley, stuffed squash, barley squash, vegetable stuffed squash, winter vegetables, vegetarian dish, recipes, food

At this point, the squash should be ready to come out of the oven, barley should be cooked perfectly and ready to fill the squash and the vegetables should be ready to top the dish!

For the final step, drizzle an additional tsp of basil oil on top, then you’re ready to dig in!

risotto style barley, mushroom barley, stuffed squash, barley squash, vegetable stuffed squash, winter vegetables, vegetarian dish, recipes, food

This was my version of the dish prepared at home!

risotto style barley, mushroom barley, stuffed squash, barley squash, vegetable stuffed squash, winter vegetables, vegetarian dish, recipes, food

And this was Chef Dustin’s version that I photographed at Quality Social after he prepared it for the video!

risotto style barley, mushroom barley, stuffed squash, barley squash, vegetable stuffed squash, winter vegetables, vegetarian dish, recipes, food

Hopefully I made him proud with my re-creation of his delicious seasonal vegetarian dish!

risotto style barley, mushroom barley, stuffed squash, barley squash, vegetable stuffed squash, winter vegetables, vegetarian dish, recipes, food

risotto style barley, mushroom barley, stuffed squash, barley squash, vegetable stuffed squash, winter vegetables, vegetarian dish, recipes, food

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: Substitute risotto rice or lentils to make this dish gluten-free.

Vegetarian Barley Stuffed Squash

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Serving Size: 2

Vegetarian Barley Stuffed Squash

Ingredients

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 3 tsp basil oil (divided)
  • 1/2 cup crimini mushrooms (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup carrots (sliced)
  • 1/2 cup pearl onions
  • 1 cup brussels sprouts (steamed)
  • 1/2 cup broccolini
  • 1/4 cup spinach

Instructions

  1. Begin by slicing the squash in half, removing the seeds and placing cut side up on a baking sheet.
  2. Next, place into a 350° oven for 25 minutes.
  3. If you have trouble cutting the squash in half place the whole squash in the oven for 10 minutes, remove, slice in half, then place back in the oven for an additional 15 minutes.
  4. While the squash is cooking, begin preparing the barley, risotto style.
  5. Start by adding 1 tsp of basil oil to a skillet over medium heat, next add the chopped mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes. While the mushrooms are cooking, heat the vegetable stock to a boil in another pot.
  6. Next, add the barley to the pan and begin ladling the stock 1/2 cup at a time into the mushrooms and barley until the liquid is absorbed (just like risotto!)
  7. Continue ladling the stock into the barley until they are soft to taste, about 15 minutes.
  8. While preparing the barley, prepare the vegetables.
  9. Add 1 tsp of basil oil to a skillet over medium heat, then add the brussels sprouts, carrots and pearl onions. Sauté for 5 minutes, then add the broccolini and 1/4 cup of water to lightly steam the vegetables. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the spinach and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  10. At this point, the squash should be ready to come out of the oven, barley should be cooked perfectly and ready to fill the squash and the vegetables should be ready to top the dish.
  11. For the final step, drizzle an additional tsp of basil oil on top.
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