Back to Basics

Salmon & Curry Sauce and Roasted Beets-Duo Dishes

It is not hard to be a foodie. We live it, and we love it.  But there can be downfalls–pits and traps that make it hard along the way.  They come in the form of baked goods, fried food, creamy dips and bacon-wrapped anything.   Our lovely Diva at Beach Eats summed it up best in Fact Two of her special report on the life of a food blogger.    It can be a struggle.  A struggle for real!  We like to cook and eat and share our cooking with friends, so they can eat it too.   Sometimes we may be doing everyone a slight disservice, although no one wants to admit that.  Well we will today, here on this blog!  That being said, we had to take a break from the desserts, treats and snacks that we do love to make from time to time (back away from the butter!) and showcase a full meal packed with protein, fiber, beta-carotenes and healthy fats.  Yes, there is such a thing as healthy fats.  At least that makes us feel better about leaving our butter behind.
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Easy as 1-2-3

PB & J-Duo Dishes
Some things in life are so simple it just seems wrong.  Making peanut butter is now on top of that list.  If you’ve never made peanut butter at home before, don’t worry we’re going to break it down for you.  Okay ready?

1. Deskinned peanuts of your choice + 2. a food processor = 3. fresh peanut butter!

We know how you feel. This should be wrong, right?

It’s absolutely astounding how simple it is!  Just throw whatever kind of nuts you want in the processor, hit the power button, and walk away.  Polish your nails, pet the dog, call Mom, whatever.  When you return in two minutes or so, you’ll have fresh peanut butter waiting for you.  And good peanut butter at that.  Peanut butter without the hydrogenated oils, extra sodium, sugar, high fructose corn syrup and Lurd Jebus knows what else.  Just nuts in your nut butter (of course we won’t stop you from adding whatever extra it is you want).  As it turns out, last fall we discovered making your own version of jelly is just as easy.  Throw the berries of your choice in a pan with a bit of water (or wine if you’re like us) and let it reduce.  Add a little sugar for good measure if you like.  Then boom.  You have good ‘ol jelly.

Cookies & Bars

Not Just for Entertainment

Amaretto Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches--Duo Dishes

It’s true: we love watching The Food Network just as much as the next foodie.  You’re flipping through the channels, and next think you know Tyler Florence is making crab cakes.  Omg, they look so good!  What kind of spices does he use?  Does he bake  or fry?  We gotta know!  Mainly, so when we make them ourselves (which will probably happen that same night), and so we can add our own Duo specialness to them (no offense Tyler–sure yours are bangin’ though).  Who doesn’t like watching Paula add a stick of butter to everything?  Or see Ina bust out her Kitchen Aid?  That’s all well and good, but there’s really only one reason to watch these personalities for us–the food!  If you’re not going to cook it, what’s the point?  And watching Food Network just gets us so excited to cook whatever it is they’re cookin’ on the TV.  It’s only a matter of time before seeing all the fresh, savory, beautiful foods sizzle, pop, and shine before the television is clicked off and the cooking apron is tied on.  That’s right.  We use aprons, and they’re monogrammed too.
Special Events

Do You Like to Drink Eat and Play?


We always mention our Southern roots running strong here in Los Angeles, and part of our love of Southern food–and food in general–is comfort.  Comfort food as a whole, and everything that falls under that umbrella, hits our spot like none other.  You would think that all the skinny folks in LA that you see on TV don’t eat mac ‘n cheese and sloppy joes, but you know what?  They do.  We’ve seen them do it.  It’s been a running trend in restaurants lately to revamp and modernize everyday comfort foods, and we support that to the max.  We’re really excited that next weekend on Sunday, May 31st, there will be a comfort food extravaganza in Hollywood at the RenaissanceHotel–the Gourmet 5 Year Old Party–sponsored by Drink.Eat.Play.  Aren’t you?

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Other Sweet Treats

What A Lovely Mess

Almond Meringues-Duo Dishes

Forgive us for finally getting to this dessert as we actually made it a while ago.  Sometimes we just get backed up in the kitchen.  A couple of months ago, there was yet another dinner party hosted by a friend, and we pulled the dessert card out of the hat.  The theme was British and, above all, healthy.  Admittedly, this required a few minutes of research.  There were a lot of puddings and cobblers that popped up, along with a trillion trifles.  With strawberries topping the sweet fruit chart right now, the idea was enticing.  And then we remembered Nigella–Nigella Lawson, that is.  Once upon a time, we saw her whip up a little something called Eton Mess.  We’d found our answer.

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Beef & Lamb

A Comforting Medley

Vegetable medley-The Duo Dishes

We are not the first ones to rediscover the comforting qualities of a good casserole.  Maybe you remember the one your grandmother or mom used to make when you were younger.  Perhaps it was the first dish you learned how to create yourself during the inception of your cooking trials.  It could be that you just love anything that calls for tossing a bunch of food in a dish and baking it.  Relatively utter simplicity.  No matter, the casserole seems to stand for all things warm, homey, reassuring and soothing.  It’s full of flavor, love and hopefully lots of cheese.  This casserole is all of those things, including the cheese.  It’s full of veggies, pasta and meat too.  Each bite harks back to a mouthful of contented solace.  Would you like a piece?

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Other Sweet Treats

Reused and Recycled

Date and Walnut Galette-Duo Dishes

This dessert is not 100% ours. We admit that fully. This dessert came about after eating these amazing walnut, date and orange wontons after we assisted another class at Hipcooks. Fried dough stuffed with sweet dates, bright orange flavor and crunchy walnuts…heaven! There was extra filling left over after class, and instead of letting it go to waste, we were allowed to wrap it up and bring it home. Ding ding ding, we had an idea. Cookies? No. Fruit bars? Eh. Pancake filling? Maybe next time. We both love tarts to death and decided to make good use of this premade filling for a little sweet nibblet.  Voici la galette!

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