Team. I’m editing this post from The Rape Treatment Center of Santa Monica’s conference, The Roads to Respect. Headliner for this conference: The original bad b*tch, Jane Fonda. Goal of the conference: Learning how to help kids thrive as they transition into adulthood. Topics to be covered:

  • Child/adolescent development through a gendered lens – how it’s different for girls and for boys.
  • Instagram, Vine, YouTube, Ask.fm, Tinder, and more – how the pervasive role of social media in adolescents’ lives is impacting their relationships, communication skills, and self-esteem.
  • Why it’s important to talk with kids about Internet pornography, and how to have age-appropriate conversations.

I mean, exciting stuff, right!? And adding to the excitement is the fact that I was THIS close to getting a selfie with Jane Fonda but then her handler was all, “She’s gonna take a break now. Come back at lunch.” It will happen folks. IT. WILL. HAPPEN. (Update: It did not happen. We chatted, but I was too chicken to ask for a pic).

 

But in all seriousness, this conference is what I live for. It’s what I do and what I want to keep doing for as long as I can. As much as I love food blogging, my heart is in this work. I am inspired to be an advocate for young people. I was inspired before I became a mother but was exceedingly inspired when I became a mother; especially a mother of a daughter. It’s hard enough to get through the worries and angst of adolescence in a safe environment but if recent increases in hate speech and crimes tells usanything, it’s that empathy education and individuals who are willing to teach it are in need much more now than ever. This work is frustrating and sad, uplifting and motivating. It’s exhausting. It can be just as soul-crushing as much as it can be soul-enduring. My commitment to this work is why I rarely post on this blog. It’s absolutely why, when someone asks me where I want to see my blog go in 5 years, I think to myself, “I don’t know. It is what it is”. There are times when I wish I had more time to learn the art of monetizing my blog or creating those fun overhead videos showing how to cook something. But I just don’t have the time. Speaking of time, I gotta jet. Jane Fonda is talking about the role of patriarchy and it’s effect on developmental grown in adolescents.

For this full recipe of this easy but DELICIOUS tahini and vanilla ice box cake, head on over to Interfaithfamily.com.

P.S. I think I’ve lost count on just how many recipes of mine include tahini! I LOVE the stuff. Also? If you can believe it, there was a time when I didn’t actually like tahini. I didn’t even like halva! I remember visiting the Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem and being offered free samples of the stuff, left and right, and saying ‘no’ to all of it! I said ‘No’ to free tahini and halva!! What the hell?! Who was that girl!? I don’t know but, needless to say, I’ve grown up a lot since then.

 

 

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Before arriving in Los Angeles, I heavily researched the city in order to figure out what part of the city we’d live in. And by research I of course mean that I watched old episodes of the original Beverly Hills, 90210 and poured over the most recent Bon Appetit at the time that had a lovely spread about hipster hangout, “Sqirl” (so hipster, in fact, that the ‘u’, ‘r’, and ‘e’ are apparently not necessary). In the article, they mentioned a sorrel pesto bowl that is the restaurant’s number one seller. At the time I was absolutely not interested in trying a savory bowl of sorrel for breakfast. Why in the world would I want brown rice when I could have cinnamon rolls or sticky buns or brioche toast!?!? I mean, come on!!

 

 

 

 

So when we arrived in Los Angeles in the summer of 2014, my patient husband and even more patient daughter let me drag them to the Mecca of hipsterville, Silverlake, to stand in line with every other sucker and wait for breakfast. And let me tell you, it was one of the greatest culinary decisions I’ve ever made (and not only because within my first 24 hours in LA I got to see the high Jewess of the world, Natalie Portman, who was also eating at Sqirl). This meal was so. friggin’. YUMMY. I was feeling adventurous and also feeling that there was no way my husband was going to be up for shlepping all the way to Silverlake from the Westside again so I went ahead and passed by all the brioche options and ordered the brown rice pesto bowl. When our meal arrived, I looked at my husband’s brioche toast topped with chocolate ganache and thought, “I have made the greatest mistake in the world”. But then I took my first bite of the pesto bowl, all mixed in with lacto-fermented hot sauce (still have no idea what that means), feta cheese and a perfectly cooked poached egg and I knew I was forever changed. Let me tell you. Putting pesto in brown rice and topping with a poached egg, feta, radishes and hot sauce is THE GREATEST IDEA EVER. Therefore, I went ahead and copied it as much as possible. This has become my go-to Sunday morning breakfast ever since that fateful day in Silverlake.

 

 

Brown Rice Pesto Breakfast Bowls

Ingredients for Bowl:

1 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup pesto (see below)
2 eggs (or more, depending on how much you love eggs), poached
1/4 cups feta cheese
3 radishes sliced thin
Optional: Sriracha

Ingredients for Pesto:

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed (can sub half the basil leaves with baby spinach)
1/2 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan-Reggiano cheese (can omit and use 3 tbsp of nutritional yeast to make it vegan)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil.
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
3 garlic cloves, minced

Directions:

Cook brown rice according to package. Remember that brown rice takes about 45 minutes to cook so make sure you plan according. Once done, transfer rice to a large mixing bowl and leave about 3 – 5 minutes.

For the pesto. If you want to be kind to yourself and your time, you can please feel free to buy pre-made pesto. If you want to make your own pesto, place the basil leaves and walnuts into the bowl of a food processor and pulse a several times. Add the garlic and cheese and pulse several times more. Scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. While the food processor is running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady small stream. Adding the olive oil slowly, while the processor is running, will help it emulsify and help keep the olive oil from separating. Occasionally stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor. Stir in some salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Set aside.

For the poached egg: I learned how to poach an egg via The Kitchn’s tutorial so I’m sending you there for this recipe. Come back and read on when you’re done. 🙂

Once brown rice has somewhat cooled, add 1/2 cup of the pesto to your brown rice and combine. Top with 1 poached egg, feta, and sliced up radish. Serve hot.

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Buffalo fried chicken sandwich

 

Oh. Hi. I’m not sure we’ve met yet. My name is Whitney Fisch. A few things about myself:

  1. I have two daughters who are so cute sometimes I scrunch up my face and make a, ‘GAH!’ noise in order to manage the overwhelmingness of the cuteness.
  2. I am a school counselor so I spend a lot of my time hanging with high schoolers, which I never thought I would love but, as it turns out, I do!
  3.  I LOVE BUFFALO WINGS! I WANT ALL OF THEM ALL THE TIME.

Buffalo fried chicken sandwich

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while now, you may have already known the above information. I have written about my love of wings before here. It’s not so much the wings as it about the sauce. I LOVE buffalo wing hot sauce. I love it so much. I want to take a bath in the stuff. As a teenager, a favorite snack of mine was canned corn mixed with my mom’s buffalo wing sauce and blue cheese salad dressing. Also, did I mention that I led a super healthy lifestyle as a teenager?

As a ‘foodie’ and someone who loves Instagram and therefore follows other foodies on Instagram (especially LA-based foodies), I was seeing Chef Ludo’s Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich all over people’s feeds this summer. And then Bon Appetit magazine came out with their ‘most perfect fried chicken sandwich ever‘ and I was done. I needed a kosher-fied fried chicken sandwich and I needed it drenched in buffalo sauce STAT! Conveniently enough, I had bottles and bottles of oil in my pantry as the Chanukah season requires some serious frying. Therefore, I made my own dang buffalo fried chicken sandwich based on Bon Appetit’s recipe and it was AMAZING.

Buffalo fried chicken sandwich

Make no mistake, the sandwich is all about composition. Do not attempt this sandwich without allowing yourself the time to pay attention to the details. This sandwich is the perfect marriage of spicy sweetness mixed with tangy coleslaw and a lightly non-dairy buttered bun. It’s also crispy and crunch while still being juicy! It’s a sandwich to be enjoyed on a Sunday night surrounded by loved ones who will still love you as you sniffle and slop your way through spicy hot buffalo sauce ecstasy. Pass the hand towels, this one is a keeper!

Buffalo fried chicken sandwich

 

 

Buffalo fried chicken sandwich

Buffalo Fried Chicken Sandwich

Chicken

1 tablespoon Diamond Crystal or 2 teaspoons Morton kosher salt
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 skin-on or skinless, boneless chicken thighs

Seasoned Slaw

1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
1 teaspoon celery salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 green onion stalks, finely diced (green parts only)
1 tablespoon of Bread and Butter pickle brine
2 cups thinly sliced green cabbage

Buffalo Wing Sauce

3/4 cup Frank’s Hot Sauce (I use Frank’s and have only used Frank’s since I was a kid so have no idea how this would taste with any other hot sauce).
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 tablespoon margarine
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Assembly

1½ cups all-purpose flour
⅓ cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more
1 large egg, beaten to blend
1 cup almond or coconut milk
3 tablespoons hot sauce (such as Frank’s)
Peanut or vegetable oil (for frying; about 8 cups)
4 soft seeded hamburger buns
3 tablespoons unsalted vegan butter, melted
Bread and butter pickles (optional but HIGHLY recommended) plus 1 tbsp brine
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions for Prepping Chicken:

Mix salt, sugar, and baking powder in a small bowl. Season chicken all over with salt mixture (you won’t need all of it). Chill uncovered on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet or on parchment paper, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

Seasoned Slaw:

Combine all ingredients up until the cabbage into a medium-size bowl and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Add in the cabbage and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Directions for Cooking Chicken:

Whisk flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne, and 2 Tbsp. salt in a medium bowl. Whisk egg, almond milk, and 3 Tbsp. hot sauce in another medium bowl. Working with 1 piece at a time, dredge chicken in flour mixture, turning to coat and packing into crevices. Shake to remove excess; return to rack. Pour 3 Tbsp. almond milk mixture into flour mixture and work in with your fingers. Dip chicken into remaining almond milk mixture, allow excess to drip off, then pack moistened flour mixture firmly onto chicken. Gently shake off excess; return to rack. Chill at least 30 minutes and up to 12 hours.

Pour oil into a large heavy pot fitted with thermometer to come halfway up sides. Heat over medium-high until thermometer registers 350°. Working in 2 batches, fry chicken, turning often and adjusting heat to maintain temperature, until deep golden brown, 5–8 minutes per batch. Transfer to a wire rack set over paper towels to drain.

Directions for Buffalo Wing Sauce:

In a medium-sized sauce pan, add the hot sauce and heat over medium flame. Add in Worcestershire sauce, brown and margarine and stir well. Bring to a low boil, stirring frequently. Turn heat to low and let simmer for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste a bit (if you dare) and add more brown sugar at 1/2 teaspoon at a time if you like your sauce a little sweeter. The sauce should taste spicy and sweet with a hint of sour from the vinegar in the Frank’s. Turn off the flame, cover the pot with a lid and keep warm while you prepare the buns and assemble the sandwich.

Directions for Assembly:

Heat a dry large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium. Brush cut sides of buns with margarine and, working in batches, cook, cut side down, until deep golden brown, about 2 minutes per batch.

Once done, take your cole slaw out of the refrigerator and spread a heaping spoonful onto one of the sides of buns. Add pickles to the other bun.

Pour the hot sauce into a large bowl that is big enough to dip the whole fried chicken in. Working in batches, dip one fried chicken (one at a time) into the bowl and cover with sauce. Let some of the sauce drip off into the bowl and then transfer to the buns. Do this until all chicken is complete. Serve hot and with TONS OF NAPKINS.

Buffalo fried chicken sandwich

 

 

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