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The Melting Pot Tours Blog
Mac and Cheese ~ Still trending, we think PDF Print E-mail
Written by Melting Pot Tours   
Tuesday, 28 February 2017 02:57

macjoanson3rd 2 1Out of pure curiosity, I thought it would be fun to write something about what trends are predicted for 2017, in our food world. It was interesting research. 

Per Bon Appetit's experts, it is said that Cauliflower is apparently the hottest thing on the trend block, followed by Old School Pizza, things charcoal, nutritional yeast, and lots of yogurt. Considering I am not nearly a fan of cauliflower (nor of some of other said trends), this lineup of what to look for - with all due respect - makes me want to actually look back. 

Just now, I've arrived home from cooking for 25 persons. Knowing I would be their Chef, more than one came around extremely hungry ... since they were expecting Macaroni & Cheese, as promised. This came about from a special request, and in turn, I had to behave accordingly. If I was going to make Mac&Cheese, there was only one recipe worthy of setting on the table.

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Happy Lunar New Year ~ Potstickers recipe! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Melting Pot Tours   
Friday, 10 February 2017 23:23

Angie Doll Di 29 JanThis weekend marks the end of the two-week Lunar New Year celebration to welcome The Year of the Rooster.

For the first time in its 82.5-year history, the Original Farmers Market hosted esteemed Asian press professionals for an unveiling of a Rooster sculpture on its main plaza in late January. A delicious private luncheon was enjoyed by everyone (including me!) with amazing foods prepared by Peking Kitchen, Singapore's Banana Leaf, China Depot, and Farm Fresh Produce.

The Market Plaza has been beautifully decorated, mostly in traditional red, while Market merchants offered meal and shopping specials to engage all of us in the celebration.

Lisa and I were invited to participate in New Years Day Festivities on Sunday, January 29. We "co-hosted" Dumplings demonstrations and tastings on the plaza. Many curious, enthusiastic, and hungry passerbys thoroughly enjoyed this event!

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Family Recipe Files: Aunt Fran's Lentil Soup PDF Print E-mail
Written by Melting Pot Tours   
Sunday, 29 January 2017 02:47

thumb lentil soupOne of my end-of-year (2016) promises to myself, was to clear out boxes of paper files that had two seemingly ridiculous reasons to live - collecting dust and taking up space in a corner of my home. Mind you, they were well hidden behind a nice screen, so they grated on no one’s nerves but mine.

Ridding these files was like reviewing ancient history and - long story short - a very healthy, purging process, to say the least. One of the finest treasures buried in this debris, was the card-file recipe box, that I began keeping when I was a child.

Through childhood, high school, college, first homes of my own ... until about the time I published my cookbook Angel Food, I kept my family’s most precious heirlooms in this box. That collection grew to recipes I exchanged with my closest girlfriends and other trusted cooks, while I was preparing for my own food-centric career.

Among the gold that I mined in this treasure chest, was my Aunt Fran’s recipe for Lentil Soup. I made a large pot of my adapted version this last week, and I am very happy to share that recipe here.

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Go-To-Girls for LA Gastronomy: Indian we Love PDF Print E-mail
Written by Melting Pot Tours   
Wednesday, 11 January 2017 23:48

Duck-n-Date-Melange-IMG 1931-750x400Your Go-To Girls for LA Gastronomy are in fact, us, Lisa and Diane Scalia of Melting Pot Tours. This is a new - albeit armchair - extension of our Tours. Trust us to point you in the direction of independently-owned-and-operated, well-priced places in our great city’s neighborhoods, that you surely deserve to know about!

This post shines light on our passion for Indian cuisine ~ we're quite positive we've lived past lives in India! We are blessed with amazing choices for this exquisite food all over town, we’ll show you where to find it.

Lisa's and my exploration of where and how to fall in love with Indian cuisine dates back to the 1980s, when this cuisine was only just arriving in LA, at least in our experience ...

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Mornings in and around the South Bay Beach Cities PDF Print E-mail
Written by Melting Pot Tours   
Wednesday, 30 November 2016 21:54

bake shop Kirari lo resYour Go-To Girls for LA Gastronomy are in fact, us, Lisa and Diane Scalia of Melting Pot Tours. Welcome to a new - albeit armchair - extension of our Tours. Having long-considered ourselves your go-to-girls for food in LA, we are suddenly inspired to officially share more of the myriad of places we have come to know and love in our city and its unique neighborhoods. Kindly notice that in all of our Go-To Girls posts, we'll be honoring our traditional code of celebrating independently-owned-and-operated establishments, especially family-owned.

This post shines light on where to dine out on glorious southen California mornings, near the beach. Typically the year-round weather forecast will be ... perfect. We hope you start a fantastic day by dining alfresco!

It is now officially the holiday season or, so they say.

Once upon a time, a really fun holiday season weekend activity shared by us three sisters - before two of us became Melting Pot Tours - was to dine out for breakfast, then Christmas shop together.

 Now, with my first official post as your Go-To Girls for LA Gastronomy, I would love for you to consider the following for a really fun shared holiday season weekend activity.

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Coming Soon: “The GoTo Girls for LA Gastronomy” PDF Print E-mail
Written by Melting Pot Tours   
Friday, 11 November 2016 00:25

thumb pancakesOver breakfast earlier this week, at the Original Pancake House (we love things Original) in Redondo Beach, Lisa and I were musing over new topics for blog stories.

In all of that brilliant brainstorming, we opted to start a series, with your Chef at the helm, titled The GoTo Girls for LA Gastronomy

Since Melting Pot Tours’ inception in 2008, we’ve addressed lots and lots of requests for where to eat (and what to order), where to shop (and what to buy) and, how to dodge traffic getting to and from these places.

Now. We cannot always accurately predict how to navigate our city’s ridiculous traffic patterns. We are, however - with all due modesty - quite expert at directing locals and visitors to food haunts they will be delighted with, deserving of, and even surprised to know about ... the ones they will inevitably love.

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Trendy enough? Avocado Toast with Duck Bacon and Pistachio PDF Print E-mail
Written by Melting Pot Tours   
Tuesday, 30 August 2016 01:05

thumb Avo toasts DexterIn another life, I was Consulting Chef for what I called the Avocado Board. This agency represented avocado growers from California and Chile, and engaged my chef services for recipe development, events, and food styling for television. I was regularly gifted with cases of just-ripe avocados to play with. This was a charmed life.

It was said that spreading avocado on toast was healthier than using butter, so I acted accordingly. More fat seemed irresistible ;-) so I topped it with extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of coarse sea salt. I even submitted that "unique" suggestion to a now-defunct website called Toast.com.

Fast forward to this summer, when I learned (surprise, where have I been?) that "Avocado Toast" is quite the trendy appetizer; it starts and sometimes even ends with mashed avocado, extra-virgin olive oil, and coarse sea salt. 

Seriously? Fine. Wait til you see how I've one-upped my own original, bright idea.

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A New Vinaigrette Obsession PDF Print E-mail
Written by Melting Pot Tours   
Thursday, 14 April 2016 01:32

thumb lemongrass dressingAt least one new food obsession per week is ... not that unusual for me. 

Lately, said obsession has been roast chicken - maybe because I've been watching Julia Child on PBS, I'm not sure - but, I was totally enamored with this recipe for Orange-Honey Roasted Chicken. It's from the complimentary Cafe Tecumseh chicken magazine offered by the Farmers Market Poultry counter to its regular curious customers and, that would be me.

We all love surprises that come with great joy, right? That is exactly what I got when I followed this chicken recipe to the T.

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Corazon y Miel = Heart & Honey PDF Print E-mail
Written by Melting Pot Tours   
Saturday, 02 April 2016 02:50

thumb Corazon brunch chilaquilesIt is always such a joy, pleasure, and especially an honor ... to dine at a restaurant that comes passionately referred by a trusted friend. Especially when that restaurant's Chef is a friend of the trusted friend that sends you there!

For months I've wanted to visit Corazon y Miel, in the city of Bell where I don't believe I have ever been before but, I am here to tell you that I am so happy I have been there now. This exquisite place, simple yet elegant and homey at the same time, was where I dined for brunch a couple weeks ago. I had the wonderful company of two dear friends who ... happen to simply trust me when I say "We need to eat here!" 

I pointed the way, and the first day of Spring ... there we landed. Corazon y Miel means Honey and Heart. What a way to celebrate!

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