LA travelogue and (shocking) a recipe: red pepper and goat cheese dip

Wow.  Been a while.  Visited warm and sunny LA last week to belatedly celebrate Kelly's birthday.  She's quite the hostess.  If you need an LA concierge, she's your girl.  Started the trip with a late night dinner at the very exclusive Gjelina on Abbot-Kinney in Venice.  The place that Gwyneth loves.  There is a reason.  Dark and cozy inside/outside with too many creative vegetables, small plates, thin thin thin pizzas and desserts to choose.  Friday night dinner up in the Hollywood Hills at Yamashito, glittering LA below and sushi perfection on your plate.  After a good hike in Kelly's back yard aka Runyon Canyon; Saturday brunch at Blu Jam on Melrose for Cobb egg white omelets (brilliant) and a little relocation for a movie star that earned us a side of crunchy french toast (yes, little french toast triangles rolled in corn flakes served with berries and vanilla cream) for our troubles.  After Kelly's first Stand Up Paddleboard outing in Marina del Ray (she's now hooked like her mother) and some touring around Santa Monica we showered up at our old neighbor's adorable new place just a bit inland before heading out to the PCH and dinner over the water in Malibu at Moonshadow.  Sunday brought another hike, brunch at Grub with a carafe of blackberry jalepeno champagne cocktails, errand running, drinks at the rooftop Sonoma Wine Garden back in SM and early dinner on Sunset at the surprisingly hopping Pink Taco (quite a party for a Sunday).  Not that we were ever hungry after about 11 am on Saturday.  It should go without saying, but if you can grow fruit trees out your door you can make some pretty amazing adult beverages.  If it isn't wine, I want all fresh fruit juices in my cocktails.  The more the merrier.  They have that down in LA.  Thanks again to Kelly for the stellar travel itinerary.

Back at home, I've still been cooking and baking with recipes in the draft stages and just no time to write.  When I've had time, we actually have had some spring weather here and there and outside work always trumps inside work.  Just an outside girl.  Then there was the last few days where the woods behind our home have become a nice pond and the cold winds even flew a few snowflakes in on April 24th.  One of those Springs.  One I am thankful not to be hunkering down in the stands for a lacrosse game.  I loved watching Sara play lacrosse, but Spring sports in the Midwest can be pretty brutal weather wise.

Right, so it's time for a recipe.  Past time.  We had a really pretty weekend about 2 weeks ago and in between yard chores, I'd duck in the house and roast this and bake that until a nice little Sunday dinner was ready for Greg's parents to walk over and share with us.  I made a red pepper goat cheese dip and served it with carrots and pita chips to unanimous approval.  It's not tricky.  Do roast your own red peppers, I tried it again with jarred red peppers but they are too water-logged and the dip ends up too thin.  I'm sure you could tweak this and process in some parsley or spinach.  Toasted almonds or pine nuts would be good too.  I'd love it on a turkey or veggie burger.  I tossed some on some hot pasta and it was divine.  Get creative!

Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Dip

4 ounces goat cheese
3 T fresh lemon juice (off your own tree would be awesome, but not required)
1 large red pepper, sliced into 1/2 inch strips
4 cloves garlic
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Toss red pepper strips with a tablespoon of olive oil and lightly sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.  Spread onto a baking sheet with the garlic cloves (don't peel them first).  Roast until garlic cloves are tender, about 15-20 minutes.  Remove garlic and turn oven up to 425 degrees.  Roast red pepper for another 10-15 minutes or until slightly charred.  While red pepper is roasting, squeeze roasted garlic out of skins into a bowl.

Combine goat cheese, roasted red pepper, roasted garlic and lemon juice in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.  Taste for additional salt and pepper.

roasting peppers


dip deliciousness


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