Levon The Foodie

A gal whose obsessions lie within fat, sugar, carbs, caffeine, and beverages that could strengthen the heart or seal up a womb.

Archive for the category “Recipes”

Chocolate Oat Dulce de Leche Bars

Espresso spiked chocolate crust is pretty much all this coffee and chocoholic needed to hear to be convinced that a second grocery run would be harmless.   I love everything dulce de leche and I’m very particular about crusts.  Good crusts have the ability to push ordinary desserts to the next level of sugary greatness.  In addition to that let’s face it, bars are just easier to eat as well as sneak into a movie theatre or whatever public event you’re dealing with. So I leave you with the ‘how to’ on putting together this amazing load of bliss courtesy of my friends at Daily Crave..

Daily Crave by Natalie Lewis

Recipe Courtesy of Natalie Lewis at Daily Crave via Cake, Batter, and Bowl

Chocolate Oat Dulce De Leche Bars Recipe

Recipe adapted from Cake, Batter, and Bowl

Daily Crave by Natalie Lewis


Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

Fifteen Spatulas has what could potentially be a highly addictive Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars recipe, that to make matters even worse has a pecan crust.  There is also a walk-through video that I feel you should have.  Truthfully I just need a group of folks to share the shame and calories.  I will therefore probably be making a duplicate grocery run today due to the inevitable temptation from this horrible picture.  I just wanna make sure that I did mention that these bars have a pecan crust?… Ok..

Fifteen Spatulas Cookie Dough Cheesecake

Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars Recipe


Somali Chicken Suqaar Portland Moment

During my recent visit to DC I spent some time on U Street, and inevitably the neighborhood full of Ethiopian businesses made me think of my Chicken Suqaar moment in Portland, OR.  NE Portland has some of the best East African food I’ve had.   This of course being neck and neck with U Street & Adams Morgan in DC, Fairfax in LA, and various pockets of Charlotte and Minneapolis, but still..  I visited a restaurant on Ethiopian Row on Martin Luther King Jr Blvd in Portland and was beyond pleased.  The food smelled authentic, the English was minimal, and I felt like at that moment I had arrived in international culinary bliss.  The food was excellent and felt at home with the family-run and inviting vibe.  For the life of me, I can’t remember the name of this restaurant, nor do they have a website unfortunately.  However I can tell you that whoever took over Safari’s or Horn of Africa on MLK was responsible for this amazing Somali style Chicken Suqaar dish. 

My recollection of this restaurant being where Safari’s used to be, will serve as a point of reference when I return, and will help to guide you if you’re ever in Portland in search of authentic East African food..

I was able to find a recipe with the closest ingredients to what was used at the anonymous restaurant on Ryan and Brianna’s Bon Appetit site.  I will forewarn you though, this is not a boil the rice while you saute the chicken with your favorite two seasonings 15 min moment.  Granted once you get the hang of it, I’m sure it won’t seem as rigorous.  Let’s just say this dish is good for a ‘I refuse to leave the house’ weekend.  Well that is if you actually have all of these ingredients in stock.  If you do, that’s actually pretty impressive..  I know for a fact I don’t.  The spice rack from Target that I acquired years ago hardly counts.  Fresh spices are key.  As of matter of fact I still have Marcus Samuelsson who knows a thing or two about Ethiopian cooking, to thank for the inspiration behind stepping up my spice game.

So anyway, here it is… The recipe for this wonderful Somalian dish.

Turtle Watermelon (and Recipe)

This inspires me for summer brunches at the infamous hood penthouse..

Oh and I was able to find the materials and instructions to create this edible turtle courtesy of Class Brain..

Materials Needed For the Watermelon Turtle:

1 Oblong watermelon
Melon baller or other scoop spoon
Channel knife (you can substitute with the top of a standard vegetable peeler)
Dry erase marker
2 Peppercorns, or other eye pieces
Fruit salad
Leaves, plants, or other accents as desired
Toothpicks or other skewers

Working on the shell of the Watermelon Turtle – Courtesy of Class Brain

Instructions for the Watermelon Turtle:

  1. Choose an oblong seedless watermelon for carving.
  2. Wash watermelon and pat dry.
  3. Cut in half lengthwise.
  4. Hollow out both sides, using a melon baller.
  5. Carve out block design in the bottom side, using a channel knife.
  6. Use a dry erase marker to trace turtle shell, legs, and head on top side of watermelon.
  7. Carve shapes with knife, and add designs with channel knife.
  8. Add peppercorns to the eye holes to fill.
  9. Fill bottom with fruit salad.
  10. Attach legs and head to shell, using strong toothpicks or skewers, and put on top of salad. Add accents around base with leaves and plants.

The Secret Ingredients in LA’s Best Cheesecake

Canter’s Deli on N. Fairfax has the best cheesecake in W. Hollywood.  On top of the euphoric experience in my rental car with this classic cheesecake chunk of heaven, I was able to find the actual recipe from Angela on

 Canter’s Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe

 So there you have it, from the Fairfax bakery to Angela’s kitchen.  Are you up for the challenge??  Or are you gonna simply wait it out until your next trip to W. Hollywood??

Spicing Up Your Meals: 4 Must-Have Spice Blends

The best analogy I have for this simple cooking trick is like shopping in your own closet.  The same way you have those deceptive “I have nothing to wear” moments, you have those “there is nothing to eat in the fridge” moments.  The simple solution is to play around with the right combination of spices to dress up those meats that have been pushed into the back of your freezer for nearly six months.  You know, the traditional cuts of meats that got kicked to the curb due to the latest stuffed chicken breast creation from Whole Foods or the brie stuffed salmon rolls from Gristedes that you simply couldn’t resist.  Well it is basically the same concept as dressing up those slightly outdated pieces in your closet with the right combination of accessories and styling for a brand new look.  Check out more on this topic and get more specifics below from one of Marcus Samuelsson‘s contributers.

Spicing Up Your Meals: 4 Must-Have Spice Blends.

Courtesy of Clyde Robinson, MS site

Bacon Deviled Eggs w. Caramelized Onions and Cheddar Cheese

Allow me to re-introduce myself, my name is Hooooov, actually no.  More like what the folks at the Endless Meal like to refer to as the “dietkiller”.  Allow me to reintroduce you to bacon, or turkey bacon depending on your preference.  Like they said at the Endless Meal, if you’re on a diet “Once he makes an appearance you can kiss your well intentioned diet’s ass(ets) goodbye“. I was speechless when I saw this recipe and immediately started to think of how well Gwaltney or Godshall’s turkey bacon substitute would taste in these babies. Well naturally there’s only one way to find out..

Courtesy of The Endless Meal

Bacon Deviled Eggs with Caramelized Onions and Cheddar Cheese Recipe
Recipe type: The Endless Meal Appetizer / Snack
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Serves: Makes 12 devilled eggs
These will blow you neighbour’s plain old devilled eggs right out of the water they were boiling in.
  • 6 hardboiled eggs, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
  • 4 slices of bacon, cooked crispy (reserve fat for cooking onions)
  • 1/4 cup onions, finely minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (light) mayonaise
  • A small handful finely grated cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Finely chop cooked bacon, remove any pieces that are chewy
  2. Saute onions over medium heat in a few tablespoons of the reserved bacon fat until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes
  3. Carefully remove yolks from hardboiled eggs and place in a medium sized bowl.
  4. Add all other ingredients and mash together with a fork until everything is well incorporated.
  5. Add salt to taste
  6. Place a heaping teaspoon of the yolk/bacon mix into each egg white
  7. Sprinkle with freshly grated pepper before serving.
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