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line.orange.700Valmonte Garden Having A Hearty, Healthy Spring
• Most people know the Valmonte school as a place that lives and breathes baseball, but the garden right behind the main baseball field is highly underrated. The farm and garden stretch to 1.5 acres and is managed by Nancy Lemargie. The garden and farm started out as a side of a hill, but now is teeming with vegetables, fruits, plants, chickens, and cats.
Chez Mélange and Bettolino kitchen purchase produce from the Valmonte farm and garden.
Kale is a popular item for the restaurants now, and in the summer, tomatoes and shishito peppers are very popular. The fresh fruits and vegetables along with eggs and plants are able to be purchased on the second Saturday of every month except in April.
Nancy was so kind enough to let me choose some vegetables to cook with. I grabbed some Tuscan kale, beets, rosemary, a lemon, eggs, and baby potatoes. I first made a salad with the kale and beets. I started off by washing kale and chopping the kale into bite sized strips. I then boiled the beets in salted water until soft. When boiling beets, you do not need to peel the skin off before because when they are cooked, the skin slides off. I decided to make a lemon vinaigrette with rosemary for the salad. I juiced half of the lemon, added some olive oil, finely chopped rosemary, salt, pepper, and a little agave syrup. I poured the dressing over the kale and bite sized beets for a simple salad to complement my frittata.
For my frittata, I sautéed some onions and garlic in olive oil over medium-low heat. Once the onions and garlic were cooked down, I added in the baby potatoes which I cut into thin rounds. I then added in some chopped beet greens and some cherry tomatoes. I seasoned the mixture with salt and pepper and then poured the mixture into the bowl. I then whisked together four eggs with some salt, pepper, and a little water. I added the egg mixture into the pan and then quickly added the vegetable mixture back in. I gently mixed the eggs and vegetables so they were combined. I let the frittata cook until the edges were cooked and then put the frittata into the oven to broil, so the frittata was cooked all the way through.
I cannot rave enough about how amazing and simple this meal was. The frittata and salad were so simple which made the fresh vegetables more prominent. It is so obvious when you are cooking with fresh ingredients that the dish tastes better. I only seasoned the frittata with salt and pepper because I really wanted to highlight the taste of the vegetables. I ate at least half of the frittata because it was so delicious.
I don’t know if I can buy produce at supermarkets anymore. It looks like I will be a monthly visitor to the Valmonte farm and garden and I think you should be one too!
If you have any questions or comments, I am all ears, so please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. See you soon!

line.orange.700New Food Trends Roll, Dip Into New Year
• Happy New Year everyone! At the end of every year, people like to look back at what they accomplished over the year and set goals for the new year. In my case, I like to look back at all the food trends of the year and look forward to new food trends.
One big food trend I noticed this year was rolled ice cream. If you have never heard of this trend, basically cream and other toppings are poured onto a very cold plate. Then, they chop up the ingredients and make a flat layer.
Finally, they roll the ice cream and add toppings. I had to try this trend, so I went to 8 degrees Celsius in Gardena.
I ordered the key lime pie flavor, which is my favorite dessert of all time. Rolled ice cream is very different from your typical ice cream. The rolled ice cream is very hard and, in my opinion, had less flavor. I love the creamy texture in ice cream, so not having that component in the rolled ice cream was disappointing to me. The rolled ice cream wasn’t terrible but I think it’s hard to replace a classic scoop of ice cream.
Another big food trend I observed over the year was toasts. Avocado toast has been super popular for awhile now, but there are new toasts emerging. I do have to say that avocado toast is quite amazing and the possibilities are endless. I love my avocado toast topped with picked onions, everything but the bagel seasoning from Trader Joes, tomatoes with feta cheese, a fried egg on top, or with balsamic vinegar. I saw that almond butter toasts and peanut butter toasts gained popularity over the year also.
food.aOne of my go-to breakfasts during the week is peanut butter toast with bananas. Sometimes, I even drizzle some honey over it and sprinkle some chia seeds on top. I have also seen people top their nut butter toasts with raspberries, strawberries, and chocolate chips. Another kind of toast I personally like is hummus toast. Hummus toast is so easy and perfect for breakfast or a snack.
I like my hummus toast plain because I think the flavors are amazing as is, but you can always spruce up your toast to your preferences.
The last big food trend I saw this year were bowls. Whether it be smoothie bowls, poke bowls, breakfast bowls, or grain bowls, bowls were a big part of 2018. Smoothie bowls are super refreshing for breakfast and are a great way to get your fruits and vegetables in. I love how easy smoothie bowls are.
I take about a cup of any fruit I like and blend it with half of a frozen banana and I have a smoothie bowl in seconds. I top my bowl with granola, honey, fresh fruit, coconut shreds, and chia seeds and my mornings are off to a great start. I love bowls of any kind but grain bowls have to be my favorite. Grain bowls have everything you need in them from carbs, to protein, to vegetables, to fats. They are so easy to make and so customizable to anyone’s taste. My favorite grain bowl is from Superba Food and Bread.
The bowl contains kale, egg, almonds, brown rice, and avocado. The bowl is so simple but so balanced and perfect for lunch and dinner.
2018 brought me many amazing food adventures and I can’t wait to see where 2019 takes me on my culinary journey. If you are interested, I have started a food account on Instagram @culinaryjourneybyalexis where I post about my food journey every day.
Please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions or comments.

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The Latest Edition No. 248

Video Webcast KQH 2018