Made by Justy’s Valentine’s Day Special

img_2228Remember that amazing weed infused cake I got from sugar high for my potluck over the summer? Their baker and cake designer Justy reached out to me about sampling her (not infused) Valentine’s Day special—remembering how yummy my unicorn cake was, how could I turn her down?

The variety for the special is everything! Chocolate hazelnut, fruity pebble‘s, tie-dye unicorns: each cupcake was so moist and flavorful, anyone would love them as a Valentine’s Day gift! There are only a few days left, so jump on it now!

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2017 Surprise Holiday Party

2017 Surprise Holiday Party

As always, our holiday party was a surprise. I wasn’t in the guessing game mood, I just wanted prosciutto.

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It was just waiting for me.

This year’s surprise holiday party activity was a pizza making class at Le Pain Quotidien, instructed by Chef Dawn Kinard. We got our hands dirty & made our own pizza dough to take home, as well as sauce prepared by Chef Dawn. Using previously prepared dough, we made personal pizzas for lunch with some toppings to choose from: mozzarella cheese, prosciutto, pepperoni, olives, mushrooms, tomatoes, ricotta and parmesan.

 

 

There was a contest for the best tasting pie, judged by Chef Dawn: I came in second! Prosciutto, pepperoni, olives, ricotta and parmesan, so good!

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Unlimited champagne: thanks el jefe!

The party continued across the street at Bleeker Street Bar: libations, pool, darts & the usual RE shenanigans.

I drank everything bubbly, had two shots, then melted in the back seat of an Uber—just like last year!

Women Who Cook: Dalal Monroe

I met Dalal last summer at an Empanada party—that ran out of empanadas—and I’ve been following her on twitter ever since. It took a while before getting around to asking if she’d mind being featured on #avaeats, so I was stoked when she agreed to a little interview.img_6247

#avaeats: You and food: who, what, where, when, and why?
Dalal Monroe: I’m Dalal Monroe, self-taught chef and owner of Little Love Catering in Brooklyn, New York. And why—because I loveeeeeeee food and cooking soothes the soul.

#ae: How did you get into the culinary industry?
DM: I grew up in a southern foundation family so cooking was a must know how to do thing. I grew up in the kitchen and food is just so amazing, I educated myself on more until I started to cater for people.

#ae: Is cooking a day job or a side hustle for you?
DM: Cooking is my day job and side hustle: I’m a chef at a private school for kids Monday through Friday.

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Chicken Empanadas with Avocado Cilantro Dip.

#ae: What style of cooking do you do?
DM: I can’t say I have a style, I just like people to experience really good food.

#ae: How would you describe your food?
DM: Flavorful.

#ae: What are some challenges of being a female chef?
DM: I wouldn’t say there was any challenges honestly, it’s so perfectly balanced between male and female chefs.

#ae: What’s the most memorable meal you’ve eaten?
DM: Omg I’d have to say it was this broccoli and pear salad with lamb—it was freaking amazing!

#ae: What’s the most memorable meal you’ve prepared?
DM: Oh, it was oxtail hash—still is out of this world!

#ae: What’s your favorite cheap eats?
DM: $6 plate from Hardee’s Chinese restaurant.

#ae: What’s your guilty pleasure?
DM: 2 for $1 honey buns from the corner store and sweet potato pies from the chicken spot.

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Oxtail hash.

#ae: Who do you admire?
DM: My best friend Chantaye—she’s really amazing. Like me, she’s battled health issues but still pushes through. She graduated with her masters and I cried. She’s my kids godmother, and even miles apart she never misses a holiday or celebration—be it the physical or her sending gifts. She’s been my biggest supporter since we were 16 I’m truly blessed to have her

#ae: Who inspires you?
DM: My daughters, Skylar and Leia—those are my life lines.

#ae: If you weren’t a chef, what would you be doing?
DM: Lab Clerk work, probably.

#ae: What’s your culinary dream?
DM: That’s a secret.

#ae: What one dish would you choose if it were your last meal?
DM: Surf and Turf with garlic mash and roasted asparagus.

#ae: Any talks of wanting to be a chef from your daughters when they grow up?
DM: They help me a lot now cooking actually but no—so far it’s an lawyer and a movie star.

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#ae: Oxtail, BBQ & Jerk Wings, Shrimp Boil, Mac and Cheese, Rasta Pasta, String Beans, Yams, & Cornbread: you tweeted this menu one weekend and I chimed in for details. You said paper box- what is that?
DM: The last event I catered was for -paper box is an event space I get hired to cater at often—that was an Unplugged event by a local artist. I’ve also catered events like hARTlem, The IN House, TNT Mic Series, TRUCKED, Buenos Dias Boatride, Ladies Dine Out, numerous parties, podcast, as well as meal prep for reality stars.

#ae: How can people taste your food?
DM: By placing an order directly with me at littlelovecatering@gmail.com, or catch me at any of the many events I do happen to be catering.

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Buffalo Chicken Sliders with Savory Waffles and Blue Cheese Coleslaw.

 

Unicorn Easter.

I wanted to think of something simple that everyone can enjoy when deciding how to deliver a sugar rush to the office this week. The thought processes didn’t take too long though: Golden or Double Stuffed, who doesn’t love Oreos?

I’m not the biggest white chocolate fan, so this little project was solely for visual pleasure, but Chéo and my boss loved them! They’re so pretty, definitely unicorn-esque!

I’m excited to try these at a much larger scale this summer!