Month: August 2013



Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I was provided with a pass to The Taste to sample all of the delicious food Los Angeles has to offer. 

Labor Day weekend is here… and for food lovers living in Los Angeles that could only mean one thing. Buy tickets and head to The Taste, hosted by The Los Angeles Times. This will be the third year I attend, and seriously find this to be the best Summer event. It will takes place at Paramount studios, where the best of the best food and drink come together for a weekend of culinary delights!  If you are located here in Los Angeles and ready to make your taste buds explode…. I highly recommend you head to The Taste this weekend.  The schedule is listed below. See you there!

Buy tickets by clicking here!

  • Field to Fork – Hosted by Russ Parsons, Times Food Editor, and Michael Cimarusti, Chef/Owner of Providence, Chef/Partner of Connie and Ted’sSat., Aug. 31st, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    Spotlighting seasonal and sustainable dining, this event will feature demos by Ari Taymor (Alma), Sherry Yard (Helms Bakery), Ray Garcia (FIG), and Cimarusti, who will also participate in a panel, “Fish or Famine: Sustainability & the Seafood on Your Plate” with Parsons moderating. Wine experts will share tips for pairing the perfect glass with locally-sourced dishes at twotasting sessions. Participating restaurants include Bibigo, Canelé, DOMA, Farmshop, good girl dinette, Hamasuku, Michael’s on Naples, Momed, Mr Chow, Muddy Leek, Nobu, Pizza Antica, RivaBella, Sun Café Organic, The Curious Palate.


  • ·         Flavors of L.A. – Hosted by Jonathan Gold, Times Restaurant Critic, and Sang Yoon, Chef/Owner of Father’s Office and LukshonSat., Aug. 31st, 7:30 to 11:30 p.m.
    An homage to everything that makes the Southland a world-class dining destination starting with a compelling look at “The Power of Pop-ups” led by Gold with Gary Menes (Le Comptoir), Craig Thornton (Wolvesmouth) and Nguyen Tran (Starry Kitchen). Cooking demos from Yoon, Brooke Williamson (Hudson House/The Tripel), Bryant Ng (Spice Table), Josef Centeno (Baco Mercat/Bar Ama) and a mixology session with Robin Chopra (Corazón y Miel) will round out the locally-flavored programming. Participating restaurants include 800˚ Degrees, Angelini Osteria, Border Grill, Bulgarini Gelato, Chakra Indian Cuisine, Chichén Itzá, City Tavern, Mayura, Meals by Genet, Pinches Tacos, Wood & Vine.


  • ·         Labor Day Block Party – Hosted by Noelle Carter, Times Test Kitchen Director, and Nancy Silverton, Chef/Co-Owner of Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria MozzaSun., Sept. 1st, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    This end-of-summer bash will offer an inside look at barbecue with “Going Whole Hog: Tales from Masters of Competition BBQ,” a panel led by Carter that features Ryan Chester (The Rub Co.), Sylvia Curry (Lady of Q) and Neil Strawder (Bigmista’s Barbecue). Attendees will also be treated to cooking demos from Silverton, Evan Kleiman, and Fred Eric (D’Elish), and TimesColumnist Steve Lopez’s crowd-pleasing Firehouse Cook-off. Participating restaurants include BOA Steakhouse, Brite Spot, Café Gratitude, Coni’Seafood, Freddy Smalls: Bar & Kitchen, Got Kosher?, Haven Gastropub, Juan’s Restaurante, Kings Row Gastropub, Pizzeria il Fico, Pono Burger, Rosebud Cakes, Waffles de Liege.


  • ·         Cocktail Confidential – Hosted by Betty Hallock, Times Deputy Food Editor, Jessica Gelt, Times Food & Night Life Writer, and Cocktail Chef Matthew BiancanielloSun., Sept. 1st, 7:30 to 11:30 p.m.
    Blurring the lines between cooking and bartending, the final evening will center on a farm-to-glass craft cocktail demo presented by Hallock, Gelt and Biancaniello. Taking it a step further, some of L.A.’s boldest pairs, Michael Voltaggio and Gabriella Mlynarczyk (ink), John Sedlar and Julian Cox (Rivera) and Kuniko Yagi and Brandyn Tepper (Hinoki & the Bird), will share their inspiration for food and drink combinations. Participating restaurants include Chi Lin, Cliff’s Edge, Jitlada, L&E Oyster Bar, Manhattan Beach Creamery, Mexikosher, The Pub at Golden Road Brewing, Stella Barra, The Cake Mamas, The Corner Door, The Counter, The Park Restaurant, Worldwide Tacos, Zengo
Aromatic Grilled Chicken Panzanella Salad

Aromatic Grilled Chicken Panzanella Salad

Thank you to NatureRaised Foods for sponsoring this article. Learn how NatureRaised Foods is “Doing What’s Right, Right from the Start™” in your area.

It’s as if the grill beckons me once the hotter temperatures start to set in. As you know, I love cooking but am not always up for being in the HOT kitchen during these scorching summer months. With that being said I want to spend less time inside and more time outside. I start to dream up meals that could be prepared on the grill with very little prep inside the house. Yet, I don’t want to just throw anything on the grill, I still want my meal to be wholesome and nutritious.  Majority of the time I want tasty grilled chicken, and NatureRaised Farms® brand chicken makes that part easy…..  They are accountable when needing to feed my family something that is right, right from the start.  Here’s an important side note….  They do not add antibiotics ever, in fact their chickens are fed a 100% vegetarian diet (no animal protein and no bakery by-products), with no added hormones or steroids. I like knowing that and thought you would like knowing that too. No wonder it tastes so good…. It’s 100% all-natural. Okay, I’ll stop with all the scientific part of it and get back to my grilling and chicken love.

One of my all time favorite dishes to make on the grill is chicken panzanella salad. I always start it the night before when the kitchen is nice and cool. I whip together a little marinade drop it in a bowl with my chicken and let it stand over night. Then I chop all my veggies and place then in another bowl and place them in the fridge till I’m ready to eat the next day. It’s so easy. The next day I grill my chicken (depending on my mood, I’ll either use breasts or if I want some dark meat I’ll use thighs) and couple slices of bread. Chop both the chicken and bread, then add it into the veggies. Crumble some feta on top and give it a splash of salad dressing and there you have it….. one of the best salads I know how to make in a matter of minutes. The best part is…. It’s super fresh, yet filling with the bread, and hearty with the grilled chicken. It’s almost like having a deconstructed chicken sandwich but with way more veggies in it. Plus it’s a meal in itself…. No need for anything else on the plate.

Ingredients for Grilled Chicken Panzenella Salad:

  • 1 – package NatureRaised Farms® chicken (either breasts or thighs)
  • 2 – tablespoons brown mustard
  • ½ – cup white wine
  • ½ – onion (sliced into big pieces)
  • 3 – tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 – tablespoon chopped garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 – hothouse cucumber (cut into ¼ of an inch slices)
  • 1 – pint cherry tomatoes (I use both yellow and red) (cut in half)
  • 1 – red bell pepper (sliced into strips)
  • 1 – yellow bell pepper (sliced into strips)
  • 1 – red onion (sliced thinly)
  • 1 – bunch of asparagus (blanched and chopped into 1 to 2 inch pieces)
  • 1 – French bread loaf or mini sourdough loaf (grilled and cubed)
  • 5 – leaves fresh basil (chopped)
  • 5 – ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ – cup Italian dressing



  1. In a large bowl add chicken, brown mustard, white wine, onion, olive oil, chopped garlic, and salt and pepper to your liking. Place in the fridge over night to marinade. 
  2. In another bowl add cucumber, cherry tomato halves, sliced red and yellow bell pepper, red onion, and asparagus. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge over night.  
  3. When ready to eat slice up the bread and lightly brush with olive oil then place on a hot grill / bar-b-que and grill on each side until crisp, toasty, and golden. Then remove from the grill and set to the side.
  4. Then grill the chicken on both sides until fully cooked. About 7 to 8 minutes on both sides. Then remove from the grill and chop up into 2-inch cubes. Add to the bowl of vegetables.  
  5. Then chop up the grilled bread and add to the vegetables and chicken bowl.
  6. Then top the whole bowl off by adding in basil, feta cheese, and Italian dressing.
  7. Mix the salad to fully incorporate all ingredients, and place salad back in the fridge for 30 minutes to allow bread to soak up some of the dressing and for all flavors to mix.
  8. Serve with your favorite beverage and you’ve got a complete meal.
  9. Enjoy!

Thank you NatureRaised Foods and Technorati for being sponsors of this article. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Dodger BLUE Cheese Burger

Dodger BLUE Cheese Burger

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Chef Merito. All opinions are 100% mine, and it is an absolute pleasure and privilege to be associated with the official carne asada spice of my beloved team! VIVA LOS DODGERS!!!!

I am a true blue Dodger fan. I was born and raised in Los Angeles and have been making my way to Chavez Ravine for as long as I can remember. It started with my Momma who was head over heels in love with the Dodgers in the 70’s and 80’s…. the years of Steve Yeager, Ron Cey, and Steve Garvey.  Those were the first players I remember following. Everyone in my family bleeds Dodger blue. It is one of our favorite pastimes and we make it a point to enjoy as many games as possible.

Some things never change…. Fast forward to 2013 and I am still trekking up to the stadium to catch my boys in blue. When I am not in the thick of the crowd amongst the fans, then I am firmly cemented to my seat in front of the television set watching at home. I load up on snacks and make BLUE cheese burgers to celebrate my hometown team. I spice my  ground beef up with Chef Merito spices and grill my patties then top them with monterey jack and a pile of blue cheese. Chef Merito is the official carne asada seasoning for the Dodgers, but I’m here to tell you the meat seasoning taste great on burgers too. Whether at home or at the game…. I just love celebrating my boys of summer. Don’t miss Viva Los Dodgers every Sunday home game, 2 hours before the national anthem is belted out…. Chef Merito is one of the sponsors, and it is a great afternoon of fun, food, and entertainment.

Ingredients for Dodger Blue Cheese Burger:

  • 2 – lbs of ground beef
  • 1 – egg
  • 2 – tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 – tablespoon Chef Merito meat seasoning
  • 1 – teaspoon Chef Merito garlic salt
  • 1/2 – cup grated jack cheese
  • 4 – hamburger buns (toasted)
  • 4 – teaspoons of mayo
  • 4 – teaspoons mustard
  • 4 – teaspoons thousand island dressing
  • 4 – tablespoons of crumbled blue cheese
  • lettuce
  • tomato slices
  • sliced dill pickles
  • sliced onion


  1.  Mix beef and egg in a bowl together. Use your hands to mix thoroughly.
  2. Form meat evenly into 4 patties.
  3. Place a grill over a medium flame and add oil to grill. Allow it to get hot.
  4. Lay the patties on the grill and season with meat seasoning and garlic salt. 
  5. Cook burger patties on one side for 7 minutes then flip and cook other side for 5 minutes. 
  6. Add 1/8 cup of jack cheese to each patty. Allow cheese to melt while burger is still cooking for an additional 5 minutes. 
  7. Place each patty on a toasted bun, then top patties with 1 tablespoon of blue cheese each.
  8. Slather the other half of each bun with mayo, mustard and thousand island dressing.
  9. Pile on lettuce, tomato, pickles and onion.
  10. Stack and enjoy!

See the picture below… that is a wonderfully loaded spice basket that Chef Merito is giving away to one lucky reader of Presley’s Pantry. Enter for a chance to win by following the simple steps listed below!

You can have up to 4 entries each; please note that you have to comment back and let me know which of the actions you took, so that I can account for them.

1.  Mandatory entry: Comment below and tell me what dish you would love to prepare with Chef Merito products
2. Like Presley’s Pantry on Facebook
3. Subscribe to Presley’s Pantry channel on You Tube
4. Tweet about the giveaway and come back here letting me know that you did. Sample tweet: Enter for a chance to win a basket of @ChefMerito products via @Presleyspantry: 

Open to U.S. Residents only. No PO Boxes, please. Must be 18 years or older to enter. Contest ends September 4th, 2013 at 9:00 PM, PST and one (1) winner will be randomly chosen from all entries through

The Only Way I was Going To Taste The Ramen Burger Is If I Made It Myself!

The Only Way I was Going To Taste The Ramen Burger Is If I Made It Myself!

I have been drooling over the ramen burger ever since I first saw it on the internet. I wanted it. I needed to become fast friends with it. I knew it would be super hard to find or if I found it, it would be a long line to get it, so I made my own. Get the step by step instruction on how to make it over on Babble…. by clicking here!


Webisode 7: Papa And Pork Chile Verde with The Vieja

Webisode 7: Papa And Pork Chile Verde with The Vieja

Disclosure: The most grateful thank you to the Idaho Potato Commission for sponsoring this video. We appreciate all the support you have given us, and LOVE partnering with you!

Chile Verde is an all time family favorite since as far back as I can remember. My grandfather used to make it when I was a little girl, then my Auntie Rosie took the reins and she is the one who taught me how to make it. My family puts big chunks of potatoes in our chile verde for a delightful dish you’ll never forget! Here is my latest webisode showing you how we make it….. except I had Vieja Chile Verde come supervise. Keep an eye out for my band at the end! 🙂

Ingredients for Chile Verde Con Papa:

  • 6 – tomatillos
  • 4- hueritos chiles
  • 4 – serrano chiles
  • 4- jalapeno chiles
  • 2- garilc cloves
  • a pinch of oregano
  • 1 – tablespoon beef bouillon
  • 1 – capful white vinegar
  • 1 – cup of boiled chile water
  • 2 – tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 – lbs cut pork tenderloin
  • 5 –  bay leaves
  • 1 –  white onion
  • 4 – cups of chicken broth
  • 4 – russet Idaho potatoes


  1. Boil chiles and tomatillos for 25 minutes.
  2. Then add chiles, tomatillos, garlic cloves, oregano, beef bouillon, vinegar, and chile water into a blender. Blend until chunky. Set to the side.
  3. In a large dutch oven over a medium high flame add oil and allow to heat till hot, then add in pork tenderloin cubes and braise on each side.
  4. Add in bay leaves and onion.
  5. Pour in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling lower flame, add a lid and allow to simmer for 2 hours.
  6. Next add in potato chunks and green chile. Cover with lid and continue to simmer for an additional 30 to 40 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.
  7. Enjoy!

Thank you with my entire heart and gratitude to my most awesome crew! I sincerely love you guys big time.

Director: Mando Lopez
Director of Photography:  Tony Molina
Camera Assistant: Suki Ewers
Producer:  Lacey Reilly
 Editor:  Max Azpiazu
Set Design:  Mando Lopez
On-set morale booster: Kristen Warren
Sound and Make-up:  Janine Presley
Lighting Equipment: Paul Hopkins
Band Music: Mando Lopez, Andrea Bulletti, and Anthony E. Martinez
Vocals: Nicole Presley
Sound Engineering: Manny Nieto
Opening Music: Anger Bros
Thank you Melissa’s Produce for donating all the GREEN CHILES!!!!

The most grateful thank you to the Idaho Potato Commission for sponsoring this video. We appreciate all the support you have given us, and LOVE partnering with you!

Biscoff Apple Donut Holes

Biscoff Apple Donut Holes

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Biscoff. The opinions and text are all mine.

This is such a happy day…. I just discovered Biscoff Spread! I have always enjoyed the delicious cookie brought to us by the same moniker, but now picture that in a creamy spread form, and it tastes exactly like the European cookie. Oh the possibilities of this perfect spread are endless…. I can eat it on apples, I can use it as frosting for my next cake, I can even add it to a milkshake for the ultimate cookies and cream experience. This creamy lip licking spread has become Europe’s alternative to peanut butter or chocolate spread. It have no nuts in it, so it is ideal for people with allergies to nuts, and it’s vegan! Finally a spread that can be enjoyed by a wide variety of people, and did I mention it’s seriously delicious? One big heaping tablespoon in I knew the first call of order was to have this spread smeared on my apple donut holes. I jumped up out of my seat and started measuring the flour and heating the oil. Minutes later I had wonderful warm dessert smothered in a my new favorite cookie spread. I took a few pictures of my final creation to share with you. It seems like other people are just as smitten with Biscoff Spread and sharing their photos with the rest of the internet. Take a look and vote for the best photo in Biscoff’s “Spread the Love” contest and you could win a year’s supply of Biscoff products! Sounds like a dream come true. 🙂

Ingredients for Biscoff Apple Donut Holes:

1 1/2 – cups flour

1/16 – teaspoon salt

1 – teaspoon baking powder

1/4 – teaspoon cinnamon

1 – egg

1/2  – cup buttermilk

1/2 – teaspoon vanilla

1/3 – cup green apple (chopped into small bits)

4 – cups vegetable oil

2 – tablspoons powdered sugar

Biscoff Spread


1. In a medium sized bowl add flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon. Mix to combine dry ingredients.

2. In a mixer add sugar, egg, buttermilk, and vanilla. Mix on medium for 5 minutes till sugar is completely dissolved.

3. Add dry flour mixture to sugar/egg mixture. Mix to fully incorporate and form a dough.

4. Add in green apple. Mix to combine.

5. In a small sauce pan over a medium low flame add in vegetable oil and allow it to get hot to 375 degrees.

6. Drop a teaspoon of dough into oil and fry for 3 to 4 minutes.

7. Drain on a paper towel, then sprinkle with powdered sugar.

8. Then either dip or spread with Biscoff spread.

9. Enjoy!

Biscoff Spread is a sweet, creamy spread made with Biscoff Cookies. Try this delicious European alternative to peanut butter or chocolate spread. Vote for the best photo in Biscoff’s “Spread the Love” contest and you could win a year’s supply of Biscoff products!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Biscoff. The opinions and text are all mine.

Madria Sangria And Witch Finger Grapes!

Madria Sangria And Witch Finger Grapes!

I know everyone is talking about back to school and end of Summer, but the truth of the matter is…. Here in Los Angeles, September is one of the hottest months of the year and many times that heat seeps right into the beginning of October. I see it as nice gift from the sun, a warm embrace. It allows me to keep my patio open to an extended gathering of friends and family. Bring on the Madria Sangria in either Red Traditional Sangria or White Moscato and add some chopped fruit to it for a fruity drink. Who am I kidding? I’ll enjoy it well after Summer ends.


Ingredients For Witch Finger White Sangria: 

  • A bunch of Witch Finger Grapes (Melissa’s Produce)
  • 20 – bing cherries (pitted and cut in half) (Melissa’s Produce)
  • 1 – cup mango (chopped)
  • 1 – cup watermelon (chopped)
  • 1 or 2 bottles of Madria Sangria in white or red

How do you enjoy your Sangria? Plain or loaded with fruit? Tell me!