Off the Beaten Path: Rumi Cafe

Some parting wisdom, compliments of Rumi Cafe

Some parting wisdom, compliments of Rumi Cafe

Not really. This place is in Sherman Oaks, near Ms. Foodie’s Yoga studio. Thanks to the magic of Yelp! Ms. Foodie stumbled upon it, and I am so glad I did.

Rumi Cafe is a brand new establishment, only open three months; but they are working hard to make a good impression. The Cafe has a Middle Eastern vibe, with comfy seating (actual cushions on the chairs!), and a nice selection of books and music to go along with your coffee or meal. But they aren’t low-tech—there are two flat screens, and plenty of plugs for laptops—which was perfect for Ms. Foodie’s purposes today. I just needed a space on the way home from Yoga to patch off a few emails and do some research, but being early afternoon in the San Fernando Valley, I knew my usual haunts would be packed to the gills with the usual wannabe screenwriters and actors. So I decided to flip a coin (via Internet search) and try something new.

The Cafe had good reviews on Yelp! and since it is relatively new, Ms. Foodie took a chance that it probably would not be running a crowd. Sherlock Holmes would be proud of my deduction skills, as I was right. Ms. Foodie practically had the place to herself, on top of the focused attention of Mike, the Barista/Server on duty that afternoon.

The Cafe serves breakfast, lunch AND dinner, different from most cafes that only serve pastries or prefab sandwiches that are often too little sandwich for too much money. Ms. Foodie got her money’s worth with a delicious Spinach Omelette with hash browns and toast. One of the best Spinach omelettes Ms. Foodie has ever eaten. Fresh, light, and flavorful, yet hearty—Ms. Foodie couldn’t even finish it all. The price: less than $7.00.

The delicious Spinach Omelette, including bread (not pictured). All for less than $7.00.

The delicious Spinach Omelette, including bread (not pictured). All for less than $7.00.

Ms. Foodie also ordered an iced Vanilla Latte. Why is it 80 degrees in February? I digress, and most the nation is telling me to shut up. Where was Ms. Foodie? Yes, back to the Vanilla Latte. Ms. Foodie will be wired for sound for the rest of the day. The espresso was super strong (just the way Ms. Foodie likes it!), and the Vanilla was delicate—a mere hint of flavor without overpowering the espresso. A rare thing, especially if you frequent the majors like Starbucks and the Coffee Bean. Mike, being very gracious and solicitous, charmed Ms. Foodie into ordering another one—this time, blended. The blended Vanilla Latte was even better than the iced one, but now Ms. Foodie will be wired for sound for the rest of the night! But it was well worth it—Middle Eastern- type cafes make coffee and espresso like nobody’s business!

The cherry on Ms. Foodie’s sundae was Mike offering a sample of their soups of the day: Tomato-Basil, Carrot-Ginger, or Bean.   Ms. Foodie chose the Carrot-Ginger Soup, and thought I had died and gone to Heaven! The soup was so creamy, and lightly laced with Ginger and other spices, it made Ms. Foodie feel like she was being enveloped in a warm comforter.

This place may appear to be off the beaten path and tucked away, but Ms. Foodie has no doubt that this will change very soon. I recommend you pop by and give them some business—just give Ms. Foodie a few more months to feel like I have the place to myself….

13368 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks, California 91423. Hours of operation: 6:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. You can also find them on Facebook at LA Rumi Cafe.

Comfort Breakfast: Grits with Parmesan Rock Fish and Seaweed

Ms. Foodie has been feeling a bit under the weather, so comfort foods are in order not only for nourishment, but for pampering.

Grits are my go-to breakfast comfort food. Ms. Foodie had some leftover Parmesan Rock Fish, so that added some protein and flavor, while Seaweed flakes added some chew and spice.

Along with some Peppermint Tea with LOTS of honey, and Ms. Foodie is feeling better already!

Breakfast from the Heart…

“Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon or not at all.”

Harriet Van Horne, Vogue, October 1956

Heart-shaped Pancakes (use)

Happy Valentine’s Day! The Foodie family aren’t huge romantics, so this day often whooshes by with just a greeting of acknowledgment, and attended to like any other day.

But this V-Day, Ms. Foodie decided to be different (shocker!) and made Mr. Foodie his favorite meal: Pancakes. But these ones came straight from the heart, in the shape of a heart!

Ms. Foodie has tried lots of pancake recipes, and they never live up to the hype. So I came up with a few of my own. This simple Pancake Mix Recipe uses the following ingredients:

Dry:

2 cups Flour
1/4 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt.

Wet:

1/3 cup oil (Canola, Vegetable Oil)
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
1 and 1/4 cup of milk (you can substitute Buttermilk or Almond Milk).

Ms. Foodie sifts the dry ingredients together, then I mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.  I create a little well in the dry ingredients, then lightly pour the wet mixture in stages, mixing well at each pour. You don’t want to over mix the batter though–lumps are good!

Ms. Foodie does not own a heart-shaped mold (that lack of romance thing), so I carefully placed the batter into a non-stick skillet to form little heart shapes. Ms. Foodie found that this got easier and more precise with each heart.

Heart-shaped Pancakes (Naked-use) Aren’t they pretty? And a bit rustic–definitely a reflection of us. We’re simple folks who enjoy Simple Fare!

Ms. Foodie threw some frozen berries (minus strawberries–Mr. Foodie is allergic) into Maple Syrup, and warmed it, then melted some Butter in a separate server. Nothing makes homemade Pancakes happier than warm Butter and Syrup!

So from this non-romantic, to the romantics of the world, have a loved-filled day, and Eat Heart-ty!

What’s for Breakfast?

While Ms. Foodie would love to do a full-course breakfast most days, there is often just not enough time. So solid proteins and fruit in a compact form work well for me.

Now that I’m cleansing, I can’t do any bread, so that quick-and-dirty breakfast grab is gone.

My solution: Boiled eggs, my favorite Chobani Pomegranate  yogurt, and a banana–Less than 15 minutes to prepare–easy/breezy!

If you’re truly not an egg or diary eater, I recommend an apple filled with Almond or Sunflower butter–another quickie protein packer!

More fun with Chobani!

So Ms. Foodie made good on her promise to whip up a recipe using Chobani Greek Yogurt. I took 6 oz. of the plain flavor and made a zesty marinade for our chicken breasts last night!

It’s only me and Mr. Foodie, so I used the six ounce size of the yogurt to cover two breasts, and even had some leftover marinade after coating the chicken. But, if you use more breasts, you can double, triple, quadruple the recipe–you decide…

I threw in three teaspoons of Olive Oil, 3/4 teaspoon of Ground Ginger and Cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of Thyme, 1/2 teaspoon of Garlic Powder, 1/2 teaspoon of Minced Onion, 1/4 teaspoon of Rosemary, and a 1/2 cup of Lime Juice.  After mixing all the ingredients into the yogurt, I used it to coat the breasts on both sides, then let them sit in the fridge for 20 minutes while warming up the broiler.

At 500 degrees, the chicken flash cooks, but the lovely yogurt coating holds in all the flavor–no dry breasts on this watch.  Lots of taste with a bit of zing!

But here’s the best part: I refrigerated the leftover yogurt marinade and stirred it into eggs this morning to make myself a Ms. Foodie Omelette.

This is back to pure Kitchen Cabinet Cooking, because everything was already in the store: two eggs, some leftover roasted turkey breast, and Roma tomatoes.  And with all the flavors packed into the yogurt, who has to season?

I also had some potato salad with dill in the fridge, so it accompanied the Omelette, along with Sourdough toast.

Mmmm Good!

New Year’s Brunch: King Hawaiian French Toast stuffed with Ham and Cheese

Ms. Foodie wishes everyone a Happy New Year!  After a night of ringing out the old and ringing in the new, it behooves you to start off with a delicious meal.  A new twist 0n Ham and Eggs is made to order!

I took some King Hawaiian sliced bread and coated it with an egg and sour cream mixture spiced with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. After placing one slice on the griddle, I topped it with slices of Black Forest Ham and Cheddar Cheese, then covered it with a second slice of the coated.

Flip and cook like any French toast recipe until golden brown, and then serve it up with maple syrup or a preserve of your choosing.

A Bellini accompaniment is just the ticket–gotta do something with that leftover champagne!

Grits and Logastino tails make for an Eclectic Morning

So the weather has gotten nippier outside, and Ms. Foodie needed something warm in her belly!  What better cold weather morning burner than Grits.

Grits are like potatoes: they take on the flavor and tenor of whatever you add to it.  So, Ms. Foodie went eclectic and a tad exotic, adding some frozen Logastino tails in while the grits cooked.  Once they were ready, I added a bit of Trader Joe’s 3-Cheese Blend, and roasted Seaweed, to give it a bit of saltiness and texture.

Hearty?  You betcha!  Not to mention delish.  Good morning!

Challah French Toast is what’s for Breakfast!

An homage to my Jewish brethren commemorating Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, accompanied by unorthodox thick-sliced Bacon.  Raised by a Southern Baptist Mamma–what can I say?!

Covered in Maple Syrup, with the 10 Things I Hate About You soundtrack playing in the background, it’s all good….