Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Chocolate Swirl Biscuits

 Chocolate Swirl Biscuits

I recently realized that I was in possession of two chocolate swirled bread recipes. I decided to take the easy way out and make the one that didn't require rising time. Making these was a comforting task on a cool fall night and a way for me to calmly release some building tension by cutting butter in to flour. It is always amazing to me how that small effort can make me feel so much better. Bread and chocolate are a fantastic comforting breakfast. The recipe comes from the book Deep Dark Chocolate by Sara Perry and was reprinted on the website Bakerella. I made the recipe almost exactly as printed except I used 4.5 ounces of chocolate in the filling and I sprinkled half of the egg washed tops with coarse sea salt. You can find the original recipe here.

Chocolate Swirl Biscuits

One year ago: Truffled Egg Toast
Two years ago: Charleston, South Carolina
Three years ago: Quick Chicken Pho
Four years ago: Pomegranate Pound Cake

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Friday, October 5, 2012

Brunch at Saddle Peak Lodge

Tucked high into the Malibu hills, it is easy to see how so many celebrities flock to Saddle Peak Lodge for a quiet escape from the bustle of Los Angeles. It's not an easy place to find and it provides a nice retreat from prying eyes. During my dineLA press trip, we were treated to a lovely Sunday brunch at this classic location that specializes in wild game.

The brunch menu is lighter on game than the dinner menu because during the day is when the meat is gathered and prepared for the evening. As is customary and necessary with brunch, we started with a few cocktails. This bacon bloody mary provided the perfect antidote to the previous night's excursion. The thick cut bacon lended it's saltiness and smokiness to the bloody mary in a very subtle way.

Bacon Bloody Mary

Since we weren't able to get a taste of the game being prepared for the evening, we settled with a trio of game sausage ($9). On this day the sausages were duck with jalapeno, pheasant, and wild boar with cranberry. The flavors were subtle, but pleasant and we all kept coming back for more.

Trio of Sausage

We also shared a plate of the house-made bacon ($5). It's thick cut, perfectly smoky, and salty.


My main course was the breakfast pizza. It was just what I needed after another evening of a few too many cocktails. The pliant crust is topped with pesto, fresh mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, a mixture of the game sausages and a perfect over-easy fried egg.

Breakfast Pizza

I was able to try a few bites of the rabbit confit pot pie ($15). A puff pastry vol-au-vent is piled high with a just slightly too salty rabbit confit. This would have been perfect if the salt had been dialed down a bit.

Rabbit Pot Pie

A quiche filled with goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and broccoli ($14) helped us get some much-needed vegetables.


The interior of the restaurant is dark and contains many decorations like this which may or may not make you uncomfortable about the food you are about to consume. I'm fine with it since so many places on my trip to Namibia contained similar wall pieces.

Saddle Peak Lodge

For such a young chef, Christopher Kufek has a strong command on what makes a great restaurant tick. It's easy to see why Saddle Peak Lodge has withstood the test of time.

Saddle Peak Lodge
419 Cold Canyon Road Calabasas, CA 91302
(818) 222-3888

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