South Coast Botanical Garden 🌐

The South Coast Botanical Garden on the edge of Palos Verdes is truly a gem! One of the best places I’ve ever been in LA so far this summer! Since it was a free day (3rd Tuesday of every month), I decided to stop by with some family and friends. 87 lush acres of trees, flowers, gardens, trails, animals, and other wildlife. Walking in, we were greeted with a quaint Japanese garden, one full of cacti, a children’s garden, a gorgeous rose garden with a stunning fountain, and tons more. I didn’t get to explore the whole place; you best believe I’ll be there again soon. Everyone needs a little flora and fauna in their day. This’ll be a photo blog, cause I want the pictures to do the talking. 

Xxx- Firda

 Pink fuchsias!🌷

Can’t go wrong with a cute koi pond!🐟

 

So picturesque.📷

  

Weeping bottlebrush.😢

  

Hungry caterpillar🐛🌸

  

Love these!!😋

  

The trees were great on this sunny day.🌳

  

The Wild West for a hot sec🌵

  

Kinda, sorta hiking? Wear comfy shoes.👟

  

Adorable bridge that’s supposed to be over a stream but y’know that drought situation.💦

  

“A rose by any other name would smell such as sweet..”🌹

  

Signs if you get lost which is bound to happen- it’s huge!🚩

  

A great place for cheeky photoshoots😜

  

Nice place to sit and chat.💺

  

Not the Trevi but it’s close enough🌀

  

Bridge over a koi pond in the children’s garden🌈

 Lavender love💜 

Caprese Eggs Benedict

Hey everyone ❤️
Today I am sharing with you my take on the classic eggs benedict. I revamp the flavors by using fresh ingredients and modern cooking techniques that enhance the flavors of simple ingredients. This version will make you feel a little less guilty after eating! Its made with fresh stove roasted tomatoes, creamy mozzerella, basil, and of course, the star of the dish, easy to make hollandaise sauce! This breakfast recipe will be using the flavors of italy to make breakfast a little more interesting.

1) Make the Hollandaise Sauce
I use Ree Drummond’s Easy Blender Hollandaise Sauce Recipe from her website : http://www.pioneerwoman.com
Ingredients:
– 3 egg yolks
– 2 sticks of melted butter
– 1 lemon
– dash of cayenne pepper
Directions:
1) Melt the butter on a saucepan.
2) Separate the eggs, keep the egg whites for the benedict.
3) Place the egg yolks into a blender and on low speed blend the yolks for a minute or so.
4) Then, slowly pour the melted butter into the blender with the blender on. Be sure to pour it on slowly so that you dont scramble the eggs!
5) Blend until the all the butter is combined with the yolks. Afterwards, squeeze the juice of a lemon and add the cayenne pepper, while blending. Voilà, you have just made homeade hollandaise in a matter of minutes!

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Part 2:
1) Cut the english muffins lengthwise using a serrated knife.
2) Place both halves into a toaster on a medium high heat setting so that they have a crunch to them.
3) Once the english muffins have been toasted, butter them generously, and set asideZ

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4) Now once thats ready, begin slicing your mozzerella in thin slices.
5) Next, slice the tomatoes as well.
6) Heat a pan on medium-high heat and spray with some olive oil. Place tomatoes on the hot skillet in order for them to brown slightly. Once they are on the pan, season them with a dash of garlic powder, seasoned salt, and italian seasoning. These spices elevate the flavor of the tomatoes.

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7) Fry the eggs. I prefer fried eggs rather than poached eggs, but poached eggs would work as well. I use the eggs whites left over from the yolks used in the hollandaise sauce. Be sure to season your eggs with salt and pepper!
8) Assemble the benedict. First, place a slice of tomatoe onto both halves of the buttered english muffin.

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Next, place a few leaves of basil on top of the tomatoes for an added layer of freshness.

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Then, place the sliced mozzerella on top of the basil.

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Lastly, top the benedict off with the fried egg and drizzle your hollandaise sauce.

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Enjoy! Bon Appetit

Xoxo,
Shiza

Cleo @ SLS Las Vegas

Aloha❤️
This past weekend I went to Las Vegas for a mini-vacation. Las Vegas is known for its flamboyant restaurants and culinary acclaimed cuisine. At my stay , I dined at several amazing restaurants but none compared to the Cleo . This restaurant truly captivated me from the minute I walked in. I felt as though I had walked into an ancient wonderland. The ambiance had a rustic look with a book shelf lining the walls which was filled with an array of vintage images in black and white and numerous books stacked almost messily. To make things feel even more picturesque, there was a massive wood fire oven and open kitchen in the center of the restaurant . It felt as though I was dining with Cleopatra herself.

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Aside from the ambiance, the food was divine . Cleo is known for its Mediterranean inspired cuisine, and it lives up to that. All of the dishes have a sublime flavor from the use of traditional spices and cooking techniques . My favorite dish was the Branzino Tagine , which is cooked in a ceramic dish in the wood oven . A tagine is a Morrocan layered pilaf with a meat and rice or cous cous and cooked in spices. I requested the chef to make it with fish instead of meat or chicken ( fish tagine is not on the menu but they were kind to make it for me) but my parents ordered the chicken tagine and that too was spectacular.

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This is the branzino tagine.

We also ordered a grilled haloumi salad with heirloom kale, hazeulnuts, tarragon, and citrus. This salad had a refreshing flavor and the grilled haloumi was perfect. Halloumi cheese has bedouin roots from the middle east and is semi-hard and has a high melting point which allows it to hold its shape when grilled.

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We also ordered a shrimp and salmon kabob . Both were well seasoned and had an earthy flavor from the dill. The kabobs were served with a spicy chilli sauce that complemented the kabobs well.

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I recommend this restaurant to any one visiting Las Vegas.

Xoxo,
Shiza