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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Melissa In LA, California

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While Melissa was in LA, she stopped in at a few hot spots, One was Sage a plant-based bistro. Their style of food is Gourmet, Raw, Vegan, and Organic. Here’s a peek into this restaurant.

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This is their vegan tuna sandwich.

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The tuna is made from jackfruit, pretty interesting.

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This is their sage avocado bruschetta and fried artichoke hearts.

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Wow!, those dishes look so good, even for a meat eater like myself, I would definitely love to try each one of those. For dinner, they all decided on French cuisine. Republique Restaurant in LA. This place is Amazing!!  Here is a look at this restaurant.

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Here is a look at their menu.

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This dish is the roasted broccoli and cauliflower salad at Republique.

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Their Charcuterie Room is displayed for customers to see.

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Growing up, my father did a lot of traveling for his job and had the opportunity to dine at some of the best restaurants all over the United States. I’m so happy that my daughter is able to do the same thing today.

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French Vanilla Cupcakes

Photo Jun 18, 10 26 32 AM

I have to say that in your local grocery store, there are so many varieties of box cake mixes that are really good. The brand of cake mix I’m partial to is the French vanilla box mix.

If you need a dessert quick,  this one works in a pinch.

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I have to say that in your local grocery store, there are so many varieties of box cake mixes that are really good. The brand of cake mix I’m partial to is the French vanilla (16.5-ounce box). If you need a dessert quick,  this one works in a pinch. I love to make the box mixes and make them really special, and I’ll tell you how. Whenever I make a chocolate cake mix I’ll add some brewed coffee (cold) to the batter, It just enhances the chocolate flavor so much, and you don’t taste the coffee. The French vanilla (16.5-ounce box), however; I add a vanilla bean, because I just can’t get enough of that vanilla flavor, plus I love to see the black specks of vanilla throughout the batter. The other ingredient I use is ricotta cheese. The ricotta cheese gives it extra moistness and richness you just can’t get from anything else. So all you do for this recipe is follow the directions on the box and add the caviar of one vanilla bean, and 4 ounces of ricotta cheese to the batter. This will take a box cake mix and make it extra special. After the cupcakes have cooled completely remove them from the pan and place them on a cooling rack.

Instead of frosting, I do something just a little different,  I dip them in cinnamon sugar. All I do is melt 2 sticks of unsalted butter and pour the butter into a bowl, and in another bowl, I mix 1 cup of sugar with 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon. Take your cupcake and dip the top into the warm melted butter and then into the cinnamon sugar mixture and that’s all there is to it. I promise you won’t be able to eat just one because they are so darn good.

My secret ingredient is Ricotta cheese. Now when I make these I go ahead and make a double batch, one is just not enough, they are that good.  So for a double batch, I put 1 teaspoon of rose water in the wet mix, 2 teaspoons of real vanilla extract, and 8 ounces of ricotta cheese for a double batch.  You are not going to believe how moist they turn out, and the rose water just perfumes the cupcakes. Then I melt 1 stick of unsalted butter and make a cinnamon sugar mixture.  When the cupcakes have cooled a little I dunk the tops into the melted butter and then into the cinnamon sugar.  I bet you can’t eat just one.

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