Win a White Pizza from Fresh Brothers!

Fresh Brothers introduced a seasonal White Pizza recently, and I sampled one with my family. Spoiler alert: delicious food bomb. I recommend. Read more to enter my giveaway to win your own delicious White Pizza!

Fresh Brothers’ three cheese White Pizza features dollops of creamy ricotta, romano and crushed garlic on fresh-made crust drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, layered with ricotta and topped with all natural mozzarella. You can customize the White Pizza and choose from your favorite toppings, and you can also choose thin-crust, skinny-crust or deep dish crust with the option of gluten-free. The new pizza is available at all 18 locations across Southern California, for a limited time.

white pizza at fresh brothers slice

“We wanted to create a fresh and flavorful new pizza for families and friends to share during the holiday season,” says Adam Goldberg, CEO and Founder of Fresh Brothers. “Our customers and team members were seeking an alternative to our fresh packed tomato sauce and we’re excited to deliver on their requests.”

white pizza ad fresh brothers

The pictures look great, but I wondered if my kids, who have only had red-sauce-lined pizza, would like this new creation. I ordered some of Fresh Brothers’ amazing meatball sliders, too, just in case.

The verdict: three out of four of us really love the White Pizza. The deep dish crust version makes it decadent – it’s a hot, cheesy pile of dough and cheese. I mean, what could be better? The fourth (our youngest) gave it a try but he likes his Fresh Brothers meat and sauce, so sliders it was for him.

meatball slider fresh brothers

The White Pizza is only available at Fresh Brothers during the winter holidays, so get over there and try it now! Enter here to win a virtual coupon for one! Just leave a comment ON THIS POST by 11:59 PM on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 23) to enter, and make sure you use a valid e-mail address. The winner will be chosen at random and notified on Black Friday (Friday, November 24). Extra entries if you follow @agourahillsmom on Instagram or join my new Facebook group (I know…), Moms of Agoura Hills (mention your follow or your group request in your comment to get the extra entries). The prize: One Medium Cheese/Pepperoni Pizza, One Medium White Pizza and an order of sweet knots (3x) from Fresh Brothers.

Delivery only available for residents within 3 miles of Fresh Brothers stores throughout Los Angeles. No expiration, service charges or dormancy fees. This virtual gift card will not be replaced if lost or stolen. Not redeemable for cash, except as required by law. Not valid at LAX. My family received a complimentary, delicious Fresh Brothers meal. All opinions and full bellies are our own.

My Amazing Banana Bread – Recipe

Who doesn’t love bananas? I buy a bunch every time I go grocery shopping, and my family eats all but 1 or 2 of them. They just don’t dig bananas that are even a little bit too ripe. (What’s your banana number?) To me that means one thing:

banana bread graphic

My mom taught me how to make banana bread when I was young, maybe I was 12 years old. I have always had this banana bread in my life. She wrote the recipe down on a recipe card that my girlfriends had given to every bridal shower guest, and then I collected all the recipes in a matching recipe box. (For you youngsters, that’s how we used to collect recipes before Pinterest.)

I make this banana bread all the time. I make it to keep on the kitchen counter for my family to eat. I make it for potlucks, for bake sales, and for people who just had a baby or surgery or a death in the family. Everyone loves it. Everyone raves about it.

But the recipe isn’t a secret. It was from the Jiffy Mix box, probably a box that my mom had in the house when I was little.

I make my own baking mix now so I don’t use Jiffy Mix, but it’s easy enough to buy a box of that pre-mixed baking mix and whip it out. This is how easy it is:

Ingredients:

2 cups baking mix
2 eggs
1 cup mashed bananas
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter

Directions:

Cream the butter and sugar together.
Beat in the eggs and banana.
Stir in the baking mix until you form a moist batter.
Use a rubber or silicone spatula to scrape batter into bread loaf pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes.

And this is what you get, and it’s amazing, and everyone loves it:

banana bread on cutting board

Photo by Jo del Corro via Flickr

 

Aroha: the Foodiest Restaurant in Town

Aroha dining patioCourtesy of Aroha Restaurant

Aroha New Zealand Cuisine and Bar has been in the little cluster of restaurants at the corner of Lindero Canyon Road and Russell Ranch Road since 2014, but I’ll bet you haven’t even noticed it*. The restaurant is tucked away behind Cici’s (pancakes) and Barone’s (Italian), across from Lure (seafood) near the Marriott Residence Inn. Aroha just put in an awesome outdoor bar, though, so this summer if you drive by on your way to Target or In & Out, you’ll likely see a bunch of people on their patio for happy hour and wonder what the heck you’re missing.

The answer is you’re missing the fanciest, tastiest, most exotic dishes I’ve seen on any menu in the surrounding area so far.

Aroha crab cakesOur starter: Lump Crab Cakes
with spiced avocado mousse and a micro licorice salad

The atmosphere at Aroha is fairly chill. The dining room and patio are inviting and comfortable, tastefully appointed with Crate & Barrel-esque minimalist furniture, but not precious. The waitstaff are friendly and knowledgeable about the menu without making you feel inferior for never having tried lamb or venison, or not knowing what horopito is. (It’s an herb.)

And then you see the menu.

Aroha New Zealand beer

We started with a New Zealand beer and a fancy-sounding cocktail that was supposed to turn pink when you squeeze the lime into and mix it in.

Then since I had to have the most “New Zealand-y” dish on the menu, I chose the venison.

Aroha venisonAward Winning Horopito Crusted New Zealand Venison:
pan roasted with sweet potato, cherry compote, pistachio, and vanilla-parsnip purée

I had never tried venison before, but like I always say, I’ll do it for my readers. You’re welcome. The chef recommends his venison be served medium-rare, so I rolled with that. I took care to put a little bit of each item on my plate into a forkful, and tasted. The result made me feel like Remy in Ratatouille describing the combination of flavors exploding in your mouth.

Aroha salmon

My husband had the salmon. He said “It was awfully good.” Normally he would stop there, but when I pressed him for more words, he shared that he enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere juxtaposed against the sophisticated dishes. The pricing on the menu items makes Aroha an indulgence, a dinner we would splurge on for a special occasion. Just being there made it a special occasion.

Which meant we had to have dessert.

Aroha Pavlova

Aroha Pavlova closeupThe Pavlova

The Pavlova is the national dessert of New Zealand, so naturally we had to order that. At Aroha (which means “love”) it arrives as three fluffy pillows of sweet meringue surrounded by fresh kiwi and strawberries, topped with passion fruit seeds and flowers. It tastes like homemade marshmallow. Sweet and exotic. I paired it with a super sweet dessert cocktail, Harold’s Hata, which tastes like a coconut White Russian. Tasty, but it’s all you need for dessert and you should NOT drive home after drinking it.

Aroha’s young chef Gwithyen Thomas is a New Zealand native who moved to our area for love. His wife and baby son were at the restaurant on the night we dined there, and his enthusiasm and love of food and what he does shined through in our conversations. He told us about how the deer and salmon were raised, flown here, and prepared, and how his kitchen and dining room staff have the same love of food that he does.

And it shows. Check out Aroha for happy hour or a full meal. It will be an experience, I promise you that.

Aroha New Zealand Cuisine and Bar
30990 Russell Ranch Road.
Westlake Village, CA 91362
(805) 405-5054

(*If you have, please share in the comments – I’d love to know if you dined there and what you thought!)

My husband and I dined as guests of Aroha. All opinions are our own.