Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Less Dangerous than a Mandolin

I feel like I can't believe I don't talk about my vegetti more. It's the weirdest/greatest thing I have purchased in a long time. Basically it turns vegetables into fake spaghetti and it makes cooking dinner expodentially more fun (and it's not as dangerous as that god damn mandolin...torture device I tell you!) And if you use one of those 9 million Bed, Bath, & Beyond coupons in that pile of mail on on the counter (no? just me?) it's under $10.  Winner winner fake vegetable noodle dinner.

I mean look at that little guy go! Those are sweet potato "noodles" people! Noodles! And they are so cute! 


What did I make with those sweet potato noodles? This....and it was damn delicous:


Ingredients

  • 1.5-2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 sweet Italian sausage links, decased, crumbled
  • 1 large (350g+) sweet potato, peeled, Blade C
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
  • 6 asparagus stalks
  • optional: grated parmigiano reggiano cheese, to garnish
Directions

  1. Place a large skillet over medium heat and add in the olive oil. Then, add in the sausage. Cook the sausage until browned, 5-7 minutes. Continue to crumble the sausage as it cooks. While the sausage is cooking, snap the bottoms off the asparagus and then shave with a vegetable peeler, starting from the bottom of the asparagus tips all the way down to the end of the stalk. When done shaving, chop off the tips and set aside. Set aside all shavings and tips.
  2. When the sausage is done, add in the sweet potato noodles, garlic, red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and then add in the broth and parsley. Let cook, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes or until sweet potato noodles are cooked through and soften. After 5 minutes into the noodles cooking, add in the shaved asparagus and asparagus tips. Toss to combine and let the noodles finish cooking.
  3. When pasta is done, plate into bowls and garnish with optional grated cheese. Enjoy!
Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thursday Thanksgiving Recipe Prep

This is the second year in a row I will be cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Living on the West Coast with family out east, it is just too short of a time (and too damn expensive) to fly home for Thanksgiving.  For that reason, Thanksgiving is usually spent with my "urban family".

Last year, my life-partner Grace and I cooked Thanksgiving for the first time and it was widely successful (minus the turkey juice I spilled on the carpet).  This year we are even more ready to go.  We might even be super ambitious and run a turkey trot that morning (getting to confident? perhaps hahaha).

Here are a few recipes that I am planning to bust out this turkey day:


When I made this last year, I believe our friend Andrew exclaimed, "Bacon
and carrots together at last".  It's on the menu again.


Ok, I confess.  Last year's stuffing came from a bag.  This year it's
all Martha baby.


I brought this jalapeƱo creamed corn to a friendsgiving the Saturday after Thanksgiving
last year and it was a huge it.  It's going on the main menu this time around.


A 3-year veteran of Thanksgiving dinner, it's perpetually on my menu.
Delicious, traditional, and easy.


This, this is my white whale?  Can I do it?  Maybe.  Will I try? Probably.
I'll let you know how it goes.

Any tried and true Thanksgiving recipes I should be giving a go this year?

 
Monday, November 10, 2014

Weekend Update

I did a lot of eating this weekend. A little bit of running, but really...mostly eating.

The boy and I took it easy Friday night because we had to be up early for a 5K on Saturday. We got dinner and then in the interest if not going home before 8 pm and being the oldest of oldies, we stopped by Aroma Cafe for tea and cake.  Yup, we ate all that cake...carbo-loading for the race guys...come on.


Saturday we got up bright and early for the Hard Rock Cafe 5k. It went right down Hollywood Blvd. which is always a fun time. The best thing about a 5K is how quick they are! We parked, ran, drank a beer, and left in all under and hour and 15 minutes. 


After the race I met some friends for a brunch for my friend E. It was nice to have her out without her cute little man (she just had a baby in August) and have some sangria and girls time. Too much fun to take any pictures!

Saturday night I stayed in while the boy went out with his friends to a movie and drinks. Sometimes it is just magical to do nothing on a weekend! I had sushi and watched Gilmore Girls. Winner: me.

Sunday I ate some more when I met up with a few friends for a brunch in Hollywood at this place called Littlefork. Run, don't walk there. $1.50 oysters, $14 bottomless drinks, and delicous food. I think I need to go back for the lobster roll. And they did not rush us, we sat on the patio for almost 2 hours sipping drinks...heaven.


After brunch, my friend K and I hit up this Swedish candy store in West Hollywood that we had heard about. They candy is so different than American candy, but delicous (did you guys think I was kidding when I said I ate all weekend? I wasn't).


Sunday evening was the usual grocery shopping and TV watching (are you watching Parts Unkown with Anthony Bourdain? If you aren't start NOW).

Now I have to go the gym to combat all those snacks...maybe next time I will have to make it a 10K.

Linking up with Leeann 


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Lightened Up Potato Soup for a Fall Sunday

After a nice storm on Friday, the air in LA was so clean and clear that I knew I had to take a hike that weekend.  Sunday, a friend of mine and I went out to Temescal Canyon for a quality 3 mile-loop with a amazing views at the top (there is technically a waterfall at the end, but with our drought I haven't seen it actually being anything but a dry creek in YEARS).

This picture doesn't even do it justice...we were able to see all the way out to Catalina Island (which I need to schedule a visit to, but that's another story).  After the hike, we had a little lunch and little Target run (because that is what Sundays are for).


I was really at a loss for what to make for dinner this week and was feeling pretty uninspired that night, but as usual Skinnytaste came through in the clutch. It was "cold" in LA this weekend...read 68 degrees...so soup was a must.  And even though I love potato soup, I don't always love how it makes me feel aka like I need to lay on the couch.  This recipe was so light, but still SO flavorful...I even went back for seconds. 


Ingredients: 
  • 2 russet potatoes, washed and dried
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, stem removed cut into florets
  • 1 1/2 cups fat free chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups 1% reduced-fat milk
  • salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 10 tbsp reduced-fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 6 tbsp chopped chives, divided
  • 3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (you can use turkey bacon if you prefer)

Directions: 

Pierce potatoes with a fork; microwave on high for 5 minutes turn over and microwave another 3 - 5 minutes, until tender. Or if you prefer to use your oven, bake at 400° for 1 hour or until tender. CoolPeel potatoes.

Meanwhile, steam cauliflower with water in a large covered pot until tender. Drain and return to pot. On medium heat, add chicken broth, milk, potatoes and bring to a boil. Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. Add sour cream, half the chives, salt and pepper and cook on low another 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat. Ladle 1 cup soup into each bowl. Top each serving with 2 tbsp cheese, remaining chives, and bacon.


Monday, November 3, 2014

Practically Perfect in Every Way

The past few years, Halloween has been during the week and I didn't get too excited about it.  This year; however, the planets aligned and provided us with a weekend Halloween and I knew I had to go for it.  My days of "sexy costumes" are far behind me (the sexy girl scout in college was a one time deal), so I knew I wanted to go for quality this year.  And just like she does...Mary Poppins flew in when you least expected her to make everything perfect...



Want to know the best part about my costume?  I only had to buy the bow, the hat, and the flowers. Nothing like a quality costume for under $30! ...Basically I am Mary Poppins every day.


We started the night at a friend's house for drinks and snacks and ended up at a party at a bar in Hollywood!  It ended up raining (finally...we need it) and I might have been the most popular person at the party with my giant umbrella!


What were you for Halloween?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Emerald City

Seattle, if you weren't a kazillion miles from everything and had 180 days of rain I would move to you tomorrow. Where else can I participate in a non-smug foodie scene, look at snow-capped mountains, and build an entire wardrobe of Patigonia and North Face?



As hoped, I got to visit all my tourist attractions: space needle, Starbucks, Pike Place Market.



I saw men throw fish and drank some of the greatest coffee I have ever had (I guess you gotta keep warm in the Pacific Northwest).




And, did you know that the first Nordstrom was in Seattle? How could I miss that? 

I may or may not have purchased a new coat...and then it was 78 degrees when I got back to LA.



Friday, October 24, 2014

36 Hours in Seattle

I hopped on a plane bright and early this morning to high-tail it up to Seattle for an EdTech conference with work.  And while most of my limited time in the city will be spent working, there are a few things I really want to do while in the Pacific Northwest.  This is my fist time in the region and the city and I cannot wait.  I have heard so many amazing things about this area of the country and I want to make my time there count.

Call me cliche, but I wanna see people throw some damn fish.  Pike Place Market is #1 on my list:


Ok, I am as basic as they come. I want to have a coffee at the 1st Starbucks.  So sue me.


Judge away...take me to the Space Needle!


Now that we have that out of the way...what do "real" people in Seattle do?  Anything I need to see? Eat? Drink?  

HELP! Or I am doomed to the most touristy 36 hours the world has ever seen.


   
 

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