Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Listing a List of Lists #2

Food I'm Loving:

An update: I finally tried whipped coconut cream and I've done a comparison w/ real whipped cream.  It's a little gritty whereas whipped cream is just velvety and smooth but that doesn't bother me at all.  Whether you're vegan, lactose intolerant or just a coconut enthusiast, definitely make some.  

Definitely going to try these chicken fingers.  They're not fried so they seem healthier.  ish.

Combining several things I love love love.  Lemony coconutty goodness.  Coconut should be a drinking game on this blog.  "She said coconut again?  Drink!"

Can we just pretend this spinach salad is health for a minute?  GAH.

Are these people killing me w/ all these damn brownie recipes?   Yes.  Caramel Coconut Brownie (drink!).  Peanut Butter Brownies.  Jeeeeeeeeez.

Nut milks (would someone please come up with a better name?) I'd like to try but am too lazy (Vitamix wielding and all..still too lazy): Hazelnut, Vanilla Almond, Cashew.

Homemade Cheezits?  You've gone and done it now.

If this isn't the most insanely over-the-top BLT.  Another reason I need a waffle iron.  Wow!

I love my scones.  Need this meyer lemon raspberry one in my life like right now.

Interesting to Me:

Doesn't matter what side of the fence you're on, these are always hilarious.  "What if they gave Mitch McConnell a pulse?!"  Dying.

Tien got me this dachshund ring holder several years ago and somewhere along the way, he lost his little bejeweled left eye - and now looks just like Tucker!  PS: I may have a slight obsession with ring holders.

Tucker and his magic eye can play catch better than any two-eyed dog.
These kitchens.  Wauw.  Just waaaauw.  The celebrity kitchens at the bottom link are fun too.  

This new sitcom based on this book (which I'm totally reading now) is *hopefully* going to be awesome.  That scene w/ the Asian supermarket is TOTALLY true.  PS: Fun fact, I was reading this book in our shared Kindle app and I inadvertently posted something to Gabe's Facebook profile about it.  Whoops.

Allllllmost peed my pants watching this.  Those Big Mouth Bass things always cracked me up.

Hello, beautiful waterfalls!  We were just at Multnomah Falls a few weeks ago.  Iguazu Falls and Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia look absolutely amazing..bucket list.  And check out #21 - Snoqualmie!  Who knew there were such beautiful waterfalls in Kentucky and Tennessee??!

Oh, Kitchenaid.  You've really thought of everything, haven't you?

Easy hacks for increased energy efficiency in your house!  #5 also led me to..

How to store veggies w/o plastic - so granola!  I could picture some artsy display of produce in cups of water on my counter.

To all the other girls with big feet - can I get an amen?  #9, #20, #29 made me smile.  Who knew Audrey Hepburn was apparently a 10.5?!

Whose oven door looks like this?  *slow hand raise*  Need to try this stuff.

Just for Fun:

Kuen is talking up a storm these days.  It cracks me up when she says "look" but she hasn't quite mastered Ls yet so she pronounces them as a Y.  Yook!  She's also doing this hilarious thing where she sticks stickers on her belly then covers them quickly with her shirt and laughs this big huge belly laugh and runs away.  I find little stickers on the floor later and can't help but chuckle.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Leftover Makeovers: EGG-cellent Frittata (see what I did there?)

I have issues w/ portion control both cooking and eating.  We're a family of 3 yet I inherited this gene from my mom where I always just cook for like 10 people meaning we eat a lot of leftovers.

Waka waka waka

Most leftovers get eaten as lunch or dinner the next day.  Some get lost and turn in to unintentional science experiments in the back of the fridge.  Sad face.  True story.

Little annoys me more than wasted food.  No, that's a false statement.  Many things annoy me. One of the several things that annoy me greatly is wasted food.  There we go.  Yes.

If I've gone particularly crazy on the leftover front and have more than say 2 days worth, I like to give the leftovers a little makeover before they're relegated to science experiment status (a.k.a. Poltergeist).  This frittata is VERY adaptable and works well w/ pretty much any leftovers: potatoes, broccoli, chicken, ham, roasted veggies always work really well, whatever.  

Puffy and golden!

Frittata is good for breakfast, lunch or a light dinner.  I love a slice of this paired with salad.  It also freezes well so you can bake and stick it in the freezer for when you don't want to cook which is me for the months of June, July and August when it's hot. Give it a try!

Leftover Frittata

makes 8 servings in a 9" (oven safe!) pan

2-3 c leftovers (try using dryer foods like things that weren't cooked w/ sauces)
       I happened to have some leftover steamed broccoli, about 1/2 cup of ham, diced, and    
       some roasted fingerling potatoes for this one)
1/2 c shredded cheese of choice (I've even used sliced cheese on top)
5-7 eggs (depending on how many leftovers you're starting with)
1 tbsp fresh chopped herbs such as parsley, basil or green onions (if using dried, 1 tsp is fine)
1/2 c milk (I've used half and half)
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven 425 degrees.  Start with an oven proof skillet on medium heat.  Unless yours has a metal handle, make sure it's oven safe (to 450) before beginning or else you'll have to transfer to an oven safe dish (or a greased pie plate works) before sticking it in the oven. Heat oil in skillet and drop in your leftovers to warm them through.  While those are going, crack your eggs and add milk, salt and pepper.  Depending on how well seasoned your leftovers are you may need to use more or less salt.  Hard to tell until it's done but when in doubt, underseason - you can always add more later but not the other way around!  Whisk in the flour, herbs cheese and olive oil to the egg mixture and stir lightly.

Add the egg mixture in to the pan and move everything around a few times until the eggs start to set - 2-3 minutes.  Put the entire pan in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes.  The bake time will actually depend on how deep the pan is so for fully set eggs, bake it until the middle is puffed and golden.  When you pull it out of the oven the center should bet set completely.  Cool for at least 30 minutes.  

You can cool and freeze the whole thing or wrap up individual slices for a quick meal.  If freezing whole, thaw in the fridge overnight before serving. Either microwave or put it in the oven for 350 for about 20-30 min.

Yummy for bfast, lunch or dinner!


I got rid of my nonstick skillets a long time ago and while before stainless I would've never have attempted a frittata in anything but a nonstick skillet, just make sure there's a light coating of oil on your skillet if you are using steel or aluminum.  I can't say I have experience with nonstick pans going in the oven but do recall reading the box on one in the past and saw it was rated for up to somewhere in the 400 degree mark so do your research.  Or just use a dang pie plate but make sure you grease or spray it or you'll be cursing my name as you're scraping egg shards off it.

You can always just saute the veggies in the pan if you don't have leftover issues like me.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Listing a List of Lists #1

Happy hump day!  Hope you all had a fantastic Mother's day. I'm officially starting this list thing now too. I did a post like this a few weeks ago and liked it. Truth is, sometime sitting down to write a recipe is a bit of a chore for me so I'd rather just let other people do the hard part.  Who knows, maybe you'll find another food blogger you love as much as me (HA!).  So here it is - my inaugural Listing a List of Lists post (insert TA-DA sound clip), let me know what you think.

Food I'm Loving:

"Light" Bang Bang Shrimp knockoffs?  Awwww yeaaaaaahh..

Coconut what?  Why haven't I heard of this before and why am I not swimming in a tub of it right now?

Three of my favorite ingredients all rolled up in this cake?  Trying this out for shhuuure.

My barre studio does this in the spring and I'm actually going to try to participate in the meal planning aspect of it which is the hardest part for me. I think this may be a good 'clean' meal.

Tried these a few weeks ago and while I thoroughly enjoyed them, I was the only one so by the 10th one, I was a little sick of it.  If you make them for your meat-loving family, don't make the mistake I did by even hinting it's a meat replacement.  And you can totally forget it if you call it a 'burger'.

Summer's coming, meaning salad season!  Bookmarked this for inspiration.  I always seem to get in a rut.

Someone, please try this and get back to me.  Preferably a coconut freak.  Why is this the first time I've heard of coconut yogurt?

I already posted this brownie recipe.  But you know I bookmarked this one.  And, oh yeah, this one too.  Because I like to test mine to make sure it still stands up.  Will report back shortly.

Speaking of chocolate, I've been waiting for this recipe all my life.  I have all the ingredients currently so I plan on not leaving until I run out of supplies.  

I keep thinking I've missed rhubarb season but I keep seeing recipes come up for them so maybe not.  GAH!  I'm going on a hunt for some rhubarb so I can make this jam.  And this crisp.  

Wait, didn't I just say I was going to try to eat clean?  SMH.

Interesting to Me:

Oh, Florida.  You strike again.  Why does my home state have to be so cray cray?  PS: I miss all my FL people!

I read/love vapid celebrity news and found this gem.  I didn't even know about #19.  And #9 leads me to..

Is Keanu really immortal?  God, I hope so.

Compassion leave, Britain?  Why aren't we doing this in America??

You gotta give actors credit sometimes.  How do they even do this?  Emma Stone rocks.  The Paul Rudd one is pretty damn hilarious too.

A few of the old celeb prom photos had my dying.  #10 and #16 especially.

Talk about the ultimate odd couple, right?  Wilson sure is moving quick on dating after that split from that wife of his.  To be fair, I think Justin Bieber is prettier.

I'm currently trudging through this book and I'm dying for someone to suggest something else.  I loved White Oleander but this book is really hard to get into.

After reading a post from this blog about dry shampoo reviews, I gave this one a try and love it.  But at this point I've trained my hair so that I'm only washing twice a week (and, yes, still working out) anyhow so I don't use it much but found it better texture-wise than Oribe's Dry.\

This bag is so pretty, may be my next.  Tried on this watch, also in love. (Hon, this is NOT NOT NOT a hint ;) ).

Just for Fun: 

Kuen is doing this hilarious thing now where she loves to sing Old MacDonald but instead of the regular old farm animals, she graduated to zoo animals and has now moved on to inanimate objects.  Let's just say Old MacDonald has a pretty cool farm in Kuen's world.  Since I have to think of what kind of sound they make so far: tree, Costco, Cheerio and shoe are giving me the most trouble.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Simple Olive Oil Granola

How much does does a box of cereal cost nowadays anyhow?  No idea.  I don't eat it often but when I do, there's always something about it that makes me question how 'healthy' the box claims it is.  Seriously, those boxes don't expire for like years sometimes.  Not to mention, people are so picky (present company included) that I'd rather just make a batch and call it good.  That way, I don't have to pick around any of the unappealing dried fruit nuggets that are floating around in a suspiciously even pattern probably due to some chemical that was injected in to the box.  That's how my mind works.

Do yourself a fave and make a weekly batch to eat for bfast w/ milk or as a snack w/ yogurt.

I'll probably be eating all this granola on my own since it may not appeal to local palates.  Not mentioning names (and hint: it isn't Kuen) but someone in my house still loves blue box mac and cheese (bleh).  The olive oil adds a very interesting but subtle depth and the salt highlights this very slightly sweet granola.  I imagine substituting coconut oil instead of olive would also be good and catapult things into the coconut stratosphere.  Coconut is so trendy right now, I love it.

The texture is K-I-L-L-I-N-G me.

Simple Granola

adapted from this recipe

makes about 6 cups

3 c old fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 c unsweetened coconut chips (Bob's)
1 1/2 c raw nuts (I used slivered almonds)
1/2 c seeds (I used pumpkin)
1/2 to 1 tsp kosher salt (I like my salt)
1/2 tsp cinnamon (might sub pumpkin pie spice next time)
1/2 c good quality maple syrup
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven at 300 degrees.  Mix dry ingredients together, sprinkle with salt and cinnamon.  Combine oil and maple syrup together and mix in to oat mixture.  Spread on to a parchment lined baking sheet.  Total bake time is about 60 minutes but stop at 15 minute intervals to toss the mixture around to ensure even toasting.  Cool completely before storing in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

This stuff baking is better than an aromatherapy candle.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Portland Weekend Recap

A few weeks ago we did an awesome weekend trip to Portland and all I can say is, I'm both lucky and sad Portland is a few hours away.  That town has some of the best food I've ever tasted and that's coming from someone who lives 20 min away from Seattle. Portland is what I would describe as Seattle's weird angst-y foodie-type artsy-fartsy Birkenstock-wearing younger sibling (in the most endearing way possible).

Photo credit: Wikipedia
Here's a rundown of the places we hit that I would DE-FI-NITE-LY recommend:

Multnomah Falls - Truly spectacular waterfall a quick ride outside Portland.  You can also see several other falls on the drive out to Multnomah.  We also saw Vista House on our way there and will try to go back when it reopens.  Just seeing it from the highway it looked pretty amazing.

Voodoo Donuts - The downtown location was literally A block away from our hotel but the line stretched around the block almost all day (and they're open 24/7 and cash only).  We actually stumbled across the Davis St. location and were thankful we didn't have to stand in line to get our maple bacon donut.  PS: Gabe actually ordered the lemon chiffon, which, I welcome your pot shots.

Stumptown Coffee - The line is long but that's for a damn good reason!  This place has pretty amazing coffee.  There are places to get Stumptown in the Puget Sound area but the downtown Portland cafe is a must.

Syun Izakaya - Featured in a local food magazine (thanks Karen!) touting Portland's best sushi - we had to see for ourselves.  Yes, it was amazing.  Be prepared for a bit of a drive outside downtown (it's totally in suburbia Portland) but it's well worth it.  The absolute best octopus salad, sashimi platter and unagi we've ever had.  The dining room is pretty cozy so expect be prepared for merciless eavesdropping from patrons at the table next to you who can't help it.  You won't care anyway because you'll be eating orgasmic sushi.

The Sudra - To my surprise Gabe actually agreed to go to this place for lunch and may or may not have admitted to liking it despite the fact that it is vegetarian (maybe vegan even?).  Keep in mind we were mere steps from this (what can only be an) amazing place with happens to have a sandwich counter, another place I'm dying to try.  I don't know if he was under the impression the calorie count would be low, less the animal fat/protein we would be consuming but he was lured in to getting an $8 spiked hot cocoa which, I have to admit, it was absolutely adorable watching him trying to not make a face when sipping.  There was definitely more whiskey in it than any other substance and I had a few sips and was immediately drunk. Interestingly, I don't think Gabe realized there was no real cow dairy in this drink because the coconut milk was sorta perfuming the whole thing which I love and he hates coconut.  He was a stranger in a strange land.  I ate almost the entire Calabacitas Kofta plate (drool) despite not being particularly hungry and Gabe thoroughly enjoyed his Pakora Plate.  Portions don't seem huge but were very filling - even the half ones.

Calabacitas Kofta Plate - The Sudra

Ken's Artisan Pizza - Read about this place in the same food magazine that suggested the sushi place, didn't disappoint.  Reviews warned of the notorious lines so our strategy (yes, we strategize meals in this family) to wait until about 9:30p for dinner and it was clearing out so go later if you can because I hear the lines are brutal.  He had the fennel sausage and onion and I got the anchovy with a side of arugula salad.  Yes, I wanted it all to myself but also b/c I actually DO love anchovy pizza - again, strategy.  By the time we were done and the server came by to see if we wanted dessert (after a scant slice was missing from each pie) we had to admit we weren't even hungry when we stepped through the door but we just had to see what all the ruckus was about.  I'm not a huge thin crust pizza place, but this place could make me change my mind.


Budd + Finn - Such an adorable little shop filled with really cute stuff.  Seemed like I could find a gift for just about all my friends here.  Funny story: this is the 2nd bird plate purchased from that store.  First one met a grizzly end on the floor of Powell's Bookstore after someone unceremoniously dropped it smashing it into 7 pieces.  The store owner was kind enough to wrap this one in enough bubble wrap and tape it could have probably made it back to China where it came from completely unharmed.

Bird plate - Budd + Finn

Bella Casa - A great home furnishings store.  I'll have these people decorate my future mansion.

Powell's Books - Independent bookstore (taking up a whole city block) with tons of new/used books.  We could've spent hours in there.

Saturday Market - Where I could have spent hours browsing all the local wares but was happy with the hour we did have to browse while getting free smells from all the local food vendors.  I managed to escape with only a pair of beautiful leaf earrings from this vendor that look similar to this but not exactly.  That's what I love about small businesses like that, my earrings are so unique.

Portland's Chinatown
I will also admit to stopping by Lulu and Sur la Table.  I'm a creature of comfort, what can I say?  Plus, shopping is tax free in Oregon so I had to help the local economy out and at least look.  Besides, since Kuen was enjoying the fruits of my mother's misguided attempts at spoiling her by giving her any/everything she wants wasn't with us, I had to take advantage of unencumbered retail therapy whereas normally I'm a millisecond away from a 2 year-old thrashing about wildly in a stroller completely derailing a shopping trip altogether.

If you're looking for a hotel, we stayed at the Embassy Suites on Pine - right in the middle of the action downtown.  As stated above, super close to several great eateries and coffee shops.  They had a pretty impressive hot breakfast buffet that included an omelet bar, fresh fruit, yogurt, pastries, oatmeal bar, etc.  Almost a crime to eat there considering the caliber of places around (none of which I've actually tried but vow to do so in the near future: Lauretta Jean's, Pine State Biscuits, Mother's) but it's hard to pass up the egg-cellent smells of bacon and other obligatory breakfast foods wafting from Arcadian Gardens (yes, that's really the name of the room).  The same room has a nightly hosted happy hour with light snacks that is also included with your stay.  We were so impressed w/ breakfast we went to see if the happy hour was the same caliber but the booze were meh (yes, even if they were free).  I say skip that and find a local place for happy hour instead.  I was dying to try Portland City Grill but we just couldn't get over feeling like our tummies were going to pop for most of the trip so we had a momentary stroke of abstinence in an otherwise gluttonous weekend and, much to my stomach's relief, decided to skip it.  Parking was a bit spendy at $27/day (add $5 if you want to use valet) but that did, at least, include in/out privileges.

Can't wait to go back with our sweet little rug rat in tow.  Not only did we miss her like crazy, it would be an awesome family trip she would love - homegirl loves to eat too.
A particularly hilarious meltdown where the photo taking only agitated further unfortunately.

Promise an actual recipe is coming later this week...this is still a food blog if all I talk about is eating, right?

Friday, May 2, 2014

Week in Pictures - May 2, 2014

My current resolution is to stop telling people how busy I am.  Yes, everyone's busy, wah wah.
The Sudra - Portland, OR
Is there a way to print this on wallpaper?  Tien?
Cherry blossoms at work in the courtyard.

The type of rain I don't mind - when it's flower petals.
One of the best parts about being an adult: deciding pumpkin pie in the spring is appropriate.
Serving dishes = more clean-up time for Gabe, always try to serve in pan on table.

I love Portland - Multnomah Falls

Alex would appreciate :)

Trying to feign portion control.

Maple pecan scones, recipe to follow.

I must owe these dogs something from a past life.

Happy May!