Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Magical Figs

You know those days where everything just seems off? Today is one of those days. I haven't been able to go to the gym because of an injury and everything else seems slightly askew. 

As a mid afternoon pick-me-up, I treated myself to some gorgeous figs.  I know it's weird, but I love going to the grocery store. Wandering around fresh produce instantly lightens my mood and makes every day better. Just like magic, my day got better. I hope these magical figs work for you too. 

If I had a grill, I would have grilled the figs. However, they were still amazing under a broiler. 

Ingredients (serves 1-2): 

  • 3 black mission figs
  • honey to drizzle
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • sea salt
Turn the oven onto broil. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the fig halves cut side up on the baking sheet. Broil the figs cut side up until they are lightly browned and softened, about 1 to 2 minutes (time will vary depending on oven). Immediately drizzle with honey. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve warm by themselves or on top of vanilla ice cream or greek yogurt. 


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Rainy Sunday Cauliflower Fried Rice

Before we dig in, I'm realizing I should stop for a second and give a little bit of background as to how this (and many of our future meals) are born. To give some probably uber confusing context ( bear with me):

As I briefly mentioned, my husband recently graduated from the hell that was medical school and is newly into his residency. To add an extra layer of fun: his first year is in another city that's about 1 1/2 hours away. It's only temporary, as the next three years he'll be back and life can hopefully resume as normal (still with me here?). For numerous reasons (my job/finding renters for our condo/moving everything twice in one year), I'm staying put and joining him on the weekends.  For the next year, he lives in an apartment with the TINIEST kitchen known to mankind. Seriously folks: this kitchen makes our one bedroom condo feel like a mansion. Whenever I'm up here with him, easy and efficient is the key to my sanity. Anything with elaborate preparation? Out. Anything requiring extensive chopping? Out. Anything that required multiple methods of cooking? DEFINITELY OUT. 

Ok, now that we've gotten all of that out of the way, let's talk about food (am I the only one that thinks about food 95% of the time???). Specifically, let's talk about this dinner. I love cauliflower. I adore cauliflower. Is there nothing cauliflower can't do?  It's been raining off and on all day and comfort food was calling my name. I've never been a huge fan of buying prepped vegetables, but my lack of counter space has made me a believer. Take TJ's frozen riced cauliflower, a few veggies, add in some eggs and voila(!)- dinner is served. This recipe is super adaptable- if you have veggies you need to use up, throw them in! I think some fresh ginger would be good as well. Add a fried egg on top (because let's face it: fried eggs make everything better) and you've officially put this over the top. 

Ingredients (serves 2-3): 

2 packages frozen riced cauliflower or about 4 cups fresh (I used Trader Joes)
2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1/2 small onion, finely chopped 
2 medium carrot, peeled and cut into small dice 
4 scallions, thinly sliced (reserve one for garnish)
3 medium cloves garlic, minced 
3 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce or Tamari (a few dashes of fish sauce would also be amazing)
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Ground pepper
2 large egg
2 cups frozen peas 
1 cup spinach

Heat 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large skillet (or wok if you have one- I don't) over high heat. Add onion and saute until transulenct (about 5 minutes). Stir in garlic. Add half of cauliflower and cook, stirring and tossing, until the water has evaporated and the cauliflower is warmed through. Keep cooking until it starts to lightly brown, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Repeat with another 1/2 tablespoon oil and remaining cauliflower.

Return all the cauliflower 'rice' to the skillet and press it up the sides, leaving a space in the middle. Add remaining oil to the space. Add carrots, peas, scallions, and garlic and cook, stirring gently, until lightly softened and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add spinach. Toss with rice to combine. Add soy sauce and sesame oil and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Break egg into the oil and season with a little salt. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to scramble the egg, breaking it up into small bits and coating the rice and veggies. Add more soy sauce if necessary. Top with remaining scallions and/or fried egg. Dig in and enjoy the rain!


Look at all those veggies! 



Have a great week! 

Homecoming

I'm back! To say it's been awhile since I posted on this would be an understatement to say the least. While Google tells me it's been two years since I have been on this blog, it's always been in the back of my mind. Sometimes life just interferes and let me tell you, I swear time goes faster when you're an adult. In the past two years: I've gotten a new job (well, two actually- but that's a whole other story), gotten married, survived medical school(technically, survived being married to someone in medical school) AND the Match process, traveled a ton for both work and fun, and partially moved to another city (another whole other story). It's been a whirlwind and it's been wonderful. But for now, it seems like the dust is starting to settle and normalcy might be returning. It's good to be back- I foresee lots of tasty treats in the future. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Pomegranate and Toasted Walnut Quinoa Salad

It's been cold (shocker, right?). It seems to be the only thing that people are talking about but seriously, OMG they're right.  It's so cold that I can't bear to bring myself to get out of bed to walk the short walk to the gym in the morning (and not much stops from going to gym in the mornings). Instead I huddle with my cup of tea near the heater and look longingly at the weather in CA (55 today! 59 tomorrow! sigh). Clearly I am not a native East Coaster.

Now that we're back and it's a new year, I'm trying to make a concerted effort to eat healthier. I always try to eat healthy, but my will power is about the size of an ant. Put something with dark chocolate and peanut butter near me and I'm a goner. I'm continually on the quest to give up refined sugar, but it's an evil addiction (clearly I gave this up all together in Europe- I didn't even stand a chance). However, it's a new year!

The good thing about the Pomegranate and Toasted Walnut quinoa salad is that it's naturally a little sweet. The sweet pomegranate plays perfectly off of the salty capers and the toasted nuts, creating the perfect flavor combination. Add roasted delicata squash and chickpeas to the mix and you have the ultimate quinoa salad (this one disappeared *quick*). If you have a nut allergy, pumpkin seeds could be a tasty substitution.  Maybe I'll be able to kick this sugar habit after all....

Pomegranate and Toasted Walnut Quinoa Salad


  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 delicata squashed cut into one inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1 15 oz. can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2-3 cups of quinoa cooked (depending on desired amount)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp walnut oil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly toss the squash with salt, pepper, and olive oil and roast until golden brown. Meanwhile, lightly toast the walnuts on a medium heat skillet (no oil) for approximately 2-3 minutes- be careful not to let them burn. Combine walnuts, capers, pomegranate seeds, capers, chickpeas, quinoa, salt, pepper, and walnut oil. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Home Sweet Home

We just got back from a whirlwind trip to Europe where we spent the holidays. It was wonderful, but as always, too short. After 2 1/2 weeks of eating chocolate and...more chocolate, let's just say I'm looking forward to some greens. Here is a little sample of what we saw from our quick trip through Germany, Prague, and London:









Happy New Year! 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Sea Salt Popcorn

How is it already the middle of December??!! Am I the only one who thinks this year has flown by?

I don't come from the most traditional family in the world. This in turn has made me someone that really likes traditions- it's funny how that happens, isn't it? I've always been a bit of the oddball in my family because I love hearing family stories and other people's family stories. One of my traditions (my FAVORITE traditions) I have every holiday is getting together with some my favorite girl friends and having a girls weekend. They're people I met when I moved who quickly became my urban family. Some have moved away, some have stayed, but we always  get together around the holidays to have what you can only call a completely decadent and completely amazing weekend.

This popcorn was the perfect thing to have as a snack while we caught up. Chocolate. Peanut Butter. Sea Salt. I'm pretty sure you can't go wrong with this combination on anything. Throw in popcorn and I'm yours forever. Seriously- this stuff is that good. The chocolate and peanut butter aren't overly sweet; the hint of sea salt is enough to make this completely addictive. (Have you realized by now that sea salt is my answer to everything?) I'm not going to admit how long this lasted with us- let's just say it wasn't long.

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Sea Salt Popcorn

  • Popcorn 
  • 1 1/2-2 cups Peanut Butter (I prefer crunchy)
  • 1 12oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • sea salt
  • oil  for popping
Pop desired amount of popcorn. Meanwhile, melt chocolate in a double broiler. Once chocolate has melted, mix the peanut butter into the chocolate and stir until the peanut butter has combined with the chocolate. Lay the popcorn out on a cookie sheet and drizzle the chocolate peanut butter mixture over the popcorn. Sprinkle with sea salt.

Try your very best to share the bowl. I know, it's hard. 
Love you guys! 



Sunday, December 15, 2013

Limoncello

I love the holidays. I love the lights, decorating trees, and the smell of fresh cider in the farmers markets. There's something about this time of year that just makes everything seem....better, even if you are far away from home.

My family was never really into the whole gift-giving idea. For us, the holidays were more about spending time with each other. Honestly, I probably didn't enjoy this nearly as much I should have growing up, but now that I'm older, I really appreciate that my parents tried to instill this in me at an early age (thanks, guys!).  I've tried to bring this tradition with me throughout the years and now try I give my friends and neighbors DIY gifts (as if I needed an excuse to make something). 

This year has been pretty crazy with working and Jason literally buried under exams. Enter limoncello. I had a laundry list of things I wanted to make but I didn't have time to be running to a ton of stores or to be in my kitchen all weekend long. Limoncello was the perfect solution. Within minutes the vodka was ready and after a few days of infusing I had the perfect gift to take to my girls weekend, with plenty left over to sample (you know, quality control and all). 

Limoncello adapted from Martha Stewart
  • 9 Lemons, organic if possible
  • 150 ml 100 proof vodka
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups sugar

Wash and dry lemons well very well. Using a vegetable peeler, strip off the zest. Reserve the lemons for another use. Put the lemon zest and the vodka in an airtight container- store in a dark area for 2 days and up to 1 week (I infused mine for 6 days). 

Combine sugar and water and bring to a boil. Let cool. Using a fine sieve, strain out the lemon zest from the vodka and discard. Mix the cooled sugar mixture with the vodka and store in the refrigerator for at least one day. For best results, store in the freezer.