Monthly Archives: April 2010

Gettin’ ready for the weekend!!

Hey friends!  Well thought I’d check in with ya’ll real quick before the weekend craziness ensues 😀

After work I came home and enjoyed one of my favorite types of workouts, which includes choosing 2 or 3 shorter sessions on ExerciseTV & doing them back to back.  So crucial.

Today’s workout “menu” included:

Oh yea, and check out this fabulous spread I pulled together for lunch today (love the new office, I can swing home for lunch & to see Lucy Dog on slower days!)

That would be one of the best “grilled” cheeses I have ever had thanks to the help of this lil’ gem

Plus some fresh basil, oh em gee don’t know how this sammie tasted so good but it surpassed my expectations like whoa!

Also had some Food Should Taste Good Olive chips w/ salsa and sweet peppers to go alongside 🙂

Perfect lunch, and guess what, it may just be the perfect dinner 😉

Right now I’ve got the ancho chile chicken cooking away in preperation for tomorrow and once Laura gets here we are making Mexican brownies from scratch! 

Remember the homemade ancho chile & tomatillo sauce I made last weekend?  Well I saved some of it in the freezer & put it to good use second time around, ole!

However the end result may be even more flavorful since I am using boneless, skinless chicken thighs this time around and they impart such a great richness to Mexican dishes (at least that’s my personal opinion….)

Alright, cocktail hour party prep is calling my name!  I hope to see you friends tomorrow but if not, do forgive me, as it’s gonna be a busy day… and know that I’ll be back as soon as I can with Cinco de Mayo food & party recaps 😛

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Cinco de Mayo Par-tay!!

HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE!!

Well after a crammed packed week of work craziness, this weekend is going to be go-go-go as well, but at least it’s festive & fun stuff w/ our friends & family! 

Let’s see what’s planned, shall we? 🙂

Friday:  Work, exercise, bestie Laura gets in town, party prep in the kitchen!

Saturday:  Early farmer’s market, hair appointment, more cookin’ and cleanin’ then par-tayyyyy time!

Sunday:  Birthday celebration & cookin’ for The Man’s pops!

Wow, so much for restin’ up on the weekend 😉

The Man and I had a productively busy night last night doin’ all the party shoppin’, bc let’s face it, that’s not really the worst “chore” now is it 😛

We didn’t get home for dinner until close to 9pm so something fast was in order!

Stuffy’s Subs to the rescue…

 

That would be a Great Garden Pita with every veggie known to man.  Plus some cheese, deli mustard, vinegar & spices mmmm hmmm.  That sucker got scarfed down haha.  Oh yes.

I always get all nostalgic eating at this sub shop, as we used to visit it often when I was younger and during swim team since it was right across the street 🙂

So how about a sneak peak at the Cinco de Mayo party menu why don’t we?

  • Salsa Roll Ups (courtesy of my girl Tammy)
  • Corn Tortilla Chips w/ mango salsa
  • Mexican Taco Bar – ancho chile chicken & spiced ground beef, soft & hard shells plus all the fixins’
  • Homemade Mexican Brownies
  • Assortment of Mexican beers (we hit the jackpot at Costco!)
  • White wine

I’m pretty excited, and I think the menu will be the perfect mix of easy-to-fix yet flavorful items!

Oh wait, I think I left something out didn’t I? 😉

Mango Nectar, Coconut Run & Fresh Mint cocktails!!!!

We went to the Latino market and picked up one of my favorite new things everrrrr…

Mixed with some of my favorite coconut rum…

Finished off with some fresh mint leaves…

And voila!  Served over ice this makes for one insanely refreshing cocktail 😀

On another note, our weather outlook for this weekend is high’s in the mid to upper 90’s —> did I mention that we had frost just the other night, what the heck here?

So I think the weather will be perfect for a fun filled weekend!

Alright, I better get to it, lots to do 😀  Have a fabulous Friday & see ya soon.

Cuban Picadillo

Hey friends!  Well we’ve made it to Thursday (what, it’s Thursday already, what a week?!) 😛

Anywho, last night’s dinner was super delicious & also fun bc The Man got in the kitchen and really helped me out!

On the menu?

Cuban Picadillo

“Fanatic Style”

Ever had it?

After purchasing some local ground beef at the farmer’s market last week, I was looking for fun & new recipes to try and stumbled across this one.

What is picadillo? A traditional dish in many Latin American countries made with ground meat, tomatoes and other ingredients that vary by region.  The Cuban version usually includes ingredients such as peppers, onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, olives, raisins and olive oil.

With the salty addition of green olives plus the sweetness of plump raisins, let’s just say that this recipe had me at hello 😀

So The Man & I proceeded with mixing up our own version of this dish!

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • 1 lb local grass fed ground beef
  • 2/3 can green olives, drained & sliced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 small package raisins, soaked in water for about 20 min to plump up
  • salt & pepper
  • approx. 1 tblsp cumin & coriander

1.  Saute onion in olive oil.  Add garlic towards end, plus spices and S&P to taste.   Holy smell, deelish 😛

2. Add in ground beef, cooking through until close to done.

3, Then comes the tomatoes, olives, tomato paste and raisins.  Let’s all be friends!

Then turn down the temp to med-low and cover to let finish cooking through.

Served unconventionally atop a bed of egg noodles…

We adored this dish!  The saltiness of the olives paired with a sweet bite of raisin here and there, plus the heartiness of the grass fed beef really made this dish unique.

We both mmmmmm’ed and yummmm’ed through the whole thing, loved it 😀

Oh yea, we also had some side salads to go with, per usual, his & hers…

… which featured this farmer’s market buy!

This cheese is spectacular!  I can’t wait to try a new flavor next time around too.

Such a fast and easy meal, plus I love spending time together in the kitchen.  It was just what I needed after yesterday’s long work day and it fully rejuvenated me to my core!

Good thing…. because it’s time to tackle another day 😉

After work we have a bazillion and one errands to run for the Cinco de Mayo party this weekend (menu is planned, sneak peak tomorrow perhaps????) so we’ll be busy bees tonight!  Hoping I can squeeze in a workout too, but we’ll see.

Until later my friends, enjoy your day!

Outta Time

Hey friends, I’m currently writing this at 5pm before I get back to some more work before I can think about heading home… today has been crazy busy… 

I’m talking didn’t take a bathroom break since arriving at work until 12:30pm kinda busy (ummm yea).

I think the trend may continue for a while during this job transition, so please just bear with me folks!

However, you know that I couldn’t go a day without stopping in to say hello to all my fave bloggies 😀

But alas, homegirl really needs a night to “unplug” after a day like today, I do hope you understand.

I have a fun recipe planned tonight, one that uses more local ingredients from the farmer’s market

Here’s a hint:

And no, we aren’t eating armadillo!   But the recipe sorta sounds/looks like the word 😉

I sure hope I can get to posting it for you tomorrow!

Until then, enjoy your night and I’ll see you soon!

No milk? No problem!

After a long day of learning I was ready for an easy throw together dinner tonight!

I had some extra veggies & eggs on hand that needed using, plus a day old baguette we never got around to eating, so I had a great idea to make a strata!  It had been awhile since we had one last.

The only problem was, we had no milk.  Hmmmmm….

Guess what, no milk?  No problem!  Check out this dairy free recipe (well sans cheese, thanks to a friend for pointing that lil’ error out whoops! hey, it’s been a long day 😉 ) for a delicious & flavorful egg strata!

This meal was perfect, I got it ready right after work then let it cook away while I got my exercise on 🙂

One Yoga Sculpt session later, workout was dunzo and so was dinner!  Ahhhh left some much needed time for relaxin…

Mushroom & Onion Dijon Strata

  • mushrooms (1 package, sliced)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • fresh chopped herbs (basil, parsley, thyme) or whatever you have on hand
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup veg stock
  • 1 tblsp dijon mustard
  • day old baguette (2/3 of large)
  • EVOO & cooking spray
  • S&P
  • cheese (Parm, Mozz, Swiss)

Check out this mustard, holy fabulous.  I have been dying to use it!

You know my love for all things Chardonnay 😉

First saute up the mushrooms & onions in 1 tblsp EVOO over medium heat for about 10 minutes.  Then add garlic & fresh herbs, cooking for another minute or two.

Meanwhile, prep the baguette by slicing into 1″ cubes and placing in the bottom of a baking dish (coated with cooking spray).

Then mix up the eggs, veg stock, mustard, S&P using a fork or whisk until blended.

Once the veggies are done cooking, let cool for a few minutes then top the bread with the veg mixture.

Next layer on the egg mixture to cover evenly.

Lastly top with cheeses of your choice, mmmmm!

Put into a 350F oven for about 30 minutes, then 400F to brown for about 8 more and voila!

And that’s how you get a delicious homemade dinner on the table and exercise session done in a minimal amount of time! 🙂

This recipe took about 30 minutes to prep and 40 minutes unattended to cook while I went along my merry way, perfect for a busy weeknight…

I had a side of green peas that I may or may not have covered in hot sauce… just sayin’ 😉

Delicious this was!  I liked it much better than last time around for some reason?  Maybe the veg stock? Maybe the type of bread? Who knows!

Now it’s time for some ice cream & American Idol, ahhh the joys of the work week 😛

Oh and p.s., I’ll be revealing the “secret cocktail” before our Cinco de Mayo party this weekend 😛

Treat Yourself

Hey everyone!

Wanted to stop in for a quick hello while I’m learning all the ropes at the new jobby job.

Let’s just say that not having to commute downtown in rush hour this morning was glorious, I felt my stress level immediately sink upon waking up 😀  6 minute trip to work, lurve.

Anywho, I wanted to remind all of you that entered to win the Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender that even if you didn’t win but still want one of your very own, check out my OpenSky shop for a great deal on this product!

So go ahead, treat yourself, I promise it’ll make your life easier & your food tastier 😉  And for $32, can you really go wrong?!

Have a great day everyone and see you back tonight for an adventure in egg land!

Tofu Homerun!

Hey friends! 

Well I made it back from the dentist in 1 piece, 2 fillings later… the dentist, hygienist & I talk food/blogs too since they know about my love for cooking and I really enjoy it!  Well, not the filling part, but the talking about food part 😉

And I’m so glad that ya’ll loved the homemade ancho chile sauce & tomatillo adventure from yesterday as much as I did, it made for some lovely lunch leftovers today too I might add!

On tonight’s menu was a little adventure with tofu

Nasoya Organic Cubed Super Firm Tofu to be specific.

After seeing IGE prepare tofu this way I have been wanting to try this method with a recipe of my own.  Perfect night to do so considering post dentist “soft” foods are definitely on the agenda 😉

I prepared a marinade using the following ingredients

  • 1 tblsp virgin coconut oil
  • 2 tblsp San-J soy sauce
  • 1 tsp tamarind concentrate
  • 1.5 tblsp agave nectar
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Put the marinade in the microwave for just 10 seconds to melt up the coconut oil and blend flavors.

I wish you friends could just take a lil’ whiff of this sauce… holy yum!  I had to do the “finger test” to taste haha – and oh yea, this hit the spot 😀 

Let this do it’s thing in the fridge for about 10 minutes or so!

Sweet coconut, salty soy, sour tamarind, tangy ginger & garlic… I mean if that’s not a playground for the taste buds then I don’t know what is?!

Then baked these at 400F for about 30 minutes until they were ‘crispy’ & perfect.

The smell of this cooking was enough to make me drool, I don’t know how to describe this flavor blend but it was FABULOUSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

I also sauteed up some summer squash with olive oil, garlic, onion & basil

Served with some brown rice this was a perfectly rounded meal that hit the spot 🙂

VERDICT?  Loved it!  This marinade was phenomenal, will be doing this again oh yes.  This was definitely a tofu homerun!

Did you know that I never thought I liked tofu until experimenting with it lately?  I really am learning the different ways to prepare it and I think I am hooked 😀  This is by far my fave way to eat it so far, for sure!

The Man had a leftover local burger w/ tater tots since I wasn’t sure that tofu was gonna cut it…

…. howeverrrrrr he eyed the tofu after arriving home and even took not 1, but 2 “tastes” 😉  His words, “this stuff really isn’t bad”

I am still in shock 🙂

Speaking of local foods, we watched Food, Inc. yesterday and must tell you that I am in love with this movie.  I think that every American should be required to watch this as it really sheds the light on the reality of how our country is eating. 

I felt like much of it I had been exposed to thanks to this wonderful food & blogging community, but I think it was a real eye opener for The Man.  The film really reaffirmed my goals to eat local, eat fresh and consume foods that are not concocted in a lab.  I was so excited that he really supported these goals and now really understands why I am so passionate about them! 🙂

I also found myself telling my hygienist about the movie, which she had never heard of before.  She was very interested honestly in the film & I hope will watch it!  Just think, if even 1 person changes their eating / shopping habits but then they get another person to do the same, it’s like the concept of “pay it forward” where so many people could eventually be affected! 😀

Okay okay enough of my blah blah blahing, it’s time to announce the winner of the Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender!

Congrats Yasmin!

Email me over your shipping information so that the folks at CSN can send your blender on it’s way!

Alright everyone, I”m outta here… off to the new job spot tomorrow (5 minute commute whatup!) so am excited to see what’s in store for me….

Plus I think I’ve found the perfect cocktail for our Cinco de Mayo party, so I must go do some “taste testing” if you will, hey, quality control is important! 😉

I see some mango, coconut & mint goin’ on in there….

See ya then & enjoy your night!

Have you seen Food Inc.?  Have you told your family/friends/acquaintances about the film?