Thursday, December 5, 2013

Good Eats in Reno

There is something transcendent about a good meal. To me, food can bring people together in a powerful way; it’s a shared experience unmatched in my mind. I have loved eating and cooking as a pastime for years now. I went to college in Reno and moved shortly after graduation to Southern California where my taste buds rejoiced in all the amazing diversity of cuisine. Moving back to Reno about two years ago, I was delighted how much the food scene here had evolved. Little restaurants and bars popped up that rivaled those I had experienced living in California. I love food and so glad that my home town is not transforming from only casinos and slots to a local foody and art scene.
This transformation was even recognized by the New York times.
Way to go Reno and all the local chefs out there that helped transform this city.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Eggplant Brushetta

What you will need

2 eggs
1 cup bread crumbs
1 medium eggplant (sliced into 1/2 inch thick rounds)
1 loaf of your favorite bread
8 ounces mozzarella
olive oil
Salt and pepper
Marinara sauce (store bought or you can make your own with this recipe)

Preheat your oven to 475 degrees. In a shallow bowl, whisk two eggs together with a dash of salt and pepper. In another shallow bowl, pour in your bread crumbs.

Dip your eggplant rounds into egg then into breadcrumbs ensuring your coat thoroughly. Transfer to greased baking sheet. Repeat till all eggplant slices are done. Place baking sheet in over until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

While eggplant are cooking, slice bread loaf lengthwise and place cut side up on baking sheet. Press slightly in middle to make a well. Place in oven for 2-5 minutes just to get a light browning on bread otherwise your bread might get soggy in the middle.

Top lightly toasted bread with marinara sauce, baked eggplant slices, and mozzarella cheese. Put back in over for about 6-9 minutes until cheese is melted and bread is toasted.

Once baked, you can cut into slices and serve. If you have fresh basil, it would be great to add a rough chopped basil on top.

Bon Appetit

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Nourishment for the Soul

If you have read any of my posts before, you should have a pretty good idea that I love food. I love everything about food; the preparation of it, the look, the smell, the taste, the way it brings people together around a table. I married a man whose passion for food exceeds my own so its no surprise that when we travel we arrange our trips and excursions around cuisine.
Our most recent voyage brought us to Miami, home of the Bazaar by Jose Andres. It was a culinary marathon of 20+ courses ranging from small bite size salami and caviar to a dragon fruit ceviche and finished with a deconstructed key lime pie.
What I loved about this experience was that it was a 3 hour culinary journey I got to share with the love of my life. Its not just about the food, but how the food is experienced and shared and how that united us. In 30 years from now, my husband and I will remember this meal just like we remember the time we ate at Daniel's in New York or the place we picked a fish on the beach and watched them cook it for us in Thailand.

These meals create lasting memories for us that we can cherish for the rest of our lives. Sitting at tables all over the world, from Miami to my mother's kitchen counter, these meals make me stop and slow down and cherish what I have and who I am sharing these meals with. No matter what food you enjoy or where you eat it, I pray that you each can slow down and enjoy the nourishment, not just for your body but for your soul as well.

Bon Appetit

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Thai Coconut Curry Soup

My husband and I have been obsessed with Thai food after we traveled there a few years ago. This dish is one of my weekday go-to-meals as it can be made under twenty minutes but doesn't lack any flavor.

What you'll need:
2-3 chicken thighs, deboned and cubed
1 bell pepper any color, cut into this long strips
1 carrot cut into thin long strips ( I used a mandolin for this)
1 egg plant cubed
1 Jar Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste
1 can coconut milk
1 cup chicken broth
olive oil
Rice noodles
Optional if you have in your kitchen:
Thai chili
Coconut sugar
Fish Oil

Cook rice noodles based on package instructions. This normally consists of boiling water-removing pot from heat and submerging noodles in water. Make sure you keep an eye on them and don't over cook.

Next, take a wok, or any large frying pan will do, and drizzle a little olive oil in pan on medium heat. Empty red curry paste jar into pan and stir. Let this slightly caramelize for about a minute.

 Add 1 cup of chicken broth and 1 cup of water to pan and stir to low boil. Add diced chicken and simmer until cooked (approximately 7-10 min). Add eggplants to pan, let cook for 2 min minute. Add carrots to pan, let cook for a minute. Add bell pepper to pan, cook for a minute.

From here you are going to add can of coconut milk and stir. If you have fish oil, add a dash at this point. Add Thai chili peppers for additional heat to your liking. If you want to sweeten the soup, add a pinch of coconut sugar.

To serve, add a decent serving of noodles to bowl and spoon soup and veggies over noodles. Top with a pinch of cilantro.

Here are a few pictures of our Thailand adventure.

Bon Appetit

Friday, January 4, 2013

Friday's Letters

Dear Me:
You are not perfect, you fall short every day from being the person you desire to be. You make mistakes. However; every day is another opportunity for a fresh start. The fresh start you need might not be to fix those things above, but to allow yourself the grace to not be perfect.

"Love isn't finding a perfect person, it is seeing an imperfect person perfectly."  Today, allow yourself the grace to not be perfect and to love yourself despite of it. Never stop trying to improve yourself, but don't be so hard on yourself when change doesn't happen over night. 

Grace is a hard thing to allow oneself. It seems much easier to forgive other's shortcoming than your own; why is this? Stop. Just stop. Every hour, every day, and every week is another opportunity for another fresh start. Take it.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year, New Start

So many people have opinions it seems about making New Years resolutions. For me, I don't see why anyone wouldn't. Life is a journey, and we should take every moment and opportunity as a chance to grow and better ourselves. I love being able to reflect on 2012; all the past mistakes, opportunities lost, experiences that changed me and made me different today. 2013 is a chance to hit reset and change things for this year. I hope that when I am 70 I am still trying to better myself. So here it is, my goals for 2013.

My Husband
Honestly, I love this man more every day. He is my rock and without him my life would be so grey. My goal this year is to be more intentional with my relationship to him. I love being a wife, and I am blessed with a job that lets me be able to focus on taking care of my household as well. I feel there is a big difference in managing a house, and being intentional with every action. Serving my husband a plate of dinner after work is different than intentionally making a meal he enjoys, plating it well, serving a sit-down-not-in-front-of-the-tv dinner to him. Doing the laundry is different than intentionally cleaning folding, pressing, and putting his clothes away. Saying 'I love you" is different than intentionally saying the words and meaning it every time I say it. Going out to dinner for a date night is different than intentionally being present in that evening and putting all my stresses and anxieties away to spend quality silly time with the man I am so blessed to have in my life. I want to enjoy our lives together and flourish rather than just trying to just survive our days. I want to be silly with him. I want to make memories with him; not just on big days, but every day.
My Family
God has blessed me with amazing family and the opportunity to move closer to them. This year I want to work harder and building closer bounds and getting deep relationships with them. Its one thing to call someone a sister or a mother because they are blood; I want a long lasting relationship with my family that supersedes everything else. No more petty fighting and worthless energy spent over hurt feelings. At the end of the day, I want to focus on what is really important.

2012 really opened my eyes to what friendship is, who my true friends are, and what a blessing a real friend is. No matter how many miles apart or time spent face to face, a real friend will stand by you through it all. I love all my friends and this year I want to make sure they all know it. Much like my husband, I want my actions with my friends to be intentional.

And Lastly...
Yes I want to work out more; I know it is cliche. But generally, I want to be healthier...both physically and mentally. I want to find workouts that I don't dread and that make me feel better. People say the best therapy can be found in the gym and I want to experience that feeling. I also want to become up close and personal about the demons I carry around me to do that I think I might use this blog as a tool to express myself and try to overcome some of them.

So that is it. A long list of hopes and goals for the new year. I might fall a little, but I think the important thing is to say them out loud and allow myself some grace in finding out how to live life better every day.