Thursday, July 31, 2014

Roasted Potato Salad

I wanted to make potato salad for a BBQ dinner we were having. However, I wanted something light and on the healthier side instead of traditional mayo based stuff. I am having fun and feeling inspired trying new dishes for summer bbqs.
What you'll need:
2 pounds fingerling potatoes (roughly diced)
2 celery stalks, minced
3 tablespoons plain greek yogurt
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoons minced mint
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 400. I KNOW, you don't want to turn on the oven in the heat of summer, but the crunch and roastyness will be worth it. Mix diced potatoes and 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper. Put potatoes on baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes making sure to stir a few times to prevent burning.
Once browned, remove from oven and cool to room temperature.  
While your potatoes cool, whisk remaining olive oil, yogurt, and lemon juice together. Add salt and pepper to taste...and maybe a little more lemon juice if you want it zesty.
Pour potatoes into serving bowl and add minced celery. Pour dressing on top and mix until potatoes are coated. Garnish with mint and serve. 

Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Asian Inspired Grilled Corn

I love summer. I love Summer bbqs where everyone hangs out outside playing yard games and grilling! Summer is my happy place.
One of my go-to side dishes is grilled corn; summer corn is sweet, inexpensive, easy to prepare, and always a crowd pleaser. There are so many varieties of grilled corn, but here is an asian twist to the summer dish!
What you'll need
2 medium cloves of garlic (minced on a microplane grater)
1 inch of fresh ginger (peeled and minced on a microplane grater)
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
4 tablespoons of soft butter
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
8-10 ears of fresh corn on the cobb  (shucked)
1/4 cup diced scallions

Preheat grill to medium heat. While grill is heating, mix garlic, ginger, soy sauce, butter, and lemon juice until combined in a small pot. Set aside on stove.
Place corn on grill. Cook the corn till you get a light grill on all sides. Keep rotating corn every minute or so to keep from burning for about 10 minutes.
Transfer corn to serving dish.
Turn stove with small pot of sauce on low. Stir until butter is melted and sauce is thin.
Coat the corn with sauce mixture using a brush or spoon. Sprinkle scallions over corn and serve.
Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Napa in a day

My husband is two days older than me, and I love to remind him he is my older man. Every year for our birthdays we run away to the greater San Jose area. We are huge hockey fans and every year as a birthday treat the San Jose Sharks play back to back home games around our birthdays. This year we went to a game on Thursday and Saturday which left Friday open to escape to Napa for the day.
Our day started the best way possible with a Parisian breakfast at Bouchon Bakery. Every rich and savory treat you could wish for was ordered and paired with a heavenly salted caramel latte. The ivy covered building and seating area outside provided the perfect backdrop to allow for my fantasy of sitting in Paris somewhere.
From there we stared our day of wine tasting. My favorite by far was taking the tour and tasting at amazing Domaine Carneros. Every girl should have a little bubbly on her birthday.
We ventured downtown Napa and stumbled into the coolest place, The Oxbow Market.  This market place had several restaurants with communal seating so we got some treats from a few places. Our favorite was Hogs Island Oysters.  We then did some light shopping through the market at Whole Spice and Napa Valley Distillery where we got some unique bitters for cocktails. If you go to downtown Napa, I highly recommend this place.  
Whole Spice Panorama
After some more wine tasting, a dream came true, we had dinner at Ad Hoc. For anyone who knows me, I am obsessed with Thomas Keller, and specifically this cookbook created after this restaurant. The cover of the pig was painted on our dining room wall...that's obsession.

Ad Hoc's menu changes every day, you will never experience the same meal there twice. They do a 4 course family style menu with one optional supplement; if you go, get the supplement.

Our meal was amazing and lived up to all of our expectations. My husband, being the smooth talker he is even got us a tour of the kitchen and we got to talk to the head chef. Words cannot express enough the high level of service and amount that extra attention and we got after they learned it was not only our birthdays, but how utterly food-geeky we were for being there!  Dreams do come true for these foodies.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Oscar Party Recap

Candy bar with to-go boxes as party favors
Loads of food. Beet salad, braised short ribs with mash, mini vegetarian lasagnas and toast, shrimp toast, goat cheese balls with smoked salmon, mini cheese cakes just to name a few!
Oscar bingo boards and Oscar ballots for games!
A lot of lovely ladies.
Photo booth pictures.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Travel Bug

I believe in adventure and traveling. I believe in pushing oneself to their boundaries...and then to keep going. Traveling has made me a deeper more well rounded person. I believe in the power of experiencing new cultures and food and getting lost from time to time. 

I am lucky to have a husband with the same passion for food and travel as me. With this shared passion, we both have the same issue right now...a bad case of the travel bug. We are starting prep work for our next four day holiday and trying to decide which of these great American cities we want to visit. Both are achievable for a short four day holiday. Both cities offer outdoor adventures, food, culture, cocktails, and a new area to explore. If you have visited these places....PLEASE let me know your opinions. Help is appreciated.

New Orleans

Friday, February 14, 2014

Friday Letters


Dear self,
This week has show you perspective. Everyone in life has so many hours in the day and what they choose to do with those hours shows you what their priority is. While you cannot change people's priorities, understanding them helps you put your priorities into focus. 
Dear my lovely husband,
Happy Valentines day! I cannot believe this will be the 12 valentines day we spend that right? Wow I am starting to feel old as I type that. I am looking forward to having dinner with you tonight and diving into season two of House of Cards! 
Dear Nathan James,
I never thought I would love someone and miss someone I hardly know so much. Its surreal to me that you are so little and I get to be a witness to your whole life. I know that you are going to do great things, and even though I am far away, I cannot wait to see you grow into the person you will become.
You are too far away! With all this snow and cold weather I am desperately craving some yummy pieces from the new spring line and cannot wait to play dress up!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Simple Valentines Idea

I have a confession, I get HUGE anxiety doing crafts. I see all these amazing projects on Pintrest and wish I had the patience and ability to do some of them.
Another confession, Valentines day isn't a huge deal in my house. We try to show our love in small ways to each other but I never understood the concept of once a year spending hundreds on flowers and going out to eat and all this lavishness. I would rather sprinkle love throughout the year. Every since we started dating (11 years ago) we started the tradition of cooking for one another. To this day, this has been our standing tradition and is much more our style.
So combining my anxiety for crafts and the simplicity of the holiday I came up with the below idea. I remember making hearts out of standard construction paper in elementary school, so I thought to myself, "if a second grader can do it so can I."
I made some hearts and wrote different reasons why I love my husband. My plan is to hide them in places so he finds them throughout the day such as his underwear drawer, his lunch box he takes to work, by his toothbrush, his car, etc. 
It might be simple...but its the thought that counts right?
Happy Valentines Day!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Short Month, Make the Most of it...

February is the shortest month of the year, but there is no reason not to make the most of everyday by challenging yourself to try new things. Here are five fabulous ideas to help make the most out of your February!

1. Find a new colorful lip shade to try
February is the most romantic month of the year, why not spice it up with a fun new lip color? I just got Yves Saint Laurent ROUGE VOLUPTÉ and I am having so much fun with it!

2. Try a new workout
Statistics say that most people who make January resolutions already failed, why not start fresh with a new workout? I am obsessed with Tone It UP which has free weekly workouts and YouTube videos that make it easy for people like me who don't know what or how to do certain workouts.

3. Experiment with a new recipe
Why pay exorbitant prices to eat out on valentines day? Instead, why not try a romantic dinner at home with a new recipe.

4. Buy yourself flowers
Whether you have a valentine or not this year, fresh flowers help perk up any room and can change a mood every time you walk by them. Why not freshen up your space with a nice vase this month?

5. Treat yourself to a pedicure
Spring is right around the corner which means almost sandal weather! Why not treat yourself to a pedicure this month with a fresh fun color?

Happy February!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Spice up Your Weekday Meals with Chimichurri Sauce

I am always looking for healthy easy ways to spice up dinner to make it a little more fun and exciting. The answer: Chimichurri sauce. Originated from Argentina, this is the perfect way to dress up any meal time. I love making a simply grilled chicken, fish, or steak and throwing this sauce on top; hello easy weekday meal!

What you will need:
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
4 cloves of garlic
1 shallot
1/2 to 1 jalapeno (depending on how much heat you like)
2 cups cilantro
1 cup parsley
1/3 cup fresh oregano
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt

Combine vinegar, garlic, shallot, jalapeno and salt in bowl of food processor and let sit for 10 minutes. Add in cilantro, parsley and oregano.

Pulse to blend. Add in olive oil and blend again.

Taste and feel free to add more of the above ingredients as you feel are needed. You can add more jalapeno for heat or more cilantro for a citrusy flavor.

Top any grilled meat with your chimichurri sauce and enjoy. You can also use this sauce to spice up salads or dip bread in. You can store sauce in fridge and use through-out the week.
Bon Appetit!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Traditional Cocktailing with the Manhattan

There is a part of me that is very old fashion and traditional. There is a romantic side of me that loves the idea of my husband coming home after a long day in the office and serving him a cocktail before supper. I know this idea sounds very old fashion indeed-and there is no way this happens on a regular basis; but occasionally it is fun!

So for all of my friends out there who aren't whiskey/bourbon drinkers, here is how to make the perfect Manhattan cocktail.

The perfect Manhattan
2 ounces rye whiskey
1 ounce Italian vermouth
2 dashes angostura bitters
1 large ice cube (we got cylinder ice cube makers that are fun to use and the ice melts slower so it doesn't dilute your cocktails)

Stir stir stir so the ice chills the drink and serve!