July Travels: Cork, Concrete, Corn & Cow Country

I knew that I'd be traveling every week in July and that this space would be neglected, but I didn't realize that the apocalypse would simultaneously start at my house.  I'll spare the many, many painful details here, but I do want to fill you in on the fun part of my trips.

The Best Thing I Ever Ate: Season 1

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a restaurant fanatic and practically a walking Zagat guide. I've been meaning to summon up some city guide posts, but in the meantime, I thought that it'd be fun to give you a little list, based on memorable restaurant dishes. I'm not sure if it's still even on the air, but Food Network's "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" was always one of my favorite shows. Probably because I'd either agree with or argue against everyone they had on–or at the very least, develop a new food odyssey. 

Solvang + A Hidden Ranch in San Luis Obispo

A few Saturdays ago, I met up with an old culinary school friend of mine in Solvang, California. Jamie owns Calistoga Olive Oil Company (THE BEST OLIVE OIL I'VE EVER HAD) and was down south cosponsoring a pretty cool organization, Destination Races. I've only paid to run a race once in my life (I don't fully grasp the idea of paying to run), but the events that DR hosts are pretty unique. My sister, Jackie, joined me for the day trip since neither of us have visited Solvang in years. 

Sweet Potatoes w/ Mascarpone, Dill & Pistachios

I've had this recipe sitting in my computer for a good few weeks– days before my house was overtaken by contractors and my oven became unusable. Needless to say, they're almost done (new backsplash and countertops and other stuff!) and I'll be able to get back to cooking soon.

On The Documentary "Fed Up"

I knew I had to see the new food documentary "Fed Up," after hearing multiple radio interviews last week with some of the experts. My thoughts shouldn't be surprising to anyone who has read this site's archives, and were only heightened and saddened after the film. The main message centered around our country's processed food–and most notably sugar addiction–and the government's role in this mess.

Baby Kale, Tangerine, Pistachio & Orange Blossom Salad

Years ago, I worked the line with a guy who I wasn't crazy about. He was a decent cook, and a fun dude, but our working styles just didn't click. It was my last week at that restaurant and I was more than ready to close that chapter and not have to see my bff daily for 12 hours. 

Slow Cooker 7 Spice Brisket

I do this thing every April that involves me cooking a brisket, a huge tray of mac & cheese, spring salad, roasted vegetable, a dessert–or basically my menu of choice. I call it tax season. My friend's CPA husband gets to eat real cooking for days and I can trust actual expertise with my filing. It's really the only thing good that can possibly come from absolutely no one's favorite time of year. 

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To those who have been loyal readers of this blog: you've witnessed the many design incarnations this site has seen over the last couple of years and I appreciate you sticking with me. Every time someone tells me they made something off mine, I get the warm fuzzies, and for that, I thank you.

Haricots Verts w/ Balsamic, Peppers & Onion

Last weekend we were invited to a Passover hosted by my uncle's sister.  My family is always requested to bring a vegetable side dish since everyone assumes that I will be the one cooking, and therefore will not present with something bland and overcooked.  Since my mom knows that I sometimes get annoyed when we have too many potlucks and too many assumptions that I will semi-cater them, she's taken to picking out recipes, buying the ingredients....and then waiting to see if I'll just make the dish.  

Cauliflower w/ Pomegranate Molasses, Pine Nuts & Mint

I was skyping with a good friend of mine the other week since she now lives in Dubai. Aside from being one of the most fun people I have ever known and someone I owe my most worth-it hangovers to, she and I can blab about food industry stuff for hours.

Pan-Fried Almond-Crusted Chicken Breasts

There comes a time in every woman and man's life when a piece of breaded chicken is an absolute necessity. It's one dish that never fails on flavor and moisture, and is a spot-hitter every time. For one of my clients, it's been every other Thursday for two months now. I make sure to pair this with tons of leafy green salads, since fried cutlets doesn't exactly make this a lean white meat. Almonds however, do add some nutritional gain over the often used all-purpose flour or bread crumbs situation. The mellow nuttiness crust of this also makes me prefer this version over the rest.

Grapefruit-Honey Mojito & 2 years on the webs!

I have a lot I'd like to say about my last fifteen days of absence, but much of which are updates on mundane life tasks that would induce blog-reading narcolepsy.

Lots of work, more than usual. Dreaded tax prep, again. I was away in NYC a couple of weekends ago, and am off to San Francisco this weekend...some business, mostly fun. Honestly, I'm in one of those life phases that just seems to blur the dawns and dusks. But all is good. Hard to believe I've had this blog for two years already as well. Yay!