Monday, May 18, 2009

Road Trip!

Ali and I just got back from the best trip ever! We drove the CA coast from San Fransisco to San Diego stopping at only the best places and then jet set over to The Big Easy for a whirlwind weekend with the Grodnick clan for Leah's graduation (not my Leah).

The most notable stops included:
-Leah's in Berkeley-Stinson Beach- great picnic!-Downtown-Seals near Big Sur- It was very cold and windy!-SB- the 7 hours stretch that took us down the coast! Ali got a farmers tan and I burned my scalp:(
In LA:
-Melrose Place- the apartment complex not the street (no group shot, so sad!)-El Cholo- best fajitas ever!
-Flip Cup Tournament- Team Mustang SALLY
In San Diego
-the zoo-we didn't get to feed the Giraffes because it was a weekday, but it was still worth it!-La Puerta Tequila Bar-awesome tacos and tequila! According to Bill the bartender, you should order Patron, Don Julio is much better for the same price:)-the beach, where we opted to dine on fish tacos and margaritas instead of indulging our athetic sides and surfing
Our next stop was New Orleans where we ate and drank ourselves silly at:
-Cafe Amelie-MMMMMMufulettaAntoines- Traditional NOLA restaurant. We saw all of the Queens of Mardigras crowns and the Fishman room
-Pat O's-Piano Bar with the Grodnicks, Mary and Sally, it was raining cats and dogs!

We really ate well! Hands down the worst meal we had on our trip/the worst we meal we have had in a while was at Osteria. It was HORRIBLE and really expensive!
We had a blast though. Fighting through sunburned scalps we were able to eat some of the tastiest food and be with some of our favorite people!


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cinco de Mayo- Ceviche Style

I freaking love ceviche! I love it! I get so frustrated when I see it on menus though because its so expensive for so little! I always want to order it because it sounds so good you know its not enough for a meal and you also know that its about times more expensive than everyone else's appetizer. So making it at home is the best solution. I bought all of the ingredients for under $30 and Eugene and I had enough ceviche to last us days. I mean days, seriously.

I followed the same recipe that I got from the cooking class at ICE. Only this time I actually let it marinate over night...

  • 1 lb of small shrimp, deveined
  • 1 lb of bay scallops (or any type of scallops, just cut them into bite size pieces)
  • Juice of 6 to 8 limes
  • 6 to 8 stems of fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup finlet chopped red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 green or red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • Fresh cilantro sprigs for garnish
How to:
  1. Cut shrimp, if necessary, into pieces the same size as the scallops. Place shrimp and scallops in glass bowl
  2. Combine the lime juice, thyme, red onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Add to the shrimp and scallops. Stir to combine well. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours (or no more than over night)**
  3. Turn the ceviche a few times during the marination period
  4. To serve, add parsley, olive oil, and diced tomatoes and mix to combine. Transfer to a serving dish with a slotted spoon and garnish with fresh cilantro sprigs
** If you cannot let the shrimp/scallops marinate overnight flash cook them for 30-45seconds and remove into ice water.

I like to serve ceviche with either corn chips or plain lightly salted popcorn to add a little crunch.


Friday, May 1, 2009

Banana Bread with a Low Fat Twist!

Mmmmm mmmmm, Banana Bread! For some reason I am never able to finish a bunch of bananas. Its the weirdest thing, I love bananas. Everything banana flavored, everything banana colored! But I always have some left over. So on this lovely afternoon, I decided to turn my left over bruised bananas into Banana Bread instead of letting them sit on the counter until they were brown and attracting fruit flies.

After a little research I came across Joy the Baker's Blog. Her recipe for low fat banana oat bread was amazing. I didn't follow her recipe verbatim because without fail, I mess up when I bake. I never remember to read ahead or follow the exact measurements, but even without the egg white folding she suggests on her site, this bread was baked to perfection! Julie Childs would have been proud!

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tsp canola or walnut oil
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 medium egg whites, beaten
  • 3 large bananas, ripe
  • 1 cup uncooked old fashioned oats
How to:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a loaf pan and set aside. In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients including the oats and cinnamon.
  2. In a smaller bowl, mash bananas with a potato masher or fork. Add oil and whole egg and mix thoroughly.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well. Batter will be fairly thick.
  4. Pour batter into pan and bake until top of loaf is firm to touch, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Flip out and cool on a wire rack for another 10 minutes. Slice loaf into 10 equally sized slices.
This banana bread really was delicious! Sometimes when I am feeling a little crazy I put a little whipped cream cheese on it for breakfast, so I get some savory and sweet. I also went out of town for the weekend right after I made it, so I cut it into individual slices and froze them. I enjoyed a defrosted slice this morning!