happenings, part 6

Howdy, pardners. It’s linky dinky time again.

Also, aren’t these chanterelle ‘shrooms so dang pretty? I made a fancy dish for newly married Liz & Kevin last weekend, and pickled chanterelles were one of the main dish components. Also a super tasty fresh corn curry sauce. YUM.

  • We’re heading to Portland, Oregon in a couple of weeks to meet up with Jennifer & Jon! Where should we go to eat? I already have a few places in mind, and ice cream is for sure on the list. Also, drinks. Which reminds me – my clothing is so not hipster enough for Portland. I gotta get on that.
  • One day, we’ll get to Hawaii, and when we do, we are totally driving this.
  • Apparently Saveur magazine has a crap-ton of horchata recipes (how do I know? duh. Pinterest.) and I’m digging the classic one and this one.
  • Heidi, all of your recipes look so dang tasty. And I barely even know what a sunchoke is….
  • A couple of weeks ago when Todd was in town, I printed out the Eater SF Big Eat list for 2012, the 100 not-to-miss dishes of this year. Sadly, I have a lot to try. Or gladly? That week alone though, I knocked off the morning bun at Tartine AND the custard french toast at Nopa. And this week? The not necessarily the 3-course prix fixe at Cotagna, but a mighty fine meal nonetheless. Delish.
  • Last week, we FINALLY booked our vacation trip. This is where we’re going this year, and I am waaaay excited. Tips and recommendations are welcome. Don’t be shy.
  • The photo above? The Sutro Baths at Lands’ End. I’m in the process, albeit very slowly, of making a San Francisco travel page, and this is for sure going there. We tried to catch the full moon, but couldn’t push through to 11 pm. We settled instead for dinner and a sunset. Woh woh.
  • The photo below? Lamb Jam 2012. We went last year when Brad was in town, and this year with Todd. Both were awesome. I ate a. lot. of. lamb.
  • Oh, and do you Instagram? I need to follow more folks, so share your ‘handle’ if you do. Mine, no surprise, is chiknpastry. Duh.

 

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Oatmeal.

I don’t have too much to say other than it’s high time we had some more oatmeal-type recipes on this site.

Isn’t that introduction enough?

I probably eat oatmeal at least 4 days out of 7 each week. It’s a bit of a combination of 1) it’s easy and 2) it’s healthy. Most days though, I dig into the store-bought packets, but every once and a while I like to make a nice batch of small-sized oatmeals because let’s face it – anything you make at home just tastes better. Oatmeal isn’t any different. Plus, a recipe for oatmeal is sorta like a recipe for granola bars – you can modify it almost any way you want and it will still taste good, so that way you never get bored with the same ol’ thing every single morning.

I get that some of you just don’t like oatmeal. That’s fine, I suppose, but I’ve always been an oatmeal-kinda person. For some, the texture is just too gooey, which never makes sense, because those same people seem to just love grits. For others, it just isn’t their thing. But for me? Breakfast is one of those times that I really just can’t be bothered to whip up fancy stuff.

Plus, I like to start my day eating decent ingredients, even if I end it by shoving a bowl of ramen into my face.

In my land, that’s called balance. And last time I checked, a little balance in life is never a bad thing.

Baked Fruit & Nut Oatmeal
adapted from Inquiring Chef via Pinterest; makes 8 individual servings

time commitment: 45 minutes

printable version

ingredients
1 & 1/2 c rolled oats
1/2 c nuts, coarsely chopped (I’ve used walnuts and almonds)
1 & 1/2 c fresh or frozen fruit (I’ve used frozen blueberries and fresh strawberries)
1 & 1/2 c milk (any type; I’ve used soy and almond milk with good results)
1 large egg (lightly beaten)
2 T honey or any other sweetener
1 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t salt

instructions
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a small bowl combine the oatmeal, nuts, and fruit. In a seperate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, honey, cinnamon, and salt until well combined.

Fill 8 small oven-safe containers (or an 8×8 baking dish) evenly with the oatmeal mixture. Pour the liquid evenly over the oats in each of the containers.

Place the containers on a baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the fruit is bubbly and the oats are crisp and golden.

Allow the oatmeal to cool slightly and serve warm.

happenings, part 4

  • Excited about all of these campsites. There are just not enough weekends in my year anymore!
  • If Chris ever gives in to a hot air balloon ride, this is where I’d want it to be.
  • My newest album excitement. Can’t wait to see them in the flesh next weekend!
  • Fun with corks. I kinda like the backsplash idea, but trivets seem much easier.
  • We are heading to Hilton Head Island, SC this weekend for fun with family. There will hopefully be some beach lounging in between the kiddo time, and I’m looking forward to dinner here one night. YUM.
  • Speaking of restaurants, I’m hitting this up next week for San Francisco’s Dine About Town. Finally, I get to take advantage of SF’s version of Restaurant Week.
  • Need some berry-pickin’ suggestions in the Bay Area? Try this link.
  • Love the idea of a walnut-date smoothie. Now I just need a morning to make them!
  • Turntable Kitchen likes the new Fiona Apple album so far. I am ultra curious about it myself.
  • Tara reminded me how much I adore romesco sauce. And since it’s zucchini time, I can get this recipe for zucchini fries + romesco sauce outta the vault.
  • If I ever get my hands on a bunch o’ strawberries, you best believe these biscuits will be made in a flash.
  • I did this thing to my hair the other day, to get “beach waves” and it was kinda cool. Oh, and have you followed me on Pinterest yet?

That’s all for today, folks. Have a safe and freakishly awesome weekend. And wish me safe travels to the other side!

ps: the top picture are flowers my favorite husband got me last weekend for our 6 year anniversary. isn’t he a doll? they are still alive and kickin’ today, which never happens around here! and the bottom picture is from our bike ride to the beach. we went through Golden Gate Park and back. Both were taken with and uploaded to Instagram. If you use it, you can find me there at @chiknpastry. And if you use it, share your ‘handle’ below – I’d love to follow you, too!

party in your mouth

What was your all-time favorite snack when you were a kid? Did you eat a ton of Chips Ahoy cookies? Oreos? (and let me clarify – it’s totally a-ok to still consider these your favorites.) Twizzlers? How about some Combos? Oh, those were the days – I chose the ones in the green bordered bag. And man, I used to swoon over Bugles, so much so that I ate AN ENTIRE BOX of them in one sitting, which subsequently led to hours of stomach pain. Haven’t really dug them since…

After the Bugles craze, I moved on to Chex Mix. I could have probably eaten the entire blue and white bag of crunchiness all at once, too, but I learned from my mistakes. I just ate most of it. The little bagel chips were my favorite. And don’t tell anyone, but I always left the rye chips in the bag…so if you were always wondering why your Chex Mix had an obscene amount of rye chips, well, now you know.

That said, I have never actually made Chex Mix, unless you count Puppy Chow as a version of it, but I’m guessing that’s a no. I’ve had a box each of rice and corn chex in my pantry since Thanksgiving (unopened, duh.) and never really felt the need to do anything with them but let them take up space. And then, the date of our Paso Robles road trip with Liz & Kevin approached. As if it was meant to be, I came across a recipe for an ultra-spicy version of chex mix on Pinterest. Ah, Pinterest.

I’m not going to beat around the bush on this one – these mo-fos are SPICY! And this comes from someone who orders their curry dishes “Thai hot” and is rarely satisfied with that. Think about the spiciness of these as being up there with the “fire” or “atomic” versions of wing sauce. Or close, at least – I’d probably add a little more Sriracha next time around… but that’s just me. I like to live on the edge.

I like the idea of a party in my mouth. And I don’t mean that to be taken the wrong way, so stop the nonsense.

Sriracha Chex Mix
adapted, barely, from Taste for Adventure via Pinterest; makes 10 cups

time commitment: 1 hour and 10 minutes (most inactive)

printable version

ingredients
3 c Corn Chex
3 c Rice Chex
1 1/2 c pretzels
1 1/2 c wasabi peas
1 c peanuts
1/4 c butter
1/4 c Sriracha
2 T soy sauce
1 t ginger, grated
1 t garlic, minced

instructions
Preheat oven to 250 F. Mix all the solid ingredients together.
Mix all the liquid ingredients together. Add ginger and garlic. Microwave to melt butter and warm the mixture. Pour the sauce over the cereal mixture and toss to evenly coat.
Bake at 250 for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes or so until crunchy and flavorful.

Happenings, Part 1

I was thinking the other day (I know, I know) about this little blog. I was thinking about how I do love for it to be about food and about recipes I’ve tried and loved, and about stories that may or may not tie in to those recipes. That will always be the focus here, because that’s what got me started writing here. Not writing here about food and recipes would just seem weird, I think.

I want to keep it that way for as long as I can, until I get absolutely tired of blogging every week, or whatever. But I also decided this: I want to add a few random things, too. Sorta like our Stairway Walks (which we are WAY behind on), or our travels (even though those are often about food, too). Whatever the crap is on my brain at the moment. And while I’d love to promise something every Friday, I know better than to commit to that. Sometimes it’s hard to blog every Tuesday…

Thanks to those of you who provided the inspiration, even though you didn’t know it – Heidi, Tracy, and Liz. Now I’m going to sort of copy you :).

So anyway, here we go.

Today I’m going to share a list of some of the most awesome things that I’ve done, that I’ve eaten, or that I’m into from the last couple of weeks. Hold on to your pantaloons, people!

  • First and foremost, I can’t tell you how freaking excited I am about this concert. I bought pre-sale tickets earlier this week and I am PUMPED. Yeah, I am excited about this guy and this band, too (and the venue! hint – it’s in the beginning of The Rock, one of the most awesomest movies ever), but I’m probably MOST excited about this one. Hoo boy.
  • Also, I’m slowly becoming addicted to PINTEREST. I know I’m not alone. Are you addicted yet? Or are you like my husband and you “just don’t get why that site is so popular”? I mean, for serious, it’s a virtual corkboard. Duh. So feel free to follow me, if you’re into that sorta thing. And join, so I can follow you!
  • Cold-brewed coffee sounds so excellent right now. Especially this one that’s made like the coffee in New Orleans. Tasters.
  • Speaking of coffee, I am also addicted to this place. Never mind the creepy picture on their site, their lattes are the best I’ve ever had, and I get them with soy instead of whole milk because it feels healthier…
  • I was in Charlotte, NC for a conference last week (at which time we also did our regular “driving around the state” to visit friends and family), and I was surprisingly super impressed with Charlotte. I don’t know much about the city, but after spending almost a week there I have to say – not bad at all. Obviously, there were loads of nice southern people (sooooo nice! I forget, sometimes) and the weather was gorgeous. One of my favorite spots was this restaurant. It shouldn’t surprise you – because it’s SOUTHERN FOOD. I forced my dining companions to eat pimento cheese crackers and deviled eggs (although I must admit, mine are better…), AND they both ordered the fried chicken. Aside from the great food though, this restaurant has a mission unlike any other: 100% of their profits are donated to feed the poor in Charlotte and everywhere else. They also employ people who may not get jobs as easily as others. And like I said, the food is great, too. If you’re ever in the area, you have to try it. In the words of the annoying Ina Garten, “how cool is that?!”.
  • What else? Oh! I bought some new kicks this weekend. Since I have slowly been learning to run for longer than 1 minute, I’ve run holes into my probably 10 year old sneakers, so I am finally retiring them. Plus, these are way cuter.
  • Also, I watched the movie that everyone else is watching this weekend. As usual, the books are way better, but hello, Lenny Kravitz is in the movie! And Woody. He makes a great drunk.
  • BBQ. Need I say more? I got yelled at for calling it “pulled pork” when I was in North Carolina, but I suppose I deserved it. We did get to visit my favorite spot for eastern NC BBQ when we went to my mom’s house. And earlier this week, we even tried BBQ in San Francisco! We also hung out with some really cool new friends. Thanks, Luke :).
  • The empty plate up above? That’s because the burgers here were so damn good I couldn’t stop. Also, it had pimento cheese on it. And tater tots on the side. Heaven!
  • Last but certainly not least, these exact prints are on my “to buy” list. I’m going to redesign our little office nook soon and yellow and grey are the colors. We’ll see how long this “project takes”.

 

What’s on your mind lately?

Oh, and Happy Spring. It is lovely outside, isn’t it?!