Thursday, March 31, 2011

Teriyaki Salmon with Roasted Veggies

Every once in a while, you have to pamper yourself. What better way than with food? One night my friend, Ashley, came over to hang out, and we decided to make dinner. Brian has always been better at cooking fish than I am, so I decided to let him handle the salmon, and I'd handle the veggies. This meal was so simple to make, yet it seemed so luxurious! Here we go:

Teriyaki Salmon with Roasted Veggies
1 lb asparagus
2 red bell peppers
8 oz salmon fillet
3/4 c Teriyaki marinade
1/4 c olive oil
salt & pepper
2 tbs grated parmesan

Preheat the oven to 400º.
For the salmon, unwrap from the package and cut into serving sizes. I typical healthy serving size of fish is 3-5ox (I normally go for 3 oz.) Tip: a 3 oz. piece of fish (or chicken or steak) is roughly the size of a deck of cards. Make sure to properly clean the cutting board and knife you used afterwards. Then, put the fish into a ziptop bag and pour the Teriyaki marinade into it. Seal and refrigerate for at least 25 minutes. (Note: I used ready-made Teriyaki marinade to save time, but if you'd like to make your own *more power to ya!* then here is a link to a very easy recipe: click here) When your 25 minutes are up, take the salmon pieces out of the bag and place onto a baking sheet. Roast for 15-20 minutes (this depends on how hot your oven actually runs... and how thick your pieces actually are. Just roast them until they're cooked through).

For the veggies, wash the asparagus and snap off the woody ends and lay them onto a baking sheet. Then, cut the bell peppers into desired shapes (be sure to remove ribs and seeds) and also lay onto the baking sheet. drizzle the veggies with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast them for 15-20 minutes (until fork tender) and sprinkle with Parmesan. Easy enough.

chow down

You don't have to spend a truckload of money, or a truckload of time to pamper yourself. Fool your pallet into thinking you've paid a fortune at some fancy restaurant, and cook at home with your loved ones! I have never been much of a seafood person, but the more Brian makes fish for me at home, the more I like it! Maybe I'll become a seafood person after all.

Foodie Foodie!
My little kitchen helper (my cat, Olive) has fallen ill- prayers and good thoughts are much appreciated. <3 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dinner out: Farm Star Pizza

So here's something fairly new, restaurant review. Horrah! I realize that many of you readers are not Chico locals, but then again, some of you are. And I think those that are Chico locals deserve to hear about the yum foodie foodie I eat out as well as at home. So, Brian and I went out to dinner with some of my design-friends. We went to this lovely place named Farm Star Pizza.

It was delicious.
So, what's the deal with Farm Star Pizza? Last night was the first time that I'd been there, and I'd heard many good things about it. Here's what I know: Farm Star Pizza is owned by the same people who own The Red Tavern. As far as I know, they use seasonal locally produced ingredients. So, like The Red Tavern, the menu changes periodically. We are blessed here in Chico with wonderful farmers' markets, and I'm pretty sure that's where Farm Star Pizzas gets many of their ingredients. They use Massa Organics (take a look at my interview from Greg Massa) whole wheat flour to create their (amaaaazziiinng) crusts and other quality ingredients including Pt. Reyes Blue Cheese and Pacific Sun Olive Oil.

Enough about the ingredients. How are the eats?

Fan-freaking-tastic. I must say, living in a college town has the benefit of affordable food. Eating out, though more expensive than eating in, is considerably more affordable here in Chico than in the SF Bay Area (where I'm originally from). Farm Star Pizza was a teeny bit more expensive than I like to pay on a regular basis (I paid $10.25 or so for a salad and the 12-inch pizzas range from $10-$14) but the food is worth every penny. 

I got the "Go Away Winter!" salad: To be honest I can't really remember every ingredient in this salad.. Sorry... but it was very good! I cleaned my plate.

I'd already started muching before I remembered to take a pic!

Brian got "The Matrix" pizza: three cheeses, braised fennel, caramelized onions, and (*drool*) pancetta.

Needless to say, it was two thumbs up. The crust on the pizza was so good, I would have eaten it totally bare. The combination of toppings was innovative and scrumptious. Some of the other designers got other pizzas like "Good Pig" (mozzarella, broccollini, pork sausage, and chili flakes) and "Spudzola" (Carmelized onions, heirloom potatoes, Gorgonzola, and thyme). According to them, their food was also fan-freaking-tastic.

So, my final word on Farm Star Pizza: GO.

foodie foodie!

Other notes on Farm Star Pizza: it is located at 2359 Esplanade, Chico, CA. 
They have their own little parking lot, so do not fear, you'll have a place to park. 
Not only do they have a wonderful selection of delicious foodie food, but they also have an impressive selection of beer (I didn't get a chance to ask about wine, but they do serve it).

Friday, March 18, 2011

blast to the past: egg in a basket. So easy, it doesn't even deserve its own post! hah!

I can explain.... I totally can explain for my unacceptable absence over the past couple of days...

Okay now I've got you expecting some extremely compelling reason for my not blogging yum yums your way, but the truth is: I've been busy. And I don't mean busy-just ignoring my lovely followers, or busy-I'd rather eat out (even though I have been eating out lately)

I mean busy:
1) It's Spring Break of my last semester as a college student
2) I've been clumsily navigating the realm of hand bookbinding to build my design portfolio (which I have been freaking out about, by the way)
3) I've been spending some much needed time with my family
4) I've been [trying] to work on the remaining portfolio pieces for my design portfolio (which need A LOT of love people... a lot)

So there is my list of excuses. Take 'em or leave 'em, but I've got yummies.

When I took these photos while making my egg in a basket, I laughed at myself a bit.
"Egg in a basket!" I said, "who doesn't know how to make an egg in a basket?!" But then I remembered, a few years ago, I'd gotten into the habit of eating an egg in a basket every morning. One morning, a friend was at my apartment and sat quietly as I prepared my breakfast. When I asked her if she'd like an egg in a basket, she simply stared at me and replied, "I'm sorry, a what?" An egg-in-a-basket-euphoria ensued as my friend enjoyed her first sample of my simple childhood breakfast. My dad would make these with my sister and me on special mornings when we were kids, and we'd go NUTS about it. So, in case you are one of those who has never had the pleasure of enjoying a simple, delicious, egg in a basket, here's how you make it:

Egg in a Basket
You'll need:
1 Slice of bread (I used sourdough but you can use any kind you like!)
1 egg
small tab of butter

Put a frying pan onto the stove over medium/high heat. Add the butter to the pan and allow it to melt. In the meantime, you need to prepare your basket.

Take a cup (or a biscuit cutter, or a cookie cutter...) and press it firmly into the center of your slice o bread. Twist it round a bit, then remove the inner circle.

Then, simply put the bread and little bread circle (I call it the baby-bread) onto the pan. Then, crack the egg right into the awaiting basket. Let the egg cook for a bit and then turn the heat down to medium or even medium low. The more I use eggs, the more I find that in most situations, you shouldn't rush them. Every time I get impatient with my eggs something goes wrong...

Anyways, allow the egg to cook until you can see that it has formed a solid layer of cooked eggwhites on the bottom side. Now is the perfect time to add salt and pepper. Take a spatula and flip it over!

Horrah! When the egg is cooked to your satisfaction (I like mine a teeny bit runny on the inside, but Brian likes his egg cooked all the way through tip: for those of you who like the egg cooked all the way through, try using a knife or fork to break the yolk before you flip it. This will allow the egg to cook more evenly, and you won't have burnt bread waiting for your egg to cook through!) remove it from the pan, put it on a plate, and put it in your mouth. I like mine with ketchup.

Foodie foodie!

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Best of Processed Foods

deep fried twinkie... aka heart attack on a stick.

Now, I normally am against the idea of processed food. Sometimes I don't even consider "processed food" as actual food. You look on the nutrition label and most of the time you don't recognize a single thing!
BUT, cooking light recently published a rather interesting article on their site about the best and healthiest of processed foods. Worth a looksie if you ask me!

Foodie Foodie!

Sunday, March 6, 2011


[heart-shaped pretzel]

Boyfood. In my case, boyfriendfood. Well, if you've got a boyfriend like mine, then you know that some couples have very different eating habits. For me, I'm all about the healthy, low[ish] carb (only when I'm not too lazy to cut carbs...) foods. For him, bring on the pasta, garlic bread, pizza... the list goes on. So, imagine my disgruntlement as I set out to cook dinner for us both. What do I do? Not to worry healthy foodies. There is a way.
Normally I find myself making two different dishes by using a few common ingredients. Tonight was no exception. I made Brian a tortilla BBQ chicken pizza and a salad for myself. Before you go throwing a hissy-fit let me just say, the salad was quite good. I certainly don't feel like I miss out much while I sit and chew my salad as Brian chows down on pizza. After all, what kind of girlfriend would I be if I didn't steal a bite?

Brian's BBQ Chicken Pizza

You'll need:
(2 pizzas)

2 medium sized tortillas
about 4 oz of chicken breast
3 tsp steak seasoning
(I used Chico Spice Co. Garlic and Pepper)
1/2 green bell pepper
1/2 red onion
1/2 C shredded mozzeralla
1/3 C shredded pepperjack
4 tbs BBQ sauce

Start by preheating the oven to 400º. Line a large baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Place the raw chicken into a plastic zip top bag and add the steak seasoning to it. If you are a Chico local, I recommend using Chico Spice Co.'s Garlic and Pepper meat seasoning, I bought it from the Saturday farmers' market. If you don't have access to this, your favorite steak seasoning will be just fine. Seal and shake the bag until the chicken is covered. Put this bag into the refrigerator. Next, do the prep work. Chop the onion and pepper into small pieces and put the two tortillas flat onto the baking sheet. 

Pour a small amount of olive oil onto a nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Let the oil heat up a little and then place the chicken on the pan. Brown on both sides until cooked through. Take it off the heat and set aside. While the chicken is cooling, spread 3 tbs of BBQ sauce onto the tortillas. Then, put the cheese on and the peppers/onions. 
The chicken should be cool enough not to cook your fingertips, so chop/tear the chicken into small bits (so it looks like "pulled chicken"). Place the chicken into a bowl, add the remaining 1 tbs of bbq sauce, and stir around until it is all coated. Split the chicken in half and put part of each pizza. Now it's ready for the oven! YAY!
Bake these for 15-20 minutes (just until the cheese turns golden brown) keep an eye on them though, don't want burnt pizza. So sad.

They should come out looking like this:

Cut with a pizza cutter or sharp knife and allow gleeful boyfriend to jump for joy and happy chow down.

As for me?


Salad wham-ey! I reserved a piece of chicken for myself, chopped it up, and tossed it with baby spinach, spring mix lettuce, poppyseed dressing, and some peppers and onions that I also reserved from the pizza. NOM.

Problem solved. Two very different meals that share some key ingredients. Another Sunday night dinner conquered.

Foodie Foodie!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tomato Free Salsa

I know, you hate me. But you know what?! I've been busy! Nonetheless I'm sorry for neglecting you of healthy yum yums. Here's something I've been saving to bring brightness to your chilly days. It's tomato free salsa that's to die for. I got the recipe from Lisa Ota ("Auntie Lisa" to me). She's an amazing woman, mother, aunt, and nutritionist at Sacred Bite (click to see her website). She believes strongly in the spiritual and bodily connection with food. She gave me this recipe and I knew I had to photograph it for you all to see. It's so easy, and SO good. Read on yum-seekers.

photo courtesy of Lisa Ota, Sacred Bite

Sacred Bite Tomato Free Salsa:
Courtesy of Lisa Ota, Sacred Bite

You'll Need:

totally didn't mean to put an onion in this image... oops!
1 can of organic whole black beans (drained)
1 can of organic pinto beans (drained)
1 C corn (white or yellow/fresh or frozen)
1 red bell pepper (chopped into small squares)
1 yellow bell pepper (chopped into small squares)
1 C edamame
1 ripe avocado (peeled and chopped in cubes)
4 limes
1 tsp red pepper
1 tbs olive oil
salt and pepper

If you're using frozen corn, prepare it according to the package. If you're using fresh corn, boil it and remove from the cob with a sharp knife. Next, prepare edamame (if you're using frozen). Wash and cut the bell peppers into small squares. Place them into a bowl along with the drained cans of beans. Next, add the edamame, corn, and avocado.

Roll the limes on the counter with a good amount of pressure to release some of the juices. Cut each in half and juice them into a bowl. My limes looked pretty pathetic after I used my dad's citrus juicer on them! Then, toss the lime juice, olive oil, red pepper, and salt and pepper into the bowl with all the other ingredients in it until nice and mixed up! I've found that this salsa is, of course, delicious freshly prepared, but also is VERY good after it's had a little time to mingle. Give it an hour or two in the refrigerator and chow down!

This salsa is really great served with any type of tortilla chip. I made it a while back and tried it with Trader Joes's Veggie and Flaxseed Tortilla Chips (Auntie Lisa's suggestion) and it was amazing!