Monday, February 27, 2012

the best way to toss your salad.. with your own 2 hands :) hehe

Quick post today.. just wanted to mention that BLUE CHEESE IS FREAKIN' DELICIOUS. I can't get enough of it. I've been making this salad for lunch recently and it is just sooooooo good. All the ingredients go so well together.. blue cheese + pear is such a wonderful flavor balance.

Vinaigrette: 1-2 tsp dijon mustard, juice of 1/2 lemon (this does make it super sour so go easy on this if you are not a fan of that), extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper to taste. Whisk all these ingredients together on the bottom of your bowl.

Add your greens (I am a fan of the Fresh Express Butter Lettuce blend, esp. for convenience) thinly sliced onion, carrots, walnuts and crumbled blue cheese. Also thinly slice up a Bartlett pear, add it to the salad. Toss everything together with your hands, making sure the vinaigrette coats everything in the salad. Enjoy!


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Oven-baked Swordfish

In last minute attempts to make dinner tonight.. I was searching for a swordfish recipe since I had this huge swordfish steak on hand. I'm sure there's a reason for this but the majority of the recipes called for the fish to be grilled, which I did not have access to. I'm guessing this has to do with the fact that swordfish should NOT be overcooked because it gets really tough and gross if you do? So this is what I came up with and despite it being a little bland, I think it turned out pretty well!

On the fly.. I preheated the oven to 375 F, got some olive tapenade, a tomato, a lemon and a bunch of kale out of the fridge along with the beautiful swordfish steak. I decided to do a one pan meal inspired by a putanesca sauce with the fish. So I roughly chopped up the tomato, added about 4 spoonfuls of tapenade, garlic powder (yea I was lazy.. freshly minced would have been much better), lemon zest & juice, salt, pepper and olive oil -- mixed that all together in a bowl. THEN, I placed the kale on the bottom of the pan and drizzled olive oil (this was meant to serve as nutritious and a bed for the swordfish to be placed on) (I should have salted this...). Then I rubbed the swordfish on both sides with some more olive oil.. I should have also salted & peppered it too but I forgot to (this probably accounted for the blandness). Finally I poured the tomato mixture over the steak and stuck the whole thing in the oven. You have to be careful to evenly spread the tomato mixture on top of the fish so that it will cook evenly. Now, the fish should be done by 15 minutes, obviously it depends how large a piece you have; be sure to keep your eye on it because overcooked swordfish tastes like a rubber tire. Done! In the future I would add some kind of heat to it, maybe red chili flakes or even a couple shakes of Tabasco hot sauce.

I think it turned out visually appealing, no? FYI: Swordfish goes from pink to white in color as it cooks.

I GOT SOME NEW SHOES! I've been eyeing those 'loafer' style shoes for a while now, and when I saw these in a magazine, I think it was Teen Vogue haha (don't hate! I got a free subscription on my Kindle Fire), I knew I had to get them. They are from the Material Girl line by Madonna and her daughter. These shoes can only be gotten online, at least none of the Macy's near me carried it so I decided to order them.
I'm grateful to Macy's for having a Size 5 shoe, they fit my feet perfectly and these are super comfortable as well. I know I will be putting these to great use because I plan to wear them with as many outfits as I can!
Going onto almost 9 months of my year-long ban on purchasing nail polish, I have also decided not to buy any more makeup and attempt to actually finish the stuff I already own. For that reason, expect to see more food-related posts!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

When life gives you Meyer lemons..

I love citrus. Especially the more tangy and bitter kinds, i.e. grapefruits and pomelo. Meyer lemons are in a class of their own; a cross between lemon & mandarin oranges, they are sweeter than a lemon with a floral fragrance which give them such a unique taste. 

'Tis the season.. My favorite way to use Meyer lemons is a simple lemon bar with a shortbread crust. Low on time yesterday -- I searched for a fast and easy recipe to use these heavenly fruits in, and I came across this one for muffins. It uses the entire lemon: rind, pith, pulp and juice, which really intrigued me so I had to make them! I actually ran out of sugar so I wasn't able to put the cinnamon sugar sprinkling on top of these and I probably only was able to add 3/4 cup instead of the 1 cup required from the recipe. Consequently, my muffins weren't super sweet, but I think I prefer it that way. I also filled my cupcake liners pretty full so I ended up with 12 larger muffins rather than 18. The Meyer lemon flavor definitely shown through and permeated the whole muffin. There is NO substitute for a Meyer lemon, so go out get yourself some.. your tastebuds will thank you.

before baking: as you can see, the batter was kind of on the runny side
these only took 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven
the finished product!


Saturday, February 4, 2012

homemade larabars

 Sorry it's been a while.. school has gotten in the way as it usually does. But! I bring you a new food creation that is super delicious and perfect for taking to school as a snack to eat during lecture :) I've always been a fan of those yummy Larabars but they are just so expensive, I don't buy them too often. Last night I stumbled across this recipe for homemade larabars and, coincidentally, I had a container of dates in the fridge. Of course I had to make these. And I am so glad that I did. Since these have chocolate & peanut butter in them, they really taste like Snickers! Some changes in my bars: I made a very small batch since I only had 1 cup of dates and 1 bar of chocolate in the house. The chocolate I used was milk chocolate + hazelnuts. The almonds I used were also salted. Anyways, I am looking forward to bringing these to class :)
In college, I was addicted to these Izze juices and had tried every flavor there was. I haven't had one in a while and discovered this new Peach flavor while perusing the aisles of Whole Foods. I have to say, it is pretty darn good.. but grapefruit is still my favorite!

 And now.. here are some nail art designs I've done lately:
Gradient nails: 37 Blue it from Sally Hansen, Slushied from Sephora by OPI, For Audrey from China Glaze, Turquoise&Caicos from Essie, Re-freshmint from China Glaze
I topped it with some sparkle :) Sparkle Me Silver from Sephora by OPI Jewelry Top Coats

Couldn't decide between these 2 colors so why not have both! Chinchilly & Lilacism both by Essie
Tribal Nail Art, inspired by Beautylish.. I definitely made my dots too big I think

 Last but not least, my V-Day gift to myself :)