Growing up I really hated drinking milk. Milk that was plain, milk that had chocolate in it, etc. I hated milk in my cereal, I always preferred eating the cereal plain, straight out of the bag, straight crunchy. But I was forced to drink it every morning before school, since milk has calcium, and milk is good for strong bones. I later discovered soy milk and almond milk as alternatives, and my life dramatically became better. Hah! So I went through a period of time where I made smoothies with and drank plenty of soy milk and almond milk. I bought them from Trader Joe’s, but always felt that the almond milk there was a little lifeless. Not very creamy or full body. So I set my sights on homemaking almond milk to see if there was a difference. And there is! Homemade almond milk is creamy and delicious, and when its homemade, you can add whatever flavors to enhance it. Almonds kind of got expensive, so I don’t make it very often, but if you want to drink the difference, give it a try!
Since this year was a hot hot hot year, with little rain, and an early summer, the peaches on our tree ripened so quickly so early in the year. We used to wait until about mid-july or august for harvesting, but we ended up harvesting them in mid-june this year!! So I learned this year that fruit trees bear delicious, juicy, sweet fruit every other year consistently. So one year it will be large and sweet and delicious, and the next will be smaller and less sweet, maybe even sour. Also, after the peach flowers have bloomed and it starts to form the fruit, on the same branches, you have to pick off some of the fruit so the other fruits on the same branch will have enough nutrition to form these big and yummy peaches!!! Darwin’s rule!! Funny how nature works and I have definitely noticed that with our fruit trees. Anyway, we have a ton of peaches so we needed ways to use them up. We made jam and peach salsa. The jam can go on homemade bread and jam cookies during Christmas! I am so excited.
For some reason I have always thought of kiwis as an all season fruit – it’s in my house all year long and they seem to be in Costco, always fresh, year round! With the summer abundance of fruit, I have been looking for ways to use them! As decoration (see Strawberry Kiwi Fruit Tart) or as more savory options, like this spicy jalapeño kiwi salsa!
Kiwis have a unique history – surprisingly, they are native to China, where it used to be called Chinese gooseberry. No idea where the goose came from (although there are red core kiwis according to Wiki). Then the cultivation journey of the kiwi fruit went to New Zealand, where there are birds that are called kiwi birds…LOL but New Zealanders named these bright green fuzzy fruits the kiwifruit, and it stuck!!!
This salsa only takes 4 ingredients and can be used as a chips and dip or a topping for fish!!!
Mmm brisketttt!!! I don’t normally touch complicated meats, as I leave the complicated meat and seafood stuff to my dad when I am at home, but this was a MDW project for the both of us where we bonded over our love of cooking and excitement over BEEF. We have been talking about kobe and wagyu beef a lot lately and are excited to someday go to Japan to try real kobe beef, as the marble is incomparable to “kobe style.” Anyway, since it was MDW, we were deciding between the tri-tip or brisket cuts of beef to make. Both of us have never made brisket before but have definitely eaten it before and have heard of the famous texan beef brisket where people wait in lines for. So we went to Raley’s and the meat cutter who brought out fresh cuts was like “go for the brisket today! and here is a recipe on the sticky for you! have fun!” So we set out on this project, which turned out to be relatively easy, but you just have to be patient and give it the slow roast that it needs. Half-way through the roasting process, and after poking it a little, it didn’t seem to soften and I was afraid it was going to be tough like some people said online. So we lowered the temp and let it roast another 2 hours. WHEW did it turn out perfect. And the sauce was an amazing pair. Slow and steady wins the race!
HEALTH FOOD MEGA POST!!!! I love healthy foods as you all know- the weirder the better. I love the fascination with all this raw stuff lately and totally have toyed with the idea of going on a raw food diet for a week. Maybe when I am not about to study for finals and the bar. But anyway, if you haven’t heard, PITAYA has been popular for a year now – a very distant, more popular cousin in pop culture of the ACAI berry – but it is actually a DRAGON FRUIT! Dragon fruits are those pink crazy weird looking fruits you see at Asian supermarkets. My mom bought some once and eating the fruit inside of a real, fresh dragon fruit was totally meh. It was white on the inside with edible seeds, way slimy and lacked flavor. I had no idea that the famous pitaya was actually dragon fruit. The Asian ones however are white in flesh, whereas the Mexican and South American varieties have a red/pink hue. This is definitely a quality it shares with the acai berry: it has a big vibrant hue to it and is definitely the new craze of food health junkies. I tried a pitaya bowl for the first time a month ago at PB’s Rum Jungle and I loved it! The pitaya bowl is a lot less berry tasting, not sweet, and sorta has a slimy texture to it. Pitaya is normally paired with the same stuff as acai so they are both super interchangeable in terms of how you make them in smoothies and bowls. You can purchase pitaya packets at Whole Foods!!! Sprouts doesn’t have them yet (or at least at my local one doesn’t). I used to do a lot of those fun, fast facts about interesting food items so here are some about pitaya:
1. Pitaya flowers only bloom at night so only bats and moths fertilize them. (kinda like how a bee polinizes flowers).
2. They originated in Mexico, but spread in popularity and cultivation in Southeast Asia.
3. There are many varieties- the Asian store bought ones have white meat with seeds dotted all over it inside; the smoothie pack variety is the pitahaya roja, which has a pinkish meat with seeds dotted all over it inside.
4. If you eat a lot of pitaya, your pee might turn reddish HAHAHA.
5. It has powerful antioxidents, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, fiber and omega-3s. All awesome stuff to keep you healthy and sane.
Here is a pretty powerful pitaya bowl recipe that I used for my first homemade bowl! Acai and pitaya are fun in that it can be paired with anything fun and healthy and colorful in your kitchen. Try it today since it’s so hot outside!
New look for the website!!! I switched to WordPress for a cleaner look and hopefully someday I will host my own website when I get all big and professional!!! Look for lots of new things on the site in the coming months! I have tons of new posts on the way and can’t wait to share them with you! Your reading and excitement keeps my blog alive and me motivated. Hope you like the new look!
The gourmet seared ahi tuna! I made this awhile ago but never shared the recipe. Everyone was so shocked about this because you know it’s expensive at restaurants so people think it’s super hard to make. Well guess what? It’s not!!! Please try it!!!! At home, you can have as much as your heart desires as opposed the 4 pieces you get on top of a salad at restaurants! Buy a fresh chunk of ahi tuna and sear away!!! It is super easy and perfect for summer!!!
Today was a good day! I went back to Club Pilates and did a session and basically did not know what I was doing since I haven’t gone since August and they added a bunch of new and cool stuff! Like the stretchy bar thing along the walls for sit-ups, the big stepping stool thing that some people need to use the balancing stick for, new exercises like planking on the bouncy ball thing, and new teachers! I was off to a bad start when my hair tie broke on my way there so my long hair was all over my face and eyes as I was doing on the exercises. I totally made it a point to talk to the teacher after to make sure she didnt think I was an amateur in a Level 2 class hahah But it was really fun and I enjoyed all the new exercises. I still hate planking though but I really should do it more often! After pilates, I went to LF for their sale and emerged with 6 sweaters and a flannel. I love their winter sales more than the summer sales- last winter, I got a bunch of my favorite pieces during it, also spending like $150+. Good thing tomorrow it is supposed to rain in SD so I can hopefully wear my new chunky sweaters! But mostly I know these sweaters are for SF weather when I am finally back. Look at my haul!
Following my cleanse, I made this raw cauliflower tabbouleh to ease back into my normal routine off the juices. LOL this ‘healthiness’ didnt last very long when I had ramen and my gluten free brownies later that day. Along with a weekend filled with alcohol and good food (including McDonalds breakfast and fries). I did counter those things with a 10 mile roundtrip hike in Azusa though! It is called the Bridge to Nowhere Hike! If anyone is interested, make sure you get a $5 Day Pass at the General Store in the little town you pass by before you get to the trail head parking area. Also, parking is difficult (took us an hour and still ended up parking a 1/2 mile away from the trail head). So arrive early (like 8am early) or come by at 12pm when others are leaving from the morning run. You trek through rivers walking on logs and walk on lots of rocks. However, it is a moderate hike, and only very little parts were incline. There isn’t a clear trail, but there are tons of people hiking it so just follow them or shout at the gold miners in the rivers for help of where the trails continue. I enjoyed it so much! It is pretty scenic all the way and you reach the Bridge to Nowhere where you can bungee jump! I did not partake in the bungee jump but it is pretty cool that you have to hike all the way there to do it. My legs are still aching from Sunday so it is a pretty good workout. Took me 5 hours to complete the entire hike to and back so you will get a good workout and burn some calories :). There are parts that had shade, but mostly it was pretty sunny so bring lots of water- I brought 3 bottles 🙂 Check it out and let me know how you liked it! Also, I am so crazy – I drove back from LA that same night and went to Bassmnt to see Dash Berlin and danced the night away so I had an incredible weekend!
Because of all the junk and the good food and alcohol I drank, I made this tabbouleh for the 2nd time this week. So addicted.
Have basil lying around? Have some frozen Thai chilis in the freezer? Have 15 min? Then you can totes make this easy, speedy, delicious Thai Basil Chicken!
My first rack of lamb!!! Crossing over to preparing more gourmet dishes this 2014!!! One of my food blogging goals this year is to prepare more meats and gourmet meals! My dad usually prepares it, but he wanted to try something new and allowed me to take hold of the rack this time! It turned out surprisingly delicious and we all finger licked it all! I love how no fork and knife is required for a rack of lamb – just good old gnawing. The chimichurri sauce really balances the strong lamb flavor and adds a good garlic and lemon spicy kick to it all. Give it a try!