July 29, 2011

Ginger People Drinks!

If you recall, our friend Mr. Bestie recently hooked me up with a whole bunch of Ginger People goodness.  Today I want to share the love on the Ginger People's Ginger Soother and Ginger enerGizer.

Let's get started, shall we?



This stuff is really good on a hot day!  It's been close to 100 in these parts this week and riding my bike home even a short distance gets me pretty overheated.  I broke into one of these the other day and it hit the spot!  This ginger drink as a bit of sweetness with lemon and honey.  It's not too sweet though and still has a nice ginger flavor.  The label also says "drink it hot/drink it cold".  I would not have thought to drink this hot, especially in 100 degree weather, but I'm glad it's suggested on the label.  This would be a really good hot drink and probably especially good if you weren't feeling well.
Ginger Soother gets a thumbs up from me.  :)

Next up:
Ginger enerGizer

The Ginger enerGizer is a little spicier than the Ginger Soother.  I actually liked this a little better, probably because I love the taste of ginger.  This drink has "a splash of apple" which is also tasty on a hot day!

What's really cool is the Ginger People have a whole bunch of drink recipes on their website that you can make with both Ginger Soother and Ginger enerGizer.  I'd like to try these out, but I'll need to get more, The Cyclist and I demolished all of our stash straight!  I thought these looked good:


If you try any out, please comment!

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July 27, 2011

Ginger People Eats Sneak Peek!

If you remember I recently promised I would have Ginger People Eats coming soon, well here you go!

Our good friend Mr. Bestie recently hooked me up with all of this Ginger People awesomeness....


This stuff is all super good so I want to take the time to feature each item individually.  I've already got to tasting a lot of stuff and I can't wait to share the yuminess!  I am totally inspired by the sauces, all of the ideas floating around in my mind are making me hungry!

Alas, I spent most of my lunchtime signing up The Munchkin for swimming lessons, so all I have time for today is this sneak peak!  More Ginger People Eats will be coming soon!  Thank you Mr. Bestie! Print Friendly and PDF

July 26, 2011

Pizza Night!

Our friends, the F's are from New Mexico.  The first night they had us over for pizza night, they put New Mexico green chile's on the pizza.  Oh the delight!  My mouth caught fire and my nose ran but there was only one thing I could say "more!"  We later learned that the green chile's were a test - if we could handle them, they would keep us.  Thank you F fam for introducing us to the New Mexico green chile! 

We recently had a repeat of the original pizza night, oh the delight!  I know I already said that but it was delightful, repeat was therefore, necessary.

To start, there was some good stuff on hand....strawberries for the salad, home-made pesto and (of course!) beer!  We are all Racer 5 fans, super good IPA and great addition to pizza!


Mr. F started us with a tasty appetizer which I believe he made up on the fly....
Figs Wrapped in Prosciutto with Goat Cheese (YUM!)......




While Mr. F worked out the app's, Dr. F threw together this fabulous salad....


What could make this salad better?


Avocado of course!

While I strolled around the kitchen taking photos, I couldn't pass up a shot of these pretty heirloom tomatoes on a fancy plate.....


....or this watermelon!


....and, I'll take another appetizer please, thank you...

(this is actually The Cyclist's hand, not mine!)

OK, to Pizza!

Moving on with a theme, one pizza will have prosciutto, figs and goat cheese...


Mr. F started preparing the dough....


Meanwhile, Dr. F started caramelizing onions....


....and more work with the dough....




.....now we start Pizza #1 - pesto, squash & mushroom....




....into the oven she goes.....


....note the fancy wooden pizza pan made by Mr. F! 
Beautiful woodwork as usual.

And check out the finished product.....



Oh, my yummyness!  I love when the cheese gets a little brown like that!

Now on to Pizza #2 - sausage, mushroom, New Mexico Green Chile and caramelized onions!

The Cyclist started cooking the sausage....


Someone chopped some mushrooms.......


....and Mr. F started getting those New Mexico green chile's ready....


Note: from here my "picture story" is not as detailed because while Mr. F continued to prepare pizza's, the rest of us went to eat!

The finished product of Pizza #2...


....and finished product of Pizza #3 - figs, prosciutto & goat cheese....


Yum!  Cheese!  Yum!

I don't know which one was my favorite, they were all so different and all so good.  The spiciness of those New Mexico Chile's might beat all though. 

I should mention that while all of this was going on we were also having a dough contest.  I can't remember which dough was on which pizza, but, one dough was purchased from our local Italian grocer, Corti Brothers and the other was purchased from a really good local pizza spot One Speed.  Both were good, but the Corti Brother's dough won.  It had a nice chewiness to it.  I don't know the exact brand, so I'll have to find out and report back later.

Of course, with all of that pizza and beer we absolutely had room for dessert!

Enter Snickerdoodles!
As prepared by me and The Cyclist, recipe from the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook....

(dough balls)

And....Viola!

I used to always have a problem with these guys coming out flat, but it appears the new Kitchen Aid mixer has solved this problem.  These were (for the first time) nice and fluffy!

Thank you F's for another great Pizza Night!



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July 25, 2011

Recipe Find - Pan Seared Cod Over Vegetable Ragout

The Cyclist and I are trying to add more fish to our diet.  I am not an experienced fish chef, but I do OK with cod.  (At some point I will share my fish taco recipe.) So, I went in search of a cod recipe that looked healthy and easy.  Key word being "easy".  I know better than to try and get crazy in the kitchen when the ultimate goal is to make dinner after work.  This behavior only results in late night meals that aren't that great.  "Easy" as defined by me = not a ton of ingredients, nothing I can't buy in a regular grocery and no cooking words that I do not understand.

Anyway, in looking for my healthy and easy cod recipe I went straight to Cooking Light.  This is one of my favorite places to find recipes, I have yet to be steered wrong.  My search found:

Ta-Da!

This recipe was really, really good, like seriously good.  The Cyclist did most of the prep work, which was super helpful.  I don't know what the deal is with prep-time on recipes (this one did not list any), but it always takes me way longer than it says.  Part of the issue are my crappy knife skills and continued attempts at not cutting my finger off, but...I swear, some of those recipe prep-times are just silly!

OK, moving on. 

So, with the Cyclist's help, we put this dish together (together!).  Here is our version:


and an up-close:


It was very, very good and not totally difficult to make.  More importantly, our 7 year old nephew (DD), who can be a bit of a Mr. Picky McPickerson devoured his entire plate and declared that I should make this for him every time he comes over.  The Munchkin slapped his plate up too, as did the Cyclist and I.  There was nothing left, anywhere.

I give this recipe 5 stars for being super good, easy (as defined by me) and healthy!  It also gets an honorable mention for being a fish and veggie dish that kids love. 

Coming soon: Pizza Night! And Ginger People Eats (I'm really excited about this one!) 
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July 22, 2011

Farmer's Market & Training Update

We have a great Farmer's Market here in good ol' Sac-Town.  I saw a Yelp review this week that compared it to a French market and I would have to agree.  The amount of stuff they have is endless, way beyond fruit and veggies.  There is something about going to the market on Sunday morning that makes me happy.  I love the atmosphere, the smells and just the whole vibe of the place. 

At some point I plan to do a detailed post about the market, vendors and all of the good stuff (like Pretzel Croissants!), but today I just wanted to share my haul from last weekend....check it out:


I liked this photo so much I made the new blog background (in case you didn't notice).  But seriously, all of this for $39.  I don't know if that seems like a lot, but it would have been way more if I tried to buy it in the grocery store, especially since a lot of this stuff is organic.  Plus, the farmer's market goods always last way longer since they are so fresh.  All together I got:
  • 30 eggs ($6!)
  • 1lb mixed zesty salad greens (organic)
  • 2 heads of lettuce (organic)
  • 3 red onions (organic)
  • 1 bunch purple carrots (so good and organic)
  • 6 plum tomatoes (organic)
  • 1 bunch golden beets (organic)
  • 2 leeks (organic)
  • 4 peaches (organic)
  • 4 nectarines (organic)
  • 4 pluots (local)
  • 4 plums (local)
  • 3 green bell peppers (local)
  • 2 cucumbers (local)
I can't wait to go back this Sunday!

Now, onto training......

So last week I mentioned that I was going to train for this:
BUT....after going to register I've changed my mind.  First off, the super sprint is $100!  That is probably not a lot considering the course area, ocean swim and popularity of the race, but I'm used to my local $65 races.  So, considering how our calendar looks that weekend, driving to Monterey at 6PM, racing for an hour the next morning and turning around to go home right after the race just doesn't seem worth it.

Instead I'm looking at doing TBF Racing's Clif Bar Team Challenge
I've been wanting to do this for a long time but we usually have a conflict.  This year we are waiting to see if it will conflict with my cousin's wedding, but hopefully it won't.  If not, I'll be racing with IronMom (my mom) and The Cyclist.  We should be able to do some damage!

Otherwise this week - I had hoped to do a run or, wishfully, a run and a ride last weekend; I did neither.  Spending time with The Cyclist, The Munchkin and lots of other good friends took prevalence over exercise, and that is fine.  This week I have managed to ride my bike everyday again (woot-woot!).  I rode an extra 15 miles on Monday.  On Tuesday I attempted to run with Otis (The Dog), but it was hard and hot....I'm going to be glad I made the attempt and leave it at that.  On Wednesday I swam again.  So overall, doing good!  It feels good to be exercising regularly and I don't feel bad about all the cookies I've been making with my new Kitchen Aid mixer (I love that thing!).  I swear, 90% of why I exercise is food.

Coming soon I will review a great fish recipe and tell you all about Pizza Night!


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July 20, 2011

Tasty Turkey Taco Towers

Alright.  To start, I promise all of my recipe's won't have foods that all begin with the same letter (remember Penne Portabella and Prosciutto?).  I'm sorry, I just couldn't help it.

As a kid, taco night was my favorite.  Now, I tend to make taco's with ground turkey instead of ground beef, just to keep them a bit healthier.

Let's meet the suspects:

1/2 pound ground turkey, your tortilla of choice, black beans, red onion, avocado, bell pepper (any color will do), salt & pepper, chili powder, ground cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, salsa of your choice and:
Oh yeah, and the most important ingredient:
CHEESE!


I should just go ahead and admit now that I'm a little bit Urkel-ish when it comes to cheese.
Being allergic to dairy until I was about 10 created an abnormal love of cheese; proof that absence makes the heart grow fonder.

OK!  Moving on to Tasty Turkey Taco Towers.  When I pulled out what I needed to make this I realized I was out of taco seasoning.  Normally I would use a store bought low-sodium seasoning packet.  But, I was out, so I mocked up my own seasoning using the chili powder, ground cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, salt & pepper and (oh yeah) garlic salt.  I actually liked it better than the packet.

Start off by browning the turkey meat....
....turkey meat normally produces very little grease (like almost none), so I don't typically drain anything from the pan.  Also, we only use 1/2 of a 1 pound package - we usually can't finish the left-overs if we cook it all, so splitting it gives us two meals. 
Once the turkey is getting brown, throw in some chopped red onion....
...after I added the onion, I started my made up seasoning.  I added about 5 shakes of each spice, 2-3 turns on the salt grinder, 3-5 turns on the pepper grinder & about two shakes of garlic salt....
 ...stir it up and add in some chopped bell pepper....
...and also, drain the can of black beans and add them in....
--(I forgot to take a photo so please insert your imagination here)--
Now, tower time.
Heat a non-stick pan and don't grease it with anything, just get it hot.
Put in your first tortilla and put some shredded cheese on top...
...on top of the first layer of cheese, add some of the meat mixture and some sliced avocado, then more cheese!
Then put tortilla number 2 on top and repeat.  At the end your stack should have 3 tortilla's...
...let it heat for a bit, then flip it & let it heat some more....
take it out and top it with, of course, more cheese, some sliced avocado and salsa...
....Viola!

We have never made the tower format before, we usually do just regular old taco's, but Mr. O and I came up with this on the fly.  It was good and the presentation was more interesting than plain old tacos.

I've posted the whole recipe on Tasty Kitchen - Tasty Turkey Taco Towers
Before I go, a note about the tortillas....
I found these tasty tortillas at Trader Joe's (LOVE Trader Joe's) recently.  They are super good!  Even plain (without cheese!). Print Friendly and PDF

What about the race?

I mentioned last week that we had a race on calendar last weekend (Lots of Food = Tri Time).  The Cyclist decided to skip it, so no race for us.  As soon as we race again I will be posting about it! Print Friendly and PDF

July 18, 2011

Do you know your State Food?

I didn't even know there was a such thing as a "State Food" until I saw this article today Shine-Yahoo Most Bizarre State Foods.  There is no mention of a California State Food, so I was curious as to what it could be and I started searching around.  I found the official list of State Foods on Wikipedia List of U.S. state foods, which not only includes the State Food, but State Nut, State Fruit, State Pie, State Grain, State Vegetable, State Snack Food ?! Who knew?

Check out Maine who not only has a State Soft Drink,











but also a State Treat!








Yet, still no mention of California!

My search led me to these two sites Foodtimeline & Travel Gather, which both indicate California's State Fish is The Golden Trout.
Kind of a pretty fish.  I don't know what it tastes like, I've never had it, in fact, I've never had any type of trout. 

Both sites give some examples of what California's State Food could be including some I thought were interesting like the Monte Cristo Sandwich,
which Foodtimeline says, "According to several articles published in newspapers and magazines, Monte Cristo sandwiches were first served in southern California and were very popular in the 1950s-1970s".  Hmm, I did not know this.  I would not think of this as California Cuisine.

Both Foodtimeline and Travel Gather also mention Chop Suey as a potential California State Food.
I don't think I realized Chop Suey was even a real thing!  Foodtimeline says "The stir-fried hash was invented, according to tradition, in a San Francisco restaurant during the wee hours one morning when a rowdy group of holidaying diners would not hear of the Chinese cook's plea that he had no food."  
So what should California's State Food be?  I think there are too many good things to choose from to pick just one! Print Friendly and PDF
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