Real Food Real Talk

Before I divulge into a million reasons why I stopped blogging for a week, I want you guys to check out this podcast I’m featured in!

Real Food Real Talk, a Bay Area based podcast, approached me and asked if I wanted to share my favorite fall recipe with their listeners. The podcast started with a food-forward couple living in Oakland; they wanted to share their love of food and all things that goes along with it, such as gardening, food justice and natural products.

I had a blast talking with Jacqueline and I am now a happy subscriber! There is nothing like learning about things that are happening in your local community.

You can listen to it on their website here.(I start around the 1:00 minute mark).

Okay, so I did not break any bones, spill water on my computer (again) or elope somewhere tropical. I just really needed a break and all the extra time I could find. My calendar is pretty much jam packed every day between now and the last day of school. Last week I wanted to write but had no pictures to share; no cooking at home, no eating out or even any funny stories. Do not fret, because we do need to catch up.

I was going to post this picture last, but since we are SO over Halloween and already in November, I figured I’d get it out the way. My roommates decorated the house and it looked so good!

PS: Yes, we do have a boob light.

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Our gate had creepy crawlies and the upstairs pumpkin had snakes crawling out of it’s eyes and mouth. There is a lot more but one shot is enough to prove a point.

After a long morning of school, one of my classmates and I went to grab lunch at Nopalito on Broderick St.

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Nopalito is a fresh, sustainable Mexican restaurant that seriously prides themselves on how local they are. You can even visit their website and they show which farms they work with. Mi gusta.

I was going to go for a Michelada but had to do some major reconsidering when I saw persimmon horchata on the menu. It sounded too good to be true. Their horchata was not too sweet and you could tell it was made from scratch and not powder. The persimmon added a nice touch to it.

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Since we both are major food lovers, we opt to share everything. The first thing to come out was Huarache con Suadero y Chorizo. Black bean stuffed oval tortilla, braised beef brisket, chorizo, cilantro, queso fresco and salsa de tomatillo y chile de arbol.

Once this bad boy came out, I knew we were in for a real treat. Everything tasted fresh and the flavors so rich. They braise their meats really well.

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The softness of the brisket and chorizo + the crunchiness of the tortilla = the best thing that happened to me that day.

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Next was the chilaquiles, which was the fanciest Chilaquiles (Rojos en Cazuela) I have ever had in my life.

Chilaquiles is traditionally a breakfast dish with tortilla chips, eggs, beans and sauce. This had the basics and added guajillo & chipotle chiles, tomato, green onion, crema and queso fresco. Tasted similar (with no meat) to the first dish with a different presentation.

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I do not eat carnitas very often because it is so rich but the table next to ours ordered this and we both agreed that we had to get it too.

Braised pork, orange, bay leaf, milk, cinnamon, beer.

Cabbage salad, pickled jalapeño and salsa de tomatillo.

I want to go back for this full-flavored piece of pig right here.

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Although I was one bite away from rolling myself to the car, the waitress mentioned they house-make popsicles and my weak decision making skills made me order one. It kind of tasted like a dark chocolate fudge popsicle.

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Sunday was my friend’s husband birthday and look at the waves near the bridge. Holy shit, my car was soaked when I parked. It kind of seemed like the splash water-rides at Six Flags or Disneyland.

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PS: This might seem like the most ultimate first world problem. Ever since I got the new Macbook that came out last week, all my pictures are coming out grainy on my computer because it is Retina and there are too many pixels and the pictures online can not keep up. 🙁

What’s new, what’s happening, what’s going on? I feel so out of the blog world, even though it has only been one week.

Michelin Man

The San Francisco (and surrounding areas) Michelin Guide came out on Wednesday!

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Incase you live in the dark, this handy book “helps both locals and travelers find great places to eat and stay, with obsessively-researched recommendations to more than 500 hundred restaurants. This guide, updated annually, appeals to all tastes and budgets. Local, anonymous, professional inspectors carefully select restaurants, using the celebrated Michelin food star-rating system”. The history, which I actually found really interesting, can be conveniently found here.

It is my food goal this year to hit up all the bib-gormaunds, one and two stars and maybe The French Laundry. Although, I do not know how feasible this is because it is impossible to get reservations at State Bird Provisions no matter what. It’s probably easier to get a table at TFL or Meadowood, yikes.

The Lisbon House had a girls night on Wednesday and we ate at the Michelin-bibbed restaurant, Starbelly. (Sarath, we missed you!)

We were seated in their outside canopy, it felt really good to be outside but still have the warmth of the ceiling heaters.

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Micheladas are my favorite (alcoholic) drink in the whole world. If it is on the menu, I will order it. It is made with Mexican beer, salt, chili powder and lime and it tastes fantastic. Ciafa was suppose to be my model but the aperture kind of blurred her out. Isn’t she beautiful?

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I spotted this awesome door handle behind me and could not help but take a picture. Where can I find one of these bad boys? I really like the vibe they have going on in there, it was really cozy.

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Of course Taylor was in attendance too!

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We all shared the burrata di stefano, served with toasted hazelnuts, lemon and olive oil. Actually, I am not sure exactly what exactly is in/on it because they only have a sample menu online but I am almost sure.

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Ciaf and I ordered two pizzas. Mine is the chorizo, egg and cilantro on top. In my Foodservice Systems Management class, I have to create my own business and my idea was a pizzeria that serves “cultural cuisine”. In other words, pizza fusions with different countries national foods (Lomo Saltado, Kung Pao Chicken pizza, etc). One of my pizzas was this exact one (+ onion) so I was really excited to see it in person.

She ordered one with Starbelly bacon, jalapeño, arugula and green goddess dressing. I really enjoyed hers as well.

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Taylor ordered the catfish w/ andouille sausage, risotto and okra.

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I know so many of you bloggers are bakers and make the most amazing and badass recipes, but today in class I made a chocolate soufflé. We won out of the whole class! Ours was the best. It was decadent, rich and perfect. I was so proud of me and my lab partner. Plus I got to use a Kitchenaid for the first time and now I really want one for Christmas.

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The TA for our class brought in In-N-Out and she made me crave it all day. I had to go after my night class. I feel bad for all you East Coasters because In-N-Out is one of the main reasons I will miss California if I ever leave.

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Have a great weekend!

Thoughts on In-N-Out? What have you made in your life that you are most proud of?

15 Hour Flight, Here I Come!

So if you’re reading this, I’m either:

A.) In the middle of a 15 hour flight

B.) On a three hour bus ride

C.) In China!

Yes yes! My mom and I have been planning this vacation since it’s the only year I probably won’t have summer school. We’re spending three days in Hong Kong & Guangzhou, ten days in Sichuan and seven days in Japan!

I’m so excited that I actually packed early and not 20 minutes before we have to leave for the airport!

Chi thinks it’s weird that I pack everything into separate shopping bags, I just think it’s way easier to find things this way.

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In terms of blogging, I’m going to change my posting schedule to Monday and Thursday for the next three weeks and I’m so excited to share that some of my favorite bloggers has agreed to help me out and write guest posts! I got to take a peak at them and I’m sure you guys will love! Monday will be my blogging friends and Thursday will be Asia recaps. I wasn’t planning to blog during my time out there, but a lot of my friends wanted to see how everything was going and I would love to share my pictures as well.

Although I am so excited to go, I am going to miss this guy very very much.

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Yesterday, for my last night in SF, he took me out to eat at a very special place. Lolinda.

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They have an ahh-mazing rooftop bar where Medjool used to be, we managed to grab a drink before dinner started.

They must of put a ton of money into renovating, because I was in awe when I walked in. I’ve been to a lot of fancy pants restaurants, but this one was decorated so well. Pictures seriously doesn’t do it justice, it’s a lot bigger and grand-er (?) outside the lens. They also paid a lot of attention to detail, which I love.

It was almost pitch black too, so my camera picked up a lot of light. This is a fore-warning for how diluted the lighting is in the next few pictures.

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Lolinda describes its self as, “a new kind of Argentinian steakhouse that combines Latin American flavors with californian sensibilities”.

There were so many ambrosial options on the menu that we had a hard time figuring out what to eat. We started with the empanada de carne, stuffed with beef, raisins, egg, potato, olives and a side of chimichurri. My time at Lolinda reminded me of how much I love chimichurri dressing, I”m going to have to make some when I come back to the states.

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The choripan came next, which wasn’t exactly what I expected but thoroughly enjoyed. I thought it would be more ground chorizo with bread but it came in the form of a fancy hot dog. The flavor was on point, Chi and I were eating the bits left on the plate after.

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The table next to us recommended the pork chops (which I love, Chi hates) and sea bass (which Chi loves, but I hate) so we settled for a good ol’ fashioned Matambre: flank steak. I wish there was more, it was one of the best cuts of meat I had in a long time.

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Of course I had to order a side of veggies, to Chi’s exasperation, to balance out all the hearty meats we received. Dino kale, crimini and chili flakes in the first bowl and Chilero (spicy picked vegetables) in the other.

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It was an awesome meal at the end of the day and the bill came to a little less then 100 bones, including two drinks. Thank you Chi!

How do you sort your things in the suitcase? Any great eats this week?

Chorizo Lentil Soup

I was driving to Trader Joe’s yesterday morning when the radio talk hosts caught my attention. First, they asked how people thought the world would end. I fumbled around with a few answers in my head before the host proposed an asteroid crashing on to our planet. He also mentioned that the international government probably wouldn’t announce their findings to ensure chaos to be kept under control. Although I understand why, I’d be kind of bummed to find out that I had a month to do whatever I want.

What would I do, though? Travel? Lay outside all day? Reveal my deepest darkest secrets? Honestly, I’d probably live my life like normal just incase the astronomers were wrong. Totally random, but the question has been in the back of my mind all day.

Obligatory picture of my new grocery tote. I felt wrong wearing my Whole Food reusable bag at Trader Joe’s. But it has rainbow ice cream and donations help support SF Pride. #firstworldproblems

(P.S. Did you know San Francisco charges 10 cents a bag, if you don’t bring your own? Kind of cool and annoying at the same time because I ALWAYS forget my bag(s) at home.)

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Chi is a cheese lover so I picked up an assortment of Spanish cheeses and parma prosciutto. I literally couldn’t finish my sentence before he raced to the refrigerator to make a plate. No lie.

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I bought too much chorizo for my recipe, so I made Chorizo Breakfast Burritos for brunch and saved a serving for Chi to eat when he stopped home for lunch. I could of gone for three burritos, but I stopped at two. Thank goodness for my self control, phew. (Being sarcastic).

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I was eating in the lunchroom at work on Friday when my coworker, Al, brought lentil soup that he made the night before. I made him give me a bite and it was so good! He told me his mom use to make it for him all the time. I knew I had to recreate it for my recipe this week.

Chorizo Lentil Soup

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 1 Hour

Serves: 4-6

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Ingredients:

  • .75 Lbs Chorizo
  • 2 Cups Dried Lentils
  • 1 Russet Potato, chopped
  • 1 Medium Onion, diced
  • 3 Roma Tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, diced
  • 6 Cups Chicken/Vegetable broth
  • 1 Cup water
  • Fresh Basil
  • 1/3 Tsp Cumin
  • 1 Tsp Dried Thyme
  • 1/2 Tsp Oregano
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

TO PREP

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1. Chop the washed potato and tomatoes, dice the onion and garlic.

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2. Throw in the tomatoes and onion in a pan on medium heat. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then throw in the potatoes and chorizo for 8 minutes. Take 3 leaves of basil and rip little pieces into the pan. Stir occasionally.

TO COOK

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3. Wash 2 cups of lentils. In a pot on high, pour in the broth and water. Add in the lentils. When broth is boiling, reduce heat to low. Stir in all the ingredients from the pan and mix.

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4. Add in thyme, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Taste the broth until the flavor fits your needs. Stir and let the pot sit on low for ~50 minutes, until lentils and potatoes are the correct texture. Soft but not mushy.

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5. Serve with fresh basil and top with queso fresco for garnish! This would be delicious with a side of crostini. 🙂

How do you think the world will end? How can I remember to bring my reusable bags with me?