Farewell And Kudos

I finished Game Of Thrones last week. Can we please talk about the Red Wedding? I’ll stop there because it was too much for me to handle!

This weekend has been non-stop, I’m happy I finally have a chance to just relax and do nothing all day. In fact, I just woke up from a nap that gave me a migraine; perhaps, this was a trade off for trying to sleep during the day. Silly me.

My roommate and friend of over two years is leaving San Francisco next week to start law school in DC. Saying all of us will miss him will be an understatement. To celebrate, we threw him a farewell party at the Cigar Bar and Grill in the Financial District. I didn’t feel like bringing the old ball and chain (my camera), which I immediately regretted. It would of been awesome to be able to document our night, especially our cool private room that had a pool table just for us. Instead, my memories were left with a few iPhone pictures.

The only one that didn’t become an Instagram video or embarrassingly blurry and dark was one of my two friends and I.

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Yep, I have gorgeous friends!

We stayed until the late hours of the night and a few cigars might of been rotated between everyone. They don’t call it the cigar bar for nothing.

Saturday, after an early and long day of work, Chi and I drove out to Los Gatos, CA to meet everyone to celebrate our friend D completing her masters!

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There were close to 100 people in attendance! To feed all these people, they hired a taco guy to help out with the hungry stomachs.

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I got there around three, and had not ate the whole day, so he was the first guy I paid a trip to when we got there. I ordered two tacos and a side salad to pull me over until dinner time. I’m so spoiled by Toma tacos, because these bad boys just weren’t cutting it for me.

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The girls and boys split up. When we were walking to get something from the car, we came across a gaggle of geese blocking our road. It was a pretty intense few minutes as we figured out a way to maneuver the animals to get to the other side. We have heard rumors that these geese were really vicious and would not hesitate to chase you if you came to close to the babies. Let’s give thanks that I made it out alive from that situation.

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On our way back to the area, we found all the boys playing horseshoe. Chi looks like a professional, no? Look at that angle and look of determination. He ended up winning by one point, sorry Abs!

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Brenda, from Bravo Image, took a group picture of our little group. Our graduate, D, is the beauty in the green dress.

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It also felt nice to see so many familiar faces!

On our way to her grandma’s house to hang by the pool, Chi pulled over so fast and scared me. I asked him what the hell he was doing and he pointed to this sign.

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There are no DQs in/near San Francisco and both of us never tried it before. I actually walked in with no expectations and was surprised by the vastness of their menu. We asked the cashier what to get and she basically made us get a Blizzard.

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I’m not a fan of those kind of drinks, but Chi finished it before we even got to our destination.

Sunday, I spent the morning volunteering and came home to watch American Psycho. I think I confused it with plain ol’ Psycho, because it was not exactly what I expected. The weather dropped from 80s to low 50s in less then 24 hours. It even started sprinkling at some point during the day.

My work schedule is also a lot lighter this week, so I think I’ll have plenty of time to cook.

Some ideas for the week-

Breakfast

Lunch

  • Flatbread Pizza
  • Caprese Salad
  • Veggie and Hummus Sandwich
  • Chorizo Lentil Soup (recipe coming Wed!)

Dinner

Of course, sprinkle a few snacks in between. I have been obsessed with my garlic parmesan dip with Social Snackers from TJs!

What’s on your agenda this week? Do you prefer warmer or cooler days?

Turkey Stuffed Bell Peppers

Happy Monday, everyone! Hope you guys had a great weekend. I relaxed almost all day on Saturday: working, eating brunch with Chi and watching Shutter Island and V For Vendetta at night. It doesn’t sound like much, but the small things really are the best things sometimes. I spent Sunday volunteering and studying hard for a crucial Microbiology test. I can’t believe school is over in a little more than a month, I’m really nervous and excited for the same time.

Summer means traveling to So Cal, China, Japan and New York! 🙂 This is my first summer (in a long time) that I don’t have any summer classes so I am definitely taking advantage and soaking up culture in different places.

To continue with my meal-planning challenge, I finished off the week really solid on Friday.

I skipped breakfast and ate brunch, which was angel hair pasta served with homemade pesto sauce, artichokes, mushrooms and roasted pine nuts. I made about three servings, so Chi came home to eat lunch.

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Dinner was really easy to make. Since I enjoyed my caprese flatbread sandwich so much, I recreated it into a pizza version. I used store bought TJs flatbread as the base, spread leftover pesto and tomato sauce, cut tomatoes and mozzarella onto the top, sautéed mushrooms and sprinkled fresh Parm. Stuck it in the oven at 425° for 15 minutes, and viola!

Not pictured was a side salad, with olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette. I didn’t realize my mistake until the bowl was empty. 😛

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Bonus picture of the humungous burger I ate on Saturday at Pork Store Cafe. Ironically, we both didn’t eat pork!

This burger was served with a fried egg, avocado and Harvarti cheese. So good, although I was a little intimidated when the server brought out our food.

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So to wrap up my wrap up my week of meal-planning:

Breakfast

  • Smoothie (bananas, strawberries, raspberries, spinach, almond milk and chia seeds)
  • Yogurt parfait (Fage yogurt, strawberries, raspberries and granola)
  • Apples with nut butter (Almond, peanut, sunflower butter) Plain ol’ banana
  • Cereal and almond milk w/ bananas
  • Banana Bread Oatmeal

 
Lunch

  • Flatbread Sandwich (w/ tomato, avocado, basil and mozzarella)
  • T’s Salad (w/ spring mix, mushroom, raw onion, tomato, jalapeño and cucumber)
  • Pasta (w/ pesto, capers, pine nuts and artichoke)
  • Toma tacos Fresca w/ friends
  • Omelette (w/ eggs, potatoes, mushrooms and avocado)

 
Dinner

  • Steak, red roasted potatoes and kale & mushroom salad
  • Bell Peppers stuffed (w/ turkey) (recipe coming soon!)
  • Chicken breast (w/ sweet potato and a side salad)
  • Flatbread pizza
  • Blue Barn, maybe? Southern Pacific Brewing

Knocked it out the ball park! Doing the whole food diary thing was really fun, but I don’t think I could do it everyday! It’s pretty exhaustive to have to make sure your food looks (and taste!) good enough to put it on display for the whole world to see. I did really enjoy seeing my progress, so maybe I will do it once every couple of months for ideas.

I mentioned last time that I was going to post my Stuffed Pepper recipe, so here it goes! It’s so easy to make and the hardest part is waiting for it to finish baking in the oven. I forgot where I found this recipe, as the first time I made it was a few years ago. So, if anyone has a source, please e-mail me and I gladly will give credit where credit is due!

Turkey Stuffed Bell Peppers

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Serves: 3

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(**Few items missing from picture, due to a hungry roommate that decided he wanted dinner last minute)

Ingredients

  • 4 Bell Peppers, any color
  • 1 Roma Tomato
  • 1 Lb Ground Turkey
  • 1/2 Medium Sized Onion
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Zucchini
  • 1 Clove of Garlic
  • 3 Tbs Shredded Cheese
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbs Herbs De Provence
  • 1 Tsp Oregano
  • 1 Tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 Tsp Sugar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

**Herbs are completely up to your taste buds and family, I’m sure the turkey will taste delicious with however you season it.

PREPPING

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1. Slice the top off three bell peppers and carve the insides clean. Put aside until it’s time to stuff.

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2. Use a blender/food processor to chop and grind the carrot and zucchini into minced pieces. Set aside until it’s time to cook the turkey meat.

FOR THE SAUCE

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1. Chop 1 bell pepper and boil it in a small pot for 15 minutes, or until the pepper becomes tender.

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2. Drain the pepper and puree the tender pepper and roma tomato into the food processor until it becomes a liquid. Season with salt, pepper and a little bit of sugar. Set aside.

COOKING THE MEAT

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1. Heat a large pan with olive oil and sauté 1/2 an onion and a clove of garlic into the pan. When aroma fills the air, add the ground turkey, Herbs de Provence, Oregano. As turkey cooks through, stir in the grated carrot and zucchini.

2. Stir in 1/2 cup of the tomato-pepper sauce. At this point, taste the turkey and add salt and pepper as needed.

STUFFING AND BAKING

1. Preheat the oven to 350°.

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2. Spoon in the turkey until it reaches the top. Then, add a tbs of the sauce, a layer of grated/shredded Parm, and more turkey on top.

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3. Crown each pepper with it’s matching top. Pour the remaining sauce onto the bottom of the baking dish and cover the whole thing with tin foil. Put the covered peppers in the oven for 1 hour covered and then 1/2 hour uncovered.

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4. Enjoy with a side of salad or potatoes! Don’t forget a cold beer or glass of wine to complement your meal.

That’s it! It was surprisingly very easy and I didn’t feel overwhelmed at any step. The peppers came out tender and really perfected the flavor of the turkey. Let me know if you have any questions!

Any delicious recipes you made this week? How did your meal planning go?

Breakfast, No Gracias

A revelation I found out about myself: I’m not much of a breakfast person. If I do decide to eat it, it ends up being a really small amount. Now that the week is almost over, I’m proud of all the meals I’ve made at home. I definitely eat out a lot more then I should, so it’s nice to change it up sometimes.

The fact that it’s Spring Break also helps, as I can come in and out the house as I please. 🙂

WEDNESDAY

After I came home from taking the babies to school, I made a bowl of cereal because I knew I wasn’t going to be able to eat lunch until later. I also wanted to finish up the strawberries before they went bad.

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I was aiming for an omelette, but they ended up turning into scrambled eggs! I made my lunch with mushrooms, tomatoes, jalapeño and onion. It didn’t seem to be very filling, so I also heated up the flatbread on a tortilla warmer.

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As you can tell, I am not much of a food presenter. My dinner for Wednesday was so good, possibly my favorite of the week. The chicken was pan fried with paprika, oregano, jalapeño and garlic and I also heated up a sweet potato and had a just-ripened avocado on the side. All my roommates were jealous when they saw this!

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THURSDAY

I wasn’t really craving b-fast by the time I came home so I made a caprese (basil, tomato, mozzarella) flatbread sandwich for ‘brunch’ and added half of an avocado. This was so fresh, light and tasty that I’ve been craving it since yesterday. I might make another one if there is some basil left over after I make my pesto sauce.

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In between lunch and dinner, I did snack on some nuts and an apple, but I didn’t want to overdo myself in preparation for dinner: Stuffed Turkey Bell Peppers. I made three of them and it took about two hours total (30 mins prepping and cooking, 90 mins baking) but these came out absolutely phenomenal!

I’m posting a recipe on Monday, so make sure to come back to see it! It would make a great plate at a dinner party, or even for a date. It’s a very simple recipe, I cleaned up all the dishes while they were baking and was only left with the glass pan and two plates to clean afterwards.

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(Chi and I may or may not have also have shared this fresh-out-the-oven cookie and coffee ice cream concoction for desert.) you can even add a hot coffee afterwards and I recommend you to use large coffee maker so you can enjoy it more and even try different recipes with coffee hot an cold  😉

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So to wrap things up so far with my meal planning challenge of the week,

Breakfast

  • Smoothie (bananas, strawberries, raspberries, spinach, almond milk and chia seeds)
  • Yogurt parfait (Fage yogurt, strawberries, raspberries and granola)
  • Apples with nut butter (Almond, peanut, sunflower butter) Plain ol’ banana
  • Cereal and almond milk w/ bananas.
  • Banana Bread Oatmeal

Lunch

  • Flatbread Sandwich (w/ tomato, avocado, basil and mozzarella)
  • T’s Salad (w/ spring mix, mushroom, raw onion, tomato, jalapeño and cucumber)
  • Pasta (w/ pesto, capers, pine nuts and artichoke)
  • Toma tacos Fresca w/ friends
  • Omelette (w/ eggs, potatoes, mushrooms and avocado)

Dinner

  • Steak, red roasted potatoes and kale & mushroom salad
  • Bell Peppers stuffed (w/ turkey) (recipe coming soon!)
  • Chicken breast (w/ sweet potato and a side salad)
  • Flatbread pizza
  • Blue Barn, maybe? Southern Pacific Brewing

So far so good (minus breakfast). My plans for Friday is a pesto pasta for lunch and flatbread pizza for dinner, see you Monday with the final results!

Have you accomplished your meal planning goals this week? What’s your favorite dish to make when entertaining?

And We Just Keep Truckin’

Hi friends, meal planning has been an…interesting ride so far.

Pros: I love going to the fridge and seeing meal possibilities instead of opening it and screening each level and trying to figure something out.

Cons: I feel so bad when I don’t follow my rules!

I set out my goal to not eat out as much and to make as many meals at home as possible. However, I’m sad to report in that I ate out twice and it’s already Wednesday, my husband took us to the Modern Southern Food Restaurant in nashville tn! 🙁 Things just keep coming up! The good news is that I didn’t exceed my allowance, just met it a lot earlier then I was planning to.

MONDAY

I had a fruit smoothie for breakfast. We didn’t have any spinach left in the house, so I figured I’d add a cucumber in.

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I don’t normally make smoothies, but when I do, they come out tasting a lot better than I expected! Besides the cutting board of fruits and (1) vegetable above, I also added ice, chia seeds and almond milk. No extra sugar needed!

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My friends from middle school called me up on Sunday to grab lunch the next day. I couldn’t say no! I haven’t seen one of them for a few months. The other one, I luckily got to eat lunch with a few weeks ago, which is also the time I sadly found out she’s moving to Colorado. We ate at a Peruvian restaurant (not the same one I went to last time) in West Portal called Fresca.

The appetizer we shared was Shrimp Chupe, described as a shrimp bisque con andean corn, green peas, potatoes, aji panca and a poached egg. Did I mention how much I love poached eggs?

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My entree was the Lomo Saltado, which was two thumbs up! Steak, french fries, onion, rice. What more can I ask for?

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For dinner, Chi and I had a steak cooked in wine, served on a bed of kale and mushrooms with a moat of roasted red potatoes. Not our best, but definitely edible.

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TUESDAY

Since I had to leave the house so early, I couldn’t be assed to make breakfast so I just ate a banana on the way to work. No picture necessary, you guys know what a banana looks like! Ha. I also stopped by my grandma’s house after and I ate a bowl of Jook, which is a Chinese porridge. Since I was still full, I made myself a small lunch and put together this salad made with spring mix, tomatoes, onions and mushrooms.

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Chi’s cousin and her wife just moved to the Bay Area from LA, so we arranged to have a gathering with everyone. We went to an awesome hidden gem, Southern Pacific Brewing! It’s a brewery/bar/restaurant that’s HUGE.

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It’s nussled in an alley, so you can’t see it when just walking on the street.

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All 9 (or 10?) of us shared pitchers of beers and fries for the table. I ordered a pizza and Chi got fish and chips.

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The food was good, although a little over priced.

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And that’s it! Today I’m going by my list and sticking to it. The point is to save money, not spend more!

To remind you of the plan I made…

Breakfast

  • Smoothie (bananas, strawberries, raspberries, spinach, almond milk and chia seeds)
  • Yogurt parfait (Fage yogurt, strawberries, raspberries and granola)
  • Apples with nut butter (Almond, peanut, sunflower butter) Plain ol’ banana
  • Cereal and almond milk w/ bananas.
  • Banana Bread Oatmeal

Lunch

  • Flatbread Sandwich (w/ tomato, avocado, spinach and mozzarella)
  • T’s Salad (w/ spring mix, mushroom, raw onion, tomato, jalapeño and cucumber)
  • Pasta (w/ pesto, capers, pine nuts and artichoke)
  • Toma tacos Fresca with friends
  • Omelette (w/ eggs, potatoes, mushrooms and avocado)

Dinner

  • Steak, red roasted potatoes and kale & mushroom salad
  • Bell Peppers stuffed (w/ turkey) (recipe coming soon!)
  • Chicken breast (w/ sweet potato and a side salad)
  • Flatbread pizza
  • Blue Barn, maybe? Southern Pacific Brewing Co.

Doing the food diary posts are kind of exhausting, I don’t plan to do it everyday, but it is fun to do it once in a while. I also see it as a little motivating to stick to my goals. I will continue until the week is over to let you know how it goes!

Do you allow yourself cheat days when you meal plan? Any hidden gems in your local town?