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Blog Shoutout: NPR’s Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me: Sandwich Monday

Blog Shoutout: NPR’s Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me: Sandwich Monday

o-POP-TART-ICE-CREAM-SANDWICH-570

Neither organic nor local, I had to call this one out due to the sheer hilariousity of the post: Sandwich Monday and the Pop Tart Ice Cream Sandwich.

Messy, probably upwards of 2000+ calories, and no where near nutritional unless you’re using Elf’s food pyramid and consider sugar a vital need.

Still, if you’re bored and have no other way to use up all those Pop Tarts, go for it. Life is short, eat a sandwich, right?

Thanks and happy eats,

Lisa

Make It: Slow Roasted Pork Loin with Apples, Veggies, and Whole Grain Mustard Sauce

 

A heartier protein with a great sauce just can’t be beat. Sometimes, meat and potatoes really is the only way to go. That said, it’s time for some pork to make its serious debut on this blog.

Roast Pork Loin with Apples and Whole Grain Mustard Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 (2-pound) boneless center cut pork loin, trimmed and tied
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, thickly sliced (I used 2 shallots.)
  • 2 carrots, thickly sliced (I used 5 smallish ones.)
  • 2 stalks celery, thickly, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 2 apples, such as Cortland or Rome peeled, cored and cut into 8 slices
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup apple cider (I used the reconstituted kind that you make hot like tea.)
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large ovenproof skillet heat the vegetable oil over high heat. Season the pork loin all over generously with salt and pepper. Sear the meat until golden brown on all sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the meat to a plate and set it aside.

Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, herb sprigs, and 2 tablespoons of the butter to the skillet. Stir until the vegetables are browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in the sliced apples, then push the mixture to the sides and set the pork loin in the middle of the skillet along with any collected juices on the plate. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the loin until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat registers 140 to 150 degrees F, about 30 to 35 minutes.

Note: The pork is supposed to be slightly pink inside to remain moist. Letting the meat rest is a MUST if you want to keep as much juice and flavor in the meat before slicing, so let it sit for at least 10 minutes.

Transfer the pork a cutting board and cover it loosely with foil while you make the sauce. Arrange the apples and vegetables on a serving platter and set aside. Remove and discard the herb sprigs. Return the skillet to a high heat and add the vinegar scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to loosen up any browned bits. Reduce by half then add the cider and reduce by about half again. Pull the skillet from the heat and whisk in the mustard, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of cold butter. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.

Remove the strings from the roast and slice into 1/2-inch thick pieces and arrange over the apple mixture. Drizzle some sauce over meat and serve the rest on the side.

Cheesy Creamy Mashed Potatoes:

  • 2 to 2 1/4 pounds baby Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar (I used sharp, but any of your favorite cheese will do.) 
  • 3 tablespoons chives, chopped or snipped
  • Salt and black pepper

Cut potatoes in half and place in a pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Work on other dishes while you are waiting for the water to boil.

When water boils, add the potatoes and some salt, 2 big pinches, and boil for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and return potatoes to the hot pot. Smash potatoes with masher and combine with sour cream and cheese. When cheese melts into potatoes, add chives and salt and pepper and re-smash. Taste the potatoes and adjust seasonings.

Honestly, not the healthiest thing I’ve ever blogged but definitely a great dinner for a cold night.

Thanks and happy eats,

Lisa

Make It: Summery Pina Colada Ice Pops

Such a hot day in the Bay today! It got up to around 85 today and it’s only April. Jeesh.

To combat the heat, I got the idea to make my own Pina Colada Ice Pops. The recipe is super simple, and you can basically add any fresh finely chopped fruit to the mix to put your own twist on it (such as small blueberries or chopped up strawberries.)

Note: The popsicle molds I bought were super cheap and came with little straws built-in so you can make sure you can get ever drop of melted yummyness possible! You can check them out here.

Summery Pina Colada Ice Pops:

  • 1 can coconut milk, any kind
  • 1 large can crushed pinapple with juice (20 oz)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar (more if you like sweeter desserts)
  • The juice of one lime
  • The zest of one lime

Combine all of your ingredients in a blender and liquify. Taste the mixture and add more sugar if you prefer. Pour into your favorite popsicle mold and let it set in the freezer for at least 3 hours. The mixture makes about 16 regular sized pops, around 10 if you have larger molds.

So creamy and delicious, yummy!

Thanks and happy eats,

Lisa

 

Local Shoutout: Pyramid Alehouse, Berkeley

Happy Sunday Funday! To end a relaxing weekend, my two favorites and I went on a mission to the Pyramid Alehouse in Berkeley. Pyramid Brewing is based out of Seattle but opened up their largest location in the nation in the Bay Area in the late 80s to help with distribution and publicity.

The tours are free and happen everyday at 4pm. It was a blast, and came with a complimentary seasonal tasting afterwards. Be warned: come wearing close-toed shoes or else you’ll have to wear a pair of loaned brewer boots. They make your feet really sweaty, it’s like the boot version of publicly shared bowling shoes. (Yuck.)

Along with the many other Bay Area based breweries and distilleries, make sure that this is on your list when you’re touring Berkeley.

Thanks and happy eats,

Lisa

Make It: Yellow Coconut Chicken Curry with Thai Jasmine Rice

When it comes to classic thai or indian cuisine, I love yellow curry. Golden, soft potatoes that melt in your mouth, followed by slightly sweet succulent carrots, and flavor-filled bites of browned chicken breast.

This recipe is classic, and I have to confess, it was the first time I’d ever cooked with curry powder (I grew up in a really unadventurous, white bread home.)

Note: I adapted this recipe from Eating Well here, and changed some of the measurements and ingredients. Feel free to adapt as you see fit.

Yellow Coconut Chicken Curry:

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size cubes (roughly two good sized lean chicken breasts)
  • 6 teaspoons curry powder, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, divided (smells divine when it heats up)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic (add more to taste)
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk (any brand or kind will do)
  • 1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cups 1-inch chunks Yukon Gold potatoes (about 3 medium)
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas (roughly half of a bag, thawed)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar (up to you if you want to put a bit more to offset the spiciness)

Place chicken in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon curry powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss to coat. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring once or twice, until mostly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the pot and add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is starting to soften, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in the remaining 5 teaspoons curry powder and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add coconut milk, broth, potatoes, carrots, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium-low to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and carrots are tender, 10 to 12 minutes.Return the chicken to the pot and add peas. Increase heat to high and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes more. Remove from the heat and stir in cilantro and brown sugar. Pour over soft cooked Thai Jasmine rice and enjoy!

The first time I cooked my own curry will definitely not be my last, so delicious! If you’re into trying new spices at home, I highly suggest you give this a try.

Thanks and happy eats,

Lisa

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Local Shoutout: Fenton’s Creamery

Short little shoutout to the oldest ice cream shoppe in the East Bay: Fenton’s Creamery. Founded in Oakland in 1894, this restaurant and ice cream haven is still one of the best places to eat or score a cone of your favorite flavor in the Bay Area.

crackle

The whole reason that we decided to make a visit to Fenton’s was three little words: swiss milk chocolate. I tried this seasonal beauty a few years back and the love felt was instantaneous. The best way I can describe it is if you took a bunch of frozen Crackle (a prized 90’s ice cream topping, boys and girls) and crushed it up and put it in subtle milk chocolate ice cream. So delicious. Definitely not replicable at home.

If you’re ever in the Bay Area and are in need of some rich, expertly made ice cream, look no further.

Thanks and happy eats,
Lisa

Make It: Summer Asparagus Salad with Lemon Mustard Dressing

asparagus

Sometimes, greens are the way to go. A good salad is really underrated as far as fulfilling dinner dishes go but if you do it right, you can leave satisfied and happy. Especially if you make it yourself.

Today, I’m going to include my really simple summer salad recipe which can essentially be made up of any veggies that you desire (or that you just have chilling in your fridge.) The medley that I used are seasonal, easy favorites but this dressing can similarly be paired with anything you like.

Lemon Mustard Dressing:dressing

  • 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons dijon mustard, any brand you prefer
  • The juice of one lemon, without seeds
  • Sea salt

Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl, add more lemon or salt to taste.

Note: A few months ago, I went down to my local kitchen specialty store and bought myself a Microplane for zesting. At 15 bucks, it was the BEST. SMALL. KITCHEN. PURCHASE. EVER. You can get yourself one here.

Broiled Asparagus:

  • 1 bundle of green asparagus, cleaned and trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oilmicroplane
  • The zest of one lemon
  • Sea salt

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Take tin foil, double over and fold into the shape of a make-shift cooking sheet. Pour in your oil, lay down your asparagus, and toss so it is fully covered in oil. Sprinkle on your salt. Place in oven and cook for 5 minutes. Toss your asparagus, cook for another 5 minutes. Once the stalks look broiled, take out of the oven and zest your lemon over the hot asparagus so they can fully soak up the flavor. Once lightly cooled, dice the asparagus as a tasty warm addition to your summer salad. Can also be eaten separately as a side.

 

Easy Summer Salad:
summer_salad

  • 1/2 container of small grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 ripe avocado, cubed
  • 1/2 medium cucumber, cubed
  • Mixed greens (any kind, but for flavor and diversity, I used arugula, radicchio, spinach, frisee, leaf lettuce)

Chop your tomatoes, avocado, and cucumber together. Mix in your greens and your cooled asparagus. Drizzle and toss with the lemon mustard dressing. Serve and enjoy.finished_salad

Anyone looking for a vegan answer to a healthy weeknight meal after a long day at work, this dish is the answer.

Thanks and happy eats,

Lisa