EAT // Lasagna x Bacon Egg Hash x Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

My friends, I’ve figured out my personality as an eater after a friend spoke the word: GRAZER. I am a grazer.. little eating here and there. She totally got me defined in one word!

Homemade turkey/beef marinara sauce for lasagna and 4 clove garlic bread. Yummmm
Prebaked graham crackers and fresh pureed strawberries in the batter.

Fresh strawberry puree <3
Celebrating A’s new job!
A and I love brunch, but brunch is insanely expensive… so we try to make brunch whenever we can! This is bacon, red bell peppers, onions, red potato hash with fried eggs on top. We love a good one cast iron pan dish.

Ice cream at TinPot Creamery in Palo Alto during A and my midweek date. We got malted chocolate and Cookie Monster to share.

Tomorrow I’ll be sharing food and location from Souvla, a restaurant A and I tried for the first time this weekend in the Mission!

Ann

EAT // Memorial Day BBQ x Beer Chicken x Brazilian Food!

Here’s a fun fact about me: I love to cook and bake, but I do not really like to eat! I love the process aspect and making food beautiful, but when it comes time to eat it… I’ll take a few bites and nibble here and there! Granted, I’m a small and VERY PICKY eater… I’m definitely a eat to survive type girl. Of course there are exceptions — anything matcha and brunch basically!

Anyways, I thought I’d try something new and share highlights of what I ate every week! This won’t be a food recipe blog by any means, by the way.

Beer Chicken IPA Lagunitas I bought a few different beers to photograph for my design project and decided to use them to cook since I don’t drink beer (I don’t drink anything carbonated — not just a picky eater.. also a picky drinker. 😛 ) The chicken turned out super tasty, but nothing beats the cranberry balsamic chicken I made last winter!
Chicken Salad Apples Grapes Cranberries Onions Celery Greek YogurtRotisserie chicken is my savior. I dislike cooking meat because I get sick to my stomach after dealing with raw meat for more than 2 minutes pretty much. Not my forte.
Brazilian Fresh Squeeze Cafe Berkeley Tritip Steak Chipotle Chicken Tacos Next up is Brazilian food from Berkeley! A and I went to thrift shop and ended up trying Brazil Fresh Squeeze Cafe across from UCBerkeleyExtension building.
Memorial Day BBQ Pesto Shrimp Skewers Steak Bites Last week’s Memorial Day BBQ.. we skewered beef and shrimp kabobs! Also made bacon potato salad, chicken wings, corn, and grilled pineapple for dessert.
Baked Parmesan Potato Wedges4 clove garlic and herb roasted potatoes.
Greek Yogurt Corn Flank Steak Fajitas Bell Peppers A collection of leftover produce and foods in our fridge… plus new additions of corn (5 for $2! and the flank steak was only $10!!! WHAT?!) I love a good meal that is budget friendly.

Until next week,
Ann

TRAVEL | Carmel, CA

The last time I visited Monterey/Carmel back in April 2015, I did the Pebble Beach and Point Lobos State Park things. It was more of an explorer and adventure trip. This time my focus was relaxation.

There are many places for coffee/pastries, but I decided to go with a place that many locals go to. I grabbed lunch, but missed out on getting their angelwings and raspberry croissants. Evidently, they only bake it once a day and they’re sold out by 10am. Next time!

Paris Bakery Monterey

I won’t stop raving about the French Onion Soup. The broiled crispy bread.. but unlike many places I’ve ordered the soup, Paris Bakery puts 2 layers of bread, so you have enough for the whole cup of soup. The broth was definitely well flavored. Gosh, this is what dreams are made of.Paris Bakery Monterey Pesto Chicken French Onion Soup Paris Bakery Monterey

I also went to Monterey Fish House instead of the Fisherman’s Grotto, despite it having fewer reviews on Yelp. I don’t really eat seafood because I have allergies to shrimp and lobster specifically. One thing I CAN eat are scallops, and so, I naturally got the scallop pesto linguine with vodka sauce. It was tasty and there were many Bay scallops. Monterey Fish House Scallop Linguine

A got the Sicilian Holiday Pasta. He said it had a LOT of seafood in it. “A piece for every bite of pasta”. I think there were clams, mussels, shrimp, squid/calamari, and 2 big pieces of salmon. Monterey Fish House Seafood Holiday Pasta

A hole in the wall place we tried out was Baldemiro’s Taco Shop. It was 2 streets down from the AirBnB. It was pretty good! I love tacos from taco trucks, but they don’t always load up the meat and toppings. Baldemiro’s DOES. I mean.. A’s tacos had 3-4 shrimp on EACH TACO. Baldemiro's Taco Shop tacos

Lastly, Carmel Beach. I’m not the biggest fan of Carmel downtown. It’s cute and quaint. I enjoy grabbing coffee and a pastry and sitting in the patio area at Carmel Coffee House on Ocean. It’s tucked into an alley, but if feels like Pike’s Place a little. It was overcast on beach day, but it was still beautiful nonetheless. I could spend forever on that beach and its soft white sand. Carmel Beach Carmel Beach Panorama

What are your favorite spots when you’re in the Monterey/Carmel area?

Ann

Cooked | Fall Seasonal Superfood Oatmeal

I didn’t start this blog as a food blog, but I’m beginning to see a trend of posting food! Makes sense, since most people eat 3-6 times a day. I eat 6 small, personally. Maybe I’ll have to switch things up on this blog, like add sections and turn this self discovery blog into a lifestyle blog. Thoughts for 2106…

Today’s breakfast was humble oatmeal. Elevated with fresh fall persimmons (organic from my friend’s tree!), coconut chips, cacao nibs, and goji berries. I always have the latter 3 in my pantry, but you can switch up the persimmons with any fall fruit. Another favorite of mine is pomegranate!

Fall Seasonal Superfood Oatmeal Persimmons Goji Berries Cacoa Nibs Coconut ChipsFall Seasonal Superfood Oatmeal Persimmons Goji Berries Cacoa Nibs Coconut Chips

Today, I’m mixing paint in preparation for creating some new art pieces! It’s been a while since I’ve touched paint, so I’m excited!

Ann

Cooked |Superfood Chocolate Bark

I’ll admit.. I’m a superfood type of person. I look to nature to nourish my body, like matcha green tea lattes as my afternoon energy boost, acai bowls loaded with antioxidant to fight colds, coconut oil/argan oil mix for lotion, stinging nettles as allergy medicine… the list is endless.

In my pantry, I always have cranberries, pistachios, coconut chips, dark baking chocolate, sea salt, and coconut oil. It never occurred to me to put all these things together to make chocolate bark for the holidays. MOSTLY because I don’t really indulge in chocolate, but also a lot of the chocolate bark I see is loaded with sweets.

This would be a super DIY gift for the holidays or indulge in it yourself!

DSC00193Superfood Chocolate Bark Cranberry Pistachio Coconut Sea Salt

 

 

Cooked | Latkes with Applesauce & Sour Cream

It’s Hannukah! That means fried foods in general, but for this post in particular, latkes. Latkes are like hashbrowns, but elevated. I’ve eaten latkes, but never tried making them myself. Today changed the truth of that statement. Behold.

Latkes with Applesauce and Sour Cream

This is an averagely work intensive recipe to make. You have to grate potatoes and onions. I cried. No, really. I’m not sure why it’s ever a good idea to GRATE an onion, but the subtle onion flavor was worth the tears.

I read to relieve the crying, light a candle and put above where you’re grating, so the candle can “burn” off the gases emitted by the onion. Straight from Martha Stewart’s mouth. It sort of worked.

The other part that took a while was frying the latkes up! I used coconut oil because it tastes and smells better than vegetable oil.

DSC00168

I’m baking rugelach tonight, but I’m posting another gift guide tomorrow here on the blog!

Ann

Baked | Oreo Chunk Cookies

My brother likes Oreos, but every time I bake with Oreos, there are a ton leftover… so I decided to try a new recipe to finish them off! I’m not a fan of Oreos (both my brother and I scrape off the filling.. we just like the cookie– next recipe might be to make the chocolate cookie alone!)

These cookies are really soft and decadent. I cut sugar because I mean, I put 14 chopped Oreos with the filling into these cookies. It’s your basic chocolate chip cookie dough, with the chips replaced by chopped Oreo chunks.

Oreo Chunk CookiesIMG_1304IMG_1337

PS. I didn’t partner with Oreo with this. This post is all my own and first found here at The Adventure of Letters! 🙂

 

 

Baked | Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Oh the humble carrot cake. It’s like Batman and the cream cheese frosting is Robin. Alone, both are grand, but together.. what an unbeatable team.

You know what I love about carrot cake? It’s made of carrots and THAT, my friends,  automatically makes this cake a vegetable. HAHA. I’m just kidding!

So if you haven’t noticed yet, I like simple things. I like when I don’t have to buy truffle oil from France and Himalayan pink sea salt for my recipes.  Low maintenance is my thing. I’m all about using whatever is already in your fridge and pantry. This cake is that low maintenance item that wows people into asking what bakery you bought it from.

This is the cake that broke 3 of my family friend’s diets. I’m not even going to apologize for that. Let’s just stare for a little bit.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese FrostingIMG_1295IMG_1302

Nom on,
Ann

Fall Bucket List Update!

Holy smokes, it’s November! Let’s revisit my Fall Bucket List (original post here). I wasn’t able to do many of the baking things because my oven broke! I finally got it fixed 2 days ago, so last night, I BAKED (duh!). I wrote “Bake a pie/cake”, but this apple fritter bread loaf is more like a cake. That may or may not be because I love cinnamon and sugar together… hehehe. 😀

You know what’s the best thing about this recipe? This is a clear-the-pantry recipe that doesn’t look it! It’s 2 small apples diced, 1 egg, 1 cup flour, plain Greek yogurt, and a ton of cinnamon/sugar/brown sugar. 15 minute prep!!!

You want to know about the taste, yes? It’s like coffee cake but ELEVATED because there are apple chunks populating the bread. More like invading.

Want to know something funny though? I left this baby out to cool down overnight, and when I woke up… SOMEONE ATE A PIECE ALREADY BEFORE I COULD GLAZE IT!!! At first, I was devastated… because 1) I didn’t glaze it yet 2) I put a lot of time into staging my photos, and how could I with a piece missing? But then, I quickly realized how hilarious it was. SOMEONE just couldn’t wait! HAHAHA.

Apple Fritter Bread

What is baking in your kitchen this fall? 🙂
A

Travel | Last of Portland!

You can’t leave Portland without checking out the food carts! It’s so common now with all the Off the Grid events, but Portland was one of those places that was big on the food cart scene early on. I had to walk around a few times before deciding on a gyro. I love Mediterranean food. Nothing is quite as delicious as the first gyro I had in Athens! Portland Food Carts Gyros

I went back to Stumptown Coffee, but not the one in the Ace Hotel… the other one by Voodoo Doughnuts (which had an insane line and I was SICK of doughnuts by now– I don’t exactly like doughnuts, you see). What I loved about this Stumptown was that it was bigger and had far more seating. They also had an industrial interior with black and white art prints hanging. Triple win in terms of design style for me! Stumptown Coffee Portland Oregon

With my coffee in hand, I set out back to California.

Stumptown Coffee Portland Oregon

Heading Home Shasta

Can’t wait to visit again! Next time, I want to hit up Crater Lake and some waterfalls! 🙂