Happenings, etc.

Oh how the last few days of January have flown by. Seems like we were just popping champagne and celebrating the new year. Although in my defense, I do pop a lot of champagne around here. Perhaps the source of my confusion? (Definitely, my happiness)

So what has been happening as of late?

A date night with a group of beautiful girls…and Ryan Gosling.

Brunching in Encinitas with excellent friends.

Hiking at Torrey Pines State Park.

And a trip to Ocean Beach. Revolving around food, of course.

Not too shabby of a week, if I do say so myself.

I Lied Yesterday

I did take a picture of people yesterday.

Adam's birthday outfit/ladies night outfit

Me!

So not only am I someone who lets their inner-fat kid rule, I’m also vain.

I also wore this outfit yesterday for girls night. That would be two days in a row.

Add lazy to my list of attributes.

One Year Closer To Thirty

Not me. That would be Adam.

Yesterday, Adam’s mom and brother, Wes, came down to San Diego for the day. While Adam was slaving away at work, the three of us and the dogs (theirs, and mine) went for a long hike along the beach in La Jolla. The sun was shining, the water was blue and the weather was in the 70’s. It was glorious.

Of course, all of that walking tired us out.

Thank goodness we happened to walk through the village on our way home and especially the Public House.

$10 Trappist beer tasting? 1/2 off all apps? Don’t mind if we do!

With 40+ beers on tap, great daily happy hour specials and beer tasting every Wednesday, I can’t believe I have waited so long to visit! You better believe I will be back, and often.

Oh yah, we had a few nibbles too:

Steack and veggie bruschettas.

Um, at $5 a pop (happy hour price) these were a steal. They were soooooo yummy, and seriously filling. These aren’t your ordinary bruschetta.

The fun wasn’t stopping there. The birthday boy had to join us eventually 😉

Off to Ocean Terrace!

We’ve got big appetites. Seriously.

It was Restaurant Week, so we went with the flow and did the pre-fixe menu. Adam and I have done the Restaurant Week thing many times over the years, but I have to say – Ocean Terrace was up there. It’s a great, casual, roof-top spot in downtown La Jolla. It’s especially lovely at sunset; the view is unbeatable. For Restaurant Week, they offered their entire menu with a few of the entrees available for a small, additional price ($3-5). Honestly, the four of us could have split 2 pri fixe meals. The appetizers alone were huge!

From left to right: La Quercia prosciutto with fig mustard (delish!) and pecorino, asian style chicken wings, calamari

Mexican style shrimp cocktail

The shrimp cocktail was hands down my favorite – so flavorful and the chips were nice and seasoned.  I would go back for just this and a margarita at sunset anytime.

The entrees were also spot on. I think between us we ordered the steak frites, the braised short ribs (chef special), garlic shrimp and mahi mahi.

I choose the mahi mahi with gnocchi.

It looked better in person, I swear.

Loved the roasted grapes and mushrooms that accompanied it.

Of course, no Restaurant Week would be complete without dessert.

Sticky Toffy Pudding Cake

Caramel Apple Crisp, Chocolate Raspberry Layer Cake

If I was pressed to choose, I think the toffee pudding was my favorite. But they were all pretty darn delicious. I only wish we had more room to enjoy – I think we all had maybe a bite or two of each before we had to give in to our full stomachs.

All in all it was a great evening. Hopefully Adam and I will make our way to the zoo this weekend and his Dad and Stepmom are also coming down (rom L.A.) on Saturday to go out for dinner – so there will be more good eats on our horizon 🙂

Also? I just realized I didn’t take any photos of the people – bad Drea! I will do better this weekend. I can’t help it – it’s my inner fat kid…I love to eat!

I Am Making A Proclamation Right Now

I will never cook skinless, boneless chicken again. Ever!

(Umm, this probably won’t last more than a month).

But honestly. Why have I been steering clear of the amazing, flavorful deliciousness that are chicken thighs and drumsticks. Bones and skin still intact.

Oh my word.

Get in mah-belly!

Yes, I know. Boneless, skinless chicken is the mainstay of a “healthy diet.” Lean protein + lots of vegetables + fruits + some whole grains….SNOOZE.

If this is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.

If it will make you feel better, serve along with a buttload of veggies. But honestly, it’s not that bad for you. And hey, shouldn’t we truly enjoy the food that we put in our mouths?

I think so.

Chicken + buttload of veggies.

Moroccan-Inspired Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs chicken drumsticks and thighs, skin and bones included
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a small mixing bowl mix together the cumin, paprika, cinnamon, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, kosher salt, and pepper.Rub spice mixture on the chicken, being careful to cover all sides of the chicken. Set aside.
  3. Over medium high heat, add the olive oil to a saute pan. Make sure the pan is nice and hot before adding the oil.
  4. Add chicken to the pan and sear on both sides for 1-2 minutes, so that the chicken is nice and brown. (Don’t worry – the chicken should still be raw in the middle!)
  5. Transfer the seared chicken to a baking dish and place in oven.
  6. Allow chicken to cook in oven for 30 minutes, or until the juices run clear.

And bam! That is how you enjoy chicken.

Rainy Weather + Boredom

Equals me spending a hour going through the kitchen cabinets, throwing out old stuff, cleaning out the shelves, and organizing everything according to a protocol only I can decipher.

Note to self: do not buy anymore apple cider vinegar, tapatio sauce, or Pam. You have plenty.

I Just Ate A Thai Chili

On accident.

I then proceeded to down at least three glasses of water, a yogurt, an english muffin and anything else I could manage to get my hands on. Except for milk. I hate plain milk.

Do not eat thai chilis. Even if they are mixed with delicious, delicious orange peel shrimp.

Anywaaaaay, part from having my mouth on fire, things have been quite lovely round here. It’s rainy and cloudy and all I can think about is getting my pajamas on and cuddling up with my Kindle and a glass of tea or wine and relaxing for the rest of the evening. Bliss.

I have been cooking up a storm lately, and I’ll probably post about it tomorrow or Wednesday. I can’t be certain, I’m not psychic after all. In the meantime here are some random snapshots from the weekend.

Weekends are fun.

My only resolution this year: eat more fruit (and oatmeal?). So far so good.

Bacon and mushroom tarte @ Cafe Chloe

Moules frittes @ Cafe Chloe. Buttery deliciousness!

refreshing

Movie night with my two dudes.

Inexpesive flowers from Trader Joe's make me happy

Cheeeeeseburgers from Cass Street Bar and Grill are a good thing.

Now, on to tackle the rest of the week!

Hope everyone had an amazing weekend 🙂

P.S. If you haven’t already – sign up now for the SoCal Blogger Meet-Up. Only 2 tickets left!

SoCal Blogger Meet-Up

Yep! I’m going. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be in town, but alas the stars have aligned…

This next Meet-up will be meeting on February 4, 2012 from 1-4 at Roppongi. Major bonus points for being in the ‘hood!

For those of you who are thinking of attending,  I strongly encourage you to do so! I went to the last one and it was a blasty and a half! If you would like some details check them out here. (There’s a cute video too!)

SoCal Blogger Meet-Up

One word of caution – there are only a few tickets left so hurry hurry!

Mah-Boos

Jealous?

Food Staples

Today I did a very necessary trip to the grocery store. I don’t think I’ve done a proper shopping trip since before Christmas. It was time.

As I was writing my shopping list (I always have a list – helps me focus and not forget what I actually need and helps to minimize impulse purchases), I realized that my list essentially looks the same all the time. This got me thinking about my “food staples.”

Shopping haul

Warning, this might be boring. But hey, sometimes I am boring.

Any-who, with these basics I’ve found that I can almost always whip up a quick, and usually healthy, meal.

Refrigerator staples:

  • eggs
  • cheese (esp. goat cheese, parmesan, feta, and sliced muenster)
  • fresh vegetables.  Depends on the season and whats on sale, usually a mix of: broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, zucchini,red onion,  cucumber, lettuce, carrots, beets, brussel sprouts
  • fruit. Also depends on season. If in season: berries, oranges, apples, bananas (some of these are kept on the counter)
  • greek olives
  • greek yogurt
  • cottage cheese
  • pepperoncini
  • dijon mustard
  • salsa
  • organic milk/almond milk
  • tofu
  • lemons/limes
  • cilantro/chives

Freezer staples:

  • chicken
  • shrimp, peeled and cooked
  • turkey burgers
  • berries (esp. blueberries and strawberries)
  • previously made soups/sauces (when making soup or sauce, I always make extra to freeze for later)
  • spinach
  • deli turkey/canadian bacon

Pantry Staples:

  • short grain brown rice
  • tortillas
  • beans  (usually garbanzo, kidney, and black)
  • diced tomatoes
  • quinoa
  • oats
  • olive oil, vinegar (balsamic, apple cider, white wine, rice wine)
  • honey
  • dried herbs, kosher salt, fresh peppercorn
  • nuts (almonds, walnuts)
  • dried pasta
  • garlic/shallots
  • green tea
  • triscuits/crackers (especially the cracked pepper and sea salt ones! utterly delicious)

Nothing groundbreaking, but I think it’s a good foundation. Now, since I mostly cook and eat for one – I don’t necessarily have all of these things at once (speaking mostly about the refrigerator staples) and I definitely don’t purchase all of these things every single time. Also, these change according to what is on sale and what is in season. Brussel sprouts can sometimes be pretty expensive (not the 88cents/lb I scored today!), while corn on the cob can be insanely inexpensive, etc. But in general, these are my go-to staples. You’d be amazed about how many different meals you can come up with from this list.

What are your staples? Anything I should add?

Wiki-what?!

Wikipedia is no doubt one of my favorite websites. I cannot tell you how often I have gone onto the site to look up something and have found myself 30 minutes later having clicked on 6 or 7 links and now on a completely different and unrelated subject.

But I am also well aware that it is not without its faults.

That brings us to the other night. Adam and I finally got around to watching ‘Pearl Jam Twenty.’ If you are a fan of music and documentaries, then you absolutely must check it out. It was touching, funny, insightful, inspiring and extremely thorough.

After watching, I went onto Wikipedia to read a little bit more about Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder. This was the opening paragraph:

Eddie Vedder (born Edward Louis Severson III; December 23, 1964) is an American musician and singer-songwriter[2] who is best known for being the lead singer and one of three guitarists of the Christian rock band Creed  and looking like Jesus. He is widely considered an icon of Christian rock.[3]

Um…yah. That’s definitely not correct. But it is hilarious. If you are still in school, please, please do not use Wikipedia as a source for research. It is not reliable.

Anyone have some other documentary recommendations? I’m definitely feeling them right now.

 

(Please note, the paragraph has since been corrected.)