(I know right? NOT ANOTHER ONE!!!)
And if you're local and wanna be a product tester and get lotsa free samples, let me know! Just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, subject; Product Tester.
Amazing deals on Restaurant.com right now.
"Restaurant.com has a new 80% off code LUCKY available. The $25 gift certificates are normally $10, but are $2 with the code. They also sell $10 certificates for select restaurants for $3, making them 60 cents each with the code. Thanks shakenjason
Note: Be sure to check restrictions for the certificates before you purchase, as they vary among different venues."
Seriously. But they are selling out fast, so hurry up and take mucho advantage.
So my friend Becca is 38 weeks pregnant and her shower is today. I have been asked to bring a variety of things and take care of little tasks throughout the day. I have chosen to make a super yummy Orzo Broccoli Pasta Salad because I like it and I wanted to share this super easy recipe so you can wow all your friends at BBQ's this summer.
I first saw this pasta salad at Albertson's, and figured I could make it myself better and cheaper. This is my attempt. Spoiler Alert, I was right.
You will need.
1 lb Orzo Pasta
1 head Broccoli
Crumbled Feta Cheese
Marinated Artichoke Hearts, chopped (optional)
Greek Dressing (you can use my recipe, or buy some pre-made to save time. I used Girards Greek Feta Vinagerette cuz I was in a hurry and it's really yummy. Either will work.)
Start off with the box of Orzo. You can find it in the pasta aisle and if you don't know what Orzo is, it's tiny rice shaped pasta (you can find it commonly in rice pilaf!) A one pound box of Orzo pasta should run you roughly under $2.
Boil it according the package directions and then let it drain in a collinder in the sink. It should look something like this. (I used 2lbs, so mine is a little more full.)
Rinse it with cold water, and let the pasta cool while you fix up everything else.
Next you are going to want to take a head of broccoli and chop it into little tiny bits. I use the stems as a guide and just try to trim them as small as possible.
Once you chop all the broccoli, (sing this song as you do it!), you are going to want to blanch it crudite style! It's easy, I'll take you through it.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While it's waiting to boil, set up another bowl and fill it with ice water.
Drop the broccoli into the boiling water and let them cook about 2 minutes.
Next you are going to want to fish the veggies out with a slotted spoon, and transfer them into the bowl of ice. This halts the cooking process and keeps the veggies bright green and crisp, while taking away that "raw" taste.
Drain! That's it. Easy huh?
Next we are going to want to transfer the cooled pasta into a serving bowl, add the broccoli, crumbled feta, artichoke hearts, oregano, and greek dressing. Toss and Voila! Easy pasta salad that's yummy and impresses everyone. Enjoy!
This pasta salad can be made days in advance. In fact it will last in a sealed container for up to a week in the fridge.
Let me start off my saying. OMG!
Kristi and I have found our new heaven, and it is GG's Yogurt on Jamacha Rd. Now if you talk to most East County people about where to find the best FroYo, most will unabashedly claim, Yogurt Mill. Now as much as I LOVE Yogurt Mill, it is kind of a drive for me, so I only usually go there if I'm in the area. They have a good selection and they, for the most part, are pretty inexpensive. But let me tell you, GG's is just BETTER. Take Yogurt Mill and add to it, better quality, amazing customer service and an AMAZING weekly selection and you've got GG's.
I started out this morning with an Acai Smoothie and a Bowl of Oatmeal. I changed the oatmeal up a bit by adding in some raw almonds while it cooks, gotta love those MUFAs.
Then later on, Kristi and I met up later at Starbucks for some Passion Iced Tea and we decided to try the place next door, A Taste of Italy. For what you get its pretty pricey, but the food is very good. This isn't just your average run of the mill Italian restaurant, they charge close to $16 for a Chicken Caesar Salad, which I think in economic times like this, is pretty ballsy. They do however have decent lunch deals and a GREAT takeout special for a large pizza with 2 toppings that will run you about $14, and it is DELICIOUS!!!
We opted for the Pepperoni and Garlic for our two toppings, but they have loads of really great choices like artichoke hearts, pineapple, basil, zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes and even breaded eggplant. The cheese was gooey and delicious, and the crust was soft, yet held up its end of the deal to not dump hot food in your lap. Honestly the next time I want pizza, I will probably go there, I just wish they sold it by the slice. Hey Taste of Italy, I hope you read my blog!
Today is Earth Day, and in honor of Earth Day I wanted to talk about something very special to me, and to our earth and food resources. Honey Bees.
Now I know a lot of people dislike Bees because of fear or misunderstanding, but let me tell you some facts about Honey Bees you might not know.
* Bees collect 66 lbs of pollen per year, per hive. Pollen is one of the richest and purest natural foods, consisting of up to 35% protein, 10% sugars, carbohydrates, enzymes, minerals, and vitamins.
* Bees make honey from the nectar they collect from flowering trees and plants. Honey is an easily digestible, pure food. Eating local honey can fend off allergies.
* Honeybees are not aggressive by nature, and will not sting unless protecting their hive from an intruder or are unduly provoked.
* Honeybees are responsible for pollinating 33% of all the foods we eat, including Strawberries, Pears, and Almonds, among others.
* Since late 2006, bees have been disappearing at an alarming rate, due to Colony Collapse Disorder.
Fortunately, we know there is a problem and we're doing something to stop it. Haagen-Daz has an adorable website to help educate you on CCD and the honey bees plight at http://www.helpthehoneybees.com/
Burt's Bees is helping. Anthropologie is helping too.
If you've got the space, plant some bee friendly flowers in your garden like UC Davis.
You can find out how here, and here.
Take some time today to read up on CCD or watch some videos and see how you can help.
Happy Earth Day everyone!
So this morning I got a HUGE box delivered from Foodbuzz!! It contained my Buitoni Pasta samples I had requested a few weeks back. Inside the huge box was lots of syrofoam, ice packs and some lovely Buitoni Wild Mushroom Agnolotti.
I will say that first and foremost, they couldn't have sent me a worse pick because generally I am not too hot on mushrooms, but I sent a text to Kristi about meeting her for some Starbucks later and I asked her to come over for dinner so we could try them out.
She showed up around 5:30 with some random ingredients ad we planned a rough menu and then headed out to get what we didn't have on hand.
We ended up getting some parsley and sugar snap peas....
and some Margarita mix for later!
Then we headed home to concoct some delicious foods.
We started off by dividing the agnolotti into two, one for the appetizers and one for the meal.
For our appetizer we made Italian panko breaded agnolotti and artichoke hearts, deep fried them and served them with a creamy marinara sauce.
First we dregged the agnolotti and artichoke hearts in flour, than in an egg wash and finally into a mixture of bread crumbs, panko, Italian seasons, Parmesan cheese ad parsley, then flash fried them in hot oil. The creamy marinaria is made by mixing equal parts marinara sauce with ranch dressing, I know it sounds odd, but trust me.
For our meal Kristi and I wanted to make a sauce that just enriched the yummy flavor of the pasta, so we started with some butter, and left it to brown in a pan. We then added sweet peas, and diced pancetta and let them sautee.
The browned butter was then drizzled over the boiled and drained mushroom agnolotti, and topped with the sauteed pancetta and peas. Mizithra cheese and chopped Italian parsley was sprinkled on top.
The Pasta was tender and delicious. The mushroom mixture inside held up almost as if it were meat, and the cheese was a lovely addition. We both decided that we would love to try these again, and all the other flavors of Buitoni pasta. If you want a nice light meal with a buttery nutty flavor, this sauce is perfect.
Berta and Kristi's Browned Butter Sauce:
4 tbsp Butter
1/2 c Pancetta, diced
1/4 c fresh sweet peas
2 tbsp Mizithra cheese
1 tbsp chopped Italian Parsley
Brown the butter in a medium pan on medium heat. It's best to cook it long and slow, you want it browned not burnt. When the butter starts to change color, add the pancetta and peas and allow them to sautee until butter is browned. Drizzle over pasta of your choice and top with grated mizithra. Garnish with Parsley. Enjoy!
OMG! Melissa brought me this while I was at work!
LOOK HOW TINY! Omg! One of the things I miss most about living in the South is Red Velvet! But I'm glad it's gaining popularity out here! These lil treats are from Jamaicas Cake's in West LA! Go there cuz Jamaica is SO SWEET and SO NICE and they have the best treats!
Can't sleep, must blog.
This shall be my FIRST EVER INTERNATIONAL POST! Zomg!
Today I crept below the International border into Tecate, Mexico for a various amount of reasons of which none are really important. (No, I did not go to smuggle drugs.) But one very awesome thing occurred and that was I had some amazing street food. Now I'm sure the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about eating in Mexico, is one; "Don't drink the water!" which is followed shortly thereafter by; "I hope it was worth the (insert horrible food related illness of your choice here)!"
Well I can tell you that I didn't drink the water, and that 12 hours later I'm still going strong on not having any side effects of the brief love affair I had this afternoon.
My mom took me to this place called, "Taqueria La Guerita", or if you are my mother, "The red place across the street from the chicken place". Both are correct. It's a TINY hole in the wall taco stand in the heart of Tecate and they might just have the best street tacos I've ever had in Mexico or The States.
Aren't those just beautiful? Look at that guacamole! OMG. And for 12 pesos (roughly just under a dollar) , the price isn't too bad either. I also got a flour quesadilla.
The whole meal cost me about 35 pesos, and I was a very happy camper. I love living so close to such amazing Mexican food!
I have about a million things to blog, and I'm home relaxing after a particularly long day at the dentist, getting a cleaning and a chipped veneer fixed, so I figured, no time like the present.
I am a nice person. I feel as if I need to preface this post with that, not to convince you all of the fact, but to just let you know that I think on a good day, I am a pretty nice person. I have many people who can attest to that. In fact, if you read my blog you should know I hardly ever write mean, or bad reviews on places, and I try my best to be understanding of circumstances and constructive with my criticisms. Tonight, this will not happen.
I hardly find myself to be in such a mood that could be construed as "Scathing", in fact most of my demeanor is usually bright and cheery with lots of lulz. And on an entirely different note, today was a really great day, I worked hard, I sold a few Blumes (OMG YAY!) and I had a generally easy time home through virtually no Los Angeles traffic. On the way home, I got a hankering for some Cream Cheese Wontons. If you have never had any, order some post haste. But do not, under ANY circumstances, order them from Wokcano in Burbank. Ever. Seriously. I'm not kidding around people.
Tonight we ordered take out from there. WORST. EXPERIENCE. EVER. EVER!!! Not only can their hostesses not properly take down an order, but they give you "bitch-I-will-cut-you" attitude when you call back to let them know they forgot your Singapore Fried Rice. The conversation about said fried rice started off nicely enough.
Me: Yes hello, I just ordered some take out and you seem to have forgotten the rice *bats eyes and grins ever so sweetly*
Her: What was your name? I'll look you up.
Her: One moment.... Yeah you didn't order that.
Me: No I'm sure I did.
Her: Well then I didn't hear you.
Me: Well I paid $23. Your Orange Chicken can't POSSIBLY cost $23.
Her: You got rice and soup too.
Me: Yes, that's $3.50 with an entree.
Her: No. It's not.
Me: Well it says that on your menu.
Her: What menu are you looking at?
Me: *confused* The one on the website. It says soup, rice and salad for $3.50 more.
Her: Yeah that's wrong. We don't do that.
Me: Well then maybe you shouldn't put that on your menu.
This line of back and forth misguided information went on until frankly I had had enough and asked to speak with the manager, something in all honesty, I've NEVER done, but freaking eh, $23 dollars for soggy "crispy" chicken, a box of dry white rice and bowl of not so hot and sour soup? He wasn't much help either and he copped even more passive aggressive attitude as I got progressively angrier.
Him: Yes, how can I help you.
Me: I didn't receive my fried rice.
Him: You didn't order it.
Me: But I did.
Him: No you didn't.
Me: I asked for it, I have 2 witnesses hear me say it, it's not my problem the hostess didn't write it down.
Him: She doesn't write it. It's in a computer.
Me: Whatever! Your website CLEARLY states I get rice, soup and salad for $3.50. I was overcharged and not given the rice I ordered.
Him: We don't use that menu.
Me: Well then MAYBE that should say that SOMEWHERE on the website? No?
Shuan in the background: Does this mean I'm not getting my rice?
This also went on for awhile, with me posing various threats using websites such as Yelp! and CitySearch, but in the end I figured the best way to be angry would be to put it down in a blog post. He told me I could complain to a higher power if I wanted and said I wasn't letting him speak. I won't mention what I said in retort, but by now my food was cold, and I was very very angry that the MANAGER of an establishment I've spent money in was giving me just as much attitude as his employees. In all fairness to him I was being quite snippy, and Shaun and Jordan were laughing at my explosion in the other room, but man hasn't he heard something about the customer being right? I would have paid for the rice, but an extra $10 for COLD SOUP and some white rice?!?! Not to mention the tip I gave the driver! PLUS the online menu that they don't even use has NO PRICES on it whatsoever EXCEPT for the "Add $3.50 for complete dinner..." stuff that they DON'T EVEN HONOR! NOWHERE on the website that I could find did it say anything about every location having a completely different way of pricing everything to use at their own discretion.
In the end, to make me happy, the manager said he would send the rice to the house, rush order, without charging me the extra delivery fee for an item I didn't receive when I paid that very same delivery fee earlier.
Shaun and I went down to the gate to wait for the delivery guy. He jumped out, handed me a bag, smiled (I could see his fear) jumped in the car and drove away. We came back upstairs and I said to the boys, "See? The lesson for tonight is that if you stand up for yourself, you can get free rice!" and Jordan quipped in retort, "Once."
I'm making hair flowers!
Micheal's was having a sale on all their spring flowers so I took advantage and grabbed up a few stems. Below are the results so far.
I've made these for myself on a personal level before and had so many friends ask where I got them or to borrow them, that I thought I would expand on a larger level and make them to sell. I'll be selling them at my salon in LA for $5-10 and if there is any kind of demand I may put them up on Etsy. Seems like I'm the only person I know WITHOUT an Etsy account.
I have NO NAME for them other than "Hair Blossoms" so if you have ANY ideas, throw them in the comments and let me know. There might be a free one of your choice in there if someone can come up with something that blows me away.
Opera raves about it, Rachael Ray can't live without it, no one can pronounce it (ah-sah-EE) , and I freaking love it.
Recently I've been buying it in juice form and adding it to my morning smoothies. I really like Sambazon, it's organic and has 80% juice (it's got some agave in there to help sweeten and smooth it out) At around $7.99 for a 32 oz bottle, and even cheaper when it's frequently on sale, it goes a long way for little cash. They also have an organic Acai, Pomegranate and Blueberry mix, but I'd yet to try it, if you have let me know.
I usually have my Acai 2 different ways, as juice in my smoothies, or in a frozen almost sorbet like form with granola and bananas (Rio style!). I got my idea from Robeks Juice, they have a great one.
So yesterday I went down to Albertson's to replenish my staples and look for a frozen version before I figured I'd just have to google it and make it myself, and lo and behold! (Sambazon also has one but I've yet to make it to a store that carries it)
So I decided to be a champ and make some of the granola I saw at Robeks on my own and see if I could get the same results.
Following my granola recipe, I used;
1 c Rice Krispies
2 c Coach's Oats (or your favorite oats)
1/2 c Bran flakes
1/4 c raw sunflower seeds
1/4 c flax seeds
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp brown sugar
Here's the Rio Bowl at Robek's;
And here's mine;
(more banana ftw!)
The bran and sunflower seeds add a nice flavor, and the krispies give it a great crunch. Overall very close to the original, especially if I can find the Acai sorbet, and forgo this Blueberry Pomegrante blend.
My other method involves a blender, so if you want my Acai Smoothie recipe you gotta go here.