mmm… Yogurt

Last summer I went to Turkey, where I was told that Greek Yogurt is ONLY Greek because the Greeks are good at branding.  This week I reminisced about the amazing breakfast buffets I had in Istanbul, Izmir, and Sirence. While I didn’t exactly have feta, artichokes, and olives for breakfast this week I did manage some yogurt with honey, cinnamon, and granola.

Not that I couldn’t eat olives and artichokes and feta for breakfast everyday… my love for Mediterranean food knows no bounds.

The cinnamon that I use isn’t any old cinnamon. It is Saigon cinnamon from the Spice House in Evanston, Il. That’s right. I get my cinnamon shipped to me. And its not just cinnamon, its also crystallized ginger and pepper (actually, French pepper because after Mediterranean food, French food is my favorite). The Spice House has so many spices, a bit of everything and much higher quality than what can be found at a grocery store. Especially the ginger which balances the sweet and the spicy perfectly. It is my favorite flavor.

And then the final essential element of a good breakfast, a large non fat latte from Coffee Bean (or as Carolyn calls it, “the coffee beanery”).

back to running

Sorry world for being a lame blogger this week. The highlight of my week was that I am re committing myself to health and wellness. When I moved to LA I made a point of eating healthier, fresher foods. I have been doing well, but have gotten complacent. This week I re committed. I’ve been back to running for about a month now which feels really good. Here are some of the healthy snacks I enjoyed this week.

edamame, sugar snap peas, and cherry tomatoes

Artichoke Ravioli with a White Wine Sauce

The other night I was lazy and decided to make ravioli. Ravioli is a great lazy meal because the pasta takes almost no time to cook. I prefer artichoke ravioli from Trader Joe’s over cheese ravioli. There’s something about packaged ravioli and cheese that is just gross to me. Maybe the grainy way the cheese always looks?

I cook the pasta in salted water until it rises. While this is happening I start making the sauce.

I like to make all my own sauces and one of my favorites is a white wine sauce. Its really simple and quick.

I cook shallots and garlic with a bit of olive oil until they are cooked through.

Then I add 1/4 cup of white wine to the shallots and garlic and let the wine reduce. It will get cloudier. During this time I add chopped spinach to the sauce.

Once the spinach is cooked through and the wine has reduced, I take the sauce off the heat and add a 1/2 tablespoon of butter which I mix until it’s combined.

Delicious.

I’m very tired tonight but I am going to meet up with a good friend of mine from high school, Steve. We haven’t seen each other in a while so I am meeting him at his hotel with a bottle of one of my favorite types of wine, Bordeaux. It should be a pretty good night. Cheers!

TGIT

Last night was Thursday, which means going out. Bar Review this week was at Busby’s and I had my favorite cocktail: Dirty Bombay Martini, extra olives. So delicious.

Today I walked to the library in the rain which was wonderful. I love walking in the rain with music and a latte because it reminds me of Boston. When I got home my new fun reading book had arrived, “Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Plain, and the Race of a Lifetime”.

I don’t have tons of time or desire to do free reading but I am very excited to read this book.

Roasting Machine

So last night I was very unmotivated and didn’t feel like doing anything major for dinner. For the past few months, whenever I’ve had this feeling I’ve ended up roasting what ever I have in my fridge at the time and mixing it with pasta or rice.  In the past I have combined my veggies with whole wheat penne and a home made marinara sauce. Last night I mixed it up a bit by making arborio rice with white wine.

I started by making the rice just using the instructions on the side of the box. I know its probably not the best starch to eat, but I don’t eat rice very often and brown rice isn’t really an adequate substitute in my opinion. When we were growing up we always had the most amazing white rice which I liked to melt a chunk of butter on top of. That changed at some point and we only had brown rice in the house during my teen years and beyond. No where near as delicious.

After I got the rice going I roughly chopped zucchini, red pepper, red onion, tomato, sweet potato, and (my favorite thing to roast) garlic. I combined my vegetables in a bowl with EVO, sea salt and pepper. I roasted them in the oven (400 degrees for 30 mins).

When I took them out of the oven I combined everything but the sweet potato and garlic with the rice. The wine gives the rice a great depth of flavor that it generally lacks. Roasting vegetables is by FAR the best way to eat them. It intensifies the flavor that they already naturally have while remaining fairly healthy.

I set aside the sweet potato because I love sweet potato sliced thinly and roasted with garlic. It gives them the appearance and taste of a french fry but they’re much healthier. The garlic gives the potato extra flavor. I top it off with Balsamic Vinegar.

Paula Deen is on the Food Network right now. I love her. Shes such a joyful person. Not sure what I’m doing tonight for dinner. I just ran so right now I think I will stand over my sink eating an entire package of edamame.

Father's Office

Last Tuesday was a sad, rainy, dreary day in So Cal. After Con, Prop, and Civ Pro the gang and I decided we needed to go out to eat to lift our moods. We decided to go to Father’s Office.

escaping from Westwood

Father’s Office is a restaurant in Santa Monica that I have heard buzz about since I landed in LA 6 months ago. Allegedly the burgers are better than In & Out and the sweet potato fries are out of this world. Not too far from UCLA, it is located on Montana in the small commercial area teaming with adorable shops and a William Sonoma (a personal favorite).

my beer, which I forgot the name of

The restaurant is basically a bar with tables, no waiters and waitresses. You place your order at the bar and take a number and sit. While this description might sound a little trashy the interior was nicely decorated. Small, but not a hole in the wall. The bar is small though. We were there on a Tuesday at 7 when it was raining and we had to wait about 5 mins for a table. I can hardly imagine what it is like at peek time. You would have to be a shark to snag a table.

There was an extensive beer menu with many imports and microbrews. The bartenders were really knowledgeable about the beers and the flavor pairings. I had a Belgium beer, which I can’t remember the name of, but I can tell you it was light and had notes of citrus.

The menu is pretty small, probably because everyone is ordering the burger. Three of us had the burger and Eric had the beef kabob thing. The burger itself was $12, which I don’t think is too bad for a big gourmet burger. I will say that it was an extra $2.50 for fries and $6.50 for sweet potato fries which was disappointing. I ended up getting regular fries because I didn’t want to pony up the extra $4 for sweet potato fries. The fries came with this amazing aioli sauce which was so much better than ketchup.

looks good... but I want a burger!

Now for the burger. It was possibly the best burger I have ever eaten. It is a good size dried aged beef with caramelized onion, applewood bacon compote, gruyere, matag blue cheese and arugula. Normally i do not like burgers. In fact, I rarely eat them. Generally I only eat in and out but I can tell you, this was HANDS DOWN the best burger I have ever had. The toppings compliment the beef so well it is unbelievable. I can never argue with two types of cheese. The arugula was perfectly warmed as were the onions. The toppings balance so well, you don’t notice one as dominant. This burger was like a perfect harmony and melody. Absolutely going back to Father’s Office.

fin

Father’s Office

Last Tuesday was a sad, rainy, dreary day in So Cal. After Con, Prop, and Civ Pro the gang and I decided we needed to go out to eat to lift our moods. We decided to go to Father’s Office.

escaping from Westwood

Father’s Office is a restaurant in Santa Monica that I have heard buzz about since I landed in LA 6 months ago. Allegedly the burgers are better than In & Out and the sweet potato fries are out of this world. Not too far from UCLA, it is located on Montana in the small commercial area teaming with adorable shops and a William Sonoma (a personal favorite).

my beer, which I forgot the name of

The restaurant is basically a bar with tables, no waiters and waitresses. You place your order at the bar and take a number and sit. While this description might sound a little trashy the interior was nicely decorated. Small, but not a hole in the wall. The bar is small though. We were there on a Tuesday at 7 when it was raining and we had to wait about 5 mins for a table. I can hardly imagine what it is like at peek time. You would have to be a shark to snag a table.

There was an extensive beer menu with many imports and microbrews. The bartenders were really knowledgeable about the beers and the flavor pairings. I had a Belgium beer, which I can’t remember the name of, but I can tell you it was light and had notes of citrus.

The menu is pretty small, probably because everyone is ordering the burger. Three of us had the burger and Eric had the beef kabob thing. The burger itself was $12, which I don’t think is too bad for a big gourmet burger. I will say that it was an extra $2.50 for fries and $6.50 for sweet potato fries which was disappointing. I ended up getting regular fries because I didn’t want to pony up the extra $4 for sweet potato fries. The fries came with this amazing aioli sauce which was so much better than ketchup.

looks good... but I want a burger!

Now for the burger. It was possibly the best burger I have ever eaten. It is a good size dried aged beef with caramelized onion, applewood bacon compote, gruyere, matag blue cheese and arugula. Normally i do not like burgers. In fact, I rarely eat them. Generally I only eat in and out but I can tell you, this was HANDS DOWN the best burger I have ever had. The toppings compliment the beef so well it is unbelievable. I can never argue with two types of cheese. The arugula was perfectly warmed as were the onions. The toppings balance so well, you don’t notice one as dominant. This burger was like a perfect harmony and melody. Absolutely going back to Father’s Office.

fin