10 Miles!

Source

I finally did it! Today I got back from school (and the midterm), laced up my shoes and went on a glorious 10 mile run which took me almost all the way to the ocean and back. On the way back I could see lightning in the distance and a rainbow. I was surprised because rain in September is pretty rare for LA.

Sure thing, with about two miles to go it started to rain.  Not going to lie, it was glorious. There is nothing better than running to goo music with light rain,  and the sunset behind you. I ran with a 10 min mile pace (which is my goal pace for the half) and I felt really good on the run. My legs weren’t tired at all and my knee doesn’t hurt. Overall, I feel better tonight than I have during all of my other long runs.

Oh, and about the Nike ad: I agree with everything it says, but if I missed birthday cake I would be upset about it.

**There is still time to vote for Left Coast Contessa and my baklava post to advance to the next round of Project Food Blog. Please vote here if you haven’t already. Thank you!**

Advertisements

Something New

**It isn’t too late to vote for Left Coast Contessa to advance to round 3 of Project Food Blog. Vote here! Thank you!**

Today I tried making something new for dinner. I didn’t know that I actually liked this food until last Spring. I think that goes to show there is no food I dislike.

Any guesses what the mystery food is?

Here is a hint:

If you guessed beets then you are correct! I discovered that I like beets last May but I never tried to make them for myself. I would pass them in the farmers market and think “but how do you even cook that?” Obviously I would try to roast them but do I take off the skin? How is it done?

I had all my questions answered by this months Everyday Food. I decided to roast them for dinner tonight with eggplant, potato, and broccoli. As usual: EVO + S&P, for 30 mins after you wash and peel them.

While they were roasting I made some whole wheat cous cous.

I loved the colors in the final product!

Beets are delicious! How did I live so long without them? I have no idea.

Today the temps finally got under 80 around 6:45 so I hit the road for a sweaty 2 mile run. It was so nice to get back on the road. I have a midterm in Evidence tomorrow so I really needed to get some type of a run in. The feeling of running after taking a few days off is amazing. It feels like my body is coming back to life.

So, wish me luck for my test tomorrow! I feel prepared. Let’s face it, the idea of a test that mimics the Bar Exam is a little scary but I studied diligently! Now I suppose all I can do is turn it over and let the chips fall where they may.

Again, it isn’t too late to vote for Left Coast Contessa to advance to round 3 of Project Food Blog. Vote here!

Baklava Oatmeal

That’s right…

I went there…

I had this idea yesterday night and after getting the OK from my friend Carolyn that it wouldn’t be “too weird” I decided it must be done . Currently the baklava is sitting on top of my fridge with the idea being that it is “out of sight, out of mind” and I had been pretty good at not eating mass amounts of baklava.

I’m not going to lie to you, this is the best breakfast I’ve had in a while.

So now here is the big question: Why did I choose the hottest day in LA history to eat oatmeal? I’m blaming this one on the baklava. The high today was 113! I have the AC on now and I swear that its not really working (at least not as much as I’d like it too). Obviously a run didn’t happen today. It wasn’t even worth trying. I choose not to have a heat stroke. Colder food tomorrow!

Fall Oatmeal

A few months ago I blogged Summertime oatmeal. Today it was time for Fall inspired oatmeal despite the fact that it is over 90 degrees in LA right now. Suffice to say, my 10 mile run didn’t happen today. It was oppressively hot today. I am going to do the 10 miler on Wednesday which is after my midterm and its projected to be much cooler. I can’t wait, this girl misses cool weather!

And now I present Fall oatmeal…

In the mix we have:

  • Oatmeal
  • Chopped honey crisp apple
  • Orange blossom honey (which I used yesterday in my baklava)
  • Crystallized ginger

Simply delicious. Apple with crystallized ginger is so delicious. I don’t know about you, but I need something sweet in my oatmeal. Honey is an awesome substitute for brown sugar, which I am currently out of.

I have some truly epic oatmeal planned for tomorrow AM so stay tuned!

Project Food Blog Round 2- The Classics

When I read the prompt for round 2 of Project Food Blog I knew exactly which culture I wanted to draw from…

It had to be Turkey! I traveled to Turkey last summer and fell in love with the country. From Istanbul to Ephesus, I loved everything about Turkey. I saw ancient ruins, beautiful mosques, and went wild in the Spice Market.

More than anything, I loved the food! Lets be real, any culture where it is encouraged to eat cheese for breakfast is fantastic. I ate tons of eggplant, hummus, thick yogurt, cucumbers, lamb, beef, cheese, nuts, olives, and of course baklava!

After returning from Turkey I missed the food, but never attempted to recreate it myself. Well, the time has come and I decided to make baklava!

What I love about baklava is that there are so many ways to customize it to your tastes. I decided to make pistachio, walnuts, and walnuts with dates because the only thing I miss more than baklava are Turkish delights. The ingredients for this recipe are almost all local. The only ingredients that aren’t local are the sugar, nutmeg, and the phyllo dough. Yesterday morning I went to the Santa Monica Organic Farmer’s Market to pick up my ingredients and then I set off to making baklava!

To save money I bought whole walnuts and then chopped them myself.

After consulting with the honey man at the farmers market I decided to use orange blossom honey in my baklava.

Delicious honey syrup!

Mid way through construction…

and all together:

Delicious, mouth watering, and sticky sweet.

Yes, I ate all three. I have no self control when it comes to phyllo, nuts, sugar and honey.

Are you convinced that you have to make this right now?

Baklava

Sauce:

1 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup orange blossom honey

1 tablespoon lemon juice (from the lemon)

1/2 teaspoon Saigon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of grated nutmeg

Baklava

3 cups of chopped nuts (I used 2 cups walnuts, 1 cup pistachio)

1/4 cup sugar (divided between the nuts)

1 teaspoon Saigon cinnamon (again, divided between the nuts)

8 oz. phyllo dough

3/4 cup melted butter

1 small hand full of dates, chopped, make sure there are no pits

For the sauce

Combine the water and the sugar and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 mins. After 15 mins take off the heat and combine honey, nutmeg, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Return to medium heat and cook for 5 mins, stirring throughout. Take off the heat and cool completely to room temperature. Set aside.

For baklava:

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine the chopped nuts with the sugar and the cinnamon. Stir and set aside.

Melt the butter. Unroll the phyllo dough. Be careful! Keep the dough covered with damp towels at all times or it will dry out! I used a casserole dish that is the same size as the phyllo dough. If yours isn’t the same size you will want to cut it down. Lay a layer of phyllo dough in the dish and brush the melted butter on the sheet. I used by fingers, it was like finger painting with butter!  Repeat this 4 times alternating butter and phyllo. Then, layer half of the nuts and dates as you wish! Continue layering the phyllo with the melted butter for two more layers. After adding two more layers of butter and phyllo add the second half of the dates and nuts. Top with four more layers of butter and phyllo dough. Make sure that you generously apply butter to the top layer of the phyllo dough.

Cut into slices with a serrated knife. You must do this before cooking because you will be unable to cut it afterwords. Bake for 30 mins.

Once the baklava is done baking take it out of the oven and pour the cooled syrup over the baklava. Let the baklava cool completely.

Enjoy and afiyet olsun!

Perfect Combinations

In life, some things are just meant to be together.

Peanut butter and jelly.

Long runs and chocolate milk.

Gin martinis and steak.

Prosciutto and everything.

Carrie and Mr. Big.

But my favorite combination of all is mac and cheese and broccoli.

This is a quick bite before going out with the girls. We are hitting “bar H” tonight, Happy Ending. Always good to have a good dinner before going out! I’ll be back tomorrow with an update.

Also, I was selected to advance to round two of Project Food Blog! I cannot believe my little blog actually made it through round 1! Thanks to everyone who voted for me! Look out for my round 2 post, it should be up by the end of the weekend.

Return of the Flying Pig

Last Spring I stumbled upon the Flying Pig truck one day when I was too lazy to make lunch. I remember Flying Pig as one of the best food trucks I’ve ever eaten from and I had to make it back today. Sadly, I picked the first day of class at UCLA. The law school is on a semester system and the rest of campus is on the quarter system. Today the undergrads descended and yes, I waited in a line of 40 people for tacos.

It took a while but it was so worth it!

This time I got the same tacos I had before (duck and chicken). I also was adventurous and ordered pork belly! Last semester I saw pork belly on the menu and thought to myself, “that’s a little bit out there for me”. This time I thought the same thing, but I added to my thought, “but your a food blogger dammit!” So, I ended up with this:

I have to say that this did NOT disappoint. The bun was fantastic and the pork was very flavorful. Not spicy, just a little bit sweet. There was a ton of meat and the onions were wonderful. Bite size and fantastic!

The rest of the meal was exactly what I had in March. A delightful fusion of citrus, meat and deliciousness. I sat in the grass and just let myself relax for a while.

Looks nice huh? I have to say that things are getting a little bit crazy here on the left coast. Its no one thing but I have mid terms starting next week (midterms are NOT normal in law school and have crept up on me a bit), looking for a summer job stress, and just general life stress is starting to get to me. Running is good and helps me de-stress, sitting in the grass and just watching the world go by was simply perfection this afternoon. Thank goodness for simple pleasures like sunshine, good food, shade under a tree and watching the world go by.

Question of the Day: What do you do to de-stress?

Fall Favorites

Today was chilly in Los Angeles. It was only 65 degrees. Ha. Since that’s about as cold as its going to get until January I should enjoy it while it lasts. I shouldn’t complain, but this Chicago and Boston girl misses this….

Source

I want a cider doughnut like you wouldn’t believe! If any Angelinos can help a sister out with a cider doughnut recommendation it would be greatly appreciated.

Today I settled for butternut squash ravioli in a browned butter sauce with pine nuts. I got the ravioli from Cookbook in Echo Park. I boiled the pasta for about three mins while I melted and browned the butter. After I put the butter into the sauce pan I put pine nuts in to toast slightly. Then I combined the pasta and the butter.

The squash was so good! The only minus of this dish was that the pasta part got mushy before I started cooking it. I’m not sure why the pasta was so mushy and it broke apart the instant I put the pasta in the water but it was still good and totally satisfied one of my fall cravings.

For lunch today I had another seasonal favorite, beet salad with lentils and goat cheese.

I did not make this. I had dinner at Clementine last night, spied this in the case and simply couldn’t resist it.

Could you? I love the bright colors!

Three cheers for seasonal foods!