Weekend Whisk Away

This was a fabulous fall weekend.  Mid way through the week my sweetheart asked me if I would like to go scouting for turkeys with him. Turkey season starts here next weekend and he is more determined than ever that he is going to shoot himself a Turkey for this years Thanksgiving. Being a vegetarian myself, it may seem a little odd that I jumped at the opportunity, however, it’s not the circle of life I have issues with, it’s the way we mass produce our meat these days which has me shunning store packaged meats. Hunting for your meat just has something that feels right about it.  I grew up watching every meal come from our backyard, a place where it didn’t feel like fall until you started seeing deer heads hanging from every driveway you passed.  Aww the nostalgia.  My whole family would venture up to our log cabins in the woods where the men would skin and break down the deer into parts.  Inside all the girls and women would stand around a big table cleaning up the cuts of deer, clearing away as much sinew from the meat as possible so it wasn’t tough and delegating meat into freezer bags.  Every half hour or so Nana would throw a few fresh cuts of the meat into a skillet that sat atop a piping hot wood stove, adding some sliced onions and garlic powder, you couldn’t help but get hungry as the smell over took the small kitchen.  I would always grab a piece of bread and make a fresh venison sandwich.  Each deer was a gift.  It meant that our freezers would be stocked with meat for the winter and we didn’t have to worry about how expensive meat was at the grocery store. The deer heads would hang for the birds and other animals until next years hunting season. The circle of life. The way it should be.

With all these memories zooming around I said Yes to the trip and early Saturday morning off we went venturing up into the woods.

You can't see me!

Channeling my inner tree. You can’t see me! 

We saw lots of wildlife on the way up to our spot, all posted up on private property. Especially in one particular grassy area that was labeled the Magical Meadow. The animals knew they were safe.  I swear they were flapping around, gobble singing a turkey version of MC Hammers “Can’t touch this.”

Magical Meadow

Magical Meadow

We spent a few hours combing the sides of some hills and trying to be as quiet as possible  while our feet loudly crunched the autumn leaves that had fallen off the trees.  We had no luck in finding turkey’s beyond the Magical Meadow but it was still a beautiful start to our weekend.  Fingers crossed for my babe for next weekend. He’s been working so hard on perfecting his turkey sounds. If ya can’t beat em’ …join em? Can’t touch this …..

Hunting

Hunting

 

 

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Take 2 Foodie Weekend

As I promised I am back to tease you with all the yummy findings we encountered at the bridal bizarre hosted this past weekend in Del Mar. Overall it was a fun day. It was nice to have a bunch of vendors all in one place and the cake samples sealed the deal on attending.

Chocolate cake with hazelnut frosting, white cream with bavarian frosting and raspberries, red velvet cake with whipped cream cheese topping. This list goes on and on. I won’t need another piece of cake until my wedding day but oh were they scrumptious!

so many cake samples

So many cake samples!!!

Gimme more Cake!

Gimme more Cake!

Customized Cakes

Alice in wonderland candy buffet

Alice in wonderland candy buffet

After walking rows and rows of vendors I have to give a huge shout out to San Diego Candy Buffets for having one of the most visually inspiring sweet setups! If you are a San Diego bride looking for a creative alternative to cake I recommend checking them out. You can find them at www.SanDiegoCandyBuffets.com 

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Foodie Weekend

I’ve stuffed my face way too much this weekend with so much delicious food. It started Friday night when I decided instead of going out for our usual date night that I would create Le Chez de Teigha right in our own dining room.  I spent total $60 and we had an amazing meal. Not to mention no waitress to Tip!

The menu : Steamed King Crab legs and claws. A Caesar Salad. Roasted Lemon Pepper Potatoes. Garlic Bread and Bacon Wrapped Asaparagus. Served with Garlic butter and lemon wedges.  I encourage you all to try this for a date night! So simple, so fresh and if you’re not drooling over each other at least you will be drooling over the food.

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Insert eight hours or so of sleep and I wake up the next morning to head off to our friend Anna’s house where she served us a delicious breakfast of hash-browns, fried eggs and asapargus with homemade hollandaise sauce.  Sad face because I was so hungry I forgot to take the photo before we ate it all.

The day continued as I ventured up to Oceanside where I had plans to spend the night at my friends, Jules and Jr’s new house. Jules continued to make my tongue dance as she laid out 4 rich gourmet cheeses for us to munch on, with parmesan crisped bread and a side of creamy artichoke and jalapeño dip.

Followed by a delicious dinner of Seared Scallops with artichokes in a creamed white wine sauce. Topped with cheese and served over mediterranean cous cous.

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Their new house is amazing and waking up the next morning was a little piece of heaven as we ventured outside toffee coffee in hand to look at the gorgeous fruit trees lined up in the back.

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Something about starting a morning after picking fresh avocados off a tree just makes the world seem ripe. I mean right.

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Stay tuned for part 2 on this tasty foodie weekend which includes my adventure to the Bridal Bizarre!!

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Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers are a reason to be creative. You can really work with whatever you have on hand. So much so that when I realized I was out of rice, the idea of adding some pasta into my stuffed peppers actually crossed my mind. However, before I crossed that bridge I decided to just try my stuffed peppers with some wild rice instead of the normal Mexican Rice I would normally make to put into them.  This meal is super easy, colorful and full of delicious vegetables that you can disguise by topping it with lots of yummy melted cheese for the kids. Omit the cheese and you’ve got a great vegan option for dinner!

Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers

Here is the list of ingredients you will need to have handy to get started:

  • 2 cups wild rice
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped up celery
  • 1 cup chopped up onion
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup chopped up mushroomsStuffing Peppers
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can corn- Drained
  • 1 can black beans- Drained
  • 3 or 4 peppers. (I like choosing one of every color)
  • Optional: 1/2 LB of Hamburger meat or Sausage if you want to add Meat.
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 cup shredded cheese- I used a mixture of Mexican blend cheese and Pepper Jack.

To get started simply put your oil in a pan and turn onto medium heat. Add your wild rice and let it cook in the oil for about 5-8 minutes while stirring frequently. Add your celery and onion cook for 3-4 minutes longer and then go ahead and add your vegetable broth and tomatoes. Cover and reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 30 minutes and then add your mushrooms on the top but don’t stir them in.  Cover and let everything simmer for another 15-20 minutes. While waiting, take your peppers and cut off the tops and deseed them. Put in a baking dish standing up.  Take a test bite to make sure your rice is finished. If not add a little more broth, cover and let cook for a bit longer. Meanwhile if you are adding meat to this dish, sauté your hamburger in a separate pan and add all the seasonings to your hamburger or sausage meat. If you are not adding meat then add the seasoning to the vegetables when you add the broth.  Once the rice mixture is finished cooking I add the can of corn and then split the mixture so I can make some with meat and some without. In one half I add my black beans for the vegetarian meal and in the other half I add the sautéd hamburger then I proceed to stuff the peppers with this delicious smelling concoction. Top with your cheese and place in the oven at 375 for about 20 minutes until your cheese turns that delicious golden color on top. Serve hot and enjoy!!!

 

-Remember if you don’t have all these ingredients on hand be creative! You can substitute rice with quinoa, mushrooms for broccoli, beans with chic peas……all kinds of ideas!!!

 

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Ceviche

Ceviche

Ceviche

Ceviche (Pronouced seh/BEE/tcheh ). Kinda looks like a bad word all sounded out. What’s up my Seh/BEE/tcheh?? Ok, enough play with the words let’s focus on this drool worthy food. The first time I had this dish I was hooked.  Being an East coast native I had the misfortune of NEVER eating an avocado until I moved down South in my early 20’s. Let me just say Avocado’s and I were meant for each other.  I’m now an avid Avocado advocate working diligently to show people how incredibly tasty this little green fruit can be. I remember a few friends in particular who constantly refused to try it, referring to it as “Martian poo!” Working my magic and infusing some intense Avocado advocating they agreed to try my guacamole and admitted to it’s glorious taste. My move out to the West Coast further broadened the ways to cook a variety of dishes with my beloved Avocado and this dish has become one of my all time favorites. If you make this, I suggest making a lot especially if you plan on having people over. I’m not exaggerating when I say I can sit and eat one of these whole pie bowls full by myself. I do not like sharing my ceviche. So instead, I’ll share the recipe and you can go make your own Seh/BEE/tcheh.

Ceviche 

  • 2-3 lbs of raw peeled and deveined shrimp cut into small pieces
  • 2 cucumbers seeded and diced
  • 1 large red onion diced
  • 6 limes
  • 6 lemons
  • 1 large bunch of cilantro chopped
  • 4-5 large tomatoes diced
  • 2 Jalapeños seeded and diced
  • 2-3 large Avocados diced
Ceviche in the works

Ceviche in the works

Chopped Vegetables for Ceviche

Chopped Vegetables for Ceviche

CEVICHE

CEVICHE

Dice your onion, tomatoes, Jalapeños, cucumber, cilantro and avocados. Set aside. Next cut your shrimp into chunks and place in a shallow dish. Cut your lemon and limes in half and go to town squeezing all the juice out over the shrimp pieces. Once your shrimp is covered in the juices go ahead and add all your other veggies to the mixture and mix it all up. Add a little salt and pepper and put the dish in the fridge for the next 2-3 hours. Stir everything around at about the halfway mark.  The acid in the lemon and lime will do all the cooking for you so when you return to take it out it will be ready to go! Serve with tortilla chips or scoop out an avocado and fill with the ceviche for a totally gluten free/carb free option!

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Happenin’ Heirloom Salad

Just in case you hadn’t noticed, It’s SUMMER!!!! I love summers, partly because it’s when I was born but also because of all the gorgeous tomatoes that come to fruition. I’ve been grabbing tomatoes and eating them like apples. (Sprinkled with a little sea salt) When I’ve got an extra minute I’ll throw together a quick tomato sandwich with a touch of mayo. Those bring me back to when I was a kid. Mmmmm. Tomato Sandwiches.  Ok back to the reason for this blog, tomatoes are friggen awesome. Not only do they taste amazing but rumor has it that they pack some pretty powerful health benefits majorly helping with inflammation, fighting certain cancers, and cardiovascular disease.  I feel like I should hug a tomato right now. If you see one, hug it. Or perhaps just eat it. With the recipe for this…

Happenin' Heirloom Salad

Happenin’ Heirloom Salad

Happenin’ Heirloom Salad

  • 2 big ripe Heirloom tomatoes (I chose 1 of each color a red and yellow)
  • 1/2 a red onion thinly sliced and quartered
  • 7 leaves of Red Leaf Lettuce chopped
  • 10 Fresh Basil leaves chopped
  • a handful of Chives diced
  • 1 stalk of Celery thinly sliced into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil and Vinegar
  • Sprinkle with Sea Salt, Pepper and fresh Oregano
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Kitchen Sink Pool Pasta

Italian Pasta Salad

Italian Pasta Salad

Before you start this recipe I want to make you aware of 3 things.  1. It’s not cheap. 2. It’s not fast or easy to make. 3. Once you have it you will be hooked.

Lazy Sunday boredom birthed this salad when I was about 13 years old. With nothing else to do I decided to go into my “art studio” aka the kitchen and play around.  Literally grabbing everything around me that I could find at the time I was able to create this awesome, mouth bursting pasta salad. Remember that moment in Ratatouille when he puts the strawberry and cheese in his mouth and creates an explosion of flavor and fireworks?!? That is this moment.

  • 1 16oz Box of Rotini Twist
  • 1 red onion (diced)
  • 2 large cucumbers (peeled, cut in half lengthwise and scooped of the seeds and pulp)
  • 2 4.5oz cans of black olives
  • 2 heads of broccoli (break this up into little florets)
  • 1 jar of kosher dill pickles (diced into small pieces)
  • 80z of pepper jack cheese (cut into small cubes)
  • 4oz of cheddar cheese (cut into small cubes)
  • 2 carrots (peeled and diced)
  • 1 green pepper, red pepper, yellow pepper and orange pepper (all diced)
  • 2 bottles of Girard’s Old Venice Italian Dressing ( I start with 1 and then add depending on taste)
  • 1-2 packages of cut up pepperoni. Sometimes I can find the mini pepperoni’s and those are perfect for this salad!

Boil your pasta. Drain and then cover it in half of the bottle of Italian dressing, making sure to mix it around really well. Start chopping and preparing all your veggies adding them all together in another bowl. Dice your carrots, cucumbers, pickles and peppers all into little pieces, cube your cheeses, and quarter the pepperoni unless you found the mini’s. Add everything to your pasta and stir in the rest of the dressing! Salt and Pepper to taste. Enjoy!!! To make vegetarian just omit the pepperoni and it’s just as good!!

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Healthy Easy Okra Stew

When I said “Dinners Ready!” the first response I got was “Really? Already?!”

Okra

Okra

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Okra Stew

Okra Stew

 

This healthy dish is easy and quick with lots of varied textures and deep flavors. Connect with your inner Ratatouille for this dish just as I did whirling around my kitchen grabbing a little of this and a little of that to create this delicious stew! I served it on top of a pile of hot steaming Jasmine rice.

  • 2 1/2 cups okra – I prefer fresh but you can also use frozen
  • 1 red onion halved and then sliced
  • 1 green and 1 yellow zucchini – cut in half and then sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 2 cups mushrooms
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 red wine – I was drinking Merlot that night so in it went!
  • 2 tsp. Mustard Seed

Throw your Okra into the skillet with the Mustard seed and cover. Wait for those babies to start popping, take your cover off and add your onion, sauté for 4 more minutes. Next throw in the zucchini and mushrooms and sauté for another 3-4 minutes. Now add your tomatoes and let it all simmer together.  After 10 minutes add your wine and let it simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes. Taste as you go to add salt and pepper. Even if you are super rushed throw all this in the crock pot the night before and let it cook on low all day while you work!  Enjoy!!!

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Surf N Turf Superbowl

FOOTBALL SEASON IS OVER. Doooo a little dance!!!

Another year has come and gone and football season is tucked back away in the closet like christmas decorations. I am going to be one happy girl to have my Sunday’s back in play for things other than football. Oh and Monday nights, and Thursday nights, with the occasional Saturday games. Oh sweet joy, the amount of free time we will have again!!!

However when football is an intricate part of our schedule I  have to admit I enjoy using the games as a great way to have friends and family get together and just pig out over tons of food and catch up.

Surf N Turf

Surf N Turf

 

We went all out this year and created an awesome much healthier version of the normal Superbowl Snacks.

Take a look at our Surf N Turf Menu:

  • Smoked Salmon : Sold at Costco for only $15
  • A few cuts of Prime Rib $30
  • 8 handmade homemade rolls of sushi $45
Homemade Sushi, Spicy Rolls with mango, Halibut with Lemon and Green Caviar, shrimp tempura with seaweed salad

Homemade Sushi, Spicy Rolls with mango, Halibut with Lemon and Green Caviar, shrimp tempura with seaweed salad

Smoked Salmon with Cheese and Ginger

Smoked Salmon with Cheese and Ginger

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Local Food Near YOU!

While in a grocery store one day walking around I started to feel like I was in a bad nightmare. I was walking up and down aisles and aisles of packaged “food” and couldn’t shake this feeling that something felt so wrong. The aisles seemed to stretch on and on with no ending in site. 100’s of  packages were shaking their wannabe picked, fancy logos at me, all vying for my attention, and a feeling of panic took over.  I stood there with a confused, cold, blank feeling.  How did it end up this way? This is our “food!?.” A giant warehouse with rows and rows of groceries? I couldn’t bring myself to buy anything that night after my aisle awakening and left empty-handed but mind-full.

Grocery-store

Since that haunting night, I have searched out local ways to purchase local food and have found some great options that I would like to share!

I have not completely been able to avoid the typical overstuffed, chained out grocery stores but can happily say a much larger portion of my purchases goes towards local sources!! 🙂

Have you ever noticed that in most grocery stores less than 1/4 of the entire store offers fresh produce, and groceries? Take a step towards giving back to your community and eating healthier and search out your local sources for food using the link provided below!

Local Harvest is fantastic!!! Tap in your zip code and the instantly this website provides information near you like local farms, farmers markets and food co-ops.

http://www.localharvest.org/ 

The second thing I used was www.Yelp.com  searching for “food Co-op” and again just adding my zip code.

Venture out beyond those zombie aisles at the grocery store! Walk in the aisles of natures rich gifts. In it is the promise of a much better atmosphere and new adventures in food discovery.

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The Kind Diet – Alicia Silverstone

A few months ago I added this book, The Kind Diet to my Kindle and found myself completely buried in its pages. Surprisingly our girl Alicia Silverstone known so much for her role in Clueless isn’t so clueless. This is a book full of facts, shocking information and real down to earth ways of helping you make the change from a meat-eating diet into a plant-based diet. If you’ve ever thought about making the jump from your current eating habits or just find yourself curious about our cultures meat processing standards then this is a book I highly recommend!!!

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Seasonable Vegetable Calendar

Seasonable Vegetable Calendar

Seasonable Vegetable Calendar

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Baked Brussel Sprouts with dipping sauce

Watch out after you eat these you will no longer be able to say “Eww i don’t like brussel sprouts!”  Brussel Sprouts

This recipe is super easy and guaranteed to please even that super picky vegetable eater!!

Baked Brussel Sprouts:

  • 1 1/2 lbs of Fresh Brussel sprouts
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to season

Simply cut the Brussel sprouts into quarters. Throw them into a ziplock bag and add your olive oil! Season with salt and pepper. Close bag up and make sure they are all evenly coated. Pour out onto a flat baking sheet and cook at 400 degrees until they begin to get crispy. Take out and serve with mustard as a dipping sauce or Garlic Lemon Aioli. Find recipe for Aioli below.

Garlic Lemon Aioli :

  • 3 tablespoons mayo
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • the juice of 1 lemon. (taste as you go to make it to your preference)

Mix all ingredients together and voila! 

Baked Brussel Sprouts

Baked Brussel Sprouts

 

 

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