I have been trying out this whole no processed carbs thing for awhile now and I actually really love how it makes me feel. However I am only human and the noodle craving has hit me hard. Like really hard. I want all the noodles and I was especially craving pad thai. Obviously pad thai is not on my meal plan. I know what you’re thinking, “But Summer you love zoodles. You are always telling us they are an awesome substitute for noodles. Why don’t you just use those?” You guys are right, I do say that and I mean it. They are an awesome substitute for noodles but I need in this moment something more. I need the firmness of a perfectly cooked al dente noodle.
Prohibition Chicken is the collaboration of Josh Babb and Sean Clavir (formerly of Musume, The Chop Shop and Chop Shop Live) and Chef Roger Kaplan (Restaurant Innovations). In addition to its great location, they chose Lewisville for the restaurant’s site because it lends itself to the old country vibe they were seeking.
201 W. Church Street, Lewisville, TX 75057
The dining room is wonderfully rustic yet chic. The walls are covered in wood and the comfy booths are covered in flour sacks.
It’s a lovely 106 degree day in sunny California. I’m craving something a little sweet and savory, something on the healthier side (obvi) since you know, bikini season.
I glance around the kitchen and see the bowl full of fresh zucchini I just procured, mmmm… zucchini bread would do the trick but there is no FREAKING way I am going to turn the oven on in this heat.
I rummage around the fridge and pull out the following: plain greek yogurt, blueberries and I grab the granola from the cabinet. I guess I’ll just make a dumb old parfait.
I know what you’re thinking, “thats the best you can come up with? Where is your creativity? Where is the inspiration?” Well I’ll tell you where it is, burned up by this scorching heat!
Then it hit me, why don’t I turn this dumb parfait into a frozen treat! Feeling motivated I grab the raspberry infused honey I picked up from my local farmers market (yes it is as delicious as it sounds), some vanilla extract, some walnuts and what the hell some chocolate chunks too. What I concocted next is a slightly sweet, a little savory, and definitely crunchy frozen treat that you can eat and not feel guilty about. So without further ado… here is my Frozen Parfait Bark recipe.
*as always the measurements are pretty much a guess-timate Continue reading “Frozen Greek Yogurt Bark by Summer”
I’m just a girl who loves food, making food and getting inspired by food I see on social media—especially when the food is being eaten by my favorite hero, the adorkably charming Chris Pratt. He has been posting his snacks on Instagram in a funny, tortured cause he has to get in shape kind of way, which I of course couldn’t help but watch. If you guys are not familiar with his little #WHATSMYSNACK videos then you need to go watch them like now. I’ll wait.
Now that you are all caught up with what I am talking about, the snacks he is posting actually look pretty tasty. I was drawn to the cucumber egg roll. Now I have no real idea what is in his but I figured I could recreate a version and make my own #WHATSMYSNACK.
Without further ado… Here is my Chris Pratt-inspired cucumber egg roll snack.
Spring is in the air, which means St. Patty’s Day isn’t too far behind. Though I’m not huge on going out and drinking all the whiskey (my liver isn’t Irish, I can’t hang), I am a fan of hosting a little shindig at my place.
I was trying to think of yummy Irish treats to make that didn’t involve corned beef, ham or any other meat-related item. I also didn’t want to mess with any food coloring to turn things green. I wanted something savory and something I could eat with my hands. Oh, and leaning more towards the healthy side. I know, I didn’t make it easy on myself! Then it hit me. Potato pancakes! That’s an Irish tradition I can get behind. How do I make those healthy you ask? Well instead of a traditional potato I used a sweet one. I wanted to incorporate something green so I grabbed a Granny Smith apple. Hmmm… what else could I add to this concoction? I looked at my fruit/veggie basket and saw a sweet onion. That will work! Trust me, I know those things do not sound like they go together and at this point I was just winging it, but surprisingly enough they turned out AMAZING.
Warung Indonesia d’Eglinton
2439 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4P 2E7
Warung Indonesia d’Eglinton roughly translates into Indonesian Small Family Restaurant at Eglinton. You can find this restaurant a couple of blocks north of a relatively busy business area of Yonge and Eglinton. They serve Indonesian style food in a comfortable and homey environment and prepare their food from scratch to order which allows you the time to just relax in the atmosphere. Recently, my boyfriend and I were invited to a media tasting of this restaurant from DKLO Events and had our first try of Indonesian food!
Toronto is a fairly multicultural city. However, it ‘s hard to come by new cuisines if you are not already familiar with it or if not recommended. This Indonesian restaurant specializes in providing their customers with customized meals. What do I mean by that? They offer a “Set Your Own Meal” option where you can choose two veggie appetizers, one veggie appetizer, and one entree served with rice. This tasting provided us with this opportunity to set our own meal!
Well we are officially half way through the holiday season, and I don’t know about you, but I have already eaten my weight in ALL the sweets and treats. (Which is pretty weird for me since most of the time I tend to lean more towards the savory). Anyhow, I have come to realize I have a very serious seasonal sweet tooth. What can I say, Christmas time is my jam! Since I am not going to give up all the yumminess, I decided to make a dish that leans a little more towards the healthier side. Roasted pears. Cranberry goat cheese stuffed roasted pears to be exact. I also realize that I post ALOT of stuffed recipes. I don’t know where my obsession with stuffing things comes from; I just know it tastes real, REAL good. So without further ado here is the recipe.
Roasted Pears with Cranberry Goat Cheese
4 medium sized pears (I used d’anjou)
Cranberry goat cheese (I got mine at Trader Joe’s)
Preheat your oven to 375
Halve your pears and slice a little teeny bit off the back, so they lay flat in the pan.
Once you have done that take a spoon, any kind will do, (I used a sugar spoon) and scoop out the core of the pear to make a nice little bowl for the cheese.
Sprinkle the pear with a generous amount of cinnamon. I wanted to also use some nutmeg, but I didn’t have any.
Once you have that done, take that same spoon and pop a hefty amount of the cheese into the middle of your pears.
Sprinkle the chopped walnuts (pecans are also an excellent option) and drizzle the honey. I probably put about a teaspoon of honey on each pear.
Pop those bad boys in the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes.
Once they are done, let them cool for a few minutes and serve.
Isabella’s Boutique Restaurant
2328 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4E 1G9
Isabella’s Boutique Restaurant is a new boutique restaurant that has opened in “The Beaches” neighborhood in East Toronto. Isabella’s is such an amazing and cozy restaurant owned and operated by an equivalent amazing and sweet couple. This lovely couple met in Japan, and now they are in Canada to offer us authentic, homey Japanese style dishes. This boutique restaurant is named after their bubbly daughter, Isabella, and you can tell where she gets her charm from! It is only the owners that work here but yet they are so attentive to every guest in making sure that you’re as comfortable as you can be.
Now onto the food! We’ve been here numerous times to try their various dishes from breakfast to lunch/dinner to their sweet treats. Below are (most of) the dishes that they currently have on their menu, but there are other surprises that they always have in store.
These pancakes are so thick, but still fluffy! Plus, Nutella sauce all over these?! Serious, real eats, and treats right here! These Japanese style pancakes are a unique take on your traditional pancakes.
A stuffed Japanese omelet (contains onions, mushrooms, cheese and bacon). If you have never tried one, you gotta try this one! The way they prepare the omelet creates such a fluffy and lush texture that you’re eating a fluffy egg cloud.
The breakfast sandwich may sound like your ordinary thing, but you can taste the freshness of every ingredient. The egg is perfectly cooked and round (c’mon! Round egg!) and that thick cut bacon … C’mon, BACON! They also offer a breakfast combo for $5 (taxes in!) which includes a breakfast sandwich and beverage; perfect for busy mornings.
This was my first time having omurice, and if I could, I would be making this every day. It is another version of a stuffed omelet. This one is stuffed with fried rice, mushrooms and a protein (this one is beef). Traditionally, the omurice is topped with a ketchup type sauce but Isabella’s classes it up by topping it off with a homemade demi glaze. So heavenly!
Can you believe that they make their teriyaki sauce in house?! Fresh, from glorious scratch sauce! Also, if you are not feeling rice, then you can also get this beaut in a sandwich form.
This curry is not your stereotypical spicy curry, but it is still rich with that familiar curry flavor. It is smooth and silky that you just want to lick up the whole plate!
Who doesn’t love them some noodles?! This yaki udon is a fried udon dish, very simple but delicious. It does come with an option for a protein, but we went simple and got the plain yaki udon which is topped off with some savory bonito flakes.
In the picture are their classic sweet treats that will continually be available. These are their macarons and fluffy cotton cupcakes (also available in a full cake form). The macarons pictures are their cherry blossom (the pink), and a Nutella (brown). These macarons are a delight! They are not cloyingly sweet and are the perfect texture; a perfect portion of the shell and the filling.
Now for their fluffy cotton cupcake. These are my personal favorite. Not only are the ones above matcha iced (green) and cherry blossom iced (pink) but the main base is perfection. They are just like their name, fluffy. These cupcakes are not your typical cupcake taste or texture either; more like a cross breed between a light, airy angel food cake and a flavor-packed dense cake. I realize that doesn’t make much sense, but you have to try it! If you were to visit The Beaches, Toronto area just drop by here to grab a free sample (if available) of their fluffy cotton cake, and you’ll see what I mean!
There is always something new to try at Isabella’s Boutique Restaurant, and I have yet to try everything! If you’re looking for somewhere cozy and relaxing to enjoy a meal, this is the place to be.
YASSSSS!! Fall is officially here! The weather is finally not giving me a heat stroke, I can stomp aimlessly through piles of leaves, I can pretty much get pumpkin anything and football season has started. That means a copious amount of Sunday Fundays is about to go down!
Now I love a good football snack spread just as much as the next person. However, most snacks are fried and smothered with cheese. Like my favorite, tater tots. Since I know I am going to be attending a ton of Sunday Fundays, I cannot be eating all the fried food. ( I want to, but I can’t keep buying new jeans). So I decided to take matters into my own hands and make a healthy version of my fave, broccoli tots.
I used my cauliflower pizza crust recipe as inspiration, and I have to say what I came up with was freaking tasty AF. So if you want to get your snack on basically guilt free continue reading for my Broccoli Tot recipe.
*I give this disclaimer every time but just in case… I do not measure out anything. I just kind of eyeball it with these little bowls and they hold approximately one cup.
1 head of broccoli diced or Trader Joe’s Riced Broccoli
1/4 cup diced onion
1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon parsley, dried flakes or fresh
1 tablespoon paprika
Heaping tablespoon of cayenne (I like things a little spicy, if you prefer more mild use less)
Salt and pepper to taste
Put all seasonings in a small bowl
Preheat the oven to 400.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Blanche the broccoli in a pot of boiling water for 1 minute. Rinse the broccoli with cold water and let it sit while I prepping everything else.
After you’ve chopped your onions and grated the cheese, place the broccoli between a couple of paper towels and gently pressed to remove any excess water. (I didn’t take a pic of this cause, well, it wasn’t pretty)
Once you are done pressing the water out throw everything together in a bowl and mix well.
Now you are ready to form your tots. I am not gonna lie, this was the most time-consuming part and if you don’t like getting stuff all up in your fingernails wear some gloves. Grab a little amount of the mixture on a spoon and squeezed it together in your hand until it forms a tot-esque shape. Place them on parchment lined baking sheet.
Once you form all your tots, throw them in the oven and let them cook for 25 minutes.
Place them on a tray/plate/whatever and serve with your fave condiment. I promise these will be a hit. Even my boyfriend liked them, and I usually have to trick him into eating broccoli.
Bajo Sexto Taco
5303 Charlotte Avenue, Nashville, Tennessee 37209
When Bajo Sexto and Chef Kaelin Ulrich Trilling announced the Del Mercado menu, I was anxiously awaiting my visit. Del Mercado (meaning “from the market”) is an ingredient-driven series of special menus and dishes available during the late summer produce. This menu happened to highlight corn, chilies, and pork – all staples of Mexican cuisine. From what I had heard about Chef Kaelin, I knew this menu would not disappoint.
Chef Kaelin started developing his culinary talent at quite a young age. As soon as he finished high school, he started attending some of his mother’s cooking classes. Foodies, I am sure you have heard of her – Susana Trilling, creator and owner of Seasons of my Heart , located in Oaxaca, Mexico. Tradition is something incredibly important to Chef Kaelin and it shines through in this food. It was as if I was in a restaurant in Oaxaca, learning the heritage of the Trilling family.
First, we started with a few quintessential snacks: esquites ahumando (corn dip), pan de maiz (bajo skillet corn bread) and tamales. Usually I can pick a favorite, but all three of these left me craving more. The esquites ahumando consisted of corn that had been brought in from Mexico and smoked for hours, and then cut off the cob and topped with guajillo chili and totopos. What dip would be complete without freshly made tortilla chips? The epitome of juxtaposition. The tanginess and smokiness of the corn combined with the sweetness of the cream and cheese made for quite a perfect bite.
I pride myself on being a true Tennessee girl through and through and I have to say, this was the BEST cornbread I have EVER eaten (please, don’t tell my mom). Most of the time, cornbread has a very dry and mealy consistency – this version could not be more opposite. The pan de maiz consisted of roasted poblano peppers, crispy Tennessee ham, chipotle, and honey butter. Chef Kaelin came over to check on our progress and it was all I could do not to beg him to put this on the regular menu. PERFECTION. The bread was presented in the most darling cast iron skillet dripping with honey butter and topped with the crispiest piece of Tennessee ham. As the honey butter continued to melt, it permeated throughout the entire dish, making each bite swoon-worthy.
The tamales were just as mouthwatering. As I mentioned earlier, the corn is brought in from Mexico and pressed on a daily basis to ensure the freshest tamales. Filled with braised pork and wrapped in traditional corn husks, these did not disappoint. Chef added a side of serrano salsa which provided the perfect “kick” to the overall dish.
Next up: tacos. Who am I kidding – secretly, I wanted more cornbread, but these did not disappoint. Del Mercado offered two tacos: lechon (suckling pig- left) and barbacoa de Puerco (bbq pork shoulder-right). Honestly gang, it would be like choosing between children. They were both delicious. They cooked a 35-pound suckling pig, cut it into pieces and slowly simmered it in lard, Mexican beer, orange and citrus. Come on… could you ask for a better concoction? Chef Kaelin served this goodness on top of a corn tortilla with avocado corn salsa topped with traditional chicarron cracklings. The chicarron added the perfect crunchy texture to this melt in your mouth taco. And my personal favorite, the barbaco de puerco. Again, this meat was melt in your mouth juicy and tender, and was topped with a smoked corn crema and escabeche – the perfect accoutrements for the dish.
Even though my waist line was like, “hold up” I couldn’t stop eating this Mexican deliciousness. Thank goodness I had a Cyclebar class planned bright and early the next morning.
For our final courses, Chef Kaelin presented us with crepas de huitlacoche, lomo de Puerco and Mexican street corn. For anyone who knows me, they know that I am a die-hard truffle fan. When I found out that each of these dishes had huitlacoche, I was thrilled. Huitlacoche is known as the Mexican truffle as it exhibits similar flavor profiles of black truffles. While it was a large portion, the crepas de huitlacoche did not leave you overly full. This was a great vegetarian option filled with beans, corn and topped with the freshest tomato salsa. Truly a delight.
Next up, the lomo de Puerco. I have eaten at some of the best restaurants in the world and this dish was right up there with some of the courses I have had at Tickets or Next. Beautifully placed atop huitlacoche and corn, the pork was covered with braised cherry tomatoes, mint and a smoky tomato salsa. Grabbing a bit of each of these ingredients made for the perfect bite.
To top it off, elotes rubbed with chile, lime and mayo. Chef did an excellent job recreating the corn that you would have when hosting a BBQ at your house, although his tastes MUCH better than mine ever would. He cooks it with the husk on to ensure that the corn stays bright and moist and then peels the husks back adding on the various chile and lime flavors. Again, yet another dish I begged for him to keep on the regular menu – and apparently, I wasn’t the only one. 🙂
Chef Kaelin was an absolute delight. In between courses, I had the chance to pick his brain and see where his personal hot spots were:
BBQ: Peg Leg Porker
Burger: Jack Brown’s
Tequila: Don Julio’s 1942 (As if I could leave without asking this question!)
Chef Kaelin prepares amazing Mexican food giving us a little taste of his Oaxacan traditions while leaving us wanting more. Nashville, take advantage of this little treasure right off Charlotte Avenue. Del Mercado runs from August 17- September 11 and once it’s gone, it’s gone…. trust me, you don’t want to miss this. I am STILL dreaming about that cornbread!!
Figs. They are everywhere. A Delicious little tear dropped fruits that are only available a few weeks out of the year. Just like Nordstrom’s half yearly sale or Victorias Secret semi-annual sale. No, I don’t have a shopping problem, I just like sales.
I love me some figs. I’m not sure where my love for them stems from. It might be my middle eastern ethnicity, who knows. Regardless the reason, I stocked up. Like a lot. Like way too much. I needed to come up with a way to use them other than eating them like they are popcorn whilst on a Netflix binge. I thought about making jam but, to be honest, that just takes to long and I wasn’t feeling it. I peeped around my kitchen and found a few ingredients every food lover should have. Balsamic vinegar, butter, honey and goat cheese. Boom, I’ll make some roasted figs.
This recipe is seriously the easiest thing in the world to make. With prep and cooking time all together it took me about 20 minutes.
You should let them cool off before shoveling them into your face. Just a thought. You do you, though.
This is everything I used:
So I never measure anything. I pretty much eyeball it. These are 1 cup bowls if that helps at all.
So throw all of this in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes until it thickens. While the glaze is cooking, preheat the oven to 400.
Cut your figs in half and top them with goat cheese.
Once the sauce/glaze is done drizzle over the cheese topped figs.
Pop those bad boys in the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes. I did mine for about 12 cause I am impatient, they were still a little too firm for my liking.
I just want to point out that I burned the crap out of my mouth because I NEEDED to eat one right when it came out of the oven. So while I am smiling, know that I burned my taste buds off. SMH
I just returned from the self-proclaimed LA Dessert Olympics and like any good Olympian, these restaurants have trained hard. They have practiced their skills, made the recipe stick and perfected their form. I came prepared with a list of competitors. The torch is lit. Let the games begin. (Cue Olympic theme music.)
Bronze Medal: Coconut Meltaway
Malibu Kitchen and Gourmet Country Market
3900 Cross Creek Road, Suite 3, Malibu, CA 90265
The Coconut Meltaway was blissful. I like a lot of bang for my buck and this thing was huge – I swear it weighed a pound. Obviously home-made, its flavors covered every taste bud on my tongue. The bottom layer was the old school graham cracker and butter crust like your grandmother made. On top of that was ooey gooey condensed milk. Then came the good stuff. It was loaded with pecans, chocolate AND butterscotch chips and coconut shavings. I was able to get a chewy corner piece which made it even better.
Silver Medal: Blackberry Pavlova
1014 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 9401
Ever had a pavlova? Well, you need to. Soon. The Blackberry Pavlova was light and lovely. It was composed of a delicate meringue shell made from egg whites and sugar and then baked until firm. Inside this cup of goodness was a smooth, perfectly tart lemon cream. I loved that they cut the blackberries in half. It made for a perfect ratio of tart to sweet.
Gold Medal: Paradise Pavlova
Polo Lounge at The Beverly Hills Hotel
9641 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90210
The Paradise Pavlova was hands down, bar none the BEST dessert I have EVER put in my mouth. So, track with me here. This was NOT your run-of-the-mill pavlova. This was like the Mona Lisa of pavlovas. Here is where it gets a bit hard to describe. The ingredients differ a bit from the menu description and the waiters were unable to (or wouldn’t) explain it to me. The pavlova was deconstructed. Rather than one large meringue piece; it was small pieces assembled around a softer meringue center. In the center of the of soft meringue were smashed bananas. All this was on a smear of mango passion with a side of lime sherbet. Okay, stop right here and mull that over. I’ll wait….. Okay, when you think about each taste individually it doesn’t work: the bananas are too sweet and soft, the pavlova too light and muted, the mango too fruity and the lime sherbet too sour. BUT together it is indulgent and decadent in the best possible way. See what I mean? No wonder the waiters wouldn’t give me any details. They would probably suffer severe consequences. It was that good. When I order it again I will not share it.
Honestly, I did not have a bad meal in L.A. Well, except I didn’t like the kidney beans in the halo halo. Who does that? Sorry, I digress. I covered a lot of territory in the few days I visited. I ate in great places with great people and saw great things. Add these to your “bites to try ” list. I can’t wait for my next trip!