Seafood Spaghetti with Garlic Butter Sauce

Seafood Spaghetti

I like to think of myself as an honorary Italian. When I was a baby I had two Italian nannies who would only speak Italian to me and feed me endless amounts of pasta. My family has been going to the same Italian Restaurant since the 1980’s. If bills and a job were things that society did not place such a high importance on I would pick up and move to Italy in a heartbeat. One of my favorite dishes is Linguini alla Vongole translated to Linguini with clams. I love the buttery wine sauce and the succulent clams. It only makes sense that I would try to recreate my favorite dish at home. Since I have yet to try boiling clams at home I substituted this ingredient for baked salmon. The garlic butter wine sauce comes from Epicurious and I’ve listed the ingredients. I’ve divided this recipe into multiple steps that you can bring together to create your own Linguini minus the Vongole.

Ingredients:

-1 fistfull of spaghetti

-4 chopped garlic cloves

-5 tablespoons of butter

-½ cup of white wine

-½ cup of chopped parsley

-¼ cup of olive oil

-1 filet of salmon

Directions for the Salmon

-Preheat the oven to 400℉

-Line the pan with foil

-Rub olive oil, garlic, basil, and salt onto the salmon

-Wrap the salmon in foil

-Cook for 15-30 minutes or until fish is flakey

Directions for the Sauce

-Heat olive oil over medium heat

-Add garlic cloves, sautee for 1-2 minutes

-Stir

Directions for the Pasta

-Fill a pot with 6 cups of water and bring to a boil

-Put in the pasta and let cook

-Drain and mix all the ingredients once ready

-Enjoy!

 

Pretty in Pink Strawberry Smoothie

Strawberries

Pink is one of my favorite colors and the color associated with all things playful, fun, and girly. This smoothie is no different! It’s the bubblegum pop song you can’t get out of your head and an easy go-to. This fruit based recipe is perfect for breakfast, lunch, or a liquid snack.

Ingredients:

-⅓ cup of R.W. Knudsen Morning Juice Blend

-½ cup plain Greek yogurt

-½ Pineapple

-1 Banana

-8 oz. chopped Strawberries

Directions:

Measure out and chop all ingredients

Mix in blender or juicer

Pour and enjoy

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photo credit:http://<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/35297772@N00/17611101420″>Carlsbad Strawberry Co.</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>

The Hulk

Green Fruits and Vegetables

It’s hard to be wide eyed and bushy tailed in the early morning. There are multiple ways to energize yourself: exercising before work, taking a shower, having a few caffeine pills like Jessie Spano or you can have a green smoothie for breakfast. When deciding what ingredients to use I find inspiration from my favorite go-to book The Juice Solution by Erin Quon and Briana Stockton. All of my juices use the same base ingredients with different fruits and vegetables thrown in for variety.

This smoothie has the perfect 50/50 blend fresh fruits and green veggies. When preparing this smoothie be sure to skin the kiwi and blend until all seeds are thoroughly blended.

Ingredients:

-⅓ Cup of Unflavored Greek Yogurt

-½ Large Avocado

-1 Banana

-1 Kiwi

-1 Handful of Spinach

-1 Mango

-I Cup of R.W. Knudson Morning Blend Juice

Directions:

Measure out and chop all ingredients

Mix in blender or juicer

Pour and enjoy

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photo credit: http://<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/72248790@N00/3227055369″>Experiment..</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Triple Berry Threat

 

Bowl of Berries

Out of all the juices that I’ve made for myself red juices are by far my favorite. Maybe because I like to say “beets don’t kale my vibe” when I’m throwing the beets in the blender or maybe because Red is a known color that oozes confidence. With this fruit based smoothie you can own your mornings with this red juice.

Ingredients:

-½ cup of Pomegranate Juice

-½ cup of Plain Greek Yogurt

-1 Carrot

-1 Kiwi

-2 cups of Triple Berry Medley Frozen Fruit

Directions:

Measure out and chop all ingredients

Mix in blender or juicer

Pour and enjoy!

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photo credit: http://<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/55856449@N04/9007331721″>Summerberries</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

I Love You Berry Much

Basket of Berries

This recipe is for the berry lovers! While this recipe turned out to be technically more of a smoothie rather than a juice it is still definitely going to be categorized under the healthy beverages section of this blog. The thickness from the frozen berries provides for a great base for an açai bowl, a smoothie or a refreshing juice. Just be sure to blend thoroughly to make sure all the tiny seeds are carefully chopped up so they don’t end up in your teeth.

Ingredients:

-1 cup of Pomegranate Juice

-1 cup of Cut Strawberries

-1 cup of Frozen Berries

Directions:

Measure out and chop all ingredients

Mix in blender or juicer

Pour and enjoy!

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photo credit: http://<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/97479012@N00/2617705573″>”farmer’s market”</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Grilled Chicken Pizza

 

Grilled Chicken Pizza

Blink twice if you like pizza. Good. If you don’t like pizza this probably isn’t the blog for you. My quests in the kitchen have gone from simple and creative to messy and ornate. The pressures to look like a model are rampant in California but the desire to indulge in your favorite foods is stronger. For those of you who, like me, just don’t believe that cauliflower crust pizza is as good as regular pizza dough (FYI it isn’t, I’ve tried it), there is a solution to a healthier version of your go-to order at Dominos. Introducing the Grilled Chicken and Spinach Pizza. This pie is healthy by default because it is topped with spinach and grilled chicken. Plus with it’s prep time of 15 minutes it does not require an inordinate amount of time or high skill level.

Ingredients:

-½ cup of Prego Pizza Sauce

-½ cup of Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

-1 Boboli Personal Pizza Shell- 8 inch

-1 teaspoon of Olive Oil

-1 handful of Spinach

-1 cup of Grilled Chicken

Directions:

-Preheat oven to 350℉

– Drizzle olive oil in a skillet and add a dash of basil

-Once heated add chopped up chicken breast to the skillet and cook until done

-Drizzle olive oil on pre-made pizza dough and evenly spread the pizza sauce

-Top with mozzarella cheese, spinach and grilled chicken

-Bake pizza for 10 minutes and let cool for 3 minutes

Bay to Breakers

Bay to Breakers

Mark Twain once said the coldest winter he’d ever spent was a summer in San Francisco. If you’re going to bare the cold weather of a San Francisco summer you should definitely visit for Bay To Breakers, the oldest consecutively run footrace in the world. Bay To Breakers is a SF tradition, like indulging in an IT’S IT or trying to pitch your startup.The name of the race comes from the route it takes. Participants start a few blocks from the Embarcadero, which is adjacent to the San Francisco Bay and continue to the Great Highway that is located on California’s coast. For those who walk and enjoy people watching the goal is to try and get as far as you can. Most people end at Golden Gate park. Here is what to expect when you participate in this long standing San Francisco tradition.

Plan A Group Costume

You may have left the days of theme parties in college but Bay to Breakers is the revival of that. One of the signature features of this race is the fun and creative costumes SF natives and visitors come up with. This year my friends and I decided to dress up as Princess Tiger Lily and the Lost Boys from Peter Pan. Some other costumes I saw were The Jamaican Bobsled Team, Party Animals (where they all dressed in animal costumes) and a group of Tropical Girls who wore leis on top of their heads and the fake bikini t-shirts. Even if your group does not come up with an overall theme just mixing prints and dressing comfortably yet eccentric will have you blend into the crowd of over 50,000 runners and participants.

Get Plenty of Rest the Night Before

Bay to Breakers is technically a race so it begins in the early morning. People get up between 5:30-6 am in order to start the party. The night before make sure you don’t party too hard in the Marina so you can save your energy for this event. If you know you need 8 hours of sleep or else you turn into Grumpy Cat consider staying in and having a low key night with your pals. After getting dressed and having a small breakfast you will make your way towards the Pan Handle where the race officially begins.

Prepare Your Liver

Drinking vodka in the early morning is gross and according to my parents signals that you may have a drinking problem. Remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint. Start off with a granola bar for energy and a mimosa until you work your way up to party mode. People wake up at 6 am and start making drinks soon after. Those who live along the race route will host Breakfast parties filled with beer, bagels, and bacon. Be sure to enjoy all the carbs you can get your hands on so you’re not passing out at 11 am before the real fun begins.

Be Ready to See Skimpily Clothed People and Nudity

This is San Francisco, the city of Love. While most participants are dressed in ridiculous costumes there are also those that show up in their birthday suits. While SF police officers say running naked is illegal there are plenty of people who take that risk and show off their bits and pieces. If nudity makes you uncomfortable this event will either break you of that feeling or will have you running fast to get past all the naked people. Just remember that it is an individual’s expression and everyone is there to have a great time.
After an exhilarating Bay to Breakers be sure to get plenty of rest and eat some delicious food to get your energy levels back up so you’re not feeling awful at work the next day.

An Ode to the California Burrito

Taqueria

Growing up in a Hispanic household I have always had a refined palate for Mexican food. I was lucky enough to not only experience my Grandmother and Mother’s homemade recipes but I grew up in the Los Angeles Metro region where tasty Mexican food is a stone’s throw away. I’m not one of those girls you will find getting excited over Taco Bell’s newest concoction and I don’t consider Chipotle Mexican food, but rather, a fresh mix of California cuisine. Although I hold such high standards for my Mexican food to be homemade and authentic, there is one dish that I can’t seem to get enough of, and that is the California Burrito.

The California burrito is a Southern California staple most often found in San Diego. It is composed of Carne Asada, cheese, salsa fresca, guacamole and….wait for it…FRENCH FRIES. I’m not sure who decided to put french fries in a burrito but we all owe that person a shot of tequila. The delicious combination of the fresh flavors of salsa and guacamole with the tender carne asada and the crunch of the french fries make this one of my favorite meals. If I had the metabolism of a 7 year-old you can be sure I would eat a California Burrito and wash it down with a Mexican Coke daily. Below I’ve listed my favorite taquerias in San Diego that make my favorite California Burrito.

1. El Zarape Restaurant

4642 Park Blvd

Be sure to also try their scallop tacos as well.

2. Nico’s Mexican Food

4918 Newport Ave

Come in the AM to also try one of their delicious Breakfast burritos. Fun fact you can ask for a burrito gluten free style where they cook all the ingredients and put it in a to-go box sans tortilla.

3.Rigoberto’s

  Rigoberto’s has locations all over San Diego. Check Yelp or Google to find the location nearest to you.

If you want to see how other California burritos rank check out Thrillist’s article on The Best California Burritos in San Diego

photo credit: http://<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/78425154@N00/216637408″>Mural: Taqueria (Treat Street side)</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Party at Gatsby’s? No, Party at Hearst’s!

Santa Barbara Coast

The state of California is HUGE. Last year when I took a road trip from my hometown of Rancho Cucamonga, a suburb of Los Angeles, to Seattle it took me four days just to drive from Southern California to the top of the state. With the various microclimates and cultures California is the perfect location for a road trip. This time my road trip took me from my current home of San Diego to Rancho Cucamonga, where my family still lives, up to San Simeon, a small coastal community in Central California.

The drive is only four hours but the best part about a road trip is being able to stop whenever you see something you want to explore. Our first stop was the picturesque city of Santa Barbara for lunch on the pier. My dad considers Santa Barbara the beginning of Central California with this region reaching all the way to Monterrey. These locations differ from what is listed on Wikipedia but I’ll let this slide. Our time in Santa Barbara was short but sweet. We drove down State Street then enjoyed walking along the beach and on Stearns Wharf and had a light lunch. Stearns Wharf is lined with small mom and pop seafood restaurants, boutique shops and gives perfect views of the Pacific ocean and hills of Santa Barbara. After our brief stop we continued on to our final destination of San Simeon.

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San Simeon is a small community most known for being the home of Hearst Castle and a great place to watch the elephant seals. While there are not a lot of restaurants it is easy to pop over to neighboring Cambria or Osos to enjoy a delightful meal. Although it is mid-July the weather on the coast is a cool 75° and sunny compared to the 90° weather most Southern Californians are used to.

Hearst Castle was built in 1919 by architect Julia Morgan and media magnate R.W. Hearst. This home was based off a Mediterranean villa and incorporated Hearst’s love of European art and architecture into the property. The home sits on more than 90,000 square feet and includes 2 pools, 56 bedrooms, 61 bathrooms, tennis courts, a movie theater, a private zoo and 3 guest homes that are more like mini mansions. While the private zoo is no longer in operation the California State Parks organization offers tours of the grand rooms, the upstairs suites, the cottages and the kitchen. Being in Hearst Castle is like walking through a museum. Hearst not only displays centuries old tapestries and paintings but put in mosaics, statues, fireplaces and even ceilings from European castles and churches. As someone who has been swimming her whole life the pools were of the utmost interest to me. Hearst had two pools in his home The Neptune Pool and The Roman Pool. Although the Neptune Pool has been drained due to leaking and the California Drought this pool is surrounded by ancient Roman statues and fountains. The Roman Pool is considered an indoor pool and includes a diving platform, a shallow inlet from the main pool and gold encrusted title on the floors.

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Although San Simeon is most known for being the home to the most luxurious Castle in California another group likes to call this unincorporated area home. They are the elephant seals. After spending months at sea the elephant seals return to the Rockery and stay in San Simeon, where they molt off their old skin and fur and grow a new coat. The Rockery is the best place where you can see the elephant seals snoozing, jousting, or testing the temperature of the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean. As a coastal city, San Simeon has a light house at Piedras Blancas. Piedras Blancas or White Rocks gets it’s name from the color of seagull poop that is covering the rocks out in the ocean. The lighthouse not only serves a purpose in maritime history but the area is also a wildlife sanctuary where volunteers brought back native plants and animals to that specific area.

San Simeon is located near Paso Robles most known for its wineries. Like with any wine country Paso Robles is sprinkled with wineries from more recognizable names such as J. Lohr and Sextant to smaller wineries such as Tooth & NIMG_5960ail. My advice for anyone wine tasting is to honestly just wing it. You never know what winery you will come across and which ones could become your new favorite. To complete a fun day of wine tasting head to Moonstone Beach in Cambria to enjoy a quaint dinner at a local eatery. Moonstone Beach gets its name from the type of rocks that are on the beach. By now most of the moonstones are gone from people taking them as souvenirs. This is a pleasant reminder that we should leave things as they are for other generations to enjoy.

On the drive back down to Southern California my family and I stopped in the Danish city of Solvang. Solvang is a traditional Danish style city with European eats and treats, Dutch inspired buildings and a Hans Christian Andersen Museum with a replica of the Little Mermaid statue from Copenhagen. This is the perfect place to grab a European lunch, a beer and pick up some sweet treats from some of the many bakeries.
The state of California is filled with beautiful coastal views to desert oases. No matter what city you venture to there’s always an adventure to be had.

A Look Back at Coachella 2015

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The Advanced Sale for tickets for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival 2016 has closed. As of today, there are 37 weeks and 6 days until the beginning of the world famous festival that takes over the Empire Polo fields. But  before one starts planning their outfits for the famed event I think we should all look back at Coachella 2015.

Many people gawked at the line-up for this year, claiming that the festival was no longer about the music and called it just plain awful. But I completely disagree with those statements and want people to look at the bigger picture of Coachella. Coachella began in 1993, 22 years later it has expanded from music and art to include some of Los Angeles best foods and libations as well as a fashion hub for the indie boho chic crowd.

This year featured acts from headliner Drake to Florence and the Machine, Run the Jewels, DJ Snake and The Night Terrors of 1927. To me what makes a music festival great is the diverse acts that bring it together. Coachella manages to bring artists who are on the top of the charts such as The Weeknd or Hozier while also promoting smaller acts that people might not be as familiar as such as The Orwells. This year I was not only excited to see most of the headliners and bigger names like Lykke Li but to also discover new music such as Tycho.

Fashion and Coachella are now synonymous with each other. Each year major retailers and brands create festival lines for young women to wear to Coachella to Outside Lands, Bonnaroo and all that’s in between. At Coachella you’ll be sure to find Flash Tats, Big floppy hats, and a plethora of crop tops. This year I went with clothes that were lightweight and bohemian. This year I rocked different patterned shorts that were easy to move in and sit down in and standard black leather booties from Sam Edelman to protect my feet from the elements and from people stepping all over my toes.  As much as I really wanted to wear a fun romper I decided against it because I didn’t want to have to completely undress when I went to the bathroom. All of these slightly less enticing aspects must be considered when packing your bags for the festival.

I’m not sure how other years have been but this year I was completely blown away by the food selection at Coachella. They had the typical festival fare such as burritos, chicken tenders and gyros but also brought in fan favorites such as Kogi Korean BBQ, The Grilled Cheese Truck, and Eureka!. While cooling off with a nice iced cold Heineken is nice Coachella also set up full bars. This is no longer your parent’s grungy music festival but brings all the comforts of the city to a desert oasis.
The first day I walked into Coachella it was definitely sensory overload. But by the time I left I had the time of my life and plan to return for the following years.