Category Archives: sides

Pea Pesto Crostini

I dunno if you guys are as bad as me, but I’m going to guess you are since you’re reading this. But blogs are addicting. Like, really, really addicting. It’s hard to do real work. I get so sidetracked. You know what has made it even worse? Pinterest. Ugh. It’s the bane of my existence, seriously. There are so many pretty pictures! I click them all. And then I’m stuck on these dang blogs that are captivating for whatever crazy reason and I can’t. stop. reading.

So this pesto. I found it on a blog. Cupcakes and Cashmere, you heard of it? If you don’t want to become obsessed, I’m warning you now, don’t click on the link. It’ll suck you in. You won’t be able to stop. People, I don’t even give a flip about fashion and I can’t. stop. reading. And I think part of it is that every once in awhile, (and let’s face it, when you’re stalking food blogs which is what I normally stalk.. it’s more than just once in awhile.) you come across something like this pea pesto. And you try it because, well, why the heck not you always have frozen peas in the freezer and you really don’t know what to do with them otherwise, and then you love it. And you know why you obsess over these things we call blogs. Because they’re awesome. They are a source of inspiration and a way to escape from your desk job and make yourself drool over fabulous looking food, and then maybe even go home and try it. Because hey, if they can do it, so can I, right? right.

So let’s try this. Let’s try this pea pesto together. Tell me what you think. I think you’re gonna like it.

*ps. I originally wrote this post for the Magic Bullet Blog. Check it out here!*

Pea Pesto Crostini (found on Cupcakes and Cashmere; recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentis of Food Network)

Ingredients

  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas, defrosted
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • A loaf or two of crusty bread; a baguette works best here, but you could really use any kind of crusty bread.
  • olive oil for brushing
  • A handful of cherry or grape (or other small) tomatoes; sliced into chunks
Procedure
  1. In a blender or food processor, blend together peas, parmesean, salt, pepper, and 1/3 cup olive oil until smooth. Boom. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary (this will depend on how salty your cheese is).  Set aside.
  2. Cut your crusty bread into slices; about 1/2 inch or so thick, maybe a little less. Brush on both sides with olive oil and grill or toast under the broiler on both sides. (if you do it under the broiler, watch them carefully! those suckers burn quick!)
  3. Spread your toast slices with a hefty portion of the pea pesto, top with a slice of tomato and dig right in there! You should probably share, but I won’t judge you if you eat two or three before you bring the plate around..
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Zongzi: A Recipe in Pictures

So. I promised you some real Chinese food and here it is! This is a snacky-type-thing called zongzi (pronounced dzong-zuh..kind of..my pronunciation is horrible), and  they are basically sticky rice and some kind of filling wrapped up in reed leaves and boiled. They are tastier than that description might sound. Zongzi is traditionally eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival which just so happens to be occuring the weekend after next. So you can make these and have your own little celebration at home! You can make them salty (usually with some kind of pork inside) or sweet (with red beans, or corn or nuts or whatever you like, really).

They are not at all difficult, but there is a certain technique to it, and they are rather time consuming. But I say, grab some friends, a bottle of wine (or disgustingly strong rice wine in our case.. mixed with orange juice because we’re classy like that..) and you’ll be amazed how fast it goes! These are one of my favorite things I’ve eaten so far in China, and I can’t wait to try all kinds of different combinations when I get home. Whoo!

our resident zongzi experts..

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Superbowl Snacks: Pizza Pockets

This Sunday marks the end of the great season we know as Football. Many of you might be awfully broken up about it. But this year I’m not for three reasons. 1. the Chargers failed so hard this year I want to pretend it never happened. 2. I just plain hate the Patriots and the NYGiants aren’t much better. Not-so-super-bowl in my book this year. and 3. UH baseball starts soon. Whoo!

   

   

But, regardless of how I wish both teams could just lose this year, I’m still going to watch and I’m still going to yell and shout and drink a bunch of beer and eat a bunch of food. We actually got invited to someone else’s house for the superbowl this year (which is kind of a big deal for us..), so I’m really excited to bring over some snacks. The first of which will be these pizza pockets.

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Happy New Year: Spring Rolls


I must preface this post by letting you all know, I am not a professional spring roll -roller. Never have I made spring rolls before. Now, I have eaten plenty, that’s for sure. But never tried to make them myself. So I figured what better time to make Chinese Spring Rolls (also known as egg rolls) than Chinese New Year! And boy, do I sure wish I had made these sooner. 

Truth be told, they weren’t even hard to make. In fact, I might even call them downright easy. Well, sure some of mine looked like they had been squashed, or sat on, or just wilted, but I mean they tasted fine. And I think that Brett has found his calling, because his rolls were just so..rolly. Seriously all of the nice looking ones were ones he rolled. They do take a little bit of time to make, but not as much as I thought. We made Gyoza one time and those were much more difficult, so I was pleasantly surprised by these spring rolls. The best part is, the recipe makes a whole bunch and you can just freeze them up and then have spring rolls anytime you want! yessss.. Continue reading

Bittermelon Salad.

“Huh? What the heck is bittermelon?” I know that was the first thing that popped through at least 90% of your minds when you saw this. Don’t feel bad about it. Bittermelon is a very strange creature and its no wonder you’ve never heard of it. Half the chefs on Food Network’s “Chopped” the other day hadn’t either! And they’re professionals. I hadn’t ever heard of it until last year around this time when we spotted some at the farmer’s market and B nearly jumped for joy as he placed it in our already-overflowing bag. Don’t worry… I was just as confused as you. Probably even more confused, as I could see the thing. Check it out:

Weird, huh? Yeah, I know. But don’t let the alien-fruit-vegetable-looking-thing and the name (melon.. yum.. but bitter?..ew..) scare you! It’s actually not half bad! Well… it is a little weird. But if you happen to see bittermelon at the farmer’s market next time you’re there… pick it up! Try it! This recipe actually tastes kind of delicious once it’s all together.

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steak and fries done right

Yesterday… was my first day of real bootcamp. Ok not like, army real bootcamp or anything. But fitness bootcamp nonetheless. And once again, I could have died. But you know what the worst part is? It’s not the fact that I can’t breathe for the whole hour, not the fact that I’m sore for days afterwards, not the fact that I have so little muscle in my arms I can’t do a single pull-up… no. The worst part is the fact that the little tiny adorable lady who is running the bootcamp is so freakin adorable. she’s tiny and cute and smiley and way too perky and way NOT sweaty enough and she does it all with you!! what’s that about! I don’t want to be told “c’mon guys! push yourselves! you can do it!” by someone who looks like that when I’m sitting there, tomato red in the face, literally sweating buckets, breathing as raggedly as if I was a 40-year smoker and wondering what would happen to me if I fell right off those pull-up bars.

Its brutal.

But the BEST part of working out intensely? I get to eat whatever I want afterwards! That is how it works, right? work out a little bit… eat a bunch…work out a bunch… eat even more? Well that’s how it’s gonna have to work for me, anyway.

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