Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Totally Intrigued :: Mantry

As I spend yet another night thumbing through Pinterest on my iPhone, I stop dead in my tracks at the sight of this:

Photo found here.
What is it???

man·try noun \ˈmantrēe\
1 : the modern man’s pantry

So I did what any sane person would do. Clicked over to the blog it was originally pinned from, scrolled through the post, ooohed and ahhhed over the contents, then googled the corporate website to place my first order.

Until I saw the hefty price tag. A whopping $75/month. Per month, y'all.

I'm going to make the "responsible adult"decision to wait until I can afford to spend $900 annually on a box of goodies, because God only knows once we start we definitely won't be able to stop.

I have to say though, Ross and I are both thoroughly intrigued by the September box's contents and by what the February box could possibly behold. The possibilities are endless, and I'm anxious to get my fingers on whatever comes next.  

{Oh wait, this is for men? Phshhh. Femantry? I'm on it.}


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Weekend Notes :: 1.27.13

For a weekend that started without plans, it turned it to be pretty spectacular. Words can't describe the joy I feel when I wake up each day to sunny skies and 70° weather, otherwise known as winter in Florida.

Weekend Highlights

Kicking off Saturday morning with a bloody mary at 9am, followed by lots of beer {hey, it's the weekend and it's the beach}
Eating raw oysters, boiled peanuts and beer for lunch
Taking Dexter for a long, aimless walk until we ran out of new paths to take
Bringing chairs and a sweater to the western most end of the beach to watch the sunset {popcorn and more beer in tow}


Friday, January 25, 2013

His + Hers Chef Salad

Ross and I were both raised in the way that if we didn't eat the food made for us then we just weren't going to eat. I choked down many florets of broccoli and seemingly endless mounds of english peas as a result, only to grow to love essentially ever food I've ever come in contact with {yes, including broccoli and english peas}. 

...and so the tradition continues. If I'm in the kitchen and I'm making a salad, guess what? Ross is eating a salad too.  The good news is that we both love salads. Ross loves nothing more than to start every meal with a salad, and I love nothing more than to make a meal out of a salad.

Over time we've come to a consensus on a few make-at-home salads that satisfy both of our salad requirements. My salads must always include avocado {always!} and his must include a substantial amount of protein if meant to keep him full until the next meal. So here's the answer {one of them anyway}, a not-so-classic Chef Salad. {Who doesn't love a Chef Salad?}

His + Hers Chef Salad

1 heart of romaine lettuce, chopped
1 1/2 cups baby spinach, chopped
1 carrot, shredded with a vegetable peeler
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup chopped roasted turkey
2 hard boiled eggs
1 avocado, sliced
1/2 cup mandarin oranges
salt and pepper
balsamic dressing to taste


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ingredient Swap :: Pasta for Spaghetti Squash

I am a pasta fiend. It's truly amazing to me that I have no Italian in my blood, considering how much pasta I'm willing and able to consume when left to my own devices.

I realized long ago that regular ol' pasta wasn't doing anything for my health or my figure, and switched to a whole wheat alternative whenever possible.  This is obviously a great way to sneak whole grains into your favorite dishes, but I've recently dabbled in a nearly carb-free, all natural alternative to carbohydrate heavy pasta dishes: spaghetti squash. 

If you've never cooked spaghetti squash, I'll give you the rundown. You slice it in half, scoop out the seeds and bake it in the oven until tender. When you're ready to eat you just run a fork through the squash and it pulls apart to look like spaghetti or angel hair pasta. 

1 cup Spaghetti Squash "Pasta"
42 calories
10 grams of carbohydrates
2.2 grams of fiber
{bonus: gluten free}

1 cup Pasta
221 calories
42 grams of carbohydrates
2.5 grams of fiber

No, spaghetti squash doesn't actually taste like pasta, but the shape and texture it has beneath a scoop of bolognese sauce mimics that of your every day boxed angel hair.  We all have our favorite spaghetti recipes, so I'll withhold mine and urge you to swap your pasta for spaghetti squash. If you need a basic recipe to follow though, you know Martha Stewart has a recipe for everything.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Sunday Supper :: Pan Seared Cobia

I am a huge proponent for Sunday Supper. Although most people don't consider this a tradition, because it really just happens organically when you have the entire day to make a meal, this has become an end-of-weekend ritual in our tiny household.

This week, I was inspired by this image I came across on Pinterest:

Learn more about this meal here.
I love the rustic feel of this meal, and of course I'm partial to seafood - the bread and butter {aside from tourism} of this once sleepy fishing town I call home.

So off to the seafood market I went to collect the ingredients for our Sunday Supper.  But rather than purchasing Striped Sea Bass {as seen above}, I went with two filets of Cobia - a meaty fish that holds up to the spices and sauces Ross and I were currently craving.

Sunday Supper Menu: 1.20.13


Pair this with Chateau St. Michelle Riesling and you've got yourself a healthy and flavorful meal to kick off the week. 

P.S. I was pleasantly surprised to not end up in a food coma after cleaning my plate, just delightfully full with room for dessert.


Friday, January 18, 2013

Whole Journeys

As you all may know, I absolutely love Whole Foods Market. {I proclaim my love for said company here.} Well, they're spreading their wings into uncharted territory. {For a grocery store, at least.}

Thinking I should purchase this print

Picture this: traveling half way around the world to visit the farm from which your favorite brand of quinoa comes, or cooking an organic meal consisting of fruits and vegetables grown within the confines of the farm you’re camping on that night. Yes. Please and thank you.

Photo from
Whole Journeys provides specialized, multi-day international and domestic trips for small groups. These active adventures will focus on truly engaging guests with local cultures in ‘through-the-back-door’ experiences. Regional cuisines and the culture of food will be key components, as will face-to-face interactions with producers and artisans.” - John Mackey, Co-CEO Whole Foods Market

I truly have a lust for travel. I think about my next vacation constantly, but what I’m really craving is an adventure. I can safely say that I haven’t been camping in a tent since I was 10 years old and that I haven’t traveled with less than a rolling bag and carry on since I back-packed through Europe for a month following my freshman year of college.

Photo found here.
I’m long overdue for adventure. {Although, I’d say my bank account disagrees. Spending $50 on sushi? That’s adventure enough for my checking account.}


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A French Affair

Over the weekend my dear friend Kelly and I had a girls night.

She brought the wine and updated me on her love life while I cooked a simple French meal before heading off to see Les Misérables.

We started with Soupe à l'Oignon and a few glasses of chardonnay, then moved on to our main course, Salade Niçoise.

Emeril's Classic Tuna Niçoise Salad 

{slightly modified for two portions}


1/4 pound red potatoes, scrubbed and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices
1/4 green beans, ends trimmed
2, 1/4 pound pieces of yellowfin tuna loin
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 rosemary sprigs
1 large head romaine or Bibb lettuce, rinsed and patted dry
Anchovy Dressing, recipe follows
1/4 pound Roma plum tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/8 cup halved and seeded kalamata olives
1/8 cup halved and seeded green brine-cured olives
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and sliced

Bring pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes to pot and blanch until tender, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the green beans to the pot and blanch until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Then boil the eggs 10 to 12 minutes and blanch.

Season the tuna steaks liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the rosemary sprigs and tuna steaks and sear, about 30 seconds per side for medium-rare. Remove from the pan and place in the refrigerator to cool.

Toss the potatoes and green beans in the Anchovy Dressing. Peel and slice the eggs then add to mixture along with olives, chopped tomato and sliced red onion. Arrange a bed of lettuce on each plates (or 1 serving platter) then spoon the vegetable mixture atop the lettuce. Garnish with additional herbs if desired and serve immediately.

Anchovy Dressing: 

{Note: There will be extra dressing as I did not modify this portion of the recipe}

1 anchovy fillet, drained
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 large egg*
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons capers, drained and chopped
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

In a medium bowl, mash the anchovy, salt, pepper, and garlic into a paste with the back of a fork. Add the egg and whisk well to blend. Add the lemon juice and mustard, and whisk well. Add the oils in a steady stream, whisking constantly to form a thick emulsion. Add the shallots, capers and Worcestershire, whisk well, and adjust the seasoning, to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.


We skipped dessert entirely, opting to open a second bottle of wine instead.

P.S. Have you seen Les Mis? Jean Valjean has my heart.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Currently Craving :: Avocado Toast

Sure, it's a bit indulgent. All that creamy, high fat goodness spread atop a piece of crunchy toast...

But it's also delicious, loaded with vitamins, minerals, good fats and protein. So why not? Just follow this basic recipe: 1/2 avocado (sliced), 1 piece of toasted sprouted-grain bread, a splash or two of hot sauce and a few shakes of salt and pepper.


Do not put your avocado on white bread {less nutritional value than sprouted grain bread}. Do not drizzle it with olive oil {you really don't need any more fat, even if it's good fat, in this meal}. Do not top it with cheese {this isn't even good fat, save it for a turkey sandwich}. Absolutely do not top with bacon {are you crazy?}.


Friday, January 11, 2013

New Year, New Me?

I rarely, make that never, stick to my New Year's resolutions. {Wait, does anyone? Because knowing someone who can follow through with annual resolutions is someone I need to get to know better.} So you can imagine my anxiety in writing this post for all to see.  I'd love to actually have one, just one, New Year's resolution that comes to fruition. 

Last year I made the mistake of making a resolution to do a certain number of things each day. Here's a glimpse: read 30 minutes each day, start every morning with "me time," etc. You can imagine that in anyone's life that's just not possible because life is always throwing us curve balls. So after a few weeks of rocking and rolling with my resolution, I was thrown a curve ball, broke my routine, and never returned to it. 


So this is the approach I'm taking this year. I'm choosing 3 things in my life that I'd love to improve upon. Things that make me happy but could make me happier, things I love to do but could do more, things that make me a better me and things that are absolutely within reach so I don't fail at this all over again. Who's with me?!


Photo found here.
I'm constantly borrowing photos from fellow bloggers and Pinterest posts because I don't  have the time, correct lighting or proper camera to take blog worthy photos. I'm resolving to learn more about food photography and to make time to take photos of what I cook. I'm constantly in the kitchen, and I love it, it feeds my soul, but I've fallen behind in making it a priority to photograph my creations.  At this point I have an iPhone 5 and a point and shoot camera to work with, so bear with me guys. 
New Year, better photography.


Photo found here.
I've never claimed to be a great writer. In fact, there are so many words and sentence structures that I completely avoid at the risk of making myself look dumb. I'll admit this is entirely my fault. I must have been too busy socializing in high school english and reading spark notes in lieu of a full book to learn the difference between affect and effect, much less the proper use of a semicolon in a sentence.  
New Year, better writing. 


Photo found here.
As you all know, I love my vegetables. But I also have my guilty pleasures {bacon, brie, pasta, ...} and absolutely no work out schedule, an ugly combination. I also happen to live just steps from the Gulf of Mexico, and no one has ever complained about "long walks on the beach," so I'm resolving to spend more time outside {just hoping that physical activity will follow}. I also want to do a one day mini-detox, then commit to a 3-day detox by the end of the year. I may need cheerleaders for this!
New Year, healthier me.


I don't feel like I'm reaching for the stars here, am I? I'm a list maker. I love lists. But do you want to know the funny thing about lists? They help to engrain your written thoughts into your brain. So I rarely look back at said lists because I already know what they say. This is my list of self improvements for 2013. I can feel it guys, it's going to be a great one.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Superfood Season

There are so many things I love about winter.

Layering some of my favorite clothing items to keep warm {and look fabulous}. Making an extra pot of coffee each morning. Long walks with my pup. Sunday matinees, because you wouldn't dare waste a summer Sunday at the movies. Steamed or sautéed greens in lieu of cold, crunchy salads. Red wine. Sipping on green tea all day, every day. 

But most of all? It's superfood season.  You have to take advantage of it!
brussels sprouts
all citrus fruits

Go - no run - to the grocery store to take advantage of the fact that all of these fruits and vegetables should be available to you in heaps.  What's more? Most of these can be grown locally and with ease, so you may get a steal of a deal when you run to buy out the produce department.

I'm loving lists lately, so I'll continue with a list of
amazing superfood recipes:

1. green smoothies {don't love greens? stick 'em in a smoothie}
2. pomegranate-walnut oatmeal {coincidentally part of the food lover's cleanse}
3. white bean stew with swiss chard & tomatoes {sounds perfect with a scoop of brown rice}
4. cauliflower pizza {should definitely try this sooner rather than later}
5. leek and asparagus frittata {I have a thing for frittatas}
6. roasted brussels sprouts with lemon {my love for brussels is clear}
7. raw kale, cabbage and carrot salad {the trifecta of superfoods?}


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Temporarily Uninspired

Pinned here.

The first week of 2013 has been somewhat uninspired.  I've had a bevy of post ideas for the blog that jut haven't come to fruition. I've sat down many times only to type up the idea of the moment, click "save", then leave each to wait patiently in my "drafts" folder until I have a clear vision of the finished product.  In which case, I haven't posted anything at the risk of boring each of you with my own boredom. See what I mean? You're welcome.

Pinned here.

But have no fear, my friends! I've spent many hours thumbing through blogs this week which endlessly inspire; so for now, I'll direct you to them until this spout of blogger's block passes me by:

1. Eat Sleep Cuddle {and her crunchy peanut butter + honey granola}
2. Canelle et Vanille {completely envious of her tasty travels in 2012}
3. Poor Man's Feast {James Beard Award winning blog}
4. Bon Appétit {technically not a blog, but you'll drool over this unique chocolate bark recipe}

Pinned here.

P.S. Who wants to join me on a trip to Colorado for a little inspiration at The Makerie
A girl can dream...

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