Wednesday Wants: Embroidered Clothing

Wednesday Wants: Embroidered Clothes
It’s time to get my stitch on. On a scale of 1-10 of craftiness, I’d safely same that I’m at a 4. I know how to use a hot glue gun (and skillfully), but I never had the patience for anything that required yarn or thread. Everyone’s pulled out their needle and thread for spring’s biggest trend—embroidery from head to toe. Here are my favorite picks for this stitched (and seriously pretty) trend, from top left to bottom right. 

  • Sam Edelman clutch: I. Love. Clutches. Apply your best Oprah voice when you say that in your head—because that’s exactly how I feel. I’m fully prepared to have orinthologists fawn over this bag. 
  • Madewell embroidered jeans: I can’t keep orchids alive, but at least I can wear them, with no water or sunlight required. I’m fully supportive of a denim-on-denim look with these jeans. 
  • ‘La vie’ military jacket by Rebecca Taylor: if you see me regularly, you know that there’s a 75% chance that I’ll be wearing a cargo jacket. A sweet, floral accent seems like the perfect spring update for this personal staple. 
  • Topshop skinny jeans: I need a new night-out rotation. Im digging the thought of embroidered skinny jeans and a black cold shoulder top, especially as warmer weather starts to really sit in. 
  • Gap button-up: No one can go wrong with a blue button-up. I’d dress this one down with boyfriend jeans and flat slip-ons. 
  • Guitar strap by Rebecca Minkoff: I don’t know how to “shred” anything other than old checks, but I will wear this as a bag strap. 
  • Zara embroidered jeans: These babies are sold out already, but tune keep tuning into Zara to check back for more. 
  • ‘Reena’sandals by Topshop: Kill two trends with one shoe. Lace yourself up in these embroidered sandals, then head out the door. 

Korean Meatball Calzones

Alright, this was supposed to be a vacation-inspired recipe, but I couldn’t bring myself to cook something that brought back too many memories of a vacation, especially when I’m hardcore craving an exotic destination. Instead, I thought back to the days of summer vacation back when I was in college and waiting for the new school year to start. When it comes to meals in college, I can separate them into two buckets. Pizza and Korean food. How I kept my weight under 115 those years is something I’ll always be amazed by.

The summer before my sophomore year started, I moved into my very first apartment with three other roommates. While they were at summer school and while I was waiting for the year to get going, I would walk to Albertson’s across the street, pick up a frozen pizza and nosh on it for the rest of the week. Fast forward to senior year when I finally knew how to make somewhat real, pizzas were reserved for late night eats while Korean tofu was the norm.

When you grow up in a biracial family, you can have pasta for dinner one night and bulgogi the next night. So this Korean Meatball Calzone, had I known how to make one, would have been the summer vacation college meal of my dreams.

Korean Meatball Calzones
Ingredients

3/4 lb. ground pork (leaner than ground beef!)
1/2 cup of panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup of gochujang, Korean red pepper paste
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. cracked black pepper
3 cloves garlic
1/4 green onions, bias-cut (cut at an angle)
1 tbsp. freshly ground ginger
2 eggs (we had a double yolk egg!)
1 lb. pizza dough (you can get gluten free!)

Pizza sauce
Your choice of cheese (we used mozzarella and smoked gouda)
Fresh pepperoni (from your local butcher)
Yellow onions (diced)
Black olives (sliced)
Padron peppers or any other hot pepper, sliced

1. In a non-reactive bowl, combine your pork, breadcrumbs, gochujang, sea salt, black pepper, garlic, green onions, ginger and one egg. Delicately mix with a spoon (or your hands!). Roll into small, 1/2 inch spheres or cylinders.

2. Heat a heavy-bottomed pan on medium heat and place your Korean meatballs in. Lightly brown the meatballs on all sides.

3. Meanwhile, let your pizza dough rest and reach room temperature. Flour a flat surface (countertop or large cutting board) and roll your dough until flat and as thick as a hardcover book flap.

4. Once your pizza dough is rolled flat, it’s time to stuff your Calzones. Layer on your stuffing on one side, then fold the dough over and push the edges together. Crack and stir the other egg together to create an egg wash, then coat the folds of your Calzones.

5. If you’re lucky enough to have a grill and a pizza oven, heat your grill on high and cook your Calzones until lightly golden-brown. If you have an oven, heat it to 350 degrees, then cook for 10-15 minutes, also until golden brown. Enjoy!

P.s. I’m not a registered dietician, but I do cook with fresh and local ingredients. This post was created as part of the Recipe Redux series. 

Ahi Poke Bowl

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Remember when I mentioned that I wanted to go on a warm, island vacation? If you’re wondering, I still haven’t gone on that dreamy vacation, but that dream is still very much alive. So much so, that I funneled my pipe dreams into making the perfect poke bowl to remind me of my island vacations in years past. This ahi poke bowl recipe was created in tandem with my mother over Facetime, so it’s a little bit of the both of us in one dish.

The key to delicious poke is fresh, sashimi grade fish. This means heading to a local fish market or asking the fish counter at your homebase grocery store for the freshest catch of the day. Salmon would hold up to this recipe just fine! Another rule of thumb: Always go for wild, locally caught fish, never farm raised.

Ahi Poke Bowl
Ingredients

1/2 pound ahi tuna
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 clove of garlic, grated
2 1/2 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 1/2 tbsp. Sambal Oelek (spicy chili and garlic paste)
1 tbsp. black sesame seeds
1 stalk green onion, sliced into small rings (optional)
1 cup white rice
2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar

1. Slice your tuna into small, quarter inch cubes and set aside. Begin to cook your rice, either with a rice cooker or a pot of boiling water. If you’re using the pot method, bring one cup of rice with 1 1/2 cup of water to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, simmer for 20 minutes until fully cooked and fluffy.

2. In a separate bowl, stir the soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, shallots, ginger, Sambal Oelek and 3/4 of the sesame seeds together. Gradually mix in the cubed tuna. Allow the fish to marinate in the fridge for at least 20-30 minutes.

3. Once your rice has cooked, mix in the rice wine vinegar and the remaining portion of black sesame seeds together.

4. To assemble your poke bowl, layer the ahi over your sushi rice, then top with the green onion, fresh avodado, pickled ginger, cucumbers or whatever else you’re craving. Enjoy!

Pickled Radishes

Another Monday has rolled around and to top it off, it’s already the end of March and my 2016 goals are still mostly unaccomplished. But, I have had an extra spring in my step now that the sun has been staying out for an extra hour and a half. These pickled radishes were the first thing I made with my extra sunlight, not that it was a key ingredient in any of this. It was just really, really nice to not feel like I had to crawl into bed within the next 20 minutes.

These pickled radishes are perfectly crunchy, savory and just a little sweet with the addition of sugar. Add more jalapenos if you’re craving more heat. If jalapenos aren’t cutting it, try to mix it up with different types of peppers!

Pickled Radishes
Ingredients
1 bunch of radishes, washed and de-stemmed
2 tsp. black peppercorns
4 cloves garlic
1 cup water
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. cane sugar
1 jalapeno, sliced

1. Bring the water and the vinegar to a boil. Once the water and vinegar reach a boil, remove from heat and stir in the peppercorns, garlic and sugar. Keep stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

2. Wash the radishes thoroughly and remove the stems. It’s up to your here, you can slice the radishes thinly, or leave them whole.

3. Once the radishes are ready to be pickled, place them in a sanitized glass jar and pour the pickle liquid mixture over the radishes. Allow the radishes to cool for an hour, then refrigerate for an hour. Serve with sandwiches, eggs, or salads and enjoy!

Beer, Buttermilk, and Panko Fried Fish

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Spring has finally sprung but it’s still a little grey in the Bay. Luckily, I was able to avoid the gloom with a quick weekend trip back home and mannnnnn, it was nice.

With the sun shining in all of its SoCal glory, the family decided on a fried fish dinner with fresh Alaskan Cod. For more crunch and less flour, we mixed in Panko bread crumbs and tried out a buttermilk and beer batter which turned out to be the perfect marinade for a juicy, yet crunchy set of fried fish strips.

Beer, Buttermilk, and Panko Fried Fish
Ingredients

1 pound of white fish like Alaskan Cod, Rockfish or Tilapia
1 12 oz. dark beer
1/2 cup buttermilk
1.5 cup flour
2 cups Panko
1/2 tbsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cracked black pepper
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
Vegetable oil

1. In a heavy-bottomed pot (dutch ovens are perfect), heat 2 inches of vegetable oil until it reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In a large, glass bowl combine the beer, buttermilk, and cilantro leaves together. Slice your fish into 2-inch wide strips and marinate the fish for 30 minutes at room temperature.

3. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, panko, cayenne, salt, and pepper together. Working one at a time, take a fish strip from the liquid marinade, dredge in the Panko and flour mix and gently drop into your hot oil.

4. Fry your fish until golden-brown. Allow fish to cool and de-grease on a wire rack once fried to perfection. Enjoy!

Lemon Meringue Pots de Creme

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A few weekends ago, I had nearly a dozen lemons in my refrigerator, a fresh dozen of eggs and more than enough time on my hands. As a longtime fan of lemon bars but not enough space in my countertop oven, it was unilaterally decided that I’d make Lemon Meringue Pots de Creme. A weekend well spent (in my world) is one with Ru Paul’s Drag Race playing in the background while zesting lemon after lemon. Seriously, you should try it sometime.

Lemon Meringue Pots de Creme 
Ingredients

Graham Cracker Crust
1 1/2 cups of crushed honey graham crackers (around 9-10 crackers)
7 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup brown sugar

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1. Crush your whole graham crackers into crumbs with a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor in your arsenal, just stuff the graham crackers in a Ziploc bag, leave a little portion of the bag unzipped and crush until your heart’s content.

2. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, butter and graham crackers together.

Lemon Meringue
3 eggs, separated
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. flour
1 cup water
3 tbsp. lemon zest
6 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

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1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In each of your baking containers, compact 1/4 inch of graham cracker crust to the bottom of each cup with your fingers or fist.

2. Pop your compacted crust into the oven and bake for 10 minutes. This will prevent your crusts from getting soggy when your pour in your custard.

3. Meanwhile, whisk your egg yolks in a medium bowl until smooth. Set a non-reactive pan on medium heat and whisk 3/4 cup of the sugar, cornstarch, flour, water, lemon zest and lemon juice together and bring to a boil. Be sure to whisk vigorously to prevent clumps from forming and once it reaches a boil, bring down to a simmer.

4. Whisk a small amount of your warm custard into your medium bowl of egg yolks to temper the mixture. Pour your egg yolks into the pan, along with the butter. Whisk constantly until all of the ingredients are combined and the consistency resembles pudding. Remove from heat and spoon into your baking cups.

5. In a separate bowl, combine your egg whites, vanilla extract and 1/4 cup of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. If you’re in need of a workout, you can use a whisk, but an electric mixture will make this part light years easier.

6. Top each pot of custard with 1 inch of meringue. Swirl the top with a spatula before placing into the oven. Bake these for 10 to 12 minutes or until the tops of the meringue are golden brown. Cool for at least 45 minutes before eating. Enjoy!

 

Sqirl-Inspired Pesto Chicken Rice Bowl

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My diet as of late has been unhealthy, gluttonous and full of processed ingredients. I needed something fresh, or at least close to it. Although I’ve never been lucky enough to stop by Sqirl, I’ve seen many-a-photos of this LA gem which was founded by Jessica Koslow back in 2012. Those rice bowls topped with fuschia watermelon radish have always made my mouth water, even when I’m one of the least health-conscious individuals in Berkeley. Give me my In n’ Out at least once a month. But alas, it was time to put something a little greener into my tummy. With some basil stocked in the fridge, fresh eggs straight from the farmers market and grilled chicken, I went to town with my interpretation of Kaslow’s picture perfect bowls.

Sqirl-Inspired Pesto Chicken Rice Bowl
Ingredients

Pesto
3 cups basil
4 garlic cloves
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Cracked black pepper

1. Mix all of the pesto ingredients into a food processor and pulse until combined. Taste frequently and feel free to add or reduce any ingredients as you see fit!

Rice Bowl
2 cups brown rice
1 egg
1 chicken breast
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup diced red onion
Dash of white vinegar

1. Cook the rice in a rice cooker or pot of boiling water (30-45 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally). Meanwhile, cook your chicken with a bit of olive oil on a grill-top pan, you’ll want those delicious, browned bits.

2. Once your rice is done cooking, place it in a bowl to cool. Stir and fluff before you allow it to rest for a while.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the lemon juice, diced red onions and pesto.

4. Bring a pot of water at least 2 inches deep to a boil and pour in a dash of vinegar. Stir vigorously until you’ve created a mini vortex, then drop in your egg. Boil for 3 minutes.

5. It’s time to get to work! Dice the chicken and combine with your cooled rice and pesto, lemon, onion mix. Top with your poached egg, sprinkle with a dash of freshly cracked black pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Enjoy!

Spicy and Creamy Tomato Pasta Sauce

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I don’t usually crave pasta, but when I do, it’s on. Once the thought of pasta creeps in, I will gladly eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. Wow. I sound really unhealthy. This recipe was created out of a craving for something warm, a touch on the heavy side, and just a tad spicy. The fire roasted tomato sauce adds a great kick that’s not too-hot-to-handle. Looking for something even hotter? Add in a couple of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to your blend for a scorching kick.

Spicy and Creamy Tomato Pasta Sauce
Ingredients

1 15 oz. tomato sauce
1 15 oz. fire roasted tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, diced
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. crushed black pepper
1 tsp. sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup grated parmesan

1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter and olive oil with the onions and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant.

2. Combine the tomato sauce and fire roasted tomatoes into the saucepan along with the oregano, salt, pepper and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then back down to a simmer. Simmer for 20-30 minutes while stirring occasionally.

3. Once the sauce has simmered, blend until smooth with an immersion or heatproof blender. Blend in small batches and gradually add in the heavy cream.

4. Top with grated parmesan and some chopped basil leaves. Enjoy!

Soft Scrambled Eggs

_2180078.jpgHonestly, my favorite thing to do every morning is to make soft scrambled eggs while listening to “Jumpman” by Drake and Future while replacing the lyrics with “BREAKFAST, BREAKFAST, BREAKFAST.” Sorry, roommate and neighbors. Sadly, I can’t claim that making soft scrambled eggs will reduce your waistline since they’re filled with a hefty tablespoon of butter. But we only have one life to live, you know?

Soft Scrambled Eggs
Ingredients
2 large eggs
1 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. salt
Chili powder

1. Heat a small, non-stick pan over low heat and melt the butter.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk your eggs and salt until completely combined.

3. Once your butter has melted, pour in your eggs. You can not let these sizzle! Stir gently until your eggs are the same consistency as cottage cheese (I know, not the most delectable texture).

4. Remove your eggs from the pan and serve with toast – with more butter! Sprinkle with chili powder for added heat. Enjoy!