When you have leftover Kale...

Sizzlers! Since I've been trying extra hard to be good and cook at home every night, I bring you a new recipe. I know I've been gung ho about squash, but tis the season!

After the last squash recipe, I had some leftover kale and decided to use it or lose it. 

Butternut Squash with Lacinto Kale and Almond/Walnut Parmesan

WHAT YOU NEED:

1 bunch Lacinto Kale

1/4 cup slivered or roughly chopped raw almonds

1/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts

1 TB Olive oil

2 large cloves garlic, minced finely

1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

1 Butternut squash

THIS IS HOW WE DOOOO IT:

-Preheat your oven and roast your squash at 375 for about 30-45 minutes until tender, then set it aside to cool. Some prefer to roast the squash and then peel and cube, others peel and cube raw, then roast already cubed. I'll let you make the call. 

-In a pan, saute your garlic until fragrant, add your parsley, give it a nice little toss around with the garlic 

-Mix your almonds and walnuts with olive oil and salt, toss to coat

-Add your nut blend to the garlic/parsley to give the nuts a toast

-When you're satisfied with the toastiness of the nuts, add the kale, allow it to turn bright green, then add the squash. Toss the mixture together lightly, lower the heat and you're ready to rock!

-Serve the dish with a sprinkle of Grana Padano or Parmesan. You won't be disappointed. 

butternut kale

And there you have it. Delightful, easy, healthy and perfect for a chilly fall night. 

Lots of restaurant reviews coming up for you! For now, take it easy and Happy Thursday!


Chimi...changa? No. Chimichurri.

Hola amigos. I leave tomorrow. tomorrow. I can't even.

This week is recipe heavy, but I need to leave y'all with some stuff to do! I'll be posting from my trip, but recipes are always fun to try out. I love tweaking them to my personal taste and making them special just for moi. Try it out, lemme know, just don't burn the house down. 

So we all know I ain't scared of red meat. I've been making steak on Sundays lately since I love waking up early, having a delightful breakfast, and taking my sweet sweet time at the grocery store. 

For this particular meal, I wanted a juicy steak and some veggies. I decided on lemon parmesan roasted zucchini and opted to make a super zesty chimichurri sauce that I was literally licking from a spoon. 

To make your steak, please reference my Meathead Friday post. 

Now that you're a steak samurai, we can get on with it. 

CHIMICHURRI SAUCE:

I love this stuff so much. It's garlicky, zesty, a little spicy and I love how GREEN it is. You can put it on roasted veggies, chicken, salmon, spoon it into your mouth; I won't judge. I did it.

WHAT YOU NEED:

-3 fresh garlic cloves

-1 bunch flat leaf parsley, stems removed

-1 bunch cilantro, stems removed

-1/2 cup red wine vinegar

-1 shallot, roughly chopped

-1 jalapeño, dice and remove vein and seeds

-1 pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

-3/4 cup of good olive oil

-1 tsp salt. I'm a snob and use celtic sea salt, I also prefer Maldon salt to regular 'ole NACL (table salt for those of you who slept through Chemistry class).

WHAT YOU DO:

- You have two options here. If you're in a hurry, go for option 1. If you have time, go for 2. 

OPTION 1: Combine all ingredients, give it a quick swizzle, and let sit for 20 minutes. 

OPTION 2: Combine all ingredients in a food processor (I use my Nutribullet) and give it a swirl. It should be smooth. 

-If you went with option 1, do option 2 after the 20 minute infusion period. 

AND YOU'RE DONE. Taste it, add whatever you think may be missing. Some like to add more heat, you might need a bit more acid by way of more vinegar, or more salt. Whatever tickles your pickle. 

For the zucchini:

- 3 whole zucchini, scrubbed and chopped into matchsticks. You can slice in rounds if you feel like it. 

-Preheat oven to 350

-Juice of 1 lemon

-1 tsp salt

-1 tb olive oil

Mix liquids together and add in zucchini to coat with the mixture. Once they are well coated, spread them on your baking sheet and pop in the oven. After about 12 minutes, once you can tell they're cooked through, sprinkle with parmesan/pecorino/hard cheese of your heart's desire and broil for about 2 minutes to melt and brown the cheese. 

VOILA. #NOMCITY. 

I hope y'all love these and try them out for yourselves! Let me know! It's always so lovely to hear from y'all in the comments. 

Aloha for now, I'm off to the island but will be back next week! 


No, You Can't Read My Poker Face.

Bonjour! I hope San Diego part 1 was satisfying to your soul, but if it left you wanting more, then more you shall receive. We really had such a blast in SD, and I was reminded that there are actually parts of the world where cool, arid temperatures reign, and hair does not fall victim to humidity and constant rainstorms (ahem, Houston). Nevertheless, aside from the incredible weather, we packed in a lot of adventuring during our short stay. 

Our group rented a quaint little beach house in Mission Beach. The morning after our steak smorgasbord, MainSqueeze and I ventured out for some breakfast and bicycling. I can honestly say this was one of my favorite days ever. 

We started out walking to breakfast at The Swell Cafe. I was craving something sweet, and MainSqueeze is a fan of Mexican style eggs, so he went the savory route. We sipped on delicious vanilla lattes as we waited on our food. I'm no stranger to a latte, and these were superb, I liked them a ....latte. (I had to. I just had to). 

#nomcity

#nomcity

Strawberry Banana waffle. Yes please. 

Strawberry Banana waffle. Yes please. 

Cali Scramble

Cali Scramble

Now that we had sufficiently re-fueled, we were ready to cycle. We rented some rad cruisers at a local shop and started our day. I haven't ridden on a fixed gear bike since fannypacks were in style, so I had a minor incident on the road which involved me not braking in time, jumping off the bike and darn near zooming into traffic. Phew. Crisis averted. 

Once I got the hang of it, we biked up the coast, all the way up to La Jolla. We stopped to look at the amazing views and walked down to some tide pools where I was delighted to see tiny little crabs scuttling around. 

amazing.

amazing.

La Jolla should maybe sometimes be called La Hilla, because those hills had our legs screaming on the bikes. We parked it in a little cove and ran into a local "brah" and asked if he had any recommendations on where to whet our whistles. We ended up ducking into a surf shack type spot and ordered some refreshing cocktails. 30 minutes later, we were playing poker. You just never know what to expect around us!

The luck of the draw...

The luck of the draw...

By this time, we had worked up an appetite, so we zoomed across the street to this amazingly awesome spot that also doubles as a catering company, The Promiscuous Fork. We split an appetizer of lamb lollipops and went on our merry way in search of our next adventure. 

We ended up at a beach side bar, dancing and then once again attempting the lift move from Dirty Dancing. It went really well, and ended in hilarity as I fell on the concrete and dissolved into peals of laughter. Needless to say, we had not a care in the world, and we were loving life. 

Our final days in SD were spent cycling, sunning, watching MainSqueeze and #Guau get housed by the waves and we threw in a couple more delectable nomz. 

Breakfast at   The  Mission.  

Breakfast at The  Mission. 

I'll spare more "you had to be there" stories. But the following images will speak for themselves. We had a lovely girl's lunch at La Valencia Hotel while the boys golfed at Torrey Pines, sunset cocktails at George's at the Cove, and a splendid afternoon at Neptune Beach. 

Lobster Bisque at La Valencia

Lobster Bisque at La Valencia

Lunch at La Valencia...with a view!

Lunch at La Valencia...with a view!

Cocktails at George's on the Cove

Cocktails at George's on the Cove

Hamachi Sashimi at George's on the Cove

Hamachi Sashimi at George's on the Cove

Neptune Beach, La Jolla

Neptune Beach, La Jolla

And there you have it amigos. Our San Diego trip in a nutshell. We had a blast, everyone finished the race, we ate ourselves silly and had adventures I'll never forget. 

I actually almost went to college in San Diego but my instincts told me I'd flunk out, become a surfer queen and maybe not have a job. SO I went to Nashville. A decision I'll never ever ever regret! 

Next on TheSizzle, recipes, TV interviews, doggie bags and more! Happy Hump Day!


Meathead Friday

Feliz Friday folks! It's actually here, and it's not longer "Thriday" (someone asked me if it was "thigh-day"..soo Thriday isn't going to happen anymore.)

For starters, Meathead Friday is not necessarily going to be an ongoing "thing" but I figured I'd give it a shot.

¿Qué es Meathead Friday? You might be asking...Well my friends, it's a bit of a one two punch. First we shall discuss fitness, then we move on to how to undo all the fitness....FOOD.

Sidenote: My amiga Kelsey over at Foodie Photo Blog and I ran out from work for a quick #nom on Thursday and came up with the term...#nomaste. like namaste but..not. Cheesy, yes? Did we get a kick out of it? Obviously. And that's what matters. Frequent and hearty laughter is the answer.

 As you may/may not know, I'm gearing up to run a 1/2 marathon in San Diego this June. So I've been running a lot (duh) and have peppered in a few "Tabatas". Tabatas are also known as "15 minutes of constant muscle burning". But I LOVE them. Sometimes you feel like you might die, but you always want to hug your sweaty self after you're done. I noticed an increase in strength and muscle tone after a couple weeks. I also pair these with the iPhone app "Nike Training". You can build and customize workouts and they also make me feel a little bit like fainting, but in the healthiest way possible. Below you will see the Tabata link that someone showed me, and then I'll include a Nike link. See? This way you can be fit and eat all the foods. 

Here's the NIKE LINK.

Now. Onto the foods. I love red meat. I eat it very sparingly as I used to not be able to eat it at all, so I have to eat it in moderation. That being said, every once in a while, all I want is a delicious, juicy, well crusted and seared STEAK. 

Back in the old days when I was just a fledgling cook, my idea of cooking a steak was handing it to my Daddy and watching the magic happen on the grill. NOW, after some total meat fails, I have tweaked and perfected my method. I don't think it's "unique"  by any means, but it's amazing. 

MEAT RULES:

1.) Find a sexy steak at your butcher. I usually go with a NY Strip. Hug it, take it home. 

2.) Let the steak sit out till it's room temp, pat it dry with some paper towels and SALT that thang like you've never salted before. Cracked pepper too if that's what you like to get down with. 

3.) Heat your skillet. I mean HOT. Preheat your oven to 350.

4.) Do not be afraid of smoke. Maybe you should turn off your smoke alarm and open a door/window. Serious. 

5.) Slap your dry steak onto the skillet and enjoy the sizzle. Now, I'm a firm believer in the medium rare/rare move. So I usually go 2-3 minutes each side. Once both sides have seared and cooked for the desired amount of time, put a large pat of (gasp!) BUTTER on top of the steak and pop it into the oven. 

6.) Baste. Baste like you've never basted. Take a spoon and baste your steak with the melted butter for about 3-4 minutes. Now take it out, and let it rest another 4-5 minutes. 

7.) My favorite method is to slice up the steak and serve with a nice pretty salad or some hearty mashed potatoes. VOILA.

hi you.

hi you.

And there you have it amigos, 'Meathead Friday'. Lemme know what you think! 


Spring.Sprang.Sprung.Sp...aghetti.

You've already learned that I like the foods. Now I get to show you my food love. 

I made this dish a while back; it reminds me so much of Springtime, even though Houston has most recently been like "sauna time" or "I can't even decide what climate I want to emulate" time. 

That being said: I give you linguine con crema di basilico e parmiggiano reggiano. Say whaaaa? I just spoke Italian to you. #Nomcity.

oh yes.

oh yes.

If pasta is your "thang", then look no further. And here's how it's done folks:

INGREDIENTS:

-Some fiiiiine linguini. If you go outta the box, that's cool, but if you use something fresh (ahem Central Market has fresh hand-made pastas) then you'll notice a significant taste 'bump'. 

-2 Bunches 'so fresh and so cleanclean' Basil.

-1 Carton heavy whipping cream. (um yeah, you thought this was going to be 'skinny'? Get outta here)

- 2 or 3 cloves fresh garlic (See?! This recipe is vampire proof too. I'm always lookin' out for ya)

-1 Plastic box thingie (the smaller one) of Gran Padano cheese. You can sub fresh grated parmesan or reggiano but TRYYYYY not to use Kraft powdery stuff, k? 

PROCEDURE/SCIENTIFIC METHOD/THIS IS HOW WE DOOOO IT (to be sung to the melody of Montell Jordan's song, because duh). 

-Separate your cream into halves, and put half in a saucepan and start to simmer. NOT boil. You don't want it to clot or break, because then you're in trouble and I can't save you. 

-While the water for your pasta is getting hot, put your garlic, and basil leaves into the food processor. Add a drizzle of olive oil (a LIGHT drizzle, just enough to make a 'paste' of your garlic and basil). 

-Cook your pasta, I do it a little al dente style because it's mo' bettah. 

-Add the cream that was NOT in the pan to your food processor 'paste'. Let it blend and become smooth (operator).

-THEN. Add your basil/garlic/cream concoction to the simmering cream in the pan. Make sure you slowly incorporate it in, and here is where you can add your salt/fresh cracked pepper to taste. 

-Add a robust (love that word) handful of your cheese to the sauce, and stir stir stir. 

-Once the sauce is BARELY bubbling, you're good to go. (HINT: If your sauce become TOO thick, add a tablespoon at a time of your pasta water till you reach the perfect saucy consistency)

-Pour the sauce over whatever amount of pasta you choose to eat, sprinkle the remainder of the cheese on top, and VOILA. You can even be super fancy and add a basil leaf for garnish. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you cook, you must have music. (And probably a side glass of wine) Otherwise it tastes bad. It's science. SO head on over to Spotify and make a playlist. I'm a HUGE fan of listening to the Rat Pack and oldies while I cook. It works. Promise. Here's a link to my "Starred" list on Spotify. From there, you can browse around my other lists; #holla.

Actually, I lied. Check out THIS Starred list which looks #weaksauce right now but give me a week and your mind will be blown. #trustme

And now you know. If you make this recipe, let me know what you think!! And as always, feel free to leave your questions, comments, concerns.