Saturday, July 30, 2011

trader joe's does thai

i'm a big fan of thai food, red curry chicken especially. to be honest, i haven't ventured much further into thai cuisine because i love red curry so much (paired with thai iced teas. heaven). i was reading ainsley's entry on trader joe's yellow curry and became so excited at the prospect of cooking my own thai inspired dinner that i took the 15 minute drive to trader joe's that day to get started. i guess it was obvious, but not to me, as i was surprised that they also make red curry sauce (which already uses coconut milk as an ingredient instead of adding it additionally, so i saved a buck). i also modified the recipe and added some chicken as i am carnivorous and i felt my dinner needed some protein. this is kind of how i did it:
peel and slice three small red potatoes, add about 3 oz. shredded carrots (eyeball it, it really just depends on how carrot-y you want your dinner), boil in a pot until cooked

transfer to a large saucepan and pour 1/2 bottle of red curry sauce over the mixture. stir and let simmer on low heat.

if you're feeling adventurous, add pineapple! i mixed about 2 tbsp. crushed pineapple to this for that authentic thai flavor.

it'll look like this!

in a separate pan, cook up some chicken if you want. i bought some thinly sliced chicken cutlets and cut them into smaller bite-sized pieces. once that's ready, pour some more sauce over the chicken to taste. then transfer to the carrot and potato pot.i'm now going to have to apologize for the half-assed job i did photographing this. upcoming entries are going to include real live digital photos, instead of using my iphone/instagram for documentation. but back to the recipe! i served my red curry chicken over trader joe's microwaveable brown rice. serves three, andrew and his mom both told me it was delicious :)
(the rice, for reference. photo from cooking with trader joe's. this stuff comes in handy for almost everything. stays in the freezer and it ready in 3 minutes. convenience!)

this was a delicious, adventurous recipe that i will definitely be making again. i even had some red curry sauce left over and threw it on top of some whole grain couscous and tofu for a quick, healthy dinner tonight. if you try it, i hope you enjoy it!

Monday, July 25, 2011

sapsuckers saturday

for the first time in what felt like forever, i had the weekend off from work, and took full advantage of it with a bunch of friends. on saturday, we drove around and found some out of town garage & estate sales (it still amazes me what iPhone apps can help you do). i picked up some fun stuff, but really i love these trips because i, for some reason, thoroughly enjoy rummaging through people's garbage.
afterward, we headed to centerport to the vanderbilt estate and planetarium! we watched a light show that used songs by the beatles as inspiration and then we roamed around the grounds. the vanderbilt estate is a super interesting place. it's incredible what people used to do with their money. lots of freaky taxidermy and beautiful architecture.

after spending half the day entirely too active for long island's recent heatwave, we were all starving and met up with some more friends in huntington for dinner. with the help of yelp (once again, iPhone to the rescue), we all agreed to try sapsuckers (which was especially exciting for me because new restaurants give me more to do now). it was awesome! thanks yelp!
the menu was short but sweet, with some creative takes on old favorites and a bunch of vegetarian options. sapsuckers is well known for their beer selection also, and half of the restaurant is actually a bar. i decided on some summer blend of dogfish head (the. best. beer.) and the veggie burger,
which was less burger, more chopped spinach and artichoke and mushroom and sheer deliciousness topped with melted cheese and a tomato slice. oh man, it was great.

then, chris had a groupon for a dozen free cookies at a chocolate shop nearby called chip'n dipped. like a good dad (my cell phone service is under his family plan), he let all six of us choose which kind we wanted. i, being me, chose chocolate chip.
and it was yummy, as all cookies should be.

the rest of the night was spent in a swimming pool and in port jefferson eating the frozen goods of our choosing (i went with my tried and true red mango). i slept like a baby well into sunday afternoon.
next entry: cake pops and trader joe's thai!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

soft pretzel video recipe & birdhouse productions

i'm totally going to be making these soon. but can we talk about how awesome videography is? i strongly admire people who are good at it. people like my penpal, natalie. her production company has really taken off within the last year, and although her main focus is wedding and engagement videos (two things i'm nowhere near planning at this juncture), i find myself watching her stuff all the time. if you're planning a wedding, or are looking to document an important event, definitely check out birdhouse productions. here's something really sweet they put together:

and share with me your favorite vimeo's, or instructional videos!

Friday, July 22, 2011


there will be a real post in the near future, but this weekend i'm off from work and today i kicked things off with some friends, that boy, and a swimming pool. and tacos! steak and shrimp tacos!

be back soon :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

another kale recipe and some pretty things

this weekend i made kale chips, thanks to a suggestion by my friend lee ann. the entire process took under a half hour and the outcome was crunchy, salty deliciousness (that's good for you!).

here's how:
preheat your oven to 300°
mix 1 tbsp. into about 6 oz. of washed and dried kale (bite size pieces with the hard stems removed)
the recipe i was given called for sea salt, but now i'm reading up on recipes that involve vinegar and/or herbs and spices. i'll be experimenting more next time, which could very well be tomorrow because kale chips are so easy and fun to make.
spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet. i used wax paper as lining for easier clean-up.
bake for TWENTY MINUTES. not one minute longer, or you'll be using kale flakes to feed your fish.
and there you have it!
i promise, this snack is perfectly legal and will not help music sound any better or treat glaucoma.

here is the adorable funfetti cake that andrew's mama and sister baked for baby giovanna's first birthday. due to unfortunate work scheduling, i was unable to help with the actual baking of this cake (baking is my favorite). however, i shed some creative light (the round cake for the crown to rest on, all me) and my idea was greatly appreciated. they did a great job, this cake was a hit! especially by giovanna.
this is the way any princess should eat her birthday cake.

last night, andrew and i went to our friend max's to hang out with these people,
we ate hot dogs and alcoholic whipped cream. it was cool.

after work today, my sister and i had a coffee & thrift date. today's findings were a brown leather/gold guess watch, a j.crew dress that's going to transition well from summer wardrobe to fall wardrobe, a banana republic cardigan for $1.50!, some slate gray silk shirt, and two really ugly framed needlepoint patterns because i'm a sucker for stuff like that.
the day that i can afford an authentic norman rockwell will be a good one.
finally, after coming home for five minutes, i decided to take the point and shoot camera andrew recently found for me to the flowerfield at the avalon preserve. the field is so beautiful this time of year and it was really nice just to be out walking and clearing my head. maybe i'm a loner, but these are my favorite times. here are some photos i took with my phone, and then that's it i promise!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

matryoshka love / ocean water

these are my new measuring cups. leanne and i are planning our "bro tat" with a matryoshka theme, so then i saw these tonight at target and could not resist.
sonic came to long island recently, so i decided to treat myself after driving out to deer park for a doctor's appointment (went straight from work, which is why i'm in my scrubs, and waited an hour and a half to actually be seen by the doctor who happens to be a family friend. much deserved treat.) i'll probably never go back for the food, but my large ocean water (sprite and blue coconut) made the trip worthwhile.

right now i'm finishing up my order because i need michael showalter's new book. if you have netflix, you should check out the baxter, which is an adorable romantic comedy starring (also written and directed by) michael showalter and my favorite, michelle williams.
hello, next hairstyle. hope everyone has a great upcoming weekend!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

cafe of the day

today, my friend jill and i caught up over an early dinner at our favorite place to eat together, which is feelgoods cafe. jill moved to north carolina after attending school there and we haven't seen each other (or eaten here) in over two years. the entire experience was fantastic, as friends and food usually are.

what i've always loved about feelgoods is this "create your own" menu. you get to choose the whole grain, protein, veggies and all natural dressings to make your own one of a kind meal. they offer plenty of specialty items on a giant menu board, but i've always taken this route because it's way more fun.
something new that they've added since my last visit is this full blown veggie burger bar. i photographed four flavors, but there were probably fourteen. you can buy them in bulk as they freeze really well. my create your own order included a standard veggie burger, but the really nice girl at the counter let me choose one of these! AND she also gave me 15% off because i "liked" their facebook page as i was paying. they have a laptop and everything set up so you can do this. i'm telling you, this place is great.
if you're not already sold, here's my meal. i wish i could eat this three times a day, every day.
what i got: whole grain panini, pumpkin chickpea burger (oh my god), spring greens, artichoke, avocado & goat cheese with vidalia onion and cilantro vinaigrette. hands down absolutely 100% incredible. i'm already craving another one.

so all in all i had a really great dinner with my friend jill. we caught up on a bunch of stuff and it was really nice to see her. we made plans to meet again the next time i visit my parents in north carolina and i'm really pumped on that.
feelgoods is located on 412 north country road
saint james, NY 11780

check out the website to learn about their menu and other services they offer ($8 meal plans!), as well as what they're all about. which is promoting a wholesome, healthy, delicious lifestyle. love them.

oh, and definitely give them a like on facebook to save on your order!

Monday, July 11, 2011


today i want to talk about kale, which is my most favorite vegetable. and lucky for me, kale is considered the most nutritious vegetable in the entire world. kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K and vitamin C (and is okay on the calcium front, too!). kale contains special good-for-you chemicals which are rumored to boost DNA repair in cells and block the growth of cancer cells. so really, what's not to like? because it grows so close to the ground, raw kale can have a really earthy, almost bitter taste. but if you pretend you're a healthy, cancer-free rabbit who is chock full of vitamins, kale tastes like the most awesome thing you've ever eaten. my favorite way to prepare kale is to steam it (and throw some fun stuff into it). this cuts out most of the bitterness, leaving you with pure kale deliciousness. conveniently, i made some for dinner! here's how that went:
in a saucepan on medium heat, combine 2 tbsp. olive oil with one cup water

stir in that kale! cover

watch as your kale turns a beautiful bright green, turn down to low heat, still stirring occasionally

i'm a hungry girl, so i can't eat ONLY greens for dinner. tonight i decided to recreate a jamaican jerk tofu scramble with brown rice that i invented a few weeks ago.

you can add salt, pepper, really whatever you'd like to your kale. i'm into garlic.

meanwhile, in another pan..

i'm not going to pretend like i am an expert on making tofu dishes, because i most certainly am not. i know that it basically adopts the flavor of whatever you cook it with. so i drained the block of tofu, squeezed out excess moisture, and really just scrambled it in a non-stick pan. poured jamaican jerk marinade over the tofu to taste, added carrots and chickpeas (my favorite legume), stirred. and then stirred in brown rice.
not the most attractive dish, but the flavor and health benefits certainly makes up for that.
and there's dinner!

my boyfriend just told me he liked it, which makes me feel good because although he won't admit it, he's picky. i made so much that i even have enough to take to work with me tomorrow for lunch.

this kale appreciation post has been brought to you by trader joe's, and the vitamin K. hope you love it as much as i do! because it's really really good for you and healthy people make me happy.

in other news..
bike fun