Take it Outside

First, I have to say how happy I am about the Celtic’s win last night! What an incredible game! Yesterday was actually all around incredible. My sister-in-law, Kauna, is in town from Colorado and we are having a blast with her. Our morning started with a little bit of this:


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My new obsession– a Dirty Chai from the North End Caffe. My friend Christy turned me on to this glorious concoction. I would argue that the North End has the best Chai tea in the South Bay and then when you add a shot of espresso (to make it dirrrrrty), I am in heaven!

After breakfast, we decided to drive down to Laguna Beach to go on a hike. Aside from the killer ocean view, my favorite part of the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park is that there are several trails so even if you visit the park often, you are seeing new (and beautiful) scenery every time. We did some killer hills today and ended up hiking for about 3 hours.


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Hiking is easily one of my favorite ways to exercise. I love being outdoors and really enjoying everything this beautiful state has to offer. Having 2 of my favorite people with me just made the experience even better. 🙂


xo,


Jenna

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My Love

My husband Reggie and I just celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary. We met at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Co in 2005. When we met, I was an 18 year old freshman who followed her high school boyfriend to college, only to quickly get my heart broken. Reg was in an on again, off again 5 year relationship. We actually met through my college roommate Melissa, who happened to have an older brother who was friends with Reg. After years of being friends and now single, we connected one night, started dating and have not looked back since.

He is truly a perfect match for me. When I think about the person I dreamt of spending my life with, I realize I was selling myself short, because Reg is so much more. He is a huge supporter of everything I do even if it has changed several times over the years. I am incredibly lucky. 🙂


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xo,


Jenna

Making Substitutions

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So ever since I went on the No Biscuits and Gravy Left Unturned Tour, I have been obsessed with replicating my own version at home. Only one problem—I am really trying to eat only local meat (if at all) and I couldn’t find any local sausage. So, I went with the next best thing—veggie sausage. This one to be exact:


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I used this as my recipe but I saved some more time by using these:


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These little babies were delicious! Plus, they make a lot more sense for us because there are only 2 of us so I can pull a couple out then toss the rest back in the fridge.


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I topped my serving with an over easy egg because that is how I roll. A little hot sauce would have been the perfect addition. I will be sure to add that next time-and there will be a next time because this recipe was perfect! So delicious and filling.


xo,


Jenna

Obsession


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So as you know, I have a bit of an obsession with LA food trucks. I have documented my love for Buttermilk, Kogi, and most recently World Fare. However, there is only one truck that I must visit every week. Ladies and gentlemen meet my obsession: GET SHAVED!

Get shaved features the only shave ice that is as good as some of my Island favorites like Matsumoto’s. Most of the time when people say they are serving shave ice, you are left with a chunky, overly sweet treat. The perfect shave ice should contain ice that is so fine, it is fluffy. The syrup should taste like the real fruit, with just a tough of sweetness. Get Shaved is the real deal people.


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Luckily, this truck is always within a reasonable driving distance at least once a week. And because I am a reasonable person, I make it a point to go. The key is to get ice cream with your shave ice. Seriously–the vanilla addition makes the bottom taste like different flavored creamsicles.


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His: Pineapple, Passion Fruit, and Mango


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Hers: Blue Vanilla, Pineapple, and Passion Fruit


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We also both asked for a little bit of Li Hing Mui powder which is equally sweet, sour, and salty. So good!


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Off to go plan my next adventure! My beautiful sister-in-law is coming to visit today!


xo,


Jenna

Eating Green

I am a huge sports fan and being from the Boston area, I am a huge fan of the Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins, and of course the Celtics. Since the Celtics are playing the Lakers in the NBA Finals and I live in Southern California, I am really enjoying continuation of the historic rivalry. Add in the fact that I am a cheeseball, and you get lots of green food for the playoffs—both in color and preparation.


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Luckily, my CSA provided me with some beautiful, seasonal avocados. I watched Food, Inc. over the weekend and it is quite the game changer. If you have not had a chance to see this documentary, please do. Also, I would just like to add that Reg and I want the farmer they interviewed to be our friend. Love that guy! 🙂

We are going to continue our research on where our food comes from but I will say this: my husband, who was practically committed to a McDonald’s diet at one point in his life (gotta love college), said he will never look at food the same way again. And we will most certainly be renewing my CSA subscription. If you are looking for one near you, I highly recommend checking out Local Harvest.

Okay back to the guacamole. As a kid I thought anything avocado was disgusting. I was a picky willful child who would have preferred to eat Macaroni & Cheese for the rest of her life. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still love M&C but nothing compares to a ripe, buttery avocado. Once, I tried some fresh guacamole, it was love at first bite.

I use lemons instead of limes for the acid. It just gives it a more subtle flavor and really allows the avocados to shine!


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Jenna’s Simple Guacamole

8 Servings

2 medium-sized avocados (ripe)

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/4 cup minced red onion (optional)

1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Dash cayenne pepper

Salt to taste

Tortilla Chips, Carrot Sticks, etc. for dippers

1. Halve the avocados and remove the pit. Using a large spoon scoop out the flesh of the avocados and place in a medium sized bowl.

2. Use a fork to start chopping up with avocado.

3. Add the garlic, lemon juice, onions (if using), salt, and pepper. Continue to combine until guacamole reaches desired consistency.

Enjoy and GO CELTICS!


xo,


Jenna

Must Try

Good morning! I hope you are all having a fantastic week. Last night I saw The Lion King musical and I was just blown away. From the costumes to the singing, the whole production was phenomenal. I highly recommend seeing it if you have the chance.

So, a couple weeks ago one of my favorite bloggers, Mama Pea, posted a recipe for Tofu Ricotta Gnocchi and I am so excited to share the testing results with you.  The verdict? Un-be-lievable! And so easy!

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I was going to pair the gnocchi with a simple tomato sauce but then I decided I wanted to make my favorite tomato cream sauce. I am so glad I did too because it was the perfect accompaniment to the pillows of tofu heaven.


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While the gnocchi were cooking, I sauteed some Cremini mushrooms in a touch of olive oil, salt, and pepper. After a couple minutes, I deglazed the pan with some beautiful Marsala wine just to deepen the flavor.


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Then I added a couple servings of this delicious marinara sauce from TJ’s


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And whisked in a couple ounces of the tofutti to make the perfect pink sauce.


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So delicious, so fresh.


Jenna’s Easy Creamy Marinara Sauce

2 servings

1 cup sliced Cremini mushrooms

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup Marsala wine

2 cups marinara sauce

2 ounces tofutti (or light cream cheese)


1. Pour olive oil into a medium sized pan and turn heat to medium-high.

2. Place the mushrooms into the pan so that they are even. Do not touch them for 2-3 minutes. Allow them to brown slightly. Then continue to stir for another 1-2 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste.

3. Once the mushrooms are tender and sticking slightly to the pan, add the wine and stir until the mushrooms are coated evenly. Allow the mushrooms to absorb the wine. Turn the heat down to medium.

4. Then, add the marinara sauce. Once the sauce is heated through, add the tofutti and whisk until blended evenly and the sauce is slightly pink.

5. Serve over desired pasta or vegetable.

Favorite French Toast


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Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. And if I have to narrow it down even further, french toast would be at the top of that list. My family always jokes that because my mom ate so much french toast when she was pregnant with me that it became my favorite food! Now, whether or not that is true, I really want to share my french toast recipe with you. Since I was a willful (err…picky) child, I often refused to eat the wonderful meals my mother prepared and instead chose to make my own dinner, which was usually french toast. So, I have had 20-ish years of recipe testing this bad boy.



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The key to good french toast is good bread. Occasionally, I will make this same recipe with a nice slice of Whole Wheat bread but the real magic happens if you can find a good “eggy” bread. Any challah or Hawaiian sweet bread would be perfect. In this case, I used an amazing Cinnamon-Apple bread I found at the Farmer’s Market. Just incredible.


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Toasted walnuts, fresh berries, and a drizzle of maple syrup serve as the perfect summer toppings.



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French Toast

2 servings


4 slices of bread (Approximately 1 inch thick and either challah or Hawaiian sweet bread)

2 large eggs

2/3 cup 1% milk

1 teaspoon good vanilla extract

Lots of cinnamon

Pinch of salt

Earth Balance/Butter (for cooking)

Toppings: Maple Syrup, Strawberries, Toasted Walnuts etc.


1. Combine the eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Soak each piece of bread in mixture for 2-3 minutes on each side.

2. Heat up griddle to medium-high heat. Add desired amount of EB/butter ( I used about 1/2 tablespoon) and allow it to melt completely. Turn heat to medium and add the soaked bread slices.

3. Cook until golden brown on each side. This should take about 3-4 minutes.

4. Serve immediately with desired toppings.


Now, I am off for a really busy day which includes plans to see The Lion King musical tonight! How was your holiday weekend?


xo,


Jenna