+for two+

People who love to eat are always the best people.

Julia Child, American chef, author, television personality (1912-2004)

At this point, I would call myself a creative genius whenever it comes to making pasta dishes from the things I have in my kitchen.  I believe that you can always make a great dish using what you have in your pantry and fridge, so you can not only save money, but use the perishables before they expire.  I just thought I’d share it with you, though this time, it’s a dish catered for two!

♓️

Ingredients

  • 2~3 servings of farfalle pasta, depending on how hungry you and your guest are
  • 1 hamburger patty, or 1/8 of a pack of ground beef (85% lean, 15% fat)
  • ½ cup of diced onions, white or red
  • 2 diced tomatoes, with seeds and skin
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • cooking oil (e.g. vegetable, sunflower, etc. but not olive)
  • Italian seasoning
  • Dried basil leaves
  • Garlic powder
  • Garlic & parsley salt
  • Parmesan cheese, or 3 Italian cheese blend, depending on your preference

♓️

Steps

Cook the farfalle in a pot according to the instructions on the back of the box.  This should take about 11 minutes, though it can be cooked for longer if you like soft pasta.

While the pasta’s cooking, heat and oil a pan, and cook the ground beef, with the pan covered on medium high heat, until it’s ¾ of the way done.  If you have a patty, then break it apart into more manageable pieces; if not, just cook it all the way through.  Regardless, sprinkle a generous amount of garlic powder onto the beef and mix.

Once cooked, add in the garlic, tomatoes, and onions into a pan and mix.  Bring it to a simmer, to decrease the liquidity of the sauce.

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Mix the pasta in with the sauce, adding the various seasonings (i.e. Italian, basil leaves, garlic powder), as you see fit.  If it’s still lacking, throw in a little garlic & parsley sauce, though this isn’t necessary.

img_3634.jpgPlate and sprinkle the cheese on top.  Enjoy!

Food Porn Gallery

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xoxo,

the girl who makes her own ~edible~ pasta sauce

+Brussels sprouts+

Brussels sprouts are misunderstood – probably because most people don’t know how to cook them properly.

Todd English, American celebrity chef, restaurateur, author, television personality (1960-present)

In part 2 of the pasta series, I made another pasta dish.  It’s like my other pasta dish, though with the introduction of Brussels sprouts, one of my many vegetable addictions.  I feel like Brussel sprouts get a bad rep, but they’re quite delicious and anyone who doesn’t love them is missing out on life.

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Ingredients

  • 1~2 servings of farfalle pasta
  • 1 whole sweet basil Italian sausage
  • ¼ cup of diced onions, white or red
  • 2 diced tomatoes, with seeds and skin
  • 6 quartered Brussels sprouts (cut into four equal parts longitudinally, from the top)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • cooking oil (e.g. vegetable, sunflower, etc. but not olive)
  • Italian seasoning
  • Dried basil leaves
  • Garlic powder
  • Garlic & parsley salt
  • Parmesan cheese, or 3 Italian cheese blend, depending on your preference
  • RECOMMENDED: extra virgin olive oil

♓️

Steps

  1. Cook the farfalle in a pot according to the instructions on the back of the box. This should take about 11 minutes, though it can be cooked for a little longer if you like soft pasta.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, in another pot, fill with water halfway and bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling, cook the Brussels sprouts for about 3 minutes.
  3. Heat a pan and cook the sausage, with the pan covered, until it is fully cooked. Once cooked, remove the sausage into plate and add the garlic, tomatoes, onions, and Brussels sprouts to the pan, lowering the temperature to medium heat.  Add cooking oil as needed.
  4. Cut the sausage into smaller pieces and add it, along with the pasta into the pan, adding the various seasonings (i.e. Italian, basil leaves, garlic powder), as you see fit. If it’s lacking, throw in a little garlic & parsley salt, though this isn’t necessary.
  5. Fold in the cheese, lowering the temperature to low heat, for 2 minutes.
  6. RECOMMENDED: Plate it and drizzle a little extra olive virgin on the top. Enjoy!

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The Final Product

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xoxo,

the girl who is addicted to the taste of vegetables

+shrimp+

There has never been a shrimp that I’ve eaten that I haven’t been like, “I’m so lucky that I get to eat this.”  I would eat a shrimp enchilada, shrimp burrito, shrimp cocktail, fried shrimp, shrimp po boy, shrimp gumbo.

Isabel Gillies, American author, former actress (1970-present)

As a foodie, I’m always grateful for my friends.  While I don’t have a boyfriend 😭, I do have amazing friends who embark on food adventures with me, and introduce me to their favorite haunts.  There are times when the eatery sucks, but being in the company of your friends make everything (almost) alright.

Extra people may agree with me on this, but birthdays can never be celebrated on just one day.  You need at least a month to celebrate it, especially if it’s your 21st.  As such my friend treated me out to Bahama Breeze, a Caribbean-inspired restaurant, just 15 minutes away from campus.  Being from NYC, I had no clue what to expect because we don’t have a Bahama Breeze – well, there’s one in Long Island, but who has the time to drive all the way out there?

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Food Porn Gallery

IMG_2787The appetizer: Smothered Pork Goodness – “a hearty pile of pulled pork, chorizo, and cheese stuffed yuca topped with caramelized onions, guava BBQ sauce and more cheese.”
IMG_2789Look how perfect everything looks.
IMG_2791Another close up – I literally cannot get enough of this dish.
IMG_2792My friend’s entrée: Coconut Shrimp Tacos – “flour tortillas filled with crispy coconut shrimp, tomato salsa, Sriracha aioli and cabbage-jicama slaw.”
IMG_2797A close up – thank god my friend shared one with me because that was just delicious.
IMG_2795My entrée: Key West Shrimp & Grits – “tender shrimp sautéed with bacon and mushrooms, served with lemon butter sauce and fresh green beans over cheesy grits.”
IMG_2796A close up – I don’t think I’ve ever had grits that tasted this good in my life.

♓️

I know it may seem weird that for a 21st birthday, it sure is lacking in drinks.  My friend did suggest that I should grab a margarita at least, even though she couldn’t partake in that part of the festivities with me, as she wasn’t 21 yet.  If that isn’t a testament to a true friend, I don’t know what is.

It felt wrong to accept, so I didn’t take up on her offer.  To accept is like to ask a starving child if they’re hungry, and then eating in front of them, without offering any of it to them.  We did promise each other to get drinks during our first weekend back at school in the fall, once she was safely in the ~adult~ zone.

♓️

Ending Comments

Honestly, I’m kind of sad that there isn’t a Bahama Breeze in NYC because the food was great.  There are probably great Caribbean restaurants here as well, but I don’t know of any.  If you do, please leave a comment, so I can check it out!  And, don’t forget to support your local eateries!!

xoxo,

the girl who loves celebrating her birthday

IMAGE CREDIT: Philly.com

+craft+

They who drink beer will think beer.

Washington Irving, American short story writer, essayist, biographer, historian, diplomat (1783-1859)

To me, the taste of beer is akin to old seltzer water gone bad.  To my surprise, I recently found out that craft beer is best enjoyed with fried chicken.  I finally understood why people are such craft beer snobs – it’s different (?) from your regular cheap beer.  However, I wouldn’t say that it’s as pleasant as filet mignon and Merlot, but hey, to each his own.

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I tried craft beer for the first time at Mad for Chicken, a fried chicken place, that I’ve loved going to since I was in high school.  They take a while to bring out the chicken, but it’s worth it because everything’s freshly made and piping hot for your enjoyment.   Usually when my friends and I don’t have anywhere special in mind, we usually just eat out there because it’s so worth repeating.

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I can’t remember the name of the beer, but I think it was pale ale?  Regardless, the main attraction was that curry flaked popcorn.
Kimchi fried rice, apparently always a good choice with beer too.
The main attraction – fried chicken with red onion and green onions.
Look how great that looks.

♓️

xoxo,

the girl who discovered curry sprinkled popcorn

+pasta+

Usually, one’s cooking is better than one thinks it is.

Julia Child, American chef, author, and television personality (1912-2004)

Up until my unexpected vegetarian phase, I was a voracious eater.  I remember summer of ’09 when my brother and I visited Korea and would eat a minimum of seven servings of kbbq together, to aunts’ surprise.  They thought that our parents were starving us from the way that we ate, but after reassurance from our mom, they realized that we just ate a lot.  Sadly, I can no longer eat that much kbbq, no matter how tempting it sounds.

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Picky Eater vs. Particular Eater

While I’m no longer a big eater, I’m still a foodie.  I love trying food from all sorts of countries, as well as fusion dishes.  However, even with these foods, I’m very specific on the manner the food is presented to me.  To be clear, I am not a picky eater – I’m a particular eater.  In millennial vernacular, my OCD causes my particular eating, though for the record, I was never diagnosed as such.

Picky eats will only eat certain foods, while besmirching others, like vegetables.  I love vegetables so much that I’ll eat it without dressing.  Particular eaters, however, will eat all sorts of food, but they’re adamant on it being served in a certain manner.  As the name refers, food must be in a particular way, almost like a ritual.

For example, I won’t eat spaghetti if the pasta noodles are mixed with marinara sauce, but I will eat it if the pasta noodles and the sauce are in separate bowls, weird I know 🤗.  I know this sounds absurd because plain pasta isn’t particularly appealing, but in my head, I have to eat it this way.  I know that I have this arrogance inside because I think, “How dare the marinara sauce mix with the pasta without my permission?”

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I know that this preference irks my family, though they’ve adjusted to this.  They understand that I’m not picky, but it’s that I don’t like the method of preparation.  My family, spaghetti lovers, would get frustrated when I wouldn’t eat it, but in hindsight, it’s almost my fault for not being able to express how off-putting mixing the two were.

Other dishes that I approach the same way are ramen, anything on white rice, etc.  Ramen noodles and the soup are in separate bowls, and are eaten separately.  Kimchi, or food with strong colors, are things that I hate touching my rice because it changes the color.

However, despite this weird preference, I love making new types of pasta dishes and experimenting with pasta noodles to see what kind of cool thing I can concoct from the things I have at home.  And while pasta isn’t the healthiest dish out there, I want to share the interesting creations that I have come up with, from the things I have at home.

♓️

The Conception (?) Story

My brother and I were scrounging around the kitchen to see if there was anything we wanted to eat.  Per usual, we had a ton of pasta noodles, like farfalle (“bowties”), penne, spaghetti, etc.  My brother laid claim on the marinara sauce that we had, so I was left to make something out of the things in the kitchen.

Taking inventory of the cabinets and fridge, I was pleasantly surprised to see what I could work with.  I was able to pick the ingredients I wanted to use for the spontaneous dish I had in mind.

♓️

Ingredients

  • 1~2 servings of farfalle pasta, depending on how hungry you are 😬
  • ½ cup of sundried tomatoes
  • 3 slices of chopped bacon
  • ¼ cup of diced onions
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • cooking oil (e.g. vegetable, sunflower, etc. but not olive)
  • 1 thin slice of unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon of marinara sauce
  • Italian seasoning
  • Dried basil leaves
  • Garlic powder
  • Garlic & parsley salt
  • Parmesan cheese, or 3 Italian cheese blend, depending on your preference

Steps

  1. In a pot, cook the farfalle according to the instructions on the back of the box. This should take around 11 minutes, though you may cook it for a little longer if you like soft pasta.
  2. Heat a pan and grease it with cooking oil and a thin slice of butter (you don’t need a lot), for flavor. Once the oil moves fluidly on the pan, add in the garlic, tomatoes, and onions, lowering the stove to medium heat.
  3. Next, add the bacon to the pan. Right before the pasta’s drained, add in the marinara sauce into the pan and mix.
  4. Add the pasta to the pan, adding various seasonings (i.e. Italian, basil leaves, garlic powder), as you see fit. If it tastes a bit lacking, throw in a little garlic & parsley sauce, though it isn’t necessary.
  5. Fold in the cheese, on low heat, for a few minutes. Plate it and enjoy!

I know that it went on a rant about marinara sauce in my pasta, but I thought it would add a nice pale red color to the dish.  I’m not a certified chef, but food is also about aesthetics, so I would say that I’m pretty proud of myself 🙌🏻.

♓️

Oh and before I forget, here are two pictures of my creation.

IMG_3519by me!
IMG_3520close up – look at the cheese

xoxo,

the girl who likes to play with her food, literally

+stir fry+

I can’t stay away from Chinese food.  I really love that stuff.

Shaun White, American professional snowboarder and skateboarder (1986-present)

My college is in a suburban town, just thirty minutes west of Philadelphia.  Not to be stereotypical or anything, but I’ve come to realize that every single restaurant there is either ridiculously health-conscious or just subpar fast food.  For example, I have never been able to eat some decent pork fried rice because if one takeout place puts the right type of meat, then they’ll mess it up by getting the flavor wrong, vice versa.

♓️

A lot of my friends are willing adventurers and try out the various eateries off campus, and they mentioned honeygrow.  honeygrow sells healthy stir fry dishes and salads, and is just a five-minute drive off campus.   I was intrigued by this premise because one, it was a strange combination of foods to sell, and two, could you even make stir fry healthy?

♓️

I found my answer when I visited honeygrow for the first time, earlier in the school year.  My friend and I had decided to eat at honeygrow because it sounded the best amongst all the options off campus, and because we were eager to catch up after not seeing each other since high school ended three years ago.

honeygrow’s ordering method is a millennial dream come true – customers craft their stir fry dish or salad through a touch screen.  They have the option of paying by card directly at the ordering station, or by cash at the food pick-up station.  For convenience, I paid with my card.

♓️

When you choose your honeygrow stir fry, you can choose from pre-made designs, or build your own; the latter is created from your pick of protein, vegetables, sauce, toppings.  The instructions are clear and very easy to follow, making the whole experience painless.

As a popular establishment, I would say that I had to wait about two minutes on line before I could create my dish, then wait another 10-15 minutes before they finished making my dish.  honeygrow also sells carbonated beverages, but since I don’t drink soda, healthier alternative or not, I simply asked for a cup to get some water, as I picked up my food.

IMG_2761Our food’s here!
IMG_2764My dish – they put quite a lot of dried shallots.
IMG_2763Just a close up, it looks so good!!

As a lover of spicy food, I doused my stir fry in sriracha sauce, even though I picked the spicy garlic sauce for my stir fry.  The hotter, the better!

♓️

The ambience is definitely on the louder side, or I’ve only visited them during their loud period.  It’s filled with middle and high schoolers from the area meeting up for dinner after practice, as well as families with very young children, young children who apparently love to cry there.  It would have been nicer if it was quieter because at times, I had trouble hearing my friend, let alone hearing myself to collect my thoughts.  The volume isn’t a deal breaker, however, as the food makes sure to keep their patrons visiting again and again.

xoxo,

the girl who’s eating healthy stir fry because she’s super healthy now 😏

IMAGE CREDIT: honeygrow

+alternative+

Food, in the end, in our own tradition, is something holy.  It’s not about nutrients and calories.  It’s about sharing.  It’s about honesty.  It’s about identity.

Louise Fresco, Danish scientist, director, writer (1952-present)

Most of us spend a good portion of our lives consuming countless burgers, hotdogs, and pizza, whether you buy it from Nathan’s at Jones Beach or make it at home because you never celebrate the Fourth of July without a cookout.  According to Yahoo Answers, a super reliable source, Americans eat 22.2 billion hamburgers and 13.7 billion hotdogs yearly; just reading those numbers make me feel sick.

America has become a global empire built from machine made food that can probably outlast humans themselves.  How can an average consumer be sure if their hamburger “beef” patty is really made from a cow’s side?  Ignorance is bliss, considering how we eat tons of it anyways.

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I was once an avid hamburger consumer, telling my mom how I wanted McDonald’s Big Macs at my wedding when I was younger.  Today, the only time I eat hamburgers are the rare occasions when my dad decides to make hamburgers for Sunday lunch.

For me, a hamburger is one that contains a lot of raw onion, cooked onions, mushrooms, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, mayonnaise mixed with a little barbecue sauce, a patty, and of course a nice potato bun.  I feel like my subconscious knows how unhealthy burgers are, even if I don’t eat them often, so I try to add a lot of raw vegetables to it.

♓️

My dad came up with two hamburger patty recipes that we follow, a lazy version and a stuffed version.  The lazy version is just grounded beef shaped into a patty, and while it’s being cooked, a little bit of ground red pepper will be added.  The stuffed version, however, is another story.

To make my dad’s stuffed hamburger patties, here are the ingredients:

  • 1 lb. of ground beef – 85% lean, 15% fat
  • ½ of a sweet/white onion
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. After washing your hands, dice the sweet onion into small pieces and mince the garlic cloves; they should be small so they can easily be incorporated with the ground beef, but it’s your preference really.
  2. Taking the ground beef out of its packaging, place it into a medium sized mixing bowl and mix along with the diced onions and minced garlic, using a clean wooden spoon, bare or gloved hands – whatever does the job for you.
  3. Once it’s all combined, portion it, depending on how many patties you want to make. My dad generally makes five large patties with this recipe, but you can make more smaller patties if you desire.  Shape each portion into a patty carefully because some onion and garlic pieces may fall out.
  4. Cook the patties in whatever manner you prefer, like frying, grilling, etc. Since I live in an apartment, we generally lightly grease a pan and cook our patties on it.  NOTE: you can save the uncooked patties by wrapping them in cling wrap and storing it in your freeze, but you should eat them as soon as possible, as meat that has come into contact with hands will start to deteriorate faster.
  5. Assemble after the patties are cooked to your liking.

♓️

Even though there aren’t any preservatives or questionable materials in this recipe, I feel as though I rarely eat burgers, whether it’s homemade or from a Shake Shack.  I’ve become obsessed with eating lettuce again, so I probably won’t crave a burger for a while.  Nonetheless, everyone should try this stuffed patty recipe!

xoxo,

the girl who eats like a rabbit (sometimes)

IMAGE CREDIT: Serious Eats

+crepe+

I don’t care if you’re doing haute cuisine or burgers and pizza, just do it right.

Grant Achatz, American chef and restauranteur (1974-present)

I love French food.

Well, I love all sorts of food, but French food is memorable.

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I’m always on the lookout for a new French place to check out because each eatery will offer something different; rest in peace Mon Petit Café, you had really nice pâté de foie gras, and I will miss it dearly 😭.  I try to cram as many French restaurants as I can during my free days, to the ire of my friends because surprisingly, note everyone is a fan of duck 🦆🦆🦆.

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Back in April, I visited La Tarte Flambée for the first time.  It was a pleasant experience, I would return, and I would recommend to my friends.  However, this was to be expected, as Yelp said it would be.  Thanks to Yelp, we no longer have to blindly visit an eatery because the good people of NYC will be there to write a scathing review whenever someone provides horrible service.

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La Tarte Flambée specializes in pizza like crepes, which serve as entrées and desserts, depending on what you put on them.  They also serve soups, salads, and stereotypical American things, like burgers and mac’n’cheese.  In terms of drinks, they have a plethora of options, though I didn’t pick one during my visit.

 

IMG_2676Snapshot of the menu, though it’s probably too dark to see what’s on it.
IMG_2677So good!!  Who knew cheese, honey, and bacon was a winning combo.
IMG_2678I’m not quite sure what that is, but it was like a burger, but not really.
IMG_2679A close up – the salad was so fresh.
IMG_2680I always thought it was cool when a restaurant had wine glasses hang from the ceiling like that.
IMG_2683The wine wall next to my seat – cute!

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In terms of the ambience and service, I would say that it was ideal.  The vibe was cozy, bordering romantic – you can see couples on dates, but also grandparents enjoying some good wine.  I did notice that I was the only person in the entire establishment who didn’t speak French, which meant that the French people probably loved this place, and I felt like I was transported to a cute restaurant in France.

The waiter was polite and didn’t come to our table constantly, asking us if the food was okay, the typical waiter questions.  I know that it’s their job, but if I have a problem, I would let them know first.  Because the waiter didn’t pester us, it gave me a positive impression of La Tarte Flambée, that they were confident in their food, letting it do all the talking.

xoxo,

the girl who loves French cuisine, but is fluent in Spanish 😂

IMAGE CREDIT: Tracy’s New York Life

+protein+

“All you need is love.  But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”Charles M. Schulz, American cartoonist (1922-2000)

If you follow my social media handles (nudge, nudge!) you’ll notice how much I love food.  I get excited about all things food related – cooking, eating, taking pictures, trying out new food, etc.  Not to perpetuate stereotypes, but I would love a boyfriend who’s willing to take me on food adventures, as my broke college wallet cannot buy anything that I want to try.

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To see my love for food, here’s a strange story: from a young age, I would constantly develop random mouth sores.  Not knowing the cause, I would complain about the pain, but also how much I wanted to eat a certain food; it was mostly the $2 chocolate ice cream cone with rainbow sprinkles from the nearest Mr. Softee’s truck.  My mother thought I was just making scene to get ice cream, but we quickly discovered that whenever I ate something that I craved, the sores would go away.  There probably isn’t a correlation supported by science, but it always worked like a charm.

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Thanks to my genetics, I can eat whatever I want without outwardly showing any consequences.  However, in middle school, I went through a period where meat was nauseating, so I went on a vegetarian diet.  From this, my appetite shrunk dramatically, and I couldn’t eat as much as I used to.

Concurrently at school, my substitute teacher complimented how skinny my friend and I were, and we reciprocated the favor, as she was also very skinny.  Sighing, she said that at her age, her appearance could only be achieved through diet and exercise, as her metabolism, which used to be like ours, began to crash in her mid-twenties.  These two experiences opened my eyes to what I was consuming and the amount I was consuming.

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Earlier this year, I changed my diet to reflect my new workout routine because I wasn’t losing the stomach pudge that I wanted gone.  However, eating well is hard in college because your meals are dependent on the dining hall options or what you have in your dorm.  For example, my college’s dining halls protein option was almost exclusively chicken breast because while it was a healthy option, it’s very cheap in comparison to other cuts of meat.

Ironically, the first order of business in my new diet was to buy chicken breast; while I was sick of eating it, I did have a trusty method of preparing it.  I also stocked up on a lot of fruits and vegetables – they were my source of carbs, as I’m not the biggest fan of wheat or grains.

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The way I prepared fruits and vegetables basically describes a raw food diet, but I never called it that.  Calling something a diet makes it an obligation, and I think as humans, we just don’t like being forced to do something.  Also, this may contradict my foodie status, but sometimes, I go into periods of craving where I just eat one thing only.  Throwback to Argentina, when I would only eat salads with grilled chicken breast and freshly squeezed orange juice.

Here’s an example of a dinner after a workout, which eerily sounds similar to my Argentine diet:

  1. Take out a Ziploc bag of chicken breast from the freezer and let it defrost, unopened under the running hot water from the sink for five minutes. During that time, take out the lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, and any other vegetables from the fridge.  Take out a desired amount of each kind and leave it to the side.
  2. After taking out the bag, turn on your stove and oil a pan, lightly. I recommend using sunflower or canola oil because they have the highest smoke point temperatures.  Multiple studies have shown that cooking with olive oil is hurtful to your health because since it burns faster, it becomes a carcinogenic.
  3. When the oil moves like water, place your chicken in the pan and let it cook on medium high heat. Since the oil’s already very hot, it will help cook the meat, but it shouldn’t be on high because then it will just burn the outside, leaving the inside uncooked, and uncooked chicken’s dangerous to eat.
  4. Midway through cooking, you can lightly season with salt and pepper, if desired. Keeping an eye out for the chicken, wash the vegetables in cold water, and cut into the desired size before plating.
  5. When the chicken is finished, put onto the same plate as the vegetables, to the side, or on top, whatever’s preferred.
  6. Lightly season with extra virgin olive oil right before eating for flavoring, if desired. Pair with water because anything but defeats the purpose of working out.

I realized that the best way to approach healthy eating is to be as simple, or as creative as you want to be.  If you want to make a healthy raw food alternative to Nutella, then go for it!  If you’re like me and you’re content with eating lettuce straight up from a bag, that’s your prerogative.

♓️

While I don’t have my large appetite anymore, I still retained my snacking habits.  At least three times a day, I feel peckish and want to eat something small.  To remedy this problem, I simply wash a bunch of berries in cold water and eat them, returning on the task at hand.

An accomplishment that I want to share is that I haven’t had soda in over a year now!  I only drank it because it would alleviate my painful migraines, but I quit, knowing how unhealthy high-fructose corn syrup is for the body.  I thought it would be a hard sacrifice because of my migraines, but it was actually an easy change, especially when thinking about the wallet that could not fund this expense.  One year later, I barely remember the taste of it and strangely don’t even crave it 🎉!

xoxo,

the girl who pairs food with ~iced~ water

IMAGE CREDIT: Pinterest

+connoisseur+

“Your diet is a bank account.  Good food choices are good investments.” – Bethenny Frankel (via BrainyQuote)

Turning 21 has other perks beyond the fact that I can finally drink legally and visit the strict Mainline bars.  In celebration of my 21st birthday, my mother fulfilled a promise that she made ten years ago, to celebrate my 21st at the 21 Club, here in New York City.

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The 21 Club, like many of New York’s famous haunts, is rich with history; it was a speakeasy restaurant during the U.S.’s prohibition days.  While it’s no longer an illicit establishment that sells liquor, the 21 Club still maintains its charm from the Roaring Twenties, with its gorgeous ceiling and intimate ambience.  Despite celebrating my birthday with two best friends, this is definitely a place more suited for couples on a dressy date night filled with wine and good food.

A pleasant surprise at the 21 Club was the lack of intrusive behavior by the waiters, a rarity in New York City restaurants.  This behavior separated it from even the most upscale restaurants because you know that when a waiter asks you how your food is more than once per course, they are slightly nudging you to hurry up and leave.  By not pestering patrons, it showed them that the staff at the 21 Club is quite confident in the food they present for their guests, a quality that many restaurants should mimic.  I understand that while it isn’t practically to eat like the French, especially in a New York City establishment, occasionally, it’s nice to know that you can leave whenever you finish eating.

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The meal clearly spoke for itself because every time a new course came out, I could not wait to devour it.  Below are some pictures from that night; while I tried to take decently lit pictures, the intimate ambience meant that the lighting was not going to be favorable to my poor iPhone camera.

IMG_2718Because I was stuck in traffic, I had to miss out on the round or rosé #fomo
IMG_2613I could be wrong, but I’m 99% sure that the drinks menu was written in Garamond, my favorite font, which just added bonus points to their aesthetic.
IMG_2717Candidly looking at the drinks menu, but social media is all a façade, and it took ten minutes to get this shot.
IMG_2712Not even going to bother with looking candid — I look like a chipmunk.
IMG_2709With my best frand ♥️ She didn’t get the Merlot though
IMG_2711My eyes look gross but my side profile looks nice — I guess you win some and you lose some
IMG_2720APPETIZER: Foie Gras with Fig Jam — sorry duck, I really like your liver
IMG_2723A close up of the liver — look how perfect everything is
IMG_2621APPETIZER: Soup of the Day — my best friend got this, but I have no clue what it was called
IMG_2622Another close up because I’m obsessed with how perfect everything is done.
IMG_2624APPETIZER: Veal — I feel like veal in theory always sounds good, but I’m nit quite sure if I’m sold on the taste yet.
IMG_2630ENTRÉE — Duck again! Sorry guys, you’re honestly really tasty 🦆🦆🦆🦆🦆🦆
IMG_2729Closeup of the dish, and I’m honestly quite surprised at how well my camera captured the details of the dish.
IMG_2635ENTRÉE — steak tartare.  Enough said.
IMG_2637Look how they perfectly plated this dish, with the pepper flakes distributed like foliage.IMG_2632ENTRÉE — the tuna that looks like a steak.
IMG_2728Not quite sure what the crispy things on top of the tuna were, but they were delicious.
IMG_2639SIDE — creamed spinach with three cheeses (I think?)
IMG_2641The cheese on top reminds me of créme brûlée
IMG_2648DESSERT — rum infused cake with candied raspberries for two.
IMG_2735Not a huge fan of moist cakes, but this was actually just the perfect amount of moistness.
IMG_2734I love when you take a slice of cake and put cream on it and it looks like art in on itself.
IMG_2654DESSERT — a combo of vanilla ice-cream, cream, and chocolate mousse.
IMG_2669Look how cutely they designed the top of the mousse, with an edible sheet with their logo on it.
IMG_2736The ceiling is a dream for any child growing up in the 20th century, or what I imagine a child from the 20th century would have loved.
IMG_2737One final look at the ceiling before we waited outside for our Uber to pick us up.

♓️

I know that my age group was not 21 Club’s target demographic, but if I ever have the opportunity to sit and enjoy some amazing foie gras again, I won’t be passing up that chance, even for a second.

xoxo,

the girl who can’t get enough of ducks