Poached Egg with Seaweed Pasta, Mac n Cheese, and Spinach Chicken Enchiladas in Oklahoma

So far Spring has been wonderful in Oklahoma.  The wind hasn't been too insane, only one tornado scare and a few hailstorms make a visit.  We had a lovely flood the other night that made its way into my studio giving the paper and clay covered floors a nice much needed cleansing.  With the weather change comes a new change in morning rituals.  Its not painful to wake up anymore.  Its delightful and inspiring.  I feel like a bear coming out of hibernation.  I listen to music and drink coffee in the mornings and draw in the sun until I'm sweaty from the rays.  Thank you nature for being so beautiful.  Sorry nature for humans being such selfish jerks.  

My friend Samantha Lamb, whom recently moved her farm, The Farm and Fiddle to Tennessee provided me with her homegrown mushrooms, eggs, and farm raised chickens.  This dish is kept simple letting the eggs and mushrooms shine.  Its seaweed pasta tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and then topped with lightly sautéed onions, mushrooms and red bell peppers.  Then a perfectly beautiful poached egg is placed on top and the gooey yolk makes for a great sauce that brings everything together.  

I wanted to make something comforting, so I made mac n cheese.  My roux was so smooth and awesome you almost didn't even need cheese. It was about 5 tablespoons butter to 3 tablespoon flour over a medium flame until its all blended together and nice golden color has formed.  Then slowly whisk in milk, a little at a time.  If you add it all at once, you will most likely have a lumpy roux.  Add salt and pepper, and then your cheeses.  I had cheddar and pecorino.   I LOVE mac n cheese.  Here's the recipe from Easter, but you can change out the cheeses.

Chicken, Spinach and roasted red pepper enchiladas.  These were made with Sam's farm raised chicken that I had actually roasted and then stewed the leftovers in our green tomato habanero enchilada sauce.   We used the tiny corn tortillas and made 2 enchiladas with flour as a taste test, both equally good.

Toppings.  Tomato, onion, cilantro, and pickled green tomatoes.

The filling.

Fry the tortilla, dip it in the enchilada sauce, stuff with goodies, line in dish, top with more sauce, onions, and cheese.  Bake at 425 for about 15 minutes.  Its served with black beans and rice.  Make it vegetarian, its just as good!

Back on the Main Land! Eating our way through Hawaii and a Post Flight Meal

Two weeks and back in the heart of the main land.  Its nice to come back to nice weather!!!  It was inspiring instead of depressing.  I haven't been back to Hawaii in over 10 years.  The last time I was there I was in my early 20's, full of energy, and ready for anything.  This time I'm in my 30's, ready for anything, but sleep is cherished instead of ignored. Its nice to constantly be outside hiking, swimming, or eating something delicious.  The air can do so much on the way you eat.  In Hawaii and California I want refreshing things to consume that make me feel like I can still walk up a hill afterwards.  Right when I get to Oklahoma, the air makes me want to eat a shitty pizza and watch the Griswalds fall into an epic disaster, and hug on my sweet animals.  Both ways can be lovely things to experience I suppose.  I always enjoy a nice walk after a meal. 

This is a view from my friend's house in Haliewa, Hawaii.  

The Napali Coast.

Nature's water fountain.  

Hiking the Ka'alau Trail on the Napali Coast.

After all invigorating photos, here is a hamburger that Matt made before he met up with me in San Francisco.  

Hello San Francisco!  San Fran felt more complete once Matt arrived.  We got to roam around our old neighborhood and ate at all of our favorite spots and a friend took us to to a new lovable spot.  We were once regulars at Beretta, and its still amazing!  We got Crab Arancini, grapefruit marinated sardines, and a fennel arugula salad.  LOVE!  We also went to Swan Depot for oysters and crab.  Yank Sing for dim sum.  Our new spot is Trick Dog.  Great burgers, Mu Shu tacos and smoked duck Asian salad.

Alright Hawaii.  Right when I met up with my friend I made a confession to her.  I told her that I have only had 1 good food truck experience that was worth mentioning in my life.  But, I forgot!  The best food that I had consumed when I was in Hawaii last was out of a truck.  Hawaii reigns when it comes to the BEST food trucks!  Every single truck was delicious!  The BEST fish tacos I have ever had.  I didn't think fish tacos could be anything memorable, but this was delicious.  It was a maui taco seasoned perfectly with a cabbage slaw.  Didn't even need all the salsa and pickled goods. Then we went to George of Da Jungle near the Wailua River in Kauai after a good paddle and hiking trip.  The BEST chicken gyro.  It was organic, and seasoned so well.  The spices were on point!  They were not scared of it.  Who knew that a shaved ice could be so freaking good.  It was made with organic juices instead of sugary syrup.  We got the rainbow with coconut milk, strawberries, and orange.  WOW!  We ended up ordering a second one with strawberry and lime-mint-honey.

While in Haliewa we went to a truck called VJ's.  They have a butcher shop right next to their truck.  Our friends suggested the Bambi burger.  The venison is from Molokai and it was one of the best burgers!  Another truck we went to had spicy garlic shrimp.  That's a thing in Hawaii, and it is really really good.  If you like shrimp, this is IT!  I love how everything is served with rice too.  One of our favorite brick and mortar experiences was Lucky Belly in Chinatown of Honolulu.  They had wonderful oxtail dumplings, shrimp potstickers served with a soybean and avocado puree, and an awesome beet salad.  To the right is a delicious Crab-Tomato Vietnamese soup.  So much deliciousness that writing this post is making my mouth water and my stomach growl.

Our last night in Honolulu we are going to take it down a notch.  No hiking, just lounging on the beach and eating a lot of food. The top two images are from a place called HOME in Honolulu.  A local spot that reminds me of Jersey Shore meets Hawaii.  I have never seen more shots taken in my life and I've never had such amazing food at such a shitty bar.  Tator tot nachos, how could you go wrong, I love tator tots!  I'm ready for Oklahoma!  The steak is a ribeye with grilled onions and mushrooms, topped with grated daikon green onion, and bonito flakes.  The bottom right steak is one of the best steaks ever!  It is locally raised and would KILL any Oklahoma steak in a heart beat.  Yes, it's that badass.  When something killed can be a killer...tasty.  It was Roy Yamaguchi's new restaurant Eating House 1849 in Kauai.  It was a perfect way to end a long day of boating and snorkeling (and listening to whales underwater!)  I got a sizzling rice pot that was fantastic too!

The last night we had in Kauai was in Princeville.  It was a last minute booking due to the rivers along the trails were too high to cross. We scored big time! We got an entire apartment inside of a resort.  It reminded me of Roaring Fork Club in Basalt, Colorado.  There were golf carts zipping around and the staff was super friendly and helpful, and there were also people that practically lived there.  Since we had a kitchen, we figured why not.  I had been wanting regular ole spaghetti and marinara sauce, and Matt loves the Hawaiian steak (they had flat iron) and so we made a simple and tasty meal in a kitchen.  Then we ate in a dining room.  Washed clothes in the laundry room, and watched a movie in the living room and slept in a king size bed. Pretty spectacular considering we were just hauling around huge back packs filled with camping gear.  Pretty spectacular in any occasion really.

We got home around 11:30pm.  Normally we are usually craving something like tom yum soup when we get back from a trip.  But today, we went with what we had in the fridge that was super filling.  We went an entire day sharing a salad and a cup of soup.  I snuck in a hard boiled egg that I had in my purse on our flight home.  Yea, I'm the girl that travels with hard boiled eggs.  I got salt and pepper from Burger King.  Thanks BK!

We made breakfast potatoes and an omelet with a friend's home grown batch of mushrooms, onions, garlic, orange pepper, chorizo, and fontina.  It was delicious!  Guess what?  We watched the National Lampoon's Vacation afterwards.  

It's San Francisco Time!

Apparently I have the "wanderlust gene".  According to several different studies, there is a mutation in the drd4 gene which is called 7r.  7r is found in people that more willing to take risks, explore, and “generally embrace movement, change, and adventure.”  I get quite antsy if I don't go somewhere every month.  I do admit that when I am in Oklahoma City, the urge gets addictive and can be overbearing for those around me.  So, there I go.  Luckily for me, we have the ability to be book last minute flights and make a craving turn into a reality.  Right now I'm in San Francisco and it has been a delicious one!  There wasn't a line at Tartine, so I had to stop in on my way to Dolores Park and get a ham and cheese croissant.  Heavenly and rich!  My sister, Tina, and I went to Sotto Di Mare in North Beach and had the BEST cioppino I've ever had.  Tons of crab, mussels, prawns, calamari, and clams in a delicious rich tomato broth.
 I want to have this all the time.

My sister just moved to San Francisco and I helped get her moved in to her adorable place.  For breakfast, which we enjoyed in her back patio over looking the city, we had leftover kale salad, an over easy egg on sourdough.  This was a pretty San Francisco breakfast I'd have to say!

This trip has been so nostalgic and fun!  Getting to see our old neighborhood that Matt and I use to reside in and driving over the Bay Bridge makes me have a huge smile on my face and makes me want to transplant the whole gang (Matt, Debo, and Django) out here.

I made a little mid day snack while we were doing the finishing touches on my sister's place.  The little dip is almonds, fresh basil, roasted garlic, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Perfect little snack with some cheese and toast.

Tina now works at Stanford University in Palo Alto.  I finally got to see the campus, and it is breathtaking.  Walking around, it feels like a big wonderful park.  Unfortunately the art museum featuring Robert Rauschenberg was closed!!! But, that just game me more time to walk around and soak in all the beautiful gardens and eucalyptus trees.

Oren's Hummus Shop was delicious!  We got a sampler that had 3 different eggplant dishes, delicious lebni, beet salad, and a carrot salad.  The chicken skewers were the best I've had, and the hummus was creamy and delicious!  The tabbouleh was made with quinoa and had a perfect amount of mint.  Our lunches have been really good!

 Not much time to cook when there's so much to eat out there!  Next week, we should see much more cooking.  San Francisco journey continues!  May I cook more than green, yellow, and white colored foods while I'm here.  I'm thinking its not gonna happen.  Even the apples we bought are green.
The lunar new year is officially over.  May you conquer your new 2015 goals.

Gettin All Lo Mein on That Ass and The Best Pork Shoulder Dish!

What do you do when you have consumed a monster amount of spaghetti with a delicious vegetable packed tomato sauce?  Use the leftover noodles to make lo mein of course!  There are certain foods that are the perfect platform for leftovers.  Fried rice, fried noodles, and lasagna are wonderful ways to use your leftovers.

This week we finally finished off our leftovers.  This fried noodles dish is leftover spaghetti noodles, grilled red peppers and onion, steak, Korean red pepper dipping sauce, shredded carrots, and cabbage.  The only new thing I added to this was oyster sauce, vinegar, a touch of sugar, cilantro and scallions.  It was a fantastic stir fried noodle dish.  I take pride in clearing out the fridge creatively and deliciously.  Its very gratifying and rewarding!  

What does one do when its a snow day?  Of course, clean out the fridge!  Its also fun living where we live, because once you've gotten the cabin fever, you can just gear up and walk down the street to restaurants and bars.  Its nice to be near a hip neighborhood sometimes!  But its also fun to be snowed in.  I like to self impose the snow in.  I know the snow has melted, but I'm in my softest clothes and making things.  I am a near perfect candidate to be stuck inside a house.  I WILL find something to do.  One of the things I found to do was eat things in the freezer.  We had a pork shoulder from Jenn and Scott,  huge bucket of green tomato habanero sauce, and tons of onions.  Yes, we will make the delicious jerk pork shoulder that we had made in 2014.  The difference from this and last years was I used the green tomato habanero sauce, added a bundle of green onions, 8 garlic cloves, 1 rocoto pepper, and all the spices that come with making jerk.  Sliced up 2 medium onions and let this thing simmer in the oven for about 4 hours.  The onions melt and the sauce caramelizes, it so good.  The depth is indescribable.  Its sweet in a complex savory way.  We thought about cooking it on the grill, but I kind of enjoy it without the smokiness.  Some times I have meat eaters remorse, but in this case, none.  This pork was from our friend Jenn and Scott.  We ate either Bert or Ernie.  If I had met them, I may not eat them.  I can't meet a named animal and then eat them.  I also can't watch anything get stabbed with needles, cut with knives or shot at.  On a much more delicious note, check it out. Sticky deliciousness packed into this pot.

The dish is pretty spicy, so I thought a creamy polenta would be the perfect thing to go with it.  Served with a garnish of green onions and red bell pepper along side a helping of Weird Science and a glass of vino.  

Braised meat.  That's what I do best with meat.  Rare I cook it, but when I do, this is my method of choice. Its amazing.  Try it out, I highly recommend it.