Morel Season and a Leftover Transformation

What??  I'm still catching you up on before I left for Savannah?  Yes.  Shamefully yes.  But this will help stir Spring Fever and get you craving vegetables.  The day I left I made tabbouleh and a vegetable lasagna for lunch. Weird right? Luckily I did because I haven't cooked much here in Savannah, and what I have cooked has been pasta and lots of eggs.  

The lasagna had spinach, spaghetti squash, and morels.  It was delicious and I could really use it right about now!  My wonderful friend, Emily Petree provided us with the morels.  Morels are delicious with cheese.  I bet it would be great in mac n cheese.

A warm and moss covered hello from Savannah!

I took some leftover Chinese BBQ pork that was super chewy and bad and turned it into a Vietnamese Thit kho by making a caramel sauce with sugar and soy sauce and then added the fish sauce dipping sauce thing it came with.  I added a little bourbon to the sauce to add a little depth since I didn't have any fish sauce to work with.  I stewed it with a couple hard boiled eggs and then turned the under cooked rice into a congee. It was actually really good!

Here's a lil something I've been working instead of cooking.  Paint paint paint!  Food I've been consuming to come!

Spring is here! Cauliflower Soup, Beef Tenderloin Lettuce Wraps and Mexican Quesadilla Breakfast

Surprise!  I know its been awhile, but I have been a busy bee.  I can literally say I haven't had ANY time to share all my delicious consumptions and stories.  Since I last posted anything I was in Oklahoma City.  Today I've been to Asheville where I met a wonderful pair of artist that I will be collaborating with.  Now I'm in Savannah as the first SixTwelve artist resident!  But before I left here are a few things that we made that needed to make the blog!

Cauliflower Soup and a salad with dijon dressing and flash fried shisito peppers.  I used a recipe from America's Test Kitchen for the cauliflower soup. Its a vegan soup and it really is delicious and creamy and doesn't need any cream or broth.  It has little florets browned in butter, but I used olive oil to keep with the vegan part.  I loved it!

Our first harvest of mint was spent on these delicious lettuce wraps.  Matt smothered the beef tenderloins with a Korean bbq marinade my dad gave us and he stuffed it with garlic. Served with a veggie plate of mint, cucumber, and lettuce.  Also, my Mom's homemade kimchee and pickled carrots.

I end it with an alternative to the breakfast quesadilla.  Instead of stuffing it scrambled eggs, put a poached egg on top!  I LOVE poached eggs.  I'm down to put on all sorts of things.  This quesadilla is stuffed with black beans and cheese and topped with a perfectly poached egg and slivers of fried shisito peppers.

I hope to fill you in on Savannah eats and weird foods I've made with leftovers soon!

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.