• Rosemary-Lemon Shrimp Orecchiette
  • Rosemary-Lemon Shrimp Orecchiette Rosemary-Lemon Shrimp Orecchiette Rosemary-Lemon Shrimp Orecchiette Rosemary-Lemon Shrimp Orecchiette Rosemary-Lemon Shrimp Orecchiette

One of my biggest regrets in life is probably that I’m not an Italian because lets face it: pasta is one of the best foods on the planet. Unfortunately, the fact that I’m not Italian is completely out of my control. I’ll pass this one off to my parents… you guys really blew it. Luckily for my parents, I somehow seem to have the magic touch. My best guess is that this magic touch originates not from my heritage but instead comes from the growling in my belly. Those growls don’t lie.

This dish was an experiment in the kitchen gone well– led by the increasingly monstrous growls in my belly. Lemon is probably one of my favorite ingredients to add to a meal and mixing with rosemary created a perfect twangy sauce that keeps your taste buds watering for more.. The squash adds beautiful color, while the shrimp makes it taste fresh and filling. Not all of you may be a fan of zoodles my last zucchini pasta dish, so I thought I would offer you a substitute. Below are the ingredients for this great pasta which can serve up to 4 people.

Ingredients:

1 Bag Orecchiette pasta
3 Small squash (use both colors for a prettier presentation)
1 Lemon
2 Handfuls of spinach
1 Teaspoon of finely chopped rosemary
1/2 Pound of uncooked/cleaned shrimp
1 Clove minced garlic
Feta Cheese
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Red pepper flakes

How to make:
Use two separate non-stick sauce pans– one for the shrimp (small pan) and the other for the squash(extra large saucepan). Put both on medium heat over the stove. On a separate burner, begin to boil a pot of water for the Orecchiette.

Prepare: Thinly chop squash– lay on a paper towel and pat dry, finely chop up fresh rosemary, wash spinach and dry, mince clove of garlic.

Cook: In one pan add about one tablespoon of olive oil, rosemary and squeeze half a lemon. Mix and cook until the rosemary and lemon really become fragrant. Add the squash, and a dash of salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. After squash is cooked and shrimp and pasta are close to being done, add spinach to the dish so that you are only cooking it for 2-3 minutes.

Cook: In the other pan simultaneously begin cooking the shrimp with a light drizzle of olive oil and a big squeeze of lemon for flavor.

Cook: Boil pasta until it is al dente– should take less than 10 mins. Strain pasta and dump out water.

Combine: Once all ingredients are cooked, pour pasta and shrimp into squash skillet. Mix ingredients together, add a small squeeze of lemon, freshly ground pepper, and one more dash of red pepper flakes. Top off mixture with feta cheese.

Serve!

Tasty, tangy, and a treat! The rosemary-lemon sauce is a fun way to turn a light pasta into a delicious specialty. This pasta can be served hot or cold. It’s perfect for a large party dish, a summer BBQ, an afternoon lunch or even dinner. Make it yours and swap out some ingredients! I hope you enjoy and have fun.

Let me remind you, all food tastes better with wine and company. 

Cheers,

Aly

    Zucchini Pasta With Homemade Pesto Zucchini Pasta With Homemade Pesto Zucchini Pasta With Homemade Pesto Zucchini Pasta With Homemade Pesto Zucchini Pasta With Homemade Pesto Zucchini Pasta With Homemade Pesto

Does anyone else have a meal that they think of as their “Birthday Meal”?? Yes, I capitalize “Birthday Meal” because it was always such a big deal to my family. Why is it that what we eat on our birthday matters so much? To be honest, I’m not sure but what I do know is that each and every year I have a happy belly. Although it is nowhere near my birthday I couldn’t kick the craving of wanting my mom’s pesto sauce, and being that I don’t live with her anymore it was up to me to try and re-create it. This time there was a little bit of fun, because I put the sauce on zucchini noodles– another one of my attempts to go healthy. Lucky for me making these noodles are fun!

You really start to know you are getting older when can pass up your favorite clothing store, but the minute you walk by a William Sonoma or Sur La Table you stop and stare with your jaw dropped at the window. When you find yourself spending your shopping time watching the live demonstrations by the William Sonoma employees, rather than trying on fun, fabulous clothing… let’s just say you know things are changing. To no surprise folks, this is the sad story of my life… I can really see my age creeping up on me and it’s a scary thing. Very scary, except when watching one of those live demonstrations turned me on to my new favorite kitchen toy: Paderno Spiralizer. Being healthy just got crunchy, tasty, and fun!

Ingredients:

2 Zucchini’s per Person
1 Package Cherry Tomatoes
1 Bushel of Basil
1 Small Jar Sun-dried Tomatoes in Oil
5 Cloves of Garlic
2 Cups of Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Pine Nuts
Salt
Pepper
Olive Oil

How to Make the Pesto Sauce: Use a food processor. I have to admit that making this sauce is really a balancing act. I did not use direct measurements, nor does my mom when she cooks. Taste along the way and make it an adventure!

– In the food processor add about 5 cloves of garlic
– Pulse
– Add small jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil.
– Pulse
– Add basil– you can use entire bunch, it will help even out the taste of the garlic
– Pulse
– Add a few shakes of salt, more pepper than salt and a hand-full of pine nuts
– Pulse
– Add olive oil to give it the consistency you would like! I typically like mine thicker and less runny, but that’s up to you! Usually around 1 cup of olive oil.
– Pulse
– Add 2 cups of parmesan cheese
– Pulse– you may add more olive oil after this and pulse again to make thinner.

How to Make Zucchini Pasta: Use your William Sonoma Paderno Spiralizer to create the most perfect spiral zucchini noodles you have ever seen. Put noodles into a large non-stick sauce pan on medium heat. These usually take 10 mins or less on the stove.

– Add cherry tomatoes diced in half to the pan of zucchini noodles right away
– Sprinkle with olive oil– be sure to not add too much. Zucchini tends to shed a lot of water when being cooked
– Add salt and pepper to the noodles, only use a dash of salt because the sauce has a decent amount in it already
– After the noodles have been on the stove for about 8 minutes add the pesto sauce and let the noodles cook for 2-3 minutes longer.
– Take noodles off heat and serve!

Super easy, super healthy, and super delicious. I know many of you may think that you are sacrificing major taste when you give up pasta noodles and substitute it with zucchini, but you really aren’t. The zucchini noodle gives you the same satisfaction and in some ways I like them better than regular noodles. The crunch makes them more fun, the zucchini adds great flavor to any type of sauce you dress it with and lets face it… we all get satisfaction out of feeling like we are using the healthy alternative. I hope you give my mom’s pesto sauce a try and check out this great spiralizer (William Sonoma should be paying me for this or something…). I have had so much fun with it. Wow, really I should be getting paid…. Most importantly don’t forget to drink a nice glass of red with your meal!

Let me remind you, all food tastes better with wine and company. 

Cheers,

Aly

    Wine-Apps-Oysters: the perfect combo Wine-Apps-Oysters: the perfect combo Wine-Apps-Oysters: the perfect combo Wine-Apps-Oysters: the perfect combo Wine-Apps-Oysters: the perfect combo

I have a new favorite street in the city– well a section of a street at least. A street lined with cable car tracks, wine bars and itty-bitty restaurants just waiting to be discovered. Yes, my favorite streets in the city revolve around food and drinks; what can I say, I’m a hungry girl. Hyde street in Russian Hill has pleasantly surprised me over and over again with some of my favorite places– don’t worry many of those treasures will soon be shared on this blog– so you can only imagine my curiosity when a new wine bar opened up.  As I sat in a window seat of this establishment it was clear to me that I wasn’t the only person in the neighborhood curious about the new open doors. I felt like a fish in a glass bowl as I was looking out at the dozens– upon dozens– of eyes that stared back through the glass just wondering what was inside. I’m excited to let all these curious eyes know, I can solve the mystery about what was inside the windows on Hyde, just keep reading.

The ambiance was cool and urban with a seductive mood in the dim lighting, all of this only enhanced by the open atmosphere. The menu is short yet full of great cheese, meat, wine pairings, appetizers, and small sandwiches. As simple as many of the dishes may look, they offer complex preparation and great flavors. Union Larder may just have to be my new hangout spot. Not to mention, they have a nice upscale grocery section, what more could we ask for? What will my other favorite Hyde street hangouts think when they see me always in here? I encourage you to go with friends or with a handsome date like I did and enjoy the night. Start here, end here, it’s up to you.. just make sure you GO here. Here’s a few must-haves I picked off the menu:

What We Ate:

Oysters- with Fresno-chil mignonette
Best sauce to marinate an oyster with, I couldn’t get enough of it. Matter of fact… I didn’t, I’m going back for more ASAP.

Burrata- cream filled mozzarella, basil oil, acme crustini
Simplistic. Perfect. Delicious. Best part: they are not scarce on the cheese, not that you can have more than you need but you get a lot.

Raclette-melted Rolf Beerler Swiss Raclette cheese, market potatoes, Cornichions, fresh herbs
Cheesy goodness. The pickles offers an exciting zing to your taste buds.

What We Drank:

Brouhaha-Pinot Gris- Paso Robles
Light, crisp, refreshing with subtle citrus flavors.

Poco E Poco- Pinot Noir- Russian River Valley
A deep pinot with a level of boldness, rather than a light fruity pinot. Aka, much better.

Infrared by POE-Cabernet Sauvignon- Napa
D E L I C I O U S. Big bad red. Can’t get enough.

 

If I haven’t said it enough, I’ll say it again: get over to Union Larder before everyone ends up there. You can say you “discovered” it, like I know you all will– who wouldn’t? If you do one thing, get that Infrared, a few glasses to be safe.

 

Cheers,

Aly

 

For more info here’s an article about Union Larder on Eater SF

    Chubby Bell Peppers Chubby Bell Peppers Chubby Bell Peppers Chubby Bell Peppers Chubby Bell Peppers

Just like 90% of women in the United States, I went through a quinoa obsessive phase once the grain became popular in stores like Trader Joes– because that’s the only store where broke girls can shop for groceries without ending up in life shattering debt for buying 5 items. This phase I “went” through– more like still going through– essentially consisted of me making quinoa in one special way, oddly enough I never seem to get bored of it. Though after a certain amount of time eating my personal specialty, quinoa soaked in Sriracha– yes I have an addiction to spicy food, there came a point where my doctors pretty much told me if I kept eating so much Sriracha I would quite literally burn a hole straight through my stomach. Needless to say, it was time to come up with other ideas– though I can’t lie and say I didn’t still take my chances with the Sriracha. Thanks to my doctors and me kicking my usual reluctance on being to be told what to do, I came up with a pretty great recipe: quinoa-ground turkey stuffed bell peppers.

Anyone who has a Pinterest knows that it is only right to give the site honorable mention for my Chubby Pepper inspiration, as there are about 20 different versions of this concept all over it. Generally speaking this is a super easy, fun and tasty meal; the hardest part is that it takes a little bit of time (about 45 mins). The best part of this meal is you’re almost always guaranteed to have leftover stuffing! Tell me if I’m wrong but there is nothing better than eating food when no one is looking, right out of the pan and off the serving spoon after you’ve already finished your meal. When making this dish I usually make 4 peppers at a time, the more the merrier!

Ingredients 

4 Bell peppers (red, orange or yellow)
1 Cup quinoa
1 Box mushrooms (use about half of the brown box)
1 Sweet onion
1 Package of lean ground turkey (usually 1.25-1.3 lbs per package)
1 Package yellow cherry tomatoes
1  Spoonful of minced garlic
Feta cheese crumbles
Salt
Pepper
Red pepper flakes
Paprika
Olive oil

How to cook

> Preheat oven to 350 degrees, use cookie sheet or oven friendly ceramic dish
> Use large non-stick sauce pan on medium-high heat
> Wash all your vegetable– but you know that
> Before you get started it’s important to poor yourself a nice healthy glass of red wine, something more bold like you
> Prep ingredients by cutting up half of the sweet onion, as many cherry tomatoes as you want and half of the box of mushrooms
> Cut the tops off of the bell peppers, clean the insides out so you have plenty of room to stuff them
> Place 1 cup quinoa, 2 cups water in a small pot and bring to a boil–> once boiling lower heat to a simmer, cover pot and let cook for 15 mins or until water has run out
> Simultaneously begin cooking the other half of the quinoa mixture
> Drink a big sip of wine, maybe three
> Coat the sauce pan in olive oil and begin to slowly brown the raw ground turkey
> While browning add spoonful of minced garlic, about 2 shakes each of paprika, pepper and salt
> Sip wine, turn on music
> Add the mushrooms and onions after there turkey is browned and no longer raw
> Once quinoa is done, pour grain into the sauce pan with the turkey, onion and mushrooms
> Add about 3 shakes of the salt, red pepper flakes, chopped up cherry tomatoes and a handful of feta cheese
> Mix the mixture together so the flavor soaks into the quinoa
> Drink some wine
> Fill the emptied bell peppers with the quinoa-turkey mixture
> Top the stuffed peppers with feta cheese– the more the better people
> Put the peppers in the over for about 15-18 minutes
>Let cool before digging in, drink wine in the mean time

This is an awesome dinner, super healthy, fun and colorful! Just what the doctor prescribed… or not because I typically soak mine in Tapatio or Sriracha. Shhh don’t tell, but do try. Let me know what you think and have fun!

Let me remind you, all food tastes better with wine and company. 

Cheers,

Aly

 

 

    Jane: My New Favorite Lunch Date Jane: My New Favorite Lunch Date Jane: My New Favorite Lunch Date Jane: My New Favorite Lunch Date Jane: My New Favorite Lunch Date

Some of the problems I face in my life present me with mind boggling questions… questions I usually revolve my day around. Six out of seven days of the week it is typically something like, “where in the world do I go for lunch?” Lunch is probably the most important meal of the day because not only five days out of the week does it give you a much needed break from your work desk, but also on the days you don’t know what to do, it is the easiest place-holder activity. Tell me you haven’t sat on a couch with your friends and asked “what should we do today?” and the first answer suggested wasn’t “we could always find somewhere to go for lunch!” Or you haven’t spent your first hour in the office drinking your coffee answering some small emails and then turned to your co-worker and said, “where should we go for lunch today?” If you say you have never done this, I know you’re lying. Drop the act. The next problem I typically face is something like, “where in the world do I find a good salad that’s not from a chain restaurant with mass produced, lack luster, make your taste buds sleep boring salads?”

These questions circle my mind each and every day as I am most certainly sure they do for you as well, whether you want to admit it or not. As you can see my mind was tortured with this complex problem all up to the wonderful day I found a great new spot by the name of Jane. Jane is a cute little cafe with a hipster feel, perfect variety of summer salads of lunch and amazing coffee. Look no further Jane is the solution to lunch problems, well at least one of the solutions. Go there for lunch and coffee and let your tastebuds do the talking.

What we Ate:

The Arugula Salad
(My dish) Awesome salad with baby arugula, chicken, avocado, tomatoes, pine nuts and shaved parmesan. Topped with a light lemon vinaigrette dressing. The lemon offered a special kick to the salad and made my taste buds water.

The Quinoa Salad
Great full spinach salad with quinoa, cherry tomatoes, avocado, chicken (added), and other goodies. Topped with a cherry rice vinegar dressing. In my opinion salads with quinoa already have a leg up on taste and this salad did not disappoint with the robust flavors.

What we Drank:

Mocha
With a big fat marshmallow in it. YUM

Cappuccino
Great coffee, rich flavors, delivered pretty.

Check out Jane on Fillmore for your next lunch destination and see what you think about their salads, I wouldn’t send you their direction if I didn’t think it was worth it. It’s a cool spot in the middle of a happening street with plenty of shopping, drinking, socializing to do surrounding your salad fix.

Cheers,

Aly

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