ALBONDIGAS

IMG_4384Most times when I cook dinner its a freestyle performance of putting together what I receive in my Farm Fresh box delivery and whatever type of protein I have at hand.  The formula is simple: protein + sided veggie+ salad. But, when Eloy asks for something specific I step outside the norm.  Don’t ask me why the man wants a Mexican meatball soup when it’s ninety degrees out, but if it’s albondigas he wants, albondigas he will have.  The soup is fairly simple to throw together and its a one pot meal that yields about 6 bowls of healthy heartiness.  Traditionally, the meatballs are beef but changing up the ground beef to organic ground chicken makes this dish far less fatty. Soups are great if you have a bunch of veggies hanging around that need to be used, and many of the ones that I use in this soup can be exchanged for other types. One thing I will say though is that celery and carrots add great flavor to any soup. Albondigas are usually served with Mexican rice but I skipped it here just to be extra healthy.

What you need:

Soup: 1 bunch celery, 5 large carrots, 4 medium red potatoes, 2/3 large yellow onion, 1 ear of corn, 1 can diced tomatoes, 3 bay leaves(remove before serving), 1/4 cup veggie oil, 1 1/2 tbsp Knorr Caldo de Pollo boullion (the label is yellow and green with a rooster on it, it’s usually in the Mexican isle at the local market), and 1/2 bunch cilantro.

Meatballs: 1 lb. organic ground chicken, 1/3 yellow onion minced, 4  garlic cloves minced, 1/2 bunch cilantro minced, 2 organic cage free eggs, 1/2 cup bread crumbs

What to do:

Fill a large pot 2/3 full of water and bring to a boil. Rough cut the celery, pealed carrots, potatoes (I leave the skins on because they are tasty and have lots of vitamins), and add to the boiling water. Reduce the heat to medium so that the soup is simmering.  Add the can of diced tomatoes, bay leaves, oil, and boullion and stir. Chop the onion leaving 1/3 for the meatballs and add to the soup mixture. Now time for the meatballs.  Mince the garlic, 1/3 onion, and 1/2 bunch cilantro. Combine in a mixing bowl with the chicken, eggs, and bread crumbs and mash together. Once the potatoes and carrots can be pierced with a fork, start hand rolling the meatballs into 1 1/2″ diameter balls and add them to the pot as you roll them. Be careful to submerge each meatball but do not stir. Chicken has less fat than beef and does not hold together as well. The extra egg added to the meatball mix helps hold the ball together but it needs a few seconds to cook in the soup before it is stable. After all the meatballs are in they will only take a few minutes to cook. Shuck the ear of corn and split into 6 even pieces. Stir the soup and test to see it the meatballs are cooked, they should be fairly firm and spring back when pushed. Add the corn and cook for 2-3 minutes. Serve up the soup making sure to remove the bay leaves, and distribute the remaining 1/2 bunch of chopped cilantro between the bowls.

The Product:

A healthy and hearty fall meal that is delicious and satisfying! Enjoy!

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ETAGERE BAR

IMG_3773Since Eloy and I moved in to our loft 3 years ago we have been looking for the perfect piece to spruce up the little space by our front door.  We had settled on finding the perfect brass bar cart and hunted every month at the Rose Bowl swap meet with determination.  Whether it was the price or the appearance, we couldn’t seem to find the right one. Normally we try to not get locked into one idea because there could always be a better one, but we were under the spell of the trendy bar cart. Eloy and I both have an affinity for refurbished vintage furniture, we even rented some for our wedding, which led us to the lovely Rainy and Osker at Circa Rentals (Circa Rentals).  As we bonded with the Circa team over furniture with character we mentioned our bar cart quest.  They pointed us to Michael at Sunbeam Vintage (Sunbeam Vintage). For months Eloy and I stalked Sunbeam’s instagram feed for just the right piece. Finally, last weekend, we set foot in the showroom located in Highland Park thinking that perhaps something would catch our eye. We browsed the narrow isles packed with beautiful vintage pieces that look good as new like kids in a candy store, and then there it was in a sea of treasure….a brass etagere. The perfect dimensions for our space and with more storage than a cart. The spell was broken… the etagere would be ours!  We returned the following week to collect our find. Eloy had it up an organized before the day was through and our corner is completely transformed! Normally an etagere is used to display decorative pieces, we used it to display all of our beautiful barware and bottles. When you open the door to our loft it is the first thing you see, shining and beautiful. Next time you are looking for a creative solution to a space or just looking for a unique find to add some character to your home, consider looking for something vintage and perhaps even stop by Sunbeam.IMG_3764 IMG_3766Michael was nice enough to pose for a photo, he is such a kind man.IMG_3770If I had space for this…IMG_3771IMG_3760IMG_3781 IMG_3780 IMG_3779 IMG_3777IMG_3776scan

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MUFFIN MONDAY

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Nothing can start your day out better than a delicious breakfast. Fresh baked goods are my favorite breakfast items which is one of the reasons I bake so often. Baking as frequently as I do has made me critical of my work but these coconut blueberry muffins blew me away.

What You need:

2 cups All Purpose Flour – 3/4 cup sugar -1/2 tsp salt – 2 tsps baking powder – 2 eggs – 1/2 cup coconut oil – 2 tsps vanilla extract – 1 cup almond milk – 1 cup fresh blueberries – 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350, and grease a jumbo muffin pan. I mentioned it before but I love the Trader Joes Coconut oil cooking spray.  Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and 1/2 cup shredded coconut  in a large bowl. I like the finely shredded coconut best.  Once mixed well add eggs, oil, vanilla, and milk. Use a whisk to blend together until smooth and fold in blueberries. Fill muffin pan cups 3/4 full and sprinkle the remaining shredded coconut on top. Bake for about 20min or until golden and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

The Product:

6 perfectly moist and hearty breakfast muffins with a soft coconut flavor  that will keep you full and satisfied until lunch time!

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MATCHA MAGIC

IMG_3709Breakfast: the proclaimed most important meal of the day and one that many don’t eat. Weekday breakfasts are usually an after thought while rushing out the door and the comfort of routine can leave this forgotten meal boring and uninspiring. Coffee is standard for most members of the work force, and grab n’ go morning snacks are the usual accompaniment. I am a one piece of toast and black coffee type of gal but I decided to shake up my morning ritual and swap out my caffeine source.  I have so much Matcha Tea from my adventures to the Japanese market a couple weeks ago that I decided an iced Matcha Latte was in order.  Matcha delivers the same amount of caffeine as your standard cup of coffee but with some crazy added health benefits (see what’s so great about it here) and all with the delicious mild flavor of green tea. Another added bonus is that Matcha Tea is a whole leaf powder that does not need to be brewed, just add, mix and you are done. Since I live a dairy free life, my Matcha Latte is completely Lactose free. It’s simple, here is what to do:

What you need:

1 tbsp Matcha powder, 1 tbsp Coffeemate non-dairy creamer (I like the vanilla flavor), 1 cup unsweetened Vanilla Almond milk, 1 large ripe banana

What to do:

Put it all in the blender and blend until smooth and serve over ice

The Result:

A creamy and smooth, subtly sweet, well caffeinated, and healthy breakfast beverage.  If you get the Almond milk that is 30 calories per cup this latte should be around 100 calories per serving!!!! Better than you average 300 calorie latte at the ‘Bucks and a lot less pricey to boot!

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TO THE MAX

photo-3-5I have been hunting for the perfect pair of Air Max 90′s and I finally got them. My daily train commute has opened me up to exploring the world of sneakers since sprinting through the station is a lot simpler when not attempted in 5″ heels. They also make for great weekend footwear. I tossed on this olive burnout tee from Zara with grey Prvcy jeans to go back to the grey in my new kicks and then coordinated accessories with bright pops like a neon lucite purse from Juicy Couture to add a bit of fun and interest. Sneakers with bright colours are great when dressed up with skirts or shorts and blouses for casual but coordinated looks.
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