Surf and Turf

When you hear surf and turf generally you’re thinking shrimp and steaks.  Today I’m going to shake that up a bit with my version of surf and turf…..

SHARKS AND PIGS!!

Hey one lives in the ocean and the other one on land so it qualifies as far as I’m concerned.

Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming...... gotta love my Dory

A land creature indeed!

Admittedly, I did not eat a shark steak with pulled pork dolloped on top, but the recipes and pictures for both have been festering away in my lappy for a tad too long now, so I’m giving them to you now.

Also as usual these things came about due to my perusals of the glory that is Berkeley Bowl.

The Shark Story

Well, the man and I were picking up some stuff and they had mako shark at the seafood counter.  It was surprisingly reasonable and since I’m always looking for a good deal and new things to try I said to the man, “Shark, it’s what’s for dinner!”  I don’t remember how he reacted, but I’m fairly confident that he just shook his head and walked away because he thinks I’m crazy.

Anywho, this is how I made it

Herb Broiled Mako Shark

2 Mako Shark Steaks 10-12 oz each

2 Tbsp butter melted

1/2 head of garlic minced

1 Tbsp freshly chopped herbs (I used thyme and oregano because it’s what I had)

juice of 1/2-1 lemon

salt

pepper

The Method

1. Turn your oven to Broil

2. Combine the melted butter, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice,  and herbs and mash it together

Butter makes it better

3. Smother your steaks and place them on a rack

4. Broil each side 5-7 minutes each side depending on how thick your steak is.

5. Eat!

Goes nice with a simple salad

And now for the pig….

Pulled pork is one of my favorite things to make, because it’s insanely easy and so darn tasty.  We usually purchase two shoulders at a time and generally have one hanging out in the freezer for when the time is right.  I always use the same method of smothering it in a marinade in my trusty Dutch Oven and then I let it hang out at 275-300F for 6-8 hours.  The only thing that changes is the marinade, which naturally is dictated by what I have in my kitchen.

In this particular instance the drivers were cilantro and tomatoes. So here we go!

Green Pulled Pork

10-12lbs of pork shoulder

1-2 bunches of cilantro

4-6 tomatoes (any kind will do)

1 head of garlic

1 onion

juice of 4 limes

1 apple chopped

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp cumin

1/2 Tbsp chile powder (add more or less based on how spicy you want it)

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

salt

pepper

The Method

1. Preheat your oven to 275-300F

2. Combine all ingredients except the pork into a blender

3. Blitz it!

Is ready

4. In the dutch oven place your shoulder at the bottom and cover with marinade and rub it into the meat.

Ready for the sauna

5. Let it hang out for 6-8 hours.

6. Noms!

I ate it on salad, but you can also eat in a taco, by itself, or any other way imaginable

Hope you enjoy it!

The Weekend

Happy Monday ererrybody!

Hope you had a good weekend. I had a pretty enjoyable one myself so I’m going to share with you whether you like it or not because it’s my blog and I have that kind of power….MWAH HAHAHA

In all realness though, this was probably one of the more action packed weekends I’ve had in a while.  I’ve been working Saturdays for the last year and a half so I’m starting to finally get into the groove of taking full advantage of  that solid 48 hours including Friday night.  It’s been most enjoyable if I do say so myself. So here we go!

Showed some newbies around the neighborhood and checked out Prizefighter for their punch bowls and then Kona Club because it’s so wonderfully tacky with its tiki bar charm.  Had some fivetenburgers along the way too.  If you’re in the Bay go check out fiveten becasue they source all their ingredients locally, have grass fed burgers and you can order it loaded with bacon, eggs, and no buns!! Whooo Paleo friendly

Not my actual photo, but this is pretty much what I ate plus bacon..yummo!

After that tasty night I also volunteered with the Mynchia at a rally for No On Proposition A campaign canvassing around the city.  Can’t say I’m much of a political activist, in fact I’m not one at all, but it was a good experience to go door to door. I must give kudos to those who do it everyday fighting for what they believe in.

We finished up the day helping a friend with a website and then eating some homemade arepas. I usually don’t eat corn, but whoooo boy was worth it.   There is something about homemade which can never be replicated.

After those the man and I were pretty stuffed so we called it an early night and decided to go for a sunrise hike the next morning up in Tilden.  Photo cred goes to the man for the following pictures.

It was insanely foggy

But the morning light was still visible on the flowers

Still a peaceful and gorgeous hike

Ran into about 3 of these fellas. They are huge!

Due to the fog and also because I snoozed the 530am alarm we didn’t quite get up there before sunrise, but all in all it was still really nice to have the place to ourselves since most hikers aren’t really out until after 730 or so.

We finished up the day in Petaluma touring Tara Firma Farms with my meetup group and also checking out Lagunitas brewery.  I didn’t partake in the beer tasting since I’m not a huge fan of it, however the “Lewis Experience” Tour was well worth the trip.  I suggest you go check it out because it truly is an experience.

Fresh pastured eggs

Week old piglets enjoying their visitors.

And that’s about it.  Next week we’re heading up to Tahoe hopefully there will be lots of snow 🙂

Looking forward to this view

Staying right in the Squaw Valley Meadow. Doesn't get much better

How was your weekend? Any plans for the next?

I Have News!!

Two bits of news….

 

First, I got this in my email the other day……

 

………………………………..

 

Holy moly batman that is an acceptance!!!

What in the world?!?! I’m going to be a vet, well that’s just insanity.  Pretty cool though ya?!? School starts in August so I plan on being somewhat funemployed until then, which should mean more random blog posts of my shenanigans! I know you’re excited about that…uh huh.

 

 

 

Second…………………

 

 

I can do two chin ups now. Woooo me : )

 

 

 

It’s been a good week.

 

 

How was yours?!?

Something To Think About

So this morning as I went through my Google Reader I found this snippet with the infographic below.

I’ll give you a moment to scan through that….

Overmedicated America
Created by: Medical Billing and Coding Online

Cool! Did you get through that?

Now, I don’t know about you, but personally I find this pinpoints one of the biggest flaws in current western medicine.  There is a hugely disproportionate emphasis on medicating to cover up symptoms, illnesses, etc instead of actually finding a fundamental solution to treat the issue.  Just search “Paula Deen and diabetes” on Google if you want to see what I mean.

Today, the population is arguably more ill than it has ever been before with increasing rates of diabetes, obesity, and associated diseases. Admittedly there are genetic factors (1, 2) involved in development of these disease, but I’d say it’s safe to say lifestyle choices play a huge role.  Just because you are genetically predisposed does not mean the war is over.

Sometimes I feel that the American population gives up too easily on their own problems and have become so accustomed to instant gratification that they would rather be handed a pill to alleviate symptoms instead of trying to make a real change to solve the actual problem.  In my opinion fighting for your health is a battle worth fighting for. Perhaps, this is just me though as my grandfather always placed an individuals health as the most precious thing in life, because if you don’t have your health you can’t really enjoy the other important things such as family, friends, or experiences.  I don’t know about you, but that seems like pretty good logic to me.

Getting back to my point, I believe if a change is going to happen there needs to be more emphasis on prevention of these illnesses and not waiting until it’s too late.  As human beings all of our fuel and the nutrients we need come from what we put into our body and how we treat it.  Shoveling Cheetos, pizza, and hostess cupcakes into your mouth while you park it on the couch is not exactly VIP treatment.  If you think about how an architect designs a high-rise they are not haphazardly drawing squiggles for the foundation, but rather really thinking about what would make the most structurally sound building blocks so the finished product doesn’t collapse because of a little wind.  So instead, I’d say let’s eat real, clean, unprocessed food and get your blood flowing with a little exercise to give our bodies the best foundation to build ourselves on.

I don’t know about you, but I think it’s a pretty good alternative to popping 5 plus pills a day and still feeling sick.

What do you think?

*Also just as disclaimer, I’m not health professional, nutritionist, or anything of that nature.  This is purely my opinion and is not any type of professional advice.

Recap!

Hello Again!

Sorry for the delay in posts.  I wish I had an epic reason other than just being distracted by life outside of work, but alas I do not and I apologize.  Pretty much a blog fail.  For the most part I’ve just gotten sucked into reading a variety of books, articles, and other information holes on the internet revolving around nutrition, fitness, and getting your “Dream Job” over at Ramit Sethi’s site.  One might infer that I’m in that “New Year” mindset ( I know it’s February already you have full permission to judge away) and am trying to really reflect on what I want to accomplish in my life and as a person.  Seriously though, if you are feeling like you are in a rut or just want to learn good advice on how to actually tackle anything in life I suggest you go check out Iwillteachyoutoberich.com Ramit Sethi is a no candy coating, no excuses kind of guy and I appreciate it a lot because he also goes into the psychological barriers that hold most of us back.

Anywho, moving on, here is a quick recap of what else I’ve been up to besides fiddling around on the interwebz.

1) Eating a lot of spaghetti squash.

Pork Stew with Spaghetti Squash noms!

It's like a small child.

Sorry about the spandex.  I played volleyball for 8 years so I find myself inadvertently sporting them more often than I should and thus couldn’t find a sans spandex picture showing the massiveness of this squash.

$0.99! A prime example of Bargain Bin FTW

These beasts were $0.39/lb or even just $0.99 for the whole damn thing if it was in the bargain bin.  You can’t even get a box of pasta for that cheap and grains are just bad anyhow, so I urge you to try out this magical yellow vegetable.

2) Working on being able to do a pullup.

And why you might ask? Well ever since I was 40lb of human being in elementary school this is just something I’ve never quite been able to do.  Sad indeed, but that is how it is. Baby steps people.

Coming to a gym near you! Liz does unassisted pullup : D

3) Running…wait what?

Yes, I hate running, but as a belated graduation gift Mynchia presented the man and I an all expenses paid trip for the Tough Mudder in Big Bear this July.  The course is about 10 miles so I need to rack up my running miles if I’m going to finish this fun adventure and run through an electrical field at the finish line……….

I’m super excited about that part, can’t you tell?

So much fun right?

4) Taking pictures of animals.

Hanging out at work

I love animals and animals love me or so I think.

It's SOOO FLUFFY!!!

Woman cats being all womanly

5) Started a meetup

If you haven’t heard about meetup.com it’s a pretty neat social site where the point is for people to actually come together in the flesh and do fun things such as hikes, movies, network, etc.  Go check it out it’s a cool way to acquaint yourself with other cool people in your neighborhood.

And if you’re not busy this Sunday and you live in the Bay Area you should come to my Paleo Picnic Potluck at Lake Temescal : )

6) Made Tacos for the Superbowl ala the Kitchn

I ate mine with butter lettuce leafs and homemade guacomle. Delish!

So that’s a wrap of the last 4 weeks in a nutshell and I do apologize for my posting delays. I’ll be working on getting back to my regularly scheduled program ASAP!

Have a great week!

Bargain Bin For the Win!

As you know I’m a Bay Area gal and I live on the Oakland-Berkeley border.  The area is most well known as home to the UC campus and its rather significant population of professional protestors, hippies, and homeless [See Jon Stewart’s clip on Code Pink].  However, in reality, it’s not that bad.  Sure you’ll run into some crazies and be asked for money on most days, but B-town and neighboring Oakland has an awesome amount of culture and variety, which can keep you honest and on your toes as long as you don’t get sucked into a tree sitting vortex.

With all this variety, the food scene here is top notch.  While we have San Francisco just across the bridge the East Bay certainly holds its own in the culinary world (See Alice Waters, The Local Butcher, Alegio Chocolate, etc).  We’re also growing by the day as the city slickers move over to our side since

1) Rent is cheaper

2) Chef’s are figuring out that not all the East Bay folk want to trek out to the city every weekend if they don’t have to (LAZINESS FTW!)

But the real epicurean gem in this here parts is Berkeley Bowl.  I’ve never seen a more impressive and reasonable (whooo!) array of produce, meats, bulk foods, prepared foods, spices, etc. in a single place.  Whole Foods has nice stuff and all, but it’s called “Whole Paycheck” for a reason.  In addition to the stunning array of veggies that Berkeley Bowl has on a daily basis they also have the Bargain Bin.

Now the Bargain Bin is the most magical place ever.  I try my best to live out of the darn thing.  All the produce that is getting to the end of its prime gets bundled up and placed in the bargain bin at sub-dollar prices.  Now the Berkeley Bowl standard for “end of it’s prime” often passes as Safeway’s normal stuff.  Some of it is a tad soft or fuzzy, but with a little elbow grease you can just pick out the nasties and you have just fine produce.

Greatest Place on Earth, although it's been picked through already.

I’ve had several shopping trips where I easily can get 90% of the produce I need for the week in the bargain bin.  Whenever this happens I spam people with images of my grocery cart haul, while they are likely doing important things at work.

Bell Peppers, Broccoli Rabe, Tomatoes, Bananas, Berries, Pears

How is this not winning?

Kale up the wazoo!

Obviously, I don’t always get to pick what I’m getting because it’s where all the randoms end up, but this is great because it forces me to come up with new recipes and it keeps the meals a changing. Variety is the spice of life! The bargain bin is my version of other people’s produce boxes from CSA’s or only eating seasonally, which in California is more or less a foreign concept : )

Great food always comes out of the bargain bin such as

Kale Chips from Smitten Kitchen

Roasted Kabocha Squash

any tomato recipe , random attempts at paleo banana breads, or smoothies.

And that is my story on the Bargain Bin at Berkeley Bowl.  It really is the most magical place on earth.

.

You got nothing on my Bargain Bin

If you’re in the area go check it out, because the Bargain Bin is always filled with winning and really who doesn’t like winning?

Hallow 2012!

To 2012 I bid you HALLOW! 2011 was a good year indeed, but I think we just might be able to make this year even better as we cross into new territories and see where life takes us. And if how we ended this past year is any prediction of the upcoming one it should be pretty darn swell : )

So just in case you were interested this is how we spent the day.

I took the day off work and the man, myself and friends from the gym started off with a quick 5k in Golden Gate Park.

Always happy prerun

The man ran in the first wave because he wanted to WIN!

Man on a Mission!

I hung back for the second wave because as you know I’m not a huge fan of the running business, but it’s always fun to do things with a group.

It was a tad chilly

Once we started moving all was well though.  I ended up falling behind Mary and the other Ironworks folk, but I had no shame plodding along at my own pace.  Perhaps I should work on that next year.  Resolution perhaps?…. I make no promises ; )

In the end, the man unfortunately did not win as he had planned because he overran the volunteer markers and thus the course. On the bright side, the man being nice finished my leg of the run with me for kicks.

run, run, run

Not completely miserable for once. Amazing!

Finished!

We enjoyed some complimentary mimosas afterwards and then headed up to the Haight to show Jeff’s friends Martin around.  Also much love to Martin for taking our pictures and holding our stuff while we ran. Thanks buddy!

The rest of the day was spent prepping some Spicy Chicken Drumsticks and Peppermint Patties from the Make it Paleo cookbook to bring to some New Years Eve festivities later that night.

The plan was for buffalo wings, but I had a few detours

Patty love

The evening was spent ringing in the new year with old and new friends, food, drinks and a whole lot of this..

and this…..

however, none of us looked even remotely that good except perhaps Amos who actually has rhythm.  The video I have is horrifyingly embarrassing so I shall make an effort to keep the friends I have by not humiliating them.

So that was how we rang in the New Year. It was most memorable and thoroughly delicious.

Happy New Year!

What did you do? Do you have any resolutions or plans for 2012?

Holiday Recap & Blendtec

Holy Moly BATMAN! Christmas is gone and the year is almost over again.  It’s hard to believe that another 365 days has passed so quickly.  I remember when I was a youngin and every year felt like an eternity.  I guess time really does fly as you get older.  I suppose I better make this lifetime worthwhile then huh?

 

On that note I’d say this holiday was a fabulous one!  And that’s not only because I got some pretty awesome gifts, but mostly because I was able to spend quality time with my family.  I spent Christmas Eve with the grandparentals, aunt and uncle.  My grandmother is frequent church goer, despite the rest of us ranging from less than enthusiastic to you can skin me before I attend a religious gathering. However, this year we all went together with her, which was very enjoyable.  I had actually never realized my grandmother goes to a gospel church, so the sermon was primarily a concert and it was fun to see how happy my Big PoPo was to have all of us there.

Christmas Day was spent with Mynchia, where we enjoyed some early morning refreshments…..

Irish Coffee

Egg Nog with Brandy

hung around the tree and decorations,

He was a fat tree

Happy Family!

Happy Family!

and opened presents.

: )

We be matching! Ha

 

We actually were scrambling looking for eggnog in the hours before, but couldn’t find any so I made due with Healthful Pursuit’s recipe, which was so much better than store bought, especially since I added extra spices in the name of clove and ginger.

 

This year I tried my hand at DIY wrapping paper and I was quite pleased with the outcome.

Simple and pretty

I got the idea from The Sweetest Occasion.

 

Running with that theme were the sugar scrubs and bath salts I made.

Ikea has the best jars

 

Adapted from Balanced Bites and Health Green Kitchen.  I ended up adding grapeseed oil to both in order to thin out the scrub and because I lacked almond oil.

They made for great gifts at the White Elephant Party we attended, where I won the best gift ever!

SNUGGIE!! and a reading light!

 

The man was highly disappointed in me when I sent him this picture, especially because I even devised a plan to steal my beloved Snuggie back. It was completely and totally worth it. I have no shame.

 

Lastly, I don’t know if this is compares to my Snuggie ; D , but I also got a Blendtec, which I have to say is one of the best kitchen tools I’ve ever owned.  This thing is a beast! It has preset settings for different types of blender jobs.  When the man and I made a smoothie we were both blown away by the technology of the thing.  First it just churned the bottom chunks before going high speed OMG and making smoothie amazingness.  No lumps, no bumps, just delicious.

happiness

 

It is great for soups, nut butters, and making nut flours.  I’m pretty stoked about it and you should be too, because it means more noms for you cyber world! Wahoo!

So I leave you with a recipe for a Smokey Tomato Soup, which just hits the spot in this chilly winter weather.

I know you want a bowl of this right about now

 

How was your holiday?  Did you do anything special?