Bright and Modern Home Tour

Here's another awesome home tour from Domaine! I love the color combination. The natural woods, neutral grays, and accents of blue. I've learned that I'm happiest when surrounded by some form of blue. Any hue in that color family always seems to soothe me. Do you have a color that you find calming? I'm curious.

Source: Domaine

Leftover Pie Thanksgiving Printables

I'm grateful for so many things this year, but most of all, I'm thankful to be able to spend the holiday surrounded by my ever-growing, super awesome family. And while I'm a huge fan of all the traditional dishes of the day (turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, etc.,) if I had to choose just one to have over and over (and over) again, it would have to be without an ounce of doubt...the creamy, the delectable...the pumpkin pie. Now that my not-so-secret obsession is out, you can only imagine my excitement when I came across these cute and clever printables designed by Kate at Striped Cat Studio for Studio DIY. Aren't they great?

I know it's pretty obvious. Clearly I was born with a sweet tooth. So, of course I'm super thrilled to be in charge of desserts this year. What are my plans? I definitely plan on baking a few post dinner options, but I'm not 100% sure what they'll be. I can however give you a guess at one goody I'm positive I'll be making. Let's just say it would fit nicely inside these beautifully designed boxes. With that little hint, I wish you all an amazing Thanksgiving—filled with lots of love, giving thanks, and of course, many many slices of scrumptious pumpkin pie!

Source: Studio DIY

Crispy Baked Chicken Katsu—No Measuring Required

This recipe is no muss, no fuss. Just eye-ball all of the ingredients and you have a healthy version of a Japanese favorite in as little as 30 minutes. Start by placing the chicken in a bag (I like to re-use the bag I put the raw chicken in from the market instead of a zip-lock. It saves money and keeps you from wasting those plastic baggies). Use the underside of a heavy pan and hammer away. This gets the chicken nice and flat. We're looking for even, 1/2 inch cutlets. Then use the same pan to toast up Panko crumbs in a tablespoon of oil until golden brown. I like grapeseed because it's flavorless. Preheat the oven to 400°FCreate an assembly line of flour, egg and breadcrumb (season all three with salt and pepper) then dredge away. Place in a baking sheet and bake on the center rack for 20 minutes. Serve immediately with your favorite Katsu Sauce, mixed green salad and rice. (See below for more details).

Ingredients:

  • Chicken Thigh
  • Panko Bread Crumbs
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Eggs
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Katsu Sauce and Favorite Asian Salad Dressing
  • Thinly Sliced Onion (for the salad)
  • Rice

Bold and Beautiful Home Tour

It's been a little over a week since we moved into our apartment and I'm happy to report that it finally feels like it's coming together. There are definitely still some personal touches we'd like to add—hang up art and maybe some curtains—but because we won't be renewing our lease at the end of the year, we're really trying to keep things minimal. Keeping all of that in mind, we'd still like the space to feel homey. So I've been searching high and low for all the deals, coupons, and specials I can find. Here are a some of my favorite sources for furniture and decor at awesome prices—CB2, Overstock, Apt2B, IKEA,Target, HomeGoods, H&M Home and Zara Home.

Other than our move-in update, I also wanted to share this Domaine home tour I came across while searching for decor inspiration. I'm such a huge fan of bold prints and bright colors, even if in my real life, I tend to lean more towards calm and quiet neutrals. Didn't Jordan Carlyle of Carlyle Designs do an amazing job designing this gorgeous town house?

Source: Domaine

October Recap

October was a jam-packed month. Not only did we move into a new apartment in Glendale, I also started a new job as Lifestyle Editor for My Modern Metropolis. Filled with tons of memorable moments, here are just a few I'd like to share.

We put together a tv console that literally arrived in a thousand pieces. It took half a day, but the feeling of accomplishment once we were done was well worth it. You can't beat the price tag either!

To celebrate our move and check out the local eateries, we decided to go to happy hour at Morrison. They had very reasonably priced drinks and a tasty happy hour menu. The bread pudding wasn't a part of happy hour, but we were so glad we tried it. It's definitely the best I've ever had. 

Once we started settling in, we began to venture out more. One of my favorite outdoor activities is hiking. We checked out a trail in Griffith Park. The hike was the perfect intensity and the view was beautiful. I highly recommend it if you're a fan of hiking.

The last couple weeks were filled with festivities of one of my absolute favorite holidays—Halloween! Husband and I decided to be Marvel characters. I made caramel apples and decked them out in Halloween cheer and baked up a batch of Caramelitas, which apparently were a hit. (Wish I had a picture to share).

Other than settling in and exploring a new city, I've been busy writing Ebay Buying Guides for My Modern Met. If you get a chance you can check them all out here. From Creative Ways to Decorate Plain Walls to Modern Kitchen Essential—I try to cover a wide range of topics.

I can already sense that November is going to be a great month. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I'm looking forward to filling up my Pinterest boards with lots of turkey day inspiration! 

Sweet and Tangy Sriracha and Lime Baked Salmon

I love food and I love to cook, but I too have those frustrating, head-scratching—what should I make for dinner—days that I'm sure everyone can relate to. My surefire remedy is to make something fast, simple and easy to clean-up. I also try to use the highest quality ingredients I can find to ensure maximum impact with minimal effort. 

Fresh and flaky wild-caught salmon is perfect for such a day. Not only is it full of flavor, this wonder fish also has the added benefit of being a super food. Add a spicy sriracha and lime sauce and you'll have a no-fuss dinner that is delicious, nutritious and ready to enjoy in no-time. Pair this dish with steamed rice and a simple sauté of your favorite vegetables, and your family will never guess your struggle over dinner that day.

Note: This recipe received my 5 and 7 year old nephew and niece's seal of approval. After helping me in the kitchen and taking on the ultra important job of taste tester, they tried a bite and enthusiastically responded, "this is delicious!"

Serves 4:

Ingredients:

  • Juice and zest of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon agave
  • 2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons tsp sriracha sauce 
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 1/4 pounds salmon fillet, skin removed
  • optional: green onion for garnish

Method:

  1. Line a baking dish with parchment paper and heat oven to 425°.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together juice, zest, agave, honey, sriracha, salt and soy sauce. Place salmon in the baking dish, pour the lime and soy sauce mixture over top. Roast salmon until cooked through and flaky, 15 minutes. 
  3. Garnish with thinly sliced green onion.

Burrata Bruschetta and Prosciutto Wrapped Melon

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This light and refreshing bruschetta dish is inspired by my friend Lisa. Beautiful, sweet, and an amazing cook, Lisa likes to use fresh and local ingredients to create her mouthwatering and healthy meals at home. She created this dish after watching one of our favorite movies Julie & Julia. Simple and full of flavor, this bruschetta is so juicy and delicious one bite will make you feel like you’re dining al fresco on the cobblestone streets of Italy.

Excited to recreate this dish at home, I stopped by the local farmer's market to pick up the key ingredient—fresh heirloom tomatoes. After selecting a colorful array, I perused the remaining aisles until I came across one of my absolute favorites…creamy and decadent burrata cheese. Ripe heirloom tomatoes plus buttery burrata equals out-of-this-world yummy! As if things could get any better...add sweet and salty prosciutto wrapped melon, pour a glass a crisp pinot grigio, and you have a fast, light and flavorful meal special enough for company and easy enough for a quick everyday meal.

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Note: I tested different variations of this bruschetta. One way was to place warmed prosciutto slices on the toast then top it with the marinated tomato mixture, omitting the burrata cheese. This variation was also super tasty and one my husband really enjoyed.

Ingredients:

  • A loaf of fresh baked french bread sliced into four 1/4 inch thick slices
  • 1 clove of garlic cut in half
  • 2 heirloom tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • fresh basil
  • optional: agave 
  • buratta cheese (sliced into 4 thin slices)
  • 4 strips of thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 4 slices of a ripe melon (heirloom recommended)

Method:

Bruschetta

  1. Dice the tomatoes and place in a medium sized bowl. Rinse off a handful of basil leaves (discarding the stems) and give a rough chop or tear by hand. Place the basil in the bowl with tomatoes. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon of good olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Let it sit for 30 minutes. Taste the tomato mixture, if extra sweetness is desired add agave (about 1 teaspoon).
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a fry pan and place over medium heat. Once hot, toast the bread on each side until golden brown. Set aside and rub the sliced garlic halve over the bread to infuse with garlic flavor. Top each piece of toast with burrata cheese. Season liberally with salt and pepper then top with the tomato mixture.

Prosciutto Wrapped Melon 

  1. Choose a ripe melon (any variety will do). I opted for an heirloom cantaloupe. It was super sweet and juicy. I like to smell the fruit to check for ripeness—the stronger the aroma of the fruit the sweeter. Slice into 1 to 1 1/2 inch slices.
  2. Wrap with prosciutto, cold or slightly toasted. To toast, simply heat up a pan with a light drizzle of olive oil and place the prosciutto slices in the pan. Let it come to a slight sizzle and turn over (1-2 seconds). Avoid overcooking to prevent the prosciutto from becoming tough. 
  3. The heated prosciutto can be used to wrap around the sliced melon or placed directly on top of the bruschetta.

Fast and Easy Oven-Baked Huevos Rancheros

Today's recipe is coming to you from Bend, Oregon. Eugene and I have been visiting our friends here for the past week and it has been such a wonderful ride. From walking around town, hiking along the Deschutes River, and the topper—standing underneath a breathtaking roaring waterfall...Bend's beauty and conservation of nature has been astounding and beyond anything we could've imagined. Not only is this town a nature-lover's paradise, it's also insanely awesome for food lovers too! With organic produce stands and gourmet butcher shops...the array of specialty stores and independently owned restaurants is like none other I've ever experienced before.

This recipe for huevos rancheros is inspired by the deliciously fresh and locally farmed eggs here in Bend. And because our party of four has been thoroughly enjoying eating outside in the fresh Oregon air, I thought baking up a batch rather than frying each individual egg separately would be best. This dish is great for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner—just serve it with a side of beans and you have a fast, festive, and easy meal that's full of flavor, healthy, and perfect for entertaining.

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped canned green chiles
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded (1 cup)
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 avocado, halved, pitted, and sliced
  • 3 scallions, sliced thin
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
  • Optional: 1 small tomato diced for garnish

Method:

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Drain tomatoes in fine-mesh strainer set over bowl, pressing with rubber spatula to extract as much juice as possible. Reserve 1 3/4 cups tomato juice and discard remainder. Whisk sugar and lime juice into reserved tomato juice and set aside.

2. In separate bowl, combine onion, chiles, oil, chili powder, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and drained tomatoes. Transfer tomato mixture to prepared baking sheet and spread in even layer to edges of sheet. Roast until charred in spots, 35 to 40 minutes, stirring and redistributing into even layer halfway through baking. Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees.

3. Transfer roasted tomato mixture to 13 by 9-inch baking dish and stir in tomato juice mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then spread into even layer. Sprinkle pepper Jack over tomato mixture. Using spoon, hollow out 8 holes in tomato mixture in 2 rows. Crack 1 egg into each hole. Season eggs with salt and pepper.

4. Bake until whites are just beginning to set but still have some movement when dish is shaken, 13 to 16 minutes. Transfer dish to wire rack, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let sit for 5 minutes. Spoon avocado over top, then sprinkle with scallions and cilantro. Serve with warm tortillas.

TO MAKE AHEAD: The sauce can be made 24 hours in advance. Microwave until hot, about 2 minutes (stirring halfway) before transferring to baking dish and proceeding with recipe.

Inspired By: Cook's Country

Cold Asian Soba (Buckwheat Noodle) Salad

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Soba or buckwheat noodle is a Japanese staple and can be served both hot or cold. As a child I would often order Zaru Soba (cold buckwheat noodles) whenever my family decided on Japanese for a Friday night out on the town. Zaru Soba, which consists of chilled noodles and a cold dipping sauce is served with just a few toppings on the side—chopped green onion, grated radish and wasabi (spicy horseradish). This was the type of food I liked as a kid, minimal with very few veggies. As an adult I can proudly say that I have successfully overcome my fear of variety, and in fact now believe that the more colorful and diverse the veggies the better!

Today's recipe is an evolution of a childhood favorite. Loaded with a ton of crunchy vegetables and tossed with a light zesty dressing, this recipe is far from your typical pasta salad. It's jam-packed with flavor and the rainbow of bright beautiful colors makes it just as much a feast for your eyes as it is for your taste buds. Enjoy this cold soba salad on a hot summer day for a sweet and tangy, refreshing and vitamin-packed side. I paired it with these Sweet and Savory Soy Ginger Baby Back Pork Ribs, but I can't wait to try it again with a piece of nicely seasoned pan-seared salmon.

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Ingredients:

  • 12 oz buckwheat noodles
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup shredded purple cabbage
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • 3 green onions, sliced

Dressing:

  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ cup olive oil

Method:

  1. Boil the buckwheat noodles according to package directions, for about 6-7 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water.
  2. Prepare the dressing while the noodles are cooking. In small bowl whisk together the rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, sriracha, and sugar until sugar is melted. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and set it aside.
  3. In a large bowl, toss all the vegetables until it's all combined together. Then add the buckwheat noodles and salad dressing and toss together.

Inspired by Sweet and Savory

Sweet and Savory Soy Ginger Baby Back Pork Ribs

My husband's family joined us in Lake Arrowhead for the weekend and to say our family get togethers are of epic proportions is an understatement. We love to cook and eat, and after the quality time spent (often in the kitchen) chatting and nibbling away, I always find myself returning home rejuvenated, inspired and ready to channel it all into a new dish.

Today's recipe which blends Korean flavors with All-American barbecue is a new spin on what one might expect when they hear the words "baby back ribs." The soy ginger dressing is inspired by my mom's Korean pork barbecue marinade. The marinade consists of pineapple which helps break down the meat making it super tender, honey creates a thick and sweet sauce, and ginger adds the perfect amount of complexity and spice.

Give these ribs a try at your next Asian-inspired party for a fun twist on a summer barbecue classic. I finished mine off under the broiler for a caramelized crust, but you could easily throw them on the grill to give them a nice smoky char. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 (approximately 3 1/2 lbs) rack of baby back pork ribs (also referred to as pork loin back ribs)

Marinade

  • 3/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp minced pineapple with juice
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp fresh minced ginger

Method:

  1. Combine ingredients for marinade in a bowl and set aside. 
  2. Prepare two large ziplock bags. Cut rack of ribs in half. Place half of the rack in a bag with half of the marinade. Place the second rack in the other bag with the rest of the marinade. Zip up the bags and make sure that all sides of the racks are coated in the marinade. *Tip: Remove any excess air in the ziplock bags so that the bags lie flat, meat side down so that the marinade can coat all of the ribs. Marinade in the refrigerator for at least 3 hrs or overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Wrap the marinated ribs separately in two pieces of foil. Place the two sets of ribs side-by-side on a baking sheet, meat side down. Bake for 2 - 2 1/2 hours then unfold the foil and broil for 5 minutes. Flip the ribs over and broil for another 5 minutes. Cut the ribs into single portions, place on a serving platter and serve warm.