Monday, April 30, 2018

Prosciutto Parmesan Pizza with Wild Arugula and Lemon Vinaigrette on Sprouted Grain Crust


This easy-to-make pizza is a great option for a weekday/school day dinner!



          

Ingredients

  • Trader Joe's Sprouted Whole Grain Pizza Crust (2 pieces for $4)
  • Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • Trader Joe's Prosciutto ($4)
  • Trader Joe's Wild Arugula
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • drizzle organic honey (to taste)
  • organic sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 6 Tablespoons Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Farenheit
  2. Grate Parmesan cheese over the crust (to taste)
  3. Place prosciutto in a single layer over the cheese
  4. Bake pizza for 10 minutes
  5. Meanwhile, mix vinaigrette (lemon juice, honey, salt, pepper, EVOO)
  6. Toss the wild arugula with the lemon vinaigrette
  7. When the pizza is done, remove it from the oven and place the wild arugula salad on top





This pizza goes great with just about any wine. Enjoy!


Sunday, April 29, 2018

Street Restaurant, Austin - Restaurant Review


Street is located in the space that Musashino Sushi Dokoro previously occupied at the bottom of the Chinatown Restaurant on the Mopac access road at Greystone Drive. When it first opened, it featured a menu based on Taiwanese street food. However, it has since evolved into a Japanese restaurant featuring sushi as well as hot dishes. This makes sense as the space is already identified with sushi from Musashino's long-time presence. The decor is also more reflective of Japanese rather than Taiwanese culture, with tatami bench covers and kimonos on display.

My first visit there was on March 9 of this year, and the second was just last night on April 28. For both visits, I had the same excellent server - friendly and quietly attentive without being intrusive.


My first visit took place during lunch with a friend who prefers to eat gluten-free. She chose Street because they offer a wide variety of sushi and also tamari on request (a gluten-free alternative to soy sauce). I ordered the House Salad with Ginger Dressing ($3) and the Pork Broth Ramen ($10).


Both were very good with regards to portion size and flavor. Unfortunately, I found a small piece of plastic (like the thick plastic that comes off the top of a bottle when you open the seal) - because of this, the server comped my ramen, which I appreciated.


Last night, hubby and I went to Street for date night and happened to catch their happy hour from 5 - 6:30pm. The menu features house wine for $5 a glass, Sapporo on draft for $3 a pint, a very limited selection of nigiri sushi for $2 a piece, and a handful of $3 to $5 rolls.

For the house red, you can choose from a Pinot Noir (usually $8 a glass) or a Cabernet Sauvignon (usually $9 a glass). The only house white available is a Chardonnay.

The spicy edamame (usually $5, or $4 during happy hour) is delicious - I really like the sauce. I felt that these particular edamame might have been kept frozen for too long - they tasted a little stale.

We also ordered salmon (usually $3 a piece), tuna (usually $3.50 a piece), and albacore nigiri (usually $3 a piece), as well as a California roll (usually $5, or $3 during happy hour - imitation crab only). Later on we also ordered additional salmon and tuna, as well as an unagi nigiri ($3 a piece, not available for happy hour pricing) because they were out of my preferred anago ($4 a piece).


Beware that they use a lot of mayonnaise sauce (especially on the spicy rolls), so if you don't prefer mayo, ask before you order. We tried to scrape off as much of the aioli from the spicy tuna roll ($5 during happy hour) above before we ate it. I always order the house salad with ginger dressing ($3), and its's always delicious.


Our fortunes are certainly words to live by.

Street is a really nice, easy choice for lunch or dinner. No crazy lines, no hype, just good food and service in a comfortable setting. We'll definitely be back!


Monday, March 12, 2018

North Italia Downtown on 2nd St. - Restaurant Review #2


Second time at North for lunch. A different seat offers a different perspective of the restaurant.




North Italia's Bolognese is a house specialty ($18). The menu describes it as including traditional meat sauce, tagliatelle noodles, and grana padano cheese.



This pasta is delicious. It's probably the most cheesy bolognese sauce I've ever had - it tastes as if it contains more cheese than it contains meat or sauce.

As always, North delivers great service. I'm always impressed.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Pitchfork Pretty - Restaurant Review




What a delicious menu, great service, and tons of food (pre-fix of 4 courses for $45/person is too much food).

Corn bread is made from blue corn. Beef jerky is like teriyaki. 

Loved the Snapper Ceviche. Loved the crackers that went with the pimento cheese (not the cheese itself). Liked the Roast Beet Starter.

Main Dishes (salmon, pork, fried chicken (+$7)) are perfectly cooked. Nice wine list. 

Sorbet dessert with Topo Chico was delicious but would not be worth $6 or $8 on its own.


Friday, March 9, 2018

Stir Fry - Recipe


I always forget about stir fry. Lately, though, as I turn away from meat more often, I find that a filling meal can always be made with firm tofu, a variety of vegetables, brown rice, and a great sauce (use something from a bottle if you prefer - I often do!).


I don't ever use a recipe for stir fry. I just find whatever is in the fridge that I think would go together well, and those are my ingredients for the dish. I did add some leftover turkey bacon that I had on hand, so this particular dish isn't completely vegetarian, but can easily be made so.

For this particular stir fry, I used:
  • 2 cups Organic brown rice, cooked
  • 1 package firm tofu from Trader Joe's, diced
  • one organic onion, chopped
  • a few stalks of organic celery, chopped
  • a few organic carrots, chopped
  • organic broccoli, chopped
  • 4 oz turkey bacon, chopped and cooked
  • a drizzle of your favorite sauce, homemade or purchased - my two go-to's are Trader Joe's Soyaki and Trader Joe's Organic Siracha and Roasted Garlic BBQ Sauce (sometimes I even mix the two together)
Just toss everything but the rice into a large pan and sauté until heated through, add your favorite sauce, then pour over the cooked rice.

Enjoy!


Sunday, March 4, 2018

Nutella Rice Krispy Treats - Recipe




If you like Nutella, you'll love this treat! The original recipe can be found here.

Here is the recipe with my changes:

Ingredients
  • 4 cups rice crispy cereal (any brand) 
  • ½ to 1 cup Nutella 
  • 3 T organic virgin coconut or extra virgin olive oil 
  • 4 cups marshmallows 

Instructions
  1. Grease a 9"x9 " (for thick treats) or 13'x9" (for thin treats) baking dish and set aside. 
  2. In a large pot on low heat, heat the oil. 
  3. Once the oil is melted, add the marshmallows and stir until melted. 
  4. Once the mixture is combined, remove from heat. 
  5. Add in the Nutella one spoonful at a time stirring until it melts. Add ½ cup for lighter flavor or up to a full cup for richer flavor. You may need to put it back on very low heat to keep it smooth. 
  6. Pour in the rice crispy cereal and stir until well coated with the Nutella-marshmallow mixture. 
  7. Immediately pour into the greased baking dish and press the mixture down evenly into the pan. 
  8. Let set and cut into small squares. 
  9. Makes approximately 9 servings in a 9"x9" dish, or 12 servings in a 13"x9" dish. 1 square = 1 serving. 
  10. Store in airtight container up to 1 week.

Enjoy!


Saturday, March 3, 2018

Intero, Austin - Restaurant Review




We tried out Intero when they had been open for about 5 weeks. Cute and tasteful decor.




Our server was inexperienced although very nice. The owner finally had to step in to get our order taken and wine ($44/ bottle) served, and that took about 30 minutes. I liked this wine a lot. The Flatbread with Ham and Cauliflower was delicious - probably the best thing we ordered that night ($12).




Hubby felt that the Pork Loin ($19 - top of photo) was expensive for what he got. I ordered the Grilled Octopus ($25 - bottom of photo) because it was the only entree or large plate that could be modified so that it could be made without cream.





The complimentary chocolates were generous and divine.

The tab was $103 before tip and $123 after tip - we felt that this was expensive for the overall experience and the food. This probably isn't a restaurant we'll return to without some significant improvements.


Crown Seafood, Houston - Restaurant Review


My stepbrother heard that Crown Seafood in Houston was a great place for Dim Sum. Of course, we had to try it!

This place is delicious - you order from menu and they bring everything out hot and freshly made. Flavors were right on target. Nothing tasted too salty to me.

I will say that the fish tanks made me sad - some creatures were dead, and none of them seemed to enjoy the limited space. Makes me rethink becoming a vegan again.


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Be More Pacific Inspired Fried Rice - Recipe




If you've been following this blog, you'll know that hubby is a tad bit obsessed with Be More Pacific (BMP.) Honestly, who else would eat there three times in one week?!

In honor of BMP, but with the acknowledgement that their fried rice dishes leave much to be desired (namely, veggies), I've created this variation on the Spicy Curry Coconut Lime Bacon Fried Rice (S.C.C.L.B.F.R.) with carrots and green onion garnish.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups organic uncooked brown rice
  • 1 lb organic roasted Brussels sprouts (chopped into halves before roasting)
  • organice turkey bacon, chopped
  • 1 organic onion, chopped
  • 1 organic red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 organic orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 lb organic peas
  • Honey Sriracha sauce
  • Squeeze of lime to taste
Instructions
  1. cook the rice (I use a rice cooker and the instructions from the rice bag)
  2.  roast the chopped Brussels sprouts at 400F
  3. meanwhile, chop the bacon, onion, and bell peppers
  4. stir fry the bacon, onion, and bell peppers
  5. add the rice and Brussels sprouts when they are done
  6. add 1 lb organic peas
  7. add Honey Sriracha sauce and lime to taste
Enjoy!


North Italia Downtown on 2nd St. - Restaurant Review #1




This is the second location of North Italia here in Austin. The first has been located in the Domain for years. Here's a photo from the night before their grand opening.

I was a little worried about another Italian restaurant coming downtown because there's this super cute family style Italian place run by folks from Italy right across the street. However, they are still packed so I think there's enough business to go around.

My friend MT recommended the Seasonal Salad, and added chicken to hers. I did the same.



The salad was delicious, generous, and filling. I finished mine, but my friend didn't finish hers. With added protein the salad was $18 before tax and tip.

I've been to North Italia on 2nd a few times since then. It's very conveniently located to my work, and the service and food are consistently excellent. I'd rather pay a few more dollars to know that I'm going to have a great time, eat great food, and be full at the end of my meal.

Definitely try North if you get the chance!