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let’s eat!

27 Jan

This post is dedicated to my love of eating out & my slight interest in cooking at home. Hey, at least I don’t hate being in the kitchen anymore.

LA EATS! 

During the week I am pretty dedicated to eating clean. I mostly eat protein & veggies at every meal (so boring I know but it comes with the territory of working as a fit model). But on the weekends I let myself go a bit (all about balance, right?) This past saturday that involved eating lunch with Brian at our local pizza joint, Pitfire Artisan Pizza, where we shared their chopped salad with pepperoni and salami & the sausage party pizza (fennel sausage / salumi & bacon 
 tomato sauce / fresh mozzarella / saba)- a glass of chardonnay for me and a beer for Brian. Can you say meat fest? OY. It was so yummy though and they have a beautiful outdoor patio to eat in. It didn’t hurt that it was also 80 degrees in LA this weekend,  making the patio the perfect choice for a late lunch.

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LET’S EAT AT HOME!

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve tried out a few new recipes at home- my top favorite being a halibut dish that I cooked in parchment paper. Why didn’t anyone tell me about this parchment situation sooner?? Hands down one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever tackled. You basically dump a bunch of fresh ingredients on the piece of parchment paper, wrap it up (kinda like a little present) and stick it in the oven where it steams itself- and VIOLA! you have dinner in 15 minutes. I picked halibut because salmon is pretty much the only fish I work with at home, so I thought I’d totally break all my kitchen rules and not only work with parchment paper but also with halibut. Breaking barriers people!

Artichoke-Tomato Halibut en Papillote (aka artichoke- tomato halibut in parchment paper)

Ingredients
2 (4 ounce) halibut fillets, boneless
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 lemon slices, ¼-inch thick
1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts packed in water, rinsed and drained
12 grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place one piece of halibut on a 12×12 inch piece of parchment paper. Drizzle each side of fish with 2 teaspoons olive oil and top with 2 lemon slices. Arrange half of the artichokes, tomatoes, and basil on top of fish. Sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. Repeat the process for the second piece of halibut.
Fold up parchment paper like a package, sealing in the ingredients. With the seam at the top, tuck the ends underneath. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake until fish is cooked through, about 15 minutes for a 1-inch thick piece of fish. Add 15 minutes of baking time for each additional inch of thickness.
Transfer to a plate and carefully open the package to release the steam before serving

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30 day vegetarian challenge

5 Aug

As most of you know, one of my goals for the year is to go vegetarian for thirty consecutive days. The goal was inspired by the fact that I’ve been feeling “off” since my gallbladder surgery last March and I noticed that I felt most “off” after eating a meal with animal products. Well, except eggs- I don’t want to throw them under the bus in a blanket statement. So I thought it might be time to explore vegetarianism and see if it improves my state – both mentally and physically. I’ve always been interested in clean eating (I grew up in LA, people!) but I’m not always consistent about it. I go through periods where I am either obsessed with clean eating and on a green juice cleanse or indulging in a cheeseburger and a glass of wine each night for dinner. I don’t do “middle” ground very well. Considering I am now officially a woman in my 30’s, it might be time to take what I put in my body each day a little more seriously.

Ever heard the quote…“Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live” – Jim Rohn . Well, that quote keeps replaying in my head. He has a rather good point, don’t you think?

Yesterday was day one of the challenge! So far so good (said rather confidently by the girl only 2 days into her 30 day challenge) Yesterday I took myself to get a lunch at Thai Vegan (if you live in LA, go. It’s so delicious and super cheap). I’ve always loved their food, so eating there wasn’t a sacrifice. I ordered the fresh veggie wraps with peanut sauce- YUM. For dinner I made a big veggie salad (lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, artichoke hearts, gorbonzo beans & avocado) for Brian and me (although he topped his off with roast chicken. I only glanced longingly at it for a ten seconds, tops) and everybody was satisfied.

I do realize I might get a little bored of eating a salad every night for thirty nights in a row. I like variety! So I am on the hunt for easy weeknight vegetarian meals…I found the below ones while scouring pinterest. Don’t they look delish?? Each one is so colorful and vibrant. I might give them a try this next week.

I would love any vegetarian recipes you guys have to share!

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GRILLED SWEET POTATO TACOS WITH LIME CREMA

found on A House In The Hills 

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QUINOA COCONUT SOUP

found on TLT The Little Things

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SWEET POTAO AND BLACK BEAN BURRITO BOWLS

found on The First Mess

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find me elsewhere : instagram @kate365 / facebook / twitter / pinterest 

spicy sausage pasta

4 Dec

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Picking out a tree and decorating it may be my favorite thing about the holidays. Brian and I planned to get our tree this past Sunday, but unfortunately, our plan got derailed by the rain. The first Christmas Brian and I spent together we named our tree Bert and we’ve done so ever since. This year he will be named Bert 3! Every year we also photograph ourselves with Bert in front of our house. We really need to get more friends, huh? Since we didn’t want to shoot this epic photo with Bert in the rain, we postponed our tree day for another weekend. Sadly, it will have to be December 15th because we will be out-of-town next weekend looking at wedding venues. If you couldn’t tell from my wedding inspiration post, I’m looking for a barn. A rustic and elegant barn, if you will. I swear, a barn can be both rustic and elegant. I’m not sure that I’ve convinced Brian’s mother of this fact just yet, but fingers crossed I will. As you can probably imagine there aren’t a huge number of barns in the Los Angeles area, so we are driving up north to San Luis Obispo to look at a few.  Wow, I just went on a whole wedding tangent and I didn’t even mean to. Sorry about that, back to the tree and the rain. So, after we scrapped the tree idea, we decided that the rain called for cooking a new recipe together and drinking a great bottle of red wine that was given to us by our friend Chris, as an engagement gift. Thanks Chris!

Pasta + red wine + rain + your love = a fabulous Sunday night.

Kate & Brian’s spicy sausage pasta…enjoy!

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

3 lb heirloom tomatoes, cut into small dice, juice reserved
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (optional)
2 tsp kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1 1/2 to 3 tsp red pepper flakes
15 large fresh basil leaves
1 lb rigatoni (we used gluten free pasta!)
4 spicy Italian sausages

Directions:

Combine the diced tomatoes, tomato juice, oil, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes (use 1 1/2 teaspoons if you don’t like spicy and up to 3 teaspoons if you do) in a large nonreactive bowl. Stir gently to coat well, and let sit at room temperature at least 30 minutes or up to 3 hours before serving.

Sautee sausages until cooked

When the tomatoes are ready, tear the basil leaves into bite-sized pieces and stir into the tomato mixture. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil and cook according to the package directions. (If the tomatoes have not let off a lot of juice, reserve 1/2 cup/120 ml of the pasta cooking water before draining.)

Toss the pasta with the reserved pasta cooking water (as needed) and parsley and stir to mix. Add the tomato mixture, and stir to combine.Taste and season with salt and additional pepper flakes, as desired.

Then EAT!

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19 – Tabouli and Fennel Rice Salad

19 Jun

LEARN TO COOK

My most recent cooking lesson is yet another example of how this blog has made my life fuller. I have not seen either of these two ladies in over ten years! Barrett and Gillian went to the same highschool as I, and over the last few months I have become friends with them again through various social networking sites such as instagram, facebook and blogs. I’m telling you, blogs bring people together!

So after many months of gabbing over pictures, blog posts and such we decided to finally meet. Sounds a bit like online dating, doesn’t it?

Who prompted the date? I of course! I knew both of these ladies were foodies so I asked them if they would be open to teaching me a few recipes for 365 til 30. Shameless huh?! Luckily they both sweetly agreed and a cooking session was set up at Barrett’s house. It was a lovely, easy afternoon with the girls. It’s so fun to catch up with people after so long- it’s amazing to see where we all end up and the paths we choose in life. Oh and the food was delicious too!

Enjoy!!!

Gillian’s Tabouli 

Ingredients-

2 cups of cooked quinoa

1/3 cups of chopped raw almonds

1/2 cup of diced carrots

1/4 cup chopped mint

1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1/4 cup of fresh squeezed lime juice

1/2 cup of olive oil

1 teaspoon agave nectar

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon of salt

Recipe-

mix all ingredients together in a large bowl and let flavors blend for 20 minutes before serving.

Barrett’s Fennel Rice salad

ingredients-

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 3/4 cups water

1 cup basmati rice

1 large navel orange

1 teaspoon white-wine vinegar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium fennel bulb with fronds

2 large scallions, thinly sliced

recipe-

Toast fennel seeds in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until fragrant and a shade darker, about 2 minutes. Add water and 3/4 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Add rice and return to a boil, then cook, covered, over low heat until water is absorbed and rice is tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Spread rice in a shallow baking pan and cool quickly by chilling, uncovered, 5 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, grate zest from orange into a large serving bowl and squeeze juice (about 1/3 cup). Whisk in vinegar, oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Chop 2 tablespoons fronds from fennel, then discard stalks. Quarter bulb lengthwise and thinly slice crosswise.

Stir fennel bulb and fronds into vinaigrette along with cooled rice, scallions, and salt and pepper to taste.

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And then viola! A healthy delicious meal is served!!!

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5 Jun

Considering I am a little over 30 days away from 30 (Duh duh duhhhhh! Geesh, I sincerely hope the world doesn’t implode on July 8th) I have decided to write love letters (or hate letters in some cases) to each of my goals as a way to reflect on this crazy year.

So here I go…

Dear Learn How To Cook,

I only put you on the list because I realized that, sadly, I couldn’t eat at the Whole Foods prepared section for the rest of my life. That, and I thought it would be nice to be able to cook dinner for my future kids- those little imaginary bundles of joy deserve a mom who makes homemade dinners, right? So for those two reasons, I put “learn how to cook” on my “365 til 30” list and tried to forget about my earlier bad experiences attempting you – hey, people can change, right?

After fearing you for so long, I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to tackle you at first. How does one learn to cook? Should I teach myself a new recipe each week? Learn a whole book of recipes a la Julie and Julia? Maybe take cooking classes? I was stuck….but then I had an idea! What if I asked people in my life to teach me their favorite dishes- they would most likely be patient with me as well!!

I have to give myself a pat on the back for this brilliant idea because not only did I learn how to cook this year, but I formed surprising new bonds and strengthened old friendships and connections in the process.

Learning how to cook brought me closer to everyone in my life.

I fell in love with the process of gathering in the kitchen to cook with friends…conversation, laughter and good wine flowing in the process. I also fell in love with that warm feeling I got in my heart when I prepared a meal for somebody else…there is something so nurturing about it. In addition to that warm feeling I got in my heart, my ego also wanted to scream with delight…I. Made. This. For. You! Aren’t you in awe as well??! Where is my applause?!

Some of my favorite memories this year happened attempting to master you. I laughed A LOT, cried once (ok maybe twice), got over my aversion to handling raw chicken, learned the famous chicken & dumplings dish my pops ate as a kid, learned the art of cooking with ski googles and almost chopped my finger off only once. I’d say this whole adventure in the kitchen was a success!
So thanks, cooking. Thanks for making my life come alive. Thanks for helping me see what I want my kitchen to look like moving into my 30’s. Now I know that I want to be the kind of woman who has her friends over for Sunday night dinners, makes breakfast in bed for Brian, whips up delicious soups on rainy afternoons and bakes pies with her kids.

You helped me become a better woman.

I have decided that I will be keeping you on my goal list for next year because I plan on doing lots and lots more of you during my 30th year. This is only the beginning for us.
Love, Kate


A trip down memory lane…

-learning Aunt Paule’s famous Kugle recipe

– Learning Mary’s Peach Pie

– Learning Pamela and my Dad’s lemon squares

– the night I handled raw chicken and almost killed people by serving a raw bird-

– learning how to make pizza from scratch

Moroccan chicken with Alex-

the night I realized I was comfortable in the kitchen-

– The night I tried to go all Julia Child-

-the night I wore ski goggles to cook-

– learning my grandma’s chicken & dumplings

 – learning Aunt Michelle’s apple cake-

Many more to come….

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“Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.”

Harriet Van Horne

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39

30 May

LEARN TO COOK

 My friend Kate announced to me a few months ago that she had an amazing chicken curry dish to teach me before I turned 30- she even called it “Curry before 30″…isn’t she clever? I thought so. Well, such as life it took us months to actually make it happen. In her defense, she did just get married and all and in my defense I drove across the country, so we’ve been a little busy.

 I have known Kate since kindergarten!! Yes, kindergarten. I still can’t believe I have people in my life today that I have known since I was five years old (and I really still like them too, honest!) It’s such a sweet and comforting feeling to know somebody for most of your life. We have so many memories together…play-dates, sleepovers, ballet classes, the craziness of Jr. High…first boyfriends, tears, triumphs and we even have France. When we were 13 Kate came with me to the south of France for a few weeks to visit my grandparents. It was one of the best memories form my childhood. I think we only argued once. We skipped through olive orchards, got crushes on French boys, ate nutella crepes by the truck load and pretended to practice our French. My grandfather Matt named us the “Dupli-Kate’s” and my grandmother Cass made us amazing French toast every morning.

I have always known Kate to be an extremely smart, funny, creative, honest and direct soul. For all those reasons I have always been a fan of hers (alright maybe the time she got a better role in our ballet recital I felt differently, but other than that I am a fan). Sadly, after high school graduation we lost touch. But then, viola!, with the power of facebook and this crazy blog, she’s back in my life and I could not be happier about it. Her funny sense of humor has become even funnier (borderline raunchy) over the years and her direct and honest attitude towards life is refreshing- she’s just fun to be with.

What’s that, you say? Why aren’t I talking about curry? Sorry, I got a little sidetracked but I wanted you to know the back story. So, back to curry before 20 (a typo I have decided to let stay- wishful thinking maybe?)- last week Kate invited me over to her house and we made curry, drank wine and laughed a lot.

My first lesson about curry…it’s a bit of a needy dish. It does not like to be left alone for too long and wants constant attention (again, I am reminded of my early 20’s). But don’t be scared off, all your hard work will pay off in the end…in a very delicious way.

We spent 2 hours adding ingredients or, as Kate called it, “layering” and stirring the pot of goodies. The aroma that filled the kitchen was amazing but the dish was even better. It was spicy, sweet, tender and comforting.  I was in curry heaven.

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Recipe and finished dish up next!

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48

21 May

I woke up this morning to this note from the universe and it could not have been more perfect considering I am 48 days away from turning 30 and my crazy journey is coming to an end.

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The very best moment in any long journey that makes your dreams come true, Kate, comes not on the day you realize they have, but on the day you realize how little they matter compared to loving the adventure they’ve inspired. 

Don’t ask me why, I just know what I know – 
    The Universe

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