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Moroccan short ribs

3 Mar

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Recently, I have been obsessed with our slow cooker (I’m trying to remember who bought it for us as a wedding gift so I can send them an extra thank you card). Seriously, we are currently like, best friends. It just makes cooking so easy! Not to mention I look like a master chef when dinner is served- it’s pretty much idiot proof. You just put a bunch of ingredients in it and viola 7-8 hours later you have a tasty dinner. Although, I did make some hybrid Filipino chicken dish this past Sunday that was pretty horrible…I blame that solely on the recipe though. Moving forward I will be avoiding recipes that combine apple cider vinegar and soy sauce. Anyway, back to my recent favorite slow cooker recipe…Moroccan short ribs….it was AH-MAZING and so easy. As you can see from the photos below…even Frank wanted in on it. I guess it was rather mean of us to eat dinner on our coffee table that night.

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ingredients:

3 pounds bone-in beef short ribs

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes

4 garlic cloves, sliced

1/2 cup of dried apricots, halved

1/2 cup of pitted olives

1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

kosher salt & black pepper

1 cup of couscous

fresh cilantro, for serving

directions:

-combine the short ribs, tomatoes (and their juices), garlic, apricots, olives, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon of each salt & pepper in 4-6 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook until the beef is tender, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 5 to 6 hours. Skim off and discard most of the fat

– ten minutes before serving, cook the couscous

– serve the short ribs over the couscous, topped with cilantro

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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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I survived

15 Jan

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(one of my favorite pressed juicery flavors on the cleanse)

Raise your glasses! It’s time for a celebration! I survived a three-day juice cleanse! YAHOOOOO. If you can’t tell, I feel pretty damn accomplished. The first day was pretty miserable. The coffee withdrawal headache was no joke and my stomach growled deep within. I spent most of the day either shooting Brian dirty looks for eating (pizza, no less!), sleeping or complaining. I was not a happy camper. But, I didn’t break down and eat. I stayed on course and drank my six juices on schedule. Every time I thought I couldn’t possibly do it for three days I would simplify it and think…just get through the next hour. I took it step by step. The highlight of the day was juice 6- it’s an almond, date, vanilla bean, sea salt & filtered water bottle of heaven.

The second day I woke up feeling more energetic and decided to go to a 9am hot yoga class with Rachel & Sophie. It wasn’t my best idea. Note to self: When on a three-day juice cleanse avoid strenuous activities such as a yoga class in a 120 degree room. I felt as if I was going to pass out. I actually think I had an out-of-body experience. When I got back home, I curled up in a ball on the couch, in my sweaty yoga clothes and sipped on juice for a few hours. Around 1pm Brian and I decided to go to the movies and it was a fabulous distraction from my hunger. I spent two glorious hours in a dark room immersed in Argo. Then I spent the next four hours at home immersed in the Golden Globes. Then I went to bed. Avoidance was key.

The third day I woke up feeling really good. Of course, still hungry- I mean I hadn’t eaten in over two days for christ sakes! But I finally felt what everyone had been talking about. I felt energetic, light and clear! Oh, and my skin- never looked better.  It looked so hydrated and the tone so even. Better than a 200 dollar facial. The rest of the day was smooth sailing. I felt alive! That was until 6pm when all I could think about was grilled salmon, sautéed veggies and buttery chardonnay. I could almost taste it! I was so close though, so I cracked open an almond date juice and hid from Brian when he ate dinner.

All in all, I am totally a fan of juice cleanses. Yes, they are difficult. But, the juices from Pressed Juicery are fabulous and I feel like a million bucks today. So clean! It was the perfect thing to try during my month of health.

2013, just you wait, I feel unstoppable.

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“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”
Jim Rohn

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out summer.

5 Sep

In case you didn’t gather from the title of this blog, post summer isn’t my favorite season. This admission probably just garnered me some hate mail, but it’s the truth. When I told my mom and Brian my feelings about summer, they both looked at me as if I had just said something personally offensive to them. I guess people feel pretty strongly about summer. I’m not saying summer is all bad. I, too, enjoy long days, afternoon BBQ’s and the beach, but I find that I get tired of it all rather quickly and then I’m just hot…hot, drained and unfocused.

I much prefer the fall and winter months. I love fog. I love rain. I love bundling up in cozy sweaters. I love spending grey afternoons writing. I love the holidays. I love wearing boots. I love wearing leather jackets and scarves. I love crisp air. I love Christmas lights. I love fall movies. I love pumpkin spice lattes and gingerbread cookies. I love all things cozy. I do cozy really well. I also find that I feel more creative and alive in the fall and winter months and, well, I would welcome that feeling right about now.

While I know it’s not officially fall just yet, I have decided that now that it’s September, I’m going to act like it is. I’ve picked out soup recipes to make, changed my closet over to sweaters and boots, painted my nails grey, my toes blood-red and I even…dyed my hair brown! For some reason that felt like the biggest F-U to summer.

Kate McClafferty has brown hair now, Summer!

Not only do I love fall and winter but they are shaping up to be a pretty fun travel filled few months. We are heading to North Carolina at the end of September with Brian’s family for a wedding. While I have never met the people getting married, I do love a good wedding, enjoy traveling with Brian’s parents and I’ve never been to North Carolina before! Win, win, win. Then in October, I head to Ojai for a yoga retreat with my favorite yoga teacher and sweet friend Jennifer Pastiloff. Her “manifestation retreats” are known to be life-changing, amazing and FUN. I mean there is even going to be Karaoke yoga! Oh and wine. So again this is a win. Then, on November 2nd, Brian and I take off on our adventure to Nepal…with a stop in Hong Kong first! Hong Kong was a recent addition and I am excited about it. We have to stop there anyway on a layover and have decided to make a trip out of it. Why land in Hong Kong, and not see it right?? When we get back from our trip,(if I survive the 10 day trek) the craziness of the holidays begin- my absolute favorite time of year! Then, somehow, it will be 2013? WHAAAAAT?

Are you guys as excited for the change of seasons as I am???

Signed,

your brown-haired blogger friend Kate

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20 Feb

Considering Brian ends up choosing most of the movies we watch on movie night, I decided to force him to watch “Julie & Julia” (I think he actually liked it) last night. I had seen the film when it originally came out but I have been wanting to see it again ever since I started this blog. For those of you who have not seen it  I will give you a quick breakdown- Julie Powell (played by Amy Adams) is in a rut…her life feels like it’s going nowhere, she hates her job and she’s feeling pretty blah. So in an inspired moment she starts a blog titled the “Julie & Julia project” where she tackles 527 Julia Child recipes in 365 days. In the process turning her life around and finding her joy again. Clearly you can see why I may have wanted to see the film again?? It shares a lot of the same themes as 365 til 30.

I loved the scenes that followed Julia Child (played by Meryl Streep) living in Paris. I found so much inspiration in seeing then considering my upcoming trip and obsession with Paris. I went to bed dreaming of Paris! Oh and  the cooking scenes with both women made me to want to tackle a recipe tonight! I actually have a Julia Child cookbook that I am going to pick a recipe from for tonight- post to follow. But what inspired me most was watching Julie find her joy again through a blog/project while tracking the ups and downs of the process. I totally related to the scene where Julie has a breakdown on her kitchen floor and turns to her husband, and asks with tears in her eyes, “What happens if I can’t tackle all the recipes?!?” It reminded me so much of the night I came home a few months ago from a crazy day of tango, baking and French and had a melt down on our bed. As I sobbed I asked Brian “What happens if I can’t do any of the goals well or get them all finished in 365 days?!? Huh, then what Brian?!” He looked at me and said “I think your readers will only be sad if you don’t get Frank.”

I have to admit I still get wrapped up with how this is going to come together in the remaining 5 months until my 30th birthday. Am I really going to get all these goals accomplished? Is that why you guys like my blog? To see if I succeed? Or is it the process? I am in a constant battle with myself about it. My type A personality is very focused on the goals to the point where I get a little crazy while my zen personality is just enjoying the process.

So my question for you is….Is it the result or the process?

With that said I am off to tackle a Julia Child recipe.

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“Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.”
Julia Child