Sunday, December 30, 2012

Links to Like, Love, and Listen To

Mary Walker's Lemondrop video. I have her CD on repeat, and you can listen to her new album on Spotify! (highly recommended)

Gal Meets Glam. I love her blog, but mostly I love her hair

The I Heart Food facebook page. If you're not a fan, you should be. Home to many instapics of food

Someone, make me this

Someone, take me here

Someone, buy me these

And finally, have a laugh

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Pizza Bianca (And Some Tips on Portion Control)

I tried this fabuloso recipe almost a week ago. 4 stars (only because my execution wasn't spot on). It's from Cooking Light and was a family favorite (minus my brother who is allergic to mushrooms).

Click here for the recipe

And now for my words of wisdom:
1. Spend hours cooking for yourself and only make enough to eat one portion
2. (And/or) Make a pizza for your family (and only make one pizza) so that you can politely devour your portion, allowing everyone else to have their designated portion - everyone is not quite full but you have practiced portion control!
3. Drink water, and then drink water, and then drink more water. Then go to the bathroom and then drink more water.
4. Drink more water.
5. Full of water? Drink more water.

No, no. If you want real food and health tips click along to my health and food blog. Mentions of food on this, my personal blog, are mentions of fat, grease, and all that makes life worth living. This pizza is GOOD good good. The toppings are cooked in bacon fat BUT the cheeses are low-fat. Best of both worlds. And if you peak at the nutrition facts you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Make this to eat half  by yourself before January 1 rolls around and magically you're committed to being healthy and active (winks all around)


What a great blogger I am, keeping everyone in eager anticipation for a week and a half waiting for another blog post about my life and all that happens after breakfast.

I have not yet discussed (1) my trip to San Diego, (2) Christmas... (3) Cutie Tesday #2, (4) pizza

San Diego:
Last.... some rando day of the week... my mom and I made the strenuous journey down south to Cardiff by the Sea to spend some quality time with my nephew/mom's grandson. Seeing my sister and brother-in-law were added bonuses.
above left: Luke still trying to figure out if he likes this "getting burped" business
above right: My scarfed self, Mary (big sister) + Luke (her offspring), Mom (the reason any of us exist at all)

We enjoyed a not light lunch at Amaya at  The Grand hotel in Del Mar, and then went back to my sister's house to start making dinner. My kind of day. We were even graced with Jake's presence (Mary's husb, Luke's father), and I shared my collegiate wisdom by telling him to go to bed early and finish his work at 5 am.

boring stuff boring stuff boring stuff.... CHRISTMAS DAY!!!

mine was great, how was yours? I drank coffee

and posed for the camera

and got a food processor! First thought: "Now I can make pesto!" And really, who doesn't look at a new food processor and think "pesto"?

And then I made a pizza:

Twas good. Not made with the food processor. Will be mentioned in a post to come. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cutie Tuesday: Pico the Male Model

Yesterday was... pretty eventful. I tried a latte with real milk for breakfast. Not a fan. Then I found out who Gossip Girl is via Tumblr. Watched Sweet Home Alabama. Went for a run/walk back from LMU in the freezing cold. And suffered immensely from my allergies brought on by our Christmas tree.

Probably a solid 25% of my day was me wandering outside to go hang out with my puppies (my 7-year-old chihuahuas). Maddie sulks around while Pico runs up to me eager for affirmation that he 'is the best little dog everrrrrrr. Yes you are. Yes you are, Pico!' He knows praise doesn't come from nothing, so he does indeed work for it. As in, he works it.

oh is that you with a camera?
the sun is so bright I don't think I can pose today
haha just kidding, the light is perfect for my complexion

Maddie stays in the doghouse only to emerge for food. While Pico here runs straight for the sunlight, stand's up tall, and looks off into the distance. Winner of Cutie Tuesday

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

O Tannenbaum

First real morning back at home, and my mother so cunningly lured me into a game of Five Crowns. If you're unfamiliar, it is the ultimate game of wits, nothing like any other card game you've played before.

as you can see, the added suit makes a world of difference
We won't talk about the outcome, because that's not important. What is important is that I managed to down three cups of black coffee and a water bottle before my doctor's appointment with a doctor that I had never been to before. Pretty sure that first impression went swimmingly; they made me wait, and wait, and wait, and when the doctor finally walked in to see me, I had to ask to ... you know... 2nd grade style, "Dr. Chan... may I go to the bathroooooom?"

Alright, so doctor's appointment over, and I am thankful. After that it was straight to the gym for a great 14.5 minute run (that I guess couldn't just have been done in my neighborhood) and a 2 minute abdominal session. I did  feel the burn. 

And after that it's just waiting around for the next day to come so I can enjoy some more coffee and eggs and toast and blog some more.

How do I kill time from morning to morning? By taking pictures of the Christmas tree. Thank goodness it gets dark at 5 o'clock - I got a good 6-hour photo shoot in. No, but really, thank goodness there is a Pinterest post floating around that tells me "How to Take Awesome Picture of your Christmas Tree". I don't think turning up the ISO and make the shutter speed slower would have ever come to mind. So thanks Pinterest. Saving my night once again.
And now it's morning again! So I made an egg on toast again! (But got a little cheeky and added avocado and shaved parmesan) 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Hop, Skip, and a Jump

Woke up promptly at 5:30 this morning to finish packing and getting ready to head out the door on time, at a glorious 6:30 am. I could have just packed the night before but that's never fun, plus I was having a grand ol' time gabbing to my friend over a glass of wine (she drank; I passed on the potential of dealing with a wine hangover on a plane). To wrap up the evening, I watched the first half of Love Actually (how have I never seen that movie before?)

With some minor setbacks such as going to the wrong airport, I still managed to catch my plane and wake up to take this beaut of a picture and then fall back asleep with a little help from Dramamine.

And now I am back in California and cannot wait to drink coffee in the morning and go to the gym and take in all that is wonderful Los Angeles (minus the smog that gives me horrible horrible allergies)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Six Dishes

six dishes to try over break

1. Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Kale and Cranberries // 2. Roasted beet pear & walnut salad // 3. Chicken Tortilla Soup // 4. Creamy Southwest Pasta // 5. Portobello Mushroom & Caramelized Onion Burgers // 6. Roasted Cherry Tomato Bruschetta with Honey and Balsamic

Grand Finale

In my last push to finish up finals week I devoted myself to my studies more than I even knew I was capable. So dedicated, that I made sure my study environment was nothing less than absolutely perfect. Never had my apartment been so spotless. Next, in order to focus even more, I took inventory of everything in my bedroom and reminisced about how every detail holds some importance to me. Once everything was accounted for, I had soft instrumental soundtrack music playing, and the lighting was just right, I was able to sit down and really study my heart out - at a convenient hour of 10:00 pm. 

This apartment, though, was something I had always wanted - a place to call my own (that my parents conveniently pay for). And my room especially is my little haven.

candles, paris, sunglasses, and pepper spray (c/o my brother-in-law)

most rude awakening imaginable - this is how i woke up at 5 am to really start studying for my final at 9 am

hydration and selfies

quarters for to clean my clothes 

ikea catalog?

definitely ikea catalog. can you spot the book i was pretending to study?

leaning dresser equals candle needing some help burning straight down 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Back to My Roots - Hearty Kielbasa & Potatoes

This is a meal my mom has been making since before I was born, but I especially remember that she would make it on St. Patrick's Day, which led me to believe it was an Irish dish. Being 25% Irish, I carried around a certain pride for this meal thinking it was a link to my heritage (or something). Though the dish did precede my existence, my mother only recently let me in on the fact that it evolved from hot dogs and potatoes that she would make for my older siblings before I was born. Kielbasa was deemed the better alternative somewhere along the way, and I was left thinking my mother had been preparing tradition in a pot.

Fun fact: Kielbasa is Polish. I guess it didn't occur to me that Polish sausage wouldn't belong in a "traditional Irish dish"

I guess the trick is on me today. I found myself not even a week away from being home, and I just needed me some kielbasa and potatoes. Finished a final, drove to the store - kielbasa, potatoes... and two avocados later ... called my mom to get the exact recipe:

"So I just boil the potatoes? Strain them? And then cook them with the sausage?" 
"Not even, just put the sausage in the pot, then add the potatoes"


2 medium or large russet potatoes
1 package Kielbasa (Polish Sausage)

Cut Kielbasa into half-inch slices and put into large pot on medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Peel and chop potatoes into appox. 1-inch cubes. Add to sausage in pot and cook covered on medium-low heat for 30-40 minutes until potatoes are tenter, stirring occasionally.
Served best with ketchup.

I used turkey Kielbasa for this recipe as my way of making it healthier

Fresh & Clean Spaces

This green and white look was the inspiration for my apartment (especially the kitchen) - it's small so I wanted to do as much as I could to brighten it up with a rustic touch.

Fresh & Clean Spaces

Green Oval Dutch Oven / Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Fresh & Fast Cookbook | Williams-Sonoma / Farmers Market Basket, Small Square / Paper Straws Apple Green Striped by fineanddandyparty on Etsy

The Dutch oven from World Market is a personal favorite -- I use mine once or twice a week to bake chicken and rosemary sweet potatoes. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Pumpkin-Cranberry Oatmeal Bars

Every year I look forward to the official launch of fall: when Starbucks starts selling their pumpkin spice lattes. That's how everyone marks their calendars, right? My kitchen saw all things pumpkin this past November: pumpkin muffins, pumpkin butter, pumpkin simple syrup, and these bad boys (shown above). 

If you happen to have any leftover pumpkin puree (/if you are so lucky), I recommend whipping up a batch of these delicious pumpkin bars. They're just sweet enough with barely any added sugar and are perfect for an on-the-go breakfast or a healthy snack to take to work or class. 
Yield 6 
2 cups rolled oats 
¾ cup pureed pumpkin 
½ cup apple sauce 
¼ cup dried cranberries, chopped 
1 tbsp honey 
3 tsp Stevia brown sugar blend or 
1 tbsp brown sugar 
1 tsp cinnamon 
½ tsp vanilla 

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix together pumpkin, apple sauce, honey, 2 tsp brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Mix together oats and cranberries. Pour wet ingredients over oats and mix thoroughly, making sure all oats are covered.
Line a 9x9 cake pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray (paper should be long enough to go up sides of pan to make it easier to life bars out). Spoon oats into cake pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle remaining teaspoon of brown sugar blend on top.
Bake for 15 minutes. Lift out oats using sides of parchment paper and transfer to cooling rack. Let cool for 10 minutes and cut into 6 bars.

Christmas List - for the kitchen

Christmas List - for the kitchen

1. Twig Barware Kit - West Elm - $39
2. S/4 Dots Mugs, Black/White - - $39.95 
3. Cuisinart Elite Mini Prep Food Processor - Williams Sonoma - $54.95
6. Chalkboard Storage Jars - Anthropologie - $28

A New Home ... Or Maybe Just a Small Apartment Escape

Finals week fast approaching, I woke up this morning (if 4:30 am counts as morning) unable to sleep from dreams of organic chemistry dancing in my head. What do people usually do on a Sunday "morning" with no tv, no car, and absolutely no will to continue studying? Blog.

"I Heart Food" has been my pride and joy since the summer of 2011, and has resided on Tumblr until this point. Not to turn my back on that beloved site, but I've considered the transition, and I think it will bring only joy and whimsy (it's the 3.5-hours-of-sleep talking).

Spring 2011 photo shoot for my Seventeen thumbnail - student apartment kitchens  never looked so shiny

For those of you who need to be brought up to speed, I created I Heart Food simply based on the fact that I do, indeed, love food, and I especially love the photography aspect of being in creative control throughout the entire process. Stemming from these passions, the blog became geared towards health and (some fitness) - a blog about eating in a blogosphere of many girls that thought food was the enemy.

I grew up playing sports my whole life, and my blog would never have been a representation of me if health and fitness hadn't been integrated. I strive to provide an experience that is welcoming, entertaining, and inspiring. (Yet sarcasm, dry humor, and even facetiousness are inevitable.)