Champagne Grapefruit Mojito

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The recent heat wave in Los Angeles has made finding ways to stay cool and refreshed necessary. This drink did exactly that- it is so refreshing and light…and, most importantly,it’s just in time for Cinco de Mayo. It’s really easy to make and a perfect cocktail to go along side those Coronas this weekend. This recipe is from Style Me Pretty with a few alterations. Also, we did very loose measurements with ingredients- so follow these guidelines but you think it could use more/ less of some things, change to your liking!

What You'll Need

What You’ll Need

What You’ll Need: 

1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

1 ounce pink grapefruit juice

6-8 mint leaves

2 ounces rum

3 to 4 ounces chilled champagne

Quartered grapefruit slice for garish

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What To Do: 

Put the mint and lime juice in a pitcher (or glass depending on how much you’re making).

Add the rum and grapefruit juice.

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We were making this drink for several people- so we just did a pitcher of the ingredients used above and let everyone add as much champagne as they wanted to their individual drink. If you’re just making one, add the champagne.

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Garnish individual glasses with grapefruit slice.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Final Product

Final Product

Enjoying the final product

Enjoying the final product

Salmon Skewers

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Recently, I’ve been trying to add more seafood into my diet. It’s so easy to get stuck in a chicken rut, so I’ve been trying to add seafood and other types of meat. Here is one of my friends absolutely favorite salmon recipe inspired from this Bon Apetit recipe. It was so good and so easy to make without a grill. You need to try this!

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What You’ll Need:

2 teaspoons sesame seeds

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 1/2 pounds skinless salmon filet (cut into 1 inch pieces)

2 lemons, very thinly sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

10- 16 bamboo skewers soaked in water for 1 hour

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What To Do: 

Turn oven on broil.

Mix the sesame seeds, cumin, salt and red pepper flakes in a small bowl; set the spice mixture aside

Beginning and ending with salmon, thread salmon and folded lemon slides onto pairs of skewers. Brush with oil and season with the spice mixture.

Place the salmon skewers in the oven for 4 minutes then flip them and let them cook for 3 more minutes.

We paired this dish with a simple salad and sweet potato fries- it was delicious!

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Homemade Pasta

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I am so lucky to live with some of my absolute best friends- it really feels like I live with family. We’ve started a tradition of family dinners. Honestly, they usually happen spontaneously when we all talk about a new recipe we want to try. Last week we had a family dinner inspired by my friend Caroline who has a pasta maker and is our resident homemade pasta expert. She taught me how to make fresh spaghetti and WOW was it amazing. Here is Caroline’s fresh pasta recipe!

What you’ll need: 

2 1/4 cups flour (plus a little extra when using the pasta machine)

5 eggs

Pasta Machine

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What to do:

Put the flour into a bowl and separate it so there is a hole in the middle. Put eggs in the middle of the hole and beat them. Then mix the flour and eggs together. The dough should be somewhat wet- you can add additional flour if it’s too sticky.

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Let the dough rest for 15 minutes. After letting the dough rest, divide the dough into slightly smaller balls.

 

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Flatten the smaller dough balls and put through the pasta maker. There are six levels on every pasta maker and you want to put them through to the second to last level.

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Once they’re all flat, hang on the drying rack. Let them sit until they harden a bit (we waited around 10- 15 minutes) then put them through the cutting part of the machine. Then you’re ready to cook your pasta!

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Of course we needed some vino with our homemade pasta

Of course we needed some vino with our homemade pasta

Final product

Final product

My Favorite Spanish Eats

Wine from Market in Madrid

Wine from Market in Madrid

A week ago, I was lucky enough to be in Spain with my mom and cousin (aka my best friend) for a week. We visited Barcelona and Madrid and I absolutely loved both cities. Beyond the amazing architecture (here’s lookin’ at you, Gaudi), beautiful exhibits and rich history, I loved exploring the food scene. Here are a few snapshots of some of my favorite food from the trip.

Patatas Bravas at the Santa Catarina Market, Barcelona

Patatas Bravas at the Santa Catarina Market, Barcelona

Padron Peppers at Santa Catarina Market, Barcelona

Padron Peppers at Santa Catarina Market, Barcelona

Espresso at Santa Catarina Market, Barcelona

Espresso at Santa Catarina Market, Barcelona

Gin & Tonic Sign

Gin & Tonic Sign

Buffalo Mozzarella Salad

Buffalo Mozzarella Salad

Sangria break after a long day of touring

Sangria break after a long day of touring

Crazy Candy selection at the Barcelona Market

Crazy candy selection at the Barcelona Market

Buffalo Mozzarella Salad done a different way

Buffalo Mozzarella Salad done a different way

My motto found in the market in Barcelona

My motto found in the market in Barcelona

 

Boozy Banana Bread

Boozy Banana Bread

Boozy Banana Bread

Last week, a few friends and I decided to make banana bread. We noticed that we had a bottle of bourbon and remembered a recipe on Smitten Kitchen that had a Bourbon Banana Bread and decided to give it a try! It ended up being so delicious but we wish we would’ve added a bit more bourbon- so splash a little extra in if you try it!

Boozy Banana Bread

Inspired by Smitten Kitchen

What You’ll Need:

3-4 Ripe Bananas, Smashed

1/3 cup melted salted buter

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon bourbon (looking back, we wish we would’ve added more)

1 teaspoon baking soda

Pinch of Salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch of nutmeg and cloves

1 1/2 cups flour

Ingredients

Ingredients

Banana Bread and Bourbon

Banana Bread and Bourbon

What to Do:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl.

Pretty Measuring Spoons

Pretty Measuring Spoons

Mix in the sugar, egg, vanilla and bourbon, then the spices. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4 x 8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 5- minutes to one hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool on rack. Slice, serve and enjoy!

Bourbon

Bourbon

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February Online Workouts

Photo via 5 to 50 Ab Workout

Photo via 5 to 50 Ab Workout

To make up for that donut post, I’m posting some great online workouts. Every few months I post some of my favorite online, at home workouts. Here are my absolute favorites of February. 

Full Body 45 Minute Workout: This workout is KILLER and I highly recommend it. I’ve been aiming to add this into my workout schedule once a week to switch it up a bit. 

Butt Workout: This workout consists of six movements– it doesn’t give a number of how many times to do the workout but I’d recommend doing it three times through! 

Lower Ab Workout: Here is a workout that focuses on your lower abs. I usually do this one when I’m doing a hard cardio day- it just adds a little something extra on top of it. 

5 to 50 Ab Workout: I love this workout. It combines several different core strengthening movements to give you a well rounded ab workout. 

 

 

The Donut Snob

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Last week a few friends and I got together and had a donut party. What’s a donut party you ask? Here’s our version: we all had incredibly stressful weeks so we got together one morning and indulged in donuts and lattes.

The Donut Snob has some of the most delicious donuts I have ever had…like crazy good. They don’t have a storefront so you have to order a dozen online that get delivered to your doorstep (they are also sold at a few coffee shops around LA).

Pretty Packaging

Pretty Packaging

We ordered one of every donut and a few extras of the ones that sounded really good.

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Their flavors include: Rise + Shine, Salted Caramel, Lemon Lulu, The Berry Best, Campfire, Razzy, The Oinker and Peanut Butter.

We cut every donut into bite sized pieces and tasted one of everything. My absolute favorites were The Oinker (yes, the one with bacon on top), The Berry Best (so refreshing) and Rise+ Shine (yummy espresso).

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The donuts were so delicious and it was such a fun way to catch up with friends and de- stress before a big week. Needless to say, I’m a big fan of the donut party.

Gjelina

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This past weekend, I went to Gjelina with a group of friends for brunch. I had been for dinner before but I have to say, their brunch experience was a whole new level. At night I couldn’t see the decor and personality that Gjelina has but during the day, I fell in love with the atmosphere.

Exterior of Gjelina

Exterior of Gjelina

Gjelina Brunch Menu

Gjelina Brunch Menu

To start off, we ordered some drinks- it was brunch so it was necessary! Gjelina doesn’t serve any hard alcohol so no Bloody Mary’s or cocktails but they do make drinks with beer. We got the “Bloody Beer,” which is their take on a Bloody Mary and the Ginger Lime Pilsner. They were both really different and refreshing!

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We then ordered an array of breakfast and lunch items and I’m lucky enough to have foodie friends who like to share bites, so I was able to try most of the items posted below.

My pick- the Crispy Eggs with Proscuitto and Arugula

My pick- the Crispy Eggs with Proscuitto and Arugula

Moroccan Eggs

Moroccan Eggs

Steak Sandwich

Steak Sandwich

Pizza

Pizza

I would highly recommend the Moroccan Eggs- it is one of their most popular brunch items. I was afraid they were going to be too spicy (because I can’t deal with intense spice) but they were perfect. Although, I did love my crispy eggs with proscuitto and arugula. Everything was absolutely delicious.

After our meal, we stopped by Gjelina Take Away, which is right next door to the restaurant to try their chocolate chip cookie. One of our favorite bloggers, Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere, posted her top picks of chocolate chip cookies in LA– Gjelina was one of them so we had to try it!

Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookie

Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookie

Picture of the Group

Picture of the Group

Pesto & Sun Dried Tomato Quinoa

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As many of you know from my past posts, pasta is a huge weakness of mine so I tried to create a healthier pasta- like dish. I made a quick, homemade pesto and mixed it with sun dried tomatoes and quinoa. It turned out really well (especially when you sprinkle some grated pecorino on top). This batch also lasted me several meals this week so it’s great to make for one and eat throughout the week. Later in the week I wanted to add some veggies to this dish so I sauteed arugula and added a few scoops of this to warm up and mix in the pan with it- will definitely be making again soon!

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Quick Pesto

What You’ll Need: 

2 cups Basil Leaves

1/3 cup pine nuts

2/3 cup olive oil

Salt and Pepper, to taste

What to do: 

Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

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Pesto & Sun Dried Tomato Quinoa

What You’ll Need: 

1 cup Quinoa

Pesto (above)

Sun dried tomatoes, sliced

What to do: 

Cook the 1 cup of quinoa (read directions on quinoa purchased). After the quinoa is prepared, put into a large bowl and add pesto and sun dried tomatoes. Sprinkle some cheese on top and enjoy!

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Weekend Trip to Austin

This past weekend I went to Austin, Texas to visit family. I had such a fun time exploring a new city, especially discovering Austin’s vibrant food scene. On Friday night, we went to Rainey Street, a hidden street  close to downtown with an amazing bar scene. This street was converted from residential homes into bars. Each bar has a different, cute personality but they all had the classic Austin twinkly lights outside. We ended up going to a few of the bars, playing some fun bar games and meeting some locals- it was a great time!

Bar on Rainey St

Bar on Rainey St

On Saturday, we went for a walking tour around the city and stopped at a few local foodie hot spots. First we stopped in at the Austin Farmers Market. Here are a few of my favorite shots from it!

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After the Farmer’s market we went to Whole Foods- and I know, we’re in Austin why would we spend our time going to Whole Foods? Well, Austin is the Whole Foods headquarters and WOW it is phenomenal. So phenomenal that I will be posting later this week specifically about the whole foods. It was unreal.

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After checking out these foodie hotspots we had a nice long walk around town. Here are a few of my favorite shots!

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After the walk, we had a fun dinner out and spent our last few hours in Austin in the presence of great company and food. It was such a fun trip and I can’t wait to visit Austin again!