I had such an amazing time watching local celebrity Chef Ming Tsai cook up a storm at Macy's in Natick, MA. He made three healthy-ish dishes (I tried two but was unable to try the third because of allergies) that everyone in the audience loved. I learned so much from him in just a short cooking demo.Read More ➛
Happy Pink Thursday everyone! I'm writing to you from work in a pink (ok mostly purple) dress. It was too low cut and showed off a very beautiful scratch on my chest (I have no idea how I get these things!), so I'm wearing a cute purple tube top under it.
Did I mention it's covered in sequins? But it's ok, I work at a startup. We do what we WANT!
For today's post, I wanted to feature this awesome pink popcorn recipe from Erin Cooks. Erin, another Boston area blogger, also happens to be the adoptive "blog mother" of my favorite baker, Elissa. Erin's blog is chock full of beautiful food photos and super tasty recipes. You should check her out!
Doesn't this just make you want to have a Pink Princess Party? Am I too old to have a Pink Princess Party? Recipe and photo via
Ingredients: Spring the recipe!
- vegetable oil or olive oil
- kosher salt
- 8 ounces of good white chocolate
- red food coloring
Pop a batch of popcorn. The stove top method is best, but you could also use microwave popcorn if you must — just try to avoid the flavored kind. Either way you will need approximately 8 cups of popcorn. (Erin’s Note: I love my Whirley-Pop. You may want to consider purchasing one. I personally will never go back to the traditional pot shaking method ever again).
Spread the popcorn over a baking sheet lined with a silpat or wax paper. Pick out any unpopped kernels — you don’t want anyone to break a tooth!
- Melt 8 ounces of white chocolate until smooth. You can use a double-boiler to melt the chocolate, or put it in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time on medium power, stirring after each round. Once the chocolate is smooth, add a few drops of food coloring, and stir to blend.
- Use a spoon to drizzle the melted chocolate across the popcorn. Mix the popcorn around with the spoon to evenly distribute the chocolate. Then place the baking sheet in the refridgerator for 20 minutes to allow the chocolate to harden. Finally, serve and enjoy!
Ingredients: Spring the recipe!
- 1 can chickpeas
- 6 Tbs olive oil
- 3 Tbs lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic
- approx. 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp dried parsley (or 1/2 tsp fresh)
- salt and pepper
- Rinse chickpeas and let drain.
- Add to food processor or blend with immersion blender.
As always, I made a bunch of mistakes along the way, but it still ended up tasting amazing. We couldn't find hot chili sauce at Trader Joe's, so we bought sweet chili sauce and combined it with schug, an spicy Israeli paste. In addition, I was too lazy (and hungry) to let the chicken defrost, so I put it in a pot of hot water on the stove. The chicken ended up getting slightly cooked before I had a chance to bread it, but it tasted fine.
When I first saw the amount of chicken I prepared, I assumed we'd have enough leftovers for lunch tomorrow. I was totally wrong: Rach and I devoured it!
Ingredients: Spring the recipe!
- 1/2 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast
- flour for coating
- 1 egg
- bread crumbs
- za'atar for seasoning
- oil for frying (I used olive oil)
- soy sauce
- sweet chili sauce
- Set out three prep bowls: the first filled with flour, the second with a fully beaten egg and the third with a breadcrumb and za'atar mixture. Add as much za'atar as you want- it's delicious! Set aside.
- Defrost chicken and cut into strips. Pound until thin- I used the side of a sharp knife and it worked just fine.
- Dip chicken in flour and coat until fully covered.
- Coat chicken in egg. Let excess drip back into bowl.
- Dip the egg covered chicken strips in the breadcrumb mixture until strips are fully coated
- Heat oil in a large skillet. Add chicken and fry until crispy and brown.
- Place cooked chicken strips on a paper towel. Blot excess oil with additional paper towels.
- For the sauce: combine ingredients to taste. I wish I could be more specific, but I didn't measure (The sign of a TRUE chef!) Be careful with the schug- that stuff is hot!
- Serve and enjoy! (I added some blueberries and basil to the plate to add a hint of sweetness and a bit of flavor. It was actually an AMAZING combination and made up for the fact that I couldn't find any suitable vegetables.)
I had such a fantastic weekend! This is a very link heavy post, only because I've collected little "mementos" of the weekend's festivities in my springpad. It's a great way to keep track of my favorite restaurants, recipes and the products I love! I think it's pretty fabulous that I actually use the product I promote for work. I've had a lot of fun adding things this week, so I hope you'll check out my profile :)
No work on Friday meant a day of grocery shopping and cooking. We typically do a big dinner every Friday night, complete with food, friends and lots of wine. Rach and I were responsible for the main course, so we made Macaroni and Cheese with Cauliflower and a really fantastic tomato and mushroom tart. (Click the link to get the recipes!) Both dishes were delicious, but I definitely recommend the second!
If you'll notice, I have no good food photos...this is because my pictures only turn out when it's sunny. The natural light in my house sucks. Therefore, I'm thinking of investing in a new and much better camera: The Nikon D5000. It's my dad's pick, but after doing some research, I think it's probably the best for me.
Saturday night I had a lovely BBQ with friends and then headed to watch the fireworks on the BU bridge. There was a bunch of alcohol consumed...I even ended up buying a bottle of champagne from Shaws! Needless to say, I was shocked when I accidentally opened the bottle. I was merely trying to loosen the cork and it exploded! I was not prepared for that. Fortunately, the bottle wasn't directed at anyone's face!
Sunday, we got brunch at Zaftigs, my new favorite place. Technically, it wasn't really brunch because we didn't get seated until after 1:30...and I had grilled cheese.
I also went on another Jdate, and this time, I'm happy to say he's the kind of boy I can tell my mom about (Hi Mom, I love you)! Not only did he arrive on time, he was early! He also only whipped out his phone to show me photos of his dog...who I sort of want to steal. At the end of the date, he walked me to the door, gave me a proper yet awkward goodnight kiss and said:
"I'm DEFINITELY going to pick up."
PS- This morning, when I went to find my Charlie card to pay my T fare, I came to a realization: I wasn't carded last night at the bar. This may not sound like a big deal, but this has NEVER happened to me before. Does that mean I'm a grown up? Not that I support underage drinking...but I look like I'm 15 and they didn't ask for ID ;)
If you'll recall, I recently mentioned that I discovered I actually liked eating fish, much to the chagrin of my mother. Well, last night I came home from a long day at work to a home cooked meal of broccoli, rice and salmon. Let me tell you, it was delicious! I don't know how she cooked it, but the salmon was perfectly textured so that it almost melted in my mouth.
I was enjoying my dinner, when suddenly, it hit me: my throat was beginning to itch, my lips felt like they were swelling, and my tongue was not happy.
Alana: Hey guys, do people have fish allergies?
Geoff: Yeah, but I think it's usually to shellfish. Why?
Alana: Ok, don't freak out, I'm not going to die or anything, but I think I'm allergic to salmon. I just need to take some Benadryl and I'll be fine.
I then did a little research on the internet and found this via about.com:
"Pollock, salmon, cod, tuna, snapper, eel, and tilapia are among thefish that commonly trigger fish allergies. Fish allergies are similar to shellfish allergies in that they are more likely than many food allergies to start during adulthood and less likely than other allergies to be outgrown. While fish is easier than many other allergens to avoid, fish allergies are often quite severe."
Yup, that would be me. Hi, my name is Alana, and I have a new allergy.
Oh, and in case you're wondering, Benadryl makes this tiny girl very loopy. So much so, that I couldn't get up to go to work today. Literally, I almost fell asleep standing up in the shower. Oy vey.
Check out the stuff I've compiled about food allergies and feel free to add your own content- I particularly like the video from Hitch...it makes me feel better about myself.
Via this talented man. He calls it "The Alana Tree"
Just the other day, a very wise man one of my coworkers told me to stop moping, call up my drinking buddies and get out of the house.
"Make this the summer of Alana," he said.
And you know what, I'm going to do just that. I'm a young, single girl living in a fabulous city. There are so many things I'd love to do this summer:
- Decoupage my bookshelf
- Start keeping a log of my favorite outfits
- Redesign my blog and get matching business cards
- Create my own blog award to give to my favorite bloggers
- Spend a day on the beach
- Travel to the Cape
- Enjoy more Boston nightlife
- Date someone new
- Learn how to take better food photos
- Participate in Banditos Misteriosos Scavenger Hunt
- Play with my new Adobe suite (!!)
- Meet up with my Israel roommates in Vegas for Julia's birthday
- Go to BlogHer 09 in Chicago
- Hang out with an old coworker/friend in Chicago post BlogHer
- Use the prize I won on twitter (more on that later)
- See a concert at the Paradise
- Get lunch with Littlesack in Baltimore
- Discover a new favorite spot in Boston
- Plan a fun Boston meet up with these sassy ladies
- Go sailing (that is how my dad met my stepmom...)
- Get a frickin pedicure
- Take a yoga class
- Fill out the form to get credit for my internship
- More DIY blog posts (do I even have any?)
- Do a vlog
- Explore Cambridge
I think 27 is a good number. It's a lot to accomplish, but hey, it's the summer of Alana...and I have my own tree! So, anyone want to help me accomplish my goals.
How are you planning to spend the summer of you?
Photo via Shine
When I first saw a photo of these babies, I had to check them out. Pink goggles that will eliminate my onion chopping tears- no way! I definitely suffer from watery eyes whenever I cut onions. My eyes are so sensitive that even when someone else is cutting onions, my eyes start tearing. I have to be in the room, of course.
So, do we think these babies work? They got 4.7 out of 5 stars on cooking.com.... Plus, they'd look super cute with the rest of my pink kitchen stuff.
I can't remember if I told you, but I've been in Baltimore for the past few days. I got in Friday afternoon and immediately went to see my pediatrician- yes, I still see my pediatrician and I'm 21 years old. Feel free to make fun of me.
I really, desperately want to post pictures of the new place and all the fabulous decorating I've done, but to be honest, I haven't even finished unpacking yet! My tiny room is a mess- all of the extra storage containers I used in my dorm room are unnecessary in the new apartment, because it has built in storage. Everywhere. Who would have thought?
Also, I haven't found the memory card reader I use to post photos, so I couldn't show you pictures even if I wanted to.
In other news, Rach, Arielle and I made our first apartment dinner last night: vegetarian chicken parm on whole wheat spaghetti with a side of broccoli. It was delicious and only took about 30 minutes. Rachel attempted to take some photos, but the lighting in our kitchen is horrendous. We're going to have to work on that because I would love to start food blogging.... we'll see.
Oh, and somehow I managed to burn three of my fingers last night, without even touching anything. I was minding my own business, taking a break from cooking and watching the broccoli spin around in the microwave. All of a sudden, the saran wrap covering the broccoli bowl started bubbling up (someone, I won't mention names....wrapped it around too tightly, which is one of the reasons I prefer to use wax paper...), so I, being the spontaneous person who wants to fix everything, promptly opened the microwave and attempted to remove the saran wrap.
Suddenly, hot steam enveloped my fingers and I screamed. Yup, I managed to burn myself without even touching anything. FML.
I think there's a life lesson here:
If something is in the microwave, it is most likely hot and you shouldn't touch it. Ever. Your fingers will thank you.