Well, it's that time again. My phone storage has completely filled up, so here I am, emptying all the pictures of food onto the blog for your eyes to feast on! Not even a month has passed since the last of these posts - I guess that means I've been eating well! School just ended last week, so I don't predict this post or the next few to come to include many packed lunches or dinners, things like that. Cool? Cool. Instead, from here on out for the rest of the summer, expect lots of fun foods, lots of new foods, lots of... everything :)
A couple drinks from a bar in Avila Beach (Mr. Rick's, for those in SLO) after my friend and I hiked one evening. In the back of my mind, this didn't sound like a fantastic idea - you know, re-hydrating mainly with alcohol - but we were both fine and the drinks tasted even better considering how thirsty we were. Tangerine Mai Tai for her, a Harlem Shake for me, and a stunning view of the ocean along with live music and everyone dancing on the boardwalk to make for a fantastic Friday night show for both of us!
I remember this distinctly. It was a Thursday afternoon, right after an anatomy midterm I had the hardest time studying for because my emotions that week were just out of control and sleep didn't want to be my friend in the slightest. Don't worry - I didn't fail, but I did walk out knowing I was not about to see an A or B on that exam (I got a C and I'm okay with that). And because my day was still six hours from being over, I bought myself a latte from Starbucks and cracked open this new RX Bar. It's not my favorite flavor, but that isn't to say it wasn't good!
If you didn't guess from the mess on the kitchen counter, I was baking something here today, and I think it was the cookies in the picture. What sparked in me a desire to experiment with a new recipe, I do not know, but I rolled with it and after 30 minutes mixing together some almond flour, cacao powder, nut butter, and other ingredients, out from the oven came rich, soft, fudgy cookies that might be better described as brownies. Or brownies that might be better described as cookies?
Here they are! I saved the recipe, so I'm planning to post it here soon. Until then, patience.
Speaking of baking... I made a cake! And there's zucchini inside! And everyone liked it even when I told them about the vegetable! This four-layer chocolate cake was for a close friend's birthday - I spent the morning making it because 1) it was her BIRTHDAY so, duh, I wanted her to feel special and 2) (selfishly) I desperately needed a break from studying and baking sounded like the way to go. Win win win. Happy birthday Michaela! Oh, and here's the cake recipe.
I made an afternoon-coffee habit on Tuesdays and Thursdays this quarter because my schedule gave me only an hour-long break each day, and going from two hours of anatomy lecture to two hours of nutrition counseling lecture felt like a mountain to climb. Coffee and snacks to the rescue! This is the cascara latte with coconut milk + two of my chocolate peanut butter sea salt power bites.
When you wait to start what would become a ten-page written midterm until two days before it's due (not to mention that + anatomy lab practical + nutrition counseling essay all due in the same week), you spend the entire weekend at your favorite coffee shop. For me, that's the Steaming Bean in Shell Beach and I'll talk more about why I love it so much when I finish my post about the best coffee shops in SLO. I digress - I brought this pasta salad with me and it's pretty much Banza pasta + shaved carrot "noodles" + this mayo + salsa + cilantro. Sounds kinda' weird, I know, but trust me when I say it's pretty dang good.
Please excuse this picture if I've already posted it, and I wouldn't be surprised if I have because I've made these chocolate chunk tahini cookies at least six times in the last two months. Here they are again, all warm and gooey and freshly baked, ready for transport to the preview of my cookbook! I hung out at Holland's senior project showcase to meet her professor and her classmates and to, of course, see the finished product! I cried. :))) just a few more months and we will have ourselves A BOOK!!!
Please also excuse this plate of sweet potato wedges that seems to reappear on my dinner menu multiple times a week, hence why it's always included in these posts. It's just so good and so easy and so satisfying. I usually go for the white sweet potatoes or the Japanese sweet potatoes, which I buy organic from Whole Foods (because I can't find them anywhere else less expensive) . Toss them in avocado or grape seed oil with garlic powder and sea salt, roast at 425F for 35-40 minutes, flipping them in between, and then serve with whatever dip or sauce sounds good.
Birthday tacos! These (which I split with a friend) are from Luna Red which will very likely forever and always be my favorite spot in SLO. I wish I could think of an adjective perfect enough to describe it. Picture this: flowery trees + pops of colorful furniture + outdoor bar and lounging area + twinkly lights (twinkly lights!). And as for the food, think: bacon-wrapped dates + seafood or vegetable paella + goat cheese balls + cured meat and cheese boards and way more you must check out for yourself. Must.
I also remember this quite distinctly. It was one of those rare (rare for me, at least) indecisive mornings when I couldn't decide how I wanted to get some movement into my day before I spent the rest of it in front of my computer/textbooks. First, I went for a walk, but only made it about half a mile from my house before I realized I felt like something more intense. Back home I went, thinking a bike ride to the beach sounded perfect. As I changed clothes, I changed my mind yet again and set my plans on getting to the coffee shop early to finish a chunk of studying, and then giving myself an hour or two in the afternoon for some movement as a study-break. So, that all happened and so did this breakfast burrito from Steaming Bean. Bacon + eggs + avocado + tomato. It was a little plain for my taste, but I know the owner and this felt like something he would make me if he invited me over to his place for breakfast. And I like that.
About three weeks ago, I made my first-ever very own grilled cheese sandwich. I loved them as a kid, but once my mom started letting me make my own food, I grew out of them. Then, the whole issue of my relationship with food crashed in and cheese and bread were never allowed and then I went vegan and, well... yeah, no cheese obviously. And that brings us here, to Haley's homemade grilled cheese sandwich #2. I bought a block of organic pepperjack cheese from the farmers market and melted it along with some spinach between two slices of my favorite bread from Breaking Bread here in SLO. Mmmmmm. I've missed these.
Happy graduation, Grace! If you're wondering who Grace is, she's my best friend first and then my roommate second and she just graduated from Cal Poly with a BS in Recreation Parks and Tourism Administration. Her whole family came up to SLO this weekend, so we spent every minute (okay, not every single one, but many) celebrating in some way. For dinner on Friday night, we went to the Shell Beach Brewhouse and both ordered a chicken sandwich and a glass of rose. The sandwich was huge and delicious, and we left stuffed. We can't really complain though - good company, good food, good rose, and so much laughing that my stomach and cheeks actually ached for the rest of the night.
To finish celebrating Grace, we went to Sally Loo's for brunch on Sunday. For me, a veggie breakfast burrito sounded like it would hit the spot, and it did. I asked for no potatoes, so they subbed extra veggies and it was perfect. Whenever I eat breakfast burritos with potatoes, I feel way too full afterwards and would rather have more eggs or veggies instead of more starchy-ness in addition to the tortilla. Ya' know? Sometimes I feel too high-maintenance, but then I remind myself that 1) I'm rarely ever actually high-maintenance (I've seen worse) and 2) I want to actually enjoy my food. Duh.
There they are, all the memorable eats within the last month. I hope you enjoy reading these posts! Come back soon for more. What are some of your memorable eats recently? Comment below!