la pura vida

well hello! i'm stephanie. full time student-athlete, part time baker. aspiring good person and promoter of healthy/ pure foods. go ahead... browse the posts, leave a comment, and remember that life is good!

A Taste of Spring: raisin bread, lime bars, Moroccan cuisine, breakfast pizza, 2 Amy’s pizza, cheese platter, caramalized banana oatmeal, sweet potato hash, rocky road brownies, penne rosa with spinach

When life gives you limes, first make margaritas… then make Lime Bars!

A couple weekends ago, we had a fiesta.

Not only did we decorate the house according to the theme, but we also had limes. Because what fiesta is complete without a 5 lb bag of limes? 

Well we didn’t use all of the limes (in our cilantro-lime rice, of course) and they were about to go bad, so I finally used my head and remembered a recipe for lime bars!! 

It started with juicing ~8 limes to get ~1/2 cup of fresh squeezed juice. 

Oh.. and I was babysitting this lil nugget while all of this was happening: 

He was so well behaved until the bars went into the oven! Yay for cooperative kiddos! But since I was babysitting, I didn’t take a whole lot of pics of the process… But babyface and I had a photo shoot :) 

Long story short, there is some butter and sugar mixed with a touch of flour to make a delicious crust. Even more sugar, a few eggs, and the lime juice/zest is all mixed together and the whole thing goes into the oven for a good 30 minutes. 

Wa-lah! 

But you would be considered absolutely out-of-this-world insane if you just ate it like this. So you add MORE sugar (…because it’s not sweet enough already?)!

NOOOOWWWWWW you can indulge. This, my friends, is pre-dinner dessert..

http://abeautifulmess.typepad.com/my_weblog/2012/05/citrus-bars-3-ways.html 

Raisin Bread

The bread came out of the oven literally less than 10 minutes ago and rather than letting it cool before I slice it up (as suggested in the recipe), I’ve already had 2 slices… whoops… 

But how am I supposed to resist?! I spent literally all day babying the dough until it’s safe arrival out of the oven and into my belly. 

It all started with mixing some wet ingredients. 

And then you add the dry ingredients (including yeast)!

And then your hands get messy. 

But eventually all of the proteins coagulate (heeeeyyy chemistry of cooking!) and you get a beautiful smooth ball of dough. 

And now is when you have to pay attention, but not really. Rise #1 happens when it is still a ball - it took ~2 hours. And then you knead in a big cup of raisins, stretch it out, roll it up, and let it rise for another ~2 hours. 

And then it goes in the oven! 

The result is not just a crispy golden brown crust, but a whole house of good smells. And not to mention a happy belly! 

Here’s the recipe: http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/2012/12/raisin-bread-for-raisin-lovers.html 

The Bucket List: Kitchen Edition

I don’t necessarily have a list of things I want to cook or bake before I die, but there are some things that are just on a list, in my mind. 

For example, homemade pizza. I crossed that off this summer. 

Another example would be gnocchi. I made that yesterday. 

It all started with the Farmer’s Market. I got a new internship with FRESHFARM Markets, which is a nonprofit that runs ~10 farmer’s markets, provides 5 educational programs, and advocates for farmers. I am working on enhancing their social media marketing. So I made a point to get to the nearest farmer’s market this past weekend to get a better feel for the people I am working with. 

After walking around for a good 40 minutes, I decided it was time I actually purchased something. So I bought a 5lb. bag of Vivaldi Potatoes (NOTE: These are NOT russet potatoes like what is generally used for gnocchi)

But a girl at the market assured me that if I watch a video by Marc Bitman I would figure it out and be fine. I followed the directions and had very messy hands and eventually figured it out! 

After peeling and mashing/grating some very hot potatoes, I added an insurmountable amount of flour and had some chunky dough. 

Uh… the dough isn’t supposed to be chunky. I did the best I could! 

Ok so then ya gotta roll it out and cut it up and try to make it look decent.. 

Not too shabby, eh?! 

Well then it goes into boiling water for ~4 minutes until they start to float. My final product looks a little disabled, but I love them anyways. 

Maybe when I add pesto and eat it for dinner tomorrow it will look as good as it tastes! 

I used give or take 4# of potatoes, God-only-knows how much flour, and 2 eggs. I just went for it! It worked! I have 5 bags (each appropriate serving sizes) in the freezer to heat up on a lazy night and a serving in the fridge. 

Tonight’s special is white sangria.. trying to encourage summer to come a little sooner!! 

I’m baaaaccckkkkk

It’s spring break. 

FINALLY.

I am planning to do some damage in the kitchen. Tear it up. Make a mess.. and then eat my little heart out! 

Stay tuned….

Homemade pretzels in the works!

Homemade pretzels in the works!

National Cherry Blossom Festival

They’ve bloomed! 

And we went! On an absolutely beautiful Friday evening. 

By we, I mean Ashley, Jaclyn, me, Erica, Alex, and Gina!

Pretty tree! 

And I just love this bike… 

Ash and Alex just love dancing behind these religious people… they want to try to be on The Ellen Degeneres Show!

SO many people taking pictures of people taking pictures of people… (cue Jack Johnson)

But it was still fun! 

Cherry Blossom Festival… CHECK!

FroYo Friday

Happy Friday! 

Merry FroYo Friday!

 

TGIF! 

no… FGIFYF!

It’s a beautiful day… celebrate with some Fro!

"Get Fro-ed!" 

"It’s Fro-time"

"Fro It Up"

Whatever you’re going to do today, do it with FroYo!

Restaurant Review: Rockland’s Barbeque

ch ch check it out!

My previous boss turned fellow fro yo fanatic, Andrew (as seen below), gave me a handful of restaurant suggestions. I am going to explore a wide variety of them and document here for future reference! 

So restaurant #1 is Rockland’s Barbeque and Grill in Grover Park, Washington, DC. 

This little place has tons of flavor - I mean that in regards to the food and the atmosphere. 

Hey, Becks. 

So I am Catholic. And it’s Lent. And we decided to go on a Friday. Which can only mean one thing — no meat for Stephanie! So I helped myself to a grilled vegetable sandwich. 

Oh. Baby. I can’t even tell you what kinds of wonderful veggies were smashed between these buns. 

Literally, smashed. I was a mess eating the mix of carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, asparagus, mushrooms, and onions, but it was SO GOOD. And did I mention coated in barbeque sauce? Oh yea, that’s a good Lenten Friday. Better than any fish fry I’ve ever been to… 

And just when I thought I was finished, I got back in line to order some fried okra. Not as good as my grandparents’ fresh grown stuff, but still pretty tasty! 

And no barbeque review would be complete without a rack of ribs, a chicken leg, mashed potatoes, and corn pudding. 

If anything, go for the shelled peanuts! Whatever it is, I hope I have given you reason enough that has convinced you to A) visit me in DC, and B) go to Rockland’s! 

Dorm Food — It’s Possible

Believe it or not, it IS possible to make nutritious foods when living in the dorms. This past week was spring break and I was faced with the challenge of not having a dining hall (or any on-campus food option, for that matter) nor a fully functioning/stocked kitchen. 

On the bright side, these adorable girl were selling $0.50 lemonade. It was better than any lemonade I ever sold… their secret? A splash of limmeeade! Who woulda thought?!

So it all started with some cucumber and tomato with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Perfect spring/summer lunch! 

And then we had toast with sautéed spinach and one egg - over easy? I never know what it’s called unless it is scrambled… 

I also made (but didn’t photograph) an omelet with one egg and one diced tomato served over two slices of 9-grain toast! 

I also ventured into the world of roasted beans and made a can of roasted/baked chick peas! 1 can, drianed and patted dry, tossed with ~2T olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Baked at 400 degrees for 30 minutes and they were a decent and crunchy snack! I would suggest sprinkling some more flavor (cumin, pepper, dried pepper flakes, etc).

 

My teammate, Becks, who was also here with me was very fond of the chocolate marathon we ran. Brownies one night, and this decadent chocolate cheesecake another. Luckily we made enough to share… or enough to eat one each night for a week… either works. 

All in all, spring break was so relaxing and THE MOST BEAUTIFUL weather. EVER. Seriously.  Cherry blossoms are bloomin’! 

OHOP take 2!

I really love this place. 

And I really really love breakfast food. 

And I love-hate that OHOP now has the calorie count next to each item on the menu. Love it so I don’t indulge in 1,200 calories worth of pancakes and sugar, but hate that I can’t just order what sounds great and be happy. 

So I compromised… I ordered what sounded great, loved every bite, and was happy. 

One whole wheat waffle with homemade apple syrup coming right up! (I think this was a little less than 500 calories…)

Apples in brown sugar and cinnamon? Yes, please. 

And then we have little Kitty Kat (aka Kati) who was an OHOP virgin until this week. She did OHOP right…. 6 pancakes with fresh strawberries, strawberry syrup, and whipped cream! 

If only my metabolism worked that fast..

Theres something in the air. This wind, maybe? Im not sure what it is but it nights like these that make me longing or old friends and grateful to know theyre still in my life.

Hey Mom, I’m Alive!

This is my life right now: 

  • I made granola this week and used this simply delicious recipe
  • Field hockey has left me tired and sore, but I am about to master my balance and poise in this stretch/mad skill. Just wait for it.
  • My friend of four years, Erin, is coming to the District TODAY for her spring break! I AM SO EXCITED! She’s going to see everything this city has to offer.
  • Sometimes I sleep. 
  • Most times, I am selling tickets (aka making money) at our basketball games. Aww yeah, AU basketball! (Our women ar 15-0 in the Patriot League… killin it!)
  • I decided to give up my watch for Lent. Please pray for me. This won’t be easy. 
  • Right now, I am in class learning about blogs and social media!
  • Oh and Mom… I still love you! 

Broiled Grapefruit

YOU NEED: 

1. An oven/broiler (put the oven rack close to the top and set it to the broiler setting. i think it’s that simple. Or I’m doing something wrong.)

2. Half of a grapefruit.

3. Raw cane sugar. 

This may be on the same level as making a bowl of cereal so please don’t even act intimidated by the luscious flesh of the grapefruit, golden tint of the sugar, or idea of “broiling” something. 

Sprinkle sugar on grapefruit. 

Put grapefruit in oven-safe dish. 

Broil for 5-7 minutes or until it starts to brown. 

The grapefruit will pucker up with all the sweet sweet juices. 

And once you feel like you can’t salivate any more, EAT UP! 

hint: it helps if you cut the fruit before you broil… duh.

None to share! Sorry bout it…