Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Miso-Ramen with Roasted Veggies

Lately, I have been craving Ramen! There is just something about those tasty rice noodles in a broth, that is satisfyingly delicious -- especially during high stress periods in your life. When I came across this super tasty looking Miso-Ramen recipe by The Bojon Gourmet, I had to try it. I followed this recipe to the letter and was not disappointed in the slightest! Holy cow, it had lots of good flavor and a variety of texture, I couldn't stop eating it! You had the saltiness from the Miso broth that was enhanced with boiled seaweed and shiitake mushrooms; the sweet soft texture of the roasted sweet potatoes; the crunch and a slight bitterness from the broccolini; topped off with the soft chew from the noodles, tofu, and boiled egg... Talk about delicious (in a sing-song voice). I devoured this and instantly regretted having to save some for tomorrow's lunch.

A good heads up, this recipe does take some time. I think I clocked it to one and a half hours, maybe almost two. There is lots of boiling water to consider along with some oven activity, so be sure to read through the recipe to get the timing right. I sure didn't and found myself having to reheat different components. Regardless, you will be satisfied with the finished product! I will certainly make this again! 

Thank you, The Bojon Gourmet! 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomato Burgers

This last week has been quite hectic! Having taken a six-month break from work and trying to get back in the game has left me emotionally and physically exhausted. In the end, dinner certainly suffered. I only cooked two dinners out of the whole week! Man, but was I craving something fresh and also tasty by the end of the week. So, I put together a Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomato burger, adapted from America's Test Kitchen, Sunday night. Boy did that help end the week right!

The best part about it is, I used fresh basil from my own indoor garden! I just bought the cute little basil plant last week at my local grocery store. The basil comes from a local nursery that has organic plants! I was so excited when I found it and even more so when I added them as a topping for these tasty burgers.

Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomato Burgers


  • 5 hamburger buns
  • 1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, plus 1 tablespoon packing oil
  • 1/4 of a red onion, minced
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/2 cub (2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese
  • Large basil leaves
  • 1 tomato, sliced thin
  • Red onion, sliced thin
  • Artichoke hearts, drained and quartered 
  • 2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  •  2 tablespoons of olive oil


  1. Tear 1 hamburger bun into pieces. In a large, mash bread and 2 tablespoons water into a paste using fork. Chop sun-dried tomatoes coarsely and add to bowl, along with the minced red onion. 
  2. Add chicken, goat cheese, 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper to bowl. Knead mixture with your hands until ingredients are uniformly distributed. Divide mixture into 4 portions. Form each portion into a loose ball and lightly pat ball into a patty. 
  3. Heat the packing oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until oil shimmers. Place patties into skillet and cook until lightly browned. Flip patty and continue cooking until second side is lightly browned. 
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and a pinch of kosher salt together to make a light balsamic vinaigrette. 
  5. Cut hamburger buns in half. Brush on the balsamic vinaigrette on one side of each bun set. 
  6. Place chicken patty on balsamic vinaigrette side, top with fresh basil, slices of red onion, tomato, and artichoke hearts. Enjoy! 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Meatballs in a French Sauce

Food and exercise go together for me. Some people exercise to eat whatever they want. Some exercise to look good, so their diet also goes with whatever helps them achieve their goals. Me, I typically let my body dictate what I'm going to eat and how much I'll eat. The large catalyst to this body-listening habit is determined by how much I exercise and what exercises I do. If I focus a lot of my attention on yoga, I typically crave more fresh fruits and veggies with light meat (e.g. fish and chicken). If I'm focusing on strength training and cardio, I find myself looking at more starchy foods and a lot of heavier meat (e.g. pork and beef). If I don't exercise at all, I typically go for lots and lots of sweet foods -- which has now become a sign that I should get off the couch and walk around the block.

Feel the burn! Love the burn! Be one with the burn! 
So this week was super exciting in the exercise department! I finally got a rowing machine centrally located in my garage! Woop woop! SUPER excited. I love rowing! I feel like rowing is the ultimate strength and cardio training in one exercise. This baby was my pleasure and pain all through my senior year of high school, as I was part of the rowing team. And to boot, my awesome younger sister threw in some kettle bells to keep the rowing machine company. My sister was able to get a good deal on this gently used rower. We split the cost and now we have our own little gym revving to go.

And once that burn has settled in, add a little pain with it.
So, how did we celebrate this new addition to our lives, you ask? Well, we did the only thing that made sense, we built a workout centered around the rower and the KBs. Since this is a food blog, I won't go into great detail over out workout, BUT I will mention that we totally kicked our own butts.

Meatballs and pasta with a simple green salad
After our ass-kicking workout, we made a delicious meatballs and pasta dish, from The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo. I modified it a little bit to accommodate for flavor and more veg and paired it with just a simple greens salad, as there was lots of flavor going on with the meatballs. I think next time I might skip the pasta portion of the dish and just put the meatballs on the bed of greens. I'm not a huge fan of pasta. I think it is because if grew up on rice being a staple in every meal, but that's just crazy ol' me. So, I guess that's up to you.
I was re-named Pertrisha. I guess the girl taking my order heared more R's in my name.
Of course to top of a great meal we had to get dessert. So we went to a food truck rally not far from my house and got some amazing french toast from the Matterhorn. My sister and I split the Northface, which consisted of french toast, sliced strawberries and bananas, and topped with a large ice cream scoop of whipped cream and coconut syrup. Oh my god! That coconut syrup was so tasty! what can't coconut make better? And of course, vanilla custard and strawberry-colata Italian ice was just a gimme. Meals just end well with ice cream.

Meals just end better with ice cream. Nom nom nom!
Meatballs in a French Sauce

For the sauce: 
  • 1 sweet onion , finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
  • 1 oz smoked bacon, cubed
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3/4 cups red wine (I found Pinot Noir works best for cooking)
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  •  2 tbsp cornichons, finely chopped 
  • 2 tbsp capers, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper 
For the meatballs:
  • 1/2 pound of ground sausage
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  1. Fry the onion, carrot, celery and bacon in a 12-inch non-stick skillet on medium heat until onions are golden. Remove the vegetables and bacon from the pan and set aside in a bowl. 
  2. Add the butter to the now empty skillet. Melt the butter, then sprinkle in the flour, stirring until flour is incorporated with butter. Continue stirring occasionally until the flour-butter mixture turns almost a Coca-Cola brown. 
  3. Turn the heat down to low and slowly pour in the beef stock, whisking continually to incorporate the butter at the bottom of the pan. Add the tomato paste and the wine, whisk until tomato past is fully incorporated. 
  4. Add the fried vegetables and bacon back into the skillet, along with the thyme, bay leaves, cornichons, and capers. Salt and pepper to taste. Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer and allow to warm for 15 minutes.
  5. In the mean time, heat olive oil on a cast iron skillet on medium heat. Fry the meatballs for about 5 minutes or until cooked through. 
  6. Add the meatballs into sauce. Continue cooking until the meatballs are heated through. 
  7. Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves. 
  8. Arrange a nice bed of salad greens onto a plate. Top with the meatballs and some sauce. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Tasty Fried Rice

I really like rice! I mean, I grew up on it. Every dinner was accompanied with rice. White rice with a some meat in a tasty sauce and veggies. The rice would soak up some of the sauce from the meat and the veggies added the right crisp, bitter to round out the flavors.

Of course there was the occasional Friday night pasta nice. Or if it was soccer season, spaghetti every Tuesday and Thursday. (I'm still burnt out on spaghetti to this day.) But every other dinner with rice, meat and veggies was always a welcomed meal! Holy cow!

My mom always fried up the rice with some canola oil and chopped onions. Oh man! The flavor! But for some reason, when I moved out on my own I stopped eating so much rice. I may eat rice once a month. Maybe. Maybe...

So this fried rice recipe was a real treat. Oh man, the combination of bitter (ginger, garlic, scallion whites), sweet (hoisin sauce, shiitake mushrooms) and a pinch of spice just really hit the spot. It all comes together nice and neat in one 12-inch skillet. Pair it off with a nice Riesling white wine and a bowl of your favorite melon. Booyah! Dinner is served!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20-30 minutes
Yields: 4 servings


  • 1 cup cooked white rice
  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
  • 5 teaspoons ginger, grated
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 scallions, whites minced and greens thinly sliced - separated
  • 2 small shallots sliced thin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 cups shredded pork, chicken or beef
  • 3 tablespoons Hoisin sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Vegetable oil


Combine Hoisin sauce, soy sauce and Sriracha sauce in a small bowl. Set aside. 

Heat 1-teaspoons of oil in a 12-inch skillet until shimmer on medium heat. Add beaten egg to skillet and let it sit until beginning to set, roughly 15 seconds. Scrabble the eggs until cooked through, about 1 minute. Remove eggs from skillet and set aside. Wipe down the skillet and return to heat.

Heat 2-teaspoons of oil in now clean skillet. Add shiitake mushrooms to skillet, Cook mushrooms until lightly brown, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add ginger, garlic, scallion whites, and sugar to skillet. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds to a minute. Add cooked rice and cook until heated through, stirring to mix all ingredients and heat until rice is warmed. Add shredded meat and Hoisin sauce mixture. Stir ingredients until all ingredients are coated in sauce. Continue cooking until meat is heated through. 

Remove skillet off the heat. Stir in scrabbled eggs and and scallion greens. Serve immediately and enjoy! 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Update On Indoor Garden

There has been a great addition to my little indoor garden. I now introduce to you, Peace Lily. She's so pretty! My mom was contemplating giving up on her, since her leaves were all limp. I was able to convince my mom she was doing just fine, that her leaves were green and healthy -- she just needed her own space, along with a nice drink of water. I got her home and gave her a big drink of water. The next day, she was all perky without missing a step.

She's adapting well to her new environment and family. I have spotted small buds, so I'm hoping to see some flowers soon!

I also wanted to give a quick update on Jade. Jade was also a rescue plant that was suffering from over watering. Once I saved the plants that hadn't wilted away she started growing very fast and creating tons and tons of new buds! This one I do have a before picture, just to refresh your memory.

I'm sad to say that the little red pot I planted Jade in did not last very long. As I was bragging before, I found some great biodegradable bamboo pots on sale at my local supermarket. They said they would last well up to 3 years, 5 years depending on the plant, but this one didn't last six months before it developed deep cracks and water was spilling out every time I watered Jade. So, I replaced the bamboo with a clay pot, something a bit more sturdy and will hold in the moisture so I don't have to water Jade so much. Here she is all bushy and in her new pot. 

I'm planning on bringing home some more plants once I find space for them all. I'm thinking to buy either a large metal case with adjustable shelves, like this one here, or one from IKEA designed for plants. Either way, I want something that will accommodate lights. Living in Utah does leave you with longer stretches of night during the winter that I need to start prepping for. 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Shampoo and Scalp Treatment for Psoriasis Scalps

Psoriasis can be really painful, especially when in sensitive areas like your scalp. When my sister was telling me about her itchy scalp and the discomfort and pain it caused her, I started to investigate what is psoriasis and if there were any herbal/natural treatments. I found out psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder, where the body begins over producing skin cells in an attempt to fight off infection. These cells begin building up, producing white scaly patches (called plaques) that can be embarrassing and painful, especially if they crack. Depending on the severity, a person's psoriasis can be managed with natural/herbal remedies, but there are cases where a medical physician needs to prescribe some heavier treatment to improve quality of life. It turns out, my sister's scalp psoriasis could be managed using natural/herbal remedies.

Understanding that the body is in overactive state, I tried to find some plant oils that would help fight off any infection that body detects, then help the body relax and heal. So, a scalp treatment would help with the initial cleaning/soothing, followed by a regular shampoo to maintain the scalp. For both the scalp treatment and shampoo, I gathered my tea tree oil and lavender oil, both have anti-bacterial agents. While tea tree oil will help dry out the scalp and let the dead skin just fall off, the lavender oil will begin soothing the exposed sensitive skin. When it came to the shampoo I needed something that would clean the hair and scalp, but not over dry it, leaving it exposed to potential infections. I found a great suggestion by Wellness Mama to use coconut oil to help maintain moisture in your hair along with mild Castille soap as the cleaning agent.

I presented the scalp treatment and shampoo to my sister and saw dramatic results! Just in the first use, my sister's scalp stopped hurting and cleared up within a week. She now uses regular shampoo once a week and the nature shampoo twice a week. She claims her hair feels softer and healthier than before!

Scalp Treatment


  • 1 8-oz bottle (I used these one here)
  • 15 drops Tea tree oil
  • 15 drops Lavender oil
  • 1 cup jojoba oil (highly recommended) or olive oil (recommended) 
  • Funnel (optional - just makes it easier to pour ingredients into the bottle)


  1. Place your carrier oil in a double boiler or in a bowl over boiling water and heat until the oil is warm to the touch (be careful not to overheat) 
  2. Add 15 drops of tea tree oil 
  3. Add 15 drops of lavender oil 
  4. Top the bottle with the funnel and pour your oil mixture into the bottle and close with lid
  5. Test the treatment on a small part of your scalp and allow the treatment to 5 minutes to work. Tingling in normal, but if you experience any itching or burning, discontinue use immediately. 
  6. If all is well, apply your mixture to your scalp, especially in trouble areas
  7. Massage gently with your fingertips
  8. Cover head with a shower cap, plastic wrap, or a plastic bag (this is to build up heat and allow the treatment to penetrate the skin) 
  9. Remove wrapping after an hour and wash hair  


  • 1  shampoo bottle (used or new) 
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil 
  • 1/2 Castille soap
  • 15 drops tea tree oil
  • 15 lavender oil
  • 15 peppermint oil
  • 1 teaspoon jojoba oil (highly recommended) or olive oil (recommended)
  • Funnel (optional - just makes it easier to pour ingredients into the bottle) 
  1. Combine all ingredients into an old shampoo bottle or pump bottle
  2. Shake well before each use
  3. Use within a month

Saturday, August 22, 2015

A Day with My Anxiety (and a Glimpse of Depression)

"You don't deserve this life."

These are the days I feel unlovable, unnoticed, unwanted, un-being. I spend these days in my head, just lying in bed trying to convince myself to get up to use the bathroom, but the demons have me pinned down. They whisper stories of unworthiness and traumas. They convince me the safest place I have is my bed, where no one, no thing, can hurt me. But my body drives me to the bathroom and the shame begins yelling at me. "Where you really not going to go? What is wrong with you? You're driving Matt away and that will be the last straw. He'll leave you in your own filth. No one wants to be with someone so pathetic."

Filth => dirty. (How pathetic.)

Dirty => unclean. (You should shower.)

Unclean => dark heart. (Remember the last time in the shower with the razor?!?! Maybe not.)

Dark heart => fear. (I can't trust you or the world today.)

Fear => run. (Let's go back to bed.)

I crawl back into bed, put on a cartoon I've seen before, and wait for sleep to come. Just going to the bathroom is exhausting. At least in my dreams nothing can hurt me, but the whispers start and sleep is impossible. "What if there's a fire? What if someone breaks into the house and kills you in your sleep?" The world is untrustworthy today. So, I stay awake and watch my cartoons, quietly and with as little movement as possible. I can't let anyone know where I am! "You are such a coward!"

Coward => fear (How pathetic.)

Fear => control (How can we make sure you're safe?)

Control => doubt (You can't control everything.)

Doubt => bravery (But you can control your response.)

Bravery => awake (Let's take a shower.)

I jump in the shower and my inner voice starts whispering to you. "Wow! You mustered up the bravery (Ha! Not the band!) to face your world. You soothed those demons. Even if you didn't get out of bed, you deserve today. You deserve life!"

It's that splinter of hope that gets me through the day. Even if it means I just crawled back into bed, at least I know I'm clean.