When Life Gives You Oranges


With Sacramento winters comes Sacramento citrus. This time of year, it seems like almost every street in downtown and midtown is studded with orange trees bursting with fruit. I happen to be one of the lucky downtown residents with an orange tree in my backyard, and right now I have more fruit than I’d ever know what to do with. I’m giving away oranges to everyone I know, but it feels like every time I pluck a piece of fruit, another orange magically appears in its place. I’m seriously overrun by these guys. Actually, while we’re on the topic, you wouldn’t like some oranges, would you?

Needless to say, I’m doing my best to utilize the fruit, so practically everything I make nowadays features oranges: spicy orange chicken, orange glazed pork chops, fresh orange juice, citrus vinaigrette, homemade orange cleaner, etc … you get the picture.

So, if you happen to be blessed with (or suffer from) having copious amounts of oranges, today I’m pleased to share with you three of my favorite ways to use them up.

Oranges Read more »

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Sacramento: A Coffee Capitol in its Own Right


When one thinks of “coffee cities” the usual suspects probably come to mind: Portland, Seattle, a small European village. Sacramento probably isn’t the first place that pops up. However, you might want to think again. Sacramento was recently named one of the top cities in the world for coffee lovers and one of the most underrated coffee cities in the U.S.  Thanks in part to the city’s commitment to craft food and beverage purveyors and a variety of area favorites, Sacramento is making its mark on the map as a leader in delicious coffee options.

Whether it’s Insight Coffee, The Mill, Old Soul Co., or Temple there are a variety of options to choose from that are uniquely Sacramento! And yes, there are plenty of Starbucks and Peet’s locations to choose from as well.

Looking to discover a new spot in Sacramento for a tasty cup? Well you’re in luck, because you can get free organic drip coffee next Monday at Ettore’s European Bakery. They’ve been serving up this offer all month, so be sure to take advantage before January wraps!  

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Wordless Wednesday: Jack’s Urban Eats


Spinach Salad and Pesto Mashed Potatoes from Jack’s Urban Eats.

Jacks Urban Eats

Jack’s Urban Eats – Sacramento Locations

1230 20th Street
Sacramento, CA 95811

545 Munroe Street
Sacramento, CA 95825

2137 Golden Centre Lane
Gold River, CA 95670

4730 Natomas Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95835


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Small Bites for the Big Game


If you’re planning your Big Game snacking menu, here’s a healthy take on onion rings that doesn’t sacrifice flavor. I came across this recipe a few weeks ago, adapted it to make it gluten-free, and it was a big hit with my family. (The original recipe calls for all-purpose flour, if you prefer.)

Serve these crunchy snacks with a trio of dipping sauces (ketchup, BBQ sauce, Ranch dressing) and enjoy!


Gluten-Free Oven-Baked Onion Rings


• Cooking spray
• 4 cups baked, salted potato chips
• 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
• ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons gluten-free flour mix, like Pamela’s
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 large sweet onion, peeled


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet lightly with oil and set aside. Place potato chips in the bowl of a food processor and process into crumbs, about 20 seconds. Transfer to a shallow bowl. In another bowl, combine buttermilk, ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons flour, and salt and set aside. Slice onion into 1/2-inch circles and separate into rings, keeping only medium and large whole rings (you can reserve remaining onions for other uses). You should come out with about 14-16 rings.

Place the remaining flour in a sealable plastic bag, add onions, and then shake to coat. Dip onions one at a time into the buttermilk mixture, then dip into potato chip crumbs and place on baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until coating is crisp but not too dark. Season with salt and serve immediately, along with your choice of dipping sauces.

Adapted from Ellie Krieger’s recipe at

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Skinnytaste to the Rescue!


I love cooking but my busy work schedule doesn’t always allow for hours of planning and prep to get a healthy, homemade meal on the table. Thankfully, Gina Homolka of has figured it all out for me! I’m pretty much obsessed with her website and new cookbook. Her photography lures me in but then I’m happy to find out rather quickly that the recipes are never intimidating and always tasty.

Gina touts her recipes as delicious, healthy, low-fat and family-friendly. As a mom of two, I especially love the family-friendly nature of her recipes. One of my go-to Skinnytaste recipes is Gina’s Baked Chicken Parmesan. Gina bakes the chicken instead of frying but it doesn’t mean it lacks any flavor. I get the same comfort and satisfaction as a traditional Chicken Parmesan without the extra fat and calories. I serve it over Bionaturae’s organic, gluten-free pasta made with potato, rice and soy (another one of my current obsession’s which is sold at East Sacramento’s Compton’s Market).

Buon appetito!

Photo courtesy of Skinnytaste

Photo courtesy of Skinnytaste

Baked Chicken Parmesan
Gina’s Weight Watcher Recipes

Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1 piece • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 251 • Fat: 9.5 g • Protein: 31.5 g • Carb: 14 g • Fiber: 1.5 g • Sugar: 0
Cholestr: 14 mg

3/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs (I used whole wheat)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp butter, melted (or olive oil)
4 (about 8 oz each) chicken breast, fat trimmed, sliced in half to make 8
3/4 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese (I used Polly-o)
1 cup marinara or Filetto di Pomodoro
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 450°. Spray a large baking sheet lightly with spray.

Combine breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese in a bowl. Melt the butter in another bowl. Lightly brush the butter onto the chicken, then dip into breadcrumb mixture. Place on baking sheet and repeat with the remaining chicken.

Lightly spray a little more oil on top and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Turn chicken over, bake another 5 minutes.

Remove from oven, spoon 1 tbsp sauce over each piece of chicken and top each with 1 1/2 tbsp of shredded mozzarella cheese.

Bake 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted.

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Juice Juice Baby


After weeks of research, my boyfriend and I finally decided to get each other the perfect joint Christmas gift: a juicer. If you’re in the market for a juicer, I would definitely recommend the Breville Juice Fountain Multi-Speed Juicer, Model # BJE510XL. It’s easy-to-use and super easy-to-clean. No experience required!

Focus on the beautiful explosion of colors, not the holiday decor, please!

Focus on the beautiful explosion of colors, not the holiday decor, please!

As for many, one of my resolutions for 2015 is to eat healthier. I’m not a proponent of juice cleanses (kudos to those of you who are!), but juicing every other day or so has made it deliciously easy to sneak raw fruits and veggies into my diet. Here are a few of my favorite simple recipes:

Apple, Carrot, Celery Juice:
3 apples
4 carrots
3 stalks celery

Beet, Cucumber, Carrot Juice:
½ large beet
1 cucumber
3 carrots
3 stalks celery
1 small lemon

Kale, Cucumber, Apple Juice:
6 stalks kale
2 cucumbers
1 apple

I also like to add some of the pulp back into my juice for a little fiber. If you have any yummy recipes utilizing fruit and veggie pulp, please send them my way.

Happy juicing!

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National Hot Toddy Day


I love recognizing obscure food holidays as much as the next girl, but I rarely get the motivation to actually participate. This past Sunday however, was National Hot Toddy Day, and I only felt it fitting to partake. After spending the bulk of the day on the slopes, nothing sounded nicer than curling up with a warm cocktail and watching the Golden Globes. And wouldn’t you know it, that’s exactly what I did.

Hot Toddy


1 1/2 ounces whiskey, rum, or brandy (I used Crown Royal)
1 Tablespoon honey
1/4 lemon
1 cup hot water
1 tea bag – I used black tea


Coat the bottom of a mug or glass with honey. Add the liquor and the juice of the lemon quarter. On the side, heat water in a tea kettle and add the tea bag to make hot tea. Pour the tea into the glass and stir.

Want something a little more exotic? I also found this round-up of 6 Hot Toddy Recipes, from classic to contemporary. Try them all and find your fave!

Recipe from

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Wordless Wednesday: South


Lunch at Sacramento’s new restaurant, South:

south 2

The Chef’s Burger with Havarti, leek-shallot jam, bacon confit, spicy aioli and house pickles on a brioche bun.

south 1The Hot Pot with steamed shrimp, scallops and mussels, sweet baby peppers, fingerling potatoes and roasted poblanos served over three cheese grits.

Looking for the restaurant website? It’s

2005 11th Street 
Sacramento, CA 95818


Sacramento Christmas Day Dining


We know not everyone plans to whip up an elaborate meal and eat at home on Christmas Day and for those interested in restaurant fare on December 25th, it can be quite a challenge to find a local restaurant that is open.

So, to make the process a bit easier, here is a list of Sacramento restaurants open on Christmas Day. Give them a call ahead of time to ensure seating. Happy Holidays!

Holiday 1

Esquire Grill
1215 K St
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone number (916) 448-8900

The Firehouse
1112 2nd St
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone number (916) 442-4772

2232 Fair Oaks Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95825
Phone number (916) 922-3524

Ruth’s Chris Steak House
501 Pavilions Ln
Sacramento, CA 95825
Phone number (916) 286-2702

The Porch
1815 K St
Sacramento, CA 95811
Phone number (916) 444-2423


Travel the World in One Night at Global Winter Wonderland


Sac Foodies, did you know that right now at Cal Expo you can visit the world’s most well-known landmarks all in one evening? Well, it’s true!

Winter Wonderland 3

Until January 4th, Global Winter Wonderland, one of the largest travelling lantern shows in the country, will be presented at Cal Expo. This amazing light extravaganza features a multi-cultural village, international food and drinks, and light up larger-than-lif e replicas of landmarks from countries all over the globe. Some featured displays include: the White House, Golden Gate Bridge, Tower of London, St. Basil’s Cathedral, Dutch windmills and the Great Wall of China.

Winter Wonderland 1

The festival also features many carnival rides, including a Ferris wheel, perfect for taking in the splendor, and a holiday marketplace featuring vendors selling gifts and international wares.

Tip: half price tickets are available at local Walgreen’s stores and discounted tickets are available at

So, be sure to visit Global Winter Wonderland- it’ll light up your holiday season!

Global Winter Wonderland
When: Through January 4, 2015
Location: Cal Expo
Get tickets here:

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