Apr
11

Game of Thrones Kickoff Recipes

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With a few Game of Thrones fans here in the SacFoodies office, we thought it would be a great idea to do a roundup of some of the coolest G.O.T. themed dishes and drinks we could find. So get ready to wow your guests at Sunday’s season premiere – these picks are sure to impress (or just totally creep people out).

GoT Cauliflower Steaks

cauliflower

Courtesy of geekmom.com

A Shot of Ice and Fire

Courtesy of cookingwithgifs.com

Courtesy of cookingwithgifs.com

Skewered Honeyed Dormice

Courtesy of footlooseandfamished.com

Courtesy of footlooseandfamished.com

The White Walker

Courtesy of aheapingspoonful.com

Courtesy of aheapingspoonful.com

Khaleesi’s Dragon Nests

Courtesy of cccakery.com

Courtesy of cccakery.com

Game of Thrones Fire & Blood Ale

Courtesy of bevmo.com

Courtesy of bevmo.com

GoT Cake Pops

Courtesy of notyourmommascookie.com

Courtesy of notyourmommascookie.com

Direwolf Bread

Courtesy innatthecrossroads.com

Courtesy innatthecrossroads.com

Jamie Lannister Handcakes

Photo courtesy gameoflaughs.com

Photo courtesy gameoflaughs.com

 

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Apr
10

Strawberry and Cashew Milk Smoothie

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Spring had definitely sprung during my recent visit to the Midtown Farmers Market, and with the warm midmorning air and sunshine, I couldn’t resist buying a flat of fresh, organic strawberries from Rodriguez Farms. An entire flat may seem like a lot to consume before my strawberries start growing fuzz, but I am a prolific smoothie maker when the weather is fine. After hauling my flat home – and admittedly losing a couple strawberries on the way – I took stock of my fridge and decided to try out my newly purchased cashew milk by Silk to make the following strawberry smoothie for breakfast. The result was delicious. I have to say that cashew milk might just be my new favorite nut milk! 

FullSizeRender (5)Ingredients
½ cup strawberries
¼ cup raspberries
1 cup Silk Unsweetened Cashew Milk
1 tablespoon Greek Gods Honey Greek Yogurt
5 ice cubes
Makes one big serving you’ll enjoy not sharing. 

Directions

Throw everything in a blender and blend until smooth. I love my Vitamix blender because I like my smoothies ultra-smooth, and it pulverizes everything including berry seeds for a wonderfully thick and silky texture similar to Jamba Juice.

Notes:

To make this smoothie completely dairy-free, substitute a teaspoon of vanilla extract plus a teaspoon of honey for the Greek yogurt. If you stick with the Greek yogurt, I like using this one from Greek Gods because it isn’t fat free (the fat free Greek yogurts that proliferate the grocery aisles seem to always make up for the lack of flavor by packing in tons of added sugar).

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Apr
03

Why You Need Bulletproof Coffee in Your Life

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bulletproof coffee BGAlright guys, I have to admit something: I’ve been drinking the Bulletproof® Coffee Kool-Aid, and the Kool-Aid tastes surprisingly good. Yes, many of my fellow Sac Foodies have given me that “you’re certified crazy” look when I tell them that I now take my coffee with butter and oil. Today, I’m here to spill the beans about why this fatty concoction is indeed crazy, in an awesome kind of way.

Let’s start by breaking down the importance of the three main ingredients in the recipe for Bulletproof Coffee (jump to the bottom of this post for the full recipe):

#1: Upgraded™ Coffee Beans

Dave Asprey, biohacker extraordinaire and creator of Bulletproof Coffee, claims that Upgraded Coffee is the result of an obsessive pursuit to find the absolute highest performance coffee beans on earth. Moreover, it took him more than 10 years to identify every step of “performance-robbing toxin formation in coffee” and to find a reliable source of beans that always make you feel great. “Normal” coffee can give you the jitters and makes you feel cranky, but this coffee makes you feel noticeably better. And it doesn’t skimp out on taste—it’s a well-balanced coffee with a full body and undertones of caramels.

#2: Unsalted Grass-fed Butter

Kerrygold butter (my personal favorite!) or another brand of grass-fed butter really matters because grain- or soy-fed cows don’t have the same nutrition profile. Ever notice that grass-fed butter is yellow and grain-fed butter is almost white? That’s because grass-fed butter has more beta-carotene and Vitamin A. Grass-fed butter also contains higher quantities of omega-3, among other nutrients. Plus, grass-fed butter just undeniably tastes better. There’s a reason there have been multiple shortages of grass-fed butter in the last year!

#3: Brain Octane™ Oil or MCT Oil

Brain Octane oil, derived from the heart of the coconut, is 18 times stronger than coconut oil and three times stronger than MCT oil. Our bodies convert Brain Octane into energy quickly so it can be used as brain fuel, giving you a mental boost. Asprey claims that Brain Octane can also promote weight loss and prevent food cravings.

Now, blend it all together and what do you get? Bulletproof Coffee, aka the creamiest, most delicious coffee that makes early call times much more bearable! I’ve also found that I’ve become way more productive in the morning and I stay full until about lunchtime.

Below is the official recipe for Bulletproof Coffee. You owe it to yourself to try it this way at least once!

Bulletproof® Coffee

Ingredients

2 ½ tablespoons freshly ground Bulletproof® Coffee Beans

1 tablespoon Brain Octane oil or MCT oil

2 tablespoons grass-fed unsalted butter (please do NOT use salted butter)

Directions

Brew 1 cup (8-12 oz.) of coffee using filtered water, just off the boil, with 2 1/2 heaping tablespoons freshly ground Bulletproof® Coffee Beans. (I use the pour over method.)

Add in 1 tablespoon of Brain Octane oil or MCT oil to the hot coffee

Add 2 tablespoons grass-fed, unsalted butter

Mix it all in a blender for 20-30 seconds until it is frothy like a foamy latte

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Apr
01

April Fool’s Day

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Today the SacFoodies office was hit with a cruel April Fools Day prank! We really wanted those brownies… For the sweetest ways to fool foodies in your life, check out the great ideas below:

FullSizeRenderApril Fools/Easter Cupcake Eggs

Easter+Cupcakes+11

Courtesy of cupcakeproject.com

 

April Fools Fried Chicken and Sides

kfcWATERMARK4

Photo courtesy of kitchenfunwithmy3sons.com

 

April Fools Grilled Cheese Sandwich

grilled cheese

Courtesy of allrecipes.com

 

Fried Egg April Fools

fried egg

Courtesy of food.com

 

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Mar
31

5 Meatless Entrees That Aren’t Pasta

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In looking for meatless recipes these past few weeks, I’ve come to find that no meat means “pasta” for many of us. It’s no surprise—who doesn’t love pasta? It’s easy, versatile and delicious. But, let’s be honest, the sweet creation that is pasta isn’t exactly the most forgiving food if you’re looking to maintain your waistline! Here are a few meatless recipes from some of my favorite sites that look beyond pasta.

What are some of your favorite meatless recipes?

Cheesy Quinoa Vegetable Bake
Cook time: 15 min.
Serves 4
Get the recipe

Cheesy Quinoa

Photo Credit: BunsinmyOven.com

Spicy Roasted Corn & Cauliflower Tacos
Cooke time: 15 min.
Serves 4
Get the recipe

califlower tacos

Photo Credit: TheForestFeast.com

Minestrone with Gnocchi
Cook time: 30 min.
Serves 4
Get the recipe

minestrone

Photo Credit: FoodNetwork.com

 Eggplant Ricotta Bites

Cook time: 10 min.
Serves 6
Get the recipe

eggplant

Photo Credit: FoodNetwork.com

 Grilled Eggplant & Pesto Sandwich

Cook time: Approx. 5 min.
Serves 4
Get the recipe

sandwich

Photo Credit: LoveandLemons.com

 

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Mar
27

Brunch at the Porch

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The Porch has been my favorite restaurant in Sacramento for the past couple of years, but somehow I had never made it in for brunch. I now know how much I was missing out.

Last weekend some friends and I stopped by for some midmorning munch and drinks at The Porch, and the end result was me taking a big post-brunch nap due to the delicious food-coma that ensued.

FullSizeRender (3)The Porch’s classic Southern chicken and waffle plate.

FullSizeRender (2)This is probably some of the best Eggs Benedict I have ever eaten with crispy yet fluffy potatoes on the side. Note The Porch’s Snickerdoodle cocktail in the background – it’s as if they took a white Russian, added a cookie and made it somehow lighter and more refreshing.

FullSizeRender (4)Our epic spread at the table. And that’s not a mimosa we’re drinking, it’s a Champagne Julep. Made with Buffalo Trace Bourbon, simple syrup, mint and champagne, this morning cocktail will make even non-bourbon drinkers ask for seconds. I did.

The Porch Restaurant and Bar
1815 K St.
Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 444-2423
www.theporchrestaurantandbar.com 

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Mar
26

Sacramento Food Film Festival Launch

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Last Thursday I had the delicious opportunity to attend the launch of the Sacramento Food Film Festival at Goldfield Trading Post, presented by the Food Literacy Center. It was a fun evening of unique bites provided by Jay Veregge of Ten 22, Aimal Formoli of Formoli’s Bistro, Michael Thiemann of Mother, Brian Mizner of Hook and Ladder and Hank Shaw, a James Beard Award-winning author. With such great names collaborating, the food definitely shared center stage with the film. By far, my favorite dish was the spicy cauliflower from Mother, a spicy Asian-inspired creation so full of savory flavors and satisfying texture that I didn’t even miss the meat.

On the film side, the selection of shorts shown throughout the evening was an eclectic and entertaining mix, but the kicker bit of entertainment for me was having each course served by a mini chef in uniform. It was great to see that the Food Literacy Center gave the children they provide services to a role in the event as fledgling foodies themselves, doling out each delicious bite as they balanced a full platter above their stiff white hats.

Be sure to check out the rest of the Sacramento Food Film Festival’s events, running through March 29. Get the full schedule here or check out our March 19 SacFoodies post  with the events roundup.

IMG_2241My favorite bite of the night. Spicy cauliflower from Mother.

FullSizeRender (7)A mouth-watering, sweet berry and wafer concoction I could have eaten a platter of.

FullSizeRender (8)Attendees enjoy film shorts presented at Goldfield Trading Post.

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Mar
23

My Blue Apron Experience

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I recently took up a discount offer from Blue Apron and finally had my first food subscription experience. Undeniably, I was just plain thrilled about the idea of having three days’ worth of (good) dinner ingredients and recipes delivered right to my door step! You can choose from the “2-person plan” or the “Family Plan” and can request that your box be delivered on any day, Tuesday-Friday.  The recipes are different each week and you can always opt to skip out on certain weeks when you don’t want a box. I was able to cook two of the three recipes I received with my “2-person plan” and then I gave the third to a friend, as I had dinner plans and didn’t want to risk the final recipe ingredients for the Tilapia Meuniere going bad.

My recipes:

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Braised Lettuce, Kimchi & Maitake Mushrooms

Lamb & Beef Shawarma with Creamy Radish Salad

Tilapia Meuniere with Moroccan-Spiced Lentils & Rainbow Chard

photo 1-ingredphoto 1-ingredients

The recipe concepts were a little intimidating, I’ll admit, but the recipe sheets in your box clearly outline every detail, not to mention the ingredients are already pre-measured and individually labeled. I was also pleasantly surprised to find all ingredients, from meat to herbs, were totally fresh!

photo 2_chickenphoto 4 shawarmaA subscription like this is convenient not only for people with no cooking skills at all, but also for people with an experienced palette who just want easy-to-cook, quality meals. I loved that this particular selection of recipes were concepts that I would have never thought to whip up myself, yet now I know how to do it on my own. The Crispy Chicken Thighs and Lamb & Beef Shawarma were amazing and there was plenty for two people. I unfortunately didn’t get a chance to try the tilapia, but I have no doubt it was just as delicious.

I would definitely order again, but most likely only for a special occasion, such as right before a trip so that I wouldn’t have to stock up on groceries. If you’re interested, you can easily sign up online and/or take a look at their recipes online!

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Mar
20

March Madness Munchies

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So, you can’t catch a flight to see the NCAA games up close and personal at one of the venues across the country, but you’ll be watching in the comfort of your own faux leather recliner – your bracket clutched tightly in one hand, an ice-cold beverage in the other. Why not up the ante, so to speak, and make the home-watching experience as memorable as some of the March Madness moments that are sure to come over the next few weeks?

We scoured our favorite food inspiration sites and found some new ways to celebrate bracket wins on an extremely full belly.

Game-on snacks – Here are 50 ideas (yes, 50) for some easy starters for your gathering. Don’t forget the chips!

Photo Courtesy of Hungry Happenings

Photo Courtesy of Hungry Happenings

Mini CheeseburgersA little involved, but we love the thematic element. Plus, you just can’t go wrong when potatoes and cheeseburgers are mentioned in the same sentence.

Photo Courtesy of FoodNetwork.com

Photo Courtesy of FoodNetwork.com

Indulgent Mac ‘n Cheese – Feeding a crowd? Check out Pioneer Woman’s recipe for mac ‘n cheese with some indulgent fixings. P.S. “Ice-cold beverage” could also mean chilled Chardonnay, which is a great pairing with mac ‘n cheese.

Photo Courtesy of MarthaStewart.com

Photo Courtesy of MarthaStewart.com

Don’t Forget Dessert The dessert “bar” is open for business! Deliciously sweet one-pan dessert bars equal minimal fuss. And in our book, that’s a slam dunk.

Tell us about your go-to snacks during March Madness.

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Mar
19

Sacramento Food Film Festival

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Food + film, you say? We call that a perfect pairing. The Sacramento Food Film Festival kicks off tonight and we have the scoop.

From March 19 to 29, there will be pairings of food and food-related movies at unique locations throughout town. There are a number of events to meet every taste and budget, with prices ranging from free to $70.

Hungry for more? Below are the bites to expect at some of the key events in the coming weeks. Visit Food Literacy Center online for the complete list of event details, locations, costs and to purchase tickets!Food Film Festival

Thursday, March 19
Sacramento Food Film Festival Premiere (Goldfield Trading Post)
• Chefs will be pairing bites with each film. While the chefs are secretive about their dishes, it’s a safe bet to guess that Michael Thiemann of Mother will be creating a cauliflower recipe for the winning American short film, “How Does It Grow: Cauliflower.” James Beard Award-winning Chef Hank Shaw will be creating a dish for the South African film short in the International category, “Stand Up.” Based on Shaw’s time spent in South Africa as a journalist, we can expect something traditional and delicious.

Friday, March 20
Soul of a Banquet (Frank Fat’s Catering Facility)
• Chef Mike Lim is trained in authentic Asian cooking, and it shows! Attendees are in for an entirely new spin on what is traditionally thought of as Chinese food. Expect lotus leaf-wrapped rice, chicken, seafood treasure hot pot, stir fried vegetables with grass-fed lamb, mushrooms.

Saturday, March 21
Urban Farm Short Films and Urban Ag VIPea Bus Tour (McClatchy Park)
• While the chefs haven’t made their menu public yet, we know that Payam Fardanesh will be on board the bus to share his newest Silk Road flavor: ginger!

Sunday, March 22
The Farmer & The Chef (Ruhstaller Brewery + Tap Room)
• Not only will they have bites—the chefs will also be performing live demos on stage! Demos include: a beet cracked with a hammer to form beet chips, pig’s head butchery demo, and that’s just the beginning.

Tuesday, March 24
Federalist (Federalist Public House)
• Chef Shannon McElroy will be throwing down pizza creations using plenty of farm fresh ingredients. Tables will be garnished with a new twist not typical at the restaurant: jars of pickled produce!

Wednesday, March 25
Terra Firma (Central Library Gallería)
Hot Italian will create farm-fresh pizzas, while Ginger Elizabeth will provide Plum Jasmine Macarons with plums from Ferrari Farms.

Wednesday, March 25
Hundred Foot Journey (Lucca)
• Attendees will enjoy a full four-course Indian-inspired menu based on the film, with dishes including Shrimp Pakora, Lamb Tartare and Yogurt Crème Cuite.

Thursday, March 26
The Way Back to Yarasquin (Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters)
• The entire menu will be coffee-inspired! Celebrated pastry Chef Elaine Baker is creating a sticky toffee-coffee cake and a chocolate coffee cream tartlet. One Speed will be serving up coffee-pork sliders.

Friday, March 27
Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory Family Movie Night & Dinner (Clunie Community Center)
Selland’s Market-Café will be serving up their popular spaghetti dinner and adding a slice of blueberry pie for dessert, inspired by the character Violet Beauregarde’s three-course meal chewing gum.

Saturday, March 28
Sriracha (Preservation & Co.)
• Attendees will enjoy one of Sacramento’s best bloody Mary’s using mix from Preservation & Co. alongside bites by chef Matt Brown of Forrester Foods.

Sunday, March 29
Food Chains (Turn Verein)
• Chips and salsa donated by Chipotle will be served alongside beer and Food Literacy Center’s famous popcorn with seasonings made by the kids, including a spicy Southwest mix.

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