Food

Pitaya Yum!

Recently I have been obsessed with Pitaya aka dragon fruit bowls for breakfast. Pitaya is a less well known superfood that is full of antioxidants, fiber, Magnesium and B vitamins. It really gives me a boost of energy to start my day. I was so excited when I found Pitaya Plus frozen smoothie packs so I can make these awesome bowls at home. There are endless possibilities of toppings, but my favorites are bananas, granola, coconut, blueberries and chia seeds. I love the vibrant pink color, and it is so fun to create pretty arrangements for Instagram;) Here are some of the recipes that I have blended up lately, plus a delicious and easy dessert parfait, enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by, XO

Stephanie

Topping Prep

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Barbie Bowl

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Fruitopia

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Mangolicious

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Dragon Banana Parfait

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Statement Pieces and Statement Pizza

So I am a girl that is all about fashion and timeless pieces, and I do not need to have the “IT” bag every season. I am very passionate about the classics that are an investment instead of a money pit. ¬†Two pieces that I have been lusting after for years are the Chanel maxi classic flap bag and the Valentino noir rock stud pump. I look at buying the real thing in the store like driving a new car off the lot: it loses value when you walk out of the store, so I prefer to consign. There are two sites that I love and guarantee authenticity for a full refund if mis-represented… I purchased my flap bag at fashionphile.com, and my rockstuds at tradesy.com and I could not be happier ūüôā For date night, I paired these statement staples with Madewell high rise coated skinnies, my “Bae Area” sweatshirt from Private Party, and my fave red lipstick, Rouge D’Armani #400.

We went out for a date night in Temescal at Pizzaiolo, a gourmet Italian kitchen that I have been hearing about since we moved to Oakland, and it did not disappoint. I started with the “Ward” cocktail:¬†rye, lemon, orange juice + housemade grenadine = YUM, then sweet water oysters with Prosecco mignonette, and for the main course, the delectable¬†Arugula, Guanciale, hot pepper + Grana pizza (with an added farm egg). We loved the ambiance, server and food, and will definitely be returning.

Happy hump day, and thanks for stopping by ūüôā

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Cocktail

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Oysters

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Pizza

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Outfit Details ::

Sweatshirt :: Private Party

Denim :: Madewell

Heels :: Valentino

Bag :: Chanel

Whole 30 Recap

Over the month of October, my god-sister and I decided to try the Whole 30 Challenge to jumpstart our health and make a change in the way we eat, and look at food. It is not a crash diet, but a lifestyle in which you only eat whole and natural foods. Meals consist of a preferably organic source of protein like chicken, steak, eggs, a large serving of fruit and veggies, and healthy fats. On the plan you cut out dairy other than eggs, sugar, legumes, starches, grains and alcohol.

A day in my life on Whole 30:

Breakfast:

Aidells chicken apple sausage scramble with grapefruit

Coffee with cashew milk

Lunch:

Steak or chicken salad with kale, tomato and avocado

Snack:

Apple and almonds

Dinner:

Cod Cioppino (leave the baguette out)

After one week, as long as I loaded up on protein I was feeling great. My head felt clearer, my body felt lighter and my clothes fit a tiny bit looser because any water bloat that I did have was gone. You cannot weigh yourself, but as the weeks went on I noticed my clothes fitting looser and my Pilates muscle definition showing through ūüôā

In the middle of the month, I did get a little bit hormonal and hungry, so I had to add more protein, and if I really wanted something sweet, bananas with no added sugar cashew butter did the trick.

I did have one moment of weakness on Sunday the 25th and had some pizza and wine for dinner, but I am not going to beat myself up about it, I got right back on track and finished strong. I did feel a small difference in how I felt after eating that pizza when I woke up the next morning.

The hardest part of sticking to this is definitely in social situations, like when your mom makes a huge bowl of pasta with homemade Barefoot Contessa sauce and you cannot have any. So in these instances I would grab a healthy snack, and make sure a form of protein/veggie was available to me.

Now that I finished this phase, the way I eat has completely changed. I feel so much more productive and healthy!  I really do enjoy preparing my meals, and cooking healthy meals with Roger for dinner brings us closer together. I took a before and after photo, and my muscles are much more defined, and I went down a pant size. It was not easy, hence my pizza breakdown, but it really has made me re-think what I am putting into my body and how it affects me. Going into the future, I will allow myself to have a day each week that is not so strict, and I can have my cheese and wine in moderation!

here are some pics of our yummy meals this month:

Aidells chicken apple sausage scramble with grapefruit

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salmon steak with lemon and arugula, avocado and tomato salad with balsamic vinegar

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taragon and cumin crusted chicken with zucchini and carmelized lemon

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cod ciopinno

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steak with purple potatoes and sauteed garlic spinach

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summer peaches with banana dessert

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My Favorite Seasonal Recipes with Williams-Sonoma

I love this time of year! ¬†We are right on the cusp of fall, and there are so many seasonal fruits and veggies that can be incorporated into delicious meals. ¬†Williams Sonoma is a great online resource on which I have found some gorgeous recipes that use fresh ingredients from the farmer’s market. ¬†Here are some of my favorites linked in the recipe title! Enjoy! ¬†#inseasonnow

Risotto with Fresh Corn and Basil Oil

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Pear and Brie Croque Monsieur

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Burrata with Grilled Bread and Heirloom Tomatoes

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Cumin and Cilantro

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Shredded Kale Salad with Hard Cooked Egg and Pancetta

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Italian Sausage and Fresh Mozzarella Pizza with Peppers

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Date Night

My sweet husband works in Tiburon most days, and he passes by the Melting Pot in Larkspur on his way home. ¬†He always thinks to himself that he wants to take me there, and on Friday he planned a super cute date night for us. ¬†I had always heard about this place, and wanted to try it too. ¬†It is super fun because we shared everything from cheese fondue, to delicious meat & seafood fondue, and the delectable chocolate fondue with fresh fruit to finish our meal. We always love the chance to go out together, and I couldn’t wait to ¬†wear my new Paige denim and Vince shooties, from the Nordstrom anniversary sale (sorry guys, back to full price after the sale). ¬†I kept the rest of the outfit pretty casual with a tee, and statement necklace. Have a great week, a and don’t forget to make time for the one you love!

XO,

Stephanie

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Outfit Details ::

Top :: Anthropologie (old)

Denim :: Paige Denim

Shooties :: Vince

Necklace :: Dylanlex

Cheddar Cheese Fondue

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Meat Fondue

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The Spread

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Lobsta

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Chocolate Heath Bar Fondue on a Rice Krispie Treat ūüôā

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Wood Tavern Deliciousness

Hi guys, I know it has been a while since my last post, I’ve been super busy starting my new job, and going to tons of summer weddings! ¬†Roger and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary on Monday, so exciting! ¬†We had a perfect romantic dinner at Wood Tavern in the Rockridge district of Oakland to celebrate. ¬†We had the best service, AMAZING food, and even though neither of us told them it was our anniversary, the table next to us told them. Our server surprised us with 2 candles for 2 years together in our delectable dessert. ¬†I definitely want to go back, there was so much on the menu that I need to try. ¬†If you are looking for a great place in Oakland, we highly recommend, just make sure to make a reservation way ahead of time if its a weekend dinner, for a Monday night, I made the reservation the day before and it was fine! ¬†Below are pics and descriptions of our lovely meal…

Russet Potato Gnocchi with Sweet White Corn, Spring Onions, Basil, Aleppo Pepper, Parmesan Cheese, Wild Leek Pistou

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Crispy Pork Belly with Whiskey Baked Beans, Grilled Savoy Cabbage, Soft Boiled Quail Egg

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Pan Roasted Half Chicken  with Fingerling Potatoes, Grilled Radicchio, Spinach, Garlic Confit, Bread Crumbs, Lemon-Rosemary Jus

( I usually do not order the chicken, but I heard this was so good, and it really was!)

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Grilled Rib Eye Steak with Mashed Potatoes, Grilled Asparagus, Morel Mushrooms, Confit Shallots, Whipped Bone Marrow, Veal Demi Glace

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Cute little jug of cream and sugar for our coffee

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Warm Chocolate Cake  with Nutella-Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, Hazelnut Anglaise, Candied Hazelnuts, Chocolate Sauce

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Shakshuka, its whats for dinner!

I have been really into cooking and trying new recipes lately, and I made the most amazing, easy Israeli dish called Shakshuka last night for Sunday dinner.  It is a spicy tomato, bell pepper and onion stew  with poached eggs, that you can make in one skillet.  You start out making the stew base with the veggies and garlic, then once it is hot and bubbling, you crack 5-6 eggs evenly over the mixture. Then, cover the pot and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, and the eggs cook over easy on top.  Its delicious with feta cheese and cilantro as a garnish, and warm pita bread on the side.  Here is the recipe I used, enjoy!

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Oakland Hidden Gem: Old Weang Ping

Ever since we moved to Oakland almost two years ago, this little Thai restaurant, Old Weang Ping, is our go-to for a delicious and affordable date night. ¬†This gem is hidden in a little residential neighborhood on Macarthur, but if you read the 5 star yelp reviews or articles from East Bay Express and KQED (here and here), you will want to make the trip. ¬†It feels like you are walking into a restaurant in Thailand in the 50’s with traditional decorations, twinkle lights, and Frank Sinatra playing in the background. ¬†The owner pours thai iced tea upon sitting down, and lets us look at the menu. ¬†It is truly traditional Thai country cooking, not like any other Thai I have tasted. ¬†On this trip, we got our 4 favorites, Crab Cakes, Chicken Satay, Beef Pad Se Ew (this variation has Spaghetti-like noodles instead of the traditional thick noodles) and Pork Yellow Curry( which has mango, pineapple and potato, yummy!) and a side of sticky rice. ¬† We also recommend the Barbarian Soup, Coconut Milk Soup, the Exotic Herb Salad, and the Spicy Basil Fried Rice. ¬†The portions are generous, and you really feel like you are in a family-run restaurant. Roger and I will keep going here as long as we live in Oakland.

PS:

Its cash only, so be prepared ūüėČ

ambiance…

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Ready to dig in!

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Ice Cold Singha

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Crab Cakes

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Beef Pad Se Ew

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Chicken Satay, Pork Yellow Curry and Beef Pad Se Ew

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Yellow Curry and Sticky Rice (sticky rice is a MUST)

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Our FEAST!

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Commis Oakland

Roger and I celebrated our seventh anniversary of being together with an unforgettable dinner at Commis in Piedmont.  We have been hearing about this restaurant ever since we moved to Oakland and this was  the perfect occasion to try this Michelin rated, seven course prix fixe menu and this was a dining experience like no other!

We were greeted by our server and he explained to us that the restaurant has a nightly tasting menu paired with wine selections to complement certain courses.  Each course was described when served and the meal service was seamless.  The head sommelier came over and introduced himself and came by throughout our meal to pour our wine pairings and give us the details and history of the wine.

The food was inventive, delectable and otherworldly. ¬†We sat at the chef’s counter which enabled us to watch these masters in action and made our mouths water.

Here is my picture timeline of the meal with some details, ending with a copy of the menu for the night that they gave us to commemorate our amazing meal.

Commis was the best place to celebrate our anniversary and offers some of the best service I have ever had at a restaurant in the Bay Area.

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warm custard with pine nut, hakusuru, ‘sho-une’, kobe prefecture

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dungeness crab with coral and dried pickled celeriac

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winter brassicas with hazelnuts, capers, licorice herbs

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freshly baked bread with salted butter

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smoked trout roe with herbal yogurt, malt vinegar and warm jerusalem artichoke

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red snapper with brown rice, turnips, ginger, scallions

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charcoal grilled lamb saddle with grains, wheatgrass, chicories

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raw sheeps cheese tart with blueberries and thyme

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sorghum ice cream with macron almonds and olive oil

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cara cara with dark chocolate sable and coconut creme

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pink grapefruit pate de fruit, vanilla chocolate milk, chocolate peppermint

The thoughtful menu:

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Brooklyn Vibes.

If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I have been having a ball in Greenpoint, Brooklyn meeting my 2 week old nephew Wesley for the first time and hanging with my family. ¬†My sister Sara and her husband Steffen moved to Brooklyn way before it blew up with stores and restaurants as people made the mass exodus from Manhattan to the BK. ¬†They have had this amazing warehouse space for years that Steffen gutted and built into an amazing 3 bedroom place, and with his and my sister’s interior design skills, it has turned out organic and beautiful. They are a huge design inspiration to me for our house! ¬†I always love to come for a visit, especially when there is a little baby nugget to hold. ¬†It was also really fun to walk around and photograph Greenpoint streets, the old brick buildings and graffiti are right up my alley.

Breakfast spread at Sara and Steffen’s home on Sunday

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Lofted Dining Room

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Walter the cuddle Pug

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LOVE this picture wall

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Walking the Greenpoint streets

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We stayed at The Box House Hotel which has super cool decor, antique taxi cabs for a car service and full kitchens in the room in case you want to have a relaxing night in the room.  Everything is super walkable, so getting groceries, or picking up takeout is super easy.

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Of course I did an impromptu photo shoot (photo cred to my Mom) to show at least one outfit I wore on the trip. The first day was not super cold yet, so I wore my J Crew denim button down, Anthropologie sequin joggers (on sale now!), Charlotte Russe Booties, an Allsaints beanie (similar), Giorgio Armani lipstick and a Celine bag.  It was laid back, but still luxe at the same time.

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My three favorite meals were the pastries and coffee at Bakeri, the sage egg panini (and everything else) at Five Leaves and the “Hellboy” pizza from Pauly Gee’s. ¬†All of these places have their own unique vibe and amazing food. ¬†I am such a foodie, so Greenpoint is heaven for me!

Bakeri

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Shuggie, a hurricane Sandy rescue outside of Bakeri, so sweet!

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Five Leaves

But first, Coffee

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Mom, Sara and baby Wes at Five Leaves for brunch

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sage egg scramble panini with fresh tomato jam

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Paulie Gee’s “Hellboy” pizza,¬†Fresh Mozzarella, Italian Tomatoes, Berkshire Sopressata Piccante, Parmigiano Reggiano and Mike‚Äôs¬†HOT¬†Honey…YAHM!

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I hope you enjoy the recap of my little trip and recommendations, I cannot wait to go back ūüôā