November 30, 2016

Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake

How did you guys spend your Thanksgiving? Did you eat a ridiculous amount of food like I did? Did you eat pie for breakfast? Did you follow up your Thanksgiving day, binge-watching the Gilmore Girls? Did you get a Christmas tree? Tell me, I'd love to hear!

A few things I learned this past Thanksgiving. Never ever buy a 3lb tub of chocolate covered almonds from Costco. It's just a bad idea. Do not pre-book a workout class at 7am following a day of overeating and drinking. It's just not pretty. Unless you are a professional, do not day-drink on an empty stomach. And, always bring gloves when you go to cut-your-own Christmas tree or any tree for that matter.

My mom flew back home yesterday morning. She was visiting us for the past 10 days. It was a perfect visit, because, in that 10 days, Sebastian started walking full-time. He started saying more words. He now calls me - mama. He calls Brent - dada. He calls Ody - dog. He tells Ody - good boy. He calls food - more. And everything else is - gah! He knows animal sounds - lion, cow, turkey, and fish? He knows his head, ears, and nose, but occasionally he thinks his head is mama, and his nose is - rawr. My sister bought him a book for Christmas with pictures of animals and their accompanying sounds. We have learned that if we press the turkey button, with the sound - gobble gobble - Sebastian laughs hysterically. Now we ask him what a turkey says, and he just laughs.

During my mom's visit, the weather was pretty terrible - mostly raining. On the few days that the sun did come out, we went for walks, out for lunch, to the market, and then we cut our own Christmas tree! We drove to a tree farm just outside of the city. We drank apple cider and ate tiny Royal Dansk Danish Butter cookies, the ones from my childhood. We put Sebastian in the baby carrier and walked into the field where we found our perfect tree - a Turkish fir. It's such an absolutely beautiful tree and I want it to live forever. How long do you think I can keep it alive?

When the weather was miserable, we spent way too much time in Target, we binge watched Gilmore Girls and This is Us. We ate curry chowder, pizza, Thai, pasta, and more pasta. And then I made this grapefruit and olive oil cake and it turned out perfect. We had a slice every day, in the afternoon, with a cup of tea. My mom loves tea. And grapefruit. I remember her eating half a grapefruit every morning while I was growing up. She used to cut the grapefruit in half, and then cut the individual segments, and then scoop them out with a special grapefruit spoon. I always thought this was a lot of work for that early in the morning.

During this trip, I taught my mom how to segment a grapefruit using the skills I have, and this cute video. It's much easier, and you get way more grapefruit for your buck (is what I told her), compared to her traditional method of cutting. I used a sweet red grapefruit from Winter Sweetz, which is honestly the best grapefruit I have ever tasted. They are so juicy and much sweeter than your average grapefruit. To me, they taste similar to a pomelo but much juicier. I wanted to make my mom a citrus cake while she was here. She had never tried an olive oil cake, and I thought it would go well with the tartness from the grapefruit. I sprinkled it with some powdered sugar and topped with sliced almonds and grapefruit segments. The cake is slightly sweet while taking on the flavor from the olive oil. I used my favorite olive oil, one that I use religiously. It's earthy and buttery and worked really well in this cake. I think I have won her over, to olive oil cake and grapefruit segmenting ;)

*This post was sponsored by Winter Sweetz, the most delicious grapefruit that I have ever tasted. Thanks for supporting the brands that keep the Flourishing Foodie delicious. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


November 22, 2016

Cheesy Broccoli Rabe and Mushroom Mini Quiches

Brent and I have made the decision to stay in Seattle for the holidays. Sebastian is too small, so he doesn't have a say, but once he can carry his own suitcase, then we'll talk. For the past 7 years, come mid-November, we stress. We frantically try to buy gifts for all of our family members - gifts that are small and portable and absolutely perfect, while still being able to fit in our suitcases. Frequently, we procrastinate. We never end up finishing our shopping on time. This leads to a mad frantic dash once we're home. I blame Netflix.

Last Christmas, was the first year we traveled home with a baby. We carried a stroller, a car seat, a travel crib, toys, clothes, books, sleep monitors, you name it, we had it. I had no energy to shop. Once home, we spent most of our time shuttling back and forth from our relative's houses. It was exhausting. I think I'm still exhausted. So, this year we decided to spend a low-key Christmas here in Seattle, which I've heard, gets freakishly quiet.

I know that our families are disappointed. I am disappointed as well because my both my sisters just had babies and the next time I see them they will be completely different little people (the babies), but for our sanity and the sanity of others around us, this is for the best. A lot of our friends will be staying around Seattle for the holidays, and my mom is visiting right now, and Brent's parents will be here for Christmas, so I think it is safe to say that we will have fun. My friend's due date is right around Christmas, so there will be a new baby to snuggle and I'm all kinds of excited for that. Our calendar is already filling up with parties, and shows, and skiing, which is all really exciting. And the most important thing - free babysitters for a month!!!!! Grandparents really are the best babysitters.

Despite all of the stress associated with traveling around the holidays, one of the perks of going home is that I get a vacation from cooking and hosting. This year we are having a big feast at our house on Christmas day, Thanksgiving this week, and I hosted a baby shower last Sunday. Needless to say, I've been doing some cooking. I've been on the hunt for easy to make appetizer recipes - ones that you can pop in the oven to reheat or store in the fridge the night before, which lead me to create this broccoli rabe mini quiche recipe a few months ago. I've been using it religiously as my go-to appetizer recipe ever since. These quiches can be made ahead of time and reheated a few minutes before serving - which is really ideal. They are the perfect little bite of broccoli rabe cheesy goodness. Every time I make them, people are always asking for the recipe. They are such a hit. I actually have some in the freezer as we speak. Excuse me while I go heat the oven ;)

*This post was sponsored by Andy Boy Broccoli Rabe. Thanks for supporting the brands that keep the Flourishing Foodie delicious. All thoughts and opinions are my own. For more broccoli rabe recipe ideas be sure to check out their website and Facebook page.


November 16, 2016

Parmesan Crusted Pollock with Garlic Roasted Potatoes

Food brings people together. It ignites conversation and meaningful interactions, and it's healing properties are undeniable. With all that we've been going through this past week, my role for the next little while is to try and help heal all those who are around me with food. It feels like a role I need to take, something tangible and productive. I think we could all use a little healing right about now. Instead of talking about the current political situation, and everything related, I am just going to focus on the single most important thing that can help bring us together - food!

I'm sure I've probably talked about my love for seafood here on the site. Just a few weeks ago, I shared one of my favorite seafood recipes - a halibut chowder. Seafood seems to be all that I crave these days. I find it ever so comforting, and exactly the kind of food to help take my mind off of the most stressful aspects of life. Tender crab dipped in warm butter. Crispy fried coconut prawns dipped in tangy cocktail sauce. Cedar plank salmon. Halibut and chips. Fish tacos. Penn Cove mussels in a savory broth served with thick white bread.... and now I'm hungry just thinking about it. I love that here on the West Coast, there is such a wide variety of seafood options to choose from. Besides being delicious, I like to cook fish because it really doesn't take much time to prepare and it's extremely versatile.

Aside from fish tacos, fish and chips have got to be one of my favorite meals. For obvious reasons, I try to only indulge once and while. So when I've reached my quota for the month, I like to turn to alternative and healthier recipes that still give me the same satisfaction. Which leads me to this recipe - Parmesan crusted pollock with garlic roasted potatoes.

Pollock has a very mild flavor, so it's a perfect choice for people who may not be partial to seafood. Because of its mild flavor, it is the perfect fish to dress up with a savory crust or batter. Alaskan pollock is a species of the cod family. They are mid-water schooling sustainable fish that are harvested using mid-water cone shaped trawl nets that are specifically designed to minimize the environmental impact. Other measures are also taken to ensure that minimal impact to other species is made.

I've always been particularly fond of pollock for its mild flavor. Because of this quality, I wanted to add something savory with a bit of punch to this recipe. I chose a smoky paprika Parmesan crust to give the fish a bit of crunch and flavor. I wanted to bake the fish instead of fry, just to make it a bit healthier. I opted for roasted baby potatoes, covered in garlic, parsley, lemon zest and salt to go with. This is my version of a healthier fish and chips. It's easy to prepare, savory, tangy, and the perfect restorative fuel.

*This post was created in partnership with the National Fisheries Institute. If you are looking for more seafood recipe, check out the Dish on Fish website. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep the Flourishing Foodie delicious. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.


November 3, 2016

Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Soup

Today is a super fun day because we are celebrating Cynthia's newest edition to her family, Luke Samuel McTernan, also known as B3! Steph and Alana have organized this wonderful 'bowl' themed virtual baby shower for Cynthia, and when they asked me to join, I excitedly said yes! I have been a long time followers of Cynthia's blog - Two Red Bowls. I was initially drawn to her blog for her beautiful photography style and mouth-watering recipes, obviously that has not changed, but now I find myself coming back to her space time and time again because even though we've never met in person, there is something so heart warming and comforting in her writing style that makes you feel like you are sitting down with an old friend. I love the snippets from her life, her stories about B2. I also find it amazing that not only does she have time to produce such beautiful content, but she is also a lawyer, and now a new mom! So, congratulations Cynthia on your baby boy. You are going to make a wonderful mother.

In celebration, I'd like to share this recipe for the most delicious and creamy squash-style soup I've ever made. I'm not typically a fan of squash soups, I prefer brothy soups or thin tomato soups, but after my obsession with baking pumpkin this year, and in attempt to rid my fridge of some pumpkin leftovers, like you do with soup, I threw a bunch of things in a pot and let them simmer. I got distracted, the baby cried, the phone rang, the next thing I knew, the soup was boiling down to nothing. I thought that I had completely ruined it, but after I rehydrated the veggies with more broth, pureed, and then added cream, I was actually quite shocked at how good it had turned out! If you'd like to take a peek at what other bloggers have made for Cynthia, I have included the links below. Everything looks sooooo delicious.

I am a Food Blog | Mac and Kimcheese Dolsot Bibimbap
Fix Feast Flair | Dishoom's Chicken Ruby Murray
The Fauxmartha | Mom Lunches
A Cozy Kitchen | Cornbread Chicken + Dumplings
Cake Over Steak | Salted Caramel Chocolate Crackles
The Pancake Princess | Stovetop Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Snixy Kitchen | Chicken Pot Pie with Chestnut Biscuits
Lady and Pups | Egg Florentine in Pullman "Bowls"
Betty Liu | Honeynut Squash Congee
Style Sweet CA | Date Bourbon Cinnamon Rolls
Warm Vanilla Sugar | Broccoli Quinoa Bowl with Avocado Sauce
A Beautiful Plate | Coconut Cauliflower Soup
Girl Versus Dough | Tomato Grilled Cheese Soup
Fork to Belly | A Big Hawaiian Fruit Bowl
Donny Tsang | Chawanmushi
Wit & Vinegar | Jerk Chicken Chili
Constellation Inspiration | Salted Egg Yolk Custard Mochi
twigg studios | Katsu Udon Soup wth Popcorn Chicken Croutons
Edible Perspective | Acorn Squash Bowls with Pears, Pecans, and Vanilla Bean Cream
Coco Cake Land | Asian Bowl Cut Sugar Cookies
Southern Souffle | Sorghum Apple Biscuits In A Bowl
The Bojon Gourmet | Smoky Sweet Potato & Lentil Tortilla Soup
What should I eat for breakfast today | Little Bowl with Creamy Polenta, Cheese, Onions and Mushrooms
Top with Cinnamon | Squash & Crispy Kale Bowls with Pomegranate and Miso-Ginger Dressing
the broken bread | Roasted Celeriac + Fennel Soup
Fig+Bleu | Cauliflower Harissa Soup
my name is yeh | Corn Dog In A Bowl
Crepes of Wrath | Mini Scallion Pancake Challah Buns
O&O Eats | Persimmon Cobbler

November 1, 2016

Winter Vegetable Breakfast Skillet

Hi, from Napa Valley! I flew into San Francisco last night and then headed to the Vino Bello Resort, where I am going to spend the next two (much-needed) days drinking all the wine and eating all the delicious food I can get my hands on. I am planning to have many conversations with real adults and change zero poopy diapers. And most importantly, I am not going worry (at all) about Sebastian and his new found toddling/walking skills, or his poor little front tooth that he chipped falling off a basket face first into the floor, the night before I left.

I've been to Napa only once before when I tagged along one of Brent's work trips. I loved it so much, I told myself that I was going to try and make as many trips as possible in the near future - seeing as it's only a two-hour plane ride away. That was 3 years ago, and I have been approximately zero times since. Life gets busy, and certain little people take priority, but nevertheless, here I am back in the land of sunshine and wine.

Just in time for this trip, Brent surprised me with a new camera, after I accidentally dropped mine down the two concrete flights of stairs in front of our house. It slipped right out of the bottom of the stroller while I was carrying it down the stairs. I heard a clunk, then a crack, and then in slow motion I saw it bounce from one step to another until finally, it rolled onto the lawn. I don't understand how, but miraculously it only suffered minor injuries - a cracked LCD panel, a few dents on the outer body, and a smashed lens filter, which actually saved the lens. Funny, or not so funny, a few weeks earlier Brent accidentally dropped it at the State Fair - again it bounced right out of the stroller (I guess we don't learn from our mistakes). Despite all of our near misses, I think Brent took these incidences as a sign that my camera probably has only three lives, and that the next accidental fall is probably going to be fatal (also, my camera is really old and on its last legs), so..... he bought me this brand spanking new camera that has only been on the market for like 5 weeks!!!!! It has so many features and is so amazing and I feel like I have a new baby. In celebration, I am going to break it in (not break it) on this trip and take as many photos of wine as I possibly can. I'll report back next week with my findings. It's actually been a terrible few months for technology disasters in our home, starting first with me running over my iPhone. Luckily, it suffered only minimal damage - a cracked camera lens - but then I confidently decided to fix the lens myself. I bought a repair kit online, opened up my phone and then promptly destroyed it. It's now dead forever. A week earlier the hard drive on my iMac died. From my experience, bad luck runs in three, so this means I am safe now?

On a more positive note, let's talk about babies and breakfast skillets! Sonja and Gena have organized this wonderful virtual baby shower for my blog friend Ashley. Her little baby girl is due at the end of December and I couldn't be happier for her. Ashley is such a warm and kind hearted person and I know she is going to make the best mother. Her little girl is going to be so spoiled with all of that Colorado scenery and all of Ashley's amazingly healthy and tasty recipe creations. The theme of the #ediblebabybash is breakfast, which is probably one of my favorite meals. I wanted to create something wholesome and healthy for Ashley, and breakfast skillets are a great way to incorporate lots of delicious things into one meal. This winter vegetable skillet has potatoes, Brussel sprouts, mushrooms, orange peppers, eggs, cheese, and avocado. It is so easy to prepare, and is so insanely delicious! Here are some of the other mouth watering recipes that others have made.

Cornbread Waffles with Maple Mascarpone Schmear | A Couple Cooks
Homestyle Vegan Grits with Tempeh Sausage & Brussels Sprouts | The Full Helping
Pear and Almond Butter Baked Oatmeal | Eating Made Easy
Eggs Florentine | Brooklyn Supper
Fried Chicken & Waffles with Apple Butter & Kale Slaw | Climbing Grier Mountain
Homemade Nutella Toasts | The Fauxmartha
Fancy Avocado Toast | A Beautiful Plate
Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Waffles | Making Thyme for Health
Deep Fried Nutella French Toast | I am a Food Blog
Verde Shakshuka | Beard and Bonnet


serves 4
prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 25 minutes

2 tbsp butter
2 cups baby potatoes, halved
2 cups brussel sprouts, halved
1 cup chopped kale
1/2 orange pepper, chopped
4 large mushrooms, sliced
5 large eggs
2 tbsp milk
1 cup shredded cheddar
salt and pepper
1 avocado, quartered
fresh thyme
Add the butter to a large frying pan and set on medium heat.

Add the potatoes and Brussel sprouts and fry until crispy and tender, tossing occasionally so they don't burn.

Add the kale, peppers, and mushrooms and fry until soft.

In a bowl, scramble the eggs with milk.

Reduce the heat to low and let the pan cool. Push the veggies to one side of the pan and add the eggs to the other. Scramble.

Once the eggs are cooked, add the cheese and mix everything together. Cook until the cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with avocado and fresh thyme.