Mandarin Orange and Goat Cheese Salad

I'm back peeps, I'm back! Yes, I've been on a brief hiatus due to all things life, but I have to say life has been pretty good! Here's a brief snapshot of what's new in the life of Hungry Ali: 

  • Cole and I are counting down the days (literally) until we move into a house (yes, house) in the heart of Fremont! The house comes complete with a backyard, washer/dryer (hallelujah), not one but two bedrooms, not one but two bathrooms and the ability for us to finally (wait for it) adopt our own pug…!!!! I know. I am quite literally dying from excitement. More to come on this exciting life update, including pics, in the next few weeks! 
  • Work and life are keeping me busy with lots of fun happenings like Mariners games, graduation parties, brewery outings and wine tastings. Nothing to complain about here!  
  • I just returned from a work trip from LA where my work wife and I spent three days soaking up lots of relevant info at a national event planning conference. When we weren't at the conference, we were immersing ourselves in the LA culture complete with copious amounts of delicious food, drink and cool scenery. Hashtag blessed. 

With all of these things going on and more, it's not hard to see why I've been slacking on my blogging/cooking game! But I'm happy to say that life will be settling down for a hot minute and I can finally return back to my happy place. 

(more…)

Read More

Lemon Garlic Roasted Shrimp

 It was a Saturday morning. My favorite kind of Saturday morning, in fact! After spending a solid unproductive hour in bed, I finally rolled out and put on my slippers only to resume lounging on the couch, with a blanket and a cup of coffee. I turned on the tube, flipped on Food Network and tuned into Ina Garten. 

Is it just me or does this scenario not sound reminiscent of heaven?!? 

But back to the important bits. I was watching Ina Garten, which is really the most important part you need to know. Contrary to what you might think, I actually have not tuned in to Ina Garten in awhile. For one, she had not aired new episodes in some time and you already know I've seen every single Barefoot Contessa episode at least two times. And secondly, I just hadn't indulged in the luxury of turning on Food Network on a Saturday morning in some time. So when I did turn it on this particular Saturday morning I was not only pleased to see my role model, Ina, on the boob tube, but it was a brand new episode airing! 

When I watch Ina Garten, I immediately get transported to my happy place. Cole was actually making fun of me watching it the whole time because whenever Ina added an ingredient or talked about what effortlessly fabulous dish she was going to whip up next, I was mutter things like, "Oooh" or "Oh that sounds good," or "Yes please!" under my breath all whilst my eyes were temporarily glued to the TV in awe. There's a reason why they call it food porn, people….

After a solid hour of watching Ina make her usual elegant yet simple recipes like Roasted Shrimp, Salmon Tacos and Lemon Pasta, I quickly realized that Ina had done it again; she worked her culinary magic on me and I too felt compelled to "cook like a pro." Mission accomplished, Ina! 

(more…)

Read More

Buttermilk Ranch Dip

I am a firm believer that a party cannot be considered a party without food. Bonus points if there's food and adult beverages, but food is first and foremost. Now that it's summer and practically every day is an excuse for a party full of grilling and chillin', it's time to break out all the fun, crowd-pleasing party foods! 

I certainly have a few go-to favorite party snacks. Sausage stuffed mushrooms, sweet and spicy pecans and curry deviled eggs rank right up there with the best in my book. But probably the most underrated party snack out there that everyone inevitably gravitates towards, especially if it's a good one, is a veggie tray.

Don't get me wrong, veggies on their own are a crisp, fresh and delicious reprieve in a sea of savory snacks at a party. But let's be real: nobody ever fell in love with a veggie tray just because the cucumbers were on point. Veggies are merely a vehicle for dipping. Which is why I believe no veggie tray is complete without a delicious ranch dressing dip!

(more…)

Read More

Sausage, Kale and Potato Frittata

I can pretty much count on one hand the number of times I've skipped breakfast in my life. And the times I have skipped breakfast, let me tell you, it was not intentional. Like the time I started a new job and was completely out of my element, filling out paperwork and partaking in new employee trainings and tours. Fast forward to noon where my tummy made some embarrassingly loud noises and I realized the only thing I had consumed all day in my flurry of new experiences was drip coffee. Talk about a very out of character moment! 

You see, eating breakfast in the morning comes as natural to me as putting on clothes every day. Which is why I've never understood why people would intentionally skip breakfast or not like to eat breakfast aka the best meal of the day! From the moment I wake up, my mind goes to breakfast (ok, maybe coffee first, but breakfast followed closely after). And you best believe that I make a game plan for a hearty and tasty breakfast to get me all pepped up and ready to go. 

Since I'm just a big ol' planner, I love having breakfast prepared for me in advance so all I have to do in the mornings is grab something from the fridge and/or pop something in the microwave. From the Pinterest favorite egg muffin cups, smoothie packs and even mason jar parfaits, I've pretty much covered my bases with all things breakfast meal prep. But what I've really been feeling lately are frittatas! 

(more…)

Read More

Bacon Honey Mustard Potato Salad

I'm gonna level with you all real quick: when the sun comes out, I turn into a real lazy cook. Gone are the days when I actually want to slave away over the stove making soups or roasting vegetables. Because I'm not trying to sweat anymore than I have to, ja feel? 

So when the sun comes out to play in Seattle, it's all about turning the oven off and turning the grill on! And in case you've been living under a rock, I sort of kind of like to grill things

But what I love almost more than delicious grilled meats and veggies on the grill in the sunny weather are cold summer salads. The kind you make a big batch of early in the week, stick it in your fridge to let the flavors marry and become even more delicious over time. The kind that make dinner time a real lazy effort because you're merely throwing something on the grill and eating a cool summer salad straight from the bowl. We're talking minimal effort here, friends!

(more…)

Read More

Thai Yellow Curry

One of the many benefits of living in a big city like Seattle is you never run out of amazing places to eat. Particularly with such a diverse city like Seattle, you never run into the issue of being able to find the type of food you're craving at any given moment. Craving Indian? It's just a tap away on PostMates. Craving Thai? There's four different options to choose from less than two blocks away (thanks, Yelp). Whatever you're craving, we pretty much have it all. I definitely do not take it for granted the variety and sheer quality of amazing global cuisine we have here in this amazing city!

Growing up in Olympia, Washington we weren't spoiled with copious amounts of global cuisine like I am here in Seattle. Let me put it this way: "global cuisine" meant divey El Sarape or the Emperor's Palace that was delivered to us via a car with a bright, yellow phone on top. Supes authentic! 

The cuisine I did gain exposure to, though, was Thai food. My favorite Thai restaurant to this day comes from my hometown called Lemongrass. Growing up, my mom and I would go out to lunch or a mom/daughter dinner date at Lemongrass because my brother was a weirdo and didn't like Thai food (still doesn't!) We would get the same thing every time too: pork and prawn fresh rolls, pad see ew and most always yellow curry. While I love pretty much any and all Thai food, there is nothing to me quite like a good yellow curry. And Lemongrass has, hands down, the best yellow curry I've ever tasted. 

(more…)

Read More

Cole’s Chorizo Hash

The last few weekends I've realized that Cole and I have made time for what I lovingly like to call "planless weekends." You know, the weekends were you spend the majority of your time in pajamas, perpetually avoiding the shower, binge watching season after season of The Great British Baking Show and just generally taking a break from reality for two seconds. Because as summer starts to creep up and our social calendars start to fill up weekend after weekend until suddenly it's Christmas, its these lazy, low-key weekends that we crave, nay, need to unwind and recoup. 

But because I'm a Type A planner through and through, no "planless weekend" is complete without some sort of plan, usually in the way of what we're eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner each day. As Aziz Ansari's loving character said on season two of Master of None, "It's never too early to plan ahead, especially when it comes to matters of the tum." And because a laid back weekend cannot be made complete without a hearty and delicious breakfast/brunch, I like to make sure our weekends starts off on the right foot with an epic brekky. 

Breakfast is Cole's domain and, as of late, he's been whipping up some pretty amazing breakfast hashes on these lazy weekends. So amazing, in fact, I just had to trademark his name on this recipe that's become a household favorite. So for all of you that are about to partake in a relaxing, rather uneventful weekend, I present Cole's Chorizo Hash. 

(more…)

Read More

Sheet Pan Salmon and Asparagus

The last few weeks have been busy, busy, busy with work events, our much needed trip to Vegas and numerous other social activities (because we're just so dang popular). So busy, in fact, that I realized I've been off my meal planning and prepping game. And there's nothing that makes me feel more out of sorts than when I'm off! But I'm proud to say that I'm back on my meal plan grind and I'm feeling alive!

On top of it all, the sun has been starting to come out to play and it's making me all sorts of happy. Literally, I'm grinning from ear to ear right now! It also makes me inspired to make simple, clean and seasonal meals aka meals that just feel bright and put a smile on my face.

A meal that does just that and that has also been a cornerstone of my meal prep game for years is my Sheet Pan Salmon and Asparagus. When I made it last time, I actually made a promise to myself to include this in our weekly dinner lineup every week if possible. There's no reason why I wouldn't either, because there are literally countless reasons why this all encompassing meal is a winner. I couldn't possibly share them all, but for starters here are 10: 

(more…)

Read More

Almond Crunch Salad with Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette

Ever since Cole and I started dating (almost five years ago…!) we've been into binge watching TV shows. Not unlike the rest of the modern world, it's kind of our thing. The very first show we watched together was Entourage. Followed by every season of Top Chef, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad and so so many more you probably don't even want to know. 

One of my most favorite binge watching stints was when we watched the sort of little known local chef (to Cole at least, the native Californian) who first got on the map on local television and has since started his own Youtube series and livecast, Sam the Cooking Guy. Oh, the days of Sam the Cooking Guy were glorious! I was so thankful to Cole to have brought such a gem into my world. Not only is Sam just your average Joe cooking everyday recipes in his kitchen, but he is funny as hell. So when we binge watched not only were we consuming countless hours of food porn but we were laughing our bellies off while we were at it. 

While we fell off the Sam the Cooking Guy bandwagon and have moved onto bigger and better things (hello, Stranger Things/Silicon Valley/Westworld/Everything HBO and Netflix does because they are the second coming of Jesus Christ), I always think of Sam when I'm in the kitchen. Especially, when I think of a recipe that highlights some pretty awesome Asian ingredients, like soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, hoisin, sambal and even just your every day green onions. See, Sam cooks with these ingredients almost exclusively and he makes some pretty delicious looking thing with them! Which was why he inspired me to stock up my pantry with similar ingredients and get creative in the kitchen using this whole other flavor palette. 

(more…)

Read More

Chipotle Lime Fajitas

You guys! I've been a little MIA, I know, but guess what?! I finally got some sun! Some very very VERY much needed sun

Me and a crew took a weekend trip down to beautiful and sunny Las Vegas! I actually had forgotten what the sun felt like. We spent the first day just soaking up every last bit of sun in our own private Cabana (#CabanaLife) and I could've stayed there forever. A few trips to the craps table, eating some delicious food and drinking some tasty adult beverages also didn't hurt either! It was absolutely divine! 

Even though coming back to yet again rainy Seattle was a rude awakening, the sunny weather inspired me to get this spring/summer started no matter what this weather is doing! That's why I'm tempted to cook foods that make me want to kick my feet up, make a cocktail, put on some tunes and at least pretend I'm somewhere sunny. 

Mexican food usually does this for me. Something about bright, zesty flavors like lime and chiles often paired with a cool and refreshing margarita make me feel like I'm poolside! And that's a feeling I'm definitely trying to live out as much as possible. 

(more…)

Read More