Friday, March 30, 2012

Foodie Friday: Mexican Egg Rolls with Creamy Cilantro Dressing

My mom is always finding new, fun recipes to try and I think she gets more excited than I do when she can find a way to vegetarian/veganize it! While I was visiting Southern Utah last week, she made these awesome Mexican egg rolls (I kept calling them hot pockets) that were just too good to not share here! My favorite part was the creamy cilantro dipping sauce, that I later used on everything else in sight (burgers, salads, etc.).

What you will need:

For Egg Rolls
1 package Spanish Rice (we used Uncle Bens 90 second Spanish rice)
1 pound ground sausage (any vegetarian meat crumbles will work here!)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can Mexican style diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
6 green onions, finely chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
28 egg roll wrappers (by the prepackaged salad bags at the grocery store)
optional: add a package of taco seasoning mix for more flavor

For Creamy Cilantro Dipping Sauce:
1 can Mexican style diced tomatoes
4 oz. package of cream cheese (half a block)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
½ cup sour cream

For Egg Rolls

1. Cook rice according to package, cool completely.

2. Cook sausage/crumbles in skillet over medium heat until cooked thoroughly.

3. Stir rice together with the sausage and black beans in large bowl. Once everything is mixed well, stir in tomatoes, cheese and onions.

4. Spoon 1/3 cup of mixture in center of each egg roll wrapper. Fold bottom of wrapper over filling, tucking in the tip under the filling, then fold left and right corners in. Lightly brush remaining corner with egg (or water), tightly roll end toward remaining corner, and gently press to seal.

5. Bake on cookie sheet at 425 degrees for 20 minutes (10 minutes on each side).

For Creamy Cilantro Dressing
Process ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Foodie Friday: Foreign Cinema

During my visit to San Francisco, brunch at Foreign Cinema was a must after Brittney descriptively sold me on their homemade pop tarts. The ambiance was lovely, the menu was creative and the service was excellent; the waitress even promptly refolded our friends napkin and adjusted his chair when he left the table. I loved the industrial chic atmosphere and overall posh vibe Foreign Cinema gave off. We sat in the huge, gorgeous dining room with large windows and open doors letting the sun spill in. This was needless to say one of the fancier restaurants I've been to, but worth every penny. I wish I could have squeezed in the dinner experience on their covered outdoor patio area where a schedule of foreign films are projected onto a giant concrete wall... next time.

Homemade organic strawberry pop tart, so delicious. Definitely trying the apple-pear next time!

Balsamic fried eggs over roasted garlic-potato hash and mixed chicories.



Location: 2534 Mission Street San Francisco, California 94110
Neighborhood: Mission District

Friday, March 16, 2012

Foodie Friday: Smitten Ice Cream

Smitten I totally was when introduced to this adorable ice cream parlor in San Francisco during my visit two weeks ago. Each cup or cone is made to order (in a whopping 60 seconds!) using liquid nitrogen -- how cool! Pun fully intended.

I opted for the classic vanilla with a meyer lemon caramel sauce and Brittney got the brown butter pecan, so creamy and delicious!


Here's a little video of Smitten ice cream in the making!

Location: 432 Octavia Street San Francisco, California 94102
Neighborhood: Hayes Valley

Friday, March 9, 2012

Foodie Friday: Birthday Cake Oreos

These babies are 3 weeks overdue for a well deserved shout out on my part!

Oreos 100th Birthday was on March 6th and I can't think of a better way to celebrate than cramming what tastes like funfetti cupcakes (my favorite!) into America's favorite cookie. Since these are limited edition, I'm not sure how long they will be available in stores, so be a fat kid like me and stock up on an ungodly amount of bags before they are gone. I've searched six or seven stores, but only found them thus far at Target and CVS.

Don't be alarmed when you open the bag and it smells like you are in heaven, you aren't dead....yet. Maybe after you and your coworker eat an entire bag in just a few short hours, but I made it out alive. Don't judge me.

I would like to give Nabisco my stamp of approval for exceeding my high expectations and not just coloring the cream like they seem to do with every other festive Oreo cookie. Well done.

edit // tonight I stumbled across this magical concoction at the grocery store, can't wait to try it, though I'm sure it will be nothing short of amazing!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Foodie Friday: Doomie's Home Cookin'

Finding vegetarian soul food is hard to come by and for years now I've been wanting to try Doomie's. Another prime example of "What the hell were you thinking waiting this long to try this place Ainsley?!". Their entire menu is vegan and chock-full of deliciousness (seriously, I don't think I can die happy until I've tried one of everything)! The Southern Fried Chicken comes highly recommended, so I gave it a whirl. Okay guys, there is an actual fake layer of "skin" under the breaded deep fried goodness; something I have never seen! It's funny how vegetarians get when fake meat starts to truly resemble that of the real thing... this was just as mind blowing as it sounds.

[southern fried chicken and mashed potatoes, added a little bacon to make it my own personalized cowboy griller]

I hear there are always new creations and experiments happening and an entire secret menu is available, some things stay and some don't, this I have to ask about next time.

Our waitress was something else... bright blue hair, eccentric, helpful and totally willing to share her secrets of the Duran Duran Pandora station of choice when I was singing to every. single. song. while I ate.

For dessert there was absolutely no question about getting the vegan crème brûlée. We also had to get a slice of the red velvet cake, why not? The crème brûlée resembled more of a pudding than a custard, but was just as rich as the real thing.

Location: 1253 N Vine Street Hollywood, California 90038
Neighborhood: Hollywood