Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sardine and Anchovie Adventure

How many times have you told someone:
"I went out for a 2 hour paddle, wound up with a bag of squirming sardines and anchovies in my lap..."
Well, I have.
: )

This was a totally unexpected treat!
I was kayaking on Sept 17th and paddled up to one of those big bait barges by the Jetty (next to "The Wedge" in Newport Beach, CA) that had a sign that said "Sardines".
I'm a sucker for "bait fish", so I asked the guy if it was possible to buy some.
He said they sell them to fishermen by the gallon but would be happy to give me a few in a bag if I had a place to stick them in my kayak.
$2.00 later (totally within budget!), I paddled away with a bunch of them on my lap...
That didn't last long cuz the wriggling was beginning to freak me out, so I stuck them on my deck and hoped that a huge bird didn't realize my stash.
 ; )

Talk about an impulse buy.
But how could I have resisted since I had a bunch of fresh basil, heirloom tomatoes, and buffalo mozzarella boconccini waiting for me at home!?!

One big problem.
It was a super hot day and the tide was totally against me by this time, so I knew I still had a little over an hour worth of paddling to get me back to NAC, and I didn't want the little fellas to kick the bucket too soon.
Luckily, I'm almost always prepared for anything, and that's no exception when in a kayak. I actually had my running shoes packed in a dry bag "just in case".

Perfect. Now I had a plan.
 I decided to paddle to the Coast Guard Beach as fast as possible, where I refreshed the salt water for the little fellas and stashed the kayak till my return.
 I then ran the 3.65 miles back NAC to grab my car, stopped at a market for a bag of ice, and retuned quickly ro claim the goods.
The entire run, I was going over the inventory in my fridge.
Oooh, I knew I had a tons of options.

The Adventure Begins

Aw, how I love tomatoes
which terrible picture of tomatoes is the better terrible picture?
This one?

 Or this one?

 Heirlooms, salt, pepper, nothing more

 Add some radicchio, basil, olive oil, a little heat, start heating things up....

This was my first time dealing with live, whole fish.
This is me getting prepped to attack the little fishies

Decisions. Decisions.
Which would you choose?
 I'd love it if you'd share a picture of your favorite knife with me!

They finally "relaxed"
"one of these things is not like the other..."
Some sardines, anchovies, and one random little guy who may have been a grunion...

 Let's see him from a different angle

It took me quite a while to get used to lopping off their little heads...
 Whoa, it was sure "interesting" chopping heads off fish and pulling guts for the first time especially since those little fellas had been in my lap, wriggling, for a while in my kayak.
: /

I think my expression says it all.
Luckily that went away after I got through a few of them.

Heads off guts gone 

fish heads fish heads rolly polly fish heads...

 This is what the fish heads looked like to me up until about the 5th one

 I became strangely obsessed with this pile of fish heads

 de-boning not as easy as one might think...especially when that fresh...2 hours outta the water

: )

Stay tuned for the next meal where the bones make and extra special guest appearance
: )

About to get "dressed"

 Brusccetta and bocconcini topped with fresh anchovies

Ok, this proves it, I take horrible pictures of beautiful food.
 and yet another view

This was the little grunion
olive oil; Italian parsley; salt 2 minutes @ 350 degrees

Fresh Raw Anchovies
 Mmm, I loved this prep!
fresh finely chopped raw ginger, green onions, sticky rice, lime, green onion, ginger, and salt

Fresh Raw Sardines
in lime juice with green onions, ginger, and salt
with sticky rice
terrible picture, delicious dish

Our random fish
(later identified as a grunion)
dressed and looking good enough to eat
cooked at 350 degrees for 2 minutes with just salt and pepper atop sticky rice

 I love my dining room table and my simple plates...the food gets to speak for itself

From another angle.
Which terrible pic do you like best?

 Our Favorite prep!
Fresh Anchovies and Sardines gently baked at 350 for 2 minutes, marinated in white balsamic, olive oil, Italian parsley, garlic, salt and pepper, garnished with thin slices of raw garlic.

 Anchovies gently baked at 350 for 2 minutes with only salt and pepper.
These guys make an encore performance in our next meal...stay tuned.

Let the tasting adventure begin! 

A little sweaty, a little tired, but very happy with the outcome

So pretty and tasted so good
Please ignore the finger nails
I assure you it's not dirt, just food prep stuff

Finger licking good

 "...this was just alive how many minutes ago?..."

 Can't forget about the kitties!
Even they got to enjoy some of the adventure.
: )

You never know what you'll come home with when you go kayaking.
It was my first time cleaning live fish. Interesting, fun, but so worth it!

Stay tuned for round two:
Slow Roasted Fish Bones!
: )

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ghetto Gourmet Ramen Night

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010
 Rockin' the Ramen in a Healthy Way!

As I've stated before,
We are on a budget. A tight budget!
When I hear people say
"it's too expensive to eat healthy"
I want to smack them with their 5cent package of ramen!
This meal is absolute proof that cheap doesn't have to be tacky,
unappetizing or unhealthy.
Check the pics from this evening in my Facebook album
for tags of all the ingredients.

Setting the table with all the goodies that will be dressing up the
"ghetto gourmet" meal that is "6 packs for a dollar-everybody holla"
 Mmmm, Shrimp...I love shrimp in my ramen.
 Shrimp, meet all the other goodies that you'll be swimming with in my ramen.
Oooh, y'all look good together...but I think we'll need a little something more to dress things up.
 Ahhh, Bubbly...waiting in the wings.
You sure know how to dress up and evening.
 You have to admit, that even blurry, it still looks pretty darned good.
But it's still missing something.
 : )
Such a great meal with a splurge of $17
for the Tasmanzian Bubbly from Anne's Boutique Wines in Costa Mesa.
It was an excellent and refreshing bubbly that had just the perfect amount of crisp and hint of sweet to off set the super hot heat of the random red pepper from our garden that pretty much blistered my lips
and left me drooling for about a half an hour.

So, whatya think?
Super pretty, pretty healthy, absolutely delicious and super cheap!
And plenty of room for dessert.

 These little critters
were the very first thing we ever made in my 7th grade Home-Ec class.
Hadn't thought of them in ages and decided to make the when Mister AC and I first began dating.

Well, the dessert isn't exactly healthy, but Mister AC loves them.

Now, go dress up some ramen, and leave room for dessert!
: )

Refreshing and Healthy Lunch

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010
Cheap as Hell!

2 Scrambled Eggs with Chives
Served over Jade Pearled Rice
with a couple scoops of Andrew's Favorite Quinoa Salad, and sliced avocado

Looked pretty before I attacked it but tasted even better once it lost it's beauty!

Perfect lunch on a super hot day!
: )

Monday, September 27, 2010

It's Hot! I'm Hungry...and I guess, Thirsty...

September 27th, 2010
It's currently 81 degrees at "Chez Calasanz" in Anaheim, CA.
I woke up before my alarm because I was just too hot to sleep.
Alarm went off at 4:28am.
(Yes, I choose random times for my alarm...I'm sure you do a few odd things too)
Even with the super hot temps,
I had a great day thanks to training friggin'-fantastic clients who blew me away with how hard they worked in this insane weather.
The front of the , Controlled Burn Fitness Studio where I train my clients,  is one big window facing North East.
Lots of Sun throughout the entire day. 
The place barely cooled down no matter how hard I cranked the AC-and I had it on since 6am!
Ugggggggg...I dread the DWP bill!

As you can see,  "Chez Calasanz" is all windows too.
Thank goodness I don't throw stones.
Even if I did, don't worry, I've got terrible depth perception...I'd most likely hit myself before you.
To see more original pics of our super-cool place
feel free to check out the photo album on Facebook

 So, back to the point.
I'm hungry.

I trained clients; taught an amazingly intense, full body class; and finished with teaching my Bad-A**ed Monday 6:00pm "Pedal Precision" Indoor Cycling Class at Pedal Spin Studio.

Long day!

Hot Day!

Still, a Hot night!
And I'm not talking "Bow Chica Wow Wow" Hot.

Usually, I hang out after class with Mister Paul Smedly, who has a strange aversion to "imaginary" cats named Prince Rupert...little does Paul know how real Prince Rupert is.

Yikes, where's "the point"?

Here it is...I was super hungry when I got home since I didn't hang with Paul to enjoy a meal at one of our local "Post-Pedal-Spin-Torture-Fests-Food-Favorites" like India's Flavor or Wacky Wok.

Sooooooooooo...I had to rustle up a snack that was hearty, easy, and didn't require the use of a stove top (there's a big secret hidden there...I'll tell you later) nor an oven, cuz "it's too darned hot!"
So, what did I do?

Forgive me.
Not only a "terrible picture" but a pretty sad idea.
But at least I took care of my complex carbs with my whole grain bread (4g fiber), protein/dairy (ghettto cheddar from TJs)...right?

But wait!
BUBBLY makes everything better!
Decided to do a "taste test" of which bottle of bubbly tastes better after a couple of days of being opened.
Easily the "JANSZ" that I picked up from Anne's Boutique Wines won, hands down!
It rocked our "Ghetto Gourmet Ramen Night" and had given me the "I don't know what" to deal with the heat for the time being.

Oh wait, Porky Bits are a pretty good idea too, right?
Post-Long-Day-of Training-Teaching-Sweating in Super-Hot-Temps-Snack...

meal not suggeted to meet daily requirements of essential nutrients...however, it may meet the dietary guidelines for someone who's brain has melted in this heat, and loves bubbly.