Pineapple salsa & strawberry-coconut margaritas

Posted in cooking, mixology on April 5th, 2011 by Sarah

I tried pineapple salsa at work yesterday for the first time. While the flavor was good, it was a little too sweet and not fresh or spicy enough for my tastes. So I decided to try my hand at making my own version when I got home. I probably haven’t made salsa since I was about 10 years old, so this was a case of “just throw in whatever feels right,” like most of my cooking. Sometimes, reading recipes can be like trying to decipher IKEA instructions, so I don’t follow them if I have any reasonable chance of success without them.

Sarah’s off the top of her head pineapple salsa recipe: Drink 1 gin martini (a requisite first step for any cooking endeavor). Then cut up two jalapenos, one onion, four vine-ripened tomatoes, a huge handful of cilantro, and half a can of pineapple. Mix all these together along with a good amount of habanero sauce, juice of one (preferably home-grown) lemon, one pour of pineapple juice, salt and pepper to taste, and a dash or two of Angostura bitters for good measure.

A conversation with a friend went as follows:
Him: “Sounds like a good recipe; however, I don’t usually mix alcohol and knifes.”
Me: “You’re missing out on a lot of fun.”
Him: “At least I’m not missing out on a lot of fingers.”
Me: “Hey… I only have cuts on two of my fingers right now!”

The salsa turned out very well. I would have added Sriracha sauce if I hadn’t just used up the last of it. I add it to pretty much everything because it is delicious. Some day I may even try to come up with a cocktail recipe that utilizes it.

After finishing the salsa, I moved on to the margaritas! I made blended strawberry-coconut margaritas. I’m not usually a fan of girly or sweet drinks (Scotch, neat, please), but these were good enough for an exception to be made. I didn’t measure properly, just added a big pour of tequila, small pours of Grand Marnier, strawberry puree, and coconut cream, juice of one lime and a handful of ice straight to the blender. They are rimmed with a light dusting of freshly-ground Himalayan pink salt crystals.

After the margaritas were finished, preparation of dinner could commence. I mixed together tilapia, brown rice, and pinto beans with a liberal quantity of the pineapple salsa and crumbled cotija cheese on top.

It was a most delicious and satisfying dinner and will continue to provide sustenance for several days hence.

I’m also working on giving a sad little orphan dresser a much-needed makeover. This is the dresser in its current state:

And when it is finished, it is supposed to look something like this:

It was supposed to be a shade of strawberry pink and have a cute vintage feel, but when I see it like this, all I think of is Gloomy Bear. I suppose that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Stone soup

Posted in cooking on March 30th, 2011 by Sarah

Lately I’ve been trying to come up with new cooking ideas for meals that are delicious, cheap, and very healthy. Usually, you can only have two out of those three at a time. Recently I boasted that the next day I would make a delicious soup…however, unbeknownst to me, all of the vegetables and other soup-related ingredients had already been devoured by one hungry Adam. The only known entity was a small quantity of meatballs. This was going to be a sad soup indeed… pretty much just a few meatballs in a pot of water! I was very discouraged, but I began adding random ingredients and eventually a hearty, delicious stew coalesced.

For the broth, I used water, vegetable juice, rice vinegar, a splash of red wine, liberal quantities of Sriracha sauce, lemon juice, cornmeal, garlic, and salt and pepper. I added tofu, rice noodles, a little spinach, black beans, and meatballs. It was delicious, healthy, and filling, and the whole thing probably cost around $3 to make. A success!


Yummy chicken crepes!

Posted in cooking, jewelry on March 19th, 2011 by Sarah

I had been craving sandwiches with spicy mustard all day, but not possessing any bread, I decided to make crepes!

I used the Basic Crepes Recipe from, substituting almond milk for regular milk as it was what I had on hand, and adding in a tiny bit of nutmeg, black pepper, and dill. The crepes were filled with shredded grilled chicken, baby spinach, diced apples, goat cheese, and sweet hot mustard. We had the crepes with an unfiltered apricot wheat ale, but they would also have paired well with a nice sauvignon blanc. Delicious!

I also made… cupcakes?

Just kidding! My awesome new beading supplies came in the mail.


Posted in cooking, travel on February 20th, 2011 by Sarah

We used a model/experimental rocket launch as an excuse to go to Las Vegas for the weekend, but unfortunately it ended up being cancelled due to a poor weather forecast. I got all dolled up to be dragged around to the hobby shop and various gun stores by the boys.

Rocket parts!

Later on, we went shopping on the strip. We stopped at Allsaints. The face of the store was lined with rows of old-fashioned sewing machines:

This outfit would camouflage me well in my blog header!

The clothing had an old-fashioned but slightly organic, naturalistic feel to it. The term steampunk was bandied about the store by shoppers, but I felt it was was more high fashion than steampunk. Some of the dresses had beautiful draping with eccentric ruffles and layers of fabric. I was very tempted by some of the jewelry, like this necklace with its faux pulley system, and this bracelet, which is simple in design but beautiful. The prices were actually quite reasonable for the attention to detail and workmanship in the designs. My only purchases, however, were some basics in H&M, where I received a compliment on my silver spaceboots from a very pretty boy who was perhaps the only fashionably-dressed person in Vegas that night. For how overdressed everyone is here, it is surprising how few people have any style.

It has become tradition that all trips to Vegas must involve all sorts of culinary delights, and this visit, though restrained, was no exception. For some odd reason, I still seem to know more good restaurants in Las Vegas than I do in Los Angeles, even though I’ve lived in LA for well over a year. On the way there, we stopped at La Estrella for a carnitas burrito, and at the Mad Greek in Baker, CA for gyros and galaktoboureko, a super-delicious Greek egg custard baked in filo pastry. I’ve had a slight obsession with custards lately!

For breakfast, our friend Matt was kind enough to share with us a rather surprising pancake recipe:
1 cup flour
1 cup sour cream
1 cup cottage cheese
4 eggs
Optional: Lots of fresh blueberries!

Instructions: Mix all the ingredients together and cook like pancakes! They have a great texture and actually make a decent breakfast. I typically can’t eat more than one pancake without feeling kind of sick from sugar/carb overload, but I devoured four of these with no remorse!

Pancakes, coffee black as my soul, and more rockets.

For lunch we stopped at a Taiwanese cafe, where I had a squid and rice noodle soup and rather good milk tea boba. Matt made delicious homemade spaghetti with portabella mushrooms for dinner before we went back out for shopping. And we always pig out on all-you-can-eat sushi while we’re here because the sushi situation in LA is so dismal, so we shall most likely do that for lunch today before heading back home. The quantity of sushi consumed must be over 9,000.

Wearing my favorite handmade skirt ever. In it, the ideal of ultimate cute is fully realized. So far, this is my favorite outfit that I’ve worn with it, very fun and retro.

I’m also working on a top secret design project right now. It’s red. And silly.

Anyway, now we’re headed off into the desert to launch our rockets independently! After the rain Friday night, the weather actually turned out beautiful.


Posted in cooking, jewelry on February 14th, 2011 by Sarah

On Saturday we celebrated the 336th mensiversary of my roommate and partner in crime, Adam, by indulging in cakewaffle sundaes for breakfast. The idea was born when I discovered a long-forgotten box of chocolate cake mix in a futile attempt at organizing the kitchen shelving. I love to bake, but it has to be complicated. Making a cake from a mix just seems lazy and gluttonous. But… if used to realize a more interesting concept, cakematter from a box may prove acceptable for consumption. Thusly cakewaffle sundaes were born:

Chocolate cakewaffles, topped with vanilla ice cream, homemade chocolate sauce, and rainbow sprinkles of awesomeness. The chocolate syrup may be produced by combining roughly equal quantities of cocoa powder, sugar, and water, adjusting slightly for taste and consistency. In lieu of vanilla extract, I added a splash of Grand Marnier and it turned out most excellently.

I’ve also been cooking up some jewelry. Here’s a shot of some of the ingredients:

Sometimes all it takes is going through some old supplies with someone else to gain new perspectives and inspiration.

Until next time…