Ume Onigiri House

The local community pool in Eugene, Oregon (Amazon Pool) is unlike any other public pool. Sure, there is a random mixture of people (Olympic athletes, White Trash, professors, and a mish mash of kids),  incredible views and greenery, and endless options of fun (high dive, platform dive, loopty-loop slide, tunnel slide, obstacle course, water sprays, sandbox, you name it). But it is the snack grill that is my ultimate favorite. It is not your typical pool snacks — no corn dogs or french fries — but rather hippy dippy Asian cuisine served at Ume Onigiri House. Kombucha, of course, and even better their dumplings and onigiri. Even though Ken is half-Japanese, I had never tried an onigiri until this summer. AND MAN, how I love it. Seriously, if you ever go to a restaurant and see it on the menu, get it. It is essentially a rice ball filled with various fillings — teriyaki chicken is my kids go to, but I have had the kimchi and teriyaki tofu and they are DELICIOUS.

 

Placing the order. Each onigiri costs $2.50 — A STEAL OF A DEAL! That alone makes it amazing.

The kids love it so much that they can barely wait to eat it.

It comes with homemade pickles, spinach, and the rice balls.

Tusia loves to mix hers up…making it a mixture of rice and chicken.

Cruzzie loves the dumplings.

Dumpling dude.

A portrait of feet and onigiri.

Another day, another onigiri dinner.

Basically, twice a week at swim lessons, the kids would eat onigiri for their dinner.

Perfection.

 

So yes, I understand that Ume Grill is unique to Eugene, but wherever you are, go find ONIGIRI. So good and so healthy, too. The perfect little meal.

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Dehydrated Peaches

Earlier this week, we went peach picking (one of my favorite pastimes in Oregon….  fun, beautiful, and super inexpensive. WIN WIN all around). In 20 minutes, we gathered 35 pounds of delicious and perfect peaches. As much as I love peaches, that is a WHOLE lot of peaches to eat….especially since they go bad very quickly. So within minutes, I made two crisps (a little bit of oatmeal, a little bit of butter, a little bit of sugar and VOILA).  But there was still 30 plus pounds left….so we decided to dehydrate them and they are oh so good.

 

Me and my partner in crime. She weighs just slightly more than the peaches.

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Cilantro Jalapeno Vegan Pesto

The other day, my mom made the most incredible pesto — the typical basil, pine nut, parmesan combination. It was so delicious, I found excuses to eat it (chip, carrot, spoon, you name it). But because everyone KNOWS how to make pesto, I decided to find a more creative (and cost effective) vegan pesto. Instead of pine nuts and parmesan, hellloooo cashews. Instead of basil, welcome cilantro and jalapeno. It is green, healthy, and has just a minor kick to it (next time, I want to add more jalapeno). Enjoy!

 

Ingredients:

 

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Root Beer Float

OK, this might be the stupidest and most obvious post ever (or genius, depending on who you ask), but I recently became reacquainted with root beer floats, and I CANNOT GET ENOUGH. Seriously, two ingredients lead to the most refreshing and delicious snack slash dinner. It truly tastes like heaven, especially if you use high quality ice cream and root beer.

 

TWO — just two — ingredients!

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Turkey Jerky Sticks

Readers of the blog know that I love gourmet grocery stores. It so happens that I go to the grocery most days while in Eugene. The local grocery store is my dream come true and I could literally spend hours patrolling the aisles to see what’s new and what they have to offer. Last week while jetlagged and bleary from our France travels, I went searching for good, high-protein snacks. I have always liked beef jerky, but never loved it. So when I found these three different brands of turkey sticks, I knew it was going to be a good snack summer. These three are my top favorite and I hope they have them in the NYC stores (and if not, thank you world wide web, not sure I know what to do without you!)…..

 

Top 3

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Ralph’s Coffee

After months of hearing about Ralph’s Coffee, I finally made it inside. And it is even more divine and fabulous than I ever imagined — chic, beautiful, and old school glamorous. Located inside the Ralph Lauren flagship store on 72nd and Madison , Ralph’s Coffee is a relaxing and delicious place to grab a drink and snack (Ralph Lauren partnered up with the team at La Colombe to create Ranph’s Coffee’s signature blend). It also helps that the people inside are just as beautiful as you would expect, making for great people watching.

 

Sidewalk art signage. Although the store does not open until 10 am, Ralph’s Coffee opens at 8 am. I can’t wait to go back!!!

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Sakara Daydreamer Dressing

Creamy and oh so dreamy. This salad dressing from my new favorite cookbook “Eat Clean Play Dirty,” is great to make for the week ahead and drizzle on crudites or any salad. It was so good that immediately after I made the first batch, I QUADRUPLED the recipe to have more to grab for any and every salad!

 

Ingredients:

 

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Prince Street Pizza

I was introduced to my new favorite pizza place by my out-of-town-brother this past week and now I am dreaming of the pizza nonstop. My brother is one of those people that knows everything about a place even when he doesn’t live there. He also loves food, reading about food, and is always right. So when he was visiting this past weekend and suggested trying Prince Street Pizza — I knew that it was going to be good and worth the trek down. And YUP, sure enough, this tiny little pizza shop is where it is at. I can’t wait to go back.

 

Located in Nolita, on Prince Street, this tiny little shop is c harming, crowded, busy, and has oh so delicious pizza.

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Black Rice Pudding

I always love Gwyneth Paltrow cookbooks as they are simple, easy, healthy, and delicious. So when she came out with her newest book, The Clean Plate, a couple weeks ago, I was so excited to try out all the different recipes. And sure enough, everything I make from it is a WIN and I love them all. Randomly this past weekend when it was Arctic temperatures outside and there was nothing to do besides be cooped up and freezing, I decided to make the black rice pudding from her book. It was suuuuuper easy and extremely tasty. I plan to eat it as a dessert or as a hearty winter breakfast or both.

 

Ingredients:

 

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Favorite New Cookbooks October 2018

I have not been into cooking recently — not sure what it is, but I just don’t feel like being in the kitchen and cooking. I have been tired from marathon training (and here I go with another marathon next month), the start and craze of school, and September life is just busy…..I guess I don’t even feel that into food these days — I just want to consume some calories and then be done. But that doesn’t stop me from buying new cookbooks. Here are my current three favorite new ones!

 

Cookbooks might be retro and outdated, but they are almost like coffee table books — just beautiful and easy to flip through.

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Brooklyn Crab

Back in the early 2010’s, we used to spend our weekends driving out to Red Hook (in Brooklyn) to grocery shop at Fairway, gaze at the Statue of Liberty, eat cookies at Baked, and pretend like we lived in the outer boroughs/suburbs. We were religious about this weekend ritual and tried to keep it up as long as we could. But then Fresh Direct (and a second child) came along, which made it impossible to drive 30 minutes just to grocery shop. This past weekend, we decided to go back. And now I can’t wait to go back and make it a monthly ritual — Red Hook is a special and unique neighborhood and I just love it so much. The highlight was our brunch at Brooklyn Crab. I want to have a big blow out party there. The food is delicious, the views are great, and it just screams FUN PARTY.

 

Looks like you are on the coast of Maine, but NOPE, in Brooklyn!

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Chai Cashew Butter

I have always been a Peanut Butter Princess, devouring spoonfuls of peanut butter by the gallons. Especially during marathon training, I crave the richness and fattiness of peanut butter, almond butter and any nut butter even more. So when I came across “Chai Cashew Butter” in the new Run Fast Cook Fast Eat Slow cookbook, I knew that it was something I was going to fall in love with. And sure enough, once I made it, I could not stop eating it. It is rich, full of protein and good fats, sweet and filling. The perfect snack before a run, or to keep me going on a given day. Creamy, smooth, and tasty. A must eat and a must make!

 

Final product. I could sell this on the street and people would line up for it — that good!

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Sweet Noodle Kugel

Today is Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year (Shana Tova!) Since I have the tendency to be bad at holidays (across all of our religions), this year, I decided I want to be more festive, and threw together a last minute holiday dinner with friends (4 Jewish-Catholic/Christian families… go figure!). One of the main traditional Jewish dishes is Noodle Kugel, something that is very Jewish but not something I ever grew up eating. I was looking for recipes on the internet when I decided to contact one of my old-time friends who I met when we were on a Teen Tour of Israel together. And sure enough, Heidi-ho got in contact with her mother (who just happens to be a chef!) and immediately sent over her go-to Sweet Noodle Kugel. Although it has been decades since I last saw Patty Padawer (can we talk about the awesomeness of her name), I remember her delicious food fondly. Talk about helpful — she saved the day — thank you SO much, Patty!

 

Not just any kugel, special and easy sweet kugel.

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Run Fast Cook Fast Eat Slow

My favorite cookbook (Run Fast Eat Slow) now has a sequel and I couldn’t be happier! I am so excited to get back in to the kitchen and cook / bake / create some of the recipes from the new Run Fast Cook Fast Eat Slow.

 

So excited!! Shalene Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky and their second cookbook! Some of my all time favorite recipes are from their first cookbook, so I am super happy to find new favorites in this one, too.

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Butter Culture

As many of you know, I love butter. Not just ‘like’ butter, but LOVE butter. It is actually my go-to snack. I smother it on bread, croissants, rice cakes, anything… And because of this, I am a butter snob.  And here in Oregon, the land of hand batched, artisan everything, there is GREAT butter. Thanks to Butter Culture, I am now eating more butter than ever.

 

Butter Culture. Not only does it taste great, but the packaging is spot on.

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Banana Date Shake

I am always looking for something sweet that doesn’t have much sugar, so when I found this recipe in my new favorite cookbook, Healthyish, I made it right away. And since last Friday, I have made it officially seven times (#obsessed). It is super easy, delicious, vegan, and curbs my sugar craving without involving sugar! Win win win!

 

This is not the banana date smoothie. This is a vanilla milkshake — which is what it is supposed to be similar to. Kinda. Sorta. Similar. Maybe not. Ish. Still great.

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Chocolate Buttons

My favorite chocolate bar is the Cadbury Fruit and Nut Chocolate bar. It reminds me of childhood trips to Europe. So this past week, I was craving a fruit and nut chocolate bar, but didn’t know where to get one. So instead, I made little chocolate buttons with fruit and nuts in them. While you can’t go wrong with your fruit/nut choices, I used cranberries, raisins, almonds, and hazelnuts.

 

A new and improved version of the Cadbury Fruit and Nut Chocolate Bar.

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Royce’ Chocolate

In the past month, we have been gifted Royce’ Chocolate by two different couples. I had never heard about it before and now I am a fan. Made in Japan, this chocolate is unique, beautiful, and delicious. Definitely different than a normal chocolate bar — more special and rich, making it a great hostess gift.

 

This one is one of their specialties: Ghana bitter.

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