Monday, August 25, 2014

Favorite Finds: Asian Box

This past weekend I was reunited with one of my all-time favorite fast casual restaurants, Asian Box. Asian Box's concept of fresh and sustainable Asian street food always delivers a satisfying and healthy meal, and it made the perfect take-out dinner before heading off to a party on Saturday.

Similar to other fast/casual restaurants inspired by Chipotle, at Asian Box, you pick a base (steamed jasmine rice, brown rice, chilled rice noodles, or vegetable salad), a protein (my favorite is the garlic and soy glazed steak) and vegetables. My absolute favorite part is choosing my selection of delicious toppings and sauces. Crispy shallots, pickled veggies, and caramel eggs are awesome, and I am obsessed with the tangy tamarind vinaigrette.

To keep everything delicious and fresh, Asian Box makes as much as possible in house, including sauces. That means no gross preservatives and chemicals ending up in your peanut sauce! In addition, there are no hormones in their meat, and they strive to buy local produce as much as possible. Plus, all of their food containers are either recyclable or compostable!

With a team that includes veterans from Out The Door and Wolfgang Puck, Asian Box is quickly expanding! They already have locations throughout the Bay Area, and they recently opened an outpost in Burbank, CA. Look out for another opening in LA soon!

All images via Asian Box

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Back to Basics: Buttermilk Biscuits

When you're in the midst of packing, have no internet (thank you Comcast!), and are fighting general exhaustion from work, you should make biscuits. Biscuits will make everything better. 

At least, it did for me.

I decided in the midst of madness to whip up some biscuits using the last of my buttermilk. Looking back, I was really homesick, and warm, buttery drop biscuits with jam instantly brings me back to my kitchen table in San Diego. 

These buttermilk biscuits were incredibly simple, ready in under a half hour, and made my kitchen smell AMAZING. Drop biscuits are one of my favorites because they do not have to look perfect! I love their rustic look.

The Stone family likes these biscuits for breakfast, topped with more butter, jam, or honey. You could easily turn them into an awesome breakfast sandwich with some scrambled eggs. Of course, they make a great side dish for dinner too!

Buttermilk Drop Biscuits

From Cook's Illustrated

2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1 cup buttermilk (make sure it's cold!)
8 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly, plus 2 tablespoons melted butter

Make sure your oven rack is set to the middle position. Heat the oven to 475 degrees. 

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Combine buttermilk and 8 tablespoons of melted butter in a medium bowl, until small clumps form. 


Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients, and stir with a rubber spatula until the mixture is just incorporated. 

Using a greased 1/4 cup measure, scoop batter onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Space biscuits about 1 1/2 inches apart. 

DSCN2409Bake until the biscuit tops are golden brown and crisp, about 12-14 minutes. Brush biscuits with remaining melted butter. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes before serving.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Favorite Finds: Steve's Ice Cream

I love love love ice cream. If I had to pick one dessert to eat for the rest of my life, it would probably be ice cream. Needless to say, I am extremely excited about being in SF, thanks in part to the multitude of specialty ice cream stores popping up.

Even at the local grocery store though, there seems to be more and more options for artisanal ice cream. So long Dreyers, and hello, salted caramel bourbon ice cream. From McConnell's to Graeter's to Jeni's, there are lots of specialty ice cream options now at the corner market.

Recently, I decided to try a pint or two of Steve's Ice Cream when I was at the grocery store. My favorite was Mexican Chili Chocolate--a creamy chocolate ice cream with cinnamon, cayenne, and chili chocolate pieces. It's a perfect combination of spicy and sweet. I am eager to try their dairy-free flavors, including Carrot Habanero Pepper and Dark Chocolate Salty Caramel!

Steve's started as the neighborhood ice cream shop in Boston in the 1970's, and it pioneered mix-ins in ice cream (thank you Steve, for your contribution to society). Though the original Steve's no longer exists, a former employee, David Stein, purchased the brand. After moving the company to Brooklyn, they began making specialty ice creams again, focusing on unique and delicious flavors. I'm glad they are back, and I am excited to see what's next for them!

You can purchase Steve's Ice Cream via their website here.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Weekend Reading and BIG News

Happy Friday! Today truly is a great day. For a few weeks now, I have been hinting at some big announcements. Well, today is the day to share. I moved to San Francisco! I am sad to leave so many great friends in DC, but I am ready for my next adventure. In the near term, my days will be filled with job hunting, apartment searching, and eating at all of my favorite places in the Bay.

Here are some weekend reads to get you through Friday! 

Where to eat and drink at Outside Lands this weekend {link}

Find out where Mr. and Mrs. Carter ate in SF...{link}

Should we worry about parabens in our food? {link}

I'm dying to see this Helen Mirren foodie movie that comes out today {link}

10 things you didn't know about ramen noodles {link}

Would you pay $19.99 for a milkshake? {link}

The best hotels for foodies, according to Bon App├ętit {link}

Life in Russia without US and EU food imports {link}

My favorite DC gelato shop, Dolcezza, is now shipping nationwide {link}

The kale craze continues, this time on your fingertips {link}


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