SavoryGirl’s Huevos Rancheros

Christian and I often joke that we must have been Mexican in our past life.  We really love Mexican food...and lately, the spicier the better!  For years I was making Huevos Rancheros for myself almost every weekend but within the past year it has transitioned to more of a breakfast for dinner dish for us.  Mostly because it's quick and we almost always have all of the ingredients on hand, which makes it perfect for a weeknight.  Correct, 99% of the time I have tortillas and canned refried beans in the house.  They are staples in the SavoryGirl household!
…and We’re Off! SavoryGirl Heads to Ecuador & Peru

It's been a little over a year since our last big trip to Thailand and Cambodia and we are itching for some exploring and gastronomic globe trotting.  Up next...Ecuador & Peru!  We're heading to South America for a little over 2 weeks on our very first organized/guided trip.  We typically like to do our own thing and create our own itineraries, but since the focus of this trip is two activities that you are required to have authorized guides for, the Galapagos Islands and hiking Machu Picchu, we figured this was the right trip to try out a guided tour.  So we did some research and booked this tour with G Adventures.  A few of our friends have vacationed with G Adventures in the past and they have a sustainable and local flavor focus, so it sounds like a good fit for us...fingers crossed!


In case you're interested in following along on our adventure, a high-level itinerary is below.  I'll get into the good stuff, all of the local cuisine that we are going to try to hunt down and try during the little bit of free time that we have, when I return.  All of the foodie related activities that I have on my list are recommendations from my fellow T-Bird alumni who are either from Ecuador or Peru or have lived there for extended periods of I trust they'll be spot on, but I'd like to try everything for myself and have photos before recommending any food to you...

Weekly Menu: May 27 to June 2, 2012
Sunday: Slow Cooker Tandoori Chicken w/ Rice & Veggies
Monday: Memorial Day BBQ!
Tuesday: Leftovers: Tandoori Chicken
Wednesday: Asparagus & Potato Frittata with Side Salad
Thursday: Leftovers: Frittata
Friday: Eat Out
Saturday: Ginger Pepper Salmon with CousCous and Seasonal Veggies
So, technically, this is not our weekly menu.  Why?  Because we're living aboard a boat in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador right now! I'd love to tell you I'm thinking of my readers while on vacation, but let's be honest...I'm totally unplugged and immersed in the world of Darwin.  That being said, the miracles of technology allow me to ensure that I haven't left you menu-less while on vacation.  So the menu above is actually from this same time last year.  But don't feel like you have to be limited to this (especially since we just had quiche/frittata last week)...all of my archived menus can be found here.  So feel free to peruse these previous menus or recipes and make what works best for you...have a good week!  I'll share Ecuadorian foodie pictures, stories and maybe even video when I return!
Foodie Itinerary: Sonoma, California

Ah, Sonoma.  This is a different experience than Napa...a bit slower paced and gives you a glimpse into what Napa maybe used to be like before it got so popular.  Don't get me wrong...there are still plenty of tourists, but there's just a different vibe.  The people working at the winery linger to talk to you longer and there's a sense of simplicity that is both welcome and comforting.   You do have to drive a bit more in between wineries if you follow my list below, so as with all wine tasting please be careful and make sure you have a designated driver.  Sonoma's a bit harder to do in a day and get the full experience so I suggest a weekend to truly enjoy it at the leisurely pace you should adopt while visiting this unique and tasty region.

My recommendations for what to do, where to eat and of course where to taste are below...and to see some pictures of many of the wineries and surrounding valley check out my Sonoma Photo Album.
Weekly Menu: May 20-26, 2012
Sunday: SavoryGirl's Homemade Spaghetti & Turkey Meatballs 
Monday: Shrimp Enchilado with Rice & Swiss Chard
Tuesday: Leftovers: Spaghetti & Meatballs
Wednesday:   Leftovers: Shrimp Enchilado Tacos with sauteed brussel sprouts  
Thursday: Asparagus & Shallot Quiche or Frittata with Sweet Potato Homefries
Friday: Tofu & Veggie Stir Fry
Saturday: Leftovers: Quiche & Homefries
This is it!  Our last week before heading to the Galapagos Islands & Machu Picchu for 2 ½ weeks!  So we're going with a few classic comfort food dishes that are pretty different from what we'll be eating while traveling.  First up, my famous homemade spaghetti & turkey meatballs.  I'm often my own worst critic...but my Italian roots come in handy for this one.  Mmmm, mmmm.  Especially with the handmade pasta.  Bellissimo!

The shrimp enchilado dish is actually a new one that looked good and spicy but also relatively healthy since it's from my Cooking Light cookbook.  Quiche or Frittata with my famed sweet potato homefries is another classic comfort food dish for us.  I love me some breakfast for dinner!  We're trying not to eat out this week since we'll be spending alot of money over the next couple of weeks so Friday will be a quick, easy & healthy DIY Tofu & Veggie Stirfry....brings me back to my grad school dinner days!

So while I'm off galavanting in South America over the next two weeks, I obviously won't be cooking.  So while I won't be providing new menus I will be providing links to menus from roughly this time last year for you to leverage if you're interested.  Feel free to peruse the rest of the menu archives as well though...
Postcards: Railay Beach, Thailand

This, was an amazing day.  We were nearing the end of our two week trip to Cambodia and Thailand, at our last Thai beach destination before heading to Bangkok and then home.  We had spent the previous 3 hours on a boat getting ferried from Koh Pi Pi island to Railay Beach in Krabi.  The ferry ride alone was spectacular...the turquoise blue sea streched out as far as the eye reached, dotted with craggily formations and clusters of islands.  This is what you see in the movies...and I sat like a child for 3 straight hours soaking it all in.  Legs hanging off the side of the top deck, face resting on the railing, and a huge grin plastered to my face.

Sweet & Spicy Asian Pork Shoulder with Bok Choy

This is one of our absolute favorite slow cooker recipes.  It is so flavorful and strangely addictive.  You know you should only have one serving, but your fork just keeps dipping back into that crock pot as you're "cleaning the kitchen."  It's originally from the magazine Real Simple and to be honest we keep it pretty close to the original recipe, but we have made a few adjustments.  Mostly adding more bok choy and increasing the seasonings a tad.  The recipe also indicates that it only serves 4, but we stretch it to at least 6 servings if not 8.  With the rice it is a bit filling so you really don't need much.  But as I said, you'll eat more than you should, beware!

Weekly Menu: May 13-19, 2012
Sunday: Kale, White Bean & Pasta Soup
Monday: Grilled Salmon with Roasted Rapini & Tomatoes (DIY)  
Tuesday: Chicken & Asparagus with Melted Gruyere
Wednesday:    Leftovers: Soup
Thursday: Leftovers: Chicken & Asparagus
Friday: Leftovers: Frozen Vegetarian Cassoulet from February 5th menu
Saturday: Eat Out: Dave’s in town from L.A.
Friends of ours were heading out on vacation this week, so they graciously offered us their CSA box in their absence...which means I have a great box full of veggies just daring me to let them go bad before I figure out what to do with them!  And as with most CSA boxes, there's a few random ones in there that I don't buy very often, namely turnips and fava beans.  But I'm up for the challenge, so here goes...
Foodie Itinerary: Napa!

Summer is right around the corner; the grapevines are starting to fill out and soon will be heavy with grapes and lush foliage.  It's a wonderful time of year in wine country.  Living in the Bay Area and being passionate about food and wine means I often get asked for wine country suggestions, particularly since I actually used to live in Napa and worked at a winery for a summer.  I love wine country and boy do I have lots of recommendations!  So consider this the first of a three part series on Wine Country....Napa, Sonoma, and Beyond. First up, Napa!  If you've never been to wine country before, Napa should be first on your list. Yes, it's touristy and at times a bit cliche but it's Napa!  You should experience all Napa has to offer first and then move onto the smaller and more quaint wine regions like Sonoma, Russian River and Alexander Valley.  Exploring and understanding Napa will allow you to appreciate the others even more.  Trust me. If you can, try to go during the week since the weekends are more hectic. My recommendations for what to do, where to eat and of course where to taste are below...and to see some pictures of many of the wineries and surrounding valley check out my Napa Valley Album.  It will inspire you to start planning your trip right away!
Postcards: Spice Market in Nice, France

It felt as if we had the city of Nice, France to ourselves.  It was late January and the coldest winter in recent history throughout all of Europe, but here we were wandering the streets of Nice on this brilliantly sunny day and enjoying every cold yet satisfyingly intimate moment of it.  We had heard horror stories about the harassing street performers and bustling crowds, but that’s not our Nice…not the Nice we experienced.  Of course, we also didn’t experience the legendary beach scene…but our quiet, locally sourced picnic on the desolate rocky beach left a lasting impression of it’s own.  As did this charming little spice store we wandered into as we lost ourselves in the cobblestone alleys.