Cabbage Crunch Salad

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Reno weather has finally gotten much more sunny and much less rainy.  I don’t really quite understand what’s happening but the rain was non-stop for like, 2 weeks.

At this point, I’m not sure why I’m even surprised with crazy Reno weather.  One time a few months ago I walked into the grocery store in 80 degree, completely sunny weather and walked outside to a blizzard.

It may not have been quite that dramatic, but it was pretty close.  Anyways, that’s typical Reno weather.  Welcome to Northern Nevada!

Although I have loved the constant rain, cool weather, and cloudy skies, I’m also really excited for it to clear up so that I can go to Tahoe and lay on the beach next weekend!  I’ve heard it’s going to be in the 70s and sunny.  Being an OG Vegas girl (where you barely wear clothes from mid-May to mid-August), I’m going to need to wear a swimsuit very soon.  Although I definitely consider myself a Renonian at this point in my life, I can’t completely get away from that part of my upbringing.

Anyways, to celebrate the warmer weather, my friend invited me to go to a BBQ that her friends are hosting.  To feel like I contributed in some sort (and since I feel the incessant need to please people), I decided to make one of my family’s favorite recipes.

To be honest, I’m not really sure where this recipe came from, but I know my grandma has been making it for forever.  We make it quite frequently in the summer, which is why it’s definitely my BBQ staple item.

The recipe itself seems a little odd.  It is.  I may have even used the adjective “ghetto” to describe it before.

But it’s soooo good, and you definitely need to make for your Memorial Day BBQ.

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Ingredients:

Salad:

1 head green cabbage, shredded

4 green onions, chopped

1 c. slivered almonds

4 Tbs. sesame seeds

2 packages chicken flavored Top Ramen

Dressing:

1 c. vegetable oil

6 Tbs. sugar

4 Tbs. cider or red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 package Top Ramen seasoning

Heat oven to 350* F.  Spread almonds and sesame seeds evenly on a baking sheet.  Bake for 5-8 minutes, or until nuts and seeds are evenly toasted.  Cool.

Combine shredded cabbage, green onions, almonds, and sesame seeds in a large salad bowl.  Set aside.

Combine dressing ingredients until smooth.  Toss dressing with salad, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours to marinate cabbage.

Right before serving, crush Ramen noodles and toss with salad.  Serves about 20.

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Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!  Thank you to our amazing troops, past and present, who have fought for our freedom.

We are so, so grateful.

Signature

Song of the Day: For Emma by Bon Iver

Cilantro Lime Chicken Burrito Bowls

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Remember when I promised you guys this recipe when I posted  cilantro lime shredded chicken a couple weeks ago?

Well…here it is.

I did it.

*claps for you Sara*

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This recipe is essentially a play on the burrito bowls from Qdoba, Chipotle, etc. etc.  I’m normally a big fan of these places because I can get a decent fast-food meal without actually eating fast food.

 Not that I don’t ever eat fast food, because I think we’re all guilty of doing that sometimes, but if I want to still feel good about myself at the end of the meal, I choose Qdoba (mostly because it’s on the way home).

Although, I’m still a little bitter that there are NO Cafe Rios in Reno.  Whywhywhywhywhy??

I literally crave their pork barbacoa.

I’ve had dreams about it before.

Yeah.  Really.

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However, I still really love Qdoba and Chipotle.

One of my favorite nights from last semester actually happened in Qdoba.  My friends and I randomly ended up there one night (probably way too late in the first place).  Luckily for us Reno college kids, there’s a late night Qdoba stop approximately five minutes away from campus, so it’s always a no-brainer on where to go if nothing else is open or will let you in.

Anyways, we essentially ended up at Qdoba until 1 a.m. eating chips and salsa and laughing manically over each others’ weird family stories.

For the sake of privacy, I will not get too far into these family stories, but just know nothing is more fun than watching your friend practically choke on a burrito because she’s laughing so hard at a horrifying incident somebody experienced at Disneyland.

Trust me.

Ingredients

Cilantro Lime Chicken

Rice

1 1/2 c. brown rice

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 c. water

Zest of 1 lime

Juice of 1 lime

1/4 c. cilantro, chopped

Onion powder, to taste

1 chicken bouillon cube

Corn Avocado Salsa

1 c. corn

1/2 avocado, cubed

1/2 jalapeno, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

Lime juice, to taste

Salt and pepper, to taste

Toppings

Beans, cheese, salsa, tortilla strips, cilantro, lettuce, etc. etc.

For the rice:  Heat about a tablespoon of cooking oil over medium heat.  Add brown rice and coat in oil.  Stir constantly until rice is browned (but not burnt!).  Add garlic and saute until fragrant.  Add water, lime zest, lime juice, onion powder, and chicken bouillon cube.  Cover and cook for 45 minutes, or until water is absorbed.  Add cilantro and more lime juice right before serving.

For the salsa: Heat oven to 350* F.  Spread corn evenly on a greased baking sheet.  Drizzle corn with a little olive oil and salt.  Toss to coat.  Roast for about 10 minutes, or until corn is slightly browned.  Let corn cool for about 10 minutes.

Mix corn, avocado, jalapeno, garlic, lime juice, salt, and pepper.  Adjust seasonings as needed.

To assemble: Place a couple scoops of rice in a bowl.  Top with chicken, salsa, and other chosen toppings.  Serves 4.

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These could be made with beef, pork, seafood, etc.  To change it up, you could add a bunch of salad ingredients and make it a burrito bowl salad.  (Also, if you don’t want to roast the corn, you can make the salsa with plain corn).

I won’t tell.

Signature

Song of the Day: Forced to Love–Broken Social Scene

Stripes in Downtown Las Vegas

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Hello hello.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but in many parts of the country, it’s very pretty and springy with warm, breezy weather that makes you crave popsicles and want to wear nothing but flowy, pastel colored dresses.  Unless you’re in Reno.  No, if you’re in Reno, it’s sweater weather with rain and gusts of wind.

While I really appreciate the sweater weather with rain, I do not appreciate the wind whatsoever.  Although the wind makes me very, very sad, the Sierra Nevadas are getting some much needed snow/rain which is really exciting.  Also, it makes it much easier to be inside taking a three week labor economics course.  (However, I really can’t complain because my professor is this cute retired old man that is definitely a feminist, wears oxfords every day, and claims he “gets off on economics”).

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While I was in Vegas over the weekend, the weather was sunny and averaged in the 70s, so my brother and I decided to go downtown in Las Vegas and snap a few pics.  By downtown Las Vegas, I mean old downtown, not The Strip!

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This was our first time being down there.  It’s kind of funny how you can live somewhere your whole life, and never see some of its best parts until you move away.

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This is my little brother in front of a coffee shop sign I fell in love with at The Container Park.  Hi Garrett.

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Pants: RSQ   T-shirt: H&M   Bag: Vintage   Necklace: Old   Belt: Old   Shoes: Audrey Brooke

*Thanks to my brother for taking many of these pictures <3*

Signature

Song of the Day: Peach–Your Friend

Cilantro Lime Shredded Chicken

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I can never really seem to keep up with the holidays.

AKA if I actually write a holiday-themed post before said holiday actually occurs, I’m pretty on top of my game.

Unfortunately, that oftentimes does not happen, and I lay in bed drinking caffeinated tea on a Thursday night at 11:30 p.m. writing a post on chicken.  (In other words: Happy Cinco de Mayo).

Plus, it’s finals week(s).  Also known as the week where I actually think that my brain is going to shut down in a quite literal sense and I will have to spend the rest of my life lying in bed petting a dog.

But that remains to be seen…

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It’s weeks like this that make me have an actual mental breakdown including, but not limited to: crying, hyperventilation, having weird dreams about people, and panic attacks with symptoms that make me think I’m having a heart attack.

(And regardless of your age or health status, having a heart attack is a total logical solution when you’re in the midst of a stress-induced episode).

Really, it’s charming.

Luckily, I have been doing fairly well at keeping my shit together considering I always spend a good two weeks stressing about finals/studying until my eyes sting from exhaustion only to ace my exams and realize I could have slept at least twice as long as I did.

SOS.  Please tell me you all do this too.  (If you tell me you’re one of those people that can just pass a test without studying or trying, I’ll scream).

Anyways…

It’s these weeks where I really have to find my happiness in the little ways.  Luckily for me, I find very great joy in small things like good coffee, hearing an old song I haven’t heard in a long time, and coming home to a crockpot filled with cilantro lime shredded chicken (because let me tell you…it smells amazing).

I’ve made this chicken two weeks in a row, so you know it’s good.  I’ve used it for tacos and burrito bowls, but you could also do enchiladas, tostadas, nachos, etc.  Whatever shredded chicken treat your little heart desires <3

Ingredients:

1 lb. chicken breasts

1 1/2 c. chicken broth

Juice of 1 lime

1/4 c. cilantro, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp. paprika

1/4 tsp. ceyenne pepper

Salt and pepper, to taste

Spray a crockpot with non-stick cooking spray or olive oil.  Place chicken breasts in crockpot.  Add remaining ingredients.  Stir to cover chicken with spices.  Cook for 7-8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high.

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If you need me, I’ll be stuffing my face with chicken tacos to ease my worries.  So far, it has seemed to work.

Except for the weird dreams about people.  Those are (apparently) here to stay.  On a side note: many people get uncomfortable when you tell them the details of your strange dreams involving them.

So maybe that’s something I’ll work on next.

But probably not.

Signature

Song of the Day: The Moon Song–Karen O and Ezra Koenig

(seriously though, best musical combo ever)

Chicken Saltimbocca

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I’m going to apologize now for keeping this recipe from you guys for approximately 2 months.

It’s really a crime and I’m so so so sorry.

The truth is that I thought I had blogged about it, and then looking into it realized that I never did.  The recipe is so good that I guess I just thought that I had already talked about it…?

Or something…?

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Anyways…..

This is an incredibly important recipe you should make very soon.  It’s the kind of recipe you make when you meet your boyfriend’s parents, or feel like listening to jazz music (I recommend Miles Davis, George Gershwin, and Ray Charles).  It also deserves a good Sauvignon Blanc if that’s your thing.

Just make this when you feel *fancy*.

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It has some of the best ingredients including prosciutto, mozzarella, lemons, and unreasonable amounts of butter.  Also it has some capers in it.  The other day, I was reading my Bon Appetit at my favorite coffee place (the usual) and they described capers as “tiny explosions of salty goodness”.  They’re totally right.

Bee Tee Dubbs, this is a very rustic meal that deserves to be served with an unpolished silver spoon fork thing spork.

Just kidding, I didn’t serve it with that.

But unpolished silver rocks (in my personal opinion).

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This recipe was inspired by the veal salimbocca at Buca di Beppo, and also the veal saltimbocca from Tomasso’s in San Francisco (which is one of the best restaurants in the world, in case you’re wondering).

So I basically just melded the two recipes together and played it by ear.  And it totally worked!

Which doesn’t always happen, so it’s super awesome when you totally nail a recipe on the first try!

Now it’s your turn….

Ingredients:

1 lb. chicken breasts, thinly sliced

1/2 c. flour

2 Tbs. dried sage

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 c. dry white wine

1/2 c. chicken broth

2 cloves garlic

2 drops Tobasco

3/4 c. heavy cream

1 stick butter

1/2 lb. prosciutto

Fresh Mozzarella, sliced

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 Tbs. capers

Olive oil

Rigatoni, butter, and parmesan, to serve

Combine flour, sage, salt, and pepper on a plate.  Coat chicken breasts in flour and wrap in prosciutto.  Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan, and sear prosciutto wrapped chicken breasts in olive oil until crispy, but not cooked through.  Set aside.

In the same pan, saute the garlic until fragrant.  Add white wine, chicken broth, lemon zest, lemon juice, Tobasco, heavy cream, butter, salt, and pepper.  Stir together.  Add prosciutto wrapped chicken back into the sauce.  Simmer until chicken chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes.

The last 4 minutes, place sliced Mozzarella on top of the chicken.  Cover with a lid to melt.  Sprinkle with capers right before serving.  Serve over buttered rigatoni with parmesan.

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If you haven’t figured it out already, I’m pretty stoked about this recipe.

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So much that I completely devoted a post to this recipe alone.  No crazy Sara-antics for you today.

But maybe I’ll have an interesting/somewhat-funny/embarrassing story for you next post.

Just depends how this week goes.

SerendipitybySaraSig

*Song of the Day: Rhapsody in Blue–George Gershwin

The One Where Sara Spent Her Spring Break Watching Too Much ‘Friends’ and Strolling Around SF

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Hallo friends!  Happy Easter!

My spring break was last week two weeks ago, but I’m just now getting to posting about it because I’m busy and in college because I spent my weekend getting tattooed, working, and volunteering at the art museum.

(So I’m not a total shit.)

But anyways…the title pretty much explains it all.  My spring break included watching a whole season of Friends and hanging out with some aunts and cousins in Napa and San Francisco.

A whole bunch of candid photos of myself and some random pics of San Fran is pretty much what you can expect of this post.  Someday I’ll get back to blogging like a real blogger (probably when my geography test this week is over and I don’t have to stress about that).

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My aunt and I drove from her house in Napa Valley (where I spent the first few days of my spring break) to San Francisco. We ended up at Flax, which is the coolest art store I’ve ever been to.  If you’re ever in San Fran and really like art stuff, you need to go to Flax.  You have to!

Their stamp selection alone is worth a visit.

(Yes I just got really excited about stamps.)

(Yes, I’m still single.)

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Then we went to a few little shops around the block…..

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And then we ended up at Sight Glass.

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Which was my haven.  (I could almost hear “Smelly Cat” walking through the door…)

Seriously though, just leave me here with a few pairs of oxfords and some of my favorite CDs and I’ll be the happiest girl in the world.

(Sight Glass.  Thank you for your amazing coffee and amazing boys.  Also, thanks to the super nice employee who geeked out about coffee with me, gave me coffee bags, and kept his judgments to himself.  You’re a swell guy).

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Next was lunch at The Rotunda in Neiman Marcus.

I literally ate a cheese plate for lunch.

(Now accepting applications for boys who enjoy stamps, coffee, Friends and cheese.  And girls who wear overalls…)

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Chinatown was the next stop.  I heart Chinatown.

A lot.

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Nothing makes me happier than doing touristy stuff in San Francisco.  Even if I move here someday, I will probably spend my weekends in Chinatown.

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And at Mocca.  A must stop lunch place if you’re ever in town.

Get the turkey sandwich with brie and cranberries.  Get iiiiiiit.

Remember the episode of Friends where Monica gives Ross her last leftover Thanksgiving sandwich?  The one with the “moist maker” in between?  The turkey sandwich at Mocca is a fancy version of that sandwich.

Also there’s no “moist maker”.

Which is fine with me.

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Random hallway in Chinatown.

Dress: Thrifted / Sweater: Old / Shoes: Aldo / Purse: Leather Shop / Sunglasses: Ray Ban

Dress: Thrifted / Sweater: Old / Shoes: Aldo / Purse: Leather Shop / Sunglasses: Ray Ban

For my trip, I decided to wear my new (old) thrifted plum-colored velvet dress.  It’s a new fave, and it looked great with my grey sweater.  (SF is chilly!)

Thanks for reading my weird post about San Francisco, my clothes, and way too many Friends references.

What’s your favorite place?

SerendipitybySaraSig

*Song of the Day: I Left my Heart in San Francisco–Tony Bennett

(I really did.)

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

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I’m sure at some point within my food blogging career, somebody will finally tell me to stop making Asian food.  Considering that probably about 50% of my recipes so far are Asian, it is bound to happen at some point. … Continue reading

DIY Painted Margarita Glasses

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Hello hello.

Happy International Women’s Day!  I am actually very excited for this day, because I spent it among so many amazing women.  I am actually in a sorority at my university, but I normally do not tell people about it.  Please understand that under no circumstances am I ashamed of my sorority in any way.  I actually think that it is an amazing organization and I am so proud of my sorority!

The reason I do not tell people about my involvement in a sorority is because of how judgmental other people are.  Being in a sorority, people automatically assume three things about you: You are dumb.  You are slutty.  And you are just in college to marry a rich guy.

And when you are actually a young, educated, motivated, well-rounded individual who is working her ass off to get a degree, it really sucks when somebody just assumes that you are none of those things.  When I tell people that I am in a sorority, people are normally super surprised.  Based on how I look, the activities I am in to, the music I listen to, and all of my interests, etc. etc. people have no idea that I would ever be in a sorority.  However, I would love to change the stereotype and help prove that we really are a smart, diverse group of young women!

My favorite part of my sorority is that our main goal is scholarship, and we do a ton of community service.

And tonight, my sorority, along with all of the other sororities and fraternities at our university, had a banquet where we were awarded on things such as scholarship, community service, and philanthropy.

In the end, we won the most awards (including Best Overall Chapter).  It was amazing to know that all of the hard work we put in to our sorority paid off, and I am so proud to have these women in my life!  I think we’re pretty amazing.

So, yeah.  Happy International Women’s Day to my mom, grandmas, aunts, cousins, friends, inspirations, and of course, my sorority sisters!

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If these already look familiar to you, it is probably because of thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis.

The hand painted wine glasses are my most popular post on my website.  The other day, I was at Ross and I saw these margarita glasses for $5.  I automatically wanted to paint them!  Margarita glasses are already so fun, and I thought they’d look super cool with rainbow colors dotted all over them.

I was right.

Also, I thought it would be fun to add some updated instructions/show off how cool these look.

(Really, I just wanted to celebrate Cinco de Mayo early).

(There’s worse things in life).

Materials You’ll Need:

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Margarita glasses

Glass paint (I recommend Martha Steward glass paint)

Lollipop sticks/Q-tips/something to paint dots with

Rubbing alcohol

Instructions:

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1. Find a surface to work on.  I prefer right in front of my TV where I can watch Disney movies and eat French fries.

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2. Wipe down the glasses with rubbing alcohol.  This just ensures that there is absolutely no dirt or gunk on them.

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3.  Get your paint ready.  I have all of the primary colors + white, and I just mix the colors that I want.  Using your lollipop stick/Q-tip/painting stick, paint little dots all over the foot, stem, and the bottom of the cup.  You can paint wherever you like, but leave about a 1-inch space below the rim.  I paint 1 color at a time so the paint does not dry out.  Do all 4 glasses.

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4.  Place glasses on a baking sheet.

READ THIS NOWWWWWW:  Place the baking sheet in a COLD oven.

Turn on the oven to 350* F.  When the oven is heated, set the timer for 30 minutes.

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Wait patiently.

When 30 minutes is up, turn off the oven and leave the glasses in there until the oven is COLD again.

Otherwise they could explode and it would be messy and sad )-:

Take the glasses out, wash with warm, soapy water, and then they’re ready to enjoy!

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Yay for cute glasses + limes + salt.

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(Literally a cool margarita glass with OJ in it).

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Go make them for Cinco de Mayo now!

Because nothing is more fun than cool margarita glasses and Mexican food and dancing in your kitchen with your friends on May 5.

(Trust me).

SerendipitybySaraSig

Song of the Day: Oxford Comma–Vampire Weekend

Girl Scout Samoa Nanaimo Bars

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Hihihihihihihi. Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like nothing goes right? And then you realize that literally everything you’re sad about is just a bunch of first-world problems, and nothing is actually wrong and you’re … Continue reading

DIY Reversible Coffee Sleeve

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In case you’re wondering if it’s a good idea to drink coffee anytime after 4 p.m., the answer is no.  It’s not a good idea. Even if you have a test the next day and plan on spending the whole night studying … Continue reading