Let’s Get Started – S14 E1 Food Network Star

It is that time of year when The Next Food Network Star takes over my life!

I have no idea why I am so obsessed with this show, but I am and I have no shame. This year it took place in Miami, Florida and in the first episode we got to meet the very entertaining contestants.

My favorite part of this competition is learning about each person individually and beginning to see how their theme develops and changes throughout the competition.

Let us begin! First episode went straight to creating a 90 second presentation on your signature dish but “Theme Park Style” meaning it had to be portable.

Poor Manny he had to go first on the Challenge, he was sweating so much but he a damn good job!

Rebecca was next and she did alright, didn’t really leave a lasting impression. I felt bad for Samone because she chocked up a little, which I honestly think I would do if it was the first day.

Chris unfortunately finished too early which is unfortunate because it looks like he had a lot of personality. Oh Katy Dixon, way too rehearsed and a little fake, she needs more energy.

Jason seemed really nervous but again, can’t really blame him. Harrison is alright but he through me off saying I am more than just a pretty face.

Jess seemed again very rehearsed and a little too proper. Christian, wow , I really like him I would watch his show any time. Last but not least we met Palak who.. beat Bobby Flay? I like her, she tells good stories which is important in being a Food Network Star.

We also find out that Adam and Amy come back. I kind of never really care for the people that come back, have they ever won when they come back? Correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t think they ever have.

Ok so time for the cooking!

Simone stood out, she has attitude and has great personality. I always enjoy the cuts of them cooking because you can see when people actually really enjoy the cooking process, continuously tasting and adjusting, as you should.

Final thoughts on the cooking portion, I really hope Palak is not a one trick pony with her curry fried chicken and also I don’t like Rebecca finishing so early.

OK so far, based on the first episode my top 5

  1. Manny
  2. Palak
  3. Christian
  4. Samone
  5. Harrison

We say goodbye at the end to Chris and Jason after and they give Rebecca another chance (really?… ok) From the two that left I wish Chris would have stayed, he seemed like he was excited and he actually followed the challenge unlike Rebecca.

Who are your top 5 and as of now,  and also who do you think will be The Next Food Network Star?

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5 Places to Eat in Oahu, Hawai’i

For our honeymoon, Ryan and I went to Oahu and decided to try out as many places as we could. I narrowed this list to five places that I really enjoyed. Check them out and let me know if you’ve tried any of the places mentioned. 

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First Time Making Crepes

I’ve been in the mood to try new recipes. One Saturday morning I woke up and decided that I wanted to make some Dulce De Leche Crepes, I looked up a basic Crepe recipe made with almond milk and I got to cooking.

Ingredients
I like to lay out my ingredients before I start in order to speed up the cooking process.

Ingredients:

Batter

1 Egg

1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour

1 tbsp Granulated Sugar

1/8 tsp salt

2 tbs Butter (melted)

1 tbs butter (for pan)

1 cup Almond Milk

Topping

Preffered Whipped Cream

2 tbs of Dulce De Leche

Fruit in season
Honestly I had no idea how easy it was to make crepes, all you have to do is place all the batter ingredients in a blender until it is smooth and place it in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

 

I believe the hardest part of the whole process is actually getting the Crepes made. You need a buttered non-stick pan, spatula and patience to know when to turn. When the ends start to come off the pan that is when you will start to loosen the bottom to flip the crepe.

Fill the crepe with La Lechera and add your favorite fruit, in this case blackberries.

In the end the reward is very much worth it, the crispiness of the corners, and the fluffiness of the middle makes this the best Breakfast Dessert.

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Best Burgers in Upland? – Review of Wicked Cow Burgers & Brews

It’s Sunday morning, Ryan and I are hungry for some kind of breakfast or lunch and it’s my turn to choose where to go.

I scroll through yelp and I see that in the Hot and New section there is a place only 5 minutes away called Wicked Cow. Done!

Ryan is a big fan of burgers, and me, I am a big fan of tater tots. This place has both!

Before we head out, we find the menu is loaded on their website and we decide what we are getting before we even get there. Did I mention that we were hungry?

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It was so easy to find this place and parking was no issue.

Here is a rundown of what we ordered.

Wicked Tots: Tater tots with cheese, caramelized onions and topped with thousand island. (Rating 4/5 so good, but needed more cheese)

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Widow Maker: Burger with jalapeno, bacon, pepper jack, chipotle sauce and an egg. (Rating 4/5 not spicy at all, but the bacon was delicious.)

Garlic Fries: (self explanatory) (Rating 5/5 perfect amount of garlic)

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Big Belly Grilled Cheese: Swiss, pepper jack, cheddar and pork belly. All wrapped on crispy cheddar wrapped bread. Rating (5/5 cheeesy goodness)

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This place was so delicious, portions were large, and it had a very good bar vibe. It does get a little crowded, but it is worth the wait.

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If you want to see more check out their menu here.

 

Who is going to win The Next Food Network Star?

I would like to preface by saying that this is solely based on my opinion.

This season so many contestants blew my mind (except for Ana of course).

In the beginning I was rooting for Erin, probably because she has a dorky personality and I definitely connected with her as a person.

Another contestant that stood out was Monterey. Monterey always seemed very edgy and I really wanted to watch her succeed in cooking an amazing dish, but I feel like she let us down time and time again.

Let’s talk about the finalist.

Tregaye – She has so much personality, time and time again she has shown that her personality is a trait that others will have to beat.

Personally, I don’t relate to her style. I’m not even sure what “on fleek” means and it’s a little annoying that she uses it all the time. Not my cup of Tea.

Jernard- Although Jernard also has plenty of personality, I feel like it has just been constant throughout the show. Nothing has really changed from the start til now. Jernard’s food looks okay, and his kitchen presence seems forced. Jernard deserves his own dating show, not a cooking show.

Which brings us to…

Damiano- Oh Damiano. What can I say, I love him. Damiano is definitely the most improved. He started as a basic Italian guy with no personality, now he has grown into such an awesome playful Food Network Star.

Lately, Damiano has been talking about winning the competition for his parents, giving back to them for everything that they have done for him. That right there is the heart of a winner.

I wouldn’t mind seeing him on screen every single day. Damiano has charm and cooks very well. His dishes have improved time and time again.

My guess (and hopes) are that Damiano will win The Next Food Network Star.

In bocca al lupo Damiano Carrara!

Is it hard to go Vegan? My week of eating vegan. (with many pictures)

I survived #angienomeatweek!

Okay almost, but let me explain!

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I first want to make sure to thank my best friend Marlene. Marlene has been vegan for a while now and as soon as I told her about being vegan for a week she sent me a ton of recipes.

Thanks Swigg!

 

Let’s start Day 1 (Monday)– It was awesome I went grocery store shopping and bought everything on my list. Let’s just say that my list was two columns long and looking back at it now it I bought way too many veggies.. I was ambitious.

Breakfast: I ate oatmeal with strawberries and kiwi. Lunch: I made fajitas for Ryan with chicken and for myself I just used bell pepper and onion. Dinner: I had Applebees, I looked through their menu and ordered the veggie burger no mayo or cheese with sweet potatoes fries.

Day 2 (Tuesday)-  I had a great day! I meal prepped all my meals and snacks.

Breakfast:I attempted to make the banana pancake recipe that Marlene sent me but I went wrong somewhere, since I had to go to work right after I had to ditch trying to fix it and I ended up having toast with peanut butter instead. Lunch: I made cauliflower Ceviche from the recipe that Marlene gave me and it was so delicious! Dinner: I made myself some mushroom spinach tacos with salsa.

Day 3 (Wednesday): This is when I had a bit of trouble.

Breakfast: I had the simple, easy toast with peanut butter. Lunch: I made a sandwich, I had forgotten how much Daiya cheese melted so when I put two pieces of cheese and toasted it, I had gulps of cheese in my sandwich and once I added the avocado, faux-turkey and tomato it became super soggy. Totally a “my bad”. Nonetheless the flavors were there but the texture was a little off. Dinner: I had an Amy’s rice crust pizza dairy-free and gluten free. I ate the whole darn pizza.

Day 4 (Thursday): This is the part where I am going to be honest. I did not make it through the whole day as a Vegan. I lasted until 9pm, so let’s take a look at my day.

Breakfast: I decided to try the cheesy avocado toast again and it was soooo much better. Lunch: I went to the nearest pho place and got some tofu stir-fry… totes delish. Dinner:  I had cake. This was Ryans birthday and I bought him a little chocolate cake. I was trying to be good and make it through the whole week, but that tiny little chocolate cake was calling me. I had some and it was worth it.

Day 5 (Friday): I apparently gave up. This morning I gave Ryan a ride back home from dropping his car off at the audio store. We were running short on time and so we ended up eating crappy food. Also, this was the day I got hit on my way to work. All around it was a crappy dayIMG_20160520_101257

Breakfast: McDonald’s. I’m so sad that my week ended with McDonald’s, I had the breakfast deluxe plate. Lunch: I said fuck it and I had Taco Bell, the cravings box. Dinner: I thought I had already done bad the whole day and ended it with Denny’s, I had the turkey sandwich with clam chowder soup.

So there is my week. I failed. Even my MacDonald’s breakfast looks disappointed.

Honestly, I feel awesome being honest about it. Like my previous post about binge eating I tend to hide things. Bringing my failures out into the open makes me feel like next time I could do better.

I will attempt to do this challenge one week out of the month for the rest of the year, my goal is to make it to the end of at least one week.

Adios my friends.

Thank you to Daiya for sending me samples to try out their products. Full Daiya recipe video coming soon!

Why am I going Vegan?

Yes, you heard that correctly. Angie Dee is going Vegan.

This is not my first rodeo, I have been completely vegan before.

My plan is to eat completely vegan for a week to clean my insides of processed foods.

Would you like to join me?
We can make it something really cool like #angiedeenomeatweek eh? eh?

Below I will point out a few reasons why (in my experience) it is good to “cleanse your body” and a few tricks to make the transition a little easier.

1)Veggies have every single nutrient that your body needs- The only thing that I ever needed when I ate vegan was B-12 other than that… veggies all the way!

2)Your inner chef comes out-  When you are a vegan you need to think of ways to cook and enjoy your food, especially when you are like me and you eat with your eyes. Salad everyday is not going to cut it, and actually most vegans I know hate salad. You will be working with new ingredients and new flavors. It is pretty fun, I’ve made chickpea salad that tastes like tuna!

3)Product labels are your BFF- You would be surprised to find out how many products are not plat based. Familiarize yourself with labels and meanings of ingredients. A really good place to start is this article on Veganuary. It explains all the ingredients and really helps you find out if something is truly vegan. #thinmints #oreos #baconbits

4)Know your options for eating out- Truth of the matter is I eat out about 4 times a week. This is not ideal, I am completely conscious of it and I’m working towards eating more home cooked meals.  It is very important to do research before to find out if a restaurant offers any vegan options. It is the worst when you enter a food joint only to find out they only have celery, carrots and bread as vegan options. VeganFoodLover.com is a great website to find out what vegan options are available at popular restaurants.

5)Your body feels better- Honestly my body feels junky right now. Even though I have been working out daily, I am not feeling like my best self. Food is so important for keeping your body feeling light and energized. My face feels oily, by stomach apparently hates me because I’m constipated and I have a hard time waking up well rested in the mornings.

Always listen to your body. I cannot tell you enough how important it is to feel out what makes you feel the best. I may not be the healthiest, but I am truly an expert in feeling out what my body is lacking.

I would like to take this time to thank Daiya for sending me some items to try out and I am so excited to show you what recipes I can make with all these products. Check out my Instagram to see all my photos of meals starting Monday May 16th. Also, Sunday May 22nd will be an all plant based #dominguitodedesayuno

Thank you all and see you soon!