Bay to L.A.



Homemade Cheese Ice Cream (vegans, beware)

Hey guys! The lack of posts from my end have been ridiculous, I know! Life has kept me busy this month, and this was the only time I could relax :). Today, I had such a craving for a childhood favorite of mine: cheese ice cream. I know it sounds weird, but you know me. I’m very adventurous. Anyway, the taste is magnificent, it’s out of this world, and I’ve never had anything that tasted like it. If you are feeling a little eccentric, I recommend you try this recipe.


2 cups of low-fat organic milk

1 cup of almond milk

1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream

3 tbsps. of mascarpone cheese (italian sweet cream cheese)

1 cup of sugar

4 egg yolks

1 tbsp. vanilla extract 

as much shredded cheddar cheese as you want ūüôā


1. In a medium saucepan, mix the milk, cream, mascarpone cheese, and sugar under medium heat. Mix until the sugar is dissolved.

2. In another bowl, whisk the four egg yolks while simultaneously adding a cup of the cream (21) photo (22)

3. Take the egg mixture and add it with the cream mixture. Whisk over medium heat until the cream sticks to the whisk. Turn off heat and transfer to a heat-proof bowl.

4. Cool mixture to room temperature.  Then, place in the refrigerator for 4 hours or so until mixture is set. Mix the cheddar cheese.

5. Follow your ice cream maker instructions, and add the mixture to the frozen container. After twenty minutes, your ice cream should be ready! Bon appetit! ūüôā


photo (23)¬†(see, I couldn’t wait to have a bite)




Potbelly, Get In My Belly


This beautiful spectacle of a place appeared while I was strolling the corner of Pike Street and was completely famished from the road trip. I noticed that downtown Seattle rarely displayed fast food chains like McDonald’s and that the city’s organic mindset infiltrated its entirety.

Back when I traveled to Washington D.C., I also saw Potbelly Sandwich Shop branches, so I figured that it wasn’t local.

Anyway, as the avid foodie that I am, I asked the manager what his favorite sandwich was. Being the grown man that he was, I guessed that he would say a roast beef sandwich with extra mayo. I was completely wrong. He told me to order a tuna sandwich with Nueske bacon with extra lettuce and peppers.  My first reaction was that I refused to order due to the fact that I hate tuna sandwiches. 

Well, speculation aside, I figured I was in Seattle for only a couple of days and might as well spend my eight dollars on something that may possibly be the worst decision ever or the best.

Thank God it was the best decision a hungry human being could ever make. 


I really enjoyed the stamp, so I had to take a picture. Here is the yummy sandwich:


The tuna was spectacular, soft and not at all fishy. The bacon was crispy and perfectly salty and collaborated very well with the tuna. My most favorite part, however, was the artisan bread. Warm and filling all at the same time, this crunchy masterpiece hit all the right notes. Potbelly Sandwich, get in my tummy. ūüôā

I hope all you foodies out there stay adventurous! You never know what you’ll discover.



Best Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe

So, uh.. guys? I think I have to get out of the kitchen. Though I live to counter society’s quintessential stereotype of a woman making sandwiches and tending to the garden, I must say that cooking is becoming more and more a part of me as time goes by. There is an addiction in there, and it’s the same feeling I get when I perform onstage. My, my, my.¬†

Anyway, I woke up today having a sweet tooth and wanting chocolate chip muffins for breakfast, so I opened my Cook’s Illustrated book and found this recipe. I didn’t add any tweaks to it, except that I used whole-wheat flour and low-fat greek yogurt. But other than those two, I followed the recipe rather diligently.



  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • ¬Ĺ tsp baking soda
  • ¬Ĺ tsp salt
  • 10 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1¬ĺ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 and ¬Ĺ cups yogurt
  • 1¬Ĺ cups semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin pan with non-stick spray. Line muffin pan with paper liners. (I used parchment paper).
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, soda and salt. (Dry ingredients)
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix well.
  4. With mixer on low speed add dry ingredients ¬Ĺ cup at a time, alternating with yogurt. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Scoop the batter with an ice cream scooper and place them in the pan, filling all the way to the top. (Fair warning: this part will get pretty messy).
  6. Bake for 5 minutes in 400 degree oven, reduce the temperature to 375 degrees and bake 15 more minutes, or until browned on top and toothpick inserted in the center of each muffin comes out clean.
  7. Cool in pan for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Now, these were made with whole-wheat flour so they may seem a little bland for some of you; it really depends on how you like your muffins. If need be, add 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 tbsp. of honey. I find that honey always is a great sidekick for sugar. ūüôā Anyway, I hope I don’t ever get out of this addiction of mine! It motivates me to work out more and lead a healthier lifestyle.

How do you stay healthy and fit?  What are the daily lifestyle choices that you make that allows you to feel good about yourself? Comment below!

As always, thanks for reading. Get baking, my indie hipsters.


Nathalie Apple

Quinoa Patties

So, there are moments in my day where I ask myself, “Have you done anything non-ordinary today?” Sometimes this question leads me to the spontaneous shopping spree, driving to a different part of town, reading Russian literature, or trying out different types of food. The latter won for today.


Ohmygoodness,ohmygoodness,ohmygoodness.  (Yes, these phrases did not require any spacing due to the fact that my mind and taste buds did simultaneous somersaults when I discovered this recipe as I was practically hyperventilating). You can find the original recipe from Epicurious here.

Now, I love good ole’ fashioned hamburgers: meaty, juicy, salty, with ketchup, pickles, crispy lettuce, ripe tomato, cheese, and no mustard (eww). The problem with these mouthwatering delights to human kind is that they are carb-filled, cholesterol magnets that make you feel as guilty as getting caught doing something you’re not supposed to do. It’s like whenever I walk into In-n-Out Burger and order my number one usual, I feel as if every single workout routine I had done that week all went to crap because of one meal. Now, this recipe will not replace the amazing taste meat adds to a hamburger, but I assure you, this is a healthier option on those¬†I’m-supposed-to-be-dieting-but-I-really-freakin’-want-a-Big-Mac-and-I-swear-on-that-Yoga-instructor-I-am-going-to-shoot-myself-if-we-do-another-downward-dog¬†nights. ūüėČ



  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, at room temperature (see how to cook below)
  • 1 cup of beef broth (vegetable stock is good too)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten (use SmartBalance no eggs if you are vegan)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2 red onion finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Gruy√®re cheese (if you’re vegan, you can skip this ingredient. Just increase the amount of salt by 1 teaspoon)
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup whole grain bread crumbs, plus more if needed
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • Water, if needed
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1/3 tsp red pepper flakes (crushed red pepper)
  • 1 large handful of chopped spinach
  • 1/3 can of black olives, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

How to make Quinoa

Combine 2 cups of well-rinsed uncooked quinoa with 2 cups water and 1 cup of beef broth in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, decrease the heat, and simmer for 15 to 30 minutes, until the quinoa is soft. Don’t throw away the broth, you will need this for later.¬†

Krabby Patties 

Combine the quinoa, broth, eggs, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the chives, spinach, onion, olive, garlic, and cheese. Add the bread crumbs and rice flour. Mix thoroughly.
*You can find the rice flour in the Asian aisle of your local supermarket. Image

Add all the herbs and mix with the patty mixture. I warn you, it will be a little messy, but it’s fun mixing the ingredients together with your hands. This is a kid-friendly recipe for all the parents out there! Most children enjoy interaction with their food and like seeing the creation process, so this is a great way to spend time with your kiddos :).

Next, heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat, add 4 patties and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms are toasty brown. The quinoa is already cooked, but you want your onion and olives to be a little golden. Flip the patties and repeat the process until all of the mixture is gone.  Remove from the skillet and either place directly on the plate and serve, or if you have a little time, cool on a wire rack for about five minutes then serve.

This meal is delicious with a simple side of avocado (maybe add tomatoes, some leftover red onion, cilantro and there’s guacamole for you ;). The guac I had with these patties was divine. And what are patties without any dipping sauce? Quinoa is very versatile, and you can pretty much dip it in anything. For me, however, ketchup was still the primary winner. No one can ever go wrong with a bottle of Heinz.


Enjoy! Let me know how your meal turns out in the comments below. Oh! Before I forget. This recipe is not only tasty but will also make your kitchen smell heavenly, so put out those kitchen candles and let the smell sink in! Trust me, it will smell delicious. 


Nathalie Apple

Modernized Japanese Dinner

Okay, I seriously just can’t get enough. I think I’m addicted to all things Japanese right now; I just finished watching Memoirs of a Geisha. Seriously! It’s such a gorgeous culture. Last night, my dinner was just too good. So, naturally I went for a two-peat.

Alrighty, so this miso soup recipe comes from my favorite food website, ¬†¬†Usually, I enjoy experimenting with my cooking, but since miso soup is a sort of hit-and-miss type of dish, I decided to stick to this recipe.¬†It was the closest recipe to the traditional soup that I have come to love (or so I think). I haven’t had the luck to travel to Japan yet, but I hope to visit some time in the next few years, so I can find out traditional recipes and the like.

Now, the soup consists of seaweed broth or Dashi.  The trick to this recipe is that the broth needs to have clarity. It is made up of dried bonito flakes or katsuo bushi and dried kelp or kombu. I must admit that because of my lack of linguistic skills in the Northern Asiatic part of the world, I had a hard time finding these ingredients at the local Asian supermarket. However, (since you guys are awesome),  I am including pictures of the ingredients for both the Dashi and the miso soup itself. I hope you find it very helpful!



Dried Bonito Flakes. 

*There is a very small inscription on the back of the package, amidst the gibberish to one who is not fluent, that says “dried bonito”.


Dried Wakame (for the soup recipe).


Dried Kelp.


A makeshift filter for the Dashi. I used multiple coffee filters, discarding often due to the bonito flakes.


Shiro miso (white soybean paste) — Before and After¬†


The meal was paired with a simple vegetable tempura medley made with regular potatoes, sweet potatoes, and baby red potatoes. Mix with egg, water, salt, pepper, and Panko bread flakes (found in the Asian food aisle at your local grocery store). Honestly, this is a very simple recipe that could even be substituted for your traditional french fries. For the sake of the occasion, the dip is a tempura dipping sauce (found in the Asian food aisle).Unfortunately, I haven’t found one that doesn’t have sodium benzoate in it. ūüė¶ Let me know if you find one.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe. Thank you for liking and commenting in advance :)!



Nathalie Apple

Organic Japanese Noodle “Salad”

Psssh… it was ninety-nine cents. To ¬†be ¬†more ¬†specific, ¬†the ¬†99 ¬†Ranch ¬†Market ¬†in ¬†California. ¬†My ¬†mom ¬†and ¬†I ¬†went ¬†grocery ¬†shopping ¬†today, ¬†and ¬†honestly, ¬†I ¬†could ¬†not ¬†be ¬†more ¬†proud ¬†of ¬†being ¬†Asian. ¬†ūüėõ There ¬†were ¬†so ¬†many ¬†varieties ¬†that ¬†I ¬†could ¬†not ¬†stop ¬†walking ¬†through ¬†each ¬†aisle ¬†for ¬†about ¬†three ¬†times ¬†each. ¬†I ¬†didn’t ¬†have ¬†time ¬†to ¬†make ¬†homemade ¬†miso ¬†soup ¬†tonight (that will be tomorrow’s blog post) , ¬†but ¬†I ¬†did ¬†make ¬†a ¬†simple ¬†Japanese ¬†noodle ¬†“salad”. ¬†Now, ¬†the ¬†dressing ¬†is ¬†a ¬†little ¬†exotic, ¬†but ¬†I ¬†promise ¬†you, ¬†you ¬†should ¬†give ¬†it ¬†a ¬†try.


Serves 2.

“Salad” Ingredients

1 bunch of Organic Somen (Japanese wheat noodles) — they come in bunches in the package

1 bunch of flat leaf parsley

1 medium-sized red bell pepper, cored and cut into small slices

1 carrot, peeled and cut into thin slices

2 scallions, thinly sliced

Dressing Ingredients:

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. brown sugar (or more, depending on how sweet you want the dressing to be)

1 lime, freshly squeezed

1 tsp. fish sauce (yes, for all those who are ¬†not ¬†familiar, ¬†this will be very eccentric. However, in most Asian cultures, fish sauce is ubiquitous– like Kraft Mac n’ Cheese in America and fish & chips in the United Kingdom. If you aren’t feeling adventurous, it is perfectly okay to leave the fish sauce out. You can substitute it with Kikkoman’s Soy Sauce. However, if you are feeling adventurous, make sure that there is a perfect mixture between the lime juice and the fish sauce. Citrus is used in seafood to take out the fishy smell and balance its taste.)


1. Boil four cups of water over the stove top. When the water is boiling, add the noodles and boil for two minutes. Drain and set aside.


2. Meanwhile, mix the parsley, bell pepper, and carrots in a medium-sized bowl. Add the semi-cooled noodles.

3. In another bowl, mix the sugar, oil, lime juice, and fish sauce (or soy sauce). Make sure that it is mixed thoroughly. Once tasted, the dressing should be a little tangy but also savory.

4. Drizzle the dressing on top of the noodles. Thoroughly mix. Sprinkle the scallion, add some sea salt and crack some pepper, and you’re good to go!


This salad is perfect for a light lunch or dinner, for vegans (without the processed soy sauce, however) , vegetarians, and carnivores alike. It is very healthy and low on calories but is also very filling because of the noodles. Tonight, we bought shrimp, pork, and beef dumplings to indulge.

I couldn’t resist because of the homemade taste, and this dish definitely made me miss Asia. ūüė¶


Sorry for the late post. Let me know if you guys enjoyed this eccentric yet normal recipe. ūüôā


Nathalie Apple


Hey guys! Pardon the pun, but this is actually going to be a quick post. :P. I have some errands to run in about fifteen minutes, so I have to do this fast.


Have you ever tried Trader Joe’s’ Kettle Corn? Yes? NO? If you have, then I’m sure that I don’t have to tell you to purchase it again. If not, then you have got to. It is the perfect snack. Packed with fiber and that sweet sugar coat, nothing gets as healthier and as tasty. For the health freaks¬† buffs out there, for every 2 cups, there are only 130 calories. Oh. And it’s totally gluten-free. Because of how healthy it is, melting chocolate on top of the popcorn could also be a great date snack. I’m just saying ;).

photo (15)

Anyway, I have to go. The world is waiting. Have a great dinner everyone!

Spicy Thai Tofu Recipe

Originally from¬†,¬†this meal is a simple yet very tasty dish that will definitely be in my recipe book. It’s really simple to cook. The only thing is that having a great nonstick pan or wok is a must for cooking this nicely.

So, the original recipe is here:

You will notice that the original recipe looks sort of the same than mine, but the tweaks I made allow the spicy flavor ¬†to come out even more. I usually do a spin on recipes myself so here’s how I did it:

Serves 2. 


  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 14-to 16-ounce package extra-firm tofu, drained well, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced on diagonal
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 6-ounce bag baby spinach leaves
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup lightly salted cashews
  • a bunch of cilantro
  • 1/3 cup sesame oil


Heat sesame oil in wok over high heat. Add bell peppers, ginger, and garlic; sauté until peppers just begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add tofu and green onions; toss for 5 minutes. Make sure that you toss lightly because you do not want to crumble the tofu. Add next 3 ingredients. Toss to blend, about 1 minute. Add spinach in 3 additions, tossing until it begins to wilt, about 1-2 minutes for each addition.


Mix in basil with the cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle cashews over.




Eggplant Siciliana Recipe

Due to some requests that I have found from my readers’ emails, I’m posting the recipe for my eggplant siciliana that I made the other night.¬†

Now, I have to give props to Ruth Crilly from A Model Recommends, a YouTube web series about, well, what a model recommends. I have been a fan of hers for awhile now due to her down-to-earth personality, and in my opinion, she is naturally gorgeous. Her recipe inspired me to do my own take on the simple pasta dish.

Here’s a link to her showing how to cook the dish:¬†


Serves 2.

Herbs Mix:

(all 1/4-1/2 teaspoon)

Herbs de Provence

Dried Mexican Oregano

Dried Parsley

Pepper/Sea Salt

Crushed Red Pepper Flakes


Homemade Marinara Sauce:

Four minced garlic cloves

Crushed Tomatoes (1 can)

Tomato Paste (1 teaspoon)

Water (about 1/2 cup, depends on your desired consistency. I like mine a little chunky still)

Pinot Noir or Merlot Red (1/4 of a cup)

Rest of the Ingredients:

Gluten-Free Corn Penne Pasta (seen at Trader Joe’s/any Whole Foods market) (1/2 of the bag)

Crumbled Feta Cheese or Fresh Buffalo Mozzarella (Trader Joe’s or a near deli)

Olive Oil

Balsamic Vinegar

Arugula & Spinach

Medium-size eggplant (cut into slices, then quartered)


1. Boil water for pasta.

2. Thoroughly mix herbs in a small bowl.

3. Heat a medium-sized saucepan with about 2 tbsps. of olive oil. The oil should be slightly rippling before you add the ingredients.

4. Add half of  the garlic into the oil and saute for about 3 minutes. The garlic should be a little bit browned but not so much that they are fried.

5. Add the eggplant into the pan and cook until the outside is a dark purple, and the inside is still a little hard. You do not want soggy eggplants for this recipe. Set aside to cool.

6. By this time, the water should be boiling, so add some salt, and the pasta. Cook for about 10-11 minutes. The pasta should have a little bite to it still (al dente).  After it is done, drain the pasta and transfer to a big bowl.

7. In another medium-sized pan, add two tbsps. of olive oil into medium heat. When the oil is hot to touch (yes, I know, I touch my oil to see how hot it is. Very dangerous, but I’ve been doing it for awhile now. Making sure oil is hot is safer by checking with your palm and hovering it above the oil), then add the rest of the garlic.

8. When the garlic browns, add half of the can of crushed whole tomatoes with the tomato paste. Go ahead and add the herb mix and wine into the sauce as well.

9. Cook the sauce in medium-low heat for about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.

10. While this is happening, mix the arugula or spinach (whichever is your preference), with a simple balsamic vinaigrette (olive oil + balsamic vinegar) in a salad bowl. This would be great with homemade croutons, sliced red onions, and some sweet peppers ( I like to roast mine before serving).

11. After 20 minutes, add the eggplant mixture into the marinara sauce. Mix thoroughly and transfer to the big pasta bowl. Place pieces of mozzarella or feta cheese on top. Serve hot.



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