Monday, April 29, 2013

Fried "Rice" and The Longest Short Weekend

How was your weekend? If the weather was anything like New England's the past few days, I hope you all were out in the sun enjoying the amazing weather! I was dead set on getting my first sunburn of the season and stupidly went outside without SPF for a full day. Oops. I need to remind myself that somehow in my family of lovely even-tanners I was blessed with porcelain skin dotted with freckles that takes all summer to adhere some sort of color to. Oh well.

My friend said yesterday, "this weekend feels like it lasted two whole weeks!" --and I certainly agree! In four-ish days I sure packed in a lot...

Thursday: Not technically the weekend, but my roommate and I hosted a surprise party for our friend's birthday. She's gluten-free, so it was a challenge for my friends and I to come up with a proper dinner. I was in charge of appetizers, and I made a super guacamole and two homemade salsas--one with jalapenos (mild) and one with habaneros (medium to blazing depending on who you ask). My roommate made a lovely strawberry goat cheese salad and roasted herbed potatoes in butter, and our other friend made chex mix crusted chicken. I made cucumber infused gin lemonade as a drink.

Party at my house? Finn likes to be in the middle of it all.
Friday: Work all day, but got out a little bit early. My friends and I gathered before play rehearsal and walked to the liquor store for a wine, beer, and pizza tasting. It was really cool, and I picked up a bottle of what will definitely be my new summer drink: Ginger Libation. The ginger taste is incredible and it's 8% alcohol. A bit pricey, but worth the splurge! After we ate/drank our fill, the cast of A Midsummer Night's Dream went off into the woods to rehearse our play at the director's cabin nestled in the woods of Bernardston. It was really cool, doing a play that takes place in the woods while actually IN the woods. Too bad we can't perform the actual play there! Afterwards we had a cookout around a fire pit. It was a wonderful cast bonding experience, even if it did get too dark halfway through the rehearsal to continue.

Rehearsing in a clearing in the woods

Saturday: This is the earliest I've gotten up on a weekend in YEARS: 7am. Some friends and I traveled an hour to go to a town-wide yard sale our friend was helping out at. It was pretty neat, and for about $10 I got a bunch of kitchen stuff I've been needing! After the yard saling I went to a fancy dinner for my step-grandma's birthdayat Monte Carlo. Their signature beef Marsala is to DIE for. Tender, juicy, drizzled with a thick and flavorful Marsala sauce and mushrooms--droooool. I am DREAMING of this dish now.

Check out our Website for ticket info!

Sunday: Up early for the Flea Market, but didn't give ourselves nearly enough time. We barely made it through half the flea market before having to hop in the car and go to another town to look at a house. A bunch of friends and I want to split the rent for a house, and we're looking to rent in the area. I am excited of the idea of FRIENDHOUSE and the place we looked at was awesome, but we have a couple more to look at though, so here's hoping! Later in the day we saw Jesus Christ Superstar, which a few friends of ours were in (the guy who played Rocky when I did Rocky Horror was Jesus, LOL!) and then we laid by the river and I got the majority of my sunburn. The day was finished with sushi, and watching some documentary about "The Biggest House in America." And cuddles with Cory, who sadly worked most of the weekend.

So, yeah. A lot of stuff packed into just a few days. Summer is on the horizon and I couldn't be happier!

As I try to fit into my bikini for summer, I've been looking into that whole "low carb" thing. Not completely cutting carbs, since I am not totally convinced that is the right choice for me, but I definitely see the argument that we consume more carbs and sugar than we need overall, and that unless you're very active you're probably not burning them enough. Considering I have a job where I am at a desk most of the day, I can see the benefits in at least paying attention to how many carbs I'm burning verses consuming. Here's hoping this experiment with lower carb/sugar intake at least helps my butt deflate a little before I hit the beach.

My friend and former high school science teacher, Stephanie of Stupid Easy Paleo, has some amazing recipes that I constantly drool over. It's really opened my eyes to how many amazing things you can make without the usual carbs/dairy! I remember her having a fried "rice" recipe way back in the beginning, but couldn't find it so I referenced a handful of recipes and came up with my own. Cauliflower takes the role of rice in this awesome substitute, and I actually like it better than the takeout favorite! Thanks for the suggestion, Stephanie--though it's impossible for me to not think of her as Mrs. Castonguay, since that's who she was to me in high school!

Pork Fried "Rice"

  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 5-10 slices of bacon, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbs grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 2 green onions, sliced into rings
  • 2 eggs, scrambled
  • 1-2 tbs soy sauce (shoyu sauce if you're really being paleo/low carb)
  • 1 tbs Sriracha sauce

-Using a cheese grater, grate as much of the cauliflower head as you can. This will be about 4-5 cups of shredded cauliflower--this will be your "rice."

-In a large skillet or wok, cook the bacon pieces over medium-high heat. Remove to paper towel to blot off excess grease and remove all but a few tablespoons of bacon grease from the pan, saving a few tablespoons in a bowl to use if needed.

-Using the reserved bacon fat to fry the onions over medium heat. When onions are just translucent  add the garlic, ginger, and carrot. Cook for about five minutes, until carrots have begun to get soft. Add the cauliflower and cook for another five minutes.

-Slowly add the eggs, stirring constantly so that the egg pieces are incorporated entirely into the rice mixture. Add the soy sauce, green onions, peas, and return the bacon to the pan. Cook until the peas are warmed through and the sauces are evenly combined.


  1. I always love when the weekend feels like it lasted forever. Mine just slipped right through my fingers.

    I'm a miserable failure at making rice, so I'm SO intrigued by ricing cauliflower for fried rice! I made real fried rice last week, and it was... bad. awful. Hopefully I can make yours turn out!

  2. I could never give up carbs, I love them way too much. But I do agree that we eat more than we burn off during the day, so maybe I'll try this!

    1. I can't give them up, but I can try to bully them into being a "sometimes food." Maybe.

  3. Good twist on rice!It sounds like you and your friends eat very well!

  4. Ooh, your cauliflower fried rice looks fantastic! And how cool that you live in MA - I grew up near Boston, in Dedham, + my parents still live there so I spend a lot of time up north. Western Mass is a lovely place!

  5. This looks amazing; just found your blog and LOVE it! So excited for your recipes!

    1. Aw, you're too sweet! Thanks for stopping by! :)

  6. I LOVE the recipe Ashley! You're doing great things here...the site looks amazing and you just had quite the milestone with your 2nd year. You continue to make me proud. Thanks for the link love, too :)

    1. Thanks! If I ever make it to Cali we need to reunite and make a feast :)

  7. This dish looks super tasty, and I'm loving all the healthy veggies that are included. So genius to turn cauliflower into delicious fried "rice" :)

  8. I love that you used cauliflower instead of rice - what a great idea! I've been seeing so many creative cauliflower recipes lately. It's been beautiful here, too! Love the warmer weather.

  9. Whoa that is one super packed weekend! But in a good happy way. Which I love.

    I've been meaning to try cauli fried rice and this recipe sounds big on flavor that honestly I don't think I'd even miss the carbs!

  10. What a great weekend! Glad you finally got some good weather in your area. I love to find another use for cauliflower. This looks so good!

  11. I made this last night, and it was FANTASTIC!! I used the food processor to grate the cauliflower (in batches), carrots and onion, and it worked out great. I can't believe how satisfying this was, even without all the yummy rice. Awesome recipe... thanks for sharing!