Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tonight's Dinner: January 30, 2013

Tonight I had to do a bunch of errands to get ready for Linda's bridal shower and our Superbowl.  I was stocking up on frozen goods at Costco for a true Superbowl party.  You know, good old junk food sprawled on the coffee table with the football game on.  I imagine a Bud Light packed fridge with a glowing halo when it opens and men huddled around the TV rooting for the Niners.  The only thing is that I don't drink Bud Light so the fridge will be packed with IPAs and champagne.  I have plenty of junk food to give the whole party a coronary heart attack.

By the time I was leaving Costco, I was starving so I grabbed one of their pre-made dinners to shove in the oven.

 photo 4851468D-61A5-4DEE-926A-382F80EFE994-9971-0000062485051C48_zps3577ee9f.jpg

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tonight's Dinner: January 29, 2013

Tonight, though I was still super sore from Sunday, I took Emmy for a short run before going to Zumba.  While I was out, I shoved some chicken legs in the oven with brussel sprouts (I had prepared the marinade the night before).  When I got back from the run I quickly cooked up some pierogies and threw together a salad. It was a nothing special dinner, but it did the job and I felt like I had a lot of energy at Zumba from the chicken.  I'm looking forward to warmer weather so that we can start grilling again.  I'm getting a little tired of roasting chicken.

 photo C28BCDBA-3966-45A8-B5D9-DDB6796279DA-3058-000004C14099BA5C.jpg

Tonight's Dinner: January 27, 2013

After not being able to sleep well and thinking about the Spartan Race, I decided it was time for me to start training.  Nick and I went to our community gym and then I went for a 7.5 mile run. I did 30 push ups and haven't been able to move properly since Monday morning. My legs were very tired and by the end of the night and had knee aches similar to when I did the 15k.  I've done 4-5 mile runs on my own, but the combo of going to the gym and running had me wiped out.

I managed to drag myself out to grocery shop and picked up a Papa Murphy's pizza on the way back.  I got a vegetarian pizza just to feel a little healthier.

 photo 34126E2F-96DA-4381-94CD-1DFB37D7343F-3058-000002430A5954E6.jpg

 photo 31E12448-8C0E-464B-BEE4-2BA21F77403E-3058-000004C07CF0B05A.jpg
I was dead tired after my run.  Emmy was pretty tired too.  At one point we
stopped to rest in a park with a doggy water fountain.  She was later sniffing
around and I saw something sticking out of her mouth and thought she found
something to eat, which has happened before.  I realized it was her tongue.  I'm
glad to know that she was just as tired as I was.  She's under the chair taking a

Tonight's Dinner: January 26, 2013

My family and I headed out to the city for a big family close-the-old-year dinner to kick off Chinese New Year.  We went to our usual spot, Empero Taste. Wee think they meant "Imperial" Taste, but are Chinese so that's how they spell it.  Of course, this has to mean that they have good food.  We ordered pretty much the same stuff that I normally post, but we did get a fried fish that was a new sight. It was a pretty big hit, as the plate was completely clean once my family descended on it.

 photo E790989F-4E80-45F3-AD38-9C1284945DC1-3058-000002430DF0C53D.jpg

After having tons of tea and talking to my family about signing up for the Spartan Race in August, I couldn't sleep with caffeine and worry.  Some of my uncles and cousins are in very good shape and they said that they didn't want to do it with us.  If I haven't mentioned it before, Christopher and I signed up for "the beast" Spartan Race because LivingSocial was having a half off deal.  Pure stupidity.  It is a 13+mi race with 25+ obstacle courses. The one that we signed up for is basically the equivalent of a Tough Mudder. Christopher and I may die. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tonight's Dinner: January 25, 2013

We haven't seen Nick's parents in a couple of weeks so his Dad wanted to get together for a family dinner.  We all headed over to Melo's Pizza, one of their favorite pizza places.  For a very long time I didn't think that his parents ever ate pizza, but I guess they do!  I had just never seen them eat it before and had forgotten that they love Melo's.  We ordered a pizza to share and then got some smaller plates.  I got their vegetarian lasagna and it was wonderful. It was super hot though and I managed to burn my tongue on the first bite and am still feeling the effects. Still, the food was very good as usual.  I hadn't gone since we went to Malaysia so it brought back good memories for me.  (We ate there before heading to the airport.)

 photo FE0B0C51-639F-49C2-97C9-833BB1419E22-3058-00000243DE950FCE.jpg

 photo FAC964BE-0963-4530-87C5-80263600DD03-3058-00000243BD9141D0.jpg
My delicious lasagna

 photo 8B33E530-5C59-437C-8E24-4B7BBE1C4E59-3058-0000024318EF5B2C.jpg

 photo 0D468E72-C6A8-4744-8570-13C2AEB2DBC6-3058-000002432F83C3FA.jpg
Chicken wings

Friday, January 25, 2013

Tonight's Dinner: January 24, 2013

Tonight I had a left over dinner of soup and salad.  I had Zumba and Nick was at a dinner meeting for work so I didn't see a point of cooking something just for myself.  Eating the kale soup and salad and then doing Zumba afterwards made me feel very healthy.  Now all I want is Taco Bell.  I hate how this works.

 photo 1BC47E45-F148-4B36-897B-D58F574E9E6E-8329-0000065A16AA5F3F.jpg
I added some cous cous to the soup.

Today's Lunch: January 24, 2013

For Vanessa's birthday lunch she chose a great sandwich place in Walnut Creek called Morucci's.  In the past, the Italian sandwich has made my stomach upset, but it is so good that I can't resist.  I got it again today and added a slab of fresh mozzarella.  Surprisingly, even with the extra cheese my stomach was fine.  Man, I love birthdays at the office.

 photo 7C61CAD7-5864-454E-836D-267584016E07-8329-0000065F8D5DC67D.jpg

Tonight's Dinner: January 23, 2013

This week we had a couple of birthdays in the office.  Tonight I made Vanessa's favorite cupcakes, well that I make anyway, for her birthday celebration.  I also threw together a quick vegetable stirfry and salad.  Midway through the cupcake baking, Nick decided that he wanted brownies, so we made some of those also.  It is a good thing that Christopher and I signed up for a Spartan Race in August. With all this eating I'm going to be an elephant by the wedding.

 photo 08CD1059-5A98-4305-A187-52BAFE26CA6F-8329-0000056267588438.jpg

 photo AB5BF59C-EC8F-49A0-BD0E-2EC810E1B028-8329-00000562691F5644.jpg

 photo E8E82E8D-5165-436F-9AFC-93C602FCC340-8329-000005626B0BBA03.jpg

 photo 8A3B6D4F-488A-4076-BB32-DEE82B68930A-8329-00000562A284DF1B.jpg

Tonight's Dinner: January 22, 2013

Abby inspired me to try eating salads this week after eating a really good one at her house.  I bought mixed greens and spinach from the bulk section at Sprouts.  It is so much more cost effective at $4.99/lb.  You get so much more veg for your money especially because it's so light.  A full sized vegetable bag is less than a pound unless you really pack it in.  That's way more than the pre-packaged stuff that stores sell.

I also bought a couple of pomagranets for a topping.  One pomagranet sure produces a lot of seeds.  I put them in a tupperware and have been using them for our salads all week!  I will save the second one for next week.  To go along with our salad, I made a peppered turkey pita pocket with cous cous.  It was quite tasty and I would imagine that it is pretty good for you.  To give the cous cous some creaminess, I added Greek yogurt and pesto.

 photo 434248C1-A025-40E7-A8C3-929E74CF21E6-5649-000004623A72AC7F.jpg
I've come to the conclusion that after many years of trying to like pita bread,
I don't like it.  It is just so dry.  It also disturbs me a little that it is almost the same
color as my cork trivets in the back of picture.  That has to tell you something.

 photo 1D04F9D7-0237-443D-B7BE-2568A2507BF1-5649-000004623E4BD978.jpg
If I eat salad, I pretty much always will have olives on it. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Petrificus Totalus

I never realized that dogs sometimes look like they are petrified when they are sleeping until a friend posted a picture of his German Shorthair laying very still and rigid.  The other day I noticed that Emmy was doing the same thing.

 photo 11A445E3-F20E-4D67-8DB8-77F9E734A6BA-5649-00000380484E8C9E.jpg

Today's Lunch: January 22, 2013

I love when we have birthdays at the office.  It means that we get a free lunch.  The birthday boy decided that he wanted food from Jack's Restaurant.  We've ordered take out from there before so I knew that they had amazing mac and cheese, but I opted for their pastrami burger.  It was a 1/2lb burger with pastrami meat piled on top.  Holy cow it was good.  It would be even better with mac and cheese on the inside. Hmm, I might have to make up a mac and cheese stuffed burger soon.

 photo B455EC23-5D57-4A28-93DF-774D894B24C8-5649-0000046238256B80.jpg

Tonight's Dinner: January 21, 2013

Tonight Nick ended up going out to sushi last minute with a couple of friends.  I had just gone grocery shopping and didn't want my veggies to go to waste at the end of the week, which I knew would happen if I didn't stick with my menu.  I had planned on making a kale and mustard green soup.  I knew that it would take a long time for the greens to become tender so making the soup another day wouldn't work as I have Zumba on Tuesdays and Thursdays and also had a hair appointment scheduled on Wednesday.  I didn't want to wait until Friday to make it as a lot of times we order out or make last minute plans.  Nick suggested that I stick to my menu and he would take the soup for lunch.  He has been eating soup for days.

 photo 10678F2B-A34D-438E-90B7-AE624D1EF479-5649-00000380FD7383E0.jpg

 photo 8331D172-CA1F-4EAC-B974-57FEBFE3D0CB-8329-000005650423CC82.jpg

 photo DA1929E2-8CD4-4026-9254-3C5B1331951B-5649-00000381371E8822.jpg
I also made a chocolate mousse cake for a birthday that we were having at work.

Tonight's Dinner: January 20, 2013

We didn't get much Downton watching done the night before, so we did a ton during the day.  Nick dropped Emmy off at my parent's place before heading over to a friend's house to watch the football game.  I was perfectly in heaven with left over poppy seed chicken, Downton, and the girls.  As it turns out, we ended up staying at Abby's house until dinner time.  She made a fantastic salad that has inspired me to eat more salad, and a deliciously creamy tuna pasta.

 photo 96A2FFB0-0E21-4233-BE2B-93FC7C2D1DE6-8329-0000056417F60345.jpg
Abby made an awesome balsamic vinaigrette and added pomegranate and
walnuts to the salad.  I have been eating salad every day since because it was
so good. That's saying a lot because I usually don't like salad unless it's 100
degrees outside. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Today's Lunch: January 19, 2013

Lately since it has been quite cold out, Nick and I have been meeting my family for pho on the weekends.  We generally get together with my family for weekend lunch dates to catch up.  We were a little tired of pho, if that's even possible, so we met my parents at Nation's. I knew that I would be eating and drinking a lot at Abby's place in the evening, so I only ordered a chili cheese fry.  It was a rather small plate, but I didn't end up finishing it because we were talking too much and the cheese wasn't completely melted.  What I wanted to show you all, however, was Nick's mondo brunch.  He ordered a Two-Egger breakfast and added two pancakes to it.  He finished it all!

 photo 70B4125B-D8C5-4A94-A2FF-EF9183FDAC71-5649-000003804268773D.jpg

 photo 4BFCDB9A-0596-4B63-91D5-1DFC7D7A4B0D-5649-00000380446435C3.jpg

Tonight's Dinner: January 19, 2013

Bonnie and I were very much looking forward to going to Abby's place in San Mateo.  We had planned to have our third Downton Abbey marathon at her place and have a slumber party.  We went out later in the day since Bonnie had to work.  First things first, we went shopping because Abby lives near two Ultas.  I think the nearest one to me is in Brentwood, which is pretty far to go just for makeup.  Once we got back from our mall excursion, Abby had a delicious meal planned out for us.  By the time we were done eating and talking, it was almost 9pm.  We settled down to do face masks, nails, and watch Downton.  You know, girly things.

 photo D43A0B14-CC70-40C7-8499-B6E17CB5674D-5649-000003803E8D058E.jpg
Poppy seed chicken casserole.

 photo F509A77F-698E-4452-9CF5-5D894EF01F4C-5649-000003803C73B0ED.jpg
Abby spooning on a very healthy helping of melted butter.

 photo A2B8D87F-5431-48FA-8388-8AC94870171F-5649-00000380E31C54D5.jpg
Arugula pesto gnocci.

 photo A237F544-2C7D-40D9-8AF7-C53E9DD3643B-5649-00000380DA58571C.jpg
Baked squash

 photo B67A26D1-CA2B-4E2E-97A9-C16411F9C392-5649-00000380F7D70467.jpg

 photo 409CC60D-A318-4380-ADC2-22AF412D92FB-5649-00000380DD6FBA8E.jpg
After dinner cheese plate.  Abby also had gotten a blueberry goats cheese, but
somehow I didn't get a picture of it. 

 photo IMG_8450_zps4d3dedce.jpg
We all tried masks, but I won't embarrass them by posting their pictures. 

 photo IMG_8453_zpsf030bb80.jpg

Tonight's Dinner: January 18, 2013

Tonight Nick and I both had errands to run.  I had an afternoon doctor's check up and he needed to get a haircut.  There is a new burrito place that opened up by our local Sprouts called Freebirds World Burrito that we have never tried.  He picked me up a burrito and himself a hamburger at the joint next door on his way home from his haircut.  He described it as a Five Guys for burritos.  It is apparently a salad bar type of place and you tell them what you want in your burrito.  From the sounds of it, I will love going there myself, but he said that the burrito was around $8-9.  I thought the burrito was good, but I prefer Chipotle with those prices.  It will be the splurge burrito.  He did get me a really large burrito though, so I can't complain about that.  Apparently, they actually have one size larger than what he got me.  Customizable burritos, I dig it.

 photo C26663FD-0098-41BF-8769-FFAFFA2FD3D2-5649-00000380463ABA98.jpg

Friday, January 18, 2013

Tonight's Dinner: January 17, 2013

After our run to the hotel and back, the clock was ticking for me to get dinner on before I had to go to my Zumba class.  I had planned on making nachos because they are quick to make and I can easily take a small portion.  When Nick got home from work and saw me eating nachos in my workout clothes he had a good laugh.  It's probably not the healthiest thing to eat in between workouts, but at least it isn't take out. I'm really going to have to figure out quick, healthy dinners now because I decided to sign up for the Tuesday Zumba class also.  My workout plan is to do our long run on Mondays, a short run and Zumba on Tuesdays, recover Wednesdays, short run and Zumba on Thursdays, and veg Friday and the weekend.  Hopefully this will get me in shape enough to do a half marathon. I had to reevaluate my fitness goals and am now aiming for a half marathon instead of a full marathon before the wedding.  I just don't know if my joints can handle a full marathon.  After that 15k I was in a lot of pain.

 photo 9576ED57-7E61-4330-B762-95762253996F-118-00000000CF99A1E8.jpg
I really dislike cilantro in it's raw form but if it's cooked really far down I enjoy
the flavor quite a bit.  It worked well to cook with the ground chicken.

 photo 21256CD5-7BF6-411A-84A7-BE009D49981A-118-00000000D1FC98A8.jpg
I added half an onion, 2 jalapenos, baby bell pepper, and garlic to cook down.

 photo 03EC8C65-BAE7-46DC-90AF-E7A7F0F06104-118-00000000CDB4F2C1.jpg
It doesn't look like much, but it was very flavorful and quite

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Emmy Picture Post update

Lately, Emmy has been looking extra cute because her mane is in full swing from the cold.  I've found that I've been taking a lot more pictures of her lately and I know my Mom loves to see them so here they are.

 photo A3844F32-B07D-4C29-984C-7CC6481724BB-186-0000000534DD6DDA.jpg

 photo 43509758-D69B-4D97-8D79-B688C2DC5FEE-15267-00000A798EE8B1F5.jpg

 photo 1E7F6795-BD5A-4237-8566-66134D2A82B0-12392-000008961F2EC8BE.jpg
She was napping under here while Nick was home for lunch.

 photo 1265A1DD-8DBC-4585-80EC-CC9D72D9F215-3679-000006FAA40CB9CF.jpg

 photo 52445CAC-0EC1-464B-AD5C-886245032C04-3679-00000363C71043B8.jpg

 photo B745FB19-33A4-479C-B922-A1B506A1E8C6-17375-00000BEED618E224.jpg

 photo 92B20AD7-0DF8-4FE2-A1CD-DAD1D91CA149-8506-000005E49FEB04E1.jpg
I can't remember if I posted this one before, but it was Christmas Eve morning
and we were heading to my parent's place right after her bath.  It was cold out
and she was very wet so she needed her jacket.

 photo 20C62FD8-2554-423B-8220-215A317B15C9-8506-000005E460E51E69.jpg

Tonight's Dinner: January 16, 2013

Tonight I invited myself and Nick over to my parent's house for dinner.  Emmy was staying over night at my Mom's so I had to pick her up anyway.  We had one of my favorites and next on my list to learn to make, oxtail stew. Nick and I also introduced my Mom to Duck Dynasty, which she found quite amusing.  Too bad my Dad was at his Mandarin class.  I'm pretty sure he would find it hilarious.

 photo A3508D3D-C6EA-49DD-9E54-D062CE471743-186-0000000537E0F22B.jpg

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Tonight's Dinner: January 15, 2013

I was pretty pleased with myself for going on a run.  Since the 15k in December I've been a little bit lazy with the running. I haven't had any free weekends so I haven't signed up for any more road races, which usually motivate me to stay in shape.  Emmy and I have only been going down to the hotel/gym by our place and back, which is about 1.75 miles.  Last night Emmy was having a slumber party at my Mom's place so I wasn't sure if I wanted to go for a run, but my coworker is doing Boot Camp and inspired me to go running without Emmy.  I was able to run on the trail where there are usually a lot of bikers.  (Emmy likes to chase them.)  I was able to run exactly four miles, according to Google Maps, in 40 minutes.  Toward the end I was practically sprinting because it was getting very dark and there are no lights on the trail.  I realized that Emmy really makes me feel safer running in the dark.  Even if I know that she's a woosy pants dog, other people don't know that and I'm sure if it came down to it, she would protect me.

When I got home I had in mind to make a chow mein since that is what I usually get when we order Chinese takeout.  I want to perfect it so that we don't have the urge to order out so much. The only thing I've noticed with a lot of Chinese dishes is that there is a lot of prep work.  It is just so much easier to order out.  Still, I think my chow mein is much healthier and much more cost effective.  For a huge wok full, it was only around $15 for shrimp chow mein.  Nick and I agreed that the noodles should be the last thing to go in the pot since they were already par-cooked.  I added them after I sauteed my vegetables, but they began to stick to the bottom of the pan when I was adding the shrimp.  I also think next time I will stir fry the bean sprouts in soy sauce prior to integrating into the noodles.  I also threw in our left over gai lan from the night before.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Shrimp Chow Mein 
1 package egg noodles
1 lb shrimp, deshelled and deveined
1/2 large onion, diced
2 red bell peppers, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
5 celery stalks, sliced
2 c baby spinach
1 bag bean sprouts
3 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 c soy sauce 
Follow directions on the noodle package.  On high heat, saute onion, bell pepper, garlic, and celery. Add bean sprouts, saute for 1-2 minutes. Add shrimp, saute for 3-4 minutes or until slightly pink. Add noodles, soy sauce, oyster sauce and spinach. Stir fry until well incorporated.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tonight's Dinner: January 14, 2013

I have been in a very Chinese food mood lately.  Sometimes I go through phases where I eat a lot of Italian or Mexican.  I guess this is my time for Chinese.  Shopping at Ranch 99 also contributes to this, I'm sure.  Tonight we had steamed fish with gai lan and steamed eggs.  Whenever I have a family style Chinese dinner I must have the steamed eggs.  They are my favorite.  I also really enjoy glass noodles, but for some reason they give me wicked heart burn.  My Mom usually soaks hers for an hour or so before cooking so I'm going to have to try that. When I make it, I only soak it long enough to soften the noodles first.  She thinks that soaking it longer will help with the heart burn.  It may, as when I eat it at her house I don't get the burn.  I also really enjoy how inexpensive these dinners are.  Well, they're inexpensive when you are cooking for two.  The total for this meal was about $8.50 for the two of us.  Pretty darn good if you ask me.  When we eat out for lunch it's more expensive than that.  What a steal and quite nutritional too.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
I mixed slices of ginger, green onion and cilantro with soy
sauce and let it marinate for about an hour.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
I stuffed the fish with mostly greens as the ginger doesn't
have enough time to fully cook when steaming.  Nick boiled
the rest of the marinade to pour on top once the fish was

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Post-steaming with a chunk taken out for Nick to taste test.  He pretty much
ate the fish by himself.  He had to serve it to me to get me to eat it. I mostly
dined on gai lan, eggs, and rice. 

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Pre-steamed eggs.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Post-steamed eggs.  I like having the oyster sauce on our eggs
but find that it comes out too thickly and makes the eggs overly
salty.  I thinned it out this time with some chicken stock. 

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Sick fawn!