Thursday, February 28, 2013

Today's Lunch: February 24, 2013

Christopher and I planned to try to do a 13.2 mile to see if we would be able to do a half marathon.  Fail.  We had our dad pick us 10 miles in.  We almost made it.  To start off the day, I had an avocado and tuna.  When we do races I prepare us two hard boiled eggs to eat in the car right before the race.  Christopher and I both agreed that the eggs gave us much more fuel than the avocado.  Once we got back, we were starving and got Nations.

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We each got a cheeseburger and then shared a grilled cheese.  It sure hit the

Emmy's bed

Emmy has a small bed at our apartment since she prefers the floor or our bed. When she's at Grandma and Grandpa's, her vacation home, she gets a queen-sized bed.  I stayed the night after our Chinese New Year dinner so that Christopher and I could go for a run during the day.  When I woke up she was curled on her big bed.

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Tonight's Dinner: February 23, 2013

Tonight we had a big dinner. My Mom had invited some of their friends over to celebrate Chinese New Year.  I showed up early to do my laundry and help out.  What really happened was that I did my laundry and the passed out on the sofa for two hours from a pho-coma.  ...At least I did help her clean the dishware before falling asleep and I cooked so that she could socialize.

My Mom had been prepping for days before.  It must have taken her hours because everything was prepared in little baggies and her knife cuts were awesome!  I was very impressed.  I thought that she would have planned the traditional eight course meal, but when I looked at her menu she had ten things on there! We actually ended up adding an extra veggie dish too. One of the guests is a vegan (grumble) so we were trying to make it vegan friendly.  When she arrived, she said that she eats fish!  So now we just say that she's a vegetarian, but it would have been much easier if we knew before hand since we normally use a lot of oyster sauce and had to substitute it with plain soy sauce.  We considered just using oyster sauce and not telling her what the flavor was, but we didn't want to be disrespectful of her dietary choice.  Soy sauce did manage to get us through, but our traditional dishes didn't have the nice depth that they usually do.  What we realized at the end of the night was that vegetable stock is not nearly as flavorful as chicken stock.  We cooked everything with vegetable stock and found that we had to add more salt.  Even with the added salt, it didn't make up for the nice flavor of chicken stock.

Roast duck
Roast Pork
Homestyle Chicken
Wintermelon soup
Boiled turnips with tofu
Spicy clams
Lettuce wraps
Thy foon (Glass noodles)
Bokchoy w/ Shitake mushrooms
Shrimp w/ asparagus
Gai Lan
Rice (of course)

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My parents picked up a whole roasted duck and some roasted pork from
Ranch 99.

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This chicken was so amazing.  It was flavorful and moist.
My mom said that it was a  "mommy original" so I'm going
to have to get the spices she used so that I can make it myself.
I normally don't like chicken, but I really liked this.

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These are the veggies that my mom cut up for the lettuce wraps.  Look how
evenly cut everything is!  Normally, this dish would be used with a ground
meat.  Since our friend is a vegetarian, we changed it last minute to have tofu
as a meat substitute.

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In front are the glass noodles.  We usually make this with salted, dried shrimp,
but we substituted the shrimp with sliced shitake mushrooms and added Napa
cabbage.  The small bowl is the turnip dish.  You can eat it as a soup too, but
since we had as soup we drained it. 

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Tonight's Dinner: February 21, 2013

It has been a pretty rough week since the temp who was filling in for Genna while she was on maternity leave found another position before his contract was up.  I've been pulling double duty and doing the front desk job as well as my normal sales admin position.  With a marketing event series going in full force, one which I'm heavily involved, as well as a big Microsoft convention around the corner, doing double the work has not been fun.

I managed to get myself to go pick up my wedding dress in Pinole.  It helped that there was a giant Target next door.  I picked up a Digorno pizza and headed home.  We have been all about the Fat Kid food lately.  We topped the pizza off with boneless buffalo chicken wings and a little bit of extra cheese.  Soon enough, we will be out of the disgustingly-bad-for-you-but-super-tasty frozen food that I bought for the Super Bowl party.  I'm not sure if I will be happy or sad.  On one hand, I know the food is terrible for us, but on the other, it's so easy to prepare when you're tired.

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Tonight's Dinner: February 20, 2013

We met up with the Fongs for an impromtu dinner at Shanghai Gourmet.  I can pretty much eat Chinese food any day.  After going for a run with Emmy, Nick asked me if I wanted to go out with them.  Usually, I hate this because I want to settle down get ready for bed, but I really love Chinese food. What was even better was that the restaurant was within walking distance of our apartment.  There isn't much to say about this dish, as it is very similar to all the others that we have had.

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Scallion pancakes that Nick requested.

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Shanghai Dumplings.  These come with a soy sauce based
dipping sauce, but I like them plain. 

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Nick actually ordered this dish because there was tofu in it without realizing
that the crab came whole.  I sure enjoyed it though.

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My favorite, dauw mew!

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Crispy combination chow mein

Friday, February 22, 2013

Tonight's Dinner: February 19, 2013

I ran to Sprouts after work to pick up some fresh supplies.  I'm getting really tired of having leftovers and frozen food.  I quickly marinaded a turkey breast in a miso sauce that I threw together with miso paste, chicken stock, red pepper flakes, and sesame seed oil.  While the turkey was marinating, I chopped up a head of cabbage and did a basic stirfry.  After the stirfry, I threw the turkey in the pan to sear on both sides. I added the extra marinade to the pan, but that was a mistake as it started to burn.  After searing on both sides, I lowered the heat and covered the pan and monitored the bird for the next 15 minutes.

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I was hoping that all of that lovely goodness on the sides would be able to
be made into a gravy, but it burned before I could get to that step. This is
why I don't enter any of those cooking competitions.  My stuff burns way too

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The turkey turned out really well and was very moist.

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My new favorite thing is to put a high quality hot salsa on my salad instead
of salad dressing.  Although I really like the vinaigrette that I learned from Abby,
I love salsa.  With half an avocado added, it's like eating guacamole on your salad.
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With the leftover turkey, I was able to make a delicious sandwich for lunch.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tonight's Dinner: February 18, 2013

We found out that our good friend Will's uncle, Dr. Bob, was going to be on The Worst Cooks In America.  Since I was still tired from our Tahoe trip and didn't go grocery shopping, I tried to clean out the freezer.  I made the ultimate chicken pot pie that Nick dubbed, Chicken Coop.  Using a wheat pie crust, I piled in buffalo boneless chicken wings with frozen corn and peas.  I mixed water with some cream of mushroom soup and shoved it in the oven.

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Tonight's Dinner: February 17, 2013

We left early from Tahoe to get back for dinner with Nick's family for Chinese New Year.  We went to our normal feasting place, Legendary Palace.  I'm going to blame the running, but I could not get full.  We had amazing food as usual, but I just kept eating and eating.  We did get a lot of the same kinds of food so I'm not going to put up pictures of the same thing, but there were a few new items.

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Shark fin soup.  I don't eat this based on principle, but I have in the past,
 before I knew better, and it is very tasty. 

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Chicken with wasabi pig intestines.  I can handle spicy, but I can't do wasabi
spicy.  Holy moly, that clears your sinuses.  

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Mustard greens with dried oysters.

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Daow mew with a white sauce.  I'm not sure what it is in
the sauce, but it looks like egg whites. 

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We got a suckling pig!  It wasn't as good as Malaysia, but still super good. 

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Sticky rice

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Nick eating the suckling pig's ear. 

Tonight's Dinner: February 16, 2013

Our friend made some awesome chili for us, which was amazing with the Super BCR that I reserved.  After that big brunch, I hung out in the sauna for a little while before going on a 7.8 mile run.  My longest run on my own to date.  Man, running in altitude is so much harder than running at home.  At first I didn't think that I would actually go for a run since our brunch was so large, but the sauna brought me back to life.  Anyway, after my run, I chugged a ton of water before having a mimosa.  Needless to say, the Super BCR and chili was necessary at the end of the night.  As usual, I was in bed by 10pm.  I. Am. An. Old. Lady.

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Today's Brunch: February 16, 2013

After driving up to Tahoe and getting a fairly good night's sleep (as good as you can get with beer pong and a very loud stereo in the garage), Nick and I headed to a local brunch spot with a friend.  The gang stayed back at our huge and gorgeous cabin to have a community breakfast, but with the way that Nick and I eat, there wouldn't be enough for everyone.  Plus, the hangovers needed to stay back at the cabin.

Nick, Timmy T, and I went to three different places, THREE PLACES!, before settling down at The Original Red Hut Cafe.  There are apparently a lot of them and they are all busy. The first place that we went to said that the wait would be 30 minutes, which for us was too long for us to wait.  Although we spent more time looking for another place to go, I think it was worth it.  The Original Red Hut Cafe was amazing.  Their jalapeno bacon has changed my world.  I'm going to try to make some for myself. Linda is also going to give me a waffle maker so that I can try to make bacon waffles.  I've never been a big fan of bacon, but I have been enjoying it more lately.  I think this is because Nick grills it so that most of the fat is gone. Now I want to try it in new things!

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Two goof balls

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Nick got a mushroom omelet. 

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I got a five ingredient omelet with fries instead of hash browns.  I also got a
side of gravy to put on top of the fries. 

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That is an unassuming waffle back there, but in between the thin layers of
waffle are whole pieces of bacon.  Yum!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tonight's Dinner: February 15, 2013

Super BCRs!  We were getting ready to go up to our annual cabin trip in Tahoe with Nick's friends.  What better than to soak up booze?  Super BCRs!  I bought six in total.  Two for myself, two for Rob and Linda, and two for the couple who set the whole trip up.  This is one glorious bag of BCRs.

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Today's Lunch: February 14, 2013

Boy how I love admin appreciation lunches.  At first we weren't sure if we would have time to go out as we were all scrambling to get things done for invoices and a Roadshow series we were launching.  The lunch had already been pushed back once.  After talking about the Old Spaghetti Factory though, we all wanted it and made time to go.  I got the classic lasagna because it is my favorite thing to get there even if it is easy to make. I ended up eating a full salad, the lasagna and a ton of bread so I didn't want dinner when I got home. I also decided that I should probably stay home with Nick for V-day.  We drank champagne and watched Homeland.  It was a nice and relaxing night.

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I know it looks like a blob, but it's a delicious blob. 

Tonight's Dinner: February 13, 2013

I have been really bad about going grocery shopping and cooking.  When I don't have free weekends we don't have food.  Since I've been doing my long runs on Mondays and then a short run and Zumba on Tuesdays, there is just no time to shop.  Plus, after doing a 10k on Sunday and then doing another 10k on Monday night with Emmy, I was hobbling around because my knees were killing me.  By Wednesday, however, I was tired of eating left overs and not cooking.  I stopped at Sprouts before heading home to pick up something good to eat.  It was our early Valentine's Day dinner as I was planning on going Zumba on V-day.  Nick wanted to make me a romantic dinner, but my Zumba instructor was going to a Zumba conference so she was having a substitute who works in a gym.  She had said that the substitute was faster paced so I really wanted to see if I'd like another instructor.  Now that I'm getting in better shape, doing Zumba with older ladies isn't very challenging anymore.

I picked up a small chicken, cauliflower and spinach fettuccine.  I texted Nick the three ingredients I bought and his response was "yum".  I love that I can tell him the raw ingredients and he has an idea of what is going to come of it.

The chicken turned out pretty well.  I stuffed it with thin slices of lemon, garlic and rosemary from my little herb garden.  I also put a little bit of each under the skin to penetrate the flesh.  We let it roast for about an hour.  The top wasn't as nice and brown as I would have liked since the lemons were placed on the skin.  I had taken them off, but then the tallest part of the chicken looked like it was starting to burn.  I took out our brulee-er and we started crisping up the skin.  It wasn't exactly the traditional way of getting the skin crispy, but it worked all the same and Nick had a good time playing with fire.

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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Today's Lunch: February 12, 2013

In another failed attempt to have pho, Nick and I had sushi for lunch.  Our normal pho restaurant was still closed and we both had failed to call to find out if they were open.  This time, however, I roped Christopher into coming too.  He had a really long break between his classes so he picked me up from my office and we went to meet Nick for lunch.  I'm not a lover of fish, as I'm sure you all know by now, but I managed to get myself into the mood for sushi.  As it turns out, we went to a sushi buffet for Dennis' birthday dinner as well. I've definitely met my sushi quota for the month.

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I know that most people appreciate the large pieces of fish and a small amount
of rice, but when it comes to sushi, I like a lot of rice and a little fish.  This
bento box was good, but I don't think I'll get it again.  There was just too much
fish for me.  I did really like the California rolls though. 

Today's Lunch: February 10, 2013

Gung Hay Fat Choy!  Christopher and I got up very early to head to The City for the Golden Gate Bridge Vista 10k.  Holy cow, that was the hardest 10k I've done to date.  The route was very scenic, but super steep.  The hill just kept going up and up and up.  The most despairing part was watching the old men zoom past me on their way down when I still had a ways to go up.  We did get some great pictures and managed not to come in last.  I finished at 1:10 hours and Christopher 1:12 hours.  Not too shabby for having super steep inclines.

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For all the running I've been doing, I sure look fat and stumpy in this picture.
The guy who took our pic didn't even get the Golden Gate in!

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As we were walking back to the car before heading to our
Grandma's house to clean up and sleep, we noticed this
amazing Count Chocula shadow that my sweatshirt jacket
was creating.  Naturally,  I had to take a picture of it and send
 it to everyone I know. 
In the afternoon, our whole family was gathering to celebrate Chinese New Year.  Usually we have a dinner, but my Grandma decided to change it up and have it at Moonstar, one of our favorite buffets.  This works out well because we are a family of big eaters and there is a lot of variety at this buffet.  Nick and I were trying not to eat too much because we had a reservation at the Wayfarer Tavern with his family for his sister's birthday in a few hours.  

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This is why I look so fat in that picture.  At least this was the only plate that
I had.  I didn't really go back for seconds.  I just needed water because I was
super dehydrated. 
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My cousins were clearly enjoying their cotton candy.

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