Saturday, August 31, 2013

Today's Lunch: August 18, 2013

On our way back from our friends Chris and Whitney's wedding, we stopped at the Sacramento Boiling Crab for lunch. We had stayed the night in Auburn and were dropping off a friend at the Sacramento airport so we were in the general area.  Nick has been talking about the Boiling Crab for months now so we waited in line to get a table.  I don't know if you could consider this the "original" cajun shrimp place in California, but I know it's one of the bigger chains.

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It's a clear sign when they provide you with bibs and line the tables with butcher
paper that it's going to be messy eating. 

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I had been wanting oysters on a half shell for a while so we got half a dozen
to start off with.  They tasted fine and neither of us got sick, but they were
oddly clean.  Usually when we get oysters on a half shell you can see the foot
of the oyster still stuck on the shell.  These were perfectly clean.  Nick thought
that they had been previously shucked and frozen. Neither of us could taste
a difference, but it was really strange to see such a clean shell after slurping it

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This is how you begin.  They waiters bring out bags of shellfish in whatever
sauce you specify.  We got a two pound bag of shrimp (right) and one pound
bag of clams (left) in their hot The Whole Sha-Bang sauce.  These things were
piping hot!  It made it very difficult to peel.  I also don't like pulling the heads
off of my shrimp, but I had to suck it up and just do it.  Nick found it funny that
I was extracting the shrimp by pulling them out with their antennae. 

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This is what it looks like after.  We didn't even get close to finishing all of
the shrimp.  We asked the waiter to pack it away with a bag of ice so that it
would keep on the drive home. I noticed that after a few shrimp I started to get
tired of the flavor.  It was just so much of the same thing. 

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Nick's pile of shrimp shells was far more impressive than
mine.  It was too much work for so little pay off.  I much
prefer putting the working into shelling crab. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Tonight's Dinner: August 16, 2013

Since I've been slacking on the blog posts I figured that I would just try to catch up on some of the more exciting dinners that we have had in the last couple of weeks. Tonight we went to Sasa because I wanted Nick to try it out after I went for an admin lunch.  I think I built it up too much for him because he seemed unimpressed.  I enjoyed myself though.

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We started off with Uni and Salmon.

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I always have to get California Rolls when I have sushi. 

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Nick tried a spicy cocktail while I had champagne. 

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Duck confit fries with gravy.  These were amazing.  They were the best fries I've
had in a long time. 

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Beef tongue

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It was a little too chewy for me.  I think if it was braised it would have been

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By the time all of our food came out we were a little too full to eat all of
these sweetbreads.  I only had three or four nuggets because they were
incredibly rich. 

One Night We Noticed...

How similar we really are.

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Nick noticed it first so we took a picture to take a look for ourselves.  We have
the same Grinch-y, mischievous smile. 

 If you follow me on Facebook, you've probably already seen this.

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Crossfit battle scars from double unders.

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Spartan Beast

After months of training, it was finally upon us.  Christopher and I had been running half marathons and started Crossfit in preparation for the Spartan Beast in Monterey. Even with all the training, I was so nervous that I didn't sleep well for days prior to the event.  By the time the actual day came, I had very strong pre-race jitters.  Usually, I don't sleep well the night before because races are usually very early and I'm afraid that I won't wake up in time.  For the Spartan, I wasn't sleeping well from pure nervousness.  Our heat started at 11am, so we had plenty of time to get to the starting line so I wasn't worried about over sleeping.

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Nick was very happy to be in the hotel.  We stayed at the Hyatt in Monterey
and will definitely be going there when we visit Christopher at school.

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Before the race we knew that we had to eat a good breakfast.  Christopher and I were both surprised at how many people we heard saying that they should have eaten breakfast.  It was a 13 mile run with 25+ obstacles and treacherous terrain.  Why wouldn't you eat a good breakfast?!  Nick and I had been to The Breakfast Club before and I really wanted to go back.

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Christopher and I each got a plate of scrambled eggs and real corned beef hash.
I specify "real" because we usually eat it from a can.  We didn't eat it all because
we didn't want to be uncomfortably full, but it was so gosh darn good. 

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Nick got a vegetarian omelet. 

It just so happened that the couple we were meeting up with parked about four spaces away from us so we didn't have to do the "I'm under the red tent.  ...I'm under the red tent! I don't see you!" game.  My friend Madeline and her boyfriend, Matt, were dumb enough to sign up for the race with us.  It was a grueling race, but it was so much fun.  At times we were all asking ourselves, "Why did we pay to do this?!", but it gives you such an accomplished feeling that you can't help but want to do more.  Let's be honest, it makes you feel pretty freaking bad a** also. 

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We figured we needed as many pictures before we started the race as we could.
Note: Look how white Matt's shirt is. 

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"What did I get myself into?!"

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"You can do it!"  Nick was the support crew.  He was there
to cheer us on and drive us home. 

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Walking in, we thought that this was just a cool structure to greet us.  Little
did we know that it was actually and obstacle that we had to climb up and get
across.  If you know anything about Christopher and I, we're afraid of heights.
This was probably one of the most mentally challenging obstacles to get through.

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At the starting line.

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We finished!  Look how dirty Matt's shirt is!  They actually hosed us down
with fire hose during and after we crawled through mud under barbed wire.

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This is us trying to look tough while grimacing.  My mom thought that
we were smiling.  Toughness fail. 

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They make you wear time chips on your person somewhere.
I put mine on like it is a watch.  During the gravel carrying
obstacle, the bucket of gravel caught between my skin
and the time keeper.  This picture was taken after the race
was over. 

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Day two of the time keeper bruise. 

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Post race. 

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We wanted to get The Boiling Crab in San Jose, but the line was out the door
and the wait was 45 minutes. Christopher and I really needed food so we
went next door to get pho.  

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Nick LOVES Ban Mis.

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We finished in five hours and 22 minutes.  We walked
most of it and I'm sure that we could finish it faster if
we ran a little bit more, but it was very hot and extremely
dusty. There were times that we were hiking such steep
hills that my hands and feet were touching the ground like
I was climbing up the mountain.
After all this, Christopher, Madeline, and I are hooked.  (Matt is unconvinced.)  We have signed up to do the Spartan Trifecta, which is the Spartan Sprint (3mi), Spartan Super (8mi), and another Spartan Beast (13mi).  In order to get a Spartan Trifecta you have to do all three races in a calendar year.  Since we didn't know about this prior to our race, we are a little bit too late to squeeze a Trifecta into our calendar year.  We've even convinced our Dad and Nick to do the Sprint with us.  If anyone wants to do it, this is the time!  We're starting small.  We've dubbed ourselves the "Chinfecta" (we considered Chin-fong-ta) but we're thinking of changing our names since some of our Crossfit friends want to do it too.  It's on! 

Christopher put together a compilation video of us during the race with his GoPro.  If you would like to see it, click on the Chin Spartan Beast link. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Bites again?!

I know I have a lot of updating to do, but I wanted to do a quick post. (I want to do a proper post for our Spartan Race.)  I'm getting those bites again!  This happen last summer too and I couldn't figure out what it was.  Short of bug bombing the house, I cleaned everything up and down to no avail. Then mysteriously, all the bites stopped after two weeks and the weather cooled down.  I don't know if these things just happen when we have a heat wave, but they definitely look like bites rather than a rash. I have been having bad allergies though and my skin is prone to getting super itchy along with the runny nose.  Arg!

Thankfully, I haven't found any bed bugs and the bites don't look like bed bug bites.  They also don't look like flea bites so I don't know what they are.  Nick said he has one bite, which happened last year also.  I just don't know what is going on, but I hope it stops sooner than two weeks!

Mites!  These look like mite bites!  I did also just clean out an old drawer...

Monday, August 05, 2013

Tonight's Dinner: August 1, 2013

My low carb diet is quickly dwindling.  After my workout today I had to go to Target to get Q-tips and face wash.  While searching for the Q-tips I saw the frozen pizzas. I'm sure you know where this is going.  I got myself a Digorno pizza with a stuffed crust and ate half of it in one sitting.  I did, however, pay for it after.  Within a few minutes my stomach wasn't feeling well and I was getting the sweats. It was almost worth it, but I think I should just stick with my healthy diet.

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Tonight's Dinner: July 31, 2013

After doing Crossfit, a lot of times I don't like to eat a whole bunch.  I'm just tired and sometimes heavy food makes my stomach upset.  Nick had gone to dinner with his parents at a local Chinese restaurant.  He wanted to make sure that I ate dinner so he got me spicy Ma-po Dofu.  It was delicious but was way too much food after a difficult workout. I was able to split some to make it my lunch and Nick took the rest for his.  Oh how my stomach has shrunk.

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Tonight's Dinner: July 29, 2013

Although I'm trying to be low carb on the weekdays, I just can't resist my Mom's linguini and clams.  I was leaving the gym with Christopher.  He was going right and I was in the left hand turning lane. When I saw the text from Nick saying that he'd bring some home for me, I literally backed up and crossed two lanes to make a right turn.  That is how much I love my Mom's linguini and clams.  I ate it all.

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The Matrix at the SF Symphony

This really attracts my inner nerd.  And my outer nerd.  And my everyday nerd.  I don't even like The Matrix that much, but seeing it on a big screen with a live orchestra is breath taking.  You just don't know if you should watch the musicians or the movie!  Even though I was in band for a very long time, I didn't realize that all those strange squeaking, creaking, eerie sounds in the score were instruments.  I always assumed the sounds were computer generated.  It was really awesome.  I've been to see The Wizard of Oz at the symphony, but because the score of The Matrix is pretty epic, this showing was much more spectacular.

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Prior to going to the symphony, we quickly met up with
our friends Frank and Jenelle at RN74 for drinks, as Jenelle's
brother is a chef there and their cousin was visiting from
Kentucky.  We got to try the pate on toast.  It was delicious
and irony.  My favorite. 

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How cool is this?!

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Tonight's Dinner: July 28, 2013

Since I haven't been cooking that much and trying to cut back on the carbs, I decided that I really wanted some pasta.  I was originally going to just open a jar of tomato sauce and dump it over spaghetti.  Nick, however, wanted me to make a sauce after watching an episode of The Next Food Network Star.  So what was going to be a simple dinner, turned into me full out cooking.  I do have to admit, it tasted way better and way healthier than a jarred sauce.

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July's Admin Lunch

Man, I love these.  Every month our office takes the admin staff out to lunch after invoices are completed.  Though I no longer work on invoices, I'm still part of the team so I reap the benefits of the monthly lunches.  This month we went to Sasa, an Asian fusion restaurant in our area.  I can honestly say that this is the best place we've been yet.  Our CEO is a pretty big foodie and wanted to share Sasa with us.  I'm glad! I really, really enjoyed lunch here and would like to take Nick and his family.  I think his parents would enjoy it very much.  It's a little on the pricey side for the two of us on our own, so I wouldn't go here all the time, but it would be a great date night.

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Heirloom tomato salad

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I can't remember what these are called, but I think the one with salmon is called
the Walnut Creek roll.  Their sushi was really good and great quality.

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The Umami burger was fantastic.  I would go here for lunch just to have this
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Teriyaki salmon skewer and Adobo Braised Short Rib sliders

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Chicken meatball skewers

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Pistachio crusted sea bass - This was everyone's least favorite, but the rest
of the food was so good that it didn't matter.

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Hamachi and another Walnut Creek roll.

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I can't remember what this is called, but it is basically three pieces of hallowed
out french toast bread soaked in honey with ice cream, balsamic glazed straberries
and chocolate sauce on top. The inside had cubed up toasted pieces of bread that were like
little pieces of honey-soaked croutons. It was super sweet and I could only eat a