Archive of ‘dessert’ category

First Day Of Work

Remember that good news I mentioned the other day? Or maybe you wondered why I suddenly moved into Manhattan this weekend? I started my new job today. I’m a kind of marketing analyst for a small startup. So far – awesome.

This morning I woke up jittery so I went out for a jog. I did about 1.75 miles (?). When I got back I picked up my breakfast from Metro Cafe – a 12 ounce oatmeal made with skim milk + cinnamon, banana, and blueberries.

04 oatmeal

I finished it, but it wasn’t very good. I’m not getting it again. What the what Metro Cafe? I’ll stick with your bagels. Tomorrow’s breakfast is going to be instant grits from a hotel we stayed at on the road trip. Hehehe.

After a long day at work I opted for the hot foods bar at a random deli on my way home (I walked; about 1.5 miles or so). I met up with Bobby in the middle. (He got pizza.) I dumped honey mustard dressing on this.

05 salad bar

This meal was kind of oily but really good. I had grilled chicken, random prepared salads (something with broccoli, one with mushrooms, a sealeg salad, tomatoes, etc…), a sweet potato (I think), and some other things that I can’t remember right now.

Dessert was rice with honey mustard dressing (a little random) and these carob chips that my sister gave me. Um… more than pictured. I might still be eating them now.

06 carob chips

I’m off to snuggle and get some rest before work tomorrow. I apologize for the lack of commenting as of late; I’m sorry to say it’s going to continue. I’m still reading of course.

What was your favorite job?

Eating Out and About

Yesterday (Friday) was a hectic day! Bobby and I drove into the city to drop off a bunch of stuff at our apartment (we’re moving in this weekend), got a parking ticket ($95 – wtf), picked up Bobby’s new suits (they’re beautiful – Michael Kors), ate out twice, I got a mani cure, and we both got ready for my friend’s wedding today (Saturday).

We did the lunch special at Edo Sushi. I got chicken and broccoli again ($5.75; steamed) and Bobby got Salmon Don ($12). These are Droid pictures. The special comes with soup (miso for me)…

And then you get your entree. Mine came with rice on the side but I saved it to make fried rice later.

Edo’s is my favorite Pennington restaurant.

Dinner was at a new place called Pho 99; it’s Vietnamese. It’s up on Route 27 past Princeton. I opted for the papaya salad with shrimp (my usual). It comes with peanuts and a nice Vietnamese dressing. I also add hoisin sauce.

It was actually quite average and much smaller than I’m used to. Bobby offered to share his very large bowl of pho with me (beef noodle soup) and I happily obliged.

The pho was delicious. The broth was really good; so was the beef; the noodles were just average though. I’m like Heather; I don’t have beef often, but sometimes it just hits the spot. This was super lean and thinly sliced.

I have to go get dressed and ready for the wedding (it’s at 2:30pm)… after the reception we’ll do some more moving or wait until tomorrow.

Holding myself accountableI have not gotten in a good workout this week or last week at all. I want to get back on track with that. I haven’t even been able to do my standard walking or yoga. I’m writing this here for answerability. Maybe I’ll try to get a walk in before the wedding. I have also been eating grapes by the pound, and I need to stop for the sake of my skin, tummy, and wallet (grapes are expensive; they make me bloat; I just had a facial – I don’t want to ruin it). The facialist said to cut back on sugar and I want to listen to her (I know she’s right).

What are you doing this weekend?

Favorites on both sides of the US

Bobby’s cousins are so sweet. I’m going to miss them a lot. On our last night in California (Monday, November 9th) we went out together to Blue Mango (our favorite restaurant) in Santa Clara. Blue Mango is a Thai restaurant and they have a separate vegetarian menu (I haven’t used it in a while). We shared a bunch of dishes…

Appetizer: Heavenly Stuffed Wings – de-boned chicken wings stuffed with ground chicken, silver noodle, cilantro, water chestnut and black mushroom. They came with this great sweet dipping sauce. This was kind of scary at first (fried! processed! breaded!) but the deliciousness made up for it.

For dinner we shared 4 dishes. The Blue Mango Fried Rice – a big house special: chicken fried rice topped with sweet garlic pork.

The Green Curry – eggplant, bamboo, and bell pepper are soaked in coconut milk, with a hint of basil (cannot be mild).

Mushroom Mountain, as usual – soft tofu, baby corn, bamboo, straw mushroom, and bean sprout stir-fried with a bit of green curry paste. Sesame seed are sprinkled on for a beautiful finish.

And Basil Chili Chicken, also as usual – with bell pepper and onion.

After dinner we went out for dessert (frozen yogurt) at Golden Spoon – pumpkin pie and chocolate flavors. The toppings were raspberries, mango (not ripe, unfortunately), and crushed brownie bits.

Blue Mango never disappoints. And neither does Golden Spoon. If you ever get a chance, go there! (I’m talking about the Blue Mango on Stevens Creek – I hear the other one is not so good.)

Now that I’m in NJ I don’t have Blue Mango. But I do have Edo Sushi! Bobby, Julia, and I all went out for dinner tonight. I love this place. Edo Sushi is a Japanese and Chinese restaurant on Route 31 in the same shopping center as Pennington Market. It’s about a 10 minute walk from my parents’ house.

First is the tea… (unlimited and free – my two favorite qualities). Notice my cool NY key chain – it’s kind of vintage because it has the twin towers on it. I think I got it back in middle school.

I got chicken and broccoli with the sauce on the side (brown sauce).

The other pictures didn’t come out, but Julia got veggies and tofu with the sauce on the side (also brown sauce). Bobby got the Dragon vs. Phoenix – chicken, shrimp, and veggies stir-fried with yet another brown sauce. He also got a big pot of rice.

We finished everything. The check came with pineapple cubes and fortune cookies. Yum! I love Edo’s.

This dinner was nice after my indulgent afternoon… My parents gave me a massage + facial combo for my birthday and I finally used it. I went to Sydney Albert Salon Spa in Princeton. I’d highly recommend this place – I’ve been going there for years and I’ve always loved everything. Their haircuts are amazing, the facials are fantastic, and the massage was wonderful. Bobby also got a massage and he loved it.

While we were getting pampered, our Relocube arrived. Now we have to unpack it. I’m going into the city tomorrow, but when I get home I think we’re going to try to start sorting through all of our stuff. It’ll be a big project.

What’s your favorite restaurant?

Foodbuzz Festival: So many yums (tasting)

You all know how much I heart Foodbuzz. Now look at all these awesome samples that I heart as well (from the afternoon tasting). I can’t possibly post everything I tried, but here are the pictures that came out well.

Brandi‘s Stuffed French Toast:

Sabrina‘s Egg White Veggie Frittata Muffins:

Frog Hollow Farm‘s dried fruits (and Warren pears! So amazing).

Frog Hollow Farm also had a variety of chutneys and conserves, which were incredible. This was my favorite booth of the afternoon.

Some kind of shrimp and scallop ceviche from Fuego (can’t find a link):

A cool table with non-traditional shortbread made by Botanical Bakery:

Handmade marshmallows (pumpkin was one of the flavors) by Gateau et Ganache:

Chocolate covered nuts. I brought some of these home for Bobby and he has been calling them "poo balls". They are delicious despite their odd nickname.

My favorite candy of the day, made by Nina. Her Single Malt Scotch Bar was awesome.

Annie the Baker‘s cookies. Amazingly buttery and delicious. They tasted just like cookie dough.

p.o.p. candy‘s toffee – I had so much of the chai one. It had nuts and dried fruit.

Yummy (and pretty) chocolates.

Fabulous spreads.

479 Popcorn. My favorite was the curry (odd because I don’t like Indian food).

My other favorite dish of the day – Vineyard Pantry‘s Autumn Savory Tartlets (little pastry filled with wild rice, butternut squash, blue cheese mustard, cheese, and more). I can’t wait to experiment with their products.

A crazy cool beet meringue goat cheese savory dessert thing. It was a work of art (and quite tasty).

Olives.

Shannon‘s savory bread pudding.

I still have pictures from dinner, but I’ll save them. I met so many amazing people, including Emily from Foodzie – what a cool woman. That is a company I would love to work for.

A big thanks to FOODBUZZ for an amazing weekend.

In other news… wish me luck – we’re moving this week. (We’re taking off Tuesday instead of Monday.) Road trip from Sunnyvale to Princeton with two cats. Will be interesting.

Happy Monday! (Or Sunday, if you’re up late.) What did you do this weekend?

Foodbuzz Festival Day 1

Now Coco and Sophia are both here!

Tonight we drove up to San Francisco for the first Foodbuzz Festival event. The welcome reception was from 5-7pm at the Hotel Vitale. This wasn’t the main food event of the day, but they did have two cool appetizers: gruyere gougeres with bacon and mascarpone and pork rillettes. They were provided by midi.

I tried the rilletes. Pretty good, but kind of salty. I didn’t try the puff things, but they looked cool.

After the reception we headed over to the Ferry Building for an amazing dinner event. Foodbuzz rented out a portion of the building and had restaurants serving food all the way down the alley.

As soon as we entered I saw mini cupcakes, and I couldn’t resist. Dessert first! I tried the pumpkin cupcake, but they also had red velvet, chocolate cinnamon, and an almond flavored one. I had an almond one on my way out for my real dessert. These were provided by Mission Minis.

I also tried this delicious vanilla bean ice cream by Straus Family Creamery. Awesome.

Then it was time for some real food. I had a bean burrito from Tacolicious. It wasn’t that good. I wanted chicken, but they were out. They had cool shirts though.

I also tried these savory vegetarian and meat pies from Pie Truck. Pretty yummy!

And a raw oyster from Hog Island Oyster Co…. awesome.

I passed on these chicharrones (fried pork chips) but they were cool looking. From 4505 Meats.

Alive had a selection of raw foods – 2 raw pizzas and raw cheesecake. These were okay. Not my favorite, to be honest.

The best items of the night: Spencer on the Go‘s Beet Salad with blue cheese and "far west fungi vol au vent" (creamy mushrooms on top of a puff thing). I went back for seconds on both of these.

Then there was some incredible thin crust pizza from Pizza Politana. This was the best pizza I’ve had outside of Italy and New York. And I didn’t think I was a pizza person.

Lastly, there was a cool pork sandwich and potatoes from Roli Roti. This seemed to be really popular with other bloggers, but I thought it was just okay.

They had this funny shirt: "I heart Crispy Skin". (TWSS? Not.)

My favorite of the night was absolutely the mushroom dish from Spencer on the Go (second favorite was their beet salad). Holy amazing yum. On the way out I snagged some more ice cream and the almond cupcake.

Don’t worry, I didn’t finish everything pictured. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for tomorrow… Happy Saturday!

Catch Up Post!

Coco is here! And I have a big wrap-up of recipes and food to show.

First up: here are two breakfasts. Cheesy grits topped with leftover chicken (1/4 cup grits, cooked in water; cheese added at the end). There was a little bit of avocado on there too (avocado came with the chicken salad that this is leftover from).

Oat bran cooked with protein powder, cinnamon, vanilla, and a dash of salt. Topped with sesame seeds and maple syrup.

Have you tried Averie’s raw vegan cookie dough balls yet? Okay, mine are not balls (the first batch was), nor do they have chocolate chips. They are so simple to make.

Averie-inspired Raw Vegan Cookie Dough Yum

Ingredients (1 serving)

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • a little bit of water

Directions

Mix syrup and flour together. Add a few drops of water at a time until you get your desired consistency. I like mine a little bit too wet for balls (TWSS?).

Variations

  • part wheat germ, part flour (my favorite)
  • part wheat bran, part flour
  • ground nuts for flour (Averie‘s original recipe)
  • part oatmeal or oat bran, part flour
  • grind oatmeal/oat bran in the blender and sub for flour

I also made bread the other day. I just took my Easy Peasy Pizza Dough recipe and subbed in a few things for the flour. Instead of 3.5 cups of flour, I used the dregs of a cornbread mix (maybe 1/4 cup – Jiffy brand), some Heart Smart Bisquick, and whole wheat flour. It came out well. It was a little dense, but yummy with soft butter.

I have 3 more pictures of healthy yums, but I’ll save them for when I’m on the road and lacking in delicious food.

I can’t wait to pick up Sophia tonight and go to the Foodbuzz Festival.

What are you doing this weekend? You know what I’m doing.

I’m Back On Track

A few of my favorite bloggers have recently committed to getting back on track. Caitlin declared the whole month of November as a time to get back on track; Angela is doing it for the first week of November, starting today (the 2nd). I’m feeling it too: I haven’t been doing that much yoga, I haven’t been walking as much as I like to, and, to be perfectly honest, I’ve been eating a lot of crap. I haven’t been practicing mindfulness either, and I find myself munching through the day instead of eating proper meals.

This challenge might be hard for a few reasons – 1) Bobby and I are driving across the country next week; 2) the holidays and lots of decadent foods are coming up; 3) due to the move, I don’t know what my new routine will be (we’re moving to Manhattan btw). But I’m going to try. I’m synthesizing their goals and mine, and this is what I came up with. I’m going to try to do this for as long as I can. These aren’t arbitrary; these goals are what my ideal lifestyle would be so I want to keep up with them.

  1. Go to bed early (by 11:30pm) and get 7-8 hours of sleep a night.
  2. Cut out artificial sweeteners. I’ve been on a diet coke kick recently and it’s time to stop.
  3. More veggies, less fruit.
  4. More cooked foods, fewer raw.
  5. Lots of water and tea.
  6. Cook and plan more (or at least eat out at cheap-yet-healthy places).
  7. Sit down for every meal.
  8. Do something relaxing for 30 minutes every day (yoga, a bath, these exercises).
  9. 30+ minutes of cardio each day (walking, running, yoga).
  10. Give myself credit. Even if I don’t do all of these things perfectly, I’m going to give myself credit for the attempts and partial successes.

Because we’re moving, I’m trying to use up the groceries we have and I don’t plan on buying more. This week I’ll be eating out a lot but I’m not too worried about that; I love eating out and I can always find something healthy on the menu. The only thing that worries me about eating out is the money issue. I wish I was less frugal 😛

The other issue I might have is that this weekend is the Foodbuzz Blogger Festival. I plan on eating well, but I doubt that I’m going to get much sleep because two of my favorite bloggers are coming to stay with me and we’re all going together. I am so excited to meet them.

Some of the yummy dishes I plan on making and eating during this November challenge are…

a healthy Thanksgiving meal, like last year’s

3-my-plate

fresh delicious salads

6-lotus-shrimp-pork-salad

lots of squash fries…

6-butternut-fries-agave-ketchup

this fun Indian mushroom recipe

8-mushroom-corn-salad

… and lots more. You should check out my recipes page for more inspiration. This bread recipe was one of the first things I ever posted (December 2007).

braid4

Anyway, back to the “back on track” plan. Today has been a good day so far. I did a yoga class this morning at my studio and I went to bed early last night (crashed on the couch at 9:30pm). I wanted to go to Sweet Tomatoes for dinner, but Bobby has band practice… so maybe not.

And now this post is getting epic. Happy November! Are you challenging yourself this month?

Happy Hallowe’en!

I’m sitting by the door waiting for kids to come trick-or-treating. I have a nice treat basket filled with random samples of things that I’ve gotten (thanks, Whole Foods!), YummyEarth lollipops, Reese’s cups (my favorite), and “Grape Coconut Jelly” (interesting Asian candy things that Bobby gets). (Don’t forget about the YummyEarth discount – good until November 15th.)

32 halloween candy

We didn’t get any kiddies last year, and I don’t know if we will this year either. Do you get trick-or-treaters?

Earlier today Bobby joked, “Maybe the reason Americans are becoming obese is that we focus on candy for every holiday and on Halloween we buy too much so we have extra left over. I bet other countries don’t do this.” But he’s right. Trick-or-treating is a very North American thing (Canadians do it too). It’s done in the US, the UK, Canada, parts of Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Ireland. Apparently it’s been introduced in Italy and New Zealand (because of American culture infiltrating the media), but it’s been pretty controversial. Stuffing your face with candy seems to be a uniquely American thing to do.

As a kid I loved halloween. I don’t think I cared too much about the candy, to be honest. I did love dressing up. My mom always helped me and made elaborate costumes. I’ve been everything from a witch, to a pumpkin, to a bag of jelly beans (so cute), to a little Dutch girl with clogs, to a witch again, to a hippie… Well, you get the idea.

pumpkin sleeping

Of course I ate my candy – who wouldn’t? But I remember saving it for ages (I always “save” things for the “best” time) and ending up throwing most of it away after it went bad a few months later. This is the same way I treat most nice things I own; I save them for opportune times, but often the opportune time never comes and I regret saving whatever it is. Living in the moment is probably a better idea, anyway. And who wants to save something like calories? That shouldn’t doesn’t make sense.

But back to Halloween – it’s a shame that we can’t give out candied apples or homemade cookies anymore. I think that would be the best way to celebrate.

[Aside: we just got a kid! A little alligator! So cute.]

Am I being too cynical? Should I just accept that (most) Americans glorify unhealthiness because it’s “the land of the free” and we can pretty much do what and eat what we want without thinking of the consequences? I think I’m getting too pensive for a Saturday night, so I’ll stop there. Hope you all enjoyed your Halloweens.

Recipe: Raw Energy Balls (coconut, carob)

Today Jill and I went to another demo at our Whole Foods. Catra (our fitness instructor and a raw foodist) did a short presentation on the raw foods diet and gave out samples of 2 raw food recipes. First was Catra’s…

Raw Energy Balls

30 energy balls raw

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup carob powder
  • 3 cups shredded unsweetened raw coconut
  • 3/4 cup coconut butter/oil
  • 1/2 cup raw agave nectar

Directions

Mush everything together by hand. Shape into balls and freeze before eating.

Substitution ideas (not all raw)

  • honey or maple syrup in place of agave
  • oatmeal in place of some shredded coconut
  • nut butter in place of coconut butter/oil
  • cut down on oil; add more sweetener
  • replace half the oil with a super-ripe mashed banana
  • cocoa powder in place of carob powder
  • ground flax in place of some shredded coconut

These were good, but a little bit too heavy for me. I find that many raw food desserts do not sit well with my temperamental stomach. The recipes with a lot of oil or sweet ingredients are especially tough for me to eat. These were really delicious though, and I would make them with a few modifications. I would cut down on the oil and Jill suggested maybe subbing some of the coconut for oatmeal (like no-bake cookies).

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I watched The Biggest Loser last night. I’ve been enjoying this season (“Second Chances”) mainly due to the fact that Jillian is digging up the contestants’ issues and forcing them (the contestants) to deal with the issues head on instead of hiding them as the contestants get healthy. The theme with all of the contestants is self-forgiveness. We can all relate to this on some level; I certainly have (more than) one experience in my life that I just can’t seem to let go of. Watching the contestants grow and change and evolve into these new and inspiring people is motivating. I suppose that’s why the show is so popular.

While I’m on the topic of growth and change, I wanted to say again how excited I am to be moving (to New York) in less than 2 short weeks. Thank you for your ideas and positive comments. I can’t wait to begin this next phase of my life. It’s bittersweet to be packing up my things and making preparations to move back “home”. I will certainly miss some of the people I’ve met here and I’ll always remember the fun times I had in California. Now I think it’s time to let it go and move on.

My high school reunion (5 years) is at the end of November. I’m going to go since I’ll be back in the area. Did you go to your high school reunion?

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