July Shenanigans & Recipes…

This summer has been one of the best.

Bobby and I have been cooking up a storm…

moscow-mule

^^A moscow mule (a drink my dad introduced me to).^^

This was mine, but I gave it to Bobby – after one sip I didn’t want anymore! It’s delicious but I wasn’t in a drinking mood. {HERE} is the recipe I posted 5 years ago when my dad first told me about it. It’s a mix of ginger beer, vodka, lime, and mint. Sometimes we do half seltzer / half ginger beer. Gingerale also works.

tempeh-onion-goop

^^Sweet and Savory Tempeh with Onions^^

I started off following Gwyneth Paltrow’s recipe for Tempe Manis (Sweet Tempeh)¬†but changed it… a lot. As you guys know, I’m not really into sweets that much, so I cut out just about all the sugar, and instead caramelized some onions to give it sweetness. I will hopefully remember what I did so I can post my version of the recipe later. So delicious.

kale-mustard-green-salad-seaweed-avocado-goop

^^Kale & Seaweed Salad with Avocado – Except with Mustard Greens because I mistakenly grabbed the wrong bunch of greens!^^

Another Gwyneth Paltrow recipe. Which she actually got from Cafe Gratitude (in LA I think?). {HERE} is her recipe. I changed it a bit – I only used one avocado, I didn’t add the cucumbers (all of a sudden I am hating cucumbers, weird!), and I accidentally bought mustard greens instead of kale. I’ve remade it with kale and I actually prefer it with mustard greens. They don’t come out bitter.

dinner-veggies-kabocha-rice-beans-cucumber-mushrooms

^^Random plate^^

This plate has a veggie stir-fry that was *amazing* – it has fake chicken from Trader Joe’s, but aside from that I don’t know what’s in it because Bobby (a budding cook, apparently) made it. I’ve also been *loving* white rice. Having it almost daily, in large amounts. My appetite has been interesting the last month or so. In this pic there is also kabocha (simply steamed, though I have another kabocha recipe I’ve been meaning to share), Rachel Ray’s sesame green beans, a cucumber salad (before I started hating cucumbers), and roasted mushrooms – I think these were oyster mushrooms.

Lastly…

natto

^^Natto^^

This is a fermented soybean product that is eaten a lot in Japan. It has an interesting (funky) smell and it’s slimy/stringy like okra (only more so). It’s definitely an acquired taste, but I have learned to love it. In fact, Bobby made a batch of homemade natto this week, which is aging in the fridge right now. It should be ready this weekend.

Aside from lots of good eats, other wonderful things have happened recently.

I got to meet my close friend’s baby:

maggie-and-eden

She is so sweet. So cuddly and adorable.

And Bo the cat is a weirdo ūüėČ

bo-weirdo

I can’t believe I caught that picture! I was reorganizing the area next to my washer/dryer and was taking these shelves downstairs, but Bo decided to hang out in the shelf and I got him mid-yawn.

What have you been up to the past couple of weeks?

{WIAW} Konnichiwa! (What I Ate Wednesday From Japan)

I am in Japan! Bobby and I left NYC last Tuesday afternoon and arrived in Japan Wednesday night. We were on the plane for 16 hours and we crossed the dateline, hence the entire day+ difference. The flight is only ~13 hours, but there was a problem with the plane’s toilets and we ended up sitting on the plane while they fixed them.

I can’t remember exactly what I ate that Wednesday but it included this:

A surprisingly good airplane dinner of beef and veggie stir-fry, shrimp cocktail, a little salad, and bread. The meal came with “buttery spread” which is really margarine-like. I am not sure why people are still eating margarine. It should go the way of large sugary sodas in NYC. Dessert was a small cinnamon brownie.

There were a few other surprisingly OK airplane meals, and then we were in Japan. We found Bobby’s mom in the airport, and then hit up a Starbucks. Did you know that Starbucks has a “short” size? They do – but it’s not listed on US menus. If you ask for it though, apparently you can get it (I believe only for hot drinks; I haven’t tried yet because I didn’t know until this trip). The tall is so large – I don’t usually want to drink that much coffee/frappuccino/whatever.

After 1.5 hours on a train and subway we were at Bobby’s aunt’s house in a suburb of Tokyo/Yokohama. A veritable feast was laid out for us of amazing Japanese food. Most of the daily eats in Japan are macrobiotic. I wish I could remember each dish. Some where¬†– rice (they eat white here; brown is rare), a stew with konyakku/lotus/daikon, hijiki salad, and more. And kabocha is also ubiquitous here.

And finally – shower and bed. I find that the best showers come after long days of traveling. This was possibly the best shower of my life.

Here are some more pictures from the trip so far:

Me enjoying a Japanese grocery store.

A double yolk egg. Did I mention that egg yolks are this really intense shade of orange here?

Not from the trip… but I miss these guys. My friend is taking care of them.

¬†—

Signing off for now. Have you ever been to Japan? What about another Asian country? I have not – this is my first time. I have traveled to Europe and Canada and that is about it.

It’s My Party, and I’ll Adho Mukha Vrksasana If I Want To

I have some absolutely HUGE news to share but it will have to wait a little bit. But I just wanted to totally get your hopes up and then make you wait. I’m kidding; I’m really excited about this thing but I just don’t want to jinx it before it happens.

***

It *is* actually my birthday tomorrow (almost today! – Thursday). So that is exciting. I just got home from a deliciously yummy yoga¬†class at Yoga Vida. I’m working on my handstand (still near the wall) and it’s really coming along. I can usually hold it for at least 5 seconds a couple times each day now. And my arms are getting stronger. I cannot believe what I difference I see in my practice when I take a class almost every day.

Not me. Source.

Yoga Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana) Tips:

  • Start in downward facing dog, facing a wall. Hands should be about 1 foot away from the wall. Then step your feet in a foot closer than they would be in a regular DFD, so you have a shorter stance.
  • Stretch one leg up, and then practice just kicking up one leg repeatedly so you kind of hover over your hands, and see if you can make it up to a handstand.
  • Tummy strong, weight over your shoulders.
  • Center of gravity should be between your shoulders, not in your lower back! Don’t let your back arch too much.
  • The counter pose is child’s pose, so make sure to take child’s pose after you practice your headstand. It’s also nice to massage the wrists.

***

But gosh sometimes I feel old. What have I done with my life? What do I have to show for it? I have a wonderful husband and two fats cats.

Have I done anything memorable? Meaningful? Important? Well that is why I hope that thing I mentioned above that I can’t quite say actually happens. I just want to do something with my life that means something to me, and makes me happy.

Here is my post from last year. And here from 2009 (this one has a recipe). In 2008 I logged my food. Things have most certainly changed over the years. This is now my second birthday being married. My first birthday in our new place. My second birthday at my job (the longest I’ve had a job, almost 2 years). My fourth birthday out of college (wtf?).

I think that is enough introspection.

***

Did anyone else buy the Living Social deal the other day? I think you know which one I’m talking about. I hope you didn’t miss it. I unsubscribed from those things long, long ago but someone linked me to this week’s and I couldn’t resist. (Okay, okay, it was for Whole Foods! Jeez.)

What’s Up Saturday – 10.16.10

Food/Health

Fun Stuff

Cat pic:

I got them new food so maybe they will be thinner next time they make an appearance. I also got them a cruel toy – it smells like catnip and you put food inside it (so they smell the food), and they chase it for exercise. They are not smart enough to get the food out though. I think they realized that because they’re not really playing with it anymore. Sigh.

How’s your Saturday going?