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Monthly Archives: September 2010

Some progress or still too early to judge

For some reason So Cal weather has been acting up…it has been HOT, HOT, HOT since Friday and it’s the end of September! I guess the heatwave hit us quite late this year.

So what’s with the title of the post?

Not much except I got to update my blog..again…haha..it has been pretty consistent recently. I guess after having my parents living with me for the past couple months, I’m slowly adjusting. It’s tough in the beginning but I learned to not to be too picky. Parents always have their own way of doing things, or sometimes they tend to be a bit a little “nosy” of what I’m doing. Or sometimes they might interrupt me while I’m in the middle of doing something.

But on the other hand, the good thing having parents here are having meals ready after hubby and I got home from work ๐Ÿ˜€

Anyway, just had a little talk with my dad about my brother’s condition and seems like he’s getting a little better with the fever. He’s been diagnosed with TB and although he’s been on the medication for about 2 months. One of my uncle who’s a pharmacist mentioned us to get a juice extractor. My brother is not veggie fan, can’t eat fruits too much at once and he doesn’t like raw veggies. So the solution? Juice up bunch of raw veggies mixed with fruits (kinda like green monster thing, but in this case he only drinks the juice extract, not eating the pulp). We got Hamilton Beach juicer last week at Target.

example of stuff that we juiced for him to drink. He drinks this kind of juice twice a day (morning and night) - carrots, pineapple, some veggies, honeydew, apples, cukes etc

The juice!

The pulps - my dad actually eats the pulps as he doesn't want to waste it

The juice taste GOOD! Very refreshing and not to mention you got lots of veggie and fruits servings at once! The only downside it took sometime to prepare. We have to soak the veggies and fruits in water bath with baking soda and salt (baking soda to remove the pesticides, salt to kill off the worms/larvae).
He started to drink this juice on Wednesday and based off from his temperature record, he’s getting a little better after drinking this. My uncle mentioned that this juice will help him build up his immune system so will help bring his fever down. Fever is caused by the body fighting off the infection and weak immune system. We’ll see how his progress for the next couple days. Fingers crossed.

Yesterday we had a trip to downtown LA to visit one of my colleague in the hospital. She just had a heart surgery and since she’ll be discharged on Monday, I decided to pay her a visit on Saturday.

Typical sight of downtown LA - traffic!

Took us about 1 hour to get there cause of bad traffic by the rubberneckers watching the accident on the other side. I don’t usually slow down and look at the accidents as they all always look bad – nothing new. Dunno why some people just HAVE TO LOOK at the accident and slowing down the traffic…GRR.

After the hospital visit, we had a little lunch date at Tasty Garden, some kind of Hongkong style Chinese cafe.

One thing I like from this place is the Hongkong style waffle (“Chicken egg waffle” – literally translated from Cantonese). Unlike western style waffle, the Hongkong style one looks like bunch of chicken eggs.. LOL.

The teas came with the waffle and the Hongkong style noodle soup my hubby ordered - It was 3pm and they have Afternoon tea time special and these are part of it.

Hongkong style noodle soup my hubby ordered - I had some of it..not bad.

I ordered - egg white with imitation shark fin - not bad just a bit greasy for me. Should mention the waitress to reduce the oil. oh well..and this dish came with a rice plate

Ok gotta wrap up this post as posting these food pics makes me HUNGRY and it’s almost 11 pm!

The best thing I did this weekend? I finally made chocolate banana soft serve! Perfect dessert for this hot day! It’s vegan, gluten free, dairy free, guilt free and healthy plus refreshing! YUMM!

oooh how delish!

I finished this whole cup as my afternoon dessert! Yum! Just like eating ice cream! ๐Ÿ˜€

Btw, don’t forget to enter this CSN giveaway!

Question of the day: What’s the best thing you’ve done this weekend?
For me: lunch date with hubby and making the banana soft serve!

 
5 Comments

Posted by on September 26, 2010 in food

 

Friday night

It’s Friday night and here I am sitting in front of my laptop typing this short entry while waiting for my hair to dry. Yoga was great today, got lots of sweat, decent workout, not the best, but better than nothing.

Also my bowel has been pretty active ever since I got back home today, not sure was it because I consumed a bit too much veggies yesterday or because I had some greasy stuff at lunch at Vietnamese restaurant today. It’s been a looooooooooong time I haven’t had anything too greasy (deep fried particularly). I ordered a bowl ofย  rice vermicelli topped with some veggies (finished all of them), charbroiled pork sausages (didn’t have any), and deep fried shrimp patties (ate them all which was big mistake).

Source
That wasn’t the exact dish that I ordered (mine didn’t have egg rolls) and I didn’t take the actual pic because I didn’t want my co-worker looking at me as a weirdo.

I had hard time concentrating at work today (c’mon who wants to actually work on Friday??) partly because I had to make some phone calls to my bro’s doctor regarding his condition. He’s still having fever and seems getting weaker. Parents are getting sad and anxious and they are desperate for someone to give them a proper answer. “An answer will only lead to more questions” – a quote I like from “LOST”. I wish I can tell them some good news but sadly I’m not sure what to say either.

Oh well it’s Friday night and I don’t want to force my brain to think too hard. Just wanna wrap up this post and surfing the net while waiting for my hair to dry. Yes, I air dry my hair as much as possible. I don’t usually wash my hair in the evening but if I couldn’t get up early to do my workout, I have to do it after I got home.

Have a good weekend!

Question of the day: What do you usually do on Friday night?

Before my brother got sick, my hubby and I used to just sit in front of our own computer, doing our own stuff. Be it reading blogs, watching online movies/shows/anime/news/podcast, or we watch movie together. Ah, how I want those simple days back again. *sigh*

 
4 Comments

Posted by on September 24, 2010 in food

 

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What did / do I miss?

I miss my intense workout
Not sure if I mentioned this before but my lower back pain is getting a little better, thanks to daily yoga and stretches. I have to abstain from any intense workout, and that means no running/jogging/weight lifting/burpees/jumping rope etc. My workout activities have been reduced to Yoga and bunch of crunches for the past 2 weeks. Seriously, the idea of not working out just drive me crazy. It’s so weird for me to even say this, especially in the past I wasn’t fitness enthusiast at all.

Now that my back is getting much better, I already tempted to do more intense workout and have to really stop myself not to push it too hard or else I’ll be in more pain. *sigh*

And not to mention my left knee started to bug me since couple days ago. Every time I squat down and get up, it’ll make weird cracking/popping noise. Scaryyyy!!!!! Gosh, am I getting bad karma because my discontent of my bro’s illness?? ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I missed the biggest full moon of the year
Yesterday was the Mid Autumn Mooncake festival. It was said that last night was the biggest full moon of the year. Anyone caught the big full moon? I missed it!! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ My hubby went to his parents place for a dinner and came back with this:

When I was little I used to like this mooncake, little I knew what are these made from: lots of sugar and lard! Now that I know what are those made from, I go easy on it. I don’t have sweet tooth to begin with so I know I won’t binge on it. Just a thin slice for a taste is good enough ๐Ÿ™‚
I heard that they make vegetarian version of this but I haven’t gave them a try. It might still be too sweet to my taste.

I miss my desktop computer
Ever since my parents taking over our computer room, I haven’t been able to go online freely every night. Thus I can’t update my blog as regularly as before nor I can read other’s blogs as often. I do have a laptop but our home wireless connection always drops and have to reboot the router numerous times. Not to mention I don’t have much privacy browsing around my laptop in the dining room. Occasionally, my parents (my dad especially) always glancing looking at my laptop screen to see what I’m doing…that sort of annoying….make me feel like I’m a grade school kid (no offense). I don’t have extra table in my master bedroom and it hurts my lower back even more by sitting on the floor too long. Not to mention I hate using the track pad.

I miss our weekend ritual
When was the last time my hubby and I go for the beach run? It’s been months and I feel like I’ve lost all of my running endurance that I accomplished couple months ago. I’m sure my hubby, K also missed it. I hate running outside our compound. Running in circle is not my favorite. It’s boring, tedious as hell and not to mention have to watch out for the cars. Treadmill is the worst – no offense to the treadmill lovers.

I missed posting the giveaway
Maybe I was secretly wish to reduce my competitors? ๐Ÿ˜› Anyway go here for PureBar giveaway!

On a little lighter side, I scored this bath robe at CVS Pharmacy!

I don't particularly choose white as my wardrobe because it gets dirty very easily. But they only had pink and lime green which are not my favorite either. No baby blue ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Oh well, I can live with white.

$9.99 regular price, save $2 with CVS Pharmacy card = $7.99 + tax = $8.77. Not a bad deal! I totally love this deal!

Question of the day: What do / did you miss?

 
3 Comments

Posted by on September 23, 2010 in food

 

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The award and me

Heey everyone, how’s your week so far? I know it’s only Tuesday (still a loooong way to the weekend) but hopefully everything starts off well.

Gosh, I’ve been wanting to update the post, especially been skimming and reading the blogs on my reader but time just didn’t allow me do so. So now I just have to make sometime to do it, otherwise I won’t update the blog…EVER!

Anyway, I got The Versatile Blogger Award from Miho at Sagojyou’s Veg*n PageTHANKS GIRL!!

So this time I need to tell you 7 random facts about me (Uh..don’t you have enough facts from my past blog posts such as here, here and here? Haha)

Anyway here we go:
1. I’m currently having a lower back pain and still have no idea how I hurt myself ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

2. I hate cleaning but when I start doing it, I can go super detail

3. I tend to be too honest and blunt and some people think I’m being rude/impolite to them – a little info on this: my aunt yelled at me when she asked me about stuff that she sent a while back and I said I am not sure.
Instead she was yapping me being childish not be able to tell her those. For hell sake, I wasn’t the one who picked those stuff up at her son’s place..it was my hubby. And at that time I was in the middle of doing stuff. Geez.

4. I realized I tend to hold grudges. Not like I’ll kill someone for it. But in the past when someone being mean/bad to to me I tend to hold on to that hurt feeling everytime I see that person again. It’s bad, I know. I’m killing myself slowly.

5. I’m working on #4 – to be able to let things go.

6. I learned Japanese language in college because for my love for manga/anime ๐Ÿ˜€

7. My job is not hard but not easy either, instead I make it LOOK easy for other people. Haha.

Now I need to tag 15 people…..hmm..it’s hard to do ….but for sure I’ll pass this one to Tra, who gave me the Cherry Award.

Now what happened to the other 14???

Well, how about anyone who comment to give his/her 7 facts? I think it’ll be fun that way ๐Ÿ˜€

 
3 Comments

Posted by on September 14, 2010 in food

 

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Labor Day Weekend recap, an award, and other random fun stuff

Helloo everyone, how was your Labor Day weekend (for those who are in the US) or how was your weekend (for non US residents).

As our current situation, we just stayed and chilled at home. The big highlight for mine was I made Vegan Spring Rolls and Baked Vegan Egg Rolls. ๐Ÿ˜€
But before diving into those stuff, I found out Tra at Trayn Harder gave me this Cherry Award! – THANKS TRA!

It’s my first time get an award, so not sure how things work. But I think I need to answer these questions:

1. If you had the chance to go back and change one thing in your life, what would it be?
Hm, I admit this is a tough question to answer, because I have tons of things I want to change and can’t pick one. Anyway, I wish I could go back to the time when I was still in university, telling my old self to learn more skills so I could get a better job with a much better pay. Don’t get me wrong, my current job is decent enough and I’m lucky enough to still keep my job in this recession. However, I know I could do better. After graduating and star working, it’s really tough to actually go back and learn more stuff like in school.

2. pick 6 people and kill them. no, wait, not kill- let them know they got it. my bad.
Sagojyou, Jessica, Danielle, Ameena, Lynn, Averie.

3. thank your awarder.
Tra, thanks so much for this award!!! I love to read about your days with JC, your CrossFit workout and also your comments and support. And again, good luck with Arizona! ๐Ÿ˜€

Alright, let’s move on to the weekend recap, shall we?

So like I mentioned above I made Spring Rolls and Baked Egg Rolls. What are the differences btw?
Spring rolls are not deep fried nor baked. They usually made from rice paper, soaked in a water for a bit. The fillings can be ANYTHING that you want. First time I had spring rolls was when I went to Vietnamese restaurant.

Source
Typically, the fillings are: rice noodles, raw bean sprouts, cilantro, shredded raw lettuce and cooked meat (shredded chicken, shrimps, shredded beef). Spring rolls are usually eaten with plum sauce, hoisin sauce or even chili sauce.

I didn’t have time for those fancy fillings, so I made my own version: Vegan Spring Rolls. (All credits go to Averie for her creative raw food ideas)

The fillings are: Spring mix vegetables, shredded carrots, shredded cucumbers, shredded apples– All raw.

Speaking of eating raw veggies, my parents pointed out something to me: beware of those little larvae and worms lurking on the raw veggie leaves and also the pesticides. I’m not a big fan of buying organic veggies and such, so these are good things to know. So what’s the remedy for this?

Soak the veggies in the water bath, mixed with some baking soda and salt for about 5 minutes. Baking soda will remove the pesticides and salt will kill those larvae and worms! After that, just rinse it off and we’re good to go! Same thing can be applied to fruits as well: apples, peaches, grapes and any fruits that you’ll eat with the skins!

Soaking veggies in baking soda and salt water to remove the pesticides and kill the larvae/worms

Eaten with this easy peasy peanut sauce. (Thanks Averie, again!)

unsalted TJ chunky peanut butter, sesame oil, some brown sugar, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, a dash of salt. I didn't do exact measurements on this. Just eyeball everything and as long the taste turned out right and not too sticky/watery, it was good to go! Sweet, savory and a bit of tangy...YUM!

I was such in a mood of rolling thru the long weekend, so the next day I made Baked Vegan Egg Rolls.
A little note: usually egg roll skin has some egg in there, but the one I got was totally vegan.
The ingredients were only: wheat flour, tapioca starch, salt and water (not exactly but that’s how I remember roughly). And mostly people deep fried egg rolls until they’re super crispy. I’m not a big fan of greasy food so I opted on baking them instead.

Prepping the ingredients for egg rolls: bean sprouts, celery, shitake mushrooms, rice noodles, carrots, green onions and egg roll skins

One thing about egg roll fillings: everything is COOKED, no raw stuff. So I saute the veggies (do not stir fry the rice noodles- soak them in water until it’s tender should do it. If the rice noodle is a bit hard, soak them in warm water instead – 5 minutes should be long enough).

I added canned garbanzo beans afterwards to boost up the protein.

Now the fun part, rolling them!

All rolled up and ready to be baked!

I brushed them with a bit of oil before baking. 375 F for about 20 mins should do it

All done! Taste best when eaten while warm. It hardens after it gets cold. So hurry grab your ketchup/chili sauce or whatever dipping you like!

One thing I wish to change: I won’t use rice noodles next time. Since I baked the egg rolls, the noodles got dry and harden. The best fillings that I should have was shredded cabbages! Next time, I promise!

Also I want to share a little bit of my “energy saving” lifestyle. When I do laundry, I usually just air dry the clothes instead of using the dryer (except when washing the bedsheets and blankets- no space to air dry them, otherwise I would!).

indoor air dry. We can't hang anything at our front porch or the HOA people will after us.

My parents have this odd habit not using the shower head when showering. Instead, they filled up a bucket with warm water and use the ladle to splash the water to the body. At first I found that to be weird, but then I tried it and I was so surprised how much water we actually use when showering. Just imagine: when we use shower, we had to “throw away” the cold water before the water gets warm/hot. That’s a lot of water to waste. When filling up the water in the bucket, the cold water didn’t get waste, instead it mixed with the hot water thus we got a decent warm water for showering. Talk about saving water, especially living in this water drought SoCal.

My scratchy throat is still acting up and I still haven’t taken any cold medicine. Instead I’ve been drinking this herbal cough syrup.
It taste kinda sweet (loquat and honey?)- all natural stuff. Good for your throat. Just mix it with warm water and drink it. It soothes your achy throat.
I made a little twist by adding it into my morning oatmeal today instead adding the honey

Lunch for today:

homemade salad mixture dressed w/ TJ Fat free Balsamic Vinegar dressing - I added more romaine lettuce after this pic was taken

green bean with scrambled egg with left over garbanzo beans and rice noodles from egg roll mixture

Phew, this post took quite sometime to do. Now I’m off to do school paperwork for my brother. Yeah, I was writing this post, ate my lunch today at my bro’s university’s lunch room. I packed my lunch and ate here. And it was quite nostalgic to return here after not stepping back after I graduated. Lots of things have changed and I was quite impressed!

This building wasn't here 5-6 years ago! Now they have this gym for students and alumni! I might consider to try it for a month. $35/month not so bad, right?

Laters!!

 
8 Comments

Posted by on September 8, 2010 in food

 

Big thank you, recipes and staying positive

First of all, I’d like to say a BIG THANK YOU for the great and supportive comments on my last post. I definitely felt better after reading those. It’s strange in some ways even though I don’t know the readers in person, sometimes I feel they could understand me a bit more than people who’ve known me in person. I know it sounds strange but maybe that’s why people blog, right?

It’s almost weekend and for those who live in the US, it’s Labor Day weekend! Woohoo!! Anyone has plans?

As my current situation, I don’t think we have any plans at all. Mainly just regular weekend stuff, got stretched over a bit..haha. But I do feel a bit envious of one of my friend, who’s going to celebrate her 1 year wedding anniversary for going out of town with her hubby. They mentioned Las Vegas but then she asked my suggestion and I suggested her to give Terranea Resort at Rancho Palos Verdes a look.

View of Terranea at Rancho Palos Verde

Hm, I wanna go there on our 5th year wedding anniversary. We are not big in celebrating stuff (anniversary, birthdays etc) but for 5 year or 10 year wedding anniversary, I think it’s worth it.

Moving on, my throat been bothering me since yesterday afternoon. It was hurt and scratchy. Ugh!! So I took a quick action: Vitamin C overdose Infusing lots of Vitamin C to my body.

full cup of fresh squeezed grapefruit - drank this right after dinner

followed by a fresh squeezed lemon juice mixed w/ warm water and some honey

Went to bed quite early last night, sometime before 10pm? Had to help dad scan some stuff, took a while to install the software on the laptop, downloaded from the manufacturer’s website, found out I downloaded the wrong driver, tried again, wireless went down, had to restart the laptop, still not working, blah blah. Finally I had to turn on my desktop computer which hasn’t been on since ‘rents are here (they took over our computer room), then scanned that sucker. Phew. Originally I planned to sleep around 9pm but got dragged until 9:40pm. Oh well.

Woke up this morning, throat was really sore, especially when swallowing. Had a bit of phlegm (sorry TMI). I’ve been having cough drops and LOTS OF H20 to hydrate myself. A bit dizzy. Man, hopefully I didn’t catch a cold! Gotta exercise later after got home to sweat it all out!

Btw, last night I experimented making a gluten-free, vegan friendly banana muffins, inspired by Averie’s Vegan Banana Nut Muffins. This is a super easy. All you need is a measuring cup, a bowl and a spoon. No mixer, no blender!

Vegan friendly, gluten free banana muffins:
3 medium ripe bananas
1/2 cup ground flaxseeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup oats (I used quick oats since that’s what I had in my pantry)
about 1 Tbsp brown sugar
a dash of salt
some dried cranberries

1. Mash all bananas until smooth then pour in the rest of the ingredients.
Mine looked like this:

2. Divide the mixture evenly into lined muffin pans. Mine perfectly filled 2 of 6 muffin tins.

3. Bake at 375ยฐF for about 20 minutes. I had to bake one tin at a time cause they won’t fit into my convection oven.

4. Enjoy!

Done!

Texture wise it's not as fluffy and airy like typical muffins since there wasn't any gluten in there. But still good. Kinda chewy. My mom tried it and she said it was pretty good. Not overly sweet either. Most of the sweetness came from the ripe bananas.

I’m planning to add a bit of dark chocolate chips next time to mask the banana flavor, also put more seeds and coconut flakes to make it crunchier, and less oats.

Also sometime last week when bro was still hospitalized, he requested to have stir fried rice noodle. Mom didn’t quite know how to make those so asked me to do it. I said, okay and voila:

Stir Fried Rice Noodles
Ingredients:
1 package of dried rice noodles (make sure it’s rice noodles, not rice vermicelli- they’re different) – A must

You can always alter any of these ingredients (vegans/vegetarians just omit the animal products ๐Ÿ™‚ )
1 carrot -julienne
1 package of button mushrooms – chopped
1-2 green onions – julienne
2 -3 eggs – scrambled – vegans/vegetarians can omit this and use lightly fried sliced tofu instead
A dash of white pepper
1-2 Tbsp soy sauce (adjust for taste)
1-2 Tbsp oyster sauce (adjust for taste) – vegans/vegetarians can use mushroom sauce instead
Canola oil for stir fry
2 stalks of celery – julienne
1/2 pounds of peeled and deveined shrimps

Directions:
1. Soak the dried rice noodles in cold water until it’s soft – the longer you soak the softer it becomes. Don’t soak it too long. Drain the water, cover and set aside.
2. Scrambled the eggs until cooked, set aside.
3. Stir fry all the veggie and meat mixture until cooked – set aside
4. Stir fry the soaked rice noodles – might want to divide it into 2 steps. Too much rice noodles at once will be hard to stir.
5. Pour in half of the veggie mixture to the noodles, keep stirring with medium heat.
6. Mix in the soy sauce, oyster sauce, salt, pepper and adjust for taste.
7. First batch done. Repeat Step 4-6 for second batch.

Hopefully the direction won’t be too confusing..hehe. Anyway, bro, parents and hubby liked this!

Sometime last week I tried this Asian style burrito for breakfast. It was ok, but a bit greasy for my taste. I only ate the inside part and only half of the wrap.

Long weekend is coming and I strive to keep a positive attitude around my parents. Smile more, talk more to them and just be happy. And hopefully my sore throat will heal SOON!

Later!

 
4 Comments

Posted by on September 2, 2010 in food

 

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