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Monthly Archives: April 2011

Strawberry “Cake” Paleo Birthday

I had a fun time hanging out with my friends who were nice enough to have a get together to celebrate my birthday. Usually the birthday person got a chance to pick his/her own restaurant. I picked a Mexican restaurant, ChaCha’s Taco & Tequila in Brea.


Complimentary tortilla chips (which obviously I didn’t touch) and salsa.

Prior coming to the restaurant, I was aiming for their Roasted Chicken which what they’re famous for. The restaurant claim that they use all natural meat and free range chicken. Okay..sounds good to me. The waiter told us the Roasted Chicken are usually only served during dinner time, but lucky for me, they actually already made at least 5 of them so I could order it. SCORE!


I basically asked them no tortilla, rice and beans and asked for a little extra veggies. I was unaware that there were corn, but no sweat, I just ate around them.

Hubby K ordered “Wood Oven” Carnitas without any beans (just rice and flour tortilla on the side)

Usually when dining out I just stick to H2O, but I heard the waiter mentioned their freshly squeezed lemonade doesn’t have any added sugar in there.

I tasted it and I could tell you that they might still add some sweetener in there. There is NO WAY a pure lemonade doesn’t taste completely sour. It has some sweet taste in there. Lesson to learn, just stick to WATER (or plain iced tea) when dining out, no excuse.

Everyone else ordered some Enchiladas, tacos, mahi mahi, carnitas etc. I was so glad that everyone really enjoyed their meal and they liked the food. People kept asking me if I ever came here and I said no, just read it online. šŸ˜›

The restaurant gave me a complimentary birthday cake, Tres Leches Cake. Pretty much a vanilla chiffon cake soaked in tres leches (some kind of milk?). I knew this cake would be super sweet beyond my taste buds could handle so I let each of my friend had a little bite from it. (ugh..I guess I’ll just rot in hell later for passing on the “evil food” aka sugar and gluten to my friends)
Sorry I just realized I forgot to copy the picture to my computer and I already erased the ones in my camera! ARgh!

Anyway, the biggest highlight was this gorgeous Strawberry “Cake” that was “made” by the get together organizer, my friend, Sweet J.

I mentioned her not bother buying a birthday cake, instead just gave me bunch of strawberries in a box..LOL. I didn’t expect her to actually arrange them nicely like this! This surely made my day. šŸ˜€ The best Paleo birthday “cake” EVER! Isn’t she so sweet?
Thank you Sweet J for the lovely Strawberry “Cake” for my birthday!

But I am not completely innocent though. I did had some small bite of gluten this morning for my breakfast.

No, not that! That’s my gluten free Coconutty Strawberry cake… šŸ˜›

This guy!

I might not mention it but I had to start purging all my flour in my pantry, so I made a Cinnamon Raisin Wheat Bread couple days ago.

Sorry, I can’t justify myself to just throw away all those wheat flour and stuff. Those things cost $$$!

Anyway, I gotta get ready to go to bed. One day out meaning all weekend chores/meal preparation all got pushed back to…tomorrow!

Good night!

 
4 Comments

Posted by on April 30, 2011 in food, life

 

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Blogging Friday

Happy Friday, everyone! Did anyone watch the Royal Wedding? First thing I saw in the morning on the internet was pictures/coverage about the Royal Wedding! I am not too crazy about it, but the couple seems happy and just hope the best for both of them.

Anyway, I am enjoying my super long weekend, but that didn’t stop me for getting excited that today is Friday already. Wait, why am I happy that it’s already Friday? Doesn’t that mean my little “vacation” will be over soon? Yeah it’s true, but what’s the point of having a mini vacation when Hubby K wasn’t around most of the days??? In some ways, I’m happy that I could finally spend time with him.

This morning I did a very short workout and ate this breakfast/post workout snack.

Those are chicken sausages that I got from Costco couple days ago. The ingredient list seems pretty paleo friendly so I decided to give them a try. You can never have too much emergency protein in your fridge šŸ˜€

Ingredients: chicken, roasted red pepper, spinach, chicken broth, salt, spices, paprika, celery powder, and granulated garlic in beef collagen casing.

Paired up with my usual loose leaf tea.

Then I preparing another dish for tomorrow and will post the recipe if it turns out yummy. My lunch was super boring and ugly so I won’t bother posting it here. I went to my doctor’s appointment for another check up and that was the time I finally saw some footage from the Royal Wedding. Heesh, even the radio kept advertising it on my way home.

Stopped by Trader Joe’s, grabbed some goodies, came back home and made Bacon Topped Meatloaf for dinner.

I also made Stir Fry Shredded Cabbage with Tomatoes topped with Pan Seared Zucchini Slices, seasoned with Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute.

Ok, let’s talk something that we ALL could relate to….Blogging!
I know I owe this post as part of my blogiversary. I posted some random facts about me on that post as well, as part of my birthday.

Technically speaking, this blog is my second blog (my first one is the workout blog, which mostly I used to keep track my daily workout). When I first started my workout blog, it was only meant to keep myself dedicated. By recording every single workout that I did, I will always have something to look back and see what I could do to improve.

Then I started to read more blogs and I stumbled on Jessica’s Living in the Kitchen, Gym and Mall and reading her blog inspired me to start a more personal blog.

I’ve been having ups and down with this blog – love it, hate it, love it again, then hate it, not even sure which direction I should go. There were times that I posted some that were a bit too personal and I decided to just take it down and kept it to myself. Then beginning of this year, after I switched to Primal/Paleo, I started to have more ideas what to blog about.

One thing that most bloggers like is getting LOTS of comments. Yup, I’m sure no bloggers who don’t like comments, right??? LeQuan even mentioned it as well in one of her post about blogging. I admit, I used to try so hard to get more people come and read my blog and commenting. It was discouraging whenever I hit publish and the next day I didn’t see any new comments came in. But after blogging for a while, I am not letting it bothers me too much anymore. But I won’t lie, I am still a little envious for other bloggers who always receive lots of comments, no matter how often or how rare they update their blogs.

Recently, I started to develop interest in food photography and been reading various food blog photography tips and tricks. However, since I’m using a free blogging service from WordPress, no matter how hard I tried to enhance the pictures, they always got compressed down by the system. This would be resolved if I am self hosted and have my own domain. But up to this point, I think I’ll stick to free ones. If my blog starts to get more traffic and become more popular (will it be?) I might consider it.

Lastly, one thing that I will keep doing is not posting ANY of my pictures nor any of my friends/families. I always admire other bloggers’ courage to put themselves up on their blog, but it’s just not for me. I prefer to remain a little anonymous and I feel safer that way.

Ok phew, now those are out now, I feel much better! I’ve been meaning to do this blogging post for a while but never got a chance to do it.

So any other blogging stuff that you’d like to share as well?
šŸ™‚

Have a great weekend!

 
8 Comments

Posted by on April 30, 2011 in life

 

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Bacon Topped Meatloaf

I’ve never made a meatloaf before but after I saw Nom Nom Paleo Super Porktastic Bacon-Topped Spinach and Mushroom Meatloaf recipe, I finally decided to give it a try. Since I didn’t have most of the ingredients, I ended up subbing majority of them and in the end created my own bacon topped meatloaf version. šŸ™‚

Bacon Topped Meatloaf (adapted from Nom Nom Paleo)
Ingredients:
About 1.3lb grass fed ground beef
2 green onion stalks
3-4 garlic cloves
1 shallot
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 cup of Mushroom Gravy
2 eggs
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup coconut cream
1 cup of chopped cabbage
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Mince the garlic, onions and shallot (I used my newly purchased Magic Bullet) – well mine turned into a puree instead.

2. Puree the chopped green onions with the coconut cream

No coconut cream? You can use coconut milk or hack your own (like me :D)
Refrigerate coconut milk for overnight.
Scoop out the top layer (careful, don’t scoop the liquid part)
Whip it using your hand mixer with whisk attachment
Voila!

3. Mix all the ingredients to the ground beef. Season accordingly.

4. I cooked a small patty on the pan to determine the taste.

5. Fill the meat mixture into a nonstick 9ā€x 5ā€ loaf pan

6. Line the bacon strips on top of it. (I used Trader Joe’s brand Uncured Apple Smoked Bacon)

7. Bake for 1 hour in 350Ā°F

8. Set to broil for another 5-7 minutes to crisp up the bacon strips

9. Remove from the oven. Drain off the excess liquid – careful don’t let the meatloaf slide out from the pan or your entire effort will be wasted!

10. Let it cool a bit before transferring it to a plate.

This meatloaf tastes even better when eaten together with Trader Joe’s Hot Chipotle Salsa sauce!

It’s Paleo friendly as well.
Ingredients:
Diced tomatoes, tomato puree (water, tomato paste), cider vinegar, onions, chipotle chili peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, cilantro, red peppers.


It might not look as pretty and neat as Nom Nom Paleo’s, but tastes amazing! My version was a bit crumbly probably due to the Mushroom Gravy Sauce. Well at least I figured out how to finish off the last batch without wasting it šŸ˜€

Feel free to sub the ground beef with any protein of your choice! As usual, enjoy!

 
5 Comments

Posted by on April 29, 2011 in recipe

 

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Catching Up with a Friend

Thank you for all your sweet comments on my last post, really appreciate it! Sorry for the lack of post yesterday as I was out for the whole day, hanging out with M, one of my college friend (Btw, did anyone watch the Royal Wedding coverage? I didn’t). It’s been a while for me to just hang out with a friend (not in a big group) so it was nice to catch up on our stuff plus…SHOPPING! šŸ˜€

The weather was gorgeous as well!

But we both are not big sun bathing fan, so mostly we just spent our time indoors…window shopping

I got myself some additional sets for my work outfit.

Time flew by so fast that we didn’t realize it was past lunch time. Both of us had a very late breakfast thus we weren’t that hungry either. But we knew we had to at least have something for lunch or we’d be way too starving.

Pizza and Paleo will never be good friends so I specifically asked the waiter for a gluten free menu. I ordered Wild Caught Mahi Mahi served with wok stir fry mixed veggies (the original version comes with spaghetti)

We spent at least 2 hours here, talking more stuff. M actually reads my blog once in a while so she asked me about my current diet (Paleo/Primal) and I told her more details about it. I usually don’t talk much about my food choices to others unless they specifically ask me about it cause I just don’t want to sound preachy. The last thing I want when get together with friends are criticizing their food choices and lecturing about them while we just want to sit, relax and eat! I’m glad M actually said she’s actually curious about it too. Besides she and her husband also starts buying more organic produce ever since they had their daughter.

Btw I forgot to take my credit card with me after paying the bills. We found out when I was about to pay my purchase at another store after we finished lunch. Thank goodness I could retrieve it back in the end. Phew! I never forgot to take my card with me after paying the bills. This was my first time..EVER.

It was nice to just hang out one to one with a friend. Nothing’s wrong with a big group but it’s just hard for me to talk in a big group. I constantly have to listen to different conversation at once and after a while everything becomes white noise. One to one or 4 people in one group at most is my ideal.

Thanks M for coming out and spending the entire afternoon with me šŸ˜€ I know being a full time mummy means working 24/7 and you do need a little time off from the routine! We should do this again sometime in the future.

After I came back home, I just heated up some random food for my dinner.

“Dessert” was cut up strawberries and super sweet oranges (these oranges tastes like candy! They’re super super sweet!)


How often do you hang out with your friends?

 
4 Comments

Posted by on April 29, 2011 in food, life

 

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Happy Birthdayversary

Finally, my “extended weekend” has just started. Today I’m officially adding another year to my age AND my blog (technically speaking, this blog was created on Apr 28, 2010- but just to make things easier, can I just combine it together with my birthday?)

So since this post will be about me and my blog, why don’t I just talk about those then?

I’ll start off with me first šŸ˜€

  • I am a Chinese descendant born in Indonesia. Both sides of my grandparents migrated from China, which makes both my parents the first generation. I speak very little Chinese (mandarin) and probably good enough to survive for food if I ever stranded in China and I have a pretty decent understanding of simple conversation. I can’t really call myself Chinese, although people first impression of me is Chinese until they learn that I don’t really speak the language. Sometimes I called myself an “exiled” Chinese.. LOL.
  • I have 2 younger brothers and no sisters and sometimes I think I might be spoiled in some ways but I digress. I wish I have 2 older brothers instead.
  • I used to dislike cooking and my mom even had to force me to learn cooking or else no guy would want to marry me… LOL. I don’t know how and when that I started to get more interest in cooking and exploring different recipes and technique.

Today’s breakfast/post workout meal

  • I was never a tea drinker until I got married to Hubby K. Now I can’t live with my tea. Weekdays I have to be content with my regular green tea bags. But weekends or in this case for today (day offs) are reserved for loose leaf tea



  • I’ve never been a milk drinker. I hate the taste/smell and how it makes me feel bloated and gassy afterward. However, today when I went to Henry’s Market to shop some groceries, I took a free bone density test and found out I am nowhere calcium deficient. šŸ˜€

I had to put my bare foot on the device for the bone density test. Please ignore my scary big vein.

  • Recently, I started to develop some interest to pretty up my blog food photography. After reading various food photography tips and tricks, I experimented on my lunch plate to look prettier.

  • Prior going Paleo, I used to like baking my own bread and once in a while cakes and sort of miss it. So, since today IS my birthday, I decided to bake my OWN birthday cake! One challenge is I’ve never baked a gluten free cake. I’ve been eying this recipe from The Primal Palate and decided today is the day that I have to make this!

Strawberry Coconutty Cake (Adapted from The Primal Palate)
Ingredients:
6 eggs – room temperature
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
1/4 cup raw honey
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla powder
About 1/2 cup chopped strawberries

Directions:
1. Using a handheld mixer, beat eggs with coconut oil, raw honey, vainilla, baking soda, salt on high until the mixture turned to pale yellow.

2. Bring down the mixer speed, add in the coconut flour – mix until everything combined.
3. Pour in the chopped strawberries.
4. Pour into a 9ā€ round cake pan (I used my angel food cake pan – big mistake)

5. Bake in 350Ā°F for about 30-35 minutes

  • I’m the worst cake baker. You might not see it, but my cake was a bit burnt because I baked it too long. You could kind of see the side edge is a little dark

  • Finally, to wrap things up, I’m not good in any hand crafting stuff so that’s why my cake slice just didn’t turn out right. Topping with whipped coconut cream and scattered chopped strawberries couldn’t help this little cake piece presentation either!

I’ll do a separate post for about my blogging thing since this one is already pretty long. Have a great night!

 
11 Comments

Posted by on April 27, 2011 in food, life, recipe

 

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It’s My Friday!

I know it’s only Tuesday, but it’s my Friday and I am super happy although I don’t actually have any plans at all for the next couple days. So why am I so happy, you wonder? Well, let’s just say I’m just happy to be able to take a mental break from work. My brain has been pretty foggy lately and I desperately need a break.

What am I gonna do? Honestly, I have no idea..I’ll just go with the flow. I don’t want to stress out too much planning stuff while in the end it didn’t turn out the way I want it. So might as well just go with the flow so no expectation, right?

Ok so how was my day today? As I’m typing this while sitting on my stability ball, my abs/core is SORE as hell from this morning workout. It’s sore in a good way though. I haven’t felt my abs this sore for a while so it’s a proof I had a good workout today.

Since our microwave is officially unusable now (thank goodness the exhaust fan function is still working), I had to resort to a an old fashioned healthy way of warming up the food: steaming!

1 medium white sweet potato & 2 slices of pan fried chicken breasts

I had another big sweet potato topped with some coconut flakes as my breakfast at work. (no pic but you get the idea). I realized that this white color sweet potato didn’t fill me up as much as the orange or the purple one. Hm…I have to take a mental note on this.

Lunch was really similar to my dinner.

I topped this with slices of a whole avocado – no picture since I was eating with my co-worker (didn’t want to get a weird stare from taking picture of my lunch)

And as a “dessert” I ate about half of this fruit bowl that my co-worker gave yesterday. (and finished the rest after dinner)

Came back home, I was craving for Roasted Curried Cauliflower so I made that.

While I had my oven on, I made another batch of One Pot Baked Mixed Veggies. This time I only had eggplants, zucchini, tomatoes and chopped onions, seasoned with salt, pepper, curry powder and used coconut milk instead of water.


My dinner (last remaining of Primal Chinese BBQ Pork, stir fried grass fed ground beef, Roasted Curried Cauliflower, sliced whole avocado) = DELICIOUS!


How do you warm your food other than using a microwave?

In this modern time, microwave is like a staple appliance in almost every household in the US (as far as I know). Back in Indo, we’ve never had a microwave. My mom usually either pan fry the food or steam them to warm them up. Besides we hardly had any left overs so we usually ate fresh cooked food almost everyday. Besides there are a lot of study saying that microwave destroys part of the food nutrition so it’s better not to use them too often. But for busy people like most of us who work full time, it’s just hard not to use it. Before my microwave broke, I actually didn’t use it that often either (I couldn’t help it at work though cause I didn’t want to eat cold lunch). I prefer steaming for warming up my food as it retains the moisture while microwave tends to dry out my food.

Have a great night!

 
3 Comments

Posted by on April 26, 2011 in food, life

 

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Something bad, something good

Hi everyone! How’s your week going so far? I’m excited that I am taking some day off this coming week for something special…sort of.

I got my quick workout done after I came back from work. A super short abs workout, a nice warm up for the upcoming abs and core workout from Zuzana this week! Yippe!

Anyway, yesterday when opened up my mail, I was a bit down almost got a heart attack when I saw my auto renewal policy charge.

That’s for 6 MONTHS policy, NOT one year. So technically I’ll be paying around $2,000 each year for my car insurance.

A while back I hit someone’s car when I was backing up in the parking lot. So it was 100% my fault. In addition, I also fixed my car couple months ago using the insurance.

Don’t get me wrong, I am FULLY AWARE that the insurance will raise up my policy, but I wasn’t expecting them to raise it up 100%!! The damage itself wasn’t that bad and no one got hurt! I can’t imagine how much they charge for those who got into a bigger accident. Geez…I hate insurance companies! They’re just a bunch of SCAMMERS…legally!

Apparently, bad stuff just didn’t stop there. Earlier, our microwave was acting up weird. It kept tripping the breaker when we used it to warm up our food. Just had to happen when we were about to warm up our dinner.

Gah, gotta call GE and hopefully we’re still under warranty. All our house appliances came with the house when we first bought it and they are all brand new! Grrr!! Only a little over a year and it starts to break down?! Heesh!

Ok enough boring talk. Let’s move on to the food! Wanna know what I had?

Actually, just whatever left over from last night. Plus Hubby K brought back some left overs from his parents house from last night family dinner (non paleo of course). But hey, we can’t refuse free food, right? Besides that means I only need to cook Paleo friendly food enough for me šŸ˜›

I cooked up chicken breasts for my next emergency protein stash.

Cooked the last batch of seafood mix.

Paired up with last roasted kabocha, one pot baked mixed veggies, my dinner was ready within 30 minutes!

Btw my co worker was so sweet to give me this fruit salad bowl from her husband’s cafe. I saved it up for tomorrow’s snack.

Don’t you just hate insurance companies?
In the US, almost everything needs insurance (house, car, life, health etc) and I just plainly hate them. For me, technically they are legal scammers – they ask your money but when you need them, they always work their way around not helping you or they act like they’re helping you but in the end you still need to pay for it – like my incident. Yea sure I saved more fixing my car by going thru their chosen body shop, but in the end they jacked up my policy twice!
I hate them, but I kinda need them…oh well.

Good night!

 
6 Comments

Posted by on April 25, 2011 in food, life

 

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