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4 Year Anniversary at The Sky Room

Today is our 4 year wedding anniversary and I know it’s the most perfect time to use Groupon for The Sky Room in Long Beach! I had to make a reservation a day before as part of Groupon condition.

But before we went, I did some 10 minute burpee challenge.

View from the outside (took this after the dinner) – the restaurant is located at top floor.


When we got in, we actually had to wait for an elevator attendant.

The elevator attendant told us a bit about the building, that it was the original Hilton Hotel and has been around since 1938. Another interesting thing is Elizabeth Taylor actually had her wedding in this restaurant. You can read more of the history on their page.

The entrance to the restaurant. Btw since this is a fine dining type restaurant, business casual is the dress code.

We got a nice table next to the window with the harbor view. If we got here after dark, might look nicer with all the lights on.

I ordered some cocktail based on the waiter’s suggestions:
The Rosenson Raspberry Lemon Drop for me

Hubby K ordered The Sweet Troublemaker (basically watermelon with vodka) and those red powder along the glass rim was cayenne pepper.

The waiter gave us some bread slices, which Hubby K devoured all (including my portion). Served with butter and some salt.

After scrolling around the menu, we decided both would have the steak.

I ordered Prime New York Steak (I asked the waiter to make sure it’s gluten free and he happily accommodated it) – no sauce and only steak and veggie of my choice.

Boy, that steak was HUGE and I admit that I finished the entire thing! On the second thought, they might give me a bigger portion of steak since I didn’t have any carby dish (potatoes, rice, pasta etc) and might not be enough if they just gave me the typical small portion. Oh well, I won’t refuse more protein! 😀

Hubby K ordered Prime Fillet Mignon which arrived with an interesting mashed potatoes set up

We also ordered some salad and even though usually they charge for splitting the dish, the waiter waived it for us. How nice 🙂  I chose Salade de Maman which came with a dijon mustard dressing, but he put it on the side PLUS he brought us olive oil and balsamic vinegar.


We talked and pretty much just relaxing and waited for the alcohol to wear off a bit. This was our first time ever to have a fine dining. If it wasn’t because of Groupon ($25 for $50), I don’t think I’ll ever think of going to a fine dining restaurant, especially not in our current situation. Since we both were stuffed from the meal, so no desserts. After all, I already had enough sugar rush from the cocktail drink. No need to add more.

In a nutshell, it was a nice 4 year anniversary celebration.

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Posted by on June 9, 2011 in food, life

 

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Time to Get Back to the Game

Hi everyone! Today I totally declared that my lower back pain is 100% gone *knock on the wood so I won’t jinx it* so I totally could get back working out regularly. Wanna know what I ate yesterday and today?

Yesterday
After my workout, I warmed up some left over Asian Style Cauliflower “Fried Rice” with slices of baked Japanese sweet potato and 2 fried eggs.

We went to Curry House, a Japanese-style curry and spaghetti restaurant to meet 2 of my former colleague, C and Val for lunch. Technically speaking, it was almost nothing I could eat entirely Paleo at Curry House – majority of their menus are full of rice, spaghetti and not to mention their curry sauce ingredients contain non Paleo stuff: wheat flour, corn syrup, peanut oil, rapeseed oil, palm oil, and monosodium glutamate(!) How do I know this? Well that’s one nice thing of their menu.

So I ordered Hamburger curry, no rice, extra salad and no curry sauce.

I should asked the waitress no salad dressing next time. I am not sure what kind of dressing it was, but it tasted like miso style dressing. It was good, but combining it with the juices from the hamburger was a bit too salty to me.

It was actually nice to talk to some of colleagues that you got along with. Val told us there were 2 more people being laid off. Btw Val totally missed me and C as lunch buddies cause now he doesn’t have anyone he can share his stories with, other than his cousin, who’s also works there. Joking and teasing Val around with C is something that I will definitely miss from my former job. Ha!

Val had to go back to work cause his cousin, who came along for lunch was on hourly schedule. So I chatted with C and we were catching up. C is a nice person and someone that I actually enjoyed working with. Definitely will miss her as my colleague.

After we got back home, we snacked on some berries. Perfect for this hot and kinda humid weather.

And what’s for dinner? More Asian style “Cauliflower Fried Rice” topped with sliced of whole avocado.

I was still a bit hungry so I sliced some baked yam to curb my appetite.

****
I had such a blast at my morning workout today that I even added my own workout circuit after Bodyrock.tv workout. When I opened the fridge, I saw a bowl of that Baked Mashed Cauliflower with Sliced Beef (somewhat similar with Paleo Shepherd Pie) which has been sitting in the fridge for a couple of days. Seems like the boys are not a big fan of that so I guess I had to finish that thing today or it’ll just be there! So I deconstructed that “Shepherd Pie” into Mashed Cauliflower Beef with Tomato, with some slices of baked sweet potatoes and I got my post workout meal/breakfast!

And as usual, I drank lots of tea along with my breakfast. You could say I’m a tea addict 🙂

I prepared some marinate to cook my next whole chicken (will post the recipe soon- it was super simple, really) for dinner as our food supply was getting low.

For lunch, I had the remaining Oven Fried Curried Chicken Fingers with the last batch of Asian style Cauliflower Fried Rice with some Chinese veggies on the side.

And for the FIRST time since I was out of job, I spent my entire afternoon putting together my resume and work samples for my job interview preparation. I thought I already lost my passion on my chosen career, but apparently yesterday’s meet up with my former colleagues sure had something to do with this. Everything just triggers me and suddenly I have this urge to put myself together and be back in the game. I was so excited that I already purchased a domain and a hosting site to put up my work samples. Speaking of which, there might be a chance I’ll start self hosting my blogs – fingers crossed. 🙂

I forgot how I could lose track of time when I start working on my project that I had to start dinner a bit late. Good thing I already marinated that chicken in the morning so by dinner time, I just need to cook, bake and serve!

More berries after dinner, shared with Hubby K.

Apparently, after a little break from being working, I actually start to feel a little excitement of working again. I’m even excited that tomorrow I’ll start putting together my work sample website so that I can start applying for jobs. Not sure how long it will take me to finish everything, but I am aiming for this entire week and start hunting next week. Wish me luck!

Good nite all!

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2011 in food, life

 

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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. 😛

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. 😀 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… 😛

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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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! 😀

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 😀 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?

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2011 in food, life

 

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Saturday Outing

Happy Saturday! Hubby K and I were out for the whole day! Wanna see what we did? Ok, worry not I’m going to tell it all 🙂

First I did my morning workout from bodyrock.tv and had my post workout snack/breakfast: 2 beef patties and one small sweet potato plus my usual weekend loose leaf tea.

While sitting on my stability ball.

While enjoying my tea, I also read Gary Taubes “Good Calories, Bad Calories” preview on my iPod from Google ebook. This stuff is pretty interesting! I might want to purchase the entire ebook.

After Hubby K wake up (finally!) we ventured out to Farmer’s Market to haul some strawberries and eggs.

This was my first time purchasing pastured raised eggs (non soy fed) and I’ve been hearing all the hypes on Paleo/Primal blogs how great pastured eggs are compared to the conventional ones. Let’s see if it’s true.

Then we went to 99 Ranch market to get some essentials for my upcoming cooking experiment. Fresh galangal, fresh turmeric, fresh lemon grass (all essential ingredients for Indonesian food) and “kluwak” nuts. And I also bought coconut milk and 2 Japanese yams.

Weather seemed perfect today. Who wants to be confined indoor when it’s sunny and breezy outside?

After we came back and put the groceries away, we went to The Counter, custom built burger all the way down in Newport Beach.

First time I read about The Counter from Nom Nom Paleo and I’ve been wanting to try it. When I found out they also have locations in Southern California, I decided to give it a try.

The good thing about them is they’re emphasizing that all the animals they use are humanely raised and handled. Plus you could custom build your burger to suit your taste. So here’s mine:

I chose my burger to be in a bowl (no bun). Both Hubby K and I ordered 1 lb burger -LOL and they’re HUGE! Just look at these!

Obviously I couldn’t finish that huge burger (but I chug down all the veggies tho). Hubby K, on the other hand, finished the entire thing!

Overall, the burger was super juicy and tasty! The location was a bit far from our place, but once in a while, we might come by again and for sure I don’t think I’d order another 1lb burger again.

One other main thing we drove all the way down to Newport Beach was because of this store!

I’ve heard so many hypes about Lululemon pants that will make your butt look good, no matter what shape/size you got! Yes, they’re pricey but it’s worth it. Okay, so I grabbed one pant and a top and tried it on.

My thought? I’d say they do have nice material and feel very comfortable. However, in the end I didn’t buy it. Why? Well, I just didn’t think I need an expensive workout clothing if I only doing my workout at home. Besides, I didn’t see my butt looks bigger and better from what it is..LOL.

Anyway, we walked around the entire mall but DIDN’T get anything! The weather and scenery were nice though.

Another (Paleo/Primal) blog hype: the ultimate Vibram Five Fingers (or barefoot shoes). I tried them on. Felt a bit weird, but might be something I’d consider in the future 😀

On the way back we went to Walmart and purchased our essentials. One of them was this baking dish to replace the one that broke in the oven last time.

No dinner for me…that burger really filled me up. Now going to shower and sleep.

Have you purchased/tried anything that you see on a blog? If you did, do you think it lived up to the hype?

Have a good Easter Sunday, everyone!

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2011 in food, life

 

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Zombied Out But It’s All Good

Happy (Good) Friday and Happy Earth Day everyone! Yesterday, Hubby K wasn’t feeling good (he had sore throat and lack of energy). Could be because he’s been lacking of sleep lately. So I gave him a glass of hot water with few slices of lemons and told him to go to bed early and I did all the clean ups. All this time I cooked and he did all the kitchen clean ups plus he usually cooked more stuff for him to bring. Usually I went to bed much earlier than he did and truth to be told I’ve never really knew what time exactly he went to bed.

So, last night I went to bed after he did…and …didn’t feel like I had a complete shut eye because..he SNORED.for. the. entire.night! Even with my ear plugs I still could hear it. I might fall asleep in between times when he stopped snoring. Anyway despite lack of sleep, I didn’t feel tired or cranky either (another good result from cutting out grains and gluten??)

Oh well, no grudge hold against him. In fact I even made him some breakfast! Lately I’ve been having sweet breakfast dishes (sweet potatoes, bo bo cha) so this morning I made bacon and eggs!

Hubby K wasn’t expected me to make him breakfast. Heck all this time I’ve never really made his breakfast (bad wife!). Another good news is he told me he felt much better and praised me for giving him lemon slices with hot water last night. His throat felt way better today and he felt more energetic as well. And he even brought extra lemons to work so he could drink them all day in the office.

Last night I made roasted kabocha with coconut oil. YUM!

I LOVE KABOCHA (who doesn’t?) and I tell ya I could devour the entire plate of roasted kabocha in one sitting and I am NOT joking. It’s just that good..even better than potato chips!

Last night dinner: Baked Chicken Leg with Caramelized Shallots, steamed asparagus topped with Mushroom Gravy sauce, roasted kabocha and steamed Chinese greens.

I packed similar stuff for my lunch today, only ended up not eating it because my co-worker L came by and asked me to go out for lunch. We went to Japanese tebasaki Restaurant, Furaibo.

Sorry no food pic because I didn’t want to appear ridiculous in front of him, taking food pic. I could tell you I ordered a lunch special: shredded cabbage salad with no dressing (the waitress looked shocked when I asked her for no dressing) and char-boiled sliced chicken breasts with honey mustard on the side (which I didn’t touch either). Lunch special was served with a bowl of miso soup, which I didn’t touch either. Good thing L didn’t notice it.

Was it filling? Not really. After I got back to the office I took 15 minute walk in the parking lot, came back to my desk and devoured the last container of bo bo cha cha (dang that stuff was so good!) – sorry Hubby K, you procrastinate too long to give this a try!

That curbed my appetite for the entire afternoon.

So apparently my today’s packed lunch became my dinner instead.
Steamed chinese greens, roasted kabocha, mushroom gravy sauce and 2 beef patties.

I also had my last strawberry batch (gotta get more from farmer’s market tomorrow), which originally for my afternoon snack.

Speaking of which, I just realized I haven’t made my homemade chicken stock for a while. So after dinner, I cleaned up the last chicken I had and cooking it in my pressure cooker now.

Do you have any plans for this coming Easter weekend? Do you celebrate Easter?

I am not a religious person although I was actually baptized as Catholic when I was 5 years old and had my first Holy communion when I was 8. Apparently, after I came to the US, I started to see things differently and I decided I don’t want to label my belief. Don’t get me wrong, I respect everyone’s belief, whatever it is. I would say I believe in spirituality, that there’s some forces out there which sometimes can’t be explained scientifically.

Anyway back in Indo when I was in grade school, we had Easter Egg hunt (real hard boiled decorated eggs, not plastic eggs filled with candies and chocolate like in the US), and of course went to the Easter Mass at the church. I don’t even know there’s Easter bunny until I got to the US.

I’m planning to experiment some recipe that I’ve come up with after reading various resources. Fail or success, we’ll see about that!

Have a good weekend and for those who celebrate Easter, Happy Easter!

 
10 Comments

Posted by on April 22, 2011 in food, life

 

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One Day Trip Getaway

Living Primal/Paleo doesn’t always associate with food choice and working out. What’s the point of eating healthy and exercise if you’re not enjoying your life to the fullest? I realized all of this time I’ve never really taken one day to just get out from the regular chores and just relaxing.

Yesterday, Hubby K and I went for a day trip to Santa Barbara. Since we would want to enjoy our time as much as possible with the least stress, we decided to take a train instead of driving.

For Los Angelenos people like us, it’s pretty rare to take public transportation. Most people prefer to drive on their own because our public transportation system is plainly…HORRIBLE. Unlike Asia or Europe, if you miss the train/bus, you either have to wait for another 15 minutes or 30 minutes. Weekends are the WORST. Back home, I always took public transportation everywhere because it was super convenient. Buses were always come every 5 minutes, so no need to sweat if you missed it. Not in Los Angeles.

Anyway, it took us about 3 hour to get to Santa Barbara vs. 2 hour if you drive – but then you’ll feel tired and had to worry about parking etc etc. Plus, we won’t be able to enjoy some scenery on the way if we drove.

Before heading off the the station, I refueled myself with whatever left over in the fridge for breakfast (beef stew plus asparagus stir fry)

Packed some Primal friendly snacks, which we didn’t touch except for one of the “hacked Larabar” that I made (will post the recipe soon).

The train was delayed a bit on the way so we arrived 30 minutes later than the scheduled time. But no worries, we had plenty of time to enjoy ourselves since our return train won’t be there until 7pm.

We went to The Palace Grill, a Cajun Cuisine Restaurant for our lunch.

The inside was pretty small and decorated with New Orleans style.

After reading the menu, we decided to order “All the Best” Platter which consist a little bit of all seafood stuff (main, appetizer and (gasp!) dessert)

appetizer, main dish (see the mini muffins and small potatoes?)


Apparently, they’re famous with their Bread Pudding Souffle – which was included in our order.

But I told the waitress if I could substituted one of the dessert with gluten free one and she said yes….with an extra charge of course.

Bread pudding souffle (left) with creamy whiskey sauce and Homemade Mango Sorbet (right)

Not gonna lie, I polished off the sorbet AND also nibbled some of the Bread Pudding Souffle as well (Hubby K had some of it), but in the end we still couldn’t finish it. It was pretty good actually – just a little hint of sweetness with cinnamon. I think it was sweet enough without having the whiskey creamy sauce poured into it (the waitress just did it right after she brought in to our table and I didn’t get a chance to tell her to hold off on the creamy sauce).

Oh, I also confessed I took a bite of the muffins and had some rice from the platter earlier as well. 🙂

For the rest of the day, we walked off our lunch around the area (from downtown to the pier and the bike path and came back). Another rule from Primal: Move around a lot at slow pace plus we got plenty of sunshine for the whole day!

It was really sunny but VERY WINDY AND FREEZING!

Lots of wine! Too bad we don’t drink.

World Market – carry everything from furniture to grocery stuff! (Bacon Chocolate anyone??) – Too bad it’s not Primal/Paleo – lots of forbidden ingredients like soy lecithin, emulsifier etc.

Got some simple meal for our “dinner”.

salad for her, sandwich for him

I ate my way around the grated cheese and skipped on the croutons and the dressing. Veggies taste good enough without any dressing already.

On our return trip, I’m happy I was able to snap these sunset scenery!

Got another delay, and didn’t get back until 11pm as opposed 10:30pm.

Overall, we had a nice, short and relaxing trip, although we slept in until 9am today and didn’t get to eat breakfast until 10:00 am

breakfast??

Plus I woke up on the wrong side yesterday so I’ve been having stiff neck (couldn’t even turn my head to left) and today was a bit better although still a little stiff.

Nibbled on some unsweetened banana chips and some macadamia nuts as well.

Now going to run to grocery store to replenish my pantry, plus hopefully I could cook some meal for the upcoming week.

*sigh* Back to the usual routine – never ends!

Public transportation vs driving – which one do you prefer?

 
4 Comments

Posted by on April 10, 2011 in food, life

 

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