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Monthly Archives: March 2010

Brrrrr. What happened to our beautiful sunshine and 80 degree weather?? It was freezing today! Oh well, hopefully the Cali warmth will return this weekend even though I’ll be spending a majority of my time moving all my things into Chris’ house. Oh yeah, did I share the news? I’m moving in with my boyfriend! Woohoo! So excited and happy. Can’t wait to settle in and focus on house projects like building a doghouse for Kihei (maybe), painting the walls in the backyard, designing the den to turn it into a master bedroom (longterm goal but no harm in getting our thinking caps on), etc etc.

I made it to the gym this morning since I was up at the buttcrack of dawn to let Kihei out of her crate to go pee. This crate training thing seems to be doing her some good since she’s been having quite the number of accidents in the house since we let her roam free and play with Guido. Some lady at the vet told me if you let your puppy run around your house like a free bird, it’s like letting a baby run around without diapers. They’ll have accidents everywhere. So we’re trying to be super consistent with the crate training and feeding schedule. God, having a puppy is great practice for having a kid LOL. Even though it doesn’t even compare. But back to the gym. I did 30 minutes of cardio (10 minutes on the treadmill, 10 minutes on the elliptical, 5 minutes on the stairmaster, and 5 minutes on the rowing machine) and then performed 15 minutes of squats and bicep curls and shoulder presses holding a weighted bar while balancing on a BOSU ball. I haven’t gone to the gym much (the part with all the cardio machines and weights) since I have been swimming regularly so it’s nice to finally mix up the routine. LMU is on spring break right now so the gym was super quiet and filled with the old farts like me (aka the alumni bunch haha from years past.)

Chris has been working super hard at his new job so I always like to treat him to a yummy breakfast to kickstart his busy day. Today was hawaiian french toast with sliced banana, powdered sugar, and a light drizzle of maple syrup. I also picked up some Peets Coffee beans from Bristol Farms and we’ve been enjoying it every morning. By the way, I’m a HUGE coffee snob and Peets is by far the BEST. Although I’m sure of you will beg to differ. I like strong coffee with some cream in it and that’s it. No sugar, no milk, no soymilk, nothing else. I prefer it the french way, I guess you can say 🙂

This was my lunch for today: lettuce from our garden plus some sliced banana and these rosemary “quackers” from One Lucky Duck in New York that my friend got for me. I dressed it with macadamia nut oil, some lemon juice, and celtic sea salt. I know you’re thinking “Ewwww. Bananas in your salad??!!!” But it was pretty darn good.

My new facebook profile picture. Love it.

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I love ice blended drinks, especially during hot weather. Yesterday, it topped the high 80s in LA so that could only mean two things: laying out + ice cold drinks. I bought a coffee in the morning but didn’t want to drink it anymore since it was too hot for a warm coffee. Well, I found a genius way to “recycle” the coffee! This applies to those who love ice blended coffee drinks but don’t want all the calories and sugar.

My “Recycled” Ice Blended Coffee Drink

Leftover coffee (preferably with milk or half n half)

A handful of ice cubes

A couple squirts of agave

Blend everything but not for too long…you want to leave some ice shards in there! That’s it! Drink up and enjoy.

Check out our pretty bouganvilla growing on the side of the house…I just love the hot pink color. We have a couple of these planted around the home in orange and white. I absolutely love bouganvilla. Ever since our trip to the Korakia in Palm Springs, I’ve been wanting to decorate the backyard all mediterranean/tropical (if that combo exists.) I really hope Kihei doesn’t keep tearing off the flowers, though! You know puppies…they love to get into everything!

Of course, I just had to log in some time laying out in the gorgeous sunshine. I know it’s bad for your skin but I can’t help it. I LOVE being tan and since I’m half filipino, I have the advantage of NEVER burning and being able to tan about three shades darker in less than two hours of laying out!! It is awesome…thanks Dad for giving me some of that Pacific Islander blood 🙂

…and I don’t eat it enough. During the week, breakfast for me is coffee even though what I really want is a hearty plate of french toast and eggs. Mmmmm. Luckily, the weekends are devoted to cooking and eating ALOT and I always start off the mornings with a breakfast bang. Take last weekend. I was craving, what else, french toast and eggs but not just any french toast…I wanted hawaiian french toast made with the little sweet rolls from Kings Hawaiian Bakery. Double mmmm. Paired with a broccoli egg frittata, it was simple yet yummy and made my day.

Kings Hawaiian French Toast:

– 2 eggs, beaten

– 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

– powdered sugar

– maple syrup

– six small little Kings Hawaiian rolls (the mini ones)

– 1 tablespoon of butter

Beat two eggs and mix with vanilla extract. Cut rolls in half and dip into egg mixture. Heat a griddle with butter and when the pan is hot enough, throw the rolls on there and cook til each side is golden brown and crisp. Sprinkle powdered sugar and drizzle a little maple syrup and try not to eat it too fast.

Broccoli Frittata

– 1.5 cups of frozen broccoli

– 3 eggs, beaten

– parmesan or pecorino cheese

– tablespoon of olive oil

– salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat your oven to broiler status. Beat three eggs. Saute the frozen broccoli in a tablespoon of olive oil in an oven-safe skillet. When the broccoli is cooked through, pour the eggs on top and cook over medium heat until the bottom is set (you can see when it is because it starts getting firm along the edges.) Shave a couple of tablespoons of parmesan or pecorino on top of the eggs and then set it under the broiler for about 2 minutes. Cut into four pieces and chow down!

Everyone knows that kale has a ton of nutrients in it like vitamin A, vitamin C, and manganese. Personally, I have always drank my kale in a green juice, with cucumber, lemon, ginger, and apples. But we’ve been growing kale in our garden, and it’s something that I have always forgotten about when going out there to pick a couple of plump heirloom tomatoes or some hot peppers. Until a couple days ago. What was once just a few baby leaves of kale had turned into a giant bloomin’ kale plant, waiting to be plucked and turned into some sort of culinary masterpiece. So what’s my “kale culinary masterpiece”, you might ask? Um…probably the most simple recipe you will ever come across! Fresh kale – and I mean fresh like from your backyard – sauteed with some olive oil. THAT’S IT. No salt, no pepper, no raisins, no nothing. Two ingredients and that’s all you need to make your tastebuds go to heaven. I sauteed a huge handful of kale leaves in a wok with about two tablespoons of olive oil and the heat crisped up the edges of the kale leaves, making them crispy like super thin potato chips. Only better.

On a side note, I’ve been swimming several times a week now at Loyola Marymount University’s amazing olympic-sized swimming pool. I’m not usually a fan of swimming laps because it can get so tedious and boring but I have a swim MP3 player that basically translates to an underwater iPod, allowing me to blast tunes while I swim laps for a good 45 minutes to an hour. I swear, music does wonders. I can’t even workout without music or some sort of distraction. Kudos to people who can run miles with nothing to listen to. That’s major devotion.

Here are some pics of our ever growing baby, Kihei!! She’s getting so much bigger already…my little girl is growing up!! I’ve been trying to put her on my lap like when she was that little 8 week old puppy who could curl up in a little ball, but now she’s so big her legs keep slipping off.

Oh, here’s a good example of how smart she is. We keep her doggie food bowl in her crate. I guess she could tell it was dinner time because she dragged the bowl out of her crate and into the middle of the living room and sat down next to it with a “feed me, please!” look in her eyes.

Oh, hey check out the cool dining room table we just got for the house. I love it! It’s reclaimed teak and so unique. It’s kind of imperfect, which makes it totally perfect in my book. That’s why I really like artisan, craftsman items. They all have their own look and are different from the next. I’ll say no thanks to Pottery Barn and Ikea pieces unless I really, really need them.

So after I got turned onto Thai Green Papaya salads, I was obsessed with making my own at home. I invested in a “Miracle Knife” that is specially made in Thailand for the purpose of shredding green papayas (since a regular mandoline or peeler just doesn’t do the trick.) For $10.95 on Amazon.com, the Miracle Knife is a wonderful nifty little investment because I have since used it to shred things like carrots and cucumbers and it works like, well, like a miracle!

green papaya salad and miracle knife

Here is the shredding in action. It makes the whole process so much more enjoyable and easy. I just used the recipe from ThaiTable.com to make my green papaya salad, so here goes. I also have the traditional pestle and mortar used in Thailand for this dish but I’m sure you can just a regular bowl and wooden spoon or a masher to get a similar effect. I didn’t use the dried shrimp and I purchased my palm sugar in granular form from Whole Foods…

1 1/2 tablespoons palm sugar
3/4 lime
2 cups green papaya, shredded
6 green beans
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon dried shrimp
2 chili peppers
5 cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons peanuts, toasted

Smash a clove of garlic first. Then add green beans and halved cherry tomatoes. Pound a few times just to bruise the beans and get the juice out of the tomatoes. Add chili peppers and crush them just enough to release the hotness, unless you like your salad really hot. Add the green papaya, dried shrimp, toasted peanuts, fish sauce, lime juice and palm sugar. Use the pestle to push the mixture up in the mortar and the spatula to push it down so that the mixture is mixed well.

However, if you do not have a big enough mortar you can crush garlic, tomatoes, green beans. Set them aside in a large bowl. Add dried shrimp, fish sauce, lime juice and palm sugar to the bowl. Add green papaya and mix well.

Voila!

thai green papaya salad

Alright, enough with the dog pics. For now, at least. I wanted to use the remaining phyllo dough I had in the fridge so I made a very interesting breakfast the other day. I made a scrambled egg and then rolled it up in the phyllo dough along with 1 oz of Yarra Valley persian feta cheese (ummmm so creamy and delicious!!) and then baked the whole phyllo “burrito” for 15 minutes at 375 degrees in the oven. It came out so perfect and the cheese oozed on the inside and the phyllo was crispy and light. The mix of egg with cheese filled me up very nicely for what was a pretty small-ish breakfast.

egg feta phyllo wrap

For lunch, I made phyllo pizzas. I took one sheet of phyllo dough and folded it into quarters, then folded up the edge to make a sort of “crust”. I then layered it with some spinach, more Yarra Valley persian feta cheese, and some sliced sundried tomato. Two of them made a super light lunch for me.

phyllo pizza with spinach, feta and sun dried tomato

OK OK I know I am starting to sound like one of those obnoxious parents who think only their kids are the cutest and take a million pictures of them to show to friends and family. Yah….that’s kind of how I feel right now about Kihei, our new half vizsla half labrador puppy (aks LABRALA), which freaks me out because I can only imagine what I will be like when I have real human kids!! But that’s a wayyyy later thing to deal with. For now…

labrador vizsla puppy

OK is this not the look of love or what?? Who knew Chris was such a doting and loving father?! LOL!

big paws on labrador vizsla puppy

Kihei is going to be a big dog…just look at those paws!!

our labrador vizsla puppy.

our labrador vizsla puppy

I did NOT pose this photo. She seriously fell asleep like this with her arms wrapped around her toy (courtesy of Aunt Nikki!!) Ehhh….her body is looking kind of barrel-like here, though

labrador vizsla labrala puppy

God, she has gotten so much bigger already!! I have to cherish the moments when I can still pick her up like a baby and keep her on my lap 😦

…but no matter what a cutie Kihei is, Guido will always be our #1 🙂 Talk about a well-behaved, sweet-natured dog. Love you, little guy!