food

Wow. I have never received so many search hits:

  • when i run fitbit doesn’t catch all my steps
  • do fitbits break
  • products like fitbit
  • fitbit vs bodybugg
  • how many people are using fitbit
  • fitbit replacement lost
  • fitbit waterproof
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  • 2 fitbits in house
  • washed my fitbit
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  • how to dry out a fitbit that went through washer

Clearly I hit on a topic that people were interested in when I posted about my positive experience with Fitbit Customer service and with the device itself. I am overjoyed to have provided information to those who were in need.

I am also overjoyed at the sheer amount of people who have also managed to wash their fitbits. It makes me feel a little less lame to know that I am in good company…

This post, however, is not about my Fitbit. It is about something else entirely.

My co-worker, Curtis, and I, love musicals and shows. It is something that out of an entire office of employees, only we share. Due to this, we see a lot of musicals together. We’ve seen RENT, In the Heights, Avenue Q, Next to Normal, Rock of Ages, An evening with Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp, Beach Blanket Babylon (twice) and we have tickets to see Tales of the City in June. We may have seen other shows as well, but these are all I can think of right now.

Last night was another fun night out, though instead of a musical, we went to see one of our favorite authors, David Sedaris, do a reading at War Memorial Opera House.

Before the reading we had to go to dinner, of course. We have a long history of hitting up a favorite restaurant of ours and overdoing it before shows. It’s always a bad decision. We end up spending the first act of the show focussed on how bloated we feel. Fortunately for us, I happened to spy a Groupon  for 2G Japanese Brasserie a couple of weeks ago. I had never heard of it before, but it was located super close to the opera house and although it happened to share an address with a Max’s location, I thought it might be a welcome change.

And it was!

The food was spectacular. Just extremely flavorful and delicious. My photos are a little off, as I took them with my iPhone, but trust me, the food was anything but.

We each started with a salad. The endive salad had red grapes, apples, caramelized walnuts, blue cheese and a maple cider vinaigrette. Holy yum!

After this, we each decided to order a couple of small plates.

I ordered some kabocha tempura, which was so delicious that I forgot to take a picture before eating one of the two slices that came in the order. Curtis ordered some kind of roll, a Kobe Beef Tsukune (meatball) and both of us ordered that beauty on the left. The asparagus bacon skewer.

OMG.

It was one of the best things I ever ate.

It should be on the Food Network Show.

Seriously.

Although I was getting full, I couldn’t stop myself. We also ordered some gyoza and some edamame to share. The gyoza were excellent, but the edamame were out of this world…sauteed with garlic, truffle oil and butter. So. Delicious.

We enjoyed their food so much that we overspent our Groupon by a little. So worth it though. The food and staff were just phenomenal. We left completely full, but not dying. A great triumph for us.

Then it was on to see David Sedaris.

David Sedaris is sort of my literary hero. His way of telling the everyday in a voice that leaves his audience rolling in the aisles laughing is unbelievable. I’ve read all of his books and there has yet to be even one during which I didn’t find myself laughing out loud. I’ve lost many a bus seat companion due to his wit.

I should send him a Thank You card for that alone.

Sedaris read the title story from his most recent publication, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, as well as several other stories. He also read a few entries from his diaries and did a small question and answer at the end of his reading. Curtis and I had never laughed so hard. As a matter of fact, Curtis was still laughing when I came into work this afternoon, playing clips off of YouTube for his office mates and retelling the jokes from the reading.

Afterwards, there was a book signing. I really wanted to get in line, as I had my copy of Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk in my purse. The line, however, was overwhelming, as you would imagine it would be at a venue like War Memorial. I sensed that Curtis didn’t want to wait, so we didn’t. A little sad, but those are the breaks.

Now I leave you with a little bit of Sedaris fun:

 Who is your favorite author?

I’m a bit belated in sharing last week’s CSA delivery.

I was a little worried about getting the new delivery, as I skipped out on cooking at home the week before. I still had vegetables from the previous box, and I was concerned about spoilage. I decided to go ahead and get my delivery as usual though, as I knew that I could get through my produce with my new found motivation to regain health.

I am so glad I decided to get my delivery. There was something in the shipment that I was super excited about. Can you guess what?

I love artichokes! I’ve never cooked them myself before, but I can’t wait to get these into mah belly!

I had one extra surprise in my box this week. Though I’ve had CSA eggs before, I have never tried any of their meats. Truthfully, I haven’t been eating a lot of meat at home. Still eating it at restaurants, and everything, but I haven’t been much for cooking it as of late. For some reason, last week, the idea of trying out some meat from the CSA sounded like a good idea.

I decided to pick up a pound of ground beef. I’m thinking either tacos or actual burgers, but I’m still not sure which sounds best. Maybe both? The beef arrived frozen, which I was happy about as my fridge was completely stocked with new (and old…) produce. I’ll let you know about the meat when I decide between American and Mexi-Cali cuisine.

Speaking of “old” produce, a lot of people have been asking me how I manage to keep all of my CSA goodies from spoiling while I work my way through them. I typically am only cooking for 1 or 2 people, so I used to avoid buying much produce. Then at some point I discovered those plastic baggies that are “As seen on TV’….

I found the Debbie Meyer bags at Safeway and bought them on a whim. I also have some “Stor It” bags that my Mom gave me in my Christmas stocking. So far, I think I’ve liked the Debbie Meyer version a little more, as the Stor it were only one size and were zip loc closing, so it was difficult to put the larger pieces of produce in them.

I wasn’t sure these bags would work, but they really do seem to keep my produce fresh. As I mentioned above, I didn’t get through all of my previous box before the next one showed up. This means that this week I was eating red cabbage and kale….that was three weeks old. Tasted great!

I have been eating a random mix of cabbage and kale with various toppings all week. It’s really filling and surprisingly good.

The only problem is that when you put an egg on top, the veggies kind of turn the whites blue-green. Oh well.

 

How do you keep your fruits and veggies fresh?

The past two days have been a total blur.

Whenever a co-worker goes on vacation and the other managers and I have to pick up the slack, everything becomes complicated, kind of annoying and stressful. With my work week so wacky, I feel quite slighted by how quickly my two days off flew by.

On Thursday I ate my bagel, and then proceeded to do nothing. I was feeling like a zombie. I kept trying to do household things, but since the plumbing was being worked on for the FOURTH day in a row, I had no water for dishes, etc. Finally I was able to take a shower at around 4pm and I felt like a new person again!

Shortly thereafter Greenhearts showed up with my CSA delivery. Although my shower had left me refreshed, I must’ve still been a little space cadet-like, as when Aurora came into the building with the produce we had the following conversation:

Me: How’re you?

Aurora: Good, you?

Me: Okay. So how’s it going? Wait…I already asked that. You’re good. Sorry. I’m tired!

 

Yeah. I’m awesome.

 

Minneola Tangerines, Kiwis, Baby Bok Choy, Beets, Red Cabbage, Swiss Chard, Green Kale, Potatoes, Fennel, Butter Lettuce, Yellow Onions and Green Garlic

Yum!

(well, except for the beets….I’m going to try and make borscht. I keep trying to like them, I swear…)

After the veggie photo shoot, I made plans to meet up with a friend for some fun which included:

AND

Last spring I went on my first wine tasting adventure with a couple of my friends from high school. Out of the vineyards we visited, I enjoyed Michel-Schlumberger the most. We took the tour there prior to the tasting. I don’t remember all of the really interesting facts that we learned. What I do remember is their wine! I don’t know if they had essences of raspberries and hints of beetle sweat, or whatever, but I liked them. They were very smooth..none of that bite that some wines have. I absolutely wanted to pick something up. The wine I enjoyed the most was $75/bottle. It seemed way too steep for a first timer, so I bought the above for around $40. I’ve been saving it for almost a year now. My friend and I decided that Thursday was the night!

It was delicious!

And I was drunk in about 5 minutes. Oops.

We spent the evening enjoying the wine as we watched “You Bet Your Life: The Lost Episodes”. I love love love Groucho Marx! He is hilarious. The guests are a trip as well. On disc one, two of the contestants’ names: Harry Potter and Alice Cooper.

Yes, I’m serious.

Alice Cooper was actually the mother of actor Gary Cooper. She told Groucho to shut up. Feisty!

Man. I wish the Marx Brothers were still around. The world would be a funnier place.

What is your favorite game show?

I know I have introduced you all before, but I have an pick up affair going on with the #11 bagel from The Grind Cafe.

I may go days or weeks without visiting with my boy, but he is always there for me when I come back. He doesn’t care if I’m acting like a jerk or if I’m feeling over emotional. He’s ideal. I mean, he doesn’t even get mad if I cheat on him with oatmeal or pancakes.

He’s not the jealous type.

I mean, look, sometimes he even brings friends to our clandestine meetings.

I don’t think anything will ever come between us.

Our love is forever. ❤

***

In other news, I can’t believe that I didn’t notice there was a hunk of something or the other on my floor and in my breakfast shot. Just looking at it is driving me bonkers.

Where the heck is my swifter….

***

Still working on figuring out all of my plans, but I did one good thing yesterday. I really, really, really didn’t want to go to the gym. Or walk to work. Or get out of bed. But I did get out of bed and I pulled on my gym clothes and headed to the YMCA. I did a tradmill workout. There was no real method…I just made it up as I went along.

It went something like:

400 meters – Warm-up walk. I started off slow at 2.5 mph, and every so often I bumped it up until it was up to 4.0 by the end of the “lap”…I say lap, as my favorite treadmill at the gym has an option to view a little track on the screen, so you can pretend you are doing a track workout.

400 meters – 4.6 mph jog

400 meters – 5.2 mph

400 meters – 6 mph

400 meters – 6.5 mph

400 meters – 7 mph

400 meters – 3.0 walk

Around this time I started to feel really super miserable. I was tired. I didn’t want to be on the treadmill. I wanted to go home. My plan had been to do the same build up one more time, but I was having trouble convincing myself. I ended up doing the following:

200 meters – 4.6 mph jog

200 meters – 3.0 walk

200 meters – 5.2 mph

200 meters – 3.0 walk

200 meters – 6 mph

200 meters – 3.0 walk

200 meters – 6.6 mph

200 meters – 3.0 walk

200 meters – 7 mph

200 meters – 3.0 walk

200 meters – 7.5 mph

200 meters – 3.0 walk

200 meters – 8 mph!

100 meters – 7 mph

100 meters – 6 mph

100 meters – 5.2 mph

300 meters – 4.6 mph jog

400 meters – Cool Down.

I know 8.0 (7:30/mi pace) isn’t that fast, sprinting wise, for some of you, but seeing as I normally run an 11:30-12min pace, it’s darn speedy for me. Somewhere around the 200 8.0 meters, I started to feel strong. Don’t misunderstand me. I still didn’t want to be there and mentally I still felt like crap on toast….but physically, I was feeling good.

Part of what I need to work on is pushing through even when my head is NOT in the game. Although I didn’t feel too excited about the workout, even when I was through, I got it done.

A step in the right direction!

If you are a treadmill runner, what kind of workouts do you do to keep it interesting?

I have to tell you all:

I am the jealous type.

It’s a rather unattractive trait, I know, but when other people are having fun and doing things that I deem more interesting than what I’m doing, I have a habit of becoming green with envy.

This is how I felt during the Food Buzz festival last fall. Now, normally, I wouldn’t care all that much about a foodie convention. Sure, I love food…but I’m not really a food blogger, per se. My palette isn’t all that refined. I mean, you’re talking to a girl who ate KFC after going to the race track last Thanksgiving. How elegant an eater can I be?

The thing that got me was that the festival was here in my hometown of San Francisco. The people whose blogs I read everyday were right there, and I couldn’t partake in the festivities.

You might ask, “What kind of things were they doing, that were so enviable?”

Eating farro, of course.

Farro wasn’t even on my radar prior to reading about it on Ashley and Emily’s blogs. Nor was Il Cane Rosso. Though I do love The Ferry Building, I really don’t spend as much time there as visitors to San Francisco seem to. I really only go there on market days. Nevertheless, I wanted some of this farro porridge that they told of. Maya and I were going to try it in November when she was in the states, but they weren’t serving it that day.

After missing out on farro that day, I became even more determined to try it out. I ended up buying some from Rainbow Grocery in the bulk section….and leaving it in my cabinet for over a month. Oops.

Today was the day, however. I was ready to try out this farro thing in my own kitchen.

Tip: When you buy things from the bulk bins, don’t only put the bin number on the tag, but write down the name as well. Or else you’ll be like me, standing in the kitchen wondering what is what. Fail.

Ashley has done several posts on making ground farro, so I pretty much just followed the general instructions for preparation. First up, the farro needed to be ground. I wasn’t quite sure my magic bullet was going to do the job justice, but having no other option (besides a not so great blender), I went with it. Using the flat blade, I went to work.

I did it in 1/3 cup batches, as I wanted to make sure the magic bullet did an even job. And yes, I’m the blogger who forgets to take a pre-grinding shot of the flat blade.

The magic bullet actually did a pretty good job. I was very surprised. The only objection I had was how loud the grinding process is. Scares the bejeebus out of my cats!

Due to the noise factor, I decided to grind the whole bag while I was at it. I cooked about 4 BIG servings worth (about 1/2 cup ground farro or 1/3 cup whole farro would be 1 serving) of ground farro and put the rest in some tupperware for later use.

I used a 2:1 ratio for cooking up the farro. I used about 2 cups ground farro, 2 cups of 1% milk and 2 cups of water, then cooked just like oatmeal. Towards the end of the cooking process I also stirred in a dash of salt, 1/4 cup ground flaxseed, 1 tablespoon of Land O Lakes Lite Canola Butter and 2T of brown sugar.

Although I like my hot cereals thick, I think I would either cook for a shorter amount of time or use more liquid next time.

I decided to top my farro with the last 1/3 of a container of mixed berries from Whole Foods (an expensive impulse buy after the Strawberry Hill 5K), some chocolate peanut butter and a tiny bit of Galaxy Granola for crunch.

The chocolate peanut butter, by the way, is AWESOME.

Overall, I really enjoyed breakfast. It kept me full for hours and was quite the tasty meal.

And now that I have had it, the only thing feeling green with envy in my household is my set of Shamrock Fiestaware.

What is your favorite breakfast grain?

I’m the busiest person with no life you’ve ever met.

But I shall work on it.

For instance, tomorrow, I am promising you all a race recap for the Strawberry Hill 5K.

Tonight, however, let me catch you up with the CSA Delivery from Thursday 2/17/11 from Greenhearts.

Orange picture is colored wonky. Oranges themselves, awesome.

I got a lot more citrus than is pictured, by the way. Like I said, it is awesome.

I’m so excited to have the chance to make mashed kohlrabi again! And how about that romanesco? I’ve never had it before. What a fun box!

Are you good at time management? Are you an expert at getting the most out of your day?

(I’m not, in case you were wondering…)

A year or so ago, Maya gave me the recipe she was using for pancakes at the time. I had never made pancakes from scratch before, and even my Bisquik attempts had failed. Nevertheless, I gave them a try and they turned out great. For quite some time I made double batches once or twice a month and kept all of the extras stored in the freezer. That way I could grab a couple whenever I was short on time. A couple of minutes in the microwave and I was in business again!

But after a while, I got lazy. Dirtying up all of the dishes and standing around making pancakes seemed like too much effort. I mean, even a single batch of 8 pancakes could take forever, as I only have a 3/4 sized stove in my studio and thus can only cook in small frying pans, lest the food cooks unevenly.

On Tuesday, I decided it was time to get off my butt and get over this bout of extreme laziness. On Tuesday, I made pancakes. Whole Wheat Buttermilk Blueberry Pancakes.

Like those measuring cups? Valentines Day 2010. I’m a lucky woman– Heart Shaped Measuring cups and PEZ dispensers!

Yeah, ignore the dirty dishes, sink, counter, stove top…really…I’ve been L-A-Z-Y lately…

See? I’m serious. Two pancakes at a time. I usually make double batches of pancakes, so it takes at least an hour.

I ran out of blueberries about 1.5 batches in. I had a can of pumpkin sitting around…and exactly a 1/2 cup of flour left, so I made a half batch of pumpkin pancakes. I had never made pumpkin pancakes before, but I’ve played around with this recipe several times with great success, so I just added 1/2 cup of pumpkin, a teaspoon of cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg to the batter.

Tasty pancake-y goodness!

I wrap the pancakes up in twos. I take two pancakes, wrap them up in wax paper, making sure that a layer of wax paper is separating the two cakes–this allows me to only eat one if I want. (Without the wax paper, the cakes get stuck together.) Then I wrap them in plastic wrap. Lastly, I put all of the two-packs into a freezer bag. They keep for quite a long time and it’s easy to grab a pack, toss them into my purse and heat them up at work and have them at my desk…yum!

In the moment, I decided on one blueberry pancake and one pumpkin pancake with a little syrup. There was only one egg left, so I decided to cook it up over easy. Deliciousness.

Maya’s Recipe for Whole Wheat Honey Flax Pancakes:

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup nonfat milk
1 tbsp honey
1 egg

Directions:

Mix flour, flax, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Pour milk and honey into a measuring cup. Whisk in egg. Dump wet ingredients into dry ingredients all at once; whisk until just mixed.
Heat non-stick pan over medium heat. Add batter 1/4 cup at a time, making sure not to over crowd. Cook until golden brown or bubbles appear and edges dry out slightly, flip, and cook an additional 1-2 minutes.

Number of Servings: 8

As I say, I change up the recipe all of the time. I’ve made chocolate hazelnut pancakes, banana pancakes, strawberry pancakes and other flavors too. Sometimes I use a whole egg, other times, egg whites. Sometimes low fat buttermilk, other times whatever milk is in my fridge. It’s a good recipe to use when you’re wanting to mix things up.

I think Maya has had several improved pancake recipes since she passed this one to me. Maybe one day you’ll all get lucky and she’ll do an official pancake post.

I think my pancake obsession is back!

Are you a pancake or a waffle person?