Saturday, June 30, 2012

Recent Food Adventures

I'm trying to learn Photoshop (in my "free" time - ha!) and have experimented with some pictures from recent homemade food. They are by all means not perfect - and criticisms/suggestions much appreciated.

Homemade food from mom, sister, and sister-in-law for Father's Day. My parents are in town and that just means a lot of food in general. Too bad I don't live at home anymore.

Also for Father's Day, my 8-year nephew opted to make his specialty - bacon-wrapped asparagus. He loves meat while his younger brother loves vegetables, so this is one dish they will scarf down together.

Some cherries my parents and brother's family picked from Cherry Valley.

Some coffee drink my brother made from his new Nespresso. It's a nifty little thing that makes coffee from capsules! (not unlike Keurig but fancier)

I made chicken quesadilla with spinach and mushrooms for dinner one night. I didn't realize they were so hard to stuff (or the tortillas I got were too small). Anyways, they were a hit. H loved them, whee!

In efforts to eat healthier, I also conjured up this pasta and bean salad for H's lunches. (There's still a good batch left... which says they must not be very good. Humph.)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Fab Five Friday {6/29}

Every Friday, I share 5 things that I'm loving this week.

1. I'd like to think that I have a wide taste for music. I'm into pretty much anything except techno, (some) country, and (some) gospel. Last week I shared Gotye, and this week it's going to be Rise Against.

They are one of my all-time favorite what-I-call "young people rock." (Yes, I'm one of those people who refer to the 'other group' as "young people" now that I am about to cross the threshold of the big 3-0. Sobs.)

2. Speaking of rock, my all-time favorite Linkin Park released their Living Things album last week!
This is their Burn It Down mv.

3. Being an Asian, I am cursed with hooded eyelids. I have ashamed and excited at the same time to share that I have rediscovered deep within my stash of goodies the double eyelid tape. It makes my eyes bigger and pop, appearing more energetic. Which is good cuz I've been feeling super tired and somewhat down the last two weeks or so.

4. Playing basketball with H. More like... chasing the ball.

5. Lastly, check out this trailer for a documentary about Jiro, the world's greatest sushi chef.

It is so dreamy and of course makes me hungry. I love sushi!

In other news, I've been trying to deal with my and the other person's insurance companies since my car accident in mid-May. Can I just say how much I HATE dealing with car insurance stuff? the accident totally wasn't my fault and there is already a police report, but for some reason the other insurance company now wants my statement of what happened. I've already called twice and left voice messages but no callback. ARGH!

Have a happy weekend!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Huntington Library (Part 2)

Last time I shared pictures from my trip to the Huntington Library, and this time I will share pictures specifically from the subtropical garden. It's very unique with all its weird plants and odd cacti.
Some barren trees. This was a few weeks after the unusual, major wind storm that traveled through the area.

But these flowers! They grow amid the barren-ness (is that a word?). They are fighters.
These are the normal cacti.

Pretty flowers! I wish I knew my flowers to give a name.

Uh oh... the cacti is starting to get weird here...

Another lone, barren tree. This looks like it could be something out of a Tim Burton movie.

Some willow-y looking plant. Or a gigantic monster with some serious hair issue.

Flowers and cacti.

I love the red in the back.

Another name-less pretty flower. Can you tell I'm a flower kind of gal?! Ha.

Another Tim Burton prop. Maybe the trees come to life during the night and start grabbing at things. Too much imagination? Yah I think so.

Prickly cacti! I once killed a cactus plant by overwatering it. True story. No one ever trusts me with their plants after that.

Cacti garden. It's a good way to ward off burglars 'cuz it's hard for them to get away!

I call these, Christmas cacti.

These remind me of ribbon roses (something way too complicated for my simple mind to figure out).

I have no idea what this is or what kind of plant it is...

Or this... Although this looks like a gigantic girl alien... (Imagination at work again, sorry.)

Anyone called for a ultra-large ginger root? 

I'm starting to wonder what the red things are.

These remind me of a popular Asian fruit called the loquat. They are really sweet and juicy. I call them Asian cuz I've had them in Asia but very rarely in the US (only from someone's backyard).

Firecrackers or chili? Your pick.

I've seen these around but am not sure what they are. They look so puffy!

Flower garden.

Berries? I don't think they are edible though.

Another willow-y plant but I love the lightness of it.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Huntington Library (Part 1)

I found some pictures from earlier this year of when I went to the Huntington Library. It's smack in the middle of a (very nice) residential area and houses art collections, libraries, and botanical gardens.

The entrance to the gardens.

This sculpture is one of the first things you'll see inside. *giggles*

The entire library is subdivided into different "gardens" and this one is the sculpture garden, appropriately-named.

I like black-n-white pictures sometimes.

I just like this shot.

I made a new friend during my visit!

For some reason, these steps look very serene and zen-like.

The path to somewhere. Or nowhere.

Crouching tiger, hidden dragon anyone? 

The Huntington Garden also holds a special place in my heart because 1) it's one of the first places I remember visiting when we first moved to the US and 2) it's where H and I went to take our engagement photos. Stay tuned for part 2 for subtropical garden photos!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Fave Five Friday {6/22}

Every Friday, I share 5 things that I'm loving this week.

1. Kindle. I got mine last Black Friday but am just starting to really use it now. I love the lightweight-ness and the convenience. It fits in my purse perfectly, and I can read on it whenever I have a few minutes here and there. I like the particular one I have - it's white! With a happy orange ten-dollar case!

2. White Collar. My friends Cyn and Ada recommended it, and we usually have similar TV show/movie tastes, so I decided to give it a try. It's smart and funny, and it certainly doesn't hurt that Matthew Bomer is cute! Fellow Netflix'ers can find it on the instant watch list.

3. I recently came across the works of Laura Vanderkam, in particular, her article on "What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast." I was never a morning person. If it wasn't for work and if H and I were left to ourselves, I think we would stay up until the wee morning hours. But I can totally see her point on how mornings, by yourself, can be productive. I shared it with H and now we are considering getting up even earlier. (We already get up at 6am. Okay, maybe 6:30... I love my snooze button.)

4. A Cup of Jo, one of my favorite blogs. Joanna used to write for Glamour and Conde Nast Traveler, so you can imagine how cool her blog will be. She's also a super mom. I want to be just like her!

5. Gotye - Somebody I Used to Know

I know this song is all over the airwaves but I just really like the folksy voice and the lyrics! I usually don't look up artists or music videos when I like a song, so it's very weird to be linking to it, haha.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dietitians are Human Too

As a registered dietitian, one of the perks for working in a hospital is that you get free food. (Note: this differs from hospital to hospital, and the policy as to how much food you can get differs too. At my current job, we are allotted $8 per day.) This may sound great, and trust me it comes out to be a gigantic money-saver, but c'mon, you can only take so much hospital food! Everyday, my coworkers and I would trudge through the cafeteria, back and forth, back and forth, and 80% of the time, I would settle on salad because there really isn't anything else that appeals to my hungering tummy. (There is a handful of items that I would always get when they are on the menu ie anything with seafood, anything tacos or tostados, and anything pasta - but everything else is either too mystifying to figure out or just plain looks unappetizing.)

As my coworkers and I walk to our tables with our food, we nearly always receive comments on our lunches. This leads me into one of the biggest myths ever: that dietitians eat healthy. Sure, we love our salads and carrot sticks and fat-free plain yogurts and plain everything else (gags), but we are human too! Who doesn't enjoy a nice juicy burger followed by a side of hot, fried-to-perfection fries washed down with a jug of sweet, savory milkshake (mmm In-'N-Out)?? That's like assuming all doctors are fit and healthy and cancer-free, all models are size 0.01, all cops are righteous and never run red lights or speed, and all customer service representatives are customer-oriented. We (or at least the majority of us - why is there always a small percentage in every group that mess up the calculations?) just try to eat decent most of the time so we can goof off the rest of the time. 

Case in point, here are some food I ate from a recent trip to Washington DC:

Five Guys Famous Burgers & Fries - I know this is a well-known chain, and I know that on vacations you shouldn't eat anything chain-or-franchise-store-ish, but I've never had it and this was the only place we can find within walking distance. (Link may or may not point to where I had the actual burger.) It was a hot mess and I loved it. Not unlike an In-'N-Out but messier and juicier. The fries (unpictured) were really good too, especially with the cajun powder. 

Fries from Palena Restaurant - I have more comments about this place that can span another post but I shall refrain for now. These were like Jack-in-the-box fries that costs $8! (meaning that they were fast food fries trying to be all upscaly... insert angry face) The point is that we ordered fries on the side to attest to how much we enjoy fries in general.

Ben's Chili Bowl - If you've never heard of this place, that's ok - I hadn't either. But now that you do, you must go! It's supposedly President's Obama's to-go place. It's ghetto. It might be dirty. There might be filming in there. The line might be long. The food may be cheap (for DC). And it may or may not be one of the most tastiest, most comforting food you can eat at 11pm after the fries from the restaurant above disppointed you.

the inside "decor" and the menu

"people who eat free: bill cosby, president obama/family, and no one else"

what a lovely sight! and i don't even like hot dogs (yes it's blasphemous i know...)
framed celebrities. obama is at the far right.

chili dog & chili cheese fries
Next time you see me with a salad, don't assume I am trying to be healthy. Instead, take it to mean that there is nothing on the menu I want to eat. (Either that, or it is a god-damn, finger-licking GOOD salad made from truffles and chocolate shavings.)