Monday, May 16, 2011

Still haven't moved on yet?

New post! Head over to Wordpress to check it out:

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I'm moving!

Well my blog is....

I've decided to make the switch over to Wordpress. I've used it previously and after tooling around with it for a little while yesterday, I remembered how much I love the interface and more advanced options.

So new post. And feel free to head on over to from time to time. (Will probably be in the next few days... but I'm working on a few things first.)

I promise I won't bite. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Celebrate the Good Times

As I alluded to in my last post, work is going very well right now. Which is such a welcome change from the previous few months. Working at a start-up has many, many advantages to it. We're flexible, we're innovative, our schedule and daily tasks are constantly changing so we're always on our toes. We're scrappy and we're risk takers. But it has a few downsides. Sometimes it's stressful. We are small, but our goals are big. That often translates into working loooong hours without much thanks (or compensation!). But that's okay. It's what I signed up for.

So yesterday I officially took a new position in work. It was a good day. A celebration of sorts was therefore necessary. And thanks to a bottle of wine I was gifted, I decided it was going to translate into a home cooked meal.

It was amazing. I haven't been cooking much, and getting back in the kitchen after a few weeks of snacking and "making do," it felt great. It also provided the perfect opportunity to try out SooFoo. I had picked this up, on impulse, at Whole Foods a few weeks ago and I've been wanting to try it since.

Soo Fooing Good

Check out the ingredient list: barley, black lentils, brown lentils, buckwheat, green lentils, long grain brown rice, oats, rye berries and wheat berries. Day-um! It cooks up like brown rice and if you visit the website, there are many great ways you can jazz it up. Next time I think I'll add some mushrooms and onions :) This time, I just cooked with some chicken stock for added flavor. Highly recommended.

And then there was the star of the show. Ribeye steaks. Cooked medium rare. Kind of on the rare side. Kind of delicious. I always get nervous grilling on my own, but I must say, I think I nailed it! You may refer to me here on out as the "Grill Master."

The path to my heart? Ribeyes...

I roasted up a few brussel sprouts and bam - dinner was served!

Success, I has it.

My friends and I gobbled it all up. I think SooFoo is going to become a staple of mine. It's nutritious, flavorful, and has a texture like rice/pilaf/cooked grain but a little crunchy too. I can't wait to make it again and experiment a little.

What's your favorite way to celebrate good news?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Case of the (Anti) Mondays

Yesterday was a good day. I've got to tell you ladies and gents, May has been a good month so far.

My baby turned a month older. (I know, but it's like the equivalent of a year for a dog! It's a big deal...)

Bunny Love

And I got a new position/promotion at work. I'm extremely happy about this (duh). And while I will probably be working a considerable amount more, I'll do so happily.

So when things are going swimmingly, it's nice to top off with a cocktail. Especially when work is within walking distance of one of my favorite restaurant/bars EVA.

Some may call it hipster heaven, but I don't care.  The food and drinks are amazing. The service, although slow at times (I'm looking at you - lunch!), is personable and above par. And the people watching? Priceless. 

Anything with mustard cannot be bad.
Mini-corn dogs? Don't mind if I do! There were lots of other bites, but I wasn't in picture mode. If you do go, you MUST order the mussels. They are heaven. Habanero-infused heaven. I'm dying just thinking of them. Also, if you order them you MUST allow the accompanying fries to soak up all the brothy buttery goodness in the bowl. I'm serious.

Here are a few snapshots of the interior. Seriously guys, this place is tragically hip. The inside is reminiscent of a cabin. With lots of books. Books everywhere, in fact.

A bibliophile's dream.

 I especially love the brick walls.

Demand (less)!

For a place that gets pretty crowded, it's amazing how intimate the atmosphere remains. I think it's one of those places that is equally appropriate for a romantic night out OR a large group. I'll take both :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

My How Time Flies!

My baby is 5 months old today!

Ain't I a cutie?

Would it be too much if I gave him his own ribeye tonight? On an unrelated note... When did I become that girl? ;)

But honestly. Just a few months ago my little bear cub looked like this:

Me? Shy?

I can't stand it! I know everyone says it, but wow. They grow so fast!

Now, while I decide if the big boy gets a steak tonight or not, he will be getting some new new spoils to play with. Did you know Ross has an AMAZING selection of dog toys? I didn't....until today :)

A few new goodies

Unpictured was another "Pork femur" bone like the one my friend Lioyd brought him once and for which he goes CRAZY for and a few other goodies he has already gotten into. Also, he got some new dog food. (I'm sorry if you're not a dog person, but this is my blog, so please allow for this moment of canine indulgence)

Not your average chow

This stuff is not cheap. In fact, it's probably one of the most expensive dog food brands out there. BUT I think it's worth it. I wasn't paying attention, but most dog food is full of corn, fructose and other fillers. NOT protein. And I've noticed Tino's coat (which is gorgeous and full and thick by) has been extremely dull. And his skin is flaky and itchy. That's not cool. And to be honest, I feel bad that I wasn't paying attention. Thankfully, I've done a little research and now he's eating food where the first few ingredients are animal proteins (in this case - lamb) and full of good fatty acids. Phew! I mean, if I'm going to go to the trouble of buying organic fruit and vegetables and free range protein for myself, I think it's only fair that I practice the same with my dear pup.

Am I right?

Am I the only crazy dog person out there? Do you have any pets that you like to spoil?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mama Mia

Happy Mother's Day to all of the wonderful mothers out there, especially my own.

I'm extremely lucky to be surrounded by loving, caring and strong women in my life. I am forever grateful.

I'm not great at the mushy stuff, so here are some favorite pictures...

At the Grand Canyon in 2008. ( Can you believe I lived in Arizona for 8 years and that was my first time there???)

Me, Mi Madre, brother Alex

At my dear friend Angela's wedding last Spring.

Pretty sister Dianne, my Dad, Stepmom Ann, me

Greasewood Flat. It's a Scottsdale tradition. (Cheap beers too!)

Dianne, Ann, Me
 Law School Graduation:

Alex, Mom, Me

To all my moms, hope you had a good day :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Seis de Mayo

I hope you all had a wonderful Cinco de Mayo. I may have had a few too many Margaritas. And Chips. And Guacamole. But that's life.... and today's Friday :)

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Laker Hater

My friends know this, and if they don't then they clearly have never spent time around me in the months between October and May/June. I do NOT like the Lakers for many, many reasons. Most of them arbitrary, but I'm fine with that. I won't bother you with the details. But suffice it to say, this girl loves to see them lose.

So last night was a good night. Lakers lost (to one of my favorite teams!) and I was fortunate enough to be at a lovely beachside venue to watch it go down. I've been to the BeachWood before, but usually for happy hour. So it was nice to sit down, watch the game and have a few snacks.

My date and I ordered a few appetizers to share. I think I prefer this to ordering entrees. You should do this. Here are some crappy iphone snapshots:

Dip trio: garlic hummus, olive tapenade, roasted red pepper salsa

Salt and Pepper Calamari

Lobster Macaroni and Cheese
They were all amazing. The calamari was nice and crispy and very flavorful. But who are we kidding - lobster mac and cheese? I DIE. So good. Worth a trip back, even if the place was a little trendy.

The view from the Patio. That would be the ocean.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Wasabi Peas Please

I've mentioned it before, but finding lunch in Little Italy, let alone an affordable lunch, is not that easy. Sure, there are plenty of restaurants. But for me, a full plate of pasta or pizza doesn't really sound that appetizing during the middle of the day. Especially if I plan on NOT having a food coma come afternoon. And although Burger Lounge makes an amazing salad and quinoa patty, at 8 bucks a pop, it's not that wallet friendly. (Tastebud friendly, yes)

So today, finding myself without a lunch, I decided to head down to the 7-Eleven down the street for a soda and some snacks (they have pop chips! my fave!). I know, healthy.

After perusing the aisles for a few minutes, I left with these in hand:

Wasabi peas! These little boogers claim to be all natural, cholesterol free and MSG free. For a quick snack, not too bad.

The verdict? Love them! They are crunchy, have a nice little kick and pretty cheap. Every once and a while you get one that really clears the ol' sinuses. Fortunately, I had plenty of liquid nearby to extinguish the fire in my mouth.

Wasabi peas: best if accompanied with Big Gulp.

After a few handfuls:

Wasabi face.

Also, don't worry. This wasn't my entire lunch. Just the most exciting part ;)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Bring On the May Flowers!

Happy May Day! I hope it was a lovely one for you! I have no complaints :)

Spring has sprung (honestly, it feels like summer is here already) in San Diego, and flowers are everywhere. One place that ALWAYS has beautiful flower arrangements is Influx Cafe in Little Italy. They always have bright and visually stunning arrangements on display. That + the best espressos in the city make it one of my favorite spots. (Doesn't hurt that it's also super close to work...)

Here are a few arrangements that I've managed to snap on my phone while waiting for a caffeine fix:

I love this deep scarlet red. So elegant.

Artichokes are not just for eating!

Same with lemons ;)
I think my favorite is the lemon arrangement, but I really, really like the artichokes. Hopefully I can take a cue from these beautiful and unusual arrangements and branch out next time I decorate with flowers inside. Fingers crossed!

As far as my weekend went, it was full of sun, sun and more sun! Throw in a little dancing into the early hours of the morning, great friends and I'd say it was a success!

Unfortunately, I was a little forgetful when it came to the something pretty important.

Someone did not apply enough sunblock this weekend. Dummy.... 

Lobster face = fail. I'll make sure to double up on the sunblock this week. Sigh....

How did you spend your weekend?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Short and Stout

Is what I am. But good things come in small packages. Right? (right???)

I am soooo glad skinny jeans are out

Short girls should stay away from flats.... oh well ;) 

Mixing prints

Yah. So I'm really making an effort to dress up a bit. The thing is.... I still want to be comfortable. So dressing up means jeans + "not a t-shirt." Baby steps, my friends.

You might have already noticed, but yes,  I have been posting pictures of me. In clothes. In my bathroom at work. (The mirror in my bedroom is currently a pile of un-ironed clothes. I'm living big, folks.) This is not because I think I'm a fashion icon. Fashion icons are 1) not midgets and 2) do not spend their afternoons writing haikus inspired by their Neil Diamond Pandora station (it happens). I'm just trying to hold myself accountable. Also, I want my sister to see this. She needs to know ;)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fleetwood Mac Did It Best

I used to write a blog purely about break up songs. I know, kind of weird. And let me just say, first off, that it's not because I was some sad single gal who was sitting at home feeling sorry for herself. Nope, just happen to love them. If there is one thing you should know about me, it's that I'm a little dramatic. I like to think it's the Italian in me ;)

Anyway, after listening to this song for the 12th time this evening, I have come to the conclusion I must share. Yes, Cee Lo might have the catchiest "F you" song right now, but this was the O.G.. I promise.

I'm not going to lie, the past few weeks have not been going smoothly. But listening to this song helps. I feel kind of kick-ass. (The 3 pieces of Muenster cheese I just inhaled also helped. A lot.)

You all know the story behind this song, right? Boy and girl meet, sing in a band together and fall in love. Then one day, girl decides that she's over it. Oh, but wait! They're still in a band together. Boy writes super angry, bitter song and makes girl sing it in the ultimate act of F*%k you. Delicious.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Shabu Shabu For the Win

Shabu Shabu is one of those cuisines I have wanted to try for a long time. There is actually a sushi place in La Jolla, right by my house that does it. Unfortunately, it is extremely expensive. So when the President of my company, George, said that he and his family do it at home for all his family parties/events my ears perked up instantly. Apparently, so did the rest of my co-workers...because our Quarterly Meeting was promptly scheduled to take place at his house. YESSS!

Fast forward a few weeks, and I'm on my way to the O.C. (I may or may not have been singing a certain theme song whilst traveling up the 5) for our quarterly meeting and SHABU SHABU! It was a beautiful day, and I loooove driving along the highway with the ocean on my left. So pretty.

The meeting was good. Lots of projections, goals and analysis. Feeling pumped about the next few months. But really, let's get to the heavy stuff.

Shabu Shabu!

George and his wife Alice went beyond anything I might have expected. They mean business. Seriously. They purchased their own meat slicer so that they could slice the steak to the appropriate thinness. These people do not mess around.

Take a look at the spread.

Just Another Friday Work Lunch...
Those silver pots? Individual burners and pots for everyone. Yes.  They have purchased not only their own industrial meat slicer, but they have an army of burners and pots.

For those of you not in the know, Shabu Shabu is Japanese cuisine made up of very thinly sliced beef (usually ribeye) that is dipped into boiling water that is flavored with veggies and other spices. A quick "swish swish" and you remove the now cooked beef, dip it into some ponzu sauce and voila! You can also do this with various fish and other meats. Veggies are good too.

Everyone had their own platter. From left to right: shrimp, fish balls and sliced ribeye.
It's sliced very thin. But don't be fooled - there is a lot of meat here!

Uncooked. But not for long...

The shrimp were ENORMOUS!
Veggies for our pots.

In the mix: mushrooms, corn, carrots, cabbage.

George was an excellent host. Walking around the table and instructing us all on how to proceed. He also filled our cups with cold sake :)

It's delicious AND fun to eat
George's kids, Justin and Serena joined in on the fun. These kids are experts! They wasted no time...

Ain't no thang. 

Me however, not so much....

I'm concentrating very hard here.
The meat cooks almost instantly. The shrimp I let stew for about two minutes/until it turned nice and pink.

Taking the plunge!

A "swish swish" later.

Into the ponzu! (Ponzu was flavored with green onions, tons of garlic and sesame sauce....drool)

We quenched our thirst with some chilled sake. The added raspberry was amazing! It took the bite off the sake and made it go down incredibly smooth. I think I'm going to steal this idea...

So refreshing

After we had filled out bellies with all the fixins',  George instructed us to save at least one piece of meat for the "soup." SO GLAD I DID. The soup is basically the broth that you have been cooking the meat in. I had left a fishball in the broth the entire time to give the broth a nice flavor. That, and some of the leftover veggies that I hadn't already eaten were added to the bowl. It was amazing.


The damage.

And as if we weren't spoiled enough. George whipped out the Vitamix and made us all fresh sorbet.

Strawberry, mango and pineapple.

I am happy to say that this was easily one of the best meals I have ever had. It was surprisingly incredibly light. It was not surprisingly incredibly satisfying.

I think I'm going to have to fork out the dolla bills (yo) and make my way to some Shabu Shabu in La Jolla afterall...

Happy team

Thank you George and Alice for spoiling us so! It was amazing!

Friday, April 22, 2011

I Love Carbs, But...

I am NOT missing them. Not after this.

As you know, the other day I tried my hand at brussel sprouts for the first time. So feeling a little cocky, I went for something else I have never tried -- spaghetti squash.

I gotta tell you, I'm 2 for 2 this week. It was amazing!

I will warn you, the meal you are about to see is extremely weird. It is a product of what was in my pantry. So....slim pickings. (I can't tell you the last time I've been to the grocery store)

But that's okay. Because it was so, so yum.

Spaghetti squash cut in half and seeds removed

Squash guts!
I simply put the two halves cut side down on a baking pan and placed in a preheated (350 degrees) onion and let cook for 30 minutes.


Half an onion, chopped, over medium heat with some olive oil.
I let the onions cook for about 5 minutes. They had just started to get a little soft.

Some chopped cauliflower (about 1/4 head)


Lot's of garlic! (About 3 very large cloves worth)

You should always have this in your pantry.

Let this cook until the tomatoes were warm.

Salt, pepper and a heaping tbsp or two of red pepper flakes later...

Well look who's ready!

Take a fork and start scraping. This was after one "scraping" motion.

30 seconds later.

Get out your favorite serving bowl.

A beautiful bed of steaming hot spaghetti squash.

Heap on the veggie mix and add a little feta.

I needed some protein? (Those are kidney beans that I had leftover)


Heart healthy x 2 (The stray piece of broccoli makes it extra healthy. It's science.)

I cannot express how satisfying this was. In the future I'm thinking some slices of sausage would be delicious (the beans were still surprisingly good). Also, if you're going to do this - please, please make sure you add the feta. It adds a saltiness that just takes this entree to the next level.

I can't wait for lunch tomorrow - leftovers!