Put Some Ice On It

First order of business

This suped up version of Paula Deen Brown Sugar Chewies were a big hit at work today. Non profits love free baked goodies. The cake was moist and spicy because of the nutmeg and Saigon Cinn. Will be making these again at some point.

Today was another crappy day. It actually rained today which is kinda unheard of for So Cal in the summer. Ok, by “rain” I mean that it misted enough for me to put the wipers on the lowest setting. Between the overcast weather and being a bit hormone whacked at the moment I kinda had another gucky overly tired day. Positives from today? Free iced tea day at Coffee Bean and while I was at coffee bean I spotted this truck!

Dainty Cakes sounds like it would be right up my ally, right? I have to get this dessert truck thing under control because roaming cupcake trucks are SO TEMPTING! Of course, I got a cupcake. I’m human and my mood was mediocre.

Can I just say that the frosting was incredible. It was super light butter cream and you could tell it was made with tons of butter. It tasted totally homemade.

However, I will say that the cake part was not exactly “dainty”. It was cakey, not very moist and really tasted like it was from a box. I am not totally positive that it was, but it was a bit heavy compared to other cupcakes I’ve had. This is also surprising because the frosting was so amazing and homemade tasting. Either way, it was worth the calories but I was still in a bit of a funk…

Best cure? Working out! I went on a 2 mile run to the UCLA stairs which I went up and down 5 times and then ran about 3/4 miles home. I also did some weights, triceps dips, and crunches. It energized me and boosted my mood. However, my right knee didn’t love it. I had some pain so I decided to put some ice on it.

Its already feeling better, but tomorrow is for sure going to be a yoga day.

Dinner tonight was a veggie a thon because I wasn’t that hungry after my supervisor approved hour and a half long lunch/ oogling the Spain Soccer Team break. I had a chicken sandwich on wheat for lunch but I forgot to order without mayo. I forgot how glorious mayo kinda is… don’t get me wrong, I love replacing with avocado but mayo was kinda a special treat! So for dinner I went light…

I made even more veg then you see here so I have something to enjoy with lunch tomorrow!

And my potato “chips”

LOVING farmers market potatoes. Look at all the pretty colors! Delicious.

OK so “negativity off, positivity on!” Extra credit to those that can identify the show where I altered that phrase from…

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Funky

Hey Hey Hey,

How was your day blog world? My was funky. I was tired, had a headache and just couldn’t get motivated at work. Then my lack of motivation made me feel stressed. Deadly cycle.This might be because my workspace felt like the bayou today or because basically everyone in my workplace was slap happy. Who knows.

Tonight I did manage to make it on a run. However, I forgot to turn on my timer but I remember the songs I listened to and I didn’t end any early. So, my run was roughly 24:00 mins give or take about a min, if my math is ok. While on my run I ‘ran into’ Hiroshi. It was probably the most awkward 30 seconds of my life but whatever, awkward happens. Has this happened to anyone? Do you say hi or just run on when you see a Professor while on the road? I felt better after my run but still kinda stressed.

So I did the only logical thing… Mac & Cheese with mix ins!

Arugula, prosciutto, broccoli, and pepper. The pasta was Trader Joe’s from a box (what can I say, unmotivated) and should be noted that this is only a half portion.

Still didn’t fully kick the funk so I made brown sugar bars loosely based on Paula Deen’s recipe.

I browned 1/4 cup of butter

Combine with 1 cup brown sugar

An egg

Separately, mix 3/4 cup of flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of Saigon Cinn, some grated nutmeg…

Combine flour with brown sugar

and the finishing touch was 1 teaspoon of vanilla…

Put into a greased pan and bake at 350 for 20 mins…

and the final product will debut tomorrow I promise! I have to let it cool before cutting it up, thus everyone can be on virtual tetherhooks waiting for me to reveal the final product. I will say that the dough was delicious. Saigon Cinn is like my CAT NIP!

The moral of the story? I did feel better after baking brown sugar bars barefoot in my kitchen listening to the Temptations Pandora station. Baking cures all.

The Week in Workouts

Here is the week that was:

Monday: off

Tuesday: run 4.1 miles in 38:00 mins.

Wednesday: strength training

Thursday: off

Friday: Vinyasa Yoga

Saturday: 4.1 mile run (3.1 miles in 25:30)

Sunday: weights

Overall there was less running this week but the runs I did do were fast and challenging. I also did more weights this week which is good. I have two more full weeks before my 5k race. I really want to focus on speed while on the hills. I also will have 4th of July next weekend so I need to make sure I don’t slack off on my runs and maybe be more focused during the week.

Soulmates

This weekend is all about spending time with one of my best friends from college, Catie! Of course, we both wanted to go shopping so we went to Catie’s mall and hit up all of our favorite stores…

victoria secret for the semi annual sale

Forever 21

And then we made our way to our Mecca… Nordstroms! Did you know that as children both Catie and I had personal shoppers at Nordies? Well, its true, were soul mates.

I was 8 when Nordstrom opened at Old Orchard. Nordstrom is the best department store because there are so many personal touches that you would find at a really high end department stores like a cafe but they have great clothing and more affordable clothing also! Plus, a great shoe department. We didn’t actually buy anything… but we spotted this great top:

Twihard madness at Nordies

Then we did the only logical thing left to do after shopping: EAT! We hit the Nordstrom Cafe…

I love the Nordies Cafe because nothing ever changes… The table at Old Orchard are exactly the same!

Catie and I decided to split an entree which was a great idea. Catie is super healthy and eats a very balanced diet and inspires health in others (like me). We got a stir fry.

Yum! Can you believe this is a half portion? Its like a normal full portion that I would make for myself! The other benefit of slitting entrees is that you save money. I only paid $8 for this meal!

Yum! And for dessert? We went back to our roots…

With Boston Cream Pie! The cake was better than expected. Overall, the cake was moist and can you really go wrong with Boston cream pie? Of course not!

After pie we hit shopping hard! Highlights included buying a running bra because wearing a yoga bra while running is a poor choice, and size 6 denim Editor pants from Express for $20!!! Wee! I love a good deal.

Off to bed because I am wiped!


Eggplant Sandwich with Summer Salad

This week I kept talking about wanting to cook something epic! So last night I decided to take on two new dishes: an eggplant sandwich and summer salad on the side. Of course, I look at two of my favorite magazines for inspiration:

And I have a confession: I love cooking. I put on some good music and my apron, pour a glass of wine and dance around my kitchen while prepping food. Tonight was no different. I put on old jazz standards and started on the salad out of Sunset Magazine.

The salad has heirloom tomatoes, asparagus, and avocado with a light dressing which is comprised of dijon mustard, small amount of EVO, salt, pepper, lemon juice. I subbed goat cheese for Gorgonzola.

Just cook the asparagus in some water for two mins and then combine all the ingredients in a bowl. According to Sunset magazine this recipe is around 250 calories, but I figure I saved some calories from switching Gorgonzola to goat cheese.

Wonderful! I set this aside and got cracking on the eggplant sandwich, which required a bit of an assembly line…

I cut the egg plant into slices and breaded it in the assembly line.Then I fried it (I KNOW, I KNOW!) in canola oil…

In two mins you flip…

I love fried things. I also know its bad for me but hey its canola oil and according to Real Simple its under 600 calories.

So crispy and delicious! At this point you cut up basil, heirloom tomato, and arugula. Then you put goat cheese on the eggplant and layer like a sandwich.

Yum!!! This is what my plate looked like last night:

This was a great meal! I love summer veggies and I love goat cheese. The eggplant sandwich was good! I love the crispiness of the eggplant and the freshness of the heirlooms and the bite of the arugula.

Truly an epic dinner, right? It was delicious.

In other news I went on my hilly run (4.1 miles) I only ran about 3.75 and I timed by run on my ipod. Today I ran 3.1 miles in 25:40 mins! Whoo Hoo! Bring it on July 11th!

(Fri) Day off

Greetings! Today, as I mentioned earlier, I had the day off! I spent the day at yoga, watching a movie, and enjoying treats.

But first…

Hey Iz.

As mentioned in my last post, I started my day off with a vinyasa yoga class.  I had an OK yoga class. The stretch was great but there was something off about the class. I think the teachers voice was too soft. I couldn’t really hear her despite there only being three people in the class. One person was clearly an expert yogi but I couldn’t see her so I was trying to follow this guy on the other side of me who was kinda doing his own thing and, also, singing along to the music. I mean, it was the Beatles, so I can’t really blame him but it was a little bit odd.  Overall it was a good class. I can already feel my abs!

Anyways, I soldiered on with a coconut Larabar.

Afterward I went home and then embarked on a walk in my neighborhood. I got a small treat from Paris Bakery. I have heard about the Paris Bakery before but had never tried it.

How could you not go in?

I picked up some macaroons.

I ate the chocolate immediately, obviously. I saved the other two for when I was watching a movie at the Majestic Crest. I have never really had this type of macaroon but I was a big fan! The chocolate especially was chewy on the inside and the outside was thin and presented a nice contrast to the chewiness of the inside of the macaroon. The fruit flavors were good too:

I got an email earlier this week from the Majestic Crest Theater in Westwood about their financial struggles so I decided to go to a movie there today and do my part to help them. The Majestic Crest is a single screen theater in Westwood that is privately owned. They’ve been struggling to stay open recently with all the other theaters in LA. I love the Crest. When I first moved to LA, before school started, I was feeling really home sick. One day I felt really down and I went to the Crest to see “Julie/Julia”. Going into the theater totally put a smile on my face.

The theater has a curtain, a beautiful mural and decent prices. I really love this theater so if you are in LA please try to go to the Crest! I went today and saw “Grown Ups”. It wasn’t my first choice movie to see but its escapism and I wanted to support the Crest so I can’t really complain too much. It wasn’t the worst $8.50 I’ve ever spent.

Eastside Afternoon

Today I am blogging at 9:15 from my living room because I have an unexpected day off. Thanks law clerks for all taking today off! My plans for today include yoga, reading, and just all around doing nothing. Right now I am enjoying peanut butter Ezekiel bread with a small amount of strawberry jam. Plus, French Press coffee. Love lazy Friday.

Yesterday I went to an event hosted by the National Lawyering Guild. It didn’t start til 6 so I had some time to kill after work. Molly suggested that I hang out in Los Feliz on Vermont, so I did. I spent most of my time in Skyline Books.

Look what I found:

I want it!

Then I made my way to the Echo Country Outpost for the event.

The event was at this great little store/gallery in Echo Park. I really liked the space, except so many people showed up it was a little hot. There was Fat Tire, Pinot Noir and good eats…

This potato thing was delicious! It had hoisen sauce which was so good.

I also sampled these:

The spring roll was pretty good. The bean cake on the right was ok but a bit heavy and cakey.

The best thing I had at the event I didn’t actually get a picture of… it was a carrot cake cupcake with a ginger icing. So good! The cake was moist and the frosting was really good. Sadly, I was networking and didn’t want to be “that girl” with the camera out. I knowwww I have to man up and just take the pics. It was good though.

Now I have another Big Announcement!

Yesterday I signed up for the Malibu 1/2 marathon in Malibu on November 14th! My friend had invited me to run with her in April and I was unsure about whether I could do it. I knew that while David was in town, when I was in Boston and home and I wouldn’t be running as much. I also wasn’t sure what I would be like training this summer. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to commit to it like I wanted to. But, I’ve been feeling good about my runs and after reading tons of race recaps on various blogs I decided to bite the bullet and sign up for my first half marathon! I’m actually feeling really excited and energized about it!

Off to the water room for a long stretch!

Happy Hour at Hudson

Tonight I met up with Jill for dinner happy hour at Hudson in West Hollywood. Hudson has some great happy hour specials and Jill’s co worker recommended it so I was pretty excited to try it. I love a good happy hour special.

So, I drove to the address and I was kinda confused. See, its off of Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood which is a pretty commercial area, but you turn on Crescent Heights and its all residential. I didn’t see a sign or anything so I double checked the address in my phone and I was correct. I finally found it. Guess this, it didn’t have a sign. How LA, right?

Finally something with name of the restaurant on it…

And that tree on the cover? Actually growing in the middle of the restaurant. Who says you can’t see nature in this city?

I love the jar of water that we were served. Jill and I quickly settled on having red wine. At happy hour the daily wine special is only $3, today the selection was a Cabernet. Happy hour vino Wednesdays for the win! Classy, delicious, and full bodied. I am a fan.

We ordered a total of three appetizers which we split including:

Ahi Tuna Tar Tar. The sweet sauce was really good and the combo of that and the tuna was well balanced out by the avocado. Very good.

Short Rib Tacos. I know, I’ve had a ton of tacos this week. These were good. Short rib is delicious. Seasoned but not too seasoned. The cool dressing was also good.

Heirloom Tomato Caprese. Love the heirlooms and balsamic vinegar. This salad was fresh and summer like. The tomato was perfectly ripe which made the salad even better.

Overall, I really liked Hudson. The prices on the dinner menu were a bit steep for me but the happy hour is a great deal. We both ate for $15 and had wine with our meal which normally makes a meal more expensive. Plus, the decor is really trendy and chic. They had the windows open making Hudson a great place to enjoy an after work drink in the summer. Definitely highly recommended!

The Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada

Today was Taco Tuesday, and by taco Tuesday I mean that its Tuesday and the clerks sat through a long training which was basically discrimination on parade. After we treated ourselves to The Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada!

So you will notice in the picture below that the menu hangs above the register and only contains 3 items: fish, shrimp, and drink. I enjoyed all 3!

Although, this was a bit of a picture fail. Although if it weren’t for the other clerks I would have totally forgotten. So basically, you get plain tacos and then can add a variety of toppings including cabbage, sour cream AND salsas. The salsa are mild, two kinds of mango, pineapple, and radish. Obviously, I tried all of them.

The one on the left has radish and I can’t remember what was on the one on the right, but they were GOOD! Lightly fried and well spiced. Delicious.

Guys, seriously, I had 4 of these. Not kidding. I was really hungry because it was almost 1:30 when we finally got lunch. I knew 3 was going to be enough but I got 4 anyways. Impulse control… I don’t have it.

But how can you say no to a little shrimp taco all alone??

This one has spicy guac!

Yummy! So are they really the Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada? Well, I’ve never been to Ensenada, but these were damn good! Hands down, best fish tacos I’ve had in LA thus far. What do you think Angelinos… Are they the best??