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Yo. [05 Dec 2008|12:30pm]
In my recent absence from regularly updating:

1. I cut bangs.
2. I bought a house.
3. I resurrected and reconstructed THIS BLOG.

I don't know how long I'll keep it up, so come see it while it lasts!

13 comments|post comment

TREAT TREAT? [19 Nov 2008|08:30am]


lol Uno's face reminds me of this:

so earnest.
1 comment|post comment

Happy Belated Halloween [12 Nov 2008|10:49am]

Uno was a hotdog.


Pepper was a chicken, but her head was too small so her chicken helmet kept falling off.


This picture is very chicken-like.


We made Uno wear the chicken helmet instead.


This is Uno being depressed because we made him wear the costume.
2 comments|post comment

Jigga What. [20 Oct 2008|10:59am]
Tu and I went to see Jay-Z perform in Houston at the newly built House of Blues.

Best rapper alive.

Nigga ask about me.

Bun B, you're not that cool

Tu spotted Bun B (I don't know what he looks like) and asked if he could take a picture with him. Bun B said no. So we had to take a series of secret pictures behind his back.


This picture just makes me laugh because of the guy behind us who blends into the wall.

4 comments|post comment

Petting Zoo (or Extravagant Birthday) [14 Oct 2008|11:54am]
2 of my little cousins celebrated birthdays this past weekend.

My aunt threw a hoedown, complete with petting zoo, pony rides, barbeque, and bandanas galore.


emme and popular pig.


this duck was so chill. he'd just be hanging out w/ his hair and you'd pick him up and he'd be all, "that's cool." so underrated. no one wants to play with a duck when there are lamb, bunnies, llamas, and pigs running around.


sydney with bunny.


right before emme's horse got hit by a volleyball.


mmmm chickens and lambs. delicious.

5 comments|post comment

Tenacious Pig [09 Oct 2008|10:59am]
{ jb’s salumi } traditional garnish

{ tete de cochon } pickled vegetables & sauce gribiche

If you've ever eaten a "combination" vietnamese sandwich, you've had headcheese. it's the meat thing that tastes like crunchy jelly.

THIS, however, was the best head cheese ever. Soft, meaty, fatty - almost a pate-like consistency.

Oh, and I apologize for the lighting/quality of the pictures. SO HUNGRY TAKE PICTURES FAST WANT TO EAT NOW.

{ snake river farms roasted pork belly } warm escabeche, white anchovy & octopus mi cuit

A lot of the courses featured "pig + seafood," which the chef kept referring to as "the perfect marriage."

{ gulf prawn cuit au roti } fricassee of burgundy snails, braised pork knuckle & carolina gold

You can't see anything besides the prawn (which was amazingly sweet), but it also featured some fat ass snails. Yum!

{ warm terrine of berkshire pig } royal blenheim apricots, cippolini & natural jus

Those white portions of "fat" are actually scallops!

{ porchetta of suckling pig } fig mostarda, roasted trumpet royale mushroom & all spice reduction

If you told me this was dark meat chicken, I would have believed you. Amazingly tender.

{ rogue creamery smoked blue } szechuan pepper tuille, shaved hazelnuts & sour cherry jam

Served as family-style finger food.

{ olive oil sponge } guajillo honey, peach & noble px vinegar

Got too excited, sorry! Poundcake soaked in olive oil and honey.

{ no name } madeleine made with bacon fat, maple foam, powdered bacon fat

They made a traditional madeleine, but instead of making it with butter, they used bacon fat, creating a savory madeleine. Topped with maple foam and "powdered sugar," which is actually powdered bacon fat. The result? Like eating pancakes and bacon together!

3 comments|post comment

The Omnivore’s Hundred [07 Oct 2008|12:12pm]
[Taken from Very Good Taste's Blog]

Here’s a chance for a little interactivity for all the bloggers out there. Below is a list of 100 things that I think every good omnivore should have tried at least once in their life. The list includes fine food, strange food, everyday food and even some pretty bad food - but a good omnivore should really try it all. Don’t worry if you haven’t, mind you; neither have I, though I’ll be sure to work on it. Don’t worry if you don’t recognise everything in the hundred, either; Wikipedia has the answers.

Here’s what I want you to do:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment at linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

I got 68/100.

I need to try more alcoholic beverages.

How did you do?
6 comments|post comment

TWILIGHT, You Guys! [01 Oct 2008|10:18am]


I didn't read Harry Potter. Well, I read the first one, but wasn't interested enough to keep reading?

I know, blasphemous.

Well, I had been seeing all this buzz about Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series. Carolyn went to Borders at 12AM midnight to get the newest installment of the series a month or so ago. Ohnotheydidnt had its own separate ONTD_Twatlight community. They're coming out with a movie in November. I even read an article on the whole Twilight franchise in BusinessWeek.

I read some of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles (I think I stopped at Queen of the Damned) and I've always had a little bit of a fascination with vampires generally. I mean, they're pretty sexy RIGHT? So I gave into the hype and bought a copy of Twilight (in the Young Adults section, no less) at Target.

And....I LIKED IT.

It's not well-written by any stretch ("Do I dazzle you?" "Frequently."), but the story is so..... *sigh*. I admit, I'm a sucker for love stories, especially ones involving heart-wrenching tension between the characters. There's barely a kiss and I find find myself swooning.

There are quite a few parts that are pretty cheesy. Like, to the point where I was embarrassed. For example, when Edward is described wearing an ivory turtleneck? Or a sleeveless button-up? WHY WOULD YOU WEAR THAT WHY?

So I know the skinny pale girl from Into the Wild is playing Bella, which was pretty accurate to what I was picturing when I read the book. I do a search of who is playing Edward:



I don't know if that's who I pictured, but that's real nice.

So I watch the trailer.

I research the other characters (VOLCHEK from the OC is in it, guys!)

I wikipedia it (don't do it; CONTAINS SPOILERS).

I do some more images searches.



I think I might officially be a fangirl.

19 comments|post comment

Crazy Face [29 Sep 2008|01:39pm]
Uno does this thing that we call "Crazy Face:"



At these times, we sometimes call him "T-Jones," after the contestant on MTV's "From G's to Gents."

Well, because:

t-jones-crazyface tjones

THAT is T-Jones.

The resemblance in both appearance and personality is kind of uncanny. If you've ever seen the show, you'll know what I mean.


Wink wink, nudge nudge. LOL.


And to show that even prim and proper Pepper sometimes has Crazy-Face-Time:


This is super blurry, but it's pretty representative of Uno's nature in general.


Haha this picture makes me laugh. Gotta love that guy.

"Fix your face."
5 comments|post comment

Carolyn's Vegas Bachelorette [05 Sep 2008|02:37pm]

Went to Vegas during Labor Day Weekend for Carolyn's bachelorette party.

Now, I don't gamble so I'm not the hugest fan of Vegas...but I do love food and dancing, so great fun was nevertheless had.

I don't gamble, but still managed to sit next to Ann while she played blackjack for 4 hours.  We imbibed 10 free drinks.  Now we are tipsy and it is difficult to go clubbing.

We made it out to Tao and crashed this table of guys (Would I like a drink?  Why yes, thank you!) who were there for a bachelor party.

This picture make me laugh because we look like Sex and the City and it looks like we're laughing at that guy and he's all "You guys?  I'm RIGHT HERE."

We had lunch the next morning at Olives, Todd English's restaurant in the Bellagio.

I was disappointed.  My lambchops were so gamey and a little tough.  They looked better than they tasted, for sure.

Directly before this picture was taken, I saw LEONARDO DICAPRIO.  He was literally 5 ft away from us!  I swooned.

But no pictures.  I had to play it cool, guys.  Even though I used to print out pictures of him in black and white on the school library printer in 1996.

Went to Blush and Tryst on Saturday night.  Blush was wack; Tryst was crowded.  I suppose that made it better.

The guy behind me said I "danced good for an asian girl."  A little while later, a sleazy italian man asked me if my hair was a weave.  Backhanded compliments = SADDINGS.

Wound down the night at the bar inside Wynn and met these nice fellows.  The guy sitting next to me is a 9th grade math teacher.  Another guy used the phrase "non sequitur."  I was like, "yall smart."

One dude (not pictured) was a director of a made-for-TV-movie (lol) on Showtime starring Ja Rule.

"What was Ja Rule like?"

After a delicious buffet at Bellagio, we looked at pictures we had taken and I picked my nose.

My last day.  Suemy and I are SADDINGS.

9 comments|post comment

Things I Want (Today) [04 Sep 2008|11:51am]

Elizabeth and James Belle de Jour Dress
Price:  $445
Why:  It's pretty and I have a thing for cut-outs lately.

Does anyone know how the sizing of Elizabeth and James clothing runs?  I assume it runs small...because it's designed by MK and Ashley Olsen.  Makes sense?

Bebe Jayana Side Lace Sandal
Price:  $129
Why:  Cut-outs, side laces, 5in heel

I have an aversion to Bebe.  Like, a strong aversion.  It's almost offensive.  But I was accompanying some friends shopping this past weekend and they wanted to look around Bebe so I followed.  I wandered around and between the rows of slutty platforms and ankle-strapped madness, I saw these.

THIS I can deal with.

There's no whorish platform, the heel is quite high, but not slutty-high, and the subdued cut-outs and laces make it almost professional?  Well, as professional as 5-inch patent pumps can be.

Kitchenaid Professional 5 Stand Mixer
Price:  $419.99 ($199.99 refurbished)
Why:  The more to bake my cakes with my pretties!

I've been wanting one of these forever.  This is the 5qt, 450 watt version so it's more powerful than the typical Artisan line.  Also, it has a stand-lift instead of a tilt-head, so you can keep it underneath cabinets without having to pull it out each time you want to use it.

Ok this isn't really a Things I Want Today (TIWT) item since I bought it yesterday. In Empire Red.  =D

OXO Good Grips Food Scale
Why:  I need to weigh stuff in grams.

This scale is good because it's flat so when not in use, you can stick it in a drawer.  Also important is having a tare button to zero out bowls and plates you might put on top.

A lot of recipes I want to try have ingredients weighed out in grams.  Usually, they're "sensitive" recipes where the weight of certain ingredients need to be exact in order for the dish to turn out correctly.  Weighing by volume with cups and teaspoons and such isn't accurate enough sometimes.

Next goal:  bake the perfect french macaroon.

6 comments|post comment

Things I Want (Today) [27 Aug 2008|05:32pm]
I have shopping disorder.

Anyways, I thought maybe if I merely POST pictures of things I like, then I'm less inclined to buy them?

I don't know, it made sense about 5 minutes ago.

Frye Paige Cuff Boot
Price:  $398
Why:  It's a high boot (up to your knee) and it's GRAY LEATHER.

Cynthia Rowley Black Taffeta Sleeve Dress
Price:  $350 (Sale $109)
Why:  I love the fitted waist (is anyone else tired of these parachute pregnancy dresses?) and the raglan sleeve slits

Foley + Corinna Studded City Clutch
Price:  $478 (Sale $334.60)
Why:  It's a smaller version of the Mid City bag, doubles as a clutch, and I have a thing for shoulder straps.  Also, I saw "Little J" carry a fuschia version on Gossip Girl and it looked really cute!

7 comments|post comment

A Lot [11 Aug 2008|12:56am]
I have a lot of:






.....too much jewelry.

I also have a lot of Jesus.

And sreepy dogs.

What do you have a lot (i.e., too much) of?
16 comments|post comment

The Ultimate Magic [01 Aug 2008|03:03pm]

Graduation 2007


Graduation 2008

but did you notice that they got to wear those berets at graduation this year
so unfair

wait. they did??
that's so unfair!!
i wanted a funny hat

ugh i was so jealous of the profs
who got the funny hats

did they get the wands too??
i wanted a wand

a wand is what a magician or fairy has

a wand is magic

and a staff is what little bo peep has


a crooked staff!

or jesus

right, right.
also possbily magic

and by magic, you mean "God"


the ultimate magic trick.

GOD, the ultimate magic trick.

[It's ok guys, we both grew up going to Catholic school.  And that lessens the offensiveness.  Or explains why we found it hilarious.]
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San Francisco (Things Houston Doesn't Have) - Part 3 [31 Jul 2008|02:00pm]
Last installments - Days 3 and 4:

We walked half a block down Mission to Beard Papa, the home of the most amazing creampuffs.

"Cookie Crunch" and "Original"

Ok, so here's what makes them so great.  The choux puffs are baked fresh all day.  The cream filling is also fresh, made with real vanilla bean, and is kept CHILLED.  The cream is light, smooth, and not overly sweet - it's nothing like that Jello pudding stuff that most creampuffs are filled with.

BEST PART:  They don't inject the nice, cold cream into each crispy puff until you order it.  This ensures that the puff stays crispy, while the cream stays cold.

A light dusting of powdered sugar follows.

The result - heaven in the form of a puff pastry.

Oh and they're big.

They're so good, man.   I ate so many of them within the 2 months I was in Japan for study abroad, thinking that I'd never eat one ever again once I came back home.

To my delight, they opened one in SF the very next year.

Tu's Response:  "Why don't they have these in Houston?"

We then drove 45 minutes south down to San Jose

We met up Audrey (*waving*) for Indian buffet at one of my favorite Indian places, Bombay Gardens, aka, the best Indian buffet of my life.

Sorry no pics.  Too hungry.  Too fat.

Alma Mater

I took Tu to Santa Clara University, where I spent the past 3 years.  The tour took about 10 minutes total and consisted of, "This is the building where my classes were...and this is the library.  The end."


Then we went to get pedicures.  After 2 day of walking all over the city, this was very much needed.

No, he was not the only guy there.

Keepin it real.

There was a big group of noisy white (WASP) ladies all getting pedicures across from us.  They brought in a bottle of wine and were drinking it out of styrofoam cups.  I hope to be one of these ladies when I grow up.

"My bench"

We hung out around Santana Row, had a drink from Fantasia, and people watched for a little while.

I studied at the Borders directly above it almost every single day during my law school career and I'd come sit on this bench for smoke breaks multiple times a day.

Anyways, sitting on it again was kind of disturbing, but strangely familiar and comforting.

New friends!

We met this old lady w/ gangsta teeth.  She was nice.

Dinner time rolled around and after driving through Stanford and walking around Stanford Mall for a bit, we met up Audrey again for pizza at Patxi's - the best deep dish pizza of my life.

This crust is amazing.  Truly.

It's like flakey and buttery.  Like there are BUTTERY LAYERS.

"The Special"

This looks like throw up, but I promise it tastes so good.  Green peppers, onions, sausage, whole milk mozzerella, and topped w/ tangy tomato sauce.

Most Cal people will think I'm blaspheming by saying this, but I think Patxi's is better than Zachary's.  YEAH.  Oh, and it goes without saying that it's better than Star Pizza in Houston.

Tu's Response:  "Why isn't it like this in Houston?"


The next day, we were back in SF and I took Tu to get his first taste of garlic fries.

As it so happened, the Gilroy Garlic Festival was going on that weekend in Gilroy, the birthplace of the garlic fry.  It's kind of far though...and hot down there.

We got them from Blondie's based solely on convenience.  Otherwise, we'd go somewhere else b/c it's so much better when they're fresh cut fries, and not these frozen crinkle ones.

Nevertheless, they were warm, crispy, and garlicky, so you couldn't complain.

"Why don't they have this in Houston?"

So the trip was a success and my gut has reappeared so I'm trying to eat better and run more...until Houston Restaurant Week starts in 2 weeks. =)  I plan on going to more than one restaurant on the list.....

Special thanks to Ms. Jennifer Dinh (former Houstonian, current San Franciscan) for recommending some of the local SF places to us.  Excellent recommendations!  We left each place quite pleased and fat. =)
19 comments|post comment

San Francisco (Things Houston Doesn't Have) - Part 2 [30 Jul 2008|11:42am]
Day 2 was devoted entirely to shopping.  And eating, of course.

We woke up bright and early.  Mostly because we accidentally woke up at 6AM because my phone didn't automatically change timezones (WHY).

So sreepy.

In front of our hotel on 4th and Mission.

We had sandwiches at Ike's in Castro. 

They were big, meaty, drippy, and delicious.  Sorry, no pictures.  We were hungry. =|

We had fancy sodas. 

Stuff blew in my eye.

We did nonstop shopping for about 5 hours and headed back to the hotel to get ready and make our 6:30 reservations at Chez Panisse in Berkeley.

Chez Panisse is currently rated #37 on Restaurant Magazine's "Best Restaurants in the World" list and was awarded a Michelin star.  Type of food?  Typical "California Cuisine."

All prettied up outside the restaurant.

Chez Panisse has a prix fixe menu that changes every week.

(Sorry for such terrible pics.  We only brought the point-and-shoot and I refused to use flash.)

Olives and an aperitif

The aperitif was made of prosecco and anise.  Too bad I hate licorice.

Salmon tartare.

So what is "California Cuisine?"  Well from what I've gathered from eating at places that hold themselves out to serve such food, the dish focuses on the presentation of the ingredients, as opposed to the method of cooking or the seasoning.  The ingredients are all grown locally, so everything is super fresh (and you can totally tell!).  The preparation of the food and any seasoning is meant to bring out the natural flavors of the food, not mask it or overwhelm it.

Eggplant parmigian "sandwich" with ricotta and fresh mozerella.

So was Chez Panisse successful at "California Cuisine?"  YES.

The best way I can describe it is that every single ingredient played an integral part.  You never felt like those tiny pieces of fresh basil or the slivers of fennel were an afterthought.  Every ingredient really added something to the dish and you could tell that the chef thought about it before adding it.

And the quality of the food?  OMG.  Everything tasted so....refined...yet BRIGHT.  I don't know how to explain it any better.  It was just damn good, right down to those cherry tomatoes.

Squab with morel mushrooms; rosemary noodles with cannellini beans, gizzard pieces, and carrots.

Ok, how they somehow got a QUAIL to taste like RIBEYE cooked MEDIUM RARE just blows my mind.  It tasted nothing like poultry!

Tu even exclaimed to the waiter, "it doesn't even taste like chicken!" 

Hmm.  Because it's not chicken.  *sheepish*

Cassata for dessert.

I had to wikipedia "cassata."  It's a type of cake, but a variation of it is a cake made of icecream.  That's the kind we had.  The best kind.  Because it was like neapolitan lol.

Bottom line?  If you're ever around Berkeley, definitely make a RSVP for Chez Panisse.  Tu said it was the best meal he's ever had.  I think I've been spoiled by French Laundry, but Chez Panisse is right up there and for less than half the price. 

I think one of the best parts of Chez Panisse is that it's great food, but without the stuffiness.  The dining room is really cozy and we saw people in jeans as well as people pulling up in limos.  The waitstaff is young and really friendly.  We even joked with our waitress about taking our segway tour, to which she asked, "do you watch Arrested Development?"  Imitations of GOB ensued.  COME ON!

Chez Panisse also has a cafe on the 2nd floor of the restaurant.  You can order entrees off the menu a la carte, so it's a lot cheaper.  Also easier to get a RSVP, I hear.  It's going on my list for our next trip!

17 comments|post comment

San Francisco (Things They Don't Have in Houston) - Part 1 [29 Jul 2008|01:33pm]
Tu and I spent a couple days in San Francisco and San Jose last week.  It was Tu's first time to San Francisco since he was little, and I hadn't been back in almost a year, so it was a nice opportunity to show Tu where I called home for 3 years.  And to go on an eating tour.

Here's Day 1:

Our first stop was Eva's Hawaiian Cafe for Tu's first time eating Hawaiian plate lunch.

Spam Musubi (with too much rice) and Poke.

BBQ Mix Plate for me and the quintessential Loco Moco plate for Tu.

Loco Moco is basically a scoop of rice with a hamburger patty on top, then a fried egg, and topped with brown gravy.  Sounds weird, tastes delicious.

Tu's verdict:  "Why don't they have this in Houston?"

Then we went down to Fisherman's Wharf and went into this alley.

And strapped on these helmets and put on these yellow safety vests.

And lined up behind these people from Netherlands (which is a country and not a region) and Belgium (which is not Holland).

And took a SEGWAY TOUR.

Goin real fast.

Afterwards, we went to PPQ for Vietnamese.

We had a enormous dungeness crab (one was enough for 2 people!) and these amazing garlic noodles.

Tu's verdict:  "Why aren't they this big in Houston?"
20 comments|post comment

Self-Inflicted Torture [14 Jul 2008|12:07pm]
Tu and I have begun a self-imposed 7-day 5-day Pseudo Vegan Cleanse.  Yesterday was Day 1.

The Breakdown:
  • No meat
  • No animal products (including butter, cheese, dairy)
  • No gluten (including pasta, white bread, flour)
  • No sugar
  • No alcohol
  • No caffeine

  • Well, because Oprah did it.  And Dooce did it.
  • Because our bodies needed to be cleansed of toxins after this past weekend.
  • It's just an exercise of self-control that has added health benefits.

The Exceptions:
  • I can have coffee.  I need to function, yall.
  • It's now 5 days.  We can eat stuff on Saturday b/c my mom is throwing me a birthday party and not eating is just plain rude, right?  I'm pretty sure I'll fall off the wagon after that.

Day 1:
Breakfast:  coffee
Lunch:  -
Dinner:  red curry w/ tofu and vegetables
Dessert:  nectarine, grapes

Notes:  Tu said he didn't think the dinner we made was filling enough ("Yeah i'm full...OF VEGETABLES."), but I thought it was really filling.  I don't think this diet is as restricting as it sounds.  Then again, it's only been one day.

Day 2:
Breakfast:  coffee
Lunch:  cucumber slices, hummus
Dinner:  stir fry w/ soba noodles, tofu, and vegetables in peanut sauce.
Dessert:  grapes, cherries

Notes:  This morning I threw away the entire batch of brownies I baked this weekend, as well as a bunch of oatmeal cherry cookies I made last week.  So wasteful and delicious.  When I got to work, I saw that someone brought donuts for the office.  MAN I love Shipley's donuts.

Soba noodles are made of buckwheat and yam.  Using fresh, natural peanut butter in the sauce made it gritty, but the flavor was good.

Day 3:
Breakfast:  coffee, handful of granola
Lunch:  grapes, cherries, 1/2 nectarine, 1/3 orange.
Dinner:  field greens salad, fried tofu and okra, sauteed green beans and creminis w/ onion and scallion
Dessert:  -

Notes:  At first I thought it was just in my head, but I really think this no meat/no carb thing is making me have zero energy, at least while my body is adjusting to the change.  I've been SO TIRED.  I've eaten much less than this on a regular basis (1 bagel per day; cookie for lunch, ice cream for dinner), but when you cut out fat, proteins, and carbohydrates, there's nothing for your body to convert to energy.

But other than all the weakness, I haven't felt deprived of any tastes or foods yet (besides that donut from yesterday).  I think Tu is taking it harder than I am b/c he's already started talking about that burger he's going to eat once this is over.

Dinner was kind of bad.  Tu was really craving "bad" food, so I caved and agreed to have something fried.  Instant regret afterwards.  At least it was a fried vegetable and tofu?

On an aside, I've never made fried tofu on my own before, but after researching about it a little bit, I made a few tweaks to my mom's method - which is just throwing cubes of tofu into oil.  The result was surprisingly really good!  We both agreed the tofu was "better than our mom's."  YEAH I SAID IT.
  1. Drain the tofu - I pressed the tofu using folded paper towels placed between 2 cutting boards with a heavy bowl on top  for about 45 minutes, changing the paper towels whenever they got soaked.
  2. Dust with cornstarch - This was the real tip.  After cutting the tofu into cubes, I dusted each side w/ cornstarch, which helped absorb any extra liquid, and also produced a crispy exterior that STAYED CRISPY.  Usually, the tofu is crispy for the first 10 minutes out of the oil, then it becomes spongey.  The cornstarch prevented this.
  3. Pre-season - I ground up a mixture of sea salt, peppercorns, and red chili flakes and seasoned the tofu before I fried it.  If it needs more seasoning, you can sprinkle the mixture on top again afterwards too.
The consistency almost reminded me of the banh bot chien (rice cake) from Tan Tan, which led to a great idea of a no-carb bot chien that I want to try soon.  But not this week.  Because we have to wait until we're allowed to eat eggs again.  And I don't know where to get those little pickled radish cubes.

Day 4:
Breakfast:  coffee
Lunch:  grapes, cherries
Dinner:  lettuce wraps with mixed vegetables and tofu, "General Tso's Chicken" (really tofu) over bok choy.
Dessert:  cherries, grapes, nectarine

Notes:  I think The Weakness is better today.  We temporarily put our marathon training on hold this week due to The Weakness.  I can't even imagine running right now.  It's tiring going down a flight of stairs to let the dogs out.

Today we didn't feel like cooking so we ate at Pepper Tree, a vegetarian/vegan restaurant at Richmond and Weslayan.  It was surprisngly good!  Much better than I expected.  I'd eat there again voluntarily.  The old chinese ladies who work there are cute and nice.

It's 2 doors down from Berripop.  We can't eat yogurt b/c it's diary.  =**(

Day 5:
Breakfast:  coffee
Lunch:  silken tofu with soy sauce, sesame oil, and sliced green onion
Dinner:  olive oil and garlic oven-baked fries
Dessert:  granola, pineapple

Notes:  We made fries by slicing them shoestring style, then drizzling with olive oil and sea salt/black pepper.  Bake for 40 minutes and then tossed them in garlic, parsley, and green onion.  SO GOOD!  They taste like they're bad for you, but besides the fact that potatoes are starch, they're totally not unhealthy.

I baked cookies (dark chocolate chip and lemon shortbread) to bring to my mom's house tomorrow and I DIDN'T EAT ANY.  I didn't even taste the dough!  Check ME out!


Closing Notes:
So was the cleanse successful?  Yeah I think it was.  I didn't cheat once!  But most of the benefit came from being more aware of what you put in your body.  It makes you realize how much you need, or DON'T NEED, certain foods.  I'm not giving up any of the restricted foods, but I'll think twice before eating them.

The cleanse is not meant to be a long-term, permanent change in your diet.  Kathy Freston, the woman who developed the cleanse, said that she only does it once or twice a year.  Granted, the REAL version lasts 21 days and not 5, but Kathy Freston emphasizes the fact that the cleanse can be as long or as short as you want it to be.  It's not the end of the world if you slip up; just start over again tomorrow.  The real goal is to make yourself more aware of what goes into your body.

We'll be incorporating some of the changes into our diet from now on.  I can't totally give up meat or animal products (LOVE butter and cheese), but we'll try to eat more tofu and if meat is necessary, fish or chicken as opposed to beef.  More vegetables, definitely.  Less "bad" carbs, more whole grains.

And one last interesting thing - after eating lobster and ribeye at my mom's house on saturday (omg best meal ever), Tu and I got stomachaches.  Looks like our body is already rejecting all that delicious, delicious fat.
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Meanings of Life [07 Jul 2008|12:16pm]
Your Choice vs. Destiny

I had an unexpected philosophical discussion with my friends this weekend regarding our personal meanings of life.  We came down to 2 extremes  - "Your Choice" and "Destiny."

You either believe that your choose your own path through the decisions you make, or you are fated to a particular outcome.

I was the one that came up with these two extremes and pointed out that you pretty much had to choose one or the other, as both could not coexist - but I couldn't decide which one I believed.

I'd LIKE to believe that everything is "Your Choice."  I'd like to believe that I control my own life and that I can make my own path through the decisions I make.  I think I'm a pretty pragmatic person and that all thing should be able to be explained by cause/effect.  But I think to some degree, I've always believed in fate and that certain things were or weren't "meant to be."  Or that "things happen for a reason."

I remember reading Oedipus Rex for the first time in sophomore english and being struck by the Greeks' notion of fate and destiny.  They believed that one's fate was inevitable and unavoidable - despite taking every action to avoid one's fate.  In the end, everyone will kill their father, have sex with their mother, and then gouge your eyes out with a brooch - even if you REALLY don't want to.

To some degree, I've always kind of believed in this idea of fate.  Or maybe I've just watched Serendipity too many times (man I love that movie!).

This discussion kind of mirrors the Theological Fatalism debate.  I noted this during our discussion, but couldn't remember how to explain it.   I remembered learning about it in my highschool theology classes, but also remembered not caring enough to try to figure out how both free will and God's omniscience could coexist.  I asked my little brother (who is currently taking the same highschool theology class), but his reply was "I dunno...I have notes on it though...there's some analogy about a mountain or something."

I wiki'ed it this morning and realized that it has never been resolved and that this is why it is a PARADOX.

So no verdict, just something to think about.  To some degree, I think whichever one your believe will impact how you live your life.  Maybe it just comes down to how you want to live your life.

And so this entry is not text only, here are some pictures with my new point-and-shoot:

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UH HUH. [30 Jun 2008|01:25pm]

It's a section symbol. =)
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