Today, I share a family recipe with you!

Whew! I worked up a sweat last night. I’m not normally an active person. The most active part of my day involves walking up (climbing up) the LONG and PAINFUL DC metro escalators. Other than that, I lead a mostly sedentary lifestyle. Last night, however, I decided to pop in a Tracy Anderson Precision Toning DVD. A classmate of Charkie (shout out to Rarkie!) introduced me to Tracy’s method. I’ll try to make a separate post about that journey. After the sweat, I decided to reward myself with a little homestyle treat. It was also a good way to free up some space in my crowded refrigerator.

6) Bon Appetit!

Lotus Root Pork Patties

Growing up, lotus roots were a staple part of my diet. I never really though about what the circular slices with weird holes came from. Most people have probably seen lotus leaves/flower float above water. Who knew we could eat the roots planted underneath the water or soil? I call that cray. There are many medicinal benefits to this plant according to Chinese medicine. It is common to see people mix hot water with lotus root powder to create a sort of concoction that is supposed to be good for the body (high in dietary fiber, vitamin C, potassium, thiamin just to name a few and quite low in saturated fat). I also love pastries that are made with lotus seed paste (such as in mooncakes or wife cakes, etc). This dish here (the one that I made last night), involves slicing the lotus root into thin patty-style slices and filling it with a sort of dumpling or wonton or meat bun filling and then coating it with cornstarch and flour to prepare for deep frying. It is great as an appetizer or on the go snack! The lotus root comes out crispy while the savory pork filling gives a juicy, tender to complement.

Ingredients List

  • Lotus Root
  • Ground Pork (or minced pork loin)
  • Green Onions
  • Chives (optional, you can just stick to green onions)
  • Minced Garlic
  • Minced Ginger
  • Egg
  • Cornstarch
  • Flour
  • Soy Sauce
  • Black vinegar
  • Sesame Oil
  • Chinese Cooking Wine
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Crushed Red Pepper Powder (optional)
1) Create your pork (or veggie) filling!

1) Create your pork (or veggie) filling!

For the pork filling, I combined minced pork (you can use ground pork, or ground whatever other meat you’d like – I wouldn’t suggest using ground beef though), chopped chives, minced ginger, minced garlic, soy sauce, black vinegar, chinese cooking wine, salt, white pepper powder, red pepper powder, and cornstarch in a bowl. Mix thoroughly.

2) Slice the lotus roots

2) Slice the lotus roots

To create the lotus root “patty buns,” you should begin slicing the lotus root, as if you were creating a thin slice. However, stop just as you feel that you are about to completely cut off a slice. Move to what would be the beginning point of you second slice and complete the slice. This way, you have two thin slices that are attached to each other at one end.

4) Flour, Cornstarch, Egg, Water

4) Flour, Cornstarch, Egg, Water

Create the batter for frying! Mix flour, cornstarch, an egg and water! You want a thick consistency for this. Think pancake batter!

3) Fill lotus roots with tasty pork!

3) Fill lotus roots with tasty pork!

This part is fun! Fill each patty with the pork filling! 🙂

5) Fry, Fry, Fry!

5) Fry, Fry, Fry!

Fry the patties! For a healthier version, you could probably stick these in the oven. Let cool on a rack/use a paper towel to blot away some of that oil. Bon Appetit!

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Today, I am hoping for a healthier heart…

I mentioned in my previous post that “prevention is where it’s at.” In trying to get that beautiful mind, let’s work on having a healthy heart! So this morning, I made sure to make some oatmeal (I opted for quick oats since ain’t nobody got time for dat actually cooking oats) that is healthy.

How are you trying to stay healthy today? 

photo

Okay, maybe that’s a little more than a dash of cinnamon. Teehee.

Healthy Oatmeal – Healthy Heart
Ingredients

Oatmeal (stovetop or microwave)

  • 3/4 cups quick oats
  • 1-1.5 cup of water/milk

Toppings –

  • 1 saturn peach (also known as donut peaches) –
         **use any other fruit of choice
  • 1 tablespoon of honey (optional)
  • A sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of sliced almonds
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Today, I take the #100HAPPYDAYS challenge (Day 1)…

Today, I join the #100HAPPYDAYS challenge (click here to check out their website). We all have our ups and downs, we all have busy days. We all have meetings to attend, pets/plants/friends/family/lovers to tend to, deadlines to meet, hobbies to pursue, books/movies/tvshows to watch, and so forth. However, I felt this challenge would be perfect to allow me to take a few minutes out of my day everyday to realize what makes me happy.

According to the website, you can use instagram/facebook/twitter to document the 100 days or you can email your photos to them to keep anonymity. I chose the instagram option and you can follow @todaycommai, however, I have decided to all document these next 100 days via our blog. I’m starting my challenge today, February 27, 2014 and will (hopefully) successfully complete it on June 7, 2014. In addition, you supposedly will receive a booklet documenting the 100 days of happiness. Have you already joined the challenge? Will you join the challenge? What makes you happy? 🙂 

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Today, I lean in…. (#leanin)

It has been sooooooooo long! What have I been up to? Catching up on House of Cards, of course! Did ANYONE watch episode 1 of Season 2?!?!??! Let me just say. Wow. What else has been happening? I suppose just work, bonding with my friends that I have made over the previous 1.5+ years of living in the metropolitan area of the capital of USA, continuing to keep in touch with the lovely -arkies (what would I ever do without them?). Oh yeah, and I’ve enrolled myself into a linear algebra course at the community college near me.

IT FEELS SO GOOD TO BE BACK IN A CLASS… with my textbook, my notebooks, writing utensils, backpack, and my brain. Hahaha, the things you thought you’d never miss like homework, quizzes, exams, annoying classmates (just kidding). It has made two of my otherwise Netflix/Breadcrumbs-in-bed-on-pj’s-weeknights a little more eventful. My experience over the past 3 or 4 weeks has reminded me of Sheryl Sandberg‘s Lean In (check out Charkie‘s Booktalk #3).

I remember sitting through a couple of classes with a classmate next to me continuously commenting how how to solve the example problems that the professor was going through. In my mind, I was pretty sure that he was wrong, but was unsure about how much “pretty” that entailed. I found that more than a couple of times, I just shrugged and said maybe or “ummm… I’m not sure.” I also found that if I did solve something with MATLAB or in my line-filled notebook paper, he’d be quick to jump to the conclusion that I was wrong. I also also found than more often than not (let’s say 99.99999% of the times), he was wrong and I was actually right.

I came back and discussed this with my friends and had that deja vu sensation. No wonder! I’d read about similar tales in Sandberg’s book! I’m fully capable of learning the material taught in class, however, why was I lacking the confidence that my classmate of mine had so readily stored in him? Interesting – I have indeed been holding myself back

Last night, my professor made a mistake on the board. I scanned through his calculations again to check again. I found myself starting to address this quietly to the classmate next to me. However, I realized that I’d never #leanin fully, so instead of leaning in towards my classmate, I leaned towards the front of the classroom and spoke with as much confidence I could muster. I was indeed right. My professor thanked me politely.

I know this is a small small event that does not directly address larger gender gap issues…So what if he got the sign wrong? However, for us to fully achieve our full potential, we’ve got to dig deeper into those inner layers of the onion. I realized that I had been holding myself back. Have you ever had such a moment? What are you #leanin thoughts? Let’s, as Sandberg calls for us to do, change the conversation from what women can’t do to what we can do. 🙂

And now I #leanin to my spicy buffalo chicken sandwich....

And now I #leanin to my spicy buffalo chicken sandwich at work….

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Today, blue is the colour! (And happy belated Valentine’s Day!)

I couldn’t think of another title and I have the Chelsea song stuck in my head so…sorry I’m not sorry. 

Anyway, hello all! I hope you had a lovely Valentine’s day! Even though that’s far away now, I’ll write a little about mine. My sister and I were valentines and our day was filled with donuts, sunshine, the apple store (unpleasant detour), a trolley ride, almond champagne, comfort foods, and dancing. It was pretty great! I have never really paid any attention to V-day but, for some reason, this one felt heightened…like I had to acknowledge it somehow. Anyway, here are some pics from the day’s adventures. I don’t have any clubby clothes…should probably get on that…but probably won’t!

Image Image

 

Anyway, amidst all the general meh-ness of the past couple of weeks, little things keep on brightening my day! One of my fave TV shows has come back after a year so I’m excited to fall into that abyss again. I’ve been getting good feedback on some of my script coverage, which is always nice. I baked Chai Tea Shortbread Cookies today! They were yummy, lemme know if you want a recipe! And, last but definitely not least, the sun has been shining so that literally brightens my days. OH, also, a friend of my sister’s made me a hula hoop for my b-day (they’re really into hooping and very good at it! They even hoop with fire!) so I’ve been getting better. I hooped for a good 30 minutes today! I need to work on getting my hips moving more so the hoop can move faster…maybe I’ll channel some Shakira 😛

Have a good week, all, and if you have a sec, share with us your favorite Valentine’s day story from this year or years past (or the best alternative V-Day you’ve had!)

Today, I’m channeling Dory.

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.

Love that phrase. And it’s funny because my building is literally surrounded by Ellen’s buildings so I feel like I channel her energy a lot lol. She’s a pretty cool lady.

Anyway, the past few months are starting to catch up with me and I’m getting a little tired. But I’m trying to shake it off and keep swimming.

Things that are helping:
-daily iMessages with Char/Jarkie
-Chelsea beating Manchester City today (historical stuff, my friends)
-getting comfortable enough with people here to start making weird, random noises
-watching The Good Wife like it’s going out of style

I’m gonna try to make it out to the beach this weekend, though it’s been a little “cold” in LA recently, so we’ll see about that.

Also, if anyone knows of a cure for the travel-flu, aggressive strain (that doesn’t involve going somewhere), let me know. The bug has hit full force. Thanks, Char, for your Vienna post…. 😛

 

Today, I am glad to live in California…

Sure, I wish that my family was here, my friends were here, that I had a paying job, my own place to live, that Juan Mata didn’t leave Chelsea for the worst team ever, that I could travel and travel and travel, and that life was generally a breeze BUT one thing I do not wish is that I didn’t live in California. Southern California. Where, no matter how crazy life gets or how stressful things seem, you can just go sit on the beach and watch the sunset (for free!) any day you want. That’s where I find my zen, if I may. At this moment, after getting off the phone with my Mom who is lamenting over the possibility of a massive snowstorm, I am glad that I live here. (And that I live here with my wonderful sister.)

A lot has happened, friends, since I posted last. 2014 began, I turned a year older (YIKES), I started an internship (I’m learning how to read again…SO MUCH READING), started hula hooping (OMG so hard), met new people, joined a leadership team, and so on and so forth. I have to write all of these things down or I won’t believe that it has been almost 4 months since I moved here or that 26 days have passed by in January. I also have to write them down or I won’t believe that I’ve been doing things since I moved here.

Time flies. And it’s so easy to dwell on what hasn’t happened than to reflect on what has. Yes, I yearn for all those wishes I posted at the top. And yes, it hurts a little bit when I think too much of them. But I’m here and need to be as present as I can because cool things are happening and will happen and I don’t want to miss them when they do. 

P.S. My mom lectured me on how important writing on this blog was. Well, that’s a bit dramatic. But she did say that I need to keep writing. So I’ll try, promise. 

Thanks for your patience and, as always, thanks for reading.