Today, I’m feeling 22…

So as the Arkies know, I will be growing a bit older on Saturday. To celebrate this (why do we celebrate aging?), I will be leading an excursion to a farm where we will pick raspberries [hopefully], shop at a farmer’s market, go on an awesome hayride, and sit and laugh around a bonfire. It seems like the perfect fall outdoors activity and I am oh so excited! But until then, I will still feel 22 for 2 days hehe. So, now celebrating the past year… I think of Taylor Swift’s song “22.”

image via deviantart.net

I’ve definitely “dressed up like a hipster” (if one can do that. humph.) and made fun of my ex’s and had breakfast (Tastee Diner) at midnight… and fallen in love with strangers (pretty hair, pretty accent, oh you so pretty… ). The year gave me the chance to experience heartbreak, rekindle the flame, and then experience heartbreak a second time around. But such is what happens with growing older. I’ve figured out an idea of which direction (this would be life/career wise) I’m headed in now… and working on what needs to be done to go in that direction.

So with that, I’m excited for this 22, part II… with my lovely -arkies by my side 🙂

I don’t know about you (I don’t know about you)
But I’m feeling 22
Everything will be alright
If you keep me next to you
You don’t know about me (you don’t know about me)
But I’ll bet you want to
Everything will be alright
If we just keep dancing like we’re
22, ooh-ooh, yeah, yeah

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Today, I write about a legenDAIRY experience

For dinner, I fulfilled my #1 mission in HK, according to Jarkie: Going to Australia Dairy Company. From the moment I told her I would be visiting the city, she has urged, reminded, and implored me to go to this place! As all the reviews say, the place was packed, but the service was very prompt. We ordered the food to go because we were in a hurry, and it was handed to us freshly cooked and packaged in less than 10 minutes!

For dinner on Wednesday, I fulfilled my #1 mission in HK, according to Jarkie: Going to Australia Dairy Company. Beginning from the moment I told her I would be here, she has urged, reminded, and implored me to go to this place! As the reviews warned, it was packed, but the service was very prompt. We ordered the food to go because we were in a hurry, and it was handed to us freshly cooked and packaged in less than 10 minutes!

The menu was in Chinese, so my aunt ordered for us. This sandwich had a mishmash of things (egg, ham, cucumber, dressing) that sound normal, but were very tasty in combination. The cold egg custard was my favorite! Perfect consistency and sweetness. You were right, Jarkie!

The menu was in Chinese, so my aunt ordered for us. This sandwich had a mishmash of things (egg, ham, cucumber, dressing) that sound normal, but were very tasty in combination. The cold egg custard was my favorite! Perfect consistency and sweetness. You were right, Jarkie!

Today, I enjoy solitude at the country french cafe & bring you recipe for Rice Bowls (donburi issue)….

Country French Breakfast

Breakfast

I love being with people. But I also love being alone. I love socializing. I also love going to restaurants, cafe’s, movies alone. Just add an iPad/Laptop or a great read in my purse and off I go! So that brings me to where I am now: La Madeleine Country French Cafe. One thing I love about them? Their wonderful selection of Baroque music. Wanna learn French? Just hop over to the ladies room and you can learn your Bonjour, Je m’appelle [insert your name]…, oui, merci beaucoup and all that jazz. My favorite is sitting here sipping my coffee and having some toast with jam & butter. Oh what a life :]

This past Thursday, I said goodbye to a friend over at When Babel Fell.  She is starting a new journey in Japan… and I, of course, wish her the best of luck! I must also thank her because she took me to a local Japanese restaurant (Matuba Japanese Restaurant) where I realized my fascination for Donburi, or rice bowls!

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I ordered the Katsudon and Gyoza. So delicious. I have decided to try to perfect my Katsudon-making skills. And so here’s mineeeeee.

Katsudon/Katsu Donburi [Pork Cutlet Rice Bowl]

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What you’ll need:

  • Pork chops – boneless
  • Flour
  • Panko
  • Egg – 2
  • Rice- I like using sushi rice
  • Dashi
  • Mirin
  • Miso
  • Soysauce – a little dash
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Vegetable oil
  • Onions (Red or Yellow)
  • Green Onions/Scallions
Katsudon!

Katsudon!

  1. Cook your rice in the rice cooker 🙂
  2. Take the pork chops and make little shallow vertical slices up top
  3. Sprinkle salt and pepper and dredge with flour
  4. Crack and egg in a bowl and dip the pork chops in the egg and then into panko.
  5. Lightly fry in a pan with vegetable oil
  6. Take out of pan, cut pork up into slices and set aside
  7. Sautee onions and some of the scallions in vegetable oil
  8. Place your pork cutlets into the middle of the pan
  9. Pour in mirin, dashi (just a little sprinkle), soy sauce (the tiniest dash you can think of), a little bit of chicken broth or water, miso and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low/medium setting
  10. Crack the second into the remainder of the egg (from making the pork cutlets)… beat lightly, not all the way. Make sure the egg whites and yolk are not quite mixed
  11. Pour egg mixture gently over the pork cutlet/onions (distribute evening)
  12. Cover pan with a lid and let egg cook… when it seems almost done, turn off stove, remove pan from heat
  13. Take a bowl of cooked rice and lightly scoop out your pork/egg mix – place on top of rice
  14. Pour rest of broth from pan over the bowl of pork cutlet rice.
  15. ENJOY ~
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Today, I share with you this weekend’s nomnomnom’s!

This week’s theme: FOOD! (hahaha, what a surprise :P) I spent the weekend relaxing, occasionally working a bit, but mostly relaxing. Relaxing = cooking. Cute story:  I was shopping at the local grocery store and was in the “mexican food”/”beans”/”rice” aisle, when this old man in his little straw hat came up to me to ask me if canned beans could be consumed without requiring a stove. His explanation was that he lives in an independent living community. We said our goodbyes. The next day, I started my first day volunteering at the Independent and Assisted Living home across from my building. There was a cute little concert happening and guess who was sitting in front of me? The same man! What a small world.

Arroz con gandules 

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Rice with pidgeon peas. I first tasted this when le significant other’s mom first made this. I’ve fallen in love with this rice ever since. I’m sure there are different ways to make this but I noticed that Goya has a recipe here. My recipe is similar except I leave out the green peppers (no need to be healthy :P) and cilantro. Don’t get me wrong, I love cilantro, but I like for this recipe to be simple.

Steak and Onions (to go with the rice)

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This is a very simple entree to make… but it tastes so good! You’re going to be relying on the flavors of the onions and sazon. The main ingredients:

Heat a pan. Add oil, onions, and minced garlic. Pour the sazon packets onto the steak in a separate mixing bowl and cover the steak evenly. Add to the pan. Turn the heat down to low/medium and let it simmer for about 35-45 minutes. It’s perfect. You don’t even need to add water. The onions + olive oil will create the tasty sauce which is good with the steak and the rice.

A lovely meal! Nomnomnom

A lovely meal! Nomnomnom

Eggs and Chorizo

A photo pour toi. If we were to use Charkie’s coffee mug (see her post here)… I’m sure this would match the milky coffee. For the scrambled eggs, to make delicious scrambled eggs…

Beat the eggs into a bowl. For every egg you have, add a pinch (or a shake) of one of the Goya Adobo products (preferably the one with pepper). Spray your pan with a bit of oil and turn on stove to low/medium heat. Add in your egg mixture to cover the entire pan… as if you’re making crepes. As you see the eggs start cooking on the bottom layer… start mixing the mixture with a spatula, slowly. As the egg starts to cook more, add in a slice (or more to your heart’s desire) of American cheese (KRAFT singles are the best). And voila! The tastiest scrambled eggs!

A simple but hearty breakfast. Only thing missing ? Grits with tons of butter.

A simple but hearty breakfast. Only thing missing ? Grits with tons of butter.

Poha 

This is a breakfast dish that I LOVED while in Udaipur, India. Poha is a flattened rice that is DELICIOUS when made the right way 🙂

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A good friend of mine visited DC this weekend and brought with her a bag of poha. I eagerly went to the store to purchase the ingredients necessary to recreate my lovely dish. Unluckily for me, I did not find any curry leaves 😦 Sad. But it was still delicious. I’ll have the find the right ingredients next time! This is what it came to this time!

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  • Poha
  • Oil
  • Mustard Seeds (black)
  • Ground Turmeric
  • Curry Leaves
  • Cumin Seeds
  • Chopped onions
  • Sugar, Salt, Pepper
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Lime
  • 1-2 green chili (chopped)

Soak the poha in water for about 10 minutes. Drain. Heat a pan with oil, mustard seeds, ground turmeric, chopped onions, chopped green chili and curry leaves. I also added cumin seeds. Add the poha into this mixture. Add sugar, salt , and pepper. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with some raw onions and lime! 🙂

Wish I were on vacation now… 

Some photos from my lovely friend from Thailand… makes me jealous….

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Today, I am a 20 year old something cooking in a cubicle…

That should be the title of my new album, which btw, I will be recording…. Like this blog on fb and if I get 100 likes, I’ll go buy the livingsocial deal. Hehe, see what I did there? Set ridiculously high goals that I know are not attainable. Ha! Too bad, y’alls are missing out on my lovely Taylor Swift renditions. Anyways, I’m much too lazy in the evenings to prepare my breakfast/lunch for the work day and it’s like a war battle in the mornings for me to just get clothes on and get to work… so I thought, why not bring all my ingredients to work? I know I need to be more aware of what I’m consuming… my body is starting to not like me for the 20-something years of junk food (I mean 3-4 cartons of the lunchables stackers or pizza boxes at once?) is starting to show. Gotta reverse the damage!

Breakfast

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They say breakfast is an important meal. Also, I’ve noticed if I make sure I have a hearty breakfast, I’m less inclined to snack throughout the day. And I’m a happier me. So on the menu today

  1. Boiled egg – these are easy to make in the morning. I leave a pot of water overnight on my stovetop. In the morning, throw one or two eggs into the pot and let it boil while I go fight my battle (toothpaste, where are my contacts?!, clothes?!)…
  2. Cereal – you can be fancy and get those cool Cereal To Go containers but why not just use tupperware you already have lying around in the kitchen to store the milk and either leave the cereal at work or pack the dry cereal in a ziploc bag?
  3. Something of bonus – I heated up my english muffin. Spread each side with some almond butter. I packed a banana in my lunch bag and yay! Good for breakfast or an afternoon snack. Just cut little banana slices and spread them on top!

Lunch

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I love Rotisserie chicken. It’s good to just devour the juicy meat directly from the bones… or if you want to be more civil, tear some breast pieces off. Pack that in a box with some salad and tomatoes on the side. If you have some celery sitting around, that’s good too! Or grapes! Or apples! At work, I hoard little mayo and mustard packets … and little salt and pepper packets I grab from Wendy’s or McDonald’s. I also have my honey bottle sitting at work for tea. Just combine it all!

– Sandwich Thins
– ~.5 – 1 cup of shredded chicken breast
– 2 packets of mayonnaise
– Diced apple (or whatever else you have: celery, raisins, grapes, etc)
– Salad greens (spinach, arugula, etc)
– Sliced tomatoes (2-3)
– Cheese (pepperjack? optional)
– Salt, Pepper, Honey/Sugar

Mix the chicken, apples (or whatever you chose) mayonnaise, salt, pepper and honey with a fork. Top one side of the sandwich thin or bread with your salad greens and sliced tomatoes and then spoon the chicken mixture on top. If you opted for cheese, add that slice on top. And voila! We have a winner! Enjoy!

I got these photos (see below) from my good friend in Thailand. Well, we aren’t all so lucky as my current view is a Home Sharps Container and some stacks of papers I must enter. 😛 But let me just imagine I am sitting there next to her at the temple facing the lovely beach.

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Today, I go on a Sentimental Journey …

I’m taking one emotional trip into the past! Before I take y’all there, let me say that I finally decided to be smart and bring my breakfast to work!

Guide to Starting the Day Right as a young busy professional (and really any age!)
Portion your oatmeal into zip-loc bags! Bring a small cup of milk and a bear of honey and heat up at work! Also, hard boiled eggs are easy to make and bring! String cheese! Fruits! story: I forgot that I left my eggs on the stove last night… on high heat… for about 45 minutes. Uh-oh. But they tasted just fine. If that ever happens to you, well, now you know 🙂

Sentimental Journey
emmy-rossum-sentimental-journey-album-releaseYesterday, January 29, marked the day that Emmy Rossum came out with her new album: Sentimental Journey. I cannot wait for her CD to arrive in the mail 🙂 You might know Emmy from Phantom of the Opera, from her album Inside Out, or from the Showtime series Shameless. You probably saw her in Poseidon. And a few of you (this could possibly include me, 😛 can I not answer?) probably know her as Bulma from Dragonball Evolution. Anyways, all that aside, she was formally trained as an opera singer and I love her! Honestly, there is love there that resides in my heart for her. I was a bit disappointed with her last album, though I did enjoy “Slow Me Down”, “High”, “Lullaby” and her cover of “Rainy days and Mondays” (The Carpenters). In this album, she brings her lovely voice to cover a collection of 20 century classics (a span of 40 years, from 1920s -1960s). She also has turned this album into a “musical calendar,” taking us both literally and emotionally through the months of each year. Ooooh, one more concept, she’s created a couple of “vignettes” (fancy right? we’re not talking about plain music videos here :P) for the songs… She is gorgeous in all of them! I’m currently in love with her rendering of “These Foolish Things”… which has been sung before by numerous lovely folks, from Billie Holiday to Frank Sinatra to Rod Stewart to Michael Bublé. Go YouTube the full album version (and support her and buy her CD on iTunes or she has a Fan Edition which comes with a CD, a calendar, and instant download of one of the songs)!!! Listen to the vignette below! It is currently playing through my headphones and has transported me from the walls of this nude-colored textile cubicle to a dimly lit lounge somewhere far away in a distant time…

These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You)
LFM WONGA quick Wikipedia (click to see what I see!) search reveals that it is a tune with words by Eric Maschwitz and music by Jack Strachey. What caught my eye on that page is that Maschwitz, an English man, apparently penned these lyrics to express the longing he felt for the Chinese-American actress, Anna May Wong, who he was romantically linked with, after his returned to England. Some of you may be familiar with her. If you’re not, she was the first Chinese-American movie star. If you have some free time, read up about her life. Seeing her name reminded me of a documentary regarding many Chinese-American movie stars back in the days. I can’t remember where I saw this documentary but I do remember that while many of the actresses were able to achieve some sort of fame/recognition, they almost all dealt with disappointments. For instance, instead of being offered the lead role for the film “The Good Earth”, Anna May Won was offered the role of a song girl that seduces the family’s son and assists in destroying the family. She turned down that role as all the other actors set to be in that film were of European descent portraying Chinese characters. Why give her the “unsympathetic role” (in her own words)? Many roles available for Chinese-American actresses at the time in Hollywood (and even if you look at what we have now…) emphasized Chinese stereotypes. In fact, that is where the term Dragon Lady– a sterotype of East Asian women being deceitful and mysterious– comes from. Well, Anna May Wong has left quite a legacy, I think China has forgotten her but people will still remember her, I hope… and I shall think a bit about it all. Phew. I just realized this post is getting to be more than a mere “Today, I…” post… so I’ll just end on this part. Maybe this thought will come back to me.

Time to enjoy the tunes:

Today, I am a panda…

I ordered two meals at the restaurant today. A very good friend of mine from high school (visiting from AZ) and another good high school friend and I met up at The Coupe/ an eatery in Columbia Heights (http://www.facebook.com/thecoupedc). I really loved it. And ordered two meals. One deviled eggs BLT (woah! tomatoes and bacon and arugula on top!) / One order of their hole in a toad (or maybe it was toad in a hole aka eggs in break with gravy) / Ginger soda (so spicy!) = food coma. This is what pandas do. They eat and sleep. Sometimes mating+procreating is too much effort.

Today also marks the first day I’ve taken the bus as a form of transportation in DC. Thanks goodness smart phones exist otherwise I would not have known where to get on and off of a bus. I stopped by the National Zoo to see the Giant Pandas Tian Tian and Mei Xiang before heading to the lunch. I am counting the days until I leave this house now. I am ready for a new start and I am so quite excited! Until then, downton, the new normal, modern family, himym… and of course some studying 🙂

Happy Veteran’s Day!

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