Posts Tagged ‘eating’

On My Mind, episode 11: summer plans

laelene Posted in general blog, on my mind,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I don’t do a lot of journal entry type posts here, but there are some things going on that I just wanted to share. Sometimes there is no specific topic; it’s just about life in general.

This weekend, I was very excited to get a shipment notification from Baubax, which I backed on Kickstarter back in September. I had hoped to get it in time for Thanksgiving. So much for that! They originally anticipated being able to get them completed by November, but their campaign exploded way beyond they ever expected. The product is a travel jacket, which they designed 4 of. I chose the red bomber jacket because it seemed like a nice balance between dressy and casual. I hope it fits me well!!

Panda and I have been looking for someone to rent a room in our home. His organization has interns that will be coming next month and they always need a place to stay. There are a few students we’ve considered and I look forward to finalizing details. We’re happy to earn some extra money to help fund my MBA. I’ll be leaving halfway through their stay to get ready for my program. Things are going to be crazy the next couple of months! Maybe in the future we can consider listing a room on Airbnb.

Panda got the Whole Dang Thang, which included fried fish, scallops, gator, calamari, shrimp and more.

Panda got the Whole Dang Thang, which included fried fish, scallops, gator, calamari, shrimp and more.

About a month ago, Panda and I went out to dinner with Calavera for cajun seafood. As I was cracking away at my crab legs, I didn’t realize I was weakening part of my tooth and on the drive home, I noticed that my tooth had chipped. Prior to that, I had noticed a tiny little indentation along the bottom of the tooth, so it must have fractured along that groove. I needed a teeth cleaning anyway, so I scheduled a dental appointment and was told I should get a crown. Since dental procedures are expensive in the US and I plan on going to China this summer, I decided to wait until I go there to get it done. In the mean while, I look silly sometimes with what looks like a gap in my teeth that then shows itself as a missing chunk. At least a gap would look normal!

Now that I know what program I’ll be attending in the fall, it’s all about getting to know what they have to offer. I received a call from an MBA Ambassador today, but I was working and then wasn’t able to reach her later. I’m compiling questions about the program, life in general, and other things to know before I start school. There are four more people I should reach out to (two friends and two ambassadors, one who interviewed me). I think I’ll learn a lot at Admit Weekend next week and I can’t wait to start meeting people, learning, and thinking about what I’ll do. All this looking to the future has me distracted from what I should focus on, but I’m still making good progress at work. Still, I’m itching to train someone up and start handing things off, though it looks like that won’t happen for another month.

I’ve always been interested in helping uncover resources and make them more readily available, so I created an unofficial employee handbook using Trello. Tomorrow I get to train a new girl on it for the very first time! I can’t wait to see what she thinks, get feedback, and hone it into a lasting legacy that I will leave here. I’ve got quite a few projects that I hope will continue to live on when I’ve moved on. I know that our use of Slack will certainly be one of those.

There are so many things buzzing around in my head these days. With my obsession with Trello, I’ve put together various boards to help me track everything I should be doing. Now I just need to get better at checking them… 😛

Shrieking kids in public

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , ,

What are your thoughts on children who are playing in a restaurant, running amok and hollering at the top of their high-pitched lungs?

That’s what a good fifteen minutes of dinner was like for me last night. Exacerbating the fact was my exhaustion and stress over everything I needed to do after getting home. I already have no patience for children as it is, and I was not pleased that neither the parents nor the waitstaff said a thing. My friend and looked at each with eyebrows raised, cringing with each piercing shriek that filled the otherwise empty room. A boy of about eight was chasing around a boy of about three and the young one was having a grand old time challenging our eardrums.

The mother quietly spoke in Vietnamese as the other two adults ignored the situation. Perhaps they were used to this behavior, or perhaps they were mildly deaf (they did seem rather elderly). The kids paid no attention to whatever the mom said and that was that. Meanwhile the staff (only two were out) looked on and stood awkwardly with no sign of at least attempting to create a more pleasant dining experience for my friend and me.

I don’t know if it was because the place was Asian or maybe they knew the family, but I’m pretty sure a Western restaurant would have said something. I kept looking at the adults and the staff until I got tired of waiting. Then I resorted to my usual tactic: I stared solemnly at the children. Whenever kids are acting up in public, making a scene where it is disruptive to others (at least when I feel that way), I stare them down. If they catch my eye, they generally stop. Sometimes they might just be startled to realize someone is looking. Sometimes they figure out that they are being annoying. Whatever the case, it tends to be effective in getting them to stop yelling.

This time, the older child noticed me and then began to tell his brother to quiet down. They happened to be leaving at that point anyway, but I was glad for the noise reduction even before they made it out the door. Too bad the one causing a ruckus never saw me staring. Maybe then he’d learn to keep his play to louder environments or to more appropriate situations.

Would you ever be like I am and look at kids until they stopped screaming or crying? Or would you be even more straightforward and go speak to them or their parents? Maybe you’re like most others who sit and bear it with teeth gritted?

Power Supply Week of Jan 19 review

laelene Posted in reviews, subscriptions,Tags: , , , , , , ,

I’m still trying to get newer dishes so I can get a good understanding of which dishes work for me. There were some hits and misses as it goes, and I’m slowing learning their menus so I make selections suited to me.

Power Supply is around $9.50-$15.50 per meal (when you sign up for a recurring plan – single orders are 5% more) and offers a variety of ready-made meal types, all gluten- and dairy-free. Boxes are sent once or twice weekly (depending on your plan) and you have total control over customization of which meals you get. You can easily switch between plans or choose to skip some weeks. They offer a referral program that earns free meals for referrer and referree.

Apple, Potato, Turkey Sausage Frittata w/ Side Salad

power supply apple, potato, turkey sausage frittata with side salad paleo lunch meal in box

I’m not sure why I decided to try another frittata, given that I find them to be too dense.

power supply apple, potato, turkey sausage frittata with side salad paleo lunch meal open

This one was decent, but still not something I’d want again. The sauce helps and the salad was too light with little flavor.

Boeuf Bourguignon

power supply boeuf bourguignon mixitarian dinner meal in box

I can’t pronounce this for the life of me, but I know I like this sort of thing.

power supply boeuf bourguignon mixitarian dinner meal open

I found it to be delicious! The portion was nowhere near enough and I could have eaten buckets more.

Jerk Chicken w/ Garlic Spinach, Brown Rice & Coconut Sauce (reorder – see the original review)

Apparently I got this before, but I didn’t quite remember so I ended up getting it again. It was alright and I might get it again, but it’s not the top of my list.

Bok Choy, Carrot, Mushroom & Tofu Stir-fry (SPICY)

power supply bok choy, carrot, mushroom & tofu stir-fry vegetarian lunch meal in box

When I see bok choy, I am always intrigued.

power supply bok choy, carrot, mushroom & tofu stir-fry vegetarian lunch meal open

It seems like the vegetarian dishes are actually more to my taste. I loved the flavor here and it was a good portion.

Spring Turkey Salad w/ Green Beans & Dried Cherries (reorder – see the original review)

Power Supply Week of Dec 22 review

laelene Posted in reviews, subscriptions,Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The week we went off to the holidays, it was a short one so they only did a delivery that Monday. The Thursday that week was already Christmas so there was no second delivery and it became a 3-meal week, which worked out since we left Wednesday anyway.

Power Supply is around $9.50-$15.50 per meal (when you sign up for a recurring plan – single orders are 5% more) and offers a variety of ready-made meal types, all gluten- and dairy-free. Boxes are sent once or twice weekly (depending on your plan) and you have total control over customization of which meals you get. You can easily switch between plans or choose to skip some weeks. They offer a referral program that earns free meals for referrer and referree.

Tagine Chicken Salad w/ Peppercorn Dressing

power supply tagine chicken salad with peppercorn dressing mixitarian/paleo lunch meal in box

I have no idea what tagine means, yet somehow I decided to try this dish because of the name.

power supply tagine chicken salad with peppercorn dressing mixitarian/paleo lunch meal open

The salad was decent, but I’ve found I’m not much into their style of salads. I’d rather have more veggies and stronger dressing.

Roast Beef Brisket on Gluten Free Almond Bread w/ Apple Sauerkraut

power supply roast beef brisket on gluten free almond bread with apple sauerkraut mixitarian lunch meal in box

This intrigued me because of the sauerkraut.

power supply roast beef brisket on gluten free almond bread with apple sauerkraut mixitarian lunch meal open

I think I got a poor cut of meat – it was all tendon-y or something. I cut out quite a bit because it was difficult to chew. If they had softer meat, I might try this again.

Cuban Pulled Pork w/ Mexican Spiced Carrots & Parsnips

power supply cuban pulled pork with mexican spiced carrots and parsnips mixitarian dinner meal in box

I’m always willing to try pulled meat, since it’s likely to be more of the texture I like.

power supply cuban pulled pork with mexican spiced carrots and parsnips mixitarian dinner meal open

I liked the meat, but the veggies were a bit too crunchy after awhile. Not too much flavor either.

October anniversary

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses,Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Today Panda and I celebrated our official 6th year together. It’s the first time our anniversary has occurred in October (because it’s the Friday of Zero Week at UCLA), which certainly felt weird. Usually it falls on the last or second to last Friday of September! I had a really busy day at work and tried to leave early, but barely made it out on time. We had our reservation for The Melting Pot at 6 and met there.

melting pot spinach artichoke cheese fondue with bread, chips, vegetables, and fruits for dipping

We started off with the spinach artichoke cheese fondue.

melting pot house salad with house dressing

I got a house salad.

melting pot california salad

He got a California salad.

melting pot entree in mojo cooking style with atlantic salmon, pacific white shrimp, and sauces

Then it was time for the entrees. I got Pacific white shrimp and he got Atlantic salmon.

sixth anniversary gift from the husband

When I returned from the restroom, I found a gift waiting for me! 🙂

I love the way Panda wraps gifts. He always finds some cute piece of paper from an ad or something at home and uses that. This time he carefully chose this design from a calendar! The sides were taped with fun cartoon stickers.

peas in a pod ceramic anniversary gift

What a cute set of chopstick rests and pea pod tray! Hehe.

I wanted to get the current limited edition chocolate fondue with white chocolate, peaches, and almonds, but Panda was full and didn’t want to stay for another course. We compromised by getting a half-dozen box of the chocolate-covered strawberries to go. At home, we opened up the HeatDish he got a Costco a few weeks ago. It’s starting to get cool outside these days. I had to break out my space heater at work, start wearing scarves, and today I even used my heated seats and steering wheel for the first time this season. Fall has arrived and I’m hoping I don’t get sick or freeze.

Din Tai Fung meal review

laelene Posted in reviews,Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

While we were in Los Angeles, I wanted to take advantage of the many food options that I love out there. Panda and I agreed to go get dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, which up until just a few years ago only had two locations in the US, both of which were in Arcadia. Last time we’d discovered the brand new location in Glendale, so we decided to head there again. It was much more crowded this time around. I guess people have started to discover this newer location. We waited around 25 minutes for our table and ended up requesting to sit in a different one with a booth seat.

noodles topped with minced pork and cucumber at din tai fung

I was surprised to get this dish first. The minced pork made for a fine topping for the noodles. A really tasty dish, though smaller than I imagined.

vegetable and pork wontons in spicy sauce at din tai fung

This was a new dish for us. Good if you like spicy! It kind of overpowered any meat or veggie flavor though.

hot and sour soup in large bowl for six people at din tai fung

Every time we order this, the waiter informs us it’s meant for 6 people. No biggie, we drank it all.

juicy pork dumplings aka xiao long bao at din tai fung

Erm, we devoured all but one xiao long bao (juicy pork dumplings) before I remembered to get a picture. These are amazing – delicate skin, savory juice, and excellent taste all around.

cucumber appetizer with spicy oil vinagrette at din tai fung

These should have come first, but got forgotten. When I finally got them I could only eat about three pieces. One of my favorite appetizers is some nice cucumber in a tart sauce.

I forgot to get a picture of the pork fried rice that Panda ordered after much of the food arrived. I didn’t have any of it this time, so I don’t know how it tasted anyway.

Service was rather slow and our waitress was a bit absentminded. Not the best experience on that front, but boy is the food wonderful. One of my favorite things about this place is how delicate and fine the ingredients are, especially in the soup! I’ve never seen such thinly-sliced tofu, wood ear, and bamboo shoots. Just the way I love them. I took the leftovers home with me and my mom practically inhaled everything in 10 minutes. It was an awesome meal and I wish there was a DTF somewhere in the DC area so I could enjoy it more.

Coastal Flats meal review

laelene Posted in reviews,Tags: , , , , , ,

You know, today Panda and I were having lunch at Coastal Flats and he was sort of surprised when I wasn’t eagerly taking pictures of the food. I usually take pictures of just about everything we order, but lately I’ve been low on memory space on my phone so I’ve been limiting my photo snapping. However, it did make me realize that perhaps I should take pictures of the food and actually share them! Part of why I was stopping was because I haven’t really been sharing them like I usually do on Facebook. Sooo I’ll start reviewing some of the dishes I have at various food establishments. Maybe it’ll help me remember when I want to relive a dish and can’t quite figure out where I had it or what it was called…

First up is our lunch today at Coastal Flats. This is our first time eating there and originally I wanted Seasons 52 right across the hall, but Panda didn’t know if there was anything new on that menu that he’d like to try. I’m usually up for trying something new and as soon as I heard Coastal Flats offered deviled eggs, I was sold. I love a good deviled egg. This was the location in Tyson’s Corner Center, over by all the restaurants on the Old Navy and Barnes & Noble end.

We chose to sit in the patio/pavilion area (I forgot what they called it) right by the hallway. The ambiance was mostly casual and not too loud, which was nice. I didn’t want to sit inside since it was darker and felt more like a dinner atmosphere. Plus, I like those elevated tables. The service was mostly efficient – they filled the water without having to be asked and always brought out more bread when we requested it.

assorted bread and butter at coastal flats

I loved those little dough balls, which came out piping hot. The raisin bread was ok and the other slice of bread varied between white and jalapeno cheese. We got three baskets!

deviled eggs with spiced pecans and sugar cured bacon at coastal flats

The deviled eggs tasted good, though there was a mystery ingredient that was mixed in with the yolk and provided a super crunchy experience that was unusual. Yolk to white ratio was good and not overwhelming. Panda seemed to enjoy the bacon!

hickory grilled absolutely fresh fish of the day at coastal flats

My hickory grilled rock fish (of the day) dish had very seasonal influences – a mango and watermelon salsa underneath and crispy onion on top. I loved the mesh of sweet and salty, soft and crunchy. The flavors were strong, so I appreciated a fish with not so much flavor to balance it out. We devoured this.

penne primavera with chicken at coastal flats

His penne primavera with chicken was a more standard dish and offered a good variety of vegetables. Nothing super exciting here, but a nice dish when you don’t want a creamy sauce on your pasta.

Except for my dish, the choice of plates was rather boring. It didn’t give our food the pop it could have. Everything was quick to come out and we certainly liked the taste of it all. I’m sure we’ll be returning to one of their locations again. This menu offered multiple items that both Panda and I would like to try next time. A lovely meal that came to just under $50 before tip. Not bad!

Grocery shopping

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses, stories,Tags: , , , , , , ,

dozens of inko's tea bottles in small whole foods two-tiered shopping cartThis morning I had a massage scheduled at Massage Envy and when I was done, I decided to swing by Whole Foods to see if any of my drinks were on sale. There are a couple of brands of bottled drinks that I like to get there, but only when they’re on sale so I can combine that with the store’s case discount (buy one case, get 10% off). I was happy to find my favorite bottled tea brand, Inko’s, on sale. I immediately grabbed a dozen each of my go-to flavors: blueberry and white peach. Then, as I was checking the price, wondering what the original price was, I noticed the tags said clearance price. Now per my understanding, when something goes on clearance it’s not coming back. Sooo I tracked down someone who worked there to check and was heartbroken to learn that they are discontinuing this brand from their store.

variety of bottled teas on shelf at store, with large gap where inko's tea flavors are

I emptied quite a bit of the shelf.

Apparently they’d been trying to reorder it but couldn’t seem to get them from the company? Well, whatever the case, I was told that what was on the shelves was all they had and there’d be no more. Upon hearing this, I immediately went to get another dozen drinks, clearing them out of the rest of the blueberry and white peach and also getting some honeydew and original to try. The shelf was about half empty by the time I was done. As I pushed my cart out, the bottles jingled and jangled against each other and I was glad that I checked today.

two pints of ben & jerry's ice cream and two pints of giant brand ice creamThen after dinner tonight, I had a craving for ice cream. Panda mentioned a deal Giant is having where you can get a free pint of Giant’s own brand of ice cream when you buy a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. It’s their way of having you compare their brand to the brand name (and hopefully adopt their ice cream as your new fav). When we got there, we found that Ben & Jerry’s was on sale, so we decided to both choose our own flavors. We ended up getting 4 pints of ice cream for just $7.18 with tax! Now that’s a pretty sweet deal.

365great Day 350: buffets

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , ,

365great day 350: buffetsA never-ending supply of food? How does that not sound good? Buffets may not have that signature dish that you can get time and time again, but they offer so much variety that you don’t have to settle for just one type of dish. It’s a nice time to sit and take the pace slowly while trying a little bit of many dishes. If you pick carefully, there are some delicious choices. There will definitely be some misses, but that’s what sampling is useful for. I always have a hard time choosing just one entree at a restaurant, so buffets are great because I can graze among many choices!

January Favorites 2014

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

collage of january 2014 favorites including groupons, snow days, yuzen, snuggling, home hopping, moving offices, gloves, origins free facial, and carrabbas first tastesLet’s take a look back on how the year got started!

1. Groupons – Panda really got into getting Groupon deals for our meals and now we often try new places based on what deals he’s been finding. This was one of the places we went for lunch/brunch one time.

2. snow days – Before storm after storm attacked our region, I was still enjoying the snowfall and this one in particular was exciting. Panda and I got a chance to enjoy it together and I had my first work from home day.

3. Yuzen – Jen was kind enough to send me the men’s Yuzen box as a gift for Panda! I love how everything about it really caters to guys more, including the actual look of the box. If you want to know what came in it, watch out for the review.

4. snuggling – I was sick much of the month, so I spent a lot of time resting in bed, getting cozy with the blankets. I love feeling all toasty and swathed in softness. It’s so very comfortable.

5. home hopping – This entire month we had access to both the apartment and condo, so we’d spend time hopping between them. We started moving boxes over to the new place little by little and I spent some time enjoying the space. All was lovely but then I saw the morning traffic and knew I’d be in for quite a change in my morning commute with the move.

6. moving offices – It was really exciting to finally be moving to the new office that I’d been hearing about since I started. Taking some time in the afternoon to go help out and build furniture was a nice break for me from the stress of work. I very proudly helped build something like 8 motorized desks!

7. gloves – Mornings were so cold I had to wear gloves while driving, until my heated steering wheel kicked in. Even then, if I didn’t wear gloves the tops of my hands would be cold. A few times my hair even froze on my way from the apartment to the car.

8. Origins free facial – I’ve been getting the Origins free facial offer for years, but never took advantage of it. This time I decided to give it a try and it was much more thorough that I anticipated. It lasted a good 20 minutes and the lady used seven products on me.

9. Carrabbas First Tastes – Panda and I got to attend our second First Tastes event at Carrabbas and we had a lovely time with the mother daughter pair who sat across from us. This is always a wonderful event to attend and I hope they keep hosting them!

January was all about getting back into the groove out east. We’re truly settling in and everything is feeling like home more and more. What were your favorites in January?

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