To feed your body and soul in San Diego and all over the world

rants

World of Changes

Wow…it has been almost three months since I’ve posted.  This definitely means that my one post per week did not happen at all.  The reason for that is because the last three months, I have been consumed with changes in my life.  The biggest announcement (and the cause for my hiatus) – I bought a condo!  My very first home and as happy I am that CP and I found a place we both fell in love with, a new place also comes with a lot of new headaches.  Considering that CP and I did not own very much of anything, we were on a whirlwind of spending to just furnish our new place and make it livable.

It was fun and stressful at the same time with all my traveling for work.  However, it is finally slowing down and I’m starting to finally be able to come back to my little blog.  Which is severely backlogged and I am terribly ashamed.  The one thing that does get me excited and pumped up is food.  Friends, family, and coworkers all have made that observation and have shared it with me.  Hence I am coming back to start my weekly posts!

Ever since moving into the new condo, I have been cooking a lot more for CP and myself.  I have found that my strengths in the kitchen is definitely more towards Asian cuisines.  I preach and try to practice “cooking from scratch” as much as I can.  However, I will sometimes use a little help from pre-prepared mixes.

Completely from scratch!!

Green beans & Mushroom with Veggie Fish; Scallion Pancake

Tempeh with veggies; Veggie Fried Rice

Spam & Veggie Fried Rice

Mapo Tofu; Veggie Stir Fry Noodles

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

Perhaps…not completely from scratch:

Jambalaya with Andouille Sausage

Yakisoba

As you can see…majority of the food that is made in our house is Asian influenced.  However, the few times that I try making “American”…it was not as successful.  Yet I’m not going to completely give up!  And since I have a backlog of pictures and reviews, I will get back on the posting wagon again.


M.I.A

Sorry y’all! I’ve been swamped from travel jobs, to weddings, to diving into the real estate market to officially be a homeowner!

I know there are no excuses other than just pure laziness and some times negligence of the site is the real reason why I don’t have a post. Granted, where I am currently…there is absolutely NOTHING to write home about. I am currently deployed to Nowhere, USA for a job and just miserable.

To give you an idea of the type of place I’m in:
– There is nothing but corn and soybean fields around the town I’m in.
– More than half of the businesses in the town are closed and only an empty building sits.
– Options for food are mainly nationwide chains.
– The few “local” shops have provided to be severely disappointing (even with extremely low expectations), or just too sketchy to eat.

Yeah…it’s a dang, gosh terrible place they dropped me off. =( *sigh*  Here’s a picture of a very pink plate of Pad Thai in the only Thai restaurant in this area (the picture doesn’t do the color justice…the noodles were close to the color of a Sweet n’ Low packet):


Lambs…my adorable little baby sheep

Yesterday I had to explain why I chose not to eat what I don’t eat – beef and more recently, lamb.

I know it sounds silly, sometimes maybe a little childish when I say it out loud, but no matter how it may sound, I can’t look at a little baby sheep or cow and eat them.  Many have countered (as I would too if I were in their shoes), “What about a baby chick?  Or a baby pig??”

Which to both, I do think they are just ADORABLE.  However, at least in the US, it is rare if ever you find a “suckling baby pig” or “roast chick with fresh vegetables” on your menu.  One – there’s not much to eat in terms of meat on either.  However, on the other hand, sheep and cows do have enough meat and demand for throughout the majority of their lifespan.  Case in point: Veal = a calf (aka a baby cattle) and of course lamb is what you call a young sheep.  You eat veal or beef, you eat lamb (baby), hogget (young, or mutton.

My coworker then threw out a classic, “Would you eat bambi??”  My witty response was, “Hmmm…yes, I have no problem right now eating bambi.”  Though logical thought for me (prior to any additional research) is: does the FDA allow for the sale of baby deer meat?  Do they even SELL baby deer meat??

So yes, I may be selective on what I chose not to eat and what to eat.  Can you say you don’t??  Do you not choose to eat one thing over another based on personal preferences and likes?  My decision and choice to not eat beef as previously stated, I haven’t had it in so long and I do think baby cows and even grown cows are adorable.  Smelly sometimes?  Yes, but I still think they’re great!  Now with the addition of lamb to that list of animal proteins I won’t eat, is one of the harder ones.  I do love a good lamb shank or lamb kabob, however I find myself completely guilt ridden after eating one.

I’ll defend my choices and people can keep throwing the “what about (insert some possibly cute creature)” scenarios at me.  All I have to do is look at this:

or this:

And I can feel justified again 🙂


Adventures into Adulthood

Despite whatever image you may have when you read the name of this post, I am not and have not been a “child” for a while.  What I am talking about is taking on more responsibilities of what one would think an “adult” should be taking on.  After several years of consideration, I have finally decided to invest in a home that I can eventually call my own.  I’m buying a house people!!!!

Well, to be specific I am buying a condo and I am not doing it alone.  CP and I will be going into this together and it has been a roller coaster of a ride – especially for me.

Trying to be supportive of CP’s studies for his CPA exam, I have undertaken the job of finding us the realtor, lender, and the research of every potential condo.  Over the past month, I have been learning the realty “talk” and getting first hand education on all the little nuisances of the world of real estate.  I have been even watching more HGTV because of it!

All my life, I have always had my feet planted firmly down on the ground.  I have grandiose ideas and fantasies of what my ideal situations would be since I was young.  Yet, no matter where those thoughts take me, my left brain is that annoying, too smart and too realistic nerd that keeps poking at me, reminding me that I can keep dreaming, but then there’s reality.

I went into this starting at the amount of liquid assets I could reasonably put up for our down payment.  Considering the traditional requirement is 20%, I knew that the higher that purchase price goes, the higher that requirement becomes.  Mortgage payments did not worry me as much because, again, I had a general idea of how much it would cost.  Hence, working with that “20%” number, I calculated backwards of where our cap should be based on the premise that we would not want to spend more than 40% of our combined liquid assets.

Then came the “Must-Haves”.  CP and I could agree that we needed space and a one bed and one bath would not work for us.  And that was about where our agreement ended.  CP seemed to have the grandiose ideas as I did, but the annoying nerd did not seem to exist in him.  It was definitely something we had to work out because in a world where money talks, we were limited.  Also, CP would like to live in certain parts of San Diego, which I would like to as well.  However, the prices as well as the availability were major limiters for us.

Hence, other than the 2 bed and 2 baths requirement, we were also looking for:

  • Renovated, spacious kitchen
  • Spacious “feeling” living space
  • In-unit washer/dryer
  • Good amount of storage
  • Double vanity for the master bathroom
  • Location: keeping it central (not too far in any cardinal directions) with easy access to freeways

We both would have loved renovated bathrooms too, but I reeled us back in again.  It would be NICE to have, but it should not be a deal breaker either if the price is right.  Therefore, the list above was what we went with.

Now after a long weekend of stress and un-restful sleep, CP and I have found a place that has met our requirements.  An offer has been submitted and as of writing this post, we are now waiting to see what happens.  Keep your fingers crossed for us!


Mid-week mind munchies

It’s Wednesday, or hump day because we’re right smack in the middle of the weekday.  Half way there to the weekend.  Yet I find myself constantly pondering what day it is because all my days seem to melt together.  What ever happened to my structure??  I used to be able to wake up and know exactly the day of the week (forget about the date, I’ve never been able to remember without my calendar reminding me).

Don’t even ask me why I’m so obsessed with needing to know what day of the week it is.  I think one of the biggest things to my inability to know what day of the week it is, is primarily due to the sheer lack of structure in my weekday.  Granted, I think I wanted to allow myself to break away from the same old grind day in and day out.  Yet the reverse effect is that I have absolutely no structure.  Somehow, this irks me too much and I think mentally, I am craving for structure again.

Or maybe I’m just super down due to the gloomy weather we’ve been having here in San Diego.  Maybe that’s the real variable that is effecting my overall mood.  And now I’m just ranting away on something completely inconsequential.   I just need the sun back….please come back sun!  I NEED you! 😦


My personal conflict with my meal

There are days when I wonder to myself, “Could I truly commit to being a 100% Pescatarian?”  The reason why I think I would be a Pescatarian versus Vegetarian is because the only reason why I would be giving up animal (land and sea) proteins is because I can’t but feel guilty eating a cute animal.

However, I have yet to find a sea creature which can make me “awwww” like a land animal can.  Hence, I have absolutely no gripe about eating sea creatures.  Whereas land animals are a little harder.  I see a picture of a lamb (aka baby sheep), sheep, calf, cows, baby chicks, etc. I immediately melt into a puddle from their cuteness.  There is something about the way animals look at you and you feel for it.  I know this does not apply to all, but it does for me.

My closer friends, coworkers and family knows I do not eat beef. I haven’t had beef in so long, the taste of it is lost on me. I can appreciate a nicely cooked piece of steak, or an enormously tasty looking burger, but there is no desire to it. The reason for my non-beef eating is a personal preference and I would like to stick to it. Another animal I have recently made the choice in not eating is lamb.

Baby sheep is one of the most adorable creatures and my favorite too. How could I say I won’t touch beef (calfs are so cute too!!), yet I’ll eat lamb?! I do love the taste of lamb so this is really hard for me. Slowly…I’ll ween myself off their delicious meat.

And this is the only reason I need:

image


New Project

I’ve started to notice that whenever someone asks me for recommendations for where to go to eat, I can conjure up my personal list by neighborhoods almost immediately.  Some times I find that I will need to look at the internet for a refresher for some areas (mostly because I don’t visit it as often).  However, this list resides in the database that I call my brain.  In fact, it acts like a relationship database:

“What do you want to eat in terms of cuisine?  Where do you want to go for it? What’s your price range?”  Those are the three questions I will always ask without fail whenever I get the, “Where do you suggest going for breakfast/brunch/lunch/dinner?”

After awhile, I started writing it down on a Word document and I still keep increasing the list (by city actually).  However, I realized how inefficient and unorganized that was!  Then the epiphany came: when I pull up my “list” from my brain, I sort have filter through it by the various criteria’s above (and then some at times).  Why do I not make this list into a spreadsheet?!?!  So simple, yet why haven’t I done it?!?

So now, I have tasked myself to put together this master spreadsheet of food all over!  Where I could filter by multiple factors: State, City, Cuisine, Neighborhood (for SD), Price Range (simplified: dirt cheap, cheap, moderate, expensive), and Signature Must-Have’s.  (Of course I’ll include other important items like the address, phone, and website of the place.)

That will be my glorious task for goodness knows how long and I’m excited!  (If you couldn’t tell…I love spreadsheets 🙂 yea I’m a nerd)

Wish me luck!