Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It's Wednesday?

Are you sure?
Something definitely seemed off when I woke up to muted light coming through the curtain. Usually summer morning light in Los Angeles is enough to burn your cornea through a wall.

The cold muggy morning made me more sluggish than normal, so I had to perk up with a shot of espresso and a piece of sourdough toast with Earth Balance. I was too brain-hazy to take a picture though!

That being said, I did manage to tuck my camera into the car before heading off to work. I've decided to attempt to bring my camera everywhere. Whenever I don't, I always end up finding something cool I wish I could share and then I'm SOL.

On the way I snapped a few pictures (at red lights, don't worry!) of the weather.

Very strange. But, in typical LA fashion, everything burned off by noon and the day ended up being 84 degrees and very sunny.

For lunch I packed a spinach and arugula salad with mushrooms and sprouts. I've been needing more protein/fat in my lunches to keep me full throughout the afternoon, so I added some roasted walnuts as well.

Anybody else LOVE alfalfa sprouts? Their shape used to weird me out, but now I think of them as tiny nutritional ribbons. (That sounded cuter in my head.)

I actually roasted walnuts myself!

I've found nuts hard to digest all my life, though roasted ones are much easier on my tummy. Next time I think I'll try roasting them with some herbs/spices to make them even more delectable.

Mid-afternoon I devoured a nectarine that was so ripe and mushy every picture I took of it looked like a slasher movie victim.

After work I decided to try doing yoga outside on the porch. We only have carpet in the house and it's impossible to get a grip on.

The concrete was hard, but supportive through the mat. When Evan got home, I decided to whip up an easy bake-able dinner.

Enter in... quiche!

Broccoli Cheddar Quiche (crustless)
- half an onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 large head of broccoli, or 1 small
- 1 tbsp margerine (or butter)
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 cup greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup soymilk (or almond, cow, hemp, rice, etc)
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup shredded cheddar (I used a blend with Jack as well)
- nutmeg
- nonstick cooking spray

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Chop onion and mince garlic.
3) Trim stems of broccoli and chop to small florets.
3) Sweat the onion in the margerine till fragrant.
4) Add garlic and broccoli, cook for 2-3 minutes.
5) In a separate bowl, gently beat the eggs.
6) Add the yogurt and soymilk to eggs, whisk to combine. Season with s & p.
7) Fold the shredded cheese into the egg mixture.
8) Spray an 8 or 9 inch pie pan. Spread broccoli/onion/garlic evenly on the bottom.
9) Gently pour the wet mixture over, spreading as needed to create an even layer.
10) Grate fresh nutmeg (or sprinkle on pre-ground) over the top. Just a dash!
11) Bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes until center is set. Cool for 5 minutes.

"Crust? We don't need no stinking crust!"

I saved a few calories using less cheese and eggs, and subbing in greek yogurt. Nix the crust and the fat practically gets cut in half!

We paired it with some steamed kale coated in a bit of sesame oil and lemon juice. Tasty combo and I love seeing all that green on my plate.

I've been a bit off this week... mentally, emotionally... so I am going to try and get a good amount of sleep tonight. When I wake up maybe it really will be Thursday!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Lucky me

Just as the universe dumps a load of FAIL on me, it also starts making up for it. School is going to save my stones for me and credit my account for the tuition for the class I missed.

I stayed up way too late crying and feeling sorry for myself, so by the time I got out of bed yesterday, it was already noon.

I needed good luck and what better way get some than by eating dumplings! It was also a good excuse to get out of the house and run some extra errands.

Din Tai Fung is the best dumpling house I have ever been to. It's a mixture of Taiwanese and Chinese style xiaolongbao. 

The first location started in China as a cooking oil distributor around 1958. Then when bottled oil became available, business started to wane. The founders started selling dumplings on the side to make up for lost revenue, but it ended up becoming their sole business!

I feel so lucky to live close to a location, otherwise I'd have to go to China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea, or Australia to get some Din Tai Fung!

This place always has a wait of 15min-2 hours. It's just that good.

Xiaolongbao are easily recognized by their pinched and twisted top, resulting in a flat bottom and fluted sides. They are sometimes called "soup dumplings" due to the sip of broth that develops inside during steaming.

Typically they are eaten with a drizzle of Chinkiang black vinegar and shredded ginger. I love mine with extra vinegar and extra extra ginger!

They also serve jiaozi style dumplings, which are made from round skins that are halved and pinched along the seam (like gyoza). 

They also serve a wide array of veggies, rice dishes, noodles, and soups. The soups are heavy on the meat broths and that's not my thing, so I pretty much stick with a veggie and sesame spiced clear dumpling soup.

After stuffing ourselves with life-giving dumplings, we braved the 103 degree weather and ventured out for grocery shopping.

I really wanted to check out a new market called Super King. Originally I heard a plug for it during a Splendid Table episode on NPR.

Not only is the place laden with an interesting mixture of Latino and Middle Eastern fare, their produce area is craaaaaaaazy good and very cheap! 15lb watermelon for less than $4? Yes please!

I got this entire haul for ........

 $28 and change! Here's what I got:

- 1 bottle club soda
- 4 beets
- 1 bunch green onions
- 5 heads of garlic
- 4 small sweet potatoes
- 1 box alfalfa sprouts
- 4 apples
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 limes
- 4 lemons
- 3 cucumbers
- 1 nub ginger
- 1 watermelon
- 1 honeydew melon
- 2 bags of carrots
- 2 yellow nectarines
- 1 onion
- 3 bunches of kale
- 1 enormous bag of spinach
- 1 bag of natural cane sugar
- 1 bunch "table" grapes

I know what you're thinking... Is it organic? Nope. But, I can't afford to eat all organic at the moment.

I was so exhausted by the time we got home, I wasn't really in the mood for dinner. Instead we went for a quick swim to cool off.

With all that fresh produce laying around, I had to get out the juicer. We refreshed with beet/carrot/kale/cucumber/watermelon goodness.

Around 9pm I got a bit hungry so I shredded some lettuce and topped it with balsamic glaze, sesame seeds, and a dollop of greek yogurt. 

The result tasted... weird. I has hoping for something creamy and vinegary, instead I got something that tasted like *blerg*. (Totally a technical term!)

I still felt munchie after salad concoction so I tucked into a personal sized bag of popcorn! My fav. Light, crunchy, and ever so slightly salty.

Here's hoping tomorrow is even better than today!

Sunday, August 28, 2011


I was dreading posting today. Not because I don't want to, but because it involves explaining my complete and utter fail.

The only thing worse than being late to my Hot Stone Massage class was missing it entirely. Yeah, I missed the whole freaking class. By 1 day.

After posting last night, I checked my email to see what I needed for class and saw a message from my friend Brian (a fellow 250 classmate who had also signed up for the class). The subject was: "Missed you today!". 

My stomach ended up in my feet. I checked school's website and the email reminder they sent out. Somehow I had convinced myself that class was today (Sunday). I was so wrong.

I spent hours crying.

I have been looking forward to this class for such a long time and it was a much needed mental and physical break from my regular 40hr a week desk job.

It was going to rejuvenate me, enlighten me, and give me a specialty in the massage therapist game.

And I missed it. By. One. Day. And since I no-showed (not on purpose!!!), I am not eligible to receive a refund or credit. What a great $200+ mistake. I am an idiot. I left a tearful message on the answering machine just to check and see if I still get my stones.

I can at least hang onto them till the next time this class rolls around. Crossed fingers that I will at least get something out of this mess!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sweaty Saturday

The thermometer may have said 98 degrees, but it felt a LOT hotter than that today! While yesterday started out humid and cloudy, today boasted a few lovely clouds just over the foothills with miles of blue sky in between. This allowed the sun to beat down mercilessly on Los Angeles.

First order of business: unsweetened iced soy latte.

Then it was off to Great Harvest in South Pasadena. 

Not only is Great Harvest next door to my new yoga studio, I have heard so much about it on Kath's blog. She and her hubby are new GH owners! Naturally, I had to check it out.

It was more lunchtime than breakfast time, so Ev and I both ordered grilled cheese and garlic herb sandwiches. He opted for sourdough bread and I got Dakota.

Kath's raves about the Dakota bread were spot on. Sooooo chewy and hearty, with pumpkin seeds on top!

Iced tea on the side.

 We were joined by a special visitor! Luckily he was on the other side of the glass.

I tried to sneak a peek at their industrial bread mixer (the dough hook is longer than my leg!) and also found this listed above one of the doorways:

Totally awesome. Speaking of new yoga studio, I managed to grab a few quick shots as we were leaving.

I just started taking classes there. They offer Anusara style hatha yoga classes and a few pilates classes as well. Anusara is a new style to me and so far I am loving its heart-centered approach.

Mission street is lined with Ginkgo trees just begging to have their picture taken.  Their unusual shape is somehow so organic and comforting. I even have a Ginkgo leaf ring in homage!

After lunch we ran some errands. It was VERY hot out. Thank goodness we both have newish cars with good AC.

First up was to get a replacement for my shattered UV filter. Then we ran to OSH for a front porch hose, new gate latch, and hinges for the squirrel feeder I am going to try to build.

I managed to install the new gate latch (with a bit of help from Evan), swept up the porch, and organized it a bit before Carol and Ben came over. After a quick dip in the pool to cool off, we went to Hahamongna Park for some disc golf.

Action shots!

Carol's putt was SO CLOSE! The orange cones really help you pick out the goals in the brown/green brush scheme. 

The only hole we skipped was the one where you have to chuck your disc over part of the lake. That's a sure fire way to lose a disc if you're as bad at driving as I am!

I think I'll save a disc and just enjoy the beauty of the lake instead.

Hahamongna is an amazing place, a park made in the watershed area of a long dried-up river bed. It's located right next to JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), snug up against the Foothills.

There are baseball diamonds, 2 disc golf courses, a soccer field, hiking, grill, and hangout areas available for use year round. Summer camps and scouts meet there, the Police Dept runs scenarios in the park, and there are even LARPers on occasion.

Hot and tired, we decided on Panera for a light dinner. I got the "Pick Two" with a cup of vegetarian creamy tomato soup and half a tuna sandwich.

It's still a bit too hot to work out on the porch even though the sun has already set. Time for a nice cool shower.

Today was my only real 'weekend day' since I will be in school all day tomorrow. I can't complain too much though because I will see 2 of my 250 MT classmates and my old teacher for an 8 hour Hot Stone Massage course! My clients are going to love this.

Hopefully by tomorrow afternoon, I will be completely s-t-o-n-e-d!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pretty in pesto

I didn't have the greatest day. It started with a 90+ degree night and Evan kicking me in the thigh around 5:31am. Add one of my diamond earrings dropping into a hamper filled to the brim with dirty clothes, a lukewarm latte, and a loooooooooong day of work and you get a grumpy Mahea.

I usually pack lunch the night before to save time, but I dropped my camera last night in Forever 21 and discovered that I almost completely shattered my UV filter. 

Somehow it doesn't affect my lens or my pictures, but I was kept up late thinking about it. I enjoyed an unpictured leftover slice of pizza for breakfast with my lukewarm latte, not the best breakfast I know.

Lunch was a huge salad with red leaf lettuce, snow peas, and cremini mushrooms. I added Trader Joe's Balsamic Vinaigrette for dressing. Gala apple on the side!

Tonight was my rest night, so I took a break from exercise and chatted with my mom about various wedding plans.
It is proving to be rather difficult to plan a wedding from over 3,000 miles away!

I had an unusual craving for pesto for dinner. This is very atypical as although I like olive oil, basil, garlic, and pine nuts... I HATE them mixed together as pesto! So I decided on an alternate nut for the base and roasted up some walnut pieces.

Combined with brown rice penne and steamed broccoli, dinner turned out fantastic!

Mmmm. Perfect. Garlicky, basily, with Romano grated on top. Even though the meal was a bit fatty that what I usually eat, I couldn't pass up dessert.

A little scoop of Southern Pecan makes my night a whole lot better!

And that background, that happens to be in my bathroom. It really is the best place in the house for lighting at nighttime. My camera is not great with low light situations so I have to be creative sometimes.

Time to watch an awesome crappy movie to perk up my spirits. I think Starship Troopers fits the bill very nicely.

Crossed fingers that tomorrow is better! How could it not be, it's F-R-I-D-A-Y!
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