Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I'm moving!


I wanted to refocus my blog so I decided to just start over from scratch with a new name. I also chose wordpress to host my blog because I like their publishing format better.

You can visit it at http://eatliveaustin.wordpress.com/

Y'all may notice it sounds like eat, live, run, but I actually named it after the motto I have on this blog which is, "Healthy eating and green living in the 512."

Look forward to regular updates (at least for now) about food, austin, and everything in between.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

BBQ Tofu

Sooo I haven't been following my blogs as much as I'd like. I think I have 100 unread posts from all the people I follow. School is crazy! I have to focus most of my time on studying, and any free time I have I usually spend with my friends. I've barely touched my new camera as well. Can't wait for some personal downtime on Friday!

One thing I never fail to do is when I'm stressed is cook. It's my little escape. This delicious plate was my dinner on Tuesday night. BBQ baked tofu, steamed broccoli, and a cheesy microwave baked potato.

I used Veganomicon's BBQ baked tofu recipe as a guide, substituting sesame oil for peanut oil and Stubb's spicy BBQ sauce for theirs. I also used a smaller dish when baking (think this also contributed to my "problem," below).

All I can say is wow!  While the tofu was not as chewy as I was expecting (I wasn't really sure what to expect as this was my first time baking with tofu, but I'm sure pressing the tofu a little more would solve my problem), it was 100% scrumptious.

The coolest thing I learned this month was how to "bake" a potato in the microwave. This works with all potatoes. I love eating sweet potatoes as snacks while I'm studying and being able to create a quick, effortless side dish for my meals.

For a medium sized potato, pierce it with a fork several times, wrap it in a damp towel, and microwave 5 minutes. Rotate the potato so the top is on the bottom and microwave another 5 minutes. For smaller potatoes, take off a minute for each period. I wouldn't recommend microwaving a large potato, I tried once and it turned out very dry and gross.

For the broccoli, I've developed a "smell" method. I used to be really concerned with timing everything but now I know it's not that important. Just throw washed and chopped broccoli in a pot with a couple inches of water and cover. Turn the heat to med-high. When you can smell it, take it off! They should be vibrant green and maintain a little bit of crunch. Easy as pie.

Next time I will be posting about food waste, a growing problem in my life. Time for bed! Bye~

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Peanut Blossoms

On Saturday I made some delicious peanut blossoms from my new cookbook, the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion. I actually made them as a birthday gift for Brian, who gave me the cookbook.

I brought them to his party and they were a hit!

It seemed like a lot of work for me, a novice without any fancy kitchen tools. It was just me, the ingredients, and a wooden spoon! I also spilled a lot of flour, oops!

After having made two recipes so far (like that gives me any authority, LOL!), I can say that the cooking time needs to be shortened by a little. On both recipes cooking at the full time yielded slightly burnt cookies! I hope this will not be a problem for future recipes.

Tonight I am making baked BBQ tofu, inspired by Veganomicon, for dinner. I will be posting it sometime later this week. Stay tuned to see how it turns out :o)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Birthday dinner; Cookie cookbook

Mmm, I just got done munching on a fajita bowl with refried beans, spanish rice, shredded cheddar cheese, and chicken fajita. Last night I made fajitas but I think I like combining everything in a bowl better! Less mess to deal with, and just as delicious.

My birthday dinner at Olive Garden was a success. Mostly. The waitstaff was nice but slightly incompetent. Two different people broke glasses. One server brought out to go boxes halfway through our meal. And no one remembered the mints! I was overall very happy though because I did get a nice glass of wine with my meal and they brought out a complimentary dessert for me.

Afterward some of us drove to San Marcos to hang out with another October birthday friend at his party. We drank a little and generally had a good time. Until my point and shoot digital camera was stolen :(

What did I do? Take more shots, try to forget it, and dance the night away! And now I can bake tons of cookies, thanks to my friend Brian. He got me the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion. This thing is like an encyclopedia! It has about 500 pages of tips, tricks, recipes, and variations. I'm very excited to start trying some out.

Expect many cookie posts in the future ^^

Saturday, October 16, 2010

It's Fall :)

Thursday night really felt like Fall for two reasons. The weather was very chilly and I made pumpkin cookies! I flung open the front door and proceeded to follow this recipe from Peanut Butter Fingers for two ingredient pumpkin spice cookies.

It is past 11 pm. Abruptly stop studying biology.

Assemble the ingredients.

Clean the pan you found under the oven when you moved in.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Check out how old my oven is, it has an analog clock on it!

Mix ingredients.

Spoon onto oiled or silicon-mat covered pan and bake for 12 minutes. I got about two dozen cookies out of the dough.

Lick bowl and spoons clean :)

Cover in cream cheese frosting, sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice, and enjoy.

These tasted good, however they didn't seem appropriate as cookies. They aren't very sweet so baking them in a muffin tin makes more sense to me.

Make sure to store in an airtight container.

Happy Fall!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The meat industry

It's gross. I don't want to support it. I am going to give up fast food again. Hopefully it will be easy- I can just imagine acres of cows, crowded together in huge pens, standing in feces, eating corn hauled in by trucks.

I don't want to eat cows pumped with steroids and antibiotics.

If you want sources, try PETA or the references or external links on this Wikipedia page.

I won't miss taco bell. Their beef was nasty anyway. What I will miss is Chipotle, but thankfully I don't have to. Most carry meat from supposedly naturally raised sources. Not all the meat is natural. At the Chipotle by my parent's there is a sign telling me the everything except the beef is natural. The one close to my apartment says everything is natural. The website even notes which locations carry what natural choices.

Other places in Austin, like Elevation Burger and TerraBurger, are also good sources of convenient food with a conscience.

I'm off to watch Old Boy and Gattaca with the Boy. Ciao.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Happy birthday to me, Bevo Spicy Chicken Sandwich, Kombuchaaaaa

My 20th birthday is this Tuesday, the twelfth!

Also known as the real Columbus Day. I don't know why, but sometime during my childhood the government decided to have a Columbus Day observed on the Monday before the twelfth instead (actually I probably just grew up and realized what had been there all along). But I know in my heart that the twelfth is the TRUE day. Anyway.

I decided to buy myself my first DSLR! It's a used Nikon D70 from a friend of mine. I've been wanting a DSLR forever, so this makes me very happy. Now I can take high quality photos of everything I eat!!!

JK. Hopefully this camera will witness the hilarity of my little brother, the funny faces of my boyfriend, amazing concerts, birthdays I won't remember (that's next year though), and everything in between. Of course the first thing I did was change my profile pic. Now you can actually see my face (and nothing but haha).

I am having a birthday dinner this weekend. I really wanted to have it at Eastside Cafe, but they will be booked. Now I can't make up my mind as to where to go!


Don't know Bevo? He has been the mascot for the UT football team since 1917, and ever since there has been an excellent, show worthy white and burnt orange steer named Bevo serving as our official longhorn.

What I've been pleased to find out is that some local Wendy's have been serving the Bevo Spicy Chicken sandwich. When I saw it, I had to try it. And I did. And then I died and went to fast food heaven. It's better than the bacon deluxe (my former favorite Wendy's burger).

The sandwich features a huge piece of spicy chicken, a slice of colby jack cheese, three slices of bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and chipotle mayonnaise all piled on a bun. I ate it with a ceasar side salad (sans dressing and croutons. I like to taste my veggies n_____n) and a cup of water.

Look at that beauty, just waiting to be eaten by a UT student. If you live in Austin and eat fast food (I tried to give it up for a while but I eventually caved in with the help of some drunchies), try this sandwich. It won't let you down. (Unlike the football team this year -_____-)


This is my after dinner treat. It's my first time trying kombucha, tea with probiotics. It tastes like unsweetened tea, with a hint of the peach mango flavoring, and a very tart aftertaste. I wish it was a little less tangy, but overall I like it. I paired it with my guilty pleasure, almond joy. I can never resist buying one at the grocery store check out line.

I am off to wash the dishes and read some British lit. Have a great Monday!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday Brunch

Currently listening to: Tighten up - The Black Keys
The whole Brothers albums is ridiculously good. Their previous album is also worth checking out. They have an essence of the White Stripes, Raconteours, and a little bit of the Kills and Broken Bells. If you even recognize any of these names, you should listen to the Black Keys.

When I wake up in the afternoon I disguise my laziness by calling my breakfast brunch, as if I chose to eat my breakfast later than usual. It usually works. On rare occasions, usually on a Saturday after a hoppin' Friday evening, I'll wake up at 4 pm and try to call my first meal brunch. But it doesn't cut it anymore. Everyone knows I'm just lazy :)

But today, I am actually eating brunch!

I enjoyed an egg sandwich (turkey, sunny-side up egg, pepper, and a dab of mayo on whole wheat bread), quinoa, and string beans. OK- I lied. I used THREE dabs of mayo, honey wheat bread, and I didn't finish my quinoa or string beans. I actually only had two bites of each before I decided I didn't want them anymore. They just don't taste as good when they're microwaved leftovers.

Doesn't that in-action shot of the sandwich look amazing? The bread soaks up that runny egg yolk and mayo mixture and it is just mouthwatering. My mom used to make me sandwiches like this with egg, sliced cheese, and mayo for breakfast on the first day of classes in elementary school. I took her idea and beefed it up a little with turkey to fuel my college days!

In my first picture you also see a little green pack and some blue pills. The blue pills are my UC medication. I have to take 4 everyday. I don't mind them because I can take them on an empty stomach and not feel nauseous, unlike the green pack...

The green pack has my vitamins. It's designed specifically for women by Nutrilite. Nutrilite carries a wide range of dietary supplements that are organic and all natural. Because they are derived from natural sources and not synthesized, they are supposed to be easier for the body to digest. My pack has 4 pills:

- Daily Multivitamin/Multimineral: Pretty obvious, the basic assortment of vitamins and minerals.
- Ocean Essentials: Fish oil rich in EPA and DHA omega 3's for brain function and blood flow.
- Cal Mag D: This one is specifically in the women's pack. It has calcium for strong bones, copper to promote collagen growth, zinc for bone maturation, and magnesium and vitamin D to aid in absorption.
- Hair, Skin, Nails: Also specifically for women, this pill has vitamin C, biotin, collagen, omega 3's, acerola concentrate, alfalfa dehydrate, glycine, grapeseed extract, horsetail, and l-cysteine. These antioxidants, amino acids, and proteins are the ones found in keratin, which makes up the skin, hair, and nails.

I've found this specific assortment of dietary supplements has really helped me. Before I was diagnosed with UC, I lost a lot of nutrients and experienced bad acne and brittle nails. The multivitamin and HSN pill help with that. The fish oil is good in general for everyone, but also specifically helps those with UC heal and stay in remission. Lastly, the cal mag D is great for me because I find I don't drink milk like I used to. Women need their calcium!

You can read more about the woman's pack, their line of vitamins (for men, weight loss, and sports nutrition), their other products (earth-friendly cleaning products, make up, etc.), and the company's principles at the link above.

The link goes through my Mom's portal-- she's a seller. The company (Amway) works a lot like Mary Kay. If you are interested in anything let me know, my mom will probably be able to hook you up with a discount.

The rest of this lovely Friday I'm going to help my friend unpack at her new apartment. Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap

I would like to start out this post by saying that today I FINALLY went to the grocery store. I loaded my cart up with all sorts of veggies-- broccoli, string beans, corn, carrots, romaine hearts, celery, cucumber, and grape tomatoes. Not very adventurous in my choices but it didn't matter to me, I just needed some green in my life again. When I got home I ate a huuuuge salad for dinner. I am satisfied once again :)

I almost want to profess my love for veggies in a tattoo. Our names enclosed in a sketched heart, like you see scratched in on trees. SKP + Veggies 4 Ever.

On to Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap, which I use for body wash. I bought the almond scent and it is just heavenly. I seriously want to take a shower right now just so I can smell the soap. Here's what else I like about it:

- the ingredients list is nice and natural. No sodium laurel/laureth sulfate (SLS) here!

- I have read a few blogs where people use Dr. Bronner's to make laundry and even dishwasher detergent with it. That tells me people trust it both as gentle enough to not irritate skin when wearing the clothes, and as safe enough to clean the plate they eat off of. Another plus!

- For the past two or three weeks I've had a strange rash (or persistent bug bites) behind my knees. For at least two weeks I had bright red bumps. They were so gross looking I didn't want to wear shorts. After using the soap, I found that the following day the rash/bite was no longer red and completely flat. It is not completely gone but I feel like the soap has helped calm whatever irritation it is.

I even used it to wash my hair! I don't really recommend this... Haha. I only did so once because my current shampoo really irritates my scalp-- it gives me the itchies and every now and then flakes. Ew.

What I don't like about the soap holds true for all bars I've experienced; although lathery and lubricant at first, the soap leaves a weird film of almost sticky, water repellent material. The oil in the soap, perhaps?

I was previously using Pure & Natural's Almond Oil and Cherry Blossom scented body wash. I don't like it for two reasons; it has SLS and the scent wasn't so great. If you haven't already, I urge you to watch Annie Leonard's The Story of Cosmetics, where she talks about SLS a little. It's in the same format as The Story of Stuff. If you haven't seen that then definitely watch it also. You can find it at the same site. Leonard goes through US and global problems that we rarely think about day to day, but that we impact (and are affected by) through almost every choice we make.

I would definitely recommend Bronner's for people with sensitive skin or anyone who just wants to live life with less chemicals infused into their skin.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Whole Foods Gift Card

Sing the title to "Ice Cream Paint Job."

Clean on the inside green on the outside
Clean on the inside green on the outside
Clean on the inside green on the outside
Clean on the inside green on the outside
Whole foods gift card.

Hehe. :)

My dad gave me a Whole Foods gift card while I was attending UTSA last spring. I never got a chance to use it because the closest Whole Foods was about 30 minutes away, and I *extremely* dislike driving in San Antonio ( I ALWAYS get lost somehow).

Recently I stumbled upon the gift card hidden in my wallet. I felt kind of like Sméagol when he discovered the ring.

I was so excited to go, I even dressed the part.

I bought a shirt with this design from Threadless back in the day, and what do you know they still sell them. Just an FYI, my Threadless shirts did shrink a bit more than I anticipated. Luckily this one shrunk perfectly. I look hot in it. Just sayin'.

Here is my haul. Can you believe this little bit of food cost me $34.26!? Well, I did buy some "superfoods," that are supposed to be dense in their nutritional values. I've had about half of these items before-- the other half I'm trying for my First Time. I'm denoting them with an asterisk here.

*Kaia Foods Chili Lime Kale Chips $4.99 - I've been wanting to try kale chips but was too scared to make them on my own. These tasted funky but I'm willing to try another brand before I swear off kale chips forever.
Two organic gala apples $1.39 - I'll probably have one of these with breakfast tomorrow.
Bolthouse Farms Green Goodness $3.99 - Probably the best value in the whole store. This is basically your green smoothie, premade. It's great because I don't have a blender. It also has spirulina and algae in it, stuff I wouldn't have put in my smoothies anyway.
Kashi GoLean Crunch! $2.99 - I used to eat nothing but cereal during my early HS days, and this was one of my favs. Watch out though, some of the granola nuggets are Really Crunchy.
*MaraNatha Crunchy Almond Butter $5.99 - Yummmm. Is the Whole Foods brand almond butter REALLY $13.99?
*Navitas Goji Berries $5.99 - These tangy little dried berries are yummy on top of my cereal or yogurt bowls. I will be buying these antioxidant powerhouses again.
*Navitas Raw Cocoa Nibs $5.99 - These taste great - at first. They have a very bitter aftertaste, something that probably has to do with the chocolate liqueur in the ingredients list. Next time I will try another brand.
Almond Dream Enriched Original $2.69 - No one can deny the smooth creaminess of almond milk.

You will definitely be seeing some future posts about how I incorporate some of these into my diet!

Have you had any of these items before? What's your favorite brand?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Juicy Salmon

Yup, that's what I've been eating a lot of recently! I've acquired the Boy's George Foreman grill, which is perfect for almost everything, and so so easy.

Here are my recent eats. I haven't bought new batteries for the camera yet, so these cell phone pics will have to continue to suffice. Sorry Y'all!

Mmm, this salmon is SO good. It is very juicy and moist when cooked on the George Foreman. I just toss these defrosted slabs on, shut the lid, and wait four minutes for a decadent main course. Usually I season these beforehand, but I forgot and was able to taste the salmon in all its glory. Very good. But I couldn't resist sprinkling a little lemon pepper on top to amp up my flavorgasm. I also had a mixed greens salad, some broccoli fettuccine alfredo, and lightly salted green beans.

Looks very appetizing, eh? I made this egg scramble with bella mushrooms, broccoli, and onions. I resisted the urge to put on cheddar cheese, and guess what? It tasted like there was cheese! I think the mushrooms tricked me. Those little devils. I'll be eating a lot more of them in the future.

This is another bahn mi sandwich, this time from Tam Deli and Cafe. I had veggie spring rolls, a tofu stir-fry bahn mi, and some French cream puffs. The sandwich itself was ok, but the spring rolls were very fresh and plump. I also tried vietnamese coffee, which is just black coffee mixed with sweetened condensed milk, for the first time and I'm hooked. I've never had this flavor before. I like my coffee strong and the condensed milk added just the right amount of sweetness. I will visit again because 1) the spring rolls 2) the coffee 3) the cream puffs 4) Yelp is all over diz bitch.

Can you tell I used the GF grill? I seasoned these tenders with salt, pepper, and a dash of sugar (on a random whim). It kind of caramelized and added this extra oomph I've never had before. It was good but maybe a little too sweet (even for 1 teaspoonish). Served with green beans, leftover pasta, salad, and celery sticks.

This chocolate is GOOD! The sweet and spicy taste and the granular texture of the ginger is just amazing mixed with dark chocolate. My only complaint is not enough ginger! In the back is dark chocolate with cherries and almonds, also very noteworthy.

Yes, I did buy a giant bag of frozen chicken tenders and yes, this is what I'll be eating for a while. This time I baked them in the toaster oven with salt, pepper, olive oil, and a little (little too much that is) sage. Clockwise from top right: broccoli, cucumber, carrot, and celery, romaine lettuce with pecans and walnuts, chicken, and some really wicked sports shapes macaroni. I omitted the butter and added maybe two tablespoons of nutritional yeast, along with some extra milk.

I'm sorry! This breakfast looks even worse than the last one. For this scramble I used leftover chicken, shredded, and some cheddar. The sage tasted really good with the eggs. I also had a blob of Greek yogurt with a dollop of strawberry preserves. I think I'm getting the hang of Greek yogurt! Yippee!

This is what I eat when I'm out (and I mean OUT) of veggies. I don't have anything! Except for a small bunch of leftover parsley, which makes its debut in this naked spaghetti. I made it with a little olive oil, pepper, and chopped parsley. It was very good, but felt subpar because I didn't have any Parmesan. (Side note: I love HEB! I bought parmesan which turned out moldy, and without a receipt they gave me a full refund. That's customer service. Hearts.) Served with GF grill'd salmon.

What do you do when you have no food? No, not go to the grocery store. You go out to eat! This is a chicken guacamole BLT from Hyde Park Bar and Grill. I had it with a ceasar salad, sans dressing and with cheese on the side. I honestly would have preferred it without the chicken. And with avocado, not guacamole. I was really tempted to order the horseshoe, which is ground sirloin on Texas toast, with a pile of fries and cheese on top. I haven't had beef in a very long time. But I resisted! Go me. Maybe not next time, heh.

When I go out, I go all out. Fro yo from JuicyTart. I had chocolate, almond, hazelnut, and raspberry flavor yogurt topped with blueberries, raspberries, and a few chunks of chocolate. Like the sandwich from the Hyde Park grill, I didn't finish this. I was just too full.

And I had to study for my first exam at UT. Chemistry I. I'll let you guys know how I did.

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Picture Heavy Update!

Lately I've been experimenting with various foods I've never cooked before. Fortunately, most turned out pretty good. Here are the ones I photographed.

Salmon, pan-seared with potatoes, carrots, and lemon pepper. Served with a simple salad, broccoli, and a piece of lemon for some drizzling-action.

Chicken and cheese enchiladas, pre-baking. I used a mix of several recipes from google, but they all looked pretty similar to Jenna's from Eat, Live, Run.

Nooch! I finally restocked on nutritional yeast. This salad had sweetened pecans and walnuts, strawberries, nooch, my homemade honey mustard vinaigrette, and some random cheese I accidentally got instead of parmesan.

Italian dinner! My first time using ground turkey instead of ground beef. Tastes pretty similar when it's smothered in spaghetti sauce. Served with romaine lettuce and light Italian dressing.
Side note: Has anybody seen Baciami Ancora (Kiss Me Again)? I caught the Italian flick free on campus recently and I thought it was molto cute.

I made this one tonight. So far it's my favorite- I've been hankering for mushrooms ever since
I had some mushroom infused dish for lunch with the boy at Olive Garden recently. Turkey meatballs made with parsley, garlic, salt and pepper, served with mashed potatoes and spinach. I *really* wanted string beans, but I only have one pot... Recipe from Broke and Healthy.

Here is when I revert to using my cell phone because my camera battery died. I read once upon a time that easily visible fruits and veggies (as opposed those sitting in the crisper drawer) help people choose those over junk food. Well, duh! I'm trying to implement this idea into my fridge more. Here's my assortment of snacks for this week. Carrots, cucumber, and celery for dipping in hummus.

Things not pictured:

- Ravioli. Because it was an utter failure. It's not that easy, Jenna!
- Baked chicken. Oh my GOD. How did I never think to bake chicken before? I used this recipe as a guideline for cooking, although Sarah's baked chicken is literally making me drool. The chicken turned out so moist and flavorful. I used it in a salad and also a wrap.

Reviews and such.

Bite Mi has great Bahn mi sandwiches! Bahn mi is a Vietnamese style sandwich. It's really funny because everything one could find in pho is basically put between two slices of bread. Carrots, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, and meat. Here is my tofu sandwich. IT WAS GOOD. The spring roll, however, was a flimsy rip-off.

Ever heard of My Fit Foods? It is part of a new type of business popping up all over Austin, focusing on convenient, ready-to-eat healthy meals. My friend brought over this chicken dish and it was superb.

I finally got around to trying hemp milk and greek yogurt... and I am disappointed! Hemp milk is way too... nutty, and the yogurt was very sour. I'm still "training" myself to enjoy more varieties of healthy food (I'm a recent convert to mushrooms), so I may try these again in the future.

I wanted to share this little piece of art I made for my friend's new apartment. He said he was going to miss the pale green color his old room is, so I offered my creative skills. In the center you see the same green color (Pillow Mint by Valspar) surrounded by a newspaper collage. I think it looks pretty cool. :)

So that's it! I hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Soap Nuts, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Have you guys heard of soap nuts? They are actually the berries of the sapindus tree and contain naturally occuring saponin- basically soap that has many uses, including as laundry detergent.

I recently bought a sample from NaturOli for $1.95, plus $1.84 shipping on Amazon. To wash, you toss the linen sack with a five or so nuts into your wash and let the washer do its thang. You can reuse the nuts several times, so my sample pack is good for about 5 washes.

I chose NaturOli because they got the most positive reviews on Amazon. Most of them noted fabrics that were soft and required no softeners in the washing/drying process. My experience with these nuts is a little different. My clothes came out clean, with no scent (NaturOli notes you can add a few drops of your essential oil of choice to scent laundry), however the softness of my fabric did not seem to change. I may have not noticed anything due to the fact that I already use "environmentally friendly" laundry detergent, made by CostCo. It is basically the store brand of Seventh Generation detergent, also available at my CostCo.

Would I continue to use soap nuts? I think soap nuts are a great alternative to many common detergents that contain harsh chemicals. However, even if bought in bulk, the price of soap nuts does not compete with the price of my CostCo detergent. As of right now, I'll be sticking with the liquid detergent.

I do know the Kirkland Signature brand contains sodium lauryl sulfate, so that may sway me as I learn more about the ingredient in the future. This is my understanding right now: SLS is a skin irritant, but is not a carcinogen. Unfortunately, carcinogens are associated with SLS due to its production process- if done wrong, the carcinogens are produced and included with SLS in the products. I would love to hear any information you guys have regarding this issue. Thanks!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mexican Dinner Party, Hai Ky & Outback, My New Apartment

Navid's birthday was this week, so to honor it a few friends and I hosted a small dinner party. I was really nervous that the food wouldn't turn out very well, but everything tasted great. The menu included chicken enchiladas, bean and cheese enchiladas, Spanish rice, Mexican inspired romaine salad, vegetarian crunchy tacos, fresh guacamole, and bean and corn salsa. And of course everyone sipped on some margaritas. Except for me.

I was so exhausted from making the food (there was a lot) that I forgot to take pictures of the food! Not to mention people started chowing down right as it came out the kitchen. Here are some pics I did manage to get.


With the birthday boy

Some of them got him Disaronno. It was the perfect gift.


I have found my new favorite Vietnamese place. It is called Hai Ky and it is nestled in the corner of Guadalupe and MLK, right next to campus.

This heaping bowl of fresh ingredients was their chicken bun. I usually always order beef bun, but chicken is not only healthier for me and the environment, but also just as delicious as well. I love that they gave a generous portion of peanuts, rather than let it serve as only a garnish. Hai Ky is actually two stores down from another pho place I've been to, but the quality and taste are 100 times better (literally, read the reviews in the link). The cucumber was something I've never seen before in bun and gave it some great crunchy texture. I've only had bun so good at Kim Phung up North, but subsequent visits there showed me their greatness isn't always consistent. I hope the same is not true for Hai Ky!

While I've been trying to lay low on the eating out, I had to go to Outback to visit my favorite server and best friend. Shout out to Jessa! She supplied me with the greasiest (french fries with cheese), tastiest food (shrimp), delectable drinks (raspberry tea), and mouthwatering desserts (carrot cake). Yum!


So I've been talking about getting apartment since I revived this blog. As of now, I am all moved into a place and living the life. Here are some "before" pictures, since I am planning on doing a few improvements to the place, as well as some organizing (please excuse the mess!)

The dining room

The kitchen

The living room (yes that is a microwave on the floor)

Built in desk

The bedroom. I don't have internet yet, so Navid and I are mooching off the school. Unfortunately the only place it works is right here on the bed.

As you can see, my place is kind of small. It's about 400 sq ft. I think it's the perfect size for one. My place is definitely older than many of the student apartments around here, which boast stone countertops, laminate wood flooring, and other gizmos like updated blinds. Those things are nice, and I definitely wouldn't mind having them, but I honestly don't mind my set up.

It's all mine.