You are my sunshine, my only sunshine

July 23, 2010 § 21 Comments

You make me happy, when skies are gray

You’ll never know dear, how much I love you

Please don’t take my sunshine away.

When I saw these gorgeous sunflowers at the Farmer’s market last night, I knew I had to get them. $5 for a bouquet of sunflowers? That’s definitely a steal! Sunflowers are my fav and I thought it’d brighten my home :D.

Other finds from the Farmer’s market:

KETTLE CORN!!! Zucchini ($1.00/lb), OKRAS!!!, and a huge package of ground flaxseeds for $4 only! I was very very pleased :mrgreen:.

I had a killer breakfast after my run this morning…pancakes! It’s a new recipe that I jotted down before I went to bed last night.

Amazing Banana Surprise Oatmeal Pancakes

  • 1/3 cups oats
  • one egg white (3 Tbs)
  • one scoop chocolate protein powder (15 g)
  • one scoop Amazing Grass Chocolate Infusion
  • 2-3 Tbs almond milk (or any other milk you like)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • sliced bananas

Mix everything except the bananasΒ  in a bowl, and let sit for a couple of minutes. Spray a pan with cooking spray, and heat it up on medium-high heat. Once the oil is heated, turn heat down the medium. Scoop out about 2 Tbs of mixture for each pancakes (I made 3 small ones). Place one sliced banana in the middle of each pancake. Let it cook for about two minutes before flipping the pancakes over. Cook for another 2 min.

Arrange pancakes on a plate. Serve with your favorite toppings and devour!

I topped mine with watered down PB2 so that it has a runny consistency.

The amazing pancakes were accompanied by some sweet peaches and yogurt.

Banana surprise! (I had lousy picture-taking skills this morning)

Because of the Amazing Grass I did see some green specks in my pancakes. Some greens in the early morning don’t hurt right? Besides, I know all of you like downing Green monster smoothies in the morning too!

Yowza, these pancakes made me feel suuuppppperrrr energetic and awake afterwards!

Anyhooz, thanks Wei-Wei for notifying me that the cartoons that I posted in my last post weren’t showing up. Hopefully I’ve fixed it! Take a break, get some LOL’s in your system here.

Oh Friday…you are beautiful.

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Did you know…?

July 17, 2010 § 14 Comments

I know, I know. I’ve been gone for too long. Two days in the real world is equivalent to 2 weeks in the blogland. Hah, I feel like I’m referencing Inception.Β  GREAT movie by the way. It really got my mind all out of whack when I left the theaters last night. I swear I was in some sort of daze for 20 min afterwards, just thinking about the complexity of the mind, the conscious, the subconscious, the super-subconscious, the super super-subconscious…

Personally, I think the mind has nth dimensions.

Well, I don’t want to give too much of a spoiler for those who haven’t seen it yet. It’s something that you must pay attention to for the entire length of the movie, or else you can get easily confused. I don’t think I’ve ever concentrated so hard on a movie before. Ever.

So two weeks two days away from the blogland naturally ended with me having way too many pictures to share, so I’ll just give ya’ll some highlight ;-).

Did you know that cottage cheese melts superbly when heated up?

Lunch #1: Frozen veggies and spinach thawed in the fridge overnight, topped with cottage cheese, and microwaved till melty when lunchtime came.

Did you know that thawed frozen spinach is delicious with marinara and cottage cheese (melted)?

Lunch #2: Spinach w/ cottage cheese and TJ's Garlic Marinara sauce.

Melty and cheesy!

Did you know that you can make pesto out of arugula?

Roasted Squash with Arugula Pesto

(Recipe inspired from here; the arugula pesto from the back of the package of arugula)

First blanch about 2 cups of packed arugula in boiling water. Immediately plunge into cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain and use your hands to squeeze dry the leaves.

Two squished cups of arugula into one fistful!

About 1/4 cup of toasted pine nuts.

Blend in food processor the arugula, toasted pine nuts, some salt and pepper, a dash of cumin. Blend till you get a mushy paste. Then add olive oil till desired consistency (I added about 1/3 cup)

Kind of chunky pesto...

Also roasted some butternut squash at 350 degrees for 45 min, sprinkled with cumin.

Golden.

Roasted squash says: "Gimme the pesto and more pine nuts please!"

Complete meal with a side of Swiss chard sauteed with onions, crushed red pepper flakes and garlic.

Tip: roasted butternut squash is also very good topped with butt loads of parmesan cheese!

Did you know that I got a tub of mini plums for $3 (~a dozen) at the Farmer’s Market at La Verne on Thursday evening?


Did you know that I am currently obsessed with anything cheese + fruit related?

Sliced up and ready to be sandwiched.

Plum with Laughing Cow cheese on Sandwich thin. Yum!

Speaking of the Farmer’s Market, there was some sort of “petting” area filled with goats, pigs, chickens, and bunnies there?

What can I say? It was a sight to see. I felt horribly sorry for the animals, because there were literally a dozen or more 3-8 year old kids in this tiny pen, all chasing after some animal or the other. Of course, there were lots of shrieking involved as the children ran after the bunnies.

At least this little girl seemed gentle enough to the chickens.

Did you know that Chai Spice totally blew my mind away?

Obviously, I needed something to munch on while I read this boring exhilarating paper. Upon first bite I was taken back to when I first tried chai tea. This bar totally captured the essence and the spice of a warm or cold cup of chai tea!

Needless to say, my last Kardea bar was pretty darn amazing too–the Lemon Ginger. I am now a sad little girl because I have finished all my Kardea bars :-(.

I loved all of the flavors of these Kardea bars. They are true to their words in terms of flavors. Each bar was unique in its taste and with each bite you always get hit by its intense aroma of either chai, ginger, almond, or banana. I am a satisfied taste-tester! πŸ˜€

Anyways…

Did you know that last night, my boyfriend and I went to a Thai restaurant, where we were constantly attacked by flies, and the waitress was swatting them just a table next to ours? Um…yeah. Not a very enticing atmosphere. The food sort of made up for it though, but I don’t think I’d go back to get attacked by flies or the fly-swatting lady again.

Hah! Dmitri was trying to act “Asian.”

My turn. I always laugh at the instructions on the chipstick slips.

I don’t know why I had that surprised look on my face. LOL I looked like a dork.

Thai salad: Iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, onions, hard-boiled egg, with spicy peanut sauce. Plain, simple. The spicy peanut sauce was good though!

Pad-see-ewe: flat rice noodles stir-fried with Chinese broccoli and tofu.

Vegetable medley with rice.

And this! My fav dish: rice biscuit stir-fried with bean sprouts, eggs, and came with hot sauce. The lady said it was house-specialty.

Chewy and sticky.

Did you know that this wrap made the perfect post-run breakfast this morning?

Banana + PB with cinnamon on a La Tortilla wrap, pan-fried till crispy. Side of yogurt for some dipping action!

Gooey and melty inside!

That pretty much sums up the past couple of days when I was MIA. We’re off whale-watching off the coast of Newport Beach this afternoon! Since it’s blue whales season, I’m crossing my fingers that we’ll get to see some blue whales! πŸ˜€

Have a great Saturday!

Let’s go fly a kite

July 10, 2010 § 23 Comments

With tuppence for paper and strings

You can have your own set of wings

With your feet on the ground


You’re a bird in a flight

With your fist holding tight
To the string of your kite

Oh, oh, oh!
Let’s go fly a kite

Up to the highest height!

Let’s go fly a kite and send it soaring

Up through the atmosphere

Up where the air is clear

Oh, let’s go fly a kite!

You have to admit the Mary Poppins is one of the best movies around. When we bought our kite from Target yesterday, all I was thinking about was this song from the movie. Anyone seen the actual musical? Really want to go see it!

Our kite flying adventure was super fun–I felt like I was 10 again! We actually didn’t have much trouble setting the kite to flight since it was very windy at Santa Monica today. Well, I guess it’s windy everyday there.

While the little boy ran around some more with the kite, I kicked back on the beach and did a little reading.

I’ve only read a few chapters, but so far so good! I’ll be filling you guys in when I get through more of it πŸ˜‰

I was disappointed that it was muggy today at the beach 😦 And chilly too!

Anyways, while walking back to the car, we saw a few guys who caught a crab and something that looks like a shark. Is that even legal?! I mean, they’re not actual fishermen or anything.

Apparently, today was also some sort of “Anti-BP day”, and we saw this little protest going on.

Spiderman was also present to do some justice, fight crime, you know, the snizzles.

Before the kite-flying adventure, the two of us brave kite-flyers trekked through the Santa Monica Farmers Market in the morning. Lots of people, lots of fun, lots of sampling! I had so many sweet and juicy nectarines, plums, peaches, and grapefruits. They were unearthly good! All certified organic too! Alas, they were a little bit pricey for my taste :-(…approximately $3 per pound. So I only got two peaches for Dmitri and I that costed me $2.50. I couldn’t wait to try one so I immediately bit into one after the purchase ;-). Delicious!

I also got myself some dried strawberries. No sugar, no preservatives. All natural.

These tasted like jam in your mouth! Swoon. But again, 1/8 measly of a pound for $3.25. It was about one large handful.

Since we were around the area, we also strolled through the well-known Promenade on 3rd street.

The street was lined with shops, restaurants, and people. In fact, I think it’s the perfect place to people-watch. Anyone else have that embarrassing habit other than myself? I love to observe. I’m not trying to be creepy or anything, but I just enjoy seeing the different types of people, wearing various styles of clothings, how they walk, who they’re with, and I also like to think up of little stories for each person I observe.

We also saw this cute little house with a beautiful garden!

After much walking, Dmitri suggested that we take the bus to Westwood, which is where UCLA is, for some eats.

Westwood!

We settled on a little cozy restaurant called Falafel King. For $8.95, we got this much food:

I ordered the Vegetarian Favorite which consisted of 5 crispy patties of falafels (<3 ❀ <3), fried zucchini slices, 2 warm pita, and 5 sides. For my sides I chose mixed salad greens, peppers and tomatoes salad, hummus (!!!!), marinated mushrooms, and three of these grapeleaves things stuffed with rice.

It was so much food. Dmitri got the same thing but different sides: avocado, cucumbers in yogurt sauce, eggplants, lentil salad, and onion & pepper salad. We shared everything and everything was yummy! πŸ˜€

Our plates were left to this:

Just too much food! We got a box to pack our leftover food for dinner, which I just finished. Hahah! πŸ˜€

Dmitri wanted to take me to Diddy Riese’s, which supposedly has the best ice cream sandwiches, where you can build your own ice cream sandwich by choosing your cookies and ice cream. There was a line outside the store when we got there, but eventually decided we were too full to handle an ice cream sandwich. Oh well, next time we’ll know to save a little tummy room for dessert ;-).

Afterwards we just took the bus back to Santa Monica and then off to kite-flying! So much for my day in chronological order! πŸ˜›

I’m off to vegging out on the couch like a normal person would do on a Saturday night πŸ˜‰

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+ Are the items from your local farmer’s markets expensive or cheap? There is one Farmer’s Market in Claremont that opens every Sunday. The fruits and produce are slightly cheaper than the ones at Santa Monica, but I’m not sure whether all of them are certified organic. As much as I love Farmer’s Market, it’s not a place where I would do my weekly grocery shopping at. I can’t afford that with my budget!

Berry good breakfasts

July 10, 2010 § 11 Comments

I probably have said this a thousand times here already, but breakfast is definitely my favorite meal of the day! There are some many variety of healthy concoctions out there that you can create with oats, yogurt, whole-grain bread, cereals, muesli, milk, kefir, eggs, cinnamon, fruits, and…

You get my point.

For the past two days, I’ve been coming up with berry concoctions for breakfast. For example,

Oatie eggwhite pancakes (I made one BIG one this time!) topped with yogurt, Walden Farm’s sugar-free blueberry syrup, frozen strawberries and blueberries. And cinnamon. Never forget cinnamon. I actually used almond extract instead of vanilla like last time. I love the strong aroma of almond!

I don’t know about you, but I sure do enjoy frozen strawberries, blueberries, actually any kind form of frozen fruits just straight out of the freezer. No thawing, no microwaving. Just like eating a popsicle! πŸ˜€

Do you eat frozen fruits straight out of the freezer? Or do you have to thaw heat them up first?

Well, this morning, I was feeling berries again.

My carb of the morning was the breakfast cookie that I made last night and stuck in the fridge.

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1 scoop (15 g) chocolate protein powder
  • cinnamon
  • salt
  • sweetener
  • splash of milk to make it stick
  • coconut shreds

This morning, I topped it with, surprise! more yogurt. THIS morning, however, I heated up some blueberries and strawberries in the microwave with some Walden Farm’s calorie-free blueberry syrup for 30 sec. Perrrrrrrrfff topping!

The blob of sunflower seed butter says: “I’m on top of the world!” πŸ˜€

WIth some frozen banana slices.

Are you sick of seeing berries pictures yet?

But wait! I have more! Sorry if this is getting repetitive. By now you’re all probably like, Yes yes, Elaine, we know how much you like berries in your mornings now.

Bear with me.

For Dmitri, I whipped up some French toast with the last 3 pieces of sourdough bread we had. French toast with sour dough actually turned out pretty good!

BOO YA IHOP and Denny’s!

You’ll probably gag if I present you with more breakfasts featuring strawberries and blueberries. No worries, those are all I have for now. I may or may not have more tomorrow :-P.

Let’s move from berries to eggs shall we? For lunch yesterday I packed a semi-egg salad sammie.

Uhhh…semi-egg salad sammie? Yeah, I was too lazy to properly mash up the hard-boiled egg, so I simply sliced them up and lay them on one half of sandwich thin. I made a creamy honey mustard dressing for the other half that consisted of yogurt, honey, and spicy dijon. I threw in some chopped celeries for some extra crunch.

Lunch yesterday was paired with a big tubful of roasted broccoli. Give me the fiber! πŸ˜€

‘Twas a delicious, healthy, fiber-full, protein-packed, balanced meal.

What’s on my schedule for this beautiful sunny California weekend?

Dmitri and I will be heading out to Santa Monica Farmers Market right after I hit Publish. I ❀ Farmer’s Market! We have one here in Claremont, but it’s pretty tiny. We also bought a kite for $4 yesterday from Target! So after our Farmer’s Market expedition we’re going to fly it by the beach. I don’t think I’ve flown a kite since I was 12! This will be funfunfun! πŸ˜€

See ya later alligators!

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+ Flown a kite recently?

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