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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Nook Soba noodles night: The magic of buckwheat noodles

Hope you lovely people had a wonderful weekend!

If you live in Seattle, you should definitely try Nook in the University District for amazing biscuits. I've been a fan since my first bite into their humongous crisp & fluffy biscuits of joy. Also, seriously, the owners are so sweet. And I like to support good folks!

So when I heard that they were having a special soba night, Ev and I made sure we reserved a spot. Oh yah, this is what I wore for soba night:

Hawks by Geren Ford mini dress ($4.99 thrifted), Trina Turk for Hue purple tights ($6), H&M fake suede obi belt ($13), Black strappy wedge sandals ($15), United Colors of Benetton black long sleeve tee
Yep, I have no idea why I decided to dress up like a grape! :)

We had soba tea, soba sushi (instead of rice there were soba noodles through the sushi rolls), oyster soba soup, and a mochi wrapped marscapone & strawberry dessert. It was TDF. I never knew soba could be like that. It was freshly made, soft and chewy... toothsome. Apparently, one of the owners friends had studied/trained at a soba place in Japan. So he brought his skills, soba flour, and even the gorgeous Wasara compostable serveware.

I've been to way pricier meals where there wasn't as much thought or care put into the flavors, textures, and experience of the meal as there was at Nook's soba night. Some of the touches I loved: a) in the appetizer plate, we each got our own piece of fresh wasabi root and a grinding board to put as much wasabi into our dipping sauce (for the fried soba chips) as we pleased, b) the little puffed flower shaped puffed wheat in our salad (a hint of spring), c) eggplant tempura! why don't more people do this? Wonderful contrast of textures...

Anyway, if they ever do another pop-up soba night, I highly highly recommend it!


Find an additional review of Nook's Soba night at Seattle Weekly by the "Mein Man", Jay Friedman, who also blogs his culinary Seattle adventures at

btw, when did biscuits become the next big specialty thing? I seem to hear about new shops popping up everywhere? Have y'all been to a shop specifically dedicated to biscuits?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fortune Cookie Words of Wisdom

I was highly amused when I got this snarky fortune. Someone at the fortune cookie factory is having waaaaay too much fun coming up with these

If you've ever wondered about the people who come up with the notes inside fortune cookies, I stumbled across this New Yorker article profiling one such note-writer.

What's the best/worst fortune you've ever received?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Animal times

Thought I'd do a quick post to update people on my furry children, particularly Budzor. Buddie has been doing well, he's got a lot of energy back (at least on his walks). His GI system still hasn't fully recovered from the radiation last year. He's on special food from the vet and seems to be doing ok with that.

Meanwhile, it's been great taking naps with Buddie

Or generally cuddling with him!

He makes really cute faces sometimes!

Not to be outdone, Tungsten gave the tongue-shot a go:

Asha didn't give me a tongue-picture, but she did sleep with her squirrel, which made for cute kitty photographin'

I couldn't resist posting this other shot of my cousin's dog, Alfalfa, who came wine tasting with us over the holidays

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cookbooks need a diet & advice on substitutions to make healthy recipes?

I came across an interesting (frightening?) study by Brian Wansink (researcher and writer on Mindful Eating) and Collin Payne (2009, Annals of Internal Medicine).

They analyzed recipes from The Joy of Cooking from the past 70 years (the book was updated every decade). They found that the caloric content of the recipes increased about 40% since the original publication, due to increases in serving size and ingredient substitutions.


I mean, I guess I didn't make the healthiest recipes over the holidays. My cousin gave me a donut maker, so of course I made donuts (they're so pretty!):

I know right? I start off the post complaining about unhealthy recipes, and now we are looking at pictures of donuts. but they are pretty, right?

We been making lots of homemade pizza:

I love this pic because it looks like a screen shot from a horror movie!! Watchout doughball! The hand is gonna get you! (after I make dough, I put it in yogurt containers, hence the tubular shape)

and I even tried my hand at making crumpets (unsuccessfully... they came out more like english muffins):

But, as I mentioned, I've been trying to lose weight. So I've been taking a closer look at what I'm eating and how I'm living. Since I love to cook, I'm now trying to figure out how to make many of the recipes that I like healthier (ideally without sacrificing a ton of flavor).

For example, I've heard of substituting applesauce for oil in baked goods (like muffins and quick breads). I also just read that we can use beans as a replacement for butter and oil in recipes. For those of you who've tried either of these substitutions, can you taste the difference (does it taste 'healthier' in a bad way)?

And beyond that substitution, I'm somewhat at a loss for how I can make a recipe healthier. What other substitutions do y'all use in cooking to make your dishes healthier?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I watched with anticipation....

but he made the right choice *wink*

Tag via free Valentine's Day printable from Mooo
Happy Valentine's day everyone!

Here's to the little things that we do for the people we love everday!

when the erv wakes up to unexpected coffee making

surprise cupcakes and flowers when I'm feeling down

Monday, February 13, 2012

Color me brightly

Thank you everyone on your weight loss tips and encouragement! I've now requested an invite to fitocracy (thanks for the suggestion gck!), following Lisa's advice I've re-downloaded myfitnesspal to my iphone (it has a waaaaaay more extensive food calorie counting database than the app I was using, LoseIt!), and I've been drinking lots of tea to try to curb my sweet tooth (fab suggestion Kimmie!)

I also managed to get several exercise sessions in since the last post (I think publicly telling y'all I wanted to lose weight helped with my motivation ;) ). I did several workout sessions from the Nike Training Club app I downloaded onto my iphone. It's got tons of workout sessions doing High Intensity Interval Training that I can do right in my living room! I love that it has videos showing me the exercise moves and the countdown/timer feature!

My friend Clara also sent me the NYTimes article on mindful eating. So I'm also now trying to very consciously, mindfully, thoughtfully, eat. The idea is that really focusing on the experience of eating the food will make you enjoy the food more (Hong, Lishner, Han, & Huss, 2011), and it will help you eat more slowly and pay more attention to your bodily signals that you're full. It's a tough one though because I tend to be working all the time, so eating has typically been something I multitask, but I'm going to make a concerted effort to pay more attention to my food while I'm eating it (and before and after).

Wearing: Lands End Canvas The Heritage Cardigan (Day Lily Orange sz XXS, bought on sale for $13.99!!), Banana Republic green v-neck tee (really old), Rave~Max~Turquoise Slim/Skinny low rise Jeans sz 5 (Ebay $5.24; similar here, here, here), Brown suede Zara ankle booties (thrifted $7; similar here, here, here)

Yup. I'm still wearing bright colors! I can't remember if I mentioned how much I love LE Canvas Heritage Cardigans. They're a fabulous slim fit, come in a bijillion different colors, and when you catch them on sale, they're an amazing bargain. I only wish they made the same style in wool as well as cotton for added warmth during the winter.

I wore this over the weekend to run errands and then to an early Valentine's Day dinner with Evan. It's hard for us to go out to dinner during the week, so when we heard one of our neighborhood restaurants was offering their Valentine's day prix fixe dinner Friday through V-day, we scheduled a nice weekend meal.

Enjoying an early prix fixe Valentine's Day at Luc in Seattle

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Catch-up Montage Sequence

Sorry y'all! I've been gone so long! Too much to catch up on so I'll just focus on some highlights from the holidays in this post. Imagine this as a fast movie montage sequence. By the end of it, you should feel like you totally know how the whole months-long experience of my life went :) j/k

I found this ridiculously awesome Paul Frank fleece adult onesie to bum around the house in around the holidays. Bonus: it has pockets! It makes me so happy that I so don't care that Ev laughs at me every time he sees me wearing it.

Ev's Holiday party was at the sci-fi museum (Cee Lo Green was the main entertainment). But I also totally geeked out at the Battlestar Gallactica exhibit they had going on. (Wearing Betsey Johnson dress I picked up when I met Ms. Betsey Johnson herself!).

Took funny family pics

I love seeing my grandma in these pics! I'm so happy she's still doing so great at 91! I really cherished the time I got to spend with her over the holidays.

Caught up with some wonderful friends

I adore this toothy grin!

I miss my bestie so much since she moved to the East coast!

ha! This guy in back did an awesome photobomb

Last week, I got my very first bowtie! and I even learned how to tie it! I bought it for $2.49 (including shipping!) on ebay. Next I want a cute plaid one!
here's an early morning shot at the bus stop. I was so cold (and pale... ok I'm still pale). And my lips were too chapped to smile!

I took this one at home when I got back. I gotta get my tripod set up again. For now, mirror pic!

I also have been crazy bogged down with writing. With the holidays and the lack of exercise, I've gained 10 lbs in the past six months! I'm still crazy busy, but I'm announcing it to y'all now that I'm gonna work those 10 lbs off (ideally by summer!).

Anyone have any weight loss tips? I've tried keeping a food journal on my phone, but I'm bad at keeping up with it. I've fallen off in running (was due to cold weather, but now it's just due to lack of time and lots of inertia).