Crockpot Productivity.

Yesterday, I was actually productive. And it was all thanks to a crockpot. Okay, not really, but there was something about starting dinner before noon that really allowed me to be more productive throughout the day. More on my crockpot efforts in a minute. In fact so productive in the morning that it was 11am and I hadn’t eaten breakfast yet!!

I get somewhat confused when I don’t eat breakfast. I love breakfast. But for some reason yesterday I poured my coffee, sat down on my computer to catch up on emails and peruse job boards, and all of a sudden it was 11am! I finished up what I was doing and was eating lunch by 11:45. A lunch fit for a queen! Or just a big salad, you decided.

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Romaine, red onion, carrots, cucumber + TJ Roasted Chicken Patty, with a little TJ Light Champagne Vinaigrette Dressing drizzled on top. So delicious. If you haven’t tried the Roasted Chicken Patties you are seriously missing out. I love them.

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They are perfect for lunch, and beat cold cuts anytime in my humble opinion. I also had a peach on the side after my salad. It was okay, but I am afraid peach season has left the building.

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After lunch, I got back to the computer to get back to work. They say finding a new job is a full time job and they are correct! There are so many different job boards to go through. Any suggestions out there on good places to look in the Bay Area? I’d love to know!

Since I didn’t eat breakfast my salad held me over until around 3pm when my stomach told me I was in need of a little snack. I decided to boil some eggs so that I’d have some snacks for the rest of the week as well.

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They turned out perfect. No green around the shell. Perfect. And delicious. I loved that it was still a little warm while I was eating it. The perfect snack. Okay, I am done saying perfect. Smile

After my snack it was time for a walk in the rain. I was planning on going for a run, but it was raining and I just received my new running shoes yesterday (Asic Gels!) so I didn’t want to try them out for the first time in the rain. I threw on my Hunters, grabbed an umbrella and took Oliver out for a brisk 30 minute walk. I would have gone longer, but it was all I can take. The rain was just so, well, wet! I was thinking about joining a gym, but I really think I should wait until I have a reliable income. You know, do the responsible thing. (I hate doing the responsible thing!) So I will hit the pavement today and begin working out, outside. Some people hate the treadmill, but it was always just so convenient for me. Maybe that was the problem? Maybe I need more of a challenge. I’ll keep you updated.

After the cold, rainy walk, a hot dinner sounded great. A hot dinner that was conveniently waiting in the crockpot for me. After dinner at The Slanted Door on Friday, I decided I should try to make my own Asian Pork. I looked around for crock pot recipes and found one that looked great to adapt.

Crock Pot Asian Pork Roast
Adapted from Food.Com

Yield: 9-12 Servings

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Ingredients:

  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (2-3 lb) boneless whole pork loin roast
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup agave sweetener
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • Directions:

  • Place onions in a 5-qt. slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, salt and pepper. Cut roast in half; rub with garlic mixture. Put roast in the slow cooker and add bay leaves.

  • In a small bowl, combine hot water and honey; stir in the soy sauce, vinegar, ginger and cloves. Pour over pork. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 160°F.

  • Remove meat and onions from slow cooker; keep warm. Discard bay leaves. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and cold water until smooth. Gradually stir into slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes or until thickened, stirring twice.

  • Slice pork; top with onions, sauce and sesame seeds. Serve with mixed sautéed vegetables such as bok choy, mushrooms + zucchini (I mixed the onions into this.)

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    I think this really turned out quite nice. There was a little heat, it was a little sweet, and the veggies on the bottom really worked well with the pork. I’d definitely make this dish again.

    I am off to go for a run. Well, let’s be honest, probable a walk/run combo. Need to start out slow with all these hills!

    Go Time + Stuffed Peppers.

    Good morning everyone + Happy Monday! This week for me is all about one this: being productive! I had my week off to get settled, but this week its go time. I am setting up interviews, applying for every single job I find and getting my butt moving by picking up my workouts and run, and really watching what I eat (and drink) for the next few weeks. It is go time. Time to set myself up for an awesome  new chapter of my life here in San Francisco. Time to get back in the game. Because let’s face it, the last few months I’ve been in limbo, and it’s time to move on to bigger and better things! And let me tell you all, I am more than ready. More than ready.

    After a weekend of indulgence, last night for dinner was all about balance. The weekend before last I bought a huge bag of bell peppers at Costco, only to come home and find a bag of them already in the refrigerator. Needless to say, I had a lot of peppers to use! Since I still had six left last night, I decided that stuffed peppers were a perfect way to use some of those up. Three to be exact!

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    Stuffed peppers are really easy to make, seriously! Just pick you favorite ground meat or sausage, your favorite vegetables and your favorite grain, and you are ready to make stuffed peppers. Last night I browned, sautéed and then mixed together:

    • Chicken Sausage, 1 pound
    • Mushrooms, 4 ounces
    • Onion, half
    • Garlic, 6 gloves
    • Spinach, 3 big handfuls
    • Diced Tomatoes, 1 can
    • Brown Rice, 1 cup cooked
    • Italian Spice Mix, 1 Tbsp
    • Salt + Pepper, to taste

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    Afterward your mix is ready, slice the peppers in half, remove the seeds and stuff. Place in a baking dish with a bit of chicken broth or veggie brown about an 1/8th of an inch high, cover with tin foil, and bake at 400 degrees of 35 minutes. Sprinkle with a little parmesan cheese and voila!

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    The steam was fogging up my camera, but these little treats were delicious! I love making meals on Sunday nights that can be used for leftovers during the week for lunch or a lazy dinner. Normally, I see recipes for stuffed peppers that use cumin or other Mexican-esque or Spanish spices, but this time I decided to go for a more Italian feel, and it worked!

    I am now patiently waiting for my new running shoes to come in, that will hopefully have more arch support than my current ones, and then I will be out for my first run in San Francisco! (Hopefully the rain stays away!)

    I’ve got a lot to do, so I’ve got to go! Be back later! Hope no one is having a case of the Mondays!

    Birthday Weekend.

    Whew. What a birthday weekend. Although I have to admit, it was not my typical birthday weekend, it was more age appropriate I suppose (aka I did not drink like a fish Winking smile.) I started my birthday with a little pampering by getting my nails done and a little window shopping. Even though nothing caught my eye it was a nice morning.

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    I wanted to eat at Swan’s for lunch, (best oysters I have ever had,) but the line was too long, so I ended up eating at a little Greek restaurant for lunch called Mykonos. The food was okay, but the best part was reminiscing about the time I went to Mykonos in 2005. Two of my girlfriends and I had a blast, and now I want to go back, as soon as possible!

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    I ordered the Falafel plate for lunch which came with pita, hummus, Greek salad, and Greek country potatoes. I probably just should have a had a gyros. I also ordered a Greek beer. I wanted a Mythos, but they didn’t have it. Oh well!

    After lunch, I headed down for a little more pampering, it was finally time for me to get my hair done! It had been wayy too long.

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    Look at those roots! I wanted something a little more natural and a little darker for Fall.

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    Don’t mind the champagne glass, but look past it towards my hair. I love the final outcome! (And the sparkling wine was delicious too!)

    For dinner my sister, her fiancé and my mom headed to The Slanted Door down on the Embarcadero. I started my night taking pictures but slowly forgot as soon as we sat at the table.

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    I started with a Gin Fizz (pictured above) before moving on too more sparkling wine. I love sparkling wine, and its even better when you are celebrating. The food was awesome, and we ordered enough so that I know that the entire menu is pretty much delicious. I am sad I forgot to take pictures, but we were all enthralled in eating and talking, so you will have to settle for a list:

    • crispy imperial rolls  with shrimp, pork, glass noodles and peanuts 
    • steak tartare  grass-fed tenderloin with mint, thai basil, quail egg and toasted sesame rice cracker
    • mesquite grilled lamb sausage and kusshi oysters  chinese black olive and preserved lemon relish
    • grapefruit and jicama  with red cabbage, pickled carrots and candied pecans
    • grass-fed estancia shaking beef,  cubed filet mignon, watercress, red onions and lime sauce
    • lemongrass grilled petaluma rabbit  with olive oil poached leg, braised fennel, thai basil, chive and lemon
    • cellophane noodles  with green onion and fresh dungeness crab meat
    • chue farm baby bok choy  with baby shiitake mushrooms

    I still cannot believe I didn’t take pictures. But everything again was amazing. The dishes are not too big, so you can have a little of each without feeling too full. We definitely still had room for cake!

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    After dinner my mom headed home and the rest of us headed out for a drink at a fun little bar up on Filmore. Overall, the night was fun, full of delicious food and family! It has literally been almost ten years since I was with all my family for my birthday! So needless to say, it was long overdue.

    On Saturday, it was time for one of my favorite things, wine tasting in Wine Country. Did you know I liked wine? Winking smile My grandpa also lives up in Napa, so it was a chance to visit him as well. We went to several wineries, including:

    Ram’s Gate

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    Hall Winery

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    Grgich Hills Estate

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    Rubicon Estate
    (owed by Francis Ford Coppola)

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    Between wine stops, we grabbed lunch in St Helena at a little café downtown. I ordered a big Cobb Salad to soak up some of the wine. Smile

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    Today, was just an easy day which was just what I needed after a long night on Friday and a long day on Saturday. I got some laundry done, went to brunch at B Star (honey lemon iced tea + huevos rancheros,) and meal planned for the upcoming week.

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    Now that my birthday is over its time to get back on track, which is exactly what will be happening! After all the planning, moving and birthday celebrating, back on track is what has to happen!

    It was a great weekend, with a great final dinner, which I will post about tomorrow! Hope you all enjoyed your weekend too! Good night!

    Happy Birthday to Me!

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    It’s almost hard for me to comprehend that I turned 27 today. I remembering being that little girl (the one on the left with the awesome shorts, more interested in my bubbles than anything else,) thinking 30 was old and thinking I’d be married with children by this “late” stage in my life.

    Life is not exactly how I thought it would be, back in my awesome short wearing days. But I have had some pretty incredible opportunities in life. I’ve traveled the world, lived in Europe, have some amazing friends, great family, and just have the best feeling about this year, being a really great year. (And no, I promise, I don’t say that every year.)

    I have a lot of fun things planned for this weekend, which obviously includes awesome food, great wine + probably a new purchase or two.

    Hope you all have an amazing Friday! And if you get a chance, have a glass of wine for me! Winking smile

    Tuna-rific.

    Yesterday was gorgeous, today the normal overcast returned to the City. C’est la vie. It was lovely while it lasted. I really don’t mind the cool weather, just as long as I can smell the Pacific in the morning, this girl will be a-okay.

    I woke up this morning and decided to to go for a big bowl of fruit cereal. I did half Maple + Brown Sugar Frosted Mini Wheats and half Kashi Oat Flakes + Blueberry Clusters (a new box I picked up at Whole Foods yesterday.) Oh an about a gallon of fruit on top.

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    Yes, I promise there is cereal and milk down there. I started with some banana and then decided to dump the rest of my fruit salad on top of it. Well, there was clearly more than I thought. I still didn’t finish all the fruit! But it was delicious. And fresh! Winking smile

    I didn’t do much the rest of the morning. Walked Oliver a few miles. (I see improvement!) Watched some TV that I’d DVR’ed. And tried to think of what I would make for lunch and dinner. Yes, food is usually on my mind.

    For lunch I decided to make a tuna sandwich. Something about it sounded so good to me for some reason. I mixed the tuna with a little low-fat mayo (something I rarely have when at home. I don’t keep it in my fridge normally, but since it was in my mom’s I figured why not,) dill, lemon pepper and garlic salt. I toasted a multi-grain sandwich thin, cut up some cucumber slices, red onion, washed some lettuce and grabbed some pickles and threw it all together with some carrots on the side.

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    I don’t know why, but it was sooo good. Seriously, the best tuna sandwich I have ever made for myself. And I have made many a tuna sandwiches in my day.

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    The saddest part? I’ll never duplicate it. It was a fluke! I didn’t measure the spices, I have no idea the amount of mayo I used. It was the first and last of its kind. And yes, I am still talking about my tuna sandwich. It was that good.

    Okay I’m off to start dinner. My sister is coming over and I’m making something Mediterranean-esque and, well, of course fresh! See ya later!