Sometimes, I Eat Cake For Lunch

…and other advice you probably never asked for

Tag: food

4 Weeks to Go

It’s been an eventful week!

On Wednesday, I broke out in hives (pictures happily supplied upon request) due to a surprise allergic reaction to some antibiotics. I had to be at school for a meeting in the morning, and while I did my best to avoid students (IT WAS ALL OVER ME) running into them was unavoidable (“Miss, what’s wrong with your face?”). Missing school on Wednesday shifted my whoooole week, because I missed a day in the middle of BOTH my heavily planned and very meticulously scheduled Capstone project, as well as missing a key day right before I was about to have my formal evaluation. This led to a lot of lesson plan re-writing and scrambling, but I think I’m almost recovered. 

I’m still deep into my Induction work (it’s the mandatory 2-year program I complete in order to keep my Credential), and I fell pretty far behind on everything so now I’m scrambling to submit that work.

It’s not all bad though, it’s just a lot. Speaking of, I think a color-change for this blog is in order. I want this blog to reflect how much I LIKE teaching, and right now I think the dreary black and white isn’t exactly cutting it. I’ve been pouring over the internet lately collecting ideas for next year, while trying very hard to implement changes NOW (because, as my Induction coach very wisely told me, next year will be too late to make those changes). These changes range from classroom management techniques to lesson designs to changes in my classroom set-up. I have a TON of ideas I can’t wait to put them in place when I have some room in my brain to think.

This weekend was VERY PRODUCTIVE and very fun. First of all, I ran a bunch. Stephen and I ran in West Hollywood on Saturday morning and it was beautiful, though I didn’t make it the full 22 minutes. Today I decided to push myself and ran even though it was much warmer than usual for me, but I made it the full 22 minutes with no problem at all! No heavy breathing, no pain, etc. This is an especially big triumph because I’ve been having trouble getting over the 22-minute hurdle for weeks now. 

We had read about a restaurant called Sycamore Kitchen on La Brea, and Stephen was intrigued because it had pecan rolls (he likes pecans). We ended up having to wait in line foreeevver, and by that point we were hungry enough to get real food. My pork belly hash was so worth it! I want to recreate it. Stephen got a BLT with added pork belly.

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Later that day we drove down to Anaheim because our friends Jackie and Roy had extra (very nice) Angels’ tickets. I really like baseball, but Jackie and I were both exhausted for various reasons and were ready to leave, so of course the game went past 12 innings. We all went to an English Pub afterwards, and my delicious shepard’s pie made up for the ear-splitting cover band music that was playing. 

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Oh, and let’s not forgot the espresso almond pie I had last night at Republic of Pie with Sarah and Andrea. Image

 

All in all, this was probably the most productive weekend ever in terms of the sheer amount of work I accomplished, AND the sheer amount of food I ate. 4 more weeks of school. Gotta make it count and stay sane! 

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New Shoes & Mother’s Day

First of all, new shoes! I ran in them for the first time today and they felt great. I can’t move past the 20-minute mark. That is, I’ve done 20 minutes once and for some reason haven’t been able to do it again without stopping around the 14-minute mark. Today I had to stop in the middle for about 60 seconds to adjust some things, but overall it was much more successful than it’s been! 

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Since today is Mother’s Day (and since I have a job!) I took my mom to The Little Next Door for breakfast today, and it was delicious. It’s my favorite French restaurant in LA (actually, it’s my only French restaurant in LA), but I love the food and the atmosphere is great, and I figured my mom would like it too.

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Mom ordered a frittatta, and OMG were my smoked salmon eggs benedict amazing. I’m going to practice poaching eggs soon. We also ordered something called a white infinity (the little white tart with the flowers) and a blood orange tart. I also tried the mint Moroccan tea (in the blue glass) to see how similar it was to the tea served in the Paris Mosque. It *was* similar (and it brought back lots of memories), but it was missing the thick honey that I associate with the other one. Another thing to try and recreate (which means I have an excuse to buy those amazing tea glasses!)

A Turning Point

My week this past week, I think, signaled a turning point in my classroom behavior and management. My Induction coach Karman came to observe the last ten minutes of my most difficult class on Friday, and she told me what I had felt myself: that there was something different about my presence and authority. 

I’ve been trying new techniques in terms of what I’m doing to signal for attention, and I’ve also been responding differently to student behavior. While not perfect, it has been the biggest “Ah ha” moment of this entire year. There will be difficult days ahead where students choose to ignore usual expectations (as usual), but this is a huge triumph for me. I’m trying to stay positive and consider the students who are with me, ready to participate and learn, and not let the students who (apparently) had pre-decided to encourage their cohort to rate me badly on the student surveys the school did last week. It also helps to consider that if I start the next school year as I have been approaching behavior this week, it is less likely that I will have a cohort next year who is so opposed to me and my class. Good things are on the horizon! 

And now for some recent cooking adventures:

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Stephen and I made lamb (I made the marinade!), red pepper green beans and very cajuny sweet potato fries.

 

 

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Bourbon-glazed (more like a sauce) salmon (MMMM), mashed potatoes and asparagus. 

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Mom made a jello mold!

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The return of my monkey bread cake.

 

 

 

Dodger Game and Korean Food

Yesterday, Stephen and I met EB and her boyfriend Joe and some other friends at the Dodger game. Image

We may have eaten nachos out of a baseball hat.

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Afterwards, EB and Joe took us to a Korean restaurant called Pot where the main dishes cook on hot pots while you wait. It was inside a swanky hotel, not somewhere I would ever stumble upon had they not brought us there. The food was amazing, and the best part was the frilly aprons they had for everyone to wear!

 

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New Orleans Highlights and Tidbits

*Café Du Monde: I kept thinking to myself what a great business model – there’s hardly anything on the menu (mostly just coffee and beignets) so everything is really fast. Even when the line was long we got to a table pretty quickly, and it was always efficient because the waiter took our order, told us the total, and then collected the money when he brought us our food.

*Cane & Table: This was the bar that I had decided I needed to go to after I saw it in Southwest Spirit magazine. It took us a while to find because there was no sign outside, and it was a classy escape from the touristy bars on the same street across from the French Market. For only 5 extra bucks, I got my mojito IN A PINEAPPLE. Money well spent. Also, the fried ribs with papaya chutney appetizer? I will never forget those.

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*NOLA Restaurant: This was #1 on Michelle’s To-Do list (plus it was the only of Emeril’s restaurants we could actually get a reservation to). Obviously, it was amazing (mmmm, Salmon). And it helped that EB’s incredibly generous boss told us to have fun and put $500 on the company credit card, plus taxis if necessary. Appetizers, entrees, desserts, Champagne, wine, multiple cocktails and $400 + tip later, we were very happy campers. Plus they had amazing service – I had never been to a restaurant before where the waiter gives you different colored napkins based on whether you are wearing light or dark clothing. We also really liked the waiters and manager, who were very funny and personable. Also, this meal actually moved at a normal speed – we found that every other sit-down restaurant we ate at took ages to bring our food and drinks.

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*Verti Marte Deli and Convenience Store: Marisa and Michelle and I came here for lunch because its very positive yelp reviews. We were looking for sandwiches and didn’t realize that Verti Marte was actually just a counter located in the tiniest convenience store ever. The 20ish minutes we spent waiting for our sandwich were pretty awkward because there was literally nowhere to stand that wasn’t in one of the employee’s ways, but our $12 fried shrimp and oyster sandwich was definitely worth it.

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*The Carousel Bar: #2 on Michelle’s To Do List. This is a bar in one of the more upscale hotels in which patrons sit around a (verrrrrrry sloooowly) moving Carousel, while the bartenders make drinks in the middle. We finally found four seats around the Carousel and stayed FOREVER  because it was so much fun.Image

*Pat O’Brien’s: This is a famous restaurant for Hurricanes. This was a nice part of our trip because we just sat outside and caught up for two hours while day-drinking.

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*The Garden District: Marisa and I came here for about an hour on Sunday because our waitress at Cane and Table had told us about some good vintage shopping in this area. As Marisa and I passed the Garden District houses via our cab, the ideas that we already had in our heads about relocating here turned into definite YESSES. I liked the French Quarter already, but this cemented in my mind how much I wanted to move here. Also, two amazing vintage necklaces, a vintage skirt and $70 dollars later, I was very impressed with their vintage offerings – I also enjoyed the spontaneous conversation I had in a coffee shop with a woman who couldn’t stop talking about how much she loved my vintage blue purse, and I loved that we didn’t even know each other and she whipped out her shopping back to show me the vintage purse she had purchased down the street just then.

*Our ghost tour: I really like going on nighttime ghost tours when arriving in a city so that I get a lay of the land (we did one in London and Stephen and I did one on our first night in Victoria). I don’t believe in ghosts but they are fun to go along with, and the history is usually interesting. The notable part of this particular tour was that everywhere our guide took us, there were always 1 or 2 other ghost tour groups within eyesight (often, telling very different versions of the stories our guide was telling us). I learned a lot of New Orleans history and next time I definitely plan on taking more walking tours.

*The Many New Orleans Wedding Processions we saw during our trip: This was honestly probably the highlight of this trip for me. If you’ve never seen a New Orleans wedding procession, the have something called a “Second Line”, in which the bride and groom, accompanied by a jazz band complete with a tuba, lead their guests out of the church to the venue for the reception, while singing and dancing and waiving white handkerchiefs in the air. I got really excited by all of these because they were just so ridiculous, and also because it was something that the other tourists were obviously excited by as well – we walked by St. Louis Cathedral when it was obvious that a wedding party was exiting, and there were many, many people who were not guests waiting eagerly with cameras. I think it’s such a cool part of New Orleans culture that is both interesting and is something free for visitors! We may have crashed one of these processions.

This video is from Youtube, not something I took, but you get the idea!

*Cooking Demonstration at the New Orleans School of Cooking: This is not something I would ever have considered doing had EB not suggested it, but I’m so glad we did. It was a 2-hour demonstration with about 50-60 people in the room, in which our very funny chef doled out historical information while preparing Gumbo, Jambalaya, Pina Colada Bread Pudding and the famous New Orleans Pralines, all of which we got to try of course. Some of what he cooked for us was better than what we ate in the restaurants too, plus they served beer. They gave us the recipes (all of which serve 15-20), so I’ll have to try some when I get home. Also, we were sharing a table with 3 ladies who were guests at a wedding procession we crashed the day before.

 

I had the best time. I haven’t felt this way about wanting to live somewhere for a long time. And then move back every summer, obviously.

Nick’s

Today for breakfast Ryan and I went to a place called Nick’s, which was literally in the most unappealing industrial bleak corner of Chinatown, but we loved it!

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ImageImageImageImageDelicious. Also, free coffee on weekends! 

 

Birthday Brunch

Ryan insisted on taking me out to breakfast this morning, and it’s been 4 hours and I’m still stuffed.

He had a Groupon deal worth $60 at this place in Korea Town that neither of us had ever been to before. It had this weird vibe of being set up like a lounge, but it serves breakfast, and it had lots of espresso stuff and Nutella jars and lots of big screen TVs broadcasting generic (Korean?) images and music videos. Weird.
Let’s just say, we got our $60 worth.

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Ryan and his cold brew coffee, served in a bottle.20140106-184059.jpg

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My NUTTELLA LATTE. This was probably better in theory than in reality because it was too ridiculous for my drink. Still delicious though.

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Brunch item #1: Honestly, this was just a sausage in a hot dog bun covered in the biggest over-easy egg EVER, but it was amazing. Have you ever wondered if hot dog buns are delicious when being soaked in egg? Because they are. Also, fries.20140106-184204.jpg

Brunch item #2: Waffle with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and carmelized bananas. Also, maple syrup. I swear this was on the brunch menu). Although, when we looked at the dessert menu to order dessert, it was also there.20140106-184214.jpg

Dessert #1: Tempura ice cream, enough said.20140106-184225.jpg

Dessert #2: Mocha crunch cheesecake. Slightly underwhelming, BUT than might have been because at this point I was stuffed and already had the flavors of Nutella/vanilla ice cream/maple syrup/carmalized bananas/eggs in my mouth.20140106-184249.jpg

At this point, we had only managed to spend $42 so Ryan made me spend the rest on MACARONS. Haven’t had one yet, I can’t imagine eating anything again, EVER, but they do look promising.

Christmas in SF


Part I: Cousins at the Academy of Sciences!IMG_0891 IMG_0892 IMG_0896 IMG_0898 IMG_0918Part II: Christmas Eve and Christmas!!!

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Traditional Mexican Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve at Elisha and Ricardo’s (not pictured: slow cooker carnitas!)

IMG_0938IMG_0940IMG_0942IMG_0946IMG_0948IMG_0992Part III: More fun!

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Too much food, too much fun. I’m in Seattle now and when Stephen picked me up from the airport, we drove directly to one of his friend’s house for more…prime rib. Not pictured from this trip: The ice cream lunch on Pier 39 and the gigantic creole dinner my last night in SF.

Food

Oh god, it’s been an unfortunate week full of crazy eating. I think I’ve only eaten 2 dinners at home since who knows when. 

Yesterday my friend Allison was in town, so we got expensive coffee at Intelligentsia in Pasadena, where a new ice cream sandwich place had *just* opened up next store. Clearly we couldn’t resist.

ImageChocolate chip cookies with mascarpone and fig ice cream in between. No regrets.

And then last night for some reason, my dad and I decided that it made sense to go EAT BARBEQUE on the night before Thanksgiving. 

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Pulled Pork. What is wrong with me??

It’s 11:03am and I’m telling myself that I’ll forego the entire Thankgiving dinner in favor of pumpkin pie at the end (and wine), but I think we all know that that isn’t going to happen.

 

40 Hours in SF

It’s been a crazy few weeks at work but I had a great weekend over Veterans’ Day.  To make a long story short, EB had planned to fly up to stay with Michelle and surprise Marisa, but Marisa and Michelle worked it out so that I ended up on EB’s flight to surprise her, woooo.

It was a whirlwind trip. Marisa leads segway tours near Pier 39, so we were lucky enough to take the segways out for free.

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We also ate a lot. Cannolis, pizza, huge expensive dinner courtesy of EB’s boss, fancy French breakfast thanks to Michelle, etc.

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FUN!!!