Thursday, March 26, 2009

Miso Soup Face Off

Many mornings, and afternoons, at work I like to have miso soup. It warms me up and fills me up with very little effort and calories. Recently I bought the Kikkoman brand as well as Trader Joe's to have a little contest between the two.
Each of them come in a little packet that I pour into my coffee cup and then add hot water to. I don't measure the water, simply add enough so the salt isn't too overpowering. I then let it sit for a minute so the tofu, seaweed and scallions can reconstitute a bit. I happen to love and adore miso soup and have read many times that it is a breakfast staple in Japan, and they seem to be healthy, so I have added it to my morning routine. Well I never really eat breakfast and just much on what's around if I'm hungry (carrots, an apple, string cheese, jelly beans, depends on what I have in my office. You know that they say- jelly beans, the breakfast of champions!) The first miso I tried was the Kikkoman. It was full of authentic miso flavor, as well as soft disks of tofu and the seaweed that I adore. This was just lovely. And for under $3.00 for 3 packets, not so bad a deal.

Next up was the Trader Joe's, pictured above. I was excited about this because my roommate hoards this stuff because it is apparently hard to find. Sort of like the TJ's couscous. WTF happened to that stuff? I used to get it and now it has disappeared. I asked once when I was shopping and they said it had something to do with the distributor. Whatever, I want my couscous back. Ok, back to Miso. TJ's came with little squares of tofu that never really softened up. They had the consistency of astronaut ice cream or something. NOT a good thing. And the flavor of the soup was just meh. It was grainy and too salty even though I added a crap load of water.
This is a no brainer, but the winner is...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Chinese Food

Friday, March 13, 2009

Hawaii- Part II: Dream Cake

Oooh, Dream Cake. I must say that it is perfectly named. Dream Cake is this light and fluffy air filled mildly chocolate cake that is from my favorite bakery in Honolulu. They also make Haupia cake which I think that I would swim in if I got the chance. Layers of coconut pudding between thin mattresses of fluffy cake (there's that word again, fluffy. But there really isn't a better word to describe these creations.) We were lucky enough to celebrate Maggie's birthday while on vacation. She turned 7 1/4. Huh? you ask. Well she was born on Leap Year, February 29, so she only gets to celebrate her real birthday every 4 years. But around midnight on February 28th, we brought out this lovely cake to surprise Miss Maggie with.
Mmm, I dream about these cakes. And I don't even have a sweet tooth!
I'll leave you with another lovely photo of Waikiki. It really is "just another day in Paradise" every day there, as my mom always says. It's hard to have a bad day in Hawaii.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Sunset from my grandparent's porch. That's the Waikiki Harbor and the Hawaii Yacht Club is there too. Where I had the best lasagne I may have ever eaten. I should have taken a picture.

Ok- I admit it, I've been a bad blogger. Well, perhaps just a lazy one. Part of the reason is that I went on vacation for a week. To beautiful Hawaii. I found a good price on a ticket and then jetted off to Honolulu to stay with my grandparents for a week. I am quite the lucky girl because I have lovely grandparents who live in Waikiki and like it when I visit them, so going to Hawaii is not that unusual of an occurrence for me, but it's not like I don't appreciate and love it! there's just something about the air there, or maybe it's the weather. It's everything. I love visiting my grandparents because they live in walking distance of three things, The Ala Moana Center (quite possibly the world's best shopping center), Waikiki Beach (self-explanatory), and the Outrigger Canoe Club. What's the Outrigger? Well I guess you could say it's like a golf club for canoes! And they have a snack hut where I love to get grilled cheese sandwiches.
But back to the food. I was lucky enough to have my girlfriend Maggie with me on this trip. I say lucky because not only is she one of my best friends and favorite people, but she's also an amazing chef. She went to the CCA (California Culinary Academy) and worked at Cyrus in Healdsburg, CA for the past 2 years. She's now starting her own non-profit called Koolinary. And she made us a lovely dinner one night in Waikiki!
We started out with a delicious salad of mixed greens, mango, crushed macadamia nut, bean sprouts and a gingery avocado vinaigrette (I think). The above photo is another photo from Tutu and Kane's lanai. That's what I call my grandparents by the way. Tutu means grandmother in Hawaiian, and Kane (sounds like Connie) means Man. this is because Hawaii is a matriarchal society and there is no word for grandpa, so they call them Tutu Kane, which means grandma man. This was too confusing to my brother when he was a kid, so they became Tutu and Kane. Or "Toot & Cane" as my dad calls them!
After our refreshing salad we were served the main course: breaded shrimp with rice and sauteed mushrooms, bell peppers, and onions. Once again, I couldn't get enough. And we topped this with a little of the avocado vinaigrette. YUM. Double yum. The shrimp were so good warm, and equally as good cold the next day eaten straight out of a tupperware in the fridge.

It was a very satisfying meal. Light enough to feel good in my bikini the next day, but so flavorful and yummy. Kudos Mags! And thanks!!!!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Italian Tacos?

Q:What do you have when you sautee carrots, onions, zucchini, and garlic, add some Trader Joe's portobello mushroom chicken sausage, and decide that as a carb you'll add some tortillas with melted parmesan on them?
A:Something delicious, and also perhaps the first Mexi-italian fusion meal I have made.
I know it doesn't look too exciting, but it really was just scrumptious. I'll have to make it again soon, as it was Johnny approved!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Everyone Has to Be Addicted to Something

So- it's time to come clean. I think that I am addicted to something and I don't know how to stop. I think about it all the time, crave it when I don't have it, overindulge to the point of sickness. What can I possibly be talking about? Well, namely this. I am addicted to Cheez-its. I don't know how it happened. I hadn't had Cheez-its for years. I don't even recall liking them as a child, but then one day someone offered me some and it's been downhill from there. I try not to buy them because I can't control my portion size. I eat handfuls upon handfuls to the point that I feel nauseous, like I do right now as I am writing this! Last time I bought a box I ate it in 3 days. That's too many Cheez-its!

I'm not sure what to do about my love/hate relationship with this small square shaped creature. I love them, but sometimes I think that they hate me. They run around my stomach expanding it and making me feel overstuffed and tired. Hmmm, perhaps I should keep the box elsewhere (co-workers office maybe?) and only dole out little portions to myself from time to time. All I know is that I must be stopped. Do they have a 12 step program for crunchy, crispy, cheezy addictions? And switching to the lower fat kind is not an option. They just aren't the same.