Monday, May 24, 2010

Time to catch up!

Jeebus. It's been awhile! Ever get those weekends that just completely slip away from you? I've been meaning to post for the past few days, but each time I ended up being too tired or in no mood to sit at the computer. Sometimes it just happens...and when it does, you guys get one of these ginormous posts!

I believe I left y'all hanging as I went on my first Sunset Run last week. First of all, this whole getting to a run at 6:30pm on a weeknight is a little harder than I thought. I sampled some of these since I had empty afternoon belly syndrome
and booked it to the Marina Green, getting there just in time to check my bag and pick up my shirt. The Honey Stinger Chews were actually pretty good and didn't give me any tummy issues. Hurrah!

Thankfully there was a raffle planned for before the run (yours truly didn't win anything) so we had a few minutes to get settled before we were off. It was a spectacular evening for a run - slightly warm with a bit of a breeze...paired with a gorgeous sunset along the water. We ran out to Hopper's Hands and back to log in little over 5 miles.

50 minutes later, I found myself back at our starting point with the DJ blasting some fun music and some fun snackies for everyone:
For some reason the popchips screamed my name. Pretty sure I needed salt.

Once the sun went down, the temperature dropped fast and I wasn't dressed appropriately in my capris and fleece. I grabbed a bagel and shivered a few blocks to the bus stop. Once I got home, dinner was an o so random selection of grape tomatoes and snap peas with Trader Joe's Edamame Hummus. What can I say? I was craving crispy, fresh veggies!
The hummus was ok...nothing to write home about. I didn't love it, didn't hate it, but I probably won't buy it again.

Half day Friday sort of happened this week and I made sure to pack a snack just in case I didn't get out on time. In my bag went this Luna Dulce de Leche bar:
SO glad I threw that in there. I was pretty busy so I didn't leave until close to 3 and no lunch for me! Badbadbad!

Eventually dinnertime rolled around and we headed over to Henry's Hunan in Noe Valley. Do I really need to tell you the first thing that came to our table?? TWO MEAT PIES hahhaa. Don't judge. There were 5 of us! I was SO excited for meat pies...the wonderfully salty, meaty filling with the crisp and refreshing lettuce and crispy, fried goodness that is the flour tortilla. AAAHHHH.

We learned our lesson from last time and split 3 other dishes family style. First up was the Spicy Curry Chow Mein with Chicken:
It reminded me of Singapore Noodles, but with fatter, squishier noodles. It also packed quite a punch!

Once our mouths were nice and warmed up, the Shredded Beef with Bell Peppers arrived:
Also a fire in the mouth dish...which was then followed by the spiciest (or maybe it just seemed like it after all eating everything else) dish of the night: Hot Prawns with Green Beans. Yeah, at this point, I forgot to whip out the phone to take a picture.

Everything was delicious and filling, but definitely saltier than I usually like. Let's just say I woke up to get water at least 3 times that night. In fact, I was a little concerned about my run the next morning. Oops.

Saturday morning was sunny, breezy (noticing a trend?) and a comfortable 50ish degrees. I hauled my butt out of bed and out of the apartment by 9am and once again, BARELY made it to the run on time...damn you bus schedule!! We did a quick warm up and then set off on our first 'long run' of the training season. I was scheduled for a 6 miler, but told myself I'd decide at the turn around point whether or not I was going to drop it down to 5. I felt surprisingly good the whole time so 6 miles it was!

I learned a few lessons that day...
  1. 50 degrees is only cold when you're not running
  2. 50 degree weather gear = capris, tshirt, thin pullover
  3. I'm bound to get lost even when I pay attention to the course description
  4. hitting start on your watch is always a good thing to do, especially if you're trying to time yourself
Yep, I forgot to hit start on my watch so I have absolutely no idea how fast I went. I know it felt like an easy run and afterward I was chatting with a couple girls and we figured it must have been done at 10 minute pace. Not too shabby for the first long run back!

I had to scoot out quickly to get some stuff taken care of at the new apartment (yay!) before heading out on a touristy excursion with a friend. Yeah...this starting at 9:30am on a Saturday is cramping my weekend schedule. Maybe it'll force me to run faster so I can get more done? HA.

After a long hot shower, I met up with a friend at Pier 39. Neither of us had ever been before, so it seemed like an appropriate Saturday afternoon activity...until we both realized we don't deal well with crowds. D'oh! We ended up doing a quick walk through, popping into the not so crowded stores and trying not to get blown away while watching sea lions
Um, it smelled all sorts of unpleasant over there. I have no idea why anyone would want to stand as close as those people were standing. Clearly we had a good view from above. Talk about a pile of lazy pinnipeds (you like how I just busted out a word from elementary school science class?? haha).

Friend and I moseyed toward Fisherman's Wharf in hopes that we'd find a crab stand. Friend mentioned she remembered standing and eating whole crabs before so we were on a mission. A little while later...TA DA!
We found the crab stand street! For $12.95/lb, the vendors pick out a decent sized crab for you and the guy behind the counter starts whacking it apart. A little bit of melted butter, a crapton of lemon slices, some cocktail sauce, and voila!
Commence first Dungeness crab experience.

Now I've mentioned that my very first whole crab experience was in Maryland, yes? We remember I'm an East coast girl, correct? Ok. So the dungeness's a big crab compared to the trusty blue crab. That's the first thing I notice. Second thing is that the claws actually have meat in them. Hey now!

As I snacked on my first piece of Dungeness crab meat, I immediately took note of the texture. This had a texture similar to a King crab (?). I guess you could say it was meatier? Then I noticed that the meat was a little sweeter than a good ol' Maryland blue crab. It was strangely delicious AND super easy to eat! Am I a convert? Not just yet, but I'm very excited to learn how California does crabs :)

With Sunday came a delicious birthday barbecue in Burlingame followed by dinner at home for the Lost finale (sniffle, sniffle). Selin was itching to use her new indoor grill, so we ended up making some Thai Inspired Grilled Beef Skewers with a Papaya Mango Noodle Salad. Nice and tropical for the last Lost episode EVER. Are any of you Lost fans? Thoughts on the finale? I felt a little gipped, but I'll accept it as an ending. I've never followed a tv series for that long before...SIX YEARS!

Thai Inspired Grilled Beef Skewers
1.2 lbs flank or skirt steak, pounded thin
1/4 c ponzu
1/4 c soy sauce
juice of 2 limes
1 tsp chili garlic paste
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp ginger, grated

Lay steak flat in a large rectangular glass dish. Whisk together ponzu, soy sauce, lime juice, chili garlic paste, brown sugar, oil, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, salt and pepper. pour over steak to coat and let marinate for 25 minutes. Flip steak over and let marinate for another 15-20 minutes.

Cut into large pieces and return to marinade for another 20 minutes. Skewer pieces and grill for 5-7 minutes on each side. Serve over rice, greens or noodle salad.

Papaya Mango Noodle Salad
1 papaya, slightly unripe, julienned
1 mango, slightly unripe, julienned
1/3 c carrots, julienned
1/3 c cucumber, julienned
1 package mung bean noodles, rehydrated
1/4 c mint, chopped
2 tbsp scallions, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp water
juice of one lime
2 tbsp fish sauce
1/4 tbsp chili garlic paste
1/4 tsp salad oil
pinch salt

Combine noodles, papaya, mango, scallion, mint, carrots and cucumber in a bowl. Set aside.

Whisk together sugar, water, lime, fish sauce, chili garlic paste, oil and salt. Pour over noodles and toppings. Stir and let sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes.

The beef was fantastic in my opinion. I'm so glad it had time to soak up all the tart/sweet/spicy flavors. In hindsight, I think I'd redo the noodle salad with rice noodles. I think they'd hold the dressing a little better. Ah well, you cook and you learn, right? Right.

Tonight, after some intense mattress shopping (who knew it was such a process??), I made it home with the intent to make something reminiscent of Chana Masala. I grabbed a package of Garam Masala, some brown rice (TJ's was out of the frozen Jasmine rice I want to try), tomato and onion. I was convinced I packed some curry powder and turmeric when I moved, but no such luck finding them :(

Instead I made do with what was in the kitchen and hoped it turned out okay. Enter Indian Spiced Chickpeas with Mango and Spinach.

Indian Spiced Chickpeas with Mango and Spinach
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 Vidalia onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 c baby spinach leaves
1 tbsp cilantro
1.5 tbsp garam masala
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp olive oil
1 mango, chopped

Heat butter and olive oil in a small pot. Saute onion until translucent. Add garlic, garam masala and cayenne. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomato, chickpeas, spinach, cilantro and mango.
Lower heat to medium low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

I really wish I had those extra spices to give this dish a little more flavor. Overall, it wasn't too bad...just missing something. I think that's why I ended up adding the mango. I was stumped and stared at the extra mango sitting on the counter! Mango is surprisingly good w/chickpeas and garam masala!

Of course, whenever I have something really savory and spicy, I crave something sweet. Lucky me, I grabbed a package of Fat Free Fig Newtons yesterday
Yeah, that's right. Fat free. There are very few foods I prefer in fat-free/low-fat form. Fig Newtons are one of them mostly because of the cake texture (and no, I don't want to know why it's firmer than the regular ones). Milk is another thing I prefer in fat-free form. What about you?

Ok, as usual it's getting late and I need to be up early tomorrow. Seriously need to stop sleeping at midnight! Hope everyone is having a great start to their week!

1 comment:

Jamie said...

i like whole milk. fat-free milk is like drinking white water.