Tag Archives: ethnic food

Not a holy day

20 Apr

Welcome to my hell

 

I’m starting to give away all of my accounts at work to people on team. Which means, I have to go through 150+ accounts, see if there is any unfinished work on them, if I missed any defaults that haven’t been recognized and if not, go ahead and send glorious default letters out. Fabulous. So for the next week and a half, I am going to surrounded by files, looking for a new home.

Lunch was a beautiful disaster. Since I opened a can of refried black beans last night, I wanted to get to using them since it seems to take me forever to go through one can. I added salsa and cheese to a bowl of refried black beans and microwaved for two minutes to make bean dip with chips 

Ok, so it may not look delicious but how can you go wrong with a killer trio like beans, cheese and salsa? The plan was to have chips and dip, which is entirely appropriate, balanced meal for a 31 yr old working woman. But the chips I brought ended up breaking en route to work so I took the broken pieces and added to the mix.

Ole!

I tried this Acai Berry Boost along with my bean dip meal. I added half of the bottle to 32 oz  cup of water and it was quite tasty!

My friend and I had plans for dinner and the place were were going to for Vietnamese, Ben Thanh, was in a *ahem* questionable part of town. We drove together since neither of us knew where it was and hello, safety in numbers. But when we got there, it was closed. Like no cars in the parking lot and no one had been there in hours, closed. I thought this couldn’t be right since I’ve read fabulous reviews on Yelp about this place and didn’t hear anything about it closing so what gives?  I texted one of my Vietnamese friends whose parents own a Vietnamese restaurant to see what the deal was

Her answer was justifiable since I went back and looked at their website and saw they were closed on Wednesdays—doh! Justifiable also since it is 4.20 but not so much because I don’t smoke the gang.

We saw some lovely sites en route to another Vietnamese restaurant

I guess one could be laid back and driving however I was curious if he had matching socks on and was he going to put on his shoes when stepping out of the car.

We ended up at Lang Van by pure luck alone. I knew it was somewhere in a questionable area but wasn’t sure about the location and since the location seemed a little sketchtastic, I never ventured out to see where it was. It worked out perfectly since it’s been voted Best Vietnamese restaurant in Charlotte multiple years in a row.

I could see why this place was voted the best Vietnamese in Charlotte since they were mad people get their hump on their! Hmmm, that doesn’t sound too good, it’s not like an orgy restaurant or anything, they were just celebrating hump day. I could have just backspaced or deleted that line but I am lazy.

We started with an order of jicama rolls with Chinese sausage in them

I ordered   bbq meatballs with vermicelli however the meat didn’t look like meatballs when it came out. But then again when my friend ordered the #47, the lady told her “No, you want the #45” so she may have switched my order while putting it in.

Guess she thought I look like a girl who likes to eat meat off a bone? And she would be right.

This was a flavorful, light, hearty portion with a mix of greens under the vermicelli however I made the rookie mistake of adding too much chile sauce. It worked out there because the staff was on spot with refilling my water, I think I must have had 11 glasses or so of water to wash down the heat. I like any restaurant that is that concerned with m H2o intake.

I got a pretty rockin fortune as well so I would say all in all it was a successful evening rolling through a questionable area. I am now curious as to who this unexpected source is going to be? Maybe an ex-boyfriend will win the Powerball tonight? Time to start sucking up!

Do you like Vietnamese food? If so, what’s your favorite dish?

Do you have any fun driving quirks?

And so I whimper.

22 Jan

Ok, I hurt. Like really, really, really hurt. I haven’t hurt this much in a long ass time and the next day is going to be rough. Don’t worry, it’s not an emotional hurt, it’s all physical, all over.

“Why are you hurting so much?”

The answer involves two words—CrossFit.

Yelp sponsored a Cross Fit/Kettlebell class this morning at the new, swanky Metro Fitness Club. This place opened in September 2010 and I’ve been curious to see what it was about since it looked top-notch from what I’ve seen on their website plus they offer a number of programs such as CrossFit, kettlebell training, athletic conditioning and personal training plus offer the standard machines for cardio and strength training. I RSVP’d for this class at the last-minute last night out of boredom and  was just hoping for a good workout.

And a good workout I got.

I heard many people rave about CrossFit but never knew what it was about. From Metro’s website

   
  CrossFit is the Sport of Training. It’s different, it’s fun and will get you results fast. The camaraderie of our group training builds friendships, self-confidence and character. Our program focuses on varied full body functional movements that will make you stronger, faster, leaner and more powerful. Just come in and get started. You don’t have to get ready for it, that’s where our expertise comes into play! Everything we do can be scaled. If you are deconditioned, have a tweaked back or bad knees, we modify or scale our exercises and work load, so that everyone can participate. Our goal is to insure that you are working towards your potential with maximum effort in a safe environment. That means that everyone has different goals and ways to achieve them. We’ll get you there with great coaching, encouragement and support. See what our clients have to say about Metro CrossFit.

Hmm, still not sure what that meant but guess I had to go to see. When I walked into Metro Fitness, I was overtaken by the aesthetics of the place. It has orange and brown hues with very modern lighting and decor. I went into the locker room to drop off my stuff and while small, the locker room was visually pleasing as well and super clean. I started talking with one lady in there since I was wearing a WVU hat and turns out her ex was from there. I love seeing Mountaineers and repping my school! Turns out she was the General Manager and we would be seeing a lot of her in the next hour and a half. I met up with the rest of the Yelp group until it was time for us to start. We all moved back to the CrossFit area, not really knowing what to expect

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We did some warming up before getting started

 They started to explain what CrossFit was and how it worked.

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We split up into two groups–one for athletic conditioning and the other for CrossFit, I was in the CrossFit group at first and they put 15 minutes on the clock and we did as many intervals as we could within the 15 minutes

*250m rowing

*10 shoulder press and dips

*25 box jumps (I couldn’t do this so I just did step ups)

*5 burpees

And repeat. Doesn’t sound hard right? No. It was difficult doing everything so fast repetitively and my the second round I started to feel it. I had my heart rate monitor on and it was looking quite effective at that point!

Next round was athletic conditioning which I thought would be easier but again-wrong!

We paired up and did intervals at five different stations such as mountain climbers, sprinting with backpedaling, single legged jumps, step ups and hurdling. Of course, all of these aren’t the technical names but the best I could remember them. This absolutely kicked my ass. I kept telling my partner that my knees were burning and could feel my butt jiggling and she laughed and told me then it was working and I just shot her a death look from all her enthusiasm!

Soon after, we did our cool down along with stretching and complimentary smoothie samples (absolutely delicious, the strawberry banana was my favorite).

I was cursing the workout while doing it but shouldn’t have because check out this calorie burn! 

Holy crap!! And my high heart rate was 197–absolutely ridiculous but it was really effective and have no doubt that it brings results. The staff at Metro Fitness was absolutely wonderful, supportive and friendly. I was expecting a bit of a Biggest Loser scenario  and if I heard a phrase like “We got some heroes up in this place!” like Bob always chants, I swore I would’ve gone ape-shit but no go. I definitely recommend this to anyone out there that wants to be challenged!

Thanks Metro Fitness and Yelp for sponsoring this challenging, sweaty event!

Afterwards, there was yet another Yelp event to attend-it was the day of Yelp apparently! This one was for lunch (much-needed after a 800 calorie burning workout) to try some pupusas at a local El Salvadorian restaurant-El Pulgarcito de America.

I had no clue what a pupusa was so I had to google it and this is what I found on Wiki:

A pupusa (from Pipil pupusawa) is a traditional Salvadoran dish made of thick, hand-made corn tortilla (made using masa de maíz, a maize flour dough used in Latin American cuisine) that is filled with a blend of the following: cheese (queso) (usually a soft cheese called Quesillo found in all Central America), cooked pork meat ground to a paste consistency (called chicharrón, not to be confused with fried pork rind, which is also known as chicharrón in some other countries), squash (ayote), or (pataste), refried beans (frijoles refritos), or queso con loroco (loroco is a vine flower bud from Central America). Pupusas are typically served with curtido (lightly fermented cabbage slaw with red chilies and vinegar) and a watery tomato salsa.

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Slap me on the butt and call me intrigued b/c I was ready to get my pupusa on!

I ordered two pupusas

Under the hood shot…..

I also ordered a chicken tamale which wasn’t so good. It was too soggy and kept breaking apart

I loved the pupusas! I got mine filled with beans and cheese and they were hearty, tasty and full of queso. I loved it and had to stop myself from scarfing them down. Yay for trying new things! This place was super cheap. It was only $1.50/pupusa so I ordered two and $2 for the chicken tamale since that was the perfect amount of food for lunch. My bill? $6.60 for two pupusas, tamale and a diet coke. I will be coming back here fo sho-if you’re in the Charlotte area and want to take a chance on something new–try out El Pulgarcito de America. It’s in a bit of a sketch area on Central Avenue but worth a visit (during the day time at least)

Afterwards, another Yelper and I decided to check out  Central Coffee in Plaza Midwood. I follow them on Twitter and Facebook and they are a relatively newer company that I have been meaning to try.  We had coffee in house, served in a mismatching saucer set-just my style.  I’m not a saucer kinda girl at all but it was lovely and so was the Central Shorty (how cute of a name for a drink is that??)

 I kept looking for images of Jesus or the Virgin Mary in my coffee but no go.However, I think I saw a heart  which was appropriate because I fell in love with CC today.

It was nice to sit, enjoy a cup of coffee with no rush for time and talk. This is going to be my new go to spot for coffee and free Wi Fi access when I’m in the Plaza area.

When I got back home, Lincoln was super excited to see his momma and I wanted to take him out for a long walk but I was too achey too so we went out for a bit and tried to exhaust as much energy from him as possible. Then, all I wanted to do for the rest of the day was shower, get in comfy clothes and sleep on the couch. It was wonderful. When I woke up, I had plans on making pasta but really didn’t want to stand up or do anything that didn’t involve sitting so I ordered an individual sized pizza from Donato’s and it hit the spot!

Awwww yeah.

The rest of the night will be spent with little man.

 I just want to lounge, cuddle with him and whimper. Not asking for too much right?

And for those who asked about the marinade I used on the fail of a tofu the other night—it’s from Cloister Honey, a local company here in Charlotte.  I believe they deliver so you should check out their website, they also offer an infused vanilla honey.

Have you ever tried CrossFit?

 If so, what are your thoughts on it?

If not, do you have any interest in trying it?

Apparently

18 Jan

Apparently, I should scour Target’s clearance aisles more often. I found a new drink that I love and only 100 calories! Four pack for only $4.24!

Apparently, my co-workers think I am a vampire since I am bundled up in my scarf, hat and fingertipless gloves all the time.

I hate hot weather but I would rather be hot inside than cold but at least I can rock my new gloves while working!

Apparently, a lot more people love Gilmore Girls than I originally thought. Thanks for sharing on yesterdays post!

Apparently, my mouth was still craving flavors from this weekend. So to make said mouth happy, I made a Mediterranean salad with baby spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, falafel  and tzaziki sauce.

 I also added extra parsley and mint to give it a little more pop. And pop it did! The flavor really came out with that along with the falafel and tzaziki sauce.

Apparently, my latest pet peeve is when people ask “How’s it going?” or “How are you?” and don’t even bother to listen to my response. If you want to be semi-cordial, just say hi! If not, I will give you a snarky response and continue to serve you.

Apparently, cutting down on Starbucks is a good thing. I didn’t run to my local Bucks when I heard about their new Trenta size they were rolling out today.

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Do I really need 31 oz of coffee on top of my getting ready- in- the -morning coffee? The answer sadly is no (especially after seeing the picture above) but I still want to try it! Maybe one of these days when I don’t plan on sleeping anytime soon. Apparently,  I’m a glutton for punishment.

It reminds me of one of my favorite movies-Reality Bites and their love for the Big Gulp because I can totally agree…..just coffee instead of the Big Gulp

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“I like the 44 ounce Big Gulp. I buy one in the morning and I have all the nutrients I need for the whole day.” Amen, Leilani.

Random fun fact-I sing “My Poohuahua” to Lincoln to the tune of “My Sharona”, apparently, I thought you all wouldn’t be able to sleep tonight without knowing that. Great soundtrack as well!

Apparently, I was craving bar food for dinner.

I had some wings from this weekend that I wanted to eat but that wouldn’t be enough. But I really wanted some bad, greasy bar food. Not wanting to go out or spend any money, I made a trio of wings, quesadilla and nachos.  Besides the wings, tried to lighten up the rest of the meal by using minimal cheese and shrinking the portions.

I started by cooking spinach, onion and corn on the stovetop with a spoonful of extra virgin olive and chile powder

Flippin fantastic meal! Exactly what I needed on a cold, rainy Tuesday night.

Apparently, someone beat me in my sleep since this is what tonight is looking like

I was supposed to go to a happy hour after work but my quadricep was thinking otherwise. I think I pulled or strained a muscle. It hurts no matter what-if I extend my leg, sit down, step down,etc. Times like this make me wish I had a bathtub again b/c this girl could use a long soak. This needs to go away soon.

Last but not least, apparently, it’s my blogs one year birthday! WOW , I cannot believe how quickly times flies when you’re blogging! I can’t even begin on how happy this past year of blogging has made me and how I’ve met so many great people along the way!  Thanks to all who have stopped along the way, read my ramblings, left comments along the way, offered me encouragement  and continue to read often–I really appreciate you stopping by my little blog 🙂

Weekend reunion

16 Jan

Hi All! This weekend has been so fun and fabulous it’s a shame it went by so quickly! One of my best friends from college came into town to hang for a couple of days in Charlotte. She is in the Army and will be moving to Colorado this spring so it’s one of the last times we will get to hang out for an extended amount of time while she’s on the East Coast.

On Saturday, we went to Yelp’s Charlote Elite Event: Holiday Detox at the Breathing Room yoga studio. The fun included an hour-long yoga session, complimentary grub from Blynk Organic, tons of Vitamin Water (including a lot of swag!), champagne provided by Palm Bay International, free hand massages and manicures and mini massages. Yeah, it was awesome. Even more awesome that it was free just for being Elite ’11!

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Vitamin Water Champagne Dreams!

I got my nails done in Luxedo by Essie

Plus TONS of free goodies courtesy of Vitamin Water!!

Tote
Yoga Mat + Bag
Grey T Shirt with Yelp and Vitamin Water logos
Lavender Eye Mask
Spa set

Such a fun time! Don’t worry, Lincoln wasn’t neglected at all. We got back home and watched the Steelers-Ravens game before we were to head out. Lincoln was showing his team spirit!

It was great to see her this wknd, it’s funny how you can go without seeing someone for a long time but then when we reunite, things are the same and not awkward at all. I like to think we haven’t aged that much either

Oh to be young again!

This afternoon, I hit up the Y and had an amazing workout! I did 35 minutes on the Precor Crossramp elliptical then did

* seated leg adductions (100 lbs 15 reps, 3 sets) 

 * seated leg abductions (140 lbs 15 reps, 3 sets) 

*leg extensions (65 lbs 13 reps, 4 sets)

*leg curls (50 lbs, 3 sets)

Of course I had some freak next to me when I was on the elliptical. This older guy was going ballistic on the machine next to me and he kept grunting and hitting the machine with his fists-wtf?? I turned up my music in an attempt to drown him out but it did nothing and he kept getting louder. Thankfully, he finished about 10 minutes into my workout but I was trying not to stare at him and say something. Don’t need to me burning bridges this early into my membership but yeah, he was a freak.

So happy to be back at the Y. Working out at home just wasn’t cutting it for me and unfortunately, my pants can attest to that as I’ve gained weight ever since I stopped running. I definitely need a consistent cardio routine in my life and am looking forward to more workouts.

My body was a bit confused with the 50 degree, sunny weather we had today. It’s been so miserable and dreary this week (which I am weird because I love that kind of weather) so I was surprised to see the sun again. I stopped by Dairy Queen after going to hood Wal Mart and picked up a cherry Artic Rush. But when I went, I ordered a Mr. Misty because that’s what I’ve known it as so it took a few seconds for us to communicate with each other as to what I wanted. When did this whole name change nonsense happen?

Dairy Queen, will you marry me?

Lunch was an oldie but goodie—nachos! I love love love nachos but haven’t made any in awhile, which makes me sad. So to happify myself, I whipped up a plate in no time! I used these chips as they are my latest obsession and way better than Baked Scoops.

I topped with black beans, fresh jalapeno and cheese for a simple meal then mixed plain greek yogurt and salsa in a bowl for dipping

Fabulous. So fabulous it left me in a mini food coma which resulted in a two-hour nap through episodes of RH of Beverly Hills and Atlanta.

I made Olie Pants falafel recipe for dinner tonight. I saved this recipe since it would be killing two of my resolutions in one—eating less meat and making ethnic meals. I didn’t have any wheat germ so I used ground flax-seed that I had on hand.

I have a small oven so I didn’t get to make the entire batch that I prepared but saved it for later use. Anyone know if the wet mix will freeze well or if I have to make it within the next few days?

I don’t have a food processor on hand so I used my Magic Bullet but it doesn’t blend stuff as well as my food processor, especially dry ingredients. I used some of the bean juice (ew, that just sounds dirty) when I blended it so my mix turned out wetter than expected. I ended up making them as patties instead of balls (hehehe, again, dirty)

I bought some kale earlier today and made kale chips for a healthy side dish. Plus I haven’t had them in forever which always happens with kale chips, I go in major spurts of eating it.  That needs to stop since they are delicious and remind me of actual chips just healthy and with more flavor! I tossed in extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with Spike seasoning.

They turned out extra crispy-just the way I like!

While the falafel was cooking, I whipped up a bowl of tzaziki sauce. I love using mint however when I started chopping it, I was majorly jonesing for a mojito.

Holy patties (get it, holy balls normally but they were patties this time around, yes, no? Is this thing on??), such a fantastic meal! It was like there was an international flavor party occurring in my mouth and I loved it. So many flavors, so little time. I recommend trying the falafel recipe–it was fun to mix it up with trying different flavors!

Looking forward to a day off tomorrow–anyone else off or are you working?

PS-If you like Tastycakes (which, cmon, who doesn’t??), click here to win some!

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