Happy New Year Everyone! I wish everyone a wonderful 2016. I have a feeling this will be a great year. I don’t normally make cheesy statements like that, but I really do believe 2016 will be the year for me, my family, and my friends. I can’t wait to actually see what this brings, and as always, I want to remember to take the time to appreciate time, and the daily happenings. I refreshed my memory on glaciers, and looked up the age of the Sierra Nevada – the granite that we see today was formed 100+ million years ago. Humans are on this Earth for a minuscule amount…take the time to enjoy every millisecond!!!
My 2016 New Years Resolutions:
- Improve upon my blog. The look, the feel, learn some basic blogging coding. I know it’s a long shot to actually be one of those beautiful long time bloggers making a ton of money, but I want this to be my life’s work/creation. Even if no one appreciates it, it is still something I wish to leave in this world for millions of years later.
- Become better at makeup. I gotta stay young and beautiful if I want to be in the running for a husband.
- Get a facial. Will be my first time!!! My sister just threw shade at me for only cleaning blackheads every three weeks; she does it 4 times a week.
- Get abs/get skinny. I start Monday.
- Be more solid financially and independently. Although I have a job, a lot of things are still paid for by my family. I want to turn the tables.
- Understand the types of investments out there. Investing is a vast vast, deep deep hole that you can go into and one thing leads to another, and before you know it, everything gets confusing. The terms derivatives, liquid alts, swaps, CROs, etc. I learned some of the terms while studying for a failed Series 63 exam, but I would love to know MORE, just to build a solid foundation as I continue to work in the industry.
What are yours!!!
To jumpstart 2016, we will begin with some healthy turkey meatballs in buffalo sauce. Light and friendly snack.
I am increasingly bothered by the lack of Thanksgiving this year. Before we even crossed Halloween this year, news articles started talking about Christmas – whether it was retailers focused on this Christmas shopping, or food news articles skipping the Turkey, and going straight to Christmas cookies and yule logs. Starbucks has even stopped serving “Thanksgiving” blend before Thanksgiving even started! They’ve moved onto “Christmas” dark and blonde blends. Thanksgiving has not happened people!!!!!! What happened to the Thanksgiving that we Americans have celebrated since we were pilgrims? I am afraid to ask what they teach kids in elementary school right now – do they still have a craft day where we made turkeys by tracing our hand on construction paper? Do they have dress up day where kids dressed as pilgrims or silly turkeys? I sure had that in my childhood and it engrained in me the importance of Thanksgiving. Why are we in such a rush to Christmas? Why are we in such a rush to end the year? Does it have anything to do with all the horrific things we encounter in the world that we just want to turn the page and look to the future? Well my take on it is why don’t we just slow the way down, hug our families and friends when the world is so crazy, cherish those moments where we gather around and eat turkey and cranberry and stuffing, and embrace the spirit of the holidays.
Last night, I was able to do so with some of my friends for Friendsgiving. I am thankful for those times where we can get together, eat, laugh, be ourselves, when we are apart for most of the year. These moments occur less and less after we place ourselves in the real world. All the more important to get together and spend quality time with each other! I made these spicy sriracha chicken wings for the dinner and I am so happy with the results!
I challenge you to skip the Peppermint Mocha at the moment, and enjoy a Pumpkin Spice Latte until Thanksgiving is over.
Thanksgiving is around the corner and we are all gearing up for friendsgivings, holiday travels, friends, family, and giving thanks. I have prepared a list of Thanksgiving Food ideas to give you all some friendly inspiration!
Main dishes (things besides Turkey!)
Since this year was a hot hot hot year, with little rain, and an early summer, the peaches on our tree ripened so quickly so early in the year. We used to wait until about mid-july or august for harvesting, but we ended up harvesting them in mid-june this year!! So I learned this year that fruit trees bear delicious, juicy, sweet fruit every other year consistently. So one year it will be large and sweet and delicious, and the next will be smaller and less sweet, maybe even sour. Also, after the peach flowers have bloomed and it starts to form the fruit, on the same branches, you have to pick off some of the fruit so the other fruits on the same branch will have enough nutrition to form these big and yummy peaches!!! Darwin’s rule!! Funny how nature works and I have definitely noticed that with our fruit trees. Anyway, we have a ton of peaches so we needed ways to use them up. We made jam and peach salsa. The jam can go on homemade bread and jam cookies during Christmas! I am so excited.
For some reason I have always thought of kiwis as an all season fruit – it’s in my house all year long and they seem to be in Costco, always fresh, year round! With the summer abundance of fruit, I have been looking for ways to use them! As decoration (see Strawberry Kiwi Fruit Tart) or as more savory options, like this spicy jalapeño kiwi salsa!
Kiwis have a unique history – surprisingly, they are native to China, where it used to be called Chinese gooseberry. No idea where the goose came from (although there are red core kiwis according to Wiki). Then the cultivation journey of the kiwi fruit went to New Zealand, where there are birds that are called kiwi birds…LOL but New Zealanders named these bright green fuzzy fruits the kiwifruit, and it stuck!!!
This salsa only takes 4 ingredients and can be used as a chips and dip or a topping for fish!!!
It’s the middle of May and SUMMERRRR is almost officially here!!!! You know I am most alive during the summer months when the days are longer and the sun is shining! Being that I live in SF though, I gotta get out of the city to get this sunshine, so I will take whatever chance to this summer! Since I basically had zero, nada, summer last summer, well except maybe the weekend of July 4th fun, I want to make this summer the best summer ever since 2013!!! My plans this summer are to go to vegas, go camping for the first time, go to another national park, hike more hiking trails, run more trails, eat at a Michelin star restaurant, and explore more of SF! I owe it to myself to be a worldly person and that begins today.
Check out this yummy, easy cornbread I made for the Fight of the Century!!! It’s perfect for summer BBQs or camping trips 😀
Continuing to build fatness on my belly before Vegas this weekend! WOOT! Since being at home, I have not been afraid to make bread. My dad is obsessed with carbs, especially bread like me, so he gives me the courage to make bread. Bread is always a scary thing to make – it usually takes bakers awhile to get to this level. But I tell you, since making about 4 batches of bread in the span of a week, I am no longer afraid. Let me give you the courage to make a loaf! I am trying to venture into different forms of bread – I have made pretzel bread before, brioche, focaccia, and have failed many times at pizza dough. I plan to tackle that next. But anyway, I was looking at my cookbooks to freshen up my tastes, and I came across a recipe for a Chinese Sausage Focaccia bread in my beloved Momofuku NYC cookbook by Christina Tosi. I was uber excited to make it as I love Chinese sausages. I grew up eating those fine, salty things and how awesome would it be to combine it with my love of bread!
The cookbook features “Mother Dough” – the bread dough base that the head baker at Momofuku uses for most of her best selling carb items (think Bagel Bombs, croissants, focaccia, cinnamon bun, etc). Hard to believe that one dough takes care of them all, but it says right in the cookbook that it does! I can’t wait to tackle the next carb projects in her book using this loving dough. I hope you will join me too!
After my last final, I went on a mini family vacay to Utah – Zion Canyon and Bryce Canyon!!! I will talk about Zion Canyon in this post! I was so excited to see the beautiful Zion since I have heard such great things about it. When we got there, we were in a cute lodge, Pioneer Lodge, in Springdale, UT, right outside the South entrance to the park. It was a cute country folk, western lodge with clean and comfy down comforters and pillows. Outside, the little town had other cute lodges, cafes, and shops. But the grand part was that the town was surrounded by the majestic, big, towering RED mountains of Zion. We dropped our stuff off and went into the park. The park is closed to vehicles in the Summer so there are constant shuttles that take you inside the canyon at the Visitor Center. Super convenient! It drops you off at the trail heads so you can take short or long hikes into the canyon. We went to the furthest stop first and hiked the Riverside Walk, which takes you along the Virgin River and winds through the canyons. It was so beautiful – words can’t describe. You need to see it for yourself! We also climbed onto the Weeping Rock, where water runs down the rocks and you are standing inside this cave-like thing and staring out into Zion Canyon. So beautiful! The next day, we went on a hike to the Emerald Pools, all 3 pools, Lower, Middle, and Upper. The moss/algae makes the bottom of the pool green-ish and it is pretty cool because these pools act like little oasis in the mountains. What is cool about Zion is that the canyons are formed through intense flash floods, which is crazy to me because the canyons are so tall, you can’t really imagine water running through at high, fast levels. What is beautiful though, because of the Virgin River and the water, there are tons of trees and vegetation throughout, with signs all over that tell you what certain trees/plants are. Super cool and it feels like I am at a garden or something. Here are some beautiful pictures. I hope that you can someday enjoy it! It is only about 2.5 hours away from Las Vegas!!!
Court of the Patriarchs
View from Weeping Rock
Virgin River/Riverside Walk
New look for the website!!! I switched to WordPress for a cleaner look and hopefully someday I will host my own website when I get all big and professional!!! Look for lots of new things on the site in the coming months! I have tons of new posts on the way and can’t wait to share them with you! Your reading and excitement keeps my blog alive and me motivated. Hope you like the new look!
The gourmet seared ahi tuna! I made this awhile ago but never shared the recipe. Everyone was so shocked about this because you know it’s expensive at restaurants so people think it’s super hard to make. Well guess what? It’s not!!! Please try it!!!! At home, you can have as much as your heart desires as opposed the 4 pieces you get on top of a salad at restaurants! Buy a fresh chunk of ahi tuna and sear away!!! It is super easy and perfect for summer!!!
I have a test this Saturday called the MPRE, the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam, and I barely started studying and have been sick this past week and a half. I needed something fast to grab and go and to eat in the library as I bury myself in books these next 2 days. Hence, the salty yet sweet Spam Musubi!!! It is basically like the Hawaiian sushi! I knew Hawaiians loved spam since they serve spam and eggs at McDonald’s over there. Spam Musubi became popular after WW2 because spam was the military troops’ food, and because there were a ton of Japanese and US troops in Hawaii at the time, the local Japanese created the spam musubi! Cool history lesson!