gotta keep running

ipod nano and nike+

for my birthday my step-sis, D, really went all out and got me a nike+ and pitched in for a nano. she's been so supportive of my running and this shows it!

as much as i love the shuffle rupert got for me, i really love the nano since i can have more than one playlist on it and the display is great. the nike+ is super neat, too :: it keeps track of your runs (distance, time, calories) and then you can upload it to the nike site to see how you're progressing.

now i'm just waiting for the armband i ordered off of ebay to come so i can go for some nice long runs.



we're gecko-sitting for the week for some friends. meet lunera, our nocturnal guest ::
lunera, the gecko


what i made for dinner :: chicken with edamame skordalia

what i made for dinner :: chicken with edamame skordalia

here's the second recipe i tried from this month's bon appetit :: chicken with edamame skordalia. what i liked about it was that i had almost all of the ingredients at home. i cheated and bought a rotisserie chicken at costco to make it even easier.

the recipe says to season generously with salt and pepper, which is something you should definitely do. it was too bland so i added salt and pepper to my individual portion; once i added salt it brightened up the dish. since the garlic isn't cooked it gives the dip some bite, which we liked. i added quite a bit of lemon juice but rupert and i both felt it could probably use more.

this adaptation of skordalia comes together really easily and quickly in the food processor, and since it can be served room temperature or chilled it makes a nice summer accompaniment to your main dish, whether it be chicken or something else. (rupert used leftover chicken and skordalia in a pita for his lunch the next day.)

what i made for dinner :: roasted pork tenderloin + asian avocado salsa

what i made for dinner :: pork tenderloin + asian avocado salad
i love getting new issues of bon appetit; without fail i'll find something that makes me drool and seems easy enough for me to make quickly. this month's issue was no exception.

i'd been letting some avocados ripen on the counter for a few days for a different recipe but decided to use it for the asian avocado salsa. now, what to put the salsa on, that was the question. i headed to tj's to have a look around; i was thinking either pork, skirt steak, or tuna. i settled on pork tenderloin, which ended up being a good choice.

unfortunately, tj's did not carry three of the vegetables listed in the ingredients (watercress, green onions, and jicama). and then ian started complaining about a stomach ache so i grabbed some microgreens and hoped for the best.

when i got home, i checked the radishes in the fridge, hoping they were still good (to substitute for the jicama) but no luck. then i remembered there was a single japanese cucumber on the vine in the yard. perfect.

i roasted the pork in the oven after rubbing it with olive oil, salt and pepper. meanwhile, i made the "salsa," which in the end didn't really seem like a salsa but more like a salad. i omitted the green onion (because i didn't have it) and the wasabi (since the kids would be eating it). i have to say, though, the modifications i made were great. rupert and i really enjoyed both the pork (way better than pork chops) and the salsa/salad. it was really refreshing for a warm summer evening.

i think if i make this again for, say, a seared tuna, i'd use the green onion and wasabi. i can see various versions of this salsa being great with a variety of meats.


just another day, but a day just for us

waiting for the ceremony to start waiting for the ceremony to start

last night, as we were going to sleep, rupert says to me, "eight years ago we were sleeping separately." i was like, "????" until i realized he meant that we spent the night before our wedding apart (me at my parents' house, rupert at our apartment).

this morning, before we could tell each other, ian groggily said to us, "happy anniversary!"

indeed, happy anniversary rupert! we didn't do anything special per se, but we did spend our evening playing rock band, our anniversary gift to each other. i love you!

i feel like a traitor

i'm a pretty loyal trader joe's customer. i do at least 80% of my grocery shopping at tj's. if i can get it at tj's why would i get it anywhere else?

earlier this year we noticed that one of the stores right next to our local tj's was being converted into a fresh and easy market. i vowed that i wouldn't go to this new market ... sadly, my resolve only lasted 6 days. my curiosity got the better of me (and the $5 off coupon helped too) and i took the kids to check out the competition.

turns out the selection is pretty good considering the size of the market. i doubt i'll go there often but it's a nice backup market when i can't get something at tj's and don't want to make an additional trek to a different store.

i'm sorry tj; i feel bad for betraying your trust. i kinda feel like i've cheated on you and i regret it.

what i made for dinner :: chicken milanese

chicken milanese

it's been another week since i've made dinner. and yet again i couldn't think of anything to cook. so i fell back on a recent favorite :: chicken milanesa with arugula. i can't remember where i found the original recipe last year but it's so simple that you don't need a recipe.

ingredients ::
  • chicken thighs
  • panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • parmesan cheese
  • salt + pepper
  • arugula
  • lemon
  • vegetable oil
  1. in a rimmed plate or pan grate parmesan cheese into the panko breadcrumbs. mix in freshly ground pepper. in a separate rimmed plate beat the egg with a little bit of water, salt and pepper.
  2. heat some oil in a large skillet. dip the chicken thighs in the egg mixture and then bread them in the breadcrumbs.
  3. panfry the chicken until golden on both sides and cooked through.
  4. plate the chicken on top of a bed of arugula dressed with lemon juice. shave more parmesan on top and serve with a wedge of lemon.

one of these days i think i'll make the cutlets and pair it with japanese curry + rice to make chicken katsu curry.


32, but who's counting?

lots of weekend trips for us lately. this time around? good ol' san francisco.

at the last minute we asked our friends if we could head up there for the weekend. last time we were there we stayed with J+J but this time our friend MZ offered up his place near haight-ashbury since he and his sister would be out of town. we had a whole apartment to ourselves, which worked out great.

we arrived on thursday night and had dinner with J+J at park chow near their house (a few years back we went to chow in the castro with them too). after some post-dinner wii-ing, we headed over to MZ's apartment to get some much-needed rest (my allergies were really bothering me all day).

we woke up to a lot of fog on the fourth. i went for a run along the panhandle towards golden gate park in the morning and came back pretty wet from the very misty fog. the weather was pretty cold and gloomy the entire day, unfortunately. made for a very odd fourth of july; i'm used to sunshine and beach weather. (come to think of it, the last time we were in sf for the fourth in 2005 it was pretty darn cold too.) lunch was at burma superstar in the richmond. the tea leaf salad and the pumpkin pork stew were quite tasty; the salad in particular has a really unique taste and texture.

golden gate bridge
afterwards we headed to the legion of honor for a hike down the trail near the water. maya and i made it down el camino del mar but since we had the stroller we opted to wait back at the car. good thing, too, since the trail ended up having a lot of stairs (222 in one set alone, according to ian). sadly, that meant maya and i missed the nude guy walking around on the beach. nudists i understand, but who walks around butt-naked in weather like that?? rupert was not kind enough to bring back photos of the big naked man.

on the hike near the legion of honor

ticket to ride
dinner was an impromptu bbq back at the apartment. i was already in a it's-my-birthday-and-i'm-not-gonna-lift-a-finger mode so i sat around on MZ's very comfy two-seater couch and read stiff by mary roach. very morbid and entertaining. in fact, it was so entertaining that while the rest of the group (a couple of other people joined us for dinner) watched air force one ('cause it's patriotic?) i went into the bedroom and kept on reading.
the ferry building
after staying up until an ungodly hour reading, i woke up nice and early with the kids. just like last year, i let rupert sleep in on my birthday and spent the early morning feeding the kids and watching tv. thankfully the weather started clearing up and by the time we made plans with J+J to go to the ferry building it was quite sunny out. lunch was at the primavera stand since there was no way we were getting into the slanted door (my first choice for a birthday meal) without a reservation. no biggie since i really enjoyed the ceviche tostada i ordered. sure, it was $9.50 but i felt like it was well worth it. (and, heck, it was my birthday.) i had a bite of ian's pork tamale and that was good too. it's just too bad the famous chilaquiles were already sold out.

the birthday girl (that would be me)
since it was saturday the farmers market was going on and it was so fun to see all of the great stands and taste the sweet fruit (have you had a candycot before? yum!). i even saw a wild boar leg being sold and it reminded me of the hunter/gatherer section of michael pollan's omnivore's dilemma. what wasn't so great was the price of everything. crazy expensive; i was going to buy some strawberries for the long drive home but balked at the $3.50 per basket price.

what i really like about a place like the ferry building is that almost everyone around you is a foodie. they share the same love of food that you do and the same fascination with interesting ingredients. J+J and rupert decided to make pasta for my birthday dinner after i picked up a package of ink squid dry pasta from italy.

ian + maya @ the de young museum
later in the afternoon we headed to the de young museum to see the dale chihuly exhibit. unfortunately, by the time we got there the special exhibit tickets were sold out. we had to settle for the not-as-impressive-during-the-day chihuly saffron tower sculpture in the museum's garden of enchantment. after a stroll through the golden gate park botanical garden we walked back to the apartment and took a little break before dinner.

i got to sit around while a wonderful dinner was prepared. the garlicky squid ink fettuccine was served with really plump mussels and tasty clams on top. i'm used to squid ink pasta sauce, which is much brinier in flavor than squid ink pasta. although it might look scary because it's so black, the squid ink dry pasta doesn't taste fishy at all.

before heading home on sunday we had brunch at squat and gobble in haight-ashbury. i had the strawberry blintz crepe, which was good but had a bit too much ricotta in my opinion. ian had belgian waffles and maya inhaled part of rupert's omelette. we are beginning to notice more and more that the kids are eating like real people lately, which means they are starting to cost us more. darn kids!

after a weekend of lots of eating, rupert drove us home amidst end-of-fourth-of-july-weekend traffic. i am thankful to him for taking us up there for the weekend and really looking after the kids so i could enjoy my birthday weekend. thanks honey!


32 months.


maya @ 32 months :: july 4, 2008

  • first time away from mom + dad :: three days at baba's with ian and my aunt.
  • first time at a movie theater :: kung fu panda :: and she actually sat through it on my sister's and her boyfriend's laps (until she fell asleep). now everytime she sees the panda -- on tv, in the newspaper, on a happy meal box in a random garbage can -- she gets excited, yells "kuh-fu panda!" + does her kung fu arm moves.
  • first time on a real pony @ griffith park while she was with my mom. unfortunately, the camera battery died and there are no pictures of her going around the pony trail, by herself, twice (ian only went around once).
  • the last month has been her verbal spurt. among some of the things she's been saying are her favorites :: "go away, ian" + "that's mine, ian." picked up "cool!" and "oh my gosh!" from somewhere.
  • went 16 days without going poopy, a new record. we started giving her "candy juice," a rootbeer-flavored children's laxative. then she went 12 days without going so we called the pediatrician. we saw a new (to us) doctor who jumped into action right away, warning us that it could take a year or two for maya to get over her constipation. we got an x-ray done of her abdomen and, sure enough, it was completely clogged with poop. poor girl had to endure three days of daily enemas (her "i don't like that!" crying was heart-breaking), and now we have to sneak miralax into her food and drink. but it's the first step towards breaking the cycle of constipation (and, hopefully, crankiness).
  • asks begs rupert to play lego indiana jones :: "play jones, daddy. please! just little bit!" she's actually pretty good at taking control of the nunchuk and, therefore, the lego character; guiding it around the screen and wielding the whip like an expert. she's particularly fond of the female characters, calling them "pincess maya," and she goes around the room screaming like willie. you can also get her to pretend like she's actually wielding a whip (using a long fabric scrap) with a "whupsh!" sound.
  • she's really into candy -- she plays with it more than she eats it -- and popsicles. as you can imagine, the pinata at a friend's party really piqued her interest. after all, there was candy falling out of the sky!
  • even with her short little legs she's becoming quite the climber ... but her jumping still needs some work.
  • it's happening -- she's interested in disney princesses! the horror! the horror!! she watched "beauty and the beef" (yes, that's what she calls it) and "the little mermaid" at my mother-in-law's house. she also declared her purple dress to be her "pincess dress."
  • when we bought rock band, she came in from the beach and instead of going down for her nap, through her groginess, insisted on "rock band! rock band!" sometimes she'll sing parts of "blitzgrieg bop," but usually she just dances to our horrid singing.
  • while we were at the park last week a boy fell of the slide and the ambulance had to be called. maya asked her usual, "wha happen?" and we explained that he broke his arm and had to go to the doctor. ever since, when she sees an ambulance she talks about how "broken arms? boy broken arms?" the power of association is pretty amazing ... and maybe a bit traumatizing.


pencil bag

all finished!

we're headed up to SF for the fourth of july weekend (and my birthday) to visit our friends J+J. i missed J's birthday last month so i decided to make a bag for her (i mean, really, what girl couldn't use another bag?).

i found this tutorial for a pencil bag at craftlog (via the craft zine blog) and it looked like something even i could manage (seeing as i can only deal with straight stitches). admittedly, it wasn't the simplest thing in the world, but i did finish it in a couple of hours despite some errors here and there. i made a tutorial photoset at flickr so you can see how it was made; hopefully the pictures will help anyone else who may want to make this cute bag.

it's actually a bit bigger than i expected so it can be used for items other than pens + pencils. i even got two diapers in it, so i might make one for myself to keep in my purse as a diaper holder.

[fabrics :: linen (outside) + turquoise cotton fabric with tropical fruit print (inside)]