Thursday, November 12, 2015

NomNom: Soba Noodle Salad

I've always had mixed feelings towards Fall. Like most people, I enjoy the crisp change in the air and Fall fruits/veggies, but do so with reservations because I know that summer has ended (sad) and winter will be coming soon (very sad). Winter and I are not friends in case you haven't noticed already.

My friends make fun of me for never wanting to leave my house when the temperatures drop to freezing because I would rather cozy up on the couch all snuggled in my PJs, netflix, and a glass of wine. Am I lame? That's cool, I'm okay with it.

When I hibernate during the winter like a wimp, I start to day dream about sunshine, the beach, and anything summer related--including food. The recipe I'm sharing with you today takes me back to this past summer because it was on heavy rotation in my kitchen due to the easiness of preparation and well, eating cold noodles is just a staple in Asian cuisine to combat the hot weather.

Soba noodles are made of buckwheat flour and is common in Japanese cuisine. The noodles have a slight nutty flavor and is usually eaten cold with a dipping sauce which I actually don't prefer but I do love it when prepared as a noodle salad. Feel free to use whatever vegetables you may have in your fridge but I personally like the fresh bites of cucumbers and the slight sweetness bell peppers bring to the dish so those are usually a must for me. Since I always have kale in the fridge I threw that in too, especially because kale holds up so well in dressings and won't wilt. Yup, we are still on that kale bandwagon.

Not only is this dish a delicious and light meal, it is a surefire way for me to eat my veggies and hopefully for you as well.

Have a great week. Xo.

Ingredients (Adapted from Food Network): Yields 4 servings 
1 package of soba noodles
1 carrot thinly sliced
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 bell pepper, julienned
2 cups of chopped kale
2 teaspoons of sesame oil
4 Tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons of sriracha
5 Tablespoons of soy sauce
1/2 lime, juiced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tablespoons of ginger
4-5 Tablespoons of olive oil
3 Tablespoons of roasted sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

1. In a medium stock pot, boil water, add salt, and cook noodles according to package directions (about 7-8 minutes). If water threatens to boil over, add 1/2 cup of cold water. When finished, rinse noodles with cold water. Drain and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl combine sesame oil, vinegar, soy sauce, sriracha, olive oil, lime juice, garlic and ginger. Mix thoroughly and then combine prepared vegetables and noodles.

3. Garnish with sesame seeds.

2 tsp. sesame oil
4 tabs. rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. sirachi
5 tabs. soy sauce
1 chili, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tabs. hoisin
1 tab. ginger
1/2 lime juiced
4-5 tabs. olive oil

Monday, November 9, 2015

Monday Ramblings

Hi all! Just wanted to say a quick hello! November has creeped up on me as October was a bit of a whirlwind with travels every other week to NYC, SF, and SD. I am preparing a food and travel guide on places in SF and SD for you so please be on the look out for that soon:)

Hope you all are enjoying the Fall weather we've been having before Mother Nature blasts us with the winter chill. I went hiking to Raven Rocks over the weekend to catch the last bit of foliage for the month and to incorporate some sort of outdoor fitness before the weather changes to freezing. The hike is part of the Appalichian Trail and I'd rate it as intermediate level with a good balance of incline and decline (about 5.5 miles). The overlook is pretty amazing and worth all the steep incline.

This quote has been resonating with me lately because it's something that makes a difference for me when it comes to admiring and respecting people in both my professional setting and personal life. I've noticed more and more that there are many people who are really good with words but not very good at following through. It's always been important for me to follow through with promises I make towards friends/loved ones because I believe that itself builds a trust factor which I think is a key foundation in building a relationship of any type. It's been a learning process to acknowledge that not everyone operates like that and is something I am trying to be more accepting of.

Last month, I kept saying I want to go hiking before winter comes but due to a mix of travel, working on weekends, and tiredness, I kept putting it off. Anyway I finally got around to it this weekend and set my alarm to 7am (with rumblings) to hike this trail that's been on my list for awhile now. It also helped that my friend was encouraging and wanted to go hiking as well! A small feat but felt a sense of personal accomplishment that I just...did it.

Hope you have a great start to the week. Xo.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Weekend Snapshots: Life Lately

Hello hello to anyone who is still following along:) It feels a bit strange to be writing a post because it feels like forever (which sounds like a long time) since I last wrote one. In fact, because I haven't logged in since April, it took a couple of attempts to remember my password. Fail.

My apologies for abruptly putting a stop to the blog and not giving any notice about that. Truth be told, I was feeling a bit uninspired and more focused in transitioning into my new job and the new hours (can't believe it's been 6 months already!) which contributed to me being a huge supporter of after work power naps. I also wanted to prioritize more on my personal life so decided to take a long summer hiatus, if you can call it that and told myself that when I start to miss blogging and sharing snippets of my food/fashion life with you I will start again. Those feelings have emerged. All the feels.

The past several months have been all about new adjustments both professionally and personally, newfound relationships with awesome people that have been in my life or entered my life, being more self-aware with how I process situations/people (thanks to training classes via work), checking things off my summer bucket list, and going blonde(!!!) Another big change that occurred was that my sister decided to move from NYC to San Diego a couple of months ago to further her professional growth and if you have been following along with me over the years I would visit her quite often (every 3-4 months or so) in NYC for the past 3 years. With that said, I developed a mental list of my favorite places to eat/shop in the city and let's be honest, the energy in that city is electric like no other. I'm not sure if it's the combination of the people that live there along with the plethora of amazing food places and it also being the fashion mecca, but there is no place in the world like it. More importantly though, was that my sis would be further away which was a huge adjustment since her and I are extremely close. The memories her and I shared during the times I visited her in NYC will always be special. 

San Diego is gorgeous. The weather is the one thing that can't be beat but it's an unusual place to get used to if you're from the east coast. It's such a relaxed environment with a slower placed vibe and the fact that beach is a 20 min drive away is strange to me. However, I am making another trip out there next month to visit her and am looking forward to getting to know the city more. Any suggestions on places to check out are welcome!

Please bear with me as I start to get my feet wet again into posting regularly. Can you believe September is already here? It's a bit daunting to realize how time flies by and heading into a new season makes me feel bittersweet especially because I love summer. But I'm looking forward to what changes are in the horizon for me.

Hope you enjoy the pictures I've collected the past several months up until now.

Have a great week. Xo.

Image via LA Cool & chic
Spring time in NYC where the weather is just starting to warm up is the best. 
From East coast to West coast
Sunset Cliff
Carne Asada french fries are a thing in San Diego. Glorious. 
California love
Stand up paddle boarding. Done and done.
So many burrito/taco places in San Diego. My idea of heaven. 
Picking up fresh blooms at the weekly farmers market that is a 4 min walk from my sister's place.

Selfie at the rose garden in Balboa Park. 
Cheese, charcuterie, drinks, and memorable conversations. These are a few of my favorite things.
Eating my weights worth in peaches this summer. 
Same thing applied to steamed crabs. Old bay seasoning ftw.
Still continuing to eat my way through the DMV area
Blonde ambition
Bidding adieu to the last bits of summer with a seafood boil. Thanks for hosting Mel.
This gets me exited for Fall. Image via LA Cool & Chic

Saturday, April 11, 2015

NomNom: Coconut Maple Granola

Happy Saturday!!

I don't know how you're feeling right now but I am so happy the weekend is finally here. It's been a busy past couple of weeks in terms of transition and I don't really see it slowing down anytime soon. So when the weekend rolls around I have been savoring the sleeping in part and having a lax weekend schedule so much more.

I love when I find time to actually be in my kitchen in the morning to cook a proper breakfast of some sort instead of standing in my kitchen with one hand on my cup of coffee while furiously trying to stuff my face with toast or something quick to grab and trying to check neglected email before rushing out the door for work. Life.

This granola recipe has been my go to for a year now and I'm not sure why I haven't posted the recipe yet but I'm excited to share this with you because it is just so darn good. I usually make a huge batch of it so that it will last me for weeks and it's also one of those things that is easily transportable for work and will keep you full. The key players which makes this granola a little special than the rest is the coconut oil mixed with maple syrup. That combination just brings a certain kind of depth to the granola.

Try it out and you'll see what I mean.


Ingredients (Recipe adapted from Shutterbean: Yields: 6 cups)
3 cups rolled oats 
3/4 cup raw almonds 
1/4 cup cranberries
1/2 cup sweetened coconut shreds 
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted 
1/4 cup maple syrup 
1/8 cup brown sugar 
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, combine oats, almonds, coconut shreds, chia seeds, coconut oil, maple syrup and stir. When thoroughly saturated, add the brown sugar on top and continue to stir. Season with salt and spread the granola in an even layer on a large rimmed baking sheet.

2. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes making sure to stir granola evenly every 10 minutes or so. In the last 5 minutes, add and stir in the cranberries. Let granola cool and transfer to an air tight container. It will last up to two weeks.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Weekend Snapshots

This weekend I....

1. Checked out the Bloomingdales Friends and Family sale (25% off almost all items ends today) and bought Nike kicks ($40!!) and the new Rayban clubmaster mirrored sunglasses. I'm so ready for spring/summer weather at this point. Warmer consistent temperatures is all I'm asking for, Mother nature.

2. Ate my weights worth in meat from Korean BBQ at Kogiya (located in Virginia). No big deal.

3. Have been eyeing the Ferragamo Vara bow flats/stack heels in red. They're such a iconic style and would be perfect for work but with they come with a hefty price tag. Hmmm...

4. Made "energy bites" so I can bring them with me to work when I get my afternoon sugar cravings. I've noticed that after 2pm I start to crave something sweet and thankfully found an alternative solution to my Jolly Rancher Fruit Chews snacking habit and instead have been reaching for these delicious bites that are made of dates, cashews, chia seeds, cocoa powder, coconut oil, and almond butter. These ingredients are literally all that's in these snacks and the energy bites are really good, especially when eaten right out of the fridge.

How was your weekend?