The Lotus Garden

Tonight my Mom and I went out to dinner. The Lotus Garden is a restaurant in Utica, NY and I would say that this place definitely has top notch Asian food. Especially for this area.

We ordered two entrees and shared them both.

But first, the appetizer.

It’s BYOB so we brought (and finished) a bottle of red.

The calamari was absolutely delicious.

I ordered the special with chicken:

Chicken, red & green bell peppers, bamboo, baby corns, pineapple – all in a coconut/lemongrass sauce.

At this restaurant, you choose your own heat index. It’s 1-5, 1 being mild and 5 being hot.

I chose 3 even though my mom recommended 2 because of previous dishes she’s had here. I’m not sure if it was the wine, but this dish was not spicy to me at all! I liked this but I liked what my mom chose even better.

Good thing we shared them both.

The funny thing is, she was so worried about mine being too spicy for her – but what she ordered was waaaay spicier than mine…and it was called “Lotus Garden Sweet Shrimp.” SWEET. No, more like spicy. The perfect spicy.

Thank GOD we shared.

BEST. SHRIMP. I’VE. EVER. HAD.

Seriously.

Come here and eat this shrimp. Now. Or forever hold your peace.

And invite me.

After we headed to Walmart to get ice cream. We ended up full out grocery shopping. Food for days, I was smiling big as we loaded up!

***

It’s Complicated is on and I just enjoyed some ice cream.

Love this movie. Love dessert.

Edy’s Fudge Tracks!

I’m exhausted and I cannot wait to fall asleep.

Wine headaches make me feel woozy.

***

Tomorrow is Friday and I want to go out but I also want to feel 100% great on Saturday (NYE). So we’ll see what happens, it’ll probably be a chill night.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thursday!

Nighty night.

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Every 6 Year Old’s Nightmare

The weather had me in the mood for a nice hot drink. Skim latte with one splenda. It tasted like hot chocolate to me because I’m used to black coffee. Decadence? YUH.

It’s the little things I tell ya.

The roads on the way to the mall:

Yes I went to the mall AGAIN.

New panties yay! Do you hate the word panties? I love it, but I hear many people hate it.

PANTIES.

***

By the time I got home (5ish) I was starved!

Vegetables it is!

I decided to roast broccoli & brussel sprouts (every 6 year old’s nightmare).

Popped these green goodies in the oven and while they cooked I sipped on some red vino with mama.

The glass to the right is mine. Bought two of those glasses from Crate & Barrel last Xmas for my mom. Love the shape.

I couldn’t help myself but pluck a few off the piping hot tray as I pulled them out of the oven. Roasted vegetables are so delicious, I cannot have them any other way now. All you need is EVOO, salt and pepper. Easy peasy!

Frank’s Red Hot is the perfect pairing (as it is with any other food on planet earth).

This + wine = smiles all around.

I am thinking since I had such a light dinner I’m gonna have some dessert. Or cheese. Or both.

Have a nice night!

***

Do you like snowy winters or do you dread it every year?

PICP

Seriously today I ate all meals out. Mostly.

I woke up at about 10am and was hungry of course. My sister, Hannah, texted me at 11am before I even got up out of bed telling me that we were going to Bennu (a nearby wonderful restaurant) for lunch.

I had some yogurt to hold me over…with PUMPKIN!

Mommy bought this for me after I told her I wanted to make some pumpkin oatmeal! How nice she is! Thank you, Sandy. I added it to yogurt and not oatmeal because oatmeal fills me up and I didn’t want to be filled up for lunch, ya digg?

  • Oikos 0% Yogurt
  • Pumpkin
  • Blueberries
  • Salted Almonds & Pecans
  • Honey
  • Packet of Splenda (needed more sweetness)
  • Tons of Cinnamon

I like to call this PPY (Pumpkin Pie Yogurt).

Here. Try some.

Then I took pictures of Izzy. Here’s one.

A couple hours pass and it was time for lunch.

Hello, gorgeous.

We ordered Sweet Potato Fries with the amazing zingy dip for the table.

I could live off of this stuff.

I ordered this:

Anything spicy catches my eye. What happened when the waiter brought my food you ask?

“Alright here I have the Hot Tamale.”

I said, “That’s mine, thank you.”

He replies, “You are what you eat!” and then ran off.

Thanks waiter dude.

There she is.

My sister was embarrassed that I kept taking picture of our food. She’s just jealous, obviously.

***

Fast forward to Dinner with my best fraaand, Sarah …Sushi it is!

I ordered a salad to start (not pictured because I forgot, silly me), some random sushi plate (above) along with a Salmon Skin Role (below).

I am so thirsty after this meal, musta been real saltaay!

We had no problem demolishing.

Alas, we always leave room for dessert.

Our favorite: MOCHI ICE CREAM!

Have you ever tried it?

They are like pillowy ice cream pods (PICP???).

PICP…nice one.

You haven’t lived until you have tried this. Next time you got out for sushi, get this. TRUST.

***

I may have had some more snackies later on. I feel as though I consumed too much sugar and salt today. That’s whatchya get for eating out, especially the sodium.

Tomorrow is a new day and I plan on going to the gym & eating well. I want to run so badly but the weather suuuuucks.

***

We bought New Years dresses at the mall today. Who knows where we’ll be, but Sarah and I are determined to find something extravagant to attend…haha. Suggestions?

Alrighty time to start reading The Hunger Games on my Nook.

#Excited

#Goodnight

Beans Beans they’re good for your heart…

I was starving at 4pm. And I don’t do snacks well, at least not when I am ravenously hungry.

I grabbed part of my Fruit & Nut “granola bar” and shoved it into my mouth. I cannot believe I actually had the patience to take a picture before demolishing. Impressive. Oh and I also ate a Gingernut Cookie. They were crying out for me in the cabinet.

[Notice my cute star slipper from Kmart.]

Obviously I was not nearly satisfied so I decided it was time for dinner. And that I just happened to have my dessert beforehand.

Mmmm! Anything with sauteed onions and garlic is a winning dish to me! This contains:

  • Lentils
  • Cannelinni Beans
  • Frozen Peas & Corn
  • Chopped Tomato
  • Chopped Onion
  • EVOO, Salt, Pepper

I didn’t even have the patience of cooking the beans long enough. It all tasted wonderful though. Mighty Ducks happened to be on TV.

Then I decided it needed a little spice (Siracha, obvs.):

Oh yeah that’s what I’m talkin about!

After I tried the apple/mango mixture I made earlier in a panic to make the mango taste better (second dessert?). Eh it was better but not great. Darnit. Maybe I’ll try something different with it tomorrow.

I have a headache and it’s raining. I just want to go to sleep but it’s only 5:15pm. LAME.

Warm Summer Salad

The mangos I bought yesterday excite me! I wanted to try something interesting with them.

So I cut up half of one.

PRETTY! Just slice vertically & horizontally without cutting the peel. Then the cute little squares come off pretty easily…I scraped them off with a spoon.

I looked in the fridge and thought, “Sure! I’ll eat this bad boy with tomatoes and onions.”

So I ended up making a salad: Lettuce, Basil, Tomato, Mango, Onion.

I cut up the mango, cherry tomatoes, and onion and put them in a container in the fridge to marinate in EVOO, lemon juice, salt & pepper. Definitely eatable just like that. I tried it – definitely good.

But I didn’t feel like eating raw onions, so I sauteed everything together for about two minutes. Nice ‘n warm.

Siracha Sauce was obv. necessary. It made it even yummier. The warm mangos definitely tickled my fancy. Tomorrow I think I’ll have the other half nice and fresh with cottage cheese or just by itself. I like it!

***

For dessert, I went full out.

Balls to the wall, if you will.

Prepare yourselves.

Seriously, you might start drooling.

***

**

*

HA. Just kidding.

I ate three prunes, but let me tell you…they are so good.

Gotta stay regular, people 😉

***

I also had three more earlier in the day. OH and I also tasted ate at least 1/4th of my Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bars. Yum, nice flava. Except…..they are definitely granola status… minus the “bar.” I can handle it. I’m planning on having some of this delightful granola with my yogurt for breakfast.

I know, I’m sick like that. The second I’m done with one meal…I start dreaming about the next.

That’s what I’m here for though, right!?!?

Polar Express is on soon 😀 YAY! I’d love some holiday cheer up in here.

Breakfast in Bed

Ohh the luxury of creating a sweet dish and hopping in bed to enjoy it over an episode of Gossip Girl. This is the life.

The hardest decision of the day already occurred at approximately 7:59am when deciding which yogurt flavor to choose. Sticky date won after much contemplation. It has a butterscotch taste, which I totally accept.

I topped my yogurt with a piece of the granola bar I made yesterday (it stuck together better than I thought it would!!!), along with almonds, a crumbled gingernut cookie and cinnamon. The granola bar was a perfect pairing with this sticky date flavor.

This, my friends, was an extraordinarily sweet bowl of yum. My kinda breakfast: creamy, crunchy and definitely passable as a dessert. Perfection at its finest.

***

Last night I went for a very long walk and it was fabulous. Going on walks is like…my favorite thing ever. It’s exercising in the most relaxing form (although I power-walk like no other). It’s still soothing to me; smelling the different scents of nature, looking at the beautiful flowers and avoiding weird-looking Australia bugs. Yesterday I had the pleasure of taking in the sweet smell of summer rain.

The weirdest part of my walk was the butterflies. Literally, there were butterflies stalking me and circling me the whole time. It was really cool but also very scary at the same time. I kept thinking, “WTF is going on…!?” So weird.

***

Before my walk, I had some din!

Sautéed lentils, cannellinis, zucchini, onions, tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper, EVOO.

SO simple yet very delectable. I’m not a lover of cooked tomatoes, but I threw them in very last with the basil to slightly cook them. This is something I’d like to make again. I threw this together unexpectedly (LOVE when it actually works out & tastes great).

If you make something like this – top with parm. Cheese makes everything better and trust me, if I had it I’d use it. Especially on dinners like this.

***

Happy Weekend – Cheers!

Unconventional

Guess where I went tonight? To the gym to take a class, even though I previously decided against it!!! I am very proud of myself for going, rain and all.

Wow the animals and bugs that come out when it’s wet outside. Frogs, slugs, worms… all of which are extremely large. They disturb me.

I arrived to the gym about a half hour early because I honestly had nothing better to do. So, I went across the street to the mall and looked around Coles. Yes with a whole mall at my fingertips, I chose the grocery store. It’s who I am. I stole grabbed a date and I’m so glad I did because I didn’t have a pre-workout snack. Do you like dates? Oh my oh my they are like candy.

There were only 3 of us in class. It was pretty much a personal training sesh cuz the teacher was working with me the entire time (cuz I am the only one who’s never taken it before). The instructor was a very nice Latino man, half the time I couldn’t understand what he was yelling out over the incredibly loud spanish music. We ended on a Madonna song, which really surprised me (and made me laugh heavily on the inside).

The class consisted of a serious amount of all sorts of kicking and punching. Which makes lots of sense seeing as it’s called Fit Combat. Before tonight I was still sore from my workout on Monday, now I am going to be completely donezo… can’t wait for that feeling tomorrow. It was definitely fun and a nice way to switch up my usual routine at the gym.

I’m pretty sure Mr. Instructor man was offended when he saw me on the treadmill afterwards. Little did he know, I was only trying to cool down to tame my bright red face before entering the weight area (you have you cross through in order to get to the locker room/bathroom). Is it a law that hot males must attend the gym only at nighttime? I’m going to say it is because DANG there were more than a handful of good looking young aussies tossing around iron tonight. I’m definitely a morning gym-goer but I might have to rethink that…

***

I wasn’t really hungry when I got home. Post-workout food is very important though so I made a nice little unconventional din. Let the phone camera pix commence:

Yep – that there is veggies and yogurt.

An impressive dinner that I’m sure you’re jealous of…

Not.

Stir up the yogurt and whatdya get?

This really gross looking brown stuff.

It tasted very refreshing though. Cocoa powder + vanilla yogurt = pudding-like yumminess. I was thinking about having just this for dinner, but then I realized I should have broccoli and zucchini for good measure.

Talk about unconventional, but hey it worked.

***

It’s suppose to rain until I depart. What is the point of being in Australia for another week when it’s just going to rain? Seriously, I have nothing to do but lay in the sun and now I don’t even have that. Dag nabbit!

K. Off to Dreamland…

Attack of the Siracha Sauce

After breakfast I headed outside for a walk. Halfway through it started to sprinkle on my head, but luckily it stopped. Seven hours later and it’s STILL not raining, I’m just waiting for a nice big thunderstorm.

When I got back I made some lunch & watched The View and Dr. Oz.

This definitely could have passed as a breakfast. But I like eggs anytime of the day, don’t you?

Siracha on the side…obv. With sesame rye crackers.

I actually learned this recipe from a friend.

  • Sauté zucchini and onion
  • Add whisked eggs (I used a whole egg, one egg white & a little skim milk)
  • Season as you go (salt and pepper)
The eggs are my favorite part. They absorb the flavors from the veggies and O-M-G. I don’t know why, but it tastes amazing. It is so simple yet one of my favorite dishes on planet earth. You must try it!

And make a lot so you have leftovers! That’s when the tastiness manifests into insanity.

***

Steph and I headed down to the Rec Room to watch a couple episodes of Modern Family and Gossip Girl. Ooh another fun fact: a few years ago I met one of the stars of GG. Dan Humphrey anyone?

I was 18 years old here with my friend Cara to the right and Mr. Penn Badgley in the middle. Talk about throwback.

As we watched, I enjoyed some frozen fruit salad. I made a GIANT bowl of tons of cut up fruit (pineapple, grapes, nectarines, kiwi, apple, pear) and wanted it to last so I portioned it out into serving sizes and froze ’em. I just couldn’t wait for it to thaw, plus I love frozen grapes. So refreshing!

***

And for dinner I made soup…again. Just like last night’s except I added cannellini beans.

And I pictured it with Siracha Sauce this time, just for you guys haha.

There must be something about soup that makes you feel good on the inside. Probably the warmth (and the great feeling that it is oh so healthy). Delish.

***
Steph leaves tomorrow. For those of you who don’t know who Steph is…she’s my roommate. And my best friend here in Australia. Wahhhh I’m so sad, but we’ll be visiting each other back in the states! No worries, mate 😉

Have a good one!

Comfort Soup

After my delicious oatmeal incident this morning, I went to the gym. I warmed up on the treadmill for about ten minutes then did a mini circuit rotating between lunges, free weights and abs. I finished off with more treadmill and a good stretch.

Stretching is my favorite part! I feel my flexibility getting better which feels oh so good! Can you touch your toes? 😉

***

On the way home on the bus I was day dreaming about avocados. So I incorporated the other half from last night into my salad for lunch.

It was like a fiesta salad! Similar to last night’s …the flavor combo gets me every time!

  • Chopped Lettuce (Salad Base)
  • Sauteed Zucchini and Onion
  • Half of a Chicken Burger
  • Half of an Avocado
  • Tzatziki
  • Hot Siracha Sauce
  • Sea Salf & Lemon to taste

Seriously, fresh squeezed lemon has been the best salad dressing for me lately. Paired with tzatziki, there’s no reason to add anything else! Besides Siracha of course.

***

Speaking of Siracha, I added some into my delicious dinner as well.

Yep, I made soup. Definitely the perfect day for it! It’s like 60 degrees and it’s summer…odd. Not used to it but I think after the rain passes in a few days it will be back to scorchingly hot.

This delectable comfort soup contains:

  • Sauteed Onion and Garlic
  • Lentils
  • Water
  • Chili Powder
  • Sea Salt
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Basil

I’m running low on food (I leave in 10 days and don’t want to buy too much) but the mixture of these simple ingredients was a definite success. I give it an A! It’s very healthy and very very yummy.

***

To cool down for dessert I put some yogurt in the freezer for about 20 minutes.

I of course topped it with Goji Berries, Almonds, Coconut, and Cinnamon. My favorite.

You can kind of see (thanks to my magnificent phone camera) how its a bit frozen.

***

After enjoying my yogurt, Steph and I ventured out into the chilliness for a walk. It started misting on our way back and I had some serious goosebumps (I wore shorts and a t-shirt, bad decision). I ate an apple and tahini as we watched a few re-run episodes of The Big Bang Theory. If you’ve never seen it, do yourselves a favor! It’s one of my all-time favorite shows.

Well it’s past 9pm, therefore past my bedtime. Haha just kidding…well, not really. I’m very tired and have a slight headache. Time to sleep it off.

Goodnight!…or Good Morning depending on where you live… 😉

Don’t try this at home.

I love avocados! The taste, the texture… everything about them is perfection. They definitely completed my dinner last night.

(If you are new, I am using my phone for pictures until I get my hands on a new [unbroken] camera.)

I sauteed broccoli with mini chicken meatballs and garlic (& sea salt). It rests on a lemon-squeeze enhanced bed of lettuce.

And the best part = half of a sliced avocado (also doused in lemon & sea salt) with two dipping sauces: Hot Siracha and Tzatziki. Love.

Dessert: Perfectly Ripe Peach.

***

After watching 3 episodes of Gossip Girl (starting it over – season 1, it’s so different!), Steph and I went for a nice night walk. The temperature was perfect and the air felt amazing. I definitely recommend.

***

Breakfast this morning:

As promised, I tried out Orange Dark Chocolate Oatmeal……:(

Good idea, not well executed. This is how it turned out:

Weird. Yeah cocoa powder does not belong in oatmeal. I figure this would taste better if I used orange zest (instead of the juice) – but of course there is no zester here. And instead of cocoa powder, using a piece or two of dark chocolate chopped up would be much tastier.

The saving factors: I drizzled it with honey (made it slightly better), the almonds and the oranges on the side tasted so juicy and good! I’m not going to even tell you how exactly I made this because I don’t recommend it.

But that’s what this site is about, trying new things. Some ideas work and others don’t. This one earned an ‘D+’. It didn’t fail because I know I can tweak it and the effort was there, right? RIGHT.

I finished it even though I didn’t care for it. No wasted food here! I needed my fuel for the gym, tasty or not.

Since I’m low in iron (according to a recent blood test), I’ve been taking one of these a couple of times per week. I’ll be getting another blood test in about a month so hopefully my levels will be up to par!

***

Currently, I’m finishing my green tea and then off to the gym I go. Not gonna let this gloomy day get me down. Plus it’s Monday here and I gotta start the week out right! You should, too.

Hope you enjoyed your weekend!