Tuesday, January 31, 2012

31:365 surplus

31:365 surplus

oh thank god i got this check in the mail!! see, as i try to become a true adult i find myself met with more and more bills. attempting to be responsible, the second i get a bill in the mail i automatically pay it. truth be told, the real reason i pay them immediately is because i'm too lazy to try to keep track of it for more than five minutes. a couple of months ago i got my (new to me) property tax bill in the mail and paid for the whole next year without thinking. silly me forgot that included in my monthly mortgage payment is money that goes into escrow solely for property tax. because i'd already paid the next year off, i wondered what would happen to the extra money sitting in escrow. thank goodness someone somewhere knows about this stuff more than i do and sent me a check for the surplus amount. whew! 

pineapple coconut cake with cream cheese frosting

this is one of my favorite cakes to make because it's moist, not too sweet, and has a lot of texture. plus, who can resist cream cheese frosting, really? pineapple and coconut isn't quite what people expect when they think cake, but i find this one to be a crowd pleaser. and i like to think that it especially pleases Ruby, my friend from Hawaii. i pretend that for the couple minutes she's eating my cake, it makes her feel like she's back at home. haha. i'm sure that's not the case, but it makes me feel good. lol. 

pineapple coconut cake with cream cheese frosting


for cake:
- 2 c four
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 c vegetable oil
- 3/4 c buttermilk
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 c sugar
- 1 8oz. can crushed pineapple
- 1 1/2 c shredded coconut

for frosting:
- 1 c shredded coconut
- 8oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 c butter, softened
- 2 c powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract

for cake
1. preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9x13 glass pan
2. in a bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda and put aside
3. in a larger bowl whisk together oil, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla
4. add sugar, pineapple and coconut until mixed through
5. mix in flour mixture until just combined
6. pour into prepared pan and bake for approx.  35 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean after insertion
7. frost and sprinkle with toasted coconut

for frosting: 
1. preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. line a pan with foil and sprinkle the shredded coconut over it in a single thin layer
3. bake for between 3-5 minutes until coconut begins to brown. (careful! it burns pretty easily. you may want to mix around once so that it doesn't burn)
4. once coconut is toasted, set aside.
5. combine sugar, cream cheese, vanilla and butter in a bowl with an electric mixer until completely whipped smooth.
6. frost the cake and sprinkle with toasted coconut

Monday, January 30, 2012

30:365 aaaahh much better

30:365 aaaahh much better

for a couple of months now i've been running or gymming with no music and it's been driving me a little crazy. my itouch went into malfunction mode a while ago and I thought I'd be okay without music but i was oh so very wrong. Lucky for me, Muri had an extra shuffle lying around and saved the day!! i forgot how great it feels to run when you actually enjoy the music you're listening to.

29:365 ice cream bar

29:365 ice cream bar

there's a new spot in Cole Valley called Ice Cream Bar. it's a really cute old school ice cream bar and soda fountain. the soda jerks and ice cream scoopers are dressed like they traditionally would be. to be quite honest, i was pretty underwhelmed with their ice cream selection. the most unique flavor they offered was roasted pineapple, which was good but nothing i feel the need to have again. my heart lies with Bi-rite and Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous.

birthdays in pictures

----went out for Darrell's birthday. good times. except the birthday boy went home a little past midnight. 

everybody's eyes are closed! so chinese of us.

-----yesterday Tan, Muri and i took Natasha out to dinner at Prospect (yes, the same place i had dinner at on my b-day.) the food was delicious so i figured it'd be a good opportunity to introduce some people to it. 

because when food is good, i can't help but want to take pictures of it:

we shared three appetizers and generously saved some for Tan, who came later in the meal, even though we wanted to finish it ourselves. 
burrata with white truffles, black rice risotto. 

dungeness crab salad

pig trotters, which i found out are pig's feet. meaty and rich. this was my favorite dish of the night.

kubota pork with black rice. (my dish)

steak with mushroom fritters. 

duck with shaved brussel sprouts and duck fat potatoes in a foie gras sauce

seared scallops with black quinoa and roasted cauliflower

caramel cake with salted caramel glaze, bruleed bananas and caramelized banana sorbet

pineapple cream pie with macadamia nuts and cream cheese ice cream

yay! 25!!

-----after dinner with Natasha we headed to Zeitgeist for Dave's birthday. if you haven't been before, then you should know it's a biker bar with a nice open outdoor patio and picnic tables to hang out at. i like the place and i don't mind divey bars, but damn did that music suck. it was straight up some Flogging Molly kinda stuff. good thing i drank enough to stop paying attention to the music.

on describing Zeitgeist to Lorraine via text:
me: it's like super white here
L: like cool white or too white?
me: like too white. like hella beards.

happy birthday Dave!

haha! Muri put on Tan's jacket. it fit her perfectly, except the arms were too short. hahaha!!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

28:365 happy Natasha day!

28:365 happy Natasha day!

Friday, January 27, 2012

27:365 ants in the coffee shop!

27:365 ants in the coffee shop!

this is at farm:table, a cute tiny little (repetitive, i know) coffee shop. the table you see is the only table in there and that's a mirror reflecting the whole shop. their iced coffee is on my list for top three iced coffees ever. i love everything about farm:table from their homemade baked goods to their daily toast. from the chalkboard wall to the utensils in a jar. yep, everything. except those ants. they sort of freak me out. 

26:365 just what I wanna see before dinner

26:365 just what i want to see before dinner

i ordered some food from a chinese restaurant and as i walked through the door to pick it up, this is the image i saw. above the piggies were hanging ducks as well. not quite what i want to see before eating. good thing i ordered the chicken wings. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

25:365 I bring my big purse to the movies

25:365 i bring my big purse to the movies

i'm that annoying person who brings her own food into the theater who makes all of those irritating unwrapping noises throughout the movie. today was a roast pork Saigon Sandwich, some poke, and a diet coke. please forgive me for not wanting to pay $7 for a crappy hotdog. oh, and i saw Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which was.....unerving. 

24:365 inability to be anybody else

24:365 inability to be anybody else

this is one of the questions in that questions book i got. my answer:
"i am incapable of being anybody else and refuse to try to be."
i like who i am and have no reason to want to be anybody else. and i think that says a lot about me. 

23:365 dining on broadway

23:365 dining on broadway

cool table i saw at a coffee shop. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Gung Hay Fat Choy!!


as a Chinese, i'd like to formally wish you all a happy lunar new year!

this year, unfortunately, my family isn't celebrating the new year due to my grandpa's passing. while Chinese New Year is the biggest holiday for the Chinese, we posess a very superstitious culture as well. to be quite honest i'm not sure whether the idea of not celebrating anything for 60 (i think that's right, but i'm not 100% confident) days is a Chinese thing or a Buddhist thing, but nonetheless my family is honoring that tradition.

now if we were going to celebrate this year, we'd be gathering at somebody's house. and in my family traditionally you would:
--not wash your hair on New Year's day because you've then washed away your good luck.
--wear red to represent good luck
--bring oranges or tangerines (preferably with the leaves still attached) for the host and each family attending because they represent good health, longevity and wealth.
--if married, hand out red envelopes to those in the family who aren't yet married. red represents good luck and happiness as well as helps to ward off evil spirits. often the envelopes have gold splattered all over them as well to represent prosperity.
--make sure the money in the red envelopes are new bills and are in the amount of an even number. odd numbers are bad luck. oh, and do NOT give money in the amount of 4 because in Chinese, the number four sounds like "death." the number 8 is particularly good because it sounds like "fortune."
--give two red envelopes because, again, even numbers are favorable.
--if you're receiving the envelopes, collect it with both hands and don't forget to say thank you.
--eat a vegetarian dish called Buddha's Delight or jai. it contains a fungus pronounced "fat choy." i mean, how could you not eat something that sounds exactly like the second half of "gung hay fat choy?" it looks gross and hairlike but is something that i actually enjoy.
--say "Gung Hay Fat Choy" or "Sun Nein Fai Lock" approximately one million times throughout the day.

last year, i listed some of the things i liked about being Chinese. but there are oh so many other aspects of being Chinese that i enjoy, one of them being included in the stereotype that we are smart and are good with money. yay, Chinese!!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

22:365 squeak free

22:365 squeak free

while today my roommate and i have 15+ people at our place to watch the Niners vs Giants in the playoffs, my photo of the day doesn't reflect that. while it's fun having people over at my house and cooking up a bunch of football appropriate food, something much more important happened today. 

see, for approximately three years now the back doors to my car have squeaked like crazy every time someone opened them. my car is like fourteen years old and by now i could care less how it looks. there's evidence here from one of last years attempts at project 365. a few years ago the seal between the window glass and the car door frame became loose and water would leak in whenever it rained. eventually the hinges in the car rusted and every time it opened it would creak and make the most embarrassing echoing screech. for years many people have said "just get wd-40 and it'll take care of it." but please, when am i ever at a place that sells wd-40? and i don't really think about the squeak of my car until someone rides in the back anyway. i figured eventually someone would feel so bad for my poor car that they'd be willing to bring the wd-40 to me. (haha! lazy, much?) so to my surprise, Doug, came with something similar to wd-40 to save the day! whatever that foamy stuff is worked like butter! there's no more squeak in my car doors! thanks, Doug!! 

21:365 reg day!!

21:365 reg day

so months ago i made a promise to someone to bake something special for her....and me....and whoever is on her guest list. i was supposed to make good on that promise months prior from now but it just never happened. we finally scheduled that oh so very special day and she (Augs) locked it in to her calender last night. the day is set for next sunday. good time january 29th!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

20:365 the other roommate

20:365 the other roommate

this is Roxy. she scares me. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

19:365 lights out

19:365 lights out

tonight a friend and i were enjoying some tea leaf salad and other yums Burmese food at Mingalaba when suddenly the lights began to flicker. then eventually they went out completely. one irritating patron (there's always that one) found the need to turn on a flashing light via his iphone which displayed epilepsy causing strobe lighting to bounce around the room. after eating in the dark for ten minutes (nothing gets in the way of me and my food. the coordination from my hand to my mouth is pretty dead on from years of excess practice) they passed around tiny dishes with a single lit candle on it. this was our lighting for the next twenty minutes. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

18:365 ...so as to stay alive

18:365 ...so as to stay alive

i can't even remember the last time i put a new wiper blade on my car. Fern saw the potential danger in that and thoughtfully got me a new blade. but they'd run out of the blade for the passenger side so it's just for the driver's side. who knows wtf the difference is, but it doesn't really matter. he and Doug put on a new blade on the more important side of the car so when it rains tomorrow there's a slightly lesser chance of me dying from blindness. thanks guys!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

17:365 guess who

17:365 guess who
my roommate has welcomed a new resident into the house, his parrot Roxy. looks like i've got to start getting used to her. typically i'm not a bird person. their talons sort of f*cking freak me out, their eyes remind me of cats and their feathers remind me of scales. oh and do i even have to mention the amount of crap that comes out of her? but she makes some cool noises and she's actually very pretty. i don't think i'll ever be a bird person, but she's sort of cool to look at. 

14:365 whoops!

oops! just realized that i didn't have a day 14 picture. i snapped the below picture of the beautiful sunset today but when i was playing with the filters i actually liked how it looked better black and white. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

16:365 never a vegetarian

16:365 never a vegetarian

i went to Marlowe today to have lunch. saw an extended version of this but i took a picture of just enough of it so you know it's a diagram of the cuts of meat from the different animals. i could never be a vegetarian. in fact, i often don't feel like i've fulfilled my daily food consumption without some sort of meat protein. sorry Veggies!


watch this! it's pretty hilarious! roommates try to prove that they are more classy than the other. although the first guy has a creepy look to him, i'm assured by my friend Ize that in real life he actually does not look like a maniac. enjoy!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

15:365 off the grid

15:365 off the grid
Off The Grid is a food truck heaven that started in SF. today they opened up the season with an event in Larkspur. i haven't been to an OTG for a while now because i've pretty much tried all of the trucks. there are probably only a handful that i have yet to taste. lucky for me Koja Kitchen was there with something brand new for me to try. 

this, my friends, is korean short rib (kalbi) sandwiched between two "buns" made of rice that have been crisped on the outside. the meat was tender and flavorful and the rice was great. if you've ever ordered clay pot rice dishes, you know that the best part is the crispy rice at the bottom of the pot. that is exactly what this is. find it. eat it. 

this is a Cupkates lemon meringue cupcake. it has the crust and the filling of a lemon meringue pie including the toasted meringue. friggin great. as is their banana cream pie cupcake. but cupkates is nothing new. everybody knows their cupcakes are probably the best around, right?


Saturday, January 14, 2012

13:365 4 drink maximum

13:365 4 drink maximum
lately when i drink, i've been drinking too much for my own good. so i devised a mechanism in which i would limit myself. write "1 2 3 4" on my hand and slash through a number each time i have a drink, then stop at four (a reasonable number). it sounded like a winning idea but i completely failed. by the end of the night my hand looked like this....

" 1 2 3 4 ! ! 5 6 7"
the two exclamation points were representative of jello shots. visibly my writing got worse as the night went on. i should definitely not have reached passed my knuckle with those numbers. oops!! the other hand is Muri's. she documented her night too. oh and she's the one to blame for going overboard. for certain! remind me to never drink with her again  firmly decline extra shots. haha! 

Friday, January 13, 2012

12:365 yelp

12:365 yelp
today was yelp's Holiday Hangover party. it was held in at Big Daddy's Antiques, which i wasn't too sure about. but once we got there i thought it was a pretty cool venue. free drinks and food and i'm set. 

i no longer hold the "elite" title because i was stupid enough not to send my email in to them before 2012 had already begun. so now i've got to find elite friends to let me tag along with them as their guest. fortunate for me, Marjie and i are extra chummy and i can accompany her when her hubs is busy. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

11:365 because without you I couldn't make it through today

11:365 because without you I couldn't make it through today.

i got off work last night at midnight and then had to come back in at 8am this morning. you can imagine i'm tired as shit. and when I agree to work such ridiculous shifts I treat myself to Philz mint mojito iced coffee because it's sort of amazing.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

just some random thoughts

---i despise cigarettes. but imagine.  it's night. you're driving on the freeway. somebody throws their cigarette butt out of the window. it hits the floor. and sparks fly. damn, does that look like a mini firework or what? i think we can all agree that fireworks are pretty. for that, cigarettes are somewhat tolerable.

---i often avoid eating oranges because peeling them leaves your nails a diseased shade of yellow.

---when eating gummy bears (which is nearly never) i focus mostly on the white and red ones. but on occasion i'll eat a yellow one because i feel bad for them.

---today i saw a woman in a complete hippy getup. long flowing colorful skirt, tie dyed fringed shall, unkempt wavy hair, eating a straight up raw carrot like bugs bunny's with the green part and all. sometimes i wonder if people get so serious about becoming the ideal version of whatever type of person they wish to be that they can't help but take every stereotype and characteristic of that person and adapt their lives to become them. i bet she doesn't even like carrots....

10:365 hanging with the painted ladies

10:365 hanging with the painted ladies
while walking towards the painted ladies i saw these folks hanging out just relaxing with a nice view to gaze at. i thought it'd make a nice picture, though i wish the depth could come through better with the iphone.

Monday, January 9, 2012

9:365 miss ya!

9:365 miss ya!
saw this graffitied (can that be a word?) on a street. it reminded me of "missed connections" on Craigslist or something like that. or the romantic idea of someone missing somebody so much that they'd plaster this in areas of the city in which the object of his affection might wander, too afraid to tell them in person. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

8:365 Camp Sawyer Trail

8:365 Camp Sawyer Trail
today i spent a couple of hours walking six miles catching up with a friend. in this year i'd like to do more active things with people. typically lunch, dinner, or coffee is the vehicle for catching up. but why not go for a walk or a hike or something? i've cycled Camp Sawyer Trail countless times but today was the first time i walked it and i loved it!