Sunday, November 27, 2011

Battambang Seafood Restaurant - San Gabriel, CA

On the eve of Sister's S's baby shower, I had taken off that Friday from work to help with the set up. We decided to get some lunch before we started with the setup. We met my brother-in-law for lunch at Battambang Restaurant, a Cambodian and Seafood restaurant. Go ahead and make fun of the name because I did for the longest time. It just sort of rolls off your tongue. I was calling it Bada Bing for a while.

I forgot to take a photo of the inside of this restaurant but it is huge! People have wedding receptions here just to give you an idea of the size. This place also has an extensive menu. It gives the Cheesecake Factory's menu a run for it's money. Just look at the drink pages alone. 

Unfortunately, they were out of almost everything on that drink menu that day I was there. After asking for six other things they were out of; I finally ordered something that they did have, Pennyworth drink (rau ma). It was strangely expensive at $3 a glass since you can find it much cheaper anywhere else in this part of town.

My sister and I decided to order the Hu Tieu Trieu Chau Kho combo. She tells me that this is one of her most favorite things to eat at this place. My sister and I have very similar taste buds so I knew that I had to try it.

Pork soup that came with the dry noodle bowl. Very flavorful!

Dry noodles dressed in a soy sauce with sliced and ground pork, fish meatballs and shrimp. 

Here is a better shot of the noodles. My sister was right, this was very good! She was also right about the fact that it tastes just like something our mom would make. It was such a simple dish but it tasted like home to us. So you can make fun of the name but this dish is seriously tasty!

Battambang Seafood Restaurant
1806 S San Gabriel Blvd
San Gabriel, CA 91776
(626) 307-3938

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fast Food at Home!

I've been doing a lot of time at work lately and coming home late doesn't allow for much time to cook. I know I make a lot of jokes about my cooking but for the most part it has all been edible and some were even delicious. Recall when I made this frozen meal a couple of weeks ago? No? Well I don't blame you, it was pretty forgettable. On the same day that I picked up the other frozen dinner, I also picked up this P.F. Chang's Meal for 2. I was not very hopeful after my experience with that other package but it was sitting in my freezer one day when I had no idea what to make for dinner.

This is the content of the package. There are frozen little squares of sauce mixed in with the frozen broccoli and beef. I chopped up some baby bok choy to "beef" up the veggie content of this meal.

I served it over brown rice and it was actually pretty good. Dinner is served!

Dinner was so quick to make that I had time to make dessert. I got this box of Duncan Hines Triple Chocolate Cake in my Foodbuzz swag bag.

This cake was also really simple to throw together. I just added some eggs and oil to the mix in the box.

Dollops of fudge makes this cake interesting!

And by interesting...I mean bowl lickin' good!

Fresh out of the oven.

Care for a slice?

The cake was really moist and the fudge center layer was really rich and full of chocolate flavor. I have to admit that this is not my favorite out-of-the box cake mix but it was fun to make and if you like chocolate you might like this cake.

The Black Friday 13.1 Miles Run

I slept in this morning.
I ate too much yesterday. 
I ran a half marathon on the treadmill to make up for yesterday.
I went to see Breaking Dawn.
I enjoyed it...very much! Don't judge me.
I spent time with my pup and my honey, represented here by a piggy and an angry bird. Just kidding.

I did not go shopping.
I had a wonderful day today! Happy Black Friday!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! I have so much to be thankful for! I am truly blessed and grateful! Hope everyone had a nice meal today. I know I did!

I made the annual Double Layer Pumpkin Pie for dessert.

My parents made the rest! They made ribs this year and Sister J made a vegan green bean casserole, new additions to the holiday menu. It was all so good!

I ate way more than what is shown here. My hands got dirty from eating ribs so I was not able to take any more photos after that. 

Happy 1st Thanksgiving to my little niece! She is growing so fast. I guess it has been a couple of days since I last held her because she surprised me today when she started to wiggle her legs. I guess she recently started wiggling, cooing, turning her head and smiling. It is going to be a year full of many wonderful firsts for her. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Red Egg and Ginger Party

It was my niece's one month celebration yesterday. It's a Chinese thing. Maybe other cultures do a similar thing but in this instance I'm referring to the Chinese tradition. Traditionally it is held one month from the date of birth but due to scheduling conflicts, she is already 6 weeks old. Luckily it is more flexible these days and people celebrate this occasion anywhere from one to three months after the baby is born. You can read more about the significance of the one month baby celebration here. Basically, back in the days in China, the infant mortality rate was high because of the lack of modern medicine. An infant who survives the one month period was believed to have made it pass the precarious stages. A call for celebration!

Chinese people still carry on this tradition even today here in the U.S. where the infant mortality rate is low. This celebration now serves as a way to introduce the baby and mother back into the world after recovering from birth for a month. If you have ever seen the movie The Joy Luck Club, there is a scene in the movie of a Red Egg Celebration.

Here's the sleeping beauty!

Here's the feast! Some of these dishes were selected for symbolic reasons. Yes, meaningful and delicious! That's how we roll. The red eggs above represents fertility and the color red stands for happiness.

The whole steamed fish stands for prosperity, while the Peking duck stands for fidelity. All the dishes red in coloring represents happiness. The lobster dish is a dragon food. Normally chicken is also served in it's whole form. The chicken is a representation of a phoenix food. The lobster and chicken represents the unity of dragon and phoenix, a symbol of a happy marriage. Serving the chicken whole stands for the unity of the family. I'm not an expert by any means. I just came for the food. Just kidding. Maybe.

Happy One Month to my beautiful niece! <3

A 10 Mile Run

This week I started my training cycle for the Los Angeles Marathon coming up on March 18, 2012. I know that seems like ages away but I really want to improve my running base pace for that race and that means that I am planning on starting from scratch and building up. I am just coming off of a race recently so I have that base to build up from. I think I mentioned that I am not signed up for too many marathons next year because I want to focus more on improving my half marathon finish time and also to work on my marathon race pace. I guess next year is the year of 'less is more' and hopefully "more" means faster.

I went on my first official long run for Operation Run Faster (that's what I'm calling this training cycle). I will be logging my miles and pace more diligently to monitor my progress. Here are the stats from that 10 miler. Not entirely consistent but not that much off base either. I think my current race pace is a 9 minute mile and I want to make that number go down. I will use the next couple of weeks to assess my abilities and see what a realistic goal will be for me.

Mile 1 - 9:12                          Mile 6 - 9:04
Mile 2 - 8:42                          Mile 7 - 8:54
Mile 3 - 8:40                          Mile 8 - 9:13
Mile 4 - 9:14                          Mile 9 - 8:31
Mile 5 - 9:39                          Mile 10 - 8:31

This will be my bible for the next couple of months. I have a lot of work to do! Good thing I like to run.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Olio Pizzeria Enoteca and Bar - Santa Barbara, CA

One week ago today I was up in Santa Barbara and it was a rainy night. It was the night before the Santa Barbara Marathon and I was very concerned about the weather the next day. At the time, I wasn't sure if I should even carbo load or not. I was going to bail on the race if the weather was bad.

In the end, I still had to have dinner so we drove over to State Street to find a restaurant that was not already packed solid. It was dinner time and there were lots of runners in town. Not to mention all the naval personnel on leave due to Veteran's Day. There was a 45 minute to 1 hour wait everywhere we checked and it was raining pretty hard outside.

We had originally wanted to eat at Olio e Limone, which was a fancier restaurant next door but they were booked up until 8:45pm. We ended up running next door to Olio Pizzeria and waited for 20 minutes before we were seated at the bar. It was the best seat in the house. I got to see them make my pizza up close and personal.

This is a wood-gas hybrid oven they used to bake the pizzas. They were turning out pizzas at the speed of light. 

This is the Boscaiola, a sausage and mushroom pizza. This came out ten minutes after we ordered it. Of course I could not have any of this because of the cheese but...

...look! They make a plain baked pizza crust called Pane Alle Erbe & Sale Di Salina, fresh baked with herbs, garlic and sea salt. This is about the best pizza bread I've ever had!

This is the Insalada Di Polipo, an Octopus ceviche-like dish with celery and parsley vinaigrette. It is a bit heavier than ceviche because it is heavier on the olive oil as opposed to the lime juice. Really tasty!

This is the Gamberetti al Aglio e Olio Piccante, a garlic-y shrimp dish in a spicy chili oil covered by a thin layer of thinly sliced potato rounds, in an au gratin style but without the butter and cream sauce I suppose.

So good! Want a taste?

Hello cheese and salami case!

Then I saw what they did with the stuff in the case, this is the Salumi e Formaggi Assortiti, which is an assortment of meats and cheeses of the chef's choosing. Um, I'm totally getting that next time. 

Haha, he posed with it for me because I was taking so many photos at the bar.

I was already really full by this point and luckily they let me do a half order of assorted biscottis with a nice cup of tea. I'm so glad I tried this because these were amazing! One was crunchy, one was chewy and one was cakey. A perfect ending to a delicious meal.

I was a happy girl!

Olio Pizzeria Enoteca and Bar
11 W. Victoria Street, Suite 21
Santa Barbara, CA
(805) 899-2699

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

New Shoes: Adidas Supernova Sequence 4

There are a few things in life that still makes me giddy like a little kid. Opening up a fresh jar of peanut butter comes to mind but very close in second is getting my hands on a new pair of running shoes. It's obvious where my priorities are.

So meet my new Adidas Supernova Sequence 4. I don't know why it has such a long name. They should just call it the Adidas SS4. Anyhow, this is my 100th pair of Adidas running shoes. Okay, not that many but close. I just keep buying them year after year. I use to be a huge Brooks fan but switched over to Adidas a couple of years ago at the recommendation of one Shoe Dog at RoadRunner Sports. Oh and by the way, if you ever need a new pair of running shoes 'quick-style' like I did and you need it the very next day, RoadRunner will take care of that...for free! I love them...RoadRunner and my new shoes!

I really like the new colors. I seem to remember that when I first started buying this model that it had pink stripes, then aqua, then blue and now it is purple and the shoe color went from white to grey. I read in Runner's World that this model is a little bit heavier than the 3s but it is minor. The weight of these shoes go up and down, pretty much like my weight but it all balances out in the end. :) Oh and these are stability shoes by the way because I pronate.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Wanchai Ferry Frozen Meals for Two

I was lazier this week than last because instead of cooking my semi-decent dinners, I actually decided to try this bag of Wanchai Ferry Complete Meal for Two. Have you seen those commercials on TV for these meals? The one with mooching panda mascot that does nothing all day but watch your TV and then shares your dinner with you when you cook it. Haven't seen it? You're not missing out. Just to be clear, I am not being paid to write this review, in fact I actually paid for this out of pocket. Yes I AM that lazy.

This is what is inside the bag when you open it: a bag of precooked rice, a bag of orange chicken and a pouch of orange sauce.

And this little bit of frozen veggies at the very bottom of the bag. There was such a small amount that I had to add...

...this other bag of frozen veggies to bulk it up. Plus, that pouch of sauce would have overwhelmed this dish had I not added this extra bag of veggies. 

I did decide to cook my own brown rice to go with this dish instead of using the precooked white rice that came with it. I'll save that bag of rice for another time. I'm pretty sure there will come a time when that little bag of rice will come in handy. Like if I ever get snowed in.

So this is what it looks like with the addition of an extra bag of frozen veggies and freshly cooked brown rice. It made enough for two adult size dinners and 2 servings to take for lunch. Not mind blowing but not bad either, as in I would maybe buy this again. Maybe.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

2011 Santa Barbara International Marathon Recap

Date: November 12, 2011
Location: Goleta to Santa Barbara, CA
Start: 7:15am
Finish: 3:59:36

Last marathon of 2011, phew! Whatever possessed me to sign up for 6 marathons this year is out of my system now. It was fun but let's never do that again. Don't get me wrong, marathons are great and I intend to continue to run them, just at a more sane quantity.

I headed up to Santa Barbara on Friday morning to get this last show on the road. I got into town around mid afternoon. The sky was gloomy. It took me so long to make it into town because we had made a quick stop at the Camarillo Outlets and also got some lunch at a Mexican restaurant in Ventura. I headed straight to the expo once I arrived in Santa Barbara which was located in a building at the Earl Warren Showgrounds.

The expo itself was pretty small. I got there around 2:30pm to pick up my packet and they had ran out of small race shirts and all the samples were gone. I don't really care about the samples but WTF?!? How does that even happen? I requested for a small shirt, why isn't there one waiting for me? Did you give it to someone else who had not ordered one? Stupid! I hate when this happens. There was nothing but flyers, a wet nap, small tube of Aquaphor and a sample of Biofreeze in the goodie bag. The race shirt would have been nice had I gotten it in my size as it was an Adidas shirt (photo forth coming).

After leaving the expo, we headed to our hotel to check in. It started to rain a bit and by the time we decided to head out for dinner, it was pouring! All the restaurants on State Street were packed despite the rain. What with all the runners and naval personnel on leave because of Veteran's Day. We went to dinner at this really awesome pizzeria that I will post about soon. The honey really liked it.

Look at this beautiful sky at 6:30am Saturday morning, 45 minutes before the start of the marathon. It was pouring rain the night before. I was a bit concerned about race morning conditions to say the least. I told myself that if it was going to pour rain that I was probably going to bail on the race because there was no way that I was going to run in rain again. It turned out to be a beautiful day for running.

I'm glad that I ditched my raincoat before I headed to the start line because it was not needed.

The modest starting line in the parking lot of Dos Pueblos high school. They had opened up the gym so that runners could keep warm. Real restrooms located inside the gym as well as 185 porta potties outside. Virtually no lines!

This race was relatively small even with a marathon, half marathon and relay event going on. So small that this was the sole wheelchair participant.

I didn't have a goal for this race except to run fast enough to get back to my hotel in time so that I could take a shower before making the long drive back to the OC. It was my last marathon of the year and honestly I just wanted to finish in a decent time. I was trying to maintain a steady 9 minute mile the whole way and for the most part I was successful. I followed behind this one guy for many miles as he was running a perfect 9 min/mile.

This race was mentally difficult for me as it was not very exciting and since it is relatively new there were not too many spectators out but the ones that were out were amazing cheerleaders. Lots of water and GU stations with some great volunteers manning them. This course reminded me a lot of the Ojai Marathon that I ran earlier this year. Strange feeling of deja vu today for me.

This course consisted of lots of rolling hills and a half mile climb shortly after mile 23. That mile 23 hill was pretty demotivating. I started out running up but decided that it was not worth it to waste my energy. As soon as I got to a flatter part near the top of that hill, I started to, in order to make up the time I lost walking up that hill. Hill at mile 23=cruel. Reminded me of the hills at the end of the Malibu Marathon, also very cruel.

Some head wind the last couple of miles made it not very pleasant. I started singing to myself out-loud like a weirdo to pump myself up.

The last mile along the ocean was gorgeous! Right before I entered the finish line chute in Playa Field at the college, I saw the most beautiful view of the ocean with naval ships parked in a row. I mustered what little energy I had left and started running for the finish line.

I rounded the corner and suddenly I see my honey on the right hand side telling me to sprint for it and then the announcer said something about 30 seconds left for a sub four hour marathon so I sprinted as hard as I could and made it in the nick of time. Phew!

Oh and I did get my shower in thanks in part to my honey picking me up at the finish line and zipping me back to our hotel room which was located half a mile away. Haha. He didn't know the finish line was so close to our hotel. But he is *the* best race ever! <3

Well I did it, I finished all 6 marathons that I signed up for this year. I'm happy with my performance today. It was a nice way to close out my 2011 marathon race schedule. I am not planning to run this many marathon next year. I want to concentrate on improving my half marathon time. I'm very excited about my 2012 race line up. Well I'm off to relax a bit and reflect on my day.