A Fooding I Will Go (Part 2)

I clearly ate a lot while I was in So Cal over my extended weekend, but there’s definitely more where that all came from.

Sunday

After my race on Sunday, I chugged three bottles of fluids and ate a banana while I waited for my hunger to kick in. Joyce and I weren’t really craving much of anything, so we headed out to Trader Joe’s and McDonalds. (We’re finally getting Trader Joe’s in Colorado! ahhhhhhh!)

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I didn’t photograph any of this stuff, but I picked up a Mango Chicken cold noodle dish, some dried mangos, pumpkin butter, and wasabi flavored almonds. From good ol’ Micky D’s we got their new chicken bites and an order of fries. It was glorious.

We showered, lounged around, and then said our goodbyes. Kim had to head back down to San Diego and Ngoc headed out to watch the Super Bowl. Jennifer, Joyce, and I were headed up to L.A. to meet my aunt, uncle and cousins for dinner at Park’s BBQ in Koreatown.

Park’s BBQ is a popular Korean bbq restaurant, which they make evident with the photos of famous people dining there. My uncle put in several orders of beef (didn’t pay attention to which cut he ordered) and their house specialty beef rib meat.

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I was pretty freakin hungry by this point, so I only took a picture of the latter end of our meal. If you’ve never done Korean bbq, you order raw meats that you or the server cooks on a special grill that is built into your table. The meats are served with a variety of Korean side dishes and are wrapped using either lettuce + rice or thin-cut rice cake sheets.

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To round out the meal, he also ordered their 된장 찌개 (doenjang jjigae- fermented bean paste stew) and 김치 찌개(kimchi jjigae- kimchi stew).

IMG_8123This is the bean paste soup.

The doenjang jjigae was by far my favorite because it was perfectly cooked. When the waiter brought out the kimchi jjigae, he accidentally set it on another dish, so the (literally) boiling hot broth poured all over his hand. The entire table was so shocked that we couldn’t even say anything, and he was so incredibly professional and didn’t even flinch as he reset it on a more level surface, all while it was still pouring onto his hand. My uncle was in the middle of pouring beer into a glass when this happened, and he was so shocked that the beer overflowed and poured into his rice. The waiter was a champ and came back about five minutes later to continue serving the table, bandaged hand and all. He shook it off like it was nothing, but I’m pretty sure he has at least a second degree burn 😦

Monday

Joyce and I got up early to take Jennifer to work and do some last-minute things before I had to take Joyce to the airport. On the agenda: shopping at 3rd Street Promenade, day drinking on Santa Monica Pier, and more Korean food in K-Town.

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Shopping proved to be a rather big failure because we were both feeling bloated from the weekend of major eating, so we ended up doing some quality eye-shopping instead.

Afterwards, we walked onto the Pier and grabbed a table at Mariasol Mexican Restaurant, located on the furthest end of the Pier just over the ocean. We each ordered a sangria and munched on chips and salsa.

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This is precisely when I realized I had lost my cell phone. Joyce’s cell phone had already died, so we had no other choice but to walk around looking for it. We chugged our sangrias, speedily paid our tab, and speed-walked back to the Promenade where we had it narrowed down to three stores. Luckily, it was at the first store we checked. Apparently, running a half marathon killed whatever extra brain cells I had left.

We decided that was enough of Santa Monica and headed back to Koreatown to hit up KyoChon chicken. They’re known for their crispy, hot chicken wings.

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They took forever to come out and were just okay. I will give them credit though because the hot and spicy wings were actually hot. Joyce’s lips were on fire for a good 30 minutes.

To cool down, we walked across the street to Haus Dessert Boutique for some 팥빙수 (pat bing soo), which is a Korean shaved ice dessert.

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I’ve had way better shaved ice at other places in L.A., so we were both rather disappointed, but at least it looked pretty!

After making a quick stop at Paris Baguette, a Korean bakery, for some yummy pastries, we ended up at the Koreatown Galleria’s food court. Joyce had a major hankering for Korean street food, and we didn’t know where else to go. We picked a place called Cham Cham Cham and ended up with a feast.

We got the 김밥 (kimbap), which resembles a Korean “sushi” roll. Generally speaking, all of the ingredients are always fully cooked and usually include various veggies, fried egg, and a meat. Ours were made with SPAM.

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Then we got 순대 (soondae) aka blood sausage. If unusual animal parts freak you out, you would probably be better off not knowing what this is made of. It’s pig intestines stuffed with noodles and dried blood. As a kid, I didn’t know what was inside and loved it. When I found out, I nearly vomited, decided that I had already eaten a gazillion of these and loved them, so I continued eating them. They truly are tasty and variations of it are eaten in cultures all over the world.

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We finished off with 오댕국 (odeng gook), a fish cake soup. It’s a light broth filled with fish cakes and veggies, and Joyce had been craving it all weekend long. I somehow forgot to take a picture, so here’s a generic photo.

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Soon it was time to take Joyce to the airport so that I could pick up Jennifer from work. I wasn’t all that hungry for a full dinner, so Jennifer and I went to get mani/pedis. Even after that, we weren’t starving, but I really wanted Porto’s potato balls again….real bad. So, we went.

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It was glorious! I’m kind of glad we don’t have a Porto’s in Denver because I would get so fat. They’re only 70 cents each! I would literally eat them every single day. Like I said, good thing they’re not here. I also got their mango cheesecake, which was absolutely phenomenal and not too sweet.

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Tuesday

Last day in sunny gloomy California 😦 I had my last breakfast with Jennifer’s family before heading out for the day. I drove up to the UCLA area to chill out at a coffee shop before meeting Kris for lunch. She suggested we go to 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizza, and I’m so glad we went!

We started off with their chopped salad of assorted vegetables, cheese and meats in a red wine vinaigrette. So yummy.

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For the pizza, you start with fresh dough and then choose everything that you want to put on your pizza before they cook it in a wood-burning oven. We started with the Margherita base of crushed tomato, fresh mozzarella, parmigiano reggiano, olive oil, and basil. To that we added salami, artichokes, and mushrooms.

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It was fantastic and just enough food for the two of us. Before we knew it, Kris had to get back to work, and I had some more time to kill before I had to drop my rental off at the airport. I headed to Massage Therapy Center for an hour-long relaxation break, and I’m so glad I did. I got there early, so I made use of their steam room and showered before settling in for an hour of bliss.

It was the perfect ending to a perfect trip. It was awful leaving 70 degrees and coming home to 15 degrees. Talk about temperature shock lol.

Question of the Day: What’s the most unusual food that you’ve eaten?

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Running on Auto-Pilot

Happy Hump Day! It feels like Monday today since I was out sick yesterday. I’m glad that several of you could relate to the nausea that I felt after my run. Not glad that you have to experience it, but happy that I’m not alone.

I’ve decided that I’m not meant to workout at 4:30am, I need to stay more hydrated, and I need to eat healthier this week. I think I can handle that.

For those of you who have to work this week, I hope you’re being more productive than me. I’m getting what I need to get done, but my brain is totally on auto-pilot. I feel like I’m in a bit of a fuzzy state of mind because it feels weird having two holiday weekends in a row (and 3 short work weeks). Plus, so many people are off of work that it’s been really quiet (and OOO auto-responses are in plenty).

I’m trying to put together some sort of end-of-year post, so keep your eyes peeled. Unfortunately, I won’t have many recaps since I just started blogging in October. Anywho, here’s a snippet of what I’ve eaten today since I haven’t been posting much food lately.

Breakfast- Oatmeal w/ ChiaCharger + SoBe Coconut Lifewater

the usual

Snack- Fage 2% Strawberry + Cuties

Lunch Part 1- Rice with my mom’s yummy spicy chicken (it looks a lot spicier than it really is)

Lunch Part 2: Salad monster from Cooks Fresh Market downtown (spinach, baby spring mix, artichokes, cucumbers, beets, broccoli, shredded carrots, black beans, egg, and turkey)

I was going to make a small salad, but I’ve been craving veggies like crazy, so I opted to make a huge one and get my veggie intake back to where it should be. Cooks Fresh has a decent salad bar with plenty of options, but I would rather go to Green Fine Salad any day.

My belly is nice and content because I didn’t eat nearly enough yesterday due to the nausea I was experiencing, and my runner’s appetite was in full force this morning. I’m going to hit the gym for a BodyPump class, so at least I’ll be fully fueled for my workout. It’s been over a month since I last went to BodyPump, so I know I’m going to be struggling today. Wish me luck!

Question of the Day: Have you been eating tons of extra veggies this week to make up for the holiday weekend?

Day and Night

Happy Holidays! I hope that everyone is finally getting a day off to enjoy this Christmas weekend with family even if you don’t celebrate Christmas.

Here’s a semi-condensed version of my MIA-days:

Thursday

This was quite possibly the longest day of work in my life. All of my coworkers and I didn’t have much to do because so many of our accounts had people off on extended holidays. So, we listened to a lot of Christmas music and bee-lined out of the office as frequently as possible, despite the overload of snow.

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For lunch, we ordered (fake) Chinese, which I always regret later because it always ends up so greasy, and I can never eat more than half.

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Then I was determined to give myself a sugar crash when our office catered giant platters of cookies. Delicious cookies. I had chocolate chip, peanut butter, and a brownie. I was able to polish off the cookies, but the brownie was too rich, and I already felt slightly sick lol. The cookies were the size of my hands.

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Immediately after work, I went to Japoix to try to catch a friend from out of town before going home to throw Christmas presents in my car to head down to Colorado Springs to my mom’s place. Turns out, she wasn’t going to be showing up  until way later, so I didn’t get to see her 😦 It’s okay though; I’ll be staying with her in February when I head to LA for my first half marathon…eek!

On the way down to Colorado Springs, the highways were cleaned up enough, so I made a detour to the outlet mall in Castle Rock to hit up the Under Armour and Nike stores. I was really hoping for some compression tights to be on sale, but no luck. I did end up with 2 pairs of new Nike Tempo shorts though, which are always needed.

Friday

After a well-rested evening, I woke up to hit up the gym for a 5 mile tempo run, and it was tough. I was mentally not into the run AT ALL, but I stuck it through and got it done.

Then I headed home for a yummy lunch. One of my favorite Korean soups of all time is 육개장 (yuk gae jang). It’s a spicy soup made with shredded beef and an assortment of vegetables. My mom uses cabbage, asparagus, onion, and green onion.

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My mom boils the beef and bones for a day before, skims out all of the fat, and then cooks the soup, resulting in a deep, savory broth. It’s served with a side of rice and other small side dishes, but I kept mine simple with just the rice.

Then I had to shower quickly and head to the car shop. My climate control system has been broken since May, which means I’ve been stuck in a sauna on crack during the summer, and have been a popsicle during this winter. I personally haven’t cared that much because I’m planning on buying a new car next year, but my mom insisted I go.

I planned on doing some shopping and visiting friends afterward before dinner with my family. Then, I was planning on heading to downtown Colorado Springs to grab a drink with my friend, so I planned a good day-to-night outfit.

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It looks casual enough to wear out, but with some darker eye make-up, makes for a cute bar outfit, too.

Shirt- Abercrombie & Fitch via my sister’s closet
Jacket- Forever 21
Jeans- True Religion via Nordstrom Rack
Shoes- Not sure…another raid into my sister’s closet
Purse- Steve Madden via TJ Maxx (only $35!)

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I’m in love with this bag, the blue color is great, and the hardware details go well with so may things.

Anyway, so I ended up being at the shop for four and a half hours! I finished The Hunger Games while I was there (highly recommend), read all of their magazines, and still had nothing to do for an hour, so I chatted it up with the mechanic’s wife. Needless to say, I didn’t get much done because I was already running late to dinner, BUT my heater is working! Yay!

Downtown Colorado Springs is definitely not downtown Denver, but it was something to do. On the plus side, while I was out, I ran into seven different people from high school! I haven’t seen these people from between 2000-2008, so it was really good to be able to catch up and see how people are doing years later.

I hope that your weekend is off to a great start. There’s not much on my agenda for today, but I’ll be doing a 4 mile run with my sister and her boyfriend, buying one last gift for her boyfriend, getting some final groceries with my mom, and attempting to sew myself a skirt (unless I get my hands on book 2 of the Hunger Games series!).  Until tomorrow!

Question of the Day: Does your family have any Christmas Eve traditions?