On a Pink Typewriter

a writer with a hearty appetite & an active lifestyle

I Just Want To…

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Yes. ^

That’s basically how I feel these days.

I mean, please. Please?

I just want to do that all the time,  on repeat. And I want to do it starting NOW, versus trying to squeeze in the above between a 9am-5pm-er that isn’t inspiring me anymore.

Patience is not my jam.

So instead, I am a mix of frustrated, tired,  antsy, inspired, and occasionally disenchanted. I need to get a grip.

Oh! And while we’re chatting about things I’d rather be doing, my new side biz is at the tippity top of the list, as well as freelance writing more often. (Let me know if I can help ya!) I’m working on staying in the present and be grateful for the moments I have now, not letting impatience get the better of me.

And now, time for that coffee. And to figure out what the heck I’m doing for Halloween (besides hopefully eating this).

xo

 

Are you antsy about anything? What do you wish you were doing, in a perfect world? For me, it’s anything related to writing, food, and fitness/health promotion. 

Dinner at Wang’s in North Park

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One year and almost five months later, and I still don’t feel like I’ve gotten my arms around all of the best/famous/local favorite restaurants here in San Diego. Gosh, there’s a lot of delicious places to eat here. I rely on recommendations and suggestions and of course some of those “best of” lists to get ideas of where to eat next, besides plain ol’ wandering into holes in the wall in my neighborhood.

Needless to say, I was pretty excited when the nice folks over at Wang’s  North Park asked if I wanted to stop by and review their restaurant. Um, heck yes!

Wang’s is an old school Chinese restaurant, which, if I’m being completely transparent, I hadn’t even heard yet. I don’t tend to spend much time in North Park, except to get my haircut every few months which, turns out, is right down the block from Wang’s.

Somehow I’ve failed to see their huge neon sign in the daytime……

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Anyways, I was immediately struck by how friendly everyone who worked at the restaurant was, from the waiter to the busboy to the manager. Have you ever eaten at a place when the staff is completely unfriendly or even rude? Yeah, no thanks.

I grew up in New York City, so I’m admittedly a tough critic of Chinese restaurants, because I’m used to the good stuff (see also: pizza and bagels).

We started off with some drinks, including one of their speciality cocktails: the “Inspector Wang.”

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How great is that name?

The light was not the best for taking photos, but believe me when I say this was electric blue colored and tasted like my freshman year of college. ;-)

As an appetizer, we ordered the steamed dumplings – half chicken with black bean, half lemongrass-coconut shrimp.

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I LOVE dumplings at Chinese restaurants, but I’d say these were just okay. At least the chicken – I didn’t try the shrimp ones,  but my dining partner really liked ‘em.

For my main dish, I ordered Buddha’s Belly with chicken, aka a whoooole lot of veggies stir-fried in a yummy sauce and served with brown rice. AND they brought out a side of sriracha sauce.

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This was pretty good, especially with the extra heat added!

Although I liked this, I’m sort of kicking myself for not ordering something more exciting or traditional. Their menu was pretty big, and everything sounded so good that I went with the dish I knew I’d probably enjoy most.

My dining partner ordered the Banana Leaf Basa Fish, which was really impressive in terms of presentation! It was wrapped in a banana leaf (surprise!), and served alongside sliced mango in a big steamer basket. He said it was delicious!

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We were both just so excited about the way it was brought to the table! Easy to please?

Hands down favorite part? The fortune cookies we got at the end. I know, I knoooow, but so many more modern Chinese restaurants seem to forget about this piece of the meal, and it’s always what I look forward to the most.

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I would definitely come here again, and I want to bring my parents because they’re hardcore New Yorkers who appreciate the art of a well-made egg roll.

Oh, and I promised our waiter I’d mention him for the single ladies out there… His name is Matt and he was hilarious. Go get him, girls. ;-)

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Big thank you to Wang’s for having me!

Wang’s North Park

3029 University Avenue

San Diego, CA 92104

 

**My entire meal was complimentary courtesy of Wang’s restaurant, but all opinions are honest and 100% my own. 

Monday Things

…we haven’t done one of these posts in a while, so I thought I’d bring it on back. :-)

1.  It finally feels like fall here in San Diego! Halle-freakin’-lujah. I actually wore a kind of, sort of sweater on Saturday, and have been wearing a scarf without looking like an Eskimo that was mistakenly dropped in Miami. ‘Bout time.

2. The fall weather also made it finally seem appropriate to crack open a can of pumpkin this weekend.

IMG_4616Pumpkin oats, party of one.

3. These elusive leopard print shoes I mentioned the other day? Finally found ‘em in my size! They’re supposedly on their way to my mailbox as we speak.

4. I’m using brunch to learn to love football season. Case in point: Barleymash in the Gaslamp District, yesterday.

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Sunday football is delicious.

5. Speaking of delicious, we grabbed Chipotle for dinner the other night, which I used to really like and hadn’t had in ages (like since I moved from D.C.!). It didn’t taste as good as it used to — has anyone else noticed that?

6. Remember that design class I started taking last month? Well, I just had a midterm for it, and it’s bringing back memories of college and squeezing in assignments before fun.

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Coffee + homework first, or no wine.

7. Have you seen this article about emoji-inspired Halloween costumes? I die. 

8. Some friends came over Saturday night to watch the World Series + the USC football game, so naturally I made this baked goat cheese and roasted red pepper dip. You’re seeing my correlation with team sports and snacks, yes?

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I did a terrible job photographing it, but it was seriously yummy. We used pita chips to scoop it up instead of the baguette that the recipe calls for!

8. I would like to move into an episode of Gilmore Girls. Is that possible?

9. Big congrats to everyone who ran the Marine Corps Marathon or 10K in D.C. yesterday! And on the complete opposite end of the spectrum, the most I’ve run since the Long Beach half is 1 mile. Yay?

 

What are YOUR Monday things? Share in the comments!

Coffee Talk

Oh, hi.

Let’s pretend we’re having coffee today, mmmk? I’m having one of those all too familiar ramble moments, so bear with me.

If we were really having coffee, I’d tell you that I’ve been in a f-u-n-k this week. I’ve been letting stuff at work weigh me down, and I just really need to do like Jay-Z says and brush that dirt off my shoulder. Did I really just that?

…long week. Told ya.

I recently read a quote that hit home: “Stress is caused by being here, but wanting to be there.” <– truth.

And I’d mention that I’m super duper excited about a recent decision to dive into a freelance business, on the side of my 9am-5pm office job and blog. I just shared some deets on a brand new page here on the blog - check it out here! I’d love you forever if you share it with anyone you know who might be interested in my services.

Okay, fine. I already love you, but that would really seal the deal.

I’ve been struggling lately with time management + balance, fitting in work and class and driving all around southern California (have I mentioned  that this boy I love lives an hour away from me?) amongst others things, and trying to squeeze in sleep and writing.  I need to get my act together because for a freelance biz to be successful, you have to, well…

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Yeeeeeah.

{And that made me think of Jay-Z again. What is going on today?}

If we were having coffee, I’d mention that I’m trying desperately to find these shoes in my size, and am failing. Apparently everyone with my size feet have already bought a million pairs. Rude.

I’d also tell you I have not run since my half a couple weeks ago. Not one stinkin’ mile. Heck, I barely want to look at my running shoes.

So, I’m on a little self-imposed vacay from running, in order to help myself not hate it forever. And instead, I’m filling my sweat-time with hot yoga and hiking, and returned to my beloved Body Pump classes at the gym.

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If that’s what a running vacay looks like, I don’t mind at all.

I believe very strongly people go through seasons in their lives with just about everything, including fitness and hobbies. In this current season, I don’t feel like running long distances. And I’ve sort of realized that to me, racing feels like a second job when I’m training, and zaps out the love I have for running…. even though I deeply value the sense of accomplishment at the end of the weekend long runs. Does that happen to anyone else?

I STILL haven’t chosen a Halloween costume, and after attending a Mad Men-themed party this last weekend, my love for theme parties and dressing up has been reawakened.  (I may or may not have joined a sorority in college mainly because of the promise of themed parties.)

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THIS SONG is my latest obsession. Have you heard it?

I’d also likely mention that I plan on tricking my boyfriend into watching the best Halloween movie ever this weekend, with some popcorn and pumpkin beer. Amok, amok, amok….

xo

 

If we were having coffee today, what would YOU share? 

 

 

Italian Meatballs (pan-fried)

Living on my own as a, ya know, grown-up these days, I sometimes really miss my mom’s home cooking. I feel like that’s especially hit me this week, in the form of homemade Italian food and grilled cheese sandwiches.

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Freak reaction from running the LB half? I have no idea.

For years I steered clear of trying to replicate any of my mom’s staple dishes, but I think that needs to change. I mean, eventually (eveeeeentually) I’ll probably have a house and a family and people who I’ll want to spread that same Italian food love to, right? My mom probably can’t mail me frozen containers of sauce and meatballs when I’m 40. I think.

And plus, I just wanted some dang meatballs this week!

SO, I took my mom’s traditional recipe and headed into the kitchen Wednesday night with the intention of making a slightly healthified and quicker cooking version, referring slightly to Andi’s meatball recipe for some measurement specifications. My mom and grandmas cook by “feel” aka something I don’t yet have when making the more authentic Italian dishes unsupervised (unless it’s baked ziti).

My mom usually uses half pork and half beef, but I made all beef ones because that’s what I prefer.

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They look like an ugly mess here, I know, but sometimes the most delicious stuff is the hardest to photograph.

The secret ingredient is really the Italian breadcrumbs! It helps keep the meatballs moist. If you don’t have Italian breadcrumbs or can’t find them in your local store, just add a hearty sprinkling of Italian seasonings (you can find this in the spices aisle at most grocery stores).

And what do you know? They were delish!

I mean, they didn’t taste identical to my mom’s cooking (what could?), but gosh they hit the spot.

If you’re planning to make a big pot of pasta sauce (like a bolognese), you could also cook these babies by dropping them straight into the pot of sauce and cooking for a couple of hours, like my mom always does. I was feeling impatient and had some sauce already prepared, which is why I just pan-fried them. That also helps make ‘em a little crispy, too.

I’ve been enjoying the leftovers for lunch as a homemade (and healthier!) meatball sub. :-)

I hope you like them! Comfort food fo’ sho, extra good on a  Friday. Happy weekend!

Italian Meatballs (Pan-Fried)

Ingredients

  • nonstick olive oil spray
  • 1 pound ground beef (I used 90-10, but you could also do 85-15)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2-3 tbsp Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • sprinkling of minced garlic, to taste
  • ~2 tsp grated Parmesan/Romano cheese (optional)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup marinara sauce

Directions

1. In a large bowl, break apart the beef with your hands. Pour the egg over the ground beef,  and add the breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, garlic, and (if you like) grated cheese.

2. Using your hands, mix the beef mixture in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well combined (do not over-mix).

3. Form the meat mixture into 12-15 small balls using your hands.  Add the meatballs to a large pan coated with nonstick spay, and place over medium-low heat. Note: spray liberally (or use 1 tbsp olive oil instead) so that the meatballs don’t stick to the pan.

4. Cook meatballs until completely cooked (i.e., no longer visibly pink), turning gently occasionally so as to cook all sides. In the last few moments of cooking, add enough sauce  to cover the meatballs. Serve warm, alongside pasta or vegetables.

Makes 15 meatballs

(62 calories per meatball)

 

 

What’s your favorite home-cooked meal that you had growing up? Do you cook it yourself now?

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