Rock n Roll Las Vegas: Strip at Night

Hello from Las Vegas! I’m still here enjoying all the wonders Vegas has to offer, aka food, drinks, shopping, and shows! Last night I ran the Rock n Roll half marathon on the strip with my college friend Brittan and it was truly thrilling.
imageRunning the strip at night is so exhilarating. This is a crowded race so it was full of energy and excitement. Having over 40,000 people running a race creates a certain type of challenge for the organizers but this race was planned out well with multiple race corrals.
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The start line seemed so far away from our corral but once we got to the start the DJ had us pumped up with energy. We were ready for the run. Brittan and I planned to run/walk this race because I was still getting over a cold but we ended up running the entire thing! Having awesome bands play throughout the course doesn’t hurt matters either.
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I was so impressed with Brittan during this race. I’ll have you know that the longest distance she ran during training was 3 miles! Incredible! I don’t think I could have run a half marathon without running 10 miles before hand. She is my new hero!
imageI have to say there were a few lessons learned from this race. For intense, dancing until 3 am the night before is probably not the smartest idea. Also, bring your own fuel to the race. Even if the race offers fuel on the course, they may run out before you get there. Lastly, don’t be afraid to grab two cups of Gatorade because you are probably dehydrated from those cocktails the night before… Hah!
imageAll that matters is that we finished and with a pretty decent time of 2:31! I’m off to enjoy a little icing and then shopping… Catch ya later!

Weekend Adventures & Ramblings

Hi friends! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend! Mine was a blast filled with Halloween adventures, family visits, a swap meet, and running. Actually, the last 3 weeks have been jam-packed with different activities.  Ever since my first half marathon, I have been in a fitness/health rut! I missed Target Practice Friday because I didn’t workout at all last week (other than long runs).  Plus, I was recovering from my Halloween party the night before! If I do say so myself, the party was pretty awesome!!!

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 The Bear was Jesse from Breaking Bad!

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 Can you guess who I went as yet?! Bettlejuice Bettlejuice Bettlejuice!!!

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 Love the Lego costume!

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 I think the tablescape turned out nicely.

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I have come to the conclusion that I need to take a little break from blogging this week. I have been struggling with thinking up new ideas for the blog. Writer’s block has finally struck. I have been afraid this would happen.  My plan for the week is to focus on fitness and eating well. I want to get back into a healthy routine, and hope that my blogging inspiration will return next week. I will check in to report progress with you all on Target Practice Friday!

Weekend Adventures Part II: Pink Concert

Did I mention that I went to a Pink concert last Saturday?! Well I did and it pretty much rocked my world! Lately I have been on a concert binge streak and my longest friend, you remember Ashleigh from my rock climbing post, came up to LA to join me in a Pink adventure.

20131012_222730-smEven though I ran my first half marathon the morning of the concert, there was no way in hell that I would miss Pink because I was a little tired. Instead, I took a long nap during the day so that I would be well rested for the concert.imageAshleigh and I arrived at the concert right as the opening band, The Kin, started to play.  Neither of us had heard of The Kin before that night, but boy were we fans
after the concert.  The only souvenir that I bought was their CD.

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While we loved The Kin, we came to see Pink.  I have always been a fan of Pink but I absolutely LOVE her now! No concert will ever be as good as her performance on Saturday!

Her performance was a combination of a Cirque du Soleil show and a pop concert. I don’t know how she was able to sing while being suspended in the air and tumbling all over the place, but she did! Her acrobatics were impressive but she brought the house down with her acoustic songs. I love how everyone used the flashlight on their cell phones as if they were lighters.

The show started at 8 p.m. but didn’t end until well after 11 p.m. Pink played song after song after song, old and new alike! For the grand finale Pink sang “So What” suspended in the air. It was amazing!

My video skills don’t do her performance justice!

After the concert we went hunting for the members of The Kin, who said they would be doing autographs outside the Staples Center. We weren’t lucky in finding them, but we did get an awesome picture in front of the Staples Center!

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Saturday was incredible with the half marathon, yummy food, and concert! I never wanted it to end!

Have you ever seen Pink live? What is your favorite type of concert? Rock, Pop, Alternative, or Country?

Weekend Adventures Part I: Spooktacular Half Marathon

Happy Monday my friends!  Before I jump into today’s post, I want to give a big THANKS to Holly, Lauren, Megan, Rachel and Nicole for the kind words on Friday. You ladies inspire me each and every day and I truly appreciate your support!

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Now for the weekend adventures…I ran my first half marathon this weekend! I am still wrapping my head around it. I cannot believe that about eight months ago I was not able to run a full mile and now I can run 13.1 miles! Let me repeat that, THIRTEEN POINT ONE MILES!!! :-) Saying it makes me giddy!

On Saturday the Bear and I arrived at the beautiful Bonelli Park for the Spooktacular race. We met my friend Gaby there, who decided to run the race the night before and this was her first half marathon too! The medal may have swayed her a little. :-)

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Seriously! How awesome are these medals!?

Before the race, there was a consume contest. I have to say that there were some very impressive costumes! I am still not sure how these ladies ran in the jelly fish costume!

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After the costume contest, Gaby and I lined up for the race. At the ready, set, go marker, we were off! We ran the first two miles around a 9 minute pace. The energy from the race always makes me run faster. Plus, we were running down hill so that didn’t hurt matters, but what you go down, you must come back up! I did very little research into the Bonelli Park because I heard it was hilly and did not want to psych myself out. There certainly were hills, and trails, and a creek (!), but it was also beautiful and worth every step.

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I went into this race with a plan of attack: I would run to each water station and walk while I hydrated for about 15 seconds. This plan worked out well and we were still able to maintain a 10:30 pace. Around mile three, I was getting a stomach ache. I was worried because it was so early in the game but by mile four my stomach was feeling better and I started to get into a grove.

Throughout the course, there were a few signs that told us to “turn around.” Without fail Gaby and I would pass the time by singing “turnaround, every now and then I get a little bit na na na na.” I don’t think I can run another race without Gaby. She is the most positive person I have ever met and cheered on everyone throughout the race! It was a blast to run with her!

By mile twelve I was feeling tired and had a minor pain in my foot but ready to tackle the last mile. I picked up the pace and focused on the hill to the finish.  Luckily it was a gradual hill so I was able to maintain a 10 minute pace. At the top of the hill I heard the crowd cheering. With the excitement in the air, I sprinted to the finish! My official time was 2:17:52! Two minutes faster than my goal time!

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Collecting the beautiful Day of the Dead medal was a perfect way to finish the race!

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After the race, I was so sore that I could hardly walk back to the car.  I kept telling the Bear to slow down because I couldn’t keep up. Hah! Once I got home, I got some major stretching done. Then I settled in front of the TV with compression socks, ice bags, and one of my favorite cheesy Halloween movies, Hocus Pocus! Around noon, I placed an order in with the Bear for some animal style fries from In-n-Out. They were as good as I remembered. :-)

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My day almost couldn’t have gotten any better, but then I remembered I had a Pink concert that night. More on that tomorrow…

How was your weekend? Did you run any races? How do you prevent stomach aches while running?

Australia Bound!

Happy Monday Friends! I have exciting news! Over the weekend, the Bear and I booked a trip to Australia this winter. :)

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The Bear and I aren’t well traveled, so I am pretty ecstatic to be going farther than the Mexican border.  We will be visiting Melbourne, Sydney, and Cairns in Australia.  Being the type A person that I am, I have just about every minute planned.  The Bear prefers city traveling while I prefer nature traveling, so we have a bit of both planned.  Of course we will visit Sydney’s famous Opera House, but  what I am super psyched about is going to Phillips Island to see the Penguin march!

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And you can’t go to Australia without seeing some koalas and roos!

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I pretty much spent the entire weekend researching Australian cuisine.  Being the wannabe foodie that I am, that was the first thing I started looking into!  That’s when I stumbled upon this article.  Now I know why the meat-loving Bear wanted to go to Australia so badly!  He will be in meat heaven with the emu, lamb leg roast, barbecued snags, meat pies, crocodile, and grilled kangaroo. Yes, you read that right… emu, crocodile, and grilled kangaroos!  Poor little roos! :-(

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As you know I have quite the sweet tooth, so I am excited to try all the sweet goodies! Why hello Pavlova! Please get in my belly!

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The Bear asked me how I was going to make this post health related since this is a healthy living blog. To which I replied, “I’m not!”  While I spend a majority of my life being health conscious, I use vacations as an excuse to go a little off the deep end. :-)

Question(s):

Have you been to Australia?  If you were going to Australia, what would be on your bucket list?  What’s your favorite Australian cuisine? 

Mt Baldy Hiking Adventures

Before there was running, there was hiking.  The Bear and I love to get lost in nature with a good hike.  Not only is hiking a great form of exercise, it is a fantastic way to clear the mind. Yesterday the Bear and I went to Mt Baldy so I thought I would share some pictures with you!

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We ate at the restaurant on the top of the mountain and it was quite good for being 7800 feet above sea level!

IMG_6101-ps IMG_6107-ps IMG_6105-ps IMG_6108-psOur eats weren’t very healthy but they were tasty!

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Note to self: bring a jacket next time you hike in the mountains. It was cold and windy!

How was your weekend?  Do you enjoy hiking? 

 

Adventures for the Soul: fun. Addition

I have been a little MIA from the blogging world lately.  It has been a busy week! This Sunday the Bear and I went to the beach, Monday we went to a BBQ,Tuesday I went to a fun. concert with my good friend, Danielle, and yesterday I traveled for work again.  One sign that is has been a busy week is that I have over 300 blog posts to read on Bloglovin’!  Another tell-tale sign of a busy week is functioning on 5 hours of sleep each night.  For someone who regularly gets her 8-9 hours of shut eye, that’s rough!  But this post is about my week Adventures for the Soul, so let’s start with Sunday.

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Sunday we traveled to Santa Monica for a beach day.  We love to ride our cruisers on the bike path through Malibu and Venice.   If you live in SoCal, you know how diverse the beach towns can be within a few short miles.  Anyways, Sunday was absolutely the perfect beach day.  It was in the mid 80s, the water was warm, and the sky made beautiful backdrop with big fluffy clouds.

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I asked the Bear to smile, and this is what I got!

Monday we went to my sister-in-law’s father’s house in Newport Beach for a BBQ.  My sister-in-law made the most amazing grilled Ahi Tuna recipe with mandarin oranges and avocado!

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Her father had the exquisite mirror from the 1600s!!! It was love at first sight and told him I’d be happy to give the mirror a new home if he ever got tired of looking at it! :)

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His house, aka the Chateau, also had the most beautiful view of Newport Beach.  You could see Catalina off in the distance.

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This sunset is a regular sight at the Chateau!

Lastly, on Tuesday I went to a fun. concert at the Greek Theater, you may remember the Greek from this movie.  One of my oldest friends, Danielle, came up from San Diego for the concert.  We started the evening with a delicious meal from my favorite vegan restaurant, Real Food Daily.  Then we went shopping at Lululemon because well, it’s the best!

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After our tummies were full and our wallets were empty we made our way over to the Greek.  Tegan and Sara were the opening act for fun., which was somewhat funny because everyone I told about the concert knew who Tegan and Sara were but not who fun. was.

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Fun. was pretty amazing too, but we actually enjoy Tegan and Sara a bit more!  Go figure.

Even though I have lived in L.A. for the last four years, this was the first time ever going to the Greek, so I have learned a few lessons for next time.

Lesson #1: Wear flats! You will be walking up big a$$ hills.

Lesson #2: Don’t plan on an early escape from the Greek.  You see, the Greek doesn’t actually have a parking lot for that many visitors. Everyone is asked to park directly behind one another.  We had to wait for 5 cars to move before we could even leave the dirt lot.

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Lesson #3: Bring a backup camera because you won’t remember that a banana smashed into the lens of your favorite point-and-shoot until you get to the concert!

Lesson #4: Bring a medical mask and hand sanitizer because the person next to you will undoubtedly be sick and pick their nose while coughing all over you!

Ending on a happy note :) … the concert was amazing, and I had a fabulous time with my good friend, Danielle.  Definitely worth getting sick!

Question of the day: 

What camera do you use for blogging pictures?  What camera do you use in everyday life?

Surftown Duathlon + Weekend Adventures for the Soul

This weekend was eventful!  I headed down to San Diego for my first duathlon (words cannot describe!) but I also had fantastic weekend adventures for the soul.

First off, after having my hair lightened (P.S. my mom is the best hair stylist in Fallbrook), I helped my brother buy a car on Saturday!

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Check out this stud!

Later I met up with one of my oldest friends, Danielle.  One nice thing about living in a small town my entire life is that I have friends who date back to the 3rd grade (a.k.a. Danielle) and even to my 2nd birthday (a.k.a Ashleigh).  [FYI, you will most likely see them pop up on this blog from time to time.]  The special thing about these friendships is we can go a year without seeing each other, but pick things up as if no time has passed.  But back to my beautiful friend, Danielle, who is one of the most caring people I have ever met.  She is the type of person who will go out of her way to help friends, family, and even, strangers in need.   I could go on and on about how great Danielle is, but you get the point… she is awesome!

Danielle, her fiancé Nick, a friend John, and I went out to Old Town Temecula for drinks, live music, and dinner on Saturday night.   We started the evening with cocktails, like the Roboto, which was a watermelon basil drink! YUM!

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After listening to some live music, we ate at Public House.  I knew the food would be amazing because there was a two hour wait!  It basically rocked my world! Check out these eats.

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With all the drinks and unhealthy food, let’s just say I was off to a good start for the duathlon the following morning. Totally worth it!

Sunday morning I woke bright, well dark, and early at 3:30 a.m. to get ready for the duathlon.  I was doing surprisingly well on only 5 hours of sleep.  With much convincing the day before, my brother agreed to come with me to Imperial Beach Surftown Duathlon.  My friend, Terry, met me down in Imperial Beach where we got set up for the race.

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Overall the race went well, though I say that with some hesitation.  You see, I didn’t actually start the first run with everyone else.  Terry and I were in line to use the restroom and lost track of time.  We didn’t realize the race already started until about 8 minutes in.  Oops. :)  To our defense, there was a lot of confusion about when the duathlon started versus the triathlon.

Since I got a late start, I went out at full speed.  I can’t say how fast I ran because I forgot to start my watch during all the commotion and frustration.  (I may have said a few curse words!)  I think the first mile was around an 8 minute pace.

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Once I got back to the transition area, I had calmed down a bit and focused on the task at hand.  The transition to bike went smoothly at about one minute.   Once the wind was in my hair, I was completely in the zone.  Did I mention that I love biking?!  So much so that I improved my pace by 4 minutes, making my bike time 34:14.   I was happy again.

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After transitioning from biking (1:20), it was time for the 5k.  I ran the first mile at 8:34, the second mile at 9:16, and the final mile at 8:39, which made this my new PR!  I was doubleplus happy!

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The race was followed by a birthday celebration for my brother (29) and grandpa (84!)  We ate a lot of good food, opened presents, and enjoy each other’s company.  My mom made the cute fruit kabobs and my grandma made the chile relleno casserole.

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Overall I had an amazing weekend.  The duathlon was a great learning experience.  For instance, some of the racers dismounted their bikes without removing their clipless shoes from the pedal!  Also, pay attention to start times, Jillienne!!!! Anyways, I am looking forward to the next duathlon, and hopefully, triathlon soon!

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How was your weekend!?

Sin City Gone Good?

Sin City Gone Good? Nope!

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The plan was to write a post with a healthy spin on my trip to Las Vegas… that lasted about two hours on my first day in Sin City!  I should have known better because this is the third time I have gone to Vegas with Hosanna and Ashley.  It is becoming an annual ritual, and I always look forward to spending time with the girls shopping, sunbathing, and dancing!

Although the weekend was not exactly healthy, I managed to get a 5k run in on Friday morning.  Let me tell you! Running on the strip is hard.  There are soo many stairs.  These little legs were burning after mile one.  And it was HOT!  One nice thing about running on the strip was that there is music playing almost everywhere you run, which was convenient since I forgot my earphones.

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After the run, it was time for breakfast so the girls and I went to Society Café.  The food was delicious and they actually have some very healthy options like fresh Acai juice.  In addition to ordering Acai juice, we split some muffins, fruit, and a breakfast panini.  Yum!

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Breakfast was followed by shopping at the outlet malls.

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Maybe one day I will be able to afford to shop at these stores!

By the time we were done shopping, it was dinner time.  We returned to a favorite restaurant called Firefly, which is just off the strip.

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Let’s be real here! It can be hard to eat clean dinners on the strip.  We thought the food was healthy, but then we looked at the pictures the following morning with a clearer state of mind.  Regardless, the food was amazing and the Sangria was even better!

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Before and after dinner, there was much gambling by the ladies.  I lost a whole dollar during the trip!  I’m not much of a gambler, what can I say.

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The dress I’m wearing above sounds like rain when I walk! I call it my shimmy shimmy dress.

We woke late Saturday morning and decreed it a pool day! Hosanna left us for a few hours to watch a soccer game with her husband and his friends who happened to be in Vegas as well.  Hosanna is such a good wife!

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Ashley and I got some more shopping in at the Caesers Palace after the pool, and we stumbled upon Max Brenner.  Hosanna met up with us there, and we ordered a few cocktails.  Hosanna had the Chocolate Martini while I had the Satisfaction Guaranteed (castries peanut liqueur, caramel liqueur, milk chocolate.)

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Dessert cocktails? Yes please!!!

The Bellagio is one of our favorite casinos.  Their flower décor is like no other and the water show is always fun to watch.

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Saturday evening we went to Fiamma Trattorria for a mouth-watering Italian feast. Even the Italian, Ashley, said the food was good and she is a tough critic.

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The grilled salmon was good but the pear martini was amazing! I’m sure you are sensing a theme now…

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Later we put on our dancing shoes at Surrender.

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The shimmy shimmy dress made another guest appearance. Ashley rocked it well, and it was just too cute not to be worn two nights in a row!

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We definitely danced the night away.

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Sunday was uneventfully other than driving back to Los Angeles.  It was nice to have a break from my typical routine.  I think having a few splurges on desserts or greasy food is fine every once in a while, but only in moderation.  Now that I’m home, it is time to get back into the groove of things.  That means eating clean and training for a half marathon.

 

San Francisco Treat (Curried Vegetables)

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I am very fortunate to have friends, Nicole and Amish, who live in San Francisco.  Nicole and I have known each other since we were two-years-old and we have remained great friends throughout the years.  Nicole married Amish a few years ago, and I had the privilege to participate in their wedding.  Amish is from Nepal but came here for his masters degree.

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The first day (Friday) I arrived in San Fran, Nicole took me to Pacifica Beach to visit the tide pools.  We mostly saw small crabs, sea anemones, and jelly fish.  I wish all flights ended in such a relaxing style.

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After the beach, we went to their house for dinner.  Amish is the master of making curry sauces, so I asked him to share a healthy version of his recipe with my readers.  He agreed to make a cauliflower/potato curry and an eggplant curry.

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5.0 from 1 reviews

Amish’s Nepali Curried Eggplant and Curried Cauliflower
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4
 

Ingredients
  • For the Curried Eggplant
  • 3 Asian eggplants, cut into 4 inch strips
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into thin slices
  • 3 garlic gloves
  • ½ inch of ginger
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1-2 tablespoon(s) of mustard oil
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 handful of chopped cilantro for garnish
  • For the Curried Cauliflower:
  • 2 small potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into bited sized pieces
  • 6 garlic gloves
  • 1 inch of ginger, peeled
  • 20 Fenugreek seeds (or cumin seeds)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1-2 tablespoon(s) of mustard oil
  • 1 handful of chopped cilantro for garnish

Instructions
  1. For the Curried Eggplant:
  2. In a blender combine garlic gloves, peeled ginger, and one teaspoon of water and blend until it forms a paste. Add cumin powder, coriander powder, and turmeric powder to the paste and set aside. Heat mustard oil on medium/high heat in a large pot. Add onion to the hot oil. Once the onion have turned translucent (about 2 minutes), reduce the heat to medium and mix in the paste. Add the eggplant strips to the mixture. Cover the pot and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the diced tomato and cook for an additional 10 minutes, until the eggplant is very tender and the tomato has broken down. Garnish with cilantro.
  3. For the Curried Cauliflower:
  4. In a blender combine garlic gloves, peeled ginger, and one teaspoon of water and blend until it forms a paste. Add cumin powder, coriander powder, and turmeric powder to the paste and set aside. Heat mustard oil on medium/high heat in a large pot. Add fenugreek seeds to the hot oil. Once the fenugreek seeds turn black, reduce the heat to medium and mix in the bay leaves and then the paste. Add the cut cauliflower and potatoes to the mixture. Cover the pot and cook for 7 minutes until tender. Stir occasionally throughout cook time. Garnish with cilantro.

 

Amish thought he was being sly, but I saw him sneaking in extra tablespoons of mustard oil!

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Amish is a scientist at Genentech, and I may have accidently purposely scheduled my visit to San Fran during Genentech’s private concert they hold for their employees every year. Genentech rented out the entire AT&T stadium for the concert and provided free food, drinks, and alcohol!  Famous, and I mean famous, artists performed for us.  This year they had Demi Lovato, Nickelback, Pitbull and Train!  Call me lucky!!!

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That’s Demi Lovato behind us!  I will admit it… I’m a fan!

After the concert we wandered around the city and stumbled upon the Seven Sisters. You may recognize these houses from a little show called Full House.

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Nicole and Amish have a raspberry bush in their backyard, and I probably ate at least 20 berries straight from the bush before we moved on to our next Adventure for the Soul.

 

 

On my last day in San Fran, we only had a few hours before my flight so we visited the Golden Gate Bridge and Japantown.

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It was very cold, windy, and foggy by the bridge but it was well worth it!

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In Japantown, I was super excited to find chia seed lotion-water.  However, after trying the  sample, I was not much of a fan.  It left a sticky residue behind.

 

 

 

San Francisco is one of my favorite cities.  Each neighborhood has a unique culture and microclimate.  I think it would take months to see everything this city has to offer, and I plan to return soon to visit Nicole, Amish and other friends in the area.