Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Pleasant Surprise

Another restaurant review. 

I have eaten out since my last one, but nothing really worth blogging about.  I cheated on Rosarios once or twice (and it wasn't worth it) and I got in a fight and made up with Rosarios.  I also ate at a diner - which is noteworthy and has been a favorite with hubby and I for about 15 years.  Service is inconsistent, but the food has been consistently good, down home cooking spanning 15 years and a change in management.  Check it out if you are local.

Now, I am not a fan of restaurants couched in strip malls, or attached to gas stations mostly because of the fact that it seems as if they are there because they have not graduated to be real restaurants.  But, I also tend to be tongue tied when hubby says, "Let's go to lunch.  What are you hungry for?" and we have an hour and a half to make a decision, drive to a restaurant, eat leisurely, and drive home so that I can pick up a child or children before the school calls the cops.  So, that is how I ended up at the nearby Spicy Ginger restaurant last Thursday after the lunch crowd.

It is couched in a strip mall along with one of the places with which we bank, so I drive by it quite a bit.  A few friends had told me it was good, so we decided to check it out.  I am so happy we did.

I was surprised immediately upon entering because for being in a tiny strip mall and for being a small Asian restaurant, it was decorated quite nicely.  This is not a commentary about the decorating in small Asian restaurants but do you know the red walls, Chinese calendar menus, Buddha theme?  Well, this was not of that variety.  The ambiance was warm, inviting, and the pendant lighting added a comfortable feeling.

I will get right to the food because it was yummy.  I ordered (and, yes, I am a big eater) four "crab and cream cheese puffs" for an appetizer.  They came and looked like neat little pillows.  You could have almost mistaken them for tiny sopapillas.  They had some cilantro and julienned carrots in the middle of the plate.  An attractive touch and super delicious when I picked it up and put it in my puff.  The puffs were steaming hot when I ripped them open.  Did I mention that I love my food hot when it's supposed to be hot?  The puff itself was a little thicker than the crab rangoons I have eaten and now I think I like them thin and thick.  I thought the puffs could have had a bit more filling, but the flavor was good.

It was difficult for me to decide on a main dish because I liked the noodle selection (always a good sign).  I picked Vietnamese noodles and decided to give tofu a try.  It's been a long time since I've eaten tofu and I wanted to see if I still liked it.  I was really happy with my choice.  The bowl came and it was a bowl.  I ate that lunch and lunch/snack the next day (which unfortunately I had to share with my foodie nine year old boy).  The noodles were hot and the flavors mixed together excellently.  The cucumber was sliced a little thicker than in the Vietnamese noodles I've had before.  I liked that.  I could really taste the flavor that way.  There were carrots, lots of cilantro, lettuce, beansprouts, and a slight lemony flavor.  Lemongrass?  Really great combination of flavors.  The tofu was spicy and had the consistency of chicken.  I have no idea if that is normal since it's been so long since I've had tofu, but it was good and tasted like soy sauce.  Sidenote:  The next day my nine year old (who has no idea what tofu is) said, "Give me all the chicken pieces, mom."  Then he claimed how great the chicken was in the noodles.

Hubby enjoyed what he had - Moo Goo Gai Pan.  But, it didn't look nearly as delish as mine, so I didn't ask for a bite.

I thoroughly enjoyed my meal, the ambiance was nice, and the service was great.  The prices?  I couldn't make it for cheaper (let's be honest - I couldn't make it at all).  I will go back.  :o)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Healthy Diet and Exercise, or EAT THE CAKE FIRST!

As many of you know, I am going through a crazy-a$$ midlife crisis which at any given moment can range in depth and proportion but for the most part is centered around, "I need to workout like a mad and crazy woman so that I can have a healthy body which may not look great, but that down deep is muscled and toned, and I need to change my eating habits from things that taste great to things that are good-for-you."

I said this is a "mid-life crisis" which I will clarify by saying:
1. I am not even sure what that means, and
2. I am realizing as the days pass that it is irrational on some levels. 

Why?  Nothing profound and requiring years of therapy.  It is quite simply difficult to understand and irrational - because I have four kids.

Yesterday:  Case in Point

5:40 - Alarm rang
6:00 - I was up.  Head ached from lack of sleep and no IV for my coffee.
6:45 - Peeps were up, breakfast was underway, lunches were being packed.
7:15 - We headed out the door a full 15 minutes early because I was dreaming of a pre-ZOO FIELD TRIP WITH MY NINE YEAR OLD BOY workout.  HUH?  Yeah, I know.  Irrational on some level.
7:30 - I was back home and promptly popped in the Reebok girl with whom I planned on "stepping" for 35 minutes.
7:30 - 8:00 - I stepped, got sweaty, stopped (yes, stopped) a few times to help a two year old pee and poop, I thought about the million things that had to be done before I could drop said two year old off at MDO and get on to the field trip.
8:00 - I said good-bye to my stepping friend early because I was then feeling a little frantic about what had to be done.  I promised myself that AFTER the zoo field trip when I was fresh and perky (???) I would finish my workout or do an additional workout with KK (can you see irrationality rearing its ugly head?).
8:00 - 8:50 - I ate a bowl of healthy oatmeal and a banana, fixed a healthy lunch for myself for the zoo (two homemade California rolls, one two day old apple, water, and trail mix with just a little dark chocolate in it), fixed "lunch" for my two year old who never eats anything anyway, got her dressed, cleaned the kitchen, put in a load of laundry, brushed and fixed her hair, showered, got dressed, packed everything twice after the two year old was helping me and unpacked it all.
9:00 - I was on my way to the zoo.
10:00 - I ate the trail mix because I was starving.
10:45 - I ate the rest of my son's heavily buttered and salted popcorn to "lighten my load" because popcorn is heavy.
11:30 - We broke for lunch and I ate the California rolls.  Note to self:  these are only yummy when they are fresh.  And I attempted to eat the apple which was mealy.
11:30 - 1:30 - I walked around the zoo and resisted the urge to buy an ice cream.
2:00 - 2:30 - I picked up baby, did a frantic thing at home that we like to call, "get-kids'-stuff-ready-for-piano-lessons-prep-for-a-quick-yet-healthy-dinner-which-has-presumably-been-planned-load-up-the-Yukon-and-take-off!"
2:50 - My two girl children bounded into the Yukon with Mother's Day Cakes that they had made at school.  I am pretty sure that's when my mouth started to water and I realized I was starving.
2:50 - 5:45 - Kids complained about no snack, they completed their piano lessons, and I tried to focus while dreaming of how I could justify eating cake for dinner AND eating the Mother's Day cakes four days before Mother's Day.
5:50 - Hubby called and asked what was for dinner.  I said, "Biscuits?    And........Mother's Day Cakes?"
6:00 - 6:20 -  We arrived home to an unplanned dinner.  Chaos ensued.  Backpacks flew, kids rushed to "talk" to dad, I frantically heated up a serious modge-podge of leftovers (including biscuits), and we unwrapped and examined both cakes.  We all dutifully ooed and ahed over the cakes.
6:25 - I got out a fork.

All my kids exclaimed, "MOM WHAT ARE YOU DOING???"

I quietly said, "I am eating the cake."


I quietly said, "It's MY cake and if you be quiet I will give you some before your dinner, too."

Silence ensued, I ate my cake and there went my healthy diet.

Later when all the peeps were in bed, hubby was at the gym and I was WAY too exhausted to workout with KK or the Reebok girl.  I blog-surfed and was in bed by 10:30. 

And that is how the exercise went.

Healthy day, my friends.  Cake is on the menu for breakfast this morning and may just turn into lunch.  :o)