Monday, January 31, 2011

Radiohead, "Gagging Order"

I just heard this Radiohead song on Pandora, "Gagging Order" and I love the guitar throughout! The lyrics are haunting and powerful. Love it!

I know what you're thinking
But I'm not your property
No matter what you say
No matter what you say

Move along, there's nothing left to see
Just a body, nothing left to see

A couple more for breakfast
A little more for tea
Just to take the edge off
Just to take the edge off

Move along, there's nothing left to see
Just a body, pouring down the street

Move along, theres nothing left to see
Just a body, nothing left to see

Move along

How to Turn Trader Joe's Vanilla Cake Mix into a Dark Chocolate Cake

I made a chocolate birthday cake this weekend and I didn't have a chocolate cake mix on hand...and I didn't feel up to measuring everything out for a chocolate cake. (Chocolate cake is not my strength to begin with!) Anyway,  I decided to try an experiment and use Trader Joe's Vanilla Cake Mix and turn it into a chocolate cake. It has all the flavorings in it already, so I figured if I added some dark chocolate cocoa powder, it should do the trick, right? Well, I made the cake per the instructions on the side (added two eggs, a stick of melted butter, a cup milk) and then I added 3/4 cup of Hershey's dark chocolate cocoa powder to the dry mix. I mixed it all together and it looked like a nice, gooey chocolatey cake batter! There was no way anyone would be able to tell that this wasn't 100% homemade! I love Trader Joe's Vanilla Cake Mix--it is so versatile and convenient! Who would have thought this cake mix could be transformed into a chocolate cake?! It totally worked!!!

Because I hate frosting (unless it's a cream cheese-based one or just plain whipped cream), I decided to make a chocolate sauce to pour on top of the chocolate cake instead. It worked great!

Ingredients for Chocolate sauce:

1 cup Nestle Semisweet Chocolate chips
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla


In a double boiler (I just put a metal bowl on top of a small pan of simmering water), add the chocolate and cream and stir until chocolate chips are melted. Stir in the vanilla at the end.

Pour generously over each individual slice and enjoy! You can also use this chocolate sauce over ice cream, fruit or cookies!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Free Panda Express Firecracker Chicken Breast on Feb 3, 2011

Panda Express is offering a FREE single serving size of their new Firecracker Chicken on February 3, 2011. No purchase necessary. Limit one per person. Coupon valid only on February 3, 2011.

Print your coupon for FREE Panda Express Firecracker Chicken

Find a Panda Express Near you

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Policy for Refusing Amazon Packages

I was curious about Amazon return processes, including what do to if you can't cancel an order online and need to refuse delivery on a package. So, I wrote to customer service and within 2 hours, they responded to me! (It was more like 1.5 hours for a response! Talk about quick!) Anyway, this is good to know for future reference in case you need to refuse delivery. Rest assured that you won't be charged return shipping. I was looking online for discussion forums about refusing delivery, but I wanted to hear the policy directly from an Amazon representative to confirm that return shipping is not charged to the customer. 

Here is the official response from the Amazon representative: 

"If the package can't be delivered, it will be returned to us by the carrier. When we receive the returned package, we'll issue you a full refund. Also, if you can't cancel an order, You can refuse this shipment when it arrives. Refusing the shipment allows you to return it without having to pay for return shipping. When the package arrives, please tell the delivery driver you're refusing the package. If the order is delivered while you aren't home, you can contact the carrier for instructions on refusing a package."

I hope this helps. It sure helped me. Amazon's customer service is pretty superb. They make sure they get back you to pronto! 

NOTE: I'm not necessarily promoting this method, but if you happen to order something off Amazon and it goes down drastically in price the next day and you can't cancel your order online, then you can refuse delivery when the package arrives and place an order for the same item at the lower price, since Amazon does not issue price adjustments. This is the only loop hole to get a "price adjustment" at Amazon. Since I get Amazon Prime shipping, my items get shipped quickly (usually within hours of placing an order), so canceling an order online is almost impossible, unless I do it immediately. Thus, if an order is mistakenly generated, then refusing delivery is essentially the only way to cancel an order for Prime shipping. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Susie Suh: "Won't You Come Again" (live)

What can I say, Pandora has done it again! I was cleaning the kitchen today and this lovely song by Susie Suh came on and I had to check who this sultry artist was! Turns out, Susie Suh is a Korean-American singer/songwriter. No wonder I was struck by her music, she cites Joni Mitchell and Beth Gibbons as some of her influences according to Wikipedia. I am so intrigued by her music that now I have to go listen to all her songs!

I found this live version of "Won't You Come Again" on Youtube and I love it even more than the album version (though both are terrific). I love the line, "I'm miss you or maybe I'm just missing who I was when when I was with you." I wish I could sing like her, she's just brilliant!

"Won't You Come Again"

What do I say on this january day
When all my thoughts have gone astray but I'm thinking 'bout you

And what do I do when I'm black and I'm blue
And I'm still loving you but I know it was meant to end

I'm missing you or maybe I'm just missing who I was when I was with you

Oh love
Oh love
Won't you come again
Take me in your arms and hold me
Make me feel new again

And how do I convey all the words that I could never say to you
When you were around

I'm missing you or maybe I'm just missing how I felt when I was with you

Oh love
Oh love
Won't you come again
Take me in your arms and dance with me
Make me feel alive again

Oh love
Oh love
Won't you come again
Take me in your arms and hold me
Make we want to laugh and sing
Make me want to love again

For more information about Susie Suh, visit:
Visit myspace for more about Susie Suh:

Kitten Food is Not Just for Kittens Anymore

I went to Pet Food Express this weekend to buy some more Premium Edge senior cat food for my old, ailing cat. The sales clerk was very nice to me and asked me how old my cat was when he saw the senior cat food label, and I said, "Very old. She's so old that this senior cat food for 7+ year old cats isn't anywhere near her age. She's like 16 years old, but I couldn't find any cat food for cats that old." He then told me that Premium Edge Senior cat food was all they had for senior cats, which is okay for them as long as they aren't losing weight. I then chimed in and told him that she was indeed losing weight and looked emaciated! So, he suggested Premium Edge kitten food instead of senior cat food because kitten food has more protein in it and it helps cats gain weight (makes sense, but I never thought of it before!). PERFECT! I took his advice and bought the kitten food instead of the senior cat food in hopes that my cat might gain some weight in her final years of life. I have been spoiling her with wet cat food, too, because I heard that wet food helps cats gain weight, since they are more eager to eat it. Usually, my cat only gets dry food, so wet food is a real treat for her.

Anyway, I am really grateful that the sales clerk at Pet Food Express was so helpful and nice. Sometimes, it actually does help to be friendly and talkative with the sales associates because they might have a tidbit of information that relates to your situation. Had I been more closed off and shy about talking to him, I might not have found out that useful piece of information about kitten food! I never would have thought to switch to kitten food to help my cat gain some weight back.

Thank you Pet Food Express for your help! I hope my cat will gain some weight now that she's eating Premium Edge kitten fry food mixed along with wet cat food.

Monday, January 24, 2011

European Wax Center: FREE WAX for 1st Time Customers

I was walking around South Shore Shopping Center in Alameda the other day, and I noticed a sign for European Wax Center: The Ultimate Wax Experience. On the sign, there was a special promotion stating that first time guests are entitled to a complimentary waxing! You can choose from a free eyebrow, underarm or bikini wax. Now, that is what I call a deal! A free wax? Are you serious? I was intrigued. So, I walked in and asked them about the promotion and sure enough, there were no strings attached, no purchase necessary! They said I could get a walk-in appointment, so they basically took me right away. (Well, I had to wait one minute to give them my address and phone number, so they could enter it into their computer. Fair enough, since they were offering me a free service, I suppose.)

Anyway, I have never tried European wax, so I opted for an eyebrow session.

The wax specialist came out and took me into a room and she told me to lay down on the cushioned table, similar to a doctor's table. She mixed up the big vat of black wax and explained the process to me. Basically, the difference between this European waxing technique is that they do not use strips. The wax only adheres to the hairs and not the skin, which can happen, apparently with strips. So, in that sense, it is supposed to be gentler and not hurt as much.

The woman got to work and within 10 minutes was done. She did a pretty good job, though I noticed a few straggler peach-fuzz hairs left. But I wasn't going to trouble her with plucking those. (By the way, it did sting briefly every time she pulled the wax off. I don't know how people do this regularly!)

Since I've never been to a waxing salon, I really don't know the proper etiquette regarding tipping. Do they expect tips? I figured she must be expecting one, so I rummaged through my wallet in search of some one dollar bills. I pulled out three because I figured that would be a 20% tip on the full price eyebrow waxing service, if I were a paying customer. I handed the money to the lady and she took it briskly from my hands and walked me out. Now, is that customary? She did not say, "Thank you." I said "thank you" to her when I handed her the tip, but she didn't even flinch or smile. She didn't seem appreciative or even happy that I tipped her. I suppose I could have stiffed her and walked out of there without tipping her, but I didn't think that would be right, either. I just don't get people these days. They just expect a tip and they are no longer grateful when they are tipped. And that's just what a tip is, it's EXTRA, it's something that is given to someone who provides exceptional service. It's not something they should take for granted. It just left me with a strange feeling. The whole waxing salon thing was so new to me that I really didn't know what I was supposed to do. Was that normal? This particular wax specialist had only been doing it for about a year, so I wouldn't think she would be so jaded as to just take a tip nonchalantly without saying, "thank you." I know that any time I've been tipped in the past, I showed my appreciation and thanked the person, because it is not something that everyone does or that everyone has to do. I never expected a tip and I was always surprised and happy to get one. But people these days just expect things too much. I guess the only time she would notice a tip would be if she didn't get one.

Anyway, I can't say either way if I recommend this place or not. That ending left me with a strange feeling about the European Wax Center. However, they do have some good promotions with their pre-paid wax pass. Basically, if you pre-pay for 9 of the same service, you get 2 free (or 3 free if you sign up during your first visit).  There are nationwide European Wax Center locations and the pre-paid wax pass does not expire. The European Wax Center keeps your information in their computer, so you don't have to keep track of a card or anything like that (which was a relief to hear because I know I'd lose that pass right away!).

I don't think I will be going back there any time soon. It's way too expensive and if the wax specialists expect a 20% tip, I certainly cannot afford to be a regular customer there, anyway. But, it was a nice break and free treat for me. $3 for a wax seems reasonable enough, especially for a mini spa-like escape.

To find out more information about European Wax Center, visit:

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bed Bath & Beyond is Beyond Amazing!

I went to Bed Bath & Beyond to exchange some coffee I bought a few weeks ago, because I changed my mind about the flavor. I have been putting this off for weeks because it was another errand that just got pushed to the end of my list of things to do. I lost the receipt for this purchase, so that made going back to the store even less of a priority. I called Bed Bath & Beyond first, before driving over there, and asked the associate if I could make an exchange without the receipt. The associate was very nice and asked me if I paid with a credit or debit card and I said I paid with a credit card. She said it's no problem to exchange something without a receipt if I still have the same credit card that I used to pay for it. I was so relieved! Apparently, Bed Bath & Beyond keeps track of your purchases in their computers (which may or may not be a good thing, depending on how you feel about that sort of thing, but in my case, it worked in my favor), so the associate just swiped my credit card and found the item immediately! I was able to make the exchange without a receipt! A hassle-free exchange is always welcome in my book!

This is yet another reason why Bed Bath & Beyond is just beyond amazing! I love their customer service and I'm always learning new things about their policies.

I must add, however, that Bed Bath and Beyond's policies have changed a bit regarding coupon usage. If you have a $5 off $15 purchase, the $5 gets equally subtracted from each item, instead of being subtracted off the grand total at the end, like it did before. Why does this matter? Well, before you could use a 20% off coupon for one item and then a $5 off coupon if your purchase was over $15, whereas now, you cannot do that. Now, if I want to use multiple coupons, I have to get in line again and make a separate transaction with the other coupon. It's not a big deal, except it takes up a little more time. So, if it's crowded, I don't even bother with it. I'll come back another time.

But, I still save all my coupons because they NEVER expire, even though there is an expiration date on it.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Horizon Milk Lowers Fat Content to 1%

I went to Whole Foods Market the other day to buy Horizon Organic Milk in the non-perishable Tetra Paks. This is the only place that I know of to buy the 18 pack of regular milk (not chocolate or vanilla milk which is sold at Babies R Us and other places). So, to my dismay, Whole Foods did not have any 18 packs left! I even asked for help to see if they had any in the back. Unfortunately, I was told that Horizon is revamping their milk products to lower the milk fat content to 1% from 2%. Whole Foods did not know when they would be getting the new 1% Horizon 18 pack of milk, so I went home empty-handed. My task was foiled by a company's mission to reduce the fat content of milk, go figure! I guess milk is viewed as "fattening" nowadays, so heaven forbid our kids drink 2% milk, let alone whole milk (which is practically taboo!).

I like keeping some of these Horizon Tetra Paks on hand for emergencies. They are perfect because they don't need to be refrigerated and they have a long shelf life. I can just throw one in my purse and go. They taste better chilled, but in a pinch, they are fine at room temperature. Horizon Tetra Paks are just very convenient for packing in lunches and taking on long outings because I don't have to worry about the milk spoiling.

Anyway, I went back home and looked up Horizon Milk on Amazon and sure enough it was there! I placed my order and saved an additional 15% with Amazon Subscribe and Save, so it ended up being less than Whole Foods' price.

When the milk arrived the next day (I love Amazon Prime, the two-day shipping is more like one-day shipping for some items! BONUS!!), it was packaged differently (they changed the tint of the blue on the box) and it was 1% milk, instead of 2%! So, even though Amazon indicated 2% milk on the product description page, 1% milk showed up at my doorstep. At least Whole Foods gave me a heads up about this change. How bizarre! I guess Horizon doesn't want to sell 2% milk anymore.

Anyway, it would be nice if Horizon still offered the 2% milk to customers as a choice. Heavens, Horizon's chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla milks are a lot worse for kids than plain 2% milk, but they seem to have no problem pushing those unnecessarily sugar-laden flavors onto kids' palettes! I'll take 1% more milk fat over the 27g of sugar packed in Horizon's chocolate milk! That's more than double the sugar in the plain milk. I keep waiting for Costco to sell the plain organic milk in Tetra Paks, but Costco will only sell chocolate milk! I seriously don't know what's up with that. I think people would buy the plain milk if it were available to them--not EVERYONE wants the added sugar in chocolate milk!  I have tried very hard not to give my son chocolate milk (despite the cheap price at Costco) or any of the flavored milks because I did not want him to get hooked on them, and I did not want him to reject drinking plain milk. I figured if he didn't know about those flavored milks, he wouldn't know to ask for them. (Of course, I know he would LOVE chocolate milk! But, I'm trying to hold off as long as possible, so he doesn't crave it. So far, so good!)

I researched the prices of flavored milks, and at some places, including Amazon, flavored milks are actually cheaper than the plain milk! That gives even more incentive for parents to buy these flavored milks over the plain milk, especially if there are monetary constraints involved. Which one will parents pick? Probably the cheaper flavored milk.

And, thus, the cycle of kids rejecting plain milk is reinforced and encouraged...

But hey, let's take away 1% of the milk fat because that's the "problem" these days.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Stroller Envy Website

Have you ever been smitten by a case of stroller envy? That's right, I said stroller envy! Sometimes new moms just don't know which stroller to pick out because there are so many factors that go into picking out a stroller and a monetary budget seems to be huge contributing factor. If only someone could take the guesswork out of choosing a stroller!

At last, there is a savvy website that can help! Check out my friend's new website, Stroller Envy, devoted to all-things related to baby strollers. If you've ever wondered how many strollers there are out there and how to pick one out, this is a good resource to use to narrow down the options and read firsthand reviews about each stroller, including the pros and cons of each brand and type. There is a plethora of things to consider when buying your first stroller, so why not take some help from this lovely site, Stroller Envy.

Personally, I wish this site was up when I was trying to research the perfect stroller! It would have made things a lot easier for me. As it stands, I ended up buying two umbrella strollers, one jogger stroller and one Eddie Bauer convertible stroller with a car seat. That's WAY too many strollers!!! But, how was I supposed to know which one would be the right one for us?! There's no way to know, except through personal experience, which is what Stroller Envy discusses. You will get to research what real moms have to say about each stroller, as well as the benefits of having a certain stroller over another one (i.e., one brand could be cheaper, but it might break sooner, or one brand might be lighter in weight but might not be good for rocky terrain). Whatever your needs are, Stroller Envy will help demystify the daunting task of finding the right stroller, so you don't end up with four mediocre strollers like I did! Who knows, your baby might be walking early and won't WANT to sit in a stroller for long--you just never know! Or, you might have a toddler who won't walk one block without wanting to get back into the stroller, so you might have to get a stroller made for bigger kids.

You'll find out all the information you want ever wanted to know about strollers at Stroller Envy. Pass this website on to new moms and moms-to-be. It will really help in sifting through the innumerable brands of strollers out there! Who knows, your stroller may end up being the envy of the neighborhood!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill Coupons: Free BBQ Taco (with any burrito purchase), $1 off BBQ Bowl

Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill is offering two coupons right now:
1. $1 off a BBQ Bowl (chicken or carnitas)
2. FREE BBQ Taco with any burrito purchase! (Coupons expire 02-06-11.)

Rubio's calls it a Beach Mex BBQ: "A warm corn tortilla with toasted cheese, filled with grilled white meat chicken in our sweet, smoky honey BBQ sauce. Or, enjoy our warm, satisfying BBQ Bowls, featuring fire-roasted corn, crunchy chile-kim tortilla strips, and slices of fresh Haas avocado. Also available with slow-roasted pork carnitas. For a limited time, experience the great flavor of Beach Mex BBQ while you can."

Click to print Rubio's Coupons.

Find a Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill near you.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Nong Shim Korean Sweet Potato Snack

I went to the Korean Market today to get some goodies and found this Nong Shim Korean Sweet Potato flavored snack to try for the first time.  I could not resist trying these because I LOVE sweet potatoes!

I was pleasantly surprised at how light and crispy these Sweet Potato snacks were! They had a light, sweet hint of sweet potato, nothing too overpowering. It wasn't like eating a Terra Sweet Potato chip or anything like that, but almost more like an airier (corn-free) version of Captain Crunch Cereal, except in crinkle-cut potato sticks. Nong Shim Sweet Potato snacks have a subtle sweet potato flavor, accented by some black sesame seeds that add a nice nuttiness to the background.  They were not oily or greasy and they were so light and airy, that you could totally eat the whole bag in one day! (Note to self: must divide bag into two servings to prevent eating the whole bag in one sitting!) 

Anyway, now when I see Nong Shim Sweet Potato Snack at a Korean market, I will know what they taste like--where have these been all my life? I'm sure I will be craving these yummy Sweet Potato Snacks soon enough, so I'll have to make another trip back to the Korean Market! (Or else, I can conveniently buy them on Amazon to save me the trouble of driving to Chinatown and feeding the meter to shop at the Korean market there.) While these aren't the healthiest of snacks to have, they do not have MSG or Trans Fats, which surprised me in a good way! There is no high fructose corn syrup in this either, but there is glucose syrup, which I have never heard of before. (Glucose=sugar, so is this just sugar syrup or a simple syrup?) Sometimes I just crave something light, crispy, sweet and salty and this Korean Sweet Potato Snack hits all those notes. 

Wheat flour, sweet potato, rice bran oil, sugar, wheat starch, palm oil, maple syrup, glucose syrup, salt, black sesame, pumpkin powder, sweet potato flavor. 

Nutritional Information for Nong Shim Sweet Potato Flavored Snacks:

Serving size: 1 oz (28 g), 2 servings per container (So grab a partner and share a bag!)
Calories: 140
Total Fat: 6 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Trans Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 150 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 20 g
Dietary Fiber less than 1 g
Sugars: 2 g
Protein: 1 g

Monday, January 17, 2011

Reusable Mini Muffin Tray from Trader Joe's

I made stuffed bell peppers this weekend and had a little leftover filling, so I decided to turn the filling into mini turkey meatballs. I figured I could put the mini turkey meatballs into the mini muffin tray that comes with Trader Joe's Morning Buns. What an easy way to freeze them for  dinner next week, so they don't get stuck together!

I've always wondered what to do with the Trader Joe's Morning Buns tray, besides using it to make mini muffins (which I've also done). There are so many uses for this cute, little tray!

I just wrapped up these mini turkey meatballs in two layers of plastic wrap and one Ziploc bag. Now, they are ready to store in the freezer and they won't get stuck together.  I can just take them out and cook them next week for a nice spaghetti and meatballs dinner!

I love these timesavers! Once again, Trader Joe's has come to the rescue without even realizing it! I hope you enjoy this new way to re-use the mini muffin tray from Trader Joe's ever-so-yummy morning buns!

If you have any other ideas of how to re-use this muffin tray, please share it!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My First Korean Friend

2010 has left me with so many new experiences, but the newest one has been meeting my first Korean friend. I have only met one other Korean adoptee in my life, but now I have met a Korean woman who did not reject me immediately because I couldn't speak fluent Korean with her. She explained that Koreans get frustrated or stressed speaking English and some of them refuse to move out of their comfort zone. Keeping that in mind, I have a new understanding of why Koreans never speak to me the second they find out I can't respond in Korean. For me, that has always been a barrier to meeting Korean people, let alone befriending any of them. Every now and then, when she speaks Korean, I catch a word or phrase that I know, but other than that, I get totally lost!

As January 2011 keeps rolling along, I keep thinking of how lucky I am to have met her and how many new things I have learned just by being around her. It seems like such a strange thing to say that I don't have any Korean friends, but that was a true statement up until 2010. So, 2010 will mark a very important and meaningful change in my life: I can finally say that I have a Korean friend! I couldn't tell you why exactly that is so important to me, but it is.

When I hear her talk about Korean food and Korean customs, I just feel like those were all the things that were missing from my life, things that I never had a chance to fully partake in and learn about. Sure, I had Korean food for the first couple years of my life and I spoke Korean when I was a toddler, but I can't remember it all now. I feel like I need to make up for lost time. There haven't been a lot of people in my life who have spoken to me about Korea, so this is a very welcome change. She told me that in Korea, the emergency number is 1-1-9, the opposite of the American emergency number, 9-1-1. I found that intriguing. She also told me that the bathrooms in Korea have drains in the floors, so you can just rinse the floors easily with water and clean them quickly, whereas here, you have to carefully mop or hand-scrub the floors. Those little details about Korea are so interesting and I might not necessarily be able to read about that kind of stuff in a book about Korea.

The first time she invited me to her house, she made me some delicious jap chae (Korean noodles).  She respectfully omitted the beef since she knew I didn't eat beef--bless her heart! I've had jap chae before, but never homemade, so that was a real treat!  She also made me some Korean pancakes, which were so comforting and yummy! I'm hooked! More recently, she made me some kimchi fried rice, which I have also never really had before. It was so good! I've seen it made before, but never attempted to make it myself. She introduced to me to Korean "junk food," (as she called it) "Shin Ramyun Gourmet Spicy Noodle Soup." Eating Shin Ramyun is the equivalent to going to McDonald's she said, because it's junk food, quick and easy, but comforting on a rainy day. The noodles are a little thicker than the typical Top Ramen Noodles and they had a nice al dente bite to them. She added some egg to make the soup a heartier snack. The broth was very flavorful and spicy (it hit me in the back of my throat, but in a good way!). She was surprised that I could take the heat! (Note: She also said that the packaged noodles are better than the noodles that come in the bowl, so skip the styrofoam bowl version. I found Shin Ramyun Noodle Soup at Walmart, of all places, for $1.00.) She said she would try to make me other Korean dishes now that she knows I can handle the heat. I can't wait! I may not have been raised by Korean parents, but I certainly have an insatiable Korean appetite--she appreciated my hearty appetite and enthusiasm for food. Even though I grew up in California, my Korean tummy has remained with me my whole life, that's for sure!

Yesterday, I checked out this great cookbook again at the library, The Korean Kitchen: Classic Recipes from the Land of the Morning Calm by Copeland Marks. I found a recipe for Jap Chae, which I want to make later. I plan on omitting the beef and substituting chicken or tofu instead.

Jap Chae
Vegetable, Noodle, and Steak Stir-Fry

3 oz Korean vermicelli
3 Tbs corn oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped (1 cup)
1 carrot, cut in 3-inch julienne strips (about 3/4 cup)
1/2 lb flank or sirloin steak, sliced into strips 3 inches long and 1 inch wide
1 small green pepper, seeded, cut into 3-inch julienne strips (1 cup)
1/2 lb Chinese chives, well rinsed, cut into 3-inch lengths or 1/2 lb fresh spinach, well rinsed, stems trimmed
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1 Tbs soy sauce
1 tsp Korean sesame oil
1/4 cup tree ears, soaked in warm water for 1/2 hour, drained and rinsed well

1. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large pan. Add the vermicelli and boil over moderate heat for 3 minutes. Do not overcook. Drain and rinse in cold water and set aside. The noodles are translucent when cooked, but still firm.

2. Heat the oil in a wok, add the onion, and stir-fry over moderate heat for 2 minutes.  Add the beef and continue to fry for 1 minute. Now add the carrot, green pepper, chives or spinach as you stir-fry for 2 more minutes.

3. Add the salt, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and tree ears. Stir-fry and toss the mixture for a minute. Fold in the vermicelli and mix well.

Serve warm.

Serves 4 with salads and kimchi.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

"The Intimidator"

This video is crazy!!!

And I thought I ate a lot! Man alive, this girl can put it down!

Do you think you could do this? 7 lbs of food?!! WOW!

Try "The Intimidator" at Lumpy's Diner in Antioch, CA.

Lumpy's newest breakfast challenge includes:
1.5 pounds of hash browns
six eggs
one pound of cheddar cheese
two pieces of bacon
two sausage patties
one thick-slice ham
one hot link linguica
15 ounces of gravy
one hamburger patty
one chicken-fried steak patty
two biscuits.

Free Hand-Washing Timer from APHA

Just found this APHA (American Public Health Association) site that is offering a free hand-washing timer.  This hand-washing timer is a good way to teach kids how long to properly wash their hands to help get rid of germs and spreading germs.

Fill out this form for a free hand-washing timer. This hand-washing timer is courtesy of APHA, American Public Health Association, and takes 4-6 weeks to receive. Limit 3, while supplies last.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Pink: "I Don't Believe You"

This is a nice song from Pink, "I Don't Believe You." I just felt like a little pink today...

I don't mind it
I don't mind at all
It's like you're the swing set and I'm the kid that falls
It's like the way we fight, the times I've cried, we come to blows
And every night the passion's there so it's gotta be right, right?

No I don't believe you
When you say don't come around here no more
I won't remind you
You said we wouldn't be apart
No, I don't believe you
When you say you don't need me anymore
So don't pretend
To not love me at all

I don't mind it
I still don't mind at all
It's like one of those bad dreams when you can't wake up
Looks like you've given up, you've had enough
But I want more no I won't stop
'cause I just know you'll come around... right?

No I don't believe you
When you say don't come around here no more
I won't remind you
You said we wouldn't be apart
No, I don't believe you
When you say you don't need me anymore
So don't pretend
To not love me at all

Just don't stand there and watch me fall
'cause I, 'cause I still don't mind at all
It's like the way we fight, the times I cry, we come to blows
And every night the passion's there so it's gotta be right, right?

No I don't believe you
When you say don't come around here no more
I won't remind you
You said we wouldn't be apart
No, I don't believe you
When you say you don't need me anymore
So don't pretend
To not love me at all

Friday, January 7, 2011

Introducing: Vitamixvixens Blog, A Place For Vitamix Lovers!

I just got a Vitamix blender because I am trying to add more fruits and veggies to my diet this year. I was successful in giving up soda last year as my New Year's resolution, so now I am working on improving my health in another way. I decided to get a Vitamix blender because it liquifies fruits and veggies and froths them into a nice Jamba Juice style smoothie that you just can't duplicate with a regular blender. In fact, I've been having at least one smoothie a day with fruits and veggies. Veggies? YES! I have been adding raw spinach and carrots to my fruit smoothies in the morning, so essentially I get my fruits and veggies in one delicious smoothie! You can't even taste the spinach or carrots, they just get liquified into the smoothie. I don't add any extra sugar either because the smoothies don't need it. It's all about eating whole foods in their raw state.

I love my new Vitamix and I don't know how I've survived all these years without it. I know I must sound like a commercial, but I swear the clean up is so easy and it literally takes a few minutes to make a nice, healthy meal. It's perfect for those hectic mornings or afternoons when I'm too busy to prepare a meal. Using the Vitamix is a good way to eat up all the fruit and veggie scraps in the fridge, so nothing gets wasted! I can even make my own "V8" drink at home that is a lot healthier than the canned stuff at the store. Plus, I love how the Vitamix can make ice cream, peanut butter, bread, smoothies, salsas, frozen yogurt, and even soup! I just can't believe how many uses there are for the Vitamix. It's worth every penny! I got mine at Costco, so there was an extra discount there, and I love Costco's worry-free return policy. Plus, Vitamix offers a 7 year warranty, which I registered for online.

Visit this new blog all about Vitamix recipes at This is my friend's blog that I will occasionally offer posts to, as well, when I have time. So visit our collaborative blog, vitamixvixens for our Vitamix recipes and tips!