Cavs Game & Hiking & A Giant Soft Pretzel!

Hey hey!! I have set aside this Saturday to put my feet up, make no plans, and catch up on blogging/editing pics from some foodie jobs. The baseball season just started for Deej, so unfortunately he’ll be MIA a whole bunch (He’s a marketing manager for a local team & when they’re in season, he works many days 7/8 am- 11 pmish). But I’m excited that this season is shorter for us this year since he’ll be done come July for the move!

Alright, well let’s playyyy ballllll!

Thursday April 4th, I woke up with some coffee, an avocado smoothie, and some oats with vegan chocolate chips.

39dd63f5-6ba9-481e-8f1a-e6ff30932033

I tried to get some assignments turned in, then headed out for a walk to shake off the cobwebs. It looked like it was about to storm the whole time, but I was willing to risk it.

0dbc7a4d-f881-437b-83ed-75b80994c6f83f3d7b2a-ab2d-4646-85bf-79d747b2f293

In the evening I made some tilapia, quinoa, broccoli, & roasted eggplant.

6ed0b992-cd47-4743-8d74-104f9e084e92

Friday, April 5th was the same to start the day, but then for lunch I had an open faced tuna sammy with mustard, onion, cabbage mix and almond mozzarella cheese. This was one of the we-are-down-to-the-bare-bones groceries- what can I make out of what we have left? This may be a contender for the usual lunch rotation! I made it for lunch for a couple days after this too.

d0af4834-23e2-4177-a5a7-1c74923da8ec

In the evening, we headed to the Cavs vs. Warriors game! On the way I ate a buddha bowl of quinoa, vegan crumbles, almond mozz cheese, cabbage mix, and green goddess dressing. I ate it cold since I made it earlier and packed it in a freezer bag to eat right before we went into the game (with traffic it would take 1.5 hours at least to get there). It was sooo delicious cold – I especially loved the “meat & cheese” cold like that. Gonna have to make this again.

c1b8a6e8-0238-4a1d-b3e2-00800970aba4

We have a good friend from home who plays on the Cavs, so we love seeing him play whenever he’s close to town. We got to catch up after the game a bit too! DJ made the game in Sacramento the night before, but I couldn’t tag along with the homework load.

d220efa8-ad97-4a9b-87a7-96a113f82305facetune_13-04-2019-14-56-03facetune_13-04-2019-14-42-57-1

Deej got hungry during the game and grabbed some chicken tenders and fries. These fries were sooooo goooooood. I don’t know how they make them, but they were almost buttery & just crispy perfection.

b0905cc6-8389-4486-8748-24823fe0aa10img_1694-1img_1686-1

On Saturday April 6th I was craving that Toast from Trouble Cafe. Well, since driving over an hour plus rush hour wasn’t exactly practical, I tried to recreate my own. I actually made it more of a french toast to incorporate a little protein! I used Artesano bread, egg, and then topped with some vegan butter & tons of cinnamon. I did end up putting some delicious cinnamon vanilla syrup on too for good measure 🙂

35e9426b-7217-49be-8550-b743afd8c6c9

On my walk that day, the flowers seemed to have really bloomed over night!! My camera couldn’t even keep up with all the spectacular blooms!

ed41774b-6910-4ee0-8598-f0f69446658f9bd8d7cd-4677-4406-a64e-bc114259da2990148ac0-26e9-4d58-8337-c2e65cf3f359b11ee212-195e-4c39-8125-e2752ac5f9c1

DJ had the evening off, so we were excited to spend the rest of the day together. Since the weather was so inviting we decided on a hike & dinner. Before the long drive to East Bay we stopped for gas. I grabbed some of this Air Heads gum just to see what it was all about- and it is actually quite tasty. The flavor doesn’t last long, but it was a fun find!

436a34db-18fd-4fe4-b880-06a8e41a060c

Time to hike Sunol Regional Wilderness. There is a small $5 fee to enter, but there is plentiful parking (a big deal around here) & the hike is well worth it.

68052345-ac37-413d-bf26-bfdc4d58527ae3e4b719-1fbb-4c2f-a69b-27c398f22b43

Now lemme tell ya – sure, ya gotta keep an eye out for those mountain lions & rattlers (I know from experience), but what you really need to look out for are the massive cow pies. There is one about every couple feet!

8999be4b-22b9-49c9-be19-f026596697dd4b849dbf-3786-466b-b39b-b9d6a438aaaaaddd7b97-1002-43ac-9fbc-5f0722c18683

We just chose a random path and began our ascent. I don’t really care to look at maps, hence why I have gotten lost on paths more times than I can count. I like to think I have a great internal compass, but I think DJ would argue it’s just plain broken, hahah.

ab1aef8b-3deb-44f1-92f4-1390f50d1b9d

I have always adored rolling hills- and this place was full of them. They are so calming to me & the expansive undulating green makes me want to frolic just all day long in um’. We could not get over how beautiful it all was.

f881386d-c872-4c29-a8ef-132ba7ffa58769f4a00f-c034-42c4-a279-0a01b71178dc1701a6d6-357b-44ab-81e8-3e63e555ef60

We even saw this cute little cactus patch. Not something you see everyday up here in NorCal!

e5c98613-fc1b-494c-bcfc-d9cd4ebc2ea00ac22233-6dc1-4875-a94e-ce7807f21ff0e95a6ba4-ce9f-4a8f-9fa7-41e63fbd032a

*Swoon*

c53dbafa-87f0-4d56-baea-cde4a9135b88

We were able to get up close to the grazing cows.

fbae9033-c8f3-4ef6-8cff-b2883a8c357587c65331-af15-475f-b308-2c32da03a916

^^ This guy was not too happy about it. Lol.

But happy happy campers we were.

65a6167b-8eed-4dc7-968d-abcc15b5d8f6

My favorite part of it all was just our conversation. Even though we’ve been together since 2010, I still love learning about DJ. I love picking his brain, hearing his thoughts/opinions/perspectives. Since life has been so busy we haven’t had much time to just chit-chat about everything, so it was treasured time.

After that hike we had worked up quite the appetite! We decided to go to BottleTaps which was right down the road to knock off a bucket list foodie item.

04c3e903-cf9c-48cd-bcd7-42ed87cb4f3c98710700-2276-4e87-aeab-9feb3eb37ed4f3d01dec-abd2-4633-b176-dbd7869107efimg_1889

Since it was such a lovely evening we decided to sit outside. Such a great, relaxing vibe. It reminded me a lot of the brewery we went to with my mom and Pete in Roanoke.

8dd1c99b-5c44-4093-999f-64a25befcff6

They brought out their menus and their beers on tap were listed on an Ipad.

fa0f1fc6-8001-4543-a065-66c4b8d30405

We ordered some sour beers with their banquet pretzel board that came with prosciutto, sopressata, mortadella, manchego, gouda, smoked cheddar, mediterranean olives, and Mt. Hope almonds.

51c2fa45-0f4a-4858-a35a-c64fc06a837f6fce2ccf-b248-4784-aca0-aa46cf4c8637

The whole meal hit the spot! The cheese and mustard they served with the warm pretzel was just next level goudanessss. This is one of those times that I cannot put into words how tasty this was- you just have to try it out yourself 😉

After, we went to Cold Stone that was within the same plaza. I didn’t have much room, but naturally I knew DJ would let me have a few sips of his go-to—- the O’Fudge shake. These shakes are a bit nostalgic for us because we used to get them alllll the time when we first started dating. Also, I had a couple giftcards for Coldstone in my purse, and of course the one time I didn’t bring it along, we go to Coldstone, lol. Why does it always happen that way?! Oh well, gives us an excuse to go some other time!

126955e5-e6a4-46f3-8c22-fe4ca7d47b97

After, we returned home and watched Ozark until our eyes grew heavy. It was about near as perfect of a day as they come.

Questions for you:

  • Favorite type of sporting event to attend?
  • Milkshake or Ice cream for you? I used to be team milkshakes until about the middle of college then shifted to team ice cream!

xo <3

submark sig

Advertisements

Buns, Dumplin’s & Blooms

Hey hey!! How’s it shakin’? I am a touch behind on these updates (what is new?)… but I have a pretty chill weekend where I hope to sit on our balcony with lots of coffee and catch up! Currently I am eating a yogurt with matcha powder, granola, & chocolate chips — mmmm. I can’t wait to share this in a few posts.

This post includes highlights (mostly foodie highlights) from in between studying, work, house chores and watching Ozark in the evening, of course! We only have a couple episodes left in the second season- then I think we are going to start the OA!

Okay, jumping right in- I am trying to use up as many of our “dried goods” items so that we don’t have to take them with us on our move. So, on March 28th, I made fresh spring rolls with rice paper, tofu, sautéed veggies, and fresh cabbage mix.

2423811e-e463-46cf-803c-1b525b126e48

I made some homemade peanut sauce with PB2, a touch of soy, and topped with a sprinkle of ginger.

c0163a7d-5d9e-4566-9319-c90b9e9323b2

On March 29th, right before dinner I went on a walk enjoying all Spring has to offer.

0a532495-c596-486c-949d-57ca0574c405

In the evening I made pasta for DJ with different cheeses and pizza sauce we had leftover, topped with parm. Pizza sauce is not quite as good as different marinaras we usually use, but still worked!

b22b7585-06a3-438c-a9e0-4689fc2b63be

I was craving my rice/fish/roasted veggie combo. This kick is definitely still going strong. Since we are out of Arizona’s Heat sauce I’ve just been using brown mustard- still a great fixin’ for the dish.

7b84f4df-1d45-486b-b82c-00273eaac40f

DJ has been making himself overnight oats for breakfast most days, but whenever he runs out make him a standard breakfast of eggs/bacon/toast.

7c2b6eae-4be9-46fe-867b-4a55b93ff753

Below are some pics from my morning walk on March 30th. Usually I use walks as a study break to clear my head, but on Saturdays I like to start my day with them.

1262b36c-8c72-4512-b1b0-0eb1c39371a8b7caa927-7968-43eb-b473-51928d0fb5f8

I was notified on Instagram that I won a giveaway for vouchers to Hotel Valencia’s restaurant on Santana Row. I have never been into the actual hotel although I’ve passed it countless times.

6dc96d31-e38e-4165-b45f-aaced78cdbe5c05fe6b6-97a3-4886-bd1e-039fb9ab8434

When I went to pick up the vouchers I was blown away by the beauty of the hotel’s interior/restaurant! It overlooks San Jose, and the way it is decorated is just stunning. I am saving these vouchers for when my sister visits, so I’ll be sure to snap pictures then.

07949c3d-b954-4a2d-a273-257c28fbca36

In the evening I was in the mood to cook & try something new. I looked at what we had and decided on Caprese chicken. This was chicken stuffed with buffalo mozzarella & marinated sundried tomatoes from TJ’s.

ea891333-8783-47cf-9c36-6f11e7e4a28be418f016-0ddb-47da-bfac-1e427a5bb85c

I then topped with breadcrumbs and put in the oven. Easy Peasy!

6cf08a55-7b4b-43a7-87d4-ce770d95cee5

I decided to roast up some multicolored potatoes and garlic green beans to accompany the dish.

2562ac58-7cd2-4412-bd0f-bc92ace3f714

Oh, and a slice of garlic toast too!

cd8785de-27cb-4c10-8e54-be1d1717f758

For myself I made rice, green beans, and tilapia. I also had a bowl of the potatoes. Mmmm mm!

afeb1ec5-4755-4459-9d5d-6edda9b2e833

Sunday March 31st, we woke up early pearly for Church. It was a radiant morning.

941ce656-00b4-4cbf-ad0c-3648b9f8992d

At church they had a build your own yogurt bar & donuts galore!

83a547b7-c699-440b-bfed-0f1f81e17b595564f232-79d4-4252-81a0-2539481ccf1f

After church I worked on school assignments all day then met up with Amy in the City for dinner at Dumpling Time. I love going to the City on Sundays- the traffic is so light & parking is FREE!

cdb8e4ec-7697-4ebc-84fe-66cc194f375b3a156092-1906-43be-9aea-5a470bd6a196

I loved the feel of the restaurant. When going back through my photos I couldn’t help but giggle that this girl was doing the same thing as the people on the screen without even knowing it.

4d3f7ceb-20e1-45e3-9580-626f524ecf86

The whole restaurant had a modern twist on traditional asian cuisine. We decided diet coke sounded so good for some reason. I rarely ever have on anymore, but gosh- it was a refreshing treat and served with the most adorable paper straw.

3f904663-3db4-4bc3-8620-6406abd73ddd

As you can tell from these pics, the lighting was subpar. Below are the pork bao buns- one of Amy’s favorites.

e3cfbd3e-f959-4eb2-90c8-9498d9f6008a

I was peering envyingly at the other side of the restaurant where natural lighting was pouring in. I’m not even kidding- we were sitting in the darkest corner possible.

So what did I do? Did I let social faux pas and normal etiquette stop me from literally walking to the front of the restaurant to get a picture of each dish? Heck to the no! Bring on the questioning stares, the raised eyebrows, and the confused waitress who tried to stop me from taking the dishes out the door (I promised her I was only going to the front to snap a photo of the gems, not to kidnap them- she then smiled and acquiesced- clearly, I’m not the first “food blogger” to have stepped in here). PS. Amy was an absolute trooper, and cheered me on through my whole shameless display.

So, on with the pics, ya?! First up we have their giant soup dumpling called King-Dum. This dumpling is so large it is served with a straw. Truly, exstrawordinary.

b18dc450-33d5-4725-96b7-5b01e307b24e

Although I didn’t eat the pork inside, I tried the soup part (so good) and the actual dumpling. It was a treat! If you like pork soup dumplings, I definitely recommend this.

Next up were the Tom Yum Goong dumplings with pork belly, shrimp, and coconut milk, wrapped in a beet skin. Once again, I avoided the pork inside, but the actual dumpling itself was one of my favorites I have ever had! The beet skin was perfectly chewy and incredibly flavorful. The coconut milk was subtle, but added a smoothness to each bite. I would say I liked this even more than the King-Dum.

eb56ee3c-4aec-4c1f-bb3e-6a852789e81f

Now on to the things I ate in full 😉 The shrimp toast!!! This is one of their famous dishes- people rave about it. There ain’t no way I was about to pass it up. It is made of chinese donut, minced shrimp, and spicy aioli. My first bite I didn’t know what to expect, but felt slightly…. underwhelmed. Then I dipped it in their chili & soy sauce- and HELLO, FLAVOR FIREWORKS. It accompanied the rest of the dishes beautifully. It added a nice crunch among otherwise softer foods.

ee4d4d87-6427-4998-97b2-3e7e67c1b289

Now, for one of the stars of the show: The main lobster siu mai with chives, butter, and white truffle oil. You know if there is truffle it is a MUST try for me. It lived up to all my wildest dreams of what it may taste like. So. much. yumminess.

05de8aa9-724d-44d2-9dc7-19da821f55cb

Featured below are the vegetarian dumplings with local greens, carrot, mushroom, cilantro, and egg. I didn’t expect much, but man, these were superb. I was blown away by the mix of freshness/flavor/texture. This is the type of dish I could easily eat every single day. Nutritious & delicious!

643300c9-ff82-43c3-901c-ebe5802f1055

I’m struggling to find the words to best describe how scrumptious these little guys below were. The Trio of Buns (green tea and milk, beet and taro, and egg yolk bun) stole my heart. This is the type of dish I would drive the over-an-hour into SF for alone. They were fluffy, warm, creamy- utter perfection. I would put this on my list of “must try” desserts in SF. Our favorite flavor was the egg yolk bun followed in second by the green tea and milk bun.

afa98eed-cee8-4420-ac0e-aff9cd308f03

Not pictured because I lost my shameless steam- the seafood gyoza with spinach skin, crab, scallops and spice chili butter. I regret not getting a picture of these gems because WOAH—-They were a show stopper. Truly, I would have a hard time deciding between those & the main lobster siu mai.

Overall, Amy and I both preferred Dumpling Time over City View. It was easier to get in (aka no need to chase anyone down and sternly demand your name be put on the list), the food was more flavorful, and the presentation was visually a treat! Plus the service was wonderful. Our waitress was very kind- not something you always encounter in restaurants around here because patrons are often treated like an assembly line with the mass amount of people. But if you want the real deal experience with the carts and all- I still recommend City View at least once.

April 1st nothing exciting happened besides us eating dim sum leftovers all day & studying. On April 2nd I went on a beautiful walk while the sky held back the rain.

368d4313-7da8-4dee-8e20-3d43b2e94bb8f16f9732-4920-4c08-8698-f04f26cfcdab

It occasionally sprinkled, but it made for gorgeous dew drop photos.

ed8d5fc4-a8f3-4206-b61f-b36584a1959ac097d506-f3f6-4e44-b33a-d5ecd5649982

I even saw this cute little guy!

a7ba7fd6-cb5a-41a8-bde6-29a584b520b46528b038-cbd0-45fd-be42-77d9690fce62

In the evening I made a dinner of almond mozzarella cheese, boca crumbles, dolmas, hummus, and a cabbage mix.

98dc4424-9b8d-4cd4-ad05-a736ed61d62e

For DJ, I made stuffed jalapeños with Mexican blend cheese, ground beef crumbles, taco seasoning, and salsa con queso. He really enjoyed them, but somehow a super hot chili pepper snuck its way into the bunch which added a not-so-pleasant surprise mid-meal! We suddenly had flash backs of Pepper Gate 2017!

ba57bdb0-cbc2-488a-adc8-746d472a06a4

April 3rd I parked it at Nosh out of convenience with a yogurt with berries, honey pecan granola, and stevia. I worked on school assignments and spent a couple hours planning my sister’s bridal shower and bachelorette party. Her bachelorette party is in Miami, so if you have any suggestions for games or places to go please share! (Although, I did take notes from Taylor’s recent posts!).

245a2980-2027-4b16-99d5-b8af049044ea

I made DJ some charcuterie in the evening with roasted chickpeas and mini saltines.

e7382fe0-26fc-455d-9534-c48e453921ab

I had a repeat of the night before, but added some mashed cauliflower this time.

c28f7533-8439-44c7-bb95-3d07846accf7

This is getting far too long, so I’ll say farewell, adieu, to you for now- but I’ll try to get another update published over the weekend.

Questions for you:

  • Any suggestions for bridal shower/bachelorette party games?
  • Have you watched the OA? What’s your current show binge?

xo <3

submark sig