Soufflé Pancakes & It’s Finally Autumn!

Hey, everyone! I am trying to get us all caught up before a super busy (and fun) week ahead 🙂 This morning is a three cups of coffee type of day, but I’m resisting considering I have to get up at 4 am tomorrow morning. Wish meh luck…. sometimes I wonder how I did that on a regular basis for over a year. I think we left off right after Thanksgiving!

November 23rd was a day of utter relaxation for DJ and me. I used to love Black Friday shopping, but now that online shopping is available I would much rather do it from my home than fight the masses. I ran a few errands and then we had a Thanksgiving Round 2 with all our leftovers in the evening (you can see those in the Friday Faves post).

November 24th DJ and I woke up early, went to our local Target, and then grabbed some Starbucks. I still have to try their new holidays drinks. Anyone try the Juniper Latte yet?

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After breakfast I enjoyed a nice long run on a my-kind-of-Saturday-morning grey day!! It actually finally feels like Autumn now. Leaves are falling, I repeat- the leaves are falling!

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After working on some school work I was in a mood for a movie. I am never in the mood for a movie at home, but for some reason nothing sounded better that evening. I usually can’t sit still that long, but I was so exhausted after all the festivities, and with the warm Christmas tree up it all sounded perfect. We chose Manchester by the Sea. About twenty minutes into it we turned it off- it was too depressing for the mood we were in. Instead, we tried Crazy Rich Asians, which I had heard raving reviews about. It was a good movie, we enjoyed it- but were sad they portrayed Christians in a such poor light, yet again, through the Hollywood lens :/.

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Sunday morning of the 25th before church we tried out Koja Kitchen. DJ and I have been drooling over pictures of these soufflé pancakes for a couple months. After our experience at Cafe Jacqueline, anything with the word “soufflé” is calling our names! Within this last couple weeks just started selling them at this particular location by our apartment… serendipitous I do say!

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DJ had their mixed berries ones, and there was not a trace left within a couple minutes. Rarely does DJ rave about food in the way I do, but he couldn’t stop talking about how wonderful these were!

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And I concurred. My matcha mascarpone ones were next level fluffy, yummy deliciousness!!! These are crave worthy- the texture & flavor is everything. I don’t know how soufflé pancakes aren’t a staple for all breakfast spots. They are just phenomenal.

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You can see in this video just how fluffy they are when you cut into them…

After church I enjoyed a shorter run soaking up the beautiful day.

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November 26th I went on a nice walk before finishing up my massive paper for the semester. Woohooo!

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On Wednesday November 28th I just continued to truck along with the school work with a run squeezed in between.

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In the evening I posted a whole bunch of stuff on Poshmark and sold a few items. That always feels so satisfying, especially when you sell something that has just been sitting in the closet for a while!

Thursday the 29th was the same ole’, same ole’ for us with school and work, but in the evening I made more of the mac and cheese recipe from Thanksgiving! My goal is to figure out a vegan version of this. But for now- bring on the dairy!

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I classify this as “cry food”: Food so good you get emotional and may even feel the urge to cry tears of joy.

Friday November 30th I went to a new hair salon and had my roots fixed from the fiasco of the last lady now that I’ve nursed it back to health somewhat. I loveeed how it turned out, I paid about half the price as the other place, and definitely spent half the time in the chair. I am so stinkin’ excited about this… y’all know I’ve had a difficult hair journey since moving here, so I’m glad to have found somewhere affordable and high quality! I loved my stylist too- she’s so sweet, fun to chat with & knowledgable.

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We decided to have a formal date night for the first time in a long time! We have been kinda all over the place with work/school/etc. this last few months, so our attempt at a weekly date has fallen to the wayside (although we could consider our weekend breakfast tour a date day I suppose!).

We received a coupon from Steins to try out their new menu. If you’ve been following along for a while this place probably looks familiar. We were excited to try it out!

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I am always skeptical about a soft pretzel since trying the one at Deschutes in Portland. That one was just too good & has ruined every soft pretzel since- nothing ever comes close! However, this one was solid. Not as good still- but close, especially with the dipping sauces of caraway beer mustard, pub cheese, & tomato jam!

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Gotta get those truffle fries!! The lemon aioli they are served with is the most heavenly aioli everrrr.

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We tried their creamed spinach too- and was pleasantly surprised how good this was! Typically steakhouses are the ones with the best creamed spinaches, but this is up there for sure.

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DJ had their chicken tenders with their super spicy hot sauces. Mmm mm! I used some of the hot sauces for dipping too. DJ said these are some top notch tenders.

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I tried their vegan cauliflower & garbanzo bean vegan dish paired with a cold glass of Pinot Grigio (perfect combo). This dish is supposed to serve three people, but when in marathon training….lol.

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The dish was… fine. I wouldn’t order it again, probably will go for the fish next time- but it was still satisfying & is a great vegan option for those that are strictly vegan!

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We came home, watched Arrested Development, and crashed.

On the morning of Saturday December 1st (How is it December?!), we had to go back to Koja…… the cravings were REAL.

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This time I tried their Tokyo caramelized banana option! It was tasty, but I still prefer the matcha mascarpone. DJ had the mixed berries again.

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I had a great long run of 16.75 miles after that carb load. I studied the entire time on the treadmill because it was raining outside. I made a solid dent in the books & actually felt better than I thought after the run. In the evening we had all our leftovers, and I spent the rest of the day resting the legs and blogging.

Yesterday, December 2nd, we went to an awesomeeee church service, then I did the first 20 minutes(ish) of this Youtube HITT routine. I ran some errands and then stopped by my friend Sara’s to wish her a happy bday. I worked on school work for a few hours, spent on hour talking to SheIn customer service (do not order from them- it’s not worth it), and last, to round off a nice, lazy, yummy weekend, we watched a couple episodes of Arrested Development.

Today the 3rd, I made a bunch of returns on my Black Friday orders. I ended up keeping two shirts, but it’ll feel good to see that money come back. Right now I’m enjoying this bowl of overnight pumpkin oats with fresh cranberries, a dollop of Fage, & maple syrup. Holy smokes – I might be on a new kick!

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The rest of the day is dedicated 100% to studying. Watch out Research & Stats, I’m coming for ya. We leave tomorrow for Disney, so I’ll probably be MIA till next week! Hope this week is absolutely restful, joy-filled, & lovely for each of you!

Questions for you:

  • If you have been to Disney, which is your favorite park?
  • What are some of your favorite online stores with cheap(ish) clothes that you can trust? There are so many sketchy sites these days, but all of them seem to have such cute clothes until you get something totally different in the mail, lol!!

xo <3

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Bowling, Buns, & Boba Fun!

Heyy yaaa heyyyyy yaaa! (anyone set it to the tune I did?). I have a short, teeny tiny recap to wrap up loose ends before taking off for MI tomorrow. My type A angel (or devil) on my shoulder would be severely bothered with smushing (apparently smushing isn’t a word?) this recap in with my Michigan one a week from now… soooo here. we. goooo!

^^ Was that not the most scattered, rambling intro you ever did see?

On Saturday the 14th, I attended the big bowling bash of the year for DJ’s work. It was such a great time, and a fun way to get to know his coworkers a bit better too!

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Deej and I shared a lane and alternated turns. We did horribly the first round, but didn’t do too bad the second. Guess it was the practice we had earlier in the week?! (nah, for me it was just dumb luck, lol). (We are “D” on the screen).

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Once we finally came home around 11:30 pm, we binged The Staircase and were up wayyy past each of our bedtimes.

On Sunday the 15th, I went to Church while DJ unfortunately had to go to work bright and early. After Church I met my friend, Tammy, downtown in San Jose for some vegan eats!

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I grow more and more fond of downtown San Jose every time I visit!

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I actually discovered this place through a fellow San Francisco blogger! I saw the Buddha bun in her post and couldn’t get it out of my head.

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This place is in an obscure spot in downtown, pretty easy to miss, but one you won’t want to! The inside decor is alll about that hippie life with earthly tones, calm music, and overall a general ode to nature.

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The moment of truth finally fell upon us… *pause for dramatic effect*. This magic bun cost less than $4 which is a STEAL in these parts. It’s pretty big too (there is a picture later on for reference). It is a rice flour bun (Bao) stuffed with sautéed mushrooms, tofu, cabbage, jicama, peas, and carrots. Served with a house sweet savory sauce.

img_7949In enthusiastic Kate mode I feel like there is only one way to express my excitement over this bun….

Guys!

Guys!!!

Guys!!!!!!

This is one of my FAVORITE morsels of food I have tried since moving to the Bay Area. Since EVER. Not sure what they use in this “house” sauce, but I would sell a kidney for the recipe. I told Tammy I want this for my birthday, and she joked they would just put a candle in it (My hopes are officially up 😉 ).

I have never had bao before then, and I loved it. I’ve never tried Dim Sum, but I have a feeling it would be a new favorite thing! *Cue Whole New World*

I also tried the sampler platter with Thai yellow curry, Jamaican jerk “chicken” and spicy basil tofu with quinoa. I brought back leftovers for DJ and he loved them too.

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Tam had their jackfruit pulled “pork” tacos, and let me try a nibble. They were phenomenal. I might get these next time!!

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We also split a local cider (with a fascinating history) & a rose lemonade.

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The rose lemonade was the definition of refreshing. And the cider was the greatest ale/cider/beer equivalent I have ever tasted. I want to take DJ back just to try this!

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We finished the whole smorgasbord with a piece of delicious vegan pumpkin pie over a chocolate crust.

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When I say I can’t stop thinking about this meal… I seriously cannot stop thinking about this meal! Winner winner chicken vegan dinner.

Next, Tammy noticed Tea Alley was across the street which is a place in SJ that sells boba in lightbulbs (leave it to the Bay Area to channel our inner Thomas Jefferson).

Tam made me laugh when she looked them up and exclaimed, “I just really want to drink out of a lightbulb!”. #overheardinSanJose

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It was a neat little place with super cute decor!

The moment of truth….

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It was adorable, but unfortunately luke warm- liiiiiike WHO DRINKS BOBA LUKE WARM?! Fun experience, and tam got her lightbulb. Lol. <3

This week has been more communicating with grad school trying to make sure all my classes are going to be scheduled okay, tons of cleaning, working on a present for my Grandpa’s birthday, laundry, and food prep since I’ll be gone! Per DJ’s request I whipped up the bison tacos again.

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I have one chapter of Harry Potter left- are y’all proud?! One more to gooo!

Any big weekend plans coming up?!

xo <3

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Vegan “Chicken” Piccata

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve shared a recipe, but this is a new favorite in our household!!! We have had a bountiful supply of lemons lying around lately. Also, Kalpana at Surreyfarms has been sharing a plethora of lemon recipes that have been making my mouth water!!! I thought I’d try my hand at recreating a vegan chicken piccata. How in the heck do you do that?! I wasn’t sure if this was going to turn out… I used a regular chicken piccata recipe and modified it to work. I held my breath as we took our first bite, and it was phenomenal. DJ is a meat eater, but he LOVED this. He said we need to make it a staple. So when life gives you lemons, maybe try this out?!

Ingredients:

  • 5 medium size zucchinis, spiralized. If you need an AWESOME spiralizer, try this one here.
  • 4 large packages of tempeh (I used organic 3 grain from Trader Joe’s).
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • all purpose flour (I used Bob Mill’s)
  • Olive Oil Spray- I love Pam’s EVOO spray!
  • 3 TBSP Vegan butter of choice
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup brined capers, rinsed

Directions:

  1. Spiralize your zucchini into a large bowl!
  2. Spray zucchini with olive oil spray, then transfer to large sauté pan. Sprinkle with a dash of sea salt, ground pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Cook on medium heat, covered until noodles are soft and most of the water is evaporated from the noodles- about 10 minutes. (Turn down heat if they start caramelizing- zucchini burns pretty easily!)
  3. Transfer back to bowl.

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4. Cut tempeh lengthwise in half.

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5. Spray both sides of tempeh with spray, sea salt, and pepper.

6. “Dredge” in all purpose flour (although it’s more like just lightly cover each side with flour- tempeh crumbles pretty easily, so be gentle with um!)

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7. In the same large pan on medium heat add 3 TBSP of butter and spray pan with EVOO spray.

8. Transfer the tempeh to the pan when butter starts to sizzle and cook until browned on each side, about four minutes each side (maybe a little longer depending how quick your pan cooks, turn up heat if cooking too slow).

9. Once browned on each side, transfer to plate.

10. In the same pan, add lemon juice, stock, and capers. Bring to a light boil.

11. Add Tempeh back to the pan and simmer each side for about three minutes each. Add olive oil as needed and before flipping.

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12. Serve over zucchini noodles

13. Enjoy!!!

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It really did taste like chicken….

xo <3

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