Flying Sucks

When I came back from my Asia trip,  I vowed to stay away from planes for at least a year because i love to travel but it gets exhausting being on a plan all the time,  within a three-week period, I spent over fifty hours on seven flights.

Some comfortable and others extremely sketchy, but let me just tell you that my holidays to Vietnam were so fantastic. I broke my pledge a week later by going cross country to New York for a wedding. On that flight back home, I was completely sure I did not want to fly for a looong time.now I am sitting here with two flight itineraries waiting for me in January. How did this happen?!

Well, my sister has been living in Denver for around ten years now and I have only visited her once in middle school. It was her first Thanksgiving out of California and I had what must of been the most expensive mash potatoes of all time. I’m sure Lauren will chime in the comments section if you are in for a real hum-dinging story.

We see each other every year for Puerto Rican Thanksgiving (more on that later) but I am so excited to finally hang out with her in her hood!

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This is my all-time favorite picture of her and I had to stalk her Facebook to find it. I think she is somewhere in NYC eating dim sum, but the red diner-booths confuse me. Hopefully she is as excited to see me as she was to grub down on chow mein and potstickers.

PS: Speaking of my amazing Jie Jie (what I have called her since forever), she has her own personal training business for almost a decade now in the big CO and worked on the show ‘The Doctors’ along with some seriously motivating weight loss stories. If you have any questions at all regarding anything, such as her love of spaghetti squash or how to properly do x, y, z, please e-mail me and I will have her compile a post! She is one of the best writers I know and I am slowly trying to convince her to start blogging.

Do we look alike? We are both unfortunately unphotogenic, so this is one of the few pictures we have where one person does not resemble Sloth from The Goonies.

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Segwaying with the NYC anecdote, that is where my second flight is going. SFO -> JFK. Virgin had a deal I couldn’t pass up so I am all locked in for mid-January. I am actually really nervous about the weather because I think it snowed for only 3 minutes one time in San Francisco history but hopefully everything will work out well. I am excited!

The sucky part (cue title) is that I will be in NYC from Saturday-Tuesday, stay in San Francisco for a day on Wednesday and then fly to Denver from Thursday-Sunday. It is hard to complain when I have such a fabulous week lined up for me.

My sister told me she would punch me in the throat if I came to Denver with a list of Yelp recommended restaurants. She loves food just as much as I do. It is a Condell thing.

However, I do need recommendations for NYC! Fancy, street food, hole in the walls, pastries, local dives, everything and anything would be nice.

This week has been so hard for me guys. I have not eaten out at one restaurant the whole week. I forgot what it feels like to be a functioning member of society. With that, I thought it would be nice to round up a few different eats I have remembered to take pictures of.

I have been going through hummus like a crackhead in the Tenderloin. To be honest, this container was almost finished in one sitting. I was both impressed and kind of disgusted with myself at the same time.

When this one was finished the next day, I cracked open a new one from The Hummus Guy I purchased at the Farmer’s Market on Sunday. That container is lucky I ran out of pita chips or the poor dip would not of even had a chance.

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This is kind of cheating because I just posted this on Wednesday, but I ate Sriracha broccoli with chicken and yams on Tuesday. Desert was a glass of two-buck Chuck and sweet red grapes.

Potstickers for lunch during a horrible study session. Nothing close to the real deal, but good enough for hard times.

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Can’t forget about the multiple espresso shots for the days I wake up when it is still dark outside. I do not remember life without my Gran Maestria.

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I said earlier I was going to make my jalapeno green bean stir fry, but I forgot to pick up a jalapeño and got really lazy after school. Instead, I seasoned with herbs de provence, garlic, oregano and paprika. Do not forget the crushed peanuts for texture!

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And to finish off with the saddest picture of kale chips, lighting on the second floor suuuucks.

To make up for it, I sneaked in a festive Halloween oven mitt.

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Nothing really planned for the weekend, all I want to do is get started on a new book and go to bed at 9 PM. Anyone with me?

What is the best meal you made this week? Can you recommend me a favorite book you finished lately?

Jalapeno Green Bean Stir Fry

When you think of green beans, what comes to mind?

I think of mushy, grayish canned food that triggers old memories of grade school lunch. They were never a favorite of mine growing up, but my evolved palate (humor me) has me craving and wanting these delicious long beans. Imagine my joy when I went to the Farmer’s Market and saw that they were on sale for $1 a bag! I grabbed two along with other deals they had and went home a happy girl.

The hard decision was if I should prepare them with a fresh touch (lemon and garlic) or more hearty and flavorful. I drew inspiration from Mission Chinese. As a group, we really loved the flavor the jalapeño brought to the dish so I thought it would be a nice add-on for this week’s recipe.

Jalapeño Green Bean Stir Fry

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Cook Time: 10 Minutes

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Ingredients:

  • 3/4-1 Lb Green Beans
  • 1 Medium Jalapeño or 2 Small Ones
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • Small Handful of Peanuts (20~)
  • 2 Tbs Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tsp Seasame Oil
  • 1 Tsp Rice Vinegar
  • 2 Tbs Peanut Oil (not pictured)
  • 1/2 Tsp Sugar (not pictured)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 Cup Water

TO PREP

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1. Wash the green beans well and pinch/cut off both sides of the ends. Chop them in half so they are all equally about 2-3 inches long.

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2. Cut the jalapeño in half and into very thin slivers. Dice the garlic and crush the peanuts either by hand or with a food processor/blender.

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3. Mix the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar and 1/2 tsp of sugar in a small bowl.

TO COOK

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4. Heat up the pan on high and pour in the peanut oil. Let it get hot and drop the garlic and green beans in immediately. Pour the 1/4 cup of water and cover for 2-3 minutes.

5. Stir the green beans frequently and then pour in the sauce you prepared earlier. Taste them periodically, they should still be crisp but a little soft on the inside. Salt and pepper to taste.

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6. While the green beans are cooking, toast up the crushed peanuts on medium low until thy are nice and toasty.

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7. Garnish with peanuts.

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You can put the green beans in a pasta or eat it with Mapo Tofu. I chose to grill a piece of chicken and marinade it with similar flavors as the green beans.

So delicious and the jalapeño adds a great kick to a dish that’s normally more toned down.

To keep you bloggers on your toes, I want to show you what I had for desert. I know each and every one of you are obsessed with Froyo and I find myself craving it more and more.

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What flavors do you usually get? Tart froyo is my favorite but I was tempted to try the Mango Lassi. Unfortunately, once I love something I have to keep ordering it.

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Raspberry tart with crushed peanuts, graham crackers, oreos, raspberries and strawberries. So bomb.

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What’s your favorite summer veggie? Frozen yogurt or old fashion ice cream?

PS: I know being fashionably late is acceptable, but I pretty much arrived at the end of the party. I just joined Twitter! Follow me so I can read everyone’s stuff!