Category Archives: narcissism

Meals 100: El Farolito + Passion Pit

It’s my 100th day of blogged meals.

I went to a Passion Pit concert with Anita in San Francisco. I’m a Manners and Chunk of Change fanatic, but sadly, the band didn’t play any of those songs – rather, they integrated themselves into the venue’s ‘untz untz’ clubbing music set. The integration was so seamless, in fact, that we couldn’t detect any difference between the DJing done by Passion Pit and all the others. Disappointing, but we still got to stare down the eclectic crowd. Of note:

1) Guy wearing ‘FOSTER THE PEOPLE’ t-shirt that was about three sizes too small. Looked uncomfortable.
2) Plaid. Plaid everywhere.
3) Awkward advancer: “may I have this dance?” To which I replied, “LET’S ALL DANCE TOGETHER!!!!” and started synchronized jumping with Anita. I think we scared him away good. I give him props for trying.

By far the best part of our night was sharing a super suiza quesadilla at El Farolito after the show. Ahhh, I love the city.

toast with flaxseed, carrot juice, melons, clementine oranges

Breakfast: Wheat toast with peanut butter and flaxmeal, honeydew, cantaloupe, clementines, carrot juice

pulled pork sliders with lima bean salad

Lunch: Pulled pork sliders, lima bean and mixed greens salad

Dungeons and dragons roll, spicy crispy hamachi roll, futomaki from Rocketfish

Dinner from Rocketfish: Dungeons and dragons roll, spicy crispy hamachi roll, futomaki

Super Suiza quesadilla from El Farolito

Midnight snack from El Farolito: Vegetarian super suiza quesadilla with avocado, cheese, and sour cream

Meals 94: Chick-fil-A + Tahoe

Took Friday off for half a day of skiing and snowboarding in Lake Tahoe. We stopped at Chick-fil-A in Roseville on the way up. DAYUMMM. That was some good fried chicken. Slightly spicy, with crunchy batter that clung to the meat rather than slipping off in a greasy layer like it does at KFC (which I also still love). My inner Neely was giddy.

Not only is the food awesome, but the establishment runs like well-oiled machine. Open at 6:30 AM, spotless interior, design-forward packaging, quirky advertising campaign (anthropomorphic cows saying “EAT MORE CHIKIN”), waiter service, and an impressive array of sauces (Buffalo wings-style, Polynesian, honey mustard, ketchup, honey, and spicy honey mustard, among others).

Entrance to Chick-Fil-A

Later, I was disappointed to learn of Chick-fil-A’s dubious past:

“Chick-fil-A’s connection to Christianity has been brought before the courts when Aziz Latif, a Houston-based Muslim employee for six years, sued the company in 2002 for firing him, alleging that he was fired for his religious beliefs when he had refused to take part in an employee prayer. The suit was settled on undisclosed terms.


Through WinShape, Chick-fil-A has given $3 million to anti-gay social conservative groups since 2003, with a total of $2 million in 2009 alone.”

I wasn’t aware of Chick-fil-A’s history when I ate there, so I was able to enjoy the chicken with zero guilt. I’m grateful for that experience, but it likely won’t happen again.

Behold – ski trip food!

Chick Fil A Spicy Chicken Sandwich

Brunch: Deluxe spicy chicken sandwich with cheese

Chick Fil A Chicken tenders

Brunch: Fried chicken tenders

Shin Ramyeon

Dinner: Shin Ramyeon

Meals 93: More carrots

Amid my move from San Francisco to Mountain View, I’ve flattened three tires in the past month. I was driving differently-sized vehicles to move my stuff and wasn’t familiar with the margins of each, so I kept driving into curbs at night. But that explanation is an excuse. I know I should come to terms with the fact that I’m a bad driver, but it pains me to do so because I hate reinforcing stereotypes about Asian females.

At least I’ve now learned how to install a spare tire.

In any case, I figure there’s no harm in trying to improve my night vision by adding some Vitamin A-rich carrots and carrot juice to my diet. I’ll be more attentive on the road, too.

Breakfast with carrot juice, English muffins with peanut butter, pineapple, grapes, Acme bakery herb slab

Breakfast: Carrot juice, English muffins with peanut butter, pineapple, grapes, herb slab from Acme Bakery

Mushroom egg fritter, little gem lettuce with piquillo peppers and avocado, potatoes with cilantro, broccoli,  roasted rainbow carrots

Lunch: Mushroom egg fritter, little gem lettuce with piquillo peppers and avocado, potatoes with cilantro, broccoli, roasted rainbow carrots

Chicken and mac n cheese

Dinner: Roasted chicken, mac and cheese, quinoa, tomatoes, broccoli, mixed greens

Meals 90: Bacon-wrapped hot dogs in broad daylight

I have a hard time articulating why I love San Francisco so much, especially in the shadow of well-versed SF bloggers like Jacob Kaufman.

But here’s one thing I can say for certain: there is no aspect, no facet, no moment of life that can’t be improved with a bacon-wrapped hot dog1, and there is no better place to eat one than San Francisco.

The bacon-wrapped hot dog has made multiple appearances in 7×7′s Big Eat SF: 100 Things to Try Before You Die as “Bacon-wrapped hot dog from a cart in the Mission (preferably when you’re drunk).”

Good point, 7×7, on drunkenness. Every time I enjoy a bacon-wrapped hot dog, is it because the hot dog is actually good, or is it because I’m just having a really good night? At what point does the discriminating tongue end and drunken euphoria begin? Come to think of it, have I ever consumed anything in the Mission district and been disappointed? What’s stronger: the flavor-enhancing potential of drunkenness, or my infatuation with Mission nightlife?

After today’s lunch, I can at least answer the first question, with confidence: bacon-wrapped hot dogs are actually good, even when consumed sober in broad daylight.

As for the other questions…we’ll see if I’m ever be able to answer them.

carrot juice, mandarin orange, and peanut butter toast

Breakfast: Carrot juice, mandarin oranges, whole wheat toast with peanut butter

bacon-wrapped hotdog, chilaquiles, refried beans, peas, mixed greens, red rice, black beans

Lunch: Bacon-wrapped hotdog, chilaquiles, refried beans, black beans, peas, mixed greens, red rice

Leftover hash browns and eggs florentine

Dinner: Leftover hash browns and avocado eggs florentine from Southern Kitchen

blueberry mochi cake

Dessert: Blueberry mochi cake (stay tuned for the illustrated recipe)

1quote adapted from Daria Morgendorffer in “Is It College Yet?”)

Meals 78 + Snickerdoodle cake


chocolate frosted cake with alternating curled white stripe details

Snickerdoodle cake with chocolate frosting and a cream cheese filling.
Baked for a small get-together with my college friends.

The illustrated cake recipe is at the end of the post. Enjoy!


candied sweet potato wedges

Breakfast: Candied sweet potato wedges

latkes and applesauce for lunch

Lunch: Mixed greens salad with feta cheese, applesauce, potato latkes

Chicken breast, spinach, carrots, and broccoli dinner

Dinner: Spinach, carrots, broccoli, chicken breast

Reese's pieces and chocolate chip cookies

Dessert: Reese’s pieces and chocolate chip cookie


Snickerdoodle Cake

1 package (18.25 oz) of plain white cake mix
1 cup whole milk
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1) Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place parchment paper into the bottoms of both cake pans, cutting to shape if needed. Set the pans aside.

2) Place the cake mix, milk, melted butter, eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowls with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping the sides again if needed. The batter should look well combined. Divide the batter between the prepared pans, smoothing it out with the rubber spatula. Place the pans in the oven side by side. Wrap a damp towel around each cake pan to keep the cakes flat for a more professional-looking layered cake.

3) Bake the cakes until they are golden brown and spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 27 to 29 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 10 minutes. Run a dinner knife around the edge of each layer and invert each onto a rack, then invert them again onto another rack so that the cakes are right side up. Allow them to cool completely, 30 minutes more.


Snickerdoodle cinnamon cakes straight out of the oven, leveled and drying on wire rack

Cakes cooling on wire rack. Note that I had to level these cakes because
I neglected to wrap the pans in a damp towel before baking.

4) Meanwhile, prepare cream cheese frosting and chocolate frosting.


Martha Stewart's cream cheese frosting

Cream cheese frosting

Martha Stewart's sour cream chocolate frosting

Chocolate frosting

5) Place one cake layer, right side up, on a serving platter. Spread the top with cream cheese frosting, reserving about half a cup for decoration. Place the second layer, right side up, on top of the first layer.


cinnamon snickerdoodle cakes with cream cheese frosting in between them

Cakes with cream cheese frosting filling in between them

6) Using the chocolate frosting, frost the top and sides of the cake with clean, smooth strokes.


snickerdoodle cinnamon cake frosted with dark chocolate

The frosted cake.

7) For the decoration, pipe the cream cheese frosting in stripes on top of the cake. Use a toothpick to then make alternating sweeps perpendicular to the frosting stripes.


bird's eye view of chocolate cake decorated with alternating curly white stripes

The decorated cake.