‘Hip hurray, keemaw for me!’

This week’s edition of “The Splenda Stealer Diet” is one of the Splenda Stealer’s nearest and dearest, her friend and partner in crime, KC! Once a co-worker/neighbor in Hoboken, KC left the confines of a boring desk job in Midtown Manhattan to live and explore New Zealand for a year.  Now back for practically her third summer in a row (the southern hemisphere was all summery while NYC had blizzards), she has been stationed at her dad’s house in Middletown, NJ, where she spends her time job searching and hanging around the pool in between nibbles of curries, falafel, and Thai food. Let’s take a look at her week of eating.

KC, at the Parua Bay Pub in New Zealand, sipping a Tui--a beer named after the songbird of NZ.

Monday, July 12th
Usually on Mondays I try to do “No Meat Mondays.”  It’s this movement started by Paul McCartney to raise awareness on how what we eat ultimately effects the environment.  I started the morning off with a “Green Monster.”  A few months back I was reading the blog, EatLiveRun, and the blogger mentioned this smoothie she drank every morning that she was convinced gave her extra amounts of energy and a great complexion.  So now, especially it being summer, I have been enjoying the green monster as my breakfast choice – it consists of spinach, banana, ground flax seed, and soy milk – yum!

The rest of the morning was spent chatting with friends on Gchat, searching for jobs, applying for jobs, and fading in and out of Facebook coma.  At some point I vaguely remember snacking on an orange. Around 1:30 or 2, I stopped what I was doing and made some lunch – falafel with lettuce, tomato, & this delicious tahini dressing I concocted up.  In a food processor, I blended tahini (obviously) shallots, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Oh god put all together it was heavenly.

The afternoon was uneventful…pretty much all the same stuff as the morning. After a while it dawned on me that my dad would be home from work soon and perhaps I should be a nice daughter and make some dinner.  So I whipped up a pasta dish with spinach, broccoli, basil, and shallots in a white wine sauce. Just delicious. He was very happy to come home to a nice meal.

Tuesday, July 13th
Woke up in a frenzy; I was heading into the city that morning to meet with a recruiter for some job opportunities and then some open calls for manager positions at a few restaurants in the afternoon.  I made myself a bowl of cheerios with  soy milk and raspberries but for some weird reason the three mixed together caused a strange reaction. The whole bowl turned into mush instantly, so I didn’t even bother.  In a panic and knowing I had to leave in minutes, I warmed up some left over pasta…still tasty.

I got into the city just in time to meet with the recruiter and it went very well – he was so enthusiastic and had a couple interesting leads, so we’ll see what will come of that.  Afterward, I headed a block away to meet the Splenda Stealer for a coffee at our old spot – Manhattan Espresso Cafe. Back when I worked in Midtown, we tried to have coffee breaks at least once a week where we both happily disappeared from our offices for hours to sip delicious coffee and catch up. While I waited for her outside the office, a new pasta place called Nooi was handing free samples of penne vodka so, so I snacked on that it while I waited.

We headed down to the Manhattan Espresso Cafe and enjoyed a couple chocolate mint flavored coffees. An hour or so later, we parted ways and I made the rounds for the rest of the afternoon, hoping someone would hire me.

Around 3, I ate my peanut butter and jelly sandwich, partially smooshed, that I packed in the morning, knowing I’d get hungry at some point. A few hours later, I went to meet my boyfriend and our friends Geraldine and Krispy to discuss future living arrangements – we are hoping to get a place together in the beginning of September.

Sad to say, I wish I could tell you all the places I went for the rest of the night, but alas, I was never known for my detail skills. What I can tell you is that while having the meeting, the four of us shared meatball sliders (meh…I’ve had better) and chicken nachos (delicious). Later on, my brother and Mary met up and I had vodkas and club sodas for dinner.

Wednesday, July 14th
Awoke at the boyfriend’s house just in time to say, “So long! Have a nice day at work!” before heading home with a little twing of a hangover and the need for comfort food and a good night’s sleep. I got home and ate more falafel, some chicken steamed dumplings, and a big orange….pretty much anything I could eat that was easy and delicious. I napped a bit, floated around the pool all day, and did some laundry. Later, made some rice and heated up some Indian curries that my dad had bought and happily enjoyed that for dinner.

Thursday, July 15th
Woke up feeling refreshed and alive! Made myself a green monster and got cracking on applying for jobs, wrote two blogs, and before I knew it, it was lunch time! I had some leftover curry and rice and then decided to go to the plant store to buy some lemon thyme and mint. Ever since living in New Zealand, where I had an amazing herb garden, I can’t get enough of fresh delicious herbs in all my meals.

After planting the new babies and encouraging them to thrive in the ground, I hopped in the shower to get ready for the night’s event – new tattoos. My mom passed away about a month ago after battling lung cancer, so one of her best friends Andrea and I have been musing about getting tribute tattoos.  We decided on matching tulips in oranges and yellows because my mom said that she would have gotten tulips if she ever decided to get a tattoo.  In addition, she loved spring and the welcome of a new flower planting season.  Tulips are the ultimate welcome to warm weather and new life.  Anyway, I got ready and quickly made myself a little snack of cheese and chutney while waiting for Andrea to pick me up.  The tattoos turned out beautiful and we both agreed they felt like my mom’s warms energetic energy.

Afterwards, we met my dad in Red Bank for dinner at this Mexican place called Senor Pepper.  The food there is absolutely delicious and so reasonably priced.  I got a burrito with chorizo topped with adobo sauce & a side of guacamole. MMM nothing is better than really good Mexican than really good Mexican leftovers! I ate half and was pleased to have the other half for lunch the following day.

Friday, July 16th
Woke up pretty early because the cleaning ladies were at the house around 8:30, quietly cleaning in hopes to not wake me up.  Lucky for them I had yoga to get to, so sneaked by one vacuuming and the other mopping to jump in the kitchen, grabbed a breakfast bar, and headed out.  When I returned home, the house was nice and clean and I eagerly prepared the rest of my burrito.  I also pan fried some green pepper and onion to add to the side. Just lovely.  The remainder of the afternoon was spent like many others – Gchatting, Facebook stalking, searching for jobs, and applying for jobs.  Around 4, I got myself dressed and ready, and headed to work.  Whenever I’m in an in-between phase of life, I generally go back to my old restaurant – Siam Garden – who always help me out with some work.

So I worked a bit and around 9 getting ready to leave when the chef pulled me aside and said, “Kristine, you want some keemaw? I’ll make you some.” Keemaw, or drunken noodles, is this phenomenal spicy noodle dish, perhaps one my favorites of all time.  Hip hurray keemaw for me! I got home tired and full, ready to relax to get ready for the next morning – a nice fishing trip with my dad, some of his college friends, and my brother.

For more stories by Kristine, follow her at: http://www.theadventuresofkristine.com

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