The Best Restaurant Baked Potato Soup

by fitforthesoul in , ,

Ever had one of those days when all you wish for is a good leisurely hour, simply lounging al fresco with a strong cup of coffee paired with a buttery croissant and a good book to read? I can attest to the fact that oftentimes, more often than not, I daydream about strolling through the streets of Paris all while trying to find my way past the quaint little Parisian shops.  So what shops does Ellie stumble upon in her vivid little imagination?  She obviously finds a really good bakery and plants herself right in front of the pastries! And that’s exactly what I did today, my friends.  Well it didn’t go like that exactly 100 percent…something more like, Torrance meets super cool French bakery where everything is a bit overpriced but delicious nonetheless type of deal.  But as usual, more on the bakery later. Winking smile

Since Wednesday is coming to a close and I have enough time to spare today, why don’t we go ahead and do a little sharing for What I Ate Wednesday?



I had a quick waffle breakfast before heading out to work this morning, except I had some more fruit on the side instead of the turkey bacon.  By the way, I may not be the greatest fan of bacon but there’s something about the turkey version that jives with me!  And please excuse this recycled picture.



My snack mid-morning was a handful of crisp juicy grapes, which was just what my body needed because I felt kind of overheated when I was at work.  It’s so strange how my hormones are causing my body to feel warmer than everyone else’s and I can’t tell what’s cold or hot anymore, haha.



I always prefer to pack my lunch when I go to work because not only does it save me money (and allows me to buy a delicious treat every now and then), but it helps me feel satisfied and not sluggish since I usually pack healthy food with fresh ingredients. In my opinion, there’s nothing as draining as food coma when I’m trying to get important work done and only half my brain seems to be doing all the work.  So this time I threw together a huge salad full of greens, avocado, tomato, pepperocini slices, vanilla blueberry goat cheese, a pan fried egg and balsamic dressing.  It’s so simple to make, yet it has become one of my favorite meals!

L’Amande Bakery


Now let’s talk about that French bakery.  Shall we?

During my lunch break I kind of wanted something flaky and buttery before going back to work.  I also wanted to just relax somewhere outside where I could spend some time reading.  Then I remembered that bakery café that I pass by whenever I shop at Trader Joe’s and ordered this amazing croissant.


But this isn’t just any croissant.  This is L’Amande Bakery’s very popular pistachio croissant which has chunks of pistachio baked on top and the most delicious pistachio filling I’ve ever tried.  Well, I’ve never actually had pistachio filling but if this is what it always tastes like, then I’m down for another one of these glorious pastries.  The filling had the perfect texture of creamy slash crunchy, and the sweetness level wasn’t overwhelming at all!


Yesterday I cooked up a large pot of baked potato soup in honor of one of my favorite dishes at Corner Bakery Café.

Although this bowl of goodness may look super heavy and unhealthy since it’s so unbelievably “creamy”, it was anything but.  On the contrary, it fortunately turned out satisfying even without all the heavy ingredients that most recipes call for.  I reduced the amount of certain ingredients as well as substituted some in order to make this into a lighter version.  This was a successful first attempt since both Greg and I loved it so much!  Phew.


Restaurant Baked Potato Soup {Healthy and Lower Fat}

Whenever I want to make a dish healthier than the traditional way of preparing it, I normally tend to use lots of spices and chicken or vegetable broth.  Many times I use vegetable bouillon, which is what I added to this recipe to make the soup extra flavorful.  If you don’t have bouillon on hand, you can easily substitute it with 4 cups of broth and simply omit the water.

Adapted from this recipe.  Makes approximately 5-6 servings.


  • 4 strips of turkey bacon
  • 2 TBSP unsalted butter (or salted, but omit some salt in recipe)
  • 3 TBSP white flour
  • 3 C milk (I used 2%)
  • 4 C water
  • 1 cube of vegetable bouillon
  • 3 russet potatoes with skin
  • 1/4 C onion, chopped
  • 1/4 C greek yogurt
  • 1 1/4 tsp sea salt or more, to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 C shredded cheddar
  • 6 stems of green onion, chopped (save some for garnish)


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F and chop the potatoes to about 1x1” in size.  Bake them in a pan for approximately 8-10 minutes.  Take out and set it aside.
  2. Cook the turkey bacon strips on a skillet until they’re crispy on both sides.  Chop them into small pieces and set aside.
  3. In a large pot on medium heat, melt the butter and whisk in the flour so it becomes thick.  Slowly add the milk and keep stirring to prevent clumps.
  4. Add the water, bacon, bouillon, potatoes, onion, and salt and pepper.  Bring it down to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes while stirring every now and then.
  5. Add the green onion, yogurt, and cheddar for 4 minutes or until it blends together smoothly.  If you prefer less potato chunks and more puree, then you can mash them a bit with a potato masher while they’re still in the pot.
  6. Garnish with fresh green onions and voila!


I had another bowl for tonight’s dinner and it definitely didn’t disappoint! Open-mouthed smile

I hope you have a blessed night and seize the day!

What’s your favorite soup at a restaurant?  Have you tried Corner Bakery Café?

-I normally love brothy and tomato-y soups, but baked potato soup is probably my favorite creamy soup

What foods do you splurge on?


Ellie <33

Zesty Leek Potato Soup+An Apology

by fitforthesoul in , ,

Like I mentioned a bunch of times before, ever since my pregnancy journey began I’ve had a preference for savory foods that come in some form of spicy, salty, and zesty.  Although I try to limit my intake of sodium because I don’t want high blood pressure and all that fun stuff (sarcasm), I just cannot resist having some kind of kick and zest to my meals! Oh yeah, you’re asking about the cupcakes I’ve been eating?


Best ever cupcake—white chocolate lemon

Errrr so yeah, those are still some of my favorite treats, pregnant or not!  But we’re talking about savory here, got it?  Now back to the subject... Smile with tongue out

Please let me share with you the recipe that I promised you last time, and even if you decide that you don’t like what I made at least I’ve accomplished in keeping my word, hehe.  But seriously.  If you like healthy recipes, make this.  If you want to easily veganize a dish, make this.  If you adore the taste and texture of leeks which I find to be much like their frail little cousin called the green onion, then I really think you should make this.  If you want to scare delight your husband with the colorful hues that dance around your crock-pot, then you must certainly make this.  Just don’t tell him this is from me. Smile


Zesty Leek and Potato Cream Soup

Makes approximately 10 servings


  • 2 leek stems
  • 2 Russet potatoes with skin on, cubed
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 C dry lima beans, rinsed (or canned+drained)
  • 3/4 C full fat coconut milk
  • 6 oz can of tomato paste
  • 7 C vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 TBSP butter (or Earth Balance)


  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 tsp chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 TBSP lime juice


  1. Rinse the leeks and cut them length-wise through the middle so you have to halves left.  Then chop them about 3 inches wide as shown in the picture below.
  2. Start heating up a large skillet on medium heat and melt the butter.  Lightly saute the leeks on the pan and stir—just about 2 minutes until it’s slightly caramelized.
  3. Turn your crock pot to 4 hours and pour in the broth, coconut milk, and tomato paste. When the rest of the ingredients are ready, add them in as well.  Add the ingredients on the spices list and let it cook for 4 hours or as long as you decide.
  4. However, if you like your beans with more chew and not too soft (and are using canned beans), then I would recommend that you add them at least an hour after starting up the crock pot.  Otherwise, it is okay to cook them from the beginning.


Check out those huge stems!  It’s like green onion but better.



I always enjoy eating soup with a bit of cheese sprinkled on top, along with a nice dollop of greek yogurt to give it a more complex flavor. And I’ve been contemplating about how perfectly this would pair up with this cheesy pull-apart bread by the Brown Eyed Baker…Warning:  You will drool if you click on that link!



An Apology for PVBody [Now Called Ellie]

If you recall a certain post from a few weeks ago, I had finally written to you with much excitement about the new company called PV Body (now it’s called ‘Ellie’, what a coinkidink!).  I’m sure that by now a good handful of you have heard about them, as well as the not so favorable opinions from unhappy customers who’ve written on their Facebook wall and on other blogs that were promoting the very same thing I was.

I’m rather sad to say that after much thought and a few words of caution from some readers (thank you so much by the way), I will not be continuing as part of their ambassador program and will discontinue the 20% off link for first time customers.  I don’t want to go too much into detail but all I can say is that I should have listened to my instincts when something was telling me to be very careful about the company.  I’m surprised to have fallen into this as I tend to be very discerning about things most of the time.  Now, I’m not saying that Ellie is purposefully scamming customers and taking advantage of bloggers who are simply excited to be affiliated to an ‘up and coming’ fitness company, because I sure was.  However, I am now fully aware that many people haven’t received the packages that they’ve purchased even after a month of waiting, and some complaints even go to the extent of their credit cards being charged three times in a row.

It is quite common for new businesses starting from the ground up to have a few glitches and mistakes here and there and I truly hope that’s been the problem so far (after all we all make mistakes), and I fully understand that and forgive them for that if that is the case.  But too many folks have been unhappy with their customer service, and I can’t help but cringe at the thought of one more person grieving over their loss of money, let alone the trust they had in those who were so passionate about this new brand.  Although it is up to the shopper to give their products a try, I do not want any of you to have to deal with one more problem because of mine or any other ambassador’s mistake.  I truly hope and wish the best for Ellie!  I hate to see businesses suffering especially if they didn’t mean any harm, but I also want the best for anyone who’s spending his or her hard earned money.  And unless the muddy waters surrounding this company don’t clear up, I will not be affiliating myself to them.

So, my apologies to all of you and I hope everything worked out in your favor if you purchased something from them! Smile

Now for the questions…What dishes do you like to cook in the crock pot?  Anything unique?

Do you tend to listen to your instincts/discernment?

-I’m usually very careful and pray through everything, but I guess sometimes I hear what I THINK I’m hearing!


Ellie <33

Cajun Sausage Mac N Cheese

by fitforthesoul in ,

What’s a girl to do on a cold winter afternoon when eating comfort sounds better than cleaning the house? I’ll tell you—she makes Mac N Cheese.

Yup, that’s what I set myself to accomplish a few dreary weeks ago and goshdarnit, that’s exactly what I did! I was so proud of myself for not giving in to my usual gotta get something done outside of the house or else I’ll go crazy mentality.  No sir, that day I was quietly relaxing within the comfort of my own kitchen concocting what I deem to be the most satisfying, yet light comfort meal.   You see, I belong to that strange bunch that loves rainy and cloudy weather with a passion.  With a passion!!!! (Is that passionate enough?)  In fact, it makes me so disgustingly happy and giddy that when I see the sun starting to peek out beyond those clouds I start to sing, "sun sun go away, come again some other day”.

And I bet you didn’t know that one of my dreams is to move to Seattle someday and get rained on all day longgggg….

Okay so, after giving that some thought for a good 10 seconds…being wet all the time doesn’t seem too appealing anymore.  But I definitely wouldn’t mind dancing in rain puddles and getting rained on every now and then, and then going home to eat some of this shtufffff.  Yes, you have to say it with the “sh” because it makes it that much more emphasized.



Aidells is my go-to brand of sausages because of the minimalistic ingredients as well as the wonderful taste!  But as long as it’s a Cajun flavored sausage, it doesn’t matter which brand is used in this recipe.   Smile  Just thought that I’d throw in my 2 cents about my love for Aidells.



Cajun Sausage Mac N Cheese

I really enjoyed coming up with this recipe because as per usual, I tried to make this old American dish just a tad healthier than normal.  One of my favorite food combinations is spicy and bold, and although this Mac N Cheese isn’t necessarily spicy, it does have a slight kick to it due to the addition of Cajun sausage.  Instead of using a lot of cheese and heavy cream, I cut the cheese by approximately a half cup and added greek yogurt instead.  If you give this a try I hope you enjoy it as much as my husband did!  You know when something is good when your husband likes it.  ; )

Makes about 6-8 servings


  • 12 oz dried elbow macaroni
  • water, according to macaroni box directions
  • 1 1/4 C cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 C greek yogurt
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 1 1/2 C milk (I used 2%)
  • 3/4 C chopped onions
  • 1 1/4 C frozen broccoli pieces
  • 1 1/4 C chopped tomato
  • 4 Cajun Style sausages
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp paprika
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • pepper to taste


  1. Chop all the vegetable ingredients and start cutting the sausages on a cutting board.  They need to be medium sized semi-circles, so first slice them lengthwise and then cut them about 1/2” thick all across.
  2. Grab a medium pot and cook the macaroni according to the directions on the box, then drain the water.  Add the cheese and milk and warm up on low eat while stirring it occasionally so it gains a creamy consistency.
  3. In a separate large sized pot, start melting the butter on medium high heat and cook the onion until it is almost translucent.  Add the sausage and saute for about 3 minutes.
  4. Then add the broccoli, tomato, and salt and pepper.  Cook for about 4 minutes and occasionally toss with a wooden spoon.
  5. Pour in the cheesy macaroni in the large pot along with the greek yogurt, garlic powder, and paprika while cooking it on low-medium heat.  Mix it gently and thoroughly until everything incorporates well.
  6. Then serve!


Have a wonderful day and stay healthy in this chilly season!  Written by:  a wimpy Southern Cali girl. Open-mouthed smile

What screams comfort food to you?

If you could visit or live in one particular place, where would it be and why?

-Oh gosh I have so many.  Seattle, Africa, Denmark, Ireland, India, Argentina, the list goes on…..

Does weather affect your mood at all?


Ellie <33

Amazing Apple Chicken Waldorf Recipe+ Product Review

by fitforthesoul in ,

Hello everyone, I hope you’re all staying warm and toasty! Despite the fact that it’s been far too cold (California girl here) in the South Bay area, which I don’t mind too much by the way since I fancy chilly weather, I’ve been on a vegetable marathon almost every single day.  One thing that I’m super grateful for with this pregnancy is that the baby loves vegetables and fruit!  During most of my first trimester I couldn’t even stand the sight of greens, let alone try to make anything out of them.  Much to Greg’s dismay, my grocery cart  now gets filled with 70% produce and the rest is the usual stuff since I’m going onto week 15! 

By the way, we got to listen to the baby’s heartbeat a few days ago…it was one of the craziest things we have ever experienced!  The heartbeat seemed to be fast, strong like the sound of a galloping horse’s hooves, and most important of all, healthy.



The awesome makers of Sistema Organa sent me a box of goodies a few months back.  In it there were this skinny container of olive oil and little tubs of dried veggies, which I haven’t gotten around to using just yet.  They actually sent me the box right around the week that I found out I was pregnant!  Go figure that the whole timing was awkward because as soon as the package arrived I was afraid to open it up since everything made me gag.  I know, ‘gag’ is not the most elegant term and you’ll have to excuse me for it, haha.  And no offense about the gagging, Sistema Organa!  It’s not you, it’s me.

Luckily they were extremely patient and understanding about my situation, so I am now finally reviewing this wonderful--and pretty I must say--bottle of extra virgin olive oil.

Here’s a short excerpt of Sistema Organa’s philosophy:

Sistema Organa is about creating a system of organic products all of which are aimed at improving your health and longevity, while being environmentally conscious, treating our farmers as partners and customers as family.

Our philosophy is to carefully select products based on their well known, historical health benefits, analyzing the farming methods to make sure they meet our Organically Grown guidelines and verifying the health benefits in a scientifically quantifiable manner.

Our products come from small, independent growers from all over the world. We strive to find the finest farmers and go out of our way to assure quality over quantity. You may not always be able to obtain our products, as naturally grown food depends on weather and good harvests. Our products are often hand crafted in small batches and packaged locally at the farms just after the harvest at the peak of ripeness, as mother nature intended.

They sound pretty awesome, right?!  And the taste of their oil is very good as well.  Some olive oils can be a bit too strong for my liking and rend that slightly plasticky smell.  For some people that’s okay, but I prefer olive oil that tastes mild and clean since I like to incorporate healthy oils into most of my cooking.  That way I can easily add it to delicious salads and other recipes like baked goods.


Get just a tiiiiny bit closer to the screen.  Uh-huh, this salad is truly delicious and full of zest and sweetness due to the dressing I made with olive oil.  And don’t you just love it when meat is speckled with pepper on top?  It makes everything look more fancy schmancy. Open-mouthed smile

Amazing Apple Chicken Waldorf Recipe {Healthy+Low Fat}

Most Waldorf Salads are drenched in a delicious yet far too creamy dressing made up of cups of mayo and sugar.  Today I bring you a healthy version of the Waldorf Salad without sacrificing the taste.  It would make a great side dish for big parties as it can easily be doubled or tripled!

Makes 4-5 servings

Ingredients for Salad

  • 10 leaves of romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 6 C arugula leaves
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, chopped about 1/2”x1/2”
  • 1 medium apple, chopped 1/2'”x1/2”
  • 1/2 C chopped walnuts (fresh or candied)
  • 1/3 C dried cranberries

*Next time I will add candied walnuts using this pecan recipe.

Ingredients for Dressing

  • 3 TBSP dijon mustard
  • 2 TBSP orange/fruit juice
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 1 TBSP mayo
  • 3 TBSP olive oil

Ingredients for Chicken

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1/4 C fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • oil spray


  1. Start with the chicken.  Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 400 F degrees.  Lightly spray the oil on the bottom of a foiled pan and place the chicken breasts in the pan.
  2. Spray the chicken lightly with oil and pour the lemon juice on top, then sprinkle with salt+pepper.  Cover with foil and bake for 10 minutes.  Raise the temperature to broil and cook for 10-12 more min.  When finished, let it cool down.
  3. Grab a very large bowl and toss all the salad ingredients together.  Pulse all of the dressing ingredients in a blender, and if the dijon is coarse it may take at least a minute.
  4. Pour the dressing over the greens and gently massage the salad with gloves on. (Easier+cleaner)  Slice the chicken in diagonal strips and place on top.  Eat and enjoy!




You can find these nifty kimchi gloves at a Korean grocery store.  They’re very  convenient and pretty inexpensive!



Have a lovely day and stay cold free!

Do you have a favorite type of salad?

-I love Waldorf type salads, anything with fish, and vinaigrette salads!  Bring on the honey mustard…

What’s your favorite oil to use when you cook/bake?

-Coconut oil, sesame oil (one of the best) and oftentimes olive oil.  But I try to use olive oil fresh and in recipes that don’t require a lot of cooking.


Ellie <33

Collard Greens and a Challenge Vlog

by fitforthesoul in , , ,

Lately I’ve been craving savory and salty foods a lot more than usual—probably just as much as I crave sweets, if not more than that.  Growing up I used to be all about salty and spicy food, and if a particular dish didn’t match up to those two qualifications, I would just go ahead and add soy sauce, salt, or spicy pepper paste. IMG_0001

Today I bring you a quick savory dish that contains a powerhouse of nutrients.  Collard greens provide a chock full of vitamins, calcium, iron, folate, fiber, and phyto-nutrients, which are known to aid in the process of cancer prevention.  Now, let’s put nutrients aside and talk a little bit about the taste…With the hearty and deliciously earthy taste of these greens, one can come up with hundreds of recipe variations with this leafy ingredient in a pinch.  Then voila!  You’ve got yourself a great stir fry!  Smile


Creamy Collard Greens Stir Fry

Makes 2 servings


  • 4 leaves of collard greens, chopped with stem off
  • half block of firm tofu, cubed
  • 1/2 C already cooked rice (I used brown)
  • 1/4-1/3C canned coconut milk
  • 1 TBSP soy sauce (or Tamari)
  • 1 TBSP sesame oil
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 of a bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder


  1. Warm up a skillet or wok on medium heat.  Pour the sesame oil and start to sautee the collard greens.
  2. Once it’s wilted a bit, add the soy sauce, coconut milk, bell pepper, garlic powder, and tofu.  Cook for approximately 5 minutes.  Add the coconut milk and green onion; then stir and cook for another minute.
  3. Now add the cold rice and stir fry for another 3 minutes or so.  Transfer to a plate and garnish with extra green onion!


The leftovers are great for lunch or when you’re on the run.

And now…I have a video up that shows you one of my latest favorite exercises.  I hope you enjoy these if you decide to give them a try!  Remember, sometimes the easiest looking routines can be the deadliest, so beware. Open-mouthed smile

Have you been craving sweet or savory?

What ingredients are “scary” to cook with in your opinion?

-I’ve had collard greens before, but I wasn’t always confident on incorporating them in my dishes.

What’s your favorite exercise for core strength?


Ellie <33

Enjoy Your Salmon Two Ways

by fitforthesoul in , , , , ,

On my last post I briefly mentioned that I have a tasty recipe for seafood enchiladas, which can easily be modified by using your favorite fish. About a month and a half ago, I came up with an incredibly delicious and creamy sauce to top salmon off, but without going overboard!  You know, sometimes creamy food can be tasty and I totally agree with that, but after one too many bites of Midwestern type of food (which I ate a lot while in Kansas), I feel sluggish and ready to take a nap.  Hopefully with this recipe we can have our creamy salmon and eat it too!  Smile

I used the same sauce on top of the baked salmon as well as on the enchiladas.


Salmon and Sweet Rosemary Sauce

This recipe is so simple to make and it takes little to no time to whip up.  The greek yogurt makes this dish super creamy and flavorful, but without the extra oily taste like other recipes that include Mayo. 

Makes 2 servings


  • 2 salmon fillets (A little less than a 1 lb.)
  • 2 TBSP Mayo or Miracle Whip
  • 2 TBSP plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp crushed dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • pepper to taste


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 F degrees.  Cover a baking pan with some tin foil to cook the salmon later.
  2. Grab a small bowl and mix all of the ingredients together, except the salmon.  Place the salmon filets on the baking pan and with a spoon, spread the sauce mixture evenly on top.  Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the salmon.  If it’s about 1 inch thick, it may take about 15 minutes.


Seafood Enchiladas with Sweet Rosemary Sauce

I used the same sauce ingredients from the first recipe, which gave this dish a slightly sweet and aromatic taste.  Instead of salmon, any other mild tasting fish should work just fine.  I believe that the flavors come together very well and the enchiladas stay really moist because of the slow, low-heat baking process.  As a guacamole lover, I eat most Mexican foods with this recipe as the side dish.

Makes 6 enchiladas


  • 6 corn tortillas (I used Trader Joe’s Handmade Tortillas)
  • 1 Pound of salmon fillets
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1.5 TBSP lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp fish seasoning (I used this one)
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • One 10 oz. can of red enchilada sauce
  • Few sprinkles of Mexican cheese mix


  1. Preheat your oven to 275 F degrees.  Cover a 9x9” square baking pan with tin foil.  I baked the remaining enchiladas later on since they didn’t fit in because it’s better to keep them tightly close together in a small pan so that they don’t fall apart.
  2. Grab a large mixing bowl and combine all of the ingredients together except for the tortillas, salmon, enchilada sauce, and tomatoes.
  3. Cut the salmon into 1x1” cubes, and toss the salmon and tomatoes with the ingredients in the mixing bowl until it’s evenly coated.  Spoon the mixture on a tortilla and drizzle about 1 TBSP of enchilada sauce, along with a little bit of the Rosemary Sauce shown above.  Repeat this process with all of the tortillas.
  4. One by one, carefully bring the two ends of the tortilla to the center and “close” it.  Place the closed part facing down.  Pour the remaining enchilada sauce on the enchiladas and bake for approximately 20 minutes.  Take it out of the oven and sprinkle with cheese and bake for an extra 10 minutes.


I’ve probably made fish with this sauce about 4 times since I came up with this recipe.  Yeah.  It’s that addicting. Winking smile

Birthday Dinner to Remember!

Yesterday marked my friend Susan’s birthday dinner at a place near the city of Pasadena.  This nice Chinese restaurant, Din Tai Fung (Check out the crazy Yelp reviews!),  is located in the highly Asian populated community of Arcadia.  They serve really good pork dumplings, braised beef spicy soup (which I heard is amazing), and great vegetable side dishes.  I wouldn’t say that I was smitten by their food, but I truly did enjoy the taste and good quality of their ingredients.  Would I ever go back to this place?  Probably because I love authentic Chinese cuisine, but only if LA traffic is good to me.

PicMonkey Collage

What I loved the most, however, was the company and great conversations held over at the dinner table.  And of course, I was extremely happy to see Susan “spoiled”, as she likes to put it, because I love her and I think she deserves to be pampered once in a while.  Susan, read:  once in a while.  Hah!


I haven’t seen some of my friends ever since our wedding!  It felt glorious to see them again.  Oh yeah, Susan is the one in white pants in case you’re curious. Open-mouthed smile

What’s your favorite way to prepare fish?

Are you a fan of Mexican seafood dishes? 

-Some people seem to be turned off by it, like my husband!  But he surprisingly liked these enchiladas which is truly a miracle.

Do you have people in your life that you don’t get to see very often, but whenever you meet it’s as if the connection is still there?


Ellie <33