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Jiro Dreams of Sushi

28 Dec

Let’s pretend for a minute that I am not the last one in the entire world to see this movie…

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…but what better place to watch it than Tokyo?

Without a doubt, this is one of the best movies I have ever seen. I kept checking the time left on my iTunes and was genuinely sad when I saw there were just 5 minutes left. Not because it felt incomplete, but because I was just truly sad the movie was over.

I won’t even begin to actually review this movie or really even tell you too much because there is no way I can do it justice, not to mention I really loathe reviewing things. Actually having to include all the correct details on a film you simply loved emotionally, makes me shudder. It’s like a sushi symphony. Every single scene, every single word meant something. Every shot is beautiful and every message is meaningful. Jiro is the proprietor of Sukiyabashi Jiro – a 3 Michelin star restaurant in an unassuming subway station. It seats just 10, with people waiting months for a seat. There is no ordering, you simply get what you get and you love it. And you will love it.

The sushi is the best in the world. There’s no doubt about that. But the real story revolves around Jiro’s son, Yoshikazu, the eldest of two, who will have to carry on his father’s legacy. As Jiro’s ex-apprentice puts it, “Yoshikazu will have to be twice as good to even be considered equal. That’s how influential his father is.”

I will never look at sushi the same way again. John’s friend Rob, a bilingual banker here in Tokyo who grew up in the US, took us to a sushi restaurant here in Tokyo called Taku, on one of the first nights we arrived. God DAMN, I wish I had watched this movie before that experience. I now hang my head shame at my lack of appreciation of the small details that all add up to make something GREAT. I enjoyed it, I gobbled it up as I usually do, but man: this movie has taught me to really savor.

It makes you want to work harder and appreciate the small bites in life. If you haven’t seen it, you must. I would pay good money for one of those Men in Black mind eraser tools just so I could forget I watched it and experience it all over again.

xx

6 Days of Ramen — Day 3

27 Dec

Am I tired of ramen yet? Nope. Is John? YEP.

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The fake excitement in his eyes. The gritting teeth. But he still sets out on my journey each afternoon, navigating us both with our trusty map.

I think this is one of my favorite things about John. He humors me. I’m crazy, I’m silly, I’m emotional. When I’m happy, I am so happy I’m like a child. When I’m angry I completely lose my shit. When I’m sad, my entire world shuts down and I want to give up completely and sleep forever. He knows how to deal with all these people. And if he knows something will make me happy, he does it. Even if his belly is full.

Ramen makes me happy.

I’ve said before that food is very emotional to me. I once watched one of my typical shitty reality shows and heard something I will never be able to shake. This fitness fanatic (I forget the show) sat down with someone that was having trouble with their weight. A mixture of just a terrible diet and a lifestyle that would never accommodate drastic change. I felt for this person because I get it. I know I’m not overweight, but the struggle of food — the thoughts that go through my mind after a day of “bad eating”, the constant worry about appearance. The thoughts of “well, if I have a healthy breakfast I can be bad later on…”, “if I eat this avocado now, I probably won’t crave carbs as much later…” — constant calculations in my mind! It’s like I am organizing my love of eating. It sucks, but I have to plan it out. God dammit.

Anyhow, here is what stuck with me. The fitness fanatic told this woman that food is body fuel. It isn’t supposed to taste good. It isn’t supposed to be a focus in your life. You take in food like car would take in gas. You put in premium gas, and your car will thank you for it. And in return, you’ll have that car running perfectly for as long as it possibly can.

I thought “Wow…”

Fuck. That.

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6 Days of Ramen — Day 2

26 Dec

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After announcing my search for delicious ramen in Tokyo, I received a text from my dear friend Karen, whose son, Peter (who has a fabulous blog of his own, here) (seriously pete how did you score that web address I want to buy it from you and my name isn’t even Pete) is in culinary school. Like, real culinary school. I shudder to think of how scared I’d be in that…

Karen sent me a link to Ivan Ramen. A NY-born chef named Ivan Orkin who opened up a little (apparently awesome) ramen place of his own in Tokyo. Holy shit. That’s like selling ice to an Eskimo that really fucking knows its ice and you come from a background that wouldn’t necessarily know anything at all about ice but somehow you do and somehow you sold that ice to that Eskimo and that Eskimo was happy as shit. Except this ice salesman does have an excellent culinary background in ice ah I no longer know what I’m talking about let’s go on…

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Welp. That’s Ivan Ramen. And as you can see, there’s no line out the door because this bitch. is. closed.

45 minutes it took to get there! What a bummer. At least we went prepared — laptop with Family Guy for the car ride. Yeah. Should have called.

So. We asked the driver to take us to another spot. And I think….I *think*….he took our American asses to some sort of…”ramen lite”. I compared it to eating Pho on La Cienega and eating Pho on Western in Los Angeles. It’s good pho, sure. But it’s missing that gritty, home cooked, B-grade-in-the-window awesomeness that only Western / downtown LA has to offer.

Meh. Day 2 was average. But at the end of the day, you’re still in Tokyo. And you’re still eating ramen.

Let’s do this…

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I Like Sucking

26 Dec

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Thanks, google webpage translator.

Pretty intrigued by the Sky Hawk, though.

Christmas in Tokyo — 6 Days of Ramen

25 Dec

First of all, HELLO! Second of all, MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Let’s not even discuss how long it’s been since my last post. Actually, you should be happy. This means we are true friends!! Really. All my true friends know that sometimes Chrissy might go MIA (PS, I was about to use AWOL and when I randomly asked John what AWOL stood for again, he said, “well, absent without leave. But you probably mean MIA in whatever you’re trying to say.” God he’s a smug bastard I hate him.) Anyhow yes Chrissy might go MIA from time to time but it’s in our unwritten friend code that when I do return, we act like nothing happened, or give maybe one small comment before moving on (“you gave birth?”) (“aah sorry about your dog”) I make up for it in intense love when I’m there.

So, sorry about your dog, congrats on the baby, glad your new place is coming along nicely.

Anyhow, wake up, new mom! This is ramen:

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And this is how ramen makes me feel:

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Prease, let’s continue…

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Thanksgiving 2012

18 Nov

Oh man. Typing that out made me realize that it’s the LAST THANKSGIVING EVER SINCE WE ALL DIE SOON! I keep forgetting we’re all gonna die soon. You’d think it would be constantly weighing on my mind, as it’s kind of a big deal. I mean, what is it all for? Why are we all working? Why are we stressing on bullshit? Why aren’t we running naked through the streets, making love and doing drugs, punching people we hate and running away, telling people we hate to eat shit…..so much to do!!!

Anyhow.

Last year, I went a little nuts on Thanksgiving. We hosted John’s family at our home in Los Angeles and I was excited to really go BALLS-OUT ALL-OUT. Basically, if it looked good and had bacon in it, I made it. I EVEN MADE BACONLESS THINGS! I think over 15 dishes total…

And who could forget our first time deep frying a turkey…

Oops sorry. That’s what it looked like when we SHOULD HAVE taken it out…

sigh.

That’s more like it.

This year, we are going up to the mountains of Utah with the family and I’ve decided to keep it traditional. Bringing the classics. Last year, I completely overdid it and there was just too much food, plain and simple. Too much food that allllll kind of shared the same flavors. Lots of casseroles. Lots of potato dishes. Toooooo much everything.

As usual, I’ve rounded up my menu into a nice little list with links. Recipes are all chosen based on my extensive research of dish commenters and ratings. And by extensive research I mean holy fuck, sometimes they make me want to stab my eyeballs out. You can’t say you used cornstarch instead of flour because that’s all you had but you also didn’t have cream so you used cool whip…and you hate ham so you used horse manure then give the recipe one star. What the fuck is that shit, are people bonkers? So after sifting through that kind of shit, I think I came up with a winning menu.

Anyhow, my picks for this year after the jump!

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low and slow scrambled eggs

16 Oct

I wanted to call these “low and slow cheesy cheeseless eggs” but that sounded like one of those stupid options in a vegan shack and I think we all know by now that I don’t fux with vegans.

These are morning HEAVEN.

You ever hear about that “engagement chicken” recipe? You know, that silly chicken that you make and supposedly your man loves it so much you get engaged within months? First of all, barf at the idea of that. Second of all, MEN BEWARE! WOMEN MAKING CHICKEN FROM A MAGAZINE WANT A RING DO NOT LIKE THE CHICKEN I REPEAT DO NOT ENJOY THE CHICKEN UNLESS YOU REALLY LOVE HER. Anyhow these…these are my man pleasing’ sex eggs.

My instructor, Su, made these for me before school one day. It was fascinating to me for many reasons: THEY WERE UNBELIEVABLY DELICIOUS in a world where wonderfully  brilliant dishes are served all around the world, every day. How could something as simple as SCRAMBLED EGGS be so….creamy, flavorful, savory, cheeeeeesy. They actually tasted like they had love inside of them. And they did — 6 – 8 eggs can take around 20 minutes of constannnnnt babying.

As Su stirrrrred and scraped, stirrrrrred and scraped, with the pace of a hungover Chrissy, I felt ashamed of how I normally cooked eggs. My scrambled eggs take mayyyyyybe 90 seconds. That’s not love! At that point you might as well microwave that shit and drown it in ketchup.

Done well, these will taste like…like cheese. I couldn’t think about anything else aside from “how do these not have cheese in them??”.

No recipe here. Just tips. The keys: Super low heat. Constant attention. A spatula. Non stick pan. Lots of butter. Generous splash of heavy cream and plenty of salt and pepper in the scrambled egg mixture.

The pictures make me hungry :( But sigh. You deserve it…

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Day 2

16 Oct

Well, kinda.

You said you wanted to know how it’s going.

So, how exactly is it going?

The day flew by yesterday. Not bad at ALL. I DO NOT do this cleanse correctly. I am now more so working the green juices into a really strict diet plan — really strict until the 29th. And you can bet am going apeshit on the 29th. Then back to just being on a so-so diet.

God I hope no nutritionists are reading this. If you are, I’m sorry. One day, when I want a real cleanse, I will do this the way intended, I swear.

Anyhoo. Yesterday I had a green juice in the morning. A green juice in the afternoon. Then some spicy lemonade just to get a different flavor in my mouth. Then I started to really think about this around 6 o’clock.

I made the decision last night that I would turn this full-on juice cleanse into a juice + simple raw bites diet. I would allow small amounts of raw nuts, raw veg, a couple pieces of sashimi in moments of real hunger, avocado. That’s. All. And this wasn’t the extreme hunger talking. I actually wasn’t starving at all. Nor was I picturing John’s head as a turkey like the cartoons. But I kinda started to freak at the amount of carbs in these juices. If you actually do the cleanse as a cleanse, you are still consuming a full, regular diet’s day worth of calories and a shit ton of carbs. It cleanses your body — what it is meant to do. But most don’t actually lose weight from it. And they don’t promote it as a weight loss thing, obviously. And….like I said, we’re trying to flatten the pooch here. Because somewhere underneath that cheese weight is muscle I want to get back with this, and some working out times.

Also, I knew I would never be drinking all 6 of these drinks in one day AND be happy knowing I was having that many carbs and calories still. Because the secret is out, I’m not doing it juuuuuust to “rid my body of toxins”. I needed to make the adjustments necessary to keep meeee happy.

So, back to last night. I ate a handful of raw almonds (which tasted like heaven at this point) and ordered a few pieces of sashimi. Ate that with another green juice (my third for the day) then hit the sack.

Well I TRIED TO HIT THE SACK. I laid there, all night. Not hungry…just….awake. I missed the feeling of going to bed with a full, heavy belly. That feeling is soothing to me. Even though I wasn’t hungry, I wasn’t full. It kinda sucked. I sipped on (some) of the sickly delicious cashew milk (w agave, vanilla and cinnamon) like a little baby as I fell asleep to Jill Zarin’s crazy ass on Watch What Happens Live (CAN WE DISCUSS??)

Today. Today I decided it’s prob not best to just drink juice all day then eat right before the complete inactivity of laying in bed, so why not spread it out more.

So, green juice for breakfast, then for lunch I had (some) of this…

One of my favorite salads — simple arugula with lemon, tomatoes and NORMALLY excessive slices of parmesan cheese.

And you know what? It sucked. It tasted like I was chewing the juice I had just had. I might as well just had more fucking juice. I realized I was developing juice brain. Everything tastes like juice. The juice controls you. You are actually mad at yourself for biting solids. “JUICE DON’T PLAY DAT”, says the juice, sitting on your shoulder as it slaps you with a sock of coins. You feel bad. You apologize to juice. He says “SMH”. But he doesn’t actually S his H so you’re like, kinda confused. But your hungry so you brush it off.

I went about my daily business. Doctor’s appointment, dress fitting. Got home. Handful of almonds. That, I like. Now I plan on another green juice and milk before bed.

As sick and sad as this whole thing sounds, I really do feel really okay. Like a lot better than I have when I have severely deprived myself before. We can’t forget that this green juice is still 6 pounds of veg nourishment in one little bottle. 3 of those plus these sad, light snacks is not bad at all. And I feel the difference already.

Am I a little slow? For sure. A little…what’s the word….angry? Definitely not ANNNNGRY. Definitely not “HAPPPPPPPY!!!!!!!!!”. Is my belly flatter and do I feel physically good? Definitely. Yes.

But man, I cannot wait until the 29th.

I KNOW

15 Oct

I know.

So my tweet regarding a (hopefully) 10-day juice cleanse sparked a bit of curiosity from many! What am I doing, why am I doing it. There’s always the “THOSE ARE TERRIBLE FOR YOU” people, you know, the ones that have never done it but some TV doctor said they were terrible. I dunno. Here’s my take and reasoning…

It’s not something I should have even tweeted about. It’s honestly not something I push and advocate for, nor do I want to lose all credibility as someone who LOVES food. Trust me, I already got the, “you write a food blog and you don’t even eat” shit.

Would I EVER do a 10-day juice cleanse if I didn’t have to be in a bikini…sometimes only half a bikini….in highly circulated magazines? Holy shit, NO. I love my body. Well, I love my in-clothes body. Loving your bikini bod is a whole other ball game. And getting in a bikini when you just completed 3 weeks of not just eating but FEASTING every single day is a little daunting to say the least.

Now, I LOVE CURVES. I’ve said it before and I will say it for the rest of time. But that, unfortunately, isn’t how my body operates. Weight that I put on from loving food doesn’t distribute into the Kardashian-like teenie waist and bodacious ass. Chrissy’s version of curvy results in TSA agents patting me down and saying, “Ooo!” as if I’m about 4 months along. It’s just a…poof in my belly. Skinny legs. Skinny (untoned) arms. And a poof in the belly.

My belief is that this results from 2 things. One — not working out enough, plain and simple. Two — being on a low carb diet means you know cheese and fat is a-okay,  therefore you eat a shit ton of fat and dairy and I 100% believe that dairy goes straight to the waistline.

So that’s all. I am juicing to rid myself of that cheese-weight in the middle. To get rid of that feeling of overall “blah” in the midsection. Am I doing it to slim that area down? Fuck yeah. Anyone who says they are juicing “to rid the body of toxins” is either a fucking liar or they love raw veg juice to levels that I don’t really care to understand.

I don’t think I’m fat. I know I’m not. But I do know I feel gross and my body could use some real, raw nourishment. And since I am just an all-or-nothing kind of gal, this is what I’ve picked. A 10-day BluePrint moderate cleanse. It consists of 3 green juices a day, 1 spicy lemonade, 1 pineapple, and one delicious cashew milk drink. 6 juices a day. You can read more about it here.

I remember when I was living in a model’s apartment in South Beach. It was a two-bedroom that my old agency had packed 5 girls in. I actually was in the early days of dating John and can still remember us trying to make out on my little twin bed in a room with white walls, one plastic red lamp and those plastic vertical blinds that clank together when you so much as breathed on them. Anyhow, one of the other girls had told me about the “master cleanse” which I’m sure you’ve heard of — that one is literally ONLY DRINKING ONE KIND OF DRINK FOR A WEEK. A mixture of water, maple syrup and cayenne. I used to make mine SO extra spicy so my belly would forget to send me hunger signals. It was a really, really terrible thing to do. I did it for Miami’s swim fashion week, it did the job, but wow, the weight came back quickly and angrily within DAYS after I stopped.

The Blueprint cleanse is great because it provides all-around nourishment. You are consuming around 20 pounds of fruits and vegetables (well however much juice that would make at least) every single day.

Am I getting paid for this? No. Not even a discount. Do I know what I am doing? Not at all. They send the juice. I drink the juice. I feel pretty damn good aside from just missing chewing something. I just drink the juice to halt what I’ve been doing to my body for the past few months. (Get. Out. Of. Me.). But I will try and keep you in the loop (here, NOT TWITTER. people who tweet about cleanses are assholes yes I am an asshole) IFFFF you care.

I know we all have different beliefs about this crap so I refuse, REFUSE to push this on you. And I hope you can do the same for me if you completely disagree with what I’m doing. I’m doing it. Damn my love of food and career choice. Oil and water. Don’t hate me. Don’t hate me.

And if you’re wondering, yep, I am trying to work out on it too.

I should put a food countdown clock on this blog…think I’ll work on that now. I tried to plan my Thanksgiving menu (GO GET BON APPETIT AND FOOD NETWORK MAGAZINE RIGHT NOW FOR THANKSGIVING ISSUES) but duh, it’s a little hard to read about my favorite holiday during these…these trying times.

Thank you for not hating me. And thank you for even reading this! Thank you for reading this entire freaking blog. I am actually glad I wrote about it now — now I REALLY need to stick with it. Pressssure!! Love you guys.

xx

(PS: Am I drinking wine? Yes. Am I maybe gonna mix the spicy lemonade with a bit of vodka on a Friday night? Yep. Is this the healthiest? Nope. Do they advise against it? Uh huh. Am I gonna do it? Yep.)

Fish en papillote

15 Oct

Très chic!

I wish I could take pictures that could better capture the insane layers of flavors in this simple and crowd / lover / belly pleasing dish.

Now, this is one of my favorite recipes of all — the kind of recipe where there is no realllll recipe. Your tongue is the recipe. Your tongue calls all the shots here so just blindly follow it! Trust the tongue.

Shall we begin? Let’s begin…

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