Tasty Dinners and Shiny New Things

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(Not entirely sure what came over me with that title, but I’m rolling with it.)

I seem to have the longest winter break of anyone I know – I’m still at *home* in Chicago, and don’t start classes again until the 28th.  Ridiculous.  Not that I’m particularly complaining, but that only means that graduation 2 weeks later than usual (which means that more than likely I can’t go to Blend Retreat, and I’m beyond heartbroken).  But I digress.  Once all the pain and winter colds passed, I could finally celebrate my birthday!

The parents took me out to a funky new Japanese restaurant called Yusho.  The concept was Japanese street food (yakitori), done really well (and most likely less greasy).

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Started with a cocktail – the “undertone”.  It was rye whiskey based (with other things I don’t remember) and delicious.

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House-made pickles (which included lotus root!!).

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Tuna… something.  Don’t remember what it was called (all the dishes weren’t really named), but it reminded me of a tuna poke.  Served with crispy shoestring-like taro root!

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Shiitake brandade (made with sea bass. I think…) served with fennel salad, greens, and whole grain mustard.

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Okonomiyaki!  Or a savory pancake, in this case fish based – the batter of this one was made with prawns and chickpea flour.  So. Good.

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And one more little dish to finish up – grilled tofu.  With chrysanthemum purée, and pickled pineapple.  Can you say strangebutgood?

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And it was a birthday celebration, so we had to get dessert.  And couldn’t decide on one, so decided to get all three.  No shame.  1 – eggnog soft serve with honey and wakame crunch.  It was definitely weird to taste seaweed on ice cream, but I actually loved it.  Also waffle cone pieces.

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Mochi!  one of my favorite japanese desserts ever.  this one had a meyer lemon filling, served atop a sweet potato purée with bits of (amazingly delicious) chocolate.

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and doughnuts.  I know I don’t really like deep-fried things, but these tofu doughnuts just sounded too good to pass up. Hey, you only turn 22 once.  They did not disappoint.

Another perk of being at home and having with my mom?  Shopping!

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Got myself some yarn for knitting projects.

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New black flat boots!

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GORGEOUS new black heeled boots – for performances and nicer occasions.  I’m in love with these.

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and every year for the past 3 years, I’ve gone shopping at Lululemon for some higher-end workout clothes.  This year, I hit the jackpot at the new Athleta store in Chicago!

I got this tank: (all photos from athleta.gap.com)


This long sleeve running shirt (I’ve been using the same ONE long sleeve under armor shirt …):


this hoodie that I adore:


and another pair of running capris that fit like a dream:


So excited to work out in all my new gear!  I’ve worn the hoodie and pants already and absolutely love them.

And of course, I have to throw in a couple of foodie products:

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Love this brand of instant oats.  They’re not soggy at all, and make breakfast SO easy!

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Oh, and those of you who shop at trader joe’s – DONT BUY THESE.  They are dangerously tasty.  cantstopwontstop.

Too lazy to think of a question.

Anyone got any fun weekend plans to share?  I’m thinking same-old relaxing, eating, working out.  Might as well do it while I still can!

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