A runner with an appetite for adventure!

Yangshuo: The Cooking School May 13, 2014

Filed under: China,Cooking,Food,Travel,Yangshuo — Kelocity @ 2:57 pm
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I don’t like to cook. I like to eat. This is a fact. I hate everything about cooking… which is why I was excited to go to Cooking School! Maybe I’d learn a thing or two and make it seem more fun! And you know what, it was awesome. I loved the class and now I’m excited to be home so I can try out some of these recipes again!

The class was taught by a very talented chef who spoke in perfect English. She was very nice and even catered to my vegetarian preference.

The first part of our class was visiting a local market and seeing the ingredients we’d be cooking with. Lots of great looking produce and then everything else you’d expect to find including all kinds of fish and fresh meat. We had to the option to visit the meat side of the market, but Irving and I decided against it…. for those who are interested, yes, there were dogs and cats in there. But we chose not to see them.IMG_2015


After the market, we had a short walk back to the school to begin our class! (I loved this Billboard because as much as it looked like propaganda, we actually found it to be true! “The Police Community Relationship is Harmonious”. =)IMG_2021


And then it was time to start cooking! Each of us got our own cooking station, complete with all the ingredients we would need to create a delicious meal!IMG_2023


And we all got huge, awesome knives to dice those veggies with! I need to get one of those, you wouldn’t believe how easy it was to crush garlic with that thing!IMG_2030






Look at these dumplings I made! We learned how to fold them two different ways. I was so proud of myself! They looked almost professional!IMG_2051

Irving’s were looking quite dapper as well!IMG_2052


Everyone else made Kung Pao Chicken, but since I chose the vegetarian option I made pan fried noodles. HECK YES! IMG_2057

The best part was being able to eat them all when we were done! Everything smelled so good!

The final products! Here was Irving’s Dish:IMG_2059


And my dish! You had to roll us out of there at the the end of the meal, we were stuffed! That was a TON of food! All that on my plate PLUS seven dumplings!IMG_2062


The view out of the window during the class was beautiful Yangshuo… and a McDonalds. We thought it was funny in comparison. But I’ll take that delicious authentic Chinese food over fast food any day. Healthy food for the win!IMG_2031
If anyone is interested, I have all the recipes if you would like a copy. Send me an email (kelocity at gmail dot com).

Anyone want to come over for dinner soon? I’m dying to make this all again!



Beijing: The Hutongs & The Summer Palace May 5, 2014

Filed under: Beijing,China,Food,Travel — Kelocity @ 8:50 pm

Our last day in Beijing began with breakfast in our hotel. A great mix of Eastern/Western food. There may have been a plate of noodles in there somewhere too! IMG_0687Spinach, Pumpkin, Watermelon, Pancake a Churro… and Noodles. Served with chopstix. ha!

Shortly after, we met up with our local guide for one last day. This is Hubert, he was wonderful. We loved his jokes, history and stories. And his Pikachu. IMG_0688

First stop was the Drum & Bell towers in near the Hutongs. Inside one of the tower was a little tea house where we received a tea demonstration. We got to sample a few teas and learn about why the Chinese love their tea so much. (Side note: I had at least two cups of tea every day while we were there, it was SO GOOD. And their coffee is notoriously bad. But the tea was fantastic!) IMG_0698

From there, we walked over to the Hutongs and hopped in a rickshaw for a ride around the village. The Hutongs are little neighborhoods or communities in northern china. They are made up of alleys and courtyards where middle-class families live together. They’re actually quite large considering it’s city living. The only caveat is that there are no/little septic systems in this area, so they all share communal neighborhood toilets! Eek!

Here’s what an entrance to one of the houses looks like. The doors lead to the courtyards and the rooms are along the edge.


Our Rickshaw ride was great, it was a nice tour of the area and an inside look into the culture of the people here.


PS, check out these electrical/telephone(?) wires! The whole city of Beijing was wired like that. Yikes! How do they know what’s what?

Once we had a nice tour, we stopped for lunch at our host’s house. Her husband actually prepared most of our meal, they’ve now made a living out of hosting tourists at their place.


Totally unrelated to our meal (promise!) our hosts raise pigeons — as a hobby, not as dinner!–

Because our group was so big (28 total!) we were split into two different rooms. We ate in their bedroom!


It was such an adventure, this was one of my favorite meals of the whole trip. Everything was SO good!



It was so fun to step into someone else’s life for a few hours and see how they live. What a nice afternoon.

Then we hopped back into our Rickshaws and made our way back to our bus!


These drivers work hard! (bahaha)

But seriously, we did enjoy our ride, it was really nice.

—And now, Part 2 of this (already long) post! The Summer Palace!
The Summer Palace sits on 720 acres and includes a large lake, walking trails, temples and more! Unesco has declared it a World Heritage Site. It dates back to the 1700s.


We took our time admiring the beautiful scenery and enjoying the stroll around the lake to the other side. It’s a very photogenic area… which is probably why the Emperors and Empress’ loved it here.

Follow Pikachu!


Along the way, we walked through The Long Corridor. It’s almost a half mile long and is said to be the longest corridor of paintings in the world.

Soon, we found ourselves at the base of the big temple atop Longevity Hill.

There’s only one way to go from here (up, up, up!) Technically you can bypass the walk up to the temple, but why would you, the views were incredible as we climbed!
You can see Beijing off in the distance. And no, it wasn’t raining… that’s the air pollution!





On the other side is a ‘boat’ made out of granite. It was never intended to float, the Empress just wanted it built for fun. Apparently she used government money intended for Navy improvements.
PS. The Chinese don’t believe in Dessert. We couldn’t find dessert (or any sugar really) anywhere! So I jumped at the chance for a bite of imported choclately goodness from the souvenir shop. Magnum bars. Mmmm.


As we walked on, we came across a little ‘make believe’ village. I can’t exactly remember the significance, but it was so cute. The Empress used to hire people to ‘pretend’ to work in the village and she would stroll around playing make believe.

You can tell by the length of this post, this was a looooong day. We were hungry and tired by this point! Off to dinner! We ate at a hotel right near the train station.

I don’t remember this meal being anything spectacular, but we did LOVE the lotus root (the flower looking vegetable below!) They taste like water chestnuts. I loved them!


And then we were off to the train station to board our overnight train from Beijing to Xi’an.

Hmmm… which track?

The trains were really well organized and felt like the nice European ones we had ridden in the past. I was impressed. I think they updated the trains and routes before the Beijing Olympics to get tourists to other destinations faster. Well done, China.

We had a room with four bunks. The tour guide organized everyone’s rooms in order from Super Partier –> Us old people. So we were in the last room that we ended up sharing with two French, chain-smoking, high school kids on a field trip or something. (The smoke in China…ugh Why?!?! Even on trains?!)

With the help of some Advil PM, the 12 hour ride actually went pretty smooth and we were ready for our adventures in Xi’an once the train pulled into the station the next day!

(Traveler Tip: Bring your own travel sheets for a cozier stay in places like trains. Irving and I both have our own sets. I love mine!)
It was organized chaos retrieving our bags the next day, but I have to say, it was a pretty efficient system. Now off to Xi’an to meet the Terra Cotta Warriors!


Friends, Farms and Fun July 2, 2013

Filed under: Food,Friends — Kelocity @ 12:49 pm
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When I was back home, I reserved a full day to hang out with my friend Shelby and her adorable kids, Harper and Sullivan. I turn to Shelby weekly for advice on everything from sippy cups to bedtime routines. When we talk on the phone, we could go on and on for hours. The kind of friend anyone would be lucky to have. I miss her SO much! I got up at 6am to make the two-hour drive to her house so we could maximize the day together. Adele woke up just after we arrived and we all had a blast together!

We started our adventures at a local farm. Since it was a weekday, we had it all to ourselves too!

I think Adele was a little sleepy at first, so she enjoyed the animals from the luxury of her stroller.

But these two were so cute exploring together! They loved the bunnies!

Later, Adele decided to wake up enough to see the beautiful peacock!
So pretty!

The farm makes its own ice cream on the property and the kids were excited to introduce me to the best ice cream in the whole world!

It was SO hard to choose! But ultimate, this “Ice Cream Pizza Slice” won me over.


I’ll pause while you look at this picture. The ‘crust’ was cookie dough. Not a cookie…. cookie DOUGH. Then a layer of ice cream, then whipped cream… then Oreos and sprinkles. Yep. Just as amazing as it looks.

Is now a good time to tell you we had these ice cream treats at 10am? Ice cream for breakfast? That’s how we roll on warm summer mornings with friends we don’t see very often. We create memories (and sugar highs) one bite full of delicious ice cream at a time. IMG_8770

I hope these guys stay friends forever. I look forward to it as the years go on!


Harper got excited to see my cell phone so we had a little fun with the camera! Hi!
Group shot (minus Sully!)IMG_20130618_142701_618

We spent the next few hours playing dominos, chatting and chasing kids around the house. It was awesome. Wish we could do it every week. Love you guys so much! xo


Fruits of the Tropics May 15, 2013

Filed under: Baby,Food,Hawaii — Kelocity @ 1:17 pm
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Adele has a history of drooling after my delicious looking drinks. Case in point:

So while in Hawaii, it was no surprise that she was lusting after my Frozen Lava Flow. I don’t blame her.




I just couldn’t torture this cute little face any longer….

…so I made a deal with her. Rum for mommy, pineapple for baby.



It’s safe to say… she LOVED it.




She ate it all the way to the rind! Note to self… buy pineapple at home.


In other “Baby Hawaii Food News”… Adele had tastes of a non-alcoholic coconut smoothie, whipped cream from a German Chocolate Cake dessert, and um…. an entire half of a mango shaved ice. (She would have ate the whole thing if I’d let her).



Life’s simple pleasures, right?


The Isle of Capri March 21, 2013

Filed under: Baby,Beach,Florida,Food — Kelocity @ 3:54 am

I’ve been reading about the Isle of Capri for years on Kelle Hampton‘s beautiful blog. When I was in Florida and I saw a sign for “Isle of Capri”, I knew I just HAD to visit! So the whole family decided to check it out and have dinner there. It was amazing.

We were seated at a table RIGHT on the water. The waves literally crashed a foot away from us. And we were there just before sunset and the views were magical.




Not sure if Adele really knows how lucky she is!

Talk about dining with a view!


The meal was delicious. (And apparently we stumbled upon half-priced happy hour too! Score!)

Adele, are you yelling at a sea gull or something? She has the funniest animated expressions lately. Cracks me up.

And now. Adele eats a lemon:

You’re welcome.


Crawling and Cooking January 10, 2013

Filed under: Cooking,Food — Kelocity @ 9:36 pm

She’s so pretty in pink! I love watching her scoot across the floor now. It’s not a crawl per se, but she can move rather quickly when she wants to!

She moves around from toy to toy pushing them all over the place.


Hello, ruffles, you are so adorable.

One of the best parts of having a baby who can finally play by herself is being able to cook again! (Let’s be honest, I’ve never been much of a cook, but a girl’s gotta eat!)

I recently learned that you can cook healthy recipes by swapping Chobani yogurt for lots of different ingredients — who knew!

They have a whole bunch of new recipes and ideas for swapping out the bad stuff for the good stuff.

Right after we came back from Christmas, I jumped into the kitchen to make something healthy. (You’re supposed to eat healthy right after New Year’s right?) I made this Orzo Salad (but subbed Mini Star Pasta instead). It was pretty good!
IMG_8874I know, I got all fancy with a sprig of Thyme on top! Look at me!

Got any healthy recipe swap ideas? I’m in the market! Especially since Adele eats what we eat now! There’s never been a better time to clean up our diets! (I’ll just save the ice cream for after she goes to bed. Shhh!)


The Sleepy Chef October 20, 2012

Filed under: Baby,Food — Kelocity @ 3:54 am
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Apparently cooking puts Adele to sleep!


PS… what was Daddy making back there?

Yep. Bloody Marys. Nice.


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