Eating in California – A Week of Travels and Great Food

Eating in California might just be the best experience you’ve ever had on your family vacation. If it’s ever worth the money spent on eating out – California would be the place!

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Cape May and Wildwood, NJ: Places to Eat

Are you going on vacation to Cape May, NJ? We just got back from a short trip there and I have a couple of recommendations as to where to go to eat in the area. Check it out.

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French Bistro Au Gratin – Date Night

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Cooking Class at Issei Noodle + Pineapple Curry Fried Rice Recipe

Hey, hey my Foodies! How was your weekend?

It’s that time of the week again – Tasty Tuesday!

Tasty Tuesday Badge 2000x2000

Every Tuesday I post a recipe, a collection of recipes, a restaurant review or anything related to food. There is then a linkup at the end of the post where you can add links to your food-related blog posts! The linkup stays open for a week โ€“ right until the next one comes around. How awesome is that?

Donโ€™t forget to check out other link up participants and thereโ€™s only one rule to the linkup – link back or grab the link up badge from the sidebar. Letโ€™s spread the word so we can have more participants next week!

So! This week I wanted to share an amazing cooking class experience we had a couple weeks ago.

Cooking class at Issei Noodle!

But let me start from the beginning.

There is an Asian restaurant in my town called Issei Noodle. It is a family owned business and it is famous for it’s fresh and delicious food, honest ingredients and fast and courteous service. Any time you walk in – it’s packed with people, and nobody leaves unhappy. Yep, they are the ones who make my favorite Thai tea (now with bubbles!):

Thai tea

AND my favorite Chicken Pho:

chicken pho

Anyway, it is not far from our house so we naturally go there A LOT! ๐Ÿ™‚ On one of our visits I noticed an ad at the check out saying they are now accepting sign ups for cooking classes. Imagine my excitement! Learn how to make their delicious food and get to know the family secrets of fine cooking we enjoy so much? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Count me in!

I signed us up as part of the birthday present for my husband, and aย couple Sundays agoย we grabbed our cutting boards and knives and went off to the restaurant. I have to say, just being there at the time when they’re usually closed, walking through the restaurant with no guests in it, and walking around their open kitchen was an incredible experience!

The owners (Robert and Naomi) are super nice people! It was the very first cooking class they held, and there were 4 other couples there (total of 10 people).

The first dish we made was Pineapple Curry Fried Rice. With all the ingredients on the table, it didn’t look all that difficult to make at all.

cooking class

Before we knew it, we learned how to peel and slice a pineapple, and got everything ready to go for the actual cooking process.

cooking class

Both teachers were guiding us along the way as we prepped the vegetables (yep, that’s us in the actual kitchen):

We got to use the wok, too! It was pretty heavy so I let my husband “do the shakin’ ” ๐Ÿ™‚

cooking class

All that shakin’ resulted in this beauty:

coocking class

It was super delicious! And the fact that we made it ourselves made it even better ๐Ÿ™‚ We enjoyed the plate of fried rice while other couples were cooking theirs (we were the first to go).

So, without further ado here’s the recipe for the Pineapple Curry Fried Rice. My advice – since the only way of learning how to do it the right way is to actually go to their cooking class, do it if you get a chance! If you don’t – experiment! It’s a dish that leaves you a lot of room for creativity – other that mandatory ingredients, you can switch and swap pretty much anything! Fun-Fun!

So here we go:

You will need (makes 4 servings):
  • 1 bell pepper
  • Pineapple chunks (wither fresh, or canned. If using canned, choose the unsweetened ones and drain well)
  • 1 onion (either red or yellow – whichever one you prefer)
  • 1 lb marinated beef (cut of your choice, or swap with other kind of meet, chicken or tofu)
  • Vegetables of your choice (we just used onions and peppers)
  • 3 cups jasmine rice (cooked)
  • 2 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp. sweet soy sauce
  • 2ย tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2ย tbsp. corn starch
  • 4ย tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 4 tbsp. fine lemongrass
  • 2ย tbsp. (more or less to taste) yellow curry powder
  1. Cut the beef to your liking. Add beef to a bowl and add ingredients from the list above: brown sugar – curry, and mix well. Keep in the fridge for at least an hour before cooking (the longer the better).
  2. Preheat the wok really well. Add 2 tbsp. vegetable oil to the wok and carefully slide marinated beef to the wok.
  3. Stir until cooked.
  4. Add vegetables to wok, cook for a bit, and then add pineapple chunks.
  5. Add fish sauce and stir in the cooked rice.
  6. Add the sweet soy sauce and stir well.
  7. Garnish with some green onions and dried shallots.
  8. Enjoy!

And that’s how easy it is, guys!

HUGE thanks to Issei Noodle for an incredible experience, sharing their wisdom with us and letting us have such a great time at their restaurant.

Take a moment to check them out on:

Now it’s your turn to share your Tasty Tuesday post, guys! Link ’em up!

Lean Lena

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30 Days Active Challenge: Week 4 Recap

Hey-hey my fit friends! It’s Hump Day and that means what?

Correct! Time for another 30 Days Active Challenge recap.

The past week was hectic and busy-busy-busy with both mine and my husband’s birthdays – I feel like all I ate was cake all week ๐Ÿ™‚

But yes, I did have this challenge I put myself through on my mind all the time and even on the days when I didn’t have an “official” workout, I tried to stay active or eat extra healthy.

So here’s what happened last week:

{WEDNESDAY}ย  was my birthday, so official workout didn’t really happen. I had a wonderful birthday celebration both at work and at home.

My awesome husband took me out to Rock Bass Grill for dinner where I had the 2nd best crab cakes in my life!

crab cakes

Guess what I got for my birthday? ๐Ÿ™‚

garmin forerunner

Yep, I’m married to the BEST guy in the world, you know? ๐Ÿ™‚

Exercise on Wednesday: walk-walk-walk!


We had a yoga class at work over lunch time. I love those classes! It’s like somebody pushes your reset button in the middle of the day and you come back to your desk all balanced and calm.

Then somebody pisses you off again, but that has nothing to do with yoga ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway. After work on Thursday I needed to go to CVS. So instead of driving a few blocks like I usually do, I walked there.

30 days active


There was so much cake on Wednesday at work, and then dinner at the restaurant….so we didn’t get to my birthday cake at home until Friday ๐Ÿ™‚


No official workout, but lots of activities and walking that day.


On Saturday I finally got a chance to try an indoor cycling class with a recently hired instructor at our Y. She teaches in the mornings on weekdays, which of course I can’t make because I work.

So I was pretty excited to see her name on the Saturday rotation class schedule this past week. I signed up and bam! I was there at 8:00 AM on Saturday.

Here’s my blurry “Pilot” at the end of the class ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s blurry because taking a picture while still pedaling is not the best idea in the world ๐Ÿ™‚

30 days active

The class was good, just a couple “funky” moves and that’s it ๐Ÿ™‚ I still got an awesome workout, which was nice – just being able to concentrate on your own effort without having to guide anybody else. ๐Ÿ™‚

After the class, hubby and I took a long walk to Cole’s bicycle shop where I almost agreed to buy a $1200 road bike… Crazy woman ๐Ÿ™‚

That didn’t happen, though. $1200 is waaaaaaay over the budget I was planning for my first road bike. So…we’ll keep looking ๐Ÿ™‚ I got fitted though and tried several bikes which was A LOT of fun!

Here’s the bike I was trying out on Saturday – Trek Lexa SLX:

$1200 is a good price for this bike. Just not good for my budget ๐Ÿ™ (sigh)

Good steps that day!

30 days active


No official exercise on Sunday. Hubby and I had something planned which ended up taking up most of our day (More on that this coming Tasty Tuesday).

So…steps, steps, steps.

{MONDAY} Cycling

Monday was my husband’s birthday. As I usually teach indoor cycling on Mondays, and he wanted to come to my class this week, I designed a riding profile just for my him – with the happy birthday song in the beginning and some of his most favorite songs throughout.

My class is called “Road Trip”. So I announced this past Monday class as a “Rocky Road Trip” because most of the songs in the class were rock ๐Ÿ™‚ If you would like to see the latest class playlist, check out this page here.

30 days active

Good burn and fun class. My birthday boy was happy with the ride ๐Ÿ™‚

We then got home and celebrated his birthday with his favorite coffee chocolate chip ice cream pie, and gave him a special birthday present he requested.


Steps-steps-steps. No official workout.

Healthy choice of the day:


Watermelon, strawberry, mint and cottage cheese smoothie

And that was it, my friends.

I am not particularly happy with the past week for a few reasons: I didn’t run once (my knee was being funny pretty much all week), I had too much cake, I had too many days with no official workout. I did stay active every day, I did what I could when I could. I guess it’s the most important thing, but somehow it doesn’t feel like it’s enough…

Ok, so today is Wednesday and it is the beginning of the final week of the challenge. I’m gonna make it count!

Stay tuned for the next week’s recap and more!

Lean Lena

This post has been shared on: Work Out Wednesday Link Up, The Hump Day Blog Hop

FitBloggin’ 14: Tastes and Sights of Savannah

Hey guys! How was Monday?

I was dragging after the FitBloggin’ weekend. Lil’ better today, but still catching up on my sleep and getting back to my routine.

So! As you may have noticed, yesterday’s brief overview of the whole experience did not touch the two exciting parts of the trip to Savannah – food and sights ๐Ÿ™‚

Since it is Tasty Tuesday, I’m going to tell you what I ate in Savannah as well is what I saw.

If you get to Savannah by air, here’s what you see when you get to the airport:


yep, that is INSIDE the airport

Most of the meals were provided so we had just a few chances to go and explore Savannah and eat out. Here’s a glance at our typical breakfast:


fruit, eggs, sausage, potatoes and a muffin

On the first night, Jennifer and I decided to eat at the hotel we were staying at (Hyatt Regency Savannah) at their Lounge called “Windows”

I ordered a crab cake sandwich looking forward to tasting the delicious fresh crab in it!



Well, that crab cake was HOT! It was so spicy I could not eat it. Thankfully Jennifer came to my rescue and we swapped halves of our sandwiches. The lounge was so nice as to give us 50% off that crab cake sandwich since I didn’t like it.

After dinner we headed out for the Ghost Tour with Peg Leg Ron and his shipmate Jacob ๐Ÿ™‚ It was a ghost tour in a real hearse!


Ready to Roll! Photo credit

I didn’t take many pictures on the tour. I mean I did but none of them really turned out. Mysterious, isn’t it? ๐Ÿ™‚


except this one pic of this spooky house!

But don’t you think Savannah is all that spooky and dark. It’s not. It is a very beautiful place – full of history and beautiful places to see and go to.


View from our hotel terrace


One of the 23 squares in Savannah


City Hall

But back to the food….

FitBloggin’ 14 was sponsored by many yummy brands ๐Ÿ™‚


California Almonds had a whole snack bar set up for us to use!


California Avocado Commission made THE BEST blueberry muffins ever!


Run Disney provided lunch one of the days while presenting to all the runners in the audience ๐Ÿ™‚

We also had a chance to explore Savannah and grab some food outside of the conference venue, so Jennifer and I went wondering around and found this:


Pralines from River Street Sweets

Remember I got a Foodie Penpals box from Tiffani with a bear claw from this store in Charlston? Yep, that was the same chain and their sweets are ahhhhhh-mazing! They deliver, you know? ๐Ÿ™‚

On Saturday we had dinner to ourselves (not arranged) so we ventured out to Ruan Thai Cuisine where I had this delicious reminder of my days in Thailand:


Fried rice with scallops. YUM!

All in all, guys – I am in love with Savannah! Despite the heat and humidity – I’m ready to go back TODAY!

Now link it up! Share your recipes or any food related posts below. Nothing to share? Tell your friends!

Take care and talk to you soon!

Lean Lena

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A Week in Food – Award Ceremony

Good morning, World! How is it turning today? ๐Ÿ™‚ I bet it feels like it’s turning faster, because it’s Friday ๐Ÿ™‚

Have you had breakfast yet? No? Well, I’m just about to make you hungry!

I’m talking food here today (again) – highlights of the past week and awards in 5 Categories! Ready?

SoBreakfast/Snack” category winner is…..


Granola and Yogurt

I usually make my own granola. This time I couldn’t resist this yummy looking all organic granola I found at TJ Maxx, so I bought it and enjoyed it ever since.

“From Hubs With Loves” Category winner is….


Steak Sandwich

Just that – steak, provolone and lettuce on whole wheat bread – the sandwich hubby made me last Friday and left in the fridge with a note for me. Isn’t he the sweetest? ๐Ÿ™‚

“Eating Out” category winner is…

chicken pho

Chicken Pho Soup from Issei Noodle

This is one of our most favorite places to eat in town – always quick, fresh, cheap and super delicious! And that place just got even better – they now serve Thai tea with bubbles!!!!

Thai tea

Mmmmm…I love me some bubble tea!

“Lazy Wife” category winner is…


Store-bought chicken tortellini with mushrooms

Our go-to meal when the wife is feeling to lazy to cook anything more complicated ๐Ÿ™‚ What? I added veggies! ๐Ÿ™‚

Do share: what’s cooking today?

Have a great weekend, guys!

Lean Lena

Foods and Moves – Last Week’s Recap

Hello friends! Happy hump day! I hope you’re having a great week so far!ย And while you are, I thought I’d share my last week’s exercise recap with you with some food highlights here and there to (maybe, just maybe) inspire you ๐Ÿ™‚

Here we go!Continue Reading

A Hectic Week Recap – Eats and Exercises

Hey guys! Happy Hump Pump Day! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve had a very hectic couple of weeks as you probably noticed by the lack of my “What’s on my plate” Wednesday and Motivation Monday posts this and last week… Well, guess what? I am making it all up to you today by combining the two ๐Ÿ™‚

Not much was going on on the exercise front last week – between the sharp right shoulder/arm pain and busy schedule I managed to squeeze in just a few workouts/classes last week.

{MONDAY} Cycling and Chicken

Cycling class with Jim on Monday

Cycling class with Jim on Monday

I don’t like Mondays most of the time. I am excited about Monday being a new beginning and all, but by the end of the day I am beat. It is usually the busiest day of the week for me – at work, exercising after work, etc. etc.. What do Iย make for dinner when I am busy? That’s right – crockpot anything ๐Ÿ™‚


Last Monday it was chicken! I used to put it in the crockpot in the morning, set on Low and turn it off when I get home at 5 PM. It made the chicken a littleย overcooked to my liking…So what I’ve been doing lately is I would come home for lunch, and throw the chicken into the crock pot (Low) for 4-5 hours. That’s plenty of time to cook it and it comes out just perfectly juicy.

Hubby made wok veggies on Monday night – and we got a perfect dinner right there!

{TUESDAY} No Exercise and Lamb

Took a rest day on Tuesday night.

Foodie’s highlight of the day was lamb for dinner – grilled to perfection by my husband.


and this fruit and veggie platter I had at work for my snack throughout the afternoon:


{WEDNESDAY} Yoga and Pork Chops

I did make it to yoga on Wednesday but didn’t take any pictures so you’ll just have to trust me on that one ๐Ÿ™‚

And then I got home and made rosemary pork chops and a salad for my tired husband.



{THURSDAY} Rest Day and Orange Salsa

Yeah, that was the day my shoulder and arm started acting up. It was that kind of muscle paralyzing pain that makes it hard to lift even a cup of coffee.

That did not prevent me from making an awesome orange salsa to go with tilapiaย and rice for dinnerย on Thursday evening, though ๐Ÿ™‚


{FRIDAY} Another rest day and Beet Root Salad

On Friday my shoulder/arm was hurting so much it would wake me up at night. So…another rest day for the Lena ๐Ÿ™

The food highlights of the day included the beet root salad I made for lunch on Sunday during my meal prep.

Canned beet roots, lettuce, feta, roasted pepitas and purple onions

Canned beet roots, lettuce, feta, roasted pepitas and purple onions

{SATURDAY} Yoga and Big Family Breakfast

By Saturday I felt good enough to go get some gentle stretching done in a yoga class.


Yoga was followed by a breakfast fest made by my husband!


I also had a super-delicious lunch – leftover pasta with scallops from eating out the night before:



{SUNDAY} Food Prep

Well, that decision to go to yoga the day before was a little pre-mature. My shoulder and arm were not ready for any Sunday workout.

They were good for Sunday meal prep, so I went wild ๐Ÿ™‚ I actually started on Saturday with this:

Apple-Cinnamon infused water, sweet potatoes and quinoa

Apple-Cinnamon infused water, sweet potatoes and quinoa

and then continued on Sunday by making lunches and snacks for the week days:


No working out on Sunday either ๐Ÿ™ Some nice kitchen time though ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

And that was my week of eating and non-exercising at a glance ๐Ÿ™‚

Do share: How did you do last week? Anything fun? Anything delicious cooking?

Take care, friends, and stay fit!


What’s on My Plate Wednesday

Hey guys! Happy hump day!!!

Oh, I am so very happy it is Wednesday!

So, how about taking a peak at what I ate in the past week? Yeah, I thought so. But I am posting anyway ๐Ÿ™‚

For some reason I wasn’t feeling like taking a lot of pictures in the mornings this past week.

I can tell you that I ate a lot of oatmeal:


why of course I have cinnamon chips on it!

And breakfast sandwiches with a fried egg, cream cheese and turkey breast on an English muffin:


I ate my wonderful salads for lunch most of the days (those I prepped last weekend):


And then they tore out my kitchen last Tuesday… We live in an old house with horse hair plaster in the walls (yeah I know it is hard to imagine there were “before drywall times” now). When you have plaster in the walls and ceilings, this can happen:

yep, a hole in the ceiling

yep, a hole in the ceiling

So they tore my kitchen ceiling out completely. in no ceiling at all

like…entirely…as in no ceiling at all

Gives my kitchen kind of a rustic look, doesn’t it? ๐Ÿ™‚

Did that effect my cooking schedule? Yeah…all that plaster dust took a while to get rid of, that’s why we had Chinese for dinner on Tuesday.


But once I got all that dust cleaned off, we were back on track with dinners!

Yeah, lots of grilling and crockpot action!

Yeah, lots of grilling and crockpot action!

Lemon-shrimp pasta, crockpot beef with wok veggies, steak and mashed potatoes, crockpot pork and wok veggies, chicken wings.

And, I did do my usual meal prep this Sunday! I did some nice lunch prep (salads with babyย romaine lettuce, avocado, bell peppers, sweet potatoes, quinoa, green onions, goat cheese, chicken breast and hardboiled eggs + a sandwich) ย including snacks (apples, celery, carrots, snack cheese).


And right after that – this happened!


Well…what can I say? “All work and no play” would make Lena a one boring personality – gotta break the rules sometimes ๐Ÿ™‚

Eat well, my friends, and have a great week!


NYC Adventures – October 2013


Hey, guys! I hope you are having a great weekend!

I had a fun-fun weekend in NYC with my husband as part of our 2nd Wedding Anniversary celebration last week. As always – NYC was fun, bright, and full of life!Continue Reading

What’s on My Plate Wednesday – Eats of the Past Week

Good morning, my fit and getting fit friends!

I hope you are having a short and sweet work week ๐Ÿ™‚

As usual, I am here today to tell you what I ate this past week – Wednesday to Wednesday ๐Ÿ™‚

So here are the highlights of ย what’s been on my plate lately.Continue Reading

Attention Motor Heads – Corvettes in Town!!!

Hello, my friends!

I hope you had a wonderful relaxing (or wonderfully active) weekend! Mine was active and not so much relaxing, but still good – I had trouble waking up this morning…

I spent half of Saturday and Sunday cleaning the house while my hubs was working outside. It was so satisfying to have a beautiful and clean house when I was done! And since we didn’t have the kiddos this weekend, it actually stayed clean for a while ๐Ÿ™‚

This Saturday was one of my most favorite evens of the year in our town. Several times a year Carlisle turns from a small quiet town into a busy, vibrant place with people coming from all over the country for a car show. Yep, we’re famous for it.Continue Reading

NYC Adventures – Part I

Hello, friends!

As I promised, here’s the trip to NYC recap for you with lots of pictures!

We took Friday off and got on the train in Harrisburg, PA on Thursday night. It was my second time in NYC, and both times we took the train – you can relax for 3.5 hours and don’t have to worry about parking (which is pretty expensive) and traffic in New York. I am like Sheldon Cooper – big fan of trains. When I was little my grandparents would take me and my brother on vacations/to visit relatives and we’d always travel by train. I have a fascination and love for trains ever since then. And trains these days are pretty awesome – WiFi and all ๐Ÿ™‚Continue Reading

Birthday Recap and foods of the past few days

Hello, my friends.

Sorry for long silence – a lot going on here!

First of all – I got sick, have a real bad cold – sore throat, congestion, fever and all the other “pleasures”. Because of that I did not work out this week AT ALL so I am going through a bad withdrawal, too…All I could manage was keep going with my #plankaday.Continue Reading