Broad City Marathons

Two days into my new job and though I am tired, I’m loving it. I truly am. What’s crazy is I thought I would be freaking out because this is not the trajectory I created for myself in my “five-year plan”. Being a Type-A virgo, I always need control and to know what’s going on at all times and the ability to plan a month in advance helps me sleep at night.

Now, I am in a different industry than expected and can only really plan three weeks at most in advance because of scheduling purposes. I don’t get full weekends off anymore except for once a month which I find to be quite a pleasant change. I like that I get one weekday off to have me-time and one day off on the weekend to spend with A and friends. It helps me not live for the weekend, which I used to do and then I’d get major Monday depression once the week rolled around again. This new arrangement keeps me on my toes and forces me to live in the moment and actually live.

Today was my day off and I spent it watching Broad City and The Fall, picking up some goodies from Duane Reade (will write a review later!), restorative yoga and going on a culinary adventure with some rainbow trout. And you know what? I’m super excited for work tomorrow. I’ve never had this feeling before in my life and it feels super refreshing.

I no longer feel obligated to stick to a schedule of working out six days a week and feeling extreme guilt if I wake up late. I work out when I want to – whether it’s once a week or five times a week. I’m trusting my intuition and oddly enough, I feel more in control than I ever have been.

I’m very happy and hope you all are too.

xo Angel

Glorious Stovetop Updates

When I’m happy, I like to clean and organize. When I’m ecstatic, I like to prepare feasts. This week, I was out of this world happy because….I got a job offer!!!!!!!!!!!!! It feels like it’s been forever since I’ve been employed, but really it’s only been a month and a half, which is nothing compared to some of the stories I hear. Keep your head up kiddos you will find something soon! More importantly, rejection is not personal.

The process of getting a job is very similar to applying to college. You have your resume, cover letter and sometimes a short prompt or questions that a company likes you to answer. If you pass the first round, you receive a phone call or in person interview with the HR assistant or person on the lowest rung. Sometimes you just might not vibe with the person interviewing you. Sometimes it might be you, and you thought this company was a haven when in reality, it is not what you want to do. And sometimes, it fit perfectly and you move onto round three. Round three is sometimes when an assignment comes along. It’s a way for employers to figure out if you were lying about your skill sets on your resume so I highly recommend you tell the truth from the get-go or it can get awkward real fast. And then obviously, round three either leads into employment or a rejection letter, which AGAIN IS NOT PERSONAL AT ALL.

This week because of my happiness at my employment updates and knowing I won’t have as much free time to Iron Chef added with Brooklyn finally warming up, I cooked up a storm yesterday.

Lunch: Stir-Fry Korean Beef + Peppers

I didn’t really follow a recipe – First, I marinated beef in a pre-made Korean BBQ marinade overnight. Then I diced some garlic and 2 red bell peppers and heated up my cast iron with some coconut oil. I really like the taste of meat when it’s seared on a cast iron – it adds some “grittiness”.

I threw in some garlic once the pan was hot for a minute or so and then I added in the bell peppers.

I let the bell peppers cook over medium-high heat for about five minutes and added some s&p. I personally don’t like dirtying up dishes so I just moved the bell peppers over to a corner and added the marinated beef in.

I slowly cooked the beef until no longer pink – stir-fry strips don’t really take that long. I’d estimate about 5 minutes. Afterwards, I mixed it all together and voila!

Serve over steamed white rice.

Dinner: Sausages + Braised Red Cabbage with Bacon

After a lunch full of carbs, I needed something lighter for dinner. I had 3/4 of a head of purple cabbage left in the fridge from last week’s haul + was desperate to get rid of it so upon googling “purple cabbage recipes” I stumbled upon a recipe on Chow.com that I really wanted to try out. The only difference was that original recipe called for brown sugar which I cut out and didn’t miss at all. I bought cooked Andouille sausages and heated them up + served a hearty, not necessarily light, but overall quite a delicious meal.

      

I really was in the mood to bake and looked in my neighborhood store for madeline pans but they were nowhere to be found! Perhaps next week will be my time for conjuring up sweets.

xo Angel

Coincidences and Little Miracles

Though I’m not a religious person and was not brought up attending church or temple or any other establishment, I do believe in a higher being and I do believe that our lives take interesting paths that seem like a bunch of coincidences.

This morning, I met with someone that I met when I was an intern last year to catch up and talk about my future goals (the real reason is I’m freaking out about not having a job every other day so might as well do something with my time an be pro-active yeah?). I ended up sitting there for a good hour to just talk and he ends up throwing me the best Hail Mary I could ask for. More specifically, he calls up the head of ONE COMPANY that I have dreamed of working at/have been cold-emailing every other day and have wanted to work at since I was a teenager who also obsessed over Fueled By Ramen and dreamed of being a merch girl for Boys Like Girls. I clearly had the most logical life goals at age fourteen. Basically he ends up cold pitching me on the spot and getting me in contact with his assistant which hopefully might turn into something worthwhile. Cue Angel peeing herself internally and quite almost literally.

LESSON TO LEARN: Keep all your connections close to you and NEVER EVER burn any bridges if you can help it, especially if you are work in the entertainment industry like I do. It is one hell of a small world out there and all your loose ends will come back together so make sure you’re on your best behavior. And just be nice to everyone! It has never hurt anyone to be the really nice person.

Switching gears, later tonight I ended up at a Sofar Sounds unplugged event for my artist Topaz Jones and it was a great time (video to follow soon!). Towards the end of this event, I get a message from my friend who lives in the  building next door:
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Screencap from Hannah's Homemade Video

OK GAS LINE, FEEL FREE TO BLOW UP ON THE TWO COLDEST DAYS THIS WEEK IN SUPERNOVA HURRICANE BLIZZARD FREAK STORM THOR OR WHATEVER YOUR NAME IS. Luckily no one was hurt to my knowledge and the only boo boo is that my friend’s apartment doesn’t have heat or electricity for the night. Very strange how I was JUST home an hour before this happened and by the time I was home, the mess was cleaned up and everything was normal again… Timing is weird sometimes. If I had stayed home, eating curry by myself and watching Dexter till I cried, I would have heard the noise and probably thought I was going to get killed or something. But instead, this was the one night that I went out this week and it coincided perfectly with this incident. Life is weird, but I suppose everything happens for a reason right? I’m going to stop speaking now and put myself to bed before I overanalyze my entire life.

Sleep Well,

xo Angel

Sabbatical Updates / Cause Food.

I have made it to one week, two days into my sabbatical at the tender age of twenty-one. In this time, I’ve applied to so many jobs, worked out at PureBarre every day (my legs + ass are thanking me for this golden side of unemployment/ PS I promise the only reason this is possible is because of their new client special, there is no way in hell I would be able to afford this monthly membership until the day I make over $100k and/or shit gold, whatever comes first), cooked a ton, cleaned the entire apartment minus wet-swifering because I hate that shit, and contemplated so my different career options. With all this free time, I have let my imagination go wild – dare I bring those LSATS back into light and think about law school? Should I pursue my dreams of becoming a fashion, beauty and fitness editor/E! News Correspondent WHILE still being the best artist manager and achieving 5 Grammys on my mantlepiece? Well…..I still think this option is possible so I’m not crossing it out just yet. Actually, that option WILL be a reality so I’m going for it!

Last week, it was Chinese New Year so in good old Xu fashion, I took a bunch of my closest friends home for the holidays since I couldn’t make it home on the actual date. Momma Xu killed it again and obviously made more food than a football team can eat on Thanksgiving. Dad made the party by bringing out the baijiu, a Chinese white wine that is SO strong I can feel it cleaning out my intestines when I drink this. Tradition is tradition right?

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In the meantime, I have also been able to flex my culinary skills and cook some new recipes I’ve never made in the past. A is definitely happy about this. You lucky boy you.

Sausage Mushroom Risotto – Adapted from Joy the Baker

Honestly, this was a big step for me. When it comes to risotto, I am a creature of habit and will only make peas and pancetta risotto pretty much 99.9% of the time. This recipe from Joy the Baker is SO good and will make mountains of risotto. As in risotto to eat as leftover lunches for 3 straight days which is great for me, bad for A who would rather prefer a salad right about now.

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IMG_5571 Look at this close up! MMMMMM so creamy and delicious. Look at how sexy the mushrooms are, I’m drooling.

 

Pistachio Lamb Burgers with Tzatziki – Adapted from Food52

This was definitely the favorite of the week, the burgers themselves are just pistachio, lamb and spices and this tzatziki recipe tastes the closest to the original compared to all the tzatziki sauces I’ve tried making in the past. I grilled these over the stove, served them medium rare over salad with some gherkin pickles. Definitely will make these again.

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Chinese Style Honey Hoisin Sticky Ribs – Adapted from Food52

This recipe is a delicious, sexy, beautiful labor of love. Takes two and a half hours plus some extra saucy + oven time. However, it is SO WORTH IT and I felt like a champ serving this. Served this with white jasmine rice + sautéed bok hoy.

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In a rare stroke of culinary genius last night, I took the stock from the hoisin ribs and made it into a stock for a soba noodle dish by adding some kale and chicken stock. Seared some steak and sliced it up with a some fresh cucumber. Mmmmmmm.

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I can feel myself slowly turning into my mother. Mind you, this is the woman who can literally taste a dish at a restaurant and tell you what ingredients are in it AND recreate it the next day at home. I know, this slow transformation might not be such a bad thing….

Over and Out,

Angel

Back At It (Well, Sort Of)

You know how they always say you should relax and enjoy vacation while you can? Well I sure did…to the point where I was in a 72-hour induced sugar coma and indulged a little too much.

Maine included lots of snow (a foot and a half to be exact), a good dose of alcohol and some sexytime in the form of 50 Shades of Grey & interesting Netflix docs. Highlights:

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Breakfast Homemade Latkes with Fresh Strawberries. Mmmm, if you’ve never tried latkes with sour cream, apple sauce AND drenched in maple syrup. You are missing out. I’m trying to convince G to post up her mom’s recipe cause it’s THAT good not to share.

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Baby G having a good time in the snow at the park. Though G and I sunk in the foot-and-a-half even with snow shoes, this dog had the most amazing time. God I want a golden retriever so bad! However, that wouldn’t work out well in our under-600-sq-foot Brooklyn apartment. Future goals Angel…think future goals.

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The inner child in me freaking out because of this machine – already got a minion at home and SO STOKED for the new movie this year. However…this was shortly before I stepped into the most un-G rated movie of all time.

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In all honesty, I did not think 50 Shades of Grey was god-awful as many reviewers did. Perhaps it’s because I’m biased and very attracted to Jamie Doran that I just let the sexually-liberated Angel in of me enjoy herself. The scenes were beautifully styled and the actors did a great job interpreting the novel and making the best out of some cheesy awkward lines and turned it into something captivating and semi-romantic on screen.

My only complaint of the film was that there was a massive amount of Dakota Johnston’s nudity but only a split-second of Jamie Dornan’s little friend IF THAT. This is something that I haven’t only notice in just this one instance, but regularly in tv shows (ahem Game of Thrones) and moviesI don’t work in the music/television sphere of entertainment, but I do find it puzzling and a bit sexist that women are kind of expected to go full-frontal or show some part of their bodies. As for men, I’ve seen many nice buttocks  but never ever the whole she-bang. The only instance where this was not true that I can remember off the top of my head is Jason Segel in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Perhaps this will change in the future, esp. as we get closer to the two follow-up movies in this trilogy. For now, let’s just stare at Jamie’s face and pretend we’re not all waiting for the next movie…YOU’RE WELCOME XO

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First Day Off In….Ever?

So far, I’ve consumed an egg everything bagel with turkey, lettuce, tomato, bacon, mayo s&p, done some laundry, watched two episodes of Fresh Off the Boat, hung out with the boyfriend, watched another episode of Scandal, packed for Maine, watched some more House Hunters International and dreamt of Spain and now….I’m bored.

Well that was fast! Anyways, I’d like to tell myself that everything happens for a reason and I should enjoy this time of lull to do what I really want to do – including focusing 1000% on management, finding a position I really want to work on, blogging and working out and just relaxing.

If my parents are even telling me to take a chill pill, I should listen to them right? At least this means I can finish watching Dexter just in time for House of Cards. Goddammit it just sounds like my entire life revolves around tv shows. I need to get outside.

Stop Feeling Bad You Were Born In ’92

Millennials tend to get a bad rep – we’re self-absorbed, but not sufficient.  Our dreams have been coddled, and our desperate need for a reality check has been neglected.  We can account for more trophies of participation than we do actual achievements.  It goes on…

I don’t necessarily subscribe to the belief that these notions are true – all the millennials I’ve met are crazy hard workers and in touch with the reality of their situations (when I say student, you say debt!).  Still, sometimes when I take a step back from my inner monologue, I find myself thinking – you’re a walking cliche.

For instance, last night, I was laying in bed having a “what am I doing with my life” type crisis (as you do), when I realized that a great portion of my current dissatisfaction with my job stems from the fact that – in a matter of months – I’ve gone from being consistently praised for being an “overachiever” to nearly daily reminders that I’m a completely incompetent failure who can’t get anything right.

I feel that this situation balances a thin line that a lot of young professionals in our generation have to deal with on a daily basis – being stuck in employment situations that are legitimately demanding and often unhealthy (what work-life balance?), but not being able to speak up without the fear of being viewed as a whiney millennial who can’t pass a day without an affirmation from an authority figure.

It’s time we get unstuck, and the first step is how we think about ourselves.  One too many times have I been yelled at by my boss for a mistake that was not mine, only to think I deserve this because I am an entitled twenty-something NYU grad whose life has been way too easy.  As if living in fear of my boss is a reality that I need to experience in order to grow the thicker skin that will be my key to success. There is a difference between facing reality and facing mistreatment, and millennials mistake the two.  Just because Time Magazine once wrote an article about the selfishness of our generation does not mean that we have to bend over backwards at every request to prove we are devoted to our work.  We can be hard workers without having to disregard ourselves in order to beat a stereotype.

We have to believe that we deserve better in order to make it happen.  We deserve to get out of work before 9pm more than once a week, so that we have time to go to the grocery store.  We deserve to make time to take a walk at lunch rather than sit at our desk inhaling last night’s Seamless Pad Thai.  We deserve not to have to take multiple trips to the bathroom every week to cry because we’re afraid of getting yelled at.  None of these things make us lazy or entitled.

(1 hour writing pause to read BuzzFeed)

UGH OK – this post is way to serious and depressing, but the point I’m trying to make to you, to myself, to everyone is that just because you were born between ’82 and ’00 does not mean you have to sacrifice your entire wellbeing just to disprove a point that isn’t even true to begin with! Millennials are kickass, so go kick ass – but also sleep and eat and see your friends.  And don’t cry.

Here’s my kickass moment of the week (this is the first time this has happened since August. INBOX ZERO BABY.

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xx Greta