The kitchen is my second bedroom

June 7, 2010 § 9 Comments

Hey peeps!

It’s been two days since I last blogged, but I felt like I needed a little break. For those who blog 3 times a day, I don’t know how you do it and not feel exhausted. For me blogging takes up a chunk of my time in the evenings, and sometimes I’d rather just curl up on the couch and do some good reading, catch up on some tv shows, or tinker away in the kitchen. Maybe because I’m relatively new to this whole blogging shebang so I haven’t quite gotten down the strategy to blog efficiently.

Anyways, alot has happened since the last time I blogged, which was Friday night, but all seems like a haze now! The weekend just kind of flew past me and now as I sat here I am struggling to retrace what I did on Saturday.

Ohhh that’s right. I went for about a 4-5 mile run in the morning, then pretty much did nothing till later that evening. What I am sure of is that I made myself some Greek yogurt! I love greek yogurt, but they tend to be pretty expensive, so after reading Allie’s post, I decided to give it a try. I used TJ’s Organic Plain Nonfat Yogurt, and used a tiny coffee filter to strain the yogurt into creaminess. Yup, I’m ghetto like that.

It’s still slightly more tart than your store-bought Greek yogurt, but the creaminess was spot-on! Maybe I’ll make this enough that I can convince myself to buy a cheesecloth so that I can just dump the whole tub of yogurt onto the cheesecloth instead of doing single cup at a time.

After having mastered my Greek yogurt, my tummy told me it was time for lunch. I whipped up a really quick wrap that included 1 egg + 1 egg white, arugula and some feta cheese. On the side I had a few stalks of celeries, PB2 and Oasis Natural’s Cilantro & Jalapeno hummus. I love all their hummus!

Dessert was TJ’s Dark Chocolate Pretzel Bark! I couldn’t resist when I saw this big box of chocolate was only $1.99! And again, TJ did not disappoint–these were sooooo good! I can’t get enough of the sweet & salty crunch!

I had this times two!

Later that evening, Dmitri and I met up with some friends who arrived back at school for Global Clinic. Global Clinic is a project where the students here get to cooperate with overseas students to work on a project. One of my friends’ project is focused on how to get clean water to certain areas of Cambodia that do not have access to drinkable water. It’s really cool when you’re in a small (literally only about 800 undergraduates here!) engineering school. Alot of my friends are engineers, and I’ve heard really cool projects that apply to the society. Many had the opportunity to work on projects for Nike, Bio-Med companies, etc.

Anyways, we went out to dinner to a nearby Mexican restaurant & bar called Espiau’s with my friends and their Singaporean teammates. I refrained from taking pictures because I didn’t want to look like a total dork in front of everybody. But I can tell you what I ordered: Mushroom cheeseburger with veggie patty, no cheese, and fruits on side. Their burgers are just the right portion, but their other orders are huge! For example, last time I got a cheese enchilada that comes with refried beans and rice. First of all, I like cheese. But my enchilada was smothered in cheese! It was delicious the first few bites, but then my tummy felt so greasy and uncomfortable afterwards.

A game of RoboRally ensued in one of my friends’ suite and turned the night into alot of laser shooting and getting carried away by conveyor belts.

SundayΒ  morning I woke up bright and early at 6:30am. I really wanted to sleep in a little more, but my body has gotten used to getting up at 5:45am almost everyday. I think I usually get less sleep on the weekends because I would stay up later, but still wake up at about the same time. Ugh. Nevertheless, it was a day for some yoga, and after 1.5 hr of a sweaty session, I showered and got to work on these gourmet vegan protein pancakes a la Mama Pea. I used Biochem Chocolate Fudge Whey Protein to make chocolatey pancakes. I also added a Tbsp of flaxseeds for some added healthy fats and fiber, and about 3 Tbsp of whole wheat flour because they seemed kind of watery after I blended everything.

I was licking my spatula the whole time I was mixing, cuz the batter was just irresistable! πŸ˜‰

The puuuuuuuuurrrrfect pancake topped with some cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, cinnamon, thawed frozen strawberries, and drizzles of Walden Farms Sugar-Free Carb-Free Blueberry syrup. T’was a GREAT way to start a Sunday!

Not longer after our late brekkie, Dmitri & I took a field trip to 99 Ranch Asian Market to stock up on groceries. He got not one, not two, but THREE bags of frozen vegetarian dumplings! THREE! He loves dumplings more than I do!

And once our fridge was happily stocked, I had a little “snack” in place of lunch. I wasn’t all that hungry because it was a pretty big breakfast. Egg whites it was!

With arugula and a wedge of Laughing Cow’s Cheese folded in, and topped with ketchup and lots of salsa! There can never be too much tomato-based sauce, right? πŸ˜‰

We then trekked off to Pasadena to meet up with some friends to do some flea market shopping, where I got a potato masher for two dollars. Not bad eh? πŸ™‚ I love going to flea markets because you never know what goodies you might be able to find. That afternoon I was on the scour for kitchen goods.

Speaking of Pasadena, anyone been to/heard of Roscoe’s? Aka “the House of Chicken ‘n Waffles.” It’s kind of a weird combo, ain’t it? Here you have waffles (sweet) and chicken (savory) on the same plate. It’s very famous in the Los Angeles area, but my boyfriend said it was disgusting to have syrup mixed up in his chicken. Me? Never tried. I’ve only heard of it after becoming a vegetarian.

Dinner featured Teriyaki Quinoa from Thursday, but I added in some frozen veggies to make it like a fried rice dish. The quinoa was complemented with steamed cabbage and edamame.


All in all, a pretty well-rounded meal! Grains/Carbs from the quinoa, cabbage as veggies, and edamame for protein.

Here marks the point where I started going a little bit crazy in the kitchen…

First of, homemade whole wheat pita. I made slight changes from the original recipe by adding about 3 cups of whole wheat flour instead of 2 3/4 cups flour and 1/3 cup gluten. Anyone know what difference the gluten would make to the bread?

While I was waiting for the dough to rise, I went to town with homemade pumpkin butter. I followed this recipe, but halved the recipe and added barely half a cup of sugar. I don’t like my food too sweet! It was so easy to make and yummy! I’ve never had store-bought pumpkin butter, so I don’t know how it compares, but I’m happy with my results!

Stirring & simmering away!

While that was simmering, I got to work on my third task: homemade hummus following this recipe by Brown Eyed Baker. I don’t know what it was but the taste was kind of off…a bit sour. Too much lemon juice perhaps? We’ll see how it tastes today after having been refrigerated for a day.

And finally…my pita bread was ready and hot from the oven!


It smelled good and looked great. But when it came time to cut it open to see that magical split…BLEH! Okay, so it’s supposed to look like this when you cut it in half:

[Image from Tammy’s Recipes]

Instead it was just BREADY all over. So I did some research and troubleshooting, and the most likely problems were that:

  1. I flattened them out too much.
  2. I didn’t let the dough rise enough.
  3. The oven wasn’t hot enough (MUST be 500 degrees).

Okay, I confess. I flattened the breads out a little more after they had been rising to make them bigger, but I just popped them immediately into the oven without letting them rise some more. Maybe that was it. Nonetheless, failures call for another try! I’m determined to make the perfect pita bread!

Happy Monday!

—————————-

+ How often do you blog? Do you feel like you need some breaks from blogging from time to time? And how long does it usually take you to write up an entry? It takes me about 1 hr to write up an entry, partially because the internet is a slow-poke where I live, and so pictures take forever to load. And like I’ve said before, I sometimes definitely feel too lazy to blog.

+ What’s your favorite board game? RoboRally was fun, but I’m currently also obsessed with Apples-to-Apples. Does that count as a board game?

Packages, packages, packages

May 18, 2010 § 4 Comments

I love gettin’ packages, even though most of the time they’re stuff that I ordered online through Amazon :-D. But it’s always a nice surprise to come home to find a package sitting at your doorstep, or that yellow slip in your college mailbox notifying you that you have a package that needs to be picked up.

Today was one of those days! I came home with a brown, padded manila envelope at the door. I knew immediately what it was!

Eat, drink and be vegan!

I’ve seen alot of bloggers referring to this recipe book, and all the dishes look so delicious! Being a vegetarian myself, I thought I could give vegan recipes a try. I haven’t read through it thoroughly yet, but just by skimming through some pages I can already tell I’m going to love this book! It includes nice pictures, easy to read recipes, detailed instructions, tips & advices on the side columns, and constructive blurbs about each dish. It also has descriptions of ingredients (e.g., olive oil, butter, vinegar, etc) and what effects they have on the outcome of the food. Hopefully I will be able to use alot of these recipes throughout the summer! Some of the recipes include alot of ingredients and some hard to find though…hmm.

Remember how my blender broke the other day while I was moving? I ordered a Black & Decker blender. Hopefully it’ll make awesome smoothies! I don’t know whether I should also get a food processor?I guess I’ll see how the blender works when it arrives, hopefully tomorrow!

Another thing that’ll be arriving soon is my PB2 & Chocolate PB2 Combo pack! I ordered these back in March, but Bell Plantation has been having backordering issues. So today, I finally got a notification from UPS telling me they’ve shipped my orders! Hopefully I’ll get them next week!

Now, on to food!

This morning I had an amazing bowl of oats for breakfast! Since I scheduled a 2-hr Ashtanga yoga in for this morning, I wouldn’t really have time to make breakfast. So I made overnight oats and heated it up in the microwave this morning. Breakfast in 2 min!

All mixed up:

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup vanilla soymilk
  • 2/3 cup H20 (aka water, hehe)
  • 1 tsp flaxseed
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened applsauce
  • 1 tsp sweetener (sugar, stevia, whatever you like)
  • 1 scoop BioChem Chocolate Fudge Whey Protein powder

On the top, I added 3 sliced, thawed frozen strawberries.

Not the most aesthetic picture, but I already dug in before I remembered to take a picture. Anyways, holy yum! This was one FREAKINLICIOUS bowl of oatmeal! I actually just made another bowl of overnight oats when I was prepping for dinner. Can’t wait to devour it again tomorrow morning! πŸ˜€

Gonna go catch up on Chuck now. Pretty tired now since I’ve been standing/walking around in lab all day today. Night!

+What are your view on food processors vs. blenders?

+Have you ever tried overnight oats (whether plain cold, or warmed in microwave)?

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