Sunday

August 22, 2010 § 24 Comments



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28 miles, 2 burning quads, and 1 sore butt later…

July 25, 2010 § 21 Comments

…I was finally home.

Because of last week’s whale-watching fail, Dmitri and I braved the chance of biking those long 50 miles out to Newport beach. The roads were ugly alot of the time, with bumps and dips, and there were a few long stretches of uphill roads.

I filled my bottles with coconut water, which I finished within 2 hrs of our bike trip. It was so sweet and refreshing!

15 times the potassium? YES PLEASE! ๐Ÿ˜€

I also made myself an apple + brie sandwich on ab Ezekiel Sesame Toast for lunch.

Of course I had to bring some sort of snack. Enter: Mama Pea’s KIND bar.

…which turned out kind of soggy (everything was sort of falling apart!). I blamed it on the maple syrup (I should have used honey instead). I wrapped the somewhat more solid ones in plastic wrap and took them on the road. It’s just as delicious if you simply scoop the “dough” and eat them straight like that :D.

0 hr (7:10am). Little did Trekmeister and Ms. Gianta know that their mountain bike frames were going to be tested on the road.

25 miles and 2 hrs and 30 min later, I was exhausted.

28 miles and 2 hrs 45 minutes later, Dmitri got a punctured and flat tire. Fortunately, while I sat in Subway as Dmitri biked over to the nearest Target to get some rubber stuffings, he met a couple of bikers who happened to have equipments & tools on them!

28 miles and 4 hrs later, I called it quits. I’m usually not one to give up easily, but my quads were burning and my knees were starting to act up. I didn’t want to strain my knees because I have really bad knees!

5 hrs later, we were still circling around the city of Fullerton trying to find the nearest train station. Dmitri recently got the new Android phone and he was using the GPS on his phone to look for the Metrolink station. All the GPS did was take us in a big circle.

7 hrs later, we finally hopped onto the train heading to L.A. Union Station.

8 hrs and 25 min later, our train to Claremont departed from L. A. Union Station.

9 hrs and 5 min later, we arrived at Claremont and biked 2 miles back home.

9 hrs and 30 min later, with more than 28 miles behind me, 2 burning quads, and 1 sore butt, I was home.

I did a full on Savasana the moment I stepped into the house. Whale-watching still did not happen, but it will, it will, I PROMISE!

11 hrs and 30 min later, we celebrated our failure with McDonald’s McElaine’s.


On the menu:

  • Egg McMuffin (one fried egg and melty cheese)
  • Chicken McNuggets Boca McNuggets
  • French fries Carrot fries
  • Real fruit smoothie (yes real watermelon!)

I haven’t been to the Golden M in almost 6 years. I don’t plan to ever go there when I got this!

Dmitri got creative and made In & Out-inspired animal (carrot) fries!

Everything was lip-smacking delicious! And you bet I went back for more Boca McNuggets ;-).

After that lonnnnng day, I still had to drag my butt to lab for about an hour or so. I came home and was barely awake as I mindlessly skimmed through some blogs.

15 hrs and 10 min later (10:20 pm), I crashed onto the sweet comfort of my bed, and snoozed till 7 this morning. I feel so refreshed now!

Yesterday, Dmitri brought this banana on the road but didn’t get a chance to eat it. The poor banana barely made it.

Heat + bumpy roads = no good for bananas.

Well, with a banana like that, I can only think of one thing for the morning: Banana Pancakes!


Quick Whole-Wheat Banana Pancakes
(adapted from Green Lite Bites)

  • 1 large overripe banana
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder (forgot to add this, but still turned out a-okay!)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg I used cinnamon because I didn’t have any of this
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour

Mash the banana in a large mixing bowl. Add the egg and the milk. Whisk till light and frothy.

In a separate, smaller bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Add the dry to the wet and mix till just combined.

Spray a nonstick pan with cooking spray on medium-high heat. Pour desired amount of batter into pan and cook about 1-2 min on one side, or till small bubbles form. Flip and cook the other side for another 1-2 min.

I made 4 small pancakes and 3 large ones.

Drizzled with watered-down PB2! I’m telling you PB2 makes the perfect pancake topper!

“…I’ll make you banana pancakes
Pretend like it’s the weekend now
…”

Pancakes with a side of yogurt for dippers and blueberries.

Have a fantastic Sunday!

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+ Do you know how to make perfectly smooth and even pancakes? I need help! My pancakes always turn out blotchy, with uneven brown spots!

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine

July 23, 2010 § 21 Comments

You make me happy, when skies are gray

You’ll never know dear, how much I love you

Please don’t take my sunshine away.

When I saw these gorgeous sunflowers at the Farmer’s market last night, I knew I had to get them. $5 for a bouquet of sunflowers? That’s definitely a steal! Sunflowers are my fav and I thought it’d brighten my home :D.

Other finds from the Farmer’s market:

KETTLE CORN!!! Zucchini ($1.00/lb), OKRAS!!!, and a huge package of ground flaxseeds for $4 only! I was very very pleased :mrgreen:.

I had a killer breakfast after my run this morning…pancakes! It’s a new recipe that I jotted down before I went to bed last night.

Amazing Banana Surprise Oatmeal Pancakes

  • 1/3 cups oats
  • one egg white (3 Tbs)
  • one scoop chocolate protein powder (15 g)
  • one scoop Amazing Grass Chocolate Infusion
  • 2-3 Tbs almond milk (or any other milk you like)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • sliced bananas

Mix everything except the bananasย  in a bowl, and let sit for a couple of minutes. Spray a pan with cooking spray, and heat it up on medium-high heat. Once the oil is heated, turn heat down the medium. Scoop out about 2 Tbs of mixture for each pancakes (I made 3 small ones). Place one sliced banana in the middle of each pancake. Let it cook for about two minutes before flipping the pancakes over. Cook for another 2 min.

Arrange pancakes on a plate. Serve with your favorite toppings and devour!

I topped mine with watered down PB2 so that it has a runny consistency.

The amazing pancakes were accompanied by some sweet peaches and yogurt.

Banana surprise! (I had lousy picture-taking skills this morning)

Because of the Amazing Grass I did see some green specks in my pancakes. Some greens in the early morning don’t hurt right? Besides, I know all of you like downing Green monster smoothies in the morning too!

Yowza, these pancakes made me feel suuuppppperrrr energetic and awake afterwards!

Anyhooz, thanks Wei-Wei for notifying me that the cartoons that I posted in my last post weren’t showing up. Hopefully I’ve fixed it! Take a break, get some LOL’s in your system here.

Oh Friday…you are beautiful.

Running free

July 11, 2010 § 14 Comments

I’m glad you all enjoyed the kite post yesterday! Sometimes we need to let go of the thought that we are “adults” and indulge our inner child. Sometimes we just need to believe that fairies exists and that pixie dusts can make magic.

A grownup is a child with layers on.

~Woody Harrelson


In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play.

~Friedrich Nietzsche

I am going to unashamedly admit that I still sneak into children’s playgrounds at times and play on the swing like there’s no tomorrow.

So, when I went for a run this morning, I did a very, very daring thing: I ran without my iPod. Usually, my iPod pumps me through my run and keeps my mind occupied. As I stepped outside the door today, the air was just so fresh and the morning so calm that I couldn’t afford to have music blasting in my ears. I decided to run with Nature.

It felt good, to hear my own footsteps, to listen to my breathing, and notice the birds chirping. These are things that I normally don’t pay attention to when I have my iPod glued to my ears. It was quote refreshing actually ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ve been dreaming of pancakes every since last weekend, so today I finally decided to make my dreams come true. Enters…Banana Oat Pancakes! My first-ever pancake recipe that I came up with. Actually, just my first-ever doughy-type of recipe that I came up with. It’s almost vegan, if not for the yogurt I added in. I even used “flax-egg”! ๐Ÿ˜€

BANANA OAT PANCAKES
(makes 2 large or 6 mini ones)

Wet

  • one medium banana, mashed
  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 1/4 cup milk of your choice (I used soymilk)
  • 2 tbsp flax meal
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Dry

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon…or more!
  • 1-2 tbsp whole wheat flour

I first blended all the wet ingredient in the food processor, added the dry ingredient and blended till everything was smooth. Drippity-drip-drip the batter onto a pan, cook ’em up, and out came pancakes!

Perhaps not the type of pancakes that would win the pancake pageant, but hey, it was delicious and satisfied my craving for some doughy, bananalicious pancakes ;-). I made one big one plus one mini one for myself, and the other three mini ones I gave to Dmitri. No I am not starving him, he already had breakfast of bread + nutella. Don’t go report me to the police for boyfriend abuse now! ๐Ÿ˜€

I had my pancakes with a nice little plum and the last of my yogurt. The plum was so sweet! I had to rummage through my fridge to get my second one afterwards. I love summer fruits! I smeared the big boy pancake with some sunflower seed butter and some Blue Diamond’s All Natural Crunchy Almond Butter.

Love the crunch against my smooth pancakes! Plus, the ONLY ingredient in this nutty butter is…ALMONDS! No added sugar, preservatives, or oil. Plain natural!

Much lazying around, doing laundry, a little work here and there, and I was ready for lunch. Today was definitely a warm day in Southern California, and so I was craving a light, crunchy salad for lunch.

After reading Kelsey’s post on her Raw Summer Salad yesterday, I found myself craving some too! Veggies = romaine lettuce, onions, mushroom, cucumbers, and avocado. Protein = pan-seared tofu in soy sauce + honey. Carbs = corn.

I pretty much followed Kelsey’s recipe for the dressing, except I added in a bit of honey. I also “massaged” the salad with avocado to make everything creamy. Thanks Kelsey for this wonderful recipe! โค

Today was the day that my car finally, FINALLY gets a proper wash. I don’t think I’ve washed it since…um…….

Well, point-in-case is that I’ve been relying on the rain to wash my car. What? Rain in California? Um yes. It literally pours the heck out of the sky during the winter months. This year was particularly bad that I had to get rainboots.

But alas, summer here = hot, dusty, dry.

Spinky, spanky clean.

I actually went to one of those self-serve car wash place to save $$$, because (1)those automatic car washes doesn’t do the job; (2) hand-wash services are so friggin’ expensive; and (3) I don’t have to equipment at home to wash my car. It’s so clean now that everytime that I look through the windshield, or the rear window, I’d go like WHOA!!!ย  Is this really my car? While some people think that I’m an abnormally clean person, my car somehow is always dirty.

On ’tis day Dmitri and I also had a play date with some of our friends. At 5 o’ clock, actually cool enough to be exercising outside, we headed out to the sand volleyball court on our campus for some bump, set, spike. Well, sometimes more like bump, splat. While I can play for maybe up to 2 hours in court, on sand it’s an entire different story! We were all tired after about 1 hr.

Or are we just getting old?

I wasn’t up to cooking anything big for dinner, and since I wasn’t particularly hungry anyways, I resorted to an everything stir-fry. In vegetable broth, I dumped in Chinese cabbage, celery, carrots, mushrooms, and Lightlife smartdogs.

On the side I finished the last of my silken tofu, eaten raw with some vegetarian stir-fry sauce, ’cause that’s how we roll in Taiwan.

Satisfying :-D.

Despite the fact that tomorrow’s a Monday, I’m actually not dreading it! I had a fun yet relaxing weekend, and I feel supercharged to tackle the next week! Plus, a new week means I’m getting closer to finishing my research here and closer to going back home to Taiwan!

Have a greaaaaattt Sunday night folks!

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+ What was your favorite childhood game? I loved any playground games: tether ball, jungle gyms, monkey bars, tags, Marco Polo, dodgeball! Sometimes I certainly wish I was 10 again!

+ If you own a car, do you wash it yourself or have somebody else wash it for you? This was actually my first time washing my car. It was fun though, and cheap. I will definitely, DEFINITELY do it again!

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.

Sundayย  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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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? ๐Ÿ˜‰

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? ๐Ÿ™‚ 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!

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+ 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?

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