All the time in the world

August 2, 2010 § 30 Comments

Hello friends! It’s been some seriously sweaty and hot two days, but I am still here, not dried out or wilted. I make sure to hydrate myself (I’ve had about 2.5 liters of water already in the past 4 hours!).

I’ve been doing alot of just moseying around, bumming, and reading (blogs and books alike). I gotta admit, I like having all the time in the world to read blogs. I don’t feel pressured, I can actually read them (instead of sprinting my eyes through lines), make thoughtful comments, and truly absorb what I read.

If only blog surfing/reading/commenting was a paid full-time job…I’m sure we’ll all be making a beeline for the interview. :mrgreen:

With all the time in the world, I can dig around in our fridge and scrounge up some grubs for lunch.

salted eggs

These salted eggs are by no means healthy, because of the high sodium content, but they are a source of protein.

I scooped out half the egg, chopped them, and piled them on top of a piece of rye bread with cheese and avocado.

It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t divine either. I think the salted egg overpowered everything else, namely the avocado.

On the side I enjoyed some steamed cauliflower and leftover Chinese purple veggies.

See the purple juice?

Anyone care for some smoked peppered ham?

No I didn’t become a meat-eater since the last post! I am honestly still vegetarian…unless you count eating gelatin making me non-vegetarian. Taiwan makes the best imitation meat…so real that it fooled my cat on several accounts! I know these are highly-processed, so I try to limit my consumption of these imitation meat.

Since I have all the time in the world, I did a little baking.

I told Lauren that these Peanut Butter Crunch Muffins would be the first thing I’ll bake when I get home to Taiwan. I followed her recipe, but sprinkled some muesli on top for aesthetic purpose and some extra crunch. These were good, but could definitely up the amoung of PB! I love uber rich PB cookies or muffins! 😀

I also made some cookies, recipe by yours truly! This is the very first cookie recipe I’ve come up myself, and they sort of remind me of Supercharge-Me Cookies. Perhaps I had those in mind when I was creating this recipe for Muesli Cookies.

Recipe to come tomorrow!

Continuing on with these sweet notes, I’d like to share some items commonly found in bakeries here in Taiwan.

Doughy bread stuffed with sweet buttery crumbs in the middle. Again, these are in no way healthy, but oh-so-delicious!

I may have all the time in the world, but I still don’t want to clean up somebody’s mess!

My mom and I went out yesterday morning for a yoga class, leaving my dad and my little sis at home. We were gone for a maximum of 4 hours, and then I came home to a house full of trash and half-eaten food left out.

Um..okay. Who leaves a finished container of pudding in the fridge?

This is something only my little sister would do–leaving containers, juice boxes, soda cans, etc that have been eaten clean in the fridge. Sometimes I feel like my mom and I are the only adults in the house, and my dad and my sister are the immature kids. Is there anyone in your family who’s like my sister?

Anyhooz, I saw this on one of my yoga teachers Facebook yesterday and was totally captured by the wisdom of it.

Do you agree/disagree with any of these observations?

Alright, I’m off to do some more reading, snacking, watching TV! Life is good 😀

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Versatile peaches

July 8, 2010 § 16 Comments

Peaches and nectarines are summer.

Not only are they delicious and sweet, a medium-sized peach contains 2 grams of dietary fiber, and are are also a good source of vitamin B3 (helps reduce high levels of cholesterol in the blood), potassium, and vitamin C.

Did you know that peaches are of Chinese origin? Illustrations of peaches have been found as far back as 10th century B.C. in China. Apparently the Chinese have also developed a number of races of peaches. [Source]

The peach got its name around 300 B.C., because a Greek philosopher thought the beautiful fruit came from Persia.

The English name is derived from the Latin word Persicum malum, which translates into “Persian apple.” [Source]

It is a negative-calorie food, meaning, you burn more calories by eating and digesting it than the actual amount of calories contained in this fruit (about 60 calories).

Today, I discovered a beautiful way of incorporating peaches into my three meals.

I started out with Peaches ‘n’ Cream for breakfast.

Toasted up a Cinnamon spice Alternative Bagel, nuked half a peach (the other half went to my lunch!) with cinnamon, and topped the other half of the bagel with “cream” (plain nonfat yogurt strained to make it creamier).Of course everything was sprinkled with cinnamon.

I decided to top my leftover yogurt with cherry, just because it makes it look more “dessert-like”! 😀

A beautiful tower of peaches ‘n’ cream!

The main character for lunch today again is…peach!

My research advisor went to Hawaii for 6 days to spend his wedding anniversary/July 4th weekend there. I know right, Hawaii!!! So jealous!

Anyways, he was kind enough to bring back some gifts 🙂

Passionfruit-Mango goodness in a jar! When I opened it I was immediately attacked by the sweet-smelling aroma of passionfruit and mango! They are not kidding when they said passion-mango butter!

I slathered a thin layer onto one half of a sandwich thin, and topped the other half with microwaved peaches (spiked with cinnamon), and brie!

Glossy peaches!

Oh my word, I cannot tell you how good this sandwich was. Again like my apple-sweet potato-brie sandwich from yesterday, I was savoring every single bite.

note to self: buy more peaches for next week

Today was by far the longest and slowest day in lab. I was so sure that Time just jumped into a pool of jello or something, and was just swimming along a little too slowly. Good thing I had this bright pink shirt to cheer me up a lil today.

When 5 o’clock eventually came around the corner, my lab mate and I stumbled into my car and hit the road for a Potluck Party and our lab manager’s house.

I made 3 batches of these flourless peanut butter cookies, with crunchy peanut butter!

I think I like ’em crunchy than smooth! 🙂

Well, the forgetful part of me left my camera at home, thus the lack of pictures of all the gourmet food we had:

  • Spinach salad with peaches, walnuts, cranberries, feta tossed in olive oil
  • Enchiladas!
  • Lasagne
  • Pasta salad
  • Watermelon!
  • Brownies
  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • homemade Snickerdoodles
  • Chips & guac
  • Homemade ice cream
  • Homemade Dark Chocolate truffles (sooooo good!)
  • Ravioli
  • Cheesecakes
  • Other stuff that include meat that I can’t eat

See? Told ya I had peaches x 3 today! The dark chocolate truffle was seriously AHHHmazing! I need to ask for that recipe fo’ sho! Or raid his room tomorrow…haha. The guy who made this said he still had 16 or so in his dorm room. I really wanted some homemade ice cream too, but I was too full by the time the professor who brought it showed up. It looked delish!

Tomorrow’s a Friday! And the end of my 8th week of research (out of 10). In less than 3 weeks I’ll be heading back home to Taiwan! Woot woot 😀

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+ Do you like crunchy or creamy peanut butter more?

Ice cream & Chocolate for breakfast? Why not!

June 26, 2010 § 13 Comments

When I woke up this morning, I had a craving that I have every other morning…chocolate.

Usually I can get by that craving by making myself a giant bowl of oatmeal, a sweet smoothie, or simply some PB&J. I went for the oatmeal route today and made some chocolatey oats today that consisted of cocoa powder, chocolate whey protein powder, and a large scoop of ChocoDreams.

It tastes just like Nutella.

I contemplated on snapping a picture of my breakfast. On second thought, my breakfast looked kind of gross to put up here.

I inhaled my breakfast in no time. But guess what, that chocolate craving was still there.

My next resort?

When life needs chocolate, you give it chocolate. 🙂

No, I haven’t finished this so delicious thing since then. Shame on me.

My tummy happily went dormant again after a few scoops of peanut butter chocolate goodness and a few more licks of ChocoDreams.

Speaking of chocolate, I need to share a couple of my new findings when I visited a local gluten-free shop last night:

Cutest packaging ever.

On the Almonds & Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate package:

Dark semisweet chocolate, whole dry roasted almonds and sea salt.

At first bite, crunchy almonds release their flavor in a swirl with chocolate. The sea salt crystals continually reset your sweet taste buds and make a tantalizing taste combination that keeps you wanting more.

No joke! I had a good three squares of it right after I bought it last night.

I haven’t tried the Ginger Crystallized in Dark Chocolate, but here’s what it says:

Crystallized Australian ginger in rich Belgian dark chocolate crafted from a blend of Caribbean and African cocoa beans.

Upon eating, tangy dark chocolate gives way to soft, moist, sugar-coated chunks of hot-spicy ginger. The sweet and spicy transitions are delightfully stimulating.

Sounds tantalizing and mouth-watering to me!

I have no intentions of going to the gym, or running outside, or doing yoga, or doing any exercise for that matter. My body is calling out for a rest day. I think it caved in yesterday because I pretty much exercised 3 times. Well, four if you count bustling around in the lab all day as exercise.

Morning 5.35 am: 2 hr Ashtanga yoga

Afternoon 4.00 pm: 50 min fast walk to and from Yogurtland! (Lemon-Passion Fruit tart, Chocolate Coconut Truffle, and Mango)

Evening 6.15 pm: 1 hr and 10 min of sand volleyball

We could have gone on playing for up to two hours if it wasn’t for the dangerous sand volleyball court! Two people yesterday got injured at the same spot on the court. One got seriously scraped on the knee when he dove to get the ball. The other got jabbed deeply on her big toe. We tried digging around that area and couldn’t find anything. We proclaimed it the Demon’s point.

I’ve played on that sand court several times, but it’s never happened before! In consideration of everyone else’s safety, we decided to call it quits for the evening and would inform our school’s Facilities and Maintenance staff to check on that area (the court is on our campus).

Needless to say, I was starving by then too. Dmitri and I headed down to Pita Pit to use our buy one get one free coupon!

Hummus, grilled spinach/tomatoes/mushrooms, sprouts, pepperconis, cucumbers, olives, shredded lettuce, and Dijon mustard.

It’s like Subway, but wrapped in a pita! Also, they have much more vegetarian options (not just to boring Veggie Delite), including Babaganouj, Garden, Falafel, Feta, and Hummus, and more veggies to choose from! It definitely fills me up way better than Subway does!

I was totally pooped when we finally got home at around 9. Dmitri and I set up to watch a movie, but my eyes just felt soooo heavy. At 9:40, I asked Dmitri to tuck me in.

Yes I still need to be tucked in with a bedtime story 😀

‘Twas a glorious 8 hours of sleep!

~~~

Today

  • BBQ at a professor’s house! With 40+ other guests including profs and students
  • Read

  • Bake (?)

Have a wonderful Saturday everyone!

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+ What fun reads have you been doing lately?

+ Do you ever wake up craving chocolate? If so, how do you quell it?

HAIIIIIII-YA! to a productive Saturday

June 19, 2010 § 15 Comments

First of all, I want to give a shout out to my mom. It’s her birthday today! Well, technically yesterday since she’s in Taiwan. She reads my blog too, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! 🙂

Summer of 2007, Disney World, Florida

Hope the rest of the family gave you a FABULOUS birthday!

In case you were wondering, yes I did watch The Karate Kid yesterday evening at the same drive-in theater. Having learned our lesson last time that arriving there at 8:15pm when the movie starts at 8:30pm is not a good idea.

This time, we raced to the line at 7:30pm, and the box office opens at 7:45pm. Great family movie, by the way. And can I not emphasize enough how cute Jaden Smith is?!?!?! ❤

Dmitri and I spent the majority of time while waiting for 8:30pm to roll around playing Mr. Egg. I totally dominated that game! If you haven’t heard of this game, basically one person thinks of a well-known or famous person (can be an artist, singer, actor/actress, writer, scientist, etc.). And the other person must ask yes or no question to lead him/her to guess the person. For example, the person I’m thinking of is Jennifer Aniston (which I did think of yesterday). You can ask me questions like: Is your person a male? Is your person an actress? Is your person blonde? So on, and so forth. It’s a game just for killing time’s sake.

Now let’s rewind a bit. Before the movie, we stopped by Souplantation–basically a big salad/soup/pasta/bread bar. I had never heard of this place till one of my friends told me about it when she visited me over my spring break this year. It’s now one of my fave restaurant!

Hidden under all the veggies included raspberry-walnut slaw. So yummy!

To-die-for honey-whipped butter.

Moroccan Tomato-Lentil Soup.

And of course, no meal is complete with some sweet ending.

Stewed apples and peaches, topped with apple mousse, cottage cheese, peanut sprinkles, granolas, and chocolate syrup.

Then it was movie time!

This morning started out like any other Saturday. Waking up to the sunlight streaming through my blinds, lying in bed for 20 more min, then rolling out of bed leisurely. Usually I’d go for a run soon after getting out of bed, but this morning I was feeling lazy. So I had a bowl of oatmeal and read some blogs. Ahhh…I love these kinds of leisurely mornings!

At 10am I stepped out for an easy run. I was tired today, and my legs just didn’t want to move fast. I stopped and walked two times, but still managed to finish 4 miles within 45 minutes.

Does anyone feel that after a good workout there’s no other perfect way to recharge but with a ginormous green monster smoothie?

❤ my Buddha bowl!

With chocolate cheerios!

Green, green, brown, and red!

And of course other snackage ensued.

Mini Chinese-styled steamed buns and Sweet BBQ Vegetarian Pork Buns. You can probably tell I got too excited and dug in before I remembered to take a picture.

Mini BBQ-vegetarian pork buns. With one bite taken.

Steamed buns!

Growing up, I loved the sweet BBQ pork buns, but turning vegetarian sort of worked against me. If you’ve ever had those BBQ Pork Buns at Dim Sum places, you’ll know what I’m talking about. When I went back to Taiwan last winter, I discovered these vegetarian versions! I loved them so much I brought about 1.5 dozens of them back here to California.

More food to come after this:

From the package Dmitri’s mom sent him.

Not bad. Does not have the most stellar ingredients list though. 😐

The rest of the afternoon was spent on doing productive stuff, including grocery shopping, baking, cleaning the apartment, prepping dinner, making Mama Peas Tofu Ricotta Gnocchi for tomorrow’s dinner.

Let’s talk about my favorite: baking!

You Got Peanut Butter in my Chocolate” Cookies from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan. This is just like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. It’s amazing how soft and crumbly these cookies are, even without the butter! Dreena Burton once again made my day! 🙂

After messing around more in the kitchen and cleaning the apartment, scrubbing bathrooms, the kitchen, etc., it was time to prep dinner. Since it was such a hot day, I decided on a chilled dinner.

Chilled Noodles with Peanut Sauce & Lentils
Makes 3-4 servings

  • 3-4 servings of noodles of your choice, cooked
  • two small carrots, or one large, chopped into small pieces (or pulse in food processor)
  • half a large cucumber, again chopped into small pieces
  • 1 cup cooked lentils

The Sauce (makes about 1 cup)

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter (I used chunky, but creamy is fine too)
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1-2 Tbsp minced ginger
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 3 Tbsp rice vinegar

Mix the ingredients of the sauce in a food processor until well blended.

In a large bowl, mix the noodles, lentils, carrots & cucumbers, and sauce until the noodles are coated in the sauce. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

The results:

These may not be the most aesthetically pleasing noodles, but they were darn good!!! The noodles remind me of these traditional Taiwanese chilled noodles that is paired with sesame sauce, shredded carrots & cucumbers. It brought me back to my home country! When I was whipping up the sauce, I didn’t even have that Taiwanese noodles in mind, but the taste turned out exactly like that. I guess the sesame oil, peanut butter, and the lentils combined brought out the same nutty taste as the sesame sauce.

One more You Got Peanut Butter in my Chocolate Cookies later (I’ve had a total of 3 today!), I sat down in front of my computer and realized how tired I was! The running, errands, cleaning, baking, cooking sure got to me today! I also had a cheesecake that I planned to bake tonight, but I’m now debating whether I should make it tonight or tomorrow. Maybe I should take the night off 🙂

Dmitri and I got some exciting plans tomorrow! Can’t wait! 😀

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+ What are some foods that remind you of your childhood?

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