My Birthday Celebration

Hello inter-web world! Late post, I know…I’ve been writing exams and studying for my anatomy quizzes *deep sigh*. Currently taking a little study break to finally get this blog post out!

I’ve been 25 years old for just over a week now. Do I feel different? Not really. Did I have a wonderful celebration? Yes, yes I did. I don’t want to boast or make this post seem like I am bragging; but, I initially wasn’t really keen on celebrating my 25th in any big fashion so having had such a grand and heartening celebration I was compelled to share all of the details.

The day of my birthday:

My parents surprised me with a giant bouquet of gorgeous pink roses and freshly made French macarons (they special ordered them from a local patisserie). I don’t think you guys know this about me yet…I adore macarons. Those little circular clouds of deliciousness are my favorite dessert of all time. They ordered 8 different flavors (passion fruit, strawberry-rose, pistachio, lemon, dark chocolate, matcha, coconut, and some combination of tropical fruit which I couldn’t place, but it was amazing). I ate all 8 of them in one day. I am not even ashamed. My parents also ordered my favorite dish from my favorite Greek restaurant – absolutely delectable.

My fiance and his father gifted me an essential oil nebulizer (also known as a diffuser) and essential oils from a company which is called Edens Garden. I’ve wanted these specific oils from this specific company for a long, long time. The company is cruelty free, run by women, and all of their oils are made fresh in small batches. The oils are pure, unadulterated and undiluted, they are also therapeutic grade. What’s more is that since the products are sold directly from the company they are very affordable. The cherry on top is that Edens Garden gives 10% of their profit to charity. I mean, if there is any company out there that deserves some recognition…this is it. I was ecstatic upon receiving my scent bundle. I have been using the oils and nebulizer every evening when I get home (and pretty much all day when I don’t have class). I have been sleeping 10x better thanks to the Stress Relief blend…it’s magical.

I don’t have photos for the following two things but I would also like to mention them: first are the really tasteful gifts from my fiance’s mom and step dad. They recently went on a trip around Europe, so they brought back tea and a little glass cat figure for me. I am so touched! Second is my best friend’s surprise visit to my house a few days after my birthday. She presented me with several thoughtful gifts and a very heartwarming card.

Here are some photos of the day:

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My stunning roses on a monstera leaf

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The macarons!

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This is the nebulizer – do you see the beehive shape?

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The first boxed set of oils – Mediation blend, Love blend, Aphrodisiac blend, Sunshine Spice Blend, Earth and Wood blend, and Simply Citrus blend.

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The second boxed set – Fighting Five blend, Breathe Easier blend, Stress Relief blend, Uplift blend, Immunity blend, and Head Ease blend.

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This was a gift I gave myself for my birthday (lol) – Serenity Now and Pink Flamingo tea from David’s Tea! My two current favorites.

The celebration didn’t stop there, though. The weekend after my birthday my parents took my fiance and I to the revolving restaurant in downtown Vancouver called Top of Vancouver. It was a breathtaking view and the food was superb!

Here is a little slideshow of the experience:

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If you give me good food, my loved ones, and a nice view…I am the happiest girl alive.

I’d like to end this post by saying a public thank you to my friends and family for making my 25th birthday an unforgettable experience! Thank you, everyone!

I truly felt on top of the world. Not only on my birthday, but all week and weekend long. I am beyond blessed to have had such an incredible celebration surrounded by my loved ones. It was absolutely magnificent!

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Kitty Cat Treats + Update

I am always surprised that Bailey can eat the same cat food over and over and over again without getting sick of it. I would probably go a little mad if I had to eat the same food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner…everyday. Then again, I’m not a feline…though some days their life does look appealing.

I try to buy the best cat food I can afford; however, the majority of the time I get Iams dry food and Pure Balance wet food or Fancy Feast. Lately, though, Bailey has been feeling a little unwell from the Pure Balance. I know it’s most likely just an incompatibility rather than the fault of the company, but I decided to take her off that brand. I changed the Pure Balance to the usual Fancy Feast and she is much happier with that.

That said, there is a PetCulture store which is closing down near my neck of the woods. When we saw their sign my fiance and I stumbled in to see what they have left. I actually found a great selection of toys and cat food on markdown. I purchased a banana shaped catnip toy, some healthy treats, and good quality canned food in a variety of flavors. Though I didn’t buy too many cans of the food since I was not sure how she’ll like it.

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The Trufood cat treats sound pretty great – healthy, tasty (I would imagine…I’m not about to taste test them), and packed with good ingredients. So, I don’t feel as guilty giving more than a few at a time haha. As for the banana toy, it’s impossible to take it away from her. I wish I had bought more cans but now that I know she likes them, I can just go to another pet store and pick it up for her.

On another note, a pretty exciting update about my life – I’m turning 25 this coming Monday (the 6th of June). A whole quarter of a century! Is there such a thing as a quarter life crisis? Haha. Anyway, the exciting thing is that on this birthday two big wishes are coming true (because it is considered a milestone in my culture). Number 1: my parents are taking me and my fiance to a restaurant called Top of Vancouver. It is a revolving restaurant that has panoramic windows allowing guests to see Vancouver, the coastal mountains and the ocean from 553 feet above ground. Talk about breathe-taking! Number 2: My fiance will be gifting me something I’ve been desiring and looking at for several years. I will not disclose what it is until it is given to me on my birthday so that I will have something to show you.

It is currently midterm season, so please excuse the lack of posts. I’ve been super swamped. Check back next week for my birthday celebration post!

Wishing you all a wonderful week and weekend ahead!

 

Lunch To-Go

live-love-eat2I am a university student, so having a lunch packed with me a) helps me save some much needed cash and b) allows me to have quick access to food when my tummy rumbles during a lecture. For obvious reasons, you don’t want messy food, loud food, or food you have to reheat. If you have food with you that has loud packaging or is messy you will disrupt your own learning environment as well as the rest of the class. Reheating food is also a pain because most classes have a 10-15 minute break (if at all); 10-15 minutes on campus isn’t much time to find the microwave, wait in line, and get back to class on time. With all of that said, I have devised a few easy and hassle-free lunches I like to bring with me.

If you have a sweet tooth, this lunch idea will be right up your alley: Strawberry-Banana-Nutella Sandwich

You will need 1 banana (slices up), 2 slices if your favorite bread, jar of Nutella, and a few strawberries (sliced). All you have to do now is make it into a sandwich by spreading the Nutella onto the bread and layering the fruit! Complicated, I know. 😉

For a delicious and filling lunch I suggest: Tuna Melt Wrap 

Remember how I said reheating is a no-no? Well, this tuna melt is pre-melted allowing you to just dig into the wrap without the hassle. You will need flour tortillas, 1 can of tuna, 1/2 celery stick (finely chopped), a couple of slices of red onion (finely chopped), 1/2 of a large tomato (finely chopped), a few squirts of Sriracha sauce (or any hot sauce you like), a couple dollops of mayonnaise, salt and pepper, and cheddar cheese (thinly sliced).

Now all you have to do is throw all the ingredients (except for the wrap and cheddar cheese) into a large bowl, mix it together well and then make your wrap. You can easily make this the night before and keep it in the fridge. In the morning, before you head out, just zap it in the microwave for a few seconds and let it cool on a plate before putting it into a container to take with you.

For the salad and pasta lovers: Sesame Pasta Salad

Make the dressing and prepare the ingredients the night ahead and it will be ready to toss and go in the morning! What you will need is 1 pound of linguine pasta (cooked), 4 tablespoons of sesame oil, 3 tablespoons honey, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1/2 garlic clove (crushed), 1/4 cup roasted peanuts, 2 bell peppers (thinly sliced), some red onion (thinly sliced), 1 carrot ( chopped Julienne style), handful of snow peas.

Make the dressing in a small Tupperware container by tossing in the sesame oil, honey, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and garlic, then whisk until well combined. Cover and put away in the fridge. Following that, put the pasta and veggies and peanuts into a different Tupperware container and put that in the fridge as well. In the morning, all you will have to do is put the salad together (or take the two containers with you and add the dressing at lunch).

For someone who likes meat: Turkey Sandwich With a Twist

This is not a boring sandwich you are used to, this one is delicious. What you will need is 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 splash of Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, several slices of smoked turkey, 2 slices of bread, 2 thin slices of tomato, 1 leaf of hearts of romaine lettuce.

In a bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, Parmesan, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, and lemon juice. Next, spread that sauce generously onto both sliced of bread. Layer one slice with lettuce, tomato, and turkey and then close the sandwich with the second slice. Put the sandwich into a Ziploc bag and that’s that!

 

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It’s Up To You.

I can confidently say that every one of us, at one point or another, has had a moment where we lost our motivation. Maybe that moment is right now. You spend your weekends working over-time at a job and someone else gets the promotion. You study for days to get an A on a final exam but your mark ends up being significantly lower. You spend hours at the gym but you don’t see the results you hoped for.

If you want to have something show up in your life, or become the kind of person you would like to become, or manifest something new and powerful into your life – whatever it might be, you must first be able to picture it. The attention you give to your goal (and striving for the feeling of progress and accomplishment) is what will propel you forward.

Your mind is what defines you – what makes you stand out. It doesn’t matter what kind of car you drive, the makeup you wear, what brand of clothing you wear, or if you eat quinoa salad at lunch. What matters is what your mind holds. If you fill your mind with the right material and the right thinking, you will be unstoppable.

Your mind is your greatest power. Your mind is the only thing that can never be taken away from you. You are not a victim of circumstance, you have the power to change your life at any given moment. Fear is your only enemy, fear is what holds you back from taking the steps you need to take. Maybe you failed before and are afraid of failing again, so now you take the easier road – a road where you don’t have to encounter the chances of failing. But, you see, that is where the growth begins – in every failure. It is incredibly difficult to surpass a person who never gives up. Be that person.

“Courage doesn’t mean you don’t get afraid. Courage means you don’t let fear stop you.”
Bethany Hamilton

You can keep doing the same things over and over and over again; and in five, ten, fifteen years, you will be at the same place where you are today. Or you can decide today, right now, to start climbing your way to the top of the mountain you keep looking at but are too fearful of climbing. If you make that choice, every day becomes a day where you climb higher and become stronger. Your fear will slowly dissipate with every achievement. Every night you will be able to look back on the day and know you did something good. And then you can sleep your night away with success as your lullaby.

Don’t invest in “things”, invest in yourself. If you want to become different, if you want to stand out against the rest, if you want to be unforgettable, you need to invest in your mind. You were created with a unique design, a unique purpose. You are designed to do what no one else can do and serve a purpose that no one else can serve. When you manifest that purpose, you truly become yourself. When you get to that point you will begin to see your individuality, your talent, your unique skill set, and you will begin to separate yourself from the masses. That’s how you get yourself to the top – it doesn’t matter if that top is getting an A in a class or being promoted to CEO. You begin to reveal your value and your uniqueness.

You can keep hitting the snooze button in life or you can choose to show up.

It will be hard. You will have to change some things in your life. You will have to change yourself. You will have to learn self discipline. You will encounter problems and obstacles; but if you are dedicated, you will learn from all the negative things in your life. You will learn from every failure and disappointment. When you reach the top of that mountain you have been climbing, you will look at yourself in the mirror and be so proud and happy that you didn’t give up. You are the only problem you will ever have. You are also the only solution you will ever have. It’s up to you. When you realize you are the only one who has control of your life you automatically give yourself all the power. No one else holds the power over you. Just you. The sooner you come to realize that, the sooner you can begin to reinvent yourself.

New Finds

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Phew. I am finally through with my exams. Hello world!

I know that I don’t normally write posts like the one today but, I was combing through products I have used up and decided to go on a hunt for the new items I needed. Okay, okay, most items I needed, others I simply wanted – no judging. Every few months I do a cleansing of things I own followed by a shopping trip to restock my essential day to day products. So, I would like to share those finds with you guys because think it would be unfair to keep such good product discoveries to myself hehe.

If you remember, I wrote a post about taking better care of my skin. In that same post I had mentioned I was trying to go with more natural products, which is surprisingly hard to do on a budget…or so I thought. If you live in Canada, you know of a store called Winners. If you are in the US, the stores comparable to Winners would be Marshalls or TJ Maxx. I actually really enjoy stores like Winners because you can find high-end brands for a very good price.

I have a Winners in my neighborhood but, for as long as I can remember, the store has been a mess. Not only is it a literal mess, the selection has always been hit or miss at this specific location. Some people tend to open products (and from what I’ve noticed it’s usually the better brands of which there is only one darn container left) and put them back on the shelf. Uh, hello? I am not buying an open and used item. Gross- no thanks. To the people who open products (such as face creams, body lotions, bath items, or hair products): Would you buy an item someone’s dirty little fingers were dipped into? No. Stop it.

Little rant aside, there is a new Winners location which opened up relatively close to my area. It is a clean, well-kept store and the selection is great! I hope it stays that way because it has been my holy grail for product finds. I have found products from brands which I know are really good quality, plus they sell everything for a fraction of the original cost. Great for the bank account and great quality? Yes, please. Here’s what I ended up purchasing:

  • Out of Africa Lip Balm in the peppermint scent/flavor. It is 100% natural, free of any harsh chemicals, and it is cruelty free. I just ran out of my Blistex Lip Medex balm and this one looked interesting. I really like how it has been working for me so far. I think Blistex is really great as a heavier overnight healing treatment, but this new lip balm is better for bringing in my bag and applying during the day.
  • Argan Oil dry shampoo in the original formula. I cannot find it online, so there is no link. However, it smells great, it works, it doesn’t leave my hair with a layer of white dust like other dry shampoos tend to do, and it isn’t tested on animals. I like it. Sometimes I have no time for washing and styling my hair in the morning making this product a game-changer.
  • Sleep & Unwind essential oil by Olivia Care. I found the website, but there is no such oil on the site for some reason. Anyway, this oil is fabulous – we all know that I can use some extra help with sleep lately. It has a blend of soothing scents such as lavender, eucalyptus, and camphor. I use it in my bath water with some bubbles, however, it says it is safe for dabbing onto your pillow and for massages.
  • Skinfood New Zealand Light Moisturizer Oh my goodness. I have been hunting for New Zealand products ever since I heard of their quality and affordability. This moisturizer is not only free of terrible additives, it is also full of incredible ingredients: Peach oil, Manuka Honey, Avocado Oil, Elderberry, Marshmallow Extract and Sweet Orange Oil. My skin sucked this moisturizer up in seconds. I love it.
  • Skinfood Mud Masque Say hello to another amazing product. I used this while taking my bath and it left my face feeling airbrushed. No joke. This product is also totally shareable with your significant other. I have sensitive skin and finding a mask that doesn’t irritate my skin has always been a struggle for me, but I found a keeper. This mask contains: Rotorua Mud, Jojoba Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Spirulina, Lavender Oil.
  • By Nature Firming Eye Serum Yet another New Zealand gem. I’m getting to that age where keeping the eye area well hydrated and looked after is really important, so I decided to give this one a go. It contains: Organic Rosehip Oil, Argan Oil and Collagen. I just tried it today and it does melt right into the skin (a little goes a long way) and it does make my eyes feel better. It’s all natural and, again, cruelty free. Lovely product.
  • By Nature Replenishing Face Serum This smells great, it feels great, it leaves my skin visibly glowy and well hydrated. Finding something that is vitamin rich, moisturizing, and light enough to have to soak into my skin almost immediately is really hard (especially if I am looking for all natural products). Like the eye serum this has organic rosehip oil, collagen, and argan oil, but it also has aloe vera. I am very pleased with this product.
  • Dead Sea Elements Facial Wipes – sorry, no link again. I needed some new cleansing towelettes (super convenient for travel). I have never tried this brand before but the package claims these wipes are enriched with dead sea minerals. I do like how they make my face feel and they smell nice.
  • W7 Eye Shadow Palettes in the shades called In The Buff and In The Night: Up In Smoke. Both shadow palettes are super. I’ve been searching for an eye shadow palette and have heard of the W7 brand from England being a great dupe for the higher-end shadow palettes. It is really hard to find the W7 brand here in Canada (at least around my area) but I am glad I came across these two palettes (and for a darn good price). So far, I am very impressed. Thanks, Winners…haha!

What I love about all of the items I mentioned is that they are all cruelty free, organic, and sourced from nature (with the exception of the eye shadow). If you’re anything like me in terms of looking for wholesome products, I highly recommend you try some of these.

I am certain that I will be doing a good chunk of my skin care and bath/shower shopping at that Winners from now on. I’m impressed by the variety of great brands and, of course, the price point. Plus, I have come across several hard-to-find brands at the new location. I think my next trip will be a bath/shower run because I am running low on bubble bath ( a girl needs her bubbles).

Thanks for reading and hope you all have a lovely week!

What have I been up to…?

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London Fog Cupcake

As I sit here and have my late night solo cheese adventure (what? Late night snacks are what the light in the fridge is for!), I’ve decided to fill you in what has been going on in my life. As you’ve noticed, I have been gone for 4 weeks. So, to quickly update you on the 4 weeks that I’ve been away:

  • sick for 2.5 weeks (it was brutal)
  • had to catch up with school work
  • final papers and projects rolled in around the time I was getting better
  • have tried to spend more time with my family
  • final exams are coming up next week, so studying
  • and, amidst all of this, also trying to find time to unwind

It has been a while since I have updated you guys on my resolutions (if you remember my post on what I plan on “resolving” in 2016 haha). Now, to give you some insight into how my new year resolutions have been going, let’s start off with the sleep thing: I have not done well with sleeping recently. I was doing great there for a while until I came down with a cold/flu from hell. Following that, my sleep pattern went downhill. As an example, I don’t know what happened but, the other day, it was as though I went past REM and I hit the 6th realm of sleep – human hibernation. I could barely muster the energy to as much as silence my alarm. When I finally got up I was still very tired – I drank coffee, it didn’t work; took a brisk shower, didn’t help; did some light exercising, barely made a difference. It was as though I was past the point of no return and was still asleep. However, other things on the list are going well. I’ve been keeping up with the rest of my resolutions (except the last 4 weeks of missed blog posts); I have been doing my best, which is what counts. Even though I would like to be perfect, I must accept that it is not humanly possible haha.

As I have mentioned above, I’ve been spending some more time with family lately. It has been fabulous. My future mother-in-law and I spent a wonderful day together when I started feeling better. We went out to the boardwalk and had a delicious cupcake with a little coffee on the side.

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This is where cupcakes were consumed.

We then went back to her place where we exchanged recipes. I showed her how to make my family recipe for chicken and she showed me how to make blueberry scones. Her husband gave me a nice collection of meditation magazines to read, it was just all around a lovely time. Dinner and dessert was wonderful, especially after such a nice day. She also gifted me soap she had made along with two bath bombs, which she also made. I cannot wait to try the soap; in fact, I used a bath bomb tonight. We actually went out for lunch and shopping today! It was such a great time.

On the topic of in-laws, my future father-in-law took me to see the new movie called Zootopia. Oh, my goodness! I adored it. It was cute, funny, sweet…it was everything I could want. Some moments I swear I was the loudest person giggling away in the theater. I will watch it again when it comes out on DVD. Heck, who am I kidding, I’ll probably own it. 

I have also been spending more time with my parents lately. We’ve been doing casual things like watching movies, going out for walks, tending to the garden, dinners, etc. It’s nice to stop spinning like a hamster in wheel, press pause, and pay my dues to what is most important in my life – family. To finish this post off, I have a recipe inspired by family time (a recipe I’ve recently shared with my future mother-in-law) and that recipe is….

Apple Crisp!

Ingredients
10 cups granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 cup white sugar (you can reduce to 1/2 cup if you prefer less sweet)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup water
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, melted

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degree C).
Place the sliced apples in a 9×13 inch pan. Mix the white sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and ground cinnamon together, and sprinkle over apples. Pour water evenly over all.
Combine the oats, 1 cup flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and melted butter together. Crumble evenly over the apple mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 45 minutes to an hour. Serve with a dollop of vanilla bean ice cream.

Hope this week has been good to you and I wish you all a great weekend!

Mmm, Food.

Life is a kitchen, whip up something incredible!

 

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I spent my childhood immersed in food. My family celebrated everything with food and, when needed, they made food to comfort or cheer up. I watched cooking shows with my mom while she braided my hair for school. I followed my dad around the BBQ in the summer months. I was raised to love food and I was taught not to say no until I tried something and knew I didn’t like it. Diets? They were only kept if ordered by a doctor when someone was ill. I am grateful that my parents raised me to think of food and cooking as art, as fun, as an expression of love, as a comfort, and a joy.

I know the kitchen well, I feel extremely comfortable in it and it has always been my favorite room of the house. I have five different dream kitchens picked out and my hope is that one day my family will gather for Sunday breakfast in one of those kitchens. Some evenings, after a tiring day, I like to hang out in the kitchen. I lean on my kitchen counter, sip my tea, and munch on snacky bits. I’ve been known to take my time reading cookbooks, gathering ideas, and plotting the perfect night centered around food. Most days are busy but, on the days I can let myself take it slow, I relish the opportunity. When I have the chance, I like to take my time with the cooking process – it helps me relax and feel grounded.

My Kitchen Rules:

  1. Patience: All the meticulous prep steps are really important. Ingredients handled correctly will end up making a better product. Plus, if you are patient and take things slow, you will be much less likely to make a mistake or hurt yourself.
  2. Respect: For the ingredients. I buy organic/all-natural as often as possible; I buy farmer-fresh produce, free-range organic eggs, organic meat (when I can) and organic dairy. The food you buy is part of this earth – before it became dinner it was growing somewhere.When you handle ingredients, just remember that no one waved a magic wand to make the food appear, it was grown and cared for. It’s good to give the ingredients respect. And don’t forget to wash your fruits and veggies (because, you know, it grows in soil and then many people’s hands were all over it..).
  3. Bravery: Knives are sharp, pans are hot. I’ve cut myself a few times, I’ve burned myself plenty. I’m prepared to get a little hurt in the kitchen (though I am very careful) – my hands have become a little more resilient over time.
  4. Fun: I like to listen to music and have a good time while I cook. As I’ve mentioned, cooking helps me unwind, and having fun in the kitchen is how I do it.
  5. Cleanliness: My kitchen towels are always clean, my kitchen counters are clean, my stove is clean, everything in my kitchen is clean. I designate my towels and cleaning sponges for different tasks and I will not have it any other way – haha! I can be a bit meticulous when it comes to the kitchen.

It’s an old (maybe even corny) saying that something is “made with love”, but it’s a saying that speaks a lot of truth. Something that is made with love tastes better. On the topic of produce and cooking with love: farmer’s markets are my best friends during the summer. The best part is walking around and seeing people’s produce (local and small-business made honey, jam, butter, cheese, bread) and fresh fruits and veggies. Going home with some of the goodies is the ultimate happiness. I would love to eventually have a garden with my own herbs and veggies and perhaps a few fruits.

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Part of what drew me deeper into cooking was noticing that there is a food for every mood. Feeling crappy? Dysfunctional? Sick? Romantic? Happy? Nostalgic? Celebratory? There is a food for that. Along with that, you can also use food to create the atmosphere you desire – I think that’s pretty cool.

I love sharing recipes, cooking, baking, talking about food, eating, and reading about food [same goes for tea, but that’s a different topic]. I have a huge collection of cookbooks; and I definitely have the classics – like tomes of classic French cookery, along with the two volumes of Julia Child’s cookbooks. I even have a book called The Original White House Cookbook (published in 1887). I guess you can say I am a culinary aficionado. However, I am not a “culinary snob”; I’m simply interested in all things food. Have you ever had one of those moments where you take a bite of food and a fat grin sweeps across your face because what you just ate was so painfully delectable? I have, it is enchanting. It makes me want to create food that receives the same reaction.

Let me be honest with you, I like my food to be borderline socially unacceptable to enjoy in public. What I mean by that is I can appreciate the prim and proper food, but what I truly savor and enjoy is food that’s served hot, food that has many elements to it, and food that is bursting with flavor. When that eating utensil (hands are utensils, too) leaves my mouth, I want my taste buds to shut my brain off for a split second – yeah, I like my food that crazy level of tasty. I am not one of those chicks you see laughing (but internally crying) over a forkful of salad. I eat healthy, but I don’t eat “skinny”. I crave food that is spicy, saucy, steamy, zesty and packed with so much flavor that every bite takes my mouth on a different adventure of tasty discoveries. 

I started this blog to share my recipes and love of food with you, my readers; and it has been a blast so far. Though this blog is no longer solely about food, my excitement for food and writing about food has not diminished in the slightest. I hope to one day write a cookbook…perhaps some time in the future I will get the opportunity to do so. If I do, I want the cookbook to be the ultimate collection/bible/handbook of everything delicious, and for those recipes to be easy enough for every day meals. I’ve got a feeling that, if I do write a cookbook, tea will be incorporated into it as well hehe. A girl can dream, right?

Here are a few recipes of foods that I crave:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with Toasted Coconut & Apple

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 apple, cored and cut into slices
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Unsweetened, flaked coconut
  • Coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon water
  1. Put the oats, almond and coconut milk, and salt in a medium sized pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stir constantly. Continue to simmer and stir until the oats break down. Add more milk, as necessary to keep the consistency creamy and to prevent the oats from sticking and burning to the bottom of the saucepan.
  2. Meanwhile, heat up a tablespoon of coconut oil in a frying pan and add the apples when the oil is hot. Drizzle apples with the lemon juice, some water, and honey, and sprinkle with the cinnamon. Give the pan a shake to incorporate the liquids with the cinnamon; but be careful to not disrupt the placement of the apples too much. Put a lid on the pan and simmer on medium-low heat until the apples are soft but still retain their shape.
  3. While the oats and apples are doing their thing, put the coconut flakes in a frying pan over medium-low heat and toast until golden brown. Remove from the heat immediately.
  4. To Serve: Spoon the oatmeal into bowls and top with the apples and some toasted coconut. You can sprinkle some more cinnamon over the oatmeal and drizzle more honey over top if you prefer things a little sweeter.

*great alternatives for the apples are pears, or peaches*

Lunch: Crunchy Sesame Noodle Salad

  • 1 (16-ounce) bag coleslaw mix
  • 2 packages of (crumbled) instant ramen noodles (toss the seasoning packet in garbage, you won’t need it)
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 cup shelled and cooked edamame beans
  • 1/2 cup thinly-sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup thinly-sliced green onions (scallions)
  • Honey- sesame dressing (see ingredients below)

Honey-Sesame Dressing

  • 2/3 cup grape seed oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange juice
  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread the crumbled ramen noodles and sliced almonds out on a baking sheet, and stir a bit to combine. Bake for about 5 minutes, or until the almonds and noodles are slightly toasted and golden.
  2. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and give the mixture a good stir/toss (so that everything toasts evenly). Then return it to the oven and toast for an additional couple minutes. Keep a very close eye on the ramen and almonds so that the mix does not burn. Remove and set aside.
  3. Toss all ingredients (including the vinaigrette) together in a large bowl until well combined.
  4. Serve/eat the salad immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days…but the noodles will loose their crunch after the first day, so it is better to eat it right away.

Dinner: Shrimp and Mango Sushi Cones

  • 1 package of nori (sushi) seaweed sheets
  • 30-40 large raw peeled shrimp
  • Panko (Japanese style bread crumbs)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 large mango, cubed into small bits
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • Handful of chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 avocado, chopped into small-medium pieces
  • Juice of 1 lime, strained
  • soy sauce
  • Sushi rice
  • rice vinegar (for sushi rice)
  • sugar (for sushi rice)
  • salt (for sushi rice)
  • Oil for frying
  1. Prepare sushi rice as directed on the instructions (I googled how to do it). After it is cooked, let it cool completely.
  2. Once rice is cooled, make a breading station: one bowl with flour, one bowl with panko, and one bowl with the beaten eggs. Bread your shrimp starting with the flower, then the egg, then the panko.
  3. Heat about 1 inch of oil in a deep pan. When the oil is hot, add your shrimp in batches and fry until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towel.
  4. Meanwhile, toss mango, onion, red bell pepper, avocado, cilantro, and scallions in a bowl. Drizzle the lime juice over the ingredients and mix to combine well.
  5. Next, take your nori and onto the left side of the sheet spread the sushi rice. Top the rice with a few shrimp and the mango salsa. Roll up to make a cone shape (this took me some practice to get right, but it’s not too difficult).
  6. Serve immediately with a side of soy sauce.

Dessert: Chocolate Pudding Parfait

  • 2 1/2 cups milk, divided
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Whipped cream
  • Berries or fruits of choice
  1. Pour the milk in a medium sized, heavy saucepan. Bring to a light boil. Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup milk with the egg yolks, mix together with a whisk. Add egg yolk mixture to the sugar mixture, stirring to combine well.
  2. Gradually add half of the hot milk to egg yolk mixture, stirring constantly and vigorously with a whisk. Return milk mixture to pan; bring to a light boil again. Reduce heat, and simmer until the mixture thickens, stir constantly. Remove from heat. Add butter, vanilla, and chocolate, stirring vigorously until chocolate is melted.
  3. Spoon pudding into a bowl. And place that bowl in a larger ice-filled bowl for 15 minutes or until pudding the has cooled…stir it occasionally. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for half an hour to 2 hours.
  4. Scoop a dollop of pudding into your choice of serving dish (I like to use wine glasses or martini glasses) and top with whipped cream and fruits/berries.

Midnight Snack: Spicy Grilled Cheese

  • 2 slices of your bread of choice
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and thinly sliced (use as much or as little of it as you like)
  • Cream Cheese, softened
  • 2 slices of bacon, cooked to a crisp (of keep it soft, if you prefer)
  • Butter
  • Cheddar cheese
  1. Make your grilled cheese sandwich: cream cheese, jalapeno pepper, bacon, cheddar cheese. Coat one side with butter and fry it on a hot pan or a griddle. Enjoy.

And there you have a few examples of the type of foods I crave to eat at different times of the day. As you can tell, I like texture in my food and I like a mix of different flavors.

What are some of your common cravings?

retrohousewife(2)