Dates on Our Date

I updated my blog header! Did you notice a change?! 😀

What better way to start a post than a bowl of oatmeal, right? This bowl was devoured this morning before a Biology midterm, which I think went pretty well! 🙂 I’m so grateful to my group of study buddies for helping me really understand the concepts.

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Blueberry-banana oatmeal topped with sunflower butter, pumpkin-apple muffin (recipe in the making!), and hemp hearts. Today’s oats were super creamy thanks to the addition of a super-ripe banana, extra chia seeds, and milk. I’m going back to almond milk next week, though. You’ll see my grocery haul in a bit!

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Dinner two nights ago: leftover ricotta-butternut squash pasta with sautéed zucchini and mushrooms, broccoli. Whole wheat pasta, or any pasta, just isn’t the same when microwaved. Still great, though, topped with parmano (parmesan + romano) cheese and some freshly-ground black pepper.

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On Thursday, I went to Princess Cafe between classes to enjoy this lovely beet salad: spinach, beets, Woolwich goat cheese, pickled red onions, and maple vinaigrette. Served with a side of biology.

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I also ordered their “Bee’s Cheese” sandwich, which normally has harvarti, goat cheese, honey, walnuts, and rosemary butter. I asked the harvarti to be replaced with brie, but I think the woman replaced BOTH harvarti AND goat cheese with the creamy brie. I was a little disappointed because, well, we all know how much I adore goat cheese. This sandwich was audibly crispy and the hint of honey was fantastic. I just wish there was goat cheese in here!

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Dinner tonight was “spaghetti bolognese” made with lentils and a new kale-garlic tomato sauce. I mixed the lentil spaghetti sauce with leftover quinoa, sautéed zucchini and cremini mushrooms, and broiled it all with mozzarella cheese. Topped with crunchy butter-toasted pine nuts and parmano cheese, this was a great dinner that I will be recreating. This was inspired by Jack’s recipe, but I added way more lentils and used a different sauce.

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Another memorable dinner from a couple days ago, also inspired by Jack! My rendition involved quinoa, peas, and fig goat cheese. I ditched the vinaigrette (too lazy/lacked ingredients) and added zucchini and lots of freshly-ground black pepper. This was so voluminous and filling – but of course I had room for dessert.

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If you’re looking for a decadent and undoubtedly delicious mug cake, I recommend my original recipe. This one was a little dense, chewy, and more of a cross between banana bread and chocolate pudding. The only changes I made here were replacing the coconut oil with mashed banana and decreasing the sugar to a single teaspoon. I highly recommend the original because the texture of this guy wasn’t quite right. Still, I finished it all 🙂

Fat-Free 2-Minute Chocolate Cake for One
  • 1/2 overripe banana
  • 2 tbsp spelt flour
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • sprinkle of salt
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter for topping
  1. Mash banana. Add wet ingredients.
  2. Whisk dry ingredients.
  3. Whisk until batter is smooth.
  4. Pour into 14 oz microwave-safe mug with straight sides. I used a small ramekin greased with coconut oil.
  5. Microwave on high for 1 minute and 10 seconds.
  6. Cool for a couple minutes before serving. You can invert it onto a plate.
  7. Top with peanut butter, and berries/banana/chocolate chips/whipped cream. Enjoy! I liked mine with mini chocolate chips sprinkled on top.

And that’s it for recent cooking!


Today my friends (from the aforementioned study group) and I went to Red House after the Biology midterm ended at 11:30.

Let me introduce them to you! Kate is sitting at the very left, next to Sarah. Maddy (who we met at the high speed photography workshop and the Schulich Leaders dinner) is across from her, and I’m the one with the scarf between Maddy and Cai (who has the best selfie cellphone ever).

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Here are some details about Red House!

  • Address: 30 William St W, Waterloo, ON N2L 6L4
    Closed Mondays and Sundays
    Open 11:30-9:00 Tues-Thurs, 11:30-9:30 Fridays, and 10:30 to 9:30 Saturday

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The inside was beautifully decorated, and the atmosphere was very warm and welcoming. It was smaller than I expected (well, it is just a house) but very cozy, clean, and modern.

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We had a hard time deciding what to order! Everything on the menu looked fantastic. Our server was friendly and very attentive. We discussed Disney movies (Sarah if you’re reading this, stop studying and GO WATCH CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS), the situation in Paris, the weirdest foods we’ve ever eaten, Crock-Pots, and a bunch of other things I can’t even remember. Talking about random things with friends and enjoying amazing food = time flies!

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Soups of the day: Thai coconut butternut squash and double-smoked bacon corn chowder

These both looked delicious, and Cai and Kate who ordered them said they were excellent.

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R: brunch feature with poached eggs, homestyle potatoes, fruit

Sarah ordered the perogies from the appetizers list, and Maddy enjoyed the brunch feature. I was eyeing the goat cheese perogies as well – they looked incredible!

“I really like the fresh fruit (especially the dragon fruit) with my entree because the rest was really hearty (I couldn’t finish it!) but it all tasted really fresh.” -Maddy on her breakfast special, which she rated 3/6

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Cai ordered what I was super close to ordering: smoked trout benedicts over potato pancakes. This looked amazing, too, but I went for something else!

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Moroccan breakfast: vegetables, sweet potato, dates, two poached eggs, toasted almonds, and homemade flatbread

This was mine.

All mine.

It was so good.

Stewed bell peppers, carrots, celery, and sweet potatoes were cooked in a slightly acidic tomato sauce, which was tangy and perfect with the charred flatbread and rich egg. Sweet date pieces gave this dish a sweet contrast that was much appreciated. I would NEVER imagine putting dates in the same dish as eggs and tomato sauce, but this totally worked. I loved it. Look at the perfectly-poached eggs. I could eat this again and again.

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Four out of the five of us agreed that we had a second stomach for dessert. Cai and Kate both ordered the compressed apple cake (though the popcorn creme brûlée was debated). The vanilla ice cream was apparently homemade and had a hint of rum, which we discovered was actually bourbon. Kate claimed this tasted like carrot cake!

apple olive oil cake: with compressed apples, bourbon vanilla ice cream, cranberry gastrique

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Maddy ordered the lemon meringue. I saw pictures of this dessert on Yelp and tried to describe it as a deconstructed cake with pieces of crust. The crust reminds me of the mille-feuille my sister and I enjoyed in Paris. Oh my goodness, thinking about that monstrous mille-feuille is making me so happy. 🙂 Anyways, I’m not much of a citrus person, but this look great and was SO well executed!

“The dessert was just delicious, and there was a nice balance of tart/citrus with the vanilla mouse and crispy pastry!” 5.5/6

broken lemon meringue pie: lemon curd, puff pastry shards, vanilla mousse & blueberry anise compote

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Pumpkin cheesecake with maple, whipped cream, bruleed figs

This was my dessert. I was so, so disappointed when I didn’t see the white chocolate cheesecake with peaches and oat crumble on the dessert menu, but that was a summer special that was unfortunately not removed from the website. 😦 Our server assured me that this one was equally delicious, so I gave it a try!

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She was SO right! I was in HEAVEN after my first bite. Creamy, cheesy, not overly sweet, with an elegant pumpkin pie flavour. I’m such a sucker for cheesecake that this dessert DOMINATED the pumpkin pie that Madhulika, Arsalan, and I spent two days making from scratch. The flavour of the cheesecake itself was top-notch. I’d say, however, that the maple syrup was unnecessary and somewhat distracting. Some candied and crushed pecans would’ve been lovely. The bruleed figs were cold inside, and obviously not prepared fresh. But I’m still dreaming about that cheesecake and the incredible graham crust! Mmmmm…

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I want more… now.


Went to Contestoga Mall right after the lunch date while the four others drove back to campus. Conestoga already has Christmas decorations up. It’s the most, wonderful time, of the year. ♫ ♬ Don’t even get me started on how much I love the holiday season!

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I did some grocery shopping too. Can you believe I carried this – about $100 worth of groceries – for a couple blocks, on the bus, and up three flights of stairs into my unit? Very smart idea to buy almond milk, two cans of coconut milk and pumpkin puree, yogurt, eggs, AND a glass jar of pasta sauce. AND squashes and sweet potatoes. This was freaking HEAVY… I nearly died. So jealous of people who have cars – what a luxury!

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I was ALSO carrying these winter boots, which are really heavy! Madhulika recommended Sorel winter boots, and I tried this pair on par Seline’s instructions. They are so warm and good up to -20 degrees, and have excellent traction. To be honest, I can’t wait until it snows so I can try out these boots! Oh, maybe after I get my winter jacket.

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Totally random but my Kinesiology project group is doing a research project on milk and the effects of dairy calcium and vitamin D on bone health (fractures, osteoporosis). It’s fascinating!

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Posts like this always make me feel empowered and happy.

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Love this! Seals are like sea puppies and I love puppies and I love the sea. Awesome.

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Most people dread snow, but LOOK at these little guys!

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Oh my goodness. I could play in the snow all afternoon with ’em! These pics make me miss my dog, who is getting old – cannot believe Arnie is already six and a half. Whoa.

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Gonna make try to make these snowflakes tomorrow afternoon after volunteering. Aren’t they elaborate? I’m going to decorate my room with them… or at least try. 😉

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Stolen from Buzzfeed. Still addicted to that website! I love all their tips. These are great and so inspiring.

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Reminds me that I really need to step away from zucchini, spinach, and mushrooms (as awesome as they are) and maybe experiment with some other veggies.

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The Suite Life of Zack and Cody was such a childhood favourite! I haven’t thought about it for a long time and this FB pic brought back memories. Plus I love this note that I also found on FB 🙂

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Thanks, Ellen! 😀 I knew it, guys… chocolate is a basic need in life.

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Cute message from Mom that I woke up to this morning! Her messages ALWAYS make my day.

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17 thoughts on “Dates on Our Date

  1. Aw it makes me so happy that my recipes have been giving you some inspiration – everything looks SO good! And going out with friends after an exam is my favourite. Such a cute picture of you guys and that place looks awesome. Also, YOU GO GIRL for making it home with those groceries and I loooove your boots! I have a pair of Sorels too and they are as warm as they claim 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your recipes are the best because we seem to love the same types of things – it’s fantastic! Thank you 🙂
      YAAAY I am glad you like the boots and have your own pair of Sorels! I find myself kind of wishing it snows soon since I want to wear ’em!

      Like

  2. Hello baby, I am so happy that you had a great time with your friends. Good photos and sure yummy food. Even though I am not around, you can take a good care of yourself.you are so awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

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