Stupidly Delicious

Good morning guys! I hope everyone is having a beautiful day. It struck me yesterday that this Friday is going to be December. I can’t believe it. Looking at my 2017 New Year’s Resolutions, I feel like it hasn’t been that long since I last created these yearlong goals. Time really flies.

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Sweet Potato Coconut Curry

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • sprinkle cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced finely
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 14 oz can coconut milk
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 scallions, sliced thinly
  • 1/3 cup raisins

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Toast spices for 30 seconds, stirring the whole time.
  2. Add onion and scallions and 1/3 cup water. Cook 5 mins, until onion and scallions are soft and translucent.
  3. Whisk in coconut milk and remaining 2/3 cup water. Boil.
  4. Add sweet potatoes. Decrease heat to med-low. Cover. Simmer rapidly for 10-15 mins, or until sweet potatoes are tender. Stir occasionally.
  5. Add raisins. Simmer uncovered for 5 mins, or until sweet potatoes break down into the sauce. Stir frequently. Remove from heat.
  6. Scoop curry into bowls and serve with brown rice and lime wedges if desired.

I spent some time over the weekend creating a new resume format for my sister, Seline. She chose the colour and style, so I just helped to put it all together.

 

For myself, I’ve been working on a Personal Statement for a co-op contest, as well as revising my own resume.

 

Last week, I had some delicious meals from Whole Foods. This bowl included barbeque smoked meat, mac and cheese, a cauliflower meatball, and more.

 

Few things from recently:

  • Did you guys know I’m interested in true crime and criminal psychology? My sister and I have been watching a lot of Unsolved Mysteries on YouTube.
  • On Sunday I had a great time, thanks to this detailed agenda – you’ll see in a moment!
  • Shopping lists
  • I made a 2048 tile! I must be the only person who still plays 2048…

 

I went to BakerBots Bakery on Sunday, where I bought this incredible pumpkin tart that I devoured yesterday. This buttery shortbread crust was filled with creamy, sweet, cinnamon-y pumpkin and topped with the fluffiest whipped cream, crispy glazed pumpkin seeds, and a homemade pumpkin cream puff.

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I also had a cinnamon bun! This cinnamon bun was from BakerBots as well. When I was in line to buy some pastries and ice cream, the girl in front of me insisted that I try their cinnamon buns. I must have looked very indecisive (they had such a large spread of treats!) because she told me, without hesitation, that I “have to try their cinnamon buns. They’re delicious. Stupidly delicious. Seriously, stupidly delicious.” I’m not a huge cinnamon bun fan, since I prefer cakes and muffins, but you can only see so many delicious scones and cinnamon buns from Cora’s site (which, Cora, if you’re reading this – I bought a donut and a muffin from Through Being Cool yesterday!). So I had to get a cinnamon bun.

And she was absolutely right. Stupidly delicious. Can I eat ten of these right now?

 

My office at work is now decorated for Christmas. I tried to make it anatomy-themed. Check out all the photos saved on my phone for inspiration!

 

Another incredible dessert: this banana eclair from Roselle. It was filled with white chocolate cream, vanilla chantilly, and rum-glazed bananas. I really loved how the eclair itself was crisp and light, rather than soft, mushy, and heavy.

 

My friend and I went to the Christmas market in Toronto. It was great to catch up on the cold, blustery Sunday and see all the lovely vendors and Christmas decorations.

 

I. Love. Christmas. From the lights to the carols to the fluffy scarves and the hot chocolate, I wish everyone could have that warm fuzziness of Christmas year-round.

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Ooooh, guys. Look at this. I’m freaking out. Let me just explain this deliciousness in point form:

  • Chewy (with crispy edges) peanut butter cookie with caramelized peanuts and chunks of peanut brittle
  • Ube ice cream (Japanese/Filipino sweet potato)
  • Toffee swirl ice cream with chunks of toffee

I devoured this in a heartbeat. Hands-down one of my Top 3 All-Time Favourite Desserts.

 

I also loved this brunch at Karelia Kitchen, where I munched on purple cornmeal pancakes, a poached duck egg, smoked salmon, and the best beet-cured gravlax.

 

That was all post-silks!

 

And these are some much simpler, but delicious nonetheless, meals from home. 🙂

 

I hope everyone has a festive week ⭐️

Brisbane Activities Bucket List

Must-Do Activities

  • Cultural Centre ******
  1. Gallery of Modern Art
  2. Queensland Performing Arts Centre
  3. State Library of Queensland
  4. Queensland Art Gallery
  5. Queensland Museum
  • Story Bridge Adventure Climb (~2.5 hours) *****
  • City Hall Clock Tower (whole morning) ****
  • Mount Coot-tha Lookout *****
  • Mount Coot-tha Botanic Gardens (see water dragons) ***
  • City Cat Ferry **
  • Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary ***
  • Roma Street Parkland (Spectacle Garden, rainforest, fern gully) *
  • City Hopper Ferry ***
  • Museum of Brisbane ***
  • Eat Street Northshore Street Market (Friday and Saturday night) **
  • New Farm Park and River Walk ****
  • Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park *****
  • Brisbane Powerhouse Theatre ***
  • South Bank *****
  • Jan Powers Powerhouse Markets **
  • Whale-watching at Moreton Bay **
  • Jan Powers City Farmers Market **
  • Wheel of Brisbane **
  • Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium *
  • Streets Beach (and window shopping Little Stanley Street boutiques —> Stanley Street Plaza Market [Friday evening, weekends]) *
  • Davies Park Farmers Market (every Saturday morning) *
  • North Stradbroke Island (eco-touring, kayaking, sand boarding, birdlife) *
  • Sherwood Arboretum (pretty colonial era, good for picnic) *
  • Moreton Island (can dive among Tangalooma wrecks – 3 hour drive) *
  • Roma Street Parkland (largest garden) *
  • Maritime Museum *

Other Activities

  • Brisbane River
  • City Botanic Gardens
  • Suncorp Stadium **
  • City Botanic Gardens
  • Queen St. Mall *
  • Boggs Road Gaol Historic Site
  • Eagle Street Pier
  • Anzac Square
  • St. Helena Island
  • CityHopper Ferry
  • City Sounds
  • Daisy Hill Koala Centre
  • Wednesday Afternoons Go Sailing group
  • Wynnum Wading Pool
  • Epicurious Gardens
  • City Centre Heritage Trail (with Brisbane Arcade, St. Stephen’s chapel)
  • Bribe Seaside Museum
  • The Cube
  • Waterfalls
  • Shorncliffe Pier
  • Old Petrie Town
  • King Island (early morning walk)
  • BrisAsia Festival in February
  • Karawatha Forest Discovery Centre
  • West End Fire Festival
  • Parliament House
  • Vault Games
  • Sunshine Beach
  • Brisbane River “Paddle and Prawns”
  • Chocolate Tour
  • Kookaburra River Queens cruise
  • Workshops Rail Museum
  • Tangalooma Island Resort (wild dolphins)
  • Avid Reader bookstore
  • Woolloongabba Antiques Centre (milkshakes)
  • West End shopping
  • Paddington (cottages to quirky shops and restaurants)
  • Spring Cooking School
  • Simpson Falls
  • Spring Hill Baths
  • Stephanie’s Spa at Sofitel Brisbane (mud therapy)
  • Sciencecentre
  • St. Helena Island (convicts)
  • Redcliffe City Skydiving on Suttons Beach
  • BrisStyle Indie Markets
  • Brisbane Bike Tours
  • Mt Glorious (has restaurant and cafe)
  • Cleveland Heritage Walk (4 km)
  • Australia Zoo
  • Fortitude Valley nooks, Winn Lane, Bakery Lane

N♡VEMBER

Good morning, everyone! 

I hope you are all having an awesome, awesome week full of reflections and all the deliciousness in the world. Here are some things from recently:

  • funny meme about abs and Christmas figurines
  • a drawing of the neuromuscular junction, one of the tricky topics that students are currently struggling with (as a tutor, the colours are so helpful)
  • tomato scrambled eggs made a comeback
  • cute text message from Mom

One Sunday, I went for pizza. This slide was perfectly charred on the bottom and smothered with mushrooms and mozzarella.

Spent one beautiful, hilarious day with my friends. We met for brunch at the Starving Artist, where I devoured potato waffles topped with smoked salmon, poached egg, capers, and hollandaise. On the side were the creamiest maple beans and fresh greens. My friends, who didn’t order Bennies but enjoyed fruit on their waffles, also had plenty of good things to say about their meals.

It was great to see all of my lovely Waterloo friends again. I hadn’t seen them since mid-August, and I missed them!

One evening, I enjoyed a big bowl of palak paneer. Hands-down my number one favourite Indian dish. On the side, some freshly-made garlic naan bread. My mouth waters when I think about this. Dear Indian food, I love you.

The same day, I bought goodies from Whole Foods’ hot bar to enjoy at lunch the next day. I really enjoyed the cauliflower “meatball” and their BBQ pulled pork.

It was rainy on the day that I went to Toronto, but fortunately I had a pair of great boots. Comfortable, warm shoes make all the difference.

Why did I go to Toronto? To suture this banana.

Well, I actually went downtown to meet a friend and attend a medical school conference called MedX Toronto. Here, I learned all about the MCAT exam, admissions, interviews, med school life, and even had to opportunity to connect with med students and learn to stitch. I need a lot of practice, as you can see. 🏥

This was the scrumptious Moroccan stew that I made two weeks in a row. I love having it for lunch, served with fluffy couscous. The second time I made it, I used extra carrots and omitted the sweet potato. I love the plump raisins and flavourful spices with the chickpeas. I can’t wait to make it again. It’s hearty, cheap (!), and so tasty.

I finally submitted my Visa information for my Australian student Visa. Now I’m waiting on my course schedule to come out, and I’ll see it in a few weeks time. I’m still in shock by the fact that I will be in the Southern Hemisphere in less than four months.

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One thing I love to do is plan where I’m going to go, whenever I go downtown. I love creating these elaborate walking routes and seeing where I want to go, and which fun places are in close proximity. I can’t wait to revisit Karelia Kitchen for their spectacular beet-cured gravlax, Bakerbots for the hands-down best ice cream sandwich, and, of course, Moonbean for their incredible spinach borekas and London Fog tea lattes. Every time I admire the gorgeous, colourful photos by Cora at My Little Tablespoon, I get irrationally excited about the downtown TO food scene.

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It’s always hard to decide which restaurants/cafes I want to try. Lots of lists are always made, and they help me narrow down the options. I’m seriously looking forward for my next trip downtown. 🙂

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Speaking of lists, I’ve started a list of all the holiday baking I can’t wait to do, à la Nutrition on a Mission. But Christmas pancakes, man, I can’t wait.

Have a lovely rest of the week, everyone!

 

Trip Planning: Cambodia’s Top Restaurants

PHNOM PENH TOP RESTAURANTS

  • Malis restaurant (beef in bamboo, goby with Kampot peppercorns, Battambang beef steak, prahok ktis fried rice) **
  • ALMA cafe breakfast (huevos rancheros, enchiladas) **
  • Sesame Noodle House (cold sesame house noodles with pork, veggies, egg OR killer pork pan-fried gyoza OR thor bun, closed Mondays, chocolate sesame balls, close to Russian Market) ***
  • ARTillery (healthy, sausage, eggs, bagels, near Sisowath Quay) *
  • The Foreign Correspondents’ Club (overlooks Tonle Sap river) **
  • Romdeng (NGO for street kids, Khmer classics like baked fish amok, beef loklak, deep-fried tarantula, red tree ants with beef and basil, unique handicrafts) ****
  • Van’s Restaurant **
  • Brooklyn Bistro (cheesy pizzas and burgers) *
  • Sovanna (grilled pork and beef, fish soup) **
  • Java Cafe (sandwiches, pasta, soup, burgers, pastries, coffee, gallery next door) **
  • Feel Good Cafe *
  • Brown Coffee *
  • Khmer Surin Restaurant (local authentic Khmer, beautiful decor, oldest Khmer restaurant) *
  • Backyard Cafe *
  • Khema Pasteur *
  • Daughters of Cambodia **
  • Friends the Restaurant (tapas, smoothies/lassis/shakes, sautéed quit with pepper, eggplant dip with bread, dessert, shop next door, very good cookbook, near National Museum) *****

SIEM REAP TOP RESTAURANTS

  • Sister Srey Cafe (breakfast) *
  • Fresh Fruit Cafe (#1 trip advisor)
  • Haven **
  • Blue Pumpkin (bakery, ice cream, pistachio, amazing desserts) **
  • Embassy (kdat soup) **
  • Cuisine Wat Damnak (curry prawns, fish) *****
  • Sugar Palm (Khmer classics, authentic) **
  • Mie Cafe (4-course menu) *
  • Chaney Tree *
  • Banllé (Mexican, with ice cream) *
  • Vibe Cafe *
  • Damnak Lounge *
  • Nest *
  • Marum *
  • Touich (salted grilled red snapper) *
  • Olive *

KEP RESTAURANTS

  • Sailing Club ****
  • Kimly ****
  • La Baraka ***
  • Breezes ***
  • Democrat **
  • Holy Crab **
  • Veranda (breakfast buffet) **
  • Beach House **
  • Mr. Mab (breakfast) **
  • Pain de Jade (breakfast) *
  • Led Zeppelin *
  • Brise de Kep *
  • Strand (breakfast, fine dining) *
  • Chez Bebe *
  • Eli d’Or (patisserie, breakfast) *
  • Kep Coffee (Mexican food and coffee, breakfast) *

This Post Has Been HIDDEN for 3 Years

This post has been hiding.

Bloggers – you know what I mean… it’s that post that you’ve buried deep in the Drafts folder, where you promise yourself that you’ll come back to it.

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I didn’t come back to this until now. But whoa. Three years.

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In three years time, however, omelettes haven’t gotten out of style. I still love them 🙂

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Here, I used two eggs, zucchini, roasted red pepper, sharp white cheddar cheese, and kale (fresh from our garden – yay!). Separate the egg yolks from the whites. We’ll be coming back to this later!

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Heat some oil over medium heat, and cook the kale until slightly wilted. It won’t wilt nearly as much as spinach, but you just want to tenderize it. Remove to a plate when the kale looks cooked 🙂

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Zucchini is up next! In the same skillet, cook it just until it obtains a nice, slightly brown colour.

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Chop up the kale and the pepper. These can be whisked right into the egg white.

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Awesome! Pour the egg yolks (or just one, if you’d like) back into the egg whites and give it another good beating. 😉

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Spread the zucchini out and carefully pour the egg-vegetable mixture into the zucchini. Spread it out with a rubber spatula and let it cook for a bit less than a minute.

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Looks good! Sprinkle the cheese on top and cook until the eggs have mostly set.

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Use your rubber spatula to give the eggs a big flip!

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Misfolded ones are equally tasty. At least this one didn’t turn into a scramble!

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I miss Mom’s pretty flowers on the kitchen table. Those were the days!

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The combination of fresh veggies, rich egg, and creamy cheese is so divine.

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Have a wonderful Friday!

When You Double The Butter

This post was hiding in my DRAFTS folder for four months! Does that ever happen to you guys? You write a post, keep it in Drafts to update another day, then completely forget about it until months later?

Probably just me. 🙈

Anyways… I executed the world’s greatest baking failure.

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See that butter up there? It’s twice as much as I should have used. 😮

Chocolate Nutella Cookies Recipe

Makes 72 cookies

INGREDIENTS

  • 1.5 sticks unsalted butter, room temp (NOT 1.5 cups, NOT 340 g)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (150 g)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar (150 g)
  • 1 cup Nutella (280 g)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour (148 g)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (31 g)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

Mix into the butter mixture on low speed until fully incorporated, scraping down the bottom and sides at least once to ensure even mixing.

Add chocolate chips and hazelnuts, chill 10 min: Fold in the chocolate chips and hazelnuts and refrigerate the dough for ten minutes.

Spoon onto lined cookie sheets and bake: Spoon tablespoon-sized drops of dough onto parchment paper lined cookie sheets. Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool on the sheets for a minute or two before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.

They looked pretty good going in, if anything, a little too soft. They came out an absolute disaster. Completely inedible. I learned, I learned. Baking really is a chemistry. Where there’s a whisk, there’s a way, I suppose, until you use 1.5 cups of butter.

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Lunch another day: spinach and feta omelet with cherries, plus baked treats, yogurt, and coconut cookies. These coconut thins are my favourite, and many many more were devoured.

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Back when I was on my waffle kick! These were so yummy, and there was much more yogurt devoured post-photo.

Another day, Mom made chive scrambled eggs (chives from the backyard), pearl meatballs (pork, green onions, and water chestnuts, rolled in sticky rice before steaming), and fried fish. All three dishes tasted great!

I loved these “red velvet” waffles another day. I made them in the blender: beets and a mashed banana, with lots of cocoa powder, before topping them with the creamiest nut butter and hemp hearts.

This was a German apple cake slice with yogurt, and a party meal that we enjoyed at my mom’s friend’s house.

Almond cake, created by my mom. The whipped cream topping was great!

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Blueberry Almond Layer Cake with Whipped Cream

Serves 16

Cake INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups almond meal, firmly packed
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 and 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Topping and Cream INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups whipped cream
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • blueberries to decorate
  • chopped nuts, if desired, to decorate

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Grease two round pans with coconut oil, dust with almond meal, and place a piece of parchment paper on the base.
  3. Beat egg, maple syrup or honey, coconut oil, and vanilla extract.
  4. Add baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk well.
  5. Finally, add almond meal. Mix until just combined.
  6. Separate evenly into two round pans.
  7. Bake for 40 minutes, or more if needed.
  8. Remove from oven. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then place on cooling rack to cool completely.
  9. For the whipped cream, freeze bowl and mixer for 15 minutes. Whipped cream should be cold too, fresh from the fridge. Place all ingredients into chilled bowl and whip until the peaks are firm.
  10. When the cake is cooled completely, cut into two layers and spread with whipped cream, then “ice” around the outside. Decorate with blueberries, chocolate shavings, other fruit, nuts, or more.

Once, Seline and I went to Wild Rice, a gluten-free and restaurant where I enjoyed turmeric rice topped with prawns and bok choy in a garlic-coconut reduction. The sauce was otherworldly.

Seline’s crispy chicken cubes were also tasty.

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We had that meal at the Fraser River quay in New Westminster, after silks.

The quay is so, so beautiful in the sunshine.

This is a new variation that Seline and I were working on.

Our summer garden flowers are at the peak of their blossom.

Our morning walks are always so enjoyable.

New book that I’m [mostly] in love with. I finished it a while ago, and have so much to say. Has anyone read this and would like to discuss?!

Over the weekend, my family went to the Korean market, where my mom purchased $80 worth of meat (all cuts!), in addition to kimchi, fish balls, and Korean pancakes. The red bean pancakes are my favourite.

Another day, we had a fanciful Mom Dinner with all sorts of fresh dishes.

And for dessert, aunt Mimi and uncle Charles brought a chocolate mousse cake from Whole Foods.

I had all kinds of Chinese buns for breakfast that day, and the taro was my favourite, followed by red bean and chestnut.

Have a beautiful Sunday, everyone!