Good morning, everyone! It’s a beautiful Sunday morning here in Brisbane. The weather’s been much for manageable recently. In fact:
The last few weeks, it’s been so hot that…
- my Polysporin liquefied
- must keep room door open to allow air flow
- carry sunglasses everywhere
- I chug more water than I have ever chugged in my entire life
- I don’t even need to warm up before exercising because I’m alreadywarm
- I get a tiny sweat pool where I wear my glasses or sunglasses
- I love lectures because they are in AC-ed rooms
- my legs stick to chairs and they hurt to peel off
- I shower twice a day
- I use ice-cold water which is not even ice cold (like room temperature)
- 7am is already burning
- shopping malls are now AC heavens
- I make my ceiling fan spin so quickly that it’s going to fall offand kill me
- food scraps are stored in the freezer
- I put my face in the freezer and take deep breaths
- if you step barefoot outside, you will get cooked
- I choose iced smoothies over my favourite hot tea
- I don’t want to cook
- I wear whole-body sunscreen all day
- bus stops need shade covers
- I am actually desperate to go to the beach, and I dislike beaches
- I put my water bottle in the freezer
Anyways, on Thursday night I went to a place called MADO Turkish Cuisine. For my main course, I was debating between the veggie casserole, the moussaka (eggplant lasagna), and the eggplant boat. I ended up with the veggie casserole, which wasn’t even a casserole – it was a veggie stew in a clay pot.
For dessert, I enjoyed the kunefe, which is a crispy, chewy, sticky, springy Turkish cheese pastry doused with rosewater syrup and topped with pistachios. A very unique dish with such bright flavours and a unique, indescribable texture. Have you tried kunefe before?
- vegetable casserole in clay pot, 2 bites salad, rice with peas, 1 piece Turkish bread
- 1 kunefe
I had this image saved to my phone for a long, long time, because I’ve been planning a trip to Himalayan Cafe for a while. Everyone knows I have a bit of a Nepal/Tibetan obsession, and my infatuation with Nepali food is no exception. Needless to say, I had to make an effort to visit this beautiful place for dinner one day…
And I did! This gorgeously-decorated restaurant reminded me of traditional Nepali homes, complete with floor pillows, lanterns, papyrus menus, and small side dishes full of aromatic lentil stew and beans. One of my favourite parts of the dinner was the pan-fried Sherpa bread, which was spongy, slightly sweet, and topped with savoury tomato sauce and a little cheese.
- 1 small bowl kidney bean stew, 1 bowl yellow lentil dahl, 1 bowl chickpeas with potatoes, few scoops jasmine rice (took the rest home), apple yogurt with chopped apple, 1 large piece Himalayan tomato paste cheese bread
- 1 Himalayan chocolate brownie with nuts, 2 scoops ginger and cinnamon ice cream
I’ve been into tracking my health lately, and spent a lot of time choosing my plant on Plant Nanny (a water-drinking app to keep hydrated!) and looking at Fitbits.
Then, I bought my own Fitbit! Mine is the Alta HR (Heart Rate), in black. I’m still figuring it out and haven’t mastered the device, but it’s been a wonderful, motivating tool so far. And, of course, much better than my iPhone’s Health app. I bought it on Saturday and spent a good amount of time exploring one of my favourite parts of Brisbane, the Queen Street Mall.
My Fitbit also tracks the amount of sleep I get, including how much REM, light, and deep sleep I have. I find it pretty accurate, but I’m also one to fall asleep seconds after my head hits the pillow.
On Saturday, I visited the Davies Park Farmers Market. It is, so far, my favourite market in Brisbane. The atmosphere was peaceful and charming, the people were friendly, and there were so many stalls. The produce was very inexpensive, and I loved the diverse spread of ethnic eats.
One vendor at a beautiful shortbread cookie stall recommended the crêpes around the corner, from Pascale’s Crêpes. How could I say no to crepes?
Wow. I am so glad I went for these, because not only were they super cheap and freshly-made by Pascale on the spot, but absolutely delicious. I’m a huge fan of buckwheat crêpes because I love their rich, roasted, grainy flavour and crispy texture. The spinach, mushrooms, and cheddar cheese inside were perfect!
Moments later, I got dessert from Pascale as well. My dessert crêpe was equally delicious, and the combination of vanilla ice cream, Nutella, and sliced banana (YUM) really hit the spot.
- 1 buckwheat crepe with spinach, cheddar, mushrooms
- 1 regular crepe with banana, Nutella, 2 scoops vanilla ice cream
Another day, I baked a farmer’s market almond bostock and made a spinach omelet for lunch. I’m such a fan of almond croissants that I find myself forgetting how delicious bostocks are. On a totally different note, the filter on these photos reminds me of Rachel’s photography – her food pics are always sunny and alluring.
- 2-egg omelet with spinach and Manchego
- 1/2 almond bostock
For dessert, some fresh berries (also from the market) with yogurt and nuts.
- 1/2 container strawberries, 2 scoops Greek yogurt, some honey-roasted macadamia nuts and cashews
I’ve said it many times before, but the UQ campus is just gorgeous. I’m in love with it!
In one of my courses, we spent a lab day identifying and examining different mosquitos. Being a Kinesiology (Exercise Science) major, it was a unique experience, and I definitely learned a lot.
Completely unrelated but exciting news! My sister and I will be travelling to Prince Edward Island (Canada), for the month of July 2018. I will be going there to volunteer at the University of Prince Edward Island, and we thought it would be an awesome opportunity to spend time together after she graduates from high school. Basically, it’s going to be a disastrous-hilarious Paris 2.0.
25 Reasons Why My Sister and I Will Visit Charlottetown, PEI
(I actually wrote this list to convince her, because Seline didn’t want to go to PEI initially. She thinks it’s going to be boring. Hope I will prove her wrong!)
- Pretty much a vibrant seaside capital city
- Beautiful lawns and flowerbeds (like Jardin Luxembourg)
- Maritime accents
- People are known to be the nicest of Canada
- Boating tours
- Incredible ice cream shops
- Basilicas, cathedrals
- Biggest fireworks in Canada (next to Ottawa)
- 500 historic buildings
- Flight is much shorter than London
- Beautiful harbours
- Mild weather, even in the summer (high is about 23)
- Modern and urban, yet beautiful old sights
- Huge transportation hub
- Victorian-era houses
- Lots of shows, performances, theatres, musicals
- Pretty much the birthplace of Canada (Charlottetown = “birthplace” of Confederation), AND we will be there during Canada Day
- Great summer festivals
- Golf courses where we can finally accomplish our dream of riding a buggy
- Very safe
- World-class shopping and restaurants
In my Health Psychology class, I’ve been looking at increasing vegetable intake for people with Chronic Kidney Disease.
I did my presentation last Wednesday, and it was probably the most scared I’ve been since arriving in Australia. I was the second person to present, and the student before me did a spectacular, entertaining, insightful presentation about the health implications of tinnitus. Before my presentation, I could feel my heart pounding! Fortunately, it went pretty well.
Delicious cauliflower rice has also been on the menu, usually alongside falafels and omelets.
- cauliflower and broccoli rice, saffron rice, zucchini, carrots, tomato, red pepper, 1 falafel, 1 egg omelet with Manchego cheese
The beautiful Brisbane weather has made it super easy for me to walk around, soak up the sunshine, and see new places.
A new discovery: there is a tiny takeaway cafe in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley region called Botanica Real Food. They serve freshly-made salads, up to FIVE types in a medium container. The ladies there really pack it in, so this full-course-meal salad weighed a solid kilogram.
From left to right:
- pearl barley and broccoli with capsicums and parsley
- vegan pesto and pearl couscous salad with red onions and spinach
- shaved broccoli salad with cashew dressing and dried cranberries
- chickpea and carrot salad with pickled red onions
- potato, pea, and dill salad
I actually ended up dividing it into a few meals, served with other mains – like this awesome pumpkin quiche (also from Botanica).
- pumpkin and red onion ricotta quiche, 1/5 Botanica salad box (broccoli salad with cashew dressing, chickpea and carrot salad, pesto and pearl couscous salad, pearl barley and broccoli with capsicums, potato pea and dill salad)
Packed up for lunch another day.
- 1/5 Botanica salad box (broccoli salad with cashew dressing, chickpea and carrot salad, pesto and pearl couscous salad, pearl barley and broccoli with capsicums, potato pea and dill salad)
- 1/4 ricotta and walnut streusel coffee cake, blueberries, Greek yogurt
This is what the inside of Botanica looks like. These photos were taken yesterday… because I went again. They are fresh, delicious, and so addictive!
Yesterday’s salad box was almost the same, with the addition of some cabbage and a freekeh and eggplant pilaf.
Another quiche! I am in love with quiche. Their crust has an amazing whole-grain flavour. I also ate the tastiest chocolate hazelnut dessert from Le Bon Choix, which I bought on my walk home.
Alright! I wish I had more to share, but this post is already long enough.
Have a beautiful and delicious week, everyone ❤