Brackley Beach

I can’t believe we’re already a week into August. This summer is going by so quickly! Last week, my sister and I revisited Brakish, where I enjoyed the arugula salad with feta, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, cucumber, tomato, raw broccoli, barbecued Atlantic salmon, and raspberry vinaigrette. It’s such a fresh, flavourful, delicious salad, and I’m glad I ordered it again. The salmon was perfectly cooked.

There was some salad left over, so I ate it for lunch the next day, alongside a banana-oat muffin smeared with peanut butter, some blackberries, and delicious sweet and salty trail mix. My favourite parts of trail mix are always the cashews and pecans.

Seline and I were so lucky, because we had the opportunity to go to Prince Edward Island’s beautiful Brackley Beach. Brackley is about fifteen minutes from Charlottetown, and “offers miles of pristine sandy beaches and majestic dunes with various nearby attractions to enthrall all guests to the region“. Seline and I enjoyed wading in the water, reading in the sand, and biking around the area.

For dinner, we biked to the Dunes Studio and Gallery, where Seline had lamb shank in Massaman curry, veggies, and rice. I had two appetizers – one massive seafood chowder with chives, and an incredible cashew pesto flatbread with caramelized apples, brie, vodka-infused cranberries, and scallions (incredible). I also ate so much of their daily bread, which was studded with chillies, cheddar, and chives. It tasted perfect when dunked into the creamy broth.

For dessert, we shared the strawberry shortcake and their daily special, the sticky date pudding. The macerated strawberries tasted awesome with whipped cream and biscuit, and as usual, the sticky date pudding was to die for. It was lovely served alongside fresh vanilla ice cream and berries.

Some things:

  1. Looking at the Dunes menu before going – Seline had the third option, the lamb shank
  2. PEI schedule
  3. List of requirements for a cool scholarship that Seline found

Few more things…

  1. I made a virtual poster for the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children
  2. List of things to do in New Glasgow, another area of PEI. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the opportunity to go
  3. Thank-you letter for our landlord

Our beautiful PEI home. Goodbye, lovely house on North River.

Seline and I have an obsession with Leonhard’s Cafe and Restaurant. I normally eat their salmon and avocado eggs benedict, which is absolutely delicious, but since we went later in the afternoon yesterday, I felt like something more lunch-y. I ordered the beet and goat cheese tart, which was topped with candied pecans. This is the most delicious tart I’ve ever eaten.

A completely different note – Sal and I love Small Print Board Game Cafe. Our favourite games are kind of lame: Quoridor, Guess Who Disney Edition (!!), something about funding the expeditions, Word on the Street, and Last Word.

Another day, Seline and I went to Piatto Pizzeria. It reminds me of Famoso Pizzeria in Waterloo, which I’ve been to quite a few times. I think I still like Famoso’s pizzas better, because they are more generous with their toppings. At Piatto, I ordered the arugula salad with gorgonzola, candied pecans, dried cranberries, and balsamic. In terms of pizza, Seline had the barbecue chicken pizza with caramelized onions, and I liked my goat cheese, proscuitto, and pear pizza. It was on the salty side, with the goat cheese and proscuitto, so I wish there was more sweet pear.

For dessert, Sal had vanilla bean ice cream, and I had a mason jar of creamy, flavourful tiramisu.

Another evening, Sal and I dined at the Pilot House. It’s one of our favourite PEI places. This time, she had the chicken gnocchi, and I ate the warm Cajun seafood salad again.

Pear and cream cheese pie with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream for dessert. This pie was great, but I’m not a big pie fan.

Yesterday afternoon, Seline and I went to COWS Creamery for our last dose of delicious Charlottetown ice cream. Seline had a scoop of vanilla and a scoop of chocolate, and I enjoyed my Cow-nadian Moo-ple ice cream (maple with swirls of syrup and crushed maple cookies) and pumpkin patch.

One of my favourite lunches was from Mavor’s Restaurant, where I ordered an award-winning grilled cheese sandwich. It was smeared with pear compote and stuffed with ricotta, cheddar, Gouda, and bacon. The bread was also a superstar – it was potato rosemary bread with plenty of butter. I loved this lunch, as well as the little side salad.

For dessert after lunch, Sal and I shared the chocolate lava cake with two scoops of vanilla ice cream.

Dinner from Lobster on the Wharf – I had the seafood pot pie with green beans and boiled new baby potatoes with butter and sour cream. Seline had their striploin with mushrooms and onions, plus coleslaw. I also had a lemon-poppyseed salad, which was a little boring.

Dessert was amazing. I’m a huge carrot cake fan, but don’t find good carrot cake very often because I’m a cream cheese icing snob. The cream cheese icing has to be perfect! And this one was. The cake was actually served warm, with the creamy, cheesy icing slightly melted. YUM!

Last but not least, a peaceful lunch at the office, starring peanut butter and banana, croissant, a banana-oat muffin, yogurt, more peanut butter, blackberries, and awesome trail mix.

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Seline and I are flying back to Vancouver (actually, Toronto first, then Vancouver – we have a one-hour layover) TOMORROW! We loved our time in C-town but are excited to come home, too.

Aerials | Choreography Notes and Ideas

Most of you know that I am in love with aerial arts!

I’ve been super busy with classes (three final exams coming up!), but wrote this post a little while ago when brainstorming ideas for an aerial performance. I haven’t performed yet, but I am really looking forward to creating my own routine and performing it. These were some of the words and ideas that either came into my head, or inspired me as I was searching for choreography tips.

I have been listening to a lot of aerial/acrobatic podcasts and different types of music that might work well with an aerial routine, and needless to say, I am feeling very inspired. Looking forward to finishing the exams and being able to focus on the early stages of routine development. 🙂

Have a great Friday!

PERFORMING TIPS

  • exaggerate movements
  • everything must be intentional
  • creating each movement spontaneously
  • dramatic entrance
  • draw attention before a movement that people should notice (“want the camera to focus before you take a picture”)
  • eye contact
  • full body: neck to fingertips
  • avoid turning back to audience: if it is inevitable, use your head
  • keep the stage alive with movement
  • walk on/off the stage silently

QUESTIONS TO ASK

  • who is the character you are trying to portray?
  • why is the audience there?
  • what does the audience want to see?
  • what would interest the audience?
  • why should the audience like my piece?
  • what will hold my audience’s attention?
  • what is the meaning of each movement?
  • what is the motivation of each pose?

THINGS TO EXPLORE

  • freeze-frames
  • clear body lines
  • holding things for diff. amounts of times
  • on the beat of the music vs. off the beat of the music (listen with headphones)
  • mash the genres: draw inspiration from martial arts, hip hop, modern, ballet
  • consider lighting, costume
  • listen to the music and highlight riffs
  • think about pathways into movements
  • watch more YT videos to steal their movements
  • connect with audience
  • consider the character
  • clear execution: strong, clear, controlled postures
  • head movements
  • space
  • imagine a different space, different barriers (walls)
  • silence
  • visual patterns
  • height on the silks
  • look at basic elements
    • shape
    • spaces
    • time
    • energy
  • moments
    • startling
    • strong
    • curious
    • memorable

NOTICE IN THE MUSIC

  • musical breaks
  • accents
  • crescendos and diminuendos in the music, instrumental changes
  • melodic lines

DESIGNING: USING CONTRAST

  • difficulty vs ease
  • new movements vs repetition
  • simple movements vs challenging movements
  • angular vs curvilinear
  • going with the music vs against the music
  • gentle vs strong
  • slow vs fast
  • consonance vs dissonance
  • big amplitude (large movements) vs little movements
  • neat, orderly vs chaotic, crazy
  • motivated vs lazy
  • waltz vs tango
  • smooth and flowing vs sharp and dramatic
  • theatrical and dramatic vs realistic
  • tension vs resolution
  • linear vs nonlinear
  • improvised vs pre-planned
  • flex vs point feet
  • confidence vs shyness
  • eye contact vs no eye contact
  • dynamic vs steady
  • heavy vs light
  • sophistication vs immaturity
  • natural vs unnatural
  • timed/counting vs random and sporadic
  • relationships?
    • wanting to belong, feeling left out?

Three Unbelievable Brunch Dishes 👌

Good afternoon! Hope your weekend has been wonderful so far. My week has been absolutely amazing, much better than I could’ve imagined – and I’ll show you why!

First, one of my favourite authors, Victoria Aveyard, came to Canada for her book tour! She visited Chapters Metrotown in Burnaby. Of course, I’m in Australia until the end of June, but my sister Seline had the opportunity to meet the lovely Victoria, get her books signed, and listen to Victoria’s Q&A. Victoria Aveyard is the author of the Red Queen quartet, and her newest book – series finale! – War Storm was released recently.

Also: another massive bowl of chai from Three Monkeys Cafe. I’m addicted.

In case you haven’t noticed, I am on a MISSION to try as many chai lattes as I can. This morning, I hit up Northey Street Farmers Market, an organic market, which is known for a cozy shack called Chai Cafe. There, I had a very enjoyable mug of chai, one of the spicier ones in Brisbane. The owner told me that she adds fresh vanilla beans, turmeric, and a plethora of other spices, to create a recipe she learned in India. This chai was one of the top two I’ve had so far… and by that I mean it’s the second-best. 🙂

The Northey Street Markets are lovely! Quite a bit busier than the other markets, perhaps due to its size, with lots of friendly dogs and children. It’s a very family-friendly place and I wish I came with the intention of grabbing a sandwich and doing some people-watching.

After my walk at the Northey Street Markets, I went to the Green Edge Vegan Market and Grocery Store. I’m on the lookout for some enchilada sauce (without too many additives or preservatives), and after visiting two or three different specialty grocery stores – I still haven’t found any.

From there, I tried to take the 450 to go home, caught the 150 bus instead, and ended up in South Bank! It was a wonderful accident, because I’ve had Pourboy Espresso on my bucket list for the longest time. It was destiny – I had to eat here!

Mainly, Pourboy Espresso has been on my must-visit list because of their famous Belgian hot chocolate, made with Callebaut dark Belgian chocolate and organic milk. I love how it was served in this little kettle with extra chocolate chips. It was flavourful and sweet, but the chocolate and milk were not mixed together very well. The first 1.5 cups were milky, but near the bottom of the kettle, the chocolate was much more concentrated and un-melted.

For my brunch dish, I ordered the cheesy jalapeño waffles, which were topped with mashed avocado, grilled cherry tomatoes, and two poached eggs. I was worried the waffles would be too spicy, since the waitress said they were quite spicy, but it turned out to be okay. I loved the generous scoop of avocado, since I haven’t had avo for a while, and the eggs were poached very nicely. The entire dish was fresh and flavourful, and it was sprinkled with some coarse salt that boosted the taste of everything. Overall, a solid brunch dish that I would recommend!

The table to my right savoured a slice of lemon sour cream pound cake with lemon curd, and it looked delicious. On top of that, my server talked about how much she loved this dessert. For those of you who have read my blog for a while now – you know that I’ve never been a fan of citrus desserts. In fact, I hate lemon. I think orange ruins chocolate. Grapefruit desserts should be called breakfast. I’m all about the nutty desserts. The chocolatey desserts. The richer, the more decadent, the creamier – the better. So, ordering this fresh and fruity LEMON dessert was out of character!

But it was good. Really good. Paired with that lemon curd, this slightly-warm, crumbly, buttery cake with blasts of flavour from the toasted walnuts, this was a fantastic way to end my meal.

“We noticed the lady to our right, munching on this cake and gushing about it,” the man beside me had mentioned, “so we had to order it, too. It’s just a ricochet of lemon pound cake.”

A couple days ago, I spent my morning at Corner Store Cafe. I’ve been to Corner Store Cafe a couple times before. Literally, a couple. The first time, I had a lamb flatbread and a smoothie. The second time, I enjoyed the polenta waffles with smoked salmon and a mug of chai. This time, the chai was calling my name again.

For my main dish, I knew I wanted the mushroom quesadillas. These quesadillas were filled with gorgonzola and stracciatella (Italian buffalo milk) cheese, sauteed mushrooms, and spinach. It was set on a bed of pumpkin puree, and topped with two fried eggs and pebre salsa. According to Wikipedia, pebre salsa is a Chilean condiment made of coriander, chopped onion, olive oil, garlic and ground or pureed spicy aji peppers. The dish was a blast of flavours and textures, incredibly filling, and I was in love with the cheesy centres and doughy tortilla.

For dessert, I wanted to try their daily special – a middle eastern fruit bread pudding topped with sliced fruit, and two scoops of orange marmalade ice cream. This was much bigger than I’d expected, and the giant slabs (yes, there were three slices) of bread were layered with figs, dates, raisins, and bananas.

Every bite was fruity and paired well with the zing of the ice cream. I liked how some parts of the fruit bread were crispy and caramelized, while the middles were creamy and pudding-like.

You can probably imagine, that after a mug of milk tea, a veggie-filled quesadilla with two eggs, and then a massive loaf of bread pudding with two scoops of ice cream – that I was very full. 🙂

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Photos of South Bank, Brisbane! Gotta do the touristy stuff here, too.

  • L: a dessert restaurant in South Bank that I want to try!
  • R: photo from the bathroom of Banneton Bakery that took me right back to my summer in Paris, France. I remember all of these stops, and miss Paris so much. Thinking about my time there always makes me happy – and simultaneously leaves me in disbelief. I can’t believe that the 16 year-old me took my younger sister to live in Paris for a month.

Another amazing brunch happened at Pearl Cafe. I’ve wanted to visit Pearl Cafe for ages, and it’s been at the top of my food bucket list for months. For some reason, I thought it would be far away, but it was only a 30-minute bus ride from home.

Here, I didn’t think twice before ordering the crepe, which was filled with fried egg and spinach. It was such an easy choice because the server told me that the crepe was her favourite item on the menu, and she eats it every single day after her shift. Can’t argue with that! The topping is saffron and radish, with fresh prawns and a zingy marinade. Honestly, a spectacular dish, and it was exceptionally tasty with freshly-cracked black pepper and a squeeze of lemon. I can see why Pearl Cafe is so popular!

For dessert… you guys. You guys.

“Tea cake”, to me, sounds boring. I just think of some plain old yeast bread, maybe studded with a couple raisins. Pearl Cafe’s tea cake, however, is on another level. This massive slice was buttery, had incredible crumb, and was loaded with caramelized rhubarb. Yes, caramelized rhubarb! Even better, there was a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. I devoured every crumb, as usual, and would eat this a million times. I’m already planning my next trip back to Pearl Cafe.

Back to the chai! I stole this paragraph from a popular Brisbane food and travel website called The Urban List:

There’s a lot of chat being thrown around by a bunch of heathens trying to tell me that flavoured sugar powder is a worthy substitute. Where’s the LOVE? Where’s the AUTHENTICITY? Nothing compares to the spicy aroma of a freshly brewed pot of proper chai; you feel that shit in your soul, and Brisbane’s got it on lock.

Couldn’t’ve (had to google how to spell that!) said it better.

Anyways, the award for the #1 chai I’ve had in Brisbane so far goes to… the Baker’s Arms! Their chai is a homemade blend, steeped in organic milk and honey. It was rich, had excellent tea flavour, and had subtle sweetness from the honey. I enjoyed this tea with a side of sunshine, before grabbing a tasty meal next door. My only complaint about this chai is that there wasn’t enough. I can’t wait to go back for this!

No, you aren’t having deja-vu; I posted about this incredible peanut butter hot chocolate on my last blog post. It was so good that I had to go back for another mug. Look at those chocolate shavings! That foamy milk! Those granules of sea salt!

Another place I’m dying to visit, and a quote that hit me yesterday. I haven’t been performing very well on a couple recent exams and essays, and surprisingly, don’t feel too discouraged. It’s a weird feeling because I feel like I should be angry or upset about the grades, but I’m not. Interestingly, I’m not in denial about it either… I’ve just accepted it and feel okay with it. I know I didn’t study as much as I normally do, and my grades reflected that, but I’m trying my best. I don’t know – it’s so strange!

Plus, most of my time has been going to – you guessed it – aerials. 😉 I revamped the page, by the way, so y’all should go check it out.

Couple other things – my friends and I are having lunch at Wordsmiths, a cafe on campus, tomorrow. I’ve starred all the items that I think would be delicious, but I haven’t decided which one I’m going to order. I’m leaning towards the soup of the day, depending what it is, but the baked ricotta (it has pumpkin in it!) and vegetable lasagna also sound delicious. Wish I could find photos for all of them, though.

And… I’m back to studying!

By that, I mean I am going to start now, though I should’ve started days ago.

Bye!

The Longest Essay I’ve Ever Written

Good morning! I hope you had a fantastic weekend and feel rejuvenated for the week ahead.

I had a wonderful weekend, full of aerials, where I started working on something new (to me) – a splits balance. The studio that I train at on the weekend, Vulcana, is beautiful and home to some very kind souls.

Last night, my housemate Jessica very generously donated some backpacks to me! I adore backpacks of all shapes and colours and sizes, and was so thrilled to get some new ones. My old grey one is pretty boring, and I’ve used it for over two years, so I’m excited to start using these new-to-me treasures.

Also in my life recently:

  • using my Staedler pens to write notes all the time – they make my notes so colourful and enticing. I almost want to study when these pens are hanging out on my desk.
  • thinking about starting up running! I love walking, but it isn’t a ‘challenge’ any more. Would be fun to do a bit of running before the weather gets too cool.
  • map of Brisbane and all the suburbs! My favourite suburbs are Fortitude Valley and New Farm, which is where my aerials training studios are – and home to my favourite farmers markets!
  • giant mosquito. Whoa.
  • it’s been a while since I’ve had a good old smoothie! This one was made with banana, chocolate, almond milk, and cinnamon. It was delicious on a hot day, before I ordered a lovely brunch dish of cabbage pancake topped with goat cheese, poached egg, roasted broccoli, and parmesan (unpictured).

This is the Brisbane City botanical garden. It was my first time visiting this particular botanical garden – I’ve been to two others in the area. Although this didn’t have as much plantlife as the other two, I enjoyed the lush green grass and simple ponds.

On a different note, my shoes are finally comfortable! I had some issues with my toe, and after wearing comfortable (read: ugly) shoes for a few months, giving my toe time to heal, I can finally wear my slightly-less-comfortable (but much cuter) shoes. I love this pair and glad that I’m able to walk around in them, completely pain-free!

I saw this online and it really got me thinking. What do I want to do in the future – and is it something I love? Will it be something I’m good at? Is it something the world needs? I’m going to keep thinking about this, and perhaps one day, pen in some of my career choices and see which ones fall into the centre.

IKIGAI

This was the longest essay I’ve written in my life! It is a research essay about kidney disease in Queensland, and potential health-enhancing behaviours that may improve the mortality/morbidity of chronic kidney disease. It took me a little over a month to complete, so I was very satisfied to finally submit it last week.

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Essays were also involved in my biology class. We worked in groups of six, and I thought we did a fantastic job together. I was super pleased with how our report turned out, and how we collaborated.

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Finally, a lovely salad with some vegetable tarts. One tart is broccoli-parmesan, the other mushroom and pesto. I loved both, especially with this glorious colourful salad.

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Last but not least, I finished my box of chai – which means I had 25 chai tea bags in less than a month. Definitely obsessed with that stuff. It’s just perfect with milk and honey.

Of course, I had to make a list of chai to try (I’m sure there’s some pun I can make with this). I hope I can find some of these here in Brisbane!

Must-Try Chai

  • Samovar Masala Chai Black
  • Prana Chai Masala Blend
  • Dona Chai Chai Tea Concentrate
  • Chai Wallahs of Maine Spiced Chai with Assam Black Tea
  • Firepot Nomadic Teas Masala Chai Loose Leaf
  • Bollywood Theater Masala Chai
  • Tipu’s Original Slow Brew Indian Chai
  • Rainbow Chai Spice Mix
  • Pukka Vanilla Chai
  • Madura Seven Spice Chai
  • Nerada Organics Chai
  • Chai Walli chai
  • Gopi Chai
  • Teapigs Chai
  • Twinings Chai Ultra Spice
  • Tazo Chai
  • Organic India Chai Masala

That’s it for today – wishing you a lovely rest of the week.

Bucket List | Charlottetown, PEI

93424f31-7d6d-4e9a-9380-d144ad192015This summer, my sister and I will be living in Charlottetown, the largest city of Prince Edward Island, an eastern Canadian province.

We’re super excited about spending the month of July on a new adventure (I’ve never been to the Maritimes!), and, as usual, had to make a list of must-see tourist attractions and must-eat places. Here it is!

Charlottetown Activities

EVERYTHING: http://www.discovercharlottetown.com/en/see-do.php

  • 12 activities, 35 days = 1 activity every 2-3 days
  • **** Victoria Row
  • *** Confederation Centre of the Arts
  • *** St. Dunstan’s Basilica
  • ** Prince Edward Battery
  • ** Province House National Historic Site of Canada (birthplace of Canada)
  • ** Victoria Park
  • ** Beaconsfield Historic House
  • ** Government House
  • * The Great George (hotel with historic antique furnishings)
  • * Confederation Landing Park
  • * Charlottetown Farmers Market
  • * Harbour Hippo cruiseGreen_GablesThe famed Green Gables, from Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
  • Sir Andrew MacPhail homestead
  • Peake’s Wharf
  • Fanningbank
  • PEI National Park
  • Avonlea Village
  • Shining Waters
  • The Mack Theatre
  • Orwell Corner Historic Village
  • St. Peter’s Anglican Cathedral
  • Larimer Gallery
  • Founders’ Hall
  • Port-la-Joye (and Blockhouse Point Lighthouse)
  • The Prince Edward Island Regiment Military Museum
  • The Prince Edward Island Heritage Museum
  • The Alley (bowling)
  • Top Notch Lobster Tours
  • Stanhope Beach
  • Cape Tyron
  • Point Prim Lighthouse

Farther Away

  • * The Pearl Eatery and Oyster Lounge
  • New Glasgow
  • North Rustico
  • PEI Preserve Co
  • Confederation Bridge to Green Gables

 

Specialty Shops

  • * Anne of Green Gables Store
  • Anne of Green Gables Chocolates
  • Seaglassing
  • Balderson’s Farm Market
  • The Dunes Studio Gallery and Cafe
  • Green Eye Designs
  • Moonsnail Soapworts
  • Details Past and Present
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Prince Edward Island is known for incredible seafood, especially lobster, and potatoes.

Charlottetown Restaurants

  • TOP 20 RESTAURANTS BOLDED
  • 20 restaurants in 35 days = 1 restaurant every 1-2 days
  • ***** Sims Corner Steakhouse and Oyster Bar
  • *** Claddagh Oyster House
  • *** Lucy Maud Dining Room: The Culinary Institute of Canada Dining
  • *** The Chip Shack
  • *** The Gahan House
  • ** Dave’s Lobster
  • ** Leonhard’s Cafe and Restaurant
  • ** Hopyard
  • * Papa Joe’s
  • * Olde Dublin Pub
  • * The Pilot House
  • * Cedar’s Eatery
  • * Brickhouse Kitchen and Bar
  • * Brakish
  • * Local 343
  • * The Merchantman
  • * Redwater Rustic Grille
  • * Row House Lobster Co.
  • Himalayan Indian Cuisine
  • Splendid Essence
  • Fishies on the Roof
  • BOOMBurger
  • Doiron’s Fisheries
  • The Olde Village Bakery
  • Hunter’s Ale House
  • Fishbones on Victoria Row
  • Pho Hung
  • Terry’s Berries
  • The Big Orange Lunchbox
  • Buono Mangia
  • Inn at Bay Fortune
  • Rick’s Fish and Chips
  • Blue Mussel Cafe
  • Point Prim Chowder House
  • Gouda Cheese Lady
  • Churchill Arms
  • Glasgow Glen Farms
  • Richard’s Fresh Seafood
  • Piatto Pizzeria and Enoteca
  • The Churchill Arms
  • John Brown Grille

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Charlottetown Cafes

  • **** Receiver Coffee Co
  • *** Cows Creamery
  • Lady Baker’s Tea Trolley
  • Beanz Espresso Bar
  • Small Print Board Game Cafe

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Black Garlic Dessert Bread?!

Good morning, everyone! Today’s a crazy rainy day, and the next few days in Brisbane aren’t looking much better. It’s 24 degrees, and just pouring. We have thunderstorms planned for the next few days – until next Thursday. What a disappointment!

Anyways, this week was my first week of school, and I loved it. Here you can see the schedule that I had for the first week. I had to dip out of a lot of yoga/fitness classes because I didn’t feel like going. Getting there is always half the battle! And, unfortunately, I sometimes lose that battle.Schedule (13)In light of all the events that have happened over the last couple of weeks over in the US, this tweet really stood out to me. What powerful words. I’ve been following the incredibly articulate, thoughtful, patriotic, and compassionate students of Stoneman Douglas High School since the event, and every day I am impressed by the momentum they’ve gained. What an incredible group of young leaders.

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Here are some of my class notes! I am taking four courses this semester, and they are:

  1. BIOL3009: Arthropods and Human Health
  2. SOCY2179: Sex, Drugs, and Disease
  3. SWSP2211: Individual Development and Health Care
  4. PSYC3132: Health Psychology

I don’t know if I have a favourite yet, because they all differ from each other quite a bit. I am trying to link the courses together as I work through the material. For instance, in Individual Development (a Sociology course), we discuss marginalized populations and how people in third-world countries are susceptible to diseases such as malaria. Then, in my Arthropods course, we discuss the mechanisms behind malaria, and how exactly it is transmitted.

I am getting a personal trainer! I felt that it was more “worth it” to get a 10-class personal training class rather than a fitness pass. Starting Tuesday, I’ll be working with a lovely woman called Amy to meet some fitness goals. On the right side, you’ll see my academic to-do list. I’ve only been in school for a week and there’s already plenty to be done! I love it.

I don’t have much stuff in my room, so it isn’t too hard to keep it tidy.

L: Here is one of my lecture classrooms. I really like it because it isn’t extraordinarily big. The entire classroom will seat about forty students, so I think that’s just right.

R: Toowong Village is the local mall. I love this place!

Some eats:

  • broccoli, cauliflower rice, squash, tomatoes, red pepper, cheddar and gruyere, 1 fried egg, 4 pieces fried halloumi

And again:

  • cauliflower rice, squash, 6 pieces fried halloumi

Some things that I really want to make include crepes with brie, apple, and turkey (or flatbreads, using the same ingredients), stuffed peppers, or spaghetti squash with veggies and cheese.

I did end up making something like that, using a hearty whole grain bun from Baker’s Delight, creamy brie, and some sliced turkey.

  • 1 medium cucumber, truffle dip, smoked salmon dip
  • 1 whole wheat grain bun, 4 medium slices turkey, 1/2 triangle of brie

Deliciousness – one for dessert, and one for breakfast. I recently discovered how tasty it is to crumble up a LARABAR and serve it on yogurt. Love this!

  • plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 peanut butter LARABAR, 2 squares nougat chocolate
  • plain Greek yogurt, 2 peaches, 1/2 peanut butter LARABAR

One afternoon, I visited a restaurant called Gauge. When I looked at the menu previously, I was 99% sure that I wanted the cavatelli, cashew cream, zucchini, black garlic dish. However, upon speaking to one of the kind waitresses, who recommended the pan-fried mahi-mahi with caramelized cream, tomato, and dill, I changed my mind. This was good, but not worth $32. I was also surprised by the very long wait (surprising, because I normally dine alone so food comes to me quite quickly) of approximately 40 minutes and the little serving size. Was expecting… a little more for $32 – at least some bread or greens on the side.

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For dessert, I had a very unique dish: the black garlic bread with brown butter, burnt vanilla. It sounds weird. It was weird. I’ll try my best to describe this:

  • First of all, I’ve never tasted ANYTHING quite like this. It was like the time that I tried mushroom ice cream at the Sunshine Coast – I didn’t have any expectations, but was full of curiosity.
  • This had the texture of banana bread, but a little less ‘crumbly’. As if it were a banana bread crossed with a yeast bread. I feel like I wouldn’t be able to crumble this between my fingers – I’d have to tear it. Perhaps the texture was like a banana bread made with oil rather than butter.
  • The flavour was sweet, but not overwhelmingly sweet. Of course, I had the rich brown butter on the side. The cake itself was a bit like a toffee or date cake in flavour, with rich notes of garlic.
  • The garlic flavour didn’t really shine through until after each bite, when you get a garlicky aftertaste. Black garlic, to me, tastes just like regular garlic.
  • Definitely an interesting experience. Do I regret ordering it? Not at all. I finished every crumb on the plate, and kind of wanted more. But would I order it next time? No.

I had the opportunity to attend a cool convention called the Mind Body Spirit convention, where there were hundreds of vendors selling things like essential oils, yoga mats, yoga attire, turmeric, vegan treats, and so much more. I saw lots of unique things like pumpkin seed meal, and vegan coconut-cashew ice cream (which I got a delicious sample of). It was a lovely experience, though most of the products were too expensive. Yoga mat for $150? No… I’ll stick to my $5 mat, thank you.

Brisbane is so lovely. Every time I come to the South Bank and West End area, I am bewildered by the beautiful buildings and sunshine. It’s so nice to live near a river.

Another day, another yogurt snack. I love these! This time, it was a chopped pear on Greek yogurt with a crumbled peanut butter LARABAR.

Also, I just realized later this week we’ll be in March. WHAT!?

For dinner one day, I went to A Night in India (they do takeout as well, but I’m so glad I didn’t do takeout because I wouldn’t have had the DESSERT), where I devoured a bowl of palak paneer. Palak paneer is hands-down my favourite Indian dish, ever. I love it. The spices, the creamy-but-firm cheese, the rich sauce and the spinach. I could eat this every day for the rest of my life! Alongside – some saffron rice and a big garlic and cheese naan. This dinner was one of the highlights of my week.

Dessert, of course, was just as stunning. Get this, my friends: a chocolate haven cake on a sizzling pan (literally, the chocolate was sizzling). Oozing with milk chocolate from TWO layers, which became warm and gooey on the sizzling pan, and topped with dark chocolate ganache. Vanilla bean ice cream on the side. As I was eating this, I was so mindful to savour every bite, and I’m pretty sure I went to heaven?! This was unbelievable. Easily one of the top three desserts I have ever eaten. It was amazing, and words just don’t do it justice.

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Finally, a huge spider web I saw (!) and my new, updated class schedule. This is the one I’ll be sticking to, from now on, because it includes lectures and tutorials.

That is… pretty much it for today, friends ❤ I hope you all have a lovely, lovely rest of the week.