The Tiniest Asparagus

Hello! Lately, my agenda has been full of exciting activities. This week is O-Fest, which means there are plenty of introductory sessions that welcome students to the University of Queensland. Next week, it is CONNECT Week, so there are free fitness sessions and other activities designed to help students find friends with common interests. You can see my trusty planner (a kind gift from my sister, Seline) along with my morning cheddar scrambled eggs with mushrooms. Also, my laptop stand is truly a gift!

I got to see some cool animals. Check out this dwarf crocodile, which is ten years old, and this male owl. I had the opportunity to pet both of them, and they are really cute. This was organized by the QUEST Society at UQ. QUEST stands for the Queensland University Exchange Student Society.

The UQ campus is really beautiful, complete with museums (art, geology, and more), a Great Court, and so much more. I love it. Even though I get lost on an hourly basis.

There’s a grocery store called Fruity Capers in the local mall, and they sell the most amazing little vegetables I’ve ever seen. Check out these teeny tiny asparagus, which were about the length of my wrist to fingertips. They are so cute, and cooked in a minute. I put them in my scrambled eggs, which you can see below. I like these tiny asparagus more than large (regular?) asparagus, because they don’t have stalky ends and cook much quicker.

Another afternoon, I happened to pass a place called Noosa Chocolate Factory. They are famous for a massive selection single origin, single plantation & blended slabs delivered fresh daily from the Noosa Chocolate Factory, fine specialty coffee, and rustic hot chocolates. Of course, I had to try one of their renowned drinks! The 35-degree temperature, however, gave me the opportunity to try their iced chocolate drink. This one, which was 56% cocoa, was sweet-but-not-overly-sweet, icy, and had such a rich chocolate taste. No phony stuff here!

In other words, I’m in love. Can I live here? And eat chocolate for the rest of my semester?

Afterwards, I went for a little stroll around this lovely area of Brisbane. There were plenty of souvenir shops, and I loved looking at the lit-up bridges as I walked down the river.

At this grocery store, there are always fresh fruit samples. Next time, I want to try their homemade banana bread! Banana bread is, and always will be, one of my weaknesses. I just want to toast it up and smother it all in peanut butter.

On Friday, I had a day off! No orientation events, no classes, no commitments, nothing. The day before, I created a detailed plan of activities and events that I wanted to attend, but when Friday rolled around, I was so tired (and hot!) that I didn’t want to do anything. I ended up relaxing at home, cooking, and spending time in the downtown area.

IMG_6258

More eats:

  • 2 plates of buffet food: coleslaw, pasta salad, goat cheese spinach salad, melon, cheese, carrots, gratin potatoes, omelet with squash, onion, vegetables, roasted squash and sweet potatoes, crispy fried pita bread (a wonderful Chinese New Year feast with my landlord’s family)

  • breakfast on the bottom right:
    • 2 scrambled eggs with broccoli, cheddar and gruyere
    • vanilla Greek yogurt with 1/2 container blueberries, 1/3 packet pecan butter

I spent the next day strolling around one of my favourite parts of the city, and had the opportunity to visit Morning After Cafe. My dish was absolutely spectacular, and I added halloumi on the side. I’m in love with halloumi!

  • red pepper, eggplant, and onion sauté, cucumber with labneh and dill, fried egg, halloumi, paprika oil

Dessert at Gelato Messina was quite eventful. Their menu was enormous, and you can get three scoops of three flavours in one cup. How could I resist that? After sampling a few, I decided on:

  • 1 scoop pistachio praline, 1 scoop white chocolate hazelnut, 1 scoop milk chocolate peanut butter fudge gelato

All together in a large-sized cup, this dessert was an absolute dream. To be honest, the flavours were on the sweeter side (thanks to the white chocolate, praline, and fudge), and I would’ve preferred the sweetness to be dialled down a little. Nonetheless, delicious!

Few things from recently:

  • This beautiful post by Bucket List Tummy discusses reasons why one should never diet, and is worded in such a clear, inspiring, beautiful way.
  • One of my favourite pairs figure skating teams (Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany) won the event. I was super happy because their performance was flawless, and this was Aliona’s fifth and final Olympics. Are you following the 2018 Winter Olympics in Korea? Which events are you interested in?
  • 56 different names for sugar – interesting!

That is pretty much all I have for today. I hope the rest of your week is wonderful!

I Met R.L. Stine!

Hey! Hope everyone’s week has been wonderful so far.

My November simply flew by. I feel like Halloween wasn’t that long ago, and bam, here we are with snow sprinkling down our blog headers.

Anyways, on Wednesday I went to downtown Toronto to see R.L. Stine, my favourite author from childhood (who, to this day, has a big piece of my heart). Anyone else read Goosebumps, Fear Street, or Mostly Ghostly growing up?

That day, I also savoured an incredible meal at Light Cafe, where I devoured a truffle mushroom croissant, a salad with sesame dressing, lobster bisque, and this spectacular dessert of four heart-shaped Earl Grey waffles, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a scoop of chocolate ice cream, and plenty of whipped cream. Better than the stuff of my dreams.

Anyways, R.L. Stine, who goes by Bob Stine, delivered a hilarious, interactive, simple, anecdote-studded speech that engaged the entire audience. Afterwards, I was lucky to say some words to him before security whisked the crowd away. He even asked what my name was! :’) This guy’s a hero.

He also liked my perfectly-crafted tweet that used up every character. Part of the fun of Twitter, in my strange and pointless opinion, is that you get to spend time figuring out how to word things to max out the character count. 🤓

A completely different note – Moroccan tagine is so good. I’ve made it four times in the past two-ish months. I just love it. Something about the savoury tomato and cumin sauce, creamy sweet potatoes, and hearty chickpeas with flavourful couscous gets me every time.

Photos (the professionally-taken ones, not my amateur iPhone shots) from the MedX event from a couple weekends ago came out! Can you spot me?

I’m in love with tomato scrambled eggs. This was one of my earliest recipes on the blog (also back when I had a great camera 😭), since it’s so simple, classic, and ridiculously tasty. This time, I enjoyed couscous underneath.

Lots of side projects with the tutoring job – this is a study guide that I am creating. Almost done!

Screen Shot 2017-11-30 at 10.47.23 PM

Hope everyone has a spectacular rest of the day, and an excellent kickoff into the last month of 2017.

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.

Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 9.10.09 AM

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.

Screen Shot 2017-11-04 at 7.32.36 AM

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. 🙂

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 8.07.45 AM

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!

 

Charcoal Waffles ♡_♡

Mmmm, pizza. It’s been a while since I’ve had truly, truly amazing pizza and this one from Lamanna’s, an Italian bakery and hot table in Scarborough, did not disappoint. Smothered in provolone and mushrooms, the toppings were simple and tasty – but the crust, charred to perfection, was my favourite part.

Dessert? Large gelato with a scoop of pistachio and a scoop of hazelnut (check out that size compared to the little gelato spoon and my water bottle!) – followed by an unpictured lobster tail cream pastry. Talk about an amazing lunch!

Another day, I had lunch at Light Cafe in downtown Toronto, a chic and modern new spot in Baldwin Village.

The truffled mushroom croissant is their specialty, loaded with creamy truffle mayonnaise, sliced tomato, shiitake mushrooms, and lettuce. The croissant was toasted and tasted fresh. Salad was dressed in sesame, and had plenty of fresh tomatoes inside.

The soup was another highlight: rich, creamy, savoury Lobster Bisque!

IMG_1056

For dessert, I had to order the famous Light Cafe dish – black sesame waffles. There were four heart-shaped black sesame waffles, made with charcoal for that incredible colour, a little vial of rich sesame syrup, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and a scoop of black sesame ice cream. All of it was devoured. 😇

Waffles with ice cream is hands-down one of my favourite desserts of all time, and bonus points for special-flavoured waffles like ube (purple yam, specialty of the Philippines), black sesame, or red bean.

This is one of my favourite photographs from my trip downtown. I love how 50% of it is that urban traffic look with trees in the back, and the other half is a pretty lake with trees, and apartments in the back. The contrast is cool!

IMG_1065

The reason for my Toronto trip? Stock. Up. On. Muffins. Since I don’t go downtown very often, and I won’t be going often anymore since it’s starting to get chilly, I bought plenty of muffins, chopped ’em into thirds or quarters, and stashed them in the freezer. These are some of the muffins I remember:

  • blueberry streusel
  • blueberry bran
  • plain blueberry
  • blueberry scone
  • lemon poppyseed
  • carrot
  • banana chocolate chip
  • mixed berry and oat
  • cornmeal
  • lemon currant scone
  • ginger scone

There were definitely more, but that’s all for the ones I can recall. 😎 Apparently, I seem to like muffins a lot?

Excitement. In the form of a delicious plate of coconut Thai green curry with broccoli, mushrooms, onion, and carrots – and in the form of a new book. Sci-fi isn’t really my genre, but this one, RUSH by Eve Silver, had me intrigued all the way through.

A trip to the library meant I took lots more snapshots of the books that are on my to-be-read list. I can’t wait to take these out and see if they’re good.

On Mid-Autumn Festival, which is like Chinese Thanksgiving, I had an incredible meal at a buffet called Dragon’s Pearl, with friends of my grandfather. I. Love. Buffets. So what did I enjoy this time?

  • yorkshire pudding, mashed potatoes and gravy
  • steamed ginger and scallion fish
  • Japanese sweet egg, bean curd sushi, other assorted sushi
  • stir-fried vegetables, crispy stir-fried noodles
  • peking duck on a flatbread, with sweet and sour sauce and cucumber
  • creamy crab salad
  • crispy shrimp cakes
  • garlic mussels
  • grilled salmon and plaintains

Dessert was just as delicious.

  • tiramisu
  • green tea cake
  • sweet sesame mochi ball (favourite)
  • regular cheesecake
  • unsweetened cheesecake
  • bread pudding with golden raisins, whipped cream on top (#2 favourite)
  • English trifle
  • kiwi custard tart

Do you like buffets? I’m a sucker for variety, so I adore buffets!

One morning, I had some quiet time to myself in the office so I started designing a new poster for the Integumentary System, which is the system about human skin, hair, and nails.

Totally random note here. This is such a beautiful logo! I like graphic design a lot and want to learn more about designing lettering.

KMBIALogobw_1481236321

Speaking of graphic design, I’m creating a PDF doc of Anatomy-related study tips. The entire study guide is written out now, but I’m figuring out how I’d like to design the other pages. What do you think?

Screen Shot 2017-10-01 at 8.12.20 PM

That’s pretty much it for today, guys. Hope you all have the most wonderful rest of the week. 🙂

Starstruck: 2017 Schulich Leader Scholarship Get-Together

Saturday was SLxON, a special networking event for Schulich Leader Scholarship recipients across Ontario. It took place, like last year, at the MaRS Discovery Centre in downtown Toronto. This year, it was extra-special because the event was Canada-wide.

A post from the 2016 SLxON can be found here!

Here are some photos from the event.

We had a great time, especially during the Instagram challenge.

How does SLxON make you feel? Wish I had thought of the word starstruck. These people amaze me.

SLXCA… with our bodies! The floor was pretty comfortable.

21762590_10154606162871403_731079269436151170_o

There were some fantastic speakers and a wonderful presentation by Dr. Julielynn Wong, who was incredibly passionate and inspiring.

Selfie!

❤ ❤ ❤

21551815_10154606167751403_480014712245198996_o

More ❤ ❤ ❤ at the post-event, at Prenup Pub where we had snacks and drinks.

Then it was off to Scarborough for a restful night at home!

A Seriously Cool Day

Yesterday was one of the most exciting days of my summer so far. For one, I started the day with two delicious sweet potato waffles topped with nut butter, and honeyed Greek yogurt on the side. I’m enjoying the last few cartons of berries that we have, before they are completely out of season and too pricey. I am officially in love with waffles – goodbye, pancakes! For now. If only I could bring the waffle maker to Ontario with me in a couple of weeks!

My sister, Seline, and I went downtown. We always map out our walking route, in case it gets too hot and we don’t feel like walking more than we should. Yesterday, we hit all of the spots in the photo on the right.

For lunch, we visited Guu Original Thurlow in Vancouver, where Seline had the teriyaki chicken don (bowl), served over rice with pickled vegetables, nori (seaweed), miso soup, and a cold soba noodle salad.

My lunch was equally delicious: seared saba mackerel with rice, miso soup, and the side of the day, which was the cold soba noodle salad. I loved the soba noodles and wish I cooked them at home more often.

After that, we went to Faubourg Paris, where we met up with author Jeyn Roberts. If we’ve talked in the last two weeks, you’ll know that I am completely infatuated by her novel When They Fade, about a murdered girl’s afterlife and her determination to save a bullied girl.

I felt so lucky to have the opportunity to ask numerous questions about the book, her writing process and writing environment, influences, and others. We learned so much about her incredible experiences, and felt honoured to receive copies of her other novels, Dark Inside, Rage Within, and The Bodies We Wear. We couldn’t thank her enough. ❤

Completely random side note for Vancouver foodies: the strawberry-banana smoothie, and the London Fog tea latte at Faubourg Paris (Robson/Hornby) are absolutely delicious, and I’d highly recommend them both.

But, even more than a cup of tea, I’d recommend reading this book. How can you refuse such a beautiful cover and intriguing storyline? My sister, who loves romance novels, was satisfied with the very believable, and very cute, relationships that develop in this book. You will fall in love with these characters, I promise.

I also changed my laptop’s wallpaper to Buntzen Lake, one of the most beautiful places in BC, in my opinion. I hope my family will be able to make some time to see Buntzen soon.

Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 11.33.18 AM

That’s it for today! Have a beautiful, beautiful weekend.