Back in BC

Hello! I just got my wisdom tooth out. It was the second tooth that I had removed. My first one came out about two years ago.

Here is a flashback to Prince Edward Island. This was my office at the University of Prince Edward Island, and the dinner that we had on our last day. Seline ate the chicken masala skillet, and I had a lovely summer salad, a piece of pan-fried Atlantic salmon, and a great bowl of chowder. Seline and I shared the cinnamon roll on a skillet, topped with vanilla ice cream, for dessert. This was a great dinner from Fishbones.

This is our bedroom and bathroom, which we will be very sad to leave. We loved living in Charlottetown, and we will miss our lovely room and washroom.

Some final moments in downtown Charlottetown, including pics from our daily walk home. I always feel so connected with the PLACES that we visit, and I don’t want to forget the little mundane details.

Before our flight, Seline and I ate sandwiches. Her sandwich, unpictured, was a pesto chicken ciabatta from Receiver Coffee. I had a turkey and harvarti sandwich on multigrain bread from Leonhard’s Restaurant and Cafe. This great sandwich was loaded with a lot of turkey, mixed greens, and mustard dressing.

Things We Did (and Didn’t) Do in Charlottetown

NEVER GOT TO SEE

  • Papa Joe’s
  • Hopyard Beer Bar (fries, pub food)
  • The Chip Shack
  • Terry Berries 20 Great George St, 11-7 hours

RESTAURANTS WE’VE ALREADY VISITED

  • COWS (ice cream) x6
  • Leonhard’s (breakfast and lunch) x4
  • Himalayan Indian Cuisine x4
  • Dairy Queen x4
  • Small Print Board Game Cafe x3
  • Pilot House x3
  • Brakish x2
  • Piatto Pizzeria
  • Dave’s Lobster Charlottetown
  • John Brown Grille
  • Beanz Espresso Bar and Cafe
  • Fishies on the Roof
  • Lobster on the Wharf
  • Merchantman Fresh Seafood and Oyster Bar (S favourite)
  • Receiver Coffee Co.
  • The Gahan House
  • Terre Rouge (brunch; dinner)
  • The Dining Room at the Culinary Institute
  • Mavor’s
  • La Sazon de Mexico
  • Fishes on the Roof / Fishbones
  • Row House Lobster Co.
  • Kettle Black
  • Water Prince Corner Shop
  • Sims Corner Steakhouse and Oyster Bar
  • Claddagh Oyster House
  • Cedar’s Eatery
  • Brickhouse Kitchen & Bar (S favourite)
  • RedWater Rustic Grille

We were very happy to see family when we got back home. We were also happy to go to Ikea! We love Ikea.

Arnie didn’t really miss me, but he was really cute.

For the first few days back in BC, we had plenty of errands to run. Often, I ate waffles in the morning and then we’d go to places like Home Depot.

Mom’s cooking is always a delight. The other day, she made corn on the cob with butter, sautéed garlic green beans, scrambled eggs with shrimp, and chicken thighs sautéed with mushrooms and onions.

One of my good friends from UPEI will come to Vancouver soon. We might have vegan high tea in Vancouver together.

I also had time to go skating! It was nice to be back on the ice and skate around in circles. I want to skate for the University of Waterloo varsity figure skating team in September, but I don’t have my doubles any more.

Another couple of great dinners cooked up with family:

  1. Chicken florentine rolls with asparagus, feta, spinach // roasted baby potatoes // garlic and cheddar pita // brown butter sage mushroom quinoa risotto
  2. Chicken with creamy mushroom sauce // homemade cheesy onion bread // sautéed garlic green beans // gratin dauphinoise

Chicken with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 200g button mushrooms (white), sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 1 heaping tbsp all-purpose flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 600g boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1in pieces
  • 1 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped sage
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil and butter in large frying pan.
  2. Cook mushrooms for 5 minutes until brown.
  3. Add onion. Cook for 2-3 mins until soft.
  4. Add garlic. Cook for 1 minute.
  5. Remove vegetables from pan. Wipe pan clean with paper towels.
  6. Heat remaining 2 tbsp oil in the pan.
  7. Season flour heavily with salt and pepper. Toss chicken in flour, shaking off excess.
  8. Cook chicken for 8-10 mins, turning, until golden all over.
  9. Add stock, sage, and boil.
  10. Add mushroom mixture. Simmer 5 mins, stirring occasionally, until sauce reduces.
  11. Add cream. Cook 2-3 mins until chicken is cooked and sauce is thick and creamy.

Gratin Dauphinoise

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 kg Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 tbsp softened butter
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 3/4 cups cream

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Finely slice potatoes.
  3. Rub 8×8 deep-sided ovenproof dish with butter.
  4. Spread in half the potatoes.
  5. Sprinkle with garlic. Season, and arrange potatoes nicely on top.
  6. Pour in the cream. You should just be able to see the cream coming up around the edges.
  7. Dot the top with remaining butter.
  8. Put dish on large baking sheet.
  9. Cook in centre of the oven for 1 hour, until potatoes are soft, cream has evaporated, and top is golden.
  10. Rest 10 minutes before serving.

This chocolate cake was on my to-bake list for a long time, and we finally made it! It stuck to the pan, but was still really delicious.

Paula Shoyer’s Chocolate Quinoa Cake

Serves 12

INGREDIENTS

  • 130g quinoa, 1.5 cups water (or 2 1/4 cups cooked)
  • melted coconut oil for greasing
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup orange juice from 1 orange
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 300g sugar
  • 80g dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 55g bittersweet (70%) chocolate

GLAZE

  • 140g bittersweet (70%) chocolate
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract, careful when adding

DIRECTIONS

  1. Boil quinoa and water over medium heat.
  2. Reduce heat to low. Cover saucepan. Cook quinoa until liquid is absorbed. It should be funny cooked and not crunchy.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 12-cup Bundt pan. Sprinkle cocoa powder over the greased pan. Shake the pan to remove excess starch.
  4. Place quinoa in a blender. Add orange juice, eggs, vanilla, oil, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Process until mixture is very smooth.
  5. Melt chocolate over a double boiled. Add chocolate to quinoa batter and process until well-mixed. Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan. Bake 50 mins, or until skewer comes out clean.
  6. Let cake cool 10 mins. Turn it out of the pan onto a wire cooling rack. Let it cool on the rack.
  7. Melt chocolate for glaze in a double boiler. Add oil and vanilla. Whisk well. Let glaze sit 5 mins. Whisk it again. Use silicone spatula to spread the glaze over the top of the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides.
  8. Serve at room temperature. Store leftovers airtight at room temperature.

One more new-ish dinner – creamy salmon pasta.

Salmon Pasta

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • dried pasta
  • salt and pepper
  • 3.5 oz heavy cream
  • salmon
  • 1 tbsp chopped capers
  • zest from 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped dill
  • parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS

  1. Fry salmon. Break into pieces.
  2. Cook pasta in large pan of salted water.
  3. Mix cream with capers, lemon zest, and dill. Season heavily.
  4. Drain pasta. Reserve 1 ladle of cooking water.
  5. Return pasta to pan with water.
  6. Toss sauce with pasta. Add shredded salmon. Stir enough to mix. Add parmesan cheese.
  7. Serve with more parmesan.

That’s pretty much it for now.

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Have a good rest of the week.

Allergic to… Spices?!

Super short post today because I need to work on something for work. Recently…

  • infographic created by the University of Queensland, about a med student’s typical schedule
  • forms of self-care
  • North Rustico things to do
  • extracurriculars that I will and might get involved with during Fall 2018
  • list of places that I loved in Montreal – recommendations for my coworker, who will be in Montreal for Osheaga, a music festival
  • Mom is selling a bunch of things

A Bitmoji that Seline made… of me! Wearing my usual white t-shirt, black shorts, and thinking about cake and tea.

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The other day, I made the tastiest snack – a thick slice of toast topped with peanut butter, caramelized nut chocolate bark, and blackberries. This was such a great snack.

Breakfast from the farmer’s market: focaccia topped with pecans and maple syrup. It’s the best yeast bread I’ve ever eaten.

More of the same stuff – toast, PB, banana, and a side of yogurt with blackberries and chocolate caramelized nut bark. Really delicious.

Dinner from Merchantman Restaurant – Seline and I enjoyed a great meal with steak and Caesar salad, with seafood linguine and sticky date pudding. I ate the entire sticky date pudding with vanilla ice cream, all by myself. It was so memorable and tasty.

I think Seline is allergic to spices?! We ate at Himalayan Cuisine, where she had the butter chicken and I ate spinach palak paneer. We shared rice and naan. Interestingly, her throat felt itchy, swollen, and there were likely no NUTS or KIWI (her normal allergens) in the food.

For dessert, I had a mug of chai and some gulab jamun. Gulab jamun, according to Wikipedia, is a “milk-solid-based South Asian sweet, originating in the Indian subcontinent, notably popular in India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, as well as Myanmar.”

Another day, we played board games at Small Print Board Game Cafe (we like HIVE and WORD ON THE STREET), and had dinner at Water and Prince lobster pound. I ate a lobster roll with potato salad, and Seline had a bowl of clam chowder. I also had a cup of clam chowder, and I ate both of our biscuits. For dessert, chocolate torte cheesecake. ❤

On Saturday, we watched the Young Company dance show and ate at La Sazon de Mexico. I had the green enchiladas with vegetables, rice, and refried beans. Seline ate the cheesy chicken quesadilla.

After lunch, we had Chatime bubble tea and walked around the park. We saw Victoria Park and walked into Dead Man’s Pond, a small pond rumored to be bottomless, with spooky legends surrounding its name & spotted salamanders. Interesting tale:

Apparently, Dead Man’s Pond is the gate way to the residing place of a great, but vengeful, Indian Spirit. Sometimes, the spirit would take offense at those who invaded the solitude of his pond. Rising from the deep, he would grasp all who swam in the water or even wondered close to the shore. Pulling them down to where the denizen so the deep lurked in waiting, he would steal their very souls, before spewing the body back up to act as a warning to others to stay far from the shores of the pond.

A second version deals with treasure. Seekers had determined that pirates put into shore just at the point of land that is Victoria Park, and buried their riches in the woods. Years later the site was founded, and treasure hunters began to dig a huge hole in hopes of finding the chest of gold. When they got down so deep the sky was just a pinprick above them, the side of their hole suddenly burst and water poured in the Gulf. Storytellers state that this was the curse of the pirates working to protect the treasure.

There is another version which may be a little more believable. In the early days of settlement on the Island, the Governor threw a gala New Year’s Eve ball. A woodcutter, a poor, but honest and trustworthy man, loaded his sleigh with the best burning wood and drove it to the Governor’s house to ensure the warmth for the revelers. The Governor, grateful for the thoughtfulness of the woodcutter, gave him an extra stipend of gold as an award. Unfortunately, he was murdered and robbed for this gold and his body was thrown in Dead Man’s Pond.

Dinnertime! Seline and I ate at the Lucy Maud Culinary Institute of Holland College, where we had an amuse-bouche to start. There was a sliver of scallop, cilantro, and proscuitto.

Then, we nibbled on plenty of fresh focaccia with cultured butter. For our entrees, Seline had the chicken stuffed with spinach, and potato gratin. I ate the brown butter hollandaise arctic char with crushed hazelnuts. Both entrees were superb.

For dessert, we shared the glazed chocolate cake with ice cream, coffee soil, meringue, and toffee, and a fresh strawberry shortcake.

The next day, we went up north to Rustico. For lunch, we ate at a beachside eatery called Blue Mussel Cafe, where Seline had a haddock “burger” (really, a sandwich), with roasted potatoes on the side.

I ate the creamy bubbly seafood bake – a delightful bowl of seafood tossed in a decadent butter sauce and smothered in cheese. A fresh farmer’s salad on the side, with candied pecans and beets.

For dessert, I kind of wanted the peanut butter ice cream cake, but I’m so glad I ended up choosing the chocolate potato cake. It was served warm with ice cream and whipped cream – this was so delicious.

Few more things…

And other lunches that I’ve eaten at work. Toast with PB and banana, along with yogurt, fruit, and trail mix, are my go-to’s. Another day, I ate a lobster quiche with microwaved sautéed veggies.

And that’s it for today!

Have a beautiful rest of the day. 🙂

It’s Finals Week…

The last two weeks looked like this, and we aren’t finished yet, so behold a very short post 🙂

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Back home in BC, Seline has been loving the bacon, eggs, and toast breakfast combo. I can’t wait to replicate this when I get home, too!

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The school’s free fitness schedule is up, and I can’t wait to start attending classes once my exams are over.

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Cherries are in season! This made a lovely snack. Yogurt is on the bottom, and there are also coconut chips and granola in the mix.

 

Yesterday was the last day of Biomechanics and Sociology, so we took a group photo with our professor (missing some, though). 😦

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I had a really good almond croissant from the Tempered Room frozen for a few months since Toronto, and I finally heated it up in the microwave for a great breakfast.

 

So glad that my Biomechanics course is over. I took two in the last year, and needless to say, I am so done with rigid link modelling.

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Yesterday, I enjoyed a sandwich and soup at Princess Cafe. The sandwich consisted of salty proscuitto, salty pesto-mayo, roasted sweet corn, harvarti cheese, and spinach. Garlicky beet soup was consumed.

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My friends and I in the sun before an exam last week. We play frisbee to get our energy levels up!

 

I’m not sure if I mentioned this in a previous post, but I will be moving to Scarborough in September for my next co-op job at Centennial College, where I’ll be tutoring. My new home is a 17-minute walk from the skating rink!

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Sweet potato peanut stew with spinach and crushed peanuts on top.

 

My last English essay was also written! Celebrate!

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This year, I am an Atlantic hurricane!

I’m going to miss my messy, messy room in Waterloo that I lived in for two years.

Off to study now! Today I am looking at my physiology notes.

Crunchy Chocolate-Dipped Granola Bars

Hello, friends! Is anyone else in shock that it’s already July? I can’t believe it. June sort of flew by in a blur of midterms (I had TEN already, and one more to go before final exams start in the last week of July. I wish I were kidding). There was also plenty of great food consumed during the month of June – check out this great arugula salad with grilled halloumi, pesto pasta, and sautéed veggies.

One afternoon, I had a horrible headache and thought my head was going to explode! It was terrible; I’m normally not someone who gets headaches at all and feel so sorry for people who have regular migraines 😥

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One afternoon, I went to Aroma Cafe. I’ve been there a few times before, and their soup and sandwich combination is always such a treat. This time, their soup was creamy cauliflower, and was definitely one of the Top 5 soups I’ve ever enjoyed. Creamy, rich, mushroom-y, with a touch of sweetness, this perfectly velvet-textured soup was unforgettable. My sandwich was turkey and harvarti with roasted red peppers and avocado on homemade sourdough.

For dessert, the owner of the cafe, a lovely woman called Kiki, made taiyaki, a sweet fish-shaped waffle filled with red bean. It’s a traditional Korean street food. I’ve never been to Korea, but I think Kiki nailed this recipe! It was such an enjoyable dessert. Next time, I want to buy some to take home and enjoy with ice cream!

Speaking of desserts, say hello to my new favourite. I made this recipe twice in a week, and enjoyed every single square myself. As you can see, I am pretty selfish when it comes to good food, especially desserts 😉

These taste the best straight out of the fridge, with a scoop of yogurt or some fruit. They are chewy, just-sweet enough, with a touch of saltiness, and great crunch from the nuts and richness from the nut butter binder.

Make these as soon as possible. I promise you won’t regret it! Oh, and don’t leave out the chocolate dip.

Crunchy Chocolate-Dipped Granola Bars

Makes 1 8×8 pan

Ingredients

GRANOLA BARS

  • 1 cup (90 g) quick oats
  • 1/3 cup (30 g) pecans
  • 1/4 cup (28 g) flax
  • 2/3 cup (49 g) shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup (about 5) chopped prunes
  • 2 Tbsp (32 g) nut butter
  • 2 heaping Tbsp (45 g) melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 heaping cup (60 ml) maple syrup

FOR TOPPING

  • 1/2 heaping cup (60 g) chocolate chips
  • 1 heaping Tbsp (15 g) coconut oil

Instructions

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and arrange oats and pecans on a bare baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until slightly toasted. They shouldn’t be browned, just slightly toasted for more flavor. Reduce oven heat to 325 degrees F (162 C). The second time I made this recipe, I skipped this step, and it turned out fantastic as well.

2.In the meantime, add flaxseed, coconut, and salt to a large mixing bowl and stir. Set aside.

3.Once oats and pecans are toasted, add to the mixing bowl along with chopped prunes. Loosely stir to combine and set aside.

4.Add nut butter, coconut oil, and maple syrup to a small saucepan and bring to a low boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Then remove from heat and immediately add to the oats.

5.Mix thoroughly, ensuring that the prunes and the sunflower butter mixture are evenly dispersed and coating all of the dry ingredients.

6.Add the mixture to a parchment-lined 8×8-inch baking pan and spread into an even layer. Then top with another layer of parchment paper and press down with something flat – such as a measuring cup – to press into an even, uniform layer.

7.Bake at 325 degrees F (162 C) for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan. Transfer to the freezer to speed cooling time.

8.Once cooled, lift out of the pan and slice into desired number of bars. I cut them into 16 squares, but I ended up eating two squares each time anyways. Maybe try 8 or 9 instead?

9.Melt chocolate and coconut oil in a small mixing bowl over a double boiler on the stovetop. Dip squares in chocolate and set on parchment paper to harden. Place in freezer. Once bars have dried/cooled, store in the fridge.

I hope all my fellow Canadians had a wonderful long weekend!

Study Motivation: Finding Joy in Little Things

10 Ways to Find Happiness While Studying

  1. Great-smelling candles or lotions
  2. Notebooks (I just typed nootbokes?) that are cute, colourful, sleek, modern, or whatever YOUR aesthetic is.
  3. An open window
  4. Simple snacks like fruit, nut butter, and yogurt
  5. Finding the right time of day to study. I love mornings, but I might be in the minority with that one!
  6. An energetic study buddy
  7. Big, beautiful study tables or calendars
  8. Essential oils like peppermint or citrus for energy
  9. Plants or some kind of greenery
  10. Relaxing music in the background. I always turn to Celtic music.

Speaking of academics, my sister recently received a $750 award for writing a great essay. She attended a brunch and conference to receive the award.

Meanwhile, I made an enchilada casserole! This was made with green chili sauce, lots of onion and garlic, roasted sweet potato (the best part) and delicious yellow corn tortillas. Broccoli and salsa on the side.

Another day I made a random dinner with couscous, a fried egg, salad with honey mustard dressing and nutritional yeast, and fried garlic broccoli. So good.

Friday afternoon is my Princess Cafe day. On Friday, I had the most delicious panini filled with roasted sweet potato, Sriracha mayo, spinach, black bean salsa, and lots of gooey cheddar cheese. The multigrain bun was perfectly crispy and tasted incredible next to broccoli-potato soup.

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Busy week ahead – happy Monday, everyone!

30 Recipes I Can’t Wait to Make!

My schedule for the spring/summer semester is quite packed! With courses going from as early as 8:30 to as late as 6:20, and aerials classes 5-6 days a week, I could use lots of meal prepping help (or maybe a personal chef – that’d be nice too).

That being said, life gets a lot easier when…

a) it’s summer, so there’s less reason to turn on the stove and truly “cook”

b) meal-prepping is an option, simply by cooking 3-4 servings of one dish and enjoying leftovers for lunches/dinners for days to come

Check out my list of 30 quick, easy, healthy, and colourful summer meals!

Healthy Summer Eats

  1. grilled shrimp with tomatoes and romaine lettuce on whole grain flatbread with feta cheese and tzatziki
  2. rice and beans (this recipe looks simple and delicious) with broccoli on the side
  3. over-easy eggs, half of a nut-buttered bagel, avocado, fresh fruit
  4. pizza topped with BBQ sauce, black beans, corn, cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella
  5. shrimp pasta with black beans, zucchini, bell peppers, and baby spinach, topped with breadcrumbs and parmesan
  6. healthy corn cakes: this recipe and this one look healthy and delicious.
  7. quinoa tabbouleh, served with pita wedges and hummus: this recipe looks awesome!
  8. gnocchi with corn, zucchini, onion, basil, half-and-half, parmesan
  9. seafood-salad stuffed avocado (canned wild salmon mixed with celery, peppers, Greek yogurt, mustard)
  10. egg salad made with Greek yogurt
  11. super berry summer salad with raspberries, blueberries, candied nuts, avocado, goat cheese
  12. zucchini bread
  13. blueberry smoothie with 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup yogurt, 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, 1/2 frozen banana, 1/4 cup oats, lemon zest, and vanilla extract
  14. quinoa breakfast porridge with bananas and nut butter
  15. healthy grain bowl with quinoa, fried black beans, wilted spinach, avocado, lemon wedge
  16. lots of veggies and fresh fruit with yummy dip
  17. avocado caprese salad with romaine, cherry tomatoes, avocado, fresh mozzarella, basil, balsamic reduction
  18. grilled salmon on couscous with spinach and corn
  19. caprese lasagna – this recipe is the one!
  20. summer rolls with cucumber, cabbage, peppers, carrots, wrapped in rice wraps and dipped in peanut sauce
  21. chia pudding with blackberries, coconut, pistachios
  22. lots of overnight oatmeal
  23. vegetable feta quinoa with honey lemon vinaigrette (1 tbsp lemon zest, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1.5 tbsp honey, minced garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper to serve 3)
  24. caprese pesto tortellini skewers with fresh mozzarella pearls, cherry tomatoes, basil, and pesto-covered tortellini
  25. black bean quesadillas with pepper jack cheese, salsa, whole wheat tortillas, and smashed avocado
  26. green smoothies!
  27. skillet gnocchi with dark leafy chard, onions, garlic, diced tomatoes, white beans, and mozzarella and parmesan cheese
  28. fresh sliced mozzarella, yellow peach, tomato, basil, EVOO, balsamic vinegar
  29. pinwheel sandwiches
  30. this cookie dough dip made with chickpeas and blended up:
  • 1 can drained and rinsed chickpeas
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup nut butter
  • up to 1/4 cup milk, if needed
  • 2 tbsp oats

Are there any delicious summer dishes that you’re dying to make?