Looks Gross, Tastes GREAT

Hello, friends! I hope you all had the most fantastic Easter weekend. I did, especially when you consider the number of almond croissants that I devoured. You’ll see. 😉

This was my long weekend plan, most of which didn’t play out because the weather was gorgeous and I didn’t want to be cooped up in a yoga studio.

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Almond croissant numero un was at Delysees, where I nibbled on a warm croissant with a dark hot chocolate.

On Sunday, I tried Russian food for the first time. This was a trout coulibiac from The Tempered Room. It was a puff pastry (similar to a wellington) filled with flaked trout, roasted kale, lentils, slices of hard-boiled egg, and quinoa. Definitely not the most authentic, but a delicious, protein-filled healthy twist to a Russian classic.

Let’s be honest, this doesn’t look the greatest. But it tasted AWESOME.

That was devoured alongside a buttery kale and sweet potato scone.

London Fog tea lattes are my favourite, and this was my first time trying the famous Sloane brand of tea. I loved this mug of tea, but thought it was similar to any old supermarket Earl Grey.

Croissant number two. Did I mention this was all in the same day? This chocolate almond croissant was flatter, denser, less flaky, and more buttery.

Another day, I enjoyed a phenomenal brunch at Barque Smokehouse, where I enjoyed cornbread topped with citrus smoked salmon, two poached eggs, and BBQ hollandaise, the crispiest roasted potatoes, and a kale salad with carrots, cabbage, and pear.

Healthy dinner at home involved cauliflower rice and zucchini/yellow zucchini shreds with gruyere cheese.

I can never make the 2 egg + 1 ripe banana pancakes successfully. They always seem to rip or break on me! Even this time, when I added a bit of rolled oats and almond meal to create sturdiness, they tore as I flipped them. Any tips?

Regardless, they tasted fantastic smeared with almond and peanut butter.

Round Two turned out better! I added a bit of quinoa flour this time. I think that contributed to the sturdiness.

Another day, I whisked up four eggs, lots of wilted spinach, and feta cheese. I made it omelette-style, then tossed it into the oven to broil and melt the cheese. This created a filling, delicious, and easy meal that I paired with yogurt and a crumbled date bar.

Saag paneer (spinach + cottage cheese) roti is probably my favourite thing about Toronto so far. This roti from Mother India on Queen West was stuffed with pureed spinach, tender potatoes, and some chunks of paneer cheese. I had a big craving for Indian food after a patient told me about Mother India, and it needed to be satisfied! I loved this roti as much as the one from Gandhi Indian Cuisine. Though Mother India’s roti itself tasted better and was less spicy, Gandhi’s saag paneer roti had bigger chunks of paneer and the spinach looked greener.

It looks gross. I know. But it tasted absolutely incredible.

Can you believe that I have EIGHT more days of work before I’m going back to Waterloo and saying goodbye to Toronto (possibly forever!)?

My sister, Seline, published a book! Her novel is called ‘Journey to Avalon‘ and details the adventures of an awkward, self-proclaimed loser who finds herself with strange powers in the Elemental Academy for the Supernaturally Gifted – and will do anything to go back to her mundane life at home.

I think that’s it for today! I have lots more stuff to show you in the next few days, so stay tuned 😉

Great Food + The Best Holiday Pun

This is honestly the greatest joke I’ve ever seen.

A couple is walking in St. Petersburg Square on Christmas Eve. They feel a slight precipitation.

“I think it’s raining,” says the man.

“No, it’s snowing,” replies the woman.

“How about we ask this Communist officer here? He is always right!” exclaims the man. “Officer Rudolph, is it raining or snowing?”

“Definitely raining,” Officer Rudolph replies before walking off.

The man turns to his wife with a smile. “See? Rudolph the Red knows rain, dear.”

And this is one of the best breakfasts of the week!

Vegan Banana Bread Buckwheat Bake

Serves 2
  • scant 2/3 cup buckwheat flour
  • 2 tbsp almond meal
  • 2 tbsp ground flax
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 medium banana, ripe
  • half of 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 6 muffin tins with liners or grease a baking dish with coconut oil.
  2. Mash banana until egg-like. Whisk in milk and vanilla.
  3. Add all dry ingredients to the wet bowl. Whisk until just combined. Mixture will be thick.
  4. Bake for 34-38 minutes, until centre is golden brown.
  5. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Slide a knife around the edge to release.
  6. Top with nut butter and maple syrup.
The nutrition stats for this tasty breakfast are also quite impressive. Each serving has 270 calories, with 20% of your daily required potassium. The buckwheat also provides 9.5 grams of fibre (40% of daily required intake). There are only 9 grams of natural sugar involved. Plus, this vegan brekkie boasts over 8 grams of protein.
Some other good points? I copied and pasted this from a nutrition-analysis website:

It’s so dark and dreary outside nowadays. 😦

You can see that I’ve been loving buckwheat recently!

Vegan Buckwheat Pancakes

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • scant 1 tsp ground flax
  • scant 1 tsp melted coconut oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp buckwheat flour
  • 2 tbsp spelt flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • sprinkle salt
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Stir together milk, flax, oil, vanilla. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Whisk flours, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium bowl.
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir until well-blended.
  4. Oil nonstick skillet over medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup batter into skillet. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until bubbly. Flip and cook for 2 more minutes on opposite side. Repeat until all batter is used. Add oil to skillet as needed.
  5. Serve with maple syrup, cinnamon, and desired toppings.
If served with 1/2 banana, 2 tbsp peanut butter, and 1 tsp honey, then this recipe is only 420 calories, with 8 grams of fiber and 13 grams of protein.
 How impressive is that? Not to mention, it’s low in sodium and 100% free of trans fat (thanks to no butter) and free of cholesterol (thanks to the lack of eggs). It’s also very high in manganese and vitamin B6 from the buckwheat. Amazing!
These muffins turned out great. The original recipe called for 1/4 cup coconut oil, but I replaced that with applesauce.
Cherry Chocolate Chip Muffins {vegan}
Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 heaping cup frozen cherries, pitted and lightly chopped
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Mix all wet ingredients.
  3. Add dry ingredients, adding flour last. Do not overmix.
  4. Fold in cherries and chocolate chips.
  5. Spoon into 9 greased muffin tins. Top with remaining chocolate and cherries, if desired.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden. Let rest for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  7. Serve warm and enjoy!
  8. Store in airtight container to keep fresh. Transfer to freezer if needed.
Per 1 delicious muffin: 112 calories, 2 grams fat, 2 grams fiber, 8 grams sugar, 3 grams protein
Low cholesterol and high in manganese, phosphorus, and selenium
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Friends and I rented the “Boiler Room” at the local burger store and had an awesome dinner there. This was their veggie burger with brie, tomato, and mushrooms, and a side of great sweet potato fries.

I made a great veggie quinoa casserole, and I can’t wait to share the recipe!

Lasagna was also made, devoured, and frozen. And then devoured again the next day.

Almond butter and banana sandwiches are an old favourite. This time, I smashed the banana instead of slicing it.

Leftover trout was tossed onto avocado toast and served with muffin and yogurt for breakfast.

Mexican-style sweet potatoes were also devoured.

Here was some of that trout! I seasoned it super simply, with cayenne, paprika, garlic, butter, and lemon. It tasted great!

I try my best to do some meal prep when I have a couple hours at home. I made muffins, overnight oats, and chopped some peppers and mushrooms.

I also baked some sweet potatoes and made a mess in the kitchen.

Any thoughts on this infographic? Because I entirely disagree. Uh, if I want a donut, I want a good old donut. Not a mossy green bubbly drink. Whoever made this – did you really think a craving for cheddar would be curbed by kale and flax?! You’ve got to be kidding…

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My blog is snowing!

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I also found this recipe and can’t wait to replicate. Love peanut butter oats!

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Made a new friend at a Zumba class because she was wearing a Nicolas Cage t-shirt. This made my day. Rational Treasure? YES!

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Lily and I made a Princess Cafe date…

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And I attended some free fitness classes at my school.

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What have you been up to lately?

Tapas Tuesday at Nick and Nat’s Uptown 21

Hey everyone!

A bit of a different post for you guys today – lots of pics of recent restaurant and cafe eats. The summer’s been going well for me so far, and every day has mostly been busy with volunteering, yoga, and relaxing.


SETTLEMENT CO.

Chai tea latte and Greek yogurt and cherry croissant

I was pretty disappointed with this snack. The chai tea latte smelled incredible, but the flavour wasn’t there. It was quite bland in terms of spices, but overly sweetened and more watery than milky. I didn’t think it was a true latte because of how thin and diluted it was, as well as how sugary the drink tasted.

I asked for the croissant to be heated up, and I did see the server put it in the oven. However, when it was served to my table, the croissant was cold, firm, and not the least bit flaky. The filling was unevenly distributed, with yogurt on one side and cherry jam on the other. It wasn’t warmed up at all, and lacked the crispy, buttery, flakiness that all croissants should possess. I would not recommend Settlement Co. at all!


On Tuesday, Madhulika and Arsalan (housemates) took me to Uptown 21 for their famous tapas.

  • Disappointment #1: called in the afternoon and there was no answer.
  • Disappointment #2: didn’t make a reservation (this was entirely my fault).
  • Disappointment #3: we didn’t get a table, and had bar seats directly outside the kitchen.

NICK AND NAT’S UPTOWN 21

Shredded beet salad, curried chickpea salad, cucumber and carrots in vinegar dressing

The shredded beets were sweet and tangy, but nothing special. I didn’t like the cucumber and carrot dish, because I found it plain and too vinegary. The chickpea salad was decent, but more curried spices could have been used. I also tasted yogurt and possibly pureed peppers. I think the curried chickpeas could have easily been made at home, with much more flavour.

Pesto breadsticks with tomatoes, olives, and herbed ricotta

This was okay. I don’t like how the pesto was drizzled (rather than smeared) on the breadsticks, and there was nothing particularly special about the bread. The ricotta was quite delicious, though.

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Grilled asparagus with hummus

This was one of my favourite things of the night! The asparagus was cooked perfectly, with a hint of smoke from the grill. The hummus was flavourful and tasted homemade. It even had small chickpea chunks in it! The flavours paired together very nicely.

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Honey-garlic chili fried chicken thighs and drumsticks

Another favourite dish! I’m certainly not a big meat-eater, and was actually very hesitant to eat a thigh. With some convincing from Madhulika, I had to give one a try. There were absolutely no regrets! The skin was crispy, the sauce just sweet enough with a great kick, and the garlic flavour was not overpowering. Also, the chicken itself was juicy and succulent. I could have eaten several more pieces!

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All the “appetizers” together.

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Mussels in tomato broth

I’m not a huge fan of mussels, but I had a couple and thought they were just average. The tomato broth was simple. With mussels, I like to have a coconut-based seafood stew with garlic, ginger, and other Thai flavours like lemongrass.

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Crepe with “fromage fort” (blue cheese) and picked zucchini

This would’ve been nice if it had been served warm. Unfortunately, it was chilled and stuffed poorly. My piece had tons of blue cheese, which can be off-putting. The pickled zucchini lacked flavour, and the crepe itself was thick and chewy.

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Grilled hanger steak with cayenne oil

I had a small piece of the beef, and it was surprisingly better than other beef that I’ve tried. Very chewy, which I don’t like, but the flavour was pretty good.

Parsnip fries

“These taste like stale… regular fries” was what Arsalan described these fries as. Madhulika enjoyed them, and I thought they were just okay. When it comes to veggie fries, I like sweet potato fries, followed by carrot. Parsnips have a flavour that I think does not belong in a French fry.

Chilled tomato gazpacho with crunchy herb croutons

It’s probably just a Cindy-thing, but I am seriously against cold soups. I just don’t like them. Soup, being pureed vegetables and liquid, should NOT be doused in vinegar and served chilled in a mason jar. The crunchy croutons were slightly redeeming, however. Arsalan, Madhulika, and I agreed that this was too acidic from the vinegar.

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Poutine with veal gravy and mushrooms

I had one fry and a mushroom. It was pretty average, but then again, I am DEFINITELY not the right person to ask when it comes to evaluating fries (especially poutine).

Soft-boiled eggs with truffle cream

I really liked this! The eggs were cooked very well, and the truffle cream tasted great. I think the cream was made with truffle oil whisked into mayonnaise, because the oil bits had somewhat separated from the creamy mayo. This was a really special dish that I enjoyed a lot. 🙂 I forgot how tasty soft-boiled eggs can be!

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Smoky grilled bok choy with balsamic drizzle and crispy onions

Another great dish! The crispy onions had excellent flavour, and I love how the leafy ends of the bok choy had the shatter-y, fragile quality of a kale chip. The balsamic drizzle gave these veggies tons of flavour. It was my first time eating bok choy in a non stir-fry setting!

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Beet salad with chipotle aioli and crunchy breadcrumbs

This was great. I liked the beets, but the crunchy, buttery breadcrumbs were very special. They didn’t taste like regular breadcrumbs, but more like a rich crumbly graham cracker. The aioli was nice, with a bit of a kick. I think it could have been spicier, but it paired nicely with the sweet beets.

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Deep-fried rainbow trout with chipotle aioli

This was our last dish. We were getting full and decided to surrender after the fish. I really liked this, but was a little disappointed that the trout came with the same chipotle aioli as the beets. The fish itself was cooked nicely, with great crisp. It tasted very fresh, and reminded me of salmon tempura.

Random note: six of the savoury dishes were served with these micro-sprouts. Why not use chopped chives? Dried basil? Crispy garlic? I got kind of bored of this garnish after six dishes.

Then, we waited for dessert…

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Chocolate brownies with ganache

These were much, much firmer than I’d expected. They tasted more like a truffle, or a block of chocolate, than a brownie. A little upsetting, especially because I am a HUGE chocolate brownie lover. I like my brownies soft, chewy, dense, and fudgy, not firm and truffle-like.

Whipped cream with strawberries and crumbled meringue

The kitchen ran out of raspberry mousse before making this dessert. I was disappointed, because they replaced the famous berry mousse with whipped cream. 😦 Topped with only four strawberries, this mason jar wasn’t very exciting. The meringue crumbles were an interesting addition.

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Apple bread pudding with powdered sugar and whipped cream

This was my favourite dessert, but it still wasn’t amazing. With a faint apple flavour and a hint of vanilla, this bread pudding was tasty compared to some of the other sweets that we were served.

Peach, chocolate, and cherry sorbet

I. Officially. Loathe. Sorbets. Peach tasted very “off”, the chocolate wasn’t cocoa-y in any way, and look at those ICE particles on it! Definitely a sign of poor-quality sorbet, in my opinion. Cherry tasted like medicine.

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Steamed rhubarb and sesame brittle on whipped cream

Unique, but again, whipped cream. This was the third of five desserts that used whipped cream. The sesame brittle was a creative twist that I enjoyed, but it was too “corn-syrup” and not sesame-ish enough. The poached rhubarb had great flavour that I can only describe as berry-ish, with the texture of a silky vegetable.

And that’s it for today!

  1. Do you like tapas?
  2. What would your favourite dish here be?
  3. Do you think my dinner was worth $40 (actually $52 with tax and tip)?

 

High School vs. Uni, Dining Out, and a New Favourite Recipe

Happy Sunday morning everyone! I hope you’ve all had a beautiful and restful weekend so far. The weather here in Waterloo has been pretty nice to me – nothing below -10 recently. Whew!

PS: This post is gonna be another very random one, so click away or close your eyes if you just aren’t ready for that kind of chaos in your life 😉

Maybe you remember from my post last week that Dad and I went to explore Toronto on Saturday the 9th, and we had such a good time. Well, on Sunday the 10th, we were planning to go again but the weather wasn’t looking so nice. Instead, we hopped back into the car and drove to Guelph, where we had a nice breakfast.

We were actually planning to go to a Guelph patisserie for croissants, but they were closed. It always irks me when restaurants/cafes that I plan to go to are actually CLOSED, with no mention their website or Facebook page. Either way, The Bakery and With the Grain were my second choice for breakfast.

From date squares to scones to lemon bars, this place has all kinds of sweets and breakfast treats. I got a raspberry lemon muffin to go {now frozen for a future oatmeal topping}, as well as a Dream Bar and a Bee Sting for our after-lunch dessert. 🙂

Dad started with the almond caramel latte, which he found just perfect. Dad doesn’t like almond OR whipped cream, but found the latte sweetened just right. While we waited for our food, I sipped on a London Fog latte (unpictured). Dad’s breakfast plate had a little of everything! He enjoyed it all, sans salad.

I ordered the trout hash: wild trout with butternut squash and potato hash with a poached egg, dill, and multigrain toast. This was absolutely incredible. The squash and potatoes were flavoured to absolute perfection and I couldn’t stop eating them. The trout was cooked until tender, and the dill added a pop of freshness.

My favourite part, though, was any bite with squash + trout + dill, or that bread! They bake their own bread in the bakery across the street, and you can totally tell that it is homemade. Crispy, chewy, nutty, and smeared with salted butter, this was some darn good toast! I stole a piece off Dad’s plate, too. 🙂

That day, my lunch involved tofu, peanut sauce, quinoa, and lots of veggies and a big sprinkling of sesame seeds. I have been so addicted to peanut sauce recently – you’ll see a lot more of it in this post.

Here are the aforementioned Bee Sting and the Dream Bar. I found both to be very, VERY sweet! Sticky and ganache-y, these nicely-textured bars were quite good. I had a quarter of each and Dad enjoyed the rest.

Alright, let’s move on to something totally different – I recently made a compilation of ways that high school differs from university. 🙂 Let me show you!

High School: Teachers give worksheets with key information written on it. All you need to do is study the worksheets and notes, and possibly the textbook.

University: Powerpoint slides all day long. Most of the Powerpoints have just key words on them: “walking, cell cycle, or motoneuron”. Then, the professor goes into extreme detail during the lecture, elaborating on the key terms on the slides. It’s really up to you to take good notes in class, otherwise exams would be a nightmare! This leads me to my next point…

High School: Parents and teachers tell you what your responsibilities are. They help you organize your time to accomplish these responsibilities.

University: You are expected to know your responsibilities and be able to straighten out your priorities. No one will remind you what your responsibilities are. You need to keep track of to-do’s on your own, because no one will be nagging you anymore.

HS: 28-30 people in a classroom, each with their own desk.

U: 280-300 people in a lecture hall, each with a little fold-up desk. Or, in some theatres, no desk at all!

HS: Teachers, parents, coaches, and many other people schedule your time. You didn’t have any choice about school from 8:00-3:00, Mom planned your piano lessons from 3:30-4:30, and coach organized practices after dinner. The schedule is rigid and you have to conform, whether you like it or not.

U: You manage your own time! The schedule is extremely open. All you have to do is go to several lectures a week, and the rest of the time is yours to do anything you’d like. For example, last semester I had two classes a day, typically before noon. That meant the entire afternoon and evening was mine, and I could fill it up with any activities I liked. I really enjoy this about university – having the freedom to plan your own schedule according to your personal preferences and mood is fantastic.

HS: Countless assignments and projects for every class, and worksheets are handed in into a box, dropped on the teacher’s desk, or collected by a teacher or student.

U: There are usually one to three assignments in a class, depending on your professor, and all of them are submitted virtually. For instance, my Sociology professor designed three assignments: two critical reflections (500-word essays) and the skeleton of a research project. All of these were handed in on ‘Dropbox’, a program on Learn, which we use to get updates from professors and submit assignments. My Kinesiology professor, on the other hand, decided to do one project for the entire semester. The 8-person project was worth 25% of our grade and was a presentation based on a health-based controversy. Every professor, and their assignments, are completely different!

HS: 8:00-3:00 classes with two scheduled breaks for everyone.

U: Sometimes four classes a day, other times just two – sometimes 8 AM, other times not until 2 PM. Much more freedom, like I mentioned earlier!

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HS: It’s the norm to call your teacher “Mr.” or “Mrs.”, followed by their last name. No one EVER refers to a middle-school teacher by their first name!

U: Professors have completely different preferences. Some of my professors like being called their first names. It was pretty strange at first, calling my 50 year-old Kinesiology professor “Bill”, but other professors dislike that. Professors with a PHD are generally “Dr.” so-and-so. It’s always safe, however, to use “Professor Smithwick” or “Professor Engelhardt”.

HS: I don’t know about you guys, but in high school, I did all my homework on the same desk in the same room, with the same people (well, person… my sister).

U: I still do homework in my room 60% of the time, but most of my classmates and friends tell me that they absolutely cannot concentrate on schoolwork when in their rooms, surrounded by Netflix and a cozy bed. Now, I do quite a bit of studying in the school’s health building lounge with my friends, in cafes, and occasionally the library.

HS: Papers, pencils, binders, textbooks, highlighters of every colour, pens, and more

U: Laptop. They do everything! I’m still a little old-school and prefer the traditional pen and paper method for note-taking, because I can go back and colour-coordinate things and feel like it’s more interactive and engaging. Most of my friends use their computers for 100% of notes and studying, but I wouldn’t be able to look at a screen for more than 45 minutes at a time. Really, in university you can study any way you choose.

HS: My parents drove me everywhere. My mom was like my personal chauffeur, and I didn’t fully appreciate it until I started living on my own.

U: Buses became my life! Thankfully the bus system in Waterloo caters very well to students. One bus, the #9 that can take me to one end of campus, comes every THREE minutes between 7:30 and 8:30. Isn’t that crazy? In Waterloo, we also have Express buses that stop in key places like the mall, the school, and uptown – so rides are always efficient.

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HS: Fun. Every day in the classroom, is new and different. Teachers provide interactive demonstrations, games, workshops, and presentations to keep students engaged all the time.

U: The professor talks. If you want to listen and take good notes, go for it. If you just don’t want to, you can sit back or maybe even take a nap. You won’t get called out on it. In fact, you don’t even have to come to class. Sometimes my classmates sleep in, or just don’t feel like attending a lecture. In that case, they simply ask someone to send their notes over. Not the best idea. When we were filling out Scantron cards for my Sociology final a couple weeks ago, the boy next to me asked what our professor’s name was. He hadn’t been to a single class!

Saw this on Twitter: In high school, everyone is so judgmental – but in college, you see someone wearing a Snuggie and riding a scooter, and you’re like… “that is a smart man.”

I am going to testify that the Tweet above is completely true. One time, I saw a girl walking to the bus with one of those super-long, body-shielding umbrellas and thought it was so bizarre. Who on earth would use one of those?! Then I realized I was just totally jealous because my legs and backpack were getting soaked in the rain. I need to get myself one of those super-umbrellas!

Whew, that’s the end of my list 🙂

Dad and I went to Belmont Bistro in Kitchener on Thursday night, the night before he left for BC. We started with polenta fries and bolognaise sauce.

Dad ordered the chicken dish, which came with duchesse potatoes and bacon, broccoli, and a sweet potato puree. Red wine gravy on the side.

I had the salad with garlic baguette chips, arugula, celery, green grapes, walnuts, fig spread, and bruleed goat cheese. I personally found the salad overdressed, but the ingredients here complemented each other like nothing else. The sweet figs, crunchy walnuts, and tangy goat cheese all went so well with the fresh grapes and peppery arugula. Yum!

Our meals left enough room for dessert. This is the buttermilk oatmeal cookie with Saskatoon berry preserves and ice cream.

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And the deconstructed s’mores bar which came with graham crackers, peanut butter ice cream, chocolate ganache, and torched meringue. The peanut butter ice cream was to die for with the rich chocolate!

 

I told you there would be a lot of peanut sauce in this post!

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I made this crepe the other day! It serves one perfectly. Here’s the recipe:

Single-Serving Almond Flour Crepe

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp almond flour/almond meal
  • 1/2 tsp ground flax
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp almond milk
  • 1 tsp honey
  • heaping 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • sprinkle of salt
  • 1 banana for topping
  • nut butter for topping
  • chocolate chips for topping (about 1 tbsp)
  • any desired fruit for topping
  • nuts or coconut for topping (OPTIONAL)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Mix all ingredients together up until salt.
  2. Heat pan over medium heat. Grease with coconut oil.
  3. Pour into pan and swirl to cover.
  4. Cook until the bottom turns brown. You do not need to flip.
  5. Put nut butter, then chocolate chips, then banana slices on the crepe.
  6. Roll it up and serve with more toppings!

I ran for my program’s Director of Computer Services, but I don’t think I got the spot. That’s okay, I don’t think I was ready for such a big time commitment and should probably focus more on my courses and volunteering this semester.

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Oh, and yoga! I’ve been doing lots more yoga recently. Since Dad was here, he was able to drive me to hot yoga and I could do more yoga classes at school. These are some of my favourite asanas (poses) that are incredibly beneficial for improving not only flexibility and balance, but also your muscular endurance. Some yoga poses have some funny names!

Do you do yoga? What are your favourite poses?

Collage

I saw this online and it really made me think. What a powerful photo.

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Like I said, the weather has actually been quite nice! It’s -6 degrees today with wind and snow. I’m glad to be in my cozy, warm home in pyjamas. 🙂

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Facebook Funnies:

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C’est tout! See you guys in my next post…

BUT WAIT!

Before you leave, though, check out some of my favourite posts from recently:

  • Steph’s yummy WIAW post! I always love it when she does these. You MUST go look at that pizza… now. Seriously.
  • Rachel is BACK! After quite the loonnngggg hiatus. The blog world has missed her, that’s for sure! Check out her new restaurant review – PS: I was there too 😉
  • Jack’s new page on eats around Ottawa – someone please take me to Ottawa so I can visit every single restaurant/cafe on her list.
  • Cora’s jaw-droppingly beautiful food photographs. Honestly, if this girl made a photography boot camp, I’d be the first to sign up. Isn’t she so talented at making and taking pics of her meals?! HOLY.
  • Kate’s epic meals recently – and valuable insight into why she’s waiting 🙂 Such a lovely and, as usual, honest read!

And, that is really it for now. 🙂 I have some psychology readings to do and notes to make for my anatomy class!

Happy rest-of-your Sunday and let’s get ready for a great (and hopefully not-too-cold) week!

Balanced Dinners Lately

Happy St-Patrick’s Day guys! How are you all?

I started this lovely Tuesday with a 5:20 AM alarm clock (okay, that part wasn’t lovely), gulped down some water, then headed to Goodlife Fitness Centre for a 6:00 AM hot yoga class! I had a new teacher this time; her name was Antonella and she was awesome. Totally committed, helpful, and gave great pointers for beginners like me. This was my fourth hot yoga class and I’m definitely finding it easier and easier every time. But still super hot. :mrgreen:

Here are some of the dinners we’ve had! Many of them are Mom Dinners <– haven’t updated that page in a while and I really should!

Party meal featuring Chinese chicken sesame salad, maple-soy salmon, roasted veggies, roasted potatoes with ketchup, and stir-fried vegetables. Plus two mounds of rice 🙂

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This fried rice was made with leftover maple-soy salmon and it was INCREDIBLE! The sweet soy sauce made the rice so addictive and tasty. We added an egg and some spinach to wilt before topping it all with toasted sesame seeds. You must try this if you have leftover fish – just flake it up and toss it into your fried rice at the last minute.

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Mom made a casserole the other day, with a homemade creamy bechamel sauce. I wasn’t too crazy about this dish but the chicken was really tender! Served with a hairbrush and some plastic containers on our messy living room table. Sorry.

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This was a Greek-inspired meal with garlicky yogurt-baked chicken, roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes (yup, those whitish rectangular prisms that look pretty freaky), and some roasted broccoli. We love roasted potatoes + veggies here! Oh and I dipped my potatoes in tzatziki to complement the tasty Greek chicken drumsticks.

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Rotisserie chicken from Costco on top of quinoa with spinach, corn, and scallions. This is my go-to meal and I absolutely love it!

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A lighter lunch another day.  These were toasted multigrain flats smeared with mashed avocado and topped with shredded chicken breast and white cheddar. Broiled to melt the cheese and then devoured!

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This is great because it’s super fast and filling. I’m not a fan, however, of these multigrain rounds. They’re too chewy, even after you toast them. I wouldn’t recommend making this with 100-calorie rounds because they are really toothsome and simply aren’t substantial. Try it out with whole wheat bread, maybe. It would rock with feta cheese, eggs, and spinach too.

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This fancy-ish looking dinner was spaghetti in rose sauce from Costco (tomato and creamy mascarpone cheese). Whenever eating pasta, I try to add as many veggies as possible to improve the colour, nutrition, and filling-power of my plate. This was spiked with steamed broccolette, broccoli’s quiet little cousin, carrots, and chopped tomatoes.

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I can’t have pasta without tons of parmesan cheese. Believe me, I added heavy sprinkles of that salty, addictive stuff after these photos were taken 🙂 Freshly-ground black pepper is a must, too!

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I usually use a little plate (salad or dessert-sized) for scrumptious dinners like this, because I know I have a bit of a problem with overeating – especially when it comes to pasta, my kryptonite! Check out my plate (left) with my sister’s regular-sized plate devoid of veggies. 😥

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Aunt Mimi gave us a lemon meringue pie from Whole Foods, which we enjoyed. I loved the crust, but I’m not really a fan of lemony desserts. Am I the only one who feels like desserts = sweet = chocolate? I’d much rather have some creamy chocolate gelato or CAKE (bonus if it’s chocolate). But most of the time, it’s a couple bites a homemade, nutritious baked good. You can check out my faves here!

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More coconut chicken curry with spinach and peas, this time served on coconut basmati rice and with steamed broccolette on the side. By the way, we get our broccolette from Costco – it’s organic and really easy to cook. My mom boils it for 3 minutes to make it all tender (even the stem part, which I love!) No naan bread this time. 😦

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You know how I mentioned that quinoa + spinach + corn is my go-to dinner? It truly is! I have it again here, with the addition of mushrooms and scallions. A filet of pan-fried trout on the side, plus roasted cauliflower.

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If you ever get sick of a certain veggie, try roasting it! I promise you won’t regret it. The caramelized parts are my favourite!

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My aforementioned small-plate trick didn’t really work on this day! I was super hungry after volunteering at the Eagle Ridge Hospital, and Mom had whipped up this baked penne dish with zucchini, mushrooms, spinach, and chopped chicken breast. It was mixed up with my fave tomato sauce and then topped with three types of cheese, one of them being fresh mozzarella. YUM. Roasted broccoli on the side!

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I had four plates and ate until my stomach hurt. Gooey, melty cheese is definitely the best part of pasta, but it wasn’t worth the stomachache (on a side note, I used to call it a “stummyache” – stomach + tummy). Anyways, portion control is seriously hard for me, especially when it comes to cheesy, vegetable-filled pasta.

Leftovers made a great lunch the next day – luckily there was just one bowl left. 😉

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Party dinner with Chinese chicken salad, rice, steamed veggies, rouzao rice and egg, pesto shrimp pasta salad, and roasted potatoes. Honestly it seems like we have the same 8 dishes served at every party –> proof. 🙂

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Dinner the next day had stir-fried veggies, pan-fried tilapia and leftover pesto pasta.

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And pumpkin chicken soup with spinach! I had seconds. :mrgreen:

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Tomato scrambled eggs on brown rice, with steamed veggies. Love those flower-shaped carrots, Mom!

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I don’t think I have to explain this for the 50th time… 🙂

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More pasta in that rose sauce – this time with mushrooms and spinach.

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Mom’s fried rice is just so, so good! This bowl had scrambled eggs, spinach, mushrooms, and scallions. I wanted to add about 569 other vegetables, but Seline wouldn’t touch it if I did! So we collaborated 🙂

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And… dun dun dunnn… Check out this dinner that I made 100% by myself! I’m mostly proud about washing all the dishes and drying them, too. PS: Mom Dinners still taste better. What is it about Mom’s cooking that makes food ten times better?

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One afternoon, some wooden planks fell off my Dad’s pickup and hit him 1 cm below the eye (LUCKY!), and he drove home with one eye (yup). Mom took him to the hospital, and they waited for 7 hours in Emergency! I was stuck at home with Seline and whipped up this dinner for two.

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Roasted potatoes and broccoli with parmesan, plus pan-fried salmon and a lemon wedge for the photos 🙂 Dad is much better now – he had surgery last week, and has been staying at home + taking meds for the past few days.

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P-p-p-pasta! The best family dinner, because we can’t seem to find something that we all like. 🙂 I filled my small plate with lotsa veggies (and parmesan, of course!). I just noticed this while scrolling through my post, but I think I should branch out and eat more salads. In my family, we have a lot of cooked (I just wrote ‘cookies’) vegetables, but not too many salads. Should definitely get a mixture of both into our diets 🙂

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Thanks for reading about my delicious week of healthy, pretty balanced dinners – hope you all enjoy the rest of your spring break!

Lately

Hey guys!

Hope you’re all having a fantastic early spring 🙂 The weather’s been so amazing where we are (yup, for Raincouver, too) and I’ve been walking to and from school for the past few days. I’ve been noticing WAY more concentration and school and a more positive outlook on days that I walk to school – it’s amazing what a little exercise can do to you mentally!

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Anyways, check this out! I found this online and it gave me the idea that I could do a physics project on my favourite sport, figure skating! I’ve been skating for five years (and I could NEVER do this, LOL) and I’ve never actually thought about the physics behind it. Now I’m working on a bonus project for my Physics 12 class and it’s probably going to be a poster version of what Casey Carlisle did in Ice Princess :mrgreen:

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Pancakes are up next! These beautiful little guys were made with the norm, spelt flour, a bit of baking soda, cinnamon, flax, and an egg. 🙂 Oh, and yogurt and a mashed banana for moistness. This plate was devoured!

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Here’s a lovely Mom Dinner that I wanted to share:

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We had roasted sweet potatoes (I seriously pop these like candy – they’re better than Jolly Ranchers)!

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Plain quinoa and tofu with scallions and soy sauce… I apologize for these dark photos – I didn’t realize how bad they were! Sorry 😦

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A huge piece of fried trout and some roasted broccoli.

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Here is my plate! There were also roasted potatoes that I forgot to photograph. 🙂

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I think the roasted sweet potatoes and broccoli were my favourite parts. I think anything roasted tastes 10x better!

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Creamy, dreamy banana oatmeal with a big scoop of peanut butter. Perfect 🙂

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Probably not the most photogenic dinner, but I love having scrambled eggs with vegetables and cheese for dinner.

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Spinach, zucchini, mushrooms, onions, and scallions topped with white cheddar and pepper. Really yummy and fast for those later dinners.

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More pancakes. You know how much I love these guys!

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Last but not least, my favourite dinner EVER! Okay, maybe my favourite dinner last week.

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Check out all of those colours and textures! I am in LOVE!

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Fried tilapia, roasted broccoli, roasted potatoes, and Mediterranean salad with roasted chickpeas and feta cheese.

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And eggplant parmesan that I made! We dipped eggplant “coins” in flour, then beaten egg, and finally breadcrumbs. They were pan-fried and then topped with marinara sauce and cheddar cheese, then broiled. I had three of these yummy little guys! I think next time we’ll cut them a bit thinner so they’ll cook easier.

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YUM.

Have a beautiful, sunny, yummy week guys! 🙂