November 2009


I’m late, I’m late, I’m late :(  Sorry.

Black Friday somehow turned into Food Friday.  o_o  My stomach was exploding by the end of the day, seriously.  I’ve been quite indulgent these few days (dunno how good that is for me, lol)… but eh, it’s the holiday season, right?!  I’ll just keep those happy thoughts :D  How much did/have you “indulged”? I “indulge” at least twice a week, so I don’t think I count for much.  :P

Before I braved the insanity at the mall to buy skinny jeans, we lunched at Tuscarora Mill.  My daddy ordered a salad to share:

Chilled lobster and shrimp salad + avocado, mango, arugula, tomatoes, madras curry oil.


YUMMM.  This had the perfect harmony of flavors—savory + seafood-y from the lobster and shrimp (though especially the former), sweetness + tartness from the mango, butteriness from the avocado, and a hint of spiciness from the curry oil.  <3

My entrée, on the other hand, was quite disappointing.  I ordered what the waitress recommended me last time, the shrimp & grits.  Bad choice, bad choice.

Shrimp & grits with spinach, tomatoes, country ham, madeira, truffled grits.

It sounded delicious.  Country ham?  Truffled grits?!  … But sadly, it failed to deliver.  It was swimming in a pool of what I presume to be gravy, as it was a) brown, b) buttery, and c) tasted exactly like stuffing.  o_o  Anyway, it was just a bit too much—too oily!

Drowning in a sea of gravy, oh dear.

With all that gravy, I couldn’t discern any sort of “truffle” flavor to the grits.  I mean, they were cheesy and buttery and creamy and yummy, but uh… where’s the part that sold me?!  >:(  The saltiness factor was also waaaay over-the-top, what with the country ham, which had nary a hint of honey-smoked sweetness and was simply laden with salt, and the shaved parmesan (or other salty cheese) on top of everything.  Super salty ham + parmesan of all cheeses + gravy?  = “I’m thirsty.  I’m thirsty.  I’m thirsty.  THIRSTY,”  for the rest of the day.  The shrimp was well-seasoned, but it, too, was overly salty, not to mention drenched in oil.  And the spinach?… um… R.I.P.

My blood pressure probably went through the roof after I was finished with this…

I found the grits.

My dissatisfaction with this meal actually surprised me quite a bit, since everyone on Yelp! seems to love it.  Meh.

And for comparisons of beautifulness, here’s my dad’s meal:

Steak “frites”: grilled shoulder steak, french fries, caramelized onions, red wine sauce, broccoli.
So much prettier than mine.

And then we went crazy.

Errr, I mean, I had a bathroom problem at the mall.  o_o  Totally lame?  Yeah.  OK, so after I maneuvered through the crowds to get to Pac Sun (their jeans are the only ones that fit me!) and get some buy 1 get 1 50% off jeans, nature called.  So I went search amidst the craziness for a bathroom, where, undoubtedly, a line was forming.  I wandered around aimlessly for some reason—I don’t know why.  Delusional from shopping?  Maybe… I did that for about ten minutes.  Then I had an epiphany, “Aha!  I will go find a directory!” :O

And so I did!  For another ten minutes. -_-  Mind you, I was wandering aimlessly, AND there were crowds that slowed me down!  The sad part is, after I found a directory, I wandered around for another ten minutes, still delusional, unable to find the freaking restroom!  At this point, I probably WAS going insane because nature was a-screamin’!  Nevertheless, I prevailed, though it took me like 4-5 trips around the mall.  o__o

It took me one try to get back.  Reiterating: I. am. an. IDIOT.  End of story.

*ahem* Dinner was supposed to be at Clyde’s, a local chain restaurant, but holy cow, it was freaking packed with people and everyone except us had reservations.  Without reservations, we would have to wait two and a half hours.  Eh… no thank you!  I know French people wouldn’t mind eating dinner at 9:00 PM, but I certainly do.  I’d be knocked out by the end of dinner!  What’s the latest that you would want to eat dinner? I’m an early girl—5-7 PM… 8 I can do, but you’d be pushin’ it.  :P

So instead, we resorted to McCormick & Schmick’s M&S Grill, which was pretty sparsely populated.  I must mention that we were given the most delicious warm, doughy, heavenly dinner rolls to start.  I spread mine with some butter and olive tapenade (the ONLY way I’ll eat olives), but I won’t show you the pic.  My camera utterly fails in dim lighting, so the pictures came out all blurry and gross.  :/

I made dinner light—still kinda full from the rich, heavy, salty lunch.

Roasted chioggia beet salad + orange, feta cheese, fennel.

This salad was surprisingly large for an appetizer, and it was surprisingly good, too.  The first time I had beets was at the Cheesecake Factory, and they tasted like dirt. These, however, were lighter in color (different variety?) and very, very, very fresh and sweet—totally delicious!  The sweet orange segments pleasantly balanced the earthy beets, the nutty arugula, and the salty feta cheese.  The fennel, unfortunately, was so thinly sliced and so sparse that it didn’t really contribute anything other than the occasional crunch… and by “occasional,” I mean VERY. occasional.

As soon as I saw sweet potato gratin on the menu—limited to fall, I believe?—I knew I had to get it.

D-i-s-a-p-p-o… inted.

On the onset, this looked pretty tasty.  However, as soon as I stabbed my fork in and realized that I had pierced a slice of regular white potato (gasp!), I freaked out on the inside.  I asked the waitress why there was regular white potato tainting my sweet potato gratin, and she explained that both regular AND sweet ‘taters were in there in layers.

Damn.

I ordered this specifically for the sweet potatoes, and this was a big disappointment.  It didn’t help that it was mostly white potato, either, with the occasional bit of sweet potato mash.  Again, occasional = VERY. occasional.  This was also the complete opposite flavor-wise to my lunch—I had to add salt to make it taste better.  ><  The cheese looked gooey and yummy, but it was hard and flavorless.  Blurgh.  I ended up finishing half before I decided that I honestly did not want to eat it.  :\

Oh, and all my attempts at a “healthier” meal were thwarted when I ordered dessert.

Banana foster bread pudding with vanilla ice cream and foster sauce.

Foster sauce being rum sauce, of course.  This was the first time I’ve had anything “banana foster,” and I must say, it was pretty damn tasty!  The “bread pudding” was basically a delicious, moist banana bread stuffed with walnuts.  I love basically all types of sweetbread, be it banana, pumpkin, etc., so I loved this.  The sauce was buttery and strongly rum-flavored, with a bite from the alcohol at the end that prevented this from being too sweet/cloying .  Ze best part of ze meal, fo sho :)  What’s your favorite part of a three-course meal?

Well, I hope you guys had a wonderful, relaxing Thanksgiving weekend!  To recap, I’m thankful for the good eats, good company, and my good fortune!  :)  … though I wish I had better socializing skills, haha!  I’ll ramble about some awkward things next post -_-;  Later!  :P

EDIT: Holy.  Why was this post so long?!?!

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… onto my walls, my floor, my clothes, etc.  D:

Ahem, before I get into all that, let’s start with Thanksgiving morning.  Thanksgiving morning greeted me like so:

Hello, I am impending doom.

Yes, that is a super thick, impenetrable layer of fog out my window.  Good morning indeed…

It was a bad omen.

The crust was the good part.  I actually got a little creative with that—I can say that I have a recipe for it.  :D  My first ever, haha!  I was too lazy to make actual dough, so I resorted to using a “press in pan” crust.  It turned out pretty good.  :)

On the other hand, the pie filling was MESSY.  o_o  I screwed up a thousand times during the process of making it!  Actually, everything was going great… until the mixer. *shudder*  Electric whisks are dangerous.  When your squash ain’t fully blended.

-___- *facepalm*  How could I forget to purée the squash when the recipe calls for squash purée?!?!  Because I’m a nerd with no common sense, that’s why!  I ended up having the take out all the random hunks of squash in the mixture, along with any leftover seeds that were not scooped out initially… yeah, I’m fabulous at preparing squash purée.

Bleh.  It was a bleh experience, that’s what it was.  Cleanup was a pain in the (_|_).   However, I refuse to let my first go at pie-making bring me down for eternity!  I’m going to keep destroying my kitchen until I can make pie like someone’s grandma!  Yesss!  Who’s with me?!

puffin-pepita pie crust
makes 1 10-inch crust

– 2 + 1/2 cups Barbara’s Bakery Original Puffins
– 1/4 cup Barbara’s Bakery Peanut Butter Puffins
– 3 large handfuls pepitas
– 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
– pinch of sea salt
– handful of granola

Throw all ingredients into a blender and pulse until fully combined.  The mixture should have a slightly sticky texture when it’s done.  In all honesty, I eyeballed all of these measurements (except the butter), so this is just a guestimation of what I actually used, but you should end up with 2 1/4 cups of cereal “flour” to combine with the other ingredients.

And the results, after divvying up among the family—

Yes, I topped it with black sesame seeds.  Yes I did.

My piece, with ahem, whipped topping:

Eat me, good friends.

The verdict? My family loved it.  :)  Granted, it was just three people… four, if you include myself, but it was pretty tasty for my first pie!  I was really quite scared that they would hate it, and we’d have to resort to the store-bought pumpkin cheese chocolate ganache pie.  Uh, that sounds better than lame “kabocha pie” by a long shot.  But anyway, I’m pretty happy with the results, even though the steps that it took to get there were partial agony.  ;)

Our turkey this year happened to be incredibly juicy.  OMG.  Succulent, tender white meat… no gravy even needed.  The trick was to flip the turkey upside down to bake and fill the dish with water (something like that), according to my brilliant mom.  The best turkey I’ve ever had, period.  I don’t think I’ll get sick of the leftovers this year :)

I was also responsible for mashed potatoes this year.  Although I’d much prefer to eat mashed squash or sweet ‘taters (mmmmmm), my family is just… one potato.  :/  I did put a little spin on the more “traditional” butter-and-milk recipe though.  Anyone care to try it out?

miso-olive oil mashed potatoes with oregano, garlic, sea salt
serves 4

– 6 yukon gold potatoes
– 1 tsp red miso
– 2-3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
– splash of milk
– sprinkle of dried oregano
– sprinkle of garlic powder
– sprinkle of coarse sea salt

Boil potatoes until fork-tender.  Mash with your trusty potato masher until well-mashed.  Add a splash of milk and continue mashing—if the texture of the mash is still too dry, add another splash.  Continue adding milk until the potatoes reach the desired consistency.  Add olive oil (as much as you want—measurements are just an estimation of what I used), oregano, garlic powder, and sea salt to taste.  Mashmashmash.  The resulting mash has the slightest tint of red due to the miso, which I love, but of course, you could substitute any type of miso you happen to have on hand.

… I know, I know—I’m a terrible recipe-writer.  But I can’t help it—when I’m in the kitchen, I don’t think about measurements or anything (unless it’s extremely precise, like… oats).  I just do everything to taste and eyeball all the ingredients (which is why my crust recipe measurements may not be entirely accurate…).

I’m thankful for my sort of stellar Thanksgiving, the chance of reconciliation, and overall positivity for living in our new house.  Thanks for reading.  :)

After Thanksgiving, the air of the season jumps straight to Christmas.  I’m talking about trading pumpkin pie yogurt for jingly bells and white snow.  To be honest, I’d rather have the former… (Why, Stonyfield?  Why?!)  Jingly bells and white snow are nice and everything, but I can’t forgo the fact that even crueler weather is on the way.  o__o  I need to up my lotion and nut butter intake to make sure I keep crackly skin to a minimum.  Bleh.  Let’s not forget the midyear exams that will shortly follow winter break too… ><

What’s your (least) favorite part of winter? Holidays.  Angels.  My birthday.  :)  Cold.  Wind.  Midterms.  :(

But it’s not winter yet!  And today was the first day of “fall” break (aka 4.5 days of food food FOOD!), so I’m in a particularly good mood right now—cutting off any and all negativity!  :)

Yesterday afternoon, I went to my favorite Korean grocery store to buy only the foods that I needed the most in order to save money.  … Psh, no.  What kind of food-lover-nerd does that?  I mean, I spend more on food than clothes, and I think that grocery shopping trumps clothes shopping by a long shot, even though I enjoy both.  Yes, my friends think I’m insane, but what gives?  I can’t deny the truth, or else that would really count as insanity… :P

Ze haul was quite enormous, so I won’t post everything.  I did, however, buy two kabocha squashes for the pie I’ll be making for my family today.  I’m a little nervous—this is my first time baking a pie!  o_o  I’m modifying the spice-kissed pumpkin pie recipe from 101 Cookbooks and partially winging the crust, so I’ll post about how much of a failure my pie was after I make it/we eat it.  ;)

A pair of delicious kabocha lovers… :*

Some whole spices (cinnamon + cloves) for grinding—

My first time purchasing whole spices.

Oh, and I finally found chia seeds!!!  I was so excited—it seems like the entire blogiverse has eaten these teeny babies in some form or another (chia pudding, chia cookies, etc.), but I never had the chance to try them.  UNTIL NOW!  Muahaha, I can’t WAIT to use these.  :D  Suggestions, anyone? Gimme the gold~

Chia chia come to mama…

And I restocked on my beloved MSG-free furikake and black sesame seeds!

Mostly shaved bonito flakes.  :D

Good for my hair, I hear?

Ohhh… and I bought another box of dried persimmons. Man I love these things—so sweet, fleshy, and delicious!  They’re absolutely my favorite dried fruit, beating out apricots by just a smidgen.  Seriously unique texture.  Unlike most dried fruits, the innards aren’t “chewy,” but rather, soft and melt-in-your-mouth.  It’s amazing—I encourage anyone who has the tiniest appreciation for anything tasty to give one of these a shot.  :D

Jewels of autumn.

And they’re even lovelier when they have a plentiful amount of sugary snow crystals…

I had a speedy snack after my long journey in food heaven: Fage greek yogurt, pumpkin purée, TJ’s pumpkin butter, cinnamon, peanuts, and the last of the Bear Naked Chocolate Delight granola. ‘Twas love, but now I need more granola.  :|

I hope that everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I can’t exactly talk about my Thanksgiving traditions, because in all honesty, we don’t really have any.  It’s basically just turkey + Chinese sides + mashed potatoes, year after year (I mean, this is my first time making pie, after all).  Actually, we mostly just go to parties… So that’s why you should tell me: what are your Thanksgiving traditions?

As for the post title, I’d like to give 100% thanks to my family, my friends, the Lord and the many ways He has blessed me, and more recently—you guys!!!  The blogger community!  Blogging has been so much fun this month, and hopefully, it’ll continue to serve as an outlet for my creativity and strange humor, as well as a chronicle of my life and every delicious bite that enters my mouth.  I’ll be salivating a lot for sure for the next four days… ;)

What do you do on a Saturday morning?  I’d like to say that I lounge around eating and doing blog-world stuff, relaxing and enjoying the sunshine…

Okay, I don’t have it bad.  But last Saturday was pretty bad.  Not only did I not wake up to brilliant fall sunshine and chirping birds and a warm bowl of oatmeal, but it was just like the school week—opening my eyes and wondering why it doesn’t seem like I’ve opened them at all.  Good morning… 5:30 AM!

Why 5:30 AM?  Because I had a brain-a-thon from 8:00 AM until 12:30 PM, which required me to wake up at 5:30 AM… and oh. my. Lord.  x_x  Who dares to say that sitting on your butt doesn’t take effort?!  I was exhausted from head to toe—parts of my body that hadn’t even budged for the past seven hours were tired!  And don’t even get me started on my hands and feet.  Twirling pencils and swinging feet is totally sweat-inducing stuff… phew.

… Uh, yes, I was testing for four and a half hours.  Yes, I woke up at 5:30 AM on a Saturday morning to take a test for four and a half hours.  Yes, I am a nerd. o-o  That’s a topic I could go on and on about, but that’s a ramble I’ll save for another day… Because like any other athlete, a nerd gets hungry too, yes?

Well, I was positively starving by the end of this test.  Seven hours awake and four and a half hours on my butt equated to six hours (!!) without food.  Six hours?  No food?  That’s just bait for cranky Candice. :(  I think my brain cells were so malnourished at the end of the test that they were eating themselves.  Pity the poor souls who had to listen to me spout incoherent (cranky) nonsense before I got something into my tummy!  To hold back the demons, I pleaded with a fellow nerd to please oh please give me some of your cracker I’ll love you forever just please… SHARING IS CARING!

“. . .”

Yeah, I demolished her with that line.  :P

I’m aware that lack of food + a few hours = hungry, but I like to say that I got hungry because I got the “brain munchies.”  ;)  i.e., stomach is empty, brain is shriveled, brain robbed stomach.  I suppose there’s a different cure for this for everyone, so I ask: How do you cure your brain munchies?

My cure was a lunch at Fire Works Pizza, a small establishment neighboring Tuscarora Mill serving (some? most?) local fare, and not just pizza, either.  It totally sounded like my kind of place.  Ironically, pizza doesn’t show up anywhere in this post…

To start off, we ordered a Fire Works salad to split three ways—but I ended up eating most of it ;)  If I can remember correctly, this had mozzarella, parmesan, cherry tomatoes, roast chicken, pepperoni, salami, and proscuitto on a bed of greens.  My opinion?  Well, I did say that I ended up eating most of it… and just look at that mozzarella <3  Maybe my short-term memory is failing me, and it wasn’t mozzarella?!… It was so fresh and creamy—kind of like feta cheese texture + mozzarella flavor.  Love.  The saltiness of the cured meats added a delightful savoriness, of course.  You just can’t go wrong with salty meat and creamy cheese.  :)

And, going against the name of the restaurant (and this post), I ordered a non-pizza item for my main course, the wood roasted vegetables with vidalias over creamy polenta.

Errrr… what?

Unfortunately, these vegetables, which included eggplant, vidalia onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes, were not very roasted at all.  In fact, the bottom half of the bowl was filled with an oil-sauce soup—it honestly seemed more like a sautée if anything, and not a very delicious one, either.  If I had a say in the names of the dishes, I would rename this one drowning in oil vegetables with explain what this means over ball of mashed corn. Mmmmm.

By the way, what does “over” mean again?  I may be blind, but I can see that the polenta ball is clearly over the vegetables, not the other way around?

Fire Works Pizza, you lied about a completely useless characteristic. :(  Regardless of what was over what, this dish was bad.

This failure of a dish is the reason why I ended up finishing off the salad, which was ten times tastier.  I couldn’t eat more than a couple bites of the vegetables in this—they were so strangely mushy and saturated with oil. When I think “roasted,” I imagine crisp, charred edges and deep, toasty flavors… and I was sorely disappointed.  The super-tart, squishy tomatoes added a uniquely unpleasant flavor to the whole mess, and the rest of the veggies all tasted the same.  No individuality, boo.  :(

On the other hand, the polenta was pretty good—buttery and rich—but it wasn’t very creamy.  If something is creamy, shouldn’t it be able to melt in my mouth and give me a mouthgasm?  Well, not this ball o’ butter.  Oh Fire Works Pizza, why can’t you just make things mushy when they need to be?  Why torture my poor “roasted” veggies???  :/

At least it looks yummy…

What was your most disappointing restaurant experience? I’d have to say the ones that made me throw up: Macaroni Grill (some cheesy pasta) and Ruby Tuesday’s (crab cake).  ><  I won’t let this one bad dish ruin my enthusiasm to return, though!!  There’s still lots of tasty-sounding fare on their menu :)

Ohhh… and I have to ask…

Are YOU a nerd? o-o  Come on, don’t be shy!

I’m sorry for the sporadic blogging—I’m still trying to get the hang of it!  :/  Ah, well, it’ll come to me eventually.  It’s been fun so far, and commenting has been especially rewarding.  I’m so glad I don’t just lurk around anymore!  :)

The weather this week has improved vastly.  It was actually pretty sunny today—not as warm as I would’ve liked, but after all, it’s autumn.  Can’t expect 70* weather in this part of the globe, unfortunately.  I’m waking up at 5:30 AM to pitch black darkness that makes me want to sink back underneath my body-crushing comforter (it’s warm, yeah?).  I don’t *want* to get up for school, dammit. Curse the encroaching winter and its cold!  I’m never excited to wake up in the mornings anymore, and it’s not just because I got 4 hours of sleep and have to shove my eyelids open, oh no… It’s because my toe freezes the moment I let it jut out from under the covers to test the air.  Noooo don’t make me get uppp!…

Then I remember that if I don’t get up that instant, I will more than likely fall back asleep, wake up late, freak out, and go on a rampage beating up everything in sight, including myself.  That kind of stuff (i.e. nervous breakdown) is pretty unhealthy for my brain, and brain health is essential for a deathly good, edifying day of academic study.

Again, I will reiterate: brains need food, and the food my stomach wants is making a noticeable shift with the season.  In the summer, I subsisted mostly on yogurt, cereal, and fresh fruit for breakfast to counter the heat, but at 5:30 AM, in the freezing cold and pitch black darkness, just thinking about those foods can make me lose my appetite.  I would never risk a stomachache at that hour!  Thus, the age of oatmeal/toast/eggs/other warm delicious food for breakfast begins.  The same goes for lunch and dinner—I don’t feel like eating salad anymore, but instead crave a good soup or roasted veggies… and my ultimate comfort food: white rice.

Once a rice person, always a rice person?

Occupying the corner of this plate is a mound of white rice dressed with soy sauce, black sesame seeds, and furikake.  Basically, it’s a spin on the poor man’s meal (white rice + soy sauce) with my usual toppings… I used to down bowls of white rice + soy sauce like there was no tomorrow, every day, when I was really young.  White rice was always accompanied by soy sauce, or else I wouldn’t eat it.  I don’t eat it every day anymore, so it has become my ultimate comfort food.  Eating it induces so much nostalgia and makes me feel very at-home and fuzzy inside.  Of course, rice is not just for the colder seasons, but I find that it’s during this time of year that most of us crave our down-home comfort foods.  We need that warm, fuzzy feeling to counter the unrelenting cold and the inevitable winter blues…

Rice is warm too. :)

Ah, and fried rice, too!  My mom’s specialty is fried rice with Chinese sausage and eggs—super simple home cooking, but so good.  The version above has ham, furikake, and black sesame seeds, as expected, but it was delicious nonetheless. Why is it so much fun to bring a bowl of rice up to my lips and start shoving it into my mouth with chopsticks???  (Try it!)

What is/are your ultimate comfort food(s)? I know that stuffing my face with rice makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside… <3  Boiled pear juice is another one.  I’ll consider rambling about that some other time.  ;)  ‘Night, loves~

Update: “me” page updated and an “autumn” page added :)

I’m having a MAJOR stomachache right now.  ><  While contemplating the reasons why this could have happened, it all boiled down to…

Cold.

Our house was about 68*F at dinnertime, and apparently, that’s a few degrees below my optimal eating temperature.  i.e. when eating WON’T give me a stomachache.  Curse you, warm stomach!!!  D:  I’m a smack-dab middle-of-winter baby (February), but I can’t. stand. cold. weather.  Too many bad memories of standing at the bus stop in 18*F (which I know is nothing for some people, lol) weather, being completely numb in my feet, eyes stinging from the wind… I mean, it’s not winter yet, but the transition into winter weather has been brutal, especially over the past week.  *shivers* Rainy, windy, cold, and gloomy—oh, hello to you too, November.  On top of that, my agenda has been mocking me again…

But I digress.  On to sunnier rambling!  :)

One thing I do love about autumn/winter are the tasty root veggies. nomnomnom. Last week, my mom and I went to the farmer’s market and came back with an eclectic pile of produce, including my favorite type of sweet potato.  It’s the yellow-fleshed Japanese kind, with paler skin and starchier innards.  My favorite way to eat them is roasted, so predictably, I roasted them last night:

My gut food feeling told me that this was no ordinary sweet potato as soon as I pierced it for doneness.

Using my trusty silver fork, I broke through the crisp, marvelously charred skin into a heaven of soft, happy, tantalizing flesh…

And grabbed some MaraNatha almond butter with the same lovely fork…

… and snapped pictures frantically, yearning to dig in…

Oh BABY.  I can honestly say that this was the best sweet potato I have ever eaten.  I was literally drooling while taking the pictures, seeing how fluffy the flesh was and how crispy the roasted skin was… I’m taking pictures of a sweet potato. It has to be delicious!!!  And why was it special?

I’m convinced it’s because it’s from the farmer’s market.  Farmer’s market produce seriously cannot be beat.  Seasonal, fresh, and local—there’s nothing better.  The Japanese sweet potatoes I usually buy at the Korean supermarket are good, but nowhere near this baby.  I was floored.  Never had a yellow sweet potato with flesh as sweet or perfectly starchy, yet magically, not dry at all.

If you’re curious about how I devoured this, I’ll describe my method in the least barbaric way possible: scoop almond butter, scoop flesh, eat, luxuriate.  Requires a lot of thought process, yes?  I didn’t go back for more almond butter after it was gone; the sweet potato was just that could all by itself, with the teensiest sprinkle of sea salt on top to make the flavor explode.  Crrrrunchy sea salt with sweet, soft, flesh (I need better adjectives).  Mouthgasm.  Honestly, I could have eaten the entire thing plain, which is exactly what I did this morning.  With good produce, you don’t need any extras—the best of Mother Nature is enough on its own.

Last night, though, I encountered a familiar friend near the end of my journey…

Why hello there.

I just couldn’t resist a little sprinkling of sesame seeds!  :) As usual, the flavor addition did not disappoint.  Roasty toastiness + more roasty toastiness?  Bring it.

Q1: What’s your favorite winter produce?

Q2: How have your tastebuds changed? I can’t believe I used to HATE sweet potatoes!!!

Now the fun times are over.  It is homework time.  It is time to debate whether or not intelligence is inherited.

… Hmm…

My brain is dead and frozen.

*ahem* Thank you all for the comments on my last post!  I’m very humbled… gosh, commenting + posting on blogs instead of just lurking is so much more fun.  :)  And thank you so much for the compliments on my photography!  I was grinning like an idiot while I read them.  :D

Actually, I just played with a really amazing camera today (my friend’s taking photography, and they give you awesome cameras!!), and I really want one like that now.  With lens focus and everything… <3  Haha, too bad I’ll be short of like $500 or so if I get one… o_o (But it would be worth it, IMO, because I’m just crazy)

So, ever since the school year began, my sleeping patterns have been abnormal.  Like, for the past two weeks, I’ve been sleeping at 1, waking up at 5, and napping for 2.5-3 hours during the day.  Uhh… I don’t think this is very healthy, and definitely not helping my body clock.  I’m not even sleepy at this wee hour.  It’s almost like I thrive in darkness now… I don’t even drink coffee or anything, though green tea is a must (with breakfast and dinner).  Anyone else have a problem like this?

(Random: 11:11 right now!)

And now for more randomness—some random eats from the past couple of days:

Holy toast.

As you can probably tell, I have a really weird way of eating toast.  I like to cut each piece in half and put different toppings on each mini piece.  It’s actually a really fun way to eat it, with all the variety.  This particular piece had sunflower seed butter on one half topped with Back to Nature chocolate delight granola, one quarter with cantaloupe-vanilla jam (SO. GOOD.) and fresh goat cheese, and another quarter with pumpkin butter and roasted kabocha squash seeds.  Of course, I topped the entire thing with the obligatory sea salt and black sesame seeds

Toast, egg, and yogurt = my top three snacks.  ;)  And speaking of yogurt…

A lot of other food bloggers have been raving about the limited edition pumpkin pie flavor of Stonyfield Farms yogurt.  When I happened upon it this weekend at the grocery store, I decided to buy a container to see what all the gushing was about.  Normally, I eat plain Greek yogurt—the Trader Joe’s house brand on a normal basis and Fage when I’m feeling less impoverished.  Either way, I’ve grown so accustomed to the taste of plain, unsweetened, tangy yogurt that I find most commercial brands waaay too sweet for me now.

Fortunately, Stonyfield is actually one of the brands that are less heavy-handed with the sugar.  Introducing new favorite snack #3…

Limited edition pumpkin pah + dried cherries, raisins, granola, peanuts, and cinnamon.

Upon my first lick: “NOOO!!!”  Not exactly “NO, this is REVOLTING,” but more like, “OMG NO!  LIMITED?!”  I don’t know why the hell this flavor is limited edition… I want to buy a whole freaking tub right now!  That should say something about how much I like it.  It actually tastes sort of like pumpkin pie, but with more natural ingredients than I’d expect from “pumpkin pie-flavored” yogurts.  Then again, I’m not sure what exactly “natural flavors” means, because there’s something in the taste that I just can’t recreate on my own with yogurt + pumpkin + cinnamon.  :(  Maybe it’s rum-flavored?  Hmmm.

Wahhh.

Stonyfield, I give you two options: offer giant tubs of this stuff or make it an unlimited edition.  Preferably the latter, of course.  I’m too impatient to wait until next year to get this flavor again.

On the topic of limited edition flavors, I still haven’t tried the Spooky S’mores ZBar flavor!  I’ve heard good things about it, but I can’t seem to find it anywhere.  Not Whole Foods, not Trader Joe’s… meh.

What’s your favorite way to eat yogurt? Mine is a giant yogurt “mess”.  Is it weird that on cold mornings, I like to eat (slightly! only slightly!) warmed yogurt messes for breakfast?  I also will only drink warm milk.  My dad makes fun of me for these quirks, which are undoubtedly the result of eating no “cold” dishes when I was young.  Sigh.  Chinese grandparents… Now, I apparently have a “warm stomach”?  It’s annoying—whenever I eat in cold places (WHOLE FOODS, gah) or eat too many cold foods, I get major stomachaches.  :(  Moderate amounts of ice cream and such are okay, but I can’t eat the big “kitchen sink” salads that I see so many other bloggers eating, unless some of the ingredients are cooked/warm.

Whoa!  That answer was unexpectedly long, lol.  Off to study a bit more now~ later, lovers!  :)

Question #2: What kind of stomach do you have? Warm, cold… *normal*?!

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