musings


I’m finally back at school!  Not exactly lovin’ it 100% though, y’know?  Bio three times this week + chem midterm (which I hoped would be canceled/rescheduled) = not my cup of tea.  I suppose things will start to fall into place by the end of the week, but I’m going to miss my glory week of sleep, to say the least!

I’ve found a new study tactic that will hopefully reduce the amount of time I spend kneeling at my bed doodling and playing around with my iPod.  Yes, because whenever I start to get distracted, I’m going to start doing jumping jacks.  Yes, the evil ‘jacks that I used to do obsessively each night when DE was the dominant persona in my life.  But I am determined not to abuse them again.  Seeing as my exercise routine has been nonexistent for the past… 5 months, I think I need to start doing something little heart-stimulating again every so often.  Okay, more like every day.  :P

After I do 100 or so jumping jacks in the time that I would be spending dilly-dallying, I feel so refreshed and ready to work again.  When I was exercising obsessively and not eating enough to boot, I just felt fatigued and nauseous after jumping jacks, and accordingly, I absolutely dreaded it.  Now I actually am able to feel the little endorphin rush, and that exercise is not supposed to be a chore!  If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my “break” from exercise, it’s that I will NOT become a whale if I don’t! 

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The highlight of lunch today was a bowl of ludou tang—mung bean soup, I believe?  I’m tempted to say “green bean soup,” since that is what it is literally, but that’s so obviously wrong that I won’t even go there.  ;P  Chinese-inspired because the Asian party that we were supposed to go to was canceled due to snow.  I wasn’t too disappointed about that.  ‘Twas probably just another opportunity to be totally and completely awkward with people I haven’t talked to in years…

The soup is supposed to be sweet, so I added some unconventional maple syrup to it and topped it with my precious lentil-potato crunchies for added texture.  It was the purrrfect combo of savory + sweet.  :]

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Crrruunch.

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And I just realized that practically every dish I feature in my posts is held in Asian-looking dishware.  Yup… the bowl above was from China, brought back in who-knows-what-year.  The majority of our dishware is made up of stuff bought in Japan in the ‘80s, haha.  ;]

I’m going to study now.  I’m sorry if I don’t comment as much (or at all?) this week—things are picking up again, and I don’t want to get distracted or end the night feeling “guilty” about reading blogs instead of working… I still love you all, and I will try to get the scoop on what’s what come Friday evening.  :)

Lovelovelove,
c a n d i c e

… because the grass isn’t less green on your side.

After all that whining about having cabin fever, I was completely blessed to be able to get out of the house and into the slushy, sunshiny real world yesterday.  And better yet, I was able to spend an entire day away from home.  Curse snow days?  Hmmm, maybe not.  Still not happy about having to make them up somehow, but I can honestly say that I enjoyed today 100%.  No worries.  Schoolwork, midterm stress = pushed alllll the way to the crevices behind the back burner (if that makes sense at all).  I am slightly excited, and yet slightly worried, that I did not do an ounce of homework yesterday.  Nada.

Whenever I start to relax and get into this “don’t worry, be happy” mindset, my first instinct is to panic.  Why?  Well, I’m dead scared at the prospect of become a slacker for life.  If I get into this mindset, I believe that I will become eternally lazy and not be able to get into my college of choice and end up as a bum on the streets.  No homework done for one day = bum for life… how ridiculous do I sound right now?

Still, I think I better start working tomorrow, lest school hit my like a brick bomb on Tuesday.  :P

Come lunchtime, cheerful “Annyeong-haseyo!”’s greeted our little Chinese trio as we stepped into Lighthouse TofuVit Goel Tofu according to the letters on the concrete outside.  It’s a Korean restaurant that had recently opened near my dad’s house, located just short of the Korean grocery store, no less.  Not surprisingly, it was filled with Koreans.  Good. That’s a sure sign of authenticity, no?  ;]

Sadly, I was too chicken to whip out my huge SLR and snap photos of the huge spread of food we ordered.  For the record, I was also too chicken to say “thank you” in Korean to the waitress, something that I amazingly picked up from the hundreds of “kamsahamnida”s that must frequent the Korean dramas I’ve been watching lately.  We were seated smack-dab in the middle of the tiny restaurant surrounded by a sea of chit-chatting Koreans, and I felt kind of awkward and out-of-place.  For some reason, I always feel more self-conscious when surrounded by Asians.  I’m not sure why… point being, no pics of awesome food.  Boo.

After lunch, we stopped by the aforementioned Korean grocery store and Trader Joe’s per my request on our way to the Build-A-Bear Workshop at the mall for my dad’s birthday present for my sis.  I brought five lovely bags of food back home with me today.  Roasted black sesame seeds are back, baby Tat.  ;]

Dinner was at a different Clyde’s than the one I usually go to, since we were all a-starvin’ after stuffing and dressing the new Hello Kitty plushie.  :]  I loved the decor, even though the route the bathroom seemed like a scene out of a horror movie.  Think dark wooden stairs, practically nonexistent lighting, and mirrors on all sides… creepy.as.hell. 

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Our server was super-friendly, and the mood was fantastic, but with that awesome mood came lighting was too dim for good food pictures.  Shutter speed slowed majorly = more chances to take blurry pictures.  :/

We were started with some sad sourdough.  Sad because it was cold.  :(

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Won’t lie; it took more than a few shots to get a “good” (aka not blurry) pic of my order:

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Maple-glazed acorn squash with wild rice, wild mushrooms, toasted walnuts, and spinach and cranberry vinaigrette.  I had eaten acorn squash only once in my life, and it being the first squash I ever tried to prepare on my own, it… failed.  It was horribly undercooked and tasted really gross.  i wanted to try a “properly” prepared one before I blew it off completely… but it turns out that I will blow it off anyway.  It was meh.  The flavor was too weak even with maple-glazing.  I much prefer starchy squashes like butternut or kabocha.

I struggled to identify what was what for the accompaniments because of the awful lighting.  “Wild rice” consisted of a few grains of rice over the other ingredients.  It seemed to be chicken broth-flavored—I like.  :D  The wild mushrooms were richly flavored and incredibly juicy, and the spinach and cranberry vinaigrette tied everything together into a sweet package. 

Highlight of the meal = toasted walnuts.  They were hands-down the tastiest walnuts I have ever eaten, and I am not a walnut girl at all.  I’ve always thought they were eh, but I was jabbing around in the darkness with my fork searching for those little morsels of yum!  :9

There were, as expected with dim lighting, little white-brown bits that I just could not descry.  Sweet garlic?  Parsnips?  Not sure.  Oh well, they were good anyway.  :)  In fact, I liked the accompaniments so much that I actually boxed the leftovers, even though there were only two or three bites left!  :P

I leave you with extra-fortuitous wishes for the New Year and a delicious Valentine’s Day, whether it be with your love, your friends, your family, or yourself.  You can count on being loved by me, anyhow.  ;)

ox ~ c a n d i c e ♥

… and this:

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Poor trees!  Everything is drowned in snow.  There is no way they’re going to open schools tomorrow, seeing as how we lack the awesome snow-removing equipment of the more northern states (and Canada, lol).  Maybe not even for Friday.  NY trip = as good as rescheduled.  Please cancel the bio field trip.  Please, please, please… I love how my bio teacher is the only one who doesn’t keep us posted on schedule changes.  We’re not seriously going to just keep using the calendar from the beginning of February that is now completely invalid?!

Sigh.  Well, let’s talk burgers.

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After turning my failed spaghetti squash-black bean pancakes (with no eggs for a binder… thank you, rustique! ;]) into baked “burger” patties, I well, built a burger from it.  I confess: I’ve always hated veggie burgers.  “Gimme the real stuff!” I would proclaim in elementary school as I stood in line in the cafeteria with my pink Styrofoam tray, eager to grab my burger and baked potato wedges.  Well, those burgers were actually straight-up nasty. But they weren’t as horrible as the veggie burger I grabbed by mistake in my rush to stuff my face one day.

*shudder*

I’ve mostly avoided veggie burgers since then.  However, the ones I ordered at Ruby Tuesday’s not too long ago (or at least it seemed that way) weren’t so bad, so I decided that maybe veggie burgers aren’t evil after all.

Cue crazy burger ingredients time!

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I actually bought this jam awhile ago, but it’s just been sitting in my pantry unopened, since I had all these other random jams /fruit butters still open and waiting to be eaten.  Well, I finally finished my vanilla-cantaloupe jam from I-don’t-want-to-think-about-how-long ago, so I decided that it was time to open the fig jam.

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Spread it on a Thomas English muffin like so.  It’s really, really sweet, so just a little was enough for a flavor pop.
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This is a post-toaster oven picture of the whole thing.  On the right, we have the last of the emmental cheese (in cubes) sprinkled with a little fine sea salt (I’m saving coarse for something else) with the last of the roasted cashew pieces atop the fig jam.  I forgot how delicious cashews tasted charred. My tastebuds threw a party. Spicy, hint-of-miso-flavored burger + sweet fig jam + nutty, rich cheese + CHARRED, CRUNCHY CASHEWS (self-explanatory) = holy flavor explosion.

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And on the left, we have the burger.

Of course, no burger is complete without a side of fries.  However, seeing as I was too lazy to slice potatoes, season them, preheat the oven, and wait, I settled with my new favorite snack from TJ’s: lentil-potato crispy things.  I forget what they’re really called, but they’re absolutely amazing.  Potato-y from the potato, but with a new dimension of nuttiness from the lentil flour, and perfectly crispy and airy.  If you have a TJ’s nearby, get these ASAP!

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I’m obsessed.

Threw a few edamame crackers in there, too…

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Holy. freaking. yum. :]  I’m going to try and perfect this recipe (or a similar one), hopefully one that solidifies the first time I fry it.  :P

Yesterday was spent watching FFVII: Advent Children Complete, playing Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, and finishing up a bio note card for Chapter 37 at 2 AM.  o__o  Erm… well, I had to get something done, ya?  The thing is, though I woke up four hours later than usual, so it balances. out.  :]  5 AM on school day vs. 9 AM?  I take the latter.  x)

Things to accomplish today:
* Chemistry problems
* Reading for 3 chemistry chapters (midterm prep)
* Chapter 38 note card
* Chapter 35-36 articles
* Finish the vertebrate notes chart for hominoids/hominids.  I’ve been putting this off because I haven’t been having bio, and the last thing I want is to study and forget everything by the time I actually have to know it!
* Bake cookies if there is school tomorrow. It was my friend’s birthday yesterday, and I already had the cookie dough prepared, but *BAM* no school.  I hate living so far away from all my friends.  I can’t go to gatherings as frequently (e.g. the one yesterday for her birthday), and I don’t have anyone in the vicinity who(m?) I really know or can talk to.  I’m living practically in the middle of nowhere, close to the ‘burbs but not close to my friends, my school, or my dad.  :(

The cookies were an experiment. Maybe not the wisest thing to do, seeing as this is my first time baking cookies!  I’ll let you guys know how it goes once they’re done!  :]

Q1: What is your favorite burger combo?
Q2: Have you ever felt isolated from your friends?  How did you deal with it? Give a girl some advice.  :(  Email + Facebook don’t quite cut it for me…

Love you ALL!
ox ~ c a n d i c e *

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I don’t know where to begin.

I don’t know how I should begin to tell you guys how happy I was when I took a break from my reading/collaging/venting/crying to check my inbox.  All of your wonderful comments were neatly chained together in an email from WordPress, and the warmth that I felt after reading every one of them was just… astounding.  I’m not really a “online confession” type of person to begin with—I’d take a handwritten letter over a ten-page email any day.  I find online communication to be very impersonal, and it’s frightening to me how much easier it is to lie and pretend to be courageous when I know that no one can see my tears.

But yesterday, I looked in my inbox and received a big, fat “Hello, welcome to blogland” thump in the head.  For the first time, I had poured my true feelings out for the world wide web to see in the moments succeeding complete hysteria.  This is the real blogging community that so many others have written praise and thanks for—a community built on mutual love and support, with comfort during the dark hours and funny emoticons and exclamation marks during the brighter ones.  From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all.  And by the way, I’ve got your backs, girlies.  ;)

Here’s an excerpt of a post I wrote a couple of days ago and was planning to publish before… stuff happened.  I don’t want to let it go to waste, so I’m just putting this out there!

~ * ~

I have an innate distrust in weathermen.  There were too many instances when I was younger where I would hear even the mention of snow and grow ecstatic, because school was going to be canceled!… and then nothing.  Or that a huge tornado was coming our way, take cover or die!…. annnd nothing.  To this day, whenever I hear “snow” or “hurricane” or any kind of news about possible inclement weather, my brain automatically pops the question, Will school be canceled? 

Well, as Google Weather promised, it began to snow this morning.  Light, almost invisible flakes streamed down from the sky—the kind of snow that you can only see clearly for an instant when the wind picks up and pushes the trillions of tiny snowflakes together.  I watched them, not with the cute little smile of a fourth-grader who found out that she would be able to play in the snow, but with the sullen, wrinkly frown of an eighty-year-old grandma, cursing the fact that she ran out of flour to bake with for her granddaughter’s birthday cake.  With the snow, the roads are muuuch too dangerous to go out and get it now…

But no, I’m not that grandma—not yet, anyway.  With my supposed-to-be-observant science nerd analytical skills, the first thing I infer from the scenery is that “It ain’t enough for them to cancel school.”

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-___-;

Yes, because it’s Saturday, and the school board will have to “argue” about that anyway… Sigh.  I think I’ll be trapped in this mindset until I am a grandma, unless I move to SoCal or Florida or a place where I will never have to think like that again.  Actually, I think I just may be on an equal level with a grandma now.  After all, I go to all these restaurants where old grandmas gather and eat and wear antique pearls and sweaters and chat about… well, who knows what they chat about…

What would’ve tied this whole post together is a breakfast with a sprinkling of coconut shavings as a foodie imitation of freshly fallen snow.  Or even a schmear of the coconut butter that I wanted to, but never did buy, at least not this week.  But alas, I’m going to spend the next couple of days desperately trying to eat up my Great Harvest Sunflower Crunch bread, because according to Kath, it takes at least a week for it to go stale.  … Oops… it’s already been more than a week!  Putting things in perspective, though, I’m the only one who eats it, and I only have about one-fourth of it left.  ‘Sides, if it does indeed become stale, I can always make bread pudding with it, à la Mitri.  Or croutons.  ;)

So here was breakfast yesterday…
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 A proper picture of my raw cheese-and-butter-on-toast-with-sea salt action. 
… what a healthy combo, hehe…

… and today:

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Two slices of toasted Sunflower Crunch with vanilla-cantaloupe-green tea jam (jam + matcha powder).  Sides of knife and crumbs.

Vanilla and green tea make quite a delicious balance of rich tinged with bitterness.

~ * ~

I’ll be off now.  I have to study, study, STUDY for my giant history test tomorrow, and I’m basically brain-dead from attempted creative thinking for about two and a half hours.  Sigh.  Beginning of the new semester = tougher workload begins.  We’re doing spontaneous essays in bio now, too—fun stuff!  :D D:  Yeah… I’ll try not to completely obsess over my work.  What’s sad is that all the stereotypes about my school are true.  I die a little inside when I see the skinny guys in glasses congregating in the halls discussing physics theories and calculator programming.  Or the guy in one of my classes who runs to his precalc teacher at every possible opportunity and got a 106.2% in his class… or, something that I discovered last night: there are such things as Starcraft parties. 

Won’t comment on that.  I’ll do my best to keep posted on what’s going down with you lovely bloggettes, and until then… peace :)

ox ~ candice

About twenty minutes ago, I was a complete emotional wreck.  Picture a girl, just out of the shower, wrapped tightly in a fluffy, hooded white robe from Bath & Body Works, debating whether or not to channel out the chaos through blogging or computer journaling. 

She gets distracted by the realization that her iPod needs recharging.  Alas, she must lumber for another two feet to pick up the white cable sprawled out by the wall.  She picks up the cable, and then sits back down.  She hugs her knees and just suddenly begins to sob.  Me.

After about ten minutes or so of that, I remembered the one thing that I had promised myself I would do: pray.  I prayed this morning to try to begin the day peacefully.  And no, it didn’t work.  I hadn’t prayed seriously in about six years.  I’d lost the emotional connection with God, such that even if I tried to pray, I wouldn’t be able to feel anything anymore.

Twenty minutes ago, something about that changed.  I began modestly, eyes shut, trying to breathe more slowly.  I stopped sobbing.  I reorganized my thoughts, spilling them out to Him in desultory intervals, like a stream-of-consciousness journal in my head.  I clasped my hands together tightly, clamoring in the darkness for that invisible thread that connected me to Him.  I kept talking and talking and talking… until suddenly, I didn’t feel so alone.

I talked.  And talked and talked.  And talked some more, and apologized for my neglect.  And wondered how and why He would love and care for a helpless, pathetic, emotionally screwed up girl like me.  And answered that question myself.

Even when I felt abandoned and worthless, I had an omnipotent support.  Twenty minutes ago, I remembered that I have never been unloved by everyone, contrary to what my teenage mind tells me.  I have lost hope and confidence in myself, but God has given me resilience and—possibly—strength. 

I want to find my inner peace again.

Hi, all.  I’ve missed posting and commenting on your blogs—school, as usual, is the culprit.  :(  Let’s just say this is my fourth day running on three hours of sleep, and I have been a-failin’ on tests and quizzes.  I wouldn’t be surprised if I dropped any entire letter grade in three of my classes just from this week… and not surprisingly, this is only the beginning.  This weekend is going to be hell with the amount of studying and preparation I have to do for next week, lest I die again like I did this week.  Right now, I have an ultimate plan saved on my computer for tomorrow, aka every freaking thing I must accomplish.  My heart probably hates me right now with all the worrying and frantic bouts of “must get this done NOW” that I’ve been experiencing.  Not looking forward to those blood pressure increases, nuh-uh.  -_- 

Aughhh, and I promised myself I would try not to worry about grades too much?!?!  :(  … Pffft, as if.  I’m going to worry about my grades until the day that they leave my life.  Oh, what a happy day that will be!…

Oh, and I’ve been writing this post in chunks at like, 5 AM when I wake up (the only free time I have), so please excuse any sleep deprivation-induced grammar mistakes or just stupid rambling in general… though tonight, a Friday night, I’ve decided to relax for once.  Actually, it’s because I tried to finish some of my homework and it didn’t work.  Like, at all.  I guess sleep deprivation does that to you?  Well, my friends keep telling me that I need to relax, relax, relax, so I’ve decided to be a good girl and take their advice for once.  I’m planning to go to bed early tonight, too, so I can be refreshed and pumped-UP for tomorrow!  Yah!  Jiayou! 

Again, I’m really sorry about the lack of blog-reading-and-commenting.  It’s just too distracting at this point, but once this bout of hell is over, I’ll be back to normal until finals, hopefully!  :)

Anyway, here’s something other than work that I’ve been drowning in lately:

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CHINESE FOOD!  This is soup and mixed white rice with roasted eggplant, lettuce, and pork.  Topped with black sesame seeds, per usual.  :)

I’ve been drinking my weight in soup for the past few days because it has been so. damn. cold. for my standards, at least (and that means below freezing).  I made myself a delicious, umami-rich rice soup with leftovers on Sunday.  (Eeeek, I’m behind…)

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Mmmm.  This was black chicken broth with white rice, mushrooms, roasted eggplant, seaweed, and pork, topped with black sesame seeds and wakame-rice ball furikake in place of salt.  ;)  The seaweed (kombu, I believe) came from this grocery haul over the weekend.  I’m not sure what type of mushrooms these were exactly, but they are freaking juicy and absolutely delicious.  They taste pretty killer with steamed chicken.  :)  Oh, and the more I think about it, the more I wish I cracked an egg into the sizzling hot soup.  It would’ve been so cool to see the egg just cookin’ away in there, mixed with the delicious broth!  :)

Oh, and I finally finished the last of my Vosges Haut Chocolate Goji Bar from way back when, although this picture was taken about a week ago when the majority of it still existed.  It’s long gone now…

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See the little fleck of goji in there?  The addition of the salt was pretty awesome, even though I couldn’t see it.  I think I’m going to start collecting the boxes.  :)

Dinner was at Ruby Tuesday tonight, chosen by my sister.  Alright, so here’s to the good, old-fashioned, American chain restaurant food of my childhood!  Not.

I was surprisingly nervous while I ate my meal of the veggie burger mini + garden salad bar combo.  I found myself questioning my fullness more often than usual, and more unnecessarily than usual.  The thought of calories even entered my mind.  And the longer I sat there, consumed by these thoughts, I began to question why exactly I was being this way.  Why was I suddenly, once again, worried about such frivolous things?  Why couldn’t I enjoy my meal here as I did in other restaurants (not to say the meal was particularly amazing, hence the lack of photography)? 

Psychologically, I associate restaurants like Ruby Tuesday and T.G.I. Friday’s with fat fat fat.  I used to gorge myself on cheese fries, deep fried macaroni & cheese, hot dogs, fish, etc. in these restaurants.  After I acquired DE thoughts, I feared these restaurants the most, because I believed that the greasy, disgusting foods there were the root of my woes and “fatness.”  I avoided these places like the plague.  And once I returned for the first time in a long while, that fear crept back.  I was nervous about stuffing myself until I couldn’t move anymore again.  I was afraid that I would gain ten pounds overnight and become “fat” again. 

In reality, when I look back on it, I was a chubby kid, but I definitely wasn’t overweight or obese.  The chub factor was probably due mostly to baby fat, anyway!  Of course, the way I used to eat (overstuffing myself on fried, nutrient-less foods) wasn’t healthy in the least, but I don’t do that anymore.  I have learned how to listen to my body, maybe eat a little more if the food’s really that good, or eat a little less if I feel sick.  Overstuffing myself on a regular basis just will not happen.  That’s what I need to remember.

Q: Your thoughts/experiences on this or a similar situation?  What is something you have a negative psychological association with?

Phew, another few paragraphs of rambling.  :|  I really missed the venting aspect of blogging, I guess?  My eyelids are starting to droop, so I think I’ll call it a night.

Good night all!  I may or may not return with pictures of a grocery haul tomorrow… either way, I love you guys :) 

Good evening, loves!  :)  I hope you had a Sunday that was the complete opposite of mine.  By that, I mean totally relaxing.  ^_^  Oh, and I’m only half-kidding here…

I went grocery shopping (happiness-inducing!) at my favorite Korean grocery store last night after dinner.  I was honestly planning on only buying one or two items, but I ended up buying three bagfuls.  Yes, I am a compulsive buyer… but that doesn’t automatically make me a stupid one, hm?  ;)  Cheapness 4eva!

Goodies galore!  :)  Such as…

fresh persimmons

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orange blossom honey

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pickled plums, though it says apricots in the ingredients list?…

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PANEER!!!  Gosh, I just love this stuff.  :]

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And parts of an old Whole Foods haul…

Awesome-smelling cheese <3

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and dried turkish apricots (to replace my beloved calimyrna figs)

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Breakfast was around 7 AM.  I even had to turn on the light to take the photo… on a weekend?!  O_O

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Peanut Butter Puffins with cherry vanilla granola, dried banana slices, black sesame seeds, and coarse sea salt.  Made delicious with unsweetened almond milk.  :)

My mom just keeps buying PB Puffins.  Okay, I love them and all, but honestly, I’d like to branch out into other cereals…

Lunch was another adventure in my quest to taste different ethnic foods.  Today, we went to a Persian restaurant called Shamshiry.  No pictures of the decor, since the waiters were already staring at us, and I was already pretty uncomfortable, but it is a really tiny place that looks ten times bigger because of a single, completely-mirrored wall.  It was a little strange watching myself eat from my peripheral vision, but who cares about how messy/weird I look when I chew when there’s food to photograph?!

My dad ordered the house salad to start.  Nothing special—just some iceberg lettuce, tomato, olives (blech), red beans (kidney?), and goat cheese, which I stole with some of the greens.  It came with a runny, sour lemon-yogurt dressing.

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I was pretty intimidated when I saw the portion for my dish, the shirin polo, which was “sweet rice” with spices, sugared orange peel, pistachios, and almonds.

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It’s impossible to tell from the photos, but trust me—this was enough to feed a family of four, at least. The sad thing is, the description on the menu made it sound so amazing, but it really wasn’t that good.  The rice was nice and fluffy, but it just wasn’t very well seasoned at all (I expected a TON more spices), and the flavors just didn’t mix well.  Instead of a heavenly combination of flavors, I tasted each one individually, one after another, as I ate it.  The candied orange peels were also much less fragrant and citrus-y than I expected.  :(  At least it looked good…

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Oh, but the crusty rice cracker-like thing (tah digue) was pretty awesome.  :)  So darn crunchy!  I should cook rice in a pot just for this.  ;)  I was eating it in quite a barbaric way (with my hands), and my dad scolded me for it.  Then, he proceeded to do the same and munch and crunch on it just like a cracker.  Mmhmm, I’m just that brilliant!  Also, I can’t believe they actually sell this stuff.  I saw it at the Korean grocery as “scorched rice,” lol.

Perhaps the size of these meals is better reflected in this picture?  Possibly?…

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My dad ordered the mahi kabob (salmon), which came with baghali polo, dill rice with fava beans.  There was salmon there before, I promise.  ;)

I also ordered the a pot of “Persian tea,” which was basically nice, piping-hot, bitter black tea in a jug that came with a cute teacup and tiny straw.  Oh, and sugar cubes.  :)  I never knew such a small amount of tea could be drunk so slowly until today…

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Dinner was a bit of a different story.  We went to a local chain restaurant called Clyde’s, and my dad immediately proclaimed that he was craving junk food.

The phrase “junk food” means different things to different people.  To my friends, it would probably be McDonald’s, Burger King, deep-fried foods—the obviously not-too-healthy foods.  But for a DE-ravaged mind like mine?  I’ve gotten my definitions confused and/or mixed up.

Junk food, to me, once meant carbs.  It once meant dessert and sugar; even my beloved nut butters were stuck under that label!  It meant eggs and creamy sauces and butter and red meat—basically anything that wasn’t a vegetable or fruit.  Actually, if DE deemed a fruit too high in sugar/calories (WTF), it was also considered “junk food.”  Maybe I didn’t call it junk food in my mind, but from the way I was treating those foods, they might as well be as nutritious as a McDonald’s cheeseburger.

I asked my dad what he meant by “junk food.”

Burgers.  Fast food.  Soda.  Deep fried foods… like french fries. I really need french fries today.”

His reply was so simple and damn obvious, and yet somehow, it cleared my mind of the DE fog and pulled me closer to normalcy.  I asked myself, Is this bread “junk food” because it’s white and has “no” nutritional value?

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No.  Nonetheless, I didn’t eat it.  It was cold and tough.  :(

Am I only allowed to drink water and calorie-free drinks?

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No, but I needed a hot drink that night, and peppermint tea sounded good.  *shivers*  Plus, unless they are at room temperature and flat, sodas/sparkling fizzy drinks make my stomach hurt like hell.  They don’t really taste that good in that state either…

Should I order the winter vegetable platter or the jumbo lump crab cake dish?  Did I eat too much meat during the day?  What if the sweet potato gratin it comes with is too cheesy and delicious and I finish the whole thing?  What if there are too many carbs in the veggie platter?

What if what if what if I just ordered what I wanted?

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Don’t get me wrong, the winter vegetable platter sounded delicious (and I could taste acorn squash that was maybe done the right way), but everything about the jumbo lump crab cake dish just sounded perfect.  And it was.  :)

1. Jumbo lump crab cake. Biiig clumps of delicious crabmeat, little to no breading, definitely no mayo, and perfectly seasoned.  Oh, and no food poisoning is a plus!

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2. Chipotle sweet potato gratin. This was coated with a cheesy sauce rather than being smothered in real cheese, but it was certainly better than my first time having “sweet potato” gratin.  100% sweet potatoes, yay!  They were really sweet.  :)

3. Brussels sprouts + blood orange vinaigrette. This was my first time trying brussels sprouts, and they were yummy. I don’t understand why it has the reputation it does?!  I think these were steamed or boiled, and boiled is apparently the yuckiest way of preparing them, but they were good!  The blood orange vinaigrette was a little less citrus-y than I would have liked, but it wasn’t overly sweet, which was nice.  (Still need to buy blood oranges!)

All this while my dad chowed down a giant bacon cheeseburger with fries and a coke.  Is there anyone who thinks that “bacon cheeseburger” means a burger made out of bacon with cheese?

… Didn’t think so.  -_-

The moral of the story is: Not every food is “junk food,” and no junk food is off limits. I will say it: Life is a balancing act.  What if what if what if I just did that?

2010 Goal #3: BALANCE.  BALANCE.  BALANCE. It’s pretty self-explanatory, but so much easier said than done…

Q1: What’s your favorite type of cereal?
Q2: What do you consider “junk food”?
Q3: Do you like brussels sprouts?

Off to… finish my homework!  :D

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