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… ;)

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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~