Yes.  Yes they did.  The county proclaimed both Tuesday AND Wednesday snow days.

My immediate reaction?  “HALLELUJAH!”… not.  Actually, it was pretty much like the title.  Oops.

Why did I curse two more days off from school?
1) That’s one more day cutting into spring or summer vacation.  Would I prefer staying in during winter on a snow day doing nothing, with homework at the back of my mind, or going shopping, sightseeing, traveling, and hanging out with friends in the WARMTH of spring/summer?!  I’d pick the latter, thank you very much!

2) Welcome back to school!  Here is your chemistry midterm!

3) I haven’t had bio for three classes.  In bio time, that’s like three weeks!  We were supposed to take two tests and three quizzes within that time period.  And now there’s even more. Rarrgh.  There’s also an “extra credit” field trip on Thursday, and that’s something I’m praying the snow will give me (and everyone else) an excuse not to go to.

4) I won’t be going to school on Friday + Saturday, ‘cause I’ll be in NYC.  HOWEVER.  Friday, if we have school, is precisely the day I have bio.  So I’ll miss a class, except this time, no one else will have missed it!  And I’ll have to make up so much crap next week… awwww shiznit.  >:(

Should I be ecstatic about the snow?  Everyone else seems to be.  Am I thinking too far ahead?  Is my mind too old?  I know I’m putting unnecessary stress on myself, but the stupid, “worry worm” (as my dad calls them) thoughts just won’t go away!

*deep breath*  Okay.  Rant over.  Moving on to the *fun* things I do when stuck at home in a snowstorm!

I joined TasteSpotting and FoodGawker a couple of days ago, and submitted some pictures yesterday.  FoodGawker’s verdict?  Dingdingding! Green light!  To say the least, I was a very happy kid when I noticed.  I didn’t even feel that bad when I realized that TasteSpotting rejected them!  :D

With my culinary trash –> worthy of critics’ cash experience not too long ago, I had a little déjà vu with that today when my idea for clean-out-the-fridge-and-pantry pancakes totally and completely failed.

I still had half a roasted spaghetti squash (my first!) from last week that was sitting in the fridge covered in plastic wrap.  Okay, need to use that up. I scrounged around in my bookmarks to find a suitably scrumptious recipe to use, and the spaghetti squash gratin from Chocolate & Zucchini happened to be the only one.

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Clicky clicky.  Read read read… cheese… PANCAKES?  She mentioned that her friend used spaghetti squash to make pancakes.  Pancakes?  Dingdingding! Green light!

So I set out to make some très délicieux pancakes with my little squashie.  But I couldn’t make pancakes with just watery squash, oh no.  The answer to that should have been “bread crumbs.”  Or “tofu.” Or “flour,” maybe?

The answer was year-old canned black beans.

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Mmmm.

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Scoop, drain, mix, mash; spice, taste, fold, smash.  Ergo—

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… Gross-looking stuff, isn’t it?  It tasted good, I promise, especially with the addition of various goodies such as chopped emmental cheese, red miso, white sesame seeds (I need to buy toasted black, but I’m kind of stuck here), and a big scoop of hot gochujang. To balance out the spiciness, I finally stripped my orange blossom honey jar of its plastic wrap and drizzled in the sweet nirvana.

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Nirvana, say hello to goop.

And then, as what must happen to all foods tagged “pancake,” it was time to fry the goop into glorious, crispy, fragrant patties of cheesy, spicy deliciousness.

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Pan-frying, of course, with the last of my wakame furikake sprinkled on top for good measure.  There’s no way I’m going to clean up a deep-fried kitchen!

Buuut it didn’t work.  You see, without the magical addition of breadstuffs, the goop was much too flimsy to be flipped.  Basically, it went from cold goop –> hot, charred goop.  Fail.

Maybe it’ll work if I spread it out over the pan so the edges can crispify?…

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… Uh, I guess not.

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At least the goop didn’t stick to my pan…

I began racking the corners of my mind for a way that I could use this goop.  I contemplated using it as a burrito filling or just… *gulp* eating it straight up as goop?  No, no, no.

Gimme my oven… I popped these in there for 15 minutes at 350*F.  I wouldn’t say they came out crispy, but they were definitely firm, and if anything, the pan-frying beforehand really brought out that deep, charred, spicy flavor.  It smelled amazing, too.  Not quite like the heaven that is eau de freshly-baked muffins per se, but my mom and sister were swooning from the aroma.  Needless to say, they were pretty disappointed when I told them it was spicy.  :]

So, this is the result of my supposed-to-be pancake goop turned pattie turned burger pattie…

… Actually, I think I’ll post about that next time.  This post is getting much too long!  :P  I’ll try to get a recipe for this, too.  I think this would’ve worked fabulously had I used rice as my carb base, seeing how good it tasted when I ate two patties smashed into rice today for lunch.  Crispy, pan-fried rice = love love LOVE… = idea for Sophia’s challenge?

Okay, I’m off to fill my brain with fun chemistry stuff!  Hah… fun.  I’d burn the book at the end of the year, but in cases of $$$ vs. rebellion, $$$ wins.  Always.

Question: How do you use up your leftovers? All of my cooking lately has involved using up leftovers from long, long ago.  That’s pretty much the ONLY reason I cook, haha!

Have a wonderful day, everyone!  I wish you warmth and good eats… love you lots and lots more :]

ox ~ c a n d i c e

Good evening, loves!

Breakfast today was a Trader Joe’s cinnamon crumpet with butter and a German brand of raspberry honey.  I looove these crumpets—they’re absolutely divine toasted.  Crunchy on the edges and perfectly soft and warm on the inside.

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I’ve definitely used this honey before, as you can probably tell from the more-than-half-empty jar (less-than-half-full if you look at it the other way), but I never bothered to photograph it.  It seems like I’m photographing everything now, though.  o_o  Anyway, I adore the creaminess of this honey—it’s crystallized, but the crystals are minute, so it’s more like creamed honey.  Great with any kind of bread and butter.  :]

We hosted a party today (way to make it last minute, right?), and from 1 PM onward, people were just continuously coming and going, coming and going.  A bunch of pre-prepped party foods were spread out:

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These are blistered peanuts—the BEST kind of peanuts.  SUPER crunchy, super delish.

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In other words, besides breakfast, my entire day was spent snacking and munching.  That is something that I would’ve never allowed myself to do just one year ago.  Instead, I would’ve been freaking out about the lack of “real” food and scared to munch on the “unhealthy” snacks.  I would’ve been afraid to eat anything for fear of accidentally eating more calories than I was used to throughout the course of the day that would not happen if I had just eaten a normal lunch and snack.  Fear, fear, fear.  Worry, worry, worry.  For what?

My worries were, predictably, always changing depending on the situation.  On break or on the weekends, I would worry about food, calories, my weight, my appearance, etc.  I would worry about overeating due to boredom or gaining the dreaded “vacation weight” that I had heard so many stories about.  “Yeah, I gained ten pounds on this cruise…” “I gained fifteen pounds in China”—blah blah blah.  DE was screaming, You should NEVER go on a cruise, lest you come back even uglier than you were before!  Never again will you go back to China!  Those Chinese girls can eat a lot, but that’s because they’re already skinnier than you, and their metabolisms are sooo much faster than yours, yadda yadda yadda, BS like that, which fortunately, I am able to say STFU to now.

Yet, when I am at school and stressed-out, my focus takes a complete 180* from food –> work.  I actually find myself thinking that I wouldn’t mind being “ugly” or “fat” if it meant that I was super-smart and could breeze my way through the mountainload of work at my fingertips and ace all my tests.  I keep wondering, whose voice is this? DE’s?  Mine?  Either way, it’s screwed up.

But in the end, I realize that it doesn’t matter. We are who we are.  Whether we love or hate ourselves depends on our perspective.  I can’t morph myself into a model or a genius, but I can change the way I view myself.  The phrase “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is so true, though I don’t think I’ll ever consider myself as beautiful as a model or as smart as a genius (hello, modesty?).  I want to just look in the mirror and see me, a normal girl.  I want to feel like a normal girl.  I want to be a normal girl again.

2010 Goal #2: Be, and see, a normal girl again in the mirror.

… Annnd once again, I apologize for the wall of text.  o_o  I can’t seem to stop rambling once I start!

Before I go, I’ll dish out seven random facts about me for my very first blog(ger?) award from Amanda of . seek . and Tara of Grab a Mug and Go!.  :)  Thank you!

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1. My favorite genre of music is Japanese pop (but not the cutesy stuff, nor boy bands—ick).  I made my dad buy bought my first Jpop CD online when I was eleven, and I haven’t been keeping up with popular American music since.  Since then, I’ve branched out into some Korean and Taiwanese pop as well, but none can ever replace my precious Jpop… <3

2. I’m stealing Tat’s for this one—I used to be an overeater! I would literally stuff myself to the point where I physically could not eat anymore at every meal.  Not surprisingly, I was a little chubby when I was young, though I’m surprised I wasn’t overweight with all the Kraft instant mac&cheese, hot dogs, and Texas Toast I was eating.  O_o

3. I didn’t know what Hitler did until seventh grade.  Lived under a rock?  Why yes, I did…

4. When I was six years old, I began to type my own short stories about Pokémon (chicken-finger style typing, I mean).  I was so proud of myself!  :D  I wrote 43 stories from second to third grade and read them to my parents and grandparents.  They’re still in a folder on my current laptop—I’m very careful not to delete them!  It’s also pretty hilarious to read them now.  :)

5. I actively try to improve my Mandarin Chinese skills.  Technically, it was my first language, but although I can carry conversations with my dad’s colleagues (who all say my Chinese is good…), I am nowhere near fluent.  Plus, my reading/writing skills are terrible.

6. Math is my worst subject, but I go to a [nerd] school that’s focused on math and science.  WTF?  I guess I’m not terrible at it, but it’s my weakest subject relatively speaking…

7. When I was little, I would eat Jif peanut butter by the spoonful and my mom would scold me for it.  I loved it so much that I was willing to wash my own spoon so I could take another scoop… early signs of a food blogger?  ;)

Q1: What’s your favorite party food? Cheese-salami cracker sandwiches are pretty tasty.  :]
Q2: How do you handle your eating at a party?
Q3: What other languages do you speak?

I hope you all have a wonderful evening.  Rethink your worries, even just a little, and please smile when you see your reflection!  :]