… 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’m taking a break from finishing my lab report to blog because I seriously feel like I’m going to punch a squirrel right now.  Microsoft Word is being totally uncooperative and just… just… stupid.

Shapes can go die.  Online graphs without Excel can go die.  Oh, and parts of a .pdf pasted in Word that make it run ridiculously slow will die. now.

*deep breath*  Okay, I feel slightly better now.  Urgh, doesn’t technology just piss you off sometimes?  :(

As to why I’m doing this at almost 12 PM on a Sunday night preceding a holiday… You see, it was part of the ultimate plan.  I failed to get it done during the day, so I had to work to meet my “deadline,” and that incidentally meant staying up until this hour.  I have a whole ‘nother list of things I need to get done tomorrow and I really don’t want too much of “today’s” task mixing with “tomorrow’s” (aka the “something will explode if this doesn’t get done” stuff).

Today’s tasks also included photo uploading. For me, this is by far the most time-consuming aspect of blogging.  Copying the photos to the computer, resizing and reformatting as a PNG to preserve quality, deleting the old huge files… * 100.  How many photos do you take in a day, on average? I gravitate towards perfectionism, so I’m always trying to shoot the “perfect” angle for a food… and somehow, I end up with like, thirty different photos of the same thing.  Go figure.

Breakfast yesterday was something I’ve been missing due to the cold weather: a yogurt mess!

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With the best canned pumpkin ever. This has so much more flavor than Libby’s and actually tastes like real pumpkin!

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It’s topped with Trader Joe’s country pumpkin spice granola, which I first set my eyes on on Allie’s blog.  It’s awesome.  :)  I can’t resist picking out the pieces of popcorn!

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Of course, studying wasn’t the only thing I did today!  Lunch out was a blessing, honestly.  My mom had company over and, well, having a valid excuse to be out of the house saved me from being bombarded with those adult-to-child questions: “What school do you go to?” “Have you grown taller?” “How old are you?” “Do you speak Chinese?” etc… it becomes quite tiring after you’ve answered the same question five times to five “curious” adults.  Needless to say, I was more than eager to get out…

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This was so much better than Wegman’s party food.

We went to an amazingly cute restaurant called Magnolias at the Mill today.  It is, as the name implies, a mill-turned-restaurant.  There’s a big plaque about the history of the mill (built in 1905!) just outside the entrance.  It was quite an interesting read—even my insouciant dad was impressed.  :)

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Lots of rustic charm, as you can see.  :)  I believe the upstairs was reserved for dinner, but I wish we could’ve gone up there…

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I ordered the Thai-inspired steamed mussels with lime & sesame scented jasmine rice, snow peas, and green curry coconut sauce. This was my first time ordering mussels—er, well, any kind of mollusk, at a restaurant!  It did not disappoint, even though there were less snow peas than I would have preferred.  The curry-coconut sauce was a bit salty, but it was perfect for sopping up with with the sticky, fragrant jasmine rice.  I ended up giving about four of the mussels to my dad since he liked them so much, and given how rarely he says he likes something, I just had to.  :)  I got a bit of his dish in exchange, the mahi-mahi with lemon-parsley orzo and sautéed watercress. With some blackberry-based sauce, I believe?

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Besides being absolutely gorgeously presented, it was super delish.  I normally dislike mahi-mahi because it tends to be served tough and dry, but this was an exception!  Very succulent and well-seasoned.  :)

I had an “eating race” with my dad.  Okay, the thing is, my dad eats very, very slooooowly. His style of chewing is comparable to a camel’s (minus the spitting) and apparently, mine is more like a rabbit’s or a squirrel’s.  … Okay, that’s fine with me, but not when I’m eating with him!  I literally finish twenty minutes before he does, and it’s not that fun just sitting around, trying to converse (and conversing just draws it out longer…).  So I’ve decided to learn how to chew slowly like a camel so I can pace myself and not end up waiting for him to finish.  I’ll let you know how that goes… xD

My sister ate an entire (kid’s) cheese pizza, but she was still hungry… so she ordered some dessert that she kindly shared with us.  :)  I love how innate children’s senses are, especially with food—they eat when they’re hungry, stop when they aren’t, and they aren’t afraid to treat themselves to delicious, fancy-sounding desserts!

This is the rustic apple-blackberry pie with cinnamon crème anglais, blackberry sauce, and vanilla ice cream~

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Wholesome and delicious.  The crème anglais was amazing, and I loved the huge chunks of apple and berry in the puff pastry, which, by the way, was fluffy and just light enough to balance out the rich ice cream and crème anglais.

I was lazy about dinner, so I just looked around for some fridge leftovers, mixed ‘em up, and voilà. Asian again, Tat. ;)  There’s white rice, broccoli, and mushrooms down there underneath the huge mound of tofu and furikake

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PLUS a very muddy-looking after-dinner treat.  For once, I was craving chocolate?!  This was the last of my plain yogurt with canned pumpkin, Hershey’s dark cocoa powder, cinnamon, Trader Joe’s kettle corn, and maple syrup.

Pre-mix:

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Post-mix and with trail mix and honey-roasted peanuts (both were party food leftovers).  I was a little scared that it would look like poop, but it doesn’t look THAT bad, does it?

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And a divine Medjool date with crunchy PB:

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Oh, I’ve missed crunchy PB.  <3

Last, but not least, I have a gift for Chocolate-Covered Katie and her awesome giveaway.  ;)  Here’s a real, whole banana hammock—no deconstruction involved!

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On the left, we have a slice with a sprinkling of grain-sweetened chocolate chips.  The contender on the right is topped with cinnamon, kettle corn, pumpkin spice granola, and dried guava slices.  ‘Twas de-li-cious.  ;)

Q1: When does technology make you angry?
Q2: Your favorite dessert?  x)

Have a lovely evening… errr, morning, m’ladies!

EDIT: Did anyone notice the “12 PM on a Sunday night”?!  That’s what I get for staying up late… xD

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!  :]

The morning my aunt’s family left, my mom had to wake me up to say good-bye to them (oops), and apparently, my cousin cried again.  :/  He’s an only child, so I guess he’s lonely?  My mom said that he was tying his shoelaces and tried to cover it up with the age-old, clichéd, only-in-the-movies excuse: There’s sand in my eyes. :(  Poor thing… He’s such a boy.  Wouldn’t even let me hug him, so I went with the shoulder-pat.  :/

I was an only child for the first eight years of my life, and I practically begged my parents for a sibling (specifically, a sister).  Now that I have one, I feel like I don’t appreciate her half as much as I should.  I need to improve on that.  Later on in life, I want to be as close to my sister as my mom is to my aunt.  They have the ultimate sibling relationship—growing up in a poor household (and only being a few years apart…) really squishes a family together, I guess?  I suppose it was the same with everyone in China at the time…

2010 Goal #1: Be a better sister.

Apparently, our house is funhouse, because we have MORE company now.  Wahoo.  They brought us a nice gift basket from Florida and homemade treats!  :)

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Organic citrus and jams and locally-made candies!  I think they’re mind-readers, because I LOVE this kind of stuff.  I’ve already eaten two of the chocolate-covered coconut patties, and they’re deeelicious!  The citrus, although ugly, is super sweet, too.  :)

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I think there were chocolate-covered cookie bars, peanut butter bars, and hello dollies.  I had my first hello dollie last night, and it was good, although a little too sweet.  I love anything with coconut.  :)

And now’s the time for random.eats!

Noodles in chicken broth with sesame seeds and a single carrot slice was consumed for lunch.  I had some nice slurping action going on here.  That’s the best part of noodles, am I right?!  Vermicelli is no fun at all unless it’s in a salad.

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With a baby apple, the iconic fall fruit.  I’m just a tad late for the season, I know.  I saw Stef stuff her apple with nut butter the other day and thought it was brilliant, but I really just needed something fresh and juicy today.  (Gotta find me some blood oranges!)

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And a fab snack: half-banana + Maranatha crunchy peanut butter + sea salt.  Get this: I do not like Maranatha PB anymore.  o__o  I used to be obsessed with the stuff!… but now I really crave sugarless, super-peanutty peanut butter.  Weird.  Thus, I needed extra salt to counter the sweetness here.  Warning: food porn barrage coming your way.  Normally, I choose a few pictures to post from a selection, but this time, they all looked equally good!

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And a date stuffed with Crazy Richard’s creamy peanut butter, my next love.  Well, that is, until I use the jar up.  Then I’ll be making my own peanut butter… and THAT will be true love.  ;)  Topped with course sea salt once again, since Crazy Richard’s is just plain ol’ peanuts:

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Love!  <3 And speaking of making nut butter, that was precisely my very first adventure with my new toy!

How to Make Nirvana: A Step-by-Step Guide

You will need:
*
~2 1/2 cups pecans
* ~1/4 tsp coarse sea salt

(Errr… like I said, I don’t exactly measure.  ^_^;)

Step 1: Microwave pecans until perfectly roasted and just slightly burnt.  I would’ve used an oven to roast a whole batch at once (I had to microwave twice), but last time, I completely burnt the pecans beyond recognition, so I won’t be trying that again.  :|  I microwaved for 4 minutes total (mixed them up after 2 minutes to even out the roasting), but I have no idea whether the setting was on high or medium or what.  Sorry!

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Step 2: After the pecans have cooled (important!), pour them into the blender and start whizzing.  I had mine on the “nuts” setting.  Here they are half-pulverized:

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Step 3: Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape the edges down if necessary.  The butter comes pretty quickly with pecans, since they’re oily, though not so much with certain other nuts/seeds.  *coughpumpkinseedscough*

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Step 4: Add coarse sea salt into the blender with the luscious pecan butter it’s created for you.  Pulse for a few seconds to fold in the salt crystals.  They’ll add a delightful crunch in the final product.  :]

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Step 5: Pour into a jar and devour (not necessarily with something).  I promptly had an unpictured dried calimyrna fig dunked in nirvana.  I’ll be sure to catch that sneaky hand of mine so I can snap a pic next time… ;)

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Sorry for the dark/crappy action shot + final pic—I’m still working on shooting motion (holding a heavy blender while trying to focus is not very easy), and I was anxious to try the pecan butter at the end.  Forgive this amateur.  :|

Q1: Are you an only child?  If so, do you ever wish you had a sibling?
Q2: What is one goal you have for 2010?
Q3: What’s your favorite type of nut/seed butter? Me?  I like allll of them except for bitter tahini.  ;)
Q4: Thin or thick noodles?

Off to an Asian party today.  Have a great post-holiday day!  :)

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Errr, no.  Not my hair, guys.

So the weatherman was right for once, I guess, because we had a gazillion truckloads of snow dumped on us yesterday.  Hoooo boy.  I don’t think we’ve had this much snow in this area since 2003.  Yup—it was so awesome that I even remember the year!  We had a week off from school, and it rocked~ :D  I’m kind of hoping that the snow will stay until Christmas, so I’ll finally be able to have a white Christmas?!  I’ve never had a true white Christmas—either the snow melts during the day or I travel north and getting my dose of little white flakes there.  Stay, snow, stay.   

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Warring flakes!

The perfect snack for a day in the blistering cold of the house should be cookies with hot chocolate.  Well, turns out, I was about two marks away from having the perfect snack.  First of all, I don’t exactly want to melt a bunch of Lindt truffles or a goji chocolate bar to drink, and second, I don’t have any candy canes to stir with.  Does anyone else drink hot chocolate with a candy cane and/or peppermint extract?  I think it gives a very refreshing touch to a drink that would otherwise be too rich and cloying. 

Oh, and the lack of cookies?  I solved it… with an EGG!  :D  Which, of course, I would have otherwise never paired with hot chocolate.  o__o  Instead, I had it alongside some hot water.  Mmmm.  I think drinking hot water is an Asian thing?  Waiters/waitresses always look at me or my mom weirdly when we ask for it at restaurants.  I mean, who wants to pay for a teabag?!  :P

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Mmmm.  That was some microwaved goodness right there.  Gooey cranberry chèvre with furikake (mostly bonito flakes) and black sesame seeds is an impeccable combination—tangy, sweet, savory, and roasty.  It’s the easiest favorite snack ever (now tied with toast!).

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Let me explicate on cookies… I didn’t exactly bake them yesterday.  OK, well, I used my oven, but I ended up under-roasting chestnuts and majorly over-roasting  pecans.  :(  I guess I should think about using the oven timer, hm?  Or just microwaving the pecans like my dad does… Hey, it works!  :]  I would totally say that I am going to really make cookies today, but I don’t know if I have enough buttah.  :/ Cookies just don’t taste like heaven with vegetable oil.

Holy cow, five more days till Christmas!  Cue snow preserver dance, now!!!

To be honest, our tree looks a little lame.  It’s fat and short and stubby—short as in even I can touch the top.  o_o  But you know, I love it all the same!  I mean, there was a period of time where I thought I was a fat stub as well and ruthlessly berated myself for it.  But then… I acquired the magic power of perspective and vanquished the demeaning thoughts from my brain. 

Maybe we’ll just move the tree to a room with lower ceilings so it looks absolutely resplendent.  ;)

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Q1: What’re your “perfect foods” for a cold, snow-machine day?  Or just a snow day :P
Q2: What does your Christmas tree look like this year?  Actually, until this year, we used the same plastic Christmas tree year after year!
Q3: Do you ask for hot water at restaurants?  Or water with no ice?

GAG: Shall I jam to music while I shovel snow?

Off to… shovel snow!  :oD with “Our Lips are Sealed” stuck in my head.  And to all the wonderful ladies in recovery: I hope you, too, will regain the power of perspective.  :]

I wish, I wish, with all my heart…

I wish I could have top-tier grades.  I wish my school was refulgent… or at the very least, not smelly and old?  I wish I was charismatic and had amazing public speaking skills.  I wish I had super-socializing skills and could break the ice without looking like an idiot. I wish I could have this camera for Christmas.  I wish I were bolder and more sympathetic.  Wishy wishy wishy.  ‘Tis the season for wish lists, no?

But I’ve realized that being wishful is being wasteful—of all the things, all the potential that I already possess.  I can wish for an innumerable amount of things… but will I ever get them?  No.  Not unless I get off my lazy ass and make my dreams fo realz!  I can’t make all of them come true, of course, because I ain’t no Santa Claus.  C’est la vie. But what does that matter, anyway?  Sure, I’m not the best public speaker in the world.  My team sports skills and hand and foot-eye coordination are basically zero.  I quit piano a year ago, I’m not an officer of any clubs, etc.  I could go on and on about my flaws.  In all honesty, I’m deathly afraid that these flaws will prevent me from going further in life.  But the one thing I can do is to stride forward and learn from those around me who don’t have the same flaws I do.

I definitely wish that I was a better person.  Who doesn’t?  I want to improve myself—and stupid me, that’s what going through life is all about!  The daily lessons learned, the losses, the hardships—everything moves me one step closer to the “other” me—the person I can be with my full potential. I know I’ll never be able to reach my full potential, because there’s always room for improvement… but I want to get as close as possible.  Which, obviously, cannot be done simply by idling around, wishing the gap between me and my full potential-self away.  I’m going to actively work to close that gap.  Thank you for teaching me that logic, Dante.  :]

Ahh… but the most exciting part of my day was that one of my wishes DID come true.  I will be getting that camera for Christmas.  ^__^

Another toast-with-toppings snack—yes, those are butternut squash seeds and crushed PB puffins on there.  ;)

Onto my running-on-3-hours-of-sleep day… excuse the delusional-ness, and the fact that I couldn’t rack my brain for a real word to substitute for that

Hehehe, we got animal-shaped gingerbread cookies in bio today :]  I was going to eat my squirrel and crocodile cookies… until I saw that they had HAIRS in them!  O__O  Eeeeeeek. No hairy cookies for me, thank you very much…

Gurgh.  My teacher is so nice, but she’s utterly clueless—clueless as in, some of my classmates can explain things better than she can.  Oh well—it’s not like we actually learn in class anyway.  We just take quizzes and tests and “discuss” articles, maybe throw in a lab every two weeks or so.  Outside of school though, it’s purely reading.  Reading and reading and reading.  And writing lab reports, oh fun oh joy!~ -_-

*ahem* There’s no cookie pic, of course… my classmates already think I’m a freak genius (which is completely untrue, at least the latter part) and an overachiever.  Why push myself further into freakville?  P:

Oh, and I basically froze my ass off today.  Freaking 18*F!  Yes, that is cold by my standards, oh people of Canada… Subzero temperatures without precipitation are just bothersome.  :c

Dinner was at Whole Foods today.  I missed that place!  I might show my haul later, but one thing I must mention is that I finally found the Spooky S’mores Zbar!!!!  Holy freaking moly I was EXCITED.  I literally squealed when I saw the box, bahaha!  It’s FAR from Halloween (can you believe it?!), but I’m just happy I get to try this much-raved about flavor!  :]  Made me a happppy child, fo sho.

No pics of dinner, unfortunately—I forgot my camera :c  I had a delicious curried pumpkin soup with a big hunk of cornbread though :D  I LOVE me some cornbread, and I haven’t had it in forever!  The soup was a tad bland though—I had to add two of those teeny salt packets.  Shhhh…

Oh, and I’ll send cyberbabies to anyone who can guess what the first line of this post references.  ;)

I’ll end this post with another semi-tribute to the wonderful Katie: a deconstructed banana hammock!

Yeah, so instead of eating two banana slices sandwiched together with various goodies in between, I prefer to slice mine up and top them with the goods.  This particular hammock-wannabe was topped with dried cherries, black sesame seeds, sea salt, and Back to Nature cherry vanilla granola.  It gave me a mouthgasm, and that was no wannabe.  ;)

Heyyy babe.

Alright, I’ll be off now.  I hope you guys have an amazing weekend—sorry for slacking off on blogging/posting again!  School has been ku-razy.  And it’ll only get crazier until winter break begins… :/  So please forgive me!!

What do you wish, but don’t actively strive for?

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… ;)