Hello all!  How has your Saturday Sunday Monday been going?

… What?  I’m posting on a weekday?  Without homework nailing me into my chair?  I can kneel on the floor and blog?!  (Yes, I do!)

Score.  :D  Sweet freedom comes only once in a blue Pandora, and I’m going to savor it.  By blogging, of course.  ;)

To start off, I’ll recap some of my Sunday eats.  A portion of breakfast was brought to you by my first loaf of Great Harvest bread, the sunflower crunch, which was dense, chewy, and chock-full of nuts and tiny yellow grains…

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… and most importantly, circular!  I was super excited to go to a real bakery and buy a real, circular loaf of bread.  <3  I don’t think I ever want to go back to elongated buttock bread!  See the lovely sunflower pattern on the bread, complete with a seed in the center?  I’m not really sure what the yellow grains are, but they do help to make it delightfully crunchy.  :)  I like dense, chewy breads just as much as I love fluffy, soft ones.

I decided to have my second taste of this bread (LOVE the fact that they give such generous samples) with a savory twist:

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A simple schmear of butter and shaved raw milk cheese was all this needed to taste great.  Sooo much richness from the cheese… and so fun to shave off with a knife!  :D  Cheese ‘n buttah really do make everything better (I actually typed “butter”…).  I would include bacon in that statement, except it failed here.

Lunch included a lovely jewel yam from Whole Foods from waaaay back when.  Apparently, sweet potatoes last a long time, and I’m grateful for that, because this was divine.  Ah, nothing like a roasted sweet potato.  Not as sinfully delicious as my precious Japanese sweet potatoes, but it was tasty in its own lovely, orange right! 

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Savory was the name of the game on Sunday.  After roasting in the oven at 375* for a little more than an hour till it was hot and caramelized, I topped it with more shavings of raw milk cheese, crushed, addicting edamame crackers from Trader Joe’s, and pepita dust.  Mmmm… creamy and luscious from the sweet potato and the cheese that melted on it… made just salty enough by the pepita dust and crackers.  <3

Speaking of pepita dust, Oster’s customer service told me that a new blender should be arriving in two to three weeks.  Pray that this one won’t be as flimsy and break down after the first go…

Except for the beginning (I woke up ten minutes before I was supposed to leave), today was fairly relaxing for me, which was much appreciated after the everyday-sucks routine of last week.  I basically did nothing except take a test, which I do not think I did well on.  Invertebrates are hell, I say… the fact that I didn’t remember that crustaceans have two pairs of antennae killed me doubly.  Ugh.  -_-  Not a good start to the new semester, but you know what?  I’m not going to let this bring me down.  This cannot nullify the joy of freedom that I’ve felt all day!  Laughing, drawing funny pictures, listening to music, snacking on junky Snyder’s honey mustard pretzels (damn. addicting.)… can’t be beat :D  One test failed?  I can make it up with like, twenty more!  :) 

Q1: What texture do you like in a bread?  Dense and chewy or fluffy are both fine with me, but I dislike “hard” breads that are hard to bite.  :/
Q2: Sweet or savory?

Have a lovely evening, ladies!  I wish you all a week filled with joy and relaxation :)

Hello everyone!  I’m still alive here after my Week-from-Hell #2.  Done with three midterms, two tests, and three quizzes—score. I only have 1 midterm next week and another the week after, and then it’s back to the regular testing routines.  … Hurray?!  :) (:

My brain has been fried for about two weeks now, and my short-term memory has basically shut down entirely (past cramming biology into my head).  I actually had to think for awhile before I could remember what I wanted to recap for this post.  -_-;

Breakfast on a date that has been shoved out of my brain was this lovely bowl of cereal with my first pouring of original Pacific almond milk.

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It was eh. I forgot to buy the unsweetened kind (if there is such thing), so this tasted really watery and well, unpleasantly sweet.  :/  I think I’ll just stick with Almond Breeze from here on out.

This is a lunch prepped on another random day was a random mixture of leftovers that I was trying to use up.  This had leftover spicy tofu, shredded Mexican cheese from TJ’s, and leftover salad. Obligatory toasted sesame seeds and wakame-rice ball furikake are obligatory.

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Annnd another date stuffed with grainy peanut butter and sea salt.

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Dee-lee-cious.  :)

As for this, there is only one lonely square of this milk chocolate bacon bar left now…

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It wasn’t as good as I expected.  The bacon bit-chocolate flavors don’t really meld together—when I eat it, I just taste bacon, salt, and then chocolate.  Muuuch prefer the goji bar. You can never go wrong with a pink bar of chocolate.  :)

On Friday afternoon after school, I went to a Great Harvest Bread Co. bakery for the first time.  I had actually wanted to go last week, but it closes pretty early (around 5-ish), so we were too late.  :(  This week, we arrived ten minutes from closing time, in which I tried three different types of bread and bought two of ‘em.  I call it my “reward” for getting out of this week alive.  :)  I’ll save that for another post, though, since this one’s picture-heavy enough as it is!  It was really exciting though, since I’ve never bought “real” bread from a bakery before.

The weekly Friday night dinner out was at Bazin’s on Church, which had (mostly) rave reviews on Yelp!.  Though it was a little noisy—it’s a small place, and the bar was just a few feet away from us—the food was très delicieux. :)  I think this was one of the only three-course meals I’ve ever had?!

I loved the decor.  I felt so warm inside!  :)

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The location was pretty awesome, too, with lots of big windows and pretty holiday lights.  Even if the candles were fake.  ;)

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The feast began with a bit of warm bread and butter and the butternut squash agnolotti, which was basically butternut squash ravioli with sage sauce and crumbled amaretti cookies.  It reminded me of the first meal out I photographed (and wrote about), pumpkin ravioli.  Creamy, buttery outside with a surprisingly sweet, fluffy filling.  “Special,” said my father.  :)  But, um, where are the cookie crumbs?

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Maybe they drowned in the sauce.

For my main course, I made a historic decision in the course of eating out [in my life]—I ordered red meat for the first time!!!  I usually go for seafood, salads, or carbalicious dishes, but I’ve never ordered red meat at a restaurant before (not a DE thing—I was like this before all that jazz, too).  I’m not much of a steak person, and I find BBQ ribs annoyingly messy—you could say I’m picky with red meat.  But this… this was amazing.

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The toughness of red meat is the one thing that puts me off about it, so I was surprised and excited by the super, melt-in-your-mouth tenderness of this.  I guess there’s a reason it’s called tender pecan pork?  The pecans added a whole other dimension to the meat with their prevailing, deeply toasted and nutty flavor, and the vanilla sweet potatoes had a real, pronounced vanilla flavor, and they weren’t cloyingly sweet, thank goodness.  :)  Perfectly balanced out the umami of the meat.  The roasted baby spinach was a bit too salty, but I loved the roastyness that roasted foods have (oh yeah, I’m specific), and the fact that it wasn’t a complete pile of mush.  And, as much as I was excited for it, the bourbon-bacon sauce was just average.  Is bourbon sour?  The sauce certainly was…

For a little sweetness to end the meal, my sis picked a key lime pie with coconut-macaroon crust and chantilly cream for the three of us to share:

The coconut-macaroon crust was amazing, even though I’ve never had a macaroon in my life.  Totally stuffed with coconut, and huge shreds of it at that.  The pie itself, on the other hand, was not nearly as sour as the ones I ate by the busload in Florida.  In fact, it was a bit too sweet.  I needed periodic dips into the fluffy and perfectly sweet chantilly cream to cleanse my palate.  ;)

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I was originally planning to post all of this on Friday night, but spontaneously made the decision to see Avatar.  It was a 9:40 PM showing, and being the wonderful three hours that it is, ended at 12:30-ish… thus, I got home around 1:15 the next morning.  o_o  Being the goody-goody that I am, I’ve never stayed out that late before.  I beat my record by more than an hour… whew.

But OMG… it was completely worth it. To see this?

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original image from
here

Heck yes.  I loved, loved, loved this movie.  The fantasy world totally drew me in with the lush CGI and brilliantly imagined flora and fauna.  The whole thing was just explosive with its color and life—immersive and completely believable once you’re drawn in.  I mean, bioluminescent organisms?!  All of them?!  Synapses and exposed nerve endings?!  <3  This was a feast for the eyes (and the mind!) and a thousand times better than Twilight. I think I’m going to become an Avatar geek or something.  Gosh, I’d kill to see this in IMAX 3D!

Q1: What do you look for in a restaurant setting? I like quiet restaurants… can’t stand bars :/  (But I’d go back to Bazin’s on Church for the food!!!)
Q2: What do you usually order at restaurants?
Q3: What’s the latest you’ve stayed out?
Q4: Have you watched Avatar?  Do you love it?!  If not, what’s your favorite movie genre? I normally dislike sci-fi, but this was a whole different story, obviously.  ;)

Alright, I’m out.  :D  Have a happy week, everybody!  Yay food!  And, for Avatar, yay nature and phosphorescent organisms.  :)

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…

… I’m like :D :D :D “Par-tay baby!”

… and then I look at my agenda…

D: D: D:

Harharhar.  It mocks me -_-

My eats are pretty random on the weekends.  I basically subsist on sandwiches during the week, but when I’m at home, I typically just snack all day long after breakfast.  Maybe because breakfast is so damn filling, and all I do is sit around all day?  A couple of weeks ago, I had a really beautiful (and tasty) bowl of oatmeal… like autumn –> bowl –> stomach –> brain –> “…”

autumn-spiced sweet potato oats with the colors of fall foliage. :)

This bowl had rolled oats, banana, sweet potato purée, pumpkin purée, lots of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract. On top: dried apricots, toasted pecans, marshmallows, dried cranberries, and a GIANT scoop of almond butter.  I especially love how the apricots turned out in the photos; they’re glistening like little gems!  And man was this delicious.  So hearty and warming and filling, and the kitchen smelled amazing after I made it. :)

You want to eat me, oh yes you do…

Brain food!   Now I’m going to exercise [my brain].   Fun fun… Have a fabulous day, everyone~ :)

What’s your favorite cold-weather breakfast?