Somehow, I found two containers of the new chocolate Oikos greek yogurt in the refrigerator this morning.  Naturally, even though it wasn’t the beloved caramel flavor, I had to try one.  Me and greek yogurt are just meant to be.

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But you know, it’s an unbalanced relationship.  I’m so stupid, so yogurt is always exasperated with me.  I have to eat it quickly, before it leaves me…

So, I lacerated the covering and the first thing that popped into my mind was, “Hm, this looks like plain yogurt to me.  I guess they didn’t use artificial colors!  :D”  But alas, when I tasted it, I thought, “Erm, this doesn’t really taste all that chocolatey.  Am I missing something?!”  And then my spoon hit the bottom of the container.  VoilàI found a magic pile of cocoa powder and chocolate chips just waiting to be mixed with the—yes—plain, yogurt.  Oh gosh, what a concept!

Note the dramatic change in color after the proper mixing was done:

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The verdict?  Eh. I mean, it was tasty enough, but I could’ve just added chocolate chips and dark cocoa powder to plain greek yogurt and gotten the same result.  Caramel, on the other hand, is a bit more difficult to recreate.  I’ll have to track down that flavor ASAP.  ;)  And speaking of things to track down, has blood orange season begun already?  If so, then I need to get my hands on some of those ASAP.  They’re my favorite type of winter citrus.  :)

Random breakfast items this week also included a delightfully runny microwaved egg topped with a sprinkling of wakame furikake

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Hello, my half-eaten beauty.

Slices toasted Great Harvest sunflower crunch with melted raw milk cheese were frequent, hearty additions to breakfasts during the week.  Why?  It’s ‘cause they’re pure. heaven. I’ve been eating this bread every single day since I bought it less than a week ago!  I’ve single-handedly consumed about half of my loaf already!  It’s just so good, and I’m a total bread + carb-a-holic, so I can’t resist… it calls my name every time I see it sitting on the kitchen counter!  P:

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Sorry that all of my pics in this post are an ugly yellow tint—I wake up when it’s literally pitch black outside, so I have to resort to unnatural, icky fluorescent lights to shoot my breakfast foods.  :|  I’ll try to get a proper shot of the melty-cheesy-toasted bread sometime.   It’s just too tasty to not be commemorated properly!  :]

I have a four-day weekend this week (end of the semester, woo-hoo~), but it’s totally packed.  Tomorrow, I’ll be up by 7 AM—“late” for many other bloggers, I know—for a one hour-drive to a classmate’s house to work on our English project for The Canterbury Tales. And I wonder why I go to this school, where everyone lives so far apart.  -_-  This was one of the rare “creative” assignments our teacher gives, so we’re basically doing a giant collage of two rather sketchy women from the works.  Ever since I stopped taking art, I haven’t gotten the chance to partake in a real, artsy-craftsy project, so it’s been a lot of fun.  :]  I miss just hanging around in art class sometimes…

I stayed after school today to attend a lecture at Carnegie Hall about genomes and sex.  It was so much more interesting than the first one I went to, which was basically two old men spewing arcane, monotonous nonsense (to me, at least).  I couldn’t help but sleep through practically the entire thing last time (the man’s voice was just so dull), but the biologist this time had an Australian accent, which automatically perked things up a bit.  I could also understand what she was talking about, so I only found myself on the brink of dozing off simply because I was drained from the week.  I think I did okay on the math midterm today, but it seems that whenever I feel okay about something, it turns out to be the opposite.  And vice-versa.  School is a vicious mind game for me…

By the way, I packed the best. sandwich. ever. for dinner tonight.  I didn’t photograph it, of course, since I won’t risk lugging my precious SLR to school with a bunch of heavy binders and textbooks.  It consisted of two thick slices of sunflower crunch, a smear of cilantro-jalapeno hummus from Trader Joe’s on one slice and vanilla-cantaloupe jam on the other, a few shavings of the amazing raw milk cheese, and two slices of deli ham.  Chewy, dense, crunchy bread + spicy hummus + sweet, deeply vanilla-flavored jam + rich, aromatic cheese + salty ham = sdfijsofjsdiofj. Yup.

I think I’m going to keep track of the little things from now on.  It’ll be fun to look back on this stuff and descry all these little tidbits of life right now.  The big things are important, but the details make everything all the more interesting and personal.  Plus, things like a schoolwork schedule will hopefully keep my guilty conscious strong when I slack off.  :D

Craving of the Day
* Dolsot bibimbap. I’ve been craving it all week…

Grocery List
* Goat milk yogurt
* Sunflower seed butter
* Coconut butter
* Crazy Richard’s creamy peanut butter (Yes, I buy a LOT of nut butter.)
* Toasted black sesame seeds (I go through these things too quickly!)
* Multigrain Puffins (must try)
* Chocolate calcium chews
* Gum
* Vosges chocolate

Things to Accomplish: 01/29/10
* English group project
* Chemistry midterm studying: chapters 11-12
* Chemistry lab report (finished tonight, 10:40-ish, woot!)
* Biology reading: Chapter 34 (VERTEBRATES!  Ugh.)
* Chapter 35 note card

Q1: What’s the BEST sandwich you’ve ever created?
Q2: How do you hide the fact that you are asleep during a lecture?
Q3: Are you a carb-a-holic?  Veggie-craver?  Carnivore?
Q4: What’s YOUR craving of the day?

Okay, I be going to beddie now.  But tonight… not without a prayer.  Let me try this again.  I need to find a little peace before the busy days commence…

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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

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… ;)

My brain is dead and frozen.

*ahem* Thank you all for the comments on my last post!  I’m very humbled… gosh, commenting + posting on blogs instead of just lurking is so much more fun.  :)  And thank you so much for the compliments on my photography!  I was grinning like an idiot while I read them.  :D

Actually, I just played with a really amazing camera today (my friend’s taking photography, and they give you awesome cameras!!), and I really want one like that now.  With lens focus and everything… <3  Haha, too bad I’ll be short of like $500 or so if I get one… o_o (But it would be worth it, IMO, because I’m just crazy)

So, ever since the school year began, my sleeping patterns have been abnormal.  Like, for the past two weeks, I’ve been sleeping at 1, waking up at 5, and napping for 2.5-3 hours during the day.  Uhh… I don’t think this is very healthy, and definitely not helping my body clock.  I’m not even sleepy at this wee hour.  It’s almost like I thrive in darkness now… I don’t even drink coffee or anything, though green tea is a must (with breakfast and dinner).  Anyone else have a problem like this?

(Random: 11:11 right now!)

And now for more randomness—some random eats from the past couple of days:

Holy toast.

As you can probably tell, I have a really weird way of eating toast.  I like to cut each piece in half and put different toppings on each mini piece.  It’s actually a really fun way to eat it, with all the variety.  This particular piece had sunflower seed butter on one half topped with Back to Nature chocolate delight granola, one quarter with cantaloupe-vanilla jam (SO. GOOD.) and fresh goat cheese, and another quarter with pumpkin butter and roasted kabocha squash seeds.  Of course, I topped the entire thing with the obligatory sea salt and black sesame seeds

Toast, egg, and yogurt = my top three snacks.  ;)  And speaking of yogurt…

A lot of other food bloggers have been raving about the limited edition pumpkin pie flavor of Stonyfield Farms yogurt.  When I happened upon it this weekend at the grocery store, I decided to buy a container to see what all the gushing was about.  Normally, I eat plain Greek yogurt—the Trader Joe’s house brand on a normal basis and Fage when I’m feeling less impoverished.  Either way, I’ve grown so accustomed to the taste of plain, unsweetened, tangy yogurt that I find most commercial brands waaay too sweet for me now.

Fortunately, Stonyfield is actually one of the brands that are less heavy-handed with the sugar.  Introducing new favorite snack #3…

Limited edition pumpkin pah + dried cherries, raisins, granola, peanuts, and cinnamon.

Upon my first lick: “NOOO!!!”  Not exactly “NO, this is REVOLTING,” but more like, “OMG NO!  LIMITED?!”  I don’t know why the hell this flavor is limited edition… I want to buy a whole freaking tub right now!  That should say something about how much I like it.  It actually tastes sort of like pumpkin pie, but with more natural ingredients than I’d expect from “pumpkin pie-flavored” yogurts.  Then again, I’m not sure what exactly “natural flavors” means, because there’s something in the taste that I just can’t recreate on my own with yogurt + pumpkin + cinnamon.  :(  Maybe it’s rum-flavored?  Hmmm.

Wahhh.

Stonyfield, I give you two options: offer giant tubs of this stuff or make it an unlimited edition.  Preferably the latter, of course.  I’m too impatient to wait until next year to get this flavor again.

On the topic of limited edition flavors, I still haven’t tried the Spooky S’mores ZBar flavor!  I’ve heard good things about it, but I can’t seem to find it anywhere.  Not Whole Foods, not Trader Joe’s… meh.

What’s your favorite way to eat yogurt? Mine is a giant yogurt “mess”.  Is it weird that on cold mornings, I like to eat (slightly! only slightly!) warmed yogurt messes for breakfast?  I also will only drink warm milk.  My dad makes fun of me for these quirks, which are undoubtedly the result of eating no “cold” dishes when I was young.  Sigh.  Chinese grandparents… Now, I apparently have a “warm stomach”?  It’s annoying—whenever I eat in cold places (WHOLE FOODS, gah) or eat too many cold foods, I get major stomachaches.  :(  Moderate amounts of ice cream and such are okay, but I can’t eat the big “kitchen sink” salads that I see so many other bloggers eating, unless some of the ingredients are cooked/warm.

Whoa!  That answer was unexpectedly long, lol.  Off to study a bit more now~ later, lovers!  :)

Question #2: What kind of stomach do you have? Warm, cold… *normal*?!