Sunday, September 26, 2010

How could you be so Heartless?

This morning I woke up with such a dilemma...
To go to the grocery store to pick up ingredients for my planned Curried Chicken Wrap (recipe forthcoming) or to go to the MAC Pro store to pick up a desperately needed red lipstick...

Which one did you think I chose?

Yes, I chose lipstick over food.
(Heartless from MAC + Disney Venomous Villains Collection)

And I rocked it with my studded faux leather jacket while eating super salty french onion soup from La Madeline...(super salty...eek)

And then picked up some Herbalism, I am a sucker for sweet sales assistants who compliments my purse...

I promise to make some food posts soon, Curried Chicken Wrap, Salmon & Leek Quiche, lots of soups are all in the works! Stayed tuned.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

it feels like it's been forever..

Time goes so slowly during school.. It's the 4th week of school, yet I feel like it's been months already. This week, tuna was on sale at the grocery store so I made tuna salad for sandwiches for lunch. My mayonnaise went bad so I didn't actually add any in here and it surprisingly still stuck together pretty well. So I guess this is your 'healthier' version for tuna salad sandwiches. Makes me wonder what everyone else likes putting in their tuna salad.

Tuna salad = 2 cans tuna (in water) drained + dijon mustard + celery + red onion + jalapeño + ground pepper

I got some nice sourdough french bread (which was also on sale) for the sandwiches and added sliced avocado and lettuce. Very satisfying lunch, I have to say. I also packed varying combinations (I like to change it up day to day) of grapes/babybel mini cheese/synder's honey mustard pretzel nibs along with the sandwich.

This week I also took full advantage of the $2 treat receipt deal (buy a drink in the morning, come back after 2 pm and get any iced grande drink for $2) at Starbuck's - I think it's ending in a week or so since it's not summer anymore.. but today I tried an iced grande pumpkin spiced latte. It is a must to get whipped cream on this drink and it probably tastes better hot, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thursdays are my least favorite days of the week because I don't get a break for lunch at school, plus it was raining so hard from morning until now.. so I really needed a pick-me-up. Yay for delicious iced drinks!
And here's a photo of my mom's orchids - so many of them are blooming right now! It really makes me smile being able to see flowers every day.

These just started opening - it's actually this really light green color on the outer petals but it showed up white on my camera for some reason.
All of our orchids :)

One of my mom's friends lives nearby and they brought us some papayas that they had grown themselves! I used to hate papayas but now I LOVE papayas. These were so delicious and cute! I just cut them in half, scooped out the seeds and went at it with a spoon. BEST way to eat papaya!
How beautiful is this papaya!
so cute :) tee-hee. a great reminder of how great (and yummy) things come in small packages! (You can see a larger papaya in the background that we got from the grocery store.)

Hope your Thursday went better than mine - the weekend is almost here!!


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Happy Mid-Autumn (Moon) Festival!

Time for mooncakes! My mom decided to make mooncakes from scratch for the first time ever this year. She woke up at 5 am this morning and started making them, so sadly I have no idea how she did it but I do know that she used the wheat flour that you can buy at Korean grocery stores. She also made her own green mung bean paste for the filling. basically you just take the beans, boil them until they are soft, drain the water and then puree it. And if it's still kind of watery you can strain it with a cheesecloth. I helped her make red azuki bean paste before - same process. I have to say, I am impressed with how well these came out. I hope this becomes an annual tradition in my house...

My favorite thing about these is how flaky the crust part is, and how many layers are in there. You can't get that from those store-bought mooncakes!

Good Job, Mom! haha :)


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Pasta pour dejeuner!

It's the third week of school coming up, so I decided to make a hot lunch instead of last week's salads and the wraps from the week before. We have access to microwaves at school, so I can heat it up there. I decided to go with pasta. I usually tend to make my pasta sauce from scratch if I have the time, and I usually go along with this same combination of ingredients. This is the first time I added sun-dried tomatoes - they gave the sauce another layer of tomato flavor, I loved it! Here's another short video I made from the cooking process:

Ingredients: 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes, 2 small red onions, half a head of garlic, 2 jalapeños (with or without seeds), 3 small carrots, 1 package of baby portabello mushrooms, package of sweet italian turkey sausage (removed from casing), sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, dried basil & oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, salt & pepper, whatever pasta you like
  1. Chop all vegetables to around roughly the same size (to your liking).
  2. Place garlic, onion, carrots and jalapeños in pan and sauté with olive oil on medium high heat. Add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes as well, to your taste.
  3. When onions are translucent, add the mushrooms to the pan. Season here as well with salt & pepper.
  4. After the mushrooms are softened, add the turkey sausage and sun-dried tomato to the pan and break it up into tiny pieces with your spatula.
  5. Brown most of the sausage (it doesn't need to be cooked all the way) and finally add the can of crushed tomatoes to the pan with some dried basil and oregano. Obviously fresh herbs would work better if you have them. 1 tbsp fresh herbs = 1 tsp dried herbs.
  6. Lower heat to keep the sauce at a simmer. Let it cook until the water evaporates and it starts to thicken up to your desired consistency.
  7. When the sauce is done, mix with al dente cooked pasta (in the pan, so the residual heat aids in the pasta absorbing the sauce) and enjoy!
This sauce is usually my go-to, but the ingredients vary each time, depending on what is in the fridge/pantry. I'm excited to bring this to school for lunch - it's a nice change from salad.

I've also been making a lot of smoothies lately to have as breakfast during my commute to school. This one had honeydew melon, avocado and vanilla greek yogurt. It made such a pretty green color!


Friday, September 3, 2010

back to school..

New month, new school... There is no question that food is the highlight of my day, so one of the most exciting things for me about starting school is packing a delicious lunch. Packing lunches is always the sensible & money-saving thing to do -- also, you can control your portions and know exactly what you're putting in your tummy, so it's usually a lot healthier than buying lunch at your school. For my first week I decided to veer off the normal sandwich lunch and made wraps! I made a quick little video of the assembly of my last wrap of the week, enjoy.

On a green spinach & herb tortilla, I put: dijon mustard or chipotle mayo, baby spinach leaves, roast beef/turkey/both, mashed up avocado, pepper, red cabbage, carrot, and pickled red onions.

I really love pickled onions - the sharpness that you get from raw onions disappears but you still have that wonderful onion flavor present. Basic recipe for pickled red onions: I used 2 medium red onions and the juice from 2 small lemons.
  1. Slice red onions any way you'd like, just make sure they aren't too thin. I like to chop them so that they are like semi-circle shapes.
  2. Sprinkle with salt, toss to cover onion slices and leave for 5 minutes.
  3. Rinse onions and transfer to a tupperware container that you can store them in.
  4. Add fresh lemon juice and toss onions to coat with juice. Cover and put in fridge; they will turn this beautiful magenta color. Enjoy a half hour later or days later! These are good with pretty much anything!
In addition to the wrap, I also packed a mini babybel cheese, (you know, the kind that comes in the red wax that is oh-s0-fun to unwrap and play with) a small bag of Terra Chips (my favorite have to be the sweet potato and taro ones), with either a bottle of vitamin water (dragonfruit flavor!) or iced green tea. This was a lot of food, I usually wasn't able to finish the chips. Haha, speaking of portion control.. :) And I have to say, my lunch pals were very jealous when I pulled out my lunch this week -- but I think it gave them ideas for what they want to pack for their own lunches. I'm excited to see what they'll bring next week, and I'm thinking about making pasta for week 2. We'll see how I feel when I go to the grocery store on Sunday!
Another quick back-to-school related thing -- make up! It is important to look good but no one has that much time to get ready in the mornings.. this is what I've been using:
"Get a tint" tinted moisturizer by mark (in buff/natural, SPF 15), Hipness blush by mac, Sexy Curves mascara by Rimmel (in black), E.L.F. eyelash curler, Revlon Colorburst lipstick in Peach, L'Oreal Colour Riche lipstick in Fairest Nude (obviously I don't wear the lipsticks together, I've been alternating them)

I hope everyone had a good first week of school, and if you haven't started yet... lucky you.. For everyone else, have a great labor day weekend full of yummy foods!!!