Friday, May 29, 2015

Food Diary | 001

I took some pictures on what I've been eating since moving back home. Hopefully, using this documentary method, I will be able to know what I'm lacking and what I need to cut down on.

This bowl of noodles is one of the first meals I had when I moved back home and it has napa, which is my favourite veggie of all time.

Fried rice with mixed veggies for breakfast - can't forget about the orange juice for that sugar intake for the morning!

Brunch for before I left for the University. It's assorted veggies with chicken and shrimp, plus rice as a side dish.

This is one of my favourite dishes by Chef Mom: jellyfish with cucumbers and chicken. It may sound off putting to some people, but it's a very refreshing dish that's perfect for hot summer days! Although I don't like cucumbers so I always ask my mom to cut back on them, but they do contribute to that cool feeling for the dish overall. The sauce she uses is a mix of soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar if I remember correctly. 

This was part 1 of dinner some night ago.... It's just more cucumbers and green peas with meat and rice. Although I like the green peas, I can't say much about the rest. It's a nice dish, don't get me wrong, but I really don't have any nice sentiment towards cucumbers. And it definitely wasn't enough to fill me up....

In the end, I had to make part 2 of dinner for myself - ramyun. I commit myself to only eating my favourite Shin Ramyun once a month because it's bad for my body and health, but good for my taste buds. It's a sort of self-discipline that I've managed to keep up for around or almost two years now. Very proud of myself.

This isn't just your average bowl of ramyun where you throw the noodles in to the boiling water and use the flavour packages that they give you. No, no, no, no, no. If that's what you're doing - you need to stop and keep reading.

My recipe is quite simple really:
Step 1: Boil water in a small pot, once boiling, add only the beloved Shin ramyun noodles to it
Step 2: While the water is doing its thing to the noodles, wash and chop some napa into bite size pieces and throw them into another bigger pot of water and have them boil together.
Step 3: Wash some bean sprouts and have them on stand-by.
Step 4: Once the noodles are done, shock them under cold water and drain. Make sure they turn cold! This will make the noodles "bouncy."
Step 5: After the pot with the napa starts boiling, add in the noodles. At this point, you can add in extra ingredients if you wish (i.e. sausage, mushroom, corn, egg, etc.). Then drown it with your desired amount of vinegar (this is the secret ingredient!!).
Step 6: When the napa is almost soft (you can poke through it with chopsticks with no problem), add in the bean sprouts and take out excess water.
Step 7: When the whole thing is about 2-3 minutes away from being ready, add in the flavour packages that the ramyun came in (like the dried veggies and, most importantly, the ramyun powder).
Step 8: Mix well in the pot, and add in more vinegar if desired, and choose a nice bowl to serve it in.

Writing all that made me even hungrier and craving for next month to come already...!! Although the vinegar may take some getting used to, it's a flavour that you just can't stop craving after you tasted it.

Also keeping up with my new found taste buds for addictive Korean food, I had Korean food at a food court. I've been craving Japchae for so long, so I was glad to see that I could order it from there. My mom had the Bibimbap and she liked it, which is surprising because she's so darn difficult to please with food. Whenever I take her somewhere, there's always something that she's not satisfied about, so I've given up trying to recommend places to take her. It's just not worth the unnecessary criticism at the end. This also applies to others - if someone is taking you out to a place they recommend and that they really enjoy eating at, don't just diss the food! It's not only mean spirited and disrespectful, but it's less likely that they'll invite you again to eat elsewhere!

Another dinner was tomato and egg with seafood assortment and broccoli. I really don't like broccoli, but I think my mom really likes them 'cause she keeps making these ugly flower plants!! Did you know that broccoli is part of the cabbage family as a plant, but its "flowering head" (aka the part that looks like a miniature branches and leaves of a tree) is the vegetable part. Either way, I don't like broccoli... at least the other parts tasted good.

Then back to some noodles again. I adjusted the egg so it sort of looks like the moon (haha).

Then some soup that I haven't had for a long time! It's lotus root with beef and it tastes really, really good!

And a dish that I would say rivals Shin Ramyun (gasp! I know, right?!) would have to be wonton soup! It's made from scratch - including the wrapping, stuffing, soup base, and basically just everything by yours truly and my mom!

My mom also learnt how to make pasta. However, this isn't your regular pasta - it's an upgraded Mom version of pasta and it tastes pretty good! The first time she made it was yummy and just perfect, but then the second time she added too much white pepper... still finished the whole dish though!

I think I'll end off this Food Diary here... it's so hard to keep from drooling as I edit this.... I think I'm going to grab a snack to munch on.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Review Session | April 2015

Time sure goes by quickly. Already we've finished a third of the year with January, February, March, and now April gone. Here is the review for the month of April.

  1. Don't be like a firecracker. This is going to be a lot more challenging since I've moved back home with my parents... hopefully, I'll be able to keep the (somewhat) calm, cool, collected attitude up.
  2. Be nice. Maybe it's the stress of final exams and essays, but at least i didn't let my temper show (not too much I hope).
  3. Work hard, play harder. Yes, especially during final paper times! We managed to pump out a 15 page essay in one day aside from other supernatural occurrences that happened during our nights up writing essays.
  4. Exercise and lose some weight. Finals Season = No Exercise or conscience in regards to eating unhealthy foods. Now that I'm home, my mom is restricting what I eat - hopefully this will show results soon!
  5. Step out of my comfort zone. Definitely did for interviews and presenting myself as the new President for my club.
  6. Forgive and forget. If I can't remember, then I can probably check this off.
  7. Cross something off my bucket list. Now that I have more time (before summer session starts anyways), maybe I'll be able to cross some things off it.
  8. Conquer one fear. Sorry, but I need a night light for my room; it's too dark at night.
  9. Phone is friend, not food. Will need to definitely work on this, especially when I'm studying.
  10. Speak quieter and nicer. Probably both now that I feel a lot more relaxed at home.
  11. Have patience. Definitely when I'm hungry, I'll have to exercise this.
  12. Eat Clean. Again, not really because of Finals Everything Season... but hopefully will be back on track soon!
I hope there'll be better results for the month of May... can you believe it? It's already May! And of course, you can't go on with May without saying May the Fourth be with you!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

ART-ing | 002

As you can see, I revamped the blog with a new banner and some minor details! I drew the banner by hand using good ol' Paint. The character and its surroundings actually started off with pen and paper, and I was less than halfway done when I thought "Hmm, wouldn't it be cool to draw this on the computer?" So, I did. Here are the progress pictures from my sketchbook.

It was nice to draw things using Paint again. I remember doing that back in late middle school to early high school when I was really into "graphic and web design" (if you can call it such). I would draw cute characters and learn to code so I can properly display them. It was a lot of fun! (I was a nerdy child now that I look back to those times.)

I should have taken screenshots or "saved as" my work every so often when I was drawing them on Paint... didn't realize until later as that would have been neat to see the banner coming together. Or maybe at least a time lapse video... I'll try to remember that for next time!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Goodbye's and Hello's

The end of my third year at university and final goodbyes at my place of residence for the past two years. On Wednesday, I turned in my keys and visited B's place one last time before he moved out the next day. The view from his residence is a lot nicer than my teal coloured ceiling basement suite. I'll let the pictures do the talking.

From his place, you can see the waters at UBC's infamous (nude) beach: Wreck Beach. The view is phenomenal - especially during sunset. When you exit his place (but still on the same floor), just around the corner there's a window where you can see the path leading up to Main Mall. There's construction going on to build another residence building because UBC just loves old, abandoned parking lots and grassy green fields - perfect spot for construction, which UBC is becoming infamous for.

After that, we left to watch The Age of Adaline. It was a nice, relaxing movie. Relaxing not in the way that it's mundane, but just very different from the action packed movies coming out these days (like The Avengers: Age of Ultron, which I can't wait to watch!). The "science" parts (if you can even call it that) of the movie was a bit... interesting. And fictional-sounding. Very much so. So much so that it was a bit laughable. I don't know science well, and although I'm sure miracles do exist somewhere in another galaxy, the science-y parts were just... I can only offer a dry laughter: ha ha ha. But, the movie was quite nice - interesting story line, and like a few others have pointed out, similar to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (online version).

We left for dinner shortly after and decided to eat at a place we haven't gone to in a very long time - Kawawa Japanese Restaurant. I had my "coming of age" (aka. 19) birthday here back in my first year of university. Good times.

We ordered from the regular menu, and I had Cuttle Fish & Scallop Course and Ika Sugata Yaki (aka. grilled squid) while B had Box B, which included ebi & vegetable tempura, beef teriyaki, gyoza, and chicken karaage, and an agedashi tofu side dish.

Maybe it's because it was a while ago, or I just didn't ordered the "right" thing, but the portions this time were pretty big. It was difficult trying to finish up everything and, in the end, we had some food leftover.

But, of course, there's always room for dessert! I had the Fresh Fruits Parfait, which came without the spoon. It took a few minutes for me to find somebody to ask for a spoon.... Other than that, the service was pretty attentive, especially towards our drinks; They would keep refilling it even before it reached the 1/3 mark.

That day, I also said my final goodbyes to my place of residence for the past two years and finally moved back to my parents' place for the summer. Although I haven't completed unpacked yet (too... much... stuff...), I took some pictures once I got home since the sun was basically welcoming me back that day with its glorious rays. I was able to whip out the lenses that B got me for my birthday and put them to good use, capturing as much as I can with the fisheye lens and trying out the macro lens as well.

Even though it's good to be back, it's a lot harder to eat whatever I want, whenever I want. When I got back, the first thing both my parents exclaimed was "OMG, YOU GAINED SO MUCH WEIGHT!" Thanks mom and dad. I'm glad to see you again as well. Thanks for welcoming me back - I can just feel the love oozing out of your words.

I guess now's a good time as any to (finally) start - or should I say, restart my diet. I bet I'll start seeing results in less than two weeks considering the restricted diet my mom's putting me on by cooking less food. Life is tough, but then beauty is pain. I should probably start exercising... maybe then I'll be able to eat more food. Isn't there a saying that the sole purpose of exercising for some people is so that they'll be able to eat more? The lengths that people go to eat whatever they want just shows how powerful food is. And how great some people's determination are. Anyways, I'm just rambling on now. I will end this post with a picture of my forever big baby Labrador, Winston:

Isn't he just the most adorable dog ever? Still behaves like a puppy and - like his owner - knows his angles for taking the perfect picture: never a full on face-on picture, but always either a side or tilted profile of his handsome face. He knows how to work the camera.