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The Blogging World

Three major essays for three separate classes, three articles for my school’s newspaper, tons of emails and more writings in preparation for my upcoming mid-term later…I just want to kick back and relax. So what do I do? I hitch up my Macbook and write a blog post.

This is the ultimate sign: I have to be born to be a writer. Writing is in my bones. When I’m happy, I write. When I’m angry, I write. When I’m sad, I write. I write for school, I write for the Daily, I write for personal emails, and I write for this blog. But I have to admit, writing for this blog is the highest form of entertainment for me.

That said, being a blogger comes with tons of responsibilities, both consciously and unconsciously. Here’s my personal list of blogger responsibilities:

Blogger’s Code of Responsibilities

Keeping my blog updated: this is critical for any blog. You’ve got readers, and you don’t want to spring them with a random post after two months of hiatus. I no longer post daily, but I try to at least post once every two days. That may even be too much for some of you, but you can always work up a regular schedule, and stick to it.
Responding to readers: Sometimes, readers may ask questions, or share something really personal. I don’t want to leave them hanging and disappointed. Obviously I don’t have to respond to every comment that says something simple like “Yummy!�? But if they ask specific questions, I answer back in the form of email. I don’t respond in my comment page, though, as not all readers return back to look for it.
Being sensitive to readers: Okay, I admit I may have a bit of problem here. I am super-opinionated, and I have a hard time holding back some of my views. Of course this is my blog and I can say whatever I want, but I still have the moral responsibility that people are actually going to read what I say and be affected by it. If the majority of my audience is eating disordered, I’m not going to put anything potentially triggering on my blog. Likewise, even though I’m a devout Christian, I’m not going to scream out, “You’re going to hell, you heathen!�? when I talk about my faith.
Commenting back: This is kind of ambiguous. I personally feel a bit guilty if I don’t at least “return the favor�? of commenting back to those who has blogs. Not to say I feel pressured to read your blogs – if I’m a regular commenter, it’s because I like you— but I think it is at least common courtesy to check out the commenter’s blog once.
Being wise with commenting: This actually pertains to everyone— both the readers and the bloggers. I added this because a large chunk of food bloggers have/had an eating disorder, and this blog started as an eating disorder recovery blog as well. I noticed that sometimes, when a blogger with history of ED starts to slip, nobody says anything.

For example, signs of obsessive exercise or restriction. Eating salads and yogurts for most meals? That’s not normal, nor is it healthy. I’m not saying you should condemn that person, or embarrass that person by pointing it out loud on the comment page. But commenting something like, “Wow, you eat so healthy, good job�?? Not cool. You don’t even have to say anything. You can simply stop commenting, and the blogger may take notice. Or, depending on the circumstance and your relationship with that person, you can send a sincere email with a nice reminder.

I like to think of bloggers as a community. We may not know each other personally, but we do have a relationship, and we shouldn’t be turning a blind eye to someone who is clearly in need of support or encouragement, or criticize and judge each other.
Being truthful in product reviews: Now, this is probably one of the best perks of being a blogger…the free swag! Don’t go crazy and start accepting any random samples, though. If you’re a health blogger, obviously you don’t want to be reviewing Kraft’s fat-free cheese. Also, don’t feel pressured to say a good word just to be nice. There is no Ms. Nice in reviews. There is only Ms. Trust. You’ve got to be true to your readers, because trust, once lost, is hard to gain back.

And now, it’s time for my own product review! I haven’t done many of these, but I’ve been receiving some sweet packages lately so I’ve been toiling away, munching on some yummy eats just to do a review for you guys…ah, the pains I go through for my readers! 😉

I tried them plain at first, just to see how they stand up to the other breads I’ve tried— I liked it! They’re quite substantial, none of that fluffy business, and I love how they have that slight sour aroma…just a bit of that good ol’ artisan sourdough taste. Yum!

I wish they had a bit more chew and density to them, though, but I guess these were made to be used as sandwich bread, not to eat plain. So I blasted out my George Foreman for some sweet-ass grilled sammies:

Melon, Brie, and Smoked Ham Grilled Sandwiches

2 slices Nature’s Pride 12-Grain bread
dijon mustard
thin slices of melon
4 slices of smoked ham
thick slices of brie
thin slices of red onion

Slather one side of each bread with dijon mustard. Pile in all the other ingredients and snap them shut between the bread. Grill in the hot arms of Mr. GF.
Here’s where my “strong opinion�? budges in: This sandwich is the freaking bomb!! Heavenly, mind-blowing combination!
Don’t be afraid of the melon— it’s good stuff hot with melted, creamy brie!
=”http://burpandslurp.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/img_0756.jpg”>IMG_0756 If I had prosciutto, I would have used that, but you know with my pitiful budget and all…I had to make do with good ol’ 50%-off deli ham.
IMG_0754 Come on, I know you want a bite, don’t ya?
IMG_0755 Now, stop moaning and wake yourself up for another review: Chobani Greek Yogurt.
IMG_0563 I think by now all of you already know what Chobani is, and for good reason, because this stuff is rather awesome. I have to be honest— I was rather skeptical of this brand, because it is cheaper than its competitors.
IMG_0564 But I enjoyed them tremendously, even though I don’t really like flavored yogurt— they actually stayed creamy, without being overly artificially-flavored or sweet. Just perfect!
IMG_0661 My favorite was blueberry, pineapple, and of course good ol’ plain. I didn’t like the Pomegranate much, though. Something about that gritty seeds.
IMG_0663 See how thick it is?
IMG_0664 And the little pineapple chunks…
IMG_0667 Perfect light snack!

And here’s yet another review: Nature’s Path!
IMG_0772 (From left) Crunchy Maple Sunrise cereal, Pumpkin Flaxplus Granola, Optimum Strawberry & Yogurt cereal
IMG_0773 Optimum energy bar (blueberry, flax & soy) and HempPlus Raisin granola bars

First up, the Optimum energy bar:
IMG_0775 I’m not a big fan of bars in general, but these weren’t bad. They tasted a bit like blueberry coffeecake, but a very, very, very healthy cake, if you know what I mean. I liked them okay, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy them.
IMG_0776 Next, HempPlus Raisin granola bar:
IMG_0777 Pretty sweet! Chewy, sticky, with bits of crunch. Tastewise, I wouldn’t say they’re much different from your regular Quaker granola bar…but nutrition-wise, they’re stellar with the added omega-3 fats.
IMG_0778 IMG_0779
Now that the less-enthusiastic review are out of the way, I feel ready to rave about the next three…

Crunchy Maple Sunrise cereal:
IMG_0782This is amazing!!! Holy-freaking yummilicious!Tons of different textures, not too sweet, lovely maple flavor…I think I’m addicted, because I could not stop munching and crunching on these! Oh noooooo!! What about my budget?!
IMG_0785 They were awesome in my Chobani though.

Pumpkin Flaxplus Granola
IMG_0781 These are perfect. They’re already gone. The whole bag, in my tummy, now thoroughly digested. Enough said.

Optimum Strawberry & Yogurt cereal:
IMG_0783 I’m trying to restrain myself away from this, because I want my roommate to taste this— she’ll kiss her Special K goodbye, because this is incomparably good.
IMG_0784 I did dig through and just had to fish out the crunchy yogurt bites…urgh, bad habit. Stop it, stop it!

I can’t believe I used to be so cold towards cereal. Now I dread the day I reach my last handful of these wonderful cereal.

Well, that’s all, folks. Tomorrow I’ve got another blogger meeting planned…stay tuned! 🙂

Question of the day: What do you think of my Blogger’s Code of Responsibilities? Is there anything you disagree on, or want to add on? Please share! I’m still a newbie, so I’m still learning!

My Love for George Foreman

Hello everyone. Meet my new best friend…

Mr. George Foreman! Whoever this guy is who invented the best foodie machine on Earth, I hope you’re single because I freaking ADORE you!

Okay, that didnt come out right…but seriously. No, seriously— I’m hitting myself over the head for not having made acquaintance with this little fella eons ago.

I remember once when my dad went to home depot to pick up some necessities and ended up coming back home grinning with a big box of George Foreman grill. My mom and I berated him for spending money on “frivolous and extravagantly unnecessary” things and ordered him to return it back. Chastened for being wasteful, my poor daddy reluctantly obliged. Little did we know we were making the most foolish mistake in our life!

I’m amazed at what this $8.88 thing from Wal-mart can do. It’s so quick and simple, too! I’ve been playing around with it any chance I got, and wheeee! What fun! Let me just share a two things I’ve made with this guy, though. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much amazing food, lol.

What I love most is that you don’t have to just grill hamburgers in this thing. And why the heck would anyone want to get a separate panini grill when this works just as well? It’s so versatile!

Check this out:
Fresh Fig and Brie Panini

One side smeared with honey-mustard sauce and topped with fresh figs, the other with thick slices of brie and topped with balsamic-caramelized onions.
Slapped on a thick crusty ciabatta (cut into 3/4 because apparently that’s the way to do it?)…
Grilled for about 2 minutes in the George Foreman!

Ooh~ Hot and crusty and chewy!
Some figs crept out, but that was okay because they got nicely caramelized by the hot grill pan!

And then, grilled sandwich #2:

Raspberry preserves, cheddar cheese, pickles, smoked turkey

Don’t look at me like that. It’s freaking good, I swear! The sweet preserves, the gooey sharp cheese, the sour pickles, and the smoky turkey…
Awesome midnight snack. I reckon it’s great for hangovers, too. I tell you, this George Foreman is perfect for college students, both the nerds and the party-ers!

By the way, I can’t believe a week has already gone. Things are really heating up and I’m getting bombarded by assignments and essays and readings, but yeah, I’m still enjoying it.

I love mingling among the busy students, participating in discussions and pretending to be smart, texting my friends at 2am in the morning, and being pressed on a tight schedule constantly. I seem to thrive in such an academic environment, and actually relish the pressure! I’m actually able to finish college in three years, but I think I might just drag it out a year more…hey, USC is paying most of my tuition fees anyway! 😉

Psst! By the way, many of you seemed astounded that I managed to take a picture of my professor in class…Well, I’d like to think that he’d be honored to be featured in my blog! Haha! But honestly, he is pretty cool and I don’t think he’ll mind. 🙂

Oh, and tomorrow is another special day…I’ll be having a small LA blogger meet-up! I won’t reveal the special people yet, though some of you might already know. I’ll update about our blogger date soon! >.< P.S. I had no idea it’s National Panini Month! How appropriate and just in time, eh? 😉

The Worth of the Grill

Turns out life doesn’t just hand you bad peaches. It hands you bad figs, too. Horribly expensive and horribly bad-tasting figs. Seems like my fruit-picking skills are failing me.

Figs are one of my favorite fruits. It’s just so juicy and luscious and chewy and…figgy. But the bag of lovely-looking figs I brought home was a total dud. Dry, tasteless, spongy. I thought I was munching on a dish sponge. I spit it out, cursed the damn fig, but couldn’t bear to throw it away. Why? Just for its beauty.
figsJust look at it. Damn this fat pouch of sweetness. Stop being so pretty! (The picture above is not mine, by the way)

Anyway. Point is, my bag of figs deserved to be tossed out, but I ended up keeping it deep in my fridge. Because it was pretty. Because I had great expectations for it, and I paid big bucks for it. The deceiving little conniving fruity fatales.

Today’s second meeting with my editor to edit my article for the Daily Trojan reminded me of this bag of figs.

I have had high expectations for journalism. It seemed so glamorous, so exciting, so thrilling. I once saw a journalist interviewing someone in the streets and I had to refrain myself to skipping over and fawning over him. I wanted to find out what shoes he was wearing, what notebook he was using, and what pen he liked to use for interviews. I wanted to gush about how cool his job was, how much I want to be like him, blah blah blah.

Yes, I would rather meet with a good journalist than— say, a star like Edward Cullen (darn, did I get his name right?).

But now…I’ve realized that as exciting as journalism seems to be, behind-the-scenes, the majority of my time seems to be sitting next to my laptop and cellphone, obsessively checking on emails and waiting for phone calls that are 4 hours late. Oh, dear.

Journalism is hard work. I have to have skin as thick as a rhinoceros, I have to be constantly up-to-date, I have to dig out “juicy” angles, I have to be hip and knowledgeable and aggressive and creative. All those stereotypes on annoying, obnoxious journalists? It’s true. Because I am being taught to be like that. And all I am is a little news writer for my college newspaper!

Glamorous journalism? It’s a facade, like that bag of deceivingly-pretty figs. In fact, I doubt there is any job/career in the world that is as glamorous as it seems to be. Behind the glamour are buckets of tears and perspiration.

Which brings me to this key question: Is journalism worth all that hard work?

Well, this is my answer: Am I going to stop buying figs because of this one bad buy? Hell NO! Am I going to quit my dream just because some hard work is involved? No freaking way!

In fact, this just brings in my topic for my previous post: When life hands you a bad peach fig, GRILL it!

Grilled Fig Pizza

3 fresh figs
1 whole wheat pita
1/3 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup kabocha (or pumpkin) puree
salt and pepper
cinnamon
2 strips bacon, chopped
1/4 red onion, diced
small bunch of spinach, torn
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
spoonful Parmesan cheese
drizzle honey (or maple syrup)
drizzle balsamic vinegar

Set out your dearest friend Mr. GF and grill the figs.

Meanwhile, mix the cottage cheese, kabocha, cinnamon, salt and pepper together, and spread it on top of the pita. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Fry up the bacon and the onions until cooked and fragrant. Nibble on a piece of bacon to make sure it’s crispy and delicious. Scatter the bacon and onion over the pita. Top with the grilled figs and both cheeses.

Bake in oven for about 10 minutes until the pita is nice and crisp, and the cheese is melted and you can’t stand the amazing tantalizing aroma anymore.

Take the thing out, drizzle with honey and balsamic vinegar. DIG IN!
Holy Fig! If a bad, spongy fig produces such a result each time, I wouldn’t mind it! Every penny that I paid for these turned out well worth it!
Ack! It just is absolutely gorgeous with all the colors!
But the taste is even more beautiful. Oh my GOD! The base of the cottage cheese and kabocha was perfect with the grilled figs and the acidic balsamic vinegar and the intense sweetness of the honey…
Damn fig. Grilled with a permanent black mark. Serves you right. But soooo good in my tummy!
Oh my God. Do you see that little oozing honey? Sweet nectar of the gods!
And pita sure makes for a lovely, thin and cripsy base!

Okay, I’m babbling. I don’t even know what the heck I’m saying, but seriously, this was one big ecstasy in my mouth, so no wonder I’m losing coherent and rational thought.

But I haven’t forgotten to say this: Whatever path you chose, you’ve got to undergo some intense grilling in order to achieve the best possible result. Good things don’t come in a breeze.

First, you’ve got to determine whether it is worth it. And if it is, don’t just give up and toss all your work away; keep on at it. The result may not be what you exactly expected, but you can be guaranteed that it is always worth it.

I may groan and complain as I work to achieve my journalistic dreams, but every sweat I break, every time I spend working on it, it is not to waste. Because I am improving. Because I am learning. Because honestly, the process of that is even more significant and meaningful than the end result.

Question of the day: Is there something for which you are busting your ass? Do you think it’s worth it, and how is the process of achieving it?

I Love Cheese

Having been brought up in an Asian culture, one thing that really impressed me when I moved to America is how shameless the people here are— and I mean that in the highest form of compliment.

Self-confidence and self-promotion is kind of frowned upon in Asian society. Instead, silence about one’s achievement and even self-deprecation is encouraged so as to display an appearance of modesty and humility.

If someone compliments you, don’t say “Thank you”. That’s rude and arrogant! No, you’ve got to first reject the praise, saying, “No, no, I’m not…” and then go on to downplay whatever compliment you received by saying something like, “I’m actually not that smart/pretty, blah blah blah…”

On the other hand, if someone criticizes you, you are discouraged from defending yourself, especially if that person is older than you. No, you’ve got to bear it with silence and dignity. But often times, those who just endures it ends up holding a nasty grudge that eventually poisons the relationship.

Imagine my surprise when I first came to America. I thought I was surrounded by a bunch of swollen-headed, disrespectful kids! I was shocked when the majority of the kids in class raised their hands when a teacher asked a question. That never happened in Singapore! Or when most kids seemed to have no problem stating that they are good in something, or the fact that nobody stuttered when speaking in public; in fact most seemed to relish the attention. Or when these kids faced critiques, they actually spoke up for themselves!

And you know what? I absolutely loved it. I loved the air of confidence, and the way everybody spoke out in class, even if some basically spoke a gabble of bullshit just so she/he could be heard. Until now, I’ve never really met anybody here who is truly “shy” the way some people are in Asia.

I have to admit, I still instinctively downplay any compliments given to me. But I’ve become less shy and self-depreciative over the years. I love to raise my hand in classes, and I don’t mind showing off my talents, or speaking about my achievements.

I think to a certain degree, being shameless is a good thing. It just means you are thankful for who you are and what you have, and it’s always nice to share that with others.

And now, I’m going to be completely shameless by bragging about this freaking awesome dish I made with Mimi, and by basically begging to win a giveaway. Because when it comes down to cheese, I have no face!! 😀

You see, one of the sister bloggers is having a fantastic giveaway…a whole $60 dollar gift basket to Cabot Cheese!!! The rules to enter is simple: Come up with a recipe using cheese.

Biz suggests using Cabot Cheese, but unfortunately, I’m dreadfully 1) poor (remember my measly bank account?) and 2) I’m frightfully, dreadfully low in cheese supply: I only have three kinds left! Which is another reason why I need to win this giveaway.

So without further ado, let me introduce my mind-blowingly, brazenly brilliant cheesy recipe…(see how shamelessly self-advertising I am?)

Kabocha Mac & Cheese with Bacon and Zucchini

2 cups dry pasta
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 large onion, diced
4 strips bacon, diced
1 small zucchini, chopped
1/2 cup kabocha puree
1/2 cup cottage cheese
about 1/3 cup milk
cheese packet from Annie’s Mac & Cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
handful of feta cheese
cracked black pepper

Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to box directions.

Meanwhile, cook together garlic and onion, and add in the bacon, and stir until cooked, then stir in the zucchini and cook about 2-3 minutes more until zucchini is cooked but not mushy. Grate in some black pepper.

In another bowl, whisk together the kabocha, cottage cheese, milk, cheese packet, and cheddar cheese. When the pasta is cooked al dente, drain, and immediately mix into the cheese mixture. Stir in the cooked vegetables.

Pile everything out into a casserole dish. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and feta cheese, grate black pepper on top, and pop into a 400 degree oven.

Cook for about 20 minutes until cheese is nice and melted.

Ta-da!! I should have cooked it a bit more to get that toasted cheesy top, but the fragrance from the oven was driving me crrraazy!!

By the way, I had to borrow the cheese packet from Annie’s:
Why? Because I didn’t have enough cheese. You reading, Biz? 😉
Anyway. Obviously, casseroles aren’t pretty. But let me tell you, this was one explosion of flavors in my mouth!!
Who hasn’t deigned to let a bite of Mac & Cheese touch her lips in forever, loved it! (It’s true! Ask her!)
By the way, bacon, kabocha, and zucchini goes PERFECT together. What a fantastic combo! What a genius I am! (Again, in with the shameless self-promoting)
And of course, cheese will go with anything and everything. I would eat my own liver if it was smothered in good cheese.
So. I gobbled up half like a barbarian. Mimi nibbled up almost 1/3 like a dainty Southern belle. And we generously left the teensy bit left for my roommate:
There. I’ve gone all out and shamelessly done whatever I could to underscore the point that I must win this giveaway. And I’ve shamelessly established myself as a cheese-whore. But maybe that isn’t really news…?

But of course, part of being a good shameless person is also being thick-skinned, so I won’t be too…uh…devastated if I don’t win. May the best cheese-whore win! (Pick me! Pick me!)

Question of the day: So, I’m a shameless Cheese-Whore. What are you shameless about?

P.S. No blogger meet-up yesterday…The blogger I was supposed to meet got stuck in the road because her car broke down! T__T;;;

P.P.S. I’ve got a mid-term tomorrow. WHAT THE HECK AM I DOING writing about cheese?! Somebody smack me!

Grilling peaches

I recently bought a bunch of peaches which were on sale at my local grocery store. Well. No wonder they were on sale. They were under-ripe: sour and hard and horrible!

So. What to do?

There were roughly three options:

Whine and bitch about it while forcing myself to eat it
Throw it away, and feel immensely guilty about the starving kids in Ethiopia
Call up the store manager and demand a refund

I’m sure most of you have been in the same situation as me before, and I’ll bet the majority would be doing #1 or #2 (If you ever did #3 and succeeded, please let me know).

But there is yet another option…You can keep the peach, and make the most of it by taking advantage of its disadvantages…and thus actually being able to enjoy it fully.

You know, life is the same way. It ain’t all peachy like a fairytale, and all of us have something we grumble and moan about. It could be our appearances, or our family background, or our whatever irritating circumstances that hits us in the face from time to time.

People who succeed in life didn’t get to the point they are now because they had a wonderful life. No, they probably have had more obstacles and hardships than the average person; in fact, it’s their ability to manipulate whatever shortcomings they have to their advantage that they were able to get to the point they are now.

Here comes Preacher again: It really doesn’t matter what circumstances and situations we are in. The truth is, whatever you are dealing with right now is there for a reason. I truly believe that God has His most perfect plan for everything. Whatever you are facing right now, God has a reason and purpose for it; therefore, it is the most perfect thing for you right now. As long as we accept what we have right now with this perspective in mind, God will give you the wisdom and the strength to not only endure it, but to prosper through it.

So, I reject all three of the above options, and decided to go with the option #4. I took my sour and under-ripe peach, and transformed it into a stunning dish.

Grilled Peaches and Blue Cheese Pasta

1 firm yellow peach, sliced into wedges
3 oz dried pasta (your favorite)
2 slices bacon, chopped
1/4 small onion, chopped
1/2 small zucchini, sliced
1/4 small green bell pepper, sliced
3-4 shitake mushrooms, sliced
balsamic vinegar (about 1 tablespoon?)
dijon mustard (about 1 teaspoons?)
chicken broth (about 2-3 tablespoons?)
squeeze of lime juice
salt and pepper
blue cheese, crumbled (about 1/3 cup)

Heat up your grill (my dear Mr. GF!) and grill your peaches.

Bring some salted water to a boil in a pot and cook the pasta for about 8 minutes until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, fry up the bacon and onion together in a pan. Toss in the other vegetables with the balsamic vinegar, mustard, chicken broth, and lime juice. Play around with the flavorings to taste, then season with salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables are lightly cooked.

Toss the bacon-vegetable mixture with the pasta with blue cheese. Sprinkle with more blue cheese, and arrange the grilled peaches around.
Now, ain’t I glad I took home a bad peach! This dish was freaking impressive!
Ah, under-ripe peach is sour, but when grilled, the sweet juices are forced out, and it doesn’t get soft like a ripe peach. It’s still slightly sour, but it works marvelously in a savory dish!
Blue cheese, of course, works amazingly well with grilled peaches! I must make this combo again sometime!
Bacon is so delicious with peaches, too!

Love all the fresh vegetables in there. I hate soft vegetables, so I made sure they retained their slight crunch!
Don’t you love the pasta I used? It was from Ikea for just about $2.60:
ILove the cute moose shapes! It
’s whole-grain, too!

Well, I hope everyone is enjoying their Sunday…The weather here is perfect right now! Unfortunately, I can’t really enjoy it right now because I’ve got an interview lined up for my Daily Trojan article. Wish me luck! I hope I’ll be able to understand my interviewee this time! 😉

Question of the day: When life hands you a bad peach…What do you do? Options #1, 2, 3, or 4? Any other advice for myself and my dear readers?tt

The Real Actual Diet

“You’ve gotta eat your vegetables.”

Everybody has heard and known this since they were a toddler. For those of us who were lucky enough to have parents who cared, we’ve had broccoli and spinach and peas stuffed down our throat since young. Our parents deviously slipped carrots guised under some cheesy sauce, or cunningly cut up onions especially fine so that we won’t be able to pick them out.

This is why it may seem so strange to you that for the last three or so years, I’ve been hearing the complete opposite: “You’ve gotta eat your dessert and junk food.”

Because, you see, refusing to indulge in a while is a health problem, too. So is insisting on eating only “organic, whole foods” and nothing else. They’re both a mental health problem.

Now don’t go and smugly tell me you never have cravings. That you never want something sinful and sweet, or that you never occasionally dream of sinking your teeth into a nice, greasy piece of fried chicken or french fry. Because we all know that it’s total and complete bullshit.

I’d never been overly concerned about healthy eating, even during my worst eating disordered years. During my depths of starvation, all I cared about was the calories, and I practically subsisted on nibbles of carrot sticks, chocolate, cookies, muffins, and black coffee. Because I was severely deficit in calories, all I craved was sugar and caffeine.

Once I decided to “recover”, however, I sunk into yet another disorder: the obsession to eat healthy. Sounds virtuous, doesn’t it? Don’t let that deceive you.

At that time I claimed that I was trying to take care of myself now, that I was willing to “recover”, therefore I needed all the nutrition I can get— Bull-freakin-shit. That was just an excuse to be able to restrict, to be able to hold on to that form of control I was afraid to let go.

What am I saying here? I’m not trying to force McNuggets down everybody’s throat and advertise a reform for fast food and frozen entrees— this is our body and we have the responsibility to take care of it— but we need to give our bodies more credit.

I believe our bodies are wonderful, miraculous creations intricately woven by the hands of God, and that they can take care of themselves better than our own minds. The problem is when we try to control and analyze every milligram of vitamins, every ounce of fat, protein, fiber, etc. that enters our mouth, as if our bodies can be supervised and monitored like machines.

Let’s take protein, for example. I think I might have lacked in the protein department a bit because the last few days, I’ve been craving a good, meaty burger. And guess what? I listened to my body and got myself a burger:

kay, I’ll admit: in true fashion, I went totally overboard and ate 3 Carl’s Jr burgers and 3 Burger King Whoppers over the last 5 days. I was feeling icky by the 4th burger, but I still forced myself to eat it because I didn’t want to waste money. I’m all burgered-out now.

But! That also proves yet another thing: if you listen to your body, you won’t ever go overboard. I remember I used to be worried that once I let a bite of “junk food” touch my lips, then I’ll “lose it” and start craving nothing but junk food. Well, that is simply not true. After I satisfied my burger craving, all I felt was satisfaction. And I could live without burgers for a while now. 😉

Another craving I strangely had today: Fried stuff. So I picked some criss-cut fries from Carl’s Jr:
Greasy. Crunchy. Hot. Salty. It was heaven.
Do I want to eat deep-fried stuff again now? Not really. I’ve satisfied my craving, and I probably won’t be wanting any fried stuff until my next craving.

Next up: sugar. I already mentioned before that I don’t really have a sweet tooth. But I noticed that on days when I’m really needing an extra boost of energy, I get my sweet tooth back:
I’ve long since finished this packet of Newman Own’s Organics Ginger-O’s, but you see my point (It’s awesome by the way, much better than chocolate Oreos).

Or I might suck on one or two of these Korean milk caramels:
My point is, there is no food on this Earth that is bad for you. Every food, even the “junk food” that we try to avoid, is nourishment and sustenance for our bodies and our minds. It only becomes truly bad when we abuse them.

Every food is allowed and every food is necessary, but in natural moderation. Notice I added the word “natural”, because that’s the kind of diet I want to have— the diet that is not ruled by numbers and data, but guided by the amazing, natural body that God gave me.

That being said, let me show you a dish that I think has a pretty good balance in both nutrition and indulgence. Again, I hate numbers, but I’ll say leaving about 20% for a bit of leeway won’t do you no harm in the least.

Kabocha-Grits with Sautéed Vegetables, Grilled Hotdog, and Soft-Boiled Egg

Kabocha Grits:

ol
ive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, diced
1/3 cup dry corn grits
chicken broth
1/4 cup kabocha puree
1/4 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Sauteed Vegetables:

olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, diced
1/2 zucchini, chopped
2-3 shitake mushrooms, chopped
squeeze lime juice
drizzle balsamic vinegar

Additional Ingredients:

1 link hotdog
1 large egg
feta cheese, crumbled
black pepper

For the grits, cook garlic and onion in olive oil until soft. Stir in the grits, and pour in chicken broth. Bring to a boil, and let simmer, stirring constantly. Stir in kabocha, and cook until thick. Add more liquid if necessary. Remove from heat, stir in cottage cheese and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.

For the vegetables, just sautee all the vegetables together in a pan. Drizzle in vinegar and squeeze in lime juice to taste. Don’t go overboard!

Meanwhile, split and grill the hotdog in your trusty George Foreman. Soft-boil an egg (about 4-5 minutes). Peel the skin.

Once everything is done, ladle the grits onto a dish, toss the vegetables over. Place the egg and hotdog on top. Sprinkle with feta cheese, and grate fresh ground pepper over.
Hee hee hee, I know some of you are gonna groan and moan about that vulgar hotdog tainting the whole dish, but I like hotdogs! They are a cheap source of protein, and how can you not like these pink processed mystery meat?
But honestly, hotdogs taste so much better grilled like this. I love Mr. GF! I took a bite off the end before plating it, though. This was one huge fat hotdog. Compare it to the “large” egg!
And I really, really don’t get people who leave out the yolks to be “healthy”. The yolk is actually the most nutritious part! And that myth about eggs causing high cholesterol? It was proven wrong!! Just goes about to say how much you can trust these scientists…
And another more important reason why you should eat the whole egg: It’s freaking yummy! 🙂
How about that? I didn’t even plan out the nutritional facts of this dish, and it turned out pretty well-balanced, in my opinion.
I hope I didn’t offend anyone with this post. I apologize if I have come a bit too strong, but I felt it necessary to point out that disordered eating and obsessive behaviors can come in all forms, even under the thin guise of healthy eating.

Again, I’m not implying that you should toss your Greek yogurt and forget about buying organic— if you can afford it, that’s great— but you shouldn’t let that control you in any way. Ultimately, food is just food—sustenance to help you enjoy your life. It would be just too sad and ironical if food was what robbed you from real peace and joy in life.

Question of the day: What are you craving right now? Be it donuts or celery sticks, just say the truth! 😉

My Identity Crisis

I’ve got an identity crisis. But it’s not so much that I don’t know who I am, but others don’t. Because apparently, everybody here in USC thinks I’m anything but Korean.

Now, I wouldn’t really be so bothered if the above said people were non-Asians. Not to offend anybody, but non-Asians have the tendency to lump every “almond-shaped eyes, yellow-skinned and exotic-looking Orientals” into one undistinguished group. Korean? Chinese? Vietnamese? Japanese? Why, don’t they all derive from China anyway? (I know you guys are sophisticated enough not to think that, but trust me, I’ve had ignorant fools say that to me one too many times)

No, it’s the Asians themselves who actually double over in shock—yes, shock— when I reveal that yes, indeed, I am 100% pure-blood Korean.

“No EFFING way!” One girl even screamed out, clasping her chest and causing a whole bunch of kids to turn around. I thought she was going to hyperventilate. Um, wow. I did not know my being Korean is that incredibly outrageous.

After the gasps and cries of astonishment, they continue: “So. But you’re like, half Chinese, right?”

I struggle to keep my cool. “Well, my dad is Korean. My mom is Korean. My grandparents and great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents were all Korean. I was born in Korea. You could say I am a purely-bred Korean.”

They still look suspicious. They don’t relent: “But you don’t look Korean. And you’re kind of skinny.”

Oh. Em. Gi!!!! What the freaking hell?

I can’t go on anymore. I might burst a blood vessel.

Anyway, perhaps it’s the abdominal questioning of my mother country that has spurred me to go crazy with the Korean influence on my food. But I’ve been having mad cravings for the quintessential Korean ingredient, gochujang, for the past few days.

I hope by now you already know what gochujang is… It’s this red fellow here. The Korean red pepper paste that is ubiquitous in pretty much any Korean dish. It’s really versatile, and all you need is a pinch of creativity. Let me prove my point…

I actually have pretty much been using this same marinade/sauce to spice up my dishes:

Gochujang-PB sauce

1 tablespoon gochujang
1-2 tablespoon soy sauce (to taste)
1-2 tablespoon peanut butter
enough chicken broth to thin it out to your desired consistency

Mix. Pretty straight-forward and easy.

Here are the dishes I created with this incredible sauce:

Dish #1: Spiced-Up Frittata

garlic, minced
onions, diced
shitake mushrooms, diced
chicken, diced
gochujang-PB sauce
2 eggs, beaten together with a bit of milk
goat cheese
green onion, chopped

Stir-fry the first three ingredients until slightly soft, then add in the chicken and the gochujang-PB sauce and stir-fry until cooked through.

Pour in the egg mixture, cook for a bit over low heat until the bottom is slightly set. Sprinlle on the goat cheese and green onion.

Cook in a 350 degree oven until the top is set. DIG IN!
Pretty simple, basic frittata. But over the top with the gochujang-PB sauce!

I pretty much just cut into it and dug in like pizza. I forgot the carbohydrate part, though, and got kinda gassy later…Thank god I was done with classes for the day! (Ok, TMI…but case in point: Do NOT forget the starch! Very very important if you wanna have a social life!)

Dish #2: Grilled Vegetable Salad

roasted kabocha, sliced
summer squash, sliced
green bell pepper, chopped into rough pieces
red onion, roughly chopped
shitake mushroom, left whole
pickles
gochujang-PB sauce
Parmesan cheese, grated
green onions, chopped
Avocado cream

I had to resort to my trusty George Foreman for this. It took a long time to grill every vegetable though…Mr. GF was small!

So basically, just grill every vegetable, even the pickle (trust me, it’s freaking good). Then toss them into a bowl, drizzle as much of the gochujang-PB sauce over, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and green onions. Add a dollop of avocado cream. And you’re done!
The cool, creamy avocado cream…
Lovely grilled summer squash (I like it al dente)…
Juicy, plump and meaty shitake mushroom…
Crunchy, sweet bell pepper that took forever to grill…
Kabocha that just about brightens any dish…
Pickle that may seem random but adds a burst of sweet-sour flavor in your mouth…
One perfect lovely bite!

Have I convinced you to try my gochujang-PB sauce yet? No? Okay, here’s another one…

Dish #3: Summer Stir-Fry with Runny Egg

You didn’t think I’d end this without a runny egg, did you? That might just be my trademark! 😉

This was basically the same recipe as the fabulous concoction I told you about here…The one that got me totally addicted.
Instead of the balsamic vinegar I used the gochujang-PB sauce and a squeeze of fresh lime juice to cook the vegetables. I didn’t have andouille sausage, so I just used plain regular hotdogs…don’t judge, I’m a poor college student and the big pack was 50% off! >.< I forgot to buy vinegar so I couldn’t make poached eggs, but a runny fried egg worked just as well! As long as the yolk flows, anything goes! (Eep. That was corny…) Hmm…You know what? Those kids who couldn’t believe I’m Korean might just have a point…Notice that though I used the authentic Korean ingredient, none of my dishes were really truly Korean…. What are they then? I don’t know…but they tasted mighty good! A total mumble jumble of different cuisines and styles, but I suppose that’s what I really am. I don’t have a single ethnicity. I may be born in Korea and be a Korean citizen, but I’ve been exposed to so many different cultures as a missionary kid. I blend in perfectly with the Chinese people, but also feel incredibly comfortable with Koreans. I don’t feel the least bit out of place with Caucasians or African-Americans or Latin-Americans, either. So you know what? I embrace my multi-cultural self. So there. I don’t look Korean? Fine. As long as I can blend in with any group of people and be myself and be comfortable, who cares? Question of the day: Ever had the same issue in which people tell you that you don’t look like who you are? (Be it race, age, or god forbid, sex)

Running Again

I’ve started to run again lately. Today, I completed 2 whole miles without stopping. And I feel like I’d just accomplished a marathon.

I took up running when I was a freshman in high school. This was totally out of the character for me. I used to have the heaviest, laziest ass in the sense that it was always sitting on a chair or bed, refusing to budge. I whined when my parents dragged me out for a walk, and whizzed like I was having a heart attack when my P.E teacher forced us to run a lap. I, a straight A student, got my first C in P.E. Who gets a freaking C in P.E?

But because the people who ran along the streets in their running gear and their serious, concentrated expressions looked so darn cool, I decided to start running, too. Building up my non-existent stamina was tough at first. I was so proud of myself when I completed my first mile without a single break. From then onwards, I slowly increased my mileage until I was running up to 7 miles per day.

Unfortunately, my running turned into an obsession when my eating disorder started inching its way into my life. Suddenly, running was a pain, a chore, a battle. All I cared about was whether I ran xx miles a day, so that I burned the same amount of calories. If I ran just a bit less, I fell into a horrible mood for the rest of the day. I felt like the one less mile that I did not manage to do would come to haunt me in blobs of fat congealing on my stomach. Because I ran one less mile, I was a failure, a big fat walrus, a weakling. On that day, I would sharply restrict my food intake.

Each day, the moment I woke up, the first thought I had was: I’ve got to run, got to run, got to run. I have to hurry up and be done with that xx mile before it’s too late, before the whole day gets messed up.

I didn’t care for the process of running, the enjoyment of the wind rushing by my ears, the melodious momentum of my feet thudding lightly on the ground, or the flush on my cheeks from the rush of endorphins. All I cared about was finishing the run…until the next day when I had to start all over again.

It was a tiring way to live. Every single day was a never-ending, thankless race, where in truth, I received nothing. I received no joy, just a temporary relief to my anxieties. I received no health benefits, just aching muscles and shin-splints. I received nothing. In fact, it also sucked me away from a lot of social activities because I would rather run than hang out with my friends.

One day, I just stopped cold turkey. I was sick of running. I was sick of getting up every morning worrying about running. And I simply had no more energy to run. My eating disorder had already consumed me by then.

It’s been 3 years since I’ve run. And I’m forming a whole new relationship with running again, from the bottom up. I’m slowly rebuilding my stamina, and feeling the newly-built muscles perform. As I run, I’m not thinking about how I need to finish xx miles. I’m enjoying each and every single moment of the process of running: the air, my heartbeat, the slow swinging of my arms, the rhythm of my breathing, the people who smile at me as I pass by.

Now that, is why God gave us legs and arms, our bodies. Not to use them to over-exercise and work our ass off like a machine, but to enjoy each natural movement of our bodies, to take the responsibility of treasuring and respecting them as our own vessels. Exercising is not about burning calories, but to strengthen and preserve our bodies so we can contribute however much we can to this world.

Dang, that was long. Guess I’m still on a high from my run, lol. And of course, after a run like that I oughta replenish myself. It has been a long while since I had my “mix-it-up” bowl, but check out this new version of it:

Roasted Kabocha with Caramelized Onions, Goat Cheese and Almond-Red Pepper Sauce

The base: 2 cups pre-roasted kabocha cubes

The mix-ins: 1/2 large onion, 3 large shitake mushrooms, bunch of steamed kale

The topping: 1/4 cup goat cheese and Almond-Red Pepper sauce (recipe below)

Almond-Red Pepper Sauce (in estimates)

2 roasted red bell pepper, drained
2 spoonfuls almond butter
1 scoop of roasted almonds
1 clove minced garlic
drizzle of maple syrup
squeeze of lemon juice
splash of chicken broth
drizzle of balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Just grind everything up into a food processor. Taste and test until it is to your liking.

Now to make this bowl, just caramelize the onions in a skillet with some oil, toss in the mushrooms, let them cook together until nice and soft and fragrant, then toss in the kabocha and kale. Season with salt and pepper.

Then pile it up into a dish, drizzle the sauce all over, sprinkle on the goat cheese. Yum-o! (Damn Rachel Ray)

Honestly, maybe it was because I was hungry from my run, but this dish was out-of-the-world good. Seriously.

Hark the angels singing!

Kabocha, goat cheese, almond butter, caramelized onions. All my favorite in one dish!

All the flavors worked really well together. And the contrasts of textures! Freaking amazing.
Now this
dish, I never wanted to see the end…

Here’s another good news for today: My parents are arriving tomorrow afternoon from their mission trip!!!

If you look back to my previous post way back, you would remember that I promised my parents that I would gain 5 lbs while they were gone. Guess what?

I gained that 5 lbs, and MORE!! Bonus pounds, baby! Me thinks I deserve a special prize for this. Maybe a diamond white gold necklace. Or more suitably, every single kind of kitchen gadget I can find. Hm, gotta start browsing online!

Question of the day: Do you think you have a good relationship with exercise? What is your favorite part about exercising?

Things to Come

“Great things are in store for you.”

This statement has been running through my mind constantly…when my eyes open to daylight, when I throw off the covers, when I eat, when I tuck myself to bed at night…Great things are in store for me. And I truly believe it. I have to believe it. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to survive.

I’ve never been a very optimistic girl. I used to wake up every morning with a blasé attitude, thinking: Blegh, yet another day I need to endure. Unless there was some special event going on that day, each day was just a boring routine. Wake up, go to school, eat, poop, sleep. Over and over again. Blah blah blah.

When I had my ED, it only got worse. I woke up with dread smothering me, thinking: Shit. Am I still freaking alive? And all I could foresee for that day was yet another struggle with food and weight.

But these days…I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I seemed to have flipped over to a whole new page. I wake up with a huge smile on my face, excited to start the day. Oh, I’m not a total grinning idiot. I know there are lots of challenges ahead. I still have to wrestle with the ED devil, and a few nasty surprises and conflicts here and there…

But I also believe that great things are in store for me. And when I commence my day with that faith, suddenly everything is seen in a whole new light. Even when I’m faced with challenges, I meet it with a fighting spirit. Like a track hurdler, I view it as just a hurdle I need to leap over to reach my goal. And as I sprint over, I relish the rush of sweet triumph, feeling the muscles on my “legs” flex and ripple.

It’s freaking amazing how a little change of attitude and perspective can do to your life. A single day, even when riddled with problems and “misfortunes”, can instantly be turned into a good day when viewed with optimism, hope and expectations. Whatever and whenever, just remind yourself: “Great things are in store for me.” I am once again slapping myself across the head for only recently starting to realize this awesome truth. Damn, I’m slow.

I was also slow in realizing how awesome marmite can be when used for cooking. Anyone know this infamous food product?

MARMITE: Love or hate? They say there’s always two extreme reaction to this sticky, dark brown paste. You either find it extremely tasty and addictive, or find it pukingly-disgusting. I bought this (rather pricey) bottle of marmite out of curiosity. I so desperately wanted to love it, because all those British toasts with marmite and butter sounded sooo well, British and cool.

Anyway, I dug excitedly into it and spread the brown stuff on some toast. But sadly, I found myself puckering my face with disgust at the strong, yeasty taste.

So. It’s been sitting in my pantry for more than 7 months. While reorganizing my pantry last week, I came across this neglected bottle of marmite glaring accusingly at me. I felt guilty, so I decided to give it another try, but tone the bold taste down a bit by using it in my “mix-it-up” bowl. This is what I came up with:

Marmite-Glazed Kabocha with Poached Egg

The base: 2 cups pre-roasted kabocha cubes

The mix-ins/dressing: Marmite-glazed onions, sun-dried tomatoes, and dried cranberries (recipe below) and chopped scallions

The topping: 1 soft-poached egg

Marmite-glazed onions, sun-dried tomatoes, and dried cranberries

1/3 cup chicken broth
1 tsp marmite
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 sliced onion
2 chopped sun-dried tomatoes
handful dried cranberries

Cook the onion, sun-dried tomatoes, and dried cranberries in the chicken broth until the onion turns soft. Stir in the marmite and maple syrup, cook and simmer until sticky and thickened.

After making the mix-ins/dressing, just stir it all together with the kabocha and scallions. Then top with the poached egg.

First of all, it’s got kabocha. Kabocha can do no wrong.

Second, it’s topped with a runny poached egg. My motto is: When in doubt, just top it with runny yolk, and all will be nice and golden.

Third, how can anything so shiny and sticky be bad? The marmite made the sauce really super-sticky in a good way, and tasted like a deglazed steak pan. And with a hint of sweetness, from the maple syrup, it was a hit.

The bites of chewy sun-dried tomatoes and cranberries were really nice and sweet, too. Next time, I’ll add some nuts for extra crunch.

Okay, time for a little announcement: there will be some great challenges ahead for me soon:

My University of Life

It’s been more than a week since I received my acceptance letter from University of Southern California. The high from the excitement and exhilaration has slowly cooled down. My wish has become a reality. I no longer have to dream about attending USC. Instead, I now have to think about it…and you know where thinking leads to…

Worry. Anxiety. Fear. Doubt. Apprehension.

It’s been three years since I’ve last been in school…three years since I’ve flipped open a textbook, three years since I’ve read anything but chick lits and diet magazines. So far, the only workout my brain ever got was from obsessing and calculating weight and calories, and devising crafty tricks and ways to uphold my ED habits and activities.

Suddenly, I was in a total panic. I thought: Oh, dear God. I am so ill-prepared for college. I bet half my brain cells are in a coma from lack of activity! How am I gonna adjust to all the stressful workload and hectic schedule of a college life? What if I don’t even remember how to study anymore? What if…*gasp*, I get (God forbid) a B?!!

You see, I’ve always been a perfectionist. Anything less than an A irks me. In high school, I made sure nothing blemished my perfect 4.0 GPA. The day I got a B+ on my Driver’s Education class, I was seen screaming and slamming lockers in the hallway. I’m not kidding.

So you see where the source of my worries is: my drive for perfectionism. I want to get good grades. I want to do everything, achieve everything. I want to be the best.

As I was worrying about this, a friend whom I had not seen for awhile suddenly sent me an email. In her email, she confessed to me that she has been dabbling with an eating disorder…and she was getting scared…but she did not know who else to turn to. The only person she could think of was me because she knew I was struggling with the same problem. It was a long, heart-wrenching email, and I was cut to the heart for several reasons.

First, I was once again shocked by how prevalent eating disorders are in this world. I’d never even dreamed that this friend would have ED! Second, I was enraged at how conniving and cruel ED is, as my friend poured out her pain and struggles to me. How dare ED rob her potential and happiness like that? And third, I was ashamed.

I was ashamed because I’d let my own selfish dreams get ahead of myself again. What did it matter if I got straight A’s in college? What did it matter if I graduated with honors, or with a prestigious internship? Will I be able to take my report card and trophies and accomplishments with me to the grave? What truly mattered in life?

My parents have always ingrained this to me ever since I was young: There is nothing as important as life. What matters most is my life, and other people’s lives. To be happy, and to make others happy. To treasure and love myself and others.

I believe that I experienced ED for a reason. Through my ED, I learned so much more about life. I gained precious insights and revelations about not only human pain and sufferings, but also inner peace and happiness that comes from God. I may not have gone to an academic university, but I have gone to Life University. And there is much more to learn, much more to experience.

College is so much more than grades. I don’t want to put my #1 priority on my academic achievement, but on my life achievement. The people whom I meet and bless, the real-life lessons that I learn outside of the classroom. I want to put my first priority on becoming not the best student, but the best person.

I’m still learning to be a good person. I guess attending Life University isn’t just a four-year course, it’s a lifelong course.

Sorry for the long-windedness again. But I just had to write this down before I forgot again, and I wanted to share these thoughts with anyone who can understand.

Anyway, I have yet another kabocha recipe for you today! Here’s something about kabocha you ought to know: Whenever I buy kabocha, I get two types. When roasted, one is really moist and mushy with soft skin, just like pureed pumpkin. The other is really dry and firm like baking potatoes with a thick, hard skin. (Maggie, did you ever experience these differences?)

This time round, I got the dry kind, which is perfect for dicing and stir-frying because of it holds its shape well after being baked. So, stir-fry it was!

Kabocha-Lentil Stir-fry with Goat Cheese and Sun-dried Tomatoes

1/4 cup black lentils, uncooked
2 sundried-tomatoes, chopped
1-2 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
1-2 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, diced
1/4 orange bell pepper, diced
1 cup baked kabocha, diced
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped green onion
handful crumbled goat’s cheese
spoonful of Parmesan cheese

Cook the lentils with about 3/4 cup water with the sundried-tomatoes.
Meanwhile, mix together the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and lemon juice. Set aside.
Once the lentils are cooked, heat up another pan and cook the garlic, onion, and bell pepper until soft.
Toss in the kabocha, stir-fry until heated through. Add in the cooked lentils with the sundried tomatoes and the vinegar mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Stir in green onion at the very end, remove from heat. Dish it up into a bowl, go crazy with the cheeses.

What a lovely bowl!

The acidity of the vinegar and lemon juice contrasted really well with the sweetness of the kabocha and maple syrup.

I loved how the sundried-tomatoes infused its deep flavor into the lentils. No other seasoning other than salt and pepper needed!

How can
you say no to this? It has cheese and kabocha in it!

And I can just sit here singing odes to the wonderful kabocha and goat cheese all day. Tra la la~

Question of the day: What, in your opinion, forms the best person you can be?