March Recap

The month started off with a crash. Literally. My PC had a hard disk failure, which has never occurred to me before. But I think I took it a lot more calmly than most people. In our modern day world, we are all notorious for accumulating lots and lots of data. But how much of it is really important? It’s the same as anything else- if you don’t look at it for over a year, you probably won’t ever. Although, I did lose material and notes for my projects that were due that week…there is no time to waste because life moves on.

On a brighter note, this also marks as the month where I have finally grown an appreciation for green tea. Crazy right? It has taken me approximately 5 months. The only reason being because my dear friend gifted me a box of green tea when she came back from her hometown in China. Throughout the months since she gifted it to me, I have gradually been brewing it- it does provide health benefits afterall. I realized that the reason why I probably never really gravitated towards green tea is because it is typically brewed lightly? I find that I enjoy a “darker” cup, so I make sure to add a generous amount of leaves. I especially like having it in morning, even though caffeine does not work on me.

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Moving along from last month, I’m still obsessed with microwavable mug desserts – the Lemon Blueberry and Brownie one that I posted are incredibly fool-proof and versatile. They are the definition of a ‘forgiving recipe’ where the substitution possibilities are endless. For the lemon blueberry, you can use any juice, oil, flour, fruit. And for this brownie, you can top it with anything, which I recommend, because it is so decadent that it needs a little something extra to balance the chocolate goodness. Here, I added a classic vanilla ice cream and strawberry combo.

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Then I got a little creative with congee by boiling up a miso twist.

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What to do with unfamiliar Chinese dried ingredients? Make a healthier version of fried rice by just simply dumping all those ingredients into the pot and allow the rice to absorb all the nutrients.

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Despite being slightly allergic to pears, I figured drinking it wouldn’t be as bad as eating it. Problem solved: pear tea. Korean pears are ridiculously sweet and juicy, so it makes a good two servings for one pear. I included a date and dried dragon eye to add…extra, but distinct, natural sweetness. More nutritional value!

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Getting a little creative with glutinous rice balls, I made a 糖不甩湯圓 fusion. I’ve never had 糖不甩 before, but from watching a Youtube video, I learned that it is a glutinous rice ball that is typically coated with peanuts. Whereas, the 湯圓 I am used to eating is typically filled. Unfortunately, I didn’t have sesame seeds, so I tried using raw quinoa instead. This recipe revolves around the urge of wanting to use up the bag of walnuts that I absolutely despise. Honestly, it wasn’t until I was about to dig in, that I realized I spent an hour making something that contains nothing I actually like. I’m probably the only weirdo who keeps forgetting what she doesn’t like eating because her mom never gave her the ‘no’ option- “it’s good for you,” she says. But at least I remembered to add just enough sugar to suit my palate. Does that defeat the purpose? She’d still be proud right?

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This was Day 1 of Spring Break and I trekked to campus for the last day of TA hours before the lab was going to close for the week. With 3.5 hours of sleep and a full work day, I still managed to go to the gym. During the hour of my workout, I developed a bit of nausea and endured it as I left the gym to go for a long casual walk back to my place. All I thought about was making a bowl of comforting Chinese soup for dinner to call it a decent Saturday. (I paired it with a seaweed salad that I quickly whipped together- sesame oil makes such a difference!).

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As for my last notable obsession for the month, it has got to be the blend of 1/2 cup of coffee and a 1/2 cup of hot chocolate. The day I actually decided to give this combo a shot at a coffee shop, I never turned back. This is a big step, considering that I don’t particularly love chocolate and my usual order is an Americano with no room for cream or sugar. At home, I made this with dark chocolate almond milk (I would never drink this alone) that I warmed up. Warming up milk for beverages has been a serious game changer.  IMG_20160331_235822

April is springing now! And I will dedicate the month to healthy eating by adjusting my eating habits again and also packing more homemade lunches. Wish me luck as I tackle and track this challenge. Please be on the lookout for my next monthly (“What I Ate”) recap post. Happy April Fool’s 😉

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