LYJ

Month: October, 2009

Yummy Pommy

I picked up two pomegranates at the grocery store last night since they were on sale – $1.49 each!

The trick to picking a good pomegranate is to choose one that is heavy for its size. I had been intimidated by pomegranates in the past because it was hard to eat them. But I learned how to properly harvest pomegranate arils (ruby bulbs that look like corn kernels) and here is how I did it.

I tried to section off a wedge of a pomegranate. First, I cut off the spiky top and cut it into wedges following the membrane. Some loss of the juice was unavoidable…

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I then put the little pommy wedge into a bowl filled with cool water.

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In order to extract the arils, I carefully plucked them out. Actually, it was more like tickling them out but that sounds silly. I held it with one hand took off the arils with the other hand.
Note: See the splash of pomegranate juice on my hand? It’s probably best to wear an apron or something dark when doing this. 🙂

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Continue and you will start collecting the arils that sink to the bottom and some membranes that float to the top.

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I scooped out the membranes with a spoon and collected the arils into another bowl. Don’t they look yummy?

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I am eating them by spoonfuls. I love how they just pop in my mouth!

Makeover

I didn’t get a makeover – allrecipes.com did (kind of)!

I am not a fan of blue hyperlinks all over the page but maybe I will get used to it. It still looks pretty bare and buggy. I love that my recipe box shows up on the main page, so it’s less of a hassle now to browse through my favourite recipes.

Katheats.com also got a makeover of a sort…just the header is different, really. At first, I thought “ummm…” because it wasn’t very nice looking. But then I looked closer and it had her favourite things – banana with a spoonful of peanut butter, and oats. Still, I don’t like the wood-themed header.

Yeah, so this post isn’t super interesting…it’s about website makeovers! Ugh. Well, that’s what you get from a girl who is exhausted from two Clubmynx workouts then barely fed herself instant noodles for dinner (counterproductive!) and is shivering from the shower because there was no hot water, but still feel the need to write a post to chronicle this mundane day for herself and a handful of readers. Oh, and was that a run-on sentence…? 😛

—-

So seconds after posting that, I went to my Google Reader to find something funny I liked the other day:

YouTube Comment or e.e.cummings? By Francois Vincent

1. loog a his lirow nose
2. there is some shit I will not eat
3. LISN bud LISN

4. this i bad sorry to saY
5. leave her alone
she’s not your gal
6. She is Lucifierian !
7. THuNdeRB
loSSo!M iN
8. aThe):l
9. stunned. i. am. stunned. every question speaks to us
10. What is nothing?

Answers – YouTube: 1, 4, 6, 9, 10 & e. e. cummings: 2, 3, 5, 7, 8

Hello Twelve, Hello Thirteen

Hello Love,

Last night, I went to see A Chorus Line (2006 Broadway revival cast tour) with Shawn! When I learned that they were coming to this town, I hesitated because musicals don’t come cheap but bought the tickets anyway. It was Shawn’s very first musical experience. We were seated on the wrong seats and realized few minutes before the show when the rightful ticket owners turned up. That was a little bit embarrassing. 😳 It was a good entertaining show anyhow and we enjoyed ourselves.

I’ve been getting rid of my stuff a little by little. This week, two boxes were shipped home and I sold my last year’s Halloween costume, hair straightener, and a fan. Super productive! I don’t have much more to sell and I will probably end up giving away most of my clothes and taking the rest back home.

I am looking forward to going home because I don’t have too much to miss here than a handful of people and my gym. I haven’t made many friends and as a result, I get lonely often. I’ve tried to make friends, but people are different out here…so I can’t wait to see familiar faces in Toronto and before moving onto making some great friends in Adelaide.

To end on a sweet note, look what just popped out of my oven – a Saskatoon berry cobbler.

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The corner store didn’t have vanilla ice cream so I served it as is to Shawn and his friend Josh. It was actually pretty good and very easy to make! A bit sugary, milky, and plenty of Saskatoon berry taste. It’s going into my recipe book for sure. 😎

An exciting Zumba update: I know many people stumble onto my blog by searching “Zumba Adelaide”. As far as I know, there aren’t any Zumba instruction in Adelaide but that is about to change because there is an instructor workshop on November 15th, 2009! So all fitness fiends in Adelaide, sign up!!!

Early Twenties

I remember making a mix CD for my high school best friend Farzana when we were 16 years old, and “16 going on 17” from The Sound of Music was on that CD. I don’t know how the time has passed but it’s almost a decade later! It irks me that my early twenties are slipping away. My mom was married for 3 years when she was my age. I will be old lady age before I know it!

While my outward appearance as I age isn’t a huge concern, I decided that I should start taking better care of myself by implementing a nighttime regimen. After cleansing my face, I use these products:

1. Korres Evening Primrose Eye Cream

To prevent tiny wrinkles and to provide extra moisture around the eyes, I use few dots of this cream. No scents and goes on well. Korres is a wonderful natural beauty product line from Athens, Greece. I love their Yogurt moisturizer and mask. I get Korres at Sephora, which Saskatoon does not have but Toronto does.

2. Burt’s Bees Radiance Night Cream

Another natural beauty product that features royal jelly – only young bees destined to become queen bees are fed royal jelly. Lightly scented with great texture. I am a huge fan of Burt’s Bees and this product just adds to a long list of their products that I love!

3. Shiseido Superieur Lasting Lifting Essence

Shiseido is very big among Korean women so this is my mom’s doing. I use a few pumps of this jelly sometimes to break up the routine and my skin responds very well to it. 🙂

Song for the Sick

We are having Big Bang Theory marathons lately and I quite like Sheldon’s kitty song.

Soft kitty, warm kitty
Little ball of fur
Happy kitty, sleepy kitty
Purr, purr, purr

I am not sick but a couple of people are, so this comforting song or any other childhood lullabies are dedicated to them. 🙂

I love gentle Puffs.

Take care of yourselves because even if you are young and seemingly healthy you are still at risk! I have been making extra use of the newly installed hand sanitizers I see on campus and taking it real easy when I am not at my top form. Tonight, I didn’t hesitate twice about staying home to rest instead of sweating it out at the gym and walking home in the rain. I am keeping my eyes wide open for the flu clinics and h1n1 clinics that will be operating on campus. Vaccinations do not give you the sickness.

The Animo Post

I was watching Youtube clips of old Douche and Kate Plus 8 episodes (like this one) and came across the babies calling animals, “animos”! Wrong but cute!

I thought it was time for an animo post. I’ve had some weird pets growing up and have strong opinions about some animals. First, here is a preview of my Sky.

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My Skylar's big head shot

Although I lived in apartments the whole time I was in Korea (if you have been there and know about population density in Seoul, it’s not surprising), my parents let me have some pets. Not just goldfish and butterflies breaking out of cocoons. There used to be a lady in front of my school who came by sometimes to sell chicks and/or ducks. They were pretty cheap – less than a dollar for a dozen. So I bought a dozen chicks and a dozen ducks to raise in our balcony (not at the same time). I made them houses from cardboard boxes, rooms with windows and furnishings. I changed their bed sheets and made them exercise by racing each other. I yelled at them to be quiet when they beeped at night. There were some who passed away but of the chicks who survived, we gave them away to the school farm because they were too big for us. The ducks were given to a neighbourhood boy who was not nice to them at all and I cried to my mom about it.

I have also had crawfish of some sort whose house I set on the bookshelf and it climbed out of its house and disappeared one morning. We never found it. And a yellow canary that my mom accidentally set free. My dad once gave me an ant farm which was very cool because you could see the underground paths that they made.

Thankfully, I never had to take care of a cat. I think lolcats are the least funniest thing, maybe tied with Will Ferrell. I plan to rip out every cat picture in my Cute Overload daily calendar because they have no souls. Cats are not my favourite animals at all. I don’t understand why some people meow randomly either, but that has only been with Saskatoon. The cat lady is scary.

I have mixed opinions about dogs. I love small dogs but I really do not like bigger slobbering dogs, although well-behaved bigger dogs are okay. My family adopted a sick Yorkie pup who passed away. She was lovely but we couldn’t care for her with her sickness. I feel sad whenever I think of her. We now have Skylar in our family who should really have his own page on my blog. I will add that to my to-do list. He is my love and Skybaby.

Unexpected necessities

There are two things that I use on a daily basis that I am not thrilled about using but they do me good.

1) NeilMed Sinus Rinse, or better known as Netipot

I first heard of netipot during a lab meeting when I was getting my first taste of this Saskatchewan winter. Lab members were talking this up and recommending it to fight off sinus congestion that accompanies the common cold. So I made a note at the back of my mind. When my allergy doctor prescribed me a scary-looking Nasonex, I decided to give netipot a try. Whenever I feel stuffy or just really bad because of allergies or dirty air (dust, smoke) I pull out my netipot and give my sinuses a rinse. The thought of filling my sinuses up with saline fluid and squeezing in the solution into one nostril to make it come out the other was intimidating at first, but after a few tries, I felt comfortable. Netipot does not bring me back 100% but it makes me feel much better. I wholeheartedly recommend sinus rinsing to anybody suffering from allergies, pollution, dry sinuses, and nosebleeds.

2) Doctor’s Nightguard

I am a nocturnal teeth-grinder and thought nothing much of it when my mom would tell me because my family didn’t really complain. But I decided to get a nightguard (a mouthguard to wear during sleep) and it has prevented a lot of damage. I literally tore up my last one in few months of using it. It is fun to fit a nightguard – you boil it for a minute then after dipping it in cold water, you mold it to your upper teeth. It’s not perfect but over time, it fits the teeth pretty well. And it is a bargain considering hundreds of dollars to get a nightguard fitted at dentist’s. Shoppers Drug Mart recently had a sale and I picked up three nightguards at $12 each (they are normally around $33 each). Other than preventing damage to teeth and providing peaceful (at times squeaky) sleep, it can decrease jaw pain and headaches. Nightguards are must-haves for anybody with bruxism…it will make a difference in the long run!

Quelle surprise

Mark (Shawn’s stepbrother) is leaving on duty to Afghanistan very soon. Tonight was his surprise potluck party at the Sutherland Hall with his family and friends. The hall was maybe too small for the number of people but it was cozy and there was plenty of food.

Here is his entrance, taped by Lindsay:

We are going to the airport on Saturday to see him off…

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Korean in Saskatoon

Perhaps one of the reasons that I haven’t enjoyed Saskatoon is that I haven’t connected with any of my people, so it is not my home. Once in a while, I get a craving for something familiar, something that reminds me of home. There are no decent Korean restaurants other than Koryo in Midtown plaza. So whenever I wanted Korean food, I would have to cook it – and that’s what I did tonight.

Meet soon dubu jji gae, a.k.a. soft tofu stew.

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Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of beef broth + 1 cup of water
  • 1 medium onion, cut in half and lengthwise
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 3/4 cup sliced dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 100 grams of beef (stirfry or rouladen kind), cut into strips
  • 1 1/2 cups mixed seafood medly
  • 3 tablespoons hot pepper flakes
  • 1 container of soon dubu (a.k.a. soft tofu), cut into manageable pieces (just to put into the pot…they will break easily anyways)
  • 3 green onions, cut to medium size pieces (3.5 cm in length)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 1 egg
  1. In a large pot, mix beef broth, water, onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Bring to boil.
  2. Add beef strips into the pot. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the seafood medly (frozen is okay). Simmer for another 10 minutes.
  4. Add the hot pepper flakes. Bring to boil for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the soon dubu (soft tofu), green onions, and fish sauce. Crack an egg and stir to break it up. Simmer for another 3 minutes.
  6. Drizzle some sesame oil before serving.

It’s actually really good! Just like my mom used to make…it does have lots of seafood though, so if you want it less seafood-y, put about 1 cup only. It’s easier to make than it sounds. Serve with white steamed rice. The times are just recommendations – roll with it!

Grateful List

For each year of my life, I will write down things that I am grateful for from that year.

  1. I was born and my dad would have traveled to the moon if I wanted something from there. My mom recorded my baby mumblings which were fun to listen to later, before taping over it with silly singing.
  2. No personal memories but I am sure I was a happy two year old.
  3. My sister was born so I took a pair of scissors and ripped the lining on all leather chairs and sofas. But she turned out to be a good childhood companion.
  4. My grandma giving me and my sister soft caramel chews and giving us the most relaxing baths.
  5. Going to summer camps with my kindergarten friends and hoola-dancing by the fire.
  6. The bakery lady sold me my mom’s birthday cake for about $2.00 when it was probably $20.00. But I was upset about spending the money and took the cake to my mom to tattletale on the lady who stole my $2.00. I managed to say happy birthday to her while crying hysterically.
  7. Going on a cruise vacation to Japan and buying lovely scented soaps. I also won a bingo contest on the ship and got an awesome building block set! I was the class representative and could delegate tasks instead of doing them.
  8. Getting school textbooks with coloured texts. Going to the art studio and spending time in their storybook attic instead of making art (they made an attic filled with children’s books).
  9. Playing in the girl scouts and the sensei at my kendo dojo who adored me and called me his mascot. Also a first time that I had boy who liked me.
  10. Getting extra lessons for violin and getting my poem published in a school newspaper. I came to Canada and fell in love with Lucky Charms and McCain chocolate cakes – both of which I no longer like.
  11. Spending the summer at the English camp where I first learned what cucumber was and said “oh my god” reflexively. Playing ping pong and going to the pool with my mom’s employee’s son and going to the zoo with my sister’s best friend.
  12. Contributing to the school life by becoming a student ambassador. I wore a dirty sweater with school colours and paced around the hallways after lunch to stop people from loitering. Making a close group of friends and going to a fancy Greek dinner with them. My music teacher, Mr. Fouchaux, playing “Over the Rainbow” on an alto saxophone, which started my obsession with alto saxophone. Winning third place in a science fair after my partner dropped out last minute.
  13. Giving a speech about racism on International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination to the students. Becoming the school president. Having a first boyfriend and making a close friend who was misunderstood and underestimated by others. Starting piano lessons again. My best friend Namita.
  14. Fun times in classes like when Zak threw a pen at Scott face and it exploded. Playing flute duets with Iulia, jazz band combos with seniors, and piano accompaniments for talent shows. Winning the award for “Music Student of the Year”. My dad driving me and my sister to Japanese language classes every Saturday mornings.
  15. Finding my Asian group (although it was dark at times, it was good when it was good). Going to parties and bubble tea shops. Getting good grades for Royal Conservatory of Music piano exams and gigs at the senior home’s Christmas dinner and an elementary school musical. A summer in Herstmonceux castle and Oxford.
  16. Joining the International Baccalaureate stream and forming a tight group of friends to freak out with about exams. Playing the alto saxophone with a concert band. My second boyfriend. A summer in Quebec city.
  17. Taking it very easy after the IB exams, including going for sushi and coming back with green tea ice cream during entire afternoon, and working on the yearbook. Yearbook committee and prom committee. Prom at the fancy Liberty Grand. Starting university and moving into 89 Chestnut.
  18. Moving to an on-campus residence, Whitney Hall, and making great friends, having a great time. First exposure to ballroom dancing with Levana – by some miracle, there are two single males (Stefan and some other dude) in the class. Going to watch Derek in UC Follies – A Chorus Line.
  19. New jobs and school schedule that kept me busy. First Brain Day of my life. Easy statistics course.
  20. Getting back on track with more breathing room. Taking classes that got me closer to my neuroscience buddies. Embryology and Higher Cognition courses. Rekindling my love for Skylar.
  21. Meeting my research supervisor who gave me lots of guidance and support. Giving myself the permission to change the course of my career. Taking a trip out East including Cape Breton Islands, PEI, and Quebec city. Starting dance lessons at Viva Dance with Valentin. Jewellery-making.
  22. Coordinating Brain Day with good people and reaching record numbers. Encouraging friends in the Princeton Review course and my parents being patient with me while I take my time. Anatomy course. Meeting Shawn and going on many adventures (Blue Mountain, St. Jacob’s country, Sauble beach, Whittamore’s, Unionville, etc.). Learning west coast swing at the Dovercourt.
  23. Taking a big step to venture out west and settling in Saskatoon, and getting a warm hospitality. Finding few good opportunities and braving a harsh winter. A Valentine trip to Edmonton. A cooking and baking frenzy begins.
  24. A comfortable pre-departure while looking forward to a new chapter in my life.