26 April 2014

Neverland Tea Salon, Vancouver

I should be packing up (we started today, it has been HORRIBLE and if not for the prospects of a dog / hardwood floors / a den, i would probably never ever want to move) ... but it's late and I just handwashed all of Dumpling's fleece liners before I send him to my sister's place for the summer. Handwashing fleece is no easy feat! They become horribly heavy and my back hurts from having to wring what feels like a ton of bricks. But of course I'd do that for Dumpling. I'm going to miss my little man. I caught him doing a hedgey splat for the first time that day, and it was the cutest thing ever! I couldn't grab my phone fast enough. Recently he has started playing dead and even Jw has noticed it We've concluded that Dumpling is a very sneaky hog. Like, he never ever runs unless it's when we clean out his cage. Then he travels faster at the speed of light to lodge himself under the heater. We usually spend the next three or so hours trying to coax him out with treats. Which works. Another example of classic sneaky Dumpyness is when he poops all over his cage. Dumpling is litter trained and he always ever poops in one corner of his cage. But when he feels like he wants new bedding, he starts pooping ALL AROUND his cage – including in his water bowl. Then I give him new bedding and he poops in the same corner. Sometimes I take away his wheel and he knows it, and when I give it back to him he takes extra care to keep it clean. That aside, I'm pretty proud of my clever baby. I'll miss you Dumpydoo :( but I know you're going to be in good hands. IMG_0040 IMG_0048

That aside, I visited Neverland Tea Salon yesterday. I've been meaning to go there for ages but never found the time to go. The decor is super cute and a little old (and that's not a bad thing!) and I really liked how they had a skylight. Really workin that natural light. I didn't get a picture of the interiors because it was crowded so no angle could make it a good shot (haha), so here's one from the internet. Obviously.
Source: http://ameblo.jp/tamie-love/entry-11618383389.html
The quote on the wall reads
“So come with me, where dreams are born, and time is never planned. Just think of happy things, and your heart will fly on wings, forever, in Never Never Land!”
Which is from Peter Pan! But the pink/blue colour theme feels more Alice in Wonderland-ish.. hahaha but Neverland is a very fitting name for a place like that. And I have nothing but praise for their high tea menu because EVERYTHING was delicious and I could eat like a billion of their scones. See here:
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^^^ SCONITY SCONE WITH HINT OF LEMON. Nice. Crusty but not super crusty.. it was just a very perfect crust. I don't know how to review scones because I don't eat them a lot (i think this is the third scone I've had in my life, but it was the best one) Below that you can see my side of the pastries which were: a cookie / nutella cheesecake (!!!) and a cupcake with lavender buttercream. Hiding in the back is a flourless coconut chocolate mini cake.
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^^^ Moving on to finger sandwiches, which included pear and brie mini crossaint (to the verryyyy left!! loved it.), curried egg salad, cucumber and herb cream cheese, smoked salmon and i really don't remember what the last one was.
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^^ I got the Peter's Promise tea which was refreshing and zesty.

For 30 dollars per person I guess this was pretty alright since this is around the price I'd pay somewhere else in Vancouver. Plus they gave us a small bag of tea each when we were done! The one thing I didn't like about the salon was the service. I got a grumpy/unfriendy vibes from some of them, and our change was literally chucked onto the table. Otherwise, for good ambiance, super yummy scones and food, and great tea, this place is perfect for that. Check out their menus (and website, location etc) here

Empty nest syndrome ft. Dumpling the Hog

My sister just picked Dumpling up from our place. I miss him already. He's a tiny creature but the house feels quieter without him. Yesterday we were packing up, and Jw said, "can you believe we're doing this? We've had so much fun here the past two years". Dumpling has been here since (very nearly) the beginning. On the bright side my sister and her sister love him to death, and that's good that he will be well taken care of. They even made a hat for him, and he started eating the moment they got to their home. Plus he got strawberries tonight, which is a treat! I love you Dumpling <3

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^^^^^^^^Like a pokey squirrel ^^^^^^^^^

^^^^^^^ THEY MADE HIM A PAPER HAT ^^^^^^^^
Have fun sailor doo!! HAT AHOYYY

21 April 2014

Easy beef and tomato bowl recipe

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The most gratifying part of cooking is when people ask for seconds :) We've been really busy, and we've been eating out a lot, but it's unhealthy.. I came up with this today, Jw liked it and so did I. It will take you about half an hour in total largely because of the marinading, but it's super yummy especially when you wrap it in lettuce, which is what we did!

  • 500g boneless beef cubes
    1 Tomato, diced

  • Marinade:
    2 tbsp oyster sauce
    1 tbsp cooking syrup (can be rice or corn syrup)
    1 tbsp soy sauce

  1. Marinade the beef

  2. Leave in refrigerator for 15 minutes (so that when you fry it, the beef stays nice and soft in the center)

  3. Heat cooking oil on a frying pan

  4. Add in tomatoes and beef

  5. Fry on medium-high heat for about 8-10 minutes

  6. Remove from heat, and top on rice


15 April 2014

Remember to breathe

Down with yet another respiratory infection, and I had to get a sick note this morning and miss my exam. I'd like to say that the bright side of this is being able to make a trip down to take the exam in Hong Kong in the summer if so I wish, but it also means spending my summer studying... and stuff. Plus being ill = writing not so great essays. Pretty sure the essays on Korea and Epicurus that I turned in today could have been better if I weren't so ill. Anyway, I don't have any more exams until next week so hopefully i use this time to study hard for it to make up for the essay. This week et al:
  • Dreamt we got a basset hound last night. I've been looking at basset hounds all day now. It was a good dream.
  • The other day in Pizza Garden the lady overheard me telling Jw that "I could only buy either pizza or fries", and that he "would buy me pizza if i bought myself fries". I think she took it to mean that I was broke (I really just didn't want to eat anything too unhealthy), so she gave me my slice of pizza free. And also very nice and casually: "It looks like a smaller piece, I won't charge you for it. But that's between us". Thank you nice lady! rollrollroll
  • Right after that we went next door and got free coffee because the girl said we were nice, honest people. He he.
  • Thought this was our lucky day so we decided to buy a lottery ticket. I am not talking about the ten corgis we got, so obviously we didn't win
  • Head hurting from all the stuff in my sinus and my lungs
  • Did a photoshoot on Friday con mi hermana. Fue muy divertida.
  • It is spring and it smells like the perfume department whenever I step out of the house.
  • Scored 12/12 in a Mean Girls "can you identify that quote" quiz. I am winning at life.
  • Game of Thrones was so good and Joffrey's my favourite character so I hope they never, ever kill him
  • Went to Suika on Broadway and had super awesome hot stone kakuni bibimbap / yellowtail carpaccio /torotoro cha-shu. I didn't get any photos because my big and I were like "are we going to be that kind of people" (ok well i ended up taking ONE) but wowwww i would definitely go back again to try everything else on their menu, like their oyster shooters and chinese poutine. And their ceasers (they replace the tobasco sauce with kimchi there(!!!!!) ) I wish their servings were bigger though.
  • Just had greek pizza and i don't know how I've lived without it. It's amazing
  • Just read through an essay Jw wrote comparing postmodernism to Plato's rational soul / theory of forms. holy shitballs my man is clever

8 April 2014

Spaghetti with butter, egg and cheese recipe

Hello! This is a quick15-minute dish which I *JUST* whipped up (I am literally eating my spaghetti as I type this). It is very yummy. No pictures of mine because this is the epitome of student living, which is mostly the "find what you have in your fridge and come up with a dish" kind of life. This goes well with coke I must add. Here is a good picture of how it would possibly look if you cooked it nicely and did your dishes:
Image Source: http://www.momskitchenhandbook.com/uncategorized/15-minute-fix-spaghetti-with-butter-egg-and-cheese/

 I got most of the recipe from momskitchenhandbook as well, but I changed a few things here and there.

Serves: 2
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

110g spaghetti
100 ml milk
2 tbsp butter
1 egg
50 ml grated parmesan cheese
Salt to taste
Half a tbsp red pepper powder (optional)

1. Boil pasta in salty water.
2. Beat the milk and egg in a bowl.
3. When the pasta is al dente (this is important!!), drain it, and put it back in the pot.
4. Add the milk and egg mixture into the pot on medium heat.
5. Add butter.
6. Stir until the milk thickens, making sure that the milk does not burn.
7. Add in the parmesan and chilli flakes.
8. Taste, and add salt to your liking.
 (Adapted from here)

7 April 2014

#100happydaysL Day 30-34

Hello! I am so glad that April is flying by. We've had quite the week with our landlord, and moving out has definitely not been easy. It makes me so mad but then again we've just got about 3 weeks left and then we're off, so three weeks of crappy treatment and silly misunderstandings are nothing compared to that. Meep. Ya'll aint raining on my parade. **BRIGHTER** things: 1. It is the last week of my second year at university! It has been such a good year, I feel like I've become more driven in lotsssss of different areas, and I have a clearer goal of the things I want to achieve in life. I also did really grown up stuff, like, I got insurance (!!!)... and my boyfriend taught me how to vacuum.... and I tried cleaning the bathtub but ruined it.... and I handwash all of Dumpling's fleece liners, so my hands are no longer soft.... but yeah. All in all, a very grownup year. I also took super awesome courses this year that were so much less dry compared to my first year courses. Besides my science elective, everything else was just nice and dandy and my love for Asia and politics is growing. Plus I love everything Asia-spiritual now so talk to me about Buddhism, Taoism, Juche (North Korean religion, heh) over coffee or Ceasers (my new favourite drink) or anything really and we will be friends. 2. Jw has just made super awesome kimchi. I think he fried it with sesame oil, sugar and chilli flakes, and added pork to it. I am eating it as I write this post. Mmmmhmm. 3. It's just super sunny out so I feel like this is an incredibly bright thing. 4. I got 25% off my drink at Starbucks today so that counts for something!

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DAY 30: ^^^ MINI PLANTS!! They're called Succulents I think, and they were just adorable to look at. There was an East Van flea going on in the SUB the other day, and I went down with my Big. Everything was vintage and awesome ^^^^ Processed with VSCOcam

DAY 31: ^^^
Jw bought me dinner the other day. We went to The Kitchen on Sasamat which is my most favourite place to get Korean food. They don't use MSG so that's a plus. I loveeee their food. The only thing is that they don't do reservations, and the restaurant is pretty small. I think it seats 25 people at most, but it's definitely really worth it, dishes are about 12-15 dollars, unless you go for the hotpots, which are 30 dollars (but the serving is huge!!!) The Kitchen is on 2620 Sasamat Street. 
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^^^ I got Gamjatang, which is a spicy pork bone soup. LOVED ITTTTT. I ended up bringing the leftovers home (this is definitely something I love about Canada, people actually take their leftovers home) and frying it with rice the next day. Jw and I were happy piggies. He got a spicy squid dish which was squiddy and awesome as well.    

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DAY 32: ^^ got Dumpling nice and clean on Saturday! It's getting warmer out and he gets a little musky in the summer. I'm going to miss my baby so much but I know he'll be in good hands. He doesn't like getting baths so here he is all huffy and hoggy like post bath.

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DAY 33 ^^ I made Kimchi pasta yesterday. It was awesome. Jw went for seconds and thirds. He liked my cooking. That is happiness. Recipe later.

DAY 34: this one has no pictures because it just happened – turns out we're not losing our security deposit and our landlord decided not to charge us for the carpets we ruined... maybe he isn't that mean afterall. I dunno. Also we passed the 'moving out' inspection: which basically just means NO SIGNS OF HEDGEHOG WAS DETECTED. I'll do a post on hiding hedgehogs from landlords next. It took so much effort but it was well worth it. I put Dumpling out in a bag and brought him to the sorority house for a bit. He was not happy and i had a peeing and pooping hedgey for the most part. But my sisters were happy (i think) so that's a good thing! Sam got some pictures and here is one of them:

That was my week for the most part, I am so excited for tomorrow and then I'll be busy for a while because of finals, so I may not be updating as much! Plus I have to put everything I own into boxes so that's going to be a challenge. Until next time!

4 April 2014

Kimchi Fries / Kimchi Hash Browns Recipe

Hello all! I haven't put up a recipe in AGESSSS (i'm busy, i'm sorry) so here's something I made last night: Kimchi hash browns! Only because we didn't have fries at home. I've been eating a lot of kimchi recently, and I've been wanting spicy food a lot. I'm not sure if this is the result of consumerist materialistic marketing or not, but i'm pretty sure that they would have been so much better if I had used tatertots. Nonetheless, still good, still spicy, still happy.

I've been making wayy too many dishes with kimchi as the main ingredient, like a kimchi sandwich (kimchi, cheese, and mayonnaise) and kimchi fried rice, which is what Jw is cooking right now as i type this. And we officially turned in our moving out notice yesterday! So excited for more adventures and more happiness. Anyhoo, enjoy!

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes (frying) 30 minutes (baking)

200g hash browns
1 Kimchi 'cabbage leaf' - cut into smaller pieces
4 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp gochujang

Directions (FRYING):
1. Heat oil in a frying pan (saucepan)
2. When the oil is nice and warm, pour the hash browns in and cook as directed on the packaging.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the mayonnaise and gochujang together.
4. In a littleee corner of your saucepan (or use a separate one if there isn't enough space), fry the kimchi when the hashbrowns are almost done.
5. When the hashbrowns are nice and crispy (or fried to your liking), pour in the mayo-gochujang mixture, and mix.
6. Take it all out of the pan, and top with kimchi.

Directions (BAKING) 
1. Bake the hash browns as directed on the packaging.
2. Mix the mayonnaise and gochujang together.
3. In a saucepan, fry the kimchi til slightly crispy.
4. When your hash browns are nice and baked, mix the mayo-gochjang mixture with it.
5. Top with kimchi.