Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A weekend doing things I love.

This weekend went by all too fast, that I miss it already. Oh how fast the days go by! Then days become weeks, and weeks become months, that turn into seasons... before you know it the year will be gone.

This year feels like that. Everything has gone by so quickly that I wonder if I was actually living or simply going through the motions of day to day life. The year is over halfway done and I have yet to fulfill the promises I have made to myself when the year began. I need to fix this. I want to live life. I choose to live life.

So this past weekend my sister and I went out of town to simply escape and relax; in the end we found clarity and peace of mind that made it all worthwhile. We talked about everything and got it all off of our chests until we were able to make our way through the mental fog that has hung in our minds for quite some time.

Thus, we dedicated the weekend to us and did things we love like hiking, eating delicious food, walking along the beach, exploring greenhouses, and wine tasting!

These small things are what benefits our souls and nurtures the budding flower of happiness that's all inside us waiting to bloom. We should live for moments like these in good company. Let's not let life pass us by.

Chocolate cheers to that!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Wanna listen to a good mix?

Check out my friend Maxim's Soundcloud here! This is what I listened to all day while baking. But it's definitely good music to run to also!

Maxim if you're reading this, I think I deserve my own personal mix for giving you a shout out ;]

Sparkline Wine Cupcakes!

So many Birthdays today! Which is always another reason for me to bake! Today was for my roommate's 21st Birthday! Roselle and I have known each other since the seventh grade! I'm so glad we got to reunite in college and live together. So in honor of her 21st, here are some alcoholic cupcakes:]

The original recipe can be found here. I however just bought strawberry frosting to make my life easier instead of making the butter cream, and my batch yielded 27 instead of 20 for some strange reason. I also think you can use any type of dessert wine/champagne to make it to your liking. I used Barefoot Moscato in the cupcake pictured. It was definitely delicious and subtle tasting. Next time I'll probably add a lot more wine ;]

Sparkling Wine Cupcakes

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup butter or lactose free margarine
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup sparkling wine
  • 6 egg whites
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Prepare a cupcake pan with paper forms.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together, and then blend into creamed mixture alternately with sparkling wine.

In another large clean bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whites into batter to lighten it, then fold in remaining egg whites. Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
yummmmm. I drizzled it with even more wine!
Happy 21st Birthday Roselle!!!

I definitely need to invest in a cake decorating set!!!

Sidenote: I made the letters, numbers, and decor with melted white chocolate chips, putting it on wax paper and letting it harden in the fridge.

Reverse Chocolate Chip Brookie!

While I was away for the weekend, I desperately needed one of my shifts from work covered. Luckily, a lovely co-worker of mine was kind enough to cover me. As a thank you, she'll be getting some brookies :]

What I did was reverse the normal regular chocolate chip cookies by making a chocolate cookie with white chocolate chips! Then instead of using white sugar, I used golden brown sugar to make it thicker, making it taste like a brownie and cookie at the same time! Definitely a go-to recipe when you can't decide between having cookies or brownies! The possibilities are endless too! You can make it without the chips, dousing them with powdered sugar instead for a crackle cookie. Or if you love mint like I do, you can always do mint chips! Or maybe caramel? Yummm. Might as well make them all!!!

For this Reverse Chocolate Chip Brookie I just modified the Andes Mint Cookies. See below! Enjoyyyyyyyyyyyy!


Yield: 2 Dozen


1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
5 Tbsp butter, softened
3/4 cup golden brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup white chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour through salt).
In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar together on high speed for 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat until well combined. Add the flour mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, and mix until combined. Fold in the white chocolate chips.
Drop the dough by teaspoon-fulls onto a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until no longer doughy. Cool completely on a wire rack.
80-90 calories per cookie

Friday, July 27, 2012

This should keep me occupied for awhile!

It's so hard for me to lose weight with my gigantic sweet tooth! Luckily I found this while I was at the bookstore today!

I can't wait to use these recipes and experiment/modify them to my tastes!!! This will make a good read at the beach :] I LOVE the weekend!!!

Packing for the Weekend

It's summer, yet everyday I feel as if I have this huge to-do list, looming over my head, where nothing ever gets crossed off. I always say I'll do it, but then it's always easier said then done. But now, summer is half way over, and I need to start owning up to my list!

Which I will get to after my weekend trip to Half Moon Bay! Although, I must say, I hate planning and packing even though I know it'll be worth it in the end. Sadly, my sister and I couldn't get lodging in Carmel or San Diego, but I think Half Moon Bay has a charming quality that I'm excited to explore. I love little beach towns that are scenic. I can't wait to hike, hit the beaches, check out cute shops, and of course taste some delicious wine. Definitely a good way to escape from my daily life.

My June trip to Vegas was exciting and I'm sure my July weekend trip to Half Moon Bay will be enjoyable as well. Then August will finally be here and I'll finally get to see London and Paris! And when I come back in September my sister will be getting married and I'll have a brother in-law!

Time goes by way too fast. Before I know it, it'll be my senior year of college!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Salmon Cakes and Asparagus with a Jalapeno Greek Yogurt Sauce

I was definitely in the mood to cook today! After stalking foodgawker.com for ideas I decided I wanted to make salmon cakes. Then I had to have some form of vegetables too, so my coworker Monica suggested asparagus. But then I wanted to add something moist like a spicy sauce, and since I usually put greek yogurt on everything and I had a jar of sliced jalapenos, I thought why not. Thus, an original recipe is born!

(Sorry for the bad photo quality! I need to work on my picture taking skills for my blog:P)

This was a lot for me to eat so I put half of my dinner in a tupperware container to bring to work tomorrow.

Below is the recipe, but it's flexible enough that you can add more seasoning or ingredients to your liking to fit your preferences. This is just what I had at the moment. Maybe if I make it again, I'll modify the recipe later.

Salmon Cakes and Asparagus with a Jalapeno Greek Yogurt Sauce

Yields 1 Serving; Approximately 223 Calories

1 Serving of Asparagus (about 8 medium spears) (~24 cals)
1/3 cup of Chobani plain non-fat greek yogurt (~47 cals)
1 serving of sliced jalapenos (about 18 slices) (~5 cals)
1 serving of eggwhites (3 tbsp) (~25 cals)
1/4 large purple onion (diced) (~11 cals)
1.5 Cups of spinach (~11 cals)
4 oz/113 g Salmon (~100 cals)

For the seasoning, you can use whatever you want, but I used:
Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb Seasoning Blend (to taste-1tsp)
Pepper (to taste-1/2 tsp)
Cayenne Pepper (to taste)
Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime Seasoning Blend (to taste-1-2tsp)

The sauce is easy. Dice the sliced jalepanos and mix with the greek yogurt. Simple as that. Set aside until plating.

For the salmon cakes, I made sure to defrost the salmon before working with it. You can either place it in a food processor to shred, or you can do it by hand by just cutting the salmon into bits and pieces which is basically what I did. Place it in a mixing bowl. Boil the spinach lightly until slightly wilted (about 2 minutes) then drain and pat dry. Once dry, dice the spinach and place in the mixing bowl with the salmon. After, dice the onion and place it into the mixing bowl as well. Almost done! Just add the eggwhites and season the way you like. I put a lot of cayenne pepper because I like spice, about 1-2 tsp and 1-2 tsp of Mrs. Dash fiesta lime, and 1/2 tsp of pepper. Mix it all together, then divide the mixture into three so you end of with three salmon cakes. Shape them into patties and pan fry them on medium heat in a skillet with cooking spray until golden and cooked on both sides. (Hint: Cook the asparagus while you cook your patties so they can be ready at about the same time).

 Make the asparagus however you want! Steamed, grilled, or oven-baked! I would have preferred mine grilled, but I placed mine in the oven at 375 degrees sealed in foil dressed with cayenne pepper and Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb to my taste. I guessed I used about 1/4 tsp of each. I put it in for about 6 minutes or until it was tender.

Plate the asparagus on the bottom, then spread the sauce over it, and place the salmon cakes on top! Yummm. Feel free to add anything else you like to the recipe! Make it yours! If you have any suggestions to my recipe, please e-mail me so I can try it out/modify it!


Chocolate Andes Mint Cookies

On Sunday I baked mint brownies for a friend as a thank you present, but I was still left with half a bag of mint chocolate chips. My coworker Sam and I wanted to bake cookies, so I thought it would be the perfect time to put the mint chips to use. The recipe I used can be found here, but I also pasted it below.

My picture does not do these cookies justice. They're soooo delicious. My favorite cookies are oatmeal raisin, but I think these cookies may take the top rank when it comes to my cookie preferences. Out of the 26 cookies that came from this batch, I ate 8. Yeah, they're that good.

Chocolate Andes Mint Cookies

Yield: 2 Dozen


1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
5 Tbsp butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup Andes mint chips


Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour through salt).
In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar together on high speed for 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat until well combined. Add the flour mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, and mix until combined. Fold in the mint chips.
Drop the dough by teaspoon-fulls onto a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until no longer doughy. Cool completely on a wire rack.
80 calories per cookie
Slightly adapted from About.com

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

I had a muffin craze all week!!! The other day I made blueberry muffins and banana nut muffins, but it wasn't enough! I wanted to bake even more muffins! Hence, this post!

Photo Credit goes to Danielle who helped me bake them along with Mandy. Two girls I absolutely adore!

I found the recipe on this blog here that I stumbled upon during my google search. I also posted it below in case you were too lazy to click the link!

I must say. They were delicious, especially with french jam (although orange jam does not go well with it). I actually ended up making 18 muffins so that they came to 92 calories each. From my whole batch, I ate 6 of them (no wonder I'm not losing any weight despite my efforts at the gym :P)

Apple Cinnamon Muffins
Servings: 16
Serving size: 1 muffin
Approximate nutritional information
Calories: 100 * Carbs: 20 * Protein: 3 * Fat: 1 * Fiber: 1 * Points+: 1 * Old Points: 2
1 cup whole wheat Flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon (next time I will add more because I really like cinnamon)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup 1% milk
1 cup applesauce
1 cup finely chopped apples
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Step 1. Combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.
Step 2. Using a hand or stand mixer combine eggs, brown sugar, milk, and applesauce.
Step 3. Slowing combine dry ingredients into wet ingredients.
Step 4:  Fold in apples.
Spray muffin pan with cooking spray, fill muffin cups about halfway,  and cook app 15 – 18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Variations: You can also add apple pie spice and walnuts. Please note the walnuts will change the nutritional information.

Freezer Instructions

Wrap each muffin individually in plastic wrap then place all of them together in labeled freezer bag.

Reheating Instructions

Take muffin out of freezer and let thaw (this will only take a couple hours) or remove wrapping and place in microwave (1 -2 minutes) or toaster oven (10-15 minutes at 350 degrees) until heated through.

Type of Writer

I love writing, but I don't know what kind of writer I am. It all really started with journaling. Then in my journals I began writing poems. After switching my major, I wanted to go into fiction. But as I see my peers moving on with their lives and actually getting jobs, I know that it'll be really difficult for me to become a fiction writer straight out of college. Then there's also the intense yearning I have for traveling; thus, I would also love being a travel writer. But it's also difficult to do so without money, and no one would pay me to travel unless I was an accredited writer. Hmmmm... Well then I also love baking and cooking! I wouldn't mind writing about that either....

Let's just say I want to do everything!

I've even contemplated opening my own business. Maybe a cafe and bakery? There's so much to do in life, how can I only focus on one aspect as a future occupation? I really can't.

I guess this is where my blog comes in handy. I'm gonna write about everything I love in life.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Beauty Template

Someone told me that "beautiful" people are treated better.

I knew immediately that they meant conventional beauty-the template that society has created in order to judge and determine whether or not a person is aesthetically pleasing.

But I wish society saw everyone beautiful because beauty isn't only found on the surface, but beneath and everywhere in-between. And thus society's template should not be a determiner of how others are treated.


Scars sleeping along the skin
marks our stories deep within.
A testimony to our strength
shines on its pearly seam
making us who we are
as our courage is redeemed-

For what are flaws
but misshaped clouds in the sky?
What are imperfections
but beauty's own twin,
that should not be denied?

Thus we should live gracefully
in all of our actions;
expressing heart and truth
as we follow our passions.

Templates function as a mold,
but with time they change
and become forgotten and old.

But those who are remembered,
have hearts that are rare.
They know the value of beauty,
and they know how to care.

Break the template and care for others. We are all beautiful.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

We all want to fall in love.

We are human, and because we are, their is a slight yearning within us; we all want to fall in love. What that exactly entails however, it completely ambiguous (or to me at least). What is it about human companionship that makes it so attractive? Is it sharing those little but precious moments in life? Having someone understand you in some way that everyone else can't? Or is it simply the feeling of being loved and being in love, an emotion greater than all the rest, that draws us into a different realm from reality. That realm being better than reality itself, making me wonder if it is all an allusion.

Allusion or not, I have it. That slight yearning to fall in love. A love so great that it changes me and my perception of the world. But in my case, it's not romantic love I'm talking about (although, that would be nice too). I'm writing along the lines of falling in love with words. Words made into sentences, sentences into paragraphs, paragraphs into chapters, and chapters into a novel. I want to fall in love with a novel. I want to read something that leaves me breathless. I want to read something that completely changes me. I want something that shares a precious moment with me, or understands me in some way that I didn't even know of about myself. Something that gives me a feeling that can't be described. Whether it is an allusion or not, I don't care. I just want it.

I've read three novels this week. They seemed so promising at first, but just didn't satisfy me in the end. They just fell flat. Now I'm left disappointed, almost like all of my past relationships. Now I'm left waiting and wondering if their will be a book that sweeps me off my feet.

And as an after thought it all just makes me completely frightened. What if one day I'm a writer and I disappoint my readers? Or what if none of my readers fall in love with my writing? What if I never sweep someone off their feet?

Friday, July 6, 2012

ephemeral love

The split second of a breeze exhales
pausing between forgotten seconds,
whiled harrowed hearts weep.
A fleeting thought
moved by a quick brush of the hand,
without consequence or reprimand.
But the ardors of love,
difficult to abate,
do not leave us as easily.

The Disappointment of the Superficial

In a sea of intoxicated people, I stand with a clear mind envisioning a place I would rather be: somewhere up high, between the earth and sky, where I am unreachable and untouchable, yet I'm able to see it all.

But at that point in time, I didn't need a bird's eye view; I saw it all before me on the ground.

And what I found is that I didn't want to be in that sea filled with all things superficial.
 I'm different. I'm me. That's who I want to be.

So I'm gonna jump off this pedestal that you've placed me on so that you can sit there instead; the place you've always coveted. May it feed your ego, your only happiness.

Monday, July 2, 2012

If only their was an anti-itch cream against you...

You're the itch I can't quite scratch.
so irksome beneath my skin.
Physically distant,
like the sun.
Yet I can feel your heat,
burning me from afar.

I wait for the tidal wave
to crush your scorching hold--

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Life at Thirty-Seven

I can't remember the last time I spent the whole day reading and finishing a book of my own choosing for pure enjoyment. After switching my major to English, it seems like all I've been doing is required reading. Granted, some of the books I'm required to read I've liked, but it's not the same as choosing a book that I'm genuinely interested in and reading it for simply the sake of reading.

While in school, I have a tendency to buy books that I want to read, yet I leave them unread on my bedside bookshelf. Over time the books accumulate and now that it's summer, they stare at me accusingly.

Since I'll be heading to Paris in about a month and a half, I decided to start with Paris My Sweet by Amy Thomas. In this book, Amy Thomas, a complete francophile and chocolate addict, describes her life as she leaves New York for a job offer in Paris.

This book definitely made me hungry as I followed Amy on her quest for the best sweets in Paris and New York, but it also left me evaluating my own life. Yes, she has a successful writing career and lives in one of the best cities of the world, but she's also thirty-seven, single, and facing infertility.

Without a satisfying resolution at the end of the book, I couldn't help but wonder about my life at thirty-seven.

What would become of me then? Would I be alive? Would I think back on my thirty-seven years and say to myself, "Wow, I've really lived." Or would I regret the time that I wasted?

What's more important? A career or love? Why I think about this stuff at 12:04 a.m., I have no idea. I'm just so worried about the future, confused about the present, and at a loss of words about the past. I can't really make up my mind about what I want out of life. My adventurous side just wants to travel, experience, meet people, write, and wander around in unfamiliar territories. On the other hand my romantic side wants to spend my life with someone, brave the world, and be in love. Are the two lives compatible? I'm not sure. Maybe. Who knows?