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cooking

For those who say I never post….. sorry heh.
Here’s an update for you guys filled with photos of what I’ve been making, just for kicks. Subscribe/comment and I’ll be more motivated to actually write real posts!

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Coffee cream macarons brushed with dark cocoa. The shells are coffee flavored. The filling is mostly a buttercream filling with a hit of strong coffee. These were soooooo. goooood. I’ve been really into macarons lately, and I’m planning on experimenting with different flavors this month 😀

 

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Mint brownie cookies. If you’ve known me for awhile now, you’ve probably had these at least once or twice. Definitely a staple of mine. Posted this pic on reddit a couple of days ago, and it conjured up a lot of traffic, so I thought I’d share with you guys. BTW, if yall HAVEN’T had these cookies before… ask me to make some for you!!! They are seriously so divine.

 

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Baked cinnamon donuts with a vanilla cream cheese glaze. I got a donut pan awhile back, and went through a phase where I was really into baked donuts. Coupled with a good glaze, this was definitely a hit.

 

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Browned butter nutmeg donuts w/ a dark cocoa glaze. I love using browned butter in my baking, and it just goes so well with nutmeg. When I was thinking of a glaze for these donuts, I basically just worked with what I had at hand at the moment, which conveniently, happened to be dark cocoa powder. Whipped up a glaze and these donuts were delishuus.

 

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Blueberry cheesecake cupcakes. I made these for a work party back in June when blueberries were on sale. Thought to myself – “blueberries…and cheesecake! Cuz who DOESN’T like cheesecake?!?!” and came up with this recipe. Success.

 

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Strawberry lemonade cheesecake cupcakes. I don’t know why I never thought of this combination before. These were also made for the work party mentioned above. The cupcakes were so lemony and perfect for the summertime. Made a glaze to accentuate the strawberry and the lemon flavors.

 

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Kale & italian sausage soup. I’m a huge fan of soup, and an even bigger fan of one-pot dinners. This was so spicy, hearty, filling, and healthy. And the best part? LEFTOVERS FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK! 😀

 

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Mediterranean-inspired pasta salad. Basically just threw together some leftover greek pasta I had made with some mixed greens, feta cheese, balsamic, and sun-dried tomatoes. The result was a huuuuge success. Probably one of my tastier creations yet.

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Well that’s about it for now. Til next time~

xoxo JO

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Man, this week has been crazy…… I’ve seriously been so swamped with school that I feel so strangled with no room to breathe, and it’s not even finals week yet! This week pretty much consisted of:

  • 2 presentations
  • 1 research paper
  • 2 lab practicals
  • 2 final exams
  • 2 other exams
  • 5 quizzes
  • 17 hours of work

More “real” posts to come once I’m done with finals, but for now, here’s a glimpse of what I’ve been making (all of these pictures are taken from my instagram)

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This has been my favorite breakfast lately…whole grain toast with three scrambled egg whites (seasoned with bragg’s, pepper, & mrs. dash seasoning), a 1/4th of an avocado, and of course…sriracha! With a cup of tea or coffee on the side and fruit of choice. I’ve only been getting ~3 hours of sleep lately (sleeping at 1 and waking up at 4am to study), and this is what helps me get through the mornings 🙂

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Of course I still gotta keep up with my meal planning even when I’m busy!!!!!! For the week, I made 7 packaged meals on Sunday. Basically it consisted of brown rice, fresh green beans, serving of sweet potato, half an avocado, and either a serving of boiled, shredded chicken breast or half a tilapia fillet. Simple and clean is the way to go, y’all. And gotta stay nutritionally prepared even when you’re busy. Making a week’s worth of meals literally only took 2 hours! No excuses

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What lunch or a snack typically looks like. Whole grain toast with tuna salad (I made the tuna salad using canned tuna, greek yogurt in place of mayo, and various seasonings. Mix together and store in a tupperware for about a week or so), half an avoacdo, and cherry tomatoes. I seriously love tomatoes……I bought a huuge box of cherry tomatoes from Sam’s club this past week and it was gone in like…3 days… -_- And I know it looks like I’ve been eating a lot of avocados lately, but they’re actually all only 1/2 or a 1/4th of an avocado. Gotta get in those essential omega fats!


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LOVE when my man makes me food! ^_^ Sometimes I’m just too tired to cook and wanna get treated too! This is spaghetti aglio e olio (basically spaghetti with olive oil and garlic.. simple but classic) with parmesan cheese and chicken breast. ‘Twas delicious, I say 🙂


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I made some cookie dough a couple of weeks ago, and had them stored in the freezer for awhile. Well you know me, I love to take study breaks by baking!! So one day I decided to whip these out of the freezer and bake a batch…tastes like those chessmen cookies from milano

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This is actually an old picture of my famous mint-brownie cookies that I reposted just recently. I am obsessed with anything that is mint chocolate!!!! And these cookies that I use to make all of the time were ALWAYS a crowd pleaser with everyone who had them!

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In my food delivery systems class, the past three weeks consisted of lab practicals that count as exam grades. Basically, in a nutshell, we are to plan and coordinate a meal that meets a third of all the nutrients for various age groups. This is a picture of the first round of practicals, which was designed to fit a low-income family with the nutrition requirements of a 20 year old woman. And this whole meal costed about $1.10 per serving, I believe! Something to think about next time you think about how “expensive” it is to eat healthy…it is actually much, much, MUCH more expensive to eat out all the time, rather than prepare your own food at home!

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More study breaks by baking cookies.. hehe

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Gotta have my muffins :’) Hey…at least they’re healthy!

Something that I’ve been doing for almost a year now is mass-cooking my meals for the week at the same time. What is mass-cooking? Basically, it’s making extra meals that you can package into tupperware or containers to store in the fridge or freezer and heat up throughout the week. When I’m mass-cooking my meals, I generally like to keep them as simple as possible while providing adequate nutrient value at the same time. Here are some examples of meals that I’ve mass-cooked so that you can see just exactly what I mean by “simple”

Tofu with stir-fried bell peppers, onion, & broccoli, on top of brown rice and kale.
Chicken breast (3oz) with brown rice, broccoli, & green beans
Tofu scramble with mixed veggies & quinoa
Salmon fillet (4oz) with brown rice & a simple spinach and tomato salad
Chicken & vegetable soup made in crock pot
Tilapia fillet with brown rice, kale, and broccoli
Salmon (3oz) with mashed potatoes and asparagus.
As you can see, these meals really aren’t fancy or complex at all. I mean it when I say that I keep it as simple as possible. But at the same time, I try to incorporate all of the nutrient groups together to make it a well-balanced meal. By cooking all of your meals at once and portioning the nutrients out adequately, you have your serving size of protein, grains, and veggies.
Now, why do I do this?

For many reasons, really.

 
 
First of all, it helps you control your diet and prevents over-eating when you’re hungry. If you think about it, a lot of the times when you’re feeling really really hungry, you’ll tend to just reach for whatever is in site or easy to prepare. Most of the time, these convenience items are junk foods or highly-processed foods. By preparing all of your meals in advance, you can easily heat one up to eat, rather than choose the convenience foods. Also, when you’re feeling extremely hungry, you will tend to “binge-eat”, or eat more than your body needs. When you have a prepared meal like this, you can enjoy it slowly, and you will realize that it will actually fill you up, and you do not need all of the excess food!
Secondly, like I said, everything is already portioned out for you! This encourages you to meet your daily intake in all your nutrient groups (minus dairy, which I get from almond milk, and fruits, which I always, ALWAYS make sure to eat everyday after each meal). If you were to separately cook your meals every time you got hungry, chances are, you wouldn’t even think about receiving your proper serving of grains or vegetables. But here, since you already have a nice portion of everything, it really balances out your diet. And going off of the portion control – by preparing your meals like this, you really prevent yourself from over-consumption of nutrients as well. Did you know that for someone my age and size, a serving portion of protein is actually 3 to 4 oz? As you can see from the pictures, that is a lot smaller than what you’re probably used to! And, being an Asian who naturally loves rice, I will admit to having eaten more rice than I should have on occasions. But when you properly portion everything out (3 oz of meat, half a cup of rice), you prevent yourself from eating too much of what you don’t need.
 
Third, it saves time and energy. You may think that by cooking 6x as much as you need, that you would be spending hours more in the kitchen…but the reality is actually the exact opposite! Having done this for awhile, trust me when I say that it really doesn’t take that much longer! I probably spend a maximum of 2 hours a week preparing my meals, including the preparation and cleaning time (in contrast with the approximate hour it would take each day to cook and clean). If you were to cook separate meals every time you got hungry, I can almost guarantee that it would take you a much longer time. In addition, doing this really does save you energy! Rather than having to turn on the stove or oven every day to cook, you can conserve energy by doing it all at once! It really does make a big difference.
 
Fourth, it saves you money and improves your health because it prevents you from eating out as much. I only allow myself to eat out once a week, which is usually on Sundays, after church. And when you think about it, a lot of the times when you’re feeling really hungry, you would probably rather go out and get some fast food, instead of cook your own food at home. And I don’t think I even need to go into detail about how bad fast food is and how much damage it does to your body… but regardless, it definitely does a lot more “bad” than it does “good” to your health. However, if you already have your meals prepared, you will find that you do not have nearly as big of an urge to eat out and instead, you can have your own balanced and healthy meal in your home instead 🙂
Anyways, I’m just going to end it here because this post is getting to be really, really long and I don’t want to bore my readers to death. But seriously, you should give this method a shot! You may be surprised 🙂
I LOVE SANDWICHES!! One of my favorite foods ever. I like to experiment with making all sorts of sandwiches, and recently, this one is my absolute fave. It’s literally SO SIMPLE that I can’t believe I’m even writing a blog post on this.
Egg white turkey sandwich with tomatoes! It’s SO GOOD!!! Seriously! And a good source of protein. I whip up three egg whites, season them and throw them on the pan (random fact – I LOVE egg whites but egg yolks gross me out. So much additional cholesterol and it’s so yucky looking). Then I chop up one medium sized roma tomato and toss that on top of the eggs and I scramble the two together. Something about tomatoes and eggs just complements one another so well!!! While that’s finishing up, I toast up two slices of 100% whole-grain bread and put in two slices of oven roasted turkey breast deli meat. Then I plop the egg on, top it off with sriracha and there you have the BEST AND MOST SIMPLE SANDWICH EVER!
I love love love spinach, so I like to eat this with a simple spinach salad. Here’s another random fact – I almost never ever ever use any kind of dressing on my salads. Weird, right?
AND LOOK! Here’s the best part about this awesome meal:
ONLY 293 CALORIES!!!!! INCREDIBLE! Did you know that whole eggs are about 90-105 calories? And apparently, I learned in my nutrition class that you’re only supposed to eat a maximum of TWO WHOLE EGGS a week! Cholesterol can clog up your arteries, which will eventually lead to cardiovascular health problems. BUT LOOK HERE….. all 3 of the egg whites I used totaled up to be a whoppin’ count of 48 calories! And egg whites provide an excellent source of protein to your diet. Basically, this recipe is a win-win.