Temporary hiatus as I try to sort through pictures, life and other things.

I'm probably five or so entries behind, so some of them might get shafted and/or condensed into one entry at a later point.

Also considering revamping slightly. Hopefully will be updated soon enough.

Until later,

k =)

#18: Galaxie Diner

July 8 was Stampede Parade day! Being pseudo-Calgarian (I say pseudo only because I don't usually participate too much in Stampede festivities), we decided to take a couple of the grad students to see the parade.

Which may have just been an excuse to go eat food. Haha. Went to Galaxie Diner and beat the breakfast "rush".

The place, as it turned out, was tiny. The booths had their own jukeboxes, but none of them worked, which was too bad because I like flipping through their song selections (more for the sake of flipping as opposed to looking at songs...)

As usual, I asked for the waitress's recommendation (specifically, her personal favourite; I've found that a lot of servers are very dodgy when you ask for recommendations, probably because they don't want you to hate on them) and she referred me to the breakfast burrito.

I asked for just one, because we were supposed to be going out for lunch after the parade as well, and I didn't want to be full for that. (As it later turned out, I was still pretty full...) They accidentally gave me two, but charged me for just one - win!

I quite liked my food. To the point where I would order it again if I frequented the diner enough, but since I don't, I would definitely try something different (if I were to return). There are too many places out there to try...

Apparently they also offer unlimited hash browns. If I were hungrier, I totally would've gone for that -- good hash browns, plus I just like hash browns to begin with.

My other dining buddies all got different things. They all looked good, and were fairly large portions too -- good for that typical Western-style diner-esque breakfast. As if I know what that is.

Calgary Sandwich!

Montreal Smoked Meat Hash!

Calgary's Only Omelette of Choice -- complete with fork for size comparison.

Overall, a delicious breakfast experience. I still have to go to Diner Deluxe one of these days though.

I suspect that I will just barely break even this summer, given that I'm not exactly getting paid a lot and I've been spending quite a bit. XD

Also, for lunch we went to Rose Garden Thai but I wasn't overly impressed (possibly a combination of not being that hungry and the restaurant being relatively un-busy, therefore buffet food was less fresh) so I've decided I'm not going to blog about it until I revisit and give it a second chance.

#17: UNA Pizza and Wine

I'm back!

This is actually from July 4, hahaha. I am so bad at keeping up-to-date with this, I'm sorry!

Anyway, finally tried out UNA on 17th ave! Good to go on a Monday -- all the online reviews say that the line-up could take up to an hour or an hour and a half (and they don't take reservations), but there was no wait time involved. Win!

Decided to go for some of the appetizers, which were tiny but interesting. I don't remember the names exactly, but one of them had anchovy (which I am not a huge fan of). The other had some kind of stuffed date, but it kind of tasted like pumpkin and I really liked it!

Date is on left, skewer of odd-sauce-ness is on the right.

Then, of course, pizza had to be ordered. It's silly to go to a place with pizza in its name and not get pizza, right? (Okay, so we didn't order any wine. But this is with good reason, I cannot handle wine to save my life. Probably a social skill I should learn, but maybe not.)

We asked for recommendations, and the server said the mushroom pizza was the most popular. Personally I am not a mushroom person (possibly under the influence of my siblings, though potentially not...) but I usually go with whatever is recommended, so a mushroom pizza we got.

The thin crusted ness of the pizza is not evident, but it was quite thin. And surprisingly tasty, for mushroom.

Just for trying more things, we also ordered the shrimp and lime pizza. It was really tasty, in my opinion. Maybe it's because shrimp is starting to grow on me, or lime, or both. At any rate, it one-upped the mushroom.

For the record, the two pizzas were good for another few lunches following. I do not eat more than one pizza in a sitting...

Finished off with their seasonal dessert which was basically strawberry icy goodness. With random mint leaves. Refreshing on a hot day.

#16: MBA BBQ Noodle House

When I see MBA, I think of business students, not Chinese food. That may have been why I couldn't remember the name of this restaurant. (I had to look it up on urbanspoon).

I don't know if it's because I'm Chinese or because I've been to a lot of Chinese restaurants (something which is likely caused by the former), or because I'm not a huge fan of Chinese food (which is probably linked to the first two), but the idea of blogging about a Chinese restaurant is not that exciting. It's not that I don't like Chinese food, it's just that I've probably had too much of it. Almost anything else sounds more exciting.

This was your regular round table affair, with everyone having their own plate, bowl and chopsticks and sharing of food. There were two people in the group who chose to have their own dishes (one was out of necessity, as they were limited in their food choices thanks to a recent wisdom-teeth-removal) and the other eight of us split.

It was sort of awkward taking pictures of food while dining with nine others, but I did it anyway, because I am cool like that.

Most of the food was pretty typical. Tasted pretty good, was pretty oily and had lots of things in it. The most interesting for me was this dish with scallops, egg and broccoli. It looked pretty (in my opinion) and if I were me a few years ago, I wouldn't have touched it. But I'm old now (sad face) and being less picky has perks.

Isn't it cute? ^^

Apparently to eat it, you mix it with red vinegar...

It becomes less cute, in my opinion.

The rest of the food was alright. I've become an eggplant convert. And I always like noodles.

However, I was not a fan of the random, really strong stuff in my food, like huge (but unrecognizable) pieces of ginger and some other weird spice that should not be eaten. Despite the somewhat social taboo-ness, I would still pick stuff out or try to "discreetly" get rid of it.


Eggplant =)

Some kind of chicken and some kind of pork, I think. Lol.

Overall verdict? I don't think I would go again, unless I was going with other people who wanted to go there. It was just nice because it was open on Canada Day, and Calgary Court (another place I have not been to...) was super packed.

Whew! I think I am officially caught up now, and it's a good thing; this coming week is going to be full of adventures.

#15: Food challenge 1 - Tiramisu vs. Pasta Pomodoro

First names it is.

So there are two other guys who work in the same office as me. One of them (Ting) is trying to finish his Master's thesis this summer, and he has been working hardcore. I feel a little bit guilty every time I ask him for help, because I know that he'll try to help me but this takes away some of his time. The other (Jacky) slacks off to the extent where it is infectious, and this eventually led to having weekly food challenges. (It probably started with the excessive amount of baking I do, and the regularity with which this shows up in the office -- after all, I need somebody to eat it.)

The way it works is like this: I give Jacky a recipe to cook and he gives me one to bake in return (or vice versa; actually last week he gave me the recipe first.) Then we bring it and can discuss/compare/see whose is better.

In my opinion, this is just a free lunch every week, and an opportunity to try baking new things. So I am completely down with that.

His first challenge to me was tiramisu. I decided to make it themed and I searched for some kind of Italian-esque dish on allrecipes[dot]com. The pasta pomodoro seemed fairly popular, so I sent that over his way.

I've never made tiramisu before, although I've had every intention of doing so. However, the recipe calls for mascarpone cheese, which is totally legitimate except that I have no idea what that is, what it looks like, or where to get it from.

Combine that with being invited over to someone's house the next evening and having to bake starting at around 11pm (which meant getting groceries from Superstore at 10:30 pm) meant slight craziness.

Because I was somewhat rushed in looking for ingredients, I settled for cream cheese as a substitute instead. It seems funny for someone who has no idea what mascarpone cheese is to be coming up with substitutes on the fly, but I did it. I picked up everything else I needed (which included these huge lady fingers; honestly, no lady has fingers like that) and then started my tiramisu adventure at around 11:10 or so.

The first component involved egg yolks and boiling. In my experience, I tend to mess up anything that I need to heat on a stove (hence why I generally bake instead of cook). It just seems to want to burn... which is what happened here. Manang said that the pot I used was too thin and burns easily, which may have been true. At any rate, although the mixture boiled and thickened (I think it was egg yolks, milk and sugar), there were little brown spots in it. I was concerned that it was the pot shedding, but once I took a closer look and realized it was just burnt bits, I decided that it was okay.

I just didn't want to redo it all at 11:30 at night, to be honest. And nobody eating it could tell, as I later found out. (Yes, to my audience who tried this, that is what you ate; it wasn't really that bad though. ^^)
See? You can barely tell...

The next component was whipped cream. All you have to do is turn on a beater and whip the cream, which is easy enough -- right?

Wrong. I don't know what happened, but a little spots showed up in the whipped cream. It wasn't the first time it happened, and I'm quite sure they were safe to eat, but it was saddening for me -- why was this turning into such a disaster?

I don't think you can really tell in my photos, actually.

The last component was the ladyfingers, which are soaked in a coffee+rum mixture. But I do not have rum at hand (or do I? I don't know...) so I used Kahlua instead. Because seriously, drinks with Kahlua are the only alcoholic things that I think taste good (although I was trying to learn how to handle wine, for social situations...) and the occasional mix of fruity stuff. I say this as if I've tried a lot, but I actually haven't. Hahaha.

Anyway, this part was pretty hard to bomb. I might have though; we don't drink coffee so we don't have a coffee maker. Consequently, I used instant coffee in some arbitrary amount (because really, what does "strong coffee" mean?) and then mixed it with a couple tablespoons of Kahlua. I dipped the ladyfingers in this, and then laid them out in the container.

When I was eating this later (when it was done), this was my favourite part. Possibly because I didn't bomb it.

Finally, after the yolk-sugar-milk mixture had cooled (I had refrigerated it, as instructed), I beat in the cream cheese. I tasted a bit and, as one might imagine, it tasted more like cheesecake than tiramisu.

Of course, it was past midnight by this time and I just wanted to go to sleep, so I layered it on (ladyfinger, cheese, cream, repeat) and then refrigerated it, hoping that the flavours would magically meld together into awesomeness over the next 24 or so hours.

I forgot to mention, I put some cocoa powder on top. I intended to make it look pretty, but it ended up being a mess, as you can see. There was also a mess on the counter and the floor because of my terrible aim and lack of skill. If I had more time, concentration and motivation, I would have made a stencil -- but seriously, it was going to be cut up anyway. No need.

Maybe next time.

On the day of the challenge, we had an epic showdown.

Not really. We just ate our food and chatted. It was nice lunch on a sunny day, and Jacky's food was really good. My so-called tiramisu ended up tasting more like cheesecake, so I think I would rather try to pass it off as "tiramisu cheesecake". As tiramisu though, it was pretty much a failure and I would say that he won. In my opinion, anyway.

Yay, lunch!

It was fun stuff. If everything goes through this week, there'll be another challenge to chronicle. And I should really start looking for these ingredients ahead of time.

#14: Muku!

I love ramen.

I miss ramen in Japan.

Ramen is so completely win. In fact, it is the highest ranking on the win scale. (Yes, the scale goes from 1 to ramen.)

Anyway, the best place that we have found in Calgary for ramen (so far...) is Muku on 14th street NW.

I have been here several times now; the first time my experience had good and bad aspects. It was fun, but I was less-than-impressed with the noodles. However, as I continued to come with my family, it started to grow on me until all of a sudden, I was pretty much addicted.

Well not actually, but seriously, ramen cravings happen. Specifically for Muku, since other places serving up ramen offer "beef" and "chicken" ramen... but in Japan, ramen is traditionally pork, so this leads to questioning on my part.

They had a summer special going on called summer ramen, and since it was hot, my dad and I decided to try it. It looked smaller than the rest, but it was still good. I don't know if I'd order it again though - depends how hot it is outside.

My mom and Manang got tonkotsu ramen, which is probably my favourite "traditional" one.

My brother had their kuroton, which is more of a Muku thing than Japanese, I believe. Still very good.

I would recommend any of the aforementioned, as well as their sukiyaki beef and their miso ramen. Basically everything I've had there is kind of delicious.

Are you hungry yet? Seriously. Go for some ramen. And take me with you.

My brother and I were thinking that it'd be awesome to go for ramen, then walk down Kensington Road to Amato Gelato for dessert. It's probably at least 15 minutes walk, to ease the guilt a little bit. And what a delicious combo it would be...

#13: Oatmeal Cookies

Sorry! I've fallen behind.

So, last week we had a garage sale (which was our FIRST EVER and it was quite exciting... because it was the first time. The garage sale itself was not the most exciting thing in the world.) In order to help out with "business", I decided that it would be a brilliant idea for me to bake cookies and sell them.

Since it was for selling, doubling the recipe seemed like a wise choice. The recipe used to be available online, but I can no longer seem to find it. It was inspired by Le Persaud, thanks to the Duckett cookie incident that happened last year. If anyone wants the recipe, let me know.

My mom really likes these cookies, so I've made this particular recipe at least 10 times now (or so it feels like). I have terrible memory, so I still need the actual measurements and such, but the motions are quite easy. This is the same cookie batch that I made when studying for ENGO 333...

Cookie dough! Nom nom nom.

Since I've made these so many times before, I felt like I should blog about them. However, I don't have much to say because it was the same deal as usual. I made "half" raisin (a bigger half, on accident) and "half" chocolate. The chocolate sold out at the garage sale. I think I sold more cookies than anything else, especially to the neighbours.

Handy trick which dawned on me making this batch of cookies: Recipes always say to cool on wire racks. I hate washing wire racks, so I usually just let them cool on the cookie sheet and then in the container. But last week I realized... I can cool them in my toaster oven!

Is this not brilliant? (or somewhat, anyway...)

Anyway, I am so behind on posts so now I must move on to the next one! =)
on faith, food and flying
The thoughts and experiences of a college kid on faith, love and life in pursuit of Christ, the loveliest One, while enjoying misadventures and quests for food, which so happen to take her around the world.
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