everyday food made simple

In case you’ve noticed, I didn’t write a “review” post last week. The past few weeks have been crazy. It was finals week, and it seemed like all our big projects were due all at the same time. I figured studying for finals and getting another quarter of straight A’s was a little bit more important and that you guys would understand :)

Now that I’m on quarter break, it’s weird to have all this time on my hands. I’m so used to being busy that I don’t quite know what to do with myself… I did plan out my break ahead of time and made a to-do list.

1. When I was little, I’ve always dreamt of having a fireplace. To me, a fireplace is one of the things that made a house an “traditional all-American house” (a white picket fence and a front porch with rocking chairs were the other must-haves). Growing up in apartments in Taiwan, I never got to experience what having a fireplace was like. A few weeks ago, my dream came true when we bought a new entertainment center complete with a gas fireplace.

photo 1

I’m totally in love with it. I even opened the windows to make it colder in the house, just so I can turn it on (what a nerd). I think there’s someone else in the house that’s just as big of a fan of it as I am….

photo 2

2. Also a few weeks ago, I received my first Nature Box.

photo 3

I’m already a fan – what’s even more awesome is that you can go online and choose what snacks you want in your next box. Even Brian liked most of the snacks I got this month!

3. My last quarter of vet tech school consists of doing a 12-week full-time internship. I was fortunate enough to be able to do mine at the Animal Emergency Clinic just a few miles down the road from our house. I’m excited, but a little nervous at the same time! It’ll be a lot of work but I know it’ll totally be worth it!

4. Because this internship is a full-time gig, I gave work my two-week notice two weeks ago and worked my last day two days ago. My weekend crew threw me a fabulous surprise party! Although I’m excited to start my new adventure, I’m a little sad that I have to leave those that I’ve gotten so close with over the past four years.. it’s a bittersweet feeling.

I had a total of 4 cakes all day! Is it obvious that my coworkers knew I love cake?!

photo 4  photo 1

Erika even came up with the idea of making it into an “animal” theme in honor of my future career :) It was complete with Scooby bones, animal crackers, and drawings/colorings of animals from her girls. Even my card had animals on it lol. It was perfect.

photo 2   photo 3

photo 4   photo 1

photo 5

I’m going to miss seeing those faces I’m so used to seeing every other weekend.

5. Quarter break with no homework, no studying, and no work means more time for me to spend in the kitchen! I’ve got a few recipes planned out that I want to make by the end of the week already… I’m going to try my best to make myself spend a night (or two) sitting on the couch relaxing and doing absolutely nothing and be perfectly okay with it – we’ll see how long that’ll last before I get up to do something productive….

6. I saw these on the shelves of Target yesterday and I wasn’t thrilled about the packaging AT ALL.

photo 2

Someone tell me why there are snowflakes on cake mix boxes on October 1st?! Winter-related items (or packaging relating to winter) should not be allowed to be on the shelves at least until Halloween is over. It should be a universal rule – just sayin’.

© Simple Everyday Food. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use any of my images without prior permission.

Sharing is caring! Email this to someonePrint this pagePin on PinterestShare on YummlyShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter

I really apologize about the lack of posts the past few months. I’m wrapping my last few quarters of school before graduation, and there’s just so much to do everyday! I really wish there were 30 hours in a day instead of 24. Twenty four hours just doesn’t feel like it’s enough. I don’t understand how people can be “bored” when I’m constantly trying to find time to get things done. It’s not like I sit around and waste my time away… somehow days and weeks are just going by way too fast.

1. It’s been one heck of a week this past week. It was perhaps the busiest and most stressful week I’ve experienced since I started the program last January. I had two major exams to study for, two big papers to write, and five worksheets that were all due by Tuesday (yesterday). It’s partially my fault that I procrastinated and put off writing those two papers all quarter, but right now, I’m just glad that it’s over and that I can focus on finals. The really ironic thing was that one of my papers was on stress/euthanasia-related stress and unhealthy/healthy coping methods. Impatience, withdrawal from friends and activities, stress eating, compulsive spending (or the feeling of the need to spend money), mental exhaustion, fatigue… check, check, check, check, and check.

I’ll be looking forward to some much needed R&R in a week :)

93 more days til graduation!!!!

2. It was also during this time of extreme stress that I really wanted to be in the kitchen to bake. It’s really all I wanted to do – I really wanted to procrastinate and go bake some cookies.. or cupcakes… or donuts. But the logical side of me told the emotional side to wait til the week is over. I guess I discovered this week that baking really is my best form of therapy. I don’t necessarily bake because I want to eat the end product, but more so for the process of being in the kitchen, piping frosting, rolling little cookie dough balls… it’s calming and very therapeutic to me for some reason.

3. I have a little confession to make: I have a little unhealthy relationship with Ramen (shh, don’t tell Brian). I love Ramen noodles. A lot. I know it’s so bad for you, that it contains a ton of sodium and all kinds of preservatives that can kill your liver, blah blah blah… but I just love it. I think it’s because Taiwan spoiled me with the different amazingly delicious flavors of Ramen noodles they have. I could probably eat a different flavor of a different brand for two months in a row. I even ask my parents to mail packages of them to me every once in a while… There, now you know another weakness of mine when it comes to food :)

4. The 27th season of Survivor (Blood vs. Water) started tonight! Brian had to work tonight, so we won’t be watching it until this weekend probably. I still remember watching the series when it first came out years and years ago.


5. In case you’re a techie and you haven’t heard, Apple’s newest operating system, iOS 7 came out today!!!!! As big of a nerd as I am, I made sure I backed up my phone and iPad last night. I sure am not disappointed with its latest upgrade – everything is amazing and I love it so far. A few of my favorite new features include that Siri can now be a male or female, you can send someone a picture through Air Drop, iTunes radio is now available, and that you can block messages/phone calls from people you don’t want to hear from! I also discovered that Siri can speak in different languages, including Mandarin!!!! Was that a feature in the older iOS?? If so, I can’t believe I never knew that. I just had to try it out.

So I asked Siri if she was able to do my homework for me tonight. Unfortunately her response was “I don’t think I’m able to do that”.

Boo, Siri. Boo.

photo 1 photo 2

Sharing is caring! Email this to someonePrint this pagePin on PinterestShare on YummlyShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter

1. Today marks the 12th anniversary of 9/11/2001 when our nation came under attack while we watched in horror as the Twin Towers in New York City crumbled to the ground. I think every American remembers vividly exactly where they were and what they were doing when they first heard the news – I was a high school student in Maryland when teachers rolled in the TV to show us what was happening a few states north of us. Even though it’s been 12 years already, I still can’t bear seeing images from that day without trying to hold back tears and getting that tight knot in my chest.

9.11.01. As we rebuild our lives and move on with our daily routines, we will never forget. Never.


(photo source)


(photo source )

Okay, now let’s talk about some light-hearted things….

2. Remember a few months back Lay’s had America vote for their favorite new potato chip flavor – Sriracha, cheesy garlic bread, and chicken and waffles? Well in case you didn’t hear, the cheesy garlic bread flavor won, and now Canada is asking their people to vote for a new favorite as well: creamy garlic Caesar, maple moose, grilled cheese, and perogy. I think it’d be a toss-up between the perogy and creamy garlic Caesar if I had to choose… which one do you think you’d like to try?


(photo source)

3. I’ve probably said this before, but FRIENDS is perhaps my favorite TV show ever, and I chuckled to myself when I saw this article. So many of them are so true!

  • When I talk to my friends who I know also watches the series, we use phrases like “Oh. My. God!” and “Hey, how you doin’?”
  • We’ve even done the Ross/Monica double fist-bump a few times.
  • I can also recite certain parts of certain episodes word for word.
  • Brian and I have called each other our “lobsters” before…
  • …And we’ve definitely used “PIVOT!!!” a few times around the house moving furniture.
  • And yes, I always clap four times right on cue during the opening theme song.

Does all that make me a nerd? Probably. But I’m sure you’ve figured that out already… if not, then I guess it’s too late to hide it now… #NerdForLife

4. My best friend on college got married this past weekend! Congratulations again Nicky and Matt – you guys are totally made for each other :)

5. It’s not even October yet, but stores are already pushing all the Halloween candies and decorations out on their shelves. On our latest shopping trip, I found these and just couldn’t resist….


They turned out to be pretty good – if you like candy corn. I can finally have a whole thing of Oreos to myself without having to fight Brian over it :)

Sharing is caring! Email this to someonePrint this pagePin on PinterestShare on YummlyShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter

1. I found this in the bathroom the other day at work… not quite sure if someone “forgot” it there, or if someone was drinking it while on the toilet.


2. Brian and I made our annual trip to the Minnesota State Fair last week. You can read about my experience here. As always, it was a lot of fun, and even though I didn’t get to eat everything on my list, I did discover a few new favorite.

3. Monday was Labor Day, and Labor Day is when summer unofficially “ends”. I always have mixed emotions around this time of year – I love summer, but I also love fall. Summer means longer days, hot sunny weather, slushies, smoothies, grilling, the smell of a campfire, going out for ice cream after dinner, rolling down the windows in the car, shorts, tank tops, flip flops…..

But with autumn comes jeans & hoodies, scarves, sweatpants, Crockpot meals, apple pies, fall scents, leaves turning colors, falling leaves, apple picking, cooler weather, the anticipation of Thanksgiving, and sleeping with the windows open. However, with the arrival of autumn also means that winter is just that much closer. As much as I love fall, I hate that it means snow and cold weather will be arriving in a few short months. I’m determined to go pumpkin picking and carve my very first pumpkin this year! I also have a list of things I want to make this fall too – apple butter and pumpkin desserts are just a few things on there.

4. School also started yesterday for a lot of kids – I had fun scrolling through my Facebook feed and seeing all the back-to-school pictures. Back from where I grew up, back-to-school pictures were unheard of. The first day back to school was never a big deal – maybe it’s because kids pretty much are studying and learning year round that the start of a school year seemed like “just another day”. Even though I’ve lived here for about 12 years now, it’s still fun to compare the different traditions and cultures between the two countries when it comes to education.

5. One of my best friends Nicky is getting married this weekend! Today we celebrated her bachelorette party by going to Stella’s Fish Cafe in the Uptown area. I had the Parmesan crusted halibut with mashed potatoes and asparagus. Lets just say the garlic mashed potatoes were my favorite part of the meal….photo(2)

Sharing is caring! Email this to someonePrint this pagePin on PinterestShare on YummlyShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter

1. You probably won’t believe me when I tell you this, but this past weekend, I had my very first experience with self-serve frozen yogurt. I know – I’m 27 years old and never been to places like Red Mango or Cherry Berry before – I’m sheltered. Anyway, that’s beside the point. I went to a local fro-yo shop called Free Style and absolutely looooved it! There were about a dozen different flavors to choose from, and don’t even get me started on the gazillion different toppings they had! I think one of my favorites was the cake battered one. Yep, we found our new favorite after-dinner dessert joint.

photo 1

2. Remember a few posts back I mentioned about the different items different McDonald’s around the world has on their menu? (the post can be read here) Well, apparently not only Canadian McDonald’s has the iced chai frappe, they also have the McLobster! Has anyone had them before? What did you think of it?



(photo source)

3. A few days ago I discovered our local Caribou Coffee came out with their pumpkin drinks already…. whaaaat?! It’s still August. August means summer, NOT fall. Pumpkins are for the fall, and therefore should not be allowed when it’s still 100 degrees and sunny outside. It’s like a competition between all the large chain coffee shops to see who can bring out their fall drinks out first. Don’t get me wrong – I like my pumpkin coffee, but I’m not ready for fall yet! I’m still clinging on to every moment of summer.

Well, since the drinks are out, I couldn’t say no to $2.50/large drink promotion they had going on today. Even though I wasn’t happy that it’s a sign that summer’s winding down, I unwillingly dragged myself there and they had to twist my hand to make me order a pumpkin spiced iced chai. Ha! Who am I kidding – I ran there as fast as I could after I got back from class :)

photo 3

4. Our equine class got a special behind-the-scenes tour at our local horse racing track this morning! I’ve never been to a horse race before, but it was cool getting to see the trainers and jockeys with their horses doing a bunch of different training exercises. My favorite part was seeing the horses in the training/rehab pool! Definitely a cool experience considering these parts aren’t open to the public to tour.

photo 2

5. About 3.5 months ago, I was diagnosed with de Quervain’s tendinitis in my wrist that I sustained from repetitive motions from work. I had to wear a wrist brace this summer for 3 months, had hand therapy sessions, tried iontophoresis, and ended up with a cortisone injection which promptly resolved the issue three days later. You really don’t realize how important your opposable thumb is until you can’t use it anymore. It was painful to hold a pen to write, to put my hair up, to button up pants, to hold a knife, to wash my back, and to do little everyday things. I had to modify how I did a lot of things because of it. Now that I’m finally pain-free after 3.5 months, I’m finding myself trying to adjust to the thumb I can finally now use. I still find myself still holding the steering wheel how I did 3 months ago, and just the other day, I texted with two thumbs for the first time in 3.5 months – it felt weird and unnatural.

Moral of the story: keep your body healthy and don’t take anything for granted.

© Simple Everyday Food. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use any of my images without prior permission.

Sharing is caring! Email this to someonePrint this pagePin on PinterestShare on YummlyShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter