“Follow your passion and be grateful for all the things you have in life.”—
David C. Bentall
Note: I had the privilege to be taught by one of the best professors I have encountered in my life. He is an amazing advisor and teacher. When he invited the whole class to his house for a pizza party, he asked each one of the students to come up with a question that he would answer during the party. I decided to ask, “If you can give us one advice, what would it be?” He replied, “For career or for life?” I said, “One for each.” The quote above is his advice for all the students in the room. He said, “For career, you should always follow your passion. For life, be grateful for all the things you have in life and you will see things in a different light.”
Recipe of the Day: Steamed Broccoli with Olive Oil and Parmesan
I will admit that there are times that I am just plain lazy and don’t want to cook. So, here is a quick and easy recipe that will save the day.
Ingredients: 1 large bunch broccoli (about 1.5 lb/750 g)
2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil or butter
0.25 - 0.5 cup (60 ml - 125 ml) grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Salt and Pepper
Method: Trim the ends of the broccoli stalks and cut the stems lengthwise into sticks. Separate the head into florets that are roughly the same size, so that they cook evenly.
Put a steamer basket into a medium pot and add about an inch of water. Keeping it below the basket. Cover the pot and bring the water to boil over high heat. Add the broccoli to the steamer basket, cover and steam for 4-5 minutes, just until tender. (If you don’t have a steamer, put the broccoli directly into the boiling water.)
Transter the broccoli to a bowl and toss it with olive oil (or butter), Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper while it’s hot.
Serves 4 What to do with the leftovers:
Keep them covered in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat them in the microwave or add them to a salad cold.
Who would’ve thought this is possible??? Celebrating Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year on the same day. Moreover, everything is RED!!!
To all who celebrate, Happy Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year! To those who don’t celebrate, Happy Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year!
On the topic of Valentine’s day, I find it fascinating that Valentine’s Day traditions differ from one country to another. One of the most interesting ones is Japan. In that country instead of the man giving presents to the woman, it’s the other way around. The women give men chocolates. Then, on March 14, often called White Dey, men who received chocolates reciprocate the gesture by giving women non-chocolate presents. Similar to Japan, Korea also celebrates Valentine’s Day and White Day. In addition, On April 14, usually called Black Day, men who didn’t receive chocolate on Valentine’s day go out and eat black noodles in Chinese restaurants to “mourn” their single life.
When I was in high school, I was involved in an organization called the Tri-M (Modern Music Masters) Society. Each year, we celebrate Valentine’s Day by giving red roses, chocolate candies, and cards that were pre-ordered by one person (or more) to give to another person (or more) on the school ground. Each year, I reserved several roses, chocolates and cards to be delivered for my best friends and brother (except when I was senior, since he already graduated by that time). In my opinion, Valentine’s day is time to show appreciation for your loved ones, be it your parents, siblings, friends, lovers or significant others. This doesn’t mean that other times you can just ignore them. I do believe that if you make a gesture of kindness, it will make the other person happier even for a day. Let them know that they are appreciated and their existence is important for you.
I’d like to end this post with a little quote from Ashton Kutcher, “I hate Valentine’s Day. I think every day should be a day of romance.”
"Sweet potatoes are among the most nutritious of all vegetables. They deliver a healthy dose of fiber and beta carotene, and supply substantial amounts of vitamins C and B6, and manganese." Okay, stop! I eat sweet potatoes just because I hate eating vegetables and this is the only one that I can actually sort of tolerate just because it is sweet. So, as the Chairman from Iron Chef America said, “With an open mind and empty stomach, I say unto you in the words of my uncle: Allez cuisine!”
Ingredients: 2 lb (about 1 kg) sweet potatoes
2-4 tbsp (30-60 ml) butter or margarine (I prefer butter. It’s healthier)
1/4 cup (60ml) milk, cream, or orange juice concentrate (I use 2% milk)
1 tbsp (15 ml) packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) salt
Method: Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into similar-sized chunks so that they cook evenly.
Place them in a large pot and add enough water to cover them by about an inch (2.5 cm).
Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn the heat down and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender when poked with a knife (or fork).
Smaller chunks will cook faster, so check them early to make sure they don’t become overcooked and mushy. (Who cares, I like them mushy)
Drain the potatoes well and return them to the pot.
Add the butter, milk, brown sugar, and salt and mash them with a potato masher, or potato ricer (or fork). Serve immediately. (Well, technically you don’t have to serve it immediately, as long as you serve it warm, it’s fine. That’s what microwave is for, right?!)
What to do with the leftovers: Keep them covered in the fridge for up to 3 days, and reheat them in the microwave
So, I was assuming that MAC Spring Colour Forecast Collection was going to be launched on February 4th since I saw MAC website put up the collection on February 2nd. However, this was not the case. It seems that they are still releasing the collection in store on February 11th. I, being the stupid person I am, actually went downtown without calling the store first. Nevertheless, I’ve learned my lesson and I think I should put the MAC store’s phone number in my cell phone in case I need to call them before I take a 30-minute trip (actually 1-hour if you count going there and back home), what I would otherwise call a waste of time.
A definite classic in Italian cuisine. Risotto is a creamy rice concoction to be served warm and taste very good in the winter months. There are different varieties to create a risotto. Today, I’m introducing you to a vegetarian risotto. So, get ready to enjoy the taste of Italy and say Buon Appetito!
1 Litre vegetable broth
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
1 lb assorted wild mushroom (such as oyster, stemmed shiitake, and crimini), sliced
1 cup arborio rice or medium-grain rice
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese (about 2 oz)
3/4 tsp chopped fresh thyme
Bring vegetable broth to simmer in medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low; cover and keep broth hot.
Melt 3 tablespoons butter with olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped shallots; sauté 1 minute.
Add wild mushrooms; cook until mushrooms are tender and juices are released, about 8 minutes.
Add rice and stir to coat.
Add Sherry and simmer until liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes.
Increase heat to medium-high. Add 3/4 cup hot vegetable broth and simmer until absorbed, stirring frequently.
Add remaining hot vegetable broth 3/4 cup at a time, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more and stirring frequently until rice is just tender and mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes.
Stir in Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh thyme. Serve warm.