Behind the Scenes #18: Honey Mustard Dill Yogurt Sauce with Smoked Salmon

I’ve missed you!

I apologize for being MIA for the past couple of days, but I want to thank you all for your pep talks and congrats for my commitment to Boston University! I’m glad today’s Thursday because I get to play catch up in a random fashion though Amanda‘s ingenious Thinking Out Loud linkup 🙂

Thinking-Out-Loud

1. Colorful spring fruit is making me so happy. My mom made little containers of fruit salad yesterday— what an adorable woman. The fruit salad includes strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, kiwis, and pineapple. I ♥ the bounty of summer!

DSC_8011

2. I am somehow able to almost finish a jar of nut butter right before every early morning AP Calc review session, and it’s absolutely perfect because that means I get to take overnight oats on the go. I no longer give a single dang if anyone judges me for carrying a jar of nut butter to school. Actually, I never cared.

photo 2-2

Overnight oats in a sunflower seed butter jar = bliss. Until I realize I’m eating it in AP Calc. 😉

3. I’ve been a little overzealous in trying to find a roommate for college. I’ve met a few friends through the BU Facebook page already, but I found one girl that I clicked with right away. We excitedly agreed to room together…but then I turned into the #1 A-Hole of the Year. I realized that I’m in a special program that requires me to live in a specific dorm hall, but my newfound roommate wouldn’t be able to live in that dorm hall with me. Yeah, I forgot to mention that minor detail.

I sorta wanted to punch myself in the face because I felt so bad, but we’re gonna try to work something out. Starting off this whole college thing with a BANG, Alison.

4. This dinner last night:

DSC_8012

Smoked salmon on a whole wheat English muffin with honey mustard yogurt dill sauce + black grapes + broccoli

When I don’t have ripe avocados or cream cheese on hand, I love having this sauce with my smoked salmon:

Honey Mustard Dill Yogurt Sauce

  • 3 tbsp. Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. spicy brown mustard
  • 1-2 tsp. honey
  • ½ tsp. dried dill

Mix it all up and dollop it on your toast and smoked salmon! Top it with a generous amount of cracked black pepper if you so fancy. I definitely fancied the black pepper.

4. Today we had a half day of school! I actually just got back from having lunch with my friends Je’lyn, her sister Jade, Jeannine, Veronica, and Sam. We went to a snazzy cafe/bakery/market called Iron Tomato, and I got a loaded monster salad.

photo 1

It had mixed greens, chickpea salad, grilled veggies, artichokes, beets, grilled chicken, goat cheese, and honey mustard dressing.

Whenever there’s a salad bar, I go cuh-razy, which can sometimes defeat the purpose of a light meal, but guatever. And then I obviously had to get gelato, because you need to balance out all the veggies. 😉

photo 2

Vanilla honey pecan!

5. It’s a beautiful day today, so I think I’m gonna skip the gym and do some exercise outside instead!

6. I started listening to the radio in the car again since Lent ended, and I did not miss any good music. Royals and Team by Lorde are still playing, Kesha and Pitbull are still yelling Timber, and Let Her Go by Passenger still annoys me.

7. You wanna know something ironic? I got a t-shirt or sweater from EVERY one of my top colleges except Boston University. Of course. If they don’t send me one in the mail, I’ll order one online. I wonder if they have anything as fantastic as those Maryland leggings.

8. Speaking of BU again, I have an astonishingly similar college decision story as my brother, Ben, when he was choosing his college three years ago. You see, he was in between Johns Hopkins (in Baltimore, Maryland) and Northeastern (in Boston, Massachusetts). He was 90% sure he was going to Johns Hopkins in MD and only 10% was left for Northeastern, so he initially did not think he had to visit Northeastern. But then our wise mother took him to visit it anyway “just in case.” Sound familiar?? After the visit, his probabilities of going to either JH or Northeastern changed to 50/50, and lo and behold, he ended up at Northeastern in BOSTON.

I promise I didn’t choose BU just to follow his story. God just thought it would be funny if things worked out that way 😉

9. Currently listening to:

Any other Young the Giant fans out there?!

10. I hope you are all having a lovely Thursday so far!

So tell me:

Do you like smoked salmon?

What do you like to get in a salad?

Current favorite song?

I’m Going To…

Boston University Class of 2018!

Who guessed it?! Because I didn’t.

My mind was playing ping pong these past two days as I contemplated whether I wanted to go to Boston University or University of Maryland, but in the end, I just felt more at peace with BU. I didn’t have to flip a coin either 😉

BU-Terriers

[source]

Officially a terrier! So fierce, I KNOW. 😉

My thoughts?

  • Never say never. I had no idea that Boston University would come into play during this college decision process.
  • My parents were so smart in making me visit BU “just in case.”
  • I’m so excited to be close to Ben and some of my other friends who are going to college in Boston as well!
  • I think I was mostly torn because I was so mentally set on UMD, and I was pretty stunned when I realized that I like BU so much.
  • My friend, Jeannine, said to me before I visited my top three colleges: “If you second guess your first love, then maybe you don’t love it as much as you thought you did.” <— Sums it up perfectly.

I was thinking of ways to tell my parents. I thought of just telling them straight up, but that would have been boring. I thought of writing a sign that said “Boston University,” putting it on my back, and then asking for a back massage so they could see the surprise, but that would have just been weird.

So I ended up doing something in the middle— I wrote “Boston University” in block letters on a sheet of paper, and when my parents were just chillin’ in the living room, I said, “Dad? Mom?” They both turned around to see me holding this:

DSC_8009

All credit goes to God. I have no doubt that His hand is in all of this, as it always is.

I’m excited for this adventure!

 

 

 

Behind the Scenes #17: Just…Food.

Thinking-Out-Loud

Reflecting on food with my fellow food lover, Amanda!

1. We’re finally home! After visiting several cities for the admitted students’ days at University of Maryland and University of Virginia, I’m so happy to be chillin’ out back at our house. Except for the fact that there were patches of snow on the ground when we arrived…Excuse me?

2. Remember how I said I despise driving in DC? Well, I meant it. I meant it with a deep burning passion, because getting out of that city was a pain yesterday. It’s a good thing I had this brunch at Busboys & Poets beforehand, which made things a whole lot more bearable 😉

photo 5 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4

photo 1

Mom and I shared the Oaxaca omelette that had black beans, pico, cheese, and GUACAMOLE. Served with the best home fries and whole wheat toast. So, so delicious.

 photo 3

I had to take a picture of the men’s restroom sign. Had to.

3. After this amazing breakfast and almost a week without my usual breakfasts at home, I had some sort of enlightenment: I might be okay with savory breakfasts. I’m as shocked as you are, but I think I’ll start introducing some eggy, toasty-type breakfasts into my rotation! Sweet breakfasts will always have a special place in my belly heart though 🙂

4. I drove the whole 4.5 hours back home from DC yesterday, which has resulted in major tightness in my neck today. Luckily, we made a stop for Naked Juice and Cinnabons by the highway, so it’s all good.

5. After I attended altar server rehearsal at church for the Holy Thursday and Good Friday Masses last night, I met my parents and Victoria and her mom for dinner at a fancy tapas restaurant called 42. We had to wait a little while for a table to open up, but it was definitely worth it. We shared everything, and everything was divine. (A lot of these are small plates! Others aren’t 😉 )

DSC_7937

Crispy calamari, shrimp, and jalapeño with lemon tartar sauce

DSC_7936

Spring salad with arugula, grapefruit, asparagus, radish, pecans, and house balsamic vinaigrette

DSC_7938

Beef and pork pastry with burrata cheese and egg-yolk sauce

DSC_7943

Macau pepper steak with soft egg, burnt scallion chimichurri and brioche

DSC_7939

My dish: Halibut with mango pepper sauce, pickled mushrooms, zucchini, squash, and mint

DSC_7940

Mom’s dish (my FAVORITE of the night): whole wheat tortellini with black truffle, ricotta, parmesan, and herbs

DSC_7941

Victoria’s dish: Vegetable paella

DSC_7942

Dad’s dish: Branzino with lemon jam and roasted peanut potato

DSC_7944

Wendy’s (Victoria’s mom) dish: Kale caesar salad

6. Yeah, I’m not done yet. You didn’t think we wouldn’t leave room for dessert, did you??

DSC_7946

Cutest little plate of milk and cookies ever. Coconut macaroon, double chocolate chunk, snickerdoodle, and peanut butter cookies!

DSC_7947

Creme brûlée doughnuts. YOU READ THAT FLIPPIN’ RIGHT.

DSC_7948

“The Bar”: Ovaltine mousse, peanut butter crunch, dulce de leche, vanilla ice cream

I don’t know where all this food went, because looking at all these pictures, it looks like it was meant for 20 people. We didn’t finish the desserts, but we cleaned up our plates pretty darn well!

photo 5

This was before the food came. If we took a picture afterwards, we would have been slouching with our eyes closed…but still smiling 😀

7. I did have some MUCH needed house-made food for lunch yesterday though:

DSC_7930

Salad with homemade honey mustard dressing and a soft-boiled egg

Plus some fruit and snap peas with hummus. The freshness of this simple meal made my belly so happy…before I filled it with all those tapas, which also made my belly very happy. Tooooo happy.

8. Surprisingly, I was hungry for breakfast this morning. I was also craving oats and nut butter, so I had some cookie dough cereal and it hit the spot! Since we don’t have any ripe bananas currently, I ate it with kiwis, but I ended up eating those separately. Kiwis + nut butter is not my combo of choice.

DSC_7951

9. Of course, my hospitable mom set up a huge bed+breakfast spread for our guests:

DSC_7952

Because we obviously don’t have enough food in our lives.

10. I had a dream last night that I had a super cute piglet as a pet!!! I want him back.

Happy Holy Thursday! May we remember to serve others as the Lord has served us. 🙂

So tell me: 

When was the last time you really craved light, fresh food?

Sweet or savory breakfast?

Would you want a pet piglet?

University of Virginia + Washington DC Fun

Salutations! (Charlotte’s Web anyone?? 🙂 )

I totally wanted to put up a recap post of my visit to UVA yesterday, but I was pooped from another long day of walking and eating yet again. Thus, I’m comin’ atcha today with a huge photo dump from the past couple of days!

{If you haven’t read the other posts from my great college tour finale, you may want to check out what I think of University of Maryland and Charlottesville!}

Monday

Up and at ’em at 7:30 AM!

DSC_7916

Breakfast part 1: banana with coconut peanut butter in the hotel room

DSC_7917

Breakfast part 2: trail mix in the hotel room

IMG_4012

Breakfast part 3: hunk o’ yummy banana bread at the UVA Days on the Lawn Welcome (pear saved for later)

IMG_4013

Super talented a cappella groups entertaining us as we waited for the event to start

IMG_4016

Grand Wahoo welcome!

IMG_4017

Singing one of their famous anthems

IMG_4018

Bavaro Hall

IMG_4021 IMG_4022

Kinesiology info session

IMG_4023

Word.

IMG_4024

After all our dining out this past weekend, I was more than ready for these veggies from the dining hall. They had some delicious options!

IMG_4025

And then this. Free froyo, people.

Alright, I’m sure you want to know the verdict on University of Virginia, so here’s the rundown:

Pros:

  • Gorgeous campus
  • Super nice people
  • Charlottesville is a very walkable town
  • Great education
  • Awesome Catholic center
  • Blogger/foodie town
  • Kinesiology program
  • Best campus food I’ve had so far
  • The students seem very serious about their studies
  • School spirit

Cons:

  • Out-of-state tuition is pricey
  • Distance (7 hour drive from home)
  • Not very close to a big city
  • The opportunities did not seem quite as vast as UMD

Conclusion:

I do not think I will attend UVA. As much as I liked my experience at Cville this weekend, UVA just didn’t click with me like UMD did. The price and distance are also major factors. This conclusion took a lot of thinking and pondering!

After the Days on the Lawn finished, mom and I drove to Dulles Airport (near DC) to pick my friend, Victoria, and her mom, who flew in from California! We’ve known each other since we were 5 years old when my family lived in southern California. Victoria is also visiting colleges on the east coast, so I have a buddy for this college decision process!

We went out to dinner with their friends who live in DC, which was fun, delicious, and filling. As if I hadn’t eaten enough this spring break. The restaurant was called Miss Saigon, and the food was absolutely fantastic.

DSC_7918

We shared a ton of dishes family style. We also left with four containers of leftovers.

DSC_7922

But there’s always room for mango with sticky rice!

I feel like I’ve had a food baby after every dinner on this trip. SO MUCH FOOD.

We did make it over 20,000 steps that day though!

Moves: a crapton of walking.

DSC_7923

Champs.

I ended up giving the Polar Loop to my mom so she could track her steps, and we were super excited to see that we made it to 20.6K steps on Monday!

Tuesday

Slept in until 8:30 AM. I basically max out at 8 hours of sleep nowadays.

IMG_4038

Coffee and hot cocoa at Illy with Victoria 🙂

We walked around American University for a while since that is one of Victoria’s top choices right now. It has a beautiful campus in the midst of DC. Plus, if she goes there and I go to UMD, we would be super close to one another! SoCal girls’ partayyyy.

IMG_4040

I guess I like to get in my veggies at lunchtime. This is the veggie burger in a lettuce wrap from Elevation Burger at the AU dining hall. Very tasty! Especially since it took 10 minutes for them to make…

In the afternoon, Victoria and her mom went to an art museum in DC while my mom and I went back to relax at the hotel. I snacked and got some homework done.

After picking them up and having dinner at the hotel cafe (we ordered a bunch of apps to share), everyone except my mom walked through wind, rain, and suddenly freezing temperatures for one reason and one reason alone.

Cupcakes.

IMG_4041

Baked and Wired Bakery

IMG_4042

DSC_7927

After our courageous trek. Hi from Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer.

DSC_7928

Our reward!

DSC_7926

Carrot cake cupcake (they call them “cakecups”). It’s supposed to be “enough to share”…Haha. Nah.

DSC_7929

DEMOLISHED that sucker.

It’s a cycle, really. Snacky breakfast➔ veggies at lunch➔ sugar at night. It balances out.

This “cakecup” got me all sugared up for a late night workout at the spiffy hotel fitness center. Moves included a 1 mile run on the treadmill, some bodyweight lunges, pushups, and Julie’s 8 minute ab tabata. It felt good to move! And groove to my music when no one was watching 😉

Unrelated side note: I officially despise— DESPISE—driving in DC. Half of the roads are one-way for only certain hours in the day, some roads are two-lane or one-lane for certain hours in the day, there are too many roundabouts, tour buses are everywhere, cars are parked in driving lanes….holy moly. DC makes NYC look like a breeze.

And that’s a wrap! I apologize for the length of this post, but it was another two-days-in-one-post deal.

Hope you all have a happy hump day!

So tell me:

Have you ever been to Washington DC?

Do you like veggie burgers?

What is your favorite cake/cupcake flavor?

Where is the worst place in which you’ve driven?

 

University of Maryland Through iPhone

I’m slack-a-lackin’ on my posts aren’t I? I guess I have an excuse since I’m visiting colleges, but I still miss talking to you all!

Something I have ZERO excuses for? Accidentally eating meat yesterday (Friday during Lent). *Sigh* I realized it several hours after I ate it too. In addition to that, I ate peanut butter yesterday morning, which had been my other Friday sacrifice for Lent. Father, forgive me… #LentFailure

DSC_7842

Hotel breakfast: English muffin with coconut peanut butter and banana. 

I also ate some pistachios and half a mini blueberry bagel at the welcome of the UMD Admitted Students’ Day.

As I said in my last post, yesterday was the University of Maryland Admitted Students’ Open House. I have not decided to go there yet, but I can tell you that I still love it!

Reasons why I love it:

  • Cheapest out of my top three colleges
  • Fairly close to home
  • Huge, beautiful, clean campus
  • Huge campus=lots of walking=automatic exercise opportunity 😉
  • Diverse students
  • Energetic school spirit
  • Kinesiology program (I’m currently interested in becoming a physical therapist)
  • Awesome recreation/fitness center
  • Active and supportive Catholic center
  • I would be a part of the Honors college
  • Research and study abroad opportunities (I can fulfill all my Kinesiology credits if I study abroad in Australia, Arman!!)
  • I feel comfortable here

Cue the iPhone photos of our visit!

photo 1 copy photo 2 copy

The Welcome.

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 copy

I should wear these for college gear day at school.

photo 4

Testudo the mascot!

photo 4 copy

Lunch at a food court on campus. Chicken (*facepalm*) platter from a kabob place. It was very tasty! But I feel guilty.

photo 3

Hot day called for fro yo, even though I didn’t deserve it. (I know— so dramatic and scrupulous I am.) For the flavors, I got peanut butter (just slap me now), strawberry banana, and blueberry muffin (<— ehhh) with mango, blueberries, and Cap’n Crunch. 

Moves

  • walking around UMD’s huge campus
  • random stuff at the hotel fitness center: 5 minute run, push up variations, triceps dips, low rows, 8 minute ab tabata (weighted Russian twists, cross knee tuck planks, ankle taps, spiderman planks)

Dinner was at a vegan place though! It’s called OVO Simply Veggie, and it was awesome.

10253928_10152237503956749_633111349294587802_n

Refreshing and crunchy daikon salad that came with mom’s meal

10154111_10152237504006749_6105467243533933809_n

Vegan wonton soup that came with my meal (it tasted just like meat wontons!)

1560572_10152237504151749_8825673214790229878_n

Mom’s entree: mushroom protein with coconut green curry sauce and brown rice. The mushroom protein was actually the BOMB.

1554483_10152237504356749_5828981589549651003_n

My entree: Tofu with eggplant basil sauce and brown rice. Delicious as well!

This was my first time to a vegan restaurant and I was a fan, as you can tell. All thanks to Yelp! I even wrote a raving review for this place— that’s how you know it was good. I brought leftovers back to the hotel, and I’m thinking of having them as breakfast this morning. That’s right— I’m going to eat savory dinner food for breakfast (as if I can make up for my Lenten failures).

Today we’re driving down about 2.5 hours to Charlottesville, because the next open house is at University of Virginia! I honestly have no good or bad expectations from the school since I visited it over a year ago, so I don’t have many distinct perceptions of it yet. I do know that it’s an awesome school and it’s in a foodie/blogger town, which is pretty cool if you ask me 😉 A lot of people have told me that they see me at UVA and that my personality fits there. We shall see what happens!

So tell me:

Have you ever accidentally eaten meat on Friday (if you observe Lent)?

What is your favorite vegan protein? Have you ever tried mushroom protein before?

How do you find good restaurants in unfamiliar places?