Sunday, December 15, 2013

Tailored Tuesday & Travel

So, I'm heading into midterms this coming week, then it's two weeks of class-less bliss for me - except for the fact that I'll be spending a lot of time reviewing over Cardiology since I have a test over the break. But that's not getting me down, no matter how daunting it may be...

My spirits are constantly on a high lately, wanna know why? It's because I'm blissfully excited about my upcoming trip to New Zealand in February. I'm pretty much not in the greatest position financially to be taking on such a huge, grandiose trip, but in the words of a man of our generation: "Yolo."

All I know now is that I'm working my butt off this session and finding rewarding results to my hard work - and I think that deserves something so grandiose!

Until then, I'll be wanderlusting about my next adventure (wanderlusting is a hard job that never quits).

1. Elizabeth & James 'Estelle cropped loose-fit blouse'
looks like it would be the perfect disguise for a tummy after a huge meal ;D

2. Billykirk 'No. 95 shoulder satchel'
i love anything leather. especially cross body bags!

3. Oscar de la Renta '24-karat gold-plated crystal chain bracelet'
if this isn't beautiful, i don't know what is. 

4. Vince 'Misfit cotton twill shorts'
such a cute color!

5. Selima Optique 'Jessica cat-eye frame acetate optical glasses'
contacts can be so irritating sometimes, and tortoise shell is always a winner in my book.

6. Chanel 'Nail polish in dragon'
everyone needs a little red in their life.

7. Apple 'iPhone'
stylish and practical.

8. Zeiss 'Ikon ikomatic'
looks lightweight, score!

9. Toms 'Shoes in burlap'
great cause, awesome shoe.

10. Marc by Marc Jacobs 'Gold-plated steel bracelet watch'
gold is always a win.

11. Chloe 'Chloe perfume'
gorgeous bottle.

12. Asos 'Ticking stripe hold all'
perfect for weekend getaways!

13. Sigma 'Pink travel kit makeup brushes'
must always be prepared...

the colors alone delight me... can't even imagine what the people must be like.

let's have a picnic with this view... can we please?

abandoned in 1866, it's kind of spooky, but incredibly intriguing at the same time.

i've been hearing that istanbul is the place to be. according to this picture, sure looks like it.

looks like something i could gawk at for hours.

give me freezing cold weather over sweltering heat any day. plus this view? i'm sold.

this picture is magic.

definitely on my life bucket list.

a UNESCO world heritage site, those things are actually needle like stone formations. i didn't even know things like these existed beyond in my mind!

definitely on my europe 'to-do' list. but i must find an affinity for seafood before i visit, because apparently that's all they eat.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts with Maple Glaze

Yep. You read it right, Pumpkin. Pie. Pop. Tarts. 

Fall seems to be evading me this year and it's making me really sad! The weather here in Vegas can't seem to make up its mind - scorching heat one day and gusty winds the next, then freak storms and frigidly cold nights. Being that Fall is my favorite season and it hasn't really arrived yet makes me kind of pissed off or at least a bit disgruntled.

But despite the lack of a true fall, I will not give up my right to cook up all things Fall, namely all things pumpkin. These little things? Two layers of crispy, buttery, flaky pie stuffed with lightly spiced, smooth pumpkin pie filling. Yes, it is perfection. Joy the Baker is seriously a genius. I really enjoyed these but the pastry was a little too delicate and broke quite easily. Next time I make these, I'd probably use a sturdier pie crust, other than that: I definitively concur that these are amazing. 

Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts with Maple Glaze
Yields: 9 tarts
Original recipe here.

For the crust:
2 cups flour
1 tbsn. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 oz.) unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
1 large egg
2 tbsn. milk
1 large egg, whisked (for brushing)

For the filling:
3/4 cup pureed pumpkin
1 large egg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup sugar

For the maple glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp. maple syrup
2 tbsn. milk

To prepare the crust, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the cold butter and break it up in the flour mixture using your fingers, a pastry cutter or a food processor. Work it in until only pea sized lumps remain in your mixture. In a small bowl, beat the egg with the milk. Add the mixture all at once to the dry ingredients and stir to make sure it is well combined. Lightly dust a clean counter with flour and knead the dough on the floured counter for a few turns until it really starts to come together. Divide the dough in two, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

To make the filling, in a small saucepan, heat the pumpkin puree and spices over medium heat. Heat heat through until the spices become fragrant. Remove from the heat and place the spiced pumpkin in a medium bowl. Whisk in the egg, salt, and sugar and place in the refrigerator to rest. On a well floured surface, press the dough into a 3x5 inch rectangle, roll the dough out to about 1/8-inch thickness. The dough should be slightly larger than 9x12 inches. Trim dough with a pizza cutter, creating a rectangle that is 9 inches tall and 12 inches long. Using a pizza cutter, cut each side into thirds, creating 9 squares. 

Place the dough squares in the fridge while you roll out the second piece of dough in the same way. Brush one set of the 9 squares with the beaten egg. Spoon about one tablespoon of pie filling into the center of each brushed dough square. Top with a piece of dough and use a floured fork to crimp the sides closed. Use the tines of the fork to create vent holes in each tart. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 F. Let the tarts rest in the fridge for 30 minutes while the oven preheats. Remove the tarts from the fridge and place in the oven and bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until golden brown on top. To make the glaze, whisk together all the ingredients and set aside. Glaze the tarts when they are completely cooled.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Kale, Kalamata Olives, Garlic Chips & Feta

Ever since moving to Vegas, and being in school all day, I've seriously neglected my usually exercise routine. When I wasn't in school, I committed myself to working out at least 4 times a week and up to 6 days a week. Now, I feel like all my time is spent in a chair - either in class, or studying all night after classes; that's how intense my PA program is. Giving myself 1 - 2 hours to exercise is hard to do, because either I feel guilty for not studying or I'm much too tired from studying and all I really want to do is sleep.

I'm trying to be better about it because I do notice that I have more energy when I work out but it's getting up and actually doing it that's the hard part. What makes it even harder is that the 24 Hour gyms here aren't up to par as in Orange County. The classes aren't motivating like they were back home! Since I haven't had much time to work out, I've at least tried to eat healthier which is hard too since it takes time to cook rather than resorting to fast food. 

This pasta is awesome because it has all of my favorite things: kale, kalamata olives and feta - with the unexpected addition of cranberries! I used whole wheat pasta to make it a little healthier and it's perfect for on-the-go lunches that I can bring to school. Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Kale, Kalamata Olives, Garlic Chips & Feta
Yields: about 2 - 4 servings
Original recipe here.

2 tbsn. extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 small red onion, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup dried cranberries
4 cups torn kale
1/4 cup water
4 oz. whole wheat spaghetti
1/4 cup sliced, pitted kalamata olives
2 tbsn. crumbled feta cheese (I prefer French feta)

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sliced garlic and fry, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with a paper towel; set aside. Turn the heat down to medium heat and add the red onion. Season with salt and pepper and cook until tender and slightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the cranberries and kale, season some more, then add the water. Place a lid on the pan and cook for 4 - 5 minutes or until the kale is tender. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti according to the directions on the package, save some of the pasta water, set aside. Add the kalamata olives to the cooked mixture. Transfer the spaghetti noodles to the skillet and toss to combine. Add 1/4 cup of the pasta water, if needed. Top with the fried garlic and feta cheese. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

New Tunes.

I don't know if I mentioned this to you guys before, but a while back ago I mentioned being an undergraduate who was finishing her biology major. Well, now a couple years after graduating, I'm successfully in Physician's Assistant school.

I've been out of the school rhythm for a while, and it's been hard for me to get my groove back, but it's slowly coming along! I think the thing that gets me through these long, hard days the most is my music. I cannot for the life of me study in silence. I used to study with the TV on as background sounds, but since I've been living with no TV in my new home - it's been background music. These are my favorites lately - hope you love 'em just as much as I do.


doja cat . so high
[i'm completely in love with this girl. her voice is beyond gorgeous and this song is buttery smooth]

chrome sparks . marijuana
[this song's title might put some of you off, but it is seriously one of the most gorgeous songs i've heard it a while. it has an awesome beat and perfect for when i'm studying all night]

[great song with a OG rap vibe]

[i'm in love with this song, especially when i'm going out. it's fun with a great beat]

baths . miasma sky
[this song is genius. that is all i have to say about it.]

[my go-to summer song]

[ciara is back ladies and gents! and with a bang. she is looking mighty fine these days.]

azealia banks . 212
[old song that never gets old for me. just always fun.]

geographer . lover's game
[ugh i had free tickets to see them at the getty! can you imagine how awesome that would be? unfortunately school has been kicking my butt... so i'm just left depressed and listening to this amazing song.]

[this song has good vibes - perfectly chill]

[undeniably gorgeous instrumentals]

ellie goulding . you, my everything
[tailored for the new skins series! the series has kinda fizzled out but it still has an awesome music director]

kanye west . send it up
[yeezey! in love with his new album - especially since brodinski and gesaffelstein have produced some of the tracks]

milky chance . flashed junk mind
[perfectly folky music]

banks . warm water
[i have a lady crush on this girl. so gorgeous - as is her voice and this song.]

alunageorge . you know you like it
[alunageorge is THE shit. seriously. her cd is like my crack.]

jhameel . shadow of a man
[i love this weird man. i previously posted about him before, but my friend introduced me to this song and it's been circulating on my playlist ever since.]

[huge song right now, but this remix is golden]

bastille . pompeii
[my friend introduced me to this song too and boy am i glad - it's everything.]

the weeknd . kiss land
[what weeknd song is not golden? i ask you?]

yeasayer . longevity
[long time yeasayer lover, just another love i have to add to the list]

** links are to where you can steam and/ or download the songs**

** images retrieved from google images search **

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Lentil & Vegetable Salad

Lately, I've been loving to experiment with grains other than my staple, rice. My favorites are lentils and quinoa. I also really love farro, but it's actually pretty expensive, so I only cook it on occasion. I've been cooking tons of lentils lately, whether its in mujaddara or in soup, I seriously am in love with the stuff.

Anyways, this grain salad is pretty simple to make. Grain salads are my favorite things to make and to eat! They have a bunch of good stuff in them and they're perfect for school since they're so easy to transport. I think the most complicated thing about this meal is the sauce, but if you have a food processor, you can seriously whip it up in a snap - bonus - it's good on tons of other things!

If you're super lazy, Trader Joes, being the awesome place that it is, sells pre-cooked lentils in packages. They also sell pre-packaged beets that are pre-roasted, which would probably be amazing in this salad as well. Next time, I'll be adding some roasted mushrooms myself!

Lentil-Vegetable Salad
Yields: 6 - 8 servings
Adapted from here.

For the mint sauce:
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1 jalapeño (seeded or not - depending on how spicy you want it)
2 tbsn. olive oil
pinch of salt
1 tbsn. lemon juice

For the yogurt sauce:
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tbsn. water
freshly ground black pepper
kosher salt

For the salad:
2 cups baby potatoes, sliced in half
2 cups brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
2 cups cooked brown or black lentils
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
5 dried dates, pitted and chopped
extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Combine the potatoes and brussels sprouts on a large baking pan. Toss with enough olive oil to coat and season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bake until golden brown on edges and potatoes are cooked through, about 15 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the sauces. To make the mint sauce, combine everything in a food processor or blender and adjust the seasoning as necessary (more jalapeño, more salt…?); set aside. To make the yogurt sauce, combine everything; set aside. 

Once the veggies are cooked, set aside to cool. Once cool, combine the veggies, dates and lentils and toss to combine. If you are eating this immediately, go ahead and toss in the toasted almonds but if you aren't, wait to add the almonds so that they don't get soggy. To serve, drizzle with both sauces. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

My new crush: Mujjo

I am seriously in love.

The people at Mujjo were so kind as to send me one of their beautiful products of my choice - and I decided on their Macbook Pro sleeve. I had previously been using an Incase black neoprene sleeve which I liked, but it was mainly to serve its purpose and not because I particularly loved it. When I received my Mujjo case in the mail, I was beyond ecstatic. Besides being completely user friendly, it was a beauty to look at. Modern, minimalistic, sleek and unique.

Made by the hands of Dutch craftsmen with 100% wool felt and high quality leather, this sleeve is absolutely gorgeous. It's minimalistic in design and tailored perfectly to my Macbook Pro. What's awesome is how the sleeve is made from sustainable and renewable materials. It's also treated so that the sleeve is water repellent in case you're clumsy like I am! Besides being beautiful to look at, I love the fact that it has a compartment to store papers, or chargers, earphones, etc.

If you're looking for something classic and stylish to house your iPhones/ Galaxy phones, iPads, or MacBooks, I'd highly recommend Mujjo. They take care into crafting their lovely products!

website |
twitter | @mujjostore
instagram | @mujjostore

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tailored Tuesday & Travel

So, I recently moved to Nevada where the sun definitely shines and maybe a little too bright. Someone told me it was 130 degrees yesterday and I nearly fainted! But, I think anything past 100 degrees starts to feel the same. 

With all this desert heat and sun beating down on me, I'm wishing I could transport myself to a tropical beach where at least the view and calming ocean could make up for all the sweating I'm doing!

1. Max Azria 'Asymmetrical cutout silk georgette top'
stunning design with lots of room to breathe

2. Tibi 'Pleat front silk shorts'
the perfect summer color

3. Undrest 'Liberty-print cotton bandeau bikini top and briefs'
just about the cutest bikini around!

4. H&M 'Beach bag'
i LOVE this and it's so cheap!

5. H&M 'Beige sandals'
these will match everything in your summer wardrobe and then some...

6. Retrovelo 'Vintage bike'
perfect for biking alongside the boardwalk

7. Contigo 'Autoseal kangaroo water bottle with storage compartment'
i love contigo water bottles already but this is just plain awesome - storage compartment?! genius.

8. Lomo 'Diana toy camera'
i love lomo toy cameras - this one's next on the list.

9. Vivo 'Square bento box'
what's a trip to the beach without a beach side picnic?

10. Isharya 'Set of three 18-karat gold-plated bangles'
boho chic

11. Topshop 'Pink keyhole metal arm sunglasses'
you'll be the cutest thing around sporting these!