January Favorites

I know that I’ve been a bit all over the place with update schedules (and I completely dropped the ball on my daily photo resolution this weekend)  but I thought this might be a nice time to just do an end-of-month recap!

Birdman

What can I say, I really loved this movie. I cannot recommend it enough. My write-up was really long, I know, but please consider seeing it. It didn’t get 9 Oscar nominations for nothing! Run, do not walk, to go see it.

Seeing an old friend after 10+ years

In 2004, I met my friend Tammy at nerd camp. As per usual for me, we fell out of touch over the years. BUT our friendship was rekindled in the past few years as we both struggled with the decision to leave the pre-med life. She helped me a lot with the decision to walk away from something I was no longer happy to do. She was in town this past weekend — and actually used to live in the building next to mine! — so we caught up for brunch. It was a lot of fun to see her again after soooooo long.

We didn’t take any photos Sunday, so here is — apparently — the most recent photo of us. From 2004. I’ll let you guess who is me and who is Tammy (and who is everyone else).

 

Kale chips

Okay, so. I have been 5 months potato chip-clean. Prior to this, I was eating an entire family-sized bag of crispy, crunchy goodness every day. Maybe two bags a day. It was bad. I’m finally getting control of my life back to the point where I am not thinking about chips all day, every day. (It was a serious problem, there was a lot of crying.)

I also haven’t been eating as healthily as I should be, so I went and bought a big bag of kale the last time I went grocery shopping and tried my hand at making some kale chips.

YOU GUYS they were surprisingly so tasty and practically healthy! My recipe is simple:

Put washed and dried kale on a baking sheet. (Removing stalks optional.) Drizzle olive oil over top. Sprinkle seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic powder, Old Bay, whatever) over top BUT be sure to sprinkle sparingly. Use less than you think you’ll need, as kale shrinks significantly when roasting. Massage oil+seasoning into the kale until all coated. Put in oven at 375-400°F for 20 minutes.

Super yummy, really easy, almost healthy, and helps avoid potato-chip relapse.

Chinese sausage (lapchang)

I went vegetarian a few years ago and I was doing just fine with that. But there were 3 reasons I could not fully give up meat:

  1. Korean barbecue
  2. Hotpot/shabu-shabu
  3. Chinese sausage

That’s how good Chinese sausage is, you guys. If you haven’t had it before, it’s a cured sausage that has a lot of rendered fat in it. It tastes sweet and is juicy and makes everything taste good. I’m planning on attempting a recipe that I have never tried before featuring Chinese sausage so keep an eye out for that! And go buy a package if you know what’s good for you. I just added a sausage to some leftovers I wasn’t really thrilled about finishing and I ate every last morsel.

Peanut butter in ramen

I’ve heard this as a “hack” for ramen many, many times, but I was always very hesitant to try it. After all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! I love ramen and my specific brands of instant noodles; why would I do anything to alter it?

But peanut butter is real good, lemme tell ya. It thickens the broth a bit and adds a little sumfin-sumfin to the whole ramen experience. Adding a dollop of peanut butter is now part of my standard ramen process, along with adding veggies and poaching an egg.

Studying for the GMAT

At first, I was going to say that I love being post-GMAT. While I like it, I think I actually liked being in the throes of GMAT-studying just a wee bit more. Am I a masochist? Maybe. But it felt nice to have been able to — however temporarily — discipline myself to follow a study schedule and to be able to measure my progress concretely by ways of score increases. Being in-between full-time jobs as I am, I really miss having a more rigid structure in my day and being able to see improvements or progress in a concrete way.


Most of these were food-related, but who’s surprised?

February holds a lot of promise, I think. Chinese New Year is coming up! And right before then, I’ll be giving something up for Lent as per my annual tradition now. Valentine’s Day is coming up and I’m going to be mixing it up a bit this year for that.

PLUS look how gorgeous February looks on a [US] calendar [where the week begins on Sunday]:

  • Tell me about your January! What were some of your fond memories?
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