Sunday, December 28, 2008

A place full of Temptations

Saturday night, I met up with some of my close friends and other high school kiddos, and we went to Temptations Cafe for dinner. Located in a cute little town called Nyack, NY, Temptations Cafe is the typical American cafe for local residents that one tends to find in small towns. It's quaintly decorated with all American classic decorations like the small coffee shop tables, dim lights, and Candy Land board games, tea boxes, and a whole array of candies displayed along a bookcase. 

Though the cafe is known more for desserts, I opted for a meal, choosing the "American in Paris" sandwich, which comprised of smoked turkey, melted brie, and sliced granny smith apples on French bread. It came with a side of hand-cut sweet potato fries. The meal was simple, yet satisfying. The apple and brie combo is always a fave of mine, hitting the note of sweet and savory. The French bread was a surprise because it was shaped like a hero, but the texture of the bread was satisfactory- chewy and soft on the inside. I really liked the huge sliced sweet potato fries as well. They were baked, not fried, and the cooking method really brought out the original taste of the sweet potato. Yum, yum, yum. 

I definitely suggest people to check out Temptations Cafe if they're ever around the Nyack area. =)
Temptations Cafe
80 1/2 Main St. 
Nyack, NY 10960

Thursday, December 25, 2008

it's the most wonderful time of the year

so it's funny how things turn out...


let us not forget what this day really means though :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

stir-fried veggies plus bulgogi

i think Asian dishes are the easiest to make. it's seriously just a pot of whatever you want. yesterday i was craving lots of veggies with something satiating, so my mom and i made this stir-fried bulgogi and veggie dish. it was super easy, super simple, and super delicious (and healthy!). 

-bean sprouts
-bulgogi (lean beef marinated Korean-style)
-olive oil
-rice vinegar

there aren't even measurements to make this recipe because it's honestly about your own taste preference and how much of each ingredient you want. my mom and i put A LOT of cabbage into this dish because stir-fried cabbage is the best, but you can switch accordingly. 

basically, what you have to do is cut up all your veggies while you are stir-frying the bulgogi in olive oil in this huge pot. when you cut all your veggies and the bulgogi is cooked, move the bulgogi out of the pot and into another bowl. next, put all your cut veggies minus the bean sprouts into the same pot in which you stir-fried the bulgogi. stir-fry the veggies in olive oil as well. stir-fry the veggies for a good 5 to 8 minutes, until the veggies seem slightly wilted. then, add in the bean sprouts and stir-fry for an additional 3 to 4 minutes, and afterwards, add in the bulgogi and soysauce and rice vinegar. Put in a pinch or two of salt, stir-fry for a little longer, maybe 2 minutes, and ta-da, your dish is finito~ A complete, savory dish with all your veggies and protein. Eat this dish with a bowl of rice. 

Bridge to Terabithia

so so SO GOOD. 

i cried.

swish swish

it's time.

Monday, December 22, 2008

shout out to my bro lewie soaivan for always being encouraging and caring =) you have one of the most caring hearts ever, and i thank you for showing that you care in the most OBVIOUS way everrrrrrr

soooo..... just wanted to say.....


Sunday, December 21, 2008

suchhhhh a freakin' pessimist right now.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Psalms 103

It's so easy to overlook what God is plainly giving us... or maybe I'm just speaking for myself.... eeeeyeahh, lol. I always fail to see the obvious. I feel inadequate to just accept God's love, and instead I feel like I always have to earn it. God just wants us to accept His love freely, no strings attached. It's so easy that it's hard lol. 

Knowing I fail to measure up to people's standards as well as the world's, it becomes so discouraging a lot of the times. It's so shocking and relieving at the same time to know that God accepts us, flaws and all. He makes my worth complete, and I praise Him for that. I praise Him for always bestowing good to me, forgiving my sins, redeeming my life from death, crowning me with His love and righteousness, satisfying all my desires. In the end, everyone just wants to be loved, and He is that ultimate Provider.

We have all we need in You
And all we need is You
All we need is You.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

being sick during finals week sucks.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Always Daddy's girl

I got a text today at Barnes & Noble-

Dad: I love you! How is everything with you?
Me: Tired. Finals :-( How are you doing??

Dad: To NY & ups back & forth everyday. too tired. but ok. cheer up. miss you!

I love my dad.

Monday, December 1, 2008

jeremiah 32:40

"I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me." 

Saturday, November 29, 2008


I think prayer is so amazing because it's an indirect way to help people.

-Josephine Koh

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy thanksgiving!!

What am I thankful for?
This year, I'm thankful for....
-my mom because she is so good to me. She always gives with her whole heart and wants the best for me. She encourages me and gives me strength to move forward. She babies me, comforts me, provides for me. She loves me unconditionally.
-my dad because he is always working hard to provide for my family. He works even when he probably doesn't want to work. He works to make sure I get what I need. He loves me and deserves the best. 
-my small group girls because they are active in coming out. They are so good-hearted and willing and none of them give me a hard time just because. I fail so many times in praying enough for them, but still, they show me love. For that, I am grateful.
-the people who reach out to me because they are relentless. Haha, just kidding, but even though I may be aloof sometimes, they still always talk to me and want to get to know me. They are always there to listen even when I may not always turn to them specifically. 
-my roommates because they take me as I am, faults and all. Thank you.... you have no idea.
-my dog Hammie because she always greets me with a happy face and wants to be loved by me. 

Presenting... the thanksgiving meal!! We had sooo much food. Our menu was honey-glazed smoked ham, roast beef with roasted vegetables, oven-roasted turkey, four-cheese baked macaroni and cheese, mashed potato with gravy, cranberry sauce, honey-baked acorn squash, corn, oven-hot cornbread, cheesy broccoli, and a garden salad~ Food overload right? Preparing the feast was so much fun :D

My four-cheese mac&cheese is almost gone! And mhmmm, that delicious roast beef... just look at that color heehee :D

There is the turkey fresh out of the oven!! The honey-baked acorn squash is on the side~ It was so good with the moist turkey breast. I highly recommend acorn squash if you want to eat something hearty and delicious AND low in calories!
My macaroni and cheeeese, yum yum
Here is my plate full of food! 

the perks of being a wallflower... not really

I'm going crazy over the thoughts in my head. It's like a whirl of negativity swirling and swirling and swirling around my head. I feel like I am falling deeper and deeper into this never-ending hole, sucked into the black hole where only sadness and depression and hurt linger. 

Why... why am I forced to live my life based on my emotions? Why do I let my emotions control ME? I'm so aware--too aware--- of people's reactions toward me. I crave to feel wanted. I am needy.I need to feel wanted at every moment. If I don't, I crash. I feel like no one cares. 

But that's a total lie. I know it in my head, but how does Satan know exactly how to deceive me.... to think otherwise? People do care about me. I just push people away. 

I'm full of faults. I see so many of them. They're almost ALL I see, and I get discouraged. Always comparing, always seeing what I lack. Always searching for something better and not being grateful for the things that I have. 

And you know what's sad? I know GOD is my father, the Father. I know He is a God who will never stop doing good to me and who will daily bear my burdens. I know He loves me so so much and will probably be the only one who can full satisfy and meet all my needs. Still... still... as of now, I am a hopeless case. 

How did I get to be so melancholy? 

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Everyone is turning 21 these days. It's so weird. Why are we all growing up!??!? @.@

At the same time though, it's pretty exciting, and it's cool to see how we blend in with the twenty's crowd now. We don't look like we're out of place in trendy restaurants or anything~ 

Anyways, this time, we celebrated Monica's 21st birthday dinner at Aquagrill! 

Part of the crowd with the birthday girl =)

 The birthday girl looking all pretty and coquettish~!

Some awesome people in my life :D

Food that people ordered:

This is the truffle-crusted cod with mushroom ravioli. I had a bite of this, and it was soooo good. The fish meat was buttery and full of flavor~
Kat ordered the bouillabaisse hahaha. Even though it was soup, it was good nonetheless! The soup was rich and flavorful. REALLY flavorful.
And this was my deliciousss seared sea scallops with creamy lobster meat risotto and string beans. So succulent, SO rich, SO YUMMY!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"What's good here?"

.... is a question I get a lot at Butter Lane. I always recommend the banana with cream cheese cupcake. It is so SO yummy. I can't even describe how good it is. It's almost more like a muffin. The banana bread is naturally so sweet and moist, and the cream cheese frosting perfectly adds an extra kick to the already decadent bread. YUMMY!! 

So, working at Butter Lane has been a lot of fun so far. Time passes by relatively quickly. The shop is warm, smells AMAZING, and feels really homey. Can't complain yo. 

I spend most of my time frosting those damn good cupcakes. I think I taste so many types of frosting like key lime, blueberry, and coconut, just to name a few. And I also get to eat some ugly cupcakes that aren't worthy of being sold... I'm sooooo gonna get chunky from this job lol :(

Pictures taken from my phone! 

The interior of Butter Lane
The display of cupcakes

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Is it weird that I really want to be a wife and mom?

I want to be able to carry the elegance and esteem that so many of the 1950s' women carried while being an awesome wife and mom too. I live in a world of romance sigh~ I have yet to gain that aura of confidence and glamour.

I love to take care of people and cook and clean. I don't think it's demeaning at all; being a mom and wife is probably one of the hardest things ever.

I mean, don't get me wrong. I definitely want to finish my degree and become a registered dietician and even more, but I want that as a side job. I don't know... I'm so a 1950s girl, not the independent, strong-willed, career-first woman that's so typical nowadays~

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Here's huge news for all you foodies out there-

Butter Lane cupcakes is coming to the East Village. No more having to travel all the way to the west side for some Magnolia's or Billy's. Just hop over to E. 7th St between 1st Ave and Ave A for some delicious, first-quality cupcakes. Butter Lane cupcakes are known to be the "better cupcake" for very good reasons: they use pure, organic ingredients (butter, eggs, milk) and use less sugar in the icing, giving the whole cupcake more natural flavor. No artificial coloring, no trans-fat, no fake stuff period. Just the real, good stuff. You'll be able to taste the difference in your first bite!

Butter Lane noticed that cupcakes from other places like Magnolia's or Crumbs have just as good cupcakes but the icing ends up being too sweet. That's why Butter Lane is devoted to making cupcakes that will satisfy our sweet tooths but make sure we don't suffer from sugar overload afterwards.

Check out the grand opening MONDAY!!!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008



A picture says a thousand words

Little do men perceive what solitude is, and how far it extendeth. For a crowd is not company, and faces are but a gallery of pictures, and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love. -Francis Bacon

Sunday, November 9, 2008

When I have time and money,

I like to go grocery shopping and cook.

My favorite thing to do-well one of my favorite things to do- is to go to Whole Foods (or any supermarket) and just explore the whole place! I love looking at foods and seeing what I could buy or looking at things I WISH I could buy hehe. My guilty pleasure last year used to be going to Food Emporium and looking at all the foods I wanted to eat but couldn't buy and then I would be completely satisfied just doing that. Weird, I know, but it was my thing to do ^^

Some food I recently made~

Cheese ddukbokgee

Entering 20s

delicious fluffy, blueberry pancakes from Bar Marche~ I'm not a huge fan of pancakes. Usually after a couple bites, I get sick of them, but these pancakes are to die forrrr... yum
Grace's 21st birthday party! Red velvet cake from Amy's Bread. It's soo drool worthy ^^
Morimoto for Grace's 21st bday dinner. Trendy and hip, it's definitely a "young" scene.
Tuna pizza from Morimoto. Definitely the appetizers sounded much more appealing than the main entrees. Even though Morimoto is a Japanese restaurant, the food was moreso just Asian in general than traditional Japanese.
Cool restaurant ambiance~ I was definitely digging the architecture and interior design of this place heh

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Obama won the Election 2008!

The first African American President.
The first African American First Lady.

Yesterday was such a historical moment.
I'm so blessed to be a part of it.
I'm so glad I voted.

I pray that Obama will lead this nation with a humble and serving heart. I pray that he will be filled God's wisdom and guidance so that he can lead this nation effectively. I pray that he will turn his eyes on God as he deals with this nation's problems.

Lord, may You have mercy on this wrecked nation. Redeem us back into Your presence.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

three's a party, fine and dandy!

I've been so busy with things like midterms and small group that I haven't been able to update the blog as much! Look forward to future entries about my experience at Bar Marche and Morimoto!!!!!! =)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Psalm 61

Hear my cry, O God.
Listen to my prayer.
From the ends of the earth, I cry to you,
I cry as my heart grows faint;
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For you have been my refuge,
the strong tower against the foe.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I'm through

Simple as that.

I'm in a weird mood.

I really understand now that only God is steadfast in everything.
Humans are so fickle.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Personal Style

I love just watching people. I know that sounds creepy, but I mean it in the non-creepiest way possible.

I don't get to do this so much now, but I used to just love sitting in coffee shops with my mom and watch people pass by. I love to just imagine what they might be thinking about, and create all these crazy stories about their lives. It was really quite entertaining hahaha.

More than anything though, nowadays I love to look at what people wear and see how they inject their own personalities and flairs into their clothes. It's really interesting how so many trends can be in style, and see how people use these trends to build their own personal styles. Sometimes, I see someone wearing this crazy outfit, and I'm like wow, I would never be able to wear that. Or, I think what that person is wearing is silly. But seriously, come on, who am I to say that? What a person wears is usually a good key to his identity. I'm sure some poeple think what I wear is ridic, and maybe so haha. WHATEVER! I wear what I wanna wear. And I dress so that I'm comfortable, not to please~

I love the simplicity of this outfit. The fact that it seems effortless to put together makes the outfit 10x better. I'm not a huge fan of tight clothing, so I'm really digging the looseness of the shirt and the baggy pants. The slight droopiness of the pants definitely adds a more casual feel to the normal menswear business pants. And of course, who can go wrong with white on black? So simple and chic~
I'm not really sure if I could ever pull this outfit off, but I really like it for some reason. Even though the outfit seems really complicated with the plaid over the fur vest, I personally think it still works because the black belt around the fur vest ties in the whole black theme from the undershirt, leggings, booties, and bag. I really want a fur vest. I'm honestly not an animal killer but I just want a faux fur jacket or something haha.
I LOVE this outfit. I love outfits that just come together naturally without it looking like you tried so hard. She's just wearing denim shorts and a simple tee shirt, but adding the white fur vest just brings the outfit to a whole new level. Plus, the black ankle boots make the outfit seem less casual than it originally would be. AND I like how she stands out in a sea of black. I love standing out~
I think you can really start to get a feel of what I like after seeing these pictures. I love to layer, so of course I am immediately drawn to this outfit as well. The whole "baggy, just throw on what you have" concept just really appeals to me. Probably because I'm lazy. But I love how her graphic long teeshirt over her shiny spandex leggings and throwing on a long black cardigan just really work together. And those boots! Man, those boots add a definite statment about her. It's like a "I'm a tough chick" kind of message~

I love fashion in the sense of seeing how people work with it. I'm not really good at like seeing what the next trends are or anything like that, but I am growing to love more and more just eclectic and personal style!

(Images all from The Sartorialist)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Why am I such a


Lord, let my heart enjoy what You provide, to let go of logistics and let your holy spirit take over.
My desires and intentions are genuine, and I long to be with You.

May my faith be put into action.

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
-Psalm 51:10

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Okay, it's official. I'm obsessed with blogging and reading blogs. I think I waste all my time on this and not spend enough time on my school work -____-;;

BUT.......... guess what I found out?!

Shake Shack opened its 2nd location in the Upper West Side!!! Right across the American Museum of Natural History and a block from Central Park.

You do know what this means now... I gotta check out the atmosphere of this place and eat another yummy Shack burger~

AND, even more exciting news!
Guests will have the choice of eating inside all year round - either in the glass-enclosed sidewalk cafe (which seats 34) or in the Shack's "Rec Room" (which seats 38), located on the lower level - or they are welcome to take away their Shack fare to enjoy on nearby park benches.

No more eating in the cold!!!


beauty for ashes

Monday, October 20, 2008

I am so


of life, friends, myself

God, comfort my soul.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


It's so interesting to see how God can really humble you.

I think for the past couple of weeks I said I was being so blessed but a lot of the times, I was moreso going through the routine of being a Christian rather than questioning my actions and thoughts to God. Why am I doing this? Am I glorifying God by doing this or that? I became so used to going to morning prayer, gethsemane, and church that I just did them out of habit instead of doing them with a willing heart. I slacked off with QT and felt like my time with God was more of a burden than a blessing time. Daunted over my long list of prayer topics, I didn't even bother to tackle them.... or tried to do so with a half-willing heart. Over all, I became satisfied with my current life and didn't bother to continue to seek after God's face. 

Even when I praised and worshipped God, I knew it wasn't my all, and I got easily distracted by the things around me. I fell asleep during gethsemane prayer time. I wasn't moved at all by the messages or praise. I became quickly tired of my environment and just felt overwhelmed by all the responsibilities I held. 

Tired, dejected, and weak, I came before God once again and confessed just how I felt. I knew I couldn't handle everything, but that's what I realized I was doing. I was trying to use my own strength to do everything, starting from morning prayer to small group time. No wonder I felt like I was so unprepared for everything! I didn't build my own foundation on God first. I was focusing on all the things I had to do, and I have such a huge heart for my small group girls and freshmen that I just wanted to do everything for them and be the best. Well I can't be the best without God~ Not spending time with God also meant I wasn't spending enough time for myself. I became like such a Martha instead of being like a Mary. 

Enjoy God, live for God, and then He will use you for His mighty purpose. How can God use you when you don't first build your foundation in Him? 

I literally felt like I was going to fall onto my knees today during praise; that's how weak and tired I felt. He really just touched me so much during praise, to the point of tears. Sigh~ God is so wonderfully good. My heart becomes even greater as I trust in God, and it grows for the freshmen. I really really pray that they will come to delight and rejoice in the Lord, and that their identities may be found in Him. God is so good and faithful =)

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Apparently, I have none.


What do you guys do at night when all you want to do is munch on something?

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I had my first bible study small group today. I realize so much more how much I need to rely on God to use me to lead effectively. More prayer and preparation! Definitely did not do enough of either... I am humbled -_-

Despite my inadequacies, may God use me just as He used Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt~ 

OH yeah, and I had lunch with Timmy Bangu but I must say, it was definitely encouraging to see someone text me and take initiative to chill with me! I swear I'm cool 0_0 BUT yeah, it was a blessing to share how God is working in our lives~

Another junior fellowship is necessary.... biking anyone??? 

Butter Lane!!!

Check out Butter Lane cupcakes!!! This is where I'm going to work starting November~ I'm soooo excited!! =)

It's located on E. 7th St. between Ave A and 1st Ave. 

Monday, October 13, 2008

What are your "onlys"?

Man, God is so powerful. I was listening to one of Pastor Jacob's sermons while I was running, and seriously, I am convicted once again by the Holy Spirit. Just from Geth this past Friday, God has really revealed to me just how selfish I was this whole week, in terms of my rationalization and thinking. I think too much about myself and my own happiness, and not about others'... And I did not nearly take enough time thinking and praying over my soonwons. The whole time this past week when I was thinking about myself, I could've spent that time and energy praying for my soonwons. Man is so selfish... we naturally resort back to our own sinful ways of thinking about only ourselves -__-

"What are your 'onlys'?" Pastor Jacob asks in his sermon, "The Test of Faith." According to Pastor Jacob, we always tell ourselves, "If we only have this, then we'll be happy," and that is SO true. I'm always saying to myself, once I get this, then I will be satisfied. NOPE. We are sinful beings, and we'll never be satisfied fully by the things of this world. Only God can give us that ultimate satisfaction.

Too often, my "onlys" become the idols of my life; they replace God from the center of my heart. My discipline in pursuing God, I admit, has been more lax since last week, and now I am convicted once again to become firm in His word once again. God is so powerful and faithful to His promises and callings. I looked at my mission journals this morning, and it's so evident and clear how God has transformed my heart. It's really crazy how He matured me so much, and I have yet to grow. It's a never-ending relationship with God =)

By faith, I will persevere. By faith, I will follow. By faith, I need to drop all my own plans and trust in His.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Grand opening of Magnolia Bakery on 49th!

Wow, can this be?! Magnolia Bakery is opening another location on 49th and 6th!

This is awesome because now I don't have to trek all the way to the West Village anymore. I have never been a sweets person, but living with my sweets-loving roommates has made me become more aware of the realm of desserts. I want to try the famous banana pudding at Magnolia Bakery!!!

Over the past two weeks, I have checked out cupcakes and other desserts at some stores. I visited Eleni's over at Chelsea Market on 9th Ave between 15th and 16th after my interview with Tod's for a PR internship. I loveee that area; the neighborhood is so crisp and fresh compared to the bustling and hustling nature of the inner city because it's closer to the Henry Hudson River. I love New York because of its multiple districts with such different atmospheres! Anyways, it was my first time at Chelsea Market, and it is the most adorable place ever! If only I lived closer around there because then I'd go there to shop for groceries and bread. Oh my goshhh, I'd just go for Amy's Bread alone. That bakery makes THE best bread everrrr. Wow.

Eleni's is good at catching the customer's attention thanks to its interior design. The layout is really sleek and simple with its white-washed walls and neatly laid out cupcakes on silver cupcake plates. The store really emphasizes its cupcakes as the main centerpiece for its interior design so naturally as soon as you walk in, you notice that first. Eleni's has a huge variety of cupcakes from the classics to specials like the peanut buttercup cupcake with chocolate buttercream icing. I bought two cupcakes: red velvet cupcake with vanilla buttercream frosting and the peanut buttercup one of course. The cupcake's interior were moist and dense, providing ample taste from the vanilla flavoring of the yellow cake. The buttercream frosting, however, was the key point of Eleni's cupcakes. It was so rich in flavor but smooth at the same time. The frosting didn't feel too heavy at all but complemented well with the moist yellow cake.

I also checked out Macaron Cafe, thanks to the hearty recommendation from my roommate Grace =) I passed by it a couple times, but never actually went inside because it was always busy and I never craved anything sweet at that time. Located on W. 36th Street, this cafe specializes in selling the French dessert macaron. A macaron is a traditional French pastry made of buttercream frosting sandwiched between two layers of light, yet dense meringue-like cake. These French pastries were heavily advertised in Sofia Coppola's 2006 film Marie Antoinette.

I tried the rose-lychee macaron and it was such a remarkable tiny treat. The texture of the macaron was so interesting. It was light, yet when I bit into the meringue-like bread, it didn't crumble and fall apart, but stuck together. The cake was slightly dense and chewy, not at all what I expected, but it was a delightful surprise. The chewy texture along with the smooth buttery taste of actual rose and a tint of lychee made the dessert quite delicious. I definitely recommend everyone to check this place out.

And finally, I visited Billy's Bakery, another popular cupcake shop in the Chelsea district between 21st and 22nd on 9th Ave, last night. As soon as I entered the bakery, I was greeted with a blast of warm air and a yummy aroma of baked goods. I couldn't wait to check out the cupcakes and buy some! The bakery is small but in a good way; it makes the place feel a lot cozier. The interior design of the place reminds you of a home with its pale-yellow walls and pale green lining, and it gives off the impression of being really comforting. Billy's Bakery's cupcakes are enclosed in a glass case displayed by the side of the counter with a huge array of cakes and cookies on top. I was first surprised because I didn't see a huge range of cupcakes but I soon found out the specialty cupcakes are out in the back. Cute and neat, the cupcakes are all simple with enough frosting that also follow through with the scheme of the homey environment; they are covered in buttercream frostings in a light color-scheme palette. The only thing I didn't like about the bakery is that the cupcakes are on the pricier range; I bought three cupcakes and that cost me ten bucks! Still, with the cost comes also the satisfaction, so I guess I can say it's all worth it!


About me

I am too sensitive to people's feelings and their reactions/responses toward me. I realize that I often put other people's emotions before mine, so I lose my own boundaries in that way... I still try to subconsciously gain favor in people's eyes instead of God's favor. I was reading Nehemiah the other day, and I realized that a good leader does what is right, what God desires, even if it means losing the favor of his congregation because he knows in the end, that is what is right for them. I need to learn to see the bigger picture! 


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Being vegan is no fun? I think not!

This entry is dedicated to my soonwon Christine Kim =) Thanks to her, I was able to check out Candle Cafe, a vegan restaurant, and discover the joys of eating food even without meat! 

For the most part, you don't meet that many Koreans who declare themselves to be vegetarian, so you may understand my surprise when I first met Christine and found out that she is vegan! Not vegetarian even, but vegan. I was really intrigued because Koreans tend to stick to traditional Korean cuisine and not follow "Western" eating habits. I remember I asked loads of questions that first Sunday I met her, and I'm sure you felt like you were being interrogated Christine haha! Sorry, I was just really curious. 

And I still am. Veganism is a diet and lifestyle of not eating anything of animal-product. That means no eggs, milk, meat... the whole shebang. It's a pretty strict diet, but if done properly, it can be quite beneficial to one's health. You just have to make sure that you meet all your nutritional needs somehow; for example, make sure you still get protein by consuming lots of legumes and/or nuts. 

Being a vegan is expensive and time-consuming. According to Christine, you need to go grocery shopping frequently since produce rots rather quickly, and you always need to prepare your meals since you can't just do a quick grab and go meal like most other people. You need to buy lots of ingredients to make meals and baked goods and find substitutes for milk, eggs, etc. Still, if one is commited and diligent, veganism is healthful and satisfies one's nutritional needs. 

So, Christine took Grace, Monica, and me to Candle Cafe this past Sunday. Although I tried a vegetarian restaurant before, this was my first time at a vegan cafe! Contrary to many people's beliefs, vegans do not just eat lettuce and vegetables. You can make a whole assortment of dishes without using meat or any dairy-products. Maybe it's easier being vegan/vegetarian for girls, but I can see myself going without meat if I wanted to. 

We went to Candle Cafe at a random time, but it was still pretty packed, which was very surprising. People seem to flock to this restaurant and really enjoy its food. Grace, Monica, and I all ordered the tofu club, comprised of grilled tofu, tempeh bacon, lettuce, and tomato served alongside with coleslaw, pickles, and vegan mayonnaise. Christine ordered the cajun seitan sandwich, which is pan-seared seitan, avocado, greens, and caramelized onions. 

I've been having this crazy obsession with tofu these days so I was looking forward to eating my tofu club. I was delighted to discover that the tofu in the sandwich was soft but still firm at the surface so that it provided a perfect medium as a "meat" substitute. It was my first time trying tempeh, but I was pleased to find a smoky flavor depart from the tempeh. So, when I ate the tofu with the tempeh, it gave off that smoky, meaty texture. And the tomato and lettuce helped contribute a fresh crisp-ness to the whole sandwich. My favorite part of the tofu club was the bread; it was perfectly toasted and provided that perfect crunch factor into the sandwich. Plus, the bread was nutty to the taste. I had to know what kind of bread and where it was from, so we asked our waiter Thad, and he said it was seven whole grain from Amy's Bread! No wonder it was soo good! Amy's Bread has the best bread ever! I definitely have to buy this bread again. 

After eating our meals, Christine and Grace shared a vegan dessert with soy ice cream. I had a bite, and it was such an interesting texture for a cake! It was more dense and moist than a normal cake, and not quite as sweet. So, overall, it didn't feel as heavy as a regular cake. Quite yummy =) 

Overall, my tofu club was a new and delectable experience, and I wouldn't mind trying out other vegan/vegetarian food!