Category Archives: soups

Summer vacation is in full swing!

I'm sorry that my updates seem sporadic lately, it's not intentional, I promise! There's no point in making excuses, because I am pretty much always "busy", but I have been good about taking all the necessary pictures. So without further ado, I present a collection of things I've eaten, seen, or done in the past month since graduation!

Lunch shared with my boyfriend during a lunch break at work. We both work in the same area, just down the street from one another, so when we have time we try to have lunch together. There is a food court nearby that has the popular Japanese chicken teriyaki lunchbox meal, so we occasionally share one. The chef that cooks the chicken is pretty funny, he has this thick accent and says enthusiastic things when he serves the food. He often says "chicken ready! yummy yummy!" and "yummy sauce! yummy sauce!" It's quite amusing hehe. I try not to eat out too much for lunch though, as it is a money sink.

I've been pretty excited about the delicious assortment of exotic fruit available now that it is summer. One of my favorites is mango, especially when it is fully ripe. I'm not very good at slicing one open and avoiding the large fuzzy pit in the center, but when I finally get around to eating the soft sweet flesh it is an amazing flavor. I also like gnawing on the flesh surrounding the pit at the end, but if I do that then I always have to floss because the fuzzy fibers always get stuck in my teeth. I wish I had a blender in my dorm, because I would definitely be making my own mango smoothies. The ones I've eaten are incredibly ripe and sweet, so I imagine the smoothie would be quite flavorful.

These little babies are what most of my breakfasts consist of this summer. I tend to always wake up too late to eat anything substantial before heading off to work, so these bars are perfect for my always on-the-go schedule. The one pictured above is trail mix flavored, and the others I've bought are honey almond flax, and peanut peanut butter, all of which are fantastic. These are so good for you, and they fill me up for most of the morning too, unlike other cereal bars (ahem, Special K).

Okay, this is one of my guilty pleasures in terms of takeout foods while at MIT. Ankara Cafe was first introduced to me because all the students know that it has amazing frozen yogurt with endless varieties because of their long list of blended mix-ins (see below). One of my favorite dinner items from Ankara happens to be the MIT triple decker, which is a 3-bread-slice sandwich with pastrami, roast beef, smoked turkey, swiss cheese, cole slaw, and Russian dressing. I know, it sounds terrible for you, and I assure you that I am well aware it is. But it tastes amazing, always hitting the right spot after a long day. I usually can only eat half of it at a time (or sometimes I will eat the whole thing and feel too stuffed afterwards), but I find that it will taste even better after I microwave the leftover half. Yum!

So this is the well-known Ankara frozen yogurt with mix-ins. They have a list of over 50 different mix-in options, and I've tried many of them in various combinations, still yet to decide on a favorite. This particular yogurt today happened to be vanilla, with white chocolate and brownie mix-ins. The white chocolate chunks are nice, but the brownie mix-in was not quite what I expected. I was imagining small chewy chunks of brownie, but instead it was more like brownie crumbs (see the general light brown color of the yogurt and the small brown specks? that's the brownie…). Still though, the flavor was quite good. A great dessert to follow any takeout items from Ankara :)

Another lunch option at work is the sushi bar in MIT's Stata center across the street. They make boxed sushi rolls that I can just pick up to go. I usually like to get their salmon avocado roll, which has raw salmon in it, but I also really like their grilled salmon roll, whose texture and flavor is completely different from that of raw salmon. They break up the grilled salmon into small bits so that it's easy to chew, which I appreciate.

I sometimes get a soup to go with my sushi, but the cream of spinach soup overpowered the sushi quite a bit. It was very salty and the spinach flavor was strong, probably because it was frozen spinach instead of fresh. I only had a third of this soup before I had had enough. Probably not a bad soup if you were to have it alone or with a roll for lunch.

Greg and I made Chinese style lettuce wraps one day, using iceberg lettuce as the wrapping and a stir-fried mix of pork, beef, and onions, along with fried rice with carrots as the filling. It doesn't take a lot of effort to prepare, as the meats need very little marinating and cooking time. To make a lettuce wrap, we smeared some hoisin sauce on the inside of a large leaf of lettuce, then topped it with a scoop of rice, followed by a few pieces of meat and onions, just enough to get meat into each bite and give extra flavor to the rice. The purpose of the meat in the lettuce wraps is to add variety and flavor, not to act as the base of the meal. That is the job of the rice! Overall the wraps were pretty tasty though, and I got a second meal out of it too. It was an easy first meal to make with Greg, as we both were a bit rusty on our cooking and kind of lazy too. We always take several meals to settle into the routine of making dinners over the summer, as it is rather inconvenient to cook in my dorm, having to bring everything down into the large single kitchen in the basement.

The Asian food truck that I adore, Goosebeary's, sells these vegetarian summer rolls for lunch. I like to get them occasionally when I want a small lunch in anticipation of a big dinner. The rolls cost $1.50 each, and are usually sold in triples, along with a small container of peanut dipping sauce that I like. The rolls themselves are similar to the ones I previously described from Pho Pasteur, except instead of shrimp and pork, these rolls have tofu, carrots, and shitake mushrooms. The rolls are a refreshing treat for lunch on a hot summer's day, and the peanut sauce enhances the flavors quite well, making this vegetarian roll much less boring than it might look or sound. On the particular day that I bought these rolls, it was towards closing time for the food truck, and I only intended to get two of them. But the lady who was serving me was really nice and charged me $3 total for 3 rolls. I guess they wanted to get rid of their rolls because it was going to go to waste anyway if they couldn't sell them all. Good deal!

I was walking home from work one day and noticed a lot of pretty flowers in full bloom in the garden in front of my dorm. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon and I had my camera with me, so I decided to take some pictures. I'm a hopeless romantic, something about beautiful flowers conjures up images of love and happiness that is just irresistible to me. Unfortunately I know none of the names of these flowers, but if anyone knows be sure to leave me a comment so I can change the mundane names of these photos :) You know, when I was taking the last picture of the purple flowers, I heard some rustling in the bushes on the ground nearby, and I ignored it, thinking it was just a squirrel. Next thing I know, I see this HUGE rope-like tail swinging around on the ground right in front of my face, and I nearly had a heart attack as I realized it was a giant RAT not 2 feet from me. Its ratty tail (excuse the pun) told me that it had lived a long life of experiences, and that it was probably not nearly as afraid of me as I was of it. Still, to see such a big rat in broad daylight was a surprise that I'd like to not relive heh.


MIT Senior Week (Part 2)

(6/03) Today was supposed to be our "movies 'til midnight" event where they'd be showing movies on a big screen while the students lounged on blankets on a big grassy lawn area of campus. I was looking forward to watching Casino Royale at the event. Unfortunately, it was a cold gloomy day filled with promise of rain, so the event committee moved the location to an indoor gym. That of course made the event 10 times less appealing, so Greg and I stayed in and ordered out for dinner from Stefani's House of Pizza. And um, well Greg convinced me to get some pretty unhealthy food lol. See for yourself…

Stefani's House of Pizza is probably the only pizza place in Boston that sells this side dish. It's literally french fries soaked in gravy and topped with melted mozzarella cheese (a side order of heart attack that is). In Canada, there is a similar item called poutine, although the cheese is not melted like this, and is instead in soft chunks. I had this when I visited Canada two summers ago, and it looks pretty gross, but tastes good, if you're into indulging in unhealthy food anyway haha. These fries from Stefani's are an awesome side because they're moist and savory, so they really go with whatever you're eating. So you must be wondering what we ate with the fries…

Yeah I'm not sure there's a whole lot more to say except to lower my head in shame haha. These wings from Stefani's were pretty good, and a good deal at 9 wings for about $5. I got honey BBQ flavored wings, while my boyfriend got the buffalo wings. They're nice and crispy, and the honey BBQ is sweet, which I liked. Plus, the wings went really well with the salty savoriness of the cheese fries. I only ate 7 wings before feeling stuffed haha. They sure were good though. Sorry for the icky looking picture taken with flash, the lighting in Greg's room is pretty poor, so I couldn't get a good picture without flash.

(6/04) Six Flags trip! Today was an ENTIRE day of pouring rain, and yet me and my friends still bravely went on our class trip to Six Flags. Haha it was definitely an experience. I smartly kept my camera at home because I was worried it might get wet. At least I brought an umbrella and a rain-resistant jacket, as many others had neither and got soaked at the park. The original trip was supposed to be from 10am to 8pm, but due to the rain Six Flags announced an early closing of 6pm by the time we were leaving campus.

At the park itself there were very few people, and many of the rollercoaster rides were closed. I stayed off the rollercoasters all day because I'm not too fond of them, but it was convenient that everything else was mostly open and had no line at all. I first went on the carousel with my friends while we were trying to get out of the rain. That was pretty goofy, as we were the only 6 people on the entire carousel haha. Then I stood by and watched as my friends went on the Scream, which is basically the Hellavator/Tower of Terror type ride of Six Flags. Next we went on a ride called Nightwing, in which you lie flat on your stomach and rotate in a big vertical circle. I think it was trying to mimic flying in circles like Batman, but you could definitely feel the G force on it and I had to keep my eyes closed for most of it so I wouldn't get too scared/dizzy. That ride got my completely wet from head to toe though lol.

By the time it was 1pm, we heard an announcement that Six Flags was now going to close at 3pm. Oh my god now we were going to get practically no time at all to ride things. To get out of the rain, my friends and I went to watch an indoor Chinese acrobat show where I watched some people twirl little rugs on their toes and play with Chinese yo-yo's (some girl dropped it haha that must have been embarrassing). I also saw a lionhead dance, but it wasn't done too well as the head and the body kept making mistakes. After the show we went into an arcade for a little while, and then Greg and I left to ride Teacups on our own (my friends were not into this haha). It was really fun riding the teacups! They spin pretty fast on their own, and you feel like you're going to fall over, but Greg was holding me so I felt pretty safe. All the teacups spin in different directions so it's pretty chaotic, and you can spin a wheel in the center of your teacup to make it go faster. I saw a teacup where there were 2 couples and the guys were spinning the wheel like mad, making their cup spin so fast it was insane! Their girlfriends looked pretty horrified haha.

When we got off the teacup ride, we realized that the bigger rollercoasters (like Superman) were open again, but Greg and I decided not to go on them. Greg usually likes rollercoasters, but he was feeling like milder rides that day, which of course I was happy about lol. We wandered around and went to ride bumper cars twice, and then we went on this spinning swingseat ride called "Gotham Crime Wave", which I also rode twice. I had a really nice time at the park, the rides were all moderate so I didn't have to freak out, and it was fun to just walk around and see all the different things in the park. The rain definitely kept most people home, which meant the park didn't feel crowded or overwhelming, and all things considered, we probably got to ride the same number of rides as if we had been at a full park all day, because the lines would have been huge.

On our way back home from Six Flags, our bus made a stop at a rest stop, so I got some McDonald's (I didn't have lunch, and just had a cereal bar for breakfast). I'm not that fond of McDonald's burgers, I'm more of a Burger King girl. My favorite burger at BK is their Whopper Jr. So when I was at McD's, I got their Big & Tasty burger, which mimics the Whopper Jr. It was really satisfying to sit down and eat McDonald's after a long rainy day at a theme park haha I stay away from fast food as much as possible, but I can't make myself dislike it :P

Later on at night back on campus, I ordered out with Greg for pasta from Blackjack Pasta Bar. I got the whole wheat pasta again, with carbonara sauce. I know, terrible combination, but I just like the way the nutty flavor and chewy texture of the whole wheat pasta goes with the creamy carbonara. Of course, right after I finished eating it, I promptly fell into a deep food coma that ended up lasting all night haha. Gosh, Blackjack sure makes wonderful fresh pasta. I just wish it was a little bit cheaper (my pasta dish was about $9 before tax and tip).

(6/05) Today was a lunch cookout for the seniors, with a catered bbq and some entertainment with a DJ. The bbq really wasn't that great. My favorite part was the hot dogs haha. They also had chicken wings, burgers, veggie burgers, chips, salad, corn bread, chocolate chip cookies, fudge, and iced tea. I took a little bit of everything to try, and really everything other than the hot dogs were boring. Why did I like the hot dogs so much? They were really flavorful! I don't know how else to describe it haha. The texture was nothing unique, but it was like they threw MSG in the hot dogs or something, that's how perked up the flavor was. Very savory. It went really well with some onions and bbq sauce haha.

For dinner I went out with my parents to a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown. My brother was taking a piano examination in Boston, so my mom thought it would be a good time to have dinner together. This restaurant is called Hei La Moon, and it's located right outside the great gateway of Chinatown. Therefore, it gets much less patronage, which my parents really like (they always talk about how important it is to have "elbow room" when you're eating at a Chinese restaurant). Personally it kind of freaks me out when we're there for dinner on a weekday evening and we're literally the only table in the entire restaurant until like 3/4 of the way through our meal. No seriously! But the food there was pretty good, and the service was fine, considering that we were the only table anyway…

My parents decided to get the "dinner for 4" tonight, which is popular among the Chinese restaurants in Chinatown. They have these dinner sets for 2, 4, 6, 8+ people at a set price, with a certain set of dishes that are chosen. I often get the dinner for 4 when I go out with friends, as it saves us the hassle of picking out a good family style meal.

We started off with an egg drop fish maw soup with lobster bits. What is fish maw? Well it's going to sound gross, but it's the "dried stomach lining of a fish", which is also known as its swim bladder that holds air to help the fish float in the water. The fish maw itself has very little flavor, and isn't fishy at all, but it has an interesting texture that is kind of like eating a soggy fried tofu puff. It lends an interesting chew to the soup, which in itself was also pretty bland. But I didn't mind. Too much salt in Chinese restaurant food bothers me.

For our dishes we got:

And finally, dessert, which was a coconut milk soup with sago (small clear tapioca balls) and sweet potato. I really liked this dessert soup. A lot of the Chinatown restaurants offer a complimentary dessert soup after dinner, and I've often been given a red bean based soup. But the coconut milk one is my favorite. I've had it with taro also, which is delicious. The coconut milk soup base is sweet and creamy, but not thick or rich at all. It's served hot but it's refreshing, especially after the salty and savory flavors from dinner. The sago balls are not chewy like the tapioca balls in boba (a.k.a. bubble tea), but are cooked thoroughly so that you can either swallow them whole or chew them apart. Their texture is pretty much like soft jello.

Yum, a good dinner with my family with good variety. Plus Chinatown Chinese food quality is always better than the regular Chinese takeout that I get. And my family always lets me take home all the leftovers, which we often have a lot of since nobody in my family has a particularly large appetite. I usually bring the leftovers back for Greg to eat as his dinner. Ah, isn't he lucky?

MIT Senior Week (Part 1)

As with many other colleges in the US, MIT has "Senior Week" the week before graduation, and it's a week of events for the seniors to enjoy each other's company one last time at. We had to sign up for most of these events in advance, and it was a mad rush to nab the spots for some of them. Leave it to our class council to plan events where it's supposed to be for our whole class of about 1000 people, yet each event only had about 200 available spots. I've missed out on many an event in the past 4 years due to tickets selling out ridiculously early. Somehow the people that are all friends with the student council members were always able to go… Anyway without further ado, here are some memories from my senior week.

Friday 6/1 The first day of senior week was a wine tasting event, which I didn't attend because I was at home eating lobster with guests lol. I'm also not big on alcoholic drinks because I still haven't learned to enjoy the strong and bitter taste of alcohol. I guess eventually I should learn to be more refined and enjoy wine for what it is, but that can wait heh.

Saturday 6/2 I came back to MIT on this day for the Cape Cod dinner train event (I paid $25 for a ticket). It's a train that serves a 5 course dinner while taking you down around Cape Cod to see some scenery. It sounded like a beautiful train ride, and while the food was great, the view was less than spectacular and certainly not what I imagined it to be. In my mind the train ride would be a glorious 3 hour excursion around the tip of Cape Cod, following the ocean. Instead, the train started out in the woods and spent 4/5 of its time surrounded by trees that not only prevented us from seeing anything but also prevented good picture taking opportunities. I felt like I was traveling through a random rural part of Massachusetts, with all the trees and houses that lined the railroad. The only sights worthy of seeing were some of the cute farms, expansive salt marshes, and a short-lived view of the bay area at the midpoint of the ride. Here are some pictures from the day:

It happened to be a dreadfully hot day out (with temps rising up into the 80s), and very humid as it usually is up here in MA over the summers. Greg and I were waiting outside for our buses to arrive to take us down to Cape Cod to board the train. Everyone was hot and sweaty, and imagine our horror when we realized that the buses we had to ride for the 2.5 hr ride down to Cape Cod were big yellow school buses. Yes, and that was just miserable. But at least I got to be with my friends and had a fun train ride to look forward to. I had a Kashi cereal bar for lunch and that had to tide me over until dinner on the train haha.

Here we are on the actual train itself, which looks kind of like a very long restaurant, with dinner tables lined up against the wall on either side. The train was pretty inside and on the outside, but I forgot to take a picture from the outside, oops. We were eagerly awaiting the food to be served, because I think everyone at the table was starving from not having eaten a proper lunch beforehand (except for my friend Tony who ate a sub for lunch, sheesh haha).

To recreate the dinner train experience, I'll post some highlights in the order that I took them, and the food courses that came in the process :) Some of the pictures are blurry because of course the train is in motion the whole time I'm trying to snap pictures, and I'm doing it through a glass window.

This was an amazingly good seafood chowder with potatoes, clams, cod, lobster, and shrimp all in a creamy chowder. It definitely compares to the famous Legal Seafood clam chowder. Either that or we were all just starving to death and therefore thought any food was heaven. I think this was my favorite course of the evening though. I savored it slowly with some oyster crackers. Yummm.

The rolls were hot and fresh, and they tasted pretty good. The only downside? I'm pretty sure the roll counted as a course in our 5-course dinner… :( The menu says we were supposed to get hors d'oeuvres, but that definitely didn't happen for us. The served entree was also different from the menu. Weird huh?

The salmon entree was very delicious. It had a nice crust of bread crumbs and pistachios which gave it a nutty, rich flavor and crunch. The salmon itself wasn't overcooked, and it came with a lemon lime beurre blanc whose mild acidity cut well though the meatiness of the fish and richness of the topping. Sides of blanched asparagus spears and creamy mashed potatoes accompanied the dish for a pleasing presentation.

Our dessert course was a strawberry shortcake with phyllo dough and custard topped with a few large strawberries. It was a tasty dessert, and a refreshing and satisfying way to finish the dinner. We also got coffee to go with the dessert. By the time we got back to our starting point, it was already pitch black outside, so we all filed onto our yellow school buses and napped all the way home after a long day. I enjoyed the train ride and the food, but I was disappointed with a lack of great scenery and the fact that it got dark shortly after the halfway point of the ride. Otherwise though, it was a fun experience overall. Tiring, but interesting to try.

After we got back to campus, Greg, Tony, Jacqueline and I went back to my dorm and we played a board game called Blokus. It's a little bit like Tetris, except you place the blocks on a flat board and try to compete with other people for space. The rules are a little weird and the game is tough to beat when there are 4 people playing, but it's a fun little spatial brainteaser. My friends and I like the weird name… "Blokus"… we named ourselves that for a team name for one of our school events this past year. Yeah… we're dorky like that haha.

Lots of food to catch up on…

I apologize for having disappeared for a while, I was a busy bee studying for my MCAT retake, then with MIT's senior week, and finally with graduation this past Friday. The good news though is that I accrued many pictures of food, friends, and sights during the past few weeks. So enjoy while I slowly update highlights from where I left off. I would like to get everything up to speed before I become more backed up. I will try and group things together into certain periods of time.

Week I was at Home Studying for MCATs

(5/26) Continuing from where we last left off… at our dinner party that my mom cooked up tons of food for, one of the guests brought us a box of mini desserts from the local wholesale club. There were four different dessert types in the box: chocolate swiss rolls, white chocolate mini eclairs, chocolate hazelnut cream puffs, and strawberry vanilla napoleons. I of course had to try some of them that very night… :) I think my favorite was the white chocolate eclair, which doesn't look too impressive but tastes dreamy (it's the upper right dessert). White chocolate is actually one of my favorite flavors, and the eclair was topped with white chocolate, filled with bavarian cream, so the combination was very elegant and pleasing. I prefer it very much over regular chocolate topped eclairs that are filled with Boston cream. The chocolate hazelnut cream puffs were also quite interesting. The outer surface is covered with a layer of chocolate studded with toffee bits (oh yum!), and inside the puff itself was a light chocolate mousse.

(5/28) Several days later while I was taking one full length practice MCAT after another, I decided that I really needed a break. My comfort activity whenever I come home is to bake or to cook. But I didn't have the time or the energy to go in search of an interesting recipe to try, nor did I want to spend a whole afternoon in the kitchen. I was digging around in our pantry when I found an oven mitt with a package of brownie mix stuffed inside of it and a ribbon tied around the whole thing. It was one of those gift items that you can give to your friends. I asked my mom if she was keeping it for a gift later, and she said she bought it because it looked cute and told me I was free to use the brownie mix.

So off I went, and it was a rather interesting brownie mix compared to the others I've made before from Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker types. All I needed to add was an egg, a stick of butter, and a few tablespoons of water. But due to the utter lack of liquid called for, the batter became a big doughy mass, very stick and very heavy. The directions then said to spread the batter out into a square pan, which I did with much trouble. It didn't pour out like other brownie batters. I literally was pressing it into the pan as if it were semi-hardened playdough. Finally though, I stuck it in the oven, and they came out as thin, fudgey, chewy brownies that my whole family adored. There was a lovely vanilla flavor that really stood out, which I preferred over the heavy and forced chocolate flavor that some other brand name boxed mixes offer. Now I only wish I knew the ingredients in the mix that made such a unique brownie!

I was initially worried that the brownies would be too sweet on their own, since my family is not big on sweet desserts. So I wanted to make some whipped cream that could go on the side to lighten things up. Unfortunately, we never have heavy cream waiting for me in the fridge when I come home, because my family doesn't use it for anything. I did however, discover that our big container of non-dairy coffee creamer claimed to be "so rich that it whips!", and it even included a recipe for how to make whipped cream from the coffee creamer. All it needed was 2 parts coffee creamer powder to 1 part cold milk, with sugar and vanilla to taste, then beaten for 5-7 minutes. It was easy to blend the cold milk and creamer powder, but once I had it going, it was quite difficult to get a firmer consistency in the cream, which was never quite like the whipped cream I could make with heavy cream. I also had to keep setting it in the fridge to cool down before continuing to beat, since 5-7 minutes on the counter really heated things up more than I would have liked. The end result tasted rich and creamy (but not refreshing like the real thing), and lacked the ability to hold any shape of its own because it was too soft. It went well with the brownies though, even though I'm sure everyone thought it was weird that I was serving brownies with whipped cream haha.

(5/29) I was getting bored of making breakfasts out of oatmeal and milk, so I decided to have some jazzed up toast. I lightly toasted the whole grain bread in the house, and for a few days I tried spreading peanut butter on it and topping with various fruits, all of which I enjoyed. I started off with banana slices, then moved onto strawberries, and finally kiwis. I must say they were all amazing, and the different flavors made breakfast so much more interesting. It was also a healthy and hearty breakfast that kept me full until lunchtime, and I'm sure it was great food for keeping me energetic while studying for my MCATs.

That night for dinner my mom was in a rush and what do Chinese people cook when they have no time? Fried rice of course! Haha my mom can whip up fried rice in like 15 minutes flat I swear, and it would take me like an hour. Today she made a simple fried rice with Chinese sausage, egg, broccoli bits, and onions. She served it with a soup on the side made with broccoli stems, mushrooms, and corn. They went very well together and it was a quick and easy dinner.

(5/30) The night before my MCAT, my mom tried to make some dishes that she knew I would like for dinner. There was a lovely dish of two whole tilapia, cooked red braise style. I absolutely adore red braised whole fish, especially when my mom makes it. The fish meat is tender, and the red braise sauce gives it a lot of flavor, since fish tends to be one of the less flavorful meats. Most of the time I still enjoy fish as it is, for its light and clean flavor. But when you give me red braised fish, it is just so much more exciting to eat fish :)

My mom also cooked one of my favorite Chinese comfort food dishes, which is eggs and tomatoes. I grew up eating this dish, and it was also the first one that I learned to cook myself. My grandparents used to cook it for me all the time because they knew how much I loved it. Everyone in my family makes it slightly different, which is exciting too. Today's eggs and tomatoes also had mushrooms added in for variety. The dish is tart overall from the tomatoes, which partially renders into a thin tomato sauce while it is cooking. But the eggs are seasoned and balance out the tartness of the tomatoes if you adjust the flavor of the sauce with a little sugar (the secret ingredient of Shanghainese cooking). I'll post a recipe of this dish sometime when I make it this summer. I will be cooking my own food now that school is out and the dining halls are closed. And you can bet on me making this dish!

The other dish my mom made was zucchini with shrimp, which I think was basically tossing together two leftover dishes of zucchini and shrimp. I wasn't too excited about the shrimp because I hate having to peel shrimp shells, but it lent an interesting flavor to the zucchini I suppose.

(5/31) The morning of my MCAT (which was to start at noon), my I woke up to find that my mom had left some steamed roast pork buns on the stove for me. To be honest I really wasn't in the mood to eat much that morning, I was having last minute jitters and just didn't feel too great. But these cha shao bao are usually pretty tasty, with soft fluffy bun dough on the outside (made with white flour and yeast) and filled with the red filling of roast pork.

In case you were wondering, I thought the MCAT went okay this time around. I felt much more confident going into it and coming out. Of course, after I started reading a forum where people were discussing their thoughts on the test, I realized that everyone else thought it was really hard. I'm not sure if that's a good sign for me that I didn't think it was that bad. Either I'm forgetting all the questions I really had trouble with, or I picked the tempting answer traps for a lot of them, or I don't even know what. Let's hope for a good scale… too bad I won't know my score until July 3rd.

(6/01) The day after my MCAT I finally had time to meet up with an old friend from high school, Reid. He and I are really close, and I love him so much. We met in my junior year of high school, when I switched to a magnet high school, and we became very close. After we parted ways for college, we rarely talked during semesters, but every time we were both back in town for the holidays and on break, we would always find time to see each other, and we always had a lot to talk about. It is so comfortable being with him, no matter how long we've been apart. There is never any awkwardness between us, and we share everything with one another. On this particular day, he had a lot to get off his chest about his recent breakup with his boyfriend of two years, and I really felt bad that he was so hurt by the breakup. I hope that our time together helped make him feel a little better. We went to Piccadilly Pub for lunch, where I got their Arizona egg rolls appetizer, which is like the firecracker chicken rolls I got before from Longhorn steakhouse, except these were filled with black beans, corn, some chicken, and other Tex-Mex-y items that I can't recall anymore. It came with a salsa ranch dip.

After lunch Reid and I went to his house where I retrieved a shirt that I left with him 2 years ago (literally…haha) before we headed off to see a movie. We ended up seeing 28 Weeks Later, which was pretty good and made me jump a number of times. I always watch scary movies with Reid, even though we both freak out in the movie theaters and have to hold onto one another for dear life. I rarely ever watch scary movies with my boyfriend because he gets more scared than I do (shhh don't tell him I told you guys hehe). Here's Reid and I being bored as we were literally the only people in the theater on a random Friday early afternoon.

That night my family was having a couple of guests over for dinner, and we were having lobster, which Reid kindly drove me to get before dropping me off at my house. He stuck around and had a glass of wine while he chatted it up with my mom (who LOVES him). Later when the guests came over we had a yummy meal of steamed lobster and spring rolls. Lobster is so tasty but such a mess to eat, it's something I definitely prefer to do in the privacy of my own home lol. We eat steamed lobster with drawn butter and a blend of soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic, white pepper and scallions on the side. I think it's so weird that some people who are lobster-eating amateurs will literally take a whole lobster and only eat the meat in the claws and the tail, leaving behind all the wonderful meat in the body of the lobster. And then there are those people who seem terribly averse to the delicacy that is the green "stuff" in the lobster head that I'm pretty sure is the liver. It is my absolute favorite part of a lobster, as it holds the most unique flavor. I love living in Massachusetts, the lobster is fresh and meaty in this area, mostly shipped straight from the coasts of Maine. It's much cheaper to buy and eat lobster in New England, and I guarantee it's the best lobster in the whole country.

Tuesday, May 22nd

11:30AM Dorm Room
Leftover eggplant parm entree while cramming before my final at 1:30pm. Good to be taking an exam on a stomach full of yummy comfort food :)

6:30PM Baker Dining (My last meal here, awww…)
I was hoping that there would be some spectacular dish on my last day at Baker dining, but none of the featured entrees or desserts interested me. So I ended up getting a wrap with roast beef and grilled chicken, along with hummus and roasted vegetables, all wrapped up in a tomato wrap and toasted on a panini grill. I also got a bowl of seafood chowder to go with it. Yum. Baker makes really really good soups. Their seafood chowder was creamy and chock full of seafood. It also had a kick from the paprika that you usually don't taste in other chowders from Legal Seafood for example. But I really think Baker's chowder is every bit as good as a restaurant one, and it went so well with my wrap. Such a relaxing meal after my last final (which went well, I think).

Goodbye Baker dining, I'll miss you… I had so many good meals from there in the 4 years that I lived at Baker Hall, I can't even begin to tell you how many times having such great food in a dining hall downstairs saved me when I had stressful weeks. The staff at Baker are also really nice, and they take the time to make conversation with you when they are serving you. The people don't change too often, so they tend to recognize you and I have gotten so many "benefits" from them when they are serving me (okay, strictly in the food sense).

Jesse is an amazing stir fry cook who literally does 6 stir frys at a time when it gets hectic, and still manages to make everything taste so good. He also makes the soups and a big variety of stir fry sauces each day. Sometimes I'd ask for a sauce he didn't have and he would make it on the spot for me even though it took extra time and effort and he had to open new ingredients. Loretta used to serve food from the featured entrees area, but now she does mostly grill duty, along with Alberto (who I knew as "the Boston Red Sox guy" for the longest time b/c he always wears a Red Sox hat). Alberto always likes to hand out favors even though he could get in trouble, and whenever he saw that I was passing over starchy foods like rice and bread he would put on extra veggies and meat for me so I wouldn't go hungry. There is also Roland the Baker dining head chef, who designs the menu and dishes each night. He was nice enough to make me a wrap even though I went down to dining after they had closed the entrance (I slipped in through the exit area where you leave after you pay), and even offered me food from the leftover entrees that were going to be thrown out after closing time. There was also Perry, who was the cashier this year, and he was always curteous to all of us from the first day he started his job to the last day of the year. He always remembers me and he makes an effort to wish everyone a wonderful night. Once I thought this special dessert was all out and he went into the kitchen to look for more for me. It was just such a friendly atmosphere and I always looked forward to going down there for dinner. I really will miss this place.

10:00PM Baker EOTSB
Tonight was the Dunkin Donuts study break. People were all hovering around the boxes of donuts waiting to swoop down and grab the best kinds, and when they said we could start it was literally a feeding frenzy. I happened to be standing next to the Boston cream donuts when they let us start, so I grabbed one of those before it all disappeared. I also nabbed a French cruller and a butternut donut (yes, I'm greedy at study breaks…). I also poured myself a cup of hazelnut coffee because I was sleepy from not sleeping a lot last night. When I actually got back to the dorm I realized that I wasn't hungry enough to eat all those donuts, so I put them in the fridge and just had my coffee haha. I eventually ate the Boston cream donut later on at night. The details are blurry now that it's been like 5 days :P

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