Recent Eats: December

January 07, 2018


It's almost 3:00am and I am wide awake. Yay for jetlag! Hoping to recover in time for classes on Monday. To take advantage of this time and the creative juices possibly flowing at this ungodly hour, I'll be recapping December's eats. 2017 was a delicious year in food, experimenting in the kitchen as well as dining out on nourishing--for both my soul and body--meals out with family, friends and even just by myself. And December didn't fail to live up to that, a delicious ending to a delicious year.  

Heads up once again that I'll be discussing my food here. This is just a sneak peek of meals I have enjoyed in the past month, not an end all be all list. Use this as inspiration (or don't). Remember to listen to your own body's needs and wants. Find what fits into your own life.  


Earlier in December, I had what potentially could have been my last meal in the on-campus dining hall. For nostalgia's sake, I met up with my former roommate who's become a really good friend for brunch. As young freshman over four years ago who were forced onto a meal plan, the dining hall was our place. My friend graduated at the end of the semester so it was quite sentimental, definitely hitting me again that I'll be graduating for real in May. It's buffet-style so I got a hodgepodge of things including fried okra and a veggie calzone. Also got a bit more that went unpictured.    

As much as I have not having to worry about cooking the majority of my meals while I was while I was home in the Philippines for the past few weeks, I missed being in the comfort of my own kitchen and pantry. Some things I especially missed: full-fat Greek yogurt, nutbutter, za'atar, kombucha, farmer's market hauls, grocery shopping in general, nuts, pulses, non-rice grains, baking.  

Prior to leaving, here are a few recipes I crossed off my to-make list. 
  1. Broma Bakery's carrot cake cookies - need I say more? Made a few trays worth and have them stashed away in the freezer for future me to enjoy. Before that though, I had a couple for breakfast with yogurt and sunbutter. 
  2. A za'atar-spiked lentil and walnut hash - served with the classic fried egg + toast combo to give it some heft
  3. Vegan miso pasta with brussels - totally cliche but the umami-ness and the creaminess in this pasta (from cashews!!!!) was unbelievable. So good that I had it for dinner and lunch the next day with roasted zucchini.  



As mentioned above, it was less cooking my own meals and more eating out throughout the month, which can definitely get me in my head. One thing that got me by was focusing on the people aspect of my meals as opposed to the food, enjoying the the company and conversations. Even though I talk to most of these people virtually, in no way does it compare to the stories, laughs and dishes shared in person. 

Post sleepover lunch with friends was at a Taiwanese dumpling place. One of many dishes ordered and devoured were a zucchini and shrimp soup dumpling. If you're not familiar with xiao long bao, it is made by filling a dumpling with gelatinous broth that melts when steamed. You then dip it in a soy sauce and vinegar sauce with a sliver of fresh ginger, place it in your spoon and poke a hole to release the soup. 

One of my all-time favorite Filipino dishes is peanut stew called kare-kare (said ka-reh x 2). Typically served with ox tail which = 😰😫😖  to me so glad I found one served with tofu instead when out at a breakfast date with my friend. I finished most of it except for a few pieces of tofu that I took home. Also had about half of my free iced coffee that came with the dish. 


Finally, breakfasts at the beach, in which I tried to mix things up in true Kaylee fashion. A few days it was Filipino staples of rice (garlic for me of course) + ulam (oo-lamb), aka the meat component, + a pickled veggie. Other days it was a fusion take on Filipino food. For example, toast two ways: one with kesong puti (basically queso blanco) and another with mango jam and raisins. Also, couldn't get enough of fresh mango.  


Wow that was more of a mouthful than I was intending. So thank you for reading all the way through! Time to get back into the routine of things and avoid Filipino food for the next year since I've had my fill for a while. 

Questions:
What was your favorite thing you ate over the holidays? 
How do you cope with jetlag? 
Have you ever tried soup dumplings? 


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