Food: Paella

Paella in a …paella pan.

PAELLA:

Pronounced: Pie-ay-yah (the two Ls, are pronounced like a y)

Paella is a Spanish dish (specifically Valencian) that consists of rice (calasparra or bomba), saffron, and olive oil. Most Paella is found with seafood mixed in – shrimp, mussels, lobster, etc. However, Paella can also be made with vegetables such as tomatoes and red bell peppers. Below are a few combinations you can try to make Paella with:

Seafood:

Since this was my first time making Paella myself, I pulled a recipe off of Food Network:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/seafood-paella-recipe.html

I can’t say it’s my “authentic” invention, however the recipe does work well! I made a few subtle changes such as more shrimp and less saffron (I was running out..).

vegetarian:

ALSO pulled off of Food network, I made this for a foodie party:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/robin-miller/vegetarian-paella-recipe.html

I can’t say I like it as much as the seafood Paella – I couldn’t get as strong of a taste – but it was still alright. The few changes I made to the recipe was less asparagus (half a bunch), more zucchini (a cup and…a quarter), and a pinch more paprika. Note that these changes are suited to my tastes and not to yours so experiment until you find your ideal taste!

chicken/non-seafood:

To be completely honest, I made the Chicken Paella just by replacing the seafood/shrimp in the above Seafood recipe with Chicken. It actually turned out quite delicious so it’s worth a try!

Have a delicious Paella adventure 🙂

In Defense of Emoticons

As a person who frequently (if not always) uses emoticons, it never fails to surprise me when people accuse me of using them too much and portraying myself as “unprofessional.” I understand the difference between using emoticons in a formal atmosphere and using them as a “chat accessory” so what’s wrong with them?

A few reasons why i use emoticons:

  •  Funny: If you really search, there are many fun emoticons (see some below):

♫~d^_^b~♪             ☆*:.。.o(≧▽≦)o.。.:*☆        (」゜ロ゜)」      (*・ω・)ノ

  • Breaking the ice: Informality! Speaking to someone who chats like they’re writing an essay for their professor…it’s quite awkward.
  • Emphasis/Clarification: Emoticons represent your “face” (albeit online). When speaking in real life, people will often assign an expression with what they’re saying – the same thing applies to chatting online. When I chat online, I find it useful to add a face next to what I’m talking about, just to clarify my feelings (it also helps when you’re using sarcasm).

Meanings of emoticons:

A few emoticons and what they mean in general (many of these stem from anime/manga):

:3                         ——>      Paired with a statement talking about cute things or sarcasm.

XD                      ——>       Laughing face; usually paired with Lol (or something similar). Also a reference to                                                           South Park.

x)                        ——>       A devious smirk!

D:                        ——>      Disappointed

゚ Д゚             ——-> Shock

>_< ;                 —->       Slight embarrassment

 

Food: Chia seeds

A spoonful of Chia seeds packs a powerful punch!

meeting the chia seed:

Chia seeds are small, but they contain a multitude of healthy benefits. Ranging from high levels of Omega 3 Fatty Acids to bountiful amounts of antioxidants, the seeds bring the phrase “Don’t judge food by its appearance” to a whole new level. Listed below, are just some of the few health benefits Chia seeds provide:

  • High in Antioxidants – Helps prevent an increased risk of cancer and aging
  • Omega 3 – This healthy fat helps lessen high cholesterol
  • Fiber
  • Minerals
  • Gluten Free!

eating the chia seed:

Chia seeds can be used in MANY recipes since they are small and can be digested whole, they usually “blend” into the food. Below are a few delicious methods of eating this nutrient loaded food:

Yogurt:

Sprinkle a spoonful of Chia seeds into your yogurt! Not only will this enhance the texture, but it’ll also make a healthy snack even healthier.

Oatmeal:

Oatmeal and Chia are a great combination! It’s best to add the Chia after the oatmeal is done cooking, however you can add the Chia while the oatmeal is cooking too.

Salads:

Spice up your salads and dressings with Chia seeds! Similar to the yogurt, this will add more nutrients and also spruce up the texture.

Cookies:

Dots? What dots?

A lot easier than sneaking in spinach or vegetables into your kids’ food – nutrients and great tasting food!

 

There are many more ways to eat Chia; I just listed a few. Have fun experimenting and enjoy!

Haiku: Death of Spring

The weather has been absolutely horrid as of late. Though I’m not usually one to complain that much about it,  there must be a limit to how long winter will last – the end of March and it’s still snowing?! Seeing fat snowflakes once again litter the ground, I’ve decided to write a haiku in honor of Spring whom is dead or on vacation somewhere else.

Icy petals fall,

A bleached white landscape of ice,

A winterous Spring.

 

Sounds of Concentration

“Don’t listen to music while studying, you’ll get distracted!”

I can’t count how many times I’ve heard this phrase – from teachers to parents to tutors, it seems that everybody believes that music and sounds make you counterproductive. However, I find this to be completely untrue. Though the method of concentration varies from person to person, I find listening to “elevator music” or “white noise” type sounds helps me study better.*

Below are a few links that I use:

Music:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2WtUfOnDMY   (It says relaxing, but it just helps me calm down and work – no falling asleep here!)

Sounds:

http://coffitivity.com/

http://rainycafe.com/

*There are scientific articles debating for music and against music while studying which I won’t delve into since it honestly depends on the type of person.