WIAW: Living in the City

Hey ya’ll! It is that time again: What I Ate Wednesday. We can give a big thanks to Jenn for hosting this lovely foodie day of the week. I am glad that it is Wednesday. I need a break from school. Sometimes it can get so exhausting having 6 hours of straight class on two days of the week. I can’t wait for next semester when I will only have one class a day. I need that even though that means I will lose my four day weekends, but don’t worry because I will still have three day weekends haha. Oh the good life of grad school. Now lets get to the food. I’ve been enjoying some interesting things while I’ve been living in NYC.

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Who remembers that one time that I went to rave brunch and was pretty plastered by 3 pm? Oh yes I don’t really remember. Just kidding, I wasn’t that drunk, but I was pretty tipsy. Anyways I never showed ya’ll what I ordered because while most people go to drink there is also food served there. I had crab cake eggs benedict. They were actually pretty good. The english muffin was toasted perfectly and the eggs were poached well. The crab cake was just mediocre, but you can’t go wrong with putting crab cakes on top eggs benedict. It came with this awesome hash mix. I wish there had been more of that. It was awesome to dip in ketchup.

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This may be the greatest thing that exists on planet Earth. Welcome to Bibimbap. One night when we were out with our guy friends, Carrianne and I really just wanted some greasy Chinese food. However it was 2 am on a Saturday and we were over by Grand Central, so finding greasy Chinese open at that hour wasn’t the easiest. However we ended up in the wonderful Koreatown. We had a miss adventure where we thought we were going for Korean BBQ, but we ended up in a Korean Karaoke bar. We left and decided to just go into the next restaurant. There I discovered the greatness of Bibimbap. This is a fried rice kind of dish where the rice cooks against the hot pot and gets super crunchy. Mine is topped with bulgogi, a fried egg, carrots, and other delicious vegetables. There is an awesome spicy Korean sauce to go on top of it too. I drenched mine in it. I can’t wait to have more bibimbap in my life.

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I forgot to show these weeks ago when my roommates got them for me, but they spoiled me with Crumb’s cupcakes. I have the birthday cake one, carrot cake, coconut, and pumpkin. The birthday cake ended up being my favorite with the pumpkin following close behind it in second. The birthday cake one had the best icing. It was a simple buttercream with sprinkles. The thing I liked about the pumpkin and birthday cake was that they were stuffed with icing too. That is one reason why I love Crumb’s. They stuff their cakes. The cake was a funfetti cake too, which is probably why it was birthday themed. Overall these were great and the best part was I lost weight haha.

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This picture is a little blurry, but it was super dark inside the restaurant. This past Saturday after Carrianne and I were running errands around Soho, we decided to stop somewhere and get a little snack. I ended up getting wine glazed pork belly, which was to die for. It was this cute little Korean restaurant called Kori. I will definitely be going back because the food was so good. They had bibimbap too (with pork belly), so you know I will be going just for that.

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Well it was Saturday and while we were at the Korean restaurant we decided that we needed to go to a happy hour to get some drinks. Unfortunately this wasn’t a very easy thing to do since it was about 6:30 and we obviously weren’t going to make it. We finally found this place, but we missed the happy hour. Oh well we were still getting drinks. Mine had passionfruit vodka, lemonade, and cherry juice in it. Oh man. It was delicious. I could have thrown a few of these back. My second drink was just the wine of the night, but afterwards I was feeling good.

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The funny thing about the happy hour place we ended up at was that they served dim sum all day. Well of course I was going to get some more food since all I had were those few slices of pork belly. I ended up getting pork soup dumplings. They were pretty good. The dumpling wrapper was super sticky, but overall it was good. The broth inside was perfect. Probably one of the better broths I’ve had in regards to soup dumplings.

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It was dim sum, so I obviously was going to get my staple dish. BBQ pork buns. They were delicious. I don’t think you can really mess those up unless you are drunk while cooking, but still. All you do is steam. I am glad that I got to have a little dim sum on Saturday night because I really can’t live without dim sum. It is definitely one of the greatest meals of the day. I still need to venture out to Flushing to go get my real dim sum on.

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OMG DROOOOOLING. Carrianne decided to make pumpkin scones on Sunday night and I was like yes, yes, and yes. They were so delicious. At first when she was making them I was getting a little skeptical because the dough looked super sketchy. However they turned out perfect. The icing on top was amazing too. It was a cinnamon and sweet frosting that soaked into the scone, which made it taste even better. This was a perfect way to end Sunday night.

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I’ll leave ya’ll with a cute little picture of some red pandas that I saw at Central Park Zoo on Friday. They were the cutest things ever. I really wanted to steal one and take it home as a pet. I would have loved it and cuddled it sooooooo much.

Have you ever had Korean food?
What is your favorite animal at the zoo?

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The Cupcake Experience

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Hey ya’ll! I’m in such a fantastic mood right now, so I thought I would post about one of my favorite things in the world: Cupcakes. Why am I in such a good mood? Well I got an A on my first midterm in graduate school. For me, it is just reinforcing that I am in the best field for me. I’m so excited. So cupcakes. My favorite thing in the world. Well I have many favorite things, but this is just one of the top 3. I obviously had to go to the iconic cupcake shop in the city: Magnolia Bakery. Funny thing is my dad and I tried to go here many years ago, but it was so hard to find that we just gave up and ate Crumbs (not that I’m complaining). When Carrianne and I were over in West Village over by Bleecker street, I was like we HAVE to go to Magnolia just for the experience because it is on one of my favorite shows, Sex and the City.

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This place is so cute. The location on Bleecker is a very tiny shop, so the line wraps around in the inside and it can get really crowded. However we went at a pretty good time, so the line wasn’t bad at all. Plus there were tons of beautiful cakes to look at while we waited to place our order. A woman came around in the line to ask if we wanted any cakes or other things besides cupcakes, so she would get them packaged. It was a really good method to make things more efficient. We were in and out of the shop in 10 minutes, so that was really nice because this is such a classic place for tourists to go.

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The cupcakes are so cute. It is super simple, but I think that is what makes them so classic and wanted by everyone. Not to mention the association with Sex and the City. People that come to NYC to visit have some weird love with doing things that are related to their favorite tv shows. Anyways the cupcakes come in a few flavors. There was just the simple ones such as the vanilla vanilla or chocolate, but then they had options like red velvet, coconut, and s’mores. I think the special cupcakes change every day or week, but I’m not completely sure.

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I wanted to have the classic Magnolia Bakery experience, so I went with the vanilla with vanilla buttercream. The buttercream came in different colors, so you got whatever one they gave you. I thought this one was really cute. I like that they put sprinkles on top of it too. Sprinkles makes everything better. I was a little worried before I ate this because the reviews on yelp were iffy, but they were wrong. This was a good cupcake for what it was. Do I prefer Crumbs? Well yes, but this wasn’t bad. The cake was moist and the icing was sweet, but not overly sweet.

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What I enjoyed most about this place was probably the experience. It was a pleasant time with some sweet treats. The icing was the best part of the cupcake. I have weird cupcake eating habits, like sometimes I lick all the icing off the top before I even eat the cake. Or I will rip the cake in half and make a cupcake sandwich. However I prefer to just eat all the icing. I have a passion for icing. It is my favorite part, so I love when cupcake places stuff the inside of the cake with icing too (hello Crumbs, I see you got me there).

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The main reason to go to Magnolia is for the cake! Yes, you heard me right. Go for the cake and skip the cupcakes unless you want the experience of the whole Sex and the City thing. This cake is mind blowing. I got the hummingbird cake. It was incredibly moist and packed with a ton of flavors from all the spices and pineapple. The icing was so delicious. It was a sweet cream cheese. Cream cheese isn’t my favorite icing, but this one was pretty great. I was so happy that I had gotten this slice of cake to go. It took me a few days to eat it all because they give you massive slices. It is definitely worth the money.

Have you ever been to Magnolia bakery?
What places on TV shows have you wanted to go to?

WIAW: Goodbye To Austin

Hey yall! It is that awesome time of the week, What I Ate Wednesday. This awesome day is hosted by the lovely Jenn, who thought of the great idea of sharing drool worthy pictures of what everyone eats every single week. Ummm yes! Best idea ever. This week I am going to do a more sentimental post. I am going to do a goodbye to Austin post in regards to food. For the few weeks before I moved to NYC, I had to stop at all my favorite Austin local foodie places. I didn’t make it to every single place, but that is what vacation is for. I also didn’t take photos at some places and some foodie adventures were epic fails like the time I tried to go to SnoBeach at 8 pm (apparently it is closed at that hour, but who knew). So lets get this foodie party started.

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Of course I had to get the holy trinity of hamburgers before I moved away from my meaty state of Texas. Hopdoddy was a must on the list of goodbye Austin foodie places. I ended up getting the turkey burger, which is definitely one of the best turkey burgers I’ve had apart from my own. It is such a juicy burger for being a turkey burger. That is what I love because it is so hard to find a good one that isn’t dry. The cheese that pairs with this burger is perfect. It comes with a light sauce and some vegetables too. Definitely one of my favorite burgers on the menu. If you ever go, it is called the Continental Club! Get it (or every other burger because they are all freaking amazing).

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You can’t go to Hopdoddys without getting some fries and green chile queso. At least my mom, my brother, and I can’t go without getting these delicious treats. This green chile queso has the perfect amount of heat with cheesy goodness. Yes when I talk about cheese I tend to make up descriptive words, but I think you get the picture. Fries in queso is probably one of the best combinations that there is. The crispness of the fries goes perfect with the smooth texture of the queso. Then you have the potato to calm down the spice from the green chiles. It is always a win when you order the queso (probably true anywhere in Texas).

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Cupcakes are my friend. Ya’ll know that. I bet ya’ll are surprised that I didn’t go to Capital City for my goodbye Austin post, but oh wait I did. I just don’t have a photo of it because I brought a oatmeal cream pie with me on the roadtrip to NYC. I did manage to snap a picture when I went to Hey Cupcake in Austin. This is such a staple for Austin. Almost everyone can recognize the huge pink cupcake sitting a top of any Hey Cupcake store or trailer. I ended up getting the Michael Jackson, which is chocolate cake topped with cream cheese frosting, and the Double Dose, which is chocolate cake with chocolate icing. Oh man. These cupcakes are HUGE. And packed with delicious flavor. The cupcake flavors are so simple, but they are good. The cake is moist, the icing is not too sweet, and there is no lack of icing. It is amazing. That is why people always come back because the product is perfection.

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There was definitely a goodbye stop at Chinatown for some dim sum smang session. This was actually my graduation brunch, which we waited until August to have. I know, so weird. It was worth the wait though. I love the BBQ pork buns more than life. They are steamed to perfection. The BBQ is sweet and chopped up in fine pieces, so that you don’t get a bunch caught in your teeth. This was a fantastic meal. My brother kept wanting to eat more and stuffing me to the breaking point. Seriously. At one point he wanted to order like 5 desserts. Ummmm I love sweets, but not that much. He only got 3 desserts instead haha. I am looking forward to experiencing the greatness of NYC dim sum.

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Ya’ll better not be surprised that there is a snowcone in this picture. I may have not made it to Sno Beach, but I did make it to Casey’s New Orleans snowcones. I ended up getting a blackberry snowcone with condensed milk on top of it. It was pretty delicious. The blackberry syrup actually tasted like fresh blackberries, which is pretty impressive for a sugary syrup. I like this place because the syrups are very quality. You know that you will always get a top of the line when you go here.

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Lobster rolls in Texas! Such an odd goodbye. Since I’m going to a city with more access to lobster and lobster rolls. Dock and Roll is such an amazing place in Austin though. I had to say goodbye. Who thinks of putting bacon fried chicken on top of a lobster roll? Only these guys. If every place had creative lobster rolls I would be the happiest girl on Earth. This lobster roll definitely made my day. It was really hot outside, so that may have been the only downside. The lobster was extremely fresh and there were huge chunks of it in the roll.

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For my goodbye lunch with my grandparents, they took me to one of my favorite restaurants. The Roaring Fork. This place is so good. I ended up getting this green chile pork carnitas. Oh my god. It was so spicy. I thought I was going to die. It was delicious though. Totally worth sweating in a restaurant for (okay – I didn’t actually sweat, but it was pretty hot). Luckily they had the air conditioner on hard core. The crunch of the corn tortilla was perfect with the soft texture of the pork. The pork was amazing. It just fell apart in your mouth. It was topped with loads and loads of cheese too, so you know it had to be good.

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SUSHI SUSHI SUSHI! Couldn’t leave without saying goodbye to one of my favorite sushi places in Austin: Tomo. Seriously perfection on a plate. Japanese lasagna, ex-girlfriend, double D, say my name. Ummm yes those are the names of the rolls and that makes me happy. Where can you go to have delicious sushi with hilarious names? Only in Austin. We like to keep things weird, real weird. Maybe Workaholics should move to Austin since they are always wanting to get weird. Ha. Such a lame joke. Yeah I’m pretty lame, but I eat good food.

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Austin is like the mecca of taco heaven. There are so many great options of places to eat tacos at, but one of my favorites is Torchy’s Tacos. There is one literally down the street from my house, which is AMAZING. There are trailers sporadically throughout the city and actual storefronts like the one in my neighborhood. I have the Baja Shrimp Taco and the special taco of the month, which was fried chicken on top of a waffle on top of a fried egg with bacon on the top and drizzled with maple syrup. UMMM YESSSS. Maybe the greatest thing that I have ever eaten. You need to go here at least once a month to see the different taco of the month because they can get pretty crazy and are always delicious. The best part is you can always order your taco on corn or tortilla. I think some tacos go great with corn like the fish tacos, but the ones with fried chicken need to be on flour. Who cares if it is super unhealthy? It is tasty.

Well that is all folks! I hope everyone had a happy WIAW and technically it is Thursday, but that is because I had to deal with TWC for about 2 hours yesterday, so I couldn’t finish my post before class then when I got out of class I had a friend come over. Woo. It was a crazy Wednesday, but I survived.

If you were to move, where would you say goodbye to in your city?What is your favorite meal where you live?

What I Ate Wednesday

Hey ya’ll! I have decided to come back from the black lagoon of school. I’ve been such a lazy blogger lately, but that is totally going to change. I have a few ideas up my sleeve! Of course I had to appear out of the woods for What I Ate Wednesday hosted by the lovely Jenn.

Oats in a Jar. I’m not really sure why everyone bashes these on the internet because they are actually a healthy meal that you can take around with you. I have two 3 hour labs this semester, so when I need to be full for a long period of time I bring one of these with me to my class before lab and enjoy, so I’m full for hours and hours.

For my OIAJ, I had my classic pumpkin cheesecake oats with chocolate chips and extra banana slices. The smell was so delicious, and during my microbiology class it was wafting all over the room. People kept coming up to me asking what I was eating and how to make it. I was pretty happy with myself, and later in my lab I was so happy that I wasn’t starving for the first time ever.

One thing that I really love in life is frozen yogurt. For the first time, I decided to branch out from my normal places and go to Red Mango. It was okay, but the toppings remind me of how pinkberry does theirs, which I totally hate. I like to portion my own toppings and not have them leaking over the sides. However the actual yogurt was really tart and delicious, so thumbs up on the flavor.

Speaking of sweets, I had enjoyed some cupcakes from LoveBaked in San Marcos a little while back to break the fast. These were freaking delicious. I got a box of coconut, strawberry fields, and the senorita (a mexican spice cake with cinnamon icing). Of course I didn’t eat all of these in one sitting. I cut them up into little pieces to savor. You always need to treat yourself, especially after fasting for 24 hrs.

I am really in love with shrimp right now. I’ve been eating a lot of it in salads, by itself, in pasta, and many other ways. This is just a random salad that I threw together. It actually was pretty good. The only thing missing was a good dressing, which I’m still looking for, so if anyone has any suggestions let me now!

Another salad? Yes, I love salad. Especially ones with falafel, grilled broccoli, and tons of delicious toppings. You can’t go wrong with a salad bowl from Maoz. Seriously this place is amazing. You should look them up to see if there is one near you. They are very vegetarian friendly and pretty cheap, especially when they have groupons.

Apples, best snack ever. Seriously though. I think I’m like an apple fiend or something. I could eat at least two apples a day. I don’t think that keeps the doctor away though because my health is still sucky as always.

Sauteed zucchini. One of my other favorite healthy snacks. It is simple, easy to make, and tastes like butter – minus actual butter.

I have finally been able to bust out the low calorie hot cocoa. It was chilly this week, so I got to warm myself up with this delicious chocolatey goodness. I can’t wait till the weather is actual permanently cold because then I’ll be able to wear scarves, boots, and enjoy warm drinks without sweating to death. Can’t wait.

Happy Wednesday!

I Love Beantown (Boston Day 3)

Hey ya’ll! Hope everyone has been having a fantastic weekend. Last night was great (I’ll do a recap on that later), but today I’m going with two of my volleyball players to the UT volleyball game today. I’m super excited. Back to Boston.

Since I went to the concert the night before, I ended up taking a nap for about four hours at Carrianne’s. Once I recovered from the concert, we decided to head over to Harvard Square. I was excited to go shopping, plus the weather was pretty nice outside – about low 70s.

We were walking around Harvard Square, looking for this shop we used to go to that sells bento boxes, and I saw this lovely sign. My brother and I love totoro. It is literally one of the greatest movies of all time (yes, I can be an anime dork sometimes). I had to get a picture of this sign for my brother, but when we realized the bento box store was closed, we headed into this place to see if they had any.

This store had some pretty funny stuff in it. I loved all the ridiculous Totoro stuff. They had tons of stuffed animals, key chains, posters, and bento boxes. The guy that worked there even invited me to a film festival going on near Harvard for all the movies of Hayao Miyazaki. Unfortunately it was a few days after I left Boston, so I wasn’t able to go.

We were walking around, and decided to go get cupcakes. I love cupcakes, so I was super stoked. Sweet is one of Boston’s better cupcake places. We both got cupcakes, and Carrianne’s boyfriend met us there with a friend of his. Afterwards we ended up going shopping at Urban Outfitters and a few other boutiques.

For dinner we decided to go to Wagamama, which was located on JFK st over near Harvard. We were craving some Asian noodles, so this was the perfect place to go. We sat at the table at the window facing the street. It was a nice day to people watch and eat.

I ordered the Yasai Yaki Soba, which was teppan-fried whole wheat noodles with egg, bean sprouts, peppers, white onions and scallions, mushrooms and garlic. It was garnished with fried shallots, pickled ginger, sesame seeds, and cilantro vinegar. I decided to add on some tofu for protein. The tofu was perfect fried and brought a nice addition to the meal. It was a pretty good meal, and I was full.

Carrianne ordered the chili ramen. It was noodles in a spicy broth topped with tofu, chilies, red onion, beansprouts, cilantro, scallion, and a lime of wedge. Her dish was HUGE. She couldn’t even finish it all. It looked really delicious. I totally would have eaten some, but because the broth was chicken and pork I wasn’t able to. Oh the problems of being a vegetarian.

I hope everyone has a fantastic saturday. I’m going to enjoy some volleyball and 8 calorie frozen yogurt. Oh yes, I said 8 calories per oz.

Have you ever heard of Totoro?
What is your favorite anime character?

Food Trailer Love

Hey ya’ll! Sorry for no post yesterday. I’ve been extremely stressed out from all the stuff that has been going on in my life: school, health issues, and moving. Too much at times. Anyways for a much happier note, I thought I would share with you one of my loves in life. Food trailers. Austin is known for having some of the best food trailers, and living close by in San Marcos is great because the food trailer trend has come to town! I decided to go on a food trailer adventure.

St. Pita’s is probably my favorite trailer so far in San Marcos (although I’m still waiting to try a couple of the other ones). Obviously stated in the name, this trailer serves pitas. These pitas are ridiculously good. The menu only has four items on it: falafel, fried avocado, the classic with beef and lamb, and an all veggie pita. Since my trip to Israel, I have been on the search for falafel that is close to my new standards. This is a pretty hard task for food places since falafel in Israel is one of the greatest things, besides schnitzel of course.

I obviously ordered the falafel pita, which comes with chickpea fritters, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion sauce, and their saintly sauce. The saintly sauce is a mix of a chipotle aioli and tzatziki sauce. Crazy good is right. You have to ask for hummus on it, which I did since hummus makes everything better. Lesson 1 from Israel. They serve the pita’s really hot, so the temperature does not change when you are eating it. No one wants a cold falafel.

I am impressed. This falafel pita is pretty good. Instead of using a traditional stuffed pita, St. Pita’s rolls up the insides in a flat pita. Their pita is perfectly baked, and extremely soft. This goes well with the crunch of the ground chickpea fritters. I think the falafel are pretty good, maybe not as great as Israeli falafel because they are missing some spices I believe in the actual fritters. However, I still will go here time and time again to have this as my weekly treat. The saintly sauce is a little spicy, so be warned before diving into this pita without a drink. You will probably be wishing that you bought that water bottle.

Next on my stop was the trailer next to St. Pitas, which is How Sweet It is. The trailer serves cupcakes, cake balls, cheesecake bites, and gelato. What a hard decision about what to get. Not really though since I LOVE cupcakes. My future roommate said that these weren’t that great, so I wanted to make sure that it was true.

When I went to the trailer, they were having tons of new flavor specials. I decided on the root beer float cupcake and the cherry limeade cupcake. What creative flavors, right? Well first off, I find the icing to be generic. It sort of reminds me of frosting that you would find at a grocery store cupcake, but in my opinion I like that overly sweet taste. The limeade cupcake is lacking that lime flavor. It is very faint, so I would recommend adding more flavor to it. The root beer float cupcake had tons of flavor, and I thought it was pretty delicious. This cupcake trailer has hits and misses, so I’ll have to sample more things in order to figure out if it really is that great or not.

Since I have such a love for cupcakes, I decided to visit the other cupcake trailer in town to compare the cupcakes. Lovebaked has had my eye for a while now since they facebook about awesome 1/2 off discounts for students and unique flavors of the day like Banana Split. I was already out, so I went over.

I got the For the Girls cupcake, which is a vanilla cupcake filled with chocolate ganache and topped with fresh strawberry buttercream. Obviously from the picture and the description, lovebaked is far superior to How Sweet It is. The cupcake at Lovebaked had far more flavor in it, and the frosting was decadent. When you bite into the cupcake, there is the sweet surprise of the chocolate ganache. Not only is the cupcake delicious, but it has a cute name to go along with it. The staff at the trailer is extremely friendly, and I will definitely be frequenting this trailer most often.

While the cupcakes weren’t exactly on the Your Healing Diet plan, in my approach to dietetics and nutrition I believe that you need to treat yourself 20% of the time in order to have a completely healthy diet. There is no need to go overboard, but a cupcake (I divide mine into four pieces and have one piece at a time) is not going to hurt you. The falafel was on the plan though, which I love since it is healthy and delicious. It has actually inspired me to attempt to make my own falafel. Hopefully it comes out successful.

Have an awesome weekend! I’ll be studying for two exams that I have on Monday.

What is your favorite flavor of cupcake?
Have you ever been to a city with tons of food trailers?