28 June 2011

Kale Wraps

Roasted eggplant and kidney beans wrapped in fresh-ish kale leaves. So pretty! I love kidney beans...

27 June 2011

Garlic Bread

I didn't take any pictures because I wasn't even going to blog today, but then I realised that I don't need pictures since this is just a tip/reminder for myself.

Fat-free garlic bread.

I'm somehow managing to live without buying oil/butter. It's pretty interesting because I've had literally 10 grams of fat for the past week. The week before that... I had a lot of fat in the form of stuff bought from Chinatown...but generally speaking, my fat intake is around 10 - 20 g/week.
It was 10-50 g / day before. I don't really crave it either. For one thing, this is unhealthy because fatty acids are necessary in order for the nervous system to function properly, among other things. However, I do have a lot of fat stores so I suppose it'll even out (except for the omega-6s).

My carb/sugar intake, on the other hand, has surged/been maintained. I discovered a way of making fat-free garlic bread that tastes amazing and steamy. The toaster's broken, so I used the sandwich grill to grill 3 slices of bread.
Then, I sprinkled garlic powder onto the bread. I'm not sure how it works, but the water vapour around the bread condenses (which doesn't make sense...right?), and mixes with the garlic powder, making a really thick paste, that works perfectly with the bread. So, cheap and fast, and tasty. I'm biased though, because bread is my favourite food.

Toast + garlic powder = garlic bread.

No need for ovens or butter or actual garlic cloves...

26 June 2011


I don't think I've ever had kale before. I've heard of it before, but I never knew what it was until I was at the Clark Park Farmers' Market, and I decided to buy some kale from the high school kids garden...I'm not sure what the group is called, but it's basically high school kids growing vegetables. In short, I'd rather buy from them than buy from other vegetable vendors because I can relate more to high school kids. They sold chard, kale, spinach, and other vegetables, and I asked them which is kale, since I couldn't recognise it (embarrassing!). One of the high school kids let out a laugh and showed me what the kale was. I asked him how to cook it, and he said, "Oh you know, you can boil it, add some salt and pepper..."
Pretty nice; $2.50 for a fresh, leafy bunch.

I ended up checking whether I could eat kale raw, and it turns out that it tastes like broccoli. This is a good thing, because due to my single nucleotide polymorphisms on the TAS2R38 gene, I'm either a heterozygote, or homozygote for the haplotype that doesn't detect bitterness. I don't think that raw broccoli is bitter, although people homozygous for the other haplotype think that raw broccoli is extremely bitter. I'd say that raw kale is more bitter than raw broccoli, so those with the other SNP can probably only stomach cooked kale...
Anyway, raw kale is simply beautiful and delicious (even the stems are okay, although I'd prefer them cooked. Chard stems and leaves, on the other hand, MUST be cooked, in my opinion), and I think it's my new favourite raw leafy vegetable (because spinach, although delicious, has some sort of astringency after a while).
I ate four kale/roasted eggplant sandwiches today, with organic baguette-style-sliced bread from Slow Rise Bakery. My mum told me that she roasted eggplant using my method, and that "it was delicious, even when cold"!
The kale on the left is raw kale, whereas the one on the right is kale that went through some heat processing (in a sandwich press). I had to use a sandwich press to make my toast because the toaster was broken... :(

25 June 2011


...and now I have a bloated stomach and feel terribly drowsy/headachy after eating around 1000 Calories (~250 g) of sucrose in the form of peach gummies.

Actually, after my swim today, I decided to read outside in the shade. It was pretty breezy, and there was a concert going on on Walnut Field. They were giving out free water ice, so I got a pina colada water ice, which melted really fast. It tasted like artificial coconut, and didn't have much hint of pineapple, although there were small specks of yellow (presumably pineapple pieces).
While watching Stargate SG-1, I ate the ~1000 Calories worth of peach gummies. Today, I walked towards Market St. intent on going to a yard sale, but the yard sale didn't exist at the address listed on the flyer... so I figured, Eh, I might as well go to the Rite-Aid on Market, and buy some Circus Peanuts because I've never had them before.

However, the Circus Peanuts had HFCS, so I decided to buy peach gummies instead. I don't know why I didn't buy the sour gummy worms... because I like sour gummies the most...

However, now I'm fully satisfied with my gummy craving, and I will not buy anymore gummies in the next month or so. Yes, this includes not buying any Peach Sour Patch Kids candy from Sweet As Fudge Candy Shoppe.
In eating my gummies, I stumbled across a bunch of mutant ones! I love the sight of mutant candy! I wonder if any companies will send me free/reduced price mutant candy...
:) Okay, I'll eat healthy tomorrow. Kale!!

24 June 2011

A Walk Down South (St)

The weather site stated that there would be a 100% chance of rain at 5pm.
There wasn't.
It didn't rain at all in Philadelphia the past week, even though rain was forecast for every single day of the week.
It doesn't interfere much with my life, though, because I've decided to start swimming more and running less, since my knees are kinda shot and I do want to be able to walk properly in another 60 years (hopefully!)

TJ and I walked from 41st all the way to Penn's Landing on South St. Of course, we stopped primarily at food stores and we did glance around some clothes stores but I'm not interested in clothes that much. One lady did comment on the skirt I was wearing, which is pretty funny (okay, digression: Some five years ago, my mum and I were walking to the bus stop after my
piano exam/practice in HK, and I saw a really small shop and they had a box of clothes outside for 20HKD; ~3USD. That's where I got this lovely skirt from...I wonder what else was in that box, because I don't remember anymore).

I forgot to bring my camera, which was extremely unfortunate because we went to Govinda's Vegetarian Restaurant, Phileo Froyo, and Wholefoods. The bright side is that I'm going to Govinda's again soon so I can actually write a real review of it. I probably won't go back to Phileo's just because I'm not a froyo fanatic.

I got the Pepper Steak Cheesesteak made with soy protein, green peppers, mozzarella cheese and oil, on a whole wheat bun. It was hot, umami, and the bread was nicely toasted. There was a LOT of filling, and the texture was phenomenal. Although more pricey than "real" steak cheesesteaks, it was still delicious, juicy, and worth the walk. I'll do a real review in a week or so, when I get to take pictures. In short, I'm probably going to Govinda's at least another 3 times in order to try the Chicken Cheesesteak, the Sloppy Joe, and the Kofka/meatball sub (not to mention the desserts!). Maybe Govinda's is my favourite restaurant now. Yeah, actually, I think I've decided that my favourite restaurant is Govinda's To Go.

Phileo Froyo: Philadelpia, Phila = love, "Fill-y-oh", "Philly-Yo"; it's an awesome shop name. I tried a sample of tart kiwi froyo, which was extremely delicious!! For actual froyo, I got the peach, the cookies and cream, and the lychee. I also tried a bit of TJ's coconut, which had actual shredded coconut pieces in it. The lychee flavour is simply the best; it tastes light and watery, just the way real lychees taste! The flavour is exact! (Okay, a bit creamier) The peach flavour was ... peachy. Mild. Cookies and Cream tasted more like ice cream than light froyo, and reminded me of this time I got chocolate gelato, which didn't taste as good as rose gelato... so, I suppose if I want to enjoy froyo for being "froyo", I should get the fruity flavours instead. Still, nice experience.

At Wholefoods, TJ and I each got a sample of Fage Greek Yoghurt with honey, because they were having a sale of $1/150g container - BUT ONLY THE 0% fat honey, 2.5% fat honey, 2.5% fat cherry, 2.5% fat strawberry, and 2.5% blueberry. No plain flavour :(. No 0% fat cherry :( WHY!! I love 0% fat [real] cherry yoghurt.

I ended up buying a box of twelve 0% fat honey because
0. I enjoy eating yoghurt, especially Greek yoghurt.
1. $10.80 vs. $21.48
2. 12 days of high-protein/calcium breakfast covered! 13 g protein! 0g fat!
3. Now I have something sweet for dipping my 100% unsweetened baking chocolate.

23 June 2011

Conversion of the Blog

I hereby declare that I'm not going to be tied down worrying about the lack of viewership at my blog, www.PIE-314.blogspot.com
Instead, this blog is now officially a journal for me to document my food life/recipe box/rants/pictures, and I do not care if no one visits here.

I've decided this because:

1. I don't get many views anyway.

2. People who have month-old food blogs somehow have more views and comments that I've had in the past year and 2/3, even though I have better pictures and make stuff from scratch whereas others may use cake mixes or Crisco or whatever.

3. I don't have internet friends who will comment and view my blog, and this may be because I'm not social enough. Don't say I didn't try; I subscribed to a LOT of blogs, and no one subscribed back. I view their blog updates, I comment on their blog posts, but they do not comment back or view my blog (in looking at my Stats page).

4. Heck, I don't even have many real-life friends who look at this blog!

5. I (hypocritically) don't enjoy reading a lot of people's food blogs. I know, how can I diss other people's food blogs if I want others to like mine, right? I guess it's just our personalities don't match; I'm not happy with a vegan blog, or a vegetarian blog, or a junk food blog, or a baking blog, yet I myself make vegetarian food, eat junk food, and bake. I have a convoluted explanation for all this but I don't feel like divulging. In short, I'm a hypocrite.

Therefore, perhaps I can be more honest about food on this blog from now on (in the sense that I won't bother considering being nice on the blog, anymore).

Also, here is a picture of a disfigured cornflake. I treasure it:

22 June 2011

Candy Reviews

New candy samples to review! This begs the question of whether I should review candy that I've already tried in the past or not (because that brings up a ton (literally) of candy to review)...

Necco Mint Julep
This smelled like 100% toothpaste. It tasted nothing of the sort, though! It was very chewy and juicy (I know, strange diction, but it's the best adjective for it), and didn't have too strong a mint taste, so by the time I had finished consuming it, my mouth wasn't minty at all. I am most pleased with the juiciness.

Necco Banana Split
This one did not have any smells. It also only tasted mildly of banana, but at least it wasn't such an artificial banana flavour. Again, extremely juicy.

Goetze's Original Caramel Cream
Before I divulge into the ingredient/advertising aspect, I'd like to say that this tasted half amazing! The cream part tasted... cold (surprising), but wasn't so special. The caramel part, however, tasted like bread. It was textured nothing like bread, being super gooey and chewy, but it tasted just like bread! It was that not-sweet-blandy-breaddy-wholesome taste, so I enjoyed that very much. However, what gets to me is that Goetze's advertises itself as all original and using ingredients from way back when, and being healthyish for candy. Now, I'm pretty sure 60 or 70 years ago, HFCS and PHO were not used in candy! How is this "Original"? However, the ingredient "wheat flour" probably explains the delicious bready taste.
Goetze's Chocolate Caramel Cream
So, the chocolate flavour wasn't as great as the caramel one, since it was just a milder/maltier chocolate version of the bread-caramel flavoured one. I'm not sure whether I'm ever going to buy these again, because of the ingredients (a matter of principle, I guess), but I'm pretty sure I can emulate something like this in my kitchen...when I get home.

Brach's Jelly Nougat
The jelly was such a disappointment; you couldn't distinguish it from the nougat and it was basically hard chopped up jelly bean. The nougat was also sort of a disappointment because it tasted much too sweet, and not milky enough.
Brach's Neapolitan Coconut Sundae
Chewy, with a distinct not-really-coconut flavour. No chocolate/vanilla/straberry flavours, though :(

21 June 2011

Sweet Tooth

For being in a really busy and popular neighbourhood, Sweet Tooth was remarkably empty. *sarcasm: Was it because it was a Saturday? At 1pm?* Isn't that the time when EVERYONE is swarming around stores? I passed by Jim's cheesesteaks, and the line literally went around the corner of the block.

So, why was Sweet Tooth empty?

I mean, look at all this candy, waiting to be bought!
However, the pricing threw me off a little. $2.54 (I think) for 0.25lb. That's about $10 for a pound of candy, compared to $4.99 at Sweet As Fudge Candy Shoppe, and I don't even want to compare the price of candy to the price of vegetables (much lower).

The bright side is that everything in the plastic containers is $2.54. This is great if you want to
1. Sample candy.
2. Buy candy that is priced at a higher value than $10/lb. For example, Jelly Belly beans definitely cost less than $10/lb, but mint malt balls may cost more.
Just this much candy amounted to about $3 (or more? I don't remember).
1. Orange cream coconut slice: very hard, a tad creamy and tangy, very sweet. Pretty good.
2. Neapolitan coconut slice: there was no difference in each flavour, which upset me :( because I expected a chocolate coconut part, a vanilla part, and a strawberry part. It tasted uniform, and was the same as the orange cream coconut slice, except not creamy. Not great.
3. Mango chili Jelly Belly bean: surprisingly spicy! Not much mango flavour, although a bit citrusy. Meh.
4. Weird bunny and carrot (pink and green): These tasted really really off. They had the texture of candy corn, but had the flavour of burnt or curdled caramel (?) or marshmallow. It was not delectable at all (in my opinion)!!
5. Mini pastel mints with the white 100s and 1000s ("100s and 1000s" is the name I've known: These aren't merely "sprinkles".)... they... were waxy and minty. Creamy and minty. I'm not really sure I'm acclimated to the taste.
6. Sour candy bacon: Okay, these aren't the real name for the sour candy strip, but I loved it. That is all.
Since I had to eat all my chocolate before it melted in the sun, I only bought two malt balls and some "moose" chocolate clusters, which tasted like a much more unrefined version of Nestle's Crunch candy. The malt balls were merely okay; the mint and latte flavours were not pronounced at all. I still miss Maltesers very much.
You can see the half-melted moose chocolate clusters in the bottom left corner of the above image.
I also got some Jordan Almonds because they were 1/2 off. Jordan Almonds are just almonds that are covered in a hard (yes, hard) candy shell that tastes like 100% sugar... no flavourings. It's super crunchy, and I guess I'm indifferent to them.

Since I've sampled all I want, I don't think I'm going back here. The price is a deterrence, it's kinda far, and although the selection is phenomenal, I don't really see why I would come here to buy my favourite candies that are available at any grocery store.

20 June 2011

Sweet As Fudge Candy Shoppe

Ah. Sugar.
$4.99/lb for the self-serve, and varying prices for other types. There was Turkish delight, fried egg gummies, peach Sour Patch candy (that I was extremely tempted to buy), and shelves of liquorice (ew...).
I was determined to try new candy, so I ended up putting a few novel pieces into paper bag from the self-serve place. I know that everything in the self-serve place can be bought from literally any grocery store/gas station, but I like this because I can buy one piece of candy instead of a pack of candy, which is great for sampling and blogging.
The Squirrel Nut Zipper has the most interesting name ever! It also tastes very interesting: burnt, barbecued, peanutty, and not too caramelly. It's very dense and chewy. There's PHO in it though, so I don't think I'm trying it again.

I also bought jelly mints and "cigarette" candy.
Okay, let me explain. I have one really strong memory about cigarette candy, which I will from now on refer to as "candy sticks". I was 5 or 6, in Australia, and my dad was driving our family to the Plaza, I think. Sitting in the backseats of the car, my brother and I were both sucking on these really chalky, not-super-great tasting candy sticks. We ate them slowly, pretending to smoke, holding them delicately in our hands.

That's my only vivid memory of them; I'm sure my parents probably bought them for us a few times (another childhood candy memory of mine is my brother and I eating a large pack - yes, a whole pack - of wine gums in one afternoon).
Evidently, the marketing of candy sticks in a box to resemble cigarettes didn't influence me or my brother to smoke. We despise it when people smoke, and cigarettes just rile us (I could go on...)

Anyway, I had to buy these Stallion ones (65c) because I feel really nostalgic about them, and I want to share that nostalgia with my brother (when I get home in - wow - 5.5 weeks!).
Unfortunately, they taste NOTHING like the candy sticks I had as a kid; those were pretty much icing sugar on a stick with some sort of solidifier. These taste like exceedingly bland and dry toothpaste. I am not kidding.
I bought the smallest packet of Jelly Mints, because I really wasn't sure whether I'd like them or not. It's very nice that they package the candy by weight.
I am extremely glad I bought the smallest pack! What I imagined was some kind of hard mint coating, with a gummy/jelly center (the consistency of gummy bears). I was so wrong! The coating is chalky, powdery, and not really minty. The inside "jelly" is hard and the consistency of candied fruit. The lemon and orange flavours are very pronounced, which is pretty nice. All is well, or so it seems.
There are two downsides to this packet of candy, and I can't figure out which is worse.
1. >60% of the bag is filled with LIQUORICE-flavoured jelly. I. Despise. Liquorice.
2. There were 5 green mints in total. Green was peppermint flavoured. The best one! Only five! In the whole bag! In all 0.6 lbs!
So, I'm never getting these again.
In all, Sweet As Fudge Candy Shoppe has pretty great pricing, especially if you're buying the bulk prepackaged stuff (not the self-serve stuff).

19 June 2011

Slow Rise Bakery

I have decided that bread is my favourite food. Although I adore chocolate, soft chocolate chip cookies, and avocado sushi, if I had to pick one food to live on for the rest of my life, it would be bread.
Crusty whole wheat sliced bread.
French bread.
Grain bread.
Walnut bread.

In short, I love bread.
At Clark Park's Farmer's Market, I found a loaf of bread sitting in a box.
It was $1 because it had been in the freezer.

I toasted it. Mixed it with milk and coconut and dried roses. It turned out really textured...and bland.
Lesson learned: ADD SUGAR!!
To the layperson, it probably looks like oatmeal or oat bran. This is amazingly versatile! Bread that can double as oatmeal, granola, oat bran, toast, pudding, cookie batter, and dessert, all at the same time!

Later I finished the loaf of bread through toasting it. This bread, unlike the other breads I've tried, is extremely gluteny and...chewy, it's almost like there's rice flour in it.

18 June 2011

Epic Run Times

Run around town...Actually, once I got to 9th St., I started walking, and I walked four a few hours. Hehe. At least four hours.
I saw a bunch of giant cakes in a storefront, but the store looked like it was closed and there wasn't a door or anything. The cake looks pretty sumptuous.
I went to The Space Corner again and got dried roses (to make rose tea, rose water, and Turkish delight later when I get home) for $1, mango black tea ($1) and cream of tartar.

Then I walked around the "Little Italy" area of Philadelphia and checked out the market on the pavement...and I noted that Italians aren't the ones who sell the vegetables, which is kind of ironic I guess. I bought some red peppers and walked over to a candy store, Sweet Tooth, on the corner of South and 4th. I'll update about that later.
Then, I went to Reading Terminal Market and saw this at one of the chocolate stores...which I like. Haha. Screw the diet.

At Reading Terminal Market, I dropped by the Sweet as Fudge Candy Shoppe to buy some pretty delicious morsels of sugar. That'll be another blog post.
After getting to Chinatown, I walked past a dingy little store with a zillion boxes in the store front. Then, I realised that it was a fortune cookie factory, which is pretty amusing in my opinion.
I dropped by the Mayflower bakery to get some bubble tea.
I was shocked. They had kiwi bubble tea. They had avocado bubble tea. I couldn't believe it; AVOCADO BUBBLE TEA! This is when I'm glad I'm bilingual; I asked if they used real avocado, and the lady picked up an actual avocado and said, yes, we use real avocado. It's kind of funny because on the shelf above the sinks, there were tons of boxes of powder, labelled "taro" or "coconut" or whatever.
She cut up half an avocado, used half-and-half milk, (and sugar?) and added crushed ice at some point. In all honesty, it was more of a smoothie than a "tea" or drink.
The smoothie was very thick, and tasted mildly of fresh avocado. I was surprised that avocado tastes good when it's sweet, although I prefer it in avocado sushi with soy sauce. I suppose avocado's sort of like peanut butter; both incorporated in sweet and savoury dishes.

I was really thirsty, so I ended up drinking all the slushie (oh so thick and my favourite colour and nicely textured!), and there were lots of bubbles left. The bubbles were really chewy, and not overcooked. I would really recommend Mayflower Bakery. 1008 Race St.

After a bit, I went to KC's Pastries and got a sweet yam tart, which I've never had before. Egg tart, sure, and coconut tart, but not a sweet yam tart!
Unlike other bakeries, KC's Pastries doesn't have seating, so I went to eat at Reading Terminal Market.
The yam tart was surprisingly gelatinous. It was like a super-thick pudding.
The pastry was just normal and bland.
I dropped by some grocery stores to get some vegetables and Chinese snacks.
Then I went to Cube Cafe, intending to get some eggettes ($1.95), but I was so thirsty as opposed to hungry. I contemplated bringing some eggettes home. Instead, after chatting to the shopkeepers (who were very helpful with explaining dishes and drinks), I got the Icy Poppy Drink.
I've been abstaining from soda for the past half-a-decade (I think?), partly because of the high-fructose corn syrup thing, and partly because I've just been indifferent to it (e.g. the way I'm indifferent to baklava). This drink is basically some sort of clear soda with mango bubbles.
Now, the bubbles are the strange exotic things. Once popped, the bubbles reveal a thick mango goo. I'm not sure what the covering of the goo is; it seems to be some cellulose fibre. It's an interesting concept, but I don't think that I'm going to get it again. It's an ephemeral toy.
On the way back, I got samples of hummus and chips. "Why are you guys giving out free hummus?"
"Oh, it's cuz a lot of us still don't know what hummus is, so we're giving it out to people"

I also saw Wizard Con, like Comic Con, but I didn't get in because I needed tickets.
At Rittenhouse, I got a free can of coffee.

Nice day for food.

16 June 2011

Trader Joe's Bread

I ran to Trader Joe's today to buy some organic/local bread.
I walked back with two loaves of bread - Trader Joe's "Artisan" fruit and walnut, and some sort of whole grain bread. Not 100% whole wheat, and definitely not local/organic.

Over four years ago, I felt like Trader Joe's sold only organic/local/fresh/not-much-preservatives food. This is not true. I suppose I should take back my grudge against Wholefoods. So now, I'm not sure how I feel about supermarkets vs. open markets. Evidently, Trader Joe's does give the vibe of homeliness (with the bells and the handmade (?) signs, but in the whole bread shelf, there were only a few brands of organic breads. The others were made by various companies, including Trader Joe's own San Francisco (?) brand of sour dough and normal bread. I'm not really sure what my politics are on Trader Joe's, but the prices really surprised me.

At Fresh Grocer, a loaf of bland whole wheat bread (the kind available at every Shoprite/Costco) is around some $4.59, and there isn't much variety. The bleached white bread can go to around $1 I guess, but who wants to buy that?

At Trader Joe's, the whole shelf is pretty much some sort of wheat blend (I did not find a 100% whole wheat bread...), and there are "freshly baked" loaves of ciabatta, foccacia, and baguettes (:D). For a city store, Trader Joe's pricing is pretty good! It's actually comparable to that of suburban-towny-Shoprite! $1.99 for a baguette at Trader Joe's = $1.99 for a baguette at Shoprite.
So, I find it kind of weird.

The cheese was also better priced... a chunk of Wisconsin cheddar for $2.50 vs. a chunk of orange cheddar for $4 at Wawa.

Why is the grass greener - I mean - cheese cheesier across the river? Why is stuff on and around Penn's campus so overpriced?
The (purple and golden) raisin and walnut bread crust was really good, and I find the toasted/baked walnut really delicious.

So, my updated list of Food Places to Buy Inexpensive-ish Fresh Food

Chinatown: eggplant, 白菜 (bak choi), cherries
Farmer's Market @ Clark Park: fruits and vegetables
Wawa: skim milk, low-fat milk.
Fresh Grocer: carrots.
The Spice Corner: juniper berries, dried coconut, teas!!
Trader Joe's: cheese, bread, corn/flour tortillas

15 June 2011

Err Chard.

Y'know how raw tomatoes taste delicious? And how they taste similar to cooked tomatoes?
Now let's talk about chard.
Raw chard is terrible. Urg! So bitter and weird-tasting and fibrous! I put it in my sandwich (just the leafy part) and it was...pretty bad.

So I decided to cook it for a long time in my spaghetti and it was, can you believe it, sweet! I am not kidding. Sweet stems. They were so bitter, throat-burning, and fibrous raw! Now, cooked, they are tender, sweet/mild, and sorta like really baby celery!

It also stains my spaghetti pink, which is cool.

12 June 2011


I'm starting to be a hermit in my room. I really don't enjoy being around my apartment-mates (I guess I'm just antisocial) even though they're nice and all. I guess I'm just really self-conscious when I cook food in front of strangers, especially when it involves vegetables, because apparently my apartment-mates don't consume vegetables (at least, they don't store vegetables in the fridge.)

It's pretty awkward when your apartment-mate's boyfriend asks "What's that?" when I take out some (smallish, not globular) eggplants from the fridge and set them on the cutting board, while waiting for my apartment-mate to finish using the sink. It gets worse when he asks, "So what's that?", and points to one stalk (Yes. One.) of chard that's sitting in an empty glass, and I answer "It's chard...uhh... it's like spinach but it's got pink parts."

And then when they leave and I finally start smashing up the tube of polenta (I know, I should make polenta from scratch. I'll do that one day) in a saucepan, another apartment-mate comes down and sticks one plate and one fork into the dishwasher and starts the cycle. She glances at my food and perhaps thinks, "woah, what is that?! It's like pink mashed potatoes!"

It turns out that pink (actually, "rainbow") chard and eggplant turns polenta a grungy shade of pink. It also appears that eggplant ought to be diced, rather than chunks, when on a stove with lumps of polenta. Over time, though, the polenta got thick and smooth, while the eggplant just... didn't fully cook :(.

Unfortunately, adding an ounce of cheese did nothing to make the polenta taste cheesy. I should've just eaten the cheese by itself!

My mum asked me to incorporate juniper berries in my cooking so I added a few. I couldn't really taste a difference, but I didn't really enjoy the taste of it when I chewed one by itself.
On the bright side, TVP pairs very well with polenta! My second batch of polenta included bak choi and curry powder, although I don't think I added enough curry powder. However, it looks more appetizing, and I decided to cook earlier (while everyone was asleep).

Good times to be in the kitchen:
Before 8:30am, from 5pm to 6:30pm (any later, and they are cooking/drinking with friends)
Before 11am, not 12pm to 2pm (Any other time is unknown territory/up for grabs)