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To somewhat counteract all the insane food consumption that’s pretty much been happening for the past…6 weeks, we decided to do a whole lot of random hikes over break!

The day after Christmas, I went hiking in Sausalito with Mekala/Sylvia/Kaitlin/Elyse for our annual hangout (the last one I may be able to attend in a long while :'( ).

For once, it wasn’t shrouded in fog! This was the start of the trail.

We did a 3-ish mile hike on the “Coastal Trail,” except it was full of lies and kept bringing us more and more inland. sigh. Eventually, we turned back and decided to get an early-ish dinner.

But we accidentally took a wrong turn and in so doing, we happened to find an awesome beach!

Hooray for getting to see a beach, even though it was super cold! Mekala/I were especially happy, since we are currently residing in landlocked states.

This was trip #2 up Mission Peak! Sunset hike! (Trip #1 was a sunrise hike and trip #3 was a before-noon sorta deal.)


Here’s to an awesome year to come!


words of truth

“I like food and sleep. If I give you food or talk/text with you all night, you’re special to me.”

Korean-esque Stir Fry

This was originally supposed to be my/Mekala/Sylvia’s attempt at making Korean BBQ + japchae, but we didn’t have enough time, so it became this instead. It turned out pretty well. Just sayin’.

(We also couldn’t find starch noodles at the Asian market. :[ )

I usually consider using ready-made sauce to be cheating, kindasorta, but I feel we added enough other stuff to justify it. We were also pressed for time, so considering all of that, things worked out pretty well. :O

Korean-esque Stir Fry

-3 carrots, cut into thin strips
-1 cucumber, julienned
-3 garlic cloves, minced
-enoki mushrooms
-white button mushrooms, chopped
-sesame oil
-1 small red onion, diced
-beef, cut into thin strips
-Korean BBQ sauce (spicy)*
*I’m not sure which brand we got but I’m sure most if not all of them would be fine?

1) Mince the garlic. Slice and carrots/cucumbers and chop/dice the mushrooms and onion. Slice the beef into thin strips.
2) Marinate beef strips in the Korean BBQ sauce with some sesame oil.
3) Boil noodles in boiling water in a big pot. When the noodles are soft, drain and put in a large bowl.
4) On a heated pan, add EVOO and heat it to medium-high. Add onions and stir until coated in oil. Continue stirring until caramelized. Then add mushrooms and minced garlic.
5) Remove onions, garlic and mushrooms from heat put it into a large bowl. Add carrot strips to pan and stir it with a spatula for about 30 seconds. Put them into the bowl. Then cook the beef.
6) Mix everything together in the large bowl and serve.

(This is what it looked like mixed.)

Creamy Lemon Oat Bars

Not that I mind in the least, but…it’s actually warmer in WV right now than it is in CA. How is this possible!? I think California’s just confused. I’m going to enjoy this and frolic in the sunshine (by that, I mean sit in my balcony while I study so I can be a little less vitamin-D-deficient) while I can. :O

Anyway, I have yet another use for lemons here! (This only used two of em’ though.)

I made these with Mekala back in the day because she had such an awesomely magical and prolific lemon tree. It’s not quite as possible to skimp on the butter for this one than it was for the lemon bars (probably because of the oats). :[ But these are pretty effing amazing too. :] As usual, we couldn’t wait for it to cool completely before digging in. (Again, we were hungry.) Recipe from here!

Creamy Lemon Oat Bars


-1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
-2 tsp grated lemon zest
-1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
-1 1/4 cups flour
-1 cup old fashioned oats
-1/2 cup packed brown sugar
-1/2 cup unsalted butter
-1/4 teaspoon baking soda
-1/4 teaspoon salt

1) Heat oven to 375ºF degrees. Coat 8×8 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. Mix milk, lemon zest and lemon juice in medium bowl until thickened; set aside. Mix remaining ingredients in medium bowl until crumbly.
2) Press half the crumbly mixture in pan; bake about 10 minutes or until set.
3) Spread lemon milk mixture over baked crust. Sprinkle remaining crumbly mixture over the lemon milk mixture, press down gently. Bake about 20 minutes or until edges are golden brown and center is set but soft. Cool completely. Cut 4×4 rows.

First layer.

Second layer.

Third layer.

winter break recap

Well then. That was definitely not the best way to start off the new semester. Since my neighbor is about 10 lectures ahead of me, I spent yesterday in somewhat of a mad rush trying to catch up to him and ended up sleeping at around 2:30 a.m. As luck would have it, none of my 5 alarms went off this morning (either that or I just seriously did not hear any of it) and we had mandatory class at 8 a.m. I woke up to the sound of somewhat frantic honking outside my bedroom window at 7:48 a.m., freaked the hell out, and rushed to school (I made it on time). Since I usually leave a couple minutes before he does, he figured that the fact that my car was still there meant that I was out cold. (Thanks a billion! ;_; )

This is basically why I’m completely okay with him doing stuff like this to me:

I came home one night a week or two ago to find this on my doorknob (it was actually better coiled so that the snake was actually facing me). Keep in mind that I live kinda in the boonies, so it was pitch black. I was talking to my mom at the time, and our conversation went something like this:
F: (starts laughing)
MF: What’s so funny?
F: There’s a snake on my doorknob.
MF: WHAT?! What are you going to do!? Are you going to call someone?!? (She has ophidiophobia.)
F: Don’t worry, it’s not real.
MF: (still panicking) What’s a fake snake doing on your door?!
F: It’s probably Adam.
MF: Why would he do something like that!?
F: Just to be a dick.
He finally admitted to it yesterday, and confessed that it took a good 5 minutes to position it so perfectly on my door. Tis a shame that I had to actually open the door to turn on the light so I could take a picture. :O

Much to my chagrin, classes have started again, but I suspect that if break had been any longer, I would just fall off the whole study-hard wagon. Here’s a super quick recap!

I watched the Nutcracker ballet (for the first time! :O ) in Oakland with my family because we somehow managed to score free tickets that the mayor was giving out (…? I have no idea why or how this happened, but I will take it). We also went to see Les Miserables, which is one of my two absolute favorite musicals (the other would be Wicked). We went to a family friend’s place for Christmas lunch and played White Elephant. It is probably only at an Asian White Elephant gift exchange that you’ll ever see durian as one of the gifts. My entire family hates durian, so I actually haven’t eaten any since 2006. Back in the day, my grandma and I used to eat it together and we’d be mutually shunned by the rest of our family.

I saw several of my closest friends again and definitely Asian-fooded it up (Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian…). :O When I described the sushi buffet I went to to my anatomy professor today, he was overwhelmed with all sorts of jealousy and said that he would forgive me if I left a bento box at his office door. I am highly considering getting a bento box and filling it with pictures of the sushi I had to leave in front of his office door, but am wondering if that would make him hate me forever. :x

I met up with Becca & Whitney, who are the only two people from the group I hung out with in high school that I still keep in contact with. We have a reunion every break we have and usually do some kind of crafting (e.g. I learned to knit last winter and made a billion scarves). This winter was somewhat truncated because my break was so short, so I made a pompom out of yarn for my beloved cat, Ninja.

She definitely enjoyed batting the crap out of it. :O

Before I left for Napa, I went to visit one of my favorite people in the world, aka my second mom: Bel! :D We talked for a couple hours and I was hella sad that I had to leave, so she said to come by to her SWEAT class at ClubSport on Monday so I could hang out some more. :D This is us showing off my month in the Twirly Girls calendar! (Somehow, I always end up with January, haha.) I’m hella sad that I couldn’t really take any classes this break, but mark my words, I will be living there again this summer, if all goes well. *-*

I also have a reunion every winter break with several of my Davis friends. Usually, we go to Walnut Creek, but we deviated from it this year to head over to Napa to stay with one of her friends. This is us at the Napa River Trail. Since it’s such a small picture, you hopefully can’t tell that we’re all squinting and/or crying because the sun is so bright. Sun, how I miss you [already].

They set up beds for us (I love the monkey-bear pillow, haha) and let us know where the spare key was so we wouldn’t have to worry about waking them up, or having to come home while they were still awake.
Us: Thanks, Mom and Dad! :D
Emily/Aaron: We’re like the cool parents!

Indeed they are! They even made us dinner! :O We had three different kinds of pizza (taco pizza, pizza with goat cheese/caramelized onions/pears, Hawaiian pizza [not pictured]), salad, and apple pie + ice cream. :D (We brought the apple pie back for them since they wouldn’t let us treat them to dinner.) I’m definitely going to try to recreate the pizzas sometime because they were glorious. (I usually don’t even like goat cheese, but it takes on a much more mild flavor when it’s baked. :O ) If I’m successful, the recipes will, of course, be shared here. :O

I actually snuck up to Davis for a couple hours too since I couldn’t be there for the actual music reunion this year (it’s tomorrow and class started today :'( ). I figured seeing a couple of them would be better than nothing! :O Curse my brother for saying that it only took 15 minutes to get from Napa to Davis though. It’s a good 50-60 miles away. In what universe would that take 15 minutes by car? >:O We chilled at Burgers & Brew for a couple hours and then I finally made it home. I miss Davis and being able to get everywhere without having to drive. ;_;

The next morning, I went for a hike with my family and several family friends over in Coyote Hills. :]

Our plans to make steak fell through because the friend who found the awesome butcher was no longer free. Without her, we were rather lost and thus decided to wander around Trader Joe’s and pick up whatever looked good for dinner. When Sam saw the stuff we came back with (cereal, mozzarella, coconut milk, cheese, baby carrots, cucumbers), he was rather mystified as to what we would be making. :x

On my last day, I met up with Bel at 12 and took her boot camp class, which left my legs super sore all through my plane rides the next day. I’ve never actually been in ClubSport because it’s for rich people and we are not rich (nor can I even convince my parents to go work out even when there are 2 free gym memberships waiting there for them :[ ). I legitimately got lost in the locker room (sad, I know). I’ve gotten kinda used to paying next to nothing (<$7/month) for a bare-bones type of gym ever since I lost my ARC membership (oh, how I miss you :[ ), and now, I basically pay nothing because it’s been included into my monstrous tuition.

I also tried to get in one last Bikram yoga class but somehow didn’t remember the time correctly (thought it was 4:30 p.m. instead of 4 p.m.). There was a woman sitting there who’d gotten there 10 minutes late, so I started talking to her and managed to do some completely unintentional networking. She apparently works at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and said that when I was out, I should definitely look them up because they were always looking for people, especially those who wanted to go into primary care. ( :D! ) She also said my personality was bubbly and friendly enough that patients would definitely love me  in primary care. Hells yes. <3 Her name is actually really familiar-sounding, so I’m half-wondering if she was the physician I was going to have, had it not been for the fact that I had to switch over to Kaiser. :x

Yep, that’s all I have. I also managed to catch the plague for a bit because I wasn’t sleeping very much (or at all) due to my want/need of seeing all my friends/family as much as humanly possible before running off to the mountains again, but I’m alive and well again. Ready or not, here comes the second semester of med school! I’m missing a fat chunk of change because I just paid off half the year’s rent as well as half the year’s auto insurance. Hooray hooray?