30 Day Homecooking Challenge Week 2 FOOD THOUGHTS + Recipe Links

30 Day Homecooking Challenge Week 2 FOOD THOUGHTS + Recipe Links

My new favorite tea: Rooibos!

Day 7 (9/21)

Today I celebrated my grandma's birthday at Great China in Berkeley. Broke my 30 day challenge for a day, but I did end up making this awesome Dark Chocolate Spread!


Day 8 (9/22)

Maria's mom made me dinuguan!!! (Thank you Aunty! YOU ARE THE BEST!!!) This is my favorite Filipino dish of all time and she makes it sooooooo good! I need to learn how to make this one day SOON! Ate this for breakfast and it made me super happy happy happy~! :)

For dinner, I made Pesto Bacon Mac & Cheese for EDGAR THE DINOSAUR, who is a mac&cheese-a-holic, to power us through our biochem study session. The mac turned out really good!


Day 9 (9/23)

I feel like the days are going too fast because I can't believe how many things I've made already in the past week or that they're going too slow because it's only day 9 and I'm realizing it's just day 9. @_@

ANYWHO, today I made Stuffed Chayotes! My mom has a gigantic plant of this in the back, so she packed a few for me. The chayote plant looks pretty cool with its vines and all. My mom organized in a way that it looks as if we had a DIY jungle in the back, but not really. Darn, wish I had a pic for you guys~

Chayote is one of my favorite veggies because it has a nice, subtly sweet flavor. Usually, my mom just slices and cooks it with oyster sauce and stir-fried garlic but...today, I felt like trying it in a different, adventurous light.

The hardest part about this dish was making sure the filling tasted good. My filling started bland at first, but then I added bacon (or should I say BAE-con) and the whole dish took a 180 turn from bland to super tasty! ;)

Click here for the STUFFED CHAYOTE recipe!

Day 10 (9/24)

Today, I was feelin' egg-y and spinach-y so that's what I went for. This is one of the best sandwich fillings I've ever created. So breh, you need to try it! Pesto was definitely the key that tied all the ingredients together! In the future, I'd also use this filling for burritos, tacos, tortilla chip dip, or with rice. Nom nom nom~~~

Click here for PESTO VEGGIE SCRAMBLE recipe!

Day 11 (9/25)

Curried Veggies Tofu made it on the plate today! I basically looked at what I had left in the fridge and improvised. It was pretty tasty, but I don't think it's something I would want to make again. Maybe it's because curry and broccoli don't really do together or maybe I should have cut off the stems (which were hard to chew *O*), but something was off so I'm not going to share the recipe.

Cooking is all about trial and error and not everyday or every dish will be perfect. The positive thing was that I got all my protein and veggie intake for the day from this dish! Loool~

Day 12 (9/26)

Today was crazy busy so I had no time to cook. But you know what? When life gets crazy, you take it by the ears and force it to compromise with you.

Therefore, today is Friday Fried Egg Day. Simple. Easy. Done in a few minutes. WHO DOESN'T LOVE FRIED EGGS?!?! If you don't, you're weird. (Just kidding I'll still accept you just the way you are. <3)

Fun night with the roomies + Selina today! We drove up to Grizzly Peak and enjoyed a relaxing night view.

Day 13 (9/27)

The weekend is the BEST. Nothing to rush me, no worries to worry about, it's just a sunny relaxing day. I spent all morning in the kitchen cooking up Cajun Chicken Pasta!

This was a fun dish to cook because it allowed me to experiment with new flavors, taught me new cooking skills, and IT TASTED SO GOOD!!! This is my first Cajun dish, so I'm glad it turned out tasty!

Thank you bff Randall for walking all the way to my apartment to eat my pasta and giving me a motivational pep talk. You are awesome!

Thank you to all my roomies for always trying my dishes and giving me feedback! I love you all!

Click for some flavor-packed CAJUN CHICKEN PASTA!!!

Day 14 (9/28)

EEEP!! So happy! Today I got two new baby adings! <3

Before I get too ahead of myself...I am a part of the KAA Mentorship Program [Kuya (older brother)/Ate(older sister)/Ading(younger sibling)], a program hosted by Pilipino American Alliance (PAA) at UC Berkeley. Because UC Berkeley is such a big campus with more than 36,000 students, it's nice to have a small group in which you feel like you're with family. Kuyas, Ates, and Adings all have to apply and are matched based on similar interests. During my freshman year, I was matched to two Ates and one sibling. Last year, I got three adings. This year, I have two grand-adings. All my adings are so cute! <3 :3 I adore my whole PAAmily!

I also have another PAAmily (by adoption) that I also adore! Some may not like 'adoption', but I believe that we should all be accepting of each other. The KAA Mentorship Program is about providing social and academic support, so why limit this support chain? :)

This past summer, I read Buddha's Brain by Dr. Rick Hanson and I really connected with his concept of acceptance. We should stop referring to each other as 'them' and instead refer to each other as 'us' because, in the end, we are all human, all involved in an intertwined, complex web of relationships in which we affect each other directly or indirectly whether we like it or not. Plus, by being more accepting of one another, we become more happy by default since the negativity of rejection is eliminated. I highly recommend this book to everyone regardless of your religious background. I am not Buddhist, yet I found this book extremely inspiring and beautiful.

To celebrate the arrival of our two new adings to the PAAmily, we decided to take them out to Kansai, a local sushi restaurant! I know I broke my challenge again (sort of) by eating out, but I couldn't resist celebrating such a happy moment! :)

With my hectic schedule and special events here & there, it seems like my challenge has evolved to eating at least one homecooked meal a day. I don't find this bad because I've still been forced out of my comfort zone, cooking so many more dishes that I probably wouldn't have if I didn't start this challenge!

The newest members to my PAAmily: Sharon and Mariah! So cute! :)

Despite eating out for lunch, I made Rice Pilaf with Tomatoes for dinner! [3 meals (or more...) a day is like giving me 3+ lives in this challenge. Hahaha~] It was very spicy, flavor-packed, and yummy. My roommate Camille had the genius idea of pairing the rice with fresh slices of tomatoes. Good thing she did b/c the flavors of the rice would have been hidden by heat and spices without the pairing of cool tomato slices!

Click here for RICE PILAF recipe!

Day 15 (9/29)

It's Monday. Who likes Mondays? Okay just kidding, this semester I like my M/W/Fs b/c on those days, I work at a cafe and that means I get to make all kinds of coffee concoctions. Hehehehe~

Ended my night studying biochem with Edgar the Dinosaur. Woohoo. Biochem. Do you see my excitement? Answer is no.

On a brighter note, today wasn't a bad day. I got to gym and made the best pizza ever (aka Caprese Pita Pizza)!!!

Click here for CAPRESE PITA PIZZA!

I hope you all enjoyed my Food Thoughts for week 2!

Have a wonderful upcoming week and I'll keep you posted about my progress for the upcoming week in Food Thoughts week 3! See you then! <3

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