August Brings the Heat

I can’t believe July is already over…Happy first day of August!

I was up bright dark and early this morning at the unearthly hour of 4:30am. I spent almost an hour reading magazines and watching infomercials/trying to fall back asleep until finally I gave up on going back to sleep and switched over to a news station.

The weather happened to be on and apparently we’ve had 30 straight days of 100+ degree weather and today our heat advisory has officially been lifted and changed to an excessive heat warning. oy vey.

Doesn’t this look like fun? I’ll be spending most of my time indoors this week anyways since I’ll be studying for my finals, but I feel terrible for all those high school kids who start football and marching band practice this week.

With this August heat wave coming in, I kept this morning breakfast on the cooler side.

I would’ve liked to have a similar breakfast to yesterdays, but I didn’t really feel like turing the stove on.

A play off pb & jelly oats – Oats cooked with strawberries, then topped with blueberries, raspberries, and a drizzle of sunbutter mixed with almond milk.

Todays breakfast – Pre-workout

Nature Path’s Heritage flakes and lots of sweet blueberries

I usually don’t eat much before a workout, but since I was up way too early, my stomach was growling and I knew I had to feed it.

Breakfast part 2 – Post-workout

Double Chocolate Milktwice the chocolate, but none of all the added sugar in normal chocolate milk:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 serving chocolate protein powder
  • ~ 1 T dark cocoa powder
All blended together for about 20 seconds.

Since I had some loose ends to tie up when I returned home after my workout, I didn’t exactly get in a full post breakfast, but the chocolate milk pretty much tied me over til lunch.

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So what’s the best way to cool off in this heat (other than an ice cold smoothie)?

Iced tea

quick fact: since I took my ice maker out of the freezer to clean, it took two full trays of ice cubes to make this cup of iced tea.

Ice makers > Ice cube trays

I’ve always been more of a coffee drinker than a tea drinker, just a few occasional cups every now and then, but during my time in Hong Kong I seem to have picked up quite the tea habit.

Since tea is such a popular drink in Asia and consumed with almost every meal (having been part of the british empire, afternoon tea is very popular in HK), I’ve just developed a stronger liking to it.

One of my absolute favorites is Hong Kong style milk tea. It’s basically just black or ceylon tea mixed with evaporated milk.

You can pretty much order it anywhere in HK, anytime of the day.

Although i do prefer drinking it hot, it’s just as good cold.

My second favorite tea is roasted tea, whether it be roasted brown rice tea, roasted green tea, or roasted barley tea. I just enjoyed that roasted taste in general.

This particular bag of roasted tea is my favorite. It’s a mix of matcha green tea with roasted brown rice.

But if nothing else is available, I always enjoy a nice cup of green tea.

Preferably iced though, and sometimes mixed with a tiny spoonful of manuka honey (i promise thats some good stuff – both health and taste-wise!).

I’ll most likely be drinking all sorts of variations of these over the next couple weeks. Guess I better get that ice maker goin!

Do you like tea? What’s you favorite kind?

What’s the weather like in your neck of the woods?

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On another note, I just realized yesterday that some of my photos in my previous posts have gone missing. It may have been because I went through my media library and deleted photos thinking that once I had uploaded them into the post they no longer needed to remain in the media folder. Boy was I wrong. It’ll probably take me a while to re-load and replace them all, but eventually I’ll have all the photos back up!

Also, not that they already aren’t, but my posts may be a bit sparse this week as I’ve taken procrastination to the next level and fallen way behind on my studies. Gotta catch up and ace those finals 😉


Reality Check

I’ve been feeling rather ‘off’ ever since I returned home two nights ago. It almost feels like I was in an alternate universe the past month and now I’m back in reality.

I’m wondering if it’s because of my lack of sleep, or perhaps the frightening amount of chapters and lectures I need to get through by the end of the week in order to take my finals.

I’m thinking it’s the latter with maybe a sprinkling of the former.

So…what does one do when one returns to so-called reality?

Sort the mail? – nope

Begin studying for finals? – nah

Unpack? – definitely not

Grocery shopping? – YEP!

Thats an important order of business around here 😉

yogurt, cottage cheese, raspberries, and a 16 oz un-pictured container of giant blueberries

I never thought I’d actually miss having yogurt and cottage cheese.

rice cakes, Mr. Wheat apple cinnamon crispy wheat, chocolate almond milk, cereal x’s 2

I’m hoping that crispy brown rice makes for a crispier 5 ingredient crispy.

 and two staples – almond milk and bananas

After I took care of my first order of business, I finally moved on to the others, and while I was sorting through the mail, I found this beauty addressed to me.

These pita crisps are SO good. They’re equally as addicting as the cinnamon apple Mr. Wheat crispy wheat I just bought. I ate my way through about half of each yesterday afternoon and was more than happy they spoiled my appetite for dinner. Yep, I enjoyed them that much.

Then I crashed by 10pm. Thank you jet lag.

This morning I met up with this gal at a nature preserve to catch up while also working up a sweat.

It was nice to kinda feel like we weren’t in the city for a bit as we walked and hiked 7 miles between lush trees and tall grass.

But once again I was back to reality afterwards as it was time to face those books.

I hope everyone has a lovely Sunday 🙂

What’s the first thing you do when you come home from a trip?

[Almost] Home Sweet Home

I realize I’ve been MIA the past couple days – reasons being:

1)   I’ve been rather uninteresting the past couple days as I’ve spent the majority of them catching up on summer school projects and assignments that were due, and attempting (keyword 😉 ) to get ready for finals next week.

2)   When I was not being a bookworm I was out trying to enjoy my last couple days in Hong Kong.

I’m currently en route home and just got off a near 13-hour flight from Hong Kong to Los Angeles and am currently in LAX waiting for my connecting flight home.

Although I’ve really enjoyed my time in Hong Kong, the Maldives, Singapore, and China, I’ve spent exactly one month on the other side of the world, and I’m ready to be home.

Home is where I get to have my favorite foods, eat my favorite breakfasts, and bake whatever I want whenever I want. Even though I had a kitchen to use in Hong Kong, ingredients were quite sparce. It was either too expensive or I just couldn’t find it. I’m sure if I had looked a little harder I would’ve eventually found some things, but some are just plain unavailable.

They do sell kombucha though. I hardly ever drink it, but since the flavor sounded mighty appealing at that particular moment I made an impulse buy.

I didn’t realize until after I had bought it that I had paid a little over $5 for it even though it was on sale.  I actually don’t know how much kombucha usually costs in the states, but I sure hope it’s not 5 bucks a pop.

At $5 a bottle, I figured I might as well drink it out of some fine china. And that’s exactly what I did…

Great flavor, btw.

I think drinking Kombucha may have just about been as exciting as it got the past two days, other than finding something in the fridge.

Remember how I mentioned how much I loved the pastries from Tony Wong?…Someone must’ve read my blog because look what I found in the fridge two nights ago tucked in right next to my cashew butter!

And inside that bright yellow & black box?

A mixed berry napoleon!

In all my excitement, I forgot to take a picture of the whole cake.

Just picture this slice times 10 and you’ll have a picture of the full napoleon. Sometimes we just have to use our imaginations 🙂

This is seriously one of the BEST napoleons ever. It’s officially joined my list of favorite sweets.

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2 and a half hours until my flight home!

What do you love most about home?

Almond love

After a day of fun in the sun yesterday, it was time back to the normal grind…which today, was my dreaded operations management assignment.

Of course I didn’t start until I got my brain warmed up a bit with a nice hearty breakfast.

On the menu this morning: Oats

A nice big bowl topped with cooked apples and some homemade cashew butter.

I haven’t had oats in a very long time and this particular bowl was extra delicious.

I worked through the morning with a couple visits to the freezer where all the leftover 5 ingredient crispies I had made for yesterdays boat trip were hanging out.

Since I had made two batches and there was way too much food on that boat, there were quite a few leftover crispies. No worries though…just means more for me 🙂

Batch 1, I had made with cashew butter and batch 2 was made with crunchy barney butter. I love cashew, but the crunch of the almonds from the barney butter definitely gave those crispies a little extra somethin’ somthin’ which made them my instant favorite.

You know what else almonds gives a little extra somethin’ somthin’ to?

Black bean almond milk (and now that I think about it, just about everything else…)

Remember that batch of black bean milk I made about a week ago? I also blended up a black bean almond version recently, which I enjoyed even more.

I pretty much followed the same process as last time, except this time my 1/2 cup of soaked beans had been cooked for 20 mins in 2 cups of water.

After cooking them I had stored them in the refrigerator, along with the liquid, for a couple days until I decided to use them.

Black beans

Plus 1/2 cup roasted almonds & 4-6 cups of water

were placed in a blender with the strainer attachment.

(4-6 cups of water because it depends on whether you like it thick and creamy or more smooth and diluted)

2-5 mins in the blender and the black bean almond milk was ready!

Roasted almonds are key here! austiNuts has some of the best roasted almonds I’ve had and I think it’s really what gave the black bean milk its extra special taste.

I’ve got a couple other delicious almond treats up my sleeve, but that’s for another day 🙂

Any almond fans out there?

Boat Trip

Dearest Mother Nature,

Thank you for the gorgeous weather this afternoon.

Sincerely, Kris

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Around 11am today we boarded this lovely boat at the Tsim Sha Tsui Ferry Pier.

And off we went towards Clear Water Bay.

Still on our way…

~25 mins later and we were in Clear Water Bay where we spent all afternoon swimming, laying out, eating, and just relaxing on the boat. I even managed to get in about 15 mins of school work!…until I got sidetracked…

No boat trip is complete without copious amounts of food.

Lunch spread minus the desserts, fruits, and drinks.

For a total of 20 people, there may have been a bit too much food…

After a sunny afternoon of fun, we began our trip back just as the sun was beginning to set, which made for some pretty photos.

It still amazes me how many high rises are on such a small island.

Hong Kong is divided down the middle by a waterway known as Victoria Harbour. To the left would be the Island side of Hong Kong, and on the right is the Kowloon side.

A better view of the Island side at dusk.

And now the Kowloon side.

All salty, sunned out, and back on land.

Have a beautiful Sunday! 🙂

Photo Friday

Friday morning started out early with a fun strength workout followed up with an all-in-one type breakfast. I wanted to drink a chocolate protein shake, but I also wanted oats, and there was no way I could eat both a bowl of oats AND a large protein shake, so I just had them both at once.

I kept it on the cool side though, since it was hot hot hot outside yesterday.

Ok, so I just looked at the weather and it doesn’t seem like it’s that hot from the numbers, but I promise it felt way hotter. Perhaps because the humidity is 80%+ everyday.

I was out and about pretty much all day yesterday, and I realized that I really haven’t shown any photos of Hong Kong other than food, so I’ll show you my afternoon through photos…

Lunch in Soho

There are restaurants lining this hill and at every block it opens up left and right and there are MORE restaurants.

 You can pretty much always find shade somewhere here because of all the high rise buildings.

One thing most of these photos have in common? People. And a whole lotta them.

I took most of these photos in Central, more specifically Soho where a ton of restaurants are located. It’s a very international area where everyone speaks English.

The last two photos are in Mong Kok – you may remember me mentioning this is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, particularly on Saturdays.

I don’t have many plans today other than getting back on track with summer school, once again…but tomorrow (Sunday) I’m going on a boat trip!

Have a fabulous weekend!

Raging Sweet Teeth

So I’m pretty sure anyone who’s read a couple of my posts kinda figured out I have a raging sweet tooth. Actually, I should probably say sweet teeth, since I love sweets so much. And Hong Kong is no exception. I probably eat more sweets here than I actually do back home.

Good thing I consider fruits to be sweets because they satisfy my sweet cravings and are aplenty here.

Gold Kiwi


But nothing makes me happier than a whole box of delicious sweet treats

Pastries from Tony Wong

Mixed-berry Napoleons, Mango Napoleon, Blueberry Cheesecake, Fig tart, Mango Delight, Pinky – aka Almond cake with raspberry jam, and Hazelnut & Chocolate Crunchy Cake

The fig tart was so pretty!

and lastly, a cuppa goodness – a Mango Parfait.

I love how pastries here are usually super light and less sweet. I don’t ever get that sickening feeling from too much sugar.

Tony Wong also has beautiful full sized cakes you can specially order.

They’re shaped like roses! I wish I had a better photo…but aren’t they gorgeous?? My birthdays just around the corner and I’m hoping to be blowing out candles on one of these. Just kidding. That’d be pretty darn awesome though!

I’m proud to say I had a taste of every single one of those pastries in that box 🙂 That should be plenty, but I didn’t stop there…

I’ve also been eating mooncakes!

Mooncakes are traditionally eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival, which is sometime during the end of September or early November, depending on when the moon is at its fullest.

People celebrate in different ways, but lighting lanterns and sending floating lanterns to the sky is what I remember the most. Technically these mooncakes are eaten while admiring the full mid-autum moon with friends and family, but they’re sold months in advance, so we can practically eat them almost all year round.

A mooncake is actually a little hard to describe. It’s basically a pastry-type sweet that has a tender crust surrounding a dense sweet lotus paste that may or may not contain up to three salted eggs yolks in the center. The egg yolks symbolize the full moon. It’s kinda got that sweet and salty thing goin on, which I love.

I highly doubt my description was all that enticing, but I promise they are absolutely delicious. If you don’t eat eggs, there are mooncakes with no egg yolks and just lotus paste. Those are delicious too 😛  The most important aspect though is that you have to buy the RIGHT brand of mooncakes. Otherwise, it’s it’s not so delicious…

So mooncakes and pastries should be enough, right? Wrong.

It’s so hard to pass up sweets here. Just this evening when I was walking home from dinner, I just had to stop at a food stand to buy this.

In that bag is…Egg waffles!

These puffs are warm and crunchy on the outside and hollow on the inside with the slightest chew. If you like waffles, you will LOVE these. There should actually be another row or two of puffs, but I kinda ate them before I got a chance to take this picture.

These have to be one of my absolute favorite foods here in Hong Kong. I’ve eaten them since I was little and they never get old. They’re sold on the streets and there are good ones and bad ones, but thank goodness I live close to a good stand 🙂 I can never pass it up when I walk by because I can smell it a block away.

They actually started selling the egg waffle maker at William Sonoma this year along with an egg waffle mix.


I haven’t had the opportunity to try it yet, so I’m not sure how it compares to the ones in Hong Kong, but I’d love to find out!

I could probably go on and on about all the desserts and sweets I’ve been eating, but think I’ll just stick with my favorites so I don’t bore you all to death or give any of you a toothache…;)

What’re some of your favorite sweets?