Daily Archives: December 4, 2010

The Importance of Cookies

This is what I looked out onto as I ate my breakfast this morning…

This is one thing that I love about winter…I’m never up early enough to catch the sunrise during the summer months, but in the winter, I do catch it quite often. And it never fails to fill me with awe and peace. There is something so humbling when you’re in the presence of such miraculous beauty.

And if only I had my camera with me at work today! My studio looked out towards the northshore mountains; they were breathtakingly gorgeous today! White-capped blue mountains shining brilliantly in the sunlight… That, coupled with the fact that my kiddies are all working fairly hard these days preparing for upcoming recitals, made my day pass pleasantly and breezily.

Yesterday, I was reminded once again of the fragility of life and the need to embrace what you have, who you have, and who you are, here and and today. As I was leaving a student’s place, her mother came to talk to me and was visibly upset. Upon my asking if she was ok, she told me that a good friend of her daughter’s (not my current student, but her older sister who I also used to teach) just passed away after battling with cancer for the past 3 years. She was 23 years old.

I do not know her, have never met her, but my heart goes out to her family and friends. I feel so sad for my former student. She is so young herself (around 19), and a loss such as this will of course be life-changing.

And I’m reminded once again to be thankful. Thankful for all the incredible blessings I have in my life. To not take them for granted. To voice and show my love to the people I care about. And to not sweat the small stuff. Life really is too short for us not to cherish every moment.

And with that in mind, I’m going to go spend some quality time with my family and decorate our place for the coming holidays! And have cookies. Cuz cookies are an important part of cherishing life, being thankful, etc etc. Especially when they’re yummy and relatively healthy to boot. Can’t beat that! I have Mama Peas to thank for that again, with her Anytime Cookies! I followed her recipe pretty closely, with only minor adjustments; I used 2 TB of maple syrup instead of the 1/4 C unrefined sugar, substituted chopped dates for the dried apricots, and craisins instead of raisins. Not too sweet, perfect for that “anytime” you have a cookie craving. 🙂

And I just want to add that I’m very thankful to you, whoever’s reading this and who comes to visit my little corner of the blog world. 🙂 Now go have a cookie (or come over for one!) and hug a friend, family member, or furry pet!


Posted by on December 4, 2010 in Thoughts

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Saturday mornings are not among my favourite things. I mean, for starters, I work and therefore have to miss out on all those awesome Saturday morning cartoons. And I start at 8 am. I realize that’s not actually early for a work day, but seriously, what kid wants to have a piano lesson at 8 am on a Saturday?? Don’t they have cartoons to watch?? Anyhoo, and then the early start means that I have to always have an early night on Friday. Nevermind that it’s currently 11:30 pm and here I am blogging instead of sleeping.

But my real issue with Saturday mornings is the many hours, too many hours, I have to endure between breakfast and lunch. I am a person who absolutely needs to have her meals in a timely manner, or else my stomach rages war on me. It’s not pretty when that happens. And I have no time for a snack either; I can’t eat and talk at the same time, despite me being Chinese. And I’ve tried having a smoothie cuz I can sometimes manage to drink something in between talking, but then sometimes even that is cumbersome. Like the time my student asked me if I was drinking something with peach in it (and yes, it was a smoothie with peaches in it), and spent the rest of the lesson interjecting random facts about peaches and telling me I was making him hungry. Hey, I’m with you kid, when’s lunch?–was all I could think to say. Plus I was always worried I might get a seed or spinach leaf stuck in my teeth.

So I stopped the whole smoothie thing. But I was huuuungry by the time lunch finally rolled around. When I get to that point, I am always reminded of the time I was watching a Chinese movie with exceptionally bad subtitles and when the character said in Chinese that he was starving, the subtitle simply said “I want to eat a horse”. Whoops, something got cross-wired in translation. But seriously, during that last hour before lunch, I want to eat a horse, my hair, my sock (hey, cotton’s edible, init?)…

Enter (drumroll please) the Super-Power-Quinoa-Breakfast!

This stuff keeps me full for hours. And although I’m still hungry by lunchtime, my stomach rage is no longer out of control, but rather, a polite and only somewhat insistent plead for food. Quinoa is full of protein (it is the grain with the highest protein content) and fibre and other goodies, and that’s what keeps me full, much more than oatmeal. So I always make myself a batch on Friday, and on Saturday mornings I just heat it up in the microwave with a couple splashes of milk, top with my fave toppings, and away I go.

Quinoa Porridge

  • 1/2 C quinoa
  • 1 C milk
  • 1 C water

Put all 3 ingredients in a pot and heat to boil. Do not walk away from the stove! I learned the hard way that this stuff goes super fast from not boiling to bubbling over. And trust me, it’s really not fun to clean up tiny little quinoa granules and milk from beneath the element. Once boiling, turn heat down to medium-low and cook for 15-20 mins, stirring occasionally. It is done when the quinoa has absorbed most of the liquid.

I top mine with a handful of nuts, craisins, banana, unsweetened coconut shreds, and my latest obsession, chia seeds!

You can put in whatever you like, of course, and nut butters and cinnamon are also among my usual toppings. It’s so yummy…creamy and hearty, and really warms me up on a cold winter’s morning before the sun’s up.

Mmm, the thought of tomorrow morning’s breakfast almost — almost — makes me look forward to my alarm clock ring.


Posted by on December 4, 2010 in Kitchen Adventures

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