Sunday, April 29, 2012

The week(end) in pictures

I wish I could say that there has been minimal blogging past week because I've been working night and day on my procomp paper. Unfortunately that's not the case (booooooo!). I had a presentation at the IWK Children's Hospital on Friday which literally sucked every spare moment of my non-procrastinating time.

I could show the week in pictures but it would literally be of me pulling my hair out and sitting in the floor of the living room...and eating lots of yogurt and granola. So instead this post is about a weekend of fun spent with wonderful friends and great food!

Friday evening - when there was finally time to pause and enjoy a good meal...gotta love sushi coupons for Hamachi House!!

*all in my tummy*

Post-sushi coma: walking down to the Metro Center. The weather was chilly but beautiful!

Me and my roomies got tickets to Stars on Ice which was directed by Kurt Browning this year!!!

We were just a LITTLE excited to say the least ;)

Kurt the flesh!!! Unfortunately most of my pictures turned out like this. That's what I get for only using my iPhone *sigh*

Clearest picture I took from the night...and probably the only one where the lady in front of me was sitting up as straight as possible so I couldn't avoid the top of her head.

It was an amazing show! I particularly enjoyed the performances by Virtue & Moir, Ashley Wagner, and Shawn Sawyer (but they were ALL great!).

Post-Stars on Ice the Asian Aunties went to celebrate Buble's birthday! Happy 30th :).

And an honourable mention goes out to JP...just because you often mention my blog in our conversations and it makes me feel special :P.

 Saturday morning I celebrated another birthday of a very dear friend - Jessie! We went to Saege Bistro and had a much-needed catch-up.

Happy birthday to you!!!

I ordered the eggs benedict with smoked salmon. Words cannot describe how perfect that Hollandaise sauce was!

I guess this post would have been more appropriately named Eighteen Hours of the Weekend in Pictures.  Haha. I will definitely have more time this week for blogging but it's crazy how fast the weeks are flying by. Only 3 weeks until the summer!

And now it's time to finish start my procomp paper. Someone please save me!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Lemon Poppyseed Scones

I have officially redeemed myself from my last baking catastrophe!

Say hello to my first attempt at scones ever.

Why I have never made scones before, I do not know but I will be making them again for sure!!

The recipe I chose was very simple and the majority of the ingredients were things I had around the apartment. I made a few adjustments to the original recipe based on other bakers' suggestions.

To make these scones:

Mix flour, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, lemon peel and salt.

Add butter and cut into dry ingredients.

I find it easiest to blend the butter in using my hands (clean hands, of course!). I literally just rub the butter between my fingers and blend it into the flour until it resembles a coarse meal.

Next, whisk egg and lemon juice in a bowl and add to the flour mixture until moist clumps form.

Finally, add milk and stir until dough comes together.

Next, you gather the dough into a ball...

And smoosh it flat until it's an 8" round.

Cut the round into 8-12 wedges. Place on a baking sheet, brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 375F for 25 minutes.

Et voila!

Beautiful lemon poppyseed scones!!

And some...not so beautiful ones.

I actually have no idea why some of them fell lopsided in the oven but they still tasted good.

Fingers crossed that this will turn into a good baking streak for me :).

Lemon Poppyseed Scones (modified from
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 4 tsp grated lemon peel
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice (or juice of 1 lemon)
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
Preheat oven to 375F. Mix flour, 1 cup sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, lemon peel and salt in a large bowl. Add butter to the flour and cut in until it resembles coarse meal. Whisk egg and lemon juice in a medium bowl and add to flour mixture. Mix until moist clumps form. Add 1/3 milk and mix until dough comes together. You may need to add more milk if dough seems dry (I added a few extra tablespoons).

With floured hands, gather the dough into a ball and flatten into an 8" round. Cut into 8-12 wedges. Move scones to a large baking sheet. Brush with milk and sprinkle the remaining 1 tbsp sugar on top.

Bake until golden brown, about 23-25 minutes.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Another unit bites the dust

It's hard to believe that another unit of med school is behind me. The last five weeks of MSK/Derm actually FLEW by, but thankfully I don't feel like I've been run over a train like the last exam.

As tempting as it to go into depth of how I think the exam went I'd rather focus on happier what I had for dinner last night ;). But just because I love the photosynth app on my iPhone, here's a look into the anatomy of my study space for the past week.

Yes, apparently it's necessary for me to take up 2 couches and half the floor when studying!!

As per tradition, two of my classmates and I went out for a celebratory post-exam dinner. This time around we decided to try Brussels which specializes in modern and traditional Belgian dishes, located in Granville Square in downtown Halifax.

I ordered the fish of the day which was salmon, served with a side of vegetables and potatoes. Apologies for the poor quality of the picture below. The lighting was dim and I didn't want to use my flash!

As far as service goes, Brussels was excellent! Our server was charming and very attentive to our table. The salmon was cooked to perfection! But as far as the sides go I wasn't impressed. The vegetables and potato literally tasted like they had been boiled and spooned onto my plate. It's not that they tasted bad but there just wasn't anything special about them.

Adam and me (plus a smaller but brighter picture of the salmon dish...)

I hate to say bad things about the meal because the salmon was SO good! Who knows, maybe the sides are just hit-and-miss. That's what I'm hoping because when I sampled the Belgian fries, ribs, and steak from Helen and Adam's plates I was delightfully impressed.

MSK/Derm, it was nice knowing you! The countdown to the end of school is on!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

T minus 13 hours

Sipping a coretto, counting down the hours until freedom...

Realizing that every ounce of my body wants to do ANYTHING but study.

Romantic walk at sundown anyone?

How about a stroll in the Public Gardens?

No takers? It's ok, ducks are always good company.

Yes, I'm obviously procrastinating and going a little crazy...

Lab will be conquered in T minus 13 hours!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Taste with your eyes

You can look but you can't touch.

No seriously, don't eat these cookies!!


There are days when I really make poor life decisions. Today was one of them.

Like how I thought that laying on my balcony would be conducive to studying. I will tell you right now that I got through a grand total of 4 slides.

*whomp whomp*

But that was okay because it was dinnertime anyways (one of the only things that went right today).

As I started to settle down post-meal I had the brilliant idea of baking cookies. Snickerdoodle cookies to be exact. Sure I didn't have any cream of tartar but what difference could it make? Besides, cookies always make tutorials more pleasant :).

Off I went to cut some some butter, choosing what was probably the flimsiest knife in the apartment. This is what ensued:

It is now a handle-less knife. I know...sometimes I don't even know my own strength.

I should have taken that as a sign that it wasn't a good baking day but I continued...and this is where the real problem came.

*Thought process* can I make these cookies healthier? I could probably cut down on some of the sugar. Recipe calls for 1.5 cups? 1 cup will do!! No wait, why don't I make them even HEALTHIER and cut it down to 3/4 cup! Brilliant.

Nope, not so brilliant. Sure they looked normal, probably due to rolling them around in the cinnamon sugar mixture...

They even smelled delicious as they were baking...

But they just didn't look like normal snickerdoodle cookies.

And then I tasted one...

Friends, I will not be sharing these cookies with anyone. It will ruin any decent baking reputation I have!! And I'm not just saying that to make an excuse to eat them all myself. No, if I had one word to describe these it would be bland.
Everything that snickerdoodles are supposed to embody, these are not!

I guess this is a sign that I should get back to studying...

Saturday, April 14, 2012

5k Lung Run: 31 seconds stronger!

Four hours ago I was waiting with excitement with over 500 people for the 2012 Credit Union Lung Run to begin.

The race was first held in 2007 by The Lung Association of Nova Scotia and raise awareness of lung disease while promoting a healthy lifestyle through reduction of tobacco use and through physical activity. The race also raises money to support programs and services for people affected by lung disease (Source).

There are several reasons why I love this race other than the fact that it's for a good cause. Well, mainly one reason. The route is probably the flattest 5k stretch in all of Halifax. It's almost like the person who planned the course knew about my intense hatred of running uphill :P.

This was my second year in a row to do the Lung Run so I'm starting to build myself a little collection of t-shirts. I really love the design and colour of the shirt this year (2011 on the left, 2012 on the right).

The design this year was oh-so-slimming plus the color didn't clash with my skin tone like the orange-red tee. Orange-red + asian skin = *shudder*. Not that it really matters though. I'm honestly just glad to have a new running shirt!

Shameless selfie in the bathroom. You would think I was a teenager again...

It was a perfect day for the run. Warm weather with a slightly cool breeze. It felt great to be outside!

But when I was waiting in line to pick up my kit I started to get a bit nervous. Now, I am by no means a slug when it comes to running but I'm also not a world-class sprinter. Nooooooot even clooooose!!! So when I saw people who came in their own fancy-schmancy unitard or varsity athlete tracksuit it gave me butterflies.

I actually had to refocus and keep telling myself that I just wanted to beat my time from last year. Just beat 23:49 despite the fact that my IT band has been tight, I've been having meniscal pain for the past 2 weeks and relentless shin splints in the past month.

My body is falling apart on the tender age of 24.

I was smart enough to pop a few extra strength ibuprofen before leaving my apartment so all pain was gone within 30 minutes (although it will probably come back to haunt me tomorrow morning). Despite all this the run was great!! I didn't have any way to track my time but it felt like I was going at a decent pace.

As I caught sight of the finish line my eyes locked in to the runner ahead of me and I told myself that I had to pass her. I had to...or else I would be a failure. I picked up my pace, lengthened my stride, and overtook her. From there it was just a couple dozen meters to the end and I sprinted happily across the finish line. Yes, happily because I caught sight of the timer on the side and knew that I was under 23:49.

Ends up my time was 23:18...a whole 31 seconds faster than last year! Sure it's not significantly better but I am still ecstatic that I didn't decline like I thought.

Goal for next year: beat Unknown Unknown :P.

The reception was at the Halifax Farmers Market (could there be a better venue? I think not!) where all the runners were well-fed and refreshed.

I also saw my friend Angie who's the one who gave me the little extra encouragement to sign up for the race this year and join Team Frito. Thanks Angie :).

All-in-all it was a great race and I am a very happy runner. Can't wait for next year!!

(Hark, is that a beam shining down from Heaven? :P)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A suspected fracture

Reason #57 why I can't study today: a suspected scaphoid fracture...

Yup, as I was getting ready for clinic this morning I tripped over some anatomy textbooks and fell on my outstretched right hand. What resulted was a trip to the emergency department.

Thankfully this friendly guy fixed me up for the moment with a beautiful thumb spica splint.

Funny story is that when I got to emerg, my other classmate Justin was also in need of some splinting...looks like I wasn't the only clumsy one!

Fine, fine. I am a horrible liar! We actually had a splinting session this afternoon for Clinical Skills where got to apply volar wrist splints and thumb spica splints on each other as well as a Robert Jones bandage and a posterior slab on a volunteer.

Dave did an awesome job on the thumb spica splint. Much more than I can say of mine. haha.

All splinted up and ready to go! I guess this means I should get back to studying....*sigh*