So I do not know whether people like the weekly reflections of Phoholic, but I guess it is like meditation, it gives me a lot of space to think, and to reflect on myself. So here is another weekly reflection with a lot of yums discovered!

APP OF THE WEEK 

This is not a food-related app, but more about wellbeing. I was first introduced to meditation when I saw my dad meditate in his room, whether or not he was sleeping there is a good question. I was not that serious about meditation at that time, but then when sometimes I feel so overload with everything and just want to give my brain a break, I think I should try meditation. At first, I tried to listen to meditation music on Youtube and free my brain at the same time, but I could only do nothing for like five minutes then check Facebook again. Therefore, when I saw Donal Skehan (you should check out his youtube page with a lot of great rustic recipes) using Headspace, I downloaded it and was very satisfied with it. 

So basically everyday, you can meditate using this app for about 10 minutes, and there will be someone talking to you and instructing you to breath, count your breath, be aware of where you are physically and listen to sounds around you. After 10 minutes, I feel completely refreshed and somehow there is not much burden in my brain anymore. You guys should surely try it out, it is free. 

My mom and friends always say that I never say how I feel out, and I always keep whatever upset me within myself (I normally share happy things because I do not want to trouble people with any of my sad times). One way for me to express myself is to write Phoholic. Although I do not express my frustration or anything, writing allows me to calm myself down and dive into my own world for few hours a week. If you do not want to try meditation, writing maybe a good idea to try? A book recommendation for people who want to control their emotions better is "The Chimp Paradox" which is one of the most influential books for myself. Basically, the book is about how to realize when your Chimp (or your instinct) gets naughty and your Human side cannot do anything about it to calm the Chimp down, and how you can tackle this problem.  

BOOK OF THE WEEK 

I just bought "Capture your style" by Aimee Song (owner of the blog Song of Style). I have not found something extraordinary about this book, but it has so many pretty street-style and travel photos that I guess I should take my photos more seriously. Anyway, all the pages look great when I do flatlays. 

I am not that perfume addict; I just helped my friend take photo of her collection 

MAGAZINES OF THE WEEK

I found so many food-bloggers-related-ish in Vietnam buy Kinfolk, but then I was never that 100% committed to buying one myself. Then after I came back, I decided to try one because I wanted to know what kind of magic Kinfolk casted on people. However, the talk is not about Kinfolk, because I have only finished one article. Don't get me wrong, the journal was super interesting and well-written, but I just bought and borrowed from university library too many books that I have not had time to fully grasp the ideology of Kinfolk. 

Last Saturday, I went to Birmingham with my housemates and I bumped in a pop up shop named Provide, and I just spent like 15 minutes in my kind of world browsing all the magazines and chatting with the owner. If only that pop up shop or Birmingham were next to my doorstep. Finally, I bought three magazines (which means that I have to cut down on my food consumption this week) for around 40 pounds. I haven't finished all the 3 magazines, but I feel like my cuisine knowledge has boomed so fast, especially after reading about cafe culture in "Drift" (if you could only buy one magazine, this is the one) and the food culture evolution in Copenhagen. I am about to buy the previous issue of "Drift" about Havana because one of my bucketlist is to visit Cuba one day. 

COOL PLACE OF THE WEEK

I tend to wander around and try new places because I just want to be lost sometimes. Last week, when I walked from the bus stop back to my house after having lunch with my friend, I walked another way which is not the usual path back to my house. I discovered this beautiful "forest" that made me feel like I was lost in a secret kingdom. 

FOOD DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK

I am just introduced to the world of coffee, and I love trying out new recipes with it, such as Affogato with Vanilla ice cream and Corn flake which has been my favorite. My housemates also confirm the magicalness of this dessert. I made the coffee using cold brew method, because I feel that with this method, I can drink coffee any time without waiting for every single drop of coffee to come out, and every flavour of the ground coffee is incorporated. 

METHOD:

With the ratio of ground coffee bean : water of around 1:6, I put both in a bottle, and let it sit for 24 hours in the room temperature. After that, you could either filter twice to only get the liquid, not the ground coffee, and put the bottle into the fridge. Everyday, you could take out a bit and just enjoy. The cold-brewed coffee tends to be sweeter than the normal one. However, I am too lazy and I live in a cold environment, so I just put the coffee bottle outside and not filter it. When I need to use it, I either pour it out onto my Vanilla ice cream or filter it if I feel like to. For the rest of the ground coffee, I use it for scrubbing, because it is a great way to moisturize your skin. 

FOOD "PROUD" MOMENT

If you are my housemate, you would enjoy a slice of banana bread every two month, because I just always buy banana and do not eat it fast enough. That's why I always make banana bread every now and then, and because my friends love it so much that they always ask me to bake one for them. I have tried a few recipes and here are the ones that I have made successfully and totally fallen in love it: I am a food blog's (I did not put sour cream, and I put oatmeal and poppy seed at the top) and El Rey's (I did not put tahini). My tips after dozens of times baking banana bread are firstly using very ripe bananas (some that you normally would not eat) and secondly do not pull the bread out just because you see the top is brown (you can put foil on top to avoid the top from being burnt, because normally, you may under-bake the bread and inside it is not fully-cooked). 

To complement this week's banana bread, I made Banana and Apple Jam, because my Portuguese friend keeps mentioning that she makes jam every week using her grandmom's recipe. Her recipe includes (she only lists the ingredients, and I make my own measurements). 

INGREDIENTS:

2 ripe bananas, sliced 

2 apples, cut into small bites

1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

1 tablespoon of brown sugar (because the bananas are very sweet already)

1/2 a lime (or lemon)

METHOD

Then I just put all in a small pot and cook it under low heat for around 7 minutes, then smash it to have jam texture (I still keep some small bits of apple). Then I put lime juice in, wait until it cools down and put into a sterilized jar. I actually hoped that this jar can last for a week but I just finished half of my jam with my banana bread, since it is too good. Luckily, I know that I do eat that much sugar so I do not feel that much guilty. 

SOME OTHER DISHES I MADE & ATE

#IMADE

baked.eggs. with avocado.rye.bread

chicken.pho

#IATE

Garnola Pot @Cafe Architect - Leamington Spa, UK 

Sushi & sashimi plate@Sushi Passion - Birmingham, UK

Chai tea latte & Green tea frappuccino @Starbuck's

Brunch @Leamington Spa, UK with catch-up with my friend about her North Korean trip and our worries about graduate jobs

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