Monthly Archives: September 2012

C foods for Carmen

The other day while riding the train home, I got on the train in Wrigleyville. The specific stop is Addison for those who are familiar with the Chicago train system. Wrigleyville is known for being bro central. Go there if you want to have a broey good time, otherwise stay away. I had to go to Wrigleyville for a meeting, and got my monthly dose of broiness. I thought I experienced enough broiness till I overheard a group of bros’ conversation.

“Today we’re only going to eat foods that begin with B: burgers, brats, beer … and bananas

– random bro on the train

What? Bro, you’re only going to eat foods that begin with the B? B foods for Bros. Thus if a bro is only going to eat foods that begin with the letter B, I am only going to eat foods that begin with the letter C. C foods for Carmen.

It is quite hard eating foods that begin with C. I am not the type of person to binge on junk foods, and it just so happens that a lot of junk foods begin with the letter C: chocolate, cookies, cake and chips. C for junk food catastrophe. Luckily eating C foods was not so bad. Here is a list of C foods I ate this week.

C is for Chicken Salad (Thai)

My family and I went to Panera for lunch one afternoon. I got the Thai Chicken Salad. It was surprisingly quite spicy. I wasn’t expecting it to be spicy. When it turned out to be mildly spicy, it was a lot to take in especially for someone who cannot handle her spicy foods. This salad came with a bed of romaine lettuce, a mix of vegetables, edemame, chicken, crunchy asian crackers and a spicy, peanut dressing.

C is for Cheesy Fried Mac and Cheese Wedges

Kind of cheated with the C foods here, but I really wanted to show you guys these Mac and Cheese Wedges. What a brilliant idea! Mac and cheese dipped in batter and fried, so the outside is crispy and the inside is filled with mac and cheese goodness.

C is for Cake

I love cake! Here are three different types of Chinese cakes. The white one is a white chocolate cake. The second one is a chocolate mousse cake. The third one is a chocolate cake with jellies in the middle. Chinese cakes are usually a lot lighter than American cakes. The cake part is definitely less heavy and more airy. The frosting is not as sweet and not as rich. Sometimes American cakes are too much for me. Chinese cakes are the perfect, light dessert without pushing you over the edge into a sugar high.

C is for Cheeseburger

Cheeseburgers make for a solid meal. This cheeseburger came with fries and an orzo salad. Yum!

Ending this C foods for Carmen post with a punny sign. Harharhar

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Universal Studios Orlando and Harry P. Leu Gardens

Continuation of my trip to Orlando. I was suffering from serious Disney World withdrawal during the first couple of weeks back in Chicago. Listening to my Disney playlist on repeat, getting excited for Disney movie marathons and spreading my enthusiasm for Disney magic. Unfortunately the Disney magic obsession has slowly died down, but I think I will always have a little bit more spark and a little bit more whimsical magic in me after this terrific trip.

Universal Studios Orlando

Harry Potter World – Hogsmeade

Butterbeer in Hogsmeade

Harry Potter World – Hogwarts

My favorite part of Universal Studios Orlando was Harry Potter world. It was a lot smaller than I imagined, but still great to walk through. A real life version of what I imagined from reading the books, and what was pictured in the movies. If you ever wondered what Butterbeer tastes like, it tastes like a super sweet Coke float.

The Lorax in the World of Dr. Seuss

I loved the World of Dr. Seuss. The world where imagination comes to life. The things I love about the Dr. Seuss books are how unique his wording is and how creative the characters look. Everything looks like it came from an entirely different universe. Dr. Seuss is quite the character.

The Lorax at the parade

Here I am eating a monstrous chocolate sprinkle dipped sundae on a stick. Talk about a sugar rush!

Harry P. Leu Garden 

I wandered over to the Harry P. Leu Gardens on my first day, since I got in way before my friends did. I spotted this beautiful fountain in the Rose Garden.

Though people are not suppose to do this, people etched their names into the bamboo.

At first I thought this was a sundial, but it is an actual clock with the flowers and plants adorning the face. How unique!

Check back on Wednesday for a post that was inspired by this quote that I overheard from a bro on the train. Bros… gotta love them.

Today we’re only going to eat foods that begin with B: burgers, brats, beer … and bananas

– random bro on the train

Everyday is a Magical Day in Disney World

I hope everyone enjoyed their Labor Day Weekend! Over Labor Day weekend I went to Disney World, “the most magical place on earth“. I didn’t quite believe in this Disney magic till I got to Disney World, and every conversation with a Disney employee ended with “Have a magical day”. Wandering around Downtown Disney, a large outdoor shopping and dining area, all the trees were twinkling with white Christmas lights. There was even a store that sold Disney themed Christmas items year round called 365 Days of Christmas!  Booths sold light up Mickey Mouse ears that made for a festive night. A colorful merry-go-round spun around to the tunes of classic Disney songs.

Most importantly the continuous stream of Disney songs that brought back childhood memories of watching the classic Disney movies. For a twenty-something college grad like me, it is fun to pretend to be a kid for a weekend. The entire ambiance of Disney World brought out the kid in me. Thrilled and ecstatic to be in Disney World. To pretend to be a child, free of responsibilities of the real world, even if it is only for a weekend.

Downtown Disney

Let the magical memories begin in a place where all dreams come true!

dragon made from Legos

enjoying a drink at Paradiso 37

cilantro rice, fried sweet plantains and griddle corn cakes

Paradiso 37, a restaurant that features food from North, South and Central America, was a great place for a upbeat dinner. We sat outside overlooking the lagoon. There was also a live singer singing old and new hits. We made this dinner into a karaoke session belting out hits such as Adele’s Someone Like You to Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing. Not only was the atmosphere terrific, but the food was delicious too. I got a combination of different sides. I really enjoyed the cilantro rice. It was the perfect texture with just the right amount of flavor. I never had griddle corn cakes before. Tasted like a softer, moister version of corn bread. Yum!

Rigatoni Calabrese – Italian sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes, olives, escarole

On our last night at Disney World we ate outdoors at Portobello, an Italian restaurant. I really enjoyed this dish. It was one of their lighter pastas with a chicken broth reduction sauce. The rigatoni was cooked to perfection, and really absorbed all of the flavors of the broth and the other ingredients.

the wonderful world of Disney

I’m a princess

Had my little kid moment, and tried on Belle’s dress from Beauty and the Beast. I love the weird looks I am getting from the man and his daughter in the back. I could just imagine them thinking “Why is that big girl in a princess dress?” Well this is Disney World, and I can totally try on a princess dress if I want to. My shining Disney princess moment!

Disney’s Coronado Resort

These are pictures of the Coronado Resort where we were staying. A beautiful Southwestern themed resort with a gorgeous lagoon in the middle. The luscious greenery added to the picturesque resort. I loved how the water had such perfect reflections of the resort.

The pool area in the resort. Funny story about our pool adventure. My friends and I were standing around in the pool bopping to some poolside Disney songs. This preteen boy swimming underwater resurfaced in the middle of our circle. This happened more than once. The final time he resurfaced in the middle of our circle, he appeared out of the water. He then proceeded to do that hair flick, where you whip your head back and water flies out of your hair, and gave me this face. I didn’t realize what was happening until my friend told me that he must have thought I was a preteen, and subsequently tried to put his flirting skills to use. I do look young, but preteen young? Must find a way to look older, or more my age. I don’t think putting on that Disney princess dress helps in looking older. Oh the wonders of Disney!

I have only seen a couple of rainbows in my life, and this was just so breathtaking to see. It’s a circular rainbow around the sun. How magical!

Check back on Sunday for a post on the rest of my trip: Universal Studios Orlando and Orlando’s Harry P. Leu Gardens!