Fact: Burgers are better than exams

In the midst of finals week, my wisdom teeth started to come in, and I have been sitting in the same study spot trying to memorize ratios for my accounting class. The final was crazy hard, and my stress level was at its peak. I wanted to cry after the exam, but I was too tired to cry. Instead, my friend and I decided to take a stroll around East River Park and the Highline on an impulse. Later, we said goodbye to friends who were already done with exams and just napped for the rest of the afternoon in order to recharge and study for my last exam: corporate finance.

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I got to work right away that Friday and started to review my finance notes and redo all the practice problems we received in class. I needed to know every single problem like the back of my hand, so I could be ready for any curve ball my professor decided to throw at us. Corporate Finance was indeed a very enlightening class. What are the three important things I learned? How to raise money, how to spend money, and how to value a firm. I will never forget how my professor would remind us of these three important lessons every class. I started my grind on cash flow tables, real option problems, CAPM, WACC, and APV formulas with a full cup of coffee and free mini bagels courtesy of the office of student engagement (free food is what i live for)

After a long day, my friends and I took a well deserved break and went to Five Napkin Burger for dinner! I literally live right across from the restaurant, and this was my first time trying it out. So I was super excited. I ordered the avocado ranch burger. IMG_5158 IMG_5162
Let me tell you… the burger was cooked to perfection! The meat was thick and juicy, topped with cheddar cheese and the creamiest guac. I requested that the ranch be on the side, so I wouldn’t have a sloppy mess of sauce everywhere. My friend ordered the original Five Napkin burger, and his burger kept slipping around because of all the sauce! I was very satisfied. This perfect burger along with the most hilarious people ever made exam week a lot more bearable. Also, another promising sign: most of us will be working in the city during the summer!

I didn’t forget you!

Wow, I didn’t mean to take a 2 month long hiatus, but I’m back!! I am officially done with my sophomore year of college, and I must say this semester was pretty hectic, lots of ups and downs. Fortunately, good food and great company kept me sane. This semester, I learned a lot about myself, my strengths and weaknesses, my career aspirations, and the people who truly matter to me. I’m so glad to be back home, surrounded by green, nature, family, and my kitchen!!! Here’s something I made for my family as a homecoming dinner: lemon zest and garlic grilled chicken with sauteed veggies and a side of rice. The chicken recipe is from Martha Stewart. I watched Sarah Carey’s video and immediately knew I had to try it out! I love Sarah Carey’s energy and humor; her videos are always a pleasure to watch.



Also, I’m super pumped for this summer because I landed an awesome internship which is going to help me learn a lot about my career interests and explore the firm’s corporate culture. I will be uploading some reviews soon!! During my days of slacking, I have been eating at great places in the city and taking pictures! So I have not fallen off wordpress just yet, and I don’t plan to anytime soon.

Easter Sunday

Holidays are great excuses to splurge on great food. This Easter, I felt especially blessed to be around my loved ones and enjoy the arrival of spring! My family and I had lunch in Little Italy after service. Finally, my parents’ busy season has passed, so it was time to indulge. Grotta Azzurra on Mulberry St. was packed as usual, but the service was efficient and our waiter took good care of us.

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I ordered the $12.95 2 course prix-fixe lunch special which comes with pasta and your choice of entree. I had to pick the Penne Sorrentina since it had eggplant. The tomato sauce was fresh and the basil and mozzarella were extremely fragrant a flavorful not overpowering the dish in anyway. I wish they weren’t so stingy with the eggplant though; there were only 4 tiny pieces in my bowl. For my entree, I ordered the Basa (Cod fillet prepared oreganata style). The fish was very well cooked and very fresh. I loved the crunchiness the bread crumbs added to the fish. Roasted potatoes and broccoli balanced out the fish very nicely.
A choice I don’t recommend is the Pork Scallopini (sautéed with butter & white wine). The pork was a bit dry and drenched in sauce. Nothing special.
As we devoured our lunch, we reminisced about our trip to Italy last summer…. the time we had a six course lunch in a bustling and energetic restaurant in Venice while absorbing the beauty of the Grand Canal. Take me back!

April 12 is National Grilled Cheese Day


I made myself a grilled cheese sandwich todayy!

Originally posted on Foodimentary - National Food Holidays:


Interesting Food Facts about Grilled Cheese

  1. Grilled cheese sandwiches originally showed up in America during the roaring 20’s.
  2. It is said that grilled cheese was first served as an open-face sandwich.
  3. A grilled cheese sandwich is often accompanied by tomato soup, a southern delicacy!
  4. Grilled cheese sandwiches can be served with bacon , tomato, and various other additions.  It makes the meal much more filling.
  5. April is national grilled cheese sandwich month.  Be sure to celebrate heartily!

Fun Fact:

Today’s notion of the grilled cheese is commonly traced back to the 1920s, when the Iowa man considered “the father of sliced bread” invented a bread slicer that made distributing white bread easy and affordable.
In 2004, the online casino GoldenPalace.com paid $28,000 for a half-eaten grilled cheese with the likeness of the Virgin Mary depicted in the “burn” pattern.
In 2009, Los Angeles hosted the world’s first grilled cheese cooking…

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Food Diary

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This is what happens when I fall behind on blogging! These meals weren’t really accompanied by interesting stories…except meal number 5. I had this tiny salad before going out for pancakes at my favorite Ukrainian Diner.

1. mushroom, spinach, shredded cheddar cheese omelette with 2 eggs and a side of whole grain toast with raspberry jam
2.  tomato, spinach, shredded cheddar cheese omelette with 2 eggs and a side of whole grain toast with raspberry jam
3. oven baked flounder fillet with red onions, seasoned with basil, salt and pepper, ginger, and chives
4. Grilled chicken, spinach, plum tomato avocado salad tossed with red wine vinegar
5. Quinoa Bowl with sauteed kale, zucchini, plum tomatoes and a soft boiled egg
6. Grilled pepperjack cheese sandwich with tomatoes and a side of sliced cucumbers

All super easy and quick to make. I would definitely open up a diner or a cafe if I had the money. Considering the initial investments, revenues, costs, depreciation expense of my restaurant, taxes, capital gains or loss, etc ,etc…. calculate the NPV. Is a restaurant worth investing?

Luke’s Lobster

IMG_5529Sometimes I always feel stuck to a routine: wake up, go to class, workout, study, etc. So when a friend spontaneously asks if I want to get lunch after two grueling hours of creating cash flow tables and analyzing financial statements, I never decline.

On Tuesday (way back, because I was too lazy to blog :( ), a friend and I tried Luke’s Lobster in East Village. Known for having some of the best lobster rolls in New York City, Luke’s Lobster is a tiny shack on Second Avenue that gives off nautical vibes of a boardwalk in Maine. I was a bit hesitant to pay $16 for a lobster roll no bigger than the size of my palm, BUT it was so worth it. The warm bread was toasted and buttered to perfection. The lobster meat was, surprisingly, cold but very fresh and delicious. I was also shocked that the glorious sandwich was somewhat filling. If it didn’t cost $16, I probably would have ordered two more.

Channeling My Inner Qi

What a beautiful day in New York City!! The sun is finally out after a long, gloomy week, and I can finally start to leave my poofy down jacket at home. For lunch today, my friend asked if I wanted to get pad thai with her at a restaurant called Qi Esran Thai Kitchen in Union Square. Disappointed by the pad thai I had last night, I immediately responded YES; I need some good pad thai right now. Here’s a before and after of my lunch. :)


Rewinding back to last night, I went to a thai restaurant near the Gramercy area, and I was not impressed at all. I don’t even remember the name, but who cares!? Never going back there again! The waiter seated me and my friend next to the door, so a horrible draft of wind and rain hit us every time someone opened the door. I made a mistake of ordering a non-spicy veggie pad thai because it was so bland, watery, and plain terrible. Literally just white, dry noodles and a couple of veggies and bean sprouts. Okay, “not spicy” shouldn’t mean that you can charge me $12 for a flavorless plate of noodles.

IMG_5512However, today at Qi, my friend and I went for the $7.50 lunch special. The environment of the restaurant was casual and modern. I loved the high ceilings and the amount of sunlight that entered the building (good lighting= good food pictures am I right?!) We both picked the mushroom spring rolls as the appetizer and the chicken pad thai as the main course. So good. Totally made up for last night’s disaster. The crispy spring rolls came in a little teacup with sauce on the bottom. The pad thai was well cooked and not overwhelming with sauce and oil. I completely devoured my pad thai.

Comparing Qi to Spice and Cafetasia, I would say Spice’s and Cafetasia’s flavors are stronger. Usually, I would ask for my food to be packed at these restaurants because their portions are pretty huge and they include an appetizer for their lunch special as well. Qi is more on the light side which is still a win. Less saturated fats and oil mean I won’t fall into a food coma while I’m studying later.

I also found $10 in a dryer while doing laundry this morning. Spent that money on today’s lunch. Oh yeah.