All posts filed under: For Curious Minds

A Regular Gal’s Opinion on [Blueland] Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products

Once upon a time, I became interested in using “eco-friendly” and “sustainable” cleaning products in my home. Maybe back then I was less conscious about actually being sustainable but rather couldn’t stand the headache that often occurred after deep cleaning my home from the fumes of those super-duper effective cleaning products. After trying several brands of “eco-friendly” cleaning products over the last few years, I realized that none of them reallllyyyy got the grime out where I wanted it to, especially in the bathroom. Or the products smelled a bit too natural – like a really smelly sneeze (yuck). (One thing I should note too is that since I’ve worked in restaurants/cafés, I’ve been spoiled with using those commercial-grade cleaning products – the ones that make everything super squeaky clean, so when I clean my own home, I need it to be THAT noticeably clean.) Notes about “Eco-Friendly” Cleaning Products Alright, alright. I’m getting to the product review, I promise. But before I do, I want to address several important things when it comes to …

3 Simple Ways to Start Reducing Food Waste

Food waste is a growing problem in our modern society. In the United States, food waste is estimated at between 30–40 percent of the food supply. In 2017 alone, almost 41 million tons of food waste were generated, with only 6.3% used for composting from landfills and combustion for energy recovery1. Why You Should Care about Reducing Food Waste: Saves money from buying less food. Reduces methane emissions from landfills and lowers your carbon footprint. Conserves energy and resources, preventing pollution involved in the growing, manufacturing, transporting, and selling food (not to mention hauling the food waste and then landfilling it). I know there’s a larger problem at hand than just me and you. I know there’s large corporations and companies that are responsible for a large chunk of food waste in the U.S.. I’m not here to talk about them (not yet anyway). Today, I want to address how you and I can start making a change in our own homes. As the CEO of the company work for always says, “You cannot control what goes on …

American Elections, Simplified

I know voting and elections are such sexy topics, which is why I want to bring it up again today! Today’s post won’t be a long guide, but instead I want to share this must-watch, extremely informative, easy-to-follow video by Hasan Minhaj about American Elections. Let me start off by saying that I am SO glad that this message is on Youtube and is freely accessible to everyone in the US. I truly believe that to make a change in your country’s system, you have to learn the history of how it became that way to avoid making the same mistakes over and over. Secondly, my favorite thing about this video (and really all his other topics) is that he is teaching us about the American two-party election system and why plurality voting (vs majority voting) is the cause of so many issues we have. He touches on “negative partisanship” which simply means that our voting decision tends to swing in the opposite direction of who we HATE, rather than voting for someone who we …

My Favorite Foods in Houston

I looked back at my Lasagna recipe that I posted beginning of the year and it made me do a knee-slapping laugh – I was talking about big things happening in 2020 and it is hilarious to go back and read about it. You would think during quarantine, I would have posted a million recipes on here with all the extra time I had working from home. Don’t get me wrong – I cooked a lot. If being in quarantine for two months taught me anything, it’s that I realized I don’t love cooking as much as I thought I did. Well, I still love it, but cooking 5-6 times a week, and sometimes even up to twice a day started to feel like a chore. And then came the worst of it all– those damn dishes. So. many. dishes. This fueled my lack of motivation to take ‘professional’ photos of my cooking process. All I wanted to do was eat at a restaurant, share stories, and laugh with friends. Do I sound like a …

You Should Be Composting… in Your Apartment

What the F*ck is Compost and Why Should You Care? (n.) Compost is decayed organic material used as a fertilizer to help plants grow. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, food is the biggest ingredient in American trash. Currently, more than 35% of the average garbage can is filled with kitchen scraps – the ones that should be composted instead of ending up in landfill. When you compost, you help keeps these materials out of landfills where they take up space and release methane, a potent greenhouse gas1. “Wait, hold on. I thought methane was good?” you ponder. Well, you are partially correct. Let me explain. Natural gas consists primarily of methane. When methane is produced from non-fossil fuel sources such as food & green waste, it can take the carbon out of the air (which is a good thing!). Methane provides a great environment benefit, producing more heat and light and energy vs. fossil fuel (coal & or gas refined from oil). It also produces significantly less carbon dioxide and pollutants that produce smog …

What’s & Who’s | Texas Primary Runoff Election (Part III)

It is 1:48 AM CST and I am finally ready to publish this post. We have a lot of ground to cover, so grab a bunch of snacks and a mug of coffee before diving in. Apologies in advance for any typos and grammatical or language errors. My English typically suffers as the night goes on. Kaykay typically proofs for me but he’s knocked out and currently snoring like a bear. Before you read this post, make sure you check out Part I & Part II first. Today I want to give you information about all the other races/ballots/people in the Texas Primary Runoff Election, in addition to the Senate & Representative candidates I mentioned in my last post. Please note that these candidates are within Harris County, so some of these people may not be in your county’s ballot. If you do not live in Harris County, click here to find out who’s in your county’s ballot. Select Year > Select either July 14th REPUBLICAN or DEMOCRATIC Primary Runoff on the Election drop down …

What’s & Who’s – U.S. Senate & U.S. Representative | Texas Primary Runoff Election (Part II)

Alright. It took me longer than I thought to research this information. But as promised, this post is about the positions & candidates in the Texas Primary Runoff Election for Harris County on July 14, 2020 – particularly, the U.S. Senate and U.S. Representative. I tried to be as unbiased as possible – most of the information here were pulled from each candidate’s website and/or a non-partisan source. I am here to inform you, not necessarily persuade you on who to vote for. Keep in mind that there’s no such thing as a perfect candidate. It’s also okay to disagree with some views of your top candidate(s) – just like how you and your best friend don’t agree on everything. I want to encourage you to do your own research on these candidates and vote for whoever is the best choice for your own beliefs and priorities. Remember, if you voted in the March 3, 2020 Primary, you may only vote in the Runoff Election of the same party. If you did not vote in …

Texas Primary Runoff Election 2020 (Part I)

Introduction Hello! My name is Donna. I’m just your regular, 28-year-old gal who believes that as U.S. citizens, we should exercise our right to vote for our local, state, and national government officials and judicial system! I know this is my food/recipe blog and has nothing to do with politics, but hey, this is my blog after all and I will be posting whatever I want! As an immigrant who became a permanent resident and eventually a U.S. citizen in 2014, I am empowered knowing that I can bring positive changes to my community by exercising my voting rights – I want you to experience that feeling too! As a voter, you have the power to decide on the quality of life that you want for yourself and future generations. Your voice matters. Voting is a chance to stand up for the issues you care about! Voting gives us the chance to support candidates and propositions that can help our community, state, and even the entire country. I am hoping that you will want to …

How to Store Herbs, Vegetables, and Fruits to Maximize Freshness

Happy New-ish Year! After a 3-month long hiatus (after the holiday craze), I am back! It didn’t mean I stopped cooking! In fact, I’ve probably cooked more meals in the past 2 months than I usually do. I often get discouraged from taking photos of my home cooked meals because 1) my kitchen is tiny so I lack space to set up and 2) food styling can get a bit too much especially when I just want to eat my food right away! I know, I know, both are feeble excuses and I promise I will try harder this year. However, today’s post is not a recipe! Instead, I’d like to share my tips on how to store herbs, vegetables, and fruits in your home to maximize freshness after your trip to the grocery store. One of the things I hate about cooking is how much produce I waste.  For example, if a recipe calls for 2 basil leaves, you cannot purchase TWO basil leaves at the grocery store. Instead, they come in a bunch and …

Favorite Kitchen Tools

Today I’d like to share my favorite kitchen tools! I know this might seem silly, but I think that having the right tools in the kitchen makes a difference in your mood when cooking. By mood, I mean that I used to get so grumpy every time a recipe says “zest of a lemon” because I hated using my large cheese grater to zest a tiny lemon. While it does essentially the same job, switching to a microplane changed my life. Before I start rambling, my point is that having the right tools in your kitchen can make a difference in the ease of cooking. I use these items almost every single time I cook/bake. When I’m working in someone else’s kitchen, I feel like one of my arms are cut off if I don’t have these on hand. In no particular order, here are my favorite kitchen friends: Microplane, $12.95, Amazon: This little guy surprised me. I didn’t know I needed him in my life until he came along. Now I don’t know what I’d do …