Wednesday 15 June 2016

Gurly's Life | My UBC Convocation for my Bachelors of Science

Special 100th graduating class degree covers, tassel and keepsake!
Hi Dolls, 

After five years of countless lectures, late night study sessions and adrenaline pumping 11:59pm online assignment submissions, I have completed my undergrad journey at UBC. This past week, I walked across Chan Center's stage and shook hands with UBC's Chancellor and the Dean of my faculty and received my degree! 

It is a moment I will remember for life. I was all smiles during and after the ceremony and just could not stop smiling. I am proud of myself to have completed my degree at one of the most toughest and prestigious universities in the world. It is a huge honour to join my fellow UBC alumni. Furthermore, it is a true honour to be a part of the 100th graduating class from UBC --> The first graduating class was Thursday May 4th, 1916! The evening was even more special since I got to graduate with one of my best friends since I have known since high school. 
Haha I look so awkward in this picture, but it was pretty overwhelming knowing I would be receiving my degree in just a few hours! It is pretty insane! Also, I approve of the fresh florals and greens UBC crest!
Now for the most important part, what did I wear? Hehe I wore a pleated halter neckline royal blue shift dress from Guess. I know right, Guess?! After scouring the boutiques on Robson street and the shops in Gastown, I was having no luck. The dresses were either far too summer relaxed or more for a night out. I also did not want to wear a strapless or spaghetti-strapped dress. Literally at that point I was going to wear one of the dresses I already own when I stumbled into Guess and spotted this dress in the most gorgeous cobalt blue! 

This dress was everything I was looking for! Something summery, flirtatious while remaining elegant! As well, UBC's colours is a rich cobalt blue and gold, so I needed to channel my inner thunderbird and wear an outfit that gives a nod to my varsity background. Haha needless to say - I found the dress! It was flirty and fun with its flowy material, but still gave off elegance with its strong neckline and solid deep cobalt blue hue. The best part, it was under my budget!

One of my closest friends through out high school and university!!
In a funny way, it was like things were coming full circle. I actually purchased my high school graduation dress from Marciano by Guess. It was a full length chiffon silk dress with a watercolour pink floral abstract print with a  sweetheart neckline. 

I paired the dres with a pair of patent leather nude heels with a stacked wooden heel from Michael Kors and accessorized with simple silver stack rings. Keeping it simple, I wore my pearl studs and hid my signature gold necklaces under the neckline of the dress. 

I had my hair done at the University Barbershop, but this time, it was the fabulous Maria who gave me my signature sharp bob! My nails were done by Andrea at Poise Nail Salon, Yaletown location. Makeup was done by MOI! I am by no means a beauty guru, but I am lucky to have pretty good skin and blessed with big brown eyes, so I do not need full coverage or intricate eye makeup. 

This day was not just a big moment for the graduating class, but also for Vikram Vij as he was awarded an honorary UBC degree for the positive impact he has had in the Vancouver community. 
The only downside was probably the fact that my family managed to take the most godawful pictures of me possible. No one told me to fix my bangs because the cap had made them all messed up. Every single pictures is CROOKED.... like how?!?! Oh, and for some odd reason, they thought pictures taken from below would be flattering.. hellooo double chin! And can someone tell me why you would take a picture from so far away that you cannot even see my face?! You cannot even tell it is me. I even gave them my Nikon DSLR and had it all set up for them. Haha the worst part, I actually cried that night when I saw the pictures. I could not help it, photography is a hobby of mine and I look horrendous in every single picture :(    Seriously contemplating going back out there and getting a friend of mine to take pictures of me. Hold a little improptu graduation photo session haha [perfectionist alert] 

So the previous paragraph should explain as to why you will not be bombarded with any of my convocation pictures. 

Some tips for those graduating in the future:
• Do bring some bobbi pins because the cap tends to slide off. My cap actually fell off while I was shaking hands with my Dean. 
• Go for comfortable heels if you are graduating from UBC. The alumni centre where the reception takes place is trek from Chan Centre as well where we are organized into our lines and given our gowns and caps is pretty far from Chan Centre too. Needless to say, I was at the point of kicking off my pumps because they had given me painful blisters on both of my feet. 
• Bring safety pins. They did provide pins, but since the hood is pretty heavy and traditionally sits off your shoulders, the hood tends to constantly fall out of place. I probably re-pinned the hood around 7 times. 

UBC 100
Though I have earned my Bachelors Degree in Sciences, I feel I have lots more to still learn. 
I also want to pursue a Masters degree; therefore, I am currently in the process of getting myself set up to apply. 

Alongside my graduating class, Vikram Vij was awarded an honorary degree from UBC for his positive work and impact within the Vancouver community. In his speech, he stated he dropped out of university part way through and his mum was disappointed. But after all these years, he has finally earned a university degree. However more importantly, I want to stress that the piece of paper I was given does not define me as a person nor makes me a better person. It is always going to be my actions and how I impact those around me is what really makes me the person I am. And I think Vikram Vij really conveyed this to all of us. He did not need a degree to be the positive community figure he is. 

Congratulations to the 100th graduating class of UBC. The 2016 year will always be remembered as the Centarians! Oh, and did I tell you we got "special" degree covers, tassels and a small keepsake to remind us that we are UBC 100! Hehe that was definitely cool! It is a small polished granite rock engraved with UBC 100. 


Wednesday 8 June 2016

Edible Obsessions | My Recipe for Mango Curd Cream Puffs

Hiya Dolls!

I am so excited to be back in the work force because it means I have some extra money to spend on ingredients for some delicious baking and cooking! Lately, I have been obsessing over and constantly craving Beta 5's amazing Cream Puffs. Not only are their cream puffs gorgeous works of art, but also have amazing flavour combinations! 

I decided to stick to a choux pastry recipe I have used for years which gives me soft airy puffs. The recipe is simple, but requires just a little bit of finesse to get the dough to the perfect consistency. My biggest tip would be to whisk all the eggs in a separate bowl and add a quarter at a time. After each addition of egg, mix the dough thoroughly until the egg is completely incorporated. Keep adding and mixing in the egg until you get a dough that has thickened and is a bit stretchy. You may not need to use all the egg because otherwise, you may end up with a very runny dough which will not hold its shape. I have done it and you get these eggy hockey puck like cookies.... still taste good though haha!

I was inspired by Beta 5's Spiced Mango Cream Puff for this recipe. I went with a fresh ataulfo mango curd filling and creme chantilly (a fancy name for fresh whipping cream). The mango curd was really simple and easy and I was pleasantly surprised by how well it turned out! You do not need to use ataulfo mangos specifically, they just happen to be my personal favourite type of mango. I used two big ones for this recipe; however, next time I think I will use three to get more of the mango flavour. Also, to get a smooth consistency, puree the mixture until there are no chunks and then put it through a strainer for a smooth mango curd. Lastly, the hardest part, whisk whisk whisk for almost 10 minutes over a pot of simmering water! Haha my arm was extremely sore by the end of it, but the mango curd was worth the hard work. 

The choux recipe that I have provided gives you soft little airy puffs. If you live in Vancouver, you are probably familiar with Beta 5 and their delicious cream puffs! I often find my Instagram feed full of pictures of their scrumptious confections! Unlike the soft airy puffs that are traditionally used for french perfiteroles, Beta 5's choux puffs are large with a crispy exteriour. They are also more golden in colour. The recipe that Beta 5 uses is slightly different from the normal choux dough recipes. Guess who found Adam Chandler's choux pastry recipe? Me! Well technically he shared it with the Vancouver Sun last winter and I happened to stumble across it, but now I am sharing it with all of you! I have not tried Chef Chandler's choux recipe yet, so I am not sure how the puffs will turn out, but when I do give it a try myself, I will do a blogpost on it. Follow this link to the Vancouver Sun article to get the Beta 5 Choux recipe. 

The nice thing about the mango curd is that it is quite versatile. You can do a layered cake or make little tarts. It is also really yummy on its own! 

Just an aside, this is my first time embedding a "printable recipe" into a blogpost. I could not get both the mango curd and choux pastry recipe into one document. We will see if I figure it out next time around! 

Let me know if you try the recipes out and how they turned out for you! 


print recipe

Choux Dough Recipe
A simple and easy choux dough recipe that makes lots of delicious light airy puffs.
  • 6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 3/4 Cup Water
  • 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Sugar
  • 4 Eggs
1. Set the oven to 450 F. On the stove, bring the water and butter to a rolling boil2. Remove the boiling water + butter off the stove and dump in the flour, salt + sugar. Stir it all together with a wooden spoon3. Return the dough back to the heat continue stirring and cooking the dough for another minute. The dough is ready when you see a thin film of the dough forming on the bottom of the pot. 4. Transfer the dough to a kitchen aide with the paddle attachment. Mix the dough on low speed to release heat. 5. Whisk the four eggs in a separate bowl. IMPORTANT --> add a quarter of the whipped eggs and let it fully incorporate into the dough. Then continue adding and mixing a little more of the egg each time until the dough is THICK & RIBBONY. You may NOT need all of the egg. Too much egg will result in a runny dough :( 6. Pipe 40-45 small 1 1/2 inch mounds about 2 inches apart on a lined baking sheet. 7. Bake the puffs for 10-15 minutes until puffy. Reduce the heat to 350F and bake for another 10 minutes. 8. Turn the oven off and leave the puffs in the oven for another 10 minutes or so to dry out. 9. Once your puffs have cooled, pipe in your favourite filling and enjoy!
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 40-45 puffs

print recipe

Mango Curd
  • 2-3 Ripe Mango Peeled + Cut/Cubed
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 3 Tbsp Lime Juice
  • Pinch Salt
  • 4 Large Egg Yolks
  • 1/4 Cup or 4 Tbsp Butter in small pieces
Puree the mango, lime juice, sugar and salt in a food processor until there are no lumpsAdd in the egg yolks and puree for another 15 secondsStrain through a sieve and discard the solidsSet a metal bowl of over saucepan of simmer water. The bowl should NOT touch the water. Whisk the puree in the metal bowl over water until thickened. Around 10 minutes. Remove the bowl from the water and whisk in the butter 1 piece at a timeCover and refrigerate over night.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 to 1.5 Cups