Salt & Pepper Potatoes

Being away from home is hard, especially since I always loved my mom’s cooking. One dish that I’m particularly fond of is her special signature salt and pepper diced potatoes *yum*! When she would prepare it at home, I watched intently since I wanted to learn her methods and eventually be able to make it myself… and I did!

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  • russet potatoes (I believe you can use any potato, but this is the one I found at the farmers’ market at a steal)
  • salt and pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • cooking oil

This was pretty easy to make, it just takes a little bit of time to cook!


  1. Scrub down the potatoes’ skins really well since you’ll be keeping them on (trust me, it helps hold the potato together when you cook it!)FullSizeRender.jpg
  2. Dice them into small cubes.
  3. Rinse them under some water, throw them into a bowl, and microwave them for 3 minutes (yes, I did say microwave it because it’ll help cook them through a little before you move onto the next step :))
  4. Turn the stove on at medium heat and add some oil to the pan.
  5. Put the potatoes into the pan and sprinkle your seasonings–I used salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to keep it simple.
  6. Cover the pan about half-way so the potatoes can continue to cook. IMG_5313.JPG
  7. After a couple of minutes, check your potatoes to see if it has a little bit of a crispy side; if it does, it’s time to flip them onto another side!
  8. Repeat this process for as long as you want, depending on your preference of how much crispiness you want. I believe I had them cook for at least 10 minutes on the stove while flipping them every few minutes since I really enjoy the crunchy crispy bite🙂

This recipe is deceptively simple, but OH SO DELICIOUS. This can go great as breakfast “diced home fries/hash browns” or as a side for lunch or dinner. Please go ahead and try this out and see if it’s as amazing for you as it is for me🙂 Thanks for reading!

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Simple Salads

As some of you know from my latest public health blog post,  I was super stoked about having a farmers’ market just ten minutes from my apartment here in Baltimore! My roommate and I went a little bit on the later side, and there were great options to choose from that I think I’ll go back earlier in the future!

When we got back to our apartment with my < $20 purchase (yes, all this in the photo was less than $20!!), I was famished and ready to eat, and since I had bought two bags of mixed greens, you can say I was in the mood for some salad! I dug up the cauliflower and cucumbers in my fridge and got to work.


So proud of my farmer’s market haul on Sunday!

“Ingredients” (do people say ingredients when it comes to prepping a meal that doesn’t need to be cooked?)

  • mixed greens
  • tomatoes (apparently, I bought Green Zebra tomatoes, how cool is that name?!)
  • kale
  • cauliflower
  • cucumber
  • dressing (I used balsamic vinegar and oil, but I’m definitely more of a fan of Italian or French dressing hehe)

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There aren’t really any steps to this besides washing and cutting up whatever veggies you decided to use, and then pouring on as much dressing as your heart desires. I definitely felt super healthy after eating that! You can definitely change up your salad ingredients by adding protein or croutons to give it some extra textures and flavors🙂 Enjoy eating healthy!

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Supporting Farmers’ Markets

Baltimore locals know where it’s at when it comes to supporting Maryland’s entrepreneurs and farmers by going to farmers’ markets! You are not only getting the freshest ingredients there is, but you are helping the environment by buying locally. Check out my latest public health blog post about supporting farmers’ markets near you🙂

Source: Supporting Farmers’ Markets

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Baked Chicken Drumsticks

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Since this is my first time living away from home for an extended period of time, my mom reminded me constantly to make sure I ate well and to cook enough food to survive. Since moving to Baltimore, it’s been a challenge to figure out a routine of cooking and meal prep, since whenever I have a decent amount of time to spare, I try to cook something new to add to my meal for lunch when I’m in school! I haven’t figured out the best days of the week I should be cooking, or if I want to just cook on the weekends to last me the school week, but I’m slowly but surely figuring things out🙂

During my first week in Baltimore, I was on a mostly vegetable diet since I brought a lot of veggies with me from NY, and I hadn’t had time to buy any protein meats or eggs. It wasn’t too bad, but it started to get monotonous eating the same veggie dishes every day without something to change it up. After classes one day, I stopped by my grocery store that’s conveniently downstairs in our plaza and got some eggs, ground beef, and a pack of 8 decent-sized chicken legs for less than $4! Talk about a bargain!!! So, I decided I was going to cook half the pack to keep my belly happy for the week.


  • chicken legs
  • olive oil
  • smoked paprika
  • cayenne pepper
  • garlic and salt/pepper seasoning
  • multi-purpose seasoning mix
  • Worcestershire sauce

I wanted to experiment with different flavors, so I used all of the above seasonings to decorate my chicken legs so I could eat something new every day.


  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line your baking tray with aluminum foil and pour enough oil to cover the entire bottom lightly. 14315968_3439042218769_977586746_o.jpg
  3. Add whatever seasonings you want to your chicken, to taste🙂 For me, I seasoned them randomly like this:
    – 2 with smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and seasoning mix
    – 1 with garlic and salt/pepper seasoning
    – 1 with seasoning mix and Worcestershire sauce
    **quick tip: When you have skin on the chicken, you want to season underneath the skin. Cut slices into the meat  and season to make sure the meat will absorb as much flavor as possible!**
  4. When you place the chicken onto the tray, make sure you give each of them some breathing room so they don’t touch!
  5. Pop them in the oven for about 30 minutes until they’re ready.

Cooking in larger batches in general is a great idea for people who are in college and have access to a kitchen, or if they’ve recently moved out to live on their own since you can pretty much have your meals set for the week🙂 I’m slowly learning that meal prep is a great way to save time on weekdays when you’re super tired from the day and just want a meal that you can microwave and eat once you get home. Hope you enjoyed reading!

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Untraditional Miso Soup

Happy Friday, everyone🙂 I have a simple, unconventional recipe for miso soup for when you are missing three key ingredients! Before I made my move down to Baltimore, I made sure to buy myself a pack of miso paste since I wasn’t sure how convenient it would be to go to a Japanese restaurant while I’m in school. However, I didn’t think to buy scallion, dashi stock, or seaweed for my move (might have been a good reason since scallion and seaweed are definitely perishable goods haha).


Ingredients (for my rendition of miso soup)

  • miso paste
  • dried Chinese mushrooms
  • chicken bouillon
  • soft tofu
  • ginger

It was actually really simple to make, and you can easily customize based on your preference/taste!


  1. Soak the mushrooms in water so they will soften.
  2. Bring your water to a boil. You can decide how much water you want to boil for how many mouths you want to feed!14302542_3437507260396_95456573_n.jpg
  3. While you’re waiting for the water to boil, slice some ginger and cut the mushrooms into thin slices; I used about 4-5 small/medium-sized mushrooms since they’re so yummy and healthy!
  4. When the water starts to boil, add about a spoonful of chicken bouillon into your soup for some initial flavor. **this step is because I didn’t have dashi stock or vegetable stock, so I subbed!**
  5. When you’re satisfied with the taste, add the ginger and mushrooms into the soup.
  6. Dice the tofu (or in my case, botch it up lolll) and then add that into the soup.
  7. When the soup is at a boil, shut it off and add miso paste to taste (I used about 2 small spoonfuls)!

This deceptively simple recipe is pretty tasty despite missing some essential ingredients for miso soup. I can’t wait until I can make the real deal when I can get my hands on some fresh seaweed at the supermarket (if I can find some here in Baltimore)!

ALL PHOTOS ARE ©magnetically aesthetic. Please do not steal, edit, or use these pictures in any way without my permission. Thank you!

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Update on My Move to Baltimore!

I feel like it’s been so long since I’ve posted, and I apologize for the wait😦 Since my big move to Baltimore and all the things leading up to it, I haven’t been testing new recipes or adding any new content to my blog!

For Labor Day weekend, I finally had a little bit of time to write and wanted to share my experience in Baltimore for my first week! We had orientation on Monday and Tuesday, and I met so many like-minded individuals who share the same passion for public health :)️ On Wednesday, some of us explored different neighborhoods of Baltimore City–my favorite result of that is that I now know more yummy places to eat at and review!


Photo of one of JHU’s buildings while we were on our walking tour🙂

Thursday was our first day of classes and boy, was that a wake-up call for the couple years I’ve been out of school! Of the students I’ve met, we’re a pretty diverse group; some of us have been out of school for a couple of years or more, while others have just recently graduated this past May. I may post some tips about preparing for graduate school after being out of school for a while once I’m settled into my new routine if it helps others who are in the same boat as me (or will be!)

When I have more free time, I’ll do my best to test new recipes for apartment living away from home (and Mom, who usually is kind enough to feed myself and my sister haha)🙂

Why Public Health?

In less than a week, I’ll move to Baltimore to start graduate school at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. As promised (sorry it took so long, everyone), I’ve launched a public health blog! To all of my blog readers, thank you for your support, and I hope you will enjoy A Healthy Blueprint as much as you enjoy magnetically aesthetic!

I will definitely continue to post on magnetically aesthetic, but all public health posts will be on this new blog.🙂 I would love all of your support and it would mean the world for you to follow my journey through my new blog!

Read the story behind my public health journey here: Why Public Health?