Sunday, November 29, 2009

Getting back into the flow

I'm back into the city and trying to get my mind wrapped around doing some work. I was somewhat productive yesterday for a good 3 hours so I'm using today do do some house work, laundry, write Christmas cards, and maybe do some baking!

Returning to my apartment also means getting back to cooking. Over Thanksgiving this year I feel like my family questioned me about being a vegetarian more so than ever. The concept of not eating beef, pork, and poultry seems so foreign and they can't imagine what I eat for flavor and fullness without meat.

With all the grains, veggies, beans, nuts, and fruit available, a meatless world is full of possibilities. Tonight I think I'm going to have spaghetti squash for dinner, so quick, easy, and delicious.

Simply cut the squash in half and scoop out the inside. For super quick, place cut side down on a microwave safe plate, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.

After allowing to rest, use a fork to pull the grains:

Add some tomato sauce, toss in olive oil, or add additional veggies, and you're good to go.Off to bake?


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Mini Reunion

Last day in Pa and then back to the buzz of the city. I'm going to try keep it low key this afternoon and get some work done before hopping back onto Megabus.

Last night, I met up with a few friends from high school for drinks, food, and games at Dave and Buster.

I forgot my camera last night but have a few thanks to my friend Sarah. We got a few pics in the beginning of the night but once we started chatting and playing games, the camera wasn't on our mind.

As Sarah pointed out, Amanda and I were matching!

Ok, time to get some work done.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Part 2

I can't believe it's already Friday! Time flew by and I'll be returning to the city tomorrow evening. This week has been amazing and there is so much to be thankful for including time spent with family and friends, and a wonderful thanksgiving spread including fish for me, vegetarian stuffing, sweet potatoes, mac'n cheese, cranberry sauce, and maple brussel sprouts.

This morning my mom, sister, my sister's friend, and I got up at 4 am and were out the door by 4:20 to make it to Target for their 5 am opening. The line was wrapped around the parking lot, but we were considerably close compared to the size of the line when they opened the doors. It was crazy but organized as everyone ran for the doorbuster sales. I went for the DVD's and bought more than I probably need but now I feel like I finally have a movie collection. We then hit the mall and a few other stores, returned home and we all took a nice nap.

Right now I'm watching Up with my mom and sis, it's such a cute movie. Then off to meet a few friends from high school!

Have a great night,

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Part 1

Hey all-

My break officially began today! I'm currently on Megabus trying to blog, but their free wireless is a bit slow. I won't really complain though because it's free!

Sunday my roommate and I hosted our 2nd Thanksgiving potluck and invited students in our class. It was so much fun and there were so many great dishes! I'm not going to go into detail, and will have to post most pictures later because it's taking way too long at the moment :(

The spread:

My plate consisted of lots of veggies including roast beet salad I made, sweet potato polenta with a bit of fresh cranberry sauce on top, stuffed mushrooms, and steamed kale:
I also grabbed some mashed cauliflower which I grabbed after I snapped a picture of my plate but the bowl is below:

There were so many desserts! This picture does not do the spread justice:
I had a bit of everything and this went back from a bit more.

I don't know what I'm doing in this picture :/
Ok I'm off, before I lose internet all together.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Something sweet

After lunch today I wanted something sweet but didn't want cookies, candy, etc. I also had a bag of cranberries that I've been debating what I want to do with, so I decided to make some cranberry sauce to drizzle over my yogurt.

Cranberry sauce is so easy to make! 3 ingredients-cranberries (I used 6oz), sugar (1/2 cup), and water (3/4 c).

Bring this mixture to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. The cranberries will begin to pop.

Within minutes you will have a thickened mixture, enjoy warm or place in the refrigerator to have cold.

I also tried another of the Nescafe instant coffee, the Colombian Gourmet flavor, and it was the best cup of instant coffee I have ever had! I would highly recommend.

I'm about to walk downtown to pick up a few things at Trader Joe's and stretch out my legs. I took my first hot yoga class yesterday, and it was amazing! I thought I would struggle through the 90 minute session, but I enjoyed every sweaty minute :) I'm also feeling it today, but in a good way.

Have a great day!


Friday, November 20, 2009

Taste Test

This is the second week in a row that I've actually taken something being handed out at Columbus Circle on my way into the subway. After a few months of living in the city I quickly realized that the majority of people standing on corners handing out material were giving out junk. Just walk half a block away from these individuals and you find a trash can full of their flyers.

All the same, I found myself taking todays product. Part of the appeal was the size, it was clearly more than a cheap advertisement. I mean it was red, shiny, and a bit was also pretty much placed right into my hand.

It turns out it was a small package and full of coffee for me to try! Nescafe is promoting their new instant coffee, and from the ad above, can you tell what they are comparing it to?

I opted for the vanilla flavor first and as soon as I opened the package I realized it wasn't normal instant coffee, the smell was amazing. As I poured hot water over the instant mix, the smell intensified, something I usually only experience with brewed coffee. Regarding flavor, it wasn't bad, I don't think I would be able to drink it black (which is often how I like my coffee); but with a bit of agave syrup and milk and it was pretty darn good. Luckily I still have 5 more packets to try out :)

Enjoy your Friday,

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bad blogger

Hey all-

I've been such a bad blogger this past week, work had been crazy! I also left my camera at work, which was originally suppose to aid in blogging (I was going to post pictures during my free time-as it would turn out I had no free time).

Tonight I had to post because it's one of the better new music Tuesdays in a while.

First up Lady Gaga:
Last night on gossip girl, Lady Gaga made a brief cameo after the former NYU student (she was my year and apparently lived in my dorm freshman year) was talked about throughout the episode. She performed "Bad Romance" off her new mini album out today.

This was a big day for the star as the official music video for Video Phone by Beyonce Ft Lady Gaga, also premiered today.

Next, Vampire Weekend:
Ok, so they don't have a new album out today; however, I found out today that they will be releasing one January 12th and will be in New York Jan 17-19 to promote it. You can also go to their site and download the single Horchata for free!

Other releases today-Them Crooked Vultures with self titled album. I haven't had a chance to listen to this album, but it's going to be my background noise tomorrow while I work so I'll get back to you all!

Finally, Happy Birthday to my Mommy who will be another year older tomorrow!


Monday, November 9, 2009

Still not orange

This past week I've had something orange to eat just about everyday, whether it's pumpkin in my oatmeal, sweet potato fries, or carrots. It leaves me wondering just how much beta carotene you need to consume to actually turn orange, not that I'm going to do that experiment. Before you ask, yes, you can turn orange from eating too much of the vitamin A precursor beta carotene, but I'm full proof that this has to be a fairly large amount of orange goods.

I wasn't always a huge fan of plain oats, don't get me wrong, I've always found oatmeal a more filling alternative to dry cereal, but from childhood on I always stuck to the flavored instant packet variety. Once I started limiting refined sugars from my diet instant oatmeal seemed too sweet and I became a lover of plain. From time to time I do like to jazz up my oats with nuts, peanut butter, fruit, maple or agave syrup, dried fruit, and PUMPKIN!

In the mix for pumpkin oats:
1/3 cup oats
2/3 cup water
1/3 pumpkin
dash cinnamon
splash of vanilla soymilk
drizzle pure maple syrup

Basically boil water, add oats, cook for 2-3 min (if quick cut oats). Add pumpkin and cook for 2 more min over low heat. Take off heat and stir in cinnamon. I like to add the milk for the vanilla flavor, creamier texture, and to cool down the oats quickly so I can gobble up their yumminess.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Girls' Night

The ladies of my school got together again recently for mojitos and some Latin American cuisine. Mixed together some rum, mint, sugar, lime juice, and seltzer water and we were set!
To nibble on we had Sweet Potato Croquettes:

  • 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes, about 4 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • fine dry bread crumbs, plain
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • oil for deep frying
Vegetarian Ceviche (made with hearts of palm):
Ceviche made with Tilapia:

Ceviche is a citrus marinated seafood dish originating from Peru. While the fish is not cooked with heat, it has the consistency of cooked fish from the 6 hour bath in lots of lime juice. According to my friend who made both Ceviche dishes, you basically add fish/veggie, onion, and lots and lots of lime!

We also had tortilla chips for dipping, salsa, and guacamole. Yummy night!


PS Let's not talk about the Phillies :(

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween and Music Review

Happy 1st of November!

Many of you will recognize Leighton Meester here from her role as Blaire from Gossip Girl. Most recently she has also entered the music scene, initially with guest vocals on Cobra Starship's hit Good Girls Go Bad. While nothing special vocally, she does add a nice sweet but edgy appeal that seems perfectly fitting to the songs title.

That said, she should stick to cameo appearances. Her just released single Somebody to Love fails both lyrically and vocally, and her collaboration with Robin Thick did nothing to boost the songs appeal. All and all, Leighton has proved once more that actresses cannot make the music jump!

On to Halloween, photo recap!

Me as a fairy (lost my wand):
Angel and Witch:

Gladiator rockin' the pleather skirt:
At my school's party with the Tin Man:
2 Amish boys on their rumspringa (the year Amish teens are allowed to explore the freedom of the "English" world):
Mad Men: