Wednesday, July 7, 2010

And Just Like That ...

Ah, the winds of fate are fickle.

My gentleman caller has been dismissed (for a few reasons; it ended cordially) ergo I find myself lacking the drive to spend superfluous time in the kitchen, once again. Not to mention that the mounting levels of stress (the GC, school, money, moving) has left me with a recurrent sense of nausea.

Though this weekend, when walking home from the library, I stopped in a cute little cheese store somewhere in Midtown East and splurged on some truffle infused cow's milk cheese. I'd been nibbling on it but for last night's pity party I threw a bit on some Schar GF multi-grain bread with tomato for a grilled cheese indulgence. Extra yummy, considering I fried it up in the last of my shmancy evoo. And since the slices are so small I made a second with some generic yet tasty muenster.

As for my bread trial, I'm not super impressed. Very dry and crumbly. Udi still wins my heart.

Food therapy is evidently not what I'm needing right now. And I don't predict that changing anytime in the near future, despite Restaurant Week being next week.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Hello There, Interwebs!

I've been neglecting you, I admit it. Though it's for a good reason. Reasons.

a) This semester is completely different from the first semester. I have 7 classes instead of 3 and have had to take an entirely new approach to studying. Which means yes, I am at the library every. Single. Night. And at least one day on the weekends.

b) I'm moving! I braved the deep, shark infested waters of Manhattan's real estate ocean and did not drown (or get eaten.) I will be sticking with my current roommate, Brittney, a sweetheart and a half. Our new place (as of 7/15) is in the East Village/Alphabet City/AWESOME area. Though farther than I'd like to be it was too good a deal to pass up.

c) I have a gentleman caller. 'Nuff said.

d) It. Is. Hot. And I've been too busy to cook (see e)

e.) My birthday was Tuesday! I celebrated more than adequately. I definitely rate turning 26 in my top 3 birthdays ever.

All of that having been outlined, is there any question left in your mind as to why I haven't been cooking (or eating that much, really. Oops.) The last time I spent more than 5 minutes in a kitchen was when I cooked dinner for my gentleman caller (we'll abbreviate that GC) last Friday.

No fear, however. Once I move, settle in, and get all of my kitchen stuff from my parents' house in MA I'll be ready to give it another go!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Oh yes, I remember now

Now that we've gotten back into the full swing of things I'm reminded of the fact that grad school = no time to cook. Or eat, sometimes.

Breakfast has once again become a grande iced coffee with soy milk from the 'Bucks (as I call it) sucked down on the 2.5 block walk to my apt., followed by a bowl of Mesa Sunrise cereal with almond milk. Every single weekday.

Lunch? Uhhh ... I've fallen in love with Jamba Juice once again, unfortunately (not nutrition-wise, price-wise) and have been sustaining myself on that vat of gazpacho I made the other week. With some nuts here & there.

Oh! The other night I was craving ricotta cheese (weird, right? I think my cheese/calcium cravings have to do with my hormone cycles - tell me if this is TMI, but then again I am a medical professional) and I had a box of some GF pasta brand I'd never tried so I grabbed some vine tomatoes & mozzarella as well and made a haphazard lasagna-esque ... thing. It was not as awesome as it could have been if I'd used a) an egg and b) basil (the D'Ag was out of basil) but it served for 3 meals so ... whatever.

Tomorrow night I'll cook for real. Wait for it ...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Twist on a Classic

Grilled cheese with horseradish cheddar (Udi's GF bread, Earth Balance "butter")

Dipped into spicy gazpacho in place of tomato soup (still working my way through the cauldron I concocted a few days ago.)

My taste buds are overjoyed and my thermoreceptors happy for the hot/cold combo!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Herb Play

One of the things I look forward to about moving come August 1st (of many) is the potential to reinstate an herb box. Nothing compares to fresh herbs. My current over-obsessions have been sage & cilantro. Hence last night's kitchen shenanigans:

For immediate dinner I used Tinkyada brown rice veggie pasta which I topped with sliced Shiitake mushrooms sauteed in "butter" (I used Earth Balance, my second favorite brand) with minced garlic, shallots, and fresh sage. Not too much effort, not too much time in the toasty kitchen, not too heavy in my belly!

And to carry me through the weekend I tried, for the very first time, my hand at gazpacho. It came out fairly well. I followed a standard recipe (from America's Test Kitchen cookbook) but the food processor in my apartment now is not entirely up to par. And is tiny. So the veggie prep took much longer than I anticipated. Future tips to myself: more cilantro and pepper, maybe a shake of curry and extra Tabasco to kick up the kick a skoche.

Tonight I'll be mashing up some avocados & fixin' some more arepas for dinner - enough to have leftovers for a quick dinner tomorrow night since we're having a little social engagement with the upperclassman.

I'm not sure why my passion for food creation briefly ebbed but my goddess am I glad it's back!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Motherly Love

Ah! What a weekend!

Cafeteria was cute and tasty (perfect for a 24 hour place) with small-ish portions. Given that fact, after walking the 70 odd blocks to the Guggenheim and around the museum itself our bellies were fairly rumbly on the walk back to my apartment. Then, like a shining beacon, appeared in front of me Candle 79 - the vegan restaurant with a gluten free menu that I've been wanting to try for a very long time.

Scrumptious! I loved their guacamole with flax chips app and absolutely scarfed down the young coconut pad thai. Super happy to have finally sampled their wares.

And after wading through obnoxious crowds and waiting in the awkward humidity at the TKTS booth for Billy Elliot tix we trekked around a bit more before finally giving in and cabbing it down to Caracas for dinner. Those arepas now have my mother's heart as well as my own.

Sunday morning found us at Bar Breton for some buckwheat galettes and GF french fries(!) before some more walking and finally the farewell. Since I was already uptown I grabbed a bunch of produce at the Food Emporium under the Queensborough (I like their selection) and finally sucked it up and started my return to working out after eating my way through this vacation.

As for the last hurrah, I went to the roof deck where we made pancakes de platanos and watched Zombieland. Perfect.

Now back to a school schedule, meaning I had a bowl of cereal and Starbucks coffee with soy milk for breakfast while quickly making a small batch of arepas for lunch. Dinner plans = gazpacho! I foresee myself craving cold soups this summer ...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Evidently I'm a Slacker

I have a seasonal problem: every year when it starts to get unbearably hot & humid & sticky & gross I lose ALL motivation to stand in my typically tiny kitchen over a hot stove or with the oven pre-heating. Hence my meal 1-3 times a day for the past few weeks has been: cereal.

Not the most terribly exciting food to blog about, ya hear? Though since I've been on break the past week I have been pretty much eating my way through vacation ...

Friday: after a few post-final drinks I dragged 2 classmates to Mozarelli's for GF pizza & cookies
Saturday: my dear, dear, lovely friend Alisa is in town! we brunch at Friedman's Lunch in Chelsea Market, over-stuff at Babycakes GF, vegan bakery in LES, and grill up some veggies on my buddy Seth's roof deck (current obsession = platanos)
Sunday: brunch at Peters' (UES), Alisa departs, dinner with some of my bestest at Caracas (still in the honeymoon phase of this love)
Monday: S'MAC for lunch with a friend (the Parisienne - total foodgasm), guacamole with my sweetie of a roommate, Brittney, on our stoop for dinner
Tuesday: quick trip to Boston! dinner with dad at Wagamama in Harvard Square
Wednesday: new frozen GF pizza from Whole Foods for breakfast (the brand escapes me), Poe's kitchen at Rattlesnake for lunch (gave my friend and head chef, Brian Poe, his gift of Szechuan peppercorns from Beijing), drinks with a classmate also from Boston at Lord Hobo
Thursday: back to NYC, made dinner for friends - spiced pecans, saag paneer, avocado salad (recipes below)
Friday: grilling for the World Cup opening! I make everyone scrambled eggs with various condiments for breakfast and offer up GF pancakes for lunch, still too full for dinner.

now my mum is in town and we are ready to rock it like nobody's business!

Spiced Pecans
4 c. pecan halves (or whatever, just not chopped)
2 Tbsp oil (veg, canola, olive, your preference)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme (worth it!)
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary (also worth it!)
1/2 tsp bl. pepper
1/4 c. dark brown sugar
1/4 c. melted butter (or fake vegan butter)

preheat to 400F, toss all the ingredients well, spread out in a single layer on a cookie sheet, roast 8 minutes, DIE because your taste buds are so overwhelmed with awesome (recipe courtesy of my best friend's mother-in-law)

1/2 gallon whole milk (or more, if you want more)
acid (acetic, citric)

easiest thing ever: boil milk (watch the heavy saucepan, as soon as milk boils it will immediately try to froth its way out of the pot!), as soon as boiling starts remove from heat, add 2+ Tbsp of your acid, stir a bit, let sit 15-20 minutes. the acid will precipitate the curds from the whey. strain through 2 layers of cheesecloth. store in either a ball or squish flat on a plate to make those cute paneer cubes. should sit for ~1 day.

ack! left my recipe at Laura & Tim's place. you can obviously use your favorite saag recipes. I personally don't add yogurt or tomatoes and cook with oil, not ghee.

Avocado Salad
this one I made up while I was in the grocery store ...

bunch of arugula, washed & torn to bite-sized
head of Bibb lettuce, do the same
2 avocados, cubed
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 Valencia orange, cut to bite-sized (I'd have preferred Mandarin but oh well)

Lemon Shallot Dressing
3/4 c. oil (I used evoo)
3+ Tbsp lemon juice (depends on your level of lemon, I like more, especially if it doesn't have time to integrate)
1 minced shallot
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp minced fresh thyme
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

shake it up!

there you go, and we're off to breakfast at Cafeteria.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Improvisation & Innovation

Tomorrow night I'm headed over to my buddy's roof deck for special birthday grilling. In preparation for this I did some homework on Bobby Flay's grilling show and whipped up 3 quick veggie/marinade combinations:

1.) raspberry balsamic marinade (raspberries, balsamic vinegar, white pepper, splash of evoo) and shitake mushrooms

2.) spicy mango marinade (mango, sherry vinegar - couldn't find my cider vinegar until after I'd finished of course, garlic, ginger, Tabasco, maple syrup) and baby bello mushrooms

3.) soy-lime marinade (GF soy sauce, garlic, ginger, lime juice, agave nectar, splash of evoo) and tempeh

I half-looked up recipes for these creations but mostly just based the ingredients off of what I like. Obviously after this I had to make for-now food so threw a few cans of beans (pinto, garbanzo, red kidney) in with onion, shallot, garlic, ginger, and dashes of lime juice, GF soy sauce, agave nectar, and a smokey hot sauce (GF & vegan) I keep around. Viola! I'll get a few meals out of this.

Today's culinary adventure was brought to you by my Oncology observation this morning which let me go at 9.45 (instead of 12!) Thank you, Nicole, for being awesome. The rest of today includes cadaver lab review (2-5pm), a sammich for dinner (spicy hummus, red pepper, and oh what the hell I'll throw some scallions on there), studying at the library, and possible karaoke in preparation for the cadaver memorial service next week (I volunteered to sing with a few other classmates, should be perfectly awful.)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

web 3.14159

I made a video of myself making breakfast this morning, and it only took me 20 minutes to figure out how the camera in my netbook worked!

Next step: piecing it together and posting it here. Wonder how long this will take ...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Twice in One Week?

Yes sir!

1) the GF bread I've been raving about is Udi's

2) I just made some tempeh marinated in GF peanut sauce (San-J) with broccoli & a mix of mushrooms (baby bella, shitake, oyster.) I'm talking some serious nom here, people.

And after my half hour break I'm off to study anatomy some more! (This exclamation point was brought to you by caffeine.)

Friday, May 14, 2010

What month is it?

No, really. May is halfway over? Who knew ...

I made some poor eating choices this week. I blame stress.

Though I have fallen in love with a cereal. I'm switching out my eggs for this to save 15 minutes in the morning. And by "save" I obviously mean "get more sleep." This decision has come about because I can't deny the perfection that is my new GF bread (which I swear, I will get the name of the next time I buy it (aka tomorrow)) whose recipe includes eggs. And I really shouldn't be consuming all that much cholesterol.

I'm keeping up with running 5 mornings a week, which is nice. This includes a very pleasant 6 mile jaunt around Central Park this morn, courtesy of my gym not opening until 8 on the weekends (boo.) And I do believe that I will finally make it to free yoga tomorrow.

Mmm, just enjoyed my dinner of leftover corn & beans (pinto, kidney, & garbanzo) with garlic, ginger, red onion, a dash of GF soy sauce, a squirt of agave nectar, in a few corn tortillas with some perfectly mouth wateringly spicy salsa. Dessert = a handful or two of cold green grapes. Yummers.

And of course, it being Saturday in Manhattan, I'm going out ... to study at Starbucks till midnight. Golly, I'm so hip it hurts!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Death Grip

I am trying to hold onto some semblance of a life as tight as I possibly can.

My daily cooking has been nothing exciting lately. Though I did treat myself to chocolate chip pancakes for dinner tonight. It was a long week, don't judge me. The extent of my culinarity (yes, that's a word) this week involved adding sauteed garlic and shallot to my jar of tomato sauce that I put on my Tinkyada veggie & brown rice pasta. Oh PS I took my buddy Tony to Caracas on Monday night. Yikes, cheese hangover.

Last night, however, I finally caved and jumped on the grilling train at my buddy Seth's roof deck. His grill is straight from Brazil and his master griller is roommate Henrique, a Brazilian. It's safe to say they know what they're doing.

I brought eggplant, zucchini, some portobellos I marinated in minced garlic, fresh rosemary, and evoo, and a pineapple. Yes. Yes, it was amazing. All of it. I love being surrounded by people who love to cook for others as much as I do. Oh, right, and evoo, salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of parm on the sliced veggies. The pineapple got cinnamon'd. Mmmm ...

I look forward to tomorrow morning - after my run (I'm doing 4 miles in 34 minutes now, still every morning of the week ... though I skipped today due to the aftermath of last night's grilling ...) I'm making my favorite breakfast: eggs in the hole. Yum! Just dash some Tabasco on there with some parsley flakes and parfait. Wash it down with some almond milk.

Hope your gastronomic adventures are infinitely more exciting than mine!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Finding the Rhythm

(It's not awesome.)

My meals these days are fairly redundant.

Breakfast: 2 eggs, usually scrambled with minced garlic & salsa (threw in some baby spinach to wilt first today on a whim)

Lunch: sammich. I've been rotating PB & J with avocado/red pepper/spinach and hummus/red pepper/spinach since anatomy started.

Dinner: beans. Sometimes with corn tortillas, sometimes with rice.

I know, super exciting, right?

Still the upside is since I've discovered the MAGIC that is coffee I've been going to the gym every morning of the week before class. Yes, on uptown 8.30 days this means the alarm goes off a 5.30 but hey. I'm getting back in shape and it feels awesome. Plus I walk to and from class every day. Well, I walk everywhere, actually.

I'm feeling super energetic at this moment because a) I just ate and I had been starving before, and b) I had a medium iced coffee (soy milk no sugar) after the gym this morning (3.5 miles in 33 minutes, getting back in the zone!) I'll still probably get a second coffee after the second half of dissection this afternoon so I can power through studying tonight.

On my plate at the moment:

- Biochem exam Friday at 11am. 50 multiple choice questions. "Not easy."
- Anatomy exam Monday at 9.30am. Written = 40 multiple choice questions, practical = 30 questions.
- Take home PA Seminar exam to be turned in on Friday by 1pm. 10 short answer questions (I've done 9, just need to finish and type them up.)
- Group project, presentation TBA. Next Tuesday after class sitting down with my group to just bang it out. Fo' realz. Topic: sexual orientation and discrepancies in health care. To presented in the form of 3 skits.

In conclusion: AHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Oh Hi

Oh goodness, how I've neglected this blog!

Here's why:

a. Anatomy started. Hence my life as I know it has ended.

b. My loan money (and everyone else's) still hasn't come through. This means I was basically out of money this past week and living very sparsely on rice, beans, eggs, and PB & J.

The good news is I received a forward from the Bank of Dad which means I bought groceries today. Tomorrow's sammich = avocado, baby spinach, sliced red pepper. Also class doesn't start until 8.30 which means I get to run for 30 minutes tomorrow.

Yesterday my new MD friend (finished Tuft's Medical School on Thursday!) talked me into taking a break and getting brunch. We went to Kyotofu in Hell's Kitchen which is adorable - plenty of soy & tofu options. Plus they had a list of their gluten-free options! I got the warm mushroom salad with citrus rice and green tea cème brûlée. Lots of flavor, perfect serving size! Catie's dessert was a sample of 5 different desserts - what they're known for.

I really have nothing else to report. My cooking has been bland. Sorry to disappoint ...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Unsure of My Grip

I've lost some inspiration to cook.


'Not you,' you cry. Alas, tis true. It used to be that I had extra time and energy which I devoted to cooking. Now both of those commodities are being used up by school. Though I must be doing something right, I got a 92 on my first exam(!) But for lunch that day I purchased a salad. Though vegan, this goes against the spending rules I set for myself. Bad Laura. So for a budget-friendly dinner I munched on some more granola (running low.) Unable to bring myself to study I went for a 2 hour walk and ended up buying a piece of carrot cake from Risotteria and some cheese from WFM as I passed back through Union Square. Oops.

Yesterday was a bit better. I woke up full after all that cheese and just had a Vitamin Water. Lunch was a hastily consumed PB&J (1/2 sugar Smuckers grape) on a new brand of GF bread I'm trying. SUPER fluffy but that's because of egg whites. I just can't win, it takes far too much out of me to eat vegan all the time when I have to be gluten-free.

Dinner was 1/2 can black-eyed peas with some peach mango salsa and random herbs & spices mixed in. Then Roomie Britt came home and we purchased some red wine to consume with brie, pineapple, rice crackers, spicy hummus, and some walnuts that I tossed with agave nectar and some spices. Decided against going out since I have much studying to do today.

Off to the library.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Mixed Bag

Things got worse then better.

Tuesday night I had much to do in the way of studying after my OR orientation which lasted until 6. That plus a raging low blood sugar headache left me no other option beside grabbing a quick bite uptown. Found an Indian "fast food" place a block from the hospital which had a main dish, rice, and 2 sides for $8 - not terrible. I got saag paneer, some dal, and some aloo gobi. Of course it was too late to avoid the headache so I could only suffer through studying until 9.30ish before giving up and going home.

Yesterday my clouds began to lift (for an all-too-obvious reason) and I repeated my PB & agave rolls, skipped the gym, and settled in for a long day of class. Not having had a chance to make any food this week (which I will absolutely rectify this weekend) I got a big ol' salad for lunch from a salad bar with chick peas, corn, tofu, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a spot of avocado. Dressing = a quick drizzle of oil & balsamic vinegar. Tres yummy! and $5.

After class I snacked on some granola while jump starting my studying 'on campus' and then for dinner around 8.15 I ate most of a fruit & cheese plate from my favorite Starbucks. Yes, beyond overpriced, but they trap you. It's such a hassle to go get something somewhere else and going home to cook was out of the question, I had an exam this morning!

Speaking of this morning, I went to sleep earlier so I could get up at 6 and run 3 miles on the treadmill without IT band pain! Super exciting. Stretching and yoga really do make a difference, I believe. Treated myself to a breakfast (low on food supplies) of scrambled eggs with hot sauce at some random place for $2.25 and some 100% pure juice OJ.

Wow, I have energy!!! Granola for lunch, ? for dinner since I have to go study Biochem immediately after class today at ze library.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Where There's Smoke

If I slack on posting it's usually because I'm misbehavin'.

Sunday was a mess. I was starving, craving cheese again. Is my calcium super low? I did start taking multivitamins again ... hunh. So I gave in, fighting cravings is hard when you're in grad school and living such a restricted life to begin with. Grabbed 2 slices at Mozzarelli's (one artichoke, one bruschetta, if you were wondering.) This happens to be my favorite NON-thin crust GF pizza ever. Then I also bought a box of cookies for the surprise birthday I was off to in Brooklyn.

PS thanks, R train, for making my trek to 86th St. so interesting.

During my brief stay I managed to eat 3 Cadbury cream eggs (egad!) as well as a few chunks of brie and smoked gouda. I never could say "no" to a cheese plate. Plus some grapes and some hummus (eaten on way over-salted corn chips.) Oh, and 3 of the cookies (oreo-sized) I'd brought. And a can of kosher Pepsi (no corn syrup.)

Oy, and I almost forgot - my friend's mother had made a Chinese noodle dish for everyone and had sweetly made me my own GF veggie plate which was ginormous and I in no way ate an entire HALF of it, I swear ... ok, I'm lying.

In other news, after that fiasco I did go dance my butt off for an hour and a half at my first hip hop dance class at BDC. And had a little bag of those soy/yam flour noodles (the name escapes me) with a drizzle of evoo and some obscure spices.

Yesterday was far more reasonable. Until dinner, anyway.

I started my day with another Trio bar and had my oatmeal with almond milk for lunch. My birthday friend, his real DOB being yesterday, had one more celebratory gathering in mind at City Crab. Yikes, more like City CRAP. The service was atrocious. My salad was flavorless. The only flavor in my pasta-turned-rice dish was from butter. Ew. They're called herbs and spices, look into it. Plus with a party of 5 or more they add on 20% gratuity. Ballsy much?

So that was my one dinner out this week. If you read that I've eaten dinner out again before Sunday hits judge me. Judge me fiercely.

Honestly, I believe my eating fails of late are only compounding my overall crappy mood. What am I missing?

Breakfast today: 2 corn tortillas with 1 Tbsp PB each and a drizzle of raw agave. Lunch: my leftover pasta from this weekend.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Say Ahhhh ...

It turns out that Dr. Hajjar, one my our Biochem professors and Executive Vice Dean at the Medical College, is from Lowell. I finally placed his accent when he said "lawr of physics" in lecture yesterday morning.

YTTP was wonderful - after a six month hiatus I have lost much of the flexibility yoga helped me achieve but no worries, I'll get it back! Oh, and my vegan lunch at Candle Cafe was superb. Very filling and flavorful.

After yoga I realized my body was screaming "dairy" at me. I must have been low on calcium. I attempted (yes, for the fourth time in as many weeks) to grab a few arepas but both the take-out and sit-down waits were ridiculous. Instead I grabbed a medium original Red Mango with strawberry and decided to go investigate Pie, which I'd always walked by when I lived at 10th & Broadway but never actually patronized.

Much to my ecstatic joy, there was not only thin crust GF pizza available (though pricey, eesh! I forgot how expensive this intolerance is!) but 5 GF beers and 4 ciders! Holy wow! And the Green's are more than reasonably priced at $9 a bottle. I am absolutely going to submit a write-up to Celiac Chicks. I went for the Fresh Cubed Pie which has cubed tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, cubed arugula, olive oil, garlic and basil.

I kid you not, this is the b.e.s.t. GF thin crust pizza I've ever had. Hands down. Eat here. Now.

While I was waiting and subsequently eating I was privy to a lovely conversation with Jeffrey, Pie's owner, who also happens to live gluten-free. And yes, I completely devoured my 10" personal pie with a complimentary Bard's Tale. Perfection.

Much later that night, after enjoying some Kid Sister at Webster Hall, my girl Wendi and I split some small nachos and I had a warm goat cheese salad at my favorite 24-hour locale. Like I said, a total dairy craving. And as always, I paid for it all day. I wasn't even remotely hungry until 5pm (though I did make myself have a Trio bar around 1.30 when my vision got all fuzzy upon standing to stretch.

Oh yes, that's right - I spent roughly 8 hours at the library today. I got through all of derm and nutrition and almost 3 biochem lectures. I'll do some more tomorrow morning before my Sunday plans kick in. Tonight, after stopping by the crazy Food Emporium under the Queensborough Bridge, I made some Tinkyada pasta for dinner with:

oyster mushrooms drizzled with raw agave nectar and tossed c corn starch
chopped asparagus (~1 in.)
frozen peas
minced garlic
fresh basil leaves

Though the corn starch didn't give the texture oomph I was looking for, I always consider my meal more successful if my roommate Brittney gushes over it, which she did tonight. On the side: a few corn tortillas heated in the leftover oil rolled up with some peach mango salsa. Tomorrow I'll be making this tasty baked cauliflower dish my mother found and doing something with that tempeh and the rest of the asparagus.

Friday, April 9, 2010


I guess I haven't left all of Boston behind: the free newspaper is AM NY, not Metro. Oops.

Both Wednesday and Thursday I had this week's lunch of homemade granola with almond milk (which, bee tee dubs, is only 35 kcal per cup.) Yesterday, though, it being so nice out a number of us (us = classmates) sat outside during the lunch break and I was craving crunchy salty things so I got a tiny bag of high fiber "chips."

Wednesday I did not make the awesomest decision ever. Instead of going home then to Starbucks to study I went with 5 of my new peers to Stag's Head for a drink and some bonding. Cut to 4 (5?) ciders and 2 tequila shots later, most of us were drunk and too tired after the long day of class + 8am exam (I got a 98%, thankyouverymuch!) to actually do any studying. So I went home, stuffed my face with the remaining 4 frozen waffles, 1 with preserves, 1 with salsa. Oh, and a bowl of leftover dal. Win?

Last night was not as bad drink-wise, seeing as the majority of our class went to O'Neil's for PAHH (PA Happy Hour.) 3 ciders and my departure at 6.30 ... though dinner was all kinds of ridiculous. I made enough guacamole for 3 people then ate it ALL. That's right. 3 avocados worth. And an entire bag of corn tortillas. With a little salsa on each one. Who am I?

Today all 3 classes are at NYP which means lunch has to be eaten out (no fridge or break room uptown.) I've already chosen my healthy, GF option. Plus I woke up early to do a little workout this AM. And I'm going to yoga with a new classmate (Michelle) downtown at 7.30 so double bonus points for Friday.

Now I just need to get my study on wicked hard all day tomorrow. I must become one with nutrition and dermatology. Plus some extra Biochem wouldn't hurt.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

But I Always Pick Myself Back Up

Yesterday turned out to be quite the fruitful day!

I did give in and caffeinated myself (iced dirty soy chai from the 'bucks) but the rest of the day went according to plan, i.e. my homemade granola with organic unsweetened almond milk for lunch.

And since class got out early (3pm, huzzah!) I did in fact make it to the gym for a hard 30 minutes in the elliptical-esque machine and some solid core work. Before diving into the cram session for the medical terminology exam I just took (I'm guessing a grade in the low 90s) I got my chef on and finally made the dal I've been going on about. I'm pretty certain at this point that almost every dish ever cooked should have garlic and ginger in it. Side dish: broccoli with spicy hummus.

I woke up before my alarm went of again. And as I've been recently reminded, when this happens the best thing to do is just GET UP. Which I did, thank you, and began to mope about my granola being at school but then - gasp! - I remembered that on Bad Decision Monday I'd purchased some frozen GF vegan waffles at D'Ag! A short trip in the microwave later and I have tasty breakfast, thank you very much. On one of them I spread all-natural PB (ingredients: peanuts) and the other I smothered in my favorite brand of preserves (multi-fruit.)

Now I am feeling good. And full. And I think I may have to go get a Metro NY so I can crossword because class doesn't start up until 10.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Sometimes I Stumble

Result of all that caffeine I consumed Saturday night? Not falling asleep until nearly 4am. Smooth, Laura. Really smooth.

Since I was awake I made a batch of granola:

2 cups certified GF whole oats (Bob's Red Mill)
~1/2 cup organic unsweetened dried cranberries
1 cup organic unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup organic walnut halves (whacked a few times with a mallet)
1/4 cup veg. oil
1/2 cup agave nectar

Toss dry ingredients, mix wet separately, combine in a baking pan of your choice depending on if you double the recipe or not, bake for ~45 minutes at 350F, stirring every 10 minutes. While still warm spread to cool on parchment paper. Store in airtight container. Feel free to replace/mix-up the type of nut and dried fruit. Nom nom nom, excellent breakfast/lunch/snack!

Yesterday I was treated to a simply scrumptious (and mimosa-filled) brunch at Bar Breton with my friend Helen, by our friend Tony. That's my kind of Easter, that is. After reading a little bit for class (not enough, I'm sure) I chose to revel in the perfectness of the Spring evening and join my friend Seth on his roof deck, complete with a posse of chill people and a Brazilian style grill (I had my own little section - tempeh, onion, tomato, and broccoli on a whim. A tasty whim.) Although I probably shouldn't have coated all my eats in Parmesan garlic butter. Or imbibed so much bourban. Which led me to purchasing and consuming that tiny little individual-sized Ben & Jerry peanut brittle ice cream.

Needless to say, I've been suffering the consequences of over-dairy-ing all day today.

And in a terrible, amateur move I went to D'Ag hungry. Which led to a purchasing of Pirate's Booty-esque crunchy cheesy things. AND an actual block of cheese which at this point, I'll be honest, has already been completely consumed.

THIS is why I have to do all my cooking for the week on Sundays. End of story. No more Sunday slacking. And obviously no more blocks of cheese. Though I did manage to haul my ass to the gym this AM ... won't happen tomorrow, though. I think I'll bring my kicks along to jog at lunch. Which will be granola again. Like both breakfast & lunch were today.

Oy. Back to studying.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Hard Work

Blah. Tomato & beans over rice for breakfast yesterday. Super condensed 2 hours of Biochem lecture.

Had that picnic lunch. My first ever guacamole came out fairly tasty. Spicier in the future, for sure. Ate the guac with some corn tortillas I had grabbed at Trader Joe's on 14th St. - which, by the way, is still the only TJ's in Manhattan. Holy ginormous line, Batman! My buddy Tony surprised me - I'd asked for GF (obviously) and veggie. He brought some soy crisps, hummus, an apple, and blackberries - vegan delight!

I attempted to study in the warmth of the radiant Spring sun at Bryant Park but was oh so tired - I almost face planted a number of times into the endocrine system. So instead I grabbed a few needed items at Lord & Taylor (sale! don't judge me) before heading downtown for karaoke. 2+ hours of singing makes one hungry so while my friends got Crif Dog I grabbed dos arepas at Caracas (yes, AGAIN.) So much for my vegan Friday ... and of course I topped it off with a small plain fro-yo from Red Mango before walking home. At least I had an early (for NYC), sober night.

Spent 6-7 hours at the library today with Biochem and medical terminology (3 chapters of note cards left, the exam is on Wednesday. Gulp!) Breakfast was veggie flax chips with salsa. Snack time was some crunchy corn/rice things by that company that makes Pirate's Booty. Dinner was veg sushi from Whole Foods, the rest of my veggie flax chips with the rest of my salsa & hummus, an iced chai from the 'bucks (I'm such a sucker) and heavens forfend, I'm drinking a Coke Zero right now (for the caffeine - I plan to study more tonight.)

At least I ate vegan today. And I'll be making some super yummy vegan dishes tomorrow evening to last me the week: tempeh-veggie salad, that red lentil dal I adore so much, and granola (with certified GF oats!) Of course I will be having non-vegan EastOver (Easter/Passover) brunch with Tony and our friend Kate who's visiting from Boston, but ...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Food, Inc.

Ew. Ew ew ew ew ew.

My pseudo-vegetarianism has now morphed into full-fledged vegetarianism. This film ... oh man. What have I been putting into my body for the past 25ish years? I'm now questioning every single thing that enters my mouth. I had a Tropicana pulp-free OJ on my walk home from the library tonight. Ingredients: oranges. Still - when how and where were they grown? Were pesticides used? Growth hormones? Were they genetically modified to be bigger and juicier? My brain hurts just trying to think about it.

Solution: grow everything myself. Or in a community of like-minded individuals where we each grow/raise a handful of things and barter. (Hmmm, this sounds vaguely familiar ...)

In other news I realized this morning that I'd eaten my last yogurt. As a solution I threw some pinto beans, the rest of my canned tomatoes, and some ginger in a pan with evoo and ate it over rice. Then I had half my leftover pasta for lunch, half for dinner. I've eaten far too much rice this week.

Got home now with some munchies so I finished off my corn chips with some hummus. (I bet that corn was genetically modified ... wow, will I ever stop thinking this way?)

One class tomorrow, in the morning. Then a picnic lunch (I'm making guacamole), studying/notes, karaoke. No word from Crif Dog on what's in their veggie dogs and how they cook them. This doesn't seem promising.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Learning Process

After shoveling a big bowl of pasta last night I hit up the library for the first time to rewrite some notes using colored ink. The library is surprisingly small for one affiliated with a large teaching hospital.

Anyway I must have done something wrong again yesterday because around 6pm a headache set in. It didn't stop me from 4 hours of notes but OW. Dislike. I had a few corn chips and hummus before bed to try to alleviate the pain some, thinking it was again blood sugar related. Then I slept for 10 1/2 hours. I guess I really am still recovering from this URI.

So this morning I made a big bowl of tomato and egg around 10am, my preferred breakfasting time. Ate another of those yogurts around 2.45 then after lecture had a few chips with salsa, my last slice of that GF bread with balsamic vinaigrette, and two kosher coconut macaroons. Damn, if that doesn't keep my blood sugar up I don't know what will.

Spent the past three hours making note cards and studying in my favorite local Starbucks (29th & Park.) Gave in and spent just over $4 on a tall soy chai. Plus at 8ish I had another hummus and red pepper sammich. So today was a FAT day, it seems, considering I didn't wake up early enough to go to the gym, like I said I would. Oy.

That's ok, I'll have my last yogurt for breakie tomorrow, the last helping of my Super Awesome GF Vegan Pasta (TM) for lunch, and do something with that avocado for dinner. I'd lie and say maybe I can squeeze in some gym time, but let's be honest. I'll be at the library rewriting my notes until late.

For now: more reading of my medical terminology book.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

When It Rains ...

This weekend was a little on the crazy side - though still fairly sick, on Friday night I split a bottle of wine (Bordeaux) with my new roommate Brittney at a cute little French restaurant (Cosette, 163 E.33rd St.) Then on Saturday night I went back to Caracas Arepa Bar with a friend from out of town. Sunday morning saw a large group brunch with new friends in Williamsburg at Mesa Coyoacán - très yummy - followed by an early evening cocktail and cheese & fruit plate at some random place by Herald Square (the name escapes me) with another friend from out of town.

But that's not what you want to know. You want to know just what I'm doing now that this budget has got me by the neck.

Well. Yesterday was a slight fail. I didn't eat breakfast, which is how I used to roll when I was working but after a month of eating when I was hungry (plus the 12 hour time difference) my body is on a very different (read: messy) food schedule. This means I was starving by the time "lunch" happened at noon. I'd also forgotten something at home so running back there meant scarfing two slices of GF bread for a total of 240 calories.

This got me through the rest of my early day (lecture until 3) when I had a coconut milk yogurt (So Delicious brand, 150 cal) to last me through 2 hours of reading & assignments - I chose to stay in the classroom and finish. The low blood sugar headache sets in.

Then the grocery store: veggies, hummus, avocado, mushroom. Aren't you proud? I ended up making my favorite brand of GF pasta (Tinkyada) and in place of bottled pasta sauce I sauteed (in evoo):

garlic (minced)
onion (diced)
zucchini (chopped)
Thai eggplant (chopped)
tomatoes (diced, canned)
pinto beans (canned, drained)
random spices & herbs

It came out SUPER awesome! Plus vegan bonus points for all of yesterday.

So far today: I skipped breakfast again (oops) but only because my 7am go-to-the-gym alarm didn't go off. At lunch just now I had a sammich with the garlicky hummus I bought yesterday and sliced red pepper. Nom! I have another yogurt for my afternoon snack (~3pm) and leftover pasta for dinner (plus the other half of a bag of salad I ate last night.)

I've also realized that I'm going to need to update this almost daily if I'm going to be super diligent about budgeting/recording. I like to think that doing so will keep me in check. In terms of a lot of things.

Ah, glad to get this written on my lunch break!

Friday, March 26, 2010

So It Begins

Well, it will begin. On Sunday. I think I'll cook some Dal followed by a basic mid-week pasta. Also I want to try my hand at making some tasty bean spread for my inevitable sandwich lunches (yogurt will be breakfast, maybe an occasional tomato & egg if class starts a bit later.)

Tuesday night Jon made some diverse, tasty food - salmon with garlic and ginger, super spicy bell peppers with chili peppers, and cauliflower with leeks, bacon, and cheese. Plus his cousin/roommate goes to cooking school so we had good food talk in the kitchen, we three.

On Wednesday I tried my hand at Thai curry. It went fairly well, considering the fact that I forgot my GF soy sauce had no stopper and WAY too much got in my curry. No photos due to my camera still being in Thailand. Grabbed a beer with some of my new classmates that night to try to dispel some pre-orientation jitters at Peculier Pub (they only have Red Bridge, but still.)

Splurged for dinner with Andres last night at Rosa Mexicano (the one on 1st Ave) which means once I finish this post I am most definitely going to the gym, despite this nasty head/chest cold I'm fighting.

SO here we go. This will be it. After this weekend no more "oh, what the hell, sure we can do dinner." I will be on a super strict budget. Keep smart spending vibes and tasty food vibes coming my way!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Step 1: Groceries

OK, this is for serious now.

Yesterday I hit up both Whole Foods (the one on Union Square, since I was in the neighborhood) and Bangkok Center Grocery, the tiny Thai store in Chinatown, where I grabbed some specific curry ingredients and some Thai eggplant (mild obsession.) Also between the two I got some of my own basics: rice, GF pasta, GF bread, yogurt, tempeh, eggs, canned beans, GF soy sauce, and for the first time agave nectar (exciting!)

I think yogurt will become my standard breakfast/lunch, mixing it up some days. Then a few staples plus fresh produce and herbs and other extraneous ingredients for Cooking Day (which will be Sundays - Saturdays will be spent studying) and viola! Theoretic Eating Plan in place.

Before all this kicks in, though, I'm busy building up my cabinet/fridge, making room on the already crammed kitchen shelves (two roommates), and playing catch-up with my NYC friends. Which, of course, translates into food/drinks out. Last night my dear friend Holly and I tried Caracas Arepa Bar in the East Village. Incredibly tasty. It has made me determined to improve my own arepa-making skills. And tonight I'm being treated to a home-cooked meal by another dear friend, Jon, at his Brooklyn home. Sweet deal!

Countdown: 2 days until orientation. Yikes!

Monday, March 22, 2010

What's this Real Life thing?

Last Wednesday I returned from my month of awesome in Asia (Beijing, Thailand, Cambodia.) A very large part of me wonders why I got on that plane home. Ah, that word. Home. Once again I find myself questioning its meaning.

But I digress. The food. Bless my taste buds, the food in Thailand. I used to tell people that if I had to choose only one cuisine to consume for the rest of my life it would be Thai food. I now have definitive proof that this is beyond true. This is true and a half. Cambodia also has some very tasty dishes.

Chinese food I've never liked - all the oil, MSG, and soy sauce (not gluten free.) The only Chinese food I enjoyed was the food I made myself in the cooking class I took in Beijing (off Nanluoguxiang.) The key to any Chinese dish: leek, garlic, and ginger.

I also took a Thai cooking class in Chiang Mai, and though I spent a delicious day there I can't remember the name of the school for the life of me. I am now no longer afraid of trying my hand at making my favorite dishes. Thai cooking is quick and easy, it's just a matter of getting all the ingredients together.

I have no recipes or photos for you today. My camera is sort of still on Ko Phi Phi (a story not relevant to food) for the time being. However later today I'll swim downtown in this rain to check out the Thai grocery store in Chinatown. I haven't really started to think out a cooking or grocery shopping schedule. Or found a gym/rock wall/yoga class within my price range. But I do still have a little less than half the money I started with 2 months ago. And I will be updating here.

Oh! And one of my mother's best friends gave me a goodbye Boston gift: a book of 1,000 gluten free recipes. I don't see myself wanting for recipe inspiration anytime soon.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Countdown: 10 days

I'm getting a little nervous.

Not about my upcoming adventure, no, but about all of the little things I need to take care of before I leave. For example: on Friday I'll be picking up my rental truck (a tiny one, only 10') in Allston and driving it to my apartment in Cambridge. This terrifies me. The largest thing I've ever driven was my mother's mini-van when learning to drive in high school. And you should've seen the scratch I put on the side of that!

When it comes to food last week wasn't memorable. No, really, I can't remember what I ate Tuesday through Thursday. There's a good chance I'm losing my mind.

Friday night I felt inspired, finally, to cook. I whipped out some gluten-free pizza dough (365 brand's mix, my current favorite) and invented some pesto - basil and roasted red pepper with garlic, parm, evoo, and pine nuts - then topped it off with some baby fontina, goat cheese, and artichoke hearts I'd sauteed in evoo & garlic. It was Tasty McFlavor but missing a level of sweetness I'd hoped the red pepper would provide (I think the basil canceled it out.) Next time I'll just pile on a bunch of caramelized onions (yummmmmm ...)

Saturday morning I walked a cold 40 minutes to Sunset Cantina where I met my brother for nacho brunch. We KILLED those nachos. I honestly did not have room in my belly until 2.30am that night when I got home from a friend's goodbye party. Sunset still holds the #1 spot in my heart for standard nachos.

Sunday one of my roommates and I decided to do breakfast for dinner. Using Against the Grain baguettes and the French toast recipe from America's Test Kitchen it came out a little on the soggy side but the flavor more than made up for the slightly-off texture. Plus 2 fried eggs and chocolate milk = win. And let's ignore the fact that we each had a pint of frozen yogurt delivered to us for dessert. Ridiculous is the word you're looking for.

This week's Nacho Average Monday was the spiciest so far! New England Nachos: clam chowder puree-fried Ipswich clams; bacon, celery and onion salsa; fresh greens; and thyme vinaigrette. I'm not the hugest fan of raw red onion so it was a little sharp tasting to me but I did enjoy the jalapeño blended into the clam chowder. Though it was so much food that for the first time I did NOT lick my plate clean. I am deeply ashamed.

Last night I finished off my invented pesto and hunk of fontina with some Orgran pasta, goat cheese, and the last of the fresh basil. Thinking of what to put on my pizza tonight with the other half of the dough ...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

And I'm Back!

This weekend was not one of my proudest. I've managed to repress the memory of what I ate on Saturday but Sunday ... oof! I wont recount my complete fatty-fatty-fatness but will tell you about about the quaint little family-style dinner my roommates and I threw together Sunday night.

My dish - creamy polenta (read: butter and Parmesan) America's Test Kitchen style (can't link to it online without a subscription ... I have a cookbook of theirs.)

Dan's dish - chickpea and leek soup, incredibly simple & tasty. The recipe is from his new Jamie Oliver cookbook. He was so proud! (We used canned chickpeas.)

Meredith's dish - arugula salad with red pepper, dried cranberries, shelled sunflower seeds and Gorgonzola crumbles (balsamic vinaigrette on the side.)

Afterward we all napped together. I'm not kidding.

Last night was Week Three of Nacho Average Monday at Poe's Kitchen. Here's his insanely mouthwatering description: "Nachos con Sweet Poe-tato" topped with caramelized Spanish onions, Gorgonzola cheese crumbles, frisee in watercress vinaigrette, and roasted sweet potato tomatillo salsa with rosemary sea salted corn tortillas.

You want to know how good it was? Look at this:

Yes, that is yours truly, licking her plate clean in the most lady-like of ways. And I can't even begin to describe the dessert nachos Poe whipped up for me afterward, out of his brain & available ingredients. They involved cinnamon & sugar dusted chips, chocolate ganache, pomegranate grenadine, mint "salsa", strawberries and some kind of berry ice cream ... this he called "cooking on the fly." What?!? It saddens me greatly that I only have two Mondays left before I embark on my grand adventure.

Mmm, snacking on leftover polenta throughout the day will keep my energy up for a run during my lunch break.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Little Things

A cold, crisp, Crayola-crayon-worthy Granny Smith apple.

A complex, almost butterscotchy aged Gouda.

A quiet room and good book.

The perfect lunch hour.

Last night some of my closest friends all gathered for the sake of cheese. I brought Manchego, Gruyere, quince paste, and three types of gluten-free crackers. There was also a port wine cheese ball, Comte, two kinds of goat cheese, Caprese salad, smoked Gouda, and brie, amongst other spread-on-able and dip-in-able wheaty things. Accompanied by some cheap red wine and a dessert of chocolate-dipped strawberries and you can be absolutely certain that I stuffed myself silly.

Tonight I will be staying in and ordering Thai food and perhaps might even start packing, or at least thinking about packing, considering that I'm moving my life to Manhattan, once again, in two weeks. Ooh, or maybe I'll be a real fatty and order the same thing from two different Thai places to compare and contrast. Yummmmm ...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Back on the Horse

Last week I slipped into a realm of familiarity and comfort. Also known as the realm of nachos. Tuesday I did it a little fancier, sauteed some broccoli florets and sliced shitake mushrooms in EVOO and garlic, but Wednesday was just pathetic and had no flair.

Friday night I jumped on the Acela to NYC with my mum which means I spent Saturday and Sunday in my happy place - food adventuring.

Sat. Lunch = Ithaka, a highly rated (on yelp) Greek restaurant on the UES. I got their signature salad and stuffed grape leaves. The word that comes to mind is 'pungent.' It was like the flavors went so deep they completely invaded my tongue. It was marvelous!

Sat. Dinner = Lilli and Loo, also UES, Asian fusion. What really blew me away here was my appetizer, the gluten-free rock shrimp tempura. They claim it's spicy on the menu but really the drizzle is a tangy, citrus-y mayonnaise. And while the GF tempura doesn't quite have that crunch the flavor and texture is superior to many other "breaded" GF items I've had. The vegetarian pad Thai was so-so.

Sat. Dessert = Who could resist a trip to Dylan's Candy Bar while in the neighborhood? What surprised me was that they seem to have doubled in size since my last visit ... 6 years ago. Aha, I see.

Sun. Brunch = Friedman's Lunch in Chelsea Market. Yes, my second trip here in less than 2 months. You wouldn't question my burgeoning habit if you had one of their sammiches. Oh, and then the fantastical cheese stores all around ... apparently they sell non-cheese items as well but who really pays attention to that nonsense. I had a BELT - bacon, egg, lettuce, tomato. Oh dear, on toasted GF bread with herb mayo? Yes. When I got back to the apartment later I still had a yellow spot of yolk on my face. Classy is the word you're looking for.

Sun. Lunch = Don't judge me. It was a mini-vacation. Plus I was celebrating finding an apartment (Murray Hill, if you're wondering.) I ordered some random Thai which was sub-par. Nothing to speak of.

Sun. Dinner = Instead of spending more cash (though tempting it was) my friends and I made ice cream sundaes, complete with some leftover candy from Dylan's. Be jealous.

Now this brings us to Monday. The highlight of my Monday, which has easily become the highlight of my every week since it's inauguration: Nacho Average Monday at Poe's Kitchen. Poe continues to lay the smack down on my taste buds with his experimental nacho creations. Last night was wild boar, marinated in SoCo and Coffee beans, topped with a poblano blue cheese sauce and these crazy amazing winter greens flash-fried with some indescribable flavor. AND MAGIC. I don't know how he does it but my boy bowls me over with his culinary creations every single time a plate of his is set in front of me. Y.U.M.

Tonight I may make dal again. Or just eat toast. It's been raining/snowing all day and I plan to just sit in my PJs as the gym is out - I did something to make my knee super cranky running on my lunch break Friday. Oops. One more day of rest, I suppose. Plus I have that super awesome cheese from Chelsea Market ...

Monday, January 11, 2010


It is cold. Not that this comes as a surprise, seeing how I've lived in the Greater Boston Area almost my entire life. But still. It warrants a mention.

As promised, here is my dear friend Phil's black-eyed pea salsa recipe, which was a HUGE hit at another dear friend, Hooman's, birthday dinner and subsequent party Saturday night:

6 cans of black eyed peas (drained and rinsed)
1 whole red onion diced
1 garlic clove minced
1 bunch cilantro chopped
2 jalapeno peppers diced
1 can Rotel tomatoes & green chilies
The juice of 1.5 to 2 limes
A couple dashes of hot sauce
A couple dashes of red wine vinegar
A bit of olive oil
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper

The instructions, per Phil: "Just put everything together in a bowl and keep tasting and adjusting until you think it's right. That's all I did. If it tasted a bit bland, add some more acid (lime juice or red wine vinegar) and salt. If it's too acidic just add some more olive oil." It's best if you can resist and let it sit over night so that the flavors blend together nicely but I swear, I cannot stop eating this stuff once it comes into being!

Dinner last night was a little pathetic but I'd spent about 5 hours in various states of cold that afternoon (outside and in a rink) and was just so sore and tired ... I ended up grabbing a jar of Alfredo sauce at Whole Foods and cooked up a brand of pasta I found at Food Master that I hadn't tried before. A little cracked black pepper, a little garlic powder, a little Adobo seasoning, and whatever. I'm happy enough.

No creative thinking needed for dinner tonight, I'm going to Rattlesnake with a few friends to try out my friend Poe's new nacho dish!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Cross Culture

Last night my friend Alissa came over for dinner. I met her through the global social net-working site, CouchSurfing. She spent the last year travelling around the world. The whole thing. Well ... lots of it, anyway. So she dropped by to tell me stories and try out my first attempt at making dal. I used a Bittman recipe but doubled the garlic and managed to add the onions in too early. Also I think I added a lot more cilantro than what qualifies as "garnish."

Still, it was mighty tasty (I opted out on the butter so vegan, yay) and Alissa insisted that it was as good as anything she'd had on the streets of India. Afterward I was silly enough to think that making cookies was a good idea (hello, winter weight) but I'd been dying to try Betty Crocker's gluten-free chocolate chip cookie mix. Oh man. It was worth the wait. TOO yummy. Actually, leftover cookies are all I've eaten today.

I know. Healthy.

Stay tuned for my friend Phil's black-eyed pea salsa recipe! And thanks, mum & dad, for the Whole Foods gift card. Perfect Chrismukkah gift.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Hello fellow foodies!

Here's the sitch: I love to cook. And occasionally bake. If it were up to me I would attempt staggering feats of culinary genius every day, every meal. Alas, my job and my wallet do not allow for this.

Here's the catch: I'm starting grad school on March 24th. Specifically, the Physician Assistant program at Cornell University in New York, NY. This is going to severely limit even further my available time and budget.

Here's the explanation: I'm curious as to how I'll manage to adapt to these changes and still attempt to prove myself in the kitchen. I'm not saying I'm Mark Bittman or my mother, but I try. Dammit.

As for now I'm still in a state of denial of how much I will be absorbed by my studies. And I haven't been feeling great the past two nights so I reverted to comfort food: rice with melted American cheese and my favorite sweet chili sauce (Mae Ploy.) But Monday night I impressed myself with the following 4 dishes:

- Bay scallops (Whole Foods had a sale the other week so I bought 3lb.s in 3 1lb. bags and froze two of them, one of which I thawed for this) seared in lemon juice (about 3/4 lemon) with minced garlic
- Wilted broccoli rabe with minced onion & garlic sauteed briefly in evoo and spritzed with some leftover lemon juice
- Roasted grape tomatoes (halved) and porcini mushrooms (sliced) with evoo, salt, and cracked black pepper
- Roasted root vegetables (one turnip, one celeriac, cut into matchsticks) with evoo, s&p, and fresh thyme (not terribly fresh, it had kind of been in my fridge for a week)

The tomatoes & mushrooms were tastiest. I ate the entire pan (oops.) The root veggies' flavor has improved over the past few days. The rabe was a little too bitter. I think in the future I need to turn down the heat to cook the onion & garlic slower and add more evoo.

So here we go! The next 6 weeks should be fairly normal in terms of my culinary adventures but after the move back to Manhattan it'll get far more interesting!