Sunday, January 30, 2011

Yoga is philosophy, right?

Oh, if I could do this all day instead of reading philosophy that makes NO sense.

This series gave me a couple ooos and ahhhs at a recent yoga class, I'm still working on it though--notice the slight foot slippage when I am coming back into crow from tripod headstand.

Other than that, this is a pretty self explanatory sequence.
Crow (Bakasana)
Shoot back Chaturanga
Tripod headstand
Shoot back Chaturanga.

Oh, how I love yoga. Emmanuel Levinas? Not so much--he took up too much of my weekend and still left me confused and unfulfilled.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Carrying my own weight...and making tasty things.

I may or may not have looked like this the other day on the way home from the grocery store:

Ok, yes, I am extremely stubborn, and I park a few blocks away from my house, and the idea of making two trips to bring in my groceries was just more than I could handle. So I slowly walked around the corner and trudged up to my third floor walk-up. If memory serves me right, I had three reusable grocery bags on each arm and I was carrying a 12 pack of toilet paper in front of me. Oh, and I also picked up a pair of knee-high boots from the cobbler, and somehow I was carrying those too. Don't ask how I got them up there--in retrospect I kind of wish I had a picture. Silly me.

I think this stubbornness dates back to my days working at Hotchkiss where I lived in a 4th floor walk-up. I must admit, the one-trip goal would fall apart whenever I purchased a giant tub of kitty litter.

As I walked towards my house, I noticed no one walking in the neighborhood offering to help--which is fine, because I would have refused it anyway. Partly because there can be sketchy-types around here...and I don't want them to run off with my hot commodities from Trader Joe's! Also because I am trying to prove a point. People often look at me and my slight frame and automatically think that I am weak. That is where I love to prove them wrong. And that is where yoga is so wonderful--in the sense that it allows me to be aware of my body weight and be able to support it, plus a whole lot of groceries, a small child, a 16 pound cat--well, you get the idea.

The other lovely thing about these groceries (after I got them up the stairs, of course) is that I continued my culinary adventures. First, there was a 44 cloves of garlic soup--I regret I did not photograph the finished product (probably because I ate it all), but I did snap some roasted garlic cloves. Word to the wise: you can never have too much garlic:

Just look at that and TELL me you are not hungry. Seriously.

Next--I and I am practically drooling just writing about this one--was a tomato and italian sausage risotto. Behold, the before picture:

SUCH a simple recipe, and mainly made from ingredients I already had. It was so ridiculously creamy, I definitely had seconds on this one. I already can't wait to have company or weekend visitors so I can whip this one up again (are you reading this, mom?) Oh wait, I am speaking with the benefit of hindsight because I actually ate it. You want to see the end result? Well, if you must...voila:

Just seeing the wilted spinach again made me wish that I hadn't already eaten lunch!

I am writing this blog on Sunday, January 23rd, otherwise known as my last day of freedom. I get the sense that this semester will be busy...I am taking on part-time work, and of course, for those of you that know me, there is the lovely 4 hour round-trip commute to class. But I love it, I really do, and I am truly looking forward to going back.

I am getting ahead of myself. Sunday--day before the first day of class. This translates into scone baking day! There is something about a scone that just warms me...I don't care about the mess I make in the kitchen (well, maybe Pat cares, but we'll disregard that), because the end result was all worth it. This time I whipped up some oatmeal raspberry scones. Again, SO easy. Don't believe me? Ask my mom...I literally went from not using my oven once last year in New Jersey to now, where I am seriously contemplating putting a mixer on my next birthday wish list. Right, on to the pictures.
I rustled up these guys--I think the only ingredients I didn't already have were the raspberries (I used frozen and they were fine), and the oats--definitely old fashioned are best. After adding the raspberries, I may or may not have resembled Lady Macbeth when I crafted these with my bare hands--

They were so gooey and pretty that I almost felt bad putting them in the oven. The end result may not look as vivid, but believe me, it certainly makes up for lack of bright colors in its taste:

Let's hope that this semester won't completely thwart my cooking adventures. Maybe if my professors followed this blog, they would sympathize. One can dream, right?

Oh, what's that? You want recipes? Be my guest...

44 Clove Garlic Soup -- Smitten Kitchen
Tomato and Sausage Risotto -- Smitten Kitchen
Oatmeal Raspberry Scones -- Joy the Baker

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Winter Break Mission: Become Julia Child

In late August, I wrote about my adventures in baking. Sadly, my school work caught up with me as the semester progressed, which makes winter break all the more exciting. Over two feet of snow on the ground leaves me with the excuse to stay inside and to to take refuge in my kitchen.

It started with a leftover bottle of Coca Cola from New Year's Eve. I am not much of a soda drinker, but I also didn't like the idea of pouring it down the drain. The soda led me to Coca Cola Chili, which I neglected to photograph, nor was there a picture online (boohoo). Take my word for it--tasty cold weather goodness. It was spicier than I expected, but for those of you who know me, (and my tendency to order extra chilis at Thai restaurants), it was just right. Well, except the lack of starch, which prompted my next mission: jalapeno pepper jack scones--

Photo Courtesy of Joy the Baker

Lovely. I forgot the gloriousness of chili and a warm scone when it is cold outside. Plus, it was cheap to make, which is good for my grad student budget (never mind all the money I spent at Lululemon this week.

A few nights later, we were out of ice cream. What's a girl to do but to make homemade almond-vanilla rice pudding?

Thank you to Smitten Kitchen.

Quite possibly one of the most quick and easy recipes for an irresistible dessert. I say irresistible because I may or may not have snuck spoonfuls of it from the fridge until it was empty.

As if I hadn't had enough sweets; my next recipe was Meyer Lemon and Cranberry Scones, also from Smitten Kitchen. My rationale was to make something that Pat could take to work every day, like I did in my Grad Student or Domestic blog back in August. But it was also because the jalapeno pepper jack scones were so good, and I needed some sweet to balance the savory.

VoilĂ .
Another Smitten Kitchen Creation.

Now, as I mentioned earlier, I am on a perpetual budget, or at least I will be until I pay off my student loans (ahem, which may never happen...), so I never want to let anything go to waste. I still had leftover cola. Which brought me to the soda jerk beans I that I made today:

Yum. Thanks, Epicurious .

So here I am...two feet of snow on the ground, and with leftover Coke, Sprite, and now Ham. Clearly I will have to find a solution to this predicament with an upcoming Trader Joe's run.

Weekend mission: Make and consume Mushroom Bourguignon. And begin photographing my own food.

Smitten Kitchen does it again.

And maybe some thesis research. Hmm...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Anti New Year's Resolution

Alright, I know what you're thinking. I have no right to be complaining about anything when I go on a blogging hiatus for several months. Yeah, about that. I guess reading a thousand pages a week kept me distracted for a while. But I am still alive--if anyone is even following this blog anymore.

On to my first point. I get irrationally angry at all the New Havenites who drive their cars around like this:

Seriously? How lazy can you get? Ok, fine, I stole this photo from Google images, and we definitely didn't get this much snow last night...but come on, people! And I know this is a habit not exclusive to my neck of the woods. I remember doing my commute to high school (almost 10 years ago, good GOD), and panicking when I saw a sheet of ice flying towards my windshield.

The sad thing is, I am no longer surprised by the laziness. People look at me like I'm crazy when I want to walk up an escalator. When I see people just automatically stop when they walk on to those blasted people movers I just think of the shapeless blobs on motorized carts in Wall-E. Or those people that take the elevator up ONE floor? Why?!

Yes, yes, I am a bit of a fitness freak, but I just don't understand why people don't want to use their bodies. My boyfriend has an elderly relative in a nursing home, and every time we visit her, I think to myself, I want to use this body now, while I still can.

Fine, maybe I was Jillian Michaels in a past life. Either that or those years of coaching high school track have rubbed off on me. I know this is the time for new year's resolutions, but I frankly don't believe in those. If you want to make a change, you should do it at any point in the year rather than waiting for January. This blog is more preachy than most--I know--but I mean it with love. Get off your butts, people! You only get one body! Wouldn't you rather be doing this?

Or this?

I got carried away. Maybe you should start smaller than that, but you get the point. If my dad with one leg can get a killer workout at the gym, so can excuses!

I promise that my next blog will not be preachy...remind me if I wait 3 months to post again :o)