em_brett: (afraid of nothing hat firefly)
Mini-breakdown before heading to my independent study meeting today -- tried very hard not to start bawling as soon as I got to Prof J's office and couldn't understand a word he was saying.

So we instated a week o' review. The world is a wonderful place again and I can skip along to class. Also it's not raining anymore. Yessssss.
em_brett: (Default)
[community profile] omnomnom is having an fall food favorites fest (see what I did there?), so I figured I'd cross post my recipe here. I haven't made it yet this season (Shhh) but oh man it's happening soon.

I am more than a little obsessed with soup, and I love it when fall rolls around because it's cool enough to eat tons and tons of warm soup. This is one of my favorites -- I'm not sure exactly where it originally came (possibly the Washington Post?) from but my mom makes it all the time and it's awesome.

Recipe after the cut... )

Siiiiiick

Sep. 22nd, 2009 11:18 am
em_brett: (do not like)
Oh, college, repository of all germs that I lack immunity to.

At least it's not the swine. I think.
em_brett: (afraid of nothing hat firefly)
Specifically, at (1) posting and (2) learning foreign languages. No particular excuse for either, but hey, at least I admit it.

I'm trying to learn Bahasa Indonesia as an independent study before I head over to Bali in the spring. I consider myself a person of at least average intelligence, but memorizing new vocabulary? So not good. I have managed to learn the words for coffee, tea, and eat (kopi, teh, dan makan), at least. Is anyone surprised that those are the words I remember? Also nasi goreng -- fried rice. Seriously, just give me a list of food and cooking terms and I'll learn them no problem. I think my Prof was getting a bit frustrated, though, as I consistently forgot vocab words and mispronounce the negation word. Whoops...

In other news, I have an amazing view of what is either the Dome or an unnamed 500ft hill. I can read a topographical map, thank you very much, but the enormous oak and pine trees are rather in the way of any other reference points. Oh, also I have amazing morning light. Have I mentioned that yet? 

I went on a run this morning up one of the huge hills/small mountains near campus this morning. The hill faces east and the sun was just coming up. On my way down I got a perfect view of the valley, covered in golden-hued fog. Oh man I love these morning runs.

Now off to work on my fiction imitation! We'll see if it turns out well at all.

em_brett: (afraid of nothing hat firefly)
Partially unpacked, and busy from around 9:30-6 constantly with orientation staff stuff. Have to make sure no one gets hurt (knock on wood). More updates hopefully later tonight or tomorrow, but contingent on exhaustion. Need breakfast (coffee!) now.

The jury is still out on whether or not being here will be good.

On the bright (har har) side, my room gets wonderful morning light.
em_brett: (Default)
Don't get me wrong. I'm more than grateful that I got to grow up in a privileged area where I had access to everything -- education, museums, food, entertainment, you name it -- at my fingertips. Still, it blows my mind that almost every car on the road is a brand new SUV and when I see guys in golf carts exasperated because traffic won't stop for them so they can cross the street and continue their game at their fancy country club.

It's also fascinating to me, coming home from my various enclaves of young, hipster, and environmentally-conscious. The last of those, the concern for the environment, is partly a function of the fact that if you can pay to fill up your Suburban with premium gas, you will. More than that, though, it seems to be largely generational. While I'm certainly not complaining, I'm currently sitting in the very large kitchen of my parents' over-air-conditioned first house. We drive to everything; although my dad could commute via the subway, he doesn't. A lot of that, too, is that it's more convenient and that my parents can afford it. Still, while I'd like to one day own a house with an amply large kitchen and central air, I'd also like to grow a lot of my own food and conserve enough energy that I can sleep easy at night knowing that I'm not exploding my corner of the environment.

On a completely unrelated note, Dad's scheduled for a biopsy near his old melanoma site tomorrow. He's been in remission for a while and it's probably nothing, but...ugh, I don't really want to think about the possibility.
em_brett: (do not like)
I was supposed to drive from Boston to DC this past Friday. It seemed like a good plan: I'd finished my pottery class on Wednesday, so I'd take Thursday to pack up the apartment and head down on Friday. On the way, I'd drop J in Philly, where she'd meet up with her brother and then head home for her mom's birthday. That would let us split some of the driving and I'd still get home in a reasonable amount of time.

Thing is, I've spent all summer having quite a loose concept of time: to me, Friday may as well be Tuesday. I didn't really stop to consider that everyone and their mother would be trying to get out of town on one of the last Friday afternoons in August. So we sat in New York for about four hours.

Fortunately, J's family is wonderful and rather than going on to Philly from New York (at what was by then around 6 o'clock), we headed straight to her parents' house where I spent the night. I got to meet the Norweigians (J's unofficial extended family) as well as her mom's best friend who no one else likes. It was certainly eventful, and way easier than it would otherwise have been. The next morning, I headed home and then to the island where the family was. Good times -- managed not to crash despite the total 15 and a half hours of driving.

So now I'm home for a little over a week before heading back to school. I'm spending most of my time unpacking, repacking, washing cars, and working out. Not too bad, all things considered. I'm not entirely sure how I'm feeling about my return to campus, but I think I'll leave that contemplation for another time.
em_brett: (Default)
Last night one of my newly-vegetarian friends came over for dinner. J and I have had him over a couple of times this summer to (a) hang out with him and (b) teach him vegetarian dishes that aren't stir fry (not that there's anything wrong with stir fry). So, without further ado, I give you:

Frittata with Artichoke Hearts, Goat Cheese, Arugula, and Zucchini

The theme to my cooking these days is "what can I throw a ton of vegetables into today?" A frittata is basically an enormous omelet. Usually you cook the bottom on the stove and then stick it in the oven, but I don't have an oven-safe pan, so I discovered you can flip it (very very carefully) and it's just as amazing.

Ingredients

1 can artichoke hearts, chopped very coarsely
1-2 handfuls of arugala, torn into pieces (or you could just use baby arugala)
1 small zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 of a small onion, diced
1 ear of corn cut off the cob (optional)
8 eggs (if you want to make this lighter, you could do 5 or 6 eggs and 2-3 egg whites)
1-2 T goat cheese (about 1 oz, or more if you prefer)
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
a pinch of any of the following herbs you have on hand: oregano, sage, rosemary, thyme

You will also need either two large frying pans OR one oven-safe skillet OR impressive flipping skills/the willingness to eat a messy-looking frittata.

Directions
1. If you are using an oven-safe skillet, preheat oven to 375F. If you are using a frying pan, ignore this step.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and goat cheese.
3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1-2 T of olive oil, then add onions and saute until soft.
4. Add corn and zucchini and continue to saute. After 1-2 min, add artichoke hearts. Saute for another 4-7 minutes, until zucchini is softening.
5. Add arugula, and continue sauteing until it is wilted.
6. Add salt, pepper, and herbs to taste. Stir to distribute, then flatten vegetables evenly across the bottom of the pan. (Note: at this point I moved everything to the smaller of my two frying pans. If you are using two pans, you'll want to start the frittata in the smaller of the two so that when you flip it, it will fit into the second one. If you're using an oven-safe skillet, you can keep them in the pan. If )
7. Reduce to medium-low and pour in the egg mixture. Cook for 5-8 minutes, until sides are set. At about 4 minutes, begin to preheat your second oiled pan if you are using it.
8. With a spatula, pull back the sides of the frittata (gently!) to loosen it from the pan. At this point, either put it in the oven for 10 minutes or flip it (carefully!) into the second pan. Be very very careful not to burn yourself in this process, please. Cook on this side over medium-low heat for another 7 minutes or so.
9. Enjoy! You can either slice it right out of the pan or slip it out onto a plate to serve.

Serves 4-5. As usual, you can sub in pretty much any vegetable, cheese, or meat that would go well with eggs and it will probably be delicious.

Recipe adapted very loosely from Good Bite.

Crossposted to [community profile] omnomnom 
em_brett: (elephant)
I had a revelation today in the shower about what I would make for dinner. I present to you: couscous with avocado, chickpeas, corn, and general deliciousness! Dinner in half an hour, ladies and gents. Just for you:

Ingredients
3/4 c couscous (or any other similar grain. I used 2/3 cup couscous with 1/4 cup quinoa because that's what I had on hand; bulgur would also probably work wonderfully here.)
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 medium avocado, chopped roughly (you'll want to keep this fairly big, maybe 1/2 inch cubes, so they don't totally melt away)
2 ears of corn, cut off the cob (or 1 ear of corn and 1 cup chopped zucchini or any other similar vegetable that you love)
1 handful mung bean sprouts (the big kind you find in a lot of Chinese dishes)
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
6-8 leaves mint, finely chopped
juice from half a lemon
olive oil (2-3 T)
pinch cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1. Prepare couscous or other grain according to directions (usually 1:1 couscous to water, 2:1 quinoa to water). Set aside when done.
2. While couscous is cooking, heat a large skillet on medium heat with 1-2 T olive oil. Saute the garlic 1-2 minutes.
3. Add corn (and other vegetables, if using); saute 3-4 minutes more.
4. Add chickpeas, saute 4-5 min more. Add cayenne, salt, and pepper.
5. At this point, add the couscous if it's ready. If not, you can turn the heat down low on the chickpea mix and just stir occasionally until the grain is done, then turn the heat back up when you're ready. Stir to distribute. Double points if you keep all contents of the pan within the pan.
6. After 2-3 minutes, turn off the heat. Stir in the avocado, mint, lemon juice, and one more tablespoon of olive oil.
7. Enjoy!

Serves 4-5 as a main dish, probably significantly more if you use it as a side.
Also, just a note: I served this hot, but I'd put money on it being just as good if not better cold. (In fact, I'm planning on having the leftovers cold tomorrow.)

(Crossposted to [community profile] omnomnom )

Edit: forgot the bean sprouts the first time around. Whoops!

em_brett: (elephant)
So I don't know if any of you Dreamwidth-ites are in Boston, but if you are, stop what you're doing right away. Pick up the phone. Call The Elephant Walk and make a reservation, preferably for this week because it's restaurant week. Do not skip a course on their prix-fixed restaurant week menu. Eat it all. Roll home. You will be in heaven. Seriously, I was still ridiculously full this morning.

J took me out last night for our anniversary (belated due to food poisoning, as previously mentioned). I started with a chilled avocado citrus soup (which had grapefruit juice, lime juice, avocado, tomato, sweet onion, mint, and button mushrooms) that made me gasp in surprise at how good it was. I'll probably be working on a recipe because oh my good I want it again, so if I work it out I'll post it here. Then I had a salad with red bell pepper, grilled pineapple, and a chili-vinaigrette, followed by a curry-satay dish with tofu, onions, mushrooms in a sauce with cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, and other spices (recipe also hopefully soon to follow). Oh, and chocolate truffle mousse cake. I'm really amazed I ate it all. J may actually have gotten more food than I (given that her main course was ribs). I think our waiter was impressed with us -- he kind of laughed when we ordered, breathlessly because we were both starving, the entire four courses. People don't expect two 5'3" skinny women to be able to put down that much food.

So really. Put down whatever you're doing now and go eat.

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Emilia Brett

December 2009

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