Monday, April 29, 2013

Old Fashioned with a Twist

I can finally say the words I've been dreaming of for the last few months.

I. Am. Completely. 100%. Done. With. College.

And obviously I skimped on an English course or two because that kind of sentence is not acceptable.

It's such a weird feeling.  I went from living in the library with no sleep and a grumpy disposition to plenty of sleep, plenty of free time, and pure happiness.  But it was quite an abrupt change.  And I'm still scrambling around trying to figure out what to do with myself now that it's all over.  Once I settle down I plan on blogging like a mad woman, going to as many pilates classes as I possibly can, frolicking in the gorgeous New England spring weather, and probably working a little to support the fun.  But it doesn't sound too bad does it?

I'm happy to be back.

So let's celebrate with a good drink?  There is no better way you know.

Adapted from Julian Van Winkle

Makes: 1 drink
Total Time: 5 minutes

{Printable Recipe}

1 slice fresh orange
2 raw brown sugar cubes (if you can't find cubes, regular raw sugar works)
4-6 drops Aztec Chocolate Bitters
1 cherry
2 ounces bourbon whiskey
ice cubes

  1. Add a slice of fresh orange and 1 cherry to a glass.
  2. If you were able to find sugar cubes, place two cubes on a cocktail napkin placed on top of the glass and drop the bitters into the cubes.  (The napkin helps soak up the excess bitters.)  Then dump the sugar cubes into the glass and throw away the napkin.
  3. Ad just a few drops of whiskey and muddle the sugar with the fruit, but not the orange peel, until the sugar is almost dissolved.
  4. Add 2 ounces of whiskey and stir with some good ice cubes.
  5. Stir again and enjoy!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Stuffed Poblano Peppers

This post looks significantly different than the one that I had written for Monday.

It included a few guilty "I'm sorrys" and an attempt to explain why I haven't posted in almost a month.

And then some pretty horrible things happened in Boston as many of you have probably heard.  I don't want to go into detail about the day but I will say that it was absolutely horrifying.  Watching something horrible happen on TV is bad enough.  But when it's happening in your own back yard?  Words can't describe it.

A lot of people have been quoted saying that the day of the Boston Marathon is one of the greatest days to live in the city of Boston.  And they are absolutely right.  The energy throughout the city is unbelievable even days before the event.  But the day of the race?  There is a sense of community that I had never experienced before moving here.  The entire city + thousands and thousands of tourists come together to cheer on the incredible runners during a day off from school and work, with (usually) some of the first warm weather and sunshine of the year.  How could it get much better than that?  It doesn't.  Not in Boston.  In fact, within the first hour of watching my first Boston Marathon several years ago I decided I had to run the following year for goodness sake.  It looked like the best. time. ever.

That obviously didn't happen.

But it makes the unfortunate things that happened on Monday that much more painful.  I'm upset that something like that could happen on one of the happiest and most high energy days of the year and to people and families that were as wonderful as I can imagine them to be.  I've been thinking about those people for days now and I hope that they can all find a way to recover and be as happy as they were just minutes before their worlds were turned upside down.

These events made me hit the delete button on everything I had previously written for this post.  Life is way too short to feel guilty about not putting up a blog post in a month.  And I shouldn't be saying sorry about being far too busy.  That's a good thing.  I've actually realized that I'm impressed with my discipline to put away the fun things for a while in order to keep my school work at the best level possible.  It's not fun but I'm glad that I'm dedicating my entire self to one (very important) thing for now.  I tend to spread myself quite thin most of the time so it's nice to not be doing that for once.

I hope you can take a minute to think about what is going on around you and what you have going on in your life.  If you're spreading yourself too thin maybe you can let something go for a little while and pick it back up when you have the time to be fully engaged.  Time is too precious to waste.  And don't forget the people in your life.  They are even more precious and life is too unpredictable.  Give them a hug and then make them some food.  Life is too unpredictable to not.  

Adapted from the amazing Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

Makes: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

{Printable Recipe}

  • 8 large fresh poblano peppers
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice (I cheated and used Trader Joe's super easy microwavable rice)
  • 1 (12oz) bottle of beer, preferably light or medium in color (I used Sam Adam's Summer)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 2 cobs) OR 1 1/2 cups frozen and defrosted kernels
  • 3/4 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco, ricotta salata, or another crumbly cheese
  • 3 tablespoons yogurt 
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Lay several peppers at a time on their sides on the racks atop a gas burner and turn the flame to high.  Using tongs, rotate the peppers frequently until their skins are blistered, about 4-6 minutes each.  Transfer the peppers to a bowl and cover them with foil or plastic wrap. (I've since been told that paper bags are even better for this!)  Repeat with the remaining peppers.
  2. If you do not have a gas burner, you can do this under a broiler or skip this step altogether if they pepper skins don't bother you.
  3. In a large sauce pan heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute until soft, about 8 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.  Add the rice to the pot and stir it for a minute or two.  Pour in the beer, corn, monterey jack cheese, salt, and black pepper.  Let cheese melt and stir for several minutes.  Remove from heat.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400°.  Remove the peppers from the bowl and gently rub off the skins.  Cut a slit lengthwise in each pepper and remove the seeds and membranes.  Fill each pepper with the rice mixture and arrange tightly in a baking dish.  Sprinkle with queso fresco and bake for 10-15 minutes, until bronzed on top.
  5. While peppers are cooking, whisk together yogurt, milk, and salt. 
  6. Remove peppers from the oven.  Drizzle with yogurt mixture and garnish with cilantro.

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