Sandy Sunday

Before I begin my post, let me just apologize for my obvious obsession with alliteration ( “Sandy Sunday,” “Bordeom–> Butter,” “Meatball Monday”). Listing those out right then made me realize the full extent of my problem, but hey, YOTO, so sorry, I’m not actually that sorry. Anyways, this chick Sandy is really causing the quite the firestorm (semi-pun–intended). Apparently all the schools on the eastern seaboard have been closed? Hurricane days in Long Island, New York…is that for real? I am sure you are sensing my envy. In my entire college career I have never once wished I was back in high school, until now. What iIwould do for a “hurricane day…” Pathetic.

Luckily, Sandy did not cause any problems for my mom, who was in Durham for the weekend for Parent’s Weekend. My mom flew into Durham with no problems on Friday, and she flew back to New York this morning without delay. It was so nice having her here for the weekend, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t wish Sandy picked up her pace and trapped my mom in Durham for a little longer. It’s okay though, Sandy, I’ll forgive you. 

On Saturday morning, my mom, my sister, and I walked in my sorority’s 5k walk/run. All of the funds raised were donated to a camp that children with cancer attended during the summer. The 5k was on the Washington Duke Inn’s trail, which cuts through the Duke Forrest–it is so beautiful. I couldn’t believe i had never done it before–such good exercise, and with the right company, so much fun! After the walk, we were naturally ravenous (this is me, we are talking about!), so we went to one of my favorite places in Durham for lunch, and their amazing cookies–Foster’s!!! My mom had a house-roasted ham and brie panini, and my sister and i had thai chicken wraps. The wraps were okay–they did the trick, but they didn’t really hit “the spot”… rather disappointing. It’s okay, though because we satisfied over otherwise dissatisfaction with chocolate whopper cookies and the best macaroons I have ever tasted–so caramelized and crispy, they almost tasked like caramel. Good thing we spent the next few hours walking around and shopping! Definitely needed a little exercise and retail therapy.

So, on this “Sandy Sunday,” I am lying in my warm apartment, entranced by the smell of cupcakes (my roommate made her friend funfetti ones!!), avoiding my homework (i’ll reget that), and having a rather nice time. The only thing that can make this better is the honey crisp apple I’m about to eat! GET AT ME SANDY!

 

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Falling Back Into Blogging

Aside

Okay, I’m back.

It being Fall and all, and with the essence of the New Year wafting through the air, I decided I should actually dedicate myself to something, and maybe consider sticking with some of my promises. This summer, I promised myself I would blog. It’s not like I have to force myself to blog or anything, it’s just that I get wrapped up in insignificant things–Facebook, TV, twitter, instagram, FOOD, going out, and on occasion, schoolwork. But no more. I am approaching 20, and it’s time for me to stick with something. I am excited about the resurrection of my blogger alter ego. If I had to name her, she would be called Ellie. 

Anyways, I am halfway through my third semester at Duke University, and I couldn’t love it more. I know this sounds cheesy, and like an outright lie, but I am literally happy here everyday. Maybe not all day, everyday, but I feel satisfied and content for at least part of every day. I am a history major, and I am also working to get a Markets and Management concentration. Lets be honest with each other here, though, the only thing I am really focused on is food. What is for lunch? What should be my 4 o’clock study break beverage of choice? Coffee? latte? My newly discovered favorite–hot cinnamon spice tea (tastes like cider and is only 5 calories!!!)? What is for dinner? When is dinner? I of course need to eat at a time that is dinner appropriate, but just late enough that I don’t have to wait too long to eat dessert after. I unfortunately have a weakness for the bin candy that is sold at various locations at school. I get about 2 dollars worth every day– 1/2 cup’s worth. My poison of choice–trail mix–like the really unhealthy kind–peanuts, almonds, raisins, m&ms, chocolate covered raisins–oh to be young and have a fast metabolism…actually, I wouldn’t know, because I don’t have one– mine moves at the pace of a handicapped snail.

I am currently sitting in a cafe on campus with one of the best, most genuine, and beautiful (both inside and out) girls at duke–Elisabeth Ponce. We are “working,” chatting, drinking, eating, and having a great time together. Times like these are my favorites.

Anywho, I have to go meet my TA (and get tea before), so I am off to the library. Then dinner with an on campus cafe at the art museum with my sister! I am going to get the nappa cabbage salad with chicken. Mouth is already salivating. Do I need therapy?

 

P.S. check out my best friend’s blog forcookiesandforkale.wordpress.com…it’s amazing

Grandparents

I know i said i would blog earlier this week and include pictures and the recipe for my summertime caponata, but honestly, i worked everyday this week, and had absolutely no energy or ability to blog. I hope that my blogger credibility is not completely shattered.

There is no time–the time when my grandparents come to visit from Queens- that gives me more vigor or desire to blog. I love Dorothy and Fred, i really do, very very much, but those two can make a girl just want to let it all out, ya feel me? 

My grandma greeted me by asking me if she could borrow $500. I think she was making a joke about how much money i was making this summer, but i was taken off guard, and frankly, wondering that i should probably be asking her that #jewishgrandchildproblems. But, i brushed off the comment by simply replying “no,” and then answered the basic questions. “How is my summer?” “What have i been up to?” “How much do i make an hour?” Blah. Blah. Blah. After 10 minutes of small talk, my grandpa asked me to turn on the Mets game, and the chatter subsided.

We watched the game for a while, and then we decided to take a family journey to the house we will be moving to in the fall. Coincidentally, and fortunately (?) my mom’s new house is right near my dad’s current house, so we also were able to show my grandparents my dad’s house, which they had never seen. After comparing the neighborhood around my dad’s house to “the projects” (it is, by the way, SO not–the houses are just smaller and the driveways are filled with acuras instead of mercedes and bmws), they finally saw my father’s house. That was two hours ago, they are still talking about it.

When we returned to my current home i escaped another Mets game viewing session by chopping up some basic salad ingredients for dinner. I could feel eyes on me, so i looked up to see my grandmother peering at me from the den–this lasted for the entirety of my rendezvous in the kitchen- about 10 minutes. I was annoyed.

I am being summoned back downstairs. Wish me luck

I’m Back

Happy National Tequila Day!!!

Hello all, i am back from my week long hiatus. As some of you know, on Thursday one of my best friends Grace was in from Chicago for the weekend, and was staying at our house, so i was busy being a hostess. She arrived on Thursday, and we had a nice dinner, catered by the gourmet food store i work out. Then, on Friday we ventured into the city, though it was disgusting weather, and we went to the Met and the Frick museums!!! Look at me being so cultured!!! That should last me for about five years…art aint really my thang.

On Friday night we went to a huge dinner at Cipriani downtown with 23 of our other sorority sisters. Company was amazing, food was ehh and $$, bellinis were AMAZING!!! Peach puree and prosecco, could it be bad?

My weekend was filled with more visits with my friends from schools and some tanning. Unfortunately, no cooking. I think i am going to make a nice broken down fresh caponata tomorrow and i will blog then! Just wanted to check in in case any of you were worried about my whereabouts…ill just tell myself you were.

boredom–> butter

There are few things as delicious as roasted almonds. I really do have an addiction to their smoky, crunchy, sweetness. It’s a problem. I’m seeking help. But admission is the first step, right? Well, anyway, while roasted almonds are completely delicious on their own, or even better, rubbed with salt, because i am bored on this rainy Wednesday, i decided to make some almond butter. I recently bought some almond butter at Whole Foods, you know the kind you do yourself–it’s so fun!–which was simple and yummy. I thought that i would spice things up in my almond butter though, literally.

I started with three cups of roasted almonds, and blended them in a food processor for about 2 minutes, or until they came into a liquidy paste. Then, i added in a 2 teaspoons of kosher salt, a tablespoon of maple syrup (whichever kind you have lying around–i used grade B), a teaspoon of cinnamon, and half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper to give the otherwise sweet concoction a little heat. 

Not to toot my own horn, but wow. It is delicious. Classic me, i was bored so i made some almond butter–completely unnecessary, but completely amazing.

Under the Cover of Darkness

The sun goes down after a long, hot summer day, and most people find solace in the calmness and decline in temperatures. Not this girl, however. There are few things that ignite more fear and anxiety within me than the downing of the sun. Let me tell you why. With the fall of night, comes my complete loss of self control and binge eating tendencies. There is something about the cover of darkness that acts as a blind fold over my sense of clarity and healthfulness and i literally become like a scavenger—willing to eat anything and everything. Honestly, it doesn’t even matter if i am hungry, because i can guarantee that i eat more past 9 pm than i have all day, which is just the most unhealthy thing possible ever. Its not like i can just have a handful of almonds to satisfy my sweet tooth. Once i put one thing in my mouth, its like i have broken the metaphorical seal and all my inhibitions leak out and i am like a fat boy in a candy store–un-stopable. I go to bed most nights, full of crap and nauseating guilt. I wake up most mornings, still full, but this time full of anger and depression. HALP.

Finally Friday

TGIF! Am i right, or am i right?

I began this glorious day at the ripe old time of 8 am, thirty minutes before i was due at work–i helped open the store today. As i have explained, i work at an amazing gourmet prepared food and catering store in my town. I work behind the counter and i frequently help in the kitchen doing your basic prep work–cutting, chopping, mixing etc. I usually work the afternoon to closing shift– 1 30 to 8 30 pm– but today i got in at 8 30 am and left at 4 30 pm…eight hours on my feet, forty years on my life.

One of the first things i always do when opening the store is brew the coffee, because lets be honest, i need coffee if i’m going to work for 8 hours. Now, today was a particularly magical opening experience for me because Breno and Junior, the night shift dish washers did not, as they frequently do not, close the release valves on the coffee pots, so when the coffee started brewing this morning, it flowed right out of the machines and onto the floor and surrounding area. I was super attentive this morning, so it took me nearly 10 minutes to realize that this was going on, at which point half of the store was covered in coffee. Hooray!

After a lot of cursing, death plotting, and scrubbing, Melissa (one of the owner’s) and I cleaned up the mess and continued on our way–unwrapping the whole case, setting up, etc. After the initial frustration and set back, my day at work wasn’t bad, and i enjoyed it as usual. I inspired a new flavor of freshly made lemonade–mango, suggested the production of in-store made nut butters, and made a wheat berry salad…all delicious!

Speaking of delicious. Last night my mom, sister, and I finally tried the new upscale italian restaurant in my town. After a day of slim fast, an entree pack of gum, and running around doing errands in the city, our 8 o’clock dinner reservation felt…late. I was STARVING. I ordered the “spring farmer’s salad,” which consisted of mixed greens, sweet cherry tomatoes, radishes, squash, and fennel (which i left out…not my style) in a red wine vinegar and oil dressing. My mom and sister ordered a pizza, which looked delicious, but considering i gain weight from inhaling, i decided against partaking in that culinary experience. For dinner i ordered a grilled halibut with grilled tomatoes, peppers, and olive tapenade. My sister ordered a brick-grilled chicken and my mom ordered a faro and shrimp dish in a pesto sauce. 

We had the pleasure of sitting next to two women who seemed to order everything off the menu. Literally. As we sat  famished and food-less, these two women were feasting over the entire menu, taking pictures of every item, and moaning “O.M.G. this is delicious!’ after each bite. We soon determined that they must be food critics based on the incredible service they were getting, multitude of pictures they were taking, and plethora of dishes they had ordered. With every bite they took, i saw my life flash before my eyes and i questioned “were we dining or were we dying?”

After about forty minutes we finally received our food and it was great! Well, either that, or i was just that hungrily But no, the fish was grilled to perfection, and the gentle char on the peppers and tomatoes, along with the acidic bite from the tapenade, came together into a beautiful mouthful and i truly enjoyed every bite. I am all for waiting for good food, but sometimes i just can’t deal. Next time i go to this restaurant i will make sure to have a snack before.

Tonight, i will be eating sushi. Well, that will be my first dinner at least. Sushi just can’t fill a girl…or at least this girl.

Happy Friday!