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Archive for the ‘College’ Category

It is amazing how productive I can be during finals. I mean, I am on a roll. In the past 48 hours alone, I have: mailed in my parking tickets, secured a part time job for the summer, written that last blog post, written this blog post, and made THESE:
Chocolate Mascarpone Brownies

Chocolate Mascarpone Brownies. I had half a tub of mascarpone leftover from my tart and I didn’t know what to do with it. So while I was procrastinating, I happened to see this which led me to this recipe. I just happened to have the exact amount of mascarpone, as well as a whole bag of Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips and Ghiradelli cocoa powder. “PERFECT!” I said to myself as I put aside my english paper again.
Chocolate Mascarpone Brownies

I would like to note that I adore my paper topic. However, I love it so much that I don’t want to ruin it by writing about it. Especially when writing about it involves 15 pages! I have never written something so long (maybe a lab report). Especially not about LITERATURE. I will pause right now to reccomend that anyone who hasn’t read Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God should go read it immediately. I am rarely effected by a novel. Especially not a book that one would read as “classic literature” <insert haughty accent>. However I was floored by this book. It is vivid and vibrant and so beautiful. Anyone out there who is as addicted to food blogs as much as I am is surely a visual person, and Hurston’s language is as visual as you can get. As I read more and more criticism, I continue to be more and more impressed. For anyone who cares (probably no one, but that’s ok), I am writing about Janie’s ability to visualize herself and her self empowerment, as relating to the power of the visual and the female body.

But back to procrastination…These brownies were superb. They hardly belong in the “brownie” category. More like “fudgy bite of heaven” category. And, you know what? They were not hard to make. This was my first experience with ganache. SO simple and SO delicious. I think next time I would like to use a darker chocolate.

Some more “visual power” for you:
Chocolate Mascarpone Brownies

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Since my camera is broken, I checked my iPhoto for any outstanding pictures, and I found these apple pie pictures from early fall, post-Happy Valley. As many people know, I LOVE pie. But you know what I’m not a big fan of? The gooey-ness in fruitpies. I don’t mind it in strawberry rhubarb, but I have a bit problem with cherry pie because of the goo-factor. You know that cornstarch-y goo that messes up those delicious cherries? Bleh!

As such, when it comes to my apple pies, ain’t no cornstarch goin’ near my apples! Luckily, most “Vermont Apple Pie” recipes are in agreement. The first requirement are apples fresh from a Vermont orchard. The apples are then peeled and thinly sliced then tossed with a number of yummy ingredients – sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, flour, etc.

I used the Basic Flaky Pie Crust recipe off of epicurious.

Apples covered in deliciousness peek through the latticetop.

Apples covered in deliciousness peek through the latticetop.

I left my little recipe book up at school, unfortunately, so I don’t have the recipe I used. Most “Vermont Apple Pie” recipes suffice, however. Some have an egg, some have more flour or more butter than others. I like the ones that include a bit of cider vinegar or fresh cider, since we always have those in supply up here. They’re all quite good. All they need is a melted slice of cabot and they are truly vermont pies, then

Apple Pie Time

There’s no goop in THIS pie! Only juicy deliciousness. You can see that space in the pie is taken up by layers of apples and the juice leeched from them during baking. Mmm…

Apple Pie Time

A true Vermont college student enjoys their pie from a Frisbee with Vermont Woodchuck Draft Cider.

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It’s the end of fall semester, junior year. What does that mean? It means people are going abroad and this is going to be the last time I see many of them before we are seniors! It is tres, tres sad. We girls decided to have a nice dinner together before everyone dispersed. My initial email said “Make something! It doesn’t matter what just claim it quickly before someone else does”.

Well, due to that little comment we had QUITE the variety of food. And no good pictures because my camera was broken. Here’s what I made though:

Me with Tomato-Mozarella PokeBalls

Tomato-mozarella skewers! We took vine-ripened cherry tomatoes, the little balls of mozarella, cut each one in half and put them together to make one whole sphere. Sarah thought they looked like the PokeBalls in Pokemon. We wrapped a thin slice of basil around them and skewered ’em. I made a simple balsamic reduction to dip them in.

I also made another appetizer on a whim: Dates with Goat Cheese Wrapped in Prosciutto. I saw it on the homepage of epicurious before I went to the store and I was like !!!. If I had to pick my top 10 favorite foods those three things would all be there. Here’s where I found them: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Dates-with-Goat-Cheese-Wrapped-in-Prosciutto-241134 . Pier, who was one of the many people to happen upon our dinner, described them as “An excellent and surprising combination of flavors. The basil is a perfect buffer from the prosciutto to the date.” Well, whatever you say, Pier. They were EXCELLENT, flavorful, and easy to make (only 4 ingredients!). I was later reading the epicurious comments and someone mentioned using walnuts in them. I think the extra crunch would be a great addition. Unfortunately only one horrible picture of them was taken.

Kelsey made spinach-artichoke dip. Kelsey needs..hm…some extra supervision when cooking. She has a bad habit of reading measurements wrong (Which she did even with me there next to her. We just ended up doubling the recipe.). We used the spinach-artichoke dip recipe from Closet Cooking. We did not leave enough time for it to bake to that nice golden crust on top but it was good all the same. I think I would have been content with a simpler version still.

We just doubled the recipe...

Kelsey making dip, messing up dip, then fixing it.

Laurel made a salad with spinach and mixed baby greens, pine nuts, goat cheese, cranberry’s and Brianna’s Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing. Laurel also brought along the music… A couple weeks ago Laurel went to the SIM-Mamajamas a capella concert and bought a raffle ticket for $1. It seems she was the only person to do so because she won a song from SIM (Stuck In the Middle – one of our boys a capella groups) whenever she wanted. Well we thought our dinner would be the perfect time. And they sung three songs. “A dollar well spent?” we asked her. “Definitely! Three songs? That’s better than iTunes!” she replied.

Our own personal performance. Definitely better than iTunes.

Our own personal performance. Definitely better than iTunes.

Sarah made pasta with pesto. Wendy made something wonderful with a spanish name I don’t remember, but it was pretty much deconstructed pot roast; Shredded beef with chopped carrots, potatoes, and onions. Jenny made her “yummy grape thing“, which was essentially grapes with cream cheese icing. Claire made a caramel turtle cake. Halley made this delicious beverage made out of mixed berry sherbet and 7up.

We ate off of frisbees (because that’s how we do in Brooker…) and it was lovely and delicious.

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I’ve arrived at what will be my home for the summer. I have an internship doing microbiology stuff on the beach in Florida. It’s nice here. Our housing was provided – we have a little tiny dorm for us 8 interns. We are in charge of our own food, however.

“Great!” you might say, having seen/heard my laments about not having my own kitchen.

Oh, do I know better now. I’ve been here a week (although I went home this past weekend). After about 3 days it felt like I’d already been here forever. And I had been so healthy! Salads once a day, no awful snacky foods…I even went running on the beach three days in a row! Shopping for myself has been really good for me so far.

But then days 4 and 5 hit. They were long days. Three days of working your brain, trying to remember all you can about your Cell Biology and Genetics class, processing the process of PCRs and the use of double-stranded RNA to silence a gene really wears on a person! Not to mention the running when I haven’t exactly been running regularly… It’s so very difficult to work up the energy to cook something for yourself when it’s just you and you might as well snack various things from the fridge. They’re all relatively healthy things, right?

I have no real repertoire of recipes to rely on. I think that is my real problem. There aren’t a whole bunch of dinner options/ideas floating around in my brain to pull on. I tossed together pretty much the same salad once a day (but it’s a good salad!). I made my dad’s salmon patties, which were tasty and I ate the leftovers the next night. I’ve had a lot of sandwiches (but I love sandwiches!). And some mac & cheese (not exciting, exactly).

This is definitely going to be a challenge and a learning experience for me.

One last thing: I need to go to the store SO often, it seems! I always forget something or run out of something in 2 days. Starting from nothing, with no reserves, is really annoying. In fact, I need to go to the store right now.

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Sundays suck. Less than Wednesdays (Wednesday is always a really difficult day for me) but more than Mondays (not so bad for me, even if it is a Monday). Why? Because it’s when I (and every other college student) scramble to do as much work as they can for the week.

I spend my Sundays here:

This is the view from the window seat at Carol’s Hungry Mind Cafe (also, my organic chemistry lab notebook and my laptop). It’s a coffee shop in Middlebury that is always on the verge of bankruptcy, yet seems to persist no matter what John (the pessimistic owner says). It certainly has character, and it is a nice place to go work, even if you occasionally hear one of the baristas mumble about people (read: college students) who buy one cup of coffee then just get glasses of water all day and take up a table.

To that I say: I buy tea!

From Carol\'s Hungry Mind

Hah, no that’s a lie. Sometimes I buy tea. This is the peppermint tea which is faaaabulous. And I’m not even a tea drinker. In fact, I dislike tea. Not this tea.

If I want caffeine I get a small vanilla latte (sugar-free, skim), usually. If I want a LOT of caffeine, and it’s warm out, I get an iced vanilla latte (sugar-free, skim). If it’s cold and I don’t want caffeine and I didn’t have a huge breakfast, I get a vanilla steamer (whole milk on this one, baby), also known as a vanilla creme. If it’s hot and I don’t want caffeine I get limeade. Lately, however, the citrus press has been broken so I get one of the Izze sodas (grapefruit, or clementine if they’re out of grapefruit).

I used to work at Starbucks. I know my shit when it comes to coffee shops, to say the least. My Starbucks was fabulous, I’ll have all you know. We kept it clean, we didn’t leave drip coffee on for longer than an hour, we didn’t leave our steaming milk unattended. I will rant about this another time, because I hate it when people generalize and bash the whole idea of Starbucks. It’s not a bad company, really.

This is where I am right now:

Battell Beach, Middlebury College, on a lovely spring day.

This is the view from my Adirondack Chair, looking across Battell Beach (the nickname for that expanse of grass). I hate how Beautiful Spring Days make me want to just take pictures and talk about them rather than work on my physics lab report, or my chem lab report, or my OTHER chem lab report, or my english paper, or my chemistry problem set, or my physics problem set.

Yeah.

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Advice to Prospies

It is Preview Weekend #2 here. I am hosting a prospie. I haven’t seen her yet, although her Gucci bag is sitting in my room.

In an attempt to be a good host, here I list some Advisable and inadvisable things concerning college
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