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Monthly Archives: April 2012

  

At this point in the academic year, I have already made it through my last round of collecting resources at the university library. I’ve stocked up on coffee, sticky notes, and necessities for two weeks of pb&j sandwiches. I’ve also apologized profusely to my dog, warning her of the transformation that her mom (me) will undergo as she attempts to contextualize, analyze, theorize, and “______-ize”  (fill it in) three separate collections of literature. This student becomes impatient, irritable, disheveled, and stubbornly unwilling to think about anything but work — even if this means staring continuously at her stagnant cursor on the computer screen. (Sigh) Please, pay no attention to that third-person slip.

As the impending deadlines approach, and escapism has once again thrown me its “come hither” look, I find myself clinging more and more to the idea of life after the week of final exams. For me, this means family, food, mountains, and sleep. This is my motivation. I cannot wait to be on the road.

In the meantime, I’m sharing a little thought-nugget with you. It comes in the form of a text sent from one graduate student to another:

“I was pondering why we choose to subject ourselves to high levels of stress and certain rejection of ideas that, in turn, may cause us to experience existential crises and psychological/emotional trauma, in a cycle bound to be repeated every semester (and for the rest of our lives) under the pretext of an ‘academic profession’ . . . then I realize that dating isn’t so scary after all.”

Best of luck to all on their final projects/exams!!

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I’m having a Donna Summer moment: “Lookin’ for some hot stuff baby this evening. I need some hot stuff baby tonight.” Ok, ok, so the “hot stuff” in question might differ for the two of us. That said, don’t underestimate these tostadas. These ladies will flirt with you, reel you in, and then light your tongue on fire. I’m telling you, this is no child’s game.

You will need:

two corn tortillas, fried to a crisp

1/2 ripe avocado, cut lengthwise into thin slices

cream cheese

smoky-sweet baked tofu (tips below)

1 medium red potato, boiled for 10 minutes, cubed, and then fried to slightly golden.

chimichurri sauce

tiny bit of leafy green as garnish

Baked Tofu: 

1 block extra firm tofu, drained and cut into small cubes

marinade of choice (I used a pre-made “Hot Pepper Raspberry Chipotle Sauce” by Robert Rothschild that gave me the sweet/smoky flavor)

– Let the tofu marinate for at least 4-5 hours, or overnight. Preheat oven to 300° and place tofu on a lined cookie sheet. (I love my silpat!)

– Bake for 15 minutes, use a spatula to turn tofu over, and bake another 10 minutes. Set aside.

Assemblage:

On top of the crispy tortillas, spread a layer of cream cheese. Next, place a layer of avocado slices on top. Stir a small spoonful of the chimichurri sauce into the bowl of crispy potatoes. Remember: you can always add, but you’re up a flaming river without a paddle if you add too much at first and then realize what an “overachiever” you were trying to be.

Put equal amounts of the chimichurri potatoes and the baked tofu on top of the avocado. Finally, garnish with the thinly sliced leafy greens, put on that 1979 Grammy-winning tune, and rock out. Enjoy.

Chimichurri is a spicy garlic and parsley sauce originally from Argentina, but with variations across the globe. It’s great as a marinade for meats, veggies, tofu, potatoes, tacos . . . you can truly get wild and crazy with this sauce. I have to thank my sister for her wonderful inspiration and over-the-phone tips for this version. Not only is she pretty rad, she also has a blog called “The Jolly Appetite” that is definitely worth a visit. Thanks sis!

 

Ingredients: (Makes approximately 16 oz.)

1 bunch each of cilantro and italian parsley, loosely chopped.

10 T. olive oil

zest of 1 lime

juice of 1 lime

4 large garlic cloves (oven-roasted)

1 large garlic clove, raw

2 jalapeños (oven-roasted, peeled, and de-seeded) **I left one seeded, and it was sufficiently hot for me.

1 tsp. salt

2/3 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 T. white wine vinegar

2-3 cranks of freshly cracked black pepper

Blend it all up! After it’s all nicely mixed together you’ll want to conduct a taste test, because quality control is the name of the game. Feel free to add whatever you want: more lime, olive oil, salt, chili flakes, cumin, wine, etc. The color is as stunning as the taste. ¡Buen provecho!

These lanterns are colorful, inexpensive to make, and provide enough light by themselves that I can still read before calling it a day.

The only materials you need are two strands of white lights and a package of origami paper (either 4×4″ or 5×5″) that contains several more sheets than the total number of lights. This way, you can “practice” with a few without worry. Below you’ll find directions to make an origami balloon. Once you blow it up, place the balloon over each individual light. They’ll stay without any adhesive as long as you’re gentle with it. It’s that simple, I promise.

(Directions taken from this site.)

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