Sunday, June 28, 2009


General Tso's Tofu, Mint Pesto, and Baked Peaches posted tonight.

I highly recommend the baked peaches as a treat for your summer evening! :)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

A short break

I realize it's been awhile since I last wrote. I took a short break to get the virtual recipe box I mentioned last time up and in order - and I'm really proud of how it's coming out! I'm enjoying having a cataloged process, as well as pictures of the dishes I've made. Don't get me wrong, I'm not making any attempt to be a food stylist or photographer, but it's nice to have a sort of photo index card to remind myself how much I enjoyed a dish. Knowing that other people will see the results has also helped keep me on a healthy and nutritious track with my shopping. I can't remember the last time I had so much fun shopping for or drooled so much over groceries! Here are the results of my latest run:

It was something to be proud of as it went down the conveyor belt - and rang up at just over $90, which for the quality (all from Whole Foods), is great. There's basil, ciliegine mozzarella, shiitake mushrooms, dried cranberries, and, my new favorite, Yummy Bears, which are gelatin free! I'm loving my meals, and losing weight! :-D

Just today, Mike and I had melt-in-your-mouth pancakes for breakfast, hummus (the results of my Friday morning efforts, which was delicious! I like it thick, and it took quite a bit of messing with until I got it how I like it.) for lunch, and a summery fusilli alla caprese with four styles of crunchy sweet potato fries for Sunday dinner. As I write this, I'm enjoying a blood orange walnut sugar cookie, fresh out of the oven. You can find all the recipes (and pictures, of course!) in the vegetarian recipe box. Except for the pancakes - that you'll find on the back of the Bisquick box, haha.

I'm responsible for bringing the food for Tuesday night's small group meeting, and I've gotten very excited about it. I'm bringing the homemade hummus and chips, plain and blood orange walnut sugar cookies (mentioned above), and Thai vegetable lettuce wraps. I love that I have an excuse to try out some new recipes, and we all get to enjoy a meal and discussion with friends and loved ones. I'll be sure to post some pictures when I get them!

I hope you're all enjoying the start of your summer as much as I am! I'll have to catch you up on the summer of science before too long. Til then...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Decidedly done with finals

So far the only grade to roll in is Soil Chemistry -- and I got an A! Oooh my goodness I haven't made an A in a chemistry class since high school, and I think that was an A-. Yeehaw! Now keep me out of soil science. ;)

I finished my GIS project early this morning, the results of which can be found here. I have put a lot of time and effort into that class, and am proud of the knowledge I have gained, as well as my final project, the topic of which (Identifying Subsoil Carbon Sequestration Sites in North Carolina) was chosen as a gift to my Soil Chemistry professor, Dean Hesterberg.

I was so inspired by the ease of Google Sites that I decided to make my own little personal portfolio, in the form of a recipe box! I mean, why should the world not have access to what I cook and eat? Virtually everything else I do is available in one online forum or another - Facebook, SparkPeople, Twitter, Blogspot, Xanga, Myspace... shall I go on?

Anyhow, if you're looking for a yummy recipe (or, more likely, you're Leslie seeing what I'll subject you to in four months, or my parents, making sure that I'm not kept alive by a Chinese takeout box), check out my new site, Southern With a Twist! Many updates to come, I'm sure!

Crayon Art and DWTS

How neat is this? Carved Crayons My favorites are Rind, Honey and Diamelle.

And now... time to vote, ladies. Which one revs your engine more - the stud or the cowboy?

Gilles' rumba or Ty's salsa Oh my stars...

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Family Tradition

Unless you've known me for a while, you're going to find this a strange revelation.

A few weeks ago, just before Easter, I mailed my father a package of Easter Peeps, pictured to the left. Look at those innocent little birds! Very sweet, right?

However, if you're observant, you'll notice something strange about that picture. Check out the same box of Peeps on the right from a different angle. Notice that little red dot on the throat? That is a first time error on my part, which Mike and I spent a long time trying to paint over with a mixture of yellow food dye and excess Peep sugar from the bottom of the package.

Let's take a closer look. Flip those suckers over!


This was my first attempt at being an "Easter Grinch", a tradition begun by my father several years ago to antagonize me about choosing to be a vegetarian. At least I assume that's why it was, as I don't remember either of my siblings getting "grinched".

My favorite Easter treat was Peeps, had been for years. While celebrating with my Easter basket one year, I performed my ritual slaughter: eyes, beak, *chomp!* - whole head! on one after another innocent Peep. My Dad had left a whole new pack on the counter - oh most glorious of days, more marshmallowy goodness!! *chomp eyes off* Mm... *chomp beak off* delicious... *CHOMP - the head* ... I felt something run down my chin. I looked down at my beheaded Peep, to discover that it was bleeding profusely. My loving father had managed to inject the Peep with a large quantity of red food dye. Imagine your Easter turning into something Dracula-inspired. It's really quite amazing I'm not more warped. Ever since, the blood soaked Peeps have shown up - in my Easter basket, in my dorm room, at my house, with nary a return address except that they are from the "Easter Grinch".

Anyway, this is less a tale of Peepicide on my father's part, than an homage to his handiwork. Just before Easter, I received my own package. Take a look.

Excuse the missing Peep. These things are really delicious. Note the careful bite out of the left-most one.

Note the lack of incisions on the bottom.

Still don't see anything suspicious? Neither did I. For a moment, I questioned my father's commitment to the tradition.

But let's take a closer look...

My Dad is an artistic and surgical GENIUS. I will never question again.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

New life goal

I watched a piece on ESPN before the Cal State v. U Conn women's game today that gave me an idea for a new long term fitness/life goal. I want to participate in next year's Krispy Kreme Challenge. The tag line for the event is "4 miles, 1 hour, 12 doughnuts, 2400 calories". It's a charity event at NC State benefitting the North Carolina Children's Hospital. The goals is to run downhill two miles from the Belltower to the Krispy Kreme, eat a dozen doughnuts, and run back uphill two miles... in under an hour... without puking. Anyone who wouldn't want to do this is crazy... right?!

Laurel (one of the other grad students in our lab group) had asked me the Friday before if I wanted to join her this year, and I remember thinking with some shame "I don't know that I can run four miles." I was housesitting during the event, so I couldn't have gone even if I wanted to. But next year? I'll be ready. I'll train. And I'll eat. Anyone want to split a box?

Sport's Illustrated
"102 More Things You Gotta Do Before You Graduate": #85

A Starting Point

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." - Confucius

I got an e-mail from my racquetball coach tonight saying that class was canceled tomorrow due to a death in the family. My prayers are with his family, but I know that means that I won't be pushing my body through the fourth round of our single player ladder tournament. [In a ladder tournament, you move up a court if you win, down if you lose; the highest court is the challenge court, the lowest court has been dubbed "Siberia" - definitely want to stay out of that one.] I've recently set some fitness goals for myself, including running a 10 minute mile. When better to get a read on your cardiovascular health then after a veggie burger, fries and two Shirley Temples?! (Forgive me, it's Sunday.) Anyway, the result? 11:31, and I KNOW I can do better! I did a 5 minute warm up, and ran for another 15 minutes afterward at a 3 mph pace.

Thoroughly pumped, and listening to some of the kickin' tunes Anna put on my I-pod, I came back to my apartment, grabbed my garbage and recycling to take down. I sorted to the beat, and started to run back. Two steps in, I turned my ankle and ate concrete, which was almost as delicious as that Shirley Temple.

Gotta love it.