Banana Bread Oatmeal

I tried to write a post about breaking the status quo when I got entranced by Andrew Bird and watching the snow lightly whisper to the ground outside my window. As I attempted to describe paying more attention to the beauty in the world around us, I stared off into a distant, peaceful place and couldn’t think of the worlds I wanted to say. I was doing, not writing, which was exactly what I wanted to write about.

Breaking the status quo. On a normal day I wake up, fix a cup of coffee, and shuffle off to class. I stare at the sidewalk to make sure I don’t slip on ice. But I’m also inadvertently ignoring the world around me.

Two winters ago, I complained about the lack of color in winter. Then slowly, I started noticing all of colors around me. Reds and purples in tree bark, the icy blue of Lake Michigan, the occasional evergreen fighting off the winter with its hearty needles. It may sound stupid, but looking is the only way to see anything differently. Focusing your attention on focusing around you.

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Oven Fries: 3 Ways

I started off this weekend knowing I was going to write an article about French fries for NU Intel, a snazzy little online publication I write and photograph for at Northwestern. I was thinking, like, yeah French fries will be easy. Just put some potatoes in the oven and roast them, right? But that would be oven-roasted potatoes, not French fries. So how do you take a strip of raw potato and turn it into a glorious, crisp potato worthy of a deep-fryer, but… from an oven. Well, I’ve figured it out.

I’m about to let you in on the secret to perfect French fries. The secret that will take you from drab oven potatoes to crisp, god-like potatoes. The behind-the-scenes trick that all of your favorite potato-servin’ restaurants are doing. Ready for it?

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For the Week (1.20.13)

Juicing has been on my mind since I watched Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead last May. I knew a couple of people who juiced, but it seemed like only a small trend. But all of a sudden, everyone started talking about it this week. Joy the Baker is chiming in, Heidi is commenting on it, even Design Sponge had a couple articles about it this week. Being a cheap college student with a minuscule kitchen, I could never justify an expensive juicer. Nevertheless, what I thought was a passing trend seems to be a health trend that’s here to stay. Young friends of mine, please chime in: what are your thoughts on juicing? Do you have a juicer, or do you go to juice bars? I’m still not convinced. Let me know, and in the meantime, check out a few of the interesting things I found this week.

Sweet Potato Burritos with Avocado Salsa Verde

When I get sick, I have the strangest appetite. I can remember being sick with an awful flu for over a week when I was in 5th grade. I hardly ate anything but saltines, but when my health was on the uptick towards the end of it, the only thing I wanted was chocolate cupcakes. Nothing but chocolate cupcakes. Not vanilla cupcakes, not even regular chocolate cake. Nothing else sounded good! My mom made a special trip to the grocery store and bought me a 12-pack of cupcakes because she was happy I was feeling up to eating anything at all.

Last week I came down with the flu again. The only thing I wanted to eat? Thai food. I ordered my favorite pad ke mao and basil fried rice, and rode out the illness with the comfort of my leftovers. The doctor asked what I’d been eating, and she looked at me like I was crazy, but commended that I was getting the salt that my body needed. When you’re sick, you’ve just got to give the body what it wants.

When you’re healthy, you still should give your body what it wants. And trust me, it wants these sweet potato burritos covered in a tangy, slightly spicy avocado salsa verde.

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White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili

Back to school… back to school…

Today is the first day of my last quarter at Northwestern. While the very thought of this sounds like it should provoke deep philosophical insight about the brevity of college or profound resolutions to “live it up!,” I just find myself feeling tired of classes, exams, the inconsistent scheduling, the piles of homework preventing free time on weekends.

I’ve been in school for 18 of my 21 years of life. I’m ready for something else. While I’m going to miss the many easygoing aspects of my life right now, I know I’m fortunate that I feel ready for the next chapter of my life. It was the same way with leaving high school; I was never homesick or lonesome during my first quarter because I spent the 6 months leading up to college knowing that I was ready to be there. Now, I’m spending the 6 months leading up to graduation knowing I’m ready to be in the real world. I’m waiting for it. Anticipating it. Getting excited and even more ready for it. I’m very fortunate for my capacity to change.

White Chicken Chili

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