My goal is to run 1,000 miles in 2010. See how far along I am:

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Late night havesting

I went out to the garden just now at midnight, with a flash light, to pick cilantro and arugula for tomorrows lunch.

Carefully following the beam of light, I was amazed to discover all the creatures in my grass at night. Slugs of all sizes relaxed on leaves, and worms quickly slipped back into the ground as the flashlight beam shown upon them.

Lately I have been discovering little things that make me smile.

Food Inc.

Last night Matt and I went to see Food Inc. at the Cinema Arts center. If you can any tiny bit about the future of our food, environment, or your wallet I strongly urge you to see this film. I've been working on a lot of research dealing with food policy and agribusiness, and believe me there are some very scary things out there, these big companies do not want consumers knowing about the food they are eating.
I will say right now, this film is intense. Mind you I have seen much similar footage, and read many articles about issues addressed in the film. But let me tell you, reading it and seeing it are two totally different things.
This film is broken up into chapters, and deals with several issues: genetic engineering of foods,
cloning, food worker protection, environmental impact, food borne illness, factory farming, pesticides,
and healthy eating to name a few. The chapter on factory farming really got me, seeing the conditions
that my food had been living in. Chickens are crammed into pens and never see the light of day.
Their breasts so large they collapse under their own weight after taking just a few steps, from being
pumped full of growth hormones. Seeing the way this big companies like Tyson,
treat the farmers raising their chicken, really aggravated me.
Then there is Monsanto. Monsanto is the Agri-Devil. Monsanto, who dominates
the farming industry, sells seeds, corn and soy are the big ones, to small farmers with strict contractual
guidelines. They do not allow farmers to "clean" seeds, or save the seeds from the years harvest for next
seasons crops. In fact they will go after farmers who do such, and even have a special investigation unit
like the FBI to find out who does. Taking it even further, they will go after farmers who have Monsanto
seeds that have blown on to their property.
There is also a companion book called Food Inc. out too. This is a nice little refrence
guide of everything you see in the movie, and more details. Good for those moments when you
are trying to remember something you saw and wanted to know more about.
The book is broken up into three parts. Making the movie, the issues, and what you can do.
In the isuses and what you can do section there are short essays written by various food writers,
such Michael Pollan and Marion Nestle to name a few.
Watching the film really drove these things you already know home. Seeing the factory farms, hearing about how Monsanto screws farmers, and hearing the story of a four year old who died of E coli really makes you think about all the problems with our food industry.
People need to see more of a connection as to where the food they eat comes from, this film will do just that. Following the path your food takes is quite an eye opening experience. I'm certain that the path you think your food take is different from the path it actually does.
This movie has really inspired me that I can make changes in the worlds food system.
While I cannot single handedly change the world, I know that what I buy makes a difference.
Hell, If Wal-mart see that consumers are demanding organics and suppling their customers
with them, that says something about the power of your spending dollars!
(Please though don't buy at Wal-mart, shop Mom and Pop!)

Monday, June 22, 2009


Last year I turned 25 and had a quarter life crisis. It was just like a mid life crisis, except I didn't buy a sports car or starting dating the pool boy, I just cried a lot and went back to school.
This year I realize that 26 is now on the closer side to 30, which means I'm getting older. Since I've been back to school and most of my school friends are under 21 I feel as if I've been given a second chance at being a kid. Which is nice since I've always been 4 going on 40.
My birthday was on Saturday and I've decided to throw myself the birthday party of a six year old, Hello Kitty themed,complete with Hello Kitty birthday cake.

Kuma and I
Hello Kitty Cupcakes!
Hello Kitty cake! Lemon cake with a whipped cream/cream cheese icing.
It's hard to tell from this angle, but her face is a separate tier.
The cake was quite a pest to make. Put together like a puzzle from broken cake. Originally I had made a lemon cake with strawberries in it. But the strawberries made the cake too soggy and it broke coming out of the pan. I have made that cake before but as cupcakes, which worked very well. Anyway the HK cake was tasty and everyone though it was cool.
Birthday 26= Sucess!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Cook's 100

I was thinking about the Omnivores Hundred today, and realized of all the foods I've eaten on the list, I've cooked about five of them. This is something that I am okay with though. I feel that if I am doing the list in order to experience these dishes, they should be cooked by someone who is a pro at making them.
There are so many dishes I have come across while reading cookbooks and blogs, which I would love to try my hand at, but so many of them require extensive preparation, and not practical to be cooking on a Wednesday night after work.
I thought why not make a list of different dishes to try cooking or baking at least once. A nice opportunity to expand my cooking skills further, and step outside my cooking comfort zone, and also to get me to write about food more often.
So I am proposing a challenge: Cook the 100 things on this list, and blog about it. Document it, take pictures, write about the recipe you used, did you like making it, was it the best thing you ever made, or the worst. It will give us food lovers a full on challenge. It's not a race, take your time. Just cook it again if you cooked it once before, and cook it from scratch!
I have tried to include a mix dishes that can be made by any level, and some that require more experience, some that may be about experimenting with different kitchen tools, and a broad range of different cooking techniques.
Many things on this list of foods are usually purchased and cooked. Everything on this list should be made from scratch, start to finish. Stuff your sausage, don't just grill it!


The rules:
  • Copy and paste this list on your blog.
  • Mark off the items you won't cook.
  • Blog about it!
  • Post a link to your list in the comments section of this post, and link back to this post, so others can join in!
  • Cross off items as you cook them.

The List:
  1. Crown roast
  2. Baked clams
  3. Croissants
  4. Stir fry
  5. Curry
  6. Hand cut french fries
  7. Pasties
  8. Something in a tagine
  9. Beer/Mead/Wine
  10. Double crust pie
  11. Jam/Canning
  12. Rack of lamb
  13. Pickles
  14. Beef wellington
  15. Ricotta cheese
  16. Baked Alaska
  17. Jello Mold Salad
  18. Homemade Pasta
  19. Cream Puffs
  20. Gnocchi
  21. Multi Tiered cake
  22. Something flambéed
  23. Corned Beef, that you pickled
  24. Fish cooked on wood planks
  25. Bagels
  26. Baklava
  27. Sausage
  28. Infused olive oil
  29. Ice cream
  30. Fried chicken
  31. Lemon Meringue Pie
  32. Pizza dough/Pizza
  33. Sushi rolls
  34. Turducken
  35. Lasagna
  36. A whole fish
  37. Pudding
  38. Cannoli, shells and filling
  39. Infused vodka
  40. Hummus
  41. Fried Calamari
  42. Fresh squeezed lemonade
  43. Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
  44. Biscuits and gravy
  45. Cornish hen
  46. Something in a crock pot/ slow cooker
  47. Stuffed peppers
  48. Risotto
  49. Roasted vegetable/potatoes with white truffle oil
  50. Clam Bake
  51. Osso Buco
  52. A Vegetarian dish
  53. Guacamole & Salsa
  54. Mayonnaise
  55. Vegan cake
  56. Chili
  57. Ganache
  58. Poached pears
  59. Baked Brie/ Brie en croute
  60. Flan
  61. Pineapple upside down cake
  62. Pita bread
  63. Deviled eggs
  64. Chocolate truffles
  65. Pulled pork
  66. Hot sauce
  67. Filet mignon
  68. Terrine
  69. Sorbet
  70. Turkey stuffed with something other than traditional stuffing
  71. Miso Salmon
  72. Dosa
  73. Mousse
  74. Quiche
  75. Strawberry Shortcake
  76. Baked macaroni and cheese
  77. Eggs Benedict
  78. Loaf of bread
  79. Cheese ball
  80. Smoked ribs
  81. Flourless cake
  82. Soup stock (chicken, beef, vegetable, ect)
  83. Deep fried turkey
  84. Dry rubbed meat
  85. Chicken Kiev
  86. Kombucha Tea
  87. Stuffed Tenderloin
  88. Crepes
  89. Souffle
  90. Fish en Papillot
  91. Baked Ham
  92. Waffles
  93. Corned beef hash
  94. Pot-stickers
  95. Cheesecake
  96. Whole roasted garlic
  97. Ceviche
  98. Artichokes
  99. Fondue
  100. A copy cat recipe (Something that is made commercial or in a restaurant, find the copy cat recipe on line, is it just as good?)

Spiderman and the Ladies room

Today after class I am walking through the library building on my way to my car, and stopped to use the ladies room. Now Stony Brook is a very large school, with a lot of students, and good amount of bathrooms. Usually they are not immaculate, but usable. Of course there is always paper on the floor and some one always needs to hover and brace themselves so high up in the stall like Spiderman, that their urine makes seems to make it every where but in the toilet. 
    But today was something like no other. As I walked through the entrance of the ladies room, and approached the stall I chose the first empty one. My arms full with my purse, coffee cup and books, I pushed in the stall door. I immediately look at the toilet seat to decide if it is usable or not. This one was not. Somebody pooed on the toilet seat. Yes, you read that correctly. I froze. Is this, poo I ask my self. Yepp, that's poo the little moderator in my head confirms. I could not understand how this happened. 
As my eyes lock on to the poo, I can very quickly tell that this was no emergency. This did not look like the type of poo that causes one to run in fear to the ladies room.  No this was a premeditated poo that someone lovingly left on the seat of the toilet that I just wanted to pee in. All the way on the back part of the seat too. 
I turned and left, still not fully understanding how to poo make it there. Was some one out on a vendetta against the cleaning staff? Spiderman must have been hovering in that stall, for it to land there.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Beer, BMW and bastards.

Last Thursday my afternoon class let out early. With several hours on my hands, I walked across campus back to my car, which was parked in the stadium lot. As I started walking across the lot from the Union I noticed people tailgating. Mind you this was a Thursday at 3:30 in the afternoon, during summer session. I find my car in the sea of other cars, get in, turn on the radio, and dig out my lunch bag with my dinner in it. As I snap open the latches of my lock lock box, containing tuna macaroni salad, a car pulls up in the spot across from me to the right. I'm eating my tuna-mac, listening to NPR, and watching as three young guys get out of this car. They appear to be the typical Long Island douche bags I'd rather not deal with. As work on this massive bowl of tuna-mac, I watch as they pop the trunk and go around, talking to each other in their secret D-bag language I'm not really able quite understand. As they hover over the trunk like cops over a corpse they start popping open cans of bud light and pouring them into the ever so discreet red party cups. The cans start hitting the ground, as I watch in some absurd amusement of their actions. "Really?" I say to myself out loud, "It's four in the afternoon." The three start walking to the location behind me where more festivities seem to be occurring, but just as they reach the hood of their fancy BMW, red cups in hand, I see a bastard bud light can come flying towards my poor Corolla, sailing over my hood, and just missing my poor baby by centimeters. "You have got to be fucking kidding me." I said out loud, as I look to the three. The shortest one looks over and clearly sees the look of rage on my face, and knowing better puts out his arms like wings and starts yelling "SORRY, SORRY!" in his Gotti Boy wanna be Long Island accent. I roll my eyes in pure disgust as I repeat, "You have got to be fucking kidding me." Tempted to run out after him and kick him in the nether region, I restrain myself and continue working on the macaroni salad, and listening to All things considered on NPR. Staring through my windshield, running a play by play of what just happened, as I usually do, and thinking about the various other ways I would like to have reacted, I glanced at that bastard BMW and noticed something absolutely magical. In their excitement for drinking from red cups and watching the high school lacrosse tournament going on in the stadium, they left the back passenger window down. All the way down. I gleamed at the shiny black BMW and it's tinted windows. Was there anyone else inside?, I wondered. No there must not be, after all who would sit in this car and pass up canned bud light in red cups? No one sitting in that car, that's who. Then suddenly I had this idea to return the beer can that almost hit my car. I glanced in my rearview mirror, and looked all around to make certain they were no where in sight. I unlocked my door, stepped out, scooted around my door, and slyly picked up the beer car that lay next to my tire. This car was much heavier than I expected. In fact I would say about half full. What wimps I though, can't even handle half a can of piss light beer. I looked around again, and darted over to the back window, my heart racing, stopping to pick up another can on the way, peeked into the open window and threw the two half full beer cans on the pristine black leather back seat then I ran back to my car. Adrenaline pumping through me I hopped back inside and locked the door. I peered around again. I couldn't believe what I had just done. I picked up my tuna mac, which was waiting for me and continued to finish eating. After i finished, I packed up my lunch bag, started my car and moved to the teacher's lot which was much closer to my evening class.