Posts Tagged ‘dinner’

home again

I’m home!!!

…which means…

I have internet again!!!


I’m sorry I went m.i.a. …again… but for the last week the internet has been about as reliable as the british weather channel (just always expect rain, no matter what they tell you) but now I’m home and the internet is up and running!


Thanks for all of your comments on my last post. It seems that most of you (myself included) prefer the rebellious scoundrel Solo to our archeologist friend Jones. I’m just a Harrison Ford fan in general and I love both sets of movies.


My first meal at home was grown almost entirely in my own garden. If you’ve ever lived on a farm or had a garden of your own you’ll know how satisfying that is:



Pasta with a fresh garlic, basil and onion pesto. Cooked with fresh tomatoes, red and green peppers and green squash. The only thing here we didn’t grow was the pasta, and the little bit of olive oil. It tasted amazing, I think the combination of tomato and basil has to be one of the best tastes in the world.



So what does a girl do when she basically only has two weeks to be home all summer?


    • Continue studying for the GRE *headdesk*
    • Sort through everything going to the apartment
    • Practice Tae Kwon Do


Did I mention that there’s a good possibility I’m testing for my next black belt degree in two weeks? My instructor will tell me within this next week if he’s going to test me. The promotion test is intense, including:


    • ~18 general forms
    • 106 hand techniques (with counting in Korean)
    • ~10 staff forms
    • ~ 6 nun chuck forms
    • sparing proficiency
    • vocabulary / verbal exam
    • as many sit up, push ups, kicks as they feel like making you do
    • a 2? or 3? part breaking combination


This is all stuff I should know like the back of my hand, but on testing day the nerves are high that once you make one tiny mistake there’s the possibility that you’ll be thrown off and mess everything else up. Can’t let the nerves get to you.


I’m also spending some time with my brother (outside of the dojo) Yesterday I took him out for chinese food:



Is it telling me to date someone at work? Cause that’s generally a really bad idea… let’s go with the translation: “date a physicist.” I can deal with that.





Today we decided to venture into the “city”. I grew up going to a small Montessori School in Lancaster City from when I was 2 until I was 13. I went to a public High School much closer to my home, and it became a trek to get to the city, but that didn’t stop me from spending as much time there as I could. Some of my favorite stops include:


Chestnut Hill Cafe


I spent almost every weekend coming here towards the end of high school. Great coffee, fun people. I still stop in at least once every time I come home.




An herb shop  in downtown Lancaster. This is such a peaceful place, I just have to stop in every time I walk by. The women who run the shop are wonderful, you should check out Sarah’s blog


Lancaster Central Market

I love, love, love the market. When I was in middle school we used to take a “field trip” every Tuesday to walk to market where we would buy and eat our lunch. Today we were only there for fresh, local milk, but I couldn’t resist a smoothie from my favorite smoothie stand ever.


Pineapple, strawberry, banana, mango with fresh squeezed orange juice and yogurt. I have them add fresh wheatgrass to mine. Yum.

Now it’s time to catch up on the 200+ posts Google Reader tells me I’ve missed. At least it’s something to do when I can’t take any more GRE madness for a little while.


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So, I’ve been feeling rather lazy and uninspired lately. I blame the lazy part on the days spent sitting on the beach, and the uninspired by the fact that my times been spent mostly studying rather than…well, whatever everyone else does on the beach…


For as long as I can remember my family has been going down to the beach at the same time, and as long as I can remember I had summer homework to do during those couple of weeks because I put it off through June and July. When I was young the work was easy, just reading a few book, a couple essays. Now in college it’s playing catch up and preparing for classes, and getting ready to move. This year I have the GRE to study for and I’m continuing the work from my earlier internship. I love what I do, and I wouldn’t trade this summer for any other, but at the same time I hope some day I’ll look back on this and recall this as an easy summer as well. (this will probably happen some time in the next couple months when I’m sleep deprived and in up to my eyeballs in school work and research)



But let’s get to something y’all are more likely to want to read about…more beach eats, from the last couple days…




Polenta on a bed garlic spinach, an topped with diced zucchini*, tomatoes*, feta cheese and an egg (could’ve gone without the egg) all beautifully lit in the morning sunlight.





A cup of roasted red pepper soup toped with chives and blue cheese, paired with a sesame seaweed salad. All courtesy Mama Kwan’s OBX mile post 11.













Lightly breaded baked eggplant on top of broiled zucchini* served with a fresh mairanara and parmesan.



Macaroni and cheese with kale, served with lima beans and topped with salt and pepper tomatoes*


*brought from my garden



I did manage to get out a bit yesterday. It rained so we (along with most everybody else on the beach) decided it was the perfect time to go see a movie. What did we choose?


Cowboys and Aliens



We’ve got Indiana Jones paired with James Bond as our two hunky tough as nails cowboys, and Tron’s new drop dead damsel for the eye candy factor. How can you go wrong with this cast? (probably by throwing in aliens)


Well unfortunately it wasn’t good enough to make my top ten but I did enjoy it. I went into it not expecting a full on serious movie, I mean they mixed a a western with a sci-fy for goodness sake, but it was fun.


It starts off with a few shots of Butch Cassidy esq scenery, a bit more violence than I enjoy and then we introduce the aliens. I cant say much more without giving away any spoilers, and I hate when people do that to me so I’ll shut up here.


~ Have you ever had to work through a vacation?

~ Harrison Ford: do you prefer Han Solo or Indiana Jones?

It’s probably not surprising that I fall into the Han Solo category…

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… don’t know when I’ll be back again …

Today’s my last day in Manchester. This is so sad, it feels like I just got here, and I really am not ready to go home yet. I did get to watch the shuttle landing on the big screen with the Astrophysics department, and I get one last Thursday Ale Night tonight.


Tuesday marked my last day at Jodrell Bank, I will miss this telescope dearly.



I will also miss the fact that we have to keep the microwave in a faraday cage in order to prevent radio interference in our data. No, really. I’m not joking.











One thing I will not miss is my apartment. Living on the ground floor really creeps me out. Even with a window lock and chain I’m just not comfortable with my window being two feet off the ground. My apartment in Manhattan is happily on the 12th floor. It’s worth waiting in the elevator.


For my last meal I decided to use up all my garbanzo beans and make falafel. I guess I really do miss Soho… I had never made falafel at home before, but thanks to my lack in trust in directions it came out well.


I started by making a dry mixture of chickpeas, flour, cumin, coriander, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. I then placed this in a pot with about a cup of cold water (added a bit of veggie bullion), a bit of olive oil and at the last minute some cayenne (I realized I didn’t have any hot sauce to put on the final product)



Mixing this results in a thick liquidy substance that I was instructed to bring to a boil, then simmer while covered for 5-15 minutes (until the proper consistency is reached) This is where I ran into problems. It became clear as I brought it to a boil that it would very shortly bee to thick to consider “simmering” and if I let the paste sit there it would surely burn. So I forgot about the simmering idea and stirred it constantly until I felt it was a stick moldable consistency.



At this point I took the goo off the heat and let it cool to a touchable temperature. Mold the goo into balls, slightly smaller than a golf ball.






Then you can fry the result in some oil, until golden brown.








And serve hot with hummus. If you have any pita (which I did not) you can make a sandwich. I can’t wait to try this at home when I have veggies and home made hummus to go with it!



Well guys, this is it. My last post from Manchester. It was great, and I will miss it dearly. See you state-side!


~What type of food reminds you of home?

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So, maybe we’re getting a little homesick?

Or at least on the foodie frontier.

I absolutely love it here in Manchester. I love my job, I love the people, I love the city … But the one thing I don’t love is the food. Sure there’s a lot of great foreign food, wonderful Indian and Thai restaurants, but the actual British food is famously sub par. And the whole vegetarian thing limits my options even more. Though, I have found that eating out the UK is much friendlier towards vegetarians than the US, I have yet to find a restaurant (even a pub) here that does not list a “V” next to each vegetarian option they offer. But last night me and my flat mate decided to try to make an American meal that we could eat together.

Did I say American? Sorry, let me be more specific, Southern. Corn Pie and Fried Green Tomatoes (or Fried Chicken in my flat mate’s case). Perfect for watching the new episode of True Blood. Now I realize I’m about to spend two weeks down south with my family, but there’s something in me that sometimes gets a craving for spicy Creole cuisine (disappointingly hard to do without the fish), or a nice bowl of grits for breakfast. I’ve gotta be careful or I’ll start speaking with the southern twang of my childhood summers.

Yes, I know that's red.

Corn Pie:

The Corn Pie is a very slightly altered version of my flat mate’s recipe:

for some reason I think these are adorable

3/4 cup oil (her recipe is 1 cup margarine)

1 cup flour

1 cup yellow cornmeal

4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 cup sugar (her’s reads 1 cup)

4 eggs

4 oz. Green chiles (drained)

1 lb. cream corn

1/2 cup jack cheese (shredded)

1/2 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)

1/2 tsp. salt

  • Preheat the oven to 180*C
  • Blend wet and dry ingredients separately, then slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet.
  • Pour ingredients into an oiled and floured 8 x 12 baking pan.
  • Place the dish in the oven and REDUCE HEAT TO 150*C
  • Bake for ~1 hour

Not very healthy, but alright in moderation. Does anyone have any ideas on how to improve it’s health factor (let’s start with the oil!)

The pie tasted pretty good, though sweeter than I liked it. I’m also afraid that the peppers once again proved too spicy for my flat mate. It’s bizarre, our spice tolerances are so different that in the same dish she can’t eat I can’t taste even a hint of spice. Also to improve the health factor (and because it’s impossible to find here) we made our own creamed corn, with soy milk, flour, salt, pepper and of corse corn.

The Fried Green Tomatoes were quite easy to make, though quite difficult to find. I had to settle for “fried semi-ripe but not quite green tomatoes” instead. I served these with a Creole Remoulade:

~ 1 cup lt. Mayo, 1 Tbs. tomato paste, 3 Tbs. Creole mustard, paprika, cayenne, salt, 3/4 lemon (juiced), a dash of worcestershire sauce. Basically I just added spice to taste then let the flavors blend while chilling in the fridge. This would be better with some chopped capers and onions.


And what would a southern dinner be without Pralines for dessert? I followed this recipe for Buttermilk Bacon Pralines, except I vaganized it. I used a vegan “buttermilk” 1 Tbs. lemon juice and fill the rest of a measuring cup with soy milk. Don’t use rice milk, it doesn’t have the proteins needed to react with the acid. I wanted to use those soy bacon bits people like to put on salads but I couldn’t find them. I did, however, find some bacon flavored crunchy potato chips and crushed those up to use instead. I also sprinkled the final product with some sea salt.

This was fun, but I think I’d like to buy a candy thermometer when I get home. The whole “soft ball” test is messy and a bit aggravating.

After all that the episode of True Blood really wasn’t that great, but at least we had a fun time preparing for it.

~What’s your favorite Southern dish?

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Day 2…

… stir well.

Herman is still a baby, he was quite bubbly when I got home to stir him. He’s feeling quite at home sleeping in our microwave, covered with a tea towel.

Shh! Herman in sleeping!

Shh! Herman is Sleeping!

I’ve discovered that I actually received Herman on the traditional Day 1, so for me this will be a 9 day process instead of 10.




Today I tried Overnight Oats for the first time. I mixed equal parts oats, hazelnut almond rice milk, and peach provamel soy yogurt, with a dash of cinnamon then let it sit in the fridge all night. I must say I was very skeptical when the oats went into the fridge looking like a pile of goo and, well, came out not looking much different…

But I cut up some peaches and strawberries and threw on a dollop of almond butter and it tasted pretty good. I still think I’ve got the liquid to oats ratio is a bit high, but it was good enough that I’ll keep trying. I did enjoy the fact that the oats were cold, I’ve never been a fan of hot oatmeal in the morning.

Tonight I finally got to try Indian food in England. Indian food has to be one of my favorite types of food. All those curries, and it has to be super spicy! My flat mate came with me, she had never tried Indian food before (it’s sometimes hard to come by in little American farming towns) so I decided a sampling of all the typical foods was a good idea.

First we had a starter that our waiter recommended, I forget what he called it but it was basically a sampling of many different chutneys on cracker like bread. My favorite was the curried pickles and my flat mate liked the sweet honey colored on the far left:

We then each got a vegetable samosa, very traditional but very tasty.


I then introduced my flat mate to the lassi, a traditional indian yogurt drink. They work wonders for cutting the spice of a main dish. We got the mango flavor.

Then finally the main course. I got Karahi Mash Daal & Chana, a lentil and chickpea dish, “very spicy” and my flat mate got Karahi Prawn and Spinach, “less spicy”.

Karahi Mash Daal & Chana

Karahi Prawns & Spincah

I absolutely loved mine (I’m a huge chick pea fan) and it was extremely spicy in the best possible way. My flat mate liked hers, but I’m afraid it was a bit too spicy for her, she had to drink a lot of lassi.

We also ordered some Naan, an indian flat bread, to go with our meal, and boy did we get Naan.

This is the largest piece of Naan I have ever seen, and they serve it to you hanging on a metal rack, quite interesting.

What’s your favorite Indian dish?

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Meet Herman!

Today we added a new member to our flat. Herman, the German Friendship Cake!

Day 1: I get Herman!

“Put me in a large bowl and cover with a tea towel.”

Herman is a sourdough cake that you work for 10 days, then slit into four equal parts, continuing to bake one and pass the other three on to friends. A woman from work gave me my iteration of Herman and I plan to ask about the story previous to my involvement.

I’m quite amused by the fact that they have named him Herman; when I was young I used to name EVERYTHING Herman. My favorite was my imaginary pet rock, Herman. Now I get a pet cake, Herman too!

Tonight my goal was to cook something my flat mate would eat, or at least try. So I tried a Tofu Pad Thai, I mean everyone likes pad thai. The only problem was I had never made it before. I threw together a sauce of tamarind paste, soy sauce, agave (to cancel the bitter aftertaste of the tamarind), and red chili pepper. I took a large skillet, sauteed some green onion and garlic, scrambled two eggs then threw on some partially cooked rice noodles with the sauce and a bit of vegetable broth. Towards the end I added some marinated tofu. The result was not the best presentation, but she liked it (apart from the tofu) though I think she got a bit too many chili peppers in her scoop…

I also decided to do a bit of simple baking today. I tried a slight variation on Leanne’s Itty Bitty Strawberry Coconut Tarts. Instead of filling mine with coconut cream I decided to make a Coconut Yogurt Cup. I followed her recipe for the cup, though I used a full sized muffin pan. Then I simply filled them with organic strawberry yogurt. Delicious!

The entire time I was making these Harry Belafonte’s Coconut Woman song was stuck in my head!

Make sure you keep checking in over the next couple days to hear how Herman’s doing! Also, if you happen to be in the Manchester Area and are interested in taking a portion of Herman that needs to be passed on please let me know!

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