Friday, April 16, 2010

My Bucket List

A few years ago I began to make a list of things I wanted to accomplish before I died - even before the movie The Bucket List came out. Currently my list exceeds 50 items - here's a little taste of my bucket list, including a few I've already completed...

  1. Get a college degree
  2. Crowd Surf at a concert
  3. See a real hippopotamus (not in a zoo)
  4. Start a garden
  5. Help someone’s dream come true
  6. Learn to (really) surf
  7. Participate in a protest
  8. Get an A at Cal Poly
  9. Go backpacking
  10. Help someone build a house
  11. Visit Machu Picchu GO BACK
  12. Night Hike up Bishop’s Peak
  13. Snowboard at every place possible in Tahoe (17 total) – xx
  14. Run a full marathon
  15. Visit the New 7 Wonders of the World – xx
  16. Ride the largest roller coaster in the world
  17. Travel to every country in South America – x
  18. Go to all 7 continents – xxx
  19. Paint the vineyard
  20. Go skydiving
  21. Make the Dean’s List one quarter
  22. Make generous contributions to important charities
  23. Learn to cook well
  24. Photography of surfers
  25. Participate in November writing month (500 words a day)
What's on your bucket list?

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Long, Overdue Vegetarian Delight

With school, life has been way too busy to have free-time, let alone enjoy cooking. However, I did find time once in the past 3 months to try out some new vegetarian recipes. Since I have a tendency to use a recipe more as "guidelines" rather than strictly following the directions I altered the recipe a little.

Veggie Pasta & Veggie-Stuffed Tomato
This dinner was a combination of two recipes:
First was an altered version of the Pasta w/ Butternut Squash, Spinach, and Prosciutto recipe from the Winter 2010 version of America's Test Kitchen. Being vegetarian I completely changed this recipe to only have vegetables such as: zucchini, squash, bell peppers, tomatoes, and spinach.
First I cooked the vegetables in a frying pan with butter, oregano, basil & a splash of white wine to add flavor. And then added this little medley to the pasta.

The second recipe was the Gruyere-filled Beefsteak Tomatoes from the Accidental Vegetarian cookbook. While I changed the other recipe to be extremely simple, the stuffed tomatoes was much more complex. The recipe is as follows:
4 Beefsteak Tomatoes
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
2 zucchini (finely diced)
2 red bell peppers (seeded & finely diced)
1 garlic clove (crushed)
1 3/4 cups freshly grated Gruyere cheese

(1) Skin tomatoes by putting a cross on the bottom, plunging them into boiling water for 30 secs, then into iced water - this will allows the skin to peel off easily. Slice off the tops and put them aside, scoop out the pulp into a bowl, being careful not to break the skin & put to the side.
(2)Put the cream in a heavy-bottom pan, bring slowly to a boil, then cook to reduce the volume in half.
(3)Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a large pan & gently fry the vegetables and garlic for about 5 mins.
(4)Add 2/3 cup of the cheese to the reduced cream & stir it until it melts. Remove from the heat and fold in the fried vegetables.
(5)Divide the filling between the tomatoes and top it off with the remaining cheese, sit the lids of the tomatoes on top and put it on a baking sheet.
(6)Bake the tomatoes for 6-8 minutes - until the cheese melts.

The stuffed tomatoes took a decent amount of prep time before they were fully complete, but they made the perfect side dish - as long as you don't have too many that you're cooking for, since it requires a fully tomato per person.

Hopefully, I'll have a little more free time in the next few months to try some new recipes since I recently got 3 new vegetarian cookbooks... :P

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Brace Yourself...

Recently I've noticed that I have WAY too much going on inside my head. Over the past month I've thought of numerous topics to blog about, but I have either been away from a computer or there are too many people around to just sit and write what's going on in my pretty little head. So instead of doing the assignment that is due in 6 1/2 hours I'm going to purge some thoughts from my brain. I hope you don't mind my momentary ADD... Here goes nothing:

In the past year I have noticed I gained an obsession for WAY too many TV shows. It's gotten to the point that it's embarrassing to list all the shows that I am addicted to. This instant I am hooked on Dexter, a close friend recently introduced me to the twisted world of Dexter and I'm beyond hooked! There's something intriguing about the surprise twists summing up each episode, leaving you craving more. In reality it just means they have really good writers. But it's not just the writers who make the show, but the actors definitely bring the show to life with their impecable talent - Michael Hall did just win a Golden Globe for his acting the other night. So overall the show is awesome. If you don't already watch it go find a way to download/stream/buy season 1 pronto!!! Trust me, it's worth it.

Just like many others out there, I have dreams, life goals...some might even call it a bucket list; except some days I feel as if there are so many aspects of life that I'm interested in that I'm just spinning in circles, unable to decide what to do first. About 3 years ago I found an article about some guys who made a list of 100 tasks they wanted to complete before they died, and they set out on a journey to do them. That article inspired me to do the same, except mine is for me personally - not a collaborative effort of friends. Well, now those guys are becoming famous on MTV coming out with a new show "The Buried Life" - showing them checking off each item on their list and the adventures involved. That's cool for them, but I feel like "but... wait... I did/am doing that too... huh?..." I bet people enjoy seeing the predicaments/adventures these boys encounter, and in return they help someone out everywhere they go, but at the same time I feel, that it's not fair because a lot of us have bucket lists!

Did you know that Time Magazine rated to be the best website of 2009? Guess who came in second... well you'll never guess this... it's California Coastline. I had actually never heard of this site before I found that article, but it's basically a man with a camera and a helicopter who has flown the coast of California and took pictures of it. It's so simple, it's amazing!

Well, there's actually a lot more going on in my noggin right now, but gravity is winning the war with my eyelids, so I should be a good kid, finish my homework and hit the sack... I don't know why I'm telling you this in detail, this isn't Twitter. haha :)