Thursday, March 31, 2011

Charm City, Detroit & DC

I realized this morning as I was closing up my suitcase to head to Washington DC that my suitcase has had a lot of use the past month (well, much more than average). One month ago I was in Baltimore for Alternative Spring Break, last weekend in Detroit, and now this blog post is coming to you from Washington DC - and on top of that, I have yet to blog about any of these trips.

It is hard to now blog about an experience I had a month ago but ASB in Baltimore was great. I went on the trip with eleven other super cool people and together we worked on a variety of small projects across the city. One of my favorite experiences was at Our Daily Bread, a soup kitchen that serves anywhere from  500-800 people a day, 365 days a year. The upbeat volunteers and staff were also pretty inspiring. We were there on "slow days" - I can't imagine what busy days look like. Guests are served at their tables instead of shuffling through a line with the option of a vegetarian or meat plate. A pretty interesting view on food can be gained from working in soup kitchens - it is definitely something I want to get involved with in my area.

Not too many foodie pics were taken, but our group did enjoy Iggie's Pizza - Pizza with a Purpose - the first night. So delicious, as one of the girls in my group said "I just don't want it to end."

One of my favorite nights in Baltimore was the night my group cooked dinner. To be honest, I actually didn't help cook dinner, but I did help clean!

So that was Baltimore. You will be hearing a lot more about Detroit soon, last weekend was a quick orientation to the city. Let's just say lots of good food and learning to be had in Detroit during the next few months.

The most important thing right now is DC. My sister is getting married this weekend! So excited and happy for her and the lucky guy!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

La Capirotada

This morning, and Tuesday I made Capirotada for a skit in my Spanish class. We wanted to talk about/make something traditionally made during Carnaval but all my search results lead me to Capirotada - a bread pudding served during Lent in Mexico. It looked pretty delish, so naturally I threw my hands up in surrender and my group and I decided to talk about this dish instead. Two of my favorite "articles" about Capirotada were from blogs: MattBites & Homesick Texan.

I did a test run of the dish on Tuesday evening. I gave some to my roommates, and some to my group members when we practiced our skit, yet I still ended up eating most of it myself. Everyone loved it so I was up early this morning at 7:15 AM making it again for Spanish. I followed the recipe from Homesick Texan most closely.

To start boil 2 cups of water with 2 cups of brown sugar and half a teaspoon of cinnamon. Meanwhile melt half a stick of butter and cut up a 24-inch French baguette in about half-inch slices. Next put down a layer of the sliced baguette, pour over half of the melted butter, a fourth of the sugar/water syrup and then 1 cup of pecans, 1/2 a cup of raisins, and 1 cup of QUESO! That's right, cheese - I used 1 cup of Cheddar Monterrey Jack. Finally, add the rest of the bread and coat everything in the remaining syrup and butter. Into the oven at 350 degrees, covered, for 20 minutes and then uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

So good! I made the bare-bones version, omitting the cloves, apricots. However, I think this dish lends itself to many variations - even healthy ones. You might be seeing this one again. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Soup Matrix

Did anyone see the soup matrix that was in Mark Bittman's new NYTimes column a few weeks ago? Amazing. Can I get it in poster size for my future kitchen?

Photo Credit:
I made the Minestrone (first soup on the top left). Souper (haha) simple recipe, and pretty good considering how quick you can put it together - chop up onion, garlic, carrot, and celery. Saute. Add s+p and potatoes, I used sweet potatoes. Saute. Add water, tomatoes. Simmer. Add green beans. Simmer and serve. I used canned tomatoes and green beans - I'm sure this would be fabulous with fresh tomatoes and green beans though.

My soup was enjoyed alongside some peppery goat cheese and an olive bread stick I bought at the Farmer's Market this morning.

Between the Farmer's Market and soup-makin' I went to the mall to find a dress for a very special wedding party I am going to in a two weeks. I went to Banana Republic and fell in love with two dresses right away (that never happens). Being my Father's daughter, I chose the on-sale option but I will definitely be stalking the sale page online for the other. 

Photo Credit:

I chose the black dress, and bought a silver belt at another store to go with it. Also while in Banana I realized I need a fitted blazer. I tried on a blazer with the grey dress and it was love. Bonus Banana Moment: Ran in to my older sister's friend, Tim AND met Alex!

P.S. Still haven't forgotten about the Baltimore Recap. I really will do it this week!

Sunday, March 13, 2011


I ate one of the most ridiculous (ridiculous in a you-can-actually-eat-this-as-a-meal way?) things in my life for lunch yesterday. Delicious, but ridiculous. Feast your eyes upon on the Memphis Macaroni. . .

From the Zingerman's Roadhouse Menu: "Alex's Red Rage BBQ sauce, applewood smoked bacon, Cornman Farms pulled pork, New Mexico green chiles and fresh cilantro caramelized with Martelli pasta." So yummy, but I will definitely have to split this with three friends if I get it again.

My mom and our friend Angela came to Ann Arbor for a fun visit. We gave Angela an abbreviated tour of Ann Arbor, hitting many great spots including: Kerrytown & the Farmer's Market, Main Street, UMich Campus (Law Quad, the Diag, Amer's in the Union), a drive by tour of the Sigma Kappa house (for Angela, :D) Trader Joe's and the Zingerman's Bakehouse and Roadhouse (obviously). Then I headed back with them to borrow a car from home for a few days and do some laundry for free. However upon arriving home to see my ZipCar info had arrived in the mail, I decided it was no longer necessary to take a car and took the train back to Ann Arbor at 10 PM.

Then before I knew it was time to "spring forward" to work at 6:45 AM this morning! Overnight oatmeal was somehow assembled last night (this morning), and I grabbed some Maple Almond Butter from the cupboard that I got on sale last week. I've seen this AB on other blogs before, but it is definitely a must try.

I hope your Sunday is treating you well! Watch for a Baltimore Recap Post coming very soon.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Adiós Buckies

Dear Starbucks, Lab, Amer's, Espresso Royale and Other Assorted Coffeehouses,

It's been real the past few semesters and I've really appreciated your support, but it is time for a forty-day-minimum break. And lets face it, I'm a big girl. I can brew my own coffee.