Week 1: From Broke College Student To Chef

Background

Kitchen Did Not Burn Down

Week One: Steak and Arugula

So week one sort of went off without a hitch. I did almost forget, and my motivation lapse to post this due to nap time, but here we are. My first week, and who better to be a tester than my baby brother Nathan. I offered it to other people, but for some reason they were all busy, or had already ate. I found my recipe in the latest People Magazine. Who knew my obsession for trashy magazines would benefit in the end? The recipe goes as follows:

Steak and Arugula

Rumor has it that this is suppose to serve four people. Orginial chef clearly not from a Mexican family.

What you need:

1 12oz boneless sirloin steak
2 (1/2) tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. coarsely ground salt (hell if I know what this is. It tasted great regardless. If you know, I guess more power to you)
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
4 cups arugula
1/4 cup of Grana Padano, Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese.any cheese would work if you have no idea what any of these cheeses are. I used feta)
Balsamic vinegar to taste(remember to check to see if your roommate used it all up before you are done preparing the meal. Sad face. Italian dressing works just the same)

What you do next

1) Preheat Oven to 400
2) Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil and garlic in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat(Be sure to pay attention to the pan because you may burn the garlic. This may or may not have happened)
3) Coat the meat with about 1 tbsp. of olive oil. Season both sides of meat with salt and pepper.
4) Sear meat in hot skillet 3 minutes per side, moving as little as possible.
5) Using an oven mitt (a towel will work just as well)transfer meat to the oven and cook until medium rare, no more than 3 minutes
6) Remove meat from oven, let rest 3 to 4 minutes and slice against the grain (shout out to those who listen to Dan Patrick) into 1/2 in. thick pieces.( you can also do it before you cook. I wouldn’t recommend it. Actually don’t do this, and follow directions. Cutting raw meat is gross. Learned this the hard way)
7) Divide arugula among four plates and top each with 4 to 5 slices of steak
8 ) Top each plate with 2 or 3 cheese shavings and drizzle (love this word)with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste

And there you go. My first meal went off without blowing up my kitchen. I did burn a few things, and my brother hated the salad, but at least he is still alive as of yesterday. He gives his review below, and remember I am still looking for recipes.



From Broke College Student To Chef

9)Learn to Cook

So here’s the thing: I am not a good cook.

It’s not because I am truly bad at it like say my driving, I just never found it fun or interesting, and I truly never really had to learn. I can read directions, depend on the kindness of others, or I am fabulous talking on the phone.

So far in life, it has feed me pretty well. Have you seen my butt? I could continue on with this, but  while making my list of 25 things I want to do before I turn 25 it hit me, I don’t know how to truly cook, and while I can depend on others, what if I move away from my family and friends? Who is going to cook for me then? And even then, most people won’t think the broke adult thing is as cute as the broke college thing, therefore lack of food.

So what is a girl to do while trying to complete her list and become adult? Well I decide to turn to social media. Being a former reporter and current student, I am really good at deadlines, therefore if I give myself a deadline then I will more likely follow it.

So here it is, every week starting with the first full week in January, I will post what I learned to cook that week with recipe, review, comments from the peanut gallery what have you. I will do this probably until I turn 25 on November 18, maybe longer. Maybe fun, may get food poisoning.

But I need recipes. They can range from starters to main meals to desserts, whatever you can think of. You can post the recipes here, email, Facebook,Twitter, or whatever.

So please send me what you got, and I will do my best not to burn down my kitchen. Thank You and Happy Holidays.

2 Months to go

Everyone makes lists whether it be a top ten, bucket, or grocery. The list making process is what we do either to be organized or make it appear so. About 10 months ago, I contributed to the list making world by putting together 23 things I want to do before I turn 24.  In about 61 days(but really who is counting) I will be turning that awkward age, and while I have thought about the list, it took a few of my friends to make me actually go back and look at the list. So here is my update. And here is to hoping I can accomplish this all:

1) Spend more time with family and friends that have your back. Do not waste time with people because you feel bad when they wouldn’t do the same.

My family has definitely changed this year. With good, bad, and ugly news, however we are still a family. I love them more than they will ever know, but I do express it to them as much as I can.

As for friends, in the past year,my circle of friends have become smaller. This is not bad thing, but instead of spending time with people who I truly can’t stand sober, I spend it with people who truly matter to me and I to them. I can obviously work on this more, but as is life.

I say accomplished

2) Donate my hair to locks of love

Ummm…yea has not happened. Not going to lie, I love my long hair, and it is really hard for me to part ways with it. This is a we will see if it will be done in the next 61 days. If not, going on the list next year.

3) Be more direct, not passive aggressive. I sometimes don’t say things to make sure people don’t get mad at me. However somethings need to be said.

Still a work in progress, at least to myself. Some would argue that I have accomplished this, but there is always room for improvement. I will say accomplished, but always can do more.

4) Go Zip Lining

My good friends Carissa and Jen looked this up, and did you know there are no zip lining places in Arizona that are for individuals, only groups. So if anyone knows of any, maybe even ones I can drive to out of state, please let me know ASAP

5) Loose ** lbs and change my eating habits

Done and done. This last year I have lost a good amount of weight. I am not going to post how much, but let us just say that it more than my age, less than 100. Don’t get me wrong, I am proud and feel accomplished, but let’s move on.

6) Learn the secret to my nana’s chocolate chip cookies…

Yes I did. And no I am not telling you.

7) Write a funny story about my Grandpa

Let me start by saying, this hasn’t been done. With a subject like my grandpa, I have tried hundreds of times to do this, and I feel a constant brick wall in my way. I am not sure why,but it seems that way. Of all the things I need to accomplish, I hope this is one of them.

8 ) See the Suns win a championship…*cross fingers*( might change this before I die)

Every year, I think this is the year. This is the year the Suns are going to win it all And every year I am more disappointed than the last. And every year I think, why am I do this to myself? But then every year I am excited to watch them kick some butt and try to win it all. It is a cycle, a bad cycle. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Actually I would like them to win.

Oh yea, almost forgot. Spurs suck it!

9) Kiss in the Rain

It doesn’t rain a lot here, but I sure as hell got that kiss. And it was worth it.

10) Start my applied project for grad school

It has been started. I can’t talk too much about it, but I am uber excited for it.

11) Travel to a new state or country

I will like to welcome the sort of great state of Maryland to place I have been.

12) Buy a lottery ticket when the jackpot is 100 million

To be honest, I am not sure why I put this on my list. But it is something easy to do. This will surely get done. And when I win, I’m going to Disneyland.

13) Maybe update my blog more…maybe

Guess what I am doing right now? *Evil laugh*

14) Clean my closet out of clothes I never wear. Also clean out things I don’t need. Donate both.

For those who don’t know, my friends and I go shopping in my closet. It is true, I have a habit of buying clothes, and seeing them months later, forgetting I bought them. I do have a problem. I get it.

However, I did accomplish this goal. I cleaned out 3 bagfuls of clothes, had friends take them, and donate them. My closet looked rather bare for like a week, and it looked good for a week. But soon it was filled again. You can’t hate on a girl and her clothes

15) Take an unplanned trip for a couple days.

I have an issue with lack of time, and planning things. Most would not see a problem in this, but it would not hurt just to take off somewhere on a whim. I will keep everyone posted.

16) Eat something new that I have never ate before. Deer Maybe?

Alright so it wasn’t deer, however I did eat some amazing Maryland Crab. It is so good, I may have to update the sort of great state to the great state of Maryland. It will have to go through committee first.

17) Redesign my bedroom

Has it been redone in the last year? Yes. Has it been finished? Not really. A work in progress, but I say accomplished nevertheless.

18) Ask a guy out on a date

According to the boy, yes this has been done. He says because I plan everything out, this counts.

19) Learn to ride a bike

Same boy says he will teach me this before my birthday. While I believe he will try, I am not sure if after 23 years I will be able to. Keep your fingers crossed that I am able to do this and not hurt myself too bad.

20) Having an amazing St.Patty’s to make up for the lack of one when I was 22

I had a blast this last St.Patty’s day thanks to my loves. No I didn’t get to consume any of the Irish kinds, but dancing my butt off was good enough.

21) Go to a Cardinals game in their new stadium

I have not done this, but if anyone has extra tickets, I am more than willing to fill that seat.

22) Let people know I love and appreciate them. I would not be who I am without any of them

I do try to do this all the time, and I will continue.

23) Make 23 better than 22. Do not be depress about it. Wait until you are dead.

It has been an amazing year, and with still two months to go, it can only get better.

One week, no iPod: Tuesday

For those who don’t know, I gave up my beloved iPod for one week and kept a journal. The reason why is for a horrible school assignment that is meant as a form of torture. Here is day three as transcribed via my notebook. Read Day One First. Then Day Two and you will be caught up. The contents of the notebook have not been edited, therefore my stream of consciousness may or may not make sense. However sometimes my edited writing doesn’t either. And yes my mind does think this way. Here we go.

6:15am: Heading to the gym. I usually workout with my iPod permanently attach to my ear, but today we are going to try something different. I am actually going to do some homework, well readings as I work out. I am not sure how this is going to go, but here it is.

7:44am: I am covered with highlighter. Yea I am one of those people who highlight the shit out of my readings, homework, and books. Most of the times it is to capture the key factors of the reading, but there is a percent that does it to make the work look pretty. The percent went up today while working out. For some reason I couldn’t concentrate on what I was reading. This is possibly due to my heart racing up and down and sweating, but who really knows. Whatever the case maybe, I was not paying attention to what I was reading, and found my mind drifting even to the silent televisions. Is it me or is Skip Bayless look like he is about to eat someone when he talks and no sound comes out of his mouth?

8:15am: This is usually the time I listen to some podcast as I get ready for school. Today, I turned on the TV to listen to the news. I find myself watching the news more than getting ready.

8:45am: I have to turn this thing off. I have done absolutely nothing to get ready, and I have to leave in 20 minutes. Bad Hair Day here I come!

10:03am: I really don’t want to walk the halls in silence today. I am going to call Katie back, and talk to her for a moment.  Plus I really don’t want to be bothered by the people out in front of the building. I am starting to run out ways to say no and please leave me alone.

10:37am: Ended up talking to Katie way too long. I even stop to sit on a bench because the day is too nice, and I am too engulfed by the conversation. The only reason I knew it was time for class was when I saw my classmates walking by. Usually when I have my iPod, I have a clock right in front of me, and the songs usually last 4 minutes. All I need to do is count the songs. It is sort of like my internal clock  in a machine.

9:33pm:I haven’t noticed or thought about my iPod. It isn’t until I think about what I need to pack for tommorow, that I realize haven’t posted anything on my blog. As I transcribe my first two days, two things come to mind. One, I thought this would be an easy medium to give up. Two, I didn’t realize how attach to this I really am. Is everyone like this?

10:02pm: Complaining to Mike about my assignment and missing my iPod. To make up for this, his Solution? Sing to me. Missing my iPod even more. Shortly thereafter, I fall asleep, with the phone attached my ear.

I often hate that word change…

Hey loves other randos who ever reads this…

Today I am writing about change. I know. I know. Change has become the dirty word used by politicians, bums on the street, and fill in your own example. If we don’t like something, people tell us to simply change it which is, to sound like a 16-year-old girl, annoying. This word change brings upon us hope and sometimes despair. It makes us uncomfortable, but yet it something we yearn for. I simply find it a little confusing.

A confusion that happen to me in January. As I often have to, I had another doctor’s appointment. Having the amazing family history I have (diabetes, heart, and other random diseases) my poker hand gave me thyroid problems. And while most people can control their thyroids with medicine or simply killing it, being the young buck with a sensitive stomach, mine became uncontrollable. My weight would go up and down, my body would ache, and I would constantly sick as if I had the flu. I would get sick to the point where I couldn’t get out of bed without convincing myself to. And honestly, the college lifestyle I was leading didn’t really help.

As my body attacked me, I was attacking it more, and a part of me didn’t care. Why should I? Economy sucks. Family can’t get along. Friends are leaving. My degree is worthless, and I am not sure grad school is going to make it better. I thought 2010 was suppose to be better? I had the tone like many of my peers, and even others, have right now. I mean even the keynote speaker at my graduation talked about despair and lack of prosperity of today and the future.

Side Note: It is not comforting to be sitting at your graduation, and the keynote speaker is asking us to save journalism or else it will perish. It makes me feel the last four years were simply a horrible prank and I should of stayed in business school. Who cares if I had to take accounting 3 times? I mean they have people who do tha…wait I would be those people. Awesome.

But back to my story. I was going through the motions of life instead of living it. I thought no one noticed, and I was alright pretending all was well. It wasn’t. As I sat through yet another doctor visit for this stupid thyroid, I just wanted to leave. As I was about to get out, my doctor said:

“Hey at 23 your body is running like its 40.”

With such a random, blunt statement I had to do a double take. For once in my life I was speechless (insert my mother going mija why you lying?) but it was true. I couldn’t speak. This woman had to be crazy, but sadly she wasn’t. The doctor continued to tell me that if something wasn’t done with my thyroid, I wouldn’t be able to live a healthy lifestyle or even a good one.

That statement wasn’t only a blow for just my body, but my ego as well. I wasn’t invincible. I wasn’t Superman, even if I had the cape. I was forced into this change if I wanted a normal lifestyle. She suggested using HCG along with other medicines and constant testing to help stabilize my body. A part of this testing included a strict 500 calorie diet, blood work, and constant check ups.

So I went through the treatments, and honestly still felt miserable. I wasn’t a fan of not eating, my body being pricked, and my blood being drained from me drip by drip. I mean who really is? The process itself was more painful than before. Instead of having to convince myself to get out of bed,I simply couldn’t. I felt useless, distraught, and as if someone was constantly hitting me. I couldn’t hide my pain as my body was bruised, my hair fell out, and sometimes had to stop to catch my breath. I couldn’t tell if any of this was worth it.

As I slowly got off treatments, and came back to life, I decided I never wanted to go through this again. Working out become a necessity, but just working out wasn’t going to do all the work. I wanted to be healthy both physically and mentally. I started thinking more positive, and embracing those around me. I started to write more, do yoga,and just simply live. I wanted to live my life like it was intended, not because I needed the pay check. Don’t get me wrong, a little coin is nice, but experiences cost less. Although I am not hundred percent healthy, my body runs like a 23 year old now, maybe even 22.

So what is the point of this blog besides bragging? It’s pretty simple, I am endorsing the unknown. Right now, all I know is I starts school August 19th, and what happens after, I am alright with. It literally took sitting in a doctor’s office for me to feel sick about my habits, thoughts, and emotions at the time. I wasn’t happy, but now I am getting there. Change is, and has, been good for me. I write before you a different girl, lady, and even woman then a year ago with those dirty words of hope and optimism flowing through me.

Am I scared? Ummm Hell Yea! And I will have days where I am down and out, but I guess they are a part of life’s adventures and I will just go along with it. Maybe it is a change I will need. At least I won’t have to take accounting.

Signs,dreams and possibly the end of the world

A bit dramatic to say, but as the news report of new diseases breakout every week, Ugg boots being dusted off in Phoenix in April and (fill in the blank of newest national disaster) do all signs point to end of the world?

As it has been over publicized, the Mayans predict the end of the world in 2012. Although recent events may be used as evidence of such a thing, might it be a mere coincidence  that signs are point to “D-Day 2012.” Could the Mayans haves simply ran out of paper or fell asleep while producing the calendar?

Before you start blaring REM non-stop, I am not suggesting such a thing. However, this newest outbreak of events got me thinking about signs, dreams and their meanings. To me, signs, and possibly dreams, are to some what helps people cope and deal with the unknown, however I do not believe it is the end of the world.

I do not believe recent events are signs of the end of the world. I tried to look at them as such, but my head started to explode, literally. The only thing to keep it from going everywhere was my big hair(thank you genetics). I would like to believe if the world was to end, it would be a bit more dramatic with a crazy plot twist.

I do believe however, signs and dreams are what guide us in the journey of life and help us answer questions. It may not be as dramatic or crazy like in two of favorite movies, Fools Rush In or Serendipity(I know Chick Flicks, but consider the source), but I truly believe in signs and dreams maybe nature’s way of telling you to get up and do what you need to do to make your life better and more productive.

Before I get into an Oprah Special, it is human nature to not believe and ignore the signs and dreams. To some, they are just random events that often lead to nothing. And maybe they are, but I do not think they aren’t. I like to think tha some of my life choices were made based on gut choices and signs/dreams that pointed me there. Maybe I am just dreadlocks away from becoming a hippie, but I this is something I believe.

 Perhaps we do not take notice  because we are on the go culture to stop and observe them. But I would like to believe if we have a moment to stop, maybe we would notice for a second. Maybe its a dream, a notice on tree, a huge billboard in Times Square, whatever it it just take notice. What if the answers were there all along. Life is truly what happens while you were making plans, signs are just the Facebook notifications.

So maybe the recent news events are signs of the end of the world. Maybe its a sign to invest in a bunker or build one underneath my apartment. Do you think HOA would fine me if they found my big bunker?

Enough insightful cheeziness for now!

Just in case you do think it is the end of the world, blare this:

This is the preview for Serendipity for the person(you know who you are) who had no idea what I was refering to:

3 weeks to the start of my life…What have I been doing so far?

Welcome to graduating in one of the worst recessions since last worst recession of all time. Can’t find a job, if I do find one, they can’t wait a month for me to graduate and internships that do not pay money, which is fine if they weren’t in New York. Does anyone have a money to send me to New York?

The Class of 2009 and I have a challenge in front of us. The degrees we will hold in our hands will most likely not get us jobs right away. In fact as Burger King and Taco Bell provide money, those jobs may help you out of this pickle. Although there is nothing wrong with working at a fast food place, the degree you paid for will not pay you back right away in this economy. Do you have the talent to create your own job?  Do you have the will power to suck it up and take that job because you need to keep the light on?

Perhaps I am over reacting, but I truly believe that my generation( if you are apart of it our) is the one who needs to find the answer. We need stop look beyond what is in front of our noses and see how and what can be done. You may laugh and smirk, but if no one helps, then we are nothing but separate and will continue on this road. This is the only thing I am certain of, at least today. Let me walk down Tempe and I might change my mind 😉

So the master plan? I think I’ll continue sales at the Photo place and go to Graduate school. There has been some changes and I am starting to work on some writing/ advertising projects which I am excited about. And the good thing  the person I am working with seems just as excited. It is good to find someone who is willing to go that extra step and want to produce quality in creativity. I think it is a quality I find few in people, but a lot at the Cronkite School. I think he’ll let me do what I think the staff and students at the Journalism school has allowed me; think beyond what is in front and look all around. Just don’t tell him that because I am sure he’ll get a big head. 😉

So maybe the unknown can be good. Maybe a recession can be good for the soul(but Obama don’t lack on trying to get us out), maybe it is meant to give us an opportunity to explore. Hey if not for recession I wouldn’t have applied for my Masters. The fear of not having something to fall back on scared me. I am still scared that I will not better than my classmate. I will not be able to what my dreams are. Do I need to change them? Maybe I should take Jay Z’s words of, “I’m a hustla homie,” as a mantra…

Ok I think I am done for now but some suggests for your web day:

If you haven’t read this article:OT_282486_LYTT_LDDANI_11The girl in the window. It won a Pulizter and I was crying the whole time

Our “far” sheriff, Joe Arpaio was on the Colbert Report. Ummmmm welcome. I am not sure how to feel about this, but when Colbert asks to see ID, I think I am in love

And if you got like an hour to kill, I fell in love with The Phone. Basically people try to win money while trying to find a bomber. I am not sure why I am in love, but I love horrible reality shows…