Saturday, January 28, 2012

a lesson in sentence types

Question: Is it worth it to make bagels and vanilla extract from scratch?

Statement: I am officially in a lab studying bioinorganic chemistry.

Exclamation: I have my own desk with a key so it's like I'm a real life grad student!!!!!

Command: Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

haiku for you

like cherry blossoms
in the spring
let us fall
clean and radiant

Clean and radiant. Doesn't that sound nice? Clean and radiant and free of grief.

A wish for spring.

(Have you heard this song? It sounds like the haiku to me.)

Monday, January 23, 2012

hiding beet sugar or cane sugar? also, everglades.

Right now I wish I had four roommates so we could get some great discussion going about tonight's Republican debate and the fact that Harrison Ford is slated to play Colonel Graff in the Ender's Game movie coming out next year! Since Aaron is buried in study materials, all I've done is posted a couple lame tweets, texted my mom, and contemplated sharing a link on facebook. I haven't felt this socially deprived since I lived in France and no one could understand me.

Tell me how excited you are for this movie/how weird Newt's hair is/how lame the questions were at the debate/why did Romney use the word self-deportation/the girl from "True Grit" is also in "Ender's Game"/the director of "Ender's Game" is also responsible for its screenplay and that X-men Wolverine movie which is a little concerning/I am soooo needy.

Or maybe I just don't feel like reading a paper for bioinorganic that's not due until Thursday anyway.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

so you'd like to eat in philly...

Aaron and I went out to eat last night, and I thought about chronicling our experience through photos. But you know what, I feel really awkward taking pictures of my food in restaurants. It's one thing to take pictures when you're with a bunch of friends, and it's some huge outing. If it's just me and Aaron, though, it's kind of weird. How do bloggers do it all the time?

Anyway, instead of giving you a million darkened photos of Indian food, I'm giving you a list of mine and Aaron's favorite Philadelphia eats! Wahoo! I now have six months of Philly experience, and I like food. These are my qualifications. Enjoy:

The Indian Restaurant. Yes, that's the actual name. It makes it really hard to find on google. But the food is excellent, the price is right (around $13 for an entree), and you get free rice pudding. I don't like rice pudding, but if you do, plus for you! Our favorites include chicken korma (Aaron), chicken tikka masala, and chicken makhani (Katie).

Sabrina's Cafe. Right next to the Italian Market, Sabrina's Cafe is this kind of funky delicious banana-cream cheese stuffed French toast. It's cheap ($10 entree) and cute and I really want to try everything on their brunch menu (dinner is also great).

Sugar Philly dessert truck. I have to admit I've never bought anything from them except their macarons (although I've been meaning to try their creme brulee) because they are that good. The French sandwich cookies are incredible. You can't go wrong with milk and honey, chocolate ganache, salted caramel, or chocolate hazelnut. If you're lucky, it'll be a pomegranate lemon or pistachio day and then you'll really be in heaven.

El Vez. You get what you pay for at this place. It's pretty expensive (Aaron, his mom and I spent $70 here), but it's so good. Cough up the $12 for the guacamole. You will not regret it. Also recommended: pork tacos. Delicious. It's also in a kind of fun part of town with a lot of cute little stores nearby. Only con is that it's really noisy.

Giorgio on Pine. This is an adorable little Italian restaurant with amazing Italian food. I swear I will always remember that tortelli with the tomato-basil cream sauce. And, Giorgio himself gave us free dessert (chocolate cake >>> rice pudding), so hello, I love you.

Capogiro Gelato. Proclaimed the best ice cream place in the world by National Geographic, these guys are legit. I am the champion of pairing flavors at this place, probably because everything is so delicious that it's impossible to go wrong. Winning combos include: chocolate hazelnut + pistachio (I love pistachio) or blood orange + ultra dark chocolate.

Jims. I can't believe I almost forgot this one. This is the best cheesesteak place in Philly (Tina Fey, Billy Joel, and Denzel Washington from the 80s agree with me). For the full Philly experience you'll have to get it with whiz, not pansy provolone cheese.

There you go! Are you drooling yet? Are you searching for flights on Expedia? Our guest bedroom is calling your name (but Capogiro is screaming it)!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

i'm mostly here for the pretty colors

This is just your friendly reminder that chemistry is awesome.

Bismuth crystal. Isn't it gorgeous?! It looks like stairs! I want one on a necklace.

Cobalt chloride crystals that are the same color as the pair of jeans Nordstrom just shipped me. 
Cobalt blue! So great!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

pumpkin bread, ramekins, and a new semester

Quick breads, for whatever reason (maybe my banana bread attempt that turned up a still gummy middle but burned crust? or maybe because of Amanda's highly entertaining posts like this), tend to scare me more than yeast breads, but yesterday I stood up to that fear and made pumpkin bread using this recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. It was delish! Not burned! Also, I made glazed carrots using this Martha Stewart recipe (minus the red wine vinegar because I didn't have any), and oh. my. gosh. Never have carrots tasted so good. Even Aaron liked them, and that my friends, is saying a lot. 

I think I've made some cooking progress this year trying scary things like
a lot of yeast breads (but no homemade bread actually), 
a roast (do you know how expensive roasts are, though?! I will probably not make another one for a long time), 
a roux for homemade macaroni and this amazing tomato-basil parmesan soup
caramels with the scary candy thermometer!

I think this year I want to make a cheesecake (since I own two springform pans that have never been used), pie crust, chicken en papillote, and cook salmon. Salmon scares me because it is expensive, and I will never forgive myself if I screw up $12 worth of fish. Oh, and maybe creme brulee since I also own a set of ramekins, but have been using them to serve toppings for Hawaiian haystacks and melt butter in the microwave. 

Obviously, I am a master chef.

In other news, we're back at school, and it's been surprisingly low key. Even Aaron is done with studying before 7 PM, and we've watched half of the first season of "Community" in the past two days.   I'm just biding my time until I find out what lab I'm in, actually have to start doing lab work and TAing, and my inorganic chemistry class starts kicking my butt. Until then, grad school is the best!

Do you have any recipes you're excited to try out this year? Has school been deceptively easy for you too? Are you officially done with school forever and your life is amazing?! Tell me about it. :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

thumbs up for mint green nail polish and reddish/brown hair

Oh, and I gone dyed my hair!

and took an indie shot of it. Also, do you like my black and white throw pillow? because I do, a lot.
Also, my body looks really oddly proportioned, like my arms are teeny and my hand and knees are enormous. I don't think this is entirely true in real life.

the break

Christmas break was unexpectedly really wonderful. It was so great to be with Aaron's family for Christmas and New Year's and play with our three year old niece Brooklyn and just relax. Everything was very low key, and just....healing? I think is the right word? Since Aaron started school last week, he came back to Philly, but I don't start until tomorrow, so I stayed another week with my family. That was also great. We ice skated, dance partied, made caramels, went out to eat way too many times (all my favorites that aren't in Philly: Cafe Rio, Kneaders, In-N-Out, Zupas), hung out on Temple Square, went to my dad's chem 101 class, played games, visited old friends, went shopping with my mom. Now that Jeff is off preaching away in France I finally realized that there are a lot of girls in my family (me + 3 sisters + mom). And they are the best.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

hurts like heaven

Four weeks ago today Zach, we got the news of your death, and I think I finally have something worth posting about you.

This is Zach, lover of drums, karate, and golf, thirteen years old, random and crazy as ever. The video sums him up better than I ever could in words, but here are a few words' attempt anyway.

I didn't know Zach for very long, as Aaron and I have only been married a year, and we spent half of it living 2,000 miles away. One of my memories of him though, was from when we were in North Carolina for our beach vacation in June. He was always out on the boogie board, even when the waves were big enough that I was too freaked out to go out that far. He had this red beanie that he always had to be wearing. One time he came in from swimming, put it on his wet head, took a nap, and the beanie bled red dye all over the white pillowcase. We thought that was the funniest thing. Another memory is from the chemistry department brunch after graduation in April. Zach and I were in line for food, and I was talking to one of my former professors. She asked Zach what he wanted to be when he grew up, and I forget exactly what he said, but it had something to do with the stock market. He then went into a detailed (and quite accurate) explanation of how the stock market worked. Did you know how the stock market worked at the age of 12? And would you have had the guts to explain it to someone much older than you? That was Zach. He wasn't afraid of anything.

On our anniversary, we watched our wedding video, and there you were Zach, wishing us a good marriage at the luncheon and thanking Aaron for "letting me be in your wedding group", dancing with your sisters at the reception, smiling, happy, alive. We cried.
I have spent the last three weeks wishing I could undo December 11th. But for whatever reason, it was your time to go. Zach, we miss you and love you so much. We look forward to when we can be with you again.