Saturday, March 8, 2014

You win some, you lose some

There were a couple of days this week that both of my parents were out of town on work related trips and I was left home alone with our animals.  Usually for me, being home alone means trying some crazy things in the kitchen.  Sometimes they work out great. More often than not, they don't and I end up with a huge mess to clean up and a lot of wasted food.
 
 
This week's experiment was The Pioneer Woman's alfredo sauce recipe.  Only instead of white wine I was using an IPA.  I've never heard of anyone using beer in alfredo sauce but I figured I would give it a shot anyway and it was working really well.  I don't know if I was too busy planning the blog post I was going to write about how excellent my creation was or what, but I totally forgot that I should be cooking the noodles at the same time ( I have an issue with multitasking in the kitchen).  That's when everything went to hell.
 
 
By the time the water was boiling, the sauce was almost done and it looked, smelled, tasted good.  But by the time the noodles were almost done, the sauce was over cooked.  I'd never seen anything like this happen before.  The milk started curdling and everything was separating.  It looked really gross.  So I dealt with that and by the time I got back to my noodles, they were over cooked to the point of mush.  All I had to show from my adventures in the kitchen were some sautéed mushrooms and asparagus that I was going to use instead of chicken.

 
They were pretty tasty
 
 
I still firmly believe that there is still hope for IPA alfredo and I will be trying it again at some point, maybe with a few changes to the recipe. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Been a long time

Long time, no see! So a lot has happened since September so let's catch up.
  • I did get a job at GAP and started working there in early October
  • I finished my last semester of my undergraduate degree, making the Dean's list again
  • I graduated
  • I left both my job at GAP and at ISA
  • I moved back to Louisville and am living with my parents again (you know, saving money and stuff)
  • I tried to get a part time job, mainly to keep myself entertained but also to make a little money
  • I did not get hired for any of the 30 or so jobs I applied for (even the volunteer position I asked about didn't want me)
  • I have been preparing to move to China in June with doctors appointments and Visa applications and trying to learn at least a little bit of Chinese  
  • I had my 22nd birthday
  • And I have been knitting, cross stitching, spinning, working out, reading and watching a lot of television and movies.

 
My last semester felt insanely busy to me, with a full class schedule, working two jobs and trying to have some sort of social life. Over the past couple of months I've gone from crazy college life to having very few obligations. I've tried to keep myself busy but I have gotten a little bored and boredom is honestly a huge reason why I am getting back to blogging.  Maybe writing about my life will force me to get out and find more excitement in the world around me.
 
I think we all know that I'm not the most consistent blogger, so I'm not going to make any promises on when or how often I'm going to post.  We'll see what happens.
 
 
 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Baby come Back

Have you guys been singing this song, waiting for me to post again??? Well if anyone is out there still holding out hope for my blog posts I guess it's about time to share what's been going on since I last posted. 

  • I got back from Italy
  • I started my last semester of college
  • I started working again at ISA Kentucky office
  • I've applied for numerous other jobs
  • I had an interview at the Gap
My semester is going extremely well.  I am pretty happy with all my classes, with the exception of my yoga class that I did end up dropping.  I am taking 5 classes, human sexuality, American literature, Spanish short story, a class on Dante's Inferno and beginning guitar.

And now for the big news! I have officially been invited to join a Peace Corps program and I have officially accepted my position.  I will be teaching English (anything from beginning English as a Foreign Language to literature to creative writing) to university level students in China!!!! I don't know exactly where I will be in China but I do know that I will be there from the end of June, 2014 until the middle of August, 2016.  China is one of the last places I expected to be sent but the more it sinks in, the more excited I get.  I can't wait to start learning about the culture and the history.  I've been looking up everything from Chinese tea to popular Chinese music.  I know it's going to be a little more difficult to adjust to the Chinese culture than it was to adjust to the Spanish or Italian culture but I am so excited from this chance!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Home Sweet Homestay



My room
Now that the 2 week homestay is over and I’ve moved on to my apartment I think it’s about time I show you some pictures of where I’ve been living.  For the first two weeks of my time in Italy I stayed with a great lady named Daniela in her beautiful home with on American roommate, Brittany.  Brittany and I were extremely lucky and got our own rooms.  Both of our rooms were brightly colored and filled with art work done by Daniela’s father in law.


Our favorite parts of Daniela’s house were all her balconies (she has 3!!!).  And they were all packed with flowers and fruit plants.  She is particularly proud of her lemons.  She even makes limoncello out of them.  These balconies were our favorite place to do homework.

Daniela was such a great cook too.  I forgot to take pictures of her cooking because I was always so excited just to eat what she made.  One of my favorite meals she made was Piadina, a flat bread that is traditional to the region of Italy where she was born, with sausage.   On the last night we were with Daniela, she threw a big potluck party for everyone in our program.

It was bittersweet moving out of Daniela’s house and into our apartment but Daniela is the owner of our apartment and she has been inviting us over for dinner once a week so we will still be seeing her every once in a while.


Brittany and me

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Withdrawl

A few weeks ago now I moved from my home stay to an apartment and one of the few accommodations that was no longer available to me was Internet access so my only means of getting online was a few minutes between classes.  Until tonight, when I found an open network available! I have a lot of catching up to do and I definitely plan on doing that, but tonight I have an assignment that needs to get done. Hopefully this network will still be here tomorrow!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Italian Food: So much more than pasta and pizza

I use to think that I would never meet a better cook than my Spanish host mom, Carmen. And then I met Daniela.  One of the first things Daniela asked me was "what are you willing to eat?" That is a pretty intimidating question.  I really don't I would want to eat any sort of traditional Italian horse testicle soup (if there is such a thing) but I told her that I would eat anything she wants to cook for me.  I can't even tell you how happy that made her.  Apparently the girls that lived with her last year only ate pizza and pasta and according to her that is not "really Italian cooking".   My favorite meal that she has cooked for us has been Piadina.  It's a flat bread that is typical of the region where Daniela was born (Emilia-Romagna) and it can be served with just about anything.  I wish I had a picture of it but it was so good we ate it all before even thinking about picking up a camera. 

This past Tuesday, we got to take a cooking class with an Italian chef.  The chef who taught the class is currently a 3 star chef and throughout his career he's cooked for people like Madonna and the Pope.  For this class we learned how to make three different types of pasta (gnocchi, ravioli and tagliatelle).  It was a lot easier to make pasta than I expected it to be and the ingredients are really simple.

Our cooking stations

Don't worry, I wore an apron

In the process

Finished pastas
 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Venezia, La citta su acqua

This past weekend I went to Venice with a group of 8 fellow students from my program.  We left Arezzo on a train around noon Saturday, got to Venice around 3:30pm and left at 6:30 the next day to get back to Arezzo for school the next day.
 
photo from a friends Facebook page 
 
Venice is on of the few cities I've been to where it's beautiful as soon as you step out of the train station.
 
 
Our first mission, after we got off the train was to find some lunch, which was a lot hard than it sounds because many places were closed for the afternoon but we ended up finding a nice place to have some pizza. We didn't try this "American" pizza with eggs and bacon but the pepperoni pizza I had was very good.
 
 
After lunch we made our way to Piazza San Marco. It was a pretty long walk but there was so much to see along the way, it wasn't too bad.
 

Rialto Bridge

Carnivale masks in progress
 
Piazza San Marco is a huge plaza with many important things all clumped together. There is the San Marco Basilica.  Unfortunately we never got to go in due to our timing.
 

 
One of my favorite sites of the trip was the Piazza San Marco clock tower.  It has balls that move to show the phases of the moon and it is rung by mechanical statues.
 

 
While at Piazza San Marco, we took an elevator to the top of another tower to get some great views of the city.

 

 
Right around the corner was the Bridge of Sighs which use to be used to transport prisoners from the prison to the execution spot.
 
After that we walked back to the train station to catch a shuttle bus to our hostel. The next day we took a water taxi to the island of Murano.  They have been blowing glass on this island for over 700 years.  I did buy some of the glass but most of what I bought was gifts so I won't show you much.  I'll will show you this bracelet I bought though.
 
The owner of the store I went to made everything himself. We walked through this island for most of the day.  It was much more relaxing than Venice because not many tourist were there.


Friends Facebook photo
 
 
After we got done at Murano we tried to go back to San Marco to go inside but there was a really long line of people waiting to get in and no one really wanted to wait so we walked back to the train station and had lunch on the Grand Canal.
 
 
It was a great trip.  Our next trip is with the school.  We are heading to Florence this Saturday.