Hey strangers! Are you EVEN surprised that I disappeared again? I’m not. Womp. The last time I posted was right before heading off on tour to New Zealand. That was three months ago. Omg. MONTHS.
I’ve been MIA a lot recently, but between the tour + vacationing in Australia + performing in Oregon + (some more) vacationing in the mountains + (even more) performing at home in NY + finally getting into spinning, I’ve been busy this summer. Especially that last part. Time flies when you’re trying to look cute holding in cardio burps.
Speaking of things flying by, in a matter of weeks I’ll be back at Juilliard for my LAST YEAR OF SCHOOL EVER, LOLWUT. How did this happen? I started college almost EIGHT years ago. Had I taken slightly different classes, I could have pretty much been a doctor by now… *nose laugh* #freelancemusicianlife #givemeajobplease
I kid, but I really am feeling super motivated going into this year. Not only do we have an amazing concert season coming up, but I’m also really excited to begin my foray into the real world. I know that scares a lot of young people in my position, and don’t misunderstand, I LOVE being in school and the little immersive, protective bubble it provides. But I just turned 25, and I’m feeling very ready to do things. So… Let’s go.
Is this getting too existential? Should we talk about brunch instead? Lol. OK. *wins award for smoothest segue*
Summer is almost here, which means… COCKTAIL TIME!
Well, I guess it can be cocktail time all year ’round. But listen, an excuse to drink cocktails is an excuse to drink cocktails, amirite?
Speaking of excuses, this time of year for students is an interesting one. In the late spring and early summer, colleges have just let out, and our first few days (erm.. weeks) of freedom post-finals are usually spent… How shall I say this…. Indulging? I definitely have had my share of celebratory meals and drinks over the last couple of weeks, and at some point the celebrating begins to catch up with you.
For me, that point is right now, and I’m feeling the need to scale back a bit, especially in preparation for our next big trip. Tomorrow morning my orchestra at Juilliard will be flying out for our final tour of the year – in NEW ZEALAND! (I feel like every time I write a blog post, which is sadly rare nowadays, I’m going somewhere else cool on tour. The fact that I get to say that is so awesome, and maybe some day I’ll finally post pictures and anecdotes from my other two amazing trips this year.) While we’re there, I know I’m going to want to experience all the foods and drinks that they have to offer down under (I’ll be going to Australia after, too!) and so I have definitely been cutting back on the margaritas!
When the Recipe Redux revealed that this month’s theme was “Cocktails and Mocktails for May Celebrations,” I realllly wanted to make my own margarita recipe. Over Passover, I actually discovered that Manischewitz wine makes a -killer- grape margarita. Who knew? Fellow Jews of the world, rejoice. But no, we are cutting back on the margs, and so I went down the “mocktail” route instead.
The early summer is also my favorite because all of the seasonal flavors it brings. My dinky windowsill herb garden is going to be bursting with spearmint soon, and I just can’t get enough of fresh ginger, so I thought I would put them together into a drink I could feel good about.
Those who are sugar conscious can use as much or as little of the ginger simply syrup as they like in this recipe. With sparkling water as a base, the ginger is going to be more of a subtle flavor unless you are a bit heavy handed with the syrup, or choose to muddle some of the discarded ginger along with your mint *see recipe directions.* You could always add a splash of your favorite liquor for a kick, but hey… If it looks colorful and sparkly in your hand, nobody at your cocktail party will ever know it’s “mock!” 😉
- 1 generous sprig mint (4-5 large leaves)
- 3-4 tsps. ginger simple syrup
- 8 oz. plain sparkling water
- Ginger Syrup
- 1 10-inch knob ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- Simple Syrup
- Bring water and sugar to boil in a medium saucepan.
- Add ginger and reduce to a simmer.
- Remove from heat and let sit for at least 30 minutes to steep.
- Reserve ginger after steeping if desired for muddling or garnishing.
- Muddle mint (and a slice or two of some discarded ginger, if desired) in the bottom of a glass.
- Add a handful of ice.
- Add syrup.
- Top with sparkling water and stir, adding more syrup to taste if desired.
- Garnish with mint leaves and ginger slices.
Let’s get real for a second: everyone is a little lazy sometimes.
You are, I am, even BEYONCÉ probably is (okay, Beyoncé probably isn’t, I’m convinced she has no bad days), but it’s okay. Embrace it. I never thought I would be here posting pictures taken on my iPhone of tacos that I stuffed with LEFTOVER CHILI and covered with pretty toppings to hide the fact that, well, chili is perhaps the most hideous food on this earth. Yet, here we are, because life is messy sometimes.
I might be the worst food blogger ever.
OK, that’s dramatic. It has been three months since my last post though, which might be a new personal record of negligence (*sobs quietly into pillow*), but I’M BACK! It feels so good to be posting a recipe again after taking some time off to get settled into my new program. This first semester at Juilliard Historical Performance, aside from being completely surreal , has FLOWN by. Between performances, lessons, gigs, being a hashtagpracticehermit, academic courses, and life in general, I’ve been a busy bee. In the last few weeks alone, my HP friends and I have performed on the radio, played for a live-streamed master class, finished a series of concerts in Boston and NYC, and are now gearing up for our tour to Holland (!) in a few weeks. I can’t believe that, at least for now, this is the new normal.
sum•mer (n): the existential struggle between wanting to be in shape and wanting to shove ALL THE FOOD INTO YOUR FACE
You know the feeling. Summertime finally hits, and you’re ready to hit the beach and show off that bod you’ve been working on. But two weeks in, you’ve had a few too many margs and entirely too many s’mores and then you realize you haven’t even hit the vacation part of your summer vacation yet and you’re like “HOW DID THIS HAPPEN” and then you end up eating more s’mores and it’s all just kind of a mess.
I know this feeling well. A week ago, I got back from spending over two weeks in San Francisco (um, hi, TONS of amazing food) at the American Bach Soloists Academy. It was a wonderful experience, but I definitely ate WAY too much. As in, I literally ate ice cream every day. And I mean literally, literally.