Raise your hand if you are READY FOR SUMMER VACATION. *lots of girls-with-raised-hands emojis*
In the eight (ack!) weeks since we last spoke over crepes, a lot has happened. I played a master’s recital, made my first ever wedding cake for my best friend’s wedding, performed some more, graduated with a master’s degree (with a former New York Yankee)… Oh. And another thing:
I GOT INTO JUILLIARD!!!!
This is probably not real life. Actually, I’m positive it’s not. I’m definitely just having the deepest and most wonderful nap dream ever. Is somebody gonna wake me up before I pee? No? SO IT IS REAL?! 😀
In all seriousness though, I’m ecstatic to be continuing my education in their historical performance program. Who wouldn’t be?! I get to play baroque violin all day every day, play with an amazing group, and learn from some of early music’s most revered artists. This has been a dream of mine ever since I began playing baroque violin, and it’s actually coming true.
….I am also a leeeetle bit wiped out though. #realtalk. This was a warm (not quite hot) mess of a busy year that turned out to be SO BEYOND worth the struggle. Preparing an audition on baroque violin while still juggling grad student life on modern violin nearly made me crazy, and I questioned my sanity every 7 minutes, basically. One thing I learned in the process, though, is that when things get stressful, you just need to power through one day, one task, and one minute at a time. Bite-sized goals on small plates… Do you see where I’m going yet?
I am, by all accounts, a savory brunch person.
Maybe someone can explain this phenomenon to me, because my sweet tooth is out of control, yet I very rarely order or make sweet brunch food. Maybe I avoid it subconsciously, because I know I’ll end up falling asleep right after I eat it (can someone say sugar crash?). Maybe it’s because I really appreciate a perfectly-cooked egg, especially when it’s oozing down a mountain of mashed avocado or smoked salmon and hollandaise. Or, maybe I just appreciate it when someone ELSE is responsible for perfectly cooking that egg for me. I don’t know.
Some days though, I do get a hankering for something sweet that only the french toasts, pancakes, oats, and pastries of the world can satisfy. And some days, I truly can’t make up my mind. For those days, the brunch solution is clear:
I’m pretty sure I’ve loved Chinese takeout ever since I could eat solids. Sure, I was fed from day one by the best of the best – my mom has always been super creative in the kitchen, and my grandma made a legendary pot roast. But you and I both know how it is when you’re eating food out of a white box.
My aunt used to come watch me when I was a wee one, and whenever we ordered Chinese food she would always get us bean curd with steamed vegetables. I LOVED the stuff, and to this day, it’s still my go-to healthy takeout order. Of course, it wasn’t until the fifth grade that I found out “bean curd” was actually a fancy way of saying “tofu.” I was, of course, legitimately upset, because this meant I could no longer try to act cool by telling all my friends I hated tofu.
But I also grew up completely in love with sesame noodles. Carby, creamy, peanutty, salty, saucy, slightly crunchy sesame noodles. GAHHHH. So good.
As much as I love sesame noodles, though, they don’t truly love me back. Carbs on fat on carbs is delish (it’s my favorite, let’s be honest), but doesn’t look so good when you have a slinky recital dress to fit into. So, I decided to make my own version of this amazing dish using an ingredient that is brand new for me:
I loooove risotto.
I love making risotto, I love eating risotto, and I love talking about how much I love making and eating risotto. I love everything. About. Risotto.
One of risotto’s many virtues is how easy it is to make, yet how fancy it pretends to be. The hardest thing about it is not getting bored while you sit there stirring it constantly. It’s perfect for the holidays just for that reason, because you can make it for a bunch of guests and pretend you’re a super fancy chef. For best results, serve your risotto to your guests with a slightly affected tone: “Our next cooourse is going to be a rather SCRUMPTIOUS rrrrrisOo0o0oHto with a touch of young spinach and pah-meZZAHN. I would NEVER have time to make this nooooormally, you see, I simply spent HOURS over the stove and NEARLY broke into a sweat, but FOR YOU my dahlings, I WILL stand and LITCH-RALLY watch liquid evaporate! Hah hah, we are having SUCH FUN, aren’t we?!”
Okay, so maybe don’t really do that if you’d like your friends to stay long enough to eat your risotto. And definitely don’t reveal to your guests that you basically just made them high-maintenance rice. But DO consider making this recipe for your next party, especially if you have guests who are trying to be more carb-conscious.
“I received free samples of siggi’s yogurt mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by siggi’s yogurt and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”
We’re less than two weeks away from Thanksgiving, and each year, this season brings up a ton of family memories for me. For whatever reason, the thought of shoveling all manner of carbs into my face whilst making dinner-table-inappropriate jokes with my cousins at the kids table (which I know I’m going to be at for ~10 more years at least, and am totally fine with) just screams NOSTALGIA… Ya know? It’s a natural human instinct. But for me, these memories can come flooding in at LITERALLY any given moment once November hits. Take for example, the other day, while I was buying a bag of persimmons.
When I was a kid and I used to go over to my grandparents’ house, my grandma and I would draw pictures together. One day we were drawing various fruits and veggies, putting faces on them, and giving them names. All the usual suspects were there: Broccoli Rob (GET IT?!), Tommy Tomato, Apple Anne, etc. But then I said to my grandma, “What about PERSIMMON PATRICK?” She looked at me surprised and slightly impressed, like, do you actually even know what a persimmon IS, seven-year-old Sarah? No, Grandma. No I did not.
In fact, I didn’t know what a persimmon was until college. I found one in the grocery store and tried it thinking it was going to be like a tomato. I was so deliciously, delightfully, beautifully wrong – persimmons are sweet, juicy, and just taste like autumn. Sorry that’s not more eloquent.