Somerville Livin', PVD Workin'

Cooking, Crafting, and Life

End of Summer Update August 27, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarahinpvd @ 10:04 pm

It’s August 27th so I thought I should do a follow-up on my goals list. Side note: HOW IS IT THE END OF THE SUMMER? Where has time gone?!

Long-term goals:

  • Start playing music again (not so much but I may save this one for after my roomie takes her MCATs… I’m not sure the noise from playing clarinet will be good for her studying)
  • Travel (working on it! So far, DC, NYC, Cancun in January)
  • More regular exercise (sort of… I am planning to get a membership to the YMCA so that I can practice swimming)
  • Be more sustainable (eat mainly in season fruits and veggies) (Halfway there — I’m hoping to get a mini farm share of veggies and I’m going to the farmer’s market more frequently.)
  • Actually learn how to cook (On track)
  • Run a half-marathon (Falling by the wayside so I’ll have to be better about going for a jog)
  • More crafts! (I’ve made very little progress on this front)

Short term goals

  • Finish cross-stitch pillowcase (see “more crafts” above. I’ll aim to finish it by the end of this year)
  • Go the whole length of the East Bay bike path (I’m sad I haven’t used my bike all summer… I really need to get a bike pump — this will be a this week task!)
  • Make a new dish at least twice a month (Mostly on track, which reminds me to think of two recipes to try for September)
  • Learn how to swim (Almost success! I took some classes — now all I need is practice. See “exercise” above)
  • Read a book every week and a half (this one, along with crafting, fell by the wayside a bit but I’m trying to be better about it. I just joined which is a fantastic way of keeping me on track)

All in all, I’d say this has been a pretty successful summer. Here’s to a fantastic fall. (Yes, I realize that technically there’s a month left to the summer). I’m super glad to be out of school but I have to say I miss studying a little bit (the casual type of studying, not the cramming kind). I actually brought back several textbooks from home (cell and molec bio, orgo, chem, and neuroscience) with the intent of reading them for enjoyment. I started the chemistry textbook and am rather enjoying it… TOTALLY WEIRD I KNOW. Also, how “Brown” of me. 🙂


Pork and Veggie Dumplings August 12, 2012

Filed under: Cooking — sarahinpvd @ 9:20 pm



I used this recipe since it looked pretty easy and didn’t require a lot of ingredients. Everything was really easy from making the filling to making the actual dumplings themselves. The dumpling sauce had some soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, and scallions.

Here’s a slightly blurry picture of the before:



Andddddddd here’s the after!


The filling was spot on and I even froze some leftovers for later consumption. We steamed them first and then pan-fried them to get some crunch. This was a GREAT recipe and a huge success. I’m super happy with them. My tummy is very full of dumplings. 🙂


Spicy Pork Bulgolgi Banh Mi + Zucchini Pizza Bites August 1, 2012

Filed under: Cooking,Reading,Swimming — sarahinpvd @ 8:35 pm

This past weekend Dan and I made some pork bulgolgi which we then “Vietnamesized”. The marinade for the pork bulgolgi ended up a little bit salty so I’ll use less soy sauce next time and marinate it for a shorter amount of time. Minus the extra salty, it was good and I’d definitely use the marinade again. It did use a lot things though — asian pear, fuji apple, ginger, garlic, onion, etc — and was a bit of a hassle to make but that could be my laziness talking. We got the french baguette (banh mi) from the Seven Stars stand at the farmer’s market. It’s a good thing I don’t live close to Seven Stars or else I would spend all my money on their bread. It was delicious and perfectly crunchy. We also made the pickled carrot and daikon radish which I forgot to put on the first two sandwiches but then remembered on the last two– no pictures with the pickled stuff though 😦  The mayos (one had gochujang and another had sesame) were okay but not fantastic… I’ll have to think about an alternative for next time.


We had some mango lassi to go along with our banh mi but I forgot to take a picture of those. Cue a stock photo from the internet! Mine used fresh, ripe mango and yogurt from Narragansett Creamery. Delicious! A definite repeat. I also love Narragansett Creamery.

I used my leftover pork bulgolgi and pickled carrots/daikon with some rice and stir-fried boy choy in two fantastic dinners. Cooking really is cost-effective, but it’s just so time consuming!


Last but not least, I made zucchini pizza bites…. which were FANTASTIC. They were a great snack and I think I can say they’re relatively healthy. It’s just zucchini slices with a little bit of pizza sauce and turkey pepperoni. It also took no time at all.


July cooking was a wild success! I definitely accomplished my goal of two new dishes a month.

In other news, I’m a little bit behind on my reading goal but I did finish Maphead. It was a good and entertaining read and prompted me to think about doing a little bit of exploring around Providence. I did feel that there were a few points in the book where Ken Jennings was trying too hard to be funny. I still haven’t gone to find that geocache across the street from my house but it’s on the list of things to do!

I also started my first swim lesson yesterday. The instructor didn’t show up but it did give me a chance to get more comfortable in the water. The pool at the East Side Y was good in the sense that it’s only 5 ft at the deep end so I feel totally comfortable learning how to swim…. now if only the instructor would show up. I guess I’ll see if he shows up next week.

What a week. I’m trying to get back into running again and I still have to fix my bike/get a bike rack but it’s been hard to get up in the morning since I’ve been watching the Olympics and work has been really tiring lately. There’s so much I want to do and not a lot of time. I should probably cut down on my TV time…

For August, I think I want to try making dumplings or burgers for maybe both!