Somerville Livin', PVD Workin'

Cooking, Crafting, and Life

That New Apartment Smell January 21, 2014

Filed under: Cooking,Running — sarahinpvd @ 9:15 pm

Forgot to post this (real date was September 8)… I’m real good at this bloggin’ stuff.

Apartment Updates: Still no couch, and most likely no couch for a month. Sadly this means that any housewarming festivities will have to wait until October. Also, sadly enough, no decor is up yet and we more boxes lying around than I thought we did. I think Dan and I have reached the point where if we don’t earnestly start addressing the last 15% of our stuff, it’ll keep sitting in boxes, gathering dust and taking up space, for the rest of our year-long lease. The good part, at least, is that we have more space than we know what to do with! And, I’m loving this apartment the longer I stay in it!

Ninja Edit #1: COUCH YAY! We also had our housewarming party in October which made me feel popular 🙂 Our decorations are up and we probably have about 10% of our stuff remaining in boxes? All in all, a success I’d say.

Cooking Updates: 

  1. Honey & Soy Porkchops: I tried to make this recipe, which you may notice is actually called “sticky honey & soy porkchops”. Unfortunately my sauce just wasn’t up to being sticky.  It turned out just fine though! The porkchops are accompanied by a bed of lettuce, quinoa (out of a box), and microwave-steamed broccoli.

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  1. Smoked Salmon on Bagels: Okay okay, so this isn’t really a “cooking” update since it didn’t require any cooking on our parts but I thought I would post it anyway! Dan and I got some awesomely delicious local strawberries so I made an equally awesomely delicious smoothie with plain yogurt, fresh strawberries, and frozen blackberries, mangoes, and peaches. I got some bagels (Blueberry and Everything) from Bruegger’s, a convenient 0.6 miles away from the apartment, and to that we added some salad greens, chive and onion cream cheese and smoked salmon. I couldn’t resist posting this because we ended up eating breakfast on our little balcony, which I absolutely adore.

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Ninja Edit #2: Edited to include pictures.

Exercise Updates: 

  1. I went running for the first time in about 6 weeks this morning. Just a 2 mile run but I did a little bit of exploring and found the Somerville Community Path! I only went to Davis but apparently it goes past Davis and all the way to Alewife – an adventure for another day. I think I really need to start exploring the neighborhood, it’s all a blur to me, and I should really familiarize myself with my surroundings.

Ninja Edit #3: Note to self, stop being so lazy in the wintertime.

 

Sarah in Somerville Cooks Curry September 6, 2013

Filed under: Cooking — sarahinpvd @ 7:02 pm

As y’all probably heard from other venues (a la Facebook most likely), I am now a Somerville resident! But still working in Providence! “Sarah in Somerville but still working in Providence” doesn’t have a nice ring to it so I’m stickin’ with “Sarah in Somerville” for now.

More pictures of the apartment to come when we’ve put up the decor/hung up some pictures but here’s a teaser:

The Move: A picture of the “to-be-loaded” truck. What you see on the grass doesn’t even include the furniture! The truck ended up being the perfect size, and by the perfect size, I mean I’m not sure how much more stuff we could have squeezed in there.

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The Desk: Thank you to Riz for the wonderfully Ikea desk to which I added some even more stereotypical Ikea drawers. To combat the Ikea-ness, I tried to add some personality a la some knit bunnies, a picture of the Van Wickle gates, a Kinder Surprise toy, and my zombie, affectionately named “Marcel”.

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The Curry: Yes it came in a jar and yes, it was delicious. I added red peppers, mushrooms, chicken, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and onion. Served on a white and brown rice mix.

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On a completely unrelated note, I’ve decided to name my car “Topher”, inspired by Gina’s car “L’il Mikey”.

 

Catch-Up Post #1 (Food) August 18, 2013

Filed under: Cooking — sarahinpvd @ 6:55 pm

Okay, I’m taking advantage of my blog-writing mood. This is Part 1 of my attempt to document the past 6 months.

So I made some food:

1. Thit Kho Tau (at least this is what my mom calls it) – Vietnamese Braised Pork with Eggs

It didn’t quite taste like my Mom’s cooking… but it was close enough (here’s a recipe). Probably because I’m not great at cooking but also probably because I didn’t add any MSG. Not because I am against MSG but because I don’t have any. MSG is a natural by-product of the soy-sauce production process so suck it. Here’s an article on MSG which explains why haters can suck it. On a related tangent – Providence is home to a restaurant with a Momofuku disciple (North) and it’s one of my new favorite places to eat! 

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2. Spaghetti with meatballs (stuffed with mozzarella!) with Kate

I’m not the biggest fan of spaghetti and meatballs but this was a simple meal and plus, it had mozzarella, how could I resist?

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3. (Sarah had a random craving for) blueberry muffins.

For a quickie recipe – they didn’t taste half bad. I’m looking forward to actually baking in my new kitchen though! Once Dan lets me get a doughnut pan, be on the lookout for baked doughnut pictures!

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4. Cooking with Dan and Chris: Brown rice and quinoa from a box, pork chops, and roasted brussels sprouts with bacon.

One word – delicious.

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5. Itsuka and Sarah wanted buffalo chicken pizza.

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6. Ma Po Tofu

This is one of mine (and Dan’s) favorite go-to recipes. It’ll definitely be a staple once we move in together – along with Spicy Chicken Rigatoni!

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7. Accidentally eating vegetarian – veggie burger on an english muffin with avocado and sweet potato fries.

The veggie burgers were from Trader Joe’s, my review – decent.

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8. [Ninja Edit]: Spring rolls

One of the few Vietnamese dishes I know how to make!

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9. Last, but certainly not least in my heart, my dearest bok choy plant: Johann Sebastian Bok (kudos to Dan for the name). Here’s his progression from humble plant sitting on my desk at the office (I got him at a RI event at the State House) to monster plant in Dan’s Mom’s garden, to sitting in a kitchen, being prepped for cooking.

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Next – things I’ve done, places I’ve traveled, and events I’ve attended in the past 6 months.

 

More Veggie Boxes and Overdue Recipes October 13, 2012

Filed under: Cooking,Geocaching — sarahinpvd @ 7:22 pm

I know, I know — it’s been a pretty long time since I’ve posted but these past few weeks have been CRAY CRAY. I haven’t had much time to do anything but work but at least next week will be pretty chill. Thank goodness for conferences!

Here’s a veggie box from last month when I actually remembered to take a picture. This particular veggie box contained lots of goodies including a watermelon!

I’m generally pleased with the veggies I’ve been getting. I’ve given a few things away since there was no way I would have been able to eat them and a few veggies have gone bad but overall, it’s been a great way to learn how to cook different vegetables that I would have never bought. I’m a little bit sick of squash but it is fall and they are in season… I think I would particularly enjoy the spring and summer versions of this farmshare. I also get apples every week — these apples are probably the most delicious apples I’ve ever had — perfectly crunchy!

In terms of actually cooking the vegetables — I braised some mustard greens with some turkey bacon and added it to my soup (recipe here). Note to self: don’t get turkey bacon ever again. It’s not even close to bacon and quite frankly, I don’t eat bacon enough to really make it an issue to get the real stuff. I’m young… my arteries can handle it! It was delicious and added some salty flavor to my soup.
Next, I made the Trader Joe’s Orange Mandarin Chicken (a favorite!) but instead of adding my usual mix of frozen veggies, added some eggplant, green peppers, and some other vegetables (carrots I think). The green peppers were a nice addition but I have to say — I’m not a huge fan of eggplant….

More pictures of food to come later! I’ve lost track of my “two new recipes” per month goal but it’s hard when the easiest way to prepare squash is throw it in the oven and when the best way for me to eat carrots is to throw into soup. I have a few more old recipes to post (kohlrabi fries, delicata squash, spaghetti squash, butternut squash soup) but tomorrow I’m making (along with Dan’s help) chicken noodle soup and spicy chicken rigatoni. SCR isn’t a new recipe but it sure is a classic.

Also, I’ve totally been doing a little bit of geocaching with Dan 🙂

 

Pork and Veggie Dumplings August 12, 2012

Filed under: Cooking — sarahinpvd @ 9:20 pm

SO. MANY. DUMPLINGS.

SO. MUCH. DELICIOUSNESS.

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:

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Andddddddd here’s the after!

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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!

 

 

Kimchi Fried Rice July 26, 2012

Filed under: Cooking,Work — sarahinpvd @ 8:20 pm

I went to H-Mart this past weekend (the Korean market in Burlington, MA) and got a ton of goodies! Well, mainly some mirin, gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste), bok choy, daikon, and kimchi. Today, I made kimchi fried rice with shrimp. Recipe adapted from here. I basically substituted shrimp, put the egg into the fried rice instead of on top, and put some of my frozen veggie mix in. Actually, I basically only used the sauce part of the recipe since I’m a pro at fried rice (insert some sort of Asian joke here).

ImageClearly it just looks like normal fried rice but it was SUPER GOOD. I was very pleased with how it turned out. It could have used a little more kimchi and it could be a little hotter so I’ll probably put some red pepper flakes in next time I eat it. I forgot for tonight but tomorrow I’ll make some bok choy and have some more veggies. I’m so happy with it — I’m not sure if I can go back to normal fried rice…

Conclusion: SUCCESS. 🙂

I realize all the foodgawker recipes I’ve been looking at really focus on presentation of dishes and I’m usually not patient enough/too lazy to really care about presentation when I post pictures of my food. Maybe when I make my spicy pork bulgolgi banh mi on Saturday, I’ll try and make it really pretty… maybe…

Complete switch of topics but last night I went to Legal Seafoods in Boston with a few friends. The restaurant was pretty noisy but the food was good! My scallops were cooked really well and the crab cake was full of crab which is unfortunately, a rare occurrence. I still prefer the crab cakes that Dan and I had at Cafe Nuovo but I’m not sure any restaurant can beat those crab cakes. Legal’s was expensive though so I’m not sure I’d go back but it was definitely decent food and good service… just not necessarily great value.

Another switch of topics but my work week has been INSANE. At least I love what I do and love the people I work with because if I didn’t, I’m pretty sure I would have gone crazy by now. Good news though — I was in Boston on Monday and reminded my superiors (gently of course) that I would like to be in Boston next year…. we’ll see how that turns out! I really like working in the Boston office… mainly because 1. I get to have some social interaction with my coworkers and 2. it’s a real office space (such a luxury). All I’m going to say is RI needs to get its act together. And so do the Feds. I’m seriously concerned about having an operational Exchange by Oct. 2013 but I guess it’s part of my job to make sure that happens. Although this week was hectic and stressful, I’m thankful I have a job and thankful that it’s exactly what I want to be doing right now.

I’m really happy with life after school. It’s the best. I finally get to start crossing things off my list of things to do.