Oct 28, 2010

Seattle Adventures

So as I said in the previous post, I spent a weekend in Seattle. I LOVE that city.

The colors are beautiful in the fall. I just can't get over how vibrant the reds and yellows and oranges are. I usually don't like orange as a color, but I think beautiful fall foliage is something I'll just have to make an exception for. :)

My friend lives in Redmond, which is a suburb. His apartment is right next to this pond. Isn't it pretty? I'm actually rather jealous. :)

Oct 26, 2010

Making Sushi at Home

I went to visit one of my best friends over the weekend in Seattle. It made me super happy! :D

While I was there, one of the things we decided to do was buy blocks of sashimi fish from the store and make rolls. We got two chunks of salmon, two of eel, and one of tuna. Then we cut them into strips, cut cucumbers and avocados into strips, and cooked some sushi rice. (Generally, I add a tablespoon of sushi vinegar for every "cup" of rice after all is done cooking.)

Note: by cup I mean those cups that come with rice cookers that are really just 2/3 cups of uncooked rice.

We then had lots of fun rolling and making our own sushi!

Oct 19, 2010

Online Interactions

My roommate made a comment recently that her favorite ways to keep up with people are her blog, her twitter, chatting on gchat, and stalking people on social media sites. It made me realize how much I no longer live on the internet the way I did in high school.

I remember in high school I would spend hours talking to people I've never met in real life. I honestly cared about these people I had never seen before -- people my parents would tell me I have no reason to trust. I hated how they asked "How do you know they're not some crazy child predator?" Back then,  I never listened to them. I was willing to divulge my information and forge friendships. I was also willing to spend hours talking to my online friends on the phone. 

Since then I've changed. I think my friendships from college have given me less reason to be online. I also think the freedom to actually leave my home and do things has also caused me to give up living so much of my life online. Most importantly, I think I've gained a certain level of paranoia that I did not have about the internet.

Also, just because I stopped making friends online does not mean I am incapable of online communication and interaction. I think it just requires someone to reach out and interact with me. If my online friends from high school started to contact me, I think I would be very happy. I don't think I care about them any less. Then again, that's something really hard to quantify. I hope I can reconnect with people, but I don't want them keeping tabs on me without my knowing.

In fact, I try to put as little information on Facebook as I can. I don't like how everything is linked now. I don't like how so many people can find me. I don't like how there are people I don't care about who may my still access my information. I catch myself doing that to others and it horrifies me a little that someone I only friended on Facebook for politeness reasons would look me up the way I do when I get bored. I think my sense of privacy just doesn't want anyone to see anything about me unless they talk to me themselves (or at least contact me in some way).

Of course, this thought is hypocritical. I do stalk others on facebook (just not as often, I think, as is standard). I also don't mind my friends (people I have exchanged more than just a few pleasantries with, people who I do and/or really want to care about) look me up on social media sites. (This also means I put bits of information online and interact a little on social media type sites.) It would be nice, though, if they let me know. Then again, I don't really plan on letting the people I stalk know.

Am I being unreasonable? Am I trying to resist the inevitable? Is my paranoia just paranoia?


Oct 11, 2010

Claire's Cornercopia Lithuanian Coffee Cake

I did it! I made the cake super moist and dense!!!!

So I took the recipe that I found online and altered it. Here you go! I hope you enjoy this as much as I do! I'm probably going to make it over and over and over again! It's my FAVORITE! :D

Lithuanian Coffee Cake from Claire's Corner Copia in New Haven, CT.

Filling: 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground coffee (not brewed)
(you can add nuts or raisins, but i don't like them that way, so i don't)
Combine in a bowl and mix well. Set aside.
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened to room temperature (this is important for creaming butter and sugar together!)
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon brewed coffee, chilled
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 small tub (1 pint?) low-fat sour cream
2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat the over to 350 degrees. Cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the eggs, and beat until smooth. Add the coffee, vanilla extract, and sour cream. Beat until near homogenous. Taste it a bit, add more coffee and/or sugar as needed.

In a separate mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Add to the creamed mixture. Mix well.

Prepare a small bundt pan (8-10 cup pan), either by thoroughly spraying with nonstick cooking spray or greasing with shortening and flouring the pan. Sprinkle in 1/3 of the filling. Pour in half the batter. Sprinkle the rest of the filling evenly over the top of the batter. Pour the remaining batter evenly over the filling. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the batter from the bowl and smooth the batter.

Bake in the center of the oven for 50-55 minutes until a toothpick or fork comes out clean. Let sit until cooled. Flip bundt pan over to remove. Frost and enjoy!


Oct 4, 2010

Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start

I don't really like pubs. I don't like the smell of smoke, of people, of too many humans being inebriated. Yet, for some reason, I decided to go on a pub crawl last Friday.

I guess it makes sense. It was the 25th anniversary Nintendo and some kids from the biological sciences department decided to have a "Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start" themed pub crawl. The concept's geekiness won over my aversion to humans, cigarettes, and over inebriation.  I even ended up getting a drink!

The best thing about the event, however, were the costumes of some of the attendees. There were all the Mario and Wario brothers. I only got one picture of them: