marenzi: (Rainbow Balloons)
I'm hooooome! Last week was finals week, with a grand total of six hours of sleep, 42 hours in the library (I AM NEVER GOING BACK THERE until spring quarter finals week), and zero meltdowns. So, you know, success!

Then we drove up to Michigan Friday night after my last exam to shoot the Western Intercollegiate Rifle Championships at Michigan State on Saturday morning. It went well for the team, okay for me - my goddamn air cylinder completely busted during my first set, so I kind of just completely winged my air targets - and no I am not at all bitter than every single part of that gun other than the wooden pieces of the stock have broken during a match this season - it's a $6000 competition precision Walther! - okay this has just completely devolved into an incoherent rant of rage. Apparently I have ~feelings about this!

ANYWAY. Ahem. So after the awards banquet, where I'm proud to say we held our own against all the division one teams with Olympic shooters, we drove back to Indiana and I got straight on a plane to DC. Actually, I got on a plane to Atlanta and then another one to DC, because AirTran is super cheap but kind of stupid. And then I slept for more than two hours in a row for the first time all week and it was GLORIOUS.

So I woke up this morning, went grocery shopping, and haven't left the kitchen since. The fridge is already full & it's only the first day. SOMEONE COME HELP ME EAT ALL OF THIS, PLEASE.
marenzi: (Converse Love)
First of all, I want to tell you all about Chrome For A Cause! From now through this weekend, every time you open up a tab in Chrome, you get a point. At the end of each day, you get to choose how to donate them! All you have to do is install an unobtrusive plug-in that counts your tabs, so there's really no reason not to. :)

And secondly, I need you to listen to me very carefully. You must try Mario Batali's recipe for linguine with clams. This is imperative. It is the best kind of simple that is effortlessly classy. It is a two-pot dish - one for pasta, another for the rest - that honestly only takes 20 minutes & comes out perfectly every time. It's fast and easy (and you know that's how I like it). You will fall in love.

I make it every single time I go home, usually within 48 hours. However, if you're 1. unfortunate enough to live in some crazy Midwest town where you can't buy, say, clams - and the boy at the seafood counter doesn't know the difference between clams & mussels anyway - or 2. a dead-broke college student, or even 3. both - it's okay. I'll let you cheat.

Because you know what? If you trudge back through a foot of slush after a lab that quite literally blew up in your face - giving a whole new meaning to "pop a cap" - followed by a test that has you considering dropping the class, and you're cranky and hungry and ready to cry because you've only had 7 hours of sleep in the last three days and have another three tests before you can finally, finally get on that magical plane home tomorrow night - well, first you might want to hire an editor, because your run-on sentences are atrocious.

And then you can make some pasta in the microwave, open up some canned clams, and dump 'em on top with some olive oil, garlic powder, parsley flakes, garlic powder, and salt & pepper. You can ignore those looming deadlines and open up the internet - because you're not procrastinating, you're being charitable! - and relax.

But at some point you should probably open up that thermo book again. Damn it.

marenzi: (Coffee & Biscotti)
So I pretty much completely overreacted when dinner didn't come out the way I'd hoped and sent myself to my room without supper... and promptly got right back on food blogs. I'm never going to learn.

But then I stumbled upon one of my favorite posts ever, which I found a while ago but forgot to bookmark. Here’s how to impress a boy with baking.

Note: If your particular boy doesn’t like baked goods… I’m afraid I don’t understand. He’s weird. I’d question his motives.
If you happen to be interested in girls… well… that’s a whole other blog post… one that possibly includes more chocolate and how to hide a giant engagement ring in her favorite cupcake.

Now… it’s not that we need to impress boys. Oh heck no. It’s just that sometimes… we want to, and that’s not a crime.
And that’s my two cents… put that in your brain hole to marinate.


Jun. 13th, 2010 08:29 pm
marenzi: (Coffee & Biscotti)
I have spent ALL DAY going through cooking blogs & photography and I am dying to start cooking again. Unfortunately, I've been banned from the kitchen until the fridge is emptier. DISLIKE.

My favorite college-student site is Budget Bytes, with delicious-but-inexpensive recipes, and I love Anne'a Kitchen for its beautiful stories & photography (icon!), but other than that I usually just follow Tastespotting for gorgeous food porn & recipes. Any other recommendations?

ALSO, GREATEST DISCOVERY OF MY WEEK: mmagda's Etsy shop. OH GOD. I am absolutely in love with the rainbow cake pendant & earrings, the cherry pie pendant, the fruit tart pendant, the coffee bean cupcake earrings, the swirly ice cream cone earrings, the rainbow ice cream cone earrings, the lemon cupcake earrings, the chocolate star cupcake earrings, the waffle pins... I want them all! This is my narrowed-down list from over fifty tabs and now I'm stuck, but I'm definitely ordering something. :)

Rec me your favorite food-related things!
marenzi: (Pie)
[ profile] diner informs me it is NATIONAL PIE DAY! Which must be celebrated and not confused with Pi Day, because pie is the most delicious thing in the world and now I want some right now.

I was totally the weird kid who wanted pie on her birthday instead of cake. My friends still resent me for this.

Also, I make awesome pies. I can be shy and modest about a lot of things, but my pie? Is freaking orgasmic. Especially the raspberry. Or back when I picked my own huckleberries in Idaho, that was the best. But I have pie dough in my fridge right now and am definitely making that when I get back on Sunday. OM NOM NOM.

Ahaha this is me studying for my differential equations test this afternoon. OH I AM SO PRODUCTIVE TODAY.
marenzi: (Some Frickin' Pie)
Today is my Christmas-on-campus, because we're finishing our hall decorations this afternoon and then I'm exchanging gifts with my friends over coffee and then this evening is the team dinner. I'm about to go downstairs and make vodka pie & candy cane cookies for the dinner, so I even get to cook! It's a good day! Except for the lab and papers I haven't finished yet. :)

I'm also notoriously terrible at gifts (and broke) so I ended up making gifts for the girls here. All of my friends joined Chi Omega sorority, whose mascot is an owl and whose colors are red & yellow excuse me, cardinal & straw, so I made them ornaments vaguely based off of these (yay Etsy!): picture! )
They're pretty cute, so simple to make, and inexpensive; it would be really easy to change the animal without changing the template too much.

I now have one of these formspring things, because all the cool kids are doing it. Please ask me asinine questions!

eta Oh, and holiday cards have finally been sent out!! Thank you so much to everyone who sent me cards, they are all beautiful and picking up actual post is exciting! ♥
marenzi: ([RPS] Alex Pettyfer)
CMM VISITED MY BAKERY TODAY, GUYS. I'm minding my own business in the kitchen, just icing layer cakes, when the stupid little bell at the door rings. I glance up, because it's a Pavlovian thing, and this twentysomething blond preppy guy swaggers in and flips up his sunglasses. And then proceeds to flirt shamelessly with the underage girl behind the counter, so obviously IT WAS HIM. Or at least his stunt double. Or evil twin, although I would suspect that CMM is already the greater of two evils, so.

And then there was surprise!Zefron in Firefly, which blew my mind because I somehow missed it the first time around. He was little Simon in Safe. Apparently I am just surrounded by lovable douchebags today.

This was the first Father's Day I've been with my dad since elementary school, so we spent the day together. We went to the Icelandic ambassador's embassy party in DC, which was - well, not fun, but interesting. He had a good time, at least! We both love sushi, but didn't have a chance to go out for lunch or dinner. So I made him a sushi cake! )
marenzi: ([SPN] Drinking)
I am going through this ridiculous cycle right now of 'cannot-do-anything-right life sucks'. IT REALLY DOESN'T. I just have stupidly high expectations of myself. Especially for things which, realistically, I know I'm not good at. BRAIN. GET WITH THE PROGRAM. A lot of it is softball, and spring break practice kind of sucks. Mostly because no one is focused and our coach is getting pissed, but also because it eats all of my time.

I've finally managed to pass some of my love of cooking onto Caro - we're doing theme nights at her house, because she has a huge, beautiful kitchen. Tonight was Thai & Vietnamese, which was perfect because she grew up on the American embassy compound in Vietnam. We made shrimp spring rolls with ginger-soy sauce, Thai green curry chicken with peppers, clay pot chicken, & mango sticky rice. Om nom nom. Considering neither of us had ever cooked in this style before, it worked out well - soy sauce is still too salty for me no matter what, but other than that I loved it. Cooking with someone else is so much fun.

And then her mom backed into my car and smashed in the entire driver's side. WHAT. I am dealing with it because she immediately offered to have it fixed this week, and I know that won't be any problem for them financially, but. I am really emotionally attached to my car.

Anyway, I need help with a playlist! I'm looking for songs about small towns. (Like John Mellancamp's 'Small Town', which sort of started this whole thing.) Even if it's just a single line, like just a small town girl from Journey's 'Don't Stop Believing'. Thanks!
marenzi: ([RPS] Jared Padalecki)

FUCK, JARED. I don't even know anymore. HIS MOUTH ON A COCK. COWBOY HAT. HIPBONES. WHAT. ashdfkjdjaf is he real? Like, is it physically possible for him to exist in real life?

In other really really amazing news, I got my financial aid offer from Rose-Hulman today - almost full tuition and room & board, plus a laptop waiver. And what I have saved up will cover most of the rest. I can't even express how relieved and happy I am. Everyone else has been so focused on just getting in, so they kept saying I was so lucky to have found out back in October - but I really wasn't sure I could go until now. I sort of can't believe it's all working out so beautifully.

Also, I threw together leftovers last night and made a to-die-for chicken & portobello risotto. It doesn't look like much, but it's the sort of meal you'd eat by the fire after skiing, which is exactly my kind of comfort food. Whatever, it was DELICIOUS and terribly rich, with grated parmesan cheese... yummy. And then I made apple dumplings a la mode for dessert. I need someone to forcibly keep me out of the kitchen to save me from myself.

About to leave for the Melting Pot to celebrate a family birthday! Best restaurant ever. So, yes. Many good things. ♥
marenzi: ([RPS] Jared Padalecki)
1. Saw Fired Up! last night after practice! We were the cool kids walking around Tysons in sweats. Danneel Harris is so undeniably sexy that she almost made up for the plotlessness, even if I was spoiled for her character. Jensen, you lucky bastard.

2. THE JARED PICTURES. KILLED ME DEAD. Sadie is the luckiest ever and he is just so blissed-out and. ♥ Jensen totally took that in retaliation for Jared's "three dogs" comment.

3. It is so nice here! Like spring-is-actually-here warmth. I feel silly saying it, but driving around with the windows down and the music up makes me so ridiculously happy.

4. The not-so-good was that my head's been pounding horribly all day and I'm surprised I haven't OD'd on painkillers yet. At least my quads are sort of better? Because the trainer hooked vibrating electrodes up to my legs before practice yesterday. Yes really. It tickled a lot, but my legs were so good and loose afterwards.

5. Damn it. You guys, with your PEER PRESSURE and CELEBRITY STALKING. I've caved. Just please don't ship it to LJ.

6. Why is everyone talking about Leverage? Why are you doing this to me? Because we've just established that I am a fandom sheep. My only hope is that I can't get too into it because we only have basic broadcast, aka not TNT.

7. I'm eating buttery whole wheat rotini with sausage and freshly-made harissa. MMM SO GOOD. The harissa is too hot & spicy and my throat's on fire because it tastes so damn good that I can't stop eating more.

Food Porn

Feb. 16th, 2009 12:00 am
marenzi: (Anthony Bourdain)
Valentine's Day, aka An Excuse To Try New Desserts )

And tonight's dinner, aka Epic Fail )

This really isn't a food journal, it's a fandom journal, so I'm thinking I ought to suck it up and start a cooking filter. I can filter posts so they don't show up on everyone's flist but they're still public, right?
[Poll #1349941]

You know the most food porny movie ever? Chocolat. Which I adore to death for a million other reasons as well, but really: the loving pans across Vianne's kitchen; the close-ups of her cooking; the slow, blissed-out party dinner; the Comte's breakdown, as he tastes that first chocolate; the festival. Nnngh LOVE. And the adorable town of Flavigny-sur-Ozerain & the amazing, fantastic actors don't hurt either.
marenzi: ([NCIS] Ziva)
A few thoughts on NCIS. Spoilery. Not very squeeful. :/ )

OH HEY IT'S SNOWING. Actual snow that's sticking to the ground!! Makes me realize how much I've missed Idaho's blizzards, but whatever, we got a snow day, which was nice. And hopefully we'll have another tomorrow, because I have been horribly irresponsible and haven't done any of my preemptively-assigned snow day homework. :)

I made a stuffed olive-and-garlic rib roast tonight, which was pretty good, but nothing really special. For dessert, though, I made traditional shortcake - the wonderfully lumpy, cakey kind, not that grocery-store fluff - and infused it with orange zest. I topped the cakes with clementine slices & strawberries, then drizzled them with a sweetened-condensed-milk/Grand Marnier/grenadine mixture. OM NOM NOM. This mixture is the best ever. I'll dress up an extra shortcake tomorrow for food porn photos.

EDIT: Strawberry-Orange Shortcake )
marenzi: (Converse Love)
My Who-Would-You-Do poll is actually turning out pretty interesting, because almost every category is currently tied except for Supernatural - and that one started out equal. Seriously, differences of opinion is what makes fandom so much fun! I do feel for poor Abby & the Impala, though. ♥

Other points of interest: one, freezer pasta ). Two, listening to Jensen talk about cars is really, really hot. And three, the [ profile] spn_j2_bigbang sign-up post is still open and it is still TAUNTING ME. I cannot hold out much longer.
marenzi: (Anthony Bourdain)
I am officially a second semester senior, finally. This year is simultaneously flying by and dragging horribly. OH WELL, FOUR-DAY WEEKEND!

Today was the end of my Middle East Studies class. I'm not ready to fully write about the Gaza Crisis here, but this class made me question and reform so many of my beliefs. For anyone interested in hearing different sides of the story, I really recommend Bitter Lemons, a Palestinian-Israeli op-ed listing; for anyone interested in the Palestinian view, I recommend What You Don't Know About Gaza. They'll make you question yourself.

Anyway, since it was the last day, we had a bit of a party and brought in middle eastern foods. I made Nus Qamar, an almond crescent cookie, though I heavily modified it. I think that our class of ten ate more than forty cookies, so I'd say they turned out well. Picture & Notes )

I cannot wait for Tuesday, you guys. It still feels almost surreal, and I'm going to be able to be there to see it. I'll be staying at a friend's house the night before so I can avoid the metro mess entirely. She lives about a mile from the Mall, so we can walk into DC early that morning. We'll freeze our asses off and probably get trampled and I'm so excited. Will anyone else be there? I knew there's a decent contingent of fangirls around here somewhere!

Speaking of which, I'd wanted to go see MBV3D tonight at Gallery Place with [ profile] balefully and others, but timing sucked and I couldn't make it. I would love to go to a real-life-meets-fandom event sometime, though it seems that the SPN fandom has a lot of twentysomethings and very few teenagers; I'm not sure if people would mind that I'm a bit younger (eighteen). I can behave myself, really - well, as much as anyone can when Jensen Ackles appears in 3D right in front of you, twenty feet tall and wearing a tight shirt.
marenzi: (Anthony Bourdain)
I've been in the kitchen again, but I only thought to take pictures of a few things.

Chicken & Sausage Gumbo )

Lemon Ricotta Cookies )

Seven Layer Bars )

In other news, I have been completely and utterly broken by the SPN anonymous kink meme over at [ profile] blindfold_spn. Not only is everything ridiculously, brain-meltingly hot, but new kinks are being invented. Some of it's just - wow. Um, yeah, GO MELT READ.
marenzi: (Anthony Bourdain)
Urban Italian by Andrew Carmellini ashdfahflskdf I JUST GOT IT. Oh my goddd I love it so much already. This is one of those food porn books that I've always wanted but couldn't justify the cost, but a few unwanted Christmas gifts added up to THIS at Borders. I've limited myself to the introduction so far, but it's snarky and new school and he is freaking adorable. I am honestly bouncing around at the prospect of trying all of these beautiful new recipes. *LOVES MADLY*
To make it even more obvious that I am Italian and love food (which, yes, repetitive), we went to Carmello's in Old Town Manassas tonight. It's a hole-in-the-wall place that's mainly Italian and a little Portuguese and you will never ever want to leave. Their olive bread is to die for, and I am in love with their gnocchi carnesani, and just in case you don't asplode from all of that, their espresso with a glass of mascarpone will finish you off. It's the kind of place I want to go if I ever do manage to find my way to Italy. I can die happy now.
marenzi: (Anthony Bourdain)
A picspam of my five days in the kitchen! I really only have pictures from the two days devoted to Christmas dinner, though, so there's a fair bit of storytelling involved for the others.

The first day was spent baking different Christmas cookies, but my camera apparently ate those pictures? The cookies were just too irresistible, I suppose, although I really wish I had them. :/ I made classic chocolate chip cookies, peppermint twist candy candy cookies, & Turiano Italian cookies. The last don't really have a name; it's just the general idea which came from that branch of the family. It's one of those recipes where nothing was ever written down, so we all claim to have the right recipe even though we're making very different types. Mine, however, are totally the right ones! :)

I do have all of the images for the Christmas preparations, however! Days two & three:
EXTREMELY image heavy. Known to cause pangs of hunger. In severe cases, foodgasms may occur. )

Like I mentioned in my previous post, days four & five I went up to Pennsylvania to help out with the annual Italian family Christmas dinner. Every year, there's a different theme & it's hosted by two of my cousins, Ron & Dale, who are brothers. This year's theme was African and we were cooking for seventy-odd people.

We made twelve lemon-olive chickens, twelve chickens with a couscous-almond stuffing, crab & okra soup, chicken tomato peanut soup (with six pounds of baby spinach), pureed ginger vegetable soup, lamb sausage, lemony beef boharat, spiced creamed collards, tomato-onion-preserved-lemon salad, spicy plantain chips, green banana fries, morning glory with peanut sauce, harissa, Tunisian & Moroccan olives, garlic puree... seriously, I'm still forgetting about half of the dishes. It is an EPIC meal. And that's not counting dessert - almond snake filo rolls, koesisters, almond pudding, and six traditional pies. Un-be-lievable.

For all the silly drama and more-than-slightly crazy people I'm related to, this one meal totally makes up for it.

The family doesn't usually exchange gifts, because that'd be a huge drain with such a ridiculous number of cousins, but after everyone left on Saturday around two in the morning, Ron & Dale, Kim (Ron's wife), & I just sat down for a few hours to unwind. As a thank-you for coming up to help out, Ron & Kim gave me my own set of Santoku knives. I still don't even know what I ought to write here, because I am so grateful and excited and DUDE, MY OWN KITCHEN KNIVES. They are amazing & I am so excited to use them!

Anyway, awesome Christmas in the kitchen. I got my own Joy of Cooking after abusing Mom's for years, my own knife set, and melamine prep bowls. I am happy. And really really full.
marenzi: (Converse Love)
So I'm alive after all! The past week just - I honestly can't account for half of that time. What happened, people? But good times were had, so I really can't complain. I was firmly planted in the kitchen for five days straight, which was beyond awesome. I'm not even going to get into that now because I'm planning an epic picspam/storytelling sometime tonight.

Christmas turned out nice, even if we didn't do much. I was sort of nostalgic re:decorations, because they just didn't happen; we did get a tree, but didn't decorate it or hang stockings. IDK, they were just so iconic as a kid that I really missed them now, especially since it's my last year at home and all. My parents found me an elliptical though, so that was awesome! I wasn't expecting anything like that, because even secondhand ellipticals are well over $100 and that tends to be the family limit. But a neighbor got one and hated it, so she sold it for $50 just to get it out of her house. Whatever, I'm psyched! It's definitely an improvement over working out after school in the gym basement, because now it's stuffed with the lacrosse boys who're training. (Okay, so that admittedly wasn't exactly a hardship, but.)

And then AND THEN. I drove up to Pennsylvania early Friday morning (ugh, I did not sleep at all last week) to help with another family dinner. So much more than you ever wanted to know about the Italian side of my family! )

I spent Saturday night in Pennsylvania and then took the long way home yesterday. All back roads, no highways - it was fantastic. I was really disappointed not to find any little coffeeshops (I have a thing), but it was still so relaxing. Mmph. Good way to end the week.

I really hope all of you had happy Christmases as well! ♥
marenzi: (All I Want For Christmas)
I'm planning to finally head out to Tyson's Corner today. Ugh, wish me luck. I hate shopping, and going to DC's most popular mall right before Christmas? Really not high on my list of funtimes. You'd think that this would finally teach me something about shopping earlier, but... nope. :D On the plus side, [ profile] causette, Urban Outfitters is at Tyson's, so I'm going to check if they have your bracelets! And then I get to go Christmas-dinner shopping at Wegmans, which will be much more enjoyable.

Speaking of cooking, I have been eating AWESOME food lately. I had aush and kadu palow at this fantastic Afghan place, Panjshir, on Sunday, and then I made artichokes & lobster last night for Mom's sixtieth birthday. First time I've ever had a chance to try lobster, and all I can say is that I obviously had a deprived childhood.

ETA: the give me anything meme
& I believe homophobia is wrong. )
marenzi: (All I Want For Christmas)
I AM FINISHED WITH HIGH SCHOOL EXAMS. I won't have final exams (other than the official APs) at the end of the year, so that was IT. And it was an awesome way to end, because psych's such an easy class.

Afterwards, we all ran over to Starbucks and took up an entire corner and exchanged gifts. Rather loudly, but we weren't really being obnoxious? I hope. Anyway, my friends REALLY know me, because they got me new kitchenware (OMG it is beyond awesome I am in love) and dark chocolate covered espresso beans. ALL I NEED IN LIFE, I TELL YOU.

It's finally beginning to feel like Christmas, even if we do have nothing but torrential rain. Mostly because I'm freezing my ass off, but also because I put lights up last night and candles and everything's all pretty now. ♥


marenzi: (Default)

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