Monday, March 29, 2010

Menu Monday

This week is another crazy one. Job interview #2 for me on Tuesday and Wed, so dinners are a bit uninspired.

Sunday: Moroccan carrot soup and salad
Monday: Frozen pizza for TD

Tuesday: Chick'n burgers for TD

Wednesday: Fritatta with broccoli, cheese, and ham

Thursday: Taco salad

Friday: Eat out at Neptune's to celebrate interviews being over!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Menu Monday (one Day Late)

The interview went great, and now I am waiting to hear back. I loved the department and the town. Its definitely a college town, but big enough to have everything that we would need. Fingers crossed for some good news! In the mean time, here's what we are eating this week.

Sunday: Chef salad with chicken, cranberries, walnuts, feta

Monday: Tortellini with marinara, green salad and garlic bread

Tuesday: Work event for me, TD will have Chick'n burgers

Wed: Fritatta with broccoli, cheese, and ham, and green salad

Thursday: Taco salad

Friday: Beans and cornbread (I have a big ham bone I have been saving that will be perfect with the beans)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wish me luck!

Off to BIG JOB INTERVIEW at noon today. Here's hoping that it all goes well!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My Hometown

One of the great sadnesses in TD's and my lives is that we live far from our hometown of Austin, Texas. There are so many reasons why we wished we lived in Austin (the great big one being our AWESOME families), but the food comes a close second.

So imagine how happy I was to see Austin, and one of my favorite foods featured in the Times this weekend. That's right, Austin breakfast tacos were on display. Check it out, there's even a slide show.

I haven't ever eaten (or heard of) the main place that they featured--Tamale House--but in the spirit, here are my top breakfast tacos in Austin. But don't try to get breakfast tacos on a Sunday, they're hard to find! My faves are Potato, Egg, and Cheese & Potato, Egg, and Chorizo

5. anything, Porfirio's Tacos

4. 3 Alarm Tacos, Magnolia Cafe

3. anything, Taco Cabana

2. Don Juan Taco, Juan in a Million

1. The Shack Taco, Taco Shack

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Menu Monday

This week is a short one for me--I have a work event Tuesday evening and I leave on Wed. for BIG JOB INTERVIEW.

Sunday: Marinated tofu with veggie stir fry and peanut sauce, served with Brown Rice (This is an old fave from my CSA weekly vegetable basket days in Northern CA--tonight it was just with carrots and cabbage--sigh)

Monday: Dumplings with veggies and rice

While I am gone TD will be eating frozen chicken strips, pizza and canned soup. He's pretty excited...

Friday, March 12, 2010

What not to wear

for a faculty interview?
Answer: Anything skin-tight, revealing, too fancy, too casual, too fashionable, open-toed, uncomfortable, ill-fitting.

What TO wear? Its a bit unclear. I will be walking around campus and meeting with people from 8-8 including breakfast, lunch and dinner. The university is fairly casual and the weather is supposed to be sunny and in the low 70s. I have to meet with lots of people and give a seminar, so all shirts that show any sort of armpit sweat are out (french blue silk shirt, I'm looking atcha!).

I sort of feel like I should wear a suit, given that its a job interview. But, I work in a casual discipline, its going to be warm, and I'm not comfortable in a suit--never worn one.

The advice I have gotten from a female faculty member is to wear slacks and a nice top. Done and done. For my seminar I'll be wearing a J Crew silk boatneck blouse with lt. blue trousers. On day 2 I'll be wearing a button down and chinos.

And not wearing a suit means I get to wear my new clogs. Yay!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

101 Progress

Nothing huge, but checking a few things off the list.

40.    Comfortable/orthotic sandals X2 loving my new Sanita clogs
51.    Have monthly finance night with TD (7 of 30) Discussed our IRA contributions for the year, how we will organize finances once we are married
54.    Sell condo (not quite, but we signed the purchase & sales agreement last week)
67.    Monthly Date night (4 of 22) Oggi Pizza and Alice in Wonderland

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A special dinner

So I got a call on Friday asking me to interview at Big State U in the South. TD and I have our fingers crossed for this one, as its a place where we'd really like to live. But now? I have to prepare a research seminar, and rehearse my 3 minute "this is why I am so awesome so you have to hire me" speech. And figure out an outfit that conveys seriousness and authority without looking like a costume. So instead I procrastinated today by looking at real estate at Big State U, which has apparently been hit by the sub-prime mortgage crisis, and thus is very cheap!

At least the evening wasn't a total wash--dinner was grilled tenderloin from the Dall sheep, soy glazed carrots, mixed greens with blue cheese dressing, and a thick slice of garlic bread. This all cooks up in 30 minutes, but having a meat and 2 veg feels much more accomplished.

And TD humored me by watching a RomCom with me. We lean towards dramas in this household (our top netflix category is "violent, foreign thrillers"), but I love a good sappy, predictable love story now and then. We watched the Holiday, a Christmas gift from my sister, and we (both) enjoyed it.
The Holiday

Monday, March 8, 2010

What's on the plate for this week?

TD and I are finishing grant applications and I am preparing for a job interview for next week. So meals this week are pretty easy.

Sunday--Whole wheat pasta with homemade merguez sausage and grilled red peppers, green salad

Monday--Potato soup with bacon

Tuesday--Fritatta with broccoli, cheddar, and smoked turkey

Wednesday--Pork and chive dumplings, steamed broccoli, brown rice

Thursday--Spicy "chicken" burgers, cabbage salad

Friday--Chili with beans (Party at our place with work colleagues)

Saturday--Bean burritos with homemade guacamole

Friday, March 5, 2010

Wedding Music

When TD & I started planning the wedding, early on we decided that music was important to us. (Well, actually we found out that we are music snobs.) So, we were stoked to find out that one of our favorite Austin musicians, Dale Watson, was available to do our wedding and with a bit of a stretch, was within our budget.
However, little did we know Dale is also an economic analyst (or at least CNN seems to think so). This video from CNN features Dale and one of our favorite bars, Ginny's Little Longhorn (we took engagement photos here). Man we miss Austin!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Carrot Cake

Growing up in my family it was always a tradition that you got to ask for whatever birthday cake you wanted. My mom is an excellent baker, so usually these were homemade, but storebought was ok too. I remember several Baskin Robbins ice cream cakes in the past...
Since TD's birthday was this week, I wanted to keep that tradition alive. Choosing was easy for him, since he loves carrot cake. So carrot cake it was! Carrot cake is one of my favorite recipes to make because it is easy. I like cakes that don't require creaming sugar and butter if possible. This cake's fat comes from vegetable oil, so it is easy to mix by hand.
One thing that is a bit of a pain with this recipe is grating the carrots by hand. I try to keep a pretty minimal kitchen with limited plug in appliances [no food processor]. So that means I grate carrots by hand which can get a little messy/tiresome.
So I may have to be getting one of these in the future.
Optional Attachment - Slicer/Shredder
I don't have 9 inch round cake pans--and a layer cake is a bit over the top for 2 people, so I made an 8 x 8 cake and a smaller individual cake. Between the two of us we polished off the little guy with no problem.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Homemade Whole Wheat Bread

I try to always have homemade bread on hand. I am not always successful at this, but it is very little work with a stand mixer and dough hook, and I make 2 loaves at a time which lasts me about 2 weeks. I usually eat this for breakfast as toast with butter, jam or peanut butter. Its a great way to get whole grain and is very filling!

The New Laurel's KitchenMy favorite recipe is 100% whole wheat bread, though I do experiment with other flours (oatmeal and cornmeal are favorites). The secret to whole wheat bread that rises high and has a fine crumb is to let it have 3 rises. The first rise takes about 3 hours at 70 deg (you can do this overnight in the fridge), the second rise is about half that. Finally, you shape the bread, put it in a loaf pan and let it rise for another 45 minutes to 1 hour. I follow the bread making tips in The New Laurel's Kitchen a really great (super hippy dippy) cookbook from a Co-op in Berkeley.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The worst birthday ever...

What's that saying about the best laid plans? I picked up TD from the airport last night at midnight and he was excited to open all of his "presents". But he was in the beginnings of a cold with a sore throat, and I had a headache.

Flash forward to 3 pm the next day, I'm on the couch, he's in bed. We both feel pretty rough. And have been sleeping off and on all day. To prove how pathetic we are, TD even made himself a bowl of Spagetti-Os for lunch. And the carrot cake--still doesn't have frosting on it.
SpaghettiO's shapes with meatballs, 14.75 oz
Happy Birthday indeed. I do feel bad enough that I cancelled my work dinner for tonight. So at least we can be miserable together...

Monday, March 1, 2010

Happy Birthday to TD!

Bose® QuietComfort® 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® HeadphonesToday is TD's birthday. We aren't huge celebration folks, but I wanted this year to be a good one for him. I gave him his present a little early so he could take it with him on his trip to CA. TD has wanted these Bose headphones for a loooong time. I like the idea of them for sure, I mean who wouldn't want to cancel out background noise? But for $300? Give me a break; I'll put in some earplugs. But I caved in and got these for TD as a surprise (he knows I think such things are a bit ridiculous) and he was super excited. And they actually do work.

But since I've already given him his present, what do we do on the big day? Well, I had to run some errands over the weekend and I was able to pick up some little things that I could wrap so that he will at least have something to open up. These are all pretty goofy, but I think he will enjoy them--peach salsa from TX, Chocolove milk chocolate bar, goofy fake teeth, a back support for driving, and his favorite face wash which he has been out of for a week. Sometimes its the little things...(especially considering that his mother hasn't yet sent a card...I'll leave that one at that for now!) Plus I made this sign, on a spare piece of cardboard. I haven't done anything like this since I was ___(in high school?)___ but it was kinda fun and a good way to procrastinate the work stuff I should have been doing!

Because TD got in really late on Monday night, we will sleep in and have brunch here before heading into work. And there is carrot cake. I'll post the recipe later in the week.

101 in 1001

One of the reasons I wanted to start this blog was to have a place to keep track of my 101 in 1001 goals. I had it on the fridge, but felt a little weird about people who visit our house seeing it. Someone (maybe Eric McCauley??) once told a long story about visiting someone's house where they had goals on the fridge, and how weird they thought it was. So, I don't want to be THAT guy. A lot of these goals are Boston focused, so I may have to update some once we figure out where we are moving.

101 Goals in 1001 Days (26 May 09 – 21 Feb 12)
 Places to Visit
1.       Boston things
a.       New England Ski trip
b.       New Hampshire/Vermont in fall Oct09
c.        Boston MFA
d.       Boston Harbor Islands
e.        Cape Cod in Summer July09
f.         Northern Beaches in Summer
g.        Arboretum
h.       ICA
i.         Harpoon Brewery
j.         Sam Adams Brewery
k.        Walden Pond
l.         Nantucket with TD
m.      Boston Public Library July09
2.       Everglades
3.       Machu Picchu
4.       Amazon
5.       NYC with TJD Oct09
6.       Girls trip with Abby & Mom
7.       Camping trip with James
8.       Weekend at Aunt Lisa’s Nov09
9.       Utah
10.    Trip with Carolyn and Brian
11.    Get eyebrows professionally done
12.    Maintain 125 lbs weight
13.    Lift weights 2x/week for 2 months
14.    Do 1 month of the Shred
15.    7 day master cleanse
16.    Take a daily vitamin in progress
17.    Floss daily
18.    Whiten teeth
19.    Run half marathon
20.    Complete bike race
21.    Wear sunscreen daily in progress
Skills to learn
22.    Attend premarriage counseling
23.    Take spanish class fall09
24.    Photography class
25.    Learn to drive a manual car
26.    Play tennis with TD
27.    Harvard Extension class fall09
28.    Bayesian methods in Ecology class Aug09
29.    Dog obedience class
30.    Try 50 new wines & log in wine journal (4 of 50)
31.    Read 10 non fiction books
a.       Genuine happiness
b.       Lifting a ton of feathers
c.        Speciation
d.       Speciation in Birds
e.        Getting to 50/50
f.         Inferring phylogenies
g.        Species diversity in space & time
h.       In defense of food
i.         Omnivores dilemma
j.         Zinn’s people’s history of the US
32.    Read 10 fiction books
a.       Wind up bird chronicles
b.       Crying of Lot 49
c.        Lolita
d.       Age of innocence
e.        Infinite Jest
f.         Brother’s Karamazov
g.        Persuasion
h.       The satanic verses
i.         War and Peace
j.         Aeneid
33.    Watch AFI top 100 films (17/100)
34.    Host dinner party 1x per quarter (3 of 15)
35.    Try a new bar each month (8 of 33)
36.    Try a new drink/beer each month (12 of 33)
37.    See Tracy, Kate and Joy 1x per year 2009
Things to own
38.    Flat screen TV
39.    Buy more quality clothes
40.    Comfortable/orthotic sandals
41.    Better vacuum (dyson)
42.    Buy one new book a month (10 of 33)
43.    Buy one new album a month (8 of 33)
Financial milestones
44.    Develop and stick to family budget
45.    Make wills for TJD and me
46.    Make sure beneficiaries are updated
47.    Advance Healthcare directive for TJD and SEC
48.    Continue to put 20% in 403b
49.    Continue to put $5000 (max) in Roth
50.    $12,000 in personal emergency fund
51.    Have monthly finance night with TD (6 of 30)
52.    Start family savings fund 5% salary
53.    Start college savings fund 5% salary
54.    Sell condo
55.    Save $70,000 for down payment
56.    Family cell phone plan with TD
57.    Adopt a family each Christmas 2009
58.    Donate clothes 2x per year (1 of 6)
59.    Find a volunteer job
60.    NPR membership each year 2009
New things to do
61.    Make new recipe out of Gourmet (RIP) archive each month (3 of 33)
62.    Red Sox game
63.    Celtics Game Oct2009
64.    Bruins game
65.    Harvard Athletics Game
66.    Ride bikes to Concord
67.    Monthly Date night (3 of 22)
68.    Attend classical concert
69.    Restaurants 1 nice dinner/month
a.       Hungry Mother
b.       Helmand
c.        B&G Oysters Nov09
d.       Neptune Oyster
e.        No 9 Park
f.         Wollensky and Smith
g.        Ruth Chris
h.       L’Espalier
i.         TW Food Nov09
j.         Uni
k.        Cuchi cuchi
l.         Sorellina july09
70.    Attend play or dance performance
71.    Take Jack and Grant on camping trip
72.    Host Diane for a visit to Boston
73.    Make photo book each year
74.    Make nice wedding album
75.    Wedding album for parents x2 + M&P
Risks to Take
76.    Go mountain biking with TD
77.    Go Salsa dancing with TD
78.    Go two-step dancing with TD
79.    Get Married!!!
80.    Get a dog
81.    Change name
82.    Do weekly electronic sabbatical w/ TJD
83.    Make a new friend
84.    Join/organize a book group
85.    Major cooking project with AYK sausage 2010
86.    Apply for Full NSF grant
87.    Apply for Mexus fellowship
88.    Apply for jobs in Austin
89.    Prepare job package with statements
90.    Have someone review job package with statements
91.    Become familiar with Unix (cluster)
92.    Use R for statistical analyses
93.    Learn Python or other program
94.    Publish Gnyps paper
95.    Publish mtops paper
96.    Publish snail paper
97.    Publish Yosemite paper
98.    Publish Chipmunk
99.    Publish Carpentaria paper
100.Publish NA paleo paper
101.Publish Sri Lanka modeling paper