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About Me:

My name is Olivia and I am a senior at Butler University. I spend most of my time in Lilly Hall as a BFA Dance Performance major. When not in rehearsal or ballet class, I write papers for my English Literature second major. In my super-abundant, never-lacking, this-is-highly-sarcastic spare time, I attempt to cook in my apartment kitchen, watch Youtube videos of ballet, knit sweaters that never seem to come to an end, and read books both silly and serious. If I could take any class at Butler just for kicks, I'd go for DiffyQ.

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Posts Tagged “food”

The Final Finals Week

I survived my last finals week of my undergraduate career! It wasn’t too bad, though I was pretty busy at the beginning of the week. The beginning of the week also marked my final Flip the Script!

Flip the Script is an event that SGA and the CPA (I think… please let me know if that’s wrong) put on during finals week. Basically, the teachers/faculty serve breakfast from 9-10 pm to the students in the Atherton cafeteria. There are usually raffles too, and this year they raffled off an iPad which my roommate really wanted to win. (But did not.) There were pancakes, hash browns, eggs, bacon, and pastries.

Battling my way through the crowds of people to get to the water cups really brings you back. I do not miss my cafeteria days — I’m so much happier not on a meal plan — but it was neat to relive the madness for a last time before graduating.

Also, the eggs were pretty good.

This year, both my English classes finished up before finals week proper began, so I wasn’t as stressed. I did study and take the huge comprehensive final for the Dance Department, plus I had French exams (written and oral), a Teaching Analysis of Classical Technique project and final, and a Theory and Philosophy of Dance final. By Wednesday afternoon, my load was much lighter. By Saturday afternoon, I was done!

I finished college!

Celebrating after our ballet finals!

Now, onto my French independent study

Tasty Things I’ve Eaten

Coppélia is coming, Coppélia is coming! I’m so excited. I’m also fairly busy — and I cannot think of anything to write in a blog post that wouldn’t take longer than the time I have allotted. Therefore I shall share instead the pictures I have readily on hand, thanks to my snazzy new phone.

Tasty things I have eaten (today):

This is Easter bread my boyfriend made. It was very intense (lots of kneading and yeast-blossoming and so on) and very tasty. Easter was a wonderful day, by the way! I went to the Butler Catholic Community Mass on campus, which was followed by a brunch/lunch. The asparagus was so good! After that, it was back to the apartment for a quick nap before I headed out to go with my boyfriend to the dinner his jazz studies professor was hosting. It was day filled with socializing over good food, though I still have to say I missed being at my grandparents’ house with the rest of my family!

Homemade tortilla pizza. ‘Nuff said.

A girl gave me a voucher for a free tall drink at the campus Starbucks… so I enjoyed a mocha before my pas class!

I ate other, healthier things as well, promise! They just weren’t as tasty.

And thus ends this rather uninformative blog post. My apologies.

College Cooking: Stuff in a Skillet

On this Good Friday, I give you a completely inappropriate recipe. Forgive me — I’m sure you could substitute tofu for the chicken. Or just wait until Lent is over to make it. I discovered this yesterday when casting about in my fridge for dinner after a long afternoon of Coppélia rehearsals. My stipulations: It had to be healthy, quick, and economical (using ingredients I already had).

College Cooking: Stuff in a Skillet

I used: green beans, red bell pepper, frozen chicken (diced and pre-cooked… because I’m a culinary cheat), and mashed potatoes (from a box… because I’m a college student). Also, salt and pepper.

  1. Boil water in the skillet. Put green beans in the boiling water for about 7 minutes, or until they look pretty and have the desired crunch level. Drain and set beans aside.
  2. Cook — or in my case, heat — the chicken in the skillet. Set aside.
  3. Start mashed potatoes. Follow directions on the box. Otherwise, simmer potatoes in a pot for 20 min, drain, and mash together with a bit of milk, butter, pepper, and salt.
  4. Sauté chopped pepper. Add chicken and green beans back to the skillet to warm everything evenly. Got to make sure we’re all on the same page.
  5. Add stuff to make it taste good: butter, salt/pepper, a dash of curry powder, or garlic (would add this one earlier when sautéing pepper) are all options… When I was little I liked to put a healthy sprinkling of paprika on my mashed potatoes, but that was less about the taste and more about the fact that they turned orange.

This recipe is particularly vague and rather unhelpful… the perfect addition to my motley College Cooking series!

Week in Photos

I got a fancy new phone over break and have been having a blast with the camera and filters included in the camera app. Thus I give you my first week after spring break in photos:

First, the food. These were Chinese buns my boyfriend shared with me. They would have been perfect… except they had cilantro, which I don’t really like.

Speaking of the food, here is a rather blurry shot of the new cafeteria set up. Over winter break, Butler began and completed renovations to the Marketplace @ Atherton, which is the cafeteria open for most meals.

To change the subject completely, I give you a photo of the tiny house that’s been parked beside Norris Plaza. Jay Shafer came to Butler recently to speak. Very cool! I would have gone if I didn’t have rehearsal; I love environmental movements.

And the final picture I took Friday morning during the rainstorm that made my hair frizz completely and utterly beyond redemption. I am rather proud of this photo. Triple brownie points if you can guess from where I took it. Leave me a comment if you think you know where this is on campus!

Foodie Indy Review

Foodie Indy: eat well. eat local.

There is an orange pack of what looks like playing cards titled “Foodie Indy.” Twenty dollars each, the packs contain 52 gift certificates of $10 to 52 different Indianapolis-area, locally-owned restaurants. There’s a minimum purchase required for each certificate (usually $30, which cannot include alcoholic drinks, taxes, or some specials/other certificates).

If you are going out with a group, this is perfect. Even if you want a romantic dinner for two, this lets you splurge a little AND try a new, locally-owned restaurant. So far, I’ve gone to Monon Food Company and Asian Grill. Both were tasty. At the Asian Grill, I tried crab cakes and a curry dish; I had some rather tasty tea. At the MoFoCo (as they like to call themselves), I tried Hawaiian tacos, tomato parm soup, and mushroom pizza. And carrot cake. And really good coffee. (I was sharing all this food, mind you.)

The downside to the Foodie Indy cards? Many of the restaurants are in Noblesville, which is decidedly north of Indianapolis and requires a longer car drive.

It really should be called “Foodie Indy/Noblesville.”

Leek Soup: tastier than it sounds

My College Cooking series is back! If only for a brief time.

I had all the ingredients for a wonderful lentil soup — with some random things left over. I dunked the leftovers in a pot and made a simple leek soup that turned out to be surprisingly delicious.

Simple Leek Soup

  1. Heat 3 cups veggie or chicken stock in a pot on the stove.
  2. Chop some carrots and celery. (I used half a stalk of celery and 2 carrots, though I’d add another carrot next time.) Dump in pot.
  3. Wash your leek well! Chop it up. Dump in pot. My leek was fairly large so I only used one, but you could add another for good measure.
  4. Add 1 cup pre-cooked rice to the pot OR add 1 cup un-cooked instant rice to the pot and cover.
  5. The contents of the pot should be boiling by now… Add some parsley, basil, and rosemary, ect… I used a pinch of “Italian spice blend” in addition to the parsley.
  6. Let it go for as long as you like. The rice will soak up the liquid, so add a squirt of water from the faucet into your bowl just before serving to make it soupier if desired.

You could change types of stocks, add more veggies, change rice quantities, change the spices… If you wanted to be traditional, I suppose you might add potato. All my recipes sort of sound the same, I realize. Also, you might have noticed that I eat a lot of soup. Oh well.

#betterthanamealplan

The calm before the soup battle

On the second to last day before the last semester of my undergraduate career… I made bread. Lots of bread. Seven loaves of bread.

Soda bread

Okay, okay. One of the loaves was from the day before, when my boyfriend and I decided to make Irish Soda Bread. Then we discovered Irish soda bread uses baking soda, not yeast — hence the name. What to do with the yeast we carefully procured from our local Kroger?

The answer to that question is obviously “ciabatta bread.” We made a sourdough starter, biga, and let it rise for twelve hours overnight. Then we mixed in more flour, let it rise some more (I did laundry in the interval), formed numerous small loaves (two with cheese inside), let it rise yet longer, and baked them.

Good crust, check. Fully baked, checked. Reasonably uniform for a free-form loaf, check. Fluffy inside, check.

Fluffy inside!! On the rare occasions I make bread (see past blog posts), it’s usually rather dense. The soda bread would be exhibit A. Despite tasting like a buttermilk biscuit (since the only liquid came from buttermilk), it had the same super dense texture I’ve come to expect.

Exhibit B would be the German beer bread with caraway seeds I made over winter break. Dense. Also, I had to hold this huge meat thermometer to check the yeast’s water temperature. It was too hot so I placed it on the windowsill so the winter wind could do its work. This process looked ridiculous.

I am so cool.

End flashback. This ciabatta bread — the one with the starter — is actually somewhat light and fluffy compared to the usual homemade bread texture. Success!

Biga starter

Also, I had a Soup Battle with my boyfriend today, wherein we both made soups from celery, onion, and carrots. The kitchen was a bit crowded, but both soups — which turned out surprisingly different — was delicious… especially with the bread we pulled straight from the oven.

A successful conclusion to the Grand Soup Battle

Cream is a deadly weapon

I know TSA makes the country safe, etc. I’ve never been unduly inconvenienced by new luggage restrictions or the screening process — until security stopped me as I tried to fly back to Butler.

After rummaging around in my carryon luggage, the TSA employee took out nail polish (didn’t realize that should have been a liquid), a bag of Christmas candy, a bunch of CD cases, and a grapefruit for re-screening. After all, we wouldn’t want anyone to suffer grapefruit juice burns, now, would we?

Joking aside, I’m glad the TSA takes its job seriously enough to re-screen items like to this to ensure they aren’t weapons. That’s fine. What I do take offense with is citing my jar of Nutella as a forbidden item. Well, my off-brand Nutella.

Does it look more dangerous because it's in a foreign language?

“It’s a cream,” the employee explained to me. Not the cream, NOT THE CREAM!

Back I trekked to my dad waiting outside security, unwilling to waste a jar of perfectly good hazelnut spread. I gave him the jar, said good-bye for a second time, and went through security. Again.

Of course, the line had doubled by the time I went through the screening process a second time. I must admit, I was hardly the most cheerful traveler when I arrived at my gate, ten minutes before the boarding time.

However, however! The nice Delta flight attendant asked me covertly if I wanted something else to eat with my sandwich during the drink service. So I had, in addition to my cranberry-apple juice and lightly salted peanuts, some pretzels and goldfish. She liked something salty with her sandwiches, she explained.

Actually, both flight attendants complimented my sandwich. Maybe they were hungry? Perhaps my dad makes the most awesome sandwiches in the world? Both are plausible explanations. Regardless. They restored my faith in air travel and helped fill the sorrowful abyss in my heart, rent asunder by the forceful separation from my apparently deadly Alpella Krem.

College Cooking: Stuff in Couscous

Remember a very long while ago I promised to post vague recipes for new chefs? Remember the disclaimer that much of this seems quite obvious and hardly merits a recipe? Remember my rebuttal that college students (like me) when cooking for themselves for the first time sometimes have more trouble thinking of quick, moderately healthy, moderately inexpensive meals to prepare than actually preparing them?

Yeah, this is one of those posts.

Stuff in Couscous

This recipe is vegetarian, though you can add meat to it if you like. Ingredients are in boldface. Quantities are up to you and left purposely vague because it really doesn’t matter — just put in what tastes good. Treat this as a template.

  1. Prepare some instant couscous. You can find this in a supermarket. With instant couscous, you usually boil some water, add the couscous, leave covered for five minutes, fluff and serve.
  2. Heat a skillet with some olive oil.
  3. Toss chopped-up ingredients into the skillet: mushrooms, bell peppers, carrots, garlic, whatever. When the veggies are tender, you will add these to the cooked couscous.
  4. OR boil veggies to add to the couscous. If you want things like green beans cut into small pieces or broccoli stalks, fill a skillet with water. Boil the water. Stick the veggies in the skillet and wait for them to turn bright green. Drain the water and add the veggies to the couscous.
  5. Serve the veggies and couscous together — you can add things like salt, pepper, parmesan cheese, or a bit of lemon juice.
  6. Clean up, or your roommates will be sad.

I served mine with milk and a veggie patty. Enjoy!

Requisite Food Post: OMG So Much Cake

In the midst of writing a zillion posts about applying and auditioning for Butler University’s Department of Dance (see here here here here), I uploaded from my camera/was given pictures from my extended birthday celebrations. I haven’t written a frivolous post about food for a while. And OMGoodness, there was so much cake.

Cake on a Tuesday

There was homemade raspberry jam-chocolate-raspberries on top-carmel on top cake.

Clean plate

I handled that like a pro.

Thursday cupcakes and cake

There were the amazing almond cupcakes with carmel buttercream icing, courtesy of the extremely talented roommate whose mission it is to surround herself with the smell of baked goods.

Artsy photo of flourless chocolate cake. (Thank you, roommate, for the picture!)

And there was the delicious dessert platter ordered when I went to a restaurant with some friends: Flourless chocolate cake, two different kinds of truffles, apples, figs, and goat cheese. I loved mixing the goat cheese with the cake. I promise, it was delicious. I thought so, but this decision perhaps was not unanimous….

Goat cheese + chocolate cake = x, x = that face.

Long story short, I met amazing people when I came to Butler, people who are kind enough to make dinner, raspberry cake, and almond cake, people who take me out to dessert and try goat cheese and chocolate together and take photos on fancy cameras to document the event. Thank you, everyone who helped celebrate my birthday in the very long, drawn-out way it manifested itself (this is where English needs more explicitly reflexive verbs…). It was all delicious! And thank you, Mom, for the cookies you sent.

The waitress was totally uninterested, so we had to reenact the moment for the requisite photo.