EF heads to Mexico!!
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, but ever since I got a nine to five job (I’m still in denial about this) taking a vaca during Thanksgiving seems to happen each year. Which makes sense though because you can get five days off for the price of two. This year I am headed to Hong Kong and Vietnam and I am so excited. With that said I was pretty bummed to miss Thanksgiving and I really wanted to host this year so I decided to have Thanksgiving at my place Halloween weekend. I was pretty pumped and really wanted to make everything. The only thing I allowed people to help me with was the stuffing, apps, and wine. This was also my first time making a turkey. The turkey involved the first lesson I learned; turkeys come frozen. Now that I think about how early you start seeing the turkeys in store I realize that was a pretty blonde moment but it just didn’t occur to me. Lucky enough thouhg when I was talking about cooking and that I was planning on buying the turkey the day before my friends informed me that that isn’t enough time. It was Thursday so I bought the turkey that night and it had time to defrost. Phew first dilemma avoided.
Saturday rolled around and I was in the zone. I bought all the groceries and made the pumpkin pie and pumpkin whoopie pies. I was ready. I went to bed excited for the morning.
On Sunday I got up and cleaned and got the table and living room ready. Now it was time for prep. I made the sweet potatoes in the morning and was just planning on reheating them when I pulled out the Turkey. I had the green beans cleaned and good to go.I had the apple dumplings ready to throw in the oven when we were eating, I had the brussel sprouts cleaned and I got all other prep/meals ready/cooked/ready to be cooked—I had my shit together is what I am trying to say. It was finally time to put the turkey in. I took a photo of my beautiful first turkey popped it in the oven and was ready to relax.
It had been about 45 minutes and I had turned the oven down and done the first basting when I was sitting on the couch enjoying an episode of Gilmore Girls when all of a sudden it sounded like a bomb when off and all of the electricity went out. My first thought was my oven had exploded. I walked into the kitchen and confirmed this thought was a dramatic thought since the oven and kitchen were still intact. I heard people talking outside my apartment so I slipped on my rain boots and ran out to find out what was going on. A transformer had blown and the entire apartment building was out of electricity. BUT WHAT ABOUT MY TURKEY?!?! I first called my dad and he said the electricity will probably be out for a while and it might be best to move the turkey. Then I called my sister and told her to make room I was on my way. I was still in my pj’s so I looked insane; picture me running down the street with a raw turkey, pj’s, and rain boots. It was a low point moment.
I got the turkey in their oven and thankfully the electricity came back on an hour later so it was back to the car. Thanksgiving was only an hour late and everything was fabulous.
Check out my recipes below. I highly suggest the gravy but all the recipes were fabulous!
Potato Recipe - for the potatoes, I didn’t peel then and I didn’t use a ricer. I instead just put the boiled potatoes in my kitchen add and whipped them in there.
Sweet Potato Recipe- I followed this recipe but used the extra link too. I added sprigs of rosemary in between the potatoes but not all of them.
Pumpkin Pie - I didn’t use grated hazelnut in the paste because I didn’t have it, instead I just used nutmeg.
(Photo credit Adam Larkey)
A year ago today, Rayme Rossello, a seasoned industry veteran opened the Denver outpost of her restaurant. Comida, a modern Mexican cantina that got its start as a hot pink food truck, was the first business to open at the Source.
Rossello’s experience with this popular RiNo restaurant over the last twelve months differs vastly from what she created at the original Longmont location. Some of the differences are by design — chefMartin Campos creates specials unlike those served in Longmont — and some were purely a result of circumstances. Eater had a chance to sit down with Rossello and talk about spacial issues, not getting bored, and the menu.
What is there to say about Assisi…it is amazing. It caught me completely off guard and I was in love. Assisi is a little town located about two and a half hours north of Rome. It is winsome, quaint, romantic, and everything else you would think an Italian town would be. We only were able to spend one day there, which was enough to see the entire village, but not enough to take in all of the charm that Assisi had to offer. Though we only had one day we were able to be there on a very special holiday for this town. The very catholic town, known for Francis of Assisi, was having its celebration of Corpus Christi or Corpus Domini. I can’t begin to say how lucky it was that we were there on that day because Corpus Christi was actually supposed to be celebrated the Sunday prior but it was cancelled so it was happening the day we were there. Fate! Corpus Christi is Latin for body of Christ and it is a celebration of the Eucharist. What the locals do is create a pathway for the bishop to walk down with flowers, grass, moss, and other shrubs. They basically turned the flowers into dust and created elaborate works of art. It was incredible. I felt like this little village had opened its doors and let me peak in on a very intimate moment. Grandparents, children, family members all gathered to create this beautiful designs. They were amazing.
DISCLAIMER: I apology for all the photos, I just couldn’t not share them all.
Even if you aren’t there going to be there for Corpus Christi do go! And do take a walking tour. Visit the different churches such as the Basilica of Saint Francis, the Santa Maria Maggiore, and the Basilica of Saint Clare. In the Basilica of Saint Claire you can see the original cross, the San Damiano cross, that St. Francis prayed to. Walk the streets and see the sights but also don’t forget to eat. One of the best Italian meals of my trip was had here. Pappardelle with rabbit and an amazing buffalalo mozzarela salad. The rabit was delecate and less gamy than I had imagined and the pasta was just perfect. But the mozzarela, my oh my, it was so good. Creamy, salty, sweat and soft; so so so good!
Basilica of St. Clare
Basilica of St. Francis
Chiesa Nuova Church
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I apologize for my lack of posts. Since I got back from Europe I have been catching up on summer activities, hanging with friends, and also catching up on sleep. With all of that meant no posts for a little over two weeks. It has been a nice little non-posting vaca but I am back and ready to share my time in Europe with you. My first post is what to do in Milan when you only have 24 hours.
1. Start with Coffee
If you are smart you will start you day off with free breakfast at your hotel/hostel but if you are like me and can’t seem to get out of bed instead head into the heart of Milan and get yourself an Italian coffee. I headed into tourist central and decided to have coffee in the Galleria next to the Duomo. Some might not suggest this but I found an infamous spot, Camparino, to sit at. When you sit down and have your coffee you are removed from the hustle and bustle of all the tourist. I started my morning with lemon pie and a cappucino. Perfetto!
2. Visit a Church
My next plan was to go into the Duomo but I quickly learned that it is not just shoulders you need to have covered but also your knees so I could not get in with my shorts. My advice for anyone visiting Italy and wanting to go into any Churches come prepared with a pashmina to either wrap around your shoulders or legs, depending on which one isn’t covered. Some churches will sell covers too.
A perfect way to see a city is by bike. If you want to bike around Milan you can rent one from BikeMI. You have to create an account online before. It is € 2.50 to create the account and then it gives you a user name and password. You go up to one of the bike stations (that are everywhere) and put your information into the kiosk then go get the bike that it tells you to. The first 30 minutes are free then € .50 per 30 minutes after that and you can only use it for two hours at a time. This is a great way to see the city but also scary because you are biking around not really knowing where you are going and you have to be careful of cars. I was trying to go see the Navigli District but no surprise I got lost. I finally just put my map away and biked around for a bit. Then I found someone nice enough to just show me where I was on my map so I could find my way back.
4. Public Transit
Use the subway system in Milan. So, so easy. I am serious if I can do it and I didn’t get lost once then anyone, including a four year old, could do it. Not sure if I was buying the correct ticket but it was € 1.50 a ride.
6. Find a Hidden Spot
For lunch I went to Panzerotti Luini and I highly suggest you do to. Italy is expensive, but this little lunch spot was cheap. It was great to watch the business men and women stop by for a quick lunch. They serve panzerotti’s that are sweet and savory; these are similar to calzones but much better. I almost feel like I am insulting it by comparing it. The dough is similar to an elephant ear dough; light and fluffy and a very simple dough flavor. Then you get the fresh tomatoes and the salty creamy mozzarella taste and voila you have magic. Be prepared for a line but it moved quick.
5. Don’t Miss Apertivo
This was my favorite discovery about Italy. Apertivo is basically happy hour but much better. Starting around 5 pm most bars/restaurants start apertivo hour. You order a cocktail like normal but you get a buffet with it for FREE! Seriously this is no joke. I couldn’t believe it was real. It was like I had died and gone to happy hour heaven. I ordered a negroni and it as € 9, yes expensive but I got dinner for free; cheese, olives, bruschetta, salad, rice, meats. I had happy hour at a bar in the Corso Como area. So so good and so so amazing.
This is my final suggestion. If you love mushrooms go to Antica Trattoria Della Pesa and get the funghi porcini pasta. This was defineitly a fine dining situation (I spending about $50 by myself #sorrynotsorry) but it is worth it. This tagliatelle pasta was the most perfectly cooked homemade pasta I have ever tasted and the sauce though no cream was incredibly creamy. Perfect bites of mushrooms that still have a bite to them. I am becoming depressed just thinking about it knowing I don’t know when I will have it again…
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Anyone with a computer has a fear that it could crash and you could loose everything. What everyone who owns a computer doesn’t do is back up their computer because the idea of their computer crashing has yet to become a reality. I unfortunately learn how real your computer crashing can be two years into owning my first computer. I lost everything. When I got my new hard drive I also purchased a back up hard drive and backed up constantly.
Over the past five years of my computer running smoothly I have become more comfortable and the terrible feeling of loosing everything slipped further and further out of my mind and with it so did back up frequently. On Saturday night the fear I dreaded became a reality; I went to turn on my computer and all that would happen was a blue screen. Three Apple store visits later it is official that my hard drive has a serious failure and the only option for saving the files is a data recovery service which can cost anywhere from $200 to $1,200.
Like I mentioned before I have been backing up but I the last time was January 2nd. Luckily though this time around since I knew I had most of my files backed up I made the Apple technicians must less uncomfortable since my visits were only filled with frustration not sobs.
So my poor little MacBook is dead. My first computer. Its the end of the white-MacBook-era for me.
On a positive note I have most everything saved on the backup hard-drive/this blog/my camera. Like I said much less tears this time.
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On Tuesday I got to go to Oakland to celebrate We Day California!! Not sure what that is? Here is how the site describes it:
What is We Day?
We Day is an educational event and the movement of our time—a movement of young people leading local and global change. We Day is tied to the yearlong We Act program, which offers curricular resources, campaigns and materials to help turn the day’s inspiration into sustained activation.
My company, EF Educational Tours, is partnering with Me to We and selling their tours in the US. So we got to go and see what We Day is all about. We got a sneak peak of the stage being set up the day before.
We went out for dinner in the Berkeley area at Gather. I had my first vieux carre cocktail, which I loved, and another first was beef tartare, which I also loved. The beef was so fresh and light with an egg yolk on the side that made it so creamy, smooth, and delicious. We also ordered a pizza that had spicy tomatoes olives, capers, chili oil, parsley, and the kicker cashew puree. I was very skeptical to order this pizza because of my love affair with cheese and I didn’t think anything could act as a cheese replacement, but I can now say I was wrong. While I’m not saying I will stray very far from my cheese pizzas but the cashew puree really was delicious and the pizza was full of flavors.
Below are some pictures of We Day and some of the speakers.
EF employees giving away our free trip.
Founding brothers Craig and Marc Kielburger
EF staff :)
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