When in Rome and Finding My Merchant of Venice

Hello.  It’s been – whoa, two years since my last post?  Apologies, apologies.  I know my Italian post is nearly two three years overdue.  And since then, I have traveled extensively to other parts of the world.  I will be adding my adventures very soon.  I promise.  Until then, here is my Italian post.
Three years behind – but better late then never, I suppose.

Two girls in Venice

One of the joys and thrills of traveling is to not only explore a new culture and way of living but certainly a way of eating.  When we (S – my partner in crime) both made our way to Italy – I have to admit, our expectations were a tad high.  Three things I blame for these higher expectations:  American TV, American cinema, and Woody Allen.  Mainly due to the glamorization of the country – nostalgic meet cute scenes which we as Americans are fed from Hollywood – and partly to…….well, it’s Italy.

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Salt and Pepper Squid

One of my main go-to Chinese food staples when ordering at a Chinese restaurant – is salt and pepper squid.  This delectable goodness combines three of my favorite textures: salty, spicy, and deliciously fried.  Before actually cooking this for myself at home – I would frequent (regularly) various Chinese restaurants within the Boston area.  Some would be way too salty, some way to greasy, and some the batter seemed completely unappetizing overall.  Every now and then – I would come across that magical balance of all three textures that would culminate into absolute heavenly goodness.  After trying (read: fatty) so many different variations throughout Boston and even in New York City and San Francisco – I came to the realization that I could actually replicate exactly how I wanted it.  Surprisingly enough, the recipe itself is extremely simple and easy. 

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Slow Your Pork Spring Roll

It’s that time of year folks:  a time to feast, rest, and spend time with loved ones.  This is how I typically end my year.  I slow down.  I reflect on another quick year gone by.  It seems like yesterday (literally) we were celebrating the coming of 2013.  And now that I’ve finally gotten the hang of dating 2013 – here comes 2014 to taunt me with starting all over again.  Actually, I’ve accidentally been signing my dates as 2015 – how odd is that?  Premature much?  True story.

Anyways, this time of year (if I’m home home for the holidays) – I take advantage of eating home cooked foods.  Some of it being native Thai food – some of it typical of good ol’ American cuisine.  We do not discriminate in this household.  No sir!  In fact, this year I’ve cooked a few items for my parents – middle eastern derived, Korean derived, healthy (and some not so healthy) derived, and my own specialties or as I like to call it Emily derived. 

Today’s post is a special one.  This particular food isn’t anything revolutionary or novel (scientist verbiage leaking through – sorry!) but its something I definitely look forward to on the #homefortheholidays food list (yes, I just hash tagged that).  So what does a household with a seasoned engineer, two scientists, and an accountant make this time of year?

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A Post-Apocalyptic Post

A few days ago someone surprised me and said, “Your skin looks great! What are you using?”  As I began to rattle on how my daily skincare routine was part scientist-driven part novice product whore, I came to the realization that I should share my discovered riches with the interwebz (that’s you).  And so today’s post is going to be somewhat driven by excitement of sharing my discoveries coupled with sheer boredom of post cabin fever.

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I done gone and did it….

This year will be a year of change.  A year to get organized.  A year to read more.  And a year to maintain if not up my exercise regimin.  I would be remis if I did not admit to being a bit lax in those above statements since the 1st of the year.  BUT I promise to try to do better.  I am a creature of habit and laziness.  This I will admit.  And with that breeds so many regrets and wishful promises to myself.  Therefore, in order to become a highly functionally organized individual — I have purchased…….wait for it……..an iPad.

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Nostalgia and the New Year

Well New Year’s Eve has come and gone and it got me thinking – what makes NYE so glamourous that we inherently try to find and be with the ones we love for that particular moment in time?  Think about it.  There is no other time in history that seems to be so special minus any form of religious connections or affiliations.  We try to create this idyllic moment where the ones we care about — surround us.  Embrace us.  Can’t wait to be with us.

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Merhaba friends!

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind.  To simply say I enjoyed my travels to Turkey and Italy – would not encompass the magnitude and breadth of my experience.  In summary, I was mesmerized by both Rome and Venice’s abundant historical elements – mainly for its world-renowned sites.  But my heart – my heart went to Turkey indeed.  From its people, its food, and its vibrant energy.  I definitely found myself embracing Turkish culture and its magnificent history.  And when I made my way back to American soil overjoyed with happy thoughts for the comforts of home – a part of me felt empty and saddened for leaving this truly remarkable country.  With that  — this is my homage to Turkey.  Italy to come – so stay tuned.

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Yum yums – Beef Massaman curry

Its currently 4am and I’m up.  Shocking.  Lately, my sleep pattern has been a little dysfunctional — to say the very least.  But since I am up at this unsightly AND ungodly hour — I might as well be productive and try to *gasp* post another blog.  Two blogs in one week?! *shudder*  Even I have to admit that is a tad bit frightening.

Today’s post will be entirely dedicated to food and all things consuming there of — pun intended.  Well, at least as much as I can recollect and relive within the past week.  I’m trying to be a little better when it comes to my slightly A.D.D-esque attention span as it pertains to blogging and rehashing bits of my life throughout the week — its one of my many goals for this year.  Goals which I tried to set out for myself but have sadly dropped the ball several times since the onset of this year.  Whooopsie!!!

So the last two weeks I’ve been cooking like a mad woman.  Well actually the past few months but in the last two — its essentially been me and the kitchen every evening.  One — partly to clear out a myriad of frozen meats and seafood in my freezer.  And two — I’ve exhausted all things to eat within my area and have taking a liking to cooking at home on a daily basis.  The more I cook — the stronger and more creative I feel.  Now don’t get me wrong — I’ve always cooked for myself and even though I would never consider myself a chef or a guru in the kitchen department — I think I can hold my own when it comes to basic and even slightly complex dishes.  I respect my knives and all that jazz.

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A Yankee in Nashville’s Court

It’s an ungodly hour and for some idiotic reason, I’ve convinced myself to post a blog.  The Olympic closing ceremony in London is playing on repeat in the background and I’m listening to the Pet Shop Boys perform West End Girls.  Ah, that brings me back to when I nearly saw them while in south Florida.  As I recall — my reasoning for NOT seeing them was something involving massive amounts of coffee and a group study session for a criminal law midterm.  ARGH.  In retrospect, I probably should have seen the Pet Shop Boys.  No regrets right?  Well, a lot has changed since those long lost days of south Florida albeit the coffee habit seems to have accelerated into what some might consider an unhealthy level.  But what IS an unhealthy level when it comes to coffee – right?

Anyways, it has been a long time friends.  Herrroo.  I feel with every sparse blog post — I seem to preface with an apology.  Maybe I should rename my blog to “the apologetic chemist”?  Or perhaps I should resume blogging on a regular basis.  Yes, that’s the ticket!

In my last post — I ranted on about the perfunctory daily life of working.  I gave you my observations, conclusions, and a small look into the twisted world of how I view life as an employed scientist.  Don’t get me wrong — I love my job.  I’m challenged every day and humbled by what I discover.  It affords me a comfortable living which allows me to travel, go to shows, enjoy life, and post blogs such as these.  Update:  the message on the white board stayed up for over a month until its untimely demise – aka I erased it.  That’s right — I erased my own welcome message.

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Working hard for your money

Eating with your co-workers is one of THE most awkward endeavors you’ll ever encounter.  This is only second to having dinner on a first date with someone you find completely dreadful – which falls under the first.  Third would probably be masticating food with family members who try to play the 20 question game of “let me get in your business” time.

Why am I blogging about this you ask?  Just random observations.  I started a new job recently and with this new adventure brings uncomfortable situations of meeting slightly awkward people.  You fidget and stare intently down at your plate.  You try to think of interesting questions and conversation so as not to allow the dull silence to ring so strongly in your ear.  Its mind numbing but it happens.  Its a part of being social and for the most part — life experience.  Even the event of starting a new job/position within a new company or environment — is liken to the first day of school but for adults.  Its not anymore comfortable or less childish.  You still see the same slightly nerdy folks eating in the cafeteria looking severely uncomfortable as they quickly try to make the bold choice of whom they should sit next to.  Make the wrong decision and bam — you’re f–ked.

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