I Hope That’s a Zucchini In Your Pocket

I’m pretty sure that the title of this post is one of the early sentences I translated into French because I felt like it was relevant to my future success. Such a sexy veggie that zucchini. I don’t suggest keeping them in your pocket (if you do, indeed, have one there) but I do recommend trying one of the following recipes (and giving me feedback for my own experimentation).

Salt and Pepper Zucchini Chips

Salt and Pepper Zucchini Chips

Garden Zucchini Parmesan Biscuits

Garden Zucchini Parmesan Biscuits

 

Baked Parmesan Zucchini Sticks

Baked Parmesan Zucchini Sticks

Garlicky and Cheesy Quinoa Zucchini Fritters

Garlicky and Cheesy Quinoa Zucchini Fritters

Zucchini Parmesan

Zucchini Parmesan

Eggplant and Zucchini Gratin

Eggplant and Zucchini Gratin

Lemon-Garlic Zucchini

Lemon-Garlic Zucchini

Zucchini Frittata with Mozzarella, Feta, and Parmesan

Zucchini Frittata with Mozzarella, Feta, and Parmesan

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Put Them Peas in My Pod!

Yes I recognize that there’s both a friendly and sinister connotation to the title of today’s post. The sinister one being that I’m procreating and that’s a very scary place to take a very happy little vegetable. I prefer to think of my rather forceful exclamation as a futuristic reference to when I live in a space pod with a nice hydroponics corner where I can grow things like peas. My favorites are snow peas but overall pease are pretty good across the board. From fresh off the vine (you can really taste the chrolophyll!) to smashed into a pulp as a side for fish & chips (not my preferred way of eating them) to crunchy and wasabi coated these tasty little guys are almost always welcome in my space dwelling!

Garlic Snap Peas

Garlic Snap Peas

Creamy Pea Salad

Creamy Pea Salad

Peas with Mushrooms

Peas with Mushrooms

Parmesan Peas

Parmesan Peas

Pea, Mint and Fet Fritters with Yogurt Mint Dipping Sauce

Pea, Mint and Feta Fritters with Yogurt Mint Dipping Sauce

Toast with Lemony Pea Mash

Toast with Lemony Pea Mash

Pea Pesto Pasta

Pea Pesto Pasta

Polka-Dot Pea Soup

Polka-Dot Pea Soup

 

Garlic Sesame Snow Peas

Garlic Sesame Snow Peas

Grilled Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon Oregano Butter

Grilled Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon Oregano Butter

GastroPorn Menu: June.2013

GastroPorn Menu: June.2013

It’s getting warm and slightly uncomfortable weather wise but things are also growing in the garden and we’re planning to get an umbrella for our back yard so we can actually enjoy our outdoor furniture. Now if only my back yard looked a little something like this:

Santorini-blue-and-white-paradise

This month’s menu is inspired by a little Mediterranean Island sun. Meant to be enjoyed outside with with lots of loud friends and family.

Goat Cheese with Olives, Lemon, and Thyme

“Goat Cheese with Olives, Lemon, and Thyme” From Leite’s Culinaria

Beefsteak Tomato Salad

“Beefsteak Tomato Salad” from Martha Stewart

Eggplant Salad with Chickpeas and Feta

“Eggplant Salad with Chickpeas and Feta” from Martha Stewart

Mini Spiced Chicken Burgers with Mint Greek Yogurt

“Mini Spiced Chicken Burgers with Mint Greek Yogurt” from Applemint

Zucchini Patty Sandwiches

“Zucchini Patty Sandwiches” from Whole Living

Lamb

“Lamb” from Joseph De Leo Photography

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Honey-Lime Dip

“Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Honey-Lime Dip” from Our Best Bites

Lime, Yoghurt and Olive Oil Cake

“Lime, Yoghurt and Olive Oil Cake” from Simple Provisions

Honey-Ricotta Turnovers

“Honey-Ricotta Turnovers” from Martha Stewart

The Morning After…

Mushrooms & Vegetables with Feta

“Mushrooms & Vegetables with Feta” from KwestiaSmaku

Sooooo…. I’ve kind of been overdoing it this month. The parties, the eating out, the drinking, the not exercising. And the last couple of days I could feel it. I mean sure, I did walk about a bajillion miles  taking my friend around DC but then I also went to Nando’s, Pitango, Cork, and Founding Farmers (click to check out the restaurants).

This morning, I could barely eat my chocolate croissant from Paul. It was horrible. And now, at about 30 minutes to lunchtime I’m hungry but it’s for some serious vegetables and tons and tons of water. And maybe some decent tea. The hot water in my office is seriously far from hot and the steeping ability is far from up to par.

As I finished Excel-ing the list of honors society students (which nowhere near balances out the deficiency students but I love them anyways), I’m also surfing the great internet (for [gastro]Porn!) and seeing all these much healthier-than-I’ve-been-eating things that I sort of wish I’d had time last night to actually try cooking some of them for lunch today. Instead I was making my mom some birthday dinner creativeness and monitoring a couple teenage boys attempting to make peanut butter cookies.

And here’s what I found:

Sweet Potato Fries

“Sweet Potato Fries” from Our Best Bites

Spiced Black Bean, Grilled Avocado, and Goat Cheese Tacos

“Spiced Black Bean, Grilled Avocado, and Goat Cheese Tacos” from Naturally Ella

Creamy Avocado Pasta

“Creamy Avocado Pasta” from the Blissful Blog

Parmesan Mashed Cauliflower

“Parmesan Mashed Cauliflower” from Right@Home

Eggplant Involtini

“Eggplant Involtini” from Alexandra’s Kitchen (Because you know I just can’t help having me some eggplant)

 

 

A Quest! A Quest!

I always feel guilty playing around on Pinterest while at work. But for some reason I have no problems playing Tetris on my phone during committee meetings. Well… They’re really bad meetings. Nothing ever gets done and in the end we always have a worse problem than we started with. I can’t believe that this is what an “Adult” workplace looks  like. It’s ridiculous. There will probably be a new VP to oversee the new Dean who was installed in my office to oversee the Director who’s been here for eons without a vacation and who actually worked up to 18 hours a day 7 days a week over the summer because there wasn’t anyone else to help out. Until they finally hired me, that is. Then there were 2 of us working insane hours but at least they were less than his previous hours.

We need more worker ants! It’s really too bad that all those student workers we pay to sit out at the front desk all day are next to worthless. Maybe it’s because I’m on the wrong end of the complexion scale but I’ve never been so mistreated by anyone as I have been by the students who (believe it or not!) work for me in this office. One of my freshmen just got the Monday night shift with me and he’s still fresh and helpful. I intend to keep it that way. And there is one other decent worker but she just got married (to another student I think) and they have a baby-toddler. How sad it is that the newly married mother is a better student and more productive worker than the ones on a music scholarship who sits at the desk watching YouTube all day? Tragic.

Anyways, I digress.

Today’s self righteous college students with their attitude problems jut really bother me!

Okay, I’m sorry. Had to get that out before I could continue.

When I was working in the English Department it was always very clear as to who was in charge: Dr. C——-, the chair of the department. She actually referred to herself as the Queen of the Underworld on several occasions. The English Department is in the basement so this actually made perfect sense. As an eternal honorary citizen on the Underworld I still go down every morning to get proper hot water for my tea.

It get’s me to thinking that we’re becoming to top heavy in terms of our administrative scheme at the University. A recent conversation had me referring to it as the epitome of Vogonity with all the paperwork it takes to get a check cut or try and use any of the rooms on campus for events or seminars and meeting! Don’t even get me starting on trying to find a location for a meeting…

No. What we need around here is a grand monarch to whom everything goes and either gets a thumbs up or thumbs down. Like in the Arena. There should be no hiding that this is the case. Trying to make every thing seem all well planned and thought out and democratic will only make people more frustrated. If you’re going to be oppressive you should have the guts to be honest about it.

Every day court will be held up on the 3rd floor and the “University Monarch” — who may choose from a list of appropriate titles such as “The Academician” or ” His/Her Educatedness”– for a certain number of hours and there will be a line that follows the old ways so there’s no favoritism, merely the willpower required to get yourself into that line far up enough that you can be seen that day. A request will be made and the Monarch can ask for the opinions of his/her advisers (finance, scheduling, legal, etc.) and then make a final decision.

Guess who thinks she could be a great Monarch….

My first order of business would be to set up a real calendar of events that everyone has access to. That way no one will ever make a stupid scheduling request because they simply have no idea. Simply log onto your computer, see the schedule, decide whether or not you really need to make a request based on the schedule or petition the schedule and then, based on your decision you can either go upstairs and stand in line or you can stay in your office and focus on actually working with your students.

My second order of business would be to fire the third party company that runs the cafeteria and start all over again. I am aware that a large amount of the readership of this blog may not be aware of the Health “Message” of the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) church (and most of its affiliated institutions, such as my workplace) so I’ll give you a brief synopsis, without all the politics of why some countries ignore parts and become martyrs to others and blah blah blah.

We should all be vegetarian. Preferably vegan but vegetarian will suffice. We should also refrain from alcohol, caffeine, and (if you’re a purist): vinegar, melting ice cream, baking powder (but it may be baking soda I can never remember because obviously I’m not a purist), pepper or spiciness of any kind…. and there are others but it’s not necessary to continue. I think the point is clear. It’s pretty strict in theory. Luckily there are only small groups in the world that actually keep to this lifestyle and then tend to be like the Amish in terms of how often they make it out into “The World” (which they are in but not “of”). The rest of the SDA community is pretty “OK”. Promise.

While I obviously don’t adhere very strictly to many of these rules I’m a fan of religious institutions being true to themselves in that if they are going to preach/teach something they should do it wholeheartedly. So when I took this job and found out that they were serving caffeinated sodas in the cafeteria I was little unhappy. Mostly because the last thing my Freshmen needed was caffeine to mess up their already horrifying sleep habits but also because the cafeteria boasts as being a vegetarian restaurant in keeping with our church’s message. And by vegetarian food I’m not talking something like this:

A Vegetarian Harvest Dinner, from Saveur

I’m talking stuff like this:

Tofu Scramble (the link takes you to a review from “Freezer Burns”)

My Gma used to make stuff like this. It’s disgusting and an affront to tofu everywhere.

So of course we have students who are used to having a lot of meat in their diet and suddenly BAM! Tofu scramble… but here’s some Pepsi! Not okay.

The only good thing I’ve heard or experienced in the cafeteria is that there is a decent salad bar. Not much of a compliment when you think about it. I mean how hard is a salad bar? Considering our chef has supposedly won awards for his vegetarian cooking I’m not impressed. But I do like salad. Which brings me back to playing on Pinterest at work. It’s chapel time so I can actually do that now.

If you’ve been to my Pinterest account at all you will see that I have all the GastroGasms boards somewhat separated for easy browsing. I really wanted one for salads because I like salads and think that there would be better salads. My mom happened to make me a few nice one this morning to take with me to work (I know I’m SUCH a big girl!) and I had a fantastic one last night at an employee banquet. Other than the salad  and the bread there wasn’t much to write about, SDA banquets are fairly drawn out and rather dull affairs and everyone just automatically gets up and leaves after closing prayer. No dancing. Dancing is evil. Probably because there’s no booze and we’re all just so exhausted from all those committee meetings.

But my Gastrogasms: Salads Board is pathetic. Only 20 pins. 20 is pretty lousy, especially with the amount of time I spend looking for recipes and Gastroporn. So I am now on a quest (Yay!) to try and find more salad recipes. Here are some recent additions (all of which I intend to try within the next 2 weeks):

Crispy Okra Salad

Cucumber and Feta Salad

Grilled Zucchini and Spinach Salad with Feta and Roasted Hazelnut (aka: Zucchini Ribbon Salad)

Deconstructed Caesar Salad (Also great site for additional Gastroporn)

I’m now on the prowl for more salads. If you know of any please share. The findings will be posted to both Pinterest and the GastroGasms Facebook page.

Gastroporn Menu – August.2012

Outdoor Bites & Sips

Grilled Watermelon Salad (with Video)

Cucumber Feta Rolls

Chicken Satay with Chunky Peanut Sauce

Nasi Lemak (Coconut Rice)

Carolina Peach Sangria

Pineapple Berry Hobo Pack