A New Leaf

My birthday is this coming Friday! I love and hate when my birthday comes around each year. Usually around March I wish I had an early birthday so that I could celebrate with my friends. But then again I like having low key birthdays with just my closest friends and family. I always have a solid team with me each year. I know who I can count on to show up. Whereas I feel with a birthday during the school year you spend each birthday with different strangers who you are acquainted with at the time. Both are nice but I am content with my birthday situation regarding time placement 🙂

However, it scares me to think of time and age. I hate aging. No matter what anyone tells me I think its the worst thing in the world. Each year is so precious and I wish they could all last a little longer. I feel like every few days my age changes for the worse. I know age can be good because it implies life experience but why can’t the life experience I have now last me through the rest of life. 19-year-old mindset is nice, its free, its careless, its adventurous, its dangerous. I love that. 

Any who, I plan to start a new chapter on Friday. I am turning over a new leaf. I am purging my life of all things negative. Everything bad and down-bringing needs to go. Birthdays are a perfect time for this because a new age means a new chance for new experiences. I want to start my twenties off on the right foot. I want to make good decisions and live a positive and optimistic life with out the stress of anyone bringing me down. I can not wait to mentally remove all the negative people and things out of my life when I personally start my new chapter. I will be completely new. Anyone who doesn’t want to join my journey can just watch! I mean it. I always aim to purge and clean my life but sometimes feelings and attachment gets in the way. This time I need to follow through for me. There are no excuses any more. I am putting myself first. Sometimes I make the mistake of putting others before myself. I think of this as selfless acts. I enjoy helping and catering to others. It makes me feel good inside. But the trouble and negativity comes when people abuse your kindness and offerings and don’t reciprocate the respect and love you deserve. In my new life chapter this will not exist. I will be kind to others but just kind enough. I am going to remember that I come first. I can not help others before I have been helped. It’s just like what they tell you on the airplanes: don’t help others around you get their oxygen mask before you have yours on. It makes sense how can I help someone breathe if I cannot breathe myself. I have promised myself that I will follow through.  This is the 20th chapter and it will be the best start to the next decade of chapters. I’ll keep you guys updated on how my journey and plan goes! 

xxx Sam 

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Do You Love Cheese?

I was having a salad for lunch earlier with ricotta salata and I was kind of upset because I was really wishing I would have bought the feta cheese at whole foods. Anyhow, it inspired me to write a post about cheeses that make good substitutes for similar cheeses, or basically food recommendations based on your personal palate! 🙂

I am a big fan of feta cheese, but when I want something a little harder, milder, and less salty I normally opt for ricotta salata. Ricotta salata is a semi hard cheese that is a bit dry and crumbly.  It tastes like normal ricotta cheese but with added salt and a different texture. Just imagine someone drained all of the water out of ricotta, thats basically what ricotta salata is. Also, I love having paneer in Indian dishes. I feel paneer, feta, and ricotta salata all fall within a similar taste and texture category. Paneer is a very milky cheese an has the texture of a feta and mozzarella combination, leaning more towards the feta side.

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Buttery Crunchy Cheesy Twists

Yesterday my roommates and I were bored in our kitchen, so I decided to make puff pastry from scratch. Then my roommates prompted me to make baked cheese twists out of them! So for the puff pastry I used 1/2 stick of cold butter, cold water, and 1/3 cup of whole wheat pastry flour. I just started by cubing the butter into tiny little pieces and really just made crumbled cold butter. Once I finished chopping it, I put it back in the freezer so that it would remain cold. After about 8 minutes, I took it out and added the flour and used my knife to chop the butter and flour into each other… almost like making a crumble. So once it began coming together I added about 1 tablespoon of water just so it would come together. I rolled it into a ball and wrapped it and put it in the freezer for 20 minutes. I took it out, rolled it into one large rectangle, sprinkled sea salt, oregano, and fresh shavings of romano cheese on it and then folded it in half so the flavor would be embedded into the cracker. I re rolled it out and then sliced it into long strips, twisted them and shaved extra cheese ontop. I baked them in the oven at 425 degrees for 8 minutes. They came out as lovely, cheesy, crispy cracker twisty things! It was great. I’m hungry!

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Creamy Leek and Onion Risotto

Arborio Rice

Arborio Rice (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two days ago my friends went fishing and brought home come cod, ling, and red fish. So, I was invited over to have a lovely fish dinner so I decided to make risotto to bring over. Most risottos require you to use chicken stock or some kind of stock, but adding stock just adds more salt and fat that leaves you out of control. Also, making risotto that way causes your vegetarian or pescetarian friends to be exempt from the tasting! We wouldn’t want that. I decided to make a vegetarian risotto, I was fantastic and I didn’t miss the stock at all!

Here’s my recipe:

1 leek

1/2 onion

2 tablespoons of olive oil

3 tablespoons butter

2-3 cups of arborio rice

2 liters of boiling water

salt to taste

black pepper to taste

romano cheese block

1 grater or mandolin

To begin, finely dice the leeks and onions, you want them to be small so that they can fit nicely on your spoon. Then saute the leeks and onions in olive oil for about 8 minutes on medium heat. You want them to be soft, tender, and translucent(onions). Once they are smelling lovely and look soft enough, take half of the onion and leek mixture out of the pot and reserve it in a bowl. (You will add it back in later but you want to maximize the surface area of the pot so you can toast the rice.) Next, turn your heat up to high and add the butter into the pot with the remaining leeks and onions. Stir until the butter is melted and is starting to smell nutty. Then, add the arborio rice and stir it and toss it as if you were making a vegetable stir fry. You want to smell the rice, butter, and veggies toasting. Do this for about 2 minutes. Next, have the boiling water on hand and add about 1/2 cup of water at a time. The heat should still be on high so the water should boil up and everything should look exciting. Stir the rice forcefully until the water is absorbed and then repeat until the rice is aldente. Once the rice is aldente, stir in the reserved onions and leeks and add more water and continue to stir and cook the rice. By this point, 12 minutes should have passed. At this point, you should add about 1 teaspoon of salt at a time, stir it in and keep repeating until you have reached a desirable taste. If the rice is still not ready keep adding water and stirring until it is absorbed and repeat until you achieve a desired texture. Right before serving, shave in 3/4 cup of romano cheese and stir it in so it melts and the risotto becomes velvety. The risotto should be a bit wet. To serve, slice a pat of butter on top and/ or shave additional romano cheese on top. Or, for breakfast, heat up some leftover risotto, shave some romano on top and finally top it with an egg sunny side up. (DELICIOUS!) I promise you, this will be the best and creamiest risotto you’ve ever had!

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Hungry

Today I began my blue print cleanse. I have been eating lots of unhealthy foods lately and have been getting in a bad habit. So I decided that I should do a cleanse to clean my body and start fresh. So far, I haven’t gone to class and I have a very free schedule today so I am really hungry. Usually, when I cleanse, the days fly by, but thats probably because I cleanse during the summer months when my schedule is packed and it’s too hot to eat real food anyways.

I drank my favorite juice for lunch, the cinnamon vanilla cashew drink. I wish I had more of these allowed per day, I absolutely love them! And for breakfast I had a green juice! I added some water and lime because I like a little more tang in my green juice 🙂 Anywho, I can’t stop thinking about the risotto I made a few days ago, I had leftovers yesterday with an over easy egg on it and it was phenomenal… 

But.. back to the juice. For the rest of the day I have one green juice left and I will drink limeade when I’m feeling a bit famished. Let me know if you are cleansing or have cleansed 🙂

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Apartment Hunting?

So I just recently signed for a studio in Boston thanks to my dear friend Sam Rymer. He was an amazing realtor to work with since he really cared about my happiness and kept within my budget, which a lot of other realtors seldom do! I was ready to jump on this one studio on Newbury street but Sam knew that it wasn’t a fair deal and that there were better options. So he sent me to another nice neighborhood and found me amazing alternate choices of much higher standards. I was so thankful! The place I ended up choosing was a bit cheaper and much larger! 

 

So if anyone is looking to sublet, rent or purchase property or apartments in the Boston area definitely contact Sam Rymer and say Samantha referred you! He will definitely work with you and cater to your requirements, no bullshit! He can be reached at 617-775-3074 or srrymer88@gmail.com 

Definitely give him a ring, text, or email even if you need some assistance with the transition and process of finding a place in Boston! Proper realty has the largest database in Boston, so its def a good go!  

 

Hope this helps apartment seekers! xx

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The Chance to Live on Mars

Mars One

Have you guys heard about the Mars One project? Apparently this non-profit organization plans to send volunteers to Mars in 2023 to live there for a lifetime. Water was discovered on Mars, which is a possible sign of life. The volunteers who live there will be searching for life there and living the dream… of a space geek! Would you be willing to live there for the rest of your life? Check out the website to see videos that applicants have sent in to compete for their chance to live on Mars! You could be picked! xxx

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