Monthly Archives: September 2010

The Craziness We Call Life

Wow. It has been a very long time since I’ve written anything! And I know I’ve been using all sorts of excuses for it lately… but this time it’s legit. I have very little to no time… AND SCHOOL IS JUST STARTING!!! Don’t think I’m complaining though. I have a feeling this is going to be an awesome year! I love my classes:

  1. Environmental Ecology: A study of principles of ecology and their implications for analyzing environmental problems. Focus on understanding the processes controlling the dynamics of populations,communities and ecosystems. Specific examples emphasize the application of these concepts to the management of natural resources.
  2. Anthropology and the Environment: Examines human dimensions of global environmental change in developing countries from an interdisciplinary social science perspective. Compares and contrasts alternative conceptual and analytical models of dynamic, interrelated human-environmental systems and presents recent approaches to understanding risk, vulnerability, resilience, and disasters.
  3. Environmental Current Topics: Six public lectures dealing with environmental topics. Weekly discussion sections on the lectures and brief written evaluations of six lectures.
  4. Philosophy: Intro to Ethics: An examination, at an introductory level, of such ethical issues as: why bemoral, moral relativism, the nature of virtues and vices; and possibly consideration of practical ethical problems such as abortion or war.
  5. Physics 6C: Presents concepts and methodologies for understanding physical phenomena, and is particularly useful preparation for upper-division study in the life sciences. Electromagnetic waves. Geometric optics, optical instruments. Interference and diffraction. Quantum theory of the atom. Nuclear physics. If time permits: Special relativity, elementary particle physics.
  6. Physics 6C Lab

So… aside from Physics (which I’m finally in my last quarter of!) it’s a bomb schedule! But supppper crazy. And then on top of that I have the worlds best job:

  • KCSB 91.9 FM, Santa Barbara Promotions Coordinator.
  • Aside from sounding really important, I basically get paid to look up upcoming shows for awesome bands and do cross-promotional opportunities with local venues and promoters… plus, I’ve expanded our ticket giveaways to include a ton of shows that are happening in LA and SLO.
  • Like I said… BEST JOB EVER. Plus, we get staff passes to most of the events so I get to go to shows for free (when I have time).
  • And our radio station is a commercial-free college station so we don’t play any of the super commercial stuff you hear all of the time. No Top 40 for us! We are a station dedicated to alternative views and promoting lesser-known genres. My show, for instance, is a CA-local surf and psychedelic rock show… but we also have people playing different world musics, classical, electronica…anything you can think of. Plus we have super cool public affairs shows that showcase lesser-heard views on important issues. Basically it’s just an awesome place to be.

Anyways, that’s why I’ve been so M.I.A. Plus I’ve been hyping Surf Club to all of the new freshmen and hitting up Environmental Affairs Board meetings.

I am finally getting a hang of balancing it all so look out for awesome new recipes and environmental tips… just not as often as they used to come at you. For a teaser:

Corn Risotto

  • 2 ears of Corn
  • 2/3 cup Rice
  • 2 cups Veggie Stock
  • 1/3 cup White Wine
  • 1 sprig Thyme
  • Any fresh herbs
  • 1/3 cup Onion, minced
  • 2 tsp. EVOO
  • 2 tbsp. Butter
  • 1/4 cup Parmiggiano Reggiano, grated
  • 1/3 Large Tomato, diced

Cut the corn off of the cob and place half into a food processor. Process until smooth. Bring the veggie stock to a simmer. Meanwhile, sweat the onion in the olive oil and add the rice until opaque. Add the white wine to deglaze the pan and cook until most cooks off. Add 1/3 of the veggie stock stirring continuously. When most has been absorbed by the rice add another third. Test the rice and if still not cooked add the final third of the veggie stock. Make sure the rice stays al dente. Add the butter, parmiggiano reggiano, tomato, herbs, salt/pepper, and both types of corn.

eco-benefits

  1. When I made this dish, corn was still local, organic, and in season! You can change it up depending on the season to keep the veggies eco-friendly.
  2. Rice normally takes forever to cook and uses a lot of energy that way. I found that this allowed the rice to cook quicker (though I could have been imagining things).
  3. If you leave out the cheese and switch the butter to vegan margarine it becomes a vegan masterpiece! And we all know that going vegan is like riding a bicycle in the eco world.
  4. The green bean side dish is super easy to make and if you find the beans local and organic it’s also super eco friendly. Just saute them with onion and garlic and top them off with some parmiggiano reggiano. Yum yum yum!
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10 Things I’ve Learned This Summer… and Grilled Watermelon Salad

This summer has been crazy! From visiting my mom in Nashville and road-tripping to New Orleans, researching/swimming with whale sharks which are the largest fish species and SO cool, and having a family reunion on a lake in Washington (which is one of my favorite states) to getting my wisdom teeth out and finding out I’m one of the lucky people who gets chronic migranes, there have been ups and downs and loop de loops galore. And I really wouldn’t change this summer for anything. I had a ball. I hung out with my friends, I cooked up a storm, I spent a lot of time bonding with my family, and I had some crazy cool adventures too. Here’s what this summer has taught me (or at least 10 of the things I’ve learned–> in no particular order):

  1. It’s way easier to write a blog when I’m procrastinating schoolwork then it is when I’m putting off hanging out with friends–> even though I’ve cooked more this summer than I do during the year.
  2. Sewing is not as easy as it looks (I made a faux fur jacket that looks super vintage but my goodness was it difficult!–>and my mom helped me finish it up).
  3. I definitely chose the right major in college and after my time with the whale sharks I’m super amped for heading back up to school (on Thursday!)
  4. The more time you spend doing something (in my case cooking), the more you realize you have a LOT to learn. (Graduating high school I thought I knew everything… college taught me this lesson too).
  5. Growing herbs inside is actually pretty darn easy (I have a nice little herb garden going–>plus tomatoes and bell peppers–>and they’re doing well despite the fact I’m known to have the opposite of a green thumb).
  6. There’s no one in your life like your family followed closely by your best friends. The people that are there for you year after year despite what dumb choices you made are really valuable. I owe these people so much.
  7. We will all face a broken heart someday. And we will all think that it will not mend. Broken hearts do eventually heal. And if you truly loved someone they can end up as one of your best friends later even though you may believe you’ll never get there.
  8. We need to practice what we preach. I write all about eco-friendly eating and I really do try to incorporate what I write into my own cooking. Obviously, I have days where I want something that isn’t super green, and that’s ok as long as I do my best. There are people, however, who talk so much about certain issues and then leave them to someone else to resolve. Your cause doesn’t have to be the environment. You don’t even need to have a cause. If you do, however, lead by example. Don’t be hypocritical about it if you really do care.
  9. Sometimes the little things are really what makes the world a wonderful place to be living. Enjoy them. Sit and watch a sunset, eat a chocolate bar, paint a picture (if it’s bad just call it abstract… that’s what I do), play board games, blow bubbles when you’re chewing gum, take a bubble bath, read a book, go surfing (even if you end up not catching a wave and basically being a buoy), go for a bike ride, etc. It doesn’t have to cost you a lot to have a good time.
  10. Every day is precious. We only have so long. Don’t wait until you’re retired to start doing what you want to. By then… it may be too late. Travel now before the ice caps melt, the coral reefs bleach, and more animal species go extinct (even if it’s an icky species it has a place in the ecosystem). See the world in all of its beauty. Change some of your less “green” practices now so your children might get to see the environment like you can now. Stay out too late. Get up too early. Do something you are afraid you’ll fail at. Enjoy every moment you have.

In Washington, I tried wake surfing. I've never done any lake sport before so I was worried...I had a blast!

Grilled Watermelon Salad

  • Watermelon, cut into squares of about 2 in. by 2 in.
  • Arugula
  • Goat Cheese, crumbled
  • Balsamic Vinegar, reduced
  • Tomato, chopped
  • EVOO

Rub the watermelon on both sides with EVOO. Place on grill for about 3-5 minutes a side. Place a bit of arugula on a plate. Top with goat cheese and tomato. Place one watermelon square on top of that then make another layer. Top with another watermelon square. Place more goat cheese on top and drizzle with the reduced balsamic vinegar.

MAKE THIS WHILE WATERMELON IS STILL IN SEASON!!! It is soooo delicious. I love how the watermelon almost looks like a seared piece of ahi tuna and it gets such a delicious savory flavor when it’s cooked. SO GOOD. And using local, organic produce is so good for you and it’s so sustainable.