As usual, life has caught up with my sorry behind and that means I’m behind here! I’ve been taking a 1-week sanity break after the World Food Championships, and another week to accommodate a nasty flu that popped up on Thanksgiving day. There’s so much to catch you guys up on!
Item number one is the amount of holiday festivities that have been going on here. Oh my goodness gracious, guys–the amount of food coma-ing happening has been obscene. Anybody else in the same boat?
Last night I hosted a White Elephant party for my international friend family, and it was SO much fun. By 5 PM, there were 18 people crammed into my stuffy apartment, and pretty soon there was a cheerful chatter filling up the tiny room as folks chowed down on all the great food my friend & I had whipped up that afternoon. (Fried rice, green onion pancakes, squash casserole, cheesy crescent rolls, jello cheesecake, maple brussel sprouts–forget stopping at “full,” you don’t go home from my food parties until you hate yourself 🙂 ) It’s strange to think that we all met each other for the first time a scant two months ago, but one of my favorite things about international communities is how quickly they pull together. A few weeks ago, another friend of ours hosted a Friendsgiving at his much larger, much more impressive and jacuzzi-swaggering residence. There was turkey, this cheesy garlic crack bread which was praised over-the-moon, s’mores made over a real fireplace, and so much merriment that I just about thought I would burst! It’s joyous moments like these that make me swell with the holiday spirit and ooze candy canes out of my pores, not that anybody needs an image of that stuck in their heads today…
In other news, my friend J is visiting for his residency interviews and he’s such a boss! I’m so proud of him–he’s been hitting up the entire United States for over a month now, and it’s kinda crazy to think that he’s well on his way to perhaps becoming your newest health care provider 😉 We spent a day together on Friday, just milling around in the local Japanese district and then going home to watch some of the greatest rom-coms of all time: What If, a 2013 film starring Daniel Radcliffe that is all about the ambiguous nuances of being in the Friend Zone; and Never Been Kissed, possibly the most heartwarming film about a dorky Chicago Sun Times copy-editor named Josie Geller who has to relive the atrocities of high school as an undercover reporter with one incredibly hot English teacher (played by Michael Vartan of Alias fame–yes please!). Both movies are incredibly nostalgic for me and are must-watches if you, like myself, have rom-com binge nights more often than you care to tell your friends.
Saturday found me back out at the Japanese food district, this time for a bowl of ramen. A queasy stomach meant plain noodles and a soft-boiled egg, but after that we walked around for 3 hours and chatted and plopped down in front of the dog-sitting room at Petsmart and watched the most adorable husky, corgi, terrier, and mutts run around as we chatted. Afterward, a phenomenal red velvet bread pudding and ice cream was in order–and though I couldn’t eat any for coughing, it felt nice to be able to simply take a day off and enjoy myself!
Later that night, yet another friend picked me up and we visited a local museum that houses 17th and 18th-century European art. The view of the city from on high was gorgeous–this place sits at the top of a tall hill–and you could almost imagine disappearing blip! into the night sky. Fortunately we didn’t, and we went back to eat Vietnamese food together and watch The Lion King before calling it a night.
So as you can see, I’ve been working very, very hard.
In my defense (not that anyone’s accusing me, but if they were), I’ve been in an emotional sort of high-to-crash for the past couple of weeks. I discovered after Florida that I was intensely tired, and after coming down with a first bout of cold, I lapsed into the flu, and now I’m on the cusp of recovery but am emotionally drained. After this week, socializing will have to shrink back to a minimum as I prepare to jump headfirst back into the research/work frenzy. Wish me luck!
For now, though, I want to leave you with this crazy cheeshttp://www.recipetineats.com/cheese-garlic-crack-bread-pull-apart-bread/y garlic crack bread I made for our loveliest Friendsgiving. It was a smash hit and absolutely the first dish on the table to be demolished. What I love about this bread is–well, it’s everything, really! The bread comes together in about 10 minutes and takes just another 20 minutes to toast up in the oven, so you’ll be in and out for your next holiday gathering in half an hour. The bread is pull-apart, which makes it automatic Fun–and each morsel is filled with cheesy, gooey, buttery, garlicky goodness that will keep your greedy fingers (and stomachs) coming back for more. I seriously can’t recommend this one enough!!!
Checking out for now, but I’ll be back soon with some more reflective life posts. Until then, have yourselves all a very merry food coma season!
- 1 large loaf sourdough or other crusty bread
- 3/4 cup shredded melting cheese (I used a blend of mozzarella and cheddar)
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Make 5-6 parallel diagonal slices across your loaf of bread--each slice should reach deep into the loaf, about 1 inch from the bottom. Then make 5-6 slices in the opposite diagonal direction to create a pattern of diamonds.
- In a small bowl, combine melted butter, garlic, salt, and parsley. Use your fingers to pry open each crack and brush some of the mixture into each crevice. Continue until you have filled all of the bread with buttery, garlicky goodness.
- Wrap the bread in foil and bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, until cheese is nice and melty. Unwrap and continue baking for another 5-10 minutes, until bread is toasted.
- Serve warm!