I can't believe that I just checked in for my flight to Athens and then Istanbul. It's still amazing to me that we even get to take this trip. I've barely google'd pictures at all but I can't wait to dive into the guidebooks I bought for the plane. I plan on eating my way through this trip - from what I hear, the food is amazing. Talk to me about Turkish coffee? Will I be wowed? I'm not super thrilled for the plane rides but I'm lucky to have a pretty cool travel buddy. See ya in the springtime!
February 24, 2014
February 18, 2014
I got excited about this book after hearing Malcolm Gladwell speak on a panel in Hartford a little while back. In the past, his books never really grabbed me - they just seemed kind of...fluffy. But his description of this book seemed different. I was especially interested because he has some focus on education which is obviously my new favorite subject.
I really enjoyed this book overall. His points were well made and well supported. I feel like I learned something new with each turn of the page. If you haven't previously been drawn to one of his books before, I would give this one a try. The stories are engaging and not too heavy. I really loved how Malcolm was able interview so many people to gain their insights for his chapters. I felt like I was getting a first hand account from the source rather than just a collection of research points.
I'm looking forward to sharing the chapters on education with my team. He makes some really interesting points about class size, and "top colleges" that I think are very applicable to the world.
February 17, 2014
Thursday's snow day kept me cooped up at home which has it's pros and cons. The good news is that it's really easy for me to work from home, the bad news...I end up getting consumed by work and don't move from the couch. Around 4pm, I needed a break and easily located a recipe on Pinterest that called for ingredients I already had on hand. Always stock your pantry well with critical baking items. You never know when the urge will hit you. I whipped up these cookies which called for egg whites for the marshmallow fluff. I didn't want to waste the yolks and I immediately knew I could make a quick chocolate pudding with them.
This recipe is pretty straight forward and makes about 5-6 servings depending on how much you fill up the jars. You probably already have all the ingredients on hand so what are you waiting for?
Homemade Chocolate Pudding
3/4 cup to 1 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons cornstarch
8 oz (3/4 cup) bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate
2 2/3 cups milk
2 large egg yolks
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder (optional)
In a heavy saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and a pinch of salt. Add cocoa powder if using. (This is optional based on how chocolatey you want your pudding. If you want it to taste like a more classic chocolate pudding leave this out and be sure to add less sugar). Chop chocolate (or use chips) and add to sugar mixture. Note: Be sure to adjust the amount of sugar you add based on what kind of chocolate you're using. I used semi-sweet chips + cocoa powder so I only added about 3/4 cup sugar. If you're not using the cocoa powder, I would add even less sugar because the chips are already sweet. If you're using bittersweet chocolate, add 3/4 - 1 cup sugar based on your preference. In a bowl, whisk together milk and egg yolks. Gradually whisk into chocolate mixture. Bring mixture just to a boil over moderate heat, whisking constantly (takes about 5 minutes). Boil for 1 minute until thick. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla.
Divide pudding into ramekins or small mason jars. Cover the surface with plastic wrap to avoid creating a skin. Chill puddings in refrigerator for a couple hours (up to 3 days) or in the freezer for 30 minutes until firm. Top with homemade whipped cream and sprinkles.
February 10, 2014
Honestly, this week was a total blur...mostly a blur of snow. Monday we got dumped on followed by an icy mess (and work from home day!) on Wednesday. Our driveway is still iced over and it's currently snowing (as of Sunday night). While I do love the beautiful sun reflecting off the crisp, white snow, it can be hard to stay motivated when it's cold and the days are short. In fact, I recently contemplated signing up for a half marathon at the end of April but I honestly don't know how I'd get myself ready for it. The Yale gym is an issue and running outside obviously isn't happening with the sidewalks iced over. I am looking forward to a yoga class this week with a work buddy. At this point, I'm just counting down the days till we're on a plane half way to Greece!
Also, yay for birthday months!