I made a thing. A thing made of Brie, butternut squash, and apples. A galette!

 

I tried to go to work today but I threw my back out of wack taking peanut butter chocolate chip toffee cookies out of the oven. I went to work for an hour and after realizing I couldn’t even sit comfortably I went home, put a hot pad on my back, and slept for a few more hours.

I feel so restless lately. I walk up and down the same streets. I’ve been devouring books, so many books, and they make me even more restless, because when I am done with them I am back to my life, not on a beach in Normandy or in the Carpathian mountains. I decided to foster some creativity and cook, which for me is always a test of my ability to read directions closely and not get too neurotic if it doesn’t come out well.

I have a folder on my computer that holds recipes for everything from Vietnamese spring rolls to sloppy joe sandwiches. However, one thing that I have wanted to try for months was a recipe that Happyolk posted. The recipe below is entirely from her, I take no credit!

She’s an amazing blogger in Colorado who posts beautiful photographs and recipes that make me want to drool. A lot of her posts are accompanied by gorgeous swaths of text. It’s more than a recipe- it’s a little mini story. She gets creative in clever ways, and this galette didn’t look too difficult to put together!

I’m not defective in the kitchen, but to be honest I don’t try. I’m exhausted after work and the gym, and the last thing I want to do is devote 1 or 2 hours to putting together meals.

However, lately I’ve been feeling very antsy and very disconnected to myself. I think cooking, or trying to, will give me a chance to listen to my body more and give it better things than something frozen or quickly, hastily put together. I’m trying all sorts of things to listen to myself more, because it’s hard sometimes to know what’s really wrong. Is anything really wrong?

Anyway, I followed her recipe pretty closely, except I already had pre-chopped butternut squash, so I sliced the small chunks pretty thin. I think getting a whole squash, peeling it, and then slicing much bigger slices would work better!

For the pastry dough you need: 

1 tsp sugar

Pinch of salt

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup ice water

12 tbs unsalted butter, cold

Mix flour + sugar + salt, then use the pastry chopper thing (ugh I have no idea what it’s actually called) or your fingers and break the butter apart and blend with flour until the mixture is course. Mix in the rest of the butter the same way. Pour in the ice water and mix dough into a ball. Roll dough flat, put in the fridge for 30+ minutes.

 

For the inside things (butternut squash, apples, cheese):

3 lb butternut squash

2 cups brie cheese w/o rind

2 apples, preferably Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, or Fuji (I used Pink Lady)

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

1 egg

Peel and slice butternut squash. Lay flat on a baking tray; drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Put in oven at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, then take out and let cool. Slice apples into 1/4 inch pieces with the peel on. Pull or slice apart the brie.

Take the dough from the fridge, and put on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Have it be about 12″ or so in a disc shape. Then begin layering cool squash, apples, and brie cheese as you want! Use all your ingredients, leaving a 1 1/2″ empty edge on the dough disc for pulling it up and securing the delicious filling inside!

Gently fold the edges up around the filling. Pinch edges. Put an egg wash on the outside, then put back into the 400 degree F oven for 30-40 minutes! Then consume the delicious concoction you just made and swell with pride that you did it. YAY!

I made this for myself, and I have plenty leftover for lunch at the office! No more sandwiches!

Again, all recipe content from Happyolk.

From the fone.

I got my thesis approved, an independent study approved, and I’ve signed up for a graduate level class as an undergraduate for the second time in my academic history.

Whew.

I also made a pecan pie for Chris for his birthday. He was actually sick on it, but we made the pie once he was better. I did a damn good job. I don’t think he can disagree.

I’ve been mastering pizza. Pizza pizza pizza. Veggie pizza, meat pizza, any kind of pizza I can whip together with what’s on hand!

Chris got me into Star Trek: The Next Generation, and I have been thoroughly sucked in! NOOOO/YESSSS/WHAT?

I cut myself with a particularly rough piece of cardboard (which yes, can happen).

Chelsea came for the weekend and stayed with me. We slept in my bed and ate bagels and drank things with vodka and gin. I already miss that girl but hopefully might be travelling down to see her in California over Spring Break- fingers crossed!

I have literally been busy almost every moment though. If I’m not at school I’m making food or working on projects or coordinating projects or trying to make sure I graduate or I’m working. C’est la vie!

Life is a beautiful fast paced thing right now. I’ve got Portra film in a camera so I might get that done soon.

 

Seattle food- we ate and ate, and it was marvelous

006_19 008_17 012_13 013_12 011_14A 012_13A 013_12A 013_10A 018_5AOver our 36 hours in Seattle, my family and friends and I ate SO much food- I couldn’t quite believe the quantities of food we consumed.

When we arrived in West Seattle, we went to Salty’s near the ferry pier. The food was pretty good! The service was alright, not awesome, but I had a marvelous Moscow Mule (not in a copper mug, sadly) and some oysters and sushi. The sushi could have been fresher, but the oysters were fantastic! The truffle fries were overrated but good nonetheless.

The next day we ventured across the bay into the main part of the city. We had crepes for lunch, which were awesome- a place tucked into the back of Pike’s Place.  Later, we shopped and meandered around some of the downtown area, before I met up with my friend Ariel, who led me to the Clever Bottle- a wittyily named bar that she had been to before.

We had the lavender coconut cocktail and split a board of cheese and bread. It was happy hour, the drinks were excellent, and the cheese board was awesome!

The next morning I had a cheese danish from the Metropolitan Market in West Seattle- which was AMAZING! They also have a seriously awesome cheese selection. Just in case you’re there and you didn’t know. Because cheese is…well, I don’t know what words describe the awesomeness of cheese.

Currently eating, procrastinating, and waiting for spring to make up its mind.

I’ve been eating sporadic delicious things, trying new drinks (whiskey ginger, old fashioned, gin blossom, etc.- yay variety!) and crossing my fingers that spring might actually stay.

Chelsea came to town for a weekend of drinks at Plonk, Jeopardy at 3 am, and in the morning, peach crisp and angora sweaters. Julia has continued to be my model for many photo projects. School is getting stressful. To cope I’ve been ravenously watching Wes Anderson films- they calm me down for whatever reason.

I’ve been reading and trying to write and hitting a wall in getting myself together. I’ll be working in my hometown again this summer, which will be very relaxing. I’m good at my job at the front desk and it’s not too difficult.

So, I leave you all to sleep for 8 hours. Anybody who knows me knows that if I don’t get at least 8 (10 is optimal) I’m a monstrous creature to behold.

Food stuffs.

If you’re important in my life we’re going to go get food together. I’m going to drag you to my favorite diners, we’re going to eat delicious creations, and there will always be something sweet in there. And, inevitably, at some point I will pull out either my bulky SLR or my bulky Minolta (efficiency isn’t my thing, clearly) and begin photographing the food if I have deemed it worthy of being so captured. Most of the people I eat with get conditioned to this behavior, and eventually don’t bat an eye.

Anyway, here are the things that have been consumed in the last few weeks!

Food and thoughts. Or, if we want to go cliche, food for thought. You choose.

 

 

What does it say that I’m super sensitive to spicy food but always find myself being with the people who love the hottest food possible? (I’m trying to eat more spice to get myself used to it!)

Seriously, though.

This weekend was mediocre pie with somebody not mediocre in any way, La Tinga and sharing our space with a bitter Michigander whose presence I found quite humorous, and Sunday morning donuts worth drooling over for a pittance.

Just so you know, writing a check for $4.50 for six donuts doesn’t make people, specifically older already feisty men, very happy. In case you were wondering.

Massive photo post of what’s been going on.

Alright, so my life has been semi-hectic. I apologize for a lack of real posts. Using Frans Hals is not a legitimate excuse, I know! Forgive me!

I moved into my apartment, as you saw in a previous post. I have a window that won’t shut, and chickens that wake me up at 4 am living behind the apartment. I have to buy groceries like a real adult- and damn, it’s tough! My classes have started- I love my Italian Baroque class, even though I thought I was Baroque-d out! (You know what they say: If it’s not Baroque, don’t fix it!). I got in a debate over medieval art before class with a sassy grad student today. My Oceanography course seems interesting, and my course on the History of Museums is going to be AMAZING because I find museums to be the most glorious of things. If I could take up permanent residence in one…well, I can dream.

I’ve been bowling and breakfasting and not turning in my film, so some of these are a few weeks old! Remember that hike I hated? Yeah, some more pictures from that trail from hell.

This last weekend a good friend was in town and stopped by- an adventure in the Lewis and Clark Caverns ensued, and a tour of my campus was included- a brush with Walt Whitman was required, as I walked past this sculpture everyday. Discussions of music, stalagmites and stalactites were had, and Bozeman actually wasn’t an oven, which made walking and hiking bearable. Breakfast was had with other friends at a kitschy establishment that proved to be delicious. I got ready for class, and unpacked more things.

Goodbyes have been happening lately. I hate goodbyes. I’m so bad at them, I’m more of a pretend we’ll see each other and never make the formal thing happen kind of girl.  I do genuinely believe, though, in the whole “small world” concept. Living abroad for two years has taught me that you can and will see people again, no matter what, if everything lines up. The world is incredibly interconnected, and people find each other and luck has a way of making it possible to make your goodbye not so much of a permanent thing. I have not seen my best friends in Switzerland in almost two years (a lifetime for somebody 21) and although it hurts, I have no doubt that I’ll see them soon. So, when I say goodbye to people in my life, I never really put faith in that goodbye, because I don’t believe it will really be so final.

Other than making grand ideas of mine known to the Internet, I’ve been biking sans helmet (a certain somebody is judging me), going to the gym every morning before class, and the library has already been offering solitude from the oppressive, smoky heat. I’m on the student newspaper this year, and everybody on staff seems to be rather glorious. Fall has yet to arrive- right now it’s just hot hot heat and a lot of sunscreen.

I hope your summers are winding down beautifully!

Summer gets busy, blah blah blah.

Life is back in a solid schedule.

I’m working at the Forest Service again, only this time as a front desk person! I get to answer phone calls, answer the public’s questions, work on time sheets, and all sorts of miscellaneous tasks. Honestly, I’m stoked to work there- my co-workers are awesome, there are some new people I already find interesting and hope to get to know, and I get to gather a whole new skill set! WOO!

The last week has been a mix of night runs, small gatherings of friends, and general meandering. My life has settled into a routine. I’m really excited because I’m already getting out a lot more than I did last summer. I hang out with Kristin a lot, and she’s really into hiking, biking, and being outside with SPF, which is perfect. Julia is graduating very soon and then jetting off to Deutschland to hang with her mysterious Tanten (aunts),  which I’m quite jealous of.

I’m trying to teach myself German, and the grammar is already destroying my mind. What I’m doing is trying to focus on learning present tense and building myself more of a conversational vocabulary rather than trying to get too deep into grammar, as I know it’s very difficult once you really commit to it.

Anyway, enjoy these images! I’ll try to post more regularly. I got a new computer as the other one finally died yesterday, too, so maybe this’ll be more efficient!

Tschüß, dear readers!

May be we will, May be we won’t.

MAY IS HERE! Te gustan los puns, verdad?

These photographs are from late April, but whatever. Deal with it. All of my photographs from May (err…today) are on some film in my camera right now.

I drove back to Helena today to drop off some massive suitcases and trunks, then had lunch mit meiner Mutter.

Last week was a combination of papers, exams, presentations, and celebrations. A party Friday night with some people quite wunderbar, and Saturday and Sunday were a blur of paper writing, socializing, and photographing said socializations. Things around Bozeman are blooming, and I couldn’t be happier.

Also, side note: The cloud formations recently have been amazing. I can’t stop looking up. Not a good thing whilst driving.

Another side note: I love driving in Montana. Fast roads, few police officers, and a light car make for lovely morning and evening drives.

Food lately

Target was closed on Easter, or you would have seen these much earlier! (That means about 30 something hours sooner). I’m still so pleased with how the f/1.4 lens is making everything seem! I guess I’m in the honeymoon stage with a camera lens- oops.

Emily and I went to Cafe Zydeco, a Cajun food place off Main Street, and it was delicious! Nova Cafe with Kristin was perfect, per usual, except this time I didn’t gorge myself! I got a nice, normal sizes meal (le sigh)- normally I leave feeling like I could sleep for hours with a full stomach.

There was snow this weekend, but it quickly melted. I’ll post photographs sometime later. It’s Montana, it’s April, but snow keep showing up, unwanted. Like that party guest who comes and drinks all your liquor and then disappears and shows up sporadically.

Anyway, back to the point of this post: FOOD!

Alright, so I’m in love with food in a way that I haven’t encountered in a whole lot of other people. To me, it’s a gorgeous creation that I couldn’t imagine not having in my life. I love photographing it and eating it, savoring the image later to rekindle how good the meal tasted. Good food is something to be savored.

The f/1.4 lens makes a debut!

Okay, guys. I’m excited.

So the photographs I’m posting aren’t my favorites, but the focus of the 1.4 lens is SO awesome that it makes them automatically more fun! I like how it’s soft and crisp at the same time. Plus, it lets it so much more light, and I hate using artificial flash!

When my parents gave it to me, I took of my 50mm f/1.8 and compared it to the f/1.4, and showed them how much more LIGHT will be let it, and I got super ridiculously loud and happy about it. In a public place. Oops.

I’ve got another roll almost ready, and I’m finally starting to get the hang of focusing with the lens, so perhaps the next roll will be a little more awesome, but here are some photographs from the first roll with this beautiful new addition to my lens collection!

Someday I’ll take pictures of all of the lenses I own and give a visual catalog. Some of them are quite lovely! This is my current favorite though.

The calm before the storm.

After driving back from Seattle, life resumes in the Queen City. I frequent my favorite coffee shop and try to write a paper on dual consciousness, go out to breakfast with friends, enjoy amazing strawberries, have late-nite soup at diners, and sleep.

Now, I’m back at school, with presentations and papers leering at me. It has snowed almost 12 inches in the last few hours, I discovered a roll of film I forgot to develop, and life goes on, the way it does every day.

I hope you all are having a bearable Monday!

Food photographs: Seattle Edition

I live to eat. I do not eat to live. Food is a passion, a way of life, and frankly, a big deal. I also tend to photograph food constantly, to the chagrin of my friends and family. They have  accepted that at some point during our meals a bulky Olympus OM-20 will make an appearance and begin snapping away at everybody’s food- sometimes with flash!

The food in Seattle was great. I had never properly wandered through every crevice of the Pike Place Market, touristy though it may seem, and we found a great crepe place hidden in the back! My childhood friend Ariel also took us to Michou, right on the Market, where we had great deli-style sandwiches. She works for a really cool company right downtown, and although it was a cold, blustery walk, it was entirely worth it!

I also photographed the food stalls a lot. I couldn’t help myself! Blood oranges, snap peas, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries- how could one not? I find that photographing food also makes me appreciate my meals more. I go back and just say, “Ahhh, wasn’t _____ marvelous?” (Insert photographed meal in blank space).