Tag Archives: dinner

family dinner

last week we had a counselors-only late night family dinner. we all planned special foods to bring to this potluck/break from dining hall food. I decided it was a food-art challenge: make a delicious and unexpected dish made entirely from foods (borrowed?) from the dining hall. I added later that I wanted it to be mostly vegan, and I expanded that I could get the ingredients from anywhere on campus, but not buy them.

ENTREE: Garbanzo Bean Gazpacho with Cucumbers and Grapes.

(stolen goods)

Soup Stock:
1 baggie of mushrooms/carrots mix (from the salad bar)
1 baggie red onions (from salad bar)
6 celery sticks (from the condiments bar)
5 oil-spread/ butter packets (from condiments bar)
1 bay leaf (take from on top of another dish in hot-bar; optional, probably not advisable)
salt & pepper (shakers on table)
3-4 cups of water (from tap)
1 baggie garbanzo beans (from the salad bar)
red pepper flakes (from pasta bar)
2-3 cups full of soy milk or milk (from milk machine)
1 baggie sliced cucumbers (from salad bar)
1 baggie red grapes (from fruit parfait bar), sliced in half
1 spoonful / serving of plain yogurt (from fruit parfait bar)
1. Create veggie stock: saute onions in butter with salt until browned. Add celery (cut up), mushrooms, carrots. Saute with spices until very cooked. Add garbanzo beans and brown slightly. once all ingredients are thoroughly cooked and browned, add 3-4 cups of water, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. [NOTE: for more refined soup: do not add garbanzo beans to stock. Simmer stock, strain out vegetables, then add garbanzo beans.]
2. After removing pot from stove and cooling to room temperature, blend the soup in a blender. Add enough milk to blender to smooth out the soup and make less thick. Return the soup to the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.
3. Before serving, add sliced cucumbers and sliced grapes to the top of the soup, do not stir in. Diners have option of adding a spoon-ful of yogurt to their soup for extra tang and smooth-ness.

I think everyone liked it! I didn’t exactly tell everyone what was in the soup and they were silent as I served it. BUT! once they tasted it, everyone was surprised how good it was! especially because it sorta turned a weird color from the stock process.

DESSERT: Morir Soñando (Die dreaming) popsicles

1 cupful of soymilk (from the milk machine)
1 cupful of orange juice (from the juice machine)
cinnamon/nutmeg mix (from the starbucks next door)
4 packets sugar (from the coffee bar)
10 coffee stirrers (from the starbucks next door)
1. mix milk, juice, cinnamon, sugar in a bowl until sugar and spices dissolved.
2. pour into an ice-cube tray
3. break coffee stirrers in half; place one stirrer half in each ice cube mold.
4. freeze for at least 4 hours. Serve cold.
  • sweet-potato hashbrowns (by Rylee!)
  • swiss-mushroom and goat-cheese-tomato quiche (by Rylee!)
  • home-made pizza bagels (by Narooz!)
  • swiss-chard stirfry (by Jordan!)
  • orange-cinnamon rolls (by Juliet!)
  • Key Lime Pie (by Danielle!)
  • cookies & chocolate espresso beans (by Hooper!)

totally delish 11pm (after the students go to bed) dinner… lovely nysssa family time.

Leave a comment

Filed under thoughts

let’s go dancing.

hello friends!

let me take you on a journey* through my magical Friday night.

[*NOTE: after careful consideration of the fact that most photo-documentations of concerts tend to be blury low-lit blobs of color and stage-equipment, I decided that I would document the night via drawings of my impressions of that part of the night.]

This journey started many months ago when my good friend Juliet said “OMG ALIYA, I’m coming up to NYC to see my good friends/ favorite band ever PEARL AND THE BEARD play. you have to come see them / I can’t wait to see you.” I said, “OMG AWESOME.” and bought a ticket.

Forgot about it for a while and then bam it’s time to go! Have to admit, I was more excited to see Juliet than I was to see the band, but I mean, she flew all the way up here from Jacksonville Floridaaa so they must be great / why not enjoy myself there too!?

The Cast:

For this adventure I was not only joined by the amazing Juliet, but also by her also delightful friends visiting from Boston, Emily and Brandon. Emily and Juliet had known each other since they were so little, and Brandon had an awesome red flannel jacket. Some awesome facts: Juliet and Emily kinda have the same hair-cut, even though they haven’t seen each other for months! Brandon and Emily are buying a house in June! woah how exciting / congrats!! and, that house is across the street from a CARPETED grocery store. think about that one for a bit.

We ate some great dinner at this thai place. best Early Bird Special ever (especially because according to Florida standards eating at 6:30pm is NOT qualifying for Early Bird Specials) = $15 for tons of delicious food. TAKE A LOOK!

my fav was the pad-thai with “veggie duck” — it was SO GOOD!!! any thoughts on what (fake meat product) I was eating though? (not tempeh)

Then we headed over to the KNITTING FACTORY. nice place. there was a bar in the front of the concert-y part of the place, and there was an adorable baby hanging out with us at the bar. a baby in a bar. only in Williamsburg. It had cute shoes too. (side note: since moving here I have seen an innummerable amount of little kids on razor scooters. tons. i will attempt to photograph them all from now on. this makes me think of the Great Pregnant Irish Lady Count of 2009)


The first band was THE LISPS. They were a delightful fun/energetic/circus-y/self-described-“quirky”/dancy delightful band that I just loved. totally got me going dancing and singing along and just smiling even though I’d never heard their music before. I also learned that they had just written a musical that was being produced by the theater organization which Brandon works at, which is so cool. Fav lyric was from the song “try”: “try to take responsibility for your crappy life, try to eat the seeds, try to peel the skin, try to be in the place that you’re already in.”

Almost as good as their performance, though, was the 3 intense Fans attending the show as well. They were probably the biggest tallest dudes of the whole audience, and they stood in the very front of the crowd, and were so enthusiastic and singing every word and dancing around and punching the air and being excited. They were so adorable I didn’t even care that they were blocking my view. So my documentation of this set is as follows:

A: super cutie guitar man with the curly hair and red pants (who’s totes married)

B: super cutie lead singer / file-cabinet drummer (?) who wore the best dress that had this hemline that was varied without looking tacky and circus-costume-y, and who pulled off the adorable look without looking 10 years old. A beautiful singer

C: super cutie quiet stoic bass man (are all the bass players stereotyped into this category? sorry)

D: super cutie intense drummer man. he used his shoulders a lot to feel the music / beat. i liked that.

E: MY FAVORITE FANS! You just wouldn’t have thought these big guys would’ve been so into this music. I loved it. I’m a fan of them.

Later on in the night, Brandon went and spoke with the band and introduced himself, because he had been the one writing the grant to get them the money to produce the musical. And they’d never met! and here they were! together!! It’s Networking Making Friends Time!!!

OK! Act II was LADY LAMB AND THE BEEKEEPER. Wow. she was just very intense. She was a little lady, beautiful, and totally powerful. She had this presence and a voice that filled the stage and the room and bowled you over.

I drew her filling up the stage with her intensity. Those lights behind her were the only band-mates she needed.

She kinda intimidated me. How can you be so young (and by that i mean younger than me, even if it’s only a little) and so successful (“I’m opening for Beirut next month”) and powerful and sure of yourself? Standing up there in some casual oh-i-just-threw-this-on outfit and just taking the world on! It was inspiring and scary. I want to be like that, and I make all these excuses and distractions and am just not that sometimes. I mean in my own genre, not necessarily with singing. But overall she was inspiring. I need those kinds of people to keep me focused on what I’m really up to, to inspire me to keep being big, superhero, powerful woman out in the world taking all the scary things on. And I know she’s a person too. she probably gets scared too.

AND THEN! Act Three!!! Pearl and The Beard were much hyped by everyone around me and all the opening acts and I still had never heard them. And then there they were, lined up and set up really professionally and just, calmly. That’s how I describe it. Calm and Collected: like, “dudes, we got this. don’t worry. let’s have a great time now”

I loved them! so fun! and powerful and musical and all encompassing. My favorite kind of artwork. They inspired me with their intense/calm dynamic. It was “all cool”, and it was all “super serious” all at once. They were beautiful but not too cutesy. Their music was just very authentic feeling. And I loved how mismatched but also perfect they seemed as a trio. That is my very bad description of what they sounded like. Similar to the way concert photographs never quite capture the visuals, maybe my word reviews can’t sum up the sounds. But anyways.

And then I was exhausted. I woke up at 6:15am to bike to BIKRAM YOGA in the SNOW/RAIN. ohy vey, I’m not in Florida anymore for sure. (It was a great week experimenting with waking up early to work out — but it was a nice experiment. New work out routine for this week!)

but the evening filled me with new inspiration. Some thoughts/ ideas I had that night from being in such a creative delightful space:

  • make a line of (non-ironic) crazy pregnant lady clothing. when you’re pregnant i think it must be the best time to wear ridiculous clothes ever. I mean when else is it so socially acceptable to look so bizarre???
  • write/make/sing a musical (preferably in collaboration with my super cutie future boyfriend)
  • make (real) ginger beer
  • a collaborative SINGING PASSOVER SEDER !! (like we find/write songs for each part of the story and then preform them instead of reading the haggadah!!!)
  • make a photo-tour of the neighborhood hardware stores with pros/cons/features of each
  • make a facebook imaginary-band Page and post weird sounds as my “songs”
  • do an interview each week with someone I like/someone I want to get to know/ someone I think is cool or is doing a cool project / someone I’m inspired by.

I leave you all with a quote I overheard at the concert, that sums up a lot about life, really: “I did not want a burrito.”


Filed under thoughts

you’re invited too!

come on down the street and let’s drink some sodas in the heat.

hopefully all the neighborhood hotties show up.

also upcoming: high school 5 year reunion? maybe? can’t decide if I’m lame if i go or what. all my friends who I’ve talked to have remarked about how silly it is or how they’re definitely NOT going. hmmm…. maybe I can bring them with, then we all feel less lame.

Also upcoming: Miracle Forts! at Milagro Center!

Also upcoming: West Coast Bonar/Friedman/Leher Family United! for dinner, for celebration, for Bubbie and Zaydie’s 60th anniversary, for love, for family. It’ll be almost as cute and awesome and together as we were here:

aliya, daniel, sam, michael, david

I can’t wait. I love my family.

Leave a comment

Filed under thoughts