Hi there, chefs (and prospective ones)!We had a really interesting day in cooking last night learning about Lebanese food! I never really had exposure to it before, so this was a good chance to try something new and different! If I could describe Lebanese food in a word, it would be aromatic! When we were cooking and eating everything smelled like cinnamon and allspice (two of the staple spices), and it was scrumptious!
Think of Lebanese food, if you’re not familiar with it, as being a cross between Greek and Middle Eastern cuisines. The Greek influences I would say are the use of phillo dough and feta cheese in some dishes, along with yogurt; the middle eastern influences seem to be more in the aromatics and spices that are used along with the dishes. What also was really neat was having a native Lebanese teacher come in to show us the ropes (and demonstrate how to make hummus! mmmmmm). Enjoy the pictures!
Next week… we’re going to the Far East - India! I’m looking forward to a good curry (among other delicious things, of course).
Recipe of the Week: Pasta with Ricotta and Tomato Sauce. The recipe follows below. It’s one of my favorite quick pasta dishes, and like many of these other recipes, it’s perfect to make on a busy weekend night when you want something delicious but not time-consuming! For a variation with a bit more bite throw some peas into the pasta water for the last couple minutes of cooking time!
1 lb pasta (preferably rotini or farfalle - something to hold onto the chunky sauce)
15 oz. tomato sauce (preferably Hunts or similar brand that is not already seasoned)
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup ricotta (part-skim or lowfat is fine, no need to have the extra calories!)
Salt and pepper
Grated parmigiano reggiano (or your favorite Italian hard cheese)
Bring salted water to a boil and cook the pasta till al dente.
While that is going, cook garlic in oil over medium heat until a bit toasty (a minute or so). Then add the tomato sauce (be careful it doesn’t splatter!) and seasonings to taste. Heat through.
Once the pasta and sauce are done, strain the pasta (leaving some of the starchy pasta water) and add the sauce to it. Stir in the ricotta, and then add the grated cheese to desired level of cheesiness. Enjoy!
When packing for college, the first thing on your mind is likely not about celebrating your birthday. However, months later, as the inevitable birthday approaches, you may actually start to wonder what a birthday looks like without the friends and family you’ve likely spent every year with. Thankfully, at Caltech, there are many opportunities to make sure that a birthday away is just as good, if not better, than the one at home. One example is the Venerable house birthday tradition.
Studying at Caltech is a lot like crewing a spaceship. You get to work alongside some of the most talented people on Earth, you’re constantly doing science in order to survive, and the environment tends to keep you under a lot of pressure. It’s an incredible experience, and also a very challenging one, to be sure. Sometimes you’re left feeling like an impostor among your crewmates, having failed to complete every task you think is expected of you. But fear not! These feelings are not based in reality; they are merely symptoms of a benign condition known as impostor syndrome. Think you might be affected? This post is for you.
Always not quite organized, my desk is a constant, yet subtle reminder of why I ultimately chose Caltech: the people. (sigh… I bet you haven’t heard that one before!). It’s no secret that Caltech has a small undergraduate population but, in my experience, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find your people, it means you’ll be able to find them faster!
With the third term fast approaching and the status of COVID on campus pushing all major events to the spring quarter, students of the houses of Caltech were excited. The reason? Interhouse season had arrived. Interhouses, a longstanding tradition of the California Institute of Technology, are summarized as parties hosted by each respective house, usually with a theme, in which the entire undergraduate population is invited to attend. As every undergraduate house of Caltech has its own personality and characteristics, these interhouses too have their own flair depending on the house who hosts them.