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!
My favorite part about Caltech is the Houses! The easiest way to describe them is as Hogwarts houses: each has their own personality and group of people and the first thing you do at Caltech is go through a “sorting” process. The people are what makes the Houses at Caltech so great. As a frosh, it’s amazing to be able to come in and immediately have a group of 100+ people to support you. Because the Houses have students from every grade, you make friends with upperclassmen and can ask for help on tons of things like:
It’s crazy to think that it has been four years now since I was applying to college. I remember it vividly. This week we’re spending some time reflecting on our personal admissions processes, and how we ended up at Caltech. There’s one question though that I wanted to spin out into a separate post: “what advice would you give to the admitted class of 2025?” And I think the best way to do this is to tell a more detailed story than I did in my other post.
These past six months have been a whirlwind- from having to move out of Caltech housing in March within a week’s notice due to COVID-19, to starting the first term of my junior year, I’ve definitely experienced a lot of change. When I went home in March, it was to a completely new state-my family moved from Chino, CA to New Jersey in January (great timing, huh?). While I missed seeing my friends from home, it was fun to have the chance to explore a completely new place. The pandemic obviously limited what I could see and do, but I got to experience walks through nature and along rivers normally foreign to a SoCal native and had some time to focus on bioinformatics research for the lab I work with on campus.