Thursday, April 26, 2012

College News and University Musings

Well I've heard back from four out of the colleges I've applied to and I've been accepted by them all, although that's a bit mysterious when it comes to Oregon State University (OSU) as they sent me what I was awarded in financial aid but not an actual acceptance letter. While I wasn't too worried about getting in to Portland State University (PSU) and the University of Oregon (U of O), I was still delighted when I was accepted as they are both very good schools and I have friends at both. What I didn't expect, didn't dare to daydream about, was getting in to my "if only" school. You know, you apply to your back up schools, your probable schools, and your if only schools. When I got the email I couldn't comprehend it for a second, I just stared at the computer screen willing it not to be a trick of my reading. After reading the first sentence several times I said "what? What?! WHAT?!" This can't be real! By that time I had piqued moms interest and she inquired after what had prompted the hair raising screech (okay it wasn't quite that dramatic). I replied in a truly quavering voice, and please note that I don't think my voice has ever quavered before, "I got in to Cornell". Yes, that's right folks Cornell University! Or if you want to be really technical Cornell Universities'  College of Agriculture and Life Sciences' Landscape Architecture Program, but that's a bit of a mouthful.

I haven't decided where I'm going yet, I still need to figure out the paying for college thing, and I need to visit Cornell's campus. Yes I did apply on a whim and haven't even visited there yet. So I'm going to be very busy with that for the next few month.

Whatever happens I'm going to be leaving next fall for sure. That thought is both exciting and terrifying. I have no doubt I could deal with any problems that could possibly come up in my life on my own, but I don't want to it sounds way too stressful. I'm also concerned about having a roommate. It's not just the sharing my space with another person thing, I'm definitely a introvert and get very grumpy and get into a bad state if I don't have time alone. Luckily our yearly pilgrimage to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and traveling with a group of at least 50 to Mexico twice has helped me find ways of getting some solitude while living with several people in a small space, but it's a skill that's still developing.

It's funny to think that I have no idea where I'll be living this time next year. I wonder what my grades will be, what the friend I have not yet made are doing now, how I will have changed as a person and how I'll have stayed the same. What will my major worries be this time next year as opposed to this years concerns about how to pay for school, deciding on a school, how to get to Cornell within the next month, making Valkyrie into a successful guide dog, and getting ready for my half marathon, and keeping my grades up. The good news is that next year I can look back at this blog post and find out how much my life has changed or how much it hasn't, probably both.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Cooking (mostly): Coconut Rice Pilaf

Happy Saturday everyone! It's been a long week, nothing new happened but it felt longer than usual. What did I do this week besides school?

Well I did some of this...

And took pictures of theses...

And that's about it.

So here's the recipe for the delicious food pictured above. I don't have enough good things to say about this, the creamy rich coconut milk, the little bit of chew to the Quorn, and the tang of the pineapple blend beautifully. Best of all anyone can enjoy this meal, it is gluten free, dairy free, and vegan. This is suddenly much more important to me as of last week, because I decided not to eat gluten or dairy for the next month to see whether it would help my digestion.

Recipe adapted from Budget Bytes

1.5 cup jasmine rice
1 can (15 oz) coconut milk
2/3 cup water
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
A little bit of olive oil
1 medium onion
1/2 a bag (probably about 4 oz.) Frozen peas
about 10 baby carrots diced
about 1/2 a bag (probably 4 oz. as well) Quorn chik'n tenders
1 can (15 oz.) pineapple, drained

To make the coconut rice put rice, coconut milk, water, and garlic in a pot and stir to combine. Cover and put on high heat until it boils, immediately after it boils turn the heat down to warm (or the lowest setting). Keep the lit on and cook the rice on warm for 30 minutes.

Heat the olive oil on a skillet on high heat. Thinly slice the onions and saute until the onions are nice and caramelized then add the carrots, peas, and Quorn. When the carrots are tender add the pineapple and cook until everything is nice and warm.

Combine the rice and vegetables in a bowl and sprinkle with soy or tamari sauce if you like, it's great with or without.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Cooking: Mostly Tropical Fruit Salad

I made this fruit salad when I was dogsitting. All I can say is I definitely need to make fruit salad more often!

1 Medium Sized Mango
1 Large Banana
8 Large Strawberries

Chop all the ingredients in to bite sized pieces and mix together. If you're not going to eat the salad right away or have leftovers sprinkle with lemon juice to stave off browning.