Cafeteria food isn’t always bad, but it certainly gets to be repetitive. Even the dining halls end up serving the same Asian-inspired-beef and homestyle-fried-chicken meals pretty much once a week. So when one of my favorite dining locations switched it up with some balsamic roasted red potatoes, I was intrigued. After we had the delicious potatoes, my friend and I decided to recreate them (in mass quantity, of course), seeing as potatoes are not only inexpensive but the perfect comfort food for these cold North Carolina days.
Balsamic Roasted Potatoes
5 lb. bag red roasted potatoes, cut into wedges
1 yellow onion
1 tablespoon rosemary
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
I cooked off the wedged potatoes, onion, and oil in a skillet for a few minutes until they were tender (I had to do this in two batches). Then I spread them on two baking sheets sprayed with non-stick spray. I added the rosemary, salt, pepper, and vinegar and gave them a toss.
Roast these at 400 for 30-35 minutes, then give them a toss and let them cook for another 10 minutes or until they are tender and crispy (I even like the almost burnt bits).
I’ve been thinking a lot about perspective lately. If you follow me on Twitter, you probably already know that. But as I grow up and face new challenges every day, I find that one of the biggest helps is having perspective. It’s important to face the challenges and learn from them, but perspective is the added ingredient that can help you overcome. Here are 5 things that have given me a dose of perspective.
After Mandela by Douglas Foster – After hearing a bit from the author, I’m excited to read about something so vital a nation’s history and that I embarrassingly know very little about. The stories in this book are a huge dose of perspective.
Atticus Finch: “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” I’m rereading To Kill a Mockingbird and this quote stood out to me right away.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi – A documentary about how passion and a lot of hard work is the key. This man turned sushi into an art, and his dedication and diligence are inspiring.
Alice in Wonderland: “I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.” I always have to have a little Disney inspiration!
After a little while back at school, cabin fever is always expected. It’s nice to be able to head off campus – if only just for the afternoon – to experience something a bit new and exciting. I went to Carrboro, a town near Chapel Hill and not too far from my school, for coffee and lunch with my friend. The outing was much appreciated after a long week of school, and we discovered two amazing spots.
First, Open Eye Cafe. It’s attached to Carrboro Coffee Roasters and serves one of the best cups of coffee you can find. There’s plenty of seating though most tables are taken by computer-dwelling students. Not to worry though – there’s plenty of comfy chairs for a quicker stay.
Right next door is a Neal’s Deli, a small spot with enough outdoor seating for you to eat your sandwich and enjoy the weather. The pastrami on rye with mustard was most recommended on Yelp, and it did not disappoint. The oil and vinegar potato salad was the perfect side, and it brought me right back to the Upper West Side.
With a new year under way and a bunch of new commitments lined up, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. I’m back at school after an incredible escape from reality at home. As the new semester rolls around, I thought I’d share some of the things that help keep me sane.
1) A great planner – No matter how high-tech our society becomes, I’ll always need a planner. My sister jokes that my life mottos is, “Every planner has a December.” I can’t fight her on that one.
2) Clean up – In my space, everything has its place. Taking the extra step to make your bed, reorganize the clutter on your desk, and spritz a little cleaner makes a world of difference. Not only have you accomplished something, but you’re in the mood to take on more.
3) Make lists – From menus to to-do lists, writing things down helps me when I am juggling what feels like a million things. Seeing it all on paper makes it easier to tackle.
4) Detox with Downton – Or any of your favorite shows, for that matter. It’s okay to take some time out of your day to turn off your mind and close your mouth and indulge in some British banter.
5) Breathe – Taking deep breaths and following my steps is my remedy for stressing out.