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Waffles: the new craze

5 Oct

Cupcakes now have a competitor in the ring. Enter: waffles. Having dominated the dessert market in the U.S. for the past several years, cupcakes have met an unlikely and recent contender for the title.

Waffle shops are popping up across the country, including Utah. Places like Bruges Waffles in Salt Lake City are famous for their waffles and frites (and have been spotlighted on several food and travel shows).

This new food fad hasn’t neglected Provo, UT either. The Awful Waffle shop is a restaurant set up just south of BYU’s campus offering waffles and crepes.

What makes waffles so special? They’re new and different and a much better meal than a cupcake. So, find your own local shop.

[The above slideshow was a multimedia arts & entertainment project for The Daily Universe’s website.]


Culture: Romanian ardei umpluti

9 Sep

With my new job this year as an advisor at Stowaway Magazine, my mind has definitely been focused on culture and traveling (more so than usual..). With friends home from their international missions, I’m lucky and get to eat some pretty delicious, traditional dishes from other countries. Fast forward: I’m making new posts about culture and food. Because life would be boring and tasteless without them.

Romanian ardei umpluti

So, what is Romanian ardei umpluti? Stuffed peppers. (Ardei umpluti sounds a lot cooler.) As part of a dinner tradition with Tyler Vogelsberg (my partner in cooking crime each week), he showed me how to make this dish. Because some ingredients were unique to Romania, he improvised a little and put his own twist on it. Enter: ingredients.

1 pkg ground turkey

1 pkg Romanian seasonings

5 green bell peppers

1 C. rice

1 C. onions

2 cans of tomato sauce

Seasoned salt and pepper to taste


The tomato sauce makes a delicious hot broth.

This is a great dish for the fall and winter. Keeps you warm.  For all my fellow people who hate cold weather as well, this will console your spirit and remind you of what warm summer days felt like. For those that live in perpetual summer climates: I hate you.

For more info or recipes on Romanian stuffed pepers, check out theses sites:  Another Romanian stuffed peppers recipe

Stuffed peppers around the world

Romanian Cuisine

Walking through the Rain: Day 4

29 Apr

Yesterday was pretty uneventful. I went to work. I typed up a calendar all day. Went for a donut run (Dunkin Donuts, of course) and got caught in the rain. and sat drying.

I finished my work a little early, and since the other interns wouldn’t be home for several hours, i went and explored on my own.

I am beginning to feel like a natural and New Yorker. I put on my khaki raincoat and set our for Central Park. I got off at 72 St. and walked a couple blocks over to the park. How can anyone not love spring? (Yes, it rains and it gets muddy, though the city could use a good wash) But the flowers everywhere are so lovely! All colors of tulips fill the flowerbeds around the city. The same goes for Central Park. I almost felt like I was outdoors, out of the city. And then you hear the sirens and it brings you back. It was refreshing. If I lived closer, I would walk or sit in the park every day. I eventually made my way by Trump Tower and Columbia Circle. At this point I got a hankering for some dinner. (I don’t really eat lunch here.)

Olympic Pita. Courtesy of Serious Eats.

I’ve been craving a real falafel since I left Jerusalem, so that’s what I searched for. Luckily, I found a website that ranked the top 10 falafel sandwiches in the city! I didn’t go to the top restaurant. I wasn’t looking for anything fancy. So, I hopped down to 58 West 38th St to Olympic Pita.

It was one of the most authentic ones I have eaten since returning to the U.S. The falafel itself was a little dry (Which the review said) but they included fries! and the hot sauce gave it a similar spice to my favorite 7 shekel stand in Jerusalem. I also ordered some baklava, which was very tasty.

After getting my food to go, I headed back to 125 St and ran into Maria on the way home. Tiffany and I are hoping to plan some relaxing yet exciting things to do this weekend. I cannot wait to see what we end up doing.

Here are some activities I plan on checking off my list before I leave:

Sedar Dinner, Gethsemane and En Gedi

10 Nov

Within the last week, I have been extremely busy. More so than usual. Is that possible? I’m not sure. I am almost finished with horrid finals. We take our Palestinian final in 30 minutes. And since I am updating my blog…I think it is indicative of what I think about this Palestinian class/test. So I’m taking the no-stress route.

I visited Gethsemane several days ago for the first time. Many students have already visited several times, but this seemed to be the perfect time to go. It is only a 5-10 minute walk from the center through the Kidron valley. Because Mormons frequent the Garden of Gethsemane so often, we were able to get access to a private part which is not accessible to the busloads of tourists in their yellow hats. This was wonderful, because I was able to sit under the trees and spread out my scriptures and hymn book and read. It was much more peaceful than the small plot of a garden which is kept up. I am grateful that the denomination over the garden did not build a church ontop of it. This is the case so often in Jerusalem. I think it takes so much away from the original place and event.

We also had a Sedar dinner within the last week. It was such a different experience. Very different from the Ramadan dinner we had. This was very organized and specific. We had to wash our hands over a basin. Then we read from the Hagganah. I was one of 10 narrators for the night, so I sat right by our professor, Ophir, in the middle of the head table. We ate matzah, bitter herbs = horseradish. The horseraddish was absolutely disgusting and I had to force my mouth to swallow. We also dipped celery leaves in salt water and ate those, which symbolize the tears of the children of Israel. By the time we go through the story of the Exodus and rabbinic commentary, we ate our dinner around 7:30. Our cooks served so many courses. Fish. Soup. Salad. Stuffed chicken with broccoli. Fruit bowls. Chocolate desserts. We didnt leave until after 9pm and it started at 5pm. The festivity and longevity could be compared to Thanksgiving dinner. Though I am glad that at Thanksgiving, we only eat delicious food.

Yesterday I took advantage of the opportunity of going to En Gedi instead of sitting in the center and stuyding hopelessly for this Palestinian test. En Gedi park and beach are right on the Dead Sea. Which is quite fragrant. In a distasteful way. There were 16 students that went and we all split up into smaller groups and hiked to waterfalls, springs, and pools located in different wadis all day.

There were several hundred Jewish school girls clogging the pathways…and screaming and yelling while splashing in the waterfalls in their full uniforms of black skirts, stockings, closed-toe shoes and blouses. Because of this, I opted to hike to the very top of Wadi David, where it was more secluded. It was a very nice day.

We left and walked down the highway to En Gedi Beach which is on the Dead Sea. There were a surprising amount of people there. And there isn’t sand one can lay out on on the beach. Just rocks. The sensation was crazy. You couldnt stand up in the water. I was either on my back or stomach, floating. It looked like there was a layer of oil ontop of the water. It also burned. Like unquenchable fire. On cuts and other areas. There was a mudpit and we all covered our faces and bodies with it. Onced it dried we washed it off in the sea. It actually works. Our skin was very smooth afterwards. It was so odd. The rocks and fences along the beach were covered in layers and chunks of salt. Showering in regular water afterwards was glorious. Though we had to pay 2NIS to use the bathroom/showers. I will not miss that in the states. Paying for bathroom usage.

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