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Birthday Extra-vaganza Recap!

February 24, 2010

WOW- last week was jammed packed, but went by lightning fast!  To put it slightly — where have the last 5 weeks gone?  It is now Wednesday of my second to last week of B-Block.  (B-Block, for new readers, is the first six weeks of school here at the Culinary Institute, where students — baking and pastry–  have all academic classes and have to wear business casual wear before entering the kitchens.)  Next week will be my last.  Then starting Tuesday, March 9th, I will be IN THE KITCHENS!  Hopefully sharing with you some new tricks and trades of the culinary field.  And I get to don my chef whites! But don’t worry.. there is only one standard for chef white attire, so I won’t be posting pictures of myself everyday.

Last week I definitely didn’t take as many pictures of my food.  A lot of the menus at the Banquet & Catering lunches were repeats, so I didn’t bother, and I also consumed many a bowls of microwaved broccoli with tahini and maple syrup — and I was probably too hungry to snap a photo at the time; but, regardless, I did eat.

Monday 15th:

Egg white oats with almond butter and maple syrup.

No- I still haven’t found a way to hang my mirror. What a pain right?  I believe my slanted mirror is my least favorite part of my entire dorm corner.  Ooooh well.

Tuesday 16th:

Special DARK hot chocolate oats.  Instant oats+dark cocoa powder+stevia+water+PB+shredded coconut on top!

My shoes in this one I absolutely adore.  Found them for 7 dollars at Buffalo Exchange in Tucson.  Do any of you have a Buffalo in your area?  It is my favorite place to shop- I buy, sell and trade there.  There is a large one in New York, as well as some all over the country- but did you know it originated in Tucson, Arizona??:)

Tuesday night, by the time I got out of class, I couldn’t find any kitchens that were serving food I wanted, or food at all!  I get out around 6- but sometimes a little late, and the last serving time I believe is at 6:15.  Even the salad bar stage shuts down at around 6:30.  Cruelty.  So, I went back to my room and finished off my egg whites in a banana-egg white cake!  1 mashed banana+about 1/3 cup of egg whites+cinnamon+vanilla extract+1-2 T oats, with tahini+maple syrup on top.  On the side was a Brown Cow blueberry Greek yogurt with a sprinkle of pumpkin granola.

Wednesday 17th:

Breakfast- maple nut oats. A la oatie.  Instant oats+shredded coconut+maple syrup+almond butter+cinnamon+vanilla extract+chocolate chips on top!

Wednesday I ventured to one of the downstairs kitchens for lunch and found a mighty tasty dish at “Cuisines of Americas” of poached chicken breast with homemade biscuits, root vegetables, brussel sprouts and mushrooms with a light gravy of sorts.  Oh my goodness, it was so good!  I was so happy to finally get some chicken and an array of simple but seasoned vegetables!

Thursday 18th: (BIRTHDAY!!!)

Whole Foods basically exploded onto my dresser when I opened my package from my mother. She is the best!  I miss my regular eats indefinitely- so I was beyond happy to see some tastes of home.  Included were my many items I simply forgot to pack; as well as butternut squash puree cans, pumpkin puree cans, Artisana coconut butter, TWO kinds of raw honey, 1 lb of Bisbee coffee and some homemade blogger goods.

Birthday outfit! Long pants and heels add so much to my day.  Even in high school I loved adding a good couple inches to my 5′ 2″ frame with a pair of heels and long jeans.  In the kitchen will be another story….

Funny story….

Last year for my 18th birthday, my best friend Jordyn gave me a gift that keeps on giving- an “Edward” scrapbook; on that night, one year ago, I asked her if for the next four years we could each make a scrapbook for each other coinciding with the four Twilight movies.  BEST idea ever.

I know, nerdy-obsessive-compulsive-psycho-embarrassing right?  But it is fun.  This Edward Vol. II/Jacob book definitely exceeded expectations! (I wasn’t expecting much, being that New Moon is all about werewolf, Jacob Black.)

Um, yeah. Both Edward and Jacob are winners in my book. Any other Twilighters out there? Twi-hards? Hehe.

My mom risked her fear of cooking and made my coconut-chia-granola for my birthday!  A huge container too. This bad boy will last me a good while. So excited.  It turned out perfect too- good job Mama!

She also made Heabie’s famous Oaties!  I have been craving these probably more than any other food since being here. They are that good. And Heather… my mom succeeded with these too. Definitely wearing the Oatie badge proud!

Got a birthday card from Anthropogie in the mail. How cute is this??

Even my roomies made me feel special on my day….  (LOVE them both!  Even though they’re not my best friends, they are probably two of the coolest, most different from each other girls I could have gotten paired with.  I lucked out.  I was even especially worried about the roommate situation, so I am very grateful.)

PSH, forget not making a big deal out of birthdays.  All birthdays deserve special attention!

From roomie number 1..

From roomie number 2….

Roomie number 1 also decorated our ceiling with what I call “slinky-fied” post-it notes!  Need I say more?

Dinner was at Mediterranean Kitchen- I didn’t like my dinner (was under pressure upon ordering)

So I ate a whole lot of veggies, and the side soup (spiced lentil soup! yum!) with hummus, babaganoush, and pita on the side.

Friday 19th:

Jordyn also sent me a candle (don’t tell the campus safety!) to light in my oatmeal.  Unfortunately I opened her gift post-breakfast on my actual birthday, so I celebrated with my pumpkin-oats Friday morning.

With coconut butter on top.  (Please forgive my shirt-towel-head.  Obviously, not a part of the plan.)

Dinner on Friday was at Meds again.  (They always have the best food!) of shrimp and a huge pile of braised Swiss chard.

Saturday 20th:

Woke up late (meh, it was probably like 9.  Late for me!) to a nice bowl of leftover Chobani+leftover pumpkin puree+maple syrup+cinnamon, and a generous sprinkle of coconut-chia-granola on top!


Microwaved kale, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, maple syrup, pepper and coconut butter.

With a container of leftover sampler plate from Meds the night before which included pickled beets, hummus, babaganoush, tabbouleh, tzatziki, and pita.  I ate that with a couple raw carrots.  (Weekend lunch success.)

And that concludes my long recap of one week.  Goodness me!

A few weeks ago in my Product Knowledge class, my professor, who is also a chef, (used to teach some of the Skills kitchen classes) was going over some cooking greens.  When we got to kale, it seemed like it understood to be the bore of that day’s tastings and specifications.  Kale, I learned, is actually a part of the Cabbage family, but is a cooking green.  My chef, who is probably one of the nicest men I have ever met, is such a sweetheart –kind of an older man– but you can’t even tell. He’s got a lot of youth and excitement to him, and he never fails to make me smile.  I giggle, smile, and laugh in each and every one of his classes.  He was discussing greens and cabbage, noting which ones could be cooked and whatnot.  When he picked up the curly head of kale, he proclaimed, “Now, this one you really have to braise.”   As in, normal cooking won’t even cut it.  I shot up my hand and said “What!  I eat it raw, like everyday!”  I told him how I make it, MASSAGING the kale leaves until they wilt– but the inner-French-chef-man inside of him just could not understand the concept.  He even jumped to conclusions asking if I was a secret vegetarian.  Um, definitely not.  I just love my veggies.

The other day I was able to visit a farm about an hour away, touring the grounds and whatnot.  The farm also had an indoor market with local produce from the surrounding areas and organic produce, well, from California.  I found my first sighting of lacinato kale since being here!  I bought a bunch with the intent on making some raw kale salad for my friend and professor, Chef Brash of my Product Knowledge class.  I had a block of Pecorino Romano cheese in my dorm, as well as a few lemons- and voila, I made raw kale salad!   I brought it to him in class two days ago, so today I will find out if he liked it!  I did think my fellow kale salad fans out there would enjoy my story though.

Reaally simply:

  • 1 bunch Lacinato kale, washed and sliced thinly (or red, curly, whichever you prefer)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2-4 T olive oil
  • 2 oz shaved/grated Pecorino Romano
  • Red pepper flakes or black pepper to taste

All massaged and ready to eat!

Hope you have  a fantastic week!  A friend of mine from my classes started a blog before he started at the CIA, and it’s pretty neat to read from a different perspective.  Check it out!

Heather, he’s from Nashville! Haha.

Haappy Wednesday Blogland!

♥ ♥ ♥

29 Comments leave one →
  1. February 24, 2010 4:08 pm

    The slinkified post it are awesome!

  2. February 24, 2010 4:44 pm

    awwww what an AWESOME bday! can i borrow your mom for a package?!?! bahaha, that is an EPIC package! go momma!! glad you had a great day lovely-you deserved it!

  3. February 24, 2010 4:50 pm

    Oaties and kale and chia coconut granola all in one post?!
    Too yumlicious!:)

  4. February 24, 2010 5:01 pm

    hooray for your bday celebrations! i want some of those oaties, wow. march 9 is almost here, how exciting!

  5. February 24, 2010 5:05 pm

    Oh, must check out your friend’s blog. Love to support my fellow Nashvillians.

    OK, my favorite part of this post, well, other than learning that Oaties are the one thing you miss the most (truly Beeks, I’m honored) was your roommate’s post-it note birthday decor. So clever and fun. Yes, sounds like you definitely lucked out in the roomie dept.

    Beeks, do you get break in between blocks? Do you get a spring break?

    I think the Med Kitchen would be my favorite as well. Well, my favorite would just be hanging out in your dorm room eating dark chocolate oats and broccoli with tahini.:)

    Can’t wait to hear what your prof.thinks of the raw kale salad.

  6. Tenaya permalink
    February 24, 2010 5:21 pm

    I’m with HEAB…..I want to know what your professor thought of that raw kale. Way to go, Bek! And look….Stef@moretolifethanlettuce has the same birthday as your brother.
    Aaaah, your coconut granola looks so yummy. Yes, a lot of love went into that package. I need an excuse to make some more granola and maple nut oaties. Does kbwood need a package? :) Or Kris?
    Happy rest of your week.
    <3, Mama

    • February 25, 2010 12:00 am

      haha kbwood would probably LOVE a package.
      and i thought the same thing about steph — but then i realized i think she was referring to the fact that i start in the kitchens on march 9th. confusing. but what i came up with.:)

  7. February 24, 2010 5:47 pm

    HAPPY BIRHDAY GIRL! you had a rockin bday and love the snap shots of you in yoru clothing, awesome style:)

    I want to try your coconut chia granola so bad!!! I hear things about it all around the blogosphere!! you are famous:)

    love all the tahini jars too!!

  8. February 24, 2010 6:36 pm

    aw im glad you got to celebrate and got such amazing goodies too!!! i cant believe your dinners stop serving at 6:30!!! i rarely eat before 8!!! i would definitely have to have a 4th meal daily LOL.

    cant wait to hear what your prof thinks of the salad. sounds good to me!

  9. February 24, 2010 7:13 pm

    “Whole Foods basically exploded onto my dresser.”

    For some reason I thought that was really funny! I actually laughed out loud, alone, in my room. That shrimp dish from Meds was indeed incredible, but you should share that butternut squash recipe, that was ridiculous good (not to put you on the spot or anything)! And hooray and huzzah for fellow Nashvillians!

  10. February 24, 2010 9:25 pm

    happy birthday, and what a perfect breakfast coconut butter pumpkin oats yummz!! :] i had carrot cake oats on my bday with a candle,… better than cake teehee!! :] and love your eats as always everything looks so delicious, ***note to self make bekah’s coconut granola and egg white nana cake & broccoli tahini + maple! ** lol…;] you have the best recipes/ideas/food!


  11. February 24, 2010 10:34 pm

    My mirror is forever slanted as well😦 But $7 shoes, that’s awesome girl! I’ve heard of Buffalo Exchange, so I’m pretty sure we have one…meaning I should go there and get myself some cheap, cute shoes! I love that your mom sent you some homemade goodies for your b-day. Those are the best! And you tell that chef about kale!!

  12. February 24, 2010 10:55 pm

    Beautiful post! I loved the part about kale…I ate it raw today in my salad. When I read the part about it being a cooking green that “had to be braised,” I was going to get all defensive, haha. I love, love, love your “Buffalo” shoes; so cute! So when you’re cooking, do you get to wear whatever underneath your chef whites?

  13. February 25, 2010 2:12 am

    Thanks for the kale linkage! ANd HAPPY BDAY, again!!!!!!!!! You’re so old now! kidding:) Seriously, the pics look glorious and so happy for you!!!!

    I gave your granola a shoutout in yesterday’s post; i know you’re not reading every post of everyone’s b/c you umm, have a life! and that’s great but wanted to know I linked your yummmmms back:)

  14. February 25, 2010 8:18 am

    I’m so glad you had such a wonderful birthday! It’s sometimes hard to have a birthday when you haven’t established yourself in a new scene yet, considering how recently you started school. You’re so lucky to have such great roommates! I actually prefer sauteed kale to raw, but I haven’t tried the massaged kale in a long time, so maybe I should give it another shot!

  15. Michelle permalink
    February 25, 2010 8:34 am

    Happy Bday! I am a new blog reader.

    In college, we had those type of cinder block walls that made it impossible to hang ANYTHING on!

    To hang up the full-length mirror – buy a roll of Scotch Double Stick Tape (the kind that comes with foam strips and both sides of that are sticky – it comes as a roll, not a dispenser) and tape the entire edge of the mirror and the whole interior… the only downside is your mirror is stuck there permantently – it will not come down. Good luck!

  16. February 25, 2010 10:25 am

    Twihard. Right here. No shame. Also, I’m a Jacob fan, kind of. Only in book 2😉

    So many things to comment on in this post!! Okay, in order I guess. I love that outfit with the brown skirt, especially the shoes! Your posts make me want to buy an expensive jar of tahini. Funny to see an American turn 19 which is a HUGE deal here in Canada. It’s the drinking age! Sadly, you have two more years to go. I almost bought pickled beets the other day and didn’t. Knowing they get your stamp of approval I know will:) Way to show your prof about massaged kale. I hope he likes it! Let us know!

    Can’t wait to see you in your chef whites!! Have a fab rest-of-the-week and weekend love!!!

  17. greensandjeans permalink
    February 25, 2010 10:26 am

    I LOVE the $7 shoes! Buffalo Exchange is amazing. It looks like you had a fabulous birthday lady and your mom DEFINITELY has you set with tasty treats for awhile!

  18. February 25, 2010 8:35 pm

    i do love buffalo exchange. have found some of my greatest finds at consignment/thrift shops!!! happy belated bday to you! wish i was as self-aware and articulate when i was your age – you should be proud!

  19. Katharina permalink
    February 25, 2010 9:46 pm

    Happy birthday!!! That is so sweet of your mom to send you those things that she made😀 Mom’s are the best, aren’t they?? Buffalo Exchange is awesome!! It’s funny because I was looking back at my NY recap posts last night and I miss it so much. I hope you basked in the glory of your birthday!!! And then some😀

    XOXO stay fashionable😉

  20. February 26, 2010 7:50 am

    I think your dorm room eats look and sound the best! And nice style. Your definitely rockin it. Have a great weekend bekah!

  21. February 26, 2010 11:14 am

    So many good foods in one post! Thanks for showing all your delicious meals. Coconut hot chocolate oats looks like something I need in my life! Also, you look so great- love the outfit photos!

  22. February 26, 2010 5:26 pm

    Happy belated birthday to you! It looks like you received some wonderful gifts form family and friends. What a cool mom to send you all the Whole Foods goodies. You know you’re a true foodie when…..haha
    I can’t wait to start checking out your posts once you are in the kitchen! You are going to start learning SO MUCH information, and we will all be so lucky to even get a glimpse of what you are learning. Let’s just say, I’m jealous, and I will be living vicariously through your blog! Thanks for the massaged kale info. It’s one of my all time favorite foods.
    Have a great weekend Bekah!

  23. February 26, 2010 8:07 pm

    Seems like you´ve had an amazing b-day week…
    By the way, Happy Birthday! Hahaha😉
    Loved your recap. Specially the kale discussion😀
    Have a great weekend!
    Brazilian XOXO´s,

  24. February 27, 2010 5:50 am

    Happy bday – looks like it was a good one! I also LOVE buffalo exchange and oaties!

  25. February 27, 2010 11:43 am

    What an awesome bday! Don’t friends and presents always make everything so much better:)

    I remember living in the dorms – honestly I kind of miss it. I did have some struggles with my mirror too. I ended up getting some double sided sticky tape (it’s like a foamy white one), and placed stuck that thing to the wall! Our walls are something like yours, like a painted concrete so there were no worries to any damages that the tape could have done. Hope that helps girl. I love your outfit with the skirt and cardigan. It’s totally my style – very Banana Republic – my favorite brand!

    And I’m with you on heels and long pants. I’m only 5’0″ so I definitely rock that look too. Plus, it makes our legs look super long:)

    Have a fabulous weekend!

  26. February 28, 2010 11:37 am

    HAPPY (late) BIRTHDAY!!!
    Those birthday oats are so cute! Love the candle in them!
    And your mom is so sweet to make all those things for you! haha! I can just imagine my mom trying to find the recipes I like and making them… could be disaster. She’s not an expert in my kind of eating.
    Those oaties look GOOD.

    And I am definitely a twilight fan… the books are SO much better but the last movie was decent.😉

  27. February 28, 2010 1:38 pm

    Hello my long lost friend- I’m here at last!

    Those black pants are hella flattering- cute shoes too. Fun having this business casual component of the posts, while it lasts! I haven’t been to B-exchange but do go thrifting on the regular. There are some ‘nicer’ places out there!

    I’ll have to catch up to see how your prof. liked the massaged kale. I’ll admit I have yet to warm up to it- perhaps I didn’t use enough oil (probably). I can just imagine your little hand popping up in class- too cute.

    And bless your dear mom- she spent $150 in postage just to send you $150 of home-cooked and crazy expensive store-bought eats:-) Love that Tenaya! She’s a good one.

    Hope your next block is super fun!

  28. March 11, 2010 2:35 pm

    Special DARK hot chocolate oats. Instant oats+dark cocoa powder+stevia+water+PB+shredded coconut on top – I would love to taste that:)
    sounds delish!
    ps: looks like a fun celebration!!!!

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