Saturday, January 16, 2010

Random Stuff

Finally, beginning of the semester chaos is over, and I can breath again! I feel content with my classes and pretty happy with my work schedule. In my Visual Media class we're learning how to use Adobe Illustrator, it's little bit confusing, but I think i am getting a hang of it. That class we'll be really good for me because I will learn how to use different neat programs that will benefit me in the future. I am also taking a public speaking class. We have to do a lot of speaking in front of the class so, by the end of the semester, I should be able to become a better public speaker and a presenter.
My roommates are fun and easy going this semester. We all get along very well! Two of them are from California, one from Canada, and another one is from Alaska. My roommate from Alaska has a very unique and interesting story to tell about her life. Here at BYU-I many share similar backgrounds, so it's really interesting to hear from those who have a unique story to tell about their lives. As many of you know, I have a pretty crazy life story myself, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.
I am still not using my camera very much. The truth is, I don't really like taking pictures because I feel like it takes forever to get a good picture of me. I am not the most photogenic person, so taking pictures can be difficult sometimes. I think it's because of round features and chubby cheeks. Even if I loose a ton of weight, I will still have those baby fat cheeks. I am pretty much stuck with those. Anyways, well I better go so I can get some homework done.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Borsh recipe and more

Last night I made Borsh for the first time ever! Some of you might wonder what it is...Borsh is one of the most popular dishes in Russia and Ukraine. It's a delicious soup that's made out of vegetables and some meat (usually beef). It's main ingredients are beats and cabbage...I know that probably doesn't sound that appealing, but trust me, all the ingredients and spices mixed together create a wonderful and unique flavor that even vegetable haters can't resist. Not all recipes of Borsh have a successful outcome so it's important to get a hold of a good recipe. So far I perfected two Russian dishes, but I want to keep on learning how to prepare more Russian dishes that I loved while growing up.
Tomorrow is going to be a busy day for me. I have couple classes and then work till 10 PM. Last semester was really expensive so this semester I decided to work a lot more and take a lot less credits. I refuse to take out a loan, so I usually try do whatever it takes in order to be able to afford school without loans, even if it will take me a little longer to graduate.
I also feel way out of one of my New Year resolutions is to start excising regularly. The good thing about this, I have a free unlimited pass to the gym (which I rarely take advantage off) so I am thinking about signing up for a free personal trainer this semester. I figure that way I can stay motivated to keep going to the gym. Hopefully that will also increase my energy level and will make me feel better.
Got to go..........Love,


Borsh Recipe (Jeremy Brazell)

cup of dried white beans(soak in water overnight with 1-2 inches of water over them) an alternative is to get a can of white beans

about 7 to 8 cups of water
4 Decent sized potatoes(2 lbs or so)
2 Big beet(about apple size)
1-2 Carrots
1 Big onion
1 sweet ripe tomato(roma is a good one)
Some cabbage(according to feel- about as much as you could grab with both hands when it is chopped)
1 8oz. can of tomato paste
Some bullion cubes according to what meat you are going to use
Beef/Chicken/Pork- choose your meat or you can go vegetarian- tastes great either way
Fresh cut dill
Cooking oil(sunflower oil preferred, secondary is olive oil as vegetable oil is unpredictable between brands)

Ok so chop up your potatoes and start them boiling. If you are using beans that you soaked overnight- put them in now. Otherwise wait until you add the beets to the boiling pot.

Grate your beet and carrots and onion put them in a frying pan with 1-2 tablespoons of oil and start frying. Add tomatoe paste and cook the whole thing. if it starts bowning too much, add a bit of water just to keep it from burning. You want this to really cook into a glop. then set it aside.

Add your cabbage to the boiling potatoes when potatoes are 50% cooked. Then when your cabbage is about 50 percent cooked, add some bullion to your pot(to taste). Then add your beet/onion/carrot mixture to the soup. This is the good time to taste test and you can add the fresh tomato into the soup(cut it into 4-8 pieces) as this will sweeten the broth.

Bring it to a boil again and add your raw, chopped up meat. Allow the whole mix to boil for 3-5min and then check your vegetables to make sure they are cooked(remember the pot will still be hot when you turn it off so you don't want them to overcook) Add dried spices now(basil, oregano, parsley) and salt/pepper to taste. The theory here is to keep tasting your soup as you go and to mold it to what you WANT it to taste like- not just tasting it at the end.

Turn off the heat, add fresh chopped dill to the top(a good amount) and cover. Let this sit for 25-30min. BEFORE serving. This allows the soup to meld and build flavor. Borsh is always BETTER on the second day so leftovers are obyazatelno.

Serve hot with Sour cream and fresh bread. The traditional way to do this is pour out the bowl and use each person's clean soup spoon to get a spoonful of sour cream and then put the spoon in the soup.