First Post from My Davis Dorm

30 Oct

Hi Everyone!

I’m here to quickly post up some pictures of my food adventures at UC Davis. For those who know me personally, you will have seen some photos on facebook but I have some new photos and stories here.

FYI: If you’re interested in more frequent updates on my food adventures, then you can follow me on twitter: @Notebookworthy. :)

Downtown Davis Farmer’s Market

Check out the prickly pears on the right! Who knew they existed? And I never knew there were different shades of purple that eggplant could be. And don't even get me started on how strange those squash look. Amazing. *I also like their sense of humor. The sign over the eggplant says "Grill me! I'm a superstar." :P

So at the farmer’s markets, I usually go with my friend Liz and the last time we went, we ended up walking up and down and all around the market 6 times, and each time we saw something different. The second time we went there we learned not to eat breakfast before hand and to instead get there early and buy a freshly baked pastry. I got a large cinnamon roll – the size of my whole hand with fingers extended! – and she got a scone and expresso.

But the first time we went we had a good time too because we ended up buying fresh basil, chinese long green beans, several types of eggplant, squash, and garlic. Then we made a veggie stir fry the next night. We were happy kids especially since we were so used to eating like this at our homes.

Segundo Residence Hall Garden

Luckily, I don’t have to go all the way to the official student farm which is located off of campus because the residence hall here has a little garden where we can grow produce. After the summer vegetables were harvested, we planted the fall (winter?) produce like purple and white beets, green beans, squash, tomatoes, basil, and much much more. I was only able to stay for an hour so I’m not sure what else they planted but I passed by the other day and all the boxes are filled so this week I’ll figure out what else they planted.

No more having to try growing tomatoes all by myself on the rooftop of my apartment. I've got a garden team!

The Green Chef Challenge: Team Cuarto!

At the Dining Commons (DC), I saw a sign posted calling all cooking enthusiasts. How could I not resist?

Photo credit: UCD

I got lost on my way to Cuarto (the dorms of campus) and almost ended up on the freeway….on a cruiser bike. Right before the road turned into an on ramp, I pulled into some apartments’ parking lot and called the coordinator. Luckily, she steered me in the right direction. :)

We had a team of five and one UCD chef, a list of vegetables produced on the Student Farm, and a 3-hour time limit to create a dish for the judges who would judge the dish on appearance, taste, and reproducibility.

Some of the ingredients:

  • eggplant
  • olive oil
  • setan (meat substitute, made of flour)
  • cherry tomatoes
  • mini strawberries
  • vinaigrette sauce
  • boy choy
  • zucchini
  • brown rice
  • sea salt

    Photo credit: UCD

We could NOT use:

  • garlic
  • onions
  • oil

It was difficult to create the flavors we wanted since we couldn’t use the above items, but I think we did pretty good considering we were limited.

The chef had great ideas so we mainly went with his ideas but we were free to incorporate some of our ideas and own techniques while prepping and cooking.

photo credit: UCD

And our final creation included:

  1. Mixed vegetable gazpacho (cold soup) with fried eggplant chips on top
  2. Bok choy vegetable fried rice in a thin zucchini wrap topped with fried setan and fresh cherry tomatoes
  3. Strawberries rolled in a fresh vinaigrette sauce

photo credit: UCD

Cooking Club

I also joined the Cooking Club at Davis. The first meeting’s theme was “Home” so I made an apple blueberry cobbler with a cinnamon walnut crumble on top. It was a hit! The girl behind me was talking to someone and she said, “OH MY GOD. This cobbler is delicious, guys! I’m going to get some more.” It made my evening and helped me survive through Philosophy discussion which was right after.

Apple Blueberry Cobbler with Cinnamon Walnut Crumble Topping

(unbaked) Apple Blueberry Cobbler with Cinnamon Walnut Crumble Topping -- yes, there was oatmeal in the crumble too!

My plate: pesto pasta, marinara pasta, banana bread, poppy sead cupcake, chocolate chip cookie, and my cobbler :)

My plate: pesto pasta, marinara pasta, banana bread, poppy sead cupcake, chocolate chip cookie, and my cobbler :)

This week’s theme is Halloween so I’m going to bake pumpkin spice cupcakes in halloween cupcake liners. So excited!!!

Hopefully I don’t get sick this week though. Last week baking with a fever was no fun. :(

Circle K International – UCD

I happened to see a post on the UCD Class of 2015 post asking if anyone was going to the Circle K meeting. Having nothing to do and simply browsing through the site, I kept reading the comments. Someone asked, “What is Circle K?” The original person responded saying it’s a community service organization/club on campus.

Since I was looking for this kind of club, I was immediately hooked. I Googled what Circle K was and found their website here.

I was sort of thrown off with all the video game references because I thought “Eh… I may not fit in with this group after all…” but I went to the calendar and I liked the various events they held and the other service organizations they were affiliated with. I was especially intrigued by the “Challah for Baking” weekly event.

After emailing back and forth with the service rep from Circle K, I went to Challah for Hunger, had lots of fun, and then went to the general CK that night.

Funny story about that meeting actually. A couple of the CK members at Challah for Hunger mentioned that the meeting’s theme was plaid. “Where any plaid you have,” they urged warned. It felt like a warning at least. Their facial expressions seem to say, ‘If you don’t wear plaid you’re going to have to suffer some sort of embarrassing public humiliation.

After Challah for Hunger I went back to the dorm and pretty much ran around the tiny little room as if I were a tornado. I tore through my drawers and closet as if the building were on fire and I was trying to find my most precious possession. I was about to give up finding a plaid anything when I remembered that I had this plaid pajama top.

I wasn’t sure if this was something that was presentable for outside but I had nothing else. The plaid shirt was sort of fuzzy, made of red material with forest green lines so I paired it with a lighter forest green shorts with a brown belt and a yellow tank top. I figured I was going to go for a “forest ranger” look. Luckily, it didn’t turn out too weird and at the meeting, I won team points for being in theme clothing for my new CK family – the Zoras!

Right after the meeting, I had to go to the Dining Commons (DC) to have a reunion with the Green Chef Challenge participants so I simply went there with my plaid costume. It was getting cold so I buttoned my plaid shirt up all the way – which was a bad idea – because I really did look like I was about to crawl into bed and go to sleep (haha). And funny thing too was that we took pictures so now there’s evidence! But, I’m not posting the pictures here… :P

Anyway so since I like adore being in CK a lot especially in the Zora’s, I decided to bake them cookies for the next meeting. Unfortunately I had baked for three straight hours the day of the meeting while having a fever so I was not in great shape in time for the meeting. I dropped off the cookies with the team leader hoping they would get eaten, but they weren’t eaten until two days later! By then my beautiful graham cracker topping was not crunchy, but everyone still loved them. :)

Inspired by Picky Palate's S'more Cookies (recipe here). I was actually going to only make 1 batch but decided that I didn't have time (and energy) to bake cupcakes for CK so I just doubled the recipe. By the way, when Picky Palate calls them giant, she wasn't lying. Look at how huge they are!

Challah for Hunger

Yeeee - challah if you like Challah for Hunger! ;)

I just mentioned that I volunteered at Challah for Hunger and for those who don’t know what challah is, it’s a Jewish bread. Now I knew it was bread but I didn’t know it was a Jewish bread so when I showed up at the volunteer club house – it’s literally a house – I was surprise but not deterred. Besides the house smelled of sweet pumpkin and cinnamon. (That week the recipe was for cinnamon sugar and pumpkin challah – yum!)

I eagerly joined where I could that first day which was simply making labels for the bags and putting the finished challah in them. Just to show you how bad of a speller I am, I was constantly misspelling every other bag by writing, “Cinnamon” and then “Cinnamin” (incorrect). Haha… luckily the guy next to me noticed and corrected me before I wrote too many “Cinnamin” bags.

Pumpkin Spice Challah - Week 1

The next week I actually participated in shaping the loaves with contained either nutella or olives. I’m actually pretty good at making the filling stay inside of the challah strands. :) And then because I was going home that weekend, I bought one olive challah and one nutalla challah. I was just going to buy one, but when I was given a sample of freshly baked olive and nutalla challah my taste buds gave me no choice!

Olive Challah - Week 2 ---- This one I actually ate with my mom and we warmed it up for 30 seconds and the whole loaf was delicious. The bread was soft like Filipino sweet bread but it was firmer than that; and the savory taste of the olives complemented the bread so well. Too bad we didn't have any olive oil to dip it in. And if you're wondering about the nutella, it didn't last long enough for a picture (haha).

The third week I showed up on time at 1pm and participated again in shaping the bread and filling it with pesto. (mhm…) I wish I could have tasted it but I had to leave early to help out at the Resident Garden and then see my Stats TA. (boo…)

The Dining Commons – Segundo

Eggplant Provencal with side salad and setan

Farm to College Theme Night

Farm to College Theme Night - all of these are REAL

Farm to College Theme Night - all of these are REAL

Ta Ta for Now!

So since it’s Halloween Eve, I want to wish you all a Happy Halloween!! I hope you taste all the lovely holiday foods out there. The seasonal treats make this time of year very special and memorable.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: