Mr. & Miss. COM

Last October, my dear friend and fellow COM (College of Communication, the communication school within Boston University) student, Chris Wilcox approached me with a “quick biddie problem.” Adopting the long-adored COM concept of biddidom (being a typical, cliche, CHICK, chatting via Blackberry, rocking Uggs, and so on), Chris proposed that I be the Miss to his Mister COM and compete in BU Programming Council’s annual Mr. & Miss. BU Competition. Two students from each of the 9 schools and colleges at BU compete to wear the official Mr. and Miss BU crown, and they get tickets to some hockey game that seems to matter a lot to everyone, excluding sports-pass waiving me.

Favorite Decade Day: 60's Mad Men!

I was absolutely honored to become Miss. COM, and after a week of themed picture-taking and Facebook blasting preparation, at 7pm on Saturday, Chris and I donned our scarlet and white sashes to begin our rapid descent to rest among the other well-meaning COM hopefuls who were robbed of the chance to tweet about a University pageant victory.

Past COMtestants (Mr. and Miss BU contestants from COM) always seemed so naturally to fit the role of Mr. and Miss BU that most students make the assumption that victory is only follower-count deep. This is not the case. Let me say, Mr. and Miss CFA can rock the CFAsbah, and our questions were biased and unfair. #obvz.

Learning the opening dance sequence was the greatest challenge we faced, but fortunately my high school Drama Club Presidency (*rubs dirt off shoulders*) was spent learning many a box step, and I can work jazz hands better than Sharpay Evans.

Sharpay and Ryan, of High School Musical, dance and bop to the top

The Newlywed Game meant each contestant had to know enough about the other to guess whether they preferred Starbucks or Dunks (EASY. CHRIS IS SO DUNKS. I AM SO STARBS.) Chris and I have known each other since freshman year, so we assumed we had this in the bag. Alas, despite having found one another in a group ice breaker at the third Admissions Ambassador meeting in January of 09, Chris and I could not properly identify one another’s preferred newspaper publication. Sorry, panel of question-concocters, there’s about  A BERJILLION to choose from. #RIGGED.

Then the contest moved on to “Name that Hashtag” which put far more pressure on us than I could ever have imagined, and Chris and I froze and bombed COMICALLY and miserably when given random pictures to assign witty hashtags to. #twaddictproblems

Lastly, it was time for “TALENTS.” This was the big make or break of the show, and naturally Chris and I rewrote the lyrics to the Spice Girls classic “Wannabe” at 1pm that day, because in COM we major in #procrastination. If I do say so myself, our performance was not the absolute worst, and nothing we could have done could have lived up to the mastery of some of the other schools. I mean, CFA CLEARLY has an advantage here. Then again, one would think we’d have a leg up in the hashtag round, so #nevermind.

When it came time for deliberation, counting @DeanElmore as a follower on Twitter did NOT help the votes, and we regretfully relinquished our hopes to Mr. and Miss. CFA who did genuinely perform astoundingly overall.

Despite a treacherous defeat, Chris and I had an absolute BLAST participating and making fools of ourselves in front of the entire student body. All’s not lost, I got to put that I was Miss COM on my Linked In page, and I kept my sash. To be buried in. From that time I peaked senior year of college.

A big thanks to everyone that came out to support us!!

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LAMB: collegiate edition

I love lamb. Inspired by Lambfest ’11, when cooking for my roommates this week, I decided lamb was indubitably going to be on the menu. I come from a family of great cooks, so I have always loved good food and cooking. Home-cooked meals have always been a relative normality in my apartments, and  why not, when cooking can often be just as easy as trekking down the block to Raising Cane’s? (Which by the way, when done properly, can be pretty darn delicious in its own right, my first impressions about that place were way off.)

For the lamb, I couldn’t open the tin of the rub that I picked up at Lambfest, so I just concocted my own with some of my favorite herbs and spices. I cook with a lot of rosemary so I added some (read: a lot) of rosemary. (ALWAYS. ALWAYS ROSEMARY. ROSEMARY CHICKEN. ROSEMARY POTATOES. ROSEMARY CHOCOLATE CAKE. ROSEMARY’S THE BEST BEST BEST!) Though I detest the licorice taste of fennel, fennel seed is my ABSOLUTE favorite, and I love it in sausage and on some meats. With the richness and heartiness of the lamb, fennel seed is perfection. I finished the chops off with some garlic, soy sauce, olive oil, salt, pepper, (the usual), and popped them into the broiler until they were done!

I have always loved radiatore pasta, and whoever claims that all pasta tastes the same: never eat pasta again. You are not worthy. Radiatore pasta tastes better than all others; wagon wheels come in a close second. The supermarket on BU’s campus does not carry enough radiatore variety, and I had to settle on some weirdo veggie brand of radiatore pasta that apparently gives you like 19 full servings of vegetables? It just tasted like pasta. Doused in pesto and parmesan, obviously. My roommates last year all loved parmesan cheese almost as much as I do, and it was a running joke that we were “parmesan people” because we would go through 5 containers of the store-bought cheese every 2 weeks. (I actually don’t think that’s such an exaggeration.)

Spinach is one of my favorite veggies, and it’s so easy to prepare! I hate how you buy a whole package thinking it’s this monstrous amount of green and then when it’s sautéed there’s enough for maybe 1.5 portions. Spinach is all water so it shrivels quick and magically disappears in the pan, but I love sautéed spinach in a pan with some olive oil, soy sauce, garlic, salt, and a tiny squirt of lemon for some zest.

The meal was the perfect satisfaction for my extended lamb cravings, and the indulgence was a simple, practical meal on a Sunday night. #DELISH

LAMBFEST

I am not a “foodie.” I really like eating good food. Lamb is one of my favorite foods. If lamb, tuna tar tare, or truffle oil are anywhere on a menu, I indubitably will be ordering those menu items. When I heard about the American Lamb Pro-Am LAMB FEST in Boston for the reasonable rate of $25, I knew I couldn’t miss it. My friend Mister Wang is a foodie, and on Sunday we ventured to Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge to stuff our faces with LAMB.

American Lamb, BostonChefs.com, and Boston restaurants (Russell House Tavern, Pigalle, Bambara, & KO Prime) teamed up with bloggers (Doves and Figs, Just Add Cheese, Cave Cibum, & Two Recipes) to provide four lamb dishes to taste (once, twice, thrice…) and vote on. There were also delicious drinks to accompany the dishes, and Kevin and I sat and discussed texture, taste, presentation, while unleashing our inner Padma.

 

Russell House Tavern’s Chef Michael P. Scelfo & Doves and Figs‘ Robin Cohen served up an Autumn American Lamb Roast Stuffed with Lamb Apple Sausage and a sweet jam that was perfectly sweet and savory, and ended up winning the competition.

 

 

 

 

My vote went to Pigalle’s Chef Marc Orfaly and the bloggers of Just Add Cheese. Their Moroccan Style Lamb Chapati was #beyond. I don’t even like Moroccan food and it was just the right amount of curry that didn’t overwhelm the dish, and TWO TEXTURES OF LAMB!? I helped myself to three portions. Sorry I’m not sorry. It was absolutely splendid and cucumbers will subsequently never be the same for me.

 

 

Runner up for me was Bambara and Cave Cibums Pumpkin Rice-Stuffed Lamb Roast. It won visually and tastefully in my book (but nothing was like that darn Moroccan dish). The colors were the purdiest, and the dish itself was equal parts seasonally appropriate and delicious.

 

Phoning it in in last place for me was KO Prime‘s Roast Lamb tacos that weren’t anything particularly special when compared with the other dishes. I only had one helping of the tacos, while the other dishes got at least a second try for my vote.

 

 

 

 

 

American Lamb also provided a rub that I intend to douse lamb in this week, and my phone and computer are now bedecked with their delightful I Heart Lamb stickers. While I personally think the Moroccan Lamb was the greatest lamb dish ever to be prepared, the jam and Lamb Roast deserved to win just as much, as all the dishes were genuinely incredible, and I’ll usually enjoy lamb prepared in any possible form. Congrats to the scrumptious winners, and I’m off to finish digesting this unfortunate, but well worth it, food coma. #stuffed

Bolove for Boloco

A loyal @BostonTweet follower, I first heard about Boloco, Boston’s only venue for truly “inspired burritos,” when @BostonTweet was going through a frequent Boloco-binge season. Constantly impressed by the social media presence of the brand, I couldn’t help but learn more and try the burritos for myself.

Boloco (Boston Local Company) is the perfect burrito spot for the unconventional burrito lover. Not one for spicy, I love the idea that boloco started as a wrap spot, and offers options outside of the traditional Mexican burrito. There is a time and place for a classic Mexican rice and bean thing, and Chipotle certainly has its own spot in my heart, but Boloco is just SO INSPIRED! I love that I can get a simple wrap, or go all out with an extravagant mango steak summertime original sized food coma-inducing burrito.

This video was one of the first to bring the company to my attention, since Boloco was using the social space in a way that other companies hadn’t figured out quite yet back in ’09. Boloco was never afraid to experiment, and still dips it’s feet into new spaces before lots of other brands.

 

Boloco cards, for example, are WONDROUSLY beneficial, and freebie burritos via my own card have saved me from starvation on more than one occasion when bank statements reflected those of a recessionist college student.

 

I’ve had the good fortune to meet the generous genius behind @BolocoHarvard (now @BolocoATLwharf), and many of the brilliant burrito brains associated with Boloco, Boloco marketing, and Boloco social media. Boloco was the first place I’d encountered with a foursquare special (MAYOR MONDAYS!),  and after semesters of trekking to the nearest Boloco (the Berklee location– that’s burrito-loving dedication for a resident of upper Commonwealth Ave.), and aggressive tweeting and foursquare checking in upon arrival, my obsession was rewarded! I am now a proud Boloco Campus Maven, and get to work on campus to spread and share the bolove with BU.

With this month’s recent return of the Late November burrito, my trips to Boloco are absurdly frequent. The Late November: Featuring house-roasted turkey, homemade stuffing, green beans and tangy cranberry relish served on a warm flour tortilla. #mouthwatering #itsevenbetterthanitreads

Boloco at Hub on Wheels Citywide Ride

When I’m away from Boston in the summer, one of my first stops in September is to the nearest Boloco, and no other burrito venue in Boston seems to compare, in taste and overall.

Boloco is all about giving back and it seems that every month there are new events and specials at Bolocos that support all sorts of causes or charities. Not to mention the surprise benefits for card-holding fans, like rewarding blizzard depression with a burrito special, or boolocoHalloween-time treats. Smoothies, burritos, and the best salsa EVER? Why wouldn’t the whole city be completely loco for Boloco?

Childish Gambino, lame [people] never heard of it.

Follow me on Twitter and you know my affections for Childish Gambino run deep.

Last March I downloaded “EP.” Five songs that were explicit and radically offensive, and I have never listened to an artist in my life the way that I listened to Childish Gambino’s EP. I am not a huge huge fan of rap (duh) and I am not a huge huge fan of unknown rappers, but holy hashtag there was something about this dude.

Turns out, Childish Gambino is the Wu-Tang Clan name that was generated online when Donald Glover typed in his name. Donald Glover is an NYU grad whose face is familiar from his work with Derrick Comedy, writing for 30 Rock, Comedy Central stand-up, and playing Troy on Community.

Donald has been rapping for years, and once I listened to EP I unearthed mixtape after mixtape of tracks that were hilarious and brilliant. Childish Gambino’s music is lyrically intense. The jokes are comical but the wordplay is sheer genius and his cultural references are so spot on for me personally that I completely connected with his music, even though a lot of the subject matter is completely foreign to me.

When he played at The Paradise in May, I completely embarrassed myself as that girl standing in the audience shreiking along with every word with everyone around me wondering why and how I learned all these lyrics. As I mentioned, I have truly never listened to an artist or any music as repeatedly as I did Childish Gambino in those first days. Over and over and over. I’m still not sick of any of it.

I aggressively tweeted at Donald Glover (an avid tweep– no wonder I love his work!) after the show, and the nature of the venue is such that if psychotic fans (read: me) stand outside long enough you’re bound to at least watch the artist walk to the bus parked by the curb out front.

Being obsessed with his music I integrated my need to meet him into every lyric I could think of, and the night ended with me on the tourbus helping execute a postshow show at 1am, after a 2 hour set at the Paradise, performed in the foyer of a Cambridge mansion to a crowd of fortunate college students. #dreaming

With the release of his first “official” album CAMP on November 15th, Donald returned to Boston as Childish Gambino to play the House of Blues and when the entire band remembered me and our fun late night performance, I was in heaven and knew that Gambino is truly a mastermind.

Listen. or don’t if you’re easily agitated.

Visiting Chef Series: the fireplace

For the Visiting Chef Series, Boston University Dining Services invited the fireplace restaurant of Boston to take over the BU Dining Halls for the evening and prepare special meals for students.

BU Dining Services always puts on amazing events for meal-planned students, (lobster night being my personal favorite) and @BUDiningService is always engaging and interacting with students, asking questions, providing responses, and sharing the dining experience of BU with the entire student body.

Visiting Chef night is always one of my favorite nights, as it gives BU students a chance to try different foods and cuisines from Boston. Though the image doesn’t do the meal justice, the menu and meals served were de-lish, and a perfect way to spend a Thursday night! What are everyone’s favorite BU Dining Hall events?

Essie. Nail. Polish.

I. freaking. LOVE. essie. nail polish.

I should just end my sentiments right there. Because, really, I. freaking. LOVE. essie. nail polish.

There’s little more to say than that I. freaking. LOVE. essie. nail polish. because essie nail polish is freaking loveably perfect.

bobbing for baubles, of the winter 2011 collection

I came across the polish in my youthful years at nail salons, but had never really encountered it in its true, beautifully wholesome form until college. My roommate freshman year had a thing for the feeling of her clean hands post-manicure and needed always-polished fingernails, so she had two bottles of essie always on hand. I didn’t understand her sentiments. Now I do. I really do.

Any girl who has seen Legally Blonde the non-negotiable eighteen times a year knows that a manicure is the solution to all of life’s problems. Not to get too biddie here, but Elle Woods knows what she’s preachin’ about.

Elle knows that a manicure is the ultimate mood-booster.

Freshly polished hands look better, and make you feel better. Every gesture you make is suddenly beaming with the glistening shine off newly lacquered nails. You want to touch everything. Texting is instantly more enjoyable. You find yourself completing the “mandatory” reading for that philosophy elective you took on a whim solely to drool over your fingers flipping the page. It’s amazing, and the masculinity-conscious men are missing out BIG TIME.

I had always thought that it was the manicurist’s magical skill that sculpted my nails and painted so delicately that made the manicure what it was. And then I borrowed my roommate’s nail polish. I’ll never forget the moment when I first whipped out the essie brush and the wicked color dripped onto my right pinky. It’s not the stereotypical and condescending salon ladies that make the manicure what it is. It’s all in the polish.

This ground-breaking revelation hit me harder than the time I realized the remarkable outfit-shifting capabilities of a pair of faboosh high heels. (I mean, they change everything.)

The essie polish and brush makes the manicure look glossy and lacquered and wonderful. My life was forever changed. I tried looking into other options, O.P.I. and Sally Hansen were certainly at a salon price point, but they just didn’t offer the same things that essie did. The names. The wonderfully quirky names that vary thematically each season. The options to change my whole week whether I go dark with licorice, or pop with geranium, or remain neutral and professional with limo-scene. All the girls know the new collections when they come out. It’s like this wonderfully culty club that I could now be part of! Yes, the first sign of summer means to slop on the fiji. No, there is occasion where waltz or ballet slippers is inappropriate. And YES, wicked is always the right choice.

Four years and 8 (yes, eight.) bottles of wicked later, my love remains true. I’ll certainly change my style with my mood and experiment or dabble with trends like the neons of bright tights and funky limelight, or that one fall where everyone was wearing mint candy apple, that is really more of a Tiffany’s robin’s egg blue than it was a part of that mint green nail trend. More than anything, it’s the emotional connection I have with essie that makes me love it so very, very much. Other nail polishes just don’t make me feel the same. Though O.P.I. certainly has very clever names (Ski Teal We Drop? Absolutely adorable), there is something about that teeny white cap and crisp clear bottle that just makes me so, so happy. It all comes down to the basic premise that I. freaking. LOVE. everything about essie. nail polish. Comment with your top go-to hues!