Friday, March 31, 2017

Maple Poached Figs and Granola Parfait

Apologies I haven't posted in a while. It's been a tough past few weeks. I am taking a blogging break the next two weeks to study for my US medical licensing exam.

Longtime blog readers will know that B and I have been long distance for >5 years now. This past year B had applied to transfer his residency to Yale (even redoing his intern year). After his application, we had been eagerly waiting for results, eager to finally live together. We had gotten great feedback from the program's residents and were very hopeful he would be accepted.

Unfortunately, it didn't work out.
Maple Poached Figs and Granola Parfait | Obsessive Cooking Disorder
We had a new apartment and a puppy lined up - those, along with our dreams of finally living married life together - vanished instantly.

And while life goes on, and not much would differ from the status quo (life was the same as the day before the news - us living in separate states), it hard hard to contain my disappointment.
Maple Poached Figs and Granola Parfait | Obsessive Cooking Disorder
Additionally, I had lost my apartment lease since I had to wait til Match to know whether to renew my current studio. Despite me having 3 months left my lease, and imploring the management to wait just 2 weeks for the Match results to see if I needed to stay, they rented my apartment out the very next day. Suddenly homeless for the next year, I had to scramble for housing.

Without B and I living together next year, I couldn't care for a dog, let alone a puppy on my own. Sadly, I had to tell the breeder that given the circumstances, we were no longer able to get a dog anymore. Giving up getting a dog was the most painful part, but a single second year resident schedule with frequent 28 hour calls is not conducive for a happy dog.

Finally, I'm culminating these lovely few weeks with taking Part 3 of my United States Medical Licensing Examination - two 8 hour tests. Studying has been difficult, needless to say.
Maple Poached Figs and Granola Parfait | Obsessive Cooking Disorder
B accepted everything well,  but I did not because, as he pointed out, I was not used to having things not go as planned. It was true. I had been so ready to live together. I went through the stages of grief in perfect order - denial, anger, bargaining, depression.

I still wait impatiently for the last stage - acceptance.
Maple Poached Figs and Granola Parfait | Obsessive Cooking Disorder
I'm not a fan of the Match system because it give no control to doctors (who of course are the most type A planners ever). Given our schedules, B and I will continue to finish our residencies apart.

After two weeks, I finally found new housing, have accepted not having a dog/moving to a new apartment/continuing long distance with B, and I'm not longer doing 14 hr overnight shifts in the cardiac ICU, so life is slightly better. My fellow Yale residents / mentors and B have been wonderfully supportive and all around awesome. 

This detour in our plans was a bitter pill to swallow, but it made for a big paradigm shift - rethinking how the role of family/personal life would fit in the future with the role of doctor. For now, our residencies determine our lives, but I look forward to the day where B and I have more control of life's decisions, and one day can live together.

Maple Poached Figs and Granola Parfait recipe by me.

Maple Poached Figs and Granola Parfait

6-8 fresh figs, sliced
4 Tbs cup honey
4 Tbs pure maple syrup
Greek yogurt
1-2 figs, quartered to garnish

Heat honey and maple syrup in a small saute pan over medium heat for about 1 min. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add sliced figs; cover, and simmer until figs are just tender, (depending on your fig size and amount). Gently transfer figs to a plate with a slotted spoon.

In a parfait glass alternate yogurt with poached figs and granola. Drizzle maple syrup on top. Granish with a quarter of fresh fig. Enjoy!
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Friday, March 10, 2017

Tomato Basil Soup

B does not like modern art. He's not a fan of art museums, but he especially avoids any museum titled with the word "modern art." He did take me to the SF MoMa when we started dating 6 years ago, but that has since stopped lol.

Now that he lives in NYC, we are surrounded by amazing art museums. I did convince him (and my visiting brother) to try the Guggenheim to see the Agnes Martin exhibit, but that sort of minimalism didn't go very well.
Tomato Basil Soup | Obsessive Cooking Disorder
B doesn't like modern art because he always says, I could have done that.

To which I say, but you didn't.
Tomato Basil Soup | Obsessive Cooking Disorder
One piece that has always caught my eye was Andy Wahol's Campbell Soup Cans pop art, which is conveniently located in the NYC MoMA. First exhibited in 1962, the 32 canvases, each featuring a different flavor, was grouped together like in the grocery, and rocked the art world. It reignited the age-old debate about art versus commercialism (which remains a fascinating discussion even now, as it came up during my Art History classes at Stanford).
Tomato Basil Soup | Obsessive Cooking Disorder
Fun fact: the first flavor introduced by Campbell was tomato, in 1897.

Another fun fact: The art dealer Irving Blum originally told Warhol to sell each piece cheap while gaining exposure. Then he soon realized selling the cans individually would cause the collection to lose its power, so he went to all the owners and bought back all of the sold pieces. Then Blum paid Warhol $1000 for the collection, which he held on for decades, then finally sold it to the NYC MoMA for >$15 million. (source)
Tomato Basil Soup | Obsessive Cooking Disorder
Tomato Basil is one of my soups, and has so many variations. This is a really easy recipe adapted from Ina Garten. Perhaps, one day I'll paint it.

Tomato Basil Soup

1 1/2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 yellow onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes, with their juice
3 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
2 cups chicken stock or water
parmesan cheese, shredded, to top

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Toss together the tomatoes, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper; spread on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.

In a pot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with olive oil until the onions start to brown. Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, chicken stock, and red pepper. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. To puree, I put the soup (after letting it cool) into a food processor and blender. Serve topped with cheese and a slice of bread. Enjoy!
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