Forever Wanderlust

April 26, 2015 § 1 Comment

Wanderlust PhotoThe desire to travel is in my blood. For the majority of his career, my grandfather worked for an airline company and had the benefit of getting free airplane tickets anywhere the company flew. For my mother, childhood holidays were spent traveling, either throughout the United States or abroad. Both my grandfather and grandmother have been to every continent, except Antarctica, and all fifty states.

When I go to my grandparent’s house in Kansas City, Missouri, after a delicious home cooked meal, the evening entertainment often is an old fashioned slide show. My grandfather will hang a sheet, as my grandmother brings out the slide projector and flips through thirty years worth of photographs telling stories as she goes. Growing up, my parents instilled in my siblings and I the importance of jumping at every opportunity you have to travel. Throughout my childhood, whenever my dad would travel for work, we would go with him.

During my time at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, I was lucky enough to study abroad in Bath, England. Choosing to go abroad was the best decision of my college career. I had never been away from home for that long a period of time but I learned to be so much more independent and it was amazing to live somewhere that felt so different from home. While I was there, I was also able to travel throughout England, as well as to Greece and Spain.

Whether working or going to school or both, it’s important to have time that is stress free and different from our everyday routine. When you travel, you have time to get lost. You can forget the problems of home as you explore new cities, new cultures, new art and new foods. Traveling brings compassion and understanding as well as independence as you navigate your way through new, strange places and experiences. You can return home, revived, with a clear mind, and with new inspirations and insights.

Bill Bryson said, “To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” I think that’s the most amazing thing about traveling: everyday things are new and extraordinary, every building is beautiful, kitschy souvenirs become treasures and each day holds endless possibility.

-Emilie Nadler

Photo Credit: Emilie Nadler
Photo Copyright (c) 2015 Emilie Nadler. All rights reserved.

Photos are not to be used without prior permission & license.

Recipe Corner: Roasted Asparagus Salad with an Over Easy Egg

April 1, 2015 § Leave a comment

Roasted Asparagus SaladWhat’s in season right now? Asparagus!

Take advantage of what’s in season with this super easy salad! I love asparagus and this is one of my favorite salads that is simple, quick, and delicious. Any salad is easily taken to the next level with an egg and this recipe also has a delicious mustard onion vinaigrette.

 

Serves 2

Dressing:
-1 tbl of olive oil
-1 1/2 tbl of white balsamic
-1 tbl of mustard
Ingredients-2 tsp of soy sauce
-2 tsp of honey
-Sriracha or hot sauce to taste (optional)
-1 medium garlic clove, minced
-1 medium scallion or spring onion, finely chopped

Salad:
-2 eggs
-A small bundle of asparagus
-Lettuce (I used a baby spinach blend)
-1 tsp of olive oil
-1/4 tsp of salt
-Pepper

 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Trim the asparagus and then toss in the 1 teaspoon of olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Roast the asparagus until it starts to become tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool.

To make the dressing, whisk together olive oil, white balsamic, mustard, soy sauce, honey and hot sauce. Then add in garlic and scallions.

Cook both eggs in a non-stick pan on medium heat. To get them over easy it should take about 3 minutes.

To assemble the salad, chop the roasted asparagus into bit-sized pieces and combine with the lettuce. Toss with the vinaigrette and separate into two portions. Top each with the over easy egg, some fresh pepper, and enjoy!

-Emilie Nadler

Photo Credit: Emilie Nadler
Photo Copyright (c) 2015 Emilie Nadler. All rights reserved.

Photos are not to be used without prior permission & license.

A Winter Thought

March 20, 2015 § Leave a comment

FrozenThe Snow Man*
By Wallace Stevens

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

For most of my life I have had a love hate relationship with winter. Every year I fall into the same trap – eagerly awaiting the first snowfall only to scorn snow that comes in the deeper months of winter. However, as someone who has lived in the Northeast their whole life, harsh winters are an inevitable part of the year. You have to make the most of it with winter sports, time spent with family around the fire, and appreciating the beauty that comes with the snow and cold.

This poem by Wallace Stevens has always been one of my favorites and I think sums the life of a Northeasterner during the winter. It is easy to focus on the negative aspects of winter – it’s freezing, you spend less time outdoors, snow can be hazardous and cause many transportation issues, and many other annoying things. However, I think to be a true Northeasterner, you have to bravely face the weather and find the beauty in the “nothing that is.” To be truly one with winter, as Stevens asserts, is to appreciate the beauty that is in winter, in the trees that are “shagged with ice” and in the “distant glitter” of the white snow. Though winter can be seen as nothingness, as barren, there is a life to winter, a beauty and simplicity to its silence. Cold can often be the most beautiful.

-Emilie Nadler

*Copyright (c) 1923 Wallace Stevens

Photo Credit: Emilie Nadler
Photo Copyright (c) 2015 Emilie Nadler. All rights reserved.

Photos are not to be used without prior permission & license.

Recipe Corner: Orange Glazed Chicken Salad

February 24, 2015 § Leave a comment

Make the last of orange season with this fresh salad! I had a few oranges that I needed to use up and I decided to try to make an orange vinaigrette for a salad. This recipe is very simple and healthy; it only took me about 20 minutes from start to finish and tasted delicious! Cooking the chicken breast in orange juice really made the meat flavorful and moist. The orange glazed chicken in this recipe could also be a meal on its own served with stir-fried vegetables and rice.

Orange Glazed Chicken Salad by Emilie Nadler

Serves 2

Chicken
-2 chicken breasts, pounded to about 1/2 inch
-1 tsp of olive oil
-Juice of half a medium sized orange (any variety should work, but I used navel)
-Salt and pepper to taste (about 1/4 tsp of each)

Dressing
-Juice of half a medium sized orange
-1 tbl of olive oil
-2 tsp of balsamic vinegar
-2 tsp of low sodium soy sauce
-1/2 tsp of mustard
-1 medium clove of garlic finely chopped
– Sriracha or hot sauce to taste (optional)

Salad
-Lettuce (I used a Spring mix, but any greens will work)
-1 medium sized orange
-1/4 cup of slivered almonds
-1/2 tsp of sesame seeds
-Cilantro (If you don’t like cilantro, try replacing with basil)

Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Salt and pepper the chicken breasts and put them into the skillet. After you first flip over each piece of chicken, pour orange juice over the breasts. Allow the chicken to cook thoroughly as the orange juice begins to thicken (about 4 minutes on each side). Once chicken is done, put aside and let cool.Orange Glazed Chicken Salad Ingredients by Emilie Nadler

Roast the almonds and sesame seeds under the broiler for about 2 minutes or until they begin to brown. Watch carefully, this can happen quickly! Put aside to cool.

To assemble the dressing, combine olive oil, orange juice, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and mustard. Whisk together ingredients and then add the garlic. Put aside.

For the garnish, segment the orange and finely chop the cilantro. Put aside.

Slice the chicken breasts. Then toss the lettuce with the toasted almonds and sesame seeds, orange segments, and most of the dressing, reserving some for the top. Put chicken on top of the salad, drizzle on the extra dressing and top with cilantro. Enjoy!

-Emilie Nadler

Photo Credit: Emilie Nadler
Photo Copyright (c) 2015 Emilie Nadler. All rights reserved.

Photos are not to be used without prior permission & license.

Just A Thought – The Importance of Reading the News

February 11, 2015 § 2 Comments

I have to admit, I am bad at keeping up with the news. For various reasons, I often tend to avoid staying on top of many of the ongoing topics in the media today. However, whether if you are looking at it from a voting point of view or from a writing point of view, that is a poor decision to make. Having a reliable, unbiased news source is very important for any writer, business owner, or general citizen. It not only allows us to be more informed and active citizens, but it also allows us to do our jobs better. How can you really write without knowing the full experience of what is going on in your world? How can you effectively run a business without knowing how current events may be affecting you and your future business? Emilie makes a very good point below, and includes some tips on how to get a more “clear” picture on what is going on in the world so you can make your own decisions without the hyped up “stories” that the media likes to portray lately.     –JC

 

With the amount of free news widely available, it seems almost criminal to noNewst be informed about current events. However, in this media soaked environment, it’s not only important that you stay informed but also that you get your news from a variety of different sources.

Most Americans get their news by watching television, opting for networks like CNN, FOX, or local channels.* Though watching the news is sometimes more convenient and is free and easily accessible, it is often the most biased and skewed way to receive information, especially political news. Getting the news from another person can greatly influence our own opinions, and therefore, it’s important to take the time to actually read the news.

I think the best way to navigate through the hyperactive media environment of today is to read the news either in print, online, or on your cellphone. Especially when considering political issues, it’s important to read about both sides of the issue and make up your own mind before being influenced by the prejudices of other people.

I personally believe that one of the best news sources available is the Associated Press. I generally read AP news on my cellphone through their free app, but they also have a free website and twitter account. The AP provides free, unbiased breaking news and often does specialty pieces where they assess the truth behind divisive political issues. Recently the AP put out an article, “Fact Check: Both Sides in Keystone XL Debate Bend Facts” where they investigate both sides of the debate surrounding the construction of the Keystone oil pipeline and reveal that, as with most issues, each side stretches the truth to make their argument.

It’s especially important with political issues to read about the issues from a more unbiased source like the AP or the Washington Post (which also has a free app and website). Most television networks and many other media sources skew their information to place blame on one political party or another for the inactivity and constant debate in Washington, when really both sides are playing an active role. Clearly newswriting can be highly biased as well, but at least by reading the news you can discern the facts for yourself. Reading the news and varying your sources of information is also a way to actively participate in politics; it allows you to understand for yourself what policy decisions are being made and which politicians are involved. To be a conscious voter, it is important to be informed and hold politicians accountable for their actions.

When I was recently in Washington, D.C., I went to one of my favorite museums, the Newseum—a museum of news and journalism. Written on one of the walls is this quote from Thomas Jefferson: “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” Knowledge is indeed power and staying informed, especially about political issues both foreign and domestic, gives us power in our government. Just a thought.

-Emilie Nadler

*http://www.gallup.com/poll/163412/americans-main-source-news.aspx

Photo Credit: Emilie Nadler
Photo Copyright (c) 2015 Emilie Nadler. All rights reserved.

Photos are not to be used without prior permission & license.