My second semester of graduate school is off to a busy start. I'm enrolled in four courses: Introduction to Databases, E-Government, Foundations of Information Processing (Python programming), and Libraries Information and Society (my last required course). The database and programming courses are very time consuming, but I'm keeping up and learning quite a bit.
In addition to my Graduate Assistantship, I am also doing a practicum this semester with the Sears User Experience & Taxonomy department in Chicago. And in March, I am spending my spring break in Ann Arbor as an assistant at the incredible Janice Bluestein Longone Culinary Archive.
Life is busy, but It's exciting to sense my previous experiences, coursework, and future aspirations synthisizing into something definable. I'm not sure where I'll end up next year, but I'm grateful for these current opportunities and the wonderful people I am meeting.
My practicum has allowed me to spend quite a bit of time in Chicago already this semester. My mother is currently enrolled in the Chicago Architecture Foundation's rigourous docent training program. She recently took my brother and I on a practice tour of Historic Downtown: Rise of the Skyscraper and did an impressive job.
It was a gorgeous early spring day and we talked about a number of my favorite buildings (clockwise from top left: Art Institute of Chicago, Marquette, Fisher, and Monadnack). It's pretty neat to have a burgeoning authority on the rich history of Chicago architecture in the family.
A recent series of sunny days and mild temperatures has melted most of the snow and the changing seasons have me feeling energized. I'm looking forward to dusting off my bike, long runs, and planning spring camping trips. Here is an easy recipe with bright flavors to welcome March.
Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic Tahini Sauce
Adapted from Saveur
1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil
4 tsp ground cumin
1 1/4 tsp hot paprika (divided)
2 heads cauliflower, cored and cut into 1 1/2'' florets
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 C tahini
1/2 C water
3 cloves garlic, smashed and minced into a paste
1 tsp Siracha
Juice of 1 lemon
Preheat oven to 500F. On a large baking sheet, combine the oil, cumin, turmeric, one teaspoon of paprika, salt, black pepper, and cauliflower. Spread evenly and bake for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until the cauliflower is brownded and tender.
Meanwhile, combine the tahini, water, garlic, Siracha, lemon juice, and the remaining quarter-teaspoon of paprika in a small bowl (don't worry, the water mixes in well and gives the sauce a great texture). Season with salt to taste.
Serve warm or at room temperature.