logo: "In the kitchen with Patricia"
Last night I was at an internship potluck! What I love about potlucks is the diversity of dishes; we had everything from Hawaiian breadfruit dishes, to indian pakoras. Pakoras are a favorite in India. Your favorite vegetables are dipped in a spicy batter and deep fried to make fabulous fritters.
1 cup chickpea flour
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3/4 cup water
1 quart oil for deep frying
1/2 head cauliflower florets
2 onions, sliced into rings
1. Sift the chickpea flour into a medium bowl. Mix in the coriander, salt, turmeric, chili powder, garam masala and garlic.
2. Make a well in the center of the flower. Gradually pour the water into the well and mix to form a thick, smooth batter.
3. Over medium high heat in a large, heavy saucepan, heat the oil to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
4. Coat the cauliflower and onions in the batter and fry them in small batches until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels before serving.

Deep-fry-Chana-Dal-Pakoraa dish of fried food with sauce

Serving Suggestion:
As shown in the photo above, this simple sauce can be a great dip. Just blend all ingredients together.
For the yogurt sauce
  • Yogurt 250 ml
  • Sugar 5 ml
  • Salt 1 pinch
  • Coriander 15 ml chopped leaves
  • Mint 15 ml chopped leaves
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Ready In: 25 Minutes
Servings: 6

Out With The Old, In With The New!

the de Blasio family

Change has come to the state of New York. Last week, Bill de Blasio, was overwhelmingly elected mayor of New York, becoming the first Democrat to lead New York in twenty years.

With all of the precincts reporting, Bill de Blasio trounced Republican Joe Lhota, who was considered a protege of former mayor Rudy Giuliani, by 73 percent to 26 percent.

De Blasio will take office on Jan. 1 as the 109th mayor of the nation’s largest city.

Though De Blasio was obviously preferred by majority of New York citizens, he has already come under attack.

Outgoing NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly was quoted as saying that the newly elected Mayor is “full of s—,” believing campaigning politicians will say or do anything to get elected. Then again, seeing as how this quote came from his interview with Playboy, I’m not sure how much of Mr. Kelly’s word I’d listen to.

And what does outgoing Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, have to say? Well he offered his replacement these words of advice, “If you build the right team and bring in the right people, then you can really make a difference.”

So, were you happy with the results of the election? And what do you think of some people already finding fault in De Blasio before he’s even in office?

New Threat on the Digital Block: The CryptoLocker Virus

a screenshot of a computer anti-virusA few months ago, I got an annoying piece of code on my laptop known as the FBI Moneypak virus. It locked down my laptop screen and demanded a ransom for me to have it unlocked – right in the middle of midterm week. Thankfully the virus was easy to remove and I was able to boot my laptop in safe mode before running anti-virus software to remove it. Different variants of the Moneypak virus began popping up over the internet, each strain slightly different and more difficult to remove until two months ago when an infinitely more dangerous began to appear. The Moneypak virus scares victims into thinking their computer will be permanently locked, covering their screen with a digital ransom note that cannot be removed until a victim pays up. Even if you don’t pay the money, or if you remove the virus, your files are (usually) safe. CryptoLocker however is the complete opposite.

Most people are infected through spam mail. Clicking on attachments from people you don’t know, or from friends or family you weren’t expecting to get attachments from is a very easy way to get infected. You can also catch the virus from less harmful malware already installed on your computer. You can also get the virus from computers that share resources on your network. The virus spreads similarly to the Autoplay malware that made its way around campus last semester, it you share network drives, USBs drives or email and receive attachments often, you are also liable to get infected.

This virus is a nasty one, there’s no other way to put it. Very rarely do victims of this virus know when they’ve been infected.  Once it gets onto a computer, it targets files with the following extensions:

*.odt, *.ods, *.odp, *.odm, *.odc, *.odb, *.doc, *.docx, *.docm, *.wps, *.xls, *.xlsx, *.xlsm, *.xlsb, *.xlk, *.ppt, *.pptx, *.pptm, *.mdb, *.accdb, *.pst, *.dwg, *.dxf, *.dxg, *.wpd, *.rtf, *.wb2, *.mdf, *.dbf, *.psd, *.pdd, *.pdf, *.eps, *.ai, *.indd, *.cdr, *.jpg, *.jpe, *.jpg, *.dng, *.3fr, *.arw, *.srf, *.sr2, *.bay, *.crw, *.cr2, *.dcr, *.kdc, *.erf, *.mef, *.mrw, *.nef, *.nrw, *.orf, *.raf, *.raw, *.rwl, *.rw2, *.r3d, *.ptx, *.pef, *.srw, *.x3f, *.der, *.cer, *.crt, *.pem, *.pfx, *.p12, *.p7b, *.p7c.

The virus then proceeds to encrypt them with RSA (Rivest Shamir Adleman) and AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) encryptions.  Any and everything attached to your computer will be infected. Cloud storage won’t necessarily save your files – people who installed have Dropbox on their computers will have the files in their account encrypted. Attached USB or disk storage will also be encrypted. Any new files you create with the above file extensions will also be encrypted, effectively rendering your computer files useless.

Once CryptoLocker has successfully infected all the files on a target PC, it displays a warning message, giving victims 72 hours to pay around $300 or their files permanently encrypted. They aren’t bluffing. There are numerous reports of people and businesses loosing important files because they didn’t pay the ransom. It’s much worse for people who attempt to (or even accidentally) remove the virus from their computers.The ransom can increase anywhere between 3 and 10 times the initial value of $300. Only an infected computer can access the website to pay the ransom to unencrypt their files, but for the people who’ve accidentally uninstalled the virus, don’t worry.The creators of the virus realized that they were missing out on income and so, provide victims with a link to reinfect their computers so that they can pay up.

There’s a serious debate over whether or not people should pay money to retrieve their files. The argument against paying is that giving up the money encourages the hackers to target more people and continue to update the virus to earn more money. Who wouldn’t – the creators of CryptoLocker are said to have earned upwards of $5 Million in on year. For people who risk losing irreplaceable family photos, financial documents and client files worth thousands of dollars each though, there’s no other option than to pay the money.

Open attachments at your own risk.





Hot White Chocolate

logo: "In the kitchen with Patricia"

Ingredients1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
4 cups half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Vanilla whipped topping, for garnish
Mint leaf, for garnishDirections1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine white chocolate chips and heavy cream.

2. Stir continuously until white chocolate chips have completely melted. Stir in the half-and-half, and vanilla extract.
3. Stir occasionally until heated through.
4. Pour into mugs and top with a dollop of vanilla whipped topping and garnish with mint leaf.
Easy as 1-2-3-4! I like this recipe for its simplicity and low sugar content. Other than the white chocolate chips, no additional sugar is added.
a cup of hot white chocolate with mint
Prep Time:
10 minServes:
2 to 4 servings

Avoiding Burnout in the Job Hunt: Stop, Drop, and Roll

a hand circling classified ads

So you’re finally up to graduation! You’re so excited. Finally you can enter the work force as a proud, educated, eligible employee. You’re on top of the world, no one can ruin your joy. Until you remember, wait, now you need to find that job…

Reality starts to set in. The job market is not that great right now. Maybe you need another certification, maybe even a more advanced degree. You start to search the job boards. Everyone wants experienced employees. Your internship site has a hiring freeze with an indefinite end-date. Maybe this is the wrong field for you. Maybe this was all a waste.


Remember, your a highly qualified applicant. That job that you didn’t get, it wasn’t meant to be. A place that doesn’t want to hire a new graduate probably isn’t where you want to work. There are so many potential employers, and it’s possible that your “ideal” is not actually that.


Forget the ego. You might need to take a less coveted job to work up to the level of your dream. Drop the frown. It’s time to remember why you wanted to do this career. Remember how idealistic you were when you started college, when you took the first class in your major? Get that dream back. Think about the positive side. Once you have a job, you’ll need to work everyday, all day. Take advantage of your time off to develop some hobbies, take a class, and become a super networker.


Sometimes the job offers come when you least expect them. Roll with the punches. If you get a temporary position, take it. It may lead to a permanent job, looks great for experience, and fills up your resume so that you don’t have too many gaps to explain. Remember that even a day at the movies can turn into an amazing networking experience. Talk to people about their lives, it looks good, and you can find job hunting ideas along the way.

If a job opportunity comes up that is indirectly related to your field, look in to it. You may find a new dream job!

Good luck on your next step!