Succeed by attitude

a card that says "DRIVEN BY PASSION; SUCCEED BY ATTITUDE"

“I believe we must find our passion in life. Once we find what drives us- then by having a positive attitude we can succeed. Success for everyone is different- success to me is happiness. I do not have a lot of friends, I do not have an adventurous lifestyle, but I know what drives me happy. My happiness comes from being able to share a memorable experience with people and being able to touch their heart. I am passionate about marketing because it is in marketing that I can create the magical and intangible experience that connects to people head, heart, and soul. Life is full of obstacles and challenges. Every time when I wanted to give up, I remind myself… I must stay strong and positive for what I love/what I believe in- my passion.”

Name: J. Lin
Age: N/A
Major: Hospitality

Embracing the Upcoming Year

new york skyline landscape

“Here’s to New Horizons (Brooklyn Heights Promenade)” by Brianna Vasquez

As another semester comes to a close and our stress levels began to decrease, just in time for the holidays. We begin to be sentimental as the year also reaches its end. We began to ponder about the resolutions we will allow ourselves to commit to in the New Year. Yet, we may not completely finish our resolutions; we still write some that we would like to do especially those that consist of a physical change in ourselves such as losing weight or going out in public more. Instead, challenge yourself to resolutions that are more personal such as being a better baker, being more spontaneous, or being brave in unforeseen circumstances. These may be even harder to achieve but in the end, they help us to not only be better for others but for ourselves as we navigate through this journey called life.

So as you prepare for the holidays, remember to be excited for what 2016 may hold or bring to your life and as always I hope to add a new recipe to include in your recipe box to make for the holidays.

Peppermint Meringues

Active time: 30 minutes

Start to Finish: 2 1/2 hours

Makes about 5 dozen

Ingredients

3 large egg whites

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract

Red gel-paste food coloring

Directions

Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; secure corners with masking tape. Fit a pastry bag with a small open-star tip (such as Ateco #22). Set aside.

Put egg whites and sugar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of simmering water, and stir gently until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch, 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer bowl to an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Mix in peppermint extract.

Using a new small paintbrush, paint 2 or 3 stripes of red food coloring inside the pastry bag. Fill bag with 1 to 2 cups meringue. Pipe small (3/4-inch-high) star shapes onto prepared baking sheets. Refill bag as necessary, adding food coloring each time.

Bake cookies until crisp but not brown, about 1 hour 40 minutes. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks.

You can make the meringues a week ahead and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place (though not in the freezer or refrigerator). Any humidity or moisture will soften the meringues.

Recipe courtesy of Culinary Serendipity and Martha Stewart

happy new year in tie-dye

Image by: sarbjit singh

Honestly, I love working for “The Buzz” but I want to become a better writer in the New Year by challenging myself as a writer, in terms of creativity. Personally, I view New Years as a time to evaluate ourselves in order to prosper by way of self-improvement.

Comment on what resolutions you hope to achieve in the New Year? What does New Year’s mean to you? What are some of your traditions? I hope that you achieve the goals that you set for yourself and wish you luck in all your future endeavors. And Cheers to new horizons and opportunities.

What I Learned From Blogging on The Buzz

Hi everyone! You probably know me best as the crazy, passionate foodie on The Buzz and you were probably looking forward to a blog post about food, well today’s post is going to be a little different. This is my last post with The Buzz as next semester is my last semester and I will need to take care of other obligations. I just want to take the time to reflect on how far I’ve come with food blogging on The Buzz and what I’ve learned.

  1. It’s been an honor to be a part of a team at City Tech particularly for blogging because I am passionate about blogging and I always love to meet other bloggers no matter age, sex, niche, major, and etc. Although I haven’t had much opportunity to meet the other bloggers because I go to school and work part-time, I still felt a connection.
  2. It was nice to show another side of me in front of City Tech, besides as a Hospitality student. I was able to share my love and passion for food and restaurants through The Buzz, something I haven’t been able to do too much of in my degree/department.
  3. I learned how to remain determined and motivated to stick to a blogging schedule and even though at times I had hundreds of topics I can blog about, it always came down to – what do I think everyone else would be interested in or what haven’t I blogged about yet?.
  4. I learned a lot from other students just by reading their blog posts and looking through their pictures they post. I really felt everyone’s creative juices coming together.
  5. One last item I am very fortunate about is to be able to build up my blogging/writing portfolio and I will have the opportunity to show it to future companies of the work I’ve done and how far I’ve come.

If your interested in keeping up with me and my food adventures, you can always read my food blog – Ambitious Eats or keep up with my Yelp reviews.  Thanks to everyone that has helped me and supported me while I was on The Buzz! It’s been a great pleasure to blog for this community.

For Future Openlab bloggers: If you ever need advice on starting a blog or blogging itself, you can contact me through school e-mail and etc. Most importantly when you blog for The Buzz, be yourself

A Charitable Winter

As an afterschool teacher, I taught my 4:5th grade students to importance of generosity, empathy, and thankfulness during the fall and winter months.  Although it is a struggle to get them to learn tolerance and that there are various forms of bullying to withhold from, they seen to be getting the charitable concept.

We will be doing a play, written and directed by me, this week on 18th of December to show the thankfulness and charity of the holiday season. I will edit this blog to add images of the performance. Here are some images leading up to this point, as far as prep and learning concepts.


Share what you are doing that’s charitable this winter. And check out Vive Entertainment Enterprises @vive_ent they are hosting a homeless clothing drive.

Hope to see you guys next semester.

Cloudy Days

New York City isn’t necessarily known for as a cloudy city, but sometimes it does get really cloudy in NYC. And when it does happen, many times it becomes such a spectacular phenomenon for one to admire.

The part of the day to best fully catch the beauty of the clouds over the city is during the times of sunrise and sunset. This is when the dazzling clouds in he sunlight gets more noticeable and  creates such a fantastic view. At  multiple times, I find myself lost and in awe looking at the clouds as they pass over the city’s astonishing skyline. For something that is not a daily occurrence in NYC, when it greets the city, it magnificently add a beautiful touch it and adds grandeur to New York City’s  unique identity.


a city skyline in front of a sunset sky, with cars on a bridgeBrooklyn Bridge – Brooklyn

 

a cloudy sunset over a city shorelineGantry Park Plaza – Queens

 

a city skyline and shorelineManhattan Bridge – Manhattan

 

a cloudy sunset over a city skylineBrooklyn Bridge – Brooklyn

 

 

The universe’s magic

a card that says "and when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. -Paulo Coehlo"

“Initially when I first read the alchemist I was head over heels in love with this man whom I felt the universe kept putting in my life for as many times as he wasn’t seemingly supposed to be (even up to this very day and it’s been 15 years). Now that I’ve matured, this quote has come to reflect my determination for when I want something. I generally stop at nothing and because of it, the universe bends and twists to make it happen for me. I truly believe that the universe conspires and whispers behind your back even for things you’re not sure you want just yet. Lol.”

Name: L. Garcia
Age: N/A
Major: Communication Design

National Cookie Day

This past Friday marked National Cookie Day, some places had a few sales but many did not. The day almost went by completely unnoticed as some still shared their favorite cookie recipes.

Over the weekend, I made a bunch of cookies to celebrate the special day. I made a variety of cookies. While I made some of the classics like chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, and white chocolate chip chocolate cookies, it allowed me to have time to try out some new ones. But I tried some new cookies which are called alfajores, these cookies are of a Spanish origin and varies from different countries such as Spain, Argentina as they each have their own way of the production of this particular cookie. It is a sandwich cookie and taste like a cross between a shortbread and a butter cookie. The cookie itself is extremely low in sugar which is counteracted by the sweetness of the dulce de leche that sandwiched between the cookies. The cookie has a lighter finish as it uses corn starch instead of the usual flour so it crumbles easily. And the flavor is just simply divine and almost indescribable. It is unlike any other cookie I have ever tasted in my life. I placed the recipe that I used below so you all can have a chance to make your own alfajores.

Alfajores

Prep time:  20 mins

Cook time:  8 mins

Total time:  28 mins

Serves: 35 alfajores

Ingredients

2 cups corn starch, sifted

â…” cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

4 tablespoons sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

4 egg yolks

2 tablespoons fresh milk (if necessary)

1 (14-ounce) can dulce de leche

Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Beat the eggs with the sugar at medium speed, for 3 minutes; add the butter and continue beating. Stop the mixer.

Add the corn starch and baking powder in three parts, using a spatula, then knead lightly with your hand until the dough is no longer sticky. If the dough feels dry add the milk.

On a floured table, roll the dough with a floured rolling pin to form a very thin layer, about a â…› inch.

To make the cookies cut the dough with round cookie cutters, and bake for 8 minutes in ungreased baking sheets. If you don’t have cookie cutters, be creative. You can use the top of a glass or cup, which will make slightly bigger alfajores.

Cool the cookies on racks. When completely cool, fill them with a teaspoon dulce de leche. Place another cookie on top, like a sandwich, and sift the confectioner’s sugar over the alfajores.

Recipe adapted from PeruDelights

I also had the pleasure of making my own dulce de leche which is remarkably easy. I used four cans of sweetened condensed milk, peeled off the label and placed it in a big pot of water. By gradually adding water so that the cans were always covered, it was fully cooked it about six hours but can vary depending on the heat applied and how the cans lay, it is better if it is on its side.

So share and comment, what your favorite cookie recipe is or simply your favorite cookie. And have you ever heard of this cookie before? During this time with the holidays approaching, it is almost necessary to know how to cook or bake certain items. Christmas marks a time for food, family, and activities.

Finals Week Is Here Again

a person in a white wig and the words "HAPPY FINALS WEEK: AND MAY THE GRADES BE EVER IN YOUR FAVOR!"

If all those Buzzfeed articles, and tumblr memes weren’t proof enough, finals week is fast approaching.

That’s where you now go “yes the term is almost over!” before freaking out on if you’ll pass or not.

Here are some steps to prepare you for the stressful weeks.

1. Plan your schedule: Spend a few minutes writing down everything you need to do. Time has a tendency to slip away during finals week, so plan and keep track of it the best you can. Just because you’ve been able to pull an all nighter study session before, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to do it again.

2. Eat well and get exercise: When you’re short on time, it’s easy to forget both of these two things. A good breakfast, a respectable lunch, sensible snacks, and a smart dinner, can go a long way. Even a 20-minute walk around campus, can do wonders for your physical and mental health.

3. Keep up with your work: If you attend class regularly, keep up with readings, and take notes conscientiously. Doing so can make studying a relatively pain free process.

4. Make sure to get plenty of sleep: Sleep is often the time when we completely synthesize information, especially topics we’ve covered in the couple of hours before bedtime. You want to be as fresh as possible, and able to fully engage your working memory when the time to take your exam comes.

Foggy Days

Foggy days are wonderful, It makes for such a wonderful feeling of calmness and peacefulness. Fog have a lot of unique attributes to it; the most distinctive, is that the visibility gets poorer by a cloud of smoke covering the area. Sometimes the cloud of smoke is so thick that it can be very hard for people to clearly see as they pass through an area covered by fog. But nonetheless fog creates such a wonderful view and have a peaceful and cozy atmosphere.


a village streetCambria Heights – Queens

 

a village streetCambria Heights – Queens

 

a village streetCambria Heights – Queens

 

Why I Love to Cook

Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving and was able to eat lots of good food! I know I did. If you’ve been following my blog posts than you know that I normally like to write about restaurants, lists of foods I like, and etc. Today I would like to share with you why I love to cook, because even though I don’t have time to do it as much as I’d like to I still love it! So here’s five reasons why I love to cook –

10 food dishes1. Cooking allows me to let out the creative side of me. Cooking is an art and masterpiece. When I am in the kitchen cooking away, it just feels nice to be away from everything else and everyone else for a little while. It feels peaceful, yet fun. The creativity kicks in when I am plating my dishes and making a decision of how I want it to look or appear to the eye. I also feel the most creative in cooking when it comes to deciding what herbs, spices, seasonings, ingredients to add. 
five food dishes

2. While cooking can be fun and easy, it can also be hard and challenging. However, if you don’t face the difficulties or challenges that comes with cooking, you won’t be fearless and you won’t ever know how far you can take something. I have gave myself challenges to learn how to make certain dishes/recipes and some have been a failure, but with more practice and effort they have become successes. I was never really good at folding dumplings in the crescent fold, but after learning from my boyfriend and more practice I became good at it.

nine plated food dishes

3. Another reason why I love cooking is because I have the opportunity and ability to learn from foods I’ve eaten and restaurants I’ve been to  on how to plate food just by looking at it. Some of the foods I’ve seen presented have been incredibly amazing and just so artistic that I almost don’t want to eat it or touch it.

4. I like to control what goes into the food. There are times when I go to restaurants and I do like to pick out certain foods that I don’t like such as raw peppers, raw onions, ginger, and etc. When I cook, I am able to control how well I want certain ingredients to be cooked and whether if I want to add them or not. I also don’t like to add too much sugar to the food/dishes if I don’t need to. I also don’t like to add too much oil if I don’t need to either.

four food dishes

5. I love to cook because cooking has opened my eyes, heart, and stomach up to a lot of different foods that I thought I would never like or make. I never thought I would like Brussel sprouts, kale, and arugula , but I do! Cooking and food has motivated me to try different cuisines, foods, ingredients, and just be a little more opened and less picky.

There’s so much about the experience of cooking I enjoy. It’s everything behind-the-scenes as well – the scent of fresh basil, the fragrance of cilantro, the taste of butter, the crackle from the skillet, and the sight of a perfectly roasted chicken hanging up by the window at a Chinese restaurant. Cooking speaks to all of my senses.

 

Do you cook or bake? If you do, what do you like most about it?