The Trend of the Meat Cake

Image by: Andrey Bodrov

Today, food has become so modernized these days and the traditional foods that were widely accepted are evolving. America has always and continually been inclusive of those cuisines and traditions from other countries. Many food practices that are being utilized and have gained such popularity in the United States have generally been adopted from other reginal areas. These new practices have allowed the normalized traditions in America especially in terms of food to be differentiated and more modernized with the latest trends that are being accepted. In Japan, they have created an entirely new way of celebrating birthdays. Gone are the days of birthday cakes that were sheet cakes frosted with insanely sweet and colorful amounts of frosting. Today, many are surprising their loved ones either friends or family with a modernized and savory version of the birthday cake which is the meat cake. It has changed the entire dynamic of cakes as there are not many versions of savory cakes that have become so popularized, accepted, or trendy in the culinary world.

Image by: jasonklapston

In the Japanese cuisine, they take the most expensive and best cuts of meat in order to uniform them into a cake-like shape. The cakes can be tiered or shaped in a particular look such as to look like a flower. Then it is usually decorated with an array of different vegetables that will complement the meat such as peppers, asparagus, or broccoli. Typically, the cake is made out of different versions of beef with the most expensive being the aged wagyu. But there are variances of these particular cakes styles that cake use different cuts of fish, poultry, and other meats such as veal or pork. When a meat cake is presented, it is usually reminiscent to that of a traditional birthday cake where there is a gathering of friends and family as the celebrated person is able to see their cake for the first time. Then, it is treated just like that of a typical frosted birthday cake in which the person gets to blow out the candles. And, afterwards, the meat is generously cooked and prepared in a way in which the person desires it.

Comment below on different and interesting cakes that you have either eaten or would like to eat in the near future.

Humans Of City Tech

“You have to be strong to be a woman because being a woman comes with many challenges (periods, pregnancies, stereotypes) that require emotional, mental and physical strength to overcome. My favorite part of being a woman is defeating the stereotypes. I come from a hispanic family who has passed down and encouraged the stereotypes of our women throughout generations. ‘The woman has to serve the man’ my grandma would always say. However my dad always told me other wise. I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do. I am only to do what I feel is right. I’ve always stuck with what my dad would tell me and here I am today, defeating those stereotypes. I do not cater to no man because I have to. I do because I want to. I do not wear earrings and bracelets everyday. I do not wear dresses and skirts. I am my own person and I act and dress the way I am comfortable, and City Tech is a place that encourages that comfort. Nothing makes me smile more than being able to relate to both genders when i speak to fellow students. I love to feel just like one of the guys. However I would not trade being a woman for the world. Being a woman has built my character. It’s cliché to say but we’re strong because we’re women, and we’re women because we’re strong.”

Caitlyn Nunez 

 

The Second/Third Home of the Whitney Museum of American Art

In 1954 the small studio was overtaken by art and Gertrude Whitney decided to move the pieces to a small space that was located behind the Museum of Modern Art (also known as MoMA) which was another museum, of few, that was created by women. Whitney-Vanderbilt and her students quickly filled and conquered this space and after an unfortunate fire in 1958, it forced the museum to move again. This time they commissioned Marcel Breuer, a famous European architect.

Breuer was a Hungarian native before moving to Germany to become one of the very few students of the Bauhaus, which was an infamous German college for fine arts and construction raised from the harsh conditions of World War II. the school of design operated from 1919-1933 as the program was shut down by the Nazis. This school was affiliated with some of the architectural greats like, Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe, Walter Gropius, and Le Corbusier. From this school, Breuer honed his craft; he nurtured his own style which was very brutalistic. His buildings were extremely weighted to the ground as he explored concrete. Breuer also continued his infatuation with concrete by placing it in an unexpected place like upper Manhattan, making it the third home of the Whitney Museum of American Art.

The project was completed in 1966 and was the Whitney Museum’s home for 49 years. He designed this building inside and out, from the intricate windows to the furnishings that reside in the museum (which are still fully functional after 51 years of use). The art flooded the walls and created its own atmosphere which was astonishing given the main aesthetic of the museum being American Art. in this era of time it was not a good thing to be an American artist since popular assumption was that all fine art came from Europe. Whitney felt differently than everyone else and thought that she and her students should take pride in their art: therefore she sent approximately five hundred pieces to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, prior to the commissioning of their first independent museum built by Breuer. The prestigious museum denied every single admission since they perceived it as too American and unrefined. Because of this she made her own gallery, giving herself and her students the validity that they deserved. She celebrated American art, deeming it uniquely beautiful and important while everyone else thought differently.

It’s quite surprising to know that when the Whitney Museum outgrew this space as it did with the others, The Metropolitan art gallery is what occupied Breuer’s brutalist masterpiece that once housed the pieces that they denied as art.

Tune in next week to see the last installment of the Whitney Museum of American Art as we explore its latest home.

Marcel Breuer’s Bench specifically made for this project.

Virtues from Motherhood: Learning to be a leader

A few years ago I read a fortune from a fortune cookie that said “ Leadership is the ability to hide your panic from others” and I thought, this is the strangest thing ever. You’d assume a leader is a leader because they have it all ironed out and have no need to panic, boy was I wrong. Aside from the very obvious form of leadership, motherhood, I had to develop and fine tune my professional leadership, which is very different from my role as a mom. As a mom my leadership is tiered and drawn out over Ava’s entire life, but professional and peer leadership is very “at the moment” focused.

My cultivation of professional leadership was thrust upon me at 23, when I became the office manager for an H&R Block location. I had recently become a certified tax pro and my district manager felt I was ready to lead an office, I was flattered but also nervous. I was the youngest employee in the office, and now I was the boss? I had to manage people twice and nearly three times my age and that alone seemed intimidating. The other component was meeting all these goals, deadlines and expectations where there was little or no room for error and sometimes that meant thinking on my feet. Spoiler alert, I still have my job so clearly I did something right but at times it felt like I was just winging it and that’s when that fortune cookie saying made sense to me, panic but don’t show it.

I didn’t really grow into myself or feel comfortable speaking to people until I hit my mid twenties, before that I would grin and bear it but I would turn really red, stumble over my words and rush through whatever it was I was saying. This job role, as well as my time at City Tech, helped me groom and polish my speaking and leadership skills because it showed me that when you have something to say people will listen, they will regard your words.

Leadership doesn’t come easy though, I have classes with peers who are deathly afraid of speaking to the class and during group projects they hide behind the podium and happily let me speak. As I’ve taken senior courses though, more and more professors stop me and call them out, because I have this skill and rather than do it for my peers I should teach them or encourage them to be able to do the same. At first this annoyed me (because I hate group work and my doing the whole project is just easier to me) but then I realized that at one time it was me who was hiding beside the podium and being a wallflower. I had a math professor who made us present algebraic equations in a group project and I am awful at math so I took a back seat, but this professor wouldn’t leave me alone she made me read and do more than half the work when we presented, and I though I’d die. Clearly I didn’t die because I wrote this blog post but I do recall the fear and anxiety that moment gave me and I realize why my professors now ask me to not just do the project for them but show them how.

Leadership is a learning curve and sometimes I am absolutely winging the sh*t out of whatever it is I’m doing, but I know if I don’t get it right there’s a lesson in there, be it don’t wait till 3 days before or how to better use a computer program, there is a take away. Leading is always going to be a give and take because a good leader knows sometimes the best form of leadership is stepping aside and taking notes, we can’t all be good at everything and a good leader knows that they don’t work above the team they work with them.

 

 

Academic Self-Discovery: My Experience with Math

For many, the career they’re interested in perusing will require them to take classes that can be challenging. Some students when faced with this situation will push themselves and dedicate more of their time to the subject. They will do this because their goal is reaching the career they’re passionate about. While there are other students placed in the same situation that can discover the field they initially thought of going after might not be the right one for them. There is nothing wrong if this happens. It just allows students to find out what better suits them.

When sharing stories with other students, the class we usually struggle in common with is math. Math and I, from time to time, can be friendly towards one another yet we are never really friends. I’m a liberal arts and science major (LAS), currently in Pre-Calculus and will have to go up to Calculus 2 (1575), and what drives me is the fact that I need to pass these classes to get my degree. I’ve had moments where the problems on the board or pages look like hieroglyphs. When taking exams I can sometimes forget methods or even go blank. Yet, the moments that I do understand how to solve something it is one of the best feelings of accomplishment.

There is no shame in getting help. This applies to every subject. If I am unsure, confused or struggling with a topic, I can ask the professor during or after class, I can go to tutoring, study with friends, etc. What works best for me is doing the problems over and over and explaining how to get the answer to someone else. Repetition, writing and explaining help with remembering what steps to take to solve the problem and my thought process to getting there.

Humans Of City Tech

“5 years from now I’ll be 26. I should be done with PA school by Gods grace. I should be engaged. thinking about getting married. And how far do I think I can get in life: Honestly I just want to get to the point where I’m comfortable with my life, doing what Love and hopefully After my PA I could continue and eventually get my MD.”
Kabir D Omolaja 

Virtues from Motherhood: A reminder about love

Too often we find ourselves in toxic relationships, both men and women, and question how we let ourselves fall into this unhealthy pattern when we know better. Sometimes we’re able to tell other people the things they need to hear to be strong and pick up and move on but we cannot seem to grasp it in our own lives. In my own life and even that of the people close to me I’ve found such amazing people in some unfair situations but rather than write a traditional blog post about it I’m going to write an open ended list of what love is and I hope my readers will add to it. Also, always remember love starts with YOU, love yourself, love your body, love your strengths and weaknesses and love every day you wake up with the chance to shine!

LOVE IS,

Compassion

Understanding

Learning

Trust

Excitement

Sharing

Lazy Sundays with take out and TV

Enjoying one another without words

Forgiving imperfections

Helping one another grow

Good Morning notes

Bringing home their favorite snack after a bad day

Cuddles

Forehead kisses

Understanding their past without prejudice

Letting go of fear

Experiencing new things together

LOVE IS NOT,

Condescending

Judgmental

Controlling

Painful

One sided

Abusive

Ultimatums

Conditional

Stressful

 

Remember that no matter what you’re going through or what you’ve been through you deserve love. Love takes work, commitment and a desire to build with each other and most of all it takes time. Nevertheless there is never ever an excuse for love to consume you life in negative ways or to break you to the point of losing who you are. Love should be the harmony of two lives living side by side it is not a force that rules your life. Love is happy.

 

So tell me, what is love to you?

 

 

If you or someone you know is struggling visit halfofus.org for ways to help.

The Beauty of Sugar Sculptures

Sugar is a centrical ingredient in the confectionary world. Being that I aspire to be a pastry chef, I am used to working with different types of sugar all the time. Each sugar can serve its own purpose in how it is utilized to create a particular dessert. There’s granulated cane sugar, turbinado sugar, light brown sugar, dark brown sugar, 10x sugar, pearl sugar, raw sugar, artificial sweeteners, and the list goes on. All of these sugar options are widely used to not only sweeten a dessert item but for its other properties as well. For instance when making sugar cookies, it is sometimes topped with granulated sugar and this is used to add crunch as well as more flavor to the cookies. If 10x sugar (also known as confectioner’s sugar) was used, it would essentially melt into the cookie causing it crackle.

Image by: Brianna Vasquez

Sugar is so valued and readily used in the confectionary world that it is almost always present as an ingredient in every dessert. One of the most amazing ways that sugar is utilized is to create sugar sculptures. The art of creating sugar sculptures consist of composing the most elaborate artistic masterpieces that are completely made from sugar and its fellow derivatives. In order to make these sculptures that sugar must be broken down and heated to a high temperature to allow it to be molded or shaped into the desired appearance. The recipe for making pulled sugar is granulated cane sugar which is cooked with water and glucose which can also be substituted for high fructose corn syrup. Then, an acidic agent is added to prevent crystallization from occurring when it reaches the hard crack stage which occurs at 300 degrees which is when coloring can be added right before it comes off the heat to allow the water from the coloring to reduce.

Image by: Brianna Vasquez

Hot sugar is divided into three separate categories which are pulled sugar, blown sugar, and cast sugar. Pulled sugar is when the sugar has been cooked into a liquid and poured usually over a Silpat which is a silicone rubber mat. The sugar is then pulled and folded repeatedly to incorporate air into the sugar which helps it to have a shine instead of being opaque. The sugar can then be molded into a variety of designs or shapes. Blown sugar is essentially pulled sugar that is blown into a shape with the help of a rubber pump. A portion of the pulled sugar is wrapped around the end of a rubber pump which is usually made out of wood or metal. Then, air is slowly pumped into the sugar to avoid it from cracking. Then, when the desired shape is achieved, the blown sugar is placed under a cool fan to allow it to harden to the shape. Finally, cast sugar is still a form of pulled sugar in which the hot sugar liquid is poured into molds this allows the pieces to harden into a desired shape that will be used as a base platform to hold you showpieces that have been blown or pulled.

The Evolution Store

The Evolution Store in SoHo is one of the weirdest, intriguing, and most unique stores I’ve ever had the pleasure of shopping at. It’s a store filled with science collectibles, natural hard-to-find artifacts from the depths of this earth, human skulls and other anatomical structures. It’s the kind of store I immediately told myself I’d be coming back to in the near future. Not only is it neatly packed with crystals, preserved animals and million year-old fossils for sale, but the employees are passionate and enthusiastic about their products, and are happy to teach potentials buyers the meaning or history of any given item. I can confirm that the skulls are real human skulls, and I almost cracked when I came seconds away from buying a handful of meteorite shards and moon rock (a sci-fi nerd’s dream purchase). Being in this store really feels like an adventure, and to think that this small store has both terrestrial and extraterrestrial objects just sitting on its shelves is really fascinating. It’s hard to give such a special store due credit in the form of words and images, so I highly suggest you spend a weekend downtown to stop by The Evolution Store, but here are a few images if what’s in store for your future visit.

Life at Sea (Part I)

This year I had the amazing opportunity to go on a cruise. Despite the wonderful thoughts of visiting islands and not having to fly on an airplane I still felt skeptical about the travelling by sea for seven days! Many of my friends have been on cruises before and shared their experiences with me. Confronting my fears saying that you’re so preoccupied with what you’re doing that “you don’t even feel the ship moving But! There is one day that the ship rocks a lot and you feel it. I even saw the juice in my glass moving.” So much for not being afraid huh?

Day one was the easiest, my friend was right, I didn’t even notice when the ship took off! The entertainment cast was doing their thing at the top deck, getting everyone amped up for 7 days of cruising. With free food all around the deck I thought to myself “well I guess this is not so bad after all”.

The evening came and the nightlife had just begun. With movie night screening in the outdoors on the top deck and a comedy show commencing hours later prepped you for that evening. Later on they had game shows and even a club you could attend.

The next day was a ‘day at sea’. Wondered to myself “how am I going to enjoy my day on a ship.” Woke up and got breakfast, later on went to the “adult retreat” and tanned for a bit. And by the afternoon I was out on the op deck in the jacuzzi watching the live game show with the entertainment cast. Two o’clock hit and I was already at my fifth drink! “This is the life” I thought to myself.

The next day I woke up in the beautiful island known as the Dominican Republic. Visited some historical landmarks by the ports and even got to visit a beach in Puerto Plata, Unfortunately my time there was short but the next  day I was arriving at St Thomas at 8am!
To be continued ….