Things are really picking up. Just one week left of classes, and then one and a half weeks left of exams, research papers, and projects.
Right now it’s still the calm before the storm, but don’t be surprised if my words start getting incoherent, and my posts sound more and more PMS-y in the following couple of weeks. Or if you see me tweeting about baking muffins at 4am in the morning. Just warning you ahead of time.
But let me tell you a secret. I might bitch and moan about all the things I have to do, but secretly, I need this. I need this long lists of things to do in my life.
Because they keep me busy, and makes me feel productive. Being able to tick off a number of things that I did within a certain amount of time makes me feel accomplished. I feel like I did something worthy of my time.
My biggest competitor is always time. I feel like I always have to do a lot within a certain amount of time. The more things I do, the faster I finish them, the better. Here’s just a few examples:
- I don’t stroll, I stride. Preferably while reviewing my To-Do list in my head, or preparing questions for an interview. I’ve also mastered stair-climbing while reading.
- I do my homework in class, together with checking up on emails, twitter, facebook.
- I call/text people I need to call/text on the way to the grocery store.
- I eat, read, study, and gchat while I blog, and vice versa.
- I bring a book around with me everywhere, because what if I need to take a potty in the middle of shopping? What will I do during the 5 minutes of pooping?
- If I nap, then it’s an all-nighter for me to make up for the 3-5 hours I lost.
The result? Well, I do get things done. But at the cost of becoming totally dysfunctional.
Recently, I’ve been having trouble concentrating. I sit down and try to finish one task, but I keep getting distracted. I write half a page of notes, and then suddenly remember half a dozen things I still need to do. And then I get up to do that, and then half-way through that, I remember I still have to finish my notes. And the cycle begins.
This must stop.
It’s really inhibiting me from being truly productive. I might feel productive when I check off my to-do list, but if at the end of the day, I can’t remember a single thing that I accomplished with relish and enjoyed doing, how effective and meaningful is it really?
So. I’m gonna try it. No more frantic multi-tasking. I’ll give my whole focus on one task, fully enjoy and complete it, and then focus on the other. I only have one brain and one body after all, and a very limited one at that!
Anyway, my need to have more things done in fewer time seems to have also been translated into having to have more food in my pantry than I need. I now have a new addition to my To-Do List: EAT UP EVERYTHING in my kitchen before school ends! I’m calling it my Operation Flush-the-Pantry.
So if you see really odd and random recipes for the next couple of weeks, you know why.
Here’s one that I threw together with every scrip and scrap I can find in my pantry and refrigerator:
Korean Cabbage Roll Casserole
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 onions
- 1/2 large Granny Smith apple
- 2 links BIG hot dogs, diced (last two in my freezer!)
- 1 cup kimchi, chopped
- 1/2 small head cabbage, shredded
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 cup uncooked white rice, soaked overnight, then drained
- about 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
- about 2 cups leftover tomato soup, pasta sauce, whatever
Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit.
Cook garlic, onions, apple, and hot dogs in sesame oil. Cook for 3-5 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Add kimchi, cabbage, and raisins stir-fry for another 3 minutes or so.
In a big bowl, mix together beaten egg, rice and 1 cup of cheese, then add the kimchi/cabbage mixture and the tomato soup. Stir until well-combined.
Pour out into a casserole dish, sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake for about 1-2 hours, or until rice is tender. For the last few minutes, uncover the foil, and broil until the cheese is nicely toasted.
Ta-da! My dish was really small, so I ended up having to do two dishes. This made a HUGE portion! Don’t worry, I shared with my bible study friends.
For the tomato soup, I used this:
One of the best tomato soup I’ve ever had. Love Trader Joes.
I was actually pretty nervous about how this will turn out, especially whether the rice will be cooked, but it turned out perfect!
Oh, and my favorite part is the burnt bits! I saved them burnt edges for myself, and my dear friends actually thought I was being selfless and sacrificing. Ha ha!
Not the prettiest dish, but casseroles are rarely served for aesthetic purposes.
At least it was absolutely scrumptious. Tart apples, sweet chewy raisins, tomato-baked rice, spicy, sour kimchi, and yes, even that processed hot dog fit really well.
By the way, I love my friends. They will seriously eat everything I cook for them, and declare it the best thing they ever ate. One of them even told me that she skipped a free fancy lunch at a popular gastropub just so she can be hungry for my food! How sweet and flattering is that?
Side Note: The beauty of this casserole is that it is extremely versatile. I know most of you don’t share my affinity for processed neon-pink meat scraps, so you can substitute bacon, or ground turkey/beef/sausage/chorizo for the hot dogs. You can use any kind of gooey cheese you like, like Swiss, Parmesan, Monterey Jack, etc. You can use saurkraut instead of kimchi. You can take out the apple and raisins (but I highly recommend), or use other fruits like pineapple, or avocado. Brown rice or quinoa instead of white rice. Cream soup instead of tomato soup. Basically, any kind of leftover remaining in your fridge.
Well, I actually purposely did not include the recipe, but not because I’m a meanie-mo. I actually couldn’t find any coconut muffin recipe that I liked, so I just altered the best one I could find here. The difference is that I used 1 tablespoon almond extract instead of pandan extract, doubled the recipe, and added more coconut milk and regular milk for some of the water. Next time, I’ll include grated coconut, and sub out milk for all the water. Though it was marvelous fresh out of the oven, it did get a tad bit dry a couple days after. Okay, gotta rush. LOTS of things to do! But one thing at a time…Okay, I mean, after this one post, I swear I will adhere to my promise. Question of the Day: Are you a multi-tasker? Or should I say…are you an effective and productive multi-tasker?
Well, I actually purposely did not include the recipe, but not because I’m a meanie-mo. I actually couldn’t find any coconut muffin recipe that I liked, so I just altered the best one I could find here. The difference is that I used 1 tablespoon almond extract instead of pandan extract, doubled the recipe, and added more coconut milk and regular milk for some of the water. Next time, I’ll include grated coconut, and sub out milk for all the water. Though it was marvelous fresh out of the oven, it did get a tad bit dry a couple days after.
Okay, gotta rush. LOTS of things to do! But one thing at a time…Okay, I mean, after this one post, I swear I will adhere to my promise.
Question of the Day: Are you a multi-tasker? Or should I say…are you an effective and productive multi-tasker?