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img March 21, 201811:04 amimg 0 Comments

You are beautiful, in every single way…

Looking for a way to one-up your friend that studied abroad in Rome and won’t stop talking about how good the carbonara was? Here’s a healthier twist on the classic comfort dish that can also be tweaked for vegetarians and vegans. I cooked this over break and it was so delicious that I lost all my dignity and started eating the sauce straight from the blender with a spoon.

Butternut Squash Carbonara (adapted from Alison Roman)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup pancetta (Italian bacon), chopped OR shiitake mushrooms, chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
About half a butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into ½” pieces (about 3 cups)
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups low-sodium chicken OR vegetable broth
12 oz. fettucine or linguine
¼ cup finely grated Pecorino, plus shaved for serving– Optional

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pancetta or mushrooms, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8–10 minutes. Add sage and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pancetta and sage to a small bowl; set aside.

Add squash, onion, and garlic to skillet; season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, 8–10 minutes. Add broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until squash is soft and liquid is reduced by half, 15–20 minutes. Pour into blender and puree until smooth; season with salt and pepper. Add cheese, blend again until combined in a creamy sauce. Taste it, make sure the ratios of salt, pepper, cheese, and sage are to your liking, and adjust as necessary. Pour over cooked pasta and add reserved pancetta and sage.To serve, add more shaved cheese and crumbled sage.

Photo via Bwogger Cara



img February 19, 20181:12 pmimg 0 Comments

The food of the gods..and broke college students

You know when you have those two sad slices of bread left at the bottom of the bag, and no one in your suite seems to be eating them, and if you don’t make toast tonight tomorrow they’ll be stale pieces of petrified wood? Bwog is here with two solutions to turn them into a tasty, delicious dinner to keep you from letting your bread go to waste!

Garlic White Bean Spread 


  • Bread — Steal from Ferris to save extra $!
  • White beans — one can
  • Rosemary, thyme, sage — a generous sprinkling of each, crushed
  • Garlic — 2 cloves
  • Parsley — 1/4 cup, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sour cream, cream cheese, or greek yogurt — a few spoonfuls to taste

I make this with home with hard beans from scratch (raw beans? Unsure of the terminology but I really don’t like the phrase raw beans), but that’s super time consuming so feel free to go with canned Great Northern or Navy beans.

Pour a little olive oil in a pan on low and toss in the garlic, minced. Again, if you’re a garlicky person, add more! If you’re not a garlicky person, please don’t make this recipe, because garlic is in the title.

Let the garlic sizzle until it’s aromatic but not too toasty. Pour in the beans and let some of the liquid cook down. Add the chopped herbs and salt and pepper.

I like to mash the beans within the pan as if you were making refried beans, because I can continue cooking them down until they reach a thicker consistency. If you don’t have a masher, you can throw them in a blender or food processor and add your creamy element: sour cream, greek yogurt, and cream cheese all work well, as well as Parmesan cheese. Spread on bread, drizzle with olive oil, and enjoy! This is also a great dip for pita chips and crackers.

Cheese pulls after the jump…



img February 17, 201811:55 amimg 0 Comments

The ruins of the Ummayyad Mosque in Aleppo

Bwogger Cara Hudson-Erdman got intellectual this Friday and attended a lecture at the Italian Academy. This discussion focused global intervention in the protection of cultural monuments in war zones and the role of sovereignty versus international responsibility. Through a wave of witty academic banter, posh British accents, and overuse of the word “colleague,” the key question of the event was: is there an international responsibility to protect cultural heritage sites when states fail to do so?

At Columbia, we students find ourselves inundated with references to antiquity just by walking into the library,  and we often forget that sites of their origin are under threat of destruction. At the Italian Academy, the International Observatory for Cultural Heritage Lecture addressed this topic, titled Cultural Heritage in Conflict Zones: Protecting the Past for the Future. The keynote speaker was James Cuno, the president of the J. Paul Getty Trust, who is a major proponent of the idea of a universal cultural heritage and an advocate international intervention to protect cultural sites at risk of destruction. In particular, Cuno spoke about the situation in Syria, where in the midst of a civil war ISIS has destroyed sites such as the Ummayyad Mosque in Aleppo. Cuno emphasized that this destruction should be considered cultural cleansing as well as an indicator of genocide.

In the face of a failing state, Syria, a country whose map resembles a “jigsaw puzzle,” Cuno argued that there is a moral responsibility for other powers to intervene to protect these valuable historic sites. His reasoning stems from his idea that artistic and cultural monuments belong to a shared, international heritage that transcends national borders and states. The moderator, Columbia’s Professor David Freedberg, identified Cuno as “untrendy” for propagating such beliefs, characterizing them as values of the Enlightenment, and the same ones that bolster encyclopedic museums such as the British Museum. Cuno was also joined by a panel of art history and political science experts including Vishakha Desai, former president of the Asia Society, Thomas Weiss, professor of political science at CUNY and an expert in state sovereignty, Edward Luck, a SIPA professor and former advisor to Ban-Ki Moon, and Mariët Westermann from the Mellon Foundation.

Read more after the jump



img February 16, 20183:30 pmimg 0 Comments

The logo would probably be some abstracted sketch of Low Library.

What if the 2018 Winter Olympics were hosted at Columbia instead of Pyeongchang? Here’s Bwog’s list of Columbia’s  campus sports events, in the case that CU wins the 2026 Winter Olympics bid. 

  • A sprint to get signed into EC on a Friday night. The EC security guards would get to fire the starting pistol.
  • Slalom racing racing through Ferris past all the people blocking your way. Probably also avoiding a former hookup at the same time.
  • Dropping your silverware into the soap bucket in John Jay without getting splashed. Bonus points awarded if your fork still has a limp piece of lettuce on it.
  • Speed skating but it’s just trying not to step in all the puddles in the SEAS north area of campus. Where is all this water accumulating from? Can a STEM student explain this phenomenon to me please?

More extreme sports after the jump



img February 03, 20185:42 pmimg 0 Comments

Friendworking = friendship + networking

You’ve probably seen this LinkedIn/Tinder mashup on Facebook already, but what is Coffee@CU anyway? One of ADI Labs’ spring projects, it’s meant to give CU students an outlet to meet people outside of their social circles. Its well-known perception of Columbia and Barnard campus culture tends to focus on isolation, loneliness, and stress culture, yet the school’s online presence is active with discourse as seen in various CU-associated Facebook groups and sites. Coffee@CU is one of the latest hubs of campus meetups, currently run by ADI member and PM Jimmy O’Donnell (SEAS ‘19). I sat down with Jimmy to talk about the history of Coffee@CU and why Columbia has a niche for such a site.

The Coffee@CU site is addictive but riddled with ambiguity. Its layout is simple; one can scroll through photos of CU students that list their name, school, interests, and free time. Anyone can request a coffee meetup with someone else by sending a quick, witty message. But the site is vague and doesn’t specify whether its users are looking for hookups, new friendships, or networking opportunities. According to Jimmy, the ambiguity is in part purposeful to initiate new relationships and friendships that otherwise would have never happened due to a campus social that people often find stifling.

“The culture of Columbia lives online,” says Jimmy, citing student life sites like WikiCU and CULPA, where campus commentary breeds. I’d add that often these online enclaves such as Columbia Buy Sell Memes reflect a ‘community’ built not on connection but rather commiseration and the social isolation that’s a reality for many Columbia students. “Columbia’s a fundamentally lonely place, where people have problems building a community and finding and keeping friend groups,” Jimmy says, explaining that Coffee@CU was created to target the difficulty many students encounter in making social connections on campus. The site was originally created by Parthi Loganathan (SEAS ’16) in an effort to meet new people in his last semester at Columbia. In fact, Jimmy and Parthi first got to know each other on a Coffee@CU meetup, and this spring, Jimmy takes over project manager as the site is nurtured by ADI Labs, a group of students who focus their energy on creating working sites and apps for Barnumbia students’ needs. Now, Coffee@CU is seeing a resurgence of interest as ADI coders build upon the site’s foundation built two years back.

Read more about Coffee@CU after the jump

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