Author Archive

Apr

26

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Cara’s blue and white plates return

If you’ve made the splurge on ~real maple syrup~ and not just the Log Cabin sticky goo, this is a perfect way to justify it– using it in a delicious, healthy dinner! The proportions listed for the sauce is a pretty rough estimate– taste away and see whether you want it sweeter/spicier/etc. 
Maple Soy Tofu, adapted from Bon Appetit

Ingredients

1 12-oz. block firm tofu
1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 Tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 ½” piece ginger, very thinly sliced
A splash of sesame oil
Juice of half a lime
½ cup vegetable or canola oil.
Sliced scallions and steamed rice (for serving)

Drain tofu, then sandwich between several layers of kitchen towels to remove excess liquid. Cut into cubes.

Whisk soy sauce, maple syrup, rice vinegar, red pepper flakes, sesame oil, lime juice, and ginger in a small bowl.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. When oil is rippling across the surface, carefully add tofu so it doesn’t splash. Cook, undisturbed, until very crisp and dark brown underneath, 3–4 minutes. Carefully turn and repeat on opposite side. Holding tofu back with a spatula or slotted spoon, pour out oil into a small bowl.DO NOT POUR OIL DOWN THE DRAIN! I REPEAT, DO NOT POUR THE OIL DOWN THE DRAIN or you’ll ruin your sink!

With that aside, return the skillet to medium-high heat and add soy sauce mixture. Cook, reducing heat to medium until glaze is thick enough to coat a spoon, about 4 minutes.

Serve over rice and sprinkle with scallions! Look at you, you god/goddess of health!

procrastinate on your finals and make this via Bwogger Cara

Apr

21

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Have you been browsing Barnard Buy Sell Trade, trying to spruce up your wardrobe for spring? Grab some discount vitamins? Meet a random stranger in the lobby of Lerner to buy their junk? Great news– Bwog is doing spring cleaning because we have way too much stuff to pack up and bring home. Check out some of the great deals below– all OBO!

Apr

20

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To all the Columbia students who will find themselves being signed into here next year: you’re in luck. Barnard first year resident hall is one of the luckiest with AC, controlled heating, and amazing natural light. In this totally unbiased review written by Bwoggers-by-day and Sulz-residents-by-night Cara Hudson-Erdman and Idris O’Neill, read more about what the hall holds for you.

Location: The Barnard quad (3009 Broadway)

Nearby dorms: Brooks, Reid, and Hewitt form the rest of the quad. It’s also close to the 600s, Elliott, and Furnald (Columbia).

Stores and restaurants: Morton Williams, Shake Shack, Sweetgreen, Amir’s

Cost: Barnard hasn’t released room rates for 2018-2019, but this year’s was $9,510

Amenities: You can access anything located within the quad without leaving the building– this includes Primary Care, Furman Counseling Center, practice rooms in the basement, Brooks and Sulzberger study lounges, Brooks piano lounge, and WBAR. It’s also steps from Hewitt dining hall, as well as Barnard Hall. There’s also a nice lounge on the first floor that’s basically a waiting area for guests.

  • Bathrooms: 2 shared bathrooms on each floor, one women-only and one gender-neutral. Sulz-Reid residents will have access to one bathroom on their floor, usually near an RA’s room (RIP crazy nights)
  • AC/Heating: Sulz has AC and heating! You lucked out! It’s just one machine that switches over in mid-October. People will flock to your room for it – November will be a great time to discover who your real friends are when the heating is on.
  • Kitchen/Lounge: One lounge on each floor shared by the entire quad floor– includes a kitchen but no fridge, so bring a mini-fridge.
  • Laundry: 2 laundry rooms on each floor, and costs 2.50 for a full wash-dry cycle. Res Life is trying to introduce free laundry systems, so look out for that!
  • Fire Escapes/Bike Storage: You don’t need a bike when your entire campus is a city block.
  • So what’s the printer situation like?

Apr

18

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Better than the famed Diana oatmeal!

I’m just gonna go ahead and say it: the Quaker oatmeal cups are not that good. Once you taste this creamy, thick oatmeal, you will not want to go back to your sad microwaved cup of watery sugar. It’s easier, more cost-effective, and you can customize it with whatever toppings you have on hand. 

Recipe:

You can make it in any quantity—I recommend making lots then storing for reheating—and all you need are oats and liquid in a 1:2 ratio. For your liquid component, you can use cream or whole milk if you want a richer flavor, dairy milk substitute, or water.

Add oats and liquids to medium size saucepan on medium heat. Allow to come to a low boil, then turn heat down low. Start stirring—this is the tiring part of the recipe, but you must keep stirring while the oats break down slowly or they’ll stick to the bottom of the pan and burn! If it starts looking gummy, add more liquid. This recipe is all about patience—it won’t turn into the oatmeal we know and love for at least 10 minutes. So keep stirring the oats on low heat until the oats are totally soft and thick. Be sure to taste to make sure it isn’t crunchy or chewy!
Then serve immediately topping with whatever you have on hand. If you eat dairy, add a huge pat of butter to your bowl and stir it in until it melts. Here’s a list of our favorite toppings:
Maple syrup
Butter Fresh berries
Fruit compote (using CWB’s recipe!)
Brown sugar
Sliced nuts
Nutella (trust me)
Cinnamon
Apples

Enjoy!

Photo via Bwogger Cara

Apr

4

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If you follow Cara on social media you’re already sick of this photo!

What could make a brownie more special? How about putting it in a flourless cake form and covering it with creamy frosting? That’s what we are thinking. Here’s a super easy, Passover friendly recipe that will disappear from your kitchen in 24 hours.

Fallen Chocolate Cake (adapted from Bon Appetit)

Ingredients
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1” pieces, plus more, room temperature, for pan
¾ cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar, divided, plus more for pan
10 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (61%–72% cacao), coarsely chopped
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 large eggs
2 tablespoon natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
Topping (optional)
1 cup chilled heavy cream
½ cup mascarpone
3 tablespoon powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly butter springform pan and dust with sugar, tapping out any excess.

Combine chocolate, oil, and ½ cup butter in a large heatproof bowl. Set over a saucepan of simmering water and heat, stirring often, until melted. Remove bowl from saucepan.

Separate 4 eggs, placing whites and yolks in separate medium bowls. Add cocoa powder, vanilla, salt, ¼ cup sugar, and remaining 2 eggs to bowl with yolks and whisk until mixture is smooth. Gradually whisk yolk mixture into chocolate mixture, blending well.

Got cake?

Apr

1

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Natural light!!!

This housing review features 600 West 113th Street, better known as Nussbaum, not to be confused with the campus favorite, currently sanitary Grade Pending Nussbaum and Wu, that it’s right next to. Nussbaum, which occupies 6 floors of an old building perfect for aesthetic pictures, offers a living style that’s a compromise between suite style and corridor. 

Location:
600 West 113th Street, right off of the west side of Broadway.
Nearby dorms:
Watt, Broadway, Hogan, Brownstones, McBain
Nearby Stores/Restaurants:
 Of couse, you’re right next to Nussbaum and Wu, as well Milano, Tom’s, Junzi, Dig Inn, MoWilly’s, West Side….basically everything! You’re also equidistant to the 116th and 110th 1 stop, so you can choose the station you prefer!
Class Makeup:
Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors
Cost:
$9,538/year
Amenities:
Cleaning: Weekly recycling and biweekly bathroom and kitchen cleaning, with trash removal left up to you!
Lounge: TV lounge in basement
Kitchen: Private kitchen per suite
Bathroom: Private bathroom per suite– some rooms even have their bathroom within!
AC: No AC, bring breathable linen clothing
Floor: No carpeting, mostly hardwood
Laundry: Free laundry available in basement

Room Breakdown:
– 6 residential floors, with 35 total singles and 82 total doubles
– Some of the doubles are walk-through doubles, giving you a dingle-esque sense of privacy
– Nussbaum isn’t typical suite style living, it feels somewhere in between suite style and corridor style, since rooms are arranged on a hallway with a designated kitchen.

Numbers
With last years cut-offs being  10/2877 for a double, 10/1928 for a single, and a walkthrough double at 10/15, singles can be a harder option for rising sophomores– but the walk-throughs are a great bet!

Less Wu, more Nuss here

Mar

21

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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)

Ingredients
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

Feb

19

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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 

Ingredients

  • 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…

Feb

17

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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

Feb

16

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

Feb

3

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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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