Kitchen Adventures: Easy Bake Tofu

No lightbulb required!

With Christmas approaching, I pulled out one of my great gifts from last year – a Silpat baking mat.  I wanted to see if this mat could amplify my love for tofu (and if starting cooking before I was starving would give me time to bake tofu for once) and I was not disappointed.  Here are a few steps to perfection:

Easy Baked Tofu

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz of firm tofu (I used TJ’s small block, but you could just double this if you were working with a bigger block of tofu)
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3/4 tbsp soy sauce (or so – I intended to use more but mine ran out!)
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • Dash of hot sauce
  • salt, pepper, and garlic powder as desired
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Cut the tofu into thin slabs, about 1/4 or so thick and as wide as you can get them and still have them stay intact when you mix them with the sauce.
  2. Mix together the remaining ingredients in a bowl with a fork.  Add the tofu and let sit for 5 minutes (or longer if possible).
  3. Place slabs of tofu on a baking sheet (I used mine lined with a Silpat mat) and bake for 10-14 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Enjoy!  I ate mine with spaghetti squash and poured the remaining marinade over the whole dish (bonuses of cooking with tofu: you can stop to eat the ingredients at any time AND you can reuse any leftover marinade safely.)

PS: I do actually cook more than just tofu – proof is here!  For Thanksgiving, I made a new Brussels sprout dish and lots of different egg concoctions.  What have you made or eaten lately?

Skills I never knew I needed

When I was a kid, there were tons of things I thought I was learning just so I could promptly forget them again.  And while that was probably true, there are a ton of weird things that are so much more useful in my life now than I ever imagined they would be.  Now, I thank the teachers, friends, and family (hi Mom, Dad, and Kat!) that taught me these lessons because I’d seriously be lost without them:

  • Checking all your eggs at the store – My parents trained me in this when I went to the grocery store with them as a kid, and I wished that I’d done it more thoroughly today because I came home with one broken egg.  Boo!
  • Writing a check – Do they still teach kids this?  They ought to, or no one will be able to pay their rent in another decade.
  • Sending thank you notes – Not just for gifts, but for job interviews and other gestures as well.  It’s amazing how far a thank you note can go toward building good will.
  • Going to the post office – Sounds simple, but being my family’s post office task rabbit for a while taught me to have no fear of changing stamp prices and long lines.  I am now one of the only young people I know who has stamps (and return address labels!).
  • Basic math – My job requires so much random basic math (counting backwards to due dates, comparing open rates and scaling them to the appropriate audience, quickly filling in the amount you have left to raise, etc.) – much more than I expected when I chose a career in English and Politics.
  • Cursive – As I re-learned when I got my new license with a sloppy signature, you’ve got to nail this when you’re a kid because you’re sure to forget it all later.

What skills are you surprised that you need in our modern world?  Do we have any of the same ones?

YES WE CAN

Last night, I got to hold my best friend’s hand as we watched the election results come in and victories unfold around us.

For women.
For equality.
For students and sick kids.
For working mothers who deserve equal pay.
For people who believe in a better future for this country.
For a renewed vision for tomorrow.

When my great grandmother came to this country in the early days of the last century, she never would have imagined the scene I saw last night.  In my home state of New Hampshire, women now make up the entire Congressional delegation, and we’ve elected an amazing woman to serve as our second female governor AND made history with the first female Senator from MA.  She, who fought for an end to segregation and was there when Martin Luther King, Jr. shared his dream, would have wept to see the spread of justice in the form of victories for marriage equality.  She would have been stunned into silence at the idea of a black man not just winning the presidency, but doing it twice.  And she, who trained her son who trained his daughter who trained her daughter – me – to stand up for what you believe in would have been right beside me all weekend as I phone banked, canvassed, and waited in the cold for two hours to cast my ballot for amazing candidates.

From the state rep races in Michigan (congrats Dian!) to marriage equality in Maine to NH swinging blue to record-high turnout and people waiting in lines for hours just to do their civic duty, it was a night to remember.

I am so proud of our victories last night – and I’m so excited to see what amazing things we’re going to do in the years ahead.

This is it

Three points to anyone who gets that.

It’s here.  FINALLY.  For better or worse, we’re picking a President today – and more.  In New Hampshire, we might end up with an all-female delegation – two Senators, two Representatives, and a Governor, held by women.  Can you even imagine how cool that would be??

The odds are in the favor of us Democrats, as you can see in this chart (which is definitely the only reason I was able to sleep last night).

But when the ballots are in, how will you know if we’ve truly won?  Check out this amazing guide my coworker forwarded on to the rest of us political nerds (thanks Ezra!).

I, for one, am looking forward to an amazing night.  I spent 2008 exhausting myself on a State Rep race in Michigan, and we brought home a victory only after the thousands of absentee votes were counted.  In the rush of taking care of my awesome candidate, I didn’t get to truly celebrate the historic moment in the Presidential race.  So tonight, I’m looking for a redo.  I’m looking to be able to throw up my arms and cheer at the top of my lungs as they proudly announce that we’ve reelected Barack Obama.

See you on the other side, friends.

PS: GO VOTE!!

Music Monday: Tomorrow!

In case you ever wondered what it’s like to live in a swing state, it’s a little bit like this:

 

I was one of 14 thousand people who showed up to see POTUS and “OLD POTUS” (as my mom says) in Concord New Hampshire yesterday.  Five hours in the cold gave us plenty of time to think about tomorrow and what’s actually at stake in this election – healthcare, equality, women’s rights to make decisions about their own bodies, climate change, and more.  So while I know the ads are getting annoying… we’re tired of people knocking on our doors… you can’t stand to see another poll or political pin… just remember what’s on the line.  And don’t stop thinking about tomorrow – and then DO remember to vote tomorrow.  The future of our entire planet could depend on it.

 

 

Still not sure where to cast your ballot?  Click here to find out!