Kendra Vaculin

Kendra Vaculin

Kendra Vaculin is a junior from the San Francisco Bay Area majoring in Theatre and English at Northwestern University.  When not experimenting with quinoa in her off-campus apartment kitchen, she is dancing to Christmas music in her living room (year round) with her phenomenal roommates.  Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You" is a staple.  She also writes the fashion and food blog North South East Dressed.

Favorite Healthful Food: Eclectic smoothies.

Late Night Indulgence: ICE CREAM.

Best Breakfast: My mom’s blueberry pancakes.

Most Worthwhile Class: The Video Essay, a really cool documentary-style short film making class, for which my final project was, duh, about eating.

Tastiest Travel Experience: Cow’s tongue in Tokyo…just kidding it was COW’S TONGUE.  Real talk: the pasta carbonara I ate on a family vacation in Rome.  UGH still full.

Big Apple, Small Basket: Week #4

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Welcome to a new summer weekly installment at SKC called Big Apple, Small Basket.  Check back to read more about Kendra’s adventures in finding, maneuvering and cooking summer dishes from the many farmers’ markets in New York City.  Click for Week #1Week #2, and Week #3. …

The San Francisco version of the subway is called BART, an acronym for Bay Area Rapid Transit (the train’s real name) and also Bay Area Rides Together, which is its advertising slogan.  Unfortunately for the people who named and advertise for BART, neither thing is particularly accurate.  First, BART

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Big Apple, Small Basket: Week #3

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 Welcome to a new summer weekly installment at SKC called Big Apple, Small Basket.  Check back to read more about Kendra’s adventures in finding, maneuvering and cooking summer dishes from the many farmers’ markets in New York City.  Click for Week #1 and Week #2.  

People told me New York City would be expensive, but I did not understand to what degree, really, until yesterday.  After an hour of looking excitedly through menus from establishments participating in Restaurant Week (this annual event is magic, don’t even get me started), I decided to flip to the websites of some …

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Big Apple, Small Basket: Week #2

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Welcome to a new summer weekly installment at SKC called Big Apple, Small Basket.  Check back to read more about Kendra’s adventures in finding, maneuvering and cooking summer dishes from the many farmers’ markets in New York City. For Week #1, click here.

Guess what?  New York is still fun.  In fact, New York is awesome.  I am knocking touristy things off my list left and right (Staten Island ferry? Done. Gondola thing to Roosevelt Island? Absolutely) and am even starting to feel like a local sometimes.  Like when I get off of the subway for work …

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Big Apple, Small Basket: Week #1

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Welcome to a new summer weekly installment at SKC called Big Apple, Small Basket.  Check back to read more about Kendra’s adventures in finding, maneuvering and cooking summer dishes from the many farmers’ markets in New York City.

Landing a supercool internship in New York City for the summer meant one big thing: I’d be leaving home (the San Francisco Bay Area) and my other home (Chicago, where I go to school) for two months to live and work in a buzzing metropolis that I’d only ever been a wide-eyed tourist in before.  New York City?!  My palms sweat …

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Five Ingredient Feast: Buttermilk Pecan Chicken

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As a college student with a penchant for kitchen experimentation, I felt I had a pretty good handle on cooking with limited resources. So when the opportunity arose to share a recipe here made with only five ingredients, I thought, duh.  This is my jam.  Sign me up.

The idea was great in theory, but in practice (ie: thinking about what I eat on a regular basis that doesn’t involve much by way of components), I realized that most of the simple things I eat involve whatever’s in the fridge and quinoa.  Cut it up, mix it in, …

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Eat for Under $10: Caprese Salad Skewers

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Dish: Caprese Salad Skewers
Makes: 12 skewers
Good For: Summer party appetizer, potlucks, lazy afternoons
Shopping list: 1 package bocconcini (mini balls of fresh mozzarella, about 1 inch in diameter — $4.99); 1 bunch basil ($2); 5 oz. cherry tomatoes (about half of a package — $1.99)
Pantry items: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper
Total cost: $8.98

Quick, colorful, inexpensive and super delicious, these caprese salad skewers are exactly what you need to bring to your next potluck dinner, put out as appetizers for a barbeque, and/or shove into your mouth this very instant.  The fresh herbs and creamy …

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One Pot Stop: Thai-Style Chicken and Rice

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In the world of takeout, Thai food reigns supreme.  I live above a Chinese restaurant and across the street from both a sushi place and a Chicago-style deep dish pizza institution, but when I feel the overwhelming need to not cook my own dinner, I inevitably dial my favorite Thai food restaurant’s delivery hotline.

I also always order curry, because I’m boring/I know what I love and don’t feel the need to expand my horizons/curry is just good ok?/I’m boring.  The combo of sharp spices and creamy coconut milk is crave-worthy, and on more culinarily-inspired days, I find myself hunting …

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Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad

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When looking for a healthy way to use the one giant sweet potato I bought at the grocery store the other day (why? your guess is as good as mine), I discovered a ton of recipes updating culinary classics to include the deliciously orange vegetable, upping the nutritional content of the dish.   High in fiber, beta-carotene, vitamins C and B6, sweet potatoes can be easily whipped up into an awesome alternative to French fries, a creamy base for a healthier potato salad, a component in a filling stuffing, or even as thickener in custard.  This recipe is neither of …

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Five Ways to Satisfy a Sweet Tooth, Fast

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Even if dessert is not usually your jam, you know what it’s like to have a sweets craving.  In the middle of day between classes, at midnight when you’re putting the finishing touches on an essay, 24/7 during finals week: the need for sweets is real and unavoidable, and it often hits when there isn’t much time to be spent slaving over a soufflé.

Enter: speed-desserts.  Like speed-dating, only better because you get to eat everything.  With a maximum of 15 minutes on the clock, use one of the following tricks to satiate your need for sugar and get …

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Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Raspberry Sauce

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I will now share with you a short excerpt of dialogue from the pilot episode of Arrested Development.

Jason Bateman: What have we always said is the most important thing?
Michael Cera: Breakfast.
Jason Bateman: …Family.
Michael Cera: Oh, right, family.  I thought you meant of the things we eat.

Even if I didn’t love Arrested Development, didn’t have all (too few) of the seasons on DVD, and wasn’t anxiously awaiting (read: freaking out about) the new episodes slash upcoming film, I think I would still consider this interchange to be the sentiment upon which …

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