Protein Benedict, the Breakfast of Champions!


I can’t take credit for this recipe — It’s from my partner in crime, cuddling teacher and culinary savior (You mean you actually thought I have some clue what to do in a kitchen? You’re too sweet!)

To be honest, I will admit it sounded a little odd when he first described it to me, but I love meat sauce so we did it anyway!

Tada!

Tadah!

What you will need to serve 4 people:

  1. 1lb of ground beef
  2. 1 roll of polenta
  3. 1 jar of tomato sauce (try tomato basil)
  4. 8 eggs
  5. Some butter
  6. 2 pans (or 1 pan, 1 skillet)
  7. 1 egg poacher, or if you’re really good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMiCy8EH1go

The meat takes the longest to cook, so start by cooking your ground beef (Matty swears by lean, I like the flavor of the fatty ones so it’s up to your good judgement) in a pan over medium to high heat. The trick is to not break it up into too small of pieces so it doesn’t get over cooked. The beef should take around 20 minutes. Make sure you flip it over every 5-10 minutes so it cooks evenly.

See? Not too small...

See? Not too small…

While that’s going, get a cutting board out and slice your polenta into 1 – 1.5 inch discs.

Once the beef is ready, add your tomato sauce, turn down the heat and get ready to cook your polenta.

This is how your beef will look once it's ready.

This is how your beef will look once it’s ready.

Spread some butter over a skillet, turn it up to medium heat and place your polenta discs (with a little room between each) on the skillet. Flip these over after 2-4 minutes, and plate after 2-4 more minutes of cooking. Cook to preferred crispiness.

Don't be too stingy on the butter ;D

Don’t be too stingy on the butter ;D

Last, but not least: the eggs. You can either use a poacher or this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMiCy8EH1go. If you’re using a poacher, fill a pan with 3 inches of water, get it boiling, place your poacher on top and then your eggs. Your eggs will be ready in 2 minutes (they should look done but the center still runny.)

Plating – the polenta goes first, then your eggs, and top with the meat sauce. Yum!

And there you go! If I can pull this off, then there’s no reason you can’t O=]

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How to Apply for a Job


Professional Kitty! Photo Credit: ladydinahs.com

Been kicking around a rather mild form of writer’s block, but I’m back with more job search advice! Today’s topic: what to actually do to apply for a job in the most effective way.

  1. Update your resume. Make sure all of your recent / relevant positions are included and the start and end dates are correct, then use online tools such as my toolbox (and there are tons of other websites with great advice!) to make your resume as appealing as you can.
  2. Make a list. It won’t look like you’re organized or know what you’re doing if you apply to the same role several times. The recruiter will notice this and may think you are desperate (you never want that to come across, even if you may be in dire need of a new job.) Keep a detailed list of each position you applied for, the link to the job description (so you know what the recruiter’s talking about when they call you), as well as an updated status if you know for sure you were rejected, had a phone screen, or went in for an interview. It only takes a few extra seconds and could make you look much more professional.
  3. Read the ad carefully. Do you meet the skills and/or experience requirements? If not, by only a little or by a long shot? If you’re nowhere near what the ad asks for, you’re wasting your time applying (and most likely the sourcer/recruiter’s too.) Also, does the ad specify how to apply? Are there application instructions? Do you need to email someone your resume instead of clicking on the big red “Apply” button? Do you only need a resume and no cover letter? Paying attention to these details will demonstrate your attention to detail, ability to follow instructions, and ultimately give you a leg up.
  4. Tailor your resume and cover letter to each position. For your resume, this does not mean only add new bullet points with phrases from the ad to each position, if you do that you will end up with a 3-page resume. Instead, take out the bullet points that don’t relate to the ad (or take out whole positions — just leave the title, start and end date, and one bullet point summarizing what you did), and summarize less important points. For the cover letter, do something similar. You can probably keep your first and last line, but change the info in your cover letter to show you have the skills this specific company is looking for (not all of the others you applied to as well.)
  5. Beware of typos. Are you applying Facebook but your cover letter and resume say you want to work at Google? Small details like that aren’t going to help you position yourself as a top-notch candidate.
  6. Follow up. Didn’t hear back? Give it 4 work days and email/call/LinkedIn InMail. If there isn’t any contact info listed anywhere, then unfortunately they just don’t want you to reach out. In that case, I would assume you were not selected for interviews and move on. *Ideally, you should still have been applying to other positions while you waited anyway, and it will be an even more pleasant surprise if you hear back 2 – 6 weeks later!
  7. Research. Once you’ve applied, be prepared to get a call from someone at the company. They may ask you why you’re interested in working for them so take a few minutes to look at their website, their values, their culture… those will often showcase the unique traits that make a company more desirable to work for. Also, do take a close look at the job description. If you can sell your desire to work for the company as well as your interest/passion for the position you will be all the better off for it!
  8. Look inwards. You should eventually be invited to interview for a position, and you will have some more wonderful preparation to do. Take 20 – 30 minutes to research commonly asked interview questions (achievement you’re most proud of, strenghts & weaknesses, what you could improve on…) and come up with thoughtful and honest, but also flattering, answers.
  9. Try, try again. Very few people get hired for the very first position they apply for, so set aside 15+ minutes to apply to 1 or more positions each day. As your applications add up, you should start receiving more and more phone calls and going in for interviews. Don’t despair if you don’t hear back from the first few though, keep applying! Sometimes it takes a little while for recruiters to go through all of the candidates who applied in (especially considering most work on 10+ reqs at a time!) and you may simply not be the best fit for every position you apply for.

In short, be ready to sell yourself as soon as you are called in response to an application, and don’t despair or take it personally if you don’t hear back.

*** Like this article? Check out my Job Search Toolbox for more great tips! ***

Dec 23 How to Fold an Origami Crane (in under 2 minutes)


A friend of mine who helped me make cranes for my granny told me it took him 10+ minutes to make a crane!! After making several hundred… it now only takes me about 1 minute per crane so I thought I would record a video (looked some up and they unfortunately weren’t that  helpful/simple.)

So here’s my how-to video for origami cranes ❤

It’s about 5 minutes since I go nice and slowly to make sure it’s all easy to understand, but let me know if there are parts you don’t understand or if it just isn’t helpful!

Dec 20 How to Make Oeufs en Gelée


My granny taught me how to cook this weekend! We made oeufs en gelée (no clue what that would translate to in English… eggs in jello? Except the jello stuff is salty….)

This appetizer takes about an hour to make (we made 7), but you also have to leave it in the fridge over night. If you’re impatient or in a rush, I think 2-3 hours may do.

So here goes!

What you need:

  1. A pack of gelée mix 
  2. Eggs (we made 7)
  3. Water
  4. Ham
  5. Parsley
  6. Cups, glasses, or bowls

Step 1. Buy French jello mix (sorry, just don’t have a translation for that…) and cook. You want to bring water (check box for amount) to a boil, then lower the heat (so it’s just simmering) and add the French jello mix. Make sure you keep stirring it so it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Cook it for a few min (check instructions on box.)

Step 2. Cook eggs. Boil them for 4 min. No more! The yolk needs to still be a little runny. Then dip them in cold water. Now for the fun part: grab a towel so you don’t burn your hands and deshell them very carefully (remember, that yolk’s runny so be gentle!)

Step 3. Grab whatever cups, glasses, bowls, etc. you’re going to put all this stuff into. Cut ham into rectangular slices and place them inside each cup/glass/bowl so as to cover the rims completely. If a piece is too short, just add another piece to cover the exposed side. Put a sprig of parsley in the bottom, and then put a square of ham on top of it.

Dec 20 How to Make Oeufs en Gelée

Step 4. Now put an egg in the middle of each cup/glass/bowl, nice and centered…

Dec 20 How to Make Oeufs en Gelée…and pour the warm gelée on top.
Dec 20 How to Make Oeufs en Gelée

Step. 5 Put in the fridge to cool overnight.

Step 6. My grandpa came around wanting to take pictures so I put him to good use =] you’ve got a video to show you how to get the oeufs en gelée out of your cup/glass/bowl (anyone else sick of the repition?) Stick them in warm water to help melt the sides a little, then slide a knife around the perimeter (inside the cup, mind you), then flip it upside down and slide it out onto a plate.

Step 7. Decorate =]

Dec 20 How to Make Oeufs en Gelée

How To Get A Job: 7 Tips


Picture from the job fair where I met Contract Live’s founders (Le Camping, the organization that put it together) used it to publicize their next job forum!

This seemed like an appropriate post to write since so many people are currently complaining that they can’t find work. Furthermore, I know this is going to make me sound like an ass, but I feel like I did a pretty good job finding my job. When I first started looking in Paris, I went to a job fair where a Master’s and internship program’s advertisement was that ~80% of their graduates found work withing 9 months of graduating.

Gah! I saw this and thought I was screwed! People with masters’ degrees and internship experience were still having that much difficulty finding work?!

Luckily… I did find work. And it didn’t take me that long (just 1 month). So maybe I’ll be able to help a few people out O=]

So here are my 7 Tips for Finding A Job

  1. Know what you have to offer. What experience do you have? Volunteer work? Languages you speak? Even stuff like waitressing counts–you learn how to deal with people, work under pressure, etc. So make a list of all your experience and skills. Now start thinking about the kinds of businesses/jobs that would find these skills useful.
  2. Know what you want.What are you interested in? What do you like about your hobbies (important detail since you’re most likely not going to get paid to do your hobby, but knowing what you like about it will help you figure out the type of work you’d enjoy)? Are you passionate about an industry or vocation? (You’re really into computers or love to write.) I really enjoy writing, socializing, and learning new things so Comm/Social Media was a natural fit for me.
  3. Market yourself. Ever heard of soft skills? (article in NY Times) The vast majority of employers put these at the top of their list of attributes they want in employees. Unfortunately, they also complain that young people today are lacking in them. (And of course I don’t remember where I read this ><‘ promise I didn’t just pull it out of my ass though.) Soft skills are the things you don’t usually learn in school. Things like communication and teamwork (forced group projects didn’t always turn out that well, right?). In order to develop these, you need to push yourself out of your comfort zone and try new things, especially activities that force you to communicate, such as sales. A great way to do this is to volunteer for students organizations. They often need more people to help so you’ll be given more responsibility and opportunities to do things and learn than at a regular job (my personal opinion.) Quick tip (1.): AIESEC is an amazing organization. They run an international internship program as well as conferences. It’s where I developed skills such as leadership, sales, writing newsletters, PR, fundraising, giving training seminars, etc. I highly recommend AIESEC! Quick tip (2.): soft skills will also help you give stellar interviews.
  4. Send amazing resumes and cover letters. Make sure you know how to create a good-looking and effective resume and cover letter. These are the first things recruiters see from you. Want a sure-fire way to make sure you’ll never even get so much as an interview? Send in a lousy resume and cover letter. If you’re not sure how to go about it, here are a few links that will help you get started: About.com: Job SearchThe Rockport Institute’s Award-Winning Guide, and Wikihow.com’s guide to writing cover letters. Universities and even city libraries also often offer workshops and consultants to help you in your job search. Besides these sites though, there is one big thing you need to keep in mind: keep what the recruiter wants in mind! Use keywords from the job ad in your resume and cover letter. And don’t just send everyone the same resume and cover letter. Take the time to write one for each job you apply for.
  5. Be open-minded. Apply for jobs that aren’t exactly what you want or that don’t pay quite as much as you would like. Why? Jobs aren’t always what they seem. The job description doesn’t always explain what you will actually be doing very well, and a lot of companies will customize your tasks depending on your strengths and experience. Furthermore, a company that doesn’t sound as cool and hip as Google or Apple might still have a great job to offer. Case Study: Sophie. I went to a job fair where we did a speed-dating type exercise so that everyone would at least have the opportunity to meet all the other participants. The result? I met tons of interesting people, and kind of forgot about the ones that didn’t sound quite as interesting. I wasn’t sure I really wanted to go when I was called back for an interview at Contract Live. Boy am I glad I went though! At the interview, I discovered that this start-up has a great young team that is very fun to work with, that they’re already pretty successful so they would be able to pay me a living wage, and (Tada!) their philosophy is very young and open so I would have a lot of opportunities to try things an older, more conservative company would never dream of letting their PR people do. So I found the job of my dreams (no joke, I didn’t think I would find it) because I went to the interview that didn’t sound that interesting. Don’t judge a book by its cover!
  6. Don’t say no to interviews. (Oh, and make sure you dress professionally too! See pic for example.) Sounds obvious, right? Well… what about the jobs you’re not that interested in? You might start to get a little tired from writing resumes and cover letters, and going to interviews. Think about this though: you’ll get great interview practice. You’ll feel less pressure since it’s not a job you really really want! And… wouldn’t you rather practice and mess up BEFORE you interview for an amazing job? And finally…
  7. Take every opportunity you can. Are your resumes and cover letters up on Monster, LinkedIn, Craigslist and Careerbuilder? No? Why the hell not?  Have you been looking into job fairs happening nearby? What about volunteering for a company you really like? Some companies hire volunteers who show a lot of potential. And networking? Chances are someone knows of a job you’d be interested in!

Wow, I feel like all my job hunting and researching over the years have really paid off. I never realized I learned so much =] Hope you find this helpful! Feel free to leave comments, questions, and anything I forgot ❤

*** Like this article? Check out my Job Search Toolbox for more great tips! ***