Monday, March 30, 2009

Upcoming Blue Devil Weekend

With my departure to Durham North Carolina a little over 4 days away, I'm starting to get excited to check out Fuqua. The agenda for the weekend is super packed! We start on Friday with a luncheon with the Women in Business organization and then launch into the full program. The weekend involves class simulations, discussions of how we're going to finance our education, the clubs that we can get involved in, as well as lots of getting to know our fellow classmates and seeing Durham and Duke. I'm definitely looking forward to learning more about Fuqua as I applied after experiencing just an info session.

I'm looking forward to meeting my fellow accepted students to the Fuqua Class of 2011!! Check back next week for a recap of my visit.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

St. Patrick's Day Celebration & Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Yup, you read that right. Irish Car Bomb CUPCAKES!! Irish car bombs are one way that we celebrate St. Patrick's Day, but for dessert night of course I had to come up with an Irish related dessert. For weeks prior to St. Patrick's Day, I had been reading about chocolate Guinness cakes and other recipes that involved either Guinness or Irish or were somehow capable of being made green (that's the color, not environmentally friendly).

This recipe just sounded too totally awesome to pass up. As a lover of Baileys, the frosting sounded so amazing. It was a little sweet in the end, but given that the rest of the cupcake was so sweet it blended in nicely. The Irish ganache was so awesome! The flavor of the Irish really came through the chocolate well. Next time, I wouldn't have made such large holes in the cupcakes so there was a smaller amount of ganache in each cupcake.

All in all, it was a very tasty dessert night and a great way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day along with some real car bombs. After dessert, the crew wandered out to the Swinging Door for some great drinks.
If you'd like to make your own car bombs, check out the tasty recipe from Smitten Kitchen here.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Accepted to Fuqua!!!!

This post is a bit belated as I did actually hear this news last week, but I got accepted to Fuqua's class of 2011! It's very exciting, but it does make the prospect of going to grad school more real so all of the questions like should I really move across the country, how am I going to afford tuition, and the like come to mind. I've decided to not decide what I'm going to do until after attending Fuqua's Blue Devil Weekend for admitted students the first weekend in April.

On the same day that I was accepted to Fuqua, I was zapped by Kellogg and I had also been zapped by MIT earlier in the week. Now, it's just waiting to hear from Haas. I'll keep you posted on that front, but don't hold your breath because I may not hear from them until the end of May.

Good luck to the rest of the R2 applications out there as I know many of you are still waiting to hear back from your schools!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Sunnyside Up!!!

Wow, it's hard to believe that Sunnyside Up! has been around for an entire year!!! We've covered a variety of great recipes and the grad school application process as well as other happenings of life.

Here's to a great year that this has been and hoping for many more!

Cherry Ice Cream with White Chocolate and Dark Chocolate

I've been looking for slightly lighter desserts recently hence the recent panna cotta and this week's ice cream. I know recipes with cream aren't usually considered lighter, but at least both had a significant amount of fruit in them. Berries of all kinds are my favorite fruits and J loves cherries, so I usually look for recipes with any of those fruits. I happened to come across a tasty recipe for Cherry Ice Cream with White Chocolate Chunks care of Technicolor Kitchen. This brought on the great debate about whether to use white chocolate or dark chocolate in this recipe.

This seems to be a rather contentious food topic where people dig in their heals and remain entrenched in their opinions of which is better. Personally, I like both, but understand that people who don't like white chocolate often site the fact that it doesn't taste like real chocolate as their reasoning. Ideally, the food inventors probably should have named white chocolate something else and we would have avoided the majority of this argument today, but I digress. Back to which chocolate to use in this recipe. I decided that I would use a combination of white and dark chocolate because I really like the extreme sweetness of the white chocolate and the intense chocolate flavor of dark chocolate. In the end, I threw in a bit of milk chocolate as well because I had just less than 2oz of dark chocolate and no time for another trip to the grocery store.

I think it turned out really well! The flavors complemented each other nicely and the sweetness of the chocolate didn't overpower the cherry flavor in the ice cream. Stay tuned for Irish Carbomb Cupcakes and Dessert Night's celebration of St. Patrick's Day next week!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Grad School Application Update

It's been almost a month since I updated you all on the status of my grad school apps, so I thought it would only be fitting to do one to complement my recent GMAT update. After retaking the GMATs, I thought it would be relatively easy to have the schools that I applied to consider my new score with my application. Sadly, it's been MUCH more challenging than I had previously noticed.

Fuqua has been the only school that has made this process easy and guaranteed that my score will make it into my file and be considered with my application. Kellogg will do their best to make sure that my new score gets considered with my application, but they cannot guarantee it. MIT apparently didn't consider my score because they rejected me just 4 days after supposedly receiving my updated score. Oh well, MIT wasn't my top choice.

Haas, however, has been much more challenging. It took me several emails to get through to the admissions office and when I did they told me that I'd have to move my application from Round 2 to Round 4 to have my new score considered. That seemed odd. So I consulted Clear Admit and they agreed that I should attempt to get my score to them and not move it to R4. Sadly, I learned today that after all of that, my scores didn't make it into my file and may have contributed to the reason that I didn't receive an interview invitation for Super Saturday at Haas this past weekend. At this point, it's looking like I pretty much have to move my application so I can avoid being denied from Haas in R2. All of this is particularly sad since Haas is my top choice and I know that my chances of being accepted are much less in R4 than they would have been if Haas had just considered my new GMAT score in R2.

So, now I'm down to just 3 schools. I'll hear from Fuqua in the next week or so, then Kellogg by the end of March, but I will have to wait until the end of May to hear from Haas now that I'm moving to R4. Oh well, I'll just have to find some patience. Good luck to the rest of you waiting for them to decide your fate for next year!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Vanilla Buttermilk Panna Cotta

I have always enjoyed panna cotta more than I've enjoyed flan or creme brule combined. I don't know if it's because the gelatin in the panna cotta makes it less creamy or if it's just the lack of the eggs that make it less than custardy. Nonetheless, panna cotta is one of my favorites. Chocolate Panna Cotta was the dessert that lauched dessert night over a year ago and we haven't had one since so I thought it was about time for another one.

Now that I'm done with grad school stuff for the moment, well more that it's just slowed down considerably, I've been embarking on some new baking projects for things I've never tried to make before like marshmellows and this weekend's project of brioche. Joe Pastry is a great blog for those of you trying a new slightly complex recipe because Joe Pastry takes photos of each step so you know what it is supposed to look like. Not only that, but he's very prompt in emailing back if you contact him with a question. Joe Pastry recently did a panna cotta series and one of the recipes that he shared was this Vanilla Buttermilk Panna Cotta.

This recipe was super easy as all panna cotta recipes are. There is not a lot of gelatin in the recipe so it is not one where you would serve the panna cotta turned out on a plate, but it's very tasty! It was a bit sweet, so I decided to put pureed blackberries on the top to add a little bit of tartness to the overall experience. The result was great! These were really tasty and the blackberry added a great flavor.

If you'd like to make your own Vanilla Buttermilk Panna Cotta, check out the recipe here.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Finally Done with the GMAT!!!!

Yay yay!! I'm finally done with the GMATs. I took the GMAT for the second time on 2/23 and I have to say that I've learned a lot from this experience. My key lesson was around JUST BEING RELAXED! I do so much better when I just relax and let my brain work. All of the information is in there, I just need to let it out.

I purposely waited a month after my last business school application was completed to take my GMAT again, so I'd have plenty of time to do thousands of practice problems and as many practice tests as I can possibly get my hands on. Of course I relaxed a bit after I finished my applications and before I knew it I had lost a week, then I had family stuff that I had to deal with for another week or so. All of this meant that I didn't get through nearly as many practice tests or problems as I wanted to. I realized to that I was doing great on timed problem sets both in terms of finishing them in the time limit and answering the vast majority of them correctly. Then, I'd get to a practice test and not be able to finish it in time and score in the very low 600s. It was rather frustrating, but I worked to get my game face on for test day.

On test day, I told myself that my score didn't matter at all. My schools that I had already applied to would never see my score from this test unless I sent it to them. I just got to spend the morning of my day off answering a bunch of questions before I got to spend my afternoon doing fun things. This totally took the pressure off. I knew I was going to be ok when I finished the math section barely in time. Yes, the last 5 problems or so were a bit rushed and the last couple I did have to rule out 1 or 2 options and then guess, but I finished all of them which I hadn't during my previous test.

I have to say to all of those of you still studying for the GMAT out there, you should practice being relaxed just as much as you should practice the problems and study the material that is on the test. Honestly, I think that's the reason that I did so much better this time around despite not much additional studying. Good luck!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Lemon Bars

Dessert Night this week was a very casual affair. I had spent all weekend studying for the GMATs which I retook on Monday of this past week. (I promise there will be another post coming on this topic soon. JulyDream, you don't have to worry! I'll cover the topic.) My parents worked the AT&T National Pro-Am golf tournament earlier in February and got to take home a variety of tasty foods prepared by Pebble Beach Company. Dessert Night also benefited through some very tasty Lemon Bars, Poundcake Squares, and a Brownie.

The lemon bars were just what you expected from a lemon bar - a light lemony flavor, a crunchy crust, and a crispy sugary top. They were a little sweet if one were to eat the entire bar (they were quite generous with their portions.). All in all, a great job from the pastry chefs at Pebble Beach!

(My apologies for no photos this week. I will do better next week. Speaking of next week, we will be enjoying a very tasty vanilla buttermilk panna cotta with blackberry puree. Come by to enjoy it!!)