“Nostalgia is like a grammar lesson: You find the present tense and the past perfect” [Unknown]

The last few days have been a whirlwind of well … everything.

New York Sunday to Monday, Hartford Tuesday and Wednesday – with a lot going on in between. I got to spend some time at my alma mater Tuesday night, and stop in to recruitment madness at the house. Let me try to help you visualize this in the least stereotypical way possible.

29 The number of girls that live in my old sorority house

8 The number of panhellenic sororities on the UConn campus

420+ The estimated number of potential new members (PNMs) that will be going through the house between tonight and Monday morning.

…It’s Tuesday night, three days before the official “formal recruitment” process begins. Girls are everywhere. There’s girls in one room trading letters to wear around campus the next day, 12 girls in the common room going over what they are supposed to bring each round of recruitment, four girls working on putting bows on the stairs, one girl (my old roommate and best friend) running the show and pondering if the ribbon they put on the third floor is “ugly” (it looks fine) compared to the one on the first.

This best friend tells me she doesn’t remember if she ate today. Bring on operation kidnap. Chica walks out of the house, I charge at her legs, another friend grabs her belongings – we shove her into the back of my 2005 navy blue (UConn appropriate) jetta and hightail it to nourishment.

Do I miss college? Not really. But I miss things like that. I miss feeling like my biggest worry was the bow on the top of the stairs or being late to a Daily Campus meeting (only after I went to chapter and before I went to panhellenic … and people wonder why I’m so organized). I miss meeting up for lunch – and all of my friends being less than 10 minutes away. But well, this is the natural progression of life, right? In the words of Jay Z … on to the next one.

… HUGE announcement coming later today. But for now, I’ll share my yummy creations with you from the last few days. The both of them have one thing in common: Tofu.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about tofu, it’s that it tastes better in small cubes than 1 inch squares. So – I got a little creative with this one: mini bow-tie pasta (usually I don’t use white pastas … but I wasn’t in the mood to head to the store), chopped onions, basil, garlic, green beans, chopped tomato, artichoke hearts, tofu, spinach and a little itty bit of feta (because it tastes ‘beta).  I literally could hardly taste the tofu, it blended right in with the pasta. This hidden wallop of protein – an A+ addition in my book.

And then there was this, my attempt at killing two birds with one stone. The goal: to use the rest of my tofu and leftover refried beans from the other night. So, I did some googling (there goes that word again …) and came up with this. Mexican tofu salad: Tofu, a few small pieces of chicken, onions and chopped tomatoes, sautéed with garlic and three tablespoons of chili powder, atop of romaine with refried beans, two tablespoons of sour cream and salsa to garnish (and act as a dressing).

WOW. Who knew that I liked chili powder this much? Or that tofu could taste good on a salad? Win-win-win-win-wahoooooooo!

Catch ya later tonight for the big announcement! What’s the weirdest thing you’ve tried making lately? What was your favorite thing about college?

Oh … and of course: HAPPY SEPTEMBER!