Good Fortune Gnocchi

In Argentina we have a tradition that every 29th of the month the family eats gnocchi (noquis) for wealth and prosperity. The tradition is to make the noquis at home, place money (of any amount) under the main dish and each persons plate, to eat contentedly as a family and friends, and then to forget it happened til the next 29th.

The tradition is lovely and fosters wonderful bonding time, however, there is one small problem: noquis are the worst pasta to exist. Personally I have never been a fan. But in the spirit of tradition, I have maintained eating them every 29th.

This 29th was special as it was the first time I made my own noquis, without Mama or Abuela’s help, and in the company of a few adventurous friends!

While ours did not quite turn out a pretty as those of my Mama, they tasted fine and I think worked their charm. I have been picking up pennies on the street for the past two days since eating noquis with friends. Clearly the wealth portion is in check.

As to prosperity, that is a matter which is only solved by sharing food, sometimes bad, with good company. To the next noquis day and more adventurous studio taste testers!

The top four images are Mama’s lovely noquis being rolled out, cut, shaped, and boiled before being mixed with the meat and pasta sauce. The bottom two images are our own production.


Stop: Gym Time!

Penn Recreation Homepage:

Penn Group Exercise:

Uh oh! The gym, a place avoided by many due to the pains often associated with growth. Sadly I was one of many avoiding the gym, not due to a dislike of exercise but rather due to the odd thought that all the work on my plate would never get done if I spent a minute not doing it. In reality working out, not only helps make one stronger and healthier in general, but helps to clear the mind and make one more efficient. I notice the difference in my spirits and efficiency.

For those who love exercise or just love how they feel afterwards here are a few insider tips on the gym at Penn:

It’s FREE! (ish)… Access to the gym equipment is included with your Penn ID as well as lockers, towels, and changing rooms/showers. If you want to participate in excercise classes, swimming classes, climbing wall excercises, or a few other select athletic activities that comes at an extra cost.

You don’t have to go it alone! There are excercise classes everyday of the week which choreograph routines for you. I have found these to be helpful in getting back into exercising. It allows you to go at your own pace, as intensely as you wish, without having to come up with all the moves yourself (particularly helpful if you aren’t well read on the musclar system and how to improve it).

Thus far I have attended Zumba, Spin 45, and Body Combat.

Zumba: a dance fitness class which works not only the entire body but also emphasizes cardio. The instructor was quite happy and the music keeps you going. Great class to start with if you haven’t exercised in a while and are trying to get back into shape.

Spin 45: A cycling class, held in intervals of 30, 45, and 60 minutes. This primarily targets legs and core with a cardio aspect inherent in the cycling. Definitely geared towards bikers, so if you don’t have much experience biking or balancing on moving pedals the 30 minute class is best to start. Instructor was very kind and motivating especially knowing that several of us were new to the class.

Body Combat: something between zumba and martial arts classes. There is plenty of cardio incorporated into kicking, punching, and jumping motions. This is my least favorite, partially due to my inability to properly hook punch or jump 2 feet off the ground. However the instructors are very enthusiastic making it enjoyable.

There a plenty of other classes, which I hope to try in the weeks to come, including: pilates, yoga, kick boxing, body pump, barre, butts and guts, spin and core, aqua aerobics, meditation, CXWORX, and Lit and Fit Bootcamp.

To those of you starting the new year off exercising your way towards a happier you check out the links posted above! Break a leg!