So the first two goals I started in on I suppose I started before I turned 23, but since they were part of the inspiration for the list, I'll count them. Plus, there will be much more work before I can cross them off.
Hold one hour conversation, entirely in Arabic:
I started Arabic tutoring in early December with two wonderful tutors, Nadia and Lina. They are both fantastic and have the ability to encourage and challenge me (the encouragement is very much needed at this stage of the game).
For those of you who don't know, my journey with Arabic began during my senior year of high school. Now, for my ego's sake, I haven't been super committed since then. I've only studied the language hardcore for about 2 1/2 years (one at Ohio State, one in Morocco, this past summer, and now). This language is DIFFICULT, no getting around it.
But, for the first time, I am working at my own pace. I study what I want to study, read what I want to read, and talk with people I want to talk with. I have made friends with people who speak Fusha (standard/media Arabic), and these relationships and discussions have reignited my interest in Arabic culture and politics.
Last night I met with my friend, Fouad. We talked for about an hour, but we used English some (especially when it came to grammar). I promise to not cross this item off the list until I make it a full hour without falling back on even a word of English.
Find 15 New Recipies, Prepare Them, and Document Them:
My gourmet cooking was inspired by my roommate, Sarah. She is an awesome cook and a wonderful roommate to have if you're looking for inspiration in the kitchen.
serving up her delicious lasagna
We also have an amazing AMAZING kitchen! I feel so grateful to have such a wonderful place to cook, and entertain. Our kitchen is hands down my favorite room in the house and it seems to be that way for our guests as well. It's HUGE, it has an island, a dishwasher, a gas stove... it has everything (except it's a little short on storage for our tastes, but we like to keep a lot on hand). Everyone hangs out in the kitchen while we cook which is such a wonderful thing!
So the first recipes I made on this journey (though I'll count them only as one as they were just appetizers for our holiday party) are shown below. Thanks to Chow.com for having so many mouth-watering recipes.
eggplant and roasted walnut dip with pita chips
my new signature cookie: chocolate toffee pecan cookies
I'm also starting a recipe book of my own, all digital. Let me know if you want to check it out. Future recipes will be accompanied with a lot more info- but all these recipes were just soooo good, as is. Check out the links!!