Friday, November 30, 2012

Taste of Brazil

I have a confession to make: I love food. Not only do I love food, but I love cooking. Let me count the ways....

1.) I love cooking by the season with locally grown food. Cooking with the seasons is one of my favorite ways to stay in the present moment, and locally grown food always tastes better.
2.) I love all food and cooking recipes from around the world. One of the ways to learn more about a group of people's culture, geography, and history is through their food.
3.) Cooking is one of my favorite ways to de-stress. I find it meditating chopping fresh produce, watching the food simmer on the store, and stirring the medley of flavors.
4.) Cooking allows me to be creative: by using leftover ingredients and experimenting with flavor.
5.) I love creating food because it brings people together: family, friends, co-workers, book-clubs, meet up groups, religious groups and ceremonies. One of the most essential components of community development, in my opinion, is food.
6.) I find immense satisfaction cooking and sharing my food with others. I love the sounds that great food creates: that "heaven in your mouth" expression of which each person has their own version.

With all this love for food and cooking, I thought I would open a new avenue by sharing with the Hofstra Community some of my favorite recipes and cooking experiences.

Long Island Cheese Pumpkin
Weeks before, I purchased an edible pumpkin, a Long Island Cheese Pumpkin, from a farmer's stand in Suffolk County. Known by its lighter color and similarities of looking like a cheese rind, the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin, as its name suggests, is a native to Long Island. I bought this pumpkin with the intention of cooking Camarão na Moranga or "Pumpkin stuffed with shrimp"

 I was introduced to Camarão na Moranga while my life-partner and I were visiting a friend on Santa Catarina Island, Brazil in 2009. We were impressed by this uniquely cooked dish, its presentation, and the intense flavor. In 2010, while living in Colorado, another friend from Brazil introduced to me how to make this dish. At that time, we used a Jarrahdale pumpkin variety. I was now excited to try this Long Island Cheese Pumpkin with this dish.

Here is my version of Camarão na Moranga (Serves 4):
  • 1 yellow onion - diced
  • 1 medium-small edible pumpkin --washed and scrubbed well
    Requeijao cremoso
    3 garlic cloves - pressed
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • splash of white cooking wine
  • 3 ripe tomatoes - diced
  • 1 pound uncooked jumbo shrimp -- peeled and de-veined
  • 1 container of requeijao cremoso (found at Mineola Food Market: International supermarket)
  • cilantro for garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cooked rice (I prefer Basmati, but choose what you like best)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
 1. Cut a hole in the top of the pumpkin. Set aside top, and remove all the seeds*. Place the top back on the pumpkin and wrap the pumpkin with aluminum foil; place in a baking dish and put it in the oven to cook for 45 minutes.

2. While the pumpkin is cooking: Heat a saucepan, add oil and onions and saute until transparent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the paprika and mix until the onions are coated. Add the splash of white cooking wine and cook until dissolved. Add the chopped tomatoes. Cook until the sauce thickens. Then, add the shrimp, and cook until they turn pink. Mix in the requeijao cremoso.

3. After the pumpkin cooked for 45 minutes, remove the pumpkin from the oven and remove the top (be careful of the steam). Add the shrimp mixture inside the pumpkin. Replace the top. Put the pumpkin back into the oven. Bake for another 20-45 minutes until the pumpkin flesh is soft.

For serving: Take off the pumpkin top. As you are serving, be sure to scoop into the pumpkin flesh. Serve with rice and season as needed with cilantro, salt and pepper.

*Use all parts of the pumpkin:
Wash the pumpkin seeds, coat lightly with oil and your favorite seasonings (like cinnamon and sugar; or chili powder and cayenne pepper, or ginger). Scatter the seeds on a baking sheet and cook until soft in a 350 degree preheated oven.


What a "tasty" end to a month of diverse, educational and interesting programs. Diversity Awareness Month was indeed a success and we are thankful to the Hofstra community for supporting these programs.

Check out our next program: Flavors of our Neighborhood, on Friday, December 7, where we will explore the cuisine of Haiti. Space is limited: sign up in advance at the Multicultural and International Student Programs Office: 242 Student Center.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hofstra's 2012 Holiday Toy Drive: JUST 1 can make a difference

toy is all it takes to make this holiday season bright!

Until December 7, Hofstra is hosting a Toy Drive to support the Interfaith Nutrition Network (INN), which provides aid to needy families on Long Island. We're reaching out to all members of our Hofstra Community to support this year's toy drive. We realize that lately things have been difficult and challenging for so many, particularly now following the hurricane.  We're asking that everyone, especially STUDENTS, consider giving Just 1 new, unwrapped toy to make a difference in one child's life. 

Remember that feeling opening up a new barbie, lego set, super soaker, Talk Boy, or creepy crawlers (I loved those as a kid) felt?  Well, pick up a few Koosh balls, Beanie Babies, or Silly Putties to make one little kid's holiday dream come true. There are a lot of good and affordable options in the bookstore too. 

There are no restrictions on the toy selection, except that it must be new. Something as simple as a coloring book can be a meaningful gift to a child who perhaps has never had one before. No gift is too small and each will go to a child in need this holiday season. 

For those who would like to donate, you may drop off your toy off at either the Fitness Center or the Student Center (near the bookstore). There are also bins located in 200 Phillips Hall and in the Mack Information Center on the south side of campus.

It only takes Just 1 gift to make a difference in the life of a child...TOGETHER let's make it happen!

For any questions, please contact Mary Coleman at 516-463-4698 or

Monday, November 26, 2012

Our First Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Dinner & Celebration for International Students 
Presented by MISPO
November 16, 2012 

The Multicultural and International Student Programs Office (MISPO) recently hosted a What are you thankful for? Living in America Series presentation and Thanksgiving Dinner & Celebration for the International Students at Hofstra University.  

The Thanksgiving Dinner & Celebration was brought back due to popular demand with an amazing attendance of 75 International Students!!!

The Living in America Series presentation by the Assistant Director of MISPO, Sonia Fernandes, consisted of a history lesson and an explanation of the purpose of the Thanksgiving celebration in the United States.  The presentation also included an explanation of the popular shopping craze of Black Friday and Cyber Monday!




                                         What are you thankful for? 
The international students discussed with their peers what they were thankful for in their lives.  My two favorite responses were: 
I am thankful that Hofstra University accepted me to come study here!
I am thankful that I have a nice roommate and we are very good friends!

                                        Art project: 

Make a turkey! MISPO student workers
Christina and Lauren planned a fun art project for the International Students. They demonstrated to the students how to make their own Thanksgiving turkey made out of colored paper, feathers and a paper bag!         


Great Job MISPO team!!!


The Hofstra Commuter Fall Review

Its been a long time since we last blogged and the Off Campus Living and Commuting Student Services Office has been bustling.  With one program left to go, we have continued to keep our Hofstra Commuters involved, educated, and having some fun in between. Thank you to everyone who came out to participate in all of our events as well as the impromptu Sandy relief effort.

Our annual Halloween decorating contest was a huge success.  Below is a picture of our Honorable Mention winning house. The houses went above and beyond with spooky decorations and even some festive cupcakes for our judges.

 An impromptu event took place Saturday, November 2nd for neighborhood clean-up after Hurricane Sandy.  Over 200 students came together to help the relief effort that directly affected their surrounding area. 

Along with our Halloween Decorating Contest, athletes and Greek life donated their time to rake the leaves of their neighbors and community members through our annual Shake A Rake program.

Don't forget to come by the Mack Student Center Room 221 on December 13th from 8am-10am for an Early Morning Breakfast. Good luck in the final stretch.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving at Hofstra

We here at Student Affairs want to wish everyone in the Hofstra community a happy, healthy Thanksgiving. If you're traveling to be with friends and family during the holiday, please stay safe and enjoy your well-earned feast. For those of you staying on campus, however, we have some ideas and information to keep you occupied during your break from classes.

Airport Shuttle for Thanksgiving
Public Safety will run a free bus shuttle from Hofstra campus to JFK airport on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, November 21, 2012. There will be three trips to JFK, at 7:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m., leaving from the Mack Student Center. To reserve a seat, students should email with their Hofstra ID#, their cell phone number, the desired shuttle time, and the airline name. The reservations are first-come, first-served; there is limited seating. The shuttle will stop at the terminals in the order they are along the route, not according to their flight time.
Classes are supposed to run as scheduled on Wednesday. Please talk with your professors about your travel plans.
The regularly scheduled campus shuttle schedule can be found by clicking here, and the LIRR schedule can be found by clicking here.

Adjusted Office Hours
Public Safety Open 24/7
•For any emergency (police, fire or medical) please call 516-463-6789
•For information, please call 516-463-7878
•For all other inquiries, please call 516-463-6606
•Campus Shuttles will run as scheduled

Residential ProgramsResident Assistants will be on Duty 6 p.m.-9 p.m. The resident director on duty can be contacted through Public Safety at other times.

Dining Download the pdf

Health and Wellness CenterClosed from 11/22 -11/25. Public Safety can be reached for emergencies at 516-463-6789.

Student CounselingClosed from 11/22 - 11/25. A 24 hour crisis counselor is on call and can be reached at (516) 463-6789.

Library •Wednesday, November 21 - 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
•Thursday, November 22 - CLOSED
•Friday, November 23 - 12:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
•Saturday, November 24 - 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
•Sunday, November 25 - 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.

Hofstra Card ServicesClosed from 11/22-11/25

Fitness CenterWednesday, 11/21 6:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m., no evening group exercise classes. Closed Thursday, 11/22. Friday, 11/23 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.. Regular hours resume Saturday, 11/24.

Things To Do
Thursday, November 22, 2012. Thanksgiving Dinner with VP Johnson. Those students who RSVP'd in time will be enjoying Thanksgiving dinner with VP Sandy Johnson.

Be Spontaneous
When you're not studying, here are some festive ideas to keep you busy on/around campus:
•Bake a pumpkin or apple pie
•Round up other students who are staying on campus and watch a Thanksgiving movie like A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving showing at 8:00 p.m. on 11/22 on ABC or one of these top ten Thanksgiving movies
•Order in from Zorns (or each make a dish) and watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (on TV at 9:00 a.m.) from the warmth of your Residence Hall
•Start a pickup game of football with your friends out on the intramural fields

Explore NYC
Looking to get out and about to really take advantage of the long weekend?

Watch the 85th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade at 9:00 a.m. The parade will begin at 77th Street and Central Park West, moving down Central Park West to Columbus Circle. The parade will then turn onto Central Park South and head south on 6th Avenue until hitting 34th Street and turning west. The parade will conclude in front of Macy's Herald Square.

Check out a Holiday Light Tour of NYC either here, or here.

Ice Skate. Ice skating in Rockefeller Center is a popular option if you want to ice skate in New York City, but did you know you have other options? In addition to skating at Rockefeller Center, you could try Central ParkRiverbank State Park, or one of these other choices.

Shop at Union Square Greenmarket. North and west sides of Union Square Park. Open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Catch a Broadway show. For a list of Broadway shows this week visit here.

Visit the Statue of Liberty or Ellis Island. Click here for more information.

Walk the Highline. Built in the 1930's as a form of public transportation, this old freight rail line is now a public park owned by the City of New York.

Sample some cheap eats.

Shop to Eat! Eataly, located 200 5th avenue, is an energetic Italian marketplace. It is known by locals as the heartbeat of Italy in New York.

Shop Til You Drop! Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, traditionally the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. On this day, many retailers open very early, often at 4:00 a.m. or earlier, and offer promotional sales to kick off the shopping season. The day's name originated in Philadelphia, where it originally was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic which would occur on the day after Thanksgiving. Later an alternative explanation began to be offered: that "Black Friday" indicates the point at which retailers begin to turn a profit, or are "in the black."

American Museum of Natural History. Central Park West (at 79th St) Come check out a new exhibit, Creatures of Light  which showcases all that glows. Welcome to the world of bioluminescence—the generation of light by living things.

Visit the Brooklyn Museum. Located at 200 Eastern Pkwy (at Washington Ave). Currently featuring the Mummy Chamber in which over 170 objects from the Brooklyn Museum’s world-famous holdings of ancient Egyptian material are now on view.

Black Friday Shopping Shuttle!Do you dare brave the crowds and scour the stores during the infamous Black Friday? Well then you're in luck! We've added a Black Friday Shopping Shuttle for your convenience. Just follow the normal Sat./Sun. schedule here:

Give Back

Help package 10,000 Thanksgiving meals for the victims of Hurricane Sandy on Long Island. Click here for more information about how you can help.

Volunteer for the Bowery Mission’s Red Door Hunger Drive to serve over 100,000 meals to our neighbors in need during the holiday season with 9,000 of them being during Thanksgiving Week alone! Click here for more information

Diversity Awareness Reception

On Wednesday, November 14, the Office of Multicultural and International Student Programs celebrated Diversity Awareness Month with a reception highlighting and celebrating the diversity of our campus. This year’s keynote Julie Yindra shared an enlightening speech with us about her perspective on diversity. Our talented Hofstra students added their creative insight by sharing their own personal poems and stories with the audience. See below for a beautiful poem entitled “Multicolored Lenses” written by Shannon Alomar, a second year student who wrote this poem specifically for the reception.

Key note: Julie Yindra, Director for Students with Disabilities
Check out our Diversity Awareness Month calendar for more events on how to get involved with this month's celebration.

Multi-Colored Lenses
Multicolored eyes should not be solely based on pigment
Different tones of flesh should not be so distant
History has shown how humans have overthrown cornerstones of oppression and aggression
Here’s the lesson
Hush and listen
From the storks nest to your mother’s womb
You weren’t brought into this world in a tomb
Why choose to die from being shelled inside due to ignorant connotations
I think some call it “hateration”
But we’re living in a nation of undermined appreciation
They say “we can change the world”
But why wait for eventually
When the answer is in front of you and even me
Perception is the name of the game
  Don’t sit back and look so tame
Blame, oh blame, someone is always to blame
But I’ll say it again
Perception is the name of the game
Our world is ever changing
Not complacent with the pacing
It is exciting, often inviting, always vibrant
If you try it
Honestly where would we be without this glorious ideology
It’s not psychology or biology
But Diversity
What do I mean?
Through my multicolored eyes I have seen
Jerk chicken laid pon arroz con pollo
I have seen fist pumps intertwined with krumps
I have seen him and her
Him and him
Her and her
Fall in love without limitations
I have seen student graduate from college and immigration
I have seen everything from ni hao to shalom
Service to masses
Uptown to cross country
Jumping the broom and stepping on glasses
Rainbows sitting in classes
This list can get massive
But it’s attractive
Ever growing
It is alive and well and many keep it showing
If you are willing to obtain it do not give into suppression
Or neglect a valued outlet
Of multicultural expression
Forget rose colored glasses
Try some multicolored lenses on for size
Guaranteed to allow you to be open minded
And not ostracize man kind
 The depletion of intolerance can be summed up in a word
Help communities thrive and create songs unheard
Bring a level of understanding among brothers and sisters of the world
One word
Now repeat it to your herd 

Shannon Alomar, a second year student majoring in Journalism, sharing her poem, "Multicultural Lenses"
Blog by: Annick Aska, Assistant Director of the Multicultural and International Student Programs Office