Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Short, Sweet, and Stressful

It has been one heck of a long day my friends.  For that reason, I’m going to keep this What I Ate Wednesday post short and sweet.

Breakfast was a scrumptious smoothie.  I went with a carrot cake flavor today and boy, I need these more often in my life.


Check out the modified recipe at the end of the post!

Lunch was after Communications class and in the middle of a solid three hour block of homework before Genetics class. I had a Bavarian sweet mustard, hickory smoked turkey, provolone, tomato, red onion, and romaine sandwich.


On the side I had plantain chips, pretzels, and dark chocolate covered espresso beans.  I’m not a huge coffee fan but these are divine.

During my walk home, and just prior to going grocery shopping, I snacked on this TLC bar that I got for free in the mail!  Two bite test = awesome.


Post grocery shopping, homework article reading, and an awesome burn at the fitness center (18 minutes on the treadmill with increasing speed every five minutes and a final 7.5mph sprint along with 18 minutes on the elliptical) I refueled with dinner.  Leftovers are my friend for sure.


Lasagna with a side of grapes hit the spot.  I haven’t bought grapes in forever but they were calling to me today at the store and I was looking for another fruit to have along with my apples.  They ended up in my bag and my mouth is happy about it.

With a full belly, I settled in for a long homework session yet again.  I spent a while looking up various support groups and lay literature for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome as part of a class and a role play assignment.  Eventually I got super duper stressed and I decided to take a hot shower and get my dessert on before relaxing into the night.

Dessert was multifaceted mostly because I couldn’t decide what I wanted.  First, I was craving a s’more so I grabbed a graham cracker, two marshmallows, and a hunk of Mr. Goodbar.


Oh man.  Wonderfulness in every bite.  Not as good as this monster of a s’more but certainly one of the best I have had in a while.


Yum.  And yes, that is me in my orange pajamas and my orange towel.  I has just showered and couldn’t wait to take a bite!

The next phase of dessert included candy corn (it’s almost the actual season for it again!) and a cup of Moose Tracks ice cream with chocolate syrup and a TimTam hidden in the bottom.


Good way to end a long day.  Unfortunately, tomorrow is going to be just as long if not longer.  We have all sorts of classes and meetings and such.  I’ve just got to take it one step at a time.  As for right now, I’m going to collapse on the couch but not before I give you the recipe for the carrot cake smoothie you must try.

Carrot Cake Smoothie
Inspired by Oh She Glow’s recipe.

The key to this smoothie, for those of us who don’t use any thickening gums, is to prep all the base of the drink the night before to give the chia seeds time to work their gelling magic.  Trust me, the resulting product the next morning is so creamy.  This recipe makes one smoothie, enough to fill a standard tumbler.

70g carrots, chopped (about two medium veggies)
1 cup almond milk (I used unsweetened vanilla)
1 medium to large frozen banana (I typically use 100g, about 2/3rd of a large)
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 heaping tbsp (~10g) vanilla protein powder)
1/2 tbsp Stevia
4 shakes cinnamon
2 shakes ginger
1 shake nutmeg

How to:
1. The Night Before: In a 2-cup measuring cup, combine all but the banana and carrots and stir well.  Cover and stick in the fridge overnight.
2. The Next Morning: Throw the base mixture into your blender and add in the banana and the carrot.  If you don’t have a super high power Vera the Vitamix, make sure those carrots are small enough to be pulverized completely without killing your blender.
3. Blend everything together long enough that the whole thing is creamy and there are no chunks left.  Pour and enjoy!

So I lied, I have one more thing to share. This is dedicated to my best friend who is about to embark on a group project for a protein class.  Good luck!

Group Project

Now I’m heading out to relax and get some good sleep.  G’night all!

Question: How do you like your s’more?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Case Prep Complexities

It’s Tune Tuesday!  Are you ready for the song?

This is a great one to walk it out to.  I listened to it this morning.  Speaking of which, breakfast was a repeat of yesterday, a delicious repeat at that.


I made my Protein Packed Breakfast Cake with some vanilla protein this morning and again topped it with homemade sunbutter and maple syrup.  This sucker kept me full all the way through Foundations class and my shopping trip with Julie.  Because I don’t have a car at this time, she drove me to Target to get some things and she used that time to visit her favorite earring store.  Win-win!

This is the loot I picked up:


Everything from olive oil to replace my stores and lentils (for a meatloaf coming soon!) to macaroni and cheese and whole peeled tomatoes (for a curry recipe I really want to try).  Happy news: these suckers were free thanks to some awesome coupons:


And this lovely lady was a $2 splurge to reward myself for being so on top of things throughout the first week of classes.


I love saffron but it’s bloody expensive so this seemed like a nice compromise.  After putting everything away, I got changed and went over to work out for a bit.  I did 18 minutes on the elliptical and 18 minutes on the bike.  Toward the end of my time in the fitness center, a young lady came in wearing a leotard, an off the shoulder oversized sweatshirt, a baseball cap almost down over her eyes and so much perfume I was having trouble breathing across the room.  She got on the treadmill and just walked at 2.5mph.  Oh my, what was the point?

When I got home and showered, I grabbed a vanilla peanut butter green monster with a side of animal crackers and pretzels for lunch.


Don’t you just love the color of the smoothie??  I know I do and I felt so virtuous downing it because I was getting some veggies too.

After eating, I decided that tackling the whole boatload of homework we were assigned would be the most adult thing to do.  I read two papers, an 86 page chapter, and started working on a case prep outline.  I’m nervous about the last part of that list because I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing.  It’s on the second week and I hate feeling like that.  Grrr.  Hopefully tomorrow, while all the first years are working on their assignments in the student room, we can work it out together.  Please cross your fingers!

Dinner was slipped into a break in the 86 page chapter and it was all sorts of comfort food.  I sautéed onion, green pepper, mushrooms, and some left over petite diced tomatoes.  I also chunked up some fire roasted red pepper and onion chicken sausage and threw that in the sauté pan as well.  On the side I made a batch of macaroni and cheese.


I then took these two and combined them for an amped up cheesy dish.  I added onion/garlic/chili powders in the mix as well.


This is a great dinner and it makes three massive portions so I have leftovers to boot!  Can’t beat that with a stick.

I ended up going back to do more homework after dinner (and I’m still doing some now as I blog) so my next break consisted of dessert.  You know me, I wasn’t about to miss out on sweets.  I made a ooey gooey single serve brownie to start.


Then I added on homemade chocolate peanut butter banana “ice cream” made in Vera (just frozen banana blended with chocolate PB2 and a touch of salt), M&Ms, torn up marshmallows, and chocolate syrup.


The fun part was the brownie because it’s middle is just like warmed up batter it turns out soooooo gooey.  Love!


This has picked up my mood for a bit, which is good because this assignment is getting to me.  I just want to do it right.  I should probably get back to it actually.  But before I go, I wanted to share something scrumptious with you.  I ran across this in a magazine today while waiting on someone.


Guess what those are.  Red Velvet Pancakes.  Yes, please, this weekend maybe?  I can’t wait to try those!  Just let me at ‘em!!  Well, with that mouthwatering morsel on your mind, I take my leave.  Ehler-Danlos Syndrome Type I is calling me, again…

Questions: Have you ever had an assignment that has really bothered you?  What did you do to work through it?

Monday, August 29, 2011

To Cake Or Not To Cake

Week number two of classes has started, everyone.  Now we get into the real swing of things.

The day started with a new breakfast item.  Inspired by some recipes, I got my breakfast cake on! 


Protein Packed Breakfast Cake
Inspired by Foodie Fresh’s wonderful recipe.

If you love oatmeal and oat bran on their own, this cake takes them to a whole new level and gives you a way to shake up your oat routine.  Makes one serving!

1/4 cup (20g) oats
1/6 cup (20g) oat bran
10g vanilla protein powder
1/4 baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp Stevia (more if you aren’t using sweetened protein powder)
1 egg white
2 tbsp almond milk

How to:
1. Mix all the dry ingredients together.
2. Add in the milk and the egg white and combine well.
3. Pour into an oiled ramekin and microwave for 60-90 seconds (depends on how you feel about potentially undercooked egg whites).
4. Pop out the cake with a baby spatula and enjoy!


I topped mine with a smear of homemade sunbutter and a drizzle of maple syrup.  You know what was particularly awesome about this breakfast?  It kept me full for over four hours.  I can’t ask for more in a meal.

Class was a bit slow this morning.  I had done the reading but it has been three days so I was a bit rusty on the information.  Thankfully our prof didn’t seem to mind.  We worked on understanding the medical genetics clinic intake sheet for a good portion of the class and then did a practice session to get used to collecting all the relevant information.  I was so nervous and after some probably inappropriate laughter I sank into the groove and it got easier.  I felt alright at the end though I must say that the intake sheet is HEFTY.

After class the first years headed back to the student room and started getting productive on our various homework and reading assignments.  We were greeted by a tray of goodies which haunted me for day.


I managed not to have a bite and I was proud of that.  When I finally was semi-kind of-ish hungry for lunch on my own terms (not the brownie bite’s/mini pecan pie’s terms), I ate my yogurt mess that I had brought with me.


There were four types of cereals: wheat puffs, Fiber One Honey Squares, crispy chocolate oats, and Peanut Butter & Chocolate Puffins.  Also in the bowl were chia seeds and plain yogurt.  This may seem like a fun concoction but it is crunchy, sweet, filling and altogether amazing.


After a few more hours of hard work, we headed to Human Genetics for class.  I got a bit tired during his discussion of sister chromatid exchange but perked up again for the remainder of the class.  At this point most of the things are topics that we already know from our undergraduate careers but there was one thing that was news to me: mitotic/somatic recombination.  Hmmmm, really now?

I walked home after class and when I got home I changed and went for a work out session.  18 minutes on the treadmill (0-5min at 6mph, 5-10mph at 6.5mph, 10-14 at 7mph, 14-15 at 7.5mph) were followed by 10 on the elliptical and 10 on the reclined stationary bike.  All told, the workout did wonders for my mood and my body.  Loved it, plus I got SWEATY!


When I was finished I went back to my apartment, showered, swathed myself in all orange comfortable pajama clothes (I needed some consoling) and started reading the million chapters due on Wednesday in Communications class.  In one of them it was talking about Bayesian risk assessment and Lordie, will you just check out this crazy equation we are supposed to use?


I couldn’t even wrap my head around it and I’m sure I read it three seven times.  Then, on the back of that page, another chapter talked about analogies a genetic counselor may potentially use in a session and oh my word, they had one about Harry Potter!


Needless to say, it made my evening.  I give props to any author who can successfully integrate pop culture and learning.  =D  In the midst of all the pages of reading, I slipped in a dinner of leftover lasagna and my last plum.


The lasagna still tastes good and man, so simple and easy and awesome when you just don’t want to cook or don’t have the time to dedicate to it.  After dinner, I continued to work, had a long phone conversation with mommy and finally settled onto the couch to blog and watch some trash TV.  I needed something mindless.

I also needed dessert, as always.  I was in desperate want of cake so I made it happen.  Who wants another triple layer slice??  I used whipped vanilla frosting, butterscotch chips, and marshmallows as the filling and then added a side (and unfortunately the last of) my double dark chocolate Talenti gelato.  Chocolate sauce was also a must on top.


I admit, I could never ever get tired of this dessert.  It was beyond perfect for tonight.  Couldn’t have asked for anything better.  Now I think I’m going to finish off the night with a DVRed episode of Hell’s Kitchen.  Good night everyone!  I will catch you after tomorrow’s festivities and get ready for Tune Tuesday because it’s coming!

Question: Do you intentionally make large recipes so you can enjoy leftovers later or are you a single-serving kind of person?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Church Two Ways

Today was the third day of me weekend and I officially had zero homework left.  That of course didn’t stop me from being productive though!

Breakfast consisted of a big bowl of three cereals: wheat puffs (get them at Kroger because they are a fraction of the price!!), Fiber One Honey Squares, and Peanut Butter & Chocolate Puffins.  I added some almond milk and went to town.


I normally don’t eat bowls of cereal alone for breakfast because they don’t keep me full.  Well, today was a good reminder of that…  After my bowl was finished I got dressed up and walked the 0.7 miles to church.


I attended the 10 o’clock service and made note of some things I was excited for in the church bulletin.  Needed to add them to my schedule.

Post-service, I attended a meeting to talk about getting parish breakfast up and running.  It seems like the perfect ministry for me.  I love to cook, breakfast especially, and it is a great way to get to know some of the people in the church family.  Basically, every Sunday between services the following are served: scrambled eggs, sausage, cereal, yogurt, fruit, and a “special” recipe (anything from biscuits and gravy to baked French toast) changed each breakfast.  At the moment I have committed to at least one Sunday a month but we’ll see if I have the opportunity to do more.  Should be a fun endeavor.

When I arrived back home I remembered a menu I had seen a while ago.  It’s for a place called Yolk in Chicago.  Just take a look at one of their sections:

Yolk French Toast

Talk about decadence!  The Chocolate Heaven caught my eye and I realized that I had pieces of last night’s cake left over.  So you can guess what I did!


Chocolate cake French toast layered with peanut butter and chia seeds.  Oh wow.  Yum.  This is definitely a once-in-a-while type of breakfast but it was the perfect one for this lazy Sunday.

For the rest of the afternoon I got my productivity on!  I took all of the syllabi and schedules we had accumulated over this first week of classes and input all the important dates into our first year shared Google calendar.  It is so nice to see everything all laid out and in one place.  I hope this will help keep me organized past this first week of school.  *cross your fingers*

At about 3:30 I snacked on some crackers and hummus.


With my hunger satisfied I walked to church again to attend the Evensong service.  Basically, this is an event where the choirs go to town and pull out all the stops.  I will say that we are blessed with a beyond beautiful set of voices at the Cathedral.  I thought it was a fantastic concert.  However, I forgot how much of the service is spent standing.  At least 80% of the time we were on our feet.  I suppose, in some ways, that was a good thing because I started to doze a bit.  Darn sleepies!

The homily was a good one.  Short and sweet, something that doesn’t normally happen.  The reverend talked about how this Evensong service (which was a surprise one because before Hurricane Irene happened the choirs were supposed to be performing in the National Cathedral in DC), while unplanned and semi-last minute, was exactly what God determined to be needed.  Essentially, this service was precisely where we were all supposed to be.  We were doing what we should have been doing.  I liked the idea that just because something is unplanned or unintended on your part, doesn’t mean it’s any less important.  In fact, it could be EXACTLY what you need.

I came back from the Evensong and watched some TLC then got started on dinner.  I had picked up Old Bay Seasoning a while back when mom was here and was dying to try it so I grabbed a few red potatoes, diced them, tossed them in the spice mix, and threw them in a skillet with a 1/2 tsp of oil.  They cooked covered for 10 minutes and then uncovered for another 10.  The result was a perfectly soft potato that wasn’t mushy and oh man, FLAVORFUL!

I made a salad of romaine lettuce, mushrooms, carrots, green pepper, diced tomatoes, and cannellini beans.  I threw the potatoes on top right off the skillet and added some fat free ranch dressing (only ever get Hidden Valley’s kind, the rest are not worth your time).


It looked so pretty that I shook it up and devoured it so quick.  It’s kind of sad how unappetizing salads look when they are all jumbled up but they don’t taste any less awesome, let me tell you.


The potatoes were easily the best part hands down.  Those are definitely getting made again soon.  Maybe tomorrow night??

I spent the majority of the evening cleaning up and reorganizing all of my iTunes music that I freshly imported onto my new computer.  My dad wirelessly accessed my computer and helped me jump start the process and left me with a very cute note at the end.


While the music stuff went well, I can’t seem to access my iTunes account now.  Blah.  We’ll see how that works out.

When I came to a lull in my reorganization efforts, I went to make dessert.  I must be on a CCK kick because I decided to try out her single lady muffin recipe with a few alterations.  Here’s how it went:


3 T (30g) flour –> I made a 15g/15g split of chocolate protein powder/whole wheat flour
1/4 t baking powder
heaping 1/16th t salt
1-2 T blueberries –> I used 1 t chocolate chips and 1 t shredded coconut
1/2 t vanilla extract –> Completely forgot (see, not on my card) and it never mattered
1 T unrefined coconut oil –> I split this up as 1/2 T coconut oil + 1/2 T applesauce
1 T plus 1 t nondairy milk –> I chose almond milk and needed a splash of water too
1 T sugar –> Stevia instead worked well

I used the microwave method and it worked like a charm.  When I pulled it out of the ramekin, it looked scrumptious.  And it was!!!!










I topped it with some ice cream, marshmallows, and chocolate syrup.  Wow.  Made my night for sure.


Sadness of all sadness, I ran out of ice cream tonight.  Where’s the grocery list? I need to add something essential.


Want to know a highlight of my day?  Seeing the amount of page views I had!!  Thanks everyone!

Blog Post Overview

Also, just check out this gorgeous sunset.  How can you not love this world when there are moments like this?


Questions: What is your favorite way to cook potatoes?

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