Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Cheer

So, it's been awhile! School and life got busy and I just didn't have time to blog.  But now finals are over and I have a life again for about a month :)

I wanted to share some of the Christmassy things that have been keeping me sane this past month!

Our beautiful tree and fireplace!

New stockings!

Spinach, pomegranate, and walnut salad I made for the last day of class.

Cookie making factory!

Cookies!


Mike and I in front of our first Christmas tree.

Christmas card collection!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Autumn Quinoa Bake

Sometimes I just randomly come up with really good recipe ideas.  Like today, I was in the car driving to work, thinking about what to make for dinner tonight, and then it hit me!  I wanted to use a butternut squash that I had on hand, and maybe incorporate some quinoa.  Then I decided that I should keep the autumn theme going and add some dried cranberries and feta cheese. The result? Delicious! You should definitely make this and serve it at/bring it to Thanksgiving dinner!





Autumn Quinoa Bake

2 cups quinoa, cooked in 4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup feta cheese
3/4 cup dried cranberries
roasted butternut squash, peeled and cubed
(add cinnamon and/or nutmeg as desired...I think next time I'll add some roasted pecans to the mix, too!)

Peel and cube the butternut squash and bake at 425F for about 35 minutes, until softened.  Meanwhile, cook the quinoa per package directions on the stove top.  Combine the quinoa and butternut squash, and add dried cranberries and feta cheese.  Bake for 10 minutes at 350F and serve!




Hope you try it and enjoy it!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Loving Bok Choy

Ever since I tried bok choy for the first time at Shabu Zen a couple of weeks ago, I've been wanting to make some of my own!


I sauteed tofu, bok choy, onions, mushrooms, and broccoli with some Trader Joe's Soyaki, and ended up with this delicious creation!



I have been so busy this past week. Can't stop, won't stop. I had 3 tests within 18 hours of each other on Monday and Tuesday. That was joyous. I am so glad to be done, and am just chugging away at some more assignments so I can hopefully have a fun and relaxing Thanksgiving break!

Off to play trivia!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Foodservice Day 1 & My Favorite Food

Today I started my foodservice internship at a local high school.  It was a good first day, and actually better than I had imagined.  I'm still very uncertain about which path I would like my career to take, but today surprisingly left me feeling way more interested in foodservice than I ever thought that I would be.  I should probably keep in mind that it was only my first day, but who knows!

I met with my preceptor, and she gave me a tour of the facility, told me her educational and career background, and then we spent some time doing a question and answer session so that I could answer some of the questions on my list of objectives.  Two things that I love about her job: she gets summers, holidays, and all school vacations off but gets paid for 12 months (!), and she gets to design menus, search for new recipes, and directly influence what kids are putting into their bodies for 2/3 meals per day!

This high school actually has a pretty impressive school lunch (and breakfast program).  The director (my preceptor) has been in her position for 11 years, and has really made some great changes to their program.  They have a main entree, hot sandwich, deli sandwiches (made-to-order), salad bar and various other options daily.  I get lunch for free when I'm interning (score!), so today I tested out the salad bar.  It's great!  There are over 30 toppings and also several options for protein, like teriyaki chicken, spicy chicken, hummus, sunflower seed butter, etc.

I got home and had a good portion of the afternoon available to get work done.  November is going to be a very busy and very stressful month.  I have 2 internships going on simultaneously, plus 3 projects, 3 tests within 20 hours of each other (and another test a week or so later), at least 2 papers, work, and other weekly school work.  Phew.

On the menu for tonight? My fave, pizza.  I think it's safe to say that we have pizza every week in this household.  It's good for the soul.  Tonight I made chicken, broccoli, and spinach pizza on this awesome pizza dough from Shaws. It gets all bubbly and delish.





When I was in kindergarten, each student was "star of the week" for one week of the school year.  This involved you making a poster of all of your favorite things, and bringing in a treat for the class.  My favorite day of the week used to be Tuesdays, because that is when I had dance class.  Um, let's just say that now, any days that start with an "S" get a thumbs up from me.  My favorite food in kindergarten was pancakes.  I still love those, but I really think pizza has taken the top spot.  I really like the trend of brick oven, artisan pizzas.  All of the different unique toppings and delicious crusts are fabulous.

As usual, back to the books!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Because All Soon-To-Be Professional Engineers Need Good Luck




...and a full belly of turkey meatloaf, garlic mashed potatoes, and sauteed kale/spinach!

Good luck, Michael!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hocus Pocus

So, clearly school has consumed my life.  There is just so much to do and so little time.  As an assignment for my Computers in Nutrition Education class, I have been working on designing a website about healthy eating and grocery shopping. Let me tell you--when there are outdated instructions on making the website, a list of very specific things to include in your website, and it is not something you are doing by choice, it isn't very fun. In fact, it's been quite a headache.

I also got another one of my internship placements this week.  I was placed in one of my first choices--a public school district pretty close by.  I think I will be working at both the middle school and the high school.  I will be doing an 18 hour orientation at the facility starting in November, and then next year, I will spend 7 weeks interning there.

Anyways, what else has been going on in my life?  I had a nice weekend.  I did some work, ate some pumpkin oatmeal, babysat for my favorite fur niece, Pixie, went to a nice 1.5 anniversary dinner, and picked some delicious apples. Not too shabby!





This weekend, Mike and I are headed to a wedding in CT. The wedding circuit never seems to stop for us.  I was just emailing with one of my friends today and she mentioned that she and her husband don't have any weddings to go to yet for next year. This made me realize that we already have 3 to go to next year! Crazy!

Tonight I made a sort of random but yummy dinner.  I had a baked sweet potato with pesto tofu pasta.  I'm pretty sure anything covered in pesto is delicious.




Okay, time to get some more work done and then probably watch Hocus Pocus! I love that movie.  It brings me back to my youth!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Life is a Whirlwind

Being super busy is definitely making these weeks fly by!  My weeks are jam-packed with school, work, homework, and internships.  I feel like every moment of every day is scheduled...and it has to be that way for me to accomplish anything for school and still work to make the dollas dollas.

This week started off with my killer long Monday (on campus from 10:30am-9:30pm).  Tuesday, I had an exam in Foodservice, then my Intro to Nutrition Practice class.  I really like Intro.  I really wish that I had more time outside of class to spend on it! Yesterday and today I worked all the live long day. And now, I'm working on my study guide for Nutritional Biochem.  It is currently 17 pages and I still have 4 topics to cover. Joy. Tomorrow starts my first mini internship and then I have my Intro class.  The internship involves shadowing an RD and then doing some nutritional interviewing myself.  I'm looking forward to it! As for this weekend, study study study.  Two big exams next week! Oy vey.

Here are some pictures from the past week or so:

Salmon, roasted broccoli, and roasted rosemary potatoes.
Fall table!

Tilapia parmigiana, brown rice, steamed garlicky kale.

Fall flowers. Mike brought these home the other night along with mini chocolate tarts, vanilla ice cream, and blueberry almond granola. I had a little "mishap" that involved accidentally deleting a huge document filled with my Nutritonal Biochem notes. He knows all the things that make me happy.

Oh yeah, and Greys is on in just over an hour! Must.finish.study.guide. Night!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Weekend in Pictures

Fun times with mirrors at Bond Friday night.

We conducted a very serious maple syrup taste test.

Banana blueberry chocolate chip pancakes a la Michael.

With cinnamon apples and eggies.
The taste test in action. Very official.

A new camera! It has awesome settings (including a food picture setting!) and high def!
Lisa (Mike's sister) came to visit!

Just call us the king and queen of beer pong.


Lastly, a project that took up quite a bit of time this weekend (between bloopers, re-do's, etc).  We had to conduct a nutrition counseling session and videotape it for one of my classes.  This is how NOT to treat a client...haha. He made me laugh. I couldn't help it!
video

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fall Fare + Life Lessons

Okay, so there's really no way to take a non-phallic picture of butternut squash.  Trust me, I tried.  Anyways, here is a simple, healthy, fall-themed recipe for you to try!


Cinnamon-Infused Stuffed Butternut Squash




Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash, halved and seeded
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 can black beans
  • Cinnamon to taste

Directions:
1) Bake squash with cut sides facing down in a small amount of water at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.
2) Cook brown rice according to directions and set aside.
3) Drain and rinse the black beans and simmer in a little bit of water and cinnamon until softened and warm.
4) Combine the rice and black beans and sprinkle with more cinnamon.
5) Remove some of the squash flesh from each half and mix with the rice and bean mixture.
6) Add the mixture to the hollowed-out areas of the squash and serve.






Today was my first time seeing a new client for work and she was the cutest little old lady.  She was telling me stories about her childhood and about how she met her husband.  Apparently, she had plans to go to a dance with her current boyfriend and he ended up also bringing his friend who had just gotten out of the service.  Her current boyfriend left early because he didn't feel well, which apparently was a big mistake.  She ended up with his friend!  I love hearing stories about how people met because everyone's story is unique and it's fun to hear about how everything started.


What I learned today from little old ladies:
  • It doesn't matter if your house is a little messy--life happens.
  • It is incredibly hard to lose the people that mean the most to you.
  • Appreciate your parents while you still have them here.


Mmmkay, I'm off to do some school work. Night!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Dose of Home

This weekend, Jennifer, Bill, Mike and I, headed back home to celebrate my brother, Jared's birthday and to visit with my parents.  In case you are wondering about who the above peeps are: my sister, sister's boyfriend, and my boyfriend.  We arrived home to upstate NY on Friday night and enjoyed some pumpkin beers while catching up with my Mom.  It's always nice to have everyone together in the same room.  Without fail, the conversation flows from one topic to the next and we always end up laughing and sharing fun stories.

We woke up on Saturday, had a leisurely breakfast, hung around, and then headed over to my Dad's house.  We spent a couple of hours over there catching up (and playing catch with his doggy), before leaving so Jared could head to a friend's BBQ.  For his birthday dinner, we went to Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (hmm, I guess that was a lot of bbq'ing for Jared).  



Dinosaur was a really cool place.  We were surprised to learn that it is a big biker bar.  Leather chaps and tattoos everywhere!  When we got seated, we decided that wings were in order.  We got one order of honey bbq and one order of wango tango.


 We hated them.


I would have been perfectly satisfied with my Blue Moon and wings, but alas, when you're at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, it only seems right to eat bbq like a dinosaur.  I ended up ordering the 1/4 rack of ribs with pulled pork.  For my two sides, I got the maple whipped sweet potatoes and simmered greens.


Deliciousness.  The sweet potatoes tasted like pumpkin pie.  They were easily my favorite part.  The pulled pork was really tasty too, and the ribs were so tender that they practically fell off the bone.  Plus, they gave you cornbread.  I heart cornbread.  We had a great time celebrating Jared's birthday and eating delicious food!



This morning, my Mom made a lovely brunch for everyone.  The spread included a veggie frittata, a ginormous fruit salad, bacon, and an assortment of breads (pumpkin, banana, and blueberry).  Mmm mmm good!






I had a great weekend at home.  Lots of good company and yummy food!  I just wish that the weekends were longer...


 Oh, and who could forget the fun times on the ride home:







Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday Funday?

I wish.




Something tells me I am going to become quite familiar with this view.  My dining room table (aka my workstation) is getting a lot of love this weekend.   All I can say is that I'm glad I'm not a die-hard football fan.  I don't know how I would get anything done on Sundays.

Now that I'm back in school full-time, working part-time, and will soon be going to internships as well, I have been thinking about meals that I can start preparing when I have some extra time on the weekends.  I decided that meatballs seemed like a good idea for today.  Meatballs are great because you can make them ahead of time and either refrigerate them or freeze them until you're ready to use them.  Plus, I know a certain boyfriend of mine that likes spaghetti and meatballs.


Meatballs


Ingredients:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/4-1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2) In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients.  
3) Shape mixture into balls and place on a baking sheet about one inch apart.
4) Bake for 22 minutes.






Now, back to the books.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Back To School

Well, the summer is officially over.  It was back to school for me today!  My morning started early, but not too early.  I really wasn't feeling a 5:00am wake-up call for the gym since we got in late last night from our Labor Day weekend getaway.

I made sure my school bag was all packed.  Isn't this a cute bag?  It was a bridesmaids gift from my friend, Katie.



My first class, Foodservice Systems, was at 8:30am.  It was great to see my school friends again!  Luckily, we have the same schedules, so we'll be suffering learning together all semester long!

Had a little break in the grad student lounge.  It's the first day, and things already seem crazy.  I found out in my first class that I have not one, but two internships this semester.  I previously only knew that I would have to do one of them.  In my first class, I told my professor that I had Thursday or Friday mornings available to do the internship for her class.  Then my work schedule was emailed to me after class.  Mind you, ALL summer, I have not worked Thursday mornings.  And what do I get on my schedule "from here on out"? Working Thursday mornings.  Oy vey.  My approach is to take this all one day at a time.  


My second class, Introduction to Nutrition Practice, was good.  The professor seems really nice and interesting.  She specializes in pediatric nutrition which I'm definitely interested in learning more about, so that is exciting!






So, since my day had some good points (seeing friends and getting back into the swing of things) and stressful points (internship craziness and work schedule nonsense), here's an appropriate recipe that I made for dinner tonight.




Sweet & Sour Chicken with Vegetables


Inredients:

  • 6 small skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 cans of cubed pineapple
  • 1 bag sugar snap peas
  • 2 heads of broccoli, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • gyoza sauce (or some kind of sweet & sour stir fry sauce)
  • 1/2 cup scallions
  • brown rice cooked in pineapple juice

Directions:
1) Cook brown rice according to instructions, substituting pineapple juice for some of the water.
2) Spray skillet with cooking spray and heat to medium.
3) Cut chicken into small pieces and add to skillet.  Add about a 1/2 cup of gyoza sauce and cook until no longer pink in the center.
4) Add snap peas, broccoli, pineapple, scallions, and cashews.  Cover and cook for about 5 minutes.
5) Serve over brown rice.










One more sweet to end the day: flowers from a cute boy!




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