Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Long time, no post!

Hi bloggies! Sorry I've been MIA for so long, I promise I have legit excuses. Between life changes and the semester wrapping up, things have been quite chaotic!

Textbooks

A week and a half ago I found out I didn't get off the wait list for that PhD program in Michigan. So, I will be getting a job next year! For the first few days I was pretty upset about this. However, it's definitely for the best. I had still been doubting my choice to pursue Clinical Psychology because I was still interested in Quantitative Psychology. This break from school will give me some time to figure out which I want to pursue eventually. For now, I am SO excited to have a break. Before I applied to programs in the fall, I never even gave myself the option to not apply. Because my master's program is a "PhD prep" type of program, it's a given that you'll go on immediately after. I'm actually happy for this "forced" break from academia. Here are the reasons why:

1. No guilt!!! I experience a decent amount of school-related guilt if I do anything but work on the week nights and weekend days.
2. Seeing friends and family regularly! When I have seen them while in school, I cannot give them the proper attention they deserve. It'll be nice to give them my undivided attention for once!
3. Watching my TV shows the night they air!
4. Reading for pleasure regularly...not just during the holidays and summer breaks.
5. Completely free week nights and weekends!
6. Cooking whatever I want without a time constraint

Did you catch my excitement with the exclamation marks?? :) Those are just a few of the many fun things to come. I have had a few job interviews and I have another in two weeks. Right now I'm focusing on finishing up classes and graduating in 9ish days!! Sadly, I'm only "walking" because of my thesis woes. After graduation, I'll be working on my thesis and applying for jobs 24/7! Woo hoo!

Cookbooks

Given my crazy schedule lately, I haven't done too much cooking. Last week I tried out one of the Amy's California Veggie Burger. It was pretty good with spicy mustard, ketchup (no HFCS!), and lettuce...but it's a little boring by itself. I toasted a sprouted grain Food for Life english muffin as a bun replacement! My Dad uses them with burgers, and I love it more than a regular bun because of the crunch and chew! Along with some sweet potato fries, the veggie burger made for a tasty meal!
Fries tossed in EVOO, salt, and pepper...



 to.die.for.


I'm seriously craving this now and have none left in my house!


I'm off to bed. I'm going to get up early to finish revising the rest of a draft I have due tomorrow, along with some readings for class. I guess I really am a grandma because it's hard for me to stay awake past 10pm. Night all! :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Veggie Stir Fry with Quinoa

Hey everyone! I hope all of you who are on the east coast survived the monsoon we had yesterday! I got home around 3pm yesterday and it didn’t stop pouring/thundering until sometime in the early morning. Luckily I decided to make dinner when I got home yesterday from work, or else I probably would have had soup for dinner! There is something about rain and thunderstorms that makes me a little lazy.

Veggie Stir Fry with Quinoa

Ingredients
  • 2 cups dry quinoa + 4 cups of water
  • 5ish cups of veggies
  • Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or soy sauce
  • Garlic powder or fresh garlic
Directions

Strain quinoa in a reusable coffee filter or other fine mesh strainer. Combine 4 cups of water and 2 cups of dry quinoa in a pot and bring to a boil. Once it is boiling, turn it down to low and simmer, covered for about 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. This made a TON of quinoa. So unless you plan on making this for multiple meals or lunches (it was awesome on top of my salad), then you’ll want to make 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups of water.

Add some water (1/4 cup) to a skillet along with your veggies. My veggies of choice were green beans, broccoli, and mushrooms.1/2 of a chopped onion would have worked nicely; however, I didn’t have any on hand. Once they began to soften a little, I added the liquid aminos and some garlic powder.Try not to be heavy handed on the liquid aminos/soy sauce, a little goes a long way! After the veggies are still green (not green brown), but not as crunchy, you’re done!

Top the veggies on top of the quinoa!

















Do you see that creepy piece of broccoli that looks like a torch or something? Those pieces always weird me out haha. As you see in the background is the book called Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink! So far so good! Definitely pick it up.Smile I’m off to read and relax…have a great night!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Breakfast for Dinner

Today was quite the productive day! I got a good amount of work done so that I could read and relax after dinner. I saw a few of my friends from undergrad today too! We went to Kline’s because the flavor of the week is…COOKIES AND CREAM! It’s always bittersweet seeing people that I graduated with who come up to visit. It’s so great to see them, but then it’s always really sad when they leave because it reminds me that the grad school version of JMU isn’t the JMU I experienced as an undergrad. Sad smile Sunny days like today made me really miss lazy Sundays hanging out with girls in my sorority house and it actually made me miss going to chapter! Who would have thought I would miss that?! Haha.

Textbooks

I spent part of the day making a powerpoint for a presentation I’m giving to my program tomorrow on how to choose PhD programs and a potential mentor. Kind of ironic that I’m giving this talk given that I may not even be going to a PhD program next year. Due to my experience with the whole process this year, I’m including a section on “Plan B.”

Speaking of my Plan B. That’s still in action as of now. I should be hearing back in the next two weeks about the job interviews I had last week. And next Friday, April 15th is the deadline for all the students who got offered admission into Clinical Psyc PhD programs to accept or reject all offers. As of now, the school I’m waitlisted for has filled 7 of 9 spots. Hopefully I’ll find out by the following Monday or Tuesday if I get an offer or not so I can stop playing the waiting game! This whole not knowing what I’m doing next year is a little unsettling for a planner like me!

Cookbooks

I decided to make a 1 night meal that has no leftovers because I have Bible study tomorrow night. The best, and easiest, thing to make was BREAKFAST FOR DINNER! As I’ve mentioned before, this was a favorite of my family (Mom, Bro, + Me) growing up.

Blueberry Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup Kodiak Cake Pancake Mix
  • unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • ~3/4 cup blueberries

Directions

Whisk together the Kodiak Cake pancake mix with the almond milk. Add more almond milk to achieve a thinner batter. Add in blueberries and you’re ready to go!

Ingredients

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The agave nectar that I drizzled over these bad boys went unpictured, because no one likes a soggy pancake! Seriously, these taste like homemade pancakes, so buy this mix a.s.a.p.!

I’m off to read! Enjoy the rest of the weekend. It’s supposed to be a high of 86 degrees tomorrow!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Gourmet Grilled Cheese Night!

After watching Chopped Thursday night, my bf came up with a very creative date night idea: Gourmet Grilled Cheese Night! After brainstorming lots of fun twists on the ol’ classic, we decided to do this for dinner Friday night.

First off, ingredients!

Grilled Cheese

  • Ezekiel bread
  • Prosciutto
  • Tomatoes
  • Baby bella mushrooms
  • Mild cheddar cheese

On the side: dill pickles, Amy’s Chunky Tomato Bisque, and Amish Potato Salad

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He had a great idea to “grill” the prosciutto and sauté the mushrooms before we added them to the grilled cheese. The grilled prosciutto tasted very similar to country ham!

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Let the grilled cheese making begin!

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Mmm…

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Check out the thickness! Grilled cheese will never be the same after last night!

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Angel food cake, strawberries, cool whip, and chocolate cookies and cream ice cream for dessert!

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Needless to say, after all of that food we were in a food coma! But it was soooo goood! Here are some other ideas for gourmet grilled cheese:

  • Mexican Grilled Cheese: pepper jack cheese, mashed avocado, refried beans, tomatoes and salsa to dip it in!
  • Philly Cheese Steak Grilled Cheese: steak, caramelized onions and mushrooms, and lots of CHEESE
  • Mediterranean Grilled Cheese: kalamata olives, tomatoes, feta, and spinach
  • Caprese Grilled Cheese: mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes

I’m off to get some work done. Have a nice Saturday! Smile

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Kalamata Olive Hummus

Today has been extremely productive! My stats professor is out of town at a conference, so I got to watch a video lecture from home instead of going to campus for class! I made an early trip to the grocery store then came back home to start my productive day (cleaning, hw, laundry, etc.).

I got salad stuff for lunches and spent some time chopping veggies and making hummus to use as the dressing! Funny story about the hummus. So…I planned to use tahini in the hummus…but I found out it expired 1 month ago. Then…I planned to use fresh garlic…but it grew mold…(it was only 2 wks old!). Because of all of the unplanned product losses, I had to improvise!

Enter: Kalamata Olive Hummus

Ingredients

3/4 cup kalamata olives

2 cans drained chickpeas

water

garlic powder

Directions

Add chickpeas to your food processor or blender and add enough water to enable the mixture to blend. Once the consistency is smooth, add kalamata olives and blend until they are thoroughly mixed. Once this step is done, taste test to see if you want to add more olives for a stronger “olive” flavor. If not, add a few sprinkles of garlic powder (or 2 cloves of garlic) and blend well.

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I had more pictures, but it looks like they didn’t all transfer to my digital file. I use my laptop (PC), not my Mac, to post to the bloggie because it has Window’s Live Writer…and if you’re a blogger you know that WLW is the bomb.com.

I’m off to read under my covers. Yeah yeah yeah….it’s 6:30pm…but I just put clean, warm sheets on my bed, so it’s necessary! Hopefully I’ll be able to drag myself out of bed later to finish laundry and make dinner.

Have a great night everyone!

Also….best of luck to my soror, Alpha Sigma Tau, tonight at Greek Sing!!! Smile

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cool breakfast photo collage

Coolest photo collage ever:

http://jonhuck.com/breakfast/index.htm

I wish they had captions because some of their breakfasts look amazing!

I think I should join breakfast addicts anonymous...

...or oatmeal addicts anonymous?

On another note...

...sorry for the hiatus. The past week has been a little hectic. I had a conference all day here at JMU on Saturday, was in Northern VA Sun-Mon for a job interview, then back here for a phone interview Tues.  Good thing is that they went well...but being "on" for so long (conference + 2 interviews) exhausted me! I'm going to take the rest of the night off work but expect a legit post tomorrow. Night!