Monday, August 31, 2009

What I'm reading now

I was wandering the local used bookstore.. and came across this one. So far, I love it.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


I love fresh blueberries! Ever since I was a kid, my mom used to make blueberry muffins with fresh blueberries.. and I've been hooked ever since. I found this recipe from The Kitchn, and modified it slightly.

Blueberry Oat Bread

2 large handfuls of fresh blueberries, washed and dried
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats -- this is the only kind you can use for the texture
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup 2% milk (they used buttermilk, but this is one ingredient I forgot.. but it worked this way too)
1 teaspoon vanilla


Pre-heat the oven to 325°. Grease one loaf pan.

Toss the berries with 1/4 cup of flour -- this will keep the berries from sinking in the batter.

In a large bowl, combine the remaining flour, oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl. In separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the liquids to the dry ingredients and stir gently until you see no more dry flour. Fold the blueberries into the batter.

Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan and bake for about 60 minutes, rotating the pan partway through. The loaf is done when the top is puffed and dry, and when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes before unmolding. Allow it to cool completely before slicing.

This recipe is super easy, and tastes delicious! It's even better in the morning with some peanut butter on it!

Chicken Tacos!

There's something about tacos that are always delicious -- chicken, steak, or eggs.. always good. And simple. At Trader Joe's yesterday I racked up with a ton of groceries, including a pack of pre-chipotle marinated chicken and corn. In ATL, I had the delicious chicken tacos with roasted corn and lime mayo. In the attempt at recreating this treat (with grilled chicken instead of fried), here's how it went:

Raw Chicken strips -- marinated or not
Sweet corn on the cob (fresh from the farmers market!)
Spoonful of light mayo
Handful of mexican blend cheese (cojito is delicious, but expensive, so this will do)
Salsa (mild for wimps)

In between 2 plates (oven safe), put the tortillas in the oven at the lowest temp (usually 200 degrees F). This'll keep them soft and warm.

If the corn husks are still attached to the corn, begin grilling it with a grill pan (or the George Foreman works just as good). Mine were already removed, so I wrapped it in foil. Grill it until the kernels are bright yellow and the husks are brown.

On medium heat, begin grilling the chicken. I added some mexican spices to keep it tasty. Once the chicken is done, remove it from heat.

When the corn is fully cooked, take a knife and cut off the kernels. Add the dollop of mayo (if you have a lime, add some juice to it), and the cheese. Mix well.

Combine the chicken strips, corn mixture, and salsa to the tortillas, and voila! Off the chain.

Popcorn without microwaving?

After being friends with S$ for many, many years.. her personal policy of not using the microwave (she's a hippie in this way) has started to rub off on me. I love popcorn, and peanut butter even more. This recipe looks delicious, and I can't wait to try it. Plus, buying popcorn kernals by bulk is a great way to save a little bit of money! {Found on The Kitchn}

1/4 cup popcorn kernels
Vegetable oil
Fine salt
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter (should be free of added sugar)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla


Prepare a clean paper shopping bag or oversized mixing bowl. Heat a large heavy pan over medium heat and film the bottom with vegetable oil. Add the popcorn, shake to distribute, then put a lid on the pan. Leave a small crack for steam to escape. When the popcorn starts popping, shake vigorously to make sure the kernels pop evenly. When the popping slows, take the pan off the heat.

Pour the popcorn into the paper bag or bowl to cool, being careful to leave any unpopped kernels in the pan. Coated with peanut butter caramel, the unpopped kernels are a serious tooth hazard. Lightly salt the popcorn to taste.

Mix the honey and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Let it simmer for a couple minutes, then remove from the heat and add the peanut butter. Stir vigorously until all the peanut butter is melted, then mix in the vanilla.

Immediately pour the peanut butter caramel over the popcorn and stir with a long-handled wooden spoon until it's all coated. Once it's mixed you can put it in a serving bowl. Cover tightly after it's cooled.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Gourmet? Try again.

Chef Boyardee and wine. Taking it back to middle school. You can't cook every night -- and lately, I've either been too tired or have had nothing in the fridge to fix for dinner... and CB is just as good as any. They've also hid their veggies in the can, so you're getting your daily dose without knowing it... A company after my own heart.

Tomorrow is the farmer's market. If I get up early enough I hope to make it before the PBP brunch. I love seeing all the new things the local farmers are growing!

Real talk.

I'm not a particularly high fashion kind of girl, although I do have an appreciation for such things and rock my own style. With that said, some things are just not flattering, and quite simply are hideous. Light wash denim capris? Was this ever a good look..? I'm sure we all owned a pair (guilty) in the 4th grade from 5-7-9, however, this was her career wear.

And one thing I've noticed lately with the women nurses is the need to match everything. I love bold statements in clothing, but a bright pink scrub pant with a hot blue tshirt with matching pink polka dots inside the DUKE letters (not shown)..with matching pink laces on her tennis shoes and headphones.. With a pink ipod case no less. A bit extreme and juvenile.

One of my biggest pet peeves is someone who does not dress for their body type or age in a flattering way. Not everyone can pull of skinny jeans, and that's ok. The trends that were big in middle school probably aren't appropriate in the real world. Am I right?

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Welcome to My Neuroses.

As some of you may know, I'm in the process of applying to medical school. It's a year long debacle, and is beginning to stress me out to put it lightly.

Here's an update as far as my apps go:
Interview to Case Western in Sept.
Interview Invite to UNC, but no word yet as to when it will be.

..and according to my spreadsheet(s), stalking the application forums, and obsessively checking my statuses at least 3 times a day (joking? I wish.) here's what I've gathered:

The schools that I've applied to that have not opened "interview season":
Medical College of Georgia (for regular applicants, a la me)
Mount Sinai
New York Medical College
University of Alabama
University of Vermont
University of Wisconsin

The schools that have opened interview season, but according to when everyone on the forums applications were complete, I shouldn't expect an interview/on hold notice just yet:
Albert Einstein
Eastern Virginia
Medical College of Wisconsin
Penn State
SUNY Downstate
Wake Forest

And the schools that other people who have completed their app after me have received an interview invite:
GW -- currently on hold for re-review for them
Ohio State

and yes, my spreadsheet is color-coded. enjoy this little tidbit into the anxiety that is becoming my year.

Vintage Latest

I can't help it, but I'm in love with all that Etsy has to offer with vintage finds. Here's the latest:

I love this cotton shirt-dress -- perfect for bike rides and work.

I was in desperate need of a extra-large cocktail ring, and I found the perfect one on etsy. Recently, I've learned a lot about "beach glass" which occurs when people throw glass away in the ocean, then the sand and waves smooth it down into something gorgeous and what some consider a collector's item. At the latest summer wedding I attended, LC made name tags out of the beach glass, and it was really cute. This ring is made out of beach glass, and I adore it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

DWW: I suck edition.

I haven't been as on point this week with my daily wear -- I still need a better backdrop than my spice rack.. however, I've been trying some new things, and here's what I've been wearing lately.
grabbing some drinks on a worknight-wear:
day in the lab-wear
and because I forgot to take a picture with these shoes.. my new high high heels. I channeled S$ when I bought these.
and here's the vintage dress I wore with them..
I'll get better at this one of these days, and more creative with my outfits. Babysteps. I do have a slight obsession with vintage dresses lately.. so I'm sure you'll see more in my repertoire.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Frittatas are one of the easiest and most delicious meals you can make. Today, I made a sausage frittata.. yum.

Smoked sausage/kielbasa
Herbs -- dried thyme, garlic/herbs blend, whatever you want
6 eggs (but you could probably use 8)
Large spoonful of diced tomatoes
Slice the sausage and saute in minimal oil (the sausage has a lot of natural oil anyways, so one small pour will do).
Add whatever herbs you like -- this time I used thyme and a garlic/herb blend.
After the sausage start to brown, add the eggs (whisked), and the spoonful of diced tomatoes (really just for color).
Mix in the skillet, then put in the oven on broil for 4 minutes.
Pull the skillet out when the top is slightly brown. Let it sit for another minute or two, then cut and eat!

What's great it that it keeps well.. and you can eat it for breakfast too. Sometimes cereal gets a little old, and warming this up will be delicious in the morning. I love how versatile eggs are!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

NYC Outfits

I'm already planning my outfits for my trip to visit S$ in NYC, and I'm very excited to try some more fun looks that I probably couldn't pull off in Durham. Here's a few I love...

all from NastyGal -- vintage and new.

Loves of my life.

These are my best girls, who have been there through everything since the very beginning of college. They're beautiful, fierce, and independent. Road dogs and the best friends a girl could ever ask for.

I'm so happy to have them in my life.. and even though RSJ is in Asheville, and S$ left for NYC today, I know we're going to be fine. I'm so proud of them going off to unknown cities and doing their thing, and figuring themselves out. It's helping me figure out how to do it on my own as well. I miss them dearly all the time.. and can't wait for the next reunion. And enough of the sentiments before I start crying again (it is my role in the group haha) -- because all of this is old news. They're my world, and top shelf.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I'm sick.

It's been about a week of this incessant coughing.. and it's not letting up. I guess I've been over coughing all day long. Since last Thursday.

What else I'm over? It's been about a year in the "real world", and here's what do I know.

-I don't like a lot of types people. Very few do I really enjoy their company enough to want to hang out with. Picky, I guess.. at least with my friends.. err. But be clear, I'm a super nice person. Great sport. And always down for a good time. And my friends are top tier in every way.

-I hate innately lazy people. I don't get it.

-People are usually inconsiderate of others.. I used to think it was the opposite. I know I got sick because a coworker walks around all day coughing into midair. No attempt at covering their mouth. Even the gallon of hand sanitizer I have used this month can save me now. Swine flu, people. I probably have it now.

-Everyone does not have common sense.. even if they are in medical school. It kills me. Before I work with you, if you don't have it.. find it. And yes, there are dumb questions. I won't answer them.

-A lot of people are haters. I've met young ones, old ones. They're all the same. And they get on my nerves. Grab some confidence from somewhere and stop checking for me.

What I do love since I've began working:
-Living on my own. People say it's lonely.. it's not. Get a dog if it is (hence Cooper.. which was more of a guard dog since I live in Durham Hood). I don't share anything with anyone. Watch what I want to watch.. well you get the idea. Wouldn't trade it. Living alone until I get married (or if I ever live in a city where living alone requires a trust fund, a la S$).

-Free nights and weekends. Mostly.

-Seeing my friends as adults, and having adult friends.

-Being able to say that I'm not in college, with a scoff.

-Independence for the most part in my work day.. scheduling it how I want. Eating lunch when I want. Blogging on my lunch break.

-All around, being a pseudo-adult. I'm saving my full-fledged status when I'm in med school living in a city where I probably know no one.

-And this handsome guy (sorry for the gratuitous pic of my dog.. can't help it!):

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Daily Wear Wednesday - 8/19/09

Here's this weeks DWW -- and I'm still not very good at getting the full length shot. I'll work on it, b/c I need to get the whole outfit in the shot. But here we go.

Going out; Dress: H&M; Belt: JCrew

Typical lab DW; Skirt: Nordstroms; Shirt: Gap; Shoes: UO

Labwear to PBP peptalk; dress: vintage (etsy); belt: JCrew

Aunt Judy's Cheesy Chicken Bake

This is one of my favorite recipes -- a classic. My Aunt Judy's Cheesy Chicken Bake. I'm feeling a little under the weather lately, so this was exactly what I needed. Here's the recipe:

1 rotisserie chicken -- fully cooked
1 can of chicken soup
Minute Rice (if it's not minute rice, they won't cook properly in the casserole, and you'll have crunchies in it. trust.)
Milk (skim works, hippies)
Cheddar cheese -- sharp is the best
Ritz crackers

Take the full chicken, and take all the meat off the bones. Rotisserie is very flavorful, and any grocery store kind works great.

In the casserole dish, pile the meat in, and add the can of soup. With the same can, measure a can full of rice, and a can of milk. Add a few (or many) handfuls of cheese. Then crumble a whole sleeve of ritz crackers and put it in the dish as well. I used wheat ritz, or you could try low sodium as well if you want to be healthier.

Mix it all up with a large spoon, top with more cheese -- add salt and pepper as you wish. Bake for about 35 min at 350 degrees F, or until it looks done (cheese melted, smells delicious, etc).
I know it looks all beige-y and yellow.. and sometimes the best foods are. This one is super simple and the perfect comfort food. I feel better already..

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Mother Goose's HoneyBun Cupcakes

The medical students in the basement labs are leaving for the year -- and to send them off right, we are having a mini-dessert party... and I've decided to bring RSJ's wonderful mother's (Mother Goose) honeybun cake to the party. I've adjusted it a bit.. and made them into cupcakes so their friendlier for a larger crowd. It's delicious and super easy.

Here's how it goes:

Materials --
1 box yellow cake mix
8 oz sour cream (small tub)
1/2 cup water
4 eggs
3/4 cup oil
1 cup brown sugar
3TBSP cinnamon

Method --
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix the cake mix, sour cream, water, eggs, and oil all together.. blend well.
The easiest way to fill cupcake cups is to pour all the batter in a large ziploc bag.. then cut off one of the corners (very small incision) and slowly squeeze out the batter into each cup.

The best part of this recipe comes from combining the brown sugar and cinnamon.. mix with a fork for easiest results.

Then add the mixture to the tops of all the cupcakes.. and put a dollop more of batter on top of the cinnamon/sugar.. mix around in each cup.

Bake at 350 for about 17 minutes for cupcakes (30-40 min for cakes). Once they're cool.. I iced them with either strawberry or chocolate frosting with some chunky crystal sprinkles.

Results? They taste as good as they look. Trust. Some of them did seem a tad less fluffy for cupcakes than I would have hoped.. perhaps it was all the oil. Next time I'll def cut down on the oil.. or add some applesauce instead. It's bound to be a hit tomorrow for sure.

In other exciting news.. I got an interview for one of my dream medical schools! Case Western! Its in about a month and a week.. so I have a little amount of time to prepare. Very excited!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Daily Wear Wednesday

From much inspiration from the blogger world, I have decided to do a daily wear of sorts. I'm going to try to post my outfits for the week -- both of working and going out. It will give me a little more incentive to put some diversity in my wardrobe. Here's some of the DW bloggers that I really like:
{Darling Dexter, and her DW flickr}
{The Uniform Project}

And here's my first DW.. I'll get better at taking gratuitous pics of myself. In general, my style usually has at least one bold colors.. and today is no different. You'll never really see me where pants in the summer, except for days like today.. a little cooler and rainy. Don't get used to it. I'm not much for pants.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I'm a sucker for red.. especially in the kitchen. It's very bold, yet classic. And these kitchens have just the right vintage edge. This is exactly the feel I want out of my future adult kitchen..

(via Apartment Therapy)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Cook when I'm exhausted?

No way. But.. it does get me thinking about some things I can do when I'm too tired to cook, without eating two bowls of cereal (like today) or fast food (like other days).

(courtesy of)

Make a ton of it.. then cut it up before you freeze it (slicing up a giant slab of frozen meat is obnoxious).. then nuke it (or if you're SH, put it in the oven haha), add some swiss cheese.. and it's a home cooked meal in a flash.
My go to recipe
Materials --
Tomato Relish:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 onion finely diced
2 large spoonfuls of minced garlic (using the canned kind is the easiest, and still fresh)
2 bay leaves (take these out before you finish cooking)
2 bell peppers, diced
1 can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup (handful) of diced italian parsley
1 bottle (12 oz) of ketchup
2 seconds pour of worcestershire sauce
ground salt and black pepper

4 slices of white bread, edges removed
Enough milk to cover the bread in a bowl (about 1/4 cup)
1.5 lbs ground beef
1 lb ground pork
2 eggs
3 sprigs fresh thyme
4 slices of bacon (or if I'm making this at home.. a half-full pound.. yum)

Preheat oven 350 degrees
Coat skillet with oil over medium heat -- saute the onion, garlic, and bay leaves to create a base flavor.
Add the peppers.. let them soften
Add the tomatoes
After about a minute, add the parsley, ketchup and worcestershire, salt/pepper
Simmer relish for about 5 minutes
Remove from heat, and let it chill out

Place bread in a bowl, soak in the milk.
Squeeze the milk out of the bread..

Pile all the meat in the bowl, add the milky bread.
Combine the thyme, half of the tomato relish, and eggs to the meat -- and mix it up with your hands.

Once you've got it all combined.. form it into a long log (the descriptions here are terrible, I know) on a broiling pan (shallow.. the bacon lets off a lot of grease), lightly oiled (although if you use a lot of bacon, it won't really matter)
Pile on the bacon.. and cook it for an hour to an hour and a half (the bacon will tell you how much you'll need to cook it... a meat thermometer doesn't hurt).

Any additional relish you can pile on the meatloaf before you cook it, or after it's done cooking.

Adapted from Tyler Florence

Sunday, August 9, 2009

lovely images..

These images remind me of all the things that are right about summer and being girly. I decided to go through my old "likes" from my tumblr dashboard and found these lovely images.

images from:
mary ruffle
house of elle
beautiful paper

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Day Off!

Tomorrow is my day off.. a Friday, I know.. but I'm not a slacker, I promise. I have to go into the lab all weekend.. so there's a trade off. It will be my first full day off since I moved into my new duplex, and that means, an overhaul on unpacking and organizing. First things to tackle: my kitchen. Then my bedroom. Here's some ideas I love:

DIY Bookshelves from recycled cardboard and wallpaper:

Found on: I Suwannee

I live in an older home turned into a duplex, and my general style has some vintage undertones. I love these cute kitchen ideas:

These kitchen images found on Apartment Therapy.

My kitchen storage space is very limited, so these makeovers are right up my alley. I'll keep you posted on how it turns out!
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