Friday, April 27, 2012

Funny Story

Hello There!  

So sorry I have abandoned you all for a whole week!  I have slapped myself on the wrist don't worry.

Not much has been happening.  Except I had my last sorority chapter ever, I saw Needtobreathe and Ben Rector for FREE, I have applied for big girl jobs, and I found out yesterday that I will be running my first ever marathon on October 14, 2012.  Yes, you read that right.  And yes, I am terrified out of my mind.  But super excited nonetheless!

Here's how this all came to be:

So I am on the Nike list serve and get e-mails from them periodically for product promotion and races that are coming up that they sponsor.  The most recent one was about the Nike women's marathon in San Francisco later this year.  The race is highly sought after (apparently) and in order to run, you have to apply on-line and then be one of 25,000 selected participants.  Well, my friend Ulli will be studying in San Fran in the fall so I thought hey, what the heck, this would be the perfect excuse for me to have to go visit her!  So I put my name in the applicant pool and figured that was that.  I mean, am I ever lucky enough to win anything (besides my recent Joy the Baker luck)??  Well low and behold when I checked my e-mails yesterday morning, you will never believe what I found.  Yes yes, a letter confirming my registration and informing me of everything I need to do to prep for the big day!  I was in complete and total and utter shock.  The first thought that ran through my head you may ask:  What the hell have I done to myself?  The second:  How the hell am I going to tell my Dad this?

Well, now I am over the shock--kind of-- and I know I have a VERY long journey ahead of me.  However I am so excited to get started and feel so motivated and encouraged knowing I have a huge goal to strive for.  The race is in support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society so I am proud and happy that I can run for such a great cause as well!  I have been looking up different training plans and schedules and I think I have found one I like.  It seems my speed as of now, but some of the weeks definitely look challenging.  My next huge goal will be formulating travel plans and an itinerary for the time I will spend in San Fran.  I have never really traveled before so I have a lot to do and figure out. 

So what does this mean for the blog?  Well, I suppose you should expect a lot of training/running updates and hopefully a lot more good, healthy, and energizing food!    


Friday, April 20, 2012

Spicy BBQ Chicken and Pineapple Quesadillas

Well for those of you who happened to read my post from about 17 days ago, you may recall what was probably one of the greatest moments of my life.  I met Ree.  I also bought her cookbook.  Tonight, I utilized it.

My roomie, Kathleen, and I have decided to start cooking Friday night dinners together.  Then we realized we only have two Friday nights left as roomies.  Excuse me while I go cry.  Oh wait, I can't do that.  I'll go pout.

Last week we made fabulous sweet potato burgers.  Tonight we decided to flip through my PW book and we came across a delicious sounding quesadilla.  We agreed it sounded like perfection.

To begin with, we (Kathleen) slaved over this pineapple.  We finally got it cut into pretty little cubes though  :)

Ree said to grill the pineapple on skewers.  We don't have skewers.  or a grill.  So we used Kathleen's George Forman.  It worked really well and blackened the pineapple nicely.  Only downfall was a sticky mess to clean off of the grill. 

While Kathleen worked with the pineapple, I cooked the chicken.  We just cooked 3 frozen chicken tenders in olive oil until nice and brown.  Then I brushed each side with BBQ sauce and let it soak in/burn on--oops!  

The assembly station!  Each small flour tortilla was topped with chicken, pineapple, shredded pepper jack cheese (can sub your favorite cheese) jalapenos (if your heart desires) and extra drizzles of BBQ sauce of course!

Put a small bit of butter in a frying pan and place the "loaded" tortilla in the pan.  Cover with a second tortilla.  When the sides of the bottom tortilla begin to sizzle/bubble and curl up and turn brown, you are ready to flip.  Use a spatula and flip quick.  It is much less stressful than fretting over trying to do it perfectly.  Trust me!

This quesadilla was the perfect combo of sweet (sauce and pineapple), savoury (sauce), spicy (jalapenos and sauce), and delicousness (sauce).  And as you can see, the sauce is an essential ingredient.  Don;t neglect it.  Be generous.  You can dip them in salsa and sour cream for more enjoyment too.  I mean, I might have.  

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

the 7 wonders of life today

Hello out there guys!  I hope you are all having a wonderful week.  Mine is just whizzing by and my test on Thursday is scarily close.

There were a few things that made today particularly wonderful and I would like to take a moment to share them with you if you'll allow me the pleasure:

1. I took a math test.  So I got to cross something off my To-Do list.  Love that accomplished feeling you get when you get to scribble something out.

2. Heard promising news about possible summer plans (deets coming as soon as I know more!!)

3. Today was my last day to volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club.  I wasn't allowed to take pics with the kids, but I will forever hold dear the 10-14 kids I got to meet and encourage and learn from and practice solar systems with.  They made this semester an incredible one for sure.

4. This gem came in the mail today.  Special thanks to Ethan over at Tastes Better With Friends for a great giveaway.  I can not wait to read through Joy's cookbook and share some of these recipes with you.

5. It is that time of year.  Everyone is so ready for summer they can hardly stand it.  But before that freedom is here, last minute projects must be completed, finals must be taken, and this year, I must graduate  :/  And with that comes lots of sad/bittersweet/exciting/weird feelings and emotions.  Tonight really kind of hit home when my bff Allison and I recognized each other at chapter. She wrote me a precious note and made me this cute cute picture canvas.  She's so crafty  :)

**I also got some pink hedge clippers, just ran out of photo space on my camera....**

6.  If you know me you know I love a good hat.  And a hat with a turtle on it definitely qualifies as a good hat.  I can't wait to sport this guy soon.  Hey, that's a good excuse to not shower one morning and go for the "I woke up late and had to throw my hair up and a hat on look"  right?!  hehehe

7.  Who couldn't be cheered up with some flowers?  I feel like they are a universal problem solver.  Anyone and everyone can appreciate their beauty no matter what you personal/societal differences may be.  I feel like my room is light years more peppy and bright just because of these fun blooms.  Another perk of being a senior I guess?!  Thanks DZ!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Green Velvet Brownies

So guess what happens when you try to make red velvet brownies but soon realize you don't have any red food coloring?  

Then imagine that the only food color you can find is green.  And you're making brownies.  

That's right folks, may I introduce you to green velvet brownies.  An unprepared/bad shopping list maker's masterpiece!  However strange these little squares of green may look, they definitely give a whole new meaning to the "don't judge a book by it's cover" saying.  These treats were quite delectable.  And are a good way to give your friends green toothed smiles  ;) 

To start with, mix 3 T cocoa powder, 2 T food coloring (use your fave color--no need to be specific ), and 1 tsp. vanilla in a small bowl.  The ingredients will form a thick pasty consistency.  In a larger bowl, cream 1/2 cup butter (room temp.) and 1 1/2 cups sugar until fluffy.  Add 2 eggs and beat until well blended.  

Add 1 tsp vanilla and the cocoa mixture and beat until evenly colored.  If the color is not as dark as you would like, add more a drop at a time until you are satisfied.  Next, add 1 1/4 c all-purpose flour and a dash of salt.  Mix until just combined and then fold in about 2/3 c chocolate chips if you'd like (I highly recommend it!)

Pour the batter into an 8X8 pan and bake at 350 for 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  

While these puppies are baking and/or cooling, you should NOT neglect making this frosting,  TRUST ME!!

This is white chocolate frosting my friends and it is pure decadence.  Kinda fancy if you ask me.  Fancy but simple.  Now you know why I love it.     

Melt 4 oz. of white chocolate in the microwave--about a minute. 

In a large mixing bowl, cream a room temperature stick of butter and add 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (about 1/2 c at a time).  Add 1 tsp. vanilla and then pour in the melted white chocolate.  And that is it.  That is it.  That is all it takes to have a delicious, elegant, creamy, fluffy white frosting for your treats! 

I frosted these guys and then left them in the fridge overnight.  The brownies were very crumbly but my taste tester (ahhheemmmm Allison) said that made them taste better.  And after all, that is the most important part!  

Well now, I must tell you that I made these for my sister.  She had her state tennis match today so I figured she could use some sugar/carbs/energy!  I decorated with a few different things:  

A= Ashton
Circle with lines= Tennis Ball
Ace= All the awesome serves I know she'll hit
FD= Fort Dale (her team)
<3= Sisterly Love
State, Win, and #1=  Because she's simply the best  :)

I drove all the way to Montgomery this afternoon to deliver these goods and to watch her play.  But unfortunately, the weather was pretty bad today and I was only there long enough to eat my free Chik-fil-A lunch and watch her play 1 game.  But I got to visit with Ashton and the rents for a bit so it was all good.    

Make yourself some colored brownies.  They'll make ya feel better.  Promise.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday funday

Well today has been a good relaxing Sunday.  I could definitely use about 4 more of them before this week gets started though.  I have so much to accomplish and so little time it feels like.  I am going to apologize now for if the blog takes a back burner.  I will return though, have faith in me!  But for right now, I am here.  So let's talk Rodeo!

Katie, Allison, and I cut off our shorts and shirts, added some hats, and got tatted up for a day full of nonsense.  I have never attended the Alpha Psi Rodeo before, but I wanted to go before I graduate.  This event is HUGE!  People come from all over the country--literally-for a day of partying in Auburn, AL.  We decided to taked the provided shuttle out to the rodeo rather than buy a parking pass and drive there.  There were some people on our bus who had driven in from Oklahoma.  That's over 13 hours for a party!  I'm tellin' you Aubs is a pretty fantastic place  :)  Oh and did I happen to mention who was headlining??

Yes, you are seeing this correctly.  That is Eric Church.  And he is beautiful.  And he serenaded me for 2 hours last night.  Yep, just me.  He wasn't paying attention to the other 15,000 people there.  Nope.  I tell you what though, the day I find myself a man who will sing country songs for me and wear Wranglers every day.  whoooo, I will be a happy woman.  Oh Eric Church. 

Here we are in our gear before heading out.  Yeehaww

This morning I woke up and showered and washed my whole bed.  Mattress pad, bedspread, all of it.  I was so covered in beer and mud last night, but much too exhausted to shower.  Soo, I figured sleeping in that state would motivate me/force me to wash my sheets today.  That is literally one of my least favorite things to do ever.  EVER!

I went to church and then came home and attempted to study, but ended up taking a brief nap.  This evening, some of the local Alumni for my sorority had the seniors over for dinner.  It was a lovely dinner!  They had set up in the backyard of one of the ladies' homes here in Auburn and had cute little iron tables and chairs situated around the pool.  There were precious flowers, blackberry pink lemonade, sweet tea, and plenty of Amsterdam turkey wraps and sweet potato chips for everyone.  Here is a pic of my pledge class plus the local alumni who hosted us.

  Tonight, I made some brownies for my sister.  She has her state tennis match tomorrow so I wanted to have a sweet surprise for her.  I will post the recipe later when I can post the finished product;  the goods are still cooling right now and awaiting their icing.  

Recipe coming soon.  Can you guess what these are?!?

I'm off to dream about a cowboy.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

week-end things

Well, the end of this week was a great one!  I successfully completed all of my tests, homework, and projects--for this week anyways.  I even had some free time to have a little fun here at the end of the week!

Thursday night was our last DZ social of the semester.  Meaning it was my last social ever  :'(  The theme was housewives and handymen so Allison and I donned our aprons for the evening. 

Last night my roomie Kathleen and I had made plans to fix dinner together.  I had a recipe for sweet potato burgers I found on Pinterest so we decided on those.  They were pretty simple to make, and we made a few tweaks in the recipe to help speed up the process as well.  They turned out really delicious, but we decided that next time we will add more seasoning to the mix becasue we both agreed they could use a bit more kick.

The recipe said to bake 1 large sweet potato.  Since that takes at least an hour or so, and we were ravneous, we decided to boil our 2 small sweet potatoes for about 10 minutes instead.

Then, you mix 1 can of white canellini beans, 1/4 cup whole wheat flour, 1 egg, 2 tsp honey or maple syrup, 2 tsp of cajun seasoning (or any other seasoning of your choice), and add salt and pepper to the mix to taste.  Just mash it all together until it is a creamy, smooth, consistency.

Form the "mush" into patties and coat really well with bread crumbs.  The batter/dough/whatever you prefer to call it is VERY moist and sticky, and doesn't really hold it's shape well.  But, once you add the bread crumbs and get them in the pan, they definitely bind together more than you expect they will. 

Drizzle a frying pan with olive oil and cook the patties until they are a nice golden brown on each side.  It took about 6-7 minutes for each patty.  

We enjoyed our sweet potato patties on some whole wheat bread and added spinach leaves and dijon mustard.  We cooked some corn for more veggie enjoyment, and Kathleen shared her Strawberry Beer with me.  This was my first (I think) flavored beer and it was delish!!  Our meal was wonderful and I definitely plan on making the sweet potato patties again! 

This is also a great recipe if you have any kind of leftover sweet potatoes from a potluck or a big sit down dinner as well. 

After dinner, Allison , Katie and I went out on the town in what seemed like the first time in forever.  It was a fun night!

Auburn is so crowded with people of all ages though because today is not only A-Day, but it is also Rodeo.  I am making my debut appearance at the rodeo so I will be back soon to report the day's activities.  I felt like I should start the day off right with a little bit of health and substance as I am afraid it's the only bit I'll have today.  So for breakfast I fixed some toast with peanut butter and honey and enjoyed a strawberry Chobani yogurt with it.  I plan to eat the banana before heading out for the day. 

  Wish me luck.....giddyup ya'll!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

wait it's what day?

Okay so now I definitely feel dumb for saying this week was gonna creep by.  I can NOT believe Wednesday only has an hour and 17 minutes left.  Sheesh.  I spent all day today on campus.  I had work, a test, an interview, lab, and then assisted with other interviews.  Needless to say I was pooped when I got home.  BUTTTT, a pile of homework awaited me.  buzz kill fo sho.

So I did make it on that run on Monday night, but haven't been since.  I walked last night so that counts as exercising/moving right?  k good.

Also, I can not believe it has been a whole week since I go to meet a pretty cool gal.  My how the time is really flying.

I don;t really have alot of meal pics. from this week so I'm gonna do a quick list of "things you probably don't know about me".  Because I have seen a few other bloggers doing it.  And it's kinda cool.  Maybe.

1. I really want to start training for a half marathon.  And eventually run a full marathon.  Need to get serious.

2.  My favorite dessert is pecan pie.  With anything red velvet landing a veryyyyy close second.

3. I graduate college in 3+ weeks.  Holy crap.

4. I recently won a contest.  I NEVER have this kind of luck.  Check it:  Tastes Better with Friends

5.  I have a baby sister.  Like, she's 7.   and I'm 21 1/2.

6.  I'm going to be a master gardener this summer.  Hopefully.  Say a prayer for me.

7.  This happened yesterday.......

(sorry they're sideways.  kind delirious right now...)

8. I am going to my first rowdeeyoe this weekend.  Yeehaw giddyup.

9.  I really need a tan.  Lookin' pasty over here.

10. I'm loving Bath and Body fragrances these days.  Particularly "spring" and "strawberry fields"

11.  I still haven't bought PB.  WHO AM I!

12.  A dog has been insistently barking outside for at least 4 days now.  I wanna take him a milk bone.  

And finally, I'll finish with dinner.  Salad greens topped with 1 scoop Israeli couscous, some crumbled bleu cheese, dried cranberries, and balsamic vinaigrette.  yummy and filling.  

Hope you had happy hump day.  You're almost to the weekend.  Keep pluggin' along.  It's all we can do.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday Monday

What a gorgeous day today turned out to be!  Sorry to be so negative yesterday when I said something like "I can already tell this week is gonna be a long one". Today actually flew by and I stayed pretty busy with class, eating, studying, and.........well yea.  That was about it.

Breakfast this morning was 2 extra tall cups of joe + hazelnut cream.  Pure deliciousness.  What a great way to start the day!

For lunch I whipped up a delicious sandwich concoction.  I had one Amy's Tomato Parmesan veggie patty left to eat so I decided to finish it off.  I fried an egg and added a slice of pepper jack cheese to the mix for a filling and delicious sammy.  On Publix WW bread.

After lunch I was off to class and then I made it a study afternoon.  I have got quite a bit of schoolwork this week so I was trying to be productive and time resourceful.  I actually got a good bit accomplished at the student center today.  Hopefully more productivity is in my future tonight!

When I got home, it was definitely dinner time.  I roasted some brussels sprouts and served them over 1/2 cup Israeli couscous and topped that with dried cranberries.  I am just loving this combo as of late, as I'm sure you have noticed!  I baked a sweet potato as well and topped it with some butter and cinnamon.  I think next time I'll stick with the sweet potato in "fry" form.  Because yes, I suppose I still am a kid at heart.  Also, this was my first go round with couscous and I must say I am a fan.  It was different from anything I've ever had, but it went really well with my sprouts!

For dessert, I finished up the jar of PB and topped some whole wheat bread with that and banana.  Perfect!  Except now I HAVE to go grocery shopping.  Because no, I cannot go a day without PB.  

I didn't get a chance to run this afternoon so I'm hoping to go for a good evening run here in the next little bit.  I'll report on that tomorrow.  That should keep me motivated  :)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Festivities

This weekend has been a VERY busy one and I can not believe it is already Sunday night.  I can already tell this is going to be along week and I am going to be tired these next few days.  The fact that it was about a year ago that I documented last year's Easter weekend absolutely blows my mind!  And from what I hear, that feeling only get worse as you get older.  Not cool.  

Friday evening I went to dinner with some friends and we rented "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo".  Have any of you seen it?  It was pretty good.  REALLY long.  I didn't know what it was about beforehand so I was lost for a good part of the beginning of the movie.  I also don't advise watching it with your younger siblings.  Or your parents.  If your catchin' my drift here.  But I recommend it if you have some free time?are in the movie mood.

A short 4 hours after the movie ended, my friend and faithful running buddy, Margaret, arrived at the pink house to pick me up and head to Atlanta for The Color Run.  We hit the road about 5:20 am (rather than a hoped for 5:00 am because I was running late, of course), and arrived on site about 8:40 am.  Just in time for a 9:00 am start. Neither of really knew what to expect about this race other than we though it looked cool online.  For every kilometer you run, you get pelted with a handful of colored cornstarch.  At the end of the race everyone is coated in the stuff.  Note to future runners: if you get separated from your buddy before the finish line, it is even harder to find them than it is to find Waldo.  Because everyone is absolutely covered in the exact same stuff and you are 'required' to wear white it is nearly impossible to single anyone out.  Luckily though Margaret and I were only separated for like 10 minutes.  Here's some pics. of how the race went.

This is by far the largest race I have ever been a part of.  I am used to the Auburn size of a few hundred at most.  It was expected that over 10,000 participants were there yesterday.  I doubt there were actually that many, but there were definitely a lot of people!  This picture shows everyone in front of us in line.  We were in the 3rd wave and I think there were 7 or 8 waves.  

These guys were in front of us for a little ways and I just had to snap a pic.!  haha

There were major bottlenecks at each color station because some people were really intent on getting a good handful of color.  Margaret and I kinda scooted on by but managed to still get colored.  Enough for our liking anyways!

The purple station

This was the post race, "like Christmas morning", color madness mosh pit where we got to throw colors on each other.  I was obviously not a part of this scene.  I took the by-stander approach.  I kept my color packet for a keepsake.  I'm lame I know.  

Here we are pre race.  

AAAnd, unfortunately I can not locate our post race photo on my camera.  Yes it's still on the fritz.  

Just imagine us each with a splash of yellow, green, pink, and purple on our shirts and faces.  Perfect!

After we got back to Auburn, showered and grabbed a quick lunch at Firehouse, we hit the road again and headed to Greenville for Easter celebrations with my family and some friends.  Last night we had a crowd of around 20 people over for my Dad's "famous" Low country boil.  It was a great time to catch up with family and some friends I haven't seen in a while!

Yesterday afternoon we dyed eggs for a fun and festive way to decorate for the party and hide/hunt for the kiddos!  

Theresa got really creative with the wax crayon!  (catch the sarcasm there?!)

And this here would be the "Magical Glitter Shaker".  No longer are children satisfied with colored eggs.  Nope.  Now they even have to be rolled in glitter!  But not just rolled in glitter anywhere, but in the one and only glitter shaker.    

Maire's favorite variation was the two-tone egg.  

Check out the shimmer there!  The glitter eggs were pretty cool!

And of course the 1 egg I got to dye.  It had some pretty cool rubber band art, but unfortunately the photographer....ahemm me instead of the egg.  Oh and check out that new T I got there!  

I am now so full, yes still, that I don't think I will eat for days.  Over and out.