Running Forward

Acorns Everywhere

Geez Louise, it’s been a while since I wrote a new post. My Thanksgiving break turned out to be crazy busy. Even though my meeting with Turner had to be rescheduled (don’t worry, the new date is already official) AG sure needed me. I worked on all day on Black Friday. I got home at 6:30 and was so tired that I made myself a smoothie and passed out by 9:30. It was pitiful. My mom kept asking me if I was okay. I guess my body just needed some sleep because I felt great the next morning. However, I was extremely disappointed with my Saturday work schedule because my shift started right as the UGA/GT game began. My family had a bunch of friends over and I had to miss it all. At least I made some money, right? I worked again on Sunday and made my way back to Athens on Monday.

Tonight I made myself a delicious dinner before work at Yoforia. I bought an acorn squash over the break, but never used it. I decided to roast it tonight for dinner by simply adding some cinnamon and leaving it in the oven for about 45 minutes. The texture was perfect, but the flavor was off. It wasn’t as sweet as I remember it being in the past. In fact, next time I’m going to add a tomato sauce and treat it like spaghetti squash.

On the side I made a simple salad with beets and hearts of palm. I’m addicted to these salad toppings. The memories of me eating hearts of palm by the can while just a wee kindergartener will always remind me of my non-normalness. My parents ruined my chance of fitting into mainstream society by introducing me to things like hearts of palm, black olive tapenade, lobster, and clams when I was a youngster. Once a foodie, always a foodie. Now I’m back from work and am pretty wide awake. All I have to do tomorrow is go to the gym and attend my 2:30 class, so I’m letting myself stay up for a fit while sipping on sleepytime tea. I hope this stuff kicks in soon.

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Work

Today was dedicated to work. My shift was from 11:30 to 6, which left me with little time for anything else. Thankfully, I worked with my favorites today. Since I’m only a seasonal worker, a lot changes every time I return. Getting to know a new group of coworkers is fun, but I especially enjoy hanging out with the familiar faces. Now I’m watching Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and dreaming about New York. Hopefully soon I’ll muster up enough motivation to get myself ready for bed.

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A Busy Break

Turns out my seasonal AG job is keeping me busier than expected. I was put on the schedule for 5 days this week. Today they called me, so I ended up working from 12 to 4:30. I didn’t get as much done today as I originally hoped, but at least I made some $. For dinner I made veggie burgers, sauteed zucchini and squash, and a cucumber salad. It was my first attempt at veggie burgers and it turned out pretty darn good. I need to tweak it a bit, but here’s a rough draft of the ingredients. Of course, I forgot to take pictures, but at least now you can imagine beautiful dishes instead of my pitiful photography skills.

Mushroom Veggie Burgers

1 can pinto beans

2 portobello caps

1 small red bell pepper

worcestershire sauce

various burger seasonings

garlic

oatmeal

bread crumbs

eggbeaters

 

For the cucumber salad I chopped up some mini cucumbers and tossed them in a dill dressing.

Dill Dressing

1/4 regular cucumber

plain nonfat Greek yogurt

dried dill

red wine vinegar

salt

 

It was a delicious, healthy dinner that pleased everyone. Actually, I made a separate dinner for my brother because that’s how it works in my house.  :/   Anyway, I made some homemade mac ‘n cheese and it was definitely the best I’ve ever created. The secret is to start with a roux. I finished the night by baking my key lime meringue pie for tomorrow. It’s so beautiful! In the morning I just have to go running, make my pumpkin cornbread, and get dressed up. I think I can handle it.

 

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Change of Plans

Originally, I was supposed to go downtown to Turner today to meet the advertising team, but the woman meeting me had to reschedule at the last minute. At least it was early and I was already fed and showered. Speaking of breakfast, here’s my beautiful blueberry smoothie:

I blended lots of frozen blueberries, half a banana, a strawberry, ground flax seeds, vanilla protein powder, vanilla extract, milk, and water. I topped it with corn flakes and more strawberries and blueberries.

Since my day suddenly freed up, I grabbed Daisy and took her for a nice 4 mile run. Then I cleaned the house, made lunch, and enjoyed a movie. While the movie was on, I made some pizza dough to be used for some calzones for my brother. I made three different kinds:

1. leftover kielbasa with pepper jack cheese

2. deli turkey, pepper jack cheese, salami

3. peanut butter and jelly

One and a half of them are already gone. I guess that’s a good sign. Time to watch some SNL with the parents.

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Banana Bread and Lobster

Of course, I was the first one in the house up yesterday morning at 7 am. As soon as I walked into the kitchen I noticed the abundant amount of overripe bananas just begging to be baked into bread. After I made myself a blueberry smoothie I got to work on the bread. My usual recipe is in my apartment at school, so I had to come up with one from scratch. It turned out really moist and cake-like. I’m writing down the recipe from my memory, so let’s see if I can do it.

3 overripe bananas

1 egg (I used Eggbeaters)

1/2 cup milk

1/2 plain nonfat Greek yogurt

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup ground flax seeds

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

semisweet chocolate chips (optional- you could use raisins, walnuts, peanut butter chips, etc.)

Preheat the oven to 350. Mash the bananas until only small lumps remain. Add the egg and mix until well blended. Add the remaining wet ingredients and combine. Next, add in the dry ingredients and stir until the dough is smooth. Lastly, fold in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. It’s best when eaten right out of the oven!

Unfortunately, my mom got sick with food poisoning so I made her some white rice for dinner while my dad and I enjoyed the lobsters. I have to say, cooking the lobsters was quite scary this time. I hate killing creatures, even if it is just a crustacean. At least they tasted delicious!

 

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Breadfruit

Normally it takes me 1/5-2 hours to get home from school. On Friday it took me 3.5 hours. Ridiculous, right?! By the time I reached the H Mart, an Asian market I pass on the way, I needed a break. I bought Shitake mushrooms, breadfruit, Korean sweet potatoes, bok choy, and two live lobsters. I had heard about breadfruit before, but never tried it. Supposedly, it tastes like fresh bread. Couldn’t be bad, right? Today at lunch I anxiously butchered the fruit and roasted it in the oven for 45 minutes. I forgot to take a picture of it in its whole form, but here are the pieces:

My brother and I bravely tasted a piece. Not so good. Once again, I try a new fruit and it barely has any flavor. I’m sure it would taste better if cooked with other ingredients, but I won’t be buying anymore breadfruit in the near future.

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Christmas in Connecticut

No, I’m not going to Connecticut, but it’s one of my favorite Christmas movies. Since the holidays are quickly approaching I thought I’d give a shout out to one of my favorite channels, Turner Classic Movies, and post some of their upcoming schedule.

November 22  Mr. Smith Goes to Washington – 1:30 am

November 24  Miracle on 34th Street – 5 pm

December 6  A Christmas Story – 8 pm

December 11 Christmas in Connecticut – 9 am

December 16  The Shop Around the Corner – 11 pm

December 22  Strangers on a Train – 10:15 am

December 24  Meet John Doe 9:15 am

So, make a big mug of hot tea, put on your comfiest pajamas, and relax with one of these classics. You won’t regret it.

 

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Almost Made It

Since I’m going home on Friday and not returning until after Thanksgiving break, my goal this week was to survive on my Friday grocery store trip and clean out the fridge. I didn’t make it. That’s okay though. I ended up stopping by Kroger and picking up these lovely items:

1 orange

1 grapefruit

1 banana

some grapes

frozen okra

frozen green beans

Now I’ll be able to survive the next two days.

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NYC Day 4 & a Discovery

Day 4 in New York was pretty short because our flight home took off at 3:30 pm. I arranged a tour of Food Network for 10 am that morning, so my dad and I quickly packed and checked out of the hotel as soon as we woke up. We left our luggage in hotel storage and enjoyed one last diner breakfast. He got an omelet and I enjoyed a delicious bowl of oatmeal. We then hopped on the subway and arrived at Chelsea Market. My dad got to come with me on the tour, which ended up being fantastic! Our tour guide was the man who oversees the entire post production department. He took us through the editing rooms and introduced us to some of the editors. My dad even gave one of them an adjustment. The tour lasted 2 hours, and the test kitchen was definitely my favorite part.

Since the tour lasted longer than expected, we grabbed a quick lunch at The Lobster Place. My dad got some sushi, which he said was some of the best he’s ever eaten. I had a bowl of Manhattan clam chowder. There was so much seafood in it! Delicious!

We quickly arrived back at the hotel, so my dad got the luggage out of storage while I hailed a cab. The rest is history. What a wonderful, productive trip! I can’t wait to return.

Now for my Athens discovery: The path that I take to class everyday leads me behind the Classic Center where a small strip center sits. A new Bikram yoga studio is opening, but the rest of the building looks abandoned. However, there is one business that is only open November through February. It’s the North Georgia Pecan Company. Locals can bring in their pecans and this place will crack them and sell them. I figured I could get a good deal, so I stopped by yesterday on my way home to check it out. They had a lot of already-packaged nuts, but the 5 pound bags of cracked pecans caught my attention. They were run through the machine, but the shells were not separated out yet. 5 pounds was a bit too much for me, so they made me a 2 pound bag and only charged me $6 for it. Because I had to separate the shells out, it served as my Monday afternoon entertainment. In the end, they filled up a large sheet pan and I roasted them for about 10 minutes at 350. I’m stocked up for quite a while now. Go check it out!

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Dragon Fruit & Delicata Squash

One of the things I love best about Chinatown (besides the cheap trinkets) is the abundance of fruit stands set up along the sidewalks. Of course, they sell the usuals (grapes, apples, oranges, etc.) but they also have some foreign goodies mixed in. In Atlanta I search for dragon fruit time after time and always fail. Without hesitation, I pulled out my wallet as soon as I saw the beautiful pink and green fruits on the Chinatown fruit stands.

I patiently waited until we got home on Tuesday to cut it open and reveal its inner workings. The pink outer skin covers up the most beautiful white inside speckled with small black seeds. Take a look:

The lady who sold it to me said it tasted like a kiwi. Unfortunately, I don’t think this dragon fruit was ripe yet because it had no taste at all. Nothing. Kind of disappointing, but I’ll try another one again when I go up there. I also tried fresh lychee for the first time. So freaking good! Tastes like a plum.

More recently, I bought a delicata squash at the store on Friday and cooked it up for tonight’s dinner. I had work from 3-7 and wanted to be ready for my show that comes on at 8, so I pre-roasted the squash before work. I simply cut the top off, then cut it in half (hot dog style) and scraped out the seeds. It roasted for about 40 minutes at 400 degrees. Once I got off work, I put together a hearty tomato and spinach sauce to top it with. I think I have a new favorite type of squash! The texture reminded me of spaghetti squash, but it tasted like a sweet butternut squash. One of the coolest parts was that the outer shell softened up a lot, so I simply ate the whole thing! I already can’t wait to make this again.

One more week of class until Thanksgiving break!

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