Running Forward

Just the Usual

Not very much excitement this week except for one thing: my dad has his appointment at Duke on Tuesday. He flies there every two months so that they can read his latest MRI. Good news- the MRI is clean! He doesn’t have to fly up again until the end of June. Hard to believe I’ll be in NYC by then!

Lately, all I’ve been able to think about is this summer. I can’t wait to be in the city, meet new people, and find out what it’s really like to work at Food Network. In fact, I would be more than happy just to be locked in Chelsea Market for the entire 8 week period. I’m hoping to get the opportunity to help in different types of projects so that I can learn as much as possible. I’m also hoping to meet a lot of people; famous and not-so-famous. There are a bunch of behind-the-scenes employees that I would love to sit in a meeting with. I know I have to concentrate on school for now, so I’m using my internship as motivation to study for my advertising classes. In fact, I have my first midterm tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

In other news, I made the decision to go home this weekend because my previous plans got cancelled last minute. I’m definitely bummed that the original plans didn’t work out, but that’s life for ya. At least I’ll have the opportunity to go to my brother’s baseball game and to go to a friend’s wedding shower. There’s always a silver lining lurking somewhere. Plus, I’m dying to cook some of my favorite dishes that are too large to cook a single portion of. For example, my dad already requested Manhattan Clam Chowder for Friday night (appropriate recipe name, huh?). Soup is probably one of my favorite things to make, but it’s difficult  when I’m at school. First of all, I’m cooking one portion at a time. Secondly, I have practically no storage space. I await the day that I come home to a spacious kitchen full of counter space. I plan on living in New York after graduation, though, so that day is probably far off, haha. Time for me to get back to studying.

I’ve been to NYC countless times, but would love suggestions on hidden gems that I must visit or fantastic (and cheap) restaurants to try. Any tips?

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Mini Vacation

Whenever my parents come to Athens for a visit, it makes the day feel like a mini vacation. Pi Phi had Daddy/Daughter weekend on Friday and Saturday, so my dad came up to spend the day with me. We actually ended up not going to any Pi Phi events, but we had a great time anyway. He arrived around lunchtime, so we promptly made our way to Big City Bread to grab a bite. I had only been here once before (with my mom late at night last year), so experiencing it on a Saturday afternoon was a new experience. We both quickly decided on the manhattan clam chowder once we realized it was the soup of the day. I grabbed a nice booth while he put in our orders and the soup was served soon after.

This soup was delicious! I loved the big chunks of veggies and clams because it made the meal much heartier. The focaccia served on the side was delicious too. We both polished off our bowls, then returned to my apartment to park the car. We walked around downtown and stopped by Yoforia so my dad could see the new location. We split a small cup of dark chocolate and strawberry yogurt. The sun felt so good that we decided to eat outside and walk around some more. Later on that day we stopped by the Pi Phi house, then made our way to the Terrapin Brewery for the tour and beer tasting. Here are some pics from the tour:

I would definitely recommend the tour because it was free and I learned a lot about the company. The actual tasting area is pretty cool too. Everything is inside of the warehouse and there is also an outdoor area that would be perfect for the summer. On our way out we ran into my roommates, who were celebrating a birthday. I felt bad that I couldn’t hang out with them, but my dad and I had to make our way to meet up with people for dinner at Trapeze.

We eventually found a parking spot downtown then met my best friend and her dad for dinner. I ordered the chopped salad while my dad got the reuben. Everyone enjoyed their meal and agreed that we would definitely visit again. Unfortunately, my dad had to head back soon after dinner, so my friends, Colleen and Chris came to hang out with me. We watched The Help (fantastic movie!). I had such a fantastic day and am thankful for having such a wonderful dad and great friends.

 

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Quick Snack

I thought I’d share a quick snack that I enjoy every now and then. I take a small juice glass and add some PB2. Next, I pour in just a little bit of almond milk and mix it with the PB2 until smooth. Then I fill up the rest of the glass and stir to make sure everything is well mixed. I don’t like plain milk, but mixing it with the PB2 makes it so much better. Enjoy!

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My True Love

I’m a foodie, so it kind of makes sense that I fell in love with a grocery store, right? Ok, good. Today my dear love, Aldi, gave me quite a few deals to be happy about. My fridge was literally empty (except for some plain yogurt and baking soda), so I planned to take a quick trip to Aldi after work to stock up. I kept tossing stuff into my cart hoping that I wouldn’t go too far over my budget. I hesitantly  waited for the cashier to tell me my final total. $19.77! In order for my excitement to really be explained, I’m actually going to list out everything that I bought. Whoever says that eating healthy is too expensive doesn’t know how to truly shop.

  • bag of 3 romaine hearts
  • baby bella mushrooms
  • can of black beans
  • chicken broth
  • Cheerios
  • pickles
  • can of beets
  • 3 large broccoli crowns
  • 5 bananas
  • head of cauliflower
  • 5 tomatoes on the vine
  • 9 navel oranges
  • a giant stalk of celery
  • balsamic vinegar
  • 2 pounds of red grapes

15 items for under twenty dollars. I don’t think that’s bad at all! So, until a boyfriend enters my life (which doesn’t seem likely based on my past record) Aldi will keep my heart and wallet full.

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An Empty Fridge

The fridge is pretty much empty except for a bit of broccoli, plain yogurt, almond milk, and pickles. Thank goodness I’m going to the store tomorrow. For dinner tonight I made cauliflower fried rice again using chopped onion, yellow squash, broccoli, chicken broth, and soy sauce. Of course, it included the cauliflower too. Next time I try this recipe I want to give it either a Mexican or Mediterranean twist. Experimenting with different flavors is one of my favorite cooking techniques.

I’m happy to report that this week has been pretty great so far. Small things can make the day so much better. On top of everything, I can’t wait for my dad to come visit me on Saturday! My father has always been one of my greatest role models and never fails to amaze me with his kindness and sense of humor. We plan on taking a tour of a local brewery and meeting my best friend and her dad for dinner at a pub. The man loves beer, so I think he’ll enjoy these activities.  🙂    Until then, I’ll just keep rolling along.

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Finally Some Creativity!

Tonight I finally found the inspiration to get creative in the kitchen again. I worked for most of the day and was ready for a fun dinner when I got home. I got the inspiration for this meal from this page. Luckily, I had most of the ingredients on hand and changed up the recipe a bit. The end result was fantastic! Definitely making this again soon.

Cauliflower Steaks with Mushroom Sauce

2 Cauliflower steak slices (refer to the link for instructions)

half can diced tomatoes

handful sliced mushrooms

1/4 cup black beans

1/4  onion, chopped

parsley, basil, salt, pepper

3 tbsp chicken stock

                  Begin by searing the cauliflower steaks on high heat until the edges become crisp. Then transfer the slices to a baking sheet and roast on 400 while you prepare the sauce. Sauté the chopped onion until translucent and add a generous sprinkle of salt, pepper, parsley, and basil. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook until browned. Add the black beans and chicken stock to the pan and let the mixture simmer until there is no more liquid. At this point, add the tomatoes and let the mixture cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until there is, once again, no liquid in the pan. The sauce should be thick and the tomatoes should start breaking down. Once ready, arrange the cauliflower slices on your plate and spoon the sauce on top. So delicious!

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Old and New

After class yesterday I went on a mini shopping spree around Athens. My primary mission was to find a dress for formal (two weeks away!). I lucked out and found one almost right away at Macy’s, and the price was impossible to beat! Who doesn’t love a bargain? I also got a few things at Aldi and found a cheap pair of Loft jeans at Plato’s closet. The night ended with a Footloose viewing at the Pi Phi house. We saw the new movie a few weeks and finally got to enjoy the original last night. Both were good, but we all agreed that the newer version has better character development. Still, both films gave us the urge to dance.

This morning began bright and early with my alarm set for 6:20 am. The last time I used my alarm was during rush last August. I don’t miss it a bit. Why did I get up so early? To run the Taste 10k. I signed up with my running buddy, Christian, who met me at my place so we could walk downtown to the starting line. Not many people registered, so it was easy to find some other Pi Phis in the crowd. In total, we had a group of five, but we all split up once the race started. I felt good throughout the whole race with little knee pain. I finished in just under an hour, which isn’t my best, but is still good for my first 6 mile run since the fall. Once our group found each other again we all enjoyed some free coffee and hoarded bananas. Apparently, living in a sorority house turns us into food hoarders.

After showering and relaxing for a bit I stocked up on some food at the grocery store and filled the car up with gas. This afternoon I went to the UGA gymnastics meet with my best friend and it turned out to be a pink out. Free pink t-shirts and pom-poms for students! UGA won and we hitched a ride home with some other Pi Phis. I swear, I don’t know what I would do without my sorority. I feel like I get closer and closer to the girls each year.

Tomorrow I’m starting the day with a workout at the apartment, then am heading to work for the rest of the day. Right now, though, I’m just hoping my neighbors decide to turn down the music. I may technically be 20 years old, but I usually have the mindset of a 70 year old. In fact, the only stations I listen to on Pandora now are Pavarotti, Early Jazz, and Billie Holiday. Anyway, enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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Rainy Day

Yet another rainy Athens day has come and gone. I’m just glad I got to enjoy a nice run in yesterday’s sunshine before it vanished. Thursdays are always a busy day, so I was on campus from 11 am to 5 pm. I haven’t gotten very creative in the kitchen lately, so I’ll post what I packed for lunch. I made a salad out of romaine, tomato, beets, roasted red pepper, and celery with balsamic. Pretty good and it travels really well. I didn’t know what else to pack with it, but I had half a can of diced tomatoes that needed to be used. Nothing beats soup on a rainy day, so I whipped up a quick tomato soup to pack. I sauteed some of an onion, then roughly blended it with the tomatoes, chicken broth, and seasonings. Pretty yummy! I was pleasantly surprised.

I also packed some grapes, but they didn’t make it out of anthropology.

I’ve already downloaded a subway map onto my phone and made plans to hang out with one of my favorite cousins when I get to the city. In addition, I submitted my housing application for the New School dorms. I still can’t believe I’ll be in NYC for the summer! Now it’s time to watch some Seinfeld.

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Lots of Time

The only thing on my agenda today was a morning workout and class at 12:20. I also had to run to the store for a few small things, but I love grocery runs. I did some homework throughout the day, but was definitely a big distracted. The fact that I’ll be working for Food Network this summer excites me to no end. I’m still trying to comprehend it all. Anyway, on my way back from the grocery store I got the urge to run. As soon as I walked into the apartment, I changed into some running clothes and took off for a refreshing three miles. It’s amazing how much of a difference a little sunny weather can make. Too bad tomorrow’s forecast looks pretty miserable.

On another note, I’m on another random food kick. I go through periods where I absolutely crave one thing nonstop and can never get enough. Lately, it’s been broccoli and cauliflower. I had them on top of a salad for lunch and served them with steamed green beans for dinner. So good! At least it’s healthy too. Hopefully I’ll post some new recipes soon.

Knowing about my summer plans has lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. Now I must go make my NYC bucket list. Off I go!

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I Made It!

Today I received a surprise email. I got the Food Network internship! My class was just minutes away from beginning when I randomly decided to check my email. Immediately I started shaking and felt like I was going to cry, laugh, and vomit all at the same time. Odd, I know. But, I’ve been working toward this goal since the summer. I can’t believe I’ll be working with the powerhouse marketing team that supports such a prominent brand. I n addition, I finally will get to live in NYC and work inside Chelsea Market! To be honest, I don’t even know what to write right now. I feel so thankful for getting this opportunity and will work my butt off to help out as much as possible. Maybe I’ll even get to meet Bobby, Giada, and Alex too. Who knows what’s in store!

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