Running Forward

Out of my Hands

I am a control freak just like my dad. Giving someone else the power to decide my fate is especially scary and panic-inducing, but I’m at that point in my life. By next month I will either be moving to my dream city for a dream job or living at home with a part-time restaurant job. Of course, there are pros and cons to each, but I know which outcome I’m rooting for. Either way, I believe that everything happens for a reason and have made up my mind to be satisfied with the outcome. Until then, these butterflies in my stomach will continue to flutter about and panic attacks will randomly descend on my thoughts.


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Roller Coaster Week

What a crazy week! My stress level continues to rise and fall as if it’s a roller coaster. One minute, I’m calm and peaceful. Next second, I have to scramble to reschedule things and feel sick to my stomach. Between school, interviews, and life in general, it’s hard to keep myself stress-free right now.

On a happy note, though, my dad got the results of his latest brain scan yesterday. All clean! So thankful right now!

And, after quite a few panic attacks, I finally think I’m close to finalizing my plans for next week’s trip to NYC. One interview has to be rescheduled, but I also gained an interview for my dream job, so it could be worse. Hopefully, everything will be confirmed today. I’m super excited to be in my favorite city again and eat congee with my dad! I’ll also try to get a peek at the Rockefeller tree. The trip is an interview bonanza, though, so I don’t think I’ll have much time at all to explore.

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Running and Eating

I mixed up my usual Thanksgiving tradition this year by running the Thanksgiving Half Marathon with my friend, Jack. We’ve been friends forever (literally), so it was a blast to run with him. Luckily, we got there with enough time to calmly get into place and the weather could not have been better. The course was beautiful; we ran through Piedmont Park, Atlantic Station, and so many other cool places. It was neat to see Atlanta so early in the morning since everything was so calm and peaceful. We finished just over two hours and were thankful for making it all the way to the finish line.

Before photo:

Now the after photo:




We did our usual thing for dinner, and joined some close family friends for their meal. I worked on a few different dishes throughout the week, so here they are:

Sweet Potatoes with Miso Sauce (I didn’t want to buy an entire jar of tahini, so I used PB2 instead):

Pumpkin Cornbread (Instead of 1/4 cup of olive oil, I just used a drizzle of vegetable oil):

Pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats:

Crispy Orange White Chocolate Bark:

Ginger Chocolate Truffles (I just used semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of carob chips):


Pumpkin Biscotti (I used white chocolate pieces and toasted pecans instead of pepitas):

I think just about everything was a big success this year. I was a bit worried about the miso sauce because it’s quite different, but now I can’t get enough of it. Thank goodness for leftovers because I’ll have more delicious food tomorrow too!


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Crispy Orange White Chocolate Bark

Long title, but delicious results! Thanksgiving break has been super busy so far. Luckily, I got to veg out on Friday night before I started working at AG again. I love making desserts all day, but it can be so tiring. Especially when I have a busy next few months ahead of me. I feel like I’m in stress mode all the time lately. Ah, the future is scary. Anyway, back to my cooking.

On Saturday I baked banana bread for my grandma. As always, the batter tasted delicious. On Sunday I made pumpkin biscotti using this recipe, but adding shaved white chocolate and toasted pecans to the batter instead of pepitas. I also skipped the dipping in chocolate step. I’ll post final result pictures closer to Thanksgiving when they’ll be served.

I went from an early doctor appointment to work on Monday, so I didn’t have much time to really cook. I did make dinner, though, which consisted of a huge chopped salad. After I got off work today I made the crispy orange white chocolate bark. Here’s the recipe:


1 bag (around 12 oz.) white chocolate

1 tsp. orange extract

1 cup rice krispie cereal

1/2 cup golden raisins

orange food coloring


Start by creating a double broiler and bringing the water up to a gentle simmer. Melt the chocolate and orange extract in the bowl above the simmering water. Take off the heat as soon as the chocolate is smooth. Spoon out a small quantity of the chocolate into a smaller bowl and add orange food coloring. Then, add the cereal and raisins to the original chocolate bowl and stir until everything is well incorporated. Spread the mixture out onto a piece of parchment paper. Lastly, drizzle the orange-dyed chocolate over the white chocolate. This bark is delicious and is very different from the usual peppermint bark that often serves as a holiday staple at parties.

Tomorrow I’m gearing up for more cooking and a trip to the race expo with my longtime friend, Jack. I can’t wait to earn my turkey with him on Thursday!

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Moving Forward

First, let me rant: the election is over! Stop posting rants all over social media, stop getting excited over states threatening to secede, and move on with your lives. Not everyone is happy with the outcome, but the polls are closed and all the votes were counted. So, if you’re threatening to move to another country, please, be my guest. Just stop being so negative.


Ok, time to move on! There probably won’t be any exciting recipes this week because I’m working everyday and am also trying to survive on a minimal amount of groceries this week. UGA gets the entire week off for Thanksgiving so I need my fridge to be empty before I drive home Friday. But, I CAN talk about the future, one of my favorite topics. I’ve had some phone interviews recently, which resulted in actual interviews when I visit the city in December. It’s exciting to imagine how my life will transform if I get offered a position. New York will be my home, my family will be closer to me, and I’ll get the chance to have a pretty solid career path. I’m not jumping ahead yet, though, because there are a lot of important events coming up in the next month. Thanksgiving is next week, which also means my 4th half marathon is quickly approaching. Luckily, I went on an easy 9 mile run over the weekend, so I feel confident about my ability to finish. Graduation is also coming up, which is crazy. For the first time in my life I won’t be a student. Going to school is all I’ve ever known, so I’m greeting the change with open arms.

That’s it for now, but expect some recipes next week when I get back to my kitchen at home!

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Loaded Baked Potato Soup and Fudge Brownies

I experimented in the kitchen last night and had success! No photos because I forgot. Oops. But, both dishes were really tasty and got two thumbs up from both parents. Here it goes:


Loaded Baked Potato Soup

2 baking potatoes (cubed)

Florets from 1 large cauliflower

1 onion, chopped

Chicken broth (enough to just reach the top of the veggies)

2 cups almond milk

poultry seasoning

salt & pepper


Ready for this? Simply add everything to a large soup pot and let it come up to a simmer. Allow everything to cook for about 30 minutes, or until the veggies are tender. Then use a blender or immersion blender to mix everything together. I left a few chunks of potato and cauliflower for fun. When serving, use cheese and bacon crumbles as a garnish.

Chobani Brownies

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup cream cheese

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg ( or Egg beaters)

1/3 cup flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp. baking powder

1/3 cup plain nonfat Greek Yogurt

Chocolate chips

Start by creaming the sugar, cream cheese, and pumpkin puree until smooth. Then add the egg and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients and stir until smooth. Lastly, stir in chocolate chips or any other desired mix-ins. Bake for 18 minutes on 350 degrees. These brownies are very fudgey and  delicious!

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So Sweet







This weekend can be summed up with one word: crazy. My dad came into town with a friend for the game, so it was great to see him, but we had quite the adventure.

Now, let’s get to the dessert options for Thanksgiving! Input is welcome!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Truffles














Rainbow Cookies
















Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispie Treats













Apple Cider Cream Pie














Pumpkin Biscotti

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Recipe Collecting

As a senior I’ve taken it upon myself to procrastinate from homework almost any way possible. The most popular activities to distract me from school as of late have consisted of internet surfing and cleaning. I suppose the cleaning is a good thing, but the internet surfing……not so sure. Of course, I began collecting Thanksgiving recipes as soon as November arrived, so here are some possible dishes. Thoughts?

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Miso Sauce












Lemon-Roasted Brussel Sprouts


Vegetable Tian






















I’ve got some dessert ideas too, but I’ll save them for another post.

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Single Girl Eggplant Parm

The week flew by because I had so much to do, so I wanted to relax Friday with a little cooking. I love my healthy eggplant parmesan, but had not made it in quite a while so that was the dinner of choice. And, I have leftover eggplant that I can use up this week! Always a bonus. I started by making the sauce by sautéing some onions, adding seasonings, then mixing in a can of diced tomatoes. The key is to let it simmer for at least half an hour. While the sauce cooked, I sliced the eggplant and baked it in a 400 degree oven until cooked through. I ended up flipping them over halfway through, which ended up being about 15 minutes on each side. Lastly, I created the “cheese” layer by mixing plain nonfat yogurt with an egg white. Then I got busy layering it all together. I let the entire dish bake for about 25 minutes in a 350 degree oven. So tasty!

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