Running Forward

Keeping Busy

My job hasn’t started yet, but my cousins sure know how to keep me busy. Here are some events from the week:

Snow! 

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On Monday Linda took me out to find a real New York coat and boots. Success! 

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On Tuesday we ventured out to Englewood Cliffs to take a glimpse at my office. It’s huge! And it looks pretty swanky too. Now I’m even more anxious to see the inside of it- I think CNBC’s studios are inside! The town of Englewood was super cute, and my commute really shouldn’t be too bad. Just another part of my big adventure. 

Last night I made chicken soup for everyone, and Linda put together these gorgeous salads. An edible work of art!

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New City

I got a job! My two week long trip turned into a permanent move when I received an offer from one of my favorite companies three days before I was supposed to fly up for interviews. The few days before my flight turned into a whirlwind of shopping and packing. By the way, I’m an expert packer at this point. One suitcase weighed 49 pounds and the other weighed 44- just under the limit.

The flight went smoothly and my cousins are keeping me busy so far. After bringing me home from the airport, Richie took me running at a nearby park. I wish I brought my camera because it was amazingly beautiful. There was a dusting of snow on the ground, and we ran the perimeter of a frozen lake. I never knew how beautiful an iced-over body of water could be. By the time my hands, feet, and face were numb we were back in the car heading for home where we hung out for a bit. After dinner we met up with my other cousin, Eddie, and his girlfriend for two hours of bowling. Apparently bowling is a hot sport up here- we waited 40 minutes for a lane. I absolutely loved getting to spend time with them even though my energy was waning and I felt a cold coming on. No time for getting sick!

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On Sunday Richie and I met up with a group of his friends to go rock climbing. I was pretty intimidated at first, but really enjoyed it once I started. And, man, my arms got a workout! Once my fingers and forearms were thoroughly worn out we went to Park Place Diner for a late lunch.

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It was already 3:30, so I totally devoured my roasted red pepper and shiitake mushroom omelet. Being surrounded by diners might be actually be one of my top 5 reasons for wanting to move up North.

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Think my day is over? Not yet. Two more hours of bowling with the guys, which was a lot of fun again. I was way off my game and bowled like a wet noodle, but I enjoyed getting to know my cousins’ friends.

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I thought I would be in bed as soon as I got home, but Linda and Eddie had arrived home from Vermont just as we walked in. I stayed up and talked with Linda until 1:30 am. 1:30 am! I didn’t know that was even possible for me. So, begins my adventure in New Jersey!

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Mini Chickens

I didn’t have much time before work the other day, so I quickly checked to see if there were any dinner possibilities in the freezer just waiting to be unthawed and brought into the spotlight. As soon as I opened the door, two cute little Cornish Hens greeted me while practically begging to be roasted. I grabbed the couple and left them to thaw as I spent the day making desserts at the restaurant.

Let’s fast forward to 4:30 pm when I got off work: Since my parents and brother can all eat an entire Cornish hen by themselves, I stopped by the store to see if I could pick up another one. Unfortunately, everything available was frozen solid, and there was no time to thaw it out. Luckily, I found out my brother wasn’t going to be home for dinner, and I wasn’t in the mood for chicken anyway. Problem solved. Here’s how you make Cornish hens.

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F while preparing the hens. 
  • Rinse the hens and place them on top of orange slices inside some sort of roasting pan.
  • Next, I stuck an orange slice under the skin of each one and seasoned with my favorite spices. I also poured some Asian Ginger Vinaigrette over the birds to keep them moist.
  • Before placing in the oven, cover with a layer of foil. Bake for about 45 minutes, then remove foil. Check to see if the birds are cooked through. If not, leave in the oven until complete.

That’s it! I stuck them in the oven, went for a run, and came home to the homey scent of roasted chicken. I also roasted vegetables (sweet potato, Korean yam, mushrooms, red bell pepper, onion, and eggplant) in the second oven as a side dish. Instead of eating a Cornish hen, I made a mini frittata and loved it! Recipe to be posted soon.

Hopefully, you’re ready to conquer Cornish hens now!

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Thai Food

I love trying new cuisines and exploring new cultures, so it’s pretty odd to me that I’ve never had Thai food. Luckily, I had the opportunity last week to finally give it a chance when a friend and I met for lunch. First off, it was wonderful getting to see one of my friends from school! That’s the only down side to graduating early; my friends are all in Athens while I’m hanging out at home.

Back to the lunch: Carolyn picked out a Thai restaurant, Erawan, in Sandy Springs. I’m not a fan of heavy lunches, so I debated between the Tom Yum Soup with shrimp and the papaya salad. When it came time to order I just couldn’t resist the salad. I honestly didn’t expect much, but it was delicious! And beautiful! The primary component of the salad consisted of the green papaya and carrot strips all beautifully swirled together, topped with grilled shrimp, and marinated in an oil-free dressing. On the side they served a wedge of iceberg lettuce and a beautiful carrot flower garnish. The dressing was sweet, but balanced well with the crisp produce. Without a doubt I will order this dish again in the future.

 

Erawan Thai- Papaya Salad

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Chicken Cacciatore

Being Italian, my idea of comfort food is a hearty, red tomato sauce. Noodles not even required. However, my family would not be happy if I simply served sauce for dinner, so I created one of my favorite dishes in order to satisfy my craving. Chicken cacciatore! Half the fun of the dish is in saying the name. Here’s how you actually create it:

FYI, the photo is not mine. I once again forgot to take a photo. Plus, it was already dark outside, which makes for unflattering lighting.

Start by cutting two chicken breasts in half (like a full butterfly cut) in order for the meat to be very thin. Season each side with salt, pepper, oregano, and basil then sear in a large pan. Once the first side begins to brown, flip it over and remove the chicken just before it cooks through.

Add onions to the pan and let cook, then add minced garlic, sliced green bell peppers, and sliced mushrooms. I always add my usual salt, pepper, oregano, and basil while cooking veggies for an Italian dish. Once the veggies are almost cooked through, add two cans of diced tomatoes, a splash of white wine, and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Now, just let it all cook to allow the flavors to meld together. Just before you’re ready to serve, pop the chicken back into the pan and make sure it gets covered in the sauce. Serve as soon as the chicken is cooked through.

I served it with spaghetti for the family, but I had a new product I wanted to try. At Whole Foods I stumbled upon these angel hair noodles. Only 40 calories for the whole bag! The verdict: delicious, and just like delicate pasta! Without a doubt I’ll be buying these again.

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Crazy Person

Hi, my name is Kelsea and I am a crazy person. I graduated less than a month ago, but just can’t get myself to relax. Being a type A person is one thing, but I need to learn how to adjust my expectations. Originally, I hoped to graduate with a job in NYC waiting for me. In reality, the industry I want to break into is not conducive to this kind of planning. I’m realizing that finding a job is difficult and I need to savor my freedom while it’s here. I’ve still been working at AG making desserts, which is a lot of fun! And I’ve had a lot of time to cook. Although, I can’t seem to remember to photograph my creations.

Because of reasons mentioned above my new year’s resolution is “to live in the moment”. I’m bad at savoring the present, and tend to either dwell on the past or plan the future. From now on I’m making an effort to actually enjoy the moment at hand.

For now, though, allow me to talk about some of my kitchen creations. Last night I made a mixture of baby bella mushrooms, onions, diced tomatoes, and roasted red peppers as the primary dinner component. I sauteed everything with garlic, balsamic, and various herbs/spices. For another layer I whipped up some cheesy grits using blue cheese, asiago, feta, and goat cheese. I used to live on grits when I was younger, so they hold a special place in my heart (cheesy, I know! (pun intended  😉  )). Lastly, I laid everything on top of a bed of spinach- I freaking love this stuff. Why do I always forget how good it is? Anyway, that was my dinner and it was great. Good night and have a pleasant tomorrow!

Ice Skating

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