April 29, 2014

over and out

The last time I had my big camera out was April 6, 2014. Remember when I was all "I'm going to be more creative! BLAH BLAH BLAH"? I haven't been very good at that. Someday I may pull that camera out [I should give her a name. Suggestions?] more frequently again and not just snap with my phone.

I'm in the last two weeks of my spring semester, and it's about to get cray y'all. That means all my time will be spent in the Medical Library [the place of tables and silence]. Please seek me out there and on Instagram, as I will be taking a facebook hiatus until May 9. I think I'll start that hiatus tomorrow since I don't actually want to take a hiatus. I spent Monday this week at the Med Library and my friend and I were getting dirty looks for whispering and giggling over this YouTube video. I should probably study by myself, but what's the fun in that?

Bea and Jessica texted me in the last couple of weeks to see if I could do pictures for them. Of course, it took me 5-12 days to respond to texts because I had to build a spreadsheet of all the things to do before the end of the semester.
My reply was basically: this weekend or not at all.
Their response: OK.

Sooooo...I took some pictures, spent some time procrastinating my school work by editing, and here I shall share three of my favorite images.
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Over and out, see you in May!
xo

April 25, 2014

taco soup

I'm moving everything from the cooking closet [my other blog that has been inactive for over a year] over here to MN365. I'm decluttering. Hope it's not too annoying! (-:

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Originally posted in September 2011. 

This recipe is dedicated to MegB. She was my roommate for the three years I lived in Durham, NC. We both cooked, but I...howshallwesay....made it up as I went along. That's right, I'm not much of a recipe follower. I'm a recipe reader, I'm a cookbook lover, I'm inspired by beautiful food, but I don't follow recipes well.

I've always been bull-headed like that.

So, most of the time I make things up. You can do it too, just leave out what you don't like and add in what you do [if it goes together] and voila--you're cooking!

A few weeks ago when the weather turned cold I received a text from MegB about this recipe. I failed to reply, hence this post.
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Oops, sorry. Here it is:
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This is a recipe inherited from my mom, I usually refer to it as a "dump" soup. Meaning you open a bunch of cans into a pot, stir, add some heat and that's that. Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy. I did make some variations, so keep up with me. (-:
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This is for a double recipe, procure half of these ingredients if you don't plan on eating soup for a week straight AND freezing 8 cups.
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[Confession: I'm not quite used to only cooking for myself yet.]
This is traditionally a broth based soup, but I wanted it to be a little thicker, a little heartier so I started with a roux. This is completely optional.
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Just keep whisking! You want to let the roux cook for a minute or two so the flour gets rid of that raw taste, then add your broth and whisk-whisk-whisk! The lumps will go away and things will thicken. Next, I added my spices [you use these if you're making a roux or not].
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Then I dumped. And stirred. And tasted. And added a bit of salt. And declared it good.
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What do you think, Hank?
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Feed me! Pet me! Love me!
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I like a little sprinkle of cheese and a couple of crunched up tortilla chips in my soup. Yum!

The Recipe, for one [double it if you're out of control like some people]
  • 2-4 Tbsp, Butter or Oil
  • 2-4 Tbsp, Flour
Make your [optional] roux by heating the butter or oil, add in the flour and whisk to combine allowing 1-2 minutes for the flour to cook. Then add the broth and continue whisking until no longer lumpy.
  • one can Broth--Chicken or Veggie
  • shredded Chicken, you can poach [just boil the chicken until cooked through] 2 boneless, skinless breasts for this if you'd like some meat [optional]
  • one can Chili Beans
  • one can Corn or Hominy
  • one can Diced Tomatoes--salt-free, please
  • one can Rotel--whatever variety is your favorite
  • half a jar Salsa
  • half [or a small if you can find it] a package chopped, frozen Spinach [optional]
  • Cumin, 1-2 tsp
  • Onion Powder, 1 tsp
  • Garlic Powder, 1 tsp
  • Red Pepper, how spicy do you like it?
Dump everything into a pot and cook until bubbly. Top with cheese, chips and sour cream if you want to go all out. I only went 2/3 out. 

April 16, 2014

avocado chickpea salad

In my quest to eat one vegan meal a day [I mentioned it in passing in my GYST: Food/Diet post] I'm trying new recipes and this one came up. 
I'm in love with it after putting one tiny bite in my mouth. Holy cow.

The original was from Two Peas & Their Pod, but of course I changed a few things. I'm not a big bread eater, so I nixed the whole "sandwich" thing. Instead I made the chickpea [do you say "garbanzo" or "chickpea"?] and avocado mixture and plopped it on a bed of baby greens. Today I ate it with a couple of Wasa crackers for some crunch.

Let's talk about avocados. A few years ago my friends, Jess & Jake told me their trick to always having perfectly ripe avocados. Now I shall share it with you: buy the rock-hard avocados a few days before you're going to want to use them and let those babies sit out on your counter until they're ripe. Once they've ripened you can either a) eat them or b) put them in your refrigerator for up to a week. That last part is my own little addendum. These avocados have been ready since last Thursday and they're still *perfect* because the refrigeration stopped the ripening process and they didn't get beaten against anything to give them bruises after they ripened.
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These six weeks of classes, I'm eating on the go out of plastic containers more often than not, so I've been trying to prepare foods that can travel with me. I don't particularly like to eat out at the fast, cheap places [I definitely like to eat out at the expensive, sit-down places] on a daily basis. This is one of my made-for-the-week meals. You could totally cut this in half really easily. 

Avocado Chickpea Salad
-2 cans (15oz) Chickpeas/Garbanzo beans, drained
-2 Avocados
-Lime Juice (fresh is better of course, but I used about 2 Tbsp of a prepared lime juice)
-Cilantro
-1 tsp Salt
-1 tsp Onion Powder
-1/2 tsp Garlic Powder

Smash the chickpeas, avocados, and lime juice together. Chop the cilantro and add the spices and mix it. Give it a taste and see if you need more of anything. (-: 

April 13, 2014

ten things

Shocking, right?

1. If you went to see Divergent and didn't think this the entire time then we probably can't be friends anymore. 
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2. SPRRRRRRRRRRRRRING!!! I'm trilling my R's. Are you as excited about this as I am? SPRING. FLOWERS. SUNSHINE. WARMTH. OUTSIDE TIME! eeeep! 

3. Pandora stations. My friend Kate introduced me to Pitch Slapped. If you love a cappella covers of songs ["we're just a bunch of dudes singing covers of songs, don't get weird"] then listen to this station. 

4. Speaking of music, I recently got on the Spotify. I don't know why it took me so long. I made a playlist called "that's my jam." It's my jam.
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5. Mostly Nonsense 365 is about to have her fifth birthday. I've got to decide how to celebrate. June's going to be big y'all. What should we do? #idonthavechildrenihaveablog

6. I ran up to the Fort for my cousin's musicale this weekend. Since the Vera Bradley sale was happening, I also had to stop by [obvi]. My mom wanted things and she's basically the most difficult person to purchase gifts for so I did some gift-shopping. Of course she didn't know what she wanted so I had to send a ton of pictures to get her opinion.

7. I have a haircut this week since things above my neck are getting a little mullet-ish. Do I keep the asymmetry or not? Don't worry, I made a poll for y'all because having a blog means that I don't have to make any decisions on my own.


8. If you want to see my Pinterest board of all my hair-inspiration [because I'm very focused on my hair right now for some reason], feel free to check it out.

9. Am I the only person who still can't get enough of the Frozen soundtrack?

10. I started watching Believe during spring break. Does anyone else watch it? Can we have a discussion?

April 8, 2014

Tam's Monster Cookies

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Back when I was a resident director living with the college students [you know, because I wasn't a college student at the time] I held a "Cookies with Amy" party weekly where we'd eat cookies and watch a movie or TV show or play a game. This was two part, 1. I was seducing these "grown-up" 18-year-olds to come and socialize with me thus building relationships and 2. I wanted to bake and not eat everything [shall I remind you of the Employee 40?]. I'm not sure which was the deciding factor, but they both stand equally important in my memory.

At times certain students would come to me to ask for a special cookie because their birthday was coming up or they were hungry for it or it was one their mom made. This is a mom recipe. Tam's daughter and son were both at MC when I was there, and they were counselors when I worked at camp as well. We're all kinds of connected and you can join the web by making this killer cookie.
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The original recipe was for the camp batch I think. It makes enough cookies that you could drown in dough. Not that I would ever complain of such a thing because the dough is totes delicious.
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This is just a basic peanut butter oatmeal cookie, make ridiculous by a plethora of candy.
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A plethora.

I didn't grow up eating monster cookies. WHY, Mom, whyyyyyy? My SIL is the Monster Cookie Queen and brought them into my life on a regular basis via the younger brother. I don't have her recipe, but I suspect it is similar to this one.
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Tam's Monster Cookies
-1/2 cup (1 stick) Butter
-1 cup Sugar
-1 cup Brown Sugar, packed
-1 1/2 cups Peanut Butter (the non-natural kind. I like generic PB for baking, strange but true.)
-3 Eggs
-1 tsp Vanilla (I used Vanilla Bean Paste which is why it looks all dark and weird)
-2 tsp Baking Soda
-4 1/2 cups Quick-cooking Oats
-1 1/2 cups m&m's
-3/4 cup Reese's Pieces 
-3/4 cup Chocolate Chips
**If you look at the recipe card, you'll notice I left out the Corn Syrup. I didn't have any on hand, but I didn't find that it made any difference in the final cookies. These aren't healthy in any way, shape, or form, but I believe they are gluten free if you purchase GF oats. I didn't check all the candy, but I think you could accommodate a gluten intolerance easily with this recipe. (-: 

If you're mixing by hand get ready for a forearm workout. Cream the butter, sugars, and peanut butter. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl combine the oats and baking soda. Mix in the oats with the wet mixture then add the candy. Drop by rounded scoop [the original directions say to make 2" balls and flatten them slightly] onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes or until sliiiiiiiightly brown [these cookies don't get very brown, but you want to make sure they're actually cooked and not just warm dough]. This makes about 3 dozen cookies and doubles easily for a huge crowd!

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Have I told y'all about my love for baked m&m's? What is it about baking those little chocolate treats that makes them 100000% tastier than they were in original form? SO.GOOD.

Is there a recipe from your mom that I should try? Holla at me on the facebook!

April 7, 2014

this week's mani

I'm feeling rebellious, so I totally painted my nails today [against nursing school rules---oooOOOOooooo] and I'm going to share them with you:
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I've been getting more pins from people and this was sent to me by my friend Jess from McPherson! >^.^<
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It's the second cat nail I've done, with the first being the totally adorable kitties and polkadots. I then did a mediocre tutorial [not doing that again] and apparently I think cats and plaid go together.
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The tutorial for these babies is on PackAPunchPolish. I used OPI Dulce de Leche [one of my FAVORITE go-to colors] as my base coat and then just black and white striper polishes for the lines. To do the triangle for the nose [let's use the word "triangle" loosely, there are zero straight lines involved] I grabbed a pink polish and a toothpick. I think you could totally do this with a sharpie if you don't feel steady with polish!

Want to send me pins? Hook up with me on pinterest! The link [so we can be BFF--obvi] is on the right.

April 1, 2014

lady business

Hey friends! I've got lady business to talk about. If you're not comfortable hearing about vaginas, cervixes, uteruses, menstrual cycles, and gynecologists you should make yourself scarce and take this quiz...feel free to leave your results in the comments.
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THE DIVA CUP. I'm obsessed, I talk about it with anyone who asks me for a tampon [probably annoying, but suck it], and I seriously love my diva cup. I blogged about it here, here, here, and here.

Random things that happen when you're in nursing school, people start asking you why things happen in their body. Within the past week a nursing school friend sent me this: Why do I poop more during my period? then three other friends asked me about period poops. You poop more during your period, don't you? [Hey prostaglandins!] I certainly do.

I suck at this, but go see your lady-doctor [or advance practice nurse]. Sidenote: that link is to one of my favorite blogs right now. Roo is hilarious. If you don't want to read about the previous link [that probably means you should], but you should read her Friday This is How I Feel posts full of GIFs. [did you know gif is pronounced JIF? dumb.]

OK, this last thing isn't lady business. I went to see Divergent this week. I've been working really hard at not objectifying men, and as soon as Theo James came on the screen all that was out the door. You guys, this is wrong. My ovaries just took over my body and were all, "reproduce! reproduce! reproduce!" Nooooo, ovaries, we don't look at men that way. We don't silently cheer when they take off their shirt. We don't look at those trouty-lips lustfully. NO.