The Good, The Bad, and The Bland

Cooking, baking… Experimenting in the kitchen is always fun, but when your fun turns out with a dud, its pretty frustrating. This past week has been a combination of good, bad, bland, doughy, and a full circle of emotions.

I made some cookies utilizing whole-wheat flour and, even with extract flavoring, the dough was chewy and tasteless. I’ve never described dough as beautiful, but this dough for my uncle’s famous cookies, that tried to replicate with whole wheat flour, was gorgeous!

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It smelled amazing and looked like mounds of clouds on the baking sheet. Needless to say, I had high expectations, which was met with defeat. Boo!

Some turned out as expected, like Pfefferneuss. I made one of my Nonna’s famous recipes, which I typically nail every year, and for some reason… disappointment.

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I also realized that I need to practice my PB cookies… I keep trying different recipes and still, I suck.

I had some winners and some losers and some I need to play with…

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This is when I realized the trick. I guess I always knew the secret, but it hit me hard during my baking.

When I’m so focused on making things with less calories or making things healthier, my recipes aren’t that impressive. But when I’m in the moment, put my thoughts aside, and cook, or bake, from the heart, its delicious!

Got to Admit its Getting Better

Happy “Monday”! I know its Tuesday, but like I said, I’m starting this week over!  Today started bright and early with clinical. My morning kick off began with a quick stretch and 20 minute workout to wake me up and get my blood pumping. I can’t really do more than that on clinical mornings or I’d have to wake up at 0330 and I’d probably be pooped by 1600. While I waited for the clinical day to start I snacked on a  Chocolate Chip Corazona oatmeal square, which I made last until lunch time. (I haven’t been able to find the Almond Brownie or the White Macadamia nut, so if you find them, holla at ya girl!)

 Wow! Its chocolately delicious!

Wow! Its chocolately delicious!

This company offers other products, such as tortilla chips and other oatmeal bars in a variety of flavors! This company prides itself on heart health, hence the name. Each serving is designed to help lower cholesterol using natural plant sterols. This oatmeal bar, for example, is equivalent to 36 bananas, or 61 tomatoes, or 30 apples, of “cholesterol-lowering power.”

Lunch was, what we call, a Tun-Egg sandwich.Its nothing fancy… just tuna and egg salad mixed together. A lot of people think this sounds weird, but I think its the best of both worlds. I ate these with some grapes I picked up at Wholefoods.

Oh, the lunch of a nursing student

Oh, the lunch of a nursing student

Tonight I went with my uncle to the UD girls basketball game! I love basketball! I’ve been playing since third grade, so whenever my schedule and wallet allows, I love to attend the girl’s games. We rock! We won! What’s funny is that I used to play against some of these girls growing up, playing basketball!

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Today was a really good day. I DID go over what I wanted to eat, but I did much better today than yesterday. That’s the important part- that I improve everyday. And when I fall, I get right back up! My patient, today, was so sweet and one of the most complicated patients I’ve ever cared for. I learned so much! He had so much going on, yet he had a wonderful attitude. Really inspiring! I have to say, though, one of the highlights of my day was dinner. So simple, yet so filling and delicious! I started by spraying a pan with some non stick spray and throwing on some cauliflower florets and baby carrots. I sprinkled garlic powder over top and gave them a toss. They baked at 400 F in the toaster oven for about 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, I threw a small chicken breast in a skillet, sprinkle with garlic powder and minced onion. I chopped it up once it was cooked through. I threw the warm roasted veggies and chopped chicken over a bowl of spinach. When I visited Meaghan in NY back in December, we picked up this homemade BBQ sauce this tempeh guru makes; so I drizzled 2 tsp of the BBQ sauce over top! I bet I’d really enjoy this with salmon, too!

And now, I’m sleepy. I completed another 20 minute workout before laying down. Another busy day tomorrow and then night shift…

DDDD

Yesterday was a Vitalicious- sort of day. On night shift, we had pizza, and all day I was craving more pizza. I never crave pizza… ever! Glad I keep this baby in the freezer:

Tomato and Cheese

Tomato and Cheese

What I like about this VitaPizza is that there is a very thin crust, so it crisps nicely in the toaster oven, theres a thin layer of sauce and tons of diced tomato and garlic!

Today is, what we in the Bundo house call, “Daddy-Daughter Date Day!”

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I had to wake up early this morning to drive to the hospital where my clinics rotation is to gather information for my patients this week. After that, I picked up the father and we headed to Philly. A few months ago, on my way to visit some family in Philly, I saw a billboard for the Titanic exhibit t the Franklin Institute. Dad and I have always had a fascination with the Titanic. We used to watch documentaries every Sunday morning on the Discovery channel. Luckily, through my recycling rewards points, I had a “buy one get one free” ticket for the museum.
We had a great time! At the beginning of the tour, you get a boarding pass with the name of a passenger. At the end of the tour, you find out if you survived the event.
Dad was 44 yr old, Mr. William Harbeck of Paris, traveling 2nd class to NY. He was a filmmaker, hired by White Star, to film Titanic’s maiden voyage. He did not survive.

I was Ms. Marie Grice Young, a 36 yr music instructor, to Teddy Rossevelt’s daughter, from NY, in first class, on my way to DC. I made it.
Some of the artifacts were amazing. They had light bulb! Yes, a light bulb, they pieced back together! It was neat to read little bios on some of the passengers and see some of their recovered belongings, including clothing, letters, business cards, and stationary. There was also a live “iceberg” for you to touch to understand how cold the water was. They recreated main rooms of the ship, like the stair case, bedrooms, and hallways. It really sucked you into the period. The only bummer, was that we could not take pictures. I did manage to snag a few though. Shhhhh… it’s a secret.

beautifully recreated doorway

beautifully recreated doorway

the coolest picture of the day!

the coolest picture of the day!

entering the boiler room

entering the boiler room

After the exhibit, we explored the remainder of the museum. One of my favorite parts ever since I was a kid is the Giant Heart! Its a huge heart that you can walk through. It takes you through all the parts of the heart through a maze of stairs, meanwhile you hear a heart beat to enhance the effect.

getting ready to head inside the heart

getting ready to head inside the heart

playing in the kids area

playing in the kids area

cheezeing it up inside an artery

cheezeing it up inside an artery

My absolute favorite area, besides the observatory, is the planetarium. Astronomy has always been a passion of mine. (Guess who owns the seasons of “The Universe?” This chick.) In fact, up until sophomore year of high school, my plan was to attend Cornell for Astronomy or the AFROTC Aeronautical Nursing program. Any way, we saw a film about black holes. Black holes give me the chills. I’ve always been fascinated by them and have written several papers on them throughout my schooling.

having an 80 yr old Singer sewing machine, I appreciate the beauty of this one

having an 80 yr old Singer sewing machine, I appreciate the beauty of this one

a fancy old music box

a fancy old music box

The museum has rooms focused on different areas of science: trains, planes, space, electricity (duh, Ben Franklin… Franklin Institute), engineering, and IMAX, and 3D theatre, a giant pendulum, any much more! So many of the staple exhibits have been there since I was a kid. It was so nice to revisit them. Plus, your inner child pokes out its head in all of the interactive “Please Touch” exhibits and games!

I turn Ben on. (get it? cause its a light switch?) *knee slap*

I turn Ben on. (get it? cause its a light switch?) *knee slap*

who needs travelocity?

who needs travelocity?

old school

old school

My father, Cpt. America, saluting USAF

My father, Cpt. America, saluting USAF

Chug-a-Chug-a Choo-Choo

Chug-a-Chug-a Choo-Choo

I'd kill for this telescope!

I’d kill for this telescope!

After a few hours in the museum, dad and I walked through the atrium to find the most adorable little girl getting her face painted! This is probably one of the cutest kids I’ve ever seen! Her mom let me snap a shot of her.

the most beautiful tiger i've ever seen

the most beautiful tiger i’ve ever seen

We said, “peace out,” to Big Ben (the guy, not the clock) and headed for one of my favorite Wholefoods. Its on Pennsylvania Ave. in Philly. Dad and I wondered around in there, grabbed a few cookies and bagels for the week, and of course, picked up this beautiful fruit salad:

Goodbye, Ben!

Goodbye, Ben!

Hello, fruity deliciousness!

Hello, fruity deliciousness!

After seeing all that food, we drove  around downtown Philly until we headed for South St. We couldn’t decide what we were in the mood for, but my dad said we should go to Maoz. (I was giggling like a little school girl, inside, because I wanted to go there all along but didn’t want to force vegetarian food on him). I explained how the ordering worked and he was willing to give it a try. Dad and I usually love anything with a topping bar. We split the #1. This is a falafel pita with hummus and eggplant, served with Belgian fries and drink. We upgraded to the sweet potato fries, then stuffed our falafel stuffed whole wheat pita with vegetable salad (tomato, zucchini and cucumbers), reed cabbage salad, cilantro sauce, sweet peppers (a must), grilled cauliflower, and later some garlic sauce. Maoz is the only place I will ever eat beets so I grabbed a little cup of that. Dad was so funny! “This is really good! I wish I had one around work. I’d get this for lunch at least once a week! Do they sell this in stores? Let’s get some.” Luckily, I can make it at home! Dad told me we are going to the grocery store to pick up falafel ingredients tomorrow after class! lol This was a really delicious meal. What made it even better, was seeing how much my dad enjoyed it! Perfect size for the two of us to split!

MMMMM... Warm falafel loaded with veggies in every bite!

MMMMM… Warm falafel loaded with veggies in every bite and sweet potato fries!

When I got home, I snacked on a Gnu Brownie, smeared with some Low Sodium Better n’ Peanut Butter. Then I completed some paperwork for clinical for Monday, and put on some jams and danced around the living room to do a little cardio.

Wow! What a fantastic day!

RIP to a Philly favorite: Sally Star!