Sunday, August 28, 2011

New Apartment, New Concept!

I am so excited to be writing this blog entry from the living room of my new apartment! We moved in last weekend, and have now officially been here for a week and a day today. Being that it is my last year of college, well, college at this university that is, it seems fitting that I am finally learning and practicing how to feed myself every night, clean every week, grocery shop for one, and walk the couple blocks each day to make it to class on time. These concepts are of course not foreign to me, just much more convenient now that I am not sharing a single room with another girl. I have I mentioned yet how I have a KITCHEN?! I am sure when I buy my own home, I will only care about a nice kitchen. I can sleep in a cardboard box on the kitchen floor as long as there is room for a double oven and stand mixer.

But I digress... I wanted to tell you all how I want to change the nature of my postings a bit. I am still going to cook what I cook best, being healthy, tasty, and pretty foods, but I am going to change my focus a little bit. I am going to show you all how it is possible and even, dare I say, FUN to cook healthy meals while juggling a million other things a day. From Student Government Exec meetings and Dance Ensemble classes, to sorority meetings and those pesky 17 hours of class, I feel as if I am simulating the pending 40, 50, and at times 60 hour work week. And I can still cook for myself. What have I managed to do in the past week you ask? Take a look:
  • Stuffed Peppers
  • Tossed Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
  • Corn Chowder
  • Cherry Strawberry Smooties
  • Banana Almond Muffins
And one of my roommates brought a snow cone machine to college with her so needless to say that has gotten some use this week (lemon lime and cherry coconut ones are frequently my dessert of choice.)

Tonight I was having a craving for Chinese, but not the kind laden in MSG and sodium. Instead, a homemade one with carrots, onions, and broccoli, all crisp tender and deliciously caramelized in a searing hot skillet (new ones for the new kitchen! Thanks for the early birthday presents Mom!)

A little grilled chicken, brown rice, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (I am still building up my pantry of staples like soy sauce, but balsamic was a perfectly delicious alternative) and I had dinner... AND LEFTOVERS!


  1. Hommade chinese?! That's awesome! And where will you be going to school after this year, if you don't mind answering??

  2. No problem at all - Culinary School!!!! After I finish up my bachelors degree in business management here I will be going on to earn a culinary degree and personal chef certificate for sure, and I am still debating on a pastry degree and nutrition degree. I have ALWAYS loved to cook, every since I was old enough to stand on a chair at the kitchen counter, so I took the plunge freshman year to switch my major from education to business and chase my culinary dream. But I so very thankful that I did and can't wait to one day have my own business.

    And side note: making your own Chinese food is so simple, and much much healthier than ordering it, not to mention faster most times. By making your own you cut back on the saturated fat, sodium, MSG, and calories without even trying, and by adding your favorite veggies (or fruit) and lean protein like pork loin or chicken, you can have a balanced and delicious meal without missing the bad-for-you stuff. Double your amounts like I did and you have left overs for later in the week too. Talk about a win-win.

  3. I have a random question...How do you eat pomegranates gracefully? I find them to always be awkward with the seeds and having to spit them out...

  4. Does your sister have a website for her photography? If not, you should really encourage her to start one! Her pictures are beautiful! :)

  5. I am going to answer two comments in one here, so bare wtih me:

    1. I LOVE pomegranates! I am sure you have heard about the unlimited health benefits pomegranates have, but I cannot stress enough just how tasty they are too. They always taste like a treat; something luxurious and exotic and mysterious. I'll admit that the first one I finally got up the courage to purchase, and then butcher, made it look like I had murdered someone after I was done with it. The trick is to process them underwater (that's right, get a big bowl of water and stick the whole thing in there) and pry the seeds out gently with your fingers. Not only does it save your fingers from being stained Christmas red but it also separates the seeds (that sink) from the pulp (that floats.) As far as what you do with those seeds, it is completely up to you! Add them to salads, muffins, pancake batter, or chicken salad. Stir them into oatmeal or top a bowl of peanut chicken with some. Or you could puree them in a blender, strain them, and mix with your favorite vinegar and olive oil to make a dressing. Heck, even pomegranate martinis or daquiris would be fabulous (note to self: try this idea out!) Hope that helps!

    2. My sister does not have a blog for her photography, but I agree with you - she is very good at what she does. Usually I will have my food laid out on a plate and ask her to photograph it for me, and she will be the one who stages the picture to make it look as pretty as it always does. She really has an eye for these things, and I will be sure to pass along your suggestion to her.