Sunday, October 31, 2010

Outer Banks weekend :)

So, my parents, fiance, and I went to the Outer Banks for the weekend to do some wedding planning and got SO MUCH done! Such a relief to get stress off my shoulders. Here is what was done:

Toured the house where the ceremony & reception will be held
Booked the catering with Good Life Gourmet (LOVE!)
Booked flower/decor with Embelishers (LOVE!)
Found a cake maker and designed our cake with Great Cakes (LOVE LOVE!)
Bought dad's outfit for the ceremony

We still have to get a photographer & DJ, but got lots of good recommendations while down there, I just need a little break to take in everything. It's amazing how STRESSFUL wedding planning is! Especially when you are doing it from a distance...

Anywho! I can't get enough of cooking these days! I made apricot & lemon chicken with orzo tonight. I was absolutely starved, probably due to dad & I running 10 miles this morning :) Less than 2 weeks until the half marathon! YIKES!

Apricot & Lemon Chicken

2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 chicken breasts
cooking spray
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup apricot preserves

Mix curry, salt, and black pepper in small bowl. Rub all over chicken. Spray medium pan with spray and heat to medium-high. Cook chicken 6 minutes each side. Remove chicken from heat. Mix water, lemon juice, and apricot preserves for 2 minutes over medium heat in pan, scraping off bottom of pan yummy scrapings. Pour over chicken & serve!

YUM! Easy, quick, yummy :)

Off to catch up on some reading and listen for more trick-or-treaters knocking!
Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Please live healthy!

So after two straight days of working, I have been absolutely burnt out by caring for people who never took care of themselves and their bodies are in shambles due to poor lifestyle. These are also the people that treat hospital stays like a hotel room at the Embassy Suites. Constantly on the call bell, asking for the 10th pair of disposable underwear, asking for that other type of juice because the juice that they chose this morning on their menu just won't due now, even going to the point of asking me (who also has 21 other patients) to go to the cafeteria to buy them chicken nuggets. Really?! I mean really?! There is a patient two doors down that actually NEEDS my help and feels bad even asking for me to hand them a urinal out of their reach when they can't walk. ANYWHO! Over it, moving on!

I applied to my first real nursing job today! Pediatric ED... could definitely be exciting! I am at a crossroads on what I want to do with myself. I am definitely not a general floor kinda girl, I would be bored out of my brain. I have absolutely LOVED my cardiac rotations (post-LVAD, post-CABG surgical patients) and also had a blast in pediatrics. My clinical for my management class is on a pediatric unit, so maybe that will help me make a decision one way or another! Cardiac vs. Pediatrics, both very fun and exciting and the awesome thing about my career decision is that at some point of my life, I know that I will be able to do both :)

Off to bed early without much more fun to say (due to a burnt out brain). Early workout with Caroline in the AM so she can whoop my but into shape! I am pretty sure that I won't be able to walk by tomorrow night or laugh because we are doing lots of abs... I'll be sure to share her insane workout with everyone :)

Also, I'm having my brother & his girlfriend over for dinner tomorrow... what to cook?! Cooking Light will be my bedtime reading material...

Monday, October 25, 2010

dinner menu

BBQ chicken, orzo with earth balance & 2 tbsp parmesan cheese, homemade white bread :)

Desert, John went to coldstone and surprised me with pumpkin ice cream with walnuts & graham crackers. Holy yum. Have I mentioned I'm obsessed with pumpkin EVERYTHING?! Healthy, no, delicious, yes. Did I mention that I ran 3 miles today? This is why the bowl is empty ;)

New ventures, new blog!

Like I needed something else to take up my time, because my last class of nursing school, training for my first half marathon in less than 3 weeks, planning my wedding, cooking up fabulous treats in the kitchen, my 4 (yes 4) pets, spending QT with my fiance, and keeping up with family & friends doesn't take up ENOUGH of my life as it is! I just have the need to write!

Anyways! I was so proud, I made my first loafs of bread last night! After finding this amazing stew recipes on one of my favorite blogs ( for Blanket Stew, I had to learn to make bread to go with it! I made a white loaf to start...
White Bread

1/2 cup milk
3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
3 tbsp butter
1.5 cups water (105 degrees F)
2 packages yeast
5 cups bread flour (divided)

Combine milk, sugar, salt, & butter in small pan and warm on stove till dissolved. In a bowl, mix water & yeast, making sure to not go above 105 degrees F so you don't kill the yeast. In stand mixer with dough hook, mix 4 1/2 cups bread flour with wet ingredients on 2nd setting for 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup of bread flour to mixture until you see the bowl clean and the dough is climbing the hook. Knead for 2 more minutes on hook at speed 2. Put dough in oiled bowl and cover with damp towel and let rise 1 hour (or until doubled). I put mine in the oven (with the oven turned off) so that a draft wouldn't hit it. After 1 hour/doubled, punch down the dough and split into two pieces. Roll out each into rectangle and roll up each tightly, folding over edges, then pinching all seams and placing each in their own loaf (makes 2 loafs, so need 2 loaf pans!). Place back in OFF oven with damp towel over the loaf pans and let rise for 1 hour. Remove loafs after 1 hour and pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F and bake 30 minutes. Best when eaten warm! Bread can be frozen for up to 3 months! I double bag everything if I freeze food just to make sure it doesn't get damaged from freezer burn.

Forgot to mention that we had just driven back from Charlotte, NC after being there all weekend for my cousin's wedding. My cousin Katy posted this on my FB :

Please don't tell me you baked both loaves tonight?! You were home like what, 3 hours and then had bread make? You're unstoppable

Yes, I'm a little cooking crazy right now, just wait and see what else I come up with :)

Ok, enough for tonight, must get a little shut-eye so I stay awake for class then work until 11 tomorrow!

PS, can't wait for this weekend in OBX for some wedding planning, catering & flower appointments, and seeing the house where the wedding & reception will be! 194 days until I'm a married woman!