Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Well! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! We actually ended up having a white Christmas, with snow starting yesterday afternoon and continuing until now, 4pm the day after Christmas! Our Christmas was wonderful, with a few bumps in the road last night, but all in all a success. I made all sorts of goodies to give as presents and felt so "betty crocker" when I finished. I made pumpkin butter, cream cheese cookies, pumpkin apple struslle muffins, and white chocolate oreo fudge and I will post those recipes later this week. YUM! The pups are exhausted from playing with their cousin, Lucy. Last night after dinner, my 96 year old grandma began to act very confused and rambling, and my mom and I thought it may be a stroke. We rushed her to the emergency room and they did many tests, labs, etc and decided it was probably a UTI and admitted her to the hospital for IV antibiotics and rest/comfort. GEEZ! At least it was minor and treatable, but so hard when it is your own grandma and she has age working against her. Any who, here are a few pictures to enjoy and I must get to studying for my NCLEX while I have time!
My mess of a kitchen while cooking up a storm!
Pumpkin Butter! Prepping my baskets and labelsPassed out pups amongst the Christmas mess :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Guess what?! It snowed! I even got out of NCLEX review early today so I could spend my day cooking and relaxing :) By the time they let us out, it had already snowed about 2 inches, so I made a quick stop at Kroger, then came home to get going!
First off... 3 Bean Mole Chili!
OH YUM! A girl I go to school with had some of her left-overs the other day and I couldn't help but notice how good it smelled! She shared her recipe with me graciously and I thought it would be a wonderful cold weather treat :)

3 Bean Mole Chili

1 15 oz can chili beans (with sauce)
1 15 oz can pinto beans (rinse and drain)
1 15 oz can black beans (rinse and drain)
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes (mexican style)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup mole paste (mexican food section at grocery store)
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp ground corriander
2 tsp chili powder
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pepper, chopped (I used a yellow, but calls for green if you prefer)

Mix all together in crockpot and cook on low for 5-6 hours!

I also added some left-over pork tenderloin, shredded, into the mix to add a meat :) MAN it smells so good!

Wish John was here to enjoy it with me, but he is in Radford renovating his grandma's old house to prep it for sale. He wasn't going to go until today, but instead left yesterday due to the impending bad weather. It's so much more boring and drab around here when he's gone :( Hopefully they will have a few really productive days and I will have him back on Sunday, but in the mean time, mom and dad are coming over for dinner to keep me and the critters company :)

Next, I made chicken salad!
This is one of my all time favorite things to make any time of the year. It makes a nice portion and I eat off of it all week for lunch as either a sandwich, with crackers, or by it's self! I also change it up every time to keep it interesting :)

Chicken Salad

1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed and meat hand shredded
1/2 cup lite sour cream
1/2 cup lite mayo
2-3 tbsp tarragon
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 granny smith apple, chopped
1 cup grapes, chopped in half
1/2 cup sliced almonds
salt & pepper to taste

Mix together and enjoy!

Have I mentioned that I LOVE easy recipes?! The simpler, the better in my opinion :)

THEN, I made some snickerdoodles from my favorite website Oh She Glows. I can't wait for them to cool so I can inhale at least 2 before mom and dad get here! Hopefully I'll get to save some for John too....
Time to clean up my mess so I can enjoy my parents company :)
Keep warm everyone!

Monday, December 13, 2010

D.O.N.E. with school!

Hell has frozen over. I am officially done with nursing school. I'd probably be celebrating, except I work tonight from 3-11:30pm so it will have to wait... I think I am in shock, like not sure what to do now. I really SHOULD study some for my boards while I have time, but my brain is a bit fried, and may benefit more from a little rest first :) Tomorrow, my review for the nursing boards starts and will be all day each day until Friday, whew! At least it's not new information, just a review for the things that we are a bit rusty on so we can be prepared.

Yes, I have been neglecting my blog, but guess what, I'M BACK! Lots of new fun stuff going on, too! I found out that one of my best buds is pregnant and due in July (YAY!) and that my other best bud is engaged to her Italian man! Lots going on already for 2011... my planner is already filling up!

AND, despite the weather men being wrong, we woke up to SNOW this morning! Since when did Richmond get so much snow every winter? Not that I'm complaining, but we have gotten a TON these past few years!

Anywho, more later, must get ready for work now!

ps, only 144 days until the wedding!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

absent minded at times.

First off, we have finally decorated for Christmas! We actually got a REAL tree this year, which the smell is AMAZING, but good Lord the needles keep falling! Especially with the crazy cat running under it.... My parents, sister, and nephew came over last night for dinner to celebrate my mom's birthday. I was really really REALLY excited about making a butternut squash soup that I adapted from a coworker's recipe that she shared with me. We ate this, chicken with pomegranate (not the best thing I have ever cooked...), and orzo. The soup was SO easy to make!
Butternut Squash Soup

3 tbsp butter
3 medium butternut squash (cubed)
5 cups chicken broth
1 medium white onion (chopped)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
2 tbsp cumin
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup light cream
Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Saute onions and garlic for 4 minutes. Stir in cubed squash and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth and cumin and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and, using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Add light cream and salt/pepper to taste. Stir well and serve!

I served it with a dollop of sour cream on top and some basil sprinkled and it was delicious and such a beautiful orange color! I loved it so much so that I just had a second bowl for lunch today and will probably do the same tomorrow :)

So on to today. I feel SO incredibly stupid and have no excuse but my absent mindedness. I had my Surfn Santa 10 miler this morning in VA Beach, so after scurrying around this morning, stopping at several gas stations trying to get gas (or a OPEN gas station), we were on the road for our 1.5 hour drive to the race. At Williamsburg, about half way there, I discovered that in our hurry, I had totally forgotten my running shoes. I mean REALLY? REALLY? How does a person leave for a RACE and forget her running shoes? So, needless to say, we turned around and drove back home with my tail tucked between my legs like a dummy. Oh well. There's always other races, but I was pretty excited about this one. I need to sign up for another, but definitely need to wait until money isn't so tight, so it may be a little while. I better keep motivated! The good news is that John is running the 10k this year with me on April 2nd!!! I'm SO excited he has committed to this and we begin training in January!

I did have a cool, new experience yesterday at clinical :) I put in my FIRST NG tube! For the non-medical peoples out there, this is a nasogastric tube placed in the nose, down the throat, and into the stomach either to administer tube feedings or medications, or to relieve distention from "back-up" or undigested food due to a blockage somewhere along the GI tract, among many other things that could be wrong. This poor 18 year old chap had a belly so distended that he looked 7 months pregnant. I initially was in the room to just assist, but the nurse asked if I wanted to do it, which I responded "well, I never have...", and she said "ok, you can do it now!" AHH! I was definitely shaking and nervous, but did it with no problem! Very exciting for me, not so much for my poor patient. Hope he is feeling better today...

Also, we went bowling Thursday for the annual memorial bowling tournament for my grandfather. My grandfather passed away about 8 years ago around Thanksgiving, and since he was such an avid bowler, every year our family, both here and in Cincinnati, OH & Charlotte, NC, all go bowling. Whoever gets the highest score gets to hold the trophy thru the next year, in which we use one of my grandfather's old bowling trophies. It's a pretty cool tradition, but I unfortunately did not inherit the bowling gene. I am a HORRIBLE bowler! But the shoes are pretty fun :)

Time for some studying for my exam Monday. Only a presentation, one clinical, and one final exam left to get through after Monday! The suspense is killing me!