You know how some people can go into a clothing store and see the fashion potential in a completely weird looking shirt?  I’m not one of those people.  I do, however, fancy myself as the kind of cook who can see how odd ingredients will come together to make a delicious dish.  I don’t think I’m a cooking visionary or anything, but I can look at a recipe and think, “Hmm, that will be really tasty,” whereas most other people would look at it and say, “OH MY GOD, ANCHOVIES, GROSS!”  This, of course, is in reference to the time I made Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pasta Putanesca, which has anchovies in the sauce.  I think this was around the time that Stephan decided to get frisky with his Tuna Helper by adding spinach to it, which resulted in some questionable leftovers the next day that left him a little put off by fishy smelling foods.  Understandably, he was a little hesitant to try the putanesca, but in the end he admitted that the dish was really tasty.  I think he only tried it because I said that it was in Gywneth Paltrow’s cookbook.

By the way, can we talk about Gwyneth?  She is like an Ina Garten in the making.  They are both seemingly oblivious to how snobby they sound when they talk about their “good quality mustard” (Ina) or their organic/all natural produce (Gwyneth), and I LOVE it.  There’s nothing better, in my opinion, than a pretentious chef.  I guess it’s because I have a secret pretentious side as well.

But back to the weird recipes.  A few weeks ago I wanted some easy, simple, and flavorful recipes to make for dinner, so naturally I went to the Real Simple website.  I found a recipe for panzella, which is an Italian bread salad.  I know it’s traditional in Italy, but it is kind of an odd concept for your average American – it’s stuff mixed with crispy bread chunks, essentially.  This particular panzella recipe had white beans and tuna, which is a typical ingredient combination, but it also had chopped pickles.  I mean, to me it seemed like a random ingredient, but I have this gift where I can visualize how the different tastes of all the ingredients will come together.  I could sort of taste how the bread, the pickles, and the tuna would all fall in sync.

Am I giving myself too much credit?  Does everyone else do this?

So anyways, I made this White Bean and Tuna Panzella and added some sauteed zucchini and capers.  And you know what?  The finished product looked just about as rustic as the recipe picture did.  That’s what I love about panzella – it’s so rustic and simple.  It also tasted great; it will probably be a recipe I repeat in the future, which is saying a lot because I rarely remake recipes (except quesadillas – I make those once a week).

The seemingly random pickles added the briny bite I thought they would and melded nicely with the salty capers, the meaty tuna, and the crunchy bread.  As an added plus, this is a relatively inexpensive recipe.  Although I added capers, they weren’t really essential to the finished product and are probably the most expensive ingredient.  The pickles, however, are a huge taste component of the dish, so make sure you buy good quality pickles (as Ina would say).

White Bean and Tuna Salad
Real Simple Magazine

1/2 baguette, torn into chunks
Olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 can of cannellini beans
2 pickles, cut into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup sliced red onion
1 zucchini, cut into half moon slices
1 tbsp capers
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 6 oz cans of tuna

Turn on your oven’s broiler and toss the baguette chunks with 2 tbsp olive oil and the garlic powder.  Put the bread on a baking sheet and broil 4 to 5 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.

Meanwhile, heat a tbsp of olive oil in a saute pan and saute the zucchini and onion slices until slightly soft and golden.

Combine the beans, the pickles, the capers, the vinegar, a tbsp of olive oil, and the sauteed vegetables in a bowl and mix.  Fold the bread in gently, then distribute the salad and top with tuna.

Dietitian tip of the day: summer produce, like eggplant, zucchini, squash, cucumbers, etc. make great additions to most dinner-type dishes.  Just because it’s not in a recipe doesn’t mean it won’t taste good!  Add extra vegetables to stir fry, pasta dishes, even sandwiches.

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I was a freshman at UGA during the last Summer Olympics.  I remember feeling excited, nervous, and free.  I was living on my own, albeit with 4 floors of other 18-19 year old freshmen.  I had the world at my feet.  And I thought Ryan Lochte was the hunkiest dude on the face of the Earth.

Fast forward five years.  I am now a jaded fifth-year senior.  Just kidding, I’m not jaded.  I do, however, find Lochte silly after seeing him in his grill (so 2004).

I am actually really excited for my classes this year.  Yes, all of my old friends are done with school for the most part, but if there is anything I have learned during my four years in Athens, it’s that I actually can make friends easily.  I’ve learned that I can beat Organic Chemistry and Anatomy, so bring it on Biochemistry!  I’ve learned that the hospital is not the job arena for me as a dietitian after working at St. Mary’s in Athens this summer.  I’ve also learned a lot about myself in the past year and I have a lot more confidence in myself than I did the first half of college.

Basically, I have had a busy year.  Obviously I let this blog fall by the wayside, but now I’m ready to start writing again.  I’m not sure how consistent I will be at first, but I’ve been taking pictures of recipes I’ve made over the past few weeks.  I also don’t know if I’ll just talk about recipes.  Maybe I’ll talk about dietetics-y type stuff, because there are a lot of bad nutrition info out there (for example, white potatoes are not bad for you, diabetics!  Or anyone!  Eat them!).

So, I apologize for the year hiatus, but I’m excited to be back.

Just call me Bobby (Bobina?) Flay because I am now a GRILL MASTER! Well, not really, but I did the majority of Monday’s dinner on the grill pretty much on my own (my dad had to make sure I didn’t blow myself up…)! I decided on a BBQ theme, but I picked recipes that were a little outside the norm for typical barbecue food: Carolina BBQ chicken (mustard based sauce), Smokey Baked Beans and grilled squash. This menu ended up being a little more time consuming than I originally thought (one day I will learn to read and comprehend recipes before I start cooking), but I thought the meal turned out nice. It was definitely aesthetically pleasing, which is something I strive for when making a meal, but it turned out to be a pretty involved meal that took longer to create than I had anticipated. I guess we can’t all be Rachael Ray (which my mom pointed out twice to me while I was making dinner)…..

Separately, the chicken and beans were a snap to make. My dad suggested baking the chicken before grilling it so it wouldn’t burn on the grill, which I thought was a nice idea. I marinated it in the BBQ sauce, then baked it at 400 degrees for about 50 minutes, then plopped it on the grill, just to get those awesome grill marks (basting occasionally). The direct heat from the grill really helped caramelize the sauce, as opposed to the oven which can kind of end up steaming the chicken and never giving the sauce a chance to stick. The beans were kind of a dump and mix deal and they ended up tasting slightly sweet from the tomato sauce, but ultimately they tasted lighter than typical baked beans.

On Tuesday, I continued my winning streak with some delicious salmon burgers. One of my mom’s specialties is actually salmon patties, but I think my burgers were different enough to say that I didn’t steal her thunder. The recipe called for pureeing 1/4 of the salmon, which made the inside of the burgers creamy and light. I decided to add diced celery for a bit of crunch and freshness, which Lara and Mom didn’t like (picky picky). I also made tartar sauce (I’m in love with it now, seriously. That olive oil mayo is amazing!) for some tang and sweet potato fries (frozen bag – I was too lazy to make real ones).
And finally, on Wednesday, I decided to make meatball subs; I even made the marinara sauce myself, although you could certainly use store bought. I used The Pioneer Woman’s recipe for mini meatball sliders, but obviously it’s easy to make them regular sized. The only change I would make is adding more seasoning to the meat; while the marinara sauce was flavorful, the inside of the meatballs was straight ground chuck. Next time I’ll use half Panko and half Italian seasoned breadcrumbs and maybe some Italian Seasoning. Other than that, the subs were excellent! I was really surprised by how easy the marinara sauce was – I suppose canned tomatoes really help the process, but if Giada approves, then who am I to say otherwise?

It was nice to finally cook elaborate meals after a summer of lazy pesto quesadillas, leftovers and PB&J English muffins. Even though I’ll be cooking for one this year, hopefully I’ll be able to figure out a way to continue cooking like this frequently throughout the school year. Ugh, school. 8 more days of freedom.

From the summer after kindergarten to the summer before my senior year in high school, I spent the majority of my time swimming. Each morning my mom drove my sister and I to the pool for swim practice. Mine was always earlier, at nine, while Lara’s was at ten. While I loved swimming, I hated practice until I was in high school and swam at a summer league team closer to home. A huge part of the reason was the cold water – I procrastinated as long as I could before jumping into the cold pool. I mean, who could blame me….I was eight years old and probably 3 to 4 inches taller than most of my friends, not to mention extremely skinny. I also hated practice because at that particular pool, I was one of the few who didn’t swim all year, making me slower than everyone else. Trust me, I held my own against the other 8 year olds that dedicated their young lives and souls to Dynamo Swim Club and Swim Atlanta, but it was still disheartening to be the last in line at practice and have annoying team members grab my toes because I was swimming too slow.

Geeze, I forgot how annoying that was….it’s like an 8 year old’s version of tail gating.
Anyways, basically swimming was all about the stupid colored ribbons we received after each swim meet. Blue for first, red for second, white for third, yellow/gold for fourth, green for fifth, and so on, up until the rainbow colored participation ribbon.
I hated the rainbow ribbons.
Fortunately, I usually found white, yellow, green and maroon ribbons in my folder, which was disappointing, but I loved the special occasions when I’d find a blue ribbon in my folder. My disappointment was also eased by the traditional Dunkin Donuts doughnut hole bounty we received on Fridays. So basically, my love for swimming until I was 13 was highly related to my love for colored ribbons…and doughnut holes.
When I was 13, I switched to a more laid back, less competitive swim team that was closer to home. I knew more of the people on the team from school and I ended up making a lot of new friends as well. I didn’t compare myself to my teammates as much as I did on my old team, which made the summers more enjoyable. I started appreciating swimming as a competitive sport and as a team sport. During the meets, my friends and I would various poker games, eat junk food (swim meet food was the best – giant pickles, sour straws, ring pops, blow pops, baby bottle pops…the green variety, of course, and pizza), and just hang out. By then, swimming was less about the silly colored ribbons and more about bettering my own times, spending time with my friends, and swimming!
Although summer league took up a lot of my free time during the summers, I still miss it sometimes. This summer I started swimming at a ginormous outdoor pool on campus instead of the indoor pool in the gym, and man, what a difference it makes! Swimming indoors was kind of blah, much like running on a treadmill….no atmosphere, just mindless movement. When I swim outside, I can marvel at the gorgeous water – I love seeing sunlight reflect in pool water. A few other requirements this pool met include:
1. Clean, as in minimal floating debris (bugs, leaves, hair, etc) and clear, crisp water. There’s nothing worse than getting hair caught on your fingers while swimming freestyle.
2. Cold water. There’s nothing worse than swimming in a luke warm pool.
3. Not overrun by the public. This pool is huge, like three pools side by side, so the kiddies can have their play area while the lap swimmers can have their own lanes. There’s nothing worse than sharing a lane with someone (see toe grabbing, above).
As you can see, being a water rat has made me very picky about my pools. Anyways, I guess the point of this post is just about sharing some love for a sport that has stayed with me my entire life. Sure, I’ve had my ups and downs with swimming, but it’s the one sport I feel I’m naturally good at (although I never really felt inclined to hone it through club swimming) and have truly enjoyed. Swimming outside, for me, makes it fun and not forced – that’s what activity is all about, right? It’s amazingly calming and therapeutic to swim outside in the sun – this is corny, but a pool in the sun is one of my favorite sites to see.
On a side note, I hope to start posting more food oriented posts again soon, but I think I’m going to start including more non-related posts like this one and the Harry Potter post. Updates probably won’t be regular – I’m trying to blog when I feel like it instead of feeling obligated to update and having it feel like homework. I’ll be baaaaaaaaaack!

I know everyone who is connected to me on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or in person is sick to death of hearing me (and everyone else) talk about Harry Potter, but after not writing on this blog for almost 2 months, I finally have some writing inspiration, so I’m going to go with it….even if it is Harry Potter.

For 13 years, or since I was 8, I have always been subconsciously waiting for either a Harry Potter book or movie. When the books came to an end, of course I was sad (I had that melodramatic, terrible empty feeling when I finished book 7 – like I had no purpose in life or something…I know), but I had no idea what was coming next, so I was more excited to read them instead of feeling sad for the end. After watching the last movie this morning, I feel that same sense of emptiness, but there’s also a sense of finality. Except for Harry Potter World and Pottermore, there is nothing left. Seeing the end on the screen was, well, kind of heartbreaking. I cried like a baby. Not just at the end, but throughout the entire movie (Alan Rickman, you slay me). I knew how the movie would end, and of course I was excited to see how it would be represented on the screen, but I had such a bittersweet feeling going into that movie and I’ve been in a weird funk all day (“Leaving Hogwarts” has been on repeat in my head ALL DAY. Playing the same ending song from the first movie at the end of the last one was an excellent and tear inducing decision).
I know it sounds stupid, but Harry Potter is THE thing of my childhood. I know there is much more to myself than my love of Harry Potter, but being a HP fan will always be one of the many ways I define myself. I will always remember rereading the books every Christmas break and summer break (yeah, I’ve lost count), I will always remember the anticipation of waiting in line at a bookstore to buy the latest book and trying to keep myself from reading it too quickly, I will always remember “Hedwig’s Theme,” I will always remember being SO excited to see the first movie with my friend, Grace. I remember when I received the first Harry Potter book – my grandparents gave it to me at a county swim meet. Honestly, it took me a few tries to get through it, but once I did, I was hooked. My parents/grandparents gave me the next two books for Christmas, then I bought the LAST copy in Borders of the fourth book before reading the entire thing during a car ride to Florida. I remember my sister and I each buying our own copy of the fifth book; I remember trying so hard not to read more than one chapter of the sixth book on the way home from the mall. I remember feeling weepy in the checkout line as I read the scar-shaped book dedication in the seventh book.
Harry Potter is something I want to pass on to my kids (if I ever have any). On the surface, Harry Potter may be about wizards and magic, but underneath, there are SO many universal themes that, in my opinion, make the books and movies timeless. Again, I know they’re just books and movies, but they have such a special place in my heart and it’s amazing that so many people feel the same way. I can’t think of any other book series that has such a dedicated following. I am so glad that I am a part of the Harry Potter generation and I am forever grateful that Grandmommie and Pop Pop gave me the book with the funny looking wizard on the cover that summer 13 years ago.
Mischief managed.

Lately I’ve been reminiscing hardcore about our trip to Disney World last year – I’m DYING to go back!

Yeah, I know…I’m 21 and out of all the places I’ve been to, Disney World is the one that sticks with me. I’m such a little kid. What can I say? I miss the food, the sites, the rides and the atmosphere…only a Disney freak like my sister and I would know the feeling I’m talking about when I say atmosphere. We’ve been pondering the Disney College Program lately – it would be SO awesome to apply for the Fall 2012 semester. I’m too chicken to do things like that on my own, but with Lara (sort of) by my side, it would be a blast! Has anyone done the Disney College Program? TELL ME!

Since I miss Disney so much, I decided to recreate a meal we had there – The Brown Derby’s Cobb Salad! It wasn’t exactly like Disney’s in that I didn’t feel like cutting the lettuce into itty bitty shreds and I also didn’t make the dressing (I used Thousand Island instead). The entire process was kind of lengthy and tedious – I browned two salt/pepper/Ranch dressing mix covered chicken breasts, hard boiled three eggs, fried 7 slices of bacon and cut some avocados and tomatoes. Definitely not a quick fix meal, in my opinion. It sure turned out nice, though! A huge part of a Cobb Salad, in my opinion, is the presentation. I love the individual strips of bacon, poultry, tomatoes, avocados, etc. Even though the texture wasn’t exactly the same as the one we had at Disney (that shredded lettuce was so weird!), it tasted nice and definitely took me back. Then Lara and I watched Tangled to further delve into our Disney nostalgia. Goooood times.

I would post the recipe for all of you, but the recipe card I got from The Brown Derby explicitly states not to reproduce, and who am I to disobey the House of Mouse? The recipe is posted on the Disney website, though, which can be found through a quick Google search!

On a completely different note, I finally read The Lovely Bones – wow, what an amazing book! I bet it’s going to be a book kids read in high school English classes in a decade or two. Now I’m reading Jane Eyre (again), but I have a few books on hold at the library that I’m excited to read. Have any of ya’ll read anything good lately? I’m always on the look out for good books to read, especially during the summer!

On Friday night, my little sister graduated from high school.

I feel so old….imagine how my mom must feel! I kid!

I saw at least half of the people I graduated with three years ago (THREE YEARS?!), as well as some teachers I had seven or eight years ago! So weird.

Anyways, with graduation comes graduation parties, which also means FOOD! My mom decided on a sandwich bar with an assortment of side dishes and desserts. Unfortunately I didn’t get to make much, only cake pops and boxed brownies. I was hoping Lara would let me make red velvet cake pops, with her going to UGA and all, but she insisted on funfetti. My dad made his delicious salsa, which he does not add garlic to, which made me decide never to add garlic to my salsa/pico de gallo again. Raw garlic = bad breath for days. We also had some seven layer dip and an assortment of other foods (like an awesome fruit bowl – watermelon, strawberries, grapes and cantaloupe – hellooo summer!). My favorite part of the party was seeing all of my family in one place; I know that probably sounds incredibly corny, but it’s not very often that I get to see relatives from my mom’s side and my dad’s at the same time! I love hanging out and catching up with everyone, especially while eating good food. I also love hunkering down with my almost-cousin (not technically my cousin, but might as well be) and my sister to play Mario Kart, Super Smash Brothers, Mario Tennis and Kirby Air Ride on the Gamecube for a couple of hours.

I guess you could call this week family dinners week because I had another fun, family-esque dinner on Tuesday night with Kathy, Chris and Adam. Instead of going out to eat like we usually do, we decided to cook jambalaya (along with roasted okra and corn) at Chris’s house! It was really fun to go grocery shopping together then cook our meal together as well, but the best part was sitting around Chris’s table to eat…it totally felt like a real family meal! I don’t really have any recipes since we took a pretty fat shortcut by buying Zataran’s rice mix and just adding sausage, although I’m happy to report that I turned Chris, Adam and Kathy onto the joys of roasted okra!


Sorry for the poor picture quality, it’s a phone picture!

That’s about all I have going on right now! Sorry for the lack of interesting posts lately – I’m really trying to enjoy my month off while I can. I’m super excited to be home for the entire week, but maybe I’ll make something interesting? Anyways, I hope everyone is enjoying their summer as well!

PS – If you’re a fan of Jane Eyre, you should totally check out the movie! It was definitely better than I thought it would be, probably almost as good of an adaptation as Joe Wright’s Pride and Prejudice!

It’s always a bummer when you set out to make a dinner you’re really excited about, but then it turns out less than perfect. This happens to me when I’m in a hurry or feeling lazy, the former of which was the case last night. I decided at 6:00 to make shrimp tacos and crispy portobello mushroom fries, both from How Sweet Eats even though I had to be at the movie theater a little before 7:00 to see Bridesmaids.

Can I digress here for a minute to say how HILARIOUS that movie was? I don’t want to overly build it up, but I honestly thought it was much funnier than The Hangover. It has a perfect blend of gross/raunchy humor, snarky humor and character development. GO SEE IT!

So anyways, my horrible time management skills caused me to rush through every phase of this dinner – the prep, the cooking and the eating. When I cook/bake, I like to take my time and really enjoy what I’m doing…I guess I’m like my dad in that way, who tediously chops vegetables into equal size pieces when he cooks. However, instead of lovingly dredging my shrimp in seasoned flour, I was flying around our 1 square foot kitchen like a mad woman trying to cook dinner in 20 minutes.

The pictures certainly look pretty enough, but sadly my shrimp were less than crispy (definitely did not give them enough time to fry on each side) and while the mushroom fries were crunchy, they were powdery from the excess flour and a little bland from a lack of seasoning. The texture of the fries was definitely interesting – they were crunchy from the panko, but the inside was light and airy, almost like a rice cake. I will make them again, but next time I’ll add more smoked paprika and salt and reduce the flour.

The shrimp had great flavor (hello, cumin and chili powder, the most heavenly spice duo ever), but sadly was soggy instead of crispy.

Soggy shrimp. Gross. At least the picture looks nice, right?

The pico de gallo I made on Sunday saved my sad tacos; even though I forgot to buy fresh tomatoes (only I would forget to buy tomatoes after planning to make pico de gallo for the week) and had to use canned, it still turned out really well! I used to hate pico de gallo because of the strong onion/cilantro flavors and the chunkiness of it. Ironically those are the two reasons I love it now – it’s amazing how my tastes have changed since high school.

Basic Pico de Gallo
I wasn’t really following a recipe when I did this, although I think it’s similar to most basic recipes; makes 1-1.5 cups

1 can diced tomatoes
– 1/4 red onion, diced
– 2 cloves of garlic, minced
– 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
– 1/2 jalepeno, seeded and diced
– 1/2 tsp cumin
– pinch of salt

Drain the can of diced tomatoes, then roughly chop them into smaller chunks. Carefully dice the onion, garlic and jalepeno into equal size pieces, just like Poppa Reed.
Just kidding. A rough dice is fine, obviously.
Roughly chop the cilantro, then add the spices. Mix everything together, then enjoy with tortilla chips or on top of soggy shrimp.

I’m also going to include the recipe for the mushroom fries, just because they’re so interesting.

Crispy Mushroom Portobello Fries
by Jessica at How Sweet Eats; serves 4

4 portobello mushroom caps, sliced
– 2 egg whites
– 1.5 cups panko bread crumbs
– 1/4 cup flour (next time I might use 2 tablespoons)
– 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 1/4 tsp pepper
– 1/2 tsp paprika (I might make it 1 or 1.5 tsp next time)
– 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, for drizzling (I didn’t do this…I used good ol’ fashioned ketchup)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place a wire rack on a cookie sheet.

Mix the flour, breadcrumbs, panko, salt, pepper and paprika into a shallow bowl. Mix well. In another shallow bowl, lightly beat 2 egg whites. Dip the mushroom slices into the egg whites, then toss in the bread crumb mixture, pressing the crumbs onto the mushroom to help the crumbs stick.

Lay the mushrooms on the wire rack and spray each with cooking spray or oil before baking in the oven for 7 minutes. After the first side bakes, flip the fries and spray again with oil, then bake for another seven minutes.

I just realized that I didn’t do that last step. Rushing does not pay!

And now I’m off to go make jambalaya with Chris, Adam and Kathy!


I SURVIVED! Yes indeedy, I made it through this monster of a semester! It’s not quite over as I have yet to see my grades for half of my classes, but that’s beside the point…summer is here!

Yeah, yeah, I have to take two classes in June and July, but hopefully they’ll be significantly less time consuming than my classes this past semester.

ANYWAYS, enough school talk because something way more important happened since the last time I posted – I turned 21! Now I can legally enjoy my crazy nights watching movies with Lara and staying up until 11.

I party hard, ya’ll.

Sarcasm aside, I did go to Walker’s in Athens with Adam and Kathy to have a beer, a Left Hand Milk Stout to be precise. I don’t know fancy things about beer, but it was dark. And it wasn’t half bad, although if I had to choose I’d probably still pick a glass of milk or a sweet tea. Anyways, it was slightly thrilling to show the bartender my ID; I probably looked like an giddy idiot, like most just-turned-21 year olds.

I also used my legality to buy my mom a six pack of beer for Mother’s Day, just because I could. Nothing says Mother’s Day like 55 calorie Bud Light.

Speaking of beer, tonight I decided to break out of my pesto + tuna quesadilla rut and make a notorious bar dish dinner – nachos! I decided to get a little creative (ie I had no chicken or beef) and decided to make buffalo salmon nachos! I’m sure some of you are wrinkling your nose in disgust, but it was actually really good! Lots of delicious buffalo flavor along with creamy black beans, salty olives and gooey pepperjack/mozzarella cheese!

Buffalo Salmon Nachos
Serves 2

– 1 can of salmon
– 20-30 tortilla chips, depending on your appetite (I was hungry and couldn’t even finish 15!)
– 3 tbsp buffalo sauce
– 1 tbsp white vinegar
– 2 tsp Ranch dressing mix
– 1/3 cup black olives
– 1/3 cup black beans
– 1/4 cup grated pepperjack cheese
– 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Place a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Arrange the chips on the parchment paper so that they overlap slightly. Scatter the olives and black beans on the chips. In a separate bowl, mix together the salmon, buffalo sauce and the white vinegar (I don’t know why I added the white vinegar to be honest, but it didn’t hurt anything). Distribute the salmon in small chunks over all of the chips, then sprinkle the two cheeses over the top.

Put the nachos in the oven for 10-15 minutes, then broil the nachos until the cheese browns slightly.

Try it and tell me it’s not good – after all, who can resist buffalo sauce AND nachos – just think, with these you’re getting fiber from the beans and some omega-3’s from the salmon!

Also, has anyone read The Hunger Games trilogy? I just finished the last one today and I’m not sure how I feel about them….the plot was good, but Katniss was a little too self-loathing for me and I couldn’t help but think of the Bella/Edward/Jacob triangle when reading about Katniss/Peeta/Gale, although Katniss and Peeta are MUCH more believable (and less corny) characters than Edward and Bella (barf).

Howdy! Sorry for being MIA….I had 2 tests and 2 lab reports last week, so I basically went stress crazy. Good times, right?

No.

At least the week is over, though, and the end of the semester is near! Unfortunately I have to get through 4 finals first, but whatever. Although the majority of last week stunk, I had a blast during my Quantity Foods lab practical where we came up with a theme and menu for an event with 30+ invitees! We chose Halloween in April (a la Christmas in December), complete with Scrambled Brains, Sausage Fingers and Toes, Eye Ball Salad, Ghost Toast, Hags Hash and cake pops! Since they were so easy to make, I wholeheartedly recommended that we make them as goody-bag treats for our guests. I also made 35 servings of French toast the morning of the event and helped make mini Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins! The room looked great, the food tasted amazing and my group really came together as a team, which is always rewarding. So cheers to reliable group members!

I don’t have any food pictures for this post (I didn’t cook this week due to the excessive amount of studying I had to do….), so instead I’ll leave you with 7 random facts about myself since I was tagged with the Versatile Blogger award by Hannah! I don’t think I’ll tag anyone else since most people that comment on my blog have already done it, but just know that I think ya’ll are amazing!

1. I’ve had 3 severe celebrity obsessions/crushes over the course of my almost 21 years of existence: Leonardo DiCaprio in 2nd grade, Orlando Bloom in 8th grade and Rob Pattinson during my freshman year of college. I know creepy random facts that I probably shouldn’t know about all of these people – did you know that Orlando Bloom’s first car was a VW Golf? Creepy, right?

2. I’m extremely inflexible – I can’t touch my toes or fully bend over. I also can’t do a cartwheel. It’s sad.

3. My mom and I used to have to stretch out my jeans after she washed them by playing tug-of-war just so they would be long enough for me. Thank goodness stores make longer jeans now.

4. I hate scary movies, mostly just the ones with dead children or creepy, vengeful ghosts. I can handle the stuff that can actually happen (go figure), but I am TERRIFIED of movies like The Grudge or The Ring. Demonic horror scares me too, like that freaky Emily Rose movie. *shudder*

5. I am currently obsessed with internet memes. Some are kind of stupid, but ones like hipster Disney, 60’s Spiderman, and Me Gusta crack me up!

6. Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley is one of my all time favorite movies. Yes, I’ve seen the one with Colin Firth, but I like Joe Wright’s version WAY better. Lara and I have half of the lines memorized.

7. I tripped up the stairs in 11th grade and fell on my nose. I don’t know if I broke it or not, but I had two black eyes and my Pre-Cal teacher reported me to the nurse for possible domestic abuse.

Before I go, I highly recommend that all of you go watch Tangled (I dare you not to become extremely infatuated with Zachary Levi as Flynn) and then go listen to the new Decemberists CD. It’s awesome and reminds me of transcendental poetry…you know, Walt Whitman? It has that wide open American wilderness feel to it (as opposed to their previous CD which was kind of Romantic sounding back on it…I miss literature classes now). But yeah, go do that. I’m off to read The Hunger Games – gotta get ahead of the game before the movie comes out!