Grilled Chicken with Bok Choi

The weather last week was a total anomaly.  Seriously, it was in the 70’s all week.  Most days the sun was shining.  It felt more like spring than winter.  I am waiting for the other shoe to drop, I just know mother nature is going to drop a blizzard on us when we least expect it.   Anyway….I decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth and took the opportunity to grill out doors, we even ATE outside one night last week, whoo hoo!

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I marinated boneless skinless chicken in a sesame ginger marinade, then grilled it.  While that was cooking I made a batch of white rice and quickly sauteed up some bok choi in a little of the same marinade.  It was delicious.  Quick, healthy, and so so satisfying!

I know global warming is a bad thing for the planet, but I have to tell you, I really enjoyed our weather the last few days.

Lasagna

The weather this week has been outrageous!  It was 66 degrees and sunny on Wednesday, then downright frigid, windy, and SNOWY on Thursday…..

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Today the snow is washing away in the warmish rain.   Crazy, crazy, crazy!  Another crazy thing….I unexpectedly have the weekend off, the WHOLE WEEKEND, whoo hooo!  To celebrate, I went to the butcher shop and picked up a bunch of meat.

I made lasagna with the meatloaf mix and the hot italian sausage.  It turned out so, so delicious!  I made a HUGE pot of tomato sauce, so much in fact, that I ended up freezing three batches for meals later in the winter.

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Goodness knows I have a horrible time resisting carbs…give me cold, dreary weather and well…all my good intentions go down the drain.  At least I am eating well…..right?   Happy winter everyone, the only thing that excites me about winter is the longer days.  Each and every day I get a few more precious minutes of light – spring is on the way, never fear!

Chicken Salad

I have been experimenting with my chicken salad.  I have never been one for a salad with a TON of mayo, and in an effort to be healthy, I have been looking for ways to cut back on fat.

With that in mind, I have been trying to find a substitute for the mayo in my chicken salad.

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I started by replacing all of the mayo with fat free plain greek yogurt.  It wasn’t bad….but it wasn’t good either.  I ate it, but I can’t say I was looking forward to ever eating that again.  Sigh….I figured I would play with the ratio of mayo to yogurt and FINALLY came across the perfect combination – 2/3 yogurt to 1/3 mayo.   Low fat, delicious, and as an added bonus – extra protein from the yogurt.  Now I just need to eat it on greens and not in a roll….baby steps people, baby steps!

US Physics Tournament

I haven’t had much time for cooking in the last two weeks, instead I have been working non stop.  We were lucky enough to win the opportunity to host the US Physics Tournament at our university last weekend.  I worked a total of 54 hours in three days between the set up and actual tournament.  I was one tired girl by Sunday night when we wrapped up the pizza party for all 200 of the event attendees.

The event was a logistical challenge and my entire team rose to the occasion beautifully! Team USciences for the WIN!

Each physics “fight” consisted of two teams of four and a panel of six judges.  We had six fights happening simultaneously, in multiple buildings, for two straight days.  My AV team was able to capture each fight on film and with the technology in the rooms, we were even able to  live stream the finals and award ceremony to the friends and family who weren’t able to attend in person.

We welcomed a total of thirteen teams from around the globe and the event went flawlessly.  The buses showed up on time, the food was plentiful and delicious, and the technology worked, whew! We set up a command center and tabulation room in our training center and with the help of a google document and wifi, we were able to significantly reduce the amount of actual paper involved with the event as well as keep everyone informed and updated in real time.

I think the best part of the entire event was the connections made between the high school physics students who came from around the world to compete.  We had teams from as far away as China and Tunisia and as close as the Philadelphia suburbs.  The level of competition was amazing, but the camaraderie and sportsman ship shown by all of the students was a beautiful sight to behold.

Word is we are looking to host this event again in two years, followed by the International Competition in 2021 – I say BRING IT, we are up for the challenge!

HELLO! I’M BACK!

Oh my goodness, I so did not mean to take this long to write another post.  It has been one heck of a holiday season!  Work was insane….which scares the heck outta me because typically the spring semester is busier than the fall semester.  Time just seems to go faster and faster every year.  I can’t believe we are already in the second week of January.  It is hard to believe that my students come back on Monday.  I doesn’t feel like it has been a week since they left.

Anyway, I have been cooking and taking photo’s – just not blogging – so here goes!

For the last admissions open house in December, I always make desserts for our student ambassadors.  This year, time was tight, so I made a pan of caramel brownies, a pan of blondies, and this amazingly awesome apple cake.  Oh my, was the apple cake delicious, so full of apples, barely sweet, with a nice hint of dark rum….YUM! It was the first dessert that the kids devoured, but have no fear….they ate every bit of the home made desserts and begged for more.

 

2016 was a crazy year and I didn’t get the opportunity to make as much jam as I usually do, thankfully, I was able to make a 5 gallon batch of hard cider and multiple batches of cranberry vodka, so at least I had gifts to give away to friends and co-workers.

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I, of course,  made  multiple batches of what my neighbor Kim lovingly refers to as Christmas Crack….aka….Burnt Sugar Almonds

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So all was right with the world.  I am hoping that life will slow down a bit once I am finish my responsibilities as task force chair of one of our program review teams.  I am putting in an additional 15-20 hours per week as part of the task force.   March 1st can’t come soon enough!  I hope you all had a lovely holiday season, mine was good, it just went  by wayyyyy to quickly!

Eggs and Toast

I woke up this morning feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world!  I needed a bit of protein to start my day and what is better than eggs with a bit of toast?

breakfast

I figured I could indulge with three eggs since the only other thing on my plate was toast.  It hit the spot and I know it will keep me full and fueled all morning long.  I have a ton of errands to do today, this is what happens when you work the entire weekend!  I am off to hit the grocery store, the dry cleaners, and wash my laundry.  Hopefully you are having a productive Monday!

Cranberry Vodka

Fresh cranberries have made their debut in my grocery store and it isn’t a minute too soon as far as I am concerned!  I started making liqueurs for the holidays about ten years ago.  Up until three years ago, I had never duplicated a recipe.  Well that all changed when I made Cranberry Vodka.  It was a huge hit and I have had multiple requests for it.  I sincerely doubt I could get away without making it for the holidays, it is now a tradition.

cranberry-vodka

It is super simple to make, you toss the cranberries in a food processor to chop them finely, you add them to a jar along with a bit of lime peel, orange peel, a cinnamon stick, vodka, and simple syrup.  You let it sit on the counter, covered, shaking it every few days, for the next 8 weeks.  After that it is a simple matter of straining the vodka and bottling it.   I absolutely love the color, it will deepen over the next few weeks, it is such a cheerful color that livens up even the coldest, dreariest, darkest days of winter.

Luckily, I have found some pretty bottles to decant the liqueur into for the holidays.   Between this and the hard apple cider that is currently fermenting in my kitchen, we should have a festive holiday season on our hands.