Fall

Frost greeted me this morning.

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But so did the Sun, and he stayed around all day. Maybe that was why I was in such a good mood today. Or maybe it had to do with this girl.

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Meet Sadie, cutest, sweetest girl alive. But don’t we all say that about our dogs? She’ll be 5 months this Sunday, and she’s still scared of the camera. This was about as still as she would get.

Or maybe I was in a good mood because I got an early afternoon to work on some project work. And I might have made some half decent granola bars.

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There is a granola bar sold at the hospital in their cafe that is TO DIE FOR. It’s sweet, gooey and chewy, with chocolate and raisins, and peanut butter I think. But it’s also huge, oily, and full of SUGAR. I think it might be worse than a cookie. So I needed to replicate it. This version is a good start, but they’re not perfect.

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I’m not sure what to change, I’d like them to be gooier, maybe some more peanut butter? No egg? I’ll write the recipe, and if you have any advice, let me know!

Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Ingredients

2 tbsp margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup peanut butter (natural pb, none of that kraft krap)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups oatmeal
3/4 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup currants (I couldn’t find any raisins!)
3/4 cup nuts (I used walnut pieces, but I think sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds would be wonderful too)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325*. Grease a regular sized cookie sheet.
2. Beat together the margarine, brown sugar, peanut butter, egg, and vanilla extract until a smooth mixture occurs.
3. Mix in the oats, chocolate chips, currants, and nuts until it becomes a cohesive mixture.
4. Pour mixture onto the greased cookie sheet. Use your hands or a spatula to press the mixture flat, equal in height to edges of the pan (I couldn’t get it to quite cover the pan, there was an inch or two without any.)
5. Bake for 20minutes, allow to cool, then cut into however big of pieces  you want. I made about 18 smallish ones.

So blog readers, writers, what changes do you think might be made? What would leaving the egg out do to the texture?

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Filed under baking, Recipe

Foodservice: Half-way through

It’s Saturday night and I’m writing a blog post, why? What are you up to?

To clear up any confusion, I’m recovering from a crazy week of internship. This past Thursday was my Cafeteria Lunch Special: All Around The World. We had to create a menu around a theme of our choosing, and I wanted one I could find lots of recipes from. Mine looked like this:
English breakfast scone,
African Yam and Peanut Stew (<—Amazing by the way)
Quinoa Tabbouleh
Butter chicken
Thai Tofu Coconut Curry
Chicken Fajitas
Maple Sugar Pie

I really wanted to have some pictures of my menu items, but would you believe my camera decided to not work?! I know! It was tragic.

But overall it went well, a few glitches were to be had but mostly it was a success. The cook may have mixed up the curry pastes, so I had an emergency Save-On run in the morning and the tofu for the Thai curry (a green curry) was dyed pink, but c’est la vie!

It was an interesting experience, but now it’s past, my paper on it is mostly written (first draft anyway) and I’m on to the next project.

I’ve still been finding time for cooking. I made some roasted garlic hummus last weekend:

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For Thanksgiving dinner I tried Angela’s Chocolate Torte.

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Delicious! I mean, I could tell it was made from avocado, but honestly everyone else said if I hadn’t said “it’s vegan and has avocados” they wouldn’t have known. My one friend did, apparently because “her mom tried sneaking vegetables into desserts all the time.”

Now that I’m not so consumed by this project I hope to get back to a more regular blogging experience. So fingers crossed it will happen.

Happy weekend!

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Filed under school

A Tuesday Evening

Today was a long day. It started with my phone’s alarm going off at 5:40am, and that was not an accident. My intern partner and I had to be at Royal Inland Hospital by 6:30am so we could hit the road with our preceptor to head to Kelowna. In Kelowna we would be attending a group ordering session with our preceptor, and many other foodservice managers from across the Interior Health Authority.

It was a long day, both interesting and dull. Seeing how a health authority goes about ordering their food through one source for multiple different health service areas (IHA stretches across a large part of BC) is interesting. A meeting that lasts all day and talks about stuff you don’t know all the details about? Not interesting.

It was a day that needed an evening worth getting to. In my head while sitting in the meeting and trying not to nod off, I pictured a bag of fresh carrots I knew we had in our fridge. I knew what I wanted for supper.

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Is there anything like ginger? Yum.

I chopped up some onions, garlic, ginger and carrots.

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Threw them all in the pot and let them boil away. 

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My brother was helpful and made a salad to go along with the soup.

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Looks like a delicious meal, no? It was, oh it was.

I’ve also spent a great deal of time in the kitchen at the hospital testing out the recipes for my cafeteria special. Man is it intimidating cooking in a facility like that! Very scary. But sort of exciting too.

How has your week been going?

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Filed under school, Work

2 Weeks

I’m officially two weeks into my internship, and boy has it been keeping me busy. It feels more like a month really. Time wise, not so much in terms of the amount I’ve learned.

The biggest difference so far for me personally is how self directed it is. I’m used to having something to measure my accomplishes against, and while we do have some assignments that will be “graded” at the same time it’s up to us to know what we should be learning. What will make me competent in foodservice? What should I be thinking about, and what do I need to be paying attention to as I follow my preceptor?

So far so good, I’m on my way to learning all sorts of interesting administrative stuff, and about all the different areas in the foodservice at Royal Inland Hospital.

I’ve been spending lots of time in my kitchen as well, one of the projects we have involves creating a “cafeteria special”. I didn’t want to use recipes I’ve never tried, so I made sure I tested them out on my parents, not that they mind.

Speaking of recipes, I owe you one don’t I?

Grandmi’s Fudgies:

Ingredients:

1 cup margarine or butter
4 squares unsweetened baking chocolate
4 eggs
2 cup sugar
1 1/3 cups flour
1 tsp vanilla
Dash Salt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350*.
Grease two 8×8 or one 8×15 size pan.

1. Melt the chocolate and margarine in a double boiler or microwave. Once a smooth mixture, remove from the double boiler and allow to cool while you perform step 2.
2. Mean while beat the eggs with the sugar until light in colour and fluffy, add vanilla and salt.
3. Add in the chocolate and margarine mixture slowly to egg and sugar, stir as you pour.
4. Next add in flour and salt.
5. Transfer to the two pans, and put in the oven. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes. And this is the secret key: do not over cook. Test them a little before you think they’ll be done, and stick a toothpick or knife in the middle. If it comes out just barely clean it’s perfect. (in kamloops I cooked them for 25minutes exactly).

Sorry for the lack of pictures on this post, what can I say? This post was a little spontaneous!

Adios, hope your weekend is going well!

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Filed under baking, Recipe, school

T.G.F.G.F.

At first I thought I would call this post, Thank Goodness It’s Friday.

Then I remembered when my week really brightened.

It was actually a Thursday. The day was dreary, the first really grey day in two weeks. I was tired and the day had been long. I needed something. My mother had requested I bake something for a family friend currently in the hospital. I didn’t need the extra encourage.

Out came my Grandmi’s Purity Cookbook:

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The recipe I wanted was on the last page. Where it originated from I’ll never know. But, the first image of my grandma that ever comes to mind is her, white curly hair, a crisp pink blouse, tucked into a thick almost tweed-fabric skirt, stirring the chocolate and margarine as they slowly melted on the stove. I think this is one of favourite memories of my grandma, and one of the things that really makes me feel connected to her.

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Oh and how delicious these are.

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Chocolatey. Sweet.

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Ooey and gooey. Fudgie.

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After a crazy, busy, rough first week, Thank Goodness For Grandmi’s Fudgies.

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Filed under food, Work

Where have I been?

I have this habit of disappearing over the summer. It happened last year, it happened this year. Maybe it will happen again, who knows?

But I have to say, I was busy this summer, really busy. I took some courses, one that was full time (actually 8 to 4, five days a week). Then I went on a trip. Yes, well trip might be an understatement.

I spent six weeks in the gorgeous country of Kenya, teaching kids about HIV & AIDS:

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It was crazy, it was intense. It brought up so many emotions, I don’t think I could describe them all. In some ways I still cannot describe what I’m feeling. Mostly good, mostly. How can it not be, when I was out teaching kids as cute as these:

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It was a crazy trip, and I of course did a lot of traveling afterwards too. Saw some of these:

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A few of these:

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Some of these:

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And about a gazillion of these:

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And of course zebras, antelope, fancy birds, waterbufalo, but you know there’s only so much room for photos.

I don’t have a lot of time this evening for a long post, but I thought an update would be good, and I’ll try and keep blogging as I get started with my dietetic internship.

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Filed under Volunteer

On getting the goal

Hello internet blog world, my, it’s been awhile, hasn’t it?

I’m happy to say that for me, the worst of the term is past. I’m not necessarily closer to being done (couple exams, a few summer courses, and you know an internship) but hey I’m getting there, and I feel a lot lighter today.

The worst part is that I’ve been dying to write. Not literally, but it seems like the one week in my life when I know I don’t have time to blog is when I come up with the most ideas. How does that work anyway?

This post was inspired by  Caitlin recent posts on life/work balance, and how it really just a way for us ladies to guilt trip ourselves. (Love her friend’s response by the way)

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(I love this picture, it’s from a project this year, and it just reminds me of holistic health) 

I was reading the response sent by Caitlin’s bff, and one quote stuck out for me:

Generally though, I’m ok with my hectic work schedule because I have secret desires of world domination and I am constantly considering the "long term.”  I think people get into trouble when they have those "What is it all for??!" moments, but you really just need to keep things in perspective.  Remember why you are doing what you do in work and life, and if you’re creative enough you’ll figure out a way to rule the world and and still have your sanity.

I have always been a very goal oriented person, and long term goals, short term goals, any kind of goals really, usually drive me. Something I’ve noticed is that upon hitting that goal, I get a little lost for a while. Somehow when I achieve a goal, I get confused. What do I do now? This is as far as I’d thought.

And this happened when I finally got into dietetics. I’d been driving myself through five years of university to get to dietetics. Then I got in, and I got lost. I asked myself What is it all for? What am I doing here? 

For some reason this year I’ve been avoiding making goals. There have been a lot of barriers, but the thing is, those barriers have been almost entirely in my head. 

The honest biggest mental block I’ve had is not knowing what exactly I want. Sure it’s okay to waver here and there, to be flexible, but I’ve always been someone who wants to (and usually does) know where I’m going, even if the route to getting there is a little bit scenic and off the beaten path.

I know some time off is fine, but there’s a difference between resting and becoming stagnant. And stagnant is definitely what I’ve been feeling lately. I just need to motivation to make the changes I’ve been thinking about.

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But I feel like I’m slowly getting back to being my old self, but I was definitely looking for some thoughts on goals and life/work balance.

How do you get back on track after reaching a goal?

Do you usually have an idea of goals for when you reach goals?

How do you deal with loss of motivation? Do you force yourself to get back at it, or give yourself some time (on that note, how much is too much time?)

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Filed under emotions, mental health, school, Work