Wednesday, September 30, 2015

S'mores coffee

In honor of national coffee day yesterday, I trekked through the torrential downpour to Dunkin Donuts and got free coffee.  Seeing how it was almost 4 pm, I saved it for today, and I am glad I did! Grandbaby Cakes posted a S'mores coffee recipe, and I decided to make it this morning.  It was fantastic, and a fabulous way to drink coffee.  I definitely recommend that you try it.

I am going to copy the link for the recipe below.  I only had minion graham crackers on hand so I just crushed them in a napkin for the graham cracker layer.


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Soft Chocolate Pudding Butterscotch Chips

That's right, I've baked again!  I have been on this kick where I refuse to follow any recipe.  There is definitely a learning curve when you decide to start modifying recipes.  Of all the cooke recipes I have modified, this is absolutely my favorite and an absolute make again!



Football season started about 2 weeks ago, and it is a whole new world to me.  Football is similar to a religion down here, and it is a new way of living for me.  Last Saturday was the first Hoos home football game of the season, and everybody flocked to the stadium for the game.  I went out and studied for the day (of course) and the line of cars heading to the stadium was backed up for traffic lights.  That doesn't include the parking lots full of tents, open trunks, and loads of food, or the hoards of people walking towards the stadium.  This was all three hours before the game started.

Yesterday, I decided to join those hoards of people as I went to my "first" college football game. I say "first" because I went to a Claremont-Mudd-Scripps vs. Pomona-Pitzer game but it is not the same.  College students were allover the roads yesterday with signs saying "Parking $20" or "Parking $20 plus free use of the bathroom", and "Cheap parking here".  It was shocking!  Students trying to make money off of game day by charging for expensive "cheap" parking.  Yet, people pay them to park at their apartment complex or house without a second thought.  I was still in for another shock of the day, however.  What I did not realize was that going to a football game meant standing up for four hours straight.  Needless to say, I am still exhausted today.  It was a lot of fun to watch the game, and see the school pride.  I guess I need to learn the UVA cheer for next time.  Despite being exhausted, I am glad that I went and got to experience something new.

It is going to take me a very long time to get used to football season, but who knows, maybe I will become  a football fan like everybody else...

Monday, September 7, 2015

Spaghetti Squash with a feta cheese tomato cream sauce

I spent about an hour making food today for dinner and leftover meals.  I baked two butternut squash, frozen peas and carrots, and corn, and chopped up some squash and zucchini.  Then I made a "cream" sauce.  It was fantastic!  However, I would have thought that two 3 lb. butternut squash and all those veggies would have created more than three meals!  Here are my recipes to make this yourself (and I definitely recommend that you do).

Spaghetti Squash:
Place squash in a pyrex dish
Pre-heat oven to 350
While the oven is preheating, place the squash in the pyrex and put it in the oven
When the oven is pre-heated, take out the spaghetti squash and cut it in half.  I always cut it in half width-wise, but you can cut it in half length-wise.
Scoop out all of the seeds
In the bottom of the pyrex dish, pour in a bit of olive oil and sprinkle some oregano underneath where you are going to put the spaghetti squash
Place the spaghetti squash in the pyrex dish up-side down
Bake for 45 minutes

Use a fork and make your spaghetti!  I am too impatient to wait for the spaghetti squash to cool down, so I usually burn my hand.  However, you could also use a paper towel to hold the spaghetti squash halves.

Feta cheese tomato cream sauce:
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/8 cup mild cheddar
1/3 cup skim milk
grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup tomato sauce (I used hunts garlic and herb)

Add feta cheese to a pot, then put in the mild cheddar and milk
Heat until the cheese won't melt anymore, and all ingredients are mixed
Turn burner off and then let it thicken
Cover the top with Parmesan cheese
Add the tomato sauce and then heat and stir until thoroughly mixed

If you want a thicker tomato sauce I would either double the cheese/ half the tomato sauce or use heavy cream instead of milk!

2/3 cup frozen peas and carrots
2/3 cup frozen corn
~1/3 squash
~1/3 zucchini

Chop up the squash and zucchini
In a large pan, add the frozen peas and carrots, and corn
Add 3/4 cup water and cook on low/med until the water has evaporated
Add in the zucchini and squash and cook on low for ~5 mins (time may vary depending on how big you chopped veggies)

Add the spaghetti squash then the sauce to the large pot, stir and serve.  Enjoy!

Let me know if you have any questions!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

How Do You Learn in Grad School?

I'm almost done with week three of my first graduate school class and I'm starting to realize that learning is different. It is no longer about the memorization or how well you know the material, but it's about how well you understand it and how you can apply it. It is no longer just learning about what has been done and what has been learned, but it's about learning how to take what we know and apply it to something new. It's about trying to learn more. Science is never complete, and science isn't always right. A paper we were supposed to read for class today was retracted because of an abnormal change in the cell line (a change in the proteins it was expressing) that caused the whole paper to come into question. Science that looks to be possible, and was replicated, isn't always accurate. It is important to follow all experiments through, and if you're using cell lines then it's important to characterize it periodically. After talking to my mother today she compared it to doing the IB program. What's important about science is that you always want to be moving forward, and you always want to be teaching; teaching your classmates, teaching the science world, teaching the community.