Sunday, January 23, 2011

Super Fast

Well  - it has been a stressful week.

I have been jammed with school - and my birthday. Which I semi-celebrated on Friday. I was at HAZMET training - what fun. But my class is awesome and they took me to a fast lunch at a local hang out... we had a quick burger then went to 'triage' patients. A good friend took me out to a fantastic sushi place for dinner - then just a few beers - I had to be back at HAZMET at 8am.  That's it.


I study. Pharmacology. A lot of it. I have a nasty exam on Tuesday night and they didn't give us any time to study this weekend - it's been all day today. And I have 8 hours of class tomorrow. It's shaping up to be a long week ....and all I really want to do is get a pedicure, have a glass of wine and go to sleep.

No rest for the weary... true that.

Well - On that note: back to the books - more soon...  

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Let's Try This Again....

It's been an eventful year.

I shattered my right leg which put me from 100+ miles per hour to sitting on my butt for 3 months. I stopped flying. I got into a physician assistant program. I stopped cooking. I gained weight. Life is full of paradoxes. I learned to walk, and it's true what they say: you have to walk before you can run. I'm still not running. I have had two surgeries and may face another in May. Time will tell. Things still aren't quite right in there so, we'll see what happens closer to May.

And I'm finally getting around to my resolution - most resolutions, I think, are rubbish - which is trying to keep up with my blog. It's a big undertaking at this point in time because I'm in the midst of my second semester in the program. Thank God. T-8 months until rotations... can you imagine? I am actually going to treat patients. I'm so excited I can't stand myself. That said; life is complicated and full of a lot of responsibilities right now. In fact, I'm going to keep this short because I have a Medicine Exam on such exciting topics as the endocrine system, pulmonary things, neurology and hematology on Tuesday morning at 8am... oh joy. I happen to be a lousy test taker. I'd be great if I could answer everything in front of a panel. It's when I sit there and second guess myself that I get in trouble. Anyway - I'm resolving not to do that, as well. I'll let you know how that goes after the exam.

So during the break, I was happily perusing the recipes over at Tasty Kitchen - one of my most favorite sites ever - and was actually looking for a recipe for sweet and sour cabbage soup. Don't ask. I get obsessed with things and that's all I can eat for a period of time. I discovered this delicious version of it at Jerry's Deli and now need it in my life. Often. Last weekend I went over there and got a "bowl size" to go. The nice gentleman who packaged up my order - a quart sized container of soup and a 1/4 pound of chopped liver - informed me that the base was beef and chicken. Who knew? All I know is that it's mighty delish. I decided to find it and make it. Problem is, there is no real recipe that's like the soup I eat at that darn deli. So I'm going to have to figure it out when I have time to do it. Anyway - while looking over at Tasty Kitchen, I found a delightful recipe - and if you're squeamish - don't follow the link!! Even Ree herself (the Tasty Kitchen'dom Queen) says that you can make you're own cheese sauce if you prefer. I am squeamish - but willing to try it her way. How can someone named Edna Mae be wrong with her ingredients? Also - if you don't like cabbage then this might not be for you! I love cabbage. One of my favorite ways to eat it is just thinly slicing it and throwing it in a pan with a little butter and olive oil, sauteing until it's translucent-ish and browning. Then I just gobble it all up. I don't even share. MINE! So, of course when I saw this recipe that included cabbage and a 'cheese' group - I thought: hmm, I'm game. So - I'm going to try it tonight and I'll let you know next post how it goes. For those of you willing and not squeamish - here's the link: Edna Mae's Escalloped Cabbage. Enjoy it! I'm quite sure it's going to be great! In the mean time - it's back to the books and the Sweet Tarts for sustenance! Maybe I'll do Junior Mints....

Monday, October 12, 2009

All I Want... Right Now

Sometimes when I think I'm hungry, I'm not really all that hungry. Or perhaps I really am? But nothing appeals to me. Often, it's a combo of the two. As was the case last night. I ran to the market hoping for something miraculous to eat and nothing at all popped out at me. I looked at the ground beef thinking "burger? no. meatballs? no" then I put it back. Picked up some chicken breasts thinking "stuffed with goat cheese and tarragon? no. barbequed? no. lemon chicken? no" then put it back. Looked at the shrimp, no appeal. Looked at the steaks, ditto. I even thought about a nice simple dinner of liver, bacon and onion over spinach. One of my all time favorite comfort meals I learned to make in Paris. Even that held no love.

Earlier in the day I had been avidly reading back logs of The Pioneer Woman's blog and ran across a recipe for the most amazing sounding gooey delicious cheesy olive bread. I couldn't get it out of my head. I thought about it endlessly. The whole time in the market, I thought of nothing but that bread. And fought the urge to eat it. When you read the recipe.... you'll know why. It's both compelling and worth about 10lbs on the thighs. But worth it. I gave in. Since nothing else was getting me... and that was all that was interesting... I just picked up the ingredients. And all I can say is it was worth all 10 - maybe even 12 - pounds that I gained since last night's dinner. Oh, and that was all I ate. Yep. Just the bread. Nothing else. No salad. No meat. Just bread. And man, was it good. I was in heaven. I was communing with the cheese and bread and olives. OHHHH so good. Try it... you won't regret it. Thanks Ree... your recipe ROOOCCKKSS!!!!

Here it is, enjoy! The Pioneer Woman's Olive Cheese Bread.

Friday, October 9, 2009


Wow... I love quinoa. The grain is so versatile and delicious. I have it on hand at all times. Last night I fixed a pasta supper for a friend's girls and made a simple sauce with a lot of garlic slivered into it. It was a hit. Not a bite left in the pan or on plates. And because of my hankering for garlic - sometimes you just need garlic, I figure - I'm making a quinoa pilaf with a lot of garlic. I've decided it will be the base for little quinoa cakes. Sort of like quinoa latkes. So, here's the plan for my protein filled grain:


1 beef bouillon cube
2 1/4 cups of water
5 smashed cloves of garlic - fairly big ones!
1 1/4 cup quinoa
Pinch of hot smoked paprika
1/2-3/4 cup thawed, squeezed dry, frozen spinach
2 eggs
2-3 carrots grated

Mix bouillon into water and heat on stove in large pan. Peel garlic and smash up either on cutting board or in mortar. Add garlic to water and bring to boil. Add quinoa and bring back to boil. Add smoked paprika to taste - be careful, it's spicy! Put burner on low and cover pan and simmer about 45 minutes until quinoa is done.

Cool quinoa. When cool mix in bowl: quinoa, shredded carrot, spinach and eggs. I hesitate to season this too much, as the bouillon is salty and the paprika is spicy. But, salt a bit and pepper a bit if you like. Mix all this up together and on a foil lined baking sheet sprayed with a little Pam, make small cakes about the size of a silver dollar pancake. Bake these in the oven at 350 until they are golden and set, about 34-50 minutes. Serve with a dollop of sour cream if you like, and a nice big salad or with grilled chicken! Delish!

My house smells delightful... mmmmmm garlic!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Somtimes You're Just Too Tired...

OK.. so I've been busy... flying... trying to figure some things out about school and classes. Really time consuming! And last night, I was jut too lazy to really put together a great meal. So, I took inventory in the fridge: Brussels sprouts, squash, potatoes, cheese, cream cheese, sun dried tomatoes, bread, butter, milk... you know.. the usual suspects. I had taken whole chicken breasts w/bone and skin , out of the freezer with all intentions of doing something special to them. Needless to say, it rained all day, I was tired and too lazy to do anything fancy. Then it occurred to me: stuffed chicken breasts. Easy, delicious and relatively fast. With my inventory in mind I set out to do something tasty with little prep time involved. I got some rice out and cooked it with a little veggie broth - you know the standard way: substitute the veggie broth for the water. Then I got out my cream cheese - which just so happened to be sun dried tomato flavored - and some garlic and my panko. I use whole wheat from Ian's. It's pretty delish. And then I don't feel so guilty about using bread crumbs. Anyway... here's what I did:

I took about half the container of cream cheese, and mixed it with: about a quarter cup of oil packed (drained, of course) chopped sun dried tomatoes to give it extra pizazz, 2 cloves of minced garlic and about 2 tablespoons of panko (I figured it would help the cheese from leaking out from under the skin!) and I mixed it all up in a bowl. Then, I slid the mixture, evenly divided between the two breasts, under the skin and secured it with a little metal skewer that I sort of 'knitted' down the side of the breast to hold the skin in place. I salted and peppered the breasts nicely and put them on a baking sheet lined with foil sprayed with a little organic Pam with olive oil. Then I popped them in the oven at 350 for about an hour and VOILA!!! Stuffed chicken breasts!
Gang... I have to say... for relatively no time involved, and little creativity - these came out great! The rice was perfect, the chicken breasts were juicy and the cream cheese stuffing was just right! Everything considered - sometimes being tired has it's advantages! Oh, and I know you're probably thinking... where were the veggies? I just sliced some tomato - you know, to keep with the theme!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

All Things Considered

Has anyone noticed how trendy it is to be up on your vampire latest fad? There's the Vampire Diaries, True Blood, the Twilight series - and sadly no more: Moonlight. Man that Alex O'Laughlin was a hottie!! I must confess, I'm into True Blood. Big time. I think it's super sexy, super cool, and yes, a bit scary. That supernatural stuff is a bit crazy sometimes. I confess that I am a bit squeamish about that sort of thing. Still, I'm compelled to watch. I've always been intrigued by all things vampire. I love that they are immortal. That they can fly. Or how they get to stay up all night - God knows I'm a night owl, so it would be the perfect thing for me. Plus, I'm not really that grossed out by blood. In fact, I like my steaks rare. If there's not a pool of warm blood tinted juice for me to smash my potato into, then it's too well done. Mmmmm, the perfect bite is: a bit of baked potato smashed up with a bit of butter and sour cream, the swirled into the pooled steak juices on the plate - all piled up on a bite of a delicious rare rib-eye. OHHHHH hold me back!!! I am quite carnivorous. My mates that I swim with call me the 'hard core carnivore'. Aptly named, I think. I would eat burgers, steak, chicken, sausage - you name it if it's meat, bring it - anytime, everyday. So, tonite, in honor of the season finale of True Blood, I'm cooking up a nice rare skirt steak. I have to say, my recipe is quite nice. Though, after reading The Pioneer Woman's recipe for Grilled Rib-Eye with Blue Cheese Onion Sauce, it was all I could do not to run out and get heavy cream and some blue cheese and make myself that sauce. That said, I'm doing mine like this:

Skirt Steak Marinade

1/4 cup soy sauce
1tsp roasted sesame oil
1-3 tbsp of honey (depends how much you like, I use a big squeeze)
1/4 cup olive oil
2-3 tbsp of seasoned rice vinegar
2 cloves garlic smashed
a few shakes of red pepper flakes

Throw all of this in a bag, seal it up, sake well until all ingredients are combined. The honey should be dissolved into the ingredients. Then, throw in your skirt steak. I use about a 10-12oz skirt for this much marinade. Seal up the bag, suck all the air out to get a nice seal around the meat. Throw it in your fridge for about 2 hours. Take it out before you're ready to cook and let it come to room temperature on the counter in the marinade. Heat your grill up and have at it!
I usually serve it with a tomato salad (my version: tomato, hearts of palm, minced jalapeno, oil/vinegar, salt & pepper) and some nice fluffy garlic mashed potatoes. But that's me... rice would do, or even some quinoa. Sauteed spinach anyone? All of it sounds good to me.

Maybe it sounds simple? But try it... it's a nice easy Asian inspired recipe. And it sure doesn't need any fancy ingredients - in fact, you probably have most of them in your pantry right now. So, have at it... tweak it to your liking. Mostly? Enjoy it... off to eat my steak... signing out:
The Hardcore Carnivore.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Something Off Beat...

Ok, this is for the ladies out there... I have a confession to make, which I'm sure many of you will be right on board with: I love make-up. Love it. Have loved it since I was a wee girl. Now that I'm a big girl and can get it and wear it whenever I want? I indulge. I'm currently on a nail polish kick and have discovered the most awesome site for those of us who are into polish. Her site is called Vampy Varnish. She's a nail polish fiend!! I love her for it! No more going to the beauty supply (or drugstore!) and ruining your manicure because you want to know what the polish looks like before you actually commit to it. How many of you have a closet full of colors that looked great in the bottle, but looked horrid on you when you actually painted them on? I do, for sure. So Kelly has solved that for all of us!! She patiently paints her nails and photographs them to let us see just how the polish looks on. She even lets you know how many coats it took to get that look. I am grateful! So far? She's saved me a lot of trouble... but also only fueled my addiction!! Some of the polishes are easy to find, others are available thru the web, but she lists links to buy them. Her site is GREAT! And if you want to get into the latest shades, then check out Vampy Varnish. You will be glad you did! And thanks Kelly... you've made my life a lot easier!