Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Not Quite Malaise

I’ve been feeling rather off today. Not my usual self. I get those days every once in a while where I have this indescribable feeling, almost like malaise, but not quite as blue. I have been trying to shake it off and become my normal happy, smiling, chipper self, but today it’s just not working. I have a feeling its mostly because of stress and trying to keep my head above water. There are just so many things I need to get done or go do, but I feel like I’m just running myself ragged. 

I cooked yesterday for the first time in a while and it sure felt good. I’m almost getting this keeping my kitchen clean thing under control, all the while the rest of my place looks like a tornado hit. I’m really looking forward to going home and enjoying a plate of beef stroganoff before I hit the books. I needed the comfort food and to be in a comforting place.

My apartment has slowly become my home. I have felt adrift for so long after moving from one place to another every year for so long. This was the first time I'd ever stayed in one place for more than a year since I left my parents' and its taken me about a year and a half before I felt comfortable and at home. There was a long period of time where I was gone a lot just simply because I didn't know how to enjoy my home. I am finally at the place where I'd rather be home than anywhere else. I can't tell you how good that feels.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Snowshoeing and School

So this whole going back to school thing has been a wild ride. I’ve gone through lots of emotions before I started and through the first quarter. That first quarter was definitely not the easiest. I had to learn how to balance school and work and still manage to not let everything overwhelm me. It got to me sometimes, but I picked myself back up and kept on going.

In the midst of all the chaos, my apartment has become a mess. At first I hated it and I fretted over it every time I walked in the door. I can’t tell you how much stress it caused me. Then one day, a thought popped in my head. This is just temporary. This clutter and mess is not how I live; it’s just going to be my life for the next few months. The lack of cooking in my kitchen really bothered me a lot, and still does. But it’s only temporary. In less than 6 months, I will be done with classes that require attendance at school and will start online classes. My life will change again then. I will have to learn to make time for school more than I do now. I’ll have to manage my time even better then, since it will be all on me. 

I have had to try so hard to reign in my desire to go do things on a constant basis. I get this urge to hike all the hikes, ski all the ski areas, snowshoe all the trails. I want to be able to do all my cooking projects at once, along with knitting and jewelry making. It’s been tough trying to get myself to slow down. I naturally whir at a fast pace, and if you can’t keep up, too bad!

I’ve been getting myself through my spurts of “want-to-do-everything-now!” by realizing that I have the rest of my life to do the things I want. I don’t have to get it all done now. I’m slowly coming around to the idea of slowing down, but I’m still a work in progress. 

This quarter is definitely going by easier than the last. I’m not struggling hardly as much (it sure helps to have a much better teacher this time around!) and everything seems to come easier to me. I guess it showed when I got a 96% on my first exam! And it was the highest grade in my lab section! I just had to put that out there and share it. I don’t remember the last time I got a grade that high. It was probably when I took Czech during my second year of college. Did I mention how good it feels?

Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Steak and Salad

 Hey! I'm back! Sorta. I want to keep posting, but life is really busy right now, with school and work and skiing. So I'm going to keep this one short and sweet!

I love the combination of steak and onions. They just go together so perfectly. I have posted a few recipes, such as my steak and onion sandwich, and I'm sure I'll post more of them.

I paired the steak and onions with a simple green salad, adorned with walnuts and golden raisins, drizzled with a sweet but tangy balsamic vinaigrette. Served with a sourdough roll, this delicious meal came together in a matter of minutes.

Steak with Onion Glaze
adapted from Menus in Minutes

Serves 4

2 steaks, your preferred cut
olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 onion sliced
3/4 c. beef broth
2 tbsp hoisin sauce

1. Heat a saute pan or grill pan over medium high heat. Season steaks with salt and pepper. Add 1 tbsp of oil to pan, then sear or grill steaks to desired doneness, flipping once (about 4 minutes each side to medium rare).
2. Add onions to pan and saute for 1 minute. Add broth and hoisin sauce, bring to a boil, scraping browned goodies from the bottom of the pan. Let boil until reduced by half and onions are no longer crunchy. Serve with sauce and onions poured over the steak.

Green Salad with Walnuts and Golden Raisins
adapted from Menus in Minutes

Serves 4

1 bag mixed greens
1/4 c. walnuts
1/4 c. golden raisins

1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp honey
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper
3/4 c. olive oil

To make dressing, combine all ingredients in a bottle. Shake to combine. Let sit while cooking steak to let flavors blend. Sprinkle walnuts and raisins over greens, then lightly drizzle with a little of the dressing. This makes a lot of dressing, but I keep the rest in the fridge. It's now my favorite balsamic vinaigrette!


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