The Perfect Fall Day

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Happy Monday, everyone!

Hope you had a wonderful Halloween weekend!

As I am coming out of my candy-induced coma, I finally got around to downloading the pictures I snapped last week onto my computer and stumbled upon this picture from a walk I went on with my parents.

It is the perfect fall day… crisp, clear, and full of breathtaking color. It truly captured the season in this part of the county.

A nice memory to kick of this crazy work week!

Have a great day, kiddos,

C

Sisters, State Fairs, and Scrambled Eggs

Hey there! How are you?

Did you have a good weekend?

I definitely did!

This past weekend was all about driving up to see E and making our second annual pilgrimage to the state fair. What made this weekend even more fun is that our best friend T (who is basically our sister in every way but blood) joined in on the fun. Watching T excitedly texting on our drive up late Friday night hinted that this weekend was going to be filled with good times (and hopefully some good eats!).

Our weekend started on Saturday morning with a big fuel-up brunch.

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Scrambled eggs (E’s specialty), sausage, bagels, english muffins, fruit salad, and homemade pumpkin bread (recipe coming soon) gave us enough energy and protein so we could conquer the fair (and not stuff our faces with everything in sight).

But that doesn’t mean that we didn’t eat.

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E and T dug into homemade macaroni and cheese studded with broccoli, bacon, and fresh garlic. They said it was delicious. (since I don’t eat cheese, I had to take their word on it)

My fair food of choice was a baked potato.

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A baked potato loaded with butter, bacon bits, and chives. I thought I was going to die from happiness.

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E and T got their baked potato with melted cheese, sour cream, and bacon bits, which looked also looked awesome.

But we didn’t only eat savory food… we ate some sweet stuff too!

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Like these amazing, WARM apple cider donuts.

Breakfast (and snack and dessert) nirvana.

After our big outing at the fair, we decided that a quiet night in parked in front of Netflix would be the best end to a busy day.

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So while we binged watch a comedy series, we dug into homemade turkey meatballs and mountains of salad (because we needed to balance out the day a bit). And drank some wine – because sister hang outs must include wine (it’s written in some sister manual somewhere).

After crashing at about 10:30PM, we woke up nice and late on Sunday morning… which meant that we would need to get moving if we wanted to make sure we got on the road at a decent time. But then we decided that T couldn’t visit E without going to the fabulous, old-school donut shop that is down the road from her house…

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… it would have been so a travesty if she had to miss out on this.

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They looked beautiful on our brunch table… and tasted pretty wonderful too!

 

It was a perfect weekend full of family, food, and so much fun! We were able to have 48 hours of girl time – no work, no stress, no problems – just the three of us hanging out, making memories, and eating fabulous food. Who wouldn’t be happy?

So, kiddos, what do you like to do with your siblings? Let me know!

oxox,

A Big Sister

Random Snaps Found After a Camera Clean Out, Part 6

 

 

Every once in a blue moon, I clean the photos out of my camera. It doesn’t matter if it’s my (not)frosting-covered iPhone, my trusty point-and-shoot, or my new fancy one, there always comes a time when I need to clean house. And I usually find some gems!

This is what I found from this past week or so.

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I’m calling it “Food-ception”… I saw the concept on Instagram and I was like, I want to try that. So I did and now I’m kind of obsessed.

(PS – this recipe is coming in November!).

(PPS – and I didn’t drop my phone into the skillet, which means that this iPhone camera MAY outlive its predecessor!).

 

But I did take actual food photos this weekend (not just photos of photos).

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Like re-shooting the photos for my challah french toast recipe (putting said pictures on the blog is another story…).

 

And french toast wasn’t the only thing gracing my table this week.

We got a new fridge (goodbye, 28 year-old friend!) so I decided to whip up Ree’s (The Pioneer Woman) Chocolate Pie.

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It was delicious, especially when you take Ree’s advice that you need to decorate the top with lightly sweetened whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and sprinkles.

 

To counteract ALL the sugar I have been eating this week (because life’s about balance), my mom and I whipped up a favorite Greek dish with the 3-pound bag of string beans I bought at the market (keep an eye out next week – you don’t want to miss this recipe!).

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And making a dinner “Toad-In-A-Hole” with olive oil, peasant bread, and a sprinkling of fresh thyme leaves… because who said that breakfast foods should just be for breakfast?

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I’m a meal-time rebel, what can I say?

 

Nothing like a good camera clean out to see what crazy photos you’ve snapped throughout the week. Do you guys snap photos throughout the day and enjoy flipping through them to see what you’ve captured? Let me know!

Happy Saturday, kiddos.

oxox,

C

 

A Sentimental Saturday Thought

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Last week, I went back to the town where I went to graduate school to meet up with my graduate school friends. All our reunions are fun and restorative, but this one was truly special – one of our friends is expecting her first baby and we helped her family shower her with good wishes and gifts.

As I was flipping through my photos on my camera, I came across this slightly out-of-focus picture and it made me think all about my graduate school journey and the amazing women who joined me on it.

When I see the amazingly sweet peanut butter rice crispy treat, I remember the desserts we would snack on during potluck dinners, during Super Bowl parties, and during birthday celebrations. When I see the bright orange napkin, I remember the bright fall days at by the lake, the highlighted pages of multiple thesis revisions, and the big, day-long party we had on Match Day.

When I look at this picture, I remember that this all started (the blog, these friendships) when we all came together three years ago and took a leap into a new world/career path together.

When I look at this picture, I remember the amazing times we had together as Grad School Foodies and look forward to the times ahead (especially with our newest addition!).

 

Your sentimental friend,

C

Hunger Action Month

Happy September, everyone!

For me, September marks the (un)official start of fall – a season full of apples, pumpkin spice everything, and the perfect autumn color… orange.

But, during the month of September, orange represents much more than changing leaves and pumpkin-shaped cookies…

 

It represents Hunger Action Month.

 

In 2013, approximately 17.5 million households in the United States of America were found to be food-insecure at some point during the year. This means that these families were unsure if they would be able to, or were unable to, buy food to feed their families. Of those 17.5 million households, 6.8 million were found to have very low food insecurity – this is when one or more household members have to change or reduce their food intake during the year because they lack funds or other resources for food.

When I first heard these statistics back in graduate school, I was amazed and shocked because I didn’t realize that we had such poverty in our country. This inspired me to act and reach out to local food support programs (Meals On Wheels, local food pantries) to see how I could help out and help reduce the prevalence of hunger in my community.

One of the tasks that I did for my local food pantry was to come up with easy, affordable, and healthy recipes that they could give out to their clients. The recipes were to use commonly donated pantry items (like canned green beans) and simple cooking methods, so that everyone who utilized the pantry could make healthier meals at home.

This was one of the hardest challenges I have ever done, but it was also one of the most rewarding. So, in honor of Hunger Action Month, I will be featuring three shareable recipes that are food pantry-friendly (and delicious too!).

I am challenging YOU, my amazing readers, to take on a month-long challenge with me. I am challenging you to donate one meal’s worth of ingredients to your local food bank during the month of September. You can bring canned goods that you like to cook with or you can donate the ingredients in one of the recipes I’m sharing (and pass along the recipe too!). It doesn’t matter how much or what you donate – one can of beans or one box of pasta means that we are one step closer to ending hunger in America.

 

If you have any food-pantry friendly recipes that you would like to share, let me know (give me a shout under the “Let’s Be Friends” tab). And show me how you are reaching out to help end hunger in your community using the hashtag #GSFfightshunger. Because together, we can make a difference!

oxox,

C

#TBT… the New Camera Edition

So it’s been officially two weeks since I had my new camera and it’s been so much fun playing around with it (and frustrating my parents, The YIA, and The Cat by taking numerous photos of them ALL THE TIME).

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But seriously…

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I think they are loving the attention!

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(especially The Cat!).

Oh and I might have taken some pictures of food too…

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(this is a photo of a special project coming soon!)

 

It’s been a fun couple of weeks with the camera… now what should I photograph next?

Your shutterbug friend,

C

Breakfast Thief

Going through my camera this morning (I’m on a huge cleaning binge right now) and I stumbled upon these two photos that I snapped of The Cat at breakfast this past weekend (because who doesn’t love an adorable animal photo)…

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Clearly someone loves Challah French Toast as much as the rest of us do! (clearly I found the situation funny enough to snap photos instead of stopping her – my mom had to lay down the law).

 

Happy Wednesday, kiddos!

Love,

Human who takes photos of their cat trying to eat french toast

 

 

 

Hardware Upgrade!

Hi, kiddos!! How are you?!

How was your week? Do anything exciting?

 

Besides finished orientation at my new job (I actually get to see my own patients on Monday… !!), my parents and the YIA-E were super generous and gave me money towards a hardware upgrade to help improve my blog!

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Say hello to my brand new camera! I am super excited to step up into the DSLR world… not that I don’t still love to shoot photos with my beloved point-and-shoot (it’s gotten me this far!) and my new (not-frosting) covered iPhone. I hope that with time, my photos will get a better, crisper look and become a little more professional looking too!

Like any person with a new toy, I needed to play with my camera ASAP after getting it home. But with getting home late from work, eating dinner, and blobbing in front of the TV for a bit, it was bedtime before I had a chance to sit down and examine the camera (because who reads instruction manuals?).

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And The Cat decided to join me (AKA decided that she wanted to play with my camera strap).

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So I took a few (okay, 100) test photos on my camera.

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And needless to say, I’m pretty pleased with it!

 

So, kiddos, do you like photography? Are there any tips or tricks you would like to share with me? Let me know!

Your new DSLR camera lovin’ friend,

C

S’mores and Flashcards

Happy Tuesday, kiddos!

This weekend was epic because it combined some of my favorite things in a short 48-hour time frame. Who doesn’t love when that happens?

The most important/fun thing that happened this weekend was that I got to see cousins from both sides of the family.

First off, we had one of my cousins visiting from North Carolina for a few days leading up to the weekend. A is an awesomely wonderful person/lawyer/lover of camping, spelunking, and hiking/owner of a super cute English long-haired dachshund. We haven’t seen each other in person in a while, so it was nice to have him here for a visit. Come back soon, A!! (and bring that adorable puppy of yours too!)

Then, another set of cousins from my dad side descended upon our house for a visit and to sort through some of my YIA C’s things. It was so nice to be together and have a quiet family BBQ.

Which involved the second thing that made this weekend epic…

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S’mores!

Seriously, who doesn’t love the melty, crunchy, chocolately goodness that is a s’more? Perfectly toasted (or in my cousin M’s case, charred) marshmallows sandwiched between pieces of chocolate and graham crackers… summer dessert nirvana.

In celebration of me passing the RD exam, my dad set up an activity that really pushed my weekend over the edge.

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We had a Flashcard Burning.

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Yep, that’s the sight of 638 flashcards burning…

It was pretty awesome and a great way to start my life as a RD and not feel weighed down by all the notes and pre-test anxiety!

 

It was a pretty fabulous weekend around here – how was yours?

Love,

Your s’more obsessed friend, C

Life Updates

Hi, everyone!!

How are you?

I’m sorry that I haven’t been posting AT ALL in the past week+ but there has been a lot of life change happening recently that needed my full attention.

The most important life change that happened was this…

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I am a RD2Be!!

After 7 years (!) and all the studying this summer, it all paid off and I can proudly attach the letters “RDN” (registered dietitian nutritionist) after my name. I’m slightly obsessed with this and now want to doodle it everywhere and anywhere (sorry for being annoying in advance!).

 

In other life-changing news, I am officially employed as a clinical dietitian in a medium-sized community hospital in a major city near where I live – so this week was the start of a new job on top of last minute studying for the RD exam. I am so happy and in love with this new chapter of my life and couldn’t wait to share the news with all of you!

 

Thanks for coming along this journey with me so far – I can’t wait to see where it takes us next!

Love,

C, MS RDN