Weekly Roundup

Wow, even without two bonus days off this week I made it to Friday! I’m not sure if I’ve ever been as glad. I can’t seem to get ahead this semester; each week I just barely finish the work for that week, and no sooner do I breathe a sigh of relief than do I look at my calendar for the next week and realize that it’s not time to relax yet. This week that seemed to happen every day because there was so much due. Just when I was almost home-free, my poor leftover baby tooth (did you know that sometimes you don’t lose one of your baby teeth? I was born without an adult tooth underneath it so it never fell out) finally bit the dust yesterday when I was eating lunch. I have to go to the dentist today to see what can be done about it. I am so phobic of dentists, even though my last dentist was awesome and friendly, so I am trying not to freak out!

Let’s get to the weekly roundup!

Recipes I tried:

This week wasn’t too crazy. I repeated some of my favorite tasty, healthy meals from recent weeks. Burrito bowls and creamy avocado pasta reappeared, along with the Jamaican red bean soup from last week which I adapted slightly by adding cauliflower and upping the curry powder and red pepper flakes.
Jamaican Coco Bread from Stick a Fork in It: I made this bread to go along with the red bean soup because we were dying for it when we had the soup last week. This is going to be my go-to coco bread recipe from now on. Coco bread is called that because some recipes have coconut milk. It is a sweet bread, and I first had it at a Jamaican restaurant in Hartford, CT. I made some a long time ago and it wasn’t good at all, but this recipe is amazing.

Since I will soon have to buy a plane ticket to Argentina, Dan and I are trying to be more thrifty, and one change we’ve made is not eating out every week. Instead I’m going to be making copycat recipes at home, which is obviously cheaper, but healthier too. Even if the meal is unhealthy, I control the ingredients and I know what’s in it! I started last week by making a Chinese feast (it was delicious, btw! I recommend you try the recipes yourself. I just had one note: the crab rangoon recipe said that you can’t freeze and bake them, but I did because I had so many leftover wonton wrappers and so much filling, and it worked out just fine. I just baked them a little longer, obviously, but they were crispy and tasted just as delicious as the first night!).
Anyway, tomorrow I’m making a copycat Olive Garden meal using the following recipes:
Olive Garden Salad Dressing from The Country Cook on a chopped salad, Almost Famous Breadsticks from The Food Network, and Creamy Garlic Pasta from The Cheese Pusher which I will be adding grilled chicken and steamed broccoli to. Oh yeah!

I also have a recipe for you this week! One of my favorite indulgences is a Broccoli Chicken Braid from The Pampered Chef. When I was in high school, Pampered Chef parties were spreading through my town like wildfire, and my mom and sister were always hosting or attending parties with their friends and coworkers and I loved to tag along. At the parties, the consultant will make a PC recipe using PC products, and I was always stoked when this was on the menu. I’ve been craving it lately, but I decided to make it with a twist so that it’s not totally unhealthy. Rather than stuffing it into crescent rolls, I mixed up the filling and it became chicken salad. I also upped the veggies so that it packs a health punch.

Chicken Salad with Red Pepper, Broccoli, and Dill
Serves 12

5.5 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
2.5 cups broccoli, chopped
1 red pepper, diced
3 scallions, chopped
1 small white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic (or more to your taste), minced
2 Tbsp dried dill
3/4 cup mayo (more or less to taste, you could also sub in greek yogurt for some or all of this)
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl until blended. That’s it! It’s best if you let this sit overnight to let the flavors develop. Don’t be skeptical of the dill, it is really the key flavor in this dish. It tastes nothing like a pickle, I promise! This would be really good with a slice of sharp cheddar.

 I’m of to get started on the work that’s due next week before my dentist appointment. After that I am going to a lecture by a philosopher about language that is offering an argument to the widely accepted concept that language is an innate human trait. I am so excited to hear his thoughts because although I believe that language is innate (the arguments are solid and convincing), in all my linguistics courses I haven’t heard the other theories.

Now it’s your turn
What are your exciting plans for the weekend? 

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