Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Vacation Time!

Hubby gets a week off for vacation in a couple of weeks, and this time we are actually going to take a vacation instead of visiting family or going to a wedding.  Wahoo!

We spent soooooo much time trying to figure out where to go without spending too much money.  I looked at all of the vacation deals with flights on Groupon and Living Social and, while we did find some good looking trips, the ones in our price range either didn't fly out from a nearby airport or were not good for the dates we need.  Boo!

Then we looked into trips here in the States.  Beach, mountains, city, or desert?  I actually really wanted to go to the desert (we have never been to the Southwest), but Hubby didn't seem too keen on the idea.

He also wanted something more relaxing than a city.

I wanted to do something we haven't done before (he was drawn to cruises, but we have been there, done that, and while they are fun, if I was going to sit my tail in a chair I would rather be on a beach than a boat deck).

There is also the added stress of figuring out what to do with the pets.

I really wanted to go to Harry Potter World at Universal (I am a HUGE fan of the books), but had to go with my sister (who is also a huge fan; Hubby is not so much) and she was not available that week.

I spent several days looking at various options, and we ended up booking a place on the beach.  In Destin, FL, a city we have been to and love.

So much for somewhere new.

But I am excited.  It will be relaxing and fun.

And just 7 days before Hubby and I leave, my sister and I booked a weekend trip to Universal.  Yaaaaay!

So I have spent so many hours lately just looking up restaurants and tips for Universal and the Harry Potter sections specifically.  I found this really awesome resource, Orlando Informer, that has pages upon pages of details about Universal!

We are going to nerd out.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Casual Outfit: Maroon shirt, white shorts, and brown sandals

You will probably see these white shorts in most of my warm weather outfits.  I love them so much!  I bought them in the junior's section at Dillard's last year for $20. I couldn't find them online, but the brand is CP Jeans.

I found the shirt at Goodwill.

My sandals came from Academy of Sports and Outdoors a few years ago (or maybe last year?  I can't remember).


I can't remember where I found the necklace, but I do know it is second hand.

I love these earrings.  They were from Francescas and originally had a blue bead above the gold flower that I removed.  They are not the best quality, though; the hook is turning green.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Summer Gingham Picnic

I put together a potluck barbecue for our spouse group to end the year.  We rented a picnic shelter, provided barbecue from one of my favorite restaurants, and brought face painting for the kids.  We asked people to bring a side dish.  It was a big success!  I gathered many ideas from Pinterest for the decorations, and this is what I came up with.

Centerpieces were mason jars with daisies and citronella candles.

This is the food table before people arrived.  I made the "PICNIC" sign to go on the front.  Please disregard the paper lanterns in the back...that was a bad idea and they fell down quickly, anyway.  We didn't bring a ladder to tie them to the beams.

This is the dessert and drink table (our name is on top of our cooler, so I covered it up for the blog).  The bubbles for kids eventually went into a bowl that arrived after I took the pictures.

To help our guests, I made sure to label each cooler clearly.

It was a lot of fun!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

July Meal Plan

When I meal plan, I come up with 4 meals per week.  Two of those meals include leftovers, and that leaves one night for eating out.  I vary easy meals with more time-consuming ones, but I do not specify a day for each meal; I put the meat out a day ahead with the next day's plan in mind.  It is very flexible.

July's Meal Plan

June 29-July 5

1. Chicken tetrazzini, salad
2. Baked fish (in Old Bay seasoning), mashed potatoes, roasted squash, steamed green beans
3. Sloppy Joes, roasted potatoes
4. Grilled kabobs, grilled squash, loaded potato salad, corn, roasted green beans (we are having company for the 4th).

July 6-12

2. Grilled basil garlic pork chops (from a magazine), country potato salad, grilled squash, salad
3. Chicken parmesan, spaghetti, roasted green beans
4. Chicken pasta verde, roasted green beans, bread with olive oil and herb dipping sauce (for our anniversary)

July 13-19

2. Stir fry
4. Meatballs (frozen leftovers) in marinara sauce, tomato cream pasta, green beans

July 20-26

1. Baked pesto chicken, alfredo pasta (minus the chicken in the recipe)
2. Hamburger steak with gravy, rice, green beans
3. Crock pot chicken and dumplings, lima beans
4. Chicken strips baked in Dale's sauce, cheesy potato rounds, green beans

July 27-August 2

1. Mozzarella tomato sauce pork chops, roasted potatoes, steamed green beans
2. Grilled bratwurst, oven baked fries
3. Crock pot rotisserie-style chicken, roasted potatoes, green beans
4. Three cheese spaghetti gratin (from a magazine), salad

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Two Months Already?

Good grief...it has been nearly two months since I have written.  I just got so busy with all of the projects we tackled, and then I took on more hours at work, and I just have not been inspired to write anything.  I'm still cooking, cleaning, and organizing.  Of course I still get dressed every day.  But I just haven't felt like anything I have done has been blog-worthy (or I just haven't taken pictures of things that were).

This blogging thing is hard, especially when I'm not trying to make it into a career.  I am not trying to find affiliates, or do giveaways, or even make money on it (I don't want to deal with the taxes involved)!  It is so hard not to compare myself to blogs with professional web designers and photographers.  I feel like the pictures I take and the content I write is not good quality, but it is me.  I don't hide behind a staged home or perfectly plated entrees.  I certainly don't look my best when photographing outfits (my shirt today has spit-up on it from the girl I keep).  But the point is not to promote myself; the point is to share my ideas instead of keeping them to myself.

Sooo...what has been going on the past two months?

We completed many projects, mostly in the yard.  I am struggling to get grass to grow.  We planted good grass, but mostly it's just centipede grass and weeds that are taking over.  Oh well.  When it is at least green, I will take pictures of all of the work.

I took on more hours at work.  It is still part time, but enough to interfere with the schedule I had created.  I am beginning to settle into a new routine, though.

It has been a busy time of year for our Resident Spouse group and I am vice president for this upcoming year, so that has taken up a lot of time.

I started growing a vegetable garden.

Hubby just finished intern year!  Whoop whoop!

And the budget?  Yeah...let's not talk about that.  I have high hopes for July, though.

I am going to try to cut back from three posts per week to just two and see if I can be consistent with that.

If you are still around, thank you!!!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Cinco de Mayo (from scratch!)

I really should start posting these things *before* the holiday...

Anyway, I L.O.V.E. Mexican food!  I love to go to Mexican restaurants and I love to cook it (however unauthentic my cooking may be).

I had soft tacos on my menu plan for the week, so I cooked those up using this recipe for the seasoning.

I also cooked my usual Mexican rice...so delicious!

There was a time where I made my own salsa, but have gotten lazy.  Hubby requested it the other day, so I whipped up a batch of it.  I don't measure anything; I just chop and combine the ingredients and keep taste-testing until it is delicious.  This was the first time I threw the ingredients into a food processor to make it less chunky.  The ingredients I use are: canned petite diced tomatoes, part of an onion, cilantro (lots!), jalapeno slices (just a few), lime juice (a dash), salt, and garlic powder.  Maybe one day I will figure out the measurements and blog the recipe!

I also made the margaritas from scratch using this recipe I found on Pinterest.  The recipe makes a gallon, so I used one cup of tequila, converted the other measurements into ounces, and divided by six to make just over two drinks.  They were good; Hubby enjoyed it more than I did.  I thought it was a little too tart and next time I will be limiting or eliminating the lemon juice from the recipe.  As it watered down, I enjoyed it more.

I was very proud of this meal and it was all delicious!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

DIY Initial Door Hanger

 I am normally a wreath-lovin' girl.  I have made several wreaths for my front door!  Unfortunately in this home, our door is red, which I love, but it tends to clash with my regular wreaths.  My spring wreath is pink cherry blossoms, but it looked terrible against the red door!

I was going to make just a daisy wreath for spring, but decided to be a little more trendy and make a letter door hanger!  I figured yellow would really pop against our red door.

You will need:
  • A letter (this one is 13 inches from Michael's)
  • Paint
  • Flowers
  • Burlap or ribbon
  • Hot glue gun
  • Paintbrush
First, I painted the entire letter yellow, making sure to also cover the sides.  (I didn't think you needed to see a picture of me painting it!)

After the paint dries, cut the flower off until the stem is flat against the bottom.

Glue the flowers to the letter in whatever arrangement you like.  I like things in threes.

If you have burlap, cut a length you want and then cut it in half.  If you are using ribbon, then just cut two lengths you want.  Basically you just need two lengths of material that are about 2-3 inches wide.

Since this is the support for the letter, I wanted to use a lot of glue to make sure it holds.  I glued a little bit of the burlap on at a time so it wouldn't dry out.

Again, since this is the support for the letter, I glued quite a bit of burlap to the back.  I just wanted to make sure it holds!  I glued the entire width of the ribbon.

Tie the top of the ribbon together (I just tied a regular knot).

The grand total for this project?  $12.66 and 20 minutes (to let the paint and glue dry).

I think it looks great!  Now to repaint the door...

Monday, May 5, 2014

Medical Mondays: Good Intentions

Hubby is currently on his last day of a less time-intensive rotation (we're talking 8am-4pm shifts)!  At the beginning of the rotation when he saw how much free time he had, he began talking about all of these projects we needed to do, and how we needed to go ahead and do them while he had time to help.

Can we all pause to laugh for a minute?

I know he had the best of intentions.  I know he intended on helping.  And he did help...for three days...

I will be posting before and after pictures of our yard once the grass grows in (please please please grow!!!).  If you go back to this post, you will find all of the projects "we" worked on.

 The days he did help, he worked very hard.  He pulled out the stumps to some big bushes at the end of the driveway, helped to shovel some of the rocks (but not all), and planted (most of) the grass.

(They're finally gone!!!!!!!!!!!)

Oh yeah, and I planted a vegetable garden.  He tilled up the ground, but I picked out all of the grass/weeds and did the work!

All of this is in addition to all of the laundry, cleaning, finances, part-time work, cooking, taking care of the animals, etc. I (and we all!) do around the house.  And there aren't even kids in the mix yet!  I think all medical spouses should be considered superheroes!

When I called him out when I was working by myself and he was in the house, he said he got tired more quickly than he expected.  Poor guy.  I know he works hard and he deserves the down time when he can get it.  But it was his idea to start all of the projects, and I knew as soon as he suggested it that I would really be doing the majority of the work.

I am thankful for the help he did give, and I am super proud of all I (we) have accomplished in the past two weeks.

But no more projects for awhile, no matter how gung-ho hubby is.

Friday, May 2, 2014

May Money Plan

For April:

End of Month:   $780.86 over budget.

However, if I take out the money spent on the two trips, I am down to $105.86 over budget.  Since that is what I did for the other trip and taxes, I think I will do that this time, too.
  • Our natural gas bill is still high.
  • We had 2 trips:  a bachelor party and a wedding/visit to family in Georgia ($675 for both trips)
  • We redid many areas of our yard and bought plants/grass seed/topsoil for it ($163.36)
  • Hubby got his expensive guitar repaired ($125)
At least I am encouraged that our budget overage was due to the two trips.  That wasn't the only area over budget, though.  I went over in all categories except gas (outside of the trips) and shopping (I counted the yard materials in miscellaneous).


September:  $1,024.55 over budget
October:  $271.72 over budget
November:  $1,037.86 over budget
December:  Quit keeping up...
January:  $152.18 over budget (not counting the $490 I spent on the Disney trip)
February: $594.64 over budget (not counting $900 from savings for federal taxes and car deductible)
March:  $577.85 over budget
April:  $105.86 over budget (not counting $675 for bachelor party and wedding trip)

May's Plan

Hubby goes on nights next week so hopefully we can reign it in.

I am hopeful for May!!!  Let's see if I can keep it in the green for once in my life?

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

May's Dinner Plan

When I meal plan, I come up with 4 meals per week.  Two of those meals include leftovers, and that leaves one night for eating out.  I vary easy meals with more time-consuming ones, but I do not specify a day for each meal; I put the meat out a day ahead with the next day's plan in mind.  It is very flexible.

May's Meal Plan

Hubby goes on nights, so I tried to plan meals that would be easy to get ready by 5:00 pm so we can eat dinner together before he goes in at 6:00 pm (or that would be easy to heat up if he wants "dinner" when he gets home in the morning).  My boss is on maternity leave so , while I still keep her kids a little, they don't need me as much, so I only work two days a week until she goes back at the end of this month (which will help with preparing early dinners!).

May 4-10

3. Chicken strips baked in Dale's sauce, roast potatoes, salad
4. Sausage, potatoes au gratin, green beans
5. Grilled chicken, squash, leftover potatoes au gratin

May 11-17

2. Crock pot pulled pork, fries
3. Hamburger steak with gravy, rice, green beans
4. Stir fry

May 18-24

1. Baked fish (doused in Old Bay seasoning), roast potatoes, roast green beans
2. Spaghetti, salad
3. Oven ranch chicken, garlic herb rice, green beans
4. Taco soup

May 25-31

1. Crock pot chicken and onions, rice, green beans
2. Chicken parmesan, spaghetti, salad
3. Panko parmesan parsley crusted pork chops, cheesy bacon potato rounds, lima beans
4. Ham steak, roast potatoes, leftover lima beans

Monday, April 28, 2014

Projects, Projects, Projects!

Holy moly...I am S.O.R.E!!!!

I mentioned one project (the end of the driveway) that we had begun to work on.  Hubby is on a less time-intensive rotation so last weekend he was all gung-ho about doing all of these outdoor projects.  I wasn't fooled.  I knew I would be the one they fell to.  This past week has been consumed with yard work.  I got out in the yard when I got home from work last week, and have worked all day every day since Friday.

I am almost done!

Now, the lawn itself still looks bad (weeds, bare patches, etc.)

The areas where we ripped out the bushes needs grass planted (we have the seed and fertilizer; we just need to bring in some topsoil to plant it).

Last week's projects:

  • Rip out bushes at the end of the driveway
  • Find something to do with all of the darn brick chips
  • Level out the ground and bury the remaining rocks around the mailbox
  • Repurpose larger rocks to create a small flower bed around mailbox
  • Sand and repaint mailbox post and front porch railings
  • Wash exterior of living room windows
  • Wash garage door and windows
  • Wash vinyl pickett fence in back yard
  • Weed remaining rock beds in the side yard and back yard
  • Repurpose bricks to create a border around back rock bed
  • Plant flowers in back rock bed
  • Plant shrubs in side rock bed
  • Transplant azalea from front yard to back yard
  • Plant containers on back deck
  • Repurpose stepping stones in back yard to create a patio at the bottom of the deck stairs? {edit:  not happning, haha.}
Whew!  I feel like I am still leaving something off the list.  

We have spent a decent amount of money on plants (mostly perennials so I only have to buy them once!), topsoil, and grass seed, but there were a lot of items already in the yard that I was able to repurpose in other areas.

My arms and shoulders are so sore, but it is so worth it.  

I can't wait to share pictures of everything we have done (but will wait until the grass grows, haha).

Friday, April 25, 2014

Casual Spring Outfit: Yellow Shirt, Blue Scarf, and Skinny Jeans

Whoa!  I just realized this is my 100th published post!

I have never tried to pull off yellow until this year when I finally bought this shirt and a nice pale yellow sundress.  I kind of like it!  

I bought the scarf at H&M last year.
I bought the shirt at Goodwill!
I bought the jeans for $12 at a consignment store.
The shoes came from Kohl's a few years ago.

I am wearing some short dangle pearl earrings that came in a set with a (fake) pearl necklace, also from a consignment store.

I think it is bright, happy, and spring-like!

Please excuse the unmade bed; Hubby is on nights so he was getting in bed as I was taking these pictures.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Simple Flower Bed

When we moved into our home last June, the yard looked rough.  (Although, who am I kidding, our yard still looks rough!).  Our current project is pulling out the bushes at the end of the driveway, removing all of the darn small landscaping rocks a previous owner decided were awesome, and plant grass and redo the mailbox.

My first yard project, though, was to redo the flower bed directly in front of the house.

Now, I am absolutely not a gardener.  I don't know much about plants or landscaping and try to find plants that are difficult to kill.

This is what the yard looked like when we bought it:

I pulled out both of the rosemary bushes on either side of the garage, planted some smaller bushes in front of the holly hedge, and added some flowers.  This is what it looked like after my first overhaul last June:

(Since then I have also taken out the hideous plant on the far right of the house).

Everything is still there except for, obviously, the annuals in the very front, so that is all I had to replant this year.  The lilies are looking pretty good, and the bushes in front of the holly are a little bigger so they look better now.  The only thing that looks rough are my gardenias on either side of the steps.  Does anybody have any tips for growing healthy gardenias?

This spring I have replanted my flower bed and added a couple of containers to my porch.

I used snapdragons and pansies in the flower bed.  (Yes, I know the right light is taller; it is broken and I can't get it further down.  I should probably replace it...)

I am not sure what these containers are made of.  They were in the back yard flanking the back gate where nobody could see them when we moved in.  I cleaned them up and planted them!  I also used packing peanuts for the bottom half to promote drainage and make them lighter.  I planted geraniums and marigolds in them.

We still have a lot of work to put into our yard.  I am trying to win a backyard makeover from the DIY network it is so bad, haha!  One project at a time, though.  Right now, like I said, our project is the end of the driveway.  Then I'll tackle the side of the house, and finally try to maybe do something to the back yard?  If I could only find someone to remove all of the rocks we'd be in great shape.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Spring Cleaning

Whew!  I have had a busy week!  We got back home around 7 pm Monday night after being out of town for seven days, so I had a lot of catching up to do as far as laundry went.  Then I decided to begin my spring cleaning.

I read another blog (I'm sorry I can't remember which one) where the blogger talked about not doing traditional top-to-bottom spring cleaning because she cleans things when they get dirty.  I have to say I agree with that.  For example, I clean my air return vents when I replace my air filter.  I cleaned my refrigerator a few weeks ago.  I am not doing those again so soon just for the sake of "spring cleaning."  My big cleaning is actually at the end of the year because I like to begin a new year with everything as spotless as possible.

However, I decided to clean things that rarely get done, so this week I have been working on those around work and seeing Hubby (he is on a rotation that is not as time-intensive right now and I am taking advantage of it).

So if I don't clean my house top-to-bottom, what have I been doing all week?

  • I took bleach, Comet, and a toothbrush to the grout surrounding my bath tub. 
  • I deep cleaned the bathrooms (even though this gets done weekly, I went ahead and did it after cleaning the tub).
  • I took shoes off the closet floor so I could sweep under them.
  • I vacuumed under the bed and swept under furniture.
  • I washed our comforter, all of our curtains, place mats, tablecloths, and rugs.  I also washed the throw pillows from the couch, but stuffed it too full and one of them ripped beyond repair.  Oops...)
  • I vacuumed the upholstery on the couches and chairs (this also gets done periodically from all of the darn pet hair...)
  • I took a Magic Eraser to the wall in the sunroom that still hadn't been cleaned since we moved in (there was crayon from the previous owners on the wall).
  • I swept and mopped.  And again.  And am still finding dirt and pet hair.  It is horrible.  I bought an old-fashioned mop because I don't feel like my Swiffer WetJet gets it clean enough.
  • I cleaned the baseboards as I mopped!
  • I detailed my car (after taking the pets and a trip to a dirt road in the country, it was filthy).
As I was cleaning the floor for the final time, I realized I forgot to clean the ceiling fans.  Those are going to have to get done another time because I am not redoing the areas below them.

This weekend I hope to get the exterior windows washed.  Wish me luck.

Since Hubby is home more, he has been going into the yard and listing several things he wants to do that require both a lot of time and money.  And, of course, will all fall to me if they get done at all because in 2 1/2 weeks he goes on nights and won't be able to complete them.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Mexican Rice

One of my absolute favorite foods is that delicious rice you get at Mexican restaurants.  I scoured the web for recipes and created my own from the ideas.  This recipe is delicious!  It is not an authentic Mexican recipe, but to me it tastes like the rice that comes from my favorite Mexican restaurant!

Mexican Rice

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced (OR 1 tsp. garlic powder)...you can use less but I love garlic :-)
  • 1/2 an onion (optional; I usually do not include this)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 8 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. dried parsley

If using onion, saute in the olive oil until soft.  Add the rice and minced garlic (if using garlic powder save for later) and mix together.

Add the chicken broth, tomato sauce, garlic powder (if not using minced garlic), salt, and parsley.  Bring to a boil, then simmer and cook until liquid is absorbed and rice is soft.

Enjoy with your favorite Mexican dish!

I cooked mine for fajitas this time.  Yum yum!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Casual Outfit: Colorful Shirt with White Shorts

Brace yourselves; the weather is getting warmer so you will be seeing my white shorts a LOT!  In the summer I practically live in them.

Last week the temperature rose into the 80s.  I didn't realize it was summer yet?  Once again, I broke the white-before-Memorial-Day rule, and I don't care.  If it feels like summer, I am going to dress like it is summer!

I hit the thrift stores earlier this week looking for more colorful short sleeved tops.  I have a lot of sleeveless shirts, and a lot of blue short sleeved shirts, and I have a lot of solid-color short sleeved shirts, but I was looking for more spring colors (yellow, coral, and colorful patterns).

I'll say this top that I found for $6 is a colorful pattern!  It is such a break from what I normally wear, and I love it!  The other day I wore it with skinny jeans.

The shorts came from the juniors' section at Dillard's for $20 a couple of years ago and were a great buy since I wear them all the time.

My shoes were from a consignment store.  I usually don't buy used shoes, but these had the tags on them and were new in the box.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Garage Series: Sports Equipment

This is the final post in my garage series.  See all of the posts here.

The closet in our future baby room was inundated with Hubby's things when we moved in.  His old computer, guitar equipment, golf clubs, and dumbbells were all through haphazardly on the floor.  It drove me nuts.

When I became a nanny, I dug through my classroom closet to pull out useful craft items and toys, and began our future child's closet (for the record, I am not pregnant; just like to organize and plan ahead!).  Now I have easy access to toys and books when I keep the girl at my house.

So what happened to all of Hubby's stuff?

I used the already-installed peg board to hang tennis rackets, ball gloves, frisbees, and the jump rope.

I really wanted to hang Hubby's golf clubs out here but didn't think he would like that very much.

I bought the shelf at Lowe's and used baskets I had used in my classroom to organize golf balls and tennis balls.  Wraps and support braces are in the middle container beside Hubby's cleats and golf shoes.

The weights used to be neat but Hubby doesn't put them back that way.  At least they have a home now.

I hope some of the ideas I use in my garage inspire you in your own!  Thanks for reading!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Medical Mondays: Preparing for Upper Level Residency

Hubby is deep into intern year with his worst rotations to come.  April and May are going to be horrendous for both him and me:  a week of nights in the ED, followed by night float, followed by MICU (which also includes a week of nights).  I am so dreading this stretch, especially since the weather is going to be nice, things are going on around town, and I am going to want him to do things with me.  

There is light at the end of the tunnel, though.

A few weeks ago the chiefs sent the interns all of the possible "tracks," or schedules, for the next two years of our lives.  We had to look at the twelve options for his clinic group and rank them.

This is what the spreadsheet looked like:

It was so hard for me to wrap my head around this to rank schedules for two years, so I color-coded it:

I know it is hard to read on the blog because I had to shrink it, but when it is printed it takes up two pages in landscape format.  You get the gist, though.

I also added a third page for notes- how many Q4 call (30 hours overnight every four days) rotations, which outpatient clinic, and any other notes.

I cut them out, taped them together, and got to work.

Everyone said when making the upper-level schedules to look at where you want vacation first.  We don't have any specific plans yet, so that wasn't as necessary for us.

These were the criteria I looked at:
  • Rheumatology, Endocrinology, and Hospitalist before Christmas (he still doesn't know what he wants to ultimately practice, so he needs early exposure to these top three options so he can begin working on a fellowship application)
  • Start with something not as demanding (after the end of this year, he needs a breather!)
  • Fewer MICU (some of the rotations had 4 critical care--MICU and CCU--so we looked for ones with only three, and preferably only one of those being MICU)
  • Try to keep vacation away from a holiday
  • He wanted one outpatient clinic over another
  • Consider what he would be on for holidays
  • Attempt to plan for a baby?

I analyzed this schedule for three hours before making the rank list.

Some were easy to rule out:  tracks with four critical care blocks, no hospitalist service, and beginning the year with night float were no-goes.

Fortunately, he got his number one choice.  None of the tracks were ideal; they all had elements that are unappealing.  However, since he is still undecided, we had to get one with his top three rotations early and only one of those fulfilled that.

He only has three critical care months, but two of those are MICU.

It doesn't have the outpatient clinic he wanted.

He is on MICU over the holidays, but will have a week off for holiday vacation.  

Supposedly being an upper-level is head and shoulders better than intern year.

I tell Hubby all the time when he gets down that intern year is supposed to be the worst year of a doctor's life.  I have to remind him that being on the wards in residency still doesn't indicate what he is going to be doing forever and ever!  

Intern year hasn't been as bad as I was expecting.  Getting towards the end and all of his most difficult and time-intensive rotations is starting to wear on us (and all of the interns, I'm sure).  

At least he's not OB/GYN or General Surgery...

Three more blocks...

We can do it!

It gets better, right?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Chicken Parmesan

One of my favorite dishes is chicken parmesan, so a few years ago I went searching for an easy recipe.  I found one that involved broiling and it was a disaster (is it bad that I proclaim to be a good cook yet can't broil?).  From looking at all of the recipes, I figured out the basics of a good chicken parm and have been cooking it ever since.

It is one of Hubby's most-requested dishes.

The recipe I came up with only feeds the two of us, but it is very easy to double/triple, etc. to feed more people!

For the breading, you need one egg beaten, 1/4 c. parmesan cheese, 1/4 c. bread crumbs (Italian bread crumbs are especially yummy), and salt and pepper.  Yes, that is only one chicken breast for two people!

Beat the egg in a bowl and combine the parmesan and bread crumbs in another.  I trim the chicken and slice the breast in half horizontally.  You definitely may use an entire breast for each person, but I do this to save money (and I don't eat an entire breast, anyway).  Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken.

Dip the chicken in the egg.

Coat the chicken with the bread crumb mixture.

Heat about 1 Tbsp. of olive oil in a pan and let chicken cook just long enough to make the crust brown and crispy.

Transfer the chicken to a sprayed baking dish.  For the topping you will need a jar of marinara sauce (for two people I only use 1/2 a jar, and most of that goes on the spaghetti) and some shredded mozzarella cheese.

Top the chicken with a few spoonfuls of marinara sauce and as much mozzarella cheese as you want.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.

While it is baking, I cook some spaghetti noodles, drain, and coat with the rest of the marinara sauce.

I usually pair this dish with a salad or green beans.

Chicken Parmesan

Ingredients (for two people; simply double to feed four!)

  • 1 or 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 c. parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 c. Italian or regular bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 jar of marinara sauce
  • shredded mozarella cheese
  • cooked spaghetti

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Trim and slice your chicken breast if using just one.  Season with salt and pepper.  

Beat the egg in one bowl and combine the parmesan and bread crumbs in another bowl.

Dip chicken in the egg mixture, then coat with the bread crumb mixture.

Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a pan on medium high.  Cook chicken long enough on both sides to make the crust brown and crispy (about 3-4 minutes per side).

Transfer chicken to a sprayed baking dish.  Top with a few spoonfuls of marinara sauce (save the rest for the pasta) and mozzarella cheese.

Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Cook spaghetti noodles, drain, and coat with the rest of the marinara sauce.

Serve with a vegetable and enjoy!