Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Art of Cooking

I have always enjoyed cooking because I find it relaxing, but I have found that while I have mastered a handful of recipes, with my busy work, school and social schedule, I have neglected to expand my menu much since college.

One of my favorite things about cooking meals at home is that I know what is being put into them. There is no added butter or hidden calories. Plus, I can be sure that the ingredients are fresh and organic (where possible). I decided that I am going to start blogging some of my new attempts at getting creative with food.

This week I made homemade tostada salads. I have been on the hunt for tostada shell baking tins since college when my roommate's mom bought some for her for Christmas. Well, it was my lucky week because I found some at Ross for $3! They are so easy to use. (Technically these are semi-homemade because clearly I did not grow corn and hand roll these tortillas for the tostadas)!

All you do is preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Get some medium sized tortillas (I used organic multigrain tortillas). Press them into the tostada baking tin and bake for 10 minutes. Then, remove the baked shells from the tins and let them cool for about 5 minutes and fill them with whatever salad ingredients you would like, and enjoy!

In our tostada we layered fat-free refried beans, long grain wild-rice, shredded seasoned chicken breast, lots of lettuce, homemade guacamole (I have a great recipe that I may share later), corn, salsa, fat free sour cream and skim cheese. 

Tostada Salad

These were delicious and the leftovers were great too :)

A little bit of country is good for the soul....

This past weekend I was able to take in the Gorge at George for the second time this Summer. This time around we saw Brad Paisley and Darius Rucker. The concert was wonderful. The view was breath taking. The company was stupendous and hilarious. Let me tell you, if you have not been to the Gorge in Washington for a concert, add it to your bucket list immediately! It is the most beautiful, natural venue you will ever get to enjoy a concert at. (Plus, there is an amazing winery with delicious champagne within walking distance of the Gorge at Cave B winery. Not to mention the phenomenal lodging and camping areas close by).

The Gorge at George. Go enjoy a concert there and just try to complain while you are looking out at this view.

Dressing the part for the country concert. Adam has this down since he lived in Kentucky while he was playing baseball :)

Beautiful view.

Sunset at the Gorge.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Back to School... Again!

It's finally here! My first day back to school. After over a year of studying/taking/passing the (5 hour long EACH) West-E and West-B tests, taking prerequisite courses, meeting with graduate school advisors to decide which school to attend, completing the extensive application, interviewing with Northwest's faculty board members, tracking down transcripts (an accomplishment in itself with the many schools I took prerequisite courses at), getting accepted and working out how to pay..... 
The adventure finally begins. 

Naturally, I woke up an hour and a half before my alarm went off and could not go back to sleep because I was so excited for my first day back to school. The smell of new text books and the thought of new pens, freshly sharpened pencils and carefully selected spiral notebooks awaiting my use, has kept a smile plastered on my face all week.... but with all of this planning and preparing what is the one question I can't seem to stop pondering all day???

Exactly what do I use for a backpack now that I'm a grad student?! It makes me laugh that after all of my hard work preparing for this day, the one thing I have yet to decide upon is what to do about this backpack debacle....

As a side note, yet one more reason that my best friend, Jenni, and I are soul mates; after going through all of my large purse, shoulder bag and backpack options in my head on my commute to work from Bellevue to Seattle attempting to make a decision about which to use for class this evening... Jen texts me as I am walking into work and asks, "Random question but what are you going to use for a backpack now that you are a grad?!?!" 
Best friends think alike :)

Wish me luck! In 10 months I will be a certified 5th-12th grade English teacher with my Masters in Teaching! Woohoo! I am so looking forward to being this excited for the first day of school for many more years to come! What a fun time of year! Pumpkin spice lattes, cute boots, new school clothes, freshly cleaned desks, new text books, new students and neatly packed backpacks (Or large purses/shoulder bags?) for life! 

On tonight's agenda? Curriculum Design and Instruction in Rice Hall.