Back to Normal… Again

Well, I’m happy to say that I survived my first test block of my second year. As I’m sure you gathered from my last post, the past couple weeks have been a little busy and crazy. Preparing for week where you have one test per day, can get a little wild. It’s hard to ration your time evenly for all of your classes, and sadly, the tests at the end of the week tend to get a little neglected.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned in medical school so far, its’ that my life is crazy and busy in spurts. Around test time, the test is all that matters; I try to keep up with cooking and exercising, but it doesn’t always work out the way I’d like. Once a test is over, it’s like my life can go back to normal (until the next test that is); I can exercise frequently, cook every night, and keep my house tidy (something that hasn’t happened in a few weeks). I’m a pretty big neat freak, especially when it comes to my house, but I’ve been so busy studying the past couple weeks, I kind of let things go a little. Thankfully I had Michael in town some over the past couple weeks and he was nice enough to make me dinner AND do the dishes, which is a big deal, considering I don’t have a dishwasher. In light of all the recent chaos, I decided to have a cleaning spree at home last night. I turned on the 90s Pop radio station on Pandora and cleaned my little heart out; I swept, vacuumed, mopped, cleaned just about every surface of my house, and washed my mountain of laundry that was beginning to tumble out of my closet. So, now, I’m back to normal… My house is clean, my clothes are clean, I have time to exercise and time to cook (and blog about it!). Even though it’s tough having a full week of tests, I think I like it, I got to have a worry free weekend at home in Starkville and now I get a fresh start in all my classes. I’m not behind, we’ll see how long I can keep that up though. Now, for some yummy food!

Greek Pasta with Meatballs
This recipe has been on my “Need to Try” list for a while now; I finally added it to my grocery list a few weeks ago when I decided to give turkey burgers a try and figured I could split the meat between the two recipes. Wwweeeelllll, things got a little busy and I ended up putting the ground turkey in the freezer and not making it. Michael mentioned that he wouldn’t mind cooking when he was in town, so I showed it to him to see if he would be okay making it. I told him I had all the ingredients already, and that the turkey just needed to be defrosted. I had forgotten that the actual recipe called for ground lamb, something I figured would be difficult to find and slightly out of my price range. Michael, however, likes to follow recipes a little bit more strictly than I do, so he ventured out and found ground lamb at Fresh Market. I was slightly annoyed at this because I had already bought ground turkey. I am soooooooo glad he decided to find the ground lamb!!! This dish is one of the best that I’ve had since I started my healthy kick, definitely in my top five favorites. I can’t really comment on how easy or difficult the recipe was since Michael made it, but I can say, DON’T skip the lamb! It has such a different flavor than turkey or beef and it really really really makes this a delicious dish. If it is slightly out of your price range, save it for a fancy dinner, and instead of going out, treat yourself to a delicious homemade meal with some friends. Click here for the recipe.

Shrimp Caesar Salad
I came across this recipe when I was looking for recipes that would be quick and easy to make during test week. As you know, I love salads, so I’m always excited to try and make a new salad dressing from scratch. I’ve made my own greek and balsamic vinaigrettes, but never a caesar dressing. Most salad dressings are easy to toss together ,so I figured I could handle this one during my pre-test weeks. The dressing was pretty good, not the best I’ve ever had, but I might try tweaking it a little next time I make it. It was less creamy than I’m used to having with a caesar dressing, which isn’t necessarily bad, just not the norm. I’ll keep you posted if I make any changes that are worthwhile. As for the rest of the salad, I sauteed the shrimp in olive oil with salt and pepper, which takes about 5 minutes tops. I think I used sunflower seeds instead of pine nuts. I don’t think it really made a difference in the taste, I use sunflower seeds in the trailmix that I make so, I have them in my cabinets on a regular basis. Just like any other salad, all you have to do is toss everything together and enjoy. Click here for this recipe.

Lemon Cranberry Tuna Salad
Yes, another salad. I usually eat a mixed green salad with plain tuna on top every day for lunch. Surprisingly, I haven’t gotten sick of it after eating it for over a year now. I do like to change things up every now and then though, so when I came across this recipe, I thought I’d give it a try. I try to stay away from making chicken or tuna salad since they call for mayonnaise (exactly the healthiest option). If I do use mayonnaise in a recipe, I use the low fat made from olive oil kind, which makes me feel slightly better about it. I think I used less mayo than the recipe called for in this one too. Another apprehension I had about making this one was the craisins; even though I like tuna and I like craisins, I was unsure of how they would taste together. I was really surprised at how good it was though, especially on top of lettuce with no salad dressing. It made the perfect lunch. One of my favorite parts of the recipe is the dill, which is one of my favorite herbs. The dill and cranberry flavors balance each other out really well, hmmmm, this is making me want to make this one again. Click here for the recipe.

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One thought on “Back to Normal… Again

  1. Hi Emily. I should remind you your grandfather was famous for taking your grandmother out to a Broadway play the night before a final exam. That’s how much he prepared before finals week! Not that I could ever have done that myself in law school!

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