Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Healthy Stuffed Quesadillas (+ a trick to keeping guacamole green!)

This is a recipe idea that I sort of stole from one of our absolute favorite restaurants of all time... It's not exactly like the restaurant version, but it's so so yummy. So easy, too.

Here's how you do it:

Top half of a whole wheat tortilla with the following:

- A little bit of shredded mozzarella cheese (just to act as glue to hold the next layer. There will be another opportunity for adding more cheese, so go easy on it).

- cooked brown rice with fresh chopped cilantro mixed in. (This is great for leftover rice, or you can just make it earlier in the day. It doesn't have to be cold, so tonight I just made it an hour before I wanted to eat).

- a handful of black beans (out of a can, drained & rinsed).

- a handful of corn (once again, I use canned. Feel free to go fresher).

- a sprinkle of feta cheese (you can omit this, but you'll want to add a light sprinkle of salt if you go with 100% mozzarella. The feta gives it just the right amount of salt).

- and finish it off with more shredded mozzarella cheese.

Fold it in half, and carefully transfer it to a hot pan or (my preference) a panini press (seriously, theses things are WAY more useful than I realized when I acquired mine). Let it cook until it's warm and melty inside and crunchy and browned on the outside.

For extra delight, top with homemade guacamole..! Amazing.

*this picture does not do this meal justice.

And a little bonus: Avocados, like bananas, start turning brown as soon as they're exposed to air. To keep guacamole looking and tasting fresh, just press plastic wrap directly onto the top of the guac, as pictured below. Easy peasy. Apparently, and I have yet to try this myself, you can freeze avodacos! Just mash them up, put them in a plastic bag, and get rid of all the air. Throw them in the freezer for those desperate times when avocados aren't 3 for $1. I would think you could just thaw them overnight in the fridge. I'm thinking of stocking up this week, especially since this is one of those magical times when avocados are 3 for $1.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Back to school

Well, not really. But sort of. More like back to learning hard things, I guess

I've been going a little bit crazy since about a year and a half ago. See, I graduated from BYU two years ago, and finally having time to do whatever I wanted was a dream come true for about four months of newly-married bliss. But then I started missing the busy-ness and the (positive) stress and the deadlines. I even miss the exams! I've been filling my time with hobbies (cooking, sewing, crafting) and church stuff (family history), which has been great, but it has not been sufficient.

In an effort to exercise my brain, I started studying Swedish, along with reviewing Arabic, every day about 8 months ago. I've been loving that, but it's become so habitual (I've only been doing vocabulary... I know, not enough) that it's not pushing me anymore. I wanted to do more, but being unable to actually go to school right now (green card paperwork is in progress...ugh), I had to get creative.

And that's when I found free college course online. Life changing. I've suddenly become infatuated with anatomy. Really, I'm pretty obsessed. I've never taken anything remotely resembling an anatomy class, and I'm kicking myself. Latin and Greek derivations, tons of memorization (which I weirdly love), and just learning how it all works. It's so much fun. I kind of want to go to med school now. Who knew?

Anyway, I found a Berkeley course (39 40-minute lectures) that's free online. The professor, Marian Diamond is amazing (pictured below). I've only watched the first lecture, and I'm completely sold. I mean, she presents the class with a human brain in the first ten minutes of class! How can you not love that?

I plan on taking the course, and taking it seriously. I'm going to watch a lecture (and take notes, make flash cards, and study and really learn this stuff) each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday till I'm finished. If you can't tell, I'm really excited about this.

Watch the first lecture and tell me you don't want in.

Find them here:

Friday, January 25, 2013

Sick, tired, and bored out of my mind

I've been sick in bed for two days now, and it's making me crazy. Yesterday I was tired, weak, and achy. Today I woke up with a horrible sore throat on top of the other symptoms. Seriously, every joint and muscle in my body hurts. It's very annoying. I'm too weak to get up for more than about twenty minutes at a time, which means I'm bored out of my mind. Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Google Reader, and even the 2 or 3 lame games I have on my phone have lost their appeal. Reading takes too much effort. Netflix was great yesterday, but I'm tired of watching movies now, too. What's a girl to do?

The worst part is that since Kimball's just starting at the U of U, we're still in the process of setting up health insurance through them, so I don't want to go to a doctor yet. But I'm pretty sure I should. I've been scouring the internets for cold and flu remedies, and I'm willing to try almost anything.

So far I've tried the following:

- tea with honey
- eating lots of citrus
- drinking apple cider vinegar with honey in hot water
- drinking those fizzy vitamin drinks
- eating raw garlic (see pic. I made it tastier by spreading it on a toasted bagel with avocado, tomato, and sea salt)
- homemade chicken soup (I had to get out of bed, and making soup was the perfect distraction)
- peppermint tea with honey, cloves, and coconut oil
- inhaling steam
- gurgling listerine (which seriously tastes like gasoline or paint thinner... at least whatever flavor we have in the house.)
- green smoothies to boost the old immune system

Unfortunately, most of these are preventative measures... I'm at my wit's end. I want to just sleep for a week and wake up better, but when I do sleep I wake up feeling worse. In fact I seem to wake up from the pain of swallowing or something. Not fun.

And we were going to celebrate my birthday today. :(

Pity party at the Germane household tonight!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

It's already Christmas Eve! I can't believe how fast this year has gone by. We've been away from home since Friday, and we're not going back until after the new year, which is kind of sad. I love spending time with family over the holidays, but part of me can't wait for us to have a little family of our own, and to just do our own thing at our own house. I always decorate our place for christmas, but then we have to leave it behind. It's not much... all of our Christmas decorations fit in the Christmas tree box, which is pretty small. I like it that way. I like minimal Christmas decorations, which you'd know if you follow my Christmas board on Pinterest... My dream Christmas is all white with a little fresh green, and in Sweden. Not too much to ask, is it? One day I'll have my dream Scandinavian Christmas, but for now, I love my little box of mis-matched Christmas goodies. It certainly does the job of getting us in the Christmas mood for the few weeks leading up to Christmas.

riding the new train from Provo to SLC

We've already had an awesome weekend, and the break's only going to get better! So far the break has consisted of dinner and a movie with friends (The Hobbit... for the third time... in 3D 48fps!), a really hard military work out session the next morning with the same friends (I'm still finding it difficult to move), taking the train to Syracuse, so much fun with cutie-pie nieces, movies, naps, hot chocolate, popcorn, games, a little P90X, a gift-wrapping extravaganza, and lots of good food. I'm so excited for what the next week or so will bring!