Thursday, March 31, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

So...some crazy lady decided I deserved to be recognized as a stylish blogger. Mary, a craft blogger from Piece Garden, and  my freshman neighbor in the dorms...she hasn't seen me in person in years, which is exactly why I think she nominated me for this award! No, I kid! It was very sweet, and if you're into sewing or quilting, I would check out her blog. It's amazing! Thanks Mary, and here are the details on this award: 

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
2. Share seven things about yourself.
3. Award 6 recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact the bloggers and tell them about the award.
Seven fun facts about me: 

1.       I love, love, love broccoli. The fiancĂ© finds my obsession a little strange.
2.       My family is genetically predisposed to being a sucker for animals in need. That is how I ended up with these little snots: 

It is also how my dad once owned two dogs and 8 cats at once.
3.       I hate short bike rides (15 miles or less), but love long ones (20 miles or more). The 15-20 range is just too awkward to talk about.
4.       I am a work-a-holic. I’m making pro/con lists for potential jobs right now, and one item in the CON list for a certain school is that people don’t work in the summer there. Really. No joke.
5.       Every time I meet a mean, egotistical, and overbearing scientist, I am reminded that people need a force for good in the world and that is why I need to stay in this career.
6.       Sometimes I don’t cook or eat healthy food. And then my body rebels, which is why I try not to do that too often!
7.       Babies, especially newborns, make me nervous. Hand me a 2-3 year old, and I’m good, but when they are so young and fragile, I worry about breaking them. 

Now I need to nominate some other blogs that I’ve recently discovered:
The Daily Balance: Shannon just had a baby (eek!) and is still stylish and beautiful. Plus, she’s taking the whole weight loss and exhaustion thing in stride.
Mein Portfolio: Disclaimer – this is totally a close relative of mine! My brother, Toby, is an excellent emerging photographer, and he has his work displayed here. I own the ‘Glass Forest’ and ‘Bridge in Perspective’ as large prints. His style is in his ability to see natural beauty and capture it.
Life (and running) in Iowa: Fun blog and Iowa based. Recurring vegan recipes, cross training, and running. I always want to hear about the next adventures of Kier and Nic, which are always performed in style, of course.
Biochemista: Actually, this isn’t so new to me. But Lauren is really a good role model for a balanced young adult life. Her style: light and refreshing cocktails and mocktails enjoyed while enduring the stress of a major career change. Read it and support her!
Tales of a 30-something Nothing: This is a very cute family oriented blog from a fitness professional and nutrition/counseling student. I really enjoy the recipes and the commentary on raising two sassy girls!
Healthy Ashley: You will be so jealous of Ashley’s workout gear while in awe of her physical abilities. Also, she’s wedding planning and I can’t wait to see all of the details!

 Ok, back in a jiffy! 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Winner Winner E.coli and Coffee for Dinner

Sorry I'm late. Who won? Jess!

E-mail me at or FB message me with your choices. You'll also get a lb of coffee or tea, so if you have preferences (caf, decaf, herbal, green, etc) let me know. I'll be happy to deliver your goods to you...just let me know when it is best.

Ok, gotta jet for tonight. I'm doing my lesson plan for the high school food science class. We're doing a unit on protein. Would you like to see what I taught them? Maybe I'll post it if there is interest...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Caper-Sage Chicken

This is my 99th post...and you know what that means! You have one more post (until Sunday) to join the giveaway (details here).

To keep you entertained until then, I have a delicious, healthy, and CHEAP recipe. This one is from my grad school days, and it all started with an 88 cent/lb special on chicken thighs...
Caper-Sage Chicken
2-3 lbs chicken thighs, wings, or legs
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 onion, chopped
1/4 c capers, crained
1 tsp salt
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp ground sage
1 tsp black pepper

Heat oil in big dutch oven or oven-proof dish with lid. Remove skin from chicken. Brown slightly and flip to brown all sides. Add onion, garlic, herbs, and mix. Add capers and lemon, and cover in water. Cook in oven for 2.5 hours. Serve with rice and green veggies.

Yum. Ok, see you Sunday!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

100th post giveaway!

Guess what!?! This little blog has made it almost to 100 posts!

Do you know what this means for you, my dear readers? 


Not just ANY giveaway: a science and food giveaway. An AMAZING giveaway. A giveaway that will make non-giveaway participants super jealous. 

This is the 98th post. On the 100th post (Sunday!), I will announce a winner.

What are we competing for? 

Getting syphilis over coffee! 

That's right, you get your very own GIANT MICROBE and a chemistry flask coffee mug (never used for chemistry, don't worry!) and one bag of coffee from an awesome local roastery (caf or can also have tea).

Syphilis is  super cute, but you can also get athlete's foot...
Or maybe a really deadly Staph infection...

Or, maybe you can get some extra white blood cells to help you fight all of those nasty bugs!
You can choose any of the 5-7" plush toys that the company offers. Just go to Giant Microbes and peruse...if I draw your name, you can tell me which one is your favorite and your hot beverage preferences! 

How to enter:

1) Comment on this post and tell me one reason you LOVE SCIENCE (or how science helps you in your life).

2) Mention this giveaway in your blog or facebook page and link back to this entry in the comments. This will get you an extra entry! 

My personal random number generator (i.e. an impartial lab mate) will choose the winner (i.e. draw the winning number from a beaker when we have down time at work). I'll announce it on SUNDAY! 

The 99th post is almost ready...a delicious chicken recipe, so be sure to check back to see that as well!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Deep Breath

This will be over soon, right? It has to be!

I have 2 interviews this week. Tuesday phone interview and Wed-Fri campus interview out of state. I also need to do a large 2 day experiment Mon and Tues so it's done before I leave! I'm headed to work in just a little bit to get started! Next week, I'm teaching a food science class at the high school (we're doing a protein experiment! I'll post the results, but I'm not sure I can take pictures!).

 I know, I'm  a bad blogger right now, but I'm going to ask that you pretty please forgive me. I am constantly living in limbo and waiting for the next thing that I need to attack and accomplish. Once I get a position, I'll be able to settle down a little bit.

I have been taking pictures, so I'll share a quick one with you now. Thursday was St. Patrick's Day.We didn't go out, but we did festively celebrate the start of the day with a special Angela inspired breakfast: a Shamrock Shake!

Green smoothie with a twist! Plus, topped with chopped chocolate and placed in a chocolate-drizzled glass! This was the fiance's cup - you know I rocked it in the travel mug. It's the only way I know how to eat smoothies!

Shamrock Shake for 2
2 bananas
1 c almond milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 c spinach
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/2 c water (to blend)
2 drops mint extract (to taste)

chopped dark chocolate and chocolate drizzle if you please

It's a nice switch from the fruity smoothies and would be a good dessert or bedtime snack!

Ok, gotta go. I'll try to get an autopost up while I'm travelling - Sage Caper Chicken. It's delicious, cheap, and healthy! But I can make no promises. Thanks for your patience!

Monday, March 7, 2011

BBQ Dinner Remake

A couple weeks ago, Rush Limbaugh openly criticized Michelle Obama for being seen out eating 'unhealthy' foods with her children, namely a barbeque dinner, during a recent vacation. Limbaugh claims this activity makes her hypocritical for pushing her agenda of raising healthier children. 

Traditional BBQ dinners CAN be pretty bad for you. Unfortunately, I really love such food. I love, love, love the sweet, spicy, salty taste of roasted and smoked meat products. I love cheese and butter and cornmuffins. I rarely eat these things at restaurants because they really can be terrible for you and it's difficult to guess how many calories or grams of fat components of these meals contain. Instead, I make them at home. 

Last week I made an amazing, delectable dinner. It had all the components of a traditional BBQ dinner. 

Pulled pork
 Baked Mac&Cheese with breadcrumb topping
Corn muffins
Green vegetable
Side Salad

Ok, I'm missing baked beans, but I've made those before and we just didn't have any cooked beans around.

Let's talk about 'the damage' aka the caloric cost of these foods. Now, I'll show you the breakdown of the recipes below, but I'm going to make some direct comparisons first. 

Pulled pork
I looked at CalorieKing and tried to come up with an average for restaurant pulled pork recipes. I got 200-250 calories/half cup.

My recipe: 140 calories/half cup (loosely packed)

Basic recipe:  825 calories/1 cup

My recipe: 431 calories/1 cup

Basic recipe:  216 calories each (before butter/jam)
My recipe: 140 calories each (before butter/jam)
If you actually get steamed vegetables and a smart side salad on your restaurant dinner, those would be equivalent to what I made, so I'm not going to make comparisons. BUT be sure to ask for your veggies sans butter or oil and your dressing on the side if you want to control your calorie intake. 

Now, if you are a skeptic (and I know, because I am a skeptic), you are thinking 'she just picked the worst possible recipe to compare her recipes to make her recipes look healthier'. How many of you were thinking that? Yes, I know you. I am you.
But that's the thing. With the exception of the pulled pork, which I couldn't actually find a comparable recipe for, I actually adapted my recipes from the recipes that I compare to. And yes, you can make corn muffins that are better for you than the corn muffins I compared to, or even made in my own kitchen, but the goal was to make the meal good and satisfying, not just healthy.

Every aspect of this meal made me happy and satisfied. This dinner was eaten on a 9 inch plate. Besides having to fold the asparagus in half to get them on the plate, I was full from a 9 inch plate worth of dinner. That's the way it's supposed to be! 


1 c cornmeal       442

1 c flour                407

1 tbsp bk powder

¼ c sugar              200

¼ c Splenda        0

½ c 2% milk         50

1 egg + 1 egg white         85

2 tbsp oil              240

½ c pumpkin       45

¼ c honey            200

Mix and sift dry ingredients to remove lumps. Mix wet ingredients seperately, and slowly dry ingredients. Batter will be lumpy, but that's ok. Don't overmix. Bake in greased muffin tin for 20-30 minutes at 350. Makes 12 big muffins. Store in fridge or freezer.

4 cups elbow mac, cooked       400
1/3 c nutritional yeast    100
3 tbsp smart balance      240
1/3 c flour            150
½ red pepper     15
1 c shredded Colby jack                 480
¼ c parmesan    115
½ c breadcrumb topping (1/4 c breadcrumbs + ¼ c parm)              115+110
1 tsp lemon juice + salt to taste     ~0

Cook elbow macaroni in boiling water until al dente. Rinse in cold water to prevent overcooking and set aside. This can be done days ahead of time if you prefer. 
 In blender, blend red pepper, nutritional yeast, and enough water to blend evenly. Add lemon juice and salt until a 'cheesey' taste is acquired. 

In large pan, melt smart balance and add flour over low heat. Stir until completely mixed and just brown. Add blended mixture and whisk until smooth. Allow to come to simmer and thicken. Add cheeses and allow to mix and melt. Add in macaroni to coat noodles in sauce. 

Transfer to greased oven-proof dish and top with breadcrumb mixture. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until top begins to brown and mixture is bubbly. 

Pulled Pork
3 lbs pork loin, trimmed of all seperable fat  1800
1/2 c BBQ Spice mix 200
1 cup BBQ sauce 180

I trim the pork loin at home and cut all visible fat and connective tissue. It takes time, but the product is much better when it's done. My trick is that I pressure cook the pork in water with the spice mix added. I make my own mix and I've accounted for all the sugar in the spice mix. When it's cooked, I remove any visible fat floating on the surface with a spoon, remove the pork to a seperate bowl, and shred it with forks. To the liquid, I add the BBQ sauce and simmer to reduce. Then, I only use as much sauce as the pork will hold (calorie saving trick), so I actually use 1/2-2/3 of the sauce in the final product. The pork filled an 8 cup serving dish, so that is how I got the 140 cal/half cup serving. 

What is your favorite 'recipe remake'?


Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Sunday Poem

I'm back from my travels...
Awake and relaxed.
My house is a disaster as I attempt to unpack. 

I came from an interview...I tried to do my best. 
In some spare time, I bought this cute dress (Gap outlet).

I know I should be putting away my clothes....

But instead I might take some time to paint my toes...

After 3 days of travel and stress, it's time to detox. 
But I have the overwhelming feeling of needing to wash my socks...

I've been a bad blogger, but don't worry, the next post is already wrote.
It remakes a classic dinner so it won't make you bloat!

Look for an autopost tomorrow as I try to get my life together again!