First of the year~

Let’s see if I can get back into this blogging business a bit more.

Image

Went on my second vacation of the year last weekend to the Smoky Mountains! I love love mountains. So beautiful…but I don’t think I could ever truly live there. The altitude, the ups and downs, I get motion sickness easily and those curves and bumps would bring it out quite easily.

Stayed at a wonderful bed and breakfast in Newport, TN, The Christopher Place.  It was our first time staying somewhere other than a commercial hotel and we loved it! The place is much quieter, more intimate and more romantic. We had three meals there, all were delicious. Breakfast was served at a time of our choosing between 8-10am either in their breakfast area or in our room. I’m not usually a big breakfast person, but if it regularly tasted the way they served, I definitely could start eating it more often.

Image

There also is a beautiful view of the mountains right behind the property, perfect for sunset or sunrise.

Image

The owner of the property was always present and made sure that we were enjoying our experience. They also have great specials which are always available on their site including two-night and three-night getaways with a 4 course dinner and daily breakfast included! I would definitely check it out! After the two nights we spent there, I think I will definitely be looking into more bed and breakfasts to stay at in the future!

Also for the first time ever, I filed my taxes. Can’t say I really knew what I was doing, but since I don’t have much else going on for me as a single, non home-owning person with no dependents, it didn’t seem like it would be too bad. Used H&R Block which really did make it very simple. Hopefully I will be receiving a good bump from tax returns to buffer my spending!

I can’t believe intern year is almost over. Not exactly, still have 3 good rotations to fit in before I can say I’m not an intern anymore – and have to change the byline under my blog, but still! This is crazy. We’ve matched 10 new interns! Already working on our schedule for next year!

Happy PI day and happy five year anniversary with my ZJL.

Image

 So cheesy. It makes even me want to throw up. Vomit from my eyes.

Advertisements

Liu Xiang 2012 Olympics

Video

I was devastated to learn that Liu Xiang did not make the comeback he had hoped this year at the London’s Olympics. Haven’t had time to watch the Olympics this year. Also don’t have any TV hook up here, but that’s another topic.

Had no idea about what actually happened during his event until I looked a little deeper.

It’s an amazing story and it really exemplifies what I believe is what the Olympics are all about. You don’t always win. And you will be upset when something goes wrong. He fell, clearly was heartbroken and hopped off the track, probably too proud and upset to sit in the wheelchair on the side. But then as the true athlete he is, he headed back to the track, still hopping mind you, and finished the event, hopping the whole way. And not only that, the other competitors came over and supported him off the track. And the crowd cheered for him.

Brought tears to my eyes.

He ruptured his Achilles tendon and had surgery today. I truly hope to see him compete again.

Fishtail Top Bun + Birthday Love

Almost a month without a post. I’m not quite keeping up as well as I had hoped. Hum.

In any case, since I haven’t done a pinventure post in a while, thought I’d put this one up. I’ve actually used this hairstyle a couple times already. Found it (of course) through Pinterest, and love love the blog. They have fantastic hair tutorials and gift guides and giveaways and… 🙂 A Cup of Jo with direct access to their Braided Top Bun tutorial. This is one that works quite well and stays in place all day. Very cute and convenient for running around the hospital.

I thought, normal braid works well, why not try fishtail with it? So it’s exactly the same as the original except braided fishtail style. Worked out alright, fishtail braids don’t tend to stay as tight as a regular braid, but still looks pretty good. If nothing else, it looks nicely coiled.

On another note, had my first bday away from home. Was able to spend a nice weekend with friends at home, delicious dinner with authentic Chinese dishes which I have missed very much since moving. (Aside from the food my mom has packed me!) And a nice night out (with some drama, but that just adds spice to the memories)…although I did get very sleepy early on. Alas what waking up at 0430 does to you!

Then had a wonderful dinner on my actual birthday with my classmates! Got slammed on the floors and didn’t get out until later than anticipated, but I was so happy to walk into the restaurant and see everyone there!! A pretty big deal considering everyone’s schedule doesn’t always pan out. (Just missing our nights lovely girl) Homemade birthday cake decorated with real flowers. Delicious shared pizzas since I got out late and didn’t order. Made it quite perfect. 🙂


Not to mention a gift sent from across the country. Distance don’t mean a thing…just like that meme I posted before.

Despite being away for the first time, I couldn’t have asked for a better way to start off another year of my life!

留下我一個人

Thought switching up the language here and there would be fun. For me. Probably not for whoever is reading this. Unless they can read both. 

Finally had a weekend off! After 12 days of work, we get 2 days off. Golden weekends they call it since we get BOTH Saturday AND Sunday off. It’s so rare it’s golden. People not in residency and working jobs are probably like what…but yes. The system here is tricky. They’ve made it so that you still are technically getting 1 day off a week. With Sunday as the first day and Saturday as the last. But you still work 12 days in a row and get the golden weekends. Get it? Tricky tricky. I only realized this as I was logging my work hours.

ZJL came over the weekend. Was supposed to take the Megabus. Which did not show up for almost 2 hrs before they informed people it was canceled. Bad Megabus. Made me sad because I thought my first weekend free was going to be alone…many buddies on call. T.T But then he said he would drive here on Saturday! Huzzah! Happy again ^_________^

Dinner with my bud Mere and her man and some URO folks. Mediterranean. Flaming. Cheese. Is. Amazing. I think I may always order it now.

Ate brunch today at what is supposed to be a wonderful place. Cafe Patachou. Being from the Chi, there are a myriad of brunch places all supposedly amazing. M. Henry is still probably my favorite. Anyways, wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. Loved the atmosphere, the service and the healthy fresh food. For the first time since moving here and going out to eat, I did not bring left overs!

Also got to make more of that breakfast cake. Which btw was dubbed delicious by my fellow residents. I added strawberries to it this time too. Hopefully still good.

ZJL so great. Made all the dinner today. Which is exactly what I needed. Something Asian, home cooked, and enough to have leftovers to feed me for the week. ❤ And he put everything in the dish washer afterwards. <33

我本來以為遠一點不會有什麽困難。可是我現在覺得還是難一點。。。下班以後有人在家等你,有人可以和你一起聊天,吃飯,等等真的比較好。忙的時候我不會覺得孤單。可是他今天走了以後,我一個人回到房間還是有一點傷心。可是真的沒有辦法!我本來就是想要離開遠一點,就知道不會和家人,朋友,牛牛在一起。我還是滿喜歡一個人主一個房間。只是。。。想到的時候,會覺得有一點。。。

Worth the read. PROMISE!

This is super long. But I encourage you to read it! It’s extremely interesting. And partially the reason that I deactivated my own Facebook account a couple months ago. And to be honest, I feel much happier and more connected now than I did before. I don’t know what people’s lives are like, they don’t know what mine is like, I end up calling/skyping more, chatting more, etc. More direct contact. And it’s helped divide those “friends” from FRIENDS. 

The Atlantic – Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?

It’s also not concentrated solely on Facebook. Talks about social media in general, human characteristics and how social media may amplify those. Love this quote. Because I saw it being displayed more and more before I quit FB.

“Facebook users have higher levels of total narcissism, exhibitionism, and leadership than Facebook nonusers,” the study’s authors wrote. “In fact, it could be argued that Facebook specifically gratifies the narcissistic individual’s need to engage in self-promoting and superficial behavior.”

Anyways, if you have some spare time, give it a whirl. Even just 5 minutes of reading. 

Love articles like this that make you think. Credit to blee for it. 🙂

Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake + Tomato Alfredo Pasta

Today was the first day of grand rounds and clinic (for me) for the year. Which also means…break from the floors!! Early arrival home!! Which is so so necessary. Last week I went straight through (as did my R2) and I think we were both pretty exhausted. Unfortunately, my one patient on my list for clinic was a no show. 😦 No one wants the noob doctor to see them. But I got to see one of my R2’s return OBs it was just good to be able to see how things in clinic work since it’s on a completely different computer system than I’m used to on my current block.

Anyways, got home early. Really early. I got to do some real life things like cancel a credit card, pay bills, set up online payment, clean off my ridiculous table covered with rounding papers. And I also attempted to cook. 

There’s a grocery store about 0.2 miles away from me, so I just took a quick trip, picked up some ingredients I didn’t have and popped back home. Of course, being a terrible cook and baker, I didn’t really read the whole recipe. For either dish. And had to improvise here and there…I think things turned out okay. Haven’t really tried the breakfast cake yet. 

Anyways! These are recipes I found on Pinterest. I’m always looking for healthy quick easy things to eat (grab and go) for the morning and easily packable for lunch (non sandwich!). Found the buttermilk breakfast cake recipe from Alexandra’s Kitchen and it seemed pretty easy. Until I tried it. Okay to be honest, it’s not difficult. Here’s the recipe from her site.

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp. lemon zest or more — zest from 1 large lemon
7/8 cup* + 1 tablespoon sugar**
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
½ cup buttermilk

* 7/8 cup = 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
** This 1 tablespoon is for sprinkling on top

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cream butter with lemon zest and 7/8 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy.

2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Meanwhile, toss the blueberries with ¼ cup of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt.

3. Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the blueberries.

4. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (or something similar) with butter or coat with non-stick spray. Spread batter into pan. Sprinkle batter with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 35 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness. If necessary, return pan to oven for a couple of more minutes. (Note: Baking for as long as 10 minutes more might be necessary.) Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

Now…my first mistake. Was not having any mixing bowls. So I was just using the largest bowls (ramen size maybe) I had to mix things. I also did not have a whisk or any sort of electric mixer. So I used…chopsticks. And then…I did not put the butter out early so it was not at room temp. To fix that, I somewhat chopped it up and mixed it in with the sugar, then put it outside on my mini balcony/porch where I attempted to have the 100 degree weather soften it up. Worked ok I think. My salt was also not kosher, and I used less lemon zest than they indicated. Maybe some more blueberries. In any case, I also did not have a square pan. Only 9×13. So I ghettofied it and made my own version with aluminum foil. 

Image

Square enough!!! While that was baking, I started attempting the Tomato Alfredo Pasta, which I found from Kitchen Trial and Error through Pinterest as well. I LOVE LOVE pasta. Especially “stabbable” pasta – the only kind I like to eat with a fork. Apparently no one calls this kind of pasta “stabbable” and I just made it up. Her recipe is below.

creamy tomato pasta
alfredo sauce adapted from cook’s illustrated
30 minutes, serves 4

for the tomato sauce –
1 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes (about 9 medium)
1 small onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves minced
1/4 cup minced fresh basil
olive oil

for the alfredo sauce –
(if you want to lighten it up, halve the alfredo and keep the tomato sauce the same)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons flour
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup half & half
2 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
1 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 pound farfalle or other short cut pasta

  1. bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.
  2. start the tomato sauce. bring a large pot of water to boil. score the bottom of the tomatoes, blanch in the boiling water for about a minute, cool and peel. discard skins. roughly chop tomatoes and set aside.
  3. in a small saucepan, sweat the minced onion and garlic in about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium low heat for about 5 minutes, until soft.
  4. add the tomatoes to the onion and garlic. if you want a thin sauce like mine, blend the sauce with an immersion blender. cook about 15 minutes until thickened.
  5. while the tomato sauce thickens, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions.
  6. while the pasta and tomato sauce are cooking, make the alfredo sauce. melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. whisk in the flour until smooth and cook about 2 minutes, until brown.
  7. whisk in the milk, half & half, and garlic and season with salt & pepper. continuously whisking, bring to a simmer and cook about 2 minutes until thickened. fish out the garlic with a slotted spoon and discard.
  8. whisk in the parmesan. the sauce will be very thick, so add 1/3 cup of the hot pasta cooking water to the alfredo sauce to thin it out a bit. remove from heat.
  9. drain the pasta and add to the alfredo sauce.
  10. mix the basil into the tomato sauce and add the tomato sauce to the pasta. mix well.

I for one, did not follow it exactly. I used 3 large tomatoes and just store bought the alfredo. I did happen to make the tomato sauce from scratch though. And it turned out pretty well. I hate raw tomatoes, but I love tomatoes in sauces, salsas, chunky tomatoes in sauces, etc. If you’re going to use store bought alfredo sauce, I recommend just putting the whole jar in. I didn’t exactly measure things as accurately as in the original recipe, but I think without adding any salt to the tomato sauce, you’ll need the saltiness/richness from the alfredo to balance out the fresh tomatoes. 

Image

Final product there…before I went back and added the rest of the alfredo. I think you can adjust it to your own liking though. I love pastas with lots of sauce for the most part…and I love cheese so that worked out well for me.

I actually baked the breakfast cake 10 minutes longer (as she had said!) and went by color more than the toothpick stick. Partly because I don’t have any toothpicks here. Still deficient in many normal household goods..

Image

Not bad though eh? Now I have breakfast for the rest of the week! And lunch for a bit at least. 🙂 Baking is supposed to be pretty exact, but a little bit of improvising couldn’t have hurt that much right? I haven’t tasted it yet though…so who knows…