Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Broccoli Chicken Divan

It tastes better than this picture looks!
Guys, just so you know, sometimes my recipe attempts are not a hit. Sometimes I make too many substitutions/reductions in an attempt to make it more healthy. It just doesn't always work.  Other times I do silly things like not set the timer, or sometimes things just don't turn out.  Fortunately, Sam isn't too picky and very graciously eats things anyway-- except that nasty pasta thing that one time... But we don't talk about that.

However, this is one dish that is SO stinkin' good that it just might be worth the calories.  I did reduce the fat, cheese, and sodium, so it's a little better.  No but seriously- totally worth it.

(I'm really sorry that my food pictures are really awful.  Just pretend they look awesome, ok? Excellent.)

Broccoli Chicken Divan

  • l lb broccoli
  • 1 cup cooked chicken meat, in bite-sized chunks
  • 1 (10.75oz) can condensed cream of broccoli soup (other "cream of"s will also work)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 T dried bread crumbs
1. Preheat oven to 450F
2. Steam broccoli until slightly tender, but not completely booked.
3. Place the cooked broccoli in a 9inch pie pan.  Top with the chicken. In a bowl, combine the soup, milk, garlic, and some of the cheese, then pour into pan.  Sprinkle with the rest of cheese.
4. Melt the butter, then combine with bread crumbs. Sprinkle over the cheese.
5. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly brown. Serve over rice.

Add more broccoli and less chicken if you want!  You don't even need to use chicken, really.  I think it would be awesome with just broccoli.  It might be good with black beans or beef as well, but I haven't tried it. 

So this one time...

ADVICE: Quadruple check on finals and presentation dates! Triple checking isn't good enough, because that's what I did, and it still didn't help!

Presentations for my English class final papers started this week.  Today was originally a "work day (so, no class), and then presentations were going to start Friday.  On the sign-up sheet for a day, I knew I had the first day, and in my planner I put that as Friday.  Low and behold I get to class today and I am actually assigned to TODAY!  We had added on today as a presentation day and it didn't click in my head.  Ohhhh snap.  I had zero powerpoint done.  My teacher was going to let me do it another day if I wanted to, but that would make my presentation go from 10 minutes to like 3 minutes, which would really, really suck.  So I used the 30 minutes of other people presenting to make a powerpoint and then just did it on the fly.  Can I be so bold as to say that I totally nailed it?  I must work well under pressure-- and Heavenly Father definitely heard my urgent pleas for help.  Right after I finished a whole bunch of people came up to me and told me that it was really good and they were shocked that I hadn't had any powerpoint done at the start of class.  Whew!  I'm super thankful for those spur-of-the-moment teaching jobs for my work that have made me confident in front of a class and that I know so much about my research topic.
Now I basically just need to fine tune my paper to hand in on Friday and show up to class and I'm done English 315!  It's probably for the better that I just got it over and done with.  Maybe I could have done better if I had a bit more time, but I can't do anything about it now, so it's alllll good.  No worries!

On another note, I dream of Canada every night-- especially now that I know we're going soon.  Here are some blast from the past pictures from a certain camping trip that I feel the world should remember.

The time Katie threw Baines in the river
The time I weighed 300lbs

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

In other news...

Sometimes, timing is GREAT! Example: I met Sam the same night I got broken up with.  Successful rebound? (I kid, I kid).
Other times, the timing is not as good... My travel visa came in time to go up to Canada before Easter (which is fabulous) but they also just scheduled my green card interview for right in the middle of the planned Canada trip!  Super glad that it's all going through and everything- but BOOOO!  We're going to have the cut the trip down to just a weekend jaunt :( I guess I'll need to convince Sam to go back up again during the Summer sometime.

Frozen Oatmeal Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

They're like drop cookies, but healthier!  And they're a great cold treat!

I got the original recipe from Oh She Glows, which is a website that I'm pretty much in love with right now.  There are so many neat recipes and other posts on her site, and her story is pretty inspirational!  Anyway, check it out! Some of the recipes are a little "out there" to me (she is vegan and uses a lot of ingredients that I haven't even heard of) but I'm stoked to experiment!

Anyway, she had this little dessert recipe that I decided to try. I made some changes to what she did, but if you want to see the original click the link above.

Frozen Oatmeal Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 1 large banana
  • 1 T peanut butter
  • 1 T cocoa powder
  • 1/2 c oats
  • 1/2 c granola
  • 1 T mini chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1 T sliced almonds (optional)
  • coconut for garnish (optional)
Mash the banana. Mix in the PB and cocoa.  Stir in the remaining ingredients.  Divide into lined  muffin tins (about 7-8).  Freeze for an hour until firm but still chewy ;) Eat right away, because they will get melty!  I also liked it without freezing.  They would work as drop cookies too. 

The recipe I did is about 121 calories per cookie and 11% fibre intake

I think they would be great with other nuts, dried fruit, etc. You could pretty much add whatever you wanted. You could also add things like flax or chia seeds if you want to make them extra healthy.  If you want them to be sweeter, add 1 T maple syrup (but I don't think its necessary).  

Monday, March 28, 2011

Calm(ish) before the storm!

Last night Sam and I went to the Humor U show where they do a MST3K version of some old church movies.  It was so stinkin' funny!  The films can be pretty hilarious just on their own sometimes, let alone with three funny people adding commentary ;)  We also went to this sort of "fair" that the business program put together, complete with bouncy castles, hot dogs, cotton candy, and games!  We were only there for the free hotdogs.
After that I was in the mood to run- a lot.  I ended up doing a 13.1, and I got one of my fastest paces for that distance.  It was on a treadmill, so not quite as impressive, but at least I know that I'm physically able to run that far/for that long.  I'm dying to do an official half marathon, but since we don't even know where we will be this summer yet I can't go signing up for anything.
Today we went to the BYU rugby game against CSU.  With a final score of 99-0, let's just say they destroyed them. There were some awesome plays and hits (as always).  Kelly and her niece showed up too, and we saw Carly visiting from Canada with her boy!  I love seeing people I know.  Around here it doesn't really happen all that much for me like it would back home.

After the game Sam and I decided to take advantage of the free Cafe Rio voucher that I've been holding onto for the past 6 months.  We both got pork burritos then watched Corner Gas while we ate them.  I only ate half of mine so that I can have the rest for lunch on Monday (though Sam is threatening to eat it before them). Yum!
For the past several hours I've been working on my final paper for English/browsing the internet.  We had planned on going to the colour festival, but we didn't end up going.  It's fun and all, but it's so much work to get there, get cleaned up, get the house and truck cleaned up, clean the tub, etc etc... I guess we're just old and boring married people now ;)  Naaaaaw-- look at all the other fun stuff we did this weekend!
I feel like I complain too  much about being busy, but I'm just stating how it is!  This weekend was such a good break from the extra craziness that is soon to come with finals!

Friday, March 25, 2011

All Smiles

This week has been an "I LOVE EVERYTHING!" week.  I keep wanting to hug people and tell them how freaking awesome they are.  Including people I don't know, so I mostly just save that for Sam.

Reasons that everything is awesome:

  • We got the work/travel visa
  • The weather has been pretty nice
  • I saw Sam TWICE on campus (when it's usually zero)
  • It's the rugby game/colour festival/anniversary weekend of when Sam and I started dating
  • One of my lectures is over so now I just get to SEW in lab (and no more samples!) 
  • I ate one and a half Cadbury eggs and it was fantabulous (Sam and I split 3 different kinds. Gotta try them all)
  • I'll be in CANADA in one month's time!
  • I got 2lb closer to my goal- woo hoo!
  • It's almost fresh fruit season- hello massive flats of raspberries, strawberries, nectarines, and peas-in-the-pod
  • I got sick- but it went away after like 5 days. Yesh.
  • I totally bombed my test. Oh wait, that's bad... Well, I bombed my test but felt so good about everything else that I didn't beat myself up about it too bad.  I'll just have to work my butt off!
  • My final that was scheduled for the LAST day of finals (suck!) got moved, so now I have only two scheduled on the FIRST day of finals, then two testing center ones, and the rest are projects that are in the next week or so.  So great! I can be done WAY early!
  • I can just taste summer.
  • And so much more!
So, most of those things are super small things.  Find joy in the little things and you're set!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's official!

My work/travel authorization came!!! I am so, so, so happy!  I was getting worried about it being approved in time for the planned Easter visit to Canada- but here it is!  For anyone interested, we're having a reception-ish get together on Friday, April 22nd.  We won't have a cake or that sort of thing, but we'll have food, pictures, visiting, and fun!
I haven't been home for Easter in ages!  I'm so stinkin' excited.  If you were to be in Alberta with a family of Utahns, what would you show them?  I'm definitely thinking Waterton and Writing-on-Stone. And poutine from Red Dog Diner.  Maybe things in Calgary? The zoo? The science center (it's cool, ok?)? Some random canola field?
I can't even wait!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What the wise runner fears

check out these babies! she made them out of tire and rope, then ran 12 miles in them for our relay team!
I've been using dailymile to track my exercise lately.  It's a really nifty little site! You make a profile (or just link it to your facebook, which is what I did) and then you can track all of your workouts on it.  It calculates paces, distance, how you're feeling, how much gas you've saved, how many donuts you've burned... You can also add friends or post in the forums.  One feature I really like is the challenges.  You can make your own or join someone else's.  They have ones like run 1000 miles in a year, awareness groups (like "in memory of" runs), monthly goals... Very neat! So if anyone else is using it, or starts using it, add me as a friend!

Anyway, I was just procrastinating homework and came across a post a guy made asking what three things you as a runner fear.  There were some great ones! Here are some favourites, as well as a few of my own:

1. A porta-potty with no line.  There's probably a reason.
2. The words "gently rolling hills" in the course description.  Yeah, no, that usually means mountainous certain death.
3. "Battery low"
4. An intersection during a race that has no signs or volunteers saying which way to go
5. Your socks starting to fall down within the first mile
6. One of your shins randomly getting insanely itchy, so you either have to try to ignore it or start doing weird little dances while you simultaneously run/scratch.
7. Thinking "I probably shouldn't have eaten that!" part way through your run
8. A dog with no leash and no owner in sight
9. Feeling a blister forming when you've barely even started

Anyone else have a fear to add?

Happy running! Or biking, walking, playing, swimming, or channel surfing :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Boo urns!

So I have a bunch of really cool and awesome pictures, but they're on the camera that has a fnuny SD card (so it won't load onto my laptop) and I can't find the USB cord.  So thus the lack of event coverage.
We're still trying to figure out what is going on this summer, both living-wise and visit-to-Canada-wise.  It's only a month until we want to come but I haven't heard back from immigration yet.  I'm getting antsy!
This weekend wasn't too eventful.  Friday I started getting sick, so all weekend I sewed and watched the Harry Potter marathon that was on ABC.  I'm almost done an awesome dress though!  It's very 80s and I love it.  It's floral and has puffy sleeves.  Seriously.
So anyway, this sickness... Since I have asthma, when I get sick it often ends up stuck in my chest and won't go away for a long time.  I can't breath very well and it hurts like a motha to cough, so I can't clear it out.  Gross, I know.  Thankfully a coworker was able to take over for me this morning.  Now I'm sitting in English- except for nobody else showed up! I missed last class, so I think they are at the library or something this period.  I feel like they threw a party and didn't invite me! Sad day.
Well, I guess I'll make use of the next hour and study for my exam that I have to do this week.  I probably should have done more studying and less sewing.  But hey, I'll have my ugly floral old lady dress soon and that just joys my heart.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Grandma Buns

These buns are legendary.  You don't even know.  It's a staple at all Frache family holidays and Sunday get-togethers.  The other day, I tried making them for the first time and I nearly fell over because they turned out so well.  They were totally perfect at first- but then they got a little dry the next day, so not quite there, but stinkin' close.  Anyway, I want to share the love with you.  This is the recipe that my grandma Rayma Frache has been using for years.  She got the recipe from my adopted grandma/birthday buddy Doris Erickson.

Grandma Buns:
Combine the yeast and flour:
  • 2 Tbsp Fermipan inst. yeast (only available in Canada, I think.  Use this type if possible)
  • 4 cups flour (I used half bread/half all-purpose.  My grandma swears by Ellison's)
Whip together the following ingredients:
  • 8 Tbsp white sugar
  • 6 Tbsp oil (Canola)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups warm water
Add flour/yeast mixture and blend well.

Combine the following:
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3-4 cups flour
Add the salt/flour to the mixture and blend well until smooth.

Pour out onto floured surface and knead.  Place in a large greased bowl, turning once so dough is coated.  Cover with cloth and let rise 15 min in warm over. Punch down. Let rise again about 30 min.  Punch down.
Pour out onto floured surface.  Form into buns (If you roll out and then use a glass to cut them they will be more uniform). Place on a greased pan.  Cover and let rise in a warm place.

Bake 15-18 min @350F
Makes about 4 doz.

If you try making them, please let me know how it goes!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Working my butt off (literally)

At BYU they have this machine to measure your body composition, volume, density, etc.  I had it done last year in November, and then again today.  Verdict: the hard work I've been putting into my fitness both physically and mentally has been paying off!  I'm down by 4.8 pounds and 4.2% body fat. It also tells you your metabolic rates for various degrees of physical activity throughout the day, which is very handy in deciding how much I need to eat to lose weight but still have the energy I need!  Not only are the numbers improved, but I feel a lot better.  I'm halfway to my goal, and it's fantastic! Maybe I'll put up some before/after shots once I get there ;)

Anyway, on that note, I had to fast to do the body comp test and I'm starving, so I'm going to go find me some lunch!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Holy smokes.

Ok, so Saturday: First off, I figured I'd go run 13.1miles just to make sure I could.  Success.
Then we went to the Wasatch Cup rugby game, BYU vs Utah, and it was an AWESOME game.  We won, and it was so legit. Awesome hits.  Total skill.  But hey, rugby is always like that.
Then I tried my very first Krispy Kreme donut right off the belt.  Oh man, it melts!
Then my proudest cooking moment by far: I just replicated my Grandma Frache's buns.  My first try.  BIG deal. You don't even know.  I am SO stinking happy over this.

Oh wait... I was supposed to do homework too, wasn't I? My bad. Later.