September 28, 2015

Some people believe in magic, I believe in pillsbury dough crusts. If you're not totally geeking out about them with me right now, then you just don't understand the full amazing-ness of them. They're little wraps of dough that can turn your favorite fillings into amazing pillows of snack heaven. They're SO customizable and SO delicious. Are you a plain jane? Ham and cheese is for you. Are you an Italian stallion? Pesto and prosciutto is your saving grace. Are you too Greek for your own good (me), then spinach and feta it up!

I could literally go on about those forever, so I'll stop my rant there and continue with the recipe. For my birthday party in late August, I wanted to make some cool appetizers, and I simultaneously had a craving for the combination of veggies, meat, cheese, and pillsbury crusts. From my cravings sprung out 24 of these creations of mine. 

I had a vision for one Greek-inspired one and two Italian-inspired ones. I planned on making a pastry with spinach and feta, a pastry with tomato, pesto, and mozzarella, and a pastry with prosciutto and goat cheese. If I had to pick a favorite, it would definitely be the prosciutto and goat cheese one. These are all of my ingredients laid out.

This is your golden ticket: pillsbury crescent rolls.

I put these together like an assembly line. It was the loneliest assembly line ever, an assembly line of one, but I got through. First, I laid out the dough in the triangular format it comes out of the container in. This dough comes in one big rolled up square of dough, and perforated lines creates triangles that can be folded and manipulated to your pleasure.

I then put the filling in the middle. If there is a sauce or pesto I put that first, then the meat or veggies, then the cheese. Next, to folded the triangle edges over the filling so it would bake into a little pastry pocket.

Next, I baked them in a preheated oven until ready.

  • 2 containers of Pillsbury crescent rolls
  • 1 whole tomato
  • 8 slices of mozzarella
  • 8 pieces of proscuitto
  • 8 tbsp of goat cheese
  • 8 tbsp of pesto
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 8 tbsp feta cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 350
2. Spray two large baking sheets with spray/olive oil
3. Separate the 24 crescent triangles from the perforated sheet and lay them on the baking sheets 
4. Place the fillings in the triangles
5. For spinach feta: add spinach and feta in the triangles
6. For goat cheese and prosciutto: add goat cheese and prosciutto in the triangles
7. For tomato and mozzarella: add pesto, one slice of tomato, and one slice of mozzarella to the triangles
8. There should be 8 of each to make 24
9. Fold the rest of the dough triangles over the filling
 10. Once the oven is preheated, bake the pastries for 8-10 minutes or until they are golden brown and cooked through. Make sure cheese is melted and dough is firm. Enjoy!

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September 23, 2015

I had mixed feelings about being totally dependent on cooking for myself due to having a full-service kitchen in my on-campus apartment. As much as I hate the dining hall food and love to cook, this type of self-sufficiency is new to me. However, I've loved my experience these past few weeks. My roommates and I are always trying new recipes that we know from our past or found on Pinterest. I thought I'd help out other students in my situation. Admittedly, these recipes are definitely the type of food I prefer. So, prepare for a lot of spinach and feta.  Here's a list of easy, delicious and healthy recipes to prepare if you're a student!

Who needs Chef Boyardee and Kraft Mac when there's curry?

Tell me your favorite dish you've ever prepared!

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brown rice


September 16, 2015

One very important thing that they teach us in communications school is transparency and honesty. I'm going to be very honest with you guys: I did not come up with this recipe or cook this. For this whole series, Ali's Kitchen, I will not. That's why it's named after my roommate, Ali.

This is Ali. She's a bio major, but has a real passion for cooking. Upon move in day, once I saw all her cool cooking and baking equipment, I was instantly psyched. This girl brought more cooking equipment than clothes to school, and I love her for that. She brought matcha powder, a cake pop maker, a mini cake pan, saffron oil, curry paste, and way, way more. Want to know the way to heart? Let's bond over being foodies!

Ali's Kitchen Installment 1

Since moving in, she's already made strawberry rhubarb pie, and this delicious chicken curry. Who needs a boyfriend when you have a roommate that cooks for you?

Chicken Curry
  • 1 cup of brown rice brown rice 
  • 5 chicken tenders 
  • 1 tbsp safflower oil
  • 3 heapings green curry paste
  • 2 heapings chili Paste
  • pinch of s alt
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 can organic coconut Milk
  • 2 cups of water
  • chickpeas
  • 1 bunch swiss chard
  • 2 shallots thinly sliced
  1. Prepare the brown rice according to the box you bought or however you'd like. I like to be lazy and buy the 1 minute microwave cups!
  2. Cut the chicken and swiss chard into the size you desire.
  3. Sautee the chicken for 5-7 minutes in the safflower oil, add shallots and sautee for another 5-6 minutes.
  4. Simmer the the chickpeas, green curry paste, coconut milk, water, chili paste, salt, and ginger in a saucepan for 20 minutes.
  5. Mix in the swiss chard and let simmer for another 15 minutes.
  6. Layer the brown rice and curry mixture in a bowl.
  7. Enjoy!

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September 14, 2015

My mind works a little different than many others'. Once someone tells me to do something, I immediately start turning the wheels in my head. I am finishing assignments in my head the moment they're assigned. I usually get my work done early for classes. It sounds like a blessing, but can be a curse. Sometimes, this immediate go-getter attitude can be all too much for me. The gears in my head grind and the thoughts of what to do jam together. That jam is not the tasty kind I like on my bread, it's writers block-flavored jam. However, I've been trying to rely on being more mindful, and focusing on the little things that inspire me. Below I have a list of things that inspire me when I hit said writer's block.

  • Meditate
  • Take a walk
  • Read books and articles 
  • Watch movies, videos,or documentaries
  • Get some exercise/fresh air
  • Sit on a bench and people watch
  • Mess around with singing/guitar
  • Stream of consciousness write
  • Think in the shower
  • Play with my dog
  • Go shopping
  • Take a nap
  • Organize
  • Listen to music
  • Cook

The great Don Draper once said, if you have trouble thinking of an idea, don't think of it for a while, then think, and it'll come to you. That's definitely worked for me, and for all my fellow creative types. Our minds are everywhere and nowhere at the same time. I find myself jumping out of bed to scribble ideas down too often.

Between these things and meditating, my goal is to be like him basically:

Meditating buddha is GOALS! 

What inspires you?

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September 09, 2015

The storyline: a girl is at a party, and a man with blow-up sunglasses is talking to her. He gives her drink after drink, and they have a great time. Maybe too much of a good time. She stumbles into her apartment the next morning with messy hair and makeup, and cute heels in her hand. She also has a pounding headache. Luckily, her roommates came across First Aid Shot Therapy! This FDA-compliant treatment combines a "870mg of Choline Salicylate (a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug - NSAID) and 65mg of Caffeine (pain relief aid)".

First Aid Shot Therapy is a small business that offers natural and hollistic treatment for pain, heartburn, cold, and hangovers. They hit the bloodstream faster than pills and are easier to take. Not to mention they are offered in delicious flavors! The hangover one is a citrus flavor. 

I actually tried the pain one today and my headache went away in a matter of minutes. This stuff is very handy.

The great thing about these shots of medicine is that its the perfect treatment for when you've had too many shots! All ingredients and drug facts are located on the website. Purchasing information is also up on the website!

Have you ever tried something like this?

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September 02, 2015

Monthly Goals

This is part of the monthly link-up at

September is the time for new beginnings! It's almost as much of a fresh start as the New Year. That's because for me, at least, it's the new Academic Year. So all my goals are going to be academic-related mostly. Enjoy and good luck with your goals this month! Stay cool and avoid the heat wave!

How This works:
  1. Follow your hosts My So-Called Chaos and A Peek at Karen's World to keep up with this link-up.
  2. Write up a post recapping last month's goals and setting goals for next month.
  3.  Make sure to include the button in your post by grabbing the code above.
  4. Link up your goals post with the monthly linky which goes live on the first Thursday of the month.
  5. Visit other links in the party to show support and offer advice for other goal setters.
  6. Have fun and make some new friends!

August Goals

  • Keep up training for Running Club 
  • Finish the other Sarah Dessen book
  • Clear off walls in my room
  • Keep working with brands
  • Dye hair and get nose pierced
Accomplished goals are green and unaccomplished (yet in the works) are in red.

September Goals

  • Complete all paperwork so running club can run our first race
  • Get back to two blog posts a week
  • Decorate living room in suite
  • Get accustomed to chores/food shopping/cleaning in the suite
  • Set goals in executive board position for WMWM and PRSSA

Let's hope September is as promising as August was!

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September 01, 2015

As you know, I ran a half marathon this summer. I ran on it on August 2nd, and I started training on June 1. It's definitely my biggest running achievement so far. It's kind of like doing an internship if the half is the internship and the full marathon is the job. If you do a half marathon and know that's your limits - just stick to 10 milers, 5Ks, 10Ks, and halves. If you think to yourself "I could do that twice", then get ready to train for a full marathon. I had that thought at the end, so looks like I have my work cut out for me. 

Of course, I picked up some tips while I was in training to share with my fellow runners. I'd love to share them with you guys through a few posts. First, I'd like to share with you guys how I ate!

Half marathons are way different than 5Ks, not just in distance, but also in fueling. Instead of making sure you carb up the night before and have your energy before the race, you have to be on a hydration and nutrition plan. 

During training: Training for a half marathon can be 2-3 months long. Staying on a totally strict diet can drive anyone crazy for that long. Let yourself have your "cheat meals" and a few alcoholic beverages, if you drink, every once and a while. You WILL run it off. I alway say I'm  in a constant state of hunger, and that's because I'm a runner. You may feel a little ravenous, but that's because you're burning way more than calories than usual. One thing I learned in exercise nutrition class is that if you don't give yourself back the amino acids you lost in training, your performance will not be as good the next day. The golden rule with exercise is carbohydrates before the workout, protein after. 

Food on a training day (options):
Pre-run: Banana | Luna bar | Belvita | Peanut butter on whole wheat bread
Post-run ( big breakfast): Egg white scramble w veggies and 2 pieces of whole grain toast | greek yogurt with peanut butter on whole grain toast | Veggies, chicken, and quinoa or whole grain pasta | meat, veggies, and mozzarella on whole grain bread
Lunch/ snack: Veggie chips | grapes | apple | cottage cheese | 
dinner: Chicken, rice, quinoa or whole grain pasta, goat cheese, veggies | whole grain pizza crust with veggies and chicken | salmon and veggies
post-dinner snack: "nice cream" | frozen yogurt | veggie chips | boom chicka pop

The night before: CARB UP! This is your pasta party. Have a pasta dish with veggies and chicken or fish. Veggies are carbs, too! Bread is also good to have too!

The morning of: I personally had a bagel with cream cheese. Some people say dairy before a race is a no-go, but I'm always fine with it. If you want to spread peanut butter on your bagel, go for it! I had this about 3 hours before my race. I drank two bottles of water before my race, too. Hydration before is more important than during. A half hour before my race, I had some energy beans.

During: In my flipbelt , I kept a pack of energy jelly beans, and a pack of energy chews. They also had gatorade, water, and BOOM! energy gels at every water stop, which was every 2 miles. I had my first boost at 7 miles. I had an energy chew. Then, at 9 miles, I had some energy gel. Around mile 11, I had some more chews. These really helped me during the last four miles.

What are your favorite foods to fuel up with?

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