Saturday, March 9, 2013

New beginnings

Well, the next stage in my life is about to begin! I met the manager of the shop for the first time on Thursday, and I am pretty excited to work with her. She is young, energetic, and full of enthusiasm. And except for the young part, I think I am too. We will be a good team. I like that the shop is scheduled to open on March 20, which is the date of astronomical spring this year in the northern hemisphere. Spring to me is always the sign of new beginnings and rebirth (hello, spring buds and bulbs!) This will be a new venture into the Omaha market for the store, and a venture into a new position for me.

I've been trying to organize my life since I will be working Monday-Friday for the first time in, well, forever. Even back in my lab days, weekends were involved. I know I'll like having weekends off, but I need to adjust my schedule. For example, no more mid-morning-during-the-week grocery shopping. I am going to try to make our weekly menu and get the shopping done on Sundays. And I know I'll be more organized in my errand-running. And somehow, I need to factor a nap in here and there!

One of my projects was to organize cleaning supplies (I know. Pretty exciting). Well, every time we change out our toothbrushes, I throw the old ones in a container under the sink because you never know when you need to clean small spaces and a toothbrush is just what you need. Well:

I apparently need to clean that cupboard more often. Really - how many scrubby toothbrushes does anyone need?

I went to sleep last night listening to thunder and rain. It sounded like spring - and I can't wait. I was getting my hair cut and colored this week, and Troy and I were talking about the fact that even though it hasn't been a particularly bad winter, it has been so dreary. I am really ready for some sunshine. It was warm this week (in the high 40's and low 50's) so I ran outside, and it was wonderful. I immediately remembered how much I hate the treadmill. I'll do it because I have to, but give me fresh air any day.

And speaking of my hairdresser, he told me about a new recipe: Hummus-Crusted Chicken. It couldn't be easier: take a chicken breast, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and coat it with hummus (he said that sounded too messy so he just put a thick schmear across it, as did I when I made it). Add some rosemary or tarragon if you want. (I didn't, since I used jalapeno hummus; thought that one strong flavor was enough). Then squeeze some lemon juice over the top (no lemons in my fridge, so I used a lime). Troy said to not add a lot of juice because otherwise you wouldn't get a good crust from the hummus. Anyway, bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes. Easy, healthy, and yummy:

With some roasted peppers

I tried another new recipe that I am already looking forward to making again. And yes, it's from Cooking Light. But it's ABCDelicious: Thai Chicken Saute.


The recipe called for two tablespoons of Sriracha, but I thought that sounded like a lot, so I used 1.5 tablespoons. I might even use less next time; it was pretty spicy, although the coconut milk mellowed it a bit. I used a 90-second Uncle Ben's Ready Rice (basmati) instead of the boil-in-bag called for in the recipe. The chicken was so tender, and the flavors were so good together. I just served it with some baby carrots, but that turned out perfect because they were cold and helped balance out the heat. Make this!


Other dinners:

Went to Costco. Rotisserie chicken, roasted Brussels sprouts and broccoli, summer salad of baby cukes and grape tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar

More rotisserie chicken. This time in a salad with cukes, tomatoes, craisins, and olive oil and balsamic for dressing

Breakfasts:

Vitatop, 2 HB eggs, strawberries. And coffee.

PB English muffin, blackberries, 1/2 cran juice / 1/2 Trop 50. And coffee.

Vitatop again. HB eggs again. Mixed berries. And coffee.

I really need to be better about lunches. When I uploaded my photos, I realized I hadn't photographed anything. Blah. Worst meal of the day. I stopped at Panera yesterday and had a cup of chicken noodle soup and half a turkey sandwich. I can't even remember what I had earlier in the week except for Thursday when Emma and I went to Jams and I had my favorite shrimp tostada from the appetizer menu. Now THAT was a good lunch!

On the schedule today is more organizing, watching Creighton play basketball this afternoon in the MVC semi-finals, and then dinner at Oak Hills tonight for their Seafood Buffet. I'm hoping for lots of shrimp, and Dwight's hoping they aren't peel-and-eat. I agree - I just don't want to work that hard for my food. Same thing about crab legs; can't someone clean them for me?! (You just read that in a whiny voice, didn't you?)

Happy weekend!

[Update: I made Aly's bars for knitting, but took some to work on Tuesday morning and some when I got my hair cut on Wednesday - and had recipe requests from everyone. We're calling them Aly's Oh Sweet Jesus bars since that's what Alex said when he first tasted them. If you need a good dessert recipe, click here. The sea salt takes them from merely delicious to Oh Sweet Jesus. They are so addictive that we had to get them out of the house.]

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