Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Healthy Banana-Nut Muffins

Don't let the 'healthy' tag on these muffins dissuade you from trying these muffins. They're moist, chewy, filling and delicious, all for 157 calories and 2.2g fat per muffin -- the perfect easy breakfast to grab on your way out the door, rather than skipping (tsk, tsk) or grabbing donuts or something worse later. They also provide a nice balance of legit food for those of us raiding our Easter baskets for some pre-breakfast treats while waiting for the coffee to finish. These even get the boyfriend stamp-of-approval, and he has very little patience for deliciousness trade-offs in favor of lower calories, which I can fully support.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hazelnut-Dark Chocolate Shortbread Sticks

 This recipe is actually a throw-back to my Christmas baking but I never got around to posting it, and luckily it's not a flavor that is strongly tied to any holidays. The combination of crunchy shortbread made with hazelnuts and a coating of dark chocolate on the outside provides the perfect vehicle for dunking in your morning coffee, tea or munching on them sans beverage.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Perfect Spring Sandwich, or Salad

This post is a bit belated, but with several oral surgeries in the last few months between my boyfriend and myself, most of the food currently happening has been of the mushy-soft texture. In addition to lots of dental work, I just finished up my last shift in the burn unit one week ago. Not only does this mean that I'm 110 days away from graduation (!!), but also that my next rotation will determine the jobs I'm eligible to apply for next year. Most importantly, whether or not I get a pediatric rotation determines if I'm able to apply for pediatric nursing jobs, which is what I've always known I want to be. Even people who don't know me well realize very quickly that I belong in pediatrics, and if an adorable baby is around, that 'very quickly' turns into a few microseconds. Wrapping up my time in the burn unit was bittersweet. I learned SO MUCH in just 125 hours, it's really incredible to think back to January and where my skills and comfort level was and how far I've come. The things I saw and treated in the burn unit don't lend themselves well to a food blog, so I'll leave you with one of the best moments I've had thus far in my nursing career.

About a month ago, I had an evening shift with three very emotionally taxing patients, the kind of night that ends with a lot of tears, chocolate and wine. But a week later, one of those patients, a young adolescent, was having their last shower/wound check before being discharged to go home. As I stopped to say hi and see how she was, her mom asked to take a picture of her daughter with me, thanking me for caring for her daughter and their family during such a hard time. Taking the picture with my patient and talking with her and her mom was easily one of those crystalizing moments of 'yep, this is exactly where I belong', which is unbelievably exciting to experience and very important to hold on to when school's taking everything I've got.

Sorry for the long divergence, but this is supposed to be a food + nursing school blog, and I really wanted to share that with whoever is reading out there. Alright, so back to awesome food! The recipe for this sandwich came from TastingTables email updates, and it combines some of my favorite spring ingredients into a delicious Mediterranean-style sandwich. The eggplant and artichokes form the basis of the filling, and are a filling-enough combination that nobody left feeling hungry or wishing there'd been meat on the sandwich. The sun-dried tomatoes add a little bit of a sweet, olive-y taste, which is well matched by the mild pepperoncini spice and the tart Feta cheese. Sandwich all that between a thick, crusty loaf of sourdough bread with some hummus schmeared on it and you've got one impressive entrée.