Monday, August 29, 2011

Arugula-Blueberry-Gorgonzola Salad

I meshed this salad together from several different recipes I came across during my post-graduation week-of-nothingness bliss. I'd never thought to put blueberries in a salad before seeing this recipe, and was a little apprehensive about it even while making it. Pancakes, cereal, yogurt, baked goods, by the handful... sure, blueberries are awesome. But mixed in with peppery arugula and intense gorgonzola? Turns out they add just enough sweet, creaminess to the salad to tone down the other intense flavors and really pull the salad together.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Grilled Peaches & Pineapple

Eish, somehow three weeks have passed since graduation and my last post. And what have I been doing with myself, you ask? Well, mostly studying all day, every day for boards. That coupled with training for my first half-marathon in October has pretty well kept me shockingly busy, or I'm just lazy with the time left over after a full day of lectures, 100+ pages of textbook reading and miles of running. Either way, I'm back and have a bunch of recipes to post to get you through the end of summer (seriously, where did it go?! I'm quite irked about this!) and into the awesomeness of fall.

Grilling fruit is a really great way to utilize an already fired up grill at your end-of-the-summer dinners, or possibly carry over into tailgating season, without heating up the house to bake something. Perhaps the weather is different where you are, but August in Iowa tends to run in the 90s, both for temperature and humidity, so heating up the apartment more is something I avoid as much as possible! As usual, I forgot to take my camera to get some finished shots of this delicious, juicy dish, so this picture is courtesy of the website Learn How To Cook.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Strawberry-Rhubarb Bars, and Graduation News!

Hello again! Sorry for the brief hiatus, but life here's been a tad crazy with some very big, exciting changes. For starters - I graduated on Friday!!!! After 18 months of extreme sleep deprivation, countless missed social events, more stress and tears than most of us care to claim, my entire class and I received our Masters in Nursing. A particularly special part of the day was the pinning ceremony that preceded actual convocation (symbolizing the change from student to practicing nurse), in which my almost 4-year-old cousin Ellie pinned me. What makes this moment so incredible is that Ellie was born with a severe heart defect, requiring three open heart surgeries - the most recent of which almost took her from us. But those sad, terrifying days are behind us and my happy, gorgeous little miracle girl took her job of pinning me very seriously. Just the week before I mentioned to her that I had to go to the hospital the next day to work, to which she replied "but you can't be a nurse until I pin you!"
To add to all the graduation excitement, I had two job interviews last week! I interviewed at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Neonatal ICU and Peds ICU. Either job would be an incredible opportunity and I was thrilled to get both interviews. I'll hopefully hear back early next week, until then I get to spend this week doing absolutely. anything. I. want. .... very, very odd concept! The top of my list being to finish re-doing the living room decor, read at least one book and cook like crazy before I have to start studying for boards next week. I've long been hinting at a revamped blog, so hopefully that will also come into being here soon -- new chapter of life, new blog look.
It's quite fitting that this is the post-graduation recipe I'm posting, as it comes from one of the girls in my program. I did add strawberries to what were originally just rhubarb bars, and they were very popular when I took them to the hospital! I love the flavor combination you get mixing sweet strawberries with tart rhubarb, and the little bit of corn starch is an important ingredient to help absorb the extra water the strawberries add. If you're looking to make this healthier, you can use an egg substitute, decrease the amount of sugar and/or play around with a butter substitute for the crust (though I advise caution on this- I've had little luck with crusts using anything other than real butter!)