Tag Archives: Jewelry Organizer

Making Salads Portable

Do you guys miss baking the way I do?  Without my camera (Fritz has it for the weekend while he’s in Montreal with his dad for the Grand Prix), and without my husband, baking has seemed a little superfluous.  Between trying to get through all the greens and leftovers in the fridge by myself, and having no one to share baked goods with, I just couldn’t make it seem necessary.  However, Fritz is coming home tomorrow and today is looking like its going to be a perfect day for some serious baking.  I’m thinking cookies, or bread, but probably cookies.  Mom gave me some giant nonpareils that would look so cute squished atop some peanut butter cookies.

Sorry that you won’t see them.

Last week, when I knew I’d be camera-less, I took some extra pictures so I’d have something to blog about.  Today’s topics:  making salads portable.

With Fritz and I both in school all day long, it’s even harder to eat healthily–especially on a student budget.  When I first started school, all my classmates bought their lunches in the hospital cafeteria, which adds up really fast.  A prepackaged salad there costs between $5 and $8!  Definitely not acceptable.  I brought a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every day (I’ll admit it, I still love a good ol’ PB&J) which wasn’t the most nutritious of lunches to eat daily.  This year, we’ve started to bring leftover dinners to school for lunches, along with our standard easily packaged sides (yogurt, baby carrots, fruit, cottage cheese, trail mix, etc), and now–salads.

When I started trying to make salads portable, I was making rookie mistakes such as (don’t laugh) putting the dressing on them at home and eating them five hours later.  The horror!  Wilted, slimy lettuce and a salad that’s half the size it was when I first packed it.  I also crammed a big salad (these are entree-sized salads, here) into too small a Tupperware, making them difficult to mix and messy to eat.

Finally, I’ve got it down.  For someone who didn’t really like salad that much in the first place, it took a lot more trial-and-error than you’d expect to make me actually want to enjoy a salad at school.  For all you salad-haters out there–it is possible!  Stick to it.

Here’s some of my “making salad portable” tips:

1)  Mix your lettuces.  I get bored of salad pretty fast, so if you can combine lettuces in the same salad, or rotate lettuce types daily, it’ll really help.  In this salad I started with the red Boston lettuce, and added in a handful of baby mixed salad greens.

2)  Be creative with your toppings–and don’t get stingy.  This is a meal, remember.  For this salad I used white salad turnips and turkey, and I topped it off with a handful of sesame seeds.  I was making this salad quickly in the morning, and wanted a protein–even sliced deli meat is better than nothing!

Other tried and true combinations are strawberries/raisins/walnuts, carrots/bell peppers/tomatoes, and any leftover grilled chicken or steak we have lying around.  Since I am still a rookie salad maker, I’ve yet to get into adding hummus, lentils, beans, etc.–but I can promise that will happen.  One step at a time, here.

3)  Dressing.  So important.  Get a non-leaking small container that’ll hold 2 T of dressing, and take advantage!  Also have a few interesting dressings in your fridge so you don’t have to make one yourself every day, and you can change up the flavors.

4) A big enough container.  I use a pretty giant container, but it holds my salad and all the extras–the dressing container, a fork, other toppings I want to add later (in a baggie), everything.  That way it’s okay that it’s giant.  You can take all the extras out, add the dressing, and shake it up!

So far, salad has really grown on me.  Summer of the salad is turning into a successful venture!

Today is really looking like a good day–it’s cool and rainy, so it feels a bit like fall (which you know I love).  Even though I’ve been moping around without Fritz, today I woke up feeling motivated.  I’m currently watching my favorite movie of all time (Dan In Real Life), and when I’m done blogging I’m going to clean out my closets.  It’s going to be crazy.

I have so many clothes.

Someone pinned an old blog post of mine on Pinterest, reminding me of a necklace organizer/display I made a few months ago.  I have some newer pictures of it, so I thought I’d reshare for all you new readers out there.  I used to have all my jewelry crammed into a box, and the necklaces were forever getting tangled together, broken, and buried until I forgot about their existence all together.  A genius idea (if I do say so myself), a towel bar, and some shower curtain rings later, I have this:

It’s awesome, because not only is it super easy to pick out the necklaces I want to wear, but it looks really cute and bright, and never will a necklace tangle again.  And if you get more necklaces, buy a few more shower curtain rings!  I have a million necklaces on there, and it’s not overcrowded yet.

Above the necklace rack is a Frangel that Fritz’s mom made for me.  Beautiful, huh?

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Filed under Non-food things I like, Salads

Meatless Monday: Spaghetti Squash and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

First, I’d like to thank my friends who said so many nice things about my blog today!  Thanks!  1) You make me blush; and 2) You make me want to blog instead of study even more!  So shall we?

A lot of people who read my blog and have witnessed my love affair with acorn squash have been telling me to make spaghetti squash.  I bought one about two weeks ago (don’t judge me–they last a long time in the fridge), and then my friend Cait made it on her blog, so I had to wait a week so I didn’t look like I was copying (just kidding!…I’m actually just lazy).  It was a long anticipated moment when I took that baby out of the oven, and it was my secret dream that I could fool Fritz into thinking he was eating man-food when he was actually eating lady-food, and we would live happily ever after with the vegetable part of our food pyramid finally growing larger than the carb and meat part.

I was so, so wrong.  Turns out neither of us really like spaghetti squash.  Bummer.

But just in case you do, I’ll post the recipe anyway.  I made it with my homemade pesto sauce that I took out of the freezer in two adorable individual serving-sized cubes.  Some people might not agree, but I like my squash to be sweet, not savory.  That combined with the weird crunchy yet wet texture of the squash itself just wasn’t my favorite.  I will try the leftover tomorrow with some cinnamon and nutmeg, and I’m fairly certain I’ll enjoy it–but it still won’t hold a candle to my first love, acorn squash (which, by the way, I called “walnut squash” as a kid).  And no, it doesn’t taste anything like spaghetti…but it does look awesome.

Spaghetti Squash with Pesto

  • 1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 C water

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.  Take out all the guts (seeds and stringy stuff), and set aside.  Place the squash cut side up in a baking dish, and lightly coat the inside with olive oil.  Pour the water in the dish to keep the squash from drying out, and bake on the middle rack until soft, about an hour.

Doesn’t look like spaghetti, yet, but have no fear: take a fork and scrape it up. 

Serve in bowls with your sauce of choice; I went with pesto.  Try to fool husband.  Fail.

Okay, it wasn’t horrible.  Just not everything I was expecting and more. 

But wait!  Remember when I told you to set the guts aside?  Weird, right?  No!  Because I have pumpkin guts left over from when I made my pumpkin stand for the cake pops, and that can mean one thing and one thing only:  roasted salty pumpkin seed goodness!  These are the perfect snack for study time, or movie time, or really any other time.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

  • Pumpkin (and spaghetti squash) seeds
  • 1-2 T olive oil
  • salt to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Separate the seeds and wash with cool water to remove any excess pumpkin goo, drain.  Coat baking sheet with a thin layer of olive oil, and spread the seeds evenly.

Sprinkle with salt, and place on the middle rack to bake for about 15 minutes or until golden, occasionally turning using a spatula to brown both sides.  Cool and store in a Tupperware for future snacking!

Now, before I go, I want to show you two things near and dear to my heart.  One you may have already heard of.  He’s a cat.  His name is Henry.  He is so cute.

The other is a crafty new little set up that Fritz and I concocted for some of my jewelry.  I had that terrible situation where you have too many necklaces in a box, and they start to become one giant knot of beads and string that threatens to break every time you have to detangle it.  So I thought of a magical idea involving a towel rod and shower curtain rings, and Fritz executed it:

Who knows why I am in PT school when I should obviously have my own public access TV craft show.  Dream big, my friends.

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Filed under Appetizers, Entrees