Archive | April, 2011

Last day on the job….

29 Apr

Accomplishment:  Today is my last day of work on Capitol Hill.  It is hard to close this chapter of my life, even though I have such exciting things planned in the coming months.  I almost feel like I’m finally just graduating from college and I have to grow up.  My job was the best job anyone could ever have out of college.  And, who knows, maybe I’ll be back sooner than I think:)   I have no idea what lies ahead of me.

I do know, I will miss my office, my friends and the atmosphere of working on the hill.  I will miss my little fishbowl, sitting in front of two of my favorite people.  They will no longer have to suffer through my endless personal calls…which I’m sure they are thankful about.  I definitely won’t miss walking through metal detectors everyday.  Call me paranoid, but I swear one day they’ll come out and say those cause cancer.  Along with everything else though I suppose.  I will also enjoy wearing heels without having to do an awkward leap/jump/long stride to get into the office building.  I swear it’s just a big joke between the Cap police.  They need some sort of entertainment while standing there all day.

Next up, finals….then off to Rome!!

Outer Banks 2011

26 Apr
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Outer Banks 2011, a set on Flickr.

Accomplishment: This weekend I went to the Outer Banks in Corolla, NC; better known as OBX. A group of us generally go once a year either over Easter weekend or Columbus Day weekend. This year we were lucky Easter was so late because it was HOT. Legend has it, it’s supposed to take 5 1/2 hours to get down there, but with DC traffic I’ve never made it under 7 to 8 hours. I left at 5pm on Thursday and didn’t get in until midnight. I also managed to get pulled over in Duck, NC…about 10 minutes from Katey’s house at 11:40pm. The cop actually pulled a U-turn just to pull me over. I think he was hoping I was drinking and driving, but sadly I was sober and blasting through the “town” at 45mph. I had no clue there was a strict 25mph speed limit. Opps. Lucky for me, he let me off with a warning. I think he felt sorry for me because I had been driving since 5pm that night.

The house we stayed at is my friend Katey’s. Sadly, her parents sold it this month, so this was the last trip we could take advantage of her amazing place. We had about 20 people staying there this year (the house actually sleeps that many). It’s quite a scene when you arrive. There is not too much to do in Corolla. I ran on the beach everyday. You can also drive on the beaches there, so we took Cary’s Jeep Wrangler on the beach to go find wild horses. I actually saw a little baby colt this year! There is also a couple golf courses and tennis courts, but I had to forgo those this year. The night life is exciting/interesting. Always an experience. Generally we go out at least one night to sing karaoke and converse with the lovely “townies” of Corolla. 

The Ultimate BLT

21 Apr

Theirs 
and  then Mine


Tribulation:  Well, last night I thought I would try something more simple.  Turns out, this BLT was a little more difficult and expensive than I thought it would be.  I went to Whole Foods because I was sure they would have burrata cheese.  For those of you not familiar with this cheese, it’s mozzarella mixed with ricotta.  It came wrapped in banana leaves.  It’s not cheap though, it was $10.24 for 9oz.  You have to wait 30 minutes to an hour before making the meal, so we went to have a drink at our local watering hole.  

The BLT was good, it’s just that wasn’t $24 and 2 hours prep time good.  My opinion may improve I had used regular bacon to give the sandwich the extra flavor it was missing.

The World’s Most Amazing Bran Muffins

20 Apr
Accomplishment:  I got my first comment!!!  Thanks Erica.  It’s very exciting.  At Erica’s request I am posting this muffin recipe.  I eat one each morning for breakfast.  They are filling and VERY healthy.  Once I get started talking about these muffins, I think I actually freak people out.  But, they immediately are hooked after their first bite. 

Gathering the ingredients can be tricky.  I highly suggest Whole Foods, but you will need a normal grocery store for the All-Bran cereal.  And remember the oat bran is generally with the oatmeal.  Also, I buy 5 bananas every time I go to the grocery store to ensure I always have ripe ones when I need to make a batch.

Tip:  Sometimes mine only make about 18 muffins, so fill the extra holes with water so they cook evenly!
Bran Muffins
Mix in a Large Bowl:
¾ cup Wheat Bran
¾ cup Oat Bran
1 cup All-Bran
1 cup Whole grain flour
1 cup Flaxseed meal ground
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
Puree in Blender or Food Processor:
Either 2 whole oranges with peel OR 5 ripe bananas
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup canola oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
Mix well with a wooden spoon the dry and liquid mixture from above with (these are optional):
1 ½ cup raisins
Or
Dried Cranberries
Or
1 cup Walnuts (which is what I do)
Spoon into muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes at 375. (fill the empty tins with water)

Pulled Pork Tacos

19 Apr
Real Simple Pulled Pork Tacos

Hands on time: 15 minutes; total time: 4 1/2 on high, 8 on low; serves 6
2 cups store-bought salsa
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 2 1/2 boneless pork butt or shoulder, trimmed of excess fat
18 corn tortillas
1/2 cup fresh cilantro springs
3/4 cup sour cream
2 limes, cut into wedges

-In a 4-to-6 quart slow cooker, combine the salsa, chili powder, oregano, cocoa, salt, and pork
-Cook, covered, until the meat is tender and pulls apart easily
-20 minutes before serving, heat oven to 350.  Stack the tortillas, wrap then in foil, and bake into warm
-Meanwhile, using 2 forks, shred the pork and stir into the cooking liquid.  Serve with the tortillas, cilantro, sour cream, lime, and extra salsa.

Accomplishment:  First off, thanks everyone for following me.  I’ve only had one complaint about my hot pink text–you know who you are!  I think I now have my boyfriend, my brother, my mom, and several of my closet friends who probably felt obligated to hit the follow button or who are entertained that I actually an trying to blog.  That’s okay though.  Now you all can see what I do with my free time:)  So yesterday I made pulled pork tacos from a Real Simple magazine.  I bought everything at Whole Foods Sunday night and had it prepped for Cary to dump into the crock pot Monday morning.  I added a yellow and red pepper and a yellow onion to the recipe because I thought just pork with be a little bland.  Plus I need to sneak my vegetables in where I can.  I also mixed up the sour cream a little by making green chili sour cream.  Overall, I thought this was an awesome crock pot meal.  We ate it with low-fat 6″ whole wheat tortillas, which only have 45 calories a pop.  I would definitely recommend this dish for the busy professional and for guys who own a crock pot.


 

Where in the world will Kelley be?

18 Apr
Accomplishment:  Rome, Italy

This map takes you to the exact location of where I’ll be living and where our classes will meet:

This link goes to the program’s website.  There are pictures of the school.  Plus, you can see what classes I’m taking.  Although I’m sure my brother is the only person interested in those details:)  I am taking International Human Rights Law and  International Environmental Law and Human Rights.

http://www.law.edu/rome/facilities.cfm

Krakow, Poland
This link takes you to the program’s website for Poland.  We will attend class at the Jagiellonian University.  I’m not sure  where our dorms are located yet, but I assume on the campus.  I am taking Comparative and International Trade Law and International Business Transactions while in Poland.
  

Please send me tips if you’ve been to any of these places!

Baked Lemon Tarragon Chicken served with Israeli Couscous

18 Apr

Accomplishment:  This is a Whole Foods Recipe.  The meal felt healthy.  It was maybe a little on the bland side, but a good meal for a Sunday night when you are just wanting a simple, but healthy recipe.  I served this with Israeli couscous from Trader Joe’s.  I prepared it with a bay leave, 1/2 cup shallots, 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon parsley, and 1/2 toasted pine nuts.  Delicious.   


Ingredients

8 skinless bone-in chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil 
4 tablespoons tarragon leaves 
Sea salt and ground pepper 
2 onions, peeled, halved and sliced into half rings 
2 cups gluten-free low-sodium chicken broth 
Juice of 2 lemons

Method

Preheat oven to 350°F. Toss chicken pieces with olive oil and half the tarragon leaves. Season liberally with salt and pepper and toss well to make sure all pieces are evenly coated. 

Arrange onion slices in the bottom of a baking pan or oven-proof Dutch oven large enough to hold chicken pieces as best as possible in one layer. Sprinkle remaining half of tarragon leaves over onions and arrange chicken on top. Add chicken broth and lemon juice, cover with a lid or foil and place in the oven. Bake for about an hour or until juices run clear when chicken pieces are pierced with a fork. Remove from oven, covered, and let rest 10 minutes. Just before serving, taste the juices at the bottom of the pan and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve chicken with juices spooned over it.

Nutrition

Per serving (About 6.5oz/190g-wt.): 240 calories (120 from fat), 13g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 23g protein, 6g total carbohydrate (1g dietary fiber, 2g sugar), 75mg cholesterol, 250mg sodium