Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Back to the life of a student

I am taking a time out today from studying (I should be memorizing the bones of the body right now) to make a blog entry updating you on yet another one of my life changes. I have quit my job. I was working part time at a physical therapy office and it was going great--I loved the patients, I loved my coworkers, I liked the work. Once I started school I realized that if I was going to sleep and/or see Matthew at all then I needed to lose the job. It was really sad quitting because the people were so great but I do feel a lot of relief having more time for school. So that means I have worked and quit 3 jobs in the last 3 months--not exactly a resume builder....

So I am now officially in the category of student. I get to enjoy my spring break without work, I have a 6 week break this summer between my spring and summer classes, when I hope to work on my tan and take it easy (easy, are you kidding me?!? I'll be trying to teach myself Chem 112 so I don't flunk my 5 week summer course during the second half of the summer!). I think you all remember what I'm talking about.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Can't say I agree with Kipp

My title is an allusion to Kipp's provocative song "I love technology..." at the end of Napoleon Dynamite. This weekend I undertook the task of reformatting my computer's hard drive. I am proud to say that I am posting right now using the computer that I just reformatted so it didn't go all that badly. Everything worked just fine and after downloading seven years of Windows XP updates (which took most of the day) it has everything it needs...except the internet!

I have a wireless adapter that plugs into the USB port and it will not be recognized by XP now. You know when you plug in your iPod or USB drive and Windows pops something up that says "Hey, I see you plugged something in!"--it's not doing that. It will recognize my iPod but not this little beauty that supplies the internet.

I realize after reading countless geek threads that this problem is not uncommon, however, I don't posses the ability to understand what the geeks are saying to do to fix it. By the way, when I say "geek" you have to understand that I am holding them with much respect at this moment because they could probably solve my problem if they were here with me right now.

My apologies for the self-indulgent post.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Yucatan Lime Soup (Sopa de Lima)

This soup is served everywhere in the Yucatan but the Mexican version is much simpler: a little chicken broth, some lime juice, 3 or 4 pieces of chicken, a sliced up lime and some tortilla strips. We liked that soup but Emeril Lagasse's recipe is excellent.

This recipe is good for a cold day, although everywhere we ate it in Mexico it was at least 90 degrees outside (and inside; no A/C).
I forgo frying my own tortilla strips up and use cheap tortilla chips from the store. The result is equally good.

Don't feel bad about mixing up a batch of "Emeril's Essence" creole seasoning either. We used it on foil dinners last summer and they were some of the best we've ever had.

Yucatan Lime Soup
1 chicken breast half, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus 1/4 teaspoon
1/2 cup vegetable oil, plus more if needed
8 corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch strips
3/4 cup finely chopped white onions
1 teaspoon Essence, recipe follows
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup seeded, chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon minced Serrano chiles
4 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime, cut into thin slices, for decoration
1 avocado, seeded and diced, for topping

Season the chicken with the cumin and 1/4 teaspoon salt and set aside. In a large pot, heat 1/2 cup of the oil over high heat. Fry the tortilla strips in batches until golden brown on both sides, adding more oil as needed. Drain on paper towels.
Remove all but 2 tablespoons of oil from the pan. Add the onion, Essence and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and saute until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken, garlic, tomatoes and chiles and saute for 3 minutes. Add the stock and lime juice and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Place 1 lime slice in each soup bowl and ladle the soup on top. Top each serving with diced avocado and serve the fried tortilla strips on the side.

Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.

Yield: about 2/3 cup

If you want printable version of all of this click here.

Recipe from New New Orleans Cooking, by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Are you stressed?

In my psychology studies today I came across an interesting thing called the Social Readjustment Rating Scale. Basically it operates under the idea that life changes create stress and chronic stress leads to illness. So you take the test to determine your stress level and therefore your proclivity to illness. The scoring works like this: 0-149=No significant problems; 150-199=Mild life crisis (33 percent chance of illness); 200-299=Moderate life crisis (50 percent chance of illness); 300 and above=Major life crisis (80 percent chance of illness). I took the test and scored 404! Overall, I feel like I am in good health considering I am in a "major life crisis." :)

If you want to see what your score is, there is an online version of the test. It only takes about 2 minutes.

I am curious to hear your scores. My guess is almost everyone is in some state of crisis. This might be a good marketing tool for psychotherapists. :)