Sunday, August 26, 2012

Back to School!

Tomorrow is my first day of school! I haven't been a full time student in 4 years! That seems like such a long time. I know that some people take more time off, but for me it wasn't completely intentional. I knew I wanted to take some time off after college, but I didn't think it would end up being this long. Due to Bryan being in medical school for 4 years in Chicago and trying to line up a program that would end at the same time as him, it made the most sense to wait until he was done to start a 3 year program (since it takes a year to apply). Since my time off was longer than anticipated (which I was grateful for!), I'm very excited to get back to school.

One of the things I love about the fall is all of the new beginnings. This fall is a huge beginning for me. I will start a 3 year masters program in nutrition and I'm super excited to get the ball rolling after so much time planning to start it!

I'm a little nervous starting back up again - even though I've only been out of school for 4 years, I'm sure things have changed. Additionally, the student population surely has changed a little bit. I will probably have peers of a variety of ages, which I think is a good thing!

I ran across this link a few days ago, and I remembered that this is a link I end up reading every fall at the start of school. It demonstrates the mindset of the new incoming freshman class by showing how they relate to the world and how they were brought up to think. It's always interesting, so I thought I'd share it with you now!

This is the Beloit Mindset List for the Class of 2016

"For this generation of entering college students, born in 1994, Kurt Cobain, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Richard Nixon and John Wayne Gacy have always been dead.
  1. They should keep their eyes open for Justin Bieber or Dakota Fanning at freshman orientation.
  2. They have always lived in cyberspace, addicted to a new generation of “electronic narcotics.”
  3. The Biblical sources of terms such as “Forbidden Fruit,” “The writing on the wall,” “Good Samaritan,” and “The Promised Land” are unknown to most of them.
  4. Michael Jackson’s family, not the Kennedys, constitutes “American Royalty.”
  5. If they miss The Daily Show, they can always get their news on YouTube. 
  6. Their lives have been measured in the fundamental particles of life: bits, bytes, and bauds.
  7. Robert De Niro is thought of as Greg Focker's long-suffering father-in-law, not as Vito Corleone or Jimmy Conway.
  8. Bill Clinton is a senior statesman of whose presidency they have little knowledge.
  9. They have never seen an airplane “ticket.”
  10. On TV and in films, the ditzy dumb blonde female generally has been replaced by a couple of Dumb and Dumber males. 
  11. The paradox "too big to fail" has been, for their generation, what "we had to destroy the village in order to save it" was for their grandparents'.
  12. For most of their lives, maintaining relations between the U.S. and the rest of the world has been a woman’s job in the State Department.
  13. They can’t picture people actually carrying luggage through airports rather than rolling it.
  14. There has always been football in Jacksonville but never in Los Angeles.
  15. Having grown up with MP3s and iPods, they never listen to music on the car radio and really have no use for radio at all.
  16. Since they've been born, the United States has measured progress by a 2 percent jump in unemployment and a 16 cent rise in the price of a first class postage stamp.
  17. Benjamin Braddock, having given up both a career in plastics and a relationship with Mrs. Robinson, could be their grandfather.
  18. Their folks have never gazed with pride on a new set of bound encyclopedias on the bookshelf.
  19. The Green Bay Packers have always celebrated with the Lambeau Leap.
  20. Exposed bra straps have always been a fashion statement, not a wardrobe malfunction to be corrected quietly by well-meaning friends.
  21. A significant percentage of them will enter college already displaying some hearing loss.
  22. The Real World has always stopped being polite and started getting real on MTV.
  23. Women have always piloted war planes and space shuttles.
  24. White House security has never felt it necessary to wear rubber gloves when gay groups have visited.
  25. They have lived in an era of instant stardom and self-proclaimed celebrities, famous for being famous.
  26. Having made the acquaintance of Furby at an early age, they have expected their toy friends to do ever more unpredictable things.
  27. Outdated icons with images of floppy discs for “save,” a telephone for “phone,” and a snail mail envelope for “mail” have oddly decorated their tablets and smart phone screens.
  28. Star Wars has always been just a film, not a defense strategy.
  29. They have had to incessantly remind their parents not to refer to their CDs and DVDs as “tapes.”
  30. There have always been blue M&Ms, but no tan ones.’
  31. Along with online viewbooks, parents have always been able to check the crime stats for the colleges their kids have selected.
  32. Newt Gingrich has always been a key figure in politics, trying to change the way America thinks about everything.
  33. They have come to political consciousness during a time of increasing doubts about America’s future.
  34. Billy Graham is as familiar to them as Otto Graham was to their parents.
  35. Probably the most tribal generation in history, they despise being separated from contact with their similar-aged friends. 
  36. Stephen Breyer has always been an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
  37. Martin Lawrence has always been banned from hosting Saturday Night Live.
  38. Slavery has always been unconstitutional in Mississippi, and Southern Baptists have always been apologizing for supporting it in the first place.
  39. The Metropolitan Opera House in New York has always translated operas on seatback screens.
  40. A bit of the late Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek, has always existed in space.
  41. Good music programmers are rock stars to the women of this generation, just as guitar players were for their mothers.
  42. Gene therapy has always been an available treatment.
  43. They were too young to enjoy the 1994 World Series, but then no one else got to enjoy it either.
  44. The folks have always been able to grab an Aleve when the kids started giving them a migraine.
  45. While the iconic TV series for their older siblings was the sci-fi show Lost, for them it’sBreaking Bad, a gritty crime story motivated by desperate economic circumstances.
  46. Simba has always had trouble waiting to be King.
  47. Before they purchase an assigned textbook, they will investigate whether it is available for rent or purchase as an e-book.
  48. They grew up, somehow, without the benefits of Romper Room.
  49. There has always been a World Trade Organization.
  50. L.L. Bean hunting shoes have always been known as just plain Bean Boots.
  51. They have always been able to see Starz on Direct TV.
  52. Ice skating competitions have always been jumping matches.
  53. There has always been a Santa Clause.
  54. NBC has never shown A Wonderful Life more than twice during the holidays.
  55. Mr. Burns has replaced J.R.Ewing as the most shot-at man on American television.
  56. They have always enjoyed school and summer camp memories with a digital yearbook.
  57. Herr Schindler has always had a List; Mr. Spielberg has always had an Oscar.
  58. Selena's fans have always been in mourning.
  59. They know many established film stars by their voices on computer-animated blockbusters.
  60. History has always had its own channel.
  61. Thousands have always been gathering for “million-man” demonstrations in Washington, D.C.
  62. Television and film dramas have always risked being pulled because the story line was too close to the headlines from which they were ”ripped.”
  63. TheTwilight Zone involves vampires, not Rod Serling.
  64. Robert Osborne has always been introducing Hollywood history on TCM.
  65. Little Caesar has always been proclaiming “Pizza Pizza.”
  66. They have no recollection of when Arianna Huffington was a conservative.
  67. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has always been officially recognized with clinical guidelines.
  68. They watch television everywhere but on a television.
  69. Pulp Fiction’s meal of a "Royale with Cheese" and an “Amos and Andy milkshake” has little or no resonance with them.
  70. Point-and-shoot cameras are soooooo last millennium.
  71. Despite being preferred urban gathering places, two-thirds of the independent bookstores in the United States have closed for good during their lifetimes.
  72. Astronauts have always spent well over a year in a single space flight.
  73. Lou Gehrig's record for most consecutive baseball games played has never stood in their lifetimes.
  74. Genomes of living things have always been sequenced.
  75. The Sistine Chapel ceiling has always been brighter and cleaner."

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Graduate School Orientation

Today, I went to orientation for graduate school at Case Western Reserve University where I'll be studying in the masters program for nutrition. The program was loaded with tons of information, but I feel like I'll be able to get into the swing of things, no problem.

I haven't been able to take any photos of the campus yet, but if you want to see some beautiful pictures of where I'll be spending much of my time, check out this US News site. The pictures make it feel similar to St. Olaf. It feels very different from St. Olaf though. I'm very excited for this new adventure! Classes start on Monday!

Goodtime III Cruise

This past weekend, Bryan and I had the opportunity to partake in a fun social event for residents at Cleveland Clinic on the Goodtime III Cruise! Apparently, this cruise line is Cleveland's largest and took us down the river a bit, and then out onto Lake Erie. The food and drinks were included, so you know we had a good time!

Overall, the cruise was really fun and allowed us to see parts of downtown Cleveland that we hadn't seen yet! It was great! Comparing this cruise to others that I'd been on in Chicago, it wasn't as cool, but I think that had a little to do with the fact that the aesthetic of the Chicago skyline can't be beat, so I was a little too hard on Cleveland. The sunset was beautiful and we had a great time hanging out with friends!

German Potato Salad

I've been craving a potato salad in the past few weeks and finally decided to find a good one to make. I didn't want the typical mustard/mayonnaise dressed potato salad, but I was interested in more of a vinegar taste. After some searching around, I found this recipe and I knew it would be a winner in my book. 

When I was growing up, my dad, who is mostly German by heritage, used to make this yummy spinach salad from produce straight from our garden. The base was spinach, and the toppings varied depending on what we had growing at the time. Most of the time it was tomatoes, scallions and hard boiled eggs (which were obviously not from our garden). He also created this delicious bacon vinaigrette that was served warm over the salad and was so delicious! Come to think of it, maybe I was craving that salad... hmm... Anyway, those Germans sure know what they're doing with bacon and vinegar by turing it into the best dressing for anything.

This potato salad had that same great flavor that is dense and salty from the bacon bits, but at the same time was still light and flavorful from the fresh ingredients. I've already made this salad a second time because I just needed more of it in my life! Oh, and don't make the same mistake I did when I made it the first time - the last two words of the recipe instructions say "Serve warm" and I didn't see that until I read them... last. And I wasn't planning on actually serving the dish to guests until later that evening. Suffice it to say, this salad also tastes great cold from the fridge :) When I made it the second time, it did really taste better warm, so I'd encourage you to plan better than me! Lesson learned! But it is good to know that you can enjoy the leftovers too.

Oh, and here's a fun fact of the day for you - Bryan is 100% German. Yup, he liked the potato salad too :)

German Potato Salad


2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
1/2 pound thick-cut bacon
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp minced chives, for garnish


Slice potatoes into bite sized cubes. Place the potatoes in a medium sized pot and cover them with enough water to extend 2 inches above the surface of the potatoes. Salt the water and bring to boil over medium-high heat. continue cooking until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 15-20 minutes. Drain.

While the potatoes are cooking, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once crisp, place on a paper towel lined plate and crumble into small pieces. Pour off the rendered fat, reserving some in the pan to cook the onions in. Add onions and cook at medium high heat until translucent.

In a large bowl (the bowl you're planning to serve the potato salad in) whisk the vinegar, sugar, mustard, and salt and stir until thick and bubbly. Add the cooked potatoes and toss to coat. Top with crumbled bacon and garnish with the chives. Serve warm.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Peaches n Cream Cupcakes

For our night at Blossom, I also wanted to make a dessert! These cupcakes came to mind and I whipped them up the day before. I kept the whipped topping separate (and chilled) so that I could add it on top of the cupcakes right when we were ready to eat them. That also meant that I plopped the topping on with an ice cream scooper!! The simpler, the better, right?!

These cupcakes were quite yummy! They had the perfect summer flare with the added peach pieces in them. The cake was dense while the topping was light and fluffy - a perfect summer dessert in my book!! Anyone else in love with peaches right now?

Peaches n Cream Cupcakes

Makes 20-24 cupcakes


1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup half & half
1-1/2 cups + 2 Tablespoons flour, divided
1-3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 peaches peeled, pitted & chopped
2-3 peaches sliced for garnish

For the Whipped Cream Frosting:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup powdered sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two muffin tins with cupcake wrappers. In the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating until well combined before adding the next one. Add vanilla then beat to combine. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour in half & half then beat to combine.
2. In a separate bowl, stir together 1-1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in three batches, mixing until just combined before adding the next batch. Toss remaining 2 Tablespoons flour with the chopped peaches then fold into the batter by hand.
3. Spoon batter into muffin tins 3/4 of the way full. Smooth tops with the back of a spoon, then bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cupcakes rest in the muffin tins for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
4. For the Whipped Cream Frosting: Place the clean bowl of an electric mixer, or a large mixing bowl, into the freezer for 10 minutes. Fit the electric mixer with the whipping attachment then add whipping cream and vanilla to the chilled bowl. Beat the mixture on medium speed while gradually adding the powdered sugar. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until whipped cream can hold it’s shape, but is not lumpy, about 2-3 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to use.
5. When cupcakes are completely cool, scoop whipped cream frosting into a piping or ziplock bag then pipe onto cupcakes. Top with a fresh peach slice. Store in the refrigerator.

Veggie Pasta Salad

Two awesome things happened this past weekend - Bryan's parents came to visit us for the first time since we've moved to Cleveland, and Bryan finished being on nights (well, for now)!!

Bryan worked the first night they were here, so the three of us went to dinner at a local Mexican restaurant and then saw the movie Hope Springs! I love Meryl Streep, so I'm down to see any movie she's in. It wasn't the best movie I've ever seen, but it was mostly funny throughout and cute in the end.

The three of us went out for brunch Saturday morning so that Bryan could sleep a little bit after working all night. I wanted to explore a new area called Shaker Square. We went to Fire Food and Drink and it was fantastic! I will definitely be bringing Bryan here for brunch one of these days. The food was so delicious!

Saturday night, the four of us went to Blossom! As you know, Bryan and I love going to Blossom in the summer, so it was only fitting to bring his parents with us while they were here! We actually met up with friends of theirs while we were there too! We had quite the spread for dinner, including this pasta salad I made for the occasion. It was perfectly transportable and held up well not being refrigerated for a little while. It's a nice and light dish that could be a main dish in the summer or a side dish next to grilled items as well!

Veggie Pasta Salad
From All Recipes


  • 1 (8 ounce) package small pasta
  • 1/4 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1/2 fresh hot chile pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and chopped

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ground black pepper to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil; cook the pasta at a boil until tender yet firm to the bite, about 8 minutes; drain. Rinse pasta with cold water until cool; drain.
  2. Toss drained pasta, sweet onion, green bell pepper, chile pepper, tomatoes, and cucumber together in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk olive oil, tomato sauce, lime juice, red wine vinegar, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper together in a separate bowl; drizzle over the pasta mixture and stir to coat.
  4. Chill in refrigerator 2 hours; stir to serve.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Peanut Butter Pie

I think that Bryan working nights is totally getting to me. I'm not the one working nights, but my schedule is all sorts of screwed up. My eating, sleeping, workout and productivity hours are all backwards. It's oddly exhausting, given that I'm not the one working the night shift! Today, I was so tired that I took 2 naps! We had friends stay with us last night who were passing through Ohio, and after they left, I took a morning nap before the BBQ. After the BBQ, Bryan needed to nap for a few hours before working tonight, and I also took a long nap again! Sometimes it feels good to sleep when you can!

All of that has nothing to do with this dessert.

This pie is so good that this is the 3rd time I've made it this summer and this was the only time I was able to photograph it. The other times I forgot, or it was devoured too quickly with friends. I knew I'd be making it again soon, so I didn't care that much. Now that I have photographed it, I still think that I'll be making it again soon!! It's too delicious not to. Additionally, it's not the worst dessert for you! Made with light peanut butter, natural whipped topping, light cream cheese and a granola crust, you'd never think it was a light version of a decadent dessert! Today, Bryan and I were invited to a BBQ for the urologists at Cleveland Clinic, and I brought this pie along to share. It was a hit!

Skinny No Bake Peanut Butter Pie
From SkinnyTaste


5 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup peanut butter (use Better n Peanut Butter for a healthier option) I did!
8 oz fat free frozen whipped topping, thawed (use Truwhip for a healthier option) I did!
Granola pie crust (or reduced fat graham cracker pie crust
Hershey's chocolate syrup


Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar together in a medium bowl.

Mix in peanut butter and beat until smooth.

Fold in whipped topping.

Spoon into pie crust. Refrigerate until firm (about 2-3 hours).

Drizzle with chocolate syrup before serving.