Friday, July 20, 2012

What a week!

I am going to start experiments next week! After only doing about 2 weeks of bench work this year, I am SO excited to return to experiments. I made a list of reagents, dug around in the freezer, designed some mutagenesis primers, and made a plan for next week. I get to do mutagenesis and gene expression studies as my two starter projects. I am hoping to get a better understanding of the literature and start crafting an outline for a December fellowship. I want to avoid mouse work, so I'm thinking I can write about using samples from human patients since I work in the world's largest medical center. Can't beat that!

I've reorganized my days to improve my efficiency and stay motivated to work out like I used to. My new morning routine involves 30 min run outside (gotta get out there before 6:30 to stand a chance of staying cool), 30 min weight-training in my room, protein and fruit smoothie while watching CNN, and shower. I decided to change the cat boxes, change the cat water, and pack my lunches at night, allowing me to get to work around 8:30! I get to ride a free shuttle to work, so I only drive my car one day per week now! That's Saturdays to go buy groceries and run errands. :)

Last weekend, I went to the farmers' market and scored the peaches I've been eating all week in my lunch. They're gone now, so I'm debating whether I should return to the farmers' market with more money (therefore doing most of my shopping there) tomorrow or go to a new-to-me grocery store that is supposed to be cheaper than the other places I've gone. I guess I'll have to see how I feel in the morning and how much money is in my account. ;)

This week, I made the upside down lentil shepherds' pie with caulipots from Appetite for Reduction. The recipe for caulipots (mashed cauliflower mixed in with mashed potatoes) does not have adequate cookings times and temperatures for the potatoes and cauliflower. I would suggest boiling the potatoes the entire time to get them soft enough to mash, and adding the cauliflower to the boiling water as well. Otherwise, this dish was good, but it looked rather blah. I used regular lentils instead of lentils du Puy (French lentils). Lentils du Puy are more expensive and I can only find them at Whole Foods, which I didn't feel like driving to just for lentils. I didn't get a good photograph of this, because the steam ended up blurring the photo.

I also made the 2nd Avenue vegetable korma from Appetite for Reduction and served it over quinoa. This recipe calls for light coconut milk, since it's a lower fat cookbook. Overall, the flavor was good, but I think more coconut milk or full-fat coconut milk would have made for a creamier sauce. I used the leftover coconut milk to make popsicles, even though that recipe specifically called for full-fat coconut milk. The popsicles were good, but there were a few ice crystals. Guess the full-fat coconut milk would have prevented that. Oh well, they were still a nice treat at the end of a hot day. I wish I had the chocolate to coat them like the original recipe! (Also, check out my nails - they've grown a tiny bit since my manicure two weeks ago! This could be the year I stop biting them for good!)


The last recipe I made this week was the enchilada casserole from OhSheGlows. I haven't had pasta in a while, since my dinners lately have been loaded with vegetables. I wanted some pasta, but not another boring pasta dish. I saw this casserole and decided to go for it! Perfect excuse to try the new Galaxy brand shredded vegan cheese, which is supposed to be the first real competitor to Daiya shredded vegan cheese. I didn't buy a fresh avocado since I knew the casserole would last for days. I bought little pouches of guacamole to dollop on top. I also didn't put the crunchy tortilla chip layer, because I forgot to buy a bag of chips. This was so good, even with the extra tomato paste I used! It'll last several days for just me, but I don't mind eating this three days in a row!


Alright, I'm going to go find a movie on TV to watch. I had to turn off the news (for the first time this week!) because of all the Colorado movie theater shooting coverage.

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