Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sometimes people call me Super-Health-Nut-Freak Girl

Yes, it's true. I've been called a health freak. It probably doesn't help that I'm drinking a homemade fruit smoothie right now.  The last time was when I told my family that I was making turkey burgers for dinner.  I know, I know, turkey burgers have a bad rap. I had my doubts too. But let me tell you, they were delicious.  I got the recipe from DisneyFamily.com, which is genius in itself because kid-friendly recipes are also great for picky/poor college students. I thought I'd try it and see what happens. Keep reading for a delicious, healthy meal: 

1 lb. lean ground turkey 
2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced 
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt/pepper
8 slider or dinner rolls
1/4 cup mayo
1 tbsp. honey dijon mustard 

First, I will go ahead and put it out there that raw meat creeps me out. Ground turkey was no exception. It was very...smooshy. But it wasn't like I was working with a raw steak or something, so I could deal. 

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400° F. Combine the ground turkey with the seasonings and cheese until well blended. 

Step 2: Shape the meat into dinner-roll sized patties and place on a greased baking sheet. Even though the recipe says you can get 16 patties with 20 ounces of turkey, I had a pound of turkey and still only got 8. 

Strange looking, huh?
 Step 3: Bake the patties in the oven for 8-10 minutes, keeping an eye on them because they may get dried out if you leave them in too long.

One thing I was not expecting was the grease that accumulated on the baking sheet.  It was no where near as bad as beef, because turkey is a lean meat.  Most of the grease stayed on the sheet, but I put them on a paper towel to soak up any excess, just to be safe.  Hey, it's still better than frying them!

Also, make sure they're cooked thoroughly! I had to cut into one to make sure the inside was no longer pink or squishy. 

Anti-greasing the meat
 Step 4: While the patties are cooling, mix together the mayo and honey dijon in a small bowl. Place the patties on a dinner roll and top with the mixture. Feel free to add lettuce or tomato, just like any other burger. 

The finished product
Looking back, these were way easier and way more delicious than I was expecting! I served them with a side of sweet corn, because I can't stand having a meal without some sort of vegetable present. The cost ends up being about 50 cents per slider, so that's not too bad for a college budget! The recipe can easily be double or tripled to make for a big group too. I'll surely be making these again.  

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Bling Bling Fling

 On Friday, some friends and I went to a semi-formal dance with Clemson's Cru. Before the dance, my awesome roommate Sarah and I cooked dinner for all eight (eight!) people that were coming with us. I love hosting and having people over, especially if it involves food. We made spaghetti and some sort of delicious cheesy bread, and Rachel helped make an awesome coffee/marshmallow dessert! it was so fun getting dressed up, especially in college since we don't have many occasions to do so. Of course, we had to have a photo session before heading out.
The girls

The guys
 When we got there, the whole place was decked out in bling, hence the "Bling Bling Fling". It was great! We danced until our legs hurt, and I even learned to shag (if you could call it that. I have no coordination) thanks to Brenden!


Brenden and I 
 It was sooo fun and I can't wait until I get to do it all over again at my sorority's formal in a few weeks!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Love/Hate Relationship with Valentine's Day.

 Alright, we'll get the bad part out of the way first. I really don't like Valentine's Day. There, I said it. You'll probably hear me complaining at some point today about how "overdone, overemphasized, and over-commercialized" it is. Seriously, the other 364 (365 this year. Leap year!) days of the year aren't enough to talk about love? 

Anyway, the good part. Valentine's Day (despite the in your face bit that businesses insist on throwing at you) is fun. The wearing pink, eating chocolate, and those AWESOME paper valentines you got in Elementary school? Don't even get me started on those.  

Valentine's Day, no matter how much I dislike it, always serves as a good reminder of all the things I love in my life.  I got the sweetest Valentine's card in the mail yesterday from my Dad. No matter how old I get, it's always fun to know my daddy is thinking of me and loves me. 

Other things I love: 

This apron

My sweet family 

My cute puppy : ) 

Also, my amazing, awesome, super fun, hilarious bible study came over last night, and I was reminded of the best Valentine's present: Christ's love for us. Some of my favorite verses that prove it: 

Isaiah 54:10 - "Even if the mountains walk away and the hills fall to pieces, my love will not walk away from you." 

Psalms 73:26 - "My flesh and heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." 

Romans 8:31,39 - "If our God is for us, who can be against us?...Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ." 

If Valentine's Day does in fact remind me of how much I really am loved, it can't be that bad after all, can it?  

Monday, February 13, 2012

Table Rock Adventure

I'm finally getting around to blogging about my Table Rock hiking trip because it's the first bit of free time I've had in weeks! Homework and tests are priority, but it's nice to finally have a lazy weekend.  A couple weeks ago, some friends, my boyfriend and I decided to drive up to Table Rock for a day of hiking. Apparently there's a Table Rock in SC, not just the North Carolina one! It was less than an hour from Clemson too! 

When we first got to the park and got out of the car, this is what we saw. Isn't it amazing?  And trust me, it's way bigger than it looks. If you look closely enough, you can see the table, and somewhere off to the side is the footstool.
Table Rock from a distance 

We thought it would be nice to sit by the lake to eat lunch, but even though it was 65°, it was FREEZING in the shade. And of course, since we were near the playground, we could hardly pass up the chance to swing. It had been years since I've gotten to swing! 

Rachel and Sam
Me and Brenden 

On our way to the hiking part of the park, we saw a miniature dachshund that looked exactly like my dog! When I told the owner, she said "Oh yeah, this is Rosie". The SAME name as my puppy! It was great. 

We eventually decided the trail to take, but it wasn't the one that led up to the top of Table Rock.  That would've taken like 6 hours to finish, and it was considered "strenuous". We would've run out of daylight before finishing that one. 

We hiked the Foothills trail, which wasn't too bad, and only ended up being 6 miles round trip. We got to see some beautiful waterfalls on the way, which was a nice break for when my eyes got tired of looking at trees. 

Brenden and I in front of a waterfall

We had to take a couple breaks for photo-ops, of course. 

Girly picture! Someone made me laugh. 

Studly men, as always. 
Part of the way up to the main waterfall we were trying to get to, we found a huge rock, and somehow the guys managed to climb up on top. Rachel and I held back, but hey, someone had to be ready to dial 911. 

Sam looking attractive as usual. 
Brenden on top of the big scary rock. 

In all, the trail wasn't too bad. Okay, parts of it were scary. Like this: 

Crossing under a waterfall 
Brenden hanging off a cliff

Even though it was a mere 65 ° in the morning, I'm sure it got to up a blazing 70 something later that afternoon. There were times when I regretted not wearing shorts. In January. Yeah. 

Enjoying the shade 
This one was totally Rachel's idea, but I think our eyes look cool here. 

One of the waterfalls we had to pass under

View from the trail

We eventually made it to the big waterfall we were looking for and it was totally worth it. It was awesome. It had gotten chilly again because we were so high up. We even dared to venture off the bridge overlooking it, down to the bottom of the falls. It was pretty lucky that no one busted it on the slippery moss. 

We had such a good time, sweat, tears, and all. Well, the tears were just Sam. Kidding. Next time I'd love to come for the whole day and try to make it all the way up to Table Rock before dark. Maybe if I ever get a long enough break from school. Can't wait!