Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Inspirational Chefs

So I really love to cook.  I didn't realize this until I got married.  I think I see cooking as an expression of love.  Ask Aaron-I get pissed when people refuse my food.  That's like refusing me!  Thankfully, usually people like my food (and like me).  As a chef, I'd rate myself about a 6 on a scale from 1-10.  Not bad, but not great.  I'm probably better than most of my friends, but I want to be great.  I want people to be excited to come over for dinner and holidays.  So this post is dedicated to the chefs in the world that inspire me and help me be a better cook.

In no particular order...

Curtis Stone
Take Home Chef was the first cooking show I ever watched.  He cooks pretty advanced so at age 15 everything I made by him was a disaster.  However he sparked my flame.

Paula Deen
Controversy aside, Paula Deen is a great chef.  She's the Queen Bee.  The Southern Cooking Bible is truly that-a cooking bible.  The recipes don't require you run out and buy a million ingredients - just keep butter, sugar and flour on hand.  There's a reason why this lady made it big.  She knows what she's doing in the kitchen!

Trisha Yearwood
From the show, Trisha genuinely seems like a sweet and true person.  All of her recipes have a story which help me connect to them.  Cooking her recipes not only teach me how to cook specific items, but they teach me the technique to cook so many meals.  If she ever did a meet & greet book signing, I would be there- and to say I'd like to meet her means a lot.

Katie Lee
I didn't know who Katie Lee was until I saw her on The Kitchen.  She's Billy Joel's ex, can she really cook?  The answer is YES.  I gained a lot of respect for her when I saw her win Chopped.  She cooks simple, homestyle dishes and they always seem to be delicious.  I've done a few of dishes and I am sold.  I own her cookbook too.

Robert Irvine
If this military drill sergeant turned chef taught me anything, it's don't take "shortcuts" in the kitchen.  Making things with quality and fresh ingredients doesn't mean it has to be time obliterating and exhausting to make.  Seek a balance between fast cooking and quality cooking.  Thanks Chef!

Amanda Marshall
This girl's blog is amazing.  I think that like me, she sees food as a sign of love.  She cooks with a lot of love for her growing family.  It's apparent in her carefully crafted recipes.  My favorite recipe of her's is here.

My Mom
My mom is actually not that great of a cook haha.  She has recipes she rocks - fried chicken, cube steak, corn pudding- but she is not very adventurous and takes many shortcuts.  However, she cooked dinner almost every day of my childhood so that in itself is an inspiration!

 Grandma O
My grandma is a great, classic Southern chef.  She likes to know you're coming so she can put food on the stove.  When you get to her house she sends you to the freezer to pull out whichever homemade cake or pie you like.  Choose from sweet potato, apple cake, coconut cake, chocolate cake, German chocolate cake.  Her fried chicken and mashed potatoes are everything.  This year I went to her house before Thanksgiving and took notes so I can cook more like her!  She cooks with love and talent.  I can't imagine a Thanksgiving without her stuffing.

So that's my list of chefs that everyday inspire me cook. :-)  Who are your favorite chefs?

Monday, April 27, 2015

A Prayer

I am keeping Baltimore, my friends, my family, everyone in the city in my prayers.  May the Lord bring peace and justice to this city and it's people.


Also please keep in mind that the protesters are not always the looters and the ones destroying property.  There are thugs and gangs in the area that have been waiting for chaos and moment like this to break loose.  It's a shame that people who want fairness and equal rights get overshadowed by these fools.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Consults Catch Up

Hello, it's been a while!  I just completed 2 weeks of psychiatry consults, the craziest, busiest, most crisis-inducing time of a second year psychiatry resident's life.  I basically am the on call psychiatrist for anyone admitted for a medical reason (heart attack, kidney failure, cancer) and now has psychiatric issues that also needs to be addressed  (depression, psychosis, agitation).  Very often the psychiatric issue is deeply tied to the medical issue (drug induced psychosis, delirium from a drug or procedure, depression secondary to medical comorbidities) so I have to do a pretty thorough review of the patient's medical history.  I usually work 10-11 hours a day, 6 days a week.  It's interesting, but exhausting.  Currently I am 4 weeks of consults down, 5 weeks to go.  Ahh.  But after all that lies third year, a land of outpatient clinics, puppies and rainbows.  Starting June 29th!

Aaron's has been traveling a lot for work, so the Whole Foods hot bar has become my post consults lifeline.  Pork chops, greens, mashed potatoes, amazing.

Debbie, myself, Ashley, Emily, Karyn

The girls and I took a weekend trip to Charleston.  So amazing, such great food, spectacular girl time.  I'm so lucky to have found a great group of girls to hang with.

Also, I've been to 3 weddings in 2 weekends! 


Claudia being escorted by her brother

Phil & Heather

and my stylish husband

So my weekends have been tied up.  But I still found time for shopping.  Of course.  Wasn't that under my self care goals?

Meeting Nanette Lepore at her fashion show at Saks

My Saks Friends & Family haul...
DVF wrap dress.  Perfect for work and I love the color.

Finally a pair of black jeans.  These are by Hudson.
Aaron originally gifted me a pair for our anniverary (cotton), but these fit betterr.

Currently I have a break from consults and am back to night float.  Surprisingly, I prefer this to consults.  I plan to just relax this week and rest up before my next 2 weeks of consults!  
How have y'all been?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

First Friday, Anniversary & Easter Weekend

I had such a wonderful weekend!  On Friday Sayanti and Cecilia, two of my fellow psych residents, came to Raleigh for First Friday.  Since I'm the only one who lives in Raleigh we usually hang out in Durham; it was so much fun to show them my city.  We hung out at The Winefeed, did some fun artwork at CAM and then ate dinner at Capital City 16.

On Saturday, I met up with Robin at Crabtree for some girl talk and shopping.  Then that evening Aaron and I went out to celebrate our 2nd anniversary.  Our anniversary is actually April 13th but Aaron will be out of town then.  We went to Second Empire and it was lovely!!  I had never been before.

Fittingly, Second Empire is in a gorgeous second empire style house downtown.  We went at night so I couldn't take pictures, but this picture is from RaleighSykyline.com.

 They personalized the menu just for us.

 Red Snapper 


Lemon & Cheesecake Cake

We brought with us a Thelema Merlot that we purchased in South Africa.  It was delicious.  We had such a wonderful time.

The next day was Easter and I'll tell you a secret-we wore the same clothes as the night before.  Ha, sometimes you have a good outfit and feel that you didn't feel utlize/show it off enough. ;-)  

Church was great and the weather was beautiful.  So afterwards I propped my camera up on our car and took some photos with the timer function.  

I wore Lilly Pulitzer. 

Then we hosted my family for Easter brunch.

Frittata muffins and ham

I also served hashbrowns, french toast casserole, bacon, fresh strawberries, croissants.   I used built in desk to set up a mimosa bar.  I was so busy getting things together I didn't take many other pictures.  The brunch went wonderfully-my parents came as well as my aunt, uncle and cousin.  It was my first time hosting a family holiday, everything ran smoothly and people enjoyed being together.  Success!!

This week is another week of night float so things have been a little dull.  However this weekend I'm headed to Charleston with my girlfriends!  Can't wait!  

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Search for the Next Great Hat

So, I want a hat.

Is it the Southern church lady in me?

Or is it because I recently saw The Notebook?

I don't know.  All I know is Easter is coming, I'm married and doggone it, I want a hat!  I'm not sure what married and hat have to do with each other, but it feels like since I'm married I can wear a hat without worrying what anybody things of me.

So today I went to look for hats.  Options were few, some super old hat shops in the area are now closed.  So I tracked all the way out to Fuquay-Varina, in my post night-float scrubs, to go hat shopping.

What a large hat!

This hat was so gorgeous.

The photo - and my scrubs and Food Bank volunteer name tag - don't really do it justice.


The last photo, not a hat but a fascinator (i.e. partial hat on a headband), was my favorite.  It was gorgeous.  I could make it chic...with styled hair and a proper fitting dress.  However, it was $125.  As was the hat above it.  So I left the hat store empty-handed.  

Sadly my head will not be adorned these Easter, not at these prices.  I'm going to do a little more shopping tomorrow but I'm running out of time.  That's okay...I'm going to London this summer and my friend says I can wear her fascinator out to tea!   Us Americans just don't appreciate hats enough.

I'm definitely looking forward to plenty of sunshine this weekend, an early anniversary date with husband and Easter!  My family is coming over for brunch afterwards and it will be my first time hosting the family for a holiday.  I can't wait to share pictures with you and let y'all know how it went - cross your fingers for me!