Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Tales of Memphis, Edition 2

Memphis is over and I'm shocked and appalled. Where in the hell has 8 weeks gone???? You know how March is usually the worst month ever? Like it just drags and drags on? Not the case here. If you are looking for ways to make time zoom and zip by, go on assignment somewhere new.

Memphis recap!

I liked Memphis. It would be a great place for a weekend trip. It's not my city necessarily, which is fine. That's what this whole travel nursing experiment is about, trying something new. You just never know where you might resonant with. I can tell you that it wasn't Memphis for me. I thoroughly adored the people I worked with though, which, given what I do is pretty huge. They made me feel very welcome and part of the family and I will miss them.

Favorite things in Memphis:
1. Georgetown Commissary. My favorite BBQ place
2. Evelyn and olive. Best Jamaican food and awesome cocktails to boot
3. Las Tortugas. Authentic Mexican food.
4. Muddy's bakery. A girl has to have her cupcakes
5. Gibson donuts. They married donuts and bacon and it is amazing
6. Walking around south of Beale st. Lots of fun shops and it's right next to the civil rights museum, which is totally worth a look through
7. Shelby farms, my favorite place to rub
8. Kindergarten for adults. We need this in more cities
9. Weekend trips to Nashville

10. Maggie’s Pharmacy
11. People saying y’all and bless er heart
12. The Civil Rights museum: get your learning on at museum and location that is an important moment in US history, y'all 
13. The Blue Plate Cafe. Bring your stretchy pants.
14. Eat all the BBQ. All the time.

~The End

Friday, June 6, 2014

Squash curry and Presents

I bought myself a present today. It's big and colorful and really heavy. I love it.

I finally broke down and purchased a Le Creuset soup pot. I realize that this is probably the stupidest time ever to buy this, because hi, I live alone for the first time ever. Buuuuuut, there's a Williams and Sonoma Marketplace next to my Pure Barre class and look at all the pretty things.

Want want want.

Since I am a master of justification I decided that the paltry appliances my hotel has to offer warranted a large and did I mention pretty purchase.

Totally makes sense right? Right! So, in honor of my big, heavy, colorful purchase I decided to make curry.

Can you do me a favor? Please go make this right nownownow,k? K! It's creamy and healthy and packed full of good sweet curry flavors.

For those of you following the many Indian food debacles over the years I have an announcement! I HAVE DONE IT!!!! I have made an Indian dish at home that doesn't suck. It does not suck at all. In fact, it's quite dang darn tasty thank you very much! 

Ahh sweet sweet success!

Squash and Lentil Curry
Serves 4

1 cup red or brown lentils
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 cloves garlic
1" ginger
1lb peeled and cubed butternut squash
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp salt
1tsp pepper
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 cup coconut milk
2 tbsp red curry paste
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp red chili paste
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 tsp lemon juice

1. In a medium saucepan cook the lentils according to the package directions. Add in the 2 garlic cloves, crushed, and the knob of ginger.
2. In a large pan add several tbsp of oil, the squash, onion, and tomatoes. Cook for 10-15 minutes until the squash is fork tender. Puree with an immersion blender, blender, or food processor until smooth.
3. In the same pan that you cooked the lentils in heat the coconut oil and spices and pastes until fragrant. Add the lentils, coconut milk, and pureed vegetables. Stir to combine everything. Let simmer on low-medium heat for 15 minutes.
4. Mix Greek yogurt with lemon juice and a dash of salt. Generously spoon on top of curry and rice.
5. This can be eaten alone or over rice or with a side of naan. Enjoy!!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Tales of Memphis, Edition 1

Memphis continues to be great and is Fa.flying by...hi is this even a word? I'm making it a word. In a mere matter of weeks I will be basking in my long awaited California rays. Pleasegetherenowwwww… If I can find a place to live. It's looking a little touch and go on the apartment front though. This may have something to do with the copy and paste email that I've been using to respond to the craigslist ads with. I've been using this email for well over a week and JUST realized that I put my phone number in WRONG. F me. Oh and the person with 410-279-3547? I am so so sorry. Maybe you should be my real estate broker?? Yes? No? Pretty please with cherries and sprinkles on top????

I ate at this insanely good Mexican place the other day someone at work recommended. Holy Toledo! Delicious! Seriously, if you're ever in Memphis and you're all BBQ'ed out, go to this place. And make sure you get the corn. And don’t piss off Viper, whatever you do!

Here is a list of the things that I have done in Memphis so far in complete and utter random order:

Brooks art museum
Pink palace
Maggie's pharm
Shelby farms
The Greenline
Kindergarten for adults
Pure barre
The civil rights museum

Sometimes when I'm traveling alone and out doing something I get very jealous of people out with friends, laughing, drinking, having fun. Do not misinterpret me: I am out and having fun, but it is (almost) always nice to have a partner-in-crime. Don't even get me started on couples. Ugh and eye roll. Pul-ease.

I am starting to feel like a bit of an oddity in Memphis, I have to say. Ok, so first, let me explain southern hospitality: People are like insanely nice and pleasant and welcoming. Some may view this as being all up in your business, which yes, to an extent they are, but if nobody did this I would almost never speak to anyone. Ever. Whether, I am at work or out exploring, people are asking me where I am from. With my accent (hello, what accent??) and mannerism I am clearly not from the south. People are just downright boggled by my story. I have never felt so unique and different in my life. This is both good and bad, as everything in life is. Right now mostly good, but I could see it turning to the other side if I stayed here longer. 

Sometimes I feel like I don’t belong anywhere. I work in a highly specialized area of nursing that most people cannot begin to understand or comprehend. I have traveled the globe alone, which in the States is practically unheard of. I run. I bake. I cook. I travel. I’m hoping that with travel nursing I will eventually find a place where my story isn’t the exception, instead a place where it is actually understood. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Yoga in the Labyrinth

Tonight I went to Grace Cathedral in San Francisco to participate in Yoga in the Labyrinth. I can say without a doubt this has been my favorite thing that I have done since moving here 5 weeks ago. I read about this class online (Oh the things you can find on Pinterest!) and was immediately intrigued.

I had decided to go this week finally and immediately got kinda nervous, which I realize is stupid. I was afraid that I would get there and they would be like didn't you read the website there is no yoga class today and kick me to the curb where I would land squarely on my butt. I was afraid of what all these other people would think of my mediocre yoga ability. Much like my running, I don't consider myself a real to go, whatever that means. Would I fit in? Will people like me? I had read about the class online and started conjuring images in head of what it would be like to perform a yoga class in a huge Gothic cathedral. Would the actual experience be a disappointment to the one in my head?

It was everything and more that I had wanted. It was peacefully perfect. It was beautiful from the inside out with gorgeous architecture to gorgeous music to gorgeous readings. I won't be able to truly explain how soothing and lovely an experience this was. It's been a while since I've had a moment like this. Where all the stars and pieces line up magically. A moment to be cherished and treasure.

We all know what the insides of Gothic churches look like. Soaring ceilings with flying buttresses. Intricate and colorful stained glass windows throwing color and light sporadically throughout the tall pillars. A vast space with amazing acoustic sounds. This cathedral has a labyrinth for people to walk and pray through. For class in the center of the labyrinth a live musician plays. Tonight was an amazing musician who used wind pipes, several didgeridoo's (a personal favorite), and the piano to accompany our flow.

Hundreds upon hundreds of people come to this every week. I'm talking 300-400 yogi's take over the cathedral. We lined the labyrinth, the halls, in-between pews, spilling out into the vestibule, and lining the dais. Anywhere and everywhere someone could carve out enough space for a mat they would add their mat to the growing group of people coming to practice in this magical space. I was a little apprehensive about practicing with so many people, because often it can feel a bit stifling having so many people crammed into a space moving, but with the soaring ceilings overhead you didn't notice.

Class is kicked off by Father Jude, a priest at Grace, who starts with a little talk about the weekly theme (today was peaceful warriors), followed by Darren (who runs class), who also gives a brief reading and introduction. The music started and we mediated, followed by vinyasa flow style yoga. Part way through class we pause to mediate again, while the bells overhead announce the seven o'clock hour. The streetcars can be heard screening outside on the street as we moved through our Sun salutations.

Usually during class I spend a lot of it looking down, focusing on my practice and breath, and trying to stay slightly invisible so nobody sees my wobbly poses. Yet in this class, I found myself trying to look up and out. The church is so beautiful and it was such a unique way to experience yoga. It was also a reminder that we all need to stop looking down, or better yet looking at our phones, and look up and out more often. The world is out there, waiting to be seen by us, we just need to look.

This class is incredibly peaceful and beautiful. It is such a unique way to experience the cathedral and yoga together. If you are ever in San Francisco on a Tuesday I highly recommend going!! 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Hello Again!

Hi there!

I took a wee brake from blogging while I was getting my life together. No, I don't have all the answers to life just yet, but I have moved! Which is like kinda a big deal, right?

Back in the spring I quit my job (again) and went to South America for the greatest 30th birthday known to man. Totally awesome. Upon my return I took a local agency gig and wowed all the peeps and babies alike with my nursing skills.

I have now relocated myself to the great city of barbecue and blues. Any guesses where I am??

Memphis y'all! I swear I'm gonna start talking in a southern accent here soon. Please slap me when I do, I beg you. No really, do it!

First impressions of Memphis:
1. The streets are very wide.
2. The houses are mad crazy big. There's just so much freakin' space.
3. Dudes in trucks like to drive fast, which means they hate me because I now drive like an 80 year old 
woman 'cause I'm constantly looking around. Oh hey what's over there y'all???
4. People are insanely nice. They are just like so excited have y'all here. If they can do anything at all please let them know.

I'll keep y'all posted on my happenings here in Memphis. If you have any suggestions let me know!!!!

Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Chicken
Serves 2

1 large chicken breast
1 cup chopped broccoli
1 cup grated cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder

1. Take the chicken breast and carefully slice in half leaving you with 2 thin chicken breasts. Next, cover the chicken with plastic wrap and proceed to beat the daylights out of it. You want the chicken to be really thin like 1/4" at the most.
2. In a small saucepan heat the milk through. Add the salt, pepper, and garlic. Once the milk is barely simmering add the cheese and stir stir stir. Stir until the cheese has melted. If the sauce is very thick you can add a touch more milk.
3. Chop the broccoli into small florets. Place into a microwave proof bowl and cook for 2 minutes. The broccoli should be barely done. Stir into the cheese sauce.
4. On a cutting board take the chicken breasts and spoon a small amount of the broccoli cheese mixture onto one end. Carefully wrap the chicken around the filling.
5. In a medium pan heat some oil on low-medium. Place the filled chicken seam side down in the pan. Put the lid on and let cook for 3-5 minutes per side.
6. Once chicken is cooked through spoon any extra cheese sauce on top. Enjoy!!