Well… I did it! I survived my first semester of graduate school. Although I cried and stressed, I made it. And overall, I really did enjoy my first semester. It’s hard moving to a new place and trying out something completely new, but I managed and met some great people along the way, explored a funky town, started two new jobs, and learned a crap ton. (Plus – brag, brag – I managed to get all A’s in my courses this semester. Which was not the easiest task for me.)
Break started out wonderful. I managed to get almost all my papers handed in early and my last one was due online, so I drove the 3 hours to go visit Kyle and spent the week with him. It was amazing to spend that many days in a row with him, since even though we’ve been dating for 8 months, we haven’t been able to spend much time together with the deployment and me moving. So any time we get together always makes me giddy and head-over-heels. (Favorite moment? Us laying in bed, doing crosswords from my Bust Magazine. I couldn’t ever date someone who wasn’t a feminist.) I ended up cooking two dishes for him and his roommates while I was there, but sadly didn’t get any photos. (It was their finals week and any home-cooked food went quick at their place.) I cooked tomato, onion, and spinach stuffed shells and also spinach and bean enchiladas. Both were delicious and simple, something I might try at home in the next couple weeks.
What else did I survive? Finally, at the age of 22 (when most of my friends endured this at 16), I got my wisdom teeth removed. I had been dreading this for the months leading up to my appointment, mainly because I was frightened by the idea of an IV. I did yell when they put the IV in, chastised the oral surgeon for not getting his wisdom teeth out, and then talked to him about parks and recreation – then BAM – I was out and waking up in recovery. So, I survived! And altogether, it hasn’t been that bad (although my Aunt Sue nicely informed me that people in the medical field call the first 24 hours the “honeymoon phase” and it only gets worse after that). But I’m just glad I made it through the IV. And this morning, I had enough energy to make myself some soft-food for the day. I’ve been eyeing this recipe for awhile and with a little twerking, I was able to make it with everything we had in the house!
“Avocado Macaroni and Cheese”
Recipe adapted from: http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/stovetop-avocado-mac-and-cheese/
Makes a big dish of pasta that can last for quite awhile if you’ve just had 4 teeth painfully removed
- 10 ounces of bowtie macaroni (or whatever you’ve got – we’re not picky)
- 2 cloves of minced garlic
- 2 avocados OR one giant avocado, like we had – peeled, pitted, and chopped
- juice of one lime
- 1/3 cup chopped, fresh cilantro
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Does anyone not know how to cook pasta? Aren’t we all born with this know-how? Anyway, boil some water, throw in some salt and then put in the macaroni and cook until al dente (around 8-10 minutes). Once done, drain and set to the side in a bowl.
- While the pasta cooks, you’ll make the avocado sauce. Put the garlic, avocados, lime juice, cilantro, and salt and pepper in a food processor or blender. Blend until you reach desired consistency. The original website said blend until smooth, but I love chunks of avocado, so I stopped before that. Set avocado sauce to the side until later.
- My favorite part: make the cheese sauce. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour once butter has melted. Slowly whisk in the milk until you have a paste, stir with a wooden spoon until the paste starts to thicken. Add both cheeses and continue to stir until they melt and you have a wonderful, delicious sauce.
- Your pasta should be in a large bowl from step one. If not – do it now! Pour your avocado sauce over the pasta, mixing in. Once that looks amazing, pour your cheese sauce over the pasta and stir. Serve warm and top with chunks of avocado and cilantro
note: The original website warned that pasta may turn slightly brown from avocado. This is expected, but the lime juice is included to try and keep from this. So, you’ve got two options: invite over friends and eat this whole bowl of pasta in one night. OR deal with slightly brown pasta. Either way – enjoy!