Food

Why isn’t this taught in the nursing textbooks? Where is the skills test for this in nursing school? Making good coffee as a nurse is that important. We’re talking patient safety here!

I ditched my automatic drip coffee maker years ago and traded it in for the pour over method. The equipment involved never fails (ceramic or glass dripper, electric kettle, and a grinder). And with just a little practice, it takes the same amount of time AND tastes 100 times better. I am not kidding.

Try it for yourself and ditch the Folgers!

  1. Determine the type of roast that you prefer and purchase whole bean coffee. Light roasts retain the most coffee flavor and the most caffeine. It is my favorite roast, but can be too acidic for some taste buds. Dark roasts are roasted for a longer period of time and have the least amount of caffeine. Dark roasts usually bring out the flavor of the roast rather than the bean, and they tend to taste smokey, bitter, or even burnt. Medium roasts strike a balance between the two, which appeals to many coffee drinkers.
  2. Grind beans immediately before brewing. Beans contain oils that will go rancid once they are exposed to air. For the freshest tasting coffee, grind immediately before you brew!
  3. Use enough coffee. A general rule of thumb is to use two heaping tablespoons of ground coffee for each six ounces of water. Measure it out the first time and you’ll get a good feel for how to eyeball it in the future.
  4. Add a pinch of salt. I’m serious. Salt brings out the flavors of whatever you are making. If you want your hot chocolate to taste more chocolatey, add a pinch of salt! Want a more savory chicken noodle soup? Add a pinch of salt. Same for coffee! It won’t taste salty, I promise!
  5. Set up your equipment. Place a filter in the dripper. Add the grounds and salt, and place the dripper over a carafe.
  6. Use an electric kettle to heat the water. This is important because you want the water to be at just the right temperature. If it’s too hot (boiling), it will burn the coffee. If it’s not hot enough, it won’t extract the beans properly. Best way to ensure the appropriate temperature is reached is to use an electric kettle and turn it off when you hear the water quiet down just before the boil.
  7. Pour the water. Take 15 seconds to pour just enough water to cover and saturate the beans. When the water drops to the bottom of the filter, pour more water over the beans. Repeat until you’ve used up your water.
  8. Enjoy! And kick that next shift in the butt!
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You guessed it! I spent the weekend preparing for a busy semester by making 20 crock pot freezer meals!

It all started with a little inspiration from my brother and sister-in-law. You see, they had an adorable little girl recently, and they got this crazy good idea to make a bunch of meals BEFORE the little one arrived so that they could spend as much time with her as possible. Because who wouldn’t want to do that?! Seriously.

I began to search out options and came upon Mixing with Michelle, which is a wonderful food blog that showcases many healthy recipes! She created a list of 10 crock pot freezer meals that looked delicious. Not only did she provide the recipes, but she also provided the shopping list and prep list. She sure made my job as easy as possible, and for that I am very grateful!

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Thank goodness for Aldi! I ended up spending $159.22 on all of the items shown in my previous post. That’s less than $2 per serving! And did you see all of those veggies?!

I went shopping on Thursday and prepped the vegetables and meat on Friday. I needed a box of kleenex for all of the onions I had to cut up!

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I started stacking all of the onions I was planning to chop up and noticed how cool it looked. I guess I am an artist. Who knew?!

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Onion snowmen

After I was done playing with the food, I moved on to the celery, garlic, carrots, mushrooms, red peppers, green peppers, acorn squash, zucchini, sweet potatoes, and turnips. Somewhere around the garlic, or maybe it was the carrots, I began to regret spending so much time being artsy with the onions.

It did not take very long to pack the refrigerator, and every time I opened it, my nose reminded me that I purchased a ton of onions.

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After the chef’s knife and wrist were worn out from a day of chopping, I decided to sit back and relax a bit.

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Assembly began early Saturday morning. The food started looking so good; it took a lot of self control to keep putting the meals in the freezer.

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Bacon wrapped chicken anyone?

It took some finagling to fit all 20 meals in my freezer, but I made it work! Proof that you don’t need a chest freezer to do this type of thing.

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I took my first meal out of the freezer last night because third semester begins in only two hours! How does jambalaya sound?! Come on over if you’re in the neighborhood!

What are your favorite foods during nursing school? Have you found it difficult to eat healthy meals on a budget? Please share your tips in the comment section!

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I have an exciting blog entry that will be posted by Monday, and I am going to give you a couple hints about the post.

1.  I do not have a lot of extra time to cook during nursing school, and I do not have enough money in the bank to order take-out every night (I guess that is a two-for-one hint).

2. The second (ahem…third) hint comes in the form of a picture. Check. It. Out.

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What do you think my next blog post will be about? Any guesses?

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