Sunday, November 30, 2014

Things I'm Bad At.

At Thanksgiving this past week we were talking about how patients lie - well, one of my friend's brothers who is a psychiatry resident was talking about how he's pretty sure all his patients lie. And he is likely right.

And my thought was that we all edit our narrative to reflect how we would like to be perceived.

And now a couple days later I was thinking about how blogging is just an extension of that - I get to publish only what I'm okay with the world seeing.

For example, I was home watching TV almost the entire day on Thanksgiving. It was great, and then we went to dinner in the evening and it everyone was welcoming and it was really nice.

But if I were to pick a photo to share from the day I would probably pick these:

From the walk we took on the Bosque in the afternoon. Instead of the one on the couch.

Because I would rather make it look like I'm an active productive person as opposed to a borderline agoraphobic TV-addicted resident with a penchant for marathoning Gilmore Girls and lying still whenever possible.

So I decided to write this post about things that I do poorly because I want to be at least a smidge real over here.

So here we go.

I end sentences with prepositions. And start them with "and."

I'm not kidding I really do. And sometimes I do it on purpose like I mean to. I do.

Once when I was an intern a senior was editing my progress note and I ended a sentence with a preposition. This girl was a real gem: a great doctor but not so great at supervising people - rude, unkind, typically much too brusque at giving feedback, lots of interns cried etc. She was writing edits on my paper and of course recognized the preposition at the end of this sentence. It was not a glaring error but I don't deny it could have been phrased better.

So she proceeded to write "grammer" next to it. And I didn't say anything.

And so I end sentences with prepositions but I'm a great speller and I am great at recognizing irony. I carried that moment with me the whole rest of the day with every nit picking correction she gave me.

See, while we're making a list of things at which I'm bad, it's important to recognize the positive.

I'm bad at cleaning.

I'm really bad at cleaning. I'm great at picking up and at organizing, I'm awful at cleaning. I'm awful at recognizing when something needs to be cleaned. I'm awful at dusting, scrubbing, vacuuming, I'm not very good at taking out the trash. I'm pretty bad at sweeping unless it's right in the moment and I've smashed glass every where - I'm pretty good with that kind of thing.

I'm terrible with directions. If I'm indoors I will get lost within 2 turns. If there are no clear landmarks I'll get lost in a city quickly. Here we have big mountains in the east which helps but I still need more than my two hands to count all the times I've turned the wrong way.

I'm bad at eyeliner. That smudged smoky look? Sure. Definitely what I was going for.

I'm bad at any sport that requires making a goal/basket/touchdown etc. If I have to handle a ball and run at the same time I'm out. That's just asking me to trip and break an ankle. Or hit you in the face with this ball.

I'm unapologetically bad at waiting for a time the rest of the world agrees is appropriate for Christmas music. Nope. October. You can't stop me.

I'm not great with plants. Oh the plant graveyards in my wake were we to gather them all up. Once I even killed a cactus. And a bamboo. And a plastic one. 

I'm bad at doing nothing. I can watch TV, surf the Internet, play stupid phone games etc. with the best of them but if you ask me to actually calm my brain or be reflective or still it's really tough. And because I'm really not intentional about this, I'm pretty sure I'm getting worse.

I'm bad at nails. The whole painting and letting dry process is mostly beyond me. No matter what I do it always smudges. That's the primary reason I wear light colors, it's not that I actually like them better, it's that they show the disaster less.

I'm bad at letting go. If I screw something up I'm bad at moving on - it will ruin my next several days. 

I'm bad at keeping in touch. I value a lot of people that I don't see regularly anymore and being super awkward at talking on the phone and not much of an email or letter writer I just kind of mostly don't keep in touch. I want you all to know I miss you though. 

Im bad at walking quietly. It does not matter if there's not a single creaky spot on the floor, I'll end up tripping and crashing into something. It's great when I go to examine patients at 7 AM when they're sleeping. I'm sure they love that.

I'm bad at eating less than the whole pint of ice cream. I do not care what the label says, that is an individually portioned container and I will eat it all in one sitting.

I'm sure there are more.

Ask my sisters. Just kidding don't.

But I hope you can relate to some of these things I'm bad at and as usual,

Thanks for reading, see you soon.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

How to Make Quinoa Flakes At Home

One of my most popular posts ever was this one:

However, that post is really about how to cook/serve quinoa flakes. I think many people searching for that post are actually wondering, "I don't have quinoa flakes. Can I make quinoa flakes from my regular quinoa?"

And that's what today's post is about. 

The answer is yes.

And they're good.

They're not 100% the same texture as commercial quinoa flakes, but much less expensive, and you don't have to commit to buying both quinoa and flakes. It still offers a great creamy consistency.

So what to do?

Ingredients and Tools

1. Your favorite brand of quinoa. I've only tried it with white quinoa but I suspect other types might work. This one is from Costco.

2. You'll need a fine grinder of some sort: either a coffee grinder or a spice grinder. You can definitely use your regular coffee grinder - a little coffee flavor in here would be delicious. Though there will be a little quinoa dust mixed in when you go back to grinding coffee in there.

Here's our little spice grinder.

3. For cooking you'll need milk or water. I prefer a sweet non-dairy milk, because quinoa does have a bit more bitterness compared to other breakfast grains, but it's up to you. You'll also need a pan and fruit or whatever else you would like to top your quinoa.


1. Grind up your quinoa in the spice grinder. A half cup serving is 40 grams, but using a bit more will help it grind evenly, and then you can store the extra. Be patient - it'll take a little time to get all the pieces ground. Just check it and give it a stir periodically.

2. Combine your desired amount of quinoa with milk: use about 1 cup milk per half cup (40 g) serving of quinoa that you're cooking.

3. Bring to a boil and then simmer 2-5 minutes, there will be a clear change in consistency - much like oat bran. When your milk is mostly absorbed you're done. 

4. Top with fruit, nuts, agave, nut butter: whatever you prefer.


Thanks for reading, see you soon.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday Faves 11/28/14: Thanksgiving Edition!

1. Sisterly Interaction.

As I introduced last week, my sisters and I have a group text. It's exactly what you would imagine. Here's this week's highlight (from a while ago):

2. Video

This is a gorgeous cover of Fleet Foxes' White Winter Hymnal by Pentatonix. I've been listening to both versions on repeat.

The Cover:

The Original:

It's after Thanksgiving so even if I could pretend I haven't been listening to Christmas music since mid-October, I'm now completely justified. This isn't technically a Christmas song, but it's wintery and it has just the right tone. 

3. Snack or Meal

For Thanksgiving this year John and I got to spend time with some friends and it was a really nice celebration.

I made the Pumpkin Baked Ziti with Sage Bread Crumb Topping from Veganomicon to take with me. Of course I forgot to take a picture of my plate because I was too busy talking to my friends, but I found a recycled picture from a while ago. It's never photographed well - too beige - but it tastes awesome. Here's a link to the recipe, but as usual I strongly recommend buying Veganomicon if you're at all interested in vegan cooking.

4. Clothing

It's cold out! Even here in the Southwest. I know plenty of you are out in the world somewhere in the northlands in the snow where there are only hills in all directions and you have no shoes etc. I've been told - I don't know anything about real cold etc. etc. It's typically in the 20s fahrenheit in the mornings.

Anyway, I've been wearing this scarf just about daily for the walk to and from work for the past month.

It's from Forever 21, so very inexpensive, but it's soft, goes with everything and it's holding up well.

5. Recipe

[Photo is hers]

These are really really easy to make and easy to adapt for allergens or food sensitivities for those holiday potlucks. 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Thanks for reading, see you soon.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

WIAW: Thanksgiving Week!

What I Ate Wednesday!
Thanks as always to Jenn for hosting.

It's Fall!

Welcome back WIAW-ers. I'm Kari, I'm a pediatric resident in New Mexico, and I really appreciate you clicking on over.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Many of you are not American, and therefore likely aren't celebrating the great day of Turkey, pie and family. 

It's the holiday tomorrow, and I'm fortunate enough to be invited to the home of a friend's family, since I won't be traveling or seeing my own family - outside of the husband and dog that live with me and can't escape me of course. 

I'm trying to keep it healthy this week in preparation for a little indulgence on the big holiday. 

Breakfast: Shredded Wheat, Banana and Coffee 
There's also a vitamin in this photo. Woo health! Breakfast has gotten a little boring lately. I've just been feeling kind of uninspired. I often get that way in winter when berries are out of season. I'll work on it.

Lunch: Leftover Winter Vegan Corn Chowder
I made this over the weekend and above is the linked recipe post. It's really really good, I'm not just saying that because I made it.

Snacks: Clif Bar, Tea, Antidote Chocolate in rose salt and lemon
This Candy Cane Green Tea from Trader Joe's is one I bought last year. I'm not sure if they still have it - I haven't looked - but it's decaf so great for any time of day.

The chocolate is wow fancy. It came in the Vegan Cuts box this month and I really liked it, but it's very rich and I definitely think it's appropriately portioned - I wouldn't want more than that little piece.

Dinner: Chickpea Noodle Soup [the Veganomicon recipe]
With some red wine from Whole Foods. I had soup twice today and it was great. I love winter.

I'm on Adolescent rotation right now which is great because I do get Thanksgiving off. Granted I'm on call on Friday and I work on Sunday, but still it was a nice short week.

Happy Thanksgiving and WIAW!

Thanks for reading, see you soon.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Winter Vegan Corn Chowder

This weekend was the first real golden weekend of my academic year and it was great.

Two whole days at home. So we decorated for Christmas - we're not hosting Thanksgiving so it's not too early - went on a few brief adventures but mostly enjoyed it being cold and windy from the comfort of indoors.

And so in honor of the cold and windy:

Winter Vegan Corn Chowder

This recipe was inspired by one in the Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester

This is originally a classic slow cooker recipe [8.5 hrs to cook], but I'm offering you two alternatives in case you want it sooner or don't have a slow cooker. 


4 cups water
2 cubes (18 g) Not Chik'n or other veggie bouillon cube
1 pound (450 g) or about 5-6 red potatoes, chopped
1 pound (450 g) frozen corn 
Several chopped carrots
1 chopped bell pepper (red, orange or yellow)
2 tsp dried thyme
3 cloves minced garlic

Raw cashews
Unsweetened nondairy milk. 
Beginner tip: Most nondairy milks are sweet unless they explicitly say "unsweetened." In this case you definitely want an unsweetened milk. I would recommend almond or other nut-based as opposed to coconut or soy for savory dishes. 
Fresh basil, handful chopped

To Cook

1. Combine the water through thyme in a slow cooker or large pot. 
2. If using a slow cooker you have 2 options: 
Cook on low setting for 8 hours or high heat setting for about 3-4 hours. 
If using a pot, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer: it should take about an hour. Test the potatoes to tell when it's done: they will take the longest to cook.
3. Once your base is just about done, combine about a cup of the nondairy milk with 1/2 to 1 cup of raw cashews in a blender or magic bullet. Just pour and toss in some handfuls. I like to remind myself this is soup, not chem lab.
4. Blend until mostly smooth and add to the pot with the basil. If you would like a creamier soup, also blend a couple cups of the veggies and broth mixture and add back to the pot. I prefer my soup pretty chunky, but modify to your taste.
5. If using a slow cooker on low, turn up the heat to high, or continue on high: cook for 30 minutes more. If using a regular pot, just continue to heat until heated through.
6. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Prior to adding the milk/nut mixture.

The ugliest soup photo ever taken.

The finished product.

Happy winter!

Thanks for reading, see you soon.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Faves 11/21/14

Every once in a while I want to share some favorites with you. Maybe it'll be a regular thing. Maybe not, we know how that goes over here.

Happy Friday!

1. Video

Taylor Swift: Blank Space

Obviously it has to be this wonderful fashionable mix of playful and crazy. 

I've watched it at least 15 times this week. If you haven't seen it yet, you are in for a treat.

2. Snack or Meal

Rosemary Truffle popcorn

This popcorn came in the Vegan Cuts November box - I got a subscription from Mom for my birthday. It's flavorful without being overwhelming. Recommend!

3. Beauty

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Eye Pencil in Goldmine

This isn't a new product, I've had it for a while, but since it's fall I've been wearing it a lot. Maybe next time we'll talk about nail polish. yikes.

4. Recipe

This is a post from 2011, but this recipe is as good as ever: health, texture, fall flavors. Make it. Make it tonight.

5. Sisterly Interaction.

My sisters and I have a group text. It's exactly what you would imagine. Here's a gem from last week:

To be fair, she's really small.

Thanks for reading, see you soon.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hey It's Tuesday

Tuesday is my least favorite day of the week.

Monday at least has a "week is starting" excitement to it. And if you're working regular hours at least you're rested from the weekend.

Tuesday you're already tired from the start of the week but the weekend is ages away.

It's worse than Monday. I stand by this.

So in honor of Tuesday, I think we all should watch this, because it's awesome.

I'm related to her but have none of her talent.

Happy Tuesday. We're going to make it.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Daylight Savings Time and 27 in Real Life

Happy November.

Twice a year all the states except those weirdos in Arizona and Hawaii change time and this time of year is the good one. The one where we gain an hour and it feels easy to wake up in the morning and we're tired nice and early and every one is happy. Or at least more happy than at the springtime change.

I like the extra light and all, but this year I had arguably the worst shift of the whole year: as scheduled a 24 hour PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit - the sickest kids in the hospital) shift. Which became 25 hours because of the time change overnight.

It really wasn't a bad shift at all, considering how PICU can be, but I still definitely feel like I earned my day off for the week.

I slept for 3 or 4 hours Sunday morning after I got home. I'm really not sure - I told John to wake me up after 4 hours but I'm still confused about when he actually woke me up because we had only about half our clocks changed.

So since it's a new month and it's been busy I thought I'd just give some real life updates.

My 27th birthday was last week and I had the day off (because I'd worked another 24 hour shift over the weekend) so I tried to make the most of it. I went out with some friends the night before, and on my birthday here's what I did:

I slept in a little and John made me Vegan Pear Cinnamon pancakes. I also got my birthday present which was a perfect Camelbak.

Luna and I took a walk. 

Walk selfie. John makes fun of me because I wear my enormous headphones but they work as both headband and audio so what's wrong with that?

I stopped by Barnes & Noble and did some other shopping.

Yoga and Gilmore Girls.

This "Winter Ski Resort" candle smells so good.

Played some Settlers on the iPad.

I met John for lunch and we went to Chipotle. Then he took a half day and we went on an adventure. 

The Cave at Tent Rocks.

The canyon was the coolest part.

The view from the top featuring my new Camelbak.

After this my phone battery died. We went to the Santa Fe Brewing Company and then to The Shed, a nice New Mexican restaurant in Santa Fe. Here's a couple pictures courtesy of John: 

Calabacitas with the Blue Corn Burritos

Entrance to The Shed.

My week was pretty full up of work after this, though we did have time to dress up as Bob and Linda from Bob's burgers for Halloween and pass out some candy with a friend. 

I hope your October was great, Happy Halloween, may you have the best November.

Thanks for reading, see you soon.