Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I'm Back!

It's been a crazy past couple of weeks adjusting to life as a full-time resident and preparing for Part 1 of my board exams (the first of three on the path to becoming a board certified Medical Physicist).  Today marked the feared day and a four-hour stretch of physics problems (with the only calculator being the one on the computer) + 1 hour of clinical problems have left me a little brain-dead.  I'm looking forward to getting back to a normal schedule!

Because of today's test, we spent the weekend close to home.  We used the opportunity to make some extra fun dinners, all of which I love love loved and have to share!

Friday night, we tried our hand at making pizza on the grill after being inspired by this post.  We followed the directions pretty exact with the exception of failing to plan ahead and using Publix's premade pizza dough instead.  We were super nervous about grilling dough, envisioning a sticky, doughy mess on the hot grill.

grilling the first side

topping the grilled side

I'm happy to report it went perfectly and every pizza was amazing.

grill once more

Our creations included margherita and traditional with sausage, pepperoni, onions and tomatoes.

ready to eat!

For dessert, we tried to recreate one of my favorite BJ's Brewhouse desserts: the pizookie.  A giant cookie, made in a cast iron skillet... yum!  We followed this recipe, substituting white chocolate chips for the real ones and loved every bite.

smoosh the dough into the buttered pan
finished pizookie

pizookie a la mode

After too many hours of studying in the house Saturday, I escaped to Costco to take advantage of the free admission day for Vanderbilt employees.  Mike had been craving steak and we'd heard these stores provide the absolute best place to get some filet mignon. 

We recreated the best-steak-ever method introduced to us by my big bro, Ryan.  And... it was the best steak ever.  This meal kicked Ruth's Chris tail and is only barely beat by my most favorite place in the world: Mark's Prime in Gainesville.

Steaks were seasoned very generously with garlic powder, meat tenderizer, Season All, and freshly ground McCormick peppercorn medley.

ready to grill
Mike manned the grill while I created the sauce that, while definitely not needed, only serves to make this steak even more delicious. 

Saute sliced baby portabellas in 1-2T butter and ~1 tsp garlic until soft.

Then stir in 1/2-1 cup heavy whipping cream until thick.  My instructions were to "add way more mixed peppercorn than you think you should, and then quadruple it."  I also mixed in a bit of salt though I'm not sure it's in the original recipe. 

The finished product:

Our dinner's were enhanced by the inclusion of fall beer!  Near the start of football season each year, I start scanning the beer aisle waiting for the seasonal brews.  I was extra excited this time to find one of my favorite beers in a fall variety: Shiner Oktoberfest!  I'd never seen it before but I definitely will be looking for it in the future. 

The following picture of the praying mantis INSIDE our house makes me laugh so I thought I'd share... We were eating outside when this giant guy landed on our porch door.  Mike wanted to open the door to get the camera and take pictures of him.  I said "watch out he might fly inside" to which Mike responded... they don't fly.  As soon as he opened the door the bug went crazy flying around/at him while he yelled and I died laughing.  Our cats were super excited to have this creature inside so it was quite the battle to get him back outside alive.  Now M believes me that they fly...

One more random picture from the weekend: Ellie has also learned to smile (with teeth) for the camera...



  1. All sounds really good. :) We are cooking the steak & sauce tonight. I am for sure going to try the pizza thing. That sounds amazing. :)

  2. yay! let me know how the pizza turns out. I'm sure you'll love it :)