Sweet Potato Gnocchi 

Hello!

Chugging along through Block 6. I love November, its such a wonderful time of the year. Ivy is enjoying running through the leaves although they are just about as tall as she is. I’m really trying my best to not decorate for Christmas but its so hard. At least the Starbucks red cups have come out, to tide me over!img_7565

I was feeling extra “fall” the other day and wanted to experiment with a new recipe. I also ordered this amazing marble block cutting board from amazon and I’m obsessed with it and want to use it every chance I can. I had two extra sweet potatoes to use up, which I give credit as the inspiration to this easy recipe. I hope you enjoy!

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 cups flour
  • Pinch of salt

First, poke holes in the skin of your sweet potatoes and cook them in the microwave for 3-4 min. You could also bake them in the oven if you are more patient than I am ;-). Then, cut your potatoes in half and scoop out all of the insides. Place them into a big bowl. Then add in your  pinch of salt and the flour, one cup at a time. Mix with a pastry blender or your hands until a dough like consistence has formed. Split the dough into 4 pieces, and roll out long like a log until its about 1 in wide. Cut with a knife about 1in long sections. Roll each section down the spokes of a fork to create the decorative lines.

Cook in boiling and salted water until each gnocchi floats. Scoop them out and toss them in the sauce of your choice! I made a white cream mushroom sauce, but the options are endless!

Enjoy!

 

Perfect Pear Apple Pie

Hello!!

I’m well into Block 6 of med school! This block is our Endocrinology/OBGYN block and I’m enjoying it. I can’t believe we only have one block block left of content before boards. Sometimes I flip through first aid and am in awe at all that we’ve learned!

For those of you who are not familiar with how medical school works, your first two years are all in the classroom. Lectures, exams, practicals, anatomy, etc. After these first two years you take your board exams (USMLE, COMLEX). Finally after this, you are free to begin 3rd year, which is rotating through all the different services in medicine. You rotate through Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, OBGYN, Surgery, Geriatrics, Psych, etc. This allows you to get more of a feel for what field of medicine you want to go into. Lots of people don’t figure out what they want to do until 3rd year, which is totally normal! I’m about half way through my second year, and we finish our class work in April. Then we have ~2 months to study for boards, and we begin rotations shortly after! Its crazy to think how fast/slow this journey has been.

I’ve been cooking a lot lately, trying to be more plant-based. I haven’t eating meat in almost 3 weeks, and I feel really good. Honestly, I prefer my meals much more when they do not contain meat. As most of you know, I haven’t eaten red meat in almost 3 years. So I’m just trying to get rid of chicken and turkey!

Lately I have been trying to find some good recipes that a quick and easy. In the midst of searching for thanksgiving recipes last night I stumbled upon this pie recipe. I had some pears I wanted to use up as well, so I created my own version! I hope you enjoy!

Perfect Pear Apple Pie

  • 6 granny smith apples
  • 3 pears (any kind really)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 TBS lemon juice
  • 1 TBS cinnamon (or more if you’d like!)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 stick of butter (1/4 c)
  • pie crust dough

Preheat oven to 350°FWash, peel, and slice all of your fruit into thin slices, add lemon juice and cinnamon, mix. Press pie dough over a pie pan and roll over edges to make them smooth. Melt butter in big pan, and add fruit and sugar. Stir until fruit becomes soft (10-15min). Remove from heat and add flour. Mix in, and place back on heat for 5 more minutes. Dump fruit mixture into the pie dough, flatten. Cut strips of pie crust and weave them over the top of the pie. Bake for 30-40 minutes, but keep and eye on it. Take it out of the oven once its golden brown.


Hope everyone is having a wonderful November!

 

Zucchini Mushroom Marsala 

Hello!

Chugging along in week 7 of 11 for Block 5, I’m so excited we’re more than half way there. Like I mention in a previous post, this is our last Block where we have gross anatomy. Come October 7th I will be done with the lab forever :-). I ran 3 mornings this week, which I consider to be successful since I was feeling under the weather for a couple days.

I’ve been focusing on eating healthy and for most days I have a “burrito plate” for lunch. I basically just throw rice and beans on a plate and heat it up, and then top it with guacamole, salsa, lettuce, and whatever else I have laying around! It usually looks a little something like this.

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For dinner recently I’ve been into making a huge batch of stew, pasta, etc and just eating it for dinner for a few days. It saves so much time, and in med school I usually only have 2-3 nights free to cook a week, every other day is a day before an exam so my day is packed with studying and learning. Recently I’ve been looking for recipes that involve less dishes, so clean up is quick and simple! This recipe is perfect! I hope you enjoy :-).

Zucchini Mushroom Marsala

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 chicken breast
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 pkg of mushrooms
  • 1 box orecchiette pasta
  • 3 cups veggie broth
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Cut up the chicken, then melt the butter in a pot on the stove and cook the chicken thoroughly. Move cooked chicken to a separate bowl. Add the mushrooms and zucchini to the pot and cook for 6-7 minutes until tender, Add the chicken back in along all of the spices. Top it off with the veggie broth, cream, and orecchiette. Let it simmer until pasta is al dente. Remove from heat. Add in cream and yogurt. Mix until broth has become a creamy thickened consistence (you can add more/less yogurt to your liking). Enjoy!

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How I Study in Medical School

Hello!

The one thing in life that I’m really good at is being a student. Throughout my high school and college years my number one priority was always my grades. I only worked a few hours a week and really focused on studying. So the one thing I’ve been doing pretty much my whole life is studying. After the last year of medical school I’ve establish a really good system. However, everyone is different! And if something isn’t working for you, change it, even if its what you’re comfortable with. There is no time in medical school to waste using a study system that isn’t working to its fullest potential for you.

I study using the “3-pass” method. This isn’t actually a thing and I believe I made it up, but hear me out! I use the first pass as just exposure to the material, second pass as comprehending and understanding and third pass is memorization (which sometimes isn’t necessary). I usually add in a 4th pass the morning before the exam as review ;-).

FIRST PASS – exposure

This usually takes place in lecture. I listen to the professor or listen to the recording and take any notes that I think are important, highlight what topics the professor spends the most time on, and jot down anything that is “BOARD RELEVANT” (the worst two words to hear in med school). I prefer to listen to the recording because I can pause, look things up, and follow along with what the professor is saying.

SECOND PASS – comprehension

This pass takes place at home or the library a few days before the exam. I go through each lecture of the exam in detail. Reading every word of the slide, understanding the processes and understanding the content to a deeper level. During this pass I create a document on my iPad or on paper, that includes all of the things I must know for the exam. I like to transform the information into graphs and charts, to condense and to aide in my understanding. I’m a visual learner and I remember things by writing them and drawing them out.


THIRD PASS – memorization

Memorization. The key to med school even though no one will admit it. For this I use a whiteboard, and I rewrite my note sheet from my iPad and concepts I need to memorize until it sticks in my head. I usually do this the day before the exam. For some exams this isn’t necessary, but for exams with micro, algorithms or even formulas (hello renal phys) it is a crucial step!

REVIEW PASS

I use this final pass as a refresher the morning of the exam. This one is more to calm my nerves than to actually learn any material. I review all the material and convince myself I have adequately prepared and there is nothing more I can do. I usually get up 4-5 hours before the test to prepare, drink so coffee, and head out to take the exam.

Good luck and stay focused! You are capable!

 

One Pan – Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

Hi!

I am three weeks into my second year of medical school and I really can’t even believe it. I feel like even though this journey is tough and I don’t sleep much and I’m always studying, its flying by! And to be honest, I’m not mad about it. I’ve been doing a lot of studying at home lately, I find that I’m less stressed than I am in the library, I can be more relaxed. I’m still at the library 4-5 hours a day, but its not like last year where I was there 10-12 hours a day.

We are in our last block of anatomy lab and I am seriously so happy, I told my lab group I was going to make a paper chain to countdown our days left in the lab (Maybe overkill? Maybe just really over the cadaver lab?) I thought I was going to love the lab, but I really don’t. I’m so grateful for the opportunity, and I do learn a lot being in there, but I’m so ready to not have to shower 3 times a day. I guess its not that I don’t like the lab, its just inconvenient. And I’m not a huge fan of dissecting, so a lot of the time I’m just sitting there reviewing the atlas and trying to make sense of the this crazy human body. Wish me luck in my last few weeks! Only 1 practical left after Friday :-).


I’ve been eating lots of veggie wraps for lunch before lab. I put hummus, guacamole, white (or black) beans, cheese and mustard on a lettuce wrap and chow it down. Its so good, so quick, and it keeps me full until I get home. Oops I think I forget to mention the cup of coffee I have to guzzle down at noon to keep myself alive for the second half of the day ;-).

I ran 3 miles in the morning a few days this week and I forgot how much I love morning runs, I find myself tired and not really wanted to run as the day goes on – I’d rather just lazily take Ivy out for a walk, so I like to get my run over with early. Getting a dog was one of the best decisions I made in med school, because instead of just sitting at my desk studying- she forces me to get up and outside! I can walk around nearby and read notes and get some fresh air. I love it, and Ivy loves it too!


I have some really delicious recipes in the making and I’m looking forward to posting them soon. I hope you all had a wonderful August, I look forward to being around more! I leave you with this amazing one-pot pasta dish, heavy on the carbs but light on the dishes! Enjoy.

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta 

  • 4 cups veggie broth
  • 1 lb fettucine pasta
  • 1 (12 oz) jar roasted red peppers, cut them into pieces
  • 1 large sliced onion
  • 1 (15 oz) can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 4 oz cream cheese (or greek yogurt!)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Boil the veggie broth, add in the fettucini pasta and onion and cook until al dente. Remove from heat. Add tomatoes, garlic powder, cream cheese, and diced red peppers. Stir on low until warm. Serve!

 

 

 

Everything I learned in Med School: Cardio/Pulm Block

Hello!

I’m a second year medical student!

First year of medical school… DONE. How crazy is that? I remember like it was yesterday how anxious and excited I was to start, and now I’m relieved and thankful it’s over. It’s really funny how quickly you become overwhelmed and almost bitter with the amount of work you’re putting it. My month long summer is very well needed, and I’m excited to get a break from the books!

Don’t forget everything else I learned in medical school! Here is Musculoskeletal and Neuro!

Everything I learned in Medical School: Cardio Pulm Edition

  • I love babies. I love learning about congenital defects and preterm births. I love it all.
  • On that same note – babies are tough, and they can fight through a lot to survive.
  • Before birth you can have a defect called Transposition of the Great Vessels which basically means your aorta and pulmonary vessels are swapped around. This defect does not have a heart murmur associated with it, making it easy to miss.
  • Many people have holes in their hearts that they’ll never even know about! However, in some people it can allow a blood clot from the leg to get to the brain = stroke
  • Infant lungs are not developed under 21 weeks and are the main reason that preterm babies under this have a much lower survival rate.
  • Not all lung cancer is associated with smoking- there’s even a type of lung cancer that’s target population is female nonsmokers (adenocarcinoma)
  • Aortic dissections are deadly. Patients present with “tearing” chest pain and their status deteriorates within an hour. (If you watched 8 Simply Rules, like I did, this is what killed John Ritter in real life 😢)
  • I love my medical school. Our faculty and staff really care about us, and after 4 blocks I’m starting to really realize this.
  • I didn’t sign up to be a medical student forever, and sometimes I have to remind myself of this. I will make it through this!

I hope you enjoyed this! Time for our GI/Renal block – but first, my last summer break.

Philly “Cheesechicken” Sandwiches

Hello!

I have a wonderful recipe for you here today. It will be 3 years in November since I stopped eating red meat and to be honest – I haven’t missed it one bit. I wasn’t a huge fan of hamburgers, bacon, steak, pork chops, or anything of that nature to begin with so it wasn’t really hard for me to do. The only thing I still find myself craving now and then are Philly Cheesesteaks! They were one of my favorite foods and honestly the only way I even liked to eat steak. I found this recipe on food network and tweaked it a little bit to make it more fitting to what I like to eat! THIS RECIPE WAS AMAZING. I’m seriously still in awe and really hope you choose to try it out!

Ivy, my wiener dog, also approved of the recipe by trying to steal my plate after I was done… okay, maybe I let her take a few licks 😉

Philly “Cheesechicken” Sandwiches

  • 4 whole wheat rolls
  • 4oz sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4oz Monterey jack, shredded
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 2/3 cup cream
  • 2lb chicken breast
  • 1 TBS butter
  • 1/2 TBS flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 400. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and sear it in a skillet about 2min on each side, place on a tin foil lined baking sheet and cook in the oven for 15 min. While chicken is in the oven slice up the peppers and onions into thin strips. sauté in a sauce pan for 5-10 min until cooked. Then, make the cheese sauce. Melt butter into a skillet pan, once melted add in flour and mix until a roux is formed. Then, add in the cream. Whisk together until mixture is bubbly and thick. Turn heat to low and add cheese. Wisk together until sauce is melted. Assemble sandwhiches with chicken, vegetables, and cheese on top. Roll each sandwich in tin foil tightly, and pop in the oven for 5-10 mintues. Unwrap and ENJOY!