Carb Friday!

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The Power of a Craving

This summer, one of the three daily activities I committed to was spending at least an hour perusing Pinterest. It took me a while to understand Pinterest and I’m still not quite sure I do, but I became a bit obsessed with searching for recipes, classroom ideas and funny quotes.

The summer also afforded me more time to cook and last week I was having a serious craving for enchiladas. I searched Pinterest for a healthy version but I couldn’t find a recipe that wouldn’t require me to go back to the grocery store to pick up more ingredients. I finally decided to use components of a few recipes, with my own personal twist. You could really modify these any way you want but I have to say, Adam and I were pleasantly surprised at how awesome they turned out. I hope you try them for yourself!

Ground Turkey Enchiladas
-1 pound lean ground turkey (or any meat you like)
-1 packet of taco seasoning
-1/2 an onion
-1 package of sliced mushrooms
-3 Laughing Cow light wedges (I used white cheddar)
-1 small can of salsa verde
-Shredded cheddar cheese
-Whole wheat tortillas
-Salsa

Directions

-Brown and drain the meat in a skillet. Add taco seasoning and 3/4 cup of water and bring to a boil. Simmer for five additional minutes. Set meat aside.

-In the same skillet, brown onions and mushrooms, about five-ten minutes.

-Add seasoned meat back into skillet and mix with vegetables.

– In a small bowl, mix together the Laughing Cow wedges and salsa verde, set aside.

-To assemble the enchiladas, add the meat mixture, salsa verde mixture and a sprinkling of cheese into the tortilla. Roll the tortillas and place them seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat the process until the pan is full. It should hold about six enchiladas.

-Pour salsa and more shredded cheese over the top. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

-Garnish with avocado, scallions, sour cream, olives, beans, pineapple, Cheerios, anything you like!

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Old School

A friend sent me a link to an article from my college newspaper yesterday. I was pleasantly surprised that when I typed my name in the search query, all of my former news articles came up from ten years ago. Apparently, they had me covering the really crucial news. See below.

IU doctors try to cure STDS

IU School of Medicine tests vaccinations for herpes, hepatitis A

By Lindsay Kaplan | September 12, 2003

The IU School of Medicine announced on Thursday that they are testing a vaccination which may help prevent genital herpes.

Mary Hardin of the IU School of Medicine Media Relations announced that infectious disease physicians from the medical school are running the tests in several locations throughout Indiana for not only the herpes vaccine, but also a vaccine for hepatitis A.

Dr. Kenneth Fife, the main researcher of the trials, is looking to test women between the ages of 18 and 30 who are not infected with oral or genital herpes. The women will be chosen at random to receive either a hepatitis A vaccine or the herpes vaccine. Although the hepatitis A vaccine has already been approved by the Federal Drug Administration, the clinic is testing the strength of the drug, the number of doses needed and the number of injections needed. Through these tests, the research team hopes to improve the hepatitis A vaccine.

“This is the third and most likely the last phase of the trials,” Nurse Practioner Nancy Hobson said. “We have been doing trials on this vaccine for the last seven years.”

The herpes virus can infect on two levels; herpes simplex 1, which typically comes in the form of cold sores or fever blisters and herpes simplex 2, genital herpes. If the vaccine is successful, both forms could be prevented.

The trial is being publicized all over Indiana college campuses, as well as through national advertising. The only minor side effect is a slight tenderness at the sight of the injection, which comes with almost any injection. Women are given $360 over a period of 20 months and of course, a free vaccination test.

“The vaccine will not cure individuals already infected, but could have a huge effect on protecting women and their partners from this sexually transmitted disease,” Fife said in a statement. “The trial is for individuals who have not contracted either form of herpes, which makes the screening process more difficult since many people are exposed to herpes through cold sores at an early age.”

Sue Ford, the study coordinator of the vaccination testing, said 100 women have been screened on the IU-Purdue University at Indianapolis campus so far. Their intention is to screen 2,000 women in order to get 500 tests they can use.

“One out of every four women tests positive for herpes simplex 1 or herpes simplex 2, and we can only use tests that are double negative,” Ford said.

If the vaccine is approved by the FDA, women will be able to use it as a protection against the disease. Although the most serious symptom of the disease among adults tends to be general discomfort, it is currently preventable only through abstinence. If a woman is infected while she is pregnant, it can cause severe damage to her unborn child.

Investigators are apprehensive about the reaction of parents vaccinating their children if the drug is approved. Greg Zimet, Ph.D. and professor of pediatrics and clinical psychology said he is confident that this is not an issue to worry about.

“Parents have exhibited an overwhelming willingness to have their children vaccinated,” Zimet said. “There has been no difference in attitudes about vaccinations for non-sexually transmitted infections and those for STD protection.”

Zimet ran a behavioral study among 300 adolescent-parent pairs who filled out a questionnaire regarding the issue. The typical response by the parents was to question the likelihood of their child becoming infected and what they could do to prevent it.

The trial will be held at 20 different locations throughout the United States and their goal is to enroll over 7,500 women.

The vaccination will continue to run until the clinics have fulfilled the amount of women they want to test.

“One of the most common concerns with the test is that it will give you genital herpes,” Ford said. “This is just a myth and entirely impossible.”

Contact staff writer Lindsay Kaplan at lkaplan@indiana.edu.

Jeffica

In my 30 years, I have been to my fair share of weddings. Friends, family and family friends have a tendency to invite me to their milestones because I am extremely fun. Okay, that’s probably not true. Even at 30, the wedding circuit is not slowing down. In the next year alone, I have eight weddings to attend. It’s amazing to me that eight people even like me. Or maybe it’s an obligatory thing. That would make much more sense.

This past Saturday night, I attended a wedding for two friends, Jessica and Jeff, or as someone cleverly coined them, “Jeffica”.  I knew going in that this wedding had the two best possible wedding characteristics: local location and heavy appetizers.  In a previous post, I mentioned the cocktail hour at The Standard Club. Jessica’s sister, Lauren, who also happens to be one of my best friends, got married at the Standard Club three years ago  A wedding at the Standard Club is the Jewish equivalent to the Inaugural Ball.  I’ve never been to the Inaugural Ball, but I can imagine that it is quite impressive.

Jews love to eat and these particular friends understand that food (and drinks) actually do make a wedding more fun. Those two components, coupled with an unbelievable band and a guest performance by the groom’s unbelievable band, Great Divide, made for a phenomenal Saturday night. Usually I am in bed with a Home Run Inn pizza and sleeping by 10:00.

Appetizers and desserts are my favorite courses at weddings, restaurants and barbecues alike.  As far as I’m concerned, I could go the rest of my life without a main course when good appetizers and desserts are involved.  Although it was tough, I managed to pick my favorite food from cocktail hour, dinner and dessert. Enjoy the photos and congratulations to the happy couple!

Favorite appetizer: Mini reubens, passed on trays

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Favorite part of the main course: Unreal Italian chopped salad with a giant shrimp in the center

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Favorite dessert: Mini chocolate chip cookie skillet

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I appreciate food in shot glasses. Who wouldn't love shrimp in gazpacho and crudite?

I appreciate food in shot glasses. Who wouldn’t love shrimp in gazpacho and crudite?

A garden with flowers made of smoked salmon and cream cheese.

A garden with flowers made of smoked salmon and cream cheese.

A taste of Mexico

A taste of Mexico

The main course

The menu

Onion rings are so underrated.

Onion rings are so underrated.

More deliciousness in shot glasses. Milkshakes galore!

More deliciousness in shot glasses. Milkshakes galore!

Sundae toppings

Sundae toppings

I had to leave a little bit of cake for the other guests.

I had to leave a little bit of cake for the other guests.

Black Bull and a Pitbull (Boxer)

As summer officially begins to wind down and the days of staying up late and sleeping in come to an end, it is important for me to squeeze in as much dining alfresco time as possible. I am gritting my teeth at myself for using the word alfresco.

For most people, once you graduate college, summer means nothing but warmer weather and maybe wearing more deodorant. While the deodorant definitely applies to me (no pun intended), my “career” affords me a little bit more summer relaxation time than the average 30-year-old. As a teacher, I am lucky enough to still look at summer as a vacation and enjoy time off of work. Of course, I also make no money, so attorneys don’t be too jealous of me.  This summer, I spent a lot of time doing absolutely nothing and it was amazing. I spent quality time with my dog and even more quality time with Andy Cohen.

Last week, Mono and I met some friends at Black Bull, a tapas restaurant in Wicker Park. It was a perfect August night with no humidity and a patio dinner with Cava, spanish olives and a waitress with an accent was exactly what I needed. Below are some notes about the meal.

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Perfect start to a meal-bread, spanish olives and pickles

What we ordered:
-Queso de Cabra (goat cheese and tomato sauce)
-Coles de Bruselas ( braised brussels sprouts with poached egg, red onion, pine nuts and bleu cheese)
-Datiles con Tocino (bacon wrapped dates stuffed with goat cheese)
-Albondigas de Cordero (lamb meatballs, roasted red pepper and tomato sauce)
-Pulpo a la Gallega (grilled octopus, sea salt, paprika and potatoes)
-Empanadas (chicken and other things)
Pulpo y Queso, like my Spanish?

Pulpo y Queso, like my Spanish?

Wrapped and Stuffed Dates

Wrapped and Stuffed Dates

Official Rankings:
Best foodie dish: Coles de Bruselas
Most forgettable dish: Albondigas de Cordero
If you’re a vegetarian: Don’t waste your time here.
Best dishes for the carb-lover: Empanadas and Queso de Cabra
Brussels Sprouts and Meatballs

Brussels Sprouts and Meatballs

Empanadas, mmm carbs!

Empanadas, mmm carbs!

My favorite outdoor dinner date

My favorite outdoor dinner date