Life Lately…

So It’s been a while.

Since my last post, Easter has come and gone, I’m this close to turning in my grad school application and the Mini-Marathon is two weeks from today. Also, the Blackhawks are in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, so I’m pretty happy. So here’s what’s been going on:

Cooking:

  • I’ve made some Pesto Pasta with red peppers and andouille sausage:

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  • A Goat Cheese appetizer from A Couple Cooks (on Easter!),

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  • With a Fancy Steak Dinner!

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Finally cooked correctly this time, to a delicious medium.

IMG_8837I used a slightly modified version of the Alton Brown Method.

1) I took out my steak and let it come to room temperature. Then I seasoned it with coarse sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.

2) Then I heated up my cast iron skillet at 450 in the oven for 20 minutes

3) I took it out of the oven (make sure to put on oven mitts!) and put it on the stove top over high heat.

4) Add the steak and sear for about a minute or two. Then flip over and put back into the 450 oven.

5) Then let it cook for 6-7 minutes for medium. (8 – 10 for medium well)

  • I’ve also made a quick version of red beans and rice.

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Ramblings:

  • So it’s technically 1-1 now, but Hawks are on their way to the Stanley Cup! Game 3 is pretty important.
  • I went to see Walk the Moon and they are FANTASTIC! I’m sooo happy that everyone knows them now (From Shut Up and Dance With Me).
  • IMG_8799I’ve also run through a downpour. It actually helped my breathing. So I’d now recommend running through the rain!IMG_8828
  • Game of Thrones is back! Drank some wine to celebrate.
  • IMG_8895I got a new fancy fitbit! It has heart rate monitoring, which I think is pretty great.

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  • And lastly, I now have plants! It’ll be fun trying to keep them alive over the coming months.

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Aerospace News:

  • SpaceX is so close to getting a reusable rocket.

It tipped over right after this vine. Apparently it had too much lateral velocity on landing. The day this works, rockets will get sooooo much cheaper. Maybe they’ll (NASA) put up a new space station because the cost is reduced XD. All while SpaceX works on Mars exploration.

Another Week in the Life….

So here is another post to float my blog until my grad school application is done (I’m aiming to turn it in two weeks, so hopefully I’ll have a lot more free time to start writing full posts again!

First, Cooking:

March 19th, Pesto Pasta with Eggs. I found this cool new market in Indy, Wildwood Market, that sells local artisan food such as the pesto and pasta used in this dish!

IMG_8660Next is on March 20th, Kale Fried Rice with a Healthy dose of carrots! Inspired by HowSweetEats.

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I also made sweet garlic chile shrimp for the protein.

IMG_8687On March 22nd and 23rd, I adapted a soup from Trader Joe’s into a slightly more filling meal.

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The first day I added spinach and some homemade croutons.

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The second day I added spinach, pasta, carrots and a hard boiled egg (could you tell I was a little hungrier?)

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Picture above is before I added the egg obviously.

Yesterday I cheated and got dinner from a local soup shop in Indy (Soupremacy). I got a trio of roasted carrots, saffron fish and bacon and corn chowder which they serve with fresh baked bread provided by Amelia’s (a local bakery). Best sound was the corn chowder, followed by the saffron. The roasted carrot had lentils in it that I thought were a bit tough.

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And as I write this I am making Shepard’s Pie for the first time (from IamaFoodBlog). Below is a photo pre-potatoes (with a small veggie corner for lunch tomorrow (because of Lent)!)

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And here is a photo with the potatoes!!

I was maybe one small potato short from covering the whole thing. Also my broiler also favored one side...

I was maybe one small potato short from covering the whole thing. Also my broiler also favored one side…

And then here was my dinner!

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All in All, a very delicious week!

Ramblings:

– I found a donut shop that sells a Leslie Knope Waffle doughnut (from a new doughnut shop Rocket88)!! #PawneeForever

IMG_8647I can confirm that the maple waffle doughnut tastes like a funnel cake. All it needed was a signature whip cream topper and it would be perfect.

IMG_8650– Also, my favorite sous-chef came to visit, my Mom! and by sous-chef, I mean pro-dish washer 😉

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She also brought some of my younger siblings, who immediately found the TV upon arrival.

IMG_8675I spent the weekend with them, shopping and walking around downtown Indy. It was the best relaxing weekend.

– And with the arrival of half my family, came some flowers! It’s been fun watching them bloom.

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Last, Rocket Science:

– So the Germanwings plane crash is crazy and really sad. Right now, the news is that the co-pilot initiated the descent which crashed the plane. Again, really sad.

And on a happier note, Here is a pretty space picture. Have a good weekend!

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Food That I Have Made Recently and Life Lately.

So I’ve been busy. And it looks like I’m going to be busy in the next few weeks too.

So instead of a long post, explaining a recipe, here is what I’ve been cooking with a link to the original recipe! I will also rate the recipe’s difficulty level, since that is kinda why I started this blog in the first place (to keep notes on my favorite recipes so I can eventually make them again).

  • My First Steak! I roasted the veggies, cooked the potato, and seared and baked my steak. It was a little overdone to my taste (I like my steaks as a pink medium) but it was edible! Woohoo! (Probably a 3/5 if you have never cooked steak before)
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  • Spinach Soup with Homemade Croutons. Needed a good soup pot, a blender and the oven, so I’d give it a 2/5 (Not super easy but not complicated) The croutons were outstanding though!! I also think you could either use coconut milk (instead of cream) or add some roasted garlic in the blender to add some depth to it.

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  • Shrimp Scampi with Garlic Bread. This is my favorite version of Shrimp Scampi. The butter and wine sauce with a TON of red pepper flakes = Happy Sarah. 2/5 since cleaning the shrimp takes a while.

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  • Pi Day Mini Apple Pies! First “Pie” I have ever made, and I thought they turned out great. I also decorated for the occasion 🙂 4/5 in difficulty though, a bit complex.

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  • And finally, my lazy weeknight meal, of spaghetti and meatballs, featuring store bought frozen meatballs and sauce, with about to go bad veggies! Turned out pretty good for something I threw together in 30 minutes.

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I think this menu update might be my new ‘thing’ during busy weeks.

In other news:

– Weather has drastically changed in Indy. From this:

On March 7th

On March 7th

To this:

On March 11th.

On March 11th.

The sudden shift in temperature is much appreciated on the outdoor runs though, so thanks Indy?

Since my last post, I hit my max long run at 8 miles. Hopefully it will be building more in the coming months as the Mini approaches.

– Change my Facebook profile picture. Major life event there. It is a pretty good selfie though 🙂

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– I still rock at 2048

Highest score to date!

Highest score to date! 8192! (that’s the third time total I’ve hit the 8192 tile)

– And I’ll end with a new view of Downtown Indy, from a trail that I’ve started running on (The Monon, it runs from Carmel all the way to Downtown.)

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I’ll try and update soon but no promises!

Running Update: 5/13

So I’m official in training for the Half Marathon. Just ask my t-shirt.

IMG_8415It was offered when I signed up for the Mini Marathon and I decided it was worth the price. I mean, how can I back down when the back of my shirt claims I’m a runner?

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So, I’ve officially finished the 0 to 10k app. It took me longer than the 14 weeks of the program (since I missed a week) but I did it! Next is the 10 to 21k app, which I should finish right around the time of the Mini Marathon!!

IMG_8416Unfortunately, running for 60 minutes doesn’t quite equally a 10k for me. I’m running around a 12-13 minute pace, so my victory run was a 5 miler.

So of course, I’m making the crazy jump and this weekend I’m running an 8 miler. It is for the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, specifically keeping the trail clean during the winter. And since I primarily run on the Cultural Trail (Meaning I run on it 95% of the time, the other time I’m at home home), I’m pretty invested in making sure it stays clean. Running Outside >>>>> Running on a Treadmill.

The Winter Warmup run is 8 miles though. It combines all my usually running routes into one long run. And it is going to be a warmup since it is going to be COLD this Saturday morning.

All I can say to the cold is meet my white windbreaker. And Blackhawks headband. And under amour. It’s strange how my running attire has stayed the same throughout the winter. Only thing that seems to change is the temperature and the wind.

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To sum up running right now: I can do it, I’m almost half way there, I want it to get warmer and I should probably get more running clothes.

BUT I’m still motivated, and that’s all I can ask for. I’ll try and give an update after the winter warmup! 😀

The Blog

So I’m thinking of changing my blogs layout. I’m definitely changing up the colors.

I was also thinking of changing the blogs name. My blog has evolved from what I originally envisioned as a food blog, to a place where I just share my thoughts (on food still, but also my thoughts on everything and of course rocket science).

So instead of Rocket Girl Cooks, I’ve been thinking maybe ‘A Rocket Girl’s Notes’? It is not quite as clear as Rocket Girl Cooks but it’s more accurate. Any opinions? Am I just talking to myself? Bueller?

But seriously, for the few people who do follow my blog, expect some changes 🙂

Ramblings: Continuing After Failure

Hey guuuyyyyyysss.

So this week there has been blogging silence. I’ve been doing fun things over the past couple weeks [Super Bowl, Bought some end tables, I recruited for my campus and such] and have also been kind of ignoring my blog. Not in a mean way, where I don’t want continue blogging in the future, but more in a I’m So Busy I Have No Time way. And the so busy way is really just an excuse.

Recently, I’ve had a slip. I have been making excuses not only about blogging but about running. This is the first week I have not run at all.

I knew I couldn’t run Monday or Tuesday (because of the recruiting). But I had a run scheduled for Wednesday, and after I got home from work, I was just so tired. And it was SO COLD outside. I really just did not want to run. So I promised to myself that I would run Thursday. Guess how that went.

It was colder outside, and I still didn’t want to run. So instead I cooked dinner and continued my never ending Supernatural marathon (Season 6!! I’ll hopefully right a post about Seasons 1-5, because the end of season 5 was a near perfect ending. And I love talking about endings).

And now it’s Friday, and I’m still sitting on my couch and tonight I can not run because I have prior plans, and actually do not have the time for a run. And I’m feeling awful for not keeping my commitments, lazy since I didn’t do anything productive instead, and I’m half convinced that I need to hire someone to clean my apartment because I just can not keep it clean for the life of me and the normal apartment chaos that I love has been disrupted by those brand new pretty end tables that are a little bigger than I expected.

So here is my new resolution. I WILL run tomorrow. Tomorrow I will not follow my program, since the week has already been disrupted but I WILL RUN. And then next week, I’ll hop back on the program like nothing every happened.

I will also not beat myself over this slip. This post will be the only time I vent my frustrations. It is not the end of the world that I messed up and I should not treat this like everything I planned is ruined.

Another resolution: Along with making sure I run, I will start the process of cleaning up my apartment. It’s obviously bugging me enough that I’m blogging about it.

Here is the thing I want to share (other than everything above which is really just a rant): You can continue after failure. Just because you failed once doesn’t mean you should give up. You might feel bad, or angry, or depressed but it is okay. Take a baby step and hop back on. This is where I’m really happy I have set a long term goal. I can’t just stop running completely because I have that pesky half marathon coming up. So even though this week was a set back, I need to get over it and move on.

The life lesson: Just Keep Swimming.

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I this philosophy helps when you are feeling down, lonely or upset. Remember that it’s okay, and that all you can do is start the next day with a better outlook.

I’ll let everyone know next week how my run tomorrow is going to go. It’s my effort to keep swimming. 🙂

2015 Goals, Science Edition: Grad School and a SpaceX Vine.

So I’m going to start by saying, being out of school is great. I love my job, I love having free time after work hours and being able to do whatever I want during that free time (that usually ends up being laundry and dishes but it can be more fun things…. like Orphan Black marathons). So of course, I think instead of keeping my free time free, I’m probably going back to school. Specifically, I think I’m going back to get a Masters degree. So I was thinking that my Sunday Science posts might keep covering the big space topics of the week but during the weeks where nothing huge is happening I might share what I’m studying on the blog. That’s of course, if I do end up going back. I still haven’t applied, or decided where I want to go to study for my masters but this is something that I’ve been thinking of doing for some time. So warning, things might be getting more technical in Fall of 2015.

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Why am I going back again?

And on that note, I haven’t really looked into any big space event enough to write a full post about it. So instead, here’s a vine from the big space event of the week, where SpaceX was trying to land their rocket back down on the same platform. Close but no cigars.

2015 Goals, Cooking Edition: Eggs, Snack and My Blog

So another goal I have for 2015 is to become a better cook. It’s something that I can continuously work on with every new dish. That’s one of the reasons I love cooking in general. You learn something new every time you make a dish, new or old. But in 2015, I have some immediate goals in regards to cooking:

1) Learn how to cook every version of the egg. I felt that the second half of 2014, I dedicated myself to chickpeas, zucchini and the runny egg. Specifically, the fried egg. I put it on top of everything, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

I promise, even with the egg slightly burnt on the edge, it was perfect.

Dinner…

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Lunch/Dinner….

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And Breakfast!

But, I went to brunch with a friend (at a lovely local restaurant called Milktooth) and my breakfast came with a poached egg. Dun Dun Dunnnnnn.

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Definitely looks prettier than my food.

And I might be a tiny bit overdramatic but after spending the past 20 years really only eating scrambled or hard boiled eggs, I realized a) there are so many variations of the egg and b) at this point I can really only make scrambled and fried eggs. And that’s just sad. Eggs are a great source of protein and as I have already noticed, can basically go with any meal. I’ve already attempted the poached egg, with some moderate success.

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My most recent Bibimbap. Poached Egg, Carrots, Sliced Beef, Green Beans, Kale and some Shallots over rice. Yum.

So at least for the first half of the year, 2015 = Eggs!

2) Another goal of mine is to find the perfect healthy snack. Of course, the obvious answer is fruit or vegetables. But you can’t always just eat fruit and vegetables. When I got back from Christmas vacation, I didn’t have any groceries and that included milk. Without milk, I realized I needed to get some quick breakfasts for the week until my milk came (I have a grocery service that delivers to my apartment and one of the things I get is fresh milk, my service is on Thursday). So I picked up some greek yogurt and some breakfast oatmeal bars. I quickly realized the breakfast bars were extremely delicious and would make a great snack….. but they put SO MUCH SUGAR in them. I’m pretty sure a small chocolate bar has less sugar in it. So I’ve found some alternative bars/balls that I’m going to try and make. I’m excited.

http://www.howsweeteats.com/2012/09/quick-easy-no-bake-oatmeal-peanut-butter-bites/

http://minimalistbaker.com/3-ingredient-peanut-butter-granola-bars/

3) And last but not least my blog. So far I’ve been focusing on the recipes I cook in my day to day, and taking the pictures as I go with my fancy iPhone. BUT I know I could do better. Plus, everyone always says Quality over Quantity right? So I’m thinking of going down to three posts a week: A recipe, a Sunday Science post and a life update. It’s a manageable amount of posts and I can put more time into each one. For food posts, that means cooking the blog recipe on a Saturday or Sunday, where I can get actual natural light. It really can make a difference when it comes to food photos. An example:

Some delicious homemade chili.

Some delicious homemade chili. Taken at night under my oven light.

For example, I made this bowl of chili and then took a pretty picture of it.

Some chili I had later, picture taken at lunch.

There is a lot more behind sharing delicious food than just writing about it. Lesson Learned. I’m going to keep cooking recipes, reviewing them and sharing my attempt with you guys.

Happy Cooking in 2015!