So, I’ve been keeping something from you for the last few months.
No, don’t get excited yet… it’s nothing too juicy.
Last January, I announced that after a stint in publishing post-graduation and several years of work in restaurants, I was going back to school for physical therapy. (You can read more about how I came to that decision here.) While it’s a career I think I would ultimately have been happy with, the path to get there was draining me both emotionally and physically. I’d hoped that my passion to be a PT would make the hard science and math classes easier (or, at least, manageable), but even passion can run thin in the face of excessive strain and stress. I was balancing morning classes and work throughout a particularly trying summer, and even when I was no longer working this past fall, it was just too much and I really wasn’t happy. So I made the decision back in December that I wasn’t going back to school.
Am I disappointed? A little. It would have been great to call myself Dr. LVP, and I love the idea of helping physically rehabilitate patients. Do I think I made the right decision? Absolutely. Sometimes, you just know in your gut if the end result is going to be worth the journey. And unfortunately in my case, it just wasn’t.
What now? No matter what, I have an undeniable need to be around food and restaurants. So after a seven month hiatus, I’ve found myself back in the industry. I’ll be serving again at a spanking-new place, one whose concept and ideals I’m truly excited (and yes, passionate) about. Will I work in restaurants forever? Who knows. There are so many ways to get your feet into food and food service, and I’m only just now starting to figure them out. But I’m so much happier now than I was a few months ago. Sure, there will be long days and trying situations, but those are always the ones I look back on and appreciate the most for showing me how to grow. And although by the end of the year I’ll be the ripe old age of 25, I’m still learning. I’ll always be learning.
I went from having a TON of free time during the day (to cook, to go to the gym or take a yoga class, to meet friends for lunch) to having a completely different schedule. Once I get into a schedule I’ll figure it all out; things are always a little shaky when you’re working out a new routine. It’s exciting, though! I’m a person who doesn’t always like change, but I’m really happy about things right now.
Anyway, my meals have been 100% about comfort and ease lately. A new recent favorite is Angela’s Cozy Millet Bowl with Mushroom Gravy and Kale. I used dried mushrooms instead of fresh, and used the water that soaked them for the gravy. I also used dried rosemary, and substituted broccoli rabe in place of kale and polenta for the millet. Polenta is so good! I used to eat it so much in college but now rarely think to make it. This dish was so delicious and comforting, I loved it!
I transformed the leftovers yesterday morning into a breakfast bowl when I topped it with a runny egg. I was in a rush, so this ready-made breakfast was a nice hot alternative to Overnight Oats.
My dessert tooth has been raging (as you’ve seen) and I was very excited to try out Jessica’s Minute Chocolate Fudge S’Mores Cake. This recipe makes a pretty big cake, so I ended up eating it in two servings. It also calls for quite a bit of butter, which I learned made the graham crumbs on the bottom of my ramekin quite soggy! So next time I won’t use butter in the graham crackers. I did, however, substitute half of the butter in the batter itself with Greek yogurt, and my cake was still nice and moist.
In other news, some fun new-to-me Trader Joe’s finds: Roasted Gorgonzola crackers (they taste like Ritz!), garlic-herb pizza dough (you’re not long for this earth, friend), frozen chocolate-covered bananas and goat cheese with honey.
What do you do professionally? Have you switched careers before? When did you *know* what you wanted to *do*?