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Grilled Cheese Day

I was lucky enough to attend a college that was known for its stellar on campus food.  The three years that I lived off campus I still used my 10 weekly punches (meals) and always ran out of dining dollars before the end of the year.  Even now I still think about how delicious the chicken, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and slice of cranberry bread from Cranberry Farms was.  Oh how I miss my daily turkey sandwich with cheese and honey mustard on a monster sized bagel, all warm and toasty.  Splurging a few extra dining dollars for a chicken cheesesteak and side of fries?  Not a problem.

There was one day in particular that I especially looked forward to lunching in the main buffet style dining hall, D-Hall, if you will.  I always made sure to have a friend scheduled to meet me for lunch on Thursday afternoons for grilled cheese day.  We’d line up outside the D-Hall doors, waiting impatiently for them to open for lunch, swipe our cards, rush inside to claim a table, throw our shit down on it, and then line up for the delicious melty cheese sandwiches.  I’m not even kidding when I say I would put three on my plate, on average, before moving over to grab a plate of fries to accompany them.  (My 26 year-old metabolism hates my 18, 19, and 20 year-old metabolism by the way.  Just as I’m sure my 36-year-old metabolism will hate my 26-year-old one).

JM I ❤ U

Grilled cheese day was the highlight of the week, especially once I hit Junior and Senior year and no longer had Friday classes, because grilled cheese day also marked the start of the weekend and my favorite night out.  Oh Highlawn, how I miss you and dancing my ass off with $1.50 dirty shirley’s.  What’s with the trip down memory lane you ask?  Well, last night’s happy hour reminded me of my favorite day in college.

After my workout, 30 minutes on the treadmill alternating between 2 minute sprints and 1 minute recovery, I met up with a few of my friends at Mister Days in Clarendon to take advantage of their Wednesday happy hour specials.  Sometimes you just can’t turn down $2 drafts and $2 food specials.  Upon arriving, I immediately placed my order for a Blue Moon (switched to Octoberfest after one) and grilled cheese sandwich.  While this grilled cheese was nothing compared to my favorite D-Hall variety, it still brought me back to my college days.  As did enjoying drinks with friends on a Wednesday night.

Did your college have great campus food or was it awful?  I seriously loved eating on campus, not to mention the Chick-fil-a we also had right next door to our dining hall.  The year we got a Starbucks on campus, I died a happy death.  I need to go back and visit… soon.

Late, late, late

Man, for yesterday being a Tuesday I was pretty productive!  I went to work (hey sometimes that’s a big one), paid our extremely huge gas bill, and mailed Dar his V-Day prizes and my mom all my tax forms.  I did my own taxes the past few years, but I decided that working for three different companies, living in two different states, and then working in two other states was enough to cause my brain to melt so her accountant is doing them for me this year.

http://nataliedee.com/

Funny story, when I was in college and taking my Gen Ed requirements, I signed up for Math 103 thinking it would be easy and I would get it out of the way.  Well, I ended up failing, having to use one of my forgive/repeats (JMU gave you 2 or 3 I can’t remember) and retaking it during may session where I barely squeaked by with the C+ requirement haha.  Thus my decision to go for a BA and not a BS and suffer through 4 semesters of a foreign language.

I also did a pretty decent tempo run at the gym.  5 miles in 47 minutes, first and last mile at 10 minute pace and the middle 3 at 9:00 pace.  Definitely felt better last night than I did on Monday, so that just goes to show that Blue Moon and Bud Light do not make good pre-run fuel.  Who would have thought?!   Then I came home and ate more Buffalo Chicken dip, which wasn’t productive but it sure was delicious.

I was in the longest training class of my life today, hence the late post.  Seven hours with no computer access and interacting with real life people.  It was brutal, and now I think my head may explode.  I’m debating whether or not to head to the gym for some cross training and lifting.  I suppose it will depend on how I feel once I’m in the car and actually driving.  The good news is that Wednesday went by pretty quickly, and I can start to look forward to the weekend.  Alright time for me to hit the road!

College Weekend, and Halloween Themed Recipe

Well, this weekend flew by, and here we are at Monday again.  I was on the go all weekend, and didn’t sit down on my couch until yesterday at 5:00 pm.  Let’s go back and start with Friday’s activities.  After a stop at the beer distributor on my way home from work, where I picked up one of the last two cases of Dogfish Head Punkin Ale in stock, I came home, put on my apron and immediately got cooking.

 

looking like a dork

With a beer for drinking enjoyment while I cooked.

Punkin Ale!

For dinner I was making my mom’s traditional Shepherds Pie, with an untraditional twist of my own.  Here’s the link for the actual recipe,  ingredients and amounts. Instead of a layer of mashed potatoes on the top, I was going to use mashed sweet potatoes.  I peeled and cut the potatoes, and boiled them in some water for about 25 minutes.  While they were boiling, I combined some brown sugar, milk, and butter in a small sauce pan to add to the potatoes once they were mashed.  Once the potatoes were done and out of the way (kept warm in their pot with a layer of milk drizzled on top) I got to preparing the rest of the meal.

 

onions and garlic sauteing

add the ground beef

1 Tbsp of flour

Worcestershire Sauce

red wine vinegar

add a bag of frozen corn

combination of spices

stir and combine for a few minutes, transfer to casserole dish, top with mashed potatoes

25 minutes later in a 425 degree oven, you have this

let sit for five minutes and serve

Using the mashed sweet potatoes added such a different flavor to the dish.  The sweetness, along with the savory ground beef and onions went so well together.  Not only was I a fan of the flavors, but I was kind of obsessed with the fact that my dinner was Halloween themed in color.  Orange sweet potatoes, yellow corn, and the brown from the ground beef.  This may have to be the official meal of Halloween :).

After dinner, friend Chris came over again and we sat watching the Yankees game, they lost, and I shed a tear or two but sucked it up and started my countdown until opening day 2011. I went to bed immediately following the final pitch, so I could get up and do my 10 mile training run before heading out to Villanova.

Th run started out really well.  Saturday morning it was a chilly 37 degrees, so I broke out my capris, and long sleeve to keep me warm for the first few miles.  Miles 1-6.5 were over before I knew it, and I was moving a long at a great pace.  When I saw my split after mile 5, I actually had to tell myself to slow down because I knew I would burn out.  Unfortunately, right around mile 6.5 my IT band really started to tighten up and cause that old familiar pain in my knee.  I still had 3.5 miles left to go, so I knew in order to get back to my house still walking, and capable of finishing the rest of my training I’d need to back it down.  From that point on, I implemented a stretch/walk/run plan when I felt my knee start to hurt, and you can see below how it affected my pace.

I still managed to finish at a 9:50 overall pace, which I am pretty happy with considering the last time I ran 10 miles was Broad Street 2009 and I finished that in 1:47 and change.  So my second ever 10 miler was about 9 minutes faster than my first, can’t feel bad about that!  My legs however can feel bad, and man do they.  They are still very sore today, and I think I need to take my foam roller to my calves and IT band.

After an ice bath, hot shower, and quickly getting ready, I hopped in my car and headed out to Villanova to meet up with my sister, Alex, and friend Erik for the Villanova vs. JMU game.  I got there are 1:15 and immediately set up in the tailgating parking lot for a day of fun.

 

drinking games

sisters

JMU fans

puppy loveee

❤ family

I’m borderline obsessed with owning a bulldog someday and dressing it up in a JMU football jersey, so when I saw that cute little girl above chillin at a tailgate nearby I almost stole her.  Alex told me that if I stole the puppy though, that someone else would probably really miss her, so I settled for some puppy kisses and pictures with her.  Sadly my camera died at the end of the tailgate, so I have no other pictures from the weekend, but we went to the football game, JMU lost (booooooo), and then we hung out at my sister’s apartment resting for a bit before heading out for the night.

Our night involved drinks and dinner while watching the Phillies game, mug night at Erin’s Pub for the end of the Phillies game (another loss boooo, most boring World Series in history this year), and then a few games of beer pong at one of my sister’s friends houses.  It was fun to pretend like we were back in college, and Alex and I didn’t feel too old or out of place since it was Villanova’s alumni weekend.

Yesterday, Alex and I backed up our things and said goodbye to my sis and Villanova to head home for some football watching.  We stopped at a bar on the way so we both could watch our respective teams play (him the 49ers and me the Eagles) and sadly both our teams lost, but we were able to enjoy a delicious lunch of nachos, chicken tenders, and french fries.  Alex was on a train at 6:30 and back up to New York, and I spent the rest of my night on the couch watching a Keeping Up With the Kardashian’s marathon.

It was a fun and eventful weekend that has definitely left me struggling today, but it was worth it.  I can’t believe this weekend is Halloween already, so it will definitely be another busy one!  Happy Monday!