Verdict: win

I was inspired to make this smoothie by all the recent pictures and recipes of breakfast smoothies trending on the food blogs I follow. I've been drinking coffee every morning before work and felt that a cold, coffee-flavored smoothie would be a great way to combine my morning coffee with breakfast...or dessert :) Be forewarned that this smoothie can come out thick. It's not the prettiest, but it satisfies my caffeine requirement and sweet tooth easily.

Verdict: win

Tomorrow is cookie day at work! One of the graduating residents has Celiac's, so I wanted to try to make a gluten-free cookie. I've made flourless peanut butter cookies before, but I've never made peanut butter blossoms. I chose this recipe because it incorporates dark brown sugar, which adds a dark molasses-like color and flavor, and highlights salt (love the sweet and salty combo). Next time I would use dark chocolate because I still find the cookies too sweet, and I feel that bittersweet dark chocolate would balance the cookie out a bit more. I may take out all of the white sugar next time too and just use 1 cup of dark or light brown sugar. If you are making these gluten-free, be sure to select peanut butter and chocolate that specifically state that they are gluten-free (Jif states it on the label and Hershey's lists its gluten-free products online). Nevertheless, these cookies are tasty and adorable.

Verdict: win

Officially completed my first week at my big kid job! The pharmacy is undergoing a lot of construction, so one of the guys there set up a regular potluck event until the construction is over. This week was "dip day," where we could bring in our favorite dips. I never really grew up eating dips and spreads at parties, but I did learn over the past few years that one of my favorite party foods is deviled eggs. I've never made deviled eggs, but I found this recipe for a deviled-egg spread and I was sold. Modified it to suit my needs, and it worked out well! It's essentially egg salad, but it hits all of the satisfying notes of a deviled egg.

Verdict: win

I can't believe I haven't shared this recipe yet. This was my go-to cookie recipe this past P4 year, and I also was able to share it in our monthly P4 newsletter. Here's what I wrote for the newsletter last November:

Let me start off this blurb by saying that I miss you all so much. Not the kind of “emotionally-charged-running-into-you-at-Harry’s” kind of miss you,” but a “there-is-a-gaping-hole-in-my-pharmacy-family-heart” kind of miss you. I’m on rotation at Purdue this month and, as great as it is to be back here, the moment I stepped on campus I was overcome with a great loneliness in knowing that our entire class was not here together. Sad, right? [Side note: the P1s look like babies. BABIES.]

Well, if anyone shares this same sadness, here’s a chocolate chip cookie recipe that hopefully will make you smile :) I know everyone has an ideal chocolate chip cookie, so although this may not be your perfect chocolate chip cookie, this recipe undeniably makes the best rotation year cookies. Two reasons why they’re the best rotation year cookies: 1) they taste like a lot of work, but since the recipe is for bar cookies it only takes one pan and 15 minutes of your active time before you pop them in the oven and 2) since the recipe requires very few tools, it’s incredibly easy to clean up. Super fast and super easy – perfect for us P4s. I’ve also found that many a preceptor enjoy these cookies as well…Bon appétit!

Verdict: win

I'm a bargain shopper. Always have been, always will be - it's in my genes (thanks, mom!). So when 1/2-inch pork chops are on sale for BOGO at Market District, I have to buy them. DY and I were in the mood for mustard-laden pork with caramelized onions, so I did a quick Google search, found this Food Network recipe, and then adapted it to my needs. The marinade is so quick and so easy. If you like mustard like I do, feel free to slather on more mustard while grilling the pork chops, or serve it on the side. The real surprise winner was the dash of balsamic vinegar added to the onions - it adds a umami and complex quality that I adored (if you like onions, double the recipe!). Served with a side of rice and a glass of Belgian-style ale - I was a happy camper.

Verdict: win

I was inspired by a recent trip to a newly-opened ramen restaurant to make this Asian chicken noodle salad. There's something so refreshing about a cold noodle salad during the summertime. The best part about cold noodle salads is that everything is easily modifiable. The main components of a noodle salad are the noodles, the dressing, and the mix-ins. Don't feel like roasting chicken? Grill it instead. Only have onions, carrots, and apples? Throw those in. Hate cilantro? Throw it out. Don't have peanut oil? Substitute half sesame oil and half of a neutral oil (like canola oil). Want a more peanut-y or spicy dressing? Add more peanut butter or add some chili oil. I've listed the verbatim recipe below, but feel free to modify it to your likes or what you have in your pantry like I did.

Verdict: win

I was looking for a super easy weekday chicken recipe, and fortunately this recipe popped up on my feedly. I loved it because it involves very little prep and comes together in less than 20 minutes. I used a bit more honey because my balsamic vinegar is particularly acidic. I served the chicken over salad greens and dressed the salad with the glaze from the chicken (it's very easy to double the glaze portion to use as a dressing). It made for a light and delicious dinner, especially with my sides of foccacia and a caprese salad.

Verdict: win

I've been obsessed with margaritas lately. Obsessed. I love the classic, pure flavors of a straight lime-tequila-salt combo, maybe with a touch of sweetness from sugar or a simple syrup. Limes have been mad expensive lately, so I wanted to make a grapefruit version.

Grapefruits are so cost efficient (1 giant grapefruit = $1 = 2-4 servings!) and they bestow a beautiful pink hue to the margarita. The pink comes out even better if pieces of the pulp are left instead of straining them out. I lined the rims of my cups with fancy pink salts I had to match the grapefruit's lovely color. I like my margaritas a little fruitier and sweeter, so I upped the grapefruit juice and simple syrup amounts. Everyone has their own preferences, so be sure to play around with the ratios of the components of the drink. By the way, a protein shaker bottle makes a great makeshift cocktail shaker...Enjoy!