Monday, December 13, 2010

Top Pittsburgh Brunch Places

After 3 years in Pittsburgh (whew can you believe time flies that fast? It seems like just yesterday I was an only-lived-in-Massachusetts-my whole-life kind of girl), I felt a need to let others know what awesome brunch places to hit up when they're in this town.

I love brunch because something about a lazy Sunday morning eating delicious food with great people = ABSOLUTELY AWESOME.

These are the places I had heard wonderful things about all along, collecting sage pieces of brunch advice from random people, but only recently have I hit up a lot of them. I've often just wanted someone to tell me where to go eat, so I figured I'd share what I've learned. So bring your friends, family, and out-of-town visitors! And in no particular order...
  1. Zenith - My hand's down favorite brunch dining experience. Both experience and value wise. It's a funky vegetarian spin on brunch, hidden away in a secret little antique shop in the Southside. They do Sunday Brunch, starting at 11am, but there's often a line that starts before then. You can browse the antiques while you wait, and are seated at big family sized tables you might often find yourself sharing with another group. You choose from a list of tasty entrees, then can have your go at a vegetarian brunch buffet, all for $10! My favorite buffet items include almost all their bundt cakes (they have over 8 kinds usually!) and the Asian peanut noodles. When I leave Pittsburgh, I'm going to miss this place tons. Where else will I find my hipster vegetarians?Delicious vegan cake spread from Zenith's brunch buffet.
  2. Pamela's- Definetly a fun Pittsburgh tradition, with locations in Oakland, Sq.Hill, and Shadyside (all neighborhoods with places in my heart, and I'm sure they have more locations)- I've been to all three! They have your classic American brunch items and are well known for their hotcakes (like thin buttery/crispy pancakes seen below) and Lyonnaise potatoes (delish). Brunch items are ~$6 and the diners all have a colorful retro vibe. Lines galore on the weekends, so get there early or be prepared to wait. I typically like to order a veggie omelet here, but I'm a savory breakfast person so to each her own.
  3. Coca Cafe- A cute little cafe in Lawrenceville. They have some fun brunch specials (like gingerbread waffles around the holidays) depending on the weekend. I like their fresh ingredients and their entrees are a nice step up from the usual brunch. Be willing to pay a bit more, though sometimes it can be hit or miss. I've only been here once, enjoyed my wild mushroom omelet well enough, but a lot of my friends really like it.
  4. Square Cafe - Located in Regent Square, I loved the colorful circles that decorate this cafe the moment I stepped in! They have a lot of brunch selections and some good vegetarian options, but out of the two times I have gone I wasn't particularly wowed by the quality/creativity of the food or the value. I've heard good things about the Breakfast Wrap and Green Eggs and Ham. I would also say their Pumpkin Chai in the fall is delicious. They get a thumbs up for a cheery atmosphere, fun decor, and outdoor seating options.
  5. Point Brugge Cafe - I like the small intimate feel of this place, it's almost smack in the middle of a neighborhood south of Shadyside. Never would have guessed it was located there! I technically have not had brunch here yet, but I've heard good things. Other meals considered, their mussels are apparently THEE thing to get there along with Belgian Beer. I had a veggie Viet sandwich there which was alright, and their Brugge fries were good but definitely tasted of oil.
  6. Food Glorious Food - Have not made it here yet, but close friends have said they have an amazing spread of baked goods available for purchase every Saturday morning. Technically, I think you can just buy and sit there and eat it, so not your traditional brunch. I've tasted some of their cakes (for breakfast, why not?) and they are very good and reflect the season.
  7. Strip District Adventure- Felt a need to add this since there are a lot of fun places in the Strip to get breakfast/or breakfast food items. I've heard DeLuca's is amazing, but no friends have really recommended it as something I should try before leaving Pittsburgh. You can get a freshly brewed beverage from Presto George (specialize in fine coffees and teas, I've had their Irish Creme Hot Cocoa before, YUM), head to one of the many bakeries and Enrico's Biscotti Company for breakfast treats. There are also tons of vendors on the streets, food/clothing/pretty flowers :). It's just fun to shop there on a Saturday morning (summer + fall, there is a farmer's market there), but parking is not easy to find. You are forewarned.
Note: I'm no expert on Pittsburgh brunch. Should there be a place you think is def a top place for Pittsburgh to brunch at, please comment! :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Haven't blogged for a bit, but I ran across the amazing collection of recipes from my favorite NYTimes that encouraged a vegan/vegetarian approach to Thanksgiving that emphasizes beautiful and delicious produce-



I can't wait to try some of them. :)

Monday, November 01, 2010

Pizza mummies...scary!

This is the pizza mummy I talked about in the previous post. Kinda turned out hideous...ly delicious? I had a difficult time finding the right olives for the eyes. To the R is a delicious applesauce-filled pumpkin a friend made, isn't it so cute? I'm loving the decorative plates too.

Beautiful pumpkin cupcakes by our host. I want a cupcake stand too!

Wonderfully spooky decorations...BOO!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkins Everywhere!

Everyone seems to go berserk over pumpkin when fall arrives, including me.
But I will say I have no real affinity for the Starbucks Pumpkin Latte that hordes of girls seem to fall in love with come October.

That being said, I've been in search for the PERFECT pumpkin bread recipe, and after much internet scouring, I have found the ONE. It's easy to make, vegetarian, low in fat, and deliciously moist, trust me- it's worth the effort to make :).


I can't find the link to the original recipe...so I take no credit for this, but I have tweaked the recipe a bit for additional pumpkin.





Pumpkin Loaf (only 140 cals per slice!)


1C packed brown sugar
2 large egg whites
1 1/4 C pure pumpkin
1/4 C canola oil
1/3 C low fat plain yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C white flour
1 C whole wheat flour
1/4 quick cooking oats
1tsp bkg powder
1tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Whisk wet ingredients together- sugar, egg whites, pumpkin, oil, yogurt, and vanilla extract
  3. Combine in a separate bowl the dry ingredients- white flour, whole wheat flour, oats, bkg powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, bkg soda, salt.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mixing in small amts at a time.
  5. Put in a greased loaf pan, bake for 45-50 mins, until cooked through. I like to sprinkle some oats on top for decoration!
  6. Enjoy! :D

And since I'm on an autumn recipe kick, a friend is hosting a wonderfully festive Halloween party soon and I've been looking up spooky vegetarian appetizers to make... here are some AWESOME ones I've found so far and am currently considering.


1. PIZZA MUMMIES! adorable, I think I'm going to make these since they are super easy, and i love pizza. Will probably photodocument, haha.


2. JACK-O-LANTERN tarts! too cute, too martha stewart.


3. Haunted House cake. Gorgeous, one day when I'm retired I'm going to try to make this.


4. Devilish Eggs. Love the play on words, they sound yummy too!


This is what the Halloween party of my dreams is going to look like
(courtesy marthastewart.com, and I do find it a bit creepy that the tab icon for her the site is martha stewart's face)...


Saturday, October 23, 2010

A whirlwind 5 months in the wards


As the leaves turn their red and yellows... as pumpkins start to appear in every possible food savory or sweet...as it becomes wonderfully chilly at night and I have to start using the comforter... I realize... It's already autumn!

Eek! How did the summer pass by without another post? Let's just say I was overwhelmed with everything that is the beginning of clinical rotations.

It was definitely a good decision for our entire house to take a research month following boards. We took time to relax, bond, and do a little research ;) for that month. I was never so happy to see so much sunshine without the thought of studying in my head.

Proof we got out of Pittsburgh haha.
We also got to take a little road trip to D.C. I loved the feel of D.C. (as opposed to the chaos of NYC, when I went to visit CSK later in the summer). Where else can you browse for hours in free museums, meet a Rhodes Scholar in a bar, have an epic dance party night, and still enjoy a classy brunch the next morning?

Homemade donuts at the Hotel Tabard (apparently THEE place to have brunch in D.C.)

I won't deny that towards the end of May I was itching to use some of that hard earned knowledge that I had gleaned for the 7 weeks preBoards... and thus I was totally ready and psyched for Specialty Care (a rotation that is a hodge podge of things including Adult ER, children's ER, Ophthalmology, and ENT). I learned a good amount during that rotation, but ultimately didn't really feel my calling was in any of those fields.

For July and August I delved into the depths of all things psychological and brain oriented...in Neuro/Psych. I began my 5 week turn in Psychiatry on the Dual Diagnosis floor of WPIC (Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, a top institute for psychiatry). I, for some silly reason, thought being on Dual Diagnosis was going to be like being on House M.D., where they would have crazy presenting symptoms and we would have to figure out some equally crazy diagnosis. But, like most things I hypothesize about, I was wrong- Dual Diagnosis is a floor for those who had both a psychiatric disorder IN ADDITION to a substance abuse/dependence problem. What did I get myself into? In the end, I actually really enjoyed the pace of psychiatry, spending a good couple hours a day just talking to people (and something I think I have a talent for). I got to see things I don't think many people understand a.k.a. bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder in addition to seeing how drugs/ alcohol/etc. can really ruin people's lives. I was enamored of psych for a bit.. til I found myself at the VA center for Neurology!

Neurology was a whirlwind short course (only 3 weeks at Pitt Med) where I got to experience inpatient consults, outpatient treatment for movement disorders, alzheimer's and other disorders. There is nothing quite as elegant as the neurological exam (after spending 15 seconds doing a visual fields test with my fingers in front of a patient's eyes, I was able to identify the exact optical tract lesion they had!) and I hands down loved my team who pushed me to really know my neuro/neuroanatomy and master the physical exam. I didn't think I'd fall in love with this specialty, but I somehow did (so this is love?). We'll see how it competes with ob/gyn...

The hours of Neuro/Psych were pretty sweet 8pm-5pm at most and I think I got a great experience from that schedule (I know many people had even shorter hours). However... I don't think anything would prepare me for the constant having-to-be-on-your-game feeling of Internal Medicine, and boy do those hours sometimes drag (my longest day was 7am-10pm). I was looking forward to medicine being a great learning experience, which it was, and a rite of passage (walking through fire maybe?). I look back on it with both fond and not so fond memories, and I will probably share a longer post on my 8 week stint in Internal Medicine, but for now, I think I'm destined for a different specialty. Sigh.

Monday, June 28, 2010

* Summertime *


I always say autumn is my hands down favorite season but I forget every year how much I love summertime!

So far, I've been enjoying a slew of Pittsburgh's free festivals and concerts (Three Rivers Arts Festival at downtown: Ingrid Michaelson (my favorite song is The Hat ), Slew of indie rock bands on Schenley Plaza, and Jam on Walnut listening to a band called Bon Journey (they play Bon Jovie and Journey songs haha, get it?)).

ingrid michaelson concert at The Point!

Good friends at Schenley Plaza
Schenley Plaza concert, check out that weird kid crawling...

I'm also really inspired to cook more interesting things with all the awesome fresh produce that is around! I made strawberry shortcake from scratch last week and made a Sicilian dish called caponata (eggplant and olive dish, recipe here) from things I had gotten either at our local grocery store or when I made a trip to the farmer's market in the Strip district. At the farmer's market I also got this killer bread called Fire Loaf that was literally 2 feet in diameter and this awesome charcoal black color (I split the loaf with a friend, but it's still too much bread so I'm thinking about bread pudding, yum).

More than anything I'm just happy to see the sunshine when I step out of clinic around 5pm everyday. Apparently Pittsburgh only has 100 days of sunshine a year? I find that hard to believe, but I'm going to soak up the sun while I can with the awesome company that is my friends. :)

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

My Take on the Boards (Step 1)

I took Step 1 on April 21st and though I've been meaning to put this post up for awhile so that the information is really fresh, I definitely needed a mental vacation from the boards! Now that I've had all of research month to rest up (while doing a little research on the side :)) I'm ready to share my wisdom (I hope?) on what I thought went well for me during Boards studying and what didn't.

THE MATERIALS
I like you, if you're reading this for advice, struggled for a LONG TIME on what resources are better and definitely bought some books out panic. Name any book, I've probably agonized over whether to buy it. So here is my final list of books that I actually USED in order of importance:

  1. FA for the USMLE Step 1 - my best best friend for studying for boards, know this well (I went through it in its entirety at least 4-5 times) and you've done 75% of the work in my opinion. A lot of my classmates, including me, tore out the binding and put it in a 3 ring binder and just took notes on other books and stuffed it in this binder in the relevant organ system. Everything listed below is a supplement to this book, FA is like the bible, other books are just good to fill in the gaps. All my house mates got nice tabs to separate the FA sections, good for fast flipping and finding random sections that come to mind. You will memorize this book, you will dream/have night terrors about its different sections etc., thats how well you should know it.
  2. BRS Pathology - excellent succinct description of the pathology you are responsible for, a great supplement to the FA section on Pathology, made notes in FA from this book. Good short questions at the end of each chapter.*Goljan vs. BRS Path: I hear good things about Goljan Pathology but for me, volume is a huge obstacle and BRS is simply a smaller more compact book without too much unnecessary detail (which I hear Goljan has). I actually got a Goljan in my boards books panic, but didn't open it more than 2 times, it simply wasn't my style (its important to figure out what works early on so you're not studying the same thing out of two different resources, that's a waste of time).
  3. BRS Physiology- loved this book to really pound physiology concepts into my head. good supplement to FA. I thought the endocrine physiology was really helpful here.
  4. Online Q banks- I got USMLEWORLD AND USMLERx for two month subscriptions each. I didn't finish either but I don't think it hurt me at all, and I didn't beat myself over trying to finish them. I thought USMLEWORLD was nice and challenging and USMLERx hit some of the more basic concepts home. I did 75% of USMLEWORLD and 30% of USMLERx and mixed it all up when I was doing organ systems. If I had to do it again.. maybe I'd just do 2 months of USMLEWORLD.
  5. FA Cases for USMLE Step 1- Really nice way to wrap up FA concepts in a patient based and USMLE question thinking way. I really loved this book as a nice break from memorizing FA and just applying the concepts you learned in patient scenarios.
  6. BRS Pharm Cards- loved these short succinct cards for all the drugs. I think flash cards are important for testing that you know drugs when they are all mixed up. *BRS vs. Lippincott Pharm Cards: I definitely thought BRS cards (big print, simple take home points) were better than the complex Lipponcott ones (smaller print with pathways and tons of other non vital info).
  7. Microbiology Made Ridiculously Simple- Definitely a good way to remember clinical pearls related to Micro bugs and drugs which are heavily represented on Boards. I just went through this book alongside FA in two days.
  8. Lippincott MicroCards- definitely helpful but NOT absolutely necessary because they have so much detail. I appreciated the little case vignettes that tested you on each microbe that could be found on the front of the cards.
Not Necessary, but helpful to look at if you have time:
  1. ***Robbins and Cotran Review of Pathology - at first I didn't even consider buying this book but was VERY HAPPY I did in the end. It's a question book and a good complement to online Q banks because it emphasizes the top path questions you will get in different organ systems. I picked up some really tough questions on the actual test that I only know because I did questions from this book!
  2. HY Embryology (first edition!!)- short and sweet, some nice illustrations
  3. HY Neuroanatomy- too detailed in my opinion, but had some nice head xrays, CTs, and MRIs and illustrations.
  4. Abbas Immunology- good for some basic review on immuno concepts. Don't read the whole book over again.

Wish I didn't buy:
  1. Lippincott Biochemistry- In my freakout during biochem review I bought this. It has some nice diagrams but in the end I focused on learning just what was in FA and did fine on biochem.
  2. HY Gross Anatomy - too detailed
  3. BRS Behavioral Science- too detailed
THE ATTACK PLAN
I had made a day to day schedule (click to see!) for what I would focus on for the boards. FYI, Pitt gives us 7 weeks to study, some schools may give more or less. The 7 weeks includes and "ICS" course where we have to be in school for 2 hours everyday for the first 4 weeks but that didn't really impede my studying. Our school also allowed us to take as many CBSSA diagnostic tests as we wanted, but it was traditional to do one at the beginning and one 1-2 weeks prior to your test date to assess how you stand in topic areas.
As you make your calendar you have to decide what's important to you/your weak spots as you go along. Schedules can sometimes be adjusted but it helps to get one from an upperclassman and adjust as you need to.

The way I tackled organ systems/topics-
  1. Read the FA section to get a handle on what is important
  2. Read the BRS Path and Phys sections, make notes on anything that is not in FA, do questions at the end of those chapters, do 20-50 questions from an online Qbank
  3. Look through the pharm cards (I separated them all by category, make notes on them from FA) test yourself on them.
  4. Read any other books you have that may supplment that subject, takes notes in FA (i.e. for Micro, reading Micro made ridiculously simple)
  5. Read FA section over again with all your consolidated notes from other sources/books
  6. Do 100 -200 practice Qs on online Qbank
  7. repeat #5 and #6 if you still have some time or know you have weak areas in the FA section
  8. Repeat #1-7 for every single section of FA. There are some sections you don't have to do that much work for like Behavioral Science and Anatomy, those can be done in a day or so each.
  9. Towards the end, start doing passes of several FA sections and mixing those types of questions together on online Q banks.
  10. Repetition and Testing your knowledge are key. Continually do practice questions and reread parts of FA you are weak on. That's why I had a second and third pass through FA. There is simply just so much info towards the end you gotta keep seeing it to keep it in your head.

A few days before:
I panicked hardcore. I didn't do very well on my second diagnostic CBSSA and I only had 10 days to improve my score. I didn't sleep well or eat well, I was a ball of anxiety and an emotional wreck. Acknowledge that this can happen and realize what you need to do mentally to move on and keep studying. For me, that meant I had to calm down and just reread sections of FA instead of trying to complete the online Qbanks which I originally had planned (getting questions wrong towards the end was really getting me depressed and upset, so I ended up just reviewing old questions). I was really upset I had to change my original plan, but I decided to stick to my decision and that worked well for me in the end. I did a whole day dedicated to all the pharm which was helpful for me to tie together interactions and get a good look at the big picture. I also focused on trouble areas, that I had been bookmarking all along, the day before my relaxation day so that I could feel more comfortable to have that troublesome material recently in my memory for the test.

The day before:
I studied trouble areas and skimmed through FA cases (hit the big concepts like congestive heart failure, lupus, etc.) took some good relaxation time the day before the test, drove to the test site, worked out, packed snacks for the test day, and slept decently well that night.

Test day:
I've never taken a prometric computer test before so the whole signing in and out for breaks was novel to me. You will probably have a ton of energy in the first few sections so coast with that if you can. I took 2 minute breaks at my desk and just put my head down because I didn't want to waste time signing in and out. By the 3rd or 4th section I made myself take some 5 minute breaks. But seriously, I was coasting with adrenaline from the time crunch of trying to complete 48 questions per hour that the sections fly by. I took a 12 minute lunch break and did some 5 minute breaks between each section until the end.

Looking back on this all and with my score report in hand, I was really happy with how I did on the test! I improved 89 points from my first CBSSA and 34 points from my second CBSSA, proof that you can keep improving your score if you put your head to it! Just remember, it's important to just keep your spirits up and be attentive during the entire test. I definitely caught myself not reading some questions carefully enough a few times as I got more rushed or tired. Don't let one difficult section get you upset and stressed over the others, you never know what questions are experimental you just gotta keep trucking through it!

Plan some sort of celebration when you finish! Whether its just relaxing by yourself or heading out with friends, you deserve it! :) Good luck!

San Antonio- the home of the Alamo and land of post-boards relaxation


My family travels a good amount and every summer growing up we'd fly to some different part of the United States and tour that area. That being said, there are few states I haven't been to and even fewer major national parks I've never visited.
That being said- my mom decided we should pay a visit to the Alamo- and the city it is located in- good'ole San Antonio (most people will know this city for its Riverwalk, where Miss Congeniality 1 was filmed hehe).
I had a great time in the city, it was warm, people were friendly and I got my fill of salsa for the next 2 years. However, the Alamo was smaller than I thought and there isn't too much to do in the city other than walk the Riverwalk (which we did everynight) and eat local cuisine. Although I will say we were lucky in that we arrived during the weekend of the Fiesta a week long affair that culminates in a day long city parade and nighttime parade as well! I would have enjoyed the Fiesta more if it weren't so darn hot during the parade, I almost got heatstroke and couldn't imagine how the marching band kids were surviving in their hot uniforms.
We spent 3 days there and that was more than enough. We actually filled up the last few days there by wandering out of the city to a nearby art gallery (gorgeous) and caverns (creepy but cool!).

We frequented the local IMAX theater (one of the bigger attractions of the town mall, no joke), to see Avatar in 3D, amazing! and then a movie about the Alamo which was well done and i love that historical stuff.
The Riverwalk is super colorful with people cruising the water in motorized boats. We went to this restaraunt Casa Rio twice cuz it was good cheap food.
A float in honor of the fiesta!
Pretty carriage during the nighttime Fiesta!

Part of the small but beautiful gardens of the San Antonio
Cool caverns nearby, really astonishing formations and some of the caverns were ENORMOUS.
After San Antonio I got to continue being pampered by good food and mommy time as we did shopping and errands in Pittsburgh for 3-4 days. We also got to visit the Phipps Botanical garden the day before student IDs were no longer accepted for the summer! I particularly loved their 'gargoyle in the gardens' concept and found the coolest flower.
Anyone know what this is? I forgot, but it's so neat!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

texas teaser

To get you excited about my upcoming posts on what I did post-boards (a.k.a. my trip to San Antonio with my mom) here's an awesome photo:
my mom had never seen one before! Aardvark right? Adorableeeeee


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Weekday Veg

Saw this on someone's gchat status and thought it was a really great presentation of a novel way to think about eating veggies. Instead of going vegetarian cold turkey (haha)- why not try just weekdays?

Just 4 mins of your time and a thought provoking approach to the weekday veg.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Pizza experiment


My wonderful friend took me on my first jaunt to the local Trader Joe's a few weeks ago and I was delighted to find a decent selection of awesome vegetarian "meats" and even more excited by the prospect of making my own pizza for the first time.
Here are the cast of characters, I didn't follow a recipe but just followed my gut instinct as to what I thought would taste good on a pizza:

red onion, mozzarella cheese, soy chorizo, trader joe's pizza dough

I cooked the red onion with sugar and some salt til it was caramelized goodness. I also heated up the soy chorizo (only used half the amount) and broke it up into crumbles. I sliced the mozzeralla into thin slices and used some leftover tomato sauce I had in the fridge (it was a 6 cheese sauce, yumm).
Here is how the pizza looked before being tossed mercilessly into the oven. Note that most of the ingredients are pretty much cooked and that my pizza looks a hideous shape. One of my housemates called it a bear rug.
After about 20 mins in the oven at 375F. Oozing with deliciousness and oil that came from the chorizo cooking.
Up close beauty shot. It was delicious, and lasted me about 3-4 meals more. :) I also made pizza again later with homemade dough, will write a post on that soon!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Vegan baking bananza!

For those of you who know me well, you know I enjoy being vegetarian and cooking my own food. My love of food is almost obsessive, and can only maybe be rival ed by my love of all things Harry Potter. Perhaps I could kill two birds with one stone (bad phrase to use in a vegan-related post) and make some Harry Potter-inspired baked goods- like puking pasties or treacle tart? Another day :).

Well lately, in addition to being vegetarian I've really become enamored of baking vegan goodies. Why vegan you say? Well that's a whole other conversation, but I thought it would be a nice challenge to create something delicious that omitted what many baked goods traditionally call for- such as eggs, butter, and milk.

Though I have had some baking disasters in the past, which are rare but catastrophic (recall my pumpkin brownies anyone?), I like to say I have a good knack of knowing what usually tastes good, is easy to make, cheap on my budget, and uses the fewest ingredients possible.

So after wasting a few hours online finding doable and exciting recipes. I set to make my first vegan creation. YAYYYY.

Here was the inspiration: http://www.recipezaar.com/Healthy-Vegan-Banana-Bread-106912

And here's my simple, tasty take on it:


Jessica's Vegan
Apple Banana Breakfast Loaf

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup quickcook oatmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Wet ingredients

  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce (or 6 tablespoons apple juice concentrat)
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Instructions:
1. Heat oven to 350 F. Grease loaf pan.
2. Mash banana with fork. Add all other wet ingredients to banana and mix.
3. Combine all dry ingredients, mix.
4. Add wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Use hands to really mix it up and get rid of big banana chunks.
5. Pour in loaf pan. Sprinkle top with some oats for looks. Bake for 45 minutes.

It's delicious. And I've made it twice this week already. Refrigerate to keep fresh.
yum yum yum

I also made these Vegan apple banana muffins- http://vegetarian.about.com/od/breakfastrecipe1/r/applebanmuffins.htm
But I subbed 1C apple sauce for everything apple in the recipe and omitted sugar. However, I added choc chips to the tops...hehehe.

Happy Baking! Join the vegan baking craze!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

hello 2010

2009 was such a transition year, from learning how to really adjust to medical school, to making and maintaining lasting friendships, to learning what heartbreak means and how to start anew again, and again- my life has been filled with so much learning!

and... my gut instinct tells me that 2010 will be much more of the same- the exciting, ever-evolving same.

Rather than more transitioning though, I think this year will be about getting into the groove of things and pushing full speed ahead to becoming a doctor. This year is all about achieving life goals, Boards anyone?, and engaging in things fully. I'm incredibly excited about the leaps and bounds I'll accomplish and learn this year- I know I won't be bored a single moment.

Here's to you 2010, here's to accomplishing my resolutions (only 5 this year, but a BIG five they are), and thanks to all for a wonderful 2009.