Saturday, July 26, 2014

July 4th in Chicago

Over July 4th weekend, we took a family trip to visit my sister, who's doing her first internship away from home in Chicago! What should have been a quick 1.5 hour flight to the Windy City turned into a 10 hour ordeal when we learned our flight had been cancelled due to "thunderstorms" (it never even rained). But we weren't about to leave J out in the cold, so we hightailed out of the airport and drove all through the night to meet up with her the next morning. 

We started off by taking in the sights from the John Hancock Tower, which was just 2 blocks from our hotel.

Then we walked all the way downtown to Millenium Park. 
 Happy parents
 Touristy bean pic
 For deep dish pizza!
 That night, we camped out in front of Pritzer Pavillion to watch the July 4th concert with the rest of the city. 
 Yeah, we are not patriotic at all.
 Garrett's "famous" popcorn
 Before we set out for fireworks! 

The next morning, we set out for J's favorite brunch spot in the city, which had 1.5 hour wait! So we wandered around to kill time. Thankfully Chicago has a lot to offer downtown.

 And got a nice photographer to take our picture in Grant Park.
 And then scurried back to make our brunch reservation at Wildberry Pancakes cafe. Worth it!
Even though we did hit a snafu with our flight (and hit 13 hours of traffic on the way home), the whole trip was still worth it to reunite with the whole fam again. I don't have a lot of family, but we are really close. As me and J get older, we get less and less time to see each other, so we have to cherish the time we do spend together. Which reminds me that I haven't seen any of my family since this trip! I've been working every weekend and working like a real intern during my sub-I in medicine this month, so no time to go home. Might get more common as I'm currently researching residencies across the country, yikes....

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Beach Week Reprise

In high school, 4 of my best friends and I went to Ocean City at the end of our senior year for beach week. Beach week, at least where I'm from, is traditionally a week after graduation where you go to drink, party, hook up with people, and generally get trashed with all your high school friends before you go off to college in the fall. I don't think I even thought about those things in high school, so I was perfectly content to just hang out with my girlfriends, without the boys and and the partying. I had such a good time on that trip, on the beach, playing "Botticelli," eating crabs, getting fake tattoos, and made such good memories, especially since I'm still friends with all of those girls today.
I still wear this dress... Beach Week 07 baby
Jumping begins

Last week, during our one week off between third and fourth year, my med school friends and I decided to go to the beach to soak up some of the Vit D that we've been lacking from working in the hospital this past year. I found myself back in Ocean City, 7 years later, feeling like some things had never changed.

But some things did. New friends! (Still all Asian girls though).

Drinks...(E's picture)
And live music and dancing

Yes I came back a little older and with more mature interests, but not much changed and I still had a blast hanging out with my girlfriends. Walking along the boardwalk, I still remember some of the souvenir shops and restaurants we visited 7 years ago, but that's pretty much all you need for a quick vacation. Add some sand, surf, and a beach side bar, and you've got the perfect 2-3 day getaway. We had such a good time at Seacrets, which was right next door from our hotel, that I thought I was back in Cancun, where we paid $50 for an all-you-can-drink dance club called Cococabana. And Seacrets was free!

One last thing that will never change: jumping pictures!

Stay classy OC. Don't you ever change.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Summer BBQ Menu

It's officially summer! Well it has been for about 10 days, but I'm finally done with core rotations, done with shelf exams, and on my one week summer break before I start my sub-I next week. Back on the first official day of summer, we celebrated with a small bbq catered by gourmand extraodinaire J. He pretty much mixed some spices together, slathered it in some yogurt, and made lamb and chicken kabobs that made me feel like I was in Morocco.
The boys started up the grill, J prepped, and I took pictures (typical).

Thankfully, I asked him for the recipe:

J's Moroccan Kabobs:
-Curry Powder
-handful of cilantro, chopped
-1 cup fat free greek yogurt
-salt and pepper
-Chicken and lamb, cut up into bite sized cubes
-Green and red bell peppers, cut up into squares
-Onions, cut up into chunks

Simple Tzaziki
-1 cup fat free greek yogurt
-1 English cucumber, diced
-handful of cilantro, chopped
-1 T olive oil
-salt and pepper
-juice of one lemon

Mix 1/2 tsp of each spice together and add yogurt and cilantro. Mix well. Slather the chicken and lamb chunks in the delicious mixture. Skewer bell peppers, meat, and onions and throw them on the grill. Grill for 10 minutes or until it looks or smells done. 

Serve with plenty of tzaziki, vegetables, pita, and hummus. 

Dessert was a fresh summer berry pie with fresh whipped cream. The decadence! 
 Summer berry pie

J's Famous Berry Pie:
-Use any summer fruit you have on hand: cherries, plums, nectarines, strawberries, blueberries, etc. This one was blueberries and nectarines.
-2 T white sugar
-2 T brown sugar
-1 T cornstarch
-zest of one lemon
-premade frozen pie crust

Fresh whipped cream:
-Whip 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream with sugar to taste for ~20 minutes

1. Preheat oven to 375. Prebake pie crust in the warming oven for 10 minutes.
2. Wash and cut the fruit
3. Mix the sugars, cornstarch, and lemon zest together. 
4. Remove the pie crust from the oven, and put the cut and washed fruit in the pie crust. Sprinkle the dry mixture on top so it will dissolve into the juiciness of the fruit.
5. Bake for 50 minutes. 
6. Let pie cool in the fridge. It would be best be made half a day in advance and let cooled. Top with a glob of whipped cream. 

Of course we didn't have any patience so we ate it fresh out of the oven. Still good! 

The next morning, we set off for another foodie adventure to try the prix-fix brunch at Medium Rare, a steak restaurant in Cleveland Park. Unlimited coffee and mimosas, rustic bread, and a choice of steak and eggs or steak eggs benedict. The steak was ok, but honestly I was more focused on catching up. I met up with my best friend from elementary and middle school, L, who lives in DC but is moving to Chicago to start her MBA at UChicago. She's always been really smart, so it came as no surprise to me =) 

Middle school friends 

As I apply to residencies across the country, I feel like I take for granted how staying in the area for college and med school means I still have friends from different stages in my life so close. While moving to a different city is new and exciting, it's a little scary to think of starting over with no close friends or family nearby as a safety net.

But, I'm determined to make it out of the comforts of DC, if not to come back with a greater appreciation of the area later on. Upwards and onwards!