Really?!

Two things. First off, thanks to Jittery Joes on campus for making a delicious Caramel/Vanilla Latte this morning at 8 a.m. It was  a delicious and caffeinated way to start my day and week. Especially since I will be on campus for the large majority of the week finishing presentations and paper.

Secondly…Andrea and I were on the way back to Grady this morning and were waiting for the elevator. It was a three to four minute wait and there were probably five or so people waiting. We all get on and push the button for our respective floors. Someone, who had been waiting the three to four minutes, got off on the SECOND FLOOR! Really?!?! The stairs were next to the elevator and you waited 3-4 minutes to get on the elevator when you could have beat the elevator by taking the stairs.

Luckily, I wasn’t the only one in the elevator who noticed. When the guy got off everyone was as confused and irritated as I was. Anyway…thanks again Jittery Joes. You made my day.

April 30, 2012 at 1:30 pm Leave a comment

An Inside Look… (Part 2)

Whew! It’s been a whirlwind weekend on the Bayou! I’ll start by filling you in on what I promised to return to earlier this week…

So how do you get 16 players, four support staff and four coaches from Athens, Ga. to Baton Rouge? Well…it’s not nearly as easy as you’d think. As you can probably imagine everything is planned almost to the minute.

It starts by getting to the field (at 11:45 a.m. ET this week) and loading the bus. Since we are flying, we bring a few less things than a bus trip. Make no mistake, though, we still have a lot. In all we checked 44 bags and had about 22 carry ons. After getting our boarding passes, we headed through the Atlanta airport, getting lots of curious looks as we were all dressed almost identically.

Luckily, the flight to New Orleans was just a hop, skip and a jump away, checking in at just over 1:20 minutes. Going through baggage claim was quite the experience. Everyone just grabbed our bags, we recounted and made the long walk to the bus that would take us the final destination: Baton Rouge, La. The drive to Baton Rouge, was pretty uneventful, except there was a lot of hungry people on the bus. We didn’t have to wait long to get some dinner as we pulled into a local seafood place and had some amazing food, including fried gator. When you travel to the Bayou, you have to eat as the locals do, and trust me, we did. I, along with our radio broadcaster, video manager and athletic trainer enjoyed our fair share of local seafood.

After that delicious meal, we headed back to the hotel for some much needed rest. It doesn’t matter if you fly or drive, traveling takes a lot out of a person and a team. We made it safely to Baton Rouge and only had one piece of luggage go missing. Luckily, it was returned safely later that night. All-in-all it was a smooth trip to the Bayou.

What made the trip that much better were the wins that Georgia came away with, especially one in dramatic, 15-inning fashion. More on that later…

April 29, 2012 at 3:28 pm 1 comment

An Insider’s Look (Part 1)

Ok folks. These next fews posts are going to be slightly different. Since I am writing this to you from a hotel in Baton Rouge, La., as I wait for the weekend softball series to start this evening between Georgia and LSU, I thought I would give you guys an insight into what all goes on during an away trip for a collegiate athletic team. Trust me, there are so many tiny details that have to happen in order to make a road trip go off without a hitch. Now, I have been on countless road trips in my  years as a SID and the amount of work that makes one happen never ceases to amaze me.

A week leading up to the actual trip involves a lot of getting this in and online as soon as possible. This week for example, we had a midweek game on Wednesday and left Thursday morning to get on a plane. That means I had to have my game notes for each of the games done by Wednesday morning. If you’re wondering what game notes are, its a packet (in my case 30 or so pages) of stats, figures, notes and information on the team, coaches and players. I typically describe it as when you’re listening to a broadcast and you hear something like “This is the third time in four games that So-and-So has hit multiple-run home runs in a game. The team is 3-0 when that happens.” That is from game notes. They also have team information, school information, contact information and generic stats about the team kept through what seems to be the only DOS-bases computing system in the world called StatCrew.

Once the notes are written and proofed, they get sent to the opposing school, along with PDF of overall stats, roster files and season files that can be loaded into StatCrew. Then it’s showtime. My partner in crime Whitney and I get to the field about two hours before first pitch to make sure everything is set up. That means getting the computer up, the printer out, make sure notes are there, the radio crews have everything they need, food is delivered on time and any other last minute things that might come up. During the game, I sit behind a computer in the press box scoring the game, which means decided between hits and errors etc. While I am scoring the game, Whitney is busy writing the recap for the website and updating Twitter and a student is scoring the game with a pencil and paper.

In the case of the Wednesday, the game ended with Georgia winning 9-1 in six innings (thanks mercy rule!) and I head down to the field with reporters to get interviews set up and underway. Whitney stays in the press box to finish up the recap, post it online and send it to the media. We then clean up, turn off the lights, pack up and head home.

Since I had to leave Thursday morning and had class beforehand, I had laundry to do and bags to pack. Luckily, packing is pretty easy because all I need are some Georgia polo shirts, a skirt and a couple of pairs of shorts. Once the bags are packed, then I head to bed to begin the long day of travel.

I have to head to the field now, but I’ll be back soon to clue you all in on what it takes to get 16 players, 4 staff members, an athletic trainer, an SID and a video guy from Athens, through the Atlanta airport and finally to Louisiana. Until then…

April 27, 2012 at 12:09 pm Leave a comment

Not so quick, Not so Easy Lasagna (But Delish!)

Due to popular request (ok…not so popular, just one actually) here are two (that’s right TWO) lasagna recipes. Now, I know that the other recipes that I have posted have been pretty simple. These however, are a little less simple, but delish! I love lasagna. That’s usually my go to meal at an Italian restaurant. The best lasagna I have ever had is at a little place in Tampa, Fla. called Vino e Pasta. I was eating this delicious dish the night that I got engaged actually. That lasagna is seriously one of the menu items I have ever eaten. It is like 12 layers of amazing. Now, I don’t think anyone can make a lasagna quite as well as Vino e Pasta, but I can a recipe that is pretty good. The first is a traditional meat lasagna, while the second is more of my taste: a white lasagna with spinach.

Now, you don’t have to make the sauce exactly. I have used can sauce before and it works just as well. It just tastes a little less homemade.

Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 (16-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 11/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (or 1/2 teaspoon each of dried oregano, thyme and parsley)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Lasagna

  • 1 (16-ounce) package lasagna noodles (which contains approximately 16 to 20 noodles)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 4 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (about 4 ounces)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped plus about 12 small sprigs to garnish
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped (about 2 or 3 sprigs stripped from stems)
  • 1/2 pound sliced provolone
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella (about 8 ounces)

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the lasagna noodles.

To make the sauce: Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepot, saute garlic and onion until the onions become translucent. Add crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer about 20 minutes, checking periodically to make sure the sauce doesn’t burn.

Boil the lasagna noodles until al dente, about 15 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Toss with olive oil so the noodles don’t stick together. Let cool.

This lasagna will have 4 layers but 2 different types of cheese layers. One cheese layer will consist of mascarpone, ricotta, Parmesan and egg to bind. Combine these 4 ingredients in a bowl and set aside briefly. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Layer 4 to 5 lasagne noodles lengthwise side by side in an ovenproof lasagne dish with edges overlapping. Top with half of the mascarpone/ricotta mixture. (It is easiest to drop evenly spaced spoonfuls of this over the noodles, and then spread it out.) Distribute half of the fresh basil and half of the fresh oregano over the cheese, then layer another 4 or 5 lasagne noodles over the cheese in the same fashion as the first layer of noodles.

The second layer of cheese will consist of provolone and mozzarella. Spread half of the provolone slices over the second layer of noodles and sprinkle with half of the mozzarella. Repeat the process with the noodles, remaining mascarpone/ricotta and noodles for the third layer. For the last layer, spread out the remaining noodles, top with remaining provolone, but then ladle the tomato sauce over and finish with the remaining mozzarella.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, remove and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

White Lasagna

Ingredients

▪ 1 (8 ounce) package lasagna noodles

▪ 3 cups heavy cream

▪ 2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup

▪ 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

▪ 1/4 cup butter

▪ 1 tablespoon olive oil

▪ 1/2 large onion, diced

▪ 4 cloves garlic, sliced

▪ 5 mushrooms, diced

▪ 1 roasted chicken, shredded

▪ salt and ground black pepper to taste

▪ 1 cup ricotta cheese

▪ 1 bunch fresh spinach, rinsed

▪ 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions

▪ Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain, and rinse with cold water.

▪ In a saucepan over low heat, mix together heavy cream, cream of mushroom soup, Parmesan cheese, and butter. Simmer, stirring frequently, until well blended.

▪ Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir the onion in olive oil until tender, then add garlic and mushrooms. Mix in the chicken, and cook until heated through. Season with salt and pepper.

▪ Lightly coat the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish with enough of the cream sauce mixture to coat. Layer with 1/3 of the lasagna noodles, 1/2 cup ricotta, 1/2 of the spinach, 1/2 the chicken mixture, and 1 cup mozzarella. Top with 1/2 the cream sauce mixture, and repeat the layers. Place the remaining noodles on top, and spread with remaining sauce.

Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until brown and bubbly. Top with the remaining mozzarella, and continue baking until cheese is melted and lightly browned.

Enjoy Folks (or Wickey…)

April 23, 2012 at 5:12 pm Leave a comment

It’s Been Too Long…

Wow! It really has been a long time since I have updated you all! I have a good reason. Promise. In February, I (along with another GA) was given softball to work with this spring. That, along with class, projects, papers and equestrian has taken up a giant chunk of my time. Oh well, such is the life I suppose.

Well? Where to start. First off, I am writing to you from Lexington, Ky., where the Georgia softball team is taking batting practice and ESPNU is setting up for tonight’s game. What do I do during this time? Hang out. Clearly, I am updating you all on and once I am done with that I plan to work on a project. The goal is to get a paper finished over the next day or two. Once that is done, the major projects are pretty much out of the way!

Speaking of that, where has this year gone? Seriously? There are only three weeks of classes left this semester, which means my first year of graduate school is almost over. I have three (well, two and an internship) classes this summer and two in the fall…After that? Done. Crazy, right? Never would of thought that I would be saying that I have a summer and two classes until I get my master’s degree. It’s been a fun ride here. I’ve learned a lot and am really glad that I was afforded the opportunity to go back to school and get a degree that I had wanted since I graduated from college the first time. At this time though, I think I’m done. I don’t think that a PhD is my future. At least not for a long time.

What else? Oh! I finished my first race! I did a 5K+1 (so 4.1 miles) last weekend! I know this might not be an accomplishment to everyone, but seeing as how I am not a runner and never ran anything before in my life, I felt an pretty good amount of pride and accomplishment when I crossed the finish line. In fact, I am looking for a 10K to do this summer with the goal of running my first half marathon this fall! I never thought that I would be saying that, but seriously, running has been good for me. With the craziness of my last few months, running has been a welcomed time to myself to just clear my mind. With the help of my friend Kate, I was able to train and complete a four mile race in four weeks. The 10K is next. I figure it’s the next logical step, seeing as how it’s only two more miles that I have completed already. The good thing is that I don’t care if I win the thing. I want to finish. And not finish last. I feel like those are attainable goals. Maybe in the future I will start caring about times. But not now.

Anyway, I’m about to head back to the hotel! Until next time…

April 13, 2012 at 1:30 pm 1 comment

Joke of the Day

This one comes from Andrea:

You should tell someone that you love them because life is short. But you should shout at them in German because life is also terrifying…

You’re welcome.

February 14, 2012 at 10:22 am Leave a comment

Catch up, Casseroles and Dips!

After seeing that someone actually used the recipe for the soup that I added, I thought that I should put another recipe up, actually two. The first is a quick and easy broccoli, chicken and cheese casserole-type dish that is a crowd pleaser. It is probably the favorite of my friends and I’m asked to make it pretty often. The second will be a recipe for your Super Bowl party. It’s an unbelievable taco dip recipe. I can’t take credit for this recipe, as my friend Megan brought it to all get togethers. When I moved to Athens, I needed to take this recipe with me to share with the fine folks here.

Before all of that happens, let’s do a quick update. Not a whole lot has happened, really. Equestrian season starts back up this weekend and softball begins next weekend so that next week or two will be busy getting ready for both of these sports. I really am blessed to work with two sports that are successful and are full with fun, interesting student-athletes. It really makes my job easier. The meat of the semester has begun too. Meaning for the next several weeks, I will be knee deep in projects and the like. Speaking of that, if you like what I have to say, please follow me! In addition to me writing this blog for recreation, it’s now becoming part of my grade. Part of this grade comes from promoting this blog. If you have anything that you’d like to see, let me know that too! I have tons of recipes and ideas that I can share and more than likely if you want to know how to cook something, I have a recipe for it or can find it pretty easily.

Tucked in all of that is a conference that I was lucky enough to get a scholarship to attend! It’s a conference that deals solely with higher education advancement. It’s just a hop, skip and a jump away in Atlanta, but I do get to stay in a hotel. I’ll have to remember to share my love with hotels in a later post.

Finally. I have to comment on this beautiful weather! I have loved living in the South and will hopefully never have to move and part of the reason for that is because of the weather. I am used to mild winters, but this year it has been unbelievable! For example, today is January 30 and it was 65 degrees outside. 65 DEGREES! It’s supposed to get into the 70s this week too! I keep hoping that for every week that it is warm, that is one less week that it can be cold! Eventually, it’ll be April and warm again.

Alright, if you’ve gotten to this point, I’ll divulge one of my classic, can’t miss recipes…

CHICKEN, BROCCOLI AND CHEESE CASSEROLE

(NOTE: there are two ways to do this. One is quicker than the other, both yield the same results. The only difference is that one can be cooked in a crock pot, simmer all day and be ready when you get back. The other takes some prep time on the end. I’ll give both options.)

INGREDIENTS

2 cans cheddar cheese soup

1-2 cans cream of broccoli soup

1 bag frozen broccoli (fresh works too, frozen is a little cheaper)

1 package chicken strips or chicken breast (strips are cheaper unless breasts are on sale…)

1 package shredded cheddar cheese (I choose sharp or extra sharp)

salt and pepper

and other seasonings you like

hot sauce (optional)

rice

DIRECTIONS (Crock Pot)

1) brown chicken lightly

2) put chicken, cheddar cheese soup, cream of broccoli, broccoli in crock pot and cook on medium (I usually add the salt, pepper, a little hot sauce and some Everglades which is only available in Florida. You can add just about any of your favorite spices or seasonings though!)

3) (when you get home…) cook the rice (can be boil-in-a-bag or if you’re like me, a ricemaker could work)

4) empty Crock Pot into 9×13 pan, top with cheese and put in over at 350 until cheese is melted.

5) put casserole over rice and enjoy! I usually add a little more salt, pepper and hot sauce!

 

DIRECTIONS (Standard)

1) Cook chicken through (I usually season it with salt, pepper and Everglades)

2) Mix together the chicken, cheddar cheese soup, cream of broccoli, salt, pepper, spices and hot sauce (optional)

3) Put mixture in a 9×13 pan, top with cheese, bake in 350 degree over for about 20-25 minutes

4) Cook rice

5) Serve and enjoy!

 

I’m telling you, your friends and family will love this and you’ll be asked to make it over and over again!! Now, onto the Mexican Dip…

INGREDIENTS

8 oz cream cheese (softened)

1 package of taco seasoning (I like Ortega, but they all taste about the same)

12 oz sour cream

1/4 cup salsa or picante (picante is less chunky, so I use that)

lettuce

green pepper (optional)

green onion (optional)

black olives (optional)

tomatoes (optional)

cheese

(NOTE: the veggies are optional. They are raw veggies, so keep that in mind. I usually skip the green peppers and chopped tomatoes because I don’t like them. I also go light on the black olives. They are easy to pick off though)

DIRECTIONS

1) Chop the lettuce, green pepper, green onion, black olives and tomatoes

2) Mix the cream cheese, taco seasoning, sour cream and salsa together in a bowl (using a mixer makes life easier)

3) Spread mixture on the bottom of your dish (I go with a 9×13 dish)

4) Spread (IN THIS ORDER) lettuce, green pepper, green onion, black olives and tomatoes

5) Top with shredded cheese

Refrigerate until ready to serve! (NOTE: You don’t want to make this too early because the lettuce will wilt. However, you want to make it early enough so that it can cool and set. I say if you have a party at 6, make it at 4:30. It doesn’t take long to make, it’s just a lot of chopping. I promise that it’s worth it!)

The Mexican Dip is also a fan favorite and you’ll probably be expected to  bring it to any parties!

 

I know that this post was long, however, I know that you all will enjoy the recipes! Once again! Please tell me what you think and tell me if you want to know anything! By anything, I mean about me, my job, family or food!

Enjoy!

January 30, 2012 at 8:02 pm 2 comments

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