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Silence and Reflection

As I write this post, I am sitting on my deck with a cup of coffee listening to the birds sing. It is a little chilly still, but still perfect and tranquil. I know I have not posted any updates in a while. I caught the crud that has been going around and just getting the energy to read let alone write has been a struggle. The cough is little more than an afterthought now, so things are looking brighter and I want to make sure that I don’t let myself get too far behind.

My survey for my dissertation research closed for the second time. The participation was much better this time than the first go round. My supervising professor and I have decided we are moving forward with the interview portion of the study. That means a lot of work coming up. I have roughly ten people to interview and they are spread across the state. I am so thankful for technology to make the distance a little easier (Hello, Google Hangouts!). This month we also have the whole slew of doctors’ appointments for my husband. We may be busy, but it means we are moving forward.

I plan to post another round up of what I have read in the past two months. Though, honestly, it has not been much. But for now I just want to remind everyone to take a breath and enjoy the sunshine if you have it. Taking time for solitude and reflection is important for your mental health. So the laundry can wait; you will get to the dishes. Grab your beverage of choice and find a comfy chair. Sit in the silence and reflect on the good things that have happened in your life. Even if the bad outnumber the good, there is still something to be gained. What are the lessons that you can learn from the experience?

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Spinach Artichoke Fondue in the Instant Pot

My husband requested I make a Spinach Artichoke dip as my next recipe post. Unfortunately, I have been very sick with this crud that is going around. So I was not able to make and test this recipe before Super Bowl Sunday, but better late then never! This is not the usual dip, it is more of a fondue because it is loaded with cheese. It is so gooey, but so yummy!

Materials:

Ingredients:

    10oz Fresh Spinach
    8oz Cream Cheese
    8oz Gouda Cheese, cubed
    1.5 cups Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
    1/2 cup Chicken Stock
    1tsp minced Garlic
    1/4 tsp Sea Salt
    1tbsp olive oil

Procedure:

  1. Turn Instant Pot to Sauté. Add Olive Oil and Garlic. Be careful not to burn the Garlic.
  2. Add rinsed spinach to pot. Keep tossing with the garlic and oil. This may seem like a lot, but the spinach will start to wilt and shrink down in the pot.
  3. When spinach has wilted down (about 1min), add broth and salt. Toss the spinach.
  4. Add cream cheese and stir.
  5. Add Gouda and stir.
  6. Place lid on IP and close the vent. Switch to Pressure Cook on High on Manual for 3 minutes. QPR.
  7. Add mozzarella and stir. If too watery, add more cheese. Please note that it will thicken as it cools.
  8. Serve with bread, tortilla chips, or pita chips. This would also be wonderful served in a bread bowl.

Maryland Crab Soup in the Instant Pot

It has been really cold the past few days. Plus our household has come down with the crud. So it is a perfect day for soup. Last week I had Maryland Crab Soup for lunch while out at a restaurant. It cost me $19 for a bowl with a side of hush puppies. I thought I could definitely make it for cheaper than that. Read More »

How I Got Here

Settle in, it is time for storytime; this is going to be a long one. There is a library conference taking place right now. I am not attending, but it made me think of the topics you might hear at one. It is very typical that when you attend a professional conference, there may be a panel of people taking about their professional journey and the road that took them to where they are today. I am a librarian, educator, and author. So I thought it might be interesting if I talked about my own journey to how I got where I am today.Read More »