Life’s a Picnic

So, currently I am in my second and final management rotation. The BIG project that normally gets completed during your second management rotation is your theme day. This is when you combine all your skills you have developed and you plan, execute and evaluate a themed meal. I planned my theme day in about a weeks time. It was a lot to get done, but I would rather than then wait to the last minute. April 24th was the day!

My theme day was Springtime Picnic themed, so I decided to have BBQ Chicken, Garlic Bread, Pasta Salad and Apple Cobbler as my menu. Here is all I had to do:

  • Develop and standardize recipes (I had to make about 120 servings).
  • Determine ingredients I needed to purchase.
  • Ordered my food items from my food distributor.
  • Develop a production schedule (What needs to happen when).
  • Determine cost per meal and selling price for the meal.
  • Receive the food from the delivery truck.
  • Prepare the food.
  • Decorate the cafeteria.
  • Develop an meal evaluation tool.
  • Advertise the meal.
  • Serve the meal.
  • Make sure everything runs smoothly on the day of and make sure we don’t run out of food.

Overall it went very very well. It was a long day to say the least (I got there at 6 am!) I am so lucky that I have a great and helpful staff. The cafeteria cook helped me with my chicken.

All my chicken!

All my chicken!

The day before my theme day, I made my pasta salad, so all I needed to do with that was scoop it into little cups for service. The cobblers were really easy to put together, as was the garlic bread. My goal for this theme day was to put together a great meal, but also make it relatively easy and simple. I didn’t want anything super high stress or technical. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

The day went smoothly except for one little hiccup…

My 2nd Degree Burn

My 2nd Degree Burn

I almost dropped a large sheet pan with two cobbler on it. Instead of letting the pan drop, I jerked the pan towards me and it slid onto the underside of my wrist. It hurt, but at least my cobblers weren’t ruined. The executive chef at the hospital assisted me in pouring some salt on my wrist. This helps draw out the moisture to prevent a blister from forming. I slide a glove over it to protect myself, but I ended up working the rest of the morning with only one arm. You do what you got to do though!

The cafeteria was very very busy during lunchtime, which is unusual for Glenwood. There is usually a steady stream of people, but there was an extra amount of people that day. It was awesome!

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After the day was over, lots of the cafeteria workers told me my theme day was one of the most well planned and smoothest theme days that had seen. I thought that was a huge compliment. They also loved my decorations!!

Overall, I thought it was a successful day, and now I get to spend my last two weeks writing up my evaluations about my theme day and doing whatever my preceptor needs. It’s all downhill from here!

XOXO, Danae

20 Days Until Graduation!


Kellogg’s Challenge: “Not-so” Fried Humphrey’s

So Kellogg’s/Special K holds this annual contest called the “Student Fiber-ful Kitchen Cook-Off“, where dietetic students and interns can develop a recipe that has increased fiber and uses at least one Kellogg product from a given list. All participants receive a one year membership the Food and Culinary Professionals dietetic practice group. The grand prize  is an all expense paid trip to the Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) 2013, which is an annual conference for all dietitians that are a part of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. FNCE 2013 will be in Houston this October. There is the possibility for two runners up, who will receive a gift certificate to a kitchen supply store. Winners will also have their product professionally photographed and will be featured on and

When thinking about what to do for this contest, I decided to do a dessert. (Because dietitians and desserts go hand in hand :wink:). I thought about doing a un-fried version of Fried Ice Cream, a classic Mexican dessert. A lot of recipes that I have seen in the past said that you could put honey on top of the finished product. This sparked an idea. What other dessert do I know that is covered in crunchy topping and honey?! A HUMPHREYS!!!

To those who are asking, “What (or who) is a Humphrey’s?”, let me tell you.

A Humphrey’s Yogart (technical name) is named after Humphrey Bogart. Why? I have no idea…maybe he was a fan of the ingredients that make it up, which are: Plain frozen yogurt, granola, honey, fresh fruit and more plain yogurt on top. It is seriously delish.

I thought doing my take on this dessert was appropriate because there are good memories associated with this dessert. During the summer quarter, my fellow intern friends and I literally ate one of these every day. After class we would go to the pool and eat our Humphrey’s out on the deck while soaking up the sun rays. We probably ate our weight in frozen yogurt over the course of those six weeks. So, it felt appropriate to do this recipe a midst my dietetic internship. This one is for you friends!!

A Humphrey’s “not” fried Ice Cream


  • 2 cups of Kellogg’s® Low Fat granola, crushed and toastedIMGP5731
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 pint (2 cups) of Vanilla Ice Cream (I used No Sugar Added Blue Bunny®)
  • Cut up fresh fruit (bananas, blueberries, pineapple, strawberries and kiwi are some good ones to use)
  • Honey


  1. Preheat over to 350° F to toast the granola.
  2. Measure out granola and pour into a gallon Ziploc bag.
  3. Using a rolling pin or the bottom of a glass, crush up the granola.
  4. Add melted butter and cinnamon to the bag. Seal back up and mix with your hands
  5. Put a piece of aluminum foil onto a cookie sheet and pour the granola mixture onto it. Put into oven for no longer than 5 minutes. And keep an eye on it— it could burn!IMGP5732
  6. While the granola is toasting, scoop out 4 scoops of ice cream and place into a muffin tin or onto a plate covered with wax paper. Put back into the freezer.

    You get the idea...

  7. Take out granola from oven. Let cool.
  8. While granola is cooling, cut up your fruit of choice into bite size pieces. Set aside.
  9. Once granola is cool to the touch (you don’t want hot granola on cold ice cream), pour it into a bowl.
  10. Take out your ice cream balls and using your hands, roll each ball in the crushed granola. Do this quickly so the ice cream stays firm.

    You get the idea...

    You get the idea…

  11. Once all ice cream balls have been coated in the granola, place them back in the freezer to re-harden.

    If I win, hopefully this picture will look better.

    If I win, hopefully this picture will look better.

  12. After about an hour or right before serving time, pull the ice cream balls out of the freezer. Place into a pretty cup or bowl (I used margarita glasses). Spoon fruit on top and drizzle with honey. If you wanted to you could sprinkle leftover granola crumbs on top. Since I used a margarita glass, I put some granola in the bottom, to fill up the hole.IMGP5739
  13. Serve and enjoy the same day, or else the granola will get soggy.



Nutritional Facts (1/2 cup serving):

  • Calories: 422 kcal
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Protein: 12 g
  • Carbohydrates: 82 g
  • Sodium: 235 mg
  • Fiber: 12 g

This is a great treat that can cool you off on a hot summer day! (Ricky Bobby anyone?)

The due date for this was at the end of March. Grading was supposed to start April 8th, so we will see what happens! I will keep you all posted!! Wish me luck!

XOXO, Danae

Tomatoes, Avocados and Cheese…OH MY!

Here is another recipe!

WordPresser Andrea wanted me to cost out a recipe, so not only are you going to get a recipe for a healthy dish, but you can also see how inexpensive it can be to make! (Prices from Wal-Mart)

I found this recipe on Pinterest and I thought it looked really good. And since I eat weird things for meals, I just ate this as my dinner. It was really easy to put together.

Avocado and Tomato Salad


  • 2 tomatoes, cubed (about 2 cups)
  • 1 8 oz ball of fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 avocados, pitted, peeled and cubed (about 2 cups)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons dried basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper, to taste



1. Wash your tomatoes

2. Slice and dice your tomatoes into bite size cubes. Place into a bowl.


3. Cube the WHOLE ball of mozzarella cheese. If you wanted to use the brick mozzarella cheese, you can, but it doesn’t really have the same effect, and doesn’t taste as good. Place into the bowl with the tomatoes.


4. Pit your avocados. Score the inside of the four halves and scoop out the insides with a spoon. Place cubes into a bowl.






*Avocado tip: Keeping the pit in with the avocado can help with the browning. It doesn’t stop it completely, and it isn’t as good as lemon juice, but it does help. You can do the same thing with homemade guacamole.

5. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle the dried basil leaves onto the food and toss together.


6. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to your liking.

7. Either eat it by itself (like I did) or us it as a side dish to roasted chicken or baked fish!



Nutritional Facts

Serving size: 1/2 cup (6 servings total), Calories: 246 calories, Protein: 12 g, Total Fat: 18 g,Carbohydrates: 9 g, Sodium: 206 mg, Fiber: 4 g

Price List

  • Avocados, .84 cents each = $1.68
  • Tomatoes, $1.64 a lb = $1.67
  • Mozzarella ball = $2.98
  • Olive Oil* = $5.98
  • Dried Basil Leaves* = $4.48
  • Total = $6.33 (Including estimated cost of olive oil and basil = $16.79)
  • Price per serving = $1.06 (Including estimated cost of olive oil and basil = $2.69)

*I did not have to buy olive oil or the basil, because I already had it in my pantry. So this is the cost if you had to buy these ingredients.

I thought this tasted really good. It is creamy from the avocado and cheese and very fresh from the tomato.  Make sure you prepare this right before you serve it. You do not want the avocado to turn brown. It does not look appetizing.

Hope you enjoy!

XOXO, Danae

Tales from Russia

Despite what you might have thought this post was going to be about due to the title, I have not made a impromptu trip to Russia, but I might as well have.

Since Valentine’s Day, I had been working at one of the local state run hospitals doing a pre-management rotation. I had a some time to kill, so my internship director gave me some time to get some exposure to what I would be doing in my two full management rotations. The first two days I was there, it was just myself and my preceptor, but after than my roommate Kelly joined me due to some ongoing complications with another facility. Kelly did clinical stuff and I was management. Let me tell you, it was great having someone to work with, because our preceptor is a little much for just one person to handle. As of December, she has been the only dietitian working so she is very stressed. She is also like 2nd generation Russian. She is quite a character. The first day I was at this hospital, I thought I was going to kill myself. She is very high strung, gets easily stressed out, her mind goes a thousand places at once and she talks like 120% of the time. I thought  I talked a mile a minute….she overshoots me by a lot. I have heard so many stories about Russia, its crazy. I also got to meet her mom, who speaks maybe 20 words in english, so trying to have a conversation with her was interesting in itself. She did try and attempt to teach me how to read Russian. Emphasis on tried. I’ll just stick to reading  english and spanish.

However, by the end of my time, things were actually quite pleasurable. I was able to get a lot of things done for her while knocking of several of my competencies. I think we finally eased her mind. I revamped the patient menus, I conducted an in-service to the staff about proper serving sizes while on tray line, I developed a post-gastrectomy, vegetarian and neutropenic diet for the facility, I helped cook some food for the cafeteria and did some product research.  So, I would say the last two weeks were successful.

In addition to all the stuff I did at this hospital, I have also started the job hunt. I am in the process of updating my resume and cover letter and once I get the A-Okay from the career center (who is reviewing my resumed), I can start sending my stuff out to companies. I am getting very excited for this next stage, and I have found some great facilities that I would be honored to work at!! Keep your fingers crossed.

So now I have a few days off in-between quarters before I start my final quarter as a dietetic intern!! It is crazy how fast time is flying. And with all of the things happening between now and graduation, I know it will be over in the blink of an eye.

Happy last day of February. Thank goodness for short months!!

XOXO, Danae

P.S. March is National Nutrition Month!! I hope to have some fun facts or recipes for you over the next month, so keep checking back!!

Food Post; Following the Stereotype

Here it is. My first food post. You aren’t a dietitian until you have taken a picture of something you have eaten. And as my family will agree, I have been known to take a few photos of my food back in my day 🙂

Halloween is one of those holidays where it is just a good day to have chili. One of my best friends Jeanine and I share the tradition of eating chili on Halloween. In high school, her mom would make chili and noodles and we would eat it. So, I decided that I would make a different version of chili. I decided to make a VEGETARIAN chili. Instead of following one recipe, I combined ingredients from several recipes but I mainly just chose stuff that I liked. It is a hod-podge of ingredients.

Let’s see how this turned out…

Danae’s “Make-it-up-as-you-go” Vegetarian Chili


  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) stewed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) of corn, drained (I tried to find fire-roasted corn, but I could not, so I just have regular corn)
  • 1 can (15 oz) each of dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  •  1 can (15.5 oz) Light kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15.8 oz) great northern beans, drained and rinsed*
  • 2 (8 oz each) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Chili Powder

*Feel free to use whatever beans you want, like black beans, pinto beans…I just like these bean types.


  1. Get out a big, deep pot. You could also use a crock pot.
  2. Open up all the cans of all the ingredients. Also, get a strainer.
  3. Drain and rinse the beans. Dump into pot.
  4. Drain corn. Dump into pot.
  5. Dump both cans of tomatoes into pot.
  6. Stir together, then dump in both cans of tomato sauce (if your chili looks watery, only use one can of sauce).
  7. Add in chili powder. Stir together.
  8. Let simmer on stove until heated through.

Smells Delish!

I also skipped the noodles and did cornbread. Cornbread is the Louisiana way to go.

Idiot Proof Cornbread

  1. Buy a box of Jiffy cornbread mix.
  2. Prepare as directed on box.

Finished Product. Golden brown and cheesy

Put them both together and you got a great cozy meal. Top the chili off with your other favorite toppings, like chives, sour cream, shredded cheese, oyster crackers etc. I topped mine with cheese and some basil.

Yum Yum in a Bowl!

This dish actually turned out surprisingly well for just throwing stuff in a pot. I mixed some cheese in with my cornbread mix when I baked it, making it cheese! SOO GOOD! And one suggestion: if you like your chili thicker, use one less can of tomato sauce. I usually like it thicker, but I actually liked the consistency of this.

Make this sometime!!

Thumbs Up!

What are you doing for Halloween?? I was Honey Boo Boo for Halloween. What are you dressing up as? Comment Below!

XOXO, Danae

19 Days Until Home!!