It's been a while since my last post and I'm probably a slacker because of it. Sorry! I was in Miami last week for work and this week has been busy getting "caught up" on things. By "caught up" I mean "less behind" because I'm pretty sure that it's impossible to be completely up to date at work. (excuses, excuses)

Anyway, things in Miami went really well last week and I got to see a bunch of my awesome work peeps that I don't get to see often enough who are spread throughout the country (and a couple internationally). It makes me realize that they are what drives me because I feel better when I'm around them and our students.  Almost six years ago I wouldn't have imagined I'd be where I am today work-wise and had no intention of working for a university.  But here I am. And I plan to stay... for the foreseeable future, at least.  :) 

As awesome as things went last week, it was exhausting both physically and emotionally.  I'll be making a transition soon (within the institution) so this Miami trip was special - it was a milestone / end of an era trip because it means that my first 5-10 year plan of my career is closing and that was the last time I was involved in the events side of our "big show."  With that comes opportunity.  And it's weird. And awesome. And scary.  This is where homesick comes in - at the end of my trip, all I wanted was to come home. A colleague told me that she's never seen me homesick before on a work trip and she's right because it doesn't happen often. Home may be cold, snowy, occasionally icy, and cold (did I say that already?) but it's home.  I'm sure that a good part of it was looking forward to something familiar amongst the change. When I got home, it felt good. 

Since I got home I've wanted other familiar things.  I made Grandma D's Mock Chow Mein hot dish from the church cookbook earlier this week - something Mom made a lot when we were growing up and it was one of my favorite hot dishes.  And all week I've been wanting cherry coffee cake (Mom's recipe in the church cookbook).  I may make that Saturday in between tending to my needy car (put gas in me; change my oil; fix my windshield; blah blah blah), doing some work, and doing laundry.  Other familiar things. :)  I'll leave you with this:

Grandma D.'s Mock Chow Mein Hot Dish
1 lb.lean pork steak, cut in 1/2 inch chunks
1/2 med. onion, chopped
3/4 c. uncooked rice
3 c. hot water
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 c. frozen peas

Dip meat in flour and fry meat and onion in 1 tbsp. vegetable oil to brown. Put rice in a large enough casserole for expansion. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir, and cover.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until rice is tender.  Add more water if it gets too dry.  Stir occasionally in the oven. 

My only notes:
  • I added some salt and pepper to the flour that I dipped the meat in.
  • The original recipe doesn't say to cover it when it's in the oven, but you need to - lesson learned. :) 
  • We drizzle just a little soy sauce on it just before eating - we like the extra flavor and then you don't have to put any salt in because the soy sauce has plenty.  We use the low sodium kind.



  1. I like to splash Woooooo Sauce on it . . . Yummy!

  2. Ohhh - I'll have to try that. I usually just use soy sauce. Yum!

  3. looks good to me and like something Grandpa might enjoy. I'll let you know if we try it!

  4. This is one of my favorite dishes. It always seemed to taste even better the next day at work. Good Luck on your transition to a different opportunity at work. MOM

  5. Laura - I'd like to hear what you thought if you do end up trying it. :)

    Mom - thanks :)


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