Like fine instruments or pieces of machinery, humans need periodic re-calibration. Like cars, we need regular tune-ups to make sure everything’s running properly – checking the spark plugs, replacing the fuel filters, changing the oil, etc. For humans, I think this comes in the form of personal and external constructive criticism, followed by making the necessary improvements. For me, it requires taking a hard, honest look in the mirror or perhaps a self-revelatory conversation with someone I trust, followed by an equally honest and hard discussion with myself. Yes, I have deep conversations with myself. I have a friend who is a master of such introspection, of finding that courage to have honest and productive discussions with yourself. You can find her here at Freckled Brilliance.

The last few weeks since I’ve started working full-time from my comfy home office, I have had plenty of time to introspect. Work life is really different. Being a student is practically a 24-hour experience. Once classes are over, I come home and do homework. On weekends and late nights, I have to study for impending exams or slave over papers and projects. Between all that, I am socializing with other students by (essentially) complaining about school. It’s really time consuming and super exhausting. But now as a working adult, I find I have a ridiculous amount of free time, that I am almost uncomfortable with. I’ve picked up some old hobbies (PostCrossing, volunteering, reading) and even some bad habits – TV watching, Plants v. Zombies playing, etc. But it all still doesn’t seem to pass the time quickly enough. What to do?


Honey Mustard Chicken Wraps
As promised, I will slowly put up good “party foods” in anticipation of the upcoming Superbowl and other events where large crowds of people are likely to gather and eat (Lunar New Year is on Monday!). For big sporting events or even just to hang out with friends over good food and a Sharks game, David and I often frequent Stanley’s, a lodge-like bar situated over the 4 indoor ice rinks at Sharks Ice in San Jose. It’s cozy and conveniently located, and has some really delicious bar food. One of our favorites is their Honey Mustard Chicken Wrap, which I have attempted to recreate here. The chicken can be grilled or battered/fried, then snugly rolled up with a mess of vegetables. Easy, delicious, and probably a lot healthier than the other bar alternatives. The recipe below makes 1 serving.

1 split chicken breast
1 c shredded romaine lettuce
1/4 c tomatoes, diced
1/2 small onion, diced
1 slice of bacon, fried and cut into 2″ pieces
1/8 c shredded cheddar cheese
1 12″ flour/wholewheat/spinach/etc tortilla
salt, pepper
dash of cayenne and paprika, to taste

1/4 c mayonnaise
1 tbs mustard
2 tbs honey
1/2 tbs cider vinegar or lemon juice [to taste really]

Liberally season each side of the chicken breast with salt, pepper, and a tiny bit of cayenne and paprika. Heat a skillet or pan on medium-high heat, and coat with a thin layer of olive oil. Once hot, place the chicken breast flat on the pan, and brown for 5-6 minutes and until golden brown, before flipping over and allowing the other side to brown as well. The total cook time should not exceed 10 minutes – try not to over cook chicken breast, as it is drier and less forgiving than dark meat. You can use a meat thermometer to check for done-ness, but typically when the juices run clear is a good sign. Remove breast from pan, and allow to cool enough to handle before continuing.

In the meantime, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing until combined. Adjust to taste with salt, sugar, lemon, etc as needed. Set aside. With a sharp knife, slice the breast meat against the grain into 1/3″ slices. This will make rolling the chicken wrap much more manageable.

To make the wrap, go ahead and spread on a thick layer of honey mustard dressing right onto a warmed (microwave ok) tortilla. Throw in the lettuce, tomatoes, onions, bacon, shredded cheese, and chicken strips, and tightly roll together (instructional video), making sure to tuck in the ends. Secure with a toothpick as needed. Eat as is, or cut in half to enjoy.


Most days, I am too lazy to even roll the wrap up, so I eat a deconstructed version with all the same ingredients, and call it a salad. Also delicious.

Up next, I’ll be sharing with you a delicious crowd favorite – particularly when decorated in the RED & GOLD of the SF 49ers. But that’ll be for next time. Until then, take care and stay warm!



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