Only a few more graveyard shifts before my vacation starts. The vintage Aiwa boom box in my brain has been pounding out the anthemic 80s power ballad, “The Final Countdown” as I stare impatiently at the calendar. Having been a goth girl in my youth (yes, really), I hated that headbanger song, but it’s got a nice beat and you can dance to it.

Actually, no. It doesn’t.

While working at the hospital, I ate some leftover sous vide salmon, kimchee, and broiled eggplant.

On the topic of leftovers, I get lots of questions about how I make my recycled meals taste good. It’s nice of you to assume that I use some secret technique to ensure that my leftovers retain their original flavor profile, but you know what? With rare exceptions, they’re never as yummy the second time around – especially once all the components get jostled around in my bag. Just lower your expectations and make sure your other meals are freshly-made. It’ll all balance out in the end.

When I came home from work in the morning, I got the Double-Os ready for day camp. I washed a bunch of Bing cherries for their lunches…

…and pitted the remainder for a quick cherry balsamic marinade.

I poured the bright pink purée over a dish of chicken drumsticks…

…massaged it in, and stuck the container in the fridge with a note asking my mother-in-law to take the chicken out before I woke up.

After I chauffeured the kiddos to camp, I came home and face-planted into my pillow. 

In the evening, I crawled out from under the covers to get dinner on the table. I stuck the chicken in the oven…

…stir-fried three bags of Trader Joe’s Power to the Greens…

…and prepped some zucchini.

When the chicken finished roasting…

…I cranked on the broiler and charred the zucchini. I dressed up the slices with some fresh basil, heirloom tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil.

Here’s my dinner plate:

I only have two more nights of work before I’m on vacation again. 


(Forgive me for infecting you with this earworm, but sharing is caring, right? )

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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