A Few Minutes Of My Life At Panera Bread

A Few Minutes Of My Life At Panera Bread

This is what I usually order and I had to share the deliciousness!
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Panera Bread wasn't a restaurant I really ever thought about. Of course I'd see its chains around my town but I never made the decision to check out the restaurant. During my first year in college, a few friends of mine began talking about how good their food is. I couldn't participate in the conversation because I didn't know how good anything of theirs was. I stuck out like a sore thumb when I said, "I've never been to Panera." My friends were shocked and said that they needed to take me there. Fast forward two years later and here I am writing an article about a day in my life at Panera. Funny how I basically went from "I don't know that place" (Mariah Carey voice) to "I love that place!" Below I specify my usual, customized order at Panera!

The first thing I do is go to the computer ordering station; I find it much easier than bothering the employees with my very specific order. Any who, I then go to the "sandwich" option and choose "Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt." If you go on their website, you'll see what the sandwich looks like. I click "customize" and then I begin my order.

I switch the black pepper focaccia bread for a hoagie roll. I keep the smoked pulled chicken and gouda cheese but remove the avocado and cilantro. For the peppadew peppers, I choose "light" instead of regular. The other day, for the first time, I added red onions and tomatoes (chose "light" for both) and I must say that they were good additions. For the condiments, I remove the "Chipotle Mayonnaise" but I don't replace it with anything. I know, I completely demolished the original order but I promise my version is delicious as well! For my free side, my junk food loving self chooses the chips.

Sometimes I get iced coffee, but now I usually choose an item from the bakery. For so long, I got the candy cookie. However one day, I experienced the oatmeal raisin with berries cookie and let me tell you: it's one of the BEST cookies I've ever tasted by far. I love it so much to the point where I looked online for a copycat recipe. I still have yet to try it out.

Usually, I hungrily wait for my order and internally jump for joy when it's ready. If you ever try my customized order from Panera, let me know!

"Food is not just eating energy. It's an experience." - Guy Fieri
Cover Image Credit: ppcorn.com

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10 Things People Who Addictively Drink Diet Coke Are Sick Of Hearing

In tribute to the most wonderful beverage in the world during my attempt to detox.
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Hi I'm Katie, and I'm a Diet Coke-aholic. It's been 28 days, 22 hours, 2 minutes, and a handful of seconds since my last Diet Coke and I think I'm going to die. I'm not kidding — I've had dreams about the stuff, it's bad guys. I figured with the new year I would try and be healthier. I said I would give up Diet Coke for a year, a whole year. So when I found myself sitting in my room missing the feeling of drinking a nice cold Diet Coke I couldn't help but reminisce on all of the super annoying things people say about my "addiction."

1. It'll cause cancer

The original study that “firmly concluded" that Diet Coke “definitely causes cancer" was done by Italian researchers where they overfed almost 2,000 rats aspartame (the main sweetener in diet soda) at a rate and concentration that no human being would ever likely consume. So although a link was found between aspartame dosage and cancer in rats a similar study on humans confirmed no link between the two. Maybe they'll find something in the future, but right now I get to drink my can guilt free. Science.


2. You know, Diet Coke won't make you skinny

I haven't been to the gym since October. Trust me, honey, I'm not drinking the stuff for the health benefits. I'm drinking it for the delicious taste.


3. Have you ever thought about cutting back a little?

No.


4. Have you ever thought about swapping it out for seltzer water or something else?

No. Seriously? Are you kidding me? Please stop suggesting stupid things.


5. Put the bottle down!

Some people think that it's a problem. I think that it's a solution.


6. Diet Coke is actually worse for you than regular Coke.

Ok cool. Thanks, doc.


7. Do you know how much money you're probably spending?

No, and I don't want to find out. I have been successfully avoiding the answer to this since 2010.


8. All that soda will impact your mood.

You're damn right it will. If I'm stressed, or sad, or angry — you name it, a Diet Coke is guaranteed to make me smile. So thank you for pointing this out because yes, Diet Coke does affect my mood.


9. The sugar will rot your teeth

a) It's the carbonation, not the sugar that rots your teeth b) I brush my teeth and practice other oral hygiene regardless so I think I'm OK.


10. You have a problem.

Yeah, it's you. I am fully aware that I drink more Diet Coke than some people but I'm OK with that.


Despite all of the nonsense people insist on talking to me about I will always have a special place in my heart for Diet Coke. See you in 2017, my love.

Cover Image Credit: Coca-Cola Co.

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The Year of the Pig

Happy Chinese New Year! My family has a few traditions that we do to celebrate the new year together, but this year my mom and I decided to start something new.

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Do you remember the controversial maybe even disturbing short film before Incredibles 2? The one where the mom eats her son who is a small steamed bun? Even though it might have been disturbing, you have to admit that the buns the mother and her son made together looked delicious!

The food in the short film is called bao and it is a traditional Chinese steamed bun that typically contains pork as its filling. My mom and I were inspired to try to make our own and maybe after this article; you'll be inspired, too!

Here are the ingredients you will need:

1. Premix flour steamed bao (you can find this at the Asian market)

2. Steamer (we used bamboo steamers from the Asian market)

3. Ground chicken breast

4. Chopped Portabella mushrooms

5. Chopped green onions

The first thing we did was prepare the filling for the bun. Traditionally, pork is supposed to be in the bun, but we decided that we would do chicken instead.

1. Add grapeseed oil to a large, frying pan

2. Add minced ginger, onions, and mushrooms (measurements are optional)

3. Add the ground chicken breast

4. Add the seasoning as you continue to sauté all the ingredients.

5. Season with soy sauce, hoisin sauce and ginger (measurements are optional)

Make sure your center stays heated while you start to make the bun. The instructions for how to make the buns are on the packaging of the bun powder. Once you mix all the ingredients, you have to knead the dough for quite a while.

You can always make your buns from scratch. You can find a recipe for homemade steamed buns here.

Once the dough is kneaded, separate it into 18 strips. It is difficult to roll out the dough at first, but it becomes easier after a while. Once the dough is divided, roll them out into flat circular shapes and place the filling in the center of the dough. After you put the filling in the center of the bun, grab all of the edges of the dough together and twist them at the top, forming a swirling shape at the top of the bun.

We placed four bao on wax paper in one steamer and steamed them for 15 minutes. Each bao must be placed on separate sheets of wax paper. After 15 minutes, you have your bao!

This is a family-friendly activity that not only entertains your family, but it also feeds them! Celebrate the Year of the Pig by making bao with your friends and family! It's an experience that brings people together and gives them memories to cherish for a lifetime!

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