I’m in my second week of graduate school, but it feels like I’ve been here longer.  In the past two weeks, I’ve tried to cram a lot of material on Statistics, Matlab, and Action Potentials into my head.  Unfortunately, I must be doing a shoddy job because I can barely keep up with lectures.  It also doesn’t help that I feel like I’m the dumbest person in class most of the time.  Sometimes, I really just want to run and keep running and not think about anything.  Hence, I’ve been going to the gym a lot.  But as stressed as I am about understanding all these new material, it’s also pretty exciting just to be here and learn all this stuff.

A few weeks ago, I received a text message from my mentor and friend from Boston:

“I really miss your energy in the lab, no one walks past my bay with such great attitude as you! You are brilliant and beautiful, so don’t let anyone get you down!

I am sure I haven’t even touched the hardest part of graduate school yet.  And I am sure I’m going to go through a lot more moments of doubt and frustration.  But I hope I can remember this message and know that somebody else believes in me.  It means a lot.  Thanks D-!

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Two weeks ago, I bought some delicious almond butter from the farmer’s market.  I finished that jar in five days because it was just that good.  But I figured I could make my own!  It turns out that it’s incredibly easy to do, especially if you have a very efficient food processor.  Just throw two cups of almonds into the machine and let it go for about 15 minutes.  The oil from the nuts themselves will slowly turn the mixture into creamy “butter.”  It absolutely does not require additional oil.  I mixed in a few tablespoons of the lavendar honey, which I also purchased from the farmer’s market.  The result is a jar of heavenly goodness that is going to be a breakfast staple from now on.  I love eating almond butter toast in the mornings.  Who needs to buy almond butter when you can make my own?

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Sometimes, I literally just eat the butter by itself.  Spoon by spoon.

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Last weekend was hectic, but I managed to squeeze in some time to make Brigadeiros.  Or chocolate truffles.  They are probably the best and most successful thing I’ve done in the past two weeks.  I feel like I should’ve made them for a special occasion, but really, I just wanted to make SOMETHING and feel good that I’ve accomplished it.  They’re the perfect sweet snacks.  Bite-sized, chewy, and keeps well even if you let them sit on your counter top for a few days.   Since I still have another can of condensed milk left, I might use it to make another two dozen for my classmates/neighbors/whoever wants to help eat candy.

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Brigadeiros from 17 and Baking