Monthly Archives: July 2015

The Farewell Tour & Bean Traders

As I mentioned back in my Tell Me Something Good post earlier this month, Derek is officially in his 4th year of medical school. (Look for a post in the near future about what it’s like to be married to a med student.)

scrubs

Gotta love the scrubs.

We’ve been talking about Derek’s residency for years, but we’re at the point where it’s no longer an abstraction. Lately it’s started to sink in that we’ll probably be living in a different city in a mere 10 months. Derek will, of course, be applying to UNC and Duke, and we’re not ruling those programs out at all. However, we both feel that it is a great time for us to try something different if he finds a program he loves outside of North Carolina. We’re both adventurous and relatively unattached (no kids, no house), and fortunately I can find medical social work jobs wherever we go.

That being said, I absolutely love the Durham/Chapel Hill area. It will always be home to me, and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if we end up back here someday. Because it’s likely that we won’t live here for at least 4 years, I decided that I want to do a sort of “farewell tour” of Durham and Chapel Hill with BNP. I’m starting a new series of posts about my favorite places to eat and play in the area, and I even added a new page to the blog menu called, “Durham & Chapel Hill.” I’ll compile all of my posts on the page. It’s mostly just fun for me, but it could be helpful if you ever visit the area or want to try something new. 

I thought that I’d kick things off with this post by sharing my favorite coffee shop/study spot: Bean Traders!

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You’ve seen their coffee on my blog many times already. Bean Traders always has a booth open at the farmers’ market. It’s my treat while I shop around.

iced coffee

Iced coffee, how I love thee.

I usually see this guy parked out front.

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I know Bean Traders is at the farmers’ market when I see their trademark van.

Bean Traders is only about a mile from my house in south Durham. It’s inconspicuously located in the middle of a strip mall. (My gym is actually in the same one.)

Bean Traders Coffee

Well hello there you hidden gem.

When you walk in you’re greeted by bright colors, lots of natural light, and friendly baristas.

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You can’t tell from this picture, but there’s a drink called a “dirty hippie.” It’s some kind of mix of coffee and tea.

One of the many cool things about Bean Traders is that they partner with many local business for their dairy products, bakery items, nut butters, candies, and desserts.

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Candy galore!

They also sell their own coffee beans.

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Love that “Drink the Love” sign.

I mean there’s a reason it’s called Bean Traders.

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The coffee is strong and delicious.

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It smells amazing.

I went here a lot during grad school for group projects or to study solo. There’s lots of space and free Wi-fi. The mismatched chairs in all different colors give it a cool, eclectic vibe.

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Bonus points for coffee served in mason jars.

latte almond milk

I got this almond-milk latte last weekend. Nom!

It is the best place to spend a quiet morning enjoying delicious coffee and reading a good book.

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The perfect Sunday morning. (P.S. I’m reading The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith AKA JK Rowling. Highly recommend it!)

I ❤ Bean Traders.

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Lentil Stew with Spinach, Sausage, and Sweet Potatoes Recipe

Hello friends! Hope you’re all surviving the heat. Late July/early August is always rough here in North Carolina. With that said, you’re probably looking at the post title and thinking, Who makes stew in July? Well, I do. I was wishfully think about the crisp, cool days of fall, my favorite season, and I just happened to have a few random items to use up that worked for a stew. So I decided to pretend it was a beautiful fall day and ignore the oppressive heat outside. Besides, I’m one of those weirdos who has no qualms about eating soups and stews all year long. Anyway, hope you enjoy it!

*Apologies for my sad, dim photos. Hopefully I’ll have a kitchen with more natural light in the future!


Lentil Stew with Spinach Sausage, and Sweet Potatoes 

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 3/4 to 1 lb sausage of your choice
  • 1.5 medium onions, chopped
  • 2-3 tsp minced garlic
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bag of spinach
  • 1 lb sweet potatoes cut into 1 in pieces
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • salt and pepper to taste

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Quick note on ingredients: I used a mix of chicken stock and broth because I didn’t have enough broth, and it turned out fine. As far as sausage, I used Trader Joe’s Sun Dried Tomato Chicken Sausage, but whatever sausage you prefer or have on hand would work. Finally, I used spinach as my green because it’s what I had. Other greens would work just as well. Make it your own!

Instructions:

1. Heat oil in large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook for 8-10 minutes or until cooked through if you’re not using pre-cooked sausage.

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2. Add onions and cook 3-5 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add garlic during the last minute of cooking the onions.

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3. Add broth, sweet potatoes, lentils, salt, and pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, partially covered for about 25 minutes.

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4. Add spinach and continue simmering, partially covered, for 5-10 more minutes, or until the sweet potatoes and lentils are tender.

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5. Allow stew to cool for 5-10 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

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ffff

4 Words 4th of July

As I mentioned in my last post, Derek and I hit the road for the 4th of July and spent a few days with my family. It was the perfect mix of fun and relaxing, and I wanted to share a little recap of the trip. Instead of my usual recap, and in honor of July 4th, I’ll be captioning with 4 words per picture.

Virginia is for lovers.

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Kentucky is for bourbon.

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My dad = chef extraordinaire.

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The spoiled rotten dog.

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Wine + funny movie nights.

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Four Roses Bourbon Distillery. 

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Bourbon encourages family selfies.

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Day at the pool.

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This sums it up.

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Hope you had a fun and safe 4th of July, too!

Courage Doesn’t Always Roar

I’m back in good ol’ North Carolina after a wonderful visit with my family! (Recap coming soon.)  Now that I’m back at work, I’ve been reflecting on a recent experience with a patient. It’s a complex situation that I obviously cannot delve into here on BNP, but suffice it to say that my patient and his wife has been through a lot.  I marvel at their ability to keep moving forward despite obstacles and let downs, and it made me think of the quote below.

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” ―Mary Anne Radmacher

May we all find the quiet courage we need.

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