Friday, February 22, 2013

Working Casual and Quinoa Muffins

When I was hired for this Diet Tech job, I knew going into it that it was a casual position. For those who are not familiar with what being a casual worker in a hospital setting, it basically means that you are given anywhere from 0-37.5 hours a week. Yep, read it again. ZERO - 37.5 hours a week. Being a casual means that you are the person they call when someone is sick or if someone needs a vacation. So I work a lot for the first few weeks because, a) they need to train me, and b) they can have me cover other Tech's upcoming vacation (which is what I am doing right now), and c) have it so that I can be "on call" and be capable of handling myself at the spur of the moment.

 So yes, being a causal kind of sucks because I can go a long time without working, which is what is going to happen in a few days. I have been working lots because I needed to get trained ASAP so that I could cover the vacation of my co-worker, but now that she is coming back in a few days, that means that I am not going to have any shifts for a while. I will be going 6 weeks without a shift which freaks me out since it's a scary idea to have zero income for that length of time. And it's hard to get a second job because I am basically on-call at all times. BUT! I talked to my boss about my concerns and that I was thinking about getting a second job serving. Then she said that it might screw things up since I will be starting full-time in a few months :) I guess they decided to give me a temporary full-time position to cover someone's maternity leave! I was stoked and relieved that they have enough confidence in me to cover a full-time position. I am still feeling shaky about my job since it is so much to take in, but knowing that they have that kind of confidence in me gives me a little more confidence in myself.

I have been tossing around ideas of what I could do to stay busy and make some money during that 6-week time, and the best I can come up with is dog-walking. I love dogs and I miss walking them, and I know that there must be people close by who need their dog walked while they are at work. I am in the process of making some posters and seeing what I can come up with. I wonder if anyone will respond? All I know is that I need to find something to keep me busy so that I am not crawling up the walls.

I will conclude this post with a recipe for Quinoa Muffins that I have been juggling with. I found it online a few weeks back and after making it once with poor success (the quinoa was undercooked due to poor instructions) I changed it around a bit to make it more my style. I have cooked quinoa dozens and dozens of times and when I was following the recipe I knew that it just wasn't right, but I followed it anyway because I'd never made this particular recipe before and wanted to give the recipe the benefit of a doubt. Unfortunately I was correct and the muffins were grainy and chewy. But after trying again with some tweaking of my own, here it is for your creating pleasure.


  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (follow the recipe on the package. It's easier then having me explain the process and have you measure out exactly 2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 apple, grated
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 12-cup muffin pan (or use liners).
  2. Combine all of the dry ingredients and cooked quinoa in a bowl.
  3. Combine all of the wet ingredients and the raisins in a bowl.
  4. Pour the wet into the dry and mix together until just combined.
  5. Pour into muffin pan and bake 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Take the muffins out of the pan and cool on a wire rack

Warning - your muffin pan will be really full and basically overflowing with batter. Do not feel the urge to make extras because these do not rise all that much.

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