Yesterday, I drove Paige to State College for her teams volleyball camp. Shannon Werner, the head coach, was an All-American at Penn State a few years back. So, of course, this is the school of choice. Plus, you must know that Penn State is a powerhouse in women’s volleyball. Several national title and lots of hardware to prove it. Last year was Paige’s first year playing the sport. It was never a sport I considered for her. My high school didn’t have a volleyball team and it just wasn’t a sport I was tremendously familiar. But a few of her friends, kind of, recruited her to tryout. What you must understand; Paige is 6’1/2 tall and the tallest girl in her class of 500 students. Making the decision to play this sport an obvious choice. However, things weren’t exactly smooth sailing last year. Having never played, Paige struggled. To be candid, she didn’t understand the in’s and out’s of the game. Mostly from the offensive end. Even though she struggled, she loved it. Last year she was on JV. As she enters her junior year, her anxiety is heighted for tryouts. She knows the stakes are higher on varsity and just wants to be a part of the team. On our drive yesterday, I had to reiterate that camp is to be an educational experience and a fun one. One where you bond with your teammates and coaches. Fear was consuming her on our ride and it began to upset me, but I had to change up my mindset. It wasn’t the time to lecture and tell her to suck it up and stop worrying. No, we talked about the power of positive and what we believe on the inside will show on the outside. It was breaking my heart seeing her this anxious. However, I had to remind myself, she just turned 16 and very soon I won’t be there to fix everything. Now a young woman, she needs to learn to problem solve. As we made our way to west halls, the oldest dorms on the campus (please know they look the same as they did 25 years ago), I could see her relaxing. After helping get her things to the room, I made a quick exit. No need to drag it out. I told her one final time that everything would be great and made my way home. About 3 hours later, I received a text message telling me that her “blocks” were on point and she was very excited. A few days ago, I saw a video on Facebook about the lens we use to see the world will shape the perspective of what we see. I’m just glad she was able to remove the smudges from her lens to get a better perspective. So today’s blog is dedicated to my amazing, beautiful, talented, intelligent, caring, kind, and sincere daughter. I hope she can keep her lens smudge proof.
Paige is the healthy person in our house. Recently, she told me I will not clog her arteries before she’s 25. I mean I can respect that. Right Birdman? The sandwich I’m featuring today is a remake of one she recently had in Atlantic City. Even though there are some artery clogging components to the sandwich, bottom line it’s not fried and has avocado on it. It’s basically healthy according to our standards.
Grilled Chicken Panini with avocado and chipotle ranch mayonnaise
2 chicken breasts cut thin
Goya “Adobo” seasoning salt
1 avocado sliced
bacon fried crisp
chipotle peppers with adobo sauce
1. In large skillet, drizzle olive oil and heat over medium temperature. Season chicken breast liberally with seasoning salt. Cook chicken until golden brown.
2. In food processor, mix 1 cup of mayonnaise, 1/4 cup of ranch dressing, two chipotle peppers, and 1 tbsp. of adobo sauce. Mix until completely blended.
3. Cut ciabatta, spread on mayonnaise mixture on both pieces, then some avocado, chicken, lettuce, and then some bacon. Press pieces together.
4. In a panini maker or grill skillet, press down bread. Grill until golden brown on both sides.