New Lab Adventures

Good morning! Hope you all are off to a good Wednesday!

Yesterday was pretty exciting in grad school world. I started using a new lab! My research group has access to two labs, one with standard electrical equipment and some cool screen printing equipment (this is the lab I usually work in), and another with two ALD (atomic layer deposition) tools and a couple of nanofabrication tools (this is more chemical and therefore more cool). (Note: we’ll do a post on what exactly is nano soon)

Starting a new research project can be a little scary at first. You kinda bumble about the lab not knowing where anything is or really what you’re doing yet. Basically you spend a couple days feeling like a total idiot who has never researched before.

The best way to get rid of that feeling? Just dive in!

Aaaaaand that’s what I was doing yesterday. Fabricating some new flexible materials with graphene (follow the link for a brief intro to this awesome nanomaterial).


The samples turned out okay for my first attempt. They’ll get better as I get more comfortable with the fabrication process and more familiar with the new lab.

We hit up the gym after work for a little bit. O.M.G. It was so packed! But we did a short total body workout before swinging by Trader Joe’s and heading home for dinner.

I acquired the memory of a goldfish again and forgot to take pictures of dinner (aka I ate it all and then remembered about pictures) but it was fantastic so you’re getting the recipe anyways. The recipe sounds super fancy, but is crazy simple to make. Seriously, dinner was on the table 30 min after we got home.

Butternut Squash Ravioli in Brown Butter with Crispy Sage


  • Package of butternut squash ravioli (we got ours from Trader Joe’s)
  • 3 Tbs salted butter
  • 2 sprigs fresh sage
  1. Get some water in a pot boiling for the ravioli and cook the ravioli according to the package directions.
  2. In a separate small pan, melt the butter on med. heat. While the butter is melting, pick the sage leaves off the stems and give them a rough chop.
  3. After the butter has completely melted, start lightly swirling the pan. You don’t want to let the butter sit and risk it burning. After a couple min toss in the chopped sage. Continue swirling the butter and sage while the butter browns.
  4. When the butter turns a golden brown and has a strong nutty scent, turn off the heat.
  5. Plate the cooked ravioli and top with the brown butter and sage. The sage will have gotten nice and crispy while cooking in the butter.

Serves 2 hungry people.

We had this with some salad and bread to make a complete meal of it.

Let me know if you give the recipe a try!

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