Tag Archives: Cooking

Kitchen Confessions

1. The kitchen is my happy place. And I know that’s such a cliche thing to say, but let’s face it, I’m kind of a walking cliche. So there. And to be honest, I’m pretty much happy all the time, so the kitchen is really just another place for me to be happy, but “happy place” sounds cuter and less “ugh she’s so damn happy all the time”.

2. Sometimes while I’m cooking I come up with a script in my head of what I would say if I had my own cooking show. And just so you know, in my head I’m totally charasmatic, clever and not the least bit annoying. I also don’t say EVOO or Ri-COAT-ta.

3. For the most part I follow recipes when it comes to baking. At least the measurment parts. I do have a tendency to throw chocolate into everything though. Blame it on my momma, I watched her do it for years and now it just seems natural.

(Source)

4. With that said, if you ever ask me for a recipe based on a savory dish I will look at you sheepishly and try to avoid the question. Because I made the recipe up. In my head. Even if it’s the 74957 time I’ve made it, I still couldn’t tell you how much of what went in it. Hell, I probably couldn’t tell you all the ingredients in general.

5. If you saw our spice cabinet you’d understand why. I’m more of a “grab and shake” (haha) type of cook, not a “look at bottle, decide if it will go with food, measure out spice and gingerly stir it in.”

6. Remember when I told you I was entering that Food Network Magazine “cook with honey” contest? Well, I HAD to measure everything, write it down, make it again, tweak it, write it down again. Such drama, all of which made me realize I don’t really like honey that much. Whoops. Although, my honey-chipotle hummus was pretty legit.

7. So I guess I could never have my own cooking show, because that would require me to remember all the ingredients and measurements. This would stress me out. And stress is not a cute look for me. And I HAVE to look cute on TV. Duh.

8. I complain about small kitchens because I feel like, as someone who truly enjoys cooking and baking, I have to. But in all honesty, I think small kitchens are charming and I kind of like cooking in them. Especially while I’m single. A big kitchen + nobody to love = Saaaaad. Sure, a big counter is nice when rolling out pie dough, but will a big counter hug you when you’re sad. No! It’ll probably be in your way and cause you to drop a pan of freshly baked cookies. UGH.

9. I’m still a drama queen in the kitchen. Why people let me near gas stoves and sharp knives, I have no idea.

10. I made these scones for my aunt the other day. I watched her eat three, which is more than I’ve ever seen her eat in one sitting. This made me immensely happy.

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Read this instead

I read a lot of blogs. Like, A LOT. Like, step-away-from-the-computer-and- go-outside, a lot.

I read food blogs, fashion blogs, relationship blogs, educational blogs, friend’s blogs, famous people’s blogs, etc.

How do I find the time? Well, I’m just cool like that.

Lies. Replace “cool” with “unemployed”.

Still love my to-do lists!

(Source)

Anywho, I’m starting a new thing here called Read this instead. A collection of links that I found interesting during the week. Some will be recipes, some will be motivational, some will be funny and some will (hopefully) inspire you to do something. The idea is that you’ll come here first, but I want you to read something other than my random ramblings.

Just that day though! I fully expect you to return, okay?

I’ll post every Friday because, well because today is Friday and I want to do it right now.

Whatever, I don’t have to explain myself to you.

Let’s go!

Tyler from 344pounds wrote about motivation when it comes to losing weight. And frankly, I need all the motivation I can get these days.

Kailey over at SnackFace, wrote a guest post on A Foodie Stays Fit which I adored.

Sonia from Master of Her Romaine made Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies. I die.

Jessica from Shrinking Foodie wrote a really wonderful post about Lent, and the process of figuring out what to give up. I adored the honesty in this post because I feel like some people go through lent for superficial reasons, forgetting there is a reason behind it. She uses lent as a vehicle for self-discovery and I think that’s awesome.

Jessica from What I Wore posted this adorable outfit. I need those boots, like yesterday.

Katie from Learning to be a Rebel took pictures of the most interesting tree stockings! Sadly, I live in the same city as her and had no idea they existed. I have got to start leaving my house more often.

Kasey from Style Me Kasey makes me want to wear stripes. And I don’t do stripes. Well done, Kasey.

And lastly, Jessica from How Sweet Eats made these amazing cupcakes that I’ve seriously been dreaming about. I can’t make them because I’m allergic and I would die (although part of me feels like they might be worth it. Kidding!) so I’m going to need one of you to make them and tell me how they are. Send pictures if you can too.

That’s it! Hope you guys enjoy the sun this weekend like this guy:

My dog is a class act.

Did you come across anything cool this week? Sharing is caring!

Just call me Queen Bee

Update from yesterday’s post: I bought a few new yoga DVD’s (2 for $9.99 holla!) and I’m currently wearing yoga pants. The latter is no surprise, but let’s hope I get my downward dog on after posting this.

Alright, on to my other challenge I hinted about yesterday. So we all know I’m a huge fan of food. I like to cook it, bake it, look at it, read about it, shop for it and lord knows I love to eat it.

I don’t know if any of you read Food Network Magazine, but if you don’t I really think you should. In fact, stop reading this and go buy one. Really, I’ll wait.

*waits*

Got it? Isn’t it amazing?!!

Real quick, go to page 58! How fun does that look?

Oh, and 88! Guess who will be making (and eating) ALL of those pastas until the buttons on my jeggings pop?

Oh, and for all that is holy in this world, please look at the bruschetta spread on pages 110-113. Yes please.

And finally, will you all turn to page 146. It might be the last page, but it is the most important today.

For those of you not following along (shame on you!) the rest of us are checking out the recipe contest. In every issue they announce what the secret ingredient is for that month. Those who choose to participate have to come up with a recipe using said secret ingredient and submit it by the deadline to be entered to win fun stuff AND have their dish featured in an upcoming issue.

Guess who’s choosing to participate? ME!

The secret ingredient is………

wait for it…….

……….

Honey! And you can bet your sweet bottoms I’ve stocked up and started my list of things I want to make.

I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am. As I said, I love to cook and I especially love coming up with my own recipes. There is nothing like eating a perfect dish and knowing that you came up with that on your own.

My thinking is that even if I don’t win, I’ll still come out of this with a couple new recipes. And that, my friends, is always a win in my book.

And since I’m not that competitive of a person and really think this is going to be fun, I think it would be amazing if some of you came up with your own recipes and submitted them yourself! How cool would it be if one of us had our food featured in Food Network Magazine?! SO cool!

If you do decide to try this little challenge, comment and let me know! I’ll be sure to keep y’all updated on my kitchen successes (and inevitable failures, of course). Happy cooking!


The Vegan Diaries: Now what?

Warning: The photos in this post are awful because I don’t have a camera and had to use my phone. And even though my phone is superfreakingawesome, it’s camera is not so superfreakingawesome. SO, please do not compare me to other bloggers who can take superfreakingawesome photos. (cough Jessica cough). Thank you.

I bet you’re wondering what my first non-vegan meal was. You’ve probably been waiting all day to find out!

Or you’ve read my past posts and have noticed that I’ve done nothing but talk about cheese for a week.

If it’s the latter, than you won’t be surprised that I woke up and made myself a grilled cheese sandwich this morning. And it was delicious.

With a side of blueberries, also known as "bloobs" by other blogs/in my head.

My mom insists I don’t get enough antioxidants, so she took it upon herself to buy two huge things of bloobs for me. I keep trying to tell her I eat enough dark chocolate a day to feed a small village (dark chocolate=antioxidants, duh) but she refuses to listen.

Also, that picture was taken in my parents bathroom. That’s how bad the lighting was in the rest of the house.

At work, I ate…nothing.

I had expected to find myself pining over our cookies and soups and cheesecakes, etc. But oddly enough, I didn’t really want any of that. Perhaps I’m growing up?

Oh, but I did eat a bag of cheetos. Guess I’m not growing up. Hmph.

When I got home (which was SUCH a drama because my car basically froze while I was working and my accelerator just did not want to go. I had to sit there for like 15 minutes to allow it to warm-up. What a baby.) I found that my mom had made soup!

Seafood soup to be exact. Ate it all, except for the okra because the slimy seeds remind me of my dog's drool. Truth.

Oh and my mom would like all of you to know that she made that soup from scratch, including the broth. As in she made homemade seafood broth. Impressive, no?

I also had more bread and cheese on the side. No complaints.

And fried stuff.

These pics are making all my food look gross, but I swear it was delicious.

I bet you’re wondering what Max was doing while I was eating, huh?

Surprisingly enough, this was the best picture I could get. Sigh.

He sat two feet away and stared at me. Just stared. The entire time I was eating/taking pictures of him with my phone.

And here’s a photo of a cute mug, just for fun!

Kind of trippy...

I ate dinner while watching today’s episode of Oprah. Ironically enough, Oprah and her staff went vegan for one week and the show was about how they dealt with it. But it was also about how animals are treated in this country and what “vegan-ish” diets can do for our bodies. By no means was it a “meat is bad!” type of episode, rather the main message was that we should all be aware of what we’re eating.

I took away a few things from the episdoe:

1. Trying a vegan diet really does make you aware of what foods you eat, and how dependent we can be on animal products.

2. However, with that said, I can firmly say that a vegan diet is not for me. Maybe it’s because I didn’t do it long enough for my body to fully adjust or because I ended up carbo-loading like I was running a marathon (seriously, I ate more bagels this month than I did all of 2010. Atkins, who?), but this way of life just isn’t for me.

3. My dog does look like a baby cow (otherwise known as a calf) which made me super sad when they were showing the slaughterhouses.

4. I LASTED LONGER THAN OPRAH AT BEING VEGAN.

5. I love cheese. I really, really love cheese. BUT I had no desire to eat any sort of meat today. Not even bacon. Weird. I know I will eventually eat it again (maybe not red meat?) but I didn’t crave it today (or all month for that matter) the way I thought I would.

So in conclusion, I’m happy with my decision. I loved the challenge of being vegan but I don’t care for the lifestyle.  However, I’m so glad I gave it a shot and would encourage others to do the same.

I’ll support you by baking vegan cookies whenever you want 🙂

Alright kids, it’s cold and I want to go snuggle with my baby cow dog:

Ahh look at his little squished up face!

Oh and one more thing! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for reading. Being able to write about this little challenge really helped me and provided a sense of motivation that I don’t think I would have had otherwise. Y’all rock–give yourself a pat on the back!

The Vegan Diaries: And then there was one…

Yesterday I had a wrap filled with spinach and tofu for dinner.

My mom did too. With a side of fish.

I would be the angry little boy in this situation.

(Source.)

That’s right. I’m the lone “vegan” in this house. Sigh.

She debated for a while what she wanted to do, but in the end decided to just give in. Like I said in my last post, she always has a lot of social functions to attend and it’s been hard for her to keep up with it. Especially since we’re not doing this for any other reason but that we just wanted to see what it was like. We had every intention of going back to meat when the month was over, so it’s not like we’re trying to make a “save the animals!” statement here.

Sorry animals 😦

Ideally, I should stop too. At this point I’m just being stubborn.

But, with that said, I still cannot get myself to eat some cheese. I’ve thought about it many times. I even went so far as to make a grilled cheese sandwich! But as I started to put my beloved hot sauce on it, I realized I just could not eat it.

So I ate the hot sauce with pita chips.

No joke. I do stuff like that.

I think this has turned into a control thing. The fact that this is mentally unhealthy is not lost on me. Actually the fact that this isn’t in any way healthy since I eat bagels and chocolate (not together, usually) like they’re going out of style isn’t lost on me either.

But when I spend my days sending out my resume, desperately waiting for just one legit response, only to hear from companies that are trying to take advantage of recent grads, what to have for lunch suddenly becomes a big decision. I really don’t know how to describe it, other than to say that sometimes the highlight of my day is knowing that I didn’t eat that ice cream or that I chose soy milk instead of 2%.

It’s weird. It’s messed up. It’s me. I’m kind of a drama queen. Sorry I’m not sorry.

Enough serious talk. Want to know what I plan on cooking/eating when this is done? Duh, of course you do!

Jenna’s amaaaaazing mac&cheese. To tell you the truth, I have half a mind of making this at midnight on Feb. 1. I want it that bad.

Jessica’s Buffalo Chicken Burgers? Yes please!

My dad’s chili. Confession: I had a dream about this chili a few weeks ago. My life is so sad. But it is soo good, and he’s been making it for as long as I can remember. It reminds me of growing up in Ohio and eating with my whole family on cold winter nights. Love.

And what goes better with chili, than….sausage? So to help out, I’ll make this sausage cheese cornbread.

Oh, and I almost forgot about my Orange Chicken! <<not my recipe, but I made mine up and I’m too lazy to type it out right now. Sorry.

And, of course, I need to bake something. Quick! Somebody tell me what to bake!

The Vegan Diaries: Um..

Soooo remember how last time we talked I was all “I don’t need no pizza!”

I mean, not in those words because I try to speak like a normal person as often as I can. But I did mention how not eating it wasn’t that hard, right?

Well roughly 14 hours after I posted that, I was singing a different tune.

I literally woke up needing pizza. Like I seriously opened my eyes in the morning thinking about it. I probably dreamed about it too, but I rarely remember my dreams. Unless they’re really weird, but sadly me dreaming about food isn’t that odd.

So I woke up and was all “If I don’t have pizza at least once today somebody is going to get hurt.”

Luckily I had pizza dough sitting in my freezer. A couple of months ago I was on this bread and pizza crust making kick and literally spent all my time kneading dough. Eventually my parents got sick of it and threatened to kick me out if I tried to make one more carb.

Obviously a lie, but they were tired of it. So my last batch went in the freezer.

Lucky for me AND the “somebody was going to get hurt” person. Don’t know who that might have been, but my money is on kid’s who keep rollerblading down my street with no regards to incoming cars.

I mean, seriously, are parents raising their kids to be idiots these days?

Back to the pizza. Since it was all rock-like (read: frozen) I set it on the counter and went on with my busy day.

And by busy I obviously mean I got my hair cut and then watched six episodes of Dexter. Sounds lazy, but I did finish season 2 without throwing up after seeing a lot of dismembered bodies which I think is an accomplishment in itself.

Also, the timing was perfect because as soon as I finished, my dough was ready for me. Let’s make pizza!

I’m going to save y’all the whole story of me actually making the pizza because it isn’t all that exciting, but let me just say this: I am a rockstar. And let me say one more thing: You don’t need cheese to make a rockstar pizza. I speak from experience.

When I’m all old and knocking on death’s door I can only imagine I’ll look back at this time and consider this meal one of my best. And hopefully my kid’s will cherish this recipe and pass it down generation after generation.

Unless, of course, I’ve raised my children to be idiots, in which case I’m counting on one of you to take them away from me. Really, it’s in their best interest.

Future problem children aside, this whole pizza thing was exciting for me. My mom was getting a little worried that we were going to run out of meals/food to make/eat which would result in us eating the same thing over and over again. This would, of course, result in us getting bored and inevitably we would end up face-down in a pile of pork.

And by “we” I obviously just mean “me”. Pretty sure my mom has self-control, especially when it comes to pigs.

Tonight we had homemade Chinese and it was delicious.

(Not So)Fun Fact: I’m totally allergic to nuts so I can’t eat at Chinese restaurants anymore since they cook everything in peanut oil. How lame is that? Good news is I can make a mean Orange Chicken myself.

I intend on doing just that on February 1. You are all invited, of course. It’s BYOC (Bring Your Own Chopsticks).

So we survived another day of veganism in this house. And now the only things I have left to worry about are waiting for season 3 of Dexter to arrive and not running over little kids in my neighborhood.

Life is good.

The Vegan Diaries: It begins…

This isn’t a New Years resolution. I haven’t really gotten around to those yet, I’m thinking I’ll schedule that sometime in March.

No, this is a “my mom is a ninja and can jedi mindtrick me into anything she wants.”

Vegan diet. One month. It’s on.

The reason we chose January is because we decided on this little challenge in December but I had already baked eight dozen cookies and I wasn’t about to not eat them. They deserve better than that!

So that brought us to the morning January 1st. The morning of all mornings. The day I woke up and promptly ate a delicious breakfast of………..bacon and eggs.

Whoops. My bad.

I swear I’m serious about this. I’m just serious about bacon too. Sorry I’m not that sorry. Also, don’t tell my mom.

All jokes aside, I am excited and nervous about this. Originally I agreed to support mom by going vegetarian while she ate her cheese-less sandwiches and drank her creamer-less coffee. I told her how I read a lot of vegan blogs and have checked out a lot of recpies that sound interesting. That of course turned into me drinking soy milk in my coffee and eating tofu over eggs.

Damn it, mom.

After the bacon breakfast, I officially got on track and had a vegetable wrap for lunch and falafels for dinner. They were good. I was good. And then I watched an episode of Dexter in which I completely missed out on an entire scene because I was literally staring at the layer of cream cheese in the FBI dude’s sandwich.

Seriously? This is going to be a long month. Stay tuned…