baking · cake · chocolate · comfort food · dessert · snacks · vegetarian

A Disaster of a Chocolate Strawberry Cake

This cake was delicious, but a fucking mess. I forgot to grease the cake pans like a goddamn amateur. It was my friend’s birthday cake (sorry, Stacy), but she was nice about it. Seemed wasteful to throw away perfectly good cake that was just a little (a lot) broken. We don’t waste cake around here!

Speaking of which, I went to a wedding 2 weekends ago where they had chocolate cake with Bailey’s cream in the middle. FML. YAAAASSS. I had two pieces, and I’m not even a little sorry. Wedding cake slices are tiny as fuck. I had one after dinner, like a normal human. Then I drank a bunch and ate another one a few hours later. I know how to do a wedding right.

It should also be noted that Hannah and I fucking badgered our way into this wedding like fucking pros (except it was by accident). I never thought Jeni would give in to our bitching about wanting to be flower girls (I never got to do it as a child). When she came up to us several weeks ago to announce that we’d be walking the dogs down the aisle, our jaws dropped. Were we really so annoying that she put us in her goddamn wedding? I can’t believe it, even now. It’s like we have a super power or something. I think we should go around begging our way into weddings more often. And dog walker? Fuck. That’s literally the best job in the wedding party. We didn’t have to buy fancy dresses, or plan any parties. We just got to show up, play with dogs, and still be apart of the whole thing.

I fucking love weddings that don’t involve dancing. This one took place in a bowling alley (but, like, a fancyass bowling alley), and also had a photo booth. I know all the hipsters do photo booths at their weddings, but my friends and I have never been cool enough. This was legit my FIRST photo booth. Excitement! And the wedding was for a coworker, so most of my badass work friends were there. We got together for a clinic photo and that shit fucking killed me. The longer I look at it, the harder I laugh. It literally NEVER stops being funny. Hannah and I did one together, too, which is just fucking fantastic. I can’t with these people. I love them so much.

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Are you seeing this?! We’re pretending to stab the bride. Obviously.

We also all traveled “up north” together last weekend. For those that don’t know, “up north” in Minnesota refers to basically anything more than an hour or so north of the Twin Cities. It’s where everyone goes on the weekends in the summer. The thing is, I don’t love being in nature, so I don’t often go up north. Stories from our drunken adventures will be in the next blog post. Have I mentioned yet how much I love my co-workers?

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Chocolate Strawberry Cake (originally from here – which is where you should go to see what this is actually supposed to look like)

For the Cake:

2 cups granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
For the Frosting:

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted and slightly cooled
For the Ganache:

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup heavy cream

For the garnish:

Sliced strawberries – as many as you’d like. I used about 16oz.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. GREASE THE PANS RIGHT AWAY (don’t be like me, or your cake will fall apart). You’ll need two of the 9 inch round cake pans.

In a stand mixer, throw in the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well, then add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat for 2ish minutes before adding the boiling water. Pour into GREASED pans (again, don’t be like me). Bake for 30-35 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean). At this point, I like to place my cakes into the freeze to stop the baking process. Leave ’em in there for 20ish minutes. Remove from the pans (this is easier if you greased the pans).

For the frosting:

Start by beating the butter on high in a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add the vanilla and melted chocolate. Once smooth, set aside to make the ganache (aka the BEST part).

For the ganache:

Heat the cream in a small pot over medium-high heat until it starts bubbling around the edges. Place the chocolate into a small, heat-safe bowl and pour the scalded cream over the top. Let sit for a minute. Stir until smooth.

To assemble:

Spread the frosting over the bottom layer of cake and top with sliced strawberries before adding the second layer of cake. Pour the ganache over the whole thing. Let it set for a couple of minutes before adding more sliced strawberries.

Done. Nailed it. Eat up! Doesn’t matter if it looks janky. Serve that shit with no fucking shame. Never apologize for baking someone a cake.

 

baking · breakfast · brunch · comfort food · Dating · dessert · easy · Fruit · jam · pie · snacks · Tarts · travel · vacation · vegetarian

Strawberry Rhubarb Tarts

I texted Cortney today, “I miss you. I want to come visit and drink iced coffee in the rocking chairs. Then we can go for a swim at our beach.” She responded with, “I’m ready. Let’s do it.”

Don’t have a lid for your sauce pan? Just cover with another pan! Lids are for rich people.

The rocking chairs are special for us. They’re all along the front porch of the Moana Hotel in Waikiki. Cortney took me there on my first trip to Oahu 2 years ago because it’s a great spot for people watching. I had ordered iced coffee from the coffee shop attached to the hotel and impulsed a few macaroons as well. We settled into our chairs with our fancy cookies and proceeded to check out all the hot people that walked by, having one of our many epic conversations. That experience stuck out to me. It’s silly, because we also went snorkeling and hiking and touring and did a million other amazing Hawaiian things. This was just one random morning. But for some reason, every time I think about visiting her again, I imagine those rocking chairs.

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During my most recent visit we recreated it. It was the morning after my second date with the guy. I refused to tell her anything about it until we were comfortably seated in our chairs with iced coffee and macaroons. She was dying. Keep in mind, Cortney has never met the guy. He is merely a friend of a friend. She didn’t actually have a clue how our dates were going to go, or if he was going to be a crazy person that sends unsolicited dick pics. For all she knew, he could have been a fucking murderer. Honestly, it’s mostly just dumb luck that I’m not dead right now. Okay, I’m being dramatic, but after my Tinder experiences I have become a little (understandably) guarded. So we sat down in our beautiful wooden rocking chairs, taking bites of our tropical flavored macaroons, and I finally launched into the story about the night before, when I discovered that I had found someone incredible. And we did what Cortney and I do best… we talked it all out. She let me gush, and then offered up her thoughts/feelings/encouragement. She allowed me to be unapologetically myself, just like she always does (and what I try to always do for her), and encouraged me to feel all my feelings. While I skipped zero details with Cortney (often starting statements with, “This is a little TMI, but….”), I will skip almost all of the details with you, dear readers. Just know that this person made me feel like I was enough, just as I am… in all of my very human glory.

(Side note: He’s coming to visit me next week. “Excited” is an understatement.)

When Cortney visited last fall, we made hand pies. This is a variation of that, but better (in my opinion). The only annoying part is the fucking dough. All the freezing of shit and the waiting. I’m not great at waiting (duh). It turns out that it’s worth the wait, and it’s easy as fuck to make. Get on it, y’all. You won’t be sorry.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Tarts (inspired by Smitten Kitchen)

1 1/2 pounds rhubarbs stalks (or approx. 6-10 stalks depending on size), cleaned and trimmed of leaves/dirty ends

1 cup dark brown sugar

a splash of vanilla

2ish tablespoons strawberry jam (Thanks, Stacy!)

Slice rhubarb in half, length-wise, and then chop in approximately 3/4″ pieces. You should have about 4 1/2 cups, but it doesn’t have to be exact. Set aside 1 1/2 cups. Combine 3 cups of the chopped rhubarb with the brown sugar and vanilla in a sauce pan on the stove over medium-low heat. Cover and let sit for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. It should become pretty saucy. Uncover and increase heat to medium, cooking for another 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce thickens and causes the spoon to leave a trail at the bottom of the pan. Once finished, stir in the strawberry jam, letting it melt in. Finally, add in the remaining 1 1/2 cups of rhubarb. Pour into a bowl and set in refrigerator until cool.

For the crust: follow instructions from Fruit Hand Pies. Except you’ll just put a scoop of the filling in the center of a piece of dough and mush the sides up around it. It’s like a little bowl for jam… that you can eat!

Place them on a greased cookie sheet (or cake pan!) and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. This should make about 8-10 tarts. I only had enough rhubarb for 4 tarts. Then I ate one before the final photo, which is why there are only 3 finished tarts. Fuck it. I’m human, and I was hungry/had a craving. My only regret is that I didn’t make more.

baking · brunch · cake · comfort food · dessert · easy · Mochi · quick · snacks · travel · vacation · vegetarian

Taro Mochi Cake

This is the first of what will become many attempts to recreate the amazing taro mochi cake I had on Kaua’i.

I’m definitely going to have to cut the recipe in half next time, though, considering I can’t really get anyone to eat this. I love the texture, but Minnesotans are not about it. I get a lot of crinkled noses and comments like, “It’s interesting…”

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I was fucking obsessed with the feral chickens.

For those that don’t know… mochi is made with rice flour and is very chewy. This cake is kind of gelatinous, which I am obsessed with. But, you know, it’s not for everyone. And as much as I love it, I can’t eat an entire 9 x 13 sheet of it. Sigh.

I’ve been home from Hawaii for nearly 2 weeks now, and I still desperately miss it. Cortney and I have had marathon phone conversations almost daily. We’re out of control. Seriously. Why don’t we live in the same city already?!

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Cortney and I visiting a lighthouse, looking fucking adorable.

There were so many amazing moments in Hawaii, but I think one of my favorites was when Cortney and I volunteered at a horse ranch for an afternoon. If you know me, you know I don’t like to get dirty. I don’t like bugs, or mud, or going camping, or a lack of indoor plumbing. I like to do what I call “day camping,” to which a friend once responded with, “Kelsey… that’s just called going outside.” Exactly! I like being outside… in a park with a clearly marked path, or a nice little pond/lake with a bench to sit at where I can read my book. I don’t want to sit on the ground, especially if I don’t have a blanket to sit on. You get it. I would say that Cortney is the same way, but she can correct me later if I’m wrong. (I would like it noted that all these rules go out the window when it comes to the beach! I’m all about sitting in the sand and swimming and giving no fucks. It is where I feel the most free.)

I made a makeshift steamer. Don’t do this… unless you want to melt your strainer.

So we volunteered with the horses because Cortney is a secret horse girl (you know what I’m talking about… those girls in high school that can’t stop talking about horses and riding and all that shit). She’s quiet about it, but she fucking loves horses. I love this about her. I was also excited to go because I’d never really spent much time with horses, and I think they’re really beautiful. So we get there, and help clean out some stables (I didn’t even mind the smell!), and then got to bathe a miniature horse named Teddy. We were both fucking psyched about this shit. Bathing a fucking mini horse?! Fuck yes. I don’t know what we did to deserve such an honor, but we didn’t ask questions. We just got to fucking business.

Y’all.

Teddy is a fucking asshole.

I mean, at first it was fine. He was being kind of a dick, but it wasn’t anything we couldn’t handle. We hooked him up outside as it started to drizzle, and slowly started spraying him down with the hose. He fucking hated having the hair on the top of his head touched. Like, he was cool with the rest of it, but God forbid we get near his ears. Cortney was better at this because she has a dog that acts like a horse (I love you, Ellie!), so she did most of the spraying down. Unfortunately, being on the other side from her, that meant I got hosed down as well. Luckily, we were headed to the beach afterwards, so I gave zero fucks.

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I can’t even believe this is a real place.

We got Teddy cleanish, and then brought him back inside to do his hair. Yes… you read that right. We brushed and then braided his fucking mane. I was pretending he was a fucking unicorn the whole time. Cortney was beside herself with excitement.

But then that motherfucker started bucking. Hell no. It was terrifying for a minute, but then Cortney shut that shit down. We were both like, “Fuck this, we’re done!” Then she forced him into stillness and marched him to his stable. She’s such a badass.

He was absolutely pissed about the four braids I put in his hair. Masculinity is so fragile.

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Taro Mochi Cake

1 lb box mochiko (sweet rice flour)

1 1/2 cups white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup melted butter

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 cups coconut milk

5 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cup steamed and grated taro (you can substitute chopped macadamia nuts or shredded coconut if you can’t find taro, though it should also be at your local Asian market)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9 x 13 pan. Melt butter and put aside to cool, and don’t forget about it in the microwave like I did (I found in hours later, way after the cake was done). Combine mochiko (which can be found at most Asian markets), sugars and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Add melted butter, coconut milk, eggs and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Stir in taro and mix well. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour or until top is slightly golden brown. Remove pan from oven and cool before cutting. Or cut it right away and burn your fucking mouth like an idiot (that’s what I did). 

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breakfast · brunch · comfort food · Dating · dinner · easy · eggs · gluten free · healthy · lunch · mushrooms · quick · snacks · vegetarian

Mushroom Egg Wrap

I’ve been living on avocado toast and these egg wraps lately. I don’t have the time or energy to cook more than eggs because I’m constantly on the go, due in large part to online dating. Sometimes going on lots of first dates can be fun. At the very least, it leads to a good story. Except sometimes it’s not fun, and there’s not much of a story. When that happens, I’m just left feeling drained. It takes a lot of energy to go on a first date, and I’m running on fumes.

Last weekend I went on 3 dates, 2 of which were on Sunday. That was 4.5 hours taken from my Sunday… time spent with people I have no desire to ever see again. And I had to listen to them talk… and talk… and talk. Because dudes apparently don’t know how to ask a fucking question. Or if they do, it somehow always comes back to them anyway. I cannot fathom continuing at this rate of emotional labor. I’m retreating into myself and trying to figure out how I really want to be spending my time.

The problem is that I keep getting all these messages… and when I think I should ignore one, I can’t help but think, “But what if that one is my person? What if that person is the right one?” And then I rearrange my whole life to go on one mediocre date. Not only am I then drained of all my energy, but I’m also robbing myself of my own personal time and a good night’s sleep. I was talking to my therapist about this, and she said that it’s like borrowing time from myself, hoping that it’ll pay off later with whatever person I’m dating. Except it’s not paying off. I can’t seem to make it past a 3rd date with anyone. That fucking sucks, too, because by the time the 3rd date rolls around I’m usually genuinely excited about that person. I mean, couldn’t they bail sooner? I always bail after the 1st date if I’m not interested. Do you really need 3 dates with me to know you’re not interested? I’m pretty up front about who I am… you should know if it’s worth pursuing after the 1st date.

I went on a total of 5 dates last week. The best one was with a 23-year-old college student. Yes, I am 31. Fuck it. He’s fucking cute, and I’m not sorry. The worst date was with a 31 year old. He was so mind-numbingly boring that I had trouble focusing. He was very nice, but fuuuuuck. I can’t. The worst part of that date was when he asked if I wanted another drink, and I said yes when I wanted to say no. I need to stay true to myself, but it’s so difficult sometimes. That was 3 hours of my life that I’ll never get back.

This week I’m only going on 1-2 dates. And, honestly, I might cancel one of them. I’m tired and I don’t want to waste my energy on strangers right now. I need space for me. And I need to cook something other than eggs. Though, let’s be real – eggs are the perfect food. I could eat eggs for every meal (and sometimes I do!). They’re the only food that comes with it’s own sauce!

Mushroom Egg Wrap

1 egg

Large handful of mushrooms, sliced

1 corn tortilla

Small handful of spinach or arugula

Small handful of shredded mozzarella (or any cheese of your choice)

Butter

Olive oil

Hot sauce

Splash of milk

Salt and pepper

Saute sliced mushrooms with butter over medium-high heat until browned. Add salt and pepper. Whisk egg with a splash of milk (or use half and half like I did) and pour over the mushrooms. The pan I used was too big… don’t do that. Or do that, but recognize that it’ll be messy. It doesn’t fucking matter. I mean, who are you trying to impress? Add a little mozzarella (I used the saddest, last, semi-hard little chunk of cheese that I had in my fridge). Once the egg is nearly cooked through, fold it over on itself (like an omelette, but it doesn’t need to be pretty). Warm your tortilla over a gas stove (if you have one), or you can microwave it, I guess (If you can’t tell, I’m judging you for microwaving). Place egg/mushroom deliciousness into warmed tortilla and top with some fresh spinach or arugula. Maybe add hot sauce (do it!). Serve with a little salad, or some hashbrowns. Or nothing. I’ve been making these as snacks lately, rather than full meals. Honestly, I just threw that lettuce on the plate to make it pretty for you. That shit went right back in the fridge and I ate the wrap all by itself. Don’t judge me.

baking · breakfast · brunch · cake · comfort food · Dating · dessert · easy · quick · snacks · vegetarian

Pistachio Cake and Tinder Nightmares

I joined Tinder again, because apparently I’m a masochist. The first person I matched with started out the conversation by saying, “Thanks for having a booty. #rare” That, right there, is a direct quote. I thought maybe he would be funny, so I responded with, “Apparently that’s what happens when you love to eat donuts and do yoga all the time.” I then went on to ask him one of my classic Tinder questions… “If you could be one animal for a day, without having to worry about predators and such, what animal would you choose?” This is a fun question, and can tell me right away if I’m intrigued by someone. Basically, the in with me is choosing a sea creature of some sort, though there are really no wrong answers. He chose a T-Rex (stupid) at first, but then backtracked to a dolphin (better). When I asked why a dolphin, he stated, “Because they have sex for pleasure.”

I can’t.

I said, “I mean, it’s only for a day. You would waste the time having sex rather than exploring the ocean?”

He responded with, “Sex WHILE exploring. You gotta open your mind.”

And we’re done. (Also, to quote an interesting human I met recently, “Dolphins are the frat boys of the sea.”)

I’ve been back on this app for 1 day, and I’m already being bombarded with sex crazed men. On top of that, I’m currently being strung along by the guy that crushed my soul last month after he sought me out a couple days ago (Dude, I’m a human being with real fucking thoughts and feelings – stop fucking with me), another person can’t set a date for our first meeting despite talking for like 2 months, and the only person I actually like lives a million miles away. A MILLION. No, I’m not being dramatic about that at all. Fuck off.

Sigh. I do not live in a romantic comedy.

In times like these, I could turn to booze. I strongly suspect no one would judge me for it (nor would I care). Instead, I baked a cake in my underwear. Naturally. I got this recipe from my mom’s dear friend in Florida, who is basically like an aunt to me. Thanks for sharing this, Michelle (and for all the wine)! ❤

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I was going to try giving up sugar for a few weeks, because I tend to get carried away. But then I signed in to Tinder. You understand, right? Of course you do.

Seriously, I just need a normal human to go on a few dates with. I mean, fuck, can we just make it to maybe 4 or 5 dates? Do I have to keep having first dates only? Everyone is horrible.

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Pistachio Cake

For the cake:

1 box yellow cake mix

2 boxes pistachio pudding mix

4 large eggs

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 cup milk

For the frosting:

3/4 cup milk

1 box pistachio pudding mix

8 oz cool whip

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the cake mix and pudding mix together in a large bowl. Add the eggs, oil, and milk, and mix on low speed (or by hand) for 2ish minutes. Pour into a greased bundt cake pan and bake for 50-60 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan. To remove, just cover the top with a large plate, and flip. If it’s a mess, what the fuck ever… just throw that shit in a bowl and top with globs of the frosting.

Speaking of which, to make the frosting, start with whisking together the milk and pudding mix. Then fold in the cool whip. Serve each slice with a dollop of frosting. You could also opt to skip the frosting and just dust with powdered sugar, which is what I did because my store didn’t have any cool whip (wtf).

Try not to get down about dating apps! Love is out there! Or it’s not, and you’ll die alone. At least you’ll have cake. Win, win. 😉

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baking · Dating · easy · eggs · gluten free · healthy · quick · snacks

Egg Muffins and Validating Emotions

I’m frustrated. There are these 2 guys I’m dating… I guess… I mean, if you can call it that. One hasn’t been available in a few weeks (though he checks in via text fairly regularly), and the other is just kind of a mess. I can openly write about this because neither of them have expressed any interest in wanting to read my blog… which is another red flag. I mean, if you’re really into someone, and that someone has a blog, wouldn’t you want to read it? I’d be really weird about it, and probably binge read it all in one night… I mean, if I’m into them. I can be a little intense sometimes. But here’s the thing… if I like someone… they’re going to know it. I don’t fuck around with games. I might skirt around it a little bit at first, trying to see if they like me back… but ultimately I’m not good at hiding my feelings. If I like you, I will act like an idiot around you and/or flat out tell you.

The problem with online dating (in my very limited experience)… and maybe dating in general (?)… is that guys don’t seem to like it when I am upfront with them. Like, the other day I texted one of the guys I’m seeing, after a week of trying to get together and it not working out. He seemed unable to commit to a time/place for another date, but was clearly into me enough to be texting a lot and trying to plan things (that wouldn’t end up working out due to various scheduling conflicts). The whole thing was annoying as fuck, so I finally texted him that this was starting to feel like a game. He immediately got defensive. Listen, dude… I’m not trying to be a dick here. But the fact of the matter is… I’m allowed to have fucking feelings about this, and I feel like you’re stringing me along. I told him flat out, “You either like me, or you don’t. Either way is fine, but I need actual communication, and to not feel like a back-up plan.” Once I explained that I wasn’t attacking him, and then explained the specific things that were making me feel the way I was feeling, he was actually really receptive. But before that? He was like, “Good luck finding what you’re looking for!” WTF. Why is that the immediate response when someone has emotions? Especially when a woman has emotions. I was even shaming myself for being assertive with him. As I was texting him, it was tempting to just stop and say, “Just kidding. Nevermind. Everything is fine.” Society has told me my whole life that my feelings aren’t valid. I can’t tell you how many times someone told me to calm down, or thought I was too intense or too emotional. We’re all human, and humans are complex. We’re allowed to feel things, and we’re allowed to express that, especially to those that might be causing some of the feelings. I had every right to tell him how his actions were making me feel, but it was hard to stick to that. I felt like I was coming across as aggressive, and also needy (two things I hate). It wasn’t that I wanted him to scrap all his plans to hang out with me right that moment… but I needed to feel like he wanted to spend time with me at some point. He was trying to “be spontaneous,” but that wasn’t working. By not actively planning a set day/time to go out with me, he made me feel like a back-up plan. Regardless of how he meant it, my feelings around that are valid.

In my ideal world, every single person would communicate openly. I know that’s a vulnerable thing to do… and no one likes to feel vulnerable… but that’s when the best human connection happens. So stop pretending you’re a robot! And try to not get defensive when someone tells you how you make them feel.

Be human. Have feelings. Make them known.

Unrelated: I made these for my sister because my love language is “acts of service,” which for me just means that I show love by cooking/cleaning/caring for someone… that is also why this recipe contains meat.

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Egg Muffins

Makes 12 servings

8 eggs

1/2 cup broccoli, chopped

1 cup spinach, chopped

3 turkey sausage patties, precooked and chopped into small cubes

1/3 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk eggs in a medium bowl, set aside. In a large skillet, saute broccoli in a drizzle of olive oil over medium-high heat, seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook until broccoli softens and browns a little bit (3-5 minutes). Once done, add spinach to the skillet. Add a little more salt and pepper, and stir continuously until spinach wilts (1-2 minutes). Let cool slightly. Mix veggies and cheddar cheese with the whisked eggs. Spoon into a well grease muffin tin, leaving about half an inch of space on top. Add 2-4 cubes of sausage to each muffin. Bake for 30 minutes.

You might end up with a little leftover in the bowl. This is perfect, and exactly why you chose to add the meat in separately. Scramble that shit and top it with some cheese. You deserve a snack!

Don’t let anyone tell you how to feel.

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baking · easy · gluten free · healthy · pumpkin · quick · snacks · vegan · vegetarian

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds… and more dating

I’ve been a little MIA lately because CORTNEY WAS VISITING! It was magical to have her here. Seriously. My apartment felt brighter with her in it. That sounds insane, but it was really very helpful for me to have her here. We did all the “Family Circle” activities. You see, Cortney grew up in Hawaii (without seasons), and always wanted to be able to do the traditional Fall activities that she would read about in Family Circle magazine. So we went apple and pumpkin picking at a local orchard. She lost her damn mind with the pumpkins. I guess in Hawaii they just place pumpkins in a field and pretend they grew there? I mean… why pretend? Just put them on a shelf or something. Seems fucking weird to me. Anyway, she got to have the whole experience and pull a pumpkin right off the fucking vine. It was fucking magic.

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Look how cute she is living her dream!

During her stay, she helped me sign up for Bumble (a dating app). I even had my first date while she was visiting! I know that seems weird, but she insisted. She can be very persuasive. So I went out on a date after yoga (I wasn’t going to miss another yoga class for some guy I didn’t even know). We didn’t click, and only ended up having one drink together, but he was very nice and maintained good conversation the whole time. I considered it a successful first try. Keep in mind, this was literally 24 hours after just signing up for the app. It all happened very quickly!

Online dating goes against everything I was taught about strangers as a child. Stranger danger is real… but I guess that doesn’t matter when you’re dating? Apparently it’s totally normal to meet a complete stranger, by yourself, at night. Obviously, I sent a screenshot of his profile, along with my location, to several of my friends… in the event of my impending murder. He even changed the location at the last minute, so I called Cortney and said, “We’re going to this bar instead. If I get murdered, look for me there.” I now realize that’s crazy… he’s not going to murder me at the bar. He’d definitely lure me into a dark alley by offering me donuts or kittens… then he’d murder me.

20161009_101728Okay, has anyone ever seen some of these profiles on Bumble? I can’t stop screenshoting them and texting them to all my friends. These people seriously need help. What would possess you to have your main fucking photo be of you in a bathrobe? What are you doing with your life? This is how you want to present yourself? And then when I finally do find normal looking profiles, and actually match with that person, more than half of them don’t message me back. But then! The half that do message me back end up being fucking morons. Or we have some decent conversation, and just as I’m starting to get excited about meeting them, they fucking ghost me. Seriously, guys, I can’t even believe ghosting is a thing. It should just be called “being an inconsiderate asshole.” The others that message me back say gross things like, “Something tells me you’d like to twist my body into new positions and climb on me.” I’m sorry, what? Did you just make a sexual joke about AcroYoga? Acro (and yoga in general) is my safe space. It says right in my profile that I’m a feminist. WHAT ARE YOU DOING? He then followed up with a racist joke about Native Americans, and, when I told him how offensive he was being, said he’d make it up to me by holding the door open. You can’t make this shit up. Delete and block.

Bumble keeps telling me that I’ve run out of people to swipe through.

I think maybe the type of person I’m into wouldn’t use an app.

Sigh.

Advice is welcome. But don’t be a dick.

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Can we discuss how adorable Harriet is being while investigating the pumpkin situation? Fuck. She just kills me.

Roasted Pumpkins Seeds

All the pumpkin seeds you can get from as many pumpkins as you want!

Olive oil

Paprika

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Rinse all the pumpkins guts off of the seeds (as best as you can) in a colander. A little bit of leftover guts won’t hurt anyone. Pat the seeds dry(ish) with some paper towels. Toss the seeds with a little drizzle of olive oil, plus salt, pepper, and paprika (or whatever seasonings you like!). Roast for 30-40 minutes, moving the seeds around every 10ish minutes or so. They should be slightly browned and crispy. You might be surprised how few seeds are in a single pumpkin. I had 2 pumpkins, and still only ended up with less than a pint of seeds. Cherish them! They are like gold this time of year.

Don’t use dating apps. Just meet people organically. Also, don’t be willing to follow someone into a dark alley if they promise kittens or donuts.

Oh, and don’t lower your standards just because everyone you meet online sucks! I’d rather be alone than date an idiot/bro/racist/sexist/douche bag.

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Cortney and I posing with the pumpkins! Fuck, we’re so cute.