baking · breakfast · brunch · cake · Christmas · comfort food · dessert · easy · Holiday recipes · potluck food · quick · snacks · vegetarian · Yummy

Cranberry Orange Bread for Christmas

I struggle hard with gift giving. There are very rare occasions that I really nail it… but it’s almost never on someone’s birthday or around Christmas. This year I agonized over presents for my family. My mom always tells me not to get her anything (classic). So I’m left guessing. I know she genuinely doesn’t care what I get her, but I have to get her something. I mean, she gave me life.

I have to be very honest here… I literally almost got her nothing. This is not a proud statement for me. I kind of just threw my hands in the air on Christmas Eve and yelled, “FUCK IT,” startling my cat and probably several neighbors. But then I got to thinking about it, and I remember that not everyone is like me. Some people like knick knacks and nonsensical pretty things. So I went to one of my favorite little shops with a certain someone who was able to finally help me make a decision. I wandered through the whole store bitching and moaning (honestly, I don’t know how he was able to put up with me) that she wouldn’t like any of it. He held up shawls and scarves. I scoffed and pouted as I continually elbowed my way through the crowds of other panicked daughters. We walked into the kitchen area where he suggested a cookbook. Sighhhh. She doesn’t really cook much – not from new recipes anyway. And she’s not a new kitchen gadget kind of person. It just ends up frustrating her, and then she asks what was wrong with the way she was already doing the thing that the gadget is supposed to make easier. “How about this?” he asked, holding up a tea steeper in the shape of an adorable animal. But she doesn’t like tea. Or coffee. I honestly thought about getting her a case of Tab (yes, in fact, it is 1976), but she flies back to Florida next week. Also, seems kind of impersonal. I was about to give up when he said something along the lines of, “She doesn’t care. She’ll love whatever you give her,” while holding a pretty candle holder that had a forest pattern on it when lit, and I was convinced. The madness was over.

My love language is acts of service. I mostly want to feed people to show I care. I want to help them with a problem, support them when they’re struggling, help them paint their new apartment, or move into a new place. That’s how I show love. That’s what comes most naturally to me. Gift giving is hard because I want everything I give to be meaningful – because I really want to be of service. Turns out gift giving doesn’t have to be that serious, and I just need to calm the fuck down sometimes. Shit. Like, what’s the big deal? Buy someone a candle and move the fuck on.

Also, who are those people that purchase the perfect gift whenever they happen to find it and then hoard it until that person’s birthday or Christmas? HOW DO I BECOME YOU?

I made this bread along with some pumpkin bread to give my family as well. Because let’s be real – I’m never going to stop feeding people.

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Cranberry Orange BreadIMG_20171223_130506

For the bread:

1 cup cranberries – fresh, frozen, dried (or a combo – I did mostly fresh and a handful of dried)

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg (at room temp… place into a warm cup of water for 5 minutes if you forget to set it out)

1/2 cup brown sugar (light or dark)

1/2 cup white sugar

1 cup buttermilk (Don’t have it? Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to regular milk.)

1/3 cup vegetable/canola/coconut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons orange zest

 

For the crumble top:

1/4 cup flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into cubes

 

For the glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons orange juice (I used the juice from the orange I “zested” for the bread)

As much orange zest as you like!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan (or several mini loaf pans!) and set aside. You’ll want to make the crumble top first and set it in the fridge, just so it’s all ready to top the batter.

For the crumble top:

Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium to small mixing bowl. Cut the cold butter in with a pastry cutter (for the fancy folks), a couple of forks (I found that to be impossible), or your hands (this is easiest!) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set in the fridge.

For the bread:

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add in the cranberries and set aside. In another bowl, mix the egg with the brown and white sugars until smooth. Whisk in buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and orange zest. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing gently but thoroughly. No lumps allowed! The recipe says to not over-mix… not sure what happens if you do. Try not to fuck it up.

Pour the batter into grease pan(s) and cover with the crumble top, pressing it lightly into the batter. Bake for 45-60 minutes (the smaller pans need less time, so check them after 35 minutes).

For the glaze:

Whisk all ingredients together. Boom. Done. Allow to cool completely before removing from pan(s) and drizzling the glaze over the top.

Give these to everyone for Christmas/Birthdays/etc. Or just eat them all by yourself. Fuck it.

dinner · easy · healthy · lunch · quick · Sandwiches · Sauces · snacks · vegetarian

Roasted Chickpea Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce

I’m having some body image issues, which I attribute to my strained relationship with yoga. Yoga is something that has played a huge roll in my life over the last 2 years. I started going to ease my anxiety. I continued going because I started following people like @nolatrees and @mynameisjessamyn on Instagram, and they taught me that my body wasn’t in the way of advancing my practice (their bodies looked like mine, but they were doing handstands and headstands without a problem). See, I went into yoga thinking I could only do some of the poses because I’m chubby… and chubby people can’t do yoga… right? Wrong. Fuck that shit. The more I advanced my practice, the more I realized that my body was never in my way. Of anything. Ever. It was all mental. So yoga taught me a beautiful lesson… my body is just as capable as a thin person’s body. It taught me to love my body just as it is, without worrying about how I look to other people. And that carried over into my everyday life. I was completely smitten with yoga for a long time. But lately, that love affair has faded. I started looking at it only as a workout, and not as an activity that brought me joy. I was just going through the motions… forcing myself to go to classes because I needed to get my workout in. That shouldn’t be the reason I step into a yoga studio. It can definitely be one of the many benefits of going, but can’t be my sole reason. So I have taken a break from my practice. I’ve been mostly going for walks instead. Being outside during these last few weeks of warmer weather feels true to me right now. Plus, I get to spend hours on the phone with Cortney, which is always a treat.

I also tried rock climbing for the first time last week. It was SO much harder than I thought it would be! Seriously. Have any of y’all tried it? I couldn’t get more than one full step up on any of the easiest walls for adults. I finally saw a corner full of small children, and made a beeline for one of those courses. It was still HARD AS FUCK. But I got almost halfway up a wall. The friend I was with was so sweet. She said, “It was totally halfway up the wall! I mean, if you’re measuring from your top hand when it’s reaching.” Point is, I tried something new and that is badass. I’m not embarrassed, and I’m definitely going to try again.

Since stopping my yoga practice (temporarily, as I’m sure my love for it will return), I haven’t been as active as I normally like to be. I’ve been lounging and watching a lot of movies/TV shows on Netflix (OMG have y’all seen The Good Place? I’m obsessed!) while cooking delicious food. Honestly, the break feels nourishing. However, it also makes me very aware of my body and the space it takes up. I suddenly feel less worthy because I’m not active. Like, it was okay for me to be a chubby yogi, but just being a chubby woman isn’t good enough. I’m suddenly more concerned with taking up too much space again. It makes me uneasy and insecure, which is something I fought so hard against. I’m working on it, but it’s a process.

By not rushing off to a yoga class every day, I am allowing myself more time to explore other things I love. I’ve been cooking a lot lately, and it feels good to be in the kitchen again. Plus, this means less time wearing pants and less laundry! Fuck yeah!

It’s fall in Minnesota, which means I can finally turn the oven on again. Roasted chickpeas are one of my favorite ways to add protein to a dish. You can season them with whatever you want, and they add such a delightful little crunch to everything. Plus, I feel good about eating them. It makes me happy when I find foods that are both healthy and delicious. One of the things I miss now that I’m a vegetarian is sandwiches. I especially used to love getting chicken gyros from street vendors in NYC. Is this the same? Fuck no. But it is definitely reminiscent, and it satisfies the craving. It is also just delicious in it’s own right. Plus, it’s easy as fuck to throw together, and there’s a bonus burst of heat in your apartment when you have to turn the oven on.

Roasted Chickpea Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce

1 can (15oz) chickpeas

Olive oil

Paprika

Salt and pepper

Cayenne

4 pita flatbreads

1/4 red onion, thinly sliced

1 tomato, sliced

Greens of choice (arugula is good)

 

For the tzatziki sauce:

2/3 cup full-fat, plain Greek yogurt

1/3 cup cucumber, shredded

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon chopped dill

Salt and pepper (to taste)

Garlic powder (to taste)

For the sauce:

Lay the shredded cucumber out on a towel/paper towel with a sprinkle of salt. This will draw out some of the moisture. Let it sit for a few minutes, then mix all that shit in a bowl. Taste it before adding it to the gyros. Adjust seasonings as needed. I don’t like mine super garlic-y. The original recipe called for actual cloves of garlic, which seemed aggressive. If all I can taste is garlic then what is the fucking point? When adding the garlic powder, just do a sprinkle at a time, and taste it before adding any more. If you overdo it, just add some more yogurt and calm the fuck down. It’s going to be okay.

For the gyros:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pat the chickpeas dry with a towel before tossing with a heavy drizzle of olive oil (don’t be cheap) on a large baking sheet. Roast for 20-25 minutes, stirring them around halfway through baking time. Once finished (they should be slightly browned and crispy), drain on paper towels. At this point, toss with some salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne to taste (taste as you go!).

Warm up the flatbread for a few minutes in the oven while the chickpeas are finishing (I wrapped mine in tin foil), or just microwave them for a few seconds each. Spread a layer of the sauce onto the flatbread, followed by a handful of chickpeas, some onions, tomatoes, and lettuce/greens.

Take the time for some self care, and try not to feel guilty about it (it’s harder than you think).

corn · easy · gluten free · potluck food · quick · sides · snacks · Vegetables · vegetarian · veggies

Mexican Corn Dip

You ever drink so much that you end up knee deep in mud?

No? Just me? Fantastic.

Apparently you’re supposed to pay attention to where you’re walking in the woods when coming upon a river. I mean, I thought I was paying attention. Clearly, that was false. My boss had to pull me out of the mud, breaking my flip flop in the process. Since those were the only shoes I brought with me for the weekend trip, I had to wear his shoes home.

I’m not good with moderation (or boundaries). I am, however, working on it.

Most companies host a tasteful party once a year, and maybe throw in a few team building exercises. At my work, we like to get hammered and wander through the woods together. It’s how we bond.

I was actually planning on not drinking much this year. But then I showed up to my boss’s house and immediately starting downing pineapple mojitos (thanks, Stacy!). Before I knew what was happening, I was sinking into mud, running around in the river, trying bear meat for the first time, voicing any little thought that crossed my mind, and being an all-around obnoxious drunk person. Suddenly it was early morning, and I was waking up to the sound of dogs walking around, the taste of death on my tongue, and a feeling of regret in the pit of my stomach. #storyofmylife

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But I did make this fucking scrumptious Mexican corn dip to share. I discovered the stuff at a dog’s birthday party the week before. Yes, a dog’s birthday party. He was turning 15 and spent the afternoon getting table scraps and eating ice cream straight out of the container (sounds like every single night I’ve spent white girl wasted). There were cupcakes with frosted swirls of poop on them. It was amazing. I got a little drunk there as well, and went to town on this corn dip that someone brought, after yelling at him for topping it with cilantro (I mean, how dare he? Didn’t he know I was the only one that mattered at this party?). Drunk Kelsey can be kind of a bitch.

After berating him for using cilantro, I also chimed in with, “Have you ever had Mexican style corn with the mayo and cheese? You know, they sell it on the street sometimes? This tastes just like that!” as if this was a revolutionary idea he couldn’t possibly understand. He responded with, “Yeah, that was the idea,” and proceeded to graciously give me the recipe. (He was actually really nice and patient with me.)

OMG, is this what it feels like to mansplain something? I’ve never been on the other end of it before.

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Mexican Corn Dip

4 cups corn kernels (fresh, frozen, or canned)

1 or 2 jalapenos, diced

3 tablespoons mayo

2 tablespoons shredded parmesan, plus extra to sprinkle on top

Juice from 1/2 lime

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Drizzle some olive oil into a skillet and put it at medium-high heat. Throw in the corn and jalapenos. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cooked threw and slightly browned. Pour the corn/jalapeno mixture into a mixing bowl with all the other ingredients. Scoop into a shallow serving dish and top with a little extra parmesan and chili powder. Serve with tortilla chips.

If you made it ahead of time and are just pulling it out of the fridge, bake it at 350 degree for 20 minutes, then top with cheese and chili powder before serving.

Side note: These pictures are shitty because I was drunk. *insert shrugging emoji*

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.