casserole · Cheese · comfort food · dinner · easy · Hot dish · lunch · potatoes · Vegetables · vegetarian · veggies · Yummy

Tater Tot Hot Dish and Stolen Laundry

Last week I was trying to do 12 things at once, which included laundry. I have lived in my apartment building for 7 years (!) and have always left my laundry in the dryer (and sometimes washer when I’m forgetful) longer than is appropriate. But! I am also of the belief that if someone’s clothes are in the way, it’s totally okay to take their clothes out and put them on top of the dryer. Anyone that is opposed to that is a fucking baby. Like, why? It’s fine. If you don’t want people touching your clothes then live in a nicer building with in-unit laundry, you goddamn princess.

So I started laundry one night last week. Once it was in the dryer, I went to T’s place for the night. Again, I do this all the time. And I’m not alone! Lots of people leave their laundry down there. When I got home the next morning and went to grab my laundry, it was gone. The reusable dryer ball that I use was placed on top of the machine, but there wasn’t a single item of clothing to be found. I called T immediately, fuming. I was pacing the halls and loudly bitching to him on the phone at 6:30 in the morning. I almost started pounding on doors, but T assured me that I did not want to be “that person.” In lieu of knocking on every door, I decided to make signs for the laundry room and front doors warning the rest of the building that we had a laundry thief among us, and to call me if they knew anything. After putting those up, I was still seething with so much anger that I decided every fucking apartment door in the building needed a sign. I ripped out notebook pages and wrote notes to tape on every single fucking door.

After putting up all the signs, I went to work in old ass scrub pants (since all my good ones had been stolen). I had also texted my landlord and maintenance person to see if they could do anything about it. Turns out there is a camera in the laundry room! Nowhere else, of course, because no one is at all concerned about the homeless person that had been living in a storage unit, but I digress. There was at least a camera where I needed it in this moment.

It ended up not coming to that, though. A few hours later, I got a phone call from one of the guys that lives in the basement units. He doesn’t speak much English, but stated that he was “very sorry” and that he would “put back.” From the little bit I understood, it sounds like it was an accident. Or at least that’s what he’s claiming. I’m sorry, do my hot pink pants and lace underwear look like the clothing of a middle aged man? And why would he make sure to remove the dryer ball? I don’t trust anyone. It sure seems like that fucker was legit trying to steal my clothes. I like to think my aggressive notes all over the building made him realize he shouldn’t fuck with me.

This recipe feels ill timed, as it is the time of resolutions. That means most people have resolved to lose weight, which makes me sad. Instead of focusing on weight, let’s focus on feeding our bodies good food. Sometimes that means food with lots of cheese and tots, and sometimes it means tons of fresh veggies. Today, for me it meant something easy and comforting. It’s been a long and hectic holiday season, and it’s cold as fuck outside here in Minneapolis. That means it’s hot dish season. I didn’t grow up with tater tot hot dish, like a “normal” Minnesotan. My mom (and extended family) is from Wisconsin, so we always called this kind of thing a casserole. And we never used tater tots. The first time I ever even ate tater tot hot dish was when I made it for my roommates in New York at the age of 23. Before that the only casserole I’d had was noodle based and had tomato sauce and ground beef.

Since becoming a vegetarian I have discovered Morningstar Farm meatless crumbles work great in any recipe that calls for ground beef. The texture is pretty spot on. Plus, it made this recipe even easier, as I literally just had to dump a bunch of bags and soup into a bowl. I did not bother cooking the crumbles beforehand, as they would have plenty of time to warm up in the oven. The whole thing took maybe 5 minutes to throw together. The preheating of the oven took longer.

I have to thank Sarah for this recipe. She comes over to hang out with T and me sometimes, and almost always makes us some fucking delicious hot dish. I like to put an egg on it for our hungover asses the next morning.

Tater Tot Hot Dish

2 bags (12oz each) Morningstar Farm meatless crumbles (or 1.5 pounds of cooked ground beef)

2 cans cream of mushroom soup

1 cup milk

1 bags frozen mixed veggies (I used 10oz bags and they were a mixture of peas, green beans, and corn)

1 pound frozen tater tots (you’ll have leftover)

2ish cups sharp cheddar cheese (enough to cover)

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large mixing bowl mix together the meatless crumbles, veggies, soup, and milk (plus a little salt and pepper). Pour into a 9 x 13 baking dish and cover with shredded cheese. Finally, line up all those cute little tots on top. Throw it in the oven for 45-60 minutes. The tots should be crispy and delicious.

Put an egg on it for breakfast, especially when hungover. Then get your second sleep to avoid a full day of your hangover’s bullshit.

comfort food · dinner · Eggplant · Italian · Lasagna · Vegetables · vegetarian · veggies · Yummy

Eggplant Parmesan and Being Basic

It’s prime farmer’s market season, so T and I have been going wild with the fresh produce. In addition to a huge haul at the farmer’s market the other week, my friend also gave me a ton of shit from her garden. I was PSYCHED. She gave me these beautiful little chubby eggplants, and I was bound and determined to make eggplant parmesan. Except it was hot as fuck outside, so I wasn’t so into frying everything in a pan. It takes fucking 45 minutes just to get the eggplant ready to layer, and I was not fucking having it. Plus, as you recall from my corn fritters fiasco, I’m fucking terrified of hot oil. That shit jumps everywhere, and my anxiety just cannot.IMG_20180818_155711

Aren’t they adorable?

T was over when I was making this, tolerating not only my need to constantly have a project, but also my love of the Bachelor in Paradise. I know it doesn’t seem like it, but I can be real basic. Case in point: I had my first pumpkin spice latte of the season this morning, but I digress. We’ve been watching Bachelor in Paradise more than I care to admit, but, in our defense, we only just discovered it. We had a similar obsession with Naked and Afraid a couple of months ago. Watching people willingly put themselves in harms way? Sign me the fuck up. I love that shit. I love when they cry on the show about how it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever done, and boo-hoo poor them. Like, bitch, please. You literally signed up for this your damn self. No one held a gun to your head. And you’re never in any real danger, because the crew is right fucking next to you. I have similar reactions to Bachelor in Paradise when they cry about their boo kissing someone else. I mean, they’ve been on one fucking date. Also… isn’t that the whole point?! If you don’t fuck your way through that show, it seems like you’re doing it wrong. What do I know, though? I found love on Tinder. Maybe it’s possible to find it on TV, too (insert eye-roll emoji).

The friend that gave me the eggplants also gave me a tons of cucumbers, a mutant zucchini, and a bunch of tomatoes. I pickled and baked my way through that weekend, and then had a panic attack Sunday night when I realized I wouldn’t have time to finish everything and that some of the produce will inevitably go bad. We all have to accept that this is going to happen, and calm the fuck down. When all was said and done, I only ended up wasting 5 cucumbers. This sounds like a lot, but I was given BAGS OF THEM. So, basically, I fucking killed it that weekend. But there was no telling me that Sunday night when I was in full-blown panic mode, sobbing on the phone with T. He was like, “Breathe. You need to just sit down and watch some Bachelor.”

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Eggplant Parmesan

1-2 eggplants, sliced into ~1/2″ rounds

Lots of Mozzarella (LOTSSSSSS), shredded or thinly sliced

1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce*

1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

1 egg, beaten

Salt and pepper

Take your sliced eggplant, and layer it over some paper towels. Sprinkle some salt on both sides, and let ’em sit for something like 20 minutes. This draws out the water. We don’t want soggy eggplant parm, right?

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease an 8 x 8 baking dish and a large baking sheet. Place the beaten egg in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, mix the bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. Dip the eggplant, one by one, into the egg, then the bread crumbs. Make sure to thoroughly coat everything. Place them in onto the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 35 minutes, flipping halfway through. Once they’re done, you’ll start layering. In the 8 x 8 baking dish, first spread out about 1/4 cup of the tomato sauce. Place a few of the eggplant slices over that, then more sauce, then cheese, then eggplant, then sauce, cheese, eggplant, etc. End with the cheese. Bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until the cheese is all melted and gooey. You can either slice it like lasagna, or scoop up individual slices. I was trying the individual slice method, but I don’t recommend it.  Baking this took way longer than it should have, and that is when I discovered that my oven runs cold. It turned out way better when I made it at T’s place, but his lighting is for shit.

Serving suggestions: over pasta (super carb-y), with a side salad (keeping it light), with some buttery garlic bread (extra super carb-y), or just on it’s own. Now that the weather has cooled down in Minneapolis, this is the perfect time to start carb-loading. It’s also less of a pain in the ass to have the oven on.

*It can be nice if you saute some other veggies and add it to the sauce (mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, etc). Also, it should be noted that I did not use nearly enough sauce (or cheese) in the pictures. Don’t be like me. Sauce it up.

Cheese · comfort food · Dating · dinner · easy · healthy · lunch · soup · squash · Super Bowl · vegetarian · Yummy

Vegetarian Broccoli Cheese Soup with Roasted Squash

Have you ever loved a pair of sweatpants so much that you continue wearing them far beyond their expiration date? You know what I’m talking about… they’re the pants that are so well loved it’s hard for you to see how bad they’ve gotten. I mean, logically you know how bad it is. You’re not blind – you can see the small snags turn into large rips. You’re aware of how ridiculous it looks with the drawstring dangling down to your knee from a hole on the right side – making it completely fucking useless. But it’s cool, because you never use the drawstring anyway. These pants know your body so well, they don’t need to be held up with a fucking drawstring… they’ve become one with your body.

This carrot is out of control.

I have a pair of these pants. They feel as if they’ve been custom made from clouds just for me… but they look like they were thrown together by a small blind child who thought he might take up sewing one day. My friend Jeni would call these my “private pants.” She encourages me to “wear them with pride… just do it in private.” Her husband has a pair of them that mortify her. He says that I’m allowed to wear them to the grocery store, but only if I shop at Walmart.

Sigh.

So last weekend was the Super Bowl here in Minneapolis. The city was psyched to host such an event, and you could feel the energy in the air. There were events going on downtown for 10 days leading up to it. The excitement is contagious, even if you are like me and think sports are giant waste of fucking time. So I got into the spirit the only way I know how… I rented my apartment to a Patriots fan on Airbnb and became homeless for 3 days. With my cat.

So you remember the Wii controller guy? Yeah, we’re still dating (I know). He’s tall and cute and redheaded… and has deep fear of commitment (just the way I like ’em). I stayed with him over Super Bowl weekend with my cat, Harriet. It also happened to be his birthday weekend, which means we hung out with one of his good friends (and the only friend I’ve ever met) who is a goddamn delight. She calls him on his commitment shit, which I think is hilarious. She also likes selfies with security guys at Super Bowl events, which just makes my heart happy. We spent our Saturday getting hammered and roaming around downtown Minneapolis in subzero weather, desperately searching for the Kitten Bowl. Obviously.

Anyway, Wii Controller Guy housed me for 5 nights, and we never once tried to kill each other (despite me breaking his sink and his cat’s food bowl). He did, however, have to be blunt with me about my “private pants.” That’s right – I wore them over there because we are totally at that level (you know – the “I’m pretty sure you’re not going to bail at the sight of my homeless looking pants” level). I think he said something along the lines of, “I can’t have you wearing these.” But fuck! Those pants feel like goddamn angel wings.

I mean, the jury is still out on whether or not I’m allowed to call him my boyfriend, and he’s trying to tell me to get rid of my favorite pants?! I don’t know, man.

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I ordered new ones online last night. But I refuse to toss my old ones until I know for sure the new ones are just as comfy (they won’t be).

This soup is made to be eaten while wearing your private pants (you know you have a pair). Get cozy, because it’s cold as fuck outside.

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Vegetarian Broccoli Cheese Soup

1 head broccoli, stems removed

1 1/2 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced

1/2 onion, chopped

4 tablespoons flour

3 cups veggie broth

1 cup almond milk

1 large carrot, peeled and chopped

3 cups cheddar cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Garlic powder (just a sprinkle)

Oven roast squash at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes. It needs to be soft, since it will all be blended and (ideally) needs to be smooth. Check it about halfway through roasting time to move things around a little bit. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool a bit. Once cooled, puree in a blender with 2 cups of veggie broth until smooth.

Steam the broccoli and separate into 2 halves. Set aside. In a large pot, saute onions in a little olive oil – add salt and pepper. Cook until slightly browned, then sprinkle with the flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Mix each tablespoon thoroughly before adding the next. It will form a thick paste. Once flour is fully incorporated, cook a few minutes longer to toast it a little bit, stirring frequently. Add in the squash puree, 1 cup of broth, and the milk. Stir well, making sure there aren’t any clumps from the flour.

Finely chop half of the broccoli and add to the pot along with the carrots. Simmer until soup is at desired thickness (add extra broth if too thick) and carrots are cooked through (about 10 minutes). Incorporate the cheese 1 cup at a time, making sure each cup is fully melted before adding more. Roughly chop remaining broccoli and add to the pot.

Throw on your favorite pair of pants (because it’s too cold to be pants-less right now), and don’t let anyone tell you they aren’t the best pants in the world.

comfort food · dinner · easy · healthy · lunch · pasta · quick · soup · Vegetables · vegetarian · veggies · Yummy

Spinach Tortellini Soup and New Year’s Resolutions

I fucking hate New Year’s Resolutions, but I always secretly make one anyway. I mean, not that that is exclusive to January 1st, though. I always think that starting tomorrow/next week/next month I’m going to start being healthier/more active/more organized/thinner/smarter/more well read/somehow better than I am. It doesn’t matter how much I advocate for loving yourself just as you are, society has still been telling me my entire life that I’m not good enough. I certainly don’t need the reminder every fucking January that I’m still not good enough. Fuck you, January. You don’t know me.

Self love is a constant struggle.

So, in an effort to exercise more (because I want to, not because some shitty-ass Instagram post told me to), I have been taking more aerial fitness classes (and by “more,” I mean two so far). Aerial seems like something I’d be good at… it seems like something that would come naturally to me. I have a strong yoga practice and have been doing AcroYoga for the last year and a half. I’m familiar with being upside down, and I’m pretty bendy. But I’m also heavy. And I haven’t really worked on my upper body strength a whole lot, so…

Fuck. I’m so bad at it. I took a class the other day that was taught by a teacher trainee. Walking into the ice cold studio, I was greeted by a woman in Lululemon workout gear, curled hair, and a full face of make-up. She smiled and bounced over to me, which caused nothing on her body to move at all because she was clearly 0% body fat. There’s nothing wrong with looking like a marble statue! Nothing at all! That’s just not what I look like, and I can only handle so many discouragements when entering a new fitness class. We started with some “warm-ups.” I feel like she kept emphasizing the fact that we were just “warming up”, which made my panting, sweaty ass feel like shit. She referenced our abs several times, and I was like, “What? Where?” as I glanced down at the soft rolls of my belly as I did standing planks while desperately clinging to the aerial silk. I sloppily attempted to pull my entire body weight forward, while maintaining the reverse plank in mid-air, and I kept thinking, “Dear, God, please don’t let me fall backwards before we’ve even gotten into the silks. I can’t handle that kind of humiliation today. I’m far too delicate.”

Once we got “warmed-up,” we got into some of the aerials (poses/moves with our entire bodies in the silks – often involving being upside down). Fuck yes. This is the shit I’m here for. Bring on the inversions! The first one involves hanging upside down with the silk supporting me at my waist. Okay. Great. Got it! Then she had us “crochet” our legs in the silks for added support, so that we could then reach for the silk above our feet, and pull ourselves all the way up into a seated position. You’re following this, right? Because I’m not. Literally everyone else in class just pulled themselves up like it was fucking nothing. But me? I’m over here using all my ab strength just to reach for the fabric. I literally can’t do a pull-up. Not even one. Never could. It’s just not in the cards for me. So pulling myself up from an inversion feels insurmountable. I’m just dangling there, trying first with my right hand, then my left, which is starting to make the silk sway back and forth. I grab on with both hands (finally), and pull with everything in me. Nothing happens.

Let me try that again.

No luck. At this point, I am swaying back and forth while grunting. Everyone else is resting comfortably in their makeshift chairs as the instructor has them practice doing pretty poses in the air. Fuck you guys.

I gave up and just hung upside down like that’s where I wanted to be.

Later in class there was the “vampire pose,” which consisted of pulling up so much that your entire upper body goes all the way through (with the silk wrapped around your waist) and you land in the silk, but parallel to the floor (like if you were pretending to be Superman). The instructor did it very quickly, and it honestly just looked like a great way to break my face. Fuuuuuuuck that shit. I’m out.

During Christmas week I made this soup to make sure I had something other than cookies to eat. It’s so simple and lovely, and makes the apartment smell like cozy winter evenings. Try it – you’ll love it.

 

Spinach Tortellini Soup

1 medium onion, diced

2 carrots, peels and sliced

2 stalks celery, diced

“5 ounces” baby spinach (just grab some big handfuls)

8 ounces (about) frozen tortellini (No, I did not make that shit from scratch. I’m not Martha Stewart, and I’m okay with that.)

8 cups veggie broth  (Make your own! It’s easy! Just boil shit!)*

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

A few sprinkles of dried parsley

Optional: Shredded parmesan to serve

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large soup pot (it’s easiest if this is all done in the same pot – duh). Throw in the onion, carrots, and celery. Saute until cooked through (a few minutes), stirring occasionally. Add a little salt and pepper. It’ll be more flavorful if you let the veggies brown a little bit. Stir in the veggie broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for a few minutes. Add in the frozen tortellini and simmer until they’re warmed through (I mean, just pay attention). Once everything is ready, then finally add in the spinach. It only takes a minute or two for it to fully wilt into hot soup. Sprinkle with parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with some shredded parm (I’m usually a big cheese advocate, but this isn’t super necessary if your tortellini already has cheese in it… which it should, or you’re doing it wrong).

Eat up! You’ll need your energy for humiliating yourself at your next fitness class.

*Not literally.

Cheese · comfort food · Dating · dinner · easy · gluten free · healthy · lunch · potatoes · quick · soup · vegan · Vegetables · vegetarian · veggies · Yummy

Vegan Baked Potato Soup

Y’all. I have been a hermit lately. And by hermit I mean not going to 8 yoga classes a week while also going out with friends/going to friends’ houses several times per week while surviving on 6ish hours of sleep per night (that is like zero to me). Instead, I am spending a lot of time home alone watching The Mindy Project or frequently joining another for some quality Netflix time (while discovering Stranger Things! ZOMG). During my Summer of Anxiety last year, I made the habit of socializing NONSTOP. In fact, I even retook the Meyers Briggs personality test and had actually changed from introvert to extrovert. My personality literally changed due to my anxiety level. How is that even possible?

After that summer things got better, but my schedule did not slow down. In fact, I replaced a lot of my friend time with dating. Remember that one time I went on 6 dates in 5 days? Within that same week I had my “soul crushed” by one of those 6 dates (we’re actually still friends, and were clearly not a good romantic match, so it all worked out). It was all very exhausting. I kept trying to slow everything down, but that seemed impossible while I was still swiping on Tinder.

Being alone often triggered my anxiety, so I made myself as busy as I possibly could.

In the last few months, I have finally been able to actively slow down my life. My anxiety has calmed, and I have found time for myself in a way that hasn’t been possible in a really long time. You know what really helped with that?

Deleting Tinder. Fuuuuuck. Those dates made for good stories, but that was definitely more exhausting than 8 yoga classes a week.

It’s that time of year where many of us start hibernating. Hibernating means comfort food. I literally ate various forms of bread and cheese for 4 meals on Sunday. Yes, four meals. In my defense, I was hungover from the 12 hours of drinking the day before, on top of having a cold that won’t quit. So, no, I haven’t slowed down completely. I’m just finding new things that bring me joy, and not saying yes to everything.

I’m also budgeting like crazy. I made this cozy soup last week without making an extra trip to the grocery store. My new rule is only one trip a week, and only $60 MAX. Last week I only spent $42, and that included 3 different types of cheese. Even shopping at a co-op, this shit is possible. This potato soup is rich and creamy without the cream (cream is expensive). You could definitely add other veggies to it, or even some chickpeas or quinoa for protein. I kept it pretty simple, but did top it with some fancy-ass smoked cheddar cheese (I know that means it’s no longer vegan, but I’m not vegan, so I don’t care).

Side note: These photos aren’t great because of the lack of daylight since daylight savings time ended. It’s been impossible for me to cook and photograph mid-day. It’ll get better, I promise!

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Vegan Baked Potato Soup

3 stalks celery, chopped

2-3 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

1 small onion, diced

4 cups veggie broth (I suggested keeping the concentrate around, as it is cheaper and easier – or you can make your own to be really thrifty)

3 medium potatoes, peeled, quartered, and thinly sliced

1 cup vegan milk of choice (I used cashew, but canned coconut would be creamier)

3 tablespoons flour (to thicken) – can easily be subbed for gluten free flour, or omitted

Olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional toppings: Cheddar cheese, green onion, bacon/fake bacon

In a large pot with a heavy drizzle of olive oil, saute the onion, carrots, and celery over medium-high heat until they soften (3-5 minutes). Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and the flour. Mix well – the veggies could clump together. Cook for another minute, stirring consistently. Add the potatoes and broth, making sure to incorporate everything well (no flour lumps! I believe in you!). Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Then you have 2 options…. 1. Use an immersion blender (or regular blender in batches) right in the pot to blend everything smooth, OR 2. Scoop half of the soup into a blender and blend until smooth, then return it back to the pot. Option #2 will leave you with chunks, which is my preference. You do you. Once blended, add the milk and some more salt and pepper. Scoop into bowls, top with cheese and green onion, brown up a motherfuckin’ grilled cheese because you’re sick and deserve to have melted cheese with every meal, and go back to watching Stranger Things in your PJ’s.

 

 

breakfast · Cheese · comfort food · easy · eggs · healthy · lunch · quick · Sandwiches · vegetarian

Avocado Breakfast Sandwich

When I arrived home from Hawaii at 5:30am last Sunday, the scenery was mostly bare and brown. And cold. I hopped off the plane, thankful to be walking on real ground, in bare feet and flipflops – my newly tanned toes brutally exposed to the cutting wind. To save on space, I didn’t bring a jacket or even a long sleeved shirt. It was a rude awakening for 5:30am, but I was glad to be home. My Lyft driver tried to make small talk, asking about my trip, ooo-ing and ahhh-ing at the tropical locale. I gave one word answers and leaned my head against the frosty window. He shrugged and turned up the tunes – various 70’s and 80’s songs that he unabashedly sang while simultaneously wiggling around in his seat and snapping his fingers.

When I finally walked into my apartment, Harriet (my cat) greeted me with a loud meow before bolting to her food bowl (lest I forget its location), head-butting her favorite side table on the way. I fed her and walked around my space in a haze before deciding on taking a scalding hot shower. It was perfectly blissful. After nearly 2 full weeks of consistently being around other people, it felt luxurious to be alone in my own space. Having been outside all day in the hot Hawaiian sun prior to boarding my 7.5 hour overnight flight, I needed to wash off the leftover sunscreen and sweat. I showered leisurely, filling the bathroom up with a nearly blinding amount of steam. Afterwards, I silently padded around my apartment, allowing the hot steam to permeate the space. The weather outside was dark and drizzly, which felt appropriate for my mood. Having been generously fed on the plane, I opted to burrow under my fluffy covers for a long nap.

Once I emerged from the cocoon of blankets, I fed myself this sandwich. Simple. Warm. Comforting. It’s what I needed after a long flight and a nearly comatose nap. My apartment rapidly filled up with the scent of toasted bread and scrambled eggs, which lingered for most of the day. It was cozy and homey, just as it should be.

Hawaii didn’t go as planned, but that is okay. I was able to gather the information I needed and make a decision. I don’t think I’ll be leaving Minneapolis anytime soon.

Breakfast Sandwich

1 egg

1 veggie sausageIMG_20171107_101555

2 slices of mozzarella cheese

1/4 avocado

2 slices bread

Butter

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Whisk the egg in a small bowl. Pour into a greased skillet over medium heat. In another small skillet, heat up the veggie sausage over medium-high heat until heated through (2ish minutes on each side). While this is all happening, spread avocado into thick layers on each slice of bread. Top one of the slices with the cheese. Then add the veggie sausage. Sprinkle the egg with a little salt and pepper and fold it over on itself (like an omelette). Scoop the egg up with a spatula and add to the sandwich. Top it off with the other slice of bread, then butter the outside of that top slice of bread. Place the whole sandwich, butter side down, into a greased skillet. Press down on it a little bit with the spatula. To really get the cheese to melt, cover with either a lid or an upside down skillet (which is what I do because I’m not fancy enough for lids). Cook sandwich over medium heat for a couple of minutes. If you’re not sure, just scoop it up and check the bottom. It should be golden brown. I like mine a little overdone (as you can tell). Once the bottom is close to done, butter the top slice of bread. Flip it over and give it another few minutes. It’s done once it’s golden brown and the cheese has melted. Serve with some arugula, which should obviously just be shoved into the sandwich. I ended up just eating the arugula with my hands, alternating with a bite of sandwich and a handful of arugula. So classy.

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avocado · Cheese · comfort food · Dating · dinner · easy · lunch · mushrooms · quick · Sandwiches · tinder · vegetarian

Loaded Grilled Cheese After a Disappointing Weekend

I started my day yesterday with a dick pic from a stranger… if that tells you anything about how my week is going.

One of my Tinder dates read my blog. I was feeling careless one night and let him friend me on Facebook, where he obviously found the link. He texted me the day after our first date and said, “Is it weird that I want to know how it ends with the controller guy?” Yes, yes it is weird. I hesitantly replied, “This is why I don’t let my dates read my blog… I don’t actually know how it ends with the controller guy yet.”  But honestly, I was impressed with the fact that he brought it up at all. Seemed a bit ballsy, don’t you think? I appreciated the directness. So, in case you’re wondering, here is how it ends with the controller guy…

I went out with him again last weekend. This was technically our 4th date (Errr… 3.5 dates). We did a morning date with coffee, a trip to a thrift store (where I got a fucking sweet little end table – see photos), and a walk around the park before heading to his place to watch a movie. It was great, actually. And we hung out for around 6 hours (which is something that seems to keep happening to us), despite not really being on the same page about some things.

The night beforehand we were texting a bit, and he popped the question.

Fuck.

“So what are you looking for with this online dating thing?” he asked.

Double fuck.

I knew where this was fucking going. I’m not stupid. This isn’t my first rodeo, and it sure as hell wasn’t my first Tinder letdown. But I was tired of being “talked to” via text message. I got a surge of empowerment, put up some fucking boundaries, and told him what I needed in order to continue this conversation.

So I said, “Can we discuss this tomorrow? I’m not great with text.” (My therapist was so proud of me!)

He said sure, but still went on to say, “I just want to be upfront, so you don’t have the wrong expectations. I’m weekend fun at best.”

I’m weekend fun at best?

I can’t.

I chose not to engage in conversation with him for the rest of the night. I was not ready to have this conversation at all, and I was especially not excited about being rejected again. The next day we did talk, though reluctantly. I could physically feel his anxious energy when I brought it up again. Fuck, dude… this was your idea. I didn’t want to define anything yet. But here we are.

We do not agree about what we want from each other. Big surprise, right? To me, it’s not being “upfront” when you bring up your desire to have absolutely no commitment of any kind (probably ever) 3 weeks into dating. This is the age of Tinder – the age of making your wants and needs known on a profile for all to read, so that we can all make educated decisions when swiping. So, yeah, I already had some expectations. Don’t pretend you didn’t know that. But, hey, I wasn’t that clear about it, either, so I guess we’re both to blame.

So then the question is… why did I decide to hang out with him all day despite knowing we didn’t agree on this? Because I’m human and complex, just like everyone else. And because I fucking felt like it.

I have learned that I need to be clearer about my intentions with online dating. No, I’m not ready to jump right in to something serious… but I also need to know that the option is there, because that is definitely the end goal. When you say, “Casual dating and just see where it goes,” dudes think that “seeing where it goes” means sex and only sex. I didn’t know that. I’m learning.

Fuck.

So I definitely went into this with different expectations and was genuinely excited… and I was let down… again. But you know what? I’d still rather be disappointed and sad every single fucking time versus closing myself off completely to emotional connection. I refuse to enter into these things guarded. Because, as I’ve said before, if you’re not excited and open…. then what is the fucking point? What are we even here for? The human connection is so worth it. I’d take hurt feelings over a gray world of “meh” any day. Wouldn’t you?

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I then had the opposite experience on Sunday afternoon. I went on a 2nd date with another guy(the one that read my blog). He’s smart, kind, secure, motivated, balanced, self-aware, and all around amazing. He’s looking for a relationship and he likes me. Not only that, but he’s good with boundaries and communication. He literally offered me everything I wanted – go slow, and see where it goes (end goal: relationship). He was charming and sweet. We maintained good conversation, and he made me laugh. But I couldn’t look at him as anything other than a friend.

And I feel shitty about that.

I’m trying to not feel shitty about it, because I know you can’t force feelings that aren’t there. But fuuuuuck. Part of me is screaming – what the fuck is wrong with you?! And the other part of me is calmly reassuring myself that he’s just not my person. What’s meant to be will be. Breathe.

But seriously, if there are cool single ladies out there… let me know, and I’ll connect you two (with his permission, of course). He’s so fucking awesome. He was even cool when I told him I didn’t want to go out again.

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I realize this is turning into a dating blog. Get over it. I want this to be a space where nothing is off limits, and where I can write my stories as they really happen. I’m still cooking and eating, and loving it. Sometimes I write about food, but mostly I write about life. Right now my life is mostly about dating. And that’s okay. Shit is always changing.

I made this bomb grilled cheese sandwich after a frustrating afternoon of being double charged for new tires on my car, while also realizing one of the tires already had a fucking screw in it. Fuck the full moon. Seriously.

Next week I’ll be in California and Hawaii (where Cortney is apparently setting me up with a friend of a friend in the hopes that I will fall in love and move there), so don’t feel too bad for me. 🙂

Oh, and the dick pic was from that psychopath that thought he could be his own doctor. I think I have finally successfully blocked him. Only time will tell.

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Loaded Grilled Cheese Sandwich

1/2 avocado, sliced

2 pieces sourdough bread

smoked cheddar, sliced

4-5 button mushrooms, sliced

1/4 onion, sliced

butter

olive oil

Salt and pepper

Heat a skillet over medium high heat, melting the butter with a little olive oil. Add the onions and saute for a couple minutes, until they become translucent. Add the mushrooms and saute, stirring frequently, a few more minutes, until the onions and mushrooms are slightly (or a lot) browned. Add a little salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside. Butter one side of one of the pieces of bread, and place it butter side down in a greased skillet. Top with the sliced avocado, cheese, the onion/mushroom mixture, and the second piece of bread. Heat in the skillet over medium heat, and cover to keep the heat in (it helps melt the cheese). Once it’s about ready to be flipped, spread a little butter on the top piece of bread. Flip over and heat until slightly browned on both sides. Gobble it up immediately – while it’s still gooey. Remind yourself that you’re a badass, and someday the right person will notice.

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Also, can we talk about this fucking bomb-ass table I bought from the Salvation Army on my 4th date with no commitment guy? It was totally worth the soul crush.