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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comfort food · dinner · easy · lunch · pasta · quick · vegetarian · Yummy

Election Night Anxiety Cooking

I ordered one of those Hello Fresh meal/recipe deliveries because my friend got me a coupon for a free week trial. I was just in it for the free food, but it was actually pretty cool. And it was nice to have something fairly easy/fool-proof to cook on election night, when my anxiety was peaking, and I was unable to concentrate.

The service sends out these 3 neat little boxes with all the ingredients I need for a recipe (also provided) tucked inside. Everything is measured out for me, and the recipe lists every step with a photo. Idiot-proof. What should have also been included, since it was election week (and they fucking knew it), was a bottle (gallon) of fucking wine. I had to provide that for myself. What a bunch of bullshit.

I recognize this is a food blog, so I should keep things light.

I’ve never been good at following rules.

While I realize that things are not quite as dire as they seem, I am deeply disturbed by the election results (as many of us are). I have seen people feel frustrated or angry or disappointed after elections before… that’s normal. What I’ve never seen before is the overwhelming fear, and the sense of mourning. I’ve never been afraid before, and I’ve never seen people so scared of their new leader. I know this happens, but I’ve never lived it. And I recognize how ignorant that is. I’m realizing that I still have a lot to learn, especially considering that I live in an isolated liberal bubble called the Twin Cities. This was a wake-up call for sure. I never thought Trump stood a chance in hell… that the whole thing was a cruel joke. My blissful ignorance lead to a very rude awakening last night, and now I’m left raw and terrified.

When it comes down to it, I know Trump cannot just walk into the White House and make sweeping changes overnight. It doesn’t work like that. And that’s not the thing that scares me the most (though I do worry). He is hateful toward many groups of people, all of whom have very real emotions surrounding this election, and all of whom I am genuinely scared for. But I can only speak for myself, and my personal fears in regards to Trump. The one thing I just can’t seem to wrap my head around, of all the things we know about him (all of the horrible, disgusting things), is the fact that he is accused of sexual assault.

We have elected a rapist as President of the United States.

Are Americans really so uncomfortable with the idea of a woman in office that we have elected a man that is not only accused of sexual assault, but who openly brags about it? What does that say about us?

A challenge to Trump supporters:

I am a sexual assault survivor (and I’m sick of the stigma that goes with that, so I’m posting in on a fucking blog). I challenge you to listen to my story, look me in the eye, and tell me again why you think Trump will be a good president.

And, no, I don’t want you to imagine it happening to your mom, sister, daughter, wife, etc. Our identities as women are not dependent upon those relationships (and not all sexual assault survivors are women). We are humans. We exist, therefore we matter. I am a sexual assault survivor, and I am one of millions. And we all matter. You just elected our abuser as president.

Tell me again how sexual assault accusations ruin a man’s career.

The one silver lining to this shitshow of an election is the fact that people are riled up. We want change, and we won’t go down without a fight. I urge those of you feeling lost and scared to reach out to your friends, family, and community. Rise up. We will not be silent. Band together and work toward change. Find a cause that speaks to you, and support it in any way possible – volunteer, donate, make phone calls, sign petitions, write letters/emails to state representatives. Make your voice heard. All is not lost. We have each other.

And we’re going to be okay.

If anyone gives a shit about this recipe from Hello Fresh, here you go…

Oh, and the photos look like shit because I just don’t care this week.

One-Pot Tortellini Wonder20161108_214903

2 cloves garlic

4 oz kale (or just a bunch), washed and de-stemmed

1 cup milk

1 packet veggie stock concentrate (I suspect a veggie bouillon cube/teaspoon would work too)

2 oz Pesto

9 oz fresh cheese tortellini

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

1/4 cup shredded parmesan

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

All the wine in the house (not for the recipe, but to drown one’s sorrows)

Preheat oven to broil. Take a drink of wine. Thinly slice kale (or chop manically into little pieces), and mince garlic. Take a drink of wine. Grab an oven proof pan (or a regular one, but then transfer tortellini to a baking dish when it’s time to broil) and heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and let cook for about a minute before adding the kale, along with a splash of water. Drink more wine. Season with salt and pepper and stir for 3-4 minutes, until softened. Add the milk, veggie stock, a splash of water, and pesto. Stir well to combine, and add the tortellini. Cook, stirring often, until sauce thickens. While this is cooking take a drink of wine, and mix the breadcrumbs and parmesan in a small bowl along with salt and pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Once the pasta is cooked, sprinkle with the breadcrumbs mixture and broil until browned on top.

Maybe eat it. Maybe just drink more wine and pass out. I won’t judge you.

**If anyone is feeling depressed/anxious/suicidal or like they might self harm, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1‑800‑273‑TALK (8255). They are available for anyone in emotional distress. Never hesitate to ask for help. I know this is a scary time, but we will get through it.

comfort food · dinner · easy · healthy · lunch · mushrooms · pasta · quick · vegetarian

Pesto Pasta

 

I’ve been a little MIA lately.

I haven’t been blogging much for several reasons…

  1. It’s been hot as fuck outside, and the last thing I want to do is turn on the oven/stove/toaster. I just want to eat ice cream in my underwear. Don’t judge me.
  2. Yoga Teacher Training started! My weekends are so jam packed full of yoga, it’s ridiculous (and awesome). It doesn’t leave much time for anything else.
  3. It’s summer, so the free time I do have, I want to spend outside.
  4. My yoga schedule even outside of training is seriously ridiculous. I’m turning into a full on junkie.

In other news… I bought a fucking bikini! Don’t worry about me… I’m just over here taking body positivity to a whole new level. NBD.

Did you know that you can wear a bikini and still eat pasta? It’s true. Society would like to convince you otherwise, but I’m here to tell you… you can do whatever the fuck you want to do. Everyone else can fuck right off. So I’m going to go ahead and wear my size 16 bikini. I might even wear it (gasp) in front of other people. That’s right – no more swim dresses for me!

All this empowerment might wear off when I’m actually in a public space… but let’s pretend I’m really badass enough to handle it.

Anyway, I made this pasta the other day after I splurged on store bought basil and made a shit-ton of pesto. The budget situation isn’t going well. I can’t excel everywhere. Honestly, I’m only human.

In my defense, I was going to go to the store again to get ingredients for a blog post, when I decided that I had enough shit at home to throw something together. Adulting like a pro! This pasta came together in about 20 minutes, and is really easy to make. The sauce could have been improved with a little heavy cream, so go ahead and add that if you have some on hand. If not, it’s still awesome. I also think sauces like this go better with longer noodles like spaghetti or linguine, but that’s not what I had in my cupboard, so I made due.

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Pesto Pasta

8oz pasta of your choice

1 cup mushrooms, chopped

1/2 onion, chopped

1/4 cup pesto (I froze mine in ice trays, and used 2 cubes)

1-2 large handfuls spinach

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Shredded Parmesan

Boil pasta until al dente. In a large skillet, brown mushrooms in olive oil (or butter) over medium-high heat. While the pros will tell you to “not crowd the mushrooms,” I really think there is very little change in flavor. I spent the time browning mushrooms for this, and not only was it a huge pain in the ass, but I really didn’t notice a difference. For those that don’t know what this means, basically you just make sure the mushrooms have enough space that they aren’t overlapping in the pan, otherwise they will just steam instead of brown. Do what you want with this information. If you’re browning them, set them aside to cook the onions in the same pan (if you’re not browning them, just throw the onions and mushrooms into the pan together). Once the onions are translucent and slightly brown, add the mushrooms back into the pan, along with the spinach and pesto. Lower the heat to medium-low, and add salt and pepper to taste. Once everything is fully incorporated, dump in the strained pasta and stir well. Add more salt and pepper, if needed. Serve topped with shredded parmesan cheese.

Maybe throw on your favorite bikini while eating this… in front of other people.

#nomorebodyshaming

 

Bacon · breakfast · brunch · comfort food · easy · eggs · quick · Sandwiches

Breakfast Sandwich

Yesterday was mostly a disaster. I went to the grocery store while hungry. This is not good for budgeting. I never get a cart at the grocery store, always a basket. I feel like the basket will help control the amount of things I’m able to purchase. Not the case yesterday. I was lugging around a LOT of heavy shit. And I had my reusable bags with me, so I started using one of those like a second basket. The store was so fucking crowded, and I was plowing through people with my shoulders desperately trying to stay in their sockets, determined to get everything I “needed” in one trip.

It didn’t help that I was painfully sick of eating beans and rice. I went off the deep end, guys. I mean, I bought 4 different types of cheese. Four.

I even bought bacon.

And basil (not in season!).

And pine nuts.

It was chaos.

Once I got home and ate something, I calmed down a little bit. Then I immediately started planning out meals in my head to make this all last as long as fucking possible. It’s going to be okay. It doesn’t matter that I’ve already spent over half of my monthly food budget on one night out to dinner, plus this crazy grocery store visit.

I mean, I bought English muffins. Who am I?

This was my first time buying meat in almost a month, and I stuck to small amounts. I consider one slice of bacon a serving. It was still unnecessarily expensive, but it’ll last awhile.

I also made all that basil, pine nuts, and cheese into pesto and froze it. That’s 16 servings of pesto, which is exciting. Now I can start making pizza again! There is nothing better than mushroom, spinach, pesto pizza.

Except maybe a homemade  breakfast sandwich. I never make these things, but decided to start my Sunday with one this week. Why the hell not? I have all the ingredients just lying around, since I lost my mind at the store. This is a really simple recipe, and can be made into several different variations. Here’s my version.

Breakfast Sandwich

1 egg

Splash of half and half (or milk)

1 English muffin

1 slice bacon

2 slices cheddar cheese

Spinach

Butter

Salt and pepper

Cut English muffin in half, and place in toaster. Whisk the egg with the half and half, and pour into a small skillet. Add salt and pepper. Once the egg has cooked through, add the cheese on one side, and fold over (like you’re making an omelette). Once cheese has melted a little bit, use spatula to cut the omelette in half. Take English muffin out of toaster, and butter both halves. Place one half of the omelette onto one side of the English muffin, then top with bacon*, spinach, other half of the omelette, and top with the English muffin.

Pair this with a cup of homemade coffee, and be proud that you avoided the drive through.

*For the bacon, I always cook it in the microwave. Don’t judge me. One minute per slice. It works perfectly every time. Other people swear by the oven method… I just don’t eat enough bacon for this to be worth the time involved. Do what you want.

 

dinner · easy · lunch · pizza

Halloween and Homemade Pizza

I hate Halloween.20150927_210938

I know – it’s your favorite holiday, isn’t it? It’s everyone else’s fucking favorite holiday. I don’t get it. I never know what my costume should be, and even when I do figure something out, I never have anywhere to go. Maybe this stems from being a nerdy kid, or from not having many friends in college, or from being an introvert. I’ve just never felt cool enough to participate in Halloween. So I became a little bitter. I’m entitled to my feelings. Fuck off.
20151004_134556That being said, I do have a costume this year. I’m going as a mermaid, because mermaids are fucking awesome and magical. I’m really half-assing it, though. I got some leggings with a mermaid tail/scale pattern, which I’ll pair with a purple tank top and a shit ton of glitter. Good enough, right?

In the three years I lived in New York, I don’t think I was invited out even once for Halloween. One time, some of my girlfriends told me they weren’t doing anything, but then I saw pictures of them with matching costumes at some party on Facebook. It was like something out of a 20151004_135809shitty teen movie, except I was 24. I’m not friends with those girls anymore (obviously), though I probably never really was. New York is full of mean girls.

Most Halloweens are spent eating all the candy I bought just in case we have trick-or-treaters at the apartment (which has never happened). I also like to watch the classics – Hocus Pocus and Halloweentown (duh). I cannot watch real scary movies. I’m a total wuss.

Back when I liked Halloween, I would dress as a fairy and get white girl wasted every year.

When I’m white girl wasted, I like to eat pizza.

That transition was fucking epic.

The beauty of this recipe is it’s flexibility. I never remember to make pizza dough a full 24 hours in advance. I mean, who plans that well?! This recipe has options for 22, 12, or 6 hour rise times. I usually do 12 hours, since I’m already thinking about dinner at breakfast. That’s normal, right? This recipe is also super easy. Don’t be intimidated by making dough from scratch. It’s surprisingly simple, and crazy cheap. Also, no kneading required.

20150928_215130Homemade Pizza (from Smitten Kitchen)

3 cups flour

Slightly heaped 1/8, 1/4, or 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast (for 22, 12, or 6 hour rise times)

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/3 cup water

Mix dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Add water slowly, while stirring. It will come together and be sort of scraggly looking. That just means you did it right. Mush it all together in the middle, and loosely cover. Store at room temperature for the corresponding amount of time. Once dough has risen to about double it’s original size, sprinkle it with flour, and dump it onto a floured surface. It should be soft and stretchy. Cut into half, and roll both halves into a ball. Pick up one half with floured hands, and let it stretch and fall away from you, back to the counter. Repeat on all sides, making kind of a messy rectangle. Then place on a greased and floured cookie sheet. Use floured fingers to press and pull the dough into a rectangle. It should fill up most of the surface of a standard cookie sheet. Repeat with other half of dough (or half the recipe and only make one!).

20150928_215152Preheat oven to 500 degrees while preparing your toppings.

I like some variation of the following:

Tomato sauce or Pesto

Onions

Spinach

A shit ton of mushrooms

Bell peppers

Spicy sausage

Goat cheese

Extra basil

Mozzarella

Parmesan

Whatever you choose to add, make sure to saute it with olive oil and salt and pepper for a few minutes first. It makes a big flavor difference.

Add your sauce, then veggies/meats, and finally cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes, rotating once.

Eat it cold, right out of the fridge, after a night of heavy drinking.

Yummy

Pesto Obsession

There was a time when I bought pesto in a jar. In fact, I remember buying ingredients for a dinner I wanted to cook for a friend of mine. I was so upset about not being able to find a jar of pesto at the shitty grocery store in Harlem. I was getting visibly upset when my friend laughed at me, and directed me to the pesto ingredients. I honestly had no idea a regular person could actually make pesto from scratch. It was right up there with making your own pasta, or baking your own crackers. I mean, who does that?! My tiny 23 year old brain couldn’t even fathom it at the time. Twenty-three year old me would be shocked at what I’m capable of now.

I now make pesto every year. Basically, as soon as the farmers’ market starts selling basil, I’m all over it. I’ll make jars and jars of it, and put it on everything from pasta to bread to eggs (don’t judge me). Last year, I gained 8 pounds during pesto season. This year, I have a better plan. I’ve been freezing the pesto in ice cube trays, so I’m able to control my servings. I haven’t weighed myself yet, but I’m optimistic. And, honestly, if I still gain 8 pounds, it’ll be worth it.

There’s one problem with pesto. Pine nuts are fucking expensive. They are the diamonds of the nut world. If you can’t afford them, don’t worry, though. Just replace them with another nut that you enjoy (and is maybe on sale). I really enjoy the classic pesto flavor, so I always splurge on the pine nuts. But it can be painful. That being said, if you do spend the extra cash on them, try not to burn them like I did. But, if you do burn them… just go with it. Fuck it. They’re too expensive to start over.

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All you need for this is a handful of ingredients, and a blender or food processor. Most people will tell you to use a food processor, but those things are expensive. Also, they take up more space that I just don’t have in my tiny apartment kitchen. The blender works just fine. You don’t have to be fancy to enjoy pesto.

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Pesto

4 cups basil

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted

2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

Juice and zest from a large wedge of lemon

1 cup olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

To toast the pine nuts, all you need to do is throw them in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir them frequently until you notice browning. Remove from heat.

Combine all ingredients in blender, and blend until smooth.

Put that shit on everything.