Asian food · avocado · Dating · dinner · easy · gluten free · healthy · lunch · quick · Rice · Sauces · snacks · vegan · Vegetables · vegetarian · veggies · Yummy

Vietnamese Summer Rolls and New Pants!

I did it… I retired my private pants. It would have been a sad day, except I now have 2 pairs of the GREATEST PANTS ON EARTH. My boyfriend (that’s right, I said it) refers to them as my “Aladdin pants,” due to their majestic flowy-ness (He was actually mocking me, but I’m sure it was done with love). I had plans with him the other day, and he texted ahead of time asking if we could just stay in. I was like, “Fuck yeah.  I was planning on wearing my fancy sweatpants anyway.” Since my new fancy sweatpants have huge slits up the outside of each leg, I couldn’t actually wear them to his place (it’s too cold for that nonsensical bullshit). That means I showed up in leggings and literally took my pants off in his entryway to put on my new, sexy sweatpants. Yes, sweatpants can totally be sexy (he would disagree, but we’re not asking him). He did agree on their functionality, stating that they are essentially the pants version of “sticking a leg out from under the blanket when sleeping.”

I bought a second pair to keep at his place, so I can stop stripping in his entryway. I’m sure he’s disappointed.

I also wore these to the AcroYoga retreat last weekend. I brought an entire bag of clothes – probably 3 full outfits. But I only wore these fucking amazing pants, and the outfit I drove in (both there and back). I mean, honestly, why put on something that will make me less happy?

Speaking of acro, my lovely acro friend, Jamie, taught me how to make these rolls. The recipe called for cilantro, but she is a kind soul that would never even think of having such a monstrous thing near me. They are oddly filling, so make sure you’re hungry. Also, we ate them with mushroom and tofu miso soup, which was a nice appetizer with it. They’re crazy simple, and really refreshing in the middle of winter. They’d also be nice in the summer when you don’t want to turn the stove or oven on.

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Vietnamese Summer Rolls

Rice paper

Rice noodles (cooked according to package instructions)

Big leaves of lettuce (I used Romaine, but they were a little too huge)

Avocado, sliced (critical to add because otherwise everything just tastes like crunchy water – you need fat!!)

Carrots/Cucumber/Bell pepper, sliced thinly

Bean sprouts (I forgot, which made me sad)

Siracha

Peanut butter and Hoisin (equal parts, mixed together, for the sauce)

YOU WILL NEED WAX PAPER FOR THIS RECIPE

For the rice paper: Use a large saute pan filled with warm water (NOT HOT) to soak the rice paper. You’ll do this one at a time, and they only need to be soaked for maybe one full minute at most (I kept feeling mine, and pulled it out once it was soft-ish).* Once the rice paper is soft and foldable, pull it out of the water and spread it out on wax paper. You can lay out a few before starting to fill them, but don’t let them sit too long (they get sticky).

For the filling: Start by placing one large lettuce leaf in the center of each rice paper. From there, layer avocado and veggies of choice. Top with a small handful of rice noodles and a heavy squirt of Siracha.

To roll: Fold the top and bottom of the rice paper over the filling. Then choose a side to start at – pull that side of the rice paper all the way across the filling and tuck it under the lettuce leaf. Continue to roll in that direction. The rice paper will stick to itself. It takes a few tries to get it right, but the janky ones are delicious, too, so don’t stress about it.

For the sauce: Mix equal parts peanut butter and hoisin sauce together. I ended up adding a tiny bit of warm water as well, because the sauce was super thick. The sauce adds a much needed fat as well, so definitely don’t skip it.

Serve with the sauce on the side. Race your friend to see how many each of you can eat (it’ll be shockingly few). Make more sauce and eat it on everything.

*There is definitely an inappropriate joke to be made here.

Curry · Dating · dinner · easy · gluten free · healthy · Indian food · quick · Rice · Sauces · vegan · Vegetables · vegetarian

Vegan Chickpea Curry

I’m doing this new thing where I actually have some kind of schedule with posting blogs. You know, like a responsible adult that actually wants regular readers. But, fuck… having a deadline is exhausting. I thought I’d start posting every Sunday… then last Sunday passed without a post. I got one done by Tuesday, so then I was like, “Great! I’ll just post every Tuesday.” But now, here I am… Tuesday night. No post yet. I’m working on it, but I really just want to watch The L Word and go to bed early. I was going to do it earlier today, but then I got tired after therapy and decided to take myself to a movie (it had to be done).

I made this recipe a few days ago, and can still smell curry when I walk into my apartment. The smell reminds me of this guy I dated last winter who claimed to have a housekeeper. He even made up this elaborate lie about having her over for Thanksgiving so she wouldn’t be alone (I know this was a lie because I actually hung out with him on Thanksgiving and he said he hadn’t done anything earlier in the day). He told the lie a few weeks prior. I suppose I could give him the benefit of the doubt, right? Maybe plans had changed for some reason. Or maybe he’s a goddamn liar that was trying to seem like a really sweet, thoughtful guy. Anyway, the first (and only) time I walked into his apartment, I was hit with the smell of curry. Seems to me like an apartment that is professionally cleaned regularly might smell of cleaning products (and not look like a dirty bachelor pad). Honestly, I didn’t mind the smell. Curry smells delicious. The issue I had was the filthy kitchen that was just packed with shit. I mean, why does one dude need all those gadgets? And why is absolutely NOTHING clean? Where has this housekeeper been? Oh yeah, she doesn’t fucking exist and you’re a goddamn liar. I mean, honestly, if you’re going to lie about something like that you should at least see it all the way through and clean your apartment. BE CONVINCING AND CONSISTENT.

We didn’t see each other again after that because I just wasn’t that interested. He insisted upon texting me once every month or two afterwards, though, just to see if I’d changed my mind(I didn’t). I had deleted his number, but always knew it was him anyway by the fucking ridiculous string of emojis that accompanied every. single. fucking. text. I would still play the game of, “I’m sorry… who is this,” which always pissed him off (and made me laugh). If I tell you to delete my number, just fucking do it. I don’t say something like that lightly. It means you fucked up beyond repair and we both need to move on. Plus, we only went out a few times and I just wasn’t that invested. If I’m on the fence about it anyway AND you’re being a dick… it’s not gonna happen.

I would like it noted that I didn’t stop seeing him because of his dirty kitchen. I’m not that shallow. I stopped seeing him because he was ambivalent about seeing me and would often forget to respond to my texts. I felt like a back-up plan, and that’s just not good enough for me. At 32, I now know I deserve more than that.

I’m finally putting the final touches on this post today (Thursday), though it was mostly written on Tuesday with the intention of posting that day! Fuck. Next week, maybe. I’ll get my shit together one of these day and post on a regular basis. Gotta keep my 20 or so readers happy! Also, I have to keep creating content for Humberto’s English class to read in Brazil. My blog is literally teaching people English. What is your’s doing?

Though, to be honest, this blog is really not appropriate for young teenagers. Am I right? I mean, I guess it’s no worse than me watching Pretty Woman at 5 years old, or obsessing over Boyz II Men’s “I’ll Make Love To You” at the tender age of nine. This is definitely more appropriate than that. Why was no one concerned about that?

Vegan Chickpea Curry

2 medium onions, diced

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 lemon, juiced

2 tablespoons curry paste

1 can coconut milk (full fat, unsweetened)

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 large handful of Swiss chard, chopped

1-2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 handful cherry tomatoes, chopped

1 handful basil, chopped

1 teaspoon maple syrup

Cooked rice of choice

Cook the onions with the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute for about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add in the curry paste, coconut milk, and a pinch of salt. Stir well, letting the curry paste dissolve. Then add in the chickpeas, Swiss chard, and soy sauce. Let it simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. It’ll thicken a little bit. Throw in the tomatoes, basil, maple syrup, and lemon juice. Taste that shit. Add more shit if needed. Serve with rice and some fucking delicious naan bread.

If someone tells you to delete their number, just fucking do it. Don’t be a dick.

breakfast · brunch · Dating · eggs · mushrooms · Sauces · tinder · travel · vacation · vegetarian

Veggie Eggs Benedict and Hawaiian Magic

I don’t even know where to begin with this post, so I’m opening with a photo of Cortney and me in Hawaii last week. Y’all. This trip was magic. I can’t.

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A couple posts ago I mentioned that Cortney was setting me up with someone in Hawaii during my visit. This ended up being an ongoing joke between the two of us, with her talking about how I was going to fall in love, and me trying to bring her back to reality (while desperately hoping this guy wouldn’t take up too much of my time and/or be a murderer). I rolled my eyes every time she brought him up, but was also oddly intrigued by the idea of going out with someone on a tropical island (Was I living in a movie?!). I’m naturally an open person, so I just went into it with no expectations, but stayed open to any good that could come from it. I knew that, at the very least, it would be a learning experience and a fun story.

I had no idea what I was in for.

First, I nearly scared him away with my blog post that mentioned how Cortney wanted me to fall in love and move there. Let’s get one thing straight… I never once thought Cortney’s plan would ever work, and that’s exactly what I told him. I’m not stupid – this was a vacation fling. Obviously. And don’t you dare judge me. I’m a grown ass woman, and I’m allowed. I also recognized that it might not even develop into a fling. It was likely going to be one disappointing date, and nothing more.

Holy shit, you guys – I was so stupid.

Remember how I’m always talking about being vulnerable, having feelings, and avoiding a gray world of “meh”? The spectrum of human emotions is a beautiful thing, and I got to feel a lot of it throughout this experience. Yeah, sometimes it’s painful, but fuuuuuck… it’s worth it. If you’re not feeling anything, then what is the fucking point of being alive?

There is nothing sadder than indifference.

Our first date was my second night in town. It was the first of five, each one better than the last. Real feelings got involved, which I recognized around the 3rd date (and he mentioned it first, because he’s a secure dude, which is hot as fuck). I remember getting back to Cortney’s apartment and recapping it to her. She cackled manically like an evil mastermind and pretended to pet an invisible cat, exclaiming that her plan was working. I rolled my eyes. But the fact was, I was now invested and a little bit scared of the repercussions. I knew this couldn’t end like a romantic comedy. We live 4,000 miles apart. I knew that, and I dived in anyway. Why? Because it’s fucking worth it. Because he is interesting and smart. Because he’s secure as fuck and non-judgmental. Because he wasn’t afraid to hold my hand and communicate. Because he reminded me that I don’t have to compromise on what I want in a partner. They can have all of those qualities. People like that exist. He exists. It’s fucking possible.

Oh, and because he bought me fucking donuts.

I desperately hope this isn’t the end for us… but the fact is that it might be. I know that. Yet, still… I wouldn’t take any of it back. I’d do it all again in a second. Fuck it. The feelings involved (even the bad ones) made this so fucking worth it. 

I’ve completely reevaluated how I’m dating here in Minneapolis. And with this newfound knowledge… I’ve deleted Tinder. Not forever, just for now. I need to just sit with this feeling, and have a little space to myself. I’m not closed off (and I hope I never will be), but I’m taking a little time away from seeking out a relationship. I’m too raw right now, and it’s important to be self-aware enough to know that.

As much as I like to share my version of the human experience… this post is feeling very vulnerable to me (plus, I know he’s going to read it, and I’m feeling unsure about that). For now, the rest of this story will remain private. More Hawaii stories with Cortney yet to come, though! Including (but not limited to) snorkeling with a sea turtle, singing to the Moana soundtrack, teaching Acro to a few friends, giving a miniature horse a bath, horseback riding in the rain, and half naked men dancing. Oh, and eating alllll the mochi. Seriously. I spent probably $50+ on mochi. I’m out of control.

Oh, and I ate pork (gasp). I’m not sorry.

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My last breakfast in Hawaii was with Cortney, her husband, and a couple friends. Cortney and I couldn’t decide what we wanted, so we ordered eggs florentine and cinnamon apple pancakes to split. I fucking love doing shit like that. When I got home, I was really missing her, so I opted to make eggs benedict/florentine. This seemed logical at the time.

Veggie Eggs Benedict

1 egg

3-4 button mushrooms

1 handful of spinach

2 tablespoons chopped onion

1 slice of bread (or half an English muffin)

2 teaspoons white vinegar

For the hollandaise sauce:

2 egg yolks

1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 stick butter, melted

salt and pepper

To make the sauce, whisk together the yolks and lemon juice in a metal mixing bowl until it fluffs up and doubles in size. Then place the bowl over a sauce pan of slightly simmering water (making sure the water doesn’t actually touch the bowl). Continue whisking, and do not let the eggs get too hot or sit for too long, otherwise they’ll scramble. Slowly whisk in the melted butter until the sauce has thickened and doubled in size again. Remove from heat, add salt and pepper to taste, and set in a warm spot while you get everything else together. Makes enough sauce to cover 2-4 eggs (I like a lot of sauce, so it’d only be 2 for me).

Saute the veggies, minus the spinach, in a little olive oil or cooking spray, stirring frequently and adding salt and pepper. Once the mushrooms brown, add the spinach and allow to wilt. Place bread/English muffin into the toaster.

To poach an egg! First step: Believe in yourself! If the egg isn’t beautiful, who the fuck cares? It’ll still be delicious. This was my first successfully poached egg, and I did a little dance to celebrate. You should, too. First, grab a deep skillet and fill it up with water. Place over high heat, and add a little salt and 2 teaspoons of white vinegar. While waiting for the water to boil, crack the egg into a small glass/ramekin. Once boiling, stir water with a spoon to create a whirlpool effect. Once it’s really circling, slowly pour the egg into the center. The movement of the water will help keep the egg together, preventing it from looking like a baby octopus. Turn off the heat and cover pan. Allow to cook for 2-5 minutes, depending on how runny you like your yolks.

To assemble (does this really need to be explained?): Cover toast/English muffin with the sauteed veggies. Top with the egg and as much sauce as you’d like. The sauce will not keep, so eat it all in one sitting!

Then go out and collect every single human experience possible. Feel everything.

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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.

Asian food · Dating · dinner · easy · lunch · mushrooms · pasta · quick · Sauces · Stir-fry · vegan · vegetarian

Asian Noodle Stir Fry

So this recipe was originally labeled as “ramen,” but I thought that was doing a disservice to ramen everywhere. I couldn’t call it that… that’s not what it is. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s fucking delicious. But it is not, by any means, ramen. Ramen is that beautifully and painstakingly crafted soup with the pork or beef broth and the soft boiled egg on top that you lovingly stir in until it melts and becomes one with the broth. Fuck. I miss ramen so much. And the pork buns that go with it. Sigh.

I repeat: This is not ramen.

I’m a lot of things, but I’m not a fucking liar.

This recipe was so much fun for me. Here in Minneapolis the weather is starting to warm up. I went shopping for this recipe on one of the first nice days of the season, which meant walking around my neighborhood enjoying the “warm” breeze on my face (Minnesotans in the spring have a pretty fucked up view of what is warm). I have 2 Asian markets within a couple blocks of my apartment, and I almost never visit them. Seems silly, since they both contain mochi… my one and only true love. I got to visit both while shopping for this blog post… only because I ran out of arms to carry all the delicious bottles of sauces at the first one, and I couldn’t find a fucking basket. Rather than be a normal human and ask, I just purchased what I could carry and left. This included an impromptu box of mochi, obviously. Not just regular mochi… but mochi fucking rolls. This was very exciting. I ate all of them in 2 days. I’m not sorry.

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So I bought all my shit… from 2 separate Asian markets… and commenced to cooking (in a borrowed wok because I’m a disaster). This was so fucking easy and fast! Go make it right now. You’re welcome.

Dating update: Sighhhhhh. I’m so embarrassed. So I went out with this guy a few weeks ago. We went out for drinks, and then later on the same day (but after leaving and having dinner with friends), he invited me over to his apartment to play Super Mario 2 on the Wii. If you’ve ever played Mario with me… you kind of see where this is going. It’s like I have fucking Tourette’s Syndrome or some shit. I literally cannot stop the swear words from leaving my mouth every time I play any Mario game. I warned him ahead of time… he was cool with it. I even kept it fairly under control! And by “under control,” I mean that I didn’t string all the curse words I could think of into one long curse word this time… I just yelled out the normal ones. You know, classically appropriate language/behavior for the 1st (and a half!) date. But it doesn’t stop there. I got so riled up when I couldn’t beat one of the levels that I threw his Wii controller into his lap…. which housed a glass of beer. You see where this is going. That controller didn’t stand a chance. It landed right in his beer, completely killing the sensor (and my dignity). Luckily, this dude was really chill about it, and even thought it was funny. It took everything in me to not cry out of shame.

Since I’m a “seize the opportunity” type of person, I used this scenario to my benefit. I texted him 2 days later with a photo of the 3 different colored Wii controllers that I have, and asked which color he wanted. See what I did there? Made it all cute and shit, and snagged an excuse to text (#nailed it). Thanks to my ingenuity, we hung out again this weekend. And we played Wii again (I wore the strap at all times). In fact, I brought over a couple of controllers because I knew the only other one he had was kind of janky (and one was obviously for him to keep). Everything went well!

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That is… until I got home. I accidentally stole his janky remote because it’s the same color (pink) as my extra controller! UGH. Now it looks like I am trying to trick him into seeing me again. Fuck that shit. I don’t play those games. If you don’t want to see me, I am not here to try to convince you. But now I’m sure that’s what he thinks, because what the fuck else would he think? I mean, seriously. I texted him to let him know that I had it and that it was an accident, but I can’t say anything more than that without sounding completely nuts. FUCK. Why does this shit keep happening to me?! Goddammit. Logically, I’m like… he probably understands and it’s fine. But the other part of me is all… omg, he thinks you’re nuts and playing annoying games. And yet another part of me keeps reminding myself that this was 2.5 dates and who the fuck cares?!

Anxiety is real, y’all.

Asian Noodle Stir Fry

2 packets of instant ramen (minus the flavor packet) OR 3 squares of the vegetarian noodles from the Asian market

1.5 cups red cabbage, shredded

1 cup snow peas, sliced in half at an angle

1 carrot, julienned (lol jk, just grab a handful of matchstick carrots)

1/4 cup red bell pepper, julienned (just slice ’em however you like)

5-7 fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced

1 cup bean sprouts

Green onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon dark soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons canola oil (I actually used olive oil)

1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine

Ground white pepper (I used black pepper)

Siracha

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook for about 45-60 seconds. Use chopsticks or a fork to break up the noodles. Drain, rinse, and set aside. Whisk together the soy sauces, sesame oil, white/black pepper, and sugar in a small bowl and set aside. In a wok over medium high heat, add the canola oil along with the garlic, cabbage, carrots, peppers, and mushrooms. Saute for a couple minutes. Next, add the Shaoxing wine and snow peas, and cook for a few more seconds. Top with the cooked noodles and sauce, tossing thoroughly. Add the bean sprouts and green onion. Serve with extra chopped green onion to make it pretty. Squirt a bunch of siracha on top, so it doesn’t matter if it’s pretty.

Don’t steal Wii remotes unless you want your date to think you’re a weirdo.

OR

Embrace the weird and hope someone likes it!

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Beans · Crock pot · Dating · dinner · easy · gluten free · healthy · lunch · soup · vegan · vegetarian

Vegan Quinoa Tortilla Soup to Soothe My Dating Misadventures

I’m writing this on St. Patrick’s Day. Instead of doing shots with frat boys (who does that?), I ate take-out Thai food in the bathtub while watching Grace and Frankie on Netflix. It is now just after 9pm. I’m cooking rice for the upcoming week and waiting for my laundry to dry. This might not sound like much of a night to you, but to me… it feels like magic. It is a night of self care, and it feels so good and so needed. Sometimes, after consistently putting myself out there and dealing with constant rejection and disappointment, it’s important to retreat back into myself. I need this introspective time.

Especially after the rejection from 2 people and the special kind of crazy I found on OkCupid this week. Last week or the week before I screenshot a message I got on OkCupid from a guy whose profile picture was a shirtless mirror selfie. He opened with, “Like full 9 inches ;)” and then signed his name. I screenshot it to show my friends how gross online dating can be and immediately blocked him. His was one of dozens of disgusting messages I had received, so I didn’t think much of it. Fast forward to this week, and I’m starting to talk to a few people on OkCupid. There’s one guy, Mike. He’s cute, 33 years old, went to college, likes to work out, etc. Seems nice enough, and is showing an interest in yoga. He even asks me about chakras. So we exchange phone numbers, and start texting. Then he calls me the day after we start texting, which is pretty unheard of nowadays. I am unable to answer, but text him that he can try again later. We do finally talk on the phone, and he sounds downright manic to me. He’s going on and on about how healthy his diet is (he eats mostly smoothies because you “absorb the nutrients better that way”), and how he’s trying to be so healthy that he won’t even need a dentist or doctor – that he’ll be his own doctor. He mentions how he’s really smart because he “studies” all the time (which is the word he uses to describe falling down the rabbit hole on Google and Wikipedia). He talks about how he likes to get into discussions with people, but that they often get mad at him for knowing so much since he doesn’t have a degree (but, wait… didn’t his profile say he went to college?). He talks and talks for about 10 minutes. I finally get off the phone with him, and already know I never want to meet in person. He’s completely unstable. Honestly, I should do phone calls with all of them. It would save me so much time.

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Later that night, as I’m deleting old photos, I find the message from the shirtless mirror selfie guy, and realize that it’s the same fucking person I just spent 2 days talking to. What the FUCK is wrong with people?! He went out of his way to create a brand new, normal sounding profile, and decided to find me again after being blocked? Holy shit that’s fucked up. I end up texting him the screenshot and telling him to delete my number. I haven’t heard from him since.

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Tonight marks the third night in a row of getting a full night’s sleep. I do have a date tomorrow, but it’s a daytime date. Those are nice because they don’t keep me up late, plus they’re so much more casual. There’s less pressure. This guy is weird about coffee dates, though (I mean, honestly, what the fuck is wrong with getting a cup of coffee or tea together?), so we’re meeting for a drink at 1pm. Who does that? People that need alcohol to loosen up, that’s who. He already has a red flag now, and we haven’t even met yet.

Update: It’s now Sunday night (2 days later), and I ended up having a great date yesterday. We had our second date on the same day as our first… which just means we hung out at 1pm, and then again at 6:30pm. He seems like a decent human, and he’s a cat person. I started talking myself out of being excited about him on my drive home from our “second” date. But then I realized… if I’m not going to get excited about someone I have an awesome date with… then what is the fucking point? One of my biggest fears is becoming bitter and jaded, which will close me off to people. Fuck that. I refuse. Online dating will not get the best of me. If I’m excited about someone, then good. I’m fucking human. Fuck what anyone else thinks. And if this doesn’t turn into anything (my history tells me it won’t), that’s fine. But just because my history says it won’t be anything doesn’t mean I can’t be open to it.

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I made soup this week because I actually made time for myself. I highly encourage you all to do the same.

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Vegan Quinoa Tortilla Soup

1 onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

3 jalapenos, cored and diced

1 bag (1 pound) frozen corn

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed

1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies

1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce

3 cups vegetable broth

1 cup water

1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

Salt and pepper (be generous)

Optional topping: Tortilla chips/strips, diced green onion, sour cream, avocado, cheddar cheese

Throw everything (except toppings, obviously) into a crock pot and cook on high heat for 6ish hours (I did 8 hours).

OR

In a large pot on the stove, saute the onions with a little olive oil and salt and pepper for about 3 minutes. Add the peppers, garlic, and seasonings, stirring to combine, and cook for a few more minutes. Add the canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth, and water bring to a low boil. Pour in the quinoa and cook for about 20 minutes before adding the pinto beans. Cook until beans are heated through. Serve with any/all toppings. I highly suggest eating this with tortilla chips instead of a spoon. Fuck spoons.

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.