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?

20170411_183749

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.

20170411_183755

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.

20170411_183757

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.

20170411_183821

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.

20170325_115915

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!

20170326_151826

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!

20170326_152242

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.

20170315_164456

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.

20170319_125303

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.

20170319_125310

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

20170319_125514

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.

avocado · breakfast · brunch · comfort food · Dating · dinner · easy · eggs · healthy · lunch · quick · Sandwiches · vegetarian

Spicy Avocado Toast (aka My New Obsession)

I have been eating this literally every morning for breakfast this week. It’s even better than the original avocado toast recipe. I kid you not. This also passes for a fucking awesome (and quick) dinner, which is helpful when you have many drink dates set up with crazy people from Tinder. It never ends.

I learned the term “Tinder Fatigue” this week. I was talking to this guy on the app about how overwhelming it can be to online date. Now, we had been having some decent conversation for about a week. I felt fairly comfortable talking to him about this. He didn’t seem like a dick. But he was just not understanding. Like, he thought everything was easy and fun. Sigh. Dudes – am I right? So I finally said to him, “Okay, just tell me then… how many matches do you have right now? I don’t mean just the people you’re actually talking to… but how many are in your full list of matches?”

“Eight,” He replied.

Well, shit. This guy has no clue. NONE.

Now I’m faced with a dilemma… do I lie? Do I somehow break it to him gently? How is this going to go? I’m a terrible liar, even via text, so I opt for the truth. I have 41 matches (which has only increased since having this conversation). You know what his first question was?

“So how many hook ups have you had on here?”

Sighhhhhh. So when I match with guys on Tinder… I’m fairly certain that 80% of them are swiping right on nearly every single woman they see. This means I am forced to sift through the pile of dudes. Fuck. I don’t want to waste my time sifting through a pile of assholes. Wouldn’t it just be easier for everyone involved if we read each other’s profiles and swiped accordingly? The profiles are literally less than 500 characters.

Several people have told me to join OkCupid. I thought it might be better because they match you with people based on about a million questions. One of the first things I did was check the “no babies” box, and then, just to be very clear, write in my profile that I don’t want kids. I love that they ask questions and give me a match percentage on OkCupid, but I absolutely fucking hate that they allow anyone and everyone to message me. I signed up for it, and then forgot about it for about a week. By the time I signed in again, I had 311 “likes” and 56 messages. Fuck. I scrolled through it for 2 minutes before closing the whole thing in a panic. I could not process that many people trying to talk to me. I couldn’t even look at their profiles. The whole thing was just too much. I waited a few days before trying again. I braced myself and signed in only to find even more messages (many along the lines of, “Hey, sexy/baby/sweetie/cutie/beauty/etc” or “You have a beautiful smile/hot body.” Gag). Before tackling the messages, I decided to fill out my profile more. At least now the messages are from people that somewhat make sense to me. Everyone else just gets blocked immediately. I’ve blocked so many fucking people.

The first Bumble date I ever had messaged me on OkCupid the other day. We went on one date 6 months ago that lasted about an hour. He bailed out of there so quickly that I just assumed he wasn’t interested. I wasn’t really either, so no hard feelings. Never heard from him again. Suddenly he’s interested? He’s all, “I really wanted to make out with you, but you didn’t seem into it.” Well, I wasn’t. And neither were you, because you bailed the moment our drinks were finished. He seemed to think we were going to reconnect. WTF? We literally met in person for one hour, and had nothing in common. Why the fuck would I want to see him again?

What is wrong with people?

I do have hope, though. I’m talking to a couple people that seem like decent human beings. I mean, for now. They’ll probably all ghost me, and/or be shocked that I don’t want children (and then ghost me).

One person even made it to 3 dates. That seems to be my max, though, so we’ll see if I ever hear from him again. He probably didn’t realize I don’t want to breed with him, and once he realizes he’ll ghost me and/or act appalled. I mean, how is he supposed to know when there are a full 4 sentences in my profile?

Goddammit, people – read my fucking profile.

Spicy Avocado Toast

1 slice sourdough bread

1 egg

1/4 to 1/2 avocado, thinly sliced

Red pepper flakes

Arugula

Olive oil

Hot sauce

Salt and pepper

Bring a pot of water to a boil and slowly lower in an egg. Let it boil for about 6 minutes (it’ll be runny in the middle). While it’s boiling, take your toast and layer with the avocado slices. Sprinkle some red pepper flakes on top, along with some salt. Drizzle with olive oil, and add as much hot sauce as you like. Top it with the arugula and a soft boiled egg. Use your fork to break up the egg a little bit, spreading it around evenly. Add some salt and pepper and shovel into your face. Eat this for all your meals because you can’t bring yourself to cook more than that, and you’re too busy going on many dates. When you’re done eating, collapse from exhaustion.

20170225_142826

comfort food · Dating · dinner · easy · soup · vegan · vegetarian

Vegan Chickpea and Dumpling Stew

I did it. I made motherfucking dumplings. This is something I never even aspired to! And it was fucking easy!

My friend and coworker surprised me with a cookbook the other day. She was perusing vegan cookbooks when she came across Thug Kitchen, and said it was just screaming my name. Goddamn right it was. Have you guys read this shit? It’s so fucking funny. My favorite line in this recipe was, “…add the dumplings a couple at a time so they don’t get all stuck together in a clusterfuck of dough and dying dreams.” That kills me. Also, I love the word clusterfuck. I’m going to start adding that to my everyday vocab. WordPress insists it’s not a word, but they’re wrong.

So yesterday I had all this shit planned… but I ended up watching Aladdin while making this stew instead. Shit just didn’t work out. No one came to my yoga class in the morning, which is fine because I was then able to have a full on photoshoot for future Instagram posts all by myself. I also kind of love having the studio to myself. Feels a little like magic. But I really did want to teach! I even smudged the place, lit all the candles, swept the floor, and set an intention for class. Sometimes shit just doesn’t work out. That’s okay. A couple other things fell through as well, but whatthefuckever. I thoroughly enjoyed spending my time cooking. I always enjoy that. I should do it more often, actually. Besides, it just means I get to spend more time not wearing any fucking pants. That’s a day well spent in my opinion. Fuck pants.

I’m still Tinder-ing, but I’m trying to be more mindful about how I swipe. And, obviously, no more drunken swiping. Do not drink and Tinder. I finally cleaned up that mess, and just started over. You should also not go on Tinder after being disappointed by a romantic interest. All it does is lead to frantic swiping and frantic emotions. It’s much better to process that disappointment first, then start swiping. I have a date on Friday with someone that may or may not be kind of fucking weird (not in the fun way). It’s hard to tell for sure without meeting, though. Sigh. I just want someone to be excited about. First dates are almost never exciting. They incite feelings of dread and exhaustion. Blah. I’ll get there.

In the meantime, there are motherfucking dumplings! I’m so proud of these little fuckers. They’re delicious and soothing and perfect for a cold afternoon spent inside watching Aladdin, singing your heart out to “A Whole New World,” without any pants on. Fuck. That’s the dream right there. I’m living the fucking dream.

Also, if you haven’t read Thug Kitchen yet, Google that shit right now. You’ll be so happy you did.

Chickpea and Dumpling Stew

For the dumplings:

1/4 cup chives, chopped

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoons garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 to 1 cup milk (the recipe calls for almond milk, but I only had regular milk)

For the stew:

3ish cups spinach (the recipe calls for kale, but I only had spinach… also didn’t measure it, just a few handfuls)

2 onions, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

1 cup mushrooms, sliced (the recipe called for broccoli… but I didn’t fucking have any)

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons plus 1/4 cup olive oil

Salt

2 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon paprika (recipe called for cayenne… again, didn’t have any)

7 tablespoons flour

1/2 cup white wine (or broth)

2 – 15oz cans chickpeas

10 cups veggie broth

1 1/2 cups peas (I hate peas, so I omitted this)

1/4 cup chives, chopped, plus more for serving

For the dumplings:

Add all the dry ingredients to a medium bowl and mix well. Drizzle in the olive oil and whisk together. Then add 1/2 cup milk slowly, mixing well. Drizzle in more milk as needed, until the dough forms into a rough ball. On a floured surface, knead in the chives. Then roll dough out until it’s about 1/8″ thick. Cut into smallish squares/rectangles (about 1″ by 1.5″). Stack them on a floured plate and stick them in the fridge, uncovered.

For the stew:

Heat 2 teaspoons (or tablespoons, which is what I really did) of olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions plus some salt. Saute for 5-7 minutes, or until onions start to brown. Add the carrots, celery, and mushrooms and cook for another 3ish minutes before adding the garlic. Stir well, and continue cooking for 3 more minutes. Dump the cooked veggies into a bowl, and set aside. Wipe out the soup pot, or grab another one if you have 2 (I don’t). In a small bowl, mix together the oregano, garlic powder, black pepper, cayenne (or paprika), and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add 1/4 cup olive oil to the pot and warm over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. It’ll be thick as fuck, and really hard to whisk if you have an unnecessarily gigantic pot (like I do). Do the best you can – it’ll all work out. Stir that thick goo around and continue to cook over medium heat, until it smells nutty and looks a little toasted, or about 2 minutes. Toss in the spices and keep stirring for another 30ish seconds. Add 1/2 cup white wine (or veggie broth!) and stir well. Then add 2 cups of broth, continuing to whisk. Once fully incorporated (no flour chunks), whisk in the rest of the broth. Simmer for about 15 minutes, whisking every minute or so (I didn’t really do it that often). It should start to thicken.

Add the dumplings a few at a time, continuing to stir. Let them simmer for about 3 minutes before adding the sauteed veggies and chickpeas. Simmer everything together for about 10 more minutes, stirring frequently, until the dumplings no longer taste raw. Once the dumplings are done, add the spinach and green onions. Cook for another 2 minutes. Taste test and add more seasonings if needed. At this point, I added a shit-ton of salt. Of course, that was also because I ran out of broth and had to use 2 cups of water. Fucking disaster.

Serve this with some freshly chopped chives on top, and buttered toast on the side.

Yes, I realize the butter makes it not vegan anymore. Thing is, I don’t give a fuck. I also used real milk in the dumplings.

comfort food · dinner · easy · gluten free · healthy · lunch · quick · Rice · Tacos · vegan · vegetarian

Veggie Tacos and Drunken Tinder-ing

It happened. I caught the feelings. And my soul was crushed.

Again, I can be very dramatic. But that doesn’t make my feelings any less valid.

Went to Hannah’s house last night to drown my sorrows in wine and snuggle on the couch. Her husband made us pizza and we watched Netflix  (and Sherlock! OMG!) while I drunkenly looked for validation by feverishly swiping on Tinder (Spoiler: I didn’t find it).

Life advice from me to you: Do NOT use dating apps while drunk. It never ends well. Just don’t fucking do it.

Also: Tinder will never validate you.

I woke up this morning with a list of the most disappointing matches I’ve ever seen. And it just continued throughout the day as people continued to swipe right on me, reminding me of my drunken mistake(s). I’ve never done so much unmatching in my life. Not only that, but I gave out my phone number to a handful of people, and woke up to texts from them. I couldn’t remember who was who, and ended up just telling them all to delete my number. I vaguely remember interacting with them the night before as I looked over some of the texts. One of them was convinced I was some kind of spam bot, and told me to send him a selfie. I told him to stop being weird. At least I was in my right mind enough to not start sending drunken photos. Could’ve been worse (I mean, I could’ve gotten a bunch of dick pics or something- barf). I was also really fucking snarky with these guys. I’m so sick of messaging someone on Tinder, and getting no questions about me. They go on and on about themselves (which is good – I want to know about them!), but then they don’t ask me any follow up questions. Or the questions they ask are really lame… like, “What are you looking for on Tinder?” Okay, that’s an acceptable question, but also ask me something about myself! Fuck. Do you not want to know anything about me? Does that not fucking matter? OMG, also, not one fucking guy I’ve gone out with has asked to read my blog. NOT ONE. And almost none of them ask me about Acro, even though it’s mentioned in my profile, and I have photos. So last night I flat out said to one of them, “Interact with me! Ask me questions!” You know what he asked me?

“What are you looking for on Tinder?”

Fuuuuuuck.

What the fuck do you think I’m looking for?! Human connection, mostly. Preferably of the romantic variety, though that’s not required. Duh. Isn’t that what everyone is looking for to some extent?!

I can’t fucking stand this shit. I need a break. It is mentally exhausting to continually put myself out there. I can’t do it anymore. No dates this week. Just me, my amazing friends, and all the fucking yoga.

I have the best friends in the entire world. Seriously. How did I get so lucky to be constantly surrounded by such empathetic and insightful women? Fuck. I love you guys so much.

Thank you, Hannah, for taking care of me last night, for letting me be unapologetically myself (aka: a mess), and for doing drunken Acro with me. I’m sorry about your knee. I owe you some fucking veggie tacos for sure. Or a taco cake! Next week. I promise. ❤

Veggie tacos are a go-to meal in my house. Mostly because they’re so fucking easy, and I almost always have rice and/or beans in the fridge to go with ’em.

Veggie Tacos

1 onion, sliced

1 bell pepper, sliced

Corn tortillas

Olive oil

Taco seasonings (chili powder, cayenne, garlic, onion powder, cumin, red pepper flakes)

Salsa

Sour cream

Optional: thinly sliced radishes tossed with lemon juice and salt, lettuce, cheese, avocado, whatever the fuck else you want to top your taco with

Serve with rice and/or beans

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Throw in the onion and pepper slices and generously sprinkle with the various taco seasonings (don’t over think it – just throw a few shakes of each seasoning in there!). Stir the veggies, making sure to coat everything in olive oil and seasoning. Let cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and peppers have softened. Take however many tortillas you want, and char them over an open flame (or microwave them if you’re lame) on the stove top. This can also be done with an electric stove, but it takes longer and isn’t as fun. For directions on how to char the tortillas, check out the Taco Cake post. Fill your tortillas with a scoop of veggies, maybe some rice and beans, and any topping you want (I like salsa, sour cream, and radishes). Shovel that shit right into your mouth, along with 7 glasses of wine. Or beer. Whatthefuckever. But, whatever you do, do NOT drink and Tinder.