Archive for July, 2016

Food is my love.

July 19, 2016

Well, everyday is for food.

But I feel the weekends are for cooking and getting all my favorite things. Since my time in the region is dwindling quickly, I am trying to get in all my favorites. I have been to Tomato Bar for some brews & the buff pizza (of course), Suzies for a bite of a cinnamon roll & my fave omelette (as well as raisin bread, carb overload – I know), Chicago style pizza in Chicago, and meats and cheeses from Old World Market. There is much more I’d like, but again – time is limited.

I haven’t written about food and what I (with help) have made lately.  I took last Monday off because we had stuff to do that Sunday prior as well as I had an appointment in Indy so I decided that I would do some cooking Monday.  I made some meals for him for the week and also got dinner prepped as he worked/we finished OJ’s 30 for 30 five part series on ESPN.

For the meal prep,  I made my favorite baked chicken recipe (Greek Chicken with the Greek Seasoning she states in the blog).  All the spices together make a whole lot of deliciousness and I feel you can taste the hint of cinnamon just enough to make it almost sweet; fairly healthy also!  I made that with roasted veggies (little salt, little pepper and cayenne pepper) and quinoa – made three meals for him .

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If you know me, you know that ground beef is one of my least favorite meats and I rarely use it in any of my cooking but lately, it has sounded fairly good.  So while in Fresh Market, I figured – why not make fresh burger patties and grill out for dinner (which also makes it a group effort because I do not work with open flame yet)?  I went off of this recipe and halved it as well as added some cheese into the burger which didn’t make a huge difference.  We did not make any of the other deliciousness on this page but I did make bacon to put on them (peppered bacon is a current weakness).  I would definitely make them again – but if you don’t like spicy, naturally a jalapeno cheeseburger is not going to be your thing.

This past weekend, he came up for the weekend because I had literally been to Indy like the 5 prior and I was/still am exhausted at all the back and forth.  We planned to go to Chicago on Saturday to the Field museum and to eat pizza (because it seems our lives revolve around food).  Knowing that Saturday was going to be a long day, I decided to start cooking dinner and have it close to ready for when he got here Friday.  I am not a big lasagna fan because I think it is difficult to eat and it never really stays together in the layers.  Basically, I am too uncoordinated for regular lasagna so about two years ago I found a recipe from The Pioneer Woman from FoodNetwork and it was Lasagna Roll Ups.  You make the sauce and it makes enough to freeze a few meals (if cooking for 2-3, it can easily make 3 loaf pans worth of meals to save for later.  I have frozen these before and I find that her instructions for baking after freezing to be a bit off because it seemed it took much longer than an hour – possibly closer to 1 hour 20/30 minutes.  Still worth it because you pop a pan in and then forget about it until its done with little to no clean up.

Next morning, before going to (and almost being late to) the train – he had found a recipe for a Breakfast Sandwich (also freezable) which I tallied up the calories when using multi-grain English muffins and it came in a little under 300 calories which isn’t bad for breakfast.  He loved the sandwich that morning and reported to me today that it was good coming from frozen form being heated up.  No pictures of the food from the weekend because I guess  I completely dropped the ball on that.

So many food options that I am going to take a stab at within the next couple weeks including fish tacos, a different kind of meatloaf (different from my turkey/zucchini one that is) and some other odds and ends. Will share the successes and the failures (as always)!

Also hoping to hit up some of my region faves that I will miss (Stacks, Shoe’s, La Cabana, Rolling Stonebaker, Pestos, etc). I know I won’t get them all but at least a couple.

Excited to rediscover my hometown though because I have been removed for over 7 years now, crazy huh?

 

 

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L-I-V-I-N (finally)

July 14, 2016

Flashback to age 19 where adult life was beginning – normal 19 year old things: tumultuous relationship, slew of reckless decisions, know everything attitude, extreme dreams and still a ZEST for life.

Flashback to age 24 where adult life ACTUALLY began – following the timeline that society has placed on a “normal” 24 year old:  serious relationship, going through the same motions daily, staying and dealing with a job I hate, big purchases of vehicle & home, my light has dimmed and I was bored.

Now we arrive at age 29 where I am adulting and get a chance to start over and rejuvenate my life – going against the norm and rebelling against what society expected of me: doing what I want with my time, being completely independent (first time ever) and struggling, not settling, discovering new things often, and literally living life as I would like.

I am not a professional.  I have failed just as many times as I have been successful but I am lucky that everyone has let me fail and accepted me even post-failures.  Failures in relationships, failure in finances, failure in jobs, and failure in overall life choices.

With that being said, I feel more successful now after my MOST major fails than I ever have mostly because I learned how to be independent and how to have a voice.  Settling is something that society allows for us to do in life because of the “norms” (we even have a way that a “normal” woman looks, which is a whole other bullshit topic).  We can settle in all aspects of life (relationships, jobs, friends, cheap wine/Keystone light, etc).  But….

We are all extraordinary and unusual creatures which allows for us to all have remarkable relationships in life.  If we were the same, life would be boring. We should learn from one another – close friends, strangers, family members, and even children.  We don’t always choose to learn and embrace difference, rather we judge it and throw stones while we all live in glass houses.  Everyone is going to make decisions you don’t understand, live a way you won’t see fit, raise their kids in ways you may question, the list can go on but bottom line is it works for them and their life.

Are you bleeding?  Is it negatively effecting your life?  Is it something that is worth spending any of your precious time on? Is it any of your business?  The answers to those are 99.9% of the time, no.  So instead of worrying about others…

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People will judge my life (I am totally guilty of  passing judgement, who isn’t? Be aware and WORK on it); then again, people will judge people and have been judging people for all of time but the best part of this is – I don’t care and neither should you.  I don’t care what people think or what people are whispering to others because my happiness is solely up to me, one hundred percent.  No one person or group of people can alter my happiness because that is found within/projected from within.  This lesson is the  hardest to learn and sometimes I falter, find myself getting a little dark – but as long as we are living, we are works-in-progress where we can only do our best.

Once I realized that judgement can’t alter my life, I decided to find what makes my fire stay burning and what makes me happy.  In finding our own happiness, there are some that are wounded along the way – some of those ties are forever severed, others are fixable and some you realize you don’t want to do anything with.  Keep people around that want to help you to keep dreaming and loving all things that life has to offer.  Passion in life is necessary and mediocrity should not even be an option.

By age 30,  I would like to be in the best place I have every been in my life.  I think that is a really attainable goal.  After reading millions of turning 30 blog posts/articles (obviously I had a little freak out about turning 30 earlier this year), a lot of them stated how life was really coming together by that age.  Stated above is partial proof.

2016 has taught me who is there for me, who I want to choose to be there for, how to (barely) survive on my own, how to live simply (no TV or computer), and how to let people in completely. 2016 literally taught me that life is so hard but so rewarding.

It also taught me that I should have listened to my girl LC so many years ago, so wise:

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So, to anyone who takes time to read this, hopefully you can cheers to happiness & not dealing with mediocre anything in life – savor life, enjoy it and discover/learn something daily!

 

If you would have told me…

July 8, 2016

…that life would be great right now in February, I’d laugh. I still chuckle because some days are tough but overall I am in a better place and sooo happy.

In the upcoming months, I am going to make my journey back HOME. Northwest Indiana brought so much happiness, laughter and memories but so much sadness and loneliness. I am happy to be coming back to what is comfortable and what I consider/have always considered home.

The things that made me happy before still make me happy like cooking, being surrounded by people, and laughing. The good has definitely outweighed the bad. How lucky am I to have a fresh start before the age of thirty? It’s a blank canvas. So the temporary breakdowns and the emotions are all worth what is at the end: happiness, friends, family and the new beginnings.

With that, I have been made some delicious food in the past couple weeks with my assistant chef, Chris, which makes me happy within itself.

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Skewers were made and the chicken was an additive; these were so delicious. These will definitely be something that is made OFTEN because it was fresh, simple and easy!

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We we also made these Breakfast Enchilada which was WAY more than the two of us could eat – we both had leftovers and then even threw some out.  We used crumbled sausage versus the links (my preference also) and it was very good. I would make these again, but maybe if I am making brunch for a crowd vs two of us.

We also made Herb Chicken with all of our fresh herbs (pictured below: thyme, rosemary, parsley, basil).  No picture of the chicken but it was also a keeper because fresh herbs are life as I’ve stated before.  There is something so special about the smell and taste of anything fresh, now it’s just in his hands to keep them alive.

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Hope you all had a great 4th of July and enjoy the warmth before we all complain about the cold again (I’ve spent the past 2 weeks bitching about humidity, hypocrite). Until next time!