Tag Archives: food

On Foods and Pins…

Like any basic white girl, I have an obsession with Pinterest. When I first got off the “waiting list” to have an account (is that a thing that even happens anymore?), I spent hours – HOURS – pinning everything I could in hopes that what I pinned would start to permeate into my own life. That’s probably what any pinner hopes for as they pin photos of beautiful, expensive kitchens, dream weddings filled with mason jars, and intense workouts that promise flat abs in just a week.

Yes, my Pinterest account includes all of these things, and I’m not ashamed of it. Yes, I have over 40 wedding pins and I’m not even engaged (though being in a five-year relationship does give me some reason to pin such things). My beauty boards feature long, Kate Middleton-esque hairstyles and the perfect smokey eye that I’ll never be able to use anywhere. My DIY board includes crafts I’ll never actually get around to doing – and most would probably end up as fodder for a “Pinterest Fails” blog anyhow.

But my food board…yeah my food board is pretty sweet. I recently realized that I had tons of recipes pinned and that I rarely ever tried any of them. Considering I have enough food smarts at this point to not be duped by a recipe that seems too good to be true, I have a lot of faith in my food board. When I made my grocery list last week, I decided it was time to tackle some of these recipes and I haven’t been disappointed yet.

Last week I started with a Spaghetti Squash Carbonara…and…ok so this one did not turn out as expected. First of all, we went shopping at Trader Joe’s and since spaghetti squash is not in season, it wasn’t in the store. So I decided to use the recipe and use regular pasta. And then as I read through the recipe I decided to find a different one and ended up with Tyler Florence’s Spaghetti alla Carbonara. I trust Tyler Florence. However, did you guys know that carbonara is actually kind of a difficult thing to make? I was less stressed out making chocolate zabaglione than I was making carbonara sauce. So after you cook some pancetta or bacon, you take it out and quickly saute some garlic in the fat, then you’re supposed to put the cooked spaghetti into this mixture, then add this raw egg and parmesan cheese mixture you’ve whisked together, all while cooking the eggs but not scrambling them. I didn’t trust myself to get the sauce cooked with the pasta in the pan first, so of course I threw the egg/cheese mixture in and my eggs partially scrambled. And then I added too much salt because I didn’t realize that the kosher salt I usually use had been replaced with a very fine sea salt. It’s the little things.

Regardless, we still ate the pasta and it was not the worst thing I ever made. This week has been a much bigger success so far.

After making a classic beef bourginion on Sunday that I can almost make in my sleep, I decided to try an easier recipe for Monday: Hoisin Shrimp. Trader Joe’s failed me again in not having hoisin sauce for this one, so I went with their Soyaki sauce because I know it’s good. After whisking together the sauce the recipe laid out, I wasn’t happy with the sweetness of it, so I added a pinch of brown sugar to it and a dollop (like, the most dollop-y dollop that’s ever dolloped) of barbeque sauce to it. It was delicious. I regret nothing. And really, if you know me and followed my old food blog from college and beyond, me having to substitute a bunch of things in a recipe should come as no surprise.

Tonight, I opted for BLT Salads from my favorite food blog, How Sweet It Is. I ended up using spring mix in place of butter lettuce because, yes, Trader Joe’s didn’t have butter lettuce. And in typical avocado fashion, the avocado I bought for this recipe went bad by the time I wanted to use it today. Avocado is the most fickle of fruits. I kept everything else the same and devoured this salad. Then again, I’ll pretty much find anything delicious if it has bacon in it.

Tomorrow night’s Pinterest recipe will be Easy Lemon Chicken, which I plan on serving up with some asparagus (because I’m desperate for spring) or some broccoli. Or who even knows. It does look pretty easy, and I was actually planning on making it tonight, but I tried to thaw my chicken the way you’re “supposed to” (in the fridge) and I put it there last night and it still wasn’t ready at 6pm tonight.

Anyhow, if you guy are pinners as well and want to see what kind of life I wish I lived and all the projects I wish I had the energy and skills to take on, you can follow me here 🙂

And not to be all Livejournal-y, but I listened to Songza’s Vintage Rock Instrumentals playlist while writing this, and I recommend it if you’re looking for something a little different while trying to be creative.

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On Taking a Week Off…

Right after I write a post about how well I’m doing on this habit stuff…I go ahead and let it lapse for a week.

And that’s ok! Because I did some pretty nice and productive things during that week! Here’s a little bit of what went down.

The dude was out of town on a work trip last week and I made it a point to make the house as clean as possible for his return. Over the course of three days, I took on two rooms a day and made them as spotless as I could. It gave me one extra day to do little fix ups here and there as necessary. If you know me, you know that I have this problem where I hate to clean but I also hate feeling cluttered, so though I had to drag myself to actually get the cleaning done, there was a nice sigh of relief after it was finished. My goal is to keep this level of cleanliness going for the next three weeks before my parents come to visit. We shall see how that goes!

I also found some great Netflix fare to reward myself for being an awesome girlfriend that cleans an entire apartment all on my own. I finally watched Chef, which was recommended to me at least a month ago, and if you’re a food lover I highly recommend it to you too. I think anyone could make a movie that includes gorgeous shots of delicious food, but Jon Favreau did so much more in adding in a heart warming story. Without giving too much away, it’s a story to which I can relate – it encourages people to follow what makes them happy, even if that thing isn’t the coolest, sexiest, most raved about thing in the world. You can be miserable in a job that you think you’re supposed to have and that sounds good when you brag about it, or you can go for something that might not be what people expect, but makes you inexplicably happier, and in turn probably makes you a better person. As my loyal readers know, I went through that recently and the latter is definitely worth it. Chef also brings on the “awws” and some may say it’s not realistic in all its portrayals of human relationships, but honestly with all the fairly depressing stuff that I love to watch (Six Feet Under, Mad Men, House of Cards) it was nice to watch something that I could sit back and enjoy and not expect someone to die.

I’ve also started rewatching Parenthood – an NBC show that actually just ended. I started watching this show back when it first premiered and I enjoyed it, but I was in college and real life things got in the way of me following it and I didn’t have a DVR or Netflix at the time so I basically let it go. I’ve caught episodes here and there since then and always wanted to jump back into it. After a visit home where my aunts were talking about how great it was, I decided it was time to re-acquaint myself with the Braverman family. And I’m so happy that I did. It’s an incredible show that, yes, is at times a little cheesy and predictable, but it addresses real issues too. And it has a way of bringing tears to my eyes on a regular basis and reminds me that I do still have a soul. Oh, and the music choices in it are on point – I’m a sucker for a good use of “It’s Tricky” by Run DMC.

This past weekend I finished Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World and I really loved it. Much more Wind Up Bird and less Norwegian Wood for those familiar with Murakami. It made me want to read more of his works, which I plan to do in the future. As far as where that puts me for the 26 book challenge for 2015, I’m counting it as #11: A book you started but never finished. Other contenders for this would have been Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson (a book that made me SO NERVOUS that something awful was going to happen that I had to stop reading it because it gave me anxiety) and Scoop by Evelyn Waugh (a book that put me to sleep more than once). I just started reading my next book last night: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (the author is my aunt’s cousin!). This one will count as #4: A book your friend loves. It was lent to me by my best friend from college – whose wedding I also happen to be in this summer – and just a few pages in I’m already hooked!

Other fun and important things that have happened since my last update: I discovered that I can make potato pancakes out of leftover mashed potatoes and the dude has figured out how to make the most PERFECT fried eggs. We take our breakfast foods very seriously here so this is a breakthrough for us.

Anyhow, that’s it for my update! Stayed tuned for more posts this week, and as always, thanks for dropping by 🙂