A Nice Dinner or a Cry for Help?

As a successful lifestyle blogger, I’m no stranger to telling you all about what I’m eating. But usually, the meals I share on here aren’t so…balanced. But the times have changed and so have I, and now I am cooking real meals at a frenetic pace. In the last few weeks, I’ve made myself:

  • Stuffed peppers with homemade avocado cilantro crema
  • Sweet potato quinoa tacos
  • Ginger soy cucumber salad
  • Asparagus soup in a single-serve blender
  • Goat cheese pizza with fresh garlic and diced tomatoes
  • Lemon garlic pasta with mushrooms and peppers
  • Kale black bean tacos with homemade chimichurri sauce
  • Hot toddies with homemade ginger simple syrup
  • Almost-daily breakfast burritos using taco leftovers
  • Zucchini noodles with homemade tomato pesto sauce

My lifestyle is good and nothing is wrong.

Cooking a complete, healthy meal can be a way to show yourself that you’re worth the effort. Self care is a must! But after spending three hours making stuffed peppers on a Saturday night, aren’t you sending a smoke signal by way of your greasy stovetop that HI, SOMEONE SHOULD PLEASE COME EAT THIS MEAL WITH ME!

Because while making food from scratch is a very good thing to do, how many homemade sauces does it take to say PLEASE TAKE ALL THE NEWS APPS OFF MY PHONE, I CAN’T HANDLE ALL THE SCARY ALERTS?

So no matter what else is happening in your life, you too can finish out 2017 by learning how to thicken a pasta sauce. I did, and it was much easier than admitting that I HAVE MADE NO SIGNIFICANT CAREER PROGRESS THIS YEAR AND THAT PROBABLY WON’T CHANGE BY THE TIME I GO HOME FOR CHRISTMAS.

But if nothing else, at least the sauce was a success. 🙂

 

Cheap Tattoo Hack: Cooking Burns

As a successful lifestyle blogger, I know that individuality is very important. Tattoos are a great way to tell the world how unique you are and turn your body into a work of art! But tattoos can also be expensive, and they require you to ask the question “Is there something I’d like to put on my body forEVER?” which triggers an existential spiral in even the most adequate among us.

Yesterday, I was roasting some tomatillos on the bottom rack of the oven. When I reached in to take them out, the back of my hand brushed against the rack and gave me a line-shaped burn. It was only about an inch away from the toaster oven burn I got two years ago at an Air Bnb, which left a small smudge of a scar near my wrist.


I had two choices: accept that I am someone who should own those potholders that look like big mittens, or embrace my fate. And, because true lifestyle success is marked by acceptance of the inevitable, I choose to treat these burns and scars as an invitation to have a tattoo that I never wanted.

What should I tell people this tattoo is? Tell me in the comments!

I Sliced a Raw Sweet Potato and There Wasn’t ANY Blood

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As a successful lifestyle blogger, I’m always trying out new recipes that will enrich my life. As an adequate lifestyle blogger, I make sure not to verify that my recipes are safe or possible. Last week, I wanted to make sweet potato fries, so I assumed I should cut up a sweet potato and put it in the oven.

Slicing raw sweet potatoes is harder than anticipated. They’re dense and alarmingly solid. But did I give up, pop them in the oven for a few minutes, and slice them afterwards? Absolutely not. I kept going. And I sliced all the way through two of them without seeing any blood at all! The knife got stuck in the potato over and over again, but I never gave up. Sure, I stabbed myself a bunch of times, but it never broke the skin.

As a reward for my efforts, I got some kind of baked sweet potato wedge things that were pretty soggy and were not fries. But they were also not my bleeding, mangled fingers brutally detached from my hands, so I think we can safely say this recipe was a success 🙂

Fad Diet: Salad Week

I couldn’t call myself a successful lifestyle blogger if I didn’t endorse a harebrained dieting scheme. So let’s go with this one:

A few weeks ago, my roommate Inae and I made a commitment to eat salads for a week. The parameters were that we would take turns making a salad every day, and the salad would be dinner. That’s it. No other guidelines. Easy diet, right?

WRONG. No, just kidding. It was pretty successful! We made it six days, which is hereby called an Adequate Week™. And the salads were, overall, pretty healthy. I was surprised how full I felt from just eating a lot of vegetables.

Though Salad Week was pretty successful, I did chronicle it poorly. There were lots of homemade dressings and delicious roasted chickpeas and marinated tofu, but I don’t remember most of what they were. Instead, enjoy these unexplained photos of salads!




Recipe: Magic Eggs

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I didn’t have a lot of time for lunch today, so I made something quick that is usually a totally passable lunch choice: spinach and eggs. The recipe is simple. You saute some spinach, then crack a couple eggs in as soon as the spinach starts shrinking up. The eggs finished cooking – I swear they were all cooked – and I crumbled some goat cheese on top. I sat down to eat.

Only then, like MAGIC, the eggs uncooked themselves! It was yolk soup. It was a disgusting lunch miracle! It was basically inedible.

I didn’t eat it.

But I didn’t give up. I popped the whole thing in the microwave for a minute, which cooked up the eggs a little too much. It didn’t taste good, but I did have lunch. And that, my friends, is what I call an adequate meal 🙂

My Deepest Secret: How to Make Anything a Meal


Hello, loyal readers. Being a successful lifestyle blogger is not as easy as it looks. In order to share my self-actualized, spiritually whole lifestyle with the masses, I need to be willing to let you into my life. You come here to get the secrets of the universe, and there’s a lot of pressure on me to deliver.

Well, now that we’ve known each other for a few months, I feel like I finally trust you enough to divulge my most adequate secret. The cardinal rule of an adequate lifestyle:

If you put it in a tortilla, it’s a meal.

For example, if I put cream cheese, spinach, and salad dressing in a tortilla? That’s dinner.

Nutella and craisins in a tortilla? Also dinner…AND dessert.

Tortillas are easy to keep on hand, and any combination of ingredients from the dregs of last week’s grocery trip will co-mingle inside. That’s right, ANY ingredients, whether it’s leftover sauteed veggies or the last shavings from the bottom of a bag of shredded cheddar. No matter the ingredients and/or sauces, if you wrap a tortilla around it, it qualifies as a “wrap.”

You’re welcome.

 

 

Quick, Easy Dinner: Half a Bottle of Wine

This is what my field of vision looks like right now!

I had “one of those days” today. A long, frustrating one that left me feeling completely drained. The last thing I wanted to do after a ten hour work day was go home and cook dinner. In fact, I wasn’t even hungry. Do you ever have those days?

I could have put tens of minutes into chopping and cooking vegetables and putting them over rice or in pasta, but instead, I went for something quicker. In five seconds flat, I opened up a bottle of red wine (type unclear) that was sitting in my pantry.

That’s it! Prep work, done. Cooking time, nonexistent.

Better yet, it’s in my bloodstream immediately, no digestion necessary! I’m not even hungry anymore. And let me tell you, I’m having a great time! Also, I’m dizzy.

This Tostada Should Have Been a Bummer

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On weekends, I love to make myself a nice breakfast while I scramble to make coffee before the caffeine withdrawal headache sets in. One of my favorites is a breakfast tostada, which usually involves some scrambled eggs. However, after making scrambled eggs with vanilla almond milk one too many times (do not recommend), I thought I’d mix it up and fry the eggs instead.

I didn’t have high hopes for this breakfast, since a fried egg on a tostada seemed a little bland. To spice it up, I added some sliced tomato and crumbled goat cheese. This made the whole thing seem a little less sad, but still – it’s a very cursory meal, entirely based on convenience.

UNTIL…

I used my tiny Ikea frying pan to make the eggs! It turns out, this created an egg disc that was exactly the same size as the tostada. It was an incredibly satisfying dish to assemble.

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Those two circles are the same size!

Somehow, the yolks didn’t break as I was cooking the eggs, and the heat from the eggs melted the goat cheese – and runny yolk, gooey cheese, plus crispy tostada? What should have been a disappointing end-of-the-groceries breakfast turned into a satisfying miracle!

In conclusion, go get one of those tiny frying pans.

Life Gave Me Lemons

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There’s a lemon tree in front of my house. After months of looking at sad green bulbs, beautiful yellow lemons appeared all at once. Which means….immediate stress! A desperate need to binge on lemons! Over-saturation of garden delight! So I came up with a plan: a massive lemon day, where I would pick all the lemons and then cook and bake lemon-related things with them. It was going to be grand. There would be lemon bars and meringue pies! There would be potions and teas and lemonades! There were some hurdles.

Lemon trees have thorns. I didn’t know that until one stabbed me. So the momentous lemon harvest turned into picking six lemons and then going inside to wash my wounds. It’s okay though! Cooking with six lemons is totally respectable. I “cook,” but “baking” isn’t really a doable thing, so my friend Jen came over to assist with the “following directions” part of baking.
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My first recipe attempt was a (misguided) Lemon Spaghetti. Does that sound weird? It was. But I don’t cook meat, and vegetarian lemon recipe options were sort of limited. And then….the substitutions! (I can’t follow a recipe.) I thought heavy cream sounded too unhealthy and subbed in “fat free half and half” aka chalk water. Also, I already had mozzarella cheese so I used that instead of parmigiano reggiano (whatever that is). So something about the flavors wasn’t quite right, and instead of a sauce, it was more of a cheesy lemon stew. It needed vegetables, and I had none. And I might have left out another thing? Parsley, maybe? It was totally fine, though. Very edible.

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Jen’s contribution was this recipe for a Lemon Yogurt Cake. This one got off to a strong start because we had all the ingredients (thanks, Jen). It hit a rocky middle because I don’t own a mixing bowl. We made it work, though:

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This is a pitcher.

There’s actually not that much to report about the baking experience. I stayed out of the way, and it went off without a hitch.

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No hitches here.

The cake was a total success. And I ate leftover lemon spaghetti for the rest of the week, so that wasn’t technically a failure either. 🙂

What else should I “make” with a bunch of lemons? Tell me in the comments!