Tag Archives: Cooking

Just call me Queen Bee

8 Feb

Update from yesterday’s post: I bought a few new yoga DVD’s (2 for $9.99 holla!) and I’m currently wearing yoga pants. The latter is no surprise, but let’s hope I get my downward dog on after posting this.

Alright, on to my other challenge I hinted about yesterday. So we all know I’m a huge fan of food. I like to cook it, bake it, look at it, read about it, shop for it and lord knows I love to eat it.

I don’t know if any of you read Food Network Magazine, but if you don’t I really think you should. In fact, stop reading this and go buy one. Really, I’ll wait.

*waits*

Got it? Isn’t it amazing?!!

Real quick, go to page 58! How fun does that look?

Oh, and 88! Guess who will be making (and eating) ALL of those pastas until the buttons on my jeggings pop?

Oh, and for all that is holy in this world, please look at the bruschetta spread on pages 110-113. Yes please.

And finally, will you all turn to page 146. It might be the last page, but it is the most important today.

For those of you not following along (shame on you!) the rest of us are checking out the recipe contest. In every issue they announce what the secret ingredient is for that month. Those who choose to participate have to come up with a recipe using said secret ingredient and submit it by the deadline to be entered to win fun stuff AND have their dish featured in an upcoming issue.

Guess who’s choosing to participate? ME!

The secret ingredient is………

wait for it…….

……….

Honey! And you can bet your sweet bottoms I’ve stocked up and started my list of things I want to make.

I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am. As I said, I love to cook and I especially love coming up with my own recipes. There is nothing like eating a perfect dish and knowing that you came up with that on your own.

My thinking is that even if I don’t win, I’ll still come out of this with a couple new recipes. And that, my friends, is always a win in my book.

And since I’m not that competitive of a person and really think this is going to be fun, I think it would be amazing if some of you came up with your own recipes and submitted them yourself! How cool would it be if one of us had our food featured in Food Network Magazine?! SO cool!

If you do decide to try this little challenge, comment and let me know! I’ll be sure to keep y’all updated on my kitchen successes (and inevitable failures, of course). Happy cooking!

(Source)

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The Vegan Diaries: Now what?

2 Feb

Warning: The photos in this post are awful because I don’t have a camera and had to use my phone. And even though my phone is superfreakingawesome, it’s camera is not so superfreakingawesome. SO, please do not compare me to other bloggers who can take superfreakingawesome photos. (cough Jessica cough). Thank you.

I bet you’re wondering what my first non-vegan meal was. You’ve probably been waiting all day to find out!

Or you’ve read my past posts and have noticed that I’ve done nothing but talk about cheese for a week.

If it’s the latter, than you won’t be surprised that I woke up and made myself a grilled cheese sandwich this morning. And it was delicious.

With a side of blueberries, also known as "bloobs" by other blogs/in my head.

My mom insists I don’t get enough antioxidants, so she took it upon herself to buy two huge things of bloobs for me. I keep trying to tell her I eat enough dark chocolate a day to feed a small village (dark chocolate=antioxidants, duh) but she refuses to listen.

Also, that picture was taken in my parents bathroom. That’s how bad the lighting was in the rest of the house.

At work, I ate…nothing.

I had expected to find myself pining over our cookies and soups and cheesecakes, etc. But oddly enough, I didn’t really want any of that. Perhaps I’m growing up?

Oh, but I did eat a bag of cheetos. Guess I’m not growing up. Hmph.

When I got home (which was SUCH a drama because my car basically froze while I was working and my accelerator just did not want to go. I had to sit there for like 15 minutes to allow it to warm-up. What a baby.) I found that my mom had made soup!

Seafood soup to be exact. Ate it all, except for the okra because the slimy seeds remind me of my dog's drool. Truth.

Oh and my mom would like all of you to know that she made that soup from scratch, including the broth. As in she made homemade seafood broth. Impressive, no?

I also had more bread and cheese on the side. No complaints.

And fried stuff.

These pics are making all my food look gross, but I swear it was delicious.

I bet you’re wondering what Max was doing while I was eating, huh?

Surprisingly enough, this was the best picture I could get. Sigh.

He sat two feet away and stared at me. Just stared. The entire time I was eating/taking pictures of him with my phone.

And here’s a photo of a cute mug, just for fun!

Kind of trippy...

I ate dinner while watching today’s episode of Oprah. Ironically enough, Oprah and her staff went vegan for one week and the show was about how they dealt with it. But it was also about how animals are treated in this country and what “vegan-ish” diets can do for our bodies. By no means was it a “meat is bad!” type of episode, rather the main message was that we should all be aware of what we’re eating.

I took away a few things from the episdoe:

1. Trying a vegan diet really does make you aware of what foods you eat, and how dependent we can be on animal products.

2. However, with that said, I can firmly say that a vegan diet is not for me. Maybe it’s because I didn’t do it long enough for my body to fully adjust or because I ended up carbo-loading like I was running a marathon (seriously, I ate more bagels this month than I did all of 2010. Atkins, who?), but this way of life just isn’t for me.

3. My dog does look like a baby cow (otherwise known as a calf) which made me super sad when they were showing the slaughterhouses.

4. I LASTED LONGER THAN OPRAH AT BEING VEGAN.

5. I love cheese. I really, really love cheese. BUT I had no desire to eat any sort of meat today. Not even bacon. Weird. I know I will eventually eat it again (maybe not red meat?) but I didn’t crave it today (or all month for that matter) the way I thought I would.

So in conclusion, I’m happy with my decision. I loved the challenge of being vegan but I don’t care for the lifestyle.  However, I’m so glad I gave it a shot and would encourage others to do the same.

I’ll support you by baking vegan cookies whenever you want 🙂

Alright kids, it’s cold and I want to go snuggle with my baby cow dog:

Ahh look at his little squished up face!

Oh and one more thing! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for reading. Being able to write about this little challenge really helped me and provided a sense of motivation that I don’t think I would have had otherwise. Y’all rock–give yourself a pat on the back!

The Vegan Diaries: And then there was one…

28 Jan

Yesterday I had a wrap filled with spinach and tofu for dinner.

My mom did too. With a side of fish.

I would be the angry little boy in this situation.

(Source.)

That’s right. I’m the lone “vegan” in this house. Sigh.

She debated for a while what she wanted to do, but in the end decided to just give in. Like I said in my last post, she always has a lot of social functions to attend and it’s been hard for her to keep up with it. Especially since we’re not doing this for any other reason but that we just wanted to see what it was like. We had every intention of going back to meat when the month was over, so it’s not like we’re trying to make a “save the animals!” statement here.

Sorry animals 😦

Ideally, I should stop too. At this point I’m just being stubborn.

But, with that said, I still cannot get myself to eat some cheese. I’ve thought about it many times. I even went so far as to make a grilled cheese sandwich! But as I started to put my beloved hot sauce on it, I realized I just could not eat it.

So I ate the hot sauce with pita chips.

No joke. I do stuff like that.

I think this has turned into a control thing. The fact that this is mentally unhealthy is not lost on me. Actually the fact that this isn’t in any way healthy since I eat bagels and chocolate (not together, usually) like they’re going out of style isn’t lost on me either.

But when I spend my days sending out my resume, desperately waiting for just one legit response, only to hear from companies that are trying to take advantage of recent grads, what to have for lunch suddenly becomes a big decision. I really don’t know how to describe it, other than to say that sometimes the highlight of my day is knowing that I didn’t eat that ice cream or that I chose soy milk instead of 2%.

It’s weird. It’s messed up. It’s me. I’m kind of a drama queen. Sorry I’m not sorry.

Enough serious talk. Want to know what I plan on cooking/eating when this is done? Duh, of course you do!

Jenna’s amaaaaazing mac&cheese. To tell you the truth, I have half a mind of making this at midnight on Feb. 1. I want it that bad.

Jessica’s Buffalo Chicken Burgers? Yes please!

My dad’s chili. Confession: I had a dream about this chili a few weeks ago. My life is so sad. But it is soo good, and he’s been making it for as long as I can remember. It reminds me of growing up in Ohio and eating with my whole family on cold winter nights. Love.

And what goes better with chili, than….sausage? So to help out, I’ll make this sausage cheese cornbread.

Oh, and I almost forgot about my Orange Chicken! <<not my recipe, but I made mine up and I’m too lazy to type it out right now. Sorry.

And, of course, I need to bake something. Quick! Somebody tell me what to bake!

The Vegan Diaries: Um..

7 Jan

Soooo remember how last time we talked I was all “I don’t need no pizza!”

I mean, not in those words because I try to speak like a normal person as often as I can. But I did mention how not eating it wasn’t that hard, right?

Well roughly 14 hours after I posted that, I was singing a different tune.

I literally woke up needing pizza. Like I seriously opened my eyes in the morning thinking about it. I probably dreamed about it too, but I rarely remember my dreams. Unless they’re really weird, but sadly me dreaming about food isn’t that odd.

So I woke up and was all “If I don’t have pizza at least once today somebody is going to get hurt.”

Luckily I had pizza dough sitting in my freezer. A couple of months ago I was on this bread and pizza crust making kick and literally spent all my time kneading dough. Eventually my parents got sick of it and threatened to kick me out if I tried to make one more carb.

Obviously a lie, but they were tired of it. So my last batch went in the freezer.

Lucky for me AND the “somebody was going to get hurt” person. Don’t know who that might have been, but my money is on kid’s who keep rollerblading down my street with no regards to incoming cars.

I mean, seriously, are parents raising their kids to be idiots these days?

Back to the pizza. Since it was all rock-like (read: frozen) I set it on the counter and went on with my busy day.

And by busy I obviously mean I got my hair cut and then watched six episodes of Dexter. Sounds lazy, but I did finish season 2 without throwing up after seeing a lot of dismembered bodies which I think is an accomplishment in itself.

Also, the timing was perfect because as soon as I finished, my dough was ready for me. Let’s make pizza!

I’m going to save y’all the whole story of me actually making the pizza because it isn’t all that exciting, but let me just say this: I am a rockstar. And let me say one more thing: You don’t need cheese to make a rockstar pizza. I speak from experience.

When I’m all old and knocking on death’s door I can only imagine I’ll look back at this time and consider this meal one of my best. And hopefully my kid’s will cherish this recipe and pass it down generation after generation.

Unless, of course, I’ve raised my children to be idiots, in which case I’m counting on one of you to take them away from me. Really, it’s in their best interest.

Future problem children aside, this whole pizza thing was exciting for me. My mom was getting a little worried that we were going to run out of meals/food to make/eat which would result in us eating the same thing over and over again. This would, of course, result in us getting bored and inevitably we would end up face-down in a pile of pork.

And by “we” I obviously just mean “me”. Pretty sure my mom has self-control, especially when it comes to pigs.

Tonight we had homemade Chinese and it was delicious.

(Not So)Fun Fact: I’m totally allergic to nuts so I can’t eat at Chinese restaurants anymore since they cook everything in peanut oil. How lame is that? Good news is I can make a mean Orange Chicken myself.

I intend on doing just that on February 1. You are all invited, of course. It’s BYOC (Bring Your Own Chopsticks).

So we survived another day of veganism in this house. And now the only things I have left to worry about are waiting for season 3 of Dexter to arrive and not running over little kids in my neighborhood.

Life is good.

The Vegan Diaries: It begins…

2 Jan

This isn’t a New Years resolution. I haven’t really gotten around to those yet, I’m thinking I’ll schedule that sometime in March.

No, this is a “my mom is a ninja and can jedi mindtrick me into anything she wants.”

Vegan diet. One month. It’s on.

The reason we chose January is because we decided on this little challenge in December but I had already baked eight dozen cookies and I wasn’t about to not eat them. They deserve better than that!

So that brought us to the morning January 1st. The morning of all mornings. The day I woke up and promptly ate a delicious breakfast of………..bacon and eggs.

Whoops. My bad.

I swear I’m serious about this. I’m just serious about bacon too. Sorry I’m not that sorry. Also, don’t tell my mom.

All jokes aside, I am excited and nervous about this. Originally I agreed to support mom by going vegetarian while she ate her cheese-less sandwiches and drank her creamer-less coffee. I told her how I read a lot of vegan blogs and have checked out a lot of recpies that sound interesting. That of course turned into me drinking soy milk in my coffee and eating tofu over eggs.

Damn it, mom.

After the bacon breakfast, I officially got on track and had a vegetable wrap for lunch and falafels for dinner. They were good. I was good. And then I watched an episode of Dexter in which I completely missed out on an entire scene because I was literally staring at the layer of cream cheese in the FBI dude’s sandwich.

Seriously? This is going to be a long month. Stay tuned…

“Wish List”

21 Sep

Source

Hi friends! So I’ve spent all weekend trying to come up with ideas for this weeks posts and you know what I’ve got? Nada.

Okay, I lied. I didn’t even think about this blog because Saturday was my mom’s birthday and we literally spent the entire day drinking wine, cooking delicious food and baking delicious (layered!) cakes with (homemade!) pudding. Sunday I spent laying on the couch watching Law&Order:SVU while I cursed myself for making a three layered chocolate cake and eating it. And then today I ran, volunteered at the humane society,  read for class and watched most of Dancing with the Stars.

I obviously won’t be doing a “tips for living an exciting life” post anytime soon.

Anywho, at some point today I started flipping through one of my Glamour magazines, circa 2006. Yea, I hoard magazines. There was an article in there about having a “wish list” and it made me think about my own. If we’re being completely honest here, I think about this list often because I’m graduating soon and I can almost taste my future, but this article did make me realize some things about myself.

Here’s a glimpse into my “wish list” (in no particular order):

  • Own more dogs! (All from shelters)
  • Run a marathon
  • Live in a big city (Top 5: New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta)
  • Be known for my awesome dinner parties
  • Start my own company (with partners, not by myself–I’m not completely crazy)
  • Be successful at my career while still holding on to old-fashioned ways (like sending handwritten cards and SMILING)
  • Buy a Chanel bag
  • Buy Christian Louboutin shoes
  • Take my entire family on an amazing vacation

I’ll stop for now. You’ll notice I don’t have things like “Meet the love of my life” and “Have 2.5 kids” on there. And this is why: I am so full of myself and so sure of my awesomeness that I know I’ll have those “things”, so I don’t have to wish for them. Ha, or something like that.

When asked what they want most out of life, a lot of people say “To be happy”. But for me, happiness is already there. I was born a genuienly happy girl and I was blessed with a wonderful family and lovely friends who have kept me that way.

If I was a cookie, happiness would be my flour. (Good grief, that was gross. Where do I come up with this stuff?)

  • Question: What do you want most out of life?
  • My answer: To make other people happy.

I know I can be happy doing the bare minimum. And I know I can meet some guy and get married somewhere and have some kids and live some life. But where’s the fun in that? I love nothing more than knowing that my parents are proud of me, knowing that I made someone laugh, knowing that I’m the person my friends call if they want to talk. I want to have enough for myself so that I can give to other people (and, okay, so I can get that bag and those shoes–but there is nothing wrong with wanting nice things!).

I want (borderline need) to push myself. I need to think big because it’s the only way I’ll do it. And if it doesn’t work out? Then it wasn’t meant to be, but it for damn sure was not because I didn’t try. This “wish list” is not something I can lay back and watch come to fruition. I mean, that’s why the quotation marks are there.

Less wishing, more working. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.

As for a husband and kids? Of course I want them.  But I will not be working for them.  That is an aspect of my life that I believe will come to me when I’m ready and deserving. And if all my wishes do come true, than that guy (whoever he is) is going to be one lucky guy.

So I will keep applying to the best PR companies in the world. I will train for that marathon. I will start thinking up names for my company. I will learn how to roast a whole chicken. I will book that cruise for my family.

And I will continue to be happy.

Happy!

What do you wish for?

What I’ve learned from moving back home

17 Aug

I made the decision to live at home in Austin for my last semester at UTSA. Yes, this means I will be commuting two days a week but that’s not really bothering me as much as one would think. I was tired of paying (err, my parents were tired of paying) for an apartment, and because of my internships I was literally making no money. This meant I couldn’t go out with friends, I had to be really careful how I used up gas, etc. I will miss San Antonio, and leaving Jessica was super hard, but I know this is right for me. Plus, I eventually want to move to a city like Chicago or Boston or something like that and I want this extra time with my parents 🙂 PLUS, I have a full kitchen to my disposal 🙂 HELLO amazingly wonderful meals!

I’ve learned…

1. Packing and unpacking isn’t that bad when most of your life actually fits in your tiny little Ford Focus. However carrying boxes up and down three flights of stairs in 100 degree Texas weather is that bad.

2. Being able to wake up in the morning and know that I have everything I want and need to make a good breakfast is so wonderful. You have no idea. After a year of always running out of bananas or milk, this is heaven. Actually it’s not just breakfast, anytime I want food in my mouth is when this is wonderful.

3. Heaven is also always having my dog around to cuddle with.

4. When you’re living at home it’s okay to relax for a while. I use to feel a little guilty on my off days in San Antonio, but I’m more chill in my house here. Probably because there are so many couches and beds in this place!

5. Having a billion pictures of my family around me at all times is fantastic.

6. I can do Hip Hop Abs and not worry about bothering the people below me! However my parents will laugh at me, and they do so often. Whatevs, 6-pack here I come!

7. Getting up at 7:00 am to workout is easier when you know there is a beautiful trail behind your house you can run (or run/walk in my case) on. The friendly neighbors help as well. My kind of creepy apartment neighbors made me want to stay inside. Forever.

8. DVR. Enough said.

9. My dad’s iMac. Enough said.

10. Two words: Free groceries 🙂