Loose Ends and a Recipe Review

I kind of spent 3 hours torturing myself yesterday.  I planned the menu for the 4th of July BBQ, drafted invitations, and then spent the rest of the time eating cereal and quietly sobbing as I scrolled through cute outfit after cute outfit on ModCloth.  There are a lot of events coming up, and not enough outfits, and definitely not enough money for new outfits.  Then, by some miracle, a box arrived in the mail with clothes from my sister’s neighbor.  And she happens to be my size.  And she is a shopaholic.  And the clothes are barely used.  And there are two shiny bathing suits and summer skirts.  So, again, while I may lust towards new clothes, I can’t complain.  I just wish this lady had my shoe size.  Sigh, I’ll never have enough shoes and dresses.

Colorado is still rainy and dreary.  The sun came out for a little bit yesterday, but it wasn’t enough, in my opinion.  Not to mention, everyone is freaking out for fear of another flood.

Which means, unfortunately, we still cannot make more progress (read: finish) the garden bed.  It’s so close to being done, but the weather will not cooperate for us to finish and plant the rest of our seeds.  I’m glad that I was able to plant the flower seeds before all the weather, because they are all starting to sprout up now.  Yay!

Since our garden bed is so large, I didn’t just want to put chicken wire up around it to keep animals out.  It would have been a really tough feat to even do simple gardening.  So we decided to create removeable panels all around the bed, that way I can easily remove sections to get to the garden.  We used this guy’s tutorial on it HERE.  Ours are a little taller, but we did everything else the same way.  Since our garden is shaped like a “U,” we are building a short gate for the front, so we don’t have to create panels for the inside of the “U” (less panels to create).

And since the weather is kind of dreary, I’m going to share my favorite stew recipe.  It is from the Frugal Foodie Mama blog, and it’s the Slow Cooker Balsamic Beef Stew.  I adapted it at home to be gluten free (gluten free flour/sauces), I added considerably more carrots (the stew is a little meat heavy) and I omitted the celery because my husband hates celery – and it went over really well.  It’s simple, but has a “higher end” taste than normal stews.  That’s definitely the balsamic vinegar reduction.  Holy crap.

I will say, since I’m linking to another blog that’s highly promoting Sam’s Club, I do not endorse that place.  I have many reasons, but the biggest is how they treat their employees.  There are plenty of other places you can get ethical, high quality meat that doesn’t cost a fortune (and they don’t have really fucked up, backwards attitudes on how people who work their asses off for their company should be treated and paid).  If you have a local butcher, they also have a lot of bulk deals, and frozen stuff is usually discounted quite a bit.  So, get a freezer and stock up!  Also, for families looking to save some money, don’t make meat every night.  I know it’s usually an easy food to work with when you’re busy, but meat is expensive, and really isn’t all that great for you all the time.  Sorry about the awkward rant, but even though I might be almost done with this blog, I will never endorse places I don’t like, and I am NEVER paid for my endorsements.  So yeah… love this recipe, but not the love affair with Sam’s Club.

Well, folks, it’s almost the end.  Tomorrow, I have a great movie that I’m reviewing, and I’ll be parting ways with this blog.

Until next time.

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Taco Cravings

So, apparently, everyone is just getting a lot of snow all over the country.  And for some reason, our house is in this little pocket where we’ve been getting more snow than other parts of our neighborhood…

Because of the cold and snow, and living in Colorado, I feel like a dried up leaf.  I had to bust out our humidifier yesterday just so I didn’t have to chug water the entire day.  I can’t get anything done if I have to pee every 5 minutes.  And I feel a little trapped in our house.  I miss the sunlight, friends, and like, hotdogs and stuff.

But I’ve been eating a lot of tacos.

Like, a lot of tacos.  I’ve basically been turning everything into a taco.  Because tacos are easy, you can make them however you want, and when you’re snowed in and don’t have a lot in your house and can’t go outside, you can make tacos.

So here’s my latest taco recipe that ended up being an experiment gone well.  Sorry I don’t have pictures, but it’s an easy recipe that you can truly make your own.  And this recipe makes a lot – great for a lot of people, or for leftovers.

Black Bean and Yam Browns Egg Tacos (that’s a mouth full… bum dum dum)

Ingredients:
1 medium yam, shredded
1  15oz can of black beans (drained and rinsed thoroughly)
2 eggs
Sriracha (to taste)
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Olive oil
Creamy dressing of your choice (I used Cosmo’s spicy ranch dressing)
Soft corn tortillas (or whatever you like for tacos)

Directions:
In a preheated skillet, cook and brown the shredded yam in about a 2 TBSP of olive oil and a pinch of salt.  In another skillet, scramble the eggs until they are cooked, add the black beans and sriracha and combine.  When the yams are done, add them to the egg/bean mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Plate the tacos, and add the dressing on top.  Easy peasy.

It’s almost to the point I’m going to need a separate page of taco recipes on this blog.  Because I’m considering make some breakfast tacos for lunch…

Until next time.

Vegan Taco Meat and Lucky Fridays

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Today is Friday the 13th, and while I know a lot of people see it as an unlucky day, I see it as extra lucky.  For one thing, it’s a Friday.  Already, it’s got so much good built up in it, so the 13th makes it extra special.

So let’s make it more special with a new recipe.

I know what you’re thinking:  Vegan taco meat – yuck!  I assure you, it’s not a yuck, especially when you add the right kind of seasoning.  Even Zach loves it, and he fights me on replacing his normal meat things with non-meat things.  But, I’m trying to cut out a lot of meat in our diet, especially red meat, because it can cause problems on your body, and when you buy organic, it’s not super budget friendly.

Plus, this recipe is SUPER easy, so it makes the alternative taco night still laid-back.  I adapted the recipe from Oh She Glows, because I didn’t have lettuce and I wanted a definite “taco/southwestern” taste, AND I wanted to make a larger quantity than she made (for leftovers) so my recipe deviates greatly from hers – but it’s most definitely inspired by her recipe.

Vegan Tacos (adapted from Oh She Glows)

Ingredients:
1 cup uncooked green lentils
1 1/2 cup raw walnut pieces
1-2 TBSP Taco seasoning of your choice
Sesame oil (though you could also use olive if you want)
3 bell peppers (I used yellow only, because I love them and they were on sale)
1 sweet onion
Salt, to taste
Salsa/sour cream/any toppings of your choice

Directions:
Toast the walnuts in a preheated oven of 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes.  Rinse the lentils, and then cook them in water on the stove, this took about 25 minutes, but I would start checking them around 20 minutes.

Cut up and cook the peppers and onion in a large pre-heated skillet at medium heat.  Drizzle with about a tablespoon of the sesame oil, and lightly salt.  Cook the vegetables until the onions are lightly caramelized.

Drain the cooked lentils and place them in a large bowl, adding the walnut pieces.  Drizzle with about a teaspoon of sesame oil, add the taco seasoning, and then mix thoroughly.  Add mixture to a blender (I used my Vitamix, but if you have a food processor, use that, and pulse until you have a nice crumbly texture) and pulse the blender and smash down the mixture.  I did this until the walnuts were almost pasty, so everything stuck together really well (and it looks a little like meat).  You can add some extra walnuts to the mixture if you want an added crunch.

We used soft corn tortillas that were lightly heated on the skillet, but you can use lettuce wraps, or even hard shells.  Spoon the “meat” mixture on the wrap, then add salsa and top with the veggies.

So there you go!  Hopefully this make taco night a little easier for some, and a little healthier.  Sure, we’ll probably still do an occasional meat taco night, but this is a lot more budget friendly for us, and definitely fills us up.

I also wanted to throw out there that I’ve started a new workout regimen, and I might blog about it.  I’m doing DVD workouts at home right now, so it’ll be kind of a DVD review/progress thing.  I also have a lot of home projects/DIY stuff, so you’ll be seeing more of that on here in the coming months, and probably a lot less of the personal stuff (although, I’ll probably mix in the personal stuff, it is a personal blog after all!).  Whenever I start watching movies again, I’ll have reviews up, but we really haven’t watched anything lately.  Except like, the Mindy Project.  It’s hilarious.  That’s all you need to know.

Until next time.

It’s Basically Summer Now

So, this morning, I was snuggling the dogs on the couch and Zach and I were talking about how the weather was starting to get a little warmer.  I look to one of my dogs and say softly, “It’s almost summer!”  Zach laughs hysterically.  “It’s the middle of January!”  He points out.  Why?  Why did he have to ruin my thoughts with 2 more months of winter?

30 degrees in the morning is a heat wave right now.  There is no snow in the forecast for a while that I can tell.  It’ll be in the 60’s tomorrow.  That’s basically summer for me, since we’ve had temperatures in the teens and 20’s, and just enough snow to make everything icy and muddy.  Not to mention, it wasn’t sunny for several days in a row (which is unheard of in Colorado) and it made me super low on energy and sad.  I could never cut it in Seattle.

With the nice weather, we’ve also made some house plans (and life plans).  We’re refinishing and painting our table this weekend, and even fixing our garage door that doesn’t seem to really want to open or shut right now.  We’ve also started planning out our [initial] kitchen renovation.  Basically, we’re giving it a facelift with the cabinets, counters, and new paint on the walls.  There’s a hundred other things we’d like to do with it as well, but for now, this will have to do.  In addition to the kitchen plans, we’ve started mapping out the yard renovations.  We have a better idea of what needs to be done, and we’ve figured out how to make it happen.

Of course, I’ll post pictures and whatnot of everything, in case anyone is curious or is considering venturing off into the reno-land.  You can blame my recent increase in watching PBS lately to my motivation.

But that’s not all we’ve been up to.  Zach and I added a joint, bonus New Year’s resolution to our lists: a year of decadence.  How are we doing that?  We  are picking a country every month, and every Saturday night during that month, we make a meal in the style of a typical dish for that country.  Yes, we.  Zach has been helping, learning, and being very involved in the kitchen.  It’s a lot of fun!  You may be thinking that this really isn’t decadence as much as say, culinary experimentation.  The reason I say decadence, is because we do the whole experience with the meal.  We pair the dish with wine.  We come up with a dessert (although I dropped the ball last weekend).  We try to come up with multiple courses.  We use our bone china.  And we also get to learn a lot about different cultures, and different techniques to cooking.  It isn’t about making things easier, simpler, economic, less time-consuming, or even healthier.  It’s about the experience.  Besides, we know we’re not taking a trip to any of these places any time soon, so this is the next best thing.

So what’s the country for January?  Italy!

I actually never realized how amazing Italian food can be, and how versatile it is.  I didn’t even realize there was another flavor besides marinara sauce in a jar.  I’d like to share last weekend’s recipe.

Chicken and Penne with Mozzarella Cream Sauce
(adapted from Julia’s Album)

Ingredients:

1 heaping cup of mozzarella cheese (we used a log and cut it up)
1 cup heavy cream or half and half (we used the heavy cream)
1/2 lbs chicken breast tenders
1 jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil (ours was about 6 oz)
8-12 oz of penne pasta (we used 12 oz of gluten free Bionaturae pasta)
3-5 cloves of garlic
1 TBSP dried basil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup reserved pasta water
Salt
Paprika
Shredded parmesan cheese

Directions:

Heat large skillet on medium-high heat (we used our large cast-iron skillet) and pour the jar of sun-dried tomatoes with the oil into the skillet (this is what we did because there wasn’t a lot of oil in the jar – if there’s a ton of oil, drain the tomatoes and just add a couple tablespoons so it’s not too greasy).  You want to cook them until there’s a bit of char on the tomatoes.

While doing this, wash and season the chicken with salt and paprika on both sides.  I covered each side with paprika, but you can add as little or as much as you want, it’s just for color.  Cook the pasta to where it’s just underdone – save some water from the pot and drain the pasta and rinse with cool water so it stops cooking.

Remove the tomatoes from the pan when they’re done, turn down to medium heat and add the chicken.  These will be pan roasted, so  you want a little bit of color on both sides.  Don’t burn the chicken, just get some nice color.

Add the cream to the pan and reduce heat to low.  Add the tomatoes back in and slowly add in the cheese, stirring often to combine.  Add the chopped garlic (we add the garlic late to retain the flavor, ease digestion and not leave it burned).  When the sauce is creamy, add the pasta, basil and red pepper flakes.  Salt to taste.  Bring the skillet to a simmer, and add the pasta water, slowly, as needed (you do not need to add all or any if needed).  I let my dish simmer for 5 or so minutes until everything was well combined, cooked, and creamy.  Add shredded parmesan and serve.

Pairs nicely with Chardonnay.  We drank one from Coppola’s Director’s line.  We also served oven roasted carrots with drizzled olive oil and seasoned with salt, pepper, and rosemary.

 

It’s a Long Road, But it’s a Fun Road

I think, at least for the next few months, I’m going to shave down my posting to once or twice a week.  I have a lot of classes starting soon, and I’m doing lessons to prep for those/to do in conjunction, and not to even mention projects, so my plate is quickly filling up.  Besides that, I’m trying to focus on other kinds of writing in the non-blogger realm.  I hope the one or two posts will be exciting-ish, or they will be bad movie reviews.  Either way, I’ll try and keep some sort of act going here.  I have a feeling that 2015 may be the year in which I order a lot of takeout.

I find myself recoiling into a shell, which often happens when I feel overwhelmed by things.  Last time, I got rid of Facebook (which I still have absolutely no regrets or inclinations to go back).  So maybe it’s not always so bad to recoil.  Either way, I feel like the luckiest person alive to have such a wonderful husband (like, seriously, the best, you should all be jealous) and awesome friends, who, if nothing else, make me laugh and allow me to blow off steam (and don’t judge the second or third alcoholic beverage in my hand).  Oh!  Booze!  That reminds me.  I’ve been watching these delightfully quirky videos by a lady named Marissa A. Ross and she talks about wine.  I linked to her YouTube channel, if anyone cares to know more about cheap wine or wants to watch something while drinking cheap wine.  And by cheap, I mean, not crappy, but also not like, overly priced wine (which I tend not to be super into).  I mean, who can afford to buy $100 bottles of wine?  Not me.

So, you know that book, Eat, Pray, Love?  You know the first part of the book, in Italy, she goes crazy with her bad eating habits and it’s all about decadence.  Actually, I never read past that part.  I figured the eating part was good enough for me.  And I’m definitely going through a similar experience.  Except instead of fine Italian cuisine, it’s cheap wine and way too many carbs from like, crappy pizza and delicious pancakes.  I can’t afford to go to Italy, otherwise, I totally would eat everything there.  I think the reason for my New Year’s “anti-resolutions” is because my food allergies haven’t been super bad, except on the raw vegetable front (I seriously get sick looking at salads right now – lettuce is my enemy).  But even with raw vegetables, I’ve been slowly trying to get those to work again, and I seem to be able to handle it a little better, at least.  Since I don’t have terrible allergic reactions to eating out anymore, I’ve been going crazy, and wanting to try everything.  I’m going through a decadence year, don’t judge.

I think I got off on a rant, so I’ll just end now.  I honestly started writing this with stress tears in my eyes, and after thinking about food and wine for a while, I feel better.  That’s bad, isn’t it?  Shh, I don’t want to know…

Until next time.

 

What’s in a Name and Peppermint Mocha?

So, a good friend of mine brought up the topic of names and how people address you.  We apparently had some common ground, common worries, and unbridled rage towards some issues.  So I decided to post about my personal issues.

I want to clearly state right off the bat:  I love my husband more than anything (except maybe the dogs).  I would do almost anything for him and he’s my best friend.  However, I am not a reflection of him, nor am I an extension of him (and vice versa).  We are completely separate people, we do our own things, and we choose to be together every day.

It all started with the wedding, and the wedding guests.  At first, I brushed off all the letters and cards and gifts to “Mr. and Mrs. Zachary Swensen” as people trying to be cute and as a casual throwback, rather than casual misogyny.  When I decided to change my last name, it was a big deal.  I loved my last name.  I had done so much with it.  My art was all under my last name.  I had bank accounts, credit cards, loans, and I registered for classes under my name.  My name represented my Irish heritage.  It was a conversation starter.  And most of all, I loved it because it reminded me of one of my favorite authors, Flannery O’Connor.  It was a huge internal debate for me on whether or not to change my name.  Zach never pressured me either way, so my decision was my own.  I ultimately decided to change it as a symbolic gesture.

So at what moment did I lose my first name as well?

There are a lot of people who don’t see the big deal.  It’s just a stupid card, or a stupid letter.  People say, “Meg, it’s just a generational thing.”

Yeah, a generational thing that symbolizes ownership and takes away the identity of the wife.

Besides, MOST of the “Mrs. Zach” shit that comes to our house are from people around our age.  In fact, the OLDEST MEMBER of all our families has no fucking issue with addressing my name as well.  Someone actually tried to make the argument that it was less writing to leave out my first name.  It’s not.  Same writing (I counted!).  Also, why not leave out Zach’s name then?  Or shorten my name to Meg (which is the name I prefer anyway).

So what’s the big deal about the whole name business?  Imagine going through the rest of your life, and everything that is addressed to both you and your husband never has your name on it.  You’re just Mrs. Husband.  You’re Husband’s wife.  You’re Daughter’s mom.  It’s a lot of pressure.  It’s a huge loss.  I hate the concept of ownership of a person, even symbolically.  That’s why Zach never asked my father’s permission to marry me (I’m pretty sure I’m the only person that can consent to that/I would have been super angry with both Zach and my dad) and that’s also why, when we planned our wedding, Zach’s grandpa (the officiant) asked, “how do you want to be introduced to the world?” I answered, “I want my name spoken.”  Actually, he never even said “Mr. and Mrs.”  I loved that.  It was just Zach and Meg.  It was just us being introduced to the world.  Grandpa John got that, and he really heard me when I told him how worried I was about being lost.

I still have a lot to do in my life.  A lot of my own stuff.  It’s going to have my name on it.  It’ll be mine.  Not my husband’s.  I still exist without him.

I know there might be people out there that think I’m overreacting, or I should feel honored to be a part of someone.  I feel honored about being a part of my husband’s life, not my husband himself.  Plus, it’s my name.  I want to be able to see and hear it, even if my husband is around or involved in something.  He doesn’t cancel me out.  I’m not a redundant version of him.  And for people who enjoy the “old” ways, that’s totally fine.  Let people know.  Because the “old” way shouldn’t be the default.

Marriage aside, names are important.  Some may change their name to reflect their preferred gender identity.  Saying another name is just disrespectful.  Or, in my friend’s case, names can be intimate, and saying an intimate version of her name when she doesn’t have that relationship with someone, is just as disrespectful.

I’m going to quote Star Trek real quick.

There was an episode in TNG where Doctor Pulaski keeps mispronouncing Data’s name incorrectly (she uses the other pronunciation for the word).  When she asks him why it matters, because they are both the same word, he replies, “One is my name.  The other is not.”  Sassy.

Okay, I think you all get the picture.  Now on to Peppermint Mochas.

I decided to try something this morning because I was craving a peppermint mocha, but neither wanted to pay the money for it, nor consume so much sugar.  So I made my own mock-up version.

Meg’s Peppermint Mock-a

Ingredients:
Mug of brewed coffee (I used Ehtiopian from the Sprouts bulk section)
Peppermint tea (I used 1 bag of the Celestial Seasonings)
Hot cocoa powder (I used NOW brand organic cocoa)

Directions:
Steep the tea in your mug with the coffee for 3-4 minutes.  Remove the bag, add the cocoa powder to taste (I like mine pretty chocolatey).  Add creamer or milk (I used a tiny bit of flax milk this morning).

It’s delicious.  Play around with it so you get the right amount of peppermint taste.  See?  No need for tons of dairy or an espresso machine.  Still get tons of caffeine, and that’s what’s important, right?

This will be my last post until after Christmas.  So, I would also like to share my favorite Christmas song and moment.  I can’t really accurately describe what this song means to me, but if I tried, it would be”home.”

“Bless Us All” Lyrics

Life is full of sweet surpises
Everyday’s a gift
The sun comes up and I can feel it lift my spirit
Fills me up with laughter, fills me up with song
I look into the eyes of love and know that I belong

Bless us all, who gather here
The loving family I hold dear
No place on earth, compares with home
And every path will bring me back from where I roam
Bless us all, that as we live
We always comfort and forgive
We have so much, that we can share
With those in need we see around us everywhere

Let us always love eachother
Lead us to the light
Let us hear the voice of reason, singing in the night
Let us run from anger and catch us when we fall
Teach us in our dreams and please, yes please
Bless us one and all

Bless us all with playful years
With noisy games and joyful tears
We reach for You and we stand tall
And in our prayers and dreams
We ask You bless us all

We reach for You and we stand tall
And in our prayers and dreams we ask you
Bless us all

 

Until Next Time.

 

 

 

It’s Actually Snowing on the First Day of Winter

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I honestly thought that it would be like, 50 degrees today.  Colorado doesn’t like to fit neatly into seasons, so having a warm and sunny winter day isn’t uncommon.  But this morning was icy, and right now it’s snowing.  I managed to get up nice and early this morning, got ready, made coffee, took the dogs for a walk, and finished all of my grocery shopping and was home again by 10 am.  A miracle, really.  I even took the dogs with me, because I truly hate running errands by myself.  I get stressed and lonely, and the dogs actually make all of that better.  I also beat the crowds this morning.  Yes, there was a tiny bit of traffic on the highway, but it wasn’t too bad, and all the shops were basically empty.  No crazy people!  Yay!  Plus, look how beautiful it was this morning on our snowy walk:

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The picture really doesn’t do it justice, but this was right at sunrise, when the sun started peaking through.

This past weekend, we had a blast.  We hosted our first cookie decorating party, and had so much fun with the sugar cookies, we never got around to the other cookies.  Not that it really mattered, because those other cookies WILL get made AND eaten, so I suppose it’s best to stagger them out.  I’m also ashamed to admit it, but I didn’t even get to use my decorating gun!  I’ve had it for years, and it’s gone unused.  I mean, we weren’t having trouble without it (people busted out the toothpicks for detail) but it would having been fun.  Next year.  Or this year.  I brought it out so I’d remember it.

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As you may have noticed, our table is, ahem, still not done.  Apparently, we use it a lot during the holidays, so we’re going to start it afterwards.  We’ve given up the fight.  Either we need the table for entertaining, or the weather is terrible, so it’s made it hard to even start the sanding process.

I also wanted to make a note today of Joe Cocker’s passing.  I saw him at Red Rocks when I was 16.  It was a pretty memorable concert.  He was an amazing artist, and I really can’t believe he’s gone.

So, to all of you out there, happy winter, and enjoy your day.

Until next time.

My Baking Menu

It’s a little weird for me to be writing a blog so late in the day (for me), but I wanted to get down my cookie menu today, because I’m not entirely confident I’ll have time to post anything tomorrow.

So, this weekend, we decided to host a cookie decorating party with a few friends and family.  Now, if you know anything about me, I can’t just leave it at “having people over.”  I take time to plan.  Create an experience.  Make it memorable.

So for the menu… keep in mind, I’m gluten free, so everything in my kitchen needs to be as such.  I found a ton of yummy cookie recipes that I would love to get fat on, but I narrowed it down to 4 that I felt were a must.

1. The classic sugar cookie.  Due to a friend’s allergy, I’m using the Pamela’s Sugar Cookie mix.  It’s easy, it’s tastes pretty good, and will satisfy my sugar cookie need.  I haven’t completely decided yet, but I’m considering trying royal icing.  I’m not sure.  I’m scared.  If you click on the link I provided, Pamela herself shows you how to make the cookies.  The reason I’m scared is because every time I’ve made them, I make a huge mess, and she makes none.  Boo.

2. Ginger snaps.  I’m using the recipe from Gluten Free Goddess.  It tastes just like the gluten-filled ones.  Delicious.  We will be making these sans-frosting though.

3. Shortbread cookies.  I don’t exactly know why, but I really want to make this one.  It looks festive and yummy.  I’m using a recipe from The Healthy Maven.

4.  Finally, I’ve decided to try my hand at kolache.  I found a fairly simple recipe in The Gluten Free Bible.

I’m making up all the dough the day before, so I don’t have to make a whole different kind of mess and be stressed the day we make stuff.  I’m also offering yummy refreshments (because that’s how I roll) – Brandy Alexanders, hot cocoa, and this ridiculous looking Candy Cane Milkshake from The Hopeless Housewife.  Hopeless is right.  My goal is to get everyone to consume at least 1 billion calories per person.  Let’s make it count this year.

Don’t forget your favorite holiday music and/or movies while you’re baking!  This year we will have some of our favorites playing in the background, and if someone brings an accordion and we get drunk enough, maybe we’ll play Bob Dylan’s Christmas album.

Until next time.

I Need a Nap This Morning

It’s never a good sign when you wake up needing a nap.  Especially on a Monday.  I’ve been tired a lot lately.  Yesterday was a complete haze, and I really should have just slept the entire day, because apparently, I need some sleep.

It’s also the time of month where I take inventory of my goals.  Setting monthly goals has actually been helping me, and I think the reason I feel so weird is I haven’t done it this month yet.  It helps me stay focused, and it also helps me complete everything I want to accomplish.  It’s way less overwhelming living out your dreams when you take it step by step, by the way.

The thing is… I have no idea what I’m going to do this month (aside from crafting Halloween stuff and curtains).  Everything I have planned is purely domestic.  Is that OK?  I haven’t decided if that’s OK yet.  I’ve been enjoying the home projects, farmer’s markets and all the little things.  They also completely take up all my time.  I also think everything is draining me.  It all wouldn’t be bad at all, but I think I need something that gives me a jump start.

I’m rambling now.  But I will tell you what I’m making for dinner tonight!

Irish Cottage Pie

Yes, I know.  Another GFG recipe.  But holy crap, you know how much I love potato things? A lot.  Potatoes make my heart sing.  I won’t say it’s because I’m Irish, but it’s because I’m Irish.  I’m kidding.  But doesn’t this recipe look amazing?  It’s the perfect comfort food for a not-so-great Monday.

Sorry for the abbreviated post, I’ll try and be better tomorrow.

Until next time.

 

 

Wait a second!  Before I posted this blog, I found this:

o-CUMBERBATCH-900

 

Click the picture.  Yay!  Double nerding!

A Short Post with a Crisp

Hi!  So yesterday, I put together a little list for Halloween stuff.  I also decided to experiment with roasted potatoes (but it needs improvement, I’ll post a recipe later) and then I made an amazing apple and pear crisp.  You can find the recipe HERE.  It’s another Gluten Free Goddess recipe, and in case you didn’t notice, I’m obsessed with her recipes.  She brings comfort food into gluten free eating, which is generally something us people can’t dive into freely without getting really sick.  Then, to top off the night, we sat down and watched Nightmare Before Christmas, and had a glorious time.  Our decorations indoors are mostly up, so now we will be concentrating on the outside.

I also think I’m starting to get cabin fever.  I have an intense desire to leave the house, but I don’t really have anywhere to go.  I run errands several times a week, but that kills my soul in a different way.  There aren’t great coffee shops around my city, and I doubt I want to take up morning drinking.  (I’m kidding, of course.  I will ALWAYS take up morning drinking!)  I think this means I need to visit the farmer’s market and pumpkin farms.  The weather is starting to get really cool, so I think that might be making me antsy.

This post will be short, because I have a lot to do today, unfortunately (getting the flu shot is one of those things – yikes!).  I’m going to get some fabric to make curtains, and I will try my best not to make a mockery out of sewing.  I’ve never done it before, not even a button, so I’m glad that I’ve decided to take on the task of doing something for the first time that will be prominently on display in our main living area.

I hope everyone is having a great beginning to their October, because we’re just getting started!

Until next time.