Galentines 2015: Share the Love

We all know what the middle of February brings. A overload of red and pink everything, too much chocolate, terrible poetry, and expensive bouquets. All in the name of L O V E. Yeah, it’s Valentines day. I’ve celebrated the holiday as a single and as a couple, with friends and with strangers, all alone and with pets. While I do not necessarily believe you should spend a bunch of money in order to show that special someone how you feel on ONE day, it’s nice to let them know that on February 14th they are loved just as much as the other 364 days.

This year, my sister and I celebrated an early Galentines day (part one for me). Cupcakes and cookies and laughs and lots of love all included.

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As a fan of most holidays, I like Valentines especially because I feel so inclined to wear pink. It’s actually one of the few times a year I will purposely wear the color. Something I like even more about the holiday are all the decorations and crafts. Homemade garland, paper streamers, cut outs, and heart shaped everything really gives me major emoji heart eyes in real life!unnamed5 9 10 11For Galentines 2015, cupcakes took center stage. Strawberry champagne cupcakes to be exact (thanks Whole Foods)! These heavenly concoctions were too sweet not to share. 6 7 8 12 13 14 15 17 18

I consider myself to be pretty damn lucky to have such a rad little sister to spend Galentines with, as well as a bunch of other off holidays. And when the 14th comes along and I’m sitting on the couch watching Sleepless in Seattle with my cats (Growlentines), I’ll still feel pretty damn lucky.

 

Don’t be a grump on v-day. Smile & share the love, yall!

 

(Galentines Part Two in NYC will also involve sharing love and lots of pizza.)

 

7 Minutes in Heaven

I never played that game because I was home schooled.

This post pertains to my favorite thing- eggs! It’s no big secret I love them. I even have eggs listed on my top 6 things I can’t live without on OkCupid! At some point last year I learned I have been hard/soft cooking them wrong my whole life! My grandma always stressed 20 minutes for boiling so I wouldn’t get salmonella. The end result was always a rubbery white and dry chalky yolk. My grandma would tell me the yolks were full moons so I would eat them. A much later teenage obsession with all things Austen and Brit Lit led me to discover 5 minute eggs. You know, the ones that get their own holder that looks like a candlestick and special little spoon. It kind of grossed me out, so i just continued to think British people ate weird things.

One fateful day last October, during my first Whole30, I was seriously stalking HomeSweetHomestead’s blog. This babe is living my dream, basically. She has chickens! (More on that later!) When you own chickens you eat a whole lot of eggs. After what seemed like a continuous scroll of photos of 7 minute eggs, I knew I had found my magic number. Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset

7 Minute Eggs

  1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil.
  2. Lower eggs in with a spoon.
  3. Cover pot. Lower heat to medium. Cook for 7 minutes.
  4. Remove from pot and run under cool water.
  5. Peel. Salt. Dill. Enjoy!

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I am a fan of eggs cooked all ways, but this may be my favorite. For the sake of time and because my name is not Sheila. Sheila makes the best scrambled eggs on the planet. During the Whole30 these guys were my go to breakfast, paired with sliced apples and almond butter or lightly roasted asparagus. And coffee, always coffee. I put these eggs on a pedestal. Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset

If you like a runnier yolk, may I suggest less on the timer. If you prefer the opposite, aim for 8-10 minutes. I will stick with 7 for now.

Side note: I have really been thinking about getting chickens. Currently trying to figure out how that would work with cats.

SOUPER BOWL

This year and most years I could really care less about the superbowl. No Dallas Cowbows? Pshhh. No Beyonce? Uhhhh. Snowstorms +the season finale of football a Twin Peaks binge are two good enough reasons to sit on the couch for the entirety of an afternoon. (Couch sitting is even more justified if you went to the gym earlier that day.) (Add two cuddly cats and an attention-deprived dog and you have the most ideal of couch sitting situations.)

Since I am currently half-assing another Whole30 and had no real plans to watch the sports game, I didn’t deem it necessary to binge on chips and dip and other snacks of their kind. Also, I do not have any of that in my house. Also, I am pretty poor until payday. So what do you make when all you want is a damn fine cup of coffee and something else just as warm? And your refrigerator boasts ingredients like Russian kale & ground turkey & a few tomatoes that you need to hurry up and use? All signs point to soup…er…stew. Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset

Skillet Stew

1 pound ground turkey

1/2 butternut squash, peeled and cubed

1 large red onion, roughly chopped

4 ripe tomatoes, diced

6 cloves garlic, diced

1 bunch Russian kale, roughly chopped

2 strips uncured bacon

4 cups water

seasonings to taste: oregano, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, s&p

*cast iron skillet* or a medium sized pot

  1. In a large cast iron skillet or soup pot, skillet preferred (hence the name) on low-medium heat, begin to fry you bacon. Add garlic and onion. Stir around until the garlic turns golden.
  2. Add squash and let cook for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add kale, tomatoes, and seasonings. Stir.
  4. Add water, cover skillet and let simmer on low for about 2 hours. When your butternut squash is nice and tender you are done.

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Three days later and I am still living off this stew. Three days later and I still have no idea of what went on during that halftime show.

(Bring on baseball season!)

This is also Whole30 apropros. The mug cake I made later that night, however, was not. Souper!

Life Lately | In the New Year

Here I am again after taking another 2 month blogging break. Because I always conveniently fall off the WordPress map during the winter months, I’m going to allocate all blame to hibernation. I have been sleeping more as of late, though sometimes it feel like not enough. That’s what a crazy work schedule plus forced upon night owl tendencies will do to ya.

So what’s been going on with me during my absence? Well, I’ve completed two Whole30s and did a few days of a third [Whole30]; made the most amazing Thanksgiving bird; had a glorious week in the Burgh with my mom; got all the pickle novelty gifts for Christmas; took a few hard falls on the ice/snow; whipped my hair back and forth on New Year’s; consumed more coffee than I ever thought possible for my low caffeine tolerance self; taught myself how to weave; cuddled the shit out of all the Murder House animals. Seriously. I’ve spent the last few months tangled in yarn with cats on my lap or shoulders, in my kitchen, or at Whole Foods. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. (Unless I could be animal free on a beach in Tulum.)

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Listening to… A whole bunch of Rilo Kiley/Jenny Lewis and Shannon and the Clams. I’ve had these two in my rotation for about a month. Perfect music to sing aloud to in your kitchen. Major emphasis on the loud part.

Regretting… I regret ever letting the cats on the table/kitchen counters. Both now pose as Sid and Nancy’s breakfast bar & prime nap location. I lose count how many times I have to throw Nance off the counter when trying to slice sweet potatoes. Luckily Sid is much more passive, and if you sing very loudly in a Louis Armstrong voice, she will book it for my bedroom. Processed with VSCOcam with e8 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with e8 preset

Eating… Clean. Ugh, you know I hate saying that! But yeah, doing the whole30 a few times around has changed my diet. Mainly I’ve just cut out dairy, grains and legumes, and added sugar whenever possible. Brussels sprouts, eggs, Russian kale, coconut milk, bacon, and Kiku apples are my go-to’s. I’ve been living the paleo lifestyle except for when it’s too cold to cook and my sister and I binge on Thai or Chinese takeout. #NotWhole30 but who the fuck cares. Last Sunday I pre-gamed the Superbowl with almost an entire Papa John’s pizza. No regrets!

Wearing… All my sister’s clothes and too much JCrew. I attribute this to the above. Shopping not exclusively online is kind of fun again! Except I really prefer to just not when it comes to the mall. Still all about that all black errr’thang because I got two pairs of ripped black denim in a JCrew sale! Booyah!

Spending… Too much money at the yarn store.

Planning… A trip to Texas. I always insert <triptoTexas> in this spot. Hopefully In late April. I want to do NIOSA with my dad and then spend some quality time in Dallas with my best babes. And I want to get my cowgirl tattoo. Been saving that one for Denton.

Laughing… At everything Nancy does and at myself. Yeah right for thinking you were going to keep up your outdoor running routine in the dead of winter.

Dreaming… I want to be on a beach. I want to have something that resembles a tan. I want salty air and sand and sun. Whether it’s Mexico, the Jersey Shore, or the god-forsaken Gulf of Mexico, I will turn this dream into a reality this summer. Until then I guess I will just think warm thoughts.

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Alotta Frittata

There is one food if which I had to live without I would probably die. Breakfast and brunch would have no soul, veganism would be the easiest triumph, and the souffle would cease to exist. This food is the incredible, edible egg.

Ah, the egg is alive and well in my refrigerator, and since my birthday cast iron purchases, it has played a frequent supporting role in my life. With frequent trips to the farmers market, frittatas and green smoothies have become necessary. This post is dedicated to the better of the two. Processed with VSCOcam with m4 preset

I jokingly started the hashtag #52weeksoffrittata on Instagram, mainly for the alliteration’s sake. All jokes aside, my weekly frittatas have been rather consistent. You too can eat delicious frittatas on a weekly basis without owning a chicken farm! For the very low quantity of 4 eggs a week + whatever produce/cheese/extras you have on hand! Get creative!

Here are the varieties I’ve had so far:

Week 1: sweet & spicy peppers + feta

Week 2: Greek Style (spinach+tomatoes+feta)

Week 3: London Pub Style (wild mushrooms+onions in malt vinegar)

Week 4: Fall Yall! (spicy sage+potatoes+fig&honey goat cheese)

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I’m not going to post a recipe for each frittata individually because if you have a brain and can saute vegetables, you can surely do this without detailed instructions. I use 4 eggs for each one. That’s really all you need to know!

I can’t wait to carry on this new weekly love affair!

Do y’all have any frittata favorites?

 

XOXO

Life Lately | September Musings

Life has been quite the whirlwind since my last blog post. So many things have happened, including but not limited to: starting a new job, getting a haircut, becoming a cat lady, turning 26, etc. Those are all pretty big life moments if you ask me.

The radio silence is coming to an end. As we move into a new season, I sense a re-birth of blogging coming along. Also, the new job leaves me with 20 extra hours a week to mess around in the kitchen, take photos, go on dates (!), and really just time tot throw a pursuing other passions. I have been filling my notebook with content, so hopefully, for you all, that means more blog posts aka pie and recipes and photos of my hair. Until then, here is a look at the current picture.
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Not going to… Apologize for my lack of presence on the internet. As you may be able to infer from the introductory blurb, I was busy and then I had all this free time to, honestly, not spend on blogging. Instead I went kayaking, visited museums, went on hikes, started learning Hebrew, and yeah, maybe I watched an entire series or two on Netflix..

Listening to… Pandora is playing Band or Horses, which is a pretty accurate representation of my momentary musical tastes. Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes, and The Lumineers consume my internet radio speakers. Last week I almost overdosed on Neil young in honor of the Harvest Moon. As real bonafide baking weather approaches I feel myself going back to the late greats of vintage country: Waylon, Willie, and the Boys + Patsy, Dolly, and Loretta. Oh yeah, Gene Autry, too.

Loving… Allow me to introduce you to my sister’s new kitten, little miss Nancy. While she technically belongs to my sister, her heart kinda sorta belongs to me. She sleeps with me every night, takes naps on my lap, and de-pots all of my succulents. Maybe it’s because I feed her every morning, or because I let her lick my face, but I consider her my little fur baby. I still love my smelly, old Gypsy, but Nance has very quickly changed my opinion on cats altogether. Processed with VSCOcam with s1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with b1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with m4 preset Processed with VSCOcam with s1 preset

Eating… So my new job is in the bakery at Whole Foods. It’s pretty great- the people, the culture, the 20% discount. Since living up north, I’ve really let my granola flag fly, but not I can eat organic on a budget. My current obsessions are garden frittatas, General Tso tofu, and all beets everything. Oh yeah, Siggi’s Icelandic style yogurt is my jam. i eat it everyday and will never go Greek again. I bought myself another cast iron skillet for my birthday. It appears that I am starting a #52weeksoffrittatas with the frequency in which I make them. Also, two words for you: DUTCH BABY. Expect a blog post soon. Processed with VSCOcam with s1 preset

Thinking about… Buying a ukulele to become a youtube sensation, going back to grad school to pursue the degree I should have gone for, forgoing the graduate degree and just getting my ESL cert, moving to a foreign country to teach English, where/when my next move will be. Each year on my birthday I set my New Year resolution. Last year’s was getting the hell outta dodge (Denton|Texas). This year I am dedicating to pursuing what I really want whether it be school, living in a different city, being a full time creative/baker. I’ve also been doing a lot more writing, my comical upbringing being the topic of intrigue. Everything is still a jumble in my head. That’s why I call it the thinking process. And who says I have to choose just one!

Planning… A trip to Texas! My good friend is getting married in October, so down south I will go! I am trying to figure out how to not so evenly divide my time between the DFW and San Antonio. Things that go along with trips include plane tickets. I need to get on that..

Anticipating… The arrival of fall. This past weekend showed signs of an early arrival. The temperatures staying in the 50s for the majority of the weekend. Instead of taking advantage of the perfect hiking weather, I spent the day on Lauren’s couch napping and binging on Gilmore Girls and Thai food. Which brings me to my next bullet point of anticipation *Gilmore Girls October 1st!

Wearing… Entirely too much flannel for the late summer, birkenstocks, and my usual all black everything. My wardrobe has also seen a resurgence of denim since jeans have now become a work staple. I won’t even begin to tell you about my new pair of clogs…Hipster Heidi of the Alps called. She want’s her wardrobe back but she aint gonna get it!

Spending… Money on farmers market flowers. Last week I bought a $7 bouquet that was so big I needed both arms to manage it on the short walk home. I felt like I was hugging a tree! See also, Siggi’s yogurt. I am about to purchase a case of that stuff!

Being thankful for… There are so many things on this list. I’ve been very blessed to have such wonderful people in my life, near and far. I love that I have animals to keep me warm as the mercury drops. I have a sister to laugh with. I have flowers to weave into something pretty. I have family planning trips. I have freedom to be doing what I want. So many, many things. These are just a drop in the bucket.Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset

Stay tuned, y’all!

XOXO

Sweet and Savory Corn Fritters

In a very rare moment yesterday, my sweet tooth was really trying to get the better of me. We usually keep a stockpile of cookies from my previous job in the freezer, but my sister likes to eat my favorite double chocolate ones for breakfast…so alas, we were out! Even our refrigerator and cupboard were seriously lacking ingredients to conjure up something sweet. Time to improvise!

It’s funny how some of the random kitchen staples use the word sweet, i.e.- sweet cream butter, sweet yellow corn, sweet clover honey. Yeah, none of those are going to make my double chocolate cookies, but they have the potential to come together and make something amazing. I had to think outside the box and hop a few state lines back to good ol’ Texas. I swear, I draw so much inspiration from my roots. Thus, a sweet and savory dessert found its beginnings.

Think donut + elotes + sopapilla.

I really just meshed  my recipes for corn and flour tortillas and my pie crust together to create something resembling a pastry dough. Once fried up, it was ever so sweet! For this particular recipe, I filled these fritters with a corn and tomato mixture,seasoned more on the savory side. At first my sister complained about the corn filling, but once she took a bite she quickly shut up. In all actuality, these would probably taste just fine without a filling, drizzled with some honey and maybe a sprinkling cinnamon sug. See churros and sopapillas. In the future I’d like to try out different fillings like jalapeno cream cheese, or chorizo and apple/pear (sounds weird but I bet it would be great!). Corn just seemed fitting since I was using maseca and sweet was right there, smack dab on the label. Processed with VSCOcam with e8 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with e8 preset

Sweet & Savory Corn Fritters

For the dough:

1 1/2 cups maseca flour + 1 tbs for rolling

1/2 cup all purpose flour + 1 tbs for rolling

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp granulated sugar

5 tbs butter (sweet cream!) at room temperature

1-1/4 cups warm water

For the filling:

1 can of (sweet yellow!) corn, rinsed and drained

1 large tomato, diced

savory seasoning to taste; I used cumin, s&p, chili powder, and cayenne pepper

vegetable oil for frying

honey for something extra

  1. In a large bowl, combine all of the  dry ingredients to make your dough. Using your hands, work the butter into the dry mixture until it takes on a mealy appearance. You should be able to form a ball in your hand. Slowly add the warm water in increments of 1/4 cup. The final product should be slightly firm while slightly sticky. For your dough into 8 equal sized balls. Cover with a damp cloth until it’s time to roll out.Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with b2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the ingredients for your filling: corn, diced tomato, and seasonings to taste. Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset
  3. Time to roll these babies out! Lightly dust your work surface and rolling pin with the leftover dry mixture: equal parts maseca and flour. Roll out a circular shape about 6-7″ in diameter and a thickness a bit more than a 1/4″. You just want to make sure it isn’t too thin, otherwise the filling may leak out! Spoon your filling right into the center!Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset
  4. To fully form your fritter (alliteration!) fold the edges over the top and press down. This is a two hand job. form your fritters into a biscuit like shape. You may have to use some of the dry mix to keep everything in place. Oh yeah, it is totally okay if there are some cracks! Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset
  5. Heat up your oil in a pan and fry these babies until they are golden on both sides. Transfer to a lined baking sheet and brush each fritter with honey. You can even sprinkle them with a bit of kosher salt and sugar. I sure did!Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset
  6. Note: I only baked these fritters for their second half of cooking because I knew ahead of time I did not have enough oil to do the deed. Bake your fritters at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. Yeah, that did the trick! Let cool for 5 seconds and then drizzle with more honey if you’re feeling sweet, Cholula if you’re feeling saucy. Pick your poison!Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset

Seriously, who needs a freezer burned cookie when you can have something just as sweet, if not -er and maybe a tiny but healthy? Oh yeah, and it’s got a little bit of spice on the inside! Ha, that kind of sounds like my personality!

Thank goodness for those Texan roots and the Mexican food mart in the Strip District. God knows where I’d be if I was unable to find that giant bag of masa mix!Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with b2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset

 

Salute to Basics, Part One

You all know I have an affinity for wearing all black and staying away from trends unless they are black harem pants. For tees, tanks, leggings, and all clothing in between I had to cross my fingers in hopes that my bank account could handle American Apparel and double cross that the  H&M legging supply was still going strong in the summer. A few years ago I discovered Everlane. After signing up for their mailing list, I didn’t give them a thought until I moved to PGH and was in desperate need of comfy yet flattering basic clothing options. They have the science of basics down to the TEE, their U-neck and Ryan being my current favorites.

A recent online shopping splurge ended with a lovely brown package waiting on my doorstep. Black, white, chambray, and rust have wiggled into my late summer/early fall wardrobe. I can do color if its denim or not neon. I’ve been rocking the rust, black, grey combo as of late…….really just dreaming of fall! Consider this post part 1 in a salute to basics- an ode to Everlane!

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Memories For Sale

Last weekend Lauren, Chase, and I ventured to a more remote part of the Greater Pittsburgh Area. Our previous estate sale plans were thwarted by an expired Craigslist posting, so we did the next best thing- antiquing. The more I think about that word as a verb, the more I dislike it. See also- crafting. Due to a lack of money, I wasn’t really looking for anything other than inspiration. It is free after all, but you’ve got to keep your eyes open.

Ohio River Blvd Antique Mall was the place. The purple brick building’s facade resembled something like an auto shop you’d find off East McKinney Street in good ol’ Denton, Texas. Its bright colors draw in business and drive out evil spirits, though being an antique store, the place is probably filled with all sorts of juju.

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As soon as you cross the threshold, you go back decades. Mid-century sofas stacked 3 on 3, glass bottles galore, knickknacks and tchotchkes, and dishes from days long gone fill the rooms. Oh! And there are rooms, not to mention floors! The interior is a Victorian house filled with other peoples’ belongings. Other peoples’ junk? Definitely other peoples’ memories.

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On a different note, there’s nothing like an antique store to reiterate the fact that when you die you leave all your shit behind you. While it is a slightly morbid point of view, it does make me evaluate my tendencies as a consumer. Ever since moving to Pittsburgh, I have really been trying to simplify my life. Antique stores can be a great testament to this. So many of the objects filling the shelves hail from a simpler time, and I get a little inspired to live like they did. This correlation might only make sense to me….Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset

Consumerism and bank account status aside, I did make a beeline towards the depression glass and handful of insulators.Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset

Besides Ohio Blvd, we also frequented a few other thrift and surplus stores. They all sort of cast a similar shadow on my opinion voiced above.

Out with the new and in with the old!

 

 

I Got Stripes

The Fourth of July is my favorite ‘Merica holiday. It can’t be the only ‘Merica holiday, right? This year, my Fourth was the exact opposite of previous years. For the last 3 back in Tejas, the Pearl House would throw the biggest party in town. Everyone who was anyone in Denton would be there. Well maybe not. But cool people showed up. And we made a vodka melon. Every year.

This year, karaoke was not sung, flags were not “stolen”, and hangovers were not to be had. Instead, I held a piping bag in my hand for 14 hours straight. I decorated everything in sight to make our bakery look like America threw up all over the counter and then some. Carpal tunnel much? My hand is still hurting! All complaints aside, I was ready for a nap, beer, roasted ear of corn, and a hot dog In that specific order).  My sister’s boyfriend held a Fourth of Ju-Luau at his house. Everything but the nap was brought to fruition there.  I even had a vodka melon, though it was disgusting. I should give 4th of July tutorials on how to properly inebriate fruit. It’s not rocket science, B!

Anyway, I had a great Fourth. I didn’t think it was a possibility, but when you surround yourself with rad people, good times just happen organically. Here are some photos of me donning Old Faithful. I actually paid for this one. From one of my favorite Dallas vintage stores.

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America’s Bday also rocks because it is the most LDR (Lana Del Rey) of all the holidays. George Washington never saw that one coming!