Friday, August 24, 2012

Slow Down and Enjoy...

Okay, so I never do a two-a-day post, but I had a revelation as I was folding laundry and I needed to share it with you all...

Last Thursday, Danny and I went to Pecha Kucha. If you've never been/heard of it, check this out. It's a great opportunity to interact with all kinds of people and learn about all sorts of things you may never have considered. At last week's PK, one of the presenters was Bear Braumoeller from Slow Food Columbus. His presentation basically said that food quality has been getting progressively worse over the years in America and that in order for us, as a society, to change that, we need to slow our food down and really enjoy it. We can teach ourselves to appreciate a variety of foods that taste good and are good for us, so that we will no longer be satisfied with the subpar swill that fast food restaurants and big chain grocery stores shove into us.

Today, I had an eggplant and a tomato from my garden and I had NO IDEA what to do with them. So I diced up the eggplant and pan fried it, diced up some onion, garlic and my tomato and sauteed them all together into a sauce. Add some angel hair pasta and voila! A perfectly seasoned, light meal with all sorts of interesting smells and textures, like crunch from the eggplant, a little bite from the pasta and liquid silkiness from the tomato sauce. And as I took my first bite, I said to Danny "Everything about this is right..." He just shrugged and went back to eating his canned soup and bread (I offered to share, but he doesn't like eggplant. His loss...). I don't think it fazed him, because when I cook at home, I often say something along the same lines.

Now this is not to say that I'm a perfect cook by any means. But I realized something tonight. When you take the time to make something that you want, that you like, prepared to your specifications, seasoned to your tastes, it just makes a better eating experience. The whole process, from dicing the eggplant, to getting my hands dirty with the flour and egg wash and breadcrumbs, to the pop and sizzle of the oil in the pan, to the smell of caramelizing onions and garlic and finally, to that first, luscious bite. In that moment, everything about my meal was right.

So thank you, Bear Braumoeller for putting the seed of an idea in my mind to slow down and enjoy my food. And I'm so excited that today, the idea finally blossomed into one perfect meal.

Just Do It

Yesterday, I put a call out to my FB friends because I need to get my life together. I need to lose weight and get healthier in general. I need to save money. I need to renew and strengthen my connections with the people who are important to me. I need find ways to express my creativity.

For the past several months, up until Danny and I went on vacation, I have been dealing with some pretty nasty anxiety issues. I'm feeling much better now, but if they come back, I'm going to have to see someone about them. Until then, I'm trying to bring more joy and wonder into my world and I realized that I can't do it by myself.

The reason I put the call out to my FB amigos is because I get so stuck in my own head that it's really easy for me to lose focus of who and what is important to me. I get nervous asking people for help because I've always felt like I need to be the strong, stoic one and I don't want to be a burden, because I know everyone is dealing with their own issues. Even now as I type this, I'm getting a little heart-racey because I know I'm going to put this out there for the world to see.

So I decided to acknowledge that fear and work around it and ask for help. Hopefully the people who have expressed interest in being Accountabilibuddies (Candice, you rock for introducing this word into my life!) will be able to create a strong network for one another and make things happen for the better in their own lives.

Nike, thanks for telling me to "Just Do It." I did something that I wouldn't normally do because I am ready to make a change. Let's see where this first step leads, shall we...

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Like a Shiny New Penny

Yesterday, I was all ready to get a payday pedicure. Fresh shaved legs, skirt on so they could get to my legs, flippy floppies in my car so I could go straight after work. Then I realized that I'm a damn adult and needed to buy groceries. Sumbitch. And the fee-yawn-say was at work, so I had to unload all the groceries at home by myself. Hell's bells.

Today, I was gonna get a post-payday pedi. Then I realized that I'm a damn engaged adult and have to pay for a wedding next year. So I decided to spend $15 to get stuff to do my own pedi several times, rather than $40 to go to a nail shop once.

Even though I missed having my feet and legs massaged, I think I did a pretty dang good job. And I got a super cute new fall color, Copper Penny.

Sometimes, it's just the little things in life that make me smile ;-)

P.S. Lazy Girl Sangria is even better the second day! Just one more little thing to make this day even better...

Friday, August 17, 2012

Vegetable Dilemma...

So, this summer has been drrrrrryyyyyyyyy and hooooooooooot. Meaning that I haven't had great turnout with my garden this year, much like last year (Except the reason for my low turnout then was punk ass squirrels, late planting, the first year of the garden and too much rain. Basically, last year's garden was just a crap concert). However, the garden has been putting out lemon cucumbers, black krim tomatoes and mint like that is its damn job! Well, I guess it is the garden's job, but that's neither here nor there...

I am ENAMORED with the colors of these foods!
Anyway, today I had several lemon cucumbers and tomatoes picked and ready to do something. I just wasn't sure what. I also had a half a bottle of red wine and some triple sec. There was some salmon in the fridge that I was planning to grill off tonight for dinner. I usually just make some pasta with a sauce made from the salmon marinade, but it was too damn hot to turn the stove on. So I figured I would grill the cukes and tomatoes, since I already had the grill going. And clearly, wine + triple sec = sangria. I mean, duh. Check out this magic that happened:

Honey soy grilled salmon.
Rosemary mint grilled lemon cucumbers.
Garlic rosemary mint grilled tomatoes. 
Lazy Girl Sangria.

Lemme school you on this sangria...(Really, I just eyeballed the amounts) Half a bottle of merlot. Half a cup of triple sec. Two teaspoons powdered sugar. One teaspoon powdered ginger. 2 cups of frozen fruit medley (the one that I buy has strawberries, mango, peaches and grapes). I may or may not have combined all those ingredients in a tupperware container. Scratch that. Let's be honest. I did combine them shits in a tupperware container, which was the best decision of life. Screw the top on and shake. Pour it into a classy glass, top it off with sparkling water. Or drink it straight out of the tupperware. We're not judging here. Do whatever floats your boat. There's no fruit cutting, no measuring. Literally just Pour. Shake. Drink. This will make a good sized glass for you and one for a friend. Or it will make you drunk by yourself. Again, no judgement ;-)

Light, super flavorful, and so easy. Perfect summer dinner! And the fee-yawn-say is gonna make me some marinara sauce with the leftover grilled tomatoes tomorrow. Double score :-D