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I moved back here:

I work here (well, in a building in front of this):

They give me a lot of food, so I make:

Homemade tomato sauce with zucchini (both from the garden at work)

and

Delicious homemade squash soup (also from the garden)

Also:

Strata made with local cheese, tomatoes and red pepper from the garden, and mushrooms, onions, and broccoli.

I live here:

The cat lays here:

and here:

I visit friends, who do things like this:

Breakdancing on the 4th of July.

I vacationed here:

Lake Michigan 10/8/12.

And, in case you missed the big announcement, I now drive this:

The end.

Let me just start off this blog post with a confession: I have no idea how to blog.  Maybe you’ve noticed by now.

I don’t know what force there is behind my desire to blog.  Maybe it’s that I love them so much that I can’t get enough and they sometimes bring out ideas in me that I want to put down.  Maybe it’s my desire to express a part of myself that no one else is really interested in or my repressed need to over-share.  Maybe it’s an exercise in improving my writing and creative flow.  I can’t say that I’m really sure.  A lot of times it really just serves as a recipe book, since I tend to lose/destroy any physical recipes I have.  My insecurity about blogging really keeps me from doing it a lot.

The days that usually lead up to a blog post go something like this (timeline obviously varies):

Day 1: It’s been awhile since I posted.  I should really do that or NO ONE ON THE INTERNET WILL EVER LIKE ME.

Days 2-6: Bleh.  I’m too tired/busy/poor/lazy to blog.  I’ll just feel guilty instead.

Day 7:  Do I even have something to blog?  Well…there are these old pictures that I was too lazy to blog before.  Too bad they look like crap.  I really need to figure out this picture thing.  Let’s research that and maybe work on those pictures.

Day 8:  I guess I can just throw these pictures in a post and write later. 

5 hours later….I’m too tired/lazy/distracted to work out today.  Now I’m bored and feeling guilty.  Hey, now I can add text to my blog post!  What the f*** am I going to write about?!  What do people write about?  No one is going to give a crap about my boring life.  Am I only supposed to talk about the food?  “Here’s the rainbow pasta.  Ooh pretty!”  That sounds lame.  HOW DO PEOPLE DO THIS?!  

This shit is stressful.  So I’m asking you to bear with me while I attempt to come up with content and pictures that you’re actually interested in.  I can’t afford editing software or one of those fancy cameras that has a detachable lens and instantly makes perfect pictures, and I’m not a writer by nature (though I can kick the hell out of it when I need to), but I promise that I’m going to be a goddamned (sloppy) perfectionist about it and fake it ’til I kind of make it!

So now let’s talk about pasta salad.

One day (probably a month or two ago), I really wanted pasta salad. No idea why.  But, when I picked up all the ingredients I wanted, they were really beautiful and colorful, so I thought it would be a good time to experiment with lighting and staging in my ugly a$$ kitchen.

That’s when I realized I really need a light box and a tripod.  But I’m not going to buy those things.  Because I’m broke and that would be ridiculous, and I know better than that.

Pretend there’s feta cheese up there.  I kind of forgot about it.  But not in the pasta.  No, I would never forget the cheese.

This whole salad is basically a vegetable.  The pasta is vegetables, the vegetables are vegetables, the dressing is vegetables, IT’S VEGETABLE MADNESS.

I threw the onion and green pepper into a bowl and microwaved them for a bit.  Why?  I have Oral Allergy Syndrome (yes, I’m riddled with oddities), and eating some fruits and vegetables fresh makes my mouth super itchy and puffy.

Learned you up something today, huh?

GRAPE TOMATOES ARE VEGETABLE CANDY.

I think I capslock too much, but it most accurately describes my inner voice.  I’m like 15-year-old Harry Potter.  Obviously.

Seriously, what I am I supposed to write after this picture?  “Hey, toss that shit together!”  Should I put a picture of the finished product at the top to entice you?  Do people even like step-by-step photos?

The cheese.  Don’t even thinking of making this without cheese.

Oh, geez.  This salad was my lover for 3 days.  I miss it dearly.  Now I just need to find something blue to put in it to make it a real rainbow.  Blue corn?

No real recipe here, but this is the general approximation.  What’s great about these things is that you can customize them any way you want.  I added Green Goddess dressing to one of my servings, and I don’t have to tell you how good that was (I hope).

Rainbow Pasta Salad

makes approximately 6 servings

  • Half a box rainbow pasta
  • 1/2 large red onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced,
  • 1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 ounces sliced, canned black olives
  • 3 ounces feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup salad dressing
Mix it up!


This past weekend was the annual family reunion on my mom’s side.  We have a two-day event; the first day is a golf scramble, and the second day is a picnic and an auction to raise money for our scholarship fund.

Unfortunately, a crazy storm blew in before anyone got past the third hole, so we were forced to hide indoors and continue drinking.  The horror!  And then there was White Castle.  Hundreds of tiny burgers waiting to be eaten!  And a double rainbow!  What a glorious weekend.

Now, here are some random pictures of food.

Baked cheesy polenta over a bed of spinach with grape tomatoes, Green Goddess dressing, and hummus.

Frittata/open-faced omelette with cheddar cheese, spinach, mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, and zucchini.

Fluffy whole wheat biscuits.

Whole wheat potato gnocchi.

 

I spent 2 hours at the ophthalmologist yesterday looking at blinking lights, letting them poke my eyeballs, and then having various eye drops put in to dilate my pupils and steal my near sight.  All for them to tell me I have to come back in a month.  Blergh!

My best friend grew up in a pretty healthy household.  Her mother was a bit of a health nut and kept herself pretty informed about nutritional news.  They always had natural peanut butter, fresh veggies, whole wheat bread, etc.  The good stuff.

My childhood was nothing like that.  I grew up knowing very little about nutrition.  The basis of my knowledge was that you were supposed to eat lots of vegetables and stuff like that, but my surroundings didn’t give me a lot to work with.  I had no idea about how calories worked or what the values on a nutritional label really meant.  Due to a lack of funds, dinner at home often consisted of combining a pack of ramen noodles with a can of tuna.  Needless to say, coming into my best friend’s house was a bit of a shock for me.  They used to tease me by saying they were making something crazy like eggplant lasagna for dinner.  It was terrifying.

When I got to college, things changed a lot.  I took some nutrition classes and completely changed my way of eating.  Even so, I still balked at some of the things my friend would eat.  Natural peanut butter?  Not sweet enough.  Black beans?  Yuck.  Hummus?  Hummus…

Hummus scared the crap out of me.  Chickpeas were weird.  A chickpea paste?  That doesn’t even make sense.

But one day (after many years) I was feeling particularly brave and tried some.  It changed my life.  It didn’t taste like beans, it tasted like garlic and heaven!

Thus, my love affair began.  And, of course, it was an expensive one.  For those who live on the thrifty side of life, spending $2.50+ for a tiny container of deliciousness is quite painful.  So hummus was really a treat for me, something I bought every now and then (and devoured in about 36 hours).

But then I began another phase of my life: learning to make things at home (a big money saver).  I realized that I could make my own hummus, and make it exactly how I wanted!  For a long time I was hung up on buying tahini.  I couldn’t really find it in me to justify the cost.  But eventually I gave up and made it without the tahini, and fell in love.  It was awesome!  But I couldn’t keep enough chickpeas in the house to satify my cravings.  One can just doesn’t make enough.  So, I thought back to a post I saw on How Sweet It Is about white bean hummus.  Surely I could just buy the same dried beans I used to make bean soup and make those into deliciousness.

So I did.  AND IT WAS AWESOME.

So here it is, my new addiction: bean hummus.

My lunch today: no salt added corn, whole wheat saltine crackers, and home made bean hummus.

I don’t have an exact recipe, but it goes something like this (don’t judge me):

Bean Hummus

  • Some beans (I rehydrated dried mixed beans)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar (usually you use lemon juice, but I’m out and the vinegar is good)
  • An obscene heap of minced garlic
  • Some chopped onion
  • A dollop of light sour cream
  • Salt and pepper

Put everything in a food processor and process the heck out of it so it’s nice and smooth.

You can pretty much add whatever you want to this.  I’ve added spinach and mushrooms, cheddar cheese, grated parmesan cheese, salsa, and plenty of other strange things.  I like using the sour cream to help make it smoother and creamier, so I don’t have to use as much oil.  Also, I’ll eat sour cream with pretty much anything.  Or by itself.

I said not to judge me, remember?

I thought it might be a nice change of pace to show some of the real food I eat. (All taken with a cell phone camera, sorry.)

This is the loaf of Irish soda bread I made for St. Patrick’s Day.

This was lunch one day.  Grilled cheese sandwich with garlic spread and a side of vegetable tikka masala.  Yum.

Spinach and mushroom quesadilla.

The inside.

Potato pancake topped with sour cream and served with a side of peas.

I apparently make potato pancakes in a different way from most people, which is how my mom taught me.  We just mix left over mashed potatoes with flour until they can be shaped a little and grill them in a nonstick skillet until they’re crispy.

Just one more college grad looking to share my new adventures. No specific purpose, just a mix of any and all creative hobbies that I can get my hands on.

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