Anyone else in dire need of a truly wholesome meal? Both my hands are up with outstretched arms. See this white flag? Yup, I finally surrender. The gig is up, sugar, we were in it for the long haul, but it’s over and done. Finito. I’m abjuring the tempting evils of my beloved dulcet treats. Okay, fine, I was being a tad melodramatic. I’m not officially nor indefinitely forgoing sugary substances, but most definitely for the time being (as in, the next few days or so). Especially since the past several days have been admittedly anything but sweet – from multiple canker sores and an excruciatingly sore throat to fever outbreaks and unbearable body aches. I know, I realize nothing about this description of my sickly physical state sounds the least bit appetizing so I’ll leave it at that and spare you the gritty details. Although I must say, summoning whatever dwindling energy I have left to write in this *eh hem*, ravishing and oh-so-vital blog can certainly work up an appetite. Wouldn’t you agree? Ya hungry yet?
Actually, my energy is slowly but surely reviving as my body is resiliently healing, with the indispensable aid of pain killers, antibiotics, and duh, quality food. Interestingly enough, this complete meal ensemble came together accidentally, as do most noteworthy kitchen masterpieces. I initially came across a brussels sprout and shallot recipe from Bon Appétit that instantly had-to-be-made due to an ineludible cosmic force of attraction. Fortunately and unfortunately, this force steered me to a dish I wasn’t immediately attracted to. The unfortunate bit being that unlike the hundreds (well, 199 to be exact) that raved on and on…and on about how delicious, perfect, and oh-mah-gawd like fabulous this dish was, I found it a little…well, disappointing. It reminded me of sauerkraut (not that I dislike it) or this one Rachael Ray recipe I tried out for sweet and sour red cabbage that I miserably ended up discarding (what a waste!). As open-minded (or, I suppose ‘open-tummied’) and un-picky as I am, I guess I have what you might call an aversion to this relatively unfamiliar quasi-bittersweet flavor combination. Nevertheless, the fortunate part far outweighed whatever the heck it is I just carped on about for the past few lines. Honestly! Did I not mention that this brussels sprout recipe is a blue ribbon one (only the best of the best at epicurious!)? Obviously, if anything, this indicates it’s me there’s something wrong with. Continue reading
Let me introduce you to a couple of my dearest friends: Kasha and Nicole (unfortunately Joanne is in California and wasn’t physically able to be with us – IheartyouJO). Now, I don’t even know where to begin telling you about these leading ladies of mine. I don’t think I could quite do them justice with words alone. They saved me from being a high school outcast when I first moved solo to this island. You know that scene in Mean Girls where Lindsay Lohan is new and eats lunch alone in the bathroom, thanks to a lack of friends? Yeah, that girl was me! Fortunately, these two girls + Joanne extended their hand out in friendship (or in pity) to little ol’ me.
They rescued me from being trampled upon by the harmful high school herd and saved me from the biting cold of potential ostracism and loneliness. I couldn’t be more grateful. Actually they couldn’t be more grateful – their stomachs, to say the very very least. Continue reading
I go through cooking phases. At times, I gravitate towards complex and elaborate recipes comprised of ingredients I can hardly pronounce. Then, at other times, I’m drawn to those easy and simple recipes that consist of maybe only a handful of ingredients that I already have, readily stored within the walls of my refrigerator or cupboards. As of right now, I’m definitely in that latter phase.
It isn’t as un-glamorous as it sounds though. In fact, such simple recipes bring out the true flavors of each ingredient ultimately creating a delicious sum of its parts. Besides, it’s obviously convenient and shamelessly cheaper. Plus, it makes a lighter meal that’s perfect for the sweltering hot summer. In which case, this recipe is fabulous. Even more so with a good glass of wine or frosty mug of beer.
Returning to my own kitchen, I still have to say that I feel as though I always marvel at my ability to bake anything. Sure, it may not be baking loaves of bread, but baking loaves of meat still feels like a truly magical accomplishment. I’m serious! Just the other week, I tried to bake a cake, which I haven’t tried doing in a very long time. Only because I remember thinking for years up to this point that I could not bake cakes to save my dear life, but I decided to try again feeling confident with all this kitchen experience under my belt. Psh, amateur.
That turned out to be a huge disaster, a complete and total fiasco. So, instead of flour and sugar, I decided to practice baking using ground beef and vegetables. That endeavor turned out to be much less disappointing. It actually turned out perfectly fine for an all-American kind of meal. I never tasted meatloaf until my late teen years and I remember being astonished at the name and the flavor. It wasn’t until even more recently that I realized how simple and inexpensive it could be to make. Oh, the wonderful simplicities in life.