I have been very inactive in my writing lately. I think we all know how it is… it’s almost a writer’s block of sorts, something that just nags and pulls and tugs the motivation for some periods of time. (Not to mention the simple fact life happens and life LOVES curve balls). Anyway, I do plan to get back on the horse soon and start posting regularly again. I have always found writing out my thoughts, my joys, and introspective thoughts, but mostly the things I enjoy doing, makes me feel so much more connected and realize the way I am, the way I feel, and what I like doing connects to so many others. Isn’t it strange to realize how similar so many of us are?
Roasted Green Pepper Soup – BrokeAss Gourmet February 10, 2014
I had to share this recipe. I had some green peppers to use up and was craving soup. This came out excellent. I made a few minor adjustments as I can never leave well enough alone. Changes: 3 jalapenos, 5 green peppers, 3 cloves garlic, a bit more broth and half-and-half plus added parsley as well.
Garden Lesson November 11, 2013
So here we are in autumn, a beautiful time of year. I’m so happy to see we are really getting a good one this year, the leaves had time to change and create the painted landscape when in previous years they were somehow torn from the trees overnight from a bad storm. There was no time to enjoy them. What comes with the changing season is also the end of the garden. Today I pulled up the remaining plants with the exception of some radishes, beets, and swiss chard that are still hanging in there. I learned some big lessons this year. I branched out and tried growing broccoli. Although it thrived, I realize I can really be a bad gardener. I could not bring myself to eat it as I found some well hidden, broccoli-stalk colored caterpillars hiding between florets. They were so well camouflaged that even after two sets of eyes and hands prodding the head of broccoli, they still remained mostly elusive. Even after the weather became cold and I believed they would have changed to whatever it was they were to change into, I cut some side stalks, inspected and saw none. Then as I chopped up the head to steam, a caterpillar began climbing up the side of the bowl. Gross. I felt so wasteful and for most tossed in the back of the yard for some little creature who needed some extra winter padding. Then I came upon an excellent post that proved I was not alone and explained one method to draw out the creepy crawlies was soaking in vinegar. My main lesson this year is I can handle flies, bees, ants, even beetles (unless they kill my plans), but I cannot handle any strange, alien-looking soft-bodied crawlies like caterpillars, slugs, earwigs, or anything else whose body shape is just not normal. So I need to either toughen up or hit the farmers market for those crops the weird creatures prefer.
Returning Soon June 18, 2013
It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything at all. However, I’ve made a conscious decision to continue posts soon. It feels good getting a rhythm down and I feel have a good one going with flexibility built in. I can’t complain when work is good, home is good, and health seems good. It doesn’t hurt the weather is warmer (could do with a bit less rain), my garden is going, and I’m getting outside more often. I finished 14 weeks of body boot camp and I feel good. That being said, I’ll resume posting soon and hope I can post some quality information and some good recipes I’ve stumbled upon or just plain made up. I’ll be glad to be back.
Indian Shrimp Curry February 4, 2013
I found the original recipe online here and of course, can never leave well enough alone. I also didn’t have everything I needed to make the recipe and did not feel like making a trip to the store, so I improvised and it worked! My husband would never touch a dish like this with a ten foot pole so this was a solo venture.
- 1-1/2 tsp. coconut oil
- 1 jalapeno, minced
- 1/8 onion, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
- 1/4 tsp. paprika
- 1/8 chili powder
- 1/8 cayenne pepper
- 1/4 of 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1/4 of 14 oz. can coconut milk
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 lb. peeled and cooked shrimp
- 1-1/2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
- 1/8 tsp. dried mint
- 1/2 cup cooked rice (I mixed gluten-free brown and white together)
- In a medium skillet, heat coconut oil and add jalapeno. Heat in oil for about 3 minutes. Add minced onion and cook until translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat and let cool for a minute or two. Add spices up to tomatoes. Return to a very low heat and stir for about 2 minutes until jalapeno, onion, and garlic are well coated with spices.
- Add tomatoes, coconut milk, and salt, stir well. Increase heat and cook at a simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Add shrimp, parsley, and mint. Stir well and heat through. About 3 more minutes.
- Serve over rice.
Baked Pulled Pork Fajitas January 19, 2013
I love making slow food, really low and slow food. The other day, my husband took a 7 pound pork shoulder and cooked it all day on the grill. It was delicious, it had a perfect bark, the sauce was great, the texture perfect. One problem: there are only two of us and there was 7 pounds of meat. Time to get creative. Although it’s great on its own, in sandwiches, maybe a stir fry, or fried rice, I just wanted something different. I look around my pantry and fridge and figured make some sort of Southern, Texan, Mexican, baked thing. It was pretty darn good so I’m putting this out there as a base idea for another use of leftover pork!
Baked Pulled Pork Fajitas
- 2 small flour fajitas
- leftover pulled pork
- favorite barbecue sauce or hot sauce
- Mexican cheese blend
- 2 small celery parts with leaves
- Preheat oven to 350F. Lay out fajitas and add a heaping tablespoon to the middle of fajita. Add some extra barbecue or hot sauce. Sprinkle with cheese, about 1 tsp. or to taste. Top with one of the celery parts each.
- Roll the fajitas as tight as possible and place in a baking dish large enough to accommodate the fajitas.
- Top with salsa, a dash or two more of desired sauce, cheese (about 1 Tbsp. for now, will add more later).
- Place in oven and cook, uncovered for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, add more cheese and continue to cook about 5 minutes or until all cheese is melted. Enjoy!
Resolutions 2013 – Get Fit January 13, 2013
Tomorrow it begins. My grand scheme to not look like a slim girl in clothes and an out of shape beached whale when shoved into a bikini. As the past two years held a lot of good and a lot of bad, all of it made me very, very sedentary. I perfected sedentary, if I am good at anything it’s knowing how to sit like a champion. I changed my career after over a decade in business that I hated beyond belief. That was an amazing adventure but also one perched in front of a computer researching, writing papers, messaging my classmates. I got a good job in my new career but I also spend 50% of my time in the car traveling and when I arrive at my destination I tend to sit more. Helping care for my mom sure I ran around a lot but that was the most of my exercise honestly. I also quit smoking and although that wonderful act doesn’t make you gain weight, when you supplement with snacking it definitely does. I am a huge proponent of the patch, by the way. It was the one thing this 15 year smoker never ever thought would work and it did. I love to feel confident, I love being active so this year I am taking myself, my life, my confidence back and I am starting a total body boot camp tomorrow – four days a week for seven weeks, an hour a day, kickboxing, yoga, strength training, and zumba (sorry to my future classmates, it may not be pretty). I have a yen to be a part of something, a community, and I always knew I needed an obligation to get me off the couch and this was a perfect fit. It was no amazing expense either, my sister’s township sponsors it so the cost was minimal for what you get. Even better, I get to hang with my sister four days a week. I took pictures today in my target bikini (don’t worry I will totally spare you and myself), WOW if there is any other motivation to get in shape is to see yourself plump and bloated in a bathing suit. Sorry body, I am so making this up to you, sorry I embarrassed you. After seven weeks I plan to continue a few of the classes and get running again too, maybe 5k in my future?
Happy New Year December 31, 2012
2012? BUH-bye! Good riddance! I am thrilled to be done with this year and usher in a whole new year. For all I have been through this year – haven’t we all been through so much this year? – I hope 2013 is a kinder and gentler time span. That being said, there is something to say about making real resolutions to help ourselves have a good year.
- Be kinder to ourselves. We deserve it. That means letting ourselves off the hook every now and then, not being so hard on ourselves, and taking care of ourselves mentally, physically, and spiritually (and stop ignoring spirituality. It does matter.)
- Be kinder to others. They deserve it. Just like for ourselves, let others off the hook now and then. I used to live by a motto that you never know what someone is going through. I plan to re-adopt that motto this year.
- Take responsibility and stop laying blame. I think we have all learned some lessons about blame this year. Everyone blamed Republicans or Democrats for the state of the nation. People incorrectly blamed an intellectual disability (Asperger’s) for the killings in Connecticut. What really caused all of it? People. It’s time for people to take responsibility for their actions. Maybe if we all practiced #2 (be kinder to others) we can stave off events that make us blame to begin with and make fewer people do the wrong things.
- Do something new or learn a new skill. One way we can improve ourselves is by taking initiative. One way you can become who you want to be is by figuring out who you really are. How do you know you’re not into playing an instrument unless you learn to play a song on the piano? You just might discover a few new things about yourself.
At least for me, I think those ideas may help me make a difference in my life and the lives of others. Welcome 2013. Happy New Year and be safe!
Apple Santa December 23, 2012
This Christmas will be a little hard without my mother here but I do believe I am doing right in honoring my mother’s memory. It’s been therapeutic maintaining our traditions and keeping the Christmas spirit alive this year. My mother loved Christmas: our traditional Slovak Christmas Eve, Church, presents, family, and the music. She always made Christmas such a special time. I am making sure to keep up the things she loved the most. One thing she did every year was make Apple Santa’s. It’s really easy, fun, adults and children alike love them, and they smell wonderful (not t mention they are edible)!
What you Need:
1/2 black licorice twist
6 whole cloves
How you do it:
1. Remove stem from apple, insert a toothpick a little more than half-way into the top. Place marshmallow on top of toothpick. This makes Santa’s head if you didn’t realize that. Finish his face using three whole cloves placed for the eyes and nose.
2. Cut the 1/2 licorice twist into four equal pieces. On the remaining four toothpicks, place a marshmallow first and then a piece of licorice. Place these toothpicks at the spots for arms and legs.
3. Finally, using a toothpick, score three spots for Santa’s buttons and press in a whole clove. That’s it!
This sounded absolutely delicious, I had to repost!
We grew up eating a lot of vegetables, but brussels sprouts were not one of them.
I recently asked my mom why this was, since now we are all now huge fans of the little cabbages. (On Thanksgiving, for example, we had to hide the roasted veggies (including brussels sprouts) from ourselves when they came out of the oven, for fear that we might nibble away at the whole pan before we got to serve them for dinner.)
Her reply: “They just weren’t as available 10 years ago as they are today.”
Well, that makes sense, I guess. These days brussels sprouts are everywhere, it seems. This bag of pre-shredded brussels sprouts from Trader Joe’s would be a case in point.
I didn’t intend to take the “lazy” route with this salad, but TJ’s only had this pre-shaved bag, no whole sprouts, and since I had visions of a shaved…
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