Thursday, May 31, 2018

Loving You, Wasn't the Right Thing to Do

Enchilada Casserole
I have made similar versions after realizing individual rolling of the torts for enchiladas is very time consuming.  You can use less tortillas in a casserole if you layer it with vegetables too.  The sauce is really the best part, how it hits the cheese and the onions along with that big bite of cool crisp thin sliced iceberg lettuce. 
I layered with ground beef, black beans, corn, corn tortillas, cheese, onions and sauce.

Cheddar is like the one asshole I can't quit.  The best I can do at this point is just to manage him in my daily life.  It's mainly about portion control and even though this dish could use a more substantial vegetable side,  the cool salad bed was very filling and allowed me to enjoy a quarter of the slice I had envisioned in my dreams.  I didn't include cheese in every layer, mostly just on top, which helps.  As long as all the extra bites at the stove don't count and I'm pretty sure they don't, then I'm actually handling the calorie count quite nicely.

Easy scrambled breakfast earlier with chick peas, potato and bacon. Using up those leftovers like a champ!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

If You Believe They Put a Man on the Moon

Sometimes you just have to roast everything.  And that is never a bad idea because whatever happens in that oven it creates a magic flavor coating.  A little crisp on the outside, a little textural crunch with a slight charcoal and smoked flavor.  Some call those carcinogens, harmful substances capable of causing cancer in living tissue.  In other words, not only unhealthy but taking all the sexy off my charred coating.  You know they try to take everything pleasurable in life away from us.
I refuse to trust the science behind this blasphemy. This is me not wanting to believe that someone I really love is capable of doing horrible things.  Remember when the California Egg Commission announced that our beloved embryo was imprisoned for years unwarranted?
And then, who's to blame? The oven? The heat? Am I the one who put these innocent vegetables and poultry through this after sacrificing their beings just to be a tainted meal?  I turned my little chicken into a weapon of mass destruction?
Today I decline to comprehend how something so beautiful and delicious can be bad for me.  Especially when they start out all fresh and pure and only natural fire is added.
Similar to my beliefs that something as magnificent as bacon could possibly be harmful especially in tiny, thin yet delicious strips.
Blissful ignorance has worked for me so far and I aim to keep it that way.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup
What can you say except that chicken soup is always good and if you want a tad more excitement you can jazz it up with hot sauce and tortillas, chili and cumin to give a ballsier broth. Quickie quesadillas helped as well.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

We Must Make This Run Successful, From the Cradle to the Grave

Life is not for the faint of heart.  It's not always pretty.  Like this turkey veggie burger with herbs and an avocado crema. It was good, certainly satisfying and went well with the leftover green beans.  But it wasn't exactly a feast for your eyes.  It was what it was, a fairly uninspired dinner.

But that being said, it was a ridiculously gloomy day. The rain isn't quite yet the soft, warm summer drops that will fall in the coming months.  It was chilly, heavy, cold and grey.
The store was empty for a Sunday too which makes the customers even more annoying. The word bleak comes to mind.  Nothing particularly wrong but void of all light, happy things. A day that already feels like the past while you're living in it. On days like this I'm brutally reminded I am still in mourning for my mom and brother and all things sad. 
Lunch at work was a salad with chicken wings. Even the greens looked tired.  Drained of their nutrients.  Wilted and lifeless.  I hope we can all agree that's the last time those already sliced tomatoes need to be wheeled out for human consumption. Their best day has long passed.
And on the sunny side of the country, my dad sits on his walker at my mother's grave.  My niece passed me the picture. So sad to see but yet a beautiful moment captured in the hot Arizona sun.  This is sorrow in it's pure state.  Reasonable, sense making grief in an honorable setting, with flowers and flags.  Heartbreaking but necessary and respected.
Somehow this far away misery I'm in feels so much less noble.  

Friday, May 25, 2018

Just the Other Side of Nowhere

Leftover chicken tortilla soup.  Even better the following days.
I did a self hair cut where I made these big 70's style chunky sides.  What I really want is girly side burns and I hope to figure out how to make them someday without looking like a mo-ron.   Not sure it worked as well as I thought but it did give a little extra flair to my clipped up work do.  My thought process was if I screwed it up bad enough I would have enough nerve to go to a real stylist.  And I eventually did weeks later.
The great and the sad thing about being a woman of a particular age is that almost no one gives a flying hoot what the hell you do with your hair or your body.  It's like the population drops their expectations by about 100 percent.  So much that most don't even bother peeping your way for any reason at all.  The curiosity directed towards us gals over 55 just goes dark.  Its an adjustment but also a mixed blessing.  I'm definitely less self conscious now, freed up to do things that I like rather than what I believe people want to see.  Not that I had success in that area either.  Come to think of it, I've always been able to live just under the radar, in my own little world. 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

I Went to a Garden Party

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Watching our neighbor's garden out back was the inspiration for this homemade chicken tortilla soup.  The secret is really in the broth.  You must put thought into the perfect seasonings and spices to make it a magical brew.  Just the right mix of heat, citrus and herbs melding with the mellow poultry, corn and tomatoes.  I love this soup so much.  And when you make an effort this good, you gotta take the time to fry up your own tortilla strips for the top.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Grab that Cash with Both Hands and Make a Stash

Green Grape Rotisserie Chicken and Butter Bean side
As the high rises go up, the neighborhood markets are catering more to the 1%.  Occasionally we can pretend we can afford to live here by partaking in the new conveniences.  Like this organic free range rotisserie chicken, roasted potatoes and Butter bean salad from Greene Grape Market.  Worth it but somehow feels extravagant to pay restaurant prices for market food, even though it's just as good.  If we were light eaters, it would be about 4 meals.  And I try to use it all up, usually making a soup out of the carcass.

Getting priced out of this neighborhood may be inevitable. Actually it already happened. Not a word needs spoken yet you can just tell all around that we are not long for this rent.  We always knew this spot was magic, minutes walking distance to downtown and a bunch of subway hubs.  Now there is a Trader Joe's and a Whole Foods a couple of blocks away.  No one is immune to the changing and gentrifying of areas. It's what this town is built on.  It's just that Fort Greene had a little old time magic and it makes me sad to see any of it go, but especially us.  So many of our big cities are experiencing this right now so it's nothing new.  Neighborhoods that lasted for decades with little change, are seemingly transformed overnight. There are still thriving places but many of the black owned businesses have been replaced by other young hip shops and bars and the patronage has changed hues.  That can only mean bigger money moving in and manageable rents disappearing. 
A renter can never feel relaxed enough to make roots in BrooklynGrab. 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

I Hear Her Voice In the Morning Hour She Calls Me

When I was little there was a book about a city mouse and a country mouse that I loved.  I've always enjoyed thinking of my sister and I as these two water color painted characters in an old Golden storybook. Her in nature by the mountains and lakes, fishing and loving life.  And me walking the busy city streets eating all the cheap treats from local vendors.  And it is that way, mostly.
Texting has made it possible to stay in touch everyday, share our food selections and different literal views.  Over population has changed both of our environments but we strive to enjoy what we always wanted from both of these worlds.
Black Bean White Cheddar Burgers with Green Beans in Tomato Sauce

She made Spaghetti Supreme like we used to eat back in Fort Wayne at the local PIzza King.  How exciting it was to enjoy one of the first really pumped up super-sized entrees.  A baked spaghetti with pepperoni, mushrooms topped with mozzarella.  At the time, we thought that was as good as Italian food would ever get.  The dish actually still holds up.  They served it in those oval shaped oven safe casseroles, double plated as it was too hot to touch.  You would have to sprinkle it with Parmesan and pepper flakes to complete the experience.  They always had to warn you not to touch the plate. And the best garlic bread to sop up the leftover sauce on the bottom.

Earlier that day P and I  had an amazing breakfast reminiscent of the original food carts in the city only now it was from a chef's food court.   High end breakfast tacos with real freshly made tortillas and chips, put together with thought and sauces to die for.

Things are changing everywhere and maybe you have to look a lot harder for those golden moments but they do still exist for us all.