Tuesday, December 31, 2019

You Ain't Never Caught a Rabbit

Is it world wide consciousness that puts ideas out there for me to create or do I develop ideas in my own mind?  While pondering the universe I wonder about where inspiration really comes from.  Where does that creative spark originate?  I could swear some of my best thoughts come while riding my bike home from work.  I've always considered this to be me, Andy..oh what an inventive girl is me!  But now I wonder if my mind has turned off so the thoughts are able to come in from the unending stream of consciousness that exists in and all around us.  One must be very present when you ride a bike, in Brooklyn.  You are living in the moment in a way that is forced but effective and pretty awesome.  And while there, being super aware, alert, present....great recipes come.  It's beautiful and effortless. 
Creative ability is not always present, especially lately.  I go looking for it in a part of my head but it's not there and never will be apparently.  You are told to kill your ego and to stop your endless mind clutter in order to allow your real spirit to come through.  That you can't look in your brain, you need to step outside of your physical self and mind to actually witness that they are separate entities and then you can feel your true presence.  That is when you might hear a thought, but it is coming from your mind so you think how can I hear a thought in my mind and that is because you are not your mind and not your body.  I'm really loving and getting this concept.  Sort of.  In spurts.  In teeny tiny moments.
This Garlic Butter Steak and Zoodles is not my recipe but I did come up with the idea to season and smash up the roasted baby potatoes with the same flavors to make the meal complete. 
And for steak and potatoes and a vegetable, I thought this was kind of creative plating.

recipe from www.eatwell101.com

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

I Play My Drums for You

Christmas 2019
Pecan Pie Poundcake

Bloody Mary for P
Stuffed Mushrooms

Bacon wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos
Chipotle Pineapple Glazed Ham
Cucumber Sushi 
Bloody Russian
Quickie Calzone Stromboli hybrid after-thought
Ranch dip and Guacamole w/Chips
Open Faced Ham and Swiss Cheese Toastie
Even though we don't have children or family nearby, I feel responsible to make a celebration of food offerings for Christmas, an alter of treats if you will.  And since a there is a never ending need for home furnishings and retail establishments insist on shrinking the holiday to one single day off, I strained to pull together a menu of bite sized snacks.   The plan was to prepare each one slowly all day and keep cranking them out until the main roast ham was finished and finally serve that sliced and as open faced, cheese laden toast as the grand finale.  And that's how it played out.  Even though my intent was for each dish be it's perfect representation, I ended up a little Lucy in the factory assembly line by the middle of the day. 
Image result for lucy in factory line gif
You forget small details like I don't know how to make pot stickers and reading a recipe a week ago, is not quite adequate training.  One would think I'm the type to be thorough and well-planned out but most of my energy was spent setting a stage to create all day, which in the end, makes sense.  The outcome is more of a bonus for us to enjoy or have a laugh over.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Say the Word and You'll Be Free

Morning Star Farms Veggie Meal Starters Chorizo - 10 oz

Soy Chorizo Romaine Taco Spoons
A comfort food from the past, chorizo and eggs came alive for dinner in these super easy Taco Spoons.  Is it safe to eat Romaine lettuce again?  Yes.  And they are the perfect instrument to pick up, fold and crunch your way to deliciousness!  I've always loved Romaine for it's sturdy constitution.  And now this amazing answer to oily, fatty (but oh so awesome) chorizo in a little $3.50 bag.  Is it possible to have what you want again with a few healthy tweaks?
I know a good friend but for whatever reason we've had a good amount of time in between where there hasn't been much communication.   I've been recently blessed with more than a few old friends from the past magically coming back into my life.  And I want more friends, it's something I've prayed for actually, but I'm not great at maintaining, yet.  These special folks from years ago came back and remind me of when I was very present and able to carry on in vibrant and active friendships. 
Now, I keep them going like my house plants, on very little attention and love and with some unrealistic expectation that they will thrive without effort on my part.  I love my friends (and plants) so much but am rarely able to sit and really enjoy either of them due to unexplained afflictions.  How can I expect them to be there when I do?  One could call this delusional.
It's always been a mystery to me how people are able to accommodate more than a couple of friends without feeling entirely overwhelmed.  One could laugh at feeling stress over trying to simply interact socially.  As I look around that seems to be the one thing most people do effortlessly.  They share a secret skill to thrive in this world.   I know it's a privilege to connect with good people, something I don't take lightly so I want to figure this out because I don't want to lose or disappoint anyone.  

But in spending time rediscovering great teachings, I realize (but only for the briefest moment) we don't have to 'figure things out'.  We should give the mind a rest and stop believing we need to create answers.  Spiritual teachers including my personal fav, Mr Jesus himself say everything I need to know will come if I just shut up and let it be. That effort is effortless and yet the hardest thing for us to do, to just breathe and not think, stop listening to our well-intentioned minds.  I think about not thinking, on how to stop, the best ways or times to do it, meaning, do nothing.  Way harder than imaginable because it's different than nervously doing nothing and worrying about it the whole time, it's nothingness with graceful, calm intent.  

Monday, December 16, 2019

Im living on the Air in Cincinatti

A while back I tried Skyline Cincinnati Chili for the first time, in Cincinnati which was very exciting for a foodie.  I loved the city itself, the spring air, the houses, the layout of the town.  I also loved the idea of this dish but couldn't really understand why it was so special, although the cold cheese, oyster crackers and onions on top sold me.  I'm a sucker for mandatory condiments.
But the sauce is also more then just a meaty spaghetti sauce and there is a spicing difference to this no bean chili.  It has chocolate, cinnamon, allspice and vinegar.   I did actually follow this recipe and it was right on.  With one major difference..... I used spaghetti squash in place of noodles.
Copycat Recipe from the www.Chunkychef.com

Friday, December 13, 2019

I Get a Kick Out of You

Taco Holiday Salad with Pomegranate Seeds
Garden of Eatin' Corn Tortilla Chips Red Hot Blues
I have a thing for these Red Hot Blues Corn Chips.  I don't usually allow chips but when I do, I invite these spiced-just-right buddies to the party.  And this festive salad required that little extra kick that they bring. 

Thursday, December 12, 2019

When You Give Me Those Ocean Eyes

When I wake up in the morning, I generally need quiet for at least 45 minutes to an hour and a half.  My brain doesn't like chatter before the coffee kicks in and there is something to calmly sorting and folding my thoughts from the night before like warm clothes just out of the dryer. P on the other hand likes to lay down solid plans in his first hour of wokedom.  He's asking me how I'd like to spend my birthday, how I should take off vacation days in a month when he goes to Illinois so that I can spend time writing, and would I like a nice steak or should he take me to a restaurant as my gift. There is something about his script and how he needs to understand how to powder his brother's nose for an upcoming film shoot, then more about his next three jobs, what he's mounting to the walls and the tools he used. I'm exhausted already, just hearing the questions let alone consider answering.  We had a dog growing up named Chico, a tiny, long haired Chihuahua mix and anytime you looked at him, he was looking back at you with watery, tired, blinking eyes.  He could barely keep them open and was always slightly shaking.  That's how I feel before I bloom each morning.  I certainly am not capable of making any grand plans as I look back at P with Chico's glassy stare.
Its crazy how we could know each other so well, be together for years, but can be so terribly different in these fundamental ways. He knows I could never form an opinion so early, so he probably is simply planting seeds.
I will perk up for breakfast and often wake up my mind in order to enjoy and prepare a good one.  A Frittata with broccoli and cheddar with a side of fried potatoes and bacon. That, I can understand!

For dinner I did nachos over a bed of cool crisp Romaine lettuce.   Yes, it's similar to a taco salad but there was something special about getting a big bite of the melted cheese laden chips along with the cold salad below when your mind isn't expecting it.  This is the time when I'm more sharp and P winds down a bit and I tend to run circles around him.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

The Snow Falls Hard and Don't You Know?

Beginning of what will be a super mild winter.
P makes dinner!  This time a meatloaf that looked burnt at first glance but was so delicious with that corner brownie type of deal going on.  Inside, very moist and flavorful.  But for me the highlight were these incredible green beans and mushrooms.  He said it was just a little butter but they were heaven, almost as if they melded into one mooshroom because he had left them on low for an hour. Isn't it great when something tastes amazing by surprise or accident?  Just like it's such a shock when P decides to cook.  One day we'll look back on these times when he knew I was working or feeling blue and was thoughtful enough to prepare a whole dinner for us without having to be asked.  It's less rare now, and yes I blame myself for not starting our coupling on a more equal footing, but it was instinctual.  Maybe I figured I had something to offer without much effort at the time, thinking someday it may not flow so freely.  He might of just felt like making a meal tonight and maybe it had nothing to do with me.  He may have craved a descent meatloaf, since I'm not the best at cooking American dishes, nor Mexican for that matter.  But he did it, and it's completely appreciated.  We've weathered lots of winters both mild and bitter cold.