Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Adventures in the Kitchen #1

Food blogs: they are where it's at.

Before you roll your eyes and count me off as a hopeless, just check a few out for yourself. The best ones always contain beautiful photographs, funny but insightful comments, and delicious, often original, recipes.

I have been obsessing over these new-found treasures over the past week or so. While I have been a self-declared beginner foodie for the past few months, reading some of these blogs inspired me to actually clear my schedule and get into the kitchen.

I kicked off my culinary endeavors earlier this week with a squirmy six-year-old and a recipe for Hot Cocoa cookies (found on one of favorite food blogs: http://www.howsweeteats.com/2010/11/hot-cocoa-cookies/)

After mixing up the dough (which was quite addicting to eat), we refrigerated it for about 40 minutes. I was very anxious to get the dough popped into the oven and baked into delicious morsels of goodness. Sadly, though, when I checked on the cookies ten minutes after they started baking, I saw they had lost all cookie-form and had spread out into a glop all over the cookie sheet. I was more than devastated.

I chilled the remaining dough for a few more hours in vain hopes that that would solve the shapeless problem. Wrong.

Here's how ugly they were:

But as a side note, they are incredibly delicious and I have not been able to stop eating them all week! And even though they are very crumbly (which is partially due to breaking the cookies into pieces), the crumbles make great vanilla ice cream toppings!

My cooking endeavors for that night did not end there though. I was in charge of dinner (which rarely ever happens, thanks to my hectic schedule), and instead of making the boxed macaroni and cheese that the previously-mentioned six-year-old was demanding, I decided to make a pasta creation of my own. So I roasted garlic in the oven for forty-five minutes, then roughly followed a garlic peppercorn sauce recipe I found on allrecipes.com.

I was surprised at how easy it was to follow the directions, and after boiling the penne, and preparing the sauce, viola- I had a delicious meal ready. By the time I served it, the sauce wasn't as hot as I would have liked, but that's just something to keep in mind for the next time I make it (believe me- there will be a next time!) After all, how can something that has a whole head of garlic in not make you longing for it again? With some grated Parmesan cheese topping off the pasta and sauce, my interesting day in the kitchen was complete!

Also, as a side note for the day, I really want these shoes:

Time is rarely free

Just as a preview of what will be coming up: I am going to be spilling some of my deepest secrets. After all this is a [kinda] anonymous blog that I don't even know if people read, so maybe sharing my secrets will be a kind of freeing experience. We shall soon see, I suppose.

But anyway, my secret for today is that I often fantasize about free time. Just hearing those two little words sends my head into a beautiful place, whirling with possibilities.
So yesterday I decided to be a little sinful. I thought of what it would be like to have an entire week of free time. Summer is rapidly approaching, and for many it means several weeks of nothing but free time, but for me that is not the case. It never is. But really, that's okay- I don't mind being busy. However, dreaming of free time still consumes my thoughts on some days.

So what would I do with a whole week of nothing but free time?
I would:
- Cook and/or bake something new each day
- Read an entire classic novel
- Deep clean my room. Like, this involves giving and throwing stuff away. I know, intense.
- Exercise differently every day. Yoga, soccer, Thai Chi, polo, P90x- I'd do them all
- Scrapbook. This is a hobby I had as a child but unfortunately have not been able to do a lot with in years. However, someday I hope to have my life all documented in neat little scrapbooks.
- Write
- Clean out my email inbox. Let's just say that's long overdue
- Learn. I love to learn.
- Watch TV every night, when it got dark out. Sometimes I feel guilty for watching in the day, but at night, it's always okay.
- Strengthen my relationships. That's something that always suffers when I'm crunched for time, sadly.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Happiness can be found in the little things

Isn't it funny?

It's been forever since I've posted. Simply because I find it hard to pour what I'm thinking out into words. This is a common struggle, I'm not vain enough to think I'm alone in this, but that doesn't make it any easier to work through.

So today I thought I'd just let my thoughts flow.
Consequently, here this is.

- Isn't it funny how it's hardest to say what you mean the most?

-Isn't it funny how smells can connect us to a moment, or a time period? I just put on the lotion I wore the entire time in Thailand. Man, now all I smell is part of Thailand. And it makes me sad.

- Isn't it funny how we're meanest to the ones we love the best? I treat my family so poorly, yet I couldn't live without them.

- Isn't it funny how we always want what we don't have? But then when [if] we get it, it's not so cool anymore.

- Isn't it funny how what we're scared of the most is sometimes what we want the most?

- Isn't it funny how nostalgia makes you want to smile and cry at the same time?

- Isn't it funny how some things aren't really funny at all?