The Last 2 Months

In my New Year’s post I was not completely honest with you. Things with my boyfriend were going downhill really fast, but since I post most of my blog entries on Facebook I did not want him, his friends, or his family to read anything negative about our relationship. At the time I was already looking for new places to live and trying to figure out how to break things off. When he found out that I no longer wanted to be in the relationship we broke things off and I was without a place to live. Fortunately I have some of the most amazing friends in the world and they stood by me and helped me land on my feet with a huge smile on my face. I was my best friend’s little couch gnome for almost two months. I am now (very) happy to say though that I finally moved into a new place and I love it. They say everything happens for a reason and I firmly believe that I had to go through all the stupid shit to finally balance out. I hear the ex isn’t taking the break up so well but as for me, I’m doing awesome. I’m now working 2 jobs and they are both going really well, and since I’m single now I can do all the crazy shit I couldn’t do when I wasn’t like dance on the bar and flirt shamelessly for tips. The only thing I miss about being in a relationship is the companionship but the apartment I moved into allows dogs so I will be bringing one home very soon. Every dog I’ve ever met was better behaved than him anyways… And now that I have my kitchen all set up you can expect to start seeing new recipes from me very soon and new craft projects since I have a whole new place to decorate now! ūüôā

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Be Back Soon. (I Promise)

I’m sure if anyone was regularly following me you’re like wtf, why hasn’t she posted anything? Well, to be honest, my world has been totally crazy lately and I haven’t had the chance to update. No worries though, I will be back soon and I promise lots of new content. And a post of longer than a few lines filling you in on what’s been going on. Loves you, mean it. -Me

Bring It On 2012

I’ve sat here staring at this screen on and off for several days trying to find the words to sum up 2011 and welcome 2012 and it’s damn near impossible. There are only two things from 2011 that I want to take into 2012 and those are my boyfriend and my job. I am so lucky to have him and such a great job. That being said, the rest of 2011 can suck it. 2012 is here and looks full of promise and opportunity. I’m going back to school for something I really love, which is something I knew I would do one day but I don’t think my family believed me. Everyone I know is in relatively good health. Hopefully everyone’s financial situation improves this year. I think 2012 is poised to be one of the best years yet, and maybe I’m just an¬†optimistic, but by this time last year I had already had my New Year’s kiss stolen by someone who I definitely didn’t want to kiss, had my car die, and had someone think I was a hooker and try to pick me up. So far in 2012 none of that has happened but maybe y’all should knock on some wood for me!

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Call It Whatever You Want, It’s Delicious Sauce

Lately there have been a lot of things worth celebrating in our house and we’ve just been so busy that we haven’t had the chance. Last night I made the chance and decided to surprise the boyfriend with some awesome top sirloin steaks (that he got to cook, which he was happy about) and some mashed potatoes, green beans, and some friggin’ delicious sauce. I literally wanted to lick my plate but I ate so much that I just didn’t have the room. The green beans were the easy part, I just put some kosher salt on them and sauteed them with a little olive oil and thyme for a few minutes so they were crispy. Everyone likes mashed potatoes their own way (and as you can see we like them dirty which most people don’t) so I’m not gonna tell you how to make those, and the boyfriend pan seared the steak which is easy enough so I’m not going to bore you with the details of that. What I will share with you is the recipe for the sauce. And if you still have room after you eat whatever you put it on, go ahead and lick your plate, I won’t judge.

Cabernet Sauvignon Mushroom Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Pound Mushrooms (use whatever you like, I just used the rest of the pound I bought when I made the alfredo)
  • 2 Cups Cabernet Sauvignon
  • ¬†1 Small Shallot
  • 1/2 Pint Heavy cream
  • 1/4 Cup Beef broth
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • Dash Rosemary
  • Pinch of flour

Directions:

  1. In small sauce pan melt 2 Tbsp butter. Saute mushrooms over medium heat until soft. Add garlic and shallot and cook until slightly browned. Add rosemary.
  2. Reduce heat and add wine. Let the alcohol cook out of the wine. You will be able to tell when this is happening because it will produce a lot of steam and smell like a drunk.
  3. Slowly mix in heavy cream and beef broth. When completely combined turn heat up to med/high and bring to a rapid boil for 2 minutes. Keep mixing the whole time so you don’t burn the cream in the sauce.
  4. Reduce heat back to low and add flour. Allow to simmer for about three or four minutes. Bring back to a rapid boil for 2 minutes. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for a few more minutes and then serve immediately.

This was incredible over the steaks and potatoes but I can definitely see it going over chicken as well. I don’t know how well it would go with pork but if someone wants to try it please let me know. Actually, if you try it in general let me know. Who doesn’t love feedback? Also if you really want my recipe for dirty mashed potatoes (and it’s a tasty one) just shoot me an email and I would be more than happy to give it to you!

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Ahhhmazing Bacon and Mushroom Alfredo

Om nom nom.

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, between work and getting ready for the holidays I have had NO time to cook, make any crafts, take a nap, or blog. I know, excuses, excuses. Last night I finally got the opportunity to cook though. I set my goals high and was going to make homemade pasta and alfredo however the pasta turned out to be a complete bust. Because I don’t have a pasta machine it started drying out on me before I even got the chance to cut it into noodles and it ended up sticking everywhere. I finally got pissed off enough to just throw it away but still make the sauce and noodles in a box. The sauce was so incredible that I didn’t even care I had failed at noodle making (for now anyways).

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Cloves garlic
  • 1 Cup mushrooms of your choice (I used a blend of portobello, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms)
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 Pint heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp Parsley (I think I have mentioned before that I like the herbs in a tube because they last much longer than fresh, if you are using fresh then I’m not positive what the equivalent is but I would say no more than about 4 sprigs)
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 Box of whatever kind of pasta you have laying around, or if you want to really impress someone, make your own, just make sure you have a pasta maker.

Directions:

  1. Rinse and cut mushrooms. Place in bowl to the side and pour the balsamic vinegar on them to marinate them a little bit.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 for the bacon. Place bacon on baking pan and cook until desired crispness. I like mine just barely crunchy but that’s all up to you.
  3. In a saucepan sautee the garlic in the olive oil until fragrant and a little brown. Add mushrooms (and balsamic vinegar) and parsley. Cook until mushrooms are soft.
  4. Remove bacon from oven and shred into small pieces, add to saucepan and simmer for about 5 minutes to let all the flavors blend together.
  5. Add heavy cream and bring to a slow rolling boil.
  6. Pour over pasta and sprinkle a little¬†Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese over top. Actually, who am I kidding, load up on the shit. This is not a calorie counting recipe anyways and if you’re gonna go all out might as well go all the way.

I’ve always loved alfredo and this is probably my favorite recipe I’ve ever made. It’s also really easy and would be a great meal if you’re pressed for time. As always, if you make it (or any variation) let me know how it turns out!

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FibromyalWHAT?

For lack of a better term, fuck fibro. Fuck winter. Fuck the healthcare system. Here I am, 22 years old, on a beautiful Sunday afternoon stuck in bed because I cannot move. Not many people know about my struggle with it mostly because I get sick of hearing you poor thing, ¬†but you’re so young, and what exactly is that? Pretty much it’s like getting beaten to death on a daily basis with medieval torture devices, and that’s putting it nicely. It’s also kind of like having a small child that doesn’t let you sleep, no matter how tired you are the pain is gonna keep you awake. Normally, I just deal with it. I don’t have insurance so I take a little Naproxen here and there, some Melatonin and¬†Valerian root to help me sleep, rub some muscle cream on if I can pinpoint the exact spot, and the rest I just kind of have to deal with. During the summer it’s pretty manageable, I’ll have the occasional flare-up if I’m not careful, but winter sucks. One because it’s so damn cold and two because there’s so much added stress in the winter (thank you holidays and working at a pretty much seasonal type of place).

Besides the severe pain and insomnia fibro also has a whole other set of super fun symptoms. My absolute favorite is “fibro fog”- ever forget what you were doing in the middle of doing it? Ever start a sentence just to forget what the point of the sentence is supposed to be? How about lose something you know you just had in your hand 5 seconds ago and then search the whole house just to find out it’s still in your freaking hand? Happens to me all the damn time. It’s weird, I can remember what people want to eat and how they like their drinks but sometimes I cannot remember what I just said to them. I also lose my beer opener at least 5 times a shift. I tend not to let most people know about my fibro so a lot of my customers probably think I’m bubbleheaded as hell.

Another fun one I get is my hands, feet, and other appendages go to sleep all the time. I have actually learned to walk somewhat normal with both feet fully asleep. Impressive, I know. Another common symptom is depression, which should be a no shit symptom. How many people do you know that would be happy to feel like they’ve been beaten up all the time? It sucks even more when you’re young because all you can think about is how much fun the rest of your life is going to be with this condition. I just hope by the time I’m back on some kind of insurance plan they have come out with a medication that does not make me homicidal, suicidal, faint, have seizures,¬†nauseous, make me fat, cause more pain, or cause migraines. Yes, all of those have been complication from medicines I’ve been on.

As much as fibro sucks, I’m actually lucky. My mom also has it, which means we both have someone we can call and bitch to about all our aches and pains and that person will understand. I also have an amazing support system made up of my boyfriend and friends who take care of me as best they can. There have been days where I have been carried up the stairs completely sober and no one ever complained. There have been times where I’ve been in so much pain I could barely work and they picked up my slack without once trying to make me feel bad about it. They have stood up for me. They have let me cry on their shoulder, and most importantly they have laughed with me about all the crazy shit that my body puts me through sometimes. Because, after all, I have fibro, it doesn’t have me.

If there are any readers out there who have fibro and have found some homeopathic remedies that really truly help I would love to hear them and give them a shot. I will try just about anything as long as it doesn’t include eating bugs and animal sacrifice.¬†

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Stoner Food is the Best.

Have you ever heard someone talk about the weird stuff they eat when they’re high? Or seen someone eat while they were high? Sometimes it’s because they’re too lazy to drive to Taco Bell, but sometimes it’s really inventive. If it weren’t for the college I went to I would’ve never known Caesar dressing goes pretty well on waffles. Or potato chips crumbled on brownies with ice cream and whipped cream is awesome. Or that cranberries and salt and pepper chips are pretty damn good together. I used the knowledge of that last one to make some of the best cranberry sauce I have ever had one year. I’ve eaten the potato chip brownie combo a lot, until Ben and Jerry’s just straight up made an ice cream with chocolate covered potato chips, which is the best ice cream out there right now except their peach cobbler. That particular one is made out of heaven or something. I’ve only tried that waffles with Caesar dressing one once, but that’s only because those two foods aren’t normally around at the same time.

My all time favorite “stoner food” though? Guacamole. I am addicted/obsessed with avocados. I can’t get enough of ’em, no matter how they’re prepared. I haven’t tried them with chocolate though, although I’m pretty sure if done right it would be epic. One of the coolest things about guacamole is beyond it’s main ingredient being avocados it’s really up to you what’s in it, and like I’ve said before one of my favorite things about cooking is experimenting with flavors and customizing to suit your tastebuds or just whatever happens to be in your kitchen. Hell, I’ve even put Chick-Fil-A sauce in guacamole before because it sounded good at the time and it ended up being amazing. My best friend and I ate it all in about 5 minutes and the whole time kept arguing that the other one was eating too much of it. She also shares an avocado problem.

Anyway, to the moral of this post, recently I combined two of my biggest food loves and had such a mouthgasm that I’ve been eating it at least once a week since then; guacamole pasta. It’s pretty much the ultimate dish in my book. It’s delicious warm but would probably still be kick ass cold, I’m trying that next. Below is my tried and true basic guacamole recipe. Try it with pasta. Try it on chips. Try it on anything, and let me know how it works out. It’s the least you could do since I’m saving you that trip to Taco Bell.

Megan’s Addictive Guacamole

Ingredients:

  • 1 Avocado, size depends on how big of a batch you’re making. You don’t want to make more than you can eat though because the guac will turn brown and not be so yummy after a while.
  • 2 Tbsp Sour Cream (makes it super creamy)
  • 1 Tbsp Minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Chopped cilantro, I use the squeeze tube of chopped cilantro and I love the stuff. I can tell a little difference on flavor but it’s such a small difference that I am willing to over look it if it means I don’t have to toss a bunch of cilantro every few days because I didn’t use it fast enough.
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Dash salt
  • Whatever the hell else you feel like tossing in there. I’ve put tequila in it before, basil, pine nuts, the Chik-Fil-A sauce, it’s really up to you.

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Blend until you are satisfied. Some people like chunks, some people don’t. If you’re making guacamole pasta I recommend blending until creamy.

And while you’re reading this post you might as well hop over to the Stoner Food¬†and check out all the delicious looking/sounding stoner food they have!

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Rosemary Merlot and Shallot Beef Stew

With all the updating I’ve been doing trying to get my cruise pictures on here I haven’t been able to tell y’all some of the most exciting news I’ve gotten all year! I applied, and got accepted, into Johnson and Wale’s Culinary School here in Charlotte!!! I was afraid I wasn’t going to get in thanks to a not so impressive college and high school track record but I guess they saw I’ve had a few years to reconsider my options and they’re giving me a chance! I am over the moon excited about it and to celebrate I’ve been practicing my cooking skills, not that I need much practice though since my boyfriend says he’s about 80% sure I could make mud taste good. Today I decided to surprise him with a cold weather favorite, my spin on beef stew. He was in charge of surprising me with desert which I told him to make sure it was chocolate and gooey, I guess his mud comment got in my head. Anyways, click through for a not so traditional beef stew! Continue reading

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I Heart Honduras

While I was in absolute awe of the wild beauty of Belize, I fell in love with the beautiful Isla Roatan, Honduras. Belize is a place I would go visit but Isla Roatan is a place I could see myself living. Click through to hear more and for more pictures! Continue reading

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I Can’t Belize My Eyes!

The Black Orchid, national flower of Belize.

Our third port of call was the amazingly wonderful and wild Belize. I was the most excited for this stop because our shore excursion included a trip to the Mayan ruins Altun Ha and a boat ride down the Belize River. In my elementary school gifted program we studied the Mayans for a year and ever since then I have been fascinated by the people and the culture. My entire family has been to various ruins but this was my first time at any ruin and their first time at Altun Ha. Belize has become a hot spot not just for their amazing Mayan ruins but also for eco-tourism. The government does a great job at protecting the country too, during debarkation we were heavily warned not to take any non-prepackaged food off board in order to avoid a fine up to $5,000. Their strict guidelines and regulations pay off, the boat trip down the river was one of the coolest things I have ever experienced. Click through to see pictures from the ruins and from the river ride. Continue reading

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