Category Archives: Food and Drink

The Day the Blog Came Back


It’s Wednesday, August 9. (Hey, it’s my half-birthday! Hap irthd to me!) I’ve been awake for a bit less than an hour. I’m sitting here poking at my computer, drinking a canned cold brew coffee I got on sale yesterday. The flavor “Mexican vanilla” sounds exotic, but it just tastes like most sweetened coffees. I’m not complaining.

Blogging is something that fell to the wayside for me some time ago, and although I’ve thought about picking it up again many times, I couldn’t find the motivation. At some point perhaps I’ll get into why, but it doesn’t seem like a topic that would be of much interest… Really, writing of any kind has not just taken a backseat, it’s been stowed in a corner of the trunk for much too long. I had a bunch of other things in the backseat that took up too much space, so I put writing away to make room for it, and then… out of sight out of mind, I guess. Life kept moving on and I forgot writing in that spot in the trunk. I’m not convinced I’m actually good at it anymore, as I’m so very out of practice.

Despite all that, I’ve decided to do it anyway. I don’t know what I’m going to write about here. Maybe I’ll just write semi-regular journal-style posts and let you read the random rumblings of my brain. Maybe I’ll do cooking posts, but since I do not cook that often these days, it’s not too likely. I might have to revamp this entire blog so that it is better suited to the strange and disjointed web that my mind is at this point.

In a few minutes I’m going to take a big bag of random crap to Goodwill, then see if I can pick up a $2 loaf of bread from When Pigs Fly. I’ll get home before noon, and then the real “fun” begins… I have a lot that I need to get done, and rather nebulous social plans. I have no idea which things I have to/can get done today, or how much time I have to do them.

Thus my triumphant* return to blogging was established. Hello.

 

 

*…um…sure.

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I Like My Coffee


Like I like my men/women…

…usually in the same mug.

…with pastries.

…from a local independent coffee shop.

…with cream.

…with cinnamon.

…with eggnog.

…frequently bought at Starbucks.

…not too bitter.

…so good I wish I could savor it for hours.

…easy to acquire.

…made at home.

…in the middle of the afternoon, just because.

…with friends.

…earning me a stamp toward a free one.

___

Just a little bit of levity. Add your own in the comments!

 

Blaugust 30: Nope


Today I’ve been stuck in one of those black holes of work in which a fairly simple task is taking much longer than I thought it would. This is certainly due in part to the fact that I haven’t been able to focus. In that situation, 15 minutes of work ends up taking at least an hour.

Unfortunately, this means two things: 1. I will be working until very late to finish this, and 2. I don’t have time to think about blogging today. Not that I have anything to say either.

So another stupid post to add to the list. What else can I do?

Blaugust 20: Salmon and Asparagus Pouch


I’ve been so productive today! I did this on purpose because I have social plans that will not leave me time to be productive this evening or tomorrow. I actually forced myself to get up before 9 today to have a good chunk of time to get work done.

After that, I made myself a tasty and easy lunch that, of course, is healthy too! And pretty.

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Lunch, meet world.

It was ridiculously easy to make. I put all the food in a little aluminum foil pouch, covered in olive oil, with Herbs de Provence sprinkled on the salmon. Using the cooking instructions from the salmon’s packaging, I cooked it for a while at 425.

I wasn’t paying close attention to the timing. I might have taken it out some than they instruct, or left it a little longer. I really don’t know. In any case, it was all cooked perfectly!

The asparagus was perfectly tender and slightly roast-y.  The salmon was just right, fully cooked but still most and such a nice pink that I almost took ANOTHER picture. I didn’t though…

So, a healthy meal that takes very little preparation, not much time, and is pretty filling? Yes, I’d definitely make this again. Other vegetables can be subbed in too, but you have to make sure it’s not something that takes longer than the fish to cook to the desired level.

If you were going to do something like this, what vegetables would you use? What would you eat for a side? Would you never, ever eat this because your taste buds are broken? Discuss.

Blaugust 19: I’m So Tired


Ever since I’ve come back from work today (retail work: I have been doing editing work in short bursts since then), aside from some brief stretches of alertness, I have barely been able to keep my eyes open. I’m sleepy as hell because I’ve been waking up earlier than usual but still staying up kind of late. My neck is stiff.

Now, being back in a space without air conditioning (sigh), I’m not sure how well I’m going to sleep. Since I have a lot I want to get done tomorrow before I head off for a fun night of debauchery, aka playing rock band, I will have to wake up early again. AND I don’t even know if I have any coffee…

I forgot to check.

I FORGOT TO CHECK FOR COFFEE.

What is my life?

Coffee is everything. Coffee is perfection. How could I not think of it? And now it’s going to be mad. What have I done? I’ve angered the coffee.

You can tell I’m tired, because clearly my filter is gone.

Blaugust 15: How I Ate For Cheap


Today I paid a sad amount of money for a yogurt parfait (possibly the most overpriced prepared item at any store…) and a kind bar for breakfast. I had put off getting groceries so I didn’t really have much around to eat. I wanted something simple, but the best quality egg sandwich around here is also a little bit too expensive for my preferences. It’s a bit of a regret but it tasted fine, and it’s done now.

I made up for it afterward by getting lunch and dinner for free. I had a “buy ten sandwiches get one free” punch card that I’d filled up. Ok, actually I think it’s twelve, and since I kept forgetting to get it punched, I probably bought around twice as many to get the free one. However, it was no money paid today. I left a small tip and that’s it.

For dinner, since there is a Panera near the grocery store, I decided to use some of a gift card I have and I got a salad and, probably negating the health of the salad, a chai latte. At least the crazy air conditioning habits of every single business out there allow me to drink a hot beverage in the summer without dying.

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Both lunch and dinner were good, but not great. I didn’t order my very favorite sandwich because I was in the mood for a different kind today. The sandwich I chose was quite satisfying, but not as delicious as either of the two I tend to buy for myself. As for dinner, I liked the chai more than the salad, and to be honest I wasn’t too hungry so I probably could have just stuck with the chai… trying to get some more nutrients for dinner and all that.

Groceries were a whole different story this week. I am currently dog-sitting (for a very cute beagle with some weird habits, as I am certain all pets have), and the house is in the middle of a huge kitchen renovation. This means that there IS no kitchen. Instead, there are pieces of a kitchen here, there, out on the porch. Literally, the toaster oven is out there. I haven’t used it yet… going outside to cook seems strange to me.

So, my grocery goals today were: cheap, healthy, and no cooking necessary. What does a grocery haul look like when you know you won’t be able to cook? Pretty simple. Prepared chicken (the grilled chicken strips from Trader Joe’s. Probably every grocery store you go to, unless it’s a tiny, specialty store of some kind, will have a variety of prepared chicken), baby spinach, avocado to use with some of the things that are already around for salads and wraps, and a few bananas and greek yogurts for breakfast. I can eat the same few things on repeat for the next several days… but then I’m going to need something different. Still trying to keep it healthy, but my taste buds could use a thrill.

I really need to figure out some healthier foods for that need to treat yo self.

Blaugust 11: The More You Have


I’m writing this post (and I’m saying “writing” in a loose sense as this will not be a post that is particularly well written) on my phone, because the internet connection on my computer has been very unreliable today. I blame the heat, because it’s ruined any chance I had of productivity today anyway.

I have to acknowledge that it is amazing that I can write a blog post on my phone. This one example shows how much we can do with our services these days. As long as I have service in my phone to upload, I can post anytime, anywhere if I want to.

At the same time, I am beyond frustrated that I can’t get my computer to cooperate long enough to write a blog post. Typing any more than a twitter-length amount of text on the phone is a sincerely annoying task. I also prefer the computer interface for WordPress vs the app. It’s easier to see all the features I want at one time, copy and paste text if I need to, and, of course, check how the post will look when other people are reading it.

And I won’t even go into trying to manage email, Facebook, etc. From my phone. It’s doable, but I don’t like it. I have long preferred using the computer, and tend to only use those apps on my phone if I’m out and about.

So even though I am able to do just about everything I need to, I am dissatisfied AF because I can’t do it using the device I want. All that I have, and I am having a very hard time thinking about anything but how stupid the internet is being.

Remember back before the internet? Maybe you watched a show or two on TV, read for a little while, or even TALKED TO PEOPLE to pass the time. We didn’t need to be connected to the entire world at any given time. Now, when the wireless connection is acting up, many people basically curse their existence. Woe is me!

We have so much but the infinite possibilities keep us from actually being content.

I really hope I don’t have to do this tomorrow.

Blaugust 9: Sometimes I Cook


For longer than I could say, I haven’t been cooking much. So the fact that I made something quite delicious for dinner this evening feels like an achievement.

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And it tasted better than it looked! I used Ronzoni Garden Delight pasta, which has vegetables in it as well as the usual grains. I made a tasty but not particularly noteworthy tomato sauce. I put a little more balsamic vinegar in it than I should have for that amount of sauce. The red pepper flakes gave it a nice kick.

The chicken was cooked simply, coated in breadcrumbs and then pan fried in oil. I bought chicken thighs this time because it was a better deal. I prefer breast meat in general, but this was pretty good. The golden-brown rule: the thinner the piece of meat, the easier it will be to cook. The result was cooked perfectly with a delicious crunch.

To drink, I had some of this Italian margarita (premade) that I found the other day. I have to admit it’s not my favorite, but I’ve discovered that the flavor goes very nicely with ginger beer, so I mixed some in.

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That’s it for now. I know it isn’t too exciting to read, but when you’re trying to build up certain habits, a moment of victory feels like it’s worth documenting. Tomorrow I’ll be eating the leftovers, probably with some sauteed asparagus.

Blaugust 8: One Week In


I successfully completed one week straight of blaugust posts. That bodes well because most of them were done even though I didn’t feel like I had anything I particularly WANTED to blog about. Of course, I’m not saying one should force oneself to blog, but since I haven’t been writing at all for so long, it will take a little time and effort to get back into the habit.

The trouble I have is when I don’t have a topic in mind, I can’t really pull from my everyday life because my life in general is either really boring, or involves things I don’t want to write about for a number of reasons. (Or something that is better suited to a planned post as opposed to one that I write in the moment.) Yesterday, trying to figure out what to say, I went and looked at a bunch of writing prompts until an idea sparked. It sounds lame, probably, but sometimes it takes a little something extra to connect to your creative bone. Did you know creativity comes from a specific bone?

No it doesn’t. I’m lying.

The point is, there seems to be a good chance that the rest of my blaugust posts will mostly be quite boring. Half of them may end up being about blogging and the process of trying to return to regular writing (even extremely mediocre writing), which basically turns this into a meta-blog and who would even care to read that?

There’s a reason I actually began to write about food in the first place. It’s twofold: 1. I love food, 2. everybody eats. Food (along with other basic human needs) is probably the only thing that connects everyone on the planet. And I find that interesting.

 

Blaugust 6: 3-Ingredient Tropical Smoothie


I love a good smoothie. I drink a lot of them in the summertime, more than the winter (usually, but in fact all bets are off in terms of seasonal eating. I rarely have soup, stew, or chowder in the summertime but it could happen. I never drink iced coffee in the winter. But I love a cold margarita anytime). They’re easily customizable, taste good, and are pretty healthy, as long as you avoid ice cream or frozen yogurt as an ingredient. That’s what turns it into a milkshake…

Today for lunch I made a simple smoothie that would probably be better suited to a beach in the Caribbean. It was simple and fast to make. Smoothies aren’t always as filling as one might need (so if you’re extra hungry, add another thing to your lunch that has protein and nutrients that will actually fill you up), but this one was tasty and satisfying.

Here’s what it included:

1 frozen banana (a fresh one would also work)

Equivalent amount of frozen mango chunks (“chunks” always seems like a terrible word to include in a recipe)

Coconut almond milk not quite covering the frozen ingredients

That’s it! I’ve got to say, coconut almond milk is HEAVEN. I feel like it needs to be one of my kitchen staples. Budgeting and avoiding the grocery store has usually meant I’ve skipped buying it lately in favor of regular almond or soy milk. But those do not compare…

Smoothies are wonderful to make because you don’t actually need a recipe. Take the ingredients you want and combine them, make sure you have enough liquid to deal with the whole ingredients, and blend until it’s smooth. What ingredients would you use for a relatively healthy but delicious tropical smoothie?

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