the end of the rope

7dc77c1315cdb3bae62577f00d4414a6You came back into my life and handed me a rope. A rope that you started weaving day by day. With every “we” and “us” the rope got longer. With every “someday” and “eventually” I held the rope tighter. With this rope in my hand I could see the future, clear as glass. I knew exactly what I wanted. And you were on the other end, holding this rope you had made. Months went by and I held onto your rope. The tension started to slack and still I grasped it. I gave it a tug to make sure you were still there. You told me you couldn’t hold your end as tightly. I told myself that was okay. After all, you had made the rope, how could you possibly let go of it? When the rope started to unravel I clung on to it harder. If I could just keep my end together it wouldn’t be ruined. There would always be my end. So here I stand, white-knuckling the rope you handed me but I can no longer see you on the other end. There’s a little voice in my head saying “things will settle down and he’ll be back so I better not let go of this rope. Why else would he hand it to me??” People tell me to just let it go. Others try to hand me a new one. But I can’t seem to loosen my grip on something that isn’t even there anymore. Why can’t I just let go of the end of the rope?

 

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let’s eat | skillet-charred fish tacos

For this edition of my foray into foods I skipped the random finger-point method and actually chose which recipe to conquer. And the chosen recipe was…..DSC_0606 (2)

I’ve been craving tacos lately so it was an easy choice to make. Little did I know how adventurous they would make me! For you see, these are NOT your every day fish tacos. NO! They are so much more.

I began with the sauce that you see our gal Chrissy lovingly pouring on her taco. It’s called Pepper’s Hot Green Pepper Sauce. Now, if you know anything about me you know that spicy things and I are not on the best terms. So obviously this sauce scared the crap out of me. Just look at the ingredients!

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Serrano peppers! And 4 of them! It made me sweat just thinking about them. But I was determined to do this the right way and make the scary sauce. Luckily I have a roommate with a great love of spicy things so even if I couldn’t handle the heat, it wouldn’t totally go to waste.DSC_0608 (2)

Sadly, in my quest for Serrano peppers I was only able to find jalapenos. Knowing that I have avoided these peps all my life because of their spice, I figured they’d still do the job. I also decided on only using 3 peppers instead of 4 and maaaaaaybe I removed the seeds. Baby steps people!

I blended up my peppers with my garlic gloves and as I poured the mixture into a bowl the smell of this concoction cleared my sinuses better than any cold medicine available. I was obviously terrified. Next I stirred in the brown sugar, fish sauce, and lime juice. This was my first experience with fish sauce and let me say, I still have no idea what it’s about. But I used it and I look forward to discovering more about it! Once my  mixture was stirred well it was the moment of truth. I had to taste the stuff. I dipped my pinky into the bowl and quickly put it in my mouth. Rip off the band-aid right?? Much to my shock, it was good! Yes there was definitely some heat there but it wasn’t burn your tongue off heat. This was different. This was enjoyable. I patted myself on the back a little. DSC_0610 (3)

Next on the list….the Sriracha Mayo. If you’re keeping score this is now 2 spicy elements to this dish. What was I thinking??? I told myself that luckily I had control of how much Sriracha actually made it into the mix so I would just start small and see how far I could go.DSC_0612 (2)I started out with less that 1/4 cup and gave it a taste. Not bad. Not bad at all. I added a couple long squirts more and OH MAN. We had spice. Nothing too painful though. I was pushing the boundaries of my taste-buds for sure.

Onto the fish portion of the fish taco! I went with Tilapia because it’s delish! Duh. I’ve only cooked fish like, 2 other times, so going into this I wasn’t totally in the dark, but it’s fish! You can’t really come back from a poorly cooked fish. I got my fillets and began making the rub for them. Ingredient #1…Chili Powder. SAY WHAAAAAT???DSC_0614 (2)

That is 3, count them, 3 spicy flavors in this dish. Clearly I’m trying to never enjoy a meal again or something. The terror was real people. I put all my spices in a bowl with the owl and stirred them together.DSC_0615 (2)

The result was the scariest looking substance I’ve ever seen. It was like spicy tar. I can never un-see it. And I was supposed to be putting this on my fresh, heavenly white, Tilapia?? The horror!! But, I vowed I would do as Chrissy says. She is the expert here. So I slathered my fish. DSC_0617 (3)

Now, I did have a small moment of “Oh crap, can I still cook this” when the recipe called for a cast-iron skillet. I do not have a cast-iron skillet. I have a frying pan. Can I not make these hell fish on a regular frying pan???? Lucky for me, I keep a chef on speed-text for these very situations.

I NEED A PRO TIP!!! If a recipe calls for a cast-iron skillet is it the end of the world if I don’t use one??? Will a frying pan still do?

Frying pan will do just fine.

Thank goodness.

It pays to know people.

So a frying I went. 3 minutes per side, as Chrissy said, and my fishies were looking just perfect. But how did they taste?? I took a deep breathe and had a piece. Spice? What spice?? These had tons of flavor but no spice! It was a Christmas miracle! I would be eating fish tacos for dinner afterall!

While my fish cooled I went to cutting up my toppings. I may or may not have cheated just a smidge by buying pre-shredded red cabbage. I deserved it after all these scary spicy things! Plus I did attempt to julienne radishes. It wasn’t pretty but I do have all my fingers. Not to self: buy a mandolin.

And since presentation is everything…voila!DSC_0620 (2)

Quite the colorful spread wouldn’t you say?

Lastly came the part that I have no trouble with at all…building the tacos! This is where my talents really shine. Choosing just the right amount of meat to veggie ratio is a keen skill that I feel like I’ve mastered over my 29 years. And with so many options, the possibilities were endless.DSC_0622 (2)DSC_0624 (2)

The truest sign of a successful meal…the filthy napkin at the end. I can’t wait to have more of this tomorrow as well as make it again in the future. It was so simple and flavorful. A winning combination. The only thing I would change for next time is having them with a margarita!

Confession: There was a big part of me that was worried about the sauces being way out of my heat league….so I had backups. Thanks Paul, but I didn’t need you afterall.DSC_0621 (3)

let’s eat

In my current quest to start cooking more I went and bought myself my first cookbook! Well, first that I’ve purchased myself. Let me preface with confessing that one of my guilty pleasures is following the outspoken life and times of Chrissy Teigen on social media. Her love of sarcasm and John Legend and calling haters out gives me great joy. And have you seen Baby Luna??? The cutest. But I digress.

 

So when I saw that my gal Chrissy had come out with her own cookbook I was all in. Let me tell you guys, it’s the bomb. The recipes are not your A-typical, supermodel, rabbit food. On the contrary they are hearty and delicious dishes that I can’t wait to try. And try I shall!

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I am determined to cook my way through this book and I am determined to keep record of it here.

In order to choose my first dish to make I used the very scientific method of flipping through the pages with my eyes closed and randomly sticking my finger on a page. And the first recipe is…..

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My initial reaction was that a salad was too easy! A cop-out! I eventually came to think of it as a warm-up before the big leagues. A little practice run before things really get serious. Plus….prosciutto. Duh.

Being a gal on a budget, I wasn’t about to head to my local fancy-pants grocery store so I made due with that I could find at my corner spot.DSC_0558 (3)

For festivities sake I purchased 3 types of tomatoes and in lue of straight arugula I got a spinach/arugula mix. Green things!! Caprese salad is one of my fave snacks so I knew this salad would be a winner!

First things first was the crispy prosciutto. I love this salty meat any way I can get it so I was thrilled for this.

When will I learn not to trust my oven. My crispies were not ruined my any means but they were a little dark for my liking. I would not be swayed by this. I would soldier on!

Next up, the chicken I decided to add to this meal. Simple. Chicken cutlet with Italian breading. Probably more fun to make the mess of breading than to actually cook.

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Then came my salad! Let me be the first to say (yes of course I know I’m not actually the first to say) that having a sharp knife is absolutely crucial to the joy of cutting tomatoes. I have ruined many a tomato due to a dull knife. Lucky for me, I received a brand new set of knives for Christmas so those days are over!! I cut those ‘matos with such precision! Chunks, slices, wedges. I did it all! I placed them delicately on my greens.

It was now time for the real cherry on this sundae. The magical element that set this salad apart from the rest. The burrata. I cannot be expected to put into words the emotional feelings I have for burrata. Gooey cheese inside a ball of cheese???? Mozzarella Inception?? I mean! DSC_0568 (2)

I sprinkled my crispies and drizzled my oil and balsamic. My salad was complete! So simple. So straight forward. And most importantly, so delicious!! This was a caprese salad taken to the next level with little to no effort!

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Salad. Nailed it. This was an excellent way to rev up my cooking engine and I definitely see myself  making this again in the future.

stitch-spiration

Sometimes the sea of canvases parts before you and the right project reveals itself. It’s like magic. You know this is the one. You must be united for life. There has never been a more perfect canvas for you.

Well that happened to me. Today.

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But for real! How was I supposed to simply walk away from this?? It will be the cutest pillow in town and it will be all mine!

yoga

485372_668999792430_2008192945_n Since joining my gym back in October, for somes reason, I hadn’t been taking full advantage of all the classes that are offered with my mymbership. So about a month ago I started browsing the schedule to see what there was. Most of the morning cycling classes were full and during the day I’m usually at work. Then I noticed an 8am yoga class offered on Sundays. My initial reaction was oh hell to the no. There was no part of me that wanted to make sure I was anywhere at 8am on my day off. The 9am class seemed more reasonable, but alas, it was full. I begrudginly signed up for 8am.

Fast forward to 3 weeks later and I can honestly say that my 8am Sunday yoga routine has become one of the highlights of my week. Yes I groan a little when I have to get out of bed but the feeling of satisfaction I get afterward is totally worth it. It’s the best way to start my week. Get focused. Be centered. Have some me time. And there’s so much left of the day to relax or do errands. It’s a beautiful thing.

I may not be the most flexable or balanced. When I see myself in warrior 2 I always think is that really what my hips look like?? Sometimes that optional half moon just isn’t for me. But every Sunday morning, when I’m walking back home and the city is still sleeping in, I feel happy. Happy that I have a body that allows me to go to yoga at all.

face lift

fresh start

Or in this case, a blog lift! If I had a bottle of champagne, this is where I would break it on the corner of my laptop. But I don’t have said bottle and that would make a mess. Anyway. So I decided it was time to freshen things up around here and a move to wordpress seemed like the way to go! I’m hoping this will inspire me to spend more time here, sharing with you all. Bare with me as I’m settling in, rearranging the furniture and such. If you want to stay updated on things going on, follow the blog!  And I love to hear from you all so let me know what you think! Unless your highly offended or truly hate it. Then maybe keep that to yourself. K Thanks.

Cheers to my new home! Enjoy!

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