A love letter of sorts

Let’s not talk about how I haven’t blogged in almost two months. I’m here to write a love letter, and a love letter I shall write.

 

My beloved Chipotle,

I was driving home from the rec today, looking fine in my sweat-soaked OSU shirt and Nike crops, when hunger struck. When hunger strikes me, it’s not a pretty picture. I can go from hungry to hangry in a matter of seconds and when hanger hits, watch out. Luckily, you were on the way home. I was the definition of a hot mess but I knew you would not deny me what I needed the most at that moment: delicious, corn-free, Mexican food.

(Okay…I know you’re not “real” Mexican food, but you’re the only Mexican-ish food I can eat because you’re not as corn-crazy as other Mexican establishments. I realize it’s customary, but there are those of us who simply can’t partake in corn chips and salsa without our stomachs waging a nasty war on us shortly thereafter.)

In a matter of minutes you bestowed upon me a gigantic bowl full of that Mexigoodness, and I was on my way home to devour you.

But not without taking some pictures, first. What’s a good love letter without pictures? A picture is, after all, worth a thousand words.

rice, black beans, fajita veggies, tomato salsa, guacamole, lettuce

Upon digging in, I was delighted to discover a token of your love.

a delicious avocado chunk, just for me!

Really, you’re too kind.

So kind that I couldn’t even finish the entire thing.

sorry to what I left behind. I'm sure you'll find a home someday.

Okay, I probably could have if I wanted to feel bloated for hours afterward. I chose to refrain today.

That doesn’t mean I love you any less.

Now, I think it’s time for a little siesta.

 

Love,

Liz

 

If you’re a Chipotle fan like I am, what do you get?

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A milestone meal

I don’t have nearly enough energy to put into a decent post because it’s midterms and my life is basically a bunch of this right now

Highlighted notes. Highlighting and rewriting is the only way things stick.

I wanted to pop in to share some recipes, though – neither of which I came up with on my own, FYI. On Saturday night I made dinner for my family and my boyfriend, Zach. I only learned to cook last summer (I didn’t even know how to scramble eggs before then), and this was kind of a “milestone” since it was the first meal I’ve made entirely on my own. It seemed to go over well. I made a salad and vegan jumbalaya. Zach was kind enough to bring some bread from a local bakery. With some wine and some pie from a (different) local bakery, we had ourselves a meal. The pictures are actually of leftovers; it was too dark to take pictures when we initially ate everything.

Winter Salad with Lemon-Yogurt Dressing (from bonappetit.com)

 

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 1 c plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1/3 cup fresh chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil or canola oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • fine sea salt

Salad

  • 8 cups coarsely chopped romaine lettuce (about 8 large leaves)
  • 1.5 c 1/2-inch cubes peeled jicama (I actually used daikon radish)
  • 2 small carrots, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, sliced
  • 1 c sliced celery
  • 1 c 1/2-inch cubes peeled kohlrabi or peeled broccoli stems
  • 3/4 c canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
  • 3/4 c halved pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 c thinly sliced radishes
  • 1/2 c sunflower seeds

To prepare dressing:

Whisk first 5 ingredients in small bowl. Season dressing to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

To prepare salad:

Toss lettuce and next 8 ingredients in large bowl. Add dressing and toss to coat. Divide salad among plates; sprinkle with sunflower seeds. Serves 4-8.

Brown Rice ‘n’ Beans “Jumble-aya” (from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan by Dreena Burton)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5 c onion, diced
  • 1 c celery, diced
  • 1 c green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp file powder (this is optional and had a note that this can be found in specialty shops. I didn’t use any)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3/4-1 tsp sea salt
  • 2-3 pinches cayenne pepper
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1.5 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (or regular if you’re not vegan/don’t feel like it. I used vegan because the other kinds had corn starch in them)
  • 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 c + 1-2 tbsp vegetable stock
  • 1 c uncooked long or short-grain brown rice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 can (14 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4-1 c green onion stalks, sliced (optional)
  • 1/3-1/2 c fresh parsley leaves, chopped (optional)
  • olive oil (for finishing)

In a large pot on medium heat, add oil, onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, thyme, oregano, file powder, paprika, salt, cayenne, and black pepper. Stir to combine, cover, and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add Worcestershire sauce, tomatoes, tomato paste, vegetable stock, rice, bay leaves, and beans. Increase heat to bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 40-45 minutes, until rice is tender. (If more cooking is required, add 1-2 tbsp stock or water and cook for another 5 minutes.) Once rice is cooked, turn off heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in green onions and parsley, season to taste with additional salt and peper and serve drizzled with a little olive oil if desired.

It says this serves 4, but we got a lot more use out of it than that. I guess it depends on your serving size, haha.

Nobody who ate this meal was vegan, but the general consensus seemed to be that it was pretty tasty, so I think it’s safe to say my first solo attempt at cooking a full meal was quite successful 🙂

 

Monursday

After two days off school because of snow, today definitely felt like a Monday. I pressed snooze a few times on my phone alarm before finally and reluctantly getting out of bed. It wasn’t until after I’d made and consumed a big bowl o’ oatz that I realized the phenomenon that was going on outside.

It was sunny.

Ohio isn’t exactly known for being a particularly sunny state, especially in February, so when the sun does make an appearance, it’s a Big Deal. I had to capture this because who knows when I would see it again? (If you think I’m being dramatic, you probably don’t live here).

Taken from my bedroom just before 8:30 a.m.

Ain’t that purdy? It made the fact that I had to go back to school slash it was 10 degrees outside a little more bearable. Thursdays also mean that my first class is human evolution, which is easily my favorite class this semester.

My dad teaches where I go to school, and this semester our schedules just happen to work out so that we can go up to campus together. He teaches a little longer than I’m in class, so I usually go hang out at the student center. Today, however, I was in desperate need of caffeine and conveniently had some money on a Starbucks gift card from Christmas, so I posted up there for about an hour and a half.

notes and grande nonfat caramel latte

I was able to look over some notes, knock out an assignment for my online class and then some. Then I got hungry. Luckily my dad came to retrieve me (ha, doesn’t that make me sound about 7 years old?) just before I reached the “hanger” stage. My lunch was downright tasty, and I didn’t photograph it because I was too hungry and the photo really wouldn’t do it justice. You understand. For those Curious Cathies (and [insert boy’s name that begins with C here because my mind is blanking]) who are wondering what was so special about my lunch, I owe it all to Mr. Trader Joe. His veggie sausages were the star of the wrap I made, which also included roasted pine nut hummus and salsa (Trader Joe’s makes salsa without corn! Brownie points!). I just popped two of them in the microwave for about a minute and a half, broke them apart into smaller pieces, and rolled them up in the wrap. I quickly realized they were meant to taste like breakfast sausage, which was fine by me. I don’t really remember what real meat tastes like because I haven’t had it in so long, but I would have to say that these tasted pretty close to the real thing. Judge for yourself. Go buy some. No, Trader Joe’s is not paying me to say this. (I wish).

Some knitting happened after that.

This will eventually be a scarf. Eventually.

I learned how to knit over winter break and have been sloooowly working on a scarf. My ball of yarn has become quite tiny, though, and I have no idea how to continue with a new ball, so that’ll be interesting. Since I know my knitting escapades are absolutely fascinating, I’ll be sure to talk about them at length in each post.

Kidding. But when (read: if) I finish that scarf, you’ll hear about it. Mark my words.

Around 1:45, it was time to head back up to campus for my cognitive psych lecture. This is probably my least favorite class, but it’s also the only class where I know someone, so that’s a plus. My dad had a meeting that lasted for another hour after my class ended, so I holed up in the undergrad lounge with some reading and a Honeycrisp.

I don't know why there are other types of apples besides Honeycrisps

Yeah, I started eating before I took the picture. Whatever. I was happy that the hour I spent reading was relatively peaceful. I was the only one in the lounge save for the ten minutes during which an angry bro-type stormed in, typed furiously on one of the computers, kind of kicked a chair, then left. That was simultaneously entertaining and a little frightening. I hope his mood has improved since then.

I’m writing this post a little earlier than I think I normally will on a day like today because I’ve got to study for my first two exams of the semester next week: one on Monday, one on Thursday. Apparently I’m also going out for a bit tonight. Hey, I deserve some fun after the two grueling days of class I’ve had this week 😉

Until next time!

[S]no[w] time like the present

…see what I did there? Puns are my favorite.

 

This poor little blog has been waiting to start for awhile. I’ve been waiting until what felt like the “right time” to write the first post, and I figured my second snow day in a row this semester was as good of a time as any. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like Ohio has been hit particularly hard this winter. I’m definitely not complaining about having days off (although I have to admit cabin fever is slowly creeping in), but winter is probably my least favorite season. Believe me, I only live in Ohio because my family is here.

Anyway, I didn’t intend for this to be a particularly long post, so if you’re reading this I hope you’re staying safe and warm wherever in the world you are. Until next time, you can find me wrapped in my Snuggie, drinking tea, and listening to this cover on repeat. And hibernating.

you better believe my tea is sipped from a Harry Potter mug