I recently caught up with one of my best friends from college; we hadn’t seen each other in over a year! How does time pass that quickly? I’m not sure, but life does happen and as I’m hurling my way through my twenties, it has increasingly become more difficult to maintain the relationships I once had.
Anyway, Callie (pictured in the middle) and I lived together throughout college, which reminded me of our absurd obsession with oatmeal. WE LOVED IT. I can’t tell you how many times we ate it for both breakfast AND dinner; it was just SO filling, good-for-you, and comforting! Big bowls of cinnamon oatmeal bliss for dinner topped with anything we could find. I miss those days.
In fact, I MISS ALL OF MY FAVORITE COLLEGE GIRLS! Life slow down for just a minute please. At least so I can find the time to make some oatmeal.
Every now and then I love a little real-talk blogging. Today is one of those days.
The past year has been full of life-altering changes for me. I’ve shed many layers from my life…. and can I just admit that it’s all been incredibly difficult?! I’ve started my own business, traveled at least a week out of every month, lived in three states, and have literally been pulling my hair out trying to figure out where this is all leading to!
So what does this translate into? Basically working insane hours and jeopardizing A LOT. Honestly it’s been a complete struggle. I’m sure it’s something you might be able to relate to: failure, disappointments, and well… whatever life throws at you. Of course, I’m a huge believer that everything happens for a reason. My passion for success and a career in food pushes me every single day to keep pursuing my dream no matter how many times I fail. And trust me, I fail more than you know! My list of unsuccessful ventures will always be longer anything I accomplish; it will be for all of us. However, these failures push you to become better and to learn.
In a sense, I feel as though I’m in the middle of a transformation. I’m trusting my intuition and regardless of how difficult it becomes or what disappointments I find myself in, I’m both blessed and thankful to be on this journey.
So my question to you, is what pushes you to be the best you can be? What drives you to be better than you were yesterday?
I’m just a twenty-four year old girl who is literally obsessed with food, styling, photography and the inspiration I find in every day life. I’m not here to pretend I’m perfect in any way, because I’m not. I’m just explicitly in love with sharing my passion with you.
Oh sorry, that’s a bit obvious and this is getting preachy. Excuse me, let’s get to the FOOD!
I am having a love affair with Zac Efron. Not like an actual affair, just one that lives in my mind. He’s just SO ridiculously good-looking! I feel like if I baked him chicken he’d feel the same way about me.
Anyway this whole Zac Efron thing stemmed from watching The Lucky One for the second time. I know, poor movie choice. The only excuse I can come up with is that Valentine’s Day is around the corner and I just so happen to be a sucker for anything romantic. So sue me!
Besides good-looking men, my other obsessions this week include peanut butter and jelly chocolate bars from Trader Joe’s, lentil soup, and green beans with garlic. Yum, yum, yummmmmm. Seriously I could write a book about the intricacies of garlic and how I slather it in and on just about anything you can imagine.
The other day my best friend’s mom asked when I was going to start seriously dating someone that I was just sort-of seeing?
Ummmm I don’t know, I just turned 24? And what is this — an intervention? I mean is there a deadline that I missed out on that says you have be in super serious relationship by a certain age? Can’t it all be casual and cool? I like going on dates, I’m just not on the marriage train. I prefer to live in the reality that love is a fairy tale, you know after I chase down all of my dreams and travel around the globe.
Speaking of romance, Valentine’s Day is coming up! Quick, Let’s eat salads before we overcompensate by shoving heart-shaped Reese’s in our mouths!
Just kidding… Sort of?
Lately, I have been a complete train wreck. Okay not necessarily in a bad way though; I’ve just been focusing on prioritizing my projects for work AND keeping up with the blog. Juggling them can be difficult and most of the time I end up working on the weekends with little time for guzzling my favorite margaritas. Wait, now that I think about it… aren’t margaritas a priority? Hmmmm. I’ll have to ponder that one.
Anyway this whole getting my life organized thing has forced me to become incredibly prepared since I’m always on the go. This includes making my meals ahead of time: oat muffins for the morning, greek yogurt with caramelized almonds for a sweet afternoon snack, and this pretty superfruit and nut salad that I’ve enjoyed chowing down on for lunch.
Is it normal that I sleep with my iPhone under my pillow? Or that when I immediately wake up I check all of my SEVEN email accounts? Um, probably not.
I need to figure out a way to unplug from all of the communication sometimes. Or just find a balance. When I’m not working on my site, I’m constantly plugged in for my other job. As much as I tell myself that I need to take a break and relax, it’s hard to step away from the chaos of work and the busyness of life; I’m sure many of you can relate!
Usually the only thing that gets me away from all of it is the chaos of my own kitchen — my own little sweet happy spot. As soon as I put on a little music and begin to dice and chop, my creative energy pours into pots and pans, creating good food for loved ones.
This stew was made during an evening when my mind was cluttered and I needed a release. I had a busy day full of meetings. Okay and I was also dreaming about when I would actually get those girl scout cookies I ordered — like how long it would take for me to destroy 5 boxes this year? Whattttttt? Girl scout cookies are stressful to think about.
Anyway there was a jar of lentils that had been sitting in my cupboard along with gorgeous organic sweet potatoes from Whole Foods. It was time to put the iPhone down. A lovely pot of stew was an adventure I was ready to take on.
This past weekend I spent my time catching up with a friend and enjoying a short trip to DC. I absolutely love weekend trips! You get in and out of cities with a few fantastic meals, memories to laugh over, and the excitement of travel. There’s only really one thing I despise: travel aftermath.
I always find myself in a state of chaos after an adventure. I’ll even fully admit to you that my suitcase isn’t getting unpacked for at least two weeks. There will also be piles of laundry starting at me, and it will take at least two days to sift through emails. Oh and then to top it all off I have to think about cooking myself dinner after dining out all weekend and guzzling margaritas like I have the metabolism of a gymnast… forget it! At that point all I desire to do is spread out in my bed and watch a marathon of shows that used to be cool in the 90s. Or the Food Network because it’s truly the only channel I need.
This is the time where super lean turkey sloppy joes come in. They’re so easy to throw together — and healthy too! Total travel worry diminished. Really you guys, you absolutely have no idea how obsessed I am with favorite childhood foods, particularly heaping tomato slathered juicy turkey sandwiched between a whole wheat hamburger bun. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE. As a kid, I used to eat them with corn chips almost every day. Now that I’m an adult, I hold the hope that someone will create a sloppy joe food truck and park it in front of my house during lunch time.
Okay I admit that’s an unlikely scenario, but I really do adore them! These joes are a quick fix for my comfort food cravings.
Seriously how much easier could dinner get? Minimal ingredients. Healthy and easy. Just awesome flavor in your mouth. They remind me of being a kid! This recipe calls for a bit of BBQ sauce which means the sloppy joes aren’t as sweet, but instead have a perfect tangy, rich flavor with a hint of spice. I recommend using a bbq sauce with minimal sugar, and a spicy flavor, although your favorite sauce would work too. My favorite way to serve them? With sharp cheddar cheese on whole wheat crusty buns. Doooo it.
As you may know (or perhaps you don’t), I don’t eat beef. It’s actually a little weird to think about since growing up I was in love with cheeseburger happy meals from McDonald’s. My dad loved a good burger too, topped high with condiments and every fixin’ in the refrigerator. Burgers were essential year round in our house, yet during my high school years I converted to turkey burgers, and then throughout college veggie burgers filled my plate.
Now there is no question that the tastes and textures between the three of them are completely different—juicy beef burgers, moist turkey burgers, and unbelievable flavored hearty vegetarian burgers. I actually prefer the satisfying flavor from veggies burgers — beans, fresh herbs, spices, and a delicious texture just can’t be surpassed.
Yesterday I was craving one of those veggie burgers made with good-for-you ingredients. Since I’m an Alexia Tastemaker, and have the honor of developing delicious recipes using Alexia products, I wanted to incorporate their new sweet potato rolls. I knew they would be perfect with my veggie burgers, especially since they have sweet potatoes in them. Yum!
Welcome to 2013! I hope you had a blast ringing in the New Year. I know I did!
Now that it’s January, I realize that most of us are now on some fitness or health mission. I really haven’t made any resolutions, other than to never let myself miss out on an experience that I find interesting or challenging. However, I do think that it’s finally time for me to get back into the swing of things health-wise. Today I finally made it to yoga after being sick for the past week; it felt wonderful to just be there. I’m also making an effort to get rid of all of the junk I ate last month — ugh, like enough with the cookies already! Yep, I just said that.
Even if I’m eating healthier, I just can’t find a reason why I would give up eating Mexican food. Why torture myself? We all know how that would end up — me with a plateful of nachos, a giant margarita, and a whole lot of guilt. Who gives up the things they love the most? Not this girl.
I was just thinking about how much has changed this past year. I mean isn’t it a bit exhilarating how fast life happens? We’re learning tough truths, letting go of the things that are out of our control, and heck, we’re growing and changing!
Last year I was working on the east coast. I barely had any time to blog and was struggling with what I wanted to do with my life. I referred to it as my early quarter life crisis. It was like when Felicity had to choose Ben or Noah, and decided to become an artist (seriously, go buy all the seasons of Felicity). Anyway, it wasn’t until I was completely lost did I discover my passion that I absolutely had to pursue. It was so obvious at that point: food is the recipe to my heart and happiness! I love creating it, photographing it, and eating it.
I know I talk a lot about following your dreams and living your passion, but that’s because I completely believe in it! Helping you, whether it’s in your kitchen or in your life is essentially apart of my success.
Today’s success comes in the form of soup. A soup that I’m completely in love with. Of course, I’m in love with a lot of things, but simple soup fills me up with contentment. Adding crispy lime and salt studded corn tortilla chips on top just makes it that much better.
Soup is one of my favorite things during the cold winter months. I literally dream about the days where I can sit with a good book, a cup of soup, and a slice of crusty bread to soak up all that warm comfort left on the bottom of my bowl.
And of course in between eating pie for breakfast (there were leftovers!) and shoveling Christmas cookies in my mouth; my soul craves soup. Perhaps because it’s the only thing that isn’t made up of purely sugar and butter. Goodness, my body needs a break from that. And this soup? Well, it leaves me full, warm, and richly satisfied.
The butternut squash is roasted in the oven to bring out it’s natural sweetness. Meanwhile the apples, carrots and onions are sauteed with a bit of cinnamon. Lastly the maple and milk are added. The soup is easily pureed into a fairly thick and creamy delight which ends up being quite delicious paired with croutons, or a warm crusty bread for dipping.
It’s really quite perfect in between those overindulgent family get-togethers, cookies exchanges, and peppermint lattes.