Friday, March 25, 2011

chef #4: mexi-tato

over a month ago i purchased two hungry girl cookbooks. today i finally got around to testing one of the recipes and it. was. delicious. what you see below is an adaptation of her recipe that worked best with the ingredients i actually happened to have in my kitchen this afternoon. this is an individual serving, but could easily be multiplied to feed all of your best friends. yum!
MEXI-TATO (serves 1)
1 medium baking potato
2 T milk
2 T cheddar or mexican shredded cheese
1/4 c canned black beans
1/2 t dry taco seasoning mix
2 T chopped tomatoes
1 T chopped scallions
dash salt, dash pepper
optional (necessary, in my book) topping: light sour cream 
pierce potato in several places with a fork, then peel the skin off the top of the potato only. cook in microwave 6-8 minutes, then let sit for 2. gently remove pulp from the potato and set the empty shell aside.
combine pulp, milk, cheese, taco seasoning, and s & p in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 45 seconds. stir. next, heat black beans in microwave.
place half of the potato mixture in the potato shell, then half of the black beans. repeat. top potato with tomatoes & scallions and, if desired, sour cream. 

you may notice a lack of scallions in this photo. do not, i repeat do not forget about your scallions on grocery day and then discover them molded in a plastic bag on your counter 5 days later. not that it happened to me or anything…

Sunday, March 20, 2011

something for sunday, etc.

“whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say it is well, it is well with my soul.”
my grandmother (“grandmere”) was an incredible individual. she inspired me to be the best possible version of myself and since she passed away in 2007 i have oftentimes wondered if she’d be ashamed of how i’ve lived my life, of the choices i’ve made. there is nothing i wish more than for her to be able to see me today. in the years since she’s been gone, i have sunk to my very lowest and brought myself back to who i know i am capable of being. when i am struggling or when my faith is faltering, i think of her and how peaceful she was, even in the lowest times of her own life.
grandmere’s favorite hymn was it is well with my soul. (for info on the origins of this song, read my friend mer’s blog.) i grew up singing this song in church, but never knew it was her favorite until funeral plans were being made and she requested that the line ”it is well with my soul” be put on her grave stone… kind of like how i didn’t know she loved dogwoods until after she was gone and now i have one tattood on my foot. but, i digress…
what took my beautiful grandmother away from us was cancer. after beating it once when i was in middle school, she was unable to overcome it a second time. less than a month from now i will be walking in the american cancer society’s relay for life at appalachian state university. i walked in it once after grandmere beat cancer the first time, but this is my first time walking in memory. months and months ago i set a goal to raise $200 for my walk. i am ashamed to say that i’ve let this event take the back burner in my life. i’ve spent time worrying about research papers instead of getting my friends involved with the walk and i’ve spent money on sundresses instead of donating to a cause that i deeply support.
regardless, on april 15th i will be on duck pond field walking for grandmere and for others who have battled cancer. i am calling on my friends to support me in this endeavor. please VISIT MY PAGE if you are able to donate to this cause. if you’d like to walk with me, leave me a comment and let me know! your support means so much to me and my family.
most of all, go back to the song that inspired my grandmother and inspires me today. listen to my favorite contemporary version, or any other, and remember the peace that is offered to you at all times through the love of God.

“and Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight, the clouds be rolled back as a scroll. the trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend. even so, it is well with my soul.”

Thursday, March 17, 2011

diary of an organizational nerd

i couldn't focus in class today. something was bothering me.

that something was my spice cabinet. you see, it was a mess. it gave me nightmares (no, not really. but you get the point). it looked like this:

eek. i couldn't take it any longer! after a quick trip to the kitchen collection outlet store to purchase a stand for my spices and a lazy susan for my oils/sprays, i returned to thoroughly organize what had been haunting me for months. first, i took everything out of the cabinet to assess what could be thrown out or combined:

there was so much stuff! how does one accumulate all of this? some strange discoveries: cinnamon i bought at the end of my freshman year, texas pete that had turned brown, sesame oil that does not belong to me or my current roommate, three bottles of soy sauce, and three containers of onion flakes. i somehow managed to fit most of it back into the cabinet and:

ta-da! beautiful, right? there is (almost) nothing i love more than a good afternoon of organizing and cleaning my kitchen. after i solved my messy spice cabinet problem, i was inspired to scrub down and re-arrange everything on our countertops as well. i even took the time to use the kitchen to make some banana muffins:

mmm. also, another product for an organizational nerd’s delight that i picked up today: an egg-tainer. i know, i’m ridiculous. how do you like to stay organized in the kitchen?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

a better slumber?

consider this my random post of the week. i want to share with you the topics of some dreams that i’ve had in the past week:
1 | shopping for discount halloween decorations with my parents, brother, and aunt & uncle
2 | being chased and murdered by a man in a field
3 | watching a movie with a guy (this one isn’t too weird, except that i remember who the guy is. he’s someone who comes into my work all the time. i don’t even know him.)
4 | dropping a newborn puppy down a kitchen garbage disposal

what the heck???!

Monday, March 14, 2011

a spring break assessment

my spring break, though not what i expected, was pretty excellent! i did not make it to myrtle beach, but i did go roller skating, bowling (twice), saw the adjustment bureau (twice), cooked for my family, and wasted gallon upon gallon of gas driving around conversating until the wee hours of the morning (more than twice).

{tumblr is telling me that “conversating” is not a real word. oh well. we’ll pretend like it is.}

i also heard back from one grad school (accepted!) and interviewed at another. i became obsessed with a game called bubble buster. i spent a sunny afternoon at a gorgeous farm. i bought a new summer dress (or two or…) and a rain jacket.

it was a wonderful week, but now i’m back in boone looking at what’s ahead: two exams and two research papers due before friday. oh, i can’t wait ‘til summer! :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

something for sunday

i could sing of Your love forever.

Monday, March 7, 2011

bubble baths & busters

though i love staying busy, there is something to be said about getting out of bed without the help of an alarm clock and spending an entire day doing absolutely nothing of importance. do you see where this is going? yes? today i haven’t done a single thing that really matters. i went grocery shopping, ate lunch, watched animal cops with mom, played an unhealthy amount of bubble buster on my phone, and took a bubble bath.

i can’t remember the last time i took a bubble bath. since i have trouble being alone with my thoughts without background music, here is my bubble bath playlist from today:
bella donna | the avett brothers
lullaby | eclipse
love and some verses | iron & wine
naked as we came | iron & wine
your hand in mine | explosions in the sky
love affair | copeland
flightless bird, american mouth | iron & wine
go sadness | shout out louds

next time you need to clear your mind, just grab some bubble bath, candles, gummy worms, and some iron & wine tracks and you’ll basically be good to go. 

now, to spend the rest of my evening playing bubble buster…

Thursday, March 3, 2011

thursday morning thoughts

  • got an A on my mass media & society midterm
  • spring break starts in 6 hours
  • i have good music for the drive home
  • cici’s pizza is a random choice for our family dinner outing tonight
  • i love bowling
  • i want to see the adjustment bureau this weekend
  • can’t wait to cook some good food next week while i’m home
  • going to myrtle beach on wednesday
  • i am dying to hear back from grad schools!!!
  • listen to this song
  • and this one
i’ll elaborate on some of these things later. but for now, life is so good.