Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dinner on a Whim

via

Last night I finished work at a little after 8:00, which meant dinner would be around 9.  Not a big deal, and I'm certainly used to eating this late, but it also means I do not feel like a Martha Stewart recipe is in order, nor do I want to eat a $10 delivery pizza which will make me feel like Jabba the Pizza Hut when I wake up.  Also, by $10 I mean $30, because this is DC and delivery fee, tax, and your appetite do not allow for anything less than.  Since I already crushed a bag of Tostitos and salsa and iced animal crackers for dinner the night before, snacks were out, and my fridge was looking pretty empty.  What ever would I do?  Make something up, duh.  And thus, brussel prosciutto pasta was born.

It all started with a box of spaghetti.  I normally use whole wheat, but the plain jane scary white kind was all that was available.  Fine, it will do.  Then I realized I had no jarred sauce.  Womp womp.  THEN I remembered I am a genius and made my own sauce and froze it about a month ago.  I amaze myself when I think of future Laura and prep for her rescue.  Pasta and tomato sauce.  Done and done.  Well since I'm not a big fan of any dish where pasta is the shining star (sorry, boy), I decided I'd make use of whatever was left in the fridge to create a healthy side dish.  Basically all I had were brussel sprouts, blueberries, strawberries, prosciutto and onions.  Guess which ones I decided to cook together?!  If you guessed anything with the blueberries or strawberries, let me know how that works out for your tastebuds.  Anyway, on to the recipe!

Brussels and Prosciutto
About 10 brussel sprouts, or however many you wish
1/4 cup red onion, diced
2 big, thin slices of prosciutto
Olive oil (eyeball it)

Normally, I like to boil brussel sprouts before broiling them in the oven with some olive oil, salt and pepper.  I didn't have the patience this time, and I wanted them cooked a bit, so I sliced them up.  Each brussel sprouts was sliced long-ways into about 5 round slices.  Once they were all sliced, I simply sauteed them in olive oil on medium-high heat with the diced onion until the onion was translucent and the brussel sprouts weren't white in the middle, but a deep yellow or golden brown.  Most of them became unravelled and took on more of a "slaw" consistency.  Lastly, I added diced pieces of prosciutto and let it cook just a bit, turning everything over.  I didn't want the meat to be hard, but I wanted the little bits of fat to saute around in there, so maybe cooked for 2 minutes.  I added a shit ton of pepper, and no salt until after they were cooked, because prosciutto is so salty. Voila!  I intended on serving this as a side dish, but instead, followed boy's suit and dumped it in with the pasta and sauce, and voila!  A new pasta dish is born!  I loved this because I had wayyy more brussel slaw than noodles, and the tiny bits of prosciutto gave it a salty and meaty flavor, with hardly any meat.  A keeper for suuuure.  I think I could give those guys on CHOPPED a run for their money...

Happiness Means...
1.  So it was just my best friend's birthday in DC, and this weekend is my OTHER best friend's birthday in DC!  Can't wait!  We have a great surprise for her on Monday, and we've scared her shitless by telling her to bring her health insurance card.  She has no idea and its going to bed fab.
2.  Georgetown cupcakes are 20% off!  Or they were?  I'm not sure if the promo code still works, but "HAPPYSPRING" gives you 20% off a dozen, so I was able to put these in as a surprise delivery for her birthday too!
3.  I actually, by the grace of God and powers of possible unknown planets, made it to the gym before work.  I've been trying to, but eating dinner late means going to bed late which means waking up late.  Its a vicious cycle, but when my alarm goes off, I could care less if I look like Monique on the beach.  Maybe I should blow up a poster of Alessandra Ambrosia and hang it on my ceiling so I dream about looking like that and waking up motivated?  Then again, that's really creepy, and everyone knows she isn't real.  I'll take my zzz's Alessandra, you alien bitch.
4.  I got a liiiiitle drunk the other night at an event, and as I was walking the 6 blocks at 7:30PM to watch boy play a squash game at the University Club, I was drawn to Ann Taylor Loft.  Actually, it was closed, but I was freezing and convinced myself I deserved something new.  I wandered into Gap and got a trench coat and two sweaters on sale, and wore the coat right to the U Club.  I'm obsessed with the color and the pleating, isn't it dreamy??
I also nabbed these lovely ladies... and made them give me their sweaters on sale.


5.  This picture was taken just after my meltdown on the mountain with boy, enjoying an incredible bloody mary.


Then five minutes later I could go to the top.


My two favorite things:  boy and bloody mary.

Goal:  Think Alessandra Ambrosia.  Not Monique.
Good
Holy fupa not good.

Friday, March 23, 2012

May the Odds Be Ever In Your Favor

While most normal 24 year olds will be at the bar this lovely Friday evening, I will be watching children bludgeon each other.  I. CAN'T. WAIT.

 

So, which are you?


Friday, March 16, 2012

Breakfast

Dear Breakfast,
Just a little note to tell you how much you mean to me.  I'm sorry about all those years I thought I didn't need you.  I didn't really mean it, and I was wrong.  Even in high school when I insisted you made me sick, I think it was really because I was staying up until 3AM on AIM and running on no sleep- but that is another story.  I didn't mean to abuse you either with donuts and cereal, its just that I didn't know you had so much to offer.  Anyway, I'm glad we're okay again.  I don't know what I would do without you.  And don't tell lunch and dinner, but you're my favorite.

Laura
hot-cereal.jpg
via
I can't take the cred for this photo, but its the closest thing to what I have almost every morning.  I have a bit of a sweet tooth, and this actually satisfies sugar cravings throughout the day.  Cereal is my favorite treat, but I've cut it out the past year and replaced it with my own version*:

2 cups rolled oats
1 cup chooped walnuts
1 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup flax seeds

Thats it.  I go to Whole Foods and scoop it myself into a bag using just my eyes for judgment.  I keep it in a container at home, and measure 3/4 cups of the mix into a bowl, add unsweetened almond milk and a huge helping of blueberries.  Sometimes a drizzle of honey if I'm feeling crazy!  Breakfast should always be complete with protein, fiber, healthy fats and fruit (I say so).  SO the oats are the fiber, walnuts and almonds are protein, and flax seeds are healthy fats, with the obvious blueberries as fruits.  I could bore you to death with health reasons of why I picked these specific nuts and ingredients, but that is what Google is for.  And stealing other people's pictures (don't worry, credit due). This is my favorite breakfast the past month, and I'm sure Whole Foods has had to double their blueberry orders because I must have gone through 20 cases.  You're welcome Whole Foods, I am your slave.



Happiness Means...
1.  I stayed home sick from work yesterday, but I managed to knock out some awesome new recipes and catch up on Bethenny Frankel.  Equally important.
2.  My roommate got me a ticket for the Hunger Games premiere next weekend and I CAN'T WAIT.
3.  Whole wheat chocolate chip cookies.  Came out more like biscuits, but whatevs.  Then they are chocolate chip biscuits.
4.  This 80 degree weather is playing tricks on me.  Spring, where are you?
5.  A free Saturday to do nothing tomorrow :)

Goal:  One biscuit a day.

*To be enjoyed with Matt Lauer in your underwear every morning.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

In like a... Lion?

It's halfway through March and no lion.  The weather has been absurdly lovely and warm, and not so much as a scratch from the king of the jungle.  There is truly something mood-altering about sunshine and warmer weather (those retirees in Florida are onto something), and of course now I want to go on vacation.  Again.  I feel its only fair after a vacation in snowy Colorado, right?  After figuring out that jetting off to the the Caribbean after work yesterday would shockingly exceed the zero current funds in my account, I settled for opening my screen door at home and sipping a gin and tonic.
via
This is much fancier than the gin and tonic I knew and loved so well in my college days (Burnett's and Schweppes), even without the rosemary and cucumber (gimme a break, this is from a food blog and I still have a Blackberry with a cracked screen).  Simply by pouring it into a glass with a lime wedge, it was already far tastier than my memory of solo cups and gin buckets.  Boy was going to be home late, and we decided that based on our empty pantries and bank accounts, spaghetti would be dinner (see what I told you here).  I completely agreed.  And spent $40 at the liquor store instead.  Some days, you just need a taste of summer.  Sorry for choosing booze over food.

Happiness Means...
1.  Finding chicken at Whole Foods is on sale!  Thus an impromptu dinner of grilled chicken and asparagus, and a tomato cucumber feta salad.
2.  Putting tonic in the freezer and actually remembering to take it out before it explodes.
3.  The Caps game on mute, and music on the ipod, chatting about our day.
4.  Going to bed smelling a little bit like charcoal.  Why has no one invented a cologne for this?
5.  Gettysburg Alumni happy hour tonight!  Can't wait for a fratastic reunion at a DC dive bar, where I'll for sure revisit that old familiar gin and tonic.

Cheers!

Goal:  Be outside.  Be outside.  Be outside.  Oh, and start the last Hunger Games book.  Yup, still hooked.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Bully.


Without sound like Miss Pop-u-lar, I was never really bullied.  I don't remember being picked on or harassed or tripped in the hallways.  I'd like to think it was because I was nice to everyone, and maybe because I didn't want anyone to not like me.  That's not to say kids weren't mean to me, as I'm sure everyone has experienced a few times growing up.  I distinctly remember a close friend in 6th grade teasing me because I wore the same jeans twice in one week.  After that, I wrote down every single outfit I wore to school so I would have zero repeats.  I know, the horror.  I cannot even imagine what some kids have to put up with when they go to school, or I guess even nowadays, sign onto their Facebook page.  If the biggest example I have of being bullied is over a pair of jeans, I think I'm more than lucky.  Some kids aren't.

Please take two minutes to watch this video and go to the website in the description (http://www.change.org/petitions/mpaa-don-t-let-the-bullies-win-give-bully-a-pg-13-instead-of-an-r-rating) to sign the petition allowing this film to be rated PG-13 instead of R.  It's about more than just bullying; peer pressure, kindness, respect and empathy.  As Ellen always says,

Everyone, be kind.

Just letting you know I'm alive!

This will be random and scattered.  Later on, if you're wondering what the connection is between skiing and spaghetti, there is none.  Also, because I like things numbered and organized, these will be numbered and organized.  Not because it makes any sense.  Don't say I didn't warn ya!
1.  I survived Colorado.  I've been skiing twice in my life on the east coast and did fine on the blue runs at Snowmass mountain, after a mini mental breakdown which was made alllll better after two bloody marys.  Maybe I will share that comedic tale another day.
before bloody marys
after bloody marys
2.  Tonight is game night at a friend's house.  For me to enjoy a game, it better not involve a board, a spinner, or dice.  Sorry, but explain to me what is fun about spending 75% of an hour waiting for your turn, and sliding down a chute only to start over again (chutes and ladders was invented by mean kids on the playground who grew up).  Don't even get me started on Monopoly.  A game that seemingly never ends?  Here are the things I heard about it before I was dumb enough to give it a shot:  mortgages, loans, real estate, cheating, atlantic city, marathons.  Do any of these sounds good?  Why would I want to play a game that never ends and resembles a miserable foreshadowing of my future?  Boy insisted I give it a shot.  I did, and he won.  I will never play that miserable game again.
The unfunniest person present says "I wish this were real money!"
Luckily, Catchphrase is a game option which is exactly my speed.  I love a game that can go on for an hour or as little as five minutes and make no difference.  It also involves wit, which I daresay Chutes and Ladders has none.  You also get to use perverted and hilarious guesses when the descriptions are something like "long and hard" (I kid you not, what my best friend said to describe a missile- forget the whole weapon reference).
3.  I have been to Whole Foods EVERY SINGLE DAY this week.  Honestly.  Sometimes my car just goes there not knowing why. 
Must. buy. more. kale.
Next thing you know I'm walking out with a bottle of wine, carton of olives, quinoa and almond milk, $50 none the richer.
4.  All I talk about is the Hunger Games.  It has consumed my life.  I only read the first book of Harry Potter, and I couldn't get past the first page of Twilight, but I am currently living and breathing all things Katniss and Peeta (team Peeta all the way).  My roommate just finished book two and I am one chapter away from the end (I like to savor the last chaper and build it up to be a great grand finale!) but we basically both roll out of bed every morning talking about Katniss.  I am definitely going to be one of those dweebs who waits in line for the movie premiere, but I already know it can't beat the book.  What are you, Teem Peeta or Team Gale??
5.  It's supposed to be 80 degrees tomorrow.  I can't...
6.  My boyfriend cooks and eats more pasta than any human being alive.  A box of noodles and a jar of sauce.  Good for 2 meals and a snack.  He is also an incredible athlete, so all of this Paleo and carb cutting nonsense is seriously nonsense to me.  How can you completely cut something out of your diet?  I tend to eat more veggies and meat than pasta, but oh my gawd put unlimited chips and salsa in front of me and you have to wheel me away.

Alright, that was random.  Have a good Monday!!  And keep your fingers crossed for me today, I might need it.