A foul mood bested by good food

Something about Spring cleaning combined with the last few days of vacation is a bit disgusting to me. Admittedly, this idea was one I had before I took this vacation, and so I only have myself to blame. Alternatively, I did manage to nearly Gorilla Glue two of my fingers together while trying to put a kitchen cabinet back together. I did, however, accomplish much of what I planned on achieving today, and more importantly I do now plan on doing more writing for my novel-project.

The best part of this Friday, aside from catching up on my shows, was dinner. My parents so very kindly sent me back to Altoona with a few goodies of the food variety, among which was some kielbasa. I cooked up said kielbasa, mixing it in with angel hair pasta and two varieties of alfredo sauce (four cheese and garlic). Added some additional garlic powder and a dash of cayenne to taste, and so my lousy Friday was bested by a generous helping of homemade comfort foods. Here’s the obligatory food picture so I feel less guilty about being lazy here in favor of working on the novel-project.

What I lack in plating skills I make up for with delicious food. Probably.

What I lack in plating skills I make up for with delicious food. Probably.

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My pledge to no longer be bored

I think it’s safe to say that one of the most commonly heard phrases, especially in people around my age group and younger folks (You dern whipper-snappers and your selfie-sticks), is “I’m bored”. Earlier today, after having completed my tasks for the day and then-some, I found myself thinking exactly that. I’m bored.

Somewhere between stopping at the liquor store to purchase the other ingredients required to make a Blood & Sand–a decision I entirely support, especially after making one and enjoying it quite thoroughly–and contemplating dinner, it occurred to me just how awful saying “I’m bored” is given just how much I could be doing with my time. I’m not talking about endless writing or spending hours promoting things on social media, interspersed with the conversations I’ve grown famous/infamous/unknown for having. Louis C.K. said it better than I ever could, in fact, and so I found a convenient image on the internet with his words placed on it to share to make my point here.

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There’s a lot of fantastic truth in this quote, and it got me thinking even further. There is, at no point, really a good reason to be bored. I’m not going to preach about the miracle of consciousness. I think it’s more about finding the things that matter most in this sea of constant information and distractions.  Continue reading

Lazy comfort food post…go!

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Today kicked my ass so savagely that all I can think about is sleep and the weekend ahead of me. Instead of my planned post, gaze upon the spiced, cheddar-stuffed baked chicken I made and know it was worth setting off the smoke alarm twice while making it.

I cut the chicken breasts just enough to stuff cheddar cheese, both cubed and shredded, into the chicken. Closed it up, then added sea salt, pepper, a dash of lemon juice, a little garlic powder, and some cayenne powder to mine. I drizzled just a little olive oil over top of the chicken before putting it in the oven at 450 degrees for twenty-five minutes. Turned out pretty well.

A little comfort food

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Today had a fair few trials and tribulations I could have done without, and so I’m happy to instead post about the dinner experimenting I just finished working on. It’s just as unhealthy as it looks.

I took boneless, skinless chicken breasts and cut them down the middle (I’d say I butterflied them, but I can’t take myself that seriously as a cook). I stuffed the chicken with mozzarella cheese, closing it again and wrapping it with bacon. Some pepper and olive oil were added, and to try something different I topped it with a dash of real maple syrup to offset the saltiness of everything else. Fingers crossed it turned out well.

A breakfast of champions

Not to be mistaken for Breakfast of Champions, which I haven’t read in years and now suddenly find myself wanting to find and reread. Not even sort of the point of this post. And now a pause for the appropriate number of gasps incited by today’s post happening before 10pm or later. Only the appropriate number, however; I’ll have no excessive or exaggerated signs of shock on my posts, thank you very much.

This is a food post, entirely and apologetically. I’ve been trying to cook more lately instead of opting to go out for dinner, which is just as well since it’s less expensive to throw together ingredients in the hopes it will transform into something mostly edible (I’m working at about a 75% success rate here, so I’m going to say I’ve been doing something right). I really enjoy cooking, if only because it gives me a chance to revert to the days I spent dreaming of being a mad scientist. There are, quite sadly, far fewer robots involved in cooking meals, but I’ll think of a way to change that up sooner or later. Continue reading

An oddly responsible day off

My days off of work are pretty sacred to me, in that I generally try to relax at least a little bit. Today wasn’t an exception to that rule of sorts.

Marceline the Adventure Bean, our third cat, had a vet appointment for her final vaccinations, and I had a very pressing need to find out why the Hell the Maintenance Required light was on in my car (spoilers: it wasn’t because it missed my bright, beautiful smile). I also had come to the realization that there’s not a whole lot by way of food in the new place, which was something I decided needed correcting. I wanted to get a haircut, but that didn’t quite manage to happen. We’ll get back to that.

My errands followed one another quite neatly, with the vet appointment going smoothly, the cleaning out of my car going well, and then the oil change & battery check-up for my car going poorly. Womp womp. Turns out the issues I’d noticed lately were because my poor ol’ Toyota’s battery needed replacing, but the folks at the Plank Road Jiffy Lube are the absolute best. Problem solved nice and quickly. Thanks to stopping there, I saw a recipe on TV for two ingredient chicken (skin-on chicken breasts; add garlic and herb brie or Borsin, then bake…For those interested, Google two ingredient chicken), and so dinner plans were set.

If this post sounds oddly responsible, that’s because it is. I wanted to get some writing done today, but that didn’t quite happen (it will be happening tomorrow instead, as I have self-imposed deadlines to meet). There’s a problem there, however, because I had plenty of creative thoughts rattling around that were left to wait. They seem to have conspired with my love of cooking. Something made me think of scotch bonnets, which are a type of very hot pepper similar to habaneros. They’re commonly, or so Google says, used for Caribbean jerk recipes and have a sweeter taste than their similarly-spicy pepper cousins. I suddenly found myself, a couple hours ago, wanting to use them to make something. I couldn’t figure out what.

My current idea? I happened upon a recipe for caramel sauce with cayenne pepper in it, and decided trying it with scotch bonnets could be plausible. I’ll have to post the results once this food experimentation invariably happens.

How do you other creative types seem to handle the untapped creative ideas in situations like this?

I’d say more, but I work very early tomorrow. Pretty sure this hundred days is almost up, but I need to verify that to be sure.

Creative cooking

Or “I owe a fair bit of editing and really want to start on my unnamed novel project, so here’s a cool thing I made on a whim”.

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This may have been one of the tastiest crazy ideas I’ve ever had.

I love to cook, which goes hand-in-hand with loving food for me. Coming up with new, potentially delicious dishes is exciting in similar ways to binge-writing tends to be.

My annual health screening at work revealed something I had figured out on my own: I need to shed some weight. Not one to just say meh and give up (yes, I do that sometimes; shut up), I decided I needed to make a healthy dinner tonight. Above is only part of the dinner; a mango-pineapple-pomegranate salsa-thing of my own design. I applied a bit of Pyrat XO Reserve to the sauce pan before adding the diced fruit bits.

The orange aromas from the Pyrat were especially noticeable as this mix heated up, and the kitchen still smells like some new, secret scent from Bath & Body Works. The pineapple broke down somewhat, mixing in with the mango and pomegranate quite nicely. Overall, it went very nicely with chicken and mixed veggies. Definitely something I’d make again.