The Life of a Writer: Imaginary Life of an Author

Sadly, I only have one more Imaginary life after today, to share with you.

Today’s going to be about my dream of writing- and not just writing like I do on here. I’ve loved reading, and have slightly thought of writing my own book one day, but never took too much consideration to it. Over the past several months (not quite a year, but it feels like it sometimes), I’ve been more and more interested in what type of book I would write.

I have a few ideas listed in a note of mine in my cross-platform notes app/website that I use. I won’t share them as I don’t want to spoil anything!

In today’s world, you can go outside of the publishing business, and self publish. I didn’t know that until listening to Aileen’s podcast with Cara Alwill Leyba last summer. Check it out on Google Music,and iTunes. I somewhat looked into it after listening to the podcast, but didn’t do anything past that.

Awhile back, during one of our daddy daughter dates (somewhere in the mess of Easter, I think), my dad and I had talked about it as well, since he was looking into writing a book himself. He got farther into it than I did. He at least started writing the thing!

I was a bad daughter, as I never really read the insert he had written and sent me. I should have. I think I still have it in my email. If not, I’ll ask if he still has it sometime, maybe before I travel next month.

Let’s make an internet pact right here: if I can stick with this blog, regularly like I have, for the next year (until June 2019, let’s put it), I’ll start writing a book. I even put a reminder on my reminder app in my phone!

Part of what Aileen shared in her video that introduced this topic last summer, is that we should try to incorporate some of our ideal lives into our actual life. I’ve already jumped on the band wagon on my photography dreams and cooking.

So I ask again, what are some dream lives of yours? I’d like to hear them!

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Foodie FriYAY: Crockpot Lasagna (gone slightly wrong)

So earlier this week, I attempted a lasagna roll recipe that would cook in the crock pot. It didn’t go as planned, but I did make instead just a lasagna bake in a crock pot. Here’s the journey.

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This is 100% the last time you’ll see this pot. It went up in flames not too long after this picture. But anyway, boil some water, add some seasoning and oil, break your lasagna in half (both in how much is in the 1 lb box, and in length, like you might do for spaghetti and kids), and cook to the box’s demands.

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While you have your lasagna noodles cooking, chop up any veggies (I KNOW TOMATO IS A FRUIT….DRINK KETCHUP THEN AS A SMOOTHIE THEN. DO IT.) and cook your protein of choice (or not…I’m not in charge of you).

While you’re at it, pour a drink. Because this is where it went ALL WRONG FOR ME, so it may do the same for you. If it goes wrong, you have a drink. If it goes right, you have a drink.

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I don’t like broadcasting failures, so here’s what happened after things went wrong, and I just went f*ck it and changed it into a casserole dish before I burned the whole place down with the pot that caught fire (YES I KNOW HALF OF IT WAS MY FAULT, FOR CATCHING ON FIRE lol, don’t judge me haha).

I took the lasagna noodles, layered it, put riocotta cheese, then my veggies, then my meat, and repeated the process until I ran out of it all. It became like 3 good layers. Oh, add sauce as you wish as well.

After it looks something like this, finish the sauce and add shredded cheese. I took a 3 cheese Italian blend. Make it look like this:

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Then, for about 45 minutes to an hour (depending on how your crock pot handles the high setting, and how crispy you like that top layer of cheese), cook it on high.

Serve like you would regular lasagna, and save the rest (if you have any).

This can serve 2 people for 2-5 meals, depending on hunger levels, and what it’s paired with (salad, dessert, other sides), so take that as you will.

Have you tried a crock pot lasagna dish? How did you like it? Did you do anything different than I did? Share with me, so I can try it as well!

If you have any tips to do the little rolls, TELL ME YOUR WAYS below.

Taco Tuesday: Taco Salad Editon

I was soo feeling tacos, so here we are. Babe’s been struggling with illnesses off and on, as this weather won’t just pick one (winter or spring), so I took to a mild form of taco salad, that I got from my ex’s sister in law. It’s different, but good, and you can add in all the spice you want, while not hearing everyone else eating, complaining “It’s too spicy!!!!!”

What makes it different, you ask? Well, take to these ingredients, and take a guess:

-Ground meat or substitute. I like ground turkey
-taco seasoning
-onion
-tomato
-lettuce or spinach
-shredded cheese or substitute
-Catalina dressing (I like Kraft’s sweet honey one for this)
-sour cream, or substitute
-refried beans
-soft tortillas, or Doritos (spicy nachos, cool ranch, or nacho cheese, all will do)
-anything else you want, like chives, rice, hot sauce, jalapenos, etc

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Start by dicing up some onion, and put in a hot pan with oil. Let it start cooking, and put some taco seasoning in with it, then your meat substance. While the meat is cooking, dice up any more onion you’d like, and all the other veggies. If you’re using tortillas, rip a few tortillas into bite sized pieces. If you have rice, cook that too.

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Once the meat is almost done, add some more taco seasoning. Once it’s done, add refried beans, and if you want cooked rice in there, add the cooked rice here as well. Let the refired beans and rice get warm, and soak in the seasoning.

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From there, grab a big bowl, layer some tortillas or chips (kind of crunching them as you go), some veggies, then the meat mixture, cheese, and dressing. Rinse and repeat.

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At the top, add some sour cream, and if wanted, either put some salsa in now, and mix it all up. Serve, and add any spicy condiments, as desired (or not).

I hope you enjoy this simple and milder take on taco salad. I enjoy it both with chips and tortillas. Which one is your favorite? Try them both, and get back to me!

Foodie Friday: Jack Daniels Burgers

This was a very impromptu for a meal, I don’t know what to even tell you. Well, yes I do. My lemon pepper chicken kind of went down hill fast, and so I went to burgers, since I had the buns, cheese, ground beef and other condiments. So here’s how we landed up with this meal.

This is very simple, and very much up to you, and your (and your family’s) taste, which is half the onion complex (some people can’t stand onions, which is okay).

So, depending on how many mouths you’re feeding, and how hungry they are, plus any sides you’re pairing with this, do either a half pound or quarter pound of meat to person.

Ingredients:
-proportionate ground beef, turkey, chicken, or vegan substitute.
-cheese ratio to how many burgers you’re making (or substitute)
-diced onion
-smoke flavoring
Jack Daniels beef rub
-a tad of worchestchire sauce
-an egg per pound, or pound and a quarter
-a little bit of breadcrumbs
-buns
-condiments like mayo, mustard, ketchup, lettuce/spinach, tomatoes, more onion

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As you can see, I don’t do well on measuring things, when I wing it. That’s where it should be, in a sense. You should learn your (and your family’s) tastes, and know how to follow the guidelines, as well as taking a recipe, and adding your own flare, to what I did with this, and having something go wrong, and going with the flow, what was in my cabinet.

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To make this the easiest thing ever, mix everything together except the cheese and buns, and condiments. Grill, bake, broil, or stovetop cook it to desire. Top your buns with the condiments you want, and cheese, and you’re good to go. Serve with whatever (or don’t!)

What’s your favorite type of burger? Leave a comment below!

Homemade Sushi: Remake it Mondays

So last Tuesday, I finally made sushi again. I’ve been craving it for awhile now, and while my dad and I were in Pittsburgh over Easter weekend, we visited the Strip District. There’s an oriental shop there, and we picked up a good bit. I took home some pickled ginger, nori, and some teas.

For this week’s remake it Monday food, plus with my craving of sushi, I’m bringing you, well, sushi. It’s easier than you think, but it takes a sharp, wet knife, and patience.

Most of the work is in the rolling and cutting of it, so be warned.

To start off, decide what you want in your sushi rolls. Feel free to look up different types of sushi, or just go for whatever sounds good. For meats, it’s always seafood. You can have vegetarian options, with no meat, but with cream cheese and veggies, or vegan options, with veggies.

This time, I did lobster and crab, with veggies. I did two rolls of each. Trust me when I say, that when eaten by themselves, you’ll eat slightly more than what you think you will. But don’t over do it, as the fullness factor WILL hit you.

Ingredients:
-short grain rice (search sushi rice on Amazon)
-veggies like cucumber, avacado, sweet potato, carrots)
-nori (seaweed sheets. this one comes with a bamboo mat)
-seafood, like crab, lobster, salmon, or tuna.
-soy sauce
-wasabi (optional. look here.)
-cream cheese
-pickled ginger (optional. look here.)
-bamboo rolling mat (Amazon FTW)
-clear wrap
-sharp knife (like, sharpen your knife, seriously. then wet it each time you slice)

Starting off the cooking, get your rice going, according to the package. The sooner the better, as you’ll want to have it warm, cool enough to touch, but not room temperature.

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Roughly speaking, as your rice is going (it depends on how much you have to cut, and how much you’re making in terms of sushi rolls), cut up the “guts” of your rolls (veggies, meats).

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Set up your bamboo mats as well, at this time, with a near cut-to-size clear wrap piece, then nori, and it’s waiting for the rice (or if you’ve become comfortable in putting rice down first, then nori, go ahead and wait on the nori).

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Once your rice is done, and “touchable”, layer that on the nori on your bamboo mat (or the rice, then the nori), not covering the whole thing though. Cover the middle third (eyeball the nori into 3’s, and do the middle, very lightly…lighter than you think or would want to…trust me. You’ll have a burrito in no time, if you’re not careful).

Then from there, almost sparingly (yes, you’ll use less than you think, on everything), add in some “guts”. It’s okay not to have everything in there. That’s part of it.

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At this point, you should wet one end of the nori, whichever end you want to roll towards (I usually wet the top, furthest away from me, and roll away from me). Then, roll baby roll. Watch this how-to, BEFORE TRYING, if you’re new.

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From here, throw the clear wrapped rolls into fridge or freezer (depending on how fast you want to eat them), and let cool. You can do roll by roll, or throw them in at the same time. After that, make sure you have a sharp knife and a bowl of water, to wet your knife each time you slice.

Once it’s cool to your desire, cut it into bite sized (or 2-bite sized), making sure to wet the sharp end of the knife each time you cut. One day, it’ll turn out like mine did. And keep in mind, this is a roll in, where it looked better.

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This was my endevour. What is yours? Share your experience or pictures below!

Foodie Fridays: Sauerkraut and Applesauce Pulled Pork

Welcome to Foodie Fridays, where I share a new recipe I’ve tried recently. Most of them are Pinterest finds, or inspired by one of those viral videos. Sometimes, it might be a collab with my dad (if we remember what we created/put in it).

To start off this series, I made a mild pulled pork recipe in the crock pot earlier this week. It’s super kid friendly, and is an easy way to introduce sauerkraut to them, as it’s not as bold of a taste.

Why did I make this, when St Patrick’s day was last weekend? Well because I had other plans, and my guy has been battling the stomach bug that’s been floating around. I even had to cancel his dentist appointment, because of it.

Okay, so I don’t land up like those food bloggers (no shame, but you know what I’m talking about), let’s get into the recipe, so you can get to cooking and eating yourself! This is too easy to prep, plus it’s crockpot, so you can leave it on low for the workday, or put it on high, to have something easy to meal prep, while you meal prep other things. Or you can just go to sleep at 3 am, and wake up to lunch.

All it needs, is a decent sized pork roast for your family’s size, a can of sauerkraut (even for the larger families…for 2 people plus leftovers, I used about half, and I have generous leftovers), and all the applesauce (okay, like 2 cans or small jars).

Throw it all in the crockpot, for 8 hours on low, shred, put the pork back in the juices, and let it soak up for about 10 more minutes, with a tablespoon or so of butter, and serve. Make it with mashed potatoes, a veggie mix, or whatever else. I’m sure putting it on a bun with swiss cheese would be great too, to use the leftovers.

Make it Monday (Well, ReMake it Monday): Tomato, Spinach, and Parmesan Chicken

As a part of my make it Mondays program, which I’m recreating some dishes that I know, love, and have tweaked over time to personal liking (which the man approves nearly all of the time), I’m making the dish that got Dave into spinach: the tomato, spinach, and cheese baked chicken.

Now you can pair this dish with nearly any side, like mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, green beans, or carrots and peas, or over noodles (I’d add a not-too-sweet red sauce, but not too much to overpower the taste from the chicken). It’s a very nice stand alone dish as well, supplying that you give your men (and boys) enough chicken. I would suggest 1 good sized chicken breast for every adult, or growing kid about pre-teen age and older. If needed, they can have 2. Only you know your family’s needs, so judge for yourselves here!

Let’s get to the cooking, am I right?!

 

To start off, you’ll need these ingredients:

-A chicken breast for every person you’re feeding (I only need 2, so I picked up some clearanced Perdue Chicken breasts, with no added hormones, and no antibiotics for $4-$5 at WalMart)

-Tomato(es). You’ll need 2 slices per chicken breast, and you can cut them however thin or thick you like…I would recommend the larger tomatoes instead of the salad/snack ones,

-shredded cheese of choice (parmesan and mozzarella are a good match…I switch it up, or use a mix of the two)

-Spinach (I just get the ones in a bag, for salads)

-salt and pepper to taste (or not. I like using hymilaan pink salt, but for this recipie I used regular salt because I was running low)

 

Now here comes the prep-work. Past this, it’s easy breezy Covergirl (literally just baking).

-If using a regular oven, preheat oven to 350 (sometimes I use the toaster oven, which I just heat up after putting it in, since it’s tinier than the “big oven”

-Take your chicken breast and cut it in half, then cut it down that new middle on each half, stopping just before you cut it entirely (you’ll want it like a book, so you can put the top layer of chicken back over. It’s okay if you cut it all the way through, just lay it on top)

-put chicken on baking sheet/pan. Grease with whatever you want to (pam/spray, butter/margarine, or not)

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-Salt and pepper to taste each chicken breast.

-Slice your tomatoes, and put on each chicken breast. I like to slice, then cut that slice in half. It just works better for me for some reason, while eating.

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-grab a little handful of spinach, and put on top of tomatoes.

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-Fold over chicken top (or put the “top” on)

-put cheese on top, to desire.

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-bake about 45 minutes, until the chicken is white and cooked through, and the cheese is browned.

-cook up whatever sides you want, let cool, and eat up!

I recommend potatoes and rolls as a side, and for adults, a crisp/medium bodied white wine (or just your go-to wine). Don’t go for a super sweet white wine though, just a little juicier.
Original Recipe Pinterest board