Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Best Week(end) Ever!

For those of you expecting a typical, healthy dose of sarcasm after that title (while usually you would be right on point - 10 points for Gryffindor!) prepare to be disappointed....I'm being totally for serious right now.

Do you remember that VH1 show, Best Week Ever? Of course you do!
What? It's still on? Really?
Wow. Okay. In that case...

You got my reference! Woo!

Anyways, I offer my apologies ahead of time. Sometimes I am sufficiently inspired by my ridiculous life and can offer you paragraphs brimming with awkward anecdotes, cat jokes, and classic 'over-share' facts of my life (remember that time I told you like 2567 things that make me super lame?...yeah.). However, this post really just serves one function......TO GLOAT AND RUB MY HAPPINESS IN YO FACE!

Just kidding....But seriously. This past weekend OWNED all other weekends.

Have you ever had one of those weekends that brings you dangerously close to quitting real life and becoming a nomad?
Sure you have.

You know....weekends filled with crystal clear skies, lemonade drinking, pointless drives with windows down, soft serve ice cream, inside jokes, and hand holding?

Weekends beginning with spontaneity and ending with nearly reckless fun-seeking.

Weekends with a landscape of mountaintops, drive-in movies, soft sheets, and picnic tables?

That's the kind of weekend I just had.

And I have to say, it was perfectly timed after a hellish week of deadlines that had me coming into work at the ungodly hour of...*gasp!*....6 am (Don't crush my spirit, moms. I'll be hazed into the world of midnight feedings someday, but for now...5 am alarms are the devil.)

I have been planning a "fun weekend" for months now. Yet, every Friday evening that rolled around found me making lists and fretting over unaccomplished tasks. This weekend, I had no plans. No list to check off, but also no expectations for scheduled fun. (Yes, I am that pathetically controlling. Hi, I'm Lily Fryer; and I schedule my fun.)

The heaps of fun that appeared this weekend were beyond what I could have fit on any of my weekend itineraries - it was all just positively lovely. (BTW...Sadly, I'm only half kidding about the existence of a Lily Fryer weekend itinerary)

I am (beyond) admittedly bad at being spontaneous. I mean, I've cut this blog posting thing down to one a month simply because it takes me a solid 4 hours to organize my thoughts (not really...but almost). I once decided to get Thai food and then UN-decided to get Thai food 15 times in one night. (Ask long-suffering Husband. This is not a joke.) However, this weekend reminded me that some truly fantastic things can emerge out of very little planning to preparation. (and NO this is not my way of telling you we are pregnant. Mom, I repeat - NO bun in the oven....yet)

So.....As I was reminiscing on the past blissful 48 hours, I decided the fun didn't need to stop. I rushed over to my fridge (as I usually do once every hour) pulled out the ingredients that look particularly tasty at the moment, and BOOM!

A masterpiece.

Spinach linguine with Florentine cream sauce.   

Step One: Bring a large pot of water to a boil.(Add linguine during Step Six. Cook until aldente.)

Step Two: Cube up a package of bacon (...or in my case turkey bacon. Go ahead, judge me.)

Tukey cubes, I don't judge you. I love you.
Step Three: Grab two packages of chopped, frozen spinach. (Thaw if you like. Don't thaw if you're lazy like me.)

Pesticide free! Because I'd rather eat bugs than eat chemicals....but really
Step Four: Add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil to a large saute/sauce pan on medium high heat. Add bacon. Cook until crisp.

Step Five: Add (frozen) spinach. Turn heat to medium. Cover. Stir occasionally until spinach is warmed throughout.
Lazy evidence

Step Six: Add about 2 cups of half and half to spinach/bacon mixture and cook until reduced and slightly thickened. Add 1 Tablespoon of butter if thickening is taking too dang long.

Step Seven: Add cooked linguine. Combine. Season with sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper (Yes, it makes a difference.)

Then the Kool Aid guy smashed through my wall and was like..."OhhhYeaahhhh"
There it is, folks. Delicious.

So hey, maybe your weekend was the pits. Maybe your car got carried off by a pack of rabid dogs. Maybe you got locked in a puppet factory (if such a thing exists). Perhaps someone forced you to watch 48 consecutive hours of Dora the Explorer. (Swiper! I SAID NO FREAKING SWIPING! Get a job!)

Or maybe something more plausible, but still lame, happened to you this weekend. Nevertheless, I hope you get a chance to make this. If you don't 'get' a chance - make one. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Quarter Life Noodles

So you guys.... I turned 25.


After reading that you are most likely thinking 1 of the following:

1. "Oh, you poor little baby - wah wah - just you wait until 25 is a distant, obnoxious tease of a memory. *shakes head*"

2. "Girl, you know that's right. I'm straight up weirded out right now! (*fist bump*...or ehh *high five*? no...something exponentially cooler...*finger guns*? yeah...I'll just quit now - you get me.)

3. "Woah. YOU ARE ANCIENT!" (In which case, you are like 8 years old. How did you find this blog? I mean, you should really ask your parents' permission before cruising the internets....just...uhh stay in school... wear your seat belt...and stuff)

If you find yourself in the third group - go home. Seriously. You're not going to get my cultural references and I'm pretty sure you aren't allowed to operate a stove at that age...right? Clearly, I do not have children. Seriously though, go draw a picture or make a fort and trade Happy Meal toys or something.

If you find yourself in the first group - well, excuuuuuuuuse me! Honestly, you're trying to tell me that you didn't once have a strange revelation about the passing of time? You've never looked at your life and been like "Hold up. Can we just pause here for a few years, so I can accomplish everything I thought I would have by this point?" Yeah. That's what I thought.

No, this doesn't mean that I am wasting my youth with anxiety nor am I ungrateful for the spry, agile appendages I currently possess. So, if you can, just take a chill and let me vent? I promise this will get somewhere positive. Have I ever lied to you? (Wait...don't answer that.)

Moving on!

If you find yourself in the second group - welcome, friend! Let's join in a cosmic, digital hug.

Nope. Nevermind. That's weird.

But honestly, I'm so glad you have my back on this. This post is for all of you. This is for all the kids that have already had to renew their drivers license, but haven't yet gotten life insurance (even though their parents have been bugging them about it 24/7).

This is for every girl who has already gained enough wisdom to look at her prom dress and be like "yikes" and yet still cannot fathom every slipping into a 'mother of the bride' number. (Lord, help us. I mean, those taffeta shrugs? What. The. Hell?)

This is for every guy who can no longer eat whatever he wants without gaining a pound, but hasn't gained enough to prompt him to do anything about it. (Fellas, this will catch up with you. Have you seen Will Ferrell without a shirt on? *shudder*)

So yeah.....

Here we are. I always had these ideas of what "adulthood" would look like. When I was in high school, I genuinely thought that the moment I had my diploma in hand and could drive without obsessively looking at my speedometer - I would be an adult.
No such luck.

Then when I was in college I thought I would be crowned with full adulthood glory when I had my first "real job." You know, one that did not consist of 'cashiering' anyone for anything or being spit up on by a babbling infant.

When you get married? That had to be it. Right?
If anything, marriage has made me realize just how infantile I still am. Being a partner in life with someone makes you painfully aware of just how petty, overly sensitive, and melodramatic you really are.
And of course, there were a whole lot more in between....like....

- When I finally got all the pop culture references in an episode of The Simpsons or Family Guy. (Well, that one never actually happened. Although I suppose you actually have to watch those shows to test that one. Oops.)
- When you consistently make your own doctor/dentist appointments.
- When I stopped falling for things like "Hey, spell 'I cup'." (Sorry. Please tell me you didn't....You did? Point proven.)
- When I could confidently pick out an outfit for a special occasion without a) calling my mom and describing all the options b) bringing all the options and trying them on for my mom's opinion c) giving up and not going to said event.
- When I learned how to spell priviledge...damn...privalege?...privalege...GAH!....privilege!!!
-When I stopped laughing at things like: toddlers falling down, adults falling down, dogs in people clothes, cats in people clothes, cats in sunglasses, cats playing the piano/snorkeling/knitting/running in circles/going down slides, the guy on Sweet Genius, etc.

You get it.
My point is - I had it all wrong.

My 25th birthday was lovely. Husband made my entire day a dream. My family and friends were loving, generous, and affirming. I was spoiled.

But here's the thing. I still had that lingering feeling that the rug was about to be pulled out from under me. That somehow I was now too big to get the box of crayons with my paper menu. That life was now going to be concrete, piles of paper, taxes, and restrained laughter.

I know. Like I said - I had it all wrong.

Life doesn't work that way. We know this, right? We know that there is no 'Go to Jail' card. There is no end of the road where fun is prohibited and spontaneity has been outlawed. Which leaves me with this: Why do we feel that way?

Honestly, I think there are two schools of people. One category (me) feel the constant pressure to achieve, to strive, to grow up. The other are purely focused on the now, the gimme gimme, the I I I me me me. Consequently, they don't worry about growing up until it's too late.

I don't think either of us have it right.

After the big 2-5, I got thinking a lot about this adulthood thing. Truly, it's not a textbook. You know, you read a chapter for the test. You take the test, get through it, hopefully emerge unscathed, and promptly close that chapter indefinitely - writing off or forgetting 99% of what you once knew. No, it's your favorite novel. You read it and re-read it. You go back to the parts that moved you. You underline, you quote, you daydream, you get inspired, you take the best bits and act on them. And you remember them even as you near the last pages.

Looking ahead, I want to do just that. I aim to take the best bits of my clumsy, free-wheeling teens and extract it from the lack of wisdom and fortitude; to take the beauty out of the tragic ashes that overtook part of my 20s when I didn't have the foresight to see that love does triumph over fear. Adulthood is not a signpost that you reach after a certain number of miles, but a journey upon which it helps to know some of the gritty back roads as well as the smoothly paved highways.
I know that now.

On to food, yes?

Well, as I was pondering all of this I got to thinking about some of the garbage I ate as a kid. Usually not sanctioned by a parent, but hidden in the guise of a slumber party away that produced ice cream cake sugar highs that could potentially last longer than some serious meth (no, I do not know this from experience....I just watch a lot of Breaking Bad)...Or perhaps a stealthy trip to the corner store at the top of the street where allowance became gobs of taffy and Funions (not the greatest of combinations.) Amongst all this gruesome glory, were my beloved Ramen noodles. You know, the crusty square of noodles accompanied by packets of pure sodium?

Yeah...Well, I thought, "Hey Fryer, let's use what we've learned today to make something tasty!"
So here it is. Informed by 25 years of wisdom and health research, I have formulated an incredible (and easy) facsimile!

Quarter Life Noodles:

Step One
Slice 12 cloves of garlic- Yep. You read that correctly. TWELVE. woo!

Step Two
Heat 3-4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add garlic. Do not brown.

Step Three
Once garlic has softened and become fragrant, add 3 boxes (96 oz) of vegetable stock.

I use this kind because I am very impressed by this baby entrepreneur. Way to go, Brad!
Step Four
Season with 1/2 tablespoon grated ginger, 1 teaspoon sea salt, 1 teaspoon honey, and cayenne pepper to taste.

Sorry, it's not my fault he looks so weird.
Step Five
Bring broth to a boil and drop in 1 sheet of rice noodles. Available at your local grocery store - probably in the aisle you never shop in, but should. Cook until soft.

Step Six
Serve! Close your eyes, take a bite or two, and be pleasantly surprised when your lips don't shrivel up and fall off from consuming 3000% of your daily sodium. You're welcome.

So there you have it!
A little grown up take on a childhood favorite. Enjoy.

And while you're at it, enjoy every bit of every year you live, my dear ones. Every experience, each precious moment of failure and flubbing, the wrinkles, the awestruck epiphanies, every grin and giggle. 

I may be just rounding the bend into my next chapter, but I'm already excited to read every line. 

And you know what? 

I bet you and I have some terrific adventures yet to come.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Humble Pie

Oh hi! 
Remember me? 



Did that distract you from the fact that I haven't posted here in a million years? 

Yeah, let’s not delve into the vast pit of my inexcusable delinquency. My new year’s resolution was to dust off the cobwebs and write to you beautiful people, so here I am! Better late then never...right? 

On second thought, don’t answer that.

So I’ve made some empty promises to a few of you. I’ve sworn to post in December in the spirit of Christmas. I’ve taunted you with promises of delicious recipes. It’s now February, so I can’t blame you for reading this with spite. Go ahead - close your browser  as many times as you need to...

Are you back? That feels better, right? Okay. Good.
Let’s move on from this lover’s quarrel, shall we?

So a lot has happened since the last time we ‘spoke’. I’ve gotten a promotion of sorts, the alignment on our car got destroyed, $600 later our car’s alignment got fixed, I’ve contracted and subsequently rid myself of baby fever, Husband got his grades back from the throws of Physics PhD insanity..and he nailed it, the post office will not be delivering mail on Saturdays anymore, a snow storm named after a fish decimated us with 2749827 inches of frozen terror (otherwise known as winter)...AND.....drumroll please........

WE GOT AN APARTMENT!!!!!!!!!! EXCLAMATION POINT PARTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

one more for good measure.. !

STAY CALM. This is not a drill, people. The Fryers will be moving out of my childhood bedroom. 

You know the scene in Harry Potter when he rides on a Hippogriff? 

If you answered “yes” - that is precisely how I feel! “WOOOOOOOOO!”
If you answered “no” - we aren’t friends anymore...just kidding...but seriously, get with it. 

So yeah, to sum it up - we feel awesome. 

We move on Saturday and luckily for us - all our stuff is still in boxes! BOOM. That’s what happens when your life resides in a storage unit. The downside is, I have no idea what the hell I own. Honestly. I recently asked Husband, “Do we have dishes?” He was not impressed with the fact that I had apparently blocked out the entire first chapter of our marriage throughout which we ate on our own dishes...oops.


During this hiatus, I’ve also experienced some less than stellar things...mostly of my own doing (what a shock). Without digging deep into the embarrassing details of my failings, suffice it to say that I’ve put my foot in my mouth more times than I care to admit. 
Somehow I feel like you’re giving me the deadpan “no kidding” face....

You are aren’t you? 

Yeah, well, I suppose no one who has known me for more than 5 minutes (the equivalent of 1 paragraph of blog reading) would be surprised by that admission. 

It’s strange being 20-something. 
On one hand, I’m all like...

“Yeah! I’m adult! Look at my student loans being all NOT delinquent and stuff! I wear hosery to work and make my own dentist appointments! I know what my credit score is!”

and then on the other hand, I’m like...

“Wah! I don’t know how to network without reverting to awkward laughter! I’m as good at filing taxes as I am at alchemy! What do you mean my selfishness and/or thoughtlessness is offending you?!”

If I’ve learned one thing through this past season of my life, it’s that I am not quite “there” yet. I mean, yes, I pay my own bills. I can vote. I can get into bars and rated R movies without a fake ID...but in a lot of ways I am still a gangly, loud-mouthed child. I do a lot of things that make zero sense. (How much sense, Fryer? This much.. 0) I speak without thinking. I laugh at things that are more cruel than funny. I sometimes revel in the failings of others to boost my own moral. I take too long to apologize....the list goes on.

And if you think I’m just doing that self-deprecating blogger thing again - just ask Husband. 
This ain’t no lie....“bye bye bye!”...yup. That just happened.

I couldn’t resist...I’m a child

The point is - even though I’m taking yet another big step into the world of grown-up life, I still have a lot to learn. After carelessly wounding a friend recently, I told her the name of this future blog post would be in her honor. However, through the long weeks it’s taken me to write it I have inevitably hurt many others. I’m not Vlad the Impaler or anything (Google him), but I am sharp tongued. So this post is dedicated to all you lovelies who I’ve treated less than such. It’s also dedicated to my future self. I’m sorry for giving you so many unpleasant, reflective memories of yourself, Lil.

So in keeping with today’s theme, I give you an ode to my heritage as a firey Italian (Irish, French & Native American) girl... Humble Pie. 

Or in this case, Humble Italian pie - the cousin of the famed pizza pie - Lasagna. (Yes, I hear you rejoicing that this is not another dessert....now, pipe down)

Step One: Get a huge a$$ bowl. (Did you guys like that stealthy and mature censorship?)

Step Two: Mix 2 rounded tablespoons minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, 1 - 2 eggs with 3 cups (or 4 if you really dig cheesy filling) cups cottage cheese (use 1 egg for full fat cottage and cheese and 2 eggs for low fat). Season with Italian spice as you wish.


Step Three: Thaw a bag of frozen organic broccoli or two bags of frozen organic spinach (yes, I am snooty enough to write organic twice) and chop em' up. Fold into cheese mixture.

Step Four: Spread some homemade marinara that has simmered for at least 4 hours onthe bottom of your stone or glass baking dish. ( jk friendz. You can absolutely use pasta sauce from a jar and I won't judge you...since that may or may not be what you see pictured below.)

Go ahead, judge me. 
Step Five: LAYER DAT LIKE A BOSS. Non-boil lasagna noodle, filling, tomato sauce, noodles, filling, tomato sauce, noodles, filling....you get by now, yes?

Layer # 1

Layer # 3784...or 6...whatevs

Step Six: Add some gratuitous cheese. 

Extra cheese: Not for the faint of heart.. or the lactose intolerant.
Step Seven: Cover that sucker with an aluminum foil tent, so your lovely layers can read ghost stories and stay up late...or just bake more efficiently.

Careful not to touch the foil to the cheese or you'll lose all that glorious dairy!

Step Eight: Bake for 50 minutes. Remove Foil. Bake for 15 more....waft the tastiness in the general direction of your nose holes...ew that didn't work out...nostrils. Let's call them nostrils.

There you have it. A humble pie. Simple ingredients. Easy preparation. 

Though, admittedly, coming to terms with flaws and interpersonal failings is not simple nor easy. Like this, and arguably any culinary conquest, the steps in that process are necessary and more than worthwhile. 

When it’s time to eat humble pie: pick yourself up, put on your big girl (or boy) pants (note: leggings are not pants, ladies), apologize, and grow. 

Remember that ‘bloom where you’re planted’ post? Well, this is the weeding part. Don’t use your growth to silently choke the beautiful gardenia next to you. Don’t cast a shadow on the blade of grass just poking through the dirt. Take all those toxic parts of yourself by the root and rip them up. It’ll be painful, but it’s worth it. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

HOT MESS-terpiece

I'm not very good at keeping in touch with people...even people I love a whole lot. I know this because: a) I'm very perceptive and sensitive to the aches of hearts I've left void of my wit, wisdom, and overall awesomeness. b) One very honest, world-traveling friend told me so. c) "a" was a lie.

It's not that I don't care. (I DO!! I care enough for multiple exclamation points!!!) I'm just not good at it. I'll forget to write you those old-school-super-cute-hand-written notes I promised, I'll get sucked into my own life ie: college, wedding planning, etc...and then I'll awkwardly attempt to post on your facebook wall....I'll sit there with my post in the box...

"HEY GIRL! It's been forever, huh? Miss you tons! How is everything?!"

...hmm over-zealous much? let's try it again, Fryer...and this time, try not to sound like you want to wear her skin for Halloween. 

"Hey ____. Hope everything is going well."

Ew...now you sound like a passive aggressive ex-girlfriend trying subtly tell them to choke on their frozen yogurt...hmmph. Oh well! Looks like I'll just wait until their birthday or assorted major holiday...

I happily stalk you from afar...and your birthday approaches...and I forget. Or I'm not on Facebook on your birthday and therefore have no idea that it actually happened. (What? Don't act like you have everyone's birthdays memorized. You don't. YOU. DON'T.)

But every once and a while in this InstaTwitterFace-a-fide world, you get to have real conversation with your "friends"....I mean friends. Sorry about the quotes, but do you really know 758 people? (No, you don't. YOU DON'T.)

On my way to a basic work-related errand, I ran into a dear friend (no quotes) who was victim to the aforementioned forgetfulness. We had been the best of friends for YEARS of our formative awkward phase. (And when I say our formative awkward phase - I'm referring to....mine). We danced, sang, acted, star gazed, sailed, and giddily talked about everything together and then....poof! Life gets weird. You go to different high schools, different colleges, live in different states, get married, and one day you see a profile picture and think - hey, I remember you! You were (and probably still are) awesome! Why did I let you slip away?! STEEELLLLLLLLAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!

Okay. You probably don't get that dramatic.
But I do.

So yeah, back to long-lost friend...we run into each other and immediately start talking a mile a minute about life/transition/puppies/cars/marriage....my brain says..

Hellz yeah.
We make plans to hang out that coming week.
And then it happens.

I get hit by a wall of weirdness. The kind that makes you feel like an alien invaded your body and you can't control your own limbs...well, no. It just makes you feel weird.

Did she think I looked okay?
Have I gained weight since the last time she saw me?
Did I come on too strong? She's going to think I have NO friends. (she'd be right-ish)
What should I wear? Does this blazer say "I have my ish together?"
Ah! This is a double date? Oh crap, I have to coach Husband on what to say/not say. Awkward dance moves, freakish love of Ina Garten, cartoon voice (don't ask), and falling asleep to the Food Network without brushing my teeth are off limits. Focus on my new car. Yeah, that's a selling point. Who doesn't want a friend with a kick-ass new whip?! BOOM!

Ew. I hate myself. I'm going to cancel.

...NO! I can't! I'm an adult!

Does ANY of this ring any bells? Not even Notre Dame status. I'll take a jingle bell. Anyone?
Why do we play this game? We're all a bunch of hot messes. Can I get an "Amen" from all my 20-something peoples?

Yeah, I could hear the roar all the way on my side of the internet.

It's true.

We're perfectly happy to proclaim it to the world via ironic memes (old folks, google that term), but when we really need to project who we are to the world most of us try our best to create a shiny-perfectly-intact-responsible-pulled-together-adult shell.

Well, that got me thinking about one of my absolute favorite desserts. (ANOTHER DESSERT, LILY?? yes friends, another dessert. deal.)

Let me introduce you to trifle. Not English trifle with freaky fruit gel and sprinkles, but a sticky sweet good ol' American trifle. You guys, do you know what trifle is?

Yeah, I just yelled in your face a little. Sorry.

But seriously, this dessert is you. It's layered. It changes depending on who's making it. It's full of completely different textures. It's a mess really. However, somehow it still looks gorgeous. But how, Lily?! Welp, wanna learn a lesson from a conglomeration of ripped up cake, pudding, and fruit? ...yeah you do...

Peaches and Cream Trifle

Step One: Bake a vanilla cake. Yeah, that's all I'm giving you....vague much? Well here's the thing...since I've got a big girl job now (booya! more on that soon) I don't have as much energy to make all da thangs from scratch, so a boxed cake mix will do as long as it's not Betty Crapper Crocker....What's that you say? I used a box cake mix BEFORE I got this new job?...well, in that case, in the spirit of tradition feel free to use a boxed cake mix. Bake it according to the directions and let it cool.

Step Two: While your cake is cooling, put a metal mixing bowl in the freezer (this will eventually make sense...and for those of you who know me...it already does) and cook up some instant or not-so-instant vanilla pudding. Yep, this recipe just gets more and more difficult.

Step Three: After all the hard work, you'll need to be mentally prepared for this one...Wash 6 peaches. Don't break out in hives now, folks. Pace yourselves. Then slice them into 1/4 inch (ish) wedges.
This is how far past season I am...(fail)
Step Four: Throw sliced peaches into a large shallow saucepan with 4 tablespoons beet sugar. (or regular white sugar if you must). Cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat until they are softened and simmering in their own juice. Remove from heat.

Step Five: Remember that mixing bowl? Grab that sucker and pour in some whipping cream. Mhmm - it's WHIPPED CREAM TIME, BABIES! I use a whole quart - DUH. Whip it into oblivion with an electric mixer and add a half a teaspoon of cinnamon. Stop beating when stiff peaks form..or else you'll get butter. And last time I checked eating a pile of butter on top of your dessert wasn't socially acceptable. (If I'm mistaken, someone please tell me, cause I'm IN)

Step Six: Cut your cake in half across the top, thus making it thinner. Cube it from there.

Thanks, box!
Step Seven: Layer cake in the bottom. Follow by a layer of peaches, pudding, cake, peaches, pudding, cake, peaches, and ALL THE WHIPPED CREAM!

Step Eight: Take like a bazillion pics of this thing - cause DIS BE NICE LOOKIN'!  Eat. Eat. Eat.

Behold, one of the most beautiful desserts around made from ripped up chunks of cake, instant pudding, and assorted shortcuts...And the here's the thing - it's just as delicious as it is beautiful despite all the hidden craziness.

So after making this, I got less nervous/dumb. No one has it all together. If they say they do, they are 1) Lying 2) Completely out of touch 3) Beyonce (girl has got is going ON)

There you have it friendys. Let your shortcuts, weirdness, and ripped up bits shape you into something beautiful. People will love you for it.
...Or at least I will. xo

Monday, July 30, 2012

Simple Sauce

Full disclosure:

This blog will not give you a recipe to Ed's secret sauce (ie: Good Burger - one of the best Nickelodeon movies ever), beurre blanc, or well....any sauce.

There will be no sauce here....Unless you count whipped cream...

...which I ALWAYS DO.

So yeah, anyways...Let us turn our attention to that first word rather than the fact that I compulsively add the word sauce onto things purely for emphasis.


In some regards, I am damn good at simple.

For example, I find complete and utter joy in watching Iron Chef America in bed while playing cards with Husband. (and no, "playing cards" is not code for anything creepy...you guys are weirdos.) I can regularly be found in line at the only my favorite bagel place in Bangor quivering with joy upon ordering a lemonade. (peoplez, i LUVS da lemonadez...srsly) Fresh flowers cut from our family garden bring me to tears. Well, not really....actually not at all. But I do really dig em! (gardening pun?...yikes) I could be completely content with a bowl of coconut pudding with a dollop  smothered in whipped cream.

You get the idea.

However, there are some aspects of this simplicity thing that I just cannot wrap my head around. One of them being people that only have 3  5  10 15 pairs of shoes. I mean, I'm on a budget, but when I find a pair of $7 designer shoes (yes, this does happen in Maine...it just happened yesterday actually...twice) how can you say no?!

Meh...that one I'll never understand and I'm not going to try.
Don't try to convince me...Seriously, I'm dedicated to my shoes....Don't mess with me in the comments section...or I'll bake an effigy cake of you for my next blog. (I probably won't, but that wouldn't be kinda cool?...and sick?...and awesome?)

Wow...ADD today, huh? The day you're writing the "Simplicity" blog, huh Fryer? Figures.

The simple I'm worst at is what I'll dub 'the weekend kind.'
You know.

You finally get home on Friday afternoon. Your work week was "crazy" (like everyone always says theirs was - even if they work reading books to plants in a zen garden). You're tired. Your feet hurt from those $7 designer shoes you just couldn't put down. So what do you do? Relax with a glass of wine out on your deck? Take a long bath and read Vogue? Change into sweats and start a Lord of The Rings marathon with your other nerdy girlfriends? Well, if you do the latter, please invite me. Not only am I an avid nerd and psychotic fan of Tolkien, but chances are I'm not being so wise with my limited leisure time.

You'll probably find me hastily running errands, changing into my gym (here "gym" is a loose term meaning living room Netflix workout or ...sidewalk) clothes at lightning speed, working out, making plans that don't need to be made, organizing my closet, and overall ruining my weekend from the get-go.

Even my weekend "fun" is usually type-A-over-achieving-annoying. I plan things out. If I'm sitting still for more than the length of a Parks and Rec episode, I'm "wasting time". I'm idle. I'm useless! MUST. ACCOMPLISH. ALL. THE. THINGS!!!!

Yeah, I spiral pretty quickly.

So this weekend, I once again had grand plans to get up at 6, be on the road by 7, drive 2 hours to the beach with Husband, come back that night, work out (yeah...right), church Sunday morning, cook, blog, work out, movies, cleaning, make cookies, etc...sickening, I know..

No, I'm not trying to sound cool and superhero-y. My point is, this is a terrible way to live. Scheduled fun? What am I a Hogwarts student getting an advanced permission slip to grab a butter beer with my friends?! (I wish.) But anyhooo (ah! Harry Potter owl pun! they. just. don't. stop.)

For realzy, I'm not good at the relaxation thing. I blame my super-multi-tasking-epic-Jeni-Cat. She is constantly getting the thangs done! Amazing! I'm sure watching her be incredible has influenced me in some way...Also, she's my mom, so I'll just go with the general psychological consensus and blame her like everyone else....

Nah...It's my fault. I fall victim to restless-life-syndrome far too often. Why can't we just be okay with the fact that at this very moment we're all relatively okay? Instead of trying to make your Facebook page a mecca of all things awesome that you apparently do or always answering "how are you?" with "oh my gosh, SO busy, but GREAT!" - just stop it already.

Busy does not = great.

We know you're a phony. We know because, like the saying goes, "it takes one to know one."
Calm it down.

That's what I told myself this weekend. So what did I do off my list? LITERALLY NOTHING.
......except make cookies...obviously

So instead of bringing you some intricate recipe I slaved over - Here is a simple recipe for a simple dessert. A tart.

What's more simple than defaulting to the namesake of this blog for a tasty and easy treat? You won't need to stir for hours. You won't need to shop forever at the grocery store. You won't need to plan this out for days and read through the directions 5 times. You can come home on Friday, throw on your sweats, pour some red wine, and make this with your Honey or your nerdy girlfriends. They'll appreciate it and they'll appreciate you for putting an end to your darn obsessiveness. Simple Sauce.

Sugar Cookie Fruit Tarts

Step One: Combine 2 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt

Step Two: In a separate bowl, beat 1 cup sugar, 10 tablespoons softened butter (no one said simply meant healthy, folks)

Step Three: Add 1 1/2  teaspoons vanilla and 2 egg whites. And as Michael would say, "Beat it"

Step Four: Slowly add dry mix, beating on low until combined. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour. (Relax, start a movie, play a board game, compose a poem describing your love of sugar cookie dough, whatever....but if you do write an ode to sugar cookie dough, I expect to see it in the comments)

Step Five: Remove dough from fridge. Mold dough into mini tart pans. Simple.


Step Six: Bake at 350 for about 20-30 minutes depending on how crunchy you like your tart crust. I err on the side of 20.
Try not to eat the dough...or at least don't eat all of it

Step Seven: Remove baked tart shells and fill with your choice of fruit. I chose fresh Maine blueberries (DUH) and strawberries we picked ourselves (DOUBLE DUH). Cover with either ice cream or whipped cream (UH...IS THERE A TRIPLE DUH?) ..or both..

207 where you at!?

Fun Fact: That's homemade ice cream...another day another blog for that one

Mhmm, that's a tart after my own heart.

There you have it, crazy kids. Do away with your lists for a change. Stop attempting to learn Mandarian in your car between appointments. Stop making mandatory, but unwanted playdates for yourself like an over-involved mama. Stop chasing this intangible and unhealthy ideal of all we must do and be. Take your weekend and oh, I don't know...STOP WORKING.

Take a bike ride (or rollerblade if you're one of those ironic types, or a child of the 70s, or Husband who just genuinely loves rollerblading). Write a letter - not a text - to that friend you haven't seen in months. Or give up entirely on your plans to "accomplish" fun and just have it. Have a laugh with a friend. Have a double scoop of ice cream and don't think about working it off. Or....Have a Star Wars marathon with your entire family as you eat a bucket of Sour Patch Watermelon candies.
Worked for me.