Goodbye, Old-Ass Year

I figured I would make my final recipe post for 2016 – wait – 2017, my most complex one yet.

Okay, I hope you’re all done laughing now. I would never ever ruin a good year of coming up with half-assed recipes with a decent one. I would never ruin things, like Serafina always does. Like when she puts wine into recipes instead of drinking it. I will never understand such monsters.

So if you’re done with the old year and have given up in hopes that somehow changing a ‘7’ to an ‘8’ will somehow make your life better, well, my recipe this week won’t get in the way of that. It’s very self-loathing positive. Also, if you are snowed in or something, it uses very few ingredients, and you may have some lying around, or you can just make something else.

Whatever, I’m already drunk for NYE so I don’t care.

Mary Ellen’s fancy rice recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup veggie of choice (I used shelled edamame)
  • Salt to taste
  • Hummus as needed (optional)

Directions:

Cook up rice in a rice cooker because who the hell actually makes it on a stove. Steam vegetables, then mix all together with oil and sprinkling of salt. I enjoy mine with hummus, but I bet ranch dressing would also work.

Now go make some drunken mistakes with camera phones this NYE.

Mary Ellen

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Vegetarian Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

I’ve talked to you all about how my boyfriend and I basically don’t eat any of the same foods. Because it wasn’t already hard enough to live and share a kitchen with a man-person, he also had to go and be a fucking meat eater.

Anyway, it was his birthday recently, and like any good girlfriend, I made his favorite meal. Now technically speaking, his favorite food is grilled dead cow or some shit, so I actually made his favorite vegetarian meal. The good news: it’s been so long since he’s had shepherd’s pie with meat that he thinks the vegetarian version is just as good. There isn’t any bad news. There wasn’t a reason for me to frame it like that.

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See the parts that are black, not brown? Yeah, try setting a timer. Or, like, staying in the general kitchen area instead of going to the backyard to sing your chickens lullabies.

This dish is a mash up of a bunch of lentil shepherds pie recipes, and unlike most of the shit I share on this blog, I actually cook this a lot so it doesn’t suck.

Oh, wait, I just thought of the bad news. I don’t measure things when I cook. I’ve tried to change my ways but it messes up the flow. So, everything in this recipe is an estimate. The second bad news: I didn’t actually make the gravy because my mushrooms smelled bad and I threw threw them in the compost. But I’m linking a gravy recipe that looks like it might taste good for vegetarian gravy….

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Those mushrooms looked like they were going to be totally fine, then I removed the cling wrap and almost died from the smell. I don’t know why I included them in this picture. It just prolonged my suffering.

Ingredients

1½ c veggie broth (1 ½ c water for 1 bouillon cube)

1 tbsp  dry red wine (optional)

1 tbsp tomato paste

1 tbsp flour

Veggies (2-4 cups cut into small pieces)

Options include:

-Celery

-Parsnips

-Carrots

-Sweet potato

-Acorn Squash

-Peas

2 c lentils (1/2 c dry green lentils)

3-4 potatoes

Butter

Salt and pepper

Herbs de province

Garlic powder

Olive oil

Directions

Cook potatoes and mash

Cook lentils with 2 cups water (add water as needed)

Mix the sauce by combining vegetable broth, tomato paste, wine and flour.

Sauté the veggies with oil, herbs de province and garlic powder for about 6 minutes until a little bit soft

Add the sauce and lentils to the vegetable mix and simmer for a few minutes

Pour the lentil and veggie mix into the bottom of the pan

Scoop potatoes onto the veggies and lentils in small portions and even out with a fork

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes

Broil for 5 minutes if potatoes are not yet brown on top (I also don’t set timers which may or may not be related to the shepherd’s pie getting a teensy bit more burned than it was supposed to)

For the gravy, you can try a package of mushroom gravy which comes out rather gross. Or you can try this recipe which is what I tried to do. Or you can do what I actually did which was to make a rue out of butter and flour and veggie broth, then just add dash of garlic powder, some more veggie broth if needed, and salt and pepper.

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May you find many other common meals with your significant other so you don’t have to order Indian food every fucking night.

-Serafina

Baby it’s Cold Outside. Or Warm, Depending on Where You Live I Guess

I’m not gonna lie, I wasn’t prepared for this week. Chalk it up to me coming down with the man flu or something. Also, it’s cold as hell where I live, but no snow (figure out where I live, you weather snoopers!). Also, I hate the expression “cold as hell” because I thought hell was hot, so am I being ironic and it’s not actually cold here? Even I don’t know, so I guess I can go ahead and wear shorts today.

I have been beyond unmotivated these last 20 years, and I doubt that will change in the next 20, loveliest readers. However, I’m dusting off my nice camera and picking up some more projects after the holidays, which means I’ll be putting those off and writing on here instead. Count yourselves lucky because you’ll be getting some quality content from me.

That day isn’t today though.

However, to keep things festive, I used sweet potatoes. I eat these a lot because I tell myself they are healthier than regular potatoes, which I also eat, but I’ll never tell you about it.

This recipe is easy, kind of healthy, vaguely filling, and vegan, so you can have all the bragging rights of every other asshole health nut out there that is bothering you to eat healthy.

Mary Ellen’s Sweet Potato Fiesta!

(This feeds two people)

Ingredients:

  • 2 baked sweet potatoes
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup preferred salsa
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander

Directions:

Cut sweet potatoes in half long ways and slice up the insides to break it open. Heat the rinsed beans until hot in the microwave and add the other ingredients. Spoon on potatoes. Enjoy the rest of your night or go to bed early.

It looks gross.

It looks gross.

The internets is my bae,

Mary Ellen

Self Care

I’m gonna get real with you guys for just a sec here. My life’s been a little chaotic balancing school, work, relationships, and chicken motherhood. Fortunately, I’ve been very thoughtful about how to best cope in times of stress and I have some really wonderful insights that I think will help all of you. I know I’m not the only one who gets stressed around the holidays!

1.Take some time every day to give your loved ones some much needed attention.

Our romantic relationships are easily strained during times of stress. I find it helpful to have little environmental reminders to shower my boyfriend with affection. For example, when I find a coffee cup left half full on the table from yesterday, I don’t just ignore it. I go right up to my boyfriend and throw the old coffee on his shoes. Don’t be deterred by his confusion and demands that the coffee cup was left out by you, not him. He noticed that you noticed, and he appreciated the loving gesture.

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Don’t let him get the upper hand when he pretends to be upset about his shoes, he’s just trying to trick you into taking his side.

2. Nourish your body with healthful foods.

I’ve written about this before, but it’s so important to lovingly give our brains and bodies the nourishment they need. I always reach for healthful, whole foods in times of increased stress.

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These gummy fruit candies are healthy because they are shaped like fruit, vegan, and they don’t have corn syrup. Corn syrup is poison, but fruit shaped things are quite healthy. All the scientists probably say so.

3. Experience nature as often as possible.

Is it 20 degrees where you are? Maybe 70 because of global warming? It doesn’t matter. Go outside and get some sunshine on your skin. Your body needs vitamin D. If you have to choose between getting vitamin D naturally and getting frostbite, go with the latter. Vitamin D is too important to just get from a supplement, you need the real thing.

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Who even knows what they put in supplements. Or pharmaceuticals. Or the water supply. Don’t trust anything, ever.

4. Take some “me” time.

So you haven’t slept in two days and you’re boyfriend’s pissed at you for dumping old coffee on his shoes? Life happens. It’s time to put aside your obligations, lock your boyfriend out of the house, ignore that deadline that passed four hours ago and take a nice soothing bath with a bottle of wine.

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You can pour it in a glass if you’re feeling like you need to be extra fancy, but make sure you drink the whole bottle otherwise it will go bad and then you’ll feel terrible for being wasteful.

Be good to yourselves,

Serafina