Building Walls from Your Neighbors

You guys, I’ve really turned over a new leaf with the coming of spring.  I eat an entirely CLEAN diet now, and I must say, I really do feel like I’m better than all of you.  Clean eating really does change your life.  For instance, as I write this post, I’m basking in the natural sunlight of my bay window while munching on veggie straws and drinking elderflower and rose lemonade.  An entirely plant based snack.

 

Today I’d like to talk about how to build more barriers from your neighbors’ prying eyes. Really, the title should be natural barriers, since I’m doing everything natural now.

 

I have giant windows on the front of my house and while it’s great for natural light, I also feel like I live in a fishbowl.  Do you know how awkward it is to make eye contact with your neighbors when they walk by?  I have to smile and wave even though I’m busy vacuuming the house naked.  Sure, I’ve become accustomed to being watched in all my waking hours, and I don’t want to lose all that kinkiness, so that’s why I’m going about this in a complicated way instead of just shutting the blinds.

 

I decided to hang my herb garden in individual pots in front of my kitchen window, so the neighbors will have to work harder to see boob.  I used different pots for each one and rope hangers so I can get that boho chic look.  Remember, if you do it right, the hippie look will be 1000% more expensive than the bullshit country cottage kitchen.

 

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It took a while to find so many different pots, and they basically took up my entire table with dirt for like a week while I decided what to do with them.

I did an herb garden, but I guess you could do flowers.  These get full sunlight for part of the day.  These also came with attached dishes so I don’t get dirt water everywhere.

 

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I made these by hand.  Just kidding, I bought them on Amazon.  If I could buy my soul on Amazon I would, but unfortunately there is no Prime option with it.

Get hangers for the pots.  I used these, because I want to look like I am all natural and shit.

 

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Here’s an artsy shot with shadows and stuff.  It’s also part of the process. 

Get someone to hang them for you.  I guess you could hang them yourselves, but I don’t know why?

 

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Before: full boob view
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After: better lighting and also an obscured boob view

 

Cheers to a room with a boob view,

 

Mary Ellen

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Cinnamon Rolls

Remember how I said I was worried my boyfriend was going gluten free? Well don’t worry, I decided to disregard his dietary restrictions and make these cinnamon rolls. And now he’s no longer interested in being GF. Don’t look at me like that, I’m a good person. It’s not like he has Celiac’s or anything (probably).

Anyway, my new goal in life is to stop eating vegetables and eat only sugar. My biggest hurdle so far is the horrific GI distress that ensues after eating all the pastries and then I turn back to my horrible, disgusting salad eating habit. I know, I know. I’m working on it. I’m kidding of course about the all-sugar diet. This weekend I ate a strict diet of Chipotle and frozen food from Costco. I’m the picture of health.

Anyway, to work on my #healthfoodgoals I used half whole wheat flour here. All whole wheat is too much, but you can get away with half without worrying that you accidentally had some fiber with your breakfast.

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You’re going to wonder if that is enough butter and sugar on top of the dough. There’s never really enough, but this amount is good enough

Ingredients

3/4 cup flour

¾ whole wheat flour

2 tsp sugar

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

2/3 c unsweetened almond milk (or, like, regular milk)

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

6 tbsp melted butter, divided

½ cup brown sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

For the glaze

About 2 tbsp each: melted butter, brown sugar, and unsweetened almond milk

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You don’t have to pull out a ruler to cut your cinnamon rolls unless you are really unable to tolerate the inevitable height disparity

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375°

Spray a muffin pan with oil

Combine the flour, white sugar, baking soda and powder, and salt in a large bowl.

In a smaller bowl, mix the almond milk, vinegar, and 4 tbsp butter.

Add the milk mixture to the flower mixture

Roll out with a lot of flour on the counter (seriously, use a shitload of flour or you’ll cry when your dough is stuck to the counter).

Mix the melted butter with the brown sugar and the cinnamon and then smear all over the dough.

Roll it up, then cut into 8 or 9 even pieces. Place each piece in a muffin slot. Honestly, this would probably work with just a regular cookie sheet, but give them a little room to expand.

Bake for about 15 minutes

Make glaze by melting together more butter, brown sugar, and almond milk. Glaze cinnamon rolls.

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The glaze is mostly clear, but it’s still necessary. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not contributing.

Try not to eat too many salads in between your cinnamon rolls

-Serafina

Vegan Chili and Love

Winter is throwing its last tantrum before it will suddenly become spring and we will no longer talk about how much winter has been a bitch where I live.  I can’t always just get drunk to drown my sorrows, so I made chili.

 

I’m just kidding, of course I got drunk too.

 

This week has been incredibly hectic because, after 20 years, I finally finished that k-drama I started.  It was horrible. I lost so many hours to those beautiful men, wasted away my youth, and literally nothing in the show up until the end mattered.  Nothing.  It was just a bunch of random stuff and then they realized they should probably just end it and then they did.  It was beautiful.

 

Sorry, I’m still drunk.

 

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An actual picture of me feeling tied to this show and not knowing how the hell I will get out of it but being inappropriately well dressed for the occasion. 

 

To say that I phoned it in with this week’s blog would be an understatement.  I had been planning this recipe for about a month.  I took one picture.  Here it is:

 

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It’s not even a good one.  I took it with my phone because I was tired and didn’t want to walk into the next room to get my camera, which was fully charged and ready.

 

Anyway, I adapted a Betty Crocker slow cooker chili recipe to be vegan.  It retains all the flavor of the meat infused one, but is a lot healthier in the sense that I didn’t have to go out and buy extra cans of chili beans because I didn’t want to go shopping.  I also just cooked it on the stove top, but I would recommend putting it in a slow cooker for 8 hours to really get the recipe correct.

 

Slow Cooker Vegan Chili to Replace your Housemate on a Cold Night (adapted from Betty Crocker)

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion (or use onion powder like I did because you don’t have an onion)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced (again… powder works too)
  • 1 28oz can diced tomatoes (or 2 smaller cans)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can pinto or kidney beans, drained and rinsed (use whatever you have on hand because that’s what I did)
  • 1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed
  • 4 cups frozen and cubed butternut squash (I used a small baby bag from a giant mommy bag from Costco)
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 2 TBSP chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

 

Directions:

If you’re using real onion and garlic, sauté those in a pan with a teaspoon of oil for a few minutes until translucent.  Otherwise, add all the ingredients to the slow cooker, stir, and set to cook on low for 8 hours.  Eat with crackers and Beano.

 

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I finished off with vegan cupcakes and canned wine, because I’m classy and better than Martha Stewart.

 

There was no love in this post so I guess the title was a lie.  But now you can make lazy chili.

 

Everyone was related in the show,

Mary Ellen

 

Meal prepping like you have your life together

My dear readers, last night, as I finished a paper several hours ahead of schedule, I was feeling incredibly impressed with myself. After contemplating what I would be able to do for the rest of the evening, it dawned on me that the next day was my day to post and I had nothing prepared. You see, Mary Ellen and I have shown you all that we are “with it” ladies of the go-go 90’s, and you know we wouldn’t misrepresent ourselves. We have published volumes on time management and avoiding the perils of procrastination. And yet, there I was with nothing for you fine readers.

PSYCHE! I have an obscene amount of posts that I prepared at various times when I was avoiding writing papers, just in case there was ever a day when I wrote my papers over my blog posts. While I’m deeply ashamed and remorseful that day finally came, I am grateful for my past self who had her priorities in line. I promise I’ll get my shit together soon and take more pictures of gummy bears to inspire your healthy eating habits!

Let’s get to talking about meal prep. Now, I’ve read a lot about meal prep on other blogs. All the internet bitches are super into it (I’m using “bitches” in a gender-neutral sense here, so it’s not a hate crime). They say all this shit about how it’s “cheaper” and “healthier” than whatever the alternative is, but it’s really just a way to justify buying tons of glass containers off Amazon. Well, it’s time I joined them. And since we’re being thoughtful about our meals for the rest of the week, we want to make sure we are nourishing our minds, bodies, souls, and also being stewards to the planet. Let’s make a frozen pizza!

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Make sure you pick up some bulk Lactaid while you’re stocking up on pizza, you’re going to need it.

So you can see here that I have purchased this frozen cheese pizza from Costco. I used to buy the organic frozen pizzas from Costco, but since becoming an impoverished professional student, I switched to the normal, more economical convenience foods. The good news is that what this pizza lacks in fanciness and flavor, it makes up in calorie density!

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In order to ensure that this sumptuous feast will feed me for days of school and work, I have purchased some completely unnecessary glass containers and placed pizza in each container. I’m sure this would not have worked if I used the tupperware I already owned.

I know what you’re thinking: what the fuck was that first picture with the green rice and chickpeas? Well, it was a legitimately good meal that took fucking forever to cook, so I don’t plan on making it again anytime soon. But it was really good so I’ll link it for you out of the kindness of my heart. Read that recipe and then go stock up on frozen pizza.

In health and wellness,

-Serafina

 

Vegan Pancakes and Hash for Your Soul

Yes I know.  I’ve been cooking.  Honestly, a person can only get so much therapeutic benefits from an Irish health smoothie before they have to clean up their life.  That person might be me.

 

This week’s recipe is one that even Serafina’s vegetarian ass can get behind.  It’s healthy, wholesome (unlike your mom), meat and dairy free, and also guilt free, so you can shove all these things in everyone’s faces at the next family get together.  There’s no reason Easter also can’t be a holiday that families fight about food ethics.  We can do better.  Insert your jabs about Trump’s policies on deporting all vegetables from his plate, or how Bernie wouldn’t be such a commie if he’s stop enslaving cows.  There you go, I provided topics for next year to get past all that awkward “weather” talk.

 

I was inspired to create these recipes to try and get my toddler to eat something with nutritional value.  It didn’t work on him, but it did work on my husband so it’s a soft win.  This also satisfies both team sweet and savory at the breakfast table.

 

For the Hash:

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I am slow to prep veggies, so I put it all in together, and no one died because I didn’t cook down the onions first.  

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 lbs yellow potatoes, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 TBSP fresh dill
  • Herbamare to taste
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Oh wait, no I died a little inside but there’s no evidence it was because of the onions.

Directions:

Heat olive oil on medium heat.  Add the potatoes, pepper, garlic, and onion to the pan and sauté until the potatoes are fork tender.  Mash up the chickpeas and add to the pan, as well as the nutritional yeast and dill, and cook until the chickpeas are heated.  Season to taste.  Burn a little bit to the pan.

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Serve with salsa or hot sauce or whatever.  I chose salsa.  I guess I should have included it in the ingredients list.  Too late now.

 

For the Pancakes:

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OMG it seriously is hard to take these dripping batter pictures.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw buckwheat groats, ground to a powder
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 3/4 – 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 TBSP maple syrup
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It surprisingly fluffs up, despite the lack of eggs.

Directions:

Whisk the dry ingredients together in a big bowl.  Add the wet ingredients and whisk until smooth.  You don’t need to whisk wet separately, and you need the batter smooth, no clumps.  Let it rest for a few minutes before you griddle it up.

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This was my personal plate.
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Tried to take another drizzle pic, failed even harder.  This is homemade cashew cream to keep with the vegan theme.

I don’t know how to end this post, but I want to go eat pudding now, so I’ll just do it awkwardly.

 

Mary Ellen