Self-care in the Caribbean 

Sorry my post is late, but I am currently in the Caribbean and did not calculate the time change correctly. Plus, I don’t even know what day it is. Ever. 

When I looked into the mirror last week, I was incredibly disappointed in the way I looked. Ugly is too kind a word. I can’t believe Annie hasn’t filed for divorce yet, though he’s been suspiciously googling lawyers lately. 

I’m sorry you are about to see some disturbing photos.

I decided to take a trip to the Caribbean for some self care / #treatyoself time. 

I couldn’t even manage a smile in this picture. My hair lost its sheen, and my skin was terribly broken out that I couldn’t even hide it with makeup.

I left for the red eye immediately.  I didn’t even buy a plane ticket or make plans beforehand, or actually even tell Annie. He will find out if he reads this post because I also forgot my phone and underwear so I bought both at the airport. 

The beach was amazing. It wasn’t a nude beach but I still was naked the entire time.

It wasn’t just the change of scenery that was rejuvenating. My body also needed a cleansing so I make sure to only consume high grade alcohols and I sweat out the toxins when I drunkedly ran the beach trying to find my tour guide. It was spiritual. 

As for my skin? I felt that wearing a charcoal mask for the majority of the time was effective. 

There are toxins in your eyeballs and teeth too, so don’t skimp on the mask in those areas.

All in all, the trip has been a success. I’ll be heading home in about three months I think. 

Maybe it’s just because I brushed my hair but I look amazing now.

Next time I’ll share a healthy recipe to heal your toxic shit body too. 

Me and my tour guide, Nathan.

That guy isn’t Spock, 
Mary Ellen 

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I Don’t Know How to Make BibimBap 

But I tried anyway. 

And I’ll do it again! 

I think this dish is trendy around where I used to live, because it was advertised everywhere. I never looked into it until quite recently, when I decided my lazy stir frys were boring and stupid and I just couldn’t handle any more soy sauce rice at that moment. You can tell by how eloquently I speak about food that I’m incredibly cultured, and have tasted the finer things in life. 

I was also inspired by the egg rice battle that I temporarily had with Serafina on the blog, and technically this counts because it has rice and eggs. 

[Warning: I’m talking out of my ass]  Traditionally, this dish can be made to order in a hot stone bowl, which helps cook the raw egg, possibly the raw meat, and it crisps up the rice. I don’t have these materials or skills, so this is the lazy white girl version. If you listen to kpop or watch kdramas while making it, it enhances the flavors and spices and helps compensate around 30% for the fact you’re not a Korean grandmother. 

BibimBap (adapted clunkily from My Korean Kitchen)



Ingredients:

  • Vegetables (I used a combination of fresh and frozen, including a julienned carrot)
  • 4oz ground beef 
  • Meat sauce (from the My Korean Kitchen blog) 
  • Gochujang sauce (from the other blog, seriously, you need to get the recipe there I’m lazy) 
  • Rice (I used brown rice) 
  • A fried egg per person
  • Sesame seeds
  • Seaweed
  • Sesame oil
  • Vinegar (I used rice vinegar) 
  • Rice bran oil
  • Sugar, both brown and regular 
  • Minced garlic (I just used some from a jar) 

Directions: 



I couldn’t find toasted sesame seeds so I toasted some myself, like a homesteader.



Make up the meat sauce and marinate the beef with it while you work. This took my three hours because I got distracted and had to change poopy diapers and do other things equally exciting. Also make up the BibimBap sauce. 

In case you needed to see what gochujang is, because I didn’t know, and my choices are limited in my town.
Legit the first time I’ve used this since I bought it a few years ago.

Prep the vegetables, whatever that might entail. I didn’t do much. I sautéed some frozen stir fry with oil and salt, and julienned a carrot. I did not cook the carrot because I wanted a fresh crunch to the dish. I also sliced up the seaweed. 

Here are vegetables.
The product I used is a Korean product according to the package, making it authentic as hell.

Cook the beef, assemble the bowls with the rice and lay out the vegetables in a pretty way. Top with a fried egg and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, and drizzle with the sauce. I did not use raw meat or egg because I’m a coward and I would probably kill myself with food poisoning. 

I do not have bowls appropriate for this dish. I made a huge mess.

 

Maybe it’s because I’m a badass, but I didn’t think the sauce was that spicy, and loved it so much. It was only enough for two people in my opinion. Same with the beef. And I used a ton of vegetables. This is why I’m fat. 

I hope this inspires you to try and create your own BibimBap masterpiece. 

Always read the comment section,
Mary Ellen 

Southern Style Tomato Sandwiches and How to Make Simple Dishes Fancy

I didn’t want to do another Saturday post, but here we are nonetheless. It’s no excuse, but I’ve been busy working on my heavy metal jazz infusion album, which drops this coming week. So, now that that’s out of the way, I should have a much less hectic schedule. 

When I was growing up, my dad used to make us tomato sandwiches for lunch on the weekends. I loved them. I assumed he made them because we were so poor and couldn’t afford ingredients and also that he was lazy. But it turns out, that it was actually a southern thing I was unaware of until recently. 
The recipe is easy: bread, tomato, mayo. That’s it. I’m sure you can figure out how those come together, but I’ll write down the recipe just in case. 

And I’m going to make it fancy and pretentious. 

There are a few simple rules to make any dish fancy. First, add butter. It doesn’t matter what it is, just add a lot of butter to the dish. Second, buy oddly shaped, expensive baked goods with a French name. And finally, make sure you add in at least seven extra steps to your dish to make it more complicated. It doesn’t matter if they’re unnecessary. Just do it. 

Tl;dr – get all ingredients at Whole Foods and speak in a French accent while you cook. 

The traditional recipe calls for Wonder Bread, whatever tomatoes are on sale, and generic fake mayo. We can only go up from here, people. 

Mary Ellen’s Tomato Sandwiches to Make You Feel Sorry for Her Childood:

Bonus: use vegan mayo to give it the extra “in your face” pretentiousness we all crave.

Ingredients:

  • Mayo
  • Heirloom tomatoes
  • Fancy bread
  • Lettuce*****
  • Salt
  • Butter

Directions:

Cut the fancy bread with a chef’s knife because you don’t have a bread knife.



Melt butter in an iron skillet. No, none of this is negotiable. Go out and buy all these things. What? You want to just toast the bread in a toaster? Wtf is wrong with you? You toast the bread in the skillet!

You will become french toast later, my prettys.

Slice some tomato. Apply mayo to bread. Yes, I know, butter AND mayo? Isn’t that too much? Yes, but so what. Lightly salt the tomato with pink Himalayan salt. Lay down some lettuce. Put in mouth. 

This is what a sandwich looks like. Serve with whimsically cubed watermelon.

Make sure to buy my album. I will sign all digital copies, but only if you promise not to sell them on eBay. 

Music is lyfe,

Mary Ellen 

*****Editor’s note: don’t use whatever bullshit lettuce Mary Ellen used. It’s iceberg or bust if you want the satisfying crunch. 

Guide to a Happy Marriage (actually I’m just going to make sex jokes) 

Yesterday, Annie and I celebrated our five year anniversary, so sorry the post is a day late. I was too busy having celebratory sex all day. Just kidding. I’m married and have a one year old, so we were both sick with the plague again, after less than two weeks of health. 

We just watched kpop videos until the late hour of 9pm, then went to bed. This is basically the secret spice to our life.
No one has ever asked us about the secret to our happy marriage, which kind of makes me a little resentful. How can I be smug as hell about it when no one asks? How can I bring it up in daily conversation, unprovoked? 

A lot of Mormon mom blogs out there have very nice lists to a happy marriage. Usually the lists consist of having sex whenever your husband wants, and praying to Jesus. I can’t really argue with those list items, I suppose, because they really do go hand in hand. But what about the rest of us, who really just phone it in on a daily basis with, basically everything, until the point where our lives become a shit show? 

Just like how I’m writing this post on the fly, with no forethought, because all my other planned posts will take too much effort and right now I’d really like to take a nap, that’s how I approach marriage. Sure, sometimes I plan things out. I waxed my legs recently. Sometimes I plan dinner in advance. But usually, my marriage is like an improve show, and the audience is throwing up the weirdest shit ever and we just have to say yes to it all in order to not get booed off the stage. There is no Emcee monitoring it, so it gets chaotic. 

I’m so fucking deep. You guys are writing this all down, right? 

We’re always a mess. *giggle*
Serafina was at my wedding, and I’ll never forget what she said to me, because they’re the words of a true friend: 

“I can just keep driving and you don’t have to do this.” 

I’m getting teary just thinking about that moment, when I almost ran away. Maybe it was the love I felt for Annie, or the confusion I felt for the “Call Me Maybe” song Serafina was blasting on the radio, or maybe it was my cousin forcing us to go to the venue, but I’m glad I got slightly buzzed and went through with it all the same. Because now, instead of running away from my problems, I can thrust them upon someone else to carry (and we still run away). 

I hope this helps other couples with whatever they might be going through. If it doesn’t, bondage does wonders for any marriage, as well as your soul. 

50 shades of sass,

Mary Ellen 

More Egg Rice 

I’m sorry that I’ve been MIA for a long while. I was sick, died, ressurected, and then I’ve been busy coming up with the perfect playlist for working out. I love making playlists for everything because they are the modern form of mix tapes, which I used to actually make for people all the time, because I was adorable/a creepy nerd. Have a crush? Let them know with a heartfelt compilation of emotional Hanson songs. I continued this tradition even with the advent of CDs, and even went so far as to make a “I’m sorry we broke up, I want to be friends, but I also still want to have sex with you/I will stalk you every day until you love me” mix. When CDs died, I ran to iTunes, and now I’m resting comfortably with Spotify. 
Since I’ve been so busy making playlists, I hardly have time to cook, clean, or have foresight in general. Actually, I don’t think I even made dinner for my husband last night. I think I had a bowl of cereal, I wonder what he had? 

I eat sweet potatoes sometimes as meals. This was painstakingly made by wrapping in foil and throwing it into the oven, where I forgot about it because I didn’t set a timer. Luckily, it turned out well for me.

I go back and forth on the egg thing. I love eggs most of the time, but then I need like, several months of a break. I make a lot of egg scrambles with whatever ingredients I have on hand. This recipe, however, was inspired by a dish at a local ramen spot near my house. A true gem of a place. We went with friends, and it took a couple of hours to get all our food, which was fine since they brought out my sake and I didn’t care about the rest. After like 90 minutes of still missing half our order, I walked up to one of the dudes walking around, and politely informed him that we were still missing our dishes, and like, wondered if they were going to get them for us. He didn’t speak English, and ran away. He was scared of me the rest of the night. 
Anyway, one of our friends and Annie both ordered vegetable fried rice, and they brought out rice with egg in it, and no vegetables. I was jealous. 
This recipe is not fried rice. I’m too lazy for that.  
Egg Scramble with Rice (adapted from a local ramen joint with communication issues)

Ingredients: 

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup frozen vegetables of your choice 
  • Cheese (optional) 
  • 1/2 TBSP butter or oil
  • 1/2 cup cooked rice of your choice
  • Soy sauce 

Directions:

Heat butter or oil in a pan at medium heat and add vegetables. Cook until heated through and add cheese (if you want) until it melts. 

Today I used peppers and corn that was genetically modified to taste like carrots. It counts as an extra vegetable.

Scramble the eggs in a bowl and pour into pan. 

Serafina would just eat it at this stage because she doesn’t even have time to cook her eggs.

Prepare a bowl of rice and drizzle soy sauce in it and mix it in. Top it with the scramble and eat it while silently wishing you were eating cookies for lunch instead. 

Not cookies, but I guess it works.

That’s all for this week. If you would like your own personalized mixtape from Mary Ellen, send an inquiry through the Contact Page and a representative will be with you within 1-12 days. 
Scrambles are just free spirited omelettes. 
Mary Ellen 

Defeated Eggplant

A Saturday post? What am I doing here? I thought it was still Tuesday. I’ll have to talk to my assistant about keeping a better schedule for me, and maybe limit my daytime drinking just a bit. 
This week has defeated me in almost every way. I am so excited for this weekend, where I still have a shit ton to do, but Annie is also semi available and I can just ignore it all and go drink sake in the corner. 

Since Serafina already shared my likeness, I’m sharing this intimate moment with Annie post coitus. Sorry we look like shit. I’m wearing my house/chore clothes and he’s a corporate accountant and has let himself go.

I promised myself I would never do an eggplant recipe on this blog, but, just like I do with everyone else, I break promises frequently and aggressively. This recipe will not win anyone over that is scared of eggplant.  It really is for people who already like it. 
It’s also adapted from my sister’s recipe that I saw her make once many years ago. I was going to call her and ask how to do it, but I just sent her dance videos for hours instead, never mentioning that I was destroying her recipe and posting it publicly. 
Let’s get to it. 

On the plus side, this recipe doesn’t involve much attention, so it’s good for fellow lazy assholes like me.

Sista Ethel May Darkhorse’s Eggplant Appetizer (pillaged from the mind of Mary Ellen’s sister, Inception style)

Ingredients:

  • Eggplant
  • Bell pepper (I like yellow)
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Salt (I used course Himalayan in a grinder)
  • Goat cheddar (don’t fucking use anything else) 

Directions: 

Slice the eggplant fairly thinly, salt, and put in a colander to sweat for several hours. When ready to bake, rinse and pat dry. 

Eggplant sweat lodge. Yes, that’s my dirty pan from breakfast. It’s fine. I’m fine.

Lay the eggplant out on a pan with parchment paper and brush with the vinegar. Bake at 375 degrees until it’s pretty done. I didn’t time it, sorry. It’s up to you, young Jedi, to figure that shit out. 

I like to put the pepper on top because it’s pretty.

Remove from oven and flip the eggplant. Brush the other side with vinegar and then lay out cheese slices and pepper on top. Drizzle with oil and salt. Put the eggplant in to broil until the cheese is melted. 

If you didn’t almost burn the house down with the parchment paper, then good for fucking you. Guess you are just perfect at everything, huh?

Remove from oven, and eat it. It’s weird and eggplant-like. Yummy. 

Ugh, need to get a manicure.

The odds aren’t in your favor,

Mary Ellen 

Making Salad While Procrastinating 

I’m leaving on my trip to the state where Serafina lives, in two days! So, of course I’m not prepared and I’ve been putting everything off by watching Korean pop dance videos all week. 

However, if you make salad instead of a packing checklist, people will judge you less. They think you’re just prioritizing your health or some bullshit like that. 

Remember my post about how Serafina and I met? Well, in celebration of our impending reunion, I’ve decided to share the recipe for the Kicked up Kowboy Kale recipe that was so popular at the vegetarian topless bar that we once worked.  Instead of bacon bits, which I assume is on everything with a cowboy theme, we’re using spiced nuts.  It’s a really easy recipe, but makes just enough of a mess in the kitchen that you get pissed off because now you have more fucking cleaning to do before the god damn trip. Fuck. 

Kicked up Kowboy Kale (adapted from the sketchy owners of a 1960s era topless bar in West Texas

Ingredients: 

(If you’re making this for your own vegetarian topless bar, multiply the recipe by 40)

  • 1 bunch of Kale 
  • 1/4 cup ranch dressing (whichever you prefer)
  • 1 TBSP BBQ sauce (again, whatever brand you prefer) 
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts (or pecans)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Drizzle of maple syrup (a drizzle means different things to different people – you have to discover your own drizzles) 

Directions: 

Put the nuts in a pan at medium high heat with the salt, sugar, cumin, maple syrup, and a couple tablespoons of water. Toast them until they are sticky. 

I literally cook everything in my wok.


While your nuts are toasting, prepare the Kale. 

You will not be healthy for me today, Kale!

Here’s the thing about Kale: it’s great for you and all, but I find it chewy and not great to eat in salads (the curly stuff). Solve this minor problem by drizzling a teaspoon of olive oil and massaging it into the Kale in a bowl. It’ll prevent it from being chewy. 

Prepare the dressing by adding the BBQ sauce to the ranch dressing and drizzle onto the Kale. Toss with your hands and make sure it’s all thoroughly covered. 

Taking a page from the book of Serafina, I did not clean the kitchen before doing any of this.

Plate the salad and add the nuts. That’s it. 

I only have a few place mats left, so I didn’t use one this week until I can get more. It’s like formal dresses. You can’t be photographed in the same one twice. It’s the same with placemats.

I will see you soon, Serafina. 
-Mary Ellen 

How to Prepare for House Guests (better than Martha Stewart) 

The past few weeks have been incredibly eventful for me. Not only did I catch a super chest cold from my baby, I am still hacking up a lung and feel sexier than ever.

 
Now, I have to shift my focus to having house guests.

 
I love having house guests. It forces me to really take a look at my life and also take a long sniff at the perpetual dog stench that clings to the air and seeps into the couch. With a baby, poop is now added to create a war of stinky aromatics.
So here’s my list of things I do to get ready for house guests and create an experience that’ll leave them wanting more, wanting more information on what’s going on, or wanting to get the hell out of your house and never return.

 
1. Meal plan. 

Yes, it’s a good idea to feed your guests. Thankfully, it’s warmish outside and we can use our grill that doesn’t keep temperature to burn everyone’s food. Soup is also a good meal because you can make a lot and look like you know what you’re doing.

 
2. Wash your pets. 

img_4232
Dog shame.



Ours hadn’t been cleaned in months, so they smelled. It’s also a good idea to wash everything they touch, which in my case, is everything.

 
3. Clean the floors. 

I literally just did and there’s a clump of dog hair already on it. The baby will soon crawl around in it and spread the clump further, so this point really is just to say that you tried.

 
4. Laundry. 

Make sure there’s clean bedding for your guests, especially when your dogs sleep in the guest bed on a regular basis.

 
5. Get distracted and watch Netflix. 

img_4239
Yes we can, Sung Hoon. Let’s go.



My poison of choice right now is Korean dramas. My brain tells me they’re garbage yet my body wants to rub itself all over them. It’s only creepy if I say it out loud.

 
6. Groom yourself. 

img_4238
On the plus side, I also have coral colored stripes all over my arm.



I try to present myself as kind of having it together for guests, which includes doing my nails, and then fucking them up immediately because I forgot I was making tea and it was over steeping.

 

7. When all else fails, distraction is key.

This could includes my favorites: alcohol, burning incense, running an aromatherapy diffuser (both cover up smells, but also makes you look like a stoner hippy – use with caution), barking dogs, and the baby.  Then they won’t notice that maybe you didn’t hide your sex toys or condoms well enough.

 

Good luck.

 

-Mary Ellen

The Definitive Guide to Diet and Exercise

[Note to readers: Mary Ellen is not a doctor, but she plays several on TV. She played both Trapper John and Hawkeye Pierce on the hit TV series M*A*S*H, so, it goes without saying, she’s an expert. Take everything she says like gospel] 


Everyone that knows me knows that I’m the pinnacle of health and fitness. My body, being perfect by any standard, has reached the end of the fitness journey. Health nirvana, you could say. 

So, I decided to let you in on my secrets. That’s right. I’m just giving them away, FOR FREE. Fuck you, Dr. Oz.
 
1. Fad Diet

Do all the fad diets. All of them. Because it’s difficult to pick just one sometimes, you can do them at the same time. This keeps your body constantly in fear of what you might do to it, so it burns fat faster as well as sculpting your glutes. Be careful about being ahead of trends, because while it might gain traction and be popular, contributing to an extra 30% more beneficial outcome, you lose -7 points if the trend falls on its face. 

2. Update on social media

This almost goes without saying, but it’s a scientific fact that you burn 70% less calories when you don’t post your workouts online. In addition, if you don’t post your healthy meals online, you gain three pounds. However, if you post your unhealthy meals online with a self depricating joke about how you’re going to “totally be super fat after eating this” than it cuts the calories, as well as saturated fats by more than half. If you’re doing a cleanse, juicing or otherwise, or doing a diet that markets itself like a meathead challenge, you better post before and after pictures, as well as every single day you do it. Make sure you tell everyone you have more energy, despite not drinking coffee during it. 

3. Add workout regimens to Pinterest

It doesn’t really matter if you do them or not, what matters is that you are looking at them. Bonus burn if you change the descriptions because it’s weird when you don’t. 

4. Wear athletic gear out

This is especially important if you’re at a coffee shop or doughnut shop (see, Serafina, I’m fucking conforming to your impossibly high spelling standards!). Generally, I’m always a little sweaty and worn out from the restful night I had baby wrangling, so I look authentic. Jogging in place also helps, as well as aggressively (but friendly) giving your order to the attendant. Take up space, puff out your chest, because you earned this, baby.  When you do this, it acts as a barrier to the fatty ingredients and helps the sugar shoot directly into your bloodstream, giving you unlimited energy for tens of minutes. 

And that’s it. Being fit has never been easier. 

Now go out and get that dream butt you’ve always wanted. 

The hardest, most judgmental trainer I’ve ever had.

Up top, brahs,

Mary Ellen 



Carrot Soup: Ode to Serafina

It was 1969 and a hot summer somewhere in west Texas. Serafina and I worked at a topless bar off the highway. I know what you’re thinking and no, they would not allow us to be one of the topless performers. We had to be fully dressed waitresses.

It was our dream to perform, but seeing as how we were the only employees forced to keep all our clothes on, it seemed like our dreams would never be realized.

Also, we hated each other. Serafina was always stealing my tables and tips and flirting with my customers. One particular night, as I was bringing table 4 our house special, Kicked up Kowboy Kale (I should also mention that our bar was the number one rated vegetarian topless bar for over five decades), she was sitting in my best customer’s, Seth’s, lap! And I was sweet on him!

Anyway, this kind of went on for the entirety of our employment there, which was only around four months. We didn’t become friends until our last night there. Oh, what a faithful night that was! The bar’s most famous dancer, Seitani, had a severe allergic reaction to some radish pasties, and was rushed to the hospital, right before she was to go on!

Serafina and I locked eyes, and rushed to the stage. There was no music, but we rhythmically (we each had a different rhythm) removed our clothes, trying to outdo one another. The audience booed, but we pushed on. The bouncer tried to catch us, but we darted out of his grip! Finally, in what could be considered the bravest, most spectacular move I’ve ever seen in my life (I still get emotional and teary thinking of it), Serafina ripped her pants off, revealing a rainbow vajazzle. It caught the light from the stage spotlight, and blinded everyone in the bar. The light was so miraculous that it acted as sort of a North Star to weary travelers, and before we knew it, her current lover walked in bearing gifts of cats (she accepted his romantic proposal DESPITE the cats).

We were fired immediately, but I was so in awe of Serafina, and realized she wasn’t just any part time, fully dressed, topless vegetarian bar waitress. She was my guru.

So now our readers know the short form history of how we met, here is a recipe that is dedicated from me to Serafina.

I made this soup at 8am wearing a baby, because I didn’t think I was quite enough of a crunchy granola mom.


Carrot Apple Ginger Soup (adapted from Oh She Glows who adapted it from Joy the Baker)

Ingredients:

1 TBSP olive oil

1 sweet onion

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 TBSP grated ginger*

1 apple

1.5 lbs carrots, fresh from the garden you should have

4 cups vegetable broth

Pinch of nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Ground pepper to taste

Directions:

Prep your vegetables and set them aside. If you hate chopping veggies as much as I do, rejoice! You don’t need to be perfect because you’re going to purée this shit in the end.

Except I’m perfect. See, I did this perfectly.
Just seeing this picture sends me into a rage. I fucking hate chopping and peeling vegetables.
 
Using a large pot, heat your oil over medium low heat, and add your onions. Cook until translucent. Add your garlic and ginger, and cook for a few minutes. Finally, add your apples and carrots and cook for a few minutes longer (I usually wait until I can kind of smell the apple cooking).

Add the vegetable broth, and your seasonings and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Use this time to clean up, and make sure your home is in tip top shape. Remember, cleanliness is next to godliness! Or, you can do what I did, brush your teeth and take pictures of your dogs.
 
When all your vegetables are tender, use an immersion blender and blend until smooth (or the texture you like), or, you can do what I did, and transfer it to a blender in batches, spilling carrot water all over the dogs along the way. Either works.
Serve with crackers, a baguette, or my favorite, warm quinoa (yeah I’m that asshole).
Remember to drink your calories,

Mary Ellen

*fuck grating fresh ginger. This was such a pain in the ass and now I have like a pound of ginger left because they only sell them in 20 lbs increments. Just get the jarred ginger.