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I should just have a tumblr

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but look at my yummy dinner! 

 

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Next: banana bread! NOM.

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What I have been reading…

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So, it is obvious that I am terrible at blogging (as was evidenced by the fact that I had a pending comment from March when I logged into my account today). BUT, I am going to try to get back into doing this however I can.

One idea that I have is to post interesting articles/books/etc. that I have read in the last week. This should be beneficial in a few ways: it will keep me posting regularly, it will keep me reading regularly and it will lead to me sharing fun stuff with anyone who might be reading. So here we gooooo:

ARTICLES:

“Young, Privileged and Applying for Food Stamps” by Karina Briski

  • Why?: Clearly I am highly simpatico with this girl. As a fellow sociology major with middle class roots who had major struggles on the path to securing gainful employment, I can totally relate and see the relevance of this article. Plus, I am a bleeding heart liberal who thinks the government should help everyone who is struggling, so what can I say?
  • How long will it take to read?: 10 minutes or less. Although you might be tempted to stay on The Billfold‘s site a bit longer because it is kind of amazing.

Why Women Still Can’t Have it All” by Anne-Marie Slaughter

  • Why?: Well this is the article everyone is talking about…after being bombarded by it at my office, on the Melissa Harris-Perry Show (see above: bleeding heart liberal), etc. I decided it was time to read. Can I talk for a second about the full range of emotion I experienced when reading this article? I felt happy, depressed, angry, confused…this article hit me hard because it validated a lot of the fears I have been having about the future. I won’t delve too far into my personal issues here, but this is certainly a must read for all women (and probably all men, too).
  • How long will it take to read?: Depends on how fast you read, but probably safe to set aside 20 min-half hour for this one. Totally worth it though.

In Praise of Downtime” by Ellen Ruppel Shell

  • Why?: A good follow-up piece to the above. Just another little push to think about the way we work. A good quote from the article: “We keep a large percentage of the working population idle, because we can dispense with their labor by making the others overwork.” #thinkaboutthat
  • How long will it take to read?”: Less than 5 minutes. Might take a few minutes longer to think about, though!

The Afterlife of Cheap Clothes” by Elizabeth L. Cline

  • Why?: Because like everyone else, I am in the habit of buying WAY too much stuff, especially clothing. This article is a brief glimpse into her larger work: Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, and really illuminates the problem with clothing waste. This article has made me think a lot about what to buy and how to get rid of items when I am done with them.
  • How long will it take to read?: Less than 10 minutes. Save an extra 10 for scouring the internet for a better way to dispose of clothing you don’t want anymore (and send me ideas….I am very interested in a nonprofit that distributes clothes in 3rd world countries, if anyone knows of one).

BOOKS:

Okay, this is a cheater category…I read both of these books while I was on vacation a couple of weeks ago, but I would still highly recommend!

  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (loved reading it after seeing the movie. I read the whole thing in one day. It is definitely that kind of book! Can’t wait for the next one.)
  • Bossypants by Tina Fey (totally indulgent, but as a lover of Tina Fey, this was completely what I expected from her.)

LISTENING:

As a person who is constantly running around like crazy, I can’t always fit everything I want to do into my week. This morning, while feeling guilty about not making it to church for another week, I listened to last week’s sermon from a local church. Great discussion of hope and Christianity, for anyone who might be interested: Where Do We Find Our Hope? by Jacob Smith

Alright, that is it for now! Send me any recommendations you have for some good reading and enjoy the last few hours of the weekend!

{Americanized} English Breakfast

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So, I am aware that I have been absent from blogging for quite some time.

 

Well, I got a job.  Not THE job.  But a job.  It involves eating sweets all day.  And smiling.  And it isn’t all bad.

 

It does leave me with little need/inspiration for baking delicious things, however.  (Who knew? Working 45-50 hour weeks+unlimited treats at work=no time/desire for home-baked goods! )

 

Well, yesterday my mom told me I needed to post on here.  And moms are always right (right?), so I decided I would do it on my day off.   Which is…TODAY! yayyyyyyyy

 

So this is what I’ve got for you:

My Americanized version of a proper English Breakfast.

 

As some of you may know, I spent last fall in Edinburgh (Scotland).  Although there are a lot of things about this time last year that I don’t miss (i.e. SNOW, annoying 17 year olds singing “F You” by Cee Lo Green outside of my dorm room door every Friday night over and over again, and dinners of potato and more potato), I do sometimes feel nostalgic about galavanting around Europe on the weekends, black cabs, and beans with breakfast.

 

Yes. That is right.

 

Beans with breakfast.

 

It is the best thing ever and you must do it.

 

My version of English breakfast is as follows (because this is how I like it): Baked beans, wheat toast with butter, 1 egg (over-medium) and bacon.  🙂  It is NOT traditional.  But it fills the void and I like it!

If you want to check out how to make a real English breakfast I suggest checking out this post on Eating for England.

 

SO GOOD.

 

Now it is time for laundry here! Wooooooo….have a great day!

(Also, kitty pic!  Just for fun!)

 

Salted Cinnamon Peanut Butter Cups

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Just in case you hadn’t noticed I am a pretty big fan of peanut butter.  I apologize to anyone out there with a peanut allergy…I can’t imagine how rough it must be to live without it (or to try to avoid it).  I will say the awesome thing about cooking for yourself is that you have the luxury of ignoring the world ‘peanut’ wherever I use it and replacing it with ‘almond,’ ‘cashew,’ or ‘sunflower.’  All excellent PB substitutes.

Anyways, since I love peanut butter and I love chocolate, I know that they are totally a match made in heaven. I am obsessed with Reece’s.  They were totally that candy that I would trade anything in my halloween candy stash for.  Today I decided I really wanted one, but I didn’t want to leave my apartment/spend money to get it, and I knew I had been neglecting my poor little blog, so I decided to hit the kitchen and make my own!

I tried really hard to come up with a good way to thicken up the filling with what I had on hand, so they would be closer texturally to a Reece’s, but never really got there.  That was totally fine though because they turned out delicious!  I also sprinkled some cinnamon and salt on top, because it sounded like a good idea.  And guess what?…

It totally was. Mmmmmmm.

So if you are okay with having a peanut butter cup that has a slightly less pronounced line between chocolate and peanut butter, I highly recommend making these.  If you are a purist, I would recommend searching elsewhere.  But really…just humor me and do the cinnamon and salt thing.  You won’t regret it….at least I don’t think you will…

Salted Cinnamon Peanut Butter Cups

*Makes about 12 pieces

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons (I used chunky) peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup crushed cereal (golden grahams) or graham crackers or cookies
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • cinnamon
  • salt

Directions:

  1. Crush your cereal/graham crackers/cookies until fine using either a food processor or by putting them in a plastic bag and using a can.
  2. In a small bowl mix together peanut butter, sugars, crushed cereal, honey and oil until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl microwave chocolate chips in 15-second intervals until smooth and melty.
  4. Make tablespoon size drops of chocolate on a piece of foil or parchment paper.  Scoop a slightly smaller amount of peanut butter mixture on top or each drop. Cover the peanut butter with another scoop of melted chocolate; spread to cover and seal in the peanut butter.
  5. While still melty, sprinkle on cinnamon and salt, to your liking. 
  6. Place in the freezer for 10-15 min to allow candies to solidify.
  7. Enjoy! 

Meatless Mondays: Zucchini Parm

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So there is this little thing called “Meatless Monday” that has been going on for quite some time.  I, unfortunately, have never participated on purpose…accidentally: sure, but that clearly that is just a rotten coincidence and I can’t play cool like I am someone who really cares.

Well, last Monday was different.

As many of you may know, Football started up this last week, and with it, MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL aka the perfect opportunity to make a meatless dinner.

You may be confused right now…how can football night=good opportunity for Meatless Monday?

The answer to that question is: a local bar was (1) playing the New England Patriots game and (2) having unlimited Bud Light and chicken wings.  NOW.  If there are 3 things that I am not a fan of they would be (1) watching football, (2) Bud Light, and (3) eating anything that is still on a bone.I apologize if you are feeling offended by my distaste for these 3 highly American things…I try to make up for it with liking baseball, craft beers, and devouring anything covered in cheese.  That is all I can do! But, I digress…

Since Tom was out watching  the game with some Law School peeps, I decided it would be the perfect opportunity to make something meatless and filled with squash (Tom=not a fan).  I saw a recipe for Zucchini Parmesan on foodgawker a couple days before that I decided would be a good option.  It was super simple to make, only required a few ingredients, and was relatively cheap to boot.  I only spent roughly $7 on the ingredients, and remember, I am living in a ridiculously expensive city.  Anyways, here is my take on the dish!

Alex’s Meatless Monday Zucchini Parm

Ingredients:

  • 2 zucchinis
  • mozzarella cheese
  • 1 small box noodles (I did Macaroni because I had leftovers from Mac and Cheese, but you could use any type)
  • 1 can red pasta sauce
  • Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic

Directions:

  1. Begin by cutting up your zucchini in half (long ways) and then into relatively thin slices.  Slice up or grate mozzarella.  Get some water boiling.   Add pasta to water (it should take about the same time to cook as it will take to make the sauce).
  2. Pour a thin layer of olive oil into pan on medium-high heat and add about 1-2 cloves of garlic.  Let garlic brown in pan, then toss in the zucchini. 
  3. When the zucchini is a nice light brown on both sides, push it all close together and place/sprinkle the cheese on top.  Let cheese melt.
  4. Add in pasta sauce.  Mix.  Don’t be afraid of mixing in the cheese–it will make it gooey and delicious. Season to taste. 
  5. Drain pasta, distribute into individual bowls.  Top with Parmesan cheese.  Have a piece of toast with it because there aren’t enough carbs in this meal yet.  Pour yourself a nice glass of red wine.  Enjoy with reruns of SYTYCD…woops….