Category Archives: Happy

What’s Up With All the Instagramming?

Interesting and beautiful things are everywhere.

Interesting and beautiful things are everywhere.

I knooow that’s what you guys are asking yourselves. Well, those of you that ‘follow’ me social media-wise. I’ve had Instagram for awhile, but I didn’t really start using it until a few weeks ago. Now I’m trying to add one post per day. Is it as simple as me just wanting to participate in something fun? No. Nothing is ever that simple.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, more than usual even. Trying to get some new perspectives, change old habits, pay attention to how different things make me feel. ln much the same way that I notice eating certain foods make me feel sick, consuming various types of information and media were also starting to make me feel gross. Now, this isn’t going to be one of those long, ranty posts about how much Facebook sucks, but I will say, that I started noticing that it wasn’t making me feel very good. I’m not going to lie. I friggin’ love Facebook. However, I found myself getting super annoyed and cranky with people that honestly, if Facebook wasn’t around, I would have no contact with whatsoever. I found myself getting wrapped up in the enormous long-winded oversharing dramas swirling around. Spending time wondering, “Gee, I wonder how so and so is doing with her whatserwhosit”. Is that necessarily bad? I don’t know. I’m what’s known as a ‘super-empath’, I know it sounds very new-agey, but whatevs. It’s what I am. Basically, I it’s a really nice way of saying I very easily get wrapped up in other people’s shit on an emotional level.  So, I started to back way off on Facebook. I deleted it from my phone. I did what dieters do when they try to get ahold of eating habits and check-in with myself when I found myself logging on to the blue beast, asking myself “Why?” Why are you checking in? This is what I discovered, most of the time when I was checking in, which honestly was frighteningly frequent, I was either:

  • Bored
  • Lonely
  • Procrastinating

Does FB really help me with any of those things? Sure it kills time, but it’s certainly not helping me achieve any of my goals, and aiding in procrastination isn’t great either. It does help with loneliness, but so does a text of a phone call. Anyhow, I’ve backed way off. Yes, I’m still on FB probably once a day. Sometimes not. I feel a lot better. Does this mean I’ve given up social media? Oh, God no. Which brings me to…

Instagram. (BTW, yes my account auto-posts to my FB and Twitter unless I unselect it. I can’t decide if this is obnoxious or not.) As opposed to FB, Instagram is making me feel pretty good. For one, I’m using it as a tool to find beauty in my everyday life. Well, beauty and humor, but I think those go together. I subscribe to other members that have similar ideas, but also that post amazing photos. So, instead of checking in on political rants or people’s divorces, what I’m seeing are incredible photos of MOMA, sunsets in Hawaii, knitwear, meals people are proud of. It’s a really different vibe, and it makes me feel better about the world around me, and what I’m putting out there. Pretty deep for a photo app, eh? Also, I have GOT to  become a better photographer. No, it’s required. I have new clients, and some that are in the wings, and in the world we live in today, if you are a writer, you better be able to take some decent photos. Publishable photos. I’m trying, you guys. I think I’m getting a little better every day.

Twitter, I love you. You’re a different post altogether.

If you want to see my photos, there’s a button over there —> to follow me on Instagram. You know, if you want to, or whatever.

The Horribly Mangled Remains of A Julia Child Recipe.

I love Julia Child. A lot. I have an autographed photo of her that I bought off e-bay sitting next to my desk. She is the keeper of all things good and wonderful about cooking and food. My child loves watching The French Chef on DVD, there’s nothing like exposing a 5 year old to making your own sausage, complete with explanation of various casings, to ensure she knows EXACTLY where food comes from.  I am not sure if Julia would be proud of what I did to one of her amazing recipes or if she would smack me with a wooden spoon.  I mean on the one hand, she encourages using what you have, on the other hand, I made broth out of Worcestershire sauce. Yeah.

Yesterday was one of those wait until 4:00 and then start to freak out about what I want to make for dinner days. So basically, just like any other day. I know, I know,  I might give off a vibe that I’m one of those extremely organized know what I’m going to make for dinner all the time because I’m such a great cook and huge food snob types, but no. I’m not. I mean, I’m not organized, all the other stuff is true.  I happened to be putzing around on-line and checked out some recipes I’d bookmarked from the site Smitten Kitchen. SK happens to be one of my favorite food blogs, ever. That’s saying a lot because I subscribe to probably two dozen. Anyhow, she had a great post on a baked spinach recipe from Julia Child. . Coincidentally, I own the Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but I’m lazy, and it’s so much easier to have someone from the internet tell me what to make as opposed to looking it up myself.  Per usual I did not have most of the ingredients in the recipe, so I really took some liberties with it.  Here’s what I did:

Serves 6
Yeah, good luck with that. This stuff is tasty. I’d say serves 4.

3 pounds fresh spinach
One Bag Frozen Spinach

3 1/2 to 4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Salt and pepper

1 1/2 tablespoons flour

1 cup beef stock
This is where it gets really funky, I made a “broth” out of Worcestershire sauce and water. I don’t have the exact ratio of Worcestershire to water, because it was immediately after devising this evil concoction I realized I should be documenting and blogging. Anyhow, I like it pretty strong, so I’d say it was at least 2Tbspns sauce and the rest water.

3/4 cup grated Swiss cheese
One cup of leftover sliced Provolone, diced.

2 tablespoons fine, dry breadcrumbs
How about a 1/2 cup of Panko instead?

Preheat Oven to 375.

Nuke the spinach about 5 minutes with a little bit of water, per instructions on package. If you don’t have a nuker, cook according to pkg directions. Put it in a colander and strain it, squeeze out as much of the excess water as you can with your hands.

Melt half your butter in a pan over low heat, and then add spinach. Cook until most of the water is gone. Use your judgement here, you don’t want it to be super juicy, but you don’t want to burn it either.

Sprinkle flour over spinach to coat, and stir it. Then add your broth a bit at a time,  I used all of mine, but the recipe says to just add 2/3 of a cup, and then again, use your judgement regarding the remaining 1/3.  Bring to a simmer and stir frequently. Add salt and pepper.

Remove from heat and stir in about 1/2 the cheese.  Put it in a smallish, greased  casserole dish. Top with the rest of the cheese, and the panko. Melt the remaining butter and drizzle on top.

Cook about 30 mins @ 375 until lightly browned and bubbly.

Surprisingly good, considering the amount of bastardization.

I was a bit worried about how this would taste, considering the complete re-working of the recipe, but it was amazing. I really like my Worcestershire broth, and plan to use it again.  Next time I make this, and I will, I’m going to add a couple of drops of Sriracha and maybe some Truffle Salt. We’ll see, I might kill it entirely if I add too much.

This picture does not do my meal justice. I am not a very good photographer or food stylist. I'm working on it!

I served it with some ham, and am planning on reheating some right now for breakfast. I’ll probably also have a poached egg. Stop drooling, you’re disgusting.

Kwitcherbitchin

What does that title say? Say it out loud, then you’ll get it.  It looks German, right? Actually that was on a sign that used to hang on the wall at a friend’s camp. Liza, do you read this? Is it still there? Is it weird to shout out questions to people who may or may not be reading my blog?

Ok so, without being too schmaltzy, the deal is this: I have realized over the past few days that I spend a significant amount of my time bitching and whining and letting small problems or inconveniences get me down.  Someone needs to do this to me:

I mean honestly, I don’t have any real problems. I’ve got some middle class white lady problems, but those are not real problems. Run out of toilet paper? Pfft, I’ve got some paper towels. My car won’t start, oh just use my husbands. My cat died? Well, he was 17 and you know, NOT A PERSON.  It’s not like I’m homeless or shoeless, or hell even carless. Compared to a lot of folks, I’ve got it damn good.
The truth is, I have an amazing family, and my friends are made up of the most elite group of awesome people you could find. I have a great husband, a Kid that is so cute I can barely stand it, dogs, computers, phones, toys, a freezer full of cow and pig. I’m living large up here on the Slope. So, this year I am truly going to be more thankful. I might complain a bit, in a hilarious way, of course, but I’m not going to let shit bug me. Water off a ducks back, don’t sweat the small stuff, all that jazz. 
Also, I’d like to say, thank you all for reading. Even if you only read once a year, even if you just got here, even if you only read this because you hate me and want to spy on me, even if you’re a Chinese spam bot , I love you all. Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

Tomorrow: A post about rainbows and kittens. Ok, probably not. More than likely it will be about how I am snowed in at my parents house and am on the verge of emptying the liquor cabinet and locking myself in the bathroom. But until then….