Cooking · Self-reflection

The Comeback and the laziness of a Friday

This post is incredibly overdue.

It feels like it’s been weeks. Months. Years.

219f11f4829b11e2842d22000a1f9ada_7As I sit on this slightly chilly Friday in Upstate York, I am perfectly content.  I have my Chai from one of my favorite places to eat here, First Cup.  I also have a delicious breakfast sandwich on an everything bagel – which does nothing for my breath but everything for my soul. Music in my ears and snow falling gently outside, with my best friend sleeping in a curled up pile of shedding fur on my bed.

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted and so much has happened! I have no idea where I could even start.  So let’s just address the biggest things and I’ll attempt to fill in all the rest later on in other posts and side stories.

Last August I got an iPhone which in itself is not all that important other than I’ve become an app fiend.  Play me on Ruzzle! Dice with Buddies! Magic Piano!  I found a calorie / workout app called MyFitnessPal that has since changed my life.  I started keeping a food diary in mid August and while I haven’t done it every single day I’ve been brutally honest about portion sizes and overeating so I can learn.  Since then I have lost 30 pounds.  In January I decided to take it up a notch and got a Gym membership to Planet Fitness.  I love it, nothing clears all the stress of work and a long distance relationship than planting yourself firmly on an elliptical trainer and just blasting music and “running” for an hour.  I can already see noticeable changes!  I’ve been trying to do my Zumba on days when I can’t make it to the gym.  I’ve also been trying really hard to change my entire eating life style.  I use Skim Milk or Almond Milk, whole grains instead of normal white or whole wheat, Vegetarian and vegan alternatives, smoothies, ect.  It’s been going pretty good but every now and then I’ll have a “cheat” meal so I can stay on track and not get run off my health road by cravings.

I only have one downfall.

This Chai is like my crack.  I’ve had three this week.  Bad Nemmie.

I’m going to try and get back to my SuperFruit Green Tea by Good Earth to deter myself from slipping into the delicious silky smooth flavor of Oregon Chai.

This evening I’ll be experimenting with a Gluten Free Brown Rice Pasta and Almond Milk to make Mac and Cheese for dinner, I’m a bit nervous. I love my Mac and Cheese.  I’ll cry if it tastes bad.  Bawl even.

Work has been work.  I’m looking forward to training in the Cash Office if I can ever get time to get in there and learn.  I’ve been trying really hard since New Years to get Full Time status so I can get my own place and start working on making my Long Distance Romance a Not-so-Long-Distance one.

I’ve had some health problems lately.  I was put on Trazadone for insomnia  and it’s been working, it’s so wonderful to finally get some sleep.  I was also diagnosed with an Ovarian Cyst last August and rechecked in November.  Still there.  My Birth control keeps her (I’ve named my cyst Francine, after four months of constant cramps and pain) at bay for the most part and keeps Francine from growing but as a naturally anxious person I have a lot of worries about just the fact that I have a Cyst and that there’s really nothing being done about it. I wish it was as easy as serving a body eviction notice.  Get Out Ms. Cyst, don’t come back.

Progress Photo Time!












Time to get back to the real world and paying the rest of my months Bills.

Tata Lovelies,


Upcoming recipes

As soon as I get a chance I’d like to type up a recipe I made this week, a couple actually.  This weekend I made a vegetarian Lasagna – sauce from scratch for the first time ever! But I was able to use my vegetable mixture in another recipe as well.  Today I might attempt to make those Broccoli Cheese pizza rolls, we’ll see.  Work’s been crazy this past week and it means I’m pretty much snoozing my days away after I do my Zumba Fitness when I get home in the mornings.

Happy Eating everybody!




…and the living is easy, fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high…

Here in Syracuse, the past week has been up and down with the temperature. Just when I get used to being a hot and sweaty mess, it drops to 60 and I have to go and hunt down my blankets again.  I’m surprised I haven’t caught a cold yet, but I’m not going to complain. Where’s some wood? I need to knock on it.

About a week ago, I made this amazing recipe that I found over at Born To Entertain, I tweaked it a bit to what I had in the fridge/freezer and added an ingredient, it’s now quite possibly my favorite pasta dish.  Except for Mac and Cheese, that’s got a permanent spot in my heart. So, let’s get down to Business:

Rotini with veggies, chicken and a light Lemon Cream Sauce!


Cooking, it soothes my soul

There aren’t many things in life that I can really just zen out an enjoy.  Reading is one of them, gaming is yet another of them.  Cooking however is the main one.  I could cook all day – and I have!  Two years ago I tackled Thanksgiving Dinner, no turkey – but I did make a giant beast of a ham, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, honeyed carrots, dinner rolls, sweet potatoes, and that’s all my now hungry brain can remember.  It was an entire days worth of work, but it was one of the best cooking memories I have!

This past week it was ridiculously hot in New York, especially at my house where we live in the dark ages of no Air Conditioning and no Central Air. I have a small tower fan and two windows, and a very energy usage conscious mother.  Turning on a TV in my room makes it feel like a Sauna, so I can tell you it was not a fun place to be at 90 degrees.  This did give me the opportunity to spend lots of time downstairs however to cook! Currently my oven is out of commission due to a Natural Gas Leak as well as a since fixed rodent issue with the insulation between the range and the oven.  As in, they took it all away.  Nice little pests we have.  it would make sense I’ve never wanted to make cookies as much as I have since pretty much the second they shut the gas to my oven off.

But let’s talk of happier things! And Peppers! This recipe is good Hot or Cold in my opinion, uses a lot of salt though so prepare your taste buds and your body for a little water retention.  Or you can experiment with different spices to add flavor boosts as you will.  I found this recipe over at the Pioneer Woman and had to adjust it to fit what I had in my pantry and fridge.  The substitutes I used worked perfectly though! It is important to know I doubled this recipe so I’d have lunch this week at work!

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce over Pasta!


My lost companion

Now that you’re gone, I hear a song
Sung to me ten angels strong…
it hurts to leave, but at least you’re free…”

Last Saturday I had to do one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in life.  I had to take my cat to the vets to be put to sleep…I had to take my 16 year old cat Missy back in April for the same reason when her Mesothelioma made it impossible for her to eat.  I remember adopting Snap and his brother Patch when I was in Kindergarten.  My mom had them in the back of the car when she picked me up from school.  Patch left us a while ago, but Snap was full of life to the end.  He was still going up and down the stairs, jumping up on the bed as best as his arthritis would allow…but he wasn’t eating and he was starting to distance himself.  I’m a pretty tearful person in general.  I cry at the movies, I cry if I hear about something tragic happening.  I cry far too easily and it’s something I know about myself.  This is still tearing me apart inside.  I expect to hear him behind me, or waiting for me when I come out of my room.  21 years I’ve had this cat.  He was a part of my life for just about every one of them.  My dog Sydney was kept away from him because she’s so big I was constantly worried she’d knock him down and trample him in her excitement at a possible playmate.  Skeezix, my other cat seems so lonely now and I don’t know what to do for him.  He’s petrified of Sydney, and scares at the slightest sound.  I don’t know what more to say…I just needed to get that out.

Fun and Games

One Lovely Blog Award Nomination

I was nominated by the amazingly talented Vagabond John for this award – I don’t even know what he sees in my little corner of the Blog-verse but thank you! ❤ I’m touched – hope I can do you proud. My week so far has been a rough one and this made my day a bit better.

Now, there are some rules that are to be followed when one gets nominated for this award. Here they are: * Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them in your post * Share 7 things about yourself * Nominate 10 or so bloggers you admire * Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know*

About me:

1) My close friends are my life and I would do anything for them. Anything.

2) I’m incredibly shy and awkward in person.  It’s very hard for me to put myself  out there in any context.

3) I want to go back to College and major in Medieval Literature, specifically Shakespeare.

4) I’m 99.9% positive my dog thinks I am her birth mother.

5) Nothing can calm me like bodies of water.  I want to live on the Ocean some day.

6) I used to dance.  I miss it constantly.

7) I’m a very sensitive person.  I can sense things in others and I can take things personally.  It’s a problem sometimes.

My nominations:

I don’t know enough people here to even attempt to nominate 10 people! I hope to change that and get more involved in this site – next time learning how to do a slideshow! Here are the incredibly authors I’ve found in my short time here:


All the miles that separate…they disappear now when I’m dreaming of your face…

The first week back from vacation is a rough one in general but as a third shift worker it sucks. It’s been almost a year since I switched to overnights at work and my body has still yet to adapt to being awake when the sun goes down. At the same time however, it refuses to sleep much at night so I feel as though my life is one big stretch of catnaps.

I got home a week ago from my most recent trip to Saugus, MA. Feels like forever ago now.  I don’t think I’ll be able to get back there until September or October this year…might try to save up for both of those months.    Had so much fun this trip.  Spent my birthday going out and having fun for the first time since I was a teenager.   Got to see Jarred for almost a week, that alone made the vacation something that was much needed.  Spent my 26th Birthday playing mini golf and laughing with my friends John, Ryan, Sean, Jen and Jarred. After all our hard work golfing we went go kart racing and got ice cream.   We went to a bar called the Brown Jug, which I believe has pretty much become the birthday bar.  Overall the day was amazing for me.  Thai Food, Pizza, Ice Cream, Mini Golf, Alcohol that tastes like fruit punch, friends and snuggles.  Can’t ask for much more.  My mom, bless her heart, ordered me a cake from a bakery near my hotel. It was amazing.  Cakes for Occasions you out did yourselves!

We went into Boston on the 19th and went to the New England Aquarium, almost had the chance to touch some Rays and Non-violent Sharks!  We saw a 3D IMAX film on the struggle for Polar bears and other life in the Arctic.  After the Aquarium we had dinner at Cheers which was delicious.  They have a cranberry mayonnaise that will make the meal all in itself, but the Boston Baked Beans and any of the sandwiches are probably some of the best I’ve had.  Jarred got the eNORMous burger and I can’t even begin to describe how huge it was.  I had Sam’s Turkey Sandwich and it was hands down the best Turkey sandwich I’ve ever had, perfect ratio of mayo to sandwich and not too much of anything.  I’m not embarrassed to say I ate the whole thing.  We then met up with Ryan, Jen and John at O’Briens a bar in Saugus.  There was a band Free Reign playing there – they opened with Bush, and went on to play STP and so many other good covers.  We got probably the cheesiest pizza I’ve ever seen, which was kind of “Eh” at best, but I ordered loaded nachos and when merged with the pizza I was told it was fantastic.

I honestly don’t think I could have asked for a better birthday vacation.  I had so much fun with my friends and especially Jarred, a lot of good times I’ll never forget.  This took way too long to post…I’ve been going through a pretty rough week but I wanted to get this out today so I could move on to some other stuff that’s been fluttering about my head.



Whether it’s snuggling in a comforter, wearing your favorite sweater and worn in pair of jeans, or just eating a bowl of warm homemade food everybody at some point craves comfort.  Lately here in Upstate New York, the weather has been cold, damp and miserable.  Don’t get me wrong, for a couple hours every other day there’s been some sun but since the beginning of May it’s been grey and rainy just about every day.

Sydney, my loving but huge Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Now, I’m pretty lucky – I have a giant beast of a dog who loves nothing more than curling up next to me on my bed and creating a nice heating pad.  However some days, even my Sydney is not enough to keep the chill out of my bones.  This past week I’ve experimented with a couple recipes that are perfect for those days when you just want to feel warm and cozy.

First Up:
Chicken and Dumplings from the Pioneer Woman who adapted this amazing recipe from Gourmet Magazine.  I altered two things with this recipe.  I didn’t use a whole chopped chicken – though if doubling the recipe I might just to save money – I used boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced thin.  I also added 1/2 teaspoon of tarragon – it gives it a new depth of flavor.  I adore tarragon and chicken.    My dumplings didn’t come out so much like big round dumplings but little bits here and there – which I actually prefer.  I also added a whole cup of Heavy Cream so my outcome was much thicker.  This dish served over mashed potatoes or even just by itself is delicious and I cannot recommend it enough!

Second Dish:
Chicken Pot Pie Biscuits These are amazing little pockets of deliciousness.  I wasn’t sure how they’d turn out but I can’t wait to make these again! I eyeballed the amount of pearl onions and again added tarragon.  The biscuits I used were the flakey kind, I might try buttermilk biscuits next time and see if there’s any big difference.  I ended up with way more filling after only using one package of 8 biscuits so I might suggest trying two for a total of 16 and just going a little easy on the filling.

Today I’ll be making two batches of Wookiee Cookies for an upcoming trip to Boston, MA next week.  I’m trying one batch using Crisco Baking sticks – butter flavor and one batch using unsalted butter.  Hopefully I don’t eat too many of those after they come out of the oven!  I found the recipe in a Star Wars Cookbook but it can be found online here.  They are almost like a combination of a snickerdoodle and a chocolate chip cookie with two different types of chips.

Last week we had almost 5 straight days of constant rain, so it’s amazing out now that we finally get some sun.  All the trees and fields are this deep shade of green and the air smells fresh and crisp.  While it’s a little annoying to have to deal with the April Showers as late as May it’s nice to finally wash away the stale air of winter.



January 4, 2012

I remember leaving home to move to California, when I saw my father for the last time before my flight, he gave me this long bear hug. It was one of those hugs that had every pep-talk he’d ever given me, every comforting moment after something didn’t go my way, every possible dad moment all combined into one hug, just in case that was the last hug he’d ever give me. All of this was unspoken mind you, but it was one of those things you could just feel. Now that I’ve moved back home, but he’s moved away, whenever we part, we give each other one of those hugs. Just in case. You never realize how much distance can affect you and your relationships. In a lot of ways it brings you closer – makes you appreciate what time you have with somebody that much more. Sometimes it feels like you’ve drifted apart when really you just weren’t giving each other time to grow and become the person you’re meant to be.

Some of my most memorable moments in life have happened when I’ve taken a leap of faith and done something I never thought would work out. A magical night of carefree happiness in a Gone Surfing parking lot. Hot Cocoa and fresh doughnuts on Pier 39. Several tearful goodbyes at the Syracuse Transportation train platform that involved wishes on fluffs and pinky swears. A kiss under Niagara Falls, dancing the night away in a Danish disco, a night of cobblestone streets and roller skating in Montreal, and taking pictures of the Chicago skyline and exploring the magical qualities of Navy Pier at Night.

Now, I’m headed to Boston, MA, and I have no idea what the next couple days have in store, but I can already tell this is one of those trips that’s going to be filled with those types of moments and I can’t wait to see what comes next.