Tuesday 26 January 2016

And now, the most classiest of all the recipes

Everyone has their own version of their household, no time to cook real food staple, right? Like maybe you're a god damn wizard at making a casserole out of the random bits in your fridge, or a veggie soup on the fly is your jam. Mine? The most ghettoist of the recipes: Classed up Ramen. Like, the cheapest item to buy in your grocery store Ramen, the package that all the cool kids crushed up and ate raw in elementary school - my mom never allowed us such luxuries, apparently neither did Jake's; "it's not healthy and literally just pure salt", as if that meant anything to us in our green-eyed jealous state back then. I'm pretty sure my mom also had me convinced that eating it raw would give me tummy worms, however this is also the woman who had me convinced that water was "tap juice" and ovaltine was real chocolate milk. What a saint.

But I digress.

Ramen is a favorite staple amongst those in college or freshly moved out of mom and dad's, living with roommates and are flat broke, why? Well, because on a good day you can score 5 packages for $3.50, that's why. When I was living alone and would have max $75-100 at the end of each paycheck to dedicate to food, gas, savings (hahahaha in those days?! as if) and luxuries, I had to learn really fast how to stretch my dollar; enter Ramen, or Ichiban - I wasn't picky, clearly. Sometimes my groceries would literally just consist of half&half cream, coffee, versatile veggies (spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, green onions, cucumber) and a shit ton of Ramen. Staples. Problem being is that it can get hella boring, hella fast - not to mention grossly unhealthy for you. So I had to be creative and start making this staple a gourmet treat so that night after night, I wasn't getting crazy bored and or crazy mal-nourished by solely surviving on MSG & sodium. I had to find ways to turn it into something somewhat nutritious, but also satisfying. Intrigued? I can tell.

Recipe: note that not a measuring cup nor spoon was ever used, this is a dash & pinch recipe if you will ;)

Package of ramen - my favorite is the spicy chicken
Either peanut butter, almond butter, miso or tahini - whatever you have in your fridge and thanks to my parents living in AZ half the year and giving me their condiments when they left, I always had one or the other.
Chose as many as you wish of: Green onion, shredded carrot, spinach, broccoli, celery or pepper
Fish sauce
Lime Juice
Sriracha - KEY ingredient, but the spicier the better in my opinion
Seasoning packet - now as a blogger and lover of generally everything healthy I shouldn't be admitting to using any of it, but fuck it if MSG & sodium aren't delicious. There, I said it - you know we were all thinking it anyway.

Make the ramen as usual, and towards the end add the veggies, unless you're using broccoli in which case cook it for the same amount of time to ensure it's nice and soft at the end (cook it all with the noodles)
drain a bit of the water making sure not to lose veggies (green onions love to slip out) - as little or as much of the water to drain, whether you want it soupier or more like a stir fry consistency
Take it back to the stove or counter and add a good spoonful of your nut butter, a healthy splash of fish sauce, lime juice and sriracha and mix it really well. Add as much or as little of your seasoning packet as you wish, and combine everything together. Finish with bean sprouts if you have them, and adjust the seasonings if you want - I usually throw more lime juice into the mix.

Now, I no longer live alone and thankfully am lucky enough to no longer be flat broke either, but I'll be damned if I don't pick up atleast two packages any time I grocery shop. Old habits die hard! I'll make this for dinner when Jake is working late or away and I don't feel like putting the effort in of making myself a more legitimate dinner. However, I made it the other night when Jake was home and was like, here try my invention it's been my staple for years now, thinking he would hate it as he generally does with my "inventions" - chickpea blondies being the most recent.. Aaand long story short he ate the entire bowl - I have converted him over to the dark side ;)

I mean, it was bound to happen. The amount of trailer park boys lingo that's entered my vernacular because of him is just embarassing.

Wednesday 13 January 2016

Some people feel the rain, others just get wet.

Hello again! Happy 2016, Merry Christmas, & all other sorts of greetings since its been a good few months since I last blogged! Whoops. It actually just occurred to me that I never shared these unreal pictures we had taken by a very talented little lady back in December, and well, there's a story attached that I just have to share.. 

So back in October, I signed Jake & I up to be a part of a styled wedding shoot that my girlfriend was organizing. By "signing us up" I said that Jake would just love to be part of it, and figured I'd just suck up enough later for him to agree to it willingly-ish. What can I say, he's dating someone who's a big ol' whore for pretty pictures ;) Well, it then turned out closer to the day that it was literally going to be a wedding shoot, aka they were shooting an "elopement", and all pictures on social media had to say that, not that we were acting it out or that this was styled, no it was going to be literal elopement. I may have forgotten to mention that until we got there. I also may have forgotten to mention that the shoot would be taking place during the Patriots game and he was going to have to miss it. Girlfriend of the Year over here! It had been gorgeous weather all week with bright blue skies and warmer than normal temperatures, of course until the day of when it just decided to POUR RAIN. Like, we're talking that by the end of it, both of our heads were dripping with water, I looked like a drowned rat, and we were so frozen I could barely get my jacket zipped up. However, the pictures turned out gorgeous (when I can share them I will), only 4-5 people thought we got married for realsies, and the Pats won - everyone was happy. However, I really wore out my welcome for signing my boyfriend up for photo shoots, especially the fact that on any given day, he'd rather scrub our toilets than take a whole wack of pictures. 

Until December that is. Alexa had approached me about collaborating on some pictures and ideas she wanted to shoot, and truth be told when she told me her ideas, I totally skimmed over the part where one of her ideas was "a couple's shoot" and was just like "yep, sign me up!" I'm always down for a pretty facebook profile pic ;). And then truth be told it kinda left my mind. So fast forward a few weeks, and Alexa texts me and says "Hey girl, what time are you and your man available for a shoot on Sunday?" And I'm instantly thinking, oh fuuuuck. Did I mention we had gotten into a little argument earlier that day that for sure did not put me on the right foot to ask him about this? Worst timing ever. Regardless, against better judgement I texted her back going "What's required of him? Can he wear his own clothes? We're in!" Long story short, I'm lucky I'm cute. 
And well, a killer smile, banana bread, and with some sort of voodoo magic he not only agreed to it, he seriously brought out his best Derek Zoolander because these photos were so gorgeous I wanted to bang my head against a wall when she sent them to me - she's a god damn wizard with a camera. 
AND, it rained almost the entire session. Like I said, it's a really good thing he loves my cute face :) 

Looking at these pictures were kind of a wake up call for me. In any relationship, there's so much give & take and it can be really easy to get into the frame of mind that you are always the one giving, while the other is always taking. But, all I have to do is look at these with the knowledge that the only reason he did it was to make me happy, and I realize that I have it so good, and am so lucky that this person who sometimes makes me want to pull my hair out, is mine all mine, and I'm all his. But, I'll probably spare him another photoshoot for a good long while.

If you want to have some Alexa Grace Photography wizardry photos for yourself, check her out here. And sorry boyfriends/husbands, but if my photo-adverse boyfriend can do it for a couple hours  - with a smile even, so can you. Ladies, my parents read this blog so I'll spare the details, but we all know how to get our way when it's really needed ;) Ohhh my.