My Last Year As A 20-Something

And so it has begun. I have officially entered my last year as 20-something. Eeeep!

I can tell you already, I can already sense that I am not only much wiser, but am aging beyond gracefully 😉

After an INSANE day at work, I wanted nothing more than to put on some jammies and sip on some Wine.

Flowers? Check.

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Birthday flowers

I wish I would’ve snapped a picture of the bouquet while they were still wrapped in brown  paper and tied with a pretty pink ribbon. So pretty! Just so you know, flowers never fail to make me swoon.

Dinner made especially for me? Check.

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Roasted wild salmon, mushroom rice pilaf, grilled corn and bread for dipping in olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Fancy! And delicious! And I didn’t have to do a thing!

Birthday cupcake? Double check.

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Carrot cake and loads of buttercream

Yes, that is an empty bottle of wine on the table….

It was a good night.

A Quick and Easy 10 HOUR Dinner

Wait, what? 10 hours? Easy? Yes. It is both of those things.

The other night I made my first pot of black beans. I know. I’m a rockstar 😉

But seriously- I can’t believe how great they turned out! They blow canned beans out of the water in both price and taste. Score!

So while the beans took 8 hours – 6 hours of soaking and 2 hours of cooking, the rest of my dinner came together in a snap. And it was delicious!

The steps:

Very important note: that is steam coming from the beans. Hence the “blurriness”…

That would be a mix of spinach, short grain brown rice, black beans, and a hard boiled egg.

I don’t think dinners get much easier or cheaper than this. All of these ingredients were made ahead of time in big batches and stored in the refrigerator. So this took 5 minutes to heat up and mix.

Honestly, I think it would be even better with a few spoonfuls of salsa (or guac!) on top. It didn’t occur to me until afterwards. Instead, I added a tbsp or two of some leftover vinaigrette to add a little extra flavor and moisture.

It was even better for lunch 🙂

Crackers and laughing cow is not mandatory but strongly suggested recommended.

Recipe Failure

Sometimes things do not go as planned. This seems to happen to me a lot. Especially in the kitchen. Luckily, I’ll eat just about anything, so I’ve yet to go starving as the result of a recipe meltdown.

I’m currently working on a project (details to come down the road) where I need to create a new recipe that falls within a few guidelines. The guidelines are pretty simple. The inspiration? Missing. Or maybe it’s the Execution. Or a nice combination of both. That’s probably it.

I started out decent enough.

Nothing too crazy..

It’s hard to go wrong when steak is involved.

And I actually liked how it was progressing.

Is there a better aroma than sauteed mushrooms and onions???

But in the end. It just didn’t come together how I would have liked.

There were other ingredients involved (corn tortillas, feta, quinoa). But it just wasn’t what I had envisioned. It didn’t hit the “right” spots and I was left a little unsatisfied, even though individually, I liked all of the different components. Methinks I have some work to do.

My dinner guest was very nice and said it was good. I think I would’ve preferred the criticism. Maybe I had built it up too much in my mind during the day? Or maybe I’m like the soup nazi – criticize once and you’re out and he was onto me! Hmm…I know one thing is for sure – I think I need to lay off the Seinfeld re-runs. Oh yah, and try again 😉