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.


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.


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.


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 😉