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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bougie Girl In The Kitchen: Entertaining

 

The weather is getting a bit warmer and I am excited to start hosting small dinner parties in my apartment. I am on the hunt for a quaint dining room table.

I envision the table covered with a sage green table cloth. I will set up a tapas bar in the kitchen.

My guests will chat whilst dining on homemade tapas and a simple salad of spinach greens, Asiago cheese, Baby Bella mushrooms, and a homemade vinaigrette dressing. We will split a couple bottles of wine and discuss upcoming outings.

Dessert is a simple undertaking of berries and cream.

The breeze from the harbor blows through the windows. Before we know it, the clock has struck midnight.

Time to clear away the dishes and send my dinner guests on their way.

A foghorn sounds off in the distance.

Everything has come full circle.






Cowardly Acts

 

It would have taken 30 minutes to an hour  to explain everything.

Instead, a cowardly path was chosen. But, it was just business as usual. So, it is difficult to really take it personally.

Of course, if the roles were reversed it would be a different story. For some, cowardly acts are the only way in which they are able to conduct themselves. It comes from decades of practice.  Feelings are unreasonable and people are expendable.




Loving You For Your Own Good



I love you because doing so gives you a voice and visibility in the world. I will defend you to the death, not because of a passionate burning love.

It is obligation and fear of the unknown which keeps us bonded together.

Our love is not destined to last a lifetime. Though, we will stay together forever.

Love is just not part of the deal.

Besides, if I do not cherish you then, who will?

Yet, you still crave an undying passion which I will never feel for you. 

You cling to every scrap of attention which I throw your way.

"Why don't you love me?"  You ask.

Tears are flowing down your cheeks.

"I do love you." I reply.

I keep my attention focused solely on the television. I avoid making any eye contact whatsoever.

"No, you felt obligated to help me out. That's not love." You respond softly.

"What more do you want from me?" I ask.

My eyes remain riveted on the television set.
















Thursday, April 21, 2011

Burning Daylight

 

Three doors stand before us. The first one is to the past, the second one is to the present,  and the third is to the future. The door to the past is closed and padlocked. The door to the present is wide open. The door to the future is slightly ajar.

Our first instinct is to yank the door to the past open. We tell ourselves that we only want to review a memory or two. Only, that is not our intention at all.  We really want to escape back in time to avoid our present woes. We want to see old friends and ex-flames to show them just how wonderful we are now..or perhaps to utter much-deserved apologies to them.

But, the door to the past is bolted firmly and we are forced to turn our attention elsewhere.

We quickly walk past the door to the present without even glancing its way. Now, we push our way towards the door leading to the future. We want to know what is in store for us. Sure, we could just live in the present and see what happens, but that is going to require self-awareness on our part.

Self-awareness, ultimately leads to being accountable for our own choices. And where is the fun in that?

For now, we can continue to burn more daylight as though we have all the time in the world.










Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Superficial

 
We keep things on the surface. Never going to deeply into anything. This goes on for years and it tricks us into thinking that we have a deep bond. When in fact, we do not.

Deep bonds require us to interact with one another without our  trusty facades. We tried to do that, but it was disastrous. It only served to prove how ill-suited we were for one another.

The only way to stay together is to remain wrapped up in our facades.





Monday, April 18, 2011

Leaving vs. Letting Go


 

You walk out the door and think that you have left the emotional attachment to the person behind. But, little do you know that your abrupt departure has created a sturdy cord of attachment to the other person. It is not obvious to you at first until you find yourself driving past their house blasting your stereo.

Then, calling them randomly but, not leaving a message. You tell yourself that you do not really want to talk to them. And perhaps you only want the other person to feel your presence...just in case they have any crazy notions about moving on without you.

You have left and now the grass does not seem so green. The world seems to have grown colder since you left. The old vices are not offering the same comforts as they once did. You feel foolish because you know that it is only a matter of time before they move on from the relationship.

You start to wonder how you can get back into their good graces. Material goods will not work. You begin to plot and plan a way to come back.You vow to do it the right way this time.

You want to explain to them that you may have left... but, you refuse to let go.




Sunday, April 17, 2011

Birthday Review

 

My birthday was last week. Earlier in the day my office mates threw me a party. Later that evening, I had the pleasure of being escorted to dinner by two charmingly handsome Naval Officers. We spent a couple of hours immersed in great conversation and cuisine.

The following day, I went out with my Rhode Island Aunties. It was a blast to hang out with these ladies!

Last night, I went out with a group for dinner and comedy show. I had so much fun and it was a great reminder of the adage that "whenever one door closes; another one opens".

My social calendar is jam packed for the foreseeable future and I have feeling that life is going to keep getting better.




Packing Up the Past


 
I spent a couple of hours yesterday packing up things from a formerly shared past. I had mentally prepared myself for it and yet still little barbs of pain still shot through me. I bagged up the rest of the clothing and other items mostly in silence. I just want to get everything out of here because my life has taken a different direction and the remnants from my past only serve to hold me back.

We all deal with loss in a different way. I used to breeze through it casually without ever dealing with it fully. Of course, the pain of a particular loss would rear its ugly head for me further down the road. This time, I made the conscious effort to really go through all of the requisite stages of  grief. I wanted to use this experience to learn more about myself.

I started this journey in a painfully dark place. As a result, I learned first hand about the Dark Night of the Soul. I am no stranger to adversity, but this time was different. This was less about a financial struggle and more recognizing how I was contributing to my own unhappiness. I needed to explore why a majority of my failed relationships and friendships revolved around the same themes. I had to look at my tendencies towards constantly pulling emotionally unstable people from their on wreckage. I dragged them to safer ground and then I ended up being their permanent rescuer on duty. Not a great situation for either parties involved.

My first step in leaving this pattern was to realize that we all have our own path that we must follow. Occasionally, our paths will intersect with charming traveling companions. These travel companions keep us company during our journey. Inevitably, their paths will diverge from ours. That is the time in which we must make the difficult to decision to bid them farewell and wish them luck on their path.

Whilst part of my path destiny may involve dragging others to safer ground. However, I do not believe that I was meant to go the entire distance with them. We had reached our maximum capacity with one another and to stay a moment longer would sully the good feelings between us.










Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bougie Girl In The Kitchen:Toaster Oven Love

 

My toaster oven has been with me for five years. I do not know how I ever survived without it. It is my preferred venue when it comes to baking small pizzas. It also allows me to make hot sandwiches without dealing with the drama of turning on the oven or the stove.




Bougie Girl In The Kitchen: Going Beyond in the Kitchen

 

My childhood consisted of the standard Midwestern faire of meat and potatoes with an occasional Taco Night interspersed therein. This lack of culinary diversity fueled my curiosity for mingling different flavors together.

Sometimes, I ended up with an atomically good flavor combination. During my preteen years, I experimented a lot with cooking with BBQ sauce. I came up with a recipe for BBQ Polish sausage pizza with American cheese on white or wheat bread.

However, there were other times in which I learned bitter lessons. For example, I assaulted my macaroni and hamburger casserole with too much garlic salt. My taste buds still wince whenever I recall that unfortunate culinary misstep.

This was back in the mid-80's, way before people embraced BBQ sauce as something that goes on pizza. (I would like to think that at even age ten, I was pushing culinary limits.)
  
Admittedly, I felt self-conscious when I first began pushing the limits of my palate. I felt as though I was taking bougieness to a whole 'notha level pretension. Yet, I see so many of us struggling with our weight because we are either dining out all of the time or consuming processed food like there is no tomorrow. I wonder how much healthier we could all be if we went beyond ourselves in the kitchen.





Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bougie Girl In The Kitchen: Flexibility in the Kitchen


 

Last year, I created a book proposal for a romantic food memoir/cookbook. Then, I went through a major life change and had to revamp the entire book proposal. I remember feeling very annoyed at having to change the whole focus of the book. I had worked very hard on that book proposal.

Several months later, I am able to see that revamping the book proposal will  actually be a blessing in the long run. This whole situation has clearly illustrated  for me the importance of being flexible when life throws you a couple of unexpected curve balls.

In cooking, sometimes recipes do not turn out the way they are supposed to. Perhaps, we forgot to add a key ingredient or despite our best efforts, it just does not taste good. We could choose to throw down our spoon and have a tantrum about our failed culinary attempt. Or we could cook something else entirely and move on from it.

Flexibility in the kitchen guarantees that even after an unexpected  culinary disaster occurs, we can still salvage the rest of the meal.





Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bougie Girl In The Kitchen: Variations on a Simple Country Breakfast

 

As a born and bred Midwesterner, I have great memories of country breakfasts which consisted of bacon, eggs, pancakes, potatoes, and fruit of some type. All of us would gather around the table and bask in the goodness of a down home meal.

Life can become too hectic on the weekends for us to indulge in preparing a huge labor-intensive breakfast. However, we can create the  delicious magic of a simple country breakfast without spending too much time toiling over a hot stove.

The key to creating a pared down country breakfast is to limit the menu to 3 dishes. Today, I chose to make pan-seared chopped red potatoes marinated in balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, and Spanish onions. I cooked up some egg whites with scallions and I baked turkey bacon  marinated in tangelo juice.

The total cooking time of this feast is under 1 hour. I will post the recipes for my variation on a simple country breakfast at a later date.









Saturday, April 9, 2011

Bougie Girl In The Kitchen: Mediterranean Brunch Sandwich


 

It is 9 am on a Saturday and I am craving a turkey sandwich. Yet, I also kind of want an omelet.

Luckily for me, I have the ingredients to bring both of my cravings together.

I start off  by adding 1 tablespoon of Extra Virgin olive oil into a small pan over a medium flame. Then, I add the deli turkey meat into the small pan. I let the turkey grill for about five minutes. I remove the turkey from the pan onto a plate. Next, I toss in a pinch of capers and 2 teaspoons of chopped scallions into the pan. I cook the ingredients for 5 minutes over a low flame.

In a separate pan, I add in 1 tablespoon of Extra Virgin olive oil over a medium flame. Then, I pour in 1/4 cup of egg white. I sprinkle cracked black pepper on the egg whites and place a lid over the pan.  I cook the egg whites for 5 to 7 minutes. Afterward, I let the egg whites cool for a couple of minutes and then I slice it in half and place it in a  toasted bagel thin. I add in the deli turkey, capers, scallions, and a slice of asiago cheese.




Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bougie Girl In The Kitchen: The Joys of Turkey Bacon


 

Three years ago, I discovered the joys of cooking and eating turkey bacon. At first, I was skeptical about making the switch from pork to turkey bacon. I love the way pork bacon tastes. Its salty and smoky flavor can make me go weak in the knees with each bite.

However, in an effort to lower my cholesterol I made the switch from pork to turkey bacon.

Admittedly, turkey bacon on its own did not exactly set my taste buds  ablaze...until I unlocked the secrets of flavoring it.

Wanna add some texture and weight to your meals?

Lightly marinate turkey bacon  in balsamic vinegar and any type of  citrus juice. Lie it on an aluminum foil lined cookie sheet. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool for a couple of minutes. Next, chop it up and add it to salads, pasta dishes, casseroles, omelets, pot stickers, grill cheese sandwiches, or even soups.





Saturday, April 2, 2011

Saturday Night

 

I am attending a dinner party in a few hours. I cannot wait to debut my latest recipe for pork ribs marinated in ground ginger and lime juice. In addition, I am also premiering my baked  honey glazed tater tots spritzed with tangelo juice.

Originally, I  had planned on wearing the "infamous" blue dress complete with knee high boots to the party. However, I am going to save that outfit for another occasion. This evening I am going to rock some casual glamour with a transparent off-the-shoulder black blouse, with a black camisole underneath, dark jeans, black half boots with a black cashmere wrap.

I am going for light makeup and my hair will be worn loosely about my shoulders.

It's been a few weeks since I have seen everyone. I cannot wait to catch up and hear how everyone is doing.

My life has changed a lot during the past five months and it has definitely been for the better.