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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunset In Newport

Sunset In Newport, Rhode Island Post Card
I snapped this photo at Fort Adams in Newport, RI.

Sunset In Newport, Rhode Island Post Card by Bougie Girl

Three years ago, I wrote a memoir about my 2 years living in Newport, RI. I laid it all out there. The good, the bad, the sad, and of course, the meals. But, as I edited the rough draft, something did not sit right with me. I felt as though the story was incomplete for several reasons which I will not go into here. 

Time and distance has a way for helping a writer get a clearer view on a situation. I am now in the midst of re-writing the memoir and break it up into 2 books instead of just one. The first 6 months of my time in Newport greatly differed from the rest of the time that I spent there.
Combining the two experiences made the memoir vastly uneven. 

For the past week, I have been rushing home to write an essay for the memoir. I catch myself laughing out loud and reminiscing on my adventures there. I left Newport with this heightened respect for the sacrifices that military servicemembers and their families are making for this country.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Fresh Ginger Makes Everything Better...

I have a confession to make. For the past few years, I have been using ginger powder as a substitute for the real thing. It happened quite by accident. Back in 2009, I started kicking around the idea of cooking more Asian inspired meals.

So, I picked up some ginger powder at the grocery store and things kind of progressed from there. Each time, that I went to the grocery store, I vowed to buy fresh sliced ginger. But, I always ended up putting the ginger powder in my cart instead.

Six years later, I have made it a practice to buy fresh ginger. It really does make a difference in the dish. Powdered ginger can add a decent amount of flavor to a dish. However, fresh ginger makes the same dish come alive because it has the added component of spicyness.

Fresh ginger added a new dimension to the orange miso chicken wrap that I cooked earlier in the week. Be sure to thoroughly wash, cut, and peel the fresh ginger. Doing so will ensure activate the flavor components of it. Also, do not cook it for too long because it will lose the dynamic flavor.

Monday, March 23, 2015

My Toaster Oven Is A Game-Changer

Warmer weather has arrived in the Midwest. Turning on the  regular oven, heats up my apartment an additional 20 degrees.

Thank goodness for my toaster oven. I use it to bake  whole wheat naan pizza, applewood bacon, lavash bread quesadillas, and a host of other yummy recipes.

Not all kitchens are created equally, especially when you are living in the big city or the middle of nowhere.  Toaster ovens level the playing field and they are also affordable. Most of them range anywhere from $20 to $100.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Epic Meal Or Epic Fail

Sometimes, a recipe just calls to you. Yet, you may be too busy or even reluctant to heed its call. Perhaps, the ingredients seem a little too off the wall, yet the intuitive part of your cooking soul knows that they would taste heavenly together.

I run into these situations a lot. However, I have learned over the years to follow my culinary instincts because they generally lead to yummy meals.

I started created meals with lavash bread back in 2009. It was on sale at Trader Joe's and it looked interesting enough. What transpired shortly thereafter consisted of thin crust pizzas being baked in my toaster oven with 2  light brush strokes of marinara sauce, a bit of grapeseed oil, chopped shallots and topped with prosciutto. I also managed to use lavash bread for breakfast burritos and quesadillas.

Alas, lavash bread has let me down a time or two. For example, it has a nasty habit of burning easily and becoming too crunchy to consume. Fortunately, it only took me a couple of mishaps with a too hot oven for me to realize this.

I am willing to cook just about anything once because each time I am successful, it adds another meal to my repertoire.

Monday, March 16, 2015

70's Inspired Hairdo

Sometimes, you just gotta let the vintage side of you come out.

For this particular hairdo, I channeled my inner 1970's television crime fighter. This consisted of bobby pins and a curtain of hair. This moment brought to you by my coarse hair texture and Kenra keratin treatment.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Décor Planning

I am in the process of decorating, de-cluttering, and/or repairing 3 different residences. Now, last year around this time, the thought of even decorating 1 residence left me feeling sad and overwhelmed.

 I am happy to report that my feelings of fear and anxiety associated with these projects have all but, faded away. They have been replaced with a sense of excitement for the journey ahead.

I am using Pinterest as a my virtual scrapbook, surfing HGTV, and for ideas. In addition, I am bouncing ideas off of friends and co-workers via text and social media. These projects are unfolding at a quick clip and I am excited to see how it all turns out.

Monday, March 9, 2015

9 more pounds...

9 more pounds to go. The worst of it is over and the best is yet to come.

 I am determined to retain my healthy eating habits. 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Coffee Table Dining

Some days, I do not want to eat at my dining room table. Instead, I want to sit comfortably on my couch and savor a salad made of Baby Romaine, sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms.

Yet, I do not want to worry about food dropping all over the place. This is where my dinner tray comes into play.  I purchased it at the Dollar Tree almost 2 years ago and it is still in great condition.

It’s red background blends in perfectly with my coffee table. I have also strategically arranged to have a red and white place mat sit underneath the tray. Primarily, because the place mat also goes well with the existing décor.

I feel a bit like a lady leisure sipping on wine and listening to the raspy vocal stylings of Billie Holiday.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Bison Sliders

I love bison meat. It’s rich and flavorful without being too gamey.  Personally, I prefer my bison meat cooked medium well. However, in order to achieve this feat, there is a danger that the meat will become dry and crumbly.

Through trial and error, I learned to lightly spread a little grapeseed oil onto the pan before placing the bison in it. I place the pan on a low heat for a few minutes and then I lay the bison sliders into it. I
Once they are all the bison sliders are arranged in the pan, I place a lid over it and let them cook for about 15 minutes on the low heat before turning them.

After I turn them once, I place the lid back onto the pan and let them cook for another 10 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, in a separate pan I am sautéing red onions and mushrooms in Spanish olive oil. Once they have finished cooking, I place them in a separate container and let them cool.
After the bison sliders are finished cooking, I place them onto a paper towel and let them drain a bit. After they have cooled I place them into a container and pack them away for tomorrow’s lunch.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Thing About Betrayal Is...

The thing about betrayal is that you never quite trust the perpetrator again.  Sure, you may be able to sit across a table from them and smile neutrally or resist the urge to assassinate their character.

Still, there is always a sense that you can never fully trust them again...not in the same way as you once did. There will always be an asterisk by their name in your Trust Hall Of Fame.

Once the trust has faded, what are you left with?

A low level of anxiety and the inevitability that they will betray you again and it will hurt much worse the next time around.

Why will the next time hurt worse?

Because, you know now what they are capable of and still you stayed... hope clinging to the walls of your heart.

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