S’more or less

How many of you have ever eaten a s’more?

I’ve made some bootlegged over a BBQ grill melted marshmallows but I don’t reaaaally think that counts. Hey, I used to toast marshmallows over a lighter when I was little because I wanted some gooey deliciousness. Whatever gets you there is a-ok.

Funny thing is, as an adult I don’t like them as much. I do enjoy vegan ones occasionally on a sweet potato, but to smoosh it with some chocolate on a cracker isn’t really my every day excitement. Especially because I’m not a huge fan of chocolate. Anyway, lets move on from me being a chocolate hating marshmallow snob to the important things.

How to build a s’more

Step 1
Gather your ingredients and arrange on a plate in a way appealing to the eye

Step 2
Without setting your cabin in the woods on fire, ignite a small flame in your fireplace

Step 3
Toast your fully marshmallows until you can no longer tell what they were to begin with

Step 4
In no particular order combine marshmallows, chocolate of your choosing, and graham cracker into a layered sandwich

Step 5
NOM NOM NOM NOM

Fin

The real reason we went to Tennessee

Howdy y’all

One 13 hour car ride and a couple of scary drives up and down a mountain later, my husband tells me why he planned this trip to Tennessee. It was for breakfast.

Breakfast!

On my list of favorite meals of the day, breakfast has to be my least favorite. I’m allergic to egg whites so they’ve always made my stomach hurt after indulging in a delicious eggs Benedict or gooey egg sandwich and what’s breakfast without eggs.

The trip was actually to eat at one particular restaurant, Crockett’s Breakfast Camp

One restaurant… 13 hour drive… cabin in the middle of nowhere with no cell signal or wi-fi… well water showers… this place had better be the best breakfast I had ever eaten in my life.

They had all your usual breakfast items, bacon, omelets, waffles, Oj. Nothing seemed too extraordinary. I ordered the country fried steak which came with hash browns, two eggs over easy, grits, a biscuit with gravy, and an Aretha Frankenstein pancake. Whatever that was.

My meal came to the table shortly in a cast iron pan. It looked and smelled amazing and I was ready to dig in. Then came the pancake. I wasn’t really sure if the item I was ogling was actually a pancake because it looked more like the texture of a regular slice. It was fluffy but grainy. Not at all like a traditional pancake should have been. I happily ate my skillet of deliciousness, not yet embarking on my pancake endeavor. Then I was ready. I like more savory than sweet meals so I was expecting to have just one bite of this pancake and move on.

NOPE 

Every idea I had of what a pancake should be was thrown out the window (and rolled down the mountain we were on). It was like cornbread and a pancake had a baby and it was this heavenly, thick, savory-sweet, dessert that was deserving of all the awards that a breakfast item can get.

It was like I had been deprived my whole life of what a real breakfast could be like and now here I was, sitting on top of a mountain eating a pancake. Two things I never thought would happen at the same time. This was by far my favorite part of the trip. Is that ok? I think so.

Stay hungry my friends

Meet me on the Meowntain

Hello there! Its me, your favorite cat person!

This past weekend we were in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg Tennessee exploring mountains and being outdoorsy. When I say being outdoorsy I don’t mean drinking moon shine outside on a porch swing, although that did happen.

Let me tell you, driving a Camry up a mountain was just a little terrifying. We stayed in a cute little cabin in the middle on nowhere on the side of a mountain. Literally on the SIDE of a mountain. Like if I jumped off the balcony I would fall several dozen feet before hitting the bottom.

It was nice for the weekend but I wouldn’t want to live there. The winding roads and driving up and down hills made me homesick (and carsick) for my very flat very straight roads of Miami. We do plan on going back when its warmer to do mountain biking and white water rafting. Zip lining in the cold was fun, until it wasn’t, and that’s going to be a post all by itself.

 

Stay adventurous my friends

 

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Past life and laughter

Happy post Valentine’s Day!

Last night I saw Wicked the musical with my best friend Grizzy instead of going on a date with my man. (He was working and we had plans for the weekend anyway.)

It was her first time, my third. It was as amazing as the first time I saw it almost 10 years ago.

It reminded me of my high school days on the stage and how much I miss performing. I always get emotional seeing live shows because I know the feeling of hot lights in your face and getting a laugh from the audience at just the right moment. It’s this crazy adrenaline rush that gives you a high for the rest of the night.

Stepping into a character and becoming another person takes a lot out of you and reveals a lot about you as well. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable, you have to push yourself past your comfort zone and open up to strangers who may or may not like what you have to say.

I miss the laughter the most. When you say the funniest line in the script and you have to suppress your own laugh because the audience won’t stop laughing. That’s the best feeling in the world, making people laugh.

Maybe I’ll get back into it some day. I could audition to be Blanche Dubois in the Hialeah rendition of A Street Car Named Desire. Or maybe I’ll become a stage mom like mine was and make all the costumes for the shows and bring all the snacks. Either one of those options would make me happy.

Stay laughing my friends.

10 Things to accomplish in 2018

New year, new me!

Actually, not really.

It’s more like new year, same me spending too much money on things I shouldn’t and being a procrastinator and letting the laundry sit in a basket for two weeks before it gets put away. Can anyone else relate?

This year is going to be busy. We’ve already planned most of our travels (we are going to A LOT of places), there’s a short list of home improvement goals sitting on the refrigerator door, and there may or may not be a baby in the works towards the end of the year.

Yes, yes, I know, everyone wants a little baby Cookiss.

This is the year I get my grown-up shit together. I can hold down a job, pay my bills, feed and clothe myself and the cat; but what about the other things that come from growing up? Accountability? Reliability? Punctuality (hardy har har, me? Yeah right)?

Here are some things I’d like to accomplish this year

1. Learn to be on time
Edward HATES being late. Many an argument has spawned because I always seem to be blow-drying my hair when we really should be leaving to see a concert (or catch a plane, or see a movie). Not to mention I’m always late for work. In my defense I do live veeeeeeeey close to the heart of Hialeah and there is always crazy traffic on 49th street. This being said, I know there’s going to be traffic, I know I should leave 20 minutes early instead of 10 but I do it anyway. I need to start being more aware of things and GET OUT THE DOOR.

2. Stay focused
In November of 2016 I took the course to get my realtor license. I can sell ice to an Eskimo, so selling houses shouldn’t be any harder. I keep putting off taking the state exam because I haven’t been studying and I haven’t studied because Netflix keeps suggesting shows to binge watch. I need to do this if I ever want to get out of bartending.

3. Stop procrastinating
Don’t let the dishes pile up for days. Don’t let the laundry sit in the basket and only pick out clean underwear. Don’t let the dust balls accumulate under the dining room table. Clean the house, clean the car, wash your hair, take nap. DONE! Don’t make cleaning a 3 day ordeal.

4. Call my mother
Because everyone should call their mother more

Isn’t she adorable?

5. Read more books (cookbooks don’t count)
I have a goal of 30 by the end of the year. Last year I averaged about 5. Audio books count too.

6. Get outside
I seem to be allergic to the sun and that needs to change.

7. Get more active
This doesn’t mean “go to the gym” because that’s not for everyone and that’s not a solution to the problem. This means do some backyard yoga, chase some Pokémon in the park, do something else other than binge watch The X-Files and clean the house. Obviously cleaning the house is important but please see number 3 if you’re confused as to why cleaning the house would be a problem.

8. Stop spending unnecessary money on food.
If this sounds weird to you then you’ve never bought a $10 bag of goji berries because you read somewhere that they were good for you. They are, they taste gross, they’re sitting in my pantry practically untouched. As a chef I’m always willing to try new things. I need to try this new spice, the weird vegetable, the crazy new chicken sausage from Whole Foods. Well there goes what I made all week on chicken sausage. I need to sit back and plan my meals and have a reason to purchase things. Meal plans do actually work people. They keep you healthy and keep money in your pocket.

9. Stop spending money on unnecessary clothes
I love a good deal. I love when old navy has buy one get one for a dollar sandals, I love when ModCloth has 30% off dresses, I love when I buy sunglasses at Macy’s and get Plenti points. Do I need those things? Probably not. I, like most women, have a closet and TWO dressers full of clothing that I don’t wear. I need to make better decisions when buying clothes and actually wear what I already have and donate what I don’t want.

10. De clutter
Speaking of donations, I have a problem with keeping little things. I like matchbooks from bars we’ve gone to, stickers from artists in Wynwood, a million pins from Disney that are just sitting in a drawer somewhere. Making better purchasing decisions also goes out to other things too. Bring less home, have less waste, save the whales! Or something like that.

Look at all my cute stuff! Hopefully they’ll help me stay on track.

I have a couple of unofficial goals like write more blog posts, plan to save for baby, and wash my hair more than twice a week; but those aren’t as inspirational as the others ones. What are some of your goals for the new year?

 

 

Baby its cold outside

I love the holidays

All of them, all the winter ones, spring, summer, fall.

Any excuse to get together with family and friends and have a good time.

This year we bought our first home and its already been filled with so many memories.

We decided (I decided) to take some cute pictures by the tree for a Christmas card this year. Here’s me and the cat looking terrified because I wrapped her in lights.

We still haven’t exactly figured out the whole I’m-a blogger-and-I-always-take-perfect-pictures thing. Mainly because life isn’t perfect and most of my pictures look like this. Because I’m weird and silly and Edward can’t take a good picture of me to save his life (sorry boo).

My grandmother calls me pie face for a reason guys.

Anyway, we over here at the Hialeah house wish you a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Garlicky Roasted Tomato Soup

Its been awfully chilly here in south Florida this week. 65 degrees is boot weather here. Everyone breaks out their winter clothes that they have vacuum sealed in a closet for the one week a year it gets kinda cold. I’ve seen lots of thigh high boots, big puffy sweaters, and even a couple of ear muffs at the bar this week. All of us warm blooded South Floridians trying to maintain our regular internal temperature of 100 degrees fahrenheit.

My favorite way to stay warm is with soup. Edward doesn’t understand the concept. He says its something like eating soggy food from a bowl of hot liquid. Which it actually is, but he has a weird thing about food textures so soup is out of the game for him. This means I have all the soups to myself.

Tomato soup is best served with a grilled cheese sandwich. Since I haven’t been able to find a soy free/coconut oil free sliced “cheese” product, please feel free to have one for me. With bacon. And a tomato. Nom nom nom.

Recipe disclaimer before you start reading the ingredients: YES that is how much garlic I used and they are regular sized garlic cloves. If you’re going to use elephant garlic obviously you’re going to use less (or more!) depending on how much garlic you like. In my opinion recipes are here as a guideline and you should modify them more to your liking if you so choose. BUT the chunky garlic really gives this soup the best texture and flavor.

Ingredients 
16 vine ripened tomatoes, cut in half
1 large onion, cut in half
1 whole head of garlic, chopped
1 cup vegetable stock
Olive oil
salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, parsley (all the herbs are dried, not fresh)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degree
  2. Cut all the tomatoes in half and arrange on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper
  3. Drizzle olive oil on tomatoes and pop in the oven for one hour
  4. Once the tomatoes have baked for an hour, set the oven to broil for 15 minutes while keeping an eye on them so make sure they don’t over char. The point is to get a nice black crisp on top of most of the tomatoes.
  5. Remove from oven once crispy
  6. Cut the onion in half and toast in the oven for about 15 minutes on broil just to get it soft and warm
  7. Once the tomatoes have cooled a bit, add them with the onion to a blender and blend until smooth
  8. In a large pot you’re going to sauté the chopped garlic with olive oil on medium heat making sure not to over cook them but to get them nice and brown.
  9. Add veggie stock to the pot with the garlic to warm
  10. Combine tomato puree with the liquid in the pot
  11. Season with salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, and parsley and let simmer for 30 minutes so all the flavors can meld.

Yield: about 8 cups