We have the opportunity on the daily to make a positive impact on the world around us.
Whether one goes through their day searching for good deeds to be done,
or simply takes advantage of random opportunities to spread love,
every action (or inaction) has a resounding impact.
The question is: Is your impact today going to be positive, negative, or indifferent?
I have been told that one person can't make a difference.
I affectionately call these people "dummies"...
Those who actively try to hold the rest of us down,
those who would rather watch you drown than help you soar, those who can't grasp the power of positivity to create change.
Whether it's a great recipe found, or an uplifting story to share, you can be sure to find it here.
Let's start a Positivity Revolution, and drown out the dumb!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Ugly, Delicious Stuffed Peppers

Being able to pull random, fresh ingredients out of your refrigerator and create a delish meal for yourself and others is the greatest thing about being in the kitchen. I have always been a little fretful while cooking, measuring out every little ingredient and worrying that I'm taking too long, stressing that whatever I make won't turn out...Or if it does turn out as expected, what if the person/people I'm cooking for hate it? Ugh, insanity certainly can take the joy out of the simplest things!

Since moving back home, I've been cooking incessantly in an attempt to mitigate the tension I feel for something so joyful and creative. I've been fortunate enough to be surrounded by girlfriends who not only like my cooking, they will let me cook them multiple meals in a day and just hang out waiting patiently to be fed. (That sounds weird in writing, my friends are not drooling hyenas). I have fallen back in love with cooking anything and everything, and it feels so good! Especially with a glass of vino in my hand.

After hiking today, I remembered I had mini sweet peppers in my fridge that were begging to be stuffed. So I got home and made my new favorite recipe, which we shall call Cheesy Mini Peppers! These are not the prettiest meal/appetizer, but they are so darn good it doesn't matter once they hit your mouth. Here's the recipe for the adventurous:

If you're semi-fast at chopping, preheat your oven to 350°F, and pour yourself a glass of Pinot Grigio (cannot be responsible for missing fingertips and such).
You can cut the tops off your peppers, remove the seeds and pith, and stuff them as one; or cut them in half to add stuffing to. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy cleanup, and lay your peppers out. Even better, if you have a mini muffin tin, you can ensure your whole peppers don't tip over!
Take two handfuls of fresh spinach (because that's how I measure things), and chiffonade (just roll the spinach and cut it into thin-ish strips). This should be about 1 cup.

Chop 1/4 of a small onion (any color) and 2-4 slices of cooked bacon (2 slices work just fine, but 4 would be divine).
Heat 1 Tbs. of EVOO into a skillet at medium heat and add onions, then minced garlic (about 1/2 Tbs), cook for about 3 minutes. Add spinach and bacon. Cook for a few more minutes until the spinach is fairly wilty, and add a little splash of Pinot Grigio if you're feeling frisky. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

While the spinach mixture is cooking, measure into a medium bowl 1/3 cup of cottage cheese, 1 tsp Italian seasoning, and nearly a cup of shredded cheese (I have an obscene amount of cheese in my home, so I used 1/2 Monterey Jack and 1/2 Mozzarella).

Add your spinach mixture to the cheese bowl and mix well.

Spoon your delicious spinach-cheese mixture into your peppers, and bake for about 10 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly.
Remove from oven, turn heat up to Broil, and sprinkle more shredded cheese on top of each pepper. Broil for about 3 minutes, until cheese is golden brown.
Let cool slightly and shove any runaway cheese back into those little pockets.
Eat, and try not to lose your mind!

On my last pepper, I actually considered cutting it into tiny little pieces so I could make it last forever,
like the last McDonald's french fry.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Here's to New Faves

I am terrible at making side dishes exciting. Usually, all my energy is spent on the main course, and by the time I think, "Hey, I might need a little somethin'-somethin'," it's late and I'm starving. So I'll forgo the side dish completely in favor of stuffing my face immediately. On this particular occasion, I was intent on making a thank-you dinner for my sister and brother-in-law, so I figured it was a meal that was side-dish appropriate. After some pretty intense Googling, I found this recipe from The Kitchenista Diaries: Chicken & Mango Fried Rice. Color me tickled, I was all in!

There were a couple things that thrilled me about this recipe: First, all the ingredients are crazy fresh, it was like there was a little rainbow of healthy on my cutting board. Second, this was my first time cooking with Coconut Oil, which I'm now completely addicted to.

I used Boil-In-Bag brown rice, which helped speed up the entire process immensely. While the rice was chilling, I started working on the Bulgogi main dish, with the help of some pretty classity Pinot Grigio which may or may not have come from a box. :)

I was amazed at how the Coconut Oil lent a subtle coconut flavor, and I omitted the chicken since we were having beef as the main dish. I half-expected to hate this recipe since I'm not a huge fan of coconut; but I could seriously eat this every single day. Plus, it was a hit with the fam. Amazing!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Korean Flashback

Can I just say, I love me some Korean food! My sister was looking for some creative menu ideas for her catering company, Foodies, and I remembered that I kind of knew how to make Bulgogi from my brief stint as a Korean man's bride. So we made it, and it was fabulous! Here's my pics, and I followed this recipe from mykoreankitchen.com.

We let the meat marinate for about an hour while dicing up veggies and prepping our side dish, Coconut Rice.

I may just start eating exclusively recipes from Sue's blog, my mouth is watering already!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Crazy Note Lady

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge proponent of therapy. I love the fact that I can pay someone to listen to my insanity (this is not a therapist=approved term), and they can't judge me (but that last piece is not true, according to my anti-therapy mother). I get to chatter away to this stranger about anything from my recent terrible salon experience to not wanting to have kids. And we concentrate on mindfulness, and I cry. A lot. That's how I know I've found a great therapist: How many times can I have a meltdown during our session? One is good, two is great, three or more is utterly fantastic! All this to say, I found an utterly fantastic therapist this weekend, and I plan on becoming a dangerous force of...something...in the near future. :)

One of the things that I love to do, which I learned from my virgin therapist experience years ago, is positive self-talk. I used to put little notes to myself all over my apartment and car where I would be forced to read them every day. It looks weird to outsiders, and it feels weird at first, but the funny thing is, you start to believe what you feed your mind every day. It's like everything else that you encounter on a daily basis: Odds are, if you feed yourself positivity, you'll become a more positive being. Just like eating healthy and working out instead of binge-drinking and eating fast food does wonders for your body, the things you allow yourself to ingest in terms of how people treat you and how you talk to yourself makes all the difference. It simply takes time. I heard somewhere (probably from a Billy Blanks workout video), that you didn't gain the weight overnight, so it's not going to come off overnight. Same goes for your brain. We are all so messed up, but it just takes time (and sometimes, sweat and tears) to make things right again. Everything is fixable!

My new, fabulous mind-trainer gave me a couple homework assignments...The first is to sit for five minutes each morning and just be. Let thoughts come and go, noticing how each thought makes me feel. The second is to stop "disclaiming". I tend to disclaim everything, as in, "I'm just in insurance," instead of owning the fact that I worked my ass off to become an Account Executive. Or, "This is so stupid, but..." instead of just telling a story and not worrying about what the other person thinks. And the third project I gave myself: Positive notes.

Currently, I have scribbled on my bathroom mirror five sentences (because I spend WAAAAY too much time in there, lol). It's embarrassing to know that anyone who comes into my apartment will see the things in plain sight that I feel the most self-conscious about; but those who judge me probably aren't worth having around, anyhow.

I also like to angrily stomp up The Incline until I can smile all huge again!