Sunday, February 13, 2011

Comfort food...

I have neglected my kitchen in the last couple weeks.

I haven't cooked.  I haven't cleaned.  I have generally lost interest in all things related to food in general.

Tonight, however, after a productive afternoon of laundry, I decided to treat myself to some comfort food, sans husband (he's working tonight)

So, I whipped up a quick, easy pasta dish that is full of delicious veggies - the perfect end to a busy day!

Balsamic Chicken Alfredo with Mediterranean Vegetables

Boil up some pasta - I like to use whole wheat penne or fusilli.  Cook according to package directions, drain. 

Grill or pan sear a chicken breast (or two, if you want to share with someone else!)

Chop up and stir fry: 
1 red onion
1 small zucchini
1 small eggplant
1/2 a red bell pepper OR 2 large roasted red peppers (from a jar)

To the stir fried veggies, add 1 jar of alfredo sauce - I like to use Classico mushroom alfredo sauce.
Then add 1/2 cup of Balsamic salad dressing.  Bring to a simmer.  Add pasta.  Plate and add a chicken breast.  I like to serve mine with freshly grated asiago cheese.  Voila!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

It's been a very, very rough week.

Rough enough that more than once, I thought about changing careers, becoming a hermit or just hopping on a plane, changing my name and forgetting everything about this "Stephanie" person (by the way, she clearly sucks).

Hello pitty party.

But in the midst of all of this self indulgence, I heard the voice of my Grandmama in the back of my head saying, "Oh honey, whenever God closes a door, he opens a window.  Things will get better, just have faith in yourself and be thankful for all of the things you have."

And so, for this post, rather than dwelling on all the things that have made me fall off the rails this week, I will focus on 10 things that I am thankful for.

10.  Good books.  I mean, really good books.  Books that change the way I look at the world and challenge my preconceptions.  

9.  Music of almost any possible kind because it is food for the soul.

8.  Sweet red wine.  It's perfect.

7.  A cold beer on a hot day.  There is NOTHING better. :)

6.  Our great nation - that it is even possible for me to be sitting here with food in my belly, a roof over my head, a relatively stable government worrying about my wants rather than my needs.

5.  A hot bath.

4.  My Grandmama.  She is my hero.  She is the most cultured, loving and generous woman I have ever had the privilege of knowing.  If someday I am half the woman she is, I will be doing just fine.

3.  My friends who love me dearly for all my foibles and for whom I would do anything.  I may not have a thousand friends, but the ones I have are the best of the best.

2.  My sister - because although we fight (a lot) and we rarely see eye to eye (on anything) and sometimes, it's as if she's from another planet (Mars??)   I know that in the whole world, there is no one who would stick up for me more.  She's like a pitbull.

1.  My husband who loves me unconditionally, who tells me that I'm not as horrible as I think I am and makes me dinner, on his birthday because I've had a shitty day at work.  Yes, it's quite possible I am the worst wife ever, but I know how lucky I am.

In the words of Buddha:
"Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful."

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Dreaded Horror-scope!

I'm a Pisces.

Now, please don't take me for one of those crazy people who base everything in their lives on the zodiac.  I rarely read my own horoscope, I did not plan my marriage around who would be my best astrological match, I will not plan my children in that manner either.

That being said, I've always found the characteristics of each sign absolutely fascinating.

I mean, read for yourself.  If you know me at all, you know that this description is pretty much dead on.

And I find it really funny that I naturally (and accidentally, I swear!) surround myself with people of "compatible" zodiac signs.  (Hello to all my Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Capricorn and Aquarius peeps!) I also find it really funny that I generally avoid all the rest of the signs (ie:  my Aires

Anyway, I've been coming to terms lately with a lot of internal conflict - trying to feel more balanced and at peace with myself and the world around me and I've decided the best way to feel more like me is to really embrace all of my contradictions.  I know that some of the best parts of life are caused by tension, conflict and contrast, but being a highly emotional person, it's sometimes hard to remember that.

I guess I just need to be more Zen about life in general.

But, hey, I'm working on it.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

More evidence of a (nearly) third of a life crisis.

I used to rock.

I mean seriously.  I was that chick who wore Chuck Taylors and ripped tights, jean mini skirts and vintage tees.  I went to shows, not concerts, of bands that were too small to play their best friend's basement.  I talked smack about anyone who liked "mainstream" music and considered myself to be on the cutting edge of all things indy and up and coming.

I was awesome.

And now I'm boring.

I've been thinking a lot about my last few years of university, and seriously, I'm not sure where that rockin' chick is anymore.  I feel like I've lost her.  Fuck, I even spelled rockin' with proper punctuation.  How ridiculous is that?!

I digress.  The point is, I can't remember the last time I went to a show.  I can't remember what it felt like to mosh in a pit that was so intense I thought I would be squashed to death.  I feel like I'm falling apart here!

I don't want to grow up just yet!

Right now, I just want to get drunk, and go out dancing at Zaphod's in Ottawa (which, to be quite honest, I'm not even sure is still there) and catch some punk show that I can mosh at.

Is that too much to ask?