Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cold Weather Food

So I was at Open Mic Night at Beaner's last night enjoying some really fantastic music and I stepped outside for a bit and happened to look up. I was moderately unimpressed with what I saw...SNOW. Ugh. I may be a Minnesota girl to my very core, but I never like having to see the first signs of winter. Two words...cold and uncomfortable. I tried all the usual tricks, like closing my eyes, pretending it wasn't happening, maybe it was ash (you know, from an invisible volcano) but it was still there every time I looked back up. Needless to say, it didn't stick but it threw me into serious winter cooking gear. And what warms you up when its super cold outside? A hot bowl of lentil chili, obviously!
I scavenged our cabinets and fridge and came up with a bag of lentils, stewed tomatoes, an onion and a corn and bean mixture that i had made a few days ago for burritos. And the cooking extravaganza commenced. :) The lentils added a totally different flavor to the chili, almost a rich nutty flavor (as weird as that might sound) and gave it a really wholesome harvest blend flavor. Made it perfect for a late fall/early winter warming meal. One of the best things about one pot meals are that you can literally just throw everything in the pot and do a little stirring and walk away. Having meals that are pretty hassle free are a life-saver in an apartment that has no kitchen space and counter room for cooking. We have to use our dining room table to prep food on and sometimes the more I have to do, the more frustrated I tend to get with such a minimal amount of space to work in. Meals like this are a lifesaver, because with two huge dogs that try to help me cook and a roommate who likes to pop in and snack on whatever I'm making, space is at a premium in the kitchen. But at least I know I always have other people to help me out with the excessive amounts of food that tends to get made. :) So make it, eat it and enjoy it! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Oh Halloween, it's only been one day and I already miss you. Probably my favorite time of year, hands down. Its one of the few times when you can legitimately dress like a total goon and get away with it. This year I decided to get all zombified. Because everyone needs a little zombie in their lives. I'm sure of it. The original premise for the costume was going to be a zombie pin up girl, but after (foolishly) throwing my outfit in the dryer it was deemed WAY too small to wear in public. I mean, that sucker got tiiiight and short. And while that may be some girls' cup of tea, it doesn't really float my boat. So I raided my huge stash of dresses, found my sweet little navy blue one that I got from ModCloth a while ago and decided to go for a zombie Alice in Wonderland.
Needless to say, it was flippin AWESOME. My roommate, Sam, got all dolled up as Alex from A Clockwork Orange and we zombied up a couple of friends and hit the fancy streets of Duluth. :) I talked to a homeless man who wanted me to bite him (I did NOT do it, eww), ran into a crew dressed up as the boys from Shaun of the Dead (one of my absolute favorite movies ever!), and had an overall awesome night.
I think a lot of what made this year so much fun was that I decided to make my costume instead of buying one. All I had to buy was some fake blood and liquid latex for my wounds! It's probably the only way to go, you'll be able to guarantee that you won't run into anyone else with your same costume, plus you get to tailor it to how you want it to look. Because I saw a couple of Alice's...but none of them looked even remotely like mine (although the blood probably had a lot to do with it). So think about it for next year, don't waste money on a costume that you'll (probably) only wear once. Raid your closet and get crafty. And if all else fails, just throw some fake blood on it. :)